Spotlight on: The CurseGiver by Dora Machado

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Join Dora Machado, author of the fantasy novel, The Curse Giver, as she tours the blogosphere August 5 through October 25, 2013 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!


CurseGiver_Front Cover Final 1ABOUT THE CURSE GIVER

Lusielle’s bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when her husband betrays her and she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn’t commit. She’s on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames.

Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark.

Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their ends.


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Dora Machado is the award winning author of the Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, coming this summer from Twilight Times Books. She is one of the few Latinas exploring her heritage and her world through the epic fantasy genre today. She holds a master’s degree in business administration and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University. She was born in Michigan and grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a bilingual fascination for writing, a love for history, and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She enjoys long walks, traveling, and connecting with the amazing readers who share in her mind’s adventures. She lives in Florida with her indulging husband and three very opinionated cats.

You can visit her at





The Curse Giver Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Monday, August 5 – Book featured at Margay Leah Justice

Wednesday, August 7 – Interviewed at Review From Here

Friday, August 9 – Interviewed at Examiner

Monday, August 12 – Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, August 13 – Interviewed at Straight from the Authors Mouth

Thursday, August 15 – Guest blogging at She Writes

Friday, August 16 – Interviewed at Beyond the Book

Monday, August 19 – Book reviewed and Trailer reveal at Miki’s Hope

Wednesday, August 21 – Guest blogging at Literal Exposure

Thursday, August 22 – Book featured at As the Pages Turn

Friday, August 23 – Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish

Tuesday, August 27 – 1st chapter reveal at Examiner

Wednesday, August 28 – Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book

Thursday, August 29 – Book reviewed at moonlightreader

Friday, August 30 – Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life

Wednesday, September 4 – Guest blogging at Allvoices

Thursday, September 5 – Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz

Friday, September 6 – Book spotlight at Bibliotica

Monday, September 9 – Book reviewed at Bibliotica

Wednesday, September 11 – Book featured at Between the Covers

Friday, September 13 – Book reviewed at Must Read Faster

Monday, September 16 – Guest blogging at Review From Here

Tuesday, September 17 – Interviewed at Broowaha

Wednesday, September 18 – Guest blogging at Newsvine

Friday, September 20 – Book reviewed at Mom in Love with Fiction

Monday, September 23 – Guest bloggging at The Dark Phantom

Wednesday, September 25 – Book trailer reveal at Pump Up Your Book

Thursday, September 26 – Interviewed at As the Pages Turn


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In Their Words: a guest post from Julia Ibbotson

I love learning about how and why authors choose their material, and I love even more when authors find inspiration in their normal lives, so when I was offered the opportunity to have Julia Ibbotson write a guest post about her amazing book, The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen I had to accept. I think her story is compelling, and I want to make all the recipes RIGHT NOW. But don’t take it from me, let Julia tell you about it in her words.

The Old Rectory by Julia Ibbotson

English afternoon tea and cakes in a Victorian rectory….
I wrote my first novel at the tender age of 10 years old, and I was desperate to be an author. The book was about my passions at the time: horses, farms and childish adventure, set in quintessential English countryside with afternoon tea and cakes on the large rectory lawn after a gallop in the hills…a local mystery solved over tea, in a sort of early teashop/coffee house mystery style. The stuff of romantic dreams for a little English girl from the city suburbs! But it never even made it to the publisher’s desk, and remains unpublished to this day!

Then, many years and two marriages and a long career in education later, on a romantic whim, my husband and I bought a dilapidated Victorian rectory in the middle of the English countryside, a mile from the nearest village, and spent the next four years renovating and restoring the house and gardens to their former glory.

I researched the house’s history: who lived there? What was it like for them? What happened to them? And because I love cooking for family and friends, I also wanted to incorporate recipes in my book: what were our family favourites? What recipes did previous occupants make? What did they eat in Victorian times or in the world-wartime when food in England was scarce? I documented it all and found my friends from across the world loving the idea: “Write a book about it!” Biting my nails with doubt, I decided to take a chance.

It was to be, I decided, the true story of our renovation of the rectory, but also about the history of the house and the village, and, because the kitchen was, and is, the heart of the home, I wanted food to somehow be the thread that held it all together. So I included recipes at the end of each chapter: cream scones, chocolate fudge cake, sticky toffee pud….

I wrote every weekend after a long week at work as a senior university lecturer. I wrote in my vacations. I took some annual leave simply to write. Once again, the creative juices began to flow, after many years of writing academic texts to a formula. I found that I was really enjoying it; so much so, that if I didn’t get to write on a particular day I felt lost.

Yes, some days it was hard going, some days I spent far too long on the distractions of Facebook and other social media, some days there was too much coffee drinking. At times I doubted my ability to write a whole book. But overwhelmingly I loved it. And gradually I got into a routine of writing and scheduled my days in the same way that I scheduled my professional days in my paid work. After all, I wanted to be a professional writer!

My book took shape and took on a life of its own. And then it was adopted first by an American publisher and now, this year, by a UK publisher. It felt wonderful! An author at last!
The Old Rectory has won awards at international book festivals and five star reviews, so this new author is beaming over her tea and cakes on the rectory lawn – or even over bubbly and chocolate fudge cake (from the recipes in the book, of course)!

I am now engaged in writing the first novel of a trilogy which follows a woman’s life through from the 1960s to the millennium. The first is called Drumbeats and will be out later this year; it’s set in the 60s in West Africa. It is a story about romance and tragedy against the backdrop of a small war-torn nation, about a young girl finding out what it means to grow up. Please do look out for it. Like The Old Rectory it will be available from,, and Barnes & Noble, in paperback, Kindle and Nook.

Thanks for sharing my English afternoon tea and cakes on the rectory lawn today!

About the Author:
Julia Helene Ibbotson

Julia Ibbotson is the award-winning author of The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, first published to acclaim in the USA and now re-launched with a brand-new cover by her new English publisher in the UK. Julia has been writing creatively all her life (unpublished!) but her day jobs to pay the mortgage have been as a school teacher and latterly a university academic, gaining her PhD at the age of 57. She delights in being a wife and mother to four, with four little grandchildren. She loves reading, gardening, growing food, cooking for family and friends and country life. Having published many academic texts and papers, she came late to actually publishing her creative writing, at the age of 60 plus, when she was persuaded to write the story of the renovation of her Victorian rectory in The Old Rectory. She has combined memoir, history, research, story and recipes in this first published book, which has won a number of international book festivals in the biography category, gained 5 star reviews on Amazon, and has been widely featured (along with her house) in the media. She has begun to delve into the world of blogging, Facebook and now has her own website at at which she also posts blogs regularly, about writing, life and her passions. Her new project is a trilogy of novels following the life story of a new character, Jess, through from fleeing to West Africa as a volunteer teacher/nurse in the 1960s to the millennium. The first of the series, Drumbeats, is due to be published later this year. You can find out more on her website and on her author page on Amazon.

Connect & Socialize with Julia!

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About the Book:

Author Julia Ibbotson and her husband glimpsed the old Victorian rectory on a cold January day. It was in dire need of renovation, in the midst of the English moorlands and a mile from the nearest village, but they determined to embark on a new life in the country, to make the sad neglected house glow again and to settle into the life of the small traditional village. As Julia researches the history of the house and village, supervises the renovations and cooks for family and friends, she records their journey. This real-life, award-winning account focuses on the quest to “live the dream” and, in the end, to find what is important in life. As the book foregrounds the centrality of the kitchen as the pulse of the family and home, each chapter ends with delicious but easy recipes, both current favourites and those from the historic period unfolding within the chapter: Victorian, Edwardian, wartime and present day. Reviewers have been fulsome in their praise, including “ enchanting”, “a talented writer”, “charming story”, “delightful”, “a jewel”, “ a great writer”, “inspirational”, “truly engaging”, and “destined to become a classic”.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON.

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This post is part of a virtual blog tour.

Spotlight on Running Against Traffic by Gaelen VanDenbergh

Join Gaelen VanDenbergh, author of the contemporary women’s fiction novel, Running Against Traffic, as she tours the blogosphere September 2 – September 27, 2013 on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book!



Paige Scott spent her childhood shuffled between relatives who ignored her, and her adult life hiding in her crumbling marriage to wealthy David Davenport. When David suddenly thrusts her into a remote, impoverished world, Paige is forced to face the betrayals of her past – not to mention the colorful townies of her present. Unexpected friendships and her discovery of running propel her on a jagged and comical journey toward learning how to truly live.

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I am a writer, runner, reader, compulsive list-maker, mother and zookeeper (it feels like it, anyway). I grew up in Philadelphia, moved around a bit – Maine, Boston, NYC, back to Philly – and I have lived here for the past twelve years. I live with my husband and daughter, a fat cat, several fish, and a one-eyed dog.




Pump Up Your Book and Gaelen VanDenbergh are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

$100 Amazon Gift Card

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $100 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins September 2 and ends September 27, 2013.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 30, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


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blog tour schedule

Wednesday, September 4 – Book featured at Margay Leah Justice
Thursday, September 5 – Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Monday, September 9 – Book featured at Sweeping Me
Tuesday, September 10 – 1st chapter reveal at Books and Needlepoint
Wednesday, September 11 – Book featured at Soctrates Book Reviews
Friday, September 13 – Interviewed at Review From Here
Monday, September 16 – Guest blogging at The Writer’s Life
Tuesday, September 17 – Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Wednesday, September 18 – Book featured at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Thursday, September 19 – Interviewed at I’m Shelf-ish
Friday, September 20 – Book featured at Confessions of a Reader
Monday, September 23 – Book reviewed at My Devotional Thoughts
Tuesday, September 24 – Book featured at Jody’s Book Reviews
Tuesday, September 24 – 1st chapter reveal at Literary Winner
Wednesday, September 25 – Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Thursday, September 26 – 1st chapter reveal at moonlightreader
Friday, September 27 – Book reviewed at All Grown Up?


Running Against Traffic Book Publicity Tour Schedule


Coming Soon!


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