Vile Book Tour

Hello Bookish Friends,
Thanks for joining me on my stop for the creative photo tour organized
by Love Book Tours @lovebookstours.
let me tell you a little about the book VILE by Keith Crawford.

  • Title: VILE
  • Author: Keith Crawford
  • Print Length: 637 pages
  • Publisher: Little Wonder Books 
  • Publication Date: December 1, 2019
  • Genre: Fantasy

Buy Link – Click The Thumbnail Amazon

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Elianor Paine is a Magistrate of the Peace in the Kingdom of Trist and a republican secret agent. She has 6 days to subvert her investigation, supplant war-hero Lord Vile, then coerce his adult children to start a revolution, before her masters discover the truth and have her killed. Just how far is she willing to go? And can she change the world without changing herself?

“Vile is a very strong book whose distinctive style and flow makes it extremely readable. The action scenes are well-paced and the descriptions very vivid and memorable, from the backdrops to the characters. It’s a great example of the genre.” Rebecca Barker, Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Specialist for The Literary Consultancy

“With strong characters in a deep and complex setting, Vile is a story of a world standing on a precipice – and the people about to make it fall” Toby Frost, Author of the Space Captain Smith and Dark Renaissance Series.

“Vile is a debut novel that reads like the work of a master in full stride. Keith Crawford combines seamless imagination, deft plotting and swirling action with lashes of original, wicked humour. From its opening scene, Vile hi-jacks the reader on a white-knuckle ride in the company of a fantastical array of characters who will linger in memory long past the last page.” Kai Maristed, Literary Critic and award -winning author of Out After Dark and Broken Ground.

Author Bio

Keith Crawford is a retired Navy Officer, a disabled veteran, a Doctor of Law & Economics, a barrister, a stay-at-home Dad, and a writer. He has written for collections of scholarly works, academic journals, and newspapers including The Economist. He has had more than thirty plays recorded or produced for stage, been listed in a variety of short story competitions (in spite of his hatred of short stories), and runs a radio production company, http://www.littlewonder.website, which regularly runs competitions promoted by the BBC to help find, develop and encourage new writers.

Prue Book Blast and Giveaway

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Blast and Giveaway of Prue
byAnne Marie Brear, which is being hosted by HFBT!

My review will be posted later today!

Prue
by AnneMarie Brear

Publication Date: January 23, 2020
eBook & Paperback; 328 Pages

Series: The Marsh Sagas, Book Two
Genre: Historical Romance

 

 

When her feisty grandmama informs Prue of her intentions to take her travelling, she is excited and ready to explore outside of England.

Restless, unsure of what she needs and wants, Prue arrives in India intent on adventure. However, Prue soon learns that some escapades come with a price. India is exotic and tantalising, yet also rife with unrest, and closer to home, family secrets unravel destroying lives.

Leaving India and heartbreak behind her, a wiser Prue travels to Italy. Experiencing that life is short, Prue is determined to make the most of her holiday and have some fun, only she wasn’t prepared to meet a man who would make her question herself.

Surviving the war was easier than enduring the quiet peace at home. In need of distraction, Brandon Forster and his friend, Vince, spend their time climbing mountains in Europe. The last thing Brandon expected was to meet an attractive English rose with the same edgy spirit as himself.

When Prue reveals her past mistakes to Brandon, he must decide if she is the woman for him, but a tragic accident makes them both confront deeper feelings.

Can they find in each other the missing element they need to make them whole or will previous anguish taint their future?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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.

Prue, is next installment of the beloved Marsh Saga Series, by Award winning and best selling author, Anne Marie Brear.

Prue Marsh has a restless spirit that her Grandmother! notices it her mirrors herself when she was about the same age. Noting Prue must spread her wings before settling down as a genteel lady just. Prue’s, lively doting Grandmother announces a splendid opportunity for Prue to experience something other than what England has to offer.

This lovely book is set in the 1920s, after the Great War, WWI, vivacious Prue, is the middle sister. Prue finds herself like most young woman during this era, wanting to throw off the restrictions from the Victorian era, to embrace the modern times of the roaring 20s. Everyone one is not so excepting in this new found freedom that a lot of woman were exhibiting during this time period.

Society still judged woman, and double standards were in place. Traveling first to India, they enjoy all wonderful experiences this country has to offer. But, civil unrest brewing in the streets and some heated family drama, Prue and her Grandmother do what they can to make their extended holiday as pleasant as possible. In a series of events things change and Prue is left feeling heartbroken and at a loss. The two ladies travel onto Italy in their quest for delights.

Single and unattached, Brandon Forster, has survived the war with his inseparable friend, Vincent. Together they have tried to put the past behind them, seeking out adventures and entertainment by way of carousing and rock climbing.

When Brandon and Prue meet there is no denying the sparks are flying.

What an enchanted read this was. I really enjoyed this wonderful beguilingly book. Pace was brisk and writing was fluid, with lovely characters and a captivating protagonist. You definitely don’t want to miss this treasure of a book!

I am looking forward to reading the next book in this delightful series.

Three sisters. Three very different women.

Marsh Saga Series. Book one, Millie was released in July 2019. and the accompanying novella, Christmas at the Chateau is out now! Book two, Prue will be relased in Janurary 23, 2020. Book three, Cece will be released April 2020.

About the Author

Amazon UK bestseller and award-winning Australian author, AnneMarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, historical research for her novels, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order!

For more information please visit AnneMarie Brear’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Thursday, January 23
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, January 24
Gwendalyn’s Books

Saturday, January 25
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, January 26
Jessica Belmont

Monday, January 27
Broken Teepee

Tuesday, January 28
CelticLady’s Reviews
What Is That Book About

Wednesday, January 29
Donna’s Book Blog

Thursday, January 30
The Lit Bitch
Clarissa Reads it All
The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, January 31
Passages to the Past

Saturday, February 1
100 Pages a Day

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away an eBook of Prue by AnneMarie Brear! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 1st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Prue
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Book Review

★•.‿¸.•*´´*•.¸ Happy New Year ¸.•*´´*•.¸‿.•★

#Qotd :: Have You Made Some Bookish Resolutions?

A:: I Am Going To Be More Organized On My Blog And IG

A Stroke of Malice

(Lady Darby Mystery #8)

by Anna Lee Huber

@annaleehuber

Paperback, 384 pages

Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Berkley

Lady Kiera Darby and her husband Sebastian Gage are looking forward to relaxing with new friends at an exciting yearly soiree, but they soon learn that murder never takes a holiday in the latest riveting installment in this national bestselling series.

Scotland 1832. After enjoying a delightful holiday with her family, Lady Kiera Darby is looking forward to finishing her new friend, the Duchess of Bowmont’s portrait, as well as attending the duchess’ annual Twelfth Night party. Though she normally avoids such fashionable events, Kiera trusts the attention will not be focused on her, but rather her notorious hostess and her family. But upon their arrival at the opulent Scottish estate, Kiera and her husband and fellow investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, swiftly deduce that all is not merry in the duke’s household. The family appears to be under a great strain, and someone seems determined to cause mayhem among the guests with a series of forged notes.

However, matters swiftly turn from irksome to downright deadly when the merrymakers stumble upon a decomposing body in the castle’s crypt. This corpse is certainly no laughing matter, especially when it is identified as the duchess’ son-in-law, the Earl of Helmsdale, who had purportedly traveled to Paris more than a month earlier. It is evident the man met with foul play, and Kiera and Gage step in to investigate, at the duchess’ insistence. Kiera and Gage must swiftly reexamine the facts, for a ruthless murderer walks among them and may well be a member of the duchess’ own family. Kiera soon discovers just how deep the killer is willing to dig to keep their secrets from ever seeing the light of day.

#AStrokeofMalice LadyDarby @berkleypub #mystery #histfic #twelfthnight #partylikeits1832 #romance  #KieraGage

Make Sure You Pre Order This Book

• AmazonStores ▾Libraries

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 Stroke of Malice is the latest in the long running Lady Darby series and as such, I would recommend reading the previous books in the series to get the most enjoyment out of this one; the mystery works as a stand alone, but many of the characters have appeared in previous books, along with their backstory.

Following the events of the previous book, Kiera, Lady Darby, and her husband Sebastian Gage have agreed to attend a house party hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Bowmont for 12th Night. Kiera has been busy working on a painting of the Duchess and will continue to work on it while visiting their remote castle in Scotland.

Along with Kiera and Gage, Kiera’s sister Alana, brother-in-law, and brother are also in attendance. The duke and duchess are both to have scandalous reputations.

It’s even common knowledge that the duchess’s younger children are not the duke’s even though he has acknowledged them as such.

During a ball to celebrate the season, Lord Edward takes some of the guests, including Kiera and Gage, on a ghost tour of the castle. While visiting catacombs under the castle where a friar is said to haunt, the group is stunned to come across a recently deceased man. Unable to confirm the deceased’s identity, due to the deterioration of the body, but suspecting it could be someone closely related to the family, Kiera and Gage agree to on the investigation.

The investigation is far from easy when it quickly becomes obvious that the duchess and her family have many secrets that they seeming willing to do anything to keep, but does that include murder?Kiera is six months pregnant, headstrong and determined to not only confirm the identity of the victim but to also figure out who did it.

This captivating novel is lively with its twists and turns, that makes this engaging mystery one will keep you be guessing all the way through to the final reveal.I enjoy character development of both Gage and Kiera as their relationship continued to evolve into a solid marriage.

There are some interesting plot developments, and intriguing sub characters that I’m excited to see playout in the authors future books. This delightful series is one that keeps getting better with the addition of new installments

Have a wonderful day!

MUCH ADO ABOUT A WIDOW

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jenna Jaxon will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Follow the tour and comment; the more You comment, the better their chances of winning!

Giveaway link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lady Georgina Kirkpatrick defied her family, jilted her fiancé, and married the man she loved. But when her husband died at Waterloo, she was delivered right back into her father’s power . . .

Victory is sweet—but England’s triumph was Georgie’s rout. Now that she’s widowed, the loathsome marriage her father first arranged has simply been renegotiated. With neither money nor rights, and nowhere to flee, all she can do is cherish her last weeks of freedom. . . . Until a band of ruffians overtake her carriage and kidnap her. When she escapes in seaside Brighton and encounters her brother’s rather wild friend, Lord St. Just—whom she suspects aspires to be a pirate—she’s prepared to entertain more of his adventurous suggestions than usual . . .

St. Just knows his mind and his duty, and he loves a challenge. Helping a fair lady make her farewells to hoodlums suits his talents well. Within the hour he has Georgie, her lady’s maid—and her little dog too—sailing for his castle in Cornwall. Meanwhile, the lady’s entire family, her kidnappers, and her scheming intended are in pursuit. But as he and the indomitable Georgie grow closer, he begins to suspect that together they will prove a match for them 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

Much Ado About a Widow by Jenna Jaxon is the fourth installment book in the Widow’s Club series. A lovely historical romance series, that can be read as a stand alone, or enjoyed in order within the series..

Our heroine, Lady Georgina Kirkpatrick, A sassy redhead with stunning green eyes, has recently become a widow. After losing her beloved husband, Issac she has evidently agreed to the marriage her father has arranged for her in order to get back into his good graces after he he disowned her for running off to marry for love.

Georgina and her maid are kidnapped by villains, who are working with her diabolical betrothed as they journey to her fathers estate. In a series of events they escape and seeking help, she runs into her brother’s good friend Robin Kerr, Marquess of St. Just. This lively book takes off from here with twist escapes that made for a non stop read. A lively tale, that is a captivating romantic comedy adventure, that shows the reader just how vulnerable a woman was in this particular time in history. The romance and character development spot on, along with engaging dialogue keeps the reader invested all the way through.

Jenna Jaxon’s Much Ado About a Widow, is full of kidnappings, hooligans, escapes, is a perfect regency romance. I am hoping that the author continues this creative book series, as there is still an unmarried widow.

Read an Excerpt

A key grated in the lock. Lulu growled and stalked toward it, the fur on her back rising straight up.

“Not yet, Lulu.” Georgie gathered the leash. “Don’t bite him quite yet.”

Her dog stopped advancing on the door; however, the growling did not abate. Better be safe. She gathered Lulu into her arms. “I’ll give you the signal.”

The cabin door swung open, revealing Lord St. Just, an impossibly broad grin on his face. “Wait until I tell you what my men and I just did.”

“You don’t have to tell me, my lord. I already know.” Georgie glared at him and held Lulu tighter. The little animal was shaking, and Georgie was sure if she loosened her grip Lulu would launch herself at the unwary marquess. Serve him right too.

“You do?” He frowned and cocked his head, which made him look like a puzzled puppy. Lulu looked just like that whenever she was unhappy. But what did he have to be unhappy about? He was the one who had kidnapped her.

“You have set sail, my lord, with me and my maid aboard against our wills. Many sensible people call that kidnapping.” She’d always known this man was a pirate. In fact, she’d told her brother so. She handed Lulu to Clara before the dog could leap out of her arms and tear at his lordship’s throat. If anyone was going to attack the marquess, it would be Georgie herself. Plant him a facer and see how he liked being set upon.

“Oh.” The impossible man was all smiles again. “Yes, we had to put out or miss the evening tide.” His grin had returned, showing many straight, white teeth. “But we did manage to steal your trunks, Lady Georgina. If you will consider yourself abducted again, at least rejoice in the fact that you will have clean linen throughout the ordeal.”

About the Author:

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Links:

Blog: http://www.jennajaxon.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenna.jaxon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jenna_Jaxon
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/passionistimeless

Book Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Much-about-Widow-Widows-Club-ebook/dp/B07Q6VM63Q/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0

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Book Tour Written In Their Stars

Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of, Written In The Stars, by Elizabeth St John, which is being hosted by HFBT!

#WrittenintheirStars #ElizabethStJohn #HFVBTBlogTours

Written in their Stars
by Elizabeth St. John

Publication Date: November 19, 2019
Falcon Historical
eBook & Paperback; 384 Pages

Series: The Lydiard Chronicles, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

London, 1649. Horrified eyewitnesses to King Charles bloody execution, Royalists Nan Wilmot and Frances Apsley plot to return the kings exiled son to Englands throne, while their radical cousin Luce, the wife of king-killer John Hutchinson, rejoices in the new republics triumph. Nan exploits her high-ranking position as Countess of Rochester to manipulate Englands great divide, flouting Cromwell and establishing a Royalist spy network; while Frances and her husband Allen join the destitute prince in Paris Louvre Palace to support his restoration. As the women work from the shadows to topple Cromwells regime, their husbands fight openly for the throne on Englands bloody battlefields.

But will the return of the king be a victory, or destroy them all? Separated by loyalty and bound by love, Luce, Nan and Frances hold the fate of England and their family in their hands.

A true story based on surviving memoirs of Elizabeth St.John’s family, Written in their Stars is the third novel in the Lydiard Chronicles series.

Available on Amazon | Other eRetailers

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 spymistress, a rebel and a courtier.

A mesmerizing epic brilliant historical fiction, set during the turbulent world of 17th century England. As the English Civil War rages on, and loyalties divide families over Commonwealth or Crown.

Written in their Stars, is the third and final instalment in Elizabeth St. John, Lydiard Trilogy. A riveting true story of three cousins, Luce Hutchinson, Frances Apsley, and Nan Wilmont.

This rich literary masterpiece opens with execution and the aftermath that follows the death of Charles I.

Navigating through the political strife that threatens to tear their family apart. The three Women, Lucy Hutchinson, wife of Regicide Colonel John Hutchinson; Frances Apsley, wife of Lucy’s brother Sir Allen Apsley; and Nan Wilmot, Countess of Rochester, Lucy and Allen’s cousin, were best friends and fierce opponents. Lucy supported the execution of the king and the establishment of the commonwealth, while Frances and Nan were fervent Royalists and worked to bring King Charles II home from exile in Paris.

Working in the backdrop, spying in the shadows to bring down the Cromwell’s regime. Nan Wilmot, and Frances Apsley, work together in plotting the return the king’s exiled son to England’s throne. Which ultimately is aimed at the restoration of the English Monarchy.

Written in their Stars by Elizabeth St. John, is a richly textured, mesmerizing, novel. The strength of this novel handsdown is the author’s fabulous characterizations. Elizabeth St. John, definitely shines when it comes to how interesting and fleshed out her well developed characters are. 

An immensely captivating story that is full of history and the most compelling and illustrious characters. The harrowing storyline is a fascinating one and it is written is such a way that will bring the history to life, I can see why this talented author is loved by so many, her way at weaving fact and fiction with her wonderful words is a masterpiece of writing.

The third book in The Lydiard Chronicles series, Written in their Stars, is a true story based on surviving memoirs, letters and court documents from Elizabeth St.John’s family history.

About the Author

Elizabeth St.John spends her time between California, England, and the past. An award-winning author, historian and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them – in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story…

For more information, please visit Elizabeth St. John’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 9
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 10
Review at Jackie & Angela’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, December 11
Review at Books and Zebras

Friday, December 13
Review at @ya.its.lit

Saturday, December 14
Review at Liberty’s Literary Loves

Monday, December 16
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Tuesday, December 17
Review at Impressions In Ink

Wednesday, December 18
Review at @bookishbellee

Saturday, December 21
Review at Tales from the Book Dragon

Monday, December 23
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, December 27
Review at Historical Romance Lover

Sunday, December 29
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, January 3
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Monday, January 6
Review at Reading the Past

Tuesday, January 7
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, January 8
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Review at I’m All About Books

Thursday, January 9
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, January 10
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at A Darn Good Read

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two signed copies of Written in their Stars! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on January 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Paperback giveaway is open to US residents only.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Written in Their Stars
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Book Tour ESTRANGED:The Changeling King

Series: Estranged (Book 2)
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher:
HarperCollins (October 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006265389X
ISBN-13: 978-0062653895



Praise for ESTRANGED Series

“A splendid tale of faery magic and adventurous siblings, all told in gorgeously rendered watercolor panels: this is exactly my kind of thing.” —Ben Hatke, author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy

“It’s got dragons. It’s got drama. It’s got depth. And it’s got me impatiently awaiting Ethan M. Aldridge’s next eye-popping adventure.” —Tim Federle, award-winning author of Better Nate Than Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate!

“A compelling story about finding identity in a world where magic dangers lurk just around the corner. I loved Estranged!” —Molly Ostertag, author-illustrator of The Witch Boy

“As richly imagined in the full-color illustrations, the worldbuilding is both accessible and as familiar as those genre stalwarts… this should easily resonate with preteen and teen fans of both Holly Black and Neil Gaiman.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Worthy of inclusion in any fantasy collection.” —School Library Journal

“[F]un, daring, and dark…with themes and art that fall into the realm of Neil Gaiman, Michael Ende, and Jim Henson. Coupled with the beautifully toned watercolor art, the interdependence of and tension between the two protagonists makes this book stand out.” —Publishers Weekly

“The deliciously captivating start to this adventure series will leave readers hungry for more.” —Booklist

Enter a world of faerie magic and epic adventure in this spellbinding sequel to Estranged—a rich fantasy graphic novel perfect for fans of Amulet.

After years of pretending to be human, the changeling Edmund Carter has assumed his rightful role as Cinder, king of the World Below. But not everyone at the royal palace is happy about his return.

Meanwhile, Ed is adjusting to human life in the World Above. His birth family treats him with a kindness he never knew growing up in the Fay court, but Ed misses the sense of purpose he had as a knight.

When a mysterious new threat emerges in the World Below, Cinder must call on Ed and their older sister, Alexis, for help. But nothing can prepare them for the family secret that awaits at the end of their perilous quest.

With over two hundred pages of gorgeous watercolor paintings, The Changeling King invites readers on an epic journey through a magical world—one they will not soon forget.

You can purchase The Changeling King at the following Retailers:
        

Thank you to Wunderkind PR and HarperCollins for providing a finished copy for 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

Estranged The Changeling King by Ethan M. Aldridge is the next installment to Edmund and Cinder’s life changed when they went back to their own worlds.

A perfect sequel to the first graphic novel in the series, The Changeling King is a beautifully rich fantasy world, that the very talented Ethan Aldridge has created.

Ethan M. Aldridge, gorgeous artwork and vibrant characters, the tale comes to life with creative impressive imagery.

The story picks up right away where the first left off, plunging the reader head first into fast action and suspense. King Cinder is still trying to adjust to his royal obligations as king of the Fae in the World Below. All the while keeping up is obligations, he starts to take note that the magic is getting weaker and Cinder must find a way to keep magic from disappearing all together.

Ed is trying to navigate the World Above. He’s the epitome of the perfect son and brother. However, his parents and sister Alexis are worried about him since he’s struggling to find his purpose in the human world. In a series of events, a royal letter from Cinder requesting the help of Alexis and Ed.

I found The Changeling King to be so much more emotionally charged than Estranged The internal struggle is more defined, with both boys trying to find answers that they both are desperately seek. Ed battles with his purpose and why the Fae Queen chose him. Cinder struggles with being abandoned and is frightened of losing the one family he’s ever known to Ed. I had several heart string tugging moments in this sequel.

The character development and world building is incredible, and gives the reader even greater insight. The the side characters three dimensional, and should be noted

Estranged,The Changeling King. A captivating coming of age book. Within a graphic novel , that focus on self discovery along with the importance of friends and family.

Stellar artwork along great diversity with LGBTQ representation. I definitely recommend it to young adult readers from grade 6+ and up .

Photo Content from Ethan M. Aldridge 

Ethan M. Aldridge is a bestselling author and illustrator. He is the creator of the fantasy graphic novel ESTRANGED (a Junior Library Guild selection, Indie Bestseller, and YALSA Great Graphic Novel For Teens), and it’s follow up THE CHANGELING KING (coming fall 2019).

Ethan was raised in a small town in Utah. Growing up, Ethan’s favorite things to draw were monsters and whatever dinosaur he liked that week. He now does more or less the same thing for a living. Ethan lives in New York City with his husband, Matthew, and their dog, Kitsune.

Ethan has had the pleasure to create work for HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Random House, and EA Games.


        

WEEK ONE – REVIEWS

DECEMBER 9th MONDAY Insane About Books REVIEW
DECEMBER 10th TUESDAY
Nay’s Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
DECEMBER 11th WEDNESDAY
JeanBookNerd PODCAST
DECEMBER 11th WEDNESDAY
Wonder Struck REVIEW
DECEMBER 12th THURSDAY
Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
DECEMBER 13th FRIDAY
Two Points of Interest REVIEW 

WEEK TWO – REVIEW & CREATIVE INSTAGRAM PICTURE
DECEMBER 16th MONDAY
Casia’s Corner REVIEW
DECEMBER 17th TUESDAY
BookHounds YA REVIEW
DECEMBER 18th WEDNESDAY
Gwendalyn’s Books REVIEW
DECEMBER 19th THURSDAY
Life Within The Pages REVIEW
DECEMBER 20th FRIDAY
For The Love of Fictional Worlds REVIEW

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

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Blog Tour The Spirt Of Fire

Hello Bookish Friends,

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

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

The Spirit of Fire by Susanne Dunlap

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

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

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

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

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for Listen to the Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gwendalyn’s Books

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

5′ Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

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

Blog Tour Schedule

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

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

Tuesday, December 10
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, December 11
Interview at The Writing Desk

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

Friday, December 13
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, December 15
Review at my.boys.mom

Monday, December 16
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Wednesday, December 18
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 19
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, December 20
Review at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

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

Giveaway Rules

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

Listen to the Wind
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Book Review DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY AT PEMBERLEY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book Tour Katherine Tudor Duchess

Hello Bookish Friends

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

Katherine Tudor Duchess
by Tony Riches

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon UK | Amazon US

5 Star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About the Author

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

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

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 18
Excerpt at Short Book and Scribes

Tuesday, November 19
Guest Post at On the Tudor Trail

Wednesday, November 20
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

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

Friday, November 22
Feature at Cover To Cover Cafe

Monday, November 25
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, November 26
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, November 27
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 28
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

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

Tuesday, December 3
Review at Nursebookie

Wednesday, December 4
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

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

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

Giveaway

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

Giveaway Rules

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

Katherine Tudor Duchess
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Book Review The Dead Girl Club

Hello Friends,

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

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

My Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars

Genre – Horror / Thriller

Release Date – December 10, 2019

TW – Emotional and Physical Abuse, Murder

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

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…

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

That belief got Becca killed.

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

The night Heather killed her.

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

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

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

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

The night Heather killed her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book Review Cartier’s Hope

From M.J. Rose, Hello Bookish Friends,

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

M.J. Rose

From M.J. Rose,

Cartier’s Hope

A Novel

by M. J. Rose

PublisherFrom M.J. Rose,: Atria Books , Simon and schusterFrom M.J. Rose, Press

Publishing Date: 28 Jan 2020  

Length: 336 pages

@mjroseauthor #simonandschuster #atriabooks

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

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

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

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

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

*Cartier’s Hope*

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Courtesy of authors Facebook page

Praise

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy from the Indie Bookstores that Loved Cartier’s Hope

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

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

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

Photo taken from authors website

About M.J. Rose

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sisters of Shadow and Light

Happy Happy Halloween Bookish Friends

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

Sisters of Shadow and Light

 (Sisters of Shadow and Light #1)

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

GIVEAWAY

Prize: TBC

Starts: 30th November 2019

Ends: 13th November 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A great cliffhanger ending that had me wanting more.

Tour Schedule

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

October 30th

October 31st

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

November 1st

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

November 2nd

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

November 3rd

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

November 4th

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

November 5th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paladin eyes.

“Can I do anything to help you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Can I do something to help?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Magic.

Paladin magic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I spun around and screamed, stumbling backward.

There was a stranger in the gardens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And her glowing blue eyes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sorry?” I echoed.

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

“Thrilling?” Stop repeating everything he says!

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

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

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

“What? No, I’m her sister.”

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

“I assure you she is.”

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

Order Your Copy:

amazon

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

Book Tour and Review

Cursed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All knowing the ancient prophecy of the sword …

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

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

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Star Book

Illustrations: From Frank Miller

GIVEAWAY
1 Finished copy US only

Link:

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

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

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

Week 1

September 23rd

_bookishaestha_-Review/Bookstagram

September 24th

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

September 25th

@thereadingchemist– Bookstagram

September 26th

Kait Plus Books– Creative Post

September 27th

Shelf-rated– Review

Week 2

September 30th

Morgan Vega– Review & Favorite Quotes

October 1st

Fictitiouswonderland– Bookstagram
Book Blog London– Review & Favorite Quotes

October 2nd

A Bookish Dream– Review/Bookstagram

October 3rd

Bookishly Nerdy– Review
Booked J– Review

October 4th

Book Tour The Great Jewel Robbery

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faced paced exceptional dialogue with well developed characters.

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

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

Cozy Sweet Cream Pancakes Recipe

• All-Purpose Flour

• Baking Powder

• Baking Soda

• Salt

• Sugar

• Eggs

• Vanilla Extract

• Heavy Cream

• Milk, to thin the batter if desired

Toppings for Pancakes

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

You can add different toppings to create totally different experiences.

Gwendalyn G Anderson

Meet the Author: 

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

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

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

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Book Tour No Stone Unturned

Hello Bookish Friends,

Today Is My Stop On This Book Tour!

NO STONE UNTURNED

by Pam Lecky

Publication Date: June 28, 2019

286 Pages

Series: The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, Book 1

Genre: Historical Mystery

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

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

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

Death by Coffin!

For any lover of the Victorian era, London’s most famous cemeteries hold endless fascination. My favourites are Highgate and Kensal Green with their eerie Gothic and Neo-classical architecture. The Victorian obsession with death, the after-life and spiritualism sparked the trend for highly decorated tombs and crypts. Heartbreaking inscriptions, lichen-encrusted headstones and mournful statuary lend a melancholy air to these places. It’s no wonder they feature so much in Gothic fiction. As I researched my latest novel, No Stone Unturned, I delved a little deeper into the history.

Both cemeteries were built in response to London’s population explosion in the early part of the 19th century which had resulted in graveyards being crammed in between shops and houses with little control over the number of corpses being interred. The smell these sites generated was described as terrible.

With public health at risk, Parliament passed a statute for seven new private cemeteries to be opened in the countryside around the city boundary. These included Highgate and Kensal Green.

Highgate Cemetery

 

Highgate is probably the most famous of all the Gothic cemeteries. In May 1839, it was dedicated to St James by the Lord Bishop of London. Of the seventeen acres, fifteen were consecrated for members of the Church of England and the remaining two acres were set aside for ‘Dissenters’ (everyone else). Elizabeth Jackson, aged thirty-six, was the first ever burial in Highgate in May 1839.

London’s wealthy invested heavily in the cemetery due to its amazing views over London (highest point 375 feet above sea level) and its unique architecture and landscaping.

Kensal Green Cemetery

“For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen; Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.” G.K. Chesterton’s poem The Rolling English Road.

Kensal Green was opened by the Bishop of London on 24th January 1833 and was the first commercial cemetery in London. The first burial was the same month.

A competition for the design of the cemetery was held and the winning entry was for a Gothic style, however, the Chairman of the General Cemetery Company had other ideas. The final design was Neo-classical. As in Highgate, the burial grounds were divided up between the Church of England and the

An Unfortunate Death!

A pallbearer by the name of Henry Taylor met a tragic end in Kensal Green. While carrying a coffin, he missed his footing and stumbled. His fellow pallbearers let go of the coffin which fell on poor Henry, killing him instantly.

Here is the description from The Illustrated Police News, November 1872:

“KILLED BY COFFIN. Dr. Lancaster held an inquest Saturday evening at the University College Hospital, London, on the body Henry Taylor, aged 60. The evidence of E. J. Heading, undertaker’s foreman, and others showed that on the 19th inst. deceased, with others, was engaged at a funeral at Kensal-Green Cemetery. The Church service having been finished, the coffin and mourners proceeded in coaches towards the place of burial. The day being damp, the foreman directed the coaches with the mourners to proceed to the grave by the foot-way, and the hearse across the grass towards a grave-digger, who was motioning the nearest way. The coffin was moved from the hearse and being carried down a path only three feet six wide, by six bearers, when orders were given to turn, so that the coffin, which was what is known in the trade as a four pound leaden one, should head first. While the men were changing, it is supposed that deceased caught his foot against a side stone and stumbled; the other bearers, to save themselves, let the coffin go, and it fell with great force on to deceased, fracturing his jaws and ribs. The greatest confusion was created among the mourners who witnessed the accident, and the widow of the person about to be buried nearly went into hysterics. Further assistance having been procured the burial service was proceeded with, while deceased was conveyed to a surgery, and ultimately to the above mentioned hospital, where he expired on the 24th inst. The jury recommended that straps should be placed round coffins, which would tend to prevent such accidents. Verdict—accidental death. “

Sadly, although Henry lost his life in Kensal Green, it appears he was not buried there.

♦♦♦

In No Stone Unturned, my heroine Lucy Lawrence buries her husband Charlie in Kensal Green. A mysterious mourner at the graveside soon turns her life upside-down as Charlie’s dirty secrets spill from the grave …

No Stone Unturned is the first book in the Lucy Lawrence Mystery Series.

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

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

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

Amazon Buy Link

 

About the Author

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

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

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