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Dust to Blood (#OBSummer Splash Tour Review & a Recipe)

Dust to Blood (#OBSummer Splash Tour Review & a Recipe)

Today I am honored to to have Tonya Cannariato and her premier book, Dust to Blood on my blog.  I was given this book the day it came out. It was another one of those books I have been wanting to read for months. When I saw it being offered as a book in this tour, I jumped as quick as I could and got on the schedule!

Dust to Blood (#OBSummer Splash Tour Review & a Recipe)

Chicago-based researcher Anne Crosby is traveling to Russia to investigate the hidden past of nine orphans who share an unusual bond–dust for blood. On her intriguing journey through post-Soviet Union Russia, she discovers a secret power buried in the country’s history and sought by the newly reborn KGB, which is determined to regain ascendancy.

Secret dungeons, dragons, and her research associates’ KGB connections have Anne looking over her shoulder at every turn. That doesn’t prevent her from indulging in a bit of matchmaking in the midst of frantic adventures chasing down old secrets, rescuing a 15-year-old girl who is more than she seems, and running from rogue KGB agents.As Anne and her entourage dig deeper into the ancient mysteries, she learns nothing is what it appears. Her life is forever transformed by her search for the true history of these Red Slaves.

Amazon Kindle & Smashwords

Genre - Paranormal (PG13)


I became curious even further about this book after reading her entries for the A to Z Challenge in April on her blog! For B she shared her personal Borscht recipe, which she has graciously allowed me to post here for you. Since our adventure starts off in Moscow and continues a tromp through historical Russia it is a more than appropriate dish to pair with the book. If you never have had Borscht, you are missing out. Tonya’s recipe (following the review) is just one variety of this classic Russian delicacy is well worth trying.

Dust to Blood (#OBSummer Splash Tour Review & a Recipe) REVIEW:

Dust to Blood starts off with a query and quest, not the protagonist’s quest, but one that became hers in the end. When Tonya was talking about her book several things had me excited to read it.. Russia, Conspiracy and Dragons… I want to say I was intrigued, however there was nothing secret or evil or illegal about my interest. The book, however, was all about intrigue:


A secret plan for accomplishing evil or unlawful ends ..

Ohhhh and that lovely thesaurus of mine had even more exciting words that could be used to describe the different aspects of this interesting story:

counter-conspiracy, counter-plot, manipulation, subterfuge, trickery; artifice, contrivance, dodge, maneuver, stratagem, trick; cabal,confederacy, ring; game, gimmick, racket; ground plan,program, strategy, system; collusion, complicity….

This book started off like a snowball in early fall only to roll faster and faster till I was unable to stop reading it. It had several things that were a must for me and one of the big ones? Location, Location, Location… Russia, particularly Ekaterinburg where Tsar Nicholas II’s family was murdered during the Bolshevik  Revolution. One of my favorite romantic notions is that Anastasia, his daughter, was still alive and not one of the murdered family members so much so I wanted to name my first born after her. I found it interesting that our leading lady was named Anne, hmmm I wonder!

Russia has always been a land of mystery in my mind. The KGB, the artwork, Marxism, Revolutions abound and the wonderful expansive literature colored a young girls day dreams. The novel  had espionage and secret cabal’s of ex-KGB agents that drew me in and had me hopping. And it had one of my favorite mythological creatures, dragons. Tie it up in a romp through the mountains, fantasy and intense, heated romance and I was looking for where to pitch a tent for the next adventure.

Tonya Cannariato is a clever, intelligent author who shows a lot of promise. Her next novel Dementional is already out and it is not a follow up to this one but a Sci-Fi Romance,which Orangeberry is also touring!

I have to admit I was totally confused for at least the first 15% of the book. I ended up going back and reading the synopsis and applying that I started getting it. The only thing I was lacking as a good prologue. I think if I had one it would not be so hard to follow Anne’s first days, what her drive was, and who and what the boss was all about. But like I said once it got rolling.. Oh look! I just found my tent stakes and I already have good winter gear! Can’t wait for the next segment of Anne and the rest of the cast’s adventure!

(Though I am participating in Orangeberry’s Sumer Splash Tour, as aforementioned, I received this book as a gift from the author. It was for my enjoyment and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”) 

Not everyone will like every book they receive. I hope you take a chance to read and decide for yourself!

You Can’t BEET Borscht!

#AtoZChallenge – B is for Borscht





Borscht & pampushki

Borscht & pampushki (Photo credit: Ibán)

(excerpt from her post)

Continuing my theme of introducing my new novel, Dust to Blood, today I’m going to indulge my foodie side with a little bit of an ode to Borscht.

I know that sounds totally goofy, but have you ever had this treat? There are a wide range of variations on this filling soup, from vegan to beef-based (as is more common in Russia, the setting for the book).

For myself, I love that there is a soup whose whole reason for being is the beet. I don’t typically follow a recipe when shredding beets into water with simmering herbs and whatever other vegetables come to hand, I just love the blood-red color of the soup. Which was part of why I found it so symbolic that that would be the first food Ivan, Anne’s potential love interest, would feed her in the story.

Here’s how I make mine:

  • 1 large onion, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 4-6 large beets, peeled, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • Thyme, dill, black pepper to taste

Saute the first two items in olive oil until wilted, add herbs and 8 cups filtered water. Bring to simmer, until water takes on green tea-like hue (from herbs). Add remaining vegetables and simmer another 45-60 minutes until beets and carrots are tender.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Dead easy comfort food without a lot of effort-ironically, this impresses Anne, who apparently likes to eat, but doesn’t like to spend time in the kitchen.

Dust to Blood (#OBSummer Splash Tour Review & a Recipe)

Dust to Blood (#OBSummer Splash Tour Review & a Recipe) A voracious reader since she was a toddler, and an ordained spiritualist, Tonya Cannariato has now presided over the marriage of her love of reading and her love of writing. She’s lived a nomadic life, following first her parents in their Foreign Service career through Africa, Europe, and Asia, and then her own nose criss-crossing America as she’s gotten old enough to make those choices for herself. She’s currently based in Milwaukee with her three loves: her husband and two Siberian Huskies. She suspects her Huskies of mystical alchemy with their joyous liberation of her muse and other magical beings for her inspiration. She loves to sleep, to watch her interesting dreams, some of which are now finding new life in written form.

TOUR STOPS during Orangeberry’s Summer Splash

Dust to Blood (#OBSummer Splash Tour Review & a Recipe) Check out this author’s book featureguest post & author interview on Orangeberry Tours (Author’s Top 10 & Ford 99)

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  1. I could go for a good bowl of soup right about now

  2. Both the book and the soup sound delicious!
    Show me some love!

  3. I am a huge fan of Tonya as a person, a fellow writer in the trenches, and her books. I have the honor of being included in an upcoming anthology alongside Tonya’s wonderful short story, and her drive and passion makes me feel so inadequate (in a good way). I’m also of Ukrainian descent, close to the Borscht belt, and have to stick together. ~holds out big empty bowl~
    Show me some love!

  4. What an interesting story, the soup how I wish to taste that here.

  5. Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! I hope you get a chance to enjoy both the soup and the book. 🙂
    Show me some love!

  6. This recipe sounds really delecious. Great recipe, I am going to have to save this one.

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