Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Release Day Celebration: McGrave's Hotel by Steve Bryant with Giveaway


Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
McGrave's Hotel by Steve Bryant
presented by Tantrum Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Happy Book Birthday, Steve!


It’s 1936, and nearly twelve-year-old JAMES ELLIOTT is a bellhop at McGrave’s Hotel, there a year since the night his parents died while on a spy mission into Nazi Germany.
JAMES craves a goodbye message from his parents, but is distracted by troublesome guests who require his help.
Assistance with locating a missing and priceless mummy, wrangling mutant spiders, and attaching the head of a bridegroom is just the kind of hospitality guests have come to expect while at McGrave’s hotel where guests are dying to check in.
But over the course of one frightful evening, James will team with Death’s daughter to fight Nazi sympathizers, monsters, and the undead in this riveting, deathly, historical adventure story unlike any you’ve read before.
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McGrave’s Hotel by Steve Bryant Publication Date: October 11, 2016 Publisher: Tantrum Books

At the six available elevators that serviced the hotel, the other bellhops and luggage consumed so much space in the first that there was little room for Victor Lesley and James.
Mr. Lesley tapped James on the shoulder with his walking stick. “You, Ace, stick with me. We’ll take the next one.”
A moment later, James and his box and Mr. Lesley and his walking stick entered the adjacent elevator. When the doors closed and they were alone in the carved oak interior, Mr. Lesley let out a sigh of relief, leaned against one of the walls, and closed his eyes.
James used the moment to steal a close look at the object in his hands. The box was the elephant in the room.
“Want to know what’s in there?” the actor said. He opened his eyes and tapped the box with his walking stick.
James nodded.
“My biggest secret. Thus it must remain. Room 3913, please.”
The floor buttons and indicator lights formed a matrix of four columns. James had to stretch to push the button for the thirty-ninth floor. Holding onto the box made it even more difficult.
“Aren’t you a little young for this line of work?” Mr. Lesley said.
“I’m almost twelve, sir.”
“Live here?”
“Yes, sir.”
James had a basement room, but it was large and well-ventilated, and Chef Anatole let him order anything off the spectacular menu. Mr. Morton, the accountant, tutored him in Arithmetic; Miss Frobish, the head of reservations, tutored him in Geography; and Mr. Clancy, the electrician, tutored him in Science. Anything else he wished to learn was available on the sixth floor, in the hotel library. The library originally belonged to Thaddeus McGrave himself, and the management since Mr. McGrave’s era had not only preserved the collection but had updated it regularly.
James was an avid reader and used the library often. His room was filled with borrowed books, and he discussed them at length with Mr. Nash and Miss Charles. He was particularly fond of books about ancient Egypt because they reminded him of the summer he and his parents spent in Cairo. He remembered laughing at the wobbly, lurching camel ride to the Great Pyramid of Cheops, at Giza. On the small bureau in his room, James kept his only souvenir of that excursion: a photograph of his mom, his dad, and himself. Their names—Blanche, Alex, and James—were inscribed on the back in his mother’s neat hand. His mom had long blond hair and looked quite beautiful in the khaki riding outfit she wore in the photo, and his dad always said she was the bee’s knees.
The elevator, which had been ascending, passed the twentieth floor.
“Did you like my gals tonight?” Mr. Lesley asked.
“The ladies in the red dresses? They seemed nice,” James said. “Were they really what you said? Your fan club? Your agent?”
“Never met them before,” Mr. Lesley said. “Look, Ace, it’s all the same. It doesn’t matter if you are a stage star, a screen star, or President Roosevelt. You have to make an entrance. In most towns, the limo comes from the local funeral home. Here in New York, you can get a real limo with all the trimmings. So tonight, the limo, the girls, even a couple of the guys asking questions, were all part of a package deal. You pay for it. It’s one of the expenses of being a star.”
As they passed the thirtieth floor, the elevator suddenly slowed. When it stopped prematurely, James stared anxiously at the button and light panel as the doors opened. All the lights were flashing. “Nuts!” he said at once. It was the wrong floor!
The opened doors revealed a corridor lit entirely by candles. The corridor seemed to drift off to infinity. From far down the hallway, something large and green was floating toward them fast. James recognized it as the ectoplasm of a lost, angry spirit. He had had trouble with this one before. Jockeying the wooden box into an arm hold with his right arm, James furiously pressed the Close Door button with his left hand. The doors sealed right before the green cloud was upon them.
The elevator jerked once and then resumed its ascent. The lights calmed down.
Steve Bryant

Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction, and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Book Blitz: Oak & Mistletoe by J.Z.N. McCauley with Giveaway

Oak & Mistletoe

J.Z.N. McCauley

Publication date: October 11th 2016

Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

A Druid Curse, A Prophesied Love, A Consuming Vengeance…
Catherine Green, along with her twin sister and older brother, travels to Ireland on a college graduation trip. Her vacation takes a permanent turn when she lands her dream job at an art and history museum on her beloved Emerald Isle. She meets a handsome stranger named Bowen, an expert of sorts on local ancient studies. Though their first meetings are turbulent at best, Catherine finds herself drawn to him.
Unaware that she is the key to breaking a hidden curse, Catherine unleashes the evil madman Conall and his druid followers, imprisoned since ancient times. Tragedy and loss ensue, sprouting within Catherine the deep seeds of rage that thrust her onto the damaging path of vengeance. Confused by the enigma that is Bowen, his mixed signals, and her own feelings, she is swept away with him on an unexpected journey surrounded by myth and long-forgotten knowledge. In order to stop the evil plans of Conall and his reunified army, Catherine must entwine her fate with peril. Her survival is trivial to her as long as Conall dies. She’ll do whatever it takes.

Are you a reviewer?
You can request a review copy here!

Q&A with J.Z.N. McCauley!

· What was your inspiration for Oak & Mistletoe?
One day, I was studying ancient Roman history, and somehow I was led to articles regarding Pliny the Elder, and Julius Caesar’s account of the ancient druids. It was fascinating. Reading the only ritual known from them, the ritual of oak and mistletoe, I suddenly imagined the basic plot of my book.
· Which character in Oak & Mistletoe do you identify with most, and why?
I suppose that would be Catherine, my main character. For many reasons, but we both love Ireland and strawberry ice cream.

· What was your favorite part about writing Oak & Mistletoe?
I loved it all, but I will say it was especially fun writing the villain scenes.

· What was the hardest part about writing Oak & Mistletoe?
Writing Conall’s character was a struggle because it was easy to make his special level of crazy go too far. Luckily my editor helped me bring it back a bit and smooth it out.

· What’s one thing you want readers to know about Oak & Mistletoe?
This is a book about many things. Different sides and levels of evil, suffering, loss. But ultimately it’s about good vs evil, love and having the courage to keep going.

· Who is your favorite rogue character from a book, TV show, or movie?
So many, but I’d have to say Killian (aka Captain Hook) from ABC’s TV show Once Upon a Time.

Author Bio:

J.Z.N. McCauley resides in lovely New England, where she loves wearing jackets and boots in the unpredictable weather there. She is a wife and mother who enjoys life to the fullest. Also, being a nerd across many genres is something she expresses openly.
McCauley spends most of her spare time writing, drawing, or reading. She loves archeology, mythology, history, music and many other forms of art as well. Always having a variety of interests and talents, she could never pick just one. When the chance pops up to travel to any of her favorite places, she takes way too many pictures. Otherwise she is exploring a mystical land in a daydream. Which all provides fuel to her immense joy of writing.

Hi Everyone, I bet it's a bit obvious now that if there is a redhead on the cover, I am definitely signing up to read/tour/etc! ~Kara