Showing posts with label Books Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books Related. Show all posts

19 July 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Earth 101 – Time to Run' By Emae Church #SciFi #Fantasy

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[Blog Tour] 'Earth 101 – Time to Run'  By Emae Church #SciFi #Fantasy
Earth 101 - Book Tour Poster

The Book:

'Earth 101 – Time to Run'
By Emae Church
  • Publication Day : 20th July 2021 by Korudaz Ink
  • Page Count : 480 pages
  • Genre : YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

The Blurb:

A missing girl. A world of secrecy. A quest to expose the truth.

Jayne knows they're gone, but no one else will acknowledge what's happening.

One by one, they're systematically erased from existence. No explanations. No missing person's reports. No search parties.

Something sinister is afoot. Jayne can feel it in her bones. But uncovering the truth will prove difficult, especially when she discovers who and what is behind the devious plot.

As she searches for answers, she grapples with the lingering effects of a head injury, an unexpected forbidden romance, and a strange new reality that changes everything.

Will she uncover the truth, or will she be the next innocent victim?

[Blog Tour] 'Earth 101 – Time to Run'  By Emae Church #SciFi #Fantasy
Earth 101 - Book Cover

'Earth 101' - Excerpt:

“You can’t force me to do anything!” The last word tapers off, shaky and weak.

I recognise the voice. It’s Laura from school. I crane my neck and squint over the top of the nearby scattered boulders. But where is she? And who is she talking to?

Are they here because of me? Laura knows my running route – she’s been vocal of my attempts to scramble up this hill – but this can’t be a follow-on to what happened in school today? What will they think if they see me hiding?

The urge to stand up tugs at me. To carry on down the slope and mind my own business. But what if Laura sees me? How could I pop out of nowhere and continue along my way, pretending I don’t notice her? I don’t need even more hushed conversations and lowered eyes in the corridors of Hill Derry tomorrow.

I’m also not in the mood for another run-in with her.

I wipe away a lone, wind-induced tear on my cheek. The howl of the wind is picking up and carrying away Laura’s words.

All I hear is the despair in her voice. “Why are you doing this?”

The fear. “Please, wait. Let’s go back–”

Who is she with? I’ve seen her hanging with a lanky fella with white hair after school, but… should I go after her?

Do I want to find myself in another argument and fight?

The feet and voices grow faint and are replaced by the whistle of the wind. Billowing clouds chase across the dark sky. Peering down from my hiding place, an urgency compels me to follow Laura, as a gust of wind echoes with her voice.

Wait a minute, was that a shout? A scream? I’m on my toes as I move forward quickly but warily.

I search the street around me, but I’m alone. There’s nobody to ask for assistance. Even if there were, would I bother asking? Probably not.

There, another shout. I should leave them to it, but a worrying curiosity sweeps me along, following Laura’s voice. I can’t make out what she is saying, but it’s an angry, albeit shrill tone. I know Laura, and that is a scared voice. She’s hiding fear behind a veil of angry words.

I stop at the corner to an alleyway. They’ll see me should I turn the corner, and all the anger will become aimed at me. A bus charges past and almost erases the shouting, but between the sounds of heavy wheels and metal, I catch a snippet of Laura’s words.

“Why don’t you just jump in your stupid sh… and …-off to another galaxy!”

Whoever she is with has not uttered a raised word. All I hear is a male mumble of sorts. He’s obviously trying to calm her. But then an unwitting cough escapes me. I grasp my mouth, but then it happens
  • Earth 101 is the debut novel from Emae Church, an emerging author, based in the South-West of England, who enjoys the adventure of life with two lovely children, when not saving the world

Connect with Emae Church:

16 July 2021

[Blog Tour] Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65 (The Simmons family saga) By Dane Pizzuti Krogman #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65  (The Simmons family saga)  By Dane Pizzuti Krogman #HistoricalFiction
Mendota - Tour Banner

The Book:

Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65
(The Simmons family saga)
By Dane Pizzuti Krogman

  • Publication Date: 15th March 2021
  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Page Length: 416 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

This is the fictional story set in Mendota, Minnesota of the Simmons family who are faced with the consequences of the Dakota Sioux Uprising of 1862 that swept across the state as well as the Civil War.

The father, Dan enlists in the 1st regiment of Minnesota volunteers as a teamster. His two sons, who are both underage join the 2nd Regiment. John, aged 16 becomes a bugler and William, aged 15 becomes a drummer. Their sister, Sara is left behind with their mother, Louise to fend for themselves. Dan is sent east to fight with the Army of the Potomac while his sons are sent to the western theater to serve in the army of the Cumberland. Back in Mendota, their neighbor and close friend, Colonel Henry Sibley is ordered to stay in the state to control the Indian uprising.

Dan will see action up through the battle of Antietam. He will later find himself in the hospital in Washington DC where he befriends a comrade also from the 1st Regiment. His sons barely miss the action at Shiloh but after, are engaged in all the major battles in the West. While they are passing through Louisville, William falls for a young woman, Mary who works as a hospital nurse. Back in Mendota, Sara befriends a young Chippewa native boy while her mother struggles with the breakup of her family. After Colonel Sibley defeats the Sioux, he is promoted to General and ordered to round up all the Dakota and push resettle them in the Dakotas.

This leads to the punitive expeditions that he and General Sully will command up until 1864. William is captured at the battle up Missionary Ridge and then sent to the prison camp at Belle Isle, VA. and then onto Andersonville. GA. John receives a 30 day furlough and returns to Mendota before he re-enlists. Louise and Sara wait for the war’s end so the family can be reunited, but events may not turn out as anticipated.
[Blog Tour] Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65  (The Simmons family saga)  By Dane Pizzuti Krogman #HistoricalFiction
Mendota - Front Cover

'Mendota' - Excerpt:

Chapter 8: The uprising.

"We have waited a long time. The money is ours, but we cannot get it. We have no food, but here are these stores, filled with food. We ask that you, the agent, make some arrangement by which we can get food from the stores, or else we may make our way to keep ourselves from starving. When men are hungry they help themselves" -Taoyateduta,(Little Crow) 1862-

The Sioux Indian revolt and massacre commenced on August 18th. Authentic information reached St. Paul on the 19th, the same evening ex-Gov. Henry H. Sibley was appointed by the governor of Minnesota to conduct a military force against the hostile Sioux, and he started the next day with four companies of the Sixth Regiment for St. Peter. In compliance with the request of Gov. Ramsey, Gen. Halleck, on August 22d, instructed Gen. Schofield to send the Third Regiment to Minnesota. The War Department announced on August 27th that the enlisted men of the regiment, as paroled prisoners, were fully exchanged. A high value, even in their disorganized condition, was placed upon their service in the Indian campaign, and their arrival was anticipated with much interest. Rapidly marching until eleven at night, they made forty miles.

Near Acton, Minnesota close to the Lower Sioux reservation along the Minnesota River was the farm of the settler Mr. Robinson Jones. On the hot humid morning of August 17th, four young braves all belonging to Shakopee’s band, 18-year-old Brown Wing, 20-year-old Breaking Up, 20-year-old Killing Ghost, and 18-year-old Runs Against Something When Crawling were hunting in a wooded area near the Jones homestead. They wandered up to a split rail fence that separated the woods from the farm. Brown Wing spotted a hen’s nest with some eggs in it. He reached over the fence rail to take them and exclaimed to the others.

“I’m so hungry, I’m going to eat these.” Breaking Up reached out to stop him. “Don’t take them. They belong to a white man and we may get into trouble.” Brown Wing held fast to the eggs anyway and lashed out at Breaking Up. Angrily he dashed the eggs to the ground and yelled out. “You are a coward! You are afraid of the white man! You are afraid to take even an egg from him, though you are half-starved. Yes, you are a coward, and I will tell everybody so.” Breaking Up yelled back at him. “I am not a coward. I am not afraid of the white man, and to show you that I am not I will go to the house and shoot him. Are you brave enough to go with me?” Brown Wing accepted his challenge. “Yes, I will go with you, and we will see who is the braver of us two.” Not to be left out, Killing Ghost turned to Runs Against Something When Crawling and said, “We will go with you, and we will be brave, too.” “Yes, we will all go,” replied Runs When Crawling Against Something.

The four braves, without any permission from their chief, then moved out towards the house of Robinson Jones.

Robinson Jones, a family man, and settler in his early 30’s was resting in his cabin. Without any concern, he sensed something was amiss and headed for the cabin door to have a look outside. He opened the door and looked out across his property. Headed toward him were the four braves with rifles at the ready. Becoming alarmed at the sight and having heard rumors of unrest among the Dakota, Robinson reached for his rifle, which he kept loaded next to the door and made a mad dash to the house next door. This was the home of his brother-in-law, Howard Baker. He was greeted by a shocked Howard Baker, Baker’s young wife and the wife of another neighbor named Webster. Jones’s wife and his 14-year-old daughter were also at the house. As Jones relayed what he had just seen outside his cabin all the occupants of the Webster home rushed to the windows to see for themselves and were all horrified to see that the braves were now headed for the Webster house. A panicked Jones reached for his wife to comfort her. The startled neighbors could hardly believe what they were seeing. Ester, Jones’s daughter, ran to her mother’s side.

“They’ve got guns, mama! What could they possibly want? Mama! I’m scared.” Jones looked to his wife and daughter. “I don’t know what they want, but they sure don’t look happy.” Howard was now panicked but tried to remain calm. “OK, everyone take cover. Webster, take my shotgun.”

Howard lifted a rifle from its perch above the door then handed the shotgun to Webster. The men prepared for the worst as the women cowered in a corner of the cabin. Webster handed a pistol to Mrs. Jones and the men all took positions of defense at the door. Within moments the four braves had reached the entrance to the Baker house. In shockingly quick time they breached the threshold of the door without incident and immediately fired on the settlers. Before any of the defenders could get off a shot, the three men were killed. Mrs. Jones rushed to cover her child and was shot in the back. Ester was then pulled out from under her dying mother and raped by two of the braves. The other two rummaged through the cupboards and took whatever food stock they could find and stuffed it into a grain sack. One of the braves slit the throat of Ester and with a loud whoop, they departed the house. The four Indians rushed to the barn and stable to find a team of horses and a wagon. They hitched up the team and rushed off in the wagon. They cut across the open field and entered a wagon trail road. Runs When Crawling Against Something wiped the blood from the knife he used to kill young Ester, then turned to Killing Ghost.

“Where is Shakopee’s camp?” Killing Ghost who had taken command of the horse’s answered. “He’s about 6 miles above the Redwood Agency.” “He’ll be proud of how brave we are,” said Brown Wing. “Is he with Little Crow?” asked Runs When Crawling Against Something to nobody in particular. Killing Ghost answered him. “I’m not sure, but I don’t think Little Crow will find us so brave.” Breaking Up added to that comment. “Not after what you two did to that little girl.” Brown Wing tried to put on a brave face as he was now evidently not so proud of his actions in the death of Ester. “You know how angry whites get when it comes to their children.” Runs When Crawling Against Something scoffed and put an end to this early chatter. “That’s because they are weak and so are their children- Always crying-for what? They already have everything!”

The carriage headed down the wagon wheel road making haste for Little Shakopee’s camp. Though the drive was less than ten miles, they had to ford many streams and rough terrain full of fallen trees and tangles of brush. They did not get to the camp until late evening. Before going to Little Crow’s cabin, the four braves stopped to meet with Little Shakopee, thinking that maybe he would understand their violent outburst of the day against these innocent settlers and smooth the way for the meeting with Little Crow, who was not in this camp but had gone back to his cabin in Redwood Falls. Shakopee and the four braves exited the teepee and walked across the campground, passing the native dancers and drummers. It was a hot humid night full of mosquitoes, which were common in this part of the lower Sioux agency. The swamps, wetlands, and Minnesota river itself were the big contributors to these conditions, but the smoke from the bonfire held back the infestation of flying insects, which made their walk to the stolen wagon more pleasant. The braves mounted the stolen wagon and headed out. Little Shakopee took the reins and snapped the horses to a gallop. The wagon pulled out onto the agency road. Their drive to Little Crow’s cabin took them a little over an hour.
[Blog Tour] Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65  (The Simmons family saga)  By Dane Pizzuti Krogman #HistoricalFiction
Dane Krogman

Author Bio:

Dane Pizzuti Krogman was educated in the fine arts at the University of Minnesota, receiving BFA and MFA degrees. He also specialized in Asian art history, with a concentration in textile and surface design. After graduation, he worked as a freelance designer creating fashion samples for women’s athletic wear. He eventually relocated to California and taught at Cal-Poly Pomona in the Environmental Design program then moved on to work as a pictorial artist for outdoor advertising. Moving back to the Twin Cities in 1981 he formed a scenic design company call Artdemo which in 10 years did over 1000 designs and productions for sets, props, and special effects for television commercials and feature films. In the early 90’s he relocated to Charleston, SC to work as a spec writer for feature film scripts. Six of his screenplays have won major writing awards and two of these have been optioned for production. During this time he also taught scene design at the College of Charleston. This position led to an adjunct teaching position at Virginia Commonwealth University where he taught art direction for filmmakers. In 1998 he took a full time teaching position at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he taught art direction, life drawing, set construction, and Asian film studies, eventually becoming chairman of the department.

The common thread through all of this has been his passion for Japanese design, art, and fashion. He has lived in Kyoto, Japan for the past 20 summers studying Japanese kimono and obi design of the Heian and Edo periods. In 2002 he won the Grand Prize for the best graphic novel at the Hiroshima manga competition. His graphic Novel Skeleton boy was selected for inclusion into the Hiroshima peace memorial library in 2007.

He was most recently an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate Program in Digital Filmmaking at Stony Brook Southampton. He is also an award-winning screenwriter. His screenplay, The Schooner was produced as the Australian film, AUSTRALIA in 2008. He has other award-winning films that have been optioned for production or are in production.

As a Civil War historian he has worked as a technical advisor for the films, Dances with Wolfs, Gettysburg, and Glory. He currently has one Civil War novel in pre-publication; MENDOTA, AND THE RESTIVE RIVERS OF THE CIVIL AND INDIAN WARS 1861-65.

He also works part-time as a crew member on a Grand-Am Rolex series race team. The team won the national championship in 2008
[Blog Tour] Mendota and the Restive Rivers of the Indian and Civil Wars 1861-65  (The Simmons family saga)  By Dane Pizzuti Krogman #HistoricalFiction
Mendota - Tour Schedule Banner

15 July 2021

"Is Humanity Ready for Alien Contact?"- Author Kerry McDonald Says "Yes!" in New Sci-Fi Thriller

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"Is Humanity Ready for Alien Contact?"-  Author Kerry McDonald Says "Yes!" in New Sci-Fi Thriller
'The Green Cathedral' by Kerry McDonald and Lee Tidball
Set under the canopy of a Central American jungle, author Kerry McDonald's new sci-fi thriller, The Green Cathedral, follows a corrupt DEA agent and his transformative relationship with an otherworldly being. Inspired by the literary classic, Green Mansions, by W.H. Hudson, this reimagining is supercharged with action and romance in McDonald's visually arresting style.
Today, people are no longer embarrassed about believing in extraterrestrials. Leaders around the world agree that Earth has been visited by aliens. Recently, Haim Eshed, former head of Israel's Defense Ministry space directorate, made headlines claiming to be in communication with a UFO. "The Unidentified Flying Objects have asked not to publish that they are here—humanity is not ready yet," Eshed says. Kerry McDonald thinks we are.

The Green Cathedral opens with a crash landing of an alien spacecraft in the rainforest of Costa Rica. According to the New York Times, the U.S. Air Force investigated over 12,000 UFO sightings from 1947-1969. 701 remain unexplained. McDonald explores an unexplainable UFO phenomenon, and introduces a beautiful alien woman who has a deep connection with nature. In a world immersed in crime, nature offers the only escape. Can the extraterrestrials be here to remind humanity?
DEA agent Abel has spent his life with the ugliest side of humanity. He's given in to corruption, bribery, and an illegal side hustle that has him on the run from the cartel. He stumbles upon an alien girl who lives in the jungle. Her space craft crash-landed a decade ago; his life crashed and burned well before that.

They fall in love, but Abel's past has tracked him down.


The Green Cathedral makes us believe in love at first sight, and that nature can heal lost souls, even in the depths of the cartel.
"Non-stop action . . . a real flight and fight to the finish. Absolutely worth a read." – Screencraft
"Is Humanity Ready for Alien Contact?"-  Author Kerry McDonald Says "Yes!" in New Sci-Fi Thriller
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald is an all-American gymnast and adrenaline junkie who thrives on rock climbing, base jumping, paragliding, yoga, meditation, lucid dreaming, and survival-focused getaways. An expert marksman, Kerry enjoys writing action-adventure stories that provide an adrenaline rush equivalent to life when lived to the fullest.

13 July 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy' (Conquest, Book 3) By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval

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[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy'  (Conquest, Book 3)  By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
The Anarchy - Blog Tour Banner

The Book:

The Anarchy
(Conquest, Book 3)
By Tracey Warr

  • Publication Date: 2nd June 2020
  • Publisher: Impress Books
  • Page Length: 218 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance

The Blurb:

Unhappily married to Stephen de Marais, the Welsh princess, Nest, becomes increasingly embroiled in her countrymen’s resistance to the Norman occupation of her family lands. She plans to visit King Henry in the hope of securing a life away from her unwanted husband, but grieving for the loss of his son, the King is obsessed with relics and prophecies.

Meanwhile, Haith tries to avoid the reality that Nest is married to another man by distracting himself with the mystery of the shipwreck in which the King’s heir drowned. As Haith pieces together fragments of the tragedy, he discovers a chest full of secrets, but will the revelations bring a culprit to light and aid the grieving King?

Will the two lovers be united as Nest fights for independence and Haith struggles to protect King Henry?
[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy'  (Conquest, Book 3)  By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
Conquest Series - Blog Tour Banner

Buy Links:

[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy'  (Conquest, Book 3)  By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
The Anarchy - Front Cover

'The Anarchy' - Excerpt:

Chapter 21

The Beard

‘Hold still, man!’ Gwenllian cried. Einon, one of the men serving Cadell’s father, sat before her as she struggled to weave the tiny, folded message into the strands of his bushy, red beard. Cadell pinched a hand over his nose and mouth to stop his snort of laughter, but it was near impossible to hold it all in, and his stepmother Gwenllian glanced sidelong at him. ‘You’re not helping, Cadell!’ she exclaimed.

Einon was also doing his best not to laugh. ‘It’s a mite ticklish, my queen.’

Gwenllian sat back to take a frustrated break from her third attempt to entwine the parchment in the beard. Twice before she had almost got it suspended in the wiry red hairs so that it was invisible and carefully couched. But as soon as Einon stood and drew himself up to his considerable height, the tiny letter dropped to the floor. ‘This is no good! It won’t work!’ Gwenllian groaned, her face pink with frustrated effort.

‘You’ve so nearly done it, mother.’ Cadell’s stepmother was not renowned for her patience. ‘Here, let me try.’ Cadell held his hand out for the small, folded square. He had penned the letter. His parents did not write, but he had learnt to do so during visits to his Aunt Nest’s household and he had written the message to the Norse lord Raegnald in a minuscule script. It read,

Gruffudd, King of Deuheubarth, sends love to his foster-brother Raegnald. I mean to attack the Normans at Cardigan, aided by the sons of Gwynedd. Will you send boats and men to assist me in this endeavour and help me to regain the kingdom that is rightfully mine?

Cadell’s slender fingers nested the message deep into the beard. He plaited strands around it so that it could not fall—not when Einon rode, or rolled over in his sleep, or stood in a gale-force wind on the ship taking him to Dublin and Raegnald’s hall. ‘There!’

The man looked down. ‘Can’t see it at all.’

‘It will hold?’ Gwenllian asked.

‘It will hold,’ Cadell said with certainty, looking at Einon. Then he turned to Gwenllian. ‘But is this wise mother?’

‘Wise?’

‘To trust our lives and throne to your brothers?’

‘Go, with my thanks and hopes,’ Gwenllian told Einon, her brusque manner belying her words.

‘My brother and I will be ready at the gate shortly,’ Cadell told him courteously in an effort to mitigate Gwenllian’s tone.

Einon tucked the forked ends of his loaded beard into his belt, bowed low to them and strode from the room.

‘I don’t want to speak in front of him. That is why you wrote the letter rather than sending a message by mouth,’ Gwenllian told Cadell.

‘Yes, I know.’ This way Einon could not have the message tortured from him if he were captured by the Normans at the port. He would be travelling from Llansteffan. That had been Cadell’s idea too. Nest had invited her nephews to visit her again and Einon would travel as part of the boys’ escort, and then slip away to Ireland by boat at night.

‘No, it’s not wise,’ Gwenllian stated. ‘I don’t trust my brothers at all, but is it wise for us, the royal family of Deheubarth, to sit here in this backwater stirring potage all day long?’

Cadell shook his head. ‘No, for sure. That is not wise.’

Author Bio:

Tracey Warr (1958- ) was born in London and lives in the UK and France. Her first historical novel, Almodis the Peaceweaver (Impress, 2011) is set in 11th century France and Spain and is a fictionalised account of the true story of the Occitan female lord, Almodis de la Marche, who was Countess of Toulouse and Barcelona. It was shortlisted for the Impress Prize for New Fiction and the Rome Film Festival Books Initiative and won a Santander Research Award. Her second novel, The Viking Hostage, set in 10th century France and Wales, was published by Impress Books in 2014 and topped the Amazon Australia charts. Her Conquest trilogy, Daughter of the Last King, The Drowned Court, and The Anarchy recount the story of a Welsh noblewoman caught up in the struggle between the Welsh and the Normans in the 12th century. She was awarded a Literature Wales Writers Bursary. Her writing is a weave of researched history and imagined stories in the gaps in history.

Tracey Warr studied English at University of Hull and Oxford University, gaining a BA (Hons) and MPhil. She worked at the Arts Council, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Chatto & Windus Publishers, and edited Poetry Review magazine with Mick Imlah. She also publishes art writing on contemporary artists, and in 2016 she published a future fiction novella, Meanda, in English and French, as part of the art project, Exoplanet Lot. She recently published a series of three books, The Water Age, which are future fiction and art and writing workshop books - one for adults and one for children - on the topic of water in the future. She gained a PhD in Art History in 2007 and was Guest Professor at Bauhaus University and Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and Dartington College of Arts. Her published books on contemporary art include The Artist’s Body (Phaidon, 2000), Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture (Routledge, 2015) and The Midden (Garret, 2018). She gained an MA in Creative Writing at University of Wales Trinity St David in 2011. She is Head of Research at Dartington Trust and teaches on MA Poetics of Imagination for Dartington Arts School.

Connect withTracey Warr:

[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy'  (Conquest, Book 3)  By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
The Anarchy - Blog Tour Schedule

7 July 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Secret Mage' (Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series) By Rebecca Jaycox #Fantasy #YA

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[Blog Tour] 'Secret Mage'  (Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series) By Rebecca Jaycox #Fantasy #YA
'Secret Mage' - Blog Tour Banner

The Book:

Secret Mage
(Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series)
By Rebecca Jaycox
  • Published 9th June 2020 by Aelurus Publishing
  • Page Count: 340 pages
  • Genre: YA Fantasy

The Blurb:

Some secrets are too deadly to keep, some bloodlines too powerful to contain …

Reggie Lang might only be seventeen, but she’s had to grow up fast. Losing a father as a baby made things hard enough, but when her mom turned to alcohol for refuge, Reggie had to hold things together. She still does. If only she could escape it all …

When the other kids at school start calling her a freak, things only get tougher. What’s worse, she worries they’re right. Reggie shouldn’t be able to bring dead creatures back to life but somehow she can? If it wasn’t for her ride-or-die best friend, she’d have completely lost it by now.

When a mysterious man invades Reggie’s dreams, is it just another sign that she’s falling apart? He claims he’s her guardian – that he’s from another world. He tells her that her father’s killer is there …

… and that now an evil mage is gunning for her, destroying anything in his way.

Reggie’s always wanted to escape her life, but not like this. Does she really have to run to protect the people she loves? Who will take care of her mom? The man in her dreams says he’ll teach her about magic and protect her. That he’ll send someone he trusts to collect her. That her blood makes her powerful. It’s a hard choice, but ultimately protecting her mom is worth anything.

The magic-saturated world she discovers might be full of wonders, but the horrors are worse than she could have imagined. Can the man sent to guide her really protect her, or is the sign of his slavery an omen of what will happen to her?

Reggie will be pushed to her limits as she attempts her treacherous journey, struggling to adapt to a strange new world and learning to wield her powers. The Dark Mage isn’t easily evaded. He rules this world with a bloody fist. Because it’s blood he’s after—Reggie’s blood. And avoiding capture might just be the toughest thing Reggie has ever faced. 
[Blog Tour] 'Secret Mage'  (Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series) By Rebecca Jaycox #Fantasy #YA
'Secret Mage' - Book Cover

'Secret Mage' - Excerpt:

She ran up the stairs and closed her bedroom door, leaning against it for a moment. She placed her tea on a white wooden desk with faded pink flowers painted along its edges. Her bed stood in the middle of the room, sporting an old-fashioned wrought iron frame also painted white, and a navy blue comforter hanging over the sides. Reggie had bought the blue comforter in defense of the overtly feminine room.

She flopped on her bed, sighing with pleasure as the mattress dipped and cradled her weight. Wrapping herself in soft navy folds, she snuggled into her pillow and closed her eyes. She promised herself she would only rest for a minute, but sleep pulled her under.

Once again she sat in the high-backed chair, her face turned toward the heat of the fire. The man sat across from her, his eyes probing her face. Reggie was surprised at how comfortable she felt, despite his scrutiny; as if she knew he held the answers she sought.

“I like your duster. It’s pretty hot,” she said, breaking the silence.

His eyebrows shot up and his following laughter made her smile. He ran a hand over the leather. “Well, that’s not what I was expecting, but thank you. You’re usually much more . . .” he paused, searching for the right word.

“Bratty?” Reggie supplied

He laughed again, the deep sound soothing her nerves. “I was going to say hostile. I don’t think you’re a brat. You’ve had a busy day. How did your research mission go? Did you find out how you revived that beetle?”

“No, but I plan on looking again tonight. Or maybe I wouldn’t have to look if you’d just explain what’s going on.”

“Are you sure you’re ready to know?” he asked.

Reggie gritted her teeth, holding onto her rapidly diminishing patience. “Yes! You told me you were here to help me. Well, here I am, Professor, enlighten me!”

“You’re right. I did tell you I was here to help you.” He sighed. “It’s just people from your world are conditioned to think one way and information that doesn’t fit their worldview is usually taken badly.”

“Is something wrong with me?” she whispered.

“No,” he assured her. “You’re different than most people, but nothing is wrong with you. You see, you straddle two worlds. And the Other is finally showing you its face.”

Reggie leaned forward, her elbows on her knees. “I don’t understand. What two worlds?”

“Do you remember anything about your father?”

Surprised at the change of subject, she shook her head. Half-formed ideas flitted through her mind, but nothing took hold. “Not really. He went hiking in the woods behind the city when I was really young. He went missing. He was really handsome. He’s smiling in all the pictures I’ve seen. I mean, he seemed like a happy guy.” Reggie smiled briefly and then looked away. “My mom completely fell apart after he was gone.”

“I’m sorry,” the man said gently.

She looked at him as tears stung her eyes. She shrugged, embarrassed. “So what are you getting at? That my dad has something to do with what’s happening to me? He’s dead.”

He fingered the scar on his face. “This might be hard for you to understand. Your father wasn’t from here. He never was supposed to come here, but he was always headstrong, too curious for his own good, and very powerful,” the man said with affection. “And once he met your mother . . . I knew he was never going to be whole living in our world again.”
[Blog Tour] 'Secret Mage'  (Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series) By Rebecca Jaycox #Fantasy #YA
Rebecca Jaycox

Author Bio:

Rebecca Jaycox grew up in the tiny town of Berryman, which borders the Mark Twain National Forest and the Courtois River about 70 miles south of St. Louis. The beautiful landscape fed her imagination, and she began writing stories at age 10 and never stopped. Always seeking adventure, Rebecca moved to France after she graduated college with a journalism degree to teach English at a French high school. Bitten by the travel bug, she has recently visited Italy, Greece, Austria, Spain, and finally made it to her bucket-list destination of Istanbul last summer. Rebecca now lives in New York City with her husband, Gregory. She enjoys reading and writing fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction.

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5 July 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy

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[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
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The Book:

Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling
By Zenobia Neil
  • Publication Date: 7th July 2021
  • Publisher: Hypatia Books
  • Page Length: 345 Pages
  • Genre: Mythic retelling/ Historical Romance
[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
Ariadne Unraveled - Front Cover

The Blurb:

Ariadne, high priestess of Crete, grew up duty-bound to the goddess Artemis. If she takes a husband, she must sacrifice him to her goddess after no more than three years of marriage. For this reason, she refuses to love any man, until a mysterious stranger arrives on her island.

The stranger is Dionysus, the new god of wine who empowers women and breaks the rules of the old gods. He came to Crete seeking vengeance against Artemis. He never expected to fall in love.

Furious that Dionysus would dare meddle with her high priestess, Artemis threatens to kill Ariadne if Dionysus doesn’t abandon her. Heartbroken, the new god leaves Crete, vowing to become better than the Olympians.

From the bloody labyrinth and the shadows of Hades to the halls of Olympus, Dionysus must find a way to defy Artemis and unite with his true love. Forced to betray her people, Ariadne discovers her own power to choose between the goddess she pledged herself to and the god she loves.
[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
Ariadne Unraveled - Teaser

Ariadne Unraveled - Excerpt:

The sacred olive grove, which usually gave Ariadne such peace, was dry and brittle with the heat of the long summer. Leaves and a few neglected olives crunched under her feet as she walked with Thalia. Manko and Talos followed behind at a distance.

“I brought honey and oil if you desire it,” Thalia said.

“Thank you, Little Leopard.” Years ago when Zoe had teased Thalia for her freckles, Ariadne had given Thalia the name to show how much she liked the spots.

Ariadne had told no one that the goddess had ceased speaking to her long before Dionysus had come. The goddess did not always speak to her high priestesses, but this felt different. Sometimes a high priestess could reach the goddess by swinging to epiphany.

They stopped before the sacred swing that Daedalus had built for Pasiphae. In early spring, novice priestesses wove flower braids around the two cedar posts. Musicians would play, and priestesses and novices would sing while Ariadne swung.

But now, at the height of summer, the swing appeared dried out, as if the sacred doorway would yield nothing. Still, Ariadne would try. She smoothed her skirt down and sat on the swing.

This is as close as you will come to flying, her mother had said when she and Phaedra first learned how to pump their legs on the swings designed for children. This one was different. The pillars were wider at the top, so the ropes hung at an angle. She had to work much harder, but that often led to epiphany.

She gripped the hot ropes and kicked off. As a child, she had thought Phaedra would travel this path with her, believing the two daughters of Pasiphae would both become priestesses. Ariadne’s crescent-shaped mark had begun to tingle at her first blood, but the goddess had never spoken to Phaedra.

Ariadne pulled back and pushed. The wind rushed through her hair, whooshing in her ears. She let the rhythm carry her to and fro. Sweat beaded her brow. The sun beat down. Let this be another show of my devotion, Goddess. Please tell me what to do. She pumped her legs, leaned back on the ropes. Had she angered the goddess by marrying Dionysus? Had the offerings Thalia, Melia, and Zoe left not appeased her? Or did the goddess no longer care?

She swung higher, pumped, and extended her legs over and over again, until her mind cleared. Now the goddess could enter and convey what she wanted Ariadne to do.

Fully entranced, Ariadne let her mind search for the goddess as her body continued to swing. She traveled to the cave sanctuaries. First, the one in the hills above Knossos, but the darkened cavern where women left offerings and came to give birth was empty. Her mind’s eye flew high, leaping from one peak to another. An old priestess alone in a cavern, staring out from the rocky crag to the sea below. Two girls who had just started their moon blood climbed up to another, eager to be able to enter the sacred space for the first time.

But the goddess was not there.

Ariadne swung, searching in her mind, calling the goddess by her names.

Mistress of Wild Things, Great Goddess, Our Lady, Artemis.

She searched across the island, from temple to temple to the uninhabited wild lands. She spied mountain goats asleep in the shade, and a griffin vulture circled above a canyon. Ariadne felt herself soar with the bird, the wind on her wings, her vision keen.

Great Goddess, where are you?

This sensation of flying with the bird, of going from cave to cave was a new one. Her power had never been this strong before.

She swung higher and higher, ignoring the pain in her hands and legs. Intense heat enveloped her, and she imagined jumping straight up into the sky, directly into the sun. Bright light and searing heat surrounded her.

Granddaughter.

The Titan Helios stood before her, his bronze skin giving off its own light. His eyes glowed with the sun itself; a crown of flames danced on his pure gold hair.

I have had a vision of you, child. Your fame will be great, but you will be abandoned and remembered as a girl left behind, though you will be far more than that. Your service to Crete is near its end.

Ariadne gasped. What did he mean? She could not speak. The fire of the sun consumed her, blinding her so she lost her connection to her strength. She put her hands up to feel where she was and began to fall, out of the sky, plummeting to the earth below.

She imagined falling into the sea, being extinguished by the water, but no, she fell toward Crete, past the griffin vulture, gliding on the wind, past the sleeping mountain goats and back toward her vacant body in the dried-out grove.

Thalia screamed as Ariadne’s body pitched backwards off the swing. Ariadne opened her eyes to see a flash of blue sky, the crooked olive branches. She had flown, and now she fell. She had reached an epiphany only to be thrown back to earth. Was she to die? Was that the goddess’s message to her?
[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
Zenobia Neil

Author Bio:

Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes historical romance about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. Visit her at ZenobiaNeil.com

Connect with Zenobia Neil:

[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
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29 June 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Art of Love' (The Golden City, Book One) By A.B. Michaels #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'The Art of Love' (The Golden City, Book One) By A.B. Michaels #HistoricalFiction
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The Book:

The Art of Love
(The Golden City, Book One)
By A.B. Michaels
  • Publication Date: 4th May 2014
  • Publisher: Red Trumpet Press
  • Page Length: 360 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

Your Journey to The Golden City begins here...

FORTUNE…SACRIFICE…PASSION...and SECRETS


A tale of mystery, social morality and second chances during America’s Gilded Age,
The Art of Love will take you on an unforgettable journey from the last frontier of the Yukon Territory to the new Sodom and Gomorrah of its time - the boomtown of San Francisco.

After digging a fortune from the frozen fields of the Klondike, August Wolff heads south to the “
Golden City,” hoping to put the unsolved disappearance of his wife and daughter behind him. The turn of the twentieth century brings him even more success, but the distractions of a hedonistic mecca can’t fill the gaping hole in his life.

Amelia Starling is a wildly talented artist caught in the straightjacket of Old New York society. Making a heart-breaking decision, she moves to San Francisco to further her career, all the while living with the pain of a sacrifice no woman should ever have to make.

Brought together by the city’s flourishing art scene, Gus and Lia forge a rare connection. But the past, shrouded in mystery, prevents the two of them from moving forward as one. Unwilling to face society’s scorn, Lia leaves the city and vows to begin again in Europe.

The Golden City offers everything a man could wish for except the answers Gus is desperate to find. But find them he must, or he and Lia have no chance at all.
[Blog Tour] 'The Art of Love' (The Golden City, Book One) By A.B. Michaels #HistoricalFiction
The Art of Love - front cover

'The Art of Love' - Excerpt:

New York, 1899

Over the next several days, under the guise of carrying artwork to and from school, Lia moved her most important belongings to the apartment Sandy had rented. She packed clothing, art supplies, her jewelry, and most important, the items that would remind her of the one real treasure she was giving up. Every evening she sat and watched Little Georgie, sketching him at play and at rest, trying to memorize every part of the precious child she had brought into the world. His tiny, exquisitely formed little ears; his soft cheeks (which someday, she imagined, would grow angular like his father’s); his mouth shaped like a cupid’s bow, rooting quietly as he slept.

She gave Polly and the housekeeper time away to visit their families and spent her last day at home with her son, sitting with him on the floor of the nursery as he built tall castles out of blocks and laughed delightedly when they fell. She held up the carved wooden cow and asked him what a cow says and he said “Moo.” The sheep? “Baa.” The horse? “Eee eee eee.”

“That’s my smart little man,” she whispered, tears running unchecked down her face.

“Mama,” he said, waddling over and patting the wetness of her cheeks.

“Yes, my darling boy,” she whispered. “Mama loves you. Mama will always love you.”

She put him to bed one more time and crooned his favorite lullaby. “Sleepyhead, close your eyes. Mother’s right here beside you. I’ll protect you from harm, you will wake in my … my … ” she couldn’t go on. He lay on his back looking up at her and smiled and reached for her. She leaned down and hugged him one last time and stayed with him until he fell asleep.

You can do this you can do this you can do this, she chanted to keep herself in one piece. She filled her small suitcase, donned her coat, and went downstairs to confront George. He was working in the library. The light in the room was dim except for the lamp on his desk. It lent an intimacy to the space. It was quiet; only the tic, tic, tic of the Ormolu clock marred the silence.

“George?” she called from the doorway.

“Yes, come in,” he replied, still engrossed in the report he was reading.

She checked the pendant watch he had given her on their first anniversary. Sandy would arrive to pick her up shortly; she had only to get through this last charade. She walked over to his desk.

“George, look at me.”

George looked up, a puzzled expression crossing his face as he saw that she was dressed to go out. He frowned. “Where are you going?”

“I’m leaving you for someone else.”

He leaned back in his chair, disbelieving. “What did you say?”

“I said I’m leaving you for someone else.”

“Lia, that’s not funny.”

“It’s not meant to be.” She leaned over his desk. “Do you understand? I’m leaving this marriage and I’m committing adultery to do it. Do. You. Understand?” She drew the words out as she held his eyes.

Comprehension cast a shadow over his features, and he slowly shook his head. “No, Lia. No. You don’t have to do this.”

She stood up straight and repeated the words she’d rehearsed many times. “I love someone else and I no longer love you. I’m moving in with my lover and I’m never coming back.”

“Wait. Who—”

“Sandy,” she said.

George rolled his eyes and snorted. “Ah, yes. The sodomite.”

Lia drilled him with her stare until he felt compelled to face her again. “Ask your mother and her friends about that … and thank you for the insult to one of the finest men I know. You are making this easier.”

George stood up as if to overpower her. “I’ll fight you on this.”

It was Lia’s turn to scoff. “Will you, George? Think long and hard about that. What will you gain? What will you lose?”

“What about your son?” he asked, frustration lacing his tone. “Our son. You’re just going to abandon him?”

You can do this you can do this you can do this. “My son will be loved,” she replied. “You talk to Emmaline about that.”

“Em? What does Em know about this?”

“Nothing. Only that she is a woman with so much to give who is ready to be loved … do you understand me, George?”

He stared at her, not speaking, and she could practically see the wheels turning in his head as he processed all that she was saying, all that she implied. His own eyes welled with tears as he realized what she was doing for him, for them. He reached for her. “Lia—”

She held out her arm to ward him off. “You must hate me until this is over, it is the only way,” she whispered. “Hate me to your parents, to your friends, to your lawyer, to everyone except Em and our son, and do not call Sandy a sodomite ever again. Do you understand me?” she repeated. She heard the near hysteria in her voice.

His eyes clear with comprehension, he nodded. “What will you do?”

“Lay low until the storm passes, then San Francisco, I think.” She smiled sadly. “So, you won’t have to pay that invoice from the Institute after all.”

“Lia?” Sandy stood in the doorway to the library, hat in hand. “I’m sorry. No one answered, so I let myself in. Are … are you ready to go?”

Lia continued to look at George. After a moment she inclined her head and saw George echo her, ever so slightly. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and opened them again, smiling through her tears.

“I will send you the address where your attorney can reach me,” she said. “Polly and Mrs. Rudd will be back tomorrow. If Little … Little Georgie wakes up—”

“I know,” he assured her gently. “Sing him the lullaby.”

“That’s right,” she said, her voice breaking. “Good night, George, and … and bless you.” Lia turned and took Sandy by the arm. They stepped into the cool of the evening and began walking down the street.

Sandy patted her hand. “How did it go?”

She sighed and put her head on his shoulder. Her voice hitched. “I think I know what it feels like to stab oneself in the heart.”

“You are quite a woman, Amelia. If I were someone else, I think I’d do anything to make you mine.”

“You are just who I need you to be, dear friend. Let’s see how it all plays out.”

“Yes, let’s,” he said as they continued on their way.

Author Bio:

A native of California, A.B. Michaels holds masters’ degrees in history (UCLA) and broadcasting (San Francisco State University). After working for many years as a promotional writer and editor, she turned to writing fiction, which is the hardest thing she's ever done besides raise two boys. She lives with her husband and two spoiled dogs in Boise, Idaho, where she is often distracted by playing darts and bocce and trying to hit a golf ball more than fifty yards. Reading, quilt-making and travel figure into the mix as well, leading her to hope that sometime soon, someone invents a 25+ hour day.

Connect with A.B. Michaels:

[Blog Tour] 'The Art of Love' (The Golden City, Book One) By A.B. Michaels #HistoricalFiction
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24 June 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Queen of Blood' (The Cross and the Crown, Book 4) By Sarah Kennedy #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'Queen of Blood'  (The Cross and the Crown, Book 4)  By Sarah Kennedy #HistoricalFiction
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The Book: 

Queen of Blood
(The Cross and the Crown, Book 4)
By Sarah Kennedy

  • Publication Date: 26th March 2021
  • Publisher: Penmore Press
  • Page Length: 321 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

Queen of Blood, Book Four of the Cross and the Crown series, continues the story of Catherine Havens, a former nun in Tudor England. It is now 1553, and Mary Tudor has just been crowned queen of England. Still a Roman Catholic, Mary seeks to return England to its former religion, and Catherine hopes that the country will be at peace under the daughter of Henry VIII. But rebellion is brewing around Thomas Wyatt, the son of a Tudor courtier, and when Catherine’s estranged son suddenly returns from Wittenberg amid circulating rumours about overthrowing the new monarch, Catherine finds herself having to choose between the queen she has always loved and the son who seems determined to join the Protestants who seek to usurp her throne.
'Queen of Blood' - Front Cover

'Queen of Blood' - Excerpt:

At dinner, Benjamin studied the young men who occupied one side of the long table. The four newcomers, guided by Robbie, helped themselves to the roast lamb and bread without assistance, and they finished off five bottles of French wine among them. They had been introduced simply as Tom, John, Edward, and Peter, and they laid into the custard with a vengeance, not waiting until the dirty plates had been taken away. Diana had taken a low seat, across from the newcomers and away from the others, and Veronica appraised the strangers more than she ate. Alice kicked at Catherine under the table until her shin could withstand no more abuse and she squeezed the girl’s knee. Old Moll peeked around the corner of the doorway once, and backed away.
“Have you brought your books home with you, Robbie?” Catherine finally asked.

“Books will be burned in England,” her son said. “And I am called Robert now.”

“Who has said anything of burning books?” said Catherine.

“Books. Men. It will be all the same. I have brought my necessities and no more.”

Benjamin said, “And what is necessary for a young man these days?”

The two at the end exchanged a sideways glance and dug into their sweets. Robert said, “Men will need their consciences more than anything else now.”

“Yours must be very heavy,” said Benjamin. He rose and turned his back to tend to the fire.

Robert spoke to his mother. “The reformed priests will be forced to divorce their wives. The lands will be seized for the Pope. Some of those lands are mine.”

Catherine coughed into her hand. She scanned the four feeders. “The lands are held in my name, Robbie. Robert. Until my death. The properties that will be yours were Overton land, never the Church’s. They’re safe enough.”

“The church lands will be mine, will they not, Mother?” added Veronica. She cast her brother a glare. “If anyone must worry, Brother, I am the one, not you.”

“Anyone who is the child of a priest should worry,” said Robert. “Anything owned by a person who holds old Church property will come under the scrutiny of this new court. That may mean my land.”

“You’re chasing ghosts, boy,” said Benjamin, sitting again. “England is ruled by law, and even the queen must follow it. Is this what you came back for? To raise a rabble like the drunks in the public houses?”

Again the furtive meetings of eyes.

“I’m not worried,” said Veronica. “The queen has always been a great friend to me. And the queen’s sister, as well.”

“The queen’s sister?” said one of the four. “She will need friends. She has had too few.”

“What do you mean by that?” demanded Benjamin. He leaned onto the table, and the daughters all leaned back.

“He means that the Lady Elizabeth is reformed and the new queen is not,” said Robert. “She has been ill-treated by this Roman Mary and someone must defend her rights.” He pushed himself away and stood. “This is no time for wrangling and debate. We are weary and will retire.” The others all shoveled in last bites and wiped their faces. They bowed stiffly at Catherine and crowded out.

“What a pack of hounds he’s gathered,” said Benjamin. “And what a large set of cases they carry about with them, for men who need nothing more than their consciences.”

“They’re young, and young men are often angry,” said Catherine. “They want the world to turn on them.”

“It will turn on them, in truth, if they don’t mind their mouths,” said Benjamin. “And if they are so angry, what are they doing here? Why didn’t they stay in Wittenberg, where they have allies?”

Catherine said, “He didn’t say that they came from Wittenberg. Did you not hear them speak? I think these friends of his are all Englishmen.”
[Blog Tour] 'Queen of Blood'  (The Cross and the Crown, Book 4)  By Sarah Kennedy #HistoricalFiction
Sarah Kennedy

Author Bio:

Sarah Kennedy is the author of the Tudor historical series, The Cross and the Crown, including The Altarpiece, City of Ladies, The King’s Sisters, and Queen of Blood. She has also published a stand-alone contemporary novel, Self-Portrait, with Ghost, as well as seven books of poems. A professor of English at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia, Sarah Kennedy holds a PhD in Renaissance Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing. She has received grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Connect with Sarah Kennedy:

[Blog Tour] 'Queen of Blood'  (The Cross and the Crown, Book 4)  By Sarah Kennedy #HistoricalFiction
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16 June 2021

[Blog Tour] Discovery By Barbara Greig #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] Discovery By Barbara Greig #HistoricalFiction
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The Book:

Discovery
By Barbara Greig
  • Publication Date: 28th June 2020
  • Publisher: Matador (imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd)
  • Page Length: 336 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

Discovery: An epic tale of love, loss and courage When Elizabeth Gharsia’s headstrong nephew, Gabriel, joins Samuel Champlain’s 1608 expedition to establish a settlement at Quebec, he soon becomes embroiled in a complicated tribal conflict. As months turn into years, Gabriel appears lost to his family.

Meanwhile at home in France the death of her father, Luis, adds to Elizabeth’s anguish. Devastated by her loss, she struggles to make sense of his final words. Could her mother’s journals, found hidden among Luis’s possessions, provide the key to the mystery?

The arrival of Pedro Torres disrupts Elizabeth’s world even further. Rescued from starvation on the streets of Marseille by her brother, Pedro is a victim of the brutal expulsion of his people from Spain. Initially antagonistic, will Elizabeth come to appreciate Pedro’s qualities and to understand the complexity of her family?

Buy Links: 

Available on Kindle Unlimited ✔ Amazon UK ✔ Amazon US ✔: Amazon CA ✔: Amazon AU ✔: Waterstones ✔: Kobo ✔: Troubador ✔: WHSmith ✔: iBooks ✔: Google Play ✔ Book Depository ✔: 

[Blog Tour] Discovery By Barbara Greig #HistoricalFiction
Discovery - cover

Discovery - Excerpt:

Despite being weary, Elizabeth did not go to bed after she had taken her leave of Thomas. Waiting until she heard his heavy footsteps pass her chamber, she crept out of her room in the direction of her father’s. She paused momentarily outside Pedro’s door and wondered if he was asleep and if he had helped himself to some cold mutton from the kitchen before retiring for the night. Once again, she experienced a niggle of guilt as she had done earlier in the day; she should have invited him to eat some supper instead of acquiescing to Thomas’s demand.

On reaching Luis’s chamber, Elizabeth lifted the latch tentatively and was rewarded by the faintest of clicks as it was released. She eased the door open. Shafts of silvery light flooded the room and through the open shutters Elizabeth caught a glimpse of the full moon, riding high in a cloudless sky now that the storm had passed. Leaving the shutters open, she padded towards the bedside table and positioned the candle to give maximum light. Its yellow glow fused with the moonlight, producing an eeriness which somewhat unnerved her. Glancing around the room, to check that she was alone, Elizabeth chided herself for being fanciful.

The chest, one of two which held her father’s books, was locked. Thwarted, she took her time to think where he might have put the key. She scanned the room, puzzled over why the chest was locked, for the books had been freely available when her father was alive. The volumes, although valuable, many of which had been collected by her father’s grandfather, Hernando Gharsia, were only known to the family and to friends at the university. Her eyes alighted on the other chest in the room, the one where she had found the letter. It was worth a second look.

As before, she removed the items one by one except for the letter which was now concealed in her own jewellery casket: a piece of paper so momentous that no-one must see it, especially Thomas. However, unlike the previous occasion when she just laid it to one side, Elizabeth untied the bundle of silk. It rippled from her hands, a cascade of sea-green, the colour given depth by the ghostly light. The material was old and creased with dirt at the edges where the linen cover had slipped open but enough could be salvaged to fashion an exquisite dress. She ran her hand across the silk. Why did her father have it in his possession? Why had her mother never used it? Or told Elizabeth about it?

Returning to the task in hand, Elizabeth retrieved the candle from the table and held it low over the open chest, revealing the base and all four corners. There was no key. Disappointed, she returned her father’s treasures, ensuring that the silk was well-wrapped within the linen, and was about to take a last look around the chamber when Thomas’s deep bass boomed from the threshold. “What do you think you are doing?”

She swung round to face him, the candle-holder shaking in her hand. “You gave me such a fright!”

Thomas made a dismissive gesture. “It is your own fault – creeping like a thief in the night.”

Elizabeth did not retaliate, which immediately aroused her brother’s suspicions. Instead, she continued to stare at him, her eyes huge and defensive in the flickering flame. “Well?” he demanded.

“I wanted to look in Papa’s book-chest.”

“What for?”

“A book,” she replied lamely. She could tell he did not believe her, so she challenged him. “Why is the chest locked?”

“The contents are very valuable.”

“I know, but I can’t remember Papa ever locking it.”

“I am the head of the household now.”

“You have the key?”

“Yes.”

“Why have you locked the chest?”

“We have a guest in the house.”

Elizabeth surprised herself by rushing to the Castilian’s defence. “Pedro would never steal from us.”

“How can you be certain? I see you have given him access to the books in the parlour. He might wonder what others we have.”

“Pedro would not steal. I have come to know him while you have been away.”

“Perhaps that is so, but you know that our father has many books in his possession unsuitable for a faithful Roman Catholic.”

“Pedro would not betray us either. He is a Morisco. Papa gave him his Qur’an.”

“He did?”

“Yes.”

“True, I think it unlikely he would betray us, but we must protect ourselves, and our assets.”

“Assets?” Realisation dawned on Elizabeth. “You cannot think of selling some of Papa’s books!”

“I might if money is short.”

“But we have the vineyard, the saffron, and our trade.”

“I was not talking about us.”

“Oh Thomas,” Elizabeth warned. “You must not support the Huguenot cause now. It is too dangerous.”

“Nonsense! Now is the time to arm, to be ready for any attack from the new king. I plan to set off for Uz├Ęs the day after tomorrow to see what preparations that city is making. Then I will return to Montauban.”

There was no point in arguing, Thomas was, as he had said, the head of the family. Elizabeth walked towards the door. “I think I will go to bed.”

“What about the book you were looking for?”

“It can wait. I am tired.”

She reached the threshold, came to a halt and waited for Thomas to move. Raising the candle, she looked directly into his eyes but did not speak. He paused long enough to make her feel uncomfortable and then stepped to the side. “You can ask me for the key anytime.”
[Blog Tour] Discovery By Barbara Greig #HistoricalFiction
Barbara Greig

Author Bio:

Barbara Greig was born in Sunderland and lived in Roker until her family moved to Teesdale. An avid reader, she also discovered the joy of history at an early age. A last-minute change of heart, in the sixth form, caused her to alter her university application form. Instead of English, Barbara read Modern and Ancient History at Sheffield University. It was a decision she never regretted.

Barbara worked for twenty years in sixth form colleges, teaching History and Classical Civilisation. Eventually, although enjoying a role in management, she found there was less time for teaching and historical study. A change of focus was required. With her children having flown the nest, she was able to pursue her love of writing and story-telling. She has a passion for hiking, and dancing, the perfect antidotes to long hours of historical research and writing, as well as for travel and, wherever possible, she walks in the footsteps of her characters.

Discovery is Barbara’s second novel. Her debut novel Secret Lives was published in 2016 (Sacristy Press).

Connect with Barbara Greig:

Twitter ✔ Facebook ✔ Amazon Author Page ✔ Goodreads ✔

[Blog Tour] Discovery By Barbara Greig #HistoricalFiction
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