The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.
But the invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer at the Moonrise Bookstore where she works voluntarily, than keeping up appearances with Brooklyn socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.
But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy more of the freedom she has been longing for. For one, she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.
Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.s
It is up to Peggy to overcome the oppression of her family and clear the name of her vulnerable lover, before she or her beloved sister become the next victims of Dreamland.
Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.
About the Author
“Dreamland” is Nancy Bilyeau’s fifth novel of historical suspense. She is the author of the best-selling historical thriller “The Blue” and the Tudor mystery series “The Crown,” “The Chalice,” and “The Tapestry,” on sale in nine countries.
Nancy is a magazine editor who has lived in the United States and Canada. She studied History and English Literature at the University of Michigan. After moving to New York City, she worked on the staffs of “InStyle,” “Good Housekeeping,” and “Rolling Stone.” She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the Research Foundation of CUNY and a regular contributing writer to “Town & Country” and “Mystery Scene Magazine.”
Nancy’s mind is always in past centuries but she currently lives with her husband and two children in Forest Hills in the borough of Queens. “Dreamland” is her first novel set in her adopted hometown of New York City.
Series: Pages of Darkness, #2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Fantasy
A cursed child, a dangerous path, and a price to pay…
Six-fingered Mary Sparrow dreams of escape from the brothel that is the only world she knows. But when a mysterious old man drives her friend to madness, she begins to fear for her life.
Toby Chyrche also hopes for a better future, away from the confines of the tailor’s shop where it seems his fate is set in stone. So when a chance meeting with an old man at the brothel offers him a different path, he is only too eager to accept. Then the discovery of an ancient book of magic throws a new and shocking light onto the past – his mother had a brother, and that brother was a witch.
As the old man’s shadow over Bankside lengthens, Mary is drawn into the growing web of darkness. Unable to escape its reach, she turns to Toby for help. But Toby has daemons of his own to face. Will possession of the book be enough to protect them from the old man’s power? And what price will they have to pay for victory?
For the Sorcerer’s Whore, nothing is as it seems …
This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
25 years have passed since the first fateful production of Macbeth, and the forces of evil are about to be reawoken.
The Sorcerer’s Whore, is Samantha Grossers second book in the Pages of Darkness Series. A wickedly delightful, gripping and immersive tale that totally absorbed me into its hauntingly dark characters.
The setting takes place 25 years after Shakespeare’s Witch. The book reintroduces some of the characters from the first installment, and introduces us to some new characters as well.
Six-fingered Mary Sparrow dreams of escaping from her line of work in Bankside, London. In her lot in life there is no room for real love. She is confused and torn by unsettling emotions she has for a new handsome client. Living in the stews of Cardinal Cap is the only world she knows, it’s a place of distractions and debauchery. Survival is the main priority, and Mary must keep her wits about her.
Dark plans from a mysterious older gentleman may have her questioning her safety and fearing for life.
Toby Chyrche, also hopes and dreams for a better future, after the death of his father, dark shocking secrets come to light.
A chance meeting with an older gentleman at a brothel offers Toby a different journey in life. One he is only too eager to accept, which takes him down a dark pathway. Nothing is what it seems, a discovery of an old book of magic which once was lost, and now found, along with past revelations sets events in motion in this well layered novel.
In this dramatic sweeping plot, I was immediately drawn in and I devoured every single page of this wickedly entertaining book. Once I started reading I was hooked and engaged in this creative storyline. It wasn’t an easy task to pull away from the book.
This intense and riveting novel, has well developed characters and an enjoyable storyline. The authors writing had me hooked from the very first chapter.
Grossers, intricately plots a character driven romance that fights poignancy through the complex conflicts of fate. Dark seductive magic drives the story forward with several interesting twists that make the ending all the more anticipated and satisfying. I was immediately pulled into the story, totally intrigued by the premise, and fully absorbed in this suspenseful page-turner.
What really stood out for me was how the author included the religious strife that was coming to head and political drama it caused in the area around Bankside London with Puritan belief system. It caused a climactic change in the area that once allowed prostitution and the creativeness the theater brought with it. Puritan beliefs that stifled and frighten the population to the living conditions and strict code of conduct that restricted woman into believing that sexuality was only for procreation for children and anything else was considered evil and that of satan and sinful. The Authors creative and atmospheric details that captures the turbulent times of 1632
A Seductive, and wickedly alluring gritty tale that was such an irresistible read.
I am looking forward to the next installment in this memorizing dark a provocative and alluring series.
About the Author
Historical fiction author Samantha Grosser originally hails from England, but now lives on the sunny Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband, son and a very small dog called Livvy.
Combining a lifelong love of history with a compulsion to write that dates from childhood, Samantha is now bringing her passion for telling compelling stories to the world.
Samantha has an Honours Degree in English Literature and taught English for many years in Asia and Australia. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place and The Officer’s Affair, and The King James Men, set during the turbulent early years of 17th Century.
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of The Sorcerer’s Whore! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US & UK only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
for a house on the site of the present No. 49, Bankside, and for the narrow alley which runs down beside it,
Photo taken from the, British History Online is a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a primary focus on the period between 1300 and 1800. We aim to support the learning, teaching and research of our users from around the world.
BHO was founded by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust in 2003.
The Dragonslayer Book Tour and Giveaway TOUR SCHEDULE:
Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (July 2, 2019)
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Sold by: Macmillan
ASIN: B07CRFSDLS Author of one of BuzzFeed ‘s Greatest Fantasy Books of 2013
Do you have what it takes to be a Dragonslayer?
In this epic, adventure fantasy series, an unlikely hero, Guillot dal Villevauvais, must overcome his disgraced past as a failed member of the King’s guard and hunt down a ferocious beast thought long extinct. A dangerous quest, led by the swordsmanship of Gill, the magical powers of Solène, a barmaid nearly burned to the stake, and the goodness of Prince Bishop. From the critically acclaim fantasy author Duncan M. Hamilton, this fast-moving series is a must-read for fans of epic, sword-and-sorcery adventures.
–Successfully mixes swords, sorcery, and skullduggery with complex characters. Dumas fans will especially appreciate the faux-French setting. This is pure adventure fun with plenty for epic fantasy readers to enjoy.–
In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.
Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?
On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacingthe young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.
Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?
You can purchaseDragonslayer at the following Retailers:
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
– 6 Winners will receive a Copy of DRAGONSLAYER by Duncan M. Hamilton.
-The Author Successfully mixes swords, sorcery, and skullduggery with complex characters. Dumas fans will especially appreciate the faux-French setting. This is pure adventure fun with plenty for epic fantasy readers to enjoy.–
Mirabaya, a country similar to medieval France, is ruled by a young, untried king who should be easily led by Amaury, the head of the church. Amaury knows power is often best wielded frombehind the throne, out of sight, out of range of an assassin…. Threatening his plans is news of a dragon, a creature thought destroyed centuries ago. How best to deal with this nuisance?
Duncan M. Hamilton
The Dragonslayer Trilogy:
2. Knight of the Silver Circle
3. Servant of the Crown
This book was received as an ARC from The Author,
Duncan M. Hamilton and the Publisher Tor Teen, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
Once a member of the King’s personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais
is now a middle age over weight, and living his life down a bottle. Gill needs to resurrect himself if he is actually going to accomplish the daunting task set before him ….and become the eponymous Dragonslayer once more , …Our hero
Selene character slowly builds but she just wants to have a simple life. A character in this book that I was connected to, I was really intrigued by the undefined nature of her raw magic I just wished there was more of her in the storyline. Maybe I am just being biased.
Together they join forces to take down a vengeful dragon, Alpheratz
The storyline develops as millennium of old secrets are brought to the surface.
This Old school Fantasy World-building but it felt somewhat light. Personally I think the book is actually more character driven. The Authors creative and engaging dialogue and writing style, sucked me into this heroic, adventure fantasy, world.
Together they join forces as a millennium of old secrets are brought to the surface, What really stood out for me was how the author descriptive voice of the Dragons POV. Hamilton draws on our sympathies for the dragons and gives them emotions.
This is the First installment in Hamilton’s Trilogy, And I am already looking forward to reading more. The author gives little subtle hints of empire he is building.
I think there is going to be more back story brought to life in the following books in this series.
Photo Credit: Jason Clarke
Duncan M. Hamiltonis the Amazon best selling writer of fantasy novels and short stories, including The Wolf of the North and the Society of the Sword trilogy. He has Master’s Degrees in History and Law, and practised as a barrister before writing full time. Duncan is particularly interested in the Medieval and Renaissance periods, from which he draws inspiration for his stories.
A Bad Breed
(Gaslamp Gothic, #3)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: May 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling
A creature out of folklore. And nightmare.
January 1889. When a Romanian village suffers a series of brutal attacks, occult investigator Anne Lawrence is dispatched to the forests of the Old Country to hunt the killer – only to vanish without a trace.
The trail leads her mentor Vivienne Cumberland deep into the Carpathians to a remote monastery. As a blizzard rages outside, trapping them all with the pricolici, Vivienne risks sharing the fate of the woman she came to find. But is the culprit truly a werewolf … or something even more dangerous?
A man bent on revenge. And a love that was never meant to be.
Imprisoned in a decaying castle, Anne finds herself ensnared in a web of dark enchantment, at the mercy of a mysterious captor with a beast inside – and a memory as old as the ancient legends.
As the weeks pass, Anne learns his real identity, and slowly uncovers a complex and deeply passionate man. But is she willing to pay the price for falling under his spell?
Note: This darkly magical reimagining of Beauty and the Beast is the third book in the Gaslamp Gothic series, but can be read as a standalone with no need to start with Book #1, The Daemoniac.
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
A Bad Breed is Kat Ross’s is the third book in Gaslamp Gothic series.
After having read and enjoyed the previous other books in this series, I knew I wanted to fall back into Ms Ross’s Victorian Gothic world building.
The Author has masterly created a a compelling Retelling of the age old storyline of Beauty and the Beast. She masterly sets character conflicts of Enemies to Lovers, with an unsettling, intense, suspenseful, twisty, plot. Ross has tasteful written a fast, edgy and face blushing, erotic read.
Occult investigator, An Anne Lawrence is dispatched to the forests of a Romanian village. The village in the suffers a series of brutal attacks in January 1889. Anne’s investigation takes her deep into the Carpathians, where she mysteriously disappeared.
Vivienne Cumberland, Anne’s mentor must travel with her bonded Nathaniel, to find out what has happened to Anne. All is not what it seems in this complex paranormal, suspenseful reimagined fairy tale.
The author delivers a fast moving tale of shape-shifters, necromancers, daevas, and enchantments, for a non stop read.
I am definitely looking forward to her next book, The Necromancer’s Bride!
*Trigger warning of sexual content *
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.
**************Nothing good happens when people keep secrets.***************
Paige Bryant’s dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer died along with her mother.
Drowning in grief and plagued by guilt, Paige is blindsided by a provision in her mother’s will
that sends her to live with the father she never knew. Forced to start over in a new town and at
a new school where she’s now the principal’s daughter, Paige is convinced that her life can’t
possibly get more complicated—until fate throws her into the path of the only boy her guardian
tells her is off-limits.
Despite two years on the straight and narrow, Cade Matthews can’t escape his time as a
juvenile delinquent. With his dad behind bars, Cade’s feelings of anger and betrayal are as
relentless as the rumors he’s trying to outrun. The only person not listening to the gossip is the
new girl with her own set of troubles, including a father who will never give Cade a fair shake.
As Paige tries to adjust to her new life and an uncertain future, a set of unopened journals
reveals a dark family secret. When tensions rise to a boiling point, can Paige and Cade make
peace with the past before it destroys them?
Cade slides off the rock and moves to stand in front of me. The rain has stopped. “Tell me about your mom.” Everything in my body threatens to shut down, as if he just pulled the fire alarm on my soul. “What was she like?” Unable to look him in the eyes or grasp a cohesive sentence that consists of more than three words, I stare at the dirt and mumble, “She was amazing.” Cade’s tenor is soft when he asks, “What made her amazing?” “How much time do you have?” Leaning in, he whispers, “As much time as it takes.”
“Dude, you’ve got total stalker eyes,” Jared says after the song comes to an end. “Shut up,” I growl. “I get it,” he says. “But unless you’re willing to go over there and talk to her, you need to holster the daggers you’re throwing at that guy.”
What I want is to know more about this girl. This mix of hurricane and humility that I’ve never experienced before. She’s sassy and self-reliant, tenacious and timid, and beneath her moments of boldness, deep down where she thinks no one can see, this girl is wounded.
“What does your tattoo say?” Without a word, Cade draws back his sleeve to reveal three words: Live Every Day.
Paige tilts her face to the ceiling. Tears leak from the corners of her eyes and I swipe gently at the wetness with my thumbs. “Why are you crying?” “I’ve been so lost since my mom died,” she whispers. My heart aches at her pain, and I want to make things better for her. But sometimes things just hurt and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Mom wasn’t a perfect human being—none of us are—but in my eyes, she came pretty close. She was selfless, always trying to do the best she could for me, even when I didn’t appreciate it or even notice. She impacted my life in a million little ways by merely being a part of it. When I think of it like that—I finally get it. I finally understand the one thing I didn’t before. I thought my grief was a punishment for all I had done wrong, for not being able to save Mom. But the truth is—my grief is proof that I loved her, and that she loved me in return. And that, by any measure, isn’t a punishment. It’s a gift.
I glide across the floor, my powerful legs propelling me effortlessly into the air as I leap, my arms brushing the air gracefully in a grand jeté before I land once more. For a moment, I close my eyes, losing myself in the rhythm, dissolving into the joy exuding from every limb. I whip my leg powerfully in a double fouetté en tournant followed by three more as pure bliss pulses through me. As I move, I envision all I’ve endured—the pain, the emptiness and the longing for a world I’d lost without warning—and I imagine it dissolving into the floor beneath me. In its place springs hope and love and endless possibilities. There’s room now for all that. There’s room for the happy, confident girl who’d been exiled the day her world crumbled beyond her control.
Paige’s Top Ten Tips about Moving to a Small Town
1. Find the coffee shop. There’s always one in a small town and identifying where you can get your daily caffeine fix is essential.
2. Be open to making new friends. No one wants to sit alone in the school cafeteria.
3. Prepare to stand out. Being the new girl in school comes with a lot of unwanted attention, especially when you are the principal’s daughter.
4. Join the dance team or be prepared to say no—repeatedly.
5. Stop trying to figure out why your mom sent you here. It’s your home now, don’t fight it.
6. Every small town has its annual traditions. Embrace them and take your little sister to visit Santa.
7. Get used to talking about your feelings. Everyone is going to want you to do that.
8. Rumors and gossip travel fast in a small town. Watch what you say and don’t believe everything you hear.
9. Be open to possibilities. Maybe things didn’t turn out the way you expected, but change can bring new beginnings.
10. Don’t write off the bad boy in town. There’s likely more to him than meets the eye. (wink)
Good Morning Bookish Friends and Welcome to the Cover Reveal Of A Midnight Clear.
💀Six stories of not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy from the authors of Black Spot Books.
COVER REVEAL FOR A MIDNIGHT CLEAR
JUNE 10, 2019 Publisher: Black Spot Books Release Date: November 15, 2019
Six stories of not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy from the authors of Black Spot Books.
A woman so cold she hardens to ice on a winter’s eve. Risen from his grave before his time, a winter god alters the balance between seasons. A wolf’s holiday season is interrupted by a strange curse. From a murder at the Stanley Hotel to demons of Christmas past, present, and future, and a mad elf and Santa’s Candy Court, the authors of Black Spot Books share their love for winter holidays in this collection of dark winter tales, destined to chill your bones and warm your heart for the Yuletide season.
You can purchaseA Midnight Clear at the following Retailers:
Sam Hooker writes darkly humorous fantasy novels about thing like tyrannical despots and the masked scoundrels who tickle them without mercy. He knows all the best swear words, though he refuses to repeat them because he doesn’t want to attract goblins.
Alcy Leyva is a Bronx-born writer, teacher, and pizza enthusiast. He graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) and an MFA in Fiction from The New School. He has been published in Popmatters, The Rumpus, Entropy Mag, and Quiet Lunch Magazine.
Laura Morrison lives in the Metro Detroit area. She has a B.S. in applied ecology and environmental science from Michigan Technological University. Before she was a writer and stay-at-home mom, she battled invasive species and researched turtles. INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS
Cassondra Windwalker is a poet and novelist writing full time from the coast of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. She is supported by a tolerant husband, three wandering offspring, a useless dog, and a zombie cat. Her hobbies include hiking, photography, and having other people’s demons over for tea. FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | GOODREADS Dalena Storm has lived in India, Japan, Germany, and on both coasts of the United States. She currently resides in a converted general store in the woods of Western Massachusetts with a rare Burmese temple cat, a purring black fluff-beast, a professor of magic, and an infant with an astonishing ability to resist sleep. INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS
Seven Jane is an author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. Seven is a member of The Author’s Guild and Women’s Fiction Writing Association. She also writes a column for The Women’s Fiction Association and is a contributor to The Nerd Daily.
Hello BookishFriends, Today is my Stop on this Month long Mega Tour
Welcome to the month-long mega tour for Charlie Laidlaw’s newest book, The Space Between Time, due for release on June 20th! There will be fantastic bloggers participating, who will be posting interviews, excerpts, reviews, and other exclusive content!
Additionally, there are loads of goodies being given away, so be sure to enter at the bottom!
The Space Between Time
Expected Publication Date: June 20th, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Dark Comedy
There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…
Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.
But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.
The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.
It wasn’t an afternoon that I like to remember, and not just because of my shrieking tantrum. Once I’d calmed down, Mum told me I’d been very silly, because it was all make-believe on a cinema screen. I reminded her that she’d cried when Bambi’s mum died, and that was a film and a cartoon. Mum said that it wasn’t the same thing at all. But I wasn’t being silly because I wasn’t old enough to know the difference between pretence and reality.
Dad had looked pretty dead on the screen. The blood on his chest had looked pretty real. If it had been a different dead person, I would have been OK. Children don’t really know where make-believe ends and the real world begins and, partly because of who I am, it’s remained pretty hazy ever since. I also don’t like to remember that film because it was the moment when I realised that our lives were about to change, and I didn’t know if that would be a good thing.
Sounds strange, yes? Here’s something stranger: I am a child of the sea, I sometimes think, and have done ever since we first moved to live beside it. I feel subject to its vagaries and tempers, with its foaming margins framed against a towering sky. I am familiar with its unchanging mood swings. That’s how I like things; I find the familiar comforting. I find change threatening.
I am the daughter of someone who, not long after that ghastly cinema outing, became one of the most famous actors of his generation and, importantly for me, the granddaughter of a rather brilliant but obscure physics professor. But despite their overachievements, I have inherited no aptitude for mathematics and my father positively hated the idea of his only offspring following in his thespian footsteps. He knew how cruel and badly paid the profession could be. But I still look up to my grandfather, and think of his ludicrous moustache with affection.
Gramps once told me that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth. Just think of all those sandpits, beaches and deserts! That’s an awful lot of stars. He then told me, his only grandchild, that I was his shining star, which was a nice thing to say and why I remember him talking about sand and stars. On clear nights, with stars twinkling, I often think about him.
I still believe in my grandfather, and admire his stoic acceptance in the face of professional disdain, because I believe in the unique power of ideas, right or wrong, and that it’s our thoughts that shape our existence. We are who we believe ourselves to be.
I gave up believing in my father long ago, because speaking other people’s words and ideas seemed like a lame excuse for a job, even if he was paid millions, and met the Queen on several occasions. She must have liked him because she awarded him an OBE for services to film, theatre and charity. Charity! Who the hell told the Queen that?
I stopped believing in him one Christmas Day, a long time ago, when he simply didn’t turn up. It wasn’t his presents that I missed, or even his presence, but the warm, fuzzy feeling of being important to him. During that day of absence and loss I concluded that his wife and daughter couldn’t much matter to him, otherwise he’d have made a bigger effort to get home. That Christmas Day, my father was simply somewhere else, probably in a bar, immaculately dressed, his hair slicked back, the object of male envy and the centre of every woman’s attention for miles around.
In that respect, Dad was more tomcat than father, except that by then his territory, his fame, stretched around the globe. I know this: by then he had a Golden Globe to prove it. He gushed pheromones from every pore, squirting attraction in every direction, and even women with a poor sense of smell could sniff him out.
I feel mostly Scottish, but am a little bit Italian. It explains my name, Emma Maria Rossini; my dark complexion, black hair, the slightly long nose, and thin and lanky body. Obese I am not, and will never be, however much pasta I eat, and I eat lots. It also explains my temper, according to some people, although I don’t agree with them, and my brown cow’s eyes, as an almost-boyfriend once described them, thinking he was paying me a compliment, before realising that he had just become an ex-almost-boyfriend.
But mostly I am a child of the sea. That’s what happens if you live for long enough by its margins: it becomes a part of you; its mood echoing your mood, until you know what it’s thinking, and it knows everything about you. That’s what it feels like when I contemplate its tensile strength and infinite capacity for change. On calm flat days in North Berwick, with small dinghies marooned on the glassy water, and loud children squealing in its shallows, it can make me anxious and cranky.
The sea, on those days, seems soulless and tired, bereft of spirit. But on wilder days, the beach deserted, or with only a hardy dog-walker venturing across the sand, with large waves thundering in, broaching and breaking, then greedily sucking back pebbles into the foam, I feel energised: this is what the sea enjoys, a roaring irresponsibility, and I share in its pleasure. We are all children of the sea, I sometimes think, or we should be – even those who have never seen an ocean or tasted its saltiness; I can stand for hours and contemplate its far horizons, lost within myself, sharing its passion. In the Firth of Forth is the ebb and flow of my past and my existence, wrapped tight against the west wind. It is what I am, placid and calm, or loud and brash.
This book was received as an ARC, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
Charles Laidlaw, delivers a compelling, intriguing, thought-provoking, and well-written read here that totally captivated and immersed me into the storyline. Emma Maria Rossini is the main protagonist of the story. Immediately you were drawn into Emma’s narrative, and the world she is in. Laidlaw has masterly created an engaging and and thoughts provoking book.
The book is an exploration of many emotionally resonant themes of anxiety, depression and suicide. Laidlaw also skillful captivates the Reader with comedic timing and dialogue. Over all what really grabbed my attention was how the author’s execution of Emma character development, from a young girl to a woman. Emma perceptions of her childhood and her parents. Through Emma’s eyes we see her world unravel, and we become full invested with her hardships and struggles. Laidlaw writing style continually makes the characters jump of the pages.
I really enjoyed the concept of having every chapter began with an equation, the solution of which is the chapter number and the chapter title is mostly related to a theorem. Eg.; The last chapter is called The Chandrasekhar Limit and there is an equation too, the solution of which is the chapter number.
I definitely will be recommending this book to my family and friends
“He was our star, we circled in uneasy orbit. Mum was a moon; I sometimes felt like a small piece of space junk.”
I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.
I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.
I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.
I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember
Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.
Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.
I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.
I have 2 signed copies of The Space Between Time to giveaway, 3 fun coffee mugs featuring all 3 of Charlie Laidlaw’s books, and 3 digital copies of the book in the winner’s format of choice! Amazing right? Click the link below to enter!
Sailing and soldiering around the world has taken Caleb O’Shea far from his native Ireland, so he never imagined that a promise to see a fellow crewman safely home would practically land him on his brother’s doorstep. After spending years away from his family, Caleb isn’t certain what kind of reception he will receive when he steps foot in Natchez, Mississippi. The one thing he knows for sure is that he won’t stay long.
Since her sister was kidnapped by river pirates six months ago, Alanah Adams has taken special care to avoid drawing attention to herself. Those living in the rough-and-tumble settlement of Cypress Creek might even think she’s addled. But when she stumbles into Caleb and his friends in Natchez, she appears to be the picture-perfect lady.
Caleb only catches glimpses of the mysterious and beautiful Alanah before she disappears. But a chance encounter with her at his brother’s logging camp near Cypress Creek leaves him uncomfortable at the thought of the young woman traversing the dangerous area alone. At a crossroads in his life, Caleb must decide whether he wants to give up the worldly adventures he’s been seeking for one closer to home.
The Crossing At Cypress Creek is the third novel in Pam Hillman’s Natchez Trace series. Although it can be read as a stand-alone novel, I recommend reading the other installments.
The Crossing at Cypress Creek is an exciting story from 1791 Natchez, Mississippi. This is the third and final book in the Natchez Trace series, by the he author Pam Hillman. The Author has created an engaging historical, suspenseful romantic read.
I loved the premise of the novel, and the characters come to life seen through the eyes an adventurous Caleb and a heartwarming heroine, Alanah. In Hillman’s portrayal of the Natchez area you are presented the hardships of life during that time period. The characters are well developed and I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series about the The O’Shea brothers. The author delivers an exciting tale including river pirates, a kidnapping, and a daring rescue to a spiritual tale with just enough romance. Hillman writes with compassion and I could feel the tenderness, generosity and grace she has given her characters. What I really enjoyed was the heart of underlying moral concept of the storyline,
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical
Have a wonderful day !
CBA Bestselling author Pam Hillman writes Historical Christian fiction set in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Born east of the Mississippi and a hundred years too late, Pam still boasts of wrangling calves, milking cows and putting up hay, first as a child, and later with her own personal hero, Iran, on their family farm in Mississippi.
A voracious reader as a child, Pam especially enjoyed stories involving the great Westward expansion, and television shows such as Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Gunsmoke. The western writer, Louis L’Amour, kept Pam mesmerized with his tales of cowboys and Indians, mountain men and outlaws, prim schoolteachers, hot dry deserts, and boom towns.
Pam’s life in the country and her love of the old west bring authenticity to her work and depth to her characters, something that has been recognized many times in the industry through writer’s awards.
Her work has placed in dozens of writer’s contests, including being a four-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist with Claiming Mariah, her second novel, winning the Award for Best Inspirational. Other awards include the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, International Digital Award, and the EPIC eBook Award.
Pam lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.
to be spellbound. Barbara Frances’ long-awaited third novel, “Shadow’s Way,”
takes you to the coastal, deep South, where the past and the present mingle in
a gothic tale of insanity, murder, and sexual intrigue.You’ll meet the
beautiful Elaine Chauvier, former actress and proprietor of Shadow’s Way, her
family’s antebellum home; the esteemed Archbishop Andre Figurant and his fallen
identical twin, Bastien; newly arrived Ophelia and Rudy, here to explore their
Chauvier roots and their ties to Shadow’s Way; and the mysterious Madame
Claudine. Under a veneer of piety and graciousness, i.e., the questions: What
is good? What is evil? What is reality?
Frances has plenty of stories and a life spent acquiring them. Growing up
Catholic on a small Texas farm, her childhood ambition was to become a nun. In
ninth grade she entered a boarding school in Our Lady of the Lake Convent as an
aspirant, the first of several steps before taking vows. On graduation,
however, she passed up the nun’s habit for a college degree in English and
Theatre Arts. Her professors were aghast when she declined a PhD program in
order to become a stewardess, but Barbara never looked back. “In the Sixties, a
stewardess was a glamorous occupation.” Her career highlights include dating a
very gentlemanly Chuck Berry and “opening the bar” for a planeload of underage
privates on their way to Vietnam. Marriage, children, school teaching and
divorce distracted her from storytelling, but one summer she and a friend
coauthored a screenplay. “I never had such fun! I come from a family of
storytellers. Relatives would come over and after dinner everyone would tell
tales. Sometimes they were even true.” The next summer Barbara wrote a
screenplay solo. Contest recognition, an agent and three optioned scripts
followed but, weary of fickle producers and endless rewrites, she turned to
novels. Shadow’s Way is her third book. Her first, Lottie’s Adventure, is aimed
at young readers. Her second, Like I Used To Dance, is a family saga set in
1950’s rural Texas. Barbara’s fans can be thankful she passed up convent life
for one of stories and storytelling. She and her husband Bill live in Austin,
Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live
Maxym M. Martineau’s KINGDOM OF EXILES debuts a is fantastic fantasy world . with exotic beasts, magical secrets, and just the right romance that keeps you intrigued from start to finish.
Exiled from her homeland, and on the run from assassins, the female protagonists, is a “charmer,” who can summon beasts to assist her whe
Maxym M. Martineau’s KINGDOM OF EXILES, debuts is a fantastic fantasy world
written in the engaging dual perspective. The story unveils through the eyes of Noc, a cursed assassin with a secret past, and Leena, an exiled charmer with a formidable ex-lover who wants her dead. Great character development and epic world-building. The cast of characters is varied and expansive. This book is full of beasts, magic and lots of adventures. There are two main factions in the book: beast charmers and Cruor assassins. As their name probably indicates, Charmers are the race of beings with the ability to tame magical beasts and call on them whenever they please. Members of Cruor, on the other hand, are undead humans, raised again to live forever in the shadows and work as assassins. While everyone has their own unique, individual traits, there are a few things that make them assassins or Charmers.
I really enjoyed this adult fantasy, to me it had just the right amount of romance layered into an action packed epic fantasy.
I definitely would recommend this to anyone looking to read a new voice in adult fantasy
By the time evening fell, three things were certain: the gelatinous chunks of lamb were absolute shit, my beady-eyed client was hankering for more than the beasts in my possession, and someone was watching me.
Two out of the three were perfectly normal.
Sliding the meat to the side, I propped my elbows against the heavy plank table. My client lasted two seconds before his gaze roved to the book-shaped locket dangling in my cleavage. Wedging his thick fingers between the collar of his dress tunic and his neck, he tugged gently on the fabric.
“You have what I came for?” His heavy gold ring glinted in the candlelight. It bore the intricate etching of a scale: Wilheim’s symbol for the capital bank. A businessman. A rare visitor in Midnight Jester, my preferred black-market tavern. My pocket hummed with the possibility of money, and I fingered the bronze key hidden there.
“Maybe.” I nudged the metal dinner plate farther away. “How did you find me?” Dez, the bartender, sourced most of my clients, but brocade tunics and Midnight Jester didn’t mingle.
I shifted in the booth, the unseen pair of eyes burrowing further into the back of my head. Faint movement from the shadows flickered into my awareness. Movement that should have gone unnoticed, but I’d learned to be prepared for such things.
Interview with Maxym M. Martineau
Maxym M. Martineau’s debut fantasy romance novel is KINGDOM OF EXILES (The Beast Charmer). The novel will be published on June 25th 2019 by Sourcebooks.
Question – Please describe what the book is about.
Maxym M. Martineau – A fantasy romance novel with magic, beasts and assassins! Here’s the blurb:
Exiled Charmer Leena Edenfrell is running out of time. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes Noc an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
Plagued by a curse that kills everyone he loves, Noc agrees to Leena’s terms in hopes of finding a cure. Never mind that the dark magic binding the assassin’s oath will eventually force him to choose between Leena’s continued survival…and his own.
Q – Where did you get the idea?
MMM – Kingdom of Exiles started because of a dream I had about Noc, the main male character. I’ve always had particularly vivid dreams, so when he appeared all swathed in shadows, as he’s apt to do in the book, I just knew I had to write about him. In my dream, he told me about how he was physically incapable of being with the one he loved, and I wanted that to translate into a story, hence Noc’s curse.
Leena was born out of his descriptions of her, and the beasts were something I always dreamed about—creatures I’d see, worlds I’d get snippets of. It was really like pulling ideas together from several different dreams into one coherent story.
Q – What’s the story behind the title?
MMM – Actually, the title is something my publisher and I worked on together. Kingdom of Exiles was originally the Beast Charmer, which ended up becoming the series title. But the more and more we talked about Noc and Leena’s predicaments, and both of them being exiles in their own way, it was just the perfect fit.
Q – No spoiler, but tell us something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket.
MMM – There is something like 25+ beasts referenced in some way, shape, or form in Kingdom of Exiles. I had no idea when I started exactly how many I’d include, and then it just sort of… exploded! I love all of them, and I’m so glad my publisher did, too, because this resulted in the creation of a bestiary appendix, which includes pronunciation guides, ranks, detailed descriptions and taming requirements for each and every one of them.
Q – Tell us about your favorite character.
MMM – This is like picking a favorite child! I can’t do it. Please, don’t make me. Gah… I suppose it’s a toss up between my main male character, Noc, and a secondary character, Kost. They’re both so angsty and brooding!
Q – If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
MMM – Leena. Don’t get me wrong, I love my other characters, but I’d love to spend the day with her so I could play with all the magical beasts she’s tamed.
Q – Are your characters based on real people, or do they come from your imaginations?
MMM – Imagination or dreams, really. Of course, there are some outside influences that always crop up. I’m a huge video game and anime nerd, so I’ll pay homage to certain quirks or traits of characters I love.
Q – How long did you take to write this book?
MMM – I’m a speed writer, I’ll admit it. I started concepting out the idea of this novel while I was in Pitch Wars with a different book, but truly didn’t start writing it until December or January of 2017, I believe. I made it a goal to finish it before my wedding in March, started editing after that, and then sent out a few queries but held off when I got into Query Kombat. Signed with my agent in September, went through revisions over the holidays, went on sub shortly thereafter, and had an offer relatively quickly. I ended up signing with Sourcebooks in July of 2018.
Q – What kind of research did you do for this book?
MMM – Not a whole lot. I do a lot of pre-writing, which I guess you could call research, but since it’s fantasy, I primarily rely on my imagination. Sometimes, I’d look up weapon terminology, clothing, etc.
Q – What did you remove from this book during the editing process?
MMM – I actually ended up adding about 20,000 words. O_O
Q – Are you a plotter or a pantser?
MMM – If you twist my arm, I’ll side with the pantsers. I typically only start with a vague notion of where I want my characters to end up, but as they start to develop on the page and make choices that surprise me, I’ll alter along the way. Which makes me want to say I’m a plantser? Is that a thing? I’m making it a thing. It’s a bit hard to not plot to some degree when writing a trilogy, even if it’s only, “I know he’ll get to Point A by midway and Point Z by the end of it all.” But I have never been a hardcore synopsis writer, sticky note gal, or outline type of person.
Q – What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
MMM – Pre-writing. In this stage, I do a lot of dreaming, build a lot of boards, fill out character sheets and design maps (I love to design maps!). I feel like this is when I truly get to build out characters and worlds that are three dimensional. That way, when they’re on the page progressing through the plot, their actions and quirks come naturally to me.
Q – What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?
MMM – This is a hard question for me to answer. I find all parts of the writing process validating and invigorating in different ways. Though I end up pulling my hair out the most during editing, so if I had to pick, that one.
Q – Can you share your writing routine?
MMM – Writing time? What’s that? I’m kidding, mostly. I work a full-time job and am the co-founder of a not-for-profit romance site on the side (All The Kissing), so I don’t have a lot of hours in my day. I will say, though, that I thrive under deadlines. Need edits in a week? I’m game. A rework of that chapter before it gets released? Done.
Q – Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome it?
MMM – Absolutely. I usually have to walk away for at least a day, if not more. I’m the type of person who can write 5,000+ words in a sitting, so when I can’t get more than 100, I really flail. I end up calling my critique partners so I can talk through options and pain points, and that usually solves the problem. Sometimes I just know the section is going to be rough, and I push through just to make it to the next passage. When I come back for edits, it’s much easier to see what I missed or could do better.
Q – If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
MMM – Be active in your writing community! I feel like I made a ton of newbie mistakes early on because I simply had no idea what I was doing (heck, I still don’t). The difference between then and now is that I’ve got a support system of writers who are always there for me. My biggest frustration with my earlier self is that I fought getting on Twitter for so long. I had no idea what kind of community I was passing up.
Q – How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
MMM – Let’s see… three unpublished books and I dunno how many half-finished ones. Some I won’t go back to, some are ideas I’m waiting on until after I’m finished with this series.
Q – Do you have any writing quirks?
MMM – I don’t know if you’d call it a quirk, but I write best with music and coffee. Particularly moody music, and I love to come up with playlists for my books.
Q – Tell us about yourself.
MMM – I work as a social media and ad writer for a large tech company. I’m married with a baby on the way (yay!), and I will always have fur babies in my life. I’ve got two pups right now, and they’re my whole world. My husband is pretty cool, too.
Q – How did you get into writing?
MMM – My mother, actually. I used to have terrible nightmares as a child, and she taught me how to exercise that negative energy by writing down my experiences in a journal. As I learned more about myself and my dreams, they became less frightening and I ended up looking forward to sleeping just so I could come up with new story ideas.
Q – What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
MMM – Really, my interests vary. I used to be a competitive swimmer, then I got into rock climbing, then ballroom dancing, then fitness competitions… Basically, I love all sports. Reading, video games and anime have always been a constant, too.
Q – Apart from novel writing, do you do any other kind(s) of writing?
MMM – I do a lot of article writing for All The Kissing, as well as work on paid and organic social media outreach campaigns for my day job. It’s interesting to see how many different ways I can use my skill set.
Q – Share something about you most people probably don’t know.
MMM – I’m absolutely terrified of moths. I don’t know what it is about them, but I’m convinced that if they land on me, they will eat the clothes right off my body in a matter of moments and leave me covered in dust.
Q – Which book influenced you the most?
MMM – Hands down, Harry Potter. JK Rowling is my idol.
Q – What are you working on right now?
MMM – I just turned in edits for book two of the Beast Charmer series, so I’ll begin work on book three here shortly. Then after that, it’s editing again, and drafting for books four, five and six.
Q – What’s your favorite writing advice?
MMM – I don’t know if it’s advice from a specific person or rather just a sentiment, but embrace your own journey. There’s no one straight path to publication, and you can learn so much from simply being completely and totally invested in your own experience.
Maxym M. Martineau is a staff writer and editor by day, and a fantasy romance author by night. When she’s not getting heated over broken hearts, she enjoys playing video games, sipping a well-made margarita, binge-watching television shows, competing in just about any sport, and of course, reading.
Following her passion, Maxym earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, and currently lives in Arizona with her husband and their dogs. She is represented by Cate Hart of Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her debut, Kingdom of Exiles, is slated for release in June 2019.