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Spotlight & Giveaway: The Ice Queen: Book Two of Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga By Bruce Macbain

Publication Date: November 30, 2015
Blank Slate Press
eBook & Paperback; 285 Pages

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The second volume of Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga takes up Odd’s adventures as a skald (court poet) in the land of the Rus. Here he is drawn into a dangerous love affair with the passionate and cunning Princess Ingigerd of Novgorod, and is forced to break with his sworn lord, Harald the Ruthless. Along the way, Odd devises a stratagem to defeat the wild Pechenegs, nomadic warriors of the Russian steppe, and goes off on a doomed mission to explore the distant reaches of the Black Sea. The novel concludes with Odd sailing into the harbor of Constantinople, bent on a secret mission, which will almost certainly cost him his life.

Eager, curious, quick-witted—and sometimes wrong-headed—Odd Tangle-Hair recounts his story with candor, insight, and always an ironic sense of humor.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | INDIEBOUND

About Bruce Macbain03_Bruce Macbain

From boyhood, Bruce Macbain spent his days in reading history and historical fiction. The Greeks and Romans have held a special fascination for him, and this led to earning a masterís degree in Classical Studies and a doctorate in Ancient History. Along the way, he also taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Borneo. Later, he taught courses in Greek and Roman civilization at Boston University, and published a few dense monographs, read by very few. In recent years he has turned to writing fiction, a much more congenial pursuit, beginning with two historical mysteries set in ancient Rome (Roman Games and The Bull Slayer). Now, he has turned his attention to his other favorite folk, the Vikings. Odin’s Child , the first novel of Odd Tangle-Hairís Saga, was published in May, 2015 and is now followed the sequel, The Ice Queen. A concluding volume will follow next year.

Bruce spends his spare time in the kitchen, cooking spicy food.

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Giveaway

Enter to win one signed paperback of The Ice Queen, open to US and Canada residents only. Ends 12/24/15
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Be sure to click on the HFVBT banner to check out the entire tour schedule.

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Book Blast & Giveaway: Owen Archer Series by Candace Robb

The summer is heating up with the re-issue of Candace Robb’s Owen Archer historical crime series! Nine of the ten books were just released in eBook format, with all new, beautiful covers, and is now available to download for your eReader! At only $2.99 per eBook, it’s a FAB deal on a great series!

The Apothecary Rose (Small)

THE APOTHECARY ROSE (BOOK ONE)

“Suspenseful, historically accurate, and blessed with a wonderful cast of characters, THE APOTHECARY ROSE is an absolute delight from start to finish…” ó Charles de Lint, author of the Newford Series

In the year of our Lord 1363, two suspicious deaths in the infirmary of St. Maryís Abbey catch the attention of the powerful John Thoresby, Lord Chancellor of England and Archbishop of York. One victim is a pilgrim, while the second is Thoresbyís neíer-do-well ward, both apparently poisoned by a physic supplied by Master Apothecary Nicholas Wilton. In the wake of these deaths, the archbishop dispatches one-eyed spy Owen Archer to York to find the murderer.

Under the guise of a disillusioned soldier keen to make a fresh start, Owen insinuates himself into Wiltonís apothecary as an apprentice. But he finds Wilton bedridden, with the shop being run by his lovely, enigmatic young wife, Lucie. As Owen unravels a tangled history of scandal and tragedy, he discovers at its center a desperate, forbidden love twisted over time into obsession. And the woman he has come to love is his prime suspect.

Lovingly detailed, beautifully written, THE APOTHECARY ROSE is a captivating and suspenseful tale of life, love, and death in medieval England.

The Lady Chapel (Small) (2)

THE LADY CHAPEL (BOOK TWO)

ìA lovingly detailed background informs and animates the plot at every point.î óKIRKUS

Perfect for fans of both Ellis Peters and CJ Sansom, THE LADY CHAPEL is a vivid and immersive portrait of court intrigue and a testament to the power of the medieval guilds.

Summer in the year of our Lord 1365. On the night after the Corpus Christi procession, a man is brutally murdered on the steps of York Minster. The next morning his severed hand is found in a room at the York Tavernóa room hastily vacated by a fellow guild member who had quarreled with the victim.

Archbishop Thoresby calls on Owen Archer to investigate. As Owen tracks the fleeing merchant, he uncovers a conspiracy involving a powerful company of traders, but his only witness is a young boy who has gone into hiding, and his only suspect is a mysterious cloaked woman. When Owen discovers a link between the traders and a powerful coterie in the royal court, he brings his apothecary wife Lucie into the race to find the boy before he is silenced forever by the murderers.

The Nuns Tale (Small)

THE NUN’S TALE (BOOK THREE)

ì[An] engrossing taleÖimbued with the flavor of English medieval life, Robbís story melds true events with fiction to create a gripping historical mystery.îóPUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Based on an enigmatic entry in the records of Clementhorpe Nunnery, this authentic, gripping mystery conjures a 14th century ripe with forbidden passions and political intrigue.

When young nun Joanna Calverley dies of a fever in the town of Beverley in the summer of 1365 she is buried quickly for fear of the plague. But a year later, Archbishop Thoresby learns of a woman who has arrived in York claiming to be the resurrected nun, talking of relic-trading and miracles. And death seems to ride in her wake.

The archbishop sends Owen Archer to retrace the womanís journey, an investigation that leads him across the north from Leeds to Beverley to Scarborough. Along the way he encounters Geoffrey Chaucer, a spy for the king of England, who believes there is a connection between the nunís troubles, renegade mercenaries, and the powerful Percy family. Back in York, however, Owenís wife Lucie, pregnant with their first child, has won the confidence of the mysterious nun and realizes that there are secrets hidden in the womanís seemingly mad ramblings…

The Kings Bishop (Small)

THE KING’S BISHOP (BOOK FOUR)

ìRobb continues to adeptly blend politics with period detail and three-dimensioned characterizations in the Owen Archer tales.î óPUBLISHERS WEEKLY

From the marshy Thames to the misty Yorkshire moors, murder stalks Welsh soldier-sleuth Owen Archer and one of his oldest friends.

On a snowy morning in 1367, Sir William of Wyndesoreís page is found in the icy moat of Windsor Castle, and some whisper that the murderer was Ned Townleyóa former comrade-in-arms of Owen Archer. Burdened with a reputation as a notoriously jealous lover, Ned cannot hope to clear his name; even Mary, his ladylove, is unsure of the truth. Hoping to put Ned out of harmís way while solving the murder, Owen places his friend in charge of a mission to Rievaulx Abbey at the edge of the moors. But when the travelers receive news of Maryís drowning, Ned vanishes into the wild.

Riding out in search of his old friend, Owen does not know whether he will be Nedís savior or executioner. With his one good eye, Owen sees more than most, but now he must find a way to penetrate the curtains of power that surround the Church and Englandís royal court and discover the truth of Nedís innocence or guilt…

The Riddle of St (Small)

THE RIDDLE OF ST. LEONARD’S (BOOK FIVE)

ìGripping and believableÖyou can almost smell the streets of 14th-century York as you delve deeper into an engrossing plot.î óPRIMA

In the year of our Lord 1369 the much-loved Queen Philippa lies dying in Windsor Castle, the harvest has failed, and the pestilence has returned. In York, the atmosphere of fear and superstition is heightened by a series of thefts and violent deaths at St. Leonardís Hospital and rumors that these crimes are connected to the hospitalís dwindling funds. The Master of St. Leonardís, Sir Richard Ravenser, hurries north from the queenís deathbed to summon Owen Archer, soldier-spy, to investigate the scandal before it ruins him.

While Owenís wife Lucie faces the plague-panicked townsfolk at the apothecary, Owen encounters a seemingly random series of clues: a riddle posed by one of the victims at the hospital, a lay sister with a scandalous past, the kidnapping of a child from the hospital orphanage, and a case of arson. The answer to the riddle of St. Leonardís lies in the past, and as Owenís family is caught up in the sweep of the pestilence, he must abandon them to race across the countryside to save the next victim.

A Gift of Sanctuary (Small)

A GIFT OF SANCTUARY (BOOK SIX)

ìRobb deftly interweaves a complex story of love, passion and murder into the troubled and tangled fabric of Welsh history, fashioning a rich and satisfying novel.î óPUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Under the pretense of escorting his father-in-law and the archbishopís secretary on a pilgrimage to the sacred city of St. Davidís in Wales, Owen Archer and Geoffrey Chaucer are carrying out a mission for the Duke of Lancaster. England and France are at war, and the southern coast of Wales is vulnerable to invasionóOwen and Geoffrey are to recruit archers for the dukeís army and inspect his Welsh fortifications on the coast, while quietly investigating whether the dukeís steward at Cydweli Castle is involved in a French plot to incite rebellion in Wales.

But trouble precedes them in the cathedral city of St. Davidís. On Whitesands Beach beyond the city a young man is beaten and left for dead, then spirited away by a Welsh bard. Shortly afterward a corpse clothed in the livery of the Duke of Lancaster is left at the city gate, his shoes filled with white sand. And at Cydweli Castle a chain of events begun by the theft of money from the castleís exchequer ends in a violent death and the disappearance of the stewardís beautiful young wife. Owen and Geoffrey begin to see connections linking the troubles in city and castle, and see they must unravel the complex story of betrayed love and political ambition to prevent more deaths.

But in the course of his investigations in the land of his birth, Owen is haunted by doubts about his own loyalties…

A Spy for the Redeemer (Small)

A SPY FOR THE REDEEMER (BOOK SEVEN)

ìFascinatingÖcrisp, evocative writingÖ. The tapestry here is rich and varied.îóCLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

Late spring in the year of our Lord 1370, and Owen Archer is anxious to leave Wales for home. His mission for the Duke of Lancaster complete, he attempts to arrange safe passage on a ship sailing for England, but the hanging of a stonemason interrupts his plans. On the surface it appears the young man was driven to suicide by a broken heart, but to Owen the signs all point to murder. As his investigation stretches on, however, Owen finds himself drawn into the influence of the leader of a Welsh rebellion whose manifesto speaks to his heart, and a choice is offered to him: join or die.

At home in York, Owenís wife Lucie is troubled by rumors that her husbandís long absence is permanent, as well as threats by a customer who claims she was poisoned by a physic from the Wilton apothecary. Meanwhile, Lucie is tempted by the attentions of a friendís steward, even as she uncovers a shattering betrayal in her own household.

The Guilt of Innocents (Small)

THE GUILT OF INNOCENTS (BOOK NINE)

ìItísÖthe Machiavellian intrigue that makes this such an enjoyable read. When the iron curtain came down people said the spy-thriller genre was dead. They were wrong. This is as full of intrigue as a Deighton or a Le CarrÈ.î óTHE GUARDIAN

Winter in the year of our Lord 1372. A river pilot falls into the icy waters of the River Ouse during a skirmish between dockworkers and the boys of the minster school, which include Owen Archerís adopted son Jasper. But what began as a confrontation to return a boyís stolen scrip becomes a murder investigation as the rescuers find the pilot dying of wounds inflicted before his plunge into the river. When another body is fished from the river upstream and Owen discovers that the boy Jasper sought to help has disappeared, Owen Archer convinces the archbishop that he must go in search of the boy. His lost scrip seems to hold the key to the double tragedy, but his disappearance leaves troubling questions: did he flee in fear? Or was he abducted?

On the cusp of this new mystery, Owen accepts Jasperís offer to accompany him to the boyís home in the countryside, where they learn that a valuable cross has gone missing. A devastating fire and another drowning force Owen to make impossible choices, endangering not only himself, but the two innocents he fights to protect. The bond between fathers and sons proves strong, even between those not linked by blood.

A Vigil of Spies (Small)

A VIGIL OF SPIES (BOOK TEN)

ìAs always, Candace Robb writes a powerful story intertwined with genuine characters of the day.î óHISTORICAL NOVEL REVIEW

Archbishop Thoresby of York, the second most powerful cleric in England, lies dying in his bed. The end of his life is seen by the great families of the North as a chance to promote one of their own as his successor, and Thoresby himself announces he will leave the matter to the dean and chapter of York. On the eve of this decision, the dying archbishop agrees to a visit from Joan, Princess of Wales, wife of the Black Prince, heir to the throne of England, and Thoresbyís captain of the guard, Owen Archer, has no doubt that trouble will follow.

As soon as the company rides into the palace yard he is proved right: they arrive burdened with the body of one of their party, and Owen finds evidence that the manís death was no accident. Within days of this discover, a messenger carrying an urgent message for the Archbishop is found hanging in the woods. With guards surrounding the property, it is clear that the murderer walks among the palace guests. The powerful Percy and Neville families are well represented in the entourage, including a woman who remembers an afternoon tryst with Owen as much, much more. Even the princessí son is suspect. As Owen races to unmask the guilty and rid the palace of the royal party, his final wish for his lord is that he might die in peace.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR02_Candace Robb

Growing up, Candace Robb wanted to be a ballerina, tap dancer, folk singer, journalistóbut on the day that she walked into Liz Armstrongís undergraduate class on Chaucerís Troilus and Criseyde, that all changed. A gifted teacher, lively, witty, always laughing even when cringing at a lazy response, Dr. Armstrong launched into the opening stanzas, and within a few lines Candaceís ears adjusted to the middle Englishóand she was hooked. Chaucerís psychological study of the two lovers was a revelation to her. The next quarter was The Canterbury Tales. That clinched it. Candace went on to graduate work in medieval history and literature, and ever since sheís been engaged in bringing to life the rich culture of the period, from the arts to the politics. She is the internationally acclaimed author of thirteen crime novels featuring the sexy, brooding, clever Owen Archer, who solves crimes for John Thoresby, Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor of England, and the young Margaret Kerr, searching for her missing husband and her role in a Scotland overrun by English soldiers. Candace is currently under contract with Pegasus Books for a new crime series set in 15th century York, the Kate Clifford mysteries, which will debut in 2016.

Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published two historical novels about the women of the English court in the 14th century, A Triple Knot and The Kingís Mistress.

Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Candace grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she loves for its combination of culture, natural beauty, and brooding weather so like Yorkshire, Wales, and Scotland, which she visits as often as possible. She has taught the art of writing the crime novel in the University of Washingtonís certificate program, and offers workshops in writing the historical novel and in creating and plotting the crime series. Candace (and Emma) blog about writing and medieval topics at A Writerís Retreat, ecampion.wordpress.com.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

GIVEAWAY

3 Sets of THE APOTHECARY ROSE, THE LADY CHAPEL, and THE NUN’S TALE in eBook are up for grabs! Enter using the Rafflecopter Widget below.
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Rules

• Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
• Giveaway is open internationally.
• Only one entry per household.
• All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
• Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Unshelfish is proud to be included in the tour for Candace Robb’s Owen Archer Series. Be sure to click on the HFVBT banner to check out the entire tour schedule.

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The Towers of Tuscany by Carol M. Cram

01_The Towers of Tuscany CoverPublication Date: December 16, 2014
Lake Union Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 366

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Sofia is trained in secret as a painter in her father’s workshop during a time when women did not paint openly. She loves her work, but her restless spirit leads her to betray her extraordinary gifts to marry a man who comes to despise her for not producing a son.

After Sofia’s father is crushed by his own fresco during an attack motivated by a vendetta, Sofia realizes she must escape her loveless marriage. She flees to Siena, where, disguised as a boy, she paints again. When her work attracts the notice of a nobleman who discovers the woman under the dirty smock, Sofia is faced with a choice that nearly destroys her.

Meticulously researched settings and compelling characters are united with a strong heroine in this rich portrait of medieval Italy.

I was instantly swept off my feet as I vigorously turned every page of this impressive novel. I was so taken by Cram’s authorship I devoured this lovely story in a few hours. Trust me, you won’t be able to put The Towers of Tuscany down.

Cram certainly accomplishes the task of transporting the reader to 14th century Tuscany with her lush and detailed descriptions. You feel the cobblestones beneath your feet, you envision the rolling golden hills, the deep thick forests, the offensive smell of dung in the air, and towers straining to touch heaven. You also comprehend the harshness of the time period, the many challenges women faced, the unkind treatment females tolerated and endured.

I was instantly drawn to Sophia. She’s stubborn, possesses the strength of a thousand men, her passion and endless devotion to painting will affect you greatly. Her love for painting consumes her soul, she takes great risks to pursue and continue her enthusiasm. As Sophia paints she loses herself in her efforts as she reflects on the lessons her beloved father taught her at an impressionable age. Cram’s intricate depictions of creating the art and the how to’s allow the reader a vivid glimpse of the lush prose so vividly detailed enabling imagery to appear before your eyes. Sophia is a memorable character, emotionally compelling.

The narrative is full of suspense with a fair share of twists and turns. It is fast paced and you won’t be able to stop reading once you begin. As you follow Sophia in the dicey pursuit of her passion you will be anxious to discover what transpires with every turn of the page.

Cram has certainly impressed me with this outstanding debut effort. She is an authoress to keep your eye on, no doubt a promising career ahead of her. I anxiously await her next novel, if this is an indicator of what’s to follow, we are in for wonderful reading adventures.

Lovers of art and painting you will thoroughly enjoy this book. A story filled with drama, suspense, romance and plenty of turbulence you will not want to miss reading this truly affecting novel. Highly highly recommend. Wonderful story from beginning to end.

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About the Author02_Carol Cram

Carol M. Cram is the author of The Towers of Tuscany, an historical novel about a woman painter in fourteenth century Italy. In addition to writing fiction, Carol has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications and software applications for Cengage Learning. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with an arts twist. She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada. Visit her at http://www.carolcram.com.

The Towers of Tuscany Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 15
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 16
Guest Post at The Book Binder’s Daughter

Wednesday, December 17
Review at Unshelfish

Thursday, December 18
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Monday, December 22
Guest Post at Boom Baby Reviews

Saturday, December 27
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, December 29
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Sunday, January 4
Review at HF Obsession
Review at I’d So Rather Be Reading

Monday, January 5
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, January 6
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Thursday, January 8
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Friday, January 9
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

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Fire & Sword by Louise Turner w/ Giveaway

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Publication Date: September 19, 2013
Hadley Rille Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction

This is an impressive debut novel. Contributing factors such as detail, an intriguing narrative, and the well developed characters build momentum in a balanced fashion. Usually a novel leans towards the driving force of narrative or character, however this novel is evenly written where all considerations are equal creating a rapid pace and enthralling read, you won’t be able to put down.

The detail is rich, and attention paid to the minute, enhancing the reading experience hands down. Turner’s sense to detail pulls you into the scenery along with the era. Scotland is described perfectly as well as all the fine details more than developing the environs. Dialogue was spot on with all plausibility.

John Sempill is plagued with uncertainty, a pleaser, questioning his allegiance in battle. John grows and becomes his own person, the once passive boy develops in to a self assured, mature man.

Wonderfully researched, the rawness of battle, the hardships of life are affecting. An exciting read instantly capturing your attention from the start. Turner penned an exceptional debut novel and I look forward to future works from this marvelous authoress.

Historical fiction fans, seekers of excitement, fans of Scottish history will undoubtedly be swept away in this fantastic debut novel by the adroit Louise Turner.

READ AN EXCERPT.

On the 11th June in 1488, two armies meet in battle at Sauchieburn, near Stirling. One fights for King James the Third of Scotland, the other is loyal to his eldest son, Prince James, Duke of Rothesay.

Soon, James the Third is dead, murdered as he flees the field. His army is routed. Among the dead is Sir Thomas Sempill of Ellestoun, Sheriff of Renfrew, whose son and heir, John, escapes with his life.

Once John’s career as knight and courtier seemed assured. But with the death of his king, his situation is fragile. He’s the only surviving son of the Sempill line and he’s unmarried. If he hopes to survive, John must try and win favour with the new king.

And deal with the ruthless and powerful Lord Montgomerie…

 

Buy the Book

Amazon UK (eBook)
Amazon UK (Paperback)
Amazon US (eBook)
Amazon US (Paperback)

About the Author

Born in Glasgow, Louise Turner spent her early years in the west of Scotland where she attended the University of Glasgow. After graduating with an MA in Archaeology, she went on to complete a PhD on the Bronze Age metalwork hoards of Essex and Kent. She has since enjoyed a varied career in archaeology and cultural resource management. Writing has always been a major aspect of her life and in 1988, she won the Glasgow Herald/Albacon New Writing in SF competition with her short story Busman’s Holiday. Louise lives with her husband in west Renfrewshire.

For more information please visit Louise Turner’s Website and Blog. You can also find her on Facebook.

Fire & Sword Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 6
Review at Rainy Day Reviews

Thursday, October 9
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Monday, October 13
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Monday, November 10
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, November 13
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry

Monday, November 17
Review & Interview at Dab of Darkness

Monday, November 24
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Broken Teepee

Sunday, November 30
Review at Unshelfish

Giveaway

To win one of five Fire & Sword eBooks please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form HERE. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on November 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 1st and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Loving Lucianna by Joyce DiPastena w/ Giveaway

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Kindle edition, 171 pages
Published October 11th 2014 by Sable Tyger Books
ASINB00NG8NWGW

I found Loving Lucianna very refreshing. Yes, it’s a love story but, making this a standout is the fact the couple involved is of a ‘mature’ age – forty’s and fifty’s. The message of the narrative is wonderful too, love is for any age and unconditional love exists.

I have an affinity for medieval times, another plus for this novel. The characters are adorable as well. We have a spirited lady and a gentle knight leaving every woman envious. Sir Balduin’s manners and love are showered upon Lucianna, not a surprise this outspoken woman is smitten.

DiPastena cleverly weaves history, mystery, splashes of humor along with romance all merging to create a sweet sentimental story. As the threat of Lucianna’s dark secret looms, you are held in suspense of what will happen to the couple destiny has united. The author provides insight into her own family tree, in fact she managed to incorporate a tiny bit into the plot, a very pleasant surprise for the reader when all is said and done.

Loving Lucianna is a story full of history, suspense, humor and surprises adding to an already delightful narrative. Highly recommend this tender story, I guarantee it will put a smile on your face and warm your heart.

Book Synopsis:

Sir Balduin de Soler gave up long ago on love. He never had the means to support a wife until an unexpected advancement in his fifties allows him to reassess his future just as the lovely Lucianna enters his life.

Lucianna Fabio harbors a secret, painful memory from her past that has kept her unwed, as well. Now in her forties, she thought herself too old to marry until she meets Sir Balduin. Now suddenly their lonely autumn lives feel very much like spring again . . . until Lucianna’s brother appears without warning and threatens to revive the secret that will destroy Lucianna’s second chance at love.

Author’s Bio:

Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in imagethe dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a 2007 Whitney Award Finalist).

Joyce is a multi-published, multi-award winning author who specializes in sweet medieval romances heavily spiced with mystery and adventure. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.

Connect with Joyce: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Where to buy the book:

Amazon
Barnes & Nobles
Smashwords
iTunes

**GIVEAWAY**
This giveaway is open Internationally. One of ten copies available, ebook only. Click HERE To Enter The Giveaway. Thanks so much to Italy Book Tours for organizing this great tour. Don’t forget to visit the other stops on this tour. Click HERE to view the full tour schedule and see the list of participating blogs.

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BOOK TOUR: Red Wolf’s Prize by Regan Walker

02_The Red Wolf's Prize

Publication Date: October 1, 2014
CreateSpace
Paperback; 245 pages
ISBN: 978-06-15978-14-7

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HE WOULD NOT BE DENIED HIS PRIZE

Sir Renaud de Pierrepont, the Norman knight known as the Red Wolf for the beast he slayed with his bare hands, hoped to gain lands with his sword. A year after the Conquest, King William rewards his favored knight with Talisand, the lands of an English thegn slain at Hastings, and orders him to wed Lady Serena, the heiress that goes with them.

SHE WOULD LOVE HIM AGAINST HER WILL

Serena wants nothing to do with the fierce warrior to whom she has been unwillingly given, the knight who may have killed her father. When she learns the Red Wolf is coming to claim her, she dyes her flaxen hair brown and flees, disguised as a servant, determined to one day regain her lands. But her escape goes awry and she is brought back to live among her people, though not unnoticed by the new Norman lord.

Deprived of his promised bride, the Red Wolf turns his attention to the comely servant girl hoping to woo her to his bed. But the wench resists, claiming she hates all Normans.

As the passion between them rises, Serena wonders, can she deny the Norman her body? Or her heart?

Watch the Book Trailer

 

MY THOUGHTS
Walker crafts a narrative of deceit, passion with loads of adventure in this wonderful historical romance. Sir Renaud de Peirrepont, a Norman knight, is gifted the realm of Talisand and its English lady Serena as his bride.

Renaud also known as ‘Red Wolf’ is captivating. He is a force to fear when in battle, but in time of peace his demeanor is respectful and reasonable. His magnetism is noticed by the ladies. Serena, an English lady bitter towards Normans is less than thrilled to take Renaud as her husband. She’s very ingenious and feisty. A beauty, attracting much attention. The sexual tension mixed with undeniable chemistry creates a stir with this sultry adversarial match. Will desire trump allegiance or will Serena flee and buck the order of King William? Suspense along with Serena’s various ploys keeps your curiosity revved.

Walker cleverly blends romance with the merging of the Saxons’ and the Normans. These two clash, at times find peace. Constant work in progress as two former enemies attempt to live in agreed harmony. Conflicts, budding romances all make for excitement mingled with subtle humor. Secondary characters and their stories only add a layer of interest to an already stellar plot.

All around great read, if Medieval times appeals to you along with a spicy romance involving two tempting characters you won’t want to miss this book. Book 1 in a series, I plan on reading future installments, too well presented to pass . Walker succeeded in setting, characterization and narrative.

Buy the eBook

Amazon

About the Author

imageAs a child Regan Walker loved to write stories, particularly about adventure-loving girls, but by the time she got to college more serious pursuits took priority. One of her professors encouraged her to pursue the profession of law, which she did. Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government gave her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown” on its subjects. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding sovereign who thinks of his subjects as his private talent pool. Regan lives in San Diego with her golden retriever, Link, whom she says inspires her every day to relax and smell the roses. For more information please visit Regan Walker’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Red Wolf’s Prize Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, October 1
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Thursday, October 2
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

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Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes

Sinful Folkimage
Ned Hayes

In December of the year 1377, five children were burned to death in a suspicious house fire. A small band of villagers traveled 200 miles across England in midwinter to demand justice for their children’s deaths.

“The wheel of Fortune turns one way and another, taking us to the heights or the depths. That is the great wheel on which we all turn, tied to destinies that move up or down at the whim of God above.”

This is a very interesting novel, perfect blend of historical events mingled with the correct measure of fiction. The harshness of the time period was well demonstrated by Hayes. No secret the Middle Ages was a brutal time on multiple levels to confront. With such vivid descriptions you’ll find your stomach experiencing the pangs of hunger from near starvation, you feel the bitter cold grasping and gnawing at your bones, warding off the grim reaper a daily challenge. The horrific hardships faced by the group as they travel undoubtedly leaves the reader exhausted as you feel their detainments, dark secrets exposed and ongoing dangers. Hayes created such a lucid setting the reader feels immersed in the period and fate of characters particularly that of Mear. A wonderful historical mystery thriller with compelling characters, fascinating narrative along with rich and vivid surroundings. Medieval fans should like this, plus the addition of mystery, thriller provides further enjoyment. Anxious to see what Hayes produces next, an author to keep tabs on, talent abound.

“We are but a tattered remnant, a small and bastard race who linger on the shoulders of that giant race, a memory that is always our better. We look backward always, scratching in the ruins, reclaiming scraps from their vast and long-abandoned table of knowledge. For we are misshapen offspring, stunted in our ways and our minds, reaching blindly after the treasures of knowledge lost to time.”

▪︎Published January 22nd 2014 by Campanile Books
▪︎Pages 400
ISBN13: 9780985239305
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

Recommendation: 4/5