More Stories

20 September 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Where Your Treasure Is' By M. C. Bunn #HistoricalFiction #VictorianRomance

by
[Blog Tour] 'Where Your Treasure Is' By M. C. Bunn #HistoricalFiction #VictorianRomance
'Where Your Treasure Is' - Tour Banner

The Book:

Where Your Treasure Is
By M. C. Bunn
Publication Date: 23rd April 2021
Publisher: Bellastoria Press
Page Length: 454 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Victorian Romance

The Blurb:

Feisty, independent heiress Winifred de la Coeur has never wanted to live according to someone else’s rules—but even she didn’t plan on falling in love with a bank robber.

Winifred is a wealthy, nontraditional beauty who bridles against the strict rules and conventions of Victorian London society. When she gets caught up in the chaos of a bungled bank robbery, she is thrust unwillingly into an encounter with Court Furor, a reluctant getaway driver and prizefighter. In the bitter cold of a bleak London winter, sparks fly.

Winifred and Court are two misfits in their own circumscribed worlds—the fashionable beau monde with its rigorously upheld rules, and the gritty demimonde, where survival often means life-or-death choices.

Despite their conflicting backgrounds, they fall desperately in love while acknowledging the impossibility of remaining together. Returning to their own worlds, they try to make peace with their lives until a moment of unrestrained honesty and defiance threatens to topple the deceptions that they have carefully constructed to protect each other.

A story of the overlapping entanglements of Victorian London’s social classes, the strength of family bonds and true friendship, and the power of love to heal a broken spirit.

Buy Links:

'Where Your Treasure Is' - Cover

'Where Your Treasure Is' - Excerpt:

Winifred and the man stumbled down a flight of narrow stairs. He kicked a door. Before them a deserted kitchen gleamed. Pots steamed unattended. The man pushed her toward the scullery. In a moment they would be outdoors. She redoubled her efforts to break free of him.

In a corner, a scullery maid and a butcher’s boy kissed. At the sound of Winifred’s screams, they broke apart guiltily and stared openmouthed at her. Her captor swore and pointed his gun at the couple. The girl screeched, and the boy snatched up a dripping pot lid in defense of his paramour.

“Fire!” the man shouted at them. “Run for your lives!”

The boy threw down the pot lid, grabbed his girl, and they fled outside.

Gasping, the man pushed Winifred after them. Stairs, fresh air—she gulped at it. Then she saw a hackney waiting in the alley and the driver in his purple coat.

******

Court’s horse remained wary, her ears up, and swung her head toward the stairs that led down to the scullery. All at once, the butcher’s boy and a shrieking scullery maid clambered up the steps. They raced down the alley and took off in the boy’s cart at top speed. There was another rumble like the one Court had heard a minute ago. It sounded like distant thunder. He was vaguely aware of a rattle of bells in the street at the other end of the alley. A fire brigade passed. He smelled smoke.

Suddenly Geoff and a woman appeared at the bottom of the stairs. They were covered in white dust and coughing. A bright, wet, bloody streak covered half of Geoff’s face. Their progress was impeded by the woman’s wildly kicking little boots. Her struggles and the flashes of her bright green and purple silks made her look like an exotic bird thrashing in Geoff’s arms.

“What in ’ell ’appened to you? Where’s ’Ez?” Court shouted and ran forward to help.

“I don’t know!” Geoff coughed. “Forget ’im! We’ve got to get out ’o ’ere!”

“What about ’er? I saw a fire truck! Is she ’urt?”

“She’s comin’ with us!”

“Bleedin’ ’ell! ’Ave you lost your mind?” Court shouted. “Put ’er down!”

Geoff coughed and swore. “No! She saw me! Open the door!”

Geoff did not wait for Court to comply and thrust the woman at him. While Geoff bent over in another fit of coughing, the woman struggled and kicked, fanning dust all over Court, and cried for help. Involuntarily, he clapped his hand over her mouth. She only screamed louder.

“Shut up, you fat sow!” Geoff swatted her across the temple with Hez’s pistol.

The woman’s eyes rolled and she went limp.

Court howled in dismay and caught her.

Unconscious, her face took on an even sicklier pallor than the dust already gave it. In his arms, she was a mountain of soft cashmere and folds of velvet. Her mantle fell open, and her scent hit him. Lilies and some dark, exotic spice. It was so unexpected and heavenly that the alley and the hackney disappeared. Even his panic was gone.

“Give ’er ’ere!” Geoff grabbed the woman and hauled her into the cab. The hem of her skirt caught on the door and ripped. “Give me your tie,” Geoff ordered.

Court removed his neckerchief, thinking Geoff wanted to wipe the blood off his face. Instead, he gagged the woman then removed his belt in order to bind her wrists. This was too much. Court grabbed the woman’s ankles. “Put ’er ’ands in front o’ ’er at least!”

“The bitch tried to stab me with a ’atpin!”

“Do it, or we ain’t goin’ nowhere!”

Geoff scowled in disgust but tied her hands in front. “Soft!”

From above came another low rumble. The mare lunged. Court let go of the woman to steady the horse. Another fire truck raced past the end of the alley. There was a distinct odor of smoke.

Geoff dumped the woman onto the floor of the cab. “The gas lines is goin’! Go on, drive!”

In spite of the horse, Court made another attempt to extract the woman from Geoff’s clutches. “We can’t leave ’Ez! We can’t take ’er!”

Geoff clicked off the safety and waved the pistol under Court’s nose. When Court did not let go of the woman, he pointed the pistol at her head. “I ain’t arguin’! Drive!” He slammed the cab door.

His heart hammering, his head whirling, Court untied the horse, swung up onto the box, and grabbed the reins. As he turned the cab into the street behind the bank, yet another fire truck raced past.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! They were in for it now.

[Blog Tour] 'Where Your Treasure Is' By M. C. Bunn #HistoricalFiction #VictorianRomance
M. C. Bunn 

Author Bio:

M. C. Bunn grew up in a house full of books, history, and music. “Daddy was a master storyteller. The past was another world, but one that seemed familiar because of him. He read aloud at the table, classics or whatever historical subject interested him. His idea of bedtime stories were passages from Dickens, Twain, and Stevenson. Mama told me I could write whatever I wanted. She put a dictionary in my hands and let me use her typewriter, or watch I, Claudius and Shoulder to Shoulder when they first aired on Masterpiece Theatre. She was the realist. He was the romantic. They were a great team.”

Where Your Treasure Is, a novel set in late-Victorian London and Norfolk, came together after the sudden death of the author’s father. “I’d been teaching high school English for over a decade and had spent the summer cleaning my parents’ house and their offices. It was August, time for classes to begin. The characters emerged out of nowhere, sort of like they knew I needed them. They took over.

She had worked on a novella as part of her master’s degree in English years before but set it aside, along with many other stories. “I was also writing songs for the band I’m in and had done a libretto for a sacred piece. All of that was completely different from Where Your Treasure Is. Before her health declined, my mother heard Treasure’s first draft and encouraged me to return to prose. The novel is a nod to all the wonderful books my father read to us, the old movies we stayed up to watch, a thank you to my parents, especially Mama for reminding me that nothing is wasted. Dreams don’t have to die. Neither does love.

When M. C. Bunn is not writing, she’s researching or reading. Her idea of a well-appointed room includes multiple bookshelves, a full pot of coffee, and a place to lie down with a big, old book. To further feed her soul, she and her husband take long walks with their dog, Emeril in North Carolina’s woods, or she makes music with friends.

“I try to remember to look up at the sky and take some time each day to be thankful.”

Connect with M. C. Bunn:

[Blog Tour] 'Where Your Treasure Is' By M. C. Bunn #HistoricalFiction #VictorianRomance
'Where Your Treasure Is' - Tour Schedule Banner

15 September 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris' By Steve M. Gnatz #HistoricalFiction

by
[Blog Tour] 'The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris' By Steve M. Gnatz #HistoricalFiction
The Wisdom of the Flock - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris
By Steve M. Gnatz
  • Publication Date: November 2020
  • Publisher: Leather Apron Press
  • Page Length: 541 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Book Trailer:

The Blurb:

A WORLD OF ENLIGHTENMENT, REVOLUTION, AND INTRIGUE

1776: Benjamin Franklin sails to Paris, carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence, freshly signed. His charge: gain the support of France for the unfolding American Revolution. Yet Paris is a city of distractions. Ben’s lover, Marianne Davies, will soon arrive, and he yearns to rekindle his affair with the beautiful musician.

Dr. Franz Mesmer has plans for Marianne too. He has taken Parisian nobility by storm with his discovery of magnétisme animale, a mysterious force claimed to heal the sick. Marianne’s ability to channel Mesmer’s phenomena is key to his success.

A skeptical King Louis XVI appoints Ben to head a commission investigating the astonishing magnétisme animale. By nature, Ben requires proof. Can he scientifically prove that it does not exist? Mesmer will stop at nothing to protect his profitable claim.

The Wisdom of The Flock explores the conflict between science and mysticism in a time rife with revolution, love, spies, and passion.

  • Trigger Warnings: Mild sexual content
[Blog Tour] 'The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris' By Steve M. Gnatz #HistoricalFiction
The Wisdom of the Flock - Book Cover

'The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris' - Excerpt:

The crew would be starting their breakfast soon, yet food was the last thing Ben wanted. He made his way to the cloth-covered part of the deck. The thick oaken planks were wet with rain and sea spray. The area he sought was sheltered from the howling wind. Ben found the air on deck to be electrically charged and more invigorating than usual, exactly what he needed to settle his stomach and pounding head.

Ben sat down on a deck chair and spread a heavy wool blanket over his legs to shelter himself from the cold ocean spray.

“Do you believe in God, Doctor Franklin?” a deep voice asked.

Ben jumped, flailing his arms out of his lap. He hadn’t realized he was not alone. He squinted through his bifocals to make out a gaunt man, completely dressed in black, occupying a nearby chair. He was as emaciated as a saint but with the haughty countenance of a bishop. It was the Reverend William Smith.

“Reverend, I fervently hope that not only does He exist on such a foul day as this . . . but that He has a benevolent nature,” Ben replied.

The Reverend sat back and pulled a blanket up around his neck. “Well spoken,” he said with a chill in his voice.

Ben had learned long ago that there was no gain to be had in debating religious faith with devotees such as the Reverend. It wasn’t that Ben didn’t believe in God; it was simply that he didn’t have proof. And Ben needed proof of things. He could think of only a few aspects of his life that he was willing to take on faith. The love of his late wife came to mind. But then, that belief hadn’t been based entirely on faith either, for she had had ways of proving her love to him. God was a different matter altogether. A painful memory flashed of Ben praying to God to spare his son Francis from the pox, but the four-year-old succumbed. While this certainly wasn’t proof that God didn’t exist, though, it had shaken his faith. However, Ben knew that, like any true believer worth his salt, the Reverend would have an explanation for God’s lapse. Ben decided to change the subject.

“That bolt of lightning was close just now,” Ben said. He gazed out at the clouds that flashed in the distance.

“Aye, a bit too close for comfort,” the Reverend said. “But we can thank the Almighty for the effectiveness of your lightning rod. Lord knows how many ships were destroyed by fire before you were inspired by Him to invent it.”

Ben had not been certain that the clergyman would even know about his invention. Smith’s reply encouraged him to go on.

“Thank you, Reverend,” he said. “The Lord works in mysterious ways, even through men such as me. Though I am sure He’s familiar with how the rod works, I wonder if you are?”

The Reverend sat up a bit. “I know only that the lightning bolt was somehow prevented from striking the ship,” he replied.

“Oh no, the lightning almost certainly struck our ship just now,” Ben explained. “Our mast is the tallest point for miles at sea. When I began studying the behavior of lightning, I noted that it always seeks the highest point in the landscape. Not only that, but also that lightning always seeks its way to the ground. My lightning rod simply creates a safe channel for the lightning to pass through the ship, so as not to endanger the vessel or its cargo. If the lightning were to strike a mast, there would be damage or fire. And if the damage were severe enough, it might even sink the ship.

“My rod is placed at the highest point on the ship and attracts the lightning. But that alone isn’t enough to prevent catastrophe, for I also found that I needed to channel it through the ship to the water. A thick metal cable runs from the lightning rod to below the water line to accomplish this.”

“A truly marvelous invention,” the Reverend replied. “Thanks be to God. But I thought you said that lightning always seeks the ground. Wouldn’t you have to run your metal cable back to the Colonies for the rod to be effective?”

“Excellent, excellent,” Ben exclaimed, “that is just the sort of question a man of science carries within him like a man of the cloth seeks to understand the mysteries of his faith . . . but I do beg to remind you that our country is now called the United States of America.”

“Oh, yes! Force of habit,” the Reverend exclaimed.

“Perhaps not a bad habit to maintain until your mission is accomplished,” Ben said. “Your Anglican Church does not support independence for the people of the United States.”

“That doth vex me,” the Reverend replied. He sunk back in his chair.

Ben resumed his explanation animatedly. “You will observe Reverend, as I did early on, that lightning is an electrical fluid that has no trouble traveling quickly through the air. Through careful experiments, I also found that this electrical fluid travels through water, albeit more slowly. Hence, there’s no need to run a cable back to shore so long as we are connected to the earth by water. Scientists around the world have taken to calling this electrical fluid ‘electricity’.”

“But what do you believe to be the source of this ‘electricity’, as you call it?” the Reverend asked. “The Bible tells us that lightning is sent down from Heaven by God.”

A slight shiver traveled Ben’s spine. Was it the cold sea spray or a sense that the Reverend was once again testing his religious beliefs?

It had not been so many years since scientists had been treated as heretics and persecuted for their belief that natural forces might be studied for the benefit of mankind. Now, in modern-day 1776, in this age of enlightenment, a fragile truce existed between religion and science. Ben believed the truce had occurred in part because of advances in natural philosophy—the science of the natural world and medicine.

The revelation that tiny creatures seen through the microscope by Van Leeuwenhoek and others in the last century might be the cause of human diseases was gaining wider acceptance. With increasing frequency, descriptions of these microbes and their associated diseases were being published in the proceedings of the Royal Society in London.

Ben had a personal stake in understanding the spread of disease and in making others aware. Smallpox had claimed the life of his beloved son Francis over forty years ago, and still claimed the lives of thousands each year.

It was disheartening that despite the advent of effective inoculation against smallpox, the Church continued to consider the medical technique to be inconsistent with the established canon. Ben had stormed out of more than one sermon when the clergyman had condemned vaccination as unholy.

“Reverend, you may if you wish, believe that lightning represents the wrath of God . . . sent down to avenge the sins of mankind,” Ben said. “But I believe that this electrical fluid is simply another natural force—no more mystical than the powerful flow of water through a stream that the miller uses to turn a wheel and grind the grain from the field. Mankind has learned to harness many natural forces. While it is wild and dangerous today, I believe that electricity may someday yield tangible benefits to mankind . . . if we can learn how to channel it appropriately.”

The Reverend appeared to be deep in thought. He raised his eyebrows and shrugged. “What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set ignorance in the human heart; so that no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end,” he said.

“Ecclesiastes,” Ben replied. “But what do you mean by it?”

“Ben, don’t you see that there might be mysteries that are not intended to be known to man? That God has intended for some things to be taken on faith? That your natural philosophy both cannot, and I dare say should not, attempt to provide a proof for everything under the Sun? That by attempting to do so, by requiring proof for everything, you denigrate God and His power?”

“No, I don’t see it that way at all, Reverend,” Ben said. “I believe that God would want mankind to discover the intricate workings of the universe that He has created for us to live in. I believe that He has designed us to be probing, intelligent beings; designed us to yearn to discover and elucidate the hidden workings of the universe—not designed us as sheep, blindly following established doctrine.”

The Reverend looked as if he might object but said nothing.

Ben went on. “Take your own situation as an example. You do not believe that the Anglican Church is right in backing the British in this conflict over our freedom, correct?”

The Reverend squirmed in his seat. “Aye.”

“And the Church would say that you should accept their decision blindly, that it is God’s will, correct?”

“Aye.”

“But you do not see it that way. You have seen the injustices inflicted by the British on our people. You have thought independently and asked yourself why God would want things this way. The answer we agree upon is that God would want our people to be free. It is the Church that has a different goal, the Church that has a need to maintain the status quo. Your Anglican Church claims to know the will of God in this matter . . . but do they? Once you start asking questions, as you have, once you start demanding proof of things, as I do—then you will ultimately find the correct answer: that the will of God and the will of the Church may not be one and the same.”

“Yes, I see your point,” the Reverend replied, “but what of God’s true will? Would it not be one of the mysteries that cannot be proven? Isn’t God’s will ultimately something that must be taken on faith?”

Ben didn’t have an answer to his question, but during the time they had talked, the storm had abated enough that his appetite returned.

“Reverend, what say we see what the cook has prepared for breakfast?”

“Nay, I’m not yet ready to eat, sir. I’ll sit out here a bit longer, contemplating what the Lord may have in store for me.”

Ben bid the Reverend good day and headed for the galley.


[Blog Tour] 'The Wisdom of the Flock: Franklin and Mesmer in Paris' By Steve M. Gnatz #HistoricalFiction
Steve Gnatz

Author Bio:

Steve Gnatz is a writer, physician, bicyclist, photographer, traveler, and aspiring ukulele player. The son of a history professor and a nurse, it seems that both medicine and history are in his blood. Writing historical fiction came naturally. An undergraduate degree in biology was complemented by a minor in classics. After completing medical school, he embarked on an academic medical career specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. There was little time for writing during those years, other than research papers and a technical primer on electromyography. Now retired from the practice of medicine, he devotes himself to the craft of fiction. The history of science is of particular interest, but also the dynamics of human relationships. People want to be good scientists, but sometimes human nature gets in the way. That makes for interesting stories. When not writing or traveling, he enjoys restoring Italian racing bicycles at home in Chicago with his wife and daughters.

Connect with Steve Gnatz:

 The Wisdom of the Flock - Tour Schedule Banner

8 September 2021

[Blog Tour] 'At Her Fingertips' (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3) By Kellyn Roth #HistoricalFiction

by
[Blog Tour] 'At Her Fingertips' (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3) By Kellyn Roth #HistoricalFiction
 'At Her Fingertips' - Tour Banner

The Book: 

At Her Fingertips
(The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3)
By Kellyn Roth

  • Publication Date: 17th July 2021
  • Publisher: Wild Blue Wonder Press
  • Genre: Christian Historical Romance

The Blurb:

She’s willing to do anything to follow her plan.

Debutante Alice Knight is ready for her first social season in London. She’s determined to impress society and her mother with an affluent match, at last escaping her past and embracing a future of her own making.

Peter Strauss, an American reporter visiting England, isn’t exactly what Alice had in mind. However, his friendship proves invaluable as Alice faces the challenges of her debut. Almost immediately, she attracts the attention of a well-born gentleman—perfect save for the simple fact that he’s not a Christian.

The life she longs for is finally at her fingertips, but between her own heart and the convictions of her faith, she isn’t sure she ought to grasp it.

At Her Fingertips, a romantic women's fiction novel, is the third novel in Kellyn Roth's Christian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy.
[Blog Tour] 'At Her Fingertips' (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3) By Kellyn Roth #HistoricalFiction
'At Her Fingertips' - Book Cover

'At Her Fingertips' - Excerpt:

Miss Knight was sitting by herself after dinner, staring into the fire with her eyes absent. Normally, Peter left people who seemed consumed by their own thoughts alone—that was what he preferred. But something told him she wasn’t the type to enjoy her own ponderings.

She continued to puzzle him. Strong and weak. Over and over again, those words echoed in his head. Miss Ivy was a delicate flower that would continue to bloom if crushed; he didn’t sense that in Miss Knight. She was more like a mighty pine that, once felled, would lie there until it crumbled into splinters. He didn’t know how she would handle collapse, or if she would at all.

Was it his business? No. Normally he would’ve made his observations within his own mind and kept silent. However, something about her compelled him to take a seat near her and make the necessary pleasantries.

After conversation faded again, he asked her if they could visit the library with Miss Ivy. “I haven’t had a chance, and Miss Ivy has told me about it often. Of course I wouldn’t go with her alone.”

“Of course.” There was grudging respect in her eyes. Did she think it was so different in America that he wouldn’t take care of Miss Ivy’s reputation? He honestly wasn’t sure why Miss Knight was so suspicious of him.

Had America stolen her father? Was that her reasoning? Or was she just too traditional to conceive of a friendship with him? He supposed it wasn’t exactly normal, but he made friends with anyone he could, and that usually included women. Not in an improper way—most women just seemed to, for no discernable reason, confide in him.

It was simultaneously frustrating and touching.

The three of them went to the library together, and Miss Ivy rambled on about their collection, who had added books over the years, and so on. Peter found it interesting but couldn’t help but be concerned about Miss Knight, and he began searching for a conversation topic that would suit all three of them.

It was when he gave up, however, that he succeeded. “Do either of your parents read?” he asked, deciding to focus his efforts on Miss Ivy, who actually wanted to talk to him. Reading, he felt, they could talk about.

Miss Ivy answered that her mother would read occasionally, and Miss Knight’s eyes focused on them both, interested for the first time.

Thank God, he thought.

“Mother reads what Nettie does,” Miss Knight said. “But then she’s not had time until lately to read.”

“Oh?” Peter supposed the lady had had a child almost every year, but she only had somewhere in the range of three to five children—he’d gotten confused at this point as to which were hers by birth and which by marriage. Ned certainly was the child of the late Mrs. Hazel Bailey Knight, but otherwise he didn’t know.

“Yes, because—” Then Miss Ivy stopped and looked to Miss Knight.

There was a moment in which the sisters stared each other down, clearly unsure who was going to communicate what. Then Miss Knight cleared her throat.

“Mr. Strauss, I know you asked one of our footmen for details about our family, and he declined to give you the full story.” Her dark eyes focused on him, intense to the point of anger. “If I were to tell you my family history, I don’t know what your reaction would be. Ivy promises me you are a fair, compassionate man, but I don’t know you, and you are a reporter.”

Peter winced. “I am at that. But I’m not the type of reporter who would ever discuss private details publicly, either in writing or with my mouth.” He struggled for the correct words. “I always take my cues from Proverbs. ‘Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.’”

“I see.” Miss Knight glanced at Miss Ivy.

She nodded.

“I’ll tell you a bit of what’s happened, so that there need be no awkwardness to us.” She gestured to a few chairs across the library. “It’s a simple story, really.”

Miss Ivy raised her eyebrows. “It is not.”

“Nevertheless, let’s sit down and go over it. Quickly.”

Curiosity spiked, but determined to remain compassionate, Peter took a seat and fixed his eyes on Miss Knight’s face.


[Blog Tour] 'At Her Fingertips' (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3) By Kellyn Roth #HistoricalFiction
Kellyn Roth

Author Bio:

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. You should definitely call her Kell.

Kell lives on family-owned property outside an unmemorable but historical town with her parents, two little brothers, precious border collies, a dozen cows, and lots of chickens. She also possesses a classic, vintage aesthetic which does not at all speak to her country girl side, but such is life.

When not writing, Kell likes to blog, work as a virtual assistant for authors and other small business owners, and spend lavish amounts of money on Dairy Queen french fries. She also likes to talk about her books (and occasionally Keira Knightley) way too much. You’ve been warned.

Connect with Kellyn Roth:

[Blog Tour] 'At Her Fingertips' (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, Book 3) By Kellyn Roth #HistoricalFiction
'At her Fingertips' - Tour Schedule Banner

30 August 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Queen of the Citadels' (The King’s Germans, Book 3) By Dominic Fielder #HistoricalFiction

by
[Blog Tour] 'The Queen of the Citadels' (The King’s Germans, Book 3) By Dominic Fielder #HistoricalFiction
The Queen of the Citadels - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Queen of the Citadels
(The King’s Germans, Book 3)
By Dominic Fielder
  • Publication Date: 26th August 2021
  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Page Length: 550 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Military Fiction

The Blurb:

October 1793: The French border.

Dunkirk was a disaster for the Duke of York’s army. The French, sensing victory before the winter, launch attacks along the length of the border. Menen is captured and the French now hold the whip hand. Nieuport and Ostend are threatened, and Sebastian Krombach finds himself involved in a desperate plan to stop the Black Lions as they spearhead the French advance. Werner Brandt and the men of 2nd Battalion race to Menen to counterattack and rescue Erich von Bomm and the Grenadiers, whilst von Bomm struggles to save himself from his infatuation with a mysterious French vivandière.

Meanwhile, dark and brooding, the citadel of Lille dominates the border. The Queen of the Citadels has never been captured by force. The allies must now keep Menen, which guards Flanders, and seize Lille to open the road to Paris. All of this must be done under the watchful eyes of a spy in the Austrian camp. Juliette of Marboré is fighting her own secret war to free Julian Beauvais, languishing in the Conciergerie prison, and waiting for his appointment with the guillotine, as the Terror rages in Paris.
[Blog Tour] 'The Queen of the Citadels' (The King’s Germans, Book 3) By Dominic Fielder #HistoricalFiction
The Queen of the Citadels - Book Cover

 'The Queen of the Citadels' - Excerpt:

Paris: 20th December 1793

“I once said that what matters most is ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’. That is what should be written on our flags, into the very fabric of our uniforms. Well, I was wrong. Do you know what matter most at this very moment? What the people truly need?” Maximillian Robespierre turned around to face his audience. A dozen men focused on the pointed finger of Robespierre as he moved from face to face. The question was rhetorical. Carnot was amongst those who listened. Genet sat at the back of the room and watched the most powerful Jacobin ministers spellbound by his master’s voice.

Robespierre held the room at the point of his finger, and then whispered a solitary word,” Fear!”

His audience nodded understandingly, to Robespierre and then to one another as though the pronouncement had been handed down from on high.

“The past few months have been called ‘the Terror’, by some in this room and by our enemies. That’s true enough but until the revolution is secured so that we may hand back to the people what we have won on their behalf, there must be ‘Terror’. It must continue! It is the language that the people understand, and it is the most effective way of preventing failure!”

Robespierre was working the room; Genet had felt the electricity of his master’s words before but never like this. Maximillian Robespierre was a force of nature.

“The Bourbons had four hundred years to stake their claim to the throne. They did not rule by kindness, and they never once ruled for the good of the people. We rule in the name of the people but like any good father we must show discipline now….” The voice once raised to a crescendo had died away to a whisper again…”so that when France grows from the child like state in which the Bourbons kept it, into a strong and noble prince amongst nations, the people will know truly know the price of ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’ and will never again question the price of defending such a privilege!”

The room stood as one and applauded, a dozen pairs of hands reached out to shake his. Genet noticed the signal, no more than a nod in his direction. Robespierre waved the men down and motioned for quiet.

“To that end, we must continue to make examples of those who fail to protect the republic. These papers call for the arrest of the commanders of the armies of the North and the Rhine. We have reports from trusted officers as to the ineffective methods and lack of conviction in Generals Jourdan and Hoche. The people shall decide their fate. Any general now condemned to death will be executed in front of his own men. The army must understand Terror too and know that the punishment of a loving father is worse than the fiercest cannonade of the enemy! Who will countersign these orders?”

There it was: the lie hidden in the barrage of hyperbole. France had failed to secure victories on her borders. The generals would not turn on themselves, Genet knew that, but they had to fear that such an outcome might arise. It had been Genet’s brainchild and Robespierre had clapped his hands with glee the moment that the scheme was laid before him.

It was the soldiers who were always the problem. Come the spring, the army would do the bidding of Maximillian Robespierre. And Serge Genet would make such a wish a reality.


Wissembourg: 31st December 1793

“You came from Paris to deliver this and arrest the General?”

Pale grey eyes surveyed Maurice Caillat, not out of fear, reproach, or pity. Perhaps instead they searched for understanding. After all, it cannot have been a usual occurrence to receive notification of a fellow general’s arrest; orders to provide evidence against that same officer; and a promotion to command the Army of the North as a most obvious bribe.

But that was what Jean-Charles Pichegru was being asked to contemplate. His hand ruffled shoulder length hair where steel grey was beginning to outstrip black, despite the general only being two years past his thirtieth birthday.

“Somebody has sent you on a fool’s errand, Monsieur. I will accept the promotion, but I will not indict General Hoche.

“But I have been told to…”

Pichegru held up a hand, “Monsieur?”

“Caillat, Maurice Caillat, Representat…”

“Yes, yes, I know your rank. Monsieur Caillat, Maurice, remove that raincoat, pour yourself a glass of wine and take a seat by the fire. Words seem so less intimidating when there is at least a degree of civility.”

However, Maurice Caillat had imagined this interview to progress, drinks with his quarry had not been a possible scenario. And the more questionable the purpose, the more Caillat doubted in his own ability to resolve matters to Genet’s satisfaction. This trip was only serving to underline that point.

Caillat took his seat as ordered, and the two men faced one another, fierce yellows of the fire casting long shadows across the peasant cottage that Pichegru had taken for his quarters.

“Pray, continue…you were saying that you had been told to?”

“Err, yes, General, I have been instructed to tell…”

“Not General… too formal… I am Jean, and you will be Maurice, is that agreeable? Good…this wine is rather agreeable too, isn’t it?”

Maurice Caillat was at a loss as to what to say. The fire was warm; the chair comfortable, far better than the carriage that he had spent ten days travelling in; and the wine was rather good. Threatening a man who had shown such hospitality to a stranger seemed, frankly, to be both absurd and ungrateful. Caillat’s mouth open and closed; thoughts formed but no words came out.

“Maurice, I shall save you the trouble. I have been rather rude. I am, as you may well be aware, the president of one of the most powerful Jacobin clubs in Paris. I knew of your orders and the arrest of Lazare Hoche, three days before your arrival. Oh, they will make a fuss over Hoche, of course. But he is a capable soldier. I haven’t always agreed with his methods, but nothing would compel me to sign that death warrant that you were sent with. And make no mistake, that is the purpose of the message that you were delivering from your friends in Paris.”

“I have no friends in Paris, General.”

Caillat had not meant the words to come out, but they had escaped and there was no taking them back.

Pichegru tutted heavily.

“Now Maurice, you are not playing the game. Around my fireside, I am Jean and nothing more formal than that.”

Caillat gazed into his dark silhouette dancing on the red surface of the glass.

“I am supposed to be representing the authority of Paris: the might and the Terror.”

“Paris should not be about might and terror. We are Frenchmen, born of the same soil. We should be able to resolve our disagreements more cordially, do you not think?” For a moment there had been iron and anger in the words but in an instant, they were gone and the warm, near mesmeric voice of Pichegru had returned. “Now tell me of yourself and of Paris.”

Caillat told the General of his life before the revolution and after, in part because he wanted to, and because he felt that Pichegru already knew the answers. Maurice Caillat had been an investigator for the Marquis de Beurnonville, once Minister of War, now a captive of the Austrians, following the treachery of Dumouriez. He even recounted the events in Dunkirk and the matters involving Julian Beauvais, whose release had lifted a very real threat to his life.

Pichegru had listened, nodded but asked for no additional detail, save one.

“Wattignies, are you certain about Wattignies, Maurice?”

“Yes, Gener…err… Yes, Jean I am, why?”

“Let me tell you one or two things, Maurice. Firstly, no man can hope to live in Paris, as things stand, without friends. You will leave here tomorrow at first light, with an introduction to my club. They are expecting you. Secondly, you do not question why I should want to accept the death sentence that has become command of the Army of the North.”

Caillat mouthed to ask but Pichegru held up his hand.

“What Hoche and I accomplished here, beating the Austrians, Prussians, Brunswickers was done with a third of the resources that are in the north. Jourdan is a good man, as far as I can tell. He does not deserve this spectacle of a trial. You want to know what I’m going to do with the Army of the North? I’m going to liberate Flanders and throw the Austrians back over the Rhine and chase the British into the North Sea. Now go and find one of my orderlies, they will find a bed for you. I have reports to prepare which you will take to Paris. And consider my advice. A man needs friends. If the people who sent you on this fool’s errand do not change then…”

Pichegru drained his glass, eased his tired body from the chair, and motioned towards the door. “Goodnight, Monsieur Caillat, it has been a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

[Blog Tour] 'The Queen of the Citadels' (The King’s Germans, Book 3) By Dominic Fielder #HistoricalFiction
Dominic Fielder

Author Bio:

Dominic Fielder has had careers in retail and the private education sector and is currently working as a secondary school Maths teacher. He has a First-class honours degree in history and a lifetime’s interest in the hobby of wargaming. The King's Germans series is a project that grew out of this passion He currently juggles writing and research around a crowded work and family life.

Whilst self-published he is very grateful for an excellent support team. The Black Lions of Flanders (set in 1793) is the first in the King's Germans' series, which will follow an array of characters through to the final book in Waterloo. He lives just outside of Tavistock on the edge of Dartmoor. where he enjoys walking on the moors and the occasional horse-riding excursion as both writing inspiration and relaxation.

Connect with Dominic Fielder:

[Blog Tour] 'The Queen of the Citadels' (The King’s Germans, Book 3) By Dominic Fielder #HistoricalFiction
The Queen of the Citadels - Tour Schedule Banner

23 August 2021

[Blog Tour] 'In a Grove of Maples' (Sheltering Trees: Book 1) By Jenny Knipfer #ChristianHistoricalFiction

by
[Blog Tour] 'In a Grove of Maples' (Sheltering Trees: Book 1) By Jenny Knipfer #ChristianHistoricalFiction
'In A Grove of Maples' - Tour Banner

The Book:

In a Grove of Maples
(Sheltering Trees: Book 1)
By Jenny Knipfer

  • Publication Date: 1st July 2021
  • Publisher: Jenny Knipfer--Author
  • Page Length: 264 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction
  • Audio Narrated By Jenn Lee

The Blurb:

"... a heartfelt tale of the struggles of married life on a nineteenth-century farm. Edward and Beryl are both relatable and sympathetic. Knipfer expertly captures the emotion and stress of their lives and relationship. It’s a touching and realistic portrayal of love, loss, and friendship." Heather Stockard for Readers’ Favorite five-star review

A HISTORICAL NOVEL OF THE PERILS OF NEWLYWED LIFE AND OF ALL THAT COMES TO DIVIDE LOVERS

In 1897 newly married Beryl and Edward Massart travel more than one thousand miles from Quebec to farm a plot of land in Wisconsin that they bought sight-unseen. An almost magical grove of maples on their property inspires them to dream of a real home built within the grove, not the tiny log cabin they’ve come to live in.

Misunderstandings and tempers get the better of them when difficulties and troubles arise. Just months after they wed, Edward leaves pregnant Beryl in the midst of the coming winter to tend the farm and animals while he goes to be a teamster at a northern Wisconsin logging camp.

Will Beryl and Edward walk into the future together to build their house of dreams in the grove of maples, or will their plans topple like a house of sticks when the winds of misunderstanding and disaster strike?

Readers of Christian historical fiction, Historical fiction, Women’s fiction, and Christian historical romance will be endeared to this slice of late 19th century farm life.
[Blog Tour] 'In a Grove of Maples' (Sheltering Trees: Book 1) By Jenny Knipfer #ChristianHistoricalFiction
'In a Grove of Maples' - Book Cover

'In a Grove of Maples' - Excerpt:

“Done for the day?”

Edward hadn’t seen his wife approach. Must have been picking flowers again.

Despite the fact that they didn’t have a table yet to put them on, Beryl liked to pick a fresh jar of wildflowers every couple of days. She placed them on the crate where they ate their meals.

She smiled her sunny smile, which transformed her whole face; her thin but well-defined lips stretched back into a grin, which arched high on her cheeks.

“Yep. Paul invited us for supper. He didn’t give me the option of declining.”

“Oh, well, I suppose the beans and bacon I had planned can wait.”

She winked at him. He moved forward to touch her face and wrap her in his arms, but thought better of it, being so sweaty and dirty.

“Come here and give your wife a kiss. The result of your hard work matters not.”

Beryl motioned with her free hand. The other held stems of grasses and flowers. What kinds they were he didn’t know. He obeyed her command and stepped forward to lightly encircle her waist with his arms and kiss her on the lips. She tasted of summer berries ripening in the sun.

“Mmm, me thinks the lady has partaken of some fruit.”

Beryl tilted her head up and gave him a sneaky flash of eyes. “What? How can you tell?”

He backed up a little and unwrapped her arms from around his neck. Grabbing her right hand, he held up her red-stained fingers.

“You bear the evidence of your crime,” he said in mock judgement.

“Darn. It was supposed to be a surprise.” She pointed to the east. “I found a bunch of raspberries back there. I filled a small basket full.”

“Well, I’ll wash up before we head to Paul and Nola’s. Let’s bring the berries as a thankyou gift.”

“Fine idea. It’s one of the things I love about you—your generosity.”

Beryl clasped her hand in his as they ambled back to their cabin. Edward felt heat rising in his cheeks. Whenever a compliment came his way, they tended to flush pink. He didn’t need his wife seeing him blushing like a girl, so he turned his face away and changed the subject.

“While I wash, you fetch your berries and take care of your bouquet. Then we’ll hitch up the team and be off.”

“Why don’t we just take Benny? We can both ride on him, and it’s not far. It’ll be cozy.”

She winked again. The thought of being cozy sent a tingle through his muscles. It might be a precursor to another sort of intimacy. But maybe not. I’m dog-tired.

“Sure, whatever you’d like,” he offered.

She smiled and walked toward their little abode. Edward realized as he watched her sashay off through the tall grass that he’d say yes to almost anything his wife asked for. She captivated him, and he was thoroughly entrenched in love.
[Blog Tour] 'In a Grove of Maples' (Sheltering Trees: Book 1) By Jenny Knipfer #ChristianHistoricalFiction
Jenny Knipfer

Author Bio:

Jenny Knipfer lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.

Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.

She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.

Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set. A new historical fiction, four-part series entitled, Sheltering Trees, will be released in 2021 and 2022. Jenny is currently writing a novella series entitled, Botanical Seasons.

Connect with Jenny Knipfer:

[Blog Tour] 'In a Grove of Maples' (Sheltering Trees: Book 1) By Jenny Knipfer #ChristianHistoricalFiction
'In A Grove of Maples' - Tour Schedule Banner


21 August 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Ouija' By Zoé O'Farrell #Horror #YA

by
[Blog Tour] 'Ouija' By Zoé O'Farrell #Horror #YA
'Ouija' - Book Cover

The Book:

Ouija
By Zoé O'Farrell
  • Publication Day: 30th August 2021
  • Publisher: Question Mark Press (QMP)
  • Page Count : 171 pages
  • Genre: Young Adult Horror

The Blurb:

The only thing for certain is the deaths were no accident.

Rayner High School once a prestigious school stands in ruins after such a terrible event.

A year later, a group of friends return to the abandoned school and their nightmare begins.

Something wants to get out and won’t take NO for an answer…


  • Ouija is Book 2 in a new series brought to you by Question Mark Horror. For fans of Point Horror, Christopher Pike & Nicholas Pine.

'Ouija' - Excerpt:

For some reason, the school doors weren’t locked. It was as though it was expecting their visit that night. Jon grabbed the handles, and everyone took a breath before heading in.

The initial aroma was a stale one. There had been no ventilation in this school for years, so it just lingered in the air around them. Jon had to pull his T-shirt over his nose initially to try and stop the odour. It was rank, but not as bad as the other smell.

The other smell that hit them square in the face, was pungent, almost metallic. Jon gulped. Straight away he knew what it was: he had smelt enough recently.

It was blood.

He heard someone behind cough, and he tutted to indicate to be quiet. Jon faltered just for a minute and took a small step inside. He moved out of the way to let everyone get in. They huddled together in a small tight group, all touching each other so they didn’t get left behind. Their eyes were looking around in different areas of the small reception they found themselves in. The torchlights highlighting various things: the upturned abandoned chair behind the reception desk; the phone dangling by the cord, slightly swaying in the breeze they had created. Paper was strewn all over the office desks and floor. Someone had left and quick. Where this was once a nice and bright welcoming space, it was now cold, stark and ominous. There weren’t even any spider webs. Maybe the spiders knew what roamed these corridors and stayed away.

Jon leaned in and whispered, “Right we need to go down the end of this corridor and take a left. Up some stairs, and it’s the last door on the left.”

Simon and Jon shuffled slowly forward taking the lead, with Caley arm in arm with Sophie following them, leaving Lara and Ben bringing up the rear.

“How are you feeling?” Caley asked, leaning her head on Sophie’s shoulder, “I mean, I’m scared but excited at the same time.”

Sophie was shining her torch in every direction she could, trying to block out the shadows, but at the same time trying to avoid looking through any of the classroom windows. She was probably scaring herself more, but she was worried that if she looked in the rooms, she might see a face at the window. She shuddered at the thought. It made it worse there was no natural light from the moon anywhere in this corridor and that all the doors were shut. If people had left in a hurry, why would the doors be shut?

“I think I’m OK. I think I’m just scaring myself more than anything. I mean, nothing is going to happen. It will just be a bit of fun,” trying to reassure herself more than anyone else.

Caley just nodded in agreement. They had all made it to the end of the corridor when Lara screamed. Jon pushed past the girls to get to her. “What? What is it?”

Trying to hold back her tears, “I saw something in that classroom. I saw someone watching me in the shadows.” Her voice trembled.
[Blog Tour] 'Ouija' By Zoé O'Farrell #Horror #YA
Zoé O'Farrell 

Author Bio:

Zoé O’Farrell grew up in Watford but left the town life to live by the sea down at the White Cliffs of Dover.

She spends her days working with numbers before escaping in the evening to the world of words and movies. Her go-to relaxation is watching a scary movie or reading a terrifying book!

She is a book blogger and tour organiser just to keep her extra busy. When she is not reading or writing, you can usually find her watching Watford FC or at a gig. Failing that she can be found rolling her eyes at her husband as he acts the same age as her spitfire of a Mini-Me whilst separating her two cats.

Ouija is her debut novel.

Connect with Zoé O’Farrel:

[Blog Tour] 'Ouija' By Zoé O'Farrell #Horror #YA
QMP Tour - Week One


[Blog Tour] 'Ouija' By Zoé O'Farrell #Horror #YA
QMP Tour - Week Two

Extra News

You Might Also Like