Blazing #BlogTour: The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy

The Wolf Mirror
Caroline Healy
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.

Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.

With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.

Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.

Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.

Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.

Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.

Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.

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EXCERPT:

Cassie lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply. Smoking on school property was strictly forbidden.

Who cares!

A black Mercedes waited for her by the gates. News of Cassie’s suspension had travelled fast. She walked down the stone steps and across the green, her satchel swinging from her slim shoulders.

The Principal must have phoned Cassie’s mother straight after the Incident.

She narrowed her eyes at the dark car. Justice Miller of the Queen’s Bench had sent a driver. Irritated, Cassie flicked the half smoked cigarette onto the manicured lawn.

At Winchester Abbey Girls’ School, no student had ever been caught fighting. It was unheard of. The Principal had spent a good twenty minutes lecturing both Cassie and Becky ‘The Troll’ Travers.

‘My ladies should never lower themselves to that of brawling delinquents.’ Mrs Pritchford’s glasses slid down her nose as she gesticulated in annoyance. ‘You have a reputation to uphold for the junior girls. Your behaviour is inexcusable,’ she sniffed. ‘Now, would one of you care to tell me what is going on?’

Cassie had remained tight lipped. To confess that they had been fighting over a boy, a flaker like Dwane Rubens, was not an option. It didn’t matter anyway. Becky ‘The Troll’ Travers was the Vice-Principal’s niece. Cassie was as good as done for as soon as she threw the first punch.

Frustrated, she yanked open the door of the car and slid into the back seat. She buckled her seat belt and turned to stare out the tinted window, ignoring the driver. They changed all the time anyway, so what was the point in making conversation?

The trip across London passed in silence. Cassie daydreamed about having a full time job, her own car, independence. All she wanted was to finish her exams. Then she would be free. Maybe she would go to France, visit her Dad. That would really piss her mother off.

The car turned a corner and pulled into a tailback of lunchtime traffic. The chauffeur muttered something under his breath.

‘A few minutes more Miss,’ he said, trying to catch her eye in the rear view mirror.

Cassie grunted, resenting every second spent in the confines of the Mercedes’s plush leather upholstery.

Author Bio:

Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.

In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The Bohemyth, Short Story Ireland, Short Stop U.K., Five Stop Story, Prole, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice

Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.

She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.

(More details can be found on her website http://www.carolinehealy.com)

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Blog Tour Schedule:

March 20th
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang >> Excerpt
Just Us Book Blog >> Excerpt
Evermore Books >> Review

March 21st
blogs and coffee >> Guest post
Rockin’ Book Reviews  >> Top 10 List
To Be Read >> Review

March 22nd
Celticlady’s Reviews >> Excerpt
So Few Books >> Interview
The Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf >> Review
Captivated Reading >> Guest post

March 23rd
Mythical Books >> Top 10 List
Kara the Redhead >> Excerpt
Bibliofagista >> Review

March 24th
Wishful Endings >> Excerpt
The Avid Reader >> Interview
Mommaleena’s Blog >> Review

March 27th
Loves Great Reads >> Excerpt
The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange >> Review
Bookworm for Kids >> Interview
Married To Books Reviews and Blog >> Review

March 28th
The Avid Book Collector >> Excerpt
POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing >> Review
Padme’s Library >> Excerpt

March 29th
History from a Woman’s Perspective  >> Review

March 30th
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium >> Spotlight
Lori’s Little House of Reviews >> Review

March 31st
The Reading Spot >> Excerpt
Abooktropolis >> Review
All in One Place >> Interview

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Clever #CoverReveal: My Fair Lord by Wilma Counts

MY FAIR LORD
by Wilma Counts
Genre: Historical Romance
Pub Date: 10/17/2017
Well-bred, well-dressed, and well-read, Henrietta, Harriet, and Hero are best friends who have
bonded over good books since their schooldays. Now these cultured
ladies are ready to make their own happy endings—each in her own
way . . .
Lady Henrietta Parker, daughter of the
Earl of Blakemoor, has turned down many a suitor for fear that the
ton’s bachelors are only interested in her wealth. But despite the
warnings of her dearest friends, Harriet and Hero, she can’t resist
the challenge rudely posed by her stepsister: transform an ordinary
London dockworker into a society gentleman suitable for the “marriage
mart.” Only after a handshake seals the deal does Retta fear she
may have gone too far . . .
When Jake Bolton is swept from the
grime of the seaport into the elegance of Blakemoor House, he appears
every inch the rough, cockney working man who is to undergo Retta’s
training in etiquette, wardrobe, and elocution. But Jake himself is a
master of deception—with much more at stake than a drawing room
wager.
But will his clandestine mission take
second place to his irresistible tutor, her intriguing proposal . . .
and true love?
Before moving to Nevada in 1994, Wilma
Counts taught high school English and social studies in Germany to
dependents of American forces stationed there. She loved the kids,
but hated meaningless paperwork. She especially enjoyed her work with
Advance Placement English, Model United Nations, and student
exchanges with a Russian school.
Wilma grew up in Oregon, a product of
the Leave It To Beaver era. She holds degrees in education and
international relations. Having traveled widely, she is keenly
interested in politics and international relations. She freely admits
to being a C-SPAN junkie.
A member of the Romance Writers of
America, she has written two Regency novels and a novella for Zebra.
Willed to Wed is slated for publication in September, ’99, and My
Lady Governess in February, ’00. Her current projects include another
Regency and a novel set in the American West. She contributes a
regular column on grammar and usage to the local RWA newsletter.
Besides her interest in travel and writing, Wilma is an avid reader
and she loves to cook, garden, and gamble—not necessarily in that
order.
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Ravenous #Review: Beauty Of The Beast by Rachel L. Demeter

Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1)Title: Beauty Of The Beast

Series: Fairy Tale Retellings

Series Number: #1

Author: Rachel L. Demeter

Genre: New Adult, Historical Romance

Publisher: ?

Publication Date: March 15, 2017

Format: Ebook

Pages: 342

Rating: 5

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work and chose to write a review.

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Blurb From Goodreads:

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

* * *

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

Disclaimer: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

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My Review:

Well, as soon as I realized this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling I had to read it and I’m so glad I did. There isn’t really any magic or fantasy, other than the roses being in bloom all the time, but it’s still a magical story. The “beast” is just a man, but being burned has left him looking like a monster. Adam has locked himself away from the world and would prefer to stay that way until one stormy night brings unwanted guests knocking on his door, Isabelle and her sick father. There are many similarities to the Disney movie and I loved that, especially the library, but there were enough differences that had me wondering what was going to happen next. Beautiful story!

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Author Bio:

RachelDemeter_portraitWelcome, lovely readers!  Me in a nutshell: I live in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, my goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of thirteen years. I hold a Screenwriting B.A. from Chapman University’s School of Film and Media Arts. Even though I’m primarily a novelist, film school deepened my love for crafting fiction tenfold; it taught me to concentrate on plotting, dynamic characters, and effective pacing, as well as the importance of visual storytelling. I wouldn’t trade my college education for anything in the world!

I enjoy writing darker, poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love. Writing is my life’s blood, my passion, my greatest obsession and pleasure. I’ve been imagining stories and characters ever since I was a wee child. Before I learned to physically read or write, my mom would jot them down for me. I hold a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, I ensure that every character is fully realized and given a soul!

My dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through my words. ♥

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Blazing #BlogTour: Celtic Fire by Liz Gavin

Celtic Fire
Liz Gavin
(Highland Celts Series, #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Paranormal Romance

This is a standalone, historical/paranormal romance. Its mature themes – violence, religious war, and pagan rituals – might not be appropriate for audiences under 18.

When ancient gods ruled and Druids kept Faith alive, the Celts thrived as a democratic, matriarchal society. Then savage Roman soldiers swept across Europe, killing and enslaving. The Celts did not succumb without a fight. Their Old Ways survived centuries of ruthless domain until another menace loomed: a tortured god worshiped in cold stone buildings. The sacred shores of Avalon began to drift away, the mists threatened to hide the island from mortal eyes forever.

Against the bleak backdrop of war, the gorgeous Scottish Highlands stood tall, sheltering its inhabitants from greedy invaders. Yet the reach of the eagle banners was long and the highlanders turned to the Goddess for protection. However, the sacred groves felt silent and grim as Avalon faded away. Once sad, pealing bells began to sound strangely comforting while the high walls of monasteries offered an alluring barrier from violence. Caught in the middle of this centuries-old war, a young High Priestess might be Avalon’s last chance.

Wise beyond her years and powerful like no other Priestess in her lifetime, Rowen had served the Goddess faithfully, forsaking her family and the company of her soulmate. When the Lady of the Lake asks for another sacrifice, it might be one too many for her scarred heart. How could she obey the Goddess without betraying Caddaric? Could she trust Eochaid, who embodied everything she despised and hated? Would she be able to fulfill her duties without losing her soul?

Caddaric had been Rowen’s companion in countless lives; but, now, they existed in different realms. Beautiful Rowen lived in the mortal world while sweet Caddaric remained in the sacred isle of Avalon, watching over her. Could he step aside to allow another man – a flesh and blood man – to become her protector?

Eochaid had sworn to protect the Old Ways. The rude warrior never quite understood his faith yet his loyal heart belonged to the Goddess. A gorgeous, fiery High Priestess was not in his plans. He would risk his life to protect Rowen; but, would the Goddess safeguard his heart? Could he defend the bewitching maiden from himself?

When stakes were so high that a simple mistake could cost their very world, a priestess, a Druid, and a warrior must learn to trust each other and the mysterious ways of the Goddess. Their success would save Avalon. Their failure would tear the island from the human realm forever, condemning it to oblivion.

Failure was not an option.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Caddaric

Night falls in the material realm, tearing the veil between the worlds and allowing me to reach Rowen’s house. Even though I feel like a criminal hiding from other human eyes, I reckon it’s wise to avoid being seen by the villagers. They’re faithful to the Goddess yet they don’t have the Sight, or knowledge, to understand how the spiritual world coexists with the material plane so they might get scared. As soon as the chants around the Samhain bonfire decrease in intensity, Rowen comes inside looking for me. She doesn’t need to search for long.

“I’ve missed you!” she whispers as her arms snake around my waist and I hold her close to me.

Inhaling her scent as sweet as the apple blossoms in Avalon, I kiss her forehead, “So have I.”

We sit in front of the fire pit, which will keep us warm during the cold October night. Her soft arm around my waist, her head on my shoulder.

“This isn’t fair. This world seems to have only one moment set aside for us instead of the eternity I’d like to share with you.”

“Your time in this plane unfolds faster than that in Avalon so it’s your impression; but, it isn’t necessarily so,” Rowen pouts and I can’t avoid chuckling at her childish reaction. I caress her lower lip with a thumb and whisper. “So unbefitting a High Priestess.”

I watch her fighting back a smile until she loses the battle, “Don’t mock me, Caddaric Seagha. It’s so lonely on this earth without you.”

Choosing not to engage in this old argument, because it’s pointless, I run my fingers through her red curls and stare into the dying fire, summoning courage to deny the request she’s about to make. I don’t need the Sight to know she’s going to ask me what she does on every sacred festival.

“Caddaric, will you lie with me?”

“You know we shouldn’t.”

“I’m not asking you to make love to me. I just wish to feel your arms around me like we used to do in past lives.”

“That I can do. I’m glad you’ve finally resigned yourself to our new roles in this life. Although the sacred days allow me an easier passage to your realm, my body doesn’t have the same desires as a human body does.”

Feeling her shiver against me, I tighten my hold and rub her arms to keep the chill away.

“I know that. It’s just that I sometimes feel as if we’ve been tricked into accepting our separation, like we had no say in that and it’s all been decided for us.”

“To some extent, it’s been the case. However, it’s the Goddess who has made the decision. She’s All-wise and All-knowing. Whatever her plans, they’re the best for us. Everything will be fine in the end.”

A heartfelt sigh indicates Rowen acknowledges my argument, despite the fact she might not agree with it. Kissing the top of her head, I pull her closer. I might not have carnal desires for her any longer, but the strong connection between us, which has been built throughout multiple past lives, warms up my chest, enveloping us in a cocoon of harmony and joy.

Author Bio:

International best-selling author Liz Gavin, has accomplished much in her short career. Her books have made to #1 and Top Five best-selling ranks in her home country Brazil and others as diverse as Japan, the UK and the US; both in English and Portuguese, collecting 5 and 4-star reviews. Nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award in 2016, and again in 2017, this RWA member constantly seeks new opportunities to improve her craft.

This thirst for knowledge propelled Liz to leave the comforts of family and friends in Brazil and move to California to pursue a Master’s degree in late 2015. She lives in sunny SoCal, where she’s researching the writing process, for her thesis, in hopes to figure out why she creates in English instead of her native Portuguese.

Liz Gavin writes in contemporary, paranormal, and historical genres. In her sexy stories, one finds smart, independent women, who don’t need rescuing by knights in shining armor, but indulge in steamy action with swoony Alpha males with big hearts. She also writes about women discovering their sexuality and finding happiness in unconventional setups.

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Blog Tour Schedule

March 6th
Movies, Shows, & Books >> Excerpt
Married To Books Reviews and Blog >> Review

March 7th
So Few Books >> Interview
Readin, Dreamin and Lovin Every Day >> Review

March 8th
Solafide Book Club >> Guest post
Mama Reads Blog >> Review
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!  >> Review

March 9th
Just Us Book Blog >> Excerpt
Paradise of Pages >> Top 10 List

March 10th
blogs and coffee  >> Guest post
Review by Iliasviel >> Review

March 13th
Evermore Books  >> Review
Kimmie Sue’s Book Review >> Review

March 14th
Padme’s Library >> Interview
Book Addict >> Review

March 15th
Loves Great Reads >> Excerpt
Sip Read Love >> Review
The Avid Reader  >> Top 10 List

March 16th
BrizzleLass Books >> Review
To Be Read >> Review

March 17th
50 Book Challenge >> Review
Read, Coffee, and Teen >> Review

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Bombastic #BookBlitz: Highland Pursuits by Emmanuelle de Maupassant

highland-pursuits-a-scottish-romance-by-emmanuelle-de-maupassant

Emmanuelle de Maupassant is thrilled to announce the launch of her saucy 1920s romance romp: ‘Highland Pursuits’.

In celebration, Emmanuelle is not only offering three signed paperback copies, via Goodreads here, but has her entire catalogue on sale for 99c/99p from March 1st-8th: Baby Love, Scarlet, Cautionary Tales and Gentlemen’s Club (as recommended by Stylist Magazine)

1920s debutante Lady Ophelia Finchingfield is banished to wildest Scotland to come to her senses, having refused a proposal from the Earl of Woldershire. In the care of her eccentric grandmother, Ophelia is soon caught between rugged widower Hamish and the villainous Comte de Montefiore.

She’s ready to play with fire, but will she burn more than her fingers?

What readers are saying

I can’t tell you how much I love this book. It was a true delight to read. The author has captured 1920s Britain wonderfully, and her detail is exquisite. – Rachel De Vine

As a comedy of manners, this is exceptionally well done. – Fionna Guillaume

Highland Pursuits is a wry, clever, incredibly sexy romp… a completely engrossing, utterly enjoyable read. I can’t recommend it highly enough…fabulously fun – Malin James

The scene was set beautifully… I felt like I went back in time to high society Scotland – Christine of Sweet and Spicy Reads

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Find ‘Highland Pursuits’ on Goodreads and for sale on Amazon

Emmanuelle sends enormous thanks to her editor, Adrea Kore, for her help in bringing ‘Highland Pursuits’ into the world. She says: ‘Adrea is an incredibly talented writer, and a wonderful friend. Her editing skills helped bring the words alive. She is a marvel and I’m so glad that one day, forever ago, we found each other.’

‘Highland Pursuits’ draws inspiration from a short story of the same title Emmanuelle wrote originally for the charity fundraising anthology Because Beards: all proceeds have been given to the Movember Foundation.

This longer, novella, length offers more scope to explore the wonderful characters’ eye-popping shenanigans. Hamish and Ophelia were in Emmanuelle’s dreams for many weeks, as she wrote this story.

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Pssst… if you enjoy Highland Pursuits, don’t forget to leave a review. Reviews make books more visible online, bringing new eyes. If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, tag Emmanuelle in your review post and she’ll say hello.

Social Media Links

Explore Emmanuelle’s website here

Find her on Twitter here

and on Facebook here

sign up for Emmanuelle’s newsletter here

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Bombastic #BookBlitz: Only A Duke Will Do by Tamara Gill

Only a Duke Will Do
Tamara Gill
(To Marry a Rogue #2)
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: February 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Without a Season, Lady Isolde Worthingham captured the Duke of Moore’s heart at a country dance. But on the eve of her wedding, a scandal that rocked the ton and sent her fleeing to Scotland alone and unwed, leaves her perfectly planned future in a tangle of disgrace and heartbreak.

Merrick Mountshaw, the Duke of Moore loathes the pitiful existence he hides from the ton. With a scandalous wife he never wanted, who flaunts her many indiscretions, life is a never-ending parade of hell. When the one woman he loved and lost returns to London, he knows he can no longer live without her.

But vows and past hurts are not easily forgotten. Love may not win against the ton when a too proper Lord and Lady play by the rules.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

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EXCERPT:

“I’ve lost him. And I love him still.” Her voice broke at the realization.

Her mother shushed her, pulling her into an embrace. “I know, darling. I know you do. But there is nothing for it now. You will have to return with us to Dunsleigh.”

Isolde thought of all she had lost, not just Merrick, but her future, their plans. Their trip away to the Continent, Paris, Rome, and all the delightful places in between that they were going to visit, crumbled in her chest like her heart. “He’s really going to marry her, isn’t he?” Even saying such a thing sounded absurd, and yet it was the truth. The truth as she would know it from tonight onward.

“Yes, he is.” Her mother’s face was a mask of concern and pain. “I’m so sorry, darling. You did not deserve this.”

Isolde strove to calm down before her sobs woke her sisters and they started with their meddling questions. Her body hiccupped for breath; her eyes, so swollen and sore, hurt when she blinked.

“Come, you must sleep.” Her mother helped her stand, and Isolde didn’t fight her decree. Tiredness would succeed over her mind and, for a sweet moment, she’d forget what had transpired this night. It was enough to make her lie down and try.

She settled under the blankets. The maid knocked on the door and her mother ushered her into the room, taking possession of the glass of whisky and a cold compress. Isolde downed the drink in one gulp, grateful for the burning amber liquid and the cooling cloth against her eyes.

The tears started afresh when the comforting embrace of her mother wrapped around her, pulling her close and holding her as if to never let her go. Not since she was a child had her mother acted in such a way, and some of the despair left her, knowing she had the support of her family.

She would need them in the months to come.

She took a shuddering breath. How could a night once filled with so much excitement and anticipation twist into such despair and horror? Rolling onto her side, the ring Merrick had given her pressed into her cheek.

She held out her hand and looked at the cluster of five round diamonds, each of them encased in a bed of silver and sitting on a band of gold that was etched into a leaflike pattern. The ring had been Merrick’s grandmother’s, and it had been the most beautiful gift Isolde had ever received.

But no longer. Now it represented a fractured circle of trust, pulled apart and unfixable.

 

She yanked it off, unable to throw it no matter how much she longed to. She reached over and placed it on the cabinet beside her bed, looking at it as it twinkled prettily under the candlelight. The ring and its beauty were as fickle as its owner.

Author Bio:

Tamara is an Australian author who grew up in an old mining town in country South Australia, where her love of history was founded. So much so, she made her darling husband travel to the UK for their honeymoon, where she dragged him from one historical monument and castle to another.

A mother of three, her two little gentleman in the making, a future lady (she hopes) and a part-time job keep her busy in the real world, but whenever she gets a moment’s peace she loves to write romance novels in an array of genres, including regency, medieval and paranormal.

Tamara loves hearing from readers and writers alike. You can contact her through her website, and sign up to follow her blog or newsletter.

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Blazing #BlogTour: The Ashes And The Sparks by Mary Victoria Johnson

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ashessparksfinThe Ashes and the Sparks
by Mary Victoria Johnson
Genre: YA Alt-History Fantasy
Release date: October 18th 2016
Fire and Ice Young Adult Books

Summary from Goodreads:

Welcome to the age of airships. It is a world powered by steam and innovation, ruled by an elusive empress at its heart.

Seventeen year-old Jorun is not part of this world. Hers is one of hidden tunnel networks and lights that dance across night skies, on that has remained separate from the rest of society for over a thousand years. This all changes when a boy appears from nowhere, raving about invaders from a faraway land. Purely by chance, Jorun soon finds herself in the middle of a struggle unlike anything she could have ever dreamed of, and must come to the realization that only she can stop an impending war.

Add to Goodreads

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Ashes-Sparks-Mary-Victoria-Johnson/dp/1680463691/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon US Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Ashes-Sparks-Mary-Victoria-Johnson-ebook/dp/B01LX4BW9Q/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/670546

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ashes-and-the-sparks-mary-victoria-johnson/1124785614;jsessionid=63DB27D3E7FD98958FF681BD336FD6EC.prodny_store01-atgap13?ean=2940153769523

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-ashes-and-the-sparks/id1162977690?mt=11

Lulu.com Paperback: https://www.lulu.com/shop/view-cart.ep

The Ashes and the Sparks Guest Post

Alternate History (about the “rules” and “limits” when writing Alt Hist)

As with most genres, althistory begins with one question: what if? What if Rome never fell? What if the Nazis won World War II? What if the Dark Ages turned into a period of great scientific advancement, or what if dragons really did exist in Ancient China? The possibilities are infinite, which is part of what makes the alternate history such a fascinating topic to explore. My novel takes place in the 1880’s, a period that many would recognize as Victorian. There’s just one key difference: Queen Victoria is dead. Gone. Assassinated. And when you remove such key players, society obviously develops far differently from what happened in our timeline. Really, that’s the core of what althistory is: creating a new, ‘alternate’ timelines.

Few writers enjoy the idea of rules and limits, and as far as genre boundaries go, alternate history offers lots of flexibility. You want the fairies of Irish folktales to be real? Sure. You want massive, gilded airships to be Europe’s primary mode of transportation? Go for it. You want Da Vinci and Michelangelo to be rival vampire-hunting vigilantes? Why not! Time travel, steampunk, and post-apocalyptic dystopias are all totally reasonable subgenres to delve into, but you’ve got to remember to keep the ‘history’ part too. You’ve got to remember that Earth –real Earth- has got to be the basic setting. Even if the magical land of Altoria mimics 3rd century Peru, if there are no connections to reality, then you’re writing straight-up fantasy. There has to be a connection to the real historical timeline. Of course, liberties can be taken; The Ashes and the Sparks involves a completely fictional society based on a mishmash of real Nordic cultures, set on a completely fictional archipelago of islands. But since it’s still set in this universe, with connections to other, real countries, it’s a go.

Another point to remember, is that usually, you only want to shift one major event. It gets way too confusing if the Spanish Armada successfully conquers Britain, leading to a chain of events that make them win the American Revolutionary War, but then a plague wipes out the entire country, so the moon landing never happens, so….lost? Exactly. Keep it simple; it’s amazing how a single event can create a massive ripple effect. Also, don’t leave plot holes. Since you are dealing with real history, your timeline shift has to be somewhat feasible. Nothing irritates readers more than logic jumps.

So go ahead: assemble all your outbreaks and assassinations, and give the past a twist! Set your chain of events in motion.

Book Trailer:

About the Author

mary-victoria-johnsonHi! I’m Mary Victoria Johnson, author of fantastical Young Adult fiction. I wrote my first novel when I was fourteen, and I haven’t stopped since! Now eighteen, my bibliography includes BOUNDARY, the first part of the Other Horizons Trilogy (Lodestone Books, 2015) and THE ASHES AND THE SPARKS (Fire and Ice YA, 2016). I was born in Cambridgeshire in the UK, and I now live on Vancouver Island where I study Creative Writing at the University of Victoria.

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsFacebook

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Lori’s Little House of Reviews     http://lorimurray.booklikes.com/     Review

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Clever #CoverReveal: Lady Be Good by Heather Hiestand

LADY BE GOOD 
by Heather Hiestand
Genre: Historical Romance

 Pub Date: 9/5/2017

 
When exiled royalty and espionage
combine, expect a romance as bold as the 1920s . . .
Olga Novikov is a princess without a
throne. Her fiancé and her family slain in the revolution, she flees
Russia and finds herself working as the head of housekeeping at
London’s luxurious Grand Russe Hotel. It’s a far cry from the
glamour of her former life, but she’s grateful for the job—until
a guest forces her to question where her loyalty lies. The charming
nobleman challenges her at every turn—and arouses dreams of romance
she thought she’d abandoned forever . . .
Douglas “Glass” Childers is living
a double life. On the surface, he’s the indolent Viscount Walling,
but in truth he’s an intelligence agent searching for a Bolshevik
weapons master. The coolly beautiful and headstrong housekeeper is a
distraction he doesn’t need—unless she’s the key piece in the
puzzle he must solve. Trusting her could be dangerous—but loving
her is an undeniable temptation . . .
Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois
but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then
she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in
California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to
major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first
published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has
been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first
published romance short story was set in the Victorian period and she
continues to return, fascinated by the rapid changes of the
nineteenth century. The author of many novels, novellas and short
stories, she makes her home in a small town with her husband and son
and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes
in her easy chair in the living room.
 
Author Links:

You can find her on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

 
 

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Ravenous #Review: The Breedling and the City in the Garden by Kimberlee Ann Bastian

The Breedling and the City in the Garden (The Element Odysseys, #1)Title: The Breedling and the City in the Garden

Series: The Element Odysseys

Series Number: #1

Author: Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Publisher: Kimberlee Bastian

Publication Date: September 20, 2016

Format: Ebook

Pages: 233

Rating: 5

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work and chose to write a review.

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Blurb From Goodreads:

Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.

These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.

He chose defiance.

Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.

Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.

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My Review:

Very interesting story. I enjoyed the history of it, and the characters were great. So many different personalities that fit so well within the story and era. Great writing that made it seem so real, at times I wondered if I was reading a non-fiction book. Very descriptive yet not overly so. And with so many surprises it made for a fun read. I look forward to reading the next book just to see where it goes, what adventure it will take me on. There’s just enough magic/fantasy that it’s obvious that this is fiction but so much history that at times it’s makes you wonder “is this real?”. The story is about Bartholomew but is focused mostly on Charlie, so we know Charlie has a big part to play in this. I can’t wait to read the next book!

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Author Bio:

Kimberlee Ann Bastian has a love affair with American nostalgia, mythology, and endless possibilities. When she is not in her writer’s room or consuming other literary worlds, she enjoys hiking and cycling around the bluffs of her Southeastern MN home and catching up on her favorite pop culture. The Breedling and the City in the Garden is her debut novel.

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