Exclusive Excerpt

His Castilian Hawk by Anna Belfrage | #BlogTour #HisCastilianHawk #Excerpt #HFVBTBlogTours | @abelfrageauthor@hfvbt

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of today’s blog tour for; His Castilian hawk by Anna Belfrage. I am super excited to be sharing an exclusive excerpt with you all. This book looks amazing, I can’t wait to share it with you all, Firstly thank you to Amy at HFVBT for the invite to this tour. Now let’s have a look at the book…

HIS CASTILIAN HAWK BY ANNA BELFRAGE

Publication Date: September 28, 2020
Publisher: Troubador Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Excerpt

Robert woke to the sound of a cock crowing. He had a crick in his neck, and his arm was numb. He peered down at Edith, fast asleep within the crook of his arm. His head hurt, and his mouth tasted of ashes. He needed a drink. He sat up, and the bedclothes spilled to the floor.

“Mmm,” Edith said, wrapping her arms around him. “Don’t go. Not yet.”

From somewhere came an odd, strangled sound. He squinted in its direction, only to see Eleanor on the stairs leading from the solar. Her eyes widened. He shoved Edith to the side.

“Eleanor,” he began, falling silent as he realised he was surrounded by spectators, tousled heads lifting from pillows to register the new lord of the manor had not slept with his wife. Colour drained from Eleanor’s cheeks. Without a word, she whirled and fled.

“Eleanor!” he repeated, rushing for the door before recalling he was as naked as the day he was born. “Damnation!” Robert scrubbed a hand over his bristling cheeks, his gaze on his wife. Her dark braid was visible beneath her veil, and she was running, no, flying towards the postern gate, with that large dog of hers padding alongside.

“What have you done, you fool?” John asked, appearing beside him. “Tell me you did not spend your wedding night with her.” He pointed at Edith. “Why is she even here?”

“I can assure you I did not invite her. You heard me telling her to stay away.” He could still see Eleanor, still make out the blue of her skirts as she ran and ran up the sloping meadows, placing as much distance as she could between them.

“Is that what you told her last night?” John asked.

“No.” Robert sighed. “I came down for a drink. She—Eleanor—asked me not to bed her, and so…” He shrugged.

“You decided she deserved to have you bed another.”

“No! It wasn’t like that! And you know I care for Edith.”

“She’s not your wife,” John said. “If you care so much about her, why didn’t you wed her?”

“With what?” Robert asked. “Until this”—he gestured at the bailey, the surrounding buildings—“what did I have to offer a wife?” And why would he wed Edith? She was not the kind of woman a man left behind to care for his home and his children while he left for other places. She was far too restless and needy for that. Edith lived off admiration, of the loud whistles that had her swaying seductively as she made her way down an encampment full of brawny men-at-arms.

John made a disgusted sound. “And how have you treated the wife who brought you all this?” He scowled at Edith, even more when she joined them and made as if to embrace Robert.

“Not now,” Robert said, moving out of the way.

“Best tell your trollop to leave,” John said.

“Watch your mouth. She’s not a trollop.” But he stepped out of reach when Edith yet again tried to slip her arms round him, far too aware of all the disapproving eyes on them.

“She is now. You’re married elsewhere, and surely you cannot expect your wife to tolerate her presence in her home?”

“My home is with Robert,” Edith said. “The little hen will have to come to terms with that.”

“Truly?” John took a step backwards. “Is that how you imagine your future life?” He spat to the side. “A wife in the solar and Edith in the pigsty?”

Edith swung at him. John caught her fist and squeezed, hard enough for Edith to whimper.

“Let her go,” Robert warned.

“Gladly.” John shoved, and Edith ended up sprawled on the floor of the hall.

“Where are you going?” Robert asked when John stalked off.

“Me? I hope to offer some comfort to your humiliated wife.”

“That’s not for you to do.” Robert had hold of him. “I—” He broke off. “What’s this?” He gestured at a group of men presently being pushed through the gate. Welsh, to judge from their appearance. He found his shirt and pulled it on before stepping outside.

“Hang them?” he said some minutes later. “Me? Here?”

“At the crossroads,” the guard explained. “Our liege wishes their rotting carcasses to send a lesson to anyone who dares to breach his peace.”

“His peace?” one of the Welshmen said, spitting to the side. “We follow our own prince.”

The Welsh prisoners were anything but cooperative. Not to wonder at, given that they had nothing left to lose. Condemned to hang for the single sin of being Welsh—it sat badly with Robert, but it offered distraction from his marital mess, albeit he couldn’t stop himself from looking for her, his wife, whenever a moment arose. Now and then he saw her, mostly with that big hound by her side. At some point during the day, he stopped what he was doing at the sound of laughter. His wife, playing with some of the younger children, and her face was lit from within as she swung a little one in wide, wide arcs. She sparkled with life, but the moment she caught him watching, it was as if someone had quenched a fire, leaving nothing but wet and sooty ashes. He sighed. This was not how he’d intended things between them to be.

About the Author

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

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

Find out more about Anna on her website or on her Amazon page. You can also follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, October 24:Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, October 26: Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Tuesday, October 27: Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Wednesday, October 28: Guest Post at Novels Alive

Friday, October 30: Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, November 1: Interview at Reader_ceygo

Tuesday, November 3: Review at YA, It’s Lit

Wednesday, November 4:Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 6:Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 9: Excerpt at I’m Into Books

Tuesday, November 10: Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, November 12: Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Monday, November 16:Review at Reader_ceygo / Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, November 17: Review at Books and Zebras

Wednesday, November 18: Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, November 19:Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, November 20: Feature at The Lit Bitch / Review at Bookramblings / Interview at Books & Benches

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two paperback copies of His Castilian Hawk! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open internationally and ends on November 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Castilian Hawk

Veil of Secrets by G.A. Charnock | #BlogTour #WeilOfSecrets #Excerpt #lovebookstours | @gacharnock @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant blog tour; Veil of Secret’s by G.A. Charnock. This book looks and sounds amazing, I can’t wait to share it with you all, plus I have an exclusive excerpt, which I’m sure you will love. Firstly thank you to Kelly for the invite to this blog tour Now let’s have a look at the book…

Veil of Secrets by G.A. Charnock

Everybody has a past. Some just don’t know what it is yet…

Alice has long been intrigued by the couple she serves in Amo Mangiare every Friday.

There’s an unsettling tension between multi-millionaire businessman, Victor Davies, and his glamorous companion that she can’t put her finger on. So when she receives a hand-written cry for help from the mysterious Eva, Alice knows she can’t ignore it.

As events and coincidences conspire to lure her deeper into Victor’s territory – a strangely bewitching world full of luxury, intrigue and unanswered questions – Alice is never sure who she can trust.

But it’s only when Alice’s past comes calling and a long-buried secret is finally unearthed, that she must confront the ultimate truth.

You can never escape your destiny…


Exclusive Excerpt

Lost in thought, Alice looked out at the dark, threatening clouds heavy with snow – and shivered.

Most of the third-floor workers were long gone and only a fraction of the open-plan office was still lit up. She glanced down at the note in her hands, now slightly dog-eared after countless readings.

Footsteps approached her desk from behind – heavy, un-gainly, impatient.

“How’s the housing article coming along, Webbie?”

Alice jerked herself upright in her squeaky black recliner; grimacing at his pet name for her.

“Nearly done, Alan – a few tweaks, then it’ll be straight on your desk.” She reached for the neckline of her blouse, checking the top button was fastened. Ever since the leg-brushing incident in his office, Alice was painfully aware of her boss’ penchant for directing conversations towards her chest.

She flinched, then stiffened as he leaned in closer – thankfully she’d closed Eva’s note.

“You know, sometimes I think you work too hard, Alice.”

He was close enough for her to feel the warmth of his stale cigarette breath on the nape of her neck.

“Well, not really—” Her faltering reply was interrupted by a familiar, and much appreciated, voice.

Pete’s cheery greeting from above the partition was cut short the moment he clocked Alan behind her. The familiar disdain on his face was all too evident.

Alan bristled and stepped back from her desk. “Just make sure it’s with me by nine tomorrow.”

“Will do.” Alice caught Pete’s eye as her editor sloped away.

“Thanks,” she mouthed. “Great timing. You just back from a shoot?”

He dropped a bulging beige canvas satchel crammed with cameras and lenses at his feet. “Yeah, the new rehab centre that opened in the West End – eventually got the money shot of the mayor cutting the ribbon. Edge-of-the-seat paparazzi shit, eh?” His hazel eyes twinkled mischievously beneath a sweeping chestnut fringe.

One of her closest friends since their university days, Pete never failed to put a smile on her face.

“It’s great to see you so enthused about your job after all these years, though.”

He folded his arms across his chest. “And you’re not Editor-in-Chief already because…”

“…of sexist eejits like him.” Alice thumbed behind her.

“There’s no danger a pair of breasts will ever break the glass ceiling in editorial, Pete – sad but true.”

She picked up Eva’s note and waved it in front of him.

“Anyway, I’ve more important things to deal with just now.”

She studied his face as he slowly absorbed the words.

“So, that’ll be Victor Davies’ glamorous young companion.

Always knew there was some weird shit going on there.”

He looked up. “Ever the Samaritan, eh? You want company?”

About the Author

I’m a debut author who’s just released the first book in her ‘Secrets of the Veil’ series. I currently juggle running the family business with raising 3 kids – and trying to snatch the time to write, of course! From the age of 8 tennis was my life, resulting in various caps for representing Scotland and Britain, however, I gave it all up to get married and become a journalist! I am currently writing the sequel to’ Veil of Secrets’.


The Resistance Girl by Jina Bacarr | #BlogTour #Review #TheResistanceGirl #Excerpt #BoldwoodBloggers | @JinaBacarr @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this fabulous blog tour for; The Resistance Girl by Jina Bacarr. I am super excited to be sharing this book and my review plus I have an exclusive excerpt which I’m sure you will all love. Firstly, I want to say thank you to the fine ladies at Boldwood Books for the invite to this tour and for Rachel and Rachel’s Random Resources for the copy of the book. Now let’s have a look at the said book…

The Resistance Girl by Jina Bacarr

Two women. One heartbreaking secret.


Paris, 1943.

Sylvie Martone is the star of French cinema, and adored by fans. But as Nazi officers swarm the streets of Paris, she is spotted arm in arm with an SS Officer and her fellow Parisians begin to turn against her.

However Sylvie has a secret – one she must protect with her life.

Paris, 2020.

Juliana Chastain doesn’t know anything about her family history. While her mother was alive she remained very secretive about her past.

So when Juliana discovers a photograph of a glamorous French actress from World War Two amongst her mother’s possessions, she is in shock to find herself looking at her grandmother – especailly as she is arm in arm with a Nazi Officer…

Desperate for answers, Juliana is determined to trace the journey of her grandmother. Surely there is more to the photograph than meets the eye?

But as she delves into Sylvie’s past, nothing can prepare Juliane for the tales of secrets, betrayal and sacrifice which she will uncover.

A heart-wrenching story of love and war, perfect for fans of Pam Jenoff and Suzanne Goldring.

Purchase Link Here


Excerpt

It takes every ounce of self-restraint I have left to keep smiling, not lash out at my old neighbors for putting my mission in jeopardy. The bigger I smile, the more tension I feel, my body vibrating with familiar anxiety, similar to what comes over me when someone forgets their lines and I have to improvise. And do it fast.

But this is no movie set.

The fools. Don’t they know the whole lot of them could be shot?

I quiet my breathing, sway my shoulders to catch Karl’s eye, knowing that although he exhibits meticulous manners around me, he’s an SS officer known for inflicting justice on anyone who challenges his authority. I cringe, remembering earlier today when we rushed out of Aux Deux Magots café after raising a toast to the premiere later of my new film, Le Masque de Velours de Versailles (The Velvet Mask of Versailles), his Nazi cohorts downing beer after beer. I couldn’t ignore the note slipped under my plate at the café demanding my immediate attention.

The flower of the day is yellow daffodils.

I froze. The color of danger.

A change of plans. I couldn’t let my fear show, alert Karl anything was amiss. The late afternoon sun cast the perfect light on my skin, my black Fedora cocked at a right angle as I smiled and asked the dashing lieutenant sitting across from me to film us with my home movie camera. A spontaneous whim on my part to allay suspicion from my actions and keep up my act in front of my German admirers.

That only attracted more attention.

I couldn’t escape the press eager to photograph France’s ‘beloved actress Sylvie Martone with her new Nazi friends’. As a newsman snapped a photo of us posing in front of the silver Mercedes, all I could think about was, Emil will love all this publicity.

Then we raced off, headed to the private screening, but not before the SS officer harassed a poor soul crossing the street who failed to get out of the way, forcing the staff car to hit the curb. Without a backward glance, Karl bolted out of the car and struck the man’s face with his whip, drawing blood. My adrenaline spiked, my sense of decency pushing me forward to help him, but the deprecating look on Karl’s face stopped me. I did nothing. And for that I’m ashamed.

When Karl got back into the motorcar, he chatted about his last post in Warsaw as if nothing had happened. How ugly the city is now, in ruins from the fighting, and how grateful he is Hitler spared Paris and she retained her beauty. Like you, Fräulein, he was quick to add, kissing my hand and glaring at my breasts straining through the silk. I answered him with a wide smile, playing my part as his companion.

I didn’t dare show any indication of the unpleasant sensation that hit me when he touched me. No wrinkling of my brow or teary eyes, only a forced smile. A difficult moment. He’d take any show of unpleasantness as a sign of my distaste for der Fuehrer, something I wasn’t careful enough in the past to disavow. It took me a while to convince the captain I find being in his presence most attractive. I can’t afford to let anything get in the way of that… even the natural changes my body is experiencing as a new life grows within me. A secret I must keep from Karl, my fans. I never expected this at thirty-three… quite an inappropriate time for it to happen to me, but I feel blessed.

I talked Karl into stopping at a flower market along the way so I could greet fans and boost awareness of my first film opening since the Occupation, then pass by my old apartment in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine before heading to Le Grand Rex. He seemed to genuinely enjoy mingling with the curious onlookers smiling and nodding at us. He took a daffodil from the bunch I bought and handed it to the elderly madame selling the blooms, telling her in decent French she reminded him of his grand-mère. I regarded him with a wistful sigh. For a moment, he seemed almost human. I soon wiped that attribute from his slate.


Review

Before I started reading this I was heard a lot of very negative and to be perfectly honest incredibly hurtful opinion’s about it, most was mainly about the cover – I do know that Boldwood Books have changed the cover and the title – and some of it was about the story itself, but I never allow another person’s opinion to stop me from reading a book I have wanted to read (except if I genuinely respect their opinion/know them) I refuse to allow bitter words to sway my own thoughts and now I have finished, I am a little perplexed as to what all the harsh words were about.

Have people just looked at the previous cover and title and judged without reading??

Ah, well each to their own, but I was genuinely a little confused over the nastiness as this is a beautifully written timeslip, historical fiction and I would recommend it to anyone who loves WW2 fiction which is interlaced with the present. The writing is

The story moves seamlessly between the past and the present as Juliana and Sylvie’s stories are revealed as which are intricately linked. My personal favourite was the past, I have a huge love of WW2 era fiction, Jina Bacar really captured the time with her rich and vivid detail, its got a real authentic feel to it that ignites the imagination, alongside the imminent danger and what is happening you have old school glamour. I really enjoyed getting to know Sylvie and leaning her story, she had a fascinating life which was full of difficult choices that also tested her morally. From her humble beginnings with big dreams of becoming one of the most loved actresses in Paris and then to be hated and seen as a traitor and even worse condemned as a collaborator. But was Sylvie really a cold-hearted collaborator, or was there a reason why she chose the path she took?

The story is split between the present day, 1926 and then 1943, when Juliana finds a photograph of her incredibly glamourous grandmother, the shining actress of the ’40s but on the arm of none other than a Nazi officer. Juliana is shocked, what is going on in the photo? But she refuses to believe that her grandmother was a collaborator, so Juliana with photo in handsets out on a journey that will change so much and reveal family secrets, sacrifice, bravery and leaves her changed in mind and soul, she knows that Sylvie’s story is one that needs to be spoken and not hidden.

The Resistance Girl is an emotional read that will still your heart, if you love The Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff (which is one of my ultimate WW2 historical fiction novel’s) then I can guarantee you will take this into your heart as well.


About the Author

Jina Bacarr is a US-based historical romance author of over 10 previous books. She has been a screenwriter, journalist and news reporter, but now writes full-time and lives in LA. Jina’s novels have been sold in 9 territories.

Stay up to date with Jina’s news by joining her new letter – NEWSLETTER

Social Media Links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Youtube / Pinterest / Bookbub


Tsalix Silverthorn and the Scepter of Destiny by Richard M. Siddoway | #BlogTour #TsalixSilverthornandtheScepterofDestiny #Excerpt #lovebookstours | @RMSiddoway @CayellePub @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s blog tour for; Tsalix Silverthorn and the Scepter of Destiny by Richard M. Siddoway. This book looks fascinating, I can’t wait to share it with you all, plus I have an exclusive excerpt which I am sure you will love. Firstly thank you to Kelly for the invite to this book blitz. Now let’s have a look at the book…

Tsalix Silverthorn and the Scepter of Destiny by Richard M. Siddoway

King Elosha is dying and his twin sons, Princes Abadon and Johona, are deeply embroiled in a battle over the throne of Sodizen. One is noble and the other is a psychopath. Hoping to end the bloody chaos and restore peace, the King summons three men from the small village of Aravah, tasking them with the impossible of retrieving talismans that are prophesied to unlock the Scepter of Power on Mount Destiny.

To aid them on their fantastical quest, King Elosha bestows upon each of them, vials of elements to be opened when needed most. Amidst their honor and duty, they find their hometown torched to the ground, with surviving family and friends imprisoned by Prince Abadon. They are faced with choosing between rescuing them or completing the mission.

The brave men choose to obey the King, overcoming tumultuous weather, terrain, dangerous and helpful mythical creatures alike. With scarce food and water, led by Tsalix, the three men embark on an arduous odyssey across the kingdom to retrieve the Scepter on Mount Destiny and restore peace in the realm.

Buy Link – Here


Excerpt

Tsalix wedged himself into the cleft in the rock, placed his ear against the smooth obsidian wall and listened. Above him on the steep hillside, huge polished slabs of stone perched precariously. Through the rock he could hear the footfalls of the approaching riders on their enormous wolacs. Tsalix listened intently, trying to read the signature of the heavy, armored six-legged beasts. Each one had a slightly different gait, and someone with an experienced ear could identify each wolac by its tread.

Tsalix grimaced as he thought he recognized the footfalls of Nash Doitsoh’s wolac. The hoof beats were drawing nearer, and the young warrior forced himself even further into the crack in the rock wall at the base of Mount Jinee. He shed his breastplate to lose another couple inches, but still he felt as if his ribs were cracking from the pressure of the obsidian against his back and chest, until the crevasse widened and he popped into a small cave. He plummeted to the floor and took deep breaths, ignor-ing the pain in his bruised ribs, then reached back through the crack and retrieved his breastplate, sword, and knapsack. He could see his footprints outside the opening, but knew he had no time to obscure them.

Tsalix turned around and viewed his surroundings. In the dim light that filtered through the opening, he could see the cave’s roof was just slightly higher than he was tall, and the room was about six feet in diameter. He pressed himself against a side wall when he heard the wolacs stop outside the narrow channel that led into the cave.


About the Author

Richard Siddoway was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and reared in Bountiful. He was a professional educator for over forty-five years. In 1994, he was asked by Governor Michael O. Leavitt to create the nation’s first state-wide virtual high school –The Electronic High School–which served students nationwide.

He served three terms in the Utah House of Representatives; the last two years, as Speaker Pro Tempore. He is the author of a dozen books, including the New York Times Bestseller, The Christmas Wish, which was made into a movie starring Debbie Reynolds, Neil Patrick Harris, and Naomi Watts.

He and his wife, Janice, have eight children, twenty-six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Follow Richard on Facebook @RichardMSiddoway


Being Alert! By Charlie Laidlaw | #BlogTour #BeingAlert #Excerpt #lovebookstours | @claidlawauthor @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour for; Being Alert by Charlie Laidlaw. I cannot wait to share this book with you, plus I have an exclusive excerpt for you all to get your teeth stuck into, I hope you love the sound of this book as much as I do. Firstly, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invitation to join the tour.

Being Alert! By Charlie Laidlaw

Being Alert! begins in January 2020 as the British prime minister, Winston Spragg, first learns about a new illness that seems to be centred in a city in China that nobody has heard of.

Following in a long tradition of British satire, the book populates Downing Street and Whitehall with an inept prime minister presiding over a dysfunctional government as it deals with an existential threat that rapidly becomes a national crisis.

Like satires before it, the book uses humour to paint an uncomfortable picture of a government seemingly as concerned about justifying itself as working to protect the country.

Buy link here – Amazon

***

Exclusive Excerpt

The Health Secretary, Kevin Kock, was also new to his job and still felt that he was just getting his feet under the desk. However, as his desk was extremely large, this shouldn’t have been a difficult task. Tall and rather thin, he looked permanently like an underfed rabbit caught in the headlights. He still remembered his meeting with the PM, when the latter was elected as Party leader.

I’d like you to be Health Secretary,” the PM said, his jaw jutting out. “But I don’t know anything about health,” he’d replied, rather alarmed. “You must know something,” the PM prompted.

Well, I once had measles.”

There, that makes you eminently qualified,” said the PM. “Of course, you have my full confidence until that is, I mean to say, when you don’t have my full confidence.”

Kevin Kock couldn’t confide to the Prime Minister that he had a phobia about sickness, would faint at the sight of blood (even underdone beef made him queasy), and took an array of tablets every morning to ward off everything from the common cold to diphtheria. His daytime was therefore spent in a miasma of worry. His wife frequently chastised him about his hypochondria, although it had become part of him, part of who he was.

***

About the Author

I’m the author of two novels, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead and The Space Between Time (due for publication in June 2019). A third novel, Love Potions and Other Calamities, is due to be published in November 2019 (all published by Accent Press).

I was born and brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel around the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember.

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize.

I’m also married with two grown-up children and live in East Lothian. And that’s about it.

***

#BlogTour | A Flame Through Eternity by Anna Belfrage #AFlameThroughEternity #HFVBTBlogTours @abelfrageauthor @HFVBT

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; A Flame Through Eternity by Anna Belfrage. Not only will I be sharing this intriguing book, but I also have an exclusive excerpt for you all. Plus there is a chance for you to win a copy, I hope you love it as much as I do.

A Flame Through Eternity by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: December 2, 2019
Publisher: Timelight Press

Series: The Wanderer, Book Three
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

It started 3,000 years ago. It ends now. Who survives the final confrontation?

According to Helle Madsen, being the protagonist of a time-spanning epic love story has some things going for it, primarily Jason Morris. Because seriously, meeting up with your fated lover after 3 000 years apart is not bad—at all. Unfortunately, where Jason goes, there goes Sam Woolf, yet another very, very ancient acquaintance—with the fundamental difference that Sam is not into Happily Ever After. He’s into destruction, more specifically of Jason and Helle.

Helle may believe in second-chance love, but she sure doesn’t believe in reincarnation. Okay, she didn’t believe in stuff like that until she met Jason Morris a year or so ago. By now, she has accepted that sometimes impossible things are quite, quite possible—like an ancient princess being reborn as an ambitious financial analyst.

Finding Jason was like finding the part of her that had always been missing—a perfect match. But handling Sam Woolf, the reborn version of their ancient nemesis is something of a trial. No sooner do you have him well and surely beat, but up he bounces again. Sheesh, will it take an oak stake to permanently rid their lives of him?

Sam Woolf is a powerful adversary. Too powerful, even. Jason and Helle will need help from unexpected quarters to finally bring this tangled, ancient love-and-hate triangle to some sort of conclusion. Question is, will they survive the experience?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

***

Exclusive Excerpt

Much later, Jason was watching Helle sleep. She’d fallen asleep with her head pillowed on his chest, his thumb in a firm grip, but now she was on her side, facing him. Her lips were slightly parted, a tumble of blonde hair obscuring part of her face. Jason moved closer, listening to her breathing. Closer still, and he placed his lips on hers.

Jason?” she mumbled, stirring slightly. One eye opened, her mouth softened into a smile, and she groped for his hand, sighing when she found his thumb.

Jason used his free hand to brush her hair off her face. His fingers lingered on the contour of her face, traced the elegance of her ear. Almost a year since he’d found her again, a year of miraculous moments such as these when she was lying beside him. His Helle… Jason ran a finger down her bare arm. For so many years, she’d been nothing but an impossible dream, a fading image he had no choice but to try and find again. Truth be told, there’d been times when he no longer wanted to try, exhausted by endless lives, by repeated disappointments. But the love for her burned too strong, and so he’d died, been reborn, searched and searched for her, died…

He nuzzled her, inhaling her scent, and she squirmed and frowned, too deeply asleep to rouse. She smelled of sun, of rose petals littering the ground, of lime and lavender. Her skin was soft beneath his cheek, and when she rolled over on her back he followed, carefully resting his head on her breast, just above her heart. Helle muttered something, her arms came round him, and he relaxed against her, listening to the reassuring thudding of her pulse.

A year ago, he had almost given up on her. Then he’d found her, and all those futile miserable lives were vindicated by her smile, by the way her turquoise eyes glittered when she saw him. Now here they were, married and happy. Jason pressed his ear closer to her chest. Happy for now, he amended, because if Sam Woolf was back…Shit!

Once he’d allowed Woolf entry, there was no banishing him from his head. Jason extricated himself from Helle’s arms and rolled over on his back, pillowing his head on his arms. Moonlight spilled in from the uncovered windows, dancing across the ceiling in a swaying pattern of leaves and light. But what Jason saw was Woolf—Prince Samion of Kolchis as he’d been—his hands streaked with blood, one sandal-shod foot planted firmly on Jason’s chest. Moonlight caught on a raised blade. Woolf yelled in triumph and brought it down. Jason sighed and rolled out of bed. He needed a drink.

In that ancient life, Samion had killed Helle, not Jason. It had been Helle’s chest he’d sunk his blade into, it had been Helle’s blood staining Samion’s robes and hands. It had been Helle who died, while Jason was left incapable of any emotions but that of all-consuming anger.

The whisky splashed into the tumbler and Jason retreated to sit on the sofa where so recently he’d made love to Helle. He sipped, a rush of comforting heat travelled down his throat. This time, Woolf had no intention of killing Helle. No, if Sam Woolf was back, it was Jason he’d come after, and should he succeed, Helle would be dragged off to God alone knew what hellish existence.

That, Jason decided, could not be allowed to happen. He snapped his fingers and sparks of fire flew upwards. Again, and several miniature flames burnt merrily before he closed his hand around them, extinguishing them. If he had to, he’d incinerate Woolf. Or die trying.

Helle felt guilty as hell giving Tim the slip. But when she’d called John and he’d suggested they meet—he was in London for the day—she hadn’t stopped to think, she’d just grabbed her coat and made for the door, stuffing her phone into her pocket as she went. Stapleton had promised help and unless she got some, she feared her head would implode under the weight of her nightmares.

Jason had refused to discuss taking John up on his offer. He had fussed like a mother hen these last few days, offering warm drinks, hot baths and his warm embrace to help keep the darkness out. Didn’t work. Nothing worked—except self-induced pain. Difficult to administer when one was asleep…

It irked her that she felt insecure on her own. Every man she met, every sound at her back, had her doing a double-take, hand clenched painfully round her keys in case she should need to defend herself. Woolf’s legacy, she thought bitterly, turning her into a frightened shadow of her former self. No, this would not do at all. Helle lengthened her stride and straightened her back. But she still clutched the keys.

She took the tube to Bank, changed to the District Line and rode in a half-empty car to Westminster. She kept on throwing looks over her shoulder, but by the time she’d exited opposite Big Ben, she had relaxed somewhat. She cut through the crowds of tourists on Parliament Square and set off up Victoria Street, frowning at a group of Italian schoolkids sprawling across the pavement. ‘Pavement’, not ‘sidewalk’: she smiled slightly. A year in England, endless hours with Jason, and his Englishness was beginning to rub off on her. It helped that Mum was English to begin with, she supposed.

True to his word, John was waiting outside the imposing building that housed the Metropolitan Police.

Starbucks or Snax?” he asked.

Whatever.”

Starbucks it is. I love their muffins.”

It showed, Helle thought uncharitably. DCI Stapleton had something of a paunch.

She opted for a large latte, shook her head at the offered goodies.

Does Jason know you’re here?” John sipped at his coffee.

No.” Yet another twinge of guilt. He’d go ballistic, worried out of his mind when he found out she’d taken off. She dug out the phone and swiped the screen, swallowing at the six missed calls, all from Jason. She unmuted it, and as if on cue, it chirped.

WHERE R U? Nice, shouty capitals all the way. She responded, he texted again, she replied, he texted—all the while in capitals.

John snorted softly, pulled out his iPhone and sent Jason a text. “There. Now he knows you’re safe—with me.”

Helle nodded, busy tapping out one more text. This time, there was no immediate reply. In fact, there was no reply at all. She placed her phone where she could see it, but it remained dark and silent while she and John drank their coffees.

You’ve had a rough week,” John said once he’d finished his muffin.

I have.” Helle twirled her mug, causing what little remained of her latte to slosh about. “Don’t sleep much.”

Because of your headaches?” He gave her a commiserating look. “It seemed pretty awful.”

It is.” The dreams were worse, but admitting to them would make her come across as half-demented, so she chose not to say anything. “Do you think this person you mentioned could help?”

Yes.” He frowned slightly, folding and unfolding his napkin. “But I’m not so sure I should involve her. She’s old, uses a wheelchair.”

Sounds just like the ally we need,” Helle said sarcastically. She’d made it all the way here for nothing?

Oh, don’t underestimate her.” John chuckled. “She scared the living daylights out of us when we were young.”

Us?”

Me and my siblings, our cousins. We used to spend our summers with one of my aunts, and this lady is her paternal aunt, my grandfather’s youngest sister.”

Sheesh! She must be pushing a hundred.”

I’m not that old,” he told her in a dry tone. “Anyway, one year we amused ourselves by sneaking out at night and going skinny-dipping in the nearby lake. Until the night Chloe got her foot stuck in something and was pulled under.” He shook his head at the recollection. “We didn’t know what to do,” he admitted, “and Chloe—we couldn’t see her. Which was when Katherine suddenly came flying out of the house, pushed me aside and waded out into the water where she simply raised her arms. Moments later, Chloe was coughing and wheezing, on her knees on the muddy shore.”

Wow.” She wasn’t that impressed. It had been dark, they’d been scared, and this Katherine had probably seen poor Chloe and grabbed hold of her. Her scepticism must have shone through. John laughed softly. “She lifted the waters. That still lake rose into a huge wave that deposited Chloe on the shore.”

Oh.” Now it all sounded incredible instead.

John tapped at her mug.

Refill?”

No thanks.” She fiddled with her oh-so-quiet phone. “Will she be willing to help us?”

I’ll ask—if you want me to.” John twisted his napkin. “She may say no. One never knows with her.” He laughed darkly. “She’s a bit…I don’t know, aloof? Self-sufficient? A bit like Jason, if you know what I mean.”

No.” Helle gave him a cool look. “I don’t.”

John rolled his eyes. “Fine, have it your way.” His chair scraped as he stood. “Time to take you home, I think.” He winked slyly. “That bodyguard of yours won’t be pleased, will he?”

Probably not.” And neither would Jason. Helle followed John out of the café.

***

About the Author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with three absorbing interests: history and writing.

Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. (Medieval knight was also high on Anna’s list of potential professions. Yet another disappointment…)

With Jason and Helle, Anna has stepped out of her historical comfort zone and has loved doing so.

Find out more about Anna by visiting her website, www.annabelfrage.com, You can also connect with Anna on FacebookTwitterAmazon, and Goodreads.

***

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 6
Review at Books and Zebras

Wednesday, July 8
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog

Friday, July 10
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Excerpt at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, July 13
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, July 15
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Friday, July 17
Review at andreajanel_reads

Monday, July 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 22
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, July 24
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, July 27
Review at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, July 28
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, July 31
Review at Cover To Cover Cafe

***

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 paperback copies of A Flame Through Eternity! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – A Flame Through Eternity

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

 

#BlogTour | Rosemary or Too Clever To Love by GL Robinson #RosemaryOrTooCleverToLove #lovebookstours @gl_robinson @lovebooksgroup

Posted on

Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this fabulous blog tour for; Rosemary or Too Clever to Love by GL Robinson. Not only will I be telling you all about this wonderful book, but I also have an exclusive excerpt to share with you. I hope you enjoy it! 

Rosemary or Too Clever To Love by GL Robinson

The Ugly Duckling meets the Gothic novel: a plain governess, a romantic Miss, a stern but handsome guardian, involved in a midnight chase, a woman dressed in britches and a gloomy castle. Throw in a bit of Vivaldi and some French philosophy, and you have it all!

If Rosemary can’t control her wayward pupil and prove her worth to her guardian the Earl, her future is bleak.

When Marianne’s father dies, she and her governess Rosemary are forced to go and live with her guardian the Earl of Tyndell. The Earl has strict ideas about how young ladies should behave. He isn’t impressed by the romantic notions Marianne has absorbed straight from the pages of a Gothic novel. And her governess is not only dowdy but perfectly ready to put him in his place, especially regarding his ideas about the education of women. But when the Earl’s interest in Rosemary blossoms just as Marianne falls in love with the last person he would ever agree to her marrying, where will it all end?

Read Rosemary or Too Clever to Love to see how this tangle is sorted out.

In spite of its light-hearted and often humorous tone, this charming novel raises questions about women’s education and philosophy. Book Group discussion topic have been included at the end.

Buy Link – https://amzn.to/2Mz3Dvs

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Exclusive  Excerpt

Rosemary and Marianne put on a play Rosemary has written about Mary Queen of Scots in a ruined chapel in the grounds.

On the day of the performance, the footmen had carried all the chairs from the ballroom downhill to the ruins, the maids had swept the chancel of bird droppings and leaves and the cook had finally filled her baking pans when, about midday, they received the devastating news that the two young men would be unable to perform. They had that morning been indulging in their favorite pastime of running along the top of the walls that flanked the Hardcastle estate, when they had been surprised by a pheasant shooting from its covert and had fallen headlong into a large bed of tall stinging nettles. Their hands and faces, and more particularly their eyelids, had been quite viciously stung, and all the application of mashed dock leaves in the world had not reduced the swelling. The doctor had been called and had advised their remaining quietly in their beds with the blinds down and cold compresses on their eyes. He had given them a small dose of laudanum and they were presently sleeping. There was no possibility of their performing that day.

It was impossible to change the arrangements. People would be arriving in under three hours. With Marianne wailing and her head in a spin, Rosemary made a rapid decision. Luckily, she had kept both young men’s costumes at High House, not trusting them to remember them. She sent a note to Mrs. Hardcastle, asking her to send over a shirt and britches, possibly something Jasper had grown out of. She would play the parts herself. When she told Marianne what she had decided, that young lady was torn between gratitude and being scandalized.

You’re going to appear in public in britches?” she gasped. “But, but… how will you change?” She looked horrified.

Don’t refine upon it dear,” replied Rosemary with more calm than she felt. It will just be for a moment. I just have to wear the britches for Bothwell. He’s the only one seen in normal men’s clothing. And as for changing, I won’t have to, really. I shall go down to the ruins in the britches under my Darnley shroud, with my cloak over all. I shall go behind one of the pillars and take off my cloak. I can play Darnley, then I have only to remove the shroud to play Bothwell. That’s the only time I’ll be seen in britches. Afterwards I’ll don the apron for the Executioner. It will work, I assure you. The good news is that his lordship told me yesterday he will not be able to see the play, as he has urgent business with one of his tenants. Something to do with flooding after all this rain. I was a little disappointed, but now I’m delighted. Say nothing to him, for heaven’s sake!”

Marianne was sufficiently reassured to be able to face his lordship later without a tremor, and when he offered his apologies for missing the performance, said with tolerable equanimity, “Oh, it’s only a silly amusement for children, after all! You may be happy to be missing it.”

The time for the performance arrived. The performers hid behind the chapel pillars and the audience took their seats. The servants from High House stood behind the chairs. They had been agog at all the preparations and what they had seen of the rehearsals. They had obtained the housekeeper’s permission to leave their posts to watch the play, provided they hurried back to serve the guests at tea.

Rosemary rang a bell she had borrowed for the purpose. When the audience quieted, Marianne came forward and announced the title of the piece, then arranged herself on a low draped table serving as her bed. Her head up, as she had been instructed, Mariah walked across as the silent chorus with her notice, and they were off. Rosemary had powdered her hair and face. She dropped her cloak behind a pillar and stepped forward in her shroud. There was a little stir, as it became clear who was playing the part, but it soon quieted as she spoke out in a low, carrying voice. With a dignified gesture, she accused Mary of murdering her.

The Smythe boy came next and did well, hesitating a little at first, but then speaking out boldly and clearly. During that time, Rosemary quickly stripped off the sheet. As she bent to step out of it and to shake the powder from her hair, she was observed from behind by the Earl, who had completed his business more quickly than expected and had returned with more enthusiasm than he would have imagined to see the entertainment. He strode swiftly down the hill, quite by chance approaching at an angle that allowed him to see behind the pillar where Rosemary was effecting her change. He did not at first realize what he was seeing, but then recognized her and stopped abruptly to admire her shapely derriere as she bent in the rather tight britches, for Mrs. Hardcastle had sent over a pair that Jasper had long outgrown. Luckily, Rosemary did not see him, or she would have hesitated before slipping into the embroidered doublet and jamming the feathered hat upon her head. As it was, she came onto the stage and carried off the part of Bothwell with enormous verve, her tone insinuating and insulting, a complete contrast to Darnley. The audience, by now into the story, certainly recognized her, but they were too entranced by the performance to wonder at it.

It was only as she was leaving the stage that her eye fell upon the Earl and her heart gave a leap. Whether she was glad to see him, or embarrassed that he saw her, she could not afterwards tell, and anyway, she was too busy changing herself into the Executioner to think about it. Queen Elizabeth and her lady made their entrance. After all their histrionics during rehearsals, the twins were inclined to look down and fail to project, until Rosemary hissed at them to look at the audience and for the queen to speak up. Mariah crossed the scene for the third Act, and the trial and execution scenes began.

Without telling the other performers, Rosemary had arranged that there would be a pan of red paint behind the black draped stool that served as the execution block. When the axe, a realistic looking instrument with a blade made of heavy card fitted onto a broomstick, came down to cut the head three times, this, by historical account, being the number of strokes required to sever Mary’s head, it came up with red along its blade. There was a collective gasp, both from the audience and the other actors. Then, before raising the severed head, a gory affair made of papier mâché, she dipped it in the pan too, so that when she held it aloft, it dripped in a lifelike grisly fashion. One or two of the housemaids screamed and the audience murmured in delicious horror.

The performance was greeted with enormous acclaim. The Smythes were delighted with their lad’s performance and, ignoring or forgetting the hours Rosemary had spent with him to get him to stand up straight and enunciate clearly, seemed to think it was all his own doing. Mrs. Pendleton was pleased with her daughters in spite of their lackluster performance, while Mr. Pendleton was pleased with the sight of Rosemary in britches. Like the Earl, he had not failed to notice her bottom. He sought her out, but she, quickly donning her cloak and running up the hill, managed to avoid everyone. She went straight to her bedchamber, quickly brushed the rest of the powder out of her hair and changed into a gown. By the time she came down again, the guests had gathered in the drawing room and the tea was being brought in.

Ah, Miss Drover,” remarked the Earl, seeing her. “I hope you will act as hostess and pour the tea?” he made no mention of the britches.

Rosemary was both astonished and flattered. She had planned to ask Mrs. Hardcastle to act as hostess. She knew that by asking her, his lordship had elevated her status in the household. She inclined her head and went immediately to the silver pots of tea and hot water. She was glad to do it, less for the distinction it gave her, than because it prevented her having to deal with all the questions and comments that her performance would inevitably bring. She had already noticed Mr. Pendleton eying her with light in his eye she did not like. She heard the word britches whispered around the room, usually with sidelong glances at her, but Mrs. Hardcastle wasted no time in describing the accident that had befallen the two male actors, loudly commending Miss Drover for not allowing it to prevent the play from going forward.

Rosemary kept her eyes on the teapots and the maids distributing the cups, until the novelty of her performance appeared to wear off. By the time she was forced to join the guests, as usual on these occasions, the women were sitting in groups chatting about domestic issues, while the gentlemen stood together, talking of horses, farming or world affairs. However, she was not to escape so easily.

Here is our heroine!” announced Mrs. Hardcastle, and there was a round of applause.

Jolly well done!” pronounced the General. “I must say, I didn’t realize it was you under that sheet until later when you appeared in those britches. They never looked better, I dare say!”

The General obviously thought his social standing was so impeachable that he could say what he liked. There was a slightly embarrassed murmur from most of the gentlemen, though Mr. Pendleton was heard to mutter “here, here,” and the ladies had the grace at look at the floor, all except Mrs. Mannering, who looked at Rosemary with patent dislike.

It’s lucky Rosemary knew all the lines, because she wrote the play,” cried Marianne, instinctively recognizing that her companion somehow needed protection, “and she worked out so quickly how she could play all the missing parts. I think she’s amazing!”

And I think my fellow actors deserve most of the credit for continuing as if nothing were amiss” said Rosemary, smiling at Marianne and glad to be able to deflect the conversation from herself. “We must thank them all for their hard work and dedication, not excluding the poor young gentlemen who are lying abed and missed it all. Tell us, Mrs. Hardcastle, ma’am, how were they going on when you left?”

Thus she diverted the conversation, and his lordship, who was not enjoying the oblique references to the charms of a woman he unaccountably was beginning to think of as his own, took the opportunity to announce that sherry or Madeira was available for the gentlemen who preferred that to tea. He was certainly one of them.

***

About the Author

I’m a product of a convent boarding school in the south of England in the 1950’s and early 60’s. You can probably guess I received an old-fashioned education. I learned a great deal about the humanities and practically nothing in the sciences. I understand Latin, speak French fluently and my German isn’t bad. I read the Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English when I was 16 and Shakespeare is an open book. But the only science I remember is the ditty: Miss Cummings (our teacher) was a scientist, alas she is no more, for what she took for H2O (water) was H2SO4 (sulfuric acid). Not bad, eh? Words to live by.

I met my American husband while working in Brussels (Belgium). Then we moved to Bonn (Germany). I had three children in a foreign tongue. If you want to know how to say “push” in French and German, ask me!

I’ve lived in the USA for over 40 years, have seven grandchildren and the same husband I started with. We live in a small town in upstate New York but nowadays spend the winter in Florida. I need to sell lots of books so we can buy a waterfront condo! (laughs ironically).

I love my garden, telling my grandchildren stories and eating desserts. I’d give up a steak for a Key Lime Pie any day!

I began writing Regency Romances just under two years ago after the death of my beloved sister who was in the convent with me all those years ago. We used to read them under the covers with a torch after lights out. My books are dedicated to her.

I’ve so far indie published three. The third, Rosemary or Too Clever to Love, just came out at the beginning of May. I’m writing a fourth and editing a trilogy I wrote 18 months ago. I plan on publishing them over the summer.

I love Regency Romances and they’ve always been a guilty pleasure. I was a French professor, and I tell you, after a day of teaching Existentialism, you need a bit of sprigged muslin and some polished topboots to clear your head.

But more than that, I think they fulfil a need for order and calm that is so lacking in our lives today. You know that Almack’s is only going to allow entry to men in white britches; you know young ladies may only dance twice with the same man at the ball; you know the couple is going to get together, no matter how mismatched they appear, or how many obstacles are in their path.

There is something soothing about it all. Of course, it’s escapism and it’s often silly, but it’s always satisfying.

Having been a teacher for 30 years, I find I can’t get away from the urge to provoke discussion. Plus, I belong to three Book Groups. I’ve therefore included Discussion Topics at the end of my last two novels. I hope my readers will have fun with them.

#BlogTour | Storms Gather Bewteen Us by Clare Flynn #StormsGatherBetweenUs #HFVBTBlogTours @clarefly @HFVBT

Posted on

Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant blog tour for; Storms Gather Between Us by Clare Flynn. This book sounds absolutely incredible and it has gone straight on to my wish list, not only will I be sharing this book with you all but I have an amazing exclusive excerpt, so settle back and let’s wish Clare a happy Publication day and I hope you love the sound of it as much as I do.

Storms Gather Between Us by Clare Flynn

Publication Date: June 17, 2019
Publisher: Canelo Saga
Format: Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

 

 

Life can change in a single moment…

Living under the watchful eye of her controlling and abusive father, Hannah Dawson’s hopes for freedom and happiness seem a distant dream. Her mother, passive and ashamed of her self-preservation, refuses to challenge her husband. It is the mysterious circumstances of her long-lost Aunt Lizzie’s disappearance in the 1920s that inspires Hannah to seek a better life.

Since escaping his family’s notoriety in Australia Will Kidd has spent a decade sailing the seas, never looking back. Content to live the life of a wanderer, everything changes in a single moment when he comes face to face with a ghost from his past on a cloudy beach in Liverpool.

Hannah and Will are thrown together by fate and bonded by secrets from long ago. Now, they discover a love like no other. But with Hannah’s father determined to see her wed to a man of his choosing they must fight against a tyrant who has ruined many lives. Even if they succeed, can they escape the chains of their histories? And will their plans for a future be possible when the whole world is changing forever…?

A compelling tale of family secrets and undeniable love against the odds, perfect for fans of Susanne Goldring and Fiona Valpy.

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Barnes and Noble | Google Play | Hive UK | iBooks | Kobo

***

Exclusive Excerpt

They walked on in silence for a few minutes, until Hannah spoke again. ‘If my father were to die, I wouldn’t mourn him at all. I don’t love him at all. I can’t. I’ve tried. Really hard. But I just can’t. Do you think that makes me a bad person?’

Will smiled, longing to kiss her again, but fearful of frightening her away. ‘I could never think of you as a bad person, Hannah. If you don’t love your father, then that must mean he doesn’t deserve to be loved.’ He wanted to ask her again about the reason she had covered her face that other day on the beach, but something made him hold back.

He has been very cruel to my mother. I think he may have been cruel to Aunt Elisabeth too and that’s why she went away.’

Will smiled. ‘Well, he can’t be all bad: if he hadn’t caused her to come to Australia I’d never have met you.’

I must go,’ she said, her demeanour changing.

Let me walk back with you.’

Only as far as Seaforth. I don’t want to risk anyone seeing us.’

Why not? We’ve done nothing wrong.’

My father wouldn’t agree.’ Her eyes welled up.

Will felt a rush of emotion. ‘Then let me talk to your father. If you feel you like me at all, maybe you would go out with me? I know we barely know each other, Hannah, yet I feel I already know you so well. And I want to get to know you better.’

She looked up at him and, in that moment, he knew with unshakeable certainty he loved her. Her eyes told him she felt the same way. It was as if they were already bound to each other.

But then she turned her head away. ‘You mustn’t talk to Father. Please promise me you won’t even try. He’ll never agree, and you’ll make things worse for me.’

She turned back to look at him. ‘He has a terrible temper. When he discovered I was hiding a photograph of Aunt Elizabeth he threw it on the fire. If he found out I’ve been talking with you… if he knew you wanted to see me… I can’t tell you what he’d do. He’s capable of anything.

Now, I have to go, Will.’ She started to walk away, then stopped and hurried back. He felt his heart lift.

I forgot to tell you. My mother wants to talk with you.’

Will felt a surge of hope and must have shown it in his face, as she frowned, holding up her palms in front of her in a blocking motion. ‘She wants to speak with you about Elizabeth.’ She reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a scrap of paper and wrote on it with a pencil. ‘This is the address. 15 Bluebell Street. Please go one afternoon so you won’t run into my father.’

Wait!’ He called. ‘When will I see you again?’

I don’t know.’ Her face looked anguished. ‘I often come here. Maybe we might meet again here on the seashore. But please, don’t go near the office, and apart from when you call on my mother, please, don’t go near our house.’ Her eyes were filled with fear.

Will stood motionless as a statue, watching her walk away up the beach towards the docks. Lighting a cigarette, he remained fixed to the spot on the empty beach, watching, until Hannah had disappeared from view. Her absence was like an ache inside him. For a moment he had been sure she felt the same way about him, but the fear of her father was evidently greater. The idea of someone hurting her, threatening her, was like a knife being twisted inside Will. He had to find out what was happening to terrify her so much and put a stop to it.

***

About the Author

Historical novelist Clare Flynn is a former global marketing director and business owner. She now lives in Eastbourne on the south coast of England and most of her time these days is spent writing her novels – when she’s not gazing out of her windows at the sea.

Clare is the author of eleven novels and a short story collection. Her books deal with displacement – her characters are wrenched away from their comfortable existences and forced to face new challenges – often in outposts of an empire which largely disappeared after WW2.

Fluent in Italian, she loves spending time in Italy. In her spare time she likes to quilt, paint and travel as often and as widely as possible. She is an active member of the Historical Novel Society, the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors, NINC and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 13
Review at Passages to the Past
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, July 14
Review at A Darn Good Read

Wednesday, July 15
Feature at What Is That Book About
Excerpt at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Thursday, July 16
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Feature at Lost in a Book Reviewer

Friday, July 17
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Saturday, July 18
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog

Sunday, July 19
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Monday, July 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

***

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 eBooks of Storms Gather Between Us by Clare Flynn! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Storms Gather Between Us

Giveaway Rules

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

#BlogTour | What Did You Do In The War, Sister? by Dennis J. Turner #WhatDidYouDoInTheWarSister #HFVBTBlogTours #GuestPost @HFVBT

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this fantastic blog tour for; What Did You Do In The War, Sister? by Dennis J. Turner. I can’t wait to share this book with you all, plus I have a wonderful exclusive guest post by Dennis, so settle down and enjoy!

What Did You Do In The War, Sister?: Catholic Sisters in the Nazi Resistance by Dennis J. Turner

Publication Date: February 27, 2020
Format: Paperback, eBook & Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical

 

 

“A powerful story of seldom-sung heroines in humanity’s darkest days and a vivid reminder of the power of conscience.” — Edgardo David Holzman, author of Malena

Throughout the occupied territories, Catholic Sisters were active members of The Nazi Resistance.

Based on letters and documents written by Catholic Sisters during WWII, this book tells the remarkable story of these brave and faithful women.

From running contraband to hiding Jews, from spying for the allies to small acts of sabotage, these courageous women risked their lives to help defeat the Reich.

This is a story that needs to be told.

“an engaging account of World War Two as told through the voice of a fictional Belgian nun… fascinating and valuable.” — Donald Lystra, Author of Season of Water and Ice

“”…a generous recounting of the deeds of marvelous nuns living in the midst of mortal danger. It’s also a great read!” — Father James Heft, Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California

Available on Amazon

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Exclusive Guest Post by Dennis J. Turner

WHY A FARM GIRL?

Many readers of my book What Did You Do in the War, Sister? have asked why I had Sister Christina come from a farming background. When I first started thinking about the qualities Sister Christina would need in order to do some of the things she would have to do during those five years of German occupation I compiled a list of characteristics I thought she would need to possess.

In that list were:

(1.) Intelligence, seasoned with a healthy dose of common sense

(2.) Physically strong and inured to hard work

(3.) Resourceful, a good problem solver

(4.) Brave and not easily intimidated

(5.) Risk taker

(6.) Sensitive and generous

(7.) Candid

(8.) Trustworthy.

When I considered these characteristics I realized that my female cousins who had grown-up on farms possessed many of these very qualities. I imagined if I was part of the Belgian Resistance that they were the kind of persons I would want to “have my back.”

Little did I realize at the time, however, that having Sister Christina be a farm girl from Fort Loramie, Ohio, would be the source of some good-natured familial tension among my cousins. One of my initial book launches was held in Minster, Ohio, and was attended by a raft of cousins. After my talk most of my extended family gathered at the Wooden Shoe Restaurant for down-home lunch. During the meal several of my female cousins began debating which one of them “Was Sister Christina.” They seemed mollified when I told them that Sister Christina was more of a composite of all of them than a fictional twin of one cousin.

Peace was restored.

WHY ENDNOTES?

Readers of my book, often ask me why I was so insistent on the use of endnotes. Endnotes may often distract the reader if he or she periodically stops reading the narrative takes detours to the end of the book. I confess that my use of endnotes reflects a bias I have about some books of historical fiction. In those books, the author may craft a marvelous story set in a well-known historical period with historical events and historical characters creatively interwoven into the narrative. The actual events and characters may be accurately portrayed in the book … or not. Some scenes described by the author may be based on primary historical records that the author has found through painstaking research in libraries, archives etc. Even the dialogue in the book might be built around letters, diaries, transcripts and memoirs. On the other hand, some scenes and dialogues may be purely the product of the author’s imagination.

That may be a good thing. Such creativity often constructs a compelling narrative which spurs a reader to venture beyond the opening chapter.

On the other hand, many readers enjoy historical fiction because they can comfortably absorb considerable historical information without plowing through dry history books. The catch is that the history they are absorbing may have little or no basis in fact. It is often completely unsupported by primary historical documents. For example, the author may suggest that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was written by Secretary of State Seward. (Endnote: totally untrue.) This bit of fictional deception may have enhanced the storyline dramatically, a perfectly justifiable literary technique.

In my opinion, however, if a reader closes the book and walks away believing Seward wrote the Gettysburg address, the author has done a great disservice to the reader. I think the author owes it to his readers to tell them which scenes are based on the historical record and which scenes are the product of the author’s creativity.

That is why in my book I tried to alert the reader though the endnotes about scenes which were based on original documentation and which scenes and which dialogues were the product of my imagination. My hope was that readers would be able to distinguish between the book’s non-fictional aspects and its fictional features.

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About the Author

Dennis Turner graduated from Georgetown University in 1967 with a degree in History. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law School in 1970. He has served as an Assistant County Prosecutor and as a Magistrate-Judge. Since 1974, he has been a Professor of Law at the University Of Dayton School Of Law. During his tenure at the University of Dayton he has served as Assistant Dean, Acting Dean, Director of the Law Clinic and Director of the Legal Profession Program. The University of Dayton has awarded him its highest award for teaching, The Faculty Teaching Award. He has also received numerous Teacher of the Year Awards from the students at the University Of Dayton School Of Law and was chosen to be one of the Master Teaching Fellows for the University of Dayton. He has been a visiting professor for the University of Notre Dame London Law Program. He also has extensive experience with the British criminal justice system through his association with the barrister firm, Pump Court Chambers, in Winchester, England.

Dennis Turner is the author of many law review articles and a law text book, Steele v. Kitchener Case File. For two years, he also wrote a bi-weekly column for the Dayton Daily News entitled, On the River.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 6
Review at Books and Backroads

Wednesday, July 8
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Thursday, July 9
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Friday, July 10
Review at Books and Zebras

Monday, July 13
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Wednesday, July 15
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, July 17
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Reading is My Remedy

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of What Did You Do in the War Sister?. To enter, please use the Gleam form here – What Did you Do in the War Sister

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

 

#BlogTour | Temple of Dreams by Carolyn Mathews #TempleOfDreams #Excerpt #LoveBooksTours @Carolyn_Mathews @RoundfireBooks @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant blog tour for; Temple of Dreams by Carolyn Mathews. Not only will I be sharing this fascinating book with you, but I also have an exclusive excerpt with you all. Go on, take apeek I hope you love it as much as I do!

Temple Of Dreams by Carolyn Mathews

Genre: Historical / Publisher: Round Fire Books / Format: Ebook, Paperback

Homeless and jobless following the death of his adoptive parents, Sebastian enrols at a college of natural medicine which boasts a sanctuary modelled on an ancient Greek healing centre. After a night in the temple, he dreams of Apollos, a young Athenian defeated in a pankration contest, suffering memory loss. More dreams follow, decrypted by Sybil, the lecturer who insists he keeps a dream journal. Seb is kept busy in the 21st century by a budding relationship with Fliss, which stalls when she tries to persuade him to search for his birth parents. Meanwhile, Apollos, in the fifth century BC, readies himself to attend the festival of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, to discover the secrets of how to avoid the perils of the underworld and make it to Elysium.

Amazon

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Exclusive Excerpt

I am woken by a kiss from Pelagia, who must be freshly bathed and perfumed because she smells wonderful. I respond to her caress and then something Philemon said yesterday makes me turn away from her.

What’s wrong, Apollos? Are you ill?’

I can’t think of a tactful way to say what’s on my mind, so I blurt it out.

I’m sorry, Pelagia. I should have thought of this before, but it only occurred to me recently. Was it you or your husband who was unable to…who was….

Barren?’ she says, with an edge to her voice.

I take her hand and press it over my heart.

Did he marry again?’

Yes.’

And did he have children?’

There is a child but I have it on good authority that his wife pretended to be pregnant and sent one of her father’s slaves to Mount Lycabettos to pick up a newborn boy. If I’d loved him, I might have considered doing the same.’

How could she get away with that?’

He often travelled abroad on business and she chose an opportune time. She padded herself out and went to her parents’ house for the “birth”. They probably sprinkled some pig’s blood around, to make it more realistic.’

What if he finds out?’

I think he’d turn a blind eye. They were married for two years before the child “arrived”. This way, it makes him look more of a man.’

If it wasn’t his, does that mean you might be fertile?’

Pelagia dropped her cynical pose and giggled.

I wouldn’t be surprised, pledged as I am to a goddess of fertility. If I wasn’t before, I probably am now.’

I can’t tell whether this is a yes or a no, but have now grown tired of the subject and proceed to finish what she’d started, making conversation redundant.

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About the Author

Carolyn Mathews is the author of the Pandora Trilogy, whose first instalment Transforming Pandora was showcased by The People’s Book Prize in 2014. Carol has an MA in Applied Linguistics and an abiding interest in metaphysics, both of which have profoundly influenced her writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, UK.

You can find more about Carolyn here – http://carolynmathews.co.uk/

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