Book Tour Beyond The Moon

Review & Giveaway: Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor

Hello Bookish Friends,Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, Beyond The Moon
by Catherine Taylor, which is being hosted by HFBT

Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor

Publication Date: June 25, 2019
The Cameo Press Ltd
eBook & Paperback; 496 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time Travel

Outlander meets Birdsong is this haunting debut timeslip novel, where a strange twist of fate connects a British soldier fighting in the First World War and a young woman living in modern-day England a century later.

*Shortlisted for the Eharmony/Orion Write Your Own Love Story Prize 2018/19

In 1916 1st Lieutenant Robert Lovett is a patient at Coldbrook Hall military hospital in Sussex, England. A gifted artist, he been wounded fighting in the Great War. Shell shocked and suffering from hysterical blindness he can no longer see his own face, let alone paint, and life seems increasingly hopeless.

A century later in 2017, medical student Louisa Casson has just lost her beloved grandmother her only family. Heartbroken, she drowns her sorrows in alcohol on the South Downs cliffsonly to fall accidentally part-way down. Doctors fear she may have attempted suicide, and Louisa finds herself involuntarily admitted to Coldbrook Hall now a psychiatric hospital, an unfriendly and chaotic place.

Then one day, while secretly exploring the old Victorian hospital ruined, abandoned wing, Louisa hears a voice calling for help, and stumbles across a dark, old-fashioned hospital room. Inside, lying on the floor, is a mysterious, sightless young man, who tells her he was hurt at the Battle of the Somme, a WW1 battle a century ago. And that his name is Lieutenant Robert Lovett.

Two people, two battles: one against the invading Germans on the battlefields of 1916 France, the other against a substandard, uncaring mental health facility in modern-day England. Two journeys begun a century apart, but somehow destined to coincide – and become one desperate struggle to be together.

Part WW1 historical fiction, part timeslip love story – and at the same time a meditation on the themes of war, mental illness, identity and art – Beyond The Moon sweeps the reader on an unforgettable journey through time. An intelligent read, perfect for book clubs.

For fans of Diana Gabaldon, Amy Harmon, Beatriz Williams, Kate Quinn, Kristin Hannah, Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley and Paullina Simons.

“A poignant and stirring love story… Taylors accomplished, genre-bending book succeeds as a WW1 historical novel and a beguiling, time travel romance… The sharply written narrative deftly moves back and forth between the past and present.” Kirkus Reviews
“A time travel romance, yet so much more than that. It is also an unflinching portrait of the horrors of war, and a look at the torturous extremes a human soul can endure. It is a sonnet to the transformative power of love, even as it is also a criticism of the futility and pointless destructiveness of war.” Shaylin Gandhi, author of By The Light of Embers

Amazon | IndieBound


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.

An impressive stunning historical fiction blended with vibrant atmospheric time traveling. Wonderfully depicted complex relationships, along with atmospheric duel settings. The story is brought to life within rich details of the pages of, Catherine Taylor’s, Beyond The Moon.

Lt. Robert Lovett is an honorable officer serving in his majesty’s military during the First World War in the trenches of France and Belgium. Lt. Robert Lovett talent as artist is depicting in his paintings of the harsh realities of war. He is selected for a major exhibition. Everything comes to a stand still when he is wounded in 1916, from injuries sustained during the Somme campaign. Sent to Coldbrook Hall military convalescent hospital in Sussex, England to recuperate from his wounds and a form of hysterical blindness

A century after Lovett is hospitalized, Louisa Casson, experiences the death of her much loved grandmother, abandoned early in life by her father. Her grandmother is the only person to take her in and care for her. Feeling lost and depressed she walks along the cliffs near her grandmother’s home. Partaking in a cherished bottle of brandy she suffers a disastrous untimely fall.Louisa is rescued, but it is believed to be a suicide attempt. Although Louisa was not suicidal, no amount of reasoning will convince anyone otherwise. Louisa is then held captive with no family to vouch for her sanity, she is sent to Coldbrook Hall.

Coldbrook Hall, is nothing of it once was, in the modern day 2017, is currently a non profit institution that offers only the minimum of psychiatric care to its patients. As an ideal patient at Coldbrook Hall, she is allowed to roam the hospitals premises. Louisa befriends another patient at Coldbrook, Kerry, who takes her to an abandoned wing of the hospital. While Louisa is exploring some of the dilapidated ruins of hospital, she opens a door and steps through to the war torn times of the 1900’s.

Casson and Lovett heartache and romance spans the ages and is the story’s centerpiece of this stunning historical fiction. They are surrounded by notable well developed sub characters, Louisa friend and confidant, Kerry, and Gallery owner, Edgar Brocklebank, who is Lovett’s mentor and friend.

Taylor gives her readers a realistic, unflinching details of the horrors seen through the eyes of Lt Robert Lovette, wartime experience. From the gut wrenching horrific trench warfare, to his experience as a WWl POWL Although, the story is mostly set during the horrific reality of World War l, it also touches on the neglected treatment of mental illness issues of the present day.

What really stood out for me was the authors ability to seamlessly move the reader through and what I really loved about this story was the compelling and emotional layered duel timelines and how they connected the plot line.We see the historical side to the story and then a modern side to it. Each are strong, interesting stories with their conflicts and heartache that shape the people they are.

A stunning book, that I absolutely loved the storyline, along with authors seamless writing, and her creative ability to keep me vested all the way through.

This is an incredible historical fiction romance, with some of the best time travel elements that have had the chance to read.

One of my all time definite favorite book for 2019.

About the Author

Catherine Taylor was born and grew up on the island of Guernsey in the British Channel Islands. She is a former journalist, most recently for Dow Jones News and The Wall Street Journal in London. Beyond The Moon is her first novel. She lives in Ealing, London with her husband and two children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 9
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 10
Review at @bookishbellee
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Feature at I’m All About Books
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Review & Guest Post at Jackie & Angela’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, December 11
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Instagram Feature at Just a Girl and Her Books

Thursday, December 12
Review at @thisbibliolife
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Friday, December 13
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Saturday, December 14
Review at Books and Zebras
Feature at What Is That Book About

Sunday, December 15
Review at Rose is Reading
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

Monday, December 16
Review at @ya.its.lit
Interview at Liberty’s Literary Loves

Tuesday, December 17
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books
Review & Guest Post at Tales from the Book Dragon

Wednesday, December 18
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, December 19
Review at Pencils & Pages
Review at Impressions In Ink

Friday, December 20
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Red Headed Book Lady
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two paperback copies of Beyond the Moon by Catherine Taylor! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 20th. 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.

Beyond the Moon

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Cover Reveal

CHILDREN OF THE FIFTH SUN by Gareth Worthington Official Cover Reveal

Series: Children of the Fifth Sun (Book 1)
Paperback: 414 pages
Vesuvian Books (July 25, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1944109404


“An action-packed, globe-hopping science fiction thriller… pedal-to-the-metal pacing and relentless action make it easy to turn pages…” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Insane! What Gareth did here was incredible! This author took a global look at America, China, and Russia, and added a species from another era into the mix, to create a well-researched novel of suspense, intrigue, with dashing individuals. The characters travel the world on a unique mission while trying to stay out of the line of fire as rogue government agencies from several different countries try to stop them. It’s a wild ride from California to Peru, from Egypt to Siberia. The amount of research put into this novel is on par with a Michael Crichton novel. The main character, Kelly Graham, reminded me of Dirk Pitt from Clive Cussler’s novels. Overall, an incredible read and a book I’m recommending.” ―Jonas Saul, Best-selling author of the Sarah Roberts Series, April 2017

Suspend disbelief and let yourself travel on a downriver, undersea, and overland adventure in this well-constructed novel. The author takes you on a fast paced journey full of intrigue, government secrets, unusual creatures and just a tad of romance. Superlatives abound and the literary illumination paints an image so clear you feel you are there with the characters. For those who know the author, there are bit of his personality revealed which makes reading the novel even more enjoyable. A bit Tom Clancy, a hint of Dan Brown — authentically Gareth in his debut work. ―Charity Scripture

“Scientist Worthington’s understanding of the complexities and possibilities of marine biology and endocrinology are evident.” ―Publishers Weekly, May 2017l


Genre: “Science Faction” – science fiction, action and adventure with fact-based science, theories and mythology

IN ALMOST EVERY BELIEF SYSTEM ON EARTH, there exists a single unifying mythos: thousands of years ago a great flood devastated the Earth’s inhabitants. From the ruins of this cataclysm, a race of beings emerged from the sea bestowing knowledge and culture upon humanity, saving us from our selfish drive toward extinction. Some say this race were “ancient aliens” who came to assist our evolution.

But what if they weren’t alien at all? What if they evolved right here on Earth, alongside humans . . . and they are still here? And, what if the World’s governments already know?

Kelly Graham is a narcissistic self-assured freelance photographer specializing in underwater assignments. While on a project in the Amazon with his best friend, Chris D’Souza, a mysterious and beautiful government official, Freya Nilsson, enters Kelly’s life and turns it upside down. Her simple request to retrieve a strange object from deep underwater puts him in the middle of an international conspiracy. A conspiracy that threatens to change the course of human history.

You can purchase Children of the Fifth Sun at the following Retailers:


Photo Content from Gareth Worthington
Gareth Worthington is a trained marine biologist and also holds a doctorate in comparative endocrinology. Currently, Gareth works full time for the Pharmaceutical industry helping to educate the World’s doctors on new cancer therapies. In his spare time Gareth has a number of passions, including: martial arts – he trained in Muay Thai at the prestigious EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore and currently trains in MMA at Phoenix Sportkampf, Switzerland; playing acoustic guitar; studying ancient history; drawing; and most of all writing fiction.
An award winning author, he hopes to one day hang up the pharma hat and write full time.
You can visit his author page and blog at


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

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Blog Tour The Spirt Of Fire

Hello Bookish Friends,

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, The Spirt Of Fire.

This Book is the highly anticipated second installment in The Orphan’s Of Tolosa Series
by Susan Dunlap which is being hosted by HFBT

The Spirit of Fire by Susanne Dunlap

Publication Date: December 6, 2019
Series: Orphans of Tolosa, Book two
Genre: Historical Fiction

Listen to the Wind has been rated 10 out of 10 and was a quarterfinalist in the BookLife Prize, and won a Gold badge from the International Review of Books.

The eagerly anticipated sequel to Listen to the Wind, complex, absorbing, and dramatic start to a planned series. Kirkus Reviews

Azemar now a knight and Baron of Montpezat has rescued his childhood friend, Azalais, from the Castel de Belascon, where she was forced to disguise as a noblewoman and become the wife of the baron. But the captivating trobairitz Jordane de la Moux dAniort and her damozel Johana have escaped with them, putting them all in grave peril. Will Jordane conflicting goal of reuniting with the rebel Raimon de Berenger thwart Azemar and Azalaisâ quest to solve the mystery of their origins, which they believe lies within the heretic fortress of Montsegur? When a cryptic note leads them to the Templar stronghold at Mas Deu, Azemar undergoes brutal trials, and discovers that his ultimate purpose could lead him to betray the very people he wants to protect. And their altered route leads Azalais into the path of her old enemy, the Dominican monk, Fraire Martin. Full of surprising twists and turns, dangerous adventures, and true love, The Spirit of Fire continues the Orphans of Tolosa Trilogy.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for Listen to the Wind

Listen to the Wind has been rated 10 out of 10 in the BookLife Prize and won a Gold badge from the International Review of Books.

Dunlap breathes life into the distant 13th-century setting… Poetry and music are as essential to the plot as warfare, with engaging glimpses of trobairitz (female troubadours). . . . A complex, absorbing, and dramatic start to a planned series.- Kirkus Reviews

Listen to the Wind is in its own league. Completely imaginative, mature and playful all at once, this book doesn’t book compete with any other novel for its spot on the bookshelf, as it will outshine many and sit comfortably among the classics.” – The BookLife Prize

Susanne Dunlap… is both a superb storyteller and a rich historian of the period. Its customs and language, castles, troubadours, mountains, thick forests, villages, monasteries, and vineyards come vividly to life as Azemar and Azala find themselves drawn into a path that will shape history.- Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude and Camille: a novel of Monet

In its mix of page-turning thriller with well researched historical novel, it draws comparison to the finely crafted work of Kate Mosse and Ariana Franklin.- Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Blue and the Joanna Stafford trilogy

Susanne Dunlap sweeping saga captivates readers imaginations from the first page, plunging them back into the Languedoc region of France in the 13th Century. Her impeccable research allows her three spirited protagonists to live, love, fight and breathe life into the dangerous period of rebellion and inquisition, when the Cathars struggled to hold on to their culture and old faith against the power of the Pope. A compelling read for lovers of adventure and romance. -Anne Easter Smith, author of
A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, Royal Mistress

The fortitude and ingenuity of her characters helps them adapt to all manner of circumstances, and the result is an engaging tale of escape, secrets, and mental toughness. For those looking for a smartly written captivating read, I highly recommend this first book in the Orphans of Tolosa trilogy.- Amy Hawes, Book Club Babble

This is an intriguing and complex story with lots of secrets and lies interwoven within the characters personal stories, it is charming, exciting and mesmerising.- Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

I love how vibrant the world is made, how danger really struck fear into my heart, how the pain felt real, everything is beautifully written and I thoroughly enjoyed this.- Clarissa Reads It All

Gwendalyn’s Books

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

5′ Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Spirit of Fire, by Susanne Dunlap, is the highly anticipated next book in the Orphans of Tolosa Trilogy.

Susanne Dunlap, expertise in blending historical elements with captivating fiction is impeccable, Dunlap writing flows seamlessly transporting you to the harrowing time of thirteenth century period in a region that will not become part of France until much later in the sixteenth century, which is called Occitanie. This riveting novel covering the years 1243-1244, pulling the reader into the horrific dark period in French History. The violence that the Cathars suffered as heretics, by the crusades carried out by the inquisition of Catholic Church is depicted within the pages of this compelling historical fiction.

The journey continues with The Spirt Of Fire, Azemar discovers after following the death of his patron Baron de Montpezat, that he has been named his heir.Azemar and Azalaïs leave behind Jordane and Johana, to their own fates. They travel swiftly and undetected, following cryptic message to retrieve a book and armed stone that was stolen from Azemar from the house that some of his belongs were stored.

Upon reaching the temple of monks at M’as Deu. Azemar all is not what it seems and Azemar struggles and survies brutal training for a treacherous purpose that would lead him to destroy those of what he longs to find and preserve.The lives of Jordane and Johana, continuous intertwines with that of Azemar and Azalaïs, creating unforgettable moving and in the end a heart wrenching novel.

Susanne Dunlap delivers an atmospheric, adventurous, engaging, and well-written read here with compelling and illustrious characters, it is a stunning storyline that unfolds perfectly. Richly detailed, the book is gripping and captures the struggles of the Cathars, an heretical Christian sect that flourished in Western Europe, who called themselves the true Christians. The Catholic Frenchs agenda was to eradicate them completely the is set the year before the final stand of the heretics against the French at Montsegur.

An enjoyable historical fiction that is brisk and unique, immensely entertaining, with well fleshed out characters. The authors ability to deftly create an immersive, and gripping tale, that takes the reader on an epic adventure. Dunlap is a gifted author, her narration is superb and brilliant. The plot line is complex and it grabbed me and I was completely immersed. Beautifully written, rich in historic detail, perfect for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction.

About the Author

Susanne Dunlap is the author of six works of historical fiction. Two are for adults (Emilie’s Voice and Liszt’s Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Four are for young adults (The Musician’s Daughter, Anastasia’s Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University, Susanne grew up in Buffalo, New York and has lived in London, Brooklyn and Northampton, MA. She now lives in Northampton with her long-time partner, Charles, has two grown daughters, three granddaughters, a grandson, a stepson and a stepdaughter, four step-grandsons and one step-granddaughter—that’s a total of four children and nine grandchildren!

In her spare time she cycles in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.

For more information, please visit The Orphans of Tolosa website. You can follow author Susanne Dunlap on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, and BookBub.

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, December 6
Review at Nursebookie
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, December 9
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Mama’s Reading Corner

Tuesday, December 10
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, December 11
Interview at The Writing Desk

Thursday, December 12
Review at Books and Zebras
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Friday, December 13
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, December 15
Review at

Monday, December 16
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Wednesday, December 18
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 19
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, December 20
Review at Coffee and Ink


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a set of Listen to the Wind & The Spirit of Fire by Susanne Dunlap! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Paperback 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.

Listen to the Wind

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Blog Tour Love Potions And Other Calamities


Welcome to the long awaited blog tour for Love Potions and Other Calamities by Charlie Laidlaw! Follow along for tour details, exclusive content, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Love potions FRONT DRAFT

Love Potions and Other Calamities

Expected Publication Date: November 7th, 2019

Genre: Comedy/ Mystery

Publisher: Headline

Welcome to the strange world of Rosie McLeod, an amateur detective with a big difference. Her deductive powers are based solely on the careful preparation and use of plants and herbs.

Love Potions and Other Calamities is pure comedy, with a bit of drama thrown in, as Rosie sets out to discover whether her husband is having an affair and, as the story unfolds, to solve a murder – before she becomes the next victim.

Rosie McLeod, pub proprietor and a gifted herbalist of some renown, is thirty-nine and holding, but only just. The talons of her fortieth birthday are in her back and her bloody, bloody husband hasn’t laid a lustful hand on her for months.

She has the fortune, or misfortune, to live in one of Scotland’s most famous places – the East Lothian village of Holy Cross, which takes its name from the legendary Glastonbury Cross that was spirited away – and subsequently lost – when Henry VIII purged the English monasteries. The cross of pale Welsh gold, reputedly buried within the village, had at its centre a fragment of emerald from the Holy Grail. The story is, of course, complete baloney.

But the association with the Holy Grail and the later witch persecutions of James VI mean that the village is as well known around the world as Edinburgh Castle, haggis or Loch Ness. It has been described as “the heartbeat of Scotland” and is a major tourist destination – many of whom visit the village with metal detectors, hoping to discover the elusive cross.

However, a sighting of a large, black cat by the local Church of Scotland minister sets off a chain of events that lead back twenty years and, although the villagers are blissfully unaware of it, to a woman’s murder. The black cat had last been sighted near the village some two decades before, and the minister’s predecessor was sure that it had triggered something evil. The villagers, of course, think otherwise.

Nothing ever happens in Holy Cross.

For fans of Mel Brooks and Monty Python!

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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

“It Began, as these things always do, with a thunderstorm.”

Set in a small rural village in Scotland, Holy Cross is a place of myth and legend.

All the trouble began with the Reverend Lionel Kennedy, during a thunderstorm. He has nightmarish experience on his way home after judging a Women’s Institute jam making competition.

The sight of a very large black cat has completely unnerved him, being aware of the stories attached to Holy Cross from the previous minister.

The legend of Holy Cross relates how Satan rose rose up from the Lower kingdom and rebelled against the angels of the Heavens.

Rosie McLeod, a certified herbalist and landlady of the Fox and Duck hostelry in Holy Cross, is rapidly approaching her 40th birthday and is now feeling her age taking hold of her. Her husband, Jack, has stopped being as interested in her, as much as he once was

Further more adding more salt to the Fire and lowering Rosie self esteem, there is the new the temporary barmaid. Mara is young and beautiful, and Jake along with everyone else can’t help not notice her.

Rosie decides to take matters into her own hands and give Jack a much needed push in the right direction. Rosie takes the news of the minister’s sighting, and the mystery surrounding the pub’s hazel tree and the church wall as a sign.

What happens when Rosie’s herbal cures take on a comical outcome, creating confusion and disorder among the residents the village?

A wonderfully written book with interesting fleshed out characters adds to this stunning creative storyline!

Love Potions and Other Calamities, was a captivating, a marvelous perfect read for me. Full of magical realism along with perfect comical timing makes spellbinding book. A little mystery and a dash of magic will keep you full immersed in non stop read

Once again Charlie Laidlaw, has captivated me adding the beginning of each chapter with a snippet from The Book of Secrets by Albertus Magnus, 13th century scientist, theologian and philosopher, which relates to the story.


Coincidentally, Rosie had once owned a black cat, although it was very small, and was eaten by an eagle on the Christmas morning she was given it. That was also the Christmas she stopped believing in Santa Claus. One minute, the kitten was on a scrubby patch of grass in their Sussex back garden, a round ball of black fluff, peering fretfully at her new world; the next, she wasn’t anywhere to be seen until, looking up, Rosie saw large and predatory wings disappear over the farmhouse roof.

She was at an age when she knew that bad things happened, but still believed that Christmas Day was somehow exempt: guns fell silent, everyone had enough to eat, and pestilence was postponed until Boxing Day. Her parents tried to console her by saying that eagles weren’t native to Sussex, searching fruitlessly in flowerbeds and, then, in the surrounding fields. In a way, that day had become a metaphor for her life: that in unexpected ways good things can be randomly snatched away. It felt like that now: sagging boobs, carpet slippers, a dreaded birthday – and the revelation of a precise delusion.

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon!

About the Author


I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Tour Between Wild & Ruin

Paperback: 414 pages
Bad Apple Books (October 6, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1733514007
ISBN-13: 978-1733514002


“What could be a corny premise turns into an exhilarating, fun ride in Edelson’s adept hands. Her characters are smartly drawn, and readers will easily identify with Ruby, a strong yet insecure young artist on the verge of adulthood, who is still recovering from her tragic past . . . Fans of Twilight and modern fairy tales will fall in love with Ruby and root for her eventual romance.” — Blue Ink Review (Starred Review)

“Between Wild and Ruin is a stunning story of legends, romance, and destiny with themes of starting over, small towns, beauty, and community . . . Edelson perfectly breathes new life in mythology by honoring the oral tradition of a small community and the ruins that bring to life Ruby’s destiny.” — Manhattan Book Review

“Highly recommended to mature teens through new adult and adult audiences, this is a story that lingers in the mind long after its final revelation.” — Midwest Book Review

“A great addition to young adult urban fantasy.” — Seattle Book Review

“Descriptions of the New Mexico landscape are rich and atmospheric, arousing the senses with references to the scent of smoke and juniper, the predatory roar of mountain lions, and the brilliant dazzle of stars in the desert sky . . . The writing conveys a sense of timelessness, making it easy to believe Ruby’s sense that the land is spirit-haunted and that Leo, the handsome young man she encounters near the ruins, is somehow connected to it all.” — Clarion Forward

“An intriguing historical tale and an over-the-top love-quadrangle romance.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The paranormal aspects of the tale are credible and richly steeped in traditional lore, and the plot is finely crafted . . . Between Wild and Ruin is most highly recommended.” — Reader’s Favorite (5-Star Review)

Truth, like love, isn’t always obvious.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby Brooks has never had a boyfriend. After moving to small-town La Luna, New Mexico following her mother’s untimely death, boys aren’t even on her radar. Ruby just wants to forget the last horrible year and blend in. But when she discovers an ancient pueblo ruin in the forest behind her house, and meets Ezra, a bitter recluse whose once-perfect face was destroyed in an accident he won’t talk about; Angel, La Luna’s handsome sheriff’s deputy, and Leo, a stranger who only appears near the ruin, Ruby finds herself teetering between love, mystery, and other worlds. What happened to Ezra’s face? And why is she so attracted to the one boy in town everyone despises? As Ruby unravels her own connections to both Ezra and the pueblo ruin, she’ll learn surfaces are deceiving. Especially in the heart of New Mexico, where spirits and legends aren’t always just campfire stories.

Set against a Northern New Mexico backdrop, Between Wild and Ruin is a young adult coming-of-age story that captures the wild and whimsical pulse of New Mexico through the eyes of teens Ruby Brooks, Angel Ruiz, and Ezra Lucero. The first book in the Wild and Ruin series, Between Wild and Ruin explores the time-tested credo ‘never judge a book by its cover’ through a paranormal lens, weaving Puebloan and Hispanic folklore and Southwest cultural narratives into tightly written, high-concept fiction ‘brimming with mystery, intrigue,’ and as Kirkus Reviews puts it, an “intriguing historical drama and an over-the top quadrangle romance.”

You can purchase Between Wild & Ruin at the following Retailers:

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

Between Wild and Ruin, by Jennifer G. Edelson is a stellar paranormal coming-of-age romance. Ruby is about to begin her senior year of high school. She’s just recently moved to a small town in New Mexico from Los Angeles , along with her Aunt Liddy. Fleeing the ever present pain following her mothers tragic death Ruby’s and her aunt need to start their lives anew.

Ruby instantly becomes the center of the attention in the tiny, gossipy prone town of La Luna, New Mexico.Trying to get acclimated to her new school and the community, she thinks that be left alone is probably best. As the story picks up Ruby finds herself drawn to some of the local guys, and also forming bond with a small group of friends.

The sparks fly when she finds herself particularly captivated by a local boy. Ezra, is a moody, deeply mysterious boy, with a blunt sense of humor. Ruby just can’t seem to help herself and Is completely drawn to Ezra.

An independent girl, Ruby hikes out alone to sketch mountains and desert landscape.

While enjoying some ancient ruins, near her aunts house, Ruby encounters Leo.

Edelson’s writing is incredible atmospheric, engaging the reader in descriptive details of the rich New Mexico landscapes. This is paranormal romance that creatively blends historical fiction along with Native American lore. The writing flows seamlessly with captivating dialogue and a main protagonist that I completely related to.

Photo Credit: Shoshanna Bettencourt

Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, trained artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving years in the Minnesota tundra. Other than writing, Jennifer loves hiking, traveling, Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, dark chocolate, coffee, exploring mysterious places, and meeting new people—if you’re human (or otherwise), odds are she’ll probably love you.

DECEMBER 5th THURSDAY Stephanie’s Life of Determination REVIEW & GUEST POST
DECEMBER 6th FRIDAY Gwendalyn’s Books REVIEW

DECEMBER 9th MONDAY Insane About Books REVIEW 
DECEMBER 13th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW

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

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After a brush with death, Fitzwilliam Darcy, a wealthy, happily married man and father of a 2-year-old son, is visited by an angel of death named Graham who tells Darcy he saved his life and insists that Darcy serve as his guide for his sojourn among mortals. Darcy is forced to agree or face a terrible alternative. Graham alarms Darcy by seeming to take a fancy to his wife, Elizabeth, who remains under the impression that Graham is a visiting friend from University. Complicating matters during Graham’s stay is a surprise visit from Darcy’s Aunt Lady Catherine, who arrives with a beautiful lady companion. Lady Catherine never approved of Elizabeth and has a despicable plan in mind. A surprise party that Darcy had planned for Elizabeth’s birthday brings other loved ones to the estate. Darcy eventually deduces that Graham had only delayed his death, and believes his life might be taken at any time. Before the happy ending, which surprises even Graham himself, Graham touches the lives of several of the Darcy’s guests, lending a hand and solving a potential disaster or two.

I received a complimentary copy of DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY AT PEMBERLEY from the author. Thank you Kelly Miller for the chance to read and provide an honest review

A captivating Pride and Prejudice sequel, with a unique paranormal twist to the theme. This was a nonstop read for me, I was completely immersed into this delightful novel.

The story takes off with Darcy and Elizabeth have been blissfully married for three years and have a small son, Bennet. Their happiness would have come to an abrupt end had it not been for an apparent chance encounter with the enigmatic Mr Graham who saves Darcy from certain death.

Graham suddenly appears in Darcy’s office. His a dashing gentleman who claims to be the Angel of Death. Graham explains the purpose of his visit. His ability to read the final thoughts of those about to perish allowed him to sense Darcy’s happiness the previous day. Highly curious as to why Mr Darcy is content and pleasantly happy.

Graham strikes a deal with Darcy in exchange for delaying his death. Although Darcy knows that Graham is not to be trusted, he has no choice but to agree.

This is where the book really takes off, Death wants a holiday among the living, and when he meets Fitzwilliam Darcy captivating and vibrant wife Elizabeth Darcy,

The storyline unfolds with wonder twist and intriguing notable sub characters.

Beautifully developed, the story line had the perfect blend of Regency Period, thrown together with the perfect amount of paranormal magic makes for an incredible read.

The author was inspired by the classic fantasy movies Death Takes a Holiday, The Bishop’s Wife, and Heaven Can Wait.

. My book, Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, was published in June from Meryton Press, a small publisher in Washington State. It is a Pride & Prejudice continuation, a Regency Era romance with a fantasy element: an angel of death interferes in the lives of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy a few years after their marriage. It is a stand-alone book, and readers need not have read Pride & Prejudice to enjoy it.

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Blog Tour The Weight Of A Soul

Hello Bookish Friends,

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, The Weight Of A Soul
by, Elizabeth Tammi, which is being hosted by FFBC Tours

Publisher: Flux
Release Date: December 3rd 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
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When Lena’s younger sister Fressa is found dead, their whole Viking clan mourns—but it is Lena alone who never recovers. Fressa is the sister that should’ve lived, and Lena cannot rest until she knows exactly what killed Fressa and why—and how to bring her back. She strikes a dark deal with Hela, the Norse goddess of death, and begins a new double life to save her sister.
But as Lena gets closer to bringing Fressa back, she dredges up dangerous discoveries about her own family, and finds herself in the middle of a devastating plan to spur Ragnarök –a deadly chain of events leading to total world destruction.
Still, with her sister’s life in the balance, Lena is willing to risk it all. She’s willing to kill. How far will she go before the darkness consumes her?


Win (1) of (5) finished copies of THE WEIGHT OF A SOUL by Elizabeth Tammi


Starts: 3rd December 2019

Ends: 17th December 2019

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.

Many thanks to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for having me on this blog tour and Flux for sending me a copy to review!

“Never again, Lena promised, would she describe her home as cold. This world took the word and gave it a new meaning. She had no doubt that she really was in Helheim-the air felt like invisible ice. Solid and brutal.”

“A distant raven’s cry tore through the valley, shattering the fragile silence between them.” ⁣

“The next morning felt as strained and tense as those seconds before an arrow was loosened, or an axe hurled toward its target. “ ⁣

No God would have anticipated you, a human girl, would dare summon Ella or track between worlds, it’s preposterous. Utterly insane. Which is why I am so fond of you, and why are you are my most treasured asset it now.

Elizabeth Tammi’s captivating second book, The Weight of a Soul, is a dark and unique fascinating on Norse mythology. Tammi has created an enjoyable Viking Ya historical fiction blended with vibrant magical realism. This wonderful book grabs your attention with descriptive suspense and foreboding.

Magdalena, {Lena}, is the oldest daughter of Fredrik, the chief of the village and head of his clan. Lena is in training to be a healer and will take over as Chieftain along with Who ever she marries when her father dies. She is a devoted sister and their sisterly bond is the strength within Elizabeth Tammi novel, The Weight of a Soul.

Fressa. who is an accomplished swordsman, her ability has surpassed most of the young clansmen in the village of Midgard . Along with Fressa’s notable warrior abilities, she has also fallen in love with Amal, and the have planned to marry.

Amal, is a boy who came to live in the village from a foreign land, taken in and raised by a healer within the village. The three Lena, Fressa, and Amal have become a tight knit trio, having grown up together within their Viking village.

When Lena, and Fressa father, Chief Fredrik returns home from raiding, he brings back a sword, gifting it to his younger daughter Fressa.

This sets off a tragic series of events when Fressa is found dead under mysterious circumstances.

Lena driven to the point desperation and grief Lena with the help of Amal to call upon Hela, the goddess of death. Seeking to bring her younger sister home, Lena strikes a dark bargain – this being a soul for a soul. A soul that must be a weighty one and equal to Fressa’s a fighter who is as brave and gifted as she. Lena’s blinding love for her sister, takes her down a hollow and crooked path that their is no turning back, when Magdalena actions become chilling, villainess unsettling.

Throughout the storyline, Lena traverses two of the nine realms in Norse mythology, which is completely unheard of and is an intriguing twist in this engaging YA Fantasy. The nine realms are connected by a tree known as Yggdrasil.

Tammi’s vivid spellbinding world building and the books exploration of the blurred lines of innocence and corruption is strategic and notable. The Weight of a Soul, is steeped in mythos, a wonderful narrative mythical themed Coming of age book, that asks the moral question.

At what lengths would you go for a loved one?

I immensely enjoyed reading about the gods and goddesses, and are told the legends of Ragnarök complete world destruction, along with, Fimbulwinter, which is infinite winter.

If you enjoy and appreciate Norse mythology than you will be enthralled by the authors ability to create and blend her own creative narration within this stunning book.

On a side note Tammi says that this story has been an immense privilege and responsibility due to her own heritage. As most of her family is Scandinavian, she felt very fortunate to have learned about the history and mythology behind where her family originated.

꧁Thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club ꧂

Elizabeth Tammi was born in California and grew up in Florida, but is currently double-majoring in Creative Writing and Journalism as an undergraduate at Mercer University in Georgia. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Elizabeth at work for her university’s newspaper and literary magazine. Her other interests include traveling, caffeinated beverages, and mythology. You can find Elizabeth online on Tumblr at (annabethisterrified), Twitter at (@ElizabethTammi), Instagram at (elizabeth_tammi), and at

Tour Schedule

December 3rd

December 4th

Bookish Looks – Guest Post
Foals, Fiction & Filigree – Review + Favourite Quotes
Gwendalyn’s Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Books_AndPoetrii – Promotional Post

December 5th

L.M. Durand – Review
womanon – Review + Favourite Quotes
Sometimes Leelynn Reads  – Review + Favourite Quotes

December 6th

Moonlight Rendezvous  – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
Donnie Darko Girl – Review
The Reading Life – Promotional Post

December 7th

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Place of Wild Strawberries  – Review + Favourite Quotes
YA/NA Book Divas – Review
Sincerely Karen Jo  – Review + Favourite Quotes
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post

December 8th

Evelynreads – Review
Story-eyed Reviews – Review

December 9th

Wishful Endings – Interview
Port Jericho – Review
Clarissa Reads It All – Review + Favourite Quotes
Synopses by Sarge – Review

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Blog Tour Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea

Join Us for This Tour From Dec 2 to Dec 20, 2019!Book Details:Book Title Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea by Ginny Fite
CategoryAdult Fiction, 274 pages
Genre:  Suspense/Paranormal/Time Travel
Publisher:  Black Opal Books
Release date:   September, 2019
Tour dates: Dec 2 to Dec 20, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are no explicit sex scenes but an implied threat of rape; there is some rough language)

Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea is a
combination time-travel fantasy, a historical thriller, and a modern-day
suspense. Well written, fast paced, and intense, this one will keep you
glued to the edge of your seat all the way through.  –says Reviewer Regan MurphyExpertly combining the past and present, science fiction, and suspense,
Fite weaves a tale that will keep you enthralled from beginning to end. –says Reviewer Taylor Jones

Book Description:
Sometimes the last
person you save is yourself. Elena must take her city back from
terrorists. Hana must save her tribe from the wrath of a ruthless king.
They’re stronger together. The problem is they’re 4,000 years and 6,000
miles apart. Wounded during a terrorist attack, NYC police commando
Elena Labat wakes from her coma aboard a Phoenician boat on the
Mediterranean Sea to find a young girl lashed to the mast. The girl is
Hana, who has trekked across Bronze Age Lebanon with Danel to prevent a
king from destroying her tribe. Elena knows she must save Hana. And Hana
must escape the barbarians who abducted her before she can find Danel
and go home. Slipping in and out of unconsciousness, Elena teaches Hana
everything she can, protecting her from barbarians, a priestess, and a
king. But Elena’s family needs her, and she can’t stay in the past. Hana
will have to succeed on her own.

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

In Blue Girl on a Night Dream Sea, by Ginny Fite, is a richly woven multi layered novel about two women from very different times periods. The author has masterly written a compelling multi layered novel with stunning duel timelines.

Ginny Fite, delivers quite the clever, intriguing, and well-written story here that starts off with the first page and never lets up. I absolutely loved the way that this story unfolded in the authors creative creative writing, using dual character perspectives.

The plot line was perfectly paced, exciting and intelligent. There were some suspenseful moments, but more importantly, the author knows how to write interesting and fully developed characters which we care about. I cared about what happened to the lead protagonists in this book. I admired their strength and the way their minds worked. The strength in this book was not only the way in which the story was told via multiple POVs but in the strength of the characters themselves.

The author delivers quite the clever, intriguing, and well-written story here that starts off with the first page and never lets up. I absolutely loved the way that this story unfolded in the authors creative creative writing, using dual character perspectives. This was an enjoyable historical fiction woven meticulous with magical realism, that was captivating and a nonstop read for me.

Meet the Author:
Ginny Fite is an award-winning journalist who has
covered crime, politics, government, healthcare, art and all things
human. She has been a spokesperson for a governor and a member of
Congress, a few colleges and universities, and a robotics R&D
company. She has degrees from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins
University and studied at the School for Women Healers and the Maryland
Poetry Therapy Institute. Her three murder mysteries, Cromwell’s Folly, No Good Deed Left Undone, and Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder, are set in the rolling hills of Jefferson County, West Virginia. No End of Bad, a thriller, was released in June 2018. She resides in Harpers Ferry, WV.Connect with the Author:  website  ~ facebook  ~ twitter
Tour Schedule:
Dec 2 – Olio by Marilyn – book review / author interview / giveaway
Dec 2 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Dec 3 – Gwendalyn’s Books – book review / giveaway
Dec 4 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book review / giveaway
Dec 5 – A Madison Mom – book review
Dec 10 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / author interview / giveaway
Dec 11 – I’m All About Books – book spotlight/ guest post / giveaway
Dec 12 – Four Moon Reviews – book review / giveaway
Dec 12 – The Clipped Nightingale – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 13 – My Reading Journeys – book review / giveaway
Dec 16 – Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Dec 16 – Jypsylynn – book review
Dec 17 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Dec 17 –Bookmark and fork – book review / guest post
Dec 17 – 100 Pages A Day – book review
Dec 18 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Dec 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Dec 19 – Fantastic feathers – book review
Dec 20 – Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

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Book Tour The Turncoat Letters

Title: The Turncoat Letters
Series: Rebels of the Revolution
Author: Kelly Lyman
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance

From Kelly Lyman, comes a duet filled with intrigue, suspense and passion. The adventures bring to life the time of the American Revolution.

The truth always comes out in the end. If you have the courage to discover it.

From the moment Nora Bishop met Alex Foster, her life was turned upside down. Though their marriage was brought on by necessity, they have found a common ground of honesty, respect, and friendship. She has grown to depend on and love him. And he her.
But both Alex and Nora have their part to play in the war, and those parts could tear their new marriage apart.
Nora continues to spy for the cause of independence. However, they realize the best way for her to do this is by pretending to be unmarried to gain the confidence of British soldiers while playing coy.
Nora must play her part as a single woman. Alex must play his part as a simple acquaintance without showing his jealousy or they’ll both be caught and hung for treason. With their marriage made by necessity and being slowly built on trust, will they survive or will their relationship turn out to be as false as the role Nora plays for the British?

Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide


Don’t miss this duet filled with intrigue, suspense and passion

With their marriage made by necessity and being slowly built on trust, will they survive or will their relationship turn out to be as false as the role Nora plays for the British?

Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide

Amazon US | Amazon Worldwide

KELLY LYMAN is a dreamer, a planner and a doer. Her favorite mantra is: “Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.” She writes adult historical romance and YA paranormal/fantasy. She has a degree in education from West Chester University and currently works in a middle school library. She loves, loves, loves history and can usually be found daydreaming about people who lived centuries ago…that is, when she’s not taking care of her four kids. Traveling to Scotland, England, and Ireland are on her bucket list. Skydiving is not. She’s mildly obsessed with mint chocolate chip ice cream, peanut butter M&MS, drinking coffee (cream only), and thinks chips and salsa is a perfectly acceptable dinner option. Her favorite color is green and if she could, she would sit on the beach and read all day long.

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Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance

Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance

by Jennieke Cohen
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: December 3rd 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, Fiction
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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.
But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.
Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.
Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

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

I received an early ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to HarperTeen and the Fantastic Flying Book Club

Seventeen year old, Lady Victoria Aston leads an unconventional life on her family’s country estate, and with her older sister well married, she enjoys a considerable amount of freedom. She is very a independent helping to manage the family’s English estate, studying animal husbandry.

She adores Jane Austen novels and rereads them meticulously, all the while making comparison of her life with that of characters with pages of those lovely books.

When her life takes a sudden turn she comes to understand that her life is not like a storybook novel. Her sister unexpectedly arrives home, distraught and hurt, fleeing an abusive husband. It becomes clear that Victoria, {Vicky} must take on the the burden of saving family’s reputation before the scandal breaks over her sisters separation from her husband public knowledge. Along with the fact that if her father should pass before her sisters Althea marriage is legally dissolved, the family’s estate would fall into the hands of Althea cruel handof her brother in law Viscount Dain.

Lady Victoria needs to find a husband and marry quickly, before the end of the season. If that isn’t enough a series of unexplained suspicious attack, along with the return Tom Sherborne, her old friend and neighbor returned from years in exile after succeeding to his father’s title, keeps the reader fully engaged in marvelous coming of age tale.

Georgian England, comes to life and is richly drawn out. Wonderful dialogue and the plot line is perfectly paced creating an enjoyable historical fiction.

Cohen adds an historical note chapter at the end of the book explaining the research she did to write the novel and the various Jane Austen quotes.

Dangerous Alliance was paced perfectly and the intriguing well developed characters are stunningly fleshed out. Creative multiple POV’s along with intriguing element of adventure and mystery keep me fully immersed all the through to the end.

Dangerous Alliance – Jennieke CohenExcerpt for FFBC


Vicky raised her chin. She would handle this situation as Elizabeth Bennet would. After Mr. Wickham had run off to London with Elizabeth’s sister Lydia, the couple returned to Longbourn.Elizabeth had been polite to Wickham but had also made it clear she knew what kind of scoundrel he was.

Vicky could do the same to Dain. As she stretched to her full height, she realized Mr. Carmichael’s blackish-brown gaze centered on her. She could not guess his thoughts, but unfortunately, there would be no further help from that quarter. Mr. Carmichael had no claim on her that could keep her from a family member.

Mr. Carmichael locked eyes with her just as Dain pulled her arm into the crook of his. Vicky’s lips tightened into a line. Blasted, beastly brother-in-law . . .

Dain nodded to Carmichael and led her away.

She glanced back at Mr. Carmichael. He watched her, a small crease forming between his brows. Vicky searched for her mother once again, but she had disappeared.

“Well, my dear, dear sister,” said Dain. “You look stunning this evening. A new gown, I take it?” His amber eyes traveled up and down her body.

Vicky’s stomach lurched. “You swine,” she spat. “How dare you look at me in such a fashion?” So much for being polite.

“Why, Lady Victoria, such language,” he mocked.

She narrowed her eyes. “But then, I suppose I’ve answered my own question,” she continued. “Swine are too bestial to have a conscience. Indeed, they enjoy wallowing in the mud.” Elizabeth Bennet’s subtlety had deserted her, but blast it. Dain deserved to know what he was!

He put his free hand on her arm and squeezed. The motion would look like fraternal devotion to any onlooker, but it was becoming more and more painful by the second.

Vicky gasped.

He chuckled deep in his throat.

How had he hidden his cruelty all these years? She tried to move away, but his grip tightened. She suppressed her grimace.

She spoke through clenched teeth. “Take your hand off me.”

“Or what, dear sister? What can you possibly do?” He smiled again.

Bile rose in her throat. So this was the monster Thea had lived with for two years. But his question remained: What could she do? What if he took her out of the ballroom? Who knew what he might do to her if they were beyond the gaze of prying eyes?

Vicky’s heart drummed in her chest. Maybe she could knock him in the face with her reticule, or if worse came to worse, somewhere more painful, but she couldn’t do that in the ballroom without appearing mad. If she waited until he took her somewhere private, there was no guarantee she’d be able to break free of him.

Suddenly, an answer came to her. She spoke loudly so the guests nearby would overhear. “Oh, Lord Dain, the ribbon on my slipper has snapped. Pray excuse me. I am certain someone in the retiring room will be able to assist me.”

He tutted with false concern, then gestured to the side of the ballroom. “There is a chair. I shall fix it for you.”

She raised her voice again. “No, no. I’d much rather retire for a moment.” If she said much more, the entire ballroom would think she needed the privy.

He pulled her to the edge of the ballroom. “My dear sister, I could not possibly part with your company.” His hand gripped her arm like a vise.

Vicky narrowed her eyes. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of thinking he could do this to her. “Take your hand off me, or I swear to scream the truth to the entire ballroom,” she whispered.

“What truth would that be?” he drawled.

“That you’ve been beating my sister to within an inch of her life and you’re taking me outside to do the same to me.”

He laughed. “I’m afraid, dear sister, no one would believe you.” His lips curved into a sneer.

His repeated use of “sister” made her itch to slap him. “Perhaps not now. Not yet.”

He gripped her arm even tighter and angled his body to face her. “Just what does that mean?”

Her stomach dropped. She’d said too much. Althea had only been in London a week and the lawyers couldn’t start the proceedings for her legal separation yet. Her mind raced for an answer to distract Dain. “That you will reveal your own character. Just as you have tonight.” She glared at him, refusing to blink.

His lips twisted in a snarl. “Do not try my patience,” he said, anger infused into every syllable.

Before she could say another word, Dain abruptly released her arm and stepped back.

“Lady Victoria. How lovely to see you again.

Vicky’s throat went dry. She turned and saw that, to her simultaneous joy and dismay, Tom stood beside her.

Tom smiled and took Vicky’s hand.

She could hardly believe it. He’d sought her out amongst the hordes of people here? She blinked several times, trying to guess his reasoning. A short stillness ensued until Vicky realized she’d left her hand in his grip a hair longer than was proper. She pulled her hand back and cast her eyes down, hoping her heated cheeks weren’t noticeable.

“L-Lord Halworth, what a surprise.” 


Jennieke Cohen (JEN-ih-kah CO-en) is used to people mispronouncing her name and tries to spare her fictional characters the same problem. Jennieke writes historical fiction for young adults inspired by real people and events because life is often stranger than fiction. She studied English history at Cambridge University and has a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California. Jennieke loves exploring new locales but always returns home to Northern California where the summers are hot, the winters are mild, and life is casual.

November 27th

November 28th

A Dream Within A Dream – Official Dream Cast
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Snark & Squee – Review
Struck by Stories – Review

November 29th

Wishful Endings – Top 5/10 List
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Phannie the ginger bookworm – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes

November 30th

BookCrushin – Interview
Kait Plus Books – Victoria Aston’s Mood Board/Aesthetic
Book Rambler – Review + Favourite Quotes

December 1st

Here’s to Happy Endings – Coffee/Tea Break with the Characters of DANGEROUS ALLIANCE
Book Slaying – Review + Favourite Quotes
Book Blog London – Review

December 2nd

That Georgia Gypsy – Top 5/10 List
The Clever Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Booked On a Feeling – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
Reading Is My SuperPower – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Bent Bookworm – Review + Favourite Quotes

December 3rd

NovelKnight – Interview
The Reading Life – Review
The Reading Faery – Review
Twilight Reader – Review
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Book Tour The Red Pearl

Hello Bookish Friends,

Today I am featuring The Red Pearl By Chloe Helton. A wonderful historical fiction. There is a Giveaway at the end the post, don’t forget to enter.

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chloe Helton will be awarding $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

“The Red Pearl is a delight. Meticulously researched, it transports the reader to the inns and backstreets of Boston in 1778. Lucy Finch’s personal tragedy spurs her on to take an active role in the revolutionary war, despite the immense danger it brings to herself, her family and friends. Ms. Helton’s characters are warm, living beings with gifts and flaws. Their relationships are altered — broken or strengthened — by the battles on distant fields and the evil of individuals closer to home.” – Carrie Bedford, Author of Nobilissima

There’s something peculiar about the small group of men who have begun to frequent The Red Pearl, the tavern that has hosted a variety of Boston’s men since before the Revolutionary War began. In a rebellious city that does not tolerate Loyalists, men could come here and speak freely without fear of the repercussions — and Jasper Finch, the tavern-keeper, has always been proud of that.

But now the war is in full force, and Lucy Finch — the tavern-keeper’s wife — is growing nervous about The Red Pearl’s most loyal customers. Their clandestine meetings and hushed whispers suggest dark secrets — secrets which may threaten the safety of Boston, and the future of the war itself.

Lucy struggles to stay loyal to her husband’s wishes while grappling with the surprising truths of America’s war for independence. When a terrible assault makes her ache for revenge, she must make a choice: Will she keep quiet about the explosive secrets she has learned, or will she expose them and risk her marriage and possibly her life?

Set in the wild and unpredictable world of the Revolutionary War, fans of historical fiction will fall in love with Lucy Finch, who faces impossible choices that may change the fate of a nation.

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

Chloe Helton’s The Red Pearl: A Novel of the American Revolution

Beautifully developed, the story line had the perfect blend Historical details and great dialogue. Chloe Helton’s newest novel is set in 1778 Boston, Following the historical event of the Boston Tea Party. The war is still raging on distant fields. The the town of Boston does not tolerate Loyalists.

Lucy Finch, the tavern-keeper’s wife has been married now to Jasper for seven years. Jasper’s bar the Red Pearl, hasn’t taken a stance since the war started. Serving Patriots and Loyalist alike. Lucy struggles to overcome a horrific experience, that has her wounded and scared. Questioning her safety and her marriage, she pulls away from her husband. Putting her safety at risk she has chances to alter some Redcoats shipments. Is she brave enough to step up and overcome and take action?

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, the characters were memorable.

A thought provoking and engaging historical fiction, with complex situations, will definitely keep you engaged.

Read an Excerpt

When I started to move, Jasper mumbled something. He wasn’t much of an early riser, but the sun was splashing through the windows now and we couldn’t let the guests wake before us. It had become my responsibility to make sure of that. “Up,” I urged, nudging his shoulder. “Imagine if Robby gets in the kitchen before we do.”

Now he blinked. Robby, our hired boy, was an honest worker, but he was useless without direct and clear orders. If he tried fiddling with the pots and pans without my direction, they’d all be broken before we even made it downstairs. “Didn’t we just fall asleep?” he groaned.

“Oh, enough. You’re terrible in the morning.”

“Come back down,” he said, wrapping an arm around my waist to pull me. “Lay next to me just a minute longer.”

I couldn’t have resisted, really, even if I wanted to. He was too strong. I brushed a hand through his clipped black hair. There had been days when I yearned for another kind of man, shaggy blonde hair and sharp blue eyes, but although he crossed my mind every day, almost, he was now little more than a ghost swirling in the morning fog. I was here with Jasper, who was dark and quiet and excruciatingly clean-shaven. There was drink to brew and mouths to feed here and I wasn’t a girl anymore.

“Jasper,” I said. I hadn’t been planning to mention this, but he was the one who pulled me back down to bed. “Are you planning to let those Tory meetings go on long?”

“What d’you mean?” he mumbled, his eyes barely open. “If they pay for it, they can have their meetings. And you shouldn’t call them that.”

About the Author:

Chloe Helton is the author of four historical fiction novels, including And the Stars Wept and the Wattpad favorite A Thousand Eyes. Her readers have journeyed with her from the shores of Elizabethan England to the stormy battlefields of the Civil War in search of the often-hidden stories of women who made history.


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Book Tour In Sight Of The Mountain

Hello Bookish Friends,

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, In Sight Of The Mountain
by, Jamie McGillen, which is being hosted by HFBT

In Sight of the Mountain by Jamie McGillen

Publication Date: September 4, 2019
The Evergreen Bookshelf
eBook & Paperback; 356 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

~ Inspired by the trailblazing women of the 19th Century who dared to summit Mount Rainier ~

In the devastating aftermath of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire, nineteen-year-old Anna Gallagher faces considerable pressure to marry well and soon.

She has two serious suitors: a well-meaning but condescending doctor, and an evasive fisherman who challenges her mind. But Anna has no intention of giving up her freedom to keep house; she has a dream to reach the summit of Mount Rainier.

Despite her family’s disapproval and her own self-doubt, she secretly trains, raises money for supplies, and buys a train ticket to the base of the mountain. If she succeeds in reaching its icy peak, she could pioneer the way for women mountaineers; but it’s a tall task and there’s much at risk—including the heart of a man who just might love her as an equal.

On the journey, Anna will face glaciers, avalanches, and frozen temperatures, all without knowing if she even has a family or a future to return to.

In Sight of the Mountain is a charming coming-of-age story, but it also casts the reader’s gaze upon issues of colonialism, class, and women’s far-too-narrow options.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


“Focusing on themes of the liberation of women, the American class system and effects of colonialism, this intelligent and heart-warming novel introduces us to Anna Gallagher at the tender age of nineteen… In an epic and gripping work of historical fiction with modern sensibilities, author Jamie McGillen gives you everything you could possibly hope for in this inspiring and dramatic tale… Overall, In Sight of the Mountain is the perfect historical read for fans of pioneering heroes and tales of triumph over discrimination.” –K.C. Finn, Reader’s Favorite (5 Star Review)

“As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I found it entertaining to try to picture Seattle as a frontier town and see Mount Rainier without its modern trappings. The story begins with the 1889 Seattle fire (a true event) and I was immediately hooked… In all, In Sight of the Mountain is a really great read–compelling, educational, containing complex characters and a well-crafted plot. Recommended for all readers YA and up who enjoy historical fiction. I’d give it more than 5 stars if I could.” –Donna Gielow McFarland, Reader’s Favorite (5 Star Review)

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


I can’t settle down until I do something great.

I just need a purpose for my life besides marriage, something adventurous

In Sight of the Mountain is an insightful, inspiring novel from Jamie McGillen. Breathtaking, picturesque details make this one of the best historical fiction of the Pacific northwest.

Anna Gallagher, emigrated to Seattle from Ireland by her grandfather Oscar after the death of her parents and grandmother of smallpox in Ireland. In 1889 Anna is nineteen years old, seeking a purpose for life besides that of a wife and mother. Craving adventures. Her grandfather, Oscar owns a bookshop in town and Anna works for him. She struggles under the weight of the restrictions society places on her gender and the roles they view as proper. Her grandfather is pressuring her to make a suitable match to secure her future, Anna has her own dreams.

Gallagher has created a riveting coming of age storyline the draws the reader in, with her effortless and engaging writing. The main protagonist Anna, is relatable and a wonderful developed heroine. Anna is headstrong and fiercely independent, she doesn’t want to give up her freedom and conform to what is expected of her.

She has two suits vying for her affection, one is a local doctor the other is her brother’s handsome friend, Ben. Which she feels drawn to because they both have a mutual shared love of adventure.

A chance meeting while walking in the woods, she meets Heather, a young native of the Duwamish tribe, who lives off-reservation with her baby and grandmother in a cabin deep in the woods. Anna’s grandfather couldn’t disapprove more. And after he discovers Anna’s friendship with Heather, he threatens to disown her completely. 

Time is running out for Anna to raise funds for training and to purchase a ticket, to join a climbing expedition up Mount Rainier.

The main protagonist Anna, is relatable and well developed heroine. I enjoyed supporting characters and they are definitely worth noting with interesting. Anna’s friendship with Heather a native of the Duwamish people. The author depicts the plight of the Duwamish people, along with the social cast system in Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century.

In Sight of the Mountain is an insightful, inspiring novel of determination from Jamie McGillen. Breathtaking, picturesque details makes this one of the best historical fiction of the Pacific northwest.

About the Author

Jamie McGillen lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier, and no matter how many times she moves away, it draws her home. Everything about large evergreen trees delights her, except how poky they are, and the sap. Her poems and essays have been published in numerous literary journals, and she teaches English Composition at Highline College. When she’s not teaching or cutting strawberries for her starving children, she enjoys writing rhyming poetry, but it’s simply not as popular as it used to be. You can find out more about her at You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 18
Review at The Green Mockingbird

Tuesday, November 19
Review at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, November 21
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Friday, November 22
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, November 25
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, November 26
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, November 27
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, November 29
Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Monday, December 2
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 5
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Friday, December 6
Review at Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback back copy of In Sight of the Mountain! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 6th. 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.

In Sight of the Mountain

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Book Review The Seventh Sun

Hello Bookish Friends,

Today I Am Featuring the upcoming epic fantasy

The Seventh Sun

This amazing cover features a sacrificial blade dripping with blood. Once you read the excerpt, it’s immediately obvious why this striking image was placed on the front of the book.

Behind it, in gold, is an ornate circle that certainly drums up images of a glowing sun. You don’t have to look any further than the title to understand why this also made the cover.

Put together, this ornate and enigmatic cover is certainly captivating.

The Seventh Sun

(The Age of the Seventh Sun #1)

by Lani Forbes

The Seventh Sun goes on sale in February 2020. Don’t forget to add it to your

The sun of the Chicome people has been destroyed six times. First by water, then by storm, fire, famine, sickness, and beasts. After each apocalypse, the creator goddess allowed one of her divine children to sacrifice themselves to save civilization. The gods paid their blood as the price for the lives of the people, and the people owed them blood in return.

Mayana is a noble descendant of the water goddess and can control water whenever her blood is spilled. She has always despised the brutal rituals of her people — especially sacrifices. She can’t even make it through a routine animal sacrifice without embarrassing her family. Prince Ahkin has always known he would be emperor, but he didn’t expect his father to die so suddenly. Now he must raise the sun in the sky each day and read the signs in the stars. But the stars now hint at impending chaos and the sun has begun setting earlier each evening. Ahkin fears he might not be strong enough to save his people from another apocalypse. And to add to his list of worries, he can’t truly become emperor until he selects a wife.

Mayana and six other noble daughters are sent to the palace to compete for Ahkin’s hand. She must prove she is a true daughter of water and face the others who have their own magical gifts from wielding the elements to the control of animals, plants and healing. And in a society centered on rigid rituals, Mayana must conceal her traitorous beliefs because if she doesn’t make Ahkin love her, she will become a ceremonial sacrifice to bless his marriage. But darker forces are at play and it won’t matter if Mayana loses if the world ends first…

Rich in imagination and romance, and based on the legends and history of the Aztec and Mayan people, The Seventh Sun brings to vivid life a world on the edge of apocalyptic disaster.

Advance Praise

“Lani Forbes delivers lush storytelling, vivid characters, and heart-pounding drama in her compelling debut novel, The Seventh Sun. Featuring ancient civilizations, mythologies, noble families, and obsidian daggers, The Seventh Sun will keep readers fully immersed in the rich cultural experience of the Chicome people. Lani Forbes now joins Leigh Bardugo and Alwyn Hamilton in the ranks of the most talented fantasy authors of today.”

-Margo Kelly, award-winning author of Who R U Really? and Unlocked

“This vivid, historic tale will transport readers to an ancient culture and, along the way, will capture their hearts, as well.”

-Merrie Destefano, award-winning author of Valiant

“With a blazing-hot romance and a world that rises and sets with Aztec and Mayan legends, Lani Forbes delivers a story as majestic as the sun itself.”

-Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author of Forget Tomorrow

“The Seventh Sun dazzles as debut author Lani Forbes weaves a rich, complex supernatural world. Exhilarating new love coupled with deep betrayal plays out against the endless, ominous demand for ritual blood. Mayana, a princess who controls the water, has caught the eye of Ahkin, a prince who controls the sun; together they can make something as beautiful as a rainbow. Deadly forces in the kingdom of Chicome propel the novel to its terrifying climax. This book caught me from the start and refused to let go!”

-Alane Ferguson, Edgar Allan Poe Award winner and author of over thirty novels

“With this rich and compelling debut, Lani Forbes has created a vivid world that truly stands out among the rest. Compulsively readable, I was instantly caught up by the intrigue of Ahkin and Mayana’s world and didn’t want to leave. Clear your schedule. You won’t want to put this one down.”

-Rachel A. Marks, author of Fire and Bone and the Dark Cycle Trilogy

“With a rich world and even richer characters, Lani’s The Seventh Sun will pull you in and keep you wanting more.”

-Kara Barbieri, author of the Permafrost series

“In The Seventh Sun, six girls enter, but only one will leave alive. With intriguing magic, a merciless and ancient storyworld, and a brave heroine who is determined not to compromise, Lani Forbes has written a compelling debut. I cheered for Mayana both as she fought to survive and as she tried to win the emperor’s heart. Readers will be clamoring for the sequel.”

-Jill Williamson, award-winning author of By Darkness Hid

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

I want thank Blackstone Publishing for sending is incredible Early Paper Copy!

Six daughters vie to become Empress of the Chicome people in a competition only one will survive. Rich in imagination and romance, and based on the legends and history of the Aztec and Maya people, THE SEVENTH SUN brings to vivid life a world on the edge of apocalyptic disaster.

A looming apocalypse and swoon romance, with dark blood magic based on ancient Aztec mythology, along with strong women fighting system, Lani Forbes, The Seventh Sun is an epic fantasy book like nothing you have read before.

The emperor of Chicome has died, leaving his son Ahkin to take over as emperor and to raise the sun each day. Through studying the skies and the sun setting earlier and earlier each day, hints of chaos looming over his nation. He also cannot fully inherit the title of emperor until he chooses a noble wife, one is of descendant of one gods who are continually worshiped for the sacrifices to keep the Chicome people alive.

Mayana is one of six noble daughters presented to him as a possible wife. Those who are not chosen will be sacrificed to the gods. Mayana, is descended from the water goddess, she must prove her worth, before Ahkin will except her hand in marriage. Mayana, harbors a secret, her beliefs differs from that of the people.

Prince Ahkin, is struggling under the weight of the position he has been thrust into. Even though his royal blood controls the power of the sun, he’s now responsible for the lives of all the Chicome people. And despite all Ahkin’s efforts, the sun is fading–and the end of the world may be at hand.

A looming apocalypse and swoon romance, with dark blood magic based on ancient Aztec mythology, along with strong women fighting system, Lani Forbes, The Seventh Sun is an epic fantasy book like nothing you have read before.

-Captivating Dante’s Inferno vibes. –

Read an exclusive excerpt from ‘The Seventh Sun’

“Seriously, Mayana. I know you want to make Father proud more than anything, and you know the best way to do that is to just do the sacrifice.”

Mayana grimaced and turned to walk away. “Of course I want to make him proud. But forgive me if I don’t enjoy butchering animals because some ancient ritual says it protects us from—”

Chimalli grabbed her by the upper arm and pulled her back rather roughly.


“Don’t ever let Father hear you say that. You have a tender heart, but you need to learn to silence it and do your duty to your people.”

Mayana yanked her arm back, her cheeks burning again. “I know. Believe me, Father’s already made his thoughts on the matter clear.”

“So why won’t you just do your duty without such a fight?”

Something hot and angry writhed in her gut. “I am doing my duty. I am leading the prayers, the dances …”

“And you will lead tonight’s sacrifice to appease the gods.”

“Why don’t you go jump off the temple, Chimalli?”

Her brother gave her a long warning glare before wiggling his eyebrows and disappearing after a group of giggling merchant daughters. She crossed her arms and stuck out her tongue at his retreating form.

The anticipation of the evening’s coming events soured her against any kind of frivolity. Her twin brothers, Achto and Aquin, each twenty cycles old, tried to get her to pole fly with them — a request she quickly rejected. Dressed as birds, with ropes tied around their feet, her brothers jumped from the top of the high pole and swung in circles around it, suspended by their ankles. Exactly fifty-four revolutions in honor of the calendar stone. She shook her head with a shudder, imagining the pounding in their skulls from being upside down for so long. All the gold in the capital would not be enough to make her join them. At fourteen cycles old, her other brother, Mati, should be busy playing with his friends or older brothers too. But Mayana guessed he was probably busy lurking around the temple reading and memorizing any codex sheet he could get his curious little hands on.

By the time the sun began to set and the shell horns signaled the return to the palace, she had followed the rituals exactly as the holy texts instructed. Her relief, however, was temporary. The real test of her conviction would take place before the feast.

“Mayana,” the lord of Atl greeted her when she took her seat on a cushion beside him. “How did today go?”

She could hear his hidden meaning: Did you follow the codex?

“I did my duty.” Mayana looked down at her knees.

“Your duties are not yet finished.” He dipped his chin and fixed her with a meaningful glare.

Her stomach churned. I have to do it, she told herself. It will be over soon.

Every member of the royal family, both immediate and extended, filled the central botanical garden of the palace. Mayana’s five brothers sat circled around her and her father, while her aunts, uncles, and cousins branched out in rings like those on the sacred calendar stone. The empty space beside her father drew her attention for the briefest moment and her throat tightened — Mayana didn’t want to think about her mother.

“Did you see the red comet in the sky?” a voice whispered close by. She turned to find the source of the comment, but with so many voices chattering, she couldn’t tell who had spoken. Goosebumps rose on her arms.

Royal guests from other city-states lounged on Atl’s finest cushions, sprinkled among the crowd like the drops of her blood on the sacrificial papers. Ceremonial feasts were as much a political event as they were religious — a chance to show her family’s power and prestige. A man from the city of Ocelotl lounged nearby, the skin of a jaguar draped across his expansive shoulders.

Her palms grew moist, so she wiped them on the fabric of her skirt.

Servants meandered through the loud, sweaty crowd carrying small bowls of pulque, a fermented drink made from the sap of a maguey plant. Those too young for the pulque received a drink made of cacao. The codex dictated exactly what and when the Chicome could eat and drink during the ceremonies. The rest of the food would not be brought out until … well, until she fulfilled the next ritual.

Her father stood, and the babbling voices around them quieted. He spread his arms wide, embracing the crowd. His many ornaments rattled into the sudden silence. Mayana could smell the roasted meat and corn cakes waiting just out of view and her mouth watered in anticipation.

“My family and honored guests.” He nodded to the man from Ocelotl and several others. Mayana took a sip of her cacao drink and tried to stop her hands from trembling. “We are safe from floods and drought for another three months.” The room exploded into excited yells and exclamations before the lord of Atl hushed them.

“Let us now honor the Mother Ometeotl and the sacrifice her divine children made with a sacrifice of our own to bless the food we are about to eat. The great city of Ocelotl has brought to us a beast in honor of the month of the bird.”

Mayana’s father gestured to the visitor with the jaguar pelt. The man rose gracefully to his feet before gouging his palm with an obsidian blade much larger than Mayana’s tiny knife. He waved his bleeding hand in a great arc, and a flock of birds erupted through an open window. This did not surprise Mayana in the slightest. Royal naguals from the city-state of Ocelotl used their divine blood to possess and control the spirits of animals.

Birds swirled around the courtyard like a black-and-yellow raincloud, singing their hauntingly beautiful melodies. Their music stirred something deep within her heart. Tears pricked behind her eyes, but she held them back, knowing they would accomplish nothing. The crowd clapped and squealed in delight. Her little brother jumped to his feet and batted at the birds with his hands, but one look from their father quelled his excitement. He quickly returned to his cushion, head bowed in respect.

Lord Atl slowly paced toward the burning pit sunk into the center of the courtyard and motioned for Mayana to follow. She rose — still shaking slightly — and tightly gripped the wooden handle of her obsidian dagger. Holding onto something solid gave her strength. Saying a silent prayer to the Mother goddess, Mayana begged to be spared from the ritual, from causing a scene and disappointing her father again.

With the flick of the royal nagual’s finger, a single black-and-yellow bird broke away from the flock, landing delicately on her wrist. Mayana cupped the tiny creature in her other hand. The bird stared up at her with a glassy black eye, tilting its head as though asking a question. Her stomach dropped. She couldn’t do this.

Mayana looked at her father, tears building despite her best effort, and silently pleaded for him to stop her.

“Mayana.” The lord of Atl barely moved his lips. “You must.”

“Father–” Her voice broke. “Please.”

“If you do not, you risk the safety and well-being of the entire Chicome Empire,” he growled through gritted teeth.

“I did everything else. I did it all perfectly, Father.”

“We are not doing this again. You will do your duty this time, or so help me Mayana …”

She sucked in a breath. She hated sacrificing animals even more than sacrificing her own blood. At least her hand would be healed … unlike the bird’s throat. Her empathy toward the small creature was overwhelming, especially when she thought of her dog Ona and what her father had done to him. But she couldn’t refuse. Her mother wasn’t here to save her anymore.

This was her duty, no matter how hard her heart screamed in protest. Her father would force her hands to do it, just like he had last time. Hot tears slid down her cheeks, but she slowly lifted the blade of her knife toward the bird’s neck. She hated this ritual. Hated it.

At that moment, a man burst through the woven tapestry covering the main entrance. Mayana dropped the hand with the blade to her side, exhaling the breath she was holding. The newcomer was dressed in a white cotton cloak that glittered with golden thread. The flaps of his loincloth hung to his knees and jingled with tiny bells. Upon his dark hair sat a headband of small yellow feathers, reminding Mayana of a cockatoo with yellow plumage.

Everyone in the room recognized the colors at once. This man was from Tollan, the golden capital born from the first darkness — the City of the Sun.

He gripped the stone frame of the doorway, leaning against it and panting hard. The crowd waited, the silence in the room thicker than corn cakes. A feeling like cold water rose in Mayana’s chest. She felt as though she was drowning.

Whatever news he held, it would not be good.

Lani is the daughter of an ex-Mexican drug smuggling surfer and a librarian, so naturally, two of her greatest loves in life are the ocean and books.

A middle school math teacher with a degree in psychology, Lani loves writing about deep emotions and meaningful characters, especially in a science fiction or fantasy setting. She firmly agrees with Robert Frost when he says, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”

Her YA historical fantasy novel “The Seventh Sun” was a finalist in multiple RWA contests and winner in the 2016 Chicago RWA Fire and Ice Contest for the YA category. It recently sold as a three-book deal to Blackstone Publishing and will soon be released in hardcover, paperback, and audiobook! She is represented by Samantha Wekstein of Writers House LLC.

Lani is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI), and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She is also a proud Gryffindor.

When she isn’t writing, Lani can be found playing with her two young children, scuba diving through a kelp forest, or losing herself in a good book.

Find her on:




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Blog Tour The Piper’s Pursuit

Hello Bookish Friends,

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, The Piper’s Pursuit
by, Melanie Dickerson, which is being hosted by FFBT




The Piper’s Pursuit
by Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: December 3, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fiction — Fantasy, Retelling

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

A plague of rats. A giant beast outside the village walls. A host of missing children. And one young woman determined to save her people.

In 1424 Hamlin, Katerina faces threats from all sides. An outbreak of rats has overtaken the village, a mysterious beast is on a killing rampage of the village’s children, and her evil stepfather is a dark presence inside the walls of her own home. Katerina is determined to hunt and kill the Beast of Hamlin herself before more lives are lost.

When Steffan, the handsome but brash duke’s son, comes to town seeking glory and reward, Katerina decides he might be the ally she’s been looking for—even though the sweet music he plays on his pipe seems the only gentle thing about him. But there’s more to Steffan than she suspects, and she finds drawn to him despite her misgivings.

Can Katerina and Steffan stop the enemy from stealing every child of Hamlin? Or will their interference create a worse fate for them all? Melanie Dickerson delivers another exciting fairy tale journey of intrigue and romance in this reimagining of the classic Pied Piper story.

I received a copy of this book via the publisher, Thomas Nelson and The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This engaging book, is the 10th book in the Hagenheim series. A Young Adult Christian Fiction Retelling Romance, published on December 3rd 2019 by Thomas Nelson Christy Award–winner Dickerson, reimagines the Pied Piper story in this excellent installment to her Hagenheim series.

The tale is set in 1424 in the German region of the Holy Roman Empire. Katerina, a fiercely private warrior-maiden. Her determination to protect her townspeople from the evildoings of her stepfather, who happens to be the town mayor.

When the children of the town start going missing and are presumed to be victims of the Beast of Hamlin, the mayor offers Katerina’s hand in marriage to anyone who can kill the beast. Katerina, determined to escape from her stepfather, she vows to kill the beast herself. Steffan, one of the sons of the Duke of Hagenheim, is intent on winning the prize for himself. The two become reluctant duo in their quest, along the way, they realize they share some of the same values and learn to trust one other.

You are thrown right into a beautiful, vivid and established world with fully fleshed out characters, and lands. The author brings together faith, personal sacrifice, atonement, and a wonderful heartwarming romance. Dickerson’s writings almost always contain fairy tale element, I adore retellings, with strong heroines, along with the perfect amount of modest romance. While giving the reader faith based messages within the pages.

Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for history, adventure, and romance. Her books have won a Christy Award, two Maggie Awards, The National Reader’s Choice Award, the Christian Retailing’s Best Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Golden Quill, and the Carol Award. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children and adults in the U.S., Germany, and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing stories of love and adventure near Huntsville, Alabama.

Tour Schedule

November 18

That Artsy Reader Girl – Welcome Interview with Melanie Dickerson

November 19

The Reading Corner for All – Book Review, Blogger-created Book Playlist (P)
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Book Review, Blogger-created Book Dream Cast (P)
Bookishly Nerdy – Book Review + Favorite Quotes (P)
Ohana Cascadia – Book Review + Favorite Quotes, Instagram Post (P)

November 20

onemused – Book Review, Instagram Post (P)
Heidi Reads… – Book Review (P)
Savings In Seconds – Book Review + Favorite Quotes, Instagram Post (P)
Adventures Thru Wonderland – Book Review

November 21

Womanon – Author Q&A, Creative Post (E)
Sincerely Karen Jo – Book Review (P)
Books_AndPoetrii – Creative Post
Portals of Paper and Ink – Book Review + Favorite Quotes, Book Playlist (P)

November 22

Foals, Fiction, and Filigree – Book Review + Favorite Quotes (P)
Shelf-Rated – Book Review (P)
Reads Like Supernova – Book Review + Favorite Quotes (P)
Daughter of Increase – Book Review + Favorite Quotes (P)

November 23

Adventurous Bookworm – Book Review, Author Guest Post (E)
Gwendalyn’s Books – Book Review, Creative Post (P)
Nay’s Pink Bookshelf – Book Review + Favorite Quotes (P)
Susan Heim On Writing – Book Review (P)

November 24

What She Will Read – Book Review + Favorite Quotes
two points of interest – Book Review (P)
evelynreads – Book Review (E)
Life with No Plot – Book Review (E)

November 25

To All the Books I’ve Read Before – Author Guest Post (E)
Ya It’s Lit – Book Review + Favorite Quotes (P)
Fyrekatz Blog – Book Review (P)


Prize: 1 finished copy of The Piper’s Pursuit by Melanie Dickerson (USA)

Starts: 11/18/19

Ends: 11/28/19

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cover Reveal Skin Curse

HAPPY COVER REVEAL DAY: Skin Curse (Gate Cycle, #2), by Kristin Jacques

November 22, 2019

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Cover Reveal of, Skin Curse
by Kristin Jacques, which is being hosted by Parliament House

SKIN CURSE, the second installment in Kristin Jacques’ Gate Cycle series! Skin Curse is set to release on July 14th, 2020!

Skin Curse (Gate Cycle, #2), by Kristin Jacques

“The Children of the Gate wait for the call to Rise.

Azzy Brimvine knows her brother is in the vast city of Avergard. She must find him, but time is not on their side.

In the House of Seven Smiles, Azzy struggles to understand the constraints and limits of her power, as she finds the whispering voices that guided her for so long suddenly silent. The enigmatic lord of the house is both a frustrating ally and a dangerous mystery. A strange entity lurks among the household servants. The haven Azzy sought may not be as safe as she thought… but is anywhere truly safe in the Above?

The city of Avergard is full of monsters and secrets, and a dark history festers at its root. A yawning pit nestles in the house of a scheming lord, who will use Armin’s dangerous gifts to raise history, and raze the city to the ground. As Azzy finds herself and her brother pulled into these machinations, she must navigate the politics and society of Avergard’s brutal ruling class to save her family and friends before the Gate consumes them 

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