But For The Mountains

Check out my post for But for the Mountains by Erin Riha

(Guest Post & #Giveaway) #butforthemountains #yalit @favouritepages @REUTSpub @erinrihawriter #bookgiveaway #newrelease

by Erin Riha

Publisher: REUTS Publications.
Release Date: June 3rd 2020Genre:
Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Bookdepository | iTunes | Kobo

Arden Thatcher wasn’t meant to be chosen.
But when her name is announced, she’s presented with something she never thought she’d have: a future away from her abuser. Shuttled off to attend the prestigious National Women’s Institute, Arden will receive Nordania’s highest honor, studying with other elite candidates to become leaders, diplomats, and ambassadors on the world stage.

Only, the institute’s not quite what she expected. Paraded around in gown after gown, the tests seem less about educating and more about a different competition, with a very specific prize at stake—the Nordanian Prime Minister’s son. Despite the dean’s protestations that angling for an engagement leads to expulsion, Arden sees the truth.

There’s a secret bubbling beneath the institute’s refined surface, and those who refuse to play along may well wind up dead.

With the danger escalating, and the return of her abuser on the horizon, Arden’s shiny future becomes a gilded cage. And this time, she’s going to need powerful allies to escape.
Political intrigue, swoon-worthy romance, and a dash of dystopian flare, But for

the Mountains begs the question, how do you change the world when you’re not allowed to try?

A fantastical dystopian world of beauty, and power.

A bleak and never ending nightmarish existence, Arden Thatcher is subjective to repetitive abuse by her benefactor’s son, CJ. Her grim outlook on life is a desolate hellish existence.

When an unforeseen opportunity rises and her name is announced, due to her abuser nominating her for the National Institute For Women Academy. Where girls after graduation become leaders, diplomats, and ambassadors on the world stage.

All is not what it seems in riveting fast paced, edge of your seat book. Along with secrets and backstabbing girls who are vying for attention, beneath the surface of institute’s refinement, there is an ominous doom to those who refuse to play along and will find themselves dead.

This book is not for the weak at heart.

Several. Trigger Warnings

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Erin Riha writes young adult fantasy novels about ambitious girls who don’t know they’re not supposed to exceed expectations. She has an undergraduate degree in Political Science, a Law Degree, and a deep reverence for the power of using exactly the right word in exactly the right moment. She lives in wonderfully weird Portland, Oregon, with her super dreamy husband, where they’re raising a future train engineer and a future chicken whisperer. When not writing, she’s a music director for a teen theater company, traveling the world, or dreaming of traveling the world.Her debut novel, BUT FOR THE MOUNTAINS, was published by REUTS Publications June 2, 2020.

October 19th

What Makes Patri – Main Interview

October 20th

Know Your Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

Books tales by me – Review + Mood Board 

Nerdy Nurse Reads – Review + 

InstagramYours A-fiction-ately – Review + Favourite Quotes

InstagramBibliomanaic Aza – Review

October 21st

@the.b00kreader – Review

 InstagramBooks and Zebras – Review 

Books, Tea, Healthy Me – Review + 

InstagramFinding Faith, Holding onto Hope, and Living with Love –

Review + Instagram

 InstagramBooks and Zebras – Review

October 22nd

Wishful Endings – Official Dream Cast

Pacific Northwest Bookworm – Review +

 InstagramNay’s Pink Bookshelf – Review + Favourite Quotes + Mood Board

 InstagramThe Storybook Sisters – Review

 InstagramRead in the Clouds – Review

October 23rd

Gwendalyn’s Books – Review  

InstagramInktalkswithmaria -Review +

 InstagramWillow Writes And Reads – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes + 

InstagramBookishly Nerdy – Review + Instagram

October 24th

Bee’s Reads – Review
 InstagramInky Moments – Review + Mood Board by Erin 

Find your next reading – ReviewPort Jericho –

Review + Top 10 list + Instagram

October 25th

Blonde and Bookish – Official Book Playlist

InstagramCrazykidjournal – Review +

InstagramThe Reading Life – Review + Mood Board

Bumbleebeela – Review + Instagram

The Bone Carver Book Tour + Giveaway

 Welcome to my spot on the blog tour for The Bone Carver by Monique Snyman hosted by Good Choice Reading. Thank you to the publisher and Good Choice Reading for selecting me to be part of the blog tour!

The Bone Carver
by Monique Snyman
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
Publication: October 20th, 2020
For a small New England town, Shadow Grove has an uncanny ability to attract the worst kind of trouble. Not that the residents are too concerned about the various horrors living among them.
As the leaves change color and the weather grows colder, a foul presence is making itself known by leaving peculiar gifts for the students of Ridge Crest High. At first, the presents seem harmless—and a rash of accidents seem coincidental—but when seniors Rachel Cleary and her Scottish cousin, Dougal Mackay, find a boneless body in the boiler room, things take an ominous turn.
Something vicious is on the loose in Shadow Grove, but with Orion Nebulius gone, Rachel has little hope of anyone getting out alive.

This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers

-To give away further plot would be to lessen the pleasure for readers

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.

-All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

𝙹𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚍𝚘𝚗’𝚝 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚌𝚑 𝚋𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚛𝚞𝚗𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚟𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚜 𝚍𝚘𝚎𝚜𝚗’𝚝 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚒𝚜𝚗’𝚝 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚖𝚊𝚐𝚒𝚌 𝚒𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞.”

—𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙱𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝙲𝚊𝚛𝚟𝚎𝚛

Monique Snyman’s mind is a confusing bedlam of glitter and death, where candy-coated gore is found in abundance and homicidal unicorns thrive. Sorting out the mess in her head is particularly irksome before she’s ingested a specific amount of coffee, which is equal to half the recommended intake of water for humans per day. When she’s not playing referee to her imaginary friends or trying to overdose on caffeine, she’s doing something with words—be it writing, reading, or editing.

Monique Snyman lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her husband and an adorable Chihuahua. She’s the author of the Bram Stoker Award® nominated novel, THE NIGHT WEAVER, which is the first installment in a dark fantasy series for young adults.


Enter here!

God Storm (Shadow Frost #2)

Happy Saturday Today is my stop on God Storm (Shadow Frost #2)

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Release Date: October 20th 2020

God Storm (Shadow Frost #2)

by Coco Ma

Everything has a price.

In the kingdom of Axaria, a darkness has fallen. After defeating the evil mother who summoned an immortal demon to kill her, newly coronated Queen Asterin Faelenhart should have every reason to celebrate. Her kingdom is safe, forbidden magic eradicated, and her friends are alive. Except Asterin’s triumph has come at a devastating cost – forced to choose between a lifelong friend and true love, she’s lost both. But the shadows in Axaria have begun to stir once again, and no one is more starved for vengeance than Asterin….
Yet it soon becomes clear that the shadows plaguing her kingdom are just the beginning. Another realm coexists with the mortal world – the beautiful, nightmarish Immortal Realm ruled by the wicked God of Shadow, King Eoin. When their paths entwine, Asterin realizes that Eoin possesses exactly what – and who – she seeks most. And the fates of all those that she holds dear – Orion, her missing Guardian; Luna, the friend she could not save; Harry, the demon who saved them all; and Quinlan, her beloved broken prince – ultimately rest in the god’s hands.

But in a world of magic, not everyone is always as they seem. When shocking discoveries threaten everything and everyone Asterin has sworn her life to protect, she won’t be the only person forced to make a choice…a choice that will change the mortal world forever.
And maybe even destroy it.

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.

God Storm, the second book in Coco Ma’s Shadow Frost trilogy

Following all your favorite characters along with some new friends, we are taken to new realms.

At just 19 years old, author Coco Ma has given the world quite a compelling fantasy world. I have been waiting since the first book, Shadow Frost, came out last year, we’ve been for the highly adventurous God Storm, the sequel.

God Storm, the second book in Coco Ma’s Shadow Frost trilogy 
Following all your favorite characters along with some new friends, we are taken to new realms.

Darkness is already making its reappearance in Axaria, dark magic is causing havoc amongst the people. Asterin Falenhart should be celebrating she has liberated her imprisoned mother, and defeated the false queen Priscilla.

Everything has come with a heavy price for Queen of Axaria, and her friends. The loss of so many, Orion is now lost in the immortal world. Asterin is still reeling the effects of some her betrayal decisions. That being that she chose Quinlan, over Luna.

This installment you can see the authors writing maturity in full force. There’s more depth and character development. There is a lotto be said when an author is able to narrate multiple storylines and POV’s.                   The world building is vast, with break neck speed aventure and creative magic.   

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram 

Coco Ma is a Canadian author and pianist. At the age of fifteen, she wrote the first book of the Shadow Frost Trilogy and hasn’t looked back since. After learning the piano during her childhood, she has performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a precollege diploma in piano performance from the Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University.
At this point, she wishes she could mention having a dog or a small dragon, except pets (and happiness, apparently) are tragically prohibited at her dormitories. When she isn’t writing, practicing piano, or wreaking havoc, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.

October 14th

What Makes Patri – Main Interview

October 15th

Bookish Looks – Promotional Post + Instagram
Willow Writes And Reads – Review + Instagram

October 16th

Mabookyard – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Life – Review + Mood Board
readingmypages – Promotional Post

October 17th

Gwendalyn’s Books – Review
Books and Zebras – Review

October 18th

Ashton Reed – Review
Ya It’s Lit – Review + Favourite Quotes + Instagram

October 19th

Blonde And Bookish – Promotional Post
Nay’s Pink Bookshelf – Review + Favourite Quotes + Mood Board + Instagram

October 20th

Bumbleebeela – Promotional Post
Crazykidjournal – Review + Instagram
readerofthewrittenword – Review

A Golden Fury Review and Giveaway

Hello Wicked Babes;

I am so excited to have been one of many wonderful Bloggers taking part in the A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe.

Thank you @tbrbeyondtours

@samanthacohoe! Thank you @wednesdaybooks for my gorgeous arc. 

A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release Date: October 13, 2020

Published by: Wednesday Books

Find it: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository, Indigo


In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the streets of Oxford and London come to life, and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final chapter.

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists. But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone.

But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

Thank you @tbrbeyondtours & @samanthacohoe for having me on this tour!

Tour Schedule

Enter To Win This Amazing Giveaway

Giveaway (US Only):
One finished copy of A Golden Fury. US only! This giveaway ends on October 20th

Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

-All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.


Beware The Alchemist Curse.

“No illness, no want, no death. The Philosopher’s Stone gave everything humankind wanted but did not believe we could have in this life”

“Men are always willing to believe in the stupidity of women”

-Samantha Cohoe, A Golden Fury

This  tale begins in Normandy, France 1792, which is a pivotal time for France, with the French Revolution. English born Thea Hop,longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous alchemist mother, Marguerite. On the verge of a historic formula breakthrough of the fabled the Philosopher’s Stone. Madness takes hold and

Thea’s mother destroys much of the lab and work. Seizing some of her mothers cryptic notes, she realizes how close her mother really was in her chemistry work.

With ever present radical French convention, Her mothers patron sends Theo to England to a Father she’s never met. Vellacott is Thea’s father, another alchemist and professor at Oxford.

This was a faced moving historical fiction that has rich magical realism. Lies and deceit, will have glued to these pages. To me the author did a fabulous job setting up the plot line. The pacing was perfect, allowing the reader to experience the full historical elements. The detail descriptions of the places, puts you front and center. The main POV’s is a strong heroine, who actions are wonderfully depicted for the time period. Her voice is strong, and I loved her! The sub characters were also well developed and three dimensional.

This was an exceptional book for me. The author did a phenomenal job in creating a stunning Historical Ya with Magical Realism. The romance was just enough not to have you loose focus on what the tale is really about.

I highly recommend this book to family and friends!

A little History 

21 September, a Proclamation Of Abolisabolish Of The Monarchy,

French convention goes into effect and the French first republic is established, effective the following day.

26 December the trial of Louis XVI of France begins.

Samantha Cohoe was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She attended Thomas Aquinas College, a Great Books college in California, and graduated with a BA in liberal arts. After studying Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School, she decided academia wasn’t for her.

In the midst of marriage, child-bearing, and the identity crisis that followed, she rediscovered her early love of writing and adverbs. In 2011, she moved with her family to Denver, where she currently divides her time between teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs.

Find her here: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice

Hello and welcome to my stop on the stunning



Puppetmaster’s Apprentice
by Lisa DeSelm
Published by Page Street Kids
Releasing on October 13th, 2020
YA FICTION—Fantasy, Retelling

Book Depository


Pinocchio meets Frankenstein in this dark fairy tale retelling where a young girl is commissioned to build an assassin for a dark-hearted tyrant.

Impressed by the work of the puppetmaster and his apprentice, Tavia’s ruler, The Margrave, has ordered dozens of life-size marionette soldiers to be sent to Wolfspire Hall. When the orders for more soldiers come in with increasingly urgent deadlines, the puppetmaster’s health suffers and Pirouette, his daughter and protégé, is left to build in his stead. But there is something far more twisted brewing at Wolfspire—the Margrave’s son wants Pirouette to create an assassin. And he wants her to give it life.

With Tavia teetering on the brink of war and her father dying in the dungeons, Pirouette has no choice but to accept. Racing against the rise of the next blue moon—the magic that will bring her creations to life—she can’t help but wonder, is she making a masterpiece…or a monster?

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

The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice Review by Lisa DeSelm, is a beautiful and immersive fantasy is like no other. Sometimes you come across a book that leaves you in a state of mind.. where you say gosh I have to purchase this little treasure of a book in Hardback. No wait I have to have a-signed copy..

That is my feelings right now concerning this darkly fractured fairy tale. It’s that good!

Seriously why hasn’t this book getting more Pr ? I don’t understand why? I that there an insatiable amount of new releases for this October 2020. So maybe that’s the case.

But Guys you might want to really check this out!

As the story goes a renowned puppet maker living in Tavia…

Seven years ago Puppet Master Gephardt, was given an incredible opportunity.

Yes it was forbidden, with a ruling that was heralded far and wide against elemental spells. He was incredibly lonely and his wife died taking the only chance of ever having a child of his own.

The old, elemental spells were lost, their legacy mere whispered warnings from mothers’ lips. Or so the puppetmaster had thought.

Pirouette, was born from wood brought to life under the light of a blue moon.

These are the blue moon’s words,” the woman rasped.
“Take heed now, for there’s always a cost, and I’m not repeat myself.
“Bitter moon And solemn blue,
blood of earth and sap and dew,
Wake a second life anew”

Pirouette, was born from wood brought to life under the light of a blue moon.

Eighteen years later Pirouette has become her father’s apprentice, working alongside her father. Piro’s is also a standing member of the town’s Maker’s Guild. This is a tight nit group of apprentices and artisans that have become a sort of family for both Piro, and her father. In a series of events her father health deteriorates, this jeopardizes a large order of life-size wooden soldiers. Faced with the challenge to complete the order and keeping her secret beginnings from coming to light. Along with some evilness that is afoot with creating assassins.

Lisa DeSelm debut is stunning and truly a great tale. With seamless execution and and excellent heroine that you can root for. The sheer cleverness is what captivated me. The prose and style is reminiscent of a long ago fairy tale handed down from generations.

Piro’s also a member of the town’s Maker’s Guild, a group of artisans and apprentices that are friends and chosen family. As she and her father rush to complete a large order of life-size wooden soldiers for the Margrave, their territory’s ruler, her father’s health deteriorates, and Piro must complete his work or suffer dire consequences. In addition to intricate details and nuanced characters and relationships, DeSelm aptly seeds the plot with a wealth of themes, among them the cycle of life and death, the unease of loneliness, and the necessity of reliance on others. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Crockett, TriadaUS Literary

Lisa DeSelm debut novel eamless execution, you find yourself immersed within these remarkable pages.

The characters were thought out, three dimensional. aI found they were people I could connect to, and I cheered for.

lisadeselm (2)

Lisa DeSelm lives happily with her husband and two daughters in the wilds of suburban South Bend, Indiana. When she is not writing, you will find Lisa working as an art director and designer, most likely daydreaming with a cup of tea in hand. The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice is her first novel.

October 14th

Turn the Page Tours – Opening
Gwendalyn_Books – Blogger’s Choice
Mina the Fangirl – Blogger’s Choice

October 15th

Ya.Its.Lit – Blogger’s Choice
The Reading Chemist – Blogger’s Choice
Srbetler – Blogger’s Choice
Prutha_Reads – Blogger’s Choice

October 16th

Rampant_Reading – Blogger’s Choice
Simply Beccamee – Blogger’s Choice
Starlight Reads – Blogger’s Choice
Skygoddess1 – Blogger’s Choice

October 17th

The Urban Reader – Blogger’s Choice
Adventurous Bookworm – Blogger’s Choice
Leann Reads Books – Blogger’s Choice
Metaphors and Misc – Blogger’s Choice

October 18th

Lauren’s Boookshelf – Blogger’s Choice
Aprajput08 – Blogger’s Choice
Avni Reads – Blogger’s Choice

October 19th

The B00kreader – Blogger’s Choice
Popreads – Blogger’s Choice
Stacy Reads Books – Blogger’s Choice

October 20th

Words Buried Within Us – Blogger’s Choice
Wishful Endings – Blogger’s Choice
Muse of Dreams – Blogger’s Choice
Abronxlatinareads – Blogger’s Choice

Up for grabs during this bookstagram tour will be three (3) finished copies of The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice by Lisa DeSelm! To enter to win, follow along on the tour. This giveaway will begin on October 14th and end on October 20th. It will be open to US residents only.

His Castilian Hawk

Hello Historical Fiction Lovers

Today I have a very special book to share with you

His Castilian Hawk

(The Castilian Saga, Book 1)

By Anna Belfrage

@abelfrageauthor @maryanneyarde

 #newrelease #medieval #HistoricalFiction #HisCastilianHawk #CoffeePotBookClub

His Castilian Hawk

(The Castilian Saga, Book 1)

By Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: September 28, 2020

Publisher: Matador (paperback) & Timelight Press (ebook)

Page Length: 396 pages (paperback) 335 pages (ebook)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Buy Links:



For bastard-born Robert FitzStephan, being given Eleanor d’Outremer in marriage is an honour. For Eleanor, this forced wedding is anything but a fairy tale. 

Robert FitzStephan has served Edward Longshanks loyally since the age of twelve. Now he is riding with his king to once and for all bring Wales under English control. 

Eleanor d’Outremer—Noor to family—lost her Castilian mother as a child and is left entirely alone when her father and brother are killed. When ordered to wed the unknown Robert FitzStephan, she has no choice but to comply. 

Two strangers in a marriage bed is not easy. Things are further complicated by Noor’s blood-ties to the Welsh princes and by covetous Edith who has warmed Robert’s bed for years. 

Robert’s new wife may be young and innocent, but he is soon to discover that not only is she spirited and proud, she is also brave. Because when Wales lies gasping and Edward I exacts terrible justice on the last prince and his children, Noor is determined to save at least one member of the House of Aberffraw from the English king.

Will years of ingrained service have Robert standing with his king or will he follow his heart and protect his wife, his beautiful and fierce Castilian hawk?


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.

His Castillan Hawk
The Castilian Saga, Book 1
Anna Belfrage


His Castillan Hawk,  is an exceptional first installment in a new historical fiction series by the very talented Anna Belfrage.

The story is set in the late 13th century during the reign of the ruthless Edward I. Known as, Longshanks. Wales is almost at its knees with the crushing brute force of Edward l. With the fall of the Welsh prince Llewelyn, it’s only a matter of time that his brother, Dafdd ap Grufffydd the oathbreaker is obliterated. This would complete the fall of the last in the House of Aberffraw.

Robert FitzStephen, an illegitimate son of a nobleman, who has been steadfast man-at-arms to Edward l. Robert had no intention of marrying, not until the King gave him the young heiress born Eleanor d’Outremer {Noor}. She comes with extensive lads and a keep. Her relationship to Edward’s Castillan queen, and that to the Welsh royal family is only going to complicate things. The death of her father and brother she a captivating prize for anyone.

In a world where loyalty is tested, as King Edward doesn’t allow for anything except complete submission. Noor and Robert’s marriage will come to be tested over and over. Along with with political loyalties there is Robert’s long standing mistress, the fiery fair-haired Edith. She may prove to be more than a nuisance, as doesn’t want to relinquish her hold on Robert.

Anna Belfrage is one of the few writers that is able to balance rich tidbits of political details along with a compelling romantic storyline. This helps the reader feel invested in time period. We see the dynamics of English king along with the people of Wales, that Edward ultimately conquers.

The world building is luscious, Belfrage ability to transport the reader into this turbulent time period was incredible. Character development and complex relationships, and the setting and this medieval era are brought to life with unique details. The battle scenes were wonderful depicted and realistic. blood and gore, gave you the feeling that you were alongside Robert as they subdued the opposition.

I was on the edge of my seat with this riveting and intensely entertaining plot line. The authors seamless narration is impeccable making this book a fast read one that I completely inhaled. Once again Anna Belfrage mastered the art of brilliant narration.

A book I highly recommend this book to family and friends. I am excited to read the next installment in this stunning series.

Anna Belfrage


Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.  


More recently, Anna has published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. While she loved stepping out of her comfort zone (and will likely do so again )she is delighted to be back in medieval times in her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love.   


Connect with Anna:

Website  Twitter  Facebook  Amazon   

Author Page.


Kingdom of Sea and Stone

Hello and welcome to my stop on the
Kingdom of Sea and Stone

by Mara Rutherford, hosted by, TBR And Beyond

@tbrbeyondtours & @maurarutherfordwrites

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing date: October 6th, 2020

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo

Ever since Nor was forced to go to a nearby kingdom in her sister’s place, she’s wanted nothing more than to return to the place and people she loves. But when her wish comes true, she soon finds herself cast out from both worlds, with a war on the horizon.

As an old enemy resurfaces more powerful than ever, Nor will have to keep the kingdom from falling apart with the help of Prince Talin and Nor’s twin sister, Zadie. There are forces within the world more mysterious than any of them ever guessed—and they’ll need to stay alive long enough to conquer them…

Please check the website (www.tbrbeyondtours.com) to follow along with the tour schedule!

Tour Schedule:


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 is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers

-To give away further plot would be to lessen the pleasure for readers

Mara Rutherford next installment in her widely popular duology.

Kingdom of Sea and Stone is the sequel to Crown of Coral and Pearl. This action-packed tale, is a interwoven fantasy, with politics. centered ultimately on the incredible bonds of sisterhood.

Incredible world building and a plot driven storyline. This page turner takes off immediately after the aftermath of Crown of Coral and Pearl. The events following Nor has escaped Ilara leaving her beloved Prince Talin behind to escape to Varenia with her twin sister Zadie.

Mara Rutherford masterly sets character conflit into a appealing young adult fantasy. That holds the reader attention from start to finish. A plot fueled by certitude, the author creates enduring heroines, and heroes. The character development from the first book to this one is phenomenal. The sub characters are worth noting along with focus on the sisters relationship being the driving force within this book.

All in all it was a perfect follow up book in this engaging fantasy ya dualogy.

Looking forward to reading more from this talented author!

-US Only –

Finished copy of Kingdom of Sea and Stone. This giveaway will end on October 13th


Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world along with her Marine-turned-diplomat husband. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London. When she’s not writing or chasing after her two sons, she can usually be found pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone, whether at a traditional Russian banya or an Incan archaeological site. She is the author of CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL (2019), its sequel, KINGDOM OF SEA AND STONE (2020), and LUMINOUS (2021).

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

October 6th
TBR and Beyond – Welcome Post
Rambling Mads – Review
The Book Dutchesses – Promotional Post

October 7th
Book Lover’s Book Reviews – Review & Favourite Quotes
Fangirl Pixie Blog – Promotional Post

October 8th
Rhonda With A Book – Creative Post Exploration of Fairy Tales Themes
The Little Mouse That Reads – Review, Playlist & Mood Board
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review & Favourite Quotes

October 9th
Books with Joy – Review & Favourite Quotes
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review
Stocked Up on Starbooks – Promomotional Post

October 10th
Witch’s Brooding Thoughts – Review, Favourite Quotes & Mood Board
Kait Plus Books – Promotional Post & Creative Post
Balancing Books and Beauties – Review & Playlist

October 11th
Thousands of Pages – Review & Mood Board
The Writer’s Alley – Review & Favourite Quotes
Young at Heart Reader – Promotional Post

October 12th
We Write at Dawn – Review
Gwendalyn’s Books – Review
One More Chapter – Review & Favourite Quotes

October 6th
TBR and Beyond (Blogger’s choice)
Simplybeccamee (Review)
The Book Dutchesses (Blogger’s choice)

October 7th
Book Lover’s Book Reviews (Blogger’s choice)

October 8th
Rhonda With A Book (Blogger’s choice)
The Little Mouse That Reads (Blogger’s choice)
bookish_girl_4life (Review)

October 9th
Books with Joy (Blogger’s choice)
Blonde & Bookish (Review)

October 10th
Witch’s Brooding Thoughts (Blogger’s choice)
Kait Plus Books (Blogger’s choice)
Balancing Books and Beauties (Blogger’s choice)

October 11th
Thousands of Pages (Blogger’s choice)
The Writer’s Alley (Blogger’s choice)
Young at Heart Reader (Blogger’s choice)

October 12th
colbywilkens (Review)
Gwendalyn’s Books (Blogger’s choice)

In The Lion’s Den |Tour + Review|

Hello Friends,

Thank you Barbara Taylor Bradford @btbnovelist and @suzyapprovedbooktours for having me in this fantastic book tour {partner}⁣

91FE51BD-E558-4DFD-8A0A-B93FACE007F5Barbara Taylor Bradford
Release Date Oct. 6, 2020

About The Book:

James Lionel Falconer has risen quickly from a mere shop worker to being the right-hand man of Henry Malvern, head of the most prestigious shipping company in London. With Malvern’s daughter Alexis running away to the country after a terrible tragedy and refusing to return, James’ ascent to head of the company seems inevitable. But even a charmed life like James’ is not without its setbacks.

A terrible fire threatens to end his merchant career before it’s had a chance to truly begin. Mrs. Ward, James’ former paramour, has a secret that could change his life forever. And his distaste for Alexis Malvern is slowly growing into feelings of quite a different sort. Can James continue to be the master of his own fate, or will all of his charm, intelligence, and wit finally fail him when he has to enter the lion’s den?

From New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford comes the highly anticipated second book in the House of Falconer saga.

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

In the Lion’s Den

A House of Falconer Novel

This the incredible second installment in Bradford’s House of Falconer series about a retail dynasty.

Set in Victorian times in England 1889-1892

James Lionel Falconer has now risen the ranks and now is by side with the shipping magnate, Henry Malvern of London’s Malvern & Malvern Co. His climb from a mere shop worker to being the right hand man of Henry Malvern hasn’t come without it fair share of drama.

James Lionel Faulkner has more responsibility as he’s doing everything he can to reach the top of the prestigious shipping company in England. Climbing from a mere shop worker to being the right hand man of Henry Malvern doesn’t come without its set of challenges.

Henry is tasked with bringing Henry Malvern’s daughter, Alexis, back into the business fold. She is reluctant after suffering the the loss of her fiancée.

Malvern’s health is deteriorating, and in a series of events Percy Malvern is caught stealing from the wine business in LeHavre. Henry job is assistant to a contractor and is helping build an arcade that will hold businesses. There ares some dire events, and revelations that will keep on your toes.

In all of this Henry still has time to dream of one day opening his own shop.

There is a lot of twist and you find a vast amount of characters, that play out perfectly with this stunning plot.

Rich with vibrant atmospheric details makes for an epic historical fiction that is nothing short of outstanding. With descriptive prose you will find yourself amongst the well-do of intriguing London society.

The legendary Barbara Taylor Bradford does not disappoint in this second book of the House of Falconer. I excited to read the next book when it’s released.

Bradford was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire (UK) as the only child of Freda and Winston Taylor. She grew up in the Leeds suburb of Armley and after Town Street Church of England School worked in the typing pool at the Yorkshire Evening Post before going into journalism. By the age of twenty she was the fashion editor of Woman’s Own Magazine and an editor and columnist on Fleet Street for the London Evening News.

Bradford’s books have sold more than ninety one (91) million copies worldwide in more than ninety (90) countries and forty (40) languages. Ten (10) of her books have been made into miniseries and television movies, making her one of the best-selling authors over the last 30 years.

In April of 2003, Mrs. Bradford was inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America alongside Mark Twain, Langston Hughes and Dr. Seuss. She was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours list for her contributions to literature. Her original manuscripts are archived at the Brotherton Library at Leeds University, alongside the works of the Bronte sisters. In 2009, Barbara’s publishers began a worldwide 30th anniversary celebration of A Woman of Substance. The first annual Woman of Substance Awards took place on September 10th 2009 at the Dorchester Hotel in London. She lives in New York City with her husband, of 51 years, television producer Robert Bradford.

Her official website is: www.barbarataylorbradford.com

Social Media:



Twitter: @BTBNovelist

Bloggers On Tour:

Oct. 1st – Nurse Bookie https://instagram.com/nurse_bookie

Oct. 1st -Lindas Book Obsession https://www.facebook.com/lindasbookobsession

Oct. 3rd – The Reading Chemist https://www.instagram.com/thereadingchemist/

Oct. 5th – Reading With Nicole https://instagram.com/reading_with_nicole

Oct. 6th – Marisa Gothie – https://www.instagram.com/marisagbooks

Oct. 7th – Gwendalyn Books https://instagram.com/gwendalyn_books_

Oct. 9th -Really Into This https://instagram.com/reallyintothis

Oct 15th – Bookapotamus https://instagram.com/bookapotamus

Oct. 16th -Cover 2 Cover Cafe https://instagram.com/cover2covercafe

Oct. 16th Bibliolau https://instagram.com/bibliolau19

Oct. 17th – Carol Doscher https://instagram.com/carol_doscher_reader

Oct. 17th –  Sealed With A Book https://instagram.com/sealedwithabook

Oct. 20th -Novels and Latte Book Club –https://www.facebook.com/groups/357651988042629

Oct. 23rd – The Mary Reader https://instagram.com/themaryreader

Oct 29th – Jennifer Tar Heel Reader – http://www.jennifertarheelreader.com


Oct. 30th – Amy Lynn Lifestyle https://instagram.com/amylynnlifestyle

Nov. 1st – Lost In A Book After SW https://instagram.com/lostinabookaftersw

Nov. 5th –Audio Killed The Bookmark – https://instagram.com/beritaudiokilledthebookmark

Nov. 9th –   Tales From The Book Dragon https://instagram.com/tales.from.the.book.dragon

Nov. 12th – Jackie Loves Books https://instagram.com/jackieslovesbooks

Tudor Corsair (The Elizabethan Series Book 1)

Today, I am delighted to bring you the news of a new release from the author Tony Riches. Who is happens to be the author of the best-selling Tudor Trilogy

Publication date: 5th August 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction 

Publisher: Preseli Press Ltd.

Print Length: 344 pages


Devon sailor Francis Drake sets out on a journey of adventure.

Drake learns of routes used to transport Spanish silver and gold, and risks his life in an audacious plan to steal a fortune.

Queen Elizabeth is intrigued by Drake and secretly encourages his piracy. Her unlikely champion becomes a national hero, sailing around the world in the Golden Hind and attacking the Spanish fleet.

King Philip of Spain has enough of Drake’s plunder and orders an armada to threaten the future of England.

Amazon UK
 • Amazon US • Amazon CA • Amazon AU

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. 

Drake Tudor Corsair by Tony Riches, is the first installment in his newest Elizabethan Series 

Francis Drake adventurous tale begins when he is twenty three years old. Sailing under Captain Thomas Hawkins, who happens to also be Drake’s cousin.  Leaving everything behind, he pursues his seafaring dreams on the high seas. His experience with the Spanish on this first pirating trip, sets him on a path that will ultimately be his driving force in his future.

Written in first person, Tony Riches allows the reader to see through eyes of this illustrious historical figure. We see Drake as he rises from humble obscurity to become a force to be reckoned with. He takes his life in his own hands and rises through the ranks to become one of the most notorious sea captains. 

This absorbing book allows the reader an intimate look at Sir Francis Drake’s incredible dogged determination that ensured he rose to the top as one of the most feared sea captains. He hunted down and raided every Spanish ship that came he came across his path. His exploits made him a legend and hero with Queen Elizabeth l, and the English. His dominance also led to his being known to Spanish as El Draque.
We are taken along through his trials, tribulations and rewards for procuring vast amount wealth for the English crown. 
Francis Drake comes to life in under Riches discerning eye, with meticulous researched details you will immersed into this enjoyable storyline.

Mastery written, the author transports you with his vibrant atmospheric imagery.  I was completely drawn into Francis Drakes escapades, as he takes on the English’s sea rival in this swashbuckling riveting book. 

Even though he becomes wealthy and a knighted subject, he is never actually excepted amongst nobility. A son of a Devin tenant farmer, along with his relatives that exhibit pirate characteristics as they are driven to seek out and blunder other ships to expand the English presence on the seas. 

This was by far my favorites of Tony Riches reads. This thought provoking novel is the perfect example that makes Tony Riches an extraordinary historical fiction author. If you are lover of intelligently invigorating books, this is by far one you do not want to pass you by.

This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers

-Historical  Note-

English admiral Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe from 1577-1580, helped defeat the Spanish Armada of 1588 and was the most renowned seaman of the Elizabethan era.

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess, Brandon – Tudor Knight and The Secret Diary Of Eleanor Cobham. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches


Drake Tudor Corsair

Publication date: 5th August 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction 

Publisher: Preseli Press Ltd.

Print Length: 344 pages


Devon sailor Francis Drake sets out on a journey of adventure.

Drake learns of routes used to transport Spanish silver and gold, and risks his life in an audacious plan to steal a fortune.

Queen Elizabeth is intrigued by Drake and secretly encourages his piracy. Her unlikely champion becomes a national hero, sailing around the world in the Golden Hind and attacking the Spanish fleet.

King Philip of Spain has enough of Drake’s plunder and orders an armada to threaten the future of England.

Amazon UK
 • Amazon US • Amazon CA • Amazon AU

Tony Riches

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess, Brandon – Tudor Knight and The Secret Diary Of Eleanor Cobham. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches


The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew Review + Giveaway

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of,

The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew by, Denise Heinze, which is being hosted by HFBT!

The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew
by Denise Heinze

Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Blackstone Publishing
Hardcover, eBook, AudioBook; 176 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Determined to set the historical record straight, and clear her conscience, Temperance Flowerdew — the wife of Virginia’s first two governors — puts quill to paper, recounting the hardships that nearly brought the Jamestown colony to its knees, and the extraordinary sacrifice of her servant girl, Lily.

When she steps aboard the Falcon in 1609, Temperance Flowerdew was not only setting sail from England to the distant shores of America, she was embarking upon a future of opportunity. She didn’t yet know how she would make her mark, but in this new place she could do or be whatever she wanted.

Willing as she is to brave this new world, Temperance is utterly ill-equipped to survive the wilderness; all she knows is how to live inside the pages of adventure and philosophy books. Loyally at her side, Lily helps Temperance weather pioneer life. A young woman running from lifelong accusations of witchcraft, Lily finds friendship with Temperance and an acceptance of her psychic gifts. Together, they forge paths within the community: Temperance attempts to advise the makeshift government, while Lily experiences the blossoming of first love.

But as the harsh winter approaches, Lily intuitively senses a darkness creep over the colony and the veneer of civilized life threatens to fall away — negotiations with the Indians grow increasingly hostile and provisions become scarce. Lily struggles to keep food on the table by foraging in the woods and being resourceful. Famine could mean the end of days. It’s up to Lily to save them both, but what sacrifice will be enough to survive?

A transporting and evocative story, The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is a fiercely hopeful novel — a portrait of two intrepid women who choose to live out their dreams of a future more free than the past.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


‘Denise Heinze has written a stirring novel about America’s first pioneers, with particular attention to the women whose pluck and forbearance made it all possible. Temperance Flowerdew’s ‘Brief and True Report’ retells the story of America’s first colony, established by English settlers in 1609, all but destroyed by Powhatan Indians twenty years later, then rescued from oblivion by remnants of Britain’s exploratory fleet. In that saga, Heinze manages to preserve the formal language of the period with a storytelling appetite for narrative, complete with native savagery, thwarted romance, the harsh realities of seventeenth-century ocean travel, and the unpredictable currents that made such explorations so daunting and so frequently fatal.’ –C. Michael Curtis, Fiction Editor Emeritus, The Atlantic

‘With a poet’s tongue and painter’s eye, Denise Heinze summons the wonder, horror, and selfless grit of the women who pioneered a new world. Temperance Flowerdew makes compulsive reading.’ –Elizabeth Cobbs, bestselling author of The Hamilton Affair

‘With careful research, and lyrical and evocative writing, Denise Heinze’s The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew transports the reader to the harrowing seventeenth-century Jamestown settlement. The richly imagined story of two pioneering women who escape a stifling old-world existence, only to face a tempest at sea, and land in a new world of hunger, thirst, and desperation, is captivating from first page to last. Temperance and Lily represent the untold stories of the heroic American Founding Mothers.’ –Tracey Enerson Wood, author of The Engineer’s Wife

‘The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew by Denise Heinze is a vivid novel about the winter of 1609-10 in Jamestown, Virginia, America’s first colony. A relentless drought preceded the winter, and a siege by natives of the region blocked access to food. Through the voices of Temperance and her housemaid and friend, Lily, Heinze takes us into the desperate days of what became known as ‘the Starving Time’ in sometimes ruthless detail. This richly researched novel, in an elegant narrative using the vernacular of the seventeenth century, is a must-read for those who love historical fiction and for all who enjoy a compelling drama well told. I read this captivating book straight through.’ –Anna Jean Mayhew, author of Tomorrow’s Bread, The Dry Grass of August, and a third novel in progress.

‘A literary thriller. This remarkable novel infuses the history of the Jamestown experiment with the tale of two women, a mistress and her servant, who find in one another the full measure of sacrifice and survival. This story is spun of silk and rendered in blood.’ –Elaine Neil Orr, author of Swimming Between Worlds

‘In this vividly imagined historical novel, Denise Heinze gives voice to one of the few survivors of the darkest period (1609-10) in the life of the Jamestown colony. The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is not only an unforgettable account of the extreme hardships faced by the colonists but also the moving story of two remarkable young women who faced the challenges with courage and ingenuity.’ –Nancy Grayson, executive editor emeritus, University of Georgia Press

‘Denise Heinze skillfully resurrects a forgotten life, and puts her heroine where she belongs — at the center, not the sidelines, of early Jamestown history. Wonderfully inventive, briskly plotted, and rich with historical detail, this fact-filled novel will delight readers of historical fiction and women’s history alike.’ –Kate Bolick, bestselling author of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own

‘At the end of Denise Heinze’s compelling new novel, main character Temperance Flowerdew wonders ‘what goes missing when the women are nowhere to be found as actors in history.’ Heinze has created a character whose life answers that question. A product of the English landed gentry, Flowerdew endures the Starving Time in the early days of the Jamestown colony. Surrounded by desperation and death, she manages to prevail, eventually documenting her story of survival and salvation using a quill from a Christmas goose. Although this book is a novel, it is a powerful, truthful, richly detailed portrayal of the daily struggle to survive in early seventeenth-century Virginia.’ –Fred Sauceman, associate professor, East Tennessee State University

‘An enthralling tale of female strength and courage against seemingly impossible odds. Denise Heinze’s Temperance is a complex, nuanced character (as is her maid, Lily, a real treat), and the world we see through her eyes is fascinating and terrifying in equal measure. The research is impeccable but sits lightly on the narrative. The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is more than an engaging tale of a pivotal time in America’s history — it draws the women who lived it out of the shadows and, finally, lets them take their rightful place at the center of the story.’ –Meg Keneally, author of Fled

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 tale of a well determined young woman Temperance Flowerdew sailed from England aboard Falcon in 1609. This courageous wife of Virginia’s first two governors extensively depicts the hardships that nearly brought the Jamestown colony to its knees. This is a stunning storyline, written in a captivating way to draw the reader in, and keeps you immersed right to the very end.

A story of strength and fortitude and ultimately sacrifice. Drawing on the historical events the author Denise Heinze bring to life of Jamestown and the devastating winter of 1610, dubbed “the Starving Time”

This thought provoking book with its meticulously researched content makes for a stunning historical fiction. Seen through the eyes of the women who endured this incredible hardships. Temperance Flowerdew does the unthinkable when a time women are meant to be silent. She uses ink and paper and documents this horrific experience that she and her maid lily experienced in that dreadful winter in Jamestown.

Temperance Flowerdew goes on to be the wife of Virginia’s first two govern

The author, Denise Heinz, is a descendant of Louisa May Alcott.

Denise Heinze, a former literature professor and a PhD graduate of Duke University, writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She is the author of the novel Sally St. Johns and her work has appeared in Now and Then, Thought and Action, Reunions, Wow! Women on Writing, THEMA literary journal, and Gemini Magazine; her story The Grid, was a quarter-finalist for the Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award. The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is her second novel and was a finalist for the University of New Orleans Press Publishing Lab Prize. A descendant of Louisa May Alcott, she lives in North Carolina.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Monday, September 21
Review at The b00kreader
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, September 22
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Wednesday, September 23
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Thursday, September 24
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, September 25
Review at Bookworlder

Monday, September 28
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, September 29
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Wednesday, September 30
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, October 1
Review at Bri’s Book Nook

Friday, October 2
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, October 3
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, October 5
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 6
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, October 7
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Thursday, October 8
Review at A Book and a Latte
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, October 9
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 paperback copies of The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Temperance Flowerdew


Happy Monday

Today on My Blog I am reviewing







GENRE: Fantasy


PUBLISHED: June 2, 2020
PAGES: 498


You can order the book from:


 Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping)


An ancient evil resurrected . . .

A millennia old bargain comes due . . .

When two blades clash, the third will fall, and the fate of all will be jeopardized. To save Lozaria, the failures of the past must be atoned for by a new generation of heroes. The time has come for mortals to cast off sight and, in doing so, truly come to see . . .

Victory is never absolute.

Seven centuries ago, the forces of order won the Illyriite War on the plains of Har’muth. Darmatus and Rabban Aurelian slew their elder brother, Sarcon, the despotic architect of the conflict, then sacrificed themselves to banish the cataclysmic vortex opened with his dying breath. The first advent of the Oblivion Well was thwarted. Even without their vanished gods, the seven races of Lozaria proved themselves capable of safeguarding their world.

Or so the story goes.

The year is now 697 A.B.H (After the Battle of Har’muth). Though war itself remains much the same, the weapons with which it is waged have evolved. Airships bearing powerful cannons ply the skies, reducing the influence of mages and their spells. Long range communication has brought far flung regions of Lozaria closer than ever before. At the center of this technological revolution are the three Terran states of Darmatia, Rabban, and Sarconia, who have fought a near ceaseless campaign of 700 years in an attempt to best each other. The roots of their enmity lie buried beneath the wasteland of Har’muth, a place all three nations consider best forgotten.

However, an ancient power sealed within Har’muth has not forgotten them, and the descendants of those who fought on that field must now take a stand to rectify the mistakes of the past


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

A meticulously blended world, where science fiction and magical elements come together to create a stunning book.

Christopher Russell, Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth  is the first installment in an breathtaking epic fantasy series. Setting the grande stage with an in-depth prologue, the reader gets first hand knowledge of the back history for Aurelian Brothers- Darmatus, Rabban and Sarcon. This is one book that completely took me by surprise, with its three dimensional characters, that I was fully in vested in. I was absorbed in its expansive storyline, which made for a highly compulsive read.

This was a fast-paced, tension-filled, edge-of-your-seat thrilling read!  I couldn’t flip these pages fast enough! I absolutely loved Christopher Russell’s narration, as it pulled me in from page one and kept me fully captivated and intrigued until the very end. To me the plot line flows with perfect pace allowing me to take everything in. Sometimes fantasy authors are to rushed with trying to get everything crammed in. But not Russell, he gives you through detailed history, which is the backbone to the story. This book sets up for an incredible series and will give the knowledgeable of the characters reasons and their driving force.

A sprawling tale that takes off with three opposing brothers, who have wrecked the peace and stability of Lozaria. The three nation’s, seven races that have been insatiable feuding close to a millennia, find themselves once again at the risk of repeating history. When the imprisoned brother Sarcon awakens, three uniquely different students Matteo, Vallen and Syltte find themselves tasked with a riveting quest.

This captivating novel, with stunning atmospheric imagery and clever innovative world building with technology, magic systems, religion. The authors writing takes you on a journey of unforeseen twists and turns. The book checks all my boxes, and delivers a compelling adventurous quest for an enjoyable reading experience.

I am waiting impatiently for the authors next installment in this fantasy series.


Prize: One of five signed paperback copies of Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth by Christopher Russell
Starts: September 20, 2020 at 12:00am EDT
Ends: September 27, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT
Restrictions: US Only

You can also enter:. 👉🏻  HERE

Christopher Russell

Christopher Russell (native of Williamsburg, VA) is a 27-year-old mechanical and aerospace engineer (graduate of the University of Virginia) who has loved reading since the day he picked up a book and writing since he could scrawl his first letters. After voraciously consuming titles from every genre—ranging from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings—he decided to combine the expertise from his professional education, passions, and Christian faith into a fantasy epic bridging the gap between magic and science. He currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his loyal dog, Vallen, named after the protagonist of his first work. For behind-the-scenes information on all of Christopher Russell’s works, visit






Storytellers On Tour Presents: Divinity's Twilight: Rebirth by Christopher Russell



Whispers & Wonder


Gwendalyn’s Books
Beneath A Thousand Skies


I Can Has Books?


jea reads
The Writer’s Alley




The Bookwyrm’s Guide to the Galaxy
The Grimdragon


RockStarlit BookAsylum

PAIRANESI —Book Review—

So who is ready for Autumn… for sweater weather, hot chocolate, scary movies, pumpkin spice scented/flavored things, flannel weather, cozy cool nights!


By Susanna Clarke


Print Length :
 243 pages
Publication Date : September 15, 202
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing

New York Times Bestseller! 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe, Piranesiintroduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.

Sixteen years ago, Susanna Clarke’s debut novel became a publishing phenomenon. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

The novel, set in an alternative version of England during the Regency period, describes the partnership between two magicians and how it degenerates into rivalry. Executed in an exquisite pastiche of the precise, ironical prose of Jane Austen, it reads less like a novel than like a slice of an ongoing history; although the book is more than eight hundred pages long, it feels as if it were a mere fragment of a fully imagined reality.

The couple’s friend the novelist Neil Gaiman—who calls Clarke his favorite living fantasy writer and gave “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” a prepublication blurb declaring it “unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years”—

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

An intricate labyrinthine of tale that will challenge you to solve the mystery of an unknown man living in an unknown world. That is a House structure filled with tidal seas, bones, statues, seashells, and many other things…

The books narration is by Piranesi, himself, we see and learn only through his eye and we only discover what he discovers.

You can only guess the puzzle but can you can’t solve it before he does.

Piranesi is triumphant return of a stellar unique writer with one of the most imaginative minds. She is exceedingly brilliant, her deliver of a storyline is incredible.

It’s really a mathematical labyrinth, one you have to crawl in and discover it’s mystery. Cleverly executed with symbols and deeply rooted with the real artist Piranesi. It will tantalize you with its brilliance.

There are books that you come across in a lifetime this is definitely one for me.

A book worth its wait, I ordered a signed edition for my own personal collection.

Something Personal.p

It was Suicide Prevention Day Thursday, September 10.

Yesterday My Niece Testified before a senate committee in Lansing Michigan to get a bill passed on mental health care in Michigan.The bill is a start.

Last year, in 2019 she lost her older brother Kevin Bingham, my nephew, https://misenate.viebit.com/vod/… She begins speaking for about 6 minutes at the 58 or 59:00 mark.

I am so Proud doesn’t of wonderful niece, Aimee Bingham Osinski, right now.

Our healthcare system is broken. We can, and have to, make it better. In my family

If not for my Nephews, for you or your loved ones!

I usually never post anything personal. Within in the last 3 years I have lost 2 of my nephews to suicide. Both struggled with debilitating mental illness mental illness .

Both were released from inpatient hospitals. They actually never wanted to be released. Knowing that their increasing mental health was degrading to the extent of losing their complete grasp of what was real. My nephews were extremely brilliant individuals, both graduated high school very, very early and one went to have his some of his beloved string theory mathematical work published.

Keven and I were only 11 months apart. We both would be celebrating our 50th birthday this year. I was born late in life. Coming from a family of five. My sister and mother were actually pregnant at the same time. When I was born I was already an aunt.

Kevin was born first, to my sister, and he was the kindest most loving child and grew up to the same as an adult. Actually both of my nephews had unusually caring hearts.

If they saw anyone struggling on the streets, they would hesitate to completely empty their pockets to anyone in need. This became a problem because it would leave them without food or rent money.

Bingham, Kevin Scott

Born January 3 1970 -Died October 12, 2019

Schizoaffective Disorder Cycles of severe symptoms are often followed by periods of improvement. Symptoms may include delusions, hallucinations, depressed episodes, and manic periods of high energy.

On Saturday October 12, 2019, Kevin Scott Bingham lost his valiant 30 year battle with mental illness. While he was cared for by some incredible people, over the last thirty years there was a sharp, continuous downturn in availability and quality of care. He was repeatedly released from hospitals well before he was stable and ready to be on his own. Kevin was born January 3, 1970 in Belleville, Michigan. He was a 1988 graduate of Saline High School and he spent the last decade of his life living in Ann Arbor.

Kevin was more than the illness that robbed him of his life and robbed his family of a brother, son, and uncle. He graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Political Science. He attended The University of Minnesota’s graduate program in Social Anthropology and Wayne State University’s MBA program. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a lifelong learner and a lover of books. Kevin was also a world traveler, living in Denmark for a year, traveling to the UK several times and backpacking across Eastern Europe just after the fall of communism. He leaves behind friends all over the world. If anything can be taken from his death it should be that people with mental illness are human, they are loved, and they deserve quality care. They should not be tossed aside and left to suffer.

Anthony Wade McDavid

Born August 26, 1987 -Died June 10, 2017

Catatonic Schizophrenia, rare severe mental disorder characterized by striking motor behaviour, typically involving either significant reductions in voluntary movement or hyperactivity and agitation. In some cases, the patient may remain in a state of almost complete immobility, often assuming statuesque positions.

Anthony Wade McDavid died on June 10, 2017 on the day of his own choosing.

Anthony graduated from the Louisiana School for Math, Science and Arts, LSU with a BS in Physics and attended University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a PhD in Theoretical Physics (his beloved String Theory). He went on to attend Duke University, but his mental illness became so debilitating that he wasn’t able to finish.

Anthony loved math and from an early age, in middle school surpassed most college professors in their mathematical abilities. At a young age he was classified genius.

Anthony graduated from the Louisiana School for Math, Science and Arts, LSU and attended University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a PhD in theoretical physic

Anthony went on to show signs of Catatonic Schizophrenia, which starting to effect his day to day life. It was horrible to watch this decline. With our nations decline in mental health care, and the United States has actually Systematically closing mental hospitals across the nation. Where do these patients go? They are sadly released into the streets of society. I’m not sure that the average individual living in the United States actually knows this is taking place. My nephews were passive individuals, but slowly they started showing signs of lite aggression, and it then morphed in much more. They were repeatedly turned out way to early from inpatient care hospitals and would disappear.

Anthony McDavid

April 3, 2012 ·

Book Review

My feelings toward the novel Norwegian Wood (non-spoiler)

I want to tell you in a non-spoiler fashion what I like about Murakami’s Norwegian Wood. The first person is very introspective; Murakami wrote it as memoirs about the main character’s transition from late teenage years into early adulthood, focusing on the character’s closest relationships to people, the majority of which centered on those with females. The novel is an emotional vortex:  happiness, hope, despair, lost, sadness, love, sexual desire, confusion, anger, etc. are all whirling together so seamlessly and rapidly throughout the novel. The characters’ philosophies are of import because they determine their compatibility, sometimes what they feel to be the basis of their actions, etc. Types of philosophies include those on life & death; whether one wants to be understood by everyone, anyone, a few select people, no one at all (apathetic to being understood in this case), etc.; how to value friendships and significant others; etc. The characters do not have to declare their philosophies outright; they can simply say how they feel about something during conversation. Murakami is terrific with atmosphere. He lays out what the characters hate; thought or notice of the scenery; or how they feel about things as specific as songs, haircuts, or clothes. The characters’ own happiness or that of those around them is the only world they are choosing to try to save. The characters are all broken emotionally in some fashion. He places a large significance on the ways in which they are, which is the plot of the book along with both their slices of life and relationships with each other. I feel that the driving force of the plot is simply time and necessity to wait. Time elapses and the characters either interact or are left to their own thoughts. The novel is amongst my four favorite that I have ever read. I feel that the first chapter is excellent and could suffice as short story.


LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — A bill that would require state watchdogs to investigate the sudden deaths of psychiatric patients shortly after being discharged from hospitals advanced to a senate committee today.

“Unless we start analyzing these deaths and analyzing the data, we will be making policy in the dark,” said Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, who introduced the bill earlier this year.

“We need to do something to make sure these horrible situations don’t go ignored and continue to repeat themselves.”

The bill would require the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or LARA, to investigate patient deaths occurring within 48 hours of release from a state licensed psychiatric hospital where the cause of death is listed as suicide or unknown.

“Unknown causes of death should be rare, not the norm,” Ananich said.

RELATED: Teen vowed to take his life if Michigan psych hospital released him. The next day, he did.

Currently, virtually no psychiatric patient deaths reported to LARA receive any investigation. Of 151 reported since 2016, only 2 received any sort of review.

RELATED: When psychiatric patients suddenly died, state didn’t ask why

A LARA spokesman says the department says it is only empowered to investigate deaths that occur in restraints, though mental health advocacy groups dispute that.

Today marked the first day of testimony for senate bill 813, referred to the Health Policy and Human Services Committee chaired by Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington.

In addition to Ananich, two women whose relatives took their lives only hours after a hospital released them testified in support of the bill.

“This bill is going to be crucial to getting the information we need to stop families from having to go through this,” said Michelle Burt, whose 15-year-old son Johnathan took his life after being released from Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids.

“It’s been nine months, and I still have no answers,” she said.

As 7 Action News first reported in August, her son’s thirteen day stay at Pine Rest was marked by repeated promises to hurt himself upon release. In fact, during each of his final six full-days at the hospital, Johnathan told staff he would take his life after being discharged.

But on November 5, the first day he did not express suicidal ideation, he was released.

“We were home five hours before my son, at 15, put a (gun) to his head and pulled the trigger,” Burt said.

His death was reported to LARA, but never investigated.

Also testifying in support of the bill was Aimee Bingham Osinski. The night before her brother Kevin died, he had been released from a hospital emergency room.

“Ten hours later, he gave away his shoes to someone who needed them, put his organ donor card in his pocket and jumped off his balcony,” she said through tears.

“He was everything you’d want in this world. And he deserved better.”

The bill currently has the support of both parties, but it is unclear when or if it will be voted out of committee.



Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 340 pages

Series: Bloodstone, Book 3
Genre: Historical/Suspense/Victorian



A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors has followed him home from Africa.

A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing London.

When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer. After several attempts on her life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high profile case. With few leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder victim.


About the Author

Chris was born and raised in Chicago. Her father was a history professor and her mother was, and is, a voracious reader. She grew up with a love of history and books. Her parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto her. She wanted to see the places she read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated her. She’s had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. She is also a retired police detective who spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. Her desire to write came in her early teens. After she retired, she decided to pursue that dream. She writes two different series. Her paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters. She currently live in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.


Tuesday, September 8
Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 10
Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, September 11
Pursuing Stacie

Saturday, September 12
Novels Alive

Monday, September 14

Tuesday, September 15
A Darn Good Read
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 18
Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, September 21
Tangents and Tissues

Tuesday, September 22
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, September 23
A Book and a Latte

Thursday, September 24
I’m Into Books

Monday, September 28
Coffee and Ink
Donna’s Book Blog

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two eBooks of A Venomous Love + a $20 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Direct Link: https://gleam.io/competitions/i2tYA-a-venomous-love

Embed Code: A Venomous Love

Shame The Devil |Blog Tour|Review|Giveaway

Welcome To My Stop On

Shame the Devil by Donna Scott!

@D_ScottWriter @hfvbt

#ShametheDevil #DonnaScott #HFVBTBlogTours


Publication Date: May 11, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 420 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


England, 1643. The Civil War has created a great divide between those who support King Charles and those who would rather see his head on the block. Young Scot Colin Blackburne finds himself caught in the middle when he witnesses Parliamentarians murder his mother because of his father’s allegiance to the king. As further punishment, the family is sent to Yorkshire as indentured servants.

Mistreated by his master and tormented by a Parliamentarian soldier, Colin vows to take up arms for the king and seek vengeance against the men who killed his mother. The only bright spot in his life is his unexpected, and forbidden, friendship with his master’s daughter, Emma Hardcastle.

With her father constantly away on campaign and her mother plagued by madness, Emma is drawn to Colin and his brother, Roddy. She introduces them to her troubled neighbor Alston Egerton, who has a clandestine relationship with Stephen Kitts, the soldier out for Colin’s blood.

As they all become entangled in a twisted web of love, jealousy, desire, and betrayal, the war rages on around them. Resentful at being forced into servitude and forbidden from being with the woman he loves, Colin puts his plan for vengeance into motion, though it will have disastrous consequences for all of them.

Secrets are revealed and relationships are torn apart. With the country teetering on the brink of ruin, Emma fights to survive, Alston is forced to confront his demons, and Colin must decide whether his burning desire to fight for justice is worth sacrificing a future with the woman he loves.


Praise for Shame the Devil

“Scott’s writing is magnificent…The intricately woven secrets and lies against the backdrop of an unprecedented dethroning of the monarchy make Shame the Devil a page-turning experience. Historical fiction and romance fans should not miss out on this book. Highly recommended.” -Chanticleer International Book Reviews

“The references to the situation happening in England during the time of the Civil War are interesting to read about…The struggle between the Parliamentarians and Royalists is fascinating to follow and thought-provoking…and you will follow some lovely characters throughout the book.” -Reedsy Reviews

“Scott’s…gentle manipulation of the material [is] appealing and easy to follow, even for those unfamiliar with the details of the English Civil War…I appreciate how Scott used the history to frame the dramatic events of her story…I enjoyed Colin, Roddy, and Emma well-enough, but I was genuinely attached to Alston…I was captivated by his arc and thought his story the most dynamically compelling. Stephen, repugnant though he is, also deserves a shout out as a fabulously layered antagonist.” –Historical Fiction Reader


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.

Shame The Devil By Donna Scott is a rich historical fiction, that

Set to the back drop of the turbulent times of the the three The civil wars of seventeenth-century England. This conflict lasted over a period of nine years and involved two other countries that were being ruled over by the Stuart dynasty.

A tale of love and sacrifice, of loyalty and loss.

The story leaps off the page when Parlimentarians English soldiers take Colin Blackburne along with his younger brother Roddy and his father Gavin Blackburne , Laird of Carronshore by surprise.

The roundheads kill young Colin and Roddy’s Mother, and seize the rest of the family. The Blackburne’s must leave behind their beloved Scotland and become indentured servants at the English Manor House Appleton Hall.

Serving their allotted time as stablehands at the Yorkshire estate, a friendship is allow to grow into something more between the young Colin and Emma Hardcastle the Viscount’s daughter of Appleton hall.

This complex drama, will take you by the hand and keeps you hold you fast all the way through it’s tear jerking memorable moments. I have to say, you might want to grab a tissue or two. A lovely vibrant novel with defying love and intriguing sub characters and that have their own stories. I found glued to these beautiful pages.

I really can’t say enough good things about this novel. This a must Read.

The historical aspect of the book is done in such a way that are not cumbersome and add rich elements to storyline. The narration is impeccable, and engaging, without ever lagging. You interest will never wane, all in all you have a hard time putting this book down. The author sets up the ending in away that has me anxiously waiting to see if there is going to be more books following this one. I loved the characters and I felt invested in their struggles and heartaches.

I definitely recommend this remarkable book to everyone who enjoys a stellar writing.

A book that everything that I look for in historical fiction. Hoping to purchase a hard copy when or if they become available. A book that will find its beloved home on my my bookshelf.

Shame the Devil won First Place in the CIBA 2014 Chaucer Awards for Early Historical Fiction novels.


Donna Scott is an award-winning author of 17th and 18th century historical fiction. Before embarking on a writing career, she spent her time in the world of academia. She earned her BA in English from the University of Miami and her MS and EdD (ABD) from Florida International University. She has two sons and lives in sunny South Florida with her husband. Her first novel, Shame the Devil, received the first place Chaucer Award for historical fiction and a Best Book designation from Chanticleer International Book Reviews. Her newest novel, The London Monster, will be released in January 2021.


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 3a paperback copies of Shame the Devil by Donna Scott! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Embed Code: Shame the Devil

Monday, September 14
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 15
Interview at Novels Alive
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, September 16
Guest Post at Book Bustle

Thursday, September 17
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, September 18
Guest Post at Coffee and Ink

Monday, September 21
Review at Books and Zebras
Excerpt at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, September 22
Interview at Passages to the Past


Hello Lovelies,
Today Is My Stop On 
A Trace of Deceit by USA Today Bestseller Author
Karen Odden @karen_m_odden
Publisher @williammorrowbooks
Thank you so much @hfvbt for sending me Exceptional Book



Publication Date: December 17, 2019
William Morrow
Paperback & eBook; 416 pages.
Genre: Historical Mystery/Victorian

From the author of A Dangerous Duet comes the next book in her Victorian mystery series, this time following a daring female painter and the Scotland Yard detective who is investigating her brother’s suspicious death.

A young painter digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London’s art world to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder…

Edwin is dead. That’s what Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard tells Annabel Rowe when she discovers him searching her brother’s flat for clues. While the news is shocking, Annabel can’t say it’s wholly unexpected, given Edwin’s past as a dissolute risk-taker and art forger, although he swore he’d reformed. After years spent blaming his reckless behavior for their parents’ deaths, Annabel is now faced with the question of who murdered him—because Edwin’s death was both violent and deliberate. A valuable French painting he’d been restoring for an auction house is missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. But the owner of the artwork claims it was destroyed in a warehouse fire years ago.

As a painter at the prestigious Slade School of Art and as Edwin’s closest relative, Annabel makes the case that she is crucial to Matthew’s investigation. But in their search for the painting, Matthew and Annabel trace a path of deceit and viciousness that reaches far beyond the elegant rooms of the auction house, into an underworld of politics, corruption, and secrets someone will kill to keep.


Praise for A Trace of Deceit

“Odden’s third effort injects a refreshing level of complexity, both in character development and plotting, into what one typically expects to find in historical cozies. This will appeal to fans of Victorian mysteries, as well as those interested in art history.” -Booklist (starred review)

“Odden keenly evokes the physical as well as cultural milieu of Victorian England, and peoples her setting with fully realized and intriguing characters. This book will delight readers who like their mysteries cloaked in well-researched history.” -Publishers Weekly

“…this thrilling, action-packed story [is] an absolute delight to read.” -Historical Novel Society

“Odden’s literary brushstrokes vividly portray the misogyny and gender bias experienced by women in Victorian society, especially a woman battling to exercise her artistic talent. ” -Washington Independent Review of Books

“Fans of Anne Perry, Deanna Rayborn, and Tasha Alexander will root for Karen Odden’s newest heroine, Annabel Rowe—aspiring painter and now amateur sleuth—investigating the murder of her art forger brother. The novel’s a delightful mix of mystery, history, and romance, served with a delicious helping of lush period detail, while chemistry between Annabel and the investigating Scotland Yard detective add spice to the adventure.” -Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times bestselling author of the Maggie Hope series

“A darkly thrilling story filled with suspense and secrets, a courageous heroine, an edgy climax, and an atmospheric setting that perfectly captures the underbelly of London’s art world in the Victorian era. A Trace of Deceit is an absolute winner!” -Stefanie Pintoff, Edgar Award winning author

Victorian London

“I think all of our memories have a trace of deceit in them.

A suspenseful historical fiction novel with stunning characters development and complex relationships. The setting and time period are brought to life with unique details during London’s Victorian era. The story follows Annabel Rowe, a talented artist, who is one only female students at the Slade School of Art. She has been estranged from her distant troubled brother, Edwin. When new of his brutal death, along with some critical information leading up to the motive. She and Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard seek to discover clues about a valuable French painting that her wayward brother had been restoring for an auction house.

The author has created a strong independent heroine, Annabe Rowe. That is paired with an intriguing Matthew Hallam. I enjoyed reading this suspenseful mystery.

The plot moves at a good pace with the romance taking the backseat to the well developed art mystery. The plot line takes the reader as Annabel and Matthew go beyond the art world in their search for the painting. There are few twists I didn’t see coming. The writing flows and keeps you immersed within this fitting representation to storyline. Annabel and Matthew chemistry adds to this masterpiece of this engaging mystery.

Ms. Odden meticulous research and vibrant descriptions of art painting and the auction world are detailed and expansive. Karen Odden, keeps the reader engaged, in this thrilling action packed Victorian mystery.

A Trace of Deceit, is a impressive novel, perfectly paced with the right amount intrigue and suspense.

I am in insatiable reader and every now and then you are given the chance to read an exceptional novel. A Trace of Deceit by Karen Odden, has a little gothic feel to it. Her use details are suspenseful as they draw you into the depths of tale.

I have to say that this book is so cleverly executed, and stands out amongst the historical mystery genre. I love when I find a new author that I can rave about

Karen Odden has become an auto buy for me. I am excited to read what she writes next.!!

Karen Odden received her Ph.D. in English literature from New York University and taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays and chapters to books and journals, including Studies in the Novel, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and Victorian Crime, Madness, and Sensation; she has written introductions for Barnes and Noble editions of books by Dickens and Trollope; and she edited for the academic journal Victorian Literature and Culture. She freely admits she might be more at home in nineteenth-century London than today, especially when she tries to do anything complicated on her iPhone. Her first novel, A Lady in the Smoke, was a USA Today bestseller and won the New Mexico-Arizona 2016 Book Award for e-Book Fiction. Her second novel, A Dangerous Duet, about a young pianist who stumbles on a notorious crime ring while playing in a Soho music hall in 1870s London, won the New Mexico-Arizona 2019 Book Award for Best Historical Fiction. A Trace of Deceit is her third novel. She resides in Arizona with her family and a ridiculously cute beagle named Rosy.


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away one paperback copy of A Trace of Deceit! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 2nd.You must be 18 or older to enter.



Monday, September 7
Review at Books and Backroads
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Tuesday, September 8
Feature at I’m All About Books

Wednesday, September 9
Review at Hallie Reads

Thursday, September 10
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, September 11
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, September 14
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, September 15
Review at Faery Tales Are Real

Wednesday, September 16
Review at Into the Hall of Books

Thursday, September 17
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, September 18
Review at A Darn Good Read

Saturday, September 19
Review at Nursebookie

Monday, September 21
Review at Books and Zebras

Tuesday, September 22
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 24
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Friday, September 25
Review at The Lit Bitch

Monday, September 28
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, September 29
Review at Impressions In Ink
Review at Writing the Renaissance

Wednesday, September 30
Review at Probably at the Library
Guest Post at Writing the Renaissance

Thursday, October 1
Excerpt at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Friday, October 2
Review at Jessica Belmont
Review at Jorie Loves A Story
Review at View from the Birdhouse

The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton

Hello Wonderful Bookish Friends,

Today I have A Review + Giveaway For The Newly Released Book

The Lost Diary Of Alex Hamilton By Sophie Schiller

Hosted By HFBT!

@SophieSchiller @hfvbt #TLDOAHBlogTour #SophieSchiller #HFVBTBlogTours


The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton
by Sophie Schiller

Publication Date: July 3, 2020
Tradewinds Publishing

Genre: YA/US Colonial & Revolutionary Period/Historical Fiction



The story of Alexander Hamilton’s lost childhood in the Caribbean—a land of sugar plantations and slavery—where an impoverished orphan must learn to survive despite impossible odds. It is a story of struggle, heartbreak, resilience, and ultimately, triumph.

1765. Alexander Hamilton arrives in St. Croix with his family to begin a new life. He longs for the chance to go to school and fit in, but secrets from his mother’s past threaten to tear his family apart. When he sees a young African slave being tortured, Alexander vows to act. He urges his uncle to buy Ajax and promises to set him free. But tragedy strikes when his father abandons the family and his mother dies of yellow fever. Orphaned and alone, Alex is forced to survive by his wits and resourcefulness. By day he works in a counting house learning the secrets of foreign trade. By night he studies Plutarch and dreams of fame and glory. When Ajax is sold to a brutal planter, Alex vows to save him, even at the risk of his own life. With the aid of a reluctant slave-catcher, he concocts a plan to rescue Ajax, but when the price for helping a slave run away is torture or death, no one is safe.

In this gripping tale, Sophie Schiller re-creates the boyhood of the young man who would grow up to become a Founding Father and one of America’s foremost men.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble


“The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton is a wonderful read… The musical “Hamilton” has brought the impact of this man in the founding of America sharply into our consciousness. But what author Sophie Schiller has skillfully done here is to take what little is known about Alexander’s early life and fashion a fictional story around his upbringing that fleshes out the boy that would become the man. I can highly recommend this read.” – Grant Leishman for Reader’s Favorite (5 star review)

“The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton is the kind of story that helps to restore faith in mankind. It helps to illustrate that, while there are those who are evil, who care not for their fellow man, there are also those willing to put their lives on the line for others. Author Sophie Schiller’s story of Alexander Hamilton shows him to be such a man. In these days when it seems that so little history is taught, and when the veracity of much of what is taught is questionable, this is the kind of story that those both young and old would do well to read.” Patricia Reding for Reader’s Favorite (5 star review)

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

St. Eustatius, Dutch West Indies, eleven year old Hamilton and his thirteen year old brother are living with there West Indian creole born mother Rachel Faucett Hamilton, and Scottish born fourth son of a laird father. Who had came to the West Indies to make his fortune. Living in a typical Dutch house they were considered impoverished and only had minimal amount servants. When the family is faced with a devastating news that has James Hamilton arrested and the home where they live is sized.

In a turn of events the Aid of a man named Archibald Ingram, from St Kitts. Except it is a place young Hamilton’s mother vows never to return, because of her undeniable horrors that she experienced there and Danish laws.

Alexander Hamilton’s early life is stunning depicted with rich sugar and rum plantions. His drive to better understand workings of commerce. We see the struggles survive on his own after his mother dies and his father leaves the island. His close friend and a personal servant named Ajax is sold to a brutal planter.

Alex is a loyal friend vows to save his friend at all cost him out. The author meticulously research and clear narration is incredible. The core of the book, is that of kindness and the human Spirt. Alex Hamilton’s journey toward self realization, and what values most is ultimately human life. That will eventually set him on a path to help create new system of government in the new world.

This one of the books that tugs at some heart strings, a book that is thought provoking as it’s is enjoyable.

A coming of tale of one boy struggles, and commitment.
Who grows up and his notable character, sets him on a path to be one of Americans founding Fathers 

This one book that is a must read, I am excited to read the next work from this very talented author. 

Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies. She is a novelist and a poet. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews has called her “an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.” Her novel, ISLAND ON FIRE was published by Kindle Scout in 2018 and was called, “A memorable romantic thriller” by Publishers Weekly. Her latest novel, THE LOST DIARY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, is out now. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Monday, September 7
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, September 8
Review at Momfluenster

Wednesday, September 9
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, September 10
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 11
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Saturday, September 12
Review at A Darn Good Read

Monday, September 14
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Tuesday, September 15
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Wednesday, September 16
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 17
Interview at Passages to the Past

Saturday, September 19
Review at Reading is My Remedy

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton + a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton

The Golden Van Dorens Tour — Feature And Giveaway

The Golden Van Dorens
by Nicole Strycharz

Publication Date: September 1, 2020
eBook a& Paperback; 355 Pages

Genre: Historical Thriller


Malcom Van Doren made his fortune in the California Gold Rush of 1849.

By 1853, he spent it all, drowning in debt, and returned to his mine out of desperation.

Steadily, over the years, he went mad.

Known for his lunacy, when Malcom claimed to have discovered gold a second time, no one believed him… not even his family. Too paranoid about his creditors to prove his finding, Malcom Van Doren told everyone he hid his fortune away.

Now, in the year 1880, twenty-seven years after his second discovery, his daughters are each as desperate as he once was for wealth. All of them, for different reasons; revenge, love, or greed.

Three sisters battle to discover their dead father’s gold, but only one will win this race as their own little gold rush ensues.

God help the man that stands between a Golden Van Doren and all that glitters.

Available on Amazon


Nicole is a multi-genre author of over a dozen books.

“The Divorce” was nominated in the 2016 Indie Book Awards and won second place in the 2016 Best Cover Design in ‘Urban Literature Magazine.’

She was featured on the cover of Words + Magazine for her book “The Affair.”

She’s known for delving into sensitive and real topics such as in her title “The Love That Hurts” which explored domestic violence with the hopes of giving victims a voice while exposing the red flags of an abusive relationship. Most of her lead female characters are depicted as survivors or evolving overcomers of trauma. Sending a message to readers that every moment and every day they fight for is a victory.

Being of mixed ethnicity, she keeps her cast of characters diverse and tries to highlight the different cultures around the world.

Nicole lives in Virginia with her partner, three children, three stepsons, their amazing Grandparents, and one pretty Pocket-Pittie. She is always reading or working on the next book between mommyhood adventures.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Tuesday, September 1
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Wednesday, September 2
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 3
Review at Book Bustle
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, September 4
Feature at Gwendalyn’s Books

Saturday, September 5
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, September 7
Review at Books and Zebras

Tuesday, September 8
Feature at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, September 9
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a 12″ by 8″ canvas painting of The Van Doren Sisters! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Golden Van Dorens

The Inhertance Games

Today is my stop on The Inheritance Game
UltimateBlogTour brought to you by TheWriteReads And Penguin Random House


The Inhertance Games

By Jennifer Lynn Barnes

RELEASE DATE September 1, 2020



A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest

The Inheritance Games is the first thrilling instalment in a new series from a phenomenal storyteller.

Avery Grambs a seventeen year old teenager, who life is not easy, living in the care of her older half sister on the brink of poverty. Her one notable talent is her astonishing mathematically ability, that seems to go unnoticed in school until very recently.

Her presence has been requested to a reading of a will, from a man that she has no knowledge of. Even more strange is that her name is actually on will, the reading takes place in Texas, at the Estate of the late Tobias Hawthorne. Who seems to have made her an heiress to a billion-dollar fortune. She is the only one to receive the bulk from Mr Tobias Hawthorne fortune and known seems to know why. Needless to say this has turned the complete Hawthorne family on its head.

“The old man was playing the long game.”

There is one catch though, in order for her have access to what is now her astronomical fortune, she must consent to reside at Hawthorne House for a year living alongside his family. Shocked and confused both Avery and the rest of late Hawthorne family, along with the Billionaire grandson’s must take everything in stride, or at least pretend to. The Mansion is a treasure trove of secrets waiting to be solved, along with engaging insane question as to why Avery?

This is a wonderful thrilling book, that will have turning those pages as fast you can.

A stunning on the edge of your seat kind of read. One that you want to unravel, and align all the jigsaw puzzle pieces together.

An addictive reading game that takes the reader on a quest, along with Avery to understand the reason behind the eccentric, a done right mischievous Tobias Hawthorne. Like any pretentious family they are overly fond of losing all that money to a compete stranger.

The author seamlessly narration moves along as the mystery unfolds and each every character is a three dimensional. Jennifer Lynn Barnes meticulously uses two of my all favorite tropes in this captivating ya novel. The reader is gifted with a subtle love triangle, along with the “ The Teenage Chosen One” trope.

The plot twist and the authors ability to create an exceptional storyline is the reason she has a cult following.

The book ends on a delightful cliffhanger ending, to allow the reader a set up for more to come in this fast paced Ya Contemporary Thriller.

This one book that you do not want to pass by.

I highly recommend it to my family and friends



What people are saying about The Inheritance Games:

“Part The Westing Game, part We Were Liars, completely entertaining.” – Kirkus (starred review) 

“Delightfully soapy…Knives Out-esque series opener…an abundance of cryptic clues and tempestuous love triangles provides ample enjoyment.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

“Barnes’s meticulously crafted novel is like the film Knives Out for the YA world, perfect for any reader seeking suspense, romance, and glamour. …Barnes crafts high-stakes tension, a swoony love triangle, and a large but memorable cast of characters. Fun and fast-paced, fans of Karen M. McManus’s One of Us is Lying and Maureen Johnson’s Truly Devious will find a new home at Hawthorne House.” – School Library Journal 

“…impossible to put down.” – Buzzfeed

“A thrilling blend of family secrets, illicit romance and high-stakes treasure hunt, set in the mysterious world of Texas billionaires. The nonstop twists kept me guessing until the very last page!” – Katharine McGee, New York Times bestselling author of American Royals

Author photograph © Kim Haynes Photography

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed young adult novels. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science, including graduate degrees from Cambridge University, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and Yale University, where she received her Ph.D. in 2012. Jen wrote her first published novel when she was nineteen-years-old and sold her first five books while still in college. In additional to writing YA novels, Jen has also written original pilot scripts for television networks like USA and MTV, and she is one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of fandom and the cognitive science of fiction and the imagination more broadly. Jen is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she holds a dual appointment in Psychology and Professional Writi

Author website: http://www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com/


The Memory Of Souls


Series: A Chorus of Dragons (3) (Book 3)
Hardcover: 640 pages
 Tor Books (August 25, 2020)
Now that the city of Atrine has been destroyed and Relos Var’s plan to free the dark god Vol Karoth has been revealed—the end of the world is closer than ever.To buy time for humanity, Kihrin, Janel, and Thurvishar must convince the king of the Manol vané to perform an ancient ritual that will strip the vané of their immortality—a ritual that certain vané will do anything to prevent. Including assassinating the ones bringing the news.Worse, Kihrin must come to terms with the horrifying possibility that his connection to Vol Karoth is steadily growing in strength. How can Kihrin hope to save anyone when he might turn out to be the greatest threat of them all?

You can purchase The Memory of Souls at the following Retailers:

Praise for The Memory of Souls

“Lyons has cleverly taken the epic fantasy tropes of prophecy and lineage and stood them on their heads, all while delving deep into her multidimensional characters and spinning great battles with high body counts.” ―Booklist, starred review

Praise for The Ruin of Kings

“[A] jaw-dropping, action-packed story of betrayal, greed, and grand-scale conspiracy . . . Lyons ties it all together seamlessly to create literary magic. Epic fantasy fans looking for a virtually un-put-down-able read should look no further.” ―Kirkus, starred review
“Rich, cruel, gorgeous, brilliant, enthralling and deeply, deeply satisfying. I loved it.” ―Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians
“It was one hell of a ride. I gobbled it up and was hungry for more.” ―Glen Cook, author of The Black Company
“The Ruin of Kings is a fascinating story about a compellingly conflicted young hero in an intriguingly complex world.” ―L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Recluse series
“A thriller plot of revenge and loyalty with a get-under-your-skin and keep-you-reading-all-night mystery at its heart. I loved it.”―John Gwynne, author of Malice
“The Ruin of Kings revs up with the glitz of a high-speed, multi-level video game, with extreme magic and a teen hero with angst.” ―Janny Wurts, author of The Curse of the Mistwraith

This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest

This series is one hell of a ride. A breathtaking fantasy where you are submerged into the past, present, and uncertain future.

The Memory of Souls by Jenn Lyons hits the ground running, following the recent events of the of second book, The Name of All Things.

I was still reeling from the betrayal, along with tic tick of the doomsday clock.

This book is where the action really takes off. With the battle between Kihrin, Relos and the gods. A dramatic test of relationships.book The reader will be able to pull back the curtain a see the beginning of why Vol Korath was created.

A great mix of action packed thrill ride, romance and intrigue. Some critical choices will need to be made, along with some alliances shift.

Families come together while others will be ripped to shreds. There is unforeseen twist when truths are revealed. Jenn doesn’t hold anything back from the romance. Great representation LGBTQ+ all through the book.

If one person’s dominant, the other person has to be submissive.” – Kihrin

A Chorus of Dragons series
The Ruin of Kings
The Name of All Things
The Memory of Souls

Photo Content from Jenn Lyons

Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, three cats, and a lot of opinions on anything from the Sumerian creation myths to the correct way to make a martini. At various points in her life, she has wanted to be an archaeologist, anthropologist, architect, diamond cutter, fashion illustrator, graphic designer, or Batman. Turning from such obvious trades, she is now a video game producer by day, and spends her evenings writing science fiction and fantasy. When not writing, she can be founding debating the Oxford comma and Joss Whedon’s oeuvre at various local coffee shops.

– 3 Winners will receive the Set of 3 Books (A Chorus of Dragons Series) by Jenn Lyons.

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Welcome to my stop on Book Of Wonders

Or the Uk Title The Illustrated Child




Author: Polly Crosby

ISBN: 9780778310006

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Publisher: Park Row Books

Buy Links: 


Barnes & Noble






(Park Row Books; September 1, 2020; $27.99 USD),

a beautifully imaginative story of a father and daughter growing older together, their magical world of stories, and a fantastical treasure hunt that leads to a priceless and shocking family secret.

Romilly Kemp grows up with her eccentric father and her adorable cat Monty within the walls of a dilapidated mansion in the scenic English countryside. As Romilly has trouble fitting in with her classmates, she turns to her reliable furry friend, and as her father struggles to make ends meet, he turns to his art and writes children’s books based on Romilly and Monty. Soon, the tiny Kemp family’s world changes with the unexpected success of The Kemp Treasure Girl books and Romilly is thrust into the spotlight as their home is overrun by tourists looking for a treasure whose clues lie within the illustrations of her father’s stories.

As they both grow older, Romilly and her father begin to grow apart, and Romilly turns to his books to find the connection they have lost. And much to her surprise, the rumors were true – between the pages of The Kemp Treasure Girl stories are the clues that start Romilly on an unforgettable journey that leads her to the heart of amysterious family secret worth far more than the gold and jewels the tourists on her estate have been searching for.


You probably know me as the Kemp Treasure Girl. Maybe you had the books as a child. Perhaps your dad read them to you in those wilting hours of sleep where books become dreams and dreams become books. Did you look for the treasure, digging in your garden, unsure of what you were searching for?

Mine was an unusual infamy for one so young. Not an all-encompassing, celebrity fame, but one that flattened me into two dimensions and picked out the colour of my eyes and my dress. One that stopped people in the street and made their necks crane back round to gaze at me.

The version of me in the books was my friend. She was always there for me, sharing in my adventures, appearing at the lifting of a page. But children grow up, and as I grew taller and wiser, Romilly Kemp in the book stayed young and innocent, a sickly-sweet imposter who wore my dress and suckled at my father’s love, leeching it away until there was barely any left for me at all.

But then I made a real friend. Someone I could trust: someone who knew intimately my deepest, darkest thoughts even if I dare not acknowledge them myself.

But the beginnings of a friendship are like the beginning of a book: you never know how they will turn out until the very end.


Braër was an ancient farmhouse. A month of living there had still not unearthed a fraction of its secrets.

As I ran from the house, tugging on unfamiliar wellies, I stared up at Braër’s mossy roof and dirty walls. Dad told me that it had probably once been called Brother Farm, but time and the soft Suffolk accent had changed it.

The house itself was long and low and surrounded on three sides by a moat clogged with cowpats and slime. Perched in the water at one end was a gargoyle, with a sinister, winking face. It ogled me as I ran past, its eyes bulbous and staring.

On the south side of the house, down an overgrown path stretched a bumpy meadow filled with sagging grass. It was the perfect camp for my newly invented invisible army, and the edge of my territory. I could go there on my own, making pretend campfires and having sword fights with prickly bushes, knowing that I was safe. I could barely see the house above the long, scratchy grass.

As I set off down the path, a sharp whistle brought me back. Dad was stooped in the back door, his huge shoulders nearly touching the frame on either side. Something small and snow-like was curled up in his open palm.

            ‘What is it?’

            ‘I wanted to draw one, so, why not?’ he said, planting the tiny kitten into my eager arms, and suddenly it was mine. ‘It’s a Siamese,’ he said, wiping his hands on his trousers, leaving a snail’s trail of white fur on the corduroy.

‘Is it a girl or boy?’ I asked, trying to look through the fur at the correct place.      

            ‘A boy.’ Dad crouched down, looking at me as I hugged the kitten. Briefly he reached forward and touched my cheek, and I leant into the roughness of his hand. ‘Yes,’ he said to himself, his voice a growl of love, ‘it’s that look in your eyes, right there that I want to capture.’ He straightened up, his knees creaking. ‘I’m going to need to paint him. And you, of course. I have an idea…’ he trailed off. Frowning at me, he turned on his heel and entered the house, leaving the kitten and I alone.

            I examined his bony body. He was small and soft, and smelt of wee and sawdust.  He had pale creamy fur tinged with chocolate brown at each edge. As I was studying him, he uncurled himself, tipping off my arms and towards the moat below us. I caught him by the tail just in time, tucking him back safely into the crook of my arm. He opened his eyes for the first time and stared at me with big, red-blue irises. He was hot and slightly sticky-damp in my hands, and I loved him immediately.

            I balanced him on my shoulder and made my way up the two flights of stairs to my bedroom, filling the kitten in on the minutiae of our lives.

            ‘Dad lost his university job ages ago, and he’s been trying to work out what to do with himself ever since,’ I said, tickling him under his chin as I ran up the second staircase; the tiny windy one that Dad was forever tripping up on. ‘He says we’ve moved here so he can paint instead of teach art. It’s the summer holidays, and I’m going to be nine soon, and Dad says he might have to give me a painting instead of a real present for my birthday, but that’s okby me because his paintings are like stories made real. He says someone has to make money, or we’ll be living on bread crusts and moat water. Here, this is us.’

I pushed open the three-foot-high door that marked the entrance to my vast bedroom.

The kitten perked up as we climbed through into the huge, bright space. It was the shape of a tent, one of those old-fashioned tents – a huge triangle. And it felt like a tent too: when it was windy outside, the air caught beneath all the beams and vibrated until you felt like there was nothing but thin canvas between you and the sky.

When Dad had first shown me my room, I spent the entire day in there, not daring to believe all this space belonged to me. There were dustsheets over the furniture, and in the corner, a pretty parasol leant against the wall as if the young lady it had belonged to had left it there only moments before. I liked to open it up and walk the length of the room in a sedate manner, pretending I was as posh as the young lady who had owned it last.

I tipped the kitten onto the bed, and studied him. ‘You look like someone important,’ I said, ‘and important people have long names. How about Captain Montgomery of the Second Regiment?’ Montgomery seemed satisfied with his name, and curled up happily on the quilt.

Excerpted from The Book of Hidden Wonders by Polly Crosby, Copyright © 2020 by Polly Crosby. 

Published by Park Row 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. 

Beautifully written immersive psychological Fiction. 

A gut-wrenching journey through both the darkness of growing up and the tangled webs of grief’s that will touch you and make you think about it long after you close the book 

A adventurous nine year old Romilly and her father Tobias take up residence in a dilapidated estate in England. It is a somewhat magical place for a little girl, like most children there perception is miscued. Tobias allows untethered freedom and she content with relaxed parenting as most imaginative children are. Romilly absent mother is somewhat breezed over. 

Tobias is ever sketching and painting painting Her along with her gifted beloved cat Monty. Eventually they become featured characters in a series of illustrated stories written by her father, Tobias Kemp. The book series features Romilly and her cat and curiously hidden items that hidden within the book pages. This attracts all kinds people who after reading the books become treasure seekers, and believe that the items are actually real, and hidden all over the grounds of Romilly estate home. 

There is also fame and wealth like the father and daughter have never experienced before, which allows luxuries. The book takes a dark, because with fame comes the ever present paranoia that becomes all consuming. Tobias slowly began retreating into himself. 

When the discovery of a series of clues in her father’s artworks that have been left just for her. Romilly task herself to try and piece t them together. As these clues bring her closer to the answers, they also reveal more about the reason she was isolated away from truth and the world.

A thought provoking coming-of-age story that is breathtaking as it is resonate. 

A stunning debut that lingers with a delightful unsettling way. 

Alina: A Song For the Telling

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, Alina:A Song For Telling by Malve Von Hassell, which is being hosted by HFBT!

Alina: A Song For the Telling
by Malve von Hassell

August 27, 2020
BHC Press
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook

Genre: Young Adult/Historical/Medieval

“You should be grateful, my girl. You have no dowry, and I am doing everything I can to get you settled. You are hardly any man’s dream.” Alina’s brother, Milos, pulled his face into a perfect copy of Aunt Marci’s sour expression, primly pursing his mouth. He had got her querulous tone just right.

I pinched my lips together, trying not to laugh. But it was true; Aunt Marci had already introduced me to several suitors. So far I had managed to decline their suits politely.

Maybe Alina’s aunt was right. How could she possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz, as impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage?

But fourteen-year-old Alina refuses to accept the oppressing life her strict aunt wants to impose upon her. When the perfect opportunity comes along for her to escape, she and her brother embark on a journey through the Byzantine Empire all the way to Jerusalem.

Alina soon finds herself embroiled in the political intrigue of noble courts as she fights to realize her dream of becoming a female troubadour.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound




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

This is an empowering story of one woman’s wanting to control her own destiny.

A unique compelling coming of age historical fiction, Set in France in the 12th century Alina a young woman from Provence life comes undone. Her father passes away leaving Alina and her brother Milos at the hands of her Aunt and Uncle. Struggling at the bonds that her strict Aunt has placed on her. She convinces her aunt and uncle to Alina and her brother to send them on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pray for their father deceased soul. On their journey they fall into group of Knights who are also pilgrimaging to the holy city of Jerusalem. Her talent of a lute player is noticed. An her inspiring dreams to become a trobairitz, female troubadours, takes hold. Before arriving at their destination, they have  a series of adventures as they travel through the Byzantine Empire.
Alina and her brother finally arrive at the court of King Almaric. A court that is embroiled in the political intrigue of nobility. She must rise above and seize her dream of becoming a female troubadour. There is a subtle romance aspect, but it’s not the driving force in this delightful book. Her relationship with her brother and her fevered dreams of becoming a musician during a time when woman’s voices where silenced.

This is a wonderful historical fiction, with a narration that follows. Rich atmospheric details and compelling characters makes for a stunning read.


Malve von Hassell is a writer, researcher, and translator. Born in Italy, she spent part of her childhood in Belgium and Germany before moving to the United States. She lives in Southampton, New York, close to the ocean and a bay beach where she meets flying sea robins and turtles on her morning walks with her rescue dog Loki. She enjoys reading, playing chess with her son, gardening, anything to do with horses, and dreams of someday touring Mongolia on horseback. Her works include the children’s picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy, written in response to her son’s letters to the tooth fairy; The Falconer’s Apprentice, her first historical fiction novel for young readers; The Amber Crane, a historical fiction novel set in Germany in the 17th century, and Alina: A Song for the Telling, a coming-of-age story of a young woman from Provence in the 12th century who dreams of being a musician.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, August 27
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, August 28
Interview at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Saturday, August 29
Feature at Books, Cooks, Looks

Monday, August 31
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, September 2
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, September 3
Feature at SplendeurCaisse

Friday, September 4
Review at YA, it’s Lit

Monday, September 7
Review at Books and Zebras


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Alina by Malve von Hassell! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.


Things That Should Stay Buried

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of,

Things That Should Stay Buried By Casey L. Bond,

which is being hosted by Lady Amber’s PR


Title: Things That Should Stay BuriedAuthor: Casey L. Bond

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy/Mythologya

Editor: Stacy Sanford/ The Girl with the Red Pen

Cover & Trailer Designer: Melissa Stevens/ The Illustrated Author Design Services

Publication Date: August 28th, 2020

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Some destinies are written in the stars. Others must be bought with blood…

The Zodia are real. Clawing their way from a long-forgotten tomb, they emerge, ravenous to claim everyone born under their star signs. Plotting to resurrect kingdoms no human knew existed, they are driven by a hunger for vengeance against the one who buried them: Aries.


Larken is a natural born sprinter, but even she can’t outrun the darkness closing in. A shelter-in-place order has been issued, causing widespread panic. Some brush the alarm off as a drill, until people begin to disappear… vanishing without a trace. Left with only one option, Larken’s brother does what he must to save her life… and calls forth Aries.

Considered a traitor by his own kind, only Aries has the power to stand against the Zodia. But he can’t do it alone. Mystically bonded to Larken, the pair must band together for the fight to come if either hope to make it out alive. Neither anticipated the passion that would ignite between them. Yet, in a world suddenly thrust into chaos, it may be the key to their survival.

The Zodia are out for blood with their attentions inexplicably focused on Larken. When long buried truths finally come to light, will their love be their salvation or their curse?

“A mesmerizing and haunting twist on a familiar tale you don’t want to miss. “ – Cameo Renae, USA Today bestselling author of the Hidden Wings Series


“Casey L. Bond reaches for the stars to bring us Things That Should Stay Buried. The Zodia are beautiful, dangerous and to die for.”- New York Times Bestselling Author Chanda Hahn

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.

-All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

As above, so below 
Trouble a star, watch it explode. 
The harbinger sours the earth is bowed, 
There is chaos in the heavens. there is chaos on the soil

-Things That Should Stay Buried by Casey L. Bond

Casey L. Bond deliveries us a stunning unique experience with, Things That Should Stay Buried.

Bond creative story of an eighteen year Larken, a girl born two weeks after her fraternal twin. This book really begins days away from her graduation. Let’s look backwards a little, she was set to go to her senior prom with her boyfriend, but he dumped her a few short weeks before prom night to date another. Her brother’s past and his secret is something Larken has guarded closely. There is definitely something about him that is not your typical twin brother. Something happened to him when they were both younger, she has adjusted to his uniqueness and loves him dearly.

Everything you think you, you really don’t in this exceptional written book.

Bond uses mythology to invent a whole new amazing fiction. You will be on the edge of your seat, and completely invested into the vibrant characters as the storyline unfolds. The expansive world building was phenomenal. I have to say I really enjoyed this ingenious take on the zodiacs, and how the author imaginative characters are wrapped around the personalities of their own astrology. Also, there is romance and family loyalty that makes this a truly special tale.

You might need a tissue, there is tear jerker moments.

Wohoo this was spectacular book for me!

Hopefully I have spoiled to much of the plot. Take it from me, you are going to want read this clever read.

Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn’t tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he’s the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy books, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page.
Casey is the award-winning author of When Wishes Bleed, the Frenzy series, and fairy tale retellings such as Riches to Rags, Savage Beauty, Unlocked and Brutal Curse. Learn more about her work at http://www.authorcaseybond.com.




The Ancestor

The Ancestor” by Lee Matthew Goldberg



About The Book:

Release Date: August 21, 2020

Publisher: All Due Respect, an imprint of Down & Out Books

A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike except for his own beard. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth arush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times—but from his life in the late 1800s.

After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed…

Book Blurbs:

“Beautifully written, and capturing the unforgiving grit of Gold-Rush Alaska, Lee Matthew Goldberg’s THE ANCESTOR is a thrilling page-turner with an ache in its heart.” – Roz Nay, bestselling author of Our Little Secret and Hurry Home

A story that blends the familiar and the supernatural in a manner that calls Stephen King’s work to mind. That said, Goldberg’s book possesses a flavor all its own—a distinctive mélange of the sincere and the strange.” – Kirkus Reviews

“This thrilling novel is rich in descriptions of the vast, snowy, and deadly wilderness of Alaska; it ably captures the type of person who chases gold.” – Foreword Reviews

”A suspenseful historical thriller.” – Indie Reviews

“Jack London on a really dark day could not have given us a better story of loss, fear, and many kinds of, and attempts at, love in the Alaskan back country. From the icy opening battle of man vs. wolf you feel yourself in the hands of a master storyteller and that feeling never lets up.” – SJ Rozan, bestselling author of Paper Son.

“In The Ancestor, Lee Matthew Goldberg masterfully weaves together a story involving family and violence set against the backdrop of an unforgiving Alaska of both past and present.” – Andrew Davie, author of Pavement and Ouroboros

“Lee Matthew Goldberg is an animal—there is no other way to say it. His prose is heavyweight ambitious, as visceral as a sweaty-toothed dog at your throat. He evokes Robert Louis Stevenson as much as he does a modern thriller novelist. And I’ll be honest: I expected a crime novel, but I got a spell-binding epic, an epistolary revelation, a tale as rich as a paying gold mine. The Ancestor is more than a novel. It’s an ode to the rich tradition of adventure storytelling…seasoned with ample spice of love and violence and greed.”- Matt Phillips, author Countdown and Know Me from Smoke

About The Author:

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. His Alaskan Gold Rush novel THE ANCESTOR is forthcoming in 2020. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe https://www.fringelit.com/ , dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press, Monologging and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at http://www.leematthewgoldberg.com

Social Media:

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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg

Twitter: @LeeMatthewG

Bloggers On Tour: 

Aug. 21st– Noor The Bookworm https://instagram.com/noorthebookworm

Aug. 21st – Dani Reads https://instagram.com/dani.reads.1225

Aug. 23rd –  Whimsicaly Me https://instagram.com/whimsicalyme

Aug. 24th – Bookish Heidi https://instagram.com/bookish.heidi

Aug. 27th – Nurse Bookie https://instagram.com/nurse_bookie

Aug. 28th – David L Morgan https://instagram.com/david_l_morgan

Aug. 28th – Gwendalyn Books https://instagram.com/gwendalyn_books_

Aug. 30th – Jackie Loves Books https://instagram.com/jackieslovesbooks

Aug. 31st- Lindas Book Obsession https://www.facebook.com/lindasbookobsession/ 

Sept. 3rd – The Weekend Booker https://instagram.com/theweekendbooker

Sept. 10th – Delightfully Booked https://instagram.com/delightfullybooked 

Sept. 12th – Novels and Latte Book Club –https://www.facebook.com/groups/357651988042629

Origins Book Tour + Review + Giveaway

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, 

Origins by Nicole Sallak Anderson! which is being hosted by HFBT!

@NSallakAnderson @hfvbt  

#Origins #NicoleSallakAnderson #HFVBTBlogTours

Origins by
Nicole Sallak Anderson

  Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Literary Wanderlust Paperback & eBook; 229   
Pages Series: Song of the King’s Heart, Book 1   
Genre: Historical Fiction


This is the lost story of Lord Ankhwenefer, known to the Greeks as Chaonnophris the Rebel, the last native Egyptian Pharaoh. The brilliance and heartache of his rebellion weave a tale that history has forgotten.
Until now.

In the year 205 B.C., after centuries of Persian and Macedonian occupation, a rebel king rises from the south to take ancient Egypt back unto native hands. He will battle the Ptolemy line for twenty years, and rule almost eighty percent of Egypt, yet in the end, history will never mention his name.

Born Prince Ankhmakis, the last in a line of native Egyptian kings, he is raised with one purpose—to help his father reclaim Egypt from the Macedonian occupiers and return their country to dynastic greatness. Fate, however, has its own plans. For lies and deceit live in the hearts of all involved, from his family to the priesthood, and the Greeks aren’t the only ones who seek to destroy him.

Natasa is in training to become the High Priestess of the temple of Isis. Her task is to strengthen the royal family with the magic of the goddess through love and pleasure. She never thought the connection between her and Ankhmakis could be so strong, or carry a power coveted by those lurking in the shadows. Nor did she know that the child they would create would have her own great destiny to fulfill.

Together, Ankhmakis and Natasa must defend the potential of their love from those who would seek to use it for their own gain. Theirs is a world of magic, power, riches, and lust, and there are those within the court who would do anything to keep Ankhmakis and Natasa apart. Between mystical forces, murder, and illicit schemes–only the gods know if they’ll survive.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for Origins

“ORIGINS is an enthralling, cinematic tale set in Ancient Egypt, seeping with magic, intrigue, treachery, and romance. I was hooked from the beginning and holding my breath until the very last page.” — Stephanie Diaz, author of the Extraction Series “Nicole Sallak Anderson’s detailed research of costumes, history, and rituals illuminate a long-vanished culture and makes it interesting and she has skillfully breathed life into mere hieroglyphs turning them into vibrant people whose lives are filled with love, jealousy, intrigue, and ambition. A must-read for anyone fascinated by Egyptology or who just wants to read a great story.” — Nancy Lynn Jarvis, author of the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series and the PIP Inc. series.


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.    

Origins by Nicole Anderson is a breathtaking tale of Ancient Egypt.
The author should be commended for her delivery of a gorgeous epic love story, that is instilled within a spectacular historical fiction.

I love it when I come across an author that’s writing is truly exceptional.  
Let me tell, this is one book that you need to read, if you are a historical fiction fanatic like I am. I have feelings this series is really going to take off.

A powerful historical fiction that brings to life the mysterious Rebel King. The Rebel King’s rebellion in 205 B.C.,  was a dramatic time when the Upper Kingdom of Egypt took back control after centuries of Persian and Macedonian occupation. The author uses Herodoyus’s Histories and actual ancient Egyptian poetry taken from scrolls that survived as well as temple walls.

Prince Ankhmakis is the second son to the throne of the house of Hugronaphor. His family was one of the few native royal Egyptian families still in existence. This is his story, that Anderson has meticulously researched, to create a compelling storyline. Her seamless narrative will draw you into this decadent captivating book. Along with rich atmospheric descriptions, I loved the overall premise of the novel, and the quick pace kept me engaged. I felt I was dropped into the books setting, the characters were dramatic and vibrant. The magical nuisance were perfect for the historical content of Egyptian culture which is saturated with mythology and lore. She captures the essence of people of this bygone era to perfection. 
The stunning plot is widespread with intrigue, and complex conflict, which is set against a backdrop of the ancient world of Egypt. There are complex, treacherous people who seek to undermine the campagne. Who seek to retake the city of Thebes from the Greeks, and deliver it into the rightful ownership of the true Egyptians.  
Overall this will enable Prince Ankhmakis’s father to dominate the majority of Egypt. Prince Ankhmakis father, Hugronaphor is set upon being crowned Pharaoh of upper Egypt.

At the heart of book is an all consuming love story, that will make your hear race. Prince Ankhmakis falls deeply in love with Natasa, who is the daughter of the head Priestess of Isis. Natasa is schooled in the arts of pleasure, she is tasked to strengthen the royal family with magic of the goddess. She becomes his spiritual companion. Together they will conceive a baby of prophecy, that has been foretold as the Golden Child. This fated couple will encounter deceit and treachery who benefit from Egypt being left in the hands of the Persians and Macedonians. 
Ankhmakis is determined to take back Egypt, where the true Egyptian natives ruled. liken to the past of her former glorious days of legendary splendor.

I was completely impressed how the author truly went beyond the norm of most writers. She made sure that you are given every lit bit of extra information to make your reading experience a phenomenal one.

A book I highly recommend to my family and friends, it’s an exceptional written tale.

I am anxiously waiting for the next installment in this Trilogy.

A prophecy has been foretold by Stamatia, the Oracle.

“ Egypt’s day of Resurrection is near. The man of the South Shore rise to the throne, and the pretenders will be swept from our shores. The golden child shall be born to him who’s banner claims Thebes, and through this miracle, Egyptian will return to her glory.”

About the Author

Nicole Sallak Anderson is a Computer Science graduate from Purdue University, and former CTO for a small Silicon Valley startup, turned novelist and blogger, focusing on the intersection of technology and consciousness. She currently lives in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains in California with her husband, where she raises goats and bees. She enjoys spinning, knitting, playing the bass, and dancing, particularly the tango.

You can keep up with all her latest writing by following @NSallakAnderson on Facebook, Twitter and Medium or her website www.nicolesallakanderson.com.

Feel free to contact her, she almost always answers to any query or comment!

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 24 Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 25 Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, August 26 Review at YA, it’s Lit

Thursday, August 27 Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, August 28 Review at Books and Zebras

Monday, August 31 Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, September 1 Review at Books Cooks Looks

Wednesday, September 2 Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, September 3 Review & Excerpt at Journey in Bookland

Monday, September 7 Feature at I’m Into Books Review at Pursuing Stacie Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Friday, September 11 Review at Jessica Belmont

Wednesday, September 16 Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Friday, September 18 Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary


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

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 18th.
You must be 18 or older to enter.

Enter to Win

Origins https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js


The Beast and the Bethany

Today is my stop on the Fabulous Book Tour for

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips

Hello Bookish Friends Today is my stop on

The Beast and the Bethany, By Jack Meggitt-Philips

Host by, The WriteReads


Title: The Beast and the Bethany

Author: Jack Meggitt-Phillips

Publication Date: 1 October 2020

Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy

Number of Pages: 256

The Beast and the Bethany Cover

Summary: From Goodreads:

“Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old.

He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal.

But Bethany is not your average orphan . . .”

Emmie And The Tudor Queen

Hello Bookish Friends
Today is my stop on
Emmie And The Tudor Queen Hosted by
Favorite Pages Book Club

 @nataliemurrayauthor @favouritepagesclub @gwendalyn_books_ #emmieandthetudorqueen 




Emmie and the Tudor Queen

(Hearts and Crowns Book 2)

Release Date: August 25th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
True love has never been more deadly in this lush sequel to the best-selling Emmie and the Tudor King.
For an extraordinary love, Emmie Grace has given up her life in the modern world to move to the sixteenth century and marry the Tudor king she bravely saved from a dreadful fate. However, not everyone is pleased to see the glorious King Nick betrothed to the unknown and uncultured Emmie—especially the noblemen commanded to protect her.
As Emmie is drawn deeper into Nick’s sumptuous and savage world—where beheadings are way more popular than time travelers—the Tudor court heads on progress across the country, and a growing rebellion against the promised queen looms.
With life and love at stake, Emmie must face the cost of changing the path of history and realize that her greatest sacrifice is yet to come.

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

A wonderful book from  the best-selling Emmie and the Tudor King.  
Natalie Murray sequel is rich and imaginative. A captivating historical YA Fiction, with enjoyable mystical time travel realism.

Let’s step back into the rich and vibrant world that Natalie Murray has created. 
This is second installment in the Hearts and Crowns Series. Picking up where the last book left off, Emmie and the Tudor King. We find Emmie and Nick on shores of the Connecticut River, not exactly where the two are wishing to be.  
It would seem that the mysterious time-travelling ring that appears to be given them fits. As the tale takes off you will be thrown in lush sometimes deadly courtly intrigue. With a swoon worthy king, what’s a modern girl to do. Faced with many obstacles king Nick and Emmie will face all those who deem Emmie as an unsustainable choice for Queen. Suffering under the weight of opposition will their love endure. You will see Emmie grow as character as she tries to fit into Nick’s time. With sacrifice and challenges the young couple will need to rely on each other if there relationship can stand the drama and test of time. 

The writing was seamless and I fell in the with the cast of characters. I thought the sub characters were fleshed out and add creativity to the plotline. An engaging book, that was delightful and exciting to read. A great storyline that has a perfect romance. The historical elements will catapult you into the vivid 16th century, with plagues, royal order, and the sights and sounds of the medieval Tudor era.

Spotify Playlist




Natalie Murray is the author of EMMIE AND THE TUDOR KING (June 11, 2019) and EMMIE AND THE TUDOR QUEEN (August 25, 2020). A fast-paced YA time-slip romance, the Emmie and the Tudor King trilogy follows an American high school girl to a reimagined Tudor England, where she meets a doomed, but utterly dreamy, Tudor king. Emmie and the Tudor King has already received acclaim from Foreword Reviews, YA Books Central, and popular YA authors Brigid Kemmerer (A Curse So Dark and Lonely) and CJ Flood (Infinite Sky), among others. You can visit Natalie at nataliemurrayauthor.com.



August 19th

What Makes Patri – Main Interview + Instagram

August 20th

Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Official Playlist + Instagram

August 21st

Pirouettes And Pages – Review + Mood Board + Instagram

Books and Zebras – Review

August 22nd

Yours A-fiction-ately – Review + Favourite Quotes + Instagram

@livrosdapipoca – Review

August 23rd

Books, Tea, Healthy Me – Video Interview + Instagram

Bumbleebeela – Review

August 24th

Chrissy Writes – Review + Favourite Quotes + Instagram
Gwendalyn’s Books – Review + Playlist + Instagram

August 25th

Know Your Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
TiJah Writes Erotica – Review + Favourite Quotes

The Beast And The Bethany

Hello Bookish Friends Today is my stop on

The Beast and the Bethany, By Jack Meggitt-Philips

Host by, The WriteReads 

#UltimateBlogTour #TheBeastandtheBethany by @MeggittPhillips #BogOffBethany #AFeastForTheBeast @egmontbooksuk@The_WriteReads 

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips | Book Tour

I am excited to apart of this fabulous Book Tour

Thanks to both  The Write Reads Tours and author the Jack Meggit-Phillip

The Beast and the Bethany
by Jack Meggitt-Phillips
Published byAladdin on 12/08/2020 
Pages: 240 

Lemony Snicket meets Roald Dahl in this riotously funny, deliciously macabre, and highly illustrated tale of a hungry beast, a vain immortal man, and a not-so-charming little girl who doesn’t know she’s about to be eaten.

Beauty comes at a price. And no one knows that better than Ebenezer Tweezer, who has stayed beautiful for 511 years.

How you may wonder?

Ebenezer simply has to feed the beast in the attic of his mansion. In return for meals of performing monkeys, statues of Winston Churchill, and the occasional cactus, Ebenezer gets potions that keep him young and beautiful, as well as other presents.

But the beast grows ever greedier with each meal, and one day he announces that he’d like to eat a nice, juicy child next. Ebenezer has never done anything quite this terrible to hold onto his wonderful life. Still, he finds the absolutely snottiest, naughtiest, and most frankly unpleasant child he can and prepares to feed her to the beast.

The child, Bethany, may just be more than Ebenezer bargained for. She’s certainly a really rather rude houseguest, but Ebenezer still finds himself wishing she didn’t have to be gobbled up after all.

Could it be Bethany is less meal-worthy and more…friend-worthy?


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. All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. 

This book had me hooked from start to finish – I literally couldn’t put it down. One fabulous tongue-in-cheek humorous tale, with some thought provoking messages.

The plot is so unique and insatiable, featuring an outlandish cast of characters that I throughly loved them all.. even the Beast, and his terrifying appetite.

Ebenezer Tweezer is a narcissistic, vain man who wants to retain his youth and has lived an extremely long time. He is fast approaching his 512 birthday. He lives a treacherous, magical Beast, who has an insatiable appetite for all sorts of things. 

The Beasts gives Ebenezer a life extending potion for return Ebenezer seeks out all sorts of things for the Beast to gobble up. With only a few days away from Ebenezer birthday, the Beast has put in a special request this year. Ebenezer will definitely have a challenging time year, the Beast has requested a Child, in return for the magic elixir. 

Bethany is a precocious child living in an orphanage. This snarky wayward little girl is just the child to be fed to the Beast. Or so Ebenezer thinks, and what comes next is an hilarious.

Jack Meggitt-Philips delivers an exceptional written storyline with well developed three dimensional characters, that I enjoyed reading about. Wonderful rich atmospheric imagery, this delightful book is sure to become a classic. It’s written for a middle school audience, but will appease a large range.

A well-written, unique and twisty tale, a highly absorbing, compulsive read. 

Click The Photo Below ⇣

This will take to my Instagram/Bookstagram

Jack Meggitt-Phillips

Jack Meggitt Phillips is an incredibly exciting new talent. He is an author, scriptwriter, and playwright whose work has been performed at The Roundhouse and featured on Radio 4. He is a scriptwriter and presenter of The History of Advertising podcast.

In his mind, Jack is an enormously talented ballroom dancer, however, his enthusiasm far surpasses his actual talent.

Jack lives in north London where he spends most of his time drinking peculiar teas and reading PG Wodehouse novels.j

Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

The Quality of Mercy by Malia Zaidi

Hello Bookish Friends

Today I am featuring A Book Blast and Giveaway !

The Quality of Mercy by Malia Zaida

Hosted HFVBT @hfvbt



The Quality of Mercy by Malia Zaidi

Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Book Baby
Paperback & eBook; 416 pages
Series: The Lady Evelyn Mysteries, Book 5
Genre: Historical Mystery




After years spent away, Lady Evelyn is at long last back in her home city of London and she has returned with a rather controversial plan. The Carlisle Detective Agency is born, and it does not take long for the bodies… ahem, cases, to start piling up. With her friend and assistant Hugh, Evelyn embarks on the quest to solve the crimes. Yet the London she encounters is not the London of her coddled youth, and she is forced to learn that there is more to discover than the identity of a murderer. It isn’t only her city which reveals it is not what she always believed it to be, but the people she encounters as well. Secrets are revealed that have her thinking twice about everything she thought she knew about the society in which she grew up.

Evelyn’s love for her hard-won independence confronts her with yet another mystery, whether she is ready or willing to give up any of it for marriage. And then there is the arrival of rather a familiar face in London, one Daniel is none to pleased to see. Evelyn must find not one but two murderers, as well as make a decision that could determine her future. From the mansions of Mayfair to the dark alleys of Whitechapel, can Evelyn catch the killers before another life is taken?

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Malia Zaidi is the author of The Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Thursday, August 20
Reading is My Remedy
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, August 21
Donna’s Book Blog

Saturday, August 22
Robin Loves Reading

Sunday, August 23
Jorie Loves A Story

Monday, August 24
Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, August 25
What Is That Book About

Wednesday, August 26

Thursday, August 27
100 Pages a Day

Friday, August 28
Books, Cooks, Looks

Saturday, August 29
A Darn Good Read

Sunday, August 30
Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a set of The Lady Evelyn Mysteries series! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Quality of Mercy

She Wears the Mask

Hello Lovelies

Today is my stop on She Wears the Mask by Shelly Stratton

Hosted by HFVBTBlogTours

#SheWearstheMask #ShellyStratton #HFVBTBlogTours

She Wears the Mask
by Shelly Stratton

Publication Date: August 11, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 262 pages

Genre: Historical/Women’s Fiction

No one can ever really know what lies behind the mask . . .

Gripping and moving, She Wears the Mask is a novel about two women from two very different worlds, both burdened with secrets from their pasts, who form an unexpected bond…

1950s Chicago: Angelique Bixby could be one of many fresh-faced sales girls working along the Magnificent Mile, but she’s unique. She’s a white woman married to a black man in 1950s Chicago, making her stand out among the tenements on the South Side where she lives. Despite the challenges the couple faces, they find comfort and strength in their love for one another. Angelique is content, as long as she has her Daniel by her side and their baby in her arms, until she loses them both—one to death and the other to dire circumstances.

1990s Washington, D.C.: Angelique Crofton is a woman of privilege. A rich, aging beauty and mother of a rising political star, she has learned to forget her tragic past. But now that she is facing her own mortality, she is finally ready to find the daughter she left behind, remember the young woman she once was, and unearth the bittersweet memories she had long ago buried.

Jasmine Stanley is an ambitious lawyer—the only black woman at her firm. She is too busy climbing the corporate ladder to deal with her troublesome family or their unresolved issues. Tasked with Angelique’s case, Jasmine doesn’t know what to make of her new client—an old debutante with seemingly too much time and money on her hands. Jasmine eagerly accepts the challenge though, hoping if she finds Angelique’s long-lost daughter, it will impress the firm’s partners. But she doesn’t count on the search challenging her mentally and emotionally. Nor does she expect to form a friendship with Angelique, who is much more like her than she realizes—because Jasmine is harboring secrets, too.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

As long as she could remember, Shelly Stratton (who also writes under the penname Shelly Ellis) has wanted to be an author. In college, she studied journalism and started out as a crime reporter for a small local newspaper. Now she is an editor at a trade journal.

She became an author when she was selected as one of four finalists in the BET Books First-Time Writers Contest when she was 19 years old. The prize was having her first short-story romance published in an anthology.

Since then, she has authored ten books and has been nominated for various awards, including a NAACP Image Award® in the Literary Fiction Category, an African American Literary Award in the romance category, and a RT Reviewers’ Choice Award.

Shelly lives in Maryland with her husband and their daughter. She loves to paint, read, and watch movies.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 17
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Tuesday, August 18
Feature at I’m All About Books

Wednesday, August 19
Interview at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Thursday, August 20
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, August 21
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, August 24
Review & Excerpt at Robin Loves Reading

Tuesday, August 25
Interview at Bookish Rantings
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Wednesday, August 26
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, August 27
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, August 28
Guest Post at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, August 31
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

She Wears the Mask

The London Restoration

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, The London Restoration by, Rachel McMillan, which is being hosted by HFBT!

#TheLondonRestoration #RachelMcMillan #HFVBTBlogTours


The London Restoration
by Rachel McMillan

Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Thomas Nelson
Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook

Genre: Historical Fiction

From author Rachel McMillan comes a richly researched historical romance that takes place in post-World War II London and features a strong female lead.

Determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II’s secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world.

London, Fall 1945. Architectural historian Diana Somerville’s experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London’s churches intersect in MI6’s pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance.

Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King’s College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts.

Featuring a timeless love story bolstered by flashbacks and the excavation of a priceless Roman artifact, The London Restoration is a richly atmospheric look at post-war London as two people changed by war rebuild amidst the city’s reconstruction.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound



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

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan, is a historical fiction with the perfect amount of romance. Diana Foyle and Brent Somerville madly in love hastily married. Now that the WWII has come to end, the couple would love more than ever to settle down in marital bliss. The long anticipated reunion seems to take a back seat to Diana’s continuous secretive work. Unbeknownst to Brent,  his lovely wife took a top-secret intelligence post at Bletchley Park during the war.

Now she has been asked to use her expertise as a architectural historian and her critical knowledge of London’s churches. Even though the WWII is over there is another ominous threat on the horizon, that of the spreading of Communism.

The secret service think there is a Russian cell infiltrating into the country. Diana and the MI6 need to catch a Soviet agent named Eternity and find a file containing names of traitors. Wanting nothing more to than a sound marriage based on love and trust. She is unable to disclose her espionage work to her beloved husband because of the Official Secrets Act.

Diana’s passionate interest and her extensive research into the architect, Christopher Wren who was responsible for the design and restoration of the London churches following the Great Fire, makes her a crucial to the cause.

It seems that the individual that goes by the code name; Eternity, has been cleverly using Wren churches as drop-off points.

Brent struggles with Diana secretive ways, along with some of his demons caused by his job during the war. Will they find a way to bring back the trust and closeness within their marriage.

Gorgeous prose, this was a stunning historical romance. I really enjoyed the authors meticulously researched historical facts and the beautiful imagery within her seamless narration.

Historical Note:
Christopher Wren. Among many accomplishments, he was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. After the Great Fire in 1666, he was rendered responsibility for rebuilding 52 churches in the city of London. Most of them were destroyed during WWII.


Rachel McMillan is the author of The Herringford and Watts mysteries, The Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries and The Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. Her next work of historical fiction, The London Restoration, releases in Summer 2020 and takes readers deep into the heart of London’s most beautiful churches. Dream, Plan, Go (May, 2020) is her first work of non-fiction. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada and is always planning her next adventure.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads


Tuesday, August 18
Review at Nursebookie
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, August 19
Review at Austenprose
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Thursday, August 20
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Friday, August 21
Interview at Heidi Reads
Review at Foals, Fiction, and Filligree

Saturday, August 22
Review at Donna’s Book Blog

Monday, August 24
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Interview at The Green Mockingbird

Tuesday, August 25
Review at The Green Mockingbird

Wednesday, August 26
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview on Jorie Loves A Story

Thursday, August 27
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, August 28
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Saturday, August 29
Review at Books and Backroads
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, August 31
Review at Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of The London Restoration! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The London Restoration

The Devil’s Crossing

Hello Friends,

Today I am sharing with you an exceptionally written piece of historical fiction.

It’s my stop on The Devil’s Crossing by Hana Cole,

hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club

#HistoricalFiction #TheDevilsCrossing #CoffeePotBookClub

The Devil’s Crossing

By Hana Cole

Publication date: April 22nd 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Sharpe Books

Print Length: 265 pages

The Devil’s Crossing can be read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Purchase Here

1212. The Chartrain, France.

Gui is a troubled priest who has been shielding his secret family for years.

Agnes, his beloved, is a falsely-accused heretic he rescued from the Inquisition’s pyre.

Their son Etienne, unaware of his father’s true identity, is coming of age. Tired of his lowly shepherd’s life, he seeks adventure. The Crusade is the perfect opportunity to prove himself to the world. He has no reason to suspect the men offering him passage overseas are not what they seem.

Discovering that Etienne has been sold into slavery, Gui and Agnes set off to find him. If Gui is ever to tell his son the truth, he must give up his comfortable compromises and fight the battle of his life against the institution he has served devoutly.

Meanwhile, Agnes guards a secret of her own; she must face her past in a confrontation with the venal Amaury, Lord of Maintenon, that will either set her free or claim her life.

If they are to save their son and expose the slave trade, they must risk everything to overcome the powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to protect their positions and silence them.


That evening, drawn by the noise from the streets below, Gui laid aside his manuscript and peered over the balcony. Three men shuffled in irons behind a plough horse. The prisoners had been sentenced to suffer for their own good. The purifying flame would cleanse their souls, and bestow a last chance of salvation before the fires of Hell. Although he had been clerk to the inquisitor for weeks now, this was the first time that he had witnessed a blood punishment and seen the faces of the convicts; faces just like any other. Among them, he knew, was Estève Le Coudray. A salt merchant from the Languedoc with a kind face and a hearty laugh who had been condemned by a testimony the Inquisition had paid for.

As the procession drew level with the balcony, someone in the crowd threw a chunk of masonry. It struck Le Coudray with such force that Gui heard the man’s jaw crack. Large crimson gobs spilled from his mouth. Gui felt his legs yield beneath him. A fist squeezed inside his stomach, releasing a wave of nausea – I did this. Staggering backwards onto his bench, he sat, heart racing, as the jeers of the crowd built to a crescendo. Any moment now he would smell the smoke.

Transcription scattered at his feet, Gui ran his fingers through his hair, trying to chase out the images from the morning’s trial. But all he could think of was the girl as they took her away, eyes locked onto his as though there were no other living soul in the world. He jumped up and closed the shutter. The noise of the crowd dulled. Gui paced the cell. The day after next, Agnes Le Coudray would be in shackles, stumbling along the cobbles below to her final agony. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. The words of St James had his heart pumping hard against his better judgement.

The wooden shutters muffled the din, but they did not impede the vapours of oak moss, garlanded by spectators to veil the stench of burning flesh. It was the same perfume that his mother used on her deathbed to disguise her decay. Gui felt his gorge rise. He reached for the rosary attached to his belt. It was his mother’s gift to him just months before he entered the Cathedral. On his twelfth birthday he had sat at her bedside, her icy hand in his, as death made its mask of her face.

‘Deliver the weak and needy from the hands of the wicked.’ She pressed the rosary into his palm. ‘For the love of God, may you never falter in your devotion to His mercy.’

Her last words told him of her pride at his calling. He wondered now, as he recalled that beautiful girl blinking back her tears, if his mother would still be proud.

Outside the crowd exalted. Plumes of smoke curled over the rooftops. Blood thrummed urgently in his ears. He pressed his palms together and drew a deep breath. Deliver the weak and needy. Fist clenched tight over the coral beads, he fled the room before the screams began. Sandals slapping on the stone, he hurried to the chapel and he prayed. First, for those poor souls who burned for denying Rome, then, head lifted to the Heavens, he remembered his mother.

Gui crossed the courtyard hooded in the cloak of a cathedral canon. He knew the corridors well enough to walk them blind. Palms slick with sweat, he stole into the scriptorium, a jumble of standing desks, loose parchments, and ribbon-bound ledgers. He tugged at a locked drawer of the Abbot’s desk until it yielded, rummaging through the seals and scrolls to find the key to the Cathedral’s prison. Then, fingers moving light, he thumbed through his documents until he found the pages he had transcribed from Agnes Le Coudray’s interrogation. The urgency of his endeavour pressed the air from his chest. Still, he paused to tear them up before stuffing them into his cloak. He peered out into the empty hallway. Quickening his pace, he glided over the cold quarry tiles to the courtroom, and the cell that lay below.

There was an hour to go before the Canons roused for Lauds – the noose of time was tightening around his neck. In a matter of hours her bones would be ash. He tasted bile at the thought. Before him, narrow steps spiralled down to blackness. Rust from the stolen key scratched at his damp palm. Barely breathing, he placed one foot on the stone, as though he were testing its solidity. Then he squeezed his eyes shut in prayer to a merciful God, and, heart in free fall, stepped down into the abyss.

Gui squinted through the door’s grille. Agnes was hugged into the corner of the cell, a shadowy outline in the near dark. She started at his presence, inching back further against the wall, as though there were succour to be found against the wet stone. A word of reassurance pressed at the base of his throat, but it would not come. Not in this place, with the Devil at his back.

One hand steadying the other, Gui weaved the crudely-cut key into the keyhole and hunted for the lock. Voices from outside echoed above. A moment of panic: if I fail we will both die here. It summoned brute force and, clunk, the door yielded. Agnes inched forward until she was close enough for him to hear her breath. In a moment that seemed to stall the world, he felt her searching his intention. Then, bobbing her head, she pushed at the door. He reached for her hand.

‘Quick,’ he managed. ‘Come with me.’

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

The Devil’s Crossing by Hana Cole is a phenomenal historical fiction.

This is a captivating debut with seamless narration and unique descriptive prose. Cole deftly weaves threads of historical fiction along with actual facts to create one compelling book.
Set in the 13 century, a clerk to the Inquisitor Bernard de Nogent, makes a critical life changing decision, when he releases a young girl condemned as heretic from a gruesome ending. One autumn night, Gui, does the unthinkable and frees Agnes, a daughter of Esteve Le Courdray, who barely escapes from meeting the same fate as her family. 
Fast forward ten years later and Gui has been blessed and fortunate. With the help of his mentor he was given a Patronage of a small village. This has enabled him to live quietly with Agnes, who is by all pretense Gui’s housekeeper. Even though it is morally wrong, and against church doctrine their love has blossomed overtime. 
Gui and Agnes have a well guarded secret, a child was born out of their love for one another. He is eleven years old, struggling at the bonds that have been placed upon him.
Etienne, is completely unaware of his father’s true identity. He is a kind,  hard working shepherd boy. At eleven years old he fast coming of age during the Middle Ages. He longs to have a purpose and make his own way in life. In a series of events, he along with several local boys join a Crusade that make up thousands of young boys who have come together under a misguided cause. Completely unaware of the treachery and deceit that will befall them.
Gui longs to unburden his heart, and reveal his secret to his son. Learning of their son’s departure Gui, and Agnes set off to find him. Hoping against all odds to find him, but there is also another that is seeking young Etienne for dire motives.
A riveting story that will catapult you into the medieval era. Wonderful atmospheric imagery and compelling fleshed out characters, made this a nonstop read for me.
Through the authors seamless narration the book will hook you and cary you all the way through to its satisfying end. I found myself vested in the lives of the characters, and the suspense propelled me forward. The author touches on Some meaningful and insightful issues during that turbulent times in our world’s history.

A thought provoking, meticulously researched book, along superb execution.
The Devil’s Crossing, is one of my favorite reads this year!

I definitely will be recommending this book to my family and friends. I am looking forward to reading more from talented author.


Hana Cole

 Hana Cole is a novelist and historian. Born in Essex to an Anglo-Italian family, she studied economics at the London School of Economics and history at Oxford where she gained her Masters. After living in Italy for several years, she travelled widely in the Middle East and India before returning to the UK. She has worked as a film subtitle translator, financial analyst and a yoga teacher. She now lives in Manningtree, Essex in the UK with her husband, daughter and two cats.


Connect with Hana:






South of the Buttonwood Tree Book Tour + Review & Giveaway

Hello Wonderful Friends, 

Today I have A Book Review And Giveaway!

@booksbyheather @jeanbooknerd @forgereads @gwendalynbooks.wordpress.com  @torbooks #jbnstorytellerbox #jeanbooknerdtours 

Forge Books
Hardcover: 336 pages
Forge Books (July 21, 2020)
Language: English
On Sale: 07/21/2020
ISBN: 9781250198563

Praise for Heather Webber’s MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFE “Full of family secrets, undeniable charm and that particular touch of magic so often found in the South, MIDNIGHT AT THE BLACKBIRD CAFE is a heartfelt and redemptive tale of a daughter looking to move forward in the place her mother couldn’t wait to leave behind. Heather Webber creates a town as dynamic and real as her characters—and a story so compelling that it will stay on readers’ minds long after the final page. I savored every word.” —Kristy Woodson Harvey, national bestselling author of Slightly South of Simple“Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe is an enchanting gem of a novel, brimming with charming characters, heartwarming connections, old secrets, and a southern setting that makes you want to move there. As refreshing as a glass of blackberry tea, this is truly magical realism at its best!” —Karen White, New York Times bestselling author“Family, fate, and magic intertwine in this endearing Southern tale of long-held secrets, homemade pie, and building one’s future from the remains of the past. A tantalizing, delicious delight, through and through. Heather Webber writes with so much detail and imagination that I’ll be craving some Blackbird Cafe pie—and the comfort that comes with it—for a long time to come.” —Kristin Harmel, international bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amélie and The Sweetness of Forgetting
Blue Bishop has a knack for finding lost things. While growing up in charming small-town Buttonwood, Alabama, she’s happened across lost wallets, jewelry, pets, her wandering neighbor, and sometimes, trouble. No one is more surprised than Blue, however, when she comes across an abandoned newborn baby in the woods, just south of a very special buttonwood tree.Sarah Grace Landreneau Fulton is at a crossroads. She has always tried so hard to do the right thing, but her own mother would disown her if she ever learned half of Sarah Grace’s secrets.The unexpected discovery of the newborn baby girl will alter Blue’s and Sarah Grace’s lives forever. Both women must fight for what they truly want in life and for who they love. In doing so, they uncover long-held secrets that reveal exactly who they really are–and what they’re willing to sacrifice in the name of family.You can purchase South of the Buttonwood Tree at the following


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

A picturesque southern town, with a little bit of Magic Webber has created a cozy small town with all the dynamics that go with it.

This southern charm book, is a delight to read with all gossip, lies, and family dramas.

‘It was the kind of day in Buttonwood, Alabama, where trouble slipped into town with the breeze, jarring awake sleepy springtime leaves on the massive oaks and sky-high hickories. It scraped parched dirt, sending dust skittering along the trail like it was running for cover. It whistled its warning, plain as day to anyone who cared to listen.’

At the center is a delightful folklore, surrounding a tree, The Buttonwood Tree. If you don’t pay attention and follow its advise, you will suffer the consequences.

Buttonwood Alabama, has a long memory, and for those carrying the Bishop name they know it all to well. Blue Bishop has struggled under the weight of her family’s surname. A successful children’s author and illustrator, with a series of books about a bunny that have made her famous. Her family’s scandalous behavior, has left its mark on the the residents of Buttonwood, Alabama.

Blue and her sister, Persy are the only two left in the Bishop family.  Blue is kindhearted and goes out of her way for others, even when she was little her behavior set her apart from her infamous family.

Blue has a knack for finding things, and sometimes even people. The wind calls to her and she listens and follows it to things or people who are lost.

“As surely as the wind pushed me along, it also held me back, keeping me tethered to Buttonwood like a small bird in a big, pretty cage. Until I found the lost thing with no name, I was free to roam—but only within the confines of my ornate prison.”

Blue Bishop —-

Sarah Grace Landreneau Fulton has spent her life trying to ‘Do better and Be better’. A saying that has been driven into her by her domineering southern mother. Putting her family and it’s status above her own wants a desires. This path has led her into a series of mistakes, along with an unhappy marriage.

Sarah Grace also is gifted with something magical Also she is a house whisperer.

Blue has unexpected discovery of a mysterious baby this set off a series of events that is the center of Webber’s novel. When secrets are revealed they will shake both Sarah Grace and Blues lives forever.

This was a fast paced read, easy to fall into this quaint charming town and it’s lively inhabitants. I stayed up late to finish reading it. Once I started reading this book, there was no way I could put it down. I loved the way author meticulously blended magical realism into a heartwarming story,  about family and friendship.

If you haven’t read any of Heather Webber books what are you waiting for?


—A Little Historical Tidbit—

Buttonwood is a name given to the American sycamore tree, because its fine wood was often used for making buttons.

Have a wonderful day!


Photo Content from Heather Webber HEATHER
WEBBER is the national bestselling author of more than thirty novels–including Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe, the Lucy Valentine novels, and the Nina Quinn Mysteries–and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She loves to spend time with her family, read, drink too much coffee and tea, birdwatch, crochet, watch cooking competition and home improvement shows, crochet, and bake. Heather lives in southwestern Ohio and is hard at work on her next book.        
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Hello Everyone

Happy Book Birthday

@sashalwrites @razorbillbooks




In her debut Laurens weaves an intricate, suspense-filled tale mingling everyday teen angst with otherworldly sorcery…the shifting narrative tantalizes teen readers with the possibility of magic.  – Kirkus

Laurens blends the extraordinary and the everyday into her swiftly paced plot and creates characters readers care about as they navigate the challenges of adolescence and independence on the cusp of adulthood. – School Library Journal

When Dan and Liss stumbled on a way to transform themselves into witches, they never imagined they’d need magic to stay best friends forever.

But when a spell goes wrong and a demon snatches away Johnny, Liss’s boyfriend, in the middle of the night, the girls’ friendship vanishes, too.

Now, months since his disappearance—and since Dan and Liss last spoke—Liss barges back into Dan’s life with shocking news: she’s found a way to talk to Johnny, and she’s going to bring him home. But the path to rescuing Johnny is rockier than they’d expected, and neither of them might be strong enough to confront what they’re searching for.

Too bad they don’t know that Alexa, Dan’s new friend, is harboring magical secrets of her own.

Set in the atmospheric wilds of California’s northern coast, Sasha Laurens’s eerie debut novel is about the complications of friendship, taking back power, and how to embrace the darkness that lurks within us all.



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.

Content/Trigger Warnings: self harm/ anxiety / depression / drug use / brief mention of a underage relationship

Sasha Lauren debut book is set in the atmosphere wilds of a sleepy foggy California northern coast. Liss and Dan are besties, in their sophomore year of high school. Waiting for something magical to happen. They come across a antique magical book.

When a magical spell appears within the book, to make them witches. They think nothing of it, and cast it. From that moment their lives change, and not all it is good. They unintentionally summon something dark, and with it comes disastrous complications. Ultimately it shatters their once bond of friendship and drives a wedge between the two.

Fast forward, Liss has been trying, without any success to right the wrong. Seeking to bring back her boyfriend, Johnny Su, who went missing during the spell that both Liss and Dan cast. Liss has a breakthrough and finally makes contact with Johnny, and tries to draw Dan back into magic. Dan has moved con and has a new best friend, Alexa. Alexa is grappling with her own magical awakening.

This captivating tale is about the complications of friendship, and ultimately taking back power. The author has written memorable character driven novel with complex female friendships along with tongue-in-cheek narration. A urban fantasy that uses magical realism as a vehicle for what the storyline is really about. Creative and written in such away that had me flipping the pages as fast as I could.





SASHA LAURENS ..was raised in San Francisco and Northern California, where she learned to drive on Highway 1’s switchback turns and got accustomed to the best weather in the world. She started taking writing classes at 826 Valencia in high school, and would have minored in Creative Writing at Columbia University, if the minor hadn’t been eliminated. Instead, Sasha studied Russian Literature, and graduated summa cum laude.

Upon graduation she moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, and attempted to write a literary novel, unsurprisingly about Americans living in St. Petersburg, Russia. Returning to New York City, she earned an M.A. in Russian Regional Studies from Columbia University while working at the university. Since 2014, she been pursuing her PhD in political science at the University Michigan, and currently resides in Ann Arbor.

Writing and political science take up almost all of her time, but when she gets a break she loves boxing, watching bad reality tv, and traveling.

John Keats The Poet

Hello Today I Decided to take down one of my beautiful antique books to share with you. I have been avid collector of Antique and vintage books for various reasons since childhood.

Today I am featuring The Poet Mr Joh Keats and His love for Miss Fanny Brawne. So grab yourself a cuppa and join me 




John Keats

 Portrait of English Romantic poet John Keats 1795-1821, by English painter William Hilton National Portrait Gallery, London

Today I want to share with you some my ramblings, in particular I have a a question for you. Have you ever read any of the classics. I know most of us have had to read some sort of classical lit for school or such.
My question really is have picked up on your own and read a piece of classical literature, from a novel or a a delightful book of poetry.

My Mother was an avid reader, so I was introduced early on to classical literature along with, and I kid you not Fantasy and Science Fiction.
You would be surprised how easy it is to transition from one to the other.

So this post is particularly about John Keats, and his poetry, along with his love interest. Which I found to have influenced his writing. Maybe not so much is rattled him into putting forth more of effort to write.

His poetry is really fantastic,  in its way of imagery, and I am all about forgetting about what’s going on in the world today. I want to be transported into a book or poem.. something that allows me Escape.


Despite his death at the age of 25, Keats is one of the greatest English poets and a key figure in the Romantic movement.

He has become the epitome of the young, beautiful, doomed poet.

John Keats was born on 31 October 1795 in London. His father worked at a livery stable, but died in 1804. His mother remarried, but died of tuberculosis in 1810.

Keats was educated at a school in Enfield. When he left at 16, he was apprenticed to a surgeon. He wrote his first poems in 1814. In 1816, he abandoned medicine to concentrate on poetry. His first volume of poetry was published the following year.

In 1818, Keats nursed his brother Tom through the final stages of tuberculosis, the disease that had killed their mother. Tom died in December and Keats moved to his friend Charles Brown’s house in Hampstead. There he met and fell deeply in love with a neighbour, the 18-year old Fanny Brawne.

This was the beginning of Keats’ most creative period. He wrote, among others, ‘The Eve of St Agnes’, ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’, ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ and ‘To Autumn’. The group of five odes, which include ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, are ranked among the greatest short poems in the English language.

From September 1819, Keats produced little more poetry. His financial difficulties were now severe. He became engaged to Fanny Brawne, but with no money there was little prospect of them marrying.

Early in 1820, Keats began to display symptoms of tuberculosis. His second volume of poetry was published in July, but he was by now very ill. In September, Keats and his friend Joseph Severn left for the warmer weather of Italy, in the hope that this would improve Keats’ health. When they reached Rome, Keats was confined to bed. Severn nursed him devotedly, but Keats died in Rome on 23 February 1821. He was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome.

John Keats’s Style Poems


Keats’s diction is highly connotative.

His writing style is characterized by sensual imageryand contains many poetic devices such as alliteration, personification, assonance, metaphors, and consonance.

All of these devices work together to create rhythm and music in his poems. His most popular poems include:

 Ode on Melancholy,
 Ode on a Grecian Urn
Ode to Autumn
Ode to a Nightingale
La Belle Dame Sans Mercy
Imitation of Spenser
and “Isabella.

Among his sonnets, the most popular are 

“Bright Stars! Would I were steadfast as Thou Art,” “When I have Fears that I may Cease to be,” “Endymion,” “The Eve of St. Agnes,” and “Lamia.”

More About Him


Keats did not harness dramatic and narrative power necessary to present individual characters. Instead, he was gifted with lyrical power to present characters with expressive moods. Often, these moods were of pensiveness, romantic sadness, or indolence, as well as ecstatic delight, which can be observed in his great odes.

To Autumn” (1819)

This poem’s first line is one of the most iconic of all time.
Arguably, no other poet has managed to create such a beautiful depiction of the season so deftly, or with such a kaleidoscopic wealth of images.

Keats is able to convey the synaesthesia of three months in just three stanzas.

The naturalistic, almost pastoral language is reminiscent of Hardy in places, though achieves as much with a fraction of the words.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


Bright Star by John Keats Poetry Analysis

Bright Star by John Keats Poetry Analysis – Quillsliteracy

This essay is a close reading analysis of the poem

“The Bright Star”.

It is a love sonnet and is believed that it was written for his love and fiance’ Fanny Brawny. Keats writes the poem in iambic pentameter. The poem revolves around Keats love for stars and about nature’s beauty. The whole poem is written with a rhyming scheme except the last two lines possibly to attract the reader’s attention to it.

By starting the poem with “Bright Star! “                                           

Keats introduces the poem with strong imagery and symbolism that rejects a clear and precise picture of the bright star. By adding an exclamation to the line, he stresses the importance of the star and to exhibit the excitement he is feeling. He wishes that he could be as steadfast and consistent as the bright star. In the second line, he writes about the lonely star that is isolated from the rest of the world. Even though he admires the star and wishes to be like it, he doesn’t want to follow this quality of the star.

The third line – expresses that the star is always awake and shining and that is yet another characteristic he doesn’t wish to imitate. In line our, Keats writes about a “sleepless Eremite” which is another word for hermit. Comparing eremite to the “moving waters” captures beautiful imagery. This is the first time Keats uses religion in the poem. However, he does use it a few times throughout the poem. The poet uses the poetic device simile in the fifth line by comparing the moving waters to “Priestley task”.

This contributes to the fact that John Keats loves and admires the beauty of nature (“moving waters”) as he is comparing it with a religious symbol (“Priestley task”). The religiousness was being compared to the star, and now it is being compared to the moving waters. It shows a separation between the sky and the Earth. With the imagery of “Eremite” and “Priestley tasks” of moving waters, Keats wishes to express that the stars and the nature of water bodies are always twinkling and flowing, basically being immortal, which he cannot accomplish.

In line six- Keats uses the word “ablution” which also symbolizes religion. Ablution is a word for religious washing or cleansing and Keats ties it with the sea. All the lines so far in the poem express the profound admiration that Keats has for the skies and the Earth, since he compares them with elisions values. Keats brings back the stars and its gazing once again in line seven. He uses enjambment to create a pause from the stars and waters to transform into other earthly bodies.

Keats starts this new stanza by expressing his admiration for mountains and moors and the beautiful snow that accumulates on top of its peak. He tries to create imagery of a winter and lonely place. Winter has a connotation of seclusion and desolation. One can also find alliteration in mountains and moors, trying to stress his adoration for them. Keats repeats what he expresses n the beginning of the poem again in line eight saying that he wants to be steadfast and “unchangeable” like the star, but not lonely.

This repetition enforces the passion he for the star. He writes about him lying on his lover’s breast and seeking comfort. He mentions “ripening” breast to express that even if the breast is aging, the comfy it produces does not lessen. This can be compared to the star, which also has its comfort and beauty no matter it’s age. Keats ends the poem by saying, “so live ever- or else swoon to death”. He expresses that he would be happy to live with his love and swoon to death or live forever like the star.


The gravestone of poet John Keats, (1795-1821), stands in Rome’s ‘Non Catholic Cemetery’ on March 26, 2013 in Rome, Italy


Watercolour of Fanny Brawne, 1833.


Keats & Fanny

THE LOVE affair between John Keats and Fanny Brawne was shortlived but burned intensely bright.

They met in 1819 when they were neighbours in Hampstead but were separated for ever when Keats departed for Italy in September 1820 hoping the warmer weather there might alleviate the symptoms of his tuberculosis.

He died in Rome in February 1821, aged just 25.

The poems he wrote during that time (including his best known works Ode To A Grecian Urn, Ode On Melancholy and Ode To A Nightingale) are among some of the best loved in the English language but the passionate letters he and Fanny exchanged give us a unique insight into their love affair.

When they met, Fanny was just 18 and Keats described her as “autiful, elegant, graceful, silly, fashionable and strange”. He considered her passion for clothes to indicate someone a little too vain and flirtatious to be taken seriously but soon grew to see it as an expression of her bold and irrepressible nature, calling her his “minxtress”.

In March 1820 he wrote her a letter saying: “You are always new… the last movement always the gracefullest.”

In the early 19th century it was not considered desirable for women to be too clever or too educated. Fanny shared what Bright Star’s director Jane Campion calls the “passive waiting fate of any young woman of her time”. Yet she was obviously bright and if poetry was Keats’s way of expressing himself and making sense of the world around him, so fashion was Fanny’s.

It was obviously a passion that she developed at a young age since a collection survives of fashion plates clipped from such magazines as Petit Courrier des Dames (a French publication, the early 19th-century equivalent of Vogue), which she starting making at the age of 12. Fanny continued to amass these illustrations until just two years before her death in 1865.

When Keats first encounters his neighbour in Campion’s film she  is wearing a white dress with a vibrant red cardigan and an attention-seeking feathered hat.

The dress itself is copied from one in Fanny’s collection. White dresses were de rigueur for young women at the time but it was only just becoming acceptable to pair them with colours: a white skirt with a coloured “body” was considered daring.

Janet Patterson, costume designer for Bright Star took inspiration from Fanny’s books  of fashion plates. Some of the costumes are on show at Keats House, the museum that now occupies the semi-detached Hampstead house in which the poet used to live. It was owned by his friend Charles Brown who let a room to Keats with the Brawne family occupying the other side.

Katherine Pearce of Keats House says:

“It was just after the Battle of Waterloo so the French look was very fashionable and military detailing on clothes for women was also something that was popular”.

Katherine Pearce, “I don’t so much see Fanny as his muse more someone who shook him up. Before he met her he had been writing about his surroundings and theoretical  ideas of truth and beauty but  the depth of his feelings for her frightened him and he was forced to confront things in a very personal way.”

Fanny did eventually marry  and have children but she always wore the engagement ring Keats had given her. a garnet set in  gold scrollwork, it undoubtedly  set off her many elegant outfits.

The Keats House is open Friday to Sunday.
Visit keatshouse.cityoflondon.gov.uk


Location: Fanny Brawne’s Room, Keats House, Hampstead

Description: This is the engagement ring given to Fanny Brawne by the poet John Keats in 1819, probably in sometime in the Autumn of that year. (1) The ring was probably made in the late eighteenth century, and the stone is almandine – a type of garnet – set in a gold openwork scrolled shouldered hoop.

Now on to the movie Bright Star, which I finally watched.I have to say it’s really breathtaking in the cinematography, along with Keats poems and love letters to Fanny Brawne. It’s actually swoon worthy.

I think it’s by far one of the most romantic period pieces I have come across in historical cinematography.

Maybe it’s the lighting or the nature, or maybe it’s the dress. The acting, Not sure.. but I love it

Bright Star is a 2009 British-French-Australian biographical fiction romantic drama film based on the last three years of the life of poet John Keats and his romantic relationship with Fanny Brawne. It stars Ben Whishaw …

Music by: Mark Bradshaw
Directed by: Jane Campion
Written by: Jane Campion
Produced by: Jan Chapman; Caroline Hewitt



Sons of Rome by Simon Turney & Gordon Dohertyk

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Sons of Rome (Rise of Emperors #1). Co-authored by Simon Turney & Gordon Doherty,

Published as an ebook on 15th October and will be available in hardcover in December.

Publication Date : October 15, 2020

Print Length : 433 pages

Publisher : Head of Zeus — an Aries Book

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 Twitter: @AriesFiction

Facebook: Aries Fiction

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

Four Emperors. Two Friends. One Destiny.

As twilight descends on the 3rd Century AD, the Roman Empire is but a shadow of its former self. Decades of usurping emperors, splinter kingdoms and savage wars have left the people beleaguered, the armies weary and the future uncertain. And into this chaos Emperor Diocletian steps, reforming the succession to allow for not one emperor to rule the world, but four.

Meanwhile, two boys share a chance meeting in the great city of Treverorum as Diocletian’s dream is announced to the imperial court. Throughout the years that follow, they share heartbreak and glory as that dream sours and the empire endures an era of tyranny and dread. Their lives are inextricably linked, their destinies ever-converging as they rise through Rome’s savage stations, to the zenith of empire.

For Constantine and Maxentius, the purple robes beckon…

Find Sons of Rome (Rise of Emperors #1) on Goodreads

Four Emperors. Two Friends. One Destiny.

As twilight descends on the 3rd century AD, the Roman Empire is but a shadow of its former self. Decades of usurping emperors, splinter kingdoms and savage wars have left the people beleaguered, the armies weary and the future uncertain. And into this chaos Emperor Diocletian steps, reforming the succession to allow for not one emperor to rule the world, but four.

Meanwhile, two boys share a chance meeting in the great city of Treverorum as Diocletian’s dream is announced to the imperial court. Throughout the years that follow, they share heartbreak and glory as that dream sours and the empire endures an era of tyranny and dread. Their lives are inextricably linked, their destinies ever-converging as they rise through Rome’s savage stations, to the zenith of empire. For Constantine and Maxentius, the purple robes beckon…

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.

Sons of Rome, the first volume of the joint work between two authors Simon Turney & Gordon Doherty is set for release through Head of Zeus on December 10th 2020.

Sons of Rome Is a historical fiction of the incredible rise of Constantine and Maxentius. The author have created a propulsive storyline, offering both drama and historical authenticity to appeal to anyone interested in Roman fiction.

The character development and complex relationships, and the setting and time period are brought to life with unique details. The seamless narration flows perfectly, that you would never know that two separate authors contributed to such a compelling book. The switching back and forward is impeccable, you are thrust into this violent and political time period. Rich atmospheric imagery along with fleshed out characters will have on the edge of your seat.

I have read multiple books, that are somewhat centered on this particular time period, but I have to say this book, by far this one is impeccable. With meticulous research the authors brings both of their own voices to give the reader an incredible experience.

A compelling book that will have catapulted into the time of 3rd century AD.

Rome used to be a superpower back in the days of the early 2nd century. With border wars it’s been on a steady decline. Diocletian, was a forceful Roman general who sized power, and declared himself emperor. In a bold step he knew that the Empire was to large, and took actions to make a spit of it. Keeping the eastern part and giving the western half to his colleague, Maximian.

Told through the eyes of the two POV’s, Constantine and Maxentius. A coming of age, epic fiction that centers on two very different and men and their part in history.

This book will ignite you to investigate and learn more about this era and these iconic historical legends. Along with political and religious drama that takes center stage in this turbulent time in history.

About the Authors

Simon Turney is the author of the Marius’ Mules and Praetorian series, as well as The Damned Emperor series for Orion and Tales of the Empire series for Canelo. He is based in Yorkshire. 

Connect with Simon
Website | Twitter

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

Gordon Doherty is the author of the Legionary and Strategos series, and wrote the Assassin’s Creed tie-in novel Odyssey. He is based in Scotland.

Connect with Gordon
Website | Twitter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gordon.doherty/

The Sign of the Blood

Hello and welcome to my stop on The Sign Of Blood By Laurence O’Bryan,

Hosted By The Coffee Pot Book Club.

 #HistoricalFiction #AncientRome #TheSignoftheBlood #CoffeePotBookClub

The Sign of the Blood

By Laurence O’Bryan 

(A Dangerous Emperor, Book #1)

Publication date: 22nd November 2018

Publisher: Ardua

Print Length: 469 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

The first Christian emperor faces ruthless enemies on his journey to power.

Cool mist settles over the legion advancing toward the Persian army. Constantine, the son of an emperor, the Roman officer leading the attack, tells his men to halt – something is wrong.

Before long, the battle rages. He frees a slave named Juliana. She is half Persian and half Roman. As they are pursued to Britannia over land and sea, he learns that she can see the future – his future.


It is 306A.D., long before Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and became the first Christian emperor.


To ensure he survives, he must eliminate his enemies. But who must die first? The priestess, Sybellina, who joined them in Rome and practices dark and seductive magic? Or the brutal legion commanders who surround his father? Or, as Juliana suspects, are those who want him dead even closer?


A gripping historical novel about Constantine’s bloody rise to power, the woman who helped him, and the real reason he supported a persecuted Christian minority, a decision which changed the world into the one we know. 


Praise for The Sign of the Blood


“Exciting and original.” – SJA Turney, author of Praetorian.


It is an enthralling story from start to finish” The Coffee Pot Book Club



Buy Links:




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

The Sign of The Blood by Laurence O’Bryan, is a riveting fictionalization tale of the iconic Constantine the Great’s rise to power. The author catapults you into the cruel, and harsh world of 297 A.D. to 306 A.D. This is an era where Christianity moved forward from a persecuted radical religion, to that in becoming the most powerful influencer religion in the Roman Empire.

With uniquely-descriptive prose, O’Bryan, deftly weaves threads of historical characters and vibrant fictional, to create a colourful fabric affording the reader, unique insights to the stunning life of Constantine and a fierce in-slaved girlthat comes from beyond Hadrian’s Wall.

A fabulous representation to storyline, the author delivers a compelling, intriguing novel. I was completely engaged with its absolutely fantastic characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. The strength of this novel handsdown is the author’s fabulous characterizations and precision details. Rich battle scenes of war and blood to lustful carnage. Easy to follow narration that held my attention from the very first page until the last. I absolutely loved the characters and how realistic they were given the time period.

This is a treasure of book to buy and keep in your library. My first read, from this highly talented author, I am excited to read more work from the author Laurence O’Bryan


Laurence O’Bryan


I spent twenty years studying Roman history and reading every book about Constantine the Great I could find. I also visited numerous sites where my Roman series is set, including in London, where I lived for ten years, Jerusalem, Rome, Trier, York, Nicomedia and Istanbul.

The first novel in the series, The Sign of The Blood, is about the rise to power of Constantine the Great, the women who helped him, and the others who wanted him dead.

The Road to The Bridge, the second novel in the series, is about the lead up to the battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 A.D. and how Constantine the Great lured Maxentius, his rival emperor, out of Rome.

The third novel in the series, The Cursed City, is about the dedication of New Rone, later to be called Constantinople, and how Constantine fell out with his wife, Fausta, and his son Crispus, and what he had to do to survive.

To join the mailing list and receive news of these books use this link: http://bit.ly/TSOTBseries

There are five novels in the puzzle series, The Istanbul Puzzle, The Jerusalem Puzzle, The Manhattan Puzzle, The Nuremberg Puzzle and The Cairo Puzzle.

There is a story link from The Istanbul Puzzle to The Cursed City.

My books have:
* Achieved #1 ranking on Amazon,
* Been translated into 10 languages.

My roots go back to a small estate deep in the Mountains of Mourne near the Silent Valley, in County Down, Northern Ireland.

I went to school in Dublin, drank way too much, studied English and history, then business, then IT at Oxford University.

My research has taken me all over the world, from San Francisco to deep in the Muslim world. There are secrets everywhere. I enjoy writing about them. I hope you enjoy reading about them.


Social Media Links:

Connect with Laurence:



The Potential for Love: A Regency Novel

Hello and welcome to my stop on The Potential for Love: A Regency Novel

By Catherine Kullmann

Hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club

@CKullmannAuthor @maryanneyarde

 #ThePotentialforLove #RegencyRomance #CoffeePotBookClub

The Potential for Love: A Regency Novel

By Catherine Kullmann


For over six years, Thomas Ferraunt’s thoughts have been of war. Newly returned to England from occupied Paris, he must ask himself what his place is in this new world and what he wants from it. More and more, his thoughts turn to Arabella Malvin, but would Lord Malvin agree to such a mismatch for his daughter, especially when she is being courted by Lord Henry Danlow?

About to embark on her fourth Season, Arabella is tired of the life of a debutante, waiting in the wings for her real life to begin. She is ready to marry. But which of her suitors has the potential for love and who will agree to the type of marriage she wants?

As she struggles to make her choice, she is faced with danger from an unexpected quarter while Thomas is stunned by a new challenge. Will these events bring them together or drive them apart?

Where to buy


We are celebrating the release of the special hardback edition of The Potential for Love during this tour. With a beautiful dust jacket over an elegant laminated cover, it will enhance any library and is the perfect gift for lovers of historical women’s fiction and historical romance.

The Potential for Love is also available in Paperback and as eBook and is free to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.




Barnes and Noble


Amazon Kindle

Waterstones (Paperback)

Barnes and Noble (Paperback)



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

The Potential for Love is written in classical traditional Regency style romance.

Arabella Malvin’s family has suffered the loss of her brother at war. When Major Thomas Ferraunt, just recently returned from war, comes to call on the Malvins to relay some memorable moments about the their son. Arabella {Bella} Malvin, finds herself drawn to the local Rector’s Son.

Arabella is on her forth season in London, tried of the round of endless balls, she is eager for her life to began. She catches the eye of several would be suitors. One in particular, is the wealthy titled Lord Henry Danlow. Who is seeking a wife that would be the the perfect lady to mold to his specifications.

In a world where social standing is everything and your choice for a spouse is determined by title and linage. This historical fiction has a love triangle, with villainous dangers that will have flipping through the pages.

I really appreciate the little remembrance of Georgette Heyer’s style writing or Austen’s. With its satire and plight of young woman and the social restrictions of the Ton. The authors is wonderful at giving rich meticulous detail, that places the reader in the front row, of this stunning book. I have to say that I inhaled this one. It was beautifully executed novel. I was completely engaged with the characters as they felt real and three dimensional. The plot line flows and the narration is impeccable.

This is my first book by this talented author. I am definitely going to seek out and read more from her.

I highly recommend this book for those who love gorgeous details, and regency dramas.



From Chapter ThreePlaying Pope Joan


“Now what have you chosen for us, Arabella?” Lord Malvin enquired after Miss Halworth had smilingly acknowledged her applause and compliments and resumed her seat.


“I must beg to be excused, sir. I am not in good voice today, I fear.”


“Then you’ll play something for us. It’s been too long since we had music in the evenings.”


Thomas thought he heard her sigh but she removed her gloves obediently and went to leaf through the sheets of music in the slatted Canterbury beside the pianoforte. Once seated at the instrument, she squared her shoulders as if steeling herself for an ordeal and began to play. He didn’t recognise the piece, Mozart, he thought, but it did not seem too difficult, yet she bit her lip as if she had to concentrate. Once she blinked rapidly and brushed at her eye as if something irritated it. She paused for a moment and then broke into a strident, aggressive melody alla Turca, the sharp rhythm and slashing staccato a reminder that this style of music was inspired by the Sultan’s Janissary bands that had once played before the gates of Vienna. When she got to the end, she closed the lid of the instrument firmly, bowed briefly and returned to her seat beside him. She was trembling and her eyes brimmed with unshed tears. He watched, horrified, as she struggled to contain them.


No-one else seemed to have noticed. She took a deep breath, pressed her lips firmly together and swallowed, her hands clenched on her gloves. A teardrop stole down her cheek and she hastily knuckled it away. There was a second door at the end of the room. If he could get her down there, she could leave the room discreetly.


He indicated the portrait that hung on the far wall. “I should like a closer look at the background of that painting, Miss Malvin. Will you show it to me?”


She nodded and accepted his hand to help her rise. Her hand shook and he tucked it into the crook of his arm with a comforting clasp.


Another tear threatened to overflow. He ignored it and, as they slowly paced down the long room, began to describe how the French had protested against the removal of looted paintings from the Louvre. “But Wellington held firm. He even had the four bronze horses of St Mark taken down from the Arc de Triomphe and returned to Venice. Although the Venetians did not acquire them honestly either—they were part of their plunder from Constantinople during the crusades. Ah, here we are. It’s very fine, indeed. I shall take a step behind you, so as to better judge the perspective.” He stood back and to the right, screening her from the others.


She cast him a grateful look through wet eyelashes before dabbing at her eyes with a little lace-trimmed handkerchief, then discreetly blew her nose. “That’s better.” She smiled weakly. “Thank you for rescuing me. It is very foolish, but since Arthur was killed, music tends to make me weep. The tears just come—I cannot stop them.”


“It is because music can unlock what is hidden away in our heart,” he said sympathetically. “As time passes, you will find it easier. Would you prefer to slip away until you have recovered your composure?”


“No. I’ll do now.” She squared her shoulders and pointed to the painting. “Here you see my grandfather posed rather pompously against the ruins of Rome, his elbow propped casually on a convenient antique altar. I have seen similar works in other families; I suspect the artists kept a supply of half-finished canvases, ready for the next young Englishman who wanted to bring back proof of his grand tour. He has a look of Arthur, don’t you think?”


“Provided one removes the wig,” he agreed tactfully He couldn’t see the resemblance himself, but if it pleased her to think so—


“My mother insisted on having his likeness taken when he was at home after Vittoria. He grumbled, of course, but now we are so glad to have it. It hangs in her sitting-room.” She looked up at him. “It helps to talk normally about him. We couldn’t before—Mamma became so distressed.”



Arabella, Ferraunt, should we play Pope Joan or speculation?” Matthew called down the room.


“Pope Joan,” Miss Malvin said. “I hate speculation. Who else is playing?”


“Everyone except Admiral and Lady Halworth who have challenged the rector and Papa to a game of whist.”


“That makes us ten. Shall we draw for partners?” Mrs Malvin asked as she placed an ornate, round, staking board in the middle of the table. “A hand of four cards is really too small to play properly. Matrimony and intrigue will get out of hand.”


Without waiting for a reply, she rapidly created five pairs of cards, shuffled them and spread them into a fan for each player to take one.



I’ve never before played a game that involved ‘matrimony’ and ‘intrigue’,” Thomas remarked.


“They are both winning combinations,” Miss Malvin replied, her eyes dancing. “The first is when you play the queen and king of trumps in succession; the second is if you play the knave and queen.”


“And supposing your neighbour has the king to your queen?”


“Then we share the matrimony pool.”


“All four? I thought we were playing Pope Joan, not the Grand Turk!” He flipped over his card. “Five of hearts. And you?”


She displayed the five of diamonds.


“Excellent. I shall rely on you to advise me,” He pulled out a chair for her and took the one beside it. “How is this played?” he asked as he accepted a pile of ivory fish from Mrs Malvin. “What are the stakes?”



“And Pope clears all.” Mrs Ferraunt triumphantly put down the nine of diamonds and helped herself to the counters for ‘pope’ and ‘game’.


“I think the rectory has an unfair advantage,” Julian Malvin protested as he shuffled the cards before the new deal. “That is your second pope, ma’am and I don’t know how many matrimonies you and my brother have celebrated this evening.”


“Pure luck,” she said complacently.


Thomas rarely played cards. Even now, his income was not so great that he could comfortably afford to lose a large sum and in his early days in the regiment, where an ensign’s pay had barely covered his living expenses, he had not been prepared to risk the allowance his father made him on top of it. It had been simpler to say he did not gamble. Some of his more well-to-do fellows had sneered at him as the ‘parson’s son,’ but he had simply replied, ‘And proud to be so, sir’.


This was different. While the game was important, it was the company that mattered; the jokes and quips tossed across the table, the teasing when a pair took matrimony or Lady Malvin’s smug look when she emptied her hand by laying down one after another five clubs so that she and Miss Lambton took the game. And he could lean over the shoulder of a pretty girl and whisper confidentially in her ear as he advised her which suit to lead next. She obligingly followed his instructions although she knew the game far better than he did. She smelt of roses and sunshine, somehow, of lazy summer days—English summer, of course, with its dappled shade and countless blossoms, not the baking, parched heat of Spain.


“Hearts, then spades,” he murmured and she obediently placed the four of hearts in front of her, followed by the five and six. Spades were trumps and they held knave and queen. She could have played them first—there was nothing more provoking than to be prevented from playing such a combination—but the seven of hearts had already been played. This way she could dispose of five cards even if someone held the King.


“That’s a stop,” he announced when she put down the six. Now she could play her spades.


“Intrigue,” she said, laying down the Knave and Queen and Matthew pushed the staking board towards her. It was the first intrigue of the night and she smiled over her shoulder at Thomas as she scooped the counters from the compartment.


“What a pity we’re not playing for guineas.”


“I think you’ll find you’ve at most recouped your losses, Sis,” Matthew said dryly.


She sighed. “I suppose you’re right.”


“What sort of intrigue are you and Ferraunt plotting, Bella?” Mr Halworth asked with a grin.


Thomas stiffened but Miss Malvin only laughed.


“You surely don’t expect us to reveal all,” she retorted gaily. “We are better conspirators than that, are we not, Major.”


“As Lord Lansdowne has it, ’Tis the talk, and not the intrigue, that’s the crime’,” Miss Lambton put in.


“Aye, it’s better to hold your peace,” Julian Malvin agreed.


“But I shall speak now,” his wife declared, laying down the king of spades. “Matrimony and that’s the game.”


©Catherine Kullmann 2020




 Catherine Kullmann


I was born and brought up in Dublin and moved to Germany on my marriage in 1973. Before my marriage, I was an administrative officer at the Department of Finance in Dublin. I worked as attaché at the Irish Embassy in Bonn until my eldest son was born. Following a twelve-year stint as a full-time mother, I joined the New Zealand Embassy in Bonn, where I was administration officer. My husband and I returned to Ireland in 1999 and in 2009, following a year’s treatment for breast cancer, I took early retirement from my position as Director of Administration and Human Resources at a large Dublin law firm.


I have always enjoyed writing, I love the fall of words, the shaping of an expressive phrase, the satisfaction when a sentence conveys my meaning exactly. I enjoy plotting and revel in the challenge of evoking a historic era for characters who behave authentically in their period while making their actions and decisions plausible and sympathetic to a modern reader. In addition, I am fanatical about language, especially using the right language as it would have been used during the period about which I am writing. But rewarding as all this craft is, there is nothing to match the moment when a book takes flight, when your characters suddenly determine the route of their journey.


The first quarter of the nineteenth century was one of the most significant periods of European and American history, a period whose events still resonate two hundred years later The Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland of 1800, the Anglo-American war of 1812 and the final defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 all still shape our modern world. The aristocracy-led society that drove these events was already under attack from those who saw the need for social and political reform, while the industrial revolution saw the beginning of the transfer of wealth and ultimately power to those who knew how to exploit the new technologies.


I write historical fiction set against this background of off-stage wars, of women frequently left to fend for themselves in a patriarchal world where they have few or no rights but must make the best lives they can for themselves and their families. While real people sometimes have walk-on parts, the protagonists and their stories are pure fiction. As well as meeting their personal challenges, they must also cope with external events and the constraints imposed by society. The main story arc is romantic. I am particularly interested in what happens after the first happy end—how life goes on around the protagonists and sometimes catches up with them. 


Social Media Links:


Website  Twitter  Goodreads.



The Last Blast of the Trumpet (Book 3 of the Knox Trilogy) Excerpt

Hello Friends,

Today I Have An Excerpt Of The Author’s, Marie McPherson,

The Last Blast of the Trumpet, which Is Book 3, Of The Knox Trilogy.

@Scotscriever @maryanneyarde @PenmorePress1

#HistoricalFiction #TheLastBlastoftheTrumpet #CoffeePotBookClub #PenmorePress

The Last Blast of the Trumpet
(Book 3 of the Knox Trilogy) 
By Marie Macpherson
Publication Date: 24 August 2020
Publisher: Penmore Press
Series: The Knox Trilogy
Print Length: 409 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Biographical Fiction

Conflict, Chaos and Corruption in Reformation Scotland.

He wants to reform Scotland, but his enemies will stop at nothing to prevent him. 

Scotland 1559: Fiery reformer John Knox returns to a Scotland on the brink of civil war. Victorious, he feels confident of his place leading the reform until the charismatic young widow, Mary Queen of Scots returns to claim her throne. She challenges his position and initiates a ferocious battle of wills as they strive to win the hearts and minds of the Scots. But the treachery and jealousy that surrounds them both as they make critical choices in their public and private lives has dangerous consequences that neither of them can imagine.


In this final instalment of the trilogy of the fiery reformer John Knox, Macpherson tells the story of a man and a queen at one of the most critical phases of Scottish history.


Praise for The Last Blast of the Trumpet

 ‘Macpherson has done for Knox what Hilary Mantel did for Cromwell.’

Scottish Field

‘This richly realized portrait of a complex man in extraordinary times is historical fiction at its finest.’

 Linda Porter, author of Crown of Thistles; Katherine the Queen, Royal Renegades; Mistresses: Sex and Scandal at the Court of Charles II

 ‘Marie Macpherson has once again given us a cavalcade of flesh and blood characters living the early days of the Scottish Reformation in a complex tale told with economy and wit.’

 S.G. MacLean, author of The Seeker Series and Alexander Seaton mysteries


Buy Links:

Amazon UK  Amazon US  Barnes and Noble

The Last Blast of the Trumpet
Excerpt 1

Part 1 Chapter One

The Wrath of the People

The Parish Church of the Holy Cross of St John the Baptist, Perth, 11 May 1559

‘John Knox has come.’ 


The words took flight, leaping from lip to lip, echoing round the kirk, ringing to the rafters, and striking terror into his soul. The seething mass of humanity surged forward only to be shoved back by metal-clad men-at-arms. Knox stood rooted to the threshold. The kirk was crammed full: he hadn’t expected such a crowd nor such a clamour. Panic gripped his throat and crushed his lungs. 


An elbow nudged him and a voice muttered in his ear, ‘The folk have tramped from all the airts to show their support for their preachers and to await your guidance, master.’


Swallowing deeply, Knox steeled himself to follow in the wake of Sir Patrick Lyndsay’s lean, lofty figure cutting a swathe through the swarm that parted like the Red Sea before Moses. The biblical comparison inspired him. In the midst of the throng, folk stood on tiptoe, craning their necks to catch sight of him; those at the front stretched out their hands. Faces rough-hewn by the unforgiving Scottish climate glowed with expectation and excitement. His ain folk, he thought: humble hinds and herdsmen in fusty sheepskin blankets, ploughmen and draymen in worsted tunics jostled cheek by jowl with masons and skinners in worn leather jerkins and aprons, in stark contrast to the docile, dutiful gentry of his Geneva brethren. More like the Berwick horde before he’d tamed them, Knox reminded himself. He should not fear this unruly flock but seek to win them over. 


‘Is thon the mighty preacher everyone’s talking about?’ a voice piped up. ‘He’s gey wee.’


Lyndsay grabbed the offender by the throat. ‘Short in stature he may be, but his voice makes the heart dirl like thunder. Afore I rip out your blasphemous tongue, shift your fat arse and let him pass.’


Cowed, the man slunk away while the rest of the crowd fell silent. Patrick, Master of Lyndsay, a blunt and fierce soldier, was not a man to be crossed. 


‘Never fash, Preacher Knox, my men-at-arms will guard the kirk doors lest the priors of Perth dare to thwart your sermon. And Ill no shrink from turning them loose on the rabble if trouble breaks out.’


Rather than inspire confidence, the warrior’s words filled Knox with foreboding. ‘I want no violence used on the brethren. We need to show that we come in peace.’ 


Lyndsay’s hefty shoulders lifted in a non-committal shrug before he stomped off down the nave. Knox headed for the foot of the pulpit where he was greatly cheered to see a well-kent face amongst the group.


John Willock, the minister who had married him to his beloved Marjory, now clasped him to his broad chest. ‘We give thanks that the Lord has sent you here in our hour of need to stand fast with our brothers in Christ, he said and introduced his fellow preachers. John Christison was another former friar, while Paul Methven, a baker, and William Harlaw, a tailor, were self-educated guildsmen who had taken up the cause. ‘All good men and true.’


‘Not in the eyes of Marie de Guise who’s charged us with sedition and heresy,’ Methven growled. ‘Her daughter’s marriage to the French dauphin has emboldened the French sow and she’s cracking the whip.’ The blunt-spoken baker clenched fists swollen from constant kneading. ‘The regent has broken her promise to permit us to practise our faith. Just before Easter she commanded everyone to attend mass, make confession in a priest’s lug and take the sacrament on the tongue.’


‘It’s true. With an eye on the Vatican’s support, the regent has taken to heart the papal dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus,’ John Christison added.


Knox gave a nod of understanding. ‘Outside the Roman Church there is no salvation. Paul IV is a severe and unbending prelate. Thon Antichrist vowed that even if his own father were a heretic, he’d gather the wood to burn him.’


Willock clasped Knox’s hand. ‘Now’s the time to break from the fetters of Rome, brother. Scotland is on the brink of civil strife and we’re in dire need of a skipper to take the helm.’


‘What about thon Lords of the Congregation?’ Knox asked. The signatories to the bond had led him a merry dance over the past few years. He’d lost count of the number of times they had called him back to Scotland, assuring him the time was ripe to return. After several false starts and delays in Dieppe, he’d finally arrived home and, with barely time to regain his land legs, he’d been whisked into the midst of the maelstrom.


‘Many of the lords are biding their time, waiting to see which way the die falls,’ Willock replied. ‘The regent still has the support of her stepson, Lord James Stewart, the Earl of Argyll as well as the Hamiltons. Her commander-in-chief, Châtelherault, is one of those who benefits from a lavish French pension.’