Blog Tour The Spirt Of Fire

Hello Bookish Friends,

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

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

The Spirit of Fire by Susanne Dunlap

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

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

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

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

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for Listen to the Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gwendalyn’s Books

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

5′ Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

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

Blog Tour Schedule

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

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

Tuesday, December 10
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, December 11
Interview at The Writing Desk

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

Friday, December 13
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, December 15
Review at my.boys.mom

Monday, December 16
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Wednesday, December 18
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 19
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, December 20
Review at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

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

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Listen to the Wind

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Book Review DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY AT PEMBERLEY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Book Tour Katherine Tudor Duchess

Hello Bookish Friends

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, Katherine Tudor Duché
by Tony Riches, which is being hosted by HFBT

Katherine Tudor Duchess
by Tony Riches

Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Preseli Press
eBook & Paperback; 328 pages

Series: The Brandon Trilogy, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward, as well as being related by marriage to Lady Jane Grey.

She marries Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon blady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them all when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.

Following Annes dramatic downfall, the short reign of young Catherine Howard, and the tragic death of Jane Seymour, Katherines young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends.

Katherine and Charles Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England. When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherines good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the kings sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform.

When King Edward dies, his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen and Katherines Protestant faith puts her family in great danger – from which there seems no escape.

Katherines remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Amazon UK | Amazon US

5 Star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Katherine Willoughby is a ward of the crown having most of her life at one of her father’s estate at Parham. Katherine became a great heiresses after the passing of her father, her inheritance was under contact disputed.

Two years have passed since the the death of her father, and Sir Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, purchases her wardship from the crown. Katherine is betrothed to the the only surviving son of the Duke Charles Brandon. Henry Brandon first Earl of Lincoln. Henry was the child of Brandon and his third wife Mary Tudor, Who happens to be King Henry Vlll sister.

Katherine enjoys living within the Brandon’s household for several years. She becomes quite close family but, when a series of events happen, the Duke’s wife Mary dies, after suffering with a long drawn out illness. Next, her betrothed, the very young Henry Brandon, dies unexpectedly. The Duke, in fear of losing Katherine very extensive lands, and inheritances, decides to marry Katherine himself.

Katherine Tudor Duchess, set against the very turbulent times of King Henry Vlll Reign. Katherine is a first hand witness to the rise and fall of long list of Henry Vlll wives, and England’s separation from Rome and Catholicism.

Tony Riches, delivers a vividly descriptive, interesting, and well-written read here with characters and a setting that totally captivated and intrigued me. I was totally taken and fascinated with historically political drama that unfolds within the Tudor Court.

Katherine Willoughby was a impressive formidable woman. She was able to withstand some horrific times of religious turmoil in England, and protect her family and survive under dark days following the death of King Henry VIIl death.

Katherine of Suffolk story comes to life, within these pages, along with the authors intensive, well researched accounts. The intriguing life of the Dutches of of this incredible story of incredible tragedy, love and loss.

Katherine Tudor Duchess, by Tony Riches, Is the captivating, an engaging, harrowing beautiful historical fiction novel. The novel totally captures something extraordinary here as well as fully capturing my heart. I was immediately taken with this story and found myself totally mesmerized and in awe of Tony Riche’s ability to weave such a fantastic story that is based on real-life people and actual historical events with his own interwoven liberties of impressive fictional storytelling. 

 

About the Author

Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote Queen Sacrifice, set in 10th century Wales, followed by The Shell, a thriller set in present day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tonys other international best sellers include Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses and The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham

For more information please visit Tonys website and his blog The Writing Desk. He can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 18
Excerpt at Short Book and Scribes

Tuesday, November 19
Guest Post at On the Tudor Trail

Wednesday, November 20
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Thursday, November 21
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Friday, November 22
Feature at Cover To Cover Cafe

Monday, November 25
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, November 26
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, November 27
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 28
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Monday, December 2
Review at book frolic
Review at History + Fiction + Spirit

Tuesday, December 3
Review at Nursebookie

Wednesday, December 4
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, December 5
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Review at Curling up by the Fire

Friday, December 6
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at A Darn Good Read

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two paperbacks of Katherine-Tudor Duchess by Tony Riches! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Katherine Tudor Duchess

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Book Review The Dead Girl Club

Hello Friends,

I recently got one of my most anticipated reads this year in the mail! I’m so excited to read The Dead Girls Club by @dawalters (HUGE thank you to @crookedlanebooks #partner for my copy

Did you ever tell ghost stories or play supernatural games to scare your friends as a kid? I don’t know about y’all, but I definitely used to play light as a feather, stiff as a board. I have three childhood friends that can attest to some creeped out moments we had.

My Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars

Genre – Horror / Thriller

Release Date – December 10, 2019

TW – Emotional and Physical Abuse, Murder

A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic–and terrifying–consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real–and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay.

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

This engaging, intriguing storyline gets your attention right from the start!

It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay.

“when you recall the event, you aren’t remembering the event itself, only the last recollection. A memory of a memory. And if the mind wants something to be real, it can rearrange facts and circumstances to suit. Sometimes we make up stories to explain things to ourselves; sometimes we do it to hide the truth.”

Heather, Rachel, Gia, and Becca are just your average American girls. They love to laugh, hangout, and talk about serial killers. But most importantly of all is that the girls love when Becca tells them about the Red Lady. A woman who will do favors but always takes what she is owed. But it’s just a story, right?

Heather and Becca form a storytelling club, as the title suggests. They meet at an unoccupied house currently on the market with two other friends. All four girls love being scared, but one story seems all too real. Becca shares the history of the Red Lady, a woman scorned and out for vengeance.

Dirt in victims mouth. Buried alive. Multiple random deaths. Did it really happen? In a teenager’s mind, anything is possible… but this time, Becca has convinced them the woman is still alive today. The dilemma is set quite early on, yet the pertinent details seep out through the subsequent chapters. We don’t know everything, and when we begin to see Heather break down in the current time period, we know something bad happened years ago. I loved the chilling aspect of a ghostly witch with evil intent. Is she real? Is she all in the girls’ heads? Is she just metaphor in a young girls mind ?

The author has meticulous leads you to believe that the Red Lady, fact or fictional really all depends on your own perspective. Kinda like the Schrodinger’s cat of witches, it depends on the circumstances. To me, she’s is like the Schrodinger’s cat of witches. She’s both real and not, depending on the circumstances.

This stunning dark tale is told in chapters that alternate between Heather’s current day perspective as a therapist for kids and one fateful summer in 1991 when she, Becca, and their two friends tried to summon the Red Lady. The girls in Walters’s novel are on the precipice, finding their way through a time when they are changing, growing up, realizing that the world is not always as nice as they’ve been led to believe. They are beginning to not believe in the extraordinary as ordinary anymore. 

The author focus on the friendship between two teenage girls, Heather and Becca. The tale reveals bit by bit, challenging readers to decide for themselves what information is missing and what could be happening. It’s not possible that the Red Lady has come back to life after centuries to get revenge, Or is It ?…….

An atmospheric disturbing but enticing witchy supernatural twist your mind around mystery. Find out what really happens as you are enveloped into the past through flashbacks. What you think is not what happens. Kept me on the edge of my seat until I was finished

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Book Review Cartier’s Hope

 Hello Bookish Friends,

Today I am featuring a wonderful book review by the lovely author

M.J. Rose

Cartier’s Hope

A Novel

by M. J. Rose

Publisher: Atria Books , Simon and schuster Press

Publishing Date: 28 Jan 2020  

Length: 336 pages

@mjroseauthor #simonandschuster #atriabooks

New York Times bestselling author of Tiffany Blues, “a lush, romantic historical mystery” (Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale), comes a gorgeously wrought novel of ambition and betrayal…

Set in the Gilded Age. New York, 1910: A city of extravagant balls in Fifth Avenue mansions and poor immigrants crammed into crumbling Lower East Side tenements. A city where the suffrage movement is growing stronger every day, but most women reporters are still delegated to the fashion and lifestyle pages. But Vera Garland is set on making her mark in a man’s world of serious journalism.Shortly after the world-famous Hope Diamond is acquired for a record sum, Vera begins investigating rumors about schemes by its new owner, jeweler Pierre Cartier, to manipulate its value.

Vera is determined to find the truth behind the notorious diamond and its legendary curses—even better when the expose puts her in the same orbit as a magazine publisher whose blackmailing schemes led to the death of her beloved father.Appealing to a young Russian jeweler for help,

Vera is unprepared when she begins falling in love with him…and even more unprepared when she gets caught up in his deceptions and finds herself at risk of losing all she has worked so hard to achieve.Set against the backdrop of New York’s glitter and grit, of ruthless men and the atrocities they commit in the pursuit of power, this enthralling historical novel explores our very human needs for love, retribution—and to pursue one’s destiny, regardless of the cost.

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

*Cartier’s Hope*

In this latest masterpiece by author M. J. Rose, we are met by Vera Garland, a young lady of the upper crust in New York in the early 1900’s, She’s bold, and sometimes impulsive, yet still has a kind hearted . She searches out the injustices of life, and fights diligently for those she considers to be harmed. Yet she still dreams of love. After a series of tragedies befall those closest to her, she sets out to avenge them in a rather unconventional way. Vera begins investigating rumors about schemes by its new owner, jeweler Pierre Cartier, to manipulate its value.

The character development is wonderful, with some notable characters, Jacob Astor, a Russian Jewish jeweler working for Cartier.

Jacob is a quiet, secretive man, with more than a few secrets of his own.

When Jacob and Vera finally meet, these two will discover that their interests may not be that different.. This story is absolutely incredible. I seriously had great difficulty putting it down for more than a minute or two.

This stunning book is set against the backdrop of New York’s glitter and vile, ruthless men and the atrocities they commit in the pursuit of power, this enthralling historical novel explores our quest for love, to gain retribution. One most strive for the pursuit of destiny, regardless of the cost.

A captivating novel, about redemption, and the hope and desire that one can be redeemed. Overall, it’s fascinating and engaging, and beyond entertaining

Photo Courtesy of authors Facebook page

Praise

“I’m a long-time fan and MJ Rose never disappoints. With crisp, addictive prose, Cartier’s Hope gives readers a smart, compelling heroine trying to make a career in a man’s profession while unraveling family scandals at the same time. A beautiful tale with tantalizing twists.” —Stephanie Dray, NYT Bestselling author of America’s First Daughter

“A twisting tale of greed, revenge, and masked identities that put love and lives at risk…that shines with as much intrigue and mystery as the Hope Diamond itself.” New York Times bestseller Kristina McMorris, Sold on a Monday 

“Nobody conjures up historical mystery like M.J. Rose, and this brilliant, absorbing novel has it all, immersing readers in an unforgettable world that beguiles to the final page. Rose proves once again that her superb storytelling and powerful prose are second to none.” —New York Times bestseller, Beatriz Williams, The Golden Hour

“Perfectly melds fact and fiction into an unputdownable tale. A true gem.” —National bestseller Fiona Davis, The Chelsea Girls

“Sparkles with intrigue, romance and passion and surprises with an inspiring journalist heroine… timely, relevant, and sure to resonate with readers.. ends with a shocking twist you won’t see coming. Unputdownable!” New York Times bestseller Laura Kamoie, My Dear Hamilton

“M.J. Rose soars with Cartier’s Hope. A page-turning quest for the truths that are both intimate and universal. Brava!”   New York Times bestseller Pam Jenoff, The lost Girls of Paris

Buy from the Indie Bookstores that Loved Cartier’s Hope

“Fierce female reporter Vera Garland is the heroine of M.J. Roses’s latest gorgeous historical drama. Set in early Twentieth Century NYC, Cartier’s Hope contains all the rich beauty and tantalizing danger of a city and period on the verge of change. Rose’s attention to detail and lush description had me enthralled. Buy this gem of a novel.” Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books 

“Glitz, glamour, superstition and blackmail collide in this page turner.” Paula Longhurst, The King’s English Bookstore

“I really enjoyed Cartier’s Hope; M. J. Rose paints a portrait of 1910s New York City with which I was unaware. Most surprising was the large number of female reporters that were working at that time. Vera/Vee is a smart, interesting character; I liked her double-life, very Scarlet Pimpernel…most of all, I want Vera’s apartment over Garland’s Department Store!” Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore

Photo taken from authors website

About M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice…  Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose is a New York Times, Wall St. Journal and USAToday bestseller as well as an international best seller. She has published more than a ninetten novels and 3 books on marketing. She has been published in more than 30 countries and sold over 1.5 million books. The Fox TV show, Past Lives, was based on Rose’s novel, The Reincarnationist. 

Rose is a founding member of International Thriller Writers, founder of the first marketing company for authors, AuthorBuzz, and the co-founder, with Liz Berry of 1001DarkNights.com.

In 1998, her first novel Lip Service was the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house. 

Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, ForbesThe New York TimesBusiness 2.0Working WomanNewsweek, and New York Magazine. She has appeared on The Today ShowFox NewsThe Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USATodaySternL’OfficialPoets and Writers, and Publishers Weekly.

Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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Sisters of Shadow and Light

Happy Happy Halloween Bookish Friends

Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for letting me participate in the tour for The Sisters of Shadow and Light by Sara B. Larson

Sisters of Shadow and Light

 (Sisters of Shadow and Light #1)

by Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Synopsis:
From the acclaimed author of DEFY, Sara B. Larson, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful magic
“The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes…”.
Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world―including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.
On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out―leaving Zuhra virtually alone with their emotionally broken human mother.
For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything changes

GIVEAWAY

Prize: TBC

Starts: 30th November 2019

Ends: 13th November 20

Received an arc from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

“I didn’t know… would probably never know. That not knowing was like an itch beneath my skin, unreachable and, at times, unbreakable.”

Captivating ya fantasy comes to life. Intriguing world building with mesmerizing magic Engaging swoon-worthy romance, with twists that were completely unexpected but perfectly placed. And the bond between the sisters is powerful and heartwarming.

18year-old Zuhara has been trapped at the Citadel of the Paladin within an enormous sentient hedge that grew over night upon the the birth of her younger sister, Inara.

Inara’s magic born, inherited from their vanished Paladin father, which gives her power over plants, It also comes a hefty price. Living with their unstable Mother in complete isolation. She has forbidden all things Paladin when the girls father disappeared after Inara’s birth.

Inara is often lost in her own dreamy mind, with only brief moments of lucidity, leaving Zuhra feeling alone, longing for sort of real connection.

In a change of events, Halvor, a scholar of the Paladin breaches the hedge, Zuhra is intrigued by his revelations of the world and motivated to escape, but the mysteries of the citadel pose more dangers than any of them know, threatening both realms.

A wonderful portal fantasy story of two sisters, trapped by circumstance and freed by accident. Zuhra and Inara’s bond is brilliantly and empathetically depicted.

A great cliffhanger ending that had me wanting more.

Tour Schedule

.Don’t forget to to follow along on the other stops on this incredible book tour .

October 30th

October 31st

BookCrushin – Tell Your Story in 3 or 5 GIFs
L.M. Durand – Review
The Clever Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes

November 1st

NovelKnight – Story Behind The Cover
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Utopia State of Mind – Review + Favourite Quotes
Book Briefs – Review

November 2nd

Bookish Looks – Character Playlist
The Boozy Reader – Review
Book Slaying – Review + Favourite Quotes

November 3rd

books_andpoetrii – Mood Board/Book Style
Musings of a (Book) Girl – Official Playlist
Novelishly – Review

November 4th

Kait Plus Books – Top 10 List
Artsy Draft – Review + Favourite Quotes
Novel Nerd Faction – Review + Playlist
Jrsbookreviews – Review

November 5th

Sereadipity – Video Interview
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Dream Cast
Wishful Endings – Review
Story-eyed Reviews – Review

he worn soles of my leather shoes—old Paladin ones found stashed in a closet—made a soft slap against the stone floors. I moved quickly through the hulking innards of the citadel, eager to reach the main door and fresh air—and my sister—beyond. The oppressive heat rose up while the emptiness pressed down as I passed shut door after shut door. I’d never understood how the lack of something could be felt so acutely, I only knew it could, because that pulsing, aching hollowness was a constant companion on the rare occasions when I was able to wander through the citadel alone. When Sami or Mother or even Inara was by my side, the sensation melted away, chased off by their voices or maybe just their mere presence. But when I was by myself, slipping through the endless hallways and stairs, a single being traipsing through a place intended to house hundreds, sometimes the sensation of vacancy was enough to send a chill skittering over my skin.

Brushing off the familiar but still unsettling feelings, I tipped my chin at Terence, the name I’d given the Paladin statue that stood, unmoving, at the top of the stairs like a sentinel, feigning a braveness that didn’t quite reach my soul. I should have been used to the statues scattered throughout the citadel, but no matter how many times I walked past their glittering lapis lazuli eyes, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the stone likenesses of the beings who had once truly walked these halls were still watching me as I passed, somehow marking my presence in their domain. No one had ever said how old the citadel was, but it felt ancient. I’d often wondered if it had been hewn directly from the mountain it perched beside eons ago, long before Mother, or Adelric, or Gateskeep, or possibly even Vamala itself. Had the Paladin merely claimed it as their own once they arrived here, to save us from the rakasa? I didn’t know . . . would probably never know. That not knowing was like an itch beneath my skin, unreachable and, at times, unbearable.

When I finally reached the grand entrance, with its soaring ceiling high above and the massive door that led to the main courtyard straight ahead, a sigh of relief silently slid past my lips. But even outside the citadel, I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was being watched.

I slipped out the door, into a wall of heat and glaring sunshine. To my left, the dilapidated stables where the Paladin’s gryphons had once lived hunkered against the north side of the citadel. To my right were the orchards and gardens were Inara worked and lived. And surrounding it all was the hedge. It loomed across the courtyard, a hulking monster of vines and thorns. Averting my eyes from it, I hurried toward the orchard and Inara’s gardens beyond. Though I wished to spend all my waking time with Inara, that meant being outside from sunup until the shadows of sunset stretched across the courtyard, and part of me didn’t blame Mother for staying indoors at all times. As much as I longed to be with my sister, I couldn’t stand the sensation of the hedge hovering behind me; a presence so real, so tangible, at times I would spin around expecting to find someone standing there, watching me, only to face an empty courtyard—save for the impenetrable wall of vines, our living captor.

I’d wanted to ask Mother if it had always been that way, even before he left, before it grew into this monster. Had the hedge always been this . . . menacing? Or had he done something to change it that night—something beyond just increasing the size of it? Itch, itch, itch, beneath my plain, human skin. More not knowing . . . because I didn’t dare. I knew better than to broach the subject of before.

Inara kept her gardens closer to the citadel itself, on the southeast end of the grounds, where the sun shone longest—when the sun shone at all. Gateskeep was surrounded by sky-scraping peaks and cliffs, including the one the citadel had been built on, that were most often enshrouded in choking clouds and creeping fog. It was normally gray and waterlogged, even in summer, other than the occasional week of unbearable heat and sun, such as this one. I had no doubt that if I’d tried to grow the fruits and vegetables, we would have starved years ago, especially during the winter. But Inara had a way with plants, no matter the weather. With all living things, really. Well, all those that weren’t afraid of her.

I headed toward the boxes where she grew the vegetables and herbs in the spring, summer, and fall, winding through the small grove of trees, their branches already heavy with fruit, early even for Inara’s abilities to have coaxed out a harvest.

I found her bending toward one of the tomato plants, her long hair falling over her shoulder like night spilling across the evening sky, muttering in that way of hers, the cadence rising and falling, but most of the sounds unintelligible. The sun was hot on my back, as it had been all week. An unaccountably cloudless and blistering snap of weather, especially for the beginning of June.

“It’s a beautiful afternoon.” I spoke softly, hoping not to frighten her. She paused, her fingers briefly going still, but when she didn’t respond, returning instead to her work, I gently touched her elbow.

Inara jerked and straightened, spinning to face me. Even after all these years, my gaze was immediately drawn to her eyes before anything else—to her irises that glowed like the blue flames closest to the fuel of a fire. Her burning, ever-changing, fear-inspiring eyes.

Paladin eyes.

“Can I do anything to help you?”

Inara cocked her head to the side, staring at my mouth as I spoke. I repeated the question, even as her uncomprehending gaze traveled over me and then moved on. If she’d been lucid, she surely would have questioned my inappropriate attire for working in a garden. Mother and I had spent hours upon hours repurposing many of her finer dresses to fit not only my height, but also what Sami claimed were the modern styles—insisting I be dressed to catch the eye of a potential suitor at any given time, no matter how much I protested the ridiculousness.

Inara, on the other hand, was mostly given Mahsami’s extra clothes, leftovers from the Paladin, or the more drab offerings from Mother’s closet and left to have her ankles (and half of her calves) on display beneath the too-short skirts.

We had no income to speak of, except for the meager funds Sami could sometimes acquire through selling off objects from the citadel, so new clothes were scarce. For some unfathomable reason, Mother’s drive to see me well dressed didn’t extend to selling more, though the massive structure was replete with antiques and valuables of all sizes and worth—including an obscene amount of diamonds, some probably near to priceless. But the fact was, even if Mother hadasked Sami to go to market more often, the hedge wouldn’t have allowed it. It opened for Sami—and only her. And only when things were so grim our very lives depended upon it. Mother, Inara, and I had to wait inside the citadel.

“Help,” Inara finally repeated, loudly, almost a shout. I tried not to flinch. “Help.” She shook her head, a short, jerky movement. “Two. Four. Six. Four. Two.”

“Yes.” I glanced past her to the rows of tidy boxes where all of her plants grew, some leafy and wide, others stretching tall and thin with vines that snaked up wooden stakes. The air was full of the loamy scent of earth and vegetables. Most often, Inara spent her time trying to keep the plants from drowning, but not this week. “Do you need help harvesting anything? Or weeding?”

She turned back to her boxes and the words turned unintelligible once more.

I watched Inara silently for a moment, as she bent to prod at the soil at the base of some stakes that were leaning a bit, grown too heavy with beans, before moving forward to stand beside my sister. I’d forgotten to braid her hair that morning, but luckily it didn’t look as though she’d ripped any of it out. She did that sometimes, especially if she was cooped up too long in the citadel. She’d grab at her hair, even her face sometimes, as if trying to claw away the roar in her head. But in the gardens, she kept her hands in the soil and on her plants, leaving her hair and face untouched. She was her most lucid when she worked in the garden, which was why I wished to spend time with her there. Inside the citadel when I approached her, she wouldn’t even respond to me. There was only her incessant chanting and muttering, pacing and jerking, her hands trembling. It set Mother’s nerves on edge, but far from annoying me, Inara’s inability to communicate made me hurt inside, a wound that I couldn’t pinpoint or heal, but that ached constantly. At times worse than others—such as the nights when Mother refused to even acknowledge her younger daughter at supper.

Out here, Inara really looked at me sometimes, and on her best days, she even spoke of her plants in brief spurts. There were times when we actually had what could pass for a normal conversation. That’s when the chasm inside me felt the smallest and hurt the least. I prayed today might be a good day; that would at least make the sour tang of guilt at the back of my throat easier to swallow. “Nara . . . these strawberry plants look like they’re wilting.”

She didn’t look up from the beans, so I slowly reached out and touched her elbow again, drawing her attention. When her blue-flame eyes met mine, I smiled and repeated what I’d said, while gently tugging her toward the plants that indeed appeared as if the sweltering heat were a bit too much for them.

“Can I do something to help?”

Inara was fifteen, three years younger than me. Though we were the same height, where I had inherited some of Mother’s softness—my hips were wider, my breasts larger—Inara was leaner, almost too thin. “One, two . . . three . . . one, two, three, four . . .” she mumbled, with a shake of her head.

“Tell me how I can help. Do you want me to fetch more water?” I’d never been able to figure out what the counting meant—but it usually was something she did when she was agitated. I glanced past her to the well, where a few empty buckets were piled haphazardly. An underground river ran below the citadel, and our well was dug down deep enough for us to gather water from it. Just outside the hedge, at the edge of the citadel, a huge waterfall suddenly broke free from underneath the structure, crashing to the earth far below us. It was depicted in multiple paintings and tapestries in the citadel—and though I’d never seen the waterfall myself, I knew them to be accurate because I could hear the waterfall on this side of the citadel.

But she ignored my offer to get water and stepped forward, reaching out to the plants.

“Four . . . five . . . five, six . . .”

Her fingers brushed over the brown-tipped leaves and the tiny buds where miniature strawberries had already begun to form with the gentleness of a mother’s soothing caress. Her eyes fluttered shut and her hands stilled . . . and then Inara stiffened with a sharp intake of breath as if she’d been stabbed.

Unbridled elation coalesced through my limbs, laving every trace of guilt away. Thiswas worth almost any cost—even the hurt in my mother’s eyes and the bloodstain on her stockings. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” I whispered my gratitude to the Great God as the blue fire that constantly burned in Inara’s eyes suddenly flared beneath her skin, racing through her veins—her cheeks, her neck, down her arms to her hands.

The very air changed when her eyes opened once more, so bright I couldn’t look directly into them. There was an acrid hint to the previously dry breeze, reminding me of the smell from striking flint with rocks to start a fire. I could even taste it on my tongue, a bitter, sharp tang.

Magic.

Paladin magic.

There was no other explanation for what my sister could do, for the way the strawberry plants immediately straightened, the previously curled, semi-brown leaves unfurling into full greenness, as if woken from a slumber and stretching toward the sun and their full potential. Even the tiny strawberries grew before my eyes, turning a shade closer to red as Inara brushed her glowing fingers over them.

And then, with a groan, as if it took no small amount of effort, she pulled her hands back and the blue fire in her veins dimmed and then vanished.

When I looked into her face again, her eyes had dulled, the fire dimmed a bit. Inara blinked once, and then cocked her head as if listening for something. I heard nothing except for the nearby waterfall and the sound of leaves being rustled by the breeze that had turned fresh again, the bitter scent of her power gone with the disappearance of the Paladin fire in her veins; but I knew Inara suffered under the weight of a roar that remained silent to me. When she sighed, I couldn’t help but do the same, spurred by the sound of bone-deep relief issuing from my sister.

Then Inara looked directly at me, truly looked this time, and smiled—the first I’d seen in . . . a while. “Zuhra?”

My answering smile was accompanied by a tightness in my chest that somehow seemed attached to my eyes. I blinked rapidly to hold back the moisture that threatened to escape. This was why I begged to come out with her, why I cajoled Sami into getting more and more seeds for new plants on the rare occasions that she was able to venture to the market, why I prayed for inclement weather—or for days without rain. Why I preferred winter to summer, even though it was cold and dark and miserable and we rarely left the citadel, because that was when Inara had to work on keeping her plants alive inside the citadel, to encourage the vegetables to grow with almost no sunshine and very little warmth, which meant using her power far more often and greater amounts of it, too. And when I got Inara to tap into that magic, to help her plants, I got this in return. A handful of minutes with my sister in the summer, and sometimes a couple of miraculous hours in the winter, before she disappeared again, as surely as the fire in her veins always retreated back to her eyes.

Inara looked past me to the citadel, to the windows of the sitting room. “How long has it been?”

“Not that long,” I assured her, even though it actually had been over a week since she’d been this lucid. She’d tried to explain it to me once, years ago, about the roar in her head, the constant noise that drowned everything else out and threatened to drive her mad.

For some reason, when I got her to tap into her power, it abated and I got my sister—my real sister—to myself. Even if it was only for a few minutes.

There was so much to say, and yet I couldn’t decide where to start. There were never any guarantees of how long we had.

“Where’s Mother?” It was always the first question she asked, after wondering how long it had been. I forced myself to keep my gaze on her, not letting it trail up to the window where we’d both sat plying our needles for most of the day. My answer, too, was the same as always.

“Inside. She’s mad at me again,” I quickly added to keep Inara from dwelling on the fact that Mother avoided her as much as possible.

“What did you do now?” Inara pulled her gaze away from the empty window. Her words were slightly off. Mother claimed she was difficult to understand, but she was trying her best. I knew it wasn’t possible for us to comprehend how hard it must have been for her to learn language in such brief spurts throughout her life. Her lucid times had lasted longer as a child; I remembered reading stories to her for hours when she was little enough to sit in my lap, pointing out pictures to her, having her try to mimic my words. But as she grew older, her eyes got brighter and her lucid times began to shrink. In my opinion, it was a miracle she could speak at all. And if that meant expending a bit more effort for us to understand her, well, that was nothing compared to what she endured every minute of every day.

“She caught me reading one of the Paladin books again,” I admitted. “I snuck it out of the library. I thought she’d gone to bed, but apparently not. She noticed the candlelight beneath my door and walked in on me before I could hide it.”

“Did you find anything out—anything useful that—”

The eager questions cut off abruptly. Her eyes widened, her mouth falling open at something behind me, her face going pale beneath her sun-browned skin.

I spun around and screamed, stumbling backward.

There was a stranger in the gardens.

A male stranger—standing next to one of Inara’s trees.

My first irrational thought was that Terence had somehow come alive, but it only took one frantic beat of my heart to realize he was no Paladin. His eyes didn’t glow. And statues didn’t come to life. I’d hoped and feared that for too many years to believe otherwise.

“Pardon my interruption, but I was hoping you could help me. I’ve traveled some distance to visit the Citadel. We’d heard it was abandoned, but . . . obviously . . .” He gestured toward us. “Do you work here—can you direct me where I can go to inquire about lodging?”

I stared. My blood roared beneath my skin, my mouth gaped open. A stranger. There was a stranger. Here. Right now. I’d never seen a real, live male before, except for vague, time-smeared memories of my father. But this . . . this . . . person was standing there and he was talking and the hedge . . . The hedge had let him through?

The hedge didn’t allow anyone through. I still remembered the terror from the last time a group of soldiers had tried when I was ten; their shouts, the smoke from the torches they’d wielded rising above the immovable thorny beast that surrounded us, their screams when they’d tried to cut it down and the hedge had attacked. No one had come since then. No one had dared.

Then where had this . . . this man come from? Was that what he was? For some reason “man” didn’t seem like quite the right word. He appeared closer to my age than Mother’s or Sami’s.

After all these years—after all of Mother’s dreams that I’d never claimed for myself—she’d actually, unbelievably been right. The hedge had allowed a boy through.

As the disbelieving silence drew out, he cocked his head to the side, then his eyebrows lifted a bit. Was he . . . confused? I belatedly realized I had mirrored his movement. Maybe that wasn’t the best thing to do. I straightened my head again so fast it sent a sharp ping up my neck.

He cleared his throat and his voice was so different from mine or Sami’s or Mother’s when he started to speak again. “I realize I may be—” His gaze had been on me at first, as I stood closer to him, but then it flickered to Inara and he stopped. Stopped talking, stopped moving, perhaps even breathing.

It was like having Sami dump a bucket of icy water over my head during the winter months when I needed a bath but firewood had to be saved for more vital uses than warming water. It was unpleasant but effective at forcing me to act quickly. His reaction to Inara was that bucket of water sluicing over my astonishment at his appearance, propelling me to respond.

“Who are you?” My words were halting and uncertain and furious all at once. My legs were strangely stiff—from panic? From shock?—but I forced them to move, to carry my body in front of Inara, blocking my sister from view, though it was already too late. He stared through me as if I weren’t even there, as if he could still see Inara’s burning eyes through my skull. “Who are you?” I repeated, my voice rising. An unfamiliar sensation gripped me; I was hot and cold at once, my pulse a rickety thing, my blood careening through my body. Hope and fear clashed in a tangle of confusion.

Then Inara touched my arm—as I often did to her—and stepped up beside me. “Who is he, Zuhra?” Her fingers trembled but she stood shoulder to shoulder with me, the picture of courage— of poise . . . if one ignored the dirt crusted around her nails, laced in the grooves of the skin on her hands, the streak of it across her cheek, her ill-fitting clothes, bare ankles, her hair cascading over her shoulders, loose and wild in the breeze.

And her glowing blue eyes.

“I don’t know,” I murmured below my breath.

The stranger couldn’t take his gaze off her, which raised my hackles, the way our cat Louie’s ears flattened and his hair rose when he was agitated. But I couldn’t quite quell the curiosity that also swelled.

“Why are you at our home?” Inara asked, more loudly this time.

He blinked and visibly straightened, as if just realizing that he’d been staring at us—at her—in a daze for far too long. He was tall and angular, as if someone had stretched him a little bit further than they’d intended before he finished growing. His clothes were loose on his narrow shoulders and hips, but they looked fine enough, as if he’d purposefully had them made that way, rather than not having any other options like me and Inara. I scrambled to make sense of his sudden appearance in our garden. Sami was the only person the hedge had allowed through before. Why now—why him? My heart ricocheted off my ribs.

“I’m sorry, my manners . . .” He shook his head, cheeks flushing as he folded his frame forward into a bow. “I am Halvor Roskery, a scholar and traveler.” He straightened and pushed one hand through hair the color of dust, somewhere between light and dark brown with a suggestion of auburn woven through.

Halvor Roskery. My fingers twitched at my side; the rough fabric of Inara’s skirt brushed my skin.

“And . . . you are?” he prompted, his gaze still trained on my sister.

“Inara,” she said, her name coming out short, almost clipped. The tension radiating from her only amplified my own; she was shaking so hard I almost took her hand in mine to steady her.

“I’m Zuhra.” It was so quiet in the courtyard . . . could he hear the thundering of my heart? “We’re Inara and Zuhra Montieth.” He’d told us his full name—was that what was expected? Mother had taught me needlepoint but failed to explain how to introduce myself. Montieth was her last name, from before marrying our father. She always told us she used her surname because he left us. But I suspected it was because he had no surname—no Paladin did, from what I’d gathered in my subversive research.

“A pleasure to meet you.” He—Halvor—inclined his head once more, his eyes still on Inara.

“Why are you here?” I knew it wasn’t polite, but my limited time with Inara was wasting away by the second. And he had yet to spare me a second glance.

“Zuhra . . .” Her fingers sought mine and I clenched them tightly.

“No, she’s right to be suspicious.” Halvor mistook Inara’s reaction as scolding, rather than seeking comfort. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry?” I echoed.

“I am going about this all the wrong way. You must understand how . . . unexpectedly thrilling this is, though.”

“Thrilling?” Stop repeating everything he says!

“After years of study and planning and traveling, I’m finally here. I made it. And not only did I find the Citadel of the Paladin . . . I found . . . well . . . you.” He gestured to Inara.

“You traveled for years to come here?” I tried to hide my shock at his casual naming of the citadel, but he didn’t even seem to hear me. So few wished to speak of the Paladin in any tone other than fear or anger—but he sounded . . . awed.

The way he looked at Inara went beyond wonder, however, his expression bordering on worshipful. “In all my preparations and hopes, I never dreamed . . . I mean, to find herhere—alive and in the flesh. I’m sure you’re accustomed to it, being her . . . governess?”

“What? No, I’m her sister.”

Sister?” he repeated, eyes wide. “That’s not possible.”

“I assure you she is.”

“But . . . you’re a human. And she’s”—Halvor paused and looked to Inara once more—“she’s a Paladin.”

Order Your Copy:

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Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology. Her next YA fantasy, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT, comes out November 5th from Tor Teen. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/09/tour-schedule-sisters-of-shadow-and.html

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Book Tour and Review

Cursed

Hi guys! Today we have a very exciting blog tour! Y’all know how much I love retellings, and this one is extra special. Cursed is going take over, and it is very soon going to be a NETFLIX SHOW. So, you better get on it and read this book now,

by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller(Illustrator)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Synopsis: 

The Lady of the Lake is the true hero in this cinematic twist on the tale of King Arthur created by Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller (300, Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Sin City). Featuring 8 full color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller. 
Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.
But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?
Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…
That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.
Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.
But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.

Welcome to my stop of the Cursed blog tour! Thank you to @theffbc @thomaswheelerofficial and @simonandschuster @simonteen for allowing me to take part in this tour!

I am a huge fan of anything Arthurian and every year I reread the Mists of Avalon!

So when I was given the chance to read and review this hard copy breathtaking Arc, I jumped at the chance and greatly appreciate The Fantastic Flying Book Tour @theffbc for giving me this incredible opportunity.

In this imaginative fantastic retelling of the Notorious Arthurian legend. The Lady of the Lake takes the role of hero in this tale of king Arthur.Creators Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller of 300, Batman, The Dark Knight Returns, and Sin City.This book features full-color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller.

Cursed is told through the eyes of Nimue, a teenage heroine with a mysterious gift who is destined to become the powerful and tragic Lady of the Lake.Nimue is a child, living in a nurturing environment still following the old ways of the Druid. When the evil Red Paladins, a section of the Church who have made it their mission to wipe out the Fey Folk, attack her village, Nimue finds herself journeying across England to fulfill her mother’s last wish. She sets out on a quest to find Merlin and deliver an ancient sword. Nimue, finds an unexpected partner in a young mercenary named Arthur.

Rumors grow that the Sword of Power has resurfaced again has spread through out the country. Nimue faces incredible forces who all want to claim the sword for themselves, King Uther Pendragon, the Viking Ice King and the Catholic Church.

All knowing the ancient prophecy of the sword …

Nimue will become the hero and the symbol of courage and rebellion against the terrifying Red Paladins, and their King Uther.

I can’t wait to see this novel turned into a show. I love the portrayal of Nimue and everything surrounding her story. Make sure to buy this beautiful novel on October 1st and be sure to watch the Netflix series.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Star Book

Illustrations: From Frank Miller

GIVEAWAY
1 Finished copy US only

Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86408/?

Thomas Wheeler sold his first screenplay at age twenty-two, to Twentieth Century Fox. He has continued to work on major Hollywood features for the last several years. Wheeler lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Christina, and his son, Luca. The Arcanum is his first novel.

Frank Miller is an award-winning comic book writer, novelist, inker, screenwriter, film director, and producer best known for Daredevil, The Dark Knight ReturnsSin City, and 300, among others. He also created Cursed with Tom Wheeler, which is being adapted as a series for Netflix starring Katherine Langford. Visit him online at FrankMillerInk.com or on Twitter @FrankMillerInk.

Week 1

September 23rd

_bookishaestha_-Review/Bookstagram

September 24th

Maddie.TV– Review
Worlds Unlike Our Own– Review & Favorite Quotes

September 25th

@thereadingchemist– Bookstagram

September 26th

Kait Plus Books– Creative Post

September 27th

Shelf-rated– Review

Week 2

September 30th

Morgan Vega– Review & Favorite Quotes

October 1st

Fictitiouswonderland– Bookstagram
Book Blog London– Review & Favorite Quotes

October 2nd

A Bookish Dream– Review/Bookstagram

October 3rd

Bookishly Nerdy– Review
Booked J– Review

October 4th

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Book Tour The Great Jewel Robbery

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faced paced exceptional dialogue with well developed characters.

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

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

Cozy Sweet Cream Pancakes Recipe

• All-Purpose Flour

• Baking Powder

• Baking Soda

• Salt

• Sugar

• Eggs

• Vanilla Extract

• Heavy Cream

• Milk, to thin the batter if desired

Toppings for Pancakes

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

You can add different toppings to create totally different experiences.

Gwendalyn G Anderson

Meet the Author: 

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

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

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

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 6, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour 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 Review The Undertakers Assistant

Hello Bookish Friends

Thanks for joining me today

There are few places on earth that I love more than New Orleans, Louisiana.

I lived for 34 years in South Louisiana, So New Orleans will all always be very special to me. Along with the amazing food and the wonderful people, there is so much historical places that few people other than native to the area know about.

Storyville, a city within the city that had its own Mayor and prostitution was legal from 1897 to 1917. This neighborhood born some of biggest known Jazz musicians ever. To the areas where the the Quadroon Balls of New Orleans where held.

THE UNDERTAKER’S ASSISTANT

BY AMANDA SKENANDORE

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Kensington Publishing Corp.

eBook & Paperback; 304 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Set during Reconstruction-era New Orleans, and with an extraordinary and unforgettable heroine at its heart, The Undertaker’s Assistant is a powerful story of human resilience–and of the unlikely bonds that hold fast even in our darkest moments.

Synopsis:

“The dead can’t hurt you. Only the living can.” Effie Jones, a former slave who escaped to the Union side as a child, knows the truth of her words. Taken in by an army surgeon and his wife during the War, she learned to read and write, to tolerate the sight of blood and broken bodies–and to forget what is too painful to bear. Now a young freedwoman, she has returned south to New Orleans and earns her living as an embalmer, her steady hand and skillful incisions compensating for her white employer’s shortcomings.

Tall and serious, Effie keeps her distance from the other girls in her boarding house, holding tight to the satisfaction she finds in her work. But despite her reticence, two encounters–with a charismatic state legislator named Samson Greene, and a beautiful young Creole, Adeline–introduce her to new worlds of protests and activism, of soirees and social ambition. Effie decides to seek out the past she has blocked from her memory and try to trace her kin. As her hopes are tested by betrayal, and New Orleans grapples with violence and growing racial turmoil, Effie faces loss and heartache, but also a chance to finally find her place . . .

Purchase links :

AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND

Praise for Amanda Skenandore and Between Earth and Sky

“Gripping and beautifully written, Between Earth and Sky tugs at the heart with its dynamic heroine and unique cast of characters. Though this novel brings alive two historical American eras and settings, the story is achingly modern, universal and important.” –Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The It Girls

“Intensely emotional. . . . Skenandore’s deeply introspective and moving novel will appeal to readers of American history, particularly those interested in the dynamics behind the misguided efforts of white people to better the lives Native American by forcing them to adopt white cultural mores.” –Publishers Weekly

“A masterfully written novel about the heart-wrenching clash of two American cultures . . . a fresh and astonishing debut.” –V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls and The Taster

“By describing its costs in human terms, the author shapes tension between whites and Native Americans into a touching story. The title of Skenandore’s debut could refer to reality and dreams, or to love and betrayal; all are present in this highly original novel.” –Booklist

“A heartbreaking story about the destructive legacy of the forced assimilation of Native American children. Historical fiction readers and book discussion groups will find much to ponder here.” –Library Journal

“At its heart, this luminous book tells a Romeo and Juliet story. But Skenandore’s book is so much more than a simple romance. This novel examines the complex relationship between love and loss, culture and conquest, annihilation and assimilation.” –Historical Novel Society

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 deeply intriguing and introspective moving novel

Amanda Skenandore, new novel is Intensely emotional historical drama set during the Reconstruction-era New Orleans. Euphemia also known as Effie is a compelling and unforgettable heroine. A former slave and now an accomplished undertaker’s assistant, she has returned to New Orleans to forge a new life and confront her traumatic deeply barrier past.

Skenandore involves all the senses in her evocation of the past, from the bustling, multi-lingual French Quarter, where Creole socialites are elevated. to the riveting terrifying raids of mobs of angry white men that carry out violence against law-abiding Black citizens. An educated freedwoman Effie who’s occupation as an embalmer makes her stand out among the rest. Barely 21 years old Effie takes a position with a white employer. Her meticulous talents as an embalmer make up for her present employers short comings. The author does a wonderful narrative setting the plot line up in the beginning as we get to know each character and a bit of the back stories. This richly atmospheric historical fiction with interpersonal drama and well developed characters with a creative storyline will keep you glued to the pages.

Under the Authors narrative voice you are catapult into the book setting of 1870s

New Orleans.

Authenticity researched this novel examines the complex relationship between love and loss, culture and social caste, and assimilation

Skenandore’s impressive second novel, The Undertaker’s Assistant, is a phenomenal book, that I will definitely recommend to my family and friends

A deeply intriguing and introspective moving novel

A little Piece of History

The System of Plaçage

The Quadroon balls were elegant and elaborate, designed to appeal to wealthy white men. Although race mixing was prohibited by New Orleans law, it was common for white gentleman to attend the balls, sometimes stealing away from white balls to mingle with the city’s quadroon female population. The principal desire of quadroon women attending these balls was to become placée as the mistress of a wealthy gentleman, usually a young white Creole or a visiting European.[21] These arrangements were a common occurrence, Some suggests, because the highly educated, socially refined quadroons were prohibited from marrying white men and were unlikely to find Black men of their own status.

A quadroon’s mother usually negotiated with an admirer the compensation that would be received for having the woman as his mistress. Typical terms included some financial payment to the parent, financial and/or housing arrangements for the quadroon herself, and, many times, paternal recognition of any children the union produced. Some of these matches were as enduring and exclusive as marriages. A beloved quadroon mistress had the power to destabilize white marriages and families, something she was much resented for.

The system of plaçage had a basis in the economics of mixed race. The plaçage of black women with white lovers, One could take place only because of the socially determined value of their light skin, the same light skin that commanded a higher price on the slave block, where light skinned girls fetched much higher prices than did prime field hands The quadroon balls as the best among severely limited options for these near-white women, a way for them to control their sexuality and decide the price of their own bodies.

“The most a mulatto mother and a quadroon daughter could hope to attain in the rigid confines of the black/white world was some semblance of economic independence and social distinction from the slaves and other blacks”

Amanda Skenandore, is a historical fiction writer and registered nurse. Between Earth and Sky was her first novel. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Readers can visit her website at www.amandaskenandore.com.
#Skenandore #bookreview #thrundertaker @arshenandoah @kensingtonbooks #theundertakersassistant
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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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– 4 Winners will receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.

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Blog Tour The Work Of Art

Welcome to the blog tour for The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews!

You can read my review of this Regency romance below

and enter the Tour-Wide Giveaway!

The Work of Art
by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Perfectly Proper Press
Paperback & eBook

Genre: Historical Romance

READ AN EXCERPT.

 

 

An Uncommon Beauty…

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it’s caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland—a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the Duke’s clutches, she’s going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero…

Captain Arthur Heywood’s days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her—and her heart—in more danger than ever?

“In her sixth historical romance, Matthews (The Pug Who Bit Napoleon; A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty) weaves suspense and mystery within an absorbing love story. Readers will be hard put to set this one down before the end. Highly recommended to historical romance and/or mystery buffs and especially animal lovers.” – Library Journal, Starred Review

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE

Amazon | Apple | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Mimi Mathews has written an captivating Regency Historical Romance..

The Work of Art Set in London during Spring, 1814, Mimi has written a absorbing and perfect romance. Upon the death of her grandfather, Phyllida (Philly) Satterthwaite’s entire life has changed. Philly is orphaned and still unmarried at 23 and up to this point her life she lived solely in the quiet country. Surround by everything she has come to love in her genteel life. Philly is now some what destitute and has been taken into her uncle’s household in London. Philly will certainly come to realize that all is not what it seems, and her uncle has ulterior motives.

London is full of treachery and untrustworthy people.

Philly is a rare beauty both with looks and her genuine warmth, and a compassionate heart to all. From her unruly dogs to horses, to wounded moody Captains, anything that might need her nurturing.

Captain Arthur Heywood’s life has changed three years ago on a battlefield in the Great Peninsular War. He is a wounded broken soul, dealing with inner demons.

He has completely isolated himself from London and all its gossiping forays, at his estate,Heywood House.

In chance meeting in town on business he meets Phyllida Satterthwaite.

Society calls her “The Work of Art , Phyllida will not be used as pawn in game to be sold into marriage. In a courageous act that takes her out of the hands of sinister Duke. She escapes from London with a marriage of convenience.

In this captivating storyline with an engaging cast of characters, I was swept up and completely taken by Mimi Matthews writing style. She weaves historical romance in such a way that you lose yourself within the pages of her books

In her more than steamy, Jane Austin-Style of writing, you find yourself completely immersed until the very satisfying end. This book was an unstoppable read for me.

Matthews approach to giving the reader just the right amount of tender romance and her unique writing skill that leaves you smiling and actually happy after reading her books.

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Matrimonial Advertisement) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews’ website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 23
Review at Bookish Rantings
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Wednesday, July 24
Review at Courtney Clark

Thursday, July 25
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, July 26
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, July 29
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Tuesday, July 30
Excerpt at Faery Tales Are Real

Wednesday, July 31
Review at The Lit Bitch

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, one winner will receive a signed copy of The Work of Art! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The Work of Art
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