Thursday, July 25, 2013

High Summer Read-a-Thon: Prize Promotion Page

This is the prize promotion page for all the prizes being given way for the read-a-thon.  We have some amazing book prizes donated from some very generous authors! At the end of this post, you will find details regarding how the prizes will be awarded at the end of the read-a-thon.

Winner - Denee
The Secret History by Stephanie Thornton ( One print copy - U.S./Canada)
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
NAL Trade
Paperback; 448p
ISBN-10: 045141778X

Where Theodora went, trouble followed…

In sixth century Constantinople, one woman, Theodora, defied every convention and all the odds, and rose from being a common theater tart to become empress of a great kingdom, the most powerful woman the Roman Empire would ever know. But the woman whose image was later immortalized in glittering mosaic was, in fact, a scrappy, clever, conniving, flesh-and-blood woman full of sensuality and spirit whose real story is as surprising as any ever told…

When her father dies suddenly, Theodora and her sisters face starvation on the streets. Determined to survive, Theodora makes a living any way she can—first on her back with every man who will have her, then on the stage of the city’s infamous amphitheater in a scandalous dramatization of her own invention. When her daring performance grants her a back-door entry into the halls of power, she seizes the chance to win a wealthy protector—only to face heartbreak and betrayal.

Ever resilient, Theodora rises above such trials and by a twist of fate, meets her most passionate admirer yet: the Emperor’s nephew. She will thrive as his confidant and courtesan, but many challenges lie ahead. For one day, this man will hand her a crown. And all the empire will wonder—is she bold enough, shrewd enough, and strong enough to keep it?

Praise for The Secret History
“Stephanie Thornton’s Theodora is tough and intelligent, spitting defiance against the cruel world of the Byzantine Empire. Her rise from street urchin to emperor’s consort made me want to stand up and cheer. Her later years as empress are great fun to read, but it was her early struggle as actress and courtesan that really had me roaring: either with rage at the misfortunes heaped on this poor girl, or with delight as she once more picked herself up with a steely glint in her eye and kept on going.”—Kate Quinn, author of Empress of the Seven Hills

"Loss, ambition and lust keep this rich story moving at top speed. Stephanie Thornton writes a remarkable first novel that brings a little known woman to full, vibrant life...A sprawling and irresistible story."—Jeane Westin, author of The Spymaster's Daughter

"A fascinating and vivid account; in The Secret History, the life of Empress Theodora leaps from the page, as colorful and complex as the woman herself."—Michelle Diener, author of The Emperor's Conspiracy

About the author
Stephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel. 

For more information, please visit Stephanie Thornton's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

The Last Lord of Paradise-Generation One: Jeanne and Anton by Vivian LeMay 
(5 Kindle ebooks-International)  
Winner 1 - Sharon
Winner 2 - Marissa
Winner 3 - Tobe
Winner 4 -
Winner 5 -
I remembered that autumn day when a party from the Compagnie Franche de la Marine visited our village in France. They came to recruit men for the war in New France and Papa allowed them into our orchard. I was only sixteen, enchanted by the handsome young marines in their blue uniforms...

It was the sparkle of energy in his blue eyes that caught me, and I smiled. His gaze was so intense I thought he'd pierced my soul and as he bowed to kiss my hand, his very presence dominated me. Anton had that affect on everyone he met.

We wed quickly and weeks later Anton was called to war. It was now nine years since I saw my husband. There were a few letters from him during the war, before France surrendered her lands in North America to the British--after the surrender, nothing. Our troops came home, but not Anton. I fought off the bitterness, and tried to hope, but there had been no word at all for the last five years.

Then last winter Monsieur Lavelle arrived at our chateau with a letter from Anton. His letter invited me to join him in the wilderness of Canada at his own secret settlement called Paradis. Anton sent Monsieur Lavelle for me, because he was clearing land, planting crops and building a home for me. It said nothing about where Anton was for all those years, but my husband was alive. He still loved me and wanted me with him. I thought only of Anton and the future as I packed my trunk that very day.

The Marquise Jeanne Reneau, 1766 on the shore of the Detroit River.

About the author (from Amazon)
I come from a family of French Canadian and Irish, strict Roman Catholics, and yet such fun to be around. They worked hard, and they were not rich, but through good times and bad they always found some reason to celebrate their life.

That is the attitude I tried to portray in my Kindle ebook series, THE LAST LORD OF PARADISE. Generations one through six are now available. I hope you enjoy all six books in The Last Lord of Paradise series, and please don't forget to leave a review. I'd love to know what you think.
Vivian LeMay

Winner - Melissa C.The Golden Dice by Elisabeth Storrs  (One digital copy-International)
During a ten year siege between two age-old enemies, three women follow very different paths to survive: 

Caecilia, a young Roman woman, forsakes her city by marrying the Etruscan Vel Mastarna, exposing herself to the enmity of his people and the hatred of the Romans who consider her a traitoress…

Semni, a reckless Etruscan girl, becomes a servant in the House of Mastarna, embroiling herself in schemes that threaten Caecilia's children and her own chance for romance…

Pinna, a tomb whore, uses blackmail to escape her grim life and gain the attention of Rome's greatest general, choosing between her love for him and her loyalty to another…

Historical Fiction at its best, The Golden Dice explores the lives of women in war while giving a glimpse into the sexuality, religion, and politics of Roman and Etruscan cultures, two great civilizations of ancient history.

About the author
Elisabeth Storrs has long had a passion for the history, myths and legends of the ancient world. She is an Australian author and graduated from the University of Sydney in Arts Law, having studied Classics. Over the years she has worked as a solicitor, corporate lawyer, governance consultant and business writer.

Her Tales of Ancient Rome series chronicles the events of a ten year siege between Rome and the Etruscan city of Veii. The first book, The Wedding Shroud, ends when war is declared. The Golden Dice continues the story seven years later at the height of the conflict. In addition to the Roman treaty bride, Caecilia, two other strong female characters are introduced in The Golden Dice: Semni, a young Etruscan girl, and Pinna, a Roman tomb whore. You will find more information on the background to the book in this post on Elisabeth’s blog, Triclinium. The Wedding Shroud and The Golden Dice are available on Amazon or via other retailers listed on her website. And Elisabeth would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter. The Wedding Shroud was judged runner-up in the international 2012 Sharp Writ Book Awards for general fiction.

Winner - Darlene
Another Man's Treasure by S.W. Hubbard  (One Kindle copy-International)
On a snowy Christmas Eve, a beautiful young mother goes out to buy a few last minute gifts and never returns….

….thirty years later, her daughter picks up her trail.

As the owner of an estate sale business, Audrey Nealon knows a lot about art, antiques, and the unlikely places old people hide their treasures. But the shabby home of an elderly widow holds alarming surprises: street drugs in the silverware drawer, a trunkful of jewels in the attic, and the distinctive ring Audrey’s mother was wearing the night she disappeared. Believing the truth will bring her peace, Audrey relentlessly pursues clues to her family’s troubled history. But each fact Audrey uncovers drags her further away from the love she craves, and puts her on a collision course with people more determined, more ambitious, and more dangerous than she can fathom. Ultimately, some truths are too awful to bear, and too terrible to share.

Praise for the book
Another Man’s Treasure has 185 reader reviews on Amazon, average 4.6 stars. Read the first chapter at
5-Stars Indie Reader Approved
"Verdict: Readers will fall in love with the relentless Audrey, who is hell-bent on finding out why she was robbed, not only of her mother, but also of any hope she had for a "normal" childhood in a happy family. S.W. Hubbard has penned an absorbing treasure." 

"Question follows question, clue follows clue, and the breathless reader can scarcely keep up with all the twists and turnsin Audrey's life once this story's wheels start turning."

About the author
S.W. Hubbard’s most recent novel is Another Man’s Treasure. She is also is the author of three mystery novels set in the Adirondack Mountains: Take the Bait, Swallow the Hook, and Blood Knot. Her short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and the anthologies Crimes by Moonlight, The Mystery Box, and Adirondack Mysteries. She lives in Morristown, NJ, where she teaches creative writing to enthusiastic teens and adults, and expository writing to reluctant college freshmen. To read the first chapter of any of her books, visit:


Winner - Hannah
Books 1 & 2 in the Jazz Age Mystery series (eBooks-one winner-International)

Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play by Ellen Mansoor Collier 
Before Las Vegas, Galveston, Texas was called the “Sin City of the Southwest.” Real-life rival gangs fight over booze and bars during Prohibition in this soft-boiled Jazz Age mystery, inspired by actual events.

Jasmine Cross, a 21-year-old society reporter, feels caught between two clashing cultures: the seedy speakeasy underworld
and the snooty social circles she covers in the Galveston Gazette. After a big-shot banker with a hidden past collapses at the Oasis—as speakeasy secretly owned by her black-sheep half-brother, Sammy Cook—Jazz suspects foul play. Was it an accident or a mob hit? 

Soon handsome young Prohibition Agent James Burton raids the Oasis, threatening to shut it down if Sammy doesn't cooperate. Suspicious, he pursues Jazz, hoping for information and
more, but despite her mixed feelings she refuses to rat on Sammy.

As turf wars escalate between the Downtown and Beach gangs, Sammy is accused of murder. To find the killer, Jazz must risk her life and career, exposing the dark side of Galveston’s glittering society.

Bathing Beauties, Booze And Bullets by Ellen Mansoor Collier 
"Midnight in Paris" meets Miss Universe in 1927 Galveston, Texas—the “Sin City of the Southwest.” Jasmine (“Jazz”) Cross is an ambitious 21-year-old society reporter for the Galveston Gazette who tries to be taken seriously by the good-old-boy staff, but the editors only assign her fluffy puff pieces, like writing profiles of bathing beauties. The last thing Jazz wants to do is compare make-up tips with ditzy dames competing in the Miss Universe contest, known as the “International Pageant of Pulchritude and Bathing Girl Revue.” 

She’d rather help solve the murders of young prostitutes who turn up all over town, but city officials insist on burying the stories during Splash Day festivities. After Jazz gets to know the bathing beauties, she realizes there’s a lot more to them than just pretty faces and figures. Jazz becomes suspicious when she finds out the contest is also sponsored by the Maceos, aspiring Beach Gang leaders and co-owners of the Hollywood Dinner Club, where the girls will perform before the parade and pageant. 

Worse, her half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis, a speakeasy on a rival gang’s turf, asks her to call in a favor from handsome Prohibition Agent James Burton: He wants Agent Burton to raid the Hollywood Club during the bathing beauties dance routine--or risk revenge from the Downtown Gang leader. Her loyalties torn, Jazz is faced with an impossible task that could compromise both of their jobs and budding romance. Meanwhile, Jazz fends off advances from Colin Ferris, an attractive but dangerous gangster who threatens Sammy as well as Burton. In the end, she must risk it all to save her friends from a violent killer hell-bent on revenge. Inspired by actual events. 

About the author
Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles and essays have been published in several national magazines, including: FAMILY CIRCLE, MODERN BRIDE, GLAMOUR, BIOGRAPHY, COSMO, PLAYGIRL, etc. Several of her short stories have appeared in WOMAN'S WORLD. A flapper at heart, she’s the owner of DECODAME, specializing in Deco to retro vintage items. 

Formerly she's worked as a magazine editor, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism. FLAPPERS, FLASKS AND FOUL PLAY is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, BATHING BEAUTIES, BOOZE AND BULLETS, released in May 2013. She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.
"When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper's life in Galveston during Prohibition."

Visit her on Goodreads and at her Website
Winner - Jo Ann Butler (print copy)
Cracks in the Sidewalk by Bette Lee Crosby (One print copy--U.S./Can OR One eBook--Int'l)
From the Bestselling Author of Spare Change, comes a powerful story that is a heart-wrenching reminder of how fragile relationships can be. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story. 

Claire McDermott is a wife, a mother, a grandmother... Her only daughter is gravely ill... Her son-in-law is resentful and angry... Her grandchildren are missing...

FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal and Winner of the Royal Palm Literary Award

After years of writing letters, hoping to find the children, hoping to bring them back, Claire receives a reply...a dog-eared gray envelope is stuffed into her mailbox, but will it bring hope or simply put an end to the waiting?

A moving, emotional story...when I read this book I felt so moved, I was crying at the end...writing flowed beautifully...depth of characters and insight kept me turning pages. 5 Stars Bria Burton

Can a single letter change the lives of four people? Claire McDermott and her grandchildren are about to discover letters are a journey of the heart which can ultimately deliver people to their destination.

A compelling story...Well written, with a realistic, compassionate telling, Cracks In the Sidewalk will bring readers into the family, happy to be a part of it. 5 Stars, Angie Mangino
Winner--Melissa (4 a happier me)
Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby (One eBook--Int'l)
Reviewer's Choice 2012 Award Winner! In a story that's been compared to John Grisham's The Client, eleven year-old Ethan Allen Doyle has witnessed a brutal murder and now the boy is running for his life. In the time-tested tradition of Southern Fiction, Crosby unveils the darkest side of human nature and then rewards her readers with a beautiful tale of love, loss and unexpected gifts.

Olivia Westerly is the only person Ethan Allen can trust, and he's not too sure he can trust her. She's got no love of children and a truckload of superstitions--one of them is the belief that eleven is the unluckiest number on earth. Olivia avoided marriage for almost forty years. But when Charlie Doyle happened along, he was simply too wonderful to resist. Now she's a widow with an eleven-year-old boy claiming to be her grandson.

With a foul mouth, dark secrets and heavily guarded emotions, Ethan Allen Doyle is not an easy child to like. He was counting on the grandpa he'd never met for a place to hide, but now that plan is shot to blazes because the grandpa's dead too. He's got seven dollars and twenty-six cents, his mama's will for staying alive, and Dog. But none of those things are gonna help if Scooter Cobb finds him.

Winner of Five Literary Awards,BookBundlz Finalist, Voted Goodreads Best Unknown Fiction, FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal Finalist

About the author
Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, three Royal Palm Literary Awards, and the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal.

Her published novels to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk (2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012), Cupid’s Christmas (2012) and What Matters Most (2013). She has also authored “Life in the Land of IS” a memoir of Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s longest living quadriplegic. 

Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back. “Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”


Winner - Rebecca
One winner will receive their choice of either $10 worth of Kindle books from Amazon, or a $10 eGift card from Amazon. (International) This one is from me. =O)

Giveaway Details:  This is a read-a-thon participant only giveaway.  To be eligible, you must sign in at the starting line post when you start to read and complete a wrap-up post at the end and link it here at Seasons of Reading at the official read-a-thon wrap-up post (I will give everyone until Tuesday (7/30) at 11:59pm CST to complete their wrap-up posts).  We have a total of 12 prizes.  This means there will be 12 winners. The first winner chosen will get first choice of all prizes listed and I will continue in this manner until all 12 winners are drawn. All eBook prizes will be sent to winner via email as Kindle gift, etc. Winners will be chosen after the wrap-up post deadline (see above) using  

Be sure to check out Laura's (Book Snob) mini-challenge/giveaway HERE. She's created an awesome challenge with some great prizes!

Any questions? Contact me via the contact tab at the top of the blog.

A big thanks again to the generous authors and to Laura for hosting her challenge!


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  1. WOW. Great prizes. Love all the historical fiction (my kind of books).

  2. Lovely lineup and generosity!
    TY to each author and Michelle, for organizing...

  3. Looks great! Thanks for all your work Michelle.

  4. Many thanks to authors and our lovely host, Michelle!
    Really enjoyed the HS Readathon and look forward to further participation...

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