These Lost & Broken Things ~ Book Review

Maiden-Mother-Murderer

How dangerous is a woman with nothing left to lose?

The year is 1905. London is a playground for the rich and a death trap for the poor. When Sofia Logan’s husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her penniless with two young children, she knows she will do anything to keep them from the workhouse. But can she bring herself to murder? Even if she has done it before…

Emmet Vinsant, wealthy industrialist, offers Sofia a job in one of his gaming houses. He knows more about Sofia’s past than he has revealed. Brought up as part of a travelling fair, she’s an expert at counting cards and spotting cheats, and Vinsant puts her talents to good use. His demands on her grow until she finds herself with blood on her hands.

Set against the backdrop of the Suffragette protests, with industry changing the face of the city but disease still rampant, and poverty the greatest threat of all, every decision you make is life or death. Either yours or someone else’s. Read best-selling crime writer Helen Fields’ first explosive historical thriller.


Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50666797-these-lost-broken-things?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=jGECB5gTj9&rank=2 

Buy
Link 

https://amzn.to/2vH4aX2

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

A gripping dark tale set in the 1900’s London

Sophia’s world takes a devastating turn when her beloved husband suddenly dies. Leaving her without any means to support herself and her small children.

In desperation she takes a position at one of London’s gaming houses working for her deceased husband‘s employer, Mr Emmett Vinsant.

She utilizes her talents with cards counting and becomes an ideal employee for spotting dodgy gamblers. Having a gypsy background also exposed her to card playing at an early age. Sophia’s overly confident and recklessness behavior has gotten her in to trouble one before. Thinking to increase her earnings she does the unthinkable and takes on Lady Luck once again.

This places her at the mercy of a villainess man, and she becomes embroiled into something more sinister.

Forced to take on a new occupation, that she seems to have a knack. But has far more devastating consequences.

A cleverly executed gothic historical fiction, that takes into the underbelly of the criminal world in London. Expertly atmospheric details makes for a riveting storyline.

I throughly enjoyed this wicked tale.

Author

An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. Every book in the Callanach series claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. Her next book, the sixth in the series, ‘Perfect Kill’ is due out on 6 February 2020. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and last year released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’. Her previous audio book ‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. Translated into 15 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. Her first historical thriller ‘These Lost & Broken Things’ comes out in May 2020. A further standalone thriller published by HarperColllins will come soon. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, where she lives with her husband and three children. Helen can be found on Twitter @Helen_Fields for up to date news and information or at www.helenfields.co.uk.

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THE SEA GLASS COTTAGE by RaeAnne Thayne

Hello Bookish Friends, I am so thrilled that I am apart the blog tour to celebrate the launch of THE SEA GLASS COTTAGE by RaeAnne Thayne!

THE SEA GLASS COTTAGE

Author: RaeAnne Thayne 

ISBN: 9781335045164

Publication Date: 3/17/2020

Publisher: HQN Books

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target 

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @RaeAnneThayne

Facebook: AuthorRaeAnneThayne

Instagram: @RaeAnneThayne

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/116118.RaeAnne_Thayne

From the New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne comes a brand-new novel for fans of Debbie Macomber and Susan Wiggs. RaeAnne Thayne tells the story of an emotional homecoming that brings hope and healing to three generations of women.

The life Olivia Harper always dreamed of isn’t so dreamy these days. The 16-hour work days are unfulfilling and so are things with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when she hears that her estranged mother, Juliet, has been seriously injured in a car accident, Liv has no choice but to pack up her life and head home to beautiful Cape Sanctuary on the Northern California coast.

It’s just for a few months—that’s what Liv keeps telling herself. But the closer she gets to Cape Sanctuary, the painful memories start flooding back: Natalie, her vibrant, passionate older sister who downward-spiraled into addiction. The fights with her mother who enabled her sister at every turn. The overdose that took Natalie, leaving her now-teenaged daughter, Caitlin, an orphan.

As Liv tries to balance her own needs with those of her injured mother and an obstinate, resentful fifteen-year-old, it becomes clear that all three Harper women have been keeping heartbreaking secrets from one another. And as those secrets are revealed, Liv, Juliet, and Caitlin will see that it’s never too late—or too early—to heal family wounds and find forgiveness.

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

The Sea Glass Cottage is a complex, memorable story about family, and secrets. Where healing and forgiveness is depicted in a thought provoking storyline.

Olivia Harper is returning Cape Sanctuary after her mother falls from a ladder and sustaining serious injuries. Juliet Harper is an incredible independent woman, but her fall combined with surgery will ultimately have her out of commission for a couple of months. The family business and care of her fifteen-year-old granddaughter, Caitlin will fall on her returning daughter a Olivia. Juliet is hoping to repair past hurt and a deep void between herself and her Olivia during her recovery period.

A emotional journey of healing and strength ones a wonderfully engaging storyline that captures heartwarming struggles of three woman. A charming tale that unfolds within these creative pages. Well developed characters, the reader is captivated by alternating point-of-views between Juliet, Olivia, Caitlin and Cooper Vance.

A charming contemporary book, full of emotional drama of three generations of women, who struggle with their pasts and family relationships.

1

Olivia

Olivia shoved her hands into her pockets against the damp Seattle afternoon. Nothing would take the chill from her bones, though. She knew that. Even five days of sick leave, huddling in her bed and mindlessly bingeing on cooking shows hadn’t done anything but make her crave cake.

She couldn’t hide away in her apartment forever. Eventually she was going to have to reenter life and go back to work, which was why she stood outside this coffee shop in a typical spring drizzle with her heart pounding and her stomach in knots.

This was stupid. The odds of anything like that happening to her again were ridiculously small. She couldn’t let one man battling mental illness and drug abuse control the rest of her life.

She could do this.

She reached out to pull the door open, but before she could make contact with the metal handle, her cell phone chimed from her pocket.

She knew instantly from the ringtone it was her best friend from high school, who still lived in Cape Sanctuary with her three children.

Talking to Melody was more important than testing her resolve by going into the Kozy Kitchen right now, she told herself. She answered the call, already heading back across the street to her own apartment.

“Mel,” she answered, her voice slightly breathless from the adrenaline still pumping through her and from the stairs she was racing up two at a time. “I’m so glad you called.”

Glad didn’t come close to covering the extent of her relief. She really hadn’t wanted to go into that coffee shop. Not yet. Why should she make herself? She had coffee at home and could have groceries delivered when she needed them. 

“You know why I’m calling, then?” Melody asked, a strange note in her voice.

“I know it’s amazing to hear from you. You’ve been on my mind.”

She was not only a coward but a lousy friend. She hadn’t checked in with Melody in a few weeks, despite knowing her friend was going through a life upheaval far worse than witnessing an attack on someone else.

As she unlocked her apartment, the cutest rescue dog in the world, a tiny, fluffy cross between a Chihuahua and a miniature poodle, gyrated with joy at the sight of her.

Yet another reason she didn’t have to leave. If she needed love and attention, she only had to call her dog and Otis would come running.

She scooped him up and let him lick her face, already feeling some of her anxiety calm.

“I was thinking how great it would be if you and the boys could come up and stay with me for a few days when school gets out for the summer,” she said now to Melody. “We could take the boys to the Space Needle, maybe hop the ferry up to the San Juans and go whale watching. They would love it. What do you think?”

The words seemed to be spilling out of her, too fast. She was babbling, a weird combination of relief that she hadn’t had to face that coffee shop and guilt that she had been wrapped up so tightly with her own life that she hadn’t reached out to a friend in need.

“My apartment isn’t very big,” she went on without waiting for an answer. “But I have an extra bedroom and can pick up some air beds for the boys. They’ve got some really comfortable ones these days. I’ve got a friend who says she stayed on one at her sister’s house in Tacoma and slept better than she does on her regular mattress. I’ve still got my car, though I hardly drive it in the city, and the boys would love to meet Otis. Maybe we could even drive to Olympic National Park, if you wanted.”

“Liv. Stop.” Melody cut her off. “Though that all sounds amazing and I’m sure the boys would love it, we can talk about that later. You have no idea why I called, do you?”

“I… Why did you call?”

Melody was silent for a few seconds. “I’m afraid there’s been an accident,” she finally said.

The breath ran out of Olivia like somebody had popped one of those air mattresses with a bread knife.

“Oh no. Is it one of your boys?” Oh please, she prayed. Don’t let it be one of the boys.

Melody had been through enough over the past three months, since her jerkhole husband ran off with one of his high school students.

“No, honey. It’s not my family. It’s yours.”

Her words seemed to come from far away and it took a long time for them to pierce through.

No. Impossible.

Fear rushed back in, swamping her like a fast-moving tide. She sank blindly onto the sofa.

“Is it Caitlin?”

“It’s not your niece. Stop throwing out guesses and just let me tell you. It’s your mom. Before you freak out, let me just say, first of all, she’s okay, from what I understand. I don’t have all the details but I do know she’s in the hospital, but she’s okay. It could have been much worse.”

Her mom. Olivia tried to picture Juliet lying in a hospital bed and couldn’t quite do it. Juliet Harper didn’t have time to be in a hospital bed. She was always hurrying somewhere, either next door to Sea Glass Cottage to the garden center the Harper family had run in Cape Sanctuary for generations or down the hill to town to help a friend or to one of Caitlin’s school events.

“What happened?” 

“She had a bad fall and suffered a concussion and I think some broken bones.”

Olivia’s stomach twisted. A concussion. Broken bones. Oh man. “Fell where? Off one of the cliffs near the garden center?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know all the details yet. This just happened this morning and it’s still early for the gossip to make all the rounds around town. I assumed you already knew. That Caitlin or someone would have called you. I was only checking in to see how I can help.”

This morning. She glanced at her watch. Her mother had been in an accident hours earlier and Olivia was just finding out about it now, in late afternoon.

Someone should have told her—if not Juliet herself, then, as Melody said, at least Caitlin.

Given their recent history, it wasn’t particularly surprising that her niece, raised by Olivia’s mother since she was a baby, hadn’t bothered to call. Olivia wasn’t Caitlin’s favorite person right now. These days, during Olivia’s regular video chats with her mother, Caitlin never popped in to say hi anymore. At fifteen, Caitlin was abrasive and moody and didn’t seem to like Olivia much, for reasons she didn’t quite understand.

“I’m sure someone tried to reach me but my phone has been having trouble,” she lied. Her phone never had trouble. She made sure it was always in working order, since so much of her freelance business depended on her clients being able to reach her and on her being able to Tweet or post something on the fly.

“I’m glad I checked in, then.”

“Same here. Thank you.”

Several bones broken and a long recovery. Oh dear. That would be tough on Juliet, especially this time of year when the garden center always saw peak business.

“Thank you for telling me. Is she in the hospital there in Cape Sanctuary or was she taken to one of the bigger cities?”

“I’m not sure. I can call around for you, if you want.”

“I’ll find out. You have enough to worry about.”

“Keep me posted. I’m worried about her. She’s a pretty great lady, that mom of yours.”

Olivia shifted, uncomfortable as she always was when others spoke about her mother to her. Everyone loved her, with good reason. Juliet was warm, gracious, kind to just about everyone in their beachside community of Cape Sanctuary.

Which made Olivia’s own awkward, tangled relationship with her mother even harder to comprehend.

“Will you be able to come home for a few days?”

Home. How could she go home when she couldn’t even walk into the coffee shop across the street?

“I don’t know. I’ll have to see what’s going on there.”

How could she possibly travel all the way to Northern California? A complicated mix of emotions seemed to lodge like a tangled ball of yarn in her chest whenever she thought about her hometown, which she loved and hated in equal measures.

The town held so much guilt and pain and sorrow. Her father was buried there and so was her sister. Each room in Sea Glass Cottage stirred like the swirl of dust motes with memories of happier times.

Olivia hadn’t been back in more than a year. She kept meaning to make a trip but something else always seemed to come up. She usually went for the holidays at least, but the previous year she’d backed out of even that after work obligations kept her in Seattle until Christmas Eve and a storm had made last-minute travel difficult. She had spent the holiday with friends instead of with her mother and Caitlin and had felt guilty that she had enjoyed it much more than the previous few when she had gone home.

She couldn’t avoid it now, though. A trip back to Cape Sanctuary was long overdue, especially if her mother needed her.

Author Bio: 

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

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Book Review Black and Blue

Hello Bookish friends,

Today, I am reviewing a powerful moving book,

that I absolutely enjoyed reading it.

Black & Blue: Love, Sport and the Art of Empowerment

by Andra Douglas

Fiction
Date Published: July 2019
Publisher:  BookBaby
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Have you ever wanted to do something that everyone said was impossible? Then you’ll love BLACK & BLUE. Loosely based on the author’s own life, this coming-of-age novel will inspire you to pursue your dreams.

For as long as she can remember, “Toady” wanted nothing more than to play football.  But for Toady, the love of football is bittersweet – because Toady’s given name is Christine. She’s a girl, and girls “can’t” play football. Despite her exceptional abilities, she watches bitterly as the boys play on the high school team and win scholarships.  Reluctantly, she gives up her football dreams and moves to New York City – where she finds that life is full of surprises. Christine hears about a group of women playing flag football, and she joins their game. The players are so good that before long, they’re invited to become part of a professional women’s tackle league.
For Christine, this is the chance she’s always dreamed of. Not only does she play football, but she raises enough money to become the team’s owner. But that’s when the real challenges begin. Does Christine have the guts and the stamina to spite the odds? BLACK & BLUE will leave readers cheering as Christine doubles down to fight for her dreams and for the women who want nothing more than to play their favorite sport. If you loved Bend It Like Beckham or A League of Their Own, you’ll adore BLACK & BLUE.

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

Have you listened to your inner voice and followed your lifelong

dream?

What if you had a dream to be, or do something, and everything and everyone was against you.

Black & Blue: Love, Sport and the Art of Empowerment, by Andra Douglas, is a compelling read from beginning to end a by Andra Douglas, partly sports fiction, but also reads like amemoir.

A powerful moving book, about a woman who in the the face of adversity followed her lifelong passion for football. She refuses to accept the roles cast on her by her birth gender and growing up in the deep American South.

“I grew up in the South. The freedom the South offers to its males is a singular experience. Gaining this freedom is a game of sorts… Football is the southern males’ identity.”

“Had I been born a male, things would have been different… the South would have engulfed me, seduced me and made me a child of its own. As a female, it still engulfed me, still seduced me, but then betrayed me as lovers do who end up bitter, never repairing the scars of trust gone awry.”

Christine, “Toady” came from a family of three girls and her sisters were your typical girly-girls while she had an inner calling to be something more diverse. She was tomboyish by nature. Christine loved football, she passionate, maybe a little obsessed with it. She wanted to be accepted by her peers, even early on in her younger.

She struggled and improved despite everything to be accepted by the neighborhood boys and to actually play football with them.

Toady, is from Zephyrhills, Florida, and football is a huge pastime. With lots devotion and practice she excels at football. Even though she is probably better than a lot of guys, she is denied a spot on the high school team. Her Senior year, she watches unhappily as her male classmates win college football scholarships.

Toady’s family are devote Florida State University, FSU football fans. So, it was decided early on that all the girls in her family would attend FSU university.

Upon graduation from High School,she leaves the south far behind and their notion of what is suitable for young women. She attends Pratt Institue, And pursues her love of Art in New York City. While still harboring her love of the game of football.

When the unexpected chance opportunity to finally play tackle football comes along, she jumps at it. In a series of events Christine buys an all women’s football team.

The Organizing and searching for players, coaches and locations and other teams to play against is a daunting task considering all the obstacles that she is faced to be taken serious within In all male dominating sport. She rices as quarterback and owner for the women’s professional football team the New York Sharks.When unforeseen circumstances happen, and Christine is faced with challenges, she most re-examine herself.

The authors writing flows seamlessly and the well developed characters come to life with this exceptional storyline.

This is an astonishing coming of age book that is a most read for anyone. A deeply moving, powerful book about the injustice still placed on girls and woman, and over coming adversity.

I raised both of my daughters to be strong powerful woman. While reading this book I had a flashback of my oldest daughter in ROTC In high school. The guys were starting a game of touch football, and my daughter asked if she could play. I think they laughed and said why not.

So all the parents were standing by at this ROTC function watching are children play. One lady asked if I was actually going to let my daughter play, and if I was worried for her safety. I answered her back by saying I was hoping she wouldn’t hurt some of the smaller boys because they stopped playing touch and it had advanced to tackle football.

About the Author
ANDRA DOUGLAS is a native of central Florida and a graduate of Florida State University and Pratt Institute.  A national champion athlete in rugby and women’s tackle football, she was the owner of the New York Sharks Women’s Pro Football team for nineteen years and is the founder of the Fins Up! Foundation for Female Athletes, a non-profit to benefit at-risk teens.  In addition to her love of football, Andra is a professional artist and served as a Vice President/Creative Director at Time Warner for many years. Today, she lives with her parrot, ‘Pie’ in New York’s Greenwich Village where she creates mixed-media artwork.  To learn more, visit: http://www.andradouglasart.com.
Contact Links
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The Emperor’s Assassin by Autumn Bardot

Hi everyone! Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, which is being hosted by HFBT

#TheEmperorsAssassin #AutumnBardot #HFVBTBlogTours

The Emperor’s Assassin by Autumn Bardot

Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Flores Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 437 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

History paints her as the first female serial killer…

Locusta is the daughter of a winemaker in the Roman province of Gaul. She enjoys the indulged childhood of the elite, her concerns only about the day’s amusements. She rides gentle ponies, attends parties, reads Ovid, and learns the herbal arts from her servant. But the day after meeting her betrothed, Locusta discovers the consequences of possessing such dangerous knowledge.

Ordered to leave her pastoral life, Locusta is thrust into a world of intrigue, scandal, and murder—where treason lurks behind every corner and defying an emperor means death. Locusta’s life changes forever when a young Emperor Nero requires her herbal expertise. And commands her to be his personal poisoner. Caught in an imperial web, Locusta must embrace her profession or die.

Or is there another way out?

History paints her as the first female serial killer. Or is she yet another maligned woman in history?

Available on Amazon

Hello Bookish Friends,

Today is my stop on The Emperor’s Assassin Book Tour feaI was given the chance to read another book by historical fiction writer Autumn Bardot.

Once again historical fiction writer Autumn Bardot has delivered a vivid, engaging, captivating, novel. I did immediately connect to the writing style just like I have with other books by this author. Bardot writing keeps gets better and better, this is definitely one of my favorite books so far.

Locusta of Gaul, a vintners daughter has been patiently waiting on her marriage negotiations. Hoping her intended is everything her young heart has in mind.

Being the eldest daughter, Locusta must make a favorable match to keep the vineyard afloat. She spends her carefree days reading and learning everything her principle maid Pricilla can instruct her on the healing properties of certain herbs and plants. But, not all plants are used for healing and prevention. Some have a darker side. And can be used for death.

Her older brother is incompetent to take over the vineyard and her father’s mind is slowly slipping more and more. However, when she is introduced to her betrothed, everything comes crashing down. Unforeseen circumstances change the direction her well planned life. The demise of her betrothal and news that her father has neglected to pay the the winery’s estate taxes to the Roman Emperor Claudius.

Locusta along with her longtime maid Pricilla who happens to be a skilled herbalist are sent to Rome, To ask for a pardon for the unpaid winery’s estate taxes.

Things don’t go as planed while staying with relatives in Rome she is denied a pardon. Slowly notorious famed knowledge of herbs becomes knowledge of of Rome’s greedy and ambitious elite. In those days who some wanted to hurry along the deaths of their rivals or their rich relatives, Locusta was so skilled she was able to make the death look like she was from natural causes. Locusta provided her client’s them with the means to accomplish their goals, and became a very rich as a notorious poisoner. Rising very high and infamous.

The book was absorbing and satisfying with gripping intense characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the structure of this story and it had me hooked right from the very first chapter.

I loved every minute of this captivating book from start to finish!,

About the Author

Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and historical erotica. Her debut historical fiction is THE IMPALER’S WIFE. Her debut historical erotica is LEGENDS OF LUST.

Autumn, a pen name, has worked as an educator for more than sixteen years. She teaches literature, writing, and the magic of words. She has a passion for history and a special affinity for the unsung courageous females that history has neglected. Or misunderstood. Autumn lives in Southern California with her husband and every-growing family. She wishes she was one-tenth as brave as the women she writes about.

Historical Fiction
~ The Impaler’s Wife
~ Dragon Lady
~ The Emperor’s Assassin ( coming Oct 1, 2019 )

Historical Erotica ( Cleis Press)
~ Legends of Lust, Erotic Myths from around the World
~ Confessions of a Sheba Queen ( coming March 10, 2020)

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 21
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 22
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, October 23
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, October 25
Review at Al-Alhambra

Monday, October 28
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Wednesday, October 30
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, October 31
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Friday, November 1
Guest Post at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, November 4
Review at Jessica Belmont

Tuesday, November 5
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, November 6
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Thursday, November 7
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Friday, November 8
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Monday, November 11
Review at Books and Zebras
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, November 12
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Thursday, November 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, November 15
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Jorie Loves A Story
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The Emperor’s Assassin! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to US residents 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.

The Emperor’s Assassin

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Book Tour

The Queen Of Warriors

#TheQueenofWarriors #ZenobiaNeil #HFVBTBlogTours 

The Queen of Warriors
by Zenobia Neil

Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Hypatia Books
eBook & Paperback; 363 Pages

Series: Alexandra of Sparta, Book One
Genre: Historical Fantasy

 

Alexandra of Sparta vowed her sword and her heart to the goddess Artemis. And the goddess blessed her. But no warrior lives at peace, and soon, Alexandra loses her title, her troops, and all she holds dear, including the man who holds her heart.

Cursed by a Babylonian witch, she is forced to return to a city she once conquered to make amends, but is captured by the powerful Persian rebel, Artaxerxes. As his prisoner, she awaits judgment for her crimes. But Artaxerxes is not what he seems. With death approaching, Alexandra must face her violent past and discover the truth of her captor’s identity before it’s too late.

Available on Amazon

 “The Queen of Warriors is a full-blooded adventure into the ancient and mythological world of the warrior queen, Alexandra of Sparta. Imaginative, exciting, and alluring! -Margaret George, author of Helen of Troy

 “A surprising tale of retribution but also of redemption. Sexy yet thoughtful . . . unexpectedly moving.” -L.J. Trafford, author of The Four Emperor Series

A sizzling epic that will tempt you into the Hellenistic age. Neil s writing is smooth, and anyone would be hard-pressed not to fall in love with her kick-ass heroine, Alexandra of Sparta! -Adam Alexander Haviaras, Eagles and Dragons Publishing

TW: Adult Fiction

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

Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the Author,

Alexander, The Queen of Warriors has conquered and risen to unimaginable heights with her army. To have it all comes crashing down and Alexandra finds herself broken and seeking forgiveness and all those she has lost.

She finds herself at the temple of the triple head Goddess Hecate, the keeper of the crossroads, the goddess of all witches.

Opening the gate of the underworld she realizes she has to go back to her beginnings to find the answers she seeks. It will not be an easy journey but she starts out in hopes of reaching a state free of the curse that haunts her.

The books well developed portrait of people and their actions during this time table was fabulous. The authors creating a mercenary leader as the main protagonist was so cleverly done. Alexander, Is one strong warrior Queen that is absolutely phenomenal.

Returning to a city she once conquered but Inevitably lost. To make atonement for her past sins.

Once there she is captured by the powerful Persian rebel, Artaxerxes, the Golden Lynx of Ghagae.

The Terror of East, a Greek woman mercenary, fighting for a Greet King. She is now bond and blindfolded waiting judgement for her crimes and atrocities she has committed against Persian subjects, and her own Spartan Generals.

Zenobia, delivers a compelling, intriguing, and well-written read here with absolutely fantastic characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. The strength of this novel handsdown is the author’s fabulous characterizations. This faced past twisty book will definitely have you guessing. The romance is dark and lustful, paring perfectly with the timeframe of when the story takes place.

Zenobia Neil, delivers once again a stunning masterly written novel that will catapult you into Hellenistic age. Bold, gripping, captivating,

About the Author

Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. She lives with her husband, two children, and dog in Los Angeles. The Queen of Warriors is her third book.

Visit her at ZenobiaNeil.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 16
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, September 17
Guest Post by Reading the Past

Wednesday, September 18
Excerpt at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, September 19
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, September 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, September 23
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, September 24
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, September 25
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, September 26
Review & Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Monday, September 30
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Tuesday, October 1
Feature at I’m All About Books
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, October 2
Review at book frolic
Review at Al-Alhambra
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, October 3
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Friday, October 4
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

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The Queen of Warriors

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Book Review THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE

Hello Everyone,

TodayI Am Sharing My Review Of The Winemaker’s Wife

#thewinemakerswife #Reviewathon

THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE

The Winemaker’s Wife

Hardcover: 400 pages

Publisher: Gallery Books (August 13, 2019)

Champagne, 1940: Inès has just married Michel, the owner of storied champagne house Maison Chauveau, when the Germans invade. As the danger mounts, Michel turns his back on his marriage to begin hiding munitions for the Résistance. Inès fears they’ll be exposed, but for Céline, half-Jewish wife of Chauveau’s chef de cave, the risk is even greater—rumors abound of Jews being shipped east to an unspeakable fate.

When Céline recklessly follows her heart in one desperate bid for happiness, and Inès makes a dangerous mistake with a Nazi collaborator, they risk the lives of those they love—and the champagne house that ties them together.

New York, 2019: Liv Kent has just lost everything when her eccentric French grandmother shows up unannounced, insisting on a trip to France. But the older woman has an ulterior motive—and a tragic, decades-old story to share. When past and present finally collide, Liv finds herself on a road to salvation that leads right to the caves of the Maison Chauveau.

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Instant #1 bestseller from The Globe and Mail (Toronto) and The Toronto Star

“Love and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption combine in a heady tale of the ever-present past…fantastic!” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

The author of the “engrossing” (People) international bestseller The Room on Rue Amélie returns with a moving story set amid the champagne vineyards of northern France during the darkest days of World War II, perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.

Review

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

“Mark Twain, the great American writer was spot on when he claimed: “too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right”.

The Winemaker’s Wife

Champagne, 1940, at the cusp of the Second World War, Inès is the young wife of Michel, owner of the Maison Chauveau, a picturesque champagne house nestled among rolling vineyards near Reims, France. It should be an idyllic life, but Inès–who’s often treated like a child by her husband, his chef de cave, Theo, and Theo’s wife, Céline– is increasingly unhappy.

She’s determined to make a change, but then the German’s arrive.

Kristin Harmel narration is told through dual timelines from Liv’s life in the present and then between Inès and Céline during the war in the late 1930s-1940s. The contemporary chapters propel the story along, but past is a turbulent secretive echo of historical fiction.

Devastated, and heartbroken Olivia, has just recently been divorced is relived to have an excuse to go to France with Edith, her wealthy 97 year old grandmother.

While there Olivia grandmother Edith, slowly tells her incredible story of her and her friends the life she led during the German occupation of the village where she lived with her husband.

This is a dramatic and intricate storyline infused with World War II elements of tragedy, betrayal, and brutality, tempered with love, devotion and heroism. The author masterly allows the reader to unravel the threads of this literary tapestry.

Brilliant progression as the storyline gives you an incredible look at the French resistance during the German occupation amid the champagne vineyards of northern France. The author has created a compelling character driven, emotional resonate novel.

What really stood out for me and what I really loved about this story was the compelling and emotional layered duel timelines and how they connected the story and the family. 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 shaped the people.

A deeply thoughtful historical fiction novel, based on details of real-life Resistance activities that occurred in France during World War II.

RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 13, 2019

Thanks to @kristinharmel and @gallerybooks

#thewinemakerswife
50 Book Reviews

What should we eat

while drinking champagne!

One of our favorite indulgences is lying on the couch with a good book and a bag of our favorite potato chips. Can’t get better than that, right? WRONG! Kristin Harmel, the author of THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE, has just made that experience better by telling us that we shouldn’t be drinking water or soda with those chips—we should be drinking champagne!

THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE, a historical novel set in the Champagne region of WW2 France, so she’s done a lot of research on champagne and is here to tell us that you don’t have to save that bubbly for a special occasion—it’s a great wine to sip with many foods, plenty of them not fancy at all. 

So pour yourself a cold glass of your favorite champagne, open that bag of chips, and discover the other surprising foods you could be eating alongside your bubbly! Watch Kristin share her suggestions in the video above, or keep reading for a transcript of her picks:

#1: Potato chips

The sharpness of champagne, its acidity, cuts perfectly through the salt. 

Which means that it also goes pretty perfectly with…

#2: French fries

#3: Spicy foods

The bubbles can balance out heat, so if you’re diving into something spicy, like a great spicy pad thai, pop open a bottle.

#4: Raw fish

Raw fish, especially sushi, is also an excellent pairing.

As is…

#5: Salty, buttery popcorn

Not only do the bubbles work perfectly with the butter, but the yeasty notes in champagne from Champagne, France, complement the toastiness of the popcorn.

#5: Fried chicken

Remember that acidity we mentioned? It also cuts perfectly through the grease in fried foods. So the next time you bring home a bucket of fried chicken, believe it or not, pop a bottle of champagne.

If you enjoyed her recommendations, be sure to check

out Kristin Harmel’s novel set in Champagne, France: THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE.

Excerpt

The Winemaker’s Wife  one  
MAY 1940
INÈS  
The road snaked over the lush vineyards of Champagne as Inès Chauveau sped southwest out of Reims, clouds of dust ballooning in the wake of her glossy black Citroën, wind whipping ferociously through her chestnut hair. It was May, and already the vines were awakening, their buds like tiny fists reaching for the sun. In weeks they would flower, and by September, their grapes—pale green Chardonnay, inky Pinot Meunier, blueberry-hued Pinot Noir—would be plump and bursting for the harvest.But would Inès still be here? Would any of them? A shiver ran through her as she braked to hug a curve, the engine growling in protest as she turned down the road that led home. Michel would tell her she was driving too quickly, too recklessly. But then, he was cautious about everything.In June, it would be a year since they’d married, and she couldn’t remember a day during that time that he hadn’t gently chided her about something. I’m simply looking out for you, Inès, he always said. That’s what a husband is supposed to do. Lately, nearly all his warnings had been about the Germans, who’d been lurking just on the other side of the impenetrable Maginot Line, the fortified border that protected France from the chaos besetting the rest of Europe. Those of us who were here for the Great War know to take them seriously, he said at least once a day, as if he hadn’t been just four years old when the final battle was waged.Of course Inès, younger than Michel by six years, hadn’t yet been born when the Germans finally withdrew from the Marne in 1918, after nearly obliterating the central city of Reims. But her father had told enough tales about the war—usually while drunk on brandy and pounding his fist against the table—that she knew to be wary.You can never trust the Huns! She could hear her father’s deep, gravelly voice in her ear now, though he’d been dead for years. They might play the role of France’s friend, but only fools would believe such a thing.Well, Inès was no fool. And this time, for once, she would bring the news that changed everything. She felt a small surge of triumph, but as she raced into Ville-Dommange, the silent, somber, seven-hundred-year-old Saint-Lié chapel that loomed over the small town seemed to taunt her for her pettiness. This wasn’t about who was wrong and who was right. This was about war. Death. The blood of young men already soaking the ground in the forests to the northeast. All the things her husband had predicted.She drove through the gates, braked hard in front of the grand two-story stone château, and leapt out, racing for the door that led down to the vast network of underground cellars. “Michel!” she called as she descended two stone steps at a time, the cool, damp air like a bucket of water to the face. “Michel!”Her voice echoed through the tangled maze of passageways, carved out of the earth three quarters of a century earlier by her husband’s eccentric great-grandfather. Thousands of champagne bottles rested on their sides there, a small fortune of bubbles waiting for their next act.“Inès?” Michel’s concerned voice wafted from somewhere deep within the cellars, and then she could hear footsteps coming closer until he rounded the corner ahead of her, followed by Theo Laurent, the Maison Chauveau’s chef de cave, the head winemaker. “My dear, what is it?” Michel asked as he rushed to her, putting his hands on her shoulders and studying her face. “Are you quite all right, Inès?”“No.” She hadn’t realized until then how breathless she was from the news and the drive and the rapid descent into the chill of the cellars. “No, Michel, I’m not all right at all.”“What’s happened?” Michel asked while Theo regarded her silently, his expression as impassive as always.“It has begun,” Inès managed to say. “The invasion, Michel. The Germans are coming!”A heavy silence hung in the damp air. How long would it be before the quiet of the cellars was punctured by the thud of goose-stepping boots overhead? Before everything they’d built was threatened, perhaps destroyed?“Well then,” Michel said at last. “I suppose it is time we finish hiding the champagne.”

Mark Twain, the great American writer was spot on when he claimed: “too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right”.

Ever since it was “discovered” in France in the 17th century, just about everyone has fallen under the spell of the effervescent wine. It can only be made in Champagne, north east France to have the status of Champagne the drink. There are more than 100 Champagne houses and 19000 grape growers, of these only around 2000 make and sell Champagne. There are an astonishing 50,000 different Champagne labels, so, if you thought Champagne was Champagne – think again. Tastes and prices vary widely. Part of the fun of being a Champagne drinker is working out which one you like best.

Raise a glass to Ruinart

Ruinart (pronounced Reenart) was founded in 1729, and it was the first established Champagne house and is therefore the oldest in France. In fact the company started on 1 September 1729. We know this because Nicolas Ruinart, the 32 year old founder, wrote in his ledger book that day that he was starting a business devoted to “wine with bubbles”. The ledger book takes pride of place in the entrance to the house.

History of Ruinart

Nicolas Ruinart’s uncle was a monk, Dom Thierry Ruinart, born in Champagne but sent to an Abbey in Paris. Whilst there he learned of a new “wine with bubbles” that the young nobles enjoyed. At that stage it wasn’t known as Champagne. It’s entirely possible that Dom Ruinart knew Dom Perignon the “inventor” of Champagne. They lived at the same time, shared the same interests and in fact both are buried in nearby Hautvilliers.

Dom Thierry told his brother about the new-fangled sparkling wine whose son, Nicolas, picked up the idea and ran with it, 20 years after his uncle died in 1709. The Ruinarts were textile merchants at that time and Nicolas owned some vineyards. He started out making Champagne for clients as gifts. But, the sparkling wine was a runaway success. Just 6 years after producing the first bottle, he gave up the textile business and concentrated on the Champagne.

About The Author

Kristin Harme

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of THE ROOM ON RUE AMELIE, THE SWEETNESS OF FORGETTING, THE LIFE INTENDED, WHEN WE MEET AGAIN, and several other novels. Her latest, THE WINEMAKER’S WIFE, is coming in August 2019 from Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster. A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has also freelanced for many other publications, including American Baby, Men’s Health, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Travel + Leisure, and more.
Kristin grew up in Peabody, Mass.; Worthington, Ohio; and St. Petersburg, Fla., and she graduated with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida. After spending time living in Paris, she now lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband and young son.

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Book Tour and Review

Hi book-lovers!

And welcome to my stop

on the blog tour

for The Devil’s Apprentice

@K_B_Andersen @RRBookTours1 #TheDevilsApprentice #TheGreatDevilWar

TheDevils

I’m very excited to share this book with you all today! The Devil’s Apprentice in the first book in the incredibly imaginative, and wonderfully entertaining, YA Fantasy series, The Great Devil War.

There will be exclusive content and a giveaway so be sure to read on!

The-Devil’s-Apprentice_l

The Devil’s Apprentice (The Great Devil War #1)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think. – Kenneth B. Andersen

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

“You’re fairly young, aren’t you?” A forked tongue moistened his scaly fingers, and he flipped through more pages. “How old are you?”

“I’m thirteen.”

“Thirteen?” the beast mumbled, clearly impressed. “It’s not very often they come to us so young. You must’ve done something really horrific.”

“What do you mean?” Philip shook his head. “What is this place?”

“This place?” The monster raised an eyebrow. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? Oh well, evilness and stupidity often go hand in hand.” His crooked smile revealed pointed teeth, and his gruff voice lowered to a hiss. “This, my boy, is the outer court of Hell. That—” he directed a hooked nail at the black gate, “is Hell.”

“Hell?” Philip whispered, and he saw it all again in his mind. The cat that had spoken to him. The shove to his back that had sent him hurtling into the street. Sam’s triumphant howling. The sound of squealing brakes. The car and the elderly man behind the wheel. And the darkness that had followed.

A dream, he’d said as he stood at the top of the long stairwell, knowing deep inside that it was a lie. This was no dream.

The car hit me, he thought. It hit me, and I’m dead. I died, and now I’m in… in…

“Hell?” he repeated, totally confused. How could he be in Hell? Only evil people went to Hell. Right? “I’m in Hell?”

“You need to say that three times before it sinks in?” the demon said, skimming through his book. “But it could be worse. Plenty others have to say it many more times before it sinks in. Ah, here it is! Let me see.” From the breast pocket of his robe he drew out a pair of silver-framed spectacles and put them on. The demon scanned the page quickly, using his finger as a guide.

“Just like I said,” he shouted angrily, pounding the book with his balled fist. “No one was supposed to enter tonight! Not for a few hours anyway, when an entire troop of politicians were to arrive!” The creature shook his head resignedly. “Well, since you’ve already spoiled my night off, I might as well send you straight to your punishment. What is your name, kid?”

Philip didn’t reply, but stared at the demon, dumbstruck.

“Wake up! We don’t have all night. Eternity waits. Your name?”

Philip cleared his throat timidly. “Philip.”

“Philip, Philip, Philip,” the demon mumbled, riffling back and forth a few pages. He wrinkled his brow. “That’s odd. Last name?”

Philip told him his full name, and once again the demon searched in his book. The wrinkles in his brow deepened, and his yellow nails scratched at his scalp. Then he shook his head and clapped the book shut with a sigh. “That name isn’t in the registry. Some dumb fool has made a mistake, kid. You’re not supposed to be here.”

“I’m not?” Philip said and felt a warm relief spreading through him. Then his eyes fell on the inky, thick darkness that enveloped the walls of Hell, and his sense of relief vanished. “Then where should I be?”

Available on Amazon!

The Great Devil War Books 1 – 3

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For your chance to win a digital copy of The Devil’s Apprentice, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

“Let that be your first lesson, Philip. Down here, humor is always dark.”

The Devil’s Apprentice, Is the First in a series of The Great Devil War Books

A fun an intriguing adventure fantasy that is full of dark humor, and fantasy world building.

A mistake and a twist of fate, sets in motion the storyline.

Cleverly written in third POV of Philip Engle, a thirteen-year-old boy who lives with his mother and who lost his father when he was very young.

The book is a page-turner, there are heroes and villain and it’s absolutely hilarious. Rich fantasy world building that is both imaginative and engaging.

Descriptive details, along with snarky humor keep you captivated.

The author combines Christian theology, mystery with coming-of-age twisted plot.  It made good use of biblical mythology and tries to give a convincing argument as to why evil is necessary. Anderson, creatively draws you into feeling empathy for Lucifer and the fate of his hellish kingdom. 

The writing PG since this is a middle grade book but its concept and dark humor might elevate it to an older audiences.

Most of the book takes pace in fictional Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will. A bookish tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective.

Thank you so much for reading book lovers!

I love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please comment below and let me know your thoughts. Do you see yourself reading this book? Do you love the genre?

Have a Wonderful Day

About the Author

kba_5_thumb

I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.

During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.

In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.

My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.

A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.

I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.

Welcome to the other side!

Kenneth B. Andersen | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

TheDevils

Blog Tour Schedule

August 19th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/

August 20th

YA/NA Book Divas (Excerpt) http://www.yabookdivas.com/

Ity Reads Books (Review) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Review) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Quirky Cats Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

August 21st

B is for Book Review (Excerpt) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

An Ocean A Glimmer (Review) http://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

August 22nd

Jaunts & Haunts (Review) https://jonathanpongratz.com/

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Review) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

I Love Books and Stuff (Excerpt) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

August 23rd

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Cats Luv Coffee (Review) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By

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R&R Book Tours

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Blog Tour 120 Days and Author Interview

Hello Bookish Friends and welcome to my stop

120 Days by Ronald L. Ruiz Book Tour



Book Title:  120 Days

Author: Ronald L. Ruiz

Category:  Adult Fiction, 318 pages

Publisher:  Amika Press
Release date:   May 22, 2019
Tour dates: Aug 5 to 23, 2019

Genre:  Legal thriller, crime fiction, literary fiction

TW:There are two explicit scenes and some language

BARBARA BLAKE is a bright, young, attractive, and ambitious defense attorney. Alejandro Soto, an inmate already serving two life sentences for the brutal murder of a drug dealer and the man’s mother, is on trial for a third murder, one he did not commit but that could well result in the Death Penalty. When Blake and Soto meet in the San Cristobal, California courtroom, they begin a 120-day journey that will invariably alter both of their lives. Together, they spiral ever more deeply into the dark heart of a quintessentially American story of sex and love, truth and lies, justice and prejudice, crime and punishment, and, ultimately, life and death.Praise for 120 Days:“There is a human element here that is only found in top-tiered crime fiction, and this book is filled with it. I adore all of the major bestselling authors of this genre and have finally found a new favorite that, in my opinion, belongs in the same league. A truly brilliant novel. An exceptional writer.

Highly recommended.”
– Readers’ Favorite Reviews
Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Amika Press

A Riveting Read …Emotionally Detailed

Ronald L. Ruiz’s Book 120 Days Is a courtroom drama and legal thriller.

Creative phenomenal characters and a a fast paced entertaining book. This a riveting read with emotional details, difficult conditions of Mexican immigrants.

California attorney on the rise, named Barbara Blake, And Alejandro Soto, a double-lifer now facing the death penalty Alejandro Soto, life is hanging in the balance, Blake’s own professional and personal come merge over the course of 120 Days.

This is a complex story that is definitely character driven, the authors ability to create emotional empathy for the criminal, Alejandro. This is just another example of the storytellers ultimate writing ability to illicit your response and trigger the ultimate reader response.

What really stood out for me was a social commentary on the American justice system and society as a whole. This is was such emotional and intimately brilliant read of a controversial topic that weaves together an engaging and critical aspect of our justice system.

This is a must read, with a critical message that goes beyond a surface response.

1. How did you do research for your book?

I did no specific research for this book other than returning to my own life experiences and reflecting on my actions and motives, as well as those of other people around me.

 

 

2. Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

The hardest character to write was Barbara Blake because she is a woman and I am a man with a man’s perspectives. I asked several female friends to give me feedback to help me with the woman’s perspective. The easiest character for me was the lawyer, Greg Olsen, because I was a criminal defense lawyer and prosecutor myself for 37 years.

 

 

3. How did you come up with this idea? What made you write a book about it?

This book is about a successful woman lawyer falling in love with a twice-convicted murderer who she is now representing in a death penalty trial. The idea came from a similar situation that I was aware of and had almost first-hand knowledge about. I can’t think of anything more compelling to write about.

 

 

4. Your book is set in a courthouse, jail and prison. Have you ever been there?

Absolutely. I spent 37 years working as a criminal defense attorney and prosecutor. I was in those places probably more than I was anyplace else, other than my home.

 

 

5. Do you have another profession besides writing?

I am now retired as a lawyer after 37 years working in criminal cases, but I have been a volunteer teaching English to prison inmates and at local schools.

 

Giveaway:

Prizes:  Win one of two copies of 120 Days, or Amazon gift card of $30 (3 winners) (open USA & Canada)

Ends August 30, 2019

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/defcd44e474/

Meet the author:   Ronald L. Ruiz is a retired attorney whose entire career was spent in criminal law as a deputy District Attorney, a District Attorney, a Defense Attorney and a Public Defender.
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Book Tour and Giveaway Lineage

Today I’m partnering with @theparliamentpress to bring you LINEAGE by @carlavlewis! Today is my takeover tour stop, on my Blog and My Instagram

@theparliamentpress

Lineage
Author: C. Vonzale Lewis

Publisher : Parliment House Press
Publication date: July 16th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Trigger warnings :The book does contain graphic sex, a-rape, ritual killing and very dark imagery. If this would bother you, I don’t recommend it.

Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble. She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick. On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life—one she’s determined to avoid at all costs.

With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn. A sinister force has set its sights on her and will stop at nothing to use her in a sadistic game.

Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. Nicole finds it creepy, but on the bright side, the job reconnects her with her estranged friend, Marta. Yet the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion—the Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick, the deadliest of the Five Principles. By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, Marta and her four children have gone missing, and all signs implicate the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One, a Naqada god imprisoned on Tulare Island.

Battling the evil of Blood Magick will demand Nicole to confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Marta and her children—and on Nicole?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

This Is Incredible Giveaway

Clink The Link :

➡️ http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bed2728519/

from August 3rd to August 10th.

Rules:
-No giveaway accounts

-Must be 18 + or have parents consent

-Must be able to provide an email for the E-Book.

This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram or any other company.

Lineage –

the first book in The Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles

by C. Vonzale Lewis.

I received a copy of this book via The Parliament House and the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.

With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, and not wanting to move back home. Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Upon arrival for her interview Her natural intuition tells her that there is something more sinister at play.

The book is faced paced from the start. The storyline is intriguing and a great tension build, that took on some very dark enjoyable undertones.

The book is so creative, with engaging inventive Egyptian folklore, with magical realism, along with an eerie gripping plot line. A strong well developed Maine protagonist . This twisty plot and steamy storyline is spot on, I devoured this book. The sub-characters are well noted and defined.

To beat the clock, Nicole needs to uncover the truth with a team of vigilante Mages, and unlock the magick buried deep within her.

This book Is an edge of your seat page-turner. A wild ride of a mystery with a thrilling ending that was amazing and sets up for the next installment.

What really stood out for me was the author ability to create exceptional world building and well developed magical system that felt realistic.

I really enjoyed the books cover with the scarab and the Eye of Horus, It really grabbed my attention and I thought it was Intriguing, and an excellent and fitting representation of the books content.

𓆣𓂀𓉢𓉡𓂀𓆣

Lineage

chapter one

Chapter One

Looking for bright, responsible, career-oriented, self-motivated individuals who have excellent people skills and are able to take high volumes of calls while maintaining a positive attitude. Ability to work with others is a must.

I glanced down at the advertisement in my hand. I had none of those qualifications according to my last employer—and pretty much all my other previous ones as well. I was, however, a “foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, under-performing”—still didn’t understand that one—“sarcastic, waste of space.” Although, to be fair, only one of the previous employers actually called me a waste of space, and that was because I had stopped sleeping with him.

This unfortunate lack of options was the reason I stood in the parking lot of Tribec Insurance, smoking the last of my apple-flavored cigars—a habit I learned from my father—wearing a cream-colored dress suit and a pair of matching pumps. I couldn’t afford either of them, and I really hated pumps. But I needed the job, so I dressed the part of the career-oriented, self-motivated candidate the ad was searching for.

Most of the jobs in the area required a college degree, or at least several years of experience. I had no college degree, and the longest I’d ever been employed at one job was six months. Thankfully, Tribec Insurance was always hiring and had no such requirements—a rarity in the uptight community of Alice where Tribec was located.

Through a ring of cigar smoke, I took in the phallic structure that was Tribec Insurance. My eyes landed on the small, stone, pyramid-like shape at the top of the building. It reminded me of an Egyptian Obelisk—a symbol to the god Ra. The Egyptian word for it, “Tejen,” meant “protection” or “defense.”

Why would the occupants of Tribec Insurance erect a symbol of protection or defense on top of the building?

A slight breeze blew over my bare arms, carrying the salty scent of the ocean and stirring the beads of sweat that had formed on them. My new blouse had molded to my back, and my feet had started to sweat. I was generally used to Tulare Island’s oppressive heat, but the anxious jitters in my stomach had caused my skin to flush.

I tried to dispel the nervousness in my stomach. Despite the obvious, I didn’t want to show that I was desperate. My best friend Kara spent most of last night trying to prep me for the interview. She advised me to not ask annoying questions, make sarcastic comments, or let my disgruntled attitude show.

Essentially, she advised me to not be myself. There was a message in there somewhere, but I was choosing to ignore it.

Out of our original group in high school, Kara was the only one who was still in my life. The only one who actually gave a damn about me. Marta and I hadn’t spoken in years, and as for Steve… Well, it was a long time ago.

I glanced at my watch. Damn. I guess I had procrastinated long enough. I put out my cigar, grabbed my blazer from the front seat of my car, shoved the advertisement back in my overly large purse, and headed for the building. As I walked, I attempted to wrap my head around the fact that I was essentially asking Tribec Insurance to let me spend my days chained to a desk, listening to complaints from strangers.

Maybe I should look into prostitution. At least I’d enjoy the job.

Kara also told me to smile a lot, so I pasted one on, pulled open the glass door, and stepped inside. Only to stop dead in my tracks at the entrance.

The walls—painted a burnt gold color that reminded me of the sunset—were lined with Egyptian art. Four glass displays, filled with half-head replicas of deities and artifacts, sat in each corner of the room. Green foliage hung from black ceramic pots near the entrance and the elevator. Something was off about the elevator. It wasn’t stainless-steel. No, more like marble. Black marble with gold striations that, at first glance, appeared to be moving. Odd.

And everything, including the guard station—which sat sunken into the foundation in the middle of the floor—was set up in a spherical configuration. Directly behind the guard station was a set of mahogany double doors, with gold Egyptian hieroglyphs carved around the frame. They were also etched around the guard station.

Most people on Tulare Island either practiced one of the four principles of magick or knew someone who did. There was, however, a small group of people who, despite the evidence, still refused to believe in magick. They usually carried picket signs outside of herbal and occult shops, telling people they were going to burn in hell, not realizing they were actually practicing faith magick every time they went to church.

Judging from the set-up of the room, and even the obelisk on the top of the building outside, I could hazard a guess—more like an assumption—that the occupants of Tribec Insurance practiced magick.

Despite my assumption, I couldn’t figure out which of the four principles—earth, elemental, mind, or faith—the people at Tribec used. There was, however, a fifth principle—blood—that to my knowledge, no one practiced anymore. And sadly, I didn’t know enough about it to recognize any symbols associated with its practice. Yet, symbols from the other four were etched all over the walls. Odd. Especially since people only had the ability to practice one. Not all four.

If it was a job requirement for me to use magick, I was running the hell out of here. I would live in a cardboard box before I got involved with magick. And if I didn’t get a job soon, that was exactly where I’d be living. Especially since I refused to move back in with my parents. I had to grow the hell up sometime.

I moved farther into the lobby; the scent of desert sand wafted around me. It had that baked-on smell that emanated off the ground when the sun was at its peak. It was unusual, but the décor could explain the smell. Especially if they added sand to some of the displays for authenticity. The odor that was definitely out of place was the one directly underneath it.

Blood. It was faint. I could almost chalk it up to imagination. Almost. If it wasn’t so overpowering.

I moved forward cautiously, my heels clicking on the white-tiled floor, as I tried to pinpoint where the scent was coming from. But the farther away from the door I got, the less I smelled it. I turned and started back toward where I’d first detected the smell. A chair creaked, stopping me in my tracks. The space between my shoulder blades started to itch. I turned.

The guard behind the desk was watching me.

I stood there, debating whether or not I should just leave. Yes, I was desperate, but the smell of blood? Was I imagining it? I pulled in a deep breath, trying to find the scent again. Nothing.

Get it together, Nicole.

After a short pause, I shook myself mentally, and continued toward the guard station with the guard’s black eyes boring into me. Sizing me up.

“Can I help you, miss?” He rose to his feet and crossed his arms across his chest.

I placed him in his late twenties. He had a solid frame, close-cropped black hair, deep set black eyes, and no facial hair. The dark brown suit he wore looked as if it had been poured onto him. Had to be ex-military.

The gold tag on his shirt read “Oliver Strong.” It suited him.

“Yes, my name is Nicole Fontane, and I’m here for an interview with…” I set my purse on the counter, ignoring his pointed glare, and pulled out my tattered notebook. “…a Francine Delaporte at eleven.”

“Have a seat. I will call someone down to escort you.” He inclined his head in the direction of the red leather couch on the right.

“Okay, thanks,” I said as I mentally extended my middle finger. Everything about him rubbed me the wrong damn way.

I sat and placed my purse beside me on the couch—the damn thing weighed a ton—and picked up one of the brochures for Tribec Insurance. While I sat there leafing through it, another security guard walked up and blocked my view of the sun. Well, he would have if there had been one inside the building. This burly bastard had tree trunks for arms and a head that resembled a boulder. Did they chisel him from a mountain?

“Ms. Fontane?” the guard grumbled. It sounded as if his voice came from a gut full of rocks.

I stood, which put me at eye level to his massive chest and the name tag pinned to his shirt that read “Duncan Glass.”

Maybe when they hired their guards, they assigned them names as well.

“Yes.” I tried to push myself up a few inches more. I was already wearing three-inch heels, bringing my total height to five nine, yet this massive behemoth still towered over me.

“Follow me.” He spun around abruptly and led the way to the elevator.

I was tempted to salute him, or give him the finger—the damn bossy bastard.

Calm down, Nicole. You need this job.

Duncan pulled a card from his pocket and inserted it into a slot located on the right side. I guess that answered my question about the oddity of the elevator. Besides the strange composition, they didn’t have a call button. They sure did have a high level of security for an insurance company. Maybe they denied more claims than they approved. Greedy bastards.

When the doors slid open, Duncan extended his arm out. “Ms. Fontane.”

I stepped inside.

Once the doors were closed, he inserted his card into another slot, and a display lit up with a list of floors.

The number thirteen was among them.

I had once read somewhere that all older buildings either omitted the thirteenth floor or renamed it. It all stemmed from a superstition that the thirteenth floor was unlucky. I wasn’t superstitious, but I did find it interesting they chose to include it.

“They have a thirteenth floor,” I said.

“It comes after twelve.”

While I was no stranger to snide comments I really didn’t like others using them on me. Bastard.

A few moments later, the elevator doors opened and, thankfully, deposited us on the seventeenth floor. I followed Duncan to a set of offices in the center of the floor. He stopped at the first door in a row of three that faced the elevators. The silver name plate affixed to it read: Francine Delaporte. After he rapped on it three times, he planted his feet a few inches apart and placed his hands behind his back.

Maybe Duncan thought he was still in the military.

I took in the room while I waited. Cameras inside small black orbs dotted the ceiling. A hazy gray tint covered the windows, allowing minimal light to filter into the room. Industrial gray walls sported a few framed “inspirational” quotes that referred to “teamwork” and “having a positive attitude.” They even had the stupid “Hang in There” poster with a cat hanging off a wire.

Even the partitions that divided the employees’ desks were gray. The only break up in the ashen color were the fake wood desks.

It reminded me of a mental asylum.

The majority of the people in the office were women, with a few men thrown in here and there. Did they believe women were more suited to talking on the phone? Either way, everyone in the room was pasty, their eyes sunken in, wearing expressions that suggested they had given up on life. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were all former tenants of the asylum, dressed up in over-sized clothes and forced into the role of “employee.”

The fact that no one looked up when Duncan and I got off the elevator supported my theory. They just sat there in their little black chairs, talking into their headsets, all repeating what sounded like the same practiced spiel in monotonous tones, a few minutes behind one another. Like a rolling set of waves crashing against the most boring shore imaginable.

I turned back to Duncan. He still stood at ease in front of Francine Delaporte’s door. What the hell was taking this woman so long? My feet were killing me. Like an idiot, instead of breaking the shoes in after Kara left last night, I had curled up on the couch with a bottle of Samuel Adams, contemplating my limited options. My little pity party of one ended at midnight when I realized my only option was one I wasn’t willing to entertain.

As I switched my purse from my right shoulder to my left, I caught sight of a faint circular line drawn around the cubicles. I stared at the ground, unsure if I was seeing things, or if there really was a line drawn on the floor. I straightened and moved to the left, trying to follow it. As I stood there transfixed, someone brushed their frigid hand across my exposed neck.

Coldness raced down my spine, and the scent of sand filled my nostrils.

I whipped around.

Duncan was gone.

In his place stood a woman wearing a red paint suit. Given that she was at least five feet away from me with her hands down at her sides… Who the hell had touched my neck?

Francine extended her hand and smiled. “Hello. Ms. Fontane?”

I stepped forward, my legs suddenly weak, and took her hand. “Hi.” I cleared my throat. “Yes, I’m Nicole Fontane.”

“I’m Francine Delaporte. Let’s get started.” She let go of my hand and walked into her office.

I rubbed the back of my neck, trying to warm the sudden chill that had settled there. I glanced around the room. The employees remained at their desks, staring rapt at their computer screens.

A cool breeze circled the room, pulling my gaze toward the ceiling. An air vent sat directly above me.

Before I entered Francine’s office, I glanced down at the floor. The markings were gone. Maybe I had imagined them. And maybe the air-conditioning explained the feeling of someone brushing their fingers across my neck.

Yes—for sanity’s sake, I was going to go with that.

Just my overactive imagination.

Have a Great Day

http://www.cvonzalelewis.com/

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Book Tour and Spotlight

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for joining Me on this Book tour for A Bolt from the Blue by Lise McClendon and Fire and Rain by Katy Munger

#mystery #cozymystery #giveaway 

 @LiseMcClendon and @iReadBookTours

Book Details:
Book Title:  A Bolt From the Blue by Lise McClendon
Category:  Adult Fiction, 243 pages
Genre:  Mystery, women’s fiction, suspense
Publisher:  Thalia Press
Release date:   August 1, 2019
Tour dates: Aug 1 to 23, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (No sex scenes but some language, mostly mild)
Book Description:
More international intrigue, murder, and romance for the Bennett Sisters overseas in the newest entry to the bestselling women’s fiction and suspense series. The next to youngest Bennett Sister, Francie Bennett (Blame it on Paris) is a hard-charging attorney whose boyfriend Dylan Hardy invites her to join him in Paris to help with a client. When Axelle Fourcier left Paris behind after the student riots of 1968, she vowed never to go back. She made a life for herself in America as a professor.But now a beloved aunt, age 104, has died and left her an inheritance to be shared with a cousin she never met. A fabulous Belle Epoque apartment in Paris filled with pop art from the ’50s and ’60s is just the start of Axelle’s discoveries in Paris. Wrangling with her slick cousin for the proceeds is distasteful but oh so French. Then the apartment is broken into, a friend is murdered, and Axelle’s fears that the French state is once again conspiring against her seem very plausible.Francie tries to deal with her cranky client, her own new relationship, and her boyfriend’s nine-year-old daughter, as the estate problems spin out of control. Intrigue, romance, Paris and the Dordogne, and a soupçon of murder, wrapped in the legal and art world of France bring more than a few ‘Bolts from the Blue’ to the Bennett Sisters.
Meet the Author:  
Lise McClendon writes fiction from her home in Montana. She is the author of numerous novels, short stories, and articles. In 1997 she wrote and directed the short film, The Hoodoo Artist, featured at the Telluride Indiefest. She has served on the national boards of directors for Mystery Writers of America and International Association of Crime Writers/North America. She is on the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference.
Her books, written under her own name and as Rory Tate and Grier Lake, are full of the fascinating lives of women. The choices that women sometimes make are a quagmire of directions and misdirections, sending women into careers, love affairs, children (or no children), travels, and hobbies. And, in the case of her novels, into suspense, crime, secrets, and love.Connect with the author:    Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Instagram



Book Details:
Book Title:  Fire and Rain (A Casey Jones Mystery) by Katy Munger
Category:   Adult fiction, 260 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Thalia Press
Release date:   August 2019
Tour dates: Aug 1 to 23, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13

Book Description:
Casey Jones is back with a new adventure that takes her from four-foot strippers to forty-something bikers—and a head-on collision with too many ex-boyfriends to count. When a routine bodyguarding case turns deadly and Casey loses one of her oldest friends, tracking the killers and a missing stripper — who may or may not be in on the murder — turns out to be a wild ride that takes her from the flatlands of eastern North Carolina to its most exclusive mountain enclaves.

Fans of Casey Jones will recognize their favorites in the cast of colorful supporting characters who answer Casey’s “all hands on deck!” call. If you’ve been missing your kick-ass Casey and craving Krispy Kremes, you’ll find all that you have missed in this seventh installment of a long and beloved female P.I. series.

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com 

Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:    

Katy Munger is a North Carolina-based mystery author who has written under several different pseudonyms. She is the author of the Dead Detective series, writing as Katy Munger (Angel Among Us and Angel of Darkness) and as Chaz McGee (Desolate Angel and Angel Interrupted); the Casey Jones crime fiction series writing as Katy Munger; and the Hubbert & Lil mystery series, writing as Gallagher Gray. She has also been a book reviewer for the Washington Post and served as North Carolina’s 2016 Piedmont Laureate.

Connect with the author:    Website  

Enter the Giveaway!  

Ends August 30, 2019


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Book Tour Author Interview

Hello and welcome to Gwendalyn’s Books

Happy Tuesday to you! I hope your week will be is overflowing with great reads.

I am delighted to welcome a wonderful author to the blog today,

Chris Thorndycroft

Sign of the White Foal
by Chris Thorndycroft

Publication Date: July 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 327 Pages

Series: Arthur of the Cymry Trilogy (Book 1)
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

A generation after Hengest and Horsa carved out a kingdom in the east, a hero of the Britons rises in the west…

480 A.D. The sons of Cunedag have ruled Venedotia for fifty years but the chief of them – the Pendraig – is now dying. His sons Cadwallon and Owain must fight to retain their birthright from their envious cousins. As civil war consumes Venedotia, Arthur – a young warrior and bastard son of the Pendraig – is sent on a perilous quest that will determine the fate of the kingdom.

The Morgens; nine priestesses of the Mother Goddess have found the cauldron of rebirth – a symbol of otherworldly power – and have allied themselves with the enemy. Arthur and six companions are dispatched to the mysterious island of Ynys Mon to steal the cauldron and break the power of the Morgens. Along the way they run into the formidable Guenhuifar whose family have been stewards of Ynys Mon for generations. They need her help. The trouble is, Guenhuifar despises Arthur’s family and all they stand for…

Based on the earliest Arthurian legends, Sign of the White Foal is a rip-roaring adventure of Celtic myth and real history set in the ruins of post-Roman Britain.

Amazon | IndieBound

About the Author

Chris Thorndycroft is a British writer of historical fiction, horror and fantasy. His early short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Dark Moon Digest and American Nightmare. His first novel under his own name was A Brother’s Oath; the first book in the Hengest and Horsa Trilogy. He also writes under the pseudonym P. J. Thorndyke.

For more information, please visit Chris Thorndycroft’s website. You can also find him on Twitter and Goodreads.

Gwendalyn’s Books Q&A with Chris Thorndycroft

Q: Was the research easier for this book, or harder than the last series you completed?

A: Probably easier as I had done the lion’s share of research for the first trilogy. This trilogy really just follows on from the first so I had a lot of the background filled in already. It was mostly small details I had to research for this one. I generally research stuff as it comes up. Say I have a scene set in a particular town. I’ll then search for references to that town and make sure I have things like the layout right.

Q: What special challenges did you face making your story stand out from others in the genre ?

A: Arthurian fiction is a massive genre of its own and some really big authors have done their versions so it was daunting trying to come up with a unique take. There are several different ways you can look at the legend. One is to go the traditionalist route and basically use Thomas Malory as your template. He is the guy who, in the 15th century, rounded up all the things we associate with the Arthurian legend into one book – the sword in the stone, the round table, the quest for the Holy Grail etc. But that is very much in the fantasy vein. The Britain (or England) Mallory presented never existed and you’re pretty much in alternate history territory even if you strip out all the magical elements. Other writers have gone the realistic ‘how the legend might have happened’ route by grounding it very much in the 5th century and that is what I wanted to do but I knew I’d be up against several big names in doing so – Rosemary Sutcliff and Bernard Cornwell for a start! I had an idea I thought might make my Arthur stand out and that was to slot him into a real royal dynasty that ruled Gwynedd (North Wales) in the 5th century. It was fun to try and work elements of the legend around real figures.

Q: How did you go about developing the setting(s) for this story?

A: Britain at this time (the 5th century) was very wide open and mostly rural so the countryside was important. I researched what the land was like, what sort of trees, flora and fauna was around. Religion (both pagan and Christian) was a big deal for my characters so I really did the research on that. I also looked at how Roman Britain changed (or deteriorated) into post-Roman Britain, how towns decreased or were abandoned entir ely as focus shifted to a more rural economy. Hill forts, some of which had been abandoned since before the Romans came, were refortified suggesting that people moved from towns to more easily defendable places.

Q: What research methods have been most fruitful for you?

A: Reading, reading and more reading. As well as picking up several intimidating textbooks, I found the internet invaluable. Facebook groups are the haunts of some serious Arthurian scholars and reading through their posts (and occasional arguments) was really helpful. I also got ahold of a lot of academic papers relating to just about every aspect of the 5th century you can think of as well as some antique books no longer in print that have been scanned into Google books. You really have to dig and follow leads to get to the good stuff!

Q: Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

A: Probably Arthur. It’s something of a curse in Arthurian fiction that Arthur is usually the least fleshed-out character. With everybody else running off on quests, the king and his court usually just provides the backdrop. I wanted Arthur to be the main character but he’s a bit of a blank slate. I had to give him motivation, desires and fears. That, in turn, helped bring the cast around him to life.

Q: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

A: Living in Norway with two small children doesn’t provide many opportunities for jetting off on research trips to Britain but I did use to live in North Wales so I had those memories of the landscape to inspire me. It was fun to write scenes set on the exact stretch of coastline I used to live on.

Q: Some writers create a bubble around themselves until they’re finished with their project – how true is that in your case?

A: It’s a bit hard to create much of a bubble when you have two young kids and a full time job, but I make sure the last couple of hours in the day is my time to get stuck in and get some writing done. I try to stick with one project until it’s done but all my other writing projects keep trying to sneak in. It’s an effort to push them out and focus on what needs to be done so I suppose I do isolate myself a little bit, at least from anything that might get me excited about those other books I have planned in my head.

Q: Do you prefer writing in silence or to music?

A: Music usually, but only instrumental stuff. Song lyrics distract me when I’m writing so I stick to movie and game soundtracks mostly. There’s loads of playlists on Spotify that have been very motivational in writing my Arthur trilogy. Anything epic or stirring.

Q: What book from your childhood has shaped you most as a writer?

A: The Hobbit was a big influence. I remember my primary school teacher reading it to us and I just loved the sense of adventure, of going from one peril to another, so that has probably had an effect. I always seem to put a bit of adventure in my writing.

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

A: I don’t base characters on people I know or anything like that, at least not wholesale. Sometimes I have a real person in mind when I’m writing a character but I always make sure I change a few things! When it comes to other stuff, there are a few nods in my Arthur books to things in Arthurian literature that only real enthusiasts will spot. I try to keep things as authentic as possible even if it’s a small detail nobody will notice.

Thanks so much Chris, for visiting Gwendalyn’s Books

http://Instagram.com/gwendalyn_books_

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 22
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, July 23
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 24
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, July 25
Review at My Reading Chronicles

Friday, July 26
Guest Post at Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, July 29
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Faery Tales Are Real

Tuesday, July 30
Interview at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, July 31
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Friday, August 2
Review at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction

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Blog Tour A Murder On Jane Street

Hello Bookish Friends,

Welcome To My Stop

On This Very Anticipated

Book Tour

Print Length: 410 pages
Publisher:
The Wild Harp & Company, Inc. (July 16, 2019)
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07QSC84TF
Praise for A MURDER ON JANE STREET“Family ties tighten and bonds of affection grow stronger as a family is trapped between ruthless forces struggling for the highest stakes: control of a world to be subjected to unimaginable evil. As.parents, children and loved ones risk all to protect one another, events accelerate towards a conclusion that is in doubt until the last page is turned. A terrific read!” Richard Gid Powers author of The Mystery of the Trinity

“A MURDER ON JANE STREET is a gripping summer thriller filled with history, adventure, and an intriguing mystery. Cathy Cash Spellman will keep readers on the edge of their seat” 
Charles Brokaw, New York Times Bestselling author of The Atlantis CodeCathy paints a picture with the most radiant phrasing and colorful words! I’m a fan of her books and have read every one of them, always wishing that she’ll write more! That hope was answered with A MURDER ON JANE STREET. This compelling gem of a mystery is also a history, a conspiracy, and a modern-day morality tale rolled into one. Yes there is a murder, deadly secrets and treachery, but at its heart, it’s also about family, friendship and having the courage to do the right thing in the face of nearly insurmountable odds. This brilliant author has created yet another home run! Her narrative, coupled with an edge-of-your-seat contemporary mystery thriller, have characters that warmed my heart and an unexpected ending that I absolutely LOVED! Adria de Haume, author of Cross Purpose
“Do NOT read this book unless you are willing to be seduced by a dozen incredibly keen people without whom the world as we know it might cease to exist.” K.T. Maclay author of Beginners Guide to Death and Dying in OaxacaA brutal murder.
A heinous secret
A deadly conspiracy.
The brutal murder of the little old lady next door puts FitzHugh Donovan on the case. A retired New York City Police Chief, he knows a cover-up when he sees one and his Irish Cop conscience can’t let that happen.
 
Now, Fitz, his family and his quirky band of Bleecker Street Irregulars are ensnared in the bizarre secret the woman died to protect.Is this a 75-year-old cold case turned hot again, or an unspeakable crime-in-progress that could alter the course of the world?Fitz doesn’t yet know how high the stakes are, that failure isn’t an option, and that the little old lady was so much more than she appeared. But he’s trying to keep everyone alive long enough to find out.Characters you’ll care about, dark shocking secrets, and disturbing similarities to today’s political scene, will keep you turning pages to an ending you won’t see coming.
You can purchase A Murder on Jane Street at the following Retailers:

Excerpt #2BA MURDER ON JANE STREET 
by Cathy Cash Spellman

Chapter 77

Finn had slipped soundlessly out from behind the sliding shoe racks that housed enough shoes for a family of centipedes. The intruder had been on his way to the master suite when Brace’s moans from the staircase had turned him around and slowed him down. She heard a muffled exchange. It sounded as if Brace was badly hurt and pleading, but the guy was berating him for not being able to stand up and walk. Then he seemed to be dragging him painfully up the stairs again.

“Where are the others?” he kept shouting and Brace didn’t seem to be making any sense in response. Then there was the sound of something being hit hard, a grunt of real pain and finally silence.

Barefoot, she scampered into the master, locked the door behind her just to gain time, knowing the old lock wouldn’t hold for long. She tried the window.

She muffled the sound of the window sliding up with a pillow and peered at the size of the ledge outside. Holy shit! It was maybe a foot deep, tops, and she got nauseous just thinking about heights. The freezing air hit her like a force field, but shocked her into movement. There really weren’t any choices. Whoever had engineered this break-in was good at his job. She wouldn’t have long to escape and she needed to get help now. She knew it in every bone.

Finn grabbed the lap robe from the window seat and knotted it around her shoulders like Superman’s cape. The wind was frigid as the North Pole and her coat was miles away downstairs. Why the hell hadn’t she grabbed a sweater or jacket, to say nothing of sneakers, from the closet? Fuck! No time for regrets. The afghan-thingy knotted around her neck was all there was, so she gingerly climbed out onto the ledge and tried very hard not to look down and not to throw up.

Copyright © 2019 by Cathy Cash Spellman

 

Photo Credit: Dakota Cash

Multiple New York Times and International Bestsellers, a Paramount Movie, book sales in 22 countries, Cathy Cash Spellman writes stories about love, friendship, adventure, and history. Known for her big sprawling sagas and memorable characters, Cathy writes the kind of stories women like to lose themselves in, and then remember long after the book is done.

Her books range through several genres: contemporary, historical, mystery, mystic and romance. Several take place in two time-frames, both current and historical.

Bless the Child was a Paramount movie in 2000, starring Kim Basinger and Jimmy Smits, and Paint The Wind has been optioned for film and TV.

Cathy is an Astrologer, Martial Artist (Black Belt Goju Ryu Karate) and has expertise in Chinese Medicine, several alternative healing modalities and many metaphysical disciplines.

She has written for Self, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Mademoiselle, Cosmo, Penthouse, Mode, Kung Fu and many other magazines about women, health, empowerment, sexuality, spiritual philosophy and Astrology. She blogs for The Huffington Post and The New York Times.

  

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

A Murder on Jane Street by Cathy Cash Spellman is a suspenseful provocative, and

engaging read. A recreated historical conspiracy novel that begins with the murder of a 95-year-old woman in New York City, with secrets and ties to Nazi Germany.

The brutal murder of his next-door neighbor pulls retired New York City Police Chief FitzHugh Donovan into an world wind investigation.

While surveying the property, one of the CSI technicians finds an addressed envelope to ex police Fitz in some bushes between his and his neighbor, Mrs.Wallenberg’s properties. Inside, Fitz finds three books and a letter that said, “You will know what to do!”

Mrs. Wallenberg’s has left a journal and some documents which shed light on a secret dating back to the Nazis and World War II. Fitz is helped by his daughters, granddaughter and computer whizzes who band together as the Bleecher St Irregulars. The documents are scribblings and symbols which, when interpreted, reveal great advances in science that the Nazis were on the verge of launching but defeat thwarted them. But the greatest secret of all is one buried in Mrs. Wallenberg’s journal which describes a plot that transitions the Third Reich to a Fourth Reich.

As the irregulars began to survey evidence they realize that the real terror lies with the carriers of the Hitler’s Nazi torch already. They have already amassed great power and are on the verge of seizing much more. They now wrestle with a decision in what to do with the dangerous knowledge.

Cathy Cash Spellman, has written an incredibly creative edge of your seat thrill ride of a book. The tension and excitement rises right up to the satisfying ending.

I highly recommend this riveting and intensely entertaining mystery.

      

WEEK ONE
JULY 15th MONDAY
JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
JULY 16th TUESDAY
BookHounds INTERVIEW
JULY 17th WEDNESDAY
Casia’s Corner EXCERPT
JULY 18th THURSDAY
TTC Books and More GUEST POST
JULY 19th FRIDAY
Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT 

WEEK TWO
JULY 22nd MONDAY
On My Bookshelf REVIEW & INTERVIEW
JULY 22nd MONDAY Stephanie’s Life of Determination REVIEW & GUEST POST
JULY 23rd TUESDAY
J.R.’s Book Reviews REVIEW
JULY 24th WEDNESDAY
Book Referees REVIEW & GUEST POST
JULY 24th WEDNESDAY
Two Points of Interest REVIEW
JULY 25th THURSDAY
For the Love of Fictional Worlds REVIEW
JULY 26th FRIDAY
Gwendalyn’s Books REVIEW 

WEEK THREE
JULY 29th MONDAY
Book Queen Reviews REVIEW
JULY 29th MONDAY
Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace TENS LIST 
JULY 30th TUESDAY Wishful Endings FILL IN THE BLANKS
JULY 30th TUESDAY
Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
JULY 31st WEDNESDAY
A Bookish Dream REVIEW
AUGUST 1st THURSDAY
Insane About Books REVIEW


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

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

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Book Tour Cover Reveal

Hi Everyone,
Today I have Partnered With Xpresso Book Tours To Bring You The Cover Reveal Of Kingdom of Thorns & Dreams Boxed Set 

Kingdom of Thorns & Dreams Boxed Set
Publication date: October 15th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, New Adult

Sleeping Beauty, but not how you remember it…

Sleeping Beauty, but not how you remember it
One kiss.
That’s all. Just one kiss and the curse will be broken.
But is love’s true kiss a myth and will it be strong enough to break the curse that’s held her in its grasp for a century?
The compelling tale of a young princess fated to sleep forever and the prince destined to save her retold in this spellbinding collection by USA Today and Amazon bestselling authors.
One click now for your happily ever after.

One click now for your happily ever after.

Pre-order

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Book Blast and Giveaway

Welcome to

A Murder On Jane Street

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2019/05/nerd-blast-murder-on-jane-street-by.html

Print Length: 410 pages
Publisher: 
The Wild Harp & Company, Inc. (July 16, 2019)
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07QSC84TF

Praise for CATHY CASH SPELLMAN


“…Almost impossible to put down. The Author has the ability to produce one powerful scene after another and the action draws you helplessly on…” ―
Publisher’s Weekly on So Many Partings

“…A cross between The Thorn Birds and Ragtime…” ―ALA Booklist on So Many Partings

“Flows along with an inexorable narrative current that propels the readers from one involving episode to the next.” ―Booklist on So Many Partings

“An energetic plot that never takes a breather.” ―Kirkus Reviews on Paint the Wind

“A western extravaganza.. a plot teeming with outsize characters.” ―Publishers Weekly on Paint the Wind

“I have never read a book or connected with an author who has touched me so deeply – as a mother, a grandmother, and another psychic kindred soul!” ―Elizabeth Taylor on Bless the Child

“This book has really touched my heartstrings as both a mother and grandmother. And Cathy Cash Spellman is one hell of a writer!” ―Maureen Stapleton on Bless the Child

“With a seductive, at times spellbinding style, author Spellman (An Excess of Love) incorporates ancient myths into an entrancing romantic thriller.. Spellman succeeds in capturing the reader’s close attention as an unrelenting sense of foreboding drives the narrative forward with power.” ―Publisher’s Weekly on Bless the Child

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdZ0ljS1Ag

A brutal murder.
A heinous secret
A deadly conspiracy.

The brutal murder of the little old lady next door puts FitzHugh Donovan on the case. A retired New York City Police Chief, he knows a cover-up when he sees one and his Irish Cop conscience can’t let that happen.

Now, Fitz, his family and his quirky band of Bleecker Street Irregulars are ensnared in the bizarre secret the woman died to protect.


 


Is this a 75-year-old cold case turned hot again, or an unspeakable crime-in-progress that could alter the course of the world?

Fitz doesn’t yet know how high the stakes are, that failure isn’t an option, and that the little old lady was so much more than she appeared. But he’s trying to keep everyone alive long enough to find out.

Characters you’ll care about, dark shocking secrets, and disturbing similarities to today’s political scene, will keep you turning pages to an ending you won’t see coming.

You can purchase A Murder on Jane Street at the following Retailers:

 

Photo Credit: Dakota Cash

Multiple New York Times and International Bestsellers, a Paramount Movie, book sales in 22 countries, Cathy Cash Spellman writes stories about love, friendship, adventure, and history. Known for her big sprawling sagas and memorable characters, Cathy writes the kind of stories women like to lose themselves in, and then remember long after the book is done.

Her books range through several genres: contemporary, historical, mystery, mystic and romance. Several take place in two time-frames, both current and historical.

Bless the Child was a Paramount movie in 2000, starring Kim Basinger and Jimmy Smits, and Paint The Wind has been optioned for film and TV.

Cathy is an Astrologer, Martial Artist (Black Belt Goju Ryu Karate) and has expertise in Chinese Medicine, several alternative healing modalities and many metaphysical disciplines.

She has written for Self, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Mademoiselle, Cosmo, Penthouse, Mode, Kung Fu and many other magazines about women, health, empowerment, sexuality, spiritual philosophy and Astrology. She blogs for The Huffington Post and The New York Times.

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

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

1 Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.

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Book Tour and Review ~The Storytellers Secret~

Hello Bookish Friends,

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

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

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

 @iReadBookTours @sejal_badani
#TheStorytellersSecret

Book Details:

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

Book Description:

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

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

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

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

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

The Storyteller’s Secret

Author: Sejal Badani

Publisher: Lake Union

Pages: 390

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Ends July 20, 2019

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