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Spotlight & Giveaway for A Sworn Virgin: Broken Promises by Kristopher Dukes


About A Sworn Virgin

WHEN 18-YEAR-OLD DIANA’S FATHER IS SHOT DEAD on the cobblestone streets of 1910 Eastern European Albania, Diana must abandon her dream of studying art in Italy as she struggles to survive in a remote mountain village with her stepmother Mirlinda.

Nearing starvation, Mirlinda secretly sells Diana into marriage with the cruel heir of a powerful clan. Rather than lose her freedom, Diana swears to remain a virgin for the rest of her life, a tradition that gives her the right to live as a man: she is now head of her household, can work for a living and carry a gun. She may participate in the vengeful blood feuds that consume the mountain tribes, but she may not be killed — unless she forsakes her vow.

When an injured stranger stumbles into her life, Diana nurses him back to health, saving his life — but risking her own when she falls in love with him . . .


Praise for A Sworn Virgin

“When many think of stories involving blood debts, endless family feuding, and revenge,they often envision a strong male protagonist at the center of it all who eventually comes outas victorious by the end of the tale. But in Kristopher Dukes’ novel, A Sworn Virgin: Broken Promises, the game is changed when a woman, leading not only as the main character in the story, but in her life as well, is forced into facing (and surviving) this type of world on her own. . . A Sworn Virgin: Broken Promises is a must-read for lovers of historical fiction, unexpected plot twists, and relatable female heroines. ”
– Apex Reviews

“A vivid portrait of a dynamic woman who, yearning for freedom, makes a devil’s bargain in giving up her sexuality to gain a level of personhood she is denied merely because she is a woman.”
– New York Times bestselling author Cathryn Michon

“Dukes has chosen an engaging setting for this novel, with its mix of medieval and modern elements, and fleshes it out with vivid details . . . A compelling story of a woman’s trauma and strength.”
– Kirkus Reviews

About Kristopher Dukesman31-11

Kristopher Dukes was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has been a nationally published writer since high school and her work has appeared in bestselling book series “Written in the Dirt.” “A Sworn Virgin: Broken Promises” is her debut novel. She lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband Matt and pitbull Lucius.

Connect with Kristopher:  Facebook | Amazon


One Amazon eGift digital copy of A Sworn Virgin. Open Internationally. Ends 4/20/16.


Review of Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes, Loretta Nyhan


About Empire Girls

Ivy and Rose Adams may be sisters, but they’re nothing alike. Rose, the eldest, is the responsible one, while Ivy is spirited and brazen. After the unexpected death of their father, the women are left to reconcile the estate, when they make a shocking discovery: not only has their father left them in financial ruin, but he has also bequeathed their beloved family house to a brother they never knew existed. With only a photograph to guide the way, Ivy and Rose embark to New York City, determined to find this mysterious man and reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

Once in New York, temptations abound at every turn, and soon the sisters are drawn into the glitzy underbelly of Manhattan, where they must overcome their differences and learn to trust each other if they’re going to survive in the big city and find their brother. Filled with unforgettable characters and charm, Empire Girls is a love letter to 1920s New York, and a captivating story of the unspoken bond between sisters.

My Review

Story left me disappointed. Too many characters with moody personalities with no real purpose in the plot. I quickly grew tired of the constant bickering between Rose and Ivy. YES I realize they fail to share much in common, they don’t act sisterly, these facts were drilled into my head from the beginning and never let up.

The narrative moves way too fast, seems rushed preventing the reader to let anything sink in with plausibility with the timeline crammed. The search for Asher, a joke, talk about dragged out, picked up and dropped repeatedly only to be usurped by drunkenness. Weak atmospherically, it never felt like the 20’s, the hustle and bustle of New York completely absent.

Story had potential but sadly lost its way a quarter into the story with it’s annoying sisters, pity so much could have been presented in a better fashion.

About Suzanne Hayes5778486

Pen name of Suzanne Palmieri

Suzanne Palmieri is the author of The Witch of Bourbon Street, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, and The Witch of Little Italy. She is also the co-author (as Suzanne Hayes) of Empire Girls and I’ll Be Seeing You. Writer. Lost Witch. Mermaid.

5368142About Loretta Nyhan

I was a reader before I was a writer, devouring everything I could get my hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and the instructions booklet for building the Barbie dream house. Later, my obsession with reading evolved into an absolute need to write. After college, I wrote for national trade magazines, taught writing to college freshmen, and eventually found the guts to try fiction.

I’m the author of the upcoming All the Good Parts (Lake Union, 2016) and Digging In (Lake Union, 2017). Previous published novels include I’ll Be Seeing You and Empire Girls (MIRA Books).

When I’m not writing, I can be found knitting, baking, and doing all kinds of things my high school self would have found hilarious.

I live in the Chicago area with my two teenage boys and one sweetheart of a husband.

Published May 27th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA (first published January 1st 2014)

Spotlight for Storm and Silence by Robert Thier


About Storm and Silence

Freedom – that is what Lilly Linton wants most in life. Not marriage, not a brood of squalling brats, and certainly not love, thank you very much!

But freedom is a rare commodity in 19th-century London, where girls are expected to spend their lives sitting at home, fully occupied with looking pretty. Lilly is at her wits’ end – until a chance encounter with a dark, dangerous and powerful stranger changes her life forever…

Enter the world of Mr Rikkard Ambrose, where the only rule is: Knowledge is power is time is money!

Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

About Robert Thier6123144

Robert Thier is a German Historian and writer of Historical Fiction. His particular mix of history, romance and adventure, always with a good deal of humor thrown in, has gained him a diverse readership ranging from teenagers to retired grandmothers. For the way he manages to make history come alive, as if he himself had lived as a medieval knight, his fans all over the world have given him the nickname “Sir Rob”.

For him, Robert says, becoming a writer has followed naturally from his interest in history. “In Germany,” he says, “we use the same word for story and history. And I’ve always loved the one as much as the other. Becoming a storyteller, a writer, is what I’ve always wanted.”

Besides writing and researching in dusty old archives, on the lookout for a mystery to put into his next story, Robert enjoys classical music and long walks in the country. The helmet you see on the picture he does not wear because he is a cycling enthusiast, but to protect his literary skull in which a bone has been missing from birth. Robert lives in the south of Germany in a small village between the three Emperor’s Mountains.

Connect with Robert: Website | Google+ | Facebook | Twitter

Published March 19th 2016 by Robert Thier

Review of The Queen’s Exiles (Thornleigh #6) by Barbara Kyle


About The Queen’s Exiles

1572. Europe is in turmoil. In the Netherlands the streets are red with the blood of those who dare to oppose the brutal Spanish occupation. A vengeful faction of exiled English Catholics is plotting to overthrow Queen Elizabeth and install her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne. But amid the unrest, one resourceful young woman has made a lucrative enterprise …

Scottish-born Fenella Doorn rules like a queen over a privateer’s haven on the Isle of Sark. Her success at salvaging crippled vessels affords her gold and security, and it is on one of these ships that she meets wealthy Baron—and privateer—Adam Thornleigh. Secretly drawn to him, Fenella can’t refuse when Adam enlists her to join him in war-torn Brussels to help find his traitorous wife, Frances—and the children she’s taken from him.

But Fenella’s own bold actions have put a price on her head. Now Adam and Fenella’s lives are in peril as they race across Europe in an attempt to rescue his young ones, defend the crown, and restore the peace that few can remember.

My Review

Fabulous action, suspense and romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this story so much I purchased all the books in the series. An enthralling glimpse into turbulent political and social times regarding England, Spain and Netherlands.

Fenella Doorn is fictional, although her strength and vulnerability is plausible. She’s a great example of mettle tested through difficult times, also the devices possessed to survive especially for a female.

Extremely well written, rich in details. The plot is engaging, I couldn’t put the book down. I have a new favorite author – Barbara Kyle. Historical fiction fans will want to make room on your shelf for this book along with the entire series.

About Barbara Kyle623139

I’ve enjoyed two fulfilling careers, first as an actor, now as an author.

After studying at the National Theater School of Canada in Montreal and the Professional Actor’s Training Program at the University of Washington, I played roles in dozens of film, television, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.

High HopesSome highlights: I starred in the TV daytime drama High Hopes, played a continuing role in the TV series The Campbells, acted on stage with Margaret Hamilton at the Seattle Repertory Theater (she was the wicked witch in the beloved classic film The Wizard of Oz), worked with renowned director Jean Gascon in Moliere’s 17th-century play The Miser, and got laughs in Neil Simon’s Broadway-hit Chapter Two at the Bayview Playhouse in Toronto. I loved being an actor.

It felt like a natural extension of my acting to create characters for fiction. In 2008 Kensington Books published my first historical novel, The Queen’s Lady, which introduced Honor Larke, lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon, and ship captain/courtier Richard Thornleigh in the nerve-jangled court of Henry VIII. The intrigue and adventure of that period fueled the creation of six more books in the Thornleigh Saga. The series follows the Thornleigh family’s rise through three tumultuous Tudor reigns, during which they make hard choices about loyalty, duty, family and love. Book #7, The Traitors Daughter The Traitor’s Daughter, is the latest, released in May 2015.

Published May 27th 2014 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2014)

Review of The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay


About Railywayman’s Wife

When Anikka Lachlan’s husband, Mac, is killed in a railway accident, she is offered—and accepts—a job at the Railway Institute’s library and searches there for some solace in her unexpectedly new life. But in Thirroul, in 1948, she’s not the only person trying to chase dreams through books. There’s Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, but who has now lost his words and his hope. There’s Frank Draper, trapped by the guilt of those his medical treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle to find their own peace, and their own new story.

But along with the firming of this triangle of friendship and a sense of lives inching towards renewal come other extremities—and misunderstandings. In the end, love and freedom can have unexpected ways of expressing themselves.

The Railwayman’s Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can sometimes be to tell them apart. Most of all, it celebrates love in all its forms, and the beauty of discovering that loving someone can be as extraordinary as being loved yourself.

My Review

It took me quite a while to latch on to this story and even longer to figure out why when I finished.

Although I enjoyed Hay’s writing, at times I found it to be overly wordy and descriptive, beautiful but overdone, I’m sure this served as the main cause of not being absorbed from the beginning. At times the narrative moved at a snails pace forcing my patience.

Having poetry, writing and books a vital part of the narrative was wonderful, the ocean also played an important role. Hay’s fleshes out her characters as they deal with the aftereffect of loss, life and love. A moving story with empathetic characters despite the fact they come across as numb yet desperately trying to adjust to their new individual challenging circumstances.

The ending was predictable, it fit the depths of pain demonstrated.

Good book, just not great, evoking in a quietly stirring manner.

About Ashley Hay181102

Ashley Hay’s most recent novel, The Railwayman’s Wife, was released in Australia to critical acclaim in April 2013. It was published in the UK in January 2014. It won the Colin Roderick Prize (awarded by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies), as well as the People’s Choice award in the 2014 NSW Premier’s Prize. It was longlisted for both the Miles Franklin and Nita B. Kibble awards.

Her previous books span fiction and non-fiction and include Gum: The Story of Eucalypts and Their Champions (2002) and Museum (2007; with visual artist Robyn Stacey). Her first novel, The Body in the Clouds (2010), was shortlisted for categories in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the NSW and WA premier’s prizes, and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

A writer for more than 20 years, she publishes regularly in Australian journals including The Monthly, Australian Geographic, and The Australian. Her essays and short stories have appeared in volumes including the Griffith Review, Best Australian Essays (2003), Best Australian Short Stories (2012), and Best Australian Science Writing (2012).

Expected publication: April 5th 2016 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2013)

Review: Mireille by Molly Cochran


About Mireille

Near the end of World War II, seventeen-year-old Mireille de Jouarre flees the home of her stepfather, a Nazi collaborator and abusive drunk. She finds shelter with her childhood friend Stefan, and the two fall deeply in love. But as the fighting escalates, Mireille must escape alone to Paris, where she discovers she’s pregnant and lacking a way to provide for her child.

So begins her new life as l’Ange—the Angel. After an unlikely meeting with a wealthy aristocrat in a Parisian hotel—and her acceptance of his solicitation—Mireille becomes the most celebrated poule in all of France, eliciting huge fees and invitations to exclusive parties. At one of these events, Mireille meets Oliver Jordan, an American womanizer and film producer, and is soon launching a promising film career. As her star rises, Mireille is determined to bury her past. But her success isn’t as carefree and glittery as it seems, and when her daughter’s future is threatened, Mireille must make a deadly decision in a desperate attempt to finally choose her own path.

My Review

I found Mireille more dramatic than I anticipated. After I completed the book I thought to myself how horrible for anyone to be in a desperate situation forced to make unsavory choices to survive knowing at some point ramifications would surface. Even worse, having another know your ‘secret’ and hold it over you, virtually claiming you hostage with so much at risk. You can never escape your past, at least this was Mireille’s case.

Mireille is fascinating although she was tragic and aloof. Keeping her distance from the reader matched with her troublesome past and unhealthy present made sense, well done on Cochran’s part. Her undying love for Stefan was touching, no matter the amount of time passing, her heart belonged to her first love. I admired her determination to protect her daughter from her sordid past, sacrificing much of herself along the way. Admittedly I found Mireille’s choices questionable, despite the era she could have selected other routes, but her nativity and vulnerability caused me to overlook her decisions. She wasn’t easy to warm up to, I wanted her to use her beauty in a more powerful and controlling manner as opposed to allowing herself to be used and easily manipulated.

The book was far too predictable for my taste, also the sexual content was way too graphic, coarse and plentiful, I prefer the ‘less is more’ rule in this area, alluding to sex I find more satisfying. What was included in the narrative detracted and spoiled the story. The story has a fast pace, thankfully at 600+ pages. A nostalgic theatrical read yet entertaining, predictability its downfall.

About Molly Cochran

Molly Cochran, author of the teen paranormal romances LEGACY, POISON, and SEDUCTION, has written 27 published novels and four nonfiction books under her own name and various pseudonyms. Her books include New York Times bestselling novels GRANDMASTER and THE FOREVER KING, coauthored with Warren Murphy, and the nonfiction DRESSING THIN, also a NY Times bestseller. She has won awards from the Mystery Writers of America (Best Novel of the Year), the Romance Writers of America (Best Thriller), and the New York Public Library (Outstanding Books for the Teen Age).

Her eBooks, GRANDMASTER, THE TEMPLE DOGS, and THE FOREVER KING Trilogy, including THE FOREVER KING, THE BROKEN SWORD, and THE THIRD MAGIC, are currently available through online retailers, as are two novellas, WISHES and REVELS.

Molly has lectured extensively and has taught writing at the college level as well as at a women’s prison (where she was NOT an inmate). She also writes a blog on writing technique which appears on her website, MollyCochran.com. She is also on Facebook at facebook.com/molly.cochranbooks and Twitter at Twitter.com/mollycochranYA.

She lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Published June 9th 2015 by Lake Union Publishing

Review: Juliet’s Nurse by Lois Leveen


About Juliet’s Nurse

An enthralling new telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet—told from the perspective of Juliet’s nurse.

In Verona, a city ravaged by plague and political rivalries, a mother mourning the death of her day-old infant enters the household of the powerful Cappelletti family to become the wet-nurse to their newborn baby. As she serves her beloved Juliet over the next fourteen years, the nurse learns the Cappellettis’ darkest secrets. Those secrets—and the nurse’s deep personal grief—erupt across five momentous days of love and loss that destroy a daughter, and a family.

My Review

I approached this book with absolutely no expectations, I was curious to see where Leveen would lead me.

I like Angelica, I appreciate her strength after losing her children, her love of Juliet. Her closeness with Pietro. She’s loving, funny, I wish Leveen delved deeper in this woman, so much potential unexplored.

Leveen mastered the setting, the varying classes, the role of females, the brutal aftermath of the plague, family dissension along with medicinal vs apothecary ways. I felt completely submerged in the 14th century.

Angelica and Pietro’s randy behavior becomes monotonous merging to overkill. Tell me once they are a healthy couple with their mutual appetite for each other never lacking but please stop continually reminding me as they eagerly seek locations to ravage one another. Also the constant mentioning of the couples children being taken by the plague borders on annoying. Again, once is all I need to know of the heartbreaking tragedy not a nagging reminder every other page.

More character development with Angelica would have been welcomed, too much emphasis on her capacity as a wet-nurse and devotion to Pietro, Juliet and Tybalt, not to mention her longing for her lost sons.

The first part – Juliet age 1-3 dragged a bit, a faster pace would be preferred. The latter portion of narrative thankfully picked up speed. Angelica stood out but it’s impact was lost, much rather have seen her strength in the beginning as opposed to her lackluster debut.

Leveen’s slant on Romeo and Juliet is unique, a good read but not quite enough to create a mind-blowing adventure. I look forward to more of Leveen, her writings are consistently interesting and creative.

About Lois Leveen972216

Award-winning author Lois Leveen dwells in the spaces where literature and history meet. A confirmed book geek, Lois earned degrees in history and literature from Harvard, the University of Southern California, and UCLA, and taught at UCLA and at Reed College. In addition to her novels JULIET’S NURSE and THE SECRETS OF MARY BOWSER, she has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, and her poetry and essays have appeared in numerous books, literary journals, and on NPR. Lois gives talks about history and literature at libraries, bookstores, universities, museums, teacher training programs, and conferences throughout the world. She lives in a bright green house in Portland, Oregon, with a charming, bipedal Newfoundlander.

Published September 23rd 2014 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Review: World’s End by Upton Sinclair


About World’s End

The son of an American arms dealer and his mistress, Lanning “Lanny” Budd spends his first thirteen years in Europe, living at the center of his mother’s glamourous circle of friends on the French Riviera. In 1913, he enters a prestigious Swiss boarding school and befriends Rick, an English boy, and Kurt, a German. The three schoolmates are privileged, happy, and precocious—but their world is about to come to an abrupt and violent end.

When the gathering storm clouds of war finally burst, raining chaos and death over the continent, Lanny must put the innocence of youth behind him; his language skills and talent for decoding messages are in high demand. At his father’s side, he meets many important political and military figures, learns about the myriad causes of the conflict, and closely follows the First World War’s progress. When the bloody hostilities eventually conclude, Lanny joins the Paris Peace Conference as the assistant to a geographer asked by President Woodrow Wilson to redraw the map of Europe.

World’s End is the magnificent opening chapter of a monumental series that brings the first half of the twentieth century to vivid life. A thrilling mix of history, adventure, and romance, the Lanny Budd Novels are a testament to the breathtaking scope of Upton Sinclair’s vision and his singular talents as a storyteller.

My Review

Sinclair dishes out a huge chunk of history in this book, his layout is appealing and it describes more than any textbook. His vehicle to highlight events is the endearing protagonist Lanny Budd. Lanny is 14 years old in 1914 and as the story and events unfold Lanny becomes even more appealing as he enters adulthood through a trying time in history.

Lanny’s character is dramatized by his presence in nearly every major event or has the privilege meeting every notable figure of the time, however, this does not detract but rather creates a fascinating narrative with mystery, suspense, thrills. You can’t help but find yourself taken by Lanny.

If you’re interested in history but avoid nonfiction, you will completely enjoy Sinclair’s historical fiction masterpiece with the nonfiction well presented and researched. Not many know the real issue WWI was centered around – it was more than the assassination of Archduke Ferdindad, much more as traditional classroom textbooks fail to mention. Sinclair offers the opportunity to enjoy history in an easy to read manner through the eyes of impressive Lanny Budd. A wonderful prelude in an 11 book series.

Sinclair’s story is told from the Socialist perspective which adds an interesting spin creating an enthralling read.

About Upton Sinclair1450215048_upton_sinclair

Upton Sinclair (1878–1968) was a Pulitzer Prize–winning author, activist, and politician whose novel The Jungle (1906) led to the passage of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. Born into an impoverished family in Baltimore, Maryland, Sinclair entered City College of New York five days before his fourteenth birthday. He wrote dime novels and articles for pulp magazines to pay for his tuition, and continued his writing career as a graduate student at Columbia University. To research The Jungle, he spent seven weeks working undercover in Chicago’s meatpacking plants. The book received great critical and commercial success, and Sinclair used the proceeds to start a utopian community in New Jersey. In 1915, he moved to California, where he founded the state’s ACLU chapter and became an influential political figure, running for governor as the Democratic nominee in 1934. Sinclair wrote close to one hundred books during his lifetime, including Oil! (1927), the inspiration for the 2007 movie There Will Be Blood; Boston (1928), a documentary novel revolving around the Sacco and Vanzetti case; The Brass Check, a muckraking exposé of American journalism; and the eleven novels in the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lanny Budd series.

Published January 19th 2016 by Open Road Media (first published January 1st 1940)

Review: The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia by C.W. Gortner

02_The Vatican Princess

About The Vatican Princess

Infamy is no accident. It is a poison in our blood. It is the price of being a Borgia.

Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized 15th-century Renaissance Italy. Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival?

With the ascension of the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, the new pope’s illegitimate children—his rival sons, Cesare and Juan, and beautiful young daughter Lucrezia—assume an exalted position in the papal court. Privileged and adored, Lucrezia yearns to escape her childhood and play a part in her family’s fortunes. But Rome is seductive and dangerous: Alliances shift at a moment’s notice as Italy’s ruling dynasties strive to keep rivals at bay. As Lucrezia’s father faces challenges from all sides, he’s obliged to marry her off to a powerful adversary. But when she discovers the brutal truth behind her alliance, Lucrezia is plunged into a perilous gambit that will require all her wits, cunning, and guile. Escaping her marriage offers the chance of happiness with a passionate prince of Naples, yet as scandalous accusations of murder and incest build against her, menacing those she loves, Lucrezia must risk everything to overcome the lethal fate imposed upon her by her Borgia blood.

Beautifully wrought, rich with fascinating historical detail, The Vatican Princess is the first novel to describe Lucrezia’s coming-of-age in her own voice—a dramatic, vivid tale set in an era of savagery and unparalleled splendor, where enemies and allies can be one and the same, and where loyalty to family can ultimately be a curse.


My Review

The name Borgia is renown, it stops you in your tracks. I was thrilled the story focused heavily on Lucrezia Borgia.

Following Lucrezia from innocent girlhood to savvy young adult was stirring. Her family certainly created plenty of excitement and sadness as she served as a bargaining chip to ensure the Borgia position. Quickly Lucrezia catches on to her power, role, voice and accepts what comes her way with grace and smarts.

The narrative contained all the proper ingredients you would expect, power, politics, sex, wealth, infidelity, incest, status, loyalty, love. The pace is extremely fast, no doubt the last page will be reached quickly. The end was satisfying.

I was let down Lucrezia lacked emotion, yes she possessed strength but for all she suffered and endured she felt wooden, desensitized. Perhaps this was Gortner’s intent and a mistake on my part to expect a feeling character exhibiting crumbs of emotion. In addition, the narrative was a bit slow and redundant at times other times rushed.

Historical fictions fans, lovers of powerful family’s will want to add this to your shelf. Gortner delivers another entertaining story with a captivating female protagonist.

About the Author03_CW Gortner

C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.

For more information visit C.W. Gortner’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner’s Newsletter for updates.

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Spotlight & Giveaway: Seven Will Out: A Renaissance Revel by JoAnn Spears

02_Seven Will Out

If you thought “Six of One: A Tudor Riff” was the most fun you could have with your nightdress on, wait until you see what “Seven Will Out: A Renaissance Revel” has in store. Get ready for one ‘ruff’ night! Tudorphile Dolly thought that the night she spent on an astral plane with Henry VIII’s six wives, learning their heretofore unknown secrets, was a one-time thing. Not so! In “Seven Will Out”, Dolly finds herself back in the ether with the women of later Tudor times: Elizabeth I, ‘Bloody’ Mary, Bess of Hardwick, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Anne Hathaway Shakespeare, to name a few. They too have secrets that will turn history on its head, and comic sass that will keep you laughing. You’ve read all of the traditional, serious and romantic takes on the legendary Tudors. Why not try your Tudors with a new and different twist?

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble

About the Author03_JoAnn Spears

JoAnn Spears couldn’t decide whether to major in English or History in college. Life stepped in, and she wound up with a Master’s Degree in Nursing instead. A twenty-five year nursing career didn’t extinguish that early interest in books and history. It did however stoke a decidedly gallows sense of humor.

The story of the six wives of Henry VIII was JoAnn’s favorite piece of history. Over the years, she read just about every spin on the story that there was. It occurred to her that the one spin that hadn’t been brought to a full length novel about the Tudors was a gallows sense of humor. The Tudors certainly qualified for it, and JoAnn had plenty to spare.

The first ‘real’ book JoAnn ever read was “The Wizard of Oz”. She returned to the Yellow Brick Road for inspiration for a new kind of Tudor novel, and “Six of One” was born.

“Six of One” was begun in JoAnn’s native New Jersey. It was wrapped up in her new Smoky Mountain home in northeast Tennessee, where she is pursuing a second career as a writer. She has, however, obtained a Tennessee nursing license because a) you never stop being a nurse and b) her son Bill thinks she should be sensible and not quit her day job.

While “Six of One” is a different kind of historical novel, JoAnn is a downright stereotypical lady author. She admits to the usual cats, flower beds, needlework, and frightfully complete collections of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott.

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Enter to win one paperback copy of Seven Will Out by JoAnn Spears. Open to US and Canada residents only. Ends 2/23/16

Be sure to click on the HFVBT banner to check out the entire tour schedule.

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Publication Date: October 31, 2015