Thursday, January 17, 2019

Blog Tour: Potion Masters: The Transparency Tonic by Frank Cole

The Transparency Tonic by Frank Cole

Book Description:

It has been nine months since Gordy and his friends, Max and Adilene, saved B.R.E.W. (the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide) and the Vessel the power source for the secret society of potion masters. Now, Gordy is starting the eighth grade, and has been trying new potion brewing techniques, but when he starts zoning out during practice, he knows something is wrong.

Gordy and his friends continue to work on their potions, but when Gordy chooses Max as his lab partner, Adilene starts to wonder if she still has a place with her old friends. She turns to a new friend, Cadence, who might know a way to help Adilene become a potion master on her own.
And in Greenland, Mezzarix has a chance to escape his Forbidden Zone as long as he agrees to work with the mysterious Ms. Bimini and replicate an unusual solution known as Silt. It could be just the weapon Mezzarix needs to destroy B.R.E.W. forever.

With both B.R.E.W and the Vessel in danger, and with the potion world in chaos, it's up to Gordy, Max, and Adilene to rally the remaining Potion Masters before it's too late.

Collin’s Review:

This was another fun story by Frank L. Cole.  I was surprised by the different plot twists throughout the story. I can't wait for the next story in the series.  I'll be looking for it to read for sure when it comes out.  
Gordy and his family and friends were successful in preventing the destruction of the Vessel and saved the world--but now they face more problems.  Gordy really wants to become an elixirist--but the new head of B.R.E.W has learned of Gordy's extraordinary talent, and has fired his mother from her position at B.R.E.W for going against the rules to help her father Mezzarix, and Gordy is forbidden to practice in his own lab because he broke the rules.  He did some blind batching in front of the new head of B.R.E.W, which is definitely not allowed.  In the mean time, other villains have come to take the Vessel from B.R.E.W.  They have a potion that they can use to bypass any of the defenses of B.R.E.W undetected.  Gordy must use his talents, and the help of his family and friends to save the world again--though this time, they have to go against B.R.E.W in addition to the villains to do it.

(Scroll to the end of this post to see Collin's review of Book 1)

Rorie's Review:

This book picks up where the first story left off, but I never felt lost or like I had to go back and re-read it to refresh my memory. The author does a really good job at getting the story going right away and drawing the reader in. I felt bad for Adilene, and the stuff she was going through, but yikes, she's pretty naive. Max just bugged me. Some characters can act all goofy and get away with it, but he was just overly obnoxious.

My 10-year-old son loved this book and it took awhile for me to get it back from him. He loves reading and rereading books and I have a feeling this one will join the ranks of used and amused by him. 

Here is his review: "In Potion Masters 2 I liked how there were many different characters each with a different strength. They all were unpredictable. My favorite character was Gordy. Gordy is smart and brave. There were no dislikes."
Tarah's Review:
I think this is a story that my kids will really like. However, I don't think you can just pick up this story and start reading. I think you have to read the first book first. It's fast paced and a lot happens, and I just think that background of the characters and who everyone is and why they are doing what they are doing is essential. 

I love how Cole brought  in a different aspect that wasn't directly related to potions. It's a fun world he's created, even if I'm still not sure how it all works together.  Not only did he bring in different aspects, but I like what happens with Gordy and his friends. Adilene really made this story for me. As a parent I also like the relationship with Gordy and his parents. Granted, he didn't always make good choices, but at least he was thinking about his family.

I will tell you that I'm not a fan of the ending. While the main conflict of the book is sort of solved/figured out/saved this book ends basically in the middle of a chapter. That drives me nuts. I know, cliff hangers make you want to read the next book. But they just make me mad. I like closure, and you definitely don't get that with this book. I'm not sure how many books are supposed to be in this series, but hopefully the others will have an ending that...well...ends. Potion Masters: The Transparency Tonic
Author: Frank L. Cole
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: January 2019
ISBN: 1629724882
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book 
Collin's Review of Book 1 - Potion Masters: The Eternity Elixir:

This was the first book I have ready by Frank L. Cole.  This was a fun story and I enjoyed how Frank introduced his characters, and I liked the story.  I especially likes how Gordy, the protagonist relies on his friends and family to solve the problems he faces.  Gordy is training to be an elixirist, who with the help of his mother and aunt (both talented elixirists), and his two friends, Max and Adilene--who are not able to brew potions, but are very loyal.  While Gordy is learning to brew potions, he must also save the world from the evil Esmerelda, who wants to destroy the Vessel, a powerful potion that is controlled by B.R.E.W. (The Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide). . .if that happens, the world as we know it will change. . .all the advances over the last several hundred years will disappear.  Worse all the villains that B.R.E.W. has exiled will be free to cause chaos.  In order to save the world, Gordy, his family, and friends just may need the assistance of one of the most powerful villains that have been exiled by B.R.E.W--Gordy's own grandfather.

Forever Yours $25 Giveaway Featuring Author Jo Noelle


Love Match by Jo Noelle  

Can two people learn to trust again to make their marriage of convenience into a love match? 

With university behind him, Lord Gerard Morrow the Earl of Norham, is preparing for a grand tour to the future with a fellow time traveler. His first night home, he receives a summons from his father the Duke of Kyloe to come to Scotland or their family will be ruined. 

Lady Layla Colvin was roused from her sleep to marry the duke’s son as part of settling a gambling debt. Everything she looked forward to vanished with the words "I will." She will never have a come-out, or a suitor, or a wedding dress—and apparently not a husband either. 

Two years later when Gerard walks back into her life, she runs the other way. How can she trust a man who abandoned her immediately after the vows were said? 




Gerard Morrow 

No good news ever comes after midnight nor in a torrential rainstorm. Yet there Gerard Morrow, Earl Norham, stood in his long shirt and his mother in her wrapper, looking anything but a duchess, as their butler, Davies, accepted two letters from a rider. He waved the rider on to the kitchen door to get a hot cup of tea and await the family’s reply. 

Davies’ candle guttered from the breeze of closing the door, and the small group moved farther into the Great House. The butler lit two more candles and turned with the letters in hand, extending one to the Duchess Kyloe and the other to Gerard. “For you, Your Grace. And My Lord.” 

The notes were damp from the rain and Gerard’s mother held it with shaking hands before handing it to her son. “You read it.” She shoved the letter to Gerard and waited, muttering, “That man. Love him. I do, but he better not have gotten himself into trouble. Or worse. What’s worse though? Dead—that’s what. Oh, Gerard tell me he’s not dead.” His mother’s French accent deepened when she was anxious, and at this moment it was thick as clafoutis. 

There was no signature, but the stamp of the Duke of Kyloe in the wax from his father’s signet ring told him who it was from. Gerard read the note aloud to her, “Do not worry, my dearest Shamay. I’ll be home in a few days. It will all be settled then.” Gerard handed her the letter though she’d never learned to read—English or her native French. He knew things must be was bad. His father had only penned three sentences to try to reassure her. 

His mother stood beside him, her hands clutched to her chest. “What of the other letter?” she asked. 

Earl Norham separated the seal and unfolded the letter. His eyes scanned it quickly, without reading it aloud to his mother. Gerard, Do not read this to your mother. It is for your eyes—your ears only. Come to Scotland, now. Your future, your very life and mine depend upon your speed. Directions to Colvin Keep just over the border past Coldstream were included at the bottom of the letter. 

The Duchess’s hands grasped Gerard’s forearm, and her eyes pleaded to know what it said. 

“Father wants me to come where he is.” Gerard hoped that his voice sounded nonchalant. 

But something must have tipped off his mother. “Your Father needs you. Hurry. Change.” She pushed him toward the staircase. 

He had been home less than six hours and three of those had been in sleep, having traveled home today from university. His mind whirled, half irritation and half disbelief before he turned up the stairs. His father should have been here to welcome him instead of stirring up some kind of trouble for himself across the border. 

“Davies, send word to the stables to ready a good horse.” 

Within minutes, Gerard was dressed, draped in an oil coat, and on his horse, riding through November rain toward Scotland. Wind blew against his cheek and rain pelted his back. At least he wasn’t facing into the storm. 

What in the devil’s name is Father up to now?Gerard had been worried for a year now, too much gambling and drinking in public rooms. Mother tried to keep Father at home to lessen the whispers that inevitably started. Northumberland didsn’t have real society, but his reputation was tarnishing nevertheless. Gossip traveled even to him at Cambridge though London was several day’s travel. 

His horse trotted along the dark road, and his mind whirled about his future. Gerard just hoped that he could have a grand tour before everything fell completely apart—a year. He’d even be satisfied with six months before he had to come back to take over the responsibilities his father should be shouldering. From what he’d seen of the house in the short while he’d been there, it needed care. Upkeep and repairs lagged behind need. It seemed as if there were fewer servants than before, and the road was sorely unkempt. 

How much had his father lost? He sucked in a cold breath. Apparently, enough to cripple the estate. Four months then, if he couldn’t have a year. He could visit France and Spain. He’d save Italy for a trip in the future. 

It took several hours to get to Colvin Keep. Gerard’s eyes burned for want of sleep, and his legs were strained and weak from several days in the saddle prior to this fast flight over the border when he left his horse with the groom. The sun was turning the cloud-covered eastern sky a milky gray. 

Before Gerard could mount the stairs, the Duke of Kyloe burst through the front door. 

Relief tempered the worries Gerard had ridden with the last twenty miles. He looked over his father from head to toe. His health seemed good, no injuries, no illness. He didn’t even appear to be in his cups. He must have been sitting near a window, watching for his son’s arrival and quickly ushered him to the house. 

“Well done. The note arrived in good time, as did you,” his father said, pulling him out of his coat as the butler began to remove it. 

There was a cry upstairs before it was muffled behind a slammed door. It surprised Gerard more than startling him. The sound was more one of excitement than fear or pain. He supposed it could be insanity, but he hoped not. 

“Come now, I’ve a brandy for you and someone important to introduce you to.” His father lead him away. 

The house was quite awake as he walked through to a back parlor. Several maids rushed past with arms full, and there were candles burning all along the way. His father’s host must take country hours to the extreme for there to be so much commotion before sun up. When they entered the room a large man was sitting in a chair near the fire, otherwise, they were alone. 

His father cleared his voice loudly and said, “Charles, please allow me to introduce my son and heir, Lord Norham, Gerard Morrow. Gerard, this is the Marquess of Roxburgh.” The men exchanged greetings, then Gerard’s father commented to their host, “I haven’t spoken to him about our agreement yet, so if we could have a minute before meeting you in the chapel.” His voice trailed off with obvious expectation. 

“Good then, I’ll leave you to it.” Charles nodded, downed his drink, and left, leaving Gerard alone with his father. He stopped at the doorway, pulling a watch from his pocket. “This business must be concluded within the hour, or honoring our original arrangement will be expected.” Then he closed the door behind him. 

“The chapel?” Gerard looked toward his father. “And what agreement? Your letter made it sound like life and death. What have you done?” A scowl pulled on his lips. 

“You’ll want this,” he said, handing Gerard a glass of brandy. 

Gerard set the glass aside without taking a taste. “Out with it.” 

“I attended a card party of sorts at the seat of Lord Hume of Berwick. I was doing well, so I didn’t see trouble in allowing the stakes to rise.” 

“How much?” Gerard interrupted. He didn’t need to hear the details just the total of their losses. 

“Well, there’s an easy solution to it all.” 

“How much did you wager? Or should I say lose?” Gerard folded his arms. 

His father gazed out the window as his hand resting on the back of a chair trembled. Without looking at his son, he replied, “All of it. And more.” Several long moments passed before he turned toward his son and said, “We are ruined.” 

Gerard picked up the glass of brandy, downing it in one gulp. “Tell me I heard you wrong.” He slumped into the nearest seat. 

“You will still own the family seat at Norham Castle, pile of rocks that it be, and the land when it is passed to you, but you will likely still be paying off my debt into your own old age. I have lost more than I have or can even reasonably get if I were I to sell everything of value and double rents on the land for decades to come. Upon my death, I will leave you the title, the responsibilities, and abject poverty to go with it.” 

Gerard was silent for a long moment trying to calm down. He had to breathe slowly through his nose to maintain his composure. “Father, do I even want to know why we are meeting the marquess in the chapel?” 

Duke Kyloe sat heavily on a couch, dropping his head into his hands. “It’s the only way out. You’ve not heard him wrong. The marquess has made a generous offer—if you marry his daughter tonight, in moments really, the debt is dissolved.” 

Gerard shot to his feet as a cold flame passed through him. He backed away from his father. “I will not. I do no consent. I’m but twenty-three. Why would you tell a man I would marry his daughter in the middle of the night?” 

His father had truly wagered beyond all reason and sold Gerard’s life for the flip of a few cards. He wanted to run. To leave and never look back. Father had clearly lost his mind. He paced around, back and forth, trying to sort it out in his mind. “I leave in two days for my tour, it’s planned and arranged. James Cottrell is coming—he’s meeting me tomorrow at home.” 

“There’s plenty of time for all that, you’ll see.” The old duke shook his head. “It’s not up to you. I’m afraid, the bargain has been struck and accep—.” 

Gerard cut him off, “Father, no. You realize that we are already spread too thin as it is, since last time. What will you tell Mother?” 

He stepped closer to Gerard. “I’ll tell her nothing of this. You’ll marry this night and free me of all my debt to Charles, and by extension you too, or we will never recover.” 

If he gambled away what Gerard suspected he had, then it was true that Gerard would be heir of nothing but debt. Everything was lost. He raked his hands through his hair and continued his path, pacing the floor. 

Gerard owned nothing outside of the estate and only then upon inheritance. If it were only him, Gerard might allow his father to crumble beneath debt in his old age. But it would affect his mother greatly. I can’t put Maman though that.His shoulders slumped. Annoyance and sorrow twined together in his gut. He was defeated before this conversation began. “There really is no choice then. I’ll agree.” 

“Of course you will. There is a dowry, but it will not be transferred until you two are living agreeably together.” 

“Good. Then you can’t gamble away anything further while I’m gone. And I'm still going on my grand tour.” Not as grand as he’d hoped. Already he was calculating how long he could really be gone before his father was back up to no good at some Lord’s card table. 

“You'll be a married man now, so behave yourself.” 

“Are you serious? I’m the only person in this conversation right now with integrity. I don’t think you need lecture me. A there are no worries there. I'm going with James.” 

“He hardly removes my worry,” his father replied. “You've known each other since you were on leading strings. And his reputation is worse than mine.” 

“Ha!” Gerard doubted that. “Nonetheless, he's coming, and he'll keep me straight.” 

“See that he does. We've never had a Duke of Kyloe that wasn't madly in love with his wife.” 

“Please, you've already ensured that I’ll fail on that account. I’m marrying someone I’ve don’t know—never even seen.” 

“Marriage is easy. Apply yourself to her happiness, and you’ll both have it.” 

Marriage was easy? He wondered how easy all of this was for his mother. He wouldn’t have to worry about making this sham of a marriage work at the moment—that can come later—much, much later. Gerard wasn’t even going to be home. “I’m leaving after the ceremony and going on my tour the next day.” Gerard knew he had to travel from London on the full moon. 

“There was no other agreement beyond the marriage contract and settlement. You’re free to do so, and she will live at home with her parents for a time.” 

His father turned to leave the room, but Gerard caught his arm. “What’s her name?” 

“I hadn’t asked. We’ll hear it at the ceremony. At any rate, it will be Lady Morrow moments from now.” He drank the last of his cup and walked Gerard to the chapel to await his bride. 





 About the Authors:

 Jo Noelle is a Colorado native but lived in several mountain states--Idaho, Utah, and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. 

She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking (especially desserts,) builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. 

Oh, and by the way, she's two people--a mother/daughter writing team. We write dessert romances--satisfyingly sweet, and you'll want more.  







Giveaway Details: 

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash 

Ends 2/7/19 

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.    

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Forever Yours $25 Giveaway Featuring Author Crissy Sharp


The Glamorous Life of a Mediocre Housewife by Crissy Sharp 

Book Description:

Lotty Brooks’ days consist of avoiding thoughts of her failing marriage, changing diapers, and trying not to eat chocolate brioche for breakfast and lunch. However, everything changes when her perfect, lakeside Montana neighborhood begins bustling with crime and she seems to be the target. 

Jason Brooks wants to know what happened to the woman he married. Lotty’s a mere shell of her former self. When she becomes the focal point of neighborhood threats, and the town seems to question her innocence, he must decide how well he knows his wife. 

As Jason and Lotty try to get to the bottom of the threats and find those responsible, they’ll need to remember what they once loved about each other. Otherwise, they may lose everything and everyone they care about. 




It was his hideous cheval mirror that provoked Lotty. The pompous owls carved into the edges sneered at the bedroom as if they knew her and Jason’s marriage was falling apart. The crack in the top corner reminded her of everything that had gone wrong between them. She normally steered clear of the monstrosity, but today it caught her eye and she stopped right in front of it. Smack dab in the middle where she could see every stupid owl. 

Somehow Jason’s mirror highlighted all her imperfections. Maybe it was the way he saw her now. She closed her eyes so she couldn’t see the stranger with slumped shoulders and tired eyes. She tried to think of herself as the confident, young mother she’d been, but the image dissolved before it ever came into view. Gone were the skinny jeans and heels. Now it was yoga pants and a muffin top. The bright-eyed Lotty Brooks was a distant memory. She missed the excited version of herself, the one who loved her husband and felt loved in return. The woman she’d become was a sad shell of her former self. 

Lotty turned away with a sigh and shoved the last bite of her breakfast pastry into her mouth, letting the gooey deliciousness numb her sadness. Who needed skinny jeans and heels in a world where chocolate brioche masqueraded as breakfast? Maybe she should resign herself to a life in pants with stretchy waistbands. 

She picked up Jason’s jacket from where he’d left it on the floor. Jason. Maybe what she needed to resign herself to was a life without him, but the thought tore at her heart. 



"Had me caught up in the story and mystery of it very quickly. It’s been a long time since I found a book that was hard to put down, but this one was that way!"--Laura L. 

"Fabulous, funny! Emotions and suspense abound!" --Julie C 

"This book kept me on the edge of my seat! I did not want to put it down and snuck in a few pages while at work (shhh don't tell my boss!). This mystery/suspense novel has everything you could want - intrigue, a mystery to solve, romance, and even a scheming mother." --StoreyBook Reviews



Author Crissy Sharp 

Crissy Sharp has a special knack for avoiding cooking and cleaning so she can focus the hobbies she truly enjoys, like writing and running. Though she'll always be a Montana girl at heart, she also loves Tennessee, where she currently lives with her husband and three children.





Giveaway Details: 

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash 

Ends 2/6/19 

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.