Blog Tour – 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

08 Aug – Indie Book Fairy
08 Aug – Tome Tender
08 Aug – Celtic Lady’s Reviews
08 Aug – Erzabet’s Enchantments
09 Aug – CA Milson Author
10 Aug – Girl With Pen
11 Aug – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
11 Aug – Writing Dreams
12 Aug – Ash Stone Author
16 Aug – Torie James
17 Aug – Foreplay & Fangs
18 Aug – Romance Reviews Today

Excerpt

“Vaun took another deep drag off the cigarette one of his new friends, Gabby, had offered him. She and the man sitting beside her pretended quite comically to be from the High. The prince did not ruin the show by telling them that he knew everyone in the High, to some degree. The quality of their vanity charms indicated they were not, not to mention the state of their clothing. Being rude was only fashionable if one’s victim was up to the challenge and could strike back. Besides, Vaun never discouraged people who tried so hard to amuse him.

The prince exhaled black smoke. It was thick and dramatic, but his skin didn’t hum the way it usually did after a deep breath of dust. In fact, the tingle was more of an agitation, making him shift in his seat and flick his cigarette more angrily than usual. Ash fluttered through the air. How much tea did he have to drink for a decent buzz? He all but dropped his cup back on its chipped saucer in disgust. “I shouldn’t have come,” he muttered.

“You’re leaving?” Gabby’s smile faltered. Her fingers clenched around her teacup. She wore fingerless, black lace gloves like his sister did on occasion and Vaun noticed that her skirts and bodice were also in dark colors with hints of lace sewn in wherever possible, some obviously added as an afterthought and not even matching the lace elsewhere. It would have been easier to try to imitate the High fashion of Belholn but Gabby had aimed even higher, for the princess herself.

“Yes. I’m sure I have a date somewhere.” Some part of him enjoyed the distress of the people around him at the possibility of his departure. It made him want to leave even more.

“Wait!” Gabby grabbed at the man beside her, whose name Vaun had forgotten a while ago, and tugged at the sleeve of his obviously repaired jacket. “Show him,” she whispered urgently.

Vaun took another draw of his disappointing cigarette. The best part about going to a teahouse or club in the thick of the Main was how the people tried so desperately to impress him. The people in the High knew him too well to try so hard. They feared his mockery even more than they desired his attention. But this group had spent the better part of the last hour trying to wow him with their trinkets and knowledge of the High. It was all nonsense read from the paper and mostly outdated. “I truly doubt you have anything to show me that I have not seen.”

The man reached into his jacket a little uncomfortably and took out a small mason jar. Others giggled, recognizing it, but Vaun only blinked at first. Its glass belly was full but not with anything liquid or solid. Light, captured and pulsing, swirled inside the jar. Vaun felt it as much as he saw it. He heard it like a whisper against his senses and found himself leaning forward to see it more clearly: a soul. Vaun had seen them before, but they weren’t common. So uncommon, in fact, that he was surprised they hadn’t led with this in their attempt to impress him. He supposed they might have been afraid he’d take it. Soul capturing was an old craft that most considered barbaric now.

His gaze turned up from the jar to the man holding it. “Who is it?” The soul was a beautiful captive, but the person walking around without it was the real prize—the puppet, someone that could be made to do anything.

“I couldn’t say.” The man smiled. “He wouldn’t be much of a spy if I did.”

 

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Blog Tour: Out of Time by Shona Husk

I was really excited to work with Shona and a quick look at her published titles will show you why! You’ll find something to read for any mood *grin*. She’s also a really lovely author and I know that you will all enjoy getting to know her just as much as I did… so without further ado…

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Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back.

With over forty published stories, ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance. Her latest release is Out of Time, a Fremantle set rock star story.

You can find out more at www.shonahusk.com

www.twitter.com/ShonaHusk

www.facebook.com/shonahusk

Newsletter: http://mad.ly/signups/119074/join

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Out of Time Blog Tour

18 Sept – Coffee Time Romance
22 Sept – Romance Reviews Today
23 Sept – Pamaceeve
24 Sept – Indy Book Fairy
24 Sept – Savvy Authors
24 Sept – Nat’s Book Nook
24 Sept – Night Owl Reviews
25 Sept – Romance Junkies
25 Sept – Room with Books
26 Sept – Books & More
28 Sept – Book Girl Knitting
30 Sept – Lynn Stevens

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Blurb Skinny

Out of Time by Shona Husk CoverThe fabulous New Adult series from Shona Husk continues: he wants to shut out the world; she wants to invite it in…

Mike Peterson has learned the hard way that the good really do die young. He and his mum only have each other, and now she’s losing her second battle with cancer. He wants to stay with her; she wants him to keep following his dreams. He doesn’t have long to decide and the rest of the band is waiting on him. Whatever choice he makes, he will lose.

Living at home has become impossible for Ava Brand. Her very religious, very traditional grandmother would like to see her married off to a nice Indian boy. But Ava wants to make her own choices. Meeting Mike gives her a chance to rebel.

What starts off as easy rapidly becomes complicated, as their problems expand and emotions bubble to the surface. Neither has time for complicated, as Ava’s family discovers her extra-curricular activities and Mike has to make incredibly hard choices. But love never waits for the perfect time, and Mike and Ava are going to have to decide if they’re playing for fun, or playing for keeps.

Escape Publishing     iTunes     Amazon

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Excerpt skinny
‘I don’t know why I texted you.’ Her lips curved into a small smile before she pinched her lower lip between her teeth, as if to stop it from spreading. ‘I just wanted to get out and thought that if you were close by …’

‘And here I am.’ This wasn’t awkward at all. What were they doing?

She nodded and her gaze skimmed over him. ‘And here you are.’ She took a step closer.

He could reach out and touch her, yet he didn’t. He hadn’t been this hesitant in a very long time. But Ava wasn’t some random chick whose name he didn’t know or couldn’t remember. Her name was etched inside his skull. ‘Did you want to go for a walk?’

‘Why not.’ She flicked him another little smile.

Why not indeed, he wasn’t sure what else they were going to do. This was outside their usual activities. They walked down the road a bit toward the foreshore. He was aware of her arm when it brushed his. And while they had sat close after a ride, this felt different.

How different did he want it?

He wasn’t sure. He liked what they had and that they could talk and there were no complications. But his fingers brushed her hand and then her fingers were linking with his and then they were holding hands before they reached the grassed foreshore.

Around them people moved, walking from wherever they’d parked their car or jumped off the bus. She wouldn’t want to be down here when the show started, not when she could be watching from her balcony with her friends, plus they’d wonder where she was. He glanced back up the road toward the hotel.

‘Guess I should go back.’ She didn’t sound entirely convinced.

‘I’ll walk you.’ He didn’t care if he missed the whole thing. They went back the way they’d come.

They were almost there when she stopped. In that heartbeat, he knew this was about to get complicated and he wasn’t going to do a damn thing to stop it. He’d wanted her the first time he’d seen her. The heat of the evening was on his skin and her touch was under his skin.

If she invited him up, he’d follow.

Fuck. He had no condoms.

Maybe she did … but the thought brought him up short. He liked her. He didn’t just want to sleep with her. If he did that, then what happened next? Did they go back to just being friends … is that what had been happening, or had she wanted more from the start?

It was complicated already. He’d been pretending otherwise because Ava was a very pretty distraction.

A quick screw never brought this headache, neither had making love with a girlfriend. He wasn’t sure he remembered how to do that. It had been too long.

She looked up at him and stepped closer. ‘I remembered why I texted you.’

‘Uh-huh.’ He’d kind of got that. He was sure his heart was about to self-destruct in a frenzy of lust and anticipation.

He put his hand on her waist. He knew she was all lithe muscle. Her riding gear had given him plenty to think about in the shower. She probably wouldn’t find that flattering. After giving her a moment to pull away—she didn’t—he drew her a fraction closer.

Neither of them moved. Her lips were tilted up, and her fingers were locked around his. He drew in a breath. If he crossed the line, he wouldn’t be able to uncross it. He didn’t need this. His life was a mess that he couldn’t afford to screw up further. His dick pulsed. It had only been a month, not even a full month. It wasn’t going to drop off if it didn’t get used.

‘Kiss me,’ she whispered.

Any resistance he’d had was shattered by those two words. He leaned down and brushed his lips over hers. All other thoughts melting away.

She wanted him and he needed her. But he didn’t rush the kiss and neither did she. It slowly deepened from first kiss to more. Her free hand slid over his chest to land on his shoulder. He closed the last few centimetres between them.

Still she didn’t pull away.

There were too many people around to do more here. But he moved against her, leaving no doubt about what he was thinking. She gasped then swayed her hips.

He wanted to pick her up and have her against the nearest wall—which had been his first thought the first time he’d seen her. Her hotel was only metres away. He was pathetic, drawing boundaries, only to ignore them when he changed his mind.

Her tongue found his ring. Then her teeth gave it a gentle tug. She gave a little laugh as he growled.

‘You like that one?’

‘Mmm. Do you have any more?’

No, he didn’t, and this is where things usually took a dive. But he wasn’t drunk and neither was she. And they weren’t strangers. But he didn’t want to give up all his secrets too soon. ‘Maybe, maybe not.’

She was still pressed against him. Her body moulding to his. She reached up and took another kiss. ‘Guess I’ll have to wait to find out.’

Her fingers slid free from his and then she was drifting out of reach. She took a couple more steps back, her eyes still on him.

He covered the distance in a few quick strides. Kissed her again. Harder this time; then drew back, knowing there wasn’t going to be anymore tonight. It was better this way. No sex to make a mess of things. It was fairly obvious that it was on both their minds. ‘Enjoy the fireworks.’