Blog Tour ~ Luthier’s Apprentice by Mayra Calvani

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Title:  The Luthier’s Apprentice

 

Author:   Mayra Calvani

 

Published:  May 15th, 2014

 

Publisher:  Twilight Times Books

 

Word Count:  50,000

 

Genre:  YA Fantasy

 

Recommended Age:  12+

 

Synopsis:

 

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived and rumored to have made a pact with the devil, has somehow transferred unique powers to another…

 

When violinists around the world mysteriously vanish, 16-year-old Emma Braun takes notice. But when her beloved violin teacher disappears… Emma takes charge. With Sherlock Holmes fanatic, not to mention gorgeous Corey Fletcher, Emma discovers a parallel world ruled by an ex-violinist turned evil sorceress who wants to rule the music world on her own terms.

 

But why are only men violinists captured and not women? What is the connection between Emma’s family, the sorceress, and the infamous Niccolò Paganini?

 

Emma must unravel the mystery in order to save her teacher from the fatal destiny that awaits him. And undo the curse that torments her family—before evil wins and she becomes the next luthier’s apprentice…

 

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Excerpt
 
Brussels, Belgium

Present day

 

Sixteen-year old Emma Braun got off the school bus and strode down Stockel Square toward her home. She glanced up at the October sky and wrapped her wool scarf tighter around her neck. Heavy dark clouds threatened a downpour.  

As she passed a newspaper stand, the headlines on The Brussels Gazette caught her attention:

ANOTHER VIOLINIST VANISHES!

Emma stopped. For a moment she could only stare. She dug into her jacket pocket for coins and bought a copy.

The newspaper article left her stunned. Not only because three well-known violinists had gone missing in the last several months, but because the latest one was her teacher, Monsieur Dupriez.

The news story seemed so hard to believe, she stopped at the next street corner to read it one more time.

It was the last week of October, and the shops and homes were lightly adorned with Halloween decorations. Pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns sat on doorsteps. Witches, broomsticks, and black cats hunkered down in windows and shops. Just last evening, Emma had sauntered along this street with her best friend Annika, unconcerned and looking forward to Halloween. Now, everything had turned dark and ominous.

The strange incidents she had experienced for the past two weeks added to her stress.

At first she had thought they were a string of coincidences, but not anymore. While scowling at obnoxious Billie Lynam during school recess, for instance, she wished he would fall flat on his face… and half a minute later, her wish was granted. On various occasions she guessed people’s thoughts before they spoke. And yesterday, on her way home from school, she accurately guessed the meal her mom had left on the table for her.

Was she some kind of a psychic? If so, why now? People didn’t develop powers like these overnight. Did they?

She hadn’t told her mom about her new abilities yet; only Annika knew. Maybe she would tell her mom today, after she shared the news about Monsieur Dupriez.

As Emma approached her home, she quickened her step. By the time she reached the door she was almost running. She raced into the hallway and dropped her book bag on the floor.

“Mom!” she called, looking in the kitchen, then in the living room. The house was silent. “Mom!” she called again, racing up the stairs to the bedrooms. Entering her mother’s room, Emma found her sitting very still on the bed with a crumpled letter in her hand.

When her mom saw her, she hastily put the crumpled piece of paper into her pocket and rose from the bed. Her arched brows were furrowed with anxiety.

Emma momentarily forgot the newspaper article. “Are you okay, Mom?”

“I’ve just received some unsettling news,” her mom said. “I must make a trip to see your Aunt Lili. She’s ill. She…I don’t know how long I’ll be gone.”

Aunt Lili? Emma frowned. More surprises. Emma had never met her mom’s eccentric only sister, who lived alone in the Hungarian mountains secluded in an old chateau surrounded by dark woods-or so her mom said. Though again, her mom hardly ever mentioned her.

“What’s wrong with Aunt Lili?” Emma asked. “Can’t I come with you?” She had always been intrigued by her mysterious aunt.

“No. You’ll stay with Grandpa. You enjoy working with him, don’t you?” Her brown eyes met Emma’s before turning away, and though her voice sounded matter-of-fact, Emma detected a trace of ambivalence.

Emma sighed. She loved violin making with a passion, but Grandpa was a bitter taskmaster. No matter how much she tried to please him, she never could. Maybe that’s why her mom often seemed so reluctant about her apprenticeship.

“I’d rather go with you,” Emma said. “Plus, next week is holiday.” All Saints holiday week-or Toussaint, as they called it here-almost always coincided with Halloween.

“That’s out of the question. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. Besides, you can’t miss your violin lessons, not with the Christmas competition at the academy coming up soon.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” Emma said gravely, extending the newspaper.

Her mom took it. “What’s this?”

“This is why I came running up the stairs.”

Her mom read the headlines. She gasped and looked at Emma. When she finished reading, she sat on the edge of the mattress and stared into space. “Oh, my God…” she whispered.

Emma sat next to her mom. “It says Monsieur Dupriez disappeared in his study. The doors and windows were locked from the inside. The police don’t have any explanation. How can this happen? It’s not logical. It’s not humanly possible.”

“No, not humanly possible…”

“Just like the other three-that German violinist, the French one, the American. Nobody has explained their disappearances. Who would want to kidnap violinists?” When her mom didn’t answer, she began to gnaw at her fingernail.

As if by reflex, her mom pulled Emma’s hand away from her mouth.

“Sorry,” Emma mumbled. “I’m just worried about him.”

“Poor Madame Dupriez. We must visit her. She must be in quite a state.”

“Can you call her now?”

Her mom sighed. “I will. In a moment.” She looked at Emma, her features softening. Gently, she smoothed Emma’s glossy chestnut locks and side fringe away from her face. “Don’t worry, everything will be fine. You mustn’t be afraid.”

“Afraid? Why would I be afraid?”

“I mean, about Monsieur Dupriez.” Her mom appeared flustered.

“I’m not afraid. I’m worried, and angry. I want to find out what happened to him. Without him, I don’t even want to take part in the competition.”

Monsieur Dupriez had been Emma’s teacher since she was four years old. But more than teacher, he was her mentor.

 “You will do your best at the competition-with or without Monsieur Dupriez. Do you hear me?” her mom said. Then her voice softened. “Listen, darling, I know how close you are to Monsieur Dupriez, but you cannot allow his disappearance to destroy your chances at the competition. I’m not asking you to win, only to do your best. You have great talent, a gift, and your duty is to use it to the best of your ability. Never forget this. Monsieur Dupriez would never want you to forget this.”

“You still haven’t told me what’s wrong with Aunt Lili,” Emma said, changing the conversation. “Why must you go to her now, after all these years?”

Looking into Emma’s face, her mom hesitated, as if unable to decide what-or how much-to say. “You know she’s always been ill, a recluse. She…” She rose from the bed and walked to the window, then opened the curtain. It had started raining, the drops pelted against the glass. “This time it’s serious. She may die.”

Emma couldn’t help feeling a twinge of suspicion. She hated distrusting her mom, whom she loved more than anything in the world, but this time her mom was lying. Emma trusted that feeling, another of her freaky new abilities. She felt an overwhelming urge to chew her fingernails, but tried to control herself. For her mom, a violinist’s hands were a work of art.

“But what’s wrong with her? What kind of disease does she have?” Emma insisted.

“Her heart is very weak.” Her mom turned away from the window to face Emma. Her voice was laced with impatience.

And again Emma thought: She’s lying.

“Please don’t worry about it,” her mom went on in a lighter tone. “I’ll try to come back soon.”

“How soon?”

“As soon as I can manage.”

“Grandpa is always in such a nasty mood,” Emma complained.

“Well, that isn’t news, is it?” Her mom stared down at the floor, as if absorbed by her own thoughts. After a pause, she added, “He’s old and his back always hurts. You know that.”

“I love Grandpa, but he’s so freaking…” She tried to come up with the right word. Bizarre.  Instead she said, “Mysterious. You know, with his violins.”

Her mom looked at Emma and frowned, as if waiting for her to say more.

“You know what I mean, Mom. With that room at the top of the stairs. The one that’s always locked.”

Her mom’s features hardened. “He keeps his most valuable pieces in there. You must never disobey him. He would be very disappointed.”

“Who said I would go in there?” Emma asked, trying to sound innocent. If there was something she intended to do, it was going inside that room. Once she’d almost been successful. For some crazy reason, Grandpa had forgotten to lock it one day. But the instant she touched the doorknob, he had called her from the bottom of the stairs, his wrinkled features twisted into a mask that had left her frozen. He had appeared enraged and afraid at the same time.

“When are you leaving?” Emma asked, shaking off the past to focus on the present issue.

“As soon as possible. Tomorrow, probably. I’ll get the plane tickets today.”

“Mom…”

“Emma, please. If you’re going to complain or say anything negative, I don’t want to hear it.”

Fine. Obviously, this wasn’t the best time to bring up her new psychic powers. She headed to the door.

“Where are you going?” her mom asked.

“To my room.”

“I’ll call Madame Dupriez to see if we may visit her after dinner. In the meantime, I want you to pack. You’re moving to Grandpa’s tomorrow.”

In her room, Emma dragged her suitcase from the top shelf in the closet and set it on the floor.

Review by Sue Ellen
This novel is one of those that is not just for one specific age group in my opinion.  The author has uniquely designed her characters and plot to form a world with magic , mysterious disappearances that need solving and and a novel that will keep you wanting more.  One main thing is that even though this is a fantasy novel the author was still able to stay true to the facts that she used and include it along into this story. The descriptions the author has written is enough to make the readers mibds visualize what is happening in the novel including the surrounding. The characters that you follow each have their own story but as you get pulled further into it you slowly unlock a new door of mystery.  Emma learns that the world she grew up in is not as perfect as she believes but will she be able to solve the unsolvable? This was a short bit very enjoyable read that is great for all ages from young to old.
 

 

 

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About the Author:

 

Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now resides in Brussels, Belgium.

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details:

 

There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

 

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card OR      Paypal Cash.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY~TEMPTING TATUM BY KAYLEE RYAN 

TITLE: Tempting Tatum

AUTHOR: Kaylee Ryan

GENRE: New Adult Romance

RELEASE DATE: July 8th 2014

What do you do when your whole life crashes and burns? How do you get through the flames?

Tatum Thompson is living the dream. Her life is perfect; with a loving boyfriend, loving parents and a soon to be college graduate how can life get better? Life is good until it isn’t. When tragedy strikes Tatum runs to Josh only to find him in a compromising position with someone else. Turning away from the only life she knew, Tatum is forced to alter her life plan.

Blaise Richards is a tattoo artist who moonlights as a volunteer fire fighter. Lies and deception leave his broken heart closed until the beautiful green eyed girl casts her spell over him. She’s making him feel things he’s never felt. Making him want things he thought he would never want.

Tatum wants Mr. just for tonight.

Blaise wants Tatum to be his forever.

Can Mr. Just for tonight convince Tatum that she’s the one? How long can Tatum resist Blaise’s determination to make her his?

I hear a growl. I can actually feel it in Blaise’s chest right before his lips crash with mine. I don’t even hesitate to open for him. I want him. Tonight, I want to feel young, careless, and free. I want that with Blaise, just for tonight. I need that for tonight.

I lean up on tiptoes as my hands find their way to his hair as I pull him closer. There is no such thing as personal space between us; it’s our space. It’s Tatum and Blaise consumed with desire. In this moment, I can’t tell where he ends and I begin.

 

 

Kaylee has had a passion for reading since she was a little girl. That passion has slowly led to spinning romantic tales, and a one-click addiction. When she doesn’t have her nose stuck in her kindle or fingers glued to the keyboard, you can find Kaylee hanging out with friends and family. She loves all genres of music, enjoys scrapbooking and is a huge football fan. She lives in Ohio with her husband (her real life happily ever after) and their rambunctious little boy. 

 

 

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