Top 10 Reasons I Love #Thanksgiving: A Guest Post by @RuthACasie #books #romance


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The top 10 reasons I love Thanksgiving! 

 

We celebrate the Friday after. 

At our house we celebrate Thanksgiving the day after turkey day. We started the tradition as a compromise for my kids and their in-laws. They were conflicted about where to spend Thanksgiving. No one wanted to miss dinner with their family. We talked about brunch in the morning or later in the day. That just wasn’t the same. Instead I opted for the day after. It was not a hardship. I did it selfishly. This way I have them all to myself. My kids and their in-laws love the idea. 

 

No turkey! 

This year’s menu is roast leg of lamb and brisket. (It’s the same every year. I’m forbidden to change it.) That’s another benefit of celebrating the day after. No turkey. Everyone’s had their fill on Thursday. I can be a bit more creative with the menu. Although the family still demands mulled cider, sweet potato souffle and noodle pudding. 

 

Everyone moves back home. 

Our son and his girlfriend drive down from Boston. Our older daughter and our two grandchildren are only forty minutes away, but they come home and move in for the weekend. Our two daughters and their families (they only live thirty minutes away) move home for the weekend. It will definitely be a houseful but I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

 

Butternut Squash Soup.

Our younger daughter added this to our menu two years ago. My cooking is all done when she comes in with all the mixings and makes the soup. 

 

My older grandkids help in the kitchen.

Well, maybe not my grandson. He prefers to hang out with his uncle and play ball across the street in the park. My older granddaughter sets the table, makes place cards and watch her cousin so her aunt can help in the kitchen 

 

The coffee runs to Dunkin Donuts and late night outings to the local ice cream shop.  

Our son goes to our local DD and brings home a selection of coffees for us while we finish cooking. It’s always a surprise. Since our dinner is midafternoon, my husband takes the grandkids to the ice cream shop to bring back more surprises. I could easily have the ice cream at the house, but I think he uses it as an excuse to spend some alone time with two big kids. 

 

Time together.

After dinner we flop on the sofa with a large bowl of popcorn. My husband tries to get a Scrabble game going but he loses out to game. 

 

Sunday Night.

With all this tumult and cooking, did I mention the mandatory French toast Saturday morning I start to look forward to Sunday night when they all go home?

 

Four more weeks.

Thank goodness they’ll all be back in four weeks for the holidays and we do this again. This time with presents! 

 

It’s all magical to me. 

At our day after Thanksgiving dinner, I sit and look at family around the table and beam with pride. I’d be happy not to eat, just enjoy them. This is what I’m most thankful for, my dear husband who supports me in everything I do, my children and their spouses who make me laugh until I cry, and my three grandchildren who are blessings.  

 

 

I hope your Thanksgiving is delicious and wonderful. 

 

 thehighlandersenglishwoman300-1

 

Title: The Highlander’s English Woman 

Author: Ruth A. Casie  

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance 

 

Book Blurb: 

Laura Reynolds is in love with her long-time friend, Jamie Maxwell Collins. She adores his playful sense of humor, caring nature as well as his strong sense of family and honor. 

 

Jamie lives across the border in Scotland. Outwardly carefree, he hides a dark secret. He can’t involve Laura in this deception. He can’t give her hope for a future together. 

 

Laura stumbles upon Jamie’s secret. In her heart of hearts she knows Jamie is innocent. Their relationship in tatters and with no hope of reconciliation, she plays a deadly game to exonerate Jamie, she agrees to a political marriage. She has no idea the entire game has been orchestrated by her future husband, Jamie’s greatest enemy. 

 

Excerpt: 

He opened the cemetery gate and made his way to the small building where the 9th century remains of William the Brave rested. In the building was a hidden passage that led inside the castle. A dangerous place for boys to play. He and Richard prided themselves on being the only people aware these tunnels existed. Forgotten over the centuries, it had taken them weeks to clean out the debris and shore it up to make it usable. 

 

The hair on the back of his neck stood. Someone was with him inside the cemetery. He crouched behind a tombstone. In the distance, a dark shadow proceeded along the path. 

 

Jamie took stock of the man as he made his way to the Reynolds’ family graves. He thought at first Reeve came to pay his respect to Richard, but the form was all wrong. This shadow was bigger, more agile. The man stopped and waited. For whom? For what? 

 

Jamie moved for a closer look. His brushed against a tombstone and knocked loose pebbles that rested on the top to the ground. In the complete silence, the cascade of stones sounded like boulders echoing in a valley. 

 

In an easy, elegant move, the man drew his sword. No, this wasn’t Reeve. Jamie did the same. 

 

The darkening shadows made it impossible for Jamie to identify who he fought. That didn’t stop either man. His attacker put him on the defense. Jamie retreated in a matter of seconds. 

 

Jamie and the shadow parried and lunged. Evenly matched, neither gave signs of tiring. Several times he almost had the man, only to have him bound over an obstacle and come back for more. 

 

Just like… 

 

“For a moment I thought you fought like Lord Richard,” Jamie said. The man answered with a barrage of strikes. 

 

But Jamie held his ground. He fought stroke for stroke until they came into a close battle position, the hilts of their swords locked against their chests. Clouds moved and the man’s face was revealed under the moonlight. 

 

Jamie dropped his sword and froze. His heart pounded. The man threw his head back and laughed. 

 

“Richard?” 

 

The laughter subsided. Richard put his arm around Jamie and squeezed him close. “I wonder if Father has any ale? How I would love to taste it one more time.” 

 

Buy Links: 

Amazon/Kindle: https://amzn.com/B01LXYHNGS 

 

Amazon Print: http://a.co/am0MfIq 

 

iBook: http://apple.co/2eddatE 

 

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-highlanders-english-woman-ruth-a-casie/1125365584?ean=2940157490539 

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-highlander-s-english-woman 

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography: 

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie. 

 

Social Media Links: 

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com  

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com  

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman 

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie  

 

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie  

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964  

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/  

 

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie 

 

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Saving Grace by Award-Winning Bestseller @Aubreywynne51 is a Must-Read! #bookreview #books


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Title: Saving Grace: (Enchanted Keepsakes)

Author: Aubrey Wynne

Genre: Romantic Suspense

 

Book Blurb:

The ghost of the Pungo Witch meets a shattered heart.

 

Chloe Hicks’ life consisted of an egocentric ex-husband, a pile of bills, and an equine business in foreclosure until a fire destroys the stable and her beloved ranch horse. What little hope she has left is smashed after the marshal suspects arson. She escapes the accusing eyes of her hometown, but not the memories and melancholy.

 

Jackson Hahn, Virginia Beach’s local historian, has his eyes on the mysterious new woman in town. When she enters his office, he is struck by her haunting beauty and the raw pain in her eyes. Her descriptions of the odd events happening in her bungalow pique his curiosity.

 

The sexy historian distracts Chloe with the legend of a woman wrongly accused of witchcraft. She is drawn to the story and the similarities of events that plagued their lives. Perhaps the past can help heal the present. But danger lurks in the shadows…

 

The legend of the Witch of Pungo is based on a historical figure.

 

My Review:

After divorcing her abusive husband three years ago, Chloe vows to never let him control her, no matter what. She starts her own horse stables and with the help of her horse trainer, is on the brink of making a profit. But all that changes when her barn burns to the ground. Rumors start flying that she started the fire and she escapes for Virginia Beach to get away from it all. But when strange things start happening in her rented bungalow, she seeks the help of local historian, Jackson Hahn. Is the past repeating itself or can a legendary ghost save Chloe from making the same mistakes she did?

 

I’m a big fan of historical ghost stories and Wynne has a gem on her hands with Saving Grace. I loved everything about Chloe, from her love of horses to her independent spirit. The alternating POVs were a great way to tell the parallel stories of Chloe and Grace although the transitions were a hair jarring at first. While this is a short novella, Wynne weaves a fleshed-out story filled with intriguing characters, romance, suspense and a ghost story. A must read, especially if you love history.

 

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Grace. The sections telling Grace’s story were the best parts for me. I loved how strong she was and how she battled prejudice in her village. No matter what happened to her, she held her head high.

 

My Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTFI1FP

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MTFI1FP

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MTFI1FP

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-grace-aubrey-wynne/1125960682

 

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/saving-grace/id1214652999?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/saving-grace-93

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36100935-saving-grace

 

Aubrey Wynne

 

Author Biography:

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas.

 

Her short stories Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies won the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice in 2013 and 2014. Dante’s Gift, first in A Chicago Christmas series, received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, and Heart of Excellence awards.

 

Her upcoming series “A Vintage Romance” was inspired by tales of her stepfather, who served in the British Air Force in WWII. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series “Medieval Encounters” begins with Rolf’s Quest, 2016 NTRWA Great Expectations winner.

 

Social Media Links:

http://www.aubreywynne.com

https://www.twitter.com/aubreywynne51

https://www.facebook.com/magnificentvalor

https://www.instagram.com/Aubreywynne51

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

To Cast A Cliché by @Aubreywynne51 #historicalfantasy #FridayReads #bookreview


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Title: To Cast A Cliché (A Just For SH*#$ and Giggles Short Story #2)

Author: Aubrey Wynne

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Short Story, Humor

 

Book Blurb:

The evil Queen Lucinda exacts revenge on a royal poet by casting a spell of never-ending clichés upon the kingdom. Will the clever King Richard thwart his stepmother’s magic and save the good people of Maxim? Test your literary knowledge and enjoy an entertaining spoof on fairy tales.

 

My Review:

Another hilarious book by an author who writes intelligent humor that leaves me laughing out loud at lunch with co-workers looking at me.

 

The curse of clichés was brilliant, and more than half the fun for the reader was trying to (successfully for me) identify which cliché was which.  Reading the King trying to interpret the behavior was a gut grabber.

 

Sheer comedic brilliance that would have done Monty Python proud.  I recommend this to every single person the planet!

 

My Rating: 5++ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Cast-Cliche%C5%BD-Giggles-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B019I427CC

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Cast-Cliche%C5%BD-Giggles-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B019I427CC

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cast-Cliche%C5%BD-Giggles-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B019I427CC

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-cast-a-cliche-aubrey-wynne/1123605081?ean=2940153193441

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/to-cast-a-cliche

 

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1098065449

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22666679-to-cast-a-clich

 

Aubrey Wynne

 

Author Biography:

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding, and all things Christmas.

 

Her short stories Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies won the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice in 2013 and 2014. Dante’s Gift, first in A Chicago Christmas series, received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, and Heart of Excellence awards.

 

Her upcoming series “A Vintage Romance” was inspired by tales of her stepfather, who served in the British Air Force in WWII. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series “Medieval Encounters” begins with Rolf’s Quest, 2016 NTRWA Great Expectations winner.

 

Social Media Links:

http://www.aubreywynne.com

https://www.twitter.com/aubreywynne51

https://www.facebook.com/magnificentvalor

https://www.instagram.com/Aubreywynne51

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

A Vampire’s Journey Through Centuries… Check out this #paranormal #historicalfantasy series!


Rajveer the Vampire

 

Title Rajveer the Vampire

 

Author Barbara G.Tarn

 

Genre Historical Fantasy

 

Publisher Unicorn Productions

 

Book Blurb

A “sun clan” warrior can never become a true child of darkness.

 

Turned into a bloodsucker by an ancient Celtic vampire, Rajveer, a proud Rajput warrior of a Suryavanshi clan in 14th century India, becomes almost invulnerable.

 

Immortal, he loses his family to war and time and travels through northern India, seeing history unfold. Threatened by both human wars and evil vampires, can he remain true to his sworn vow not to take human lives?

 

A vampire’s journey through centuries.

 

In this new novel, Barbara G.Tarn combines her love for history (especially medieval) and fantasy. It’s the story of a vampire through the centuries that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and vampire lovers all over the world.

 

Excerpt

AD 1303, First Jahuar of Chittor

 

Rajveer summoned the servants, asking if they’d seen the lady.

 

“She’s gone with the queen,” an old maid said. “I saw her in the procession at dawn.”

 

“What?” Rajveer couldn’t believe his ears. “She’s doing the jahuar?”

 

The woman nodded, fearful. “I tried to stop her, but she wouldn’t listen…”

 

Rajveer clenched his teeth. “Where are they?”

 

“The funeral pyre was lit within the great subterranean retreat.”

 

Rajveer could hear the men shouting a battle cry, ready to leave. He should go with them. But he must stop Charumati first.

 

He ran to the palace and tried to break into the underground chambers that were impervious to the light of day.

 

He hated the Suryavanshi traditions. The self-immolation of widows, or sati, like his mother and sister had done. And the mass suicide when there was no way out, like today. Women first, burned by the fire of the jahuar. Men next, fighting until death took them – and if they happened to survive the battle, they’d have to kill themselves.

 

Except he couldn’t kill himself. And he couldn’t understand why Charumati had gone with the queen. She was immortal, not invulnerable! If she fell asleep, she’d be burned to ashes! Why had she chosen death anyway? Had she faked love for him while she estranged herself from him even more until she preferred death to staying by his side?

 

“Charumati!” he called.

 

He took down the door and smoke filled his nostrils. The flames licked at his skin, making him jump backward. The women were eerily silent in the crackling of the fire.

 

“Charumati!”

 

“It’s too late!” Kaylyn grabbed his arm and pulled him backwards with unexpected strength before he entered the furnace. “Move away, Rajveer, she chose suicide!”

 

“But why?” Tears filled his eyes as he tried vainly to see his beloved through the flames.

 

“Because that was her choice.”

 

“You knew! Why didn’t you stop her?”

 

“It’s called free will, Rajveer. We talked about it for nights. She had to try what you went through – but then she couldn’t take it.”

 

“You should have stopped her! You should have told me! You…”

 

“You want to avenge her or not? The battle has begun,” Kaylyn replied sharply.

 

With a growl of anger, Rajveer freed his arm. With a last glance at the burning cavern, he ran back to his rooms to get his weapons and rushed out of the fortress, moving so fast that when the two armies met he was in the front line in spite of having passed the lintel-and-corbel Ram Pol gate last.

 

He’d literally flown down the serpentine way of the west main entrance, passing through all the gates, almost jumping over his fellow warriors. Ram Pol, Lakshman Pol, Jorla Pol, Ganesh Pol, Hanuman Pol, Bhairon Pol and finally Padal Pol, two centuries old with its lower part laid with large hewn stones, toughly coursed, and its parapet of false merlons.

 

With a war cry he attacked the Muslim soldiers, hungry for blood, literally biting off limbs or sucking lives while his sword danced around him, bringing death to anyone unlucky enough to be near him.

 

He weakened when the sun was at the zenith and slowed his slaughter, again dizzy with too much blood. He retreated to the shadow of the fortress’s walls and looked around. The saffron robes were lying in front of him, only a few remaining, quickly taken down by the sultan’s men.

 

“Time to retreat and save what’s left of your family.” Bran appeared near him with his blond hair shining in the light. He looked less pale than usual, and the blood pouring from the side of his mouth meant he must have drunk his fill too. Kaylyn also joined them, her bloody dagger in hand.

 

Rajveer raised his sword and glared at both. “Stay away from me,” he threatened.

 

 

Buy Links

E-book available for on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

 

Print version on Createspace, Amazon, Barnes&Noble.

 

 

Book Trailers

 

SERIES trailer: https://vimeo.com/235240136

 

The first two novels in this series are also included in the bundle Vampires of the World, available at BundleRabbit, Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble and Kobo. 8 vampires novels for 6.99$

 

BUNDLE trailer: https://vimeo.com/236987051

 

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Author Biography

Barbara G.Tarn had an intense life in the Middle Ages that stuck to her through the centuries. She prefers swords to guns, long gowns to mini-skirts, and even though she buried the warrior woman, she deplores the death of knights in shining chainmail. She likes to think her condo apartment is a medieval castle, unfortunately lacking a dungeon to throw noisy neighbors and naughty colleagues in. Also known as the Lady with the Unicorns, these days she prefers to add a touch of fantasy to all her stories, past and present – when she’s not wandering on her fantasy world of Silvery Earth or in her Star Minds futuristic universe.

 

She’s a writer, sometimes artist, mostly a world-creator and story-teller. Two of her stories received an Honorable Mention at the Writers of the Future contest. She writes, draws, ignores her day job and blogs at: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com.

 

 

Social Media Links

Amazon

Smashwords

Website

Blog

Goodreads

Facebook

 

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Title Charioteer of Buddha

 

Author Barbara G.Tarn

 

Genre historical fantasy

 

Publisher Unicorn Productions

 

Book Blurb

While Europe sets out on the second and third crusades against the heathens that threaten the Holy Land, in India demonic vampires are on the loose.

 

Chandaka went to Nalanda to become a bodhisattva, but unlike Gautama Buddha, he couldn’t resist the temptation offered by a daughter of Mara… or maybe something much worse.

 

Daya is the daughter of the merchant who built the Kirti Stambh at Chittor and her only “fault” is being Jain – a religion that Merciless Menka utterly despises.

 

Chandaka and Daya become unwilling members of Menka’s coven, forced to feed on blood and live through centuries of unrest during the Muslim invasions.

 

A novella of vampires through the centuries that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and vampire lovers all over the world.

 

 

Excerpt  

Chittorgarh, AD 1199

 

Daya knelt by the domestic shrine in the light of a few candles. She whispered the Namaskara Sutra, praising the five great beings of Jainism like she had done at dawn, then inhaled the scent of the perfumed candles one last time.

 

She opened her eyes, staring at the sweet face of the Goddess Ambika smiling back at her.

 

Daya recited the pratikramana for the repentance for harm done during the day and bowed at the image.

 

She rose and blew out all the candles except one, leaving the small shrine in the semi-darkness of the room. She took her oil lamp and pulled up her veil, heading for her bedroom.

 

Akalank’s moan startled her. He seemed to be sick. Wasn’t he already asleep?

 

With her heart thundering in her chest, Daya hurried to the bedroom, but froze on the doorstep.

 

Akalank lay on the floor, his eyes wide open, with someone bent over his exposed neck.

 

Daya dropped the oil lamp when she saw the rivulet of blood on her husband’s neck. She gasped and hid her mouth behind her hands as the lamp fizzled and died out.

 

Red eyes stared at her in the darkness of the room. White fangs smirked at her. Something passed like a gush of wind next to her, sending shivers down her spine.

 

Frozen in terror, she heard a faraway cackle. And then there was silence. The house was deadly quiet.

 

Panting, Daya went to look for another lamp and rushed to her husband’s side. His skin was already losing his warmth and his eyes didn’t see her. Daya almost choked on the first sob. Someone had killed her peaceful, gentle husband!

 

She jumped to her feet and ran to her father’s house, banging on his door and sobbing uncontrollably.

 

“Daya!” Jija held her until she calmed down and told him about Akalank.

 

Jija grabbed an old sword and called for all the men of the house. Violence was not allowed, except in self-defense. Something, someone, had killed Daya’s husband and might hurt more people. They went back to Daya’s house in a group, with torches and lamps burning in the night.

 

Things hadn’t changed in Daya’s bedroom. Akalank lay dead, with blood running down his neck. Jija noticed punctures of fangs near the jugular vein.

 

“Looks like he was attacked by some strange wild beast,” Jija muttered. “Our Hindu friends would probably say it was a rakshasa.”

 

Rakshasa were supposedly fierce-looking and enormous creatures with two fangs protruding down from the top of the mouth as well as sharp, claw-like fingernails.

 

“Or manushya-rakshasi,” Daya whispered, eyes wide. She hadn’t seen very well, but the form leaning over Akalank had looked more like a woman, with the flaming red eyes and the magical powers of illusion of the male equivalent. Her religion didn’t have names for that sort of being, therefore she had to borrow the name from the Hindus.

 

“Come and sleep at my house,” Jija decided. “It is safer. I don’t want you to be alone tonight. Tomorrow morning we’ll try to figure out what happened.”

 

Still trembling, Daya let her father lead her back to the house where she was born. She couldn’t believe a female demon had stolen the life of her sweet husband. All sentient beings did harm simply by existing. The karma they generated was the root of all suffering. The evil and violence inherent to existence proved the absence of a creator god. Or demons.

 

 

Buy Links

Ebook out now at Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

 

 

norman-blood_resize

 

Title Norman Blood

 

Author Barbara G.Tarn

 

Genre Historical Fantasy

 

Publisher Unicorn Productions

 

Book Blurb

Nineteen-year-old Robert Malet followed William the Bastard to England to claim the English throne. The battle near the small town of Hastings is the beginning of the Norman conquest of England, but also of Robert’s second life.

 

A vampire in 12th century Europe traveling, fighting and meeting his siblings in darkness, changing names through the years when his mortal life is gone.

 

Follow Robert Malet, Brother Geoffrey, Robert Capuchon and Mercadier through the years. History and fantasy based on medieval chronicles for a Vampires Through the Centuries novella.

 

Excerpt  

SUFFOLK, ENGLAND – AD 1071

 

Robert strolled on the battlements of the stone castle his father had built at Eye under the stars. William Malet had been granted the Honour of Eye and had held the town since that fateful battle that had marked the start of Robert’s second life. High Sheriff of Yorkshire until AD1069 and then High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, the old man had done his best to fight off the Danes, and then he had perished in the struggles in the Fenlands against Hereward the Exile.

 

Robert was now High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, and he had inherited the Honour of Eye. He had a mortal wife, Elisee de Brionne, who had given him children and seemed spellbound by him. He was awake in the early mornings and evenings, although he never went out of the castle walls – or his tent if he was on the road – during daytime.

 

This had struck people as odd, but his father had always backed him by saying he’d been wounded at Hastings. Besides, when the smell of blood reached his nostrils, he awoke even during the day and joined battles like a berserk.

 

He’d asked Solveig if that was how it worked now, but she had no answer. Apparently the second life was different for everyone. After five years of feeding on blood, taking all the possible night shifts and going to battle only when close enough to be awakened by the smell, he seemed to have settled in a normal routine as lord, husband and father. Soldiers and servants obeyed him like they had his father, and he drank human blood only on battlefields.

 

His father-in-darkness had left him before the coronation of William of Normandy, now known as William the Conqueror, who had been crowned at Westminster at Christmas 1066.

 

“Is Bran a seer?” he’d asked Solveig the night of the coronation. “Or has he seen it in some magic cauldron of the druids?”

 

Solveig had chuckled, shaking her head. “He is sixteen centuries old, don’t you think he knows men by now?”

 

“Sixteen… centuries? How is that possible?”

 

“The ancients had more magic than we do. Didn’t he welcome you to life eternal? That’s what he meant.”

 

“No aging, no natural death… Immortality.”

 

“Through the centuries, yes. Can you take it?”

 

“I guess… So where is Bran now?”

 

The druid had left to look for the mysterious Ingolf who of course had vanished after the battle near Hastings. Solveig had shrugged. Either she didn’t know or she didn’t care. Neither had shown up since.

 

Solveig was still around, but she seemed restless. Robert was grateful that she hadn’t taken the side of the Danes trying to take lands from the Normans. He couldn’t really blame her if she decided to side with Sweyn Estrithson, King of Denmark, but she had remained neutral throughout the struggles in the Fenlands that had claimed his mortal father’s life.

 

Right now he was wondering where she was. She slept even less than him and went out hunting on her own. He hoped she wouldn’t feed on any of his people, since he was stupidly attached to those mortals who surrounded him.

 

The enemy’s blood tasted better than animal blood, but he had learned to control his hunger. He wasn’t going to hurt his friends or his serfs or his mortal family! He had stopped eating normal food and had to pretend every time he sat at a table, feeding the hounds that sometimes ended up feeding him.

 

Buy Links

ebook available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

 

KaylynEbook_resize

 

Title Kaylyn the Sister-in-Darkness

 

Author Barbara G.Tarn

 

Genre Historical Fantasy

 

Publisher Unicorn Productions

 

Book Blurb

Ten years after the return of the crusader, his people know he’s evil and try to get rid of him and his wife. Kaylyn escapes the fire of Baldwin’s manor with Bran’s help and leaves Lincolnshire for good.

 

A long journey through 12th century Europe allows her to meet other fledglings of her mysterious maker, Bran the Raven. Then it’s Muslim Spain and up to Damascus, where everything started for Baldwin.

 

A travel journal through the centuries across Europe, North Africa, Asia on the Silk Road, to the court of Kublai Khan and then India for the making of her brother-in-darkness, Rajveer… And it’s only half of Kaylyn’s story.

 

History and fantasy mix in this standalone book of Vampires Through the Centuries that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and vampire lovers all over the world.

 

Excerpt  

London, AD 1160

 

They headed for the walls and gates of London. Soon they joined the great multitude of soldiers and travelers entering the city or going out of it. Apparently, the gates had traffic at any hour of the day or the night.

 

All the bishops, abbots and magnates of England were in a sense citizens and freemen of London, therefore they had their own splendid town-houses, where they lived minding their own private businesses or waiting to be summoned to the great councils of the king.

 

Kaylyn smelled the healthy air and admired the churches and the fortifications. The secular Norman stone architecture built town-houses in the Romanesque style, but they were only for the wealthy. Most town-houses were timber even in London, much like she had seen in Lincoln.

 

Bran went to knock on what looked like a rich merchant’s house, with a shop on the ground floor and living quarters upstairs. The servants probably slept in the attic and the house was made of stone, but surrounded by wattle-and-daub lower houses.

 

The sun was rising and Kaylyn felt uneasy. Whoever lived in the house was obviously still asleep…

 

And then the main door opened and a tall, pale young man frowned at them only to smile a wolfish smile and give Bran a bear hug as soon as he recognized him. Kaylyn waited with her heart beating faster. Another child of darkness. She could feel it.

 

“Bran! When did you come back to England?”

 

“A few years ago, but I was busy,” Bran answered, freeing himself from the young man’s embrace.

 

The man chuckled and moved aside to let them in the house. Kaylyn noticed his strange haircut, with the back and sides shaven. It looked out of fashion and she wondered if he hid it under a hood when he went out.

 

He was clean-shaven and dressed in the current Norman fashion, but the haircut… The bald back looked funny – the pale scalp under the chestnut brown hair like a featureless face. He looked young but at the same time wise. She wondered how old he’d been when he’d been turned.

 

“Come upstairs,” he said quickly. “Soon the servants will be up and milling around.”

 

He led them to the upper floor and his chamber, partitioned with wood like Kaylyn’s room had been. He closed the door and motioned them to take seats wherever they could.

 

There was a settle under an arched window that could be used as a bench, a stool near the small table and the bed. The host sat at the foot of the bed, watching them with curiosity. Kaylyn took the stool since she could move it away from the window, and Bran went to sit near him.

 

“You look good, Robert. How did you manage to stay in England for so long?”

 

“I came and went.” Robert winked. “Is that another sister-in-darkness?” His chin pointed to Kaylyn.

 

“I’m Katheryne, wife of Baldwin de Gand,” she said.

 

“Related to Gilbert de Gand, Earl of Lincolnshire?” Robert asked.

 

“His brother,” Kaylyn confirmed.

 

“I see. Pleased to meet you, my lady. I’m Robert Malet, son of William Malet, King William’s great chamberlain. I come from Gravelle-Ste-Honorine in Normandy. I did have eight manors in Lincolnshire when the Domesday Book was compiled, but… I couldn’t really keep them.”

 

Robert shrugged and Bran smiled. Kaylyn did a rapid year count.

 

“So you came to England with William the Conqueror?” she asked. That explained the haircut. She wondered if Robert had any resemblance to the Conqueror and it certainly helped her to imagine the first Norman king of England.

 

 

Buy Links

E-book on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

 

Paperback on Amazon, Createspace and other retailers.

 

Indestructible_resize

 

Title Indestructible

 

Author Barbara G.Tarn

 

Genre Historical Fantasy

 

Publisher Unicorn Productions

 

Book Blurb

From Indra’s eye or Brahma’s sacrifice, legends on the Chauhans origins abound. Akshay belong to this new class of kshatriya (warriors) and since the sun is denied to him in his second life, he fully embraces the fire legend that makes his people Agnivanshi, descendants of the Fire god, Agni. Turned by Menka on the shores of the salted Sambhar Lake in AD 967, he will soon make his way through the ranks of Menka’s coven. A fiery Rajput warrior through the centuries.

 

Excerpt

JAISALMER – AD 1267

 

Jaisalmer fort wasn’t really asleep under the moon. The yellow sandstone fort was still alight with candles and lamps as a fair set up by desert-dwellers flooded the enclosure with snake charmers, puppeteers and acrobats, sending the colony of bats that slept in the arch of the gate during the day far off to avoid the noise.

 

The massive walls enclosed palaces, houses and temples, and the main gates were open since festive mortals crowded the streets, making life slightly harder even for Menka’s children. Too many people made hunting more difficult, since it was easier to get caught by an angry mob.

 

Vidya had convinced Akshay to go hunting outside the fort. Neither had particularly enjoyed camel’s blood, but at least they’d had some time alone to talk. And it was quiet. The drums and music and cheerful people were left behind.

 

“When are you going to take down Kriti?” she demanded, straightening her back after feeding. She licked her lips as her fangs retracted but her eyes still burned red.

 

“I will do it when I’m ready!” he retorted. He wasn’t in the mood for discussing his rival.

 

“How old are you, Akshay? How long have you been like this? How long have you suffered under that prick? You deserve better, Akshay! You’re kshatriya, you should confront your enemy with a sword in your hand!”

 

“I haven’t touched a sword since I was turned,” he grumbled. “I don’t need swords anymore!”

 

But she had a point. If he put his mind to it and calculated the years passed, he must be more or less three centuries old. He was strong and powerful and sick of Kriti’s ways. Yes, Kriti was even older – maybe five hundred? – but he was certain he had Menka’s approval.

 

“Then prove you’re a man,” Vidya challenged.

 

He scowled at her, but she wasn’t intimidated. Her face softened.

 

“I want to be proud of you,” she purred. “Even prouder than I already am. I want to be your woman.”

 

He scoffed. If he got rid of Kriti, he wasn’t going to take her as a mate. Menka was a thousand times better.

 

“Let’s get back to the fort,” he said, looking at the moon. It was still early, and the desert felt too empty for his tastes.

 

They climbed the sandstone walls like spiders and jumped down into the closest street. It was far enough from any gate to be quiet and dark. Soon everybody was back in the windowless basement of a palace, and Kriti smirked at Akshay.

 

“How was your romantic walk in the desert?” he asked. “Careful you don’t have another Chandramuki on your hands…”

 

That did it. Akshay saw red. He roared as his fangs sprang out again and attacked Kriti without hesitation. He had just drunk warm blood. He was strong and determined. And he could feel Menka by his side, even though she didn’t move from the cushion where she was curled up.

 

“I will take your place, you son of a bitch,” he hissed, slamming Kriti against the wall. He kept him there, with his feet dangling, squeezing his neck with one hand.

 

Kriti kicked him and they rolled on the raw earth, fighting with fangs and claws, biting and tearing each other apart. Akshay pulled away to catch his breath and glared at Kriti who scowled back. Both were bloodied, but the wounds would vanish during the day, as they slept.

 

“Come on, Akshay, finish him!” Menka said.

 

 

Buy Links

Ebook available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

 

Shashank

 

Title Shashank the Fledgling

 

Author Barbara G.Tarn

 

Genre Historical Fantasy

 

Publisher Unicorn Productions

 

Book Blurb

Shashank starts a second life under the moon when Tamerlane’s sack of the cities of Delhi begins. A twenty-year-old Hindu refugee fleeing Sikandar, ruler of Kashmir, he had learned to love his city of adoption. But after the Tartars’ invasion, there are only ruins left.

 

Shanshank survives only because of a newcomer, Rajveer, who turns out to be a bloodsucker who gives him his second life to save him from the slaughter. At the same time they both meet a coven of local bloodsuckers led by mighty Menka who forces them to join.

 

As Rajveer’s fledgling, Shashank must obey the she-devil who has found them. The son of a weapon dealer moves across northern India, through the rise and fall of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal and the Maratha Empires and the British Raj.

 

History and fantasy mix in this standalone book of Vampires Through the Centuries that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and vampire lovers all over the world.

 

Bonus story: Sir George’s Journal

 

The abridged version of the journal of the short-lived European son of Menka during his brief life in 19th century India and Nepal, from East India Company civil servant to a life under the moon.

 

Excerpt  

Agra, AD 1510

 

Shashank was almost giddy at the sudden freedom. He had learned to tolerate the smell of the coven, but being away from them was like a breath of fresh air. No decay around them and no need to kill to survive. Shashank hoped it would be a new beginning for him and his maker.

 

Except the second night Menka and Akshay fell upon them with the rest of the coven.

 

“Where are you going, Rajveer?” Menka’s eyes were shining red with murderous intent.

 

“I thought you had enough of me, Menka,” he answered, undaunted. “You’ve made Abhijeet. Your faithful Akshay is still by your side. What do you want with me?”

 

“I haven’t uncovered the mystery of your origin, and can’t figure out how you made Shashank,” she replied coldly. “Therefore you shall stay with us for the time being. Unless you take me to your maker.”

 

“I have no idea where he is,” he answered honestly. “And I made Shashank by allowing him to drink my blood – much like I was made.”

 

“I have tasted your blood, it’s nothing special,” she snapped. “Mortals’ blood is more tasty. But yours does shield you and make you different.”

 

“I’m sorry to be such a sore spot in your perfect family.” The irony in his voice wasn’t lost on anyone, and Akshay growled threateningly.

 

Menka made an impatient gesture. “You will stay with us for now. And don’t ever try to run away again. I can find you even at the edge of the world!”

 

“What if I don’t want to stay with you?”

 

“Your fledgling will suffer.”

 

Shashank shivered. “You can kill me anytime,” he told his maker. “Don’t let her torture me.”

 

“I won’t.”

 

Rajveer was the only one still wearing a sword. Akshay often teased him for his attachment to a mortal’s weapon.

 

He unsheathed it, but before he could give Shashank a mortal blow, Menka was on him. Shashank screamed as Rajveer collapsed on the ground. He could feel Rajveer’s heart thundering in his ears, fast at first, then slower, much slower, until it picked up again.

 

The coven dragged them to a new shelter and Rajveer was feverish for two days under Shashank’s worried eyes. Finally his body expelled Menka’s poison and he opened his honey-colored eyes to stare at Shashank’s worried face.

 

“Where are we?” he asked weakly.

 

“Agra, but not on our own,” Shashank answered gloomily. “You need to feed. Let me bring in the goats I got for you.”

 

Rajveer nodded wearily and closed his eyes again. Shashank brought in two goats, and held the first still while Rajveer fed, recovering enough strength to drink the second’s blood without help.

 

Shashank knew it was a surrender. They’d never get rid of Menka and her people. Although the mighty queen of darkness told Rajveer he could use the Jain woman, Daya, as long as he didn’t try to leave again.

 

Shashank had always felt sorry for the Jain woman forced to live on blood for the past three centuries and wasn’t surprised when Rajveer decided to protect her. It wasn’t love between them, and Shashank saw her as a sister, even though she smelled different from him and Rajveer.

 

They should try to make the best of the situation for the time being. The city was full of glare, heat and dust most of the year, so he and Rajveer had to stay in during the day, which still gave them time to talk away from the coven’s ears.

 

 

Buy Links

Available for pre-order, coming out November 2.

 

The price of 4.99$ or 299INR is valid only until release and a week afterward so pre-order it at the lower price.

On Amazon, Apple, Kobo and Smashwords 

The Du Lac Princess by Award-Winning Author @MaryAnneYarde #bookreview #FridayReads #Arthurian


The Du Lac Princess UPDATED

 

Title: The Du Lac Princess (Book 3 Of The Du Lac Chronicles)

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Historical Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

War is coming…

 

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a du Lac.

 

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

 

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton.

 

My Review:

War is coming and nothing can stop the man orchestrating everyone and everything to exterminate the du Lacs from the face of Earth. But the Keeper of the Blade has just emerged and he is flesh and blood, not just a myth. He will need the help of the du Lac brothers, that is if they don’t kill him first.

 

Amandine is rescued from certain death by Alan and kept alive. She is forced into captivity while Alan is away and tortured by monks all in the name of the Roman Church. “The Devil must be purged from her body and soul.” Alan returns (along with King Philippe and Mordred) who delivers swift punishment for Amandine’s mistreatment. King Philippe makes her his ward and she is safe, for now. For surely, her death will come, as all who are du Lacs.

 

Merton aka Galahad, believing his beloved Amandine is dead, vows revenge. Even though he is a crippled, one-armed man, he won’t rest until her killer is dead. He runs away from Brother Sampson and heads back to his brother, Alden. Along the way, he gets lost and an old Celtic woman finds him. She restores him back to health and teaches him many things, things Merton never knew about his father (Lancelot), Arthur and even Guinevere (yes, Arthur’s Guinevere).

 

Alden is at his wits end trying to run his kingdom, look after Merton, determine who is his enemy and who is his ally all while trying to keep war from crossing his borders. When he sends out a search party to find Merton, shock and remorse shake Alden to the core when they return. The Keeper of the Blade seeks his council and assistance as does a woman all of Briton thought long dead. Will the du Lac brothers unite under the same banner or will they kill each other with Mordred watching from the shadows?

 

I’ve been waiting months to read this book and when it finally came out, my expectations were high. The Du Lac Princess has a lot going on, between twice as many characters as in previous books and the multiple storylines, and I found myself re-reading passages to keep everything straight. I found it a little jarring to go from one storyline to the next, especially in the middle of a scene. This pulled me out of the story on several occasions, which I don’t believe was the author’s intention.

 

The dramatic tension was well done, though. While I didn’t care for the compounding obstacles Merton had to continually face, it all tied together by the end of the book. The dramatic tension between Alden and his brothers, especially leading up to the climatic conclusion, was spot-on. Lessons learned, betrayals revealed, grace and love unite to combat evil deeds all make this a must-read. Yarde breathes life into Arthurian legends and makes history come alive.

 

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, especially 6th century Briton, this is a must-read! Fans of Game of Thrones and The Vikings will love this book and will want to read the whole series.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Amandine. What a brave woman she is. She’s lost the one man she’s ever truly loved and King Philippe is the man responsible. She’s tortured in the name of God by the Church and yet still maintains her dignity. She’s a du Lac, after all.

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36307275-the-du-lac-princess

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Mary Anne Yarde is an award-winning author of the International Bestselling series — The Du Lac Chronicles.

 

Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog

https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15018472.Mary_Anne_Yarde

 

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

#99Cents Alert: The Du Lac Chronicles Series on Sale for a Limited Time! #books #Medieval


Du Lac Chronicles graphic

 

Title The Du Lac Chronicles (Series)

Author Mary Anne Yarde

Genre Historical Fantasy

 

Series Book Blurb

War is coming to Saxon Briton…

 

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

 

The Saxon King, Cerdic of Wessex, is determined to purge the land of Arthur’s Knights but, to do so, he has to destroy the sons of Arthur’s greatest enemy. But the sons of Lancelot du Lac do not die easily. It will be no easy win for Cerdic.

 

Unbeknown to the world the du Lac brothers are divided. Now, more than ever, they must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

 

Excerpt

From The Du Lac Chronicles (book #1)

 

AD 495 Wessex, Briton.

 

Alden du Lac drew in a ragged breath. The cold night air hurt his lungs, and the rough wooden post that he was tied to rubbed the wounds on his back. He had prayed for the welcomed relief of unconsciousness; alas, it was not to be. It seemed even God wanted him to suffer for his failings.

 

He had lost count how many times he had been lashed. All he knew was that each lash represented every Wessex soldier that had been killed by his men. Cerniw’s losses had been far higher, but no one paid for their deaths. Life was never fair, though; he did not need a lost battle and hundreds dead to tell him that much.

 

The year had been horrendous. Cerniw, with its rugged moorlands, its vast forests and beautiful coasts, had been struck with one pestilence after another. The people started to talk about moving, and some already had. Those who had stayed loyal to the land and, of course, to him, no doubt now wished they had not, for when Cerdic’s Saxons came, they purged the kingdom, making it look like the hell the bishop preached of in his Sunday sermon. Alden, unlike God, had been powerless to do anything about it. Oh yes, he had fought, but the numbers he fought against had overwhelmed his army, for who could fight the devil, without God on their side, and think to win?

 

Alden hung his head in shame, his shoulder-length dark hair falling into his face. He cursed his naivety and worse still, his arrogance. His younger brother had warned him, but he had not heeded the warning; instead, he believed the useless treaty that Cerdic of Wessex had offered him only months before. He should have seen where Cerdic was going with it then, only he had been blinded by grief, by guilt. The responsibility for what happened, therefore, was his and his alone. He knew that, and he took the blame. He deserved to be tied to a post waiting for death.

 

Alden closed his pain-filled grey eyes as the image of his homeland in flames scorched his mind. He could hear the screams, the begging for mercy, and the cries for help. He could taste the terror in the air and feel the heat of the flames. Dear God, what had he done?

 

He had been left with no alternative. Even now, with the clarity of hindsight, he could see no other choice. He had ridden towards the enemy, carrying the white flag of truce and hoping ¾ sweet Lord, how he had hoped ¾ for clemency, not for himself, but for his people.

 

Instead, Cerdic’s soldiers had pulled him unceremoniously from his horse and taken him prisoner along with at least eighty of his kinsmen. Of their fate he was uncertain, but his was assured. If he did not die tonight from exposure then an axe awaited him at dawn. It was a terrifying thought, and he prayed to God for courage. He felt no warm, welcoming presence and he feared what all men secretly feared, that on the morrow, he would not die well.

 

Snow began to fall softly from the night sky, not enough to settle, just enough to plummet the temperature further. He began to shiver. He tried thinking of a warm fire and his large bed covered in thick furs. It did not help. After all, when last he saw his fort it was in flames.

 

“Are you still alive, du Lac?”

 

Alden kept his head down, pretending to be unconscious, and hoped the bastard would leave him alone to die in peace.

 

Draca, the guard in charge of the prisoners, was not fooled. He lived for terror and he had no intention of allowing the former ruler of Cerniw an easy death. He grabbed Alden’s chin roughly and forced his head up.

 

Alden opened his eyes and stared with contempt at the soldier in front of him. Draca was a huge man, with a shiny bald head, tiny eyes and a big fist, whose breath stank of stale beer and his body of gone-off fish mixed horribly with the smell of fresh blood ¾ not his own, but someone else’s.

 

“Not quite dead yet, are you? Won’t be long, though.” Draca chuckled deep in his throat. “I’ve never killed a King before. I’m looking forward to it…”

 

Buy Links: 

 

The Du Lac Chronicles 10 Feb 2016 KINDLE

 

The Du Lac Chronicles (Book 1 of The Du Lac Chronicles)

 

Amazon US (99 cents)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CDK2MK0

 

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

 

The Pitchfork Rebelion

 

The Pitchfork Rebellion (Interim novella)

 

Amazon US (99 cents)

https://www.amazon.com/Pitchfork-Rebellion-Lac-Chronicles-Novella-ebook/dp/B01ENJONZQ

 

 

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pitchfork-Rebellion-Lac-Chronicles-Novella-ebook/dp/B01ENJONZQ

 

the-du-lac-devil-10-august-2016-kindle

 

The Du Lac Devil (Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles)

 

Amazon US (99 cents)

https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

 

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

 

The Du Lac Princess UPDATED

 

Pre-order The Du Lac Princess (Book 3 of The Du Lac Chronicles)

 

Amazon US ($1.99)

https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Mary Anne Yarde is the Award-Winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog

https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15018472.Mary_Anne_Yarde

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA

 

 

The Du Lac Princess by @MaryAnneYarde Cover Reveal! #HistoricalFantasy #FridayReads


The Du Lac Princess UPDATED

 

Title

The Du Lac Princess (Book 3 Of The Du Lac Chronicles)

 

Author

Mary Anne Yarde

 

Genre

Historical Fantasy

 

Book Blurb

War is coming…

 

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a du Lac.

 

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

 

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton.

 

 

Excerpt

“Philippe is a generous king. You are lucky.”

 

“Lucky?” Amandine laughed without humour and looked away.

 

“I don’t know how to say this, so I will come straight out with it.” Brother Daniel said as he put the brush back down. “Your husband, Lord Bretagne, petitioned the Pope for a divorce. The Pope granted it on the grounds of adultery and Devil worship.”

 

Amandine breathed out unsteadily. “I was expecting it,” she stated with a small shrug. “I did not deserve him. Lord Bretagne is a good man.”

 

“So why did you betray him? For the life of me, Amandine, I can not understand why.”

 

“Have you never loved? I am not talking about the love you have for God. I am talking about the love you have for another.”

 

Brother Daniel shook his head.

 

“Love is all consuming. You cannot stop it. You cannot prevent it. It just happened.”

 

“You are making excuses for yourself. You know the difference between right and wrong. You were married. And any feelings you had for Merton should have been buried deep down inside. Look what your love for him has done to you.”

 

“It wasn’t my love for him that did this to me. My love had nothing to do with it.”

 

“You should have known better.” Brother Daniel sat down again and took her hand back in his. “Life isn’t going to be easy for you from now on.”

 

Amandine giggled. “Thank you, Brother, for the warning,” she could not keep the sarcasm from her voice.

 

“This isn’t a laughing matter,” there was censure in the monk’s words.

 

“If I don’t laugh then I am going to cry. I have been made to feel like a sinner even though I haven’t sinned, not really. I am a woman without hope and without any friends or family. I have lost everyone I ever loved, and now you tell me that life is going to be difficult. How much more difficult can it get?”

 

“The Pope has condemned you with Bell, Book and Candle,” Brother Daniel stated. “But that is not all. The Abbot made sure that the Pope was all too aware of your crimes. I am sorry, Amandine, but the Pope will never welcome you back into the Church.”

 

Amandine gasped, her laughter faded and any colour that was left on her face vanished. “What?” her voice was quiet, barely audible. “But I thought…all the penance. I thought… Tell me it isn’t true.”

 

“You are damned,” Brother Daniel confirmed. “No one will want you, neither man nor Church. You are completely at the mercy of Philippe. But rest assured, I believe he has every intention of protecting you. I will not lie to you, my dear, you will be shunned, even with the King’s support. The chances of you marrying again are very slim.”

 

“I wasn’t looking for a new husband,” Amandine said as she tried to make sense of Brother Daniel’s words.

 

“It also means that you will never be able to leave the protection of the castle. The protection of this room.”

 

Amandine scoffed with realisation. “I am to be Philippe’s prisoner? Why don’t you just say what you mean?”

 

“You are not his prisoner, think of it as being his special guest. This is for your own protection. Many would see you hang or worse. I have spoken to the King. Alan will be in charge of your safety from now on. Philippe thought you would find no fault in that, as you and Alan appear to be on good terms. Amandine, you must understand there are many who saw what you did the day Merton died. They saw how you were dressed in his clothes. They saw how you threw yourself at him. How you got down on your knees and begged the King for mercy on Merton’s behalf. They saw how Merton reacted when you were threatened. And those who didn’t will have listened when the Abbot condemned you. You are a fallen woman, a threat to their good Christian souls. Our main concern now is keeping you alive. You must never leave this room. Ever.”

 

“But I thought—”

 

“That you were doing penance? So you have said. Did you really think that the Abbot was going to pardon you of all your sins? Oh, Amandine, you are not stupid. He was never going to give you absolution.”

 

Amandine shook her head, and she began to wring her hands together in despair.

 

“You must be strong,” Brother Daniel reached across and stilled her hands with his. “And brave. Just like our Lord Jesus was in those darkest of days. Remember, he too was condemned for a crime he did not commit.” He smiled at her and squeezed her hands. “I must leave you now. I shall make sure some food is brought up, but it will be tested before you eat it, so do not fear about being poisoned.”

 

“Poisoned?” Amandine gasped, she had not even thought of that.

 

“You need to rest and regain your strength.” Brother Daniel rose to his feet and smiled down at her. “I will be back tomorrow to listen to your confession.”

 

“If I am damned, then what need do I have to confess?” Amandine asked, staring defiantly back at the monk. “Besides,” she looked away, “I consort with demons. I am evil. I am a sinner. My soul will burn in Hell. I will be damned forever—”

 

“Ask for mercy, and you will receive it,” Brother Daniel stated, interrupting her.

 

“I have,” Amandine challenged back, “and look where that has got me.”

 

Buy Links

Coming soon…

 

In the meantime, catch up on the rest of the series on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography

Mary Anne Yarde is an award-winning author of the International Bestselling series — The Du Lac Chronicles.

Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

Social Media Links

Blog

https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15018472.Mary_Anne_Yarde

 

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA

 

Re-imagined Camelot #Books Mrs. N Recommends! #Arthurian #Fantasy #FridayReads


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. I love reading books that are retellings and/or re-imagined fairy tales/folklore. I just finished a creative re-imagined view of Camelot, you know King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, and it got me thinking about other Camelot books I’ve read. So, here are seven I’d recommend:

 

The Du Lac Chronicles: Book 1 by Mary Anne Yarde  (Author)

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

 

 

Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.

 

 

When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.

 

 

Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.

 

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley  (Author)

In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot’s court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king’s rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur’s kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds’ and old and new religions’ claims its most famous victim.

 

 

The Once and Future King by T. H. White  (Author)

T.H. White’s masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.
 
Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he couldn’t possibly imagine. A future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values. A future that would see him crowned and known for all time as Arthur, King of the Britons.

During Arthur’s reign, the kingdom of Camelot was founded to cast enlightenment on the Dark Ages, while the knights of the Round Table embarked on many a noble quest. But Merlyn foresaw the treachery that awaited his liege: the forbidden love between Queen Guenever and Lancelot, the wicked plots of Arthur’s half-sister Morgause and the hatred she fostered in Mordred that would bring an end to the king’s dreams for Britain—and to the king himself.

 

The Winter King: A Novel of Arthur (The Warlord Chronicles Book 1) by Bernard Cornwell  (Author)

It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it. With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write: the mythic saga of King Arthur.

 

The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.

 

As Arthur fights to keep a flicker of civilization alive in a barbaric world, Bernard Cornwell makes a familiar tale into a legend all over again.

 

 

The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart (Author)

The Arthurian legend is one of the most enduring and powerful of myths, and Mary Stewart’s classic The Merlin Trilogy is one of its most beloved and acclaimed retellings. In prose that is as vividly, achingly real as it is poetic, New York Times bestselling author Mary Stewart brings to life the man behind the myth: Myrddin Emrys … Merlinus Ambrosius … Merlin.

 

The Crystal Cave
The Hollow Hills
The Last Enchantment

 

Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myrddin Emrys — or, as he would later be known, Merlin — leads a perilous childhood in The Crystal Cave, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man’s-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of UtherPendragon … and the conception of Arthur — king for once and always.

 

Keeping watch over the young Arthur Pendragon in The Hollow Hills, the prince and prophet Merlin Ambrosius is haunted by dreams of the magical sword Caliburn, hidden for centuries. When Uther Pendragon is killed in battle, the time of destiny is at hand, and Arthur must claim the fabled sword to become the true High King of Britain.

 

In The Last Enchantment, Arthur Pendragon is king at last. Unchallenged on the battlefield, he melds the country together in a time of promise as Merlin works to keep safe the once and future king. But sinister powers plot to destroy Camelot, and when the witch-queen Morgause — Arthur’s own half sister — ensnares him in an incestuous liaison, a fatal web of love, betrayal, and bloody vengeance is woven.

 

Extensively researched and beautifully written, The Merlin Trilogy is the epic culmination of an acclaimed career, a legend in and of itself.

 

 

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey: A Novel by Paula Brackston  (Author)

Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends that she is able to reach through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable.

 

She and her husband Dan have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she hopes that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art and will give her the baby they have longed for. But this high valley is also home to others, such as Rhys the charismatic loner who pursues Laura with fervor. And Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighboring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin.

 

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey tells both Laura’s story and Merlin’s. For once he too walked these hills, with his faithful grey wolf at his heel. It was here he fell in love with Megan, nurse-maid to the children of the hated local noble, Lord Geraint. Merlin was young, at the start of his renowned career as a magician, but when he refuses to help Lord Geraint it is Megan who may pay the price.

 

From New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston, Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is an enchanting tale of love and magic featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, an intriguing historical backdrop, and a relatable heroine that readers are sure to fall in love with.

 

 

The First Round Table: The Legends of King Arthur : Book 1 by Ben Gillman  (Author)

At just 18 years old, Arthur is on the verge of being crushed under the weight of his great destiny. The mighty castle at Tintagel has fallen. King Uther Pendragon lies dead. The mad King Vortigern sits upon the throne with a dragon at his command. And Merlin, having turned traitor, stands at the new king’s side. Now Arthur, with the help of the mysterious sword in the stone and his loyal mentors, Gawain and Percival, embarks on a daring mission to retake the crown. However, his greatest challenges lie not in overcoming his enemies, but in finding a way to reunite with two lost friends: a wounded knight called Lancelot and an assassin named Guinevere.

Experience the classic tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table like never before with this thrilling re-imaginings of ancient legend. Packed with swordplay, magic, romance and humor, “The Legends of King Arthur” promise to take readers of all ages on an unforgettable journey of fantasy and adventure!

Witness new twists on classic stories like:
The mysteries of the Sword in the Stone
The origins of the Round Table
The treachery of the wizard Merlin

Inspired by classic Arthurian works including:
Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte D’Arthur”
and
T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King”

 

 

What’s the best Camelot-themed book you’ve read? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

400 years couldn’t keep them apart – The Druid Knight series by @RuthACasie #books #TuesdayBookBlog


 Druid Knight Series 3 book promo

 

“I’m a huge fan of time-travel romance and throw in druids, magick plus history, you’ve got one of the best books I’ve read since Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor. I loved the story-telling ability of the author. Her words painted vivid imagery and truthfully, I was under her spell. The whole series is a must-read.” — N. N. Light 

 

KnightofRunesFinalnew

 

Title KNIGHT OF RUNES

Series The Druid Knight

Author Ruth A. Casie

Genre Historical Fantasy, Time Travel

Publisher Carina Press

 

Book Blurb

When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he’s intrigued.

 

 

Rebeka is no ordinary seventeenth-century woman—she’s travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return to her own time. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what’s killing Arik’s land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.

 

 

As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik’s household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.

 

 

Excerpt

“Hand me that planking.” Arik pointed to the nearest board.
Simon grabbed the plank and examined it. “Sir, these boards have been deliberately removed.”

 

Arik took the board and lifted it before him. An arrow whooshed out of the trees, and slammed into the plank’s edge. Willem pulled his axe from his belt as Arik and Simon drew their swords. In a fluid, practiced movement, Willem spun and found his mark. He sent his axe flying. The archer fell into the river and was swept downstream, Willem’s axe still lodged in his forehead. A dozen or more attackers broke through the stand of trees.

 

Arik tossed the board into the river and readied his sword. The enemy was poorly dressed carrying clubs and knives. There was only one sword among them. The leader. Arik’s target.

 

“They plan to pin us here at the river’s edge. Come, we’ll take the offensive before they form up.” They moved forward, driving a wedge through the enemy’s ragged line, forcing what little formation they had to scatter and fight, each man for himself.

 

A man, club in hand, rushed at Arik. Before the attacker could bring his weapon into play, Arik pivoted around him. He raised his sword high, and slammed the hilt’s steel pommel squarely on the man’s head. Arik moved on before the man’s lifeless body dropped to the ground.

 

Willem and Simon, on either side of Arik, advanced through the melee. Their swift continuous swordplay moved smoothly from one stroke to the next, whipping through the air. They slashed on the downswing and again on the backswing, sweeping their weapons back into position to repeat the killing sequence. The knight and his soldiers steadily advanced, punishing any man who dared to come near them.

 

“For Honor!” Logan’s war cry carried from the small camp to Arik’s ears.

 

Arik stiffened. Both camps were now under attack. He pulled his blade from an attacker’s chest. The body crumpled to the blood-soaked ground. Arik breathed deeply, the coppery taste of blood in the air. “For Honor!” he bellowed in answer. His men echoed his call, arms thrown wide, muscles quivering, the berserker’s rage overtaking them.

 

The remaining attackers paled and fled headlong into the forest.

 

Motioning to his men to follow, Arik raced toward the camp. He could hear the shouts, and cursed himself for not seeing the danger. He crested the hill and came to an abrupt halt.

 

Logan’s sword ripped through the air as he protected Doward. The tinker drew his short blade and did as much damage as he could. But it was the woman Arik noticed. Her skirt hiked up, she twirled her walking stick like a weapon with an expertise that left him slack-jawed. She dispatched the attackers, one by one, in a deadly well-practiced dance. A man rushed toward her, knife in hand. The sneer on his face didn’t match the fear in his eyes. She stepped out of his line of attack, extended her stick to her side, and holding it with both hands swept the weapon forward, striking the attacker across the bridge of his nose. Blood exploded from his face in an arc of fine spray as his head snapped back. Droplets dusted her face creating an illusion of bright red freckles. As he fell, she reversed her swing and caught him hard behind his knees. He went down on his back, spread-eagled. She swung her stick over her head and landed a precise and disabling blow to his forehead that knocked him unconscious.

 

As she spun to face the next threat her eyes captured Arik’s and held. In the space of an instant, time slowed to a crawl. Her hair slowly loosened from its pins and swirled out around her. His breath caught and his heartbeat quickened as a rapturous surge raced through his body. Something eternal and familiar, with a sense of longing, unsettled him. In the next heartbeat, she tore her eyes away, leaving him empty. Time resumed its normal pace. Another attacker lay at her feet.

 

Arik joined the fight.

 

Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/14jMXOy

BN: http://bit.ly/19FnJwr

Carina Press: http://www.carinapress.com/shop/books/9781426892585_knight-of-runes.html

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/knight-of-runes-1

iBook: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/knight-of-runes/id477826023?mt=11&uo=4

HQN: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=27243

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography

Ruth is on her third career. Previously a speech-therapist and international bank product/ marketing manager, her favorite job is writing time-travel romance. She is a USA Today bestselling author of time travel romances about strong women and the men who deserve them. Though new to romance, Ruth jumped in with both feet. Her RWA credentials include: past president and past conference chair of NJRWA, past treasurer of RWA-NYC, and National Conference Workshop Committee Chair. When not writing, wait – she’s always writing. She and awesome husband are empty-nesters live in Teaneck, NJ where she transformed her daughter’s bedroom into her executive office.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Email:  mailto:ruth@ruthacasie.com

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

 

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie/

 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ruth-a-casie

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

 

Ruth’s Newsletter Signup: http://www.ruthacasie.com/contact.html#newsletter

 

DKTOne 220

 

 

Title Druid Knight Tales

Author Ruth A. Casie

Genre Historical Fantasy, Time Travel

Publisher Timeless Scribes

 

Book Blurb

Maximilian, the druid Grand Master, was given a year to find his soul mate. On the final day, the sacred mistletoe has shriveled and died—proclaiming his failure. He must do what no other Grand Master has done before and journey to meet with the Ancestors formally relinquish his title.

 

Ellyn of Brodgar has the gift of healing. But each use of her magick, through a kiss, depletes her energy and brings her closer to death. Time is running out as she searches for a way to continue saving lives—especially her own.

 

Max and Ellyn are tossed into the Otherworld together—a place filled with magick and wonder, it’s also fraught with danger, traps, and death. They have only until the third sunset to find the Ancestors, or be lost to the world forever. The domineering druid must work with the stubborn healer, not only for survival, but for the promise of the future—a future together.

 

Extended Version:

Included an epilogue fifteen years later. See how the man destined for Max and Ellyn’s daughter takes the first steps in becoming a druid knight.

 

Arik, son of Frendrel and Dimia, prepares for training with his adopted brother, Bran, setting into motion a ripple effect that will carry love, betrayal, and death across the centuries.

 

Excerpt

Penetrating blue-gray eyes stared out from the cocoon of dark wool that enrobed the woman. The cheeks on her porcelain-white face appeared tinged with a splash of pink. Her natural berry-red lips were turned up in a welcoming smile. “Grand Master.” She dipped a well-executed curtsy.

 

Fendrel’s healer was much different than the old crone he had anticipated. This woman was regal and beautiful. The gleam in her eyes was calm and comforting. He had a strange sensation, which made no sense at all, that he had known her for a long time. At ease with her, he allowed himself to relax and returned her open smile with one of his own.

 

“This is Ellyn of Brodgar,” said Fendrel. “She has been our healer for the last year. Our situation was grave. It was her healing skills that kept us alive. I would like you to accept her into our clan.”

 

The knuckles on Ellyn’s hand turned white from grasping her staff firmly. Her head whipped around at Fendrel.

 

Max observed, fascinated the elder was oblivious to the daggers the woman’s eyes flung at him. So, Fendrel hadn’t told her of his plan and if Max wasn’t mistaken, she wasn’t pleased.

 

“Thank you, Fendrel,” said Ellyn. “Your request is a great honor. I will be your healer for as long as I am with you.” She turned to Max, her face serene. Her iron grip on the staff relaxed.

 

Fendrel sputtered.

 

“You are welcome into Fendrel’s clan for as long as you see fit to stay with us,” said Max. He was certain he saved Fendrel from getting his head bashed with the staff the woman carried. “Brodgar is in the Orkneys. You are far from home.”

 

“I go where I am needed.” Her voice was soft—her tone evasive.

 

Max gave her a benign smile. She was tall and graceful. Loose tendrils of curls softened her face. Dark lashes swept down against her cheekbone. She gazed at him with bright, intelligent eyes. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He sensed her trying to press in on his mind and blocked her attempt so fast she winced in pain. He’d made his point. She would not try that again.

 

“If you will excuse me.” She turned to leave. “I would like to look in on Dimia and the baby to make certain they’re settled in for the night,” she said to the new father.

 

“Of course, Ellyn. I will see you back to camp.” Fendrel approached the two men. “Thank you, Grand Master. Doward. We will see you tomorrow.” He and Ellyn went back down the small rise.

 

“Interesting girl,” remarked Doward after they were gone. “You didn’t have to be rough on her. She was only curious.” Doward chuckled.

 

Max stared after her.

 

She wasn’t at all what she seemed.

 

Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/DruidKnightTales

 

BN: http://bit.ly/DruidKnightTalesBN

 

iBook: http://bit.ly/DruidKnightTalesiBook

 

KOBO: http://bit.ly/KOBO_DruidKnightTales

 

Knight of Rapture Final Cover RACasie

 

Title KNIGHT OF RAPTURE

Author Ruth A. Casie

Genre Historical Fantasy, Time Travel

Publisher Timeless Scribes

 

Book Blurb

He crossed the centuries to find her…

 

For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the right combination of runes to create the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is only the beginning of his quest. He arrives in the 21st century to find her memory of him erased, his legacy on the brink of destruction, and traces of dark magick at every turn.

 

A threat has followed…

 

Bran, the dark druid, is more determined than ever to get his revenge. His evil has spread across the centuries. Arik will lose all. Time is his weapon, and he’s made sure his plan leaves no one dear to Arik, in past or present, safe from the destruction.

 

But their enemy has overlooked the strongest magick of all…

 

Professor Rebeka Tyler is dealing with more than just a faulty memory. Ownership of Fayne Manor, her home, has been called into question. Convenient accidents begin happening putting those she cares for in the line of fire. And then there’s the unexpected arrival of a strange man dressed like he belonged in a medieval fair—a man who somehow is always around when needed, and always on her mind. She doesn’t know who to trust. But one thing is certain. Her family line and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall, not on her watch… in any century.

 

Excerpt

She took another step and past the stone marker.

 

The air chilled and the sky turned an array of colors. Everything around her began to swirl. She realized her mistake too late. The portal, she was in the portal.

 

Arik. Close to him now, she reached for him but her hand passed through the form. She examined her hand turning it over then spotted the shadow of the man.

 

An illusion?

 

The shadow turned towards her. She watched as the wind washed over his face and it changed. “Bran,” she whispered in disbelief. Her head swiveled while she searched for something, anything to grab on to. The portal had one use and she had no intention of leaving.

 

Get out, her brain shouted.

 

His lips twisted into a cynical sneer. He tilted his head in jaunty satisfaction, snapped his fingers and vanished.

 

“No,” she yelled. “Arik,” she closed her eyes and screamed in her head trying to mind touch him while the wind tore at her.

 

“Beka,” he boomed.

 

Her eyes snapped open. She shielded them from the dust and debris and stared at Arik on the other side of the opening. He stood at the high plateau, miles away. His hands were braced on the opening’s edges, which were nothing more than solid streams of whirling wind. He struggled to keep the portal from closing.

 

“Come.” His voice didn’t allow for any argument.

 

The wind whipped at her, pushed her back. She tried again. “I can’t. The wind. Keeps. Pushing. Me. Away.” She shoved her staff in front of her and anchored it in the ground. Against the gusting wind, pulled herself towards him.

 

“A little more, Beka.” He gripped the edge of the portal with one hand and stretched the other out to her. She shoved her hand towards him as far as she could. The tips of their fingers brushed. In a burst of effort he caught the top of her hand, a precarious hold. With a tight grasp she wrapped her fingers around his thumb.

 

Safe, she wasn’t far now.

 

She concentrated on his face. The corners of his mouth turned up as he pulled her towards safety. The wind grew stronger buffeting around them then changed its path.

 

Before she could brace herself for the new direction, the gust blasted them. Without a firm grip, her hand began to slip. She pushed through the building panic. His smile slipped. The expression on his face turned to determination. Again her hand slipped until he held her by her fingertips.

 

He held them fast—crushing them but that didn’t matter. He had to hold on to her. Every muscle strained. Inch by inch he brought her closer to him. She tried to help him the best way she could. Anchored to the edge of the portal, Arik encouraged her on. But his alternatives were limited. The closer she got to him, the stronger the gale blew. Just a little closer, that’s all she needed for Arik to grab her and get her out of the portal.

 

The wind exploded from another direction.

 

The blasting gale pushed her staff away from the opening, across the dirt, cutting an ugly scar in the ground and dragging her away with her staff.

 

Away from Arik.

 

Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1CtC7ad

 

BN: http://bit.ly/1McK4oC

 

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1NaqW7Q

 

iBook:  http://apple.co/1M5o92x

 

 

Friday Book Round-Up Reveals Mrs. N’s Top 20 #sciencefiction/ #fantasy #books! #FridayReads


planet-1404516_1280

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. I’m back from vacation and I noticed that over on Goodreads, they’re celebrating science fiction/fantasy books. So, I thought I’d dive in and list my ten favorite science fiction and ten favorite fantasy books of all time. Many of these books are classics and some are new releases. Let’s start with science fiction.

 

Top 10 Science Fiction Books –

 

Ender’s Game (The Ender Quartet series Book 1) by Orson Scott Card  (Author)

Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards

 

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

 

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

 

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

 

Ender’s Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

 

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

 

Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury  (Author)

Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

 

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

 

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley  (Author)

Now more than ever: Aldous Huxley’s enduring “masterpiece … one of the most prophetic dystopian works of the 20th century” (Wall Street Journal) must be read and understood by anyone concerned with preserving the human spirit in the face of our “brave new world”

 

Aldous Huxley’s profoundly important classic of world literature, Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order–all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls. “A genius [who] who spent his life decrying the onward march of the Machine” (The New Yorker), Huxley was a man of incomparable talents: equally an artist, a spiritual seeker, and one of history’s keenest observers of human nature and civilization. Brave New World, his masterpiece, has enthralled and terrified millions of readers, and retains its urgent relevance to this day as both a warning to be heeded as we head into tomorrow and as thought-provoking, satisfying work of literature. Written in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Brave New World likewise speaks to a 21st-century world dominated by mass-entertainment, technology, medicine and pharmaceuticals, the arts of persuasion, and the hidden influence of elites.

 

“Aldous Huxley is the greatest 20th century writer in English.” —Chicago Tribune

 

The Atlantis Gene: A Thriller (The Origin Mystery, Book 1) by A.G. Riddle  (Author)

THE GREATEST MYSTERY OF ALL TIME…


THE HISTORY OF HUMAN ORIGINS…


WILL BE REVEALED.


70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct.
We survived, but no one knows how.
Until now.
The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time.

 

From the Hardcover Edition

Off the coast of Antarctica, a research vessel discovers a mysterious structure buried deep inside an iceberg. It has been there for thousands of years, hiding a secret that will rewrite human history.

In a lab in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dr. Kate Warner has made the breakthrough of a lifetime: a cure for autism. Or so she thinks. What she has found is far more dangerous–for her and for the entire human race. Her discovery could set off the next stage of human evolution, an event that might kill 99% of the global population.

With time running out, Kate races to unravel the truth about the Atlantis Gene. At each turn, she is thrust deeper into a conspiracy spanning thousands of years–and a mystery rooted in her own past. The history of human origins is not as it seems, and the future hangs on a decision she must make.

About The Atlantis Gene
THE ATLANTIS GENE is a thought-provoking technothriller about global genetic experiments, ancient conspiracies, and the mysteries of human evolution. Its complex characters and historical and scientific details will stay with you long after you finish. This fast-paced adventure is the first book in The Origin Mystery Series (now in development at CBS Films to be a major motion picture).

 

Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson  (Author)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

 

What would happen if the world were ending?

 

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

 

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

 

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

 

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

 

The Giver (illustrated; gift edition) (The Giver Trilogy Book 1) by Lois Lowry  (Author)

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

 

The Key: Project Enterprise Book 1 by Pauline Baird Jones  (Author)

The key will unlock more than an unknown civilization; it will define who one woman will become….

Sara Donovan, an elite member of Project Enterprise, signs up for a mission that will take her far beyond the safety of her galaxy and into one torn apart by warfare. Shot down, she finds herself on an inhospitable planet with an alien resistance fighter who has a few secrets of his own.

Kiernan Fyn is a member of a resistance group called the Ojemba. Kiernan has enough of his own troubles without adding a mysterious alien female searching for answers to the list. He is given little choice when Sara is targeted by three separate forces believing she has the key to a long lost civilization – a key they are determined to possess.

Together, Sara and Kiernan must avoid capture, and deal with their growing attraction for each other, while they search for a mysterious, hidden city on a planet that brings Sara closer to understanding her baffling abilities and her mother’s past.

Don’t miss out on the excitement in this Independent Book Bronze Medal and Dream Realm Awards Winner! Join Sara and Kieran today as they discover where the key is hidden and stop those that would use the secrets left behind by a lost civilization for their own agenda.

 

1984 (Modern Classics Series): Big Brother Is Watching You – A Political Sci-Fi Dystopia by George Orwell  (Author)

1984 is a political and dystopian science-fiction novel set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania. It is a mind-numbing world which in a state of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. Dictated by a political system, called Ingsoc, the lives of its people is under the control of privileged elite of the “Inner Party” which persecutes individualism and independent thinking as “thought crime.” Due to the novel’s huge popularity, many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have entered into common use since its publication in 1949. It has also popularised the adjective “Orwellian”, which describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state.
George Orwell (1903-1950) whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.

 

Exordium of Tears (The IX Series Book 2) by Andrew P. Weston  (Author)

Fight or Die…
Victorious in a star-flung battle against the inhuman Horde, Earth’s fabled 9th Legion of Rome; the U.S. 5th Company’s 2nd Mounted Rifles; and a Special Forces anti-terrorist team settle on Arden, their adopted planet, to raise families and live in peace.
But soon, state secrets are revealed: The greatest of the inhuman Horde didn’t join the battle, but yet lurk among Arden’s outer colonies, posing a grave threat.
Humanity’s Ardenese defenders send a flotilla of ships to far Exordium, the world where the Horde outbreak began, with orders to reclaim the outer colonies…
Exordium . . . where the Horde awaits . . . where the cream of Arden’s fighting force must engage this adversary of unrivaled power…
As worlds are sundered, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated, a universal conflict proves again that…
Death is only the beginning of the adventure.

 

she reads books

 

Top 10 Fantasy Books –

 

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien  (Author)

Read the definitive edition of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures in middle-earth in this classic bestseller behind this year’s biggest movie.

 

The Hobbit is a tale of high adventure, undertaken by a company of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold. A reluctant partner in this perilous quest is Bilbo Baggins, a comfort-loving unambitious hobbit, who surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar.

 

Encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves and giant spiders, conversations with the dragon, Smaug, and a rather unwilling presence at the Battle of Five Armies are just some of the adventures that befall Bilbo.

 

Bilbo Baggins has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals of children’s fiction. Written by Professor Tolkien for his own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when published.

 

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley  (Author)

In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot’s court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king’s rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur’s kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon slips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds’ and old and new religions’ claims its most famous victim.

 

A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet Book 1) by Madeleine L’Engle  (Author)

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

 

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

 

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

 

A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal. It is the first book in The Time Quintet, which consists of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.

 

Harry Potter series (any book) by J. K. Rowling

From Book 1: “Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter ‘H’.”

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is currently the featured read in Pottermore’s Wizarding World Book Club.Visit Pottermore to sign up and join weekly Twitter discussions at WW Book Club.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles: Book 1 by Mary Anne Yarde  (Author)

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

 

Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.

 

When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.

 

Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommend reading age of 16+

 

The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7-Book Collection with Bonus Book: Boxen by C. S. Lewis  (Author), Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)

This collection contains all seven books in the classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia without art, to appeal to older readers. This special ebook edition includes an introduction by C. S. Lewis’s stepson, Douglas Gresham, and full text and art for Lewis’s very first work—Boxen!

 

Experience C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia in its entirety—The Magician’s NephewThe Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Horse and His BoyPrince CaspianThe Voyage of the Dawn TreaderThe Silver Chair; and The Last Battle. This bundle comes with a special introduction by Douglas Gresham, C. S. Lewis’s stepson, for a behind-the-scenes look at Lewis while he was writing the book.

 

The Chronicles of Narnia has become part of the canon of classic literature, drawing readers of all ages into magical lands with unforgettable characters for over sixty years. Epic battles between good and evil, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in this unforgettable world.

 

And then discover the world before Narnia with Boxen, a collection of stories written by C. S. Lewis and his brother when they were children, with the authors’ own delightful illustrations. For every reader who has been captivated by the magic of Narnia, Boxen will open a window to another enchanted land and offer the first glimmer of C. S. Lewis’s amazing creativity.

 

The Clan of the Cave Bear (with Bonus Content): Earth’s Children, Book One by Jean M. Auel  (Author)

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves The Clan of the Cave Bear.

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

 

Legends of Windemere series by Charles E. Yallowitz

From Book 1: Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.

Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.

With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?

 

The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials 1st Edition, by Philip Pullman  (Author)

The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time.” Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach.

Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.

Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.

But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help on of them will be to betray the other…

A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman’s award-winning The Golden Compass is the first in the His Dark Materials series, which contintues with The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction
Published in 40 Countries

 

What’s your favorite science fiction/fantasy book? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

The Treasure of Gwenlais by Award-Winning @Mtmagee1013M #bookreview #YA #romanticfantasy


The Treasure of Gwenlais

 

Title: The Treasure of Gwenlais: The Rienfield Chronicles Book 1

Author: M. T. Magee

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Celtic Fantasy, Fantasy Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Multi Award Winning International Amazon Bestseller #1 Best Fantasy Romance (not urban) On Listopia “An enchanting love story wrapped in an epic fantasy” -Amazon Reviewer

 

Can a reluctant Princess fulfill her destiny to heal the torn Kingdoms and the heart of a battle-hardened warrior Prince? Join Laurel on an extraordinary journey of discovery, danger, wonder, and finding a love she only dared dream of. Come with her to find the truth of who she is, and those who will do anything to stop her from making the words of the Olden Scribes a reality. A love story that will leave you breathless and believing in the wonder of Scottish and Irish folklore and fairy tales.

 

Come and experience the beauty, danger, and romance of an epic historical medieval fantasy that whispers of Celtic legend.

 

My Review:

I’m a huge romantic fantasy fan and if you throw in Celtic/Scottish folklore within a medieval historical time period, I’m in pure heaven! This is such a book.

 

Princess Laurel of Gwenlais is out with her mother (the queen) when The Rabkins attack, killing Laurel’s mother and many other women and children. Fleeing for her life and almost killed herself, she escapes death thanks to the quick-thinking Prince Caleb of Heathwin. When Laurel realizes it was Caleb who’s saved her life, she is awe-struck, as she’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But she knows it’s not meant to be, not when their kingdoms continue to feud.

 

Prince Caleb is tired of war and wants peace for himself and his kingdom. When he rescues Princess Laurel from execution, he realizes she’s special, though he can’t put his finger on it. Maybe it’s the way she treats him, like a god or something, with love in her eyes. He starts falling for her and wonders if she might be the instrument of peace he so craves. Can he let down his guard and give Laurel his heart or will he die trying?

 

A beautiful, moving fantasy gem with colorful characters, plenty of action and a core message anyone can relate to. Life deals Laurel a tough hand and she’s got to figure out who to trust and whether to follow her destiny. Along the way, she falls in love and while that’s wonderful, she must learn how to grow with Caleb if peace is to happen. The romance was slow-burning and it made my heart swell with emotion.

 

I loved the Celtic and Scottish folklore in this book. It brought a mystical depth to the story and I was plunged into Magee’s world. I couldn’t put it down and was sad when it ended. I can’t wait to read the next installment in the series. A must read!

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Laurel. I love a strong yet feminine female protagonist and Laurel has such strength for someone so young. She’s dealt a life-changing blow and while she’s trying to figure out what it all means, she meets Caleb. Torn between duty and love, she must find her purpose in life and save her kingdom.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Treasure-Gwenlais-Rienfield-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B015IQ0LW2/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Treasure-Gwenlais-Rienfield-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B015IQ0LW2/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Treasure-Gwenlais-Rienfield-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B015IQ0LW2/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34939837-the-treasure-of-gwenlais-the-rienfield-chronicles-book-1

 

MT Magee

 

Author Biography:

I am an international #1 bestselling author of #YA historical medieval epic fantasy, that is beautifully romantic and whispers of Gaelic legend. I am very honored to also be listed as Listopia’s #1 Fantasy Romance (not urban) as well as #1Best First Book in a Fantasy or Sci-fi series.

 
I live in New England on a small farm with my husband Francis Magee, and son Charles. My oldest son Tyler just moved to North Carolina where he is a very busy restaurant manager.

 
My favorite authors are Tolkien, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, and the earlier works of Terry Brooks.

 
I have always loved fantasy especially that in the epic scope. It has to be romantic, because what is epic fantasy without an epic romance.

 

 

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/therienfieldchronicles/

https://therienfieldchronicles.com/

https://twitter.com/Mtmagee1013M

https://www.pinterest.com/frumpyfarmer/the-treasure-of-gwenlais-the-rienfield-chronicles-/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14389603.M_T_Magee

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

#CHRISTMASINJULY FETE: Timeless Treasures by @RuthACasie #ROMANCE #BOOKS #GIVEAWAY #MFRWAuthor


Christmas in July Book Square - TT

 

Title:  Whispers on the Wind in the collection Timeless Treasures

 

Author: Ruth A. Casie

 

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

 

Book Blurb:

With their five years of training with the Druid Council completed, Arik and Bran, brothers in every way but blood, rush home to Fayne Manor in time for the new year’s festivities. This year’s celebration is special.  After years of anticipation, Arik and Bran will receive their portions and at midnight, their sister Leticia will release the annual wishes intended for those in need of kindness, patience, courage and honor.

 

Arik, who is tapped to be the next Druid Grand Master, tells Bran he can have his portion, his childhood dream, Fayne Manor. Bran, knows the ultimate decision rests with their father, Fendrel. Old childhood fears and insecurities about the loss of his parents and belonging to Fendrel’s family resurface. He must find a way to cement his place in the family and obtain Fayne Manor. After much thought Bran sees the solution—marry Leticia.

 

His perfect plan begins to unravel when he realizes Leticia is in love with one of her father’s allies. Do the fates have other plans for him when he meets Caylyn, a childhood friend, who stirs feelings in him he’s never felt for any other woman? Will he be willing to give up everything he’s ever wanted —for her?

 

Excerpt:

I stomped my feet on the manor porch to rid them of the snow. Anticipation had my heart hammering against my ribs as if I’d spent all day on the practice fields. I opened the door to a wall of welcoming warmth, expecting to find Jeannie ready to welcome us. Somehow she always knew when we were about. Instead, a woman with the greenest eyes I’d ever seen greeted me. She tilted her head and gave me a smile that sent my pulse racing before she hurried into the Great Hall leaving me to wonder if I’d seen her at all. Something nagged at the back of my mind. The woman was familiar but where we had met escaped me. I gazed at the empty Great Hall doorway my mind still pondering the question.

 

Jeannie, the housekeeper I expected, hurried down the hall toward me. The small woman was wiping her hands on her apron and wore her trademark big smile. I forced myself to refrain from grinning like Nick, the village idiot. My hands itched. I needed to find something to do with them or they would be wrapped around her hugging her like a homesick school boy. Although that was what I wanted most, a display like that was out of the question—after all, I’d left a boy and returned a man.

 

“I thought I heard hooves. I wasn’t certain if they were from horses or the clatter of not so little feet.” She dropped her apron into place. “Welcome home, Lord Bran.” I let out a slow breath, trying to keep my face calm and swallow around the lump that lodged in my throat. My emotional reaction caught me short. This would never do. I took a deep breath and fought to get my emotions under control. I had always been “the young master.” Now I was Lord Bran.

 

“Where is everyone?” I broke the spell and searched the entryway then toward the darkened Great Hall hoping for the flash of green eyes. The rich smell of the hearth fire wafted to my nose and the chorus of snores coming from the bumps and huddles on the floor and bent over the tables were a welcome sound. I wanted to race into the room and tell them I was home but I quickly smothered the boyish notion.

 

Jeannie hesitated long enough for me to see the question plainly on her face—what had I grown into? The council teachings were more than philosophy, history, and chivalry. We trained as druid knights—fighting knights studying war, weaponry, chants, spells and the danger of dark magic. I wasn’t the skinny boy anymore filching cakes from her kitchen. Now I was a full grown man and stole young girl’s hearts instead.

 

Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:

 

Grand Prize: $75 USD Amazon Gift Card

An e-copy of Timeless Treasures

(plus more prizes…)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db77506/?

Open Internationally

Starts July 1, 2017 12:01 am EST and ends August 1, 2017 12:00 am EST

  

Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/1puRAuE

 

Author’s Favorite Holiday Food/Tradition:

Sweet Potato Soufflé

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager vice president, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ruth-a-casie

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

Ruth’s Newsletter Signup: http://www.ruthacasie.com/contact.html#newsletter

It’s #NationalKissingDay and We’re Celebrating Swoon-Worthy Kisses in #Books! #FridayReads


kiss 1

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Today is National Kissing Day and in honor of that, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite books that have toe-curling, romantic kisses in them. Some of them are sweet, some steamy but all from books I have read. So without further ado, here they are:

A Knight in Shining Armor (The Montgomery/Taggert Family Book 15) by Jude Deveraux

Jude Deveraux’s beloved bestseller has captivated readers the world over; now in a special edition featuring new material, this timeless love story greets a new generation.

Once upon a time…as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress….

Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there…until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past—or the grand adventure that lay before them.

Twilight’s Encore: Wounded Hearts- Book 3 by Jacquie Biggar

One man’s betrayal will seal another’s fate.

Ty Garrett fell in love with Katy Fowler from the moment they’d met. When her father’s betrayal yanks the young couple apart, Ty becomes bitter.

After a decade away, Katy returns to Tidal Falls with plans to get married in her family’s theatre. But she hadn’t expected to run into Ty Garrett, the boy she’d never forgotten.

When a series of sabotages wreak havoc on the theatre and danger threatens Katy’s life, can Ty save her and win back her love, or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?

Foolish Bride (Forever Brides) by A.S. Fenichel

Sadly ever after . . . unless some dreams really do come true?

Elinor Burkenstock never believed in fairy tales. Sure, she’s always been a fool for love—what woman isn’t? But Elinor knows the difference between fiction and truth. Daydreams and reality. True love and false promises. . . . Until the unthinkable happens, and Elinor’s engagement is suddenly terminated and no one, least of all her fiancé, will tell her why.

Sir Michael Rollins’s war-hero days seem far behind him when, after one last hurrah before his wedding, he gets shot and his injuries leave him in dire shape. He wants nothing more than to marry Elinor, the woman of his wildest dreams. But Elinor’s father forbids it . . . and soon Michael is faced with a desperate choice: Spare Elinor a life with a broken man or risk everything to win her heart—until death do they part?

Soldier On by Sydney Logan

Will his call of duty break both their hearts?

Losing her father in Desert Storm has left Stephanie James with a bitter soul when it comes to the military. As a college senior juggling a full course load, Steph’s only goal is to graduate with honors at the end of the semester. She’s focused, determined, and a firm believer in all work and no play. Then she meets Brandon Walker at a New Year’s Eve costume party. Despite his disguise, Steph finds herself attracted to the camouflaged soldier who curls her toes with a scorching midnight kiss.

Brandon is an engineering major and ROTC student from the hills of Kentucky. Growing up as the son of a major general has given Brandon firsthand knowledge of the struggles military families sometimes face. Now that his father’s memory is fading, Brandon is even more determined to make his dad proud and graduate as an officer in the United States Army. Then he meets Stephanie, and suddenly, his focus is less on his military service and more on the pretty brunette who has stolen his heart. When he becomes aware of Steph’s resentment toward the military, he worries their relationship is doomed.

When faced with the realization that she’s fallen in love with a soldier, can Steph’s wounds from the past be healed with love in her present . . . and in her future?

The Guardian’s Witch (The Stelton Legacy) by Ruth A. Casie

England, 1290

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

The Du Lac Devil: Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde

The Award Winning series ~ The Du Lac Chronicles, continues:

War is coming to Saxon Briton.

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.

Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

The Du Lac Devil is a standalone novel and has a recommended reading age of 16+

Desert Sheikh vs American Princess: Jewels of the Desert Book 2 by Teresa Morgan

When he kidnapped a princess, he didn’t count on her…

Walid Al Kalam’s plan is simple. The American Celebutante Noelle Oldrich will remain in his palace until her father pays his debts. Without the money her hotel magnate father owes him, Walid cannot fulfill his commitment to the pipeline that represents the future of the small middle eastern country of Askar.

But Noelle isn’t the passive, agreeable guest that she should rationally be. Instead, the willful American princess disrupts the peace of his home, and his peace of mind. Whether she is running through his courtyard in skin-tight gear or braiding together a rope to lower herself out a window, the intelligent beauty threatens his very sanity.

Enter the pirate princess…

No way will any sheikh keep Noelle Oldrich captive, even if she does want to rip the stuffy suits off the hot Arabic David Beckham clone.

She might be good for nothing but spending money and wearing clothes, but Noelle will escape the sexy sheikh’s palace, no matter what. She has to—no way will her father pay his debt. The only help she’s going to get is from her childhood imaginary friend, a pirate princess who is ready to make the stupid, sexy sheikh walk the plank.

A fabulous jewel…

Noelle’s one chance to pay her own ransom and escape the sheikh’s control is to find the legendary jewel, the Palm of Askar, lost for decades.

If she finds the diamond, Walid will have to let her go, but his drugging kisses threaten to turn her into a willing captive…

Waltzing with the Earl by Alanna Lucas

Believing he is cursed, Tristram, Lord Trevena, the Earl of Longstone, agrees to do just one favor for a friend, to dance with the man’s sister, but the beautiful and headstrong Isabel Albryght will settle for no less than claiming his lonely heart.

A PROPHECY FORETOLD

Raised by her doting older brother, Isabel Albryght grew up cosseted and protected. She enjoyed her life in the country, her books and her freedom. Then Weston married. Within months Isabel’s best friend married. It seemed it was time for Isabel to marry, too, except, socially awkward and a bit too keen for most of the ton, she proceeded to have the most horrible season on record…until she was approached by Tristram, the Earl of Longstone.

Twice. Two dances. That was all Tristram could offer anyone when considering his family curse, which had taken all he loved in the last ten years, so his promise to the beautiful Miss Albryght’s brother was simply that. The ton would soon see she was a desirable partner, her awkwardness would fade and other young swains would beat feet to her doorstep. But then he held her in his arms, and the delightful Isabel became his beating heart. Headstrong and full of passion, she believed she might waltz them away from Death. She alone could tempt him to try.

Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella by N. N. Light

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

Have a swoon-worthy kiss from a book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

MRS N, Book Addict

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Today is National Kissing Day and in honor of that, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite books that have toe-curling, romantic kisses in them. Some of them are sweet, some steamy but all from books I have read. So without further ado, here they are:

A Knight in Shining Armor (The Montgomery/Taggert Family Book 15) by Jude Deveraux

Jude Deveraux’s beloved bestseller has captivated readers the world over; now in a special edition featuring new material, this timeless love story greets a new generation.

Once upon a time…as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress….

Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there…until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past—or the grand adventure that lay before them.

Twilight’s Encore: Wounded Hearts- Book 3 by Jacquie Biggar

One man’s betrayal will seal another’s fate.

Ty Garrett fell in love with Katy Fowler from the moment they’d met. When her father’s betrayal yanks the young couple apart, Ty becomes bitter.

After a decade away, Katy returns to Tidal Falls with plans to get married in her family’s theatre. But she hadn’t expected to run into Ty Garrett, the boy she’d never forgotten.

When a series of sabotages wreak havoc on the theatre and danger threatens Katy’s life, can Ty save her and win back her love, or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?

Foolish Bride (Forever Brides) by A.S. Fenichel

Sadly ever after . . . unless some dreams really do come true?

Elinor Burkenstock never believed in fairy tales. Sure, she’s always been a fool for love—what woman isn’t? But Elinor knows the difference between fiction and truth. Daydreams and reality. True love and false promises. . . . Until the unthinkable happens, and Elinor’s engagement is suddenly terminated and no one, least of all her fiancé, will tell her why.

Sir Michael Rollins’s war-hero days seem far behind him when, after one last hurrah before his wedding, he gets shot and his injuries leave him in dire shape. He wants nothing more than to marry Elinor, the woman of his wildest dreams. But Elinor’s father forbids it . . . and soon Michael is faced with a desperate choice: Spare Elinor a life with a broken man or risk everything to win her heart—until death do they part?

Soldier On by Sydney Logan

Will his call of duty break both their hearts?

Losing her father in Desert Storm has left Stephanie James with a bitter soul when it comes to the military. As a college senior juggling a full course load, Steph’s only goal is to graduate with honors at the end of the semester. She’s focused, determined, and a firm believer in all work and no play. Then she meets Brandon Walker at a New Year’s Eve costume party. Despite his disguise, Steph finds herself attracted to the camouflaged soldier who curls her toes with a scorching midnight kiss.

Brandon is an engineering major and ROTC student from the hills of Kentucky. Growing up as the son of a major general has given Brandon firsthand knowledge of the struggles military families sometimes face. Now that his father’s memory is fading, Brandon is even more determined to make his dad proud and graduate as an officer in the United States Army. Then he meets Stephanie, and suddenly, his focus is less on his military service and more on the pretty brunette who has stolen his heart. When he becomes aware of Steph’s resentment toward the military, he worries their relationship is doomed.

When faced with the realization that she’s fallen in love with a soldier, can Steph’s wounds from the past be healed with love in her present . . . and in her future?

The Guardian’s Witch (The Stelton Legacy) by Ruth A. Casie

England, 1290

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

The Du Lac Devil: Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde

The Award Winning series ~ The Du Lac Chronicles, continues:

War is coming to Saxon Briton.

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.

Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

The Du Lac Devil is a standalone novel and has a recommended reading age of 16+

Desert Sheikh vs American Princess: Jewels of the Desert Book 2 by Teresa Morgan

When he kidnapped a princess, he didn’t count on her…

Walid Al Kalam’s plan is simple. The American Celebutante Noelle Oldrich will remain in his palace until her father pays his debts. Without the money her hotel magnate father owes him, Walid cannot fulfill his commitment to the pipeline that represents the future of the small middle eastern country of Askar.

But Noelle isn’t the passive, agreeable guest that she should rationally be. Instead, the willful American princess disrupts the peace of his home, and his peace of mind. Whether she is running through his courtyard in skin-tight gear or braiding together a rope to lower herself out a window, the intelligent beauty threatens his very sanity.

Enter the pirate princess…

No way will any sheikh keep Noelle Oldrich captive, even if she does want to rip the stuffy suits off the hot Arabic David Beckham clone.

She might be good for nothing but spending money and wearing clothes, but Noelle will escape the sexy sheikh’s palace, no matter what. She has to—no way will her father pay his debt. The only help she’s going to get is from her childhood imaginary friend, a pirate princess who is ready to make the stupid, sexy sheikh walk the plank.

A fabulous jewel…

Noelle’s one chance to pay her own ransom and escape the sheikh’s control is to find the legendary jewel, the Palm of Askar, lost for decades.

If she finds the diamond, Walid will have to let her go, but his drugging kisses threaten to turn her into a willing captive…

Waltzing with the Earl by Alanna Lucas

Believing he is cursed, Tristram, Lord Trevena, the Earl of Longstone, agrees to do just one favor for a friend, to dance with the man’s sister, but the beautiful and headstrong Isabel Albryght will settle for no less than claiming his lonely heart.

A PROPHECY FORETOLD

Raised by her doting older brother, Isabel Albryght grew up cosseted and protected. She enjoyed her life in the country, her books and her freedom. Then Weston married. Within months Isabel’s best friend married. It seemed it was time for Isabel to marry, too, except, socially awkward and a bit too keen for most of the ton, she proceeded to have the most horrible season on record…until she was approached by Tristram, the Earl of Longstone.

Twice. Two dances. That was all Tristram could offer anyone when considering his family curse, which had taken all he loved in the last ten years, so his promise to the beautiful Miss Albryght’s brother was simply that. The ton would soon see she was a desirable partner, her awkwardness would fade and other young swains would beat feet to her doorstep. But then he held her in his arms, and the delightful Isabel became his beating heart. Headstrong and full of passion, she believed she might waltz them away from Death. She alone could tempt him to try.

Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella by N. N. Light

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

Have a swoon-worthy kiss from a book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

MRS N, Book Addict

Top 10 Most Read and Raved About Young Adult Historical #Books #FridayReads #YA #YALit #hisfict


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. So, if you haven’t heard, Amazon has created a bestseller list called Amazon Charts: The Top 20 Most Sold & Most Read Books of the Week. It lists the fiction and nonfiction most sold and most read. It got me thinking about a genre I’m totally in love with: young adult historical. Over the years, I’ve read some incredible books and so, here’s my Top 10 Most Read and Raved About Young Adult Historical books:

 

The Du Lac Chronicles: Book 1 by Mary Anne Yarde

Winner — N. N. Light Award for Best Romance 2016.

 

Bronze Medal Winner — Circle Of Books Ring of Honor Award 2016

 

Finalist — The Golden Box Book Publishing Golden Book Award 2017

 

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

 

Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.

 

When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.

 

Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommend reading age of 16+

 

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

Two girls struggle with their dark family heritage in this fantasy perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Kendare Blake.

As debutantes in 1890s New York City, cousins Dacia and Lou knew little about their mysterious Romanian relatives, the Florescus. Now, upon turning seventeen, the girls must journey to Romania–a journey that seems to be both reward and punishment–to meet their cousins and their tyrant of a grandmother and to learn the secrets of their family. Secrets spoken of in whispers. Dangerous secrets known as the Claw, the Wing, and the Smoke.

But as dangerous as those family secrets might be, even more dangerous is the centuries-old bond between the Florescus and the royal Dracula family, and it seems that it’s time for Dacia and Lou to give up their life in New York society and take their place among the servants of the Draculas. When the devilish heir, Mihai Dracula, sets his sights on Dacia as part of his evil, power-hungry plan, the girls must accept or fight against this cruel inheritance. Do they have the courage to break the shackles of their upbringing and set the course of their own destiny?

 

A School for Unusual Girls: A Stranje House Novel by Kathleen Baldwin

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure “completely original and totally engrossing.”

 

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

 

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts….

 

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

 

Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinley

The evil fairy Pernicia has set a curse on Princess Briar-Rose: she is fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an endless, poisoned sleep. Katriona, a young fairy, kidnaps the princess in order to save her; she and her aunt raise the child in their small village, where no one knows her true identity. But Pernicia is looking for her, intent on revenge for a defeat four hundred years old. Robin McKinley’s masterful version of Sleeping Beauty is, like all of her work, a remarkable literary feat.

 

Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes

Johnny Tremain, winner of the 1944 Newbery Medal, is one of the finest historical novels ever written for children. As compelling today as it was fifty years ago, to read this riveting novel is to live through the defining events leading up to the American Revolutionary War. Fourteen-year old Johnny Tremain, an apprentice silversmith with a bright future ahead of him, injures his hand in a tragic accident, forcing him to look for other work. In his new job as a horse-boy, riding for the patriotic newspaper, the Boston Observer, and as a messenger for the Sons of Liberty, he encounters John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Soon Johnny is involved in the pivotal events shaping the American Revolution from the Boston Tea Party to the first shots fired at Lexington. Powerful illustrations by American artist Michael McCurdy, bring to life Esther Forbes’ quintessential novel of the American Revolution.

 

Robyn Hood: A Girl’s Tale by K. M. Shea

The ballads lie. Robin Hood, the Bold and Brave Outlaw of Sherwood Forest, is cowardly, spineless, and a girl.

 

Robyn unwittingly starts the Robin Hood farce when she is mistaken for a male while saving her friend, Marian, from two foresters. Forced into hiding, Robyn unwillingly collects “Merry Men” while grudgingly robbing from the rich fools that wander through Sherwood. What starts as small scale robbery blows up into complex heists when Little John and Will Scarlet join her team, and the idiotic Prince John and his legion of soldiers comes to town. However, Robyn can’t stop the theft—not when King Richard is being held ransom.

 

Cowardly Robyn’s best chance to raise money for King Richard’s release is to rob his brother, Prince John. Will she survive the heist, or swing in the gallows?

 

Soldier’s Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers by Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen introduces readers to Charley Goddard in his latest novel, Soldier’s Heart.  Charley goes to war a boy, and returns a changed man, crippled by what he has seen.  In this captivating tale Paulsen vividly shows readers the turmoil of war through one boy’s eyes and one boy’s heart, and gives a voice to all the anonymous young men who fought in the Civil War.

 

Rebel Mechanics: All Is Fair in Love and Revolution by Shanna Swendson

It’s 1888, and seventeen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

 

The Coffin Quilt: The Feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys by Ann Rinaldi

Fanny McCoy has lived in fear and anger ever since that day in 1878 when a dispute with the Hatfields over the ownership of a few pigs set her family on a path of hatred and revenge. From that day forward, along the ragged ridges of the West Virginia-Kentucky line, the Hatfields and the McCoys have operated not withing the law but within mountain codes of their own making. In 1882, when Fanny’s sister Roseanna runs off with young Johnse Hatfield, the hatred between the two clans explodes.

 

As the killings, abductions, raids, and heartbreak escalate bitterly and senselessly, Fanny, the sole voice of reason, realizes that she is powerless to stop the fighting and must learn to rise above the petty natures of her family and neighbors to find her own way out of the hatred.

 

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire Book 1) by Sherry Ficklin

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

 

Special Mention: I love this book and while it’s technically middle grade, I couldn’t help adding it to this list. – Mrs. N

The Callender Papers by Cynthia Voigt (Author), Suzanne Duranceau (Illustrator)

Think carefully. That’s the advice Jean Wainwright always gets from her beloved Aunt Constance, Jean’s guardian and headmistress at the boarding school where she lives. It’s advice that proves valuable when Jean finds herself spending the summer far from home, sorting out family papers for the reclusive Mr. Thiel, a trustee of Aunt Constance’s school and the widower of her childhood friend Irene Callender.

 

At Mr. Thiel’s isolated country estate, Jean is surrounded by bewildering questions from the past. Why is there such hatred between Mr. Thiel and his late wife’s brother? Was her death an accident? And what happened to their child, who disappeared after Irene Thiel’s death? Do the answers lie in the Callender papers? And will searching for the answers put Jean’s own life in jeopardy?

 

 

Have a favorite young adult historical book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Traveller Inceptio by @RobShackleford Delves Into #History Via the Transporter! #bookreview


Traveller-Inceptio-5x8

 

Title: Traveller Inceptio

Author: Rob Shackleford

Genre: Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Action

 

Book Blurb:

If you were sent a thousand years into the past, would you survive?

 

With the accidental development of the Transporter, university researchers determine that the device sends any subject one thousand years into the past.

 

Or is it to a possible past?

 

The enigmatic Transporter soon becomes known as a Time Machine, but with limitations.

 

An audacious research project is devised to use the Transporter to investigate Medieval Saxon England, when a crack international team of Special Services soldiers undergo intensive training for their role as historical researchers.

 

The special researchers, called Travellers, are to be sent into what is a very dangerous period in England’s turbulent past.

 

From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers soon learn that they need more than combat skills and modern technology to survive the trails of early 11th Century life.

 

My Review:

Imagine you’re one of a group of university researchers who, while trying to create technology for a security business, built a time machine instead. Would you be prepared if you transported back in time to 11th century Saxon England? Meet the Travellers, a group of modern-day elite soldiers, scientists, historians, and researchers, who use the Transporter (time machine) to go back in time. What will they discover? Will they be prepared for what’s to come and what will happen to history if they use modern technology to defeat the Vikings?

 

I have to be honest, it took a long time for me to figure out what was going on in this book. In alternating chapters, we get the research team and a mysterious man named Michael lost in the forest. Was Michael in the past or the present? What was his relationship to the research team? Honestly, it didn’t make sense to me until much later.

 

The action scenes were full of adrenaline and suspense. Well written and described, they were the catalyst to keeping the plot moving. The science fiction, while intriguing in theory, came across as unbelievable at times. I really had to suspend my belief in order to stay inside the story. The characters were lush, well-developed beings, each with his/her own voice. The time travel and the historical sub-plots were well-conceived, well-researched and were the highlight of the book.

 

If you like science fiction, time travel historical fiction with plenty of action and a killer ending, you’ll love this book.

 

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Tatae. She’s the most intriguing character and I felt an instant connection with her. Strong, beautiful, complex is only a few of her characteristics and yet, I find myself unable to describe why I love her so much. I guess her aura, her sense of right and wrong are what makes her unique.

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=traveller+Inceptio

Book Baby Bookshop

https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Traveller—Inceptio

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/traveller-inceptio

Ciando

http://www.ciando.com/ebook/bid-2275297-traveller-inceptio.html?CFID=79ddd9b3-b737-4881-bf49-ea01a6cc5540&CFTOKEN=0&jsessionid=BA4D06F95BB7D448581D807B0D38E62D

 

Author Biography:

An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.

With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas.

Rob is father of two and lives on the Gold Coast.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Shackleford-631222523675665/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/robshackleford

Pinterest

https://au.pinterest.com/robshackl/

Linked In

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robshackleford/

Google +

https://plus.google.com/102561844150525059395

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Before You See the Movie #KingArthur, Read @MaryAnneYarde Riveting Series #HistoricalFantasy


The Du Lac Chronicles 10 Feb 2016 KINDLE

 

Title: The Du Lac Chronicles (Book #1 in The Du Lac Chronicles)

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Young Adult, Medieval Romance, Historical Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Winner — N.N.Light Award for Best Romance 2016.

 

Bronze Medal Winner — Circle Of Books Ring of Honor Award 2016

 

Finalist — The Golden Box Book Publishing Golden Book Award 2017

 

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

 

Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.

 

When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.

 

Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommend reading age of 16+

 

Excerpt:

It was a poor meal, Alden thought as he broke off the meat and handed some to Annis. They would need something more filling than a small bird if they were to survive. He wondered if they dared try and find a village to stock up on supplies, not that they had any coins to buy anything with. It was a bad idea, really, for nobody liked beggars, and they would probably be hounded out of the village by pitchforks. Still, he had to think of something. He frowned as he chewed. Kent was an option. It was close and he was on good terms with the king. They would be safe in Kent and it wasn’t that far away. Yes, Kent. He had wanted to reach Cerniw, but Kent was a better option, especially if Cerdic’s men were raping the place, as Bors had suggested.

 

“We are heading for Kent,” Alden announced, his mind made up. It was a logical plan.

 

Annis lowered the meat she was about to put in her mouth and looked at him.

 

Alden popped some more meat into his mouth and chewed slowly.

 

“Kent?” Annis asked. To her, Kent was as far away as the moon. She had never stepped foot out of the lands that surrounded her father’s castle.

 

“I need to know what is going on. King Oeric has always been an ally and he has a good fleet of boats.”

 

“But you could be caught. My father will have placed men at the border. Surely he will guess you will head that way,” Annis argued.

 

“I was caught last time because I surrendered. I can promise you, I will not be caught again. And as for your father, he knows as well as I that there are several places I could go. I do not doubt that Kent has crossed his mind. But this time, I am looking for him, so the way I see it, I have the advantage.” He frowned. “Eat,” he ordered, popping some more of the meat into his mouth. “I will not have it said that I starved you.”

 

She brought the meat halfway to her mouth again and stopped. “How long will it take to get to Kent?”

 

“A day, maybe less, depending on the weather.”

 

“And if the weather isn’t kind?”

 

Alden laughed. “Forever the pessimist,” he mocked gently. “If the weather isn’t kind then I am guessing it will take longer.”

 

Annis blushed. “I know that,” she mumbled. “I’m sorry for being…” Her words faded into nothing as she sat and stared at the flames.

 

“For being what?” Alden queried.

 

“Oh nothing, forget I said anything. It was a stupid question and…”

 

“And?” he encouraged, noting her change of tone and the way she would not look at him.

 

“And I know I am not very good company and I slow you down, and if it wasn’t for me you would probably be in Kent by now.” He tried to interrupt, but she would not let him for she had too much to say. “I cannot cook to save my life. I have no idea how to look after myself. If anything happened to you, I would die within days. My father is a monster. My body feels like it has been trampled on by a herd of raging horses. I am dirty. I smell. And I hate my knees,” she huffed.

 

“Your knees?” Alden asked, bemused, for he had not expected such a torrent of words from her and being a mere man, he did not really understand her point.

 

“Never mind my knees. You are right. I am a pessimist. I learned very early on not to look forward to things, because then, I would not be disappointed if they did not happen. And I have had a great many disappointments. I hate my hair. I hate curls. I hate the fact that I am a Saxon. Sometimes I hate myself. And now I am rambling, and no doubt making a fool of myself. I am completely useless, am I not?”

 

“You lost me with the knee thing. Can you repeat the rest again?”

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

 

Amazon CA http://www.amazon.ca/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

 

Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B01CDK2MK0

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:
Mary Anne Yarde is an award-winning author of the International Bestselling series — The Du Lac Chronicles.

Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog

http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/p/about.html

http://marybookreview.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15018472.Mary_Anne_Yarde

 

 The Pitchfork Rebelion

 

Title: The Pitchfork Rebellion: The Du Lac Chronicles – Novella

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Young Adult, Arthurian Fiction, Historical Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

From the author who brought us The Du Lac Chronicles…

 

When the devil wanted to destroy the world he would do so with fire. Alden du Lac knew this for a fact, because the devil had come to Cerniw.

 

Alden may have driven the man who tortured him from his lands, but he can do nothing to drive him from his dreams.

 

Alden has become bitter, angry and unrecognizable to those who love him. The only person whom could possible bring him back from the brink is his younger brother Merton. But even Merton is at a loss as to what to do.

 

As Alden seemingly wars with himself, there is a new threat to the kingdom. A threat that nobody foresaw, or could have possibly predicted…

 

The adventure continues in this beautiful novella.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles – The Pitchfork Rebellion from Mary Anne Yarde is a new story based on Arthurian Legend and the great historical/fantasy fiction tradition of Bernard Cornwall, C.M.Grey and Kim Headlee.

 

The Pitchfork Rebellion has a recommend reading age of 16+

 

Excerpt:

“Have you seen how the people react to Annis? How they react to me?” Alden continued, shouting at the top of his voice.

 

The horse snorted in fear and backed up a few steps. “It’s all right,” Merton said gently. The horse’s ears went forward as Merton spoke. Merton knew not whether he was speaking to the horse or his brother. Both were frightened, he realised.

 

“I have witnessed it,” Merton answered, his voice steady. “And I have defended her. You need to give them time to get used to the idea and to realise that she is nothing like her father.”

 

“I don’t want to give them time. I bled for them.” He turned abruptly away and ran his fingers roughly through his dark hair. “I bled for them,” he said again, only this time his words were softer, and the hurt that Alden had tried so hard to conceal rang out in his words. “I would have died for them and how do they repay me? They spit at my wife and they call me a traitor.” Alden shook his head and laughed without any humour. “I am going to abdicate. My mind is made up.”

 

“And who is supposed to take your place on the throne?” Merton questioned, his voice wobbling a little, for he knew if he said the wrong thing there would be no going back from this. This was his last chance, he realised. If he did not bring his brother back now then he would be lost to him forever. “Me?” he asked when Alden simply looked at him. “Can you even begin to imagine the mess I would make of that?”

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Pitchfork-Rebellion-Lac-Chronicles-Novella-ebook/dp/B01ENJONZQ

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Pitchfork-Rebellion-Lac-Chronicles-Novella-ebook/dp/B01ENJONZQ

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pitchfork-Rebellion-Lac-Chronicles-Novella-ebook/dp/B01ENJONZQ

 

 

the-du-lac-devil-10-august-2016-kindle

 

Title: The Du Lac Devil (Book #2 of The Du Lac Chronicles)

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Arthurian Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

War is coming to Saxon Briton.

 

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.

 

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.

 

Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lacs must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

 

Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

 

Excerpt:

Merton slowed his horse down to a steady trot. He could hear the pounding of hooves behind him. She had never been one to give up when she set her mind to something. As a child, he had adored her for that, however, as an adult, it annoyed the hell out of him.

 

He allowed Yrre’s horse to slow down to a walk, and he waited for her to catch up. It was best to let her have her say and then maybe she would leave him alone once and for all.

 

“What do you want from me?” he asked as she rode towards him.

 

“Budic needs your help.”

 

“You married my brother,” he said in disbelief as he halted his horse and dismounted. “Why would you do something so stupid?”

 

“Don’t pretend you care who I marry,” Josephine said as she too, got off her horse.

 

“He will not make you happy. He will make your life a living hell.”

 

“He will make me a queen. I will be someone worthy. Someone important. Do you have any idea what it feels like to be mocked and to be condemned and to be the person that everyone walks away from? I loved you. I loved you with every fibre of my being. I have never loved anyone the way I loved you.”

 

Merton sighed in annoyance and looked away. He didn’t want to hear this. He couldn’t. He wished she would just leave him alone. He didn’t want to fight with her about the past, and he didn’t want to tell her that he did understand. He knew exactly what it was like to watch the world turn its back on you.

 

“Last night Philippe told me that he seeks the throne.”

 

“Philippe is nothing. He is no one,” Merton stated. “I heard you, and he, were lovers.”

 

“I heard you were the devil,” she challenged back.

 

“So it is true, then.” Merton pulled the reins over his horse’s head and began to walk away.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

 

 

The next installment in The Du Lac Chronicles comes out later this year (2017). I can’t wait!

#FREEBIE Alert: The Du Lac Devil by @maryanneyarde April 15 – 18th! #HistoricalFantasy #IARTG


the-du-lac-devil-10-august-2016-kindle

 

Title: The Du Lac Devil (Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles)

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Historical Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

The Award-Winning series ~ The Du Lac Chronicles, continues:

 

War is coming to Saxon Briton.

 

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.

 

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.

 

Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

 

Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

 

Excerpt:

“I didn’t mean to offend,” the monk said with compassion. “I simply wanted you to have this,” he handed the crucifix to Merton. “There is always a way back. Remember, Jesus looks for the lost sheep, not the ones who are all ready part of the congregation.”

 

Merton took the cross and rubbed his fingers lightly over the rough wood. “Thank you,” he said, raising his eyes to look at the boy. It was unusual for a man of the cloth to speak to him, they all feared the demon inside him would jump out and devour them whole. “What’s your name?”

 

“Sampson,” the boy replied instantly. “It is never too late to repent,” he continued, unperturbed at speaking to one who was so actively shunned. “Forgiveness is given to those who seek it.”

 

Merton looked back towards his brother. Budic had slumped in the chair, his head in his hands. Merton’s grey eyes clashed with Josephine’s blue ones, and the memory of a past love swept over him. He made himself look away. Some things were better forgotten. “Maybe Jesus should concentrate on the sheep that willingly follow him and leave the rest of us to the wolves.” He handed the crucifix back. “I don’t want it,” he added quietly.

 

The boy shook his head in disagreement. “You don’t understand. I can rid you of the demon inside. I know how to make them leave your body,” he spoke with confidence, his eyes sparkling with determination.

 

“Practice your skills on someone else,” Merton replied. “But thank you for the offer,” he added when he saw the disappointment in the boy’s eyes. “I do not deserve or want absolution.”

 

“We need to go, come on,” Alden stated, it was bad enough hearing the rumours of what Merton had become, he would not stand and listen to his brother condemn himself as well.

 

The boy watched them leave.

 

“There are some demons that are too powerful, even for you,” the Abbot said, placing his hand on the boy’s thin shoulder. “Stay away from Merton du Lac.”

 

“He needs my help,” the monk argued. “I thought it was our responsibility to bring the word of God to everyone, regardless of what they have done. Does that not apply to him?”

 

“He knows the word of God, but he has chosen to ignore it and now we must ignore him. You can not save everyone.” The Abbot squeezed his shoulder and then walked back towards the coffin.

 

“I will save you, Merton du Lac,” Sampson whispered the promise. “As God is my witness, I will.”

 

freebie alert

 

Buy Links:

FREE April 15 – 18, 2017!

 

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

 

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N0FW1RU

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Mary Anne Yarde is the Award Winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, The Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.
Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter ~  https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

Facebook ~  https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

Goodreads ~ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15018472.Mary_Anne_Yarde

Blogs ~ http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

http://marybookreview.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Meet @RobShackleford and his New Release, Traveller Inceptio #books #SFF #amreading


 Rob_Shackleford_1

 

As many of you know, I love reading historical fiction. The reason? I love learning about history through the eyes of people who experienced it.  History comes alive, if well-researched and well-written. I first met Rob Shackleford a few months ago and was instantly intrigued. I convinced him to sit down with me for an honest interview. I’d ask some pretty tough questions and he’d have to answer them. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Rob Shackleford to the POTL Blog. Please give him a warm welcome. Take it away, Rob:

 

What is your writing process?

Perhaps the most important part of my process is research. My story involves detailed descriptions of the English Saxon world of around 11th Century. It also involves the Special Forces troops who are sent there. This has meant intensive research into both areas, ie History and the military. When it came to the 11th Century Saxon community, I had to learn what they ate, what were their attitudes to religion, what their homes were like, how they dressed, even their attitudes towards sex. Everything had to be researched to make the story stand up to any sort of scrutiny, especially scholarly scrutiny. Only then can the story be told with any degree of reliability.

 

Once the research was completed in the areas I targeted, the story could unfold. Many times I discovered I was writing the narrative in a direction I didn’t realise it would take. That then required more research. In my attempt to make the story as realistic as possible, the story involved some surprising developments, that is, it was surprising to me.

 

Once the story was told, I went back to rewrite, to improve grammar, description, and then develop speaking parts, which allowed for more character development and fine tuning of the events in the story.

 

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

I have always enjoyed the mind-broadening aspects of great science fiction works, so some of the classic authors such as H. G. Wells, Arthur Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert are just a few of the many who allowed me to submerge into bold new worlds and ideas. I have grown to better appreciate the difference between great storytelling from authors such as Stephen king, to true wordsmiths who paint a portrait with their breathtaking language, one who comes to mind is Yann Martel for the Life of Pi.

 

Other inspirations are found in islands of Robert Louis Stevenson, the humour of Mark Train, the insight of George Orwell, the razor-sharp social commentary of Jack Kerouac, to name but a few authors who changed the world.

 

I would be remiss not to mention J. K. Rolling and her epic Harry Potter tales, a legend in market adaptation and commercial success.

 

While I feebly aspire to develop my own creative writing skills, I opt to be a story teller, hopefully a great one. One day, I hope the two will merge.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Being an author is a tough gig. It takes time and lots of dedication. Most of all it takes belief in yourself, which can be the most challenging task of all. Think of it as a professional sportsperson. Sometimes one is discovered and shoots to the top of the charts, but most of the time any success is through the good, old fashioned hard slog. Even then, luck, or shall I say good fortune, is a part of being discovered.

 

Like most of the arts today, such as the music industry, or art, the process is so much tougher, so much longer. The days of million-dollar first book contracts are long gone.

 

With today’s technology we are so very fortunate to see the emergence of great authors, whether they are best sellers or not. The biggest challenge is to get your work out there, make it shine, and then do the marketing and get exposure. But don’t despair. Write your novel or your poetry. Give birth to your dream, and then learn and go through the process that the world requires of you. Even if you bring delight and inspiration to only one other, it will be worth it.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

It seems I am a bit of both. I have the book’s broad structure in my head and then I develop the characters and chapters one step at a time. I need the broad structure so as to not ramble, but sometimes the story heads in a direction that surprises me. I don’t think it’s ghost writing. At least I hope it isn’t. It’s just describing the responses of humans placed in challenging situations.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Traveller Inceptio – which means “Beginning” in Latin, as spoken by the clergy in 11th Century England, lends itself to a sequel.

 

I have almost completed the first draft for Traveller Probo, which means ‘to inquire or prove’. All I can suggest is that the success of the English Traveller missions receives intense international attention and envy, causing nations to compete to engage in their own missions to send their own Travellers 1000 years into the past. It’s like a space-race, only a lot cheaper and easier.

 

But is this a wise course of action?  Who can say?

 

Traveller Probo examines the social and political consequences of the English Saxon mission, and how more missions are planned to send more Special Forces historical researchers to the world of 1000 years ago.

 

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

Once when working for the media they wanted someone who had driven racing cars to participate in a media race event. Though I was never any kind of media star, I fibbed and said I had the experience and was given the gig. On race-day, I couldn’t even change the gears, but once I was shown I did quite well, as none of the other media participants dared drive fast. I did bounce off the walls a few times and won the race, though the car owner wasn’t pleased as there were bold, new scratches down the side of his nicely painted yellow race-car.

 

It was, I must say, a worthwhile fib.

 

Or

 

Didn’t hurt a bit – after having my teeth ground without anesthetic for caps by a dentist in India. I aged 5 years and dropped 2 kilos from sweat.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Crystallized Ginger, and Licorice (the British type). If you bring that stuff around, don’t expect me to share.

 

What literary character is most like you?

As a kid I was a bit like Tom Sawyer in that I managed to get things … done. When I was about 8 years old I recall being picked on by a kid, so I enlisted the abilities of a big, not too bright kid I barely knew to go into battle for me. They both got into trouble for fighting on the parade ground just as school parade was about to start. I was never picked on again.
My Teacher saw what had happened and, without me knowing, had a chat to my parents. Years later they told me about it. My dad thought it was the funniest thing ever.

 

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A cat owned by my partner. She spoils that creature rotten. All I would have to do is avoid being gelded at the vet.

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Here’s a few: See a tornado, Scuba dive with sharks – me in a shark cage that is, climb a live volcano, hike a glacier.

 

 Traveller-Inceptio-5x8

 

Title: Traveller Inceptio

Author: Rob Shackleford

Genre: Science Fiction, Historical, Action

Publisher: Book Baby – E Publishing only.

 

Book Blurb:

If you were sent a thousand years into the past, would you survive?

 

With the accidental development of the Transporter, university researchers determine that the device sends any subject one thousand years into the past.

 

Or is it to a possible past?

 

The enigmatic Transporter soon becomes known as a Time Machine, but with limitations.

 

An audacious research project is devised to use the Transporter to investigate Medieval Saxon England, when a crack international team of Special Services soldiers undergo intensive training for their role as historical researchers.

 

The special researchers, called Travellers, are to be sent into what is a very dangerous period in England’s turbulent past.

 

From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers soon learn that they need more than combat skills and modern technology to survive the trails of early 11th Century life.

 

 

Excerpt:

Michael makes a chance meeting upon a lonely monk in the depths of the English forest.

The monk stood before Michael and wept in an open-mouthed cry that looked unlike grief or fear but looked more like … joy? He didn’t appear to be as afraid for his life as one would have thought when confronted by an armed man in the depths of the forest.

 

To make matters even more disconcerting, he moved forward until his face was but a hand’s breadth away from Michael. There was an impression of rotten teeth and bad breath, an almost a physical assault from which he immediately recoiled. Many of the monk’s teeth were missing. Obviously, he rarely shaved as his face was covered with stubble that could have been blonde or grey, so the man’s age was almost impossible to determine. Thick, grey hairs and pocked blackheads decorated the end of his bulbous nose as pale grey eyes gazed adoringly up at the newcomer. As the monk wept, Michael froze uncomfortably.

 

Without warning, the monk moved as if to give Michael a hug and it was all he could do to fend the smaller man off with raised hands. Thankfully the small man stopped at the last moment. There was no desire for any close contact with the damp wool that stank heavily. Quickly Michael scanned his surrounds as he realised this monk would be a perfect distraction for brigands, for he was completely immobilised by the man’s emotional reaction. As he watched aghast, the sobbing monk sank slowly to his knees while his tearful eyes never left Michael’s face. Tears poured down his weathered, whiskered cheeks and soon the childlike weeping began to distress. Michael had seen weeping in many places; weeping of mothers for sons, of fathers for children, but nothing quite as mysterious as this. He crouched in front of the monk and reached to touch the man’s grubby hands, his other hand still on his short-sword, just in case.

 

As he reached out, his hand was grasped and held by the monk’s hard, heavily veined hands with swollen arthritic knuckles, hands obviously aggravated by a life of hard physical labour. Before he could react, the monk kissed his hand passionately. He felt the bristly face and a damp slobber of snot and his initial reaction to pull away. He uncomfortably patted the monk’s shoulder and made soothing noises before he retrieved his hand and stood as he encouraged the other to rise. More kisses were threatened, so he hurriedly addressed the monk in Latin, supposing he could speak the lingua franca of clergy throughout Christendom. “Peace be unto you brother,” he said as he gave his slobbered hand a tactful wipe on the seat of his breaches.

 

“And to you” was the automatic sobbed response. There was an accent and the words were understood though, at first, difficult to decipher.

 

“What is your name?” asked Michael.

 

“My name?” the monk asked in a daze as if stunned at such a question. “Oeric, Lord, Brother Oeric,” he replied quietly as he briefly averted his eyes.

 

“Oeric. Greetings Brother Oeric my name is ..” and he paused. He knew it was best to provide his name in a format best suited to the local language. “My name is Michael.” He pronounced it ‘Meekal’ to give the pronunciation that he assumed would suit.

 

At the name, Brother Oeric wailed loudly and again placed his trembling, worn hands over his face. Before Michael could react, the man again fell to his knees and bent to place his face on the leaf litter. Michael again scanned the surrounding forest uncomfortably.

 

Indeed, they were alone.

 

He knelt and awkwardly patted the prostrate Brother Oeric on the shoulder. “Oeric, Brother Oeric, is something wrong? Why do you weep? Come now, stand and tell me, what is the matter?”

 

After a titanic struggle, Brother Oeric managed to retain some control. Rising to his knees he wiped his freely running nose and eyes on the cloth that hung over his chest, a simple square of wool with a head hole that was his scapula, designed to protect his long brown tunic. Michael noted the silver line of snot and decided that if another hug was attempted, that was good enough reason to keep the monk at arm’s-length. Brother Oeric wore a simple, one-piece robe of rough, raw, dark-brown wool that enabled him to blend effectively with the forest. Attached to his scapula was a cowl or large hood to offer protection from snow or rain in a fashion similar to the hood Michael wore on his own cloak. Michael watched the small man clutch his shaking hands together in a moment of muttered prayer before he looked up again. “Lord I give thanks that you are here”, he said with eyes that were again downcast. He paused and gazed adoringly at Michael, a look that was supposed to be a quick glance but which ended in a stare akin to wonder.

 

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=traveller+Inceptio

Book Baby Bookshop

https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Traveller—Inceptio

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/traveller-inceptio

Ciando

http://www.ciando.com/ebook/bid-2275297-traveller-inceptio.html?CFID=79ddd9b3-b737-4881-bf49-ea01a6cc5540&CFTOKEN=0&jsessionid=BA4D06F95BB7D448581D807B0D38E62D

 

Author Biography:

An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.

With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas.

Rob is father of two and lives on the Gold Coast.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Shackleford-631222523675665/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/robshackleford

Pinterest

https://au.pinterest.com/robshackl/

Linked In

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robshackleford/

Google +

https://plus.google.com/102561844150525059395

 

 

 

The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy @CHealyFiction #bookreview #YA #timetravel


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.

 

Book Review:

After getting into a fight with a bully, Cassie is suspended from her prestigious school. Her mother has had enough and Cassie, her mother and her brother take a trip to Ludlow Park. Normally, this wouldn’t be a bad thing but there’s no internet to speak of at their ancestral home and it’s way too creepy.

Cassie goes wandering for a place to sneak a cigarette when she discovers an antique mirror with four wolf heads surrounding it. Before she can take a step back, it sucks her into a vortex and she finds herself in Ludlow Park in the year 1714.

At the exact same time, Lady Cassandra (in the year 1714) discovers the same mirror and is flung forward to the present. Two girls with the same name swap places and once over the Freaky Friday moment, are determined to get back to their retrospective time periods. Will they learn what they’re meant to learn in time or will they forever be in the wrong century?

I really enjoyed this book. The premise and cover intrigued me. I connected immediately with modern-day Cassie while I found it a hair difficult to relate to Cassandra. The historical part seemed, at times, forced and not realistic. The romance, for what it’s worth, was more hype than anything else. The ending, however, was superb and the way the author tied everything together impressed me.

If you like historical fiction with a twist, give this a try. The plot progresses at a fast pace once the time flip happens. Highly enjoyable.

My Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

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)

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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5 Things to Help You Through Writing When You’re Sick by @RuthACasie #amwriting #romance


RAC 5 Things to Help With Writing When Sick

 

In a perfect world, I’d begin my writing day after eight hours of sleep, a large cup of my favorite coffee, a clear idea of my story, a perfect outline, and all day to write.

 

It’s not a perfect world. But you knew that already. The overwhelming reason why my perfect writing day went out the window (or down the toilet) had everything to do with being sick.

 

It’s been a difficult season here in the Northeast. One day you’re romping around in the park in 70 degree weather and the next you’re plodding through your driveway in fourteen inches of snow!

 

I did everything right. I got my flu shot. I kept myself hydrated. I got seven to eight hours of sleep every night. I ate right and exercised. Then how did I get sick! Not only did I get sick, but it hit me the day after my daughter came home from the hospital with her new baby.

 

Here is our new Caylee Eva. I was quarantined for a week while I got over the brunt of my cold and finished my antibiotics.

 

View More: http://cytbphotography.pass.us/babycaylee

 

Okay, so I shamelessly got a picture of my new granddaughter into this post. I digress.

 

Book blogs and seminars on writing stress that writing every day is key to sharpening your craft. It’s the old joke, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

 

But every day you don’t write your writing skills dull. It seems that writing dulls faster than it sharpens. After a week of not writing I knew I would have to work harder to get back into gear.

 

My cold had settled in my chest. Bouts of coughing and wheezing kept me up at night. Our new cold water humidifier helped some, but not enough. Cold medicines, cough medicine and even an inhaler got the symptoms under control by mid-week, but the rust was settling on my writing gears.

 

I was still tired, congested and chugging bottles of cough medicine but I made a large cup of tea with honey and lemon then sat down to write. So here is my list of 5 things that helped me along.

 

#1 READ

After a few days of not writing I found I was not close to the story. I read to get back into my character’s head. In truth, after I finish the first draft I usually step away from the story for a few days to get that distance. That way when I edit the story it’s with a fresh eye.

 

#2 Outline

I do this with all my projects, but after a few days of not touching the work it was the perfect time to update my outline and again, get back into the story. I use bullet points to note what generally happens in the chapter, identify the point-of-view character, and note in red anything that is missing. This gives me a quick view of what needs to be done.

 

#3 WRITE

Now, I’m ready to write. Depending on my energy level (and this time it was really low) I decided to add in those pieces that I identified as missing and removed them from the outline. Later in the week, when I felt better I was ready to move the story forward. I found that I tired easily and wrote in short spurts, but several short spurts were better than none.

 

#4 WORD COUNT

I keep my daily project word count on an Excel spreadsheet. I have a daily word count target and try to reach it. This is similar to having a deadline and surprisingly, I enjoy working toward the deadline. Last month, my local RWA chapter had its own writing challenge for the month, 30K words. I used my spreadsheet and was excited as I reached the goal.

 

#5 REST

Sometimes, no matter how much you plan or how diligent you are, your body tells you to stop. Another indicator is falling asleep at your desk. That’s not a pretty sight. Look. When you’re really sick, you need to put your work, as much as you love it, aside and let your body heal.

 

BONUS

One other thing you can do while you’re sick, journal. Think of it as research for a story that has a sick character. Write down how you feel, record how others respond around you, and dream. Your body may be defeated but your mind is fine. Dream out your story and when you’re ready to write it will be there.

 

Knight of Rapture Final Cover RACasie

 

Title: Knight of Rapture

Author: Ruth A. Casie

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Time Travel, Medieval

 

Book Blurb:

He crossed the centuries to find her…

For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the right combination of runes to create the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is only the beginning of his quest. He arrives in the 21st century to find her memory of him erased, his legacy on the brink of destruction, and traces of dark magick at every turn.

A threat has followed…

Bran, the dark druid, is more determined than ever to get his revenge. His evil has spread across the centuries. Arik will lose all. Time is his weapon, and he’s made sure his plan leaves no one dear to Arik, in past or present, safe from the destruction.

But their enemy has overlooked the strongest magick of all…

Professor Rebeka Tyler is dealing with more than just a faulty memory. Ownership of Fayne Manor, her home, has been called into question. Convenient accidents begin happening putting those she cares for in the line of fire. And then there’s the unexpected arrival of a strange man dressed like he belonged in a medieval fair—a man who somehow is always around when needed, and always on her mind. She doesn’t know who to trust. But one thing is certain. Her family line and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall, not on her watch… in any century.

 

Excerpt:

Unsure, she touched the shield again. It was still. The scream, she was certain it caused the tremor. She searched Arik’s face. He wasn’t aware of it. The beat echoing in her head was almost a steady tone. Fear twisted around her heart. His blood stained the barrier. She was certain he would die if he kept this pace. She couldn’t wait.

 

She gathered her strength and with lightning speed built the chant inside her. When she couldn’t hold it back any longer she let it loose in a grief-stricken scream.

 

Everything stopped. The wind. His pounding.

 

They stood facing each other.

 

“No, Beka. No,” he screamed his arms spread out across the barrier. She watched the glazed look of despair spread across his face.

 

A small portion of the shield fractured, then another, and another. The tiny explosions gathered momentum until they built into a frenzy and every inch of the shield was cracked.

 

Then silence.

 

She hesitated but at last placed her hand on the shield. Arik did the same. Their hands separated by the splintered magick. The fractured shield trembled, small pieces tumbled around them. For a brief moment their hands touched and she felt his warmth and love.

 

A great force pulled them apart as if they were puppets at the will of a puppeteer. They struggled to their feet and ran to each other but before they could get to the opening the portal snapped closed and vanished.

 

His roar echoed through the mountains. “I will find you.”

 

“I love you,” she sobbed as the portal took her away.

 

Away from him.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon:

http://amzn.to/1CtC7ad

Amazon Print:

http://amzn.to/1EN0Hhk

BN:

http://bit.ly/1McK4oC

KOBO:

http://bit.ly/1NaqW7Q

iBook:

http://apple.co/1M5o92x

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

 

 

The Guardian’s Witch by @RuthACasie #99cents #romance #books


TheGuardiansWitchFinal

 

Title: The Guardian’s Witch

Author: Ruth A. Casie

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

 

Book Blurb:

England, 1290

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

 

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

 

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

 

Excerpt:

The berries Lisbeth had gathered tumbled forgotten from her hands. A tremor touched her lips while the vision slammed behind her eyes. She didn’t doubt the vision’s truth. Sometimes a bright light, warm and comforting, accompanied the vision; other times the wind howled, cold and disturbing. Today, panic clearly filled the air.

 

She spun around trying to pinpoint a direction and abruptly stopped. Facing south, she licked her lips nervously and tasted the sweetness of fresh water. A rushing sound burst in her ears. The river. Her head snapped east toward the river path and she ran. As she careened down the narrow trail, the outstretched branches tugged at her dress, pulled off her shawl and clawed at her face and arms. She took no notice. The cadence of her footfalls beat out a mantra, not him, not him, not him. She rushed on faster, mumbling enchanted words under her breath.

 

She exploded out of the forest and stood on the riverbank as the bridge gave way, sending the horse and rider plunging into the angry current. Swiftly the horse surfaced and headed for shore with an empty saddle. She stood on the bank, still mumbling as she scanned the river until she glimpsed a clear red aura shining deep in its middle. Her relief was momentary when the blackness began to creep in. There wasn’t much time.

 

Quickly she pulled off her heavy dress and, wearing only her chemise, dove into the river. Save him was her only thought. Down she plunged kicking hard against the current. The usually clear water, now choked with mud, churned with debris. She screamed the words in her head and made her demands. In response, the current slowed and as the mud began to settle, a lifeless hand beckoned to her from below.

 

TGW

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/ZgvmDw
BN: http://bit.ly/ZQkCuY
iBook: http://bit.ly/TGWiBook
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-guardian-s-witch

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

“Intoxicating and Swoon-Worthy” The Highlander’s English Woman by @RuthACasie #romance


thehighlandersenglishwoman300-1

 

Title: The Highlander’s English Woman

Author: Ruth A. Casie

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Laura Reynolds is in love with her long-time friend, Jamie Maxwell Collins. She adores his playful sense of humor, caring nature as well as his strong sense of family and honor.

Jamie lives across the border in Scotland. Outwardly carefree, he hides a dark secret. He can’t involve Laura in this deception. He can’t give her hope for a future together.

Laura stumbles upon Jamie’s secret. In her heart of hearts she knows Jamie is innocent. Their relationship in tatters and with no hope of reconciliation, she plays a deadly game to exonerate Jamie, she agrees to a political marriage. She has no idea the entire game has been orchestrated by her future husband, Jamie’s greatest enemy.

 

My Review:

Betrayal. Deception. Love. Power. Something is amiss and The Maxwell calls on his most trusted warrior, Jamie Maxwell Collins, to root out the perpetrators before The Maxwell Ghost strikes again.

 

In the continuation of the short story, The Maxwell Ghost, Ruth A. Casie tells the complete story of Laura, Jamie and the ghost(s) haunting the castle of The Maxwell. If you read The Maxwell Ghost, you’ll be familiar with the first part of this book. But please don’t skip the first half of the story. Casie adds intricate detail to the original story and trust me, it’s worth a re-read. It’ll suck you into Laura’s and Jamie’s romance as well as what else is happening.

 

Back to the story…

 

Laura agrees to accompany Jamie, on her mother’s behalf, to help the restless spirits before their time is up. She, like her mother and sister, have certain “gifts” and she knows she can right the wrong. But all is not as it appears to be and it may be Laura the hidden villain is after, not The Maxwell.

 

Jamie knows he must end things with Laura because his enemy is vicious and would think nothing of torturing Jamie through Laura. So, he makes a clean break and shatters Laura’s heart, although his pain is much worse than hers. He goes undercover to uncover the plot against The Maxwell and even goes so far as to “pretend” to be in love with one of women associated with the plot to overthrow The Maxwell.

 

Laura, in an effort to get over Jamie, befriends an old friend who falls in love with her. He proposes marriage and seeing no other choice, aligns herself into a political marriage. Laura is playing a deadly game and all those she loves may pay the consequences. Can Jamie save her or is all lost?

 

I loved this historical romance and while it was written years after The Guardian’s Witch, this prequel’s continuity is exceptional. Casie blends the supernatural with historically accurate romance with precision and flair. The plot has several twists and surprises (I won’t reveal any here) which I wasn’t expecting. The monk scene is priceless!

 

If you’re a fan of historical medieval romance set in both Scotland and England with dashes of the supernatural, pick up this book right now! It’s a gem and I highly recommend it! Can’t wait for the next installment in the Stelton Legacy by Ruth A. Casie!

 

This is a standalone, as is The Guardian’s Witch, but I recommend you read this first.

 

Favorite Character: Laura. Strong, independent and full of passion, Laura knows what she wants and goes after it. She’s in love with her childhood friend, Jamie, and when he pushes her away for another woman, her pain is acute.

 

Favorite Quote:

He kissed her fingertips. “I thought I lost you forever.”

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon/Kindle: https://amzn.com/B01LXYHNGS

 

Amazon Print: http://a.co/am0MfIq

 

iBook: http://apple.co/2eddatE

 

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-highlanders-english-woman-ruth-a-casie/1125365584?ean=2940157490539

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-highlander-s-english-woman

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

 

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

 

Reviewed by: Mrs N

The Du Lac Devil by @MaryAnneYarde is a Must-Read! #bookreview #HistoricalFantasy


the-du-lac-devil-10-august-2016-kindle

 

Title: The Du Lac Devil (Book 2 of The Du Lac Chronicles)

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Arthurian, Historical Romance

 

Book Blurb:

War is coming to Saxon Briton.

 

As one kingdom after another falls to the savage might of the High King, Cerdic of Wessex, only one family dares to stand up to him — The Du Lacs.

 

Budic and Alden Du Lac are barely speaking to each other, and Merton is a mercenary, fighting for the highest bidder. If Wessex hears of the brothers’ discord, then all is lost.

 

Fate brings Merton du Lac back to the ancestral lands of his forefathers, and he finds his country on the brink of civil war. But there is worse to come, for his father’s old enemy has infiltrated the court of Benwick. Now, more than ever, the Du Lac must come together to save the kingdom and themselves.

 

Can old rivalries and resentments be overcome in time to stop a war?

 

My Review:

Think you know what really happened between King Arthur Pendragon and Sir Lancelot Du Lac? This is the real story… or at least what Mary Anne Yarde envisions it.

 

This is book two in The Du Lac Chronicles series and while it is a standalone (thanks to Yarde’s excellent backstory abilities), I highly recommend you read book one first.

 

Merton Du Lac is one of Lancelot’s sons and while he is the youngest of his brothers, his soul is weighed down by responsibility. To ease his guilt of his brother Alden’s torture by the hand of King Wessex, Merton goes off to war, wherever he can find it. Being a mercenary to the highest bidder is good money but Merton is caught between two rival armies who want Merton’s head on a spike when he gets word of the sudden death of his brother’s wife and their sole heir.

 

Merton runs into Alden and reunites with Budic as well. The Du Lac brothers are all together and this can only mean one thing: trouble. Merton is the first to sniff out the trap but before he can escape, Alton is captured and thrown in the dungeon. He can’t leave his brother and must figure out a way to free him before the noose tightens around Merton’s neck.

 

Meanwhile, Merton reunites with his deceased brother’s widow, Amandine. She’s married once again to a droll Lord in Budic’s court. A slow-burning romance between Merton and Amandine, even though Merton tries his best to squelch it. He pushes her away and confesses all his dark deeds in the hopes she’ll reject him. Instead, her pure love for him purifies his heart and a small seed of hope grows in his soul. Can she truly love him?

 

A mysterious enemy is hell-bent on eliminating all the Du Lacs and when it’s finally revealed, no one is safe. War comes to Briton and Lancelot’s sons must work together to escape death and destruction… or is it too late?

 

The Du Lac Devil is darker than book one yet so much better. Yarde has done her research and she paints an accurate portrayal of sixth century Briton. Her descriptions of everyday life is spot-on, from the layout to the castle to torture to the Church to how women are treated.

 

The best parts of this book are the background of Lancelot Du Lac and Arthur Pendragon. Yarde weaves an intoxicating tale blending history with folklore.

 

This is why I’m a fan of historical fiction. I get to imagine what could’ve been and immerse myself into a particular fascinating time period.

 

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones and/or The Vikings, you’ll love the back-stabbing/political jockeying in The Du Lac Devil. You’ll also love Josephine and Philippe.

 

I wait with bated breath for the next book in the series. I need to know what happens next!

 

Favorite Character:

Merton. I love rooting for the misunderstood often brooding underdog character. There were times when I didn’t like what the author was putting him through but I understand now why she did it. Merton is a tortured soul and yet when he falls in love with a pure soul, we catch a glimpse of the knight beneath the devil inside Merton.

 

Favorite Quote:

“An heir to the throne is hardly innocent.” He made himself smile, and he held his hand out towards her.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Devil-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01N0FW1RU

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33014836-the-du-lac-devil

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury—the fabled Isle of Avalon—was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.

 

Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking—so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!

 

Social Media Links:

Blog

http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29243164-the-du-lac-chronicles

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Once Upon a Haunted Castle by @RuthACasie and 4 Authors #bookreview #Highland #Romance


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Title: Once Upon a Haunted Castle

Author: Eliza Knight, Kathryn LeVeque, Terri Brisbin, Madeline Martin, Ruth A. Casie

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Scottish, Highlander,

 

Book Blurb:

Welcome to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland where ghosts inhabit haunted castles and can even help out forbidden lovers when they wish. Here are five original novellas from bestselling and award-winning authors Kathryn LeVeque, Eliza Knight, Terri Brisbin, Madeline Martin and Ruth A. Casie that will take you to some of their favorite castles to meet their favorite ghosts.

In Eliza Knight’s LAIRD OF SHADOWS, a decade old vow and an attack of Vikings brings Lady Elle Cam’béal to Dunstaffnage Castle seeking the help of the new, handsome, provocative laird with a beastly temper—Beiste MacDougall. As battles and treachery rain down upon them, Beiste and Elle find an unlikely ally in a ghost, and discover that a few stolen moments of passion can bring light from the shadows…

In Kathryn Le Veque’s DEEP INTO DARKNESS, Findlater Castle in the Scottish Highlands becomes a place of mystery and doom for Jamison Munro and his wife, Havilland. Traveling across the highlands one dark and stormy night, they stumble upon a lonely Host in Findlater Castle, a pathetic soul waiting for his wife to return to him. It is a terrible tale of a tragic love story that the Host tells the travelers but when Havilland becomes curious about mysterious tapping sounds that go on in the middle of the night, she soon realizes the danger that she and her husband are in. It becomes a race against time for Havilland to free a trapped spirit and save both their lives in the process.

In Terri Brisbin’s UPON A MISTY SKYE, Alexander MacDonald and Isabel MacLeod were not supposed to meet or fall in love or marry. Now that they have, both of their parents plan to separate them, by any means possible. But the ghost of Duntulm Castle has other plans for the forbidden lovers and those who stand in the way of true love.

In Madeline Martin’s A GHOSTLY TALE OF FORBIDDEN LOVE, Gavin MacDuff is a laird with a cruel and bitter aunt he’s sworn to protect. Senara is the new lady’s maid at Castle of Park and has sacrificed everything for the betterment of her family. Their paths tangle and lead to a road of hidden longing and secret passion – all of which is threatened by the power of one ghost who is fixed on revenge.

In Ruth A. Casie’s THE MAXWELL GHOST, traitors, deception, murders and ghosts run rampant at Caerlaverock Castle. Jamie Collins, a man of reality not magic, serves Lord Herbert in exchange for his own farm.  Laura Reynolds, the Herbert’s distant cousin comes to the castle to solve the murders and put the ghost to rest. The two, long-time friends find their destinies intertwined with hidden passions, but all is in jeopardy when Laura becomes the murderer’s next target. Jamie will find he needs some ghostly assistance to save Laura and declare his love.

 

My Review:

I’m a big fan of Ruth A. Casie and when she revealed she’s a part of this boxset, I was thrilled to read it. Just imagine: blending ghosts/spirits with Highland Romance from five of today’s bestselling authors. I was familiar with Casie but had not had the pleasure of reading the other authors. Here’s my short review for each story:

LAIRD OF SHADOWS – Vikings attack and Lady Elle has no choice but to seek sanctuary at Dunstaffnage Castle. Beiste, the new laird, is gruff and has a horrid temper but Elle can’t resist those haunting eyes of his. War is at their doorstep and deception surrounds Beiste and Elle like a thick fog. Can Beiste find Elle’s brother before it’s too late and can Elle trust her heart when it comes to love? A brilliant, sweeping Highland Romance that I didn’t want to end.

 

DEEP INTO DARKNESS – A new take on Poe’s classic poem, The Raven. A couple seeks refuge away from the storm at what appears to be a deserted castle. But all is not as it appears and Havilland must release the spirits or else she and her husband will become doomed, like the rest who have visited Findlater Castle. A spooky, intense ghost story that even Poe would find intriguing.

 

UPON A MISTY SKYE – A forbidden love by warring families is at the center of this story and I found myself comparing it to Romeo and Juliet. Two fathers separating this destined couple for their own gain and when it seems hopeless, a ghost becomes the couple’s best ally. A gritty, Medieval romance I enjoyed. A hair dark but you’ll love the historical accuracy.

 

A GHOSTLY TALE OF FORBIDDEN LOVE – Continuing on with the forbidden love theme, this tale has a laird and a maid falling in love. They both know it’s not proper but can’t help themselves. But when a ghost seeks revenge, Gavin must choose who he loves most. There’s plenty to like in this story but my favorite character in this story is Senara.

 

THE MAXWELL GHOST – Long-time friends Jamie and Laura team up to solve a double-murder. Jamie is a man of logic and doesn’t believe in ghosts, no matter what the residents of Caerlaverock Castle say. Laura believes in her gift and when her cousin, Lord Herbert, asks for assistance, she goes on behalf of her mother. Sparks fly between Jamie and Laura but both Laura and Jamie keep their feelings secret. It’s only when Laura’s life is in jeopardy does Jamie see the truth about his burning love for her and the identity of the murderer. This is a prequel to Casie’s The Guardian’s Witch (which I highly recommend). Casie sucked me in from the first paragraph and I actually cried out when it ended. I want more! Jamie is my favorite character in this story.

 

Favorite Quote from The Maxwell Ghost:

“How. Dare. You. Stop. Me.” She spat out each word. The men were silent, like reprimanded schoolboys. “I’ll make sure to tell my father how Lord Bryce takes liberties with Glen Kirk property or should I tell him a Ravencroft patrol lost their way in the forest and I needed to provide them with directions?”

Scarlet stains appeared on the leader’s cheek. Laura was aware of the enemy she’d made, but with good cause. The Mitchell men looked at each other, not knowing what to do.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon/Kindle: https://amzn.com/B01HVHR2UK

Amazon Paper:  https://www.amazon.com/Once-Haunted-Castle-Eliza-Knight/dp/1535147121

iBook: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1130752941

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124065647

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/once-upon-a-haunted-castle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30954949-once-upon-a-haunted-castle

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is an author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Email:  mailto:ruth@ruthacasie.com

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

 

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Caerlaverock Castle: The Maxwell Ghost by @RuthACasie #romance #Highlander


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“It pulls at my heart with its beauty and purpose. It represents all I hold dear in a person, if that’s possible, heart, soul and strength.”    Laura Reynolds, The Maxwell Ghost

 

I knew I found the right setting for my medieval ghost story when I saw a picture of Caerlaverock Castle.

Reading Caerlaverock’s history I understood why the Maxwell family fought to hold it and why their enemies had to destroy it.

Caerlaverock Castle is a moated castle on the southern coast of Scotland in the Dumfries.  The unique equilateral triangular design and beauty of the castle, from the way it’s sited to its rich history, made Caerlaverock the perfect setting for my stories, The Maxwell Ghost and The Highlander’s English Woman.

There were several original fortifications that preceded the current castle, a Roman fort on Ward Law Hill and a British hill fort that was used until 950.

The earliest mention of Caerlaverock is the 1160s, when the lands were granted to the monks of Holm Cultram Abbey. Sixty years later, in 1220 the lands were granted to Sir John Maxwell by Alexander II of Scotland.

The Maxwell family has owned the Caerlaverock Castle ever since, but not without some intrigue and adventure. The clan leader changed allegiances from Scotland to England several times which resulted in sieges, destruction and rebuilding.

John Maxwell began construction of the first castle at Caerlaverock. A traditional square design with a moat and a north facing bridge, the building was one of the earliest stone castles built in Scotland. Archeologists believe that this castle was never completed when it was abandoned. This castle was built close to the Solway Firth. Built on clay the wood pilings were not able to bear the weight of the structure. In addition, the structure couldn’t be kept dry or comfortable.  Today, the foundations and part of a wooden enclosure around it is all that remains.

Work began on the new castle, six hundred feet south of the abandoned structure in 1260.

Construction on the new (present) castle, on a solid rock outcropping and was completed in the 1270s. The castle’s first occupant was Herbert Maxwell, nephew of Sir John Maxwell.

Caerlaverock was the Maxwell family’s stronghold from the 13th to the 17th centuries. It underwent several sieges over the centuries and was finally abandoned in 1640. The castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, but retained its triangular plan.

In 1299, Maxwell forces from Caerlaverock Castle attached the English-held Lochmaben Castle. Edward I retaliated in July 1300 and attacked Caerlaverock with 87 knights and 3,000 men. Eustace Maxwell, the clan chief repelled the English several times. In the end, the garrison surrendered. King Edward was astounded that only sixty men held his army off.

Caerlaverock Castle remained in English hands until 1312 when the castle was returned to Sir Eustace Maxwell who pledged allegiance to the English king, Edward II. Later, Eustace switched his support to Robert the Bruce and the castle was unsuccessfully attacked by the English.

Because of Caerlaverock’s prime position on the England-Scottish border and the fear it could fall into the hands of the English who would have a strong command of the district, Sir Eustace dismantled the fortress, a sacrifice rewarded by Robert the Bruce.

In 1337 the castle was once again inhabited and once again the Eustace changed sides. About 1355 the castle was captured by the Scots.

The Maxwells regained Caerlaverock after the Wars of Independence in the mid-14th century. Between 1373 and 1410, Robert Maxwell rebuilt much of the castle. His efforts were continued by Robert II in the mid-15th century.

In 1567, the Maxwells supported Mary, Queen of Scots and Caerlaverock was once again under siege by the English in 1570. The Earl of Sussex led the English forces and demolished part of the castle.

In 1593, Lord John Maxwell repaired the castle for defense against the Johnstones of Annandale with whom he was feuding.

The Wars for Independence were replaced by wars of religion. In 1634, religious turmoil turned against the Catholic Maxwells. In 1640 the Protestant Covenanter army attacked Caerlaverock for thirteen weeks forcing the castle to surrender. The south wall and tower were demolished and the castle was never repaired or reoccupied.

The castle passed by inheritance to the Herries family and to the Duke of Norforlk. While currently owned by Lady Mary Mumford’s sister Baroness Herries, since 1946 the castle has been operated and managed by Historic Scotland. The castle remains the ancestral home of the Maxwell family.

 

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Title: The Maxwell Ghost

Author: Ruth A. Casie

Box set: Once Upon a Haunted Castle

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Scottish, Highlander

Box set Blurb:

Welcome to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland where ghosts inhabit haunted castles and can even help out forbidden lovers when they wish. Here are five original novellas from bestselling and award-winning authors Kathryn LeVeque, Eliza Knight, Terri Brisbin, Madeline Martin and Ruth A. Casie that will take you to some of their favorite castles to meet their favorite ghosts.

In Eliza Knight’s LAIRD OF SHADOWS, a decade old vow and an attack of Vikings brings Lady Elle Cam’béal to Dunstaffnage Castle seeking the help of the new, handsome, provocative laird with a beastly temper—Beiste MacDougall. As battles and treachery rain down upon them, Beiste and Elle find an unlikely ally in a ghost, and discover that a few stolen moments of passion can bring light from the shadows…

In Kathryn Le Veque’s DEEP INTO DARKNESS, Findlater Castle in the Scottish Highlands becomes a place of mystery and doom for Jamison Munro and his wife, Havilland. Traveling across the highlands one dark and stormy night, they stumble upon a lonely Host in Findlater Castle, a pathetic soul waiting for his wife to return to him. It is a terrible tale of a tragic love story that the Host tells the travelers but when Havilland becomes curious about mysterious tapping sounds that go on in the middle of the night, she soon realizes the danger that she and her husband are in. It becomes a race against time for Havilland to free a trapped spirit and save both their lives in the process.

In Terri Brisbin’s UPON A MISTY SKYE, Alexander MacDonald and Isabel MacLeod were not supposed to meet or fall in love or marry. Now that they have, both of their parents plan to separate them, by any means possible. But the ghost of Duntulm Castle has other plans for the forbidden lovers and those who stand in the way of true love.

In Madeline Martin’s A GHOSTLY TALE OF FORBIDDEN LOVE, Gavin MacDuff is a laird with a cruel and bitter aunt he’s sworn to protect. Senara is the new lady’s maid at Castle of Park and has sacrificed everything for the betterment of her family. Their paths tangle and lead to a road of hidden longing and secret passion – all of which is threatened by the power of one ghost who is fixed on revenge.

In Ruth A. Casie’s THE MAXWELL GHOST, traitors, deception, murders and ghosts run rampant at Caerlaverock Castle. Jamie Collins, a man of reality not magic, serves Lord Herbert in exchange for his own farm.  Laura Reynolds, the Herbert’s distant cousin comes to the castle to solve the murders and put the ghost to rest. The two, long-time friends find their destinies intertwined with hidden passions, but all is in jeopardy when Laura becomes the murderer’s next target. Jamie will find he needs some ghostly assistance to save Laura and declare his love.

 

 

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The Maxwell Ghost Blurb:

Caerlaverock Castle, on the Scottish border is in an uproar. Traitors, deception, murder and ghosts run riot. The food stores have been tainted and the granaries set ablaze. Rumors fly when servants Evan and his bride-to-be, Angel are found murdered. They believe that in the heat of an argument Evan killed Angel when she threatened to expose him. Distraught over his impulsive actions, he took his own life. Now his ghost haunts the castle. A young cook, Sonia is sure everyone has it wrong and the ghost haunts the castle to seek justice. She will move heaven and earth to get to the truth, but she is helpless.

Laura Reynolds travels from England to her cousin, The Maxwell’s castle to put Evan’s ghost to rest. They have one week to complete the task or Evan’s ghost is doomed to haunt the castle forever. The Maxwell, while he loves his cousin, doesn’t believe in her sorceress ways. With the unsettled times, he cannot send her back to England right away, rather he lets her pursue her investigation.

Jamie Maxwell Collins has finished his service to The Maxwell and eager for his promised farm. While longtime friends with Laura, he has little patience for her hocus pocus, but in order to get his farm The Maxwell requires Jamie protect and help her. Will Sonia’s information tip the scales and help them find justice for Evan and Angel? With Sonia’s insight, will Laura and Jamie see that the depths of their relationship goes way beyond friendship or are they doomed to deny it forever?

 

Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

“Do you have any idea why Darla wants you away from Glen Kirk?” Jamie asked.

Laura’s back stiffened. “I see that she wants me to visit Caerlaverock to help Cousin Herbert in her place. The bigger question is why are you against taking me? Because if you are, James Maxwell Collins, I’m sure Gareth or one of the men will gladly escort me.”

“Wait, Lass. I’ve not said I wouldn’t take you with me. I’m simply inquiring as to why Darla is so anxious to have you away.” His soft tone and softer eyes quieted her. Lisbeth’s words were right. She cringed at the idea of marrying Bryce. He wasn’t where her interests lie.

“Has Bryce said anything?” He moved forward in his chair. “Has he done anything to—” His fist pounded the table making her jump.

“No, not at all.” Her hand instinctively covered his fist to ease his concern. “He makes me uncomfortable. That’s all. You said the ghost appeared after Evan died three weeks ago. You don’t have much time.” She removed her hand, got up and sat by the dying fire. Jamie followed.

“What do you mean? Much time?” he asked as he stirred the embers to life.

Laura sat and watched muscles under his shirt as he stretched and maneuvered the heavy log. The glow of the fire reflected off the gold strands threaded through his dark ginger hair and gave a soft halo effect. A smirk touched her lips. Jamie was no saint and the gossip of his escapades was legendary with the girls and women in the village. She dreamt of him at one time, a young girl’s fascination.

He turned toward her.

“Laura, what do you mean not much time?”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon/Kindle: https://amzn.com/B01HVHR2UK

Amazon Paper:  https://www.amazon.com/Once-Haunted-Castle-Eliza-Knight/dp/1535147121

iBook: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1130752941

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124065647

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/once-upon-a-haunted-castle

Goodreads: http://gph.is/29VmRtq

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is an author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Email:  mailto:ruth@ruthacasie.com

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

 

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie