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

23 August 2021

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

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[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
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21 August 2021

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

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[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

18 August 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Camp Death' By Jim Ody #Horror #YA

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[Blog Tour] 'Camp Death' By Jim Ody #Horror #YA
'Camp Death' - Book Cover

The Book:

Camp Death
By Jim Ody
  • Publication Date: 30th August
  • Page Count: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Question Mark Press Horror (QMP Horror).
  • Genre: Young Adult Horror

The Blurb: 

The place had a gruesome past that nobody wanted to talk about…

Camp Deathe is now a great place to spend the summer. Ritchie soon finds a group of outsiders like himself. Teenagers who ignore the organised activities, and bunk off in the old abandoned cabins deep in the woods. The cabins that have a history.

The campfire monster stories were meant to just scare them. Nobody expected them to come true. Then one of the teenagers disappears in the middle of the night.

Something is watching them. It hides in the woods and hunts at night.

Ritchie will have to uncover the secrets of the camp and understand his own problems in order to survive.


  • Camp Death is Book 1 in a new series brought to you by Question Mark Horror. For fans of Point Horror, Christopher Pike & Nicholas Pine.

'Camp Death' - Excerpt:

The footsteps stopped altogether outside of the room. There was someone else there. She clamped her own hand over her mouth as she heard a sound. A low predatory rumble of a growl. Animalistic.

Now she was frightened. Really frightened.

A pitiful voice of a teenager pleaded, “No. Please! Who… are… argh!” There was a louder growl, but this time it exploded into a roar with movement and banging. The teenager screamed, and then made a gut-wrenching sound before everything went quiet.

And then silence.

And in some ways that was even worse.

She was acutely aware of her breathing again. Even with her hand still over her mouth it was so loud. Too loud. The beating of her heart was so hard she thought her T-shirt was moving with each beat.

Outside the wardrobe she heard padding footsteps. Slow and purposeful. They sounded like a heavy dog. The canine clip-clip of nails on the wooden floors.

Pointed claws that could swipe at her. She pictured long sharp teeth and dark, soulless, eyes.

A tear escaped down her cheek. She wanted her mum. She wanted to be in her bedroom, sat with her family, eating ice-cream. She wanted to be anywhere but here.

She felt vulnerable. Only a thin, wooden door protected her from what was only a few feet away.

She heard it sniff. First once, and then again, taking in a deep lungful.

It could smell her. It knew she was here

[Blog Tour] 'Camp Death' By Jim Ody #Horror #YA
Jim Ody 

Author Bio:

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres.

Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

Connect with Jim Ody:

[Blog Tour] 'Camp Death' By Jim Ody #Horror #YA
QMP Tour - Week One


[Blog Tour] 'Camp Death' By Jim Ody #Horror #YA
QMP Tour - Week Two

16 August 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Whirlpools of Time' By Anna Belfrage #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravel

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[Blog Tour] 'The Whirlpools of Time' By Anna Belfrage #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravel
'The Whirlpools of Time' - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Whirlpools of Time
By Anna Belfrage
  • Publication Date: 11th June 2021
  • Publisher: Timelight Press
  • Page Length: 388 Pages
  • Genre: Time travel romance, Scottish Historical Romance

The Blurb:

He hoped for a wife. He found a companion through time and beyond.

It is 1715 and for Duncan Melville something fundamental is missing from his life. Despite a flourishing legal practice and several close friends, he is lonely, even more so after the recent death of his father. He needs a wife—a companion through life, someone to hold and be held by. What he wasn’t expecting was to be torn away from everything he knew and find said woman in 2016…

Erin Barnes has a lot of stuff going on in her life. She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour. Besides, whoever Duncan may be, she can’t exactly deny the immediate attraction.

The complications in Erin’s life explode. Events are set in motion and to Erin’s horror she and Duncan are thrown back to 1715. Not only does Erin have to cope with a different and intimidating world, soon enough she and Duncan are embroiled in a dangerous quest for Duncan’s uncle, a quest that may very well cost them their lives as they travel through a Scotland poised on the brink of rebellion.

Will they find Duncan’s uncle in time? And is the door to the future permanently closed, or will Erin find a way back?

  • Trigger Warnings: Sexual Content. Violence.
[Blog Tour] 'The Whirlpools of Time' By Anna Belfrage #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravel
'The Whirlpools of Time' - Book Cover

'The Whirlpools of Time' - Excerpt:

Duncan has just taken his first ever ride in a car…

Once the contraption had come to a halt, Duncan carefully released his hold on his seat. His head throbbed but most of all his brain ached, trying to make some sense of all these new impressions. Erin opened her door and got out. He studied the door on his side, not knowing just where the locking mechanism was. She made no move to help him. Mayhap she intended to keep him here, confined in this box of metal on wheels.

He groaned and hid his face in his hands. What had happened to him?

The door opened.

“Need help?” she asked.

“Aye.” With everything, really, starting with an explanation of where he was and how he came to be here. But he didn’t say that. He just took her offered hand and gingerly dragged himself out of the vehicle. Part of him—the rational part—was intrigued by it, wanting nothing more but to understand how this piece of advanced engineering worked. The other part quivered with fear. This was some sort of magic and he’d ended up in a time of powerful sorcerers. Except that Erin did not look like a witch should look. That curly hair of hers framed a face in which the most distinctive feature were her eyes, at present studying him with concern.

“Are you alright? That gash on your forehead is bleeding.”

“It is?” He lifted his hand to his head, surprised at discovering she was right. Blood coated his fingers. “No great matter,” he said. But the world was spinning and he gritted his teeth, willing the dizziness to abate.

She slipped an arm round his waist, holding him steady. “It’s the concussion,” she said. “The nurse said you might feel the effects for some more days.”

“Likely.” He’d had one several years ago when he’d stolen a ride on one of Michael Connor’s precious brood mares and been thrown for his efforts. That time, it had been Grandma Alex looking after him.

She helped him to the door, had him steady himself against the wall as she unlocked, fiddled with something that emitted several strange high-pitched sounds, and then invited him inside. He drew in a surprised breath when she set her finger on a little protuberance and flooded the interior with light.

The room was huge. On the opposite side, large windows replaced what should have been walls and even on a day as overcast as this, Duncan could not tear his gaze away from the large expanse of water that lapped at the shoreline a stone’s throw from the windows.

“Stunning, isn’t it?” she said, and he could hear the pride in her voice.

“It is.” Truth be told, everything about the space they were standing in was stunning. White walls were hung with paintings that were mostly a collection of colours, there was a thick Turkish rug on the floor that would have had Kate Jones turning green with envy. The thought brought him up short. Was she dead yet? And then he shivered: everyone he knew was dead—since centuries back. He shook himself free of these thoughts and concentrated instead on the huge hearth with wood neatly stacked to the side and a pelt spread out before it, the wide-open mouth of the cat who’d once owned the hide frozen in a permanent snarl. Beside him, she shifted on her feet.

“I inherited it,” she said, sounding apologetic. “I’d never have bought a tiger skin.”

“Ah.”

“I guess my great-grandfather shot it before tigers became an endangered species,” she added and he didn’t understand one word of that but nodded all the same, kept on nodding as she chattered on about how few tigers there were left and how much she despised trophy hunters. He found her voice soothing even if he had never heard of trophy hunters and as to the poor tigers, how could one possibly know how many such ferocious beasts roamed the jungles?

Other than the fireplace, the room contained a large table to one side, something resembling an overgrown settle on the other. Bright red cushions and matching throws added gaiety to a room otherwise dominated by wood and black leather. An opulent space, along the lines of the Jones’ residence in Annapolis, and Duncan threw Erin a look. In her revealing breeches—very revealing—a pink shirt that barely covered her midriff and shoes in brightly coloured fabric that covered her ankles, she did not quite match the furnishings. She reminded him of a butterfly, all bright colour and flitting movements as she darted from one side of the room to the other, plumping up a cushion here, tweaking at a coverlet there.

[Blog Tour] 'The Whirlpools of Time' By Anna Belfrage #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravel
Anna Belfrage

Author Bio:

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.

Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. Her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk, has her returning to medieval times. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. Her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, is a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands.

All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.

  • Find out more about Anna, her books and her eclectic historical blog on her website, www.annabelfrage.com .

Connect with Anna Belfrage:

'The Whirlpools of Time' - Tour Schedule Banner

11 August 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Down Salem Way' (The Loving Husband Series) By Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'Down Salem Way' (The Loving Husband Series) By Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction
'Down Salem Way' - Blog Tour Banner

The Book:

Down Salem Way
(The Loving Husband Series)
By Meredith Allard
  • Publication Date: June 2019
  • Publisher: Copperfield Press
  • Page Length: 352 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

How would you deal with the madness of the Salem witch hunts?

In 1690, James Wentworth arrives in Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his father, John, hoping to continue the success of John’s mercantile business. While in Salem, James falls in love with Elizabeth Jones, a farmer’s daughter. Though they are virtually strangers when they marry, the love between James and Elizabeth grows quickly into a passion that will transcend time.

But something evil lurks down Salem way. Soon many in Salem, town and village, are accused of practicing witchcraft and sending their shapes to harm others. Despite the madness surrounding them, James and Elizabeth are determined to continue the peaceful, loving life they have created together. Will their love for one another carry them through the most difficult challenge of all?
[Blog Tour] 'Down Salem Way' (The Loving Husband Series) By Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction
The Loving Husband Trilogy - Banner
[Blog Tour] 'Down Salem Way' (The Loving Husband Series) By Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction
 'Down Salem Way' - Cover

'Down Salem Way' - Excerpt:

“Are you a Witch?” he asked.

I laughed. I was ready for the joke. Dear God, please, I begged in the silence of my mind, this has to be a joke. But I knew. No matter no matter. This was no joke. The man had come to take Lizzie away.

“Did you sign a pact with the Devil in your own blood? How long have you been a Witch?” The constable’s eyes blazed with haughty fire.

“I am no Witch, sir,” Lizzie said. I was proud of her. Her voice was strong, her back was straight, and she held the man’s eyes.

“I can assure you,” I said, “my wife is no Witch. What proof have you for such groundless accusations against my wife?”

“We know she’s a Witch because witnesses have spoken against her.” He turned to Lizzie. “Why don’t you confess?”

“I am no Witch, sir,” Lizzie said again. She backed into me, hoping, I’m certain, that I could protect her. Dear God, why could I not get her away sooner? Just one day sooner? I have been wanting to take Lizzie to England for as long as we have been married, but we are here and not there and now my wife is in Hell. I am in a different kind of Hell but tis Hell all the same.

Whatever turmoil I felt, as though my innards quivered and I would heave everything I had ever eaten, I had to hold myself together. When the pock-faced man showed us the arrest warrant where Lizzie was named, she sobbed. I put my arm round her waist. I would be her rock. I would keep her strong.

“I have a warrant for your arrest, Goody Wentworth, and you must come with me.”

“Mistress Wentworth,” I said in my most haughty tone, but what did such distinctions matter then? I tried to stop him from taking Lizzie but the man knew what he was about. He had done this many times before. When Father arrived I ran to him, shaking him, needing his help as I hadn’t since I was a boy. And then I remembered. Father is an affluent member of Society, a Selectman of the Church. Surely, he could do something.

“Father, please,” I begged, “we have to help Lizzie.”

Father watched the constable bind Lizzie in chains. Lizzie looked fluid, as though she melted away. She tried to pat the bump where our babe waits, but the irons were too heavy. I ran to her, and as she reached for me she tripped and I caught her in my arms. The constable jerked her away. My life, he took her away.

Father did what he could. “What business have you with Mistress Wentworth?” he yelled.

“I have a warrant for her,” the pock-faced man said.

Father grabbed the paper and read it. He shook his head. There was nothing he could do. I raged at the pock-faced man. I promised Lizzie I would never leave her ever and twas up to me to put an end to this.

“You dare take an innocent woman away on false charges?” I yelled. “Ask her to recite the Lord’s Prayer! Ask her to recite the Ten Commandments! You think Witches cannot speak them because the Devil won’t allow it. Test her! If you knew the Commandments yourself you would know the ninth—thou shalt not bear false witness!”

The constable grinned. “If you know the Bible so well then you also know 1 Peter 5:8.” He waited for my response, but my mind was blank. Father knew.

“Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

“And from Exodus?” asked the constable.
Father slumped forward. “Thou shalt not suffer a Witch to live.” “My wife is no Witch,” I said. “She is an innocent woman. Please. Let her go and we shall leave here and never return.”

[Blog Tour] 'Down Salem Way' (The Loving Husband Series) By Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction
Meredith Allard

Author Bio:

Meredith Allard is the author of the bestselling paranormal historical Loving Husband Trilogy. Her sweet Victorian romance, When It Rained at Hembry Castle, was named a best historical novel by IndieReader. Her nonfiction book, Painting the Past: A Guide for Writing Historical Fiction, was named a #1 New Release in Authorship and Creativity Self-Help by Amazon. When she isn’t writing she’s teaching writing, and she has taught writing to students ages five to 75. She loves books, cats, and coffee, though not always in that order. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Visit Meredith online at www.meredithallard.com.

Connect with Meredith Allard:

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6 August 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Kingfisher' (The Kingfisher Series, Book One) By D. K. Marley #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravel

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]Blog Tour] 'Kingfisher' (The Kingfisher Series, Book One) By D. K. Marley #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravel
Kingfisher - Blog Tour Banner

The Book:

Kingfisher
(The Kingfisher Series, Book One)
By D. K. Marley

  • Publication Date: June 28, 2021
  • Publisher: The White Rabbit Publishing (HFC Press)
  • Page Length: 530 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Time Travel

The Blurb:

The past, future, and Excalibur lie in her hands.

Wales, 1914. Vala Penrys and her four sisters find solace in their spinster life by story-telling, escaping the chaos of war by dreaming of the romantic days of Camelot. When the war hits close to home, Vala finds love with Taliesin Wren, a mysterious young Welsh Lieutenant, who shows her another world within the tangled roots of a Rowan tree, known to the Druids as ‘the portal’.

One night she falls through, and suddenly she is Vivyane, Lady of the Lake – the Kingfisher – in a divided Britain clamoring for a High King. What begins as an innocent pastime becomes the ultimate quest for peace in two worlds full of secrets, and Vala finds herself torn between the love of her life and the salvation of not only her family but of Britain, itself.

"It is, at the heart of it, a love story – the love between a man and a woman, between a woman and her country, and between the characters and their fates – but its appeal goes far beyond romance. It is a tale of fate, of power, and, ultimately, of sacrifice for a greater good." - Riana Everly, author of Teaching Eliza and Death of a Clergyman

Buy Links:

]Blog Tour] 'Kingfisher' (The Kingfisher Series, Book One) By D. K. Marley #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravel
Kingfisher - Book Cover

'Kingfisher' - Excerpt:

Excerpt from Chapter 2 “The Rowan Tree”

Five pairs of eyes gazed up at my face when I approached, all in various states of inebriation—glazed, half-closed, wide-eyed, curious, and another with a look I dared not label from the leer on his lips. I raised my chin and steeled my courage, holding out the two pennies.

“Is there a fortune-teller here?” They looked askance at one another, murmuring and gesturing. One of them, a thin wiry man with a snaggled grin, slurred out an answer.

“Dw I dymm yn dallt.”

He did not understand. I smiled, my mind searching the Welsh tongue still tucked beneath my English facade. Father insisted on his girls speaking English on an everyday basis, especially when visiting London or attending the Season in search of husbands, as he concluded the high-born aristocrats of London society never stooped to learn the language of the least populated section of Great Britain. He was right, for even Edward, the Prince of Wales, knew only a smattering of the tongue. Even our house staff he hired from Dorset and Warwick instead of any locals to ensure we maintained the speech. In truth, his insistence on all things English piqued my curiosity on more than one occasion. I dared never ask, though.

“Dach chi’n siarad Saesnag?” I answered back, hoping at least one of them spoke English.

Each of them, in turn, shook their head. I held up the coins again, this time asking for the fortune-teller in their language.

“Ble mae’r rhifwr ffortiwn?”

The same wiry man stood up, brushed the dust from his trousers, and motioned for me to follow him. He approached one of the wagons and tapped his swarthy knuckles against the frame.

“Kezia,” he belted out. “Mae gennych fusnes ac arian.”

The woman, upon hearing that she had business and money, peeked out through the small square side window. She looked as ancient as the Black Mountains, grey hair, furrowed brow, and eyes full of fog.

She opened the door, her twig-like fingers beckoning for the coins and curling over them once obtained.

“Come in,” she said, her voice unmatching her appearance—wispy and soothing, yet rich like fine boxed Belgian chocolate.

I glanced back to the carriage and waved to Isla who stared out the window, biting her fingernails, while Harri stood near the campfire with the other men, accepting an offer of a cup of something to warm his gut. Blowing Isla a kiss, I mounted the steps and entered the cramped quarters.

The woman cackled softly and pointed towards a chair across from a round table in the centre of the room. I sat, taking in the surroundings. A fire burned in a iron-belly stove at one end of the room, the scented heat inundating the ambience with oakwood and anise. Snatches of herbs dangled from a hemp rope along the ceiling and rich burgundy scarves embroidered with botanical scenes lined the walls, as well as decorating my chair and the cushions behind my back. The air exuded mystery.

The woman, Kezia, blended into the atmosphere as naturally as a butterfly on a flower, even in her worn, aged state. She poured out two cups of tea and sat across from me, smiling a quite uncomfortable yet knowing grin.

“Ye sister not want to come?” Her question billowed out and her dark midnight eyes narrowed.

“My sister? No, she did not . . . how did you know?”

She chuckled and took a sip of her tea, tapping one finger to the side of her head. “I am knowing many things.” Leaning forwards, she stared deep into my face. “Like this . . . I know who ye are, my lady of waters.”

A sudden flush of nausea flooded my stomach and I touched my hand to my neck, my pulse racing beneath my fingertips.

“Lady of waters, what do you mean?”

She leaned back, draping her arms over the thick brocade upholstered arm chair she sat on. “Is this not why ye came . . . to hear ye ffortiwn?”

The nausea morphed into fear and I made a move to stand, but she stilled me with her words.

“I remember ye mam-gu, ye nain,” she said. “Illya was her name, was it not?”

“Wha . . . what?” I sputtered, easing back down. “How?”

“Ooh, ‘tis fifty years now, I think, when she died. I knew her before the Major, before India . . . that journey kill’d her, ye know.”

I huffed through my nose, an sardonic sneer as I pushed my teacup away and crossed my arms. “No, I wouldn’t know.”

She replied with a wink and a chuckle. “No, I suspect ye wouldn’t living with secrets now, would ye?”

“Secrets?”

She snickered and struck a white-tipped matchstick, lighting a thick beeswax candle in the centre of the table. The flickering flame danced in her pupils and she held the smouldering stick in between her thumb and forefinger; the smoke wafting in two slender entangling streams.

“White phosphorous . . .” she said, “very deadly, if eaten. One pack of matchsticks can kill a person.”

I arched my eyebrow, uncertain if I ought to sip any more of the tea. She blew away the smoke with a blast of breath, finishing off with a wave of her hand and crooked a smile.

“Useful information, is it not?” She added.

“I suppose, if you need to know such a thing.”

She nodded in agreement and pointed to my teacup. “Go on, finish the tea and with the last few drops, swirl the leaves and hand me the cup.”

With much trepidation, I finished the strong brew, deciding if she indeed poisoned me, at least Harri and Isla were close enough to ensure a rescue.

Handing her the cup, I waited for a moment as she turned the cup clockwise from the handle, her slight hum pausing once, twice, and a third time, with a ‘hmm’ or ‘ahh’.

She set the cup down and pointed to a long line close to the rim, formed by the residue of the leaves.

“Ye will take a long journey . . . far away from here. And here . . . near the bottom . . . the ‘T’. Do ye see it?”

I squinted and tilted my head, unsure, but agreed any ways. “Yes . . . I think.”

“This is for love . . . ye will look for this letter in your search for love. And the last, ye are a traveller as ye grandmother before ye.”

My heart leapt in my chest. “And where does it show that?”

She smiled and pushed the cup away, wrapping her warm hands over mine. “I need not the cup to see that.” Raising her hand, she pointed her forefinger and jabbed her rounded fingernail into my chest, right above my pounding heart. “Here . . . in ye soul and in ye eyes.”

The words lured me in with a strong pulling sensation, creeping into my core. “You said you remember her,” I said, hoping to draw more information from her about my past.

“Yes, she was like me.”

“A gipsy traveller, you mean . . . a Kale . . . from Caernarfon.”

She snickered. “Ooh, much more than just a Kale . . . for she knew the ways of travellers from long ago. She was a woman Bard with a voice like a nightingale—her favourite was Keats . . . do ye have a favourite?”

“Yes . . . I do. I adore Tennyson.”

“Ah,” she acknowledged, her eyes alighting with a long ago remembrance. “Of course, ye love Tennyson . . . the days of King Arthur. Romantics, both poets in search of escape, and dreamers of days long gone.” She narrowed her eyes. “Ah, I am seeing doubt in ye eyes. You have listened to rumours that we gipsy folk are ignorant . . . illiterate, even. Some are, no doubt, but ye nain was special, like a muse of fire to poets. She used to read poetry to me late into the night. One of her favourite lines was from Keats—‘O, for a life of sensations rather than of thoughts!’”

I grinned at the quote. “I know that line . . . my mother recites that quite often. But, what do you mean ‘of course, I love Tennyson’?”

She chuckled and lifted the teacup, tilting the rim for me to see inside. “What do ye see when ye look inside?”

I thought, for a moment, that her question answering my question was her attempt to evade, but as I stared into the cup, a clear picture formed in my thoughts. I shook my head and touched my fingers to my temple, just above my right eyebrow.

“The roots of a tree . . . like my ancestry reaching deep into the soul . . . searching for water . . .”
She cackled, reached across and touched my arm. From her fingertips, the goose flesh sped across my skin, all the way to the crown of my head. She narrowed her eyes and quoted another line. “Lo! I must tell a tale of chivalry, for large white plumes are dancing in mine eyes.”

Keat’s poetic words compulsed from my heart and throat. “Last night I lay in bed, there came before my eyes that wonted thread of shapes, and shadows, and remembrances . . .”

She continued. “You know the Enchanted Castle—it doth stand upon the rock on the border of a lake . . . ye know it well enough, where it doth seem a mossy place, a Merlin’s hall, a dream . . .”

And I added, without volition. “Here do they look alive to love and hate, to smiles and frowns; they seem a lifted mound above some giant, pulsing underground.”

She leaned towards me, her eyes narrowing. “And from them comes a silver flash of light, as from the westward of a summer’s night; or like a beauteous woman’s large blue eyes gone mad through olden songs and poesies . . . it is a flaw in happiness to see beyond our bourn—it forces us in summer skies to mourn, it spoils the singing of the nightingale . . .”

“I have a tale to tell,” I rhymed. “And yet, I cannot speak it.”

“And yet, your dreams speak the tale, do they not?”

I shook my head, scattering her question tingling the hairs on my arm, and rubbed my brow again.

“What . . . what just happened?” I asked.

She answered only with another low chuckle.

Even with much eye-lash blinking and lip-biting, confusion bubbled inside me, fearing what just passed between me and the gipsy. Looking over to the empty tea cup, I felt a sudden fear that more than tea, indeed, poured from her kettle and down my throat.

]Blog Tour] 'Kingfisher' (The Kingfisher Series, Book One) By D. K. Marley #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravel
D. K. Marley

Author Bio:

D. K. Marley is a Historical Fiction author specializing in Shakespearean adaptations, Tudor era historicals, Colonial American historicals, alternate historicals, and historical time-travel. At a very early age she knew she wanted to be a writer. Inspired by her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, she dove into writing during her teenage years, winning short story awards for two years in local competitions. After setting aside her writing to raise a family and run her graphic design business, White Rabbit Arts, returning to writing became therapy to her after suffering immense tragedy, and she published her first novel “Blood and Ink” in 2018, which went on to win the Bronze Medal for Best Historical Fiction from The Coffee Pot Book Club, and the Silver Medal from the Golden Squirrel Book Awards. Within three years, she has published four more novels (two Shakespearean adaptations, one Colonial American historical, and a historical time travel).

When she is not writing, she is the founder and administrator of The Historical Fiction Club on Facebook, and the CEO of The Historical Fiction Company, a website dedicated to supporting the best in historical fiction for authors and readers. And for fun, she is an avid reader of the genre, loves to draw, is a conceptual photography hobbyist, and is passionate about spending time with her granddaughter. She lives in Middle Georgia U.S.A. with her husband of 35 years, an English Lab named Max, and an adorable Westie named Daisy.

Connect with D. K. Marley:

Kingfisher - Blog Tour Schedule Banner

2 August 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Steampunk Cleopatra' By Thaddeus Thomas #HistoricalFantasy

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'Steampunk Cleopatra' - Tour Banner

The Book:

Steampunk Cleopatra
By Thaddeus Thomas
  • Publication Date: 21st May 2021
  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Page Length: 419 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy

The Blurb:

Amani, a companion of Cleopatra, seeks to rediscover Egypt's suppressed science and history. She is the beloved of her princess become queen, but that may not be enough to overcome the system they've inherited. If she fails, her country and Cleopatra, both, could fall. History meets fantasy, and together, they create something new. Experience an intelligent thriller about star-crossed lovers and an ancient science that might have been.

Buy Links:

'Steampunk Cleopatra' - Front Cover

'Steampunk Cleopatra' - Excerpt:

Amani had sailed for Rome in early spring, north to the straight of Messana, where the snotgreen sea wedged itself between Sicily and the tip of the Italian peninsula. There, Dio and Theodotus had stood with her, admiring the coasts on either side.

“Have you read of the Roman siege of Syracuse, when it was still a Greek colony?” she asked.

Both men said they had not. Amani assumed they were lying, but if they offered lies in kindness, she would accept them.

“Archimedes held off their ships with a weapon that could set a ship ablaze from 300 cubits,” she said.

“Why don’t we have such machines now?” Dio asked.

“When the Romans finally took Syracuse, they killed Archimedes,” she said. “Many tried to guess how the weapon operated, but none of their designs ever worked.”

“How do you think it operated?” Theodotus asked.

Amani looked at him, and now, it was her turn to lie. “I don’t know.”

There was some truth in that. She felt certain they had added water to a heated metal cannon and the resulting steam fired a large ceramic projectile. On impact, the projectile released the mysterious Greek Fire, which consumed entire ships and even burned underwater. What Greek Fire was, no one knew.

In Messana, the breakwaters curled north, like a mother's arm, and they sought permission to harbor a few days. The city sent out supplies and an uneasy welcome. They would be better off to hurry along the last days of the journey and reach Ostia before the weather turned.

The skies showed no signs of ill-fortune. The leaders conferred with the captain and agreed to press on. They followed the coast and reached Ostia, a giant port at the mouth of the Tiber River. Tugboats guided them to the quay.

The city's ordered buildings shone clean and white. Amani almost felt safe as they awaited inspection. Two weeks had passed since they left Alexandria. Another day's journey by land would take them to Rome.

They spent that night in proper beds, free of the movement of the water and the sound of tortured wood.

Amani rose early, and she and Dio sat outside the city, staring off at the green hills and the roads. One would soon take them away to Rome.

“I need to ask something that may offend you,” she said.

Dio took a sip of wine and set down his chunk of bread. “At my age, I'm not easily offended.”

“I owe you. Don't think I've forgotten.”

“I won't.”

“You've eaten with Ptolemy,” she said.

“I have.”

“You've laughed with him and paid him homage, and now you travel to Rome as his accuser. I don't understand.”

“I haven't come to accuse him but to defend our people and our Pharaoh against his accusations. We are all here for one reason, to save our lives. Each of us has transitioned into the power structure under Berenice. Whether it’s her or her father who wears the crown, someone must care for Alexandria and run Egypt. The work continues without him, but he will see our care as treason.”

She wanted to argue against his reasoning, but could not. Instead, she nodded and ate her grapes, and they sat in silence as weightless clouds soared above the endless green. It was a wholly different beauty, and she wondered if she would ever see Egypt again.

Author Bio:

Thaddeus Thomas lives on the Mississippi River with his wife and three cats. Steampunk Cleopatra is his first novel, but he has a short story collection available at his website, ThaddeusThomas.com. There he also runs a book club where readers can receive indie book reviews and recommendation. His second book—Detective, 26 AD—releases July 9th and follows Doubting Thomas as he is conscripted to be an investigator for Pontius Pilate.

Connect with Thaddeus Thomas:

[Blog Tour] 'Steampunk Cleopatra' By Thaddeus Thomas #HistoricalFantasy
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30 July 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Abdication' By Justin Newland #HistoricalFantasy #SuspenseThriller

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[Blog Tour] 'The Abdication'  By Justin Newland #HistoricalFantasy #SuspenseThriller
The Abdication - Book Tour Poster

The Book:

The Abdication 
By Justin Newland
  • Publication Day : 28th July by Matador
  • Page Count : 328 pages
  • Genre: Suspense Thriller / Historical Fantasy 

The Blurb:

The town of Unity sits perched on the edge of a yawning ravine where, long ago, a charisma of angels provided spiritual succour to a fledgeling human race. Then mankind was granted the gift of free will and had to find its own way, albeit with the guidance of the angels. The people’s first conscious act was to make an exodus from Unity. They built a rope bridge across the ravine and founded the town of Topeth. For a time, the union between the people of Topeth and the angels of Unity was one of mutual benefit. After that early spring advance, there had been a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.

Following the promptings of an inner voice, Tula, a young woman from the city, trudges into Topeth. Her quest is to abide with the angels and thereby discover the right and proper exercise of free will. To do that, she has to cross the bridge – and overcome her vertigo. Topeth is in upheaval; the townsfolk blame the death of a child on dust from the nearby copper mines. The priests have convinced them that a horde of devils have thrown the angels out of Unity and now occupy the bridge, possessing anyone who trespasses on it. Then there’s the heinous Temple of Moloch!

The Abdication is the story of Tula’s endeavour to step upon the path of a destiny far greater than she could ever have imagined.
[Blog Tour] 'The Abdication'  By Justin Newland #HistoricalFantasy #SuspenseThriller
The Abdication - Book Cover

'The Abdication' - Excerpt:

The Welcome Boulder

Tula’s swollen ankle ached as she trudged up the mountain. It had moaned incessantly, ever since she had left her home in the city before embarking on this journey. Then again, it had always hurt. Perhaps since birth: she could never remember that far back. She had complained to her parents, who could not afford to get it seen by the doctor.

A gust of wind whipped up particles of sand which spiralled in the fractious air ahead of her. She squinted and pulled her keffiyeh up to cover her nose. At this altitude, the air was a thin gruel, offering paltry nourishment. Her gut was rumbling, but that was nothing new. She had walked uphill all afternoon from Seliga in the valley below and now she was gasping for breath. Her backpack seemed to weigh as much as that boulder up ahead. A vulture circled effortlessly in the azure blue sky. There was another one above the next valley, griffon vultures searching for prey; so long as they left her alone.

Wisps of straw-coloured grass sprouted beside the graves of an unkempt cemetery. The top of the surrounding low stone wall was speckled with reddish spots, like splashes of copper rain. A few of the gravestones had fallen over and kissed the parched earth. This was the summit of a mountain and even the grand old yew trees huddled in one side of the cemetery were bending to the east, bowing to the omnipotent goddess of the winds in her distant unseen shrine.

Between the cemetery and the town lay a vibrant carpet of blue thorns; large cones of tiny blue flowers surrounded by a spiky, electric-blue collar.

Up ahead were the town walls, shimmering in the waves of heat rising from the scorched land. Finally, her journey’s end was in sight. On the side of the road just outside the town’s South Gate was the Welcome Boulder. It towered above her, which was not that difficult because in the city she was constantly mocked as the shortest amongst her peers. Most of the boulder was coated in that brownish-red dust. Towards the top of it was the immortal sign that declared the town’s identity:

Welcome to Topeth.
The First Free Town and
‘The Top’ Town of all.

Long before her arrival, her parents and teachers had fired her imagination with their stories about Topeth. As the sign proudly declared, it was once ‘The Top’ town, not only because it was perched precariously on the highest mountain in the range, but also because it was the living exemplar of humanity’s stumbling progress. Many years before, that epic story had featured Herman, the First Man. It told how he had ushered in a brilliant new freedom for mankind – hence the First Free Town. Yet, after that early spring advance, there was now a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.

Many people asked whether their forefathers had used that freedom wisely. Some answered with a resounding ‘Yes’, but Tula had doubts. That was why she was in Topeth; to find out for herself.

On either side of the entrance road was a row of tall, spiky cacti, standing like pale, bloated fish out of water.

To the west of the town was a large area of open ground. Huge scars pitted the land which was dotted with peaked mounds of reddened earth. A gnarled ghost haunted the land. Crouched amidst its shadow lands were rickety sheds and wooden shacks, all dowsed in the same brown-red dust. Even the town’s walls were tainted in the same hue. This was the infamous Topeth open cast copper mine.

In these dangerous times, many towns shut their gates well before sundown. Thankfully, the main gates to Topeth were still open.

An old man sat cross-legged with his back against one of the gate posts, whittling a long, rod-like piece of wood and chewing on a wedge of tobacco. What an obnoxious substance. Yellow pouting lips glared at her from within a grey, untended beard. On his head, he wore a scruffy, black and white chequered keffiyeh.

“Who’s there?” He completed the question by spitting prodigiously onto the earth.

“Me, I’m Tula. And you are?”

“Can’t you see I’m blind or are you as well?” The man was gruff. He faced her. Empty sockets peered into the void.

“No, I mean yes. I’m sorry, I didn’t notice. I’m exhausted. It’s been a long day.”

“Don’t recognise your voice. You new here?”

“Yes, sir. I’ve just arrived.”

“Got your pass?”

A blind man was asking her for a pass to travel. That she had not expected. She pulled out a wrinkled piece of paper from her knapsack and hesitated, not knowing what to do with it.

“Give it here,” he demanded. “I may be blind, but do you think I can’t see right through you?”

“No, sir. I’m sure you can. It’s just that…” She gave him the travel permit.

He held it to his cheek. He rubbed it first against his left cheek, then against his right, and nodded to himself, as if reading its contents with inner eyes. She gazed at him wide-eyed.

He handed it back to her. “Go on. All in order here.”

“What did you just do?”

“When I hold something against my cheeks, I get pictures in my mind.”

“I never knew that was even possible. What did you see?”

“I saw a fair-haired young woman with blue eyes, sparkling like rays of sunlight dancing on a flowing river. I saw a smile that warms the day, a pretty face. Your fringe and pale skin and freckles will drive the young men crazy.”

“That’s kind of you to say,” she said, failing to hide a blush. “May I ask you something?”

“Carry on. You’re good at asking questions.”

No one was going to intimidate her. No one. 

[Blog Tour] 'The Abdication'  By Justin Newland #HistoricalFantasy #SuspenseThriller
Justin Newland

About The Author:

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers - that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day

He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

His Books:

  • The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind.
  • The Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times.
  • Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of the Industrial Revolution.
  • His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery.

Connect with Justin Newland

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