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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – REALM by Alexandrea Weis

REALM Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for REALM, a stand-alone young adult historical romance, by Alexandrea Weis. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

REALM by Alexandrea Weis

REALM by Alexandrea Weis

About the Book
Title: REALM
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Based on a true story.

When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana—the daughter of a mere chieftain—is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.

Terrified, the sixteen-year-old girl of renowned beauty is brought before the greatest ruler the world has ever known. Her life is in his hands; her future his to decide.

Without formal education or noble blood, Roxana is chosen by the Greek conqueror to be his bride. Soon she comes to know profound happiness and unyielding desire in her warrior’s arms.

However, being the king’s consort comes at a heavy price. To survive her husband’s treacherous kingdom, she must endure continuous warfare, deadly plots, jealous rivals, victory-hungry generals, and the stigma of being a barbarian. Persian blood will keep her from claiming the grandest title of all—queen—but her reign will seal the fate of an empire.

History tells his story. This is hers.

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Excerpt
Hephaestion brushed past the guard and followed the familiar route to the back of the spacious tent.

He arrived at an area decorated only with a small wooden desk and some stools. Hunched over and furiously pounding a stylus into a wax tablet was Alexander of Macedon.

“You must be here to report about the goings on atop the rock.”

Alexander looked up, and the intensity of his deep-set gray eyes struck him. Perhaps his square jaw and bulging forehead added to their piercing quality; Hephaestion wasn’t sure, but he’d seen Alexander use his gaze to intimidate many in the past. He wasn’t very tall and had a stocky build with broad shoulders and a thick chest. His ruddy skin, prone to burning in the sun, flushed whenever he was angry, a warning to those who knew him well to stay away. His disheveled, reddish-brown, wavy mane seemed perpetually in need of a good brushing, and his tunics never stayed clean for long. But it was his scars which intrigued the general most. He had one along his left cheek, another on the right side of his forehead, and another across his lower neck. Hephaestion couldn’t remember Alexander without scars. It was as if he had been born that way, a gift from the gods.

“How did it go?”

Hephaestion walked around the desk to Alexander’s side. “You’re chipper, considering you’ve been up for almost two days.”

“You know I hate to sleep. There’s always too much work to do.” Alexander returned his attention to one of the numerous scrolls scattered about his desk. “What news have you brought me?”

Hephaestion read one of the scrolls over Alexander’s shoulder. “Scouts are already on the second rock. Now that we know how to climb the damned things, we should have them under control by nightfall.”

Alexander dropped the stylus to the desk. “And what did you discover on top of the first rock?”

“The family of Baron Oxyartes. They’re now in your custody—his mother and three daughters.” Hephaestion raised his hand, anticipating Alexander’s next question. “Orders have been given that none of the women atop the rock are to be touched on pain of death. The men are well aware of your feelings about rape. At least now you’ll have something to bargain with to get Oxyartes to surrender. Holding the women hostage should speed things along.”

Alexander closed the wax tablet. “Any problems?”

Hephaestion shook his head. “No. They were too afraid to organize an attack. The men and women went screaming when they saw the soldiers arrive at the top. After that, it was pretty much routine.”

“The family of Oxyartes? You saw to their comfort?”

“Of course.” Hephaestion folded his long arms, itching to tell him about the girl. “You won’t believe this, but one of his daughters speaks Greek.”

Alexander’s eyes danced with interest. “Did this daughter, who speaks Greek, say anything to you?”

“It’s not so much what she said but how she said it. Not like a barbarian at all. She had a kind of bearing, a certain dignity I’ve not seen before in these people. She was very …” He hesitated, knowing it would spur his friend’s curiosity.

“What?” Alexander insisted.

Hephaestion grinned. “Spirited.”

He could almost see the wheels turning in Alexander’s mind. He never stopped thinking or planning. Alexander was always one step ahead of everyone else. He had to be. It was the only way to remain king and stay alive.

“Was she pretty or did she have the face of a pig?”

“The girl?” Hephaestion smiled, knowing his answer would please his king. “She was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

Alexander raised his eyebrows. “What was the name of this beautiful girl who spoke Greek?”

Feeling that nudge of satisfaction at seeing Alexander beguiled, Hephaestion angled closer and whispered, “Roxana.”

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Author Alexandrea Weis

Author Alexandrea Weis

About the Author
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

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Where to Find Alexandrea Weis
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THREE STAR ISLAND by Kat Caulberg

THREE STAR ISLAND Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THREE STAR ISLAND, a stand-alone adult historical time-traveling romance, by Kat Caulberg. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THREE STAR ISLAND by Kat Caulberg

THREE STAR ISLAND by Kat Caulberg

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THREE STAR ISLAND
Author: Kat Caulberg
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: April 10, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Historical Time-Traveling Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Stepping through a time portal into 1716, historian Penny Saunders didn’t expect to get stranded in the past. Five years later, now a pariah to the townsfolk of Three Star Island, she endures solitude and ridicule until a hurricane tosses a dangerous castaway onto her shores.

William Payne’s history precedes him. Pirate, outlaw, and ruthless captain, he’s a monster among men. . . or so it seems. Desperately seeking redemption for his blood-soaked past, he upends Penny’s world by showing her a passion she’s never experienced.

But time is closing in on them; the governor of the Carolinas has rescinded his pirates’ pardon, the locals are growing suspicious of Penny’s new houseguest, and she can’t keep her secrets from William forever. When everything falls apart, she must use both wits and weapons against lawmen and pirates alike to save the one man who would tear down the world for her.

 

 

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Excerpt
Penelope stood in the crater the time portal had sliced into the tree line. Sheared-off branches sprouted new growth overhead, and grass choked the scorched ground, concealing most of the sand that had been fused into glass globules by the rift. Frowning, she dislodged one of the spheres with the tip of her shoe and kicked it into the dunes. This gate hadn’t opened in months.

Two days prior, a hurricane had ravaged Three Star. Alone on the southern tip of the island, Penny had ridden out the storm in her farmhouse while gales ripped up centuries-old live oaks by their roots and tossed debris through the walls of her outbuildings. She’d seen a time gate’s flicker in the immediate aftermath half a mile from where she now stood on the beach, but there had been no reason to dash out into the dwindling rain in hopes of reaching it before it shut.

None of them would let her go home again.

Grasping her skirts in one hand, she made her way through the oat grass to ascertain what the storm had offered her in compensation. The summer of 1721 had been a blistering one, providing scarcely any rain to offset the heat. With few thunderstorms of much note, ships in the area had enjoyed a season of calm, returning to port with full holds and happy sailors, and Penny’s larder suffered for it. Without wreckage to pick through, she’d survived on meager rations from her garden and the bones of a sloop that ran aground on the shoals to the south.

Yesterday threw one more long, hard bout of rain at the island, keeping her inside until dusk. Now, with the sun a few hours into the sky, she hurried to collect her share of the shattered remains of dead men’s fortunes. This time, she was determined it wouldn’t bother her. She tucked a short strand of hair behind her ear, knuckled her glasses higher, and proceeded to the shore.

The sea mirrored the heavens, flat and tranquil. Whitecaps lapped the sand, pulling back to reveal a stripe of broken shells stretching as far as she could see. Currents funneled past the rock barrier jutting out into the water, and a smattering of planks and splintered crates gathered on the sand bars the rising tide would soon submerge.

Penny stooped to dip her fingers into a mountain of sea foam. Lacework-white and delicate, it dissolved at her touch. A flicker of movement caught her eye. Slanting toward the beach on a downdraft, a laughing gull shrieked its peculiar, broken cry and swooped over a figure lying in the surf.

Her stomach dropped. The waves had disgorged a body.

Straightening, she fidgeted with her apron strings. The tide was rising. Soon, the ocean would reclaim the life it had taken, leaving no trace of the drowned man behind. Here, he was alone and unknown. Somewhere else, however, he would be an empty seat at a hearth, a bed half-filled, a promise unkept. Like her, he could never go home again.

Penelope sighed. Unable to bury him, she could at least bear witness to his return to the sea. Keeping close to the water, she trudged toward him.

She stopped when his arm moved. It was a tiny motion she could’ve mistaken for a trick of the wind, his sleeve toyed with by the breeze, yet when his fist clenched the sand, she was certain.

He was alive.

“Son of a . . .”

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Author Kat Caulberg

Author Kat Caulberg

About the Author
For as long as she can remember, Kat Caulberg has been obsessed with history and the paranormal. Somewhat to the dismay of her parents, her interests led her into both museums and graveyards as a child, a trend which has continued into her adulthood. This has influenced her reading tastes and her writing, whether it be a good ghost story, thrilling tales of time-travel, or devouring endless volumes of ancient warfare.

She signed a contract with Soul Mate Publishing in 2018 for her first novel, Three Star Island, a time-travel story set in 1721. She enjoys writing strong, quirky heroines, and has a weakness for cheeky heroes who have as much compassion as they have flaws.

Kat currently lives in North Carolina with her Englishman and a few cats.

 

 

Where to Find Kat Caulberg
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE WINNOWING (Stanley and Hazel) by Jo Schaffer

THE WINNOWING Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE WINNOWING, the second book in the young adult historical mystery series, Stanley & Hazel, by Jo Schaffer. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE WINNOWING (Stanley and Hazel #2) by Jo Schaffer

THE WINNOWING (Stanley and Hazel #2) by Jo Schaffer

About the Book
Title: THE WINNOWING
Series: Stanley and Hazel #2
Author: Jo Schaffer
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Historical/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Darkness descends over St. Louis, a city already rocked by the Great Depression. More and more people are disappearing, and some have turned up dead. A sinister secret society is putting forward their plan known as “The Winnowing,” designed to wipe out those they consider “undesirable.”

After Stanley and Hazel foil the diabolical plans of Charles Chouteau, they become instant celebrities. Hazel is thrust into the role of debutante, and risks loses herself in it. Meanwhile, Stanley must deal with the horrific tragedy of his best friend’s death while being threatened by the unseen forces of the Veiled Prophet.

With things spiraling out of control, Stanley and Hazel’s relationship is tested, possibly beyond repair. As bodies pile up, people become more desperate. The divide between wealthy and poor grows ever wider, threatening to tear their worlds apart. Now, the two must find a way to work together if there is any hope at all of saving their relationship and their futures.

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Excerpt
The renegade newsie climbed on top of the metal box and forced the window open a crack with a crowbar he produced from his baggy trousers. Then he sat and lit a cigarette. He puffed on it a few times before reaching into the inside pocket of his oversized coat. He pulled out a bottle that sloshed with liquid and removed the cork.

He took a handkerchief and stuffed it into the bottle of liquid, leaving a tail of it hanging out of the top. Pinching his cigarette between two fingers, he contemplated the tip, while smoke trailed out of his nose.

Henri sniffed the air, and his ears perked. Before Hazel could stop the young dog, he jumped and let out a bark.

Arthur sprung to his feet, turning in Hazel’s direction.

Bananas. She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping he wouldn’t see her where she crouched.

“Peek-a-boo,” Arthur said, slow and deliberate. “I see you, Princess.”

Knees shaking, Hazel slowly stood to face him. She gripped Henri’s leash. He was her only defense.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: STANLEY & HAZEL
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | BAM! | !ndigo | IndieBound

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Author Jo Schaffer

Author Jo Schaffer

About the Author
Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker, writer at Patheos.com, works in film production and is a Taekwondo black belt.

She’s a founding member of Writers Cubed and co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the largest conferences in the nation for youth ages 13-19. She and a crew of local and international bestselling authors present writing workshops to hundreds of attendees at the Utah-based conference as well as hundreds of others worldwide who view the conference online.

Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. Her brain is always spinning new ideas for books and sometimes she even gets around to blogging.

Jo is a mom of 3 strapping sons living in the beautiful mountains of Utah with a neurotic cat named Hero..

Where to Find Jo Schaffer
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Tumblr

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour (The Homeric Chronicles) by Janell Rhiannon

SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour, the first book in the adult historical/fantasy romance series, The Homeric Chronicles, by Janell Rhiannon. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour (The Homeric Chronicles #1) by Janell Rhiannon

SONG OF SACRIFICE Blog Tour (The Homeric Chronicles #1) by Janell Rhiannon

About the Book
Title: SONG OF SACRIFICE
Series: The Homeric Chronicles #1
Author: Janell Rhiannon
Release Date: December 16, 2018
Genre: Adult Historical/Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.

Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes, whisper to us across time…

…remember our songs alongside the mighty men of myth.

As the Age of Heroes wanes, the gods gamble more fiercely with mortals’ lives than they ever have before. Women must rely on their inner strength and cunning to survive the wars men wage for gold and glory.

Clytemnestra of Mycenae struggles for control of her life after Agamemnon ruthlessly rips it apart. Leda of Sparta survives a brutal assault by Zeus, shouldering a terrible secret in silence. Penelope raises Ithaka’s sole heir alone, praying for Odysseus’ swift return. Thetis, the sea nymph, despairs of her son’s destiny and resorts to forbidden magic to save him. Hecuba of Troy mourns the loss of her second son to a dark prophesy. And Shavash of Pedasus prepares her daughter to marry the greatest warrior who ever lived.

In a world where love leads to war and duty leads to destruction, the iron hearts of heroines will conquer all.

Sing, Muse, sing their song of sacrifice…

Replaces Song of Princes as the first book in the Homeric Chronicles.

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SONG OF SACRIFICE Teaser

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Excerpt #4
From Chapter 22
Queen Shavash and Princess Briseis

BRISEIS FUSSED WITH her gown. “I don’t like the color, Mother.” She scratched at the golden belt.

“It brings out the pale of your eyes. It’s a fine blue dye. Very costly. Your father searched high and low for such a treasure.” Shavash cupped her daughter’s cheek. ”I’ve dreamt of this day since I carried you beneath my heart.”

“I don’t care about Chryseis’ prophecy. I don’t want to marry a warrior.”

“A prince, Briseis. Hektor is the Prince of Troy. There is no more worthy man than he.”

“He’s old.”

“Wise.”

Briseis wrinkled her nose. “Old. Wise. What if he’s hairy? Stinks of horse?”

Shavash laughed. “Daughter, you needn’t worry about such matters. He’s said to be most handsome. He was a lovely boy, as I recall.”

“If you say so.” Briseis gave a final tug at her gown. “Can we get this over with?”

“Smile.”

“I don’t want to smile.”

Shavash sighed heavily. Moving to her daughter’s side, she grabbed Briseis firmly by the chin. “Marriage isn’t about what we want as women. It’s about what we provide to our husbands and our cities. The men plant their seeds in our bodies and we bear the fruit of their legacy.” She squeezed tighter. “It’s the way of our world. If you’re blessed with a kind and handsome husband, bear him many children, consider yourself blessed by the gods. Fight this, and you will surely be cursed and not just by the gods, but by your father … and your mother.”

The young Princess of Pedasus stared into her mother’s hard eyes. Her chin quivered in her mother’s tight grasp. Her lips moved awkwardly as she said, “I obey.”

Shavash released her grip, returning once again to the doting mother. “Good. See, you’re more ready to be a wife than you realized.”

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TENDER OLIVE BRANCHES and flowers decorated the courtyard, filling the air with the pungent aromas of a fresh spring. Colorful ribbons and banners fluttered gently in the warm breeze. Musicians plucked a melodic tune with lyres and flutes. All eyes turned toward Briseis clinging to her mother’s hand, as she followed behind her father, King Briseus, into the midst of the joyful gathering anticipating a betrothal of the Prince of Troy to the Princess of Pedasus. They stopped before the king and queen seated across the way.

King Briseus bowed his head, Queen Shavash elbowed Briseis to follow suit. The princess kept her eyes downcast, afraid to look up and find the man her parents intended her to marry staring at her.

Queen Hecuba spoke with a soft command. “Raise your face to me, child. Let me see for myself this great beauty, not yet in full bloom.”

Briseis lifted her head, leveling her eyes to the queen’s. She squirmed under Hecuba’s intense scrutiny.

“It’s true, you do have an enchanting face.” Signaling across the courtyard, Hecuba caught Hektor’s attention. “You should meet my son, Prince Hektor.”

As the queen finished speaking, a tall, dark-skinned man came to stand beside her. His shoulders were so wide that he blocked the afternoon light. Briseis blinked and her heart pounded.

Shavash smiled widely at the man. “Hektor? You’ve grown so much I can scarce see the boy you used to be.”

“Queen Shavash, I am honored you remember me at all.”

“How could I forget the boy who could think of nothing else but his warhorse? Do you still have him?”

Hektor smiled, showing all of his teeth. “He’s a fine animal. The prize of the royal stables.”

“As it should be,” Shavash replied.

Briseis picked at her palm with a fingernail. He’s so old and hairy. Sweat trickled down the center of her back. I don’t want to marry him. I don’t want to marry anybody.

Queen Shavash put her hand gently behind her daughter’s back, pushing her slightly forward. “Prince Hektor, this is my daughter, the Princess Briseis.”

Briseis glanced up to see Hektor’s expectant face. In the corner of her eye, she could see her father standing there beaming with pride and hope, and a young woman staring at her with eyes of ice. She bowed her head. “I-I am …”

Hektor laughed. “Am I so ugly, then?”

Giggling nervously, Briseis squeaked, “No.” Just hairy. Crimson heat crept to her cheeks.

“That’s good to hear. It would be awkward if my future wife found me undesirable.”

A voice said, “She will never marry you, brother.”

All heads turned toward the woman with the icy glare. Briseis shivered.

King Priam’s face flattened with impatience, as he snapped, “Keep your ill words to yourself, Cassandra. It’s her destiny to marry the greatest warrior. She will marry Hektor, if he will have her.”

The Trojan princess’ face turned as white as ash from a dead fire. “There will be smoke and fire when he arrives. And he will take her as his prize.”

Horrified faces turned toward Briseis. Tears spilled over her bottom lashes. What does she mean? What smoke and fire?

Prince Hektor ignored his sister’s words. “Would you care to see the stables, Princess Briseis?”

Still shaken, Briseis whispered, “Yes, if my mother will allow it.”

Queen Hecuba waved a hand and a royal guard gently escorted the strange woman away. “Of course, she will. She’ll recall the way to the Hektor’s heart is through the stable.”

As Hektor extended a warm hand, Briseis smiled for the first time in days. Maybe he isn’t too hairy after all.

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SONG OF SACRIFICE Teaser

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Author Janell Rhiannon

Author Janell Rhiannon

About the Author
In graduate school, Janell focused on the ancient history of Greece and Rome. Hooked by the “sword and sandal” world, she studied everything she could about mythology and Alexander the Great.

The Homeric Chronicles series is dedicated to merging dozens of Greek myths, including Homer’s epics, with plays, history, and archaeology. Her intent is to raise the heroines’ voices equally alongside the heroes, opening up a traditionally male focused genre to a female audience.

She lives in CA and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has a pack of two big dogs and two cats..

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Where to Find Janell Rhiannon
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE COUNCIL OF NERETH (The Nereth Trilogy) by T.J. Amberson

THE COUNCIL OF NERETH Book Blitz

Welcome to the blog tour for THE COUNCIL OF NERETH, the second book in the young adult historical fantasy romance series, The Nereth Trilogy, by T.J. Amberson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE COUNCIL OF NERETH (The Nereth Trilogy #2) by T.J. Amberson

THE COUNCIL OF NERETH (The Nereth Trilogy #2) by T.J. Amberson

About the Book
Title: THE COUNCIL OF NERETH
Series: The Nereth Trilogy #2
Author: T.J. Amberson
Release Date: December 2, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Six months have passed since the Council of Nereth was formed. The land is at peace. The people are thriving, secure in the knowledge that Raelin, the evil sorceress who once ruled over them, is no more.Like the other members of the Council of Nereth, Edlyn has returned home to live and work, waiting for the time when the council will meet again. Busy serving the people and restoring the manor of her childhood, Edlyn keeps her deepest wishes hidden away in her heart.On Edlyn’s eighteenth birthday, a messenger from the capitol arrives to her home and delivers devastating news: Maddock has gone missing, and the worst is feared. Edlyn rushes back to the capitol to join the other council members in a desperate search for Maddock. Soon, a ghostly attack confirms the terrifying truth that evil forces are upon Nereth once again. With time running short, Edlyn and her companions must find Maddock and save Nereth before it is too late.

 

 

 

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Excerpt #3
Suddenly, the Berax let out another screech, toppled off of Edlyn, and collapsed onto the leaves that covered the ground. Edlyn pulled herself to her feet. She froze when she saw the silhouette of a man crouched beside the Berax. The man swiftly raised an arm, and the flash of his dagger’s blade caught the moonlight before he thrust his weapon into the monster’s side again. The Berax was dead.

Edlyn staggered and dropped her sword, a torrent of emotions crashing down upon her. 

“Maddock,” she whispered.

“Are you hurt?” she heard him ask.

At the sound of his voice, Edlyn swayed again, the shock still so acute that she could barely reply. “I am not hurt.”

Maddock came toward her. Like Edlyn, he was breathing fast. Once he got close, Edlyn could see that Maddock’s clothes were dirtied and worn, and his hair had grown longer since she had seen him last. But Maddock’s eyes—dark and penetrating—had not changed.

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Author T.J. Amberson

Author T.J. Amberson

About The Author
TJ Amberson hails from the Pacific Northwest. With a love of writing in several genres, TJ strives to provide well-written, age-appropriate, & original novels for tweens, teens, and new adults.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where to Find T.J. Amberson
Goodreads | Website | Facebook

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt – DUCHESS BY DECEPTION (Gilded) by Marie Force

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for DUCHESS BY DECEPTION, the first book in the adult historical romance series, Gilded, byNew York Times bestselling author, Marie Force. See below for information on the book, buy inks, and an exclusive excerpt.

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION (Gilded #1) by Marie Force

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION (Gilded #1) by Marie Force

About the Book
Title: DUCHESS BY DECEPTION
Series: Gilded #1
Author: Marie Force
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google

Synopsis
In New York Times bestselling author Marie Force’s dazzling historical romance debut, the clock is ticking for a wealthy Duke who must marry by his thirtieth birthday—or lose his title…

Derek Eagan, the dashing Duke of Westwood, is well aware of his looming deadline. But weary of tiresome debutantes, he seeks a respite at his country home in Essex—and encounters a man digging on his property. Except he’s not a man. He’s a very lovely woman. Who suddenly faints at his feet.

Catherine McCabe’s disdain for the aristocracy has already led her to flee an arranged marriage with a boorish Viscount. The last thing she wants is to be waylaid in a Duke’s home. Yet, she is compelled to stay by the handsome, thoughtful man who introduces himself as the Duke’s estate manager.

Derek realizes two things immediately: he is captivated by her delicate beauty, and to figure out what she was up to, Catherine must not know he is the Duke. But as they fall passionately in love, Derek’s lie spins out of control. Will their bond survive his deception, not to mention the scorned Viscount’s pursuit? Most important, can Catherine fall in love all over again—this time with the Duke?

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Chapter 2
The next morning, Derek rode his black stallion Hercules out of London, heading for his country estate in Essex. He’d left without a word to the London household staff. They’d discover soon enough that he’d taken his leave and would send word to Anthony before the day was out. After taking their orders from Anthony during Derek’s adolescence, some of them were more loyal to his uncle than they were to him.

Following weeks of being cooped up in the city, Hercules seemed as anxious as Derek to return home, so Derek gave the big horse his head, and they made good time. They stopped only once for food and water, and Derek was grateful not to be recognized at the roadside inn. Otherwise, he might’ve been detained while the innkeeper tried to impress him. That was why he’d worn simple leather breaches, a white linen shirt and riding boots. After weeks on parade before the beau monde, it was a welcome relief to blend in with the unwashed masses.

Within a few hours, Derek and Hercules reached the southeastern corner of Derek’s vast estate and headed north. During the long journey, Derek had tried to put aside his disappointment over another failed Season and focus on the many tasks that awaited him at home. Here he knew who he was and what was expected of him. In polite society, all the lines became fuzzy, and he was forced to become someone he barely recognized.

If the pattern of years past was repeated, he could expect a dark mood to set in soon after he arrived home and settled back into the monotony of daily life, alone as always. That he had to go back, choose one of the simpering debs, apply for a special license and speak his vows sometime in the next ten days made him shudder. The thoughts were enough to get the dark mood started early.

It wasn’t that he didn’t like women. Oh no, he loved women. He loved their soft skin, their endlessly alluring scents, their long hair and lush curves. Other than his horses, he loved nothing more than losing himself in a willing woman. Sadly, in his corner of the country, suitable women were few and far between.

During the second of his many Seasons, Derek had befriended a courtesan named Kitty who saw to his more basic needs during his semi-regular visits to the city. While he liked and admired her, it wasn’t lost on him that were it not for the easy familiarity he shared with Kitty, he might’ve settled into a marriage long before now.

He’d never expected to reach the age of nine and twenty still unattached with no prospects on the horizon, not to mention any hope of producing an heir he could shape and mold into the future Duke of Westwood. The idea of constraining his own son to the life of a duke pained him, but Derek planned to live to a ripe old age, giving his son the chance Derek never had to experience life before being shackled with endless responsibilities and obligations. Perhaps he’d even take drastic steps to change the barbaric marriage rule in the family tenet, so his son would never feel the pressure that now threatened to suffocate Derek.

He chuckled softly. Getting a bit ahead of yourself, old sod. You can’t even find a wife, and you’re already making plans for the son you’ll never have at this rate.

He thought about how thrilled his Uncle Anthony would be to push Derek aside and take on the title he’d coveted all his life, even while pretending to have Derek’s best interests at heart. With these thoughts weighing heavily on his mind he almost missed it. A man was digging feverishly in a glade set back from the road. Derek reined in Hercules. “Whoa, boy.”

The horse snorted in protest.

“Easy.” Derek patted the horse’s neck while he watched for a minute before urging Hercules toward the digger. As he approached, he noticed the man wasn’t very tall. His ill-fitting clothes were caked with dirt, his boots scuffed and his breathing labored as he went about his work with single-minded determination, oblivious to the fact that he was being watched.

“You there!” Derek called out.

Startled by Derek’s sudden appearance, the man dropped the shovel and fell back on his rear.

Suppressing the urge to laugh at the shocked expression on the man’s dirty face, Derek dismounted and approached, offering a hand to help him up. From what Derek could see under the brim of the cap the man wore, his features were delicate, almost effeminate, and his filthy hands seemed too small to wield such a heavy shovel.

Ignoring Derek’s offered hand, the young man scrambled to his feet, rubbing his hands on his pants in a nervous gesture.

“Don’t even think about running,” Derek said. Dark eyes filled with fear stared back at him. “What do you think you’re doing digging here? This is private property. Anything you uncover belongs to the Duke of Westwood.”

The young man’s face twisted with scorn, but still he didn’t speak.

Derek noticed the other man’s hands were trembling. “I won’t harm you. I just want to know what you’re doing.” When that got him nowhere, he bent to retrieve the shovel. “If you won’t answer my questions, I’ll have to confiscate this.”

Uttering an animalistic growl, the man lunged for the shovel. As he and Derek crashed together, his threadbare cap flew off his head, and long, curly blond hair spilled down his—or rather her—back.

Deep navy-blue eyes stared up at him as she quaked in terror.

Shocked to realize his trespasser was a woman who was deathly afraid of him, Derek reached out to steady her. “Easy now. I won’t hurt you.”

She released a gasp as her legs seemed to collapse beneath her.

Derek caught her just before she hit the ground in a dead faint. By holding her over his shoulder, Derek managed to struggle the featherweight woman and her small valise onto Hercules. Once astride, he arranged her so she rested against him. Right away Derek could feel the heat of her fever through his shirt. Her hair was matted with grime, and she smelled, well, less than fresh. Derek wondered how long she’d been battling the elements on her own and when she’d last eaten.

Tightening his hold on his passenger, Derek urged Hercules into a canter. They arrived at Westwood Hall less than an hour later. Derek’s cousin Simon, butler Rutledge and several footmen met them.

“Your Grace!” Rutledge cried. “We had no idea you’d be home so soon!” He curled up his regal nose at the sight of the ruffian with Derek. “And who have you brought?”

“I encountered her out on the south quarter. She’s burning up with fever.” Derek signaled one of the footmen, who approached to relieve him of his passenger. “Take her to the blue guest room.” Derek dismounted and handed the reins to a second footman. “And send for the doctor right away.”

“Yes, Your Grace,” Rutledge said, gesturing to the second footman as he, Derek and Simon followed the man carrying the sick woman into the house.

“Who is she?” Simon asked.

“I have no idea. She was digging in the glade when I came across her.”

“Digging for what?”

“She passed out before I could ask her,” Derek said as he rushed inside with Simon on his heels.

Mrs. Langingham, the housekeeper, met them in the foyer, taking over for the flustered butler. “Oh, Your Grace, you’re home so early!”

“As usual, London failed to keep me entertained. Would you please have one of the maids draw a bath for the young miss? She’s dirty and ill.”

“Of course.” Mrs. Langingham signaled to a maid, who scurried off.

“I’ll see you later,” Derek said to his cousin as he followed the footman carrying the woman up the stairs. At the doorway to the room he’d assigned her, he hesitated. It wouldn’t be proper for him to be in her bedchamber. Even though he had no idea who she was or where she’d come from, he worried about her reputation, nonetheless.

The footman set her on the bed and came to the door.

“Thank you,” Derek said, his eyes on the woman. He stood watch over her until the maids had her bath ready in the bathing room he’d recently installed.

Mrs. Langingham bustled into the room after them, barking out orders and taking command. “Now off with you, Your Grace. We’ll take good care of her.”

“If she comes to,” Derek said, acting on instinct, “don’t tell her where she is or who found her.”

“As you wish.”

“I’ll check on her later.”

“We’ll take good care of her,” Mrs. Langingham said again as she ushered him out the door. “Don’t worry yourself.”

Derek left the room, but he didn’t want to. For some odd reason, he wanted to stay and care for her himself. To peel the filthy clothing from her petite body and bathe what looked to be weeks of grime off her, to wash her long hair and towel it dry by the fire. He wanted to crawl into bed next to her and hold her until the fever broke and she could tell him why she’d been digging on his land. So far all she’d done was growl at him, but the desperation he’d heard in that growl had touched him deeply.

He could go back, clear the room and take over. But Mrs. Langingham had helped to raise him, and he’d never shock her that way. Walking toward his own bedchamber at the other end of the long hallway, Derek decided he’d go back as soon as they had her settled in bed. Hopefully by then the doctor would have arrived.

***

An hour later, Derek returned to check on his new ward and stopped dead in his tracks at the bedchamber doorway. The woman was propped against a small mountain of pillows, her damp golden curls forming a halo around her freshly scrubbed face. A porcelain complexion, pretty pink lips and a button nose completed a rather captivating picture. He’d been oddly drawn to her when she was dirty and smelly. But now he needed her to awaken so he could find out everything there was to know about her.

While he stared at her, she began to thrash in the bed as if in the midst of a frightening dream.

“What’s wrong with her?” he asked, riveted by the fear he saw on her face.

“She’s been terribly agitated, Your Grace,” Mrs. Langingham said, wringing her hands.

“Can’t you do something?” he asked the doctor. Reeking of whiskey, the old man had clearly been dragged from the village pub. Derek moved to the foot of the bed for a closer look.

“She’s quite ill, Your—”

“Don’t call me that,” Derek snapped. “Until I find out more about what she’s after, I don’t want her to know who I am or where she is.”

“I doubt she’s paying much attention to what we are saying, sir.”

“Regardless, can’t you do something to make her more comfortable?”

The doctor shook his head. “If she doesn’t wake in the next day or two, we can bleed her.”

“Absolutely not.”

“But Your, I mean, sir, there may be no other choice.”

Derek had yet to hear of anyone who’d been better off after bleeding than they had been before. “No talk of bleeding. For God’s sake, no one does that anymore.”

“It can still be highly effective,” the old man huffed.

Derek decided then and there it was time for a new doctor in the village. He’d begin the search as soon as possible.

“I can’t help but notice,” Mrs. Langingham said to Derek, “that she seems to calm somewhat when she hears your voice.”

He moved to the side of the bed, took the young woman’s work-roughened hand and held it between both of his. “There now, you’re safe here. Try to rest.” Before his astounded eyes, she relaxed into the pillows, but her fever-reddened cheeks worried him. Turning to the doctor, Derek said, “Will she recover?”

The doctor picked up his bag of useless tools. “She’s young, and though she’s somewhat malnourished, she’s strong. There’s no reason to believe she won’t recover. Try to get some tea or broth into her.”

Mrs. Langingham, who’d been hovering at Derek’s shoulder, nodded vociferously. “I’ll see to it personally.”

“I’ll do it,” Derek said.

“But, sir,” Mrs. Langingham protested, “it’s not proper!”

“You said yourself that my presence calms her. And besides, who will know?”

She wilted under the intensity of his gaze. “As you wish. I’ll have the tea sent up.” She bustled from the room.

As the doctor prepared to leave, Derek stopped him. “Not a word of this in the village. Do you understand me?”

“Yes, sir. I’ll check on her tomorrow.”

After closing the door behind the doctor, Derek went to stand by the bed. Hands in pockets, he studied his guest so intently that he never heard Mrs. Langingham’s return. She set the tray of tea and broth on the bedside table.

“I’ll take it from here,” Derek said.

“Your Grace,” she whispered, her expression scandalized.

“That’ll be all, Mrs. Langingham.” He sent her a warm smile. “Thank you for your assistance.”

“You’ll need to put a towel under her chin.”

“I can handle it. I’ll see you in the morning.” Derek waited until the housekeeper left the room before pouring the tea and waiting for it to cool. Once it had become somewhat tepid, he sat on the bed and arranged his patient so she reclined against his chest. Remembering the towel Mrs. Langingham had recommended, Derek tucked it under the woman’s chin and over her shoulders and then reached for the tea.

The heat from her feverish body seeped through their clothing to warm him. “Come now,” he said softly. “Let’s have a little sip.”

She strained against his tight hold and turned her head away from the cup he held to her lips. Her mouth opened, and he was able to get her to drink a small bit without her choking. It took more than half an hour, but he managed to get most of the cup into her. He wiped her face with the towel and started to settle her back in bed.

But she turned into him, her head on his chest, and began to murmur in her sleep.

Now this, Derek thought, was definitely improper. Regardless, he couldn’t seem to bring himself to leave her, even though her fever was making him overly warm.

“No,” she muttered. “Don’t. Please don’t.” She stiffened, as if in pain, and let out a low moan.

“It’s all right,” Derek said, combing his fingers through her glorious mane. “I’ve got you. You’re safe here.”

“Don’t hurt me. Please don’t.”

Derek tightened his hold on her. “You’re safe. No one will hurt you.” He realized his shirt was damp and looked down to see tears on her fever-brightened cheeks. Brushing them away, he ached to know who she was, who had hurt her, and what had brought her to his corner of Essex.

He spoke softly to her until she once again relaxed into a deep sleep. The long, eventful day finally caught up to him, and his eyes drifted closed. His next conscious thought was one of struggle. Someone was fighting him with everything they had. He startled awake to find his patient battling her way out of his embrace.

“Wait,” he said. “I won’t hurt you.”

“Release me this instant!” Her voice was low and cultured, and the sound stirred him profoundly.

Derek did as she asked, and she sprang from the bed.

Arms folded across the front of the thin night rail Mrs. Langingham had found for her, she glared at him as she wobbled on unsteady legs. “Where am I? Where is my clothing? Who undressed me?”

“You’re at Westwood Hall. The housekeeper bathed and dressed you.”

Her face flaming with embarrassment, she grabbed a blanket from the foot of the bed and wrapped it around herself. “And who resides here?”

“The Duke of Westwood.”

She made a face of supreme distaste.

Derek bit back the urge to laugh.

“I have no desire to be the guest of a duke. If you’ll find my clothes, I’ll be on my way.”

“I believe they were burned.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“They weren’t fit to be rags.”

“They’re all I have!” Her pale face lost what color it had left as she swooned.

Derek bolted from the bed to catch her and settled her back in bed. “You’re ill. You can’t go anywhere until your fever breaks and you regain your strength.”

Dark blue eyes filled with tears. “I can’t stay here.”

“What has the duke ever done to you?”

“Not a thing.”

“Then why are you so opposed to being his guest?”

“I’d feel the same about any peer of the realm,” she said with a haughty lift of her delicate chin.

“And why is that?”

“I have my reasons. Who are you anyway?”

Derek’s brain froze.

“Have I asked a difficult question?”

“Of course not,” Derek said, recovering. “I’m Jack Bancroft, the duke’s estate manager.”

“You’re not a peer?”

“No, ma’am.” Derek wasn’t sure why he lied, except that he wanted to know more about her and already understood that he’d get nowhere with her as the Duke of Westwood. That, alone, made her different from every other woman he’d ever met.

“Good,” she said, visibly relieved.

“Now that I’ve given you my name, will you return the favor?”

She rolled her plump bottom lip between her teeth. “Catherine.”

Derek lowered himself into the chair next to the bed. “Pleasure to meet you, Catherine.”

“How did I get here?”

“I brought you. Do you remember our encounter in the woods? You were digging.”

“And you took my shovel.”

“The duke tends to frown upon strangers digging on his land without his knowledge or permission.”

Her eyes flashed with anger. “Oh, what does he care? He has thousands of acres. What’s one small hole to him?”

“It’s still his land, and thus his hole. Why don’t you tell me why you were digging?”

Her eyes widened. “My bag! Where’s my bag?” Clawing at the blankets, she tried to get up.

“Stay there. It’s right here.” He crossed the room to get the threadbare valise and brought it to her.

She did a quick inspection and then clutched it to her chest, eying him warily. “Did you look inside?”

“I did not.” Dropping back into the chair, he propped his feet on the foot of the bed. “You haven’t answered my question. Why were you digging?”

“I was looking for something that belongs to me,” she said, her gaze darting to his feet on the bed and then back to his face. Her expression told him that if it were up to her, he and his feet would be expelled from the room immediately.

Confused, Derek said, “So, you’ve been here before?” He was quite certain he’d remember her.

“No. My grandmother has.”

“And she left something behind?”

“I don’t wish to discuss it any further.”

“I can’t help you if I don’t know what brought you here or why you were willing to risk your health and well-being in pursuit of it.”

“Why would you want to help me?”

With every passing minute Derek grew more fascinated by her. He forced himself to project a sense of calm when he was anything but. “The duke has gone abroad to America for the summer.” Even though he surprised himself with the easy lie, his face remained neutral. “I’ve nothing much to do in his absence. If you’re looking for something, I might be able to help.”

“I don’t require your assistance. If I could just borrow some clothing, I’ll be on my way.”

“I’m afraid I can’t allow that.”

“You can’t, or you won’t?”

“As the duke’s estate manager, I oversee everything involving the land. I can’t permit a stranger to dig unsupervised.” He sent her his most charming smile. “You wouldn’t want to cause me trouble with my employer, now would you?”

“I don’t see why you can’t just let me go and forget you ever met me.”

Derek gave her his most charming smile. “My lady, you are quite unforgettable.”

“And it is quite unseemly for us to be alone together in a bedchamber.”

“No member of this household will speak of it.” He would see to that. “You were sick. I thought you’d be more comfortable waking up to someone you recognized, even though our association was brief.”

“And how precisely did you end up in bed with me?”

“I fed you some tea and then you fell asleep. I didn’t want to disturb you. And you seemed . . . ”

“What?”

“Frightened. Has someone hurt you?”

Catherine gasped. “Of course not. Why would you say such a thing?”

“You were speaking in your sleep.”

She put a hand over her mouth. “I wasn’t.”

Derek leaned forward and rested his elbows on the bed. “Who hurt you, Catherine?”

Shrinking back from him, she sank deeper into the pillows. “No one,” she said in barely more than a whisper.

“Let me help you.”

“I can’t stay here. I won’t accept charity from the aristocracy.”

“The way I see it, you don’t have much choice. You’re sick, weak, most likely far from home, alone, unprotected. Need I go on?” When she only glowered at him, he continued. “I can help you, but only if you’re honest with me.”

“And what will you tell the duke?”

“He is to be away for some months and trusts me to manage his affairs in his absence.”

“I can’t stay in his home. I just can’t.”

“We may be able to make other arrangements, so you wouldn’t have to stay under his roof, per se.”

She stared at him, mouth agape. “Why would you do such a thing for someone you barely know?”

“I told you. It’s all too quiet around here when the duke is away. Helping you will give me something interesting to do.”

She gave him an arch look, which, along with her fever-reddened cheeks, only added to her overwhelming appeal. “And what, pray, will you expect in return?”

He feigned shock. “My dear lady, I may not be a peer, but I am a gentleman.”

“A gentleman who somehow found his way into my bed the day we met.”

Derek couldn’t help but smile at her witty retort. “For that I would offer my most heartfelt apologies if I hadn’t so enjoyed holding you while you slept.”

“You’re outrageous,” she huffed.

He shrugged. “I speak only the truth. I have a proposition for you.” Was it his imagination or did she shrink further into the mountain of pillows?

“What kind of proposition?”

“You’re looking for something that’s clearly important to you. I can provide access to the area in which you wish to look as well as food and shelter for as long as you’re a guest on the estate.”

“In exchange for?”

“The truth. Tell me who you are, what you’re looking for, how you managed to get so sick and dirty, who you’re running from and anything else I should know in order to justify my actions to the duke.”

She rolled that plump lip between her teeth once more, sending a sharp bolt of lust straight to Derek’s cock. Had he ever envied another’s teeth before? Not that he could recall. He watched an array of emotions cross her expressive face—fear, trepidation, longing, desperation, distrust and despair. That last one made him feel small for forcing himself on her when she clearly wanted nothing more to do with him.

Even though he’d been less than truthful with her, he hadn’t lied about wishing for something interesting to occupy his time. Since he was supposed to be in London for another few weeks, his schedule was open, and his regular duties delegated to others.

He extended his hand. “Do we have a deal?”

She glanced at his hand and then at his face. “Do I have any other choice?”

“Not if you wish to continue digging on the duke’s property.”

Scowling, she held out her hand. “Fine.”

As Derek enclosed her soft hand between both of his, a charge traveled through his limbs to settle in his groin, and he wondered just who was fooling who.

 —————————————————————————-

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

Author Marie Force

Author Marie Force

About the Author
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception. 

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction. 

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news..

Where to find Marie Force
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Reader GroupTwitter | Pinterest | YouTube | BookBub

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt – DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE Cover Reveal

Welcome to the blog tour for DARING THE DETECTIVE, the third book in the adult historical romance series, Restitution League, by Riley Cole. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

About the Book
Title:
DARING THE DETECTIVE
Series: Restitution League #3
Author: Riley Cole
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
He’s everything she disdains. She’s nothing he admires.

But love has its own delightful logic. 

Whether bartering with Barbary pirates or angry Gypsy kings, Zadie Whitlock lives by her wits… and the business end of her parasol. 

Detective Caleb Burke lives to right wrongs. He can’t abide Zadie’s daring, impulsive ways, especially after she leaves him bound to a library shelf with his own handcuffs. 

Still, he can’t ignore the passion the damned woman ignites.

Nor can Zadie dismiss his smoldering allure. Which is troublesome in the extreme, because Caleb Burke isn’t the man for her. He’s too honorable, too loyal, and far too likely to follow the rules. 

Dazzled by her indomitable spirit, Caleb makes a fateful choice that sets the two of them on a hunt for lost Viking treasure. Failure will see his career in ashes, and Zadie on trial for her life.

Pursued by deadly forces, they’ve got the power of the Restitution League on their side… and their own stubborn hearts in the way.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt #1
Irritated beyond all reason, Caleb stalked into the study Zadie’s aunt used as an office, eager to find whatever clues he could. He needed to solve Dr. Whitlock’s disappearance and get far away from their newest client. Quickly. His sanity demanded it.

The hansom ride to her house had been excruciating. She took up too much space, too much air, too much of his psychical energy. He couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think.

She was a charlatan, an opportunist, and a stunningly attractive woman who wouldn’t hesitate to wield all the skills at her disposal to flummox any man foolish enough to enter her orbit. He knew the sort. She’d take on any job, with no regard for legalities, or her own safety, as long as the fee was high enough.

But then she’d kissed him. Caleb scratched his cheek. It hadn’t even been a real kiss. But it did make him want another, a deep, breathtaking kiss that would leave both of them gasping for air.

He jerked his head back, startled by the direction his thoughts were taking. He didn’t even like her. And yet that one feather-light kiss had sent him ass over teakettle.

Impatient with his own imaginings, he focused his attention on the room, straining to make sense of the scene. She’d described it accurately. Papers were flung about as if someone had made a hasty search. Before touching a thing, he stood in the center of the space and breathed. He couldn’t have articulated what he was after. It was too ephemeral to name. He only knew he did it at the scene of every crime. He wanted to see it as the criminal, and the victim, might have seen it.

And here, he sensed urgency. There was no blood, no torn draperies or overturned furniture. No indication of a struggle. Either Zadie’s aunt had been threatened with a weapon, or she’d fled of her own accord.

After waiting in the doorway, allowing him space, Zadie joined him in the study, moving close enough that her fragrance radiated over the few inches separating them. Sweet, with a bite of spice, it called to mind exotic locales shimmering with heat.

He clenched his jaw, willing away the distraction, and forced himself to focus on the room itself, soaking in the details, letting his mind imagine the scene. Like the other rooms in the house, it was tastefully furnished. There was the desk, of course, and the chair opposite, where he imagined her aunt’s occasional patients sat. A skeleton stood in the corner, suspended from a black wire stand. The skull regarded him with detached interest.

Zadie pointed at it. “That’s where I found the necklace.”

He stepped around the desk, careful not to tread on the papers littering the floor. She was right to dismiss robbery as a motive. Too many items of value remained in plain sight. Shelves of finely bound volumes lined the wall behind the desk, and a silver ink set and letter opener sat, untouched on an expensive-looking leather blotter.

Zadie scooped a blank paper from the floor and held it out to him. “Here’s something.”

He held it up to the light from the window next to the desk. A dark footprint covered most of the surface.

She picked up another sheet. “Here’s another.”

Caleb compared the two prints. “Same boot.” So they were after a single intruder. The lugs were thick, the heel worn almost away. “Work boots. Large ones.” He examined the rest of the papers but saw no other prints. “Do you have any male servants?”

“No.” She thought for a moment. “I can’t think of the last time a man was in the house, actually.”

He rolled the pages into a tube and stuck them in the inside pocket of his jacket. “Probably our intruder, then.”

“Oh no.” Zadie brushed past him to pick up an ancient book, its pages yellowed with age. “Her treasure map. She kept it in this volume.” She thumbed through the pages, then held the book by its spine and shook it. Eyes wide, she looked up at him. “She must have taken it with her.”

Caleb squinted at the bookcase behind the desk. Old books, new books, thick tomes, and sheaves of journals crowded the shelves. Clearly, only the one volume had been removed. Whoever had grabbed the book knew what they were after.

Zadie was right. Her aunt had probably removed it herself.

But had she been coerced? He refrained from voicing that dark thought, though the prickle between his shoulder blades didn’t bode well. If someone believed the treasure existed, a map could be worth killing over. “You’re certain no one else knew about it? Not the housekeeper or one of the maids?”

Before he’d completed the question, Zadie was shaking her head. “I’m the only person she confided in. She worried that it would put people in danger.” A pained look crossed her face. “I used to laugh at that.”

A pencil poised to roll off the edge of the desk caught his attention. He snatched it up and tapped out a rhythm on the blotter while he let his imagination sift through the evidence at hand. Best to start with what they did know…or could reasonably surmise. Whatever his motives, the intruder had rushed up the steps, kicked in the door, and barreled in. A glance would have told him the front parlor was empty. Less than a second, and he’d have been in her study.

Not enough time for her aunt to remove her necklace, grab a map, and get out.

She’d had some warning. But how?

The window.

The answer smacked him between the eyes. Zadie’s aunt had seen the intruder walking by on the street below.

He inched forward, gaze on the quiet view outside. “It was someone she recognized, or someone—”

“Who didn’t fit,” Zadie chimed in.

“Exactly.” He paced the office, clasping his hands behind his back. “It’s the only way she would have had time to get her map and leave you the necklace.”

Zadie seemed to be thinking through the scenario as well. “That makes sense.”

“But it’s not the only explanation that fits the facts,” he cautioned.

“I know.” She twisted her fingers together. “And it doesn’t explain the intruder’s motives.”

“No, it doesn’t.” He gave her a small smile, trying to ease her guilt. And then he thought of a marvelous distraction. “Are you up for an experiment?”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Let’s assume your aunt was at her desk.” He pointed at the desk chair and pulled the drapes wide. “When you see me walk toward the house, pretend to grab the map, then put the necklace where you found it. I want to see if you can evade me.”

“What makes you think I want to try?”

The heat in those few words was enough to make him hard. Painfully, achingly hard. Despite their dissimilarities, their opposing temperaments and the way she was able to anger him with the smallest shrug, he smiled. Grinned, actually. “You should try, Miss Whitlock. Because when I do catch you, you’ll find yourself in more trouble than you can handle.”

“Doubtful, Detective.”

He laughed. There was no getting the better of her. Not with words, anyway.

He was still laughing as he hurried down the hall and out the door, shutting it behind him. Then he strolled off down the street. Not the way they’d come. He thought he’d try the opposite direction first. Her aunt would have seen them coming sooner from their original direction. He wanted to try this under the worst possible conditions.

The corner would do. He turned on his heel and walked back toward the house, careful to temper his stride. A seasoned criminal wouldn’t move too quickly…or too slowly. He strove to mimic the pace of a man with an agenda, but a man loath to attract attention.

He walked up the front steps at a sedate pace, then kicked softly at the broken door. Even though he barely brushed it, the door swung open hard enough to bang against the wall. He rushed in, taking only the briefest instant to scan the front parlor and the hallway toward the kitchen. It only took three steps to reach the study.

Zadie already had one leg hooked over the windowsill. She smiled at him, relief obvious in the set of her shoulders. “She could have made it.”

“Easily.” He crossed to her and held out a hand to help her back in. “It’s clear she could have—”

A harsh male voice called out from the pavement. “Hold it! Hold it right there.”

Two uniformed officers were rushing toward the house, followed by a dark-suited detective. Avery Pitcairn. The nastiest detective on the South London force.

“Miss Zadie Whitlock?” Pitcairn called out, loud enough to be heard over the cascade of footfalls behind him. “You’re wanted for questioning in the disappearance of Dr. Margaret Whitlock. It’s best for all concerned if you come along quietly.”

Holy blazing hell. He had to stop them. It made no sense, but the feeling was so strong, he couldn’t help himself. He had to prevent them from arresting her.

He yanked her back inside. “Do as I say. Exactly as I say. Trust me,” he whispered.

Her face pale, Zadie nodded.

He couldn’t turn her over. She hadn’t harmed her aunt. He didn’t know how he knew it, but he did. It was simply the way his detective brain worked. Bits and pieces of evidence coalesced into a larger picture. And the picture he had so far convinced him Zadie was innocent. Besides, if he was wrong, he could cart her off to Newgate himself. And he hated Pitcairn. A cruel little weasel of a man, Pitcairn took an outsized pleasure in the misfortune of others. Particularly women.

He couldn’t allow it. Which wouldn’t protect him from the consequences of what he was about to do.

He shoved his misgivings aside and greeted the ginger-haired officer. “You’re too late. I already have Miss Whitlock in custody.”

The shorter detective jerked to a stop halfway into the room, the whiskers of his large mustache quivering. “What?” He squinted at him. “Burke? Thought you worked out of the Yard. What the hell are you doing out here?”

“I am at the Yard. Miss Whitlock is a person of interest in a very sensitive case. I’m to take her there immediately.”

The man huffed. “More important than a possible murder? Her aunt is missing.”

“I’m aware of that.” Caleb pulled his handcuffs from his trouser pocket. “My case takes precedence. Trust me. There are people above me you don’t want to upset, if you know what I mean.”

Pitcairn’s cheeks reddened. “No, I don’t know.”

“Orders from the highest level.” Caleb tried to sound apologetic as he slid his hand down to Zadie’s wrist and snapped on the cuff.

Her gasp filled the room.

The other detective gave her a searing glare. “Did you know Dr. Whitlock’s solicitor dug up her will? Left everything to this baggage here. She’s the woman’s only living relative.”

“What?” Zadie gasped, earning her another angry look from Pitcairn.

His expression was still flat and cold when he turned his attention back to Caleb. “Didn’t mention that, did she?”

He laughed, but the sound held no mirth. “We had a bit of luck with that piece. The housekeeper knows the solicitor. Her sister’s his cook.”

He crossed to the window and squinted out at the street. “Where’s your carriage?”

“The driver’ll be right back,” Caleb lied. “Had to drop Morgan and Fitz at the Limehouse docks. We weren’t expecting Miss Whitlock to be here.”

Nor had he expected her to have such a strong motive to make her aunt disappear. Though the house was modest, it spoke of comfort…and more wealth than many enjoyed. His impassive, police officer’s expression firmly in place, he studied her, checking for any of the telltale signs of a liar. But all he saw was shock.

Pitcairn chewed the ends of his mustache while he ruminated. “Can I have her when you’re done?” he asked finally.

“I don’t see why not. As soon as the toffs running my investigation allow it.” Caleb snapped the handcuffs around her other wrist.

Pitcairn jerked his chin at Zadie. “Good. There’ll be plenty of time for us to chat once you’re locked up. Come on now, lads. Nothing else we can do here.”

Caleb waited until the lot of them had funneled out the door and back into their wagon before he allowed himself to consider what he’d just done.

Ruined his career, most likely.

Zadie turned her back toward him and wiggled her fingers, jangling the chains. “About these? You promised.”

Preoccupied with the weight of his actions, it took a moment for Caleb to process her statement. He eyed the cuffs. “I promised not to arrest you for theft. I never promised not to arrest you for murder.”

“That’s not funny. Take these off.”

It wasn’t. Not in the least. But the sight of her, helpless before him, chest heaving, lips parted, was the most erotic thing he’d ever seen.

He ran a hand over his mouth. Holy hell. He’d just tossed his career in the sewer, and all he could think about was throwing her on the nearest couch and undoing the tiny pearl buttons running down the front of her bodice.

Afraid he’d make good on his imaginings, he turned toward the window and watched the officers depart. “It’s not meant to be funny.” The consequences of what he’d just done certainly wouldn’t be humorous.

“Caleb, please?”

The catch in her voice pricked at his conscience. Whatever disaster he’d just made of his career, torturing her wouldn’t help. Old habit had his fingers around the key in his vest pocket before he’d even realized he’d decided to free her.

She evaded his gaze, but the strong pulse beating at the side of her neck and the way her breasts moved with the rhythm of her breathing suggested she didn’t fully trust him to unlock the things.

Nor did he. He walked behind her and rubbed his thumb over the inside of her wrists, tracing the delicate pulse. The skin of her thighs would be this soft. This warm. “I could renege on my promise.”

She shivered. “You wouldn’t.”

“How do you know? We’ve only just met.”

“I know you’re an honest man.”

Caleb snorted, trying to shake off her sensual spell. “Not all policemen are honest. Far from it.”

“You are.”

“You can’t know that.”

“Oh, but I can.” She tossed her head back, flinging a dark curl out of her eyes. “It’s your friends. The League. They trust you, and I trust them.”

But could he trust himself? Maybe he should steal a kiss before he released her. He considered it, thinking long and hard about how she’d feel in his arms, but propriety and a healthy dose of self-preservation won out. Toying with a woman as bright and sensual as Zadie might leave a scar.

And he had plenty of other things to worry about now. He jabbed the key in the lock. The cuffs fell away, severing the electric connection between them.

She rubbed her wrists. “They’ll be expecting you to bring me in.”

“I know.” He dropped the cuffs back into his pocket.

Something in his tone must have concerned her. She scooted back, just out of reach. “You wouldn’t.”

“Of course not.” He ran a hand through his hair. “But I’ll need to explain why you’re not in custody.”

She strode back and forth across the worn carpet, obviously considering alternatives as well. Outside, the light was fading as afternoon slid into a golden autumn dusk. He’d be expected at the station before long. There wasn’t much time to lose.

And then he had it.

It was an idiotic idea, but it was the best he could come up with. He motioned her to him and spread his legs, bracing himself for what was to come. “Hit me,” he commanded.

She backed up until the bookcases stopped her. “This is no time for jokes.”

“Hit me,” he insisted. “Make it good.”

“I can’t do that.”

He caught her gaze and smiled. “There were a couple of times at the League you would’ve loved to plant me a facer.”

Her delicate earrings swayed as she shook her head. “I was angry then. This…this is cold-blooded.”

Still giddy with panic over what he’d just done, he grinned. “I can make you angry, if you like.”

She rolled her eyes.

He turned the side of his face toward her. “Hurry.” Before he came to his senses. Before he did the reasonable thing and took her to the station himself.

Her lips parted as she drew in a fortifying breath and then, before he had time to steel himself, she balled her hand into a fist and swung.

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DARING THE DETECTIVE Teaser

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Get Caught up on the Series

Book 1: REJECTING THE ROGUE
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: SAVING THE SCIENTIST
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Riley Cole

Author Riley Cole

About the Author
Riley has a long fascination with all things Victorian. She loves the peculiar mix of science, mysticism and innovation that collided in the Victorian Era.

To say nothing of bustles. Bustles and elaborate hats and parasols. Parasols for rain. Parasols for sun. And parasols that morph into swords…of course. 

Sadly, Riley has little use for umbrellas in the dry foothills of the Eastern Sierra, but she consoles herself with forest hikes and dips in cool mountain lakes. Besides—no matter where one resides—a proper cuppa never comes amiss.

If you enjoy a little high adventure—and a lot of desire—with your historical romance, delve into Riley’s version of late Victorian London.

Thieves, rogues, and love await…

For more information about Riley, please visit her website, “like” Riley on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Sign up for Riley’s newsletter to be notified about upcoming releases. She’s loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at riley@rileycole.com.

Where to find Riley Cole
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook Twitter

 

Release Day – DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE Cover Reveal

Today is release day for DARING THE DETECTIVE, the third book in the adult historical romance series, Restitution League, by Riley Cole. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive teaser.

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

About the Book
Title:
DARING THE DETECTIVE
Series: Restitution League #3
Author: Riley Cole
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
He’s everything she disdains. She’s nothing he admires.

But love has its own delightful logic. 

Whether bartering with Barbary pirates or angry Gypsy kings, Zadie Whitlock lives by her wits… and the business end of her parasol. 

Detective Caleb Burke lives to right wrongs. He can’t abide Zadie’s daring, impulsive ways, especially after she leaves him bound to a library shelf with his own handcuffs. 

Still, he can’t ignore the passion the damned woman ignites.

Nor can Zadie dismiss his smoldering allure. Which is troublesome in the extreme, because Caleb Burke isn’t the man for her. He’s too honorable, too loyal, and far too likely to follow the rules. 

Dazzled by her indomitable spirit, Caleb makes a fateful choice that sets the two of them on a hunt for lost Viking treasure. Failure will see his career in ashes, and Zadie on trial for her life.

Pursued by deadly forces, they’ve got the power of the Restitution League on their side… and their own stubborn hearts in the way.

 —————————————————————————-

DARING THE DETECTIVE Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

Get Caught up on the Series

Book 1: REJECTING THE ROGUE
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: SAVING THE SCIENTIST
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

 —————————————————————————-

Author Riley Cole

Author Riley Cole

About the Author
Riley has a long fascination with all things Victorian. She loves the peculiar mix of science, mysticism and innovation that collided in the Victorian Era.

To say nothing of bustles. Bustles and elaborate hats and parasols. Parasols for rain. Parasols for sun. And parasols that morph into swords…of course. 

Sadly, Riley has little use for umbrellas in the dry foothills of the Eastern Sierra, but she consoles herself with forest hikes and dips in cool mountain lakes. Besides—no matter where one resides—a proper cuppa never comes amiss.

If you enjoy a little high adventure—and a lot of desire—with your historical romance, delve into Riley’s version of late Victorian London.

Thieves, rogues, and love await…

For more information about Riley, please visit her website, “like” Riley on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Sign up for Riley’s newsletter to be notified about upcoming releases. She’s loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at riley@rileycole.com.

Where to find Riley Cole
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook Twitter

 

Teaser Reveal – DUCHESS BY DECEPTION (Gilded) by Marie Force

New York Times bestselling author, Marie Force is revealing a teaser from her upcoming DUCHESS BY DECEPTION, the first book in her adult historical romance series, Gilded, releasing January 29, 2019. See below for information on the book, pre-order inks, and the exclusive teaser.

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION (Gilded #1) by Marie Force

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION (Gilded #1) by Marie Force

About the Book
Title: DUCHESS BY DECEPTION
Series: Gilded #1
Author: Marie Force
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google

Synopsis
In New York Times bestselling author Marie Force’s dazzling historical romance debut, the clock is ticking for a wealthy Duke who must marry by his thirtieth birthday—or lose his title…

Derek Eagan, the dashing Duke of Westwood, is well aware of his looming deadline. But weary of tiresome debutantes, he seeks a respite at his country home in Essex—and encounters a man digging on his property. Except he’s not a man. He’s a very lovely woman. Who suddenly faints at his feet.

Catherine McCabe’s disdain for the aristocracy has already led her to flee an arranged marriage with a boorish Viscount. The last thing she wants is to be waylaid in a Duke’s home. Yet, she is compelled to stay by the handsome, thoughtful man who introduces himself as the Duke’s estate manager.

Derek realizes two things immediately: he is captivated by her delicate beauty, and to figure out what she was up to, Catherine must not know he is the Duke. But as they fall passionately in love, Derek’s lie spins out of control. Will their bond survive his deception, not to mention the scorned Viscount’s pursuit? Most important, can Catherine fall in love all over again—this time with the Duke?

 —————————————————————————-

DUCHESS BY DECEPTION Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

Author Marie Force

Author Marie Force

About the Author
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception. 

All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction. 

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news..

Where to find Marie Force
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Reader GroupTwitter | Pinterest | YouTube | BookBub

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE DEVIL’S PACT (The Devil’s Revolver) by V.S. McGrath

THE DEVIL’S PACT Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE DEVIL’S PACT, the third book in the young adult/new adult historical dark fantasy series, The Devil’s Revolver, by V.S. McGrath. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can read my 5-star review of THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER, book one in the series, here.

THE DEVIL’S PACT (The Devil’s Revolver #3) by V.S. McGrath

THE DEVIL’S PACT (The Devil’s Revolver #3) by V.S. McGrath

About the Book
Title: THE DEVIL’S PACT
Series: The Devil’s Revolver #3
Author: V.S. McGrath
Publisher: Brain Mill Press LLC
Release Date: December 18th 2018
Genre: Young Adult Historical Western Dark Fantasy/Paranormal
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Hold on to your hats — the Devil’s Revolver series is back with an evil twin, deep magic, zombies, menacing grand balls, a train heist, hand-to-hand high-stakes battles, and two sisters who have grown in their power to face and fight the end of the Weird West.

If Hettie Alabama could do what she was told and stand down . . . she might not anyway. Especially when the letters her sister sends from her place of hiding don’t seem quite right, and Hettie’s posse is tying her hands tighter by the day. She’s itching to take the safety off her cursed mage gun, the Devil’s Revolver, and walk through the fire to end the reign of evil that’s choking the magic out of the West—not to mention save her sister once and for all.

The only problem? Hettie’s name is in the headlines and on every wanted poster in the nation—but she’s not the one robbing banks and killing innocents, even if the pictures look just like her. She’s up to her chin in high-necked gowns and beauty glamors, charged with fulfilling her word to the influential Favreau family of New Orleans, even as it becomes increasingly clear that they want only to consolidate the world’s waning magic in the hands of the rich and powerful. The politics get more personal as the most loyal of Hettie’s gang uncover the threat of an immoderate technology that steals magic from the unwitting innocent and transfers it to the nefarious elite.

Hettie has no choice but to go rogue, and when she drops a black hat over her brow, the Devil’s Revolver’s trigger glows hot. The Devil’s Pact stampedes from San Francisco’s Chinatown tongs through the glittering high society of Chicago to the hidden swamps of the Deep South in its search for truth, genuine justice, and an end to a world that refuses to recognize the power and change wrought by girls.

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Excerpt #3
She clambered over the rooftops, jumping the gaps between buildings with relative ease, since they were so close together. She spotted a large canvas-covered cart in the street pulled by four ragged horses. It was one of those old covered wagons like they used back when settlers were still making their way across the country, and it looked out of place in the city. Hettie climbed down a fire escape, but as she wove through traffic, the time bubble popped—

Suddenly, she was smack-dab in the middle of oncoming traffic. A man shouted and hauled on his reins. His hansom cab buckled violently, and the horse reared. Hettie scampered out of the way of its hooves and directly into the path of another cart. The man’s horses faltered and tried to skirt around her, but then the cart they were pulling plowed into them, and they whinnied in panic, veering to the side and crashing into another rider.

Hettie ran toward the covered wagon, summoning Diablo and trying to re-establish the time bubble. No good. The same thing had happened during the train robbery.

A man peeked out of the covered wagon. He shouted and drew his sidearm. Hettie zigzagged to avoid the gunshots and pulled Diablo’s trigger, unleashing a blast of green power that incinerated the man’s arm up to his shoulder.

Two more men appeared with rifles. Hettie ducked left and rolled behind a cart as the bullets bit into the cab, showering her with splinters. The passengers within screamed.

Traffic ground to a halt and people dove out of their vehicles while the drivers tried to get their horses under control. The covered wagon surged forward and plowed through the street while the men in the back continued an assault on the cab Hettie hid behind.

She had to stop that wagon.

She whipped around the corner and fired. Diablo let out a wide beam of power that took out the right two wheels. The wagon collapsed with a loud crash, sending up a wake of splinters. The whole right side of the wagon tore off, and the canopy ripped away from the U-shaped frame as it snapped up like angry fish spines.

People screamed as carts, drivers and pedestrians tried to escape the gunfire and chaos. Horses thrashed and reared, whinnying as the vehicles piled up. Hettie ran toward the wagon.

It was empty. Unless Dr. Fielding had somehow escaped…

One of the men with the rifles who’d tumbled from the wagon pushed up off the ground. He spotted Hettie and, in a panic, reached for his pistol.

Hettie pointed Diablo at him. “Don’t.”

He blinked at her. “I-I-I’m sorry, Mizzay, I didn’t realize—” He stuttered to a stop. “Wait, you’re not—”

Hettie cocked Diablo for show. “Where’s Dr. Fielding?”

He gaped. “I—I don’t know—”

Hettie blew a molten hole in the ground next to his feet, and he stumbled back. “Where is he?”

“I was just supposed to stay in the cart! I don’t know anything!” His eyes canted left. Hettie reacted a second too late.

Someone cinched an arm around her neck and dragged her backward. Hettie struggled, dropping Diablo as she tried to pry her fingers under the man’s elbow to get a breath.

She sank her teeth into the man’s thick muscle, then slammed her heel into his shin, twisting to throw him off balance. He yelped and let go. She dove for Diablo and before she could stop herself, fired.

The man’s shriek was cut off almost instantly as he evaporated, flaring like a hellish green grease fire.

The agony of the revolver’s blood price was instant, shredding through skin, flesh and bone as it extracted one year of Hettie’s life for the life she’d taken. The pain went on and on, as if she were the one being consumed by flame. It’d been months since she’d killed a man; months since she’d slaked Diablo’s bloodthirst. And the mage gun’s appetite was insatiable. For a flash, she thought she was back in hell, being swallowed and forced down into Satan’s gullet—and then it was over.

Through the haze of relief, Hettie barely registered the person standing over her, pistol drawn, its blank, black eye winking at her.

 —————————————————————————-

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | My 5 Star Review

Book 2: THE DEVIL’S STANDOFF
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

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Author V. S. McGrath

Author V. S. McGrath

About the Author
Vicki So, writing as V. S. McGrath, is a published romance author (as Vicki Essex) and has six books with Harlequin Superromance: Her Son’s Hero (July 2011); Back to the Good Fortune Diner (January 2013), which was picked for the Smart Bitches Trashy Books Sizzling Book Club; In Her Corner (March 2014); A Recipe for Reunion (March 2015); Red Carpet Arrangement (January 2016); and Matinees with Miriam (November 2016). She lives in Toronto, Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find V.S. McGrath
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Cover Reveal – DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE Cover Reveal

Author Riley Cole is revealing the cover to DARING THE DETECTIVE, the third book in her adult historical romance series, Restitution League, releasing January 22, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and preorder links.

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

DARING THE DETECTIVE (Restitution League #3) by Riley Cole

About the Book
Title:
DARING THE DETECTIVE
Series: Restitution League #3
Author: Riley Cole
Release Date: January 22, 2019
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
He’s everything she disdains. She’s nothing he admires.

But love has its own delightful logic. 

Whether bartering with Barbary pirates or angry Gypsy kings, Zadie Whitlock lives by her wits… and the business end of her parasol. 

Detective Caleb Burke lives to right wrongs. He can’t abide Zadie’s daring, impulsive ways, especially after she leaves him bound to a library shelf with his own handcuffs. 

Still, he can’t ignore the passion the damned woman ignites.

Nor can Zadie dismiss his smoldering allure. Which is troublesome in the extreme, because Caleb Burke isn’t the man for her. He’s too honorable, too loyal, and far too likely to follow the rules. 

Dazzled by her indomitable spirit, Caleb makes a fateful choice that sets the two of them on a hunt for lost Viking treasure. Failure will see his career in ashes, and Zadie on trial for her life.

Pursued by deadly forces, they’ve got the power of the Restitution League on their side… and their own stubborn hearts in the way.

 —————————————————————————-

Get Caught up on the Series

Book 1: REJECTING THE ROGUE
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: SAVING THE SCIENTIST
Goodreads Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

 —————————————————————————-

Author Riley Cole

Author Riley Cole

About the Author
Riley has a long fascination with all things Victorian. She loves the peculiar mix of science, mysticism and innovation that collided in the Victorian Era.

To say nothing of bustles. Bustles and elaborate hats and parasols. Parasols for rain. Parasols for sun. And parasols that morph into swords…of course. 

Sadly, Riley has little use for umbrellas in the dry foothills of the Eastern Sierra, but she consoles herself with forest hikes and dips in cool mountain lakes. Besides—no matter where one resides—a proper cuppa never comes amiss.

If you enjoy a little high adventure—and a lot of desire—with your historical romance, delve into Riley’s version of late Victorian London.

Thieves, rogues, and love await…

For more information about Riley, please visit her website, “like” Riley on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Sign up for Riley’s newsletter to be notified about upcoming releases. She’s loves hearing from her readers. Email her directly at riley@rileycole.com.

Where to find Riley Cole
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook Twitter

 

Cover Reveal + Giveaway – THE WINNOWING (Stanley and Hazel) by Jo Schaffer

THE WINNOWING Cover Reveal

Month9Books and author Jo Schaffer are revealing the cover to THE WINNOWING, the second book in the young adult historical mystery series, Stanley & Hazel, releasing February 26, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder links, and details on her giveaway.

THE WINNOWING (Stanley and Hazel #2) by Jo Schaffer

THE WINNOWING (Stanley and Hazel #2) by Jo Schaffer

About the Book
Title: THE WINNOWING
Series: Stanley and Hazel #2
Author: Jo Schaffer
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: February 26, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Historical/Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Darkness descends over St. Louis, a city already rocked by the Great Depression. More and more people are disappearing, and some have turned up dead. A sinister secret society is putting forward their plan known as “The Winnowing,” designed to wipe out those they consider “undesirable.”

After Stanley and Hazel foil the diabolical plans of Charles Chouteau, they become instant celebrities. Hazel is thrust into the role of debutante, and risks loses herself in it. Meanwhile, Stanley must deal with the horrific tragedy of his best friend’s death while being threatened by the unseen forces of the Veiled Prophet.

With things spiraling out of control, Stanley and Hazel’s relationship is tested, possibly beyond repair. As bodies pile up, people become more desperate. The divide between wealthy and poor grows ever wider, threatening to tear their worlds apart. Now, the two must find a way to work together if there is any hope at all of saving their relationship and their futures.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: STANLEY & HAZEL
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | BAM! | !ndigo | IndieBound

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Author Jo Schaffer

Author Jo Schaffer

About the Author
Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker, writer at Patheos.com, works in film production and is a Taekwondo black belt.

She’s a founding member of Writers Cubed and co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the largest conferences in the nation for youth ages 13-19. She and a crew of local and international bestselling authors present writing workshops to hundreds of attendees at the Utah-based conference as well as hundreds of others worldwide who view the conference online.

Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. Her brain is always spinning new ideas for books and sometimes she even gets around to blogging.

Jo is a mom of 3 strapping sons living in the beautiful mountains of Utah with a neurotic cat named Hero..

Where to Find Jo Schaffer
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram | Tumblr

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour – Teaser – EVERBOUND (The Kindred) by Donna Grant

Welcome to the blog tour for EVERBOUND, the fourth book in the adult historical/gothic romance series, The Kindred, byNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Donna Grant. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive teaser.

EVERBOUND (The Kindred #4) by Donna Grant

EVERBOUND (The Kindred #4) by Donna Grant

About the Book
Title: EVERBOUND
Series: The Kindred #4)
Author: Donna Grant
Release Date: December 3, 2018
Genre: Adult Historical/Gothic Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Synopsis
To live in the light, they hunt in the dark…

The power of Helena’s magic has made her a target for the Coven. She wanted no part in the war of the witches, but it’s out of her hands now. She has to make a stand–and she does that by helping the Hunters and their allies against their common enemy. And now, the witch who ripped Helena’s future apart is coming. Sybbyl’s vengeance is swift and terrible, pitting the two against each other. But Helena doesn’t have to fight the Coven alone. A seductive warlock offers his aid. Helena is hesitant to give her trust to him–because it’s more than her life on the line. It’s her heart, as well.

As the most feared and respected warrior of the Varroki, Jarin is used to being on his own. But with the Coven’s quest to find the bones of the First Witch escalating, he finds it increasingly difficult to retain his solitary existence. When Jarin encounters Helena, he is helpless to resist her. She’s everything he didn’t know he wanted and so much more, and with her help, he’s convinced that maybe his people can finally defeat their foe. But there’s so much more at play than they know—ties in blood and sacrifice—and the loss that’s sure to follow may be greater than any of them can bear.

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EVERBOUND Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: EVERKIN – $0.99 for a Limited Time!
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Book 2: EVERSONG – $1.99 for a Limited Time!
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Book 3: EVERWYLDE – $3.99 for a Limited Time!
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

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Author Donna Grant

Author Donna Grant

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas. Visit Donna at www.DonnaGrant.com.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Donna Grant
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Release Day – EVERBOUND (The Kindred) by Donna Grant

Today is release day for EVERBOUND, the fourth book in the adult historical/gothic romance series, The Kindred, byNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Donna Grant. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive teaser. You can pick up the first three books in the series at discounted prices until December 5.

EVERBOUND (The Kindred #4) by Donna Grant

EVERBOUND (The Kindred #4) by Donna Grant

About the Book
Title: EVERBOUND
Series: The Kindred #4)
Author: Donna Grant
Release Date: December 3, 2018
Genre: Adult Historical/Gothic Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Synopsis
To live in the light, they hunt in the dark…

The power of Helena’s magic has made her a target for the Coven. She wanted no part in the war of the witches, but it’s out of her hands now. She has to make a stand–and she does that by helping the Hunters and their allies against their common enemy. And now, the witch who ripped Helena’s future apart is coming. Sybbyl’s vengeance is swift and terrible, pitting the two against each other. But Helena doesn’t have to fight the Coven alone. A seductive warlock offers his aid. Helena is hesitant to give her trust to him–because it’s more than her life on the line. It’s her heart, as well.

As the most feared and respected warrior of the Varroki, Jarin is used to being on his own. But with the Coven’s quest to find the bones of the First Witch escalating, he finds it increasingly difficult to retain his solitary existence. When Jarin encounters Helena, he is helpless to resist her. She’s everything he didn’t know he wanted and so much more, and with her help, he’s convinced that maybe his people can finally defeat their foe. But there’s so much more at play than they know—ties in blood and sacrifice—and the loss that’s sure to follow may be greater than any of them can bear.

 —————————————————————————-

EVERBOUND Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

The Kindred Series Sale

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: EVERKIN – $0.99 for a Limited Time!
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Book 2: EVERSONG – $1.99 for a Limited Time!
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Book 3: EVERWYLDE – $3.99 for a Limited Time!
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

 —————————————————————————-

EVERBOUND Teaser

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Author Donna Grant

Author Donna Grant

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas. Visit Donna at www.DonnaGrant.com.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Donna Grant
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Teaser Reveal – EVERBOUND (The Kindred) by Donna Grant

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Donna Grant, is revealing a teaser from EVERBOUND, the fourth book in her adult historical/gothic romance series, The Kindred, releasing December 3, 2018. See below for information on the book and series, pre-order links, and an exclusive teaser. For a limited time, you can pick up the first three books in the series at discounted prices.

EVERBOUND (The Kindred #4) by Donna Grant

EVERBOUND (The Kindred #4) by Donna Grant

About the Book
Title: EVERBOUND
Series: The Kindred #4)
Author: Donna Grant
Release Date: December 3, 2018
Genre: Adult Historical/Gothic Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Synopsis
To live in the light, they hunt in the dark…

The power of Helena’s magic has made her a target for the Coven. She wanted no part in the war of the witches, but it’s out of her hands now. She has to make a stand–and she does that by helping the Hunters and their allies against their common enemy. And now, the witch who ripped Helena’s future apart is coming. Sybbyl’s vengeance is swift and terrible, pitting the two against each other. But Helena doesn’t have to fight the Coven alone. A seductive warlock offers his aid. Helena is hesitant to give her trust to him–because it’s more than her life on the line. It’s her heart, as well.

As the most feared and respected warrior of the Varroki, Jarin is used to being on his own. But with the Coven’s quest to find the bones of the First Witch escalating, he finds it increasingly difficult to retain his solitary existence. When Jarin encounters Helena, he is helpless to resist her. She’s everything he didn’t know he wanted and so much more, and with her help, he’s convinced that maybe his people can finally defeat their foe. But there’s so much more at play than they know—ties in blood and sacrifice—and the loss that’s sure to follow may be greater than any of them can bear.

 —————————————————————————-

EVERBOUND Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

The Kindred Series Sale

Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: EVERKIN – $0.99 for a Limited Time!
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Book 2: EVERSONG – $1.99 for a Limited Time!
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Book 3: EVERWYLDE – $3.99 for a Limited Time!
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

 —————————————————————————-

EVERBOUND Coming Soon

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Author Donna Grant

Author Donna Grant

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas. Visit Donna at www.DonnaGrant.com.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Donna Grant
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Book Blitz – Teaser + Giveaway – ILLUSIONS by Madeline J. Reynolds

ILLUSIONS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for ILLUSIONS, a stand-alone young adult historical fantasy romance by Madeline J. Reynolds. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.

ILLUSIONS by Madeline J. Reynolds

ILLUSIONS by Madeline J. Reynolds

About the Book
Title:
ILLUSIONS
Author:
Madeline J. Reynolds
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
Dear Thomas,

I know you’re angry. It’s true, I was sent to expose your mentor as a fraud illusionist, and instead I have put your secret in jeopardy. I fear I have even put your life in jeopardy. For that I can only beg your forgiveness. I’ve fallen for you. You know I have. And I never wanted to create a rift between us, but if it means protecting you from those who wish you dead―I’ll do it. I’ll do anything to keep you safe, whatever the sacrifice. Please forgive me for all I’ve done and what I’m about to do next. I promise, it’s one magic trick no one will ever see coming.

Love,
Saverio

Thomas Pendelton was born into wealth and prestige. He has a sensitive heart and wants nothing more than to write poetry. Instead, he is apprenticing for Neville Wighton the Great, an aging magician who has become somewhat crazed over the years in his pursuit of fame. With Thomas’ help, Wighton is about to premiere the greatest illusion seen by man, for Thomas possesses something no other illusionist has: real magic. Many in the theatrical world are desperate to learn Wighton’s big secret. One such magician is Paolo il Magnifico. His apprentice, Saverio Moretti, is also seeking the answer. He has a scheme to get close to Wighton by seducing Thomas but seduction turns to real feelings. Now the young men must struggle to keep the secret of their romance, as well as the secret of Thomas’ magic, as both of these things could cost Thomas his life. Through journal entries, posters, letters, and other documents, ILLUSIONS is a story of love, betrayal, and of course, magic.

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ILLUSIONS Teaser

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Author Madeline J. Reynolds

About the Author
Madeline J. Reynolds is a YA fantasy author living in Chicago. Originally from Minneapolis, she has a background in journalism and has always loved storytelling in its various forms. When not writing, she can be found exploring the city, eating Thai food, or lost in an epic Lord of the Rings marathon..

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Where to find Madeline J. Reynolds
Goodreads | Website | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – ISLAND ON FIRE by Sophie Schiller

ISLAND ON FIRE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog Tour for ISLAND ON FIRE, a stand-alone adult historical thriller, by Sophie Schiller. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

ISLAND ON FIRE by Sophie Schiller

ISLAND ON FIRE by Sophie Schiller

About the Prequel – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
ISLAND ON FIRE
Author: Sophie Schiller
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Genre: Adult Historical Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
In the lush, tropical world of Martinique where slavery is a distant memory and voodoo holds sway, Emilie Dujon discovers that her fiancé, a rich sugar planter, has been unfaithful. Desperate to leave him, she elicits the aid of a voodoo witch doctor and is lured into a shadowy world of black magic and extortion. When the volcano known as Mount Pelée begins to rumble and spew ash, she joins a scientific committee sent to investigate the crater. During the journey she meets Lt. Denis Rémy, an army officer with a mysterious past.

At the summit, the explorers discover that a second crater has formed and the volcano appears to be on the verge of eruption. But when they try to warn the governor, he orders them to bury the evidence for fear of upsetting the upcoming election. As the pressure builds, a deadly mudslide inundates Emilie’s plantation and she disappears. With ash and cinders raining down, chaos ensues. Left with no choice, Lt. Rémy deserts his post and sets off on a desperate quest to rescue Emilie. But with all roads blocked, can they escape the doomed city of St. Pierre before it’s too late?

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Excerpt #2
Rémy turned to face his adversary.

It was a beautiful mulâtresse with exotic eyes, fiery lips, and a long and graceful neck. She wore a muslin dress lined with expensive lace and a yellow turban that accentuated her high cheekbones and bronze skin. Around her neck she wore a necklace of gold beads that glinted in the candlelight. She regarded him with smoldering eyes, and in her hand she held a Browning semiautomatic pistol. She chambered a round with expert precision, flipped the safety catch, and pointed the pistol at Rémy’s chest.

“Don’t move, Lieutenant,” said the Grand Zamy. “She’s trained to shoot robbers and looters and is an expert marksman. Unlike me, Alphonsine is not interested in healing people.” His mouth twisted in a cunning smile.

“That’s a fancy pistol for a lady,” said Rémy.

“Quite necessary when you engage in a dangerous business such as ours,” said the Grand Zamy. “Jealous boyfriends, enraged husbands, swindled business partners, vengeful neighbors. We get all kinds.”

“Yes, I’m starting to get the picture,” said Rémy, keeping his eyes on the pistol. Beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, and his heart pounded. Somehow he had to get the pistol from her. He had to disarm her. “Still, I’m not used to seeing a beautiful lady brandishing a weapon such as this. For a soldier, a woman with a gun is quite alluring.”

He inched closer to the woman and, in an instant, grabbed her hand and pointed the pistol up. She pulled the trigger and a blast rang out, sending plaster showering from the ceiling. The woman screamed, and Rémy twisted her arm, forcing her to drop the weapon. Then he gave her a forceful knock that sent her hurtling to the floor. Before Rémy could retrieve his own weapon, the Grand Zamy brandished a cutlass and lunged at him.

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Author Sophie Schiller

Author Sophie Schiller

About the Author
Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews called her “an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer”. Her latest novel is Island on Fire, a thriller about the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. She was educated at American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Sophie Schiller
Goodreads | Website Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour – Interview + Giveaway – THE DEVIL’S STANDOFF (The Devil’s Revolver) by V.S. McGrath

THE DEVIL'S STANDOFF Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for THE DEVIL’S STANDOFF, the second book in the young adult historical dark fantasy series, The Devil’s Revolver, by V.S. McGrath. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive interview with the author, and details on her giveaway.

THE DEVIL'S STANDOFF (The Devil's Revolver #2) by V.S. McGrath

THE DEVIL’S STANDOFF (The Devil’s Revolver #2) by V.S. McGrath

About the Book
Title: THE DEVIL’S STANDOFF
Series: The Devil’s Revolver #2
Author: V.S. McGrath
Publisher: Brain Mill Press LLC
Release Date: April 2, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Historical Western Dark Fantasy/Paranormal
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Welcome to the birthplace of the Devil’s Revolver, where untold danger lurks for Hettie Alabama and her companions…

The second book in the epic, magic-clad Devil’s Revolver series follows Hettie and her sister south of the Wall into Mexico, where they must unmake Hettie’s infernal mage gun while confronting a magic- and land-hungry army and a monster from hell drawn to the powers of the weapon. Hettie wants nothing more than to break her bond to the cursed Devil’s Revolver and find a way to keep her sister safe — but Abby’s indigo powers are growing stronger, and in the gated, walled village where they take refuge, nothing is exactly as it seems. Pursued by the Pinkertons, left without allies or guardians, Hettie has to rely on her own grit and determination to do the right thing, no matter the cost.

This second installment of V. S. McGrath’s sweeping and high-stakes saga draws its truly unforgettable gunslinger heroine to her limits and ends with a satisfying bang..

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Interview
What’s your favorite thing about your main character, Hettie Alabama?
Her tenacity. Most people, myself included, would have given up so many times in the book, facing the challenges she does. She won’t.

What makes Hettie Alabama different from the other heroines on the YA shelf?
I don’t know that Hettie is that different from other YA heroines. She’s complex and isn’t sure where she stands on a lot of issues, which I think many characters in her age group struggle with. Hettie’s sole concern is for her sister’s well-being, and she’s willing to cross into a lot of morally gray areas to save and protect Abby without gnashing her teeth about it too much. Her willingness to jump headfirst into a situation, guns blazing, doesn’t always end in ethical introspection. She’s also not consumed by a burgeoning romantic relationship with a dark, brooding hero figure…despite herself.

Did you know you wanted this series to be about an older sister before you started writing?
Yes. Hettie was a middle child, like me, but when circumstances thrust her into the role of eldest child, she had to woman up and learn to take care of her family. That was something I’d wanted to explore—not only from the perspective of a young woman during a difficult period of history, but also as a daughter whose future was uncertain, especially considering her sister’s situation.

Your series has been referred to as a “feminist western.” Did you set out to write a feminist western series, or did it end up like that on its own?
Yes. I knew I wanted the main character to be a young woman, and I knew that she would have to solve her problems herself, and that men were the causes of most of those problems. Most Westerns are male-centric, and I wanted to turn that on its head, exploring the tropes of the genre through the women who are usually relegated to set dressings—madams and prostitutes, schoolteachers, farmers wives, and so forth.

What has been your favorite scene or type of scene to write so far?
I relish anytime I get to take a serious character down a peg or two. Sometimes, certain characters come off way too pompously self-important, broody, or angsty. If I can insert some levity and self-reflective humor, I feel I can relate to them a bit more.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | My 5 Star Review

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Author V. S. McGrath

Author V. S. McGrath

About the Author
Vicki So, writing as V. S. McGrath, is a published romance author (as Vicki Essex) and has six books with Harlequin Superromance: Her Son’s Hero (July 2011); Back to the Good Fortune Diner (January 2013), which was picked for the Smart Bitches Trashy Books Sizzling Book Club; In Her Corner (March 2014); A Recipe for Reunion (March 2015); Red Carpet Arrangement (January 2016); and Matinees with Miriam (November 2016). She lives in Toronto, Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find V.S. McGrath
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER (The Devil’s Revolver) by V. S. McGrath

THE DEVIL'S REVOLVER (The Devil's Revolver #1) by V. S. McGrath

THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER (The Devil’s Revolver #1) by V. S. McGrath

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
She is Hettie Alabama — unlikely, scarred, single-minded, and blood bound to a revolver forged by a demon.

The first book in an epic, magic-clad series featuring the Wild West reimagined as a crosscultural stereoscope of interdimensional magic and hardship, The Devil’s Revolver opens with a shooting competition and takes off across the landscape after a brutal double murder and kidnapping — to which revenge is the only answer. Hettie Alabama, only seventeen years old, leads her crew of underdogs with her father’s cursed revolver, magicked to take a year off her life each time she fires it. It’s no way for a ranch girl to grow up, but grow up she does, her scars and determination to rescue her vulnerable younger sister deepening with every year of life she loses.

A sweeping and high-stakes saga that gilds familiar Western adventure with powerful magic and panoramic fantasy, The Devil’s Revolver is the last word and the blackest hat in the Weird West.

 

 

 

 

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My Review
I’m a huge fan of the SyFy show Wynonna Earp, so fresh off of a trip to Comic-Con this seemed like something right up my alley. I was not disappointed. This is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. Set more than a hundred years ago in the old west, it follows the story of seventeen-year-old Hettie Alabama as first tragedy befalls her family, then she begins to discover dark secrets about them and herself. With her young sister missing, Hettie is convinced she’s alive and will do anything to get her back. Anything includes imprinting on the Devil’s Revolver, known as Diablo, a gun with an endless supply of ammunition, never needs to be reloaded, and oh yeah, every time Hettie kills someone with it, she grows another year older. Surrounded by a colorful cast of characters, Hettie attempts to stay one step ahead of those who want Diablo and remain alive long enough to find her younger sister, Abby. Beyond that, she has no plan, so when everything starts to fall apart, Hettie lurches one from ill-conceived idea to the next. Filled with magic, history, and a mix of cultures, this is one of my all-time favorite reads.

Plot
The plot centers around Hettie’s search for her missing sister, Abby. But there’s so much more going on. Dark family secrets, a band of ruthless gangsters hellbent on getting their hands on Diablo, Hettie’s recurrent sudden aging, the fight for survival, and more. The author does a masterful job of taking us into a can’t-win situation, only to find a way to just barely survive, then knock us back yet again. Every time I thought Hettie was finally close to getting what she wanted, V.S. McGrath would tear it away from her again.

The Characters
The characters are nearly as fascinating as the plot. Each one is unique, with complex backstories, vivid characterization, and fully-developed goals and motivations. Hettie is by far the star of the story, and she’s so thoroughly developed, she could carry the story on her own. But the people who surround her bring more than just support to their roles. Even those who only show up in a handful of scenes are just as detailed and vivid as the characters who accompany Hettie throughout her journey.

Top Five Things I Loved About THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER
1. Expert plotting. One of only a handful of books I’ve read this year that I couldn’t put down.

2. Magical elements. I’m not usually one for fantasy or paranormal, but the way the author wove these aspects into the story felt natural. Although the magical elements are a big  part of the story, I was still rooted in the natural world in a way a lot of fantasy doesn’t allow me to be.

3. Hettie. One of the all-time best fictional characters.

4. Diablo. The gun is nearly a character all its own and its powers drive some of the best plot points.

5. Scene setting. The author creates such vivid scenes, bringing the reader in with all five senses, I’ve no doubt this story will stick with me for a long time.

Bottom Line
One of my favorite books of 2018 with amazing characters, an exhilarating plot, and unique aspects that make it unlike anything I’ve read.

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About the Book
Title: THE DEVIL’S REVOLVER
Series: The Devil’s Revolver #1
Author: V.S. McGrath
Publisher: Brain Mill Press LLC
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Pages: 323
Genre: Young Adult Historical Western Dark Fantasy/Paranormal
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

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Author V. S. McGrath

Author V. S. McGrath

About the Author
Vicki So, writing as V. S. McGrath, is a published romance author (as Vicki Essex) and has six books with Harlequin Superromance: Her Son’s Hero (July 2011); Back to the Good Fortune Diner (January 2013), which was picked for the Smart Bitches Trashy Books Sizzling Book Club; In Her Corner (March 2014); A Recipe for Reunion (March 2015); Red Carpet Arrangement (January 2016); and Matinees with Miriam (November 2016). She lives in Toronto, Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find V.S. McGrath
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt – TIFFANY BLUES by M.J. Rose

TIFFANY BLUES by M.J. Rose Release Day

Welcome to the blog tour for TIFFANY BLUES, a stand-alone adult historical romantic mystery, by New York Times bestselling author, M.J. Rose. See below for information on the book, buy links, and and exclusive excerpt.

TIFFANY BLUES by M.J. Rose

TIFFANY BLUES by M.J. Rose

About the Book
Title: TIFFANY BLUES
Author: M.J. Rose
Genre: Adult Historical Romance/Mystery
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Book DepositoryindieBound

Synopsis
New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.

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TIFFANY BLUES Teaser 1

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Excerpt #4
“May I see?” A man’s voice came from behind me. In its timbre, I saw a flash of forest green. The color of holly in the summer when its leaves are at their glossy best.

He looked to be about my age, not striking except for the excitement in his warm brown eyes as he glanced from me back to my drawing.

And then he tipped my pad toward himself.

“Hey,” I said, pulling the pad back.

“No, no, don’t. let me look. These are so good. You’ve captured so much more of him in one drawing than I can with this,” the man said, pointing to the camera slung around his neck.

Before I could stop him again, he took the sketch pad from my hand and was rifling through my series of drawings.

“You have absolutely no right—” I tried to grab the sketch pad back, but he held tight.

“Please say you’ll come to the office with me. I want to show these to my boss. I’m sure he’d want to buy at least one from you.”

“The office? Your boss?”

“I work at the New York Herald Tribune.”

My heartbeat quickened. “No, no,” I said. “I have to go. I have class. And you are being amazingly rude!” I held out my hand for the sketch pad.

He returned it with a sheepish grin. “I’m sorry,” he said.

I slipped the pad into my satchel and prepared to go.

“But I’m certain the paper would—”

I shook my head. “I’m really late and not at all interested.” I walked away, not waiting to hear the rest of what he had to say.

My last run-in with newspapers and reporters had been almost nine years earlier. Enough time to give me perspective but not enough to take away the sting or to erase the memories. No matter how kind this man’s eyes looked, he was obviously a reporter, and I knew from experience that reporters could not be trusted. The press was out for one thing only: the story that would give them a headline to sell copies.

I hurried westward, half walking, half running, crossing Sixth and then Seventh Avenue, and finally coming to a stop at number 215 West Fifty-seventh Street. I took the steps two at a time, pulled open the door, and took a deep breath.

I was safe3 in the hallowed halls of the art school that had been training men and women form the last fifty years. The combined scent of oil paints, turpentine, primer, clay, wood chips, marble dust, and cigarettes was an aroma like no other. It could not be reproduced in even the finest perfumery.

I walked up two flights to the classroom, laid out my supplies, and banished all thoughts of the scene on the street and the rude reporter. Instead, I threw myself into trying to capture the pose of the current female model on the dais.

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TIFFANY BLUES Teaser 2

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“A lush, romantic historical mystery…a heroine to root for.” –Kristin Hannah, NYT bestselling author of The Nightingale

“[M.J. Rose] transports the reader into the past better than a time machine could accomplish” (The Associated Press). 

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Author M.J. Rose

Author M.J. Rose

About the Author
New York Times Bestseller, 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.

Her most recent novel TIFFANY BLUES (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and takes place during the Jazz age at Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Long Island mansion/ art colony.

Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers.

Where to Find M.J. Rose
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