Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of the blog tour for; By Immortal Honor Bound by Danielle Ancona. This book looks amazing, I can’t wait to share it with you all, plus I have an exclusive except which is pretty darn good.
Firstly, I want to say thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours for the invite to this tour.
About the Book
By Immortal Honor Bound by Danielle Ancona.
Publication Date: November 4, 2020
Publisher: Kyanite Publishing LLC
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Series: Of Alchemy and Angels, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Intrepid warrior angel Malachi faces the fiercest of adversaries of warfare through the centuries, fighting alongside the boldest of gods to defend humankind from the Seraph Rebellion.
Sent to York in the 1620’s, Malachi unexpectedly falls in love with keen and ardent alchemist Daphne Heatherton.
For Malachi, Daphne’s returned devotion is a tenuous gift of fate.
Dark machinations set into play by the fallen archangel, Gideon-leader of the Rebellion-bring Malachi to the brink of defeat and put him to the ultimate test.
Will he choose a mortal love, or will he remain By Immortal Honor Bound?
Alchemy, history, passion, myth, science, legend converge in a timeless battle-will love or honor prove to be the most powerful element of all?
Wednesday, April 20th, 1622, outskirts of York, England
After placing the metal into her crucible, Daphne added a quick note to her loose parchment. Her feather quill bobbed like a pigeon while she wrote. At the far end of her workbench sat her favorite mortar and pestle with dried rosemary, already ground to a fine powder, blanketing the bottom of the bowl. Dried and crushed lavender filled a small pot next to the rosemary.
Perspiration threatened to slide into Daphne’s eyes. She blotted her forehead with the back of her hand. The heat brought a flush to her cheeks. Dante’s hummed Scottish ditty lamenting a soldier’s unrequited love drifted by and mixed with the rhythmic churn of the water wheel from the brook. Enjoying the moment, she took respite from the prickly heat, glancing over to her mentor.
Dante somehow fit his tall, gangly frame into a chair at their shared writing desk, which sat in front of a larger window to take advantage of the light from the sun and moon. His jovial nature shined through every jutting yet relaxed crook of his knees and elbows. Without fail, when working, he wore his black velvet academic’s cap with a mink ball affixed to the top. His cap, set at a tilt, served well in emphasizing the precarious angles his body affected whenever he worked at the desk.
With her padded mitts and long, iron tongs, she removed the crucible from the oven, careful not to let molten silver slosh over the rim. She set it atop an iron hotplate to keep the metal liquid for a longer period while she worked with it.
With a small ladle, she measured and poured silver into lanolin and then added extracts of rosemary and lavender she had distilled earlier, stirring to ensure even distribution of the ingredients, lost in the concentration of her work…
…A knock upon the annex door interrupted her thoughts while she stirred the salve.
“I will get the door, Daphne. You are occupied,” Dante called out. He scraped the chair feet against the floor as he moved to stand, then groaned, his stiff joints getting the better of him.
“Northrup, Coughton, please come in,” she heard Dante say from behind her.
A headache crawled into her skull as she clenched her jaw when she heard their names. These two alchemists made it apparent to her they were none too pleased about her apprenticeship with Dante, which had not gone to one of them.
“To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit, gentlemen?” Dante asked.
Coughton cleared his throat, and his eyebrows drew imperious mountains on his forehead as he lifted them.
“Well, yes. Word has spread Mistress Heatherton made a salve for the two boys who suffered burns when Natty Cornish threw the boiling water out her window,” he said. He shifted his gaze from Dante to Daphne, his chest puffed out like a peacock’s. “We are here to ensure you make the salve with at least some measure of skill and only for the purpose of healing the burns,” he said, patronization dripping from his lips.
Daphne bit her tongue. It took all her willpower to swim past the bait. Her headache flourished while Coughton outright questioned her ability and integrity. She continued to stir her salve while casting glances at Dante for guidance.
Aware that most alchemists had little use for women practicing their craft, Daphne worked to keep herself above reproach. Some years back, King Henry VIII made it illegal for females to practice as barber-surgeons. She understood alchemists saw this as a parallel, justifying the exclusion of women from practicing the art and science of alchemy. King James had since passed yet another Witchcraft Act in 1604, increasing the peril for women.
“Come now, gentlemen,” Dante said and smiled as he clapped both visitors on their shoulders. His laugh lines crinkled in his sun-kissed face. “Daphne is a most skilled alchemist, very capable of mixing an effective and pure salve for our young, unfortunate boys. I hear by way of Abbess Katherine, the salve Daphne made three days ago has been quite helpful in relieving the young lads’ pain and hasten the healing.”
Coughton glanced over to Daphne, then looked back to Dante, and countered, “It is our civic duty to ensure the woman knows what she is doing, mixing potions and the like.”
“Potions, Coughton?” Dante’s face hardened. “You believe my apprentice mixes potions?”
Coughton’s face reddened. “Tis a natural conclusion to make of a woman,” he argued.
“You don’t say, Coughton,” Dante said, offense strong in his tone. He strode over to the constant-temperature water bath simmering away on the iron plate on top of the oven. “Mary the Jewess, the first known Western alchemist, is credited with the brilliant invention of the water bath,” he gestured to the elaborate contraption. “I do not know where we would be today without it,” he said. He gave Northrup and Coughton a hard look, his glittering gaze moving between the two. “You think to question Daphne’s skill and motive because she is female?”
Northrup and Coughton stared at Dante without speaking.
Hot tears welled up in Daphne’s eyes. She kept her head down as she retrieved two ceramic pots with lids in which to place the salve for the boys. She would be damned before she gave these two sanctimonious idiots the satisfaction of knowing they had upset her.
To her consternation, Northrup moved behind her and stared over her shoulder while she spooned ointment into small pots. Scents of rosemary and lavender, fragrances of calm and healing, seemed to do nothing to break the tension. Her hand itched to shove the spatula into his eye. “May I be of assistance?” she asked, working to keep her voice pleasant.
About the Author
Pittsburgh has provided an interesting, vibrant and eclectic place to grow up and eventually become a writer of stories. Stories through which History, Science, Alchemy, Romance, High Stakes, and Mythology are woven.
My writing is also touched by ghostly echoes which greet me as I hike or bike through what were once bustling sites from the age of industry of the region, now reclaimed by nature. These are the ethereal remnants of those who shed their blood, sweat and tears onto what is now sacred ground.
Come dive into the stories shaped by these unique forges. The twists in the path are unexpected, fraught with danger, but always worth the journey.
Where passion and love take root unexpectedly, bloom, and somehow manage to survive against all odds, one surprising way or another.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 15
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Tuesday, February 16
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Thursday, February 18
Excerpt at Books, Cooks, Looks
Friday, February 19
Interview + Excerpt at Scryptogram
Monday, February 22
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Tuesday, February 23
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Thursday, February 25
Excerpt at Novels Alive
Friday, February 26
Review at The Enchanted Shelf
Saturday, February 27
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy
Monday, March 1
Review at Jessica Belmont
Tuesday, March 2
Excerpt at I’m All About Books
Wednesday, March 3
Review at Novels Alive
Thursday, March 4
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Friday, March 5
Interview at Passages to the Past
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away an eBook, a signed paperback, and a signed hardcover copy of By Immortal Honor Bound!
The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on March 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
The giveaway here – By Immortal Honor Bound