Tales of Ming Courtesans Book Tour + Review + Giveaway

Hello Bookish Friends,
How Are You Today ?
I’m really excited to be taking part in the
Book Tour of, Tales of Ming Courtesans, by Alice Poon
which is being hosted by HFBT!

Tales of Ming Courtesans
by Alice Poon

Publication Date: June 1, 2020
Earnshaw Books
Paperback; 354 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

From the author of The Green Phoenix comes a riveting tale of female friendship, honor, and sacrifice for love, set in 17th Century China and featuring the intertwined stories of three of the era’s most renowned courtesans, escorts skilled in music, poetry and painting who could decide themselves whether or not to offer patrons bed favors.

Inspired by literary works and folklore, Tales of Ming Courtesans traces the destinies of the three girls from the seamy world of human trafficking and slavery to the cultured scene of the famously decadent pleasure district of the city of Nanjing, evoking episodes in Memoirs of a Geisha.

The girls all existed – Rushi was a famous poet, Yuanyuan became the concubine of a general who changed the course of Chinese history by supporting the Manchu invasion in 1644 and Xiangjun challenged the corruption of court officials to try to save her lover. Rushi’s daughter, Jingjing, gradually pieces together the stories of the three from a memoir left to her by her mother.

Betrayal, tenacity and hope all come together in a novel that brings to life an important era in China’s history, and particularly highlights the challenges faced by independent-minded women.

Amazon |Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for Tales of Ming Courtesans

“In Tales of Ming Courtesans, Alice Poon masterfully brings to life three fascinating women who had a lasting impact on China’s culture and history. This beautiful telling of their turbulent lives and devoted friendship is a reverential testament to their memories.” – Kelli Estes, bestselling author of The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

“Tales of Ming Courtesans is a poignant and captivating exploration of the lives of three extraordinary women…. Ultimately an enduring tale of the power of sisterhood and the bonds between women.” – Jeannie Lin, USA Today bestselling author of The Lotus Palace

“Tales of Ming Courtesans is a brilliant, ‘own voices’ alternative to Memoirs of a Geisha….An exquisite reading experience. Highly, highly recommended.” – M. H. Boroson, author of The Girl With Ghost Eyes

“Alice Poon’s excellent Tales of Ming Courtesans follows the intertwined lives of three seventeenth-century courtesans….. Poon’s real achievement is to create believable depth to her characters’ known histories….She has clearly written Tales from the heart.” – David Leffman, author of The Mercenary

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.

From the author of The Green Phoenix comes a riveting tale of female friendship, honor, and sacrifice for love. An inspirational tale of strength and fortitude

Alice Poon sets her latest novel in 17th century China and featuring the intertwined stories of three of the era’s most renowned courtesans, Liu Rushi, Chen Yuanyuan,

Li Xiangjun.

Poon brings forth three iconic legendary women in Chinese history.

Their incredible lives are seen through the exquisitely written pages of, Tales of Ming Courtesans. Liu Rushi, Chen Yuanyuan, Li Xiangjun, all had a lasting impact on China’s culture and it’s noble history.

This eloquent saga is steeped in real life historical people, living in the turbulent times in between the Ming, and the Qing dynasties. Where social classes were defined and woman had little or no voice of their own.

Tales of Ming Courtesans, is a richly textured, mesmerising and captivating story that is full of rich history and the most compelling and intriguing characters. The storyline is a thought provoking, fascinating story. A book that is written in such a way that these memorable three women’s history comes to stunning to life.

I can see why this talented author is loved by so many. Poon’s appealing way of weaving fact and fiction, along with her absorbing seamless narration. This is a book that you will find yourself contemplating the lives and struggles of these memorable women, long after you close the book.

A meticulously researched book that captures the historical elements and traditions of the Chinese people. This is a masterpiece of a tale, that depicts the economics and the cultural mind set that was placed on woman during this era. The resilience and the quiet but powerful strength, that these ladies show within the book is nothing short motivational.

The plot twist with betrayals and longing and much heartache. Poon knows how to transport the reader, with her richly descriptive atmospheric imagery. The lush and vibrant, historical world building is stunning. An emotional book that it’s quick paced from start to finish.

Inspired by literary works and folklore, Tales of Ming Courtesan, traces the destinies of the three girls from their young humble beginnings to their awe-inspiring accomplishments.

About the Author

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Alice Poon steeped herself in Chinese poetry and history, Jin Yong’s martial arts novels and English Literature in her school days. This early immersion has inspired her creative writing.

Always fascinated with iconic but unsung women in Chinese history and legends, she cherishes a dream of bringing them to the page.

Her new historical novel Tales of Ming Courtesans will be released by Earnshaw Books on June 1, 2020.

She is the author of The Green Phoenix and the bestselling and award-winning non-fiction title Land and the Ruling Class in Hong Kong. She now lives in Vancouver, Canada and devotes her time to writing historical Chinese fiction.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 25
Excerpt at Journey in Bookland
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, May 26
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, May 27
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, May 29
Review at Reader then Blogger

Monday, June 1
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, June 3
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Friday, June 5
Review at YA, it’s Lit

Monday, June 8
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, June 10
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, June 12
Review at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Tales from Ming Courtesans! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US 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.

Tales of Ming Courtesans

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The Baroness of New York Review+Giveaway

Hello Book lOvers,
Today is stop is my stop on the book tour for The Baroness of New York,
BY Anya Silverthorne, which is hosted by HFVBT
#TheBaronessofNewYork #AnyaSilverthorne #HFVBTBlogTours
@AnyaSilverthorn @hfvbt  

The Baroness of New York by Anya Silverthorne

Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Platen Press
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

 

Baroness Adele von Mueller learns the sweetest love is forbidden….

Baroness Adele von Mueller

It’s 1903 and free-spirited 18-year-old Baroness Adele von Mueller has just arrived to live with her spinster aunt in New York City. After a previous impropriety tarnishes her reputation with the German nobility, her father sends her overseas to give her one last chance to marry into money and save the family’s name. Instead, Adele finds herself falling for charming and wickedly handsome Nick Mason, the foreman of a paper factory, who is as gorgeous as he is poor. As family secrets are revealed, Adele learns there’s much more riding on her marrying wealthy than just keeping the family’s name…

Nick Mason

Nick Mason has a habit of falling in love with every girl he sees. An orphan, former newspaper seller and now a foreman at a paper mill, he’s nursing a bruised heart after being dumped by a laundry girl. But when he meets Baroness Adele disguised on a night out as a maid in her family’s house, he knows right away there’s something different about her. Once she reveals her true identity, he’s even more intrigued. Nick has fallen for white women before, but never one so wealthy, and never one he knew he couldn’t live without. With most people firmly against their love, he must visit her in secrecy to make their romance blossom.

Nick and Adele must stand up to a society and a family that won’t accept their love for what it is: true and enduring. Can they withstand the storm, or will they be forced apart by a deck that’s stacked against them in this steamy Victorian romance?

This historical interracial romance/Victorian romance novel marks Anya Silverthorne’s debut.

From the desk of Gwendalyn G. Anderson:

{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.}

Young Baroness Adele Von Mueller, is sent to New Yorktown live with her Aunt, by father after some scandalous events. Having left Germany with a tarnished reputation Adele boards a luxury liner, she is tasked with finding a suitable American husband.

Upon arrival at her Aunts, she start up friendship with her assigned maid, Sophie.

Straining at the bonds placed on her, Adele is an adventurous free spirited young woman. During a time that placed so many restrictions on females, along with what is considered suitable from class to race and romantic preferences.

Throwing caution to the wind one night, disguised she escapes the confines of her spinster aunts house. Along with her maid Sophie, she daringly goes to a local dance hall. Once there she is introduced to Sophie’s friend, Nick Mason. Nick Mason is a true romantic at heart, orphaned when he was young, Once a former newspaper seller, now he is a foreman at a paper mill.

From that moment on, their relationship blossoms to a heart stopping romance. With everyone,and society against this forbidden relationship. Does she succumb to what is expected of her class station in society, or will she follow her heart?

A faced paced historical romance that captures and holds your interest from start to finish, all the way through to the exceptional cliffhanger ending!

A wonderful debut from the author, Anya Silverthorne.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Anya Silverthorne makes her debut with The Baroness of New York. She enjoys writing fiction about the late Victorian and early Edwardian era. In “real life,” she is a historian of a completely different time period.

Follow her on social media to stay connected, and up-to-date with new releases, giveaways, and more.

Instagram: @anyasilverthorne
Twitter: @anyasilverthorn
Facebook: @anyasilverthorne

Want news delivered straight to your inbox? Join her mailing list.

Friday, May 1
Review at Passages to the Past

Sunday, May 3
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

Monday, May 4
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, May 5
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Excerpt at I’m All About Books

Wednesday, May 6
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Thursday, May 7
Review at Mommy In Color

Friday, May 8
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Sunday, May 10
Guest Post at A Darn Good Read

Monday, May 11
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Tuesday, May 12
Excerpt at Donna’s Book Blog

Wednesday, May 13
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, May 14
Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, May 15
Feature at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Monday, May 18
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 21
Review at Books in their Natural Habitat

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The Baroness of New York! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US 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.

Baroness of New York

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The Snow Collectors #BookReview

Hello Bookish Friends,
Did you survive the Holidays? Today I have a book review of
The Snow Collectors by Tina May Hall

THE SNOW COLLECTORS BY TINA MAY HALL

  • *Pub date 2/12/20.
    *Paperback:
     224 pages. *Publisher: Dzanc Books (February 12, 2020)
  • #DZANCBooks #tinamayhall #TheSnowCollectors

    Haunted by the loss of her parents and twin sister at sea, Henna cloisters herself in a Northeastern village where the snow never stops. When she discovers the body of a young woman at the edge of the forest, she’s plunged into the mystery of a centuries-old letter regarding one of the most famous stories of Arctic exploration—the Franklin expedition, which disappeared into the ice in 1845.

    At the center of the mystery is Franklin’s wife, the indomitable Lady Jane. Henna’s investigation draws her into a gothic landscape of locked towers, dream-like nights of snow and ice, and

    crumbling mansion rife with hidden passageways and carrion birds. But it soon becomes clear that someone is watching her—someone who is determined to prevent the truth from coming out.

    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. 

    THE SNOW COLLECTORS 
    By Tina May Hall

     A captivating contemporary murder mystery

    A gripping novel of snowy dreamlike, A year and seven months after the loss of her parents and twin sister at sea, Henna, a freelance encyclopedia writer who specializes in entries having to do with water, moves to an unnamed village where her constant companions are the oppressive snow and her sister’s basset hound. 

    Lush imagery, with a stellar gothic mystery that sucks into its atmospheric storyline. 
    The Snow Collectors, engages the reader with a creative twisty, darkish ghost of a Victorian exploration against the eerie beauty of a world on the fringes of environmental collapse. An eerie labyrinth of poetic prose, that I found impossible to put down. Tina May Hall’s exquisite writing, of a cold case murder, along with a ghosts of a nineteenth-century expedition, interwoven with environmental collapse, is completely original. This is one of those books that stays with you long after you finish reading it.

    Tina May Hall’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in 3rd bed, the minnesota review, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, Water-Stone Review, Fairy Tale Review, and other journals. Her novella in prose poems, All the Day’s Sad Stories, was published by Caketrain Press in the spring of 2009.

    She teaches at Hamilton College and lives in the snowy Northeast with her husband and son in a house with a ghost in the radiator. Some days, she spends with her ear pressed to the wall. Some days, she snowshoes with her son to the wolf-ring in the woods where they drink hot chocolate and howl until the crows chase them home.

    Please follow and like us:

    Book Tour The Great Jewel Robbery

    The Great Jewel Robbery:A Front Page Mystery Book 1
    Elizabeth McKenna
    Category: Adult Fiction, 204 pages
    Genre: Cozy mystery
    Publisher: Elizabeth McKenna
    Release date: May 28, 2019
    Tour dates: August 19-30, 2019
    Content Rating: PG-13

    There is no profanity. There is drinking, desire, and a kiss.

    Synopsis

    Mystery with a splash of romance…Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.

    To read more reviews, please visit Elizabeth McKenna’s page on iRead Book Tours.

    This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

    The Great Jewel Robbery by Elizabeth McKenna is the first book in this delightful cozy mystery series.

    Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. Grace has been assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a Lakeside Mansion on shores of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When her boyfriend has a change of plans she brings Emma along.

    I was immediately sucked into the narrative and devoured every single page of this highly entertaining and deceptive book. Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in the storyline that I lost all sense of time. The author ability to keep my attention in this intriguing cozy mystery. I was definitely lost in this book and nothing was going to distract me until I finished reading it.

    An entertaining and quick read with the right amount of romance, a robbery, murder..a weekend party at a mansion. What more could you ask for?

    This is a fun, breezy mystery that totally enchanted me. The storyline is engaging tension filled who-did -it.

    A great light hearted mystery, that keeps you guessing all the way through.

    Faced paced exceptional dialogue with well developed characters.

    I definitely recommend this book and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

    Do you read cozy mysteries, The light hearted who don it’s?

    Cozy Sweet Cream Pancakes Recipe

    • All-Purpose Flour

    • Baking Powder

    • Baking Soda

    • Salt

    • Sugar

    • Eggs

    • Vanilla Extract

    • Heavy Cream

    • Milk, to thin the batter if desired

    Toppings for Pancakes

    These pancakes may take a few extra minutes to cook, but boy is it worth it! I feel like pancakes are kind of like the blank canvas of breakfast food!

    You can add different toppings to create totally different experiences.

    Gwendalyn G Anderson

    Meet the Author: 

    Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write the historical romance novels Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life (she eventually married her first crush)

    The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances. Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.

    Connect with the author: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

    Enter the Giveaway!
    Ends Sept 6, 2019

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Blog Tour and Giveaway

    Hello Bookish Friends,

    Today is the first stop on this very anticipated Book Tour and Giveaway!

    #TheSorcerersWhore #SamanthaGrosser #HFVBTBlogTours

    The Sorcerer’s Whore
    by Samantha Grosser

    Publication Date: July 16, 2019
    eBook: 330 Pages

    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 …

    Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

    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

    England 1632 

    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.

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Pinterest | Instagram

    Blog Tour Schedule

    Monday, August 12
    Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

    Wednesday, August 14
    Review at Passages to the Past

    Sunday, August 18
    Feature at Diana_bibliophile

    Monday, August 19
    Review at Pencils & Pages

    Tuesday, August 20
    Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

    Thursday, August 22
    Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

    Giveaway

    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 Rules

    – 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.

    Sorcerer’s Whore

    -A little Historical facts-

    The name Cardinal’s Hat (or Cap),

    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.

    Photo from British History Online

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    No Stone Unturned

    Book Tour And Guest Post

    Hello Lovelies,

    Hello my lovely friends! Today I have the huge pleasure to partnered with the Incredible author Pam Lecky and HFVBT

    So grab yourself you favorite Cuppa coffee or tea and let me introduce you to our Heroine the very precocious Mrs Lucy Lawrence…

    *Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win one of two copies of the book*

    #NoStoneUnturned #PamLecky #HFVBTBlogTours @pamlecky @hfvbt #Giveaway

    Publication Date: June 28, 2019
    Paper BookPages: 286

    Series: The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, Book 1
    Genre: Historical Mystery

    No Stone Unturned

    By Pam Lecky

    Synopsis

    A suspicious death, stolen gems, and an unclaimed reward: who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?

    London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.

    When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave, and her life is threatened by the leader of London’s most notorious gang, Lucy must find the strength to rise to the challenge. But who can she trust and how is she to stay out of the murderous clutches of London’s most dangerous criminal?

    Available on Amazon

    #NoStoneUnturned #PamLecky #HFVBTBlogTours

    My Review

    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

    No Stone Unturned is the first book in my new series, The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, perfectly set in Victorian London, and the wilds of Yorkshire in the north of England. The story surrounds a suspicious death of Lucy Lawrence’s husband, which has been made to look like an unfortunate accident, some stolen sapphires belonging to a Kashmiri maharajah, Lucy becomes embroiled by association of her late husband to some ruthless underworld people and their criminal activities. Can she outsmart a London crime lord. She is left almost homeless without much of allowance left to live on by her late husband. Will she be able to put her trust in the dashing Mr Phineas Stone.

    Lucy, has been estranged from her family and society when she eloped with a dashing man. Finding herself suddenly widowed and the circumstances surrounding the death of her late husband Charlie. Strong willed she struggles with social class and gender restrictions of the Victorian age, where strict rules applied to woman.

    This a thrilling book that keeps you on the edge of your seat with unexpected twist. This intriguing mystery of cat and mouse will keep you fully your invested in its heart stopping adventures chases. The authors ability to recreate Victorian England is absolutely astonishing. Descriptive scenes with detailed imagery that you are completely immersed as you are dragged right along with our heroine Lucy Lawerence as she discover clues in this tension filled storyline.

    A brilliantly executed plot that with each scene richly atmospheric that will transport to Victorian period of England with a creative blend of Dorothy L Sayers and PD James styles. I absolutely loved this book and its strong reliance on female friendship.

    Lucy and her maid Mary relationship was so enjoyable that it was by far my favorite in book. Mary’s character development as the book progress was superb. All the sub characters were fascinating as was her friend Judith, and lovable uncle Giles.

    Pam Lackey new book is a perfect page turner, with all the classical elements that make for an exquisite historical thrill ride of a mystery.

    I am new fan of Pam Lackey and I am looking forward to the next installment in this series titled, Footprints in the Sand, and is set in Egypt

    Guest Post

    Death by Coffin!
    For any lover of the Victorian era, London’s most famous cemeteries hold endless fascination. My favourites are Highgate and Kensal Green with their eerie Gothic and Neo-classical architecture. The Victorian obsession with death, the after-life and spiritualism sparked the trend for highly decorated tombs and crypts. Heartbreaking inscriptions, lichen-encrusted headstones and mournful statuary lend a melancholy air to these places. It’s no wonder they feature so much in Gothic fiction. As I researched my latest novel, No Stone Unturned, I delved a little deeper into the history.
    Both cemeteries were built in response to London’s population explosion in the early part of the 19th century which had resulted in graveyards being crammed in between shops and houses with little control over the number of corpses being interred. The smell these sites generated was described as terrible.
    With public health at risk, Parliament passed a statute for seven new private cemeteries to be opened in the countryside around the city boundary. These included Highgate and Kensal Green.
    Highgate Cemetery
    Dan Bridge
    Highgate is probably the most famous of all the Gothic cemeteries. In May 1839, it was dedicated to St James by the Lord Bishop of London. Of the seventeen acres, fifteen were consecrated for members of the Church of England and the remaining two acres were set aside for ‘Dissenters’ (everyone else). Elizabeth Jackson, aged thirty-six, was the first ever burial in Highgate in May 1839.
    London’s wealthy invested heavily in the cemetery due to its amazing views over London (highest point 375 feet above sea level) and its unique architecture and landscaping.
    Kensal Green Cemetery
    Photo Credit: Kraft_Stoff
    “For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen; Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.” G.K. Chesterton’s poem The Rolling English Road.
    Kensal Green was opened by the Bishop of London on 24th January 1833 and was the first commercial cemetery in London. The first burial was the same month.
    A competition for the design of the cemetery was held and the winning entry was for a Gothic style, however, the Chairman of the General Cemetery Company had other ideas. The final design was Neo-classical. As in Highgate, the burial grounds were divided up between the Church of England and the Dissenters. 
    Illustrated Police News
    An Unfortunate Death!
    A pallbearer by the name of Henry Taylor met a tragic end in Kensal Green. While carrying a coffin, he missed his footing and stumbled. His fellow pallbearers let go of the coffin which fell on poor Henry, killing him instantly.
    Here is the description from The Illustrated Police News, November 1872:
    “KILLED BY COFFIN. Dr. Lancaster held an inquest Saturday evening at the University College Hospital, London, on the body Henry Taylor, aged 60. The evidence of E. J. Heading, undertaker’s foreman, and others showed that on the 19th inst. deceased, with others, was engaged at a funeral at Kensal-Green Cemetery. The Church service having been finished, the coffin and mourners proceeded in coaches towards the place of burial. The day being damp, the foreman directed the coaches with the mourners to proceed to the grave by the foot-way, and the hearse across the grass towards a grave-digger, who was motioning the nearest way. The coffin was moved from the hearse and being carried down a path only three feet six wide, by six bearers, when orders were given to turn, so that the coffin, which was what is known in the trade as a four pound leaden one, should head first. While the men were changing, it is supposed that deceased caught his foot against a side stone and stumbled; the other bearers, to save themselves, let the coffin go, and it fell with great force on to deceased, fracturing his jaws and ribs. The greatest confusion was created among the mourners who witnessed the accident, and the widow of the person about to be buried nearly went into hysterics. Further assistance having been procured the burial service was proceeded with, while deceased was conveyed to a surgery, and ultimately to the above mentioned hospital, where he expired on the 24th inst. The jury recommended that straps should be placed round coffins, which would tend to prevent such accidents. Verdict—accidental death. “
    Sadly, although Henry lost his life in Kensal Green, it appears he was not buried there.
    ♦♦♦
    In No Stone Unturned, my heroine Lucy Lawrence buries her husband Charlie in Kensal Green. A mysterious mourner at the graveside soon turns her life upside-down as Charlie’s dirty secrets spill from the grave …
    No Stone Unturned is the first book in the Lucy Lawrence Mystery Series.

    A suspicious death, stolen gems and an unclaimed reward; who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?

    London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.

    When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave and her life is threatened by the leader of London’s most notorious gang, Lucy must find the strength to rise to the challenge. But who can she trust and how is she to stay out of the murderous clutches of London’s most dangerous criminal?

    Amazon Buy Link

     

    About the Author

    Pam is an Irish writer of historical fiction with a particular love of the late Victorian era and early 20th century. She is fascinated by all things 19th century, from food and clothes to architecture and social history. She is patiently awaiting the invention of time travel, but in the meantime, indulges her love of the past by writing about it.

    Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the BRAG Medallion in 2017. It was shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016; made ‘Editor’s Choice’ by the Historical Novel Society; long-listed for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award; and chosen as a Discovered Diamond in February 2017.

    In April 2018, Pam published an anthology of some previously published short reads, along with some new work. Her collection of short stories is entitled, Past Imperfect, and features stories set in such diverse settings as WW1 Dublin, the sinking of the Lusitania and a lonely haunted lighthouse.

    Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

    Blog Tour Schedule

    Monday, August 5
    Review & Interview at Passages to the Past

    Tuesday, August 6
    Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

    Wednesday, August 7
    Excerpt at Words and Peace
    Guest Post at Short Books and Scribes

    Thursday, August 8
    Review & Guest Post at Gwendalyn_Books_

    Friday, August 9
    Review at Bibliophile Reviews

    Sunday, August 11
    Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

    Monday, August 12
    Feature at Coffee and Ink
    Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
    Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

    Giveaway

    During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two copies of No Stone Unturned by Pam Lecky! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

    Giveaway Rules

    – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
    – Giveaway is open internationally.
    – 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.

    No Stone Unturned

    Featured Book Reviewer

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    Book Review ~ Mom’ Perfect Boyfriend

    Happy Pub Day

    Mom’s Perfect Boyfriend

    Author: Crystal Hemmingway

    Publisher: Galbadia Press

    Pub Date: July 16, 2019

    Pages: 297

    @crustalhemmingway

    @galbadia

    @gwendalyns_books_

    I Couldn’t put this Rom-Com down!!

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

    A Brilliantly, Funny refreshing Read

    A story told through a variety of interfaces, Written in the form of journal entries, text messages, emails, and excerpts of the novel Crystal is writing, A brilliant romantic comedy about mothers and daughters, and the hilarious consequences of a not really telling the real truth. The characters were all endearing and the subject matter was interesting and I really liked the format the author chose to write the book in.

    What really stood out for me and what I really loved about this story was the development of the relationships between the Women in the story, and the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship.

    It’s a creative a perfect summer read. Fast paced and enjoyable book that you won’t want to put down.

    Overall, this is creative Romantic comedy that I would recommend to anyone looking to read and is a big fan of a contemporary novels

    I Couldn’t put this Rom-Com down!!

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

    This book was received as an ARC from the Galbadia in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

    Author

    Crystal Hemmingway is a corporate washout and novelist. She lives in Los Angeles with her favorite person and two cats. In her spare time, Crystal enjoys binge-watching TV shows, eating sugary cereals, and pretending to write at coffee shops.

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    Book Review Spin The Dawn

    Hello Lovelies,

    Welcome to my Book Review of Spin The Dawn

    Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
    Series: The Blood of Stars
    Published July 9th 2019 by Knopf
    Genre: young adult, fantasy, asian representation,

    rating: ★★★★1/2

    。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆ 。★ 。☆ 。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆ 。・:*:・゚★,。・:*: 。・:*:・゚★,。・:*:・゚☆

    “Sendo used to tell me fairy tales. How he’d love mine if he were still alive: the tale of a girl who’d sewn the sun, the moon, and the stars into three dresses.”

    Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

    Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
    And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. 

    Sendo used to tell me fairy tales. How he’d love mine if he were still alive: the tale of a girl who’d sewn the sun, the moon, and the stars into three dresses.”

    His gaze bored into mine, deep and penetrating. Melting my resistance. “I know one thing, Maia Tamarin–being with you makes me happier than I have ever been.”

    This book was received as an ARC from NetGalley,in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own 

    This story follows Maia Tamarin, a girl with aspirations to be a tailor, but because she was born female all she can hope for is to make a good match in marriage. However, when her father, a renowned tailor in his own right is summoned by the royal court, Maia decides to pose as a boy to save her father from becoming even more ill on the journey. Aware that the penalty of death is imposed for her actions, she’s determined to overcome the hardships to become the best tailor. Except she’s one of twelve tailors eyeing the coveted position. Despite her skills, she becomes caught up in the schemes of saboteur tailors and is saved by the royal court magician Edan, who has seen through her disguise; his motives unclear. Her final challenge is the most difficult: crafting three dresses for the king’s bride-to-be using the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of the stars. Her journey will set her on a path that she never imagined, 

    Maia Tamarin, has aspirations to be a tailor, in world where women are subservient. Born the only girl in a family of three older brothers, with a Father as Tailor. She sacrifices everything to protect her family. In a turn of events she seizes the opportunity for a one in life time chance to become a Court Tailor. Maia decides to pose as a boy and Travel to court In disguise as her brother .while there she must avoid court intrigue and schemes of saboteur tailors .She must face her final challenge crafting three dresses for the king’s bride-to-be using the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of the stars. 

    Her journey will set her on a path that she never imagined.. 

    The Author has creatively weaved One Thousand and One Nights into a Chinese-themed adventure story, with just enough sweet romance to make it a perfect read!
    This is one of those books that you just have to read to know what feeling I’m getting at. It sucks you in and keeps you hungry for more until you reach the mind-blowing ending. It’s a unique and unforgettable magical storyline. Masterfully created spellbinding world. I devoured this one as fast as I could and was completely drawn into the lives of these characters.  I turned those pages as fast as I could and then slowly took in this beautifully written page turner. 
    What I especially liked is Elizabeth Lim imaginative writing style. I feel in love with the overall premise of the novel, and the quick pace it kept me engaged. 

    I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the next installment in this series.

    I am having a give away on my IG Account

    Clink On The pic below, to take you there

    Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.

    Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.

    Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.

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    Book Tour and Giveaway.

    Welcomed To The

    Someday We Will Fly Book Tour

    @RachelDeWoskin

    Grade Level: 7 – 9
    Hardcover: 368 pages
    Publisher:
    Viking Books for Young Readers (January 22, 2019)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0670014966
    ISBN-13: 978-0670014965

    Praise for SOMEDAY WE WILL FLY “DeWoskin explores a rarely depicted topic. . .A beautifully nuanced exploration of culture and people.” ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review “An unusual portrait of what war does to families in general and children in particular . . . affirms the human need for art and beauty in hard times.” ―Booklist, starred review

    “A provocative exploration of what resilience means when you’re pushed to the edge.” ―BCCB

    “With pathos and a fine eye for historical detail, DeWoskin (Blind) relates the story of Shanghai’s Jewish refugees during WWII, when Shanghai was under Japanese occupation. DeWoskin captures the crushing destruction of war and occupation, the unfathomable resilience communities can muster through cross-cultural friendships and acts of kindness, and the power of the performing arts to foster hope in times of struggle and desperation.” —Publishers Weekly

    “A provocative exploration of what resilience means when you’re pushed to the edge.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

    DeWoskin vividly captures this fraught time of dislocation and turmoil, and deftly connects the anguish of Jewish refugees and the agony of the Japanese occupation, elevating this beautiful novel into a clarion call for peace. —The National Book Review

    “Rachel DeWoskin’s storytelling features an extraordinary combination of curiosity and kindness, on top of a belief that everyone can have an impact on the world they find themselves in. Someday We Will Fly is powerful, adventurous story of a teenager who confronts the brutal history with courage, love, and imagination. I could not put it down.” —Aleksandar Hemon, author of Nowhere Man and The Lazarus Project 


    “An engrossing and beautifully-rendered plunge into less-known Holocaust history, featuring the plight of Jewish World War II refugees in Japanese-occupied Shanghai.” —Julie Berry, Printz Honor-winning author of The Passion of Dolssa“Though I have written extensively about the Holocaust in novels, a picture book, poems, I had never before heard of the 23,000 Jews who fled to Shanghai for the duration of the war. Starvation, rough treatment by occupying Japanese troops, the teenagers turning to all kinds of difficult work (including gentlemen’s clubs as dancers and prostitution) to make money for their devastated families. Rampant disease, and early deaths were their daily lot. In Someday We Will Fly Rachel DeWoskin has taken the horrors and turned them into a YA novel that is terrifically moving and full of a kind of poetry in motion that is both terrifying and uplifting in equal measure.” —Jane Yolen, author of Mapping the Bones, The Stone Angel, Devil’s Arithmetic, Briar RoseFleeing Poland 1941, Lillia and her circus preforming family become split: her mother is left behind while the family travels to the last city that will take Jewish refugees: Shanghai. This unique view into a forgotten part of history is told with candid, yet lovely prose. While some aspects of the story are embellished, the book holds true to history. A great companion to Salt to the Sea. —Readers Books “Someday We Will Fly is an intense and immersive novel.” —TeenReadsOTHER HONORS
    ● Junior Library Guild selection
    ● Kirkus “Historical Fiction Gems” selection (January 2019)
    ● Bookish January 2019 Book Club PickWarsaw, Poland. The year is 1940 and Lillia is 15 when her mother, Alenka, disappears and her father flees with Lillia and her younger sister, Naomi, to Shanghai, one of the few places that will accept Jews without visas. There they struggle to make a life; they have no money, there is little work, no decent place to live, a culture that doesn’t understand them. And always the worry about Alenka. How will she find them? Is she still alive? Meanwhile Lillia is growing up, trying to care for Naomi, whose development is frighteningly slow, in part from malnourishment. Lillia finds an outlet for her artistic talent by making puppets, remembering the happy days in Warsaw when they were circus performers. She attends school sporadically, makes friends with Wei, a Chinese boy, and finds work as a performer at a “gentlemen’s club” without her father’s knowledge.But meanwhile the conflict grows more intense as the Americans declare war and the Japanese force the Americans in Shanghai into camps. More bombing, more death. Can they survive, caught in the crossfire?You can purchase Someday We Will Fly at the following Retailers: Photo Content from Rachel DeWoskin

    Rachel DeWoskin has spent much of her life in China, including childhood summers with her parents and brothers, excavating ancient Chinese musical and medical instruments for her dad’s research. Rachel lived in Bejing for most of her twenties, where she became the unlikely star of a Chinese soap opera called Foreign Babes in Bejing. She spent the last six summers in Shanghai, where she researched and wrote Someday We Will Fly.
    Rachel lives in Chicago with her husband, playwright Zayd Dohrn, and their two daughters. She is on the fiction faculty of the University of Chicago and is an affiliated faculty member in Jewish studies and East Asian Studies.

    Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

    3 Winners will receive a Copy of SOMEDAY WE WILL FLY By Rachel DeWoskin.

    http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e849f7751655/


    – 3 Winners will receive a Copy of SOMEDAY WE WILL FLY By Rachel DeWoskin.

            

    *JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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    Blog Tour A Bad Breed

    Today Is My Stop On The A Bad Breed

    BookTour And Giveaway

    #Giveaway

    A Bad Breed
    Kat Ross
    (Gaslamp Gothic, #3)
    Published by: Acorn Publishing
    Publication date: May 31st 2019
    Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling

    Pricolici.

    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.

    Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

    Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
    • $20 Amazon gift card
    • Signed copies of the first 2 books in the Gaslamp Gothic series

    GIVEAWAY!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233137/

    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 *

    Author Bio:

    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.

    Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

    Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
    • $20 Amazon gift card
    • Signed copies of the first 2 books in the Gaslamp Gothic series

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    Welcome To Collateral Damage Take over Tour

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Click on the Banner To listen ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Purchase by clicking on the Amazon button

    #taylorsimonds #collateraldammage #superheroes #fantasyreads #yareads #theparliamenthousepress #TPHTours

    Debuting at a 1# Spot Is No Small Feet

    @taylor_on_tour @theparliamentpress

    •Publisher: The Parliament House

    •Author: Taylor Simonds

    •Book Title: Collateral Damage

    Power. Courage. Invincibility. The marks of a true hero.

    Meg Sawyer has none of these things.

    Meg has never stopped a moving bus with her bare hands, been bitten by a radioactive
    insect, or done anything moderately resembling saving the world. She doesn’t have to. She’s a background citizen, a nobody, one of the swarms of faceless civilians of Lunar City–where genetically enhanced superhumans straight out of the comics have thwarted
    evil for years.

    For as long as the Supers have existed, Meg has had one goal: to not become a
    casualty in their near-daily battles for justice. And for the last seventeen years, she’s managed to do just that. Sure, her minimum-wage job at the local coffee shop isn’t great, she can’t even leave her apartment without loading herself up with protective
    gear, and her car was just hijacked to throw at a supervillain (again), but she’s not dead yet.

    But when Meg accidentally finds one of the city’s perfect, invincible protectors
    murdered under extremely suspicious circumstances, her whole “innocent bystander” strategy falls apart. After being coerced by his determined girlfriend into a mission to help prevent the deaths of the remaining Supers, Meg finds herself forced into the foreground
    of a story she never wanted to be part of—one that challenges everything she thought she knew about both her city and herself.

    Collateral Damage Chapter 1

    Arnold is dead.

    It’s not my fault. Let’s get that clear. These kinds of things usually aren’t, but that doesn’t change the unavoidable fact that he’s super, super dead.

    I wish I could say Arnold’s dead-ness is unexpected, but the truth is, I’m impressed he even survived this long.

    My last car only made it six months.

    To be fair, he’s not technically dead yet, but he’s definitely going to be in a few minutes. Maybe it’s fatalistic to write this off as an inevitability, but I’ve lived in Lunar City long enough to know when it’s someone’s—or something’s, in this case—final day.

    In this case, it’s the police scanner duct-taped to my dashboard that sets off the feeling of impending doom—but even before it starts blaring, I can already tell something’s wrong. The desperate hope that maybe the hordes of people running hysterically down the street toward my car are participating in some kind of 5K only lasts a few moments before, with a pavement-rattling eruption, the tidal wave of dark smoke starts rolling in behind them. This, as you’d imagine, shuts my original theory down pretty quickly.

    As if the stampeding herd isn’t enough of an indicator, the police scanner suddenly lets out a static-laced crackle that quickly gives way to a garbled, warped version of the authoritative shouting I’ve come to expect from it. I prod the finicky device until the muffled noise turns into something that sounds like “two casualties,” “East Seventh Avenue,” and “SuperVariants have engaged,” and that’s enough for me.

    “Absolutely not,” I mutter, yanking the steering wheel to the left and dodging across the traffic down a side road. “Not today.”

    This turns out to be one of my worse ideas, because the side road is already occupied by one of the Supers.

    SuperVariant Three, if we’re being specific.

    I would accuse the Lunar City Police Department of misinformation (East Seventh, right? Did the scanner not just say he was on East Seventh?), but I’m not really supposed to have a scanner, so there’s no one to complain to.

    My tires screech as I hit the brakes, just feet away from the standstill traffic blocking the road, the owners having abandoned their cars in favor of running. And there, about six cars ahead of me, boots firmly planted on the hood like it’s some kind of pedestal, is SuperVariant Three. The morning sun glistens off the gray leather supersuit he’s wearing like it’s a second skin, his famously perfect blue-black hair positioned in its trademark coil over his forehead.

    “Everybody out of the streets!” he’s ordering, a gloved hand cupped around his chiseled jaw. “Get to someplace safe! You need to—”

    A piercing scream grabs both of our attention. It’s impossible to tell who it came from, but it’s clearly someone out of the cluster on the sidewalk—one of the dozen or so heads gaping upward in terror at a massive billboard groaning on its hinges, a light breeze away from crashing down to the street below.

    “Oh, no,” I whisper, and then Three and I both move at the same time.

    I’m not worried about the people underneath the billboard. I’m worried about me. Because I’ve seen Three in action before, and I know his MO.

    In the few seconds that it takes me to lunge for my backpack—an unwieldy black monstrosity jangling with a color-coded assortment of safety gear all firmly labeled please return to Meg Sawyer—and smash a thumb into the release on my seatbelt, the billboard has wrenched free with a fantastic howl. I can see Three flying toward it in a gray blur.

    Get out of the way, get out of the way, get out of the way—

    I tumble out of the car and lunge for the sidewalk just as Three reaches the falling metal. There’s a weird moment of optimism where I wonder if maybe today, he’ll be different; maybe today, he’ll just catch it and gently put it down on the ground like a normal, rational human. No show of power, no flashy stunts.

    But then he raises his fist and decks the absolute hell out of it.

    I have just enough time to snatch the closest thing I can grab off my backpack—which turns out to be a safety helmet, thank god, and not something completely useless for the situation, like a Band-Aid or hand sanitizer—and jam it on my head before the billboard’s trajectory is walloped away from the paralyzed citizens and toward the small army of abandoned cars lining the road.

    I’ll give Three this: the guy’s got a future career in bowling if he ever wants it.

    There’s something weirdly satisfying about watching the ripple of cars get smashed to pieces. It’s like when you line up a chain of dominos and push one over. The not-satisfying thing is the knowledge that the billboard on its own would never have been able to cause this much damage, but I guess you can turn anything into a missile if you super-punch it hard enough.

    The rippling of the first few cars is the only thing I see, however, because that’s when I dive behind the closest tree, cover my organs with my backpack, and clamp my eyes and mouth shut against the impending cloud of dust and debris. The last thing I need today is to get impaled by flying shrapnel.

    The next few moments are underscored by a soundtrack I know very well—the sound of metal screeching as it wrenches apart, glass shattering, steel pounding into the sidewalk. When the noise gets replaced by silence, followed by the clamor of breathless, relieved sobs of gratitude that can only mean the people on the other side of the street have suddenly realized they’re not dead, I know it’s safe enough to open my eyes and peer around the corner.

    As expected, SuperVariant Three is not looking in horror at the destruction he’s just caused to eight different vehicles (including my poor, useless Arnold, which is now a blackened, charred mess with a sliced-off roof and an eruption of smoke pouring out of the engine). No, he’s floating above the awestruck crowd, beaming down at them. I can’t make out any of what they’re all saying to him—probably something along the lines of “I love you” or “sign my face” or “let me name my children after you”—but his proud, confident voice carries.

    “Not a problem,” he’s saying. “Just doing my duty.”

    My mouth falls open. Not a problem? I have a problem. I have several problems. I’m about to step off the sidewalk to march over and tell him so, but then there’s a near-intangible blur of orange light accompanied by a gust of wind that rips past me so quickly, my helmet clatters to the ground and my choppy red hair blows over my eyes. “Watch it!” I yell, shaking my bangs back into place.

    “Hey, Three!” The blur zig-zags through the maze of destroyed cars and slams to a stop near Three and his fawning fans, coming into focus as a tall figure with a sleek wave of black hair, coated in a dull orange neoprene bodysuit. SuperVariant Four. Take a guess what his thing is.

    “Quit flirting; One needs backup.” Four stands still long enough to get the words out before he readjusts his opaque goggles and runs up the side of a building, disappearing in another orange flash over the top.

    “I do not!” an unseen voice screams in outrage, and then, oh, what a surprise, another Super. A deep purple blotch in the distance that I recognize immediately as SuperVariant One, asymmetrical cape trailing behind her, rockets out from over the building Four has just disappeared behind. I vaguely wonder where SuperVariant Two is in all this. If I had invisibility powers, I probably wouldn’t show up to these shenanigans at all. No one would even know

    SuperVariant One executes a sharp swivel in midair that makes her thick, dark braid snap like a whip, and yells, “I can handle this!” She makes a claw shape with her hands, reaches toward the ground, and scoops upward. In response, a car parked at the end of the street rises languidly into the air. She uncurls her right hand into a flat palm and presses it forward, sending the car catapulting over her head and toward some unseen enemy

    “Oh, no,” I moan, and instinctively try to shield Arnold behind my body, even though he’s pretty much a lost cause as a vehicle at this point. “It never works!” I yell up at her. “Throw something else!”

    She doesn’t even look my way. Before I can say anything else, her left hand is thrown out in that claw shape again, and Arnold is hurtling through the air to join the other car. The thing that’s been antagonizing the Supers has come into view from behind the building, and I can see the polished gleam of an eight-story-tall robot, with some human operating it from inside its transparent head. A robot. Not for the first time, I feel myself filled with irritation rather than terror at the threat of the day. I mean, come on, guys. How did someone build a giant robot in this city without anyone noticing? If someone’s getting eight hundred tons of metal delivered to their house, that needs to be a red flag.

    The robot doesn’t even turn its head as its right arm swings up and blocks my car with the earsplitting clang of metal on metal, sending it careening back toward the pavement in a shower of sparks.

    I shield my head with my arm as my car crashes and rolls, coming to a smoking stop a few yards away from me, then look back up dejectedly. The Supers are already gone, leading the robot farther down the street.

    “You’re fine, right Arnold?” I yell at my car.

    It erupts into flames.

    Okay. I’ll just walk to work.

    I reach around for the metal rod clipped magnetically to the side of my backpack and press a button. It instantly lengthens and expands into a titanium umbrella, riddled with minor dents and scratches. A bowling ball-size crater dips into the left side, giving the whole umbrella an uneven, sagging look. A burn mark from who knows what (I want to say maybe lasers) is just below that. It’s been through a lot, but it still works, I think. I mean, I’m not dead yet.

    I raise it above my head and start walking.

    Tour wide giveaway On Instagram •

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    Prize:

    • US ONLY: Paperback copy of Collateral Damage

    • INTERNATIONAL: Collateral Damage E-Book!

      To enter:
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      – Go to @theparliamentpress and click on the link in their bio to enter.

      For 1 extra entry share the giveaway image (swipe to see giveaway image) in your IG story and
      tag author and publisher.


      Rules:
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    1. Q: Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.

    A: I don’t know if two books is enough to supply a scientifically justifiable pattern, but pretending it is, here’s the process:

        1) A book premise and ending drop themselves into my head fully formed. I know who my characters are and where they’re going and I have no idea how they’re going to get there.

        2) I pants. I write without an outline. It is bad. “The first draft is telling the story to yourself!” I scream at myself as I write many, many bad words that I know I will delete later.

        3) Somewhere around the 40,000-word mark, I realize that I have made a crucial error in developing one of my lead characters. That personality isn’t right at all. I have to fix it. Wait, I need to change the opening scene to match the characterization I actually want them to have. Wait, none of these characters are right. This worldbuilding is so half-baked. This would make a much better inciting incident. What am I doing?

        4) I move all 40,000 words to a file labeled “WIP Dumping Grounds” and start over from scratch.

        5) I do this three more times until I have 40,000 words I don’t hate and then I finish the book, still screaming

    2. Q: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

    A: I have to know who my characters are before I start writing, or the story will never get written—I’m the world’s worst pantser, so all I ever know going into a book is who my book is about and where they’re trying to get to. For COLLATERAL DAMAGE I had a set of references for each character to use as a template for if I got stuck (Meg was Mia Thermopolis x Veronica Sawyer x Darcy Lewis x Haruhi Fujioka, for example, mixed with a few friends I know in real life). I feel like if I can understand my characters on as many levels as possible—what they want, what they fear, what they’re trying to accomplish, who or what raised them, how they connect to others, how they talk and move—they’ll become as familiar to me as real people. And if I let them act like real people, they’ll naturally make choices that create the plot

    3. Q: Where is your favorite place to write?

    A: DISNEY WORLD RESORTS. I’m so lucky that I live so close to them. I work from home as an editor most of the time and if I had to stay in my bedroom all day I’d go crazy, so my favorite thing to do is go work at one of the themed hotels. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation, and it’s so easy to be inspired when every aspect of the Disney brand relies so heavily on thematic storytelling. My top three spots are Beach Club, which makes me feel like I’m on a cruise ship, Wilderness Lodge, which makes me feel like I’m on a writing retreat in the woods, and the Grand Floridian, which is just fancy.

    4. Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find

    A: Yes! COLLATERAL DAMAGE is a play on the superhero genre, which I’m a huge fan of, so there are Easter eggs and references all over the place. No real names or exact details are used, of course, but they’re clear enough for a potential fellow nerd to be like “Wait, this feels like Spider-Man. That’s a Flash joke. That thing covered in gemstones they just walked past in the vault is totally the Infinity Gauntlet.” Stuff like that.

    5. Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    A: I prefer each book to stand on its own! One of my favorite concepts is “leave the reader wanting more, not needing more.” I’m an advocate for letting books work on their own as a self-contained unit; I don’t like it when a story ends with all of its ends still loose. I shouldn’t have to buy another book to know how the first book’s conflict wraps up! I think of it as a TV series—you know how each season typically has a central theme, antagonist, character arc, collection of new characters, etc.? By the end of the season, almost everything that has been presented should have reached a conclusion—but then the last episode will hit you with a tease that there’s more to come, like the camera shift to the looming Upside-Down after the school dance scene at the end of Stranger Things. I prefer books in a series to work in the same way—when a reader picks up a book, they’re being invited on a journey, and it’s unfair to the reader to cut that journey short. Without giving anything away from the end of COLLATERAL DAMAGE, there is definitely room for a sequel eventually because it’s superheroes, but I don’t think anyone would feel confused or infuriated if this was the only book in this world that ever got written. I like to put bows on things!

    #taylorsimonds #collateraldammage #superheroes #fantasyreads #yareads #theparliamenthousepress #TPHTours

    #bookstagram #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #read #reading #alwaysreading #coverlove #tbr #ireadya #bookishgiveaway #marvel

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    Blog Tour and Review ⚜️ Eternally Artemisia

    ⚜️Author: Melissa Muldoon

    ⚜️Publisher: MATTA Press

    ⚜️⚜️⚜️Author: Melissa Muldoon⚜️⚜️Publisher: MATTA Press⚜️⚜️⚜️

    Book Details:

    • Book Title: Eternally Artemisia : Some loves, like some women, are timeless by Melissa Muldoon
    • Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 312 pages
    • Genre: Fiction General, Fiction Women
    • Publisher: Matta Press
    • Release date: March 2019
    • Tour dates: June 3 to 28, 2019
    • Content Rating: PG-13 + M (The themes of the book deal with rape and overcoming sexual abuse. It is a book about female empowerment and how with the right tools, and support women may rise above past tragedies to build a better future for themselves.)

    They say some loves travel through time and are fated to meet over and over again. For Maddie, an art therapist, who wrestles with the “peculiar feeling” she has lived previous lives and is being called to Italy by voices that have left imprints on her soul, this idea is intriguing. Despite her best efforts, however, proof of this has always eluded her. That is, until one illuminating summer in Italy when Maddie’s previous existences start to bleed through into her current reality. When she is introduced to the Crociani family—a noble clan with ties to the seventeenth-century Medici court that boasts of ancestors with colorful pasts—she finally meets the loves of her life. One is a romantic love, and another is a special kind of passion that only women share, strong amongst those who have suffered greatly yet have triumphed despite it.

    As Maddie’s relationship develops with Artemisia Gentileschi—an artist who in a time when it was unheard of to denounce a man for the crime of rape, did just that—Maddie discovers a kindred spirit and a role model, and just what women are capable of when united together.

    In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men. With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the “thing” we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.

    Praise for Eternally Artemisia:

    “A true Renaissance woman, Melissa Muldoon weaves her passions for art and Italy into a stirring saga that sweeps across centuries. As her time-traveling heroine Maddie reconnects with kindred souls, we meet Artemisia Gentileschi, the 17th-century artist who overcame rape and ignominy to gain respect and acclaim. Historic figures such as Galileo and Mussolini also come to life in this intricately plotted novel, but the women who defy all constraints to take control of their destinies are the ones who prove to be eternally fascinating.” — Dianne Hales

    What a lovely story! Melissa weaves the lives of 4 women across time, all with some connection to Artemisia Gentileschi, a 16th century Italy painter. They represent the feminine strength that arises from life challenges, each with their unique intelligence. Underlying their stories is the idea that love transcends all, even time, love is timeless. As with her other books, Melissa fills the story out with interesting facts and references to the Italian life, culture and it’s history, her attention to detail is immaculate . I loved all of the many connections in this story that tied it all together, very cleverly done. Wonderful read, I would highly recommend it. – Lize, Amazon Reviewer

    Melissa Muldoon does a phenomenal job blending fiction, romance, art history, and the Italian language into this gem. For fans of historical fiction, romance, and time travel, I strongly recommend this novel. –Exemplary Editing, Amazon Review

    To read reviews, please visit Melissa Muldoon’s page on Italy Book Tours

    In the pages of this book, you will learn the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the first famous female artists to paint in the tradition of Caravaggio. I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by Artemisia and have wanted to tell her story. But Artemisia is just a part of the equation—the novel takes readers back to biblical days and forward in time again exploring the idea that some lives are intertwined and are destined to meet over and over again.

    You can purchase this book and all of her books

    Prizes:
    1st Prize: Win a 3-book set (Dreaming Sophia,
    Waking Isabella, and Eternally Artemisia) by Melissa Muldoon; 2nd and 3rd prizes: Win a paperback copy of Eternally Artemisia (open to USA & Canada / 3 winners total)

    Ends July 5, 2019

    Thank you to iRead Book Tours and Melissa Muldoon for providing me a free personalized and autographed copy of Eternally Artemisia in exchange for my completely honest and unbiased review.

    Eternally Artemisia is Melissa Muldoon third book.

    In the beginning we see through the narrative eyes of the painter, Atremesia.Right from the start the author grabs your interest with imagination details of trials the pious young widow from a Jewish city beheads the general of an Assyrian army sent to destroy the city.

    It then moves forward to present day, with Maddie a 40 year old art therapist who has decided to live her dream of relocating from New York City to Italy. Melissa Muldoon, weaves multiple layered time lines to create an engaging historical rich book. The authors ability to weave her descriptive voice and historical magical realism to create an intriguing novel. Wonderful character development engaging narrative and dialogue.

    Ms Muldoon, captures the strength struggles of women in multiple eras, to create a passionate and beautiful written novel. The book was a nonstop read for me and what I really enjoyed was the female bonds the author creates through extraordinary folding parallel timeframes.

    Four courageous women across multiple times controlling their own destinies.

     

    Melissa Muldoon is the author of three novels set in Italy: “Dreaming Sophia,” “Waking Isabella,” and “Eternally Artemisia.” All three books tell the stories of American women and their journeys of self-discovery to find love, uncover hidden truths, and follow their destinies to shape a better future in Italy.

    Melissa is also the author of the Studentessa Matta website, where she promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog written in Italian and English (studentessamatta.com). Studentessa Matta means the “crazy linguist” and has grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per l’Italiano and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram feed. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Programs, which she co-leads with Italian schools in Italy to learn Italian in Italy. Through her website, she also offers the opportunities to live and study in Italy through Homestay programs. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

    She has also studied painting and art history in Florence. She is an artist, designer, and illustrated the cover art for all three of her books. Melissa is also the managing director of Matta Press. As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again, but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event. Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency—a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways. Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Eternally Artemisia, Waking Isabella, and Dreaming Sophia.

    She also curates the Dreaming Sophia Art History blog site and Pinterest site: The Art of Loving Italy, where you will find companion pictures for all three books. Visit MelissaMuldoon.com for more information about immersion trips to learn the language with Melissa in Italy, as well as the Studentessa Matta blog for practice and tips to learn the Italian language.

    Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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    Book Tour★Something Like Gravity

    Today I Partnered With FFBC

    To Bring You

    Something Like Gravity

    By Amber Smith

    @mtmctours

    @Amber Smith

    Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

    Release Date: June 18th 2019

    Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult, Romance

    https://open.spotify.com/track/0Y8uABAzh2Kh8LhmAqsnfs?si=QzYcOFAVRvOmmn_23MESRA

    ⭐️Don’t forget to click on the above picture to enjoy this song picked by the Author

    Synopsis

    For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel

    about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love

    changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.

    Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.

    A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t

    fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of

    her.

    But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they

    just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

    The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still

    processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the

    loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling

    in love was the last thing on either of their minds.

    But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?

    BOOK LINKS

    Goodreads:

    Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels

    The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, and Something Like Gravity. An

    advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ

    equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark

    dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now

    lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her partner and their ever-growing family

    of rescued dogs and cats. You can find her online at AmberSmithAuthor.com.

    Website:http://ambersmithauthor.com/

    Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9857002.Amber_Smith

    Twitter:

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ambersmithauthor/

    Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/AmberSmithAuthor

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    Book Tour and Review The Severed Knot

    Hello Bookish Friends,

    Today I have teamed up the author, Cryssa Bazos And Historical Fiction Book Tours, to bring you

    Severed Knot
    @CryssaBazos

    #TraitorsKnot @HFVBT

    Severed Knot
    By Cryssa Bazos
    Publisher: W. M. Jackson Publishing
    Publication Date: June 16, 2019

    Barbados 1652. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth.

    Barbados 1652. In the aftermath of the English Civil War, the vanquished are uprooted and scattered to the ends of the earth.
    When marauding English soldiers descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family farm, she is sold into slavery. After surviving a harrowing voyage, the young Irish woman is auctioned off to a Barbados sugar plantation where she is thrust into a hostile world of depravation and heartbreak. Though stripped of her freedom, Mairead refuses to surrender her dignity.
    Scottish prisoner of war Iain Johnstone has descended into hell. Under a blazing sun thousands of miles from home, he endures forced indentured labour in the unforgiving cane fields. As Iain plots his escape to save his men, his loyalties are tested by his yearning for Mairead and his desire to protect her.
    With their future stolen, Mairead and Iain discover passion and freedom in each other’s arms. Until one fateful night, a dramatic chain of events turns them into fugitives.
    Together they fight to survive; together they are determined to escape.

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #5Star

    Severed Knot is Cryssa Bazos follow up to her award winning debut novel, In this emotional charged book set in 1652. We meet the two main protagonist, Iain and Mairean. Iain is a Scottish soldier captured while fighting for the Royalist cause in the Battle of Worcesterin 1651. As a consequence to his royalist loyalty he ends up being shipped out with his band of soldiers as indentured servant to the island of Barbados.

    Mairean is a young woman who is kidnapped by marauding English soldiers who descend on Mairead O’Coneill’s family farm. She finds herself on board a slavers ship bound for Barbados, there she meets Iain. They are eventually sold at auction to the same sugarcane plantation.

    I was fully immersed in this character driven drama, with well developed characters, who came to life right off the page.The Author sets this historical romance to the backdrop of the lush and hostile Barbados. In Ms Brazo’s tragic historical fiction, Mairead and Iain romance interweaves between survival and the dark cruelty of servitude within plantation life. The strength of the novel lies in the authors ability capture the human heart and soul. With both futures stolen, Iain and Mairean, find passion and freedom in each other’s arms. Both have vowed to gain there freedom and return to there homeland at all costs.

    The Authors realistic storyline catapults you into a world authentic details about sugar manufacture. Her portrayal and descriptive content draws you into the harsh reality of the horrors and violent struggles of plantation life.

    Severed Knot, is a stunning achievement of heartache, survival and death.

    Cryssa Bazos’s sets the bar in realistic historical fiction. Her ability to precisely set the character conflict with romance, for a powerful and unforgettable, riveting novel.

    The novels premise and the writing definitely intrigued me and kept me entertained. The pace was brisk and the dialogue is fluid and engaging. Her true to life candid theme of enforced labor is gut wrenching and gruesome at times.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the tension of this storyline and it had me hooked right from the very first chapter. Ms Bazos’s meticulous research pulled me in from page one and kept me fully captivated and intrigued until the very end. Knowing the caliber of her writing, I knew I would be in for an intense and gripping read, which is exactly what this was. The authors execution is impeccable and each scene is richly atmospheric.

    Severed Knot, is a stunning achievement of heartache, survival and death.

    Once again the author delivers a captivating and nonstop historical fiction, with intriguing plot twist with believable characters that keeps you vested all the way through until a satisfying end.

    I am definitely looking forward to reading more books by this author!

    Thanks to the author and to the publisher for sending me this early Arc,

    in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

    Click the icons to add to your Goodreads and you can purchase on Amazon

    Sunlight sparkled on the water. A slight breeze rippled the otherwise still water. Another splash. At first, Mairead didn’t see anything, then someone surfaced. A man, skimming across the pond, arms and legs slicing through the water. Even before he turned, she knew who it was. Johnstone.

    Mairead knew she should back away and leave before he caught her watching—he’d be insufferable otherwise. That, or bark her head off as any self-respecting ogre. And yet something pinned her to the spot.

    He dove into the water, his body curving with a flash of his naked buttocks.

    Mairead’s eyes widened, and she edged closer. When he split the surface of the lake, he caused a spray of water drops to splatter. He stood facing her direction, eyes closed. Raising his hands to his head, he slicked back his dark blond hair.

    Mairead didn’t dare move. She watched how the muscles in his arms flexed. Her eyes travelled across his broad chest with its light mat of hair. A trail of darkish hair ran down from chest to stomach until it disappeared below the pond’s surface. Mairead craned her head to peer into the pond, but the water was murky and brownish-green.

    Johnstone dove under again. Mairead sat back on her heels and nibbled her fingertip, considering her options. She really should leave. A smile played at the corner of her mouth as she made herself more comfortable.

    Johnstone surfaced and began to paddle lazily in the water. His head was tipped backwards, his face presented to the sun. His skin had become tanned and gleamed against the lapping water.

    Mairead watched, captivated. He seemed at one with the water. She didn’t know too many who could swim, and none so well. Her own brothers had enjoyed a quick barrelling leap into the river back home, splashing like mad puppies and thrashing in the water. They had taught her to float, but swimming across the water as this Scotsman was now doing, with strong, purposeful strokes, was an art, and one she admired greatly. So she told herself.

    After a few moments, prudence whispered that she had stayed long enough. Mairead rose from her crouch, careful not to rustle a leaf, but just as she moved Johnstone finished his swim and headed back to the bank. Mairead dropped to the ground again so he wouldn’t notice her.

    Johnstone slowly waded out of the water, all glorious and dripping. Mairead’s breath locked in her throat. She took in that expanse of chest, the tapered waist then . . . Blessed Mother of Jesus.

    She made a slight choking sound, and Johnstone stopped to look around.

    “Who’s there?” he called out in her direction.

    Mairead’s face flooded. He would never let her live this down. She had to get away from here without him seeing her.

    No time for discretion.

    Mairead darted for the trail. She risked a glance over her shoulder to catch a glimpse of Johnstone yanking on his breeches. And that was her downfall. Literally. A root hooked her foot, and she crashed to the ground with a cry. Then she heard him thrashing through the brush behind her. Mairead scrambled to her feet and managed to take a few more strides before he caught up with her, grabbing a fistful of her petticoat in his hand.

    Mairead twisted around and found herself face-to-face with Iain Locharbaidh Johnstone. It was one thing to gawk at the man from a distance but to be this close to his still-wet chest squeezed the breath from her lungs. She averted her eyes, not sure where she could safely look, and her gaze landed on his unlaced breeches. More wet skin. Heat flooded her cheeks.

    “Oh!”

    Johnstone released her and swore under his breath while he laced up his breeches. “What were you doing, woman?”

    “Nothing! I . . . I came down for a wash.”

    “Do you always hide in the shrubs when taking a wash?” His eyes narrowed, causing her to squirm. “Here’s a tip, lass, the water works far better. Not sure what they do in Ireland, but that’s how it’s done in Scotland.”

    “I was not hiding in the shrubs.” Mairead hid her crossed fingers in the folds of her petticoat and searched lamely for an adequate rebuttal. “I had only reached the shrubs when you starting crashing around like a mad man. And don’t you dare disparage my homeland with your poor attempt of humour.”

    “How long were you watching me?”

    Mairead felt her face blaze. “I was not watching you, to be sure. Have you not heard a thing I’ve said?”

    He folded his arms across his chest and quirked his brow. “Building a nest in the shrubs, then, like a wee mouse?”

    “Stop calling me a mouse,” Mairead said, now with true outrage. Small and insignificant—was she always to be thought this way? No one ever compared Ciara to a mouse. Not even Bronagh—a shrew, perhaps, but never a mouse.

    The corners of his mouth lifted slightly. “Aye, you were watching.”

    She knew it—she knew he’d be insufferable! “I didn’t know who was in the pond and the moment . . . the moment I discovered who it was . . . For certain, it could have been anyone . . . even . . . even Masterton the Younger.”

    Johnstone quirked a brow, amusement playing across his features. Mairead’s gaze latched on to his deepening smile, and she only now noticed the firmness of his jaw and how the droplets of water clung to his blond whiskers.

    Mairead tore her eyes away and forced herself to meet his eyes. “What? What do you find so amusing?”

    “Not sure where to start.” Was that laughter in his voice?

    Mairead’s inner voice sat her down and delivered a stern lecture. Concede the field, Mairead. Retreat now. No shame in admitting defeat. And yet she dashed the voice of reason and found herself saying, “Make an effort. Explain it to me.”

    “You thought you were ogling Masterton?”

    Mairead’s jaw dropped. “I never said—”

    Johnstone’s teeth flashed in a smile. “He’ll be flattered, lass, but

    I’d steer clear of his wife, were I you. She’ll not think twice to chase you off the croft with a broom.”

    “I never said I was ogling him!”

    “Oh aye? But you were ogling someone?”

    Mairead sucked in her breath. “You. Are. An. Impossible. Man!”

    She finally did what her good sense had urged her to do earlier. She whirled around and fled the field.

    Connect with Cryssa through her Website (cryssabazos.com), Facebook, Twitter (@CryssaBazos) and Instagram

    Cryssa Bazos is an award-winning historical fiction author and 17th-century enthusiast with a particular interest in the English Civil War. Her debut novel, Traitor’s Knot, is the Medallist winner of the 2017 New Apple Award (historical fiction), a finalist for the 2018 EPIC eBook Awards (historical romance) and the RNA Joan Hessayon Award. Her second novel, Severed Knot, was longlisted for the Historical Novel Society 2018 New Novel Award.

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    Book Tour and Review ~The Storytellers Secret~

    Hello Bookish Friends,

    Today is my stop on, The Storyteller‘s Book Tour

    I want thank you, iRead Book Tours and Sejal Badani for gifting me a free copy of this book, 

    Make sure you Enter the Giveaway at the end of this post!

     @iReadBookTours @sejal_badani
    #TheStorytellersSecret

    Book Details:

    Book Title: The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani
    Category: Adult Fiction, 399 pages
    Genre: Literary
    Publisher: Lake Union
    Release date: September 2018
    Tour dates: June 3 to July 12, 2019
    Content Rating: PG-13 (There are some non-explicit sex scenes)

    Book Description:

    An Amazon Charts, USA Today, and Washington Post bestseller!

    From the bestselling author of Trail of Broken Wings comes an epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream.

    Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past. Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation.

    Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.

    To read reviews, please visit Sejal Badani’s page on iRead Book Tours.

    The Storyteller’s Secret

    Author: Sejal Badani

    Publisher: Lake Union

    Pages: 390

    “home is not a place or a lifestyle, but the state of your heart and all the people who take their place in it.

    In the present time of 2000, Jaya a heartbroken and devastated New York journalist, must come to terms of the collapse of her marriage. Still dealing with a third miscarriage and the information that unlikely possibility that she may never be able to carry child.

    Sejal Badani, delivers a well-paced and beautifully written story here with interesting, compelling, and believable characters that I found quite compassionate to read about. The story was told in alternating perspectives. In the story we really got a different understanding and look into the of the social injustice to women in India’s culture and the injustice towards the people of India during the British occupation.

    A multi layered historical fiction story, that covers several generations of an Indian family, starting with a young woman tracing her heritage back to her family’s homeland. This captures and draws you in. The author has created a riveting real life to fiction novel.

    I especially enjoyed how the story unfolds and the emotions explored in the book, such as grief and love. The multilayered storyline weaves together perfectly. The Authors achievement in bringing India’s culture to life was beautiful written.

    I was fully immersed in this character driven drama. I devoured this one as fast as I could and was completely drawn into the lives of these characters.  I turned those pages as fast as I could and then slowly took in all the depth and layers to the characters.

    This book was received from Author and the Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.


    A former attorney, Sejal Badani left the law to pursue writing full time.

    She is a USA Today, Washington Post & Amazon Charts bestselling author, Goodreads Fiction Award Finalist and ABC/DISNEY Writing Fellowship Finalist.

    Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

    Prizes:
    Win 1 of 3 paperback copies of The Storyteller’s
    Secret, another winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card (4 winners / open internationally)

    Ends July 20, 2019

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