Posts Tagged Historical Fiction

Q&A WITH PAULA MARGULIES, AUTHOR OF FAVORITE DAUGHTER, PART ONE

FavoriteDaughter - FRONTCover-1

 

Favorite Daughter, Part One

by Paula Margulies

ISBN 13: 978-0-9913545-2-8

ISBN 10: 0991354524

One People Press: July 21, 2014

 

Synopsis

 

Set in the time of the Jamestown settlement and the English explorer John Smith, Favorite Daughter, Part One recounts the story of Chief Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas, as she prepares to take her place as one of our nation’s earliest leading women. Pocahontas invites readers to experience her native world when strangers appear on the shores near her village. From forging a relationship with the charismatic Smith, to experiencing love for the first time and creating a role for herself in her father’s plans for peace, this young girl takes us on a poignant and harrowing journey through the turbulent events of her life. Eventually betrayed by all of the men she loves, Pocahontas matures into a heroine of tremendous nobility, courage, and heart.

 

Told in first person, in a voice brimming with compassion and wisdom, Favorite Daughter, Part One provides a compelling look at the early days of one of the most remarkable legends in American history.

 

*Editor’s Choice Award Winner, 21st Annual San Diego State University Writers’ Conference*

 

Paula Margulies PhotoPaula Margulies is the owner of Paula Margulies Communications, a public relations firm for authors and artists. She has received numerous awards for her short stories, essays, and novels, including her historical novel, Favorite Daughter, Part One, her debut novel, Coyote Heart, and her short story collection, Face Value: Collected Stories. Paula is a contributor to Author Magazine, the San Diego Examiner, and The Writers Edge

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Q & A with Paula Margulies

 

Q: Where and when do you write?

A: In my home office mostly, although I try to sneak away to artist residencies whenever my teaching and client work schedule will allow. I usually write on Sundays, but that all depends on how much life intrudes (and it does that often, believe me!).

Q: Why did you write your book?

A: I’ve always been fascinated with the story of Pocahontas, and since so much of her history has been told to us by English explorers like John Smith, I decided that retelling her story, from her perspective, might make for an interesting read.

Q: There have been many books written about Pocahontas. How is this book different?

A: There are a number of differing versions of the history of that time, and much of what we know about Pocahontas comes from the writing of John Smith and the other colonists, who reported on what they found in the new land when they returned to England. Favorite Daughter, Part One is based on my research on works about her by Native Americans, many of whom tell a darker tale than the English history. Also, there aren’t many fictional works about that time from a Native American perspective, and the majority of those that do exist are written for young adults. Favorite Daughter, Part One is written for adults and focuses on Pocahontas’s coming of age into womanhood and becoming a wife and mother, in addition to her work as a representative of her tribe and, eventually, as a celebrity in England (that part of her story will be covered in Part Two).

Q: Are you of Native American heritage?

A: No, both of my parents are of Italian descent. But my father, Douglas Roccaforte, loved Native American history and was a collector of American Indian artifacts, so I grew up with a deep appreciation of Native American culture and history.

Q: Whose work inspires you?

A: So many authors inspire me that it’s hard to choose! I’ve always been a huge fan of the Southern gothic – William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor are my all-time favorite writers. As a graduate student in English Literature, I studied Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bellow, Doctorow, Didion, Heller, and Pynchon. Recent authors whose stories have haunted me, stunned me, or made me weep: Sherman Alexie, Ha Jin, Vikram Seth, David Mitchell, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Jane Smiley, Jane Hamilton, Sena Jeter Naslund, Anna Quindlen, and Elizabeth Berg.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?

A: When I’m not working on my publicity business or teaching classes, I enjoy meditation, reading, writing, and experimenting with artisan bread recipes. In the summer, I try to go to as many local Native American pow wows as I can (there are quite a few here in the San Diego area), and I’ve been known to enjoy an Indian taco (or two) on occasion.

Q: What are the words you live by?
A:
Less is more (except when we’re talking about Indian tacos).

 

 

I am currently reading this novel and would like to thank Paula Margulies for this opportunity. My review will be posted soon, but I must say that she has enchanted me!

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Review: Falling For The Pirate(Men of Fortune 2) by AMBER LIN

Falling for the Pirate

Title: Falling For The Pirate

Author: Amber Lin

Release Date: July 21st, 2014


About Falling For The Pirate (Men Of Fortune #2):

Falling For The Pirate CoverVengeance is a dish best served in bed…

London, 1812

After the deaths of his parents and a dark, troubled childhood, Captain Nate Bowen vowed he would have his revenge. But he never expected to have the tool of his revenge dropped so neatly into his lap. Juliana Hargate is not only the daughter of his enemy, but is destitute, very much alone—and exquisitely desirable.

And now that Nate has saved her life, she’s at his complete mercy…

Captive. All Juliana wanted was to clear her father’s name. Instead, she’s been struck with amnesia—unable to recall even her name—and imprisoned by a tall, imposing, and entirely unscrupulous pirate.A pirate whose eyes seem to look past her skirts and many petticoats, and whose touch sends delicious ripples of desire through her. With every passing day, she finds herself tempted to give him the very thing he’s determined to take…

Amazon // B&N

 

 

 

Excerpt:

It was warm in the room. Too warm. The blankets were suffocating, and someone had built a strong fire. She could smell the coal.
Coal. There was something about coal, but she couldn’t remember what. Her head felt foggy, as if filled with water, her thoughts adrift in the murky dark. There was something important she had to remember. Floating just beyond her grasp.
Cuts and bruises all over her body made themselves known as she came awake, as if they awoke too, one by one. Her palms burned, as though she’d fallen and scraped them. Her ankle throbbed—possibly she’d twisted it. Her side ached. What had happened to her?
If she held herself very still, the pain dulled to a muffled roar, just quiet enough that she could focus on other things.
Such as where she was.
And who she was.
Her eyes felt glued shut. She opened them by force of will and stared at a plain drapery striped with light and dark blue. Pretty; serviceable. She was almost sure she’d never seen it before. Almost, because she couldn’t remember what she had seen before. She could only feel certain she hadn’t.
The furniture looked heavy. Good quality. Not ornate.
That detail seemed meaningful to her. Not ornate. As if she had once lived somewhere that was ornate—with fancy tapestries and delicately carved furnishings. Somewhere much colder than here.
A faint memory of freezing water and sinewy shadows came to her, tickling her memory. Sinking, drowning. But nothing moved beneath her now, and her throat felt utterly dry. If she’d been in the water at some point, she was most definitely on land now.
She looked around, letting her gaze sweep the cozy room before landing on a large wooden chair. More to the point, the man sleeping in the chair.
His legs were spread wide—bracing himself, even in sleep. His shoulders were well above the back of the chair, his head leaning against the wall behind. He seemed too large for the furniture, like a grown man sitting on a child’s rocker in a nursery. Only, this chair was quite average-sized.
She had a sense of familiarity, of having seen him before. Which was strange, because she didn’t feel like the sort of woman acquainted with pirates.
And this man was most definitely a pirate.
He wore no jacket. She felt faintly scandalized, except he was also alone in the room with her. He was alone in the room with her, which was far worse than being in shirtsleeves. And if that weren’t shocking enough, the ties at his collar hung loose, baring a portion of his chest. Tanned. Sprinkled with dark hair. And wholly inappropriate for her to see.
She looked away—and right into his eyes. He was awake now. He’d been watching her examine him.
“Who are you?” Her voice came out low and rough. What had she been doing last night to make her voice so raw?
And had she been doing it with him?
The pirate stretched slowly, wincing as his body straightened into order. She had the sense he was rolling himself back up, as if he were a tree he had to trim just to stand upright.
“You asked me the same question last night,” he remarked.
His voice vibrated with sarcasm. He didn’t sound happy to greet her this morning. And, in fact, her sense of familiarity was completely misplaced if she’d asked for his name just last night.
“What did you answer?” she asked.
A glimmer of humor shone from his eyes before they went black again. Black like his hair. Black like the sea. He smiled, and the smile was black, too—with irony and annoyance. “I didn’t,” he said. “I’m not in the habit of explaining myself to thieves.”

REVIEW

As a lover of this genre, this was a quick and interesting read for me!

Nate and Juliana are wonderfully paired, and each character has their own extraordinary qualities.  His character has much more depth than your typical pirate, and she’s not your average spoiled little rich girl.  The plot has a few twists, good supporting characters, and  great love scenes.  Amber Lin has an excellent writing style that makes you an immediate fan!

I read this in a flash and can’t wait to see what she has in store for the next installment!  Great series!

 

The Men of Fortune Series by Amber Lin:

letters at christmas pic

#1 Letters At Christmas (novella) : Amazon / B&N



About Amber Lin:

Amber authorAmber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.

 

Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.

 

Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.



Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

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NEW RELEASE! WELCOME TO LONDON MR. SHAKESPEARE by D. Lawrence-Young

 

 

“WELCOME TO LONDON, 

MR. SHAKESPEARE” 

by 

D. Lawrence-Young

Enigma
 

(Enigma Press New Release!)

BUY LINKS
Synopsis: 
 

Will Shakespeare is a young lad, happy to work at school, but happier really when he is writing long love poems and short plays. Unfortunately, his father, having fallen on hard times has to send Will out to earn his own living. 



Eventually managing to convince his family that his pen and education will provide a better living than by making gloves in his father’s shop, Will sets off for London and the new and exciting world of the theatre. 



Elizabethan London is like no other place in the world, with its sights, smells, opportunities and constant danger. While Will is forging his career and making new friends in the theatre, including the alluring Dark Lady of the Sonnets, he must also be very careful of those he mixes with. The Tudor capital is a treacherous place at the best of times, and there are ever-listening ears everywhere. William Shakespeare has to be on guard at all times, especially when he is forced to become a government spy. 



Based on a wide range of sources, D. Lawrence-Young has written a fascinating novel that helps us answer the question: What was Shakespeare doing during his so-called Lost Years?

 
 

Author:

 

 

D. Lawrence-Young has been teaching and lecturing on drama, history and English for many years. He is happiest when researching Shakespeare, English and military history. He has written Communication in English, a best-selling English language textbook as well as a dozen other historical novels. These include three based on the life of Shakespeare.
He contributes regularly to Forum, a magazine for English language teachers and has also written several articles for Skirmish, a military history journal. He is a member of the local history club and is the Chairman of the Jerusalem Shakespeare Society. He is also a published (USA) and exhibited (UK and Jerusalem) photographer. He plays the clarinet (badly) and is married and has three children.
 
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FREEBIE! LETTERS AT CHRISTMAS (Men Of Fortune #1)by Amber Lin

Letters At Christmas Cover

Title: Letters At Christmas

Author: Amber Lin

Release Date: July 7th, 2014

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About Letters At Christmas (Men Of Fortune #1):

Letters At Christmas CoverThree London Seasons. Three Christmases come and gone. Jilted Sidony Harbeck is done waiting for the inconstant Captain Hale Martin to return. Despite their whispered adolescent promises, he never wrote her a single letter. Now the scoundrel has returned, professing his love and a thoughtless bet to woo her, but she only wants him to suffer.

 

After three years at sea, Hale finally has the means to marry his best friend’s sister and the love of his life. But he only has three days to convince her of his devotion because he stupidly proposes a wager – he’ll convince Sidony to marry him by Christmas or he’ll leave her alone forever.

 

When Hale sets out to seduce her, the stakes are raised by a passion so intense that Sidony must risk her heart no matter the odds.

 

 

Letters At Christmas is the first book in the Men Of Fortune series. Pick it up for FREE until July 21st!

Amazon // B&N



Excerpt:

 

HARBECK HALL, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND

1815

Your absence arrives most strongly at night, conjured by dreams and a gentle sway, with only a cold sweat and a canvas blanket for company.
The more Miss Sidony Harbeck of Harbeck Hall tried to avoid trouble, the more tightly it always seemed to ensnare her.

Sidony had plenty of time to lament this paradox as she sat stranded in the boughs of a frost-brittle tree. Spindly branches snagged on the thin wool of her dress. Her throat felt raw from shouting against the wind. No one came to her rescue.

The servants would be bustling inside, unaware that she was outside at all. Her brother had gone out hunting last night—the excuse he always gave when he visited his lover, a widow the next estate over. Never mind that he always came back freshly starched without having shot anything. At least Poppet was here for company.

The gray cat mewed plaintively from her lap.

“And whose fault is this?” Sidony muttered. “Really, you just decided to go for a stroll. Twenty feet off the ground.”

The thick, rippled windows had distorted her view of the high road and the long drive leading to the hall. So she’d opened them, and while she’d been sitting on the bench, staring out, Poppet must have slipped past her. She might not have noticed, her attention firmly fixed on the horizon, but he’d started crying at the top of his little lungs.

Disconcerted and distracted, Sidony had reached for him. She’d used a branch for leverage and snap—they’d both fallen. Now she was sitting on a sturdier branch, but too far off the ground to jump and too far below the window to climb back inside. It appeared neither she nor Poppet was injured. Her bottom had ached at first, but the cold had quickly numbed her.

Across the sugar-white fields, a smudge of black suddenly appeared. It moved along the familiar road, becoming larger and smudgier.

She scowled in mortification. No. He would not find her like this. She wouldn’t let him. With a surge of determination, she clutched Poppet against her side and scooted closer to the tree trunk. She would jump, that was all. If she broke her leg, well, at least she’d be out of the tree.

She whispered a small prayer under her breath. Poppet chose that moment to dig her claws into her breast. She shrieked and lost her balance. The cat fell. Sidony did too. With a desperate lurch, she tumbled sideways and firmly enmeshed the folds of her skirt into the surrounding branches, clinging to the trunk.

Poppet landed on his feet in the snow below her. He paused and licked his foreleg—as if washing off the human scent. Then he walked demurely around the back of the house, where the cook would probably give him a bowl of warm milk.
Sidony really hated cats.

She tried to straighten, but this new position was even more precarious than the last. Burning cold beneath her legs gave the troubling implication that her skirt had ridden up in the back. Drat it all. She batted branches away from her hair until the neat upsweep drooped heavily to one side. If given the chance, she desperately promised the fickle gods of Fate, she would go inside and never, ever, think of him again.

Really.

Truly.

Except, that would be impossible, as he’d be here any minute.

A rumble from the lane drew her attention. She froze. Time for a new plan. She would remain very still until he’d gone inside. He wouldn’t notice her. Eventually, someone else would find her and help her down. Or she would freeze to death. At this point, she wasn’t picky about the outcome, as long as he didn’t see her like this.

She regretted her choice of festive green dress, which rather stood out from the winter-gray tree and grayer brick behind. Green complimented her fair complexion and hazel eyes, but this fact only made her feel worse, as if she’d been trying to impress him. She also regretted her entirely coincidental perch by her bedchamber window, as if she’d been waiting for him. Which she certainly hadn’t been doing. Never, never, never again.

Voices murmured from around the house, along with all the stomach-clenching sounds of a carriage stopping and a passenger disembarking. The soft crunch of snow grew louder. She studiously trained her gaze on the white horizon.

“Hello, Sidony.” Hale.

She chose not to look down. It seemed safer that way. “Good afternoon.”

A telling pause. “Why are you in a tree?”

“Fresh air is an important component of physical fitness and mental stability.” Or so the ladies’ magazine had reported. “You may go inside now.”
“I would very much like to go inside. It’s been a long journey. And yet, I find myself reluctant to leave you here. In this tree. Can you come down?”

“Of course I can come down. I would have to be very stupid to climb a tree that I couldn’t climb down from.”

“Yes, precisely.” Another pause. “Though it occurs to me that you might not have climbed up. Your window is open.”

“How do you know that’s my window?”

She flushed as her question brought to mind the nights he had been in her room.

“How about this?” he asked reasonably. “In the interest of my mental stability, I’ll help you down. Then if you want to climb the tree again, I won’t stop you.”

Fine, she reluctantly conceded. Better than freezing to death. Marginally. She held out her hand, wishing she’d thought to wear gloves. He was wearing them, of course, and the leather was cool and soft against her trembling fingers. She’d intended to go slowly and carefully, but as soon as he grasped her hand, he pulled. A slight tearing sound came from her dress, and then she was suspended in his arms, clinging to his neck.

She suddenly had more sympathy for Poppet’s predicament; claws would be useful about now.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

Her dress was ripped. Her hair undone. Her pride beaten and shriveled. “Perfectly well, thank you.”

“Of course you are. Sidony Harbeck always lands on her feet.”

She reminded herself it was a compliment. Hale had always liked cats.

As she looked up at him, the brilliance of his smile stopped her cold. It was a nice, handsome smile, but that wasn’t the danger. Those dimples that she had always thought of as adorable had deepened, and were now tanned…and dashing. Debonair, even. When had that happened?

He nestled her comfortably in his arms, with her head tucked beneath his chin, thankfully relieving her of the sight. Instead, she looked at Harbeck Hall, the family estate, through new eyes as they approached. What did Hale think of the new slate turrets? No doubt they looked pedestrian to a man as well travelled. The entire moors must appear plain compared to exotic lagoons or snow-capped mountains.

 

About Amber Lin:

Amber authorAmber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.

Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.

Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.



Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

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Blog Tour Stop & Review! CRANE Legends Saga Book 1 by Stacey Rourke

 

Crane by Stacey Rourke
Legends Saga Book 1
Crane

 

The Horseman is unending,

his presence shan’t lessen.

If you break the curse,

you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?

 

 

 

REVIEW

This was a very unusual twist on Irving’s classic tale, but I found it extraordinary!

The narration alternates between the present heroine, Ireland, and her ancestor, Ichabod Crane. This brilliant maneuver allows you to follow both characters as their stories unfold which builds anticipation and intensifies the mystery. I was completely engulfed in this exciting thriller as the pages seemed to race across my kindle! There are several supporting characters that make a complex addition to this story, and a few that add comedic relief when needed.

With the perfect balance of gore, romance, comedy, and mystery, I found this novel to be an excellent YA read!

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About Stacy Rourke

staceyrourke

There is nothing worse than being put on the spot and asked to talk about yourself. For me it brings back that inevitable moment in a new school when the teacher would ask me to stand up, introduce myself and tell the class something about myself. I was always worried I would blurt out something stupid that I would get teased for. Something like, “My name’s Stacey and I like pickles!” Then for the rest of the school year I’d be known as the Pickle Girl and let’s be honest, no one wants that. So to avoid such a faux pas I will simply say that I love to write. It allows me to get my crazy out just enough that I can function as a normal member of society.

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TOUR STOP & GIVEAWAY…THE MERLIN CHRONICLES by DANIEL DIEHL

merlin

 

BOOK ONE

revelationbookone

 

SYNOPSIS:

 

Merlin the Magician only exists in myth and legend – at least that’s what archaeology student Jason Carpenter thought until he discovered the mysterious orb that had housed history’s greatest wizard for 1,600 years.

Forced into an uneasy alliance, Jason and Merlin are sucked into a web of deceit, intrigue and murder that sends them on a chaotic race to outwit, and out run, Merlin’s ancient nemesis, the evil sorceress Morgana le Fay, her gang of drug smugglers and a 500 year-old Chinese necromancer. Tis a race against time to complete their quest before an army of dragons are unleashed on a vulnerable and unsuspecting 21st century world.

 

BOOK Two

merlinchronicles

SYNOPSIS:

After being accidentally thrown into the modern world of the 21st century, the wizard, Merlin teamed up with archaeology student, Jason Carpenter to aid him in his battle against the evil sorcerous, Morgana le Fay.

In this second book of The Merlin Chronicles, Merlin braves the mysterious depths of Morgana’s underground lair in search of the alien device with which she communicates with the Dragon Lords.

Meanwhile, Jason is forced to battle his way across war-torn Central Africa in search of a legendary gem that holds the key to closing the dragon gate forever. When Merlin is captured by Morgana’s thugs, Jason and Beverley, must risk their lives and the future of mankind in a desperate effort to save their friend.

GIVEAWAY

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AUTHOR INFORMATION & LINKS

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Daniel Diehl has been an author, writer and investigative historian for thirty-five years. For nearly twenty years Diehl has been involved in writing for publication and documentary television production. Mr. Diehl’s work has won awards from the Houston (Texas) Film Festival, the National Trust for Historic Preservation (US) and the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Arts Foundation. Working alone and as a part of the multi-award winning team of Daniel Diehl and Mark Donnelly, Diehl has produced work in two main categories; trade publication and television documentary scripts. His canon of work includes twenty non-fiction books (which have been translated into ten foreign languages), one previous work of fiction and scripts for more than one hundred and seventy hours of documentary television primarily for A&E Network, The History Channel, History International, Biography Channel and Discovery Network.

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Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: A Thousand Perfect Things

Thousand perfect thingsA Thousand Perfect Things

BLURB:

In this epic new work, the award-winning Kenyon, whose work has be compared to Larry Nivens and Stephen R. Donaldson, creates an alternate Earth in the 19th century. This Earth is ruled by two warring factions—scientific Anglica (England) and magical Bharata (India).

Tori Harding, a Victorian woman, whose heart aches to claim the legendary powers of the golden lotus, must leave her reasoned world behind and journey to Bharata. In pursuit of the golden lotus, Tori will be forced to brave its magics, intrigues, deadly secrets and haunted places, to claim her destiny and choose between two lovers in two irreconcilable realms.

As a great native insurrection sweeps the continent of Bharata—Tori will find the thing she most desires, beautifully flawed and more wonderfully strange than she could have ever dreamed.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Book Depository

Excerpt:

Prologue

January 18, 1857

 

         Lord Nelson’s statue perched on its granite column in the square, but to Edwina Banning it appeared that his shoulders stooped, as though he were weary of the heroic pose. It might have been a trick of the light.

        Presently satisfied that the great naval hero was not drooping–and how, indeed, could a statue droop–Edwina tipped her parasol back into place and turned to watch six-year old Anna who was feeding pigeons with her father. The day darkened as a sudden high cloud tented the sky wintry gray. A horse pulling a coach shied in its traces, for a moment disrupting the decorous progression of carriages. Anna’s father pulled her close.

        “Papa,” Anna said, pointing at Lord Nelson on his column, “the statue is bleeding.”

        Mr. Banning held his top hat on as he craned his neck to see. “Pigeons do make rather a mess,” he said.

        “But the mess is red.”

        Edwina Banning turned to look, noting with alarm a red slime oozing down the column. Just as she was trying to imagine how this could be, she stared hard at one of the lions anchoring a corner of the plinth. The metal sculpture opened its mouth in a cavernous yawn. It was said that the iron lions had been cast from Scottish cannons. She had always found satisfaction in that story, and therefore it took her a moment before she entirely grasped that the animals were awake.

        They stirred.

        As Mr. and Mrs. Banning gaped in stunned denial, blood oozed from under Nelson’s coat and dribbled down the granite column.

         Edwina’s lips parted for a scream just as one of the lions–the one facing the church of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields–leapt through the air and landed on a peanut vendor, crushing him to the ground. Then the second lion found its prey: a top-hatted gentleman with a cane. The cane crashed down on the beast’s head, but as the lion was made of iron, it had no effect. The square erupted with shouts and screams. Pigeons flew up in a clatter of wings and demented cooing.

        Lord Nelson sagged and fell to one knee, clutching his chest.

        The rampage began. The lions rushed to the slaughter, breaking necks with mighty paws and tearing at throats. They did not linger to feed, but turned from one victim to the next, finding their quarry closely packed in the square, though trying to flee. The fastest among them got as far as the steps of the National Gallery before falling.

        Mr. Banning yanked open the door of a carriage, and surprised the lady inside by throwing his daughter into her lap and shoving his wife in as far as he could. He jumped inside and slammed the door closed. As terrified horses charged away, their careening carriages in tow, people in the square threw themselves on top of the conveyances, or clung to riding boards.

        From the floor of the carriage where she huddled with her mother little Anna whispered, “They’re not real lions, though.”

        Edwina clutched her daughter tightly. They weren’t, they weren’t at all.

        But they killed.

Review:

An excellent Sci-Fi twist in Historical Fiction fashion!

I loved this beautifully descriptive novel, and was fascinated by its story line.  The author has represented two worlds in a unique fashion, and created a wonderful cast of characters!  Magic, religion, science, mythical creatures, and a land of exotic wonders await you!

About This Literary Chef:

kay kenyonAuthor Kay Kenyon

Kay Kenyon is the author of eleven science fiction and fantasy novels, including A Thousand Perfect Things. She is the author of the critically acclaimed science fiction quartet, The Entire and The Rose. Bright of the Sky was among PW’s top 150 books of 2007. The series has twice been shortlisted for the ALA Reading List awards and three times for the Endeavour Award. Four of her novels have been translated into French, Spanish and Czech. Along with her novels Tropic of Creation and Maximum Ice, two of the works in the quartet received starred reviews from PW.

 

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Ends 3/31/14

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PLACE OF A SKULL By: Keith Jacobsen

place of a skull pic

BLURB:

In West Belfast in the late 1960s, Brendan O’Hara and his teenage son, Seamus, are drawn to the nationalist cause and join the IRA. Their obsession divides them from other members of the family, especially Seamus’ mother, Ruth, and his gentle younger brother, Patrick. Ruth copes with her isolation through a close friendship with Linda, Brendan’s sister-in-law, and a passionate and over-protective relationship with Patrick.

The family leave Belfast so that Brendan and Seamus can take part in the mainland campaign, where Brendan and Seamus become ruthless executioners of informers. Betrayed by an unknown informer, Brendan is arrested and sentenced to twenty years.

Seamus escapes the attention of the authorities and tries to put his past behind him. But he is horrified when, on his deathbed, Brendan makes him swear an oath to kill the informer who put Brendan behind bars. But Seamus discovers he has a personal connection to the informer. Tormented by guilt but bound by his oath, can Seamus avenge his father without destroying himself?

REVIEW:

Book one of the “Furies Trilogy”

From the first page, the author’s extensive research for this installment was obvious.   Jacobsen’s accurate period detail and believable characters brought the story to life in a brilliant manner.

As I read this book, my heart was breaking.  Following a group of strong characters who face the hardships of political and religious persecution is never easy, but the author makes it hard to look away.  Dark secrets tear a family apart as they are brought to light and those that seemed the weakest turn out to have the greatest fortitude.  With each page the tension, suspense and uncertainty kept me enthralled.

I have never had so many mixed emotions throughout a novel about the characters involved.  I would like a character one minute, then hate them the next. The story line was compelling and flowed with ease.  I highly recommend this to those that like mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction.   

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon: Place of A Skull

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17987578-place-of-a-skull

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

keith jacobsen

I was born into a Roman Catholic family with antecedents in the Republic of Ireland. I had a strict Catholic upbringing at home and school. My background in a multicultural city with large Catholic and Protestant communities drawn from both sides of the Irish border stimulated a life-long interest in the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ from 1969 to the late 1990s. This interest has recently borne fruit in my third novel, ‘Place of a Skull’. published 1 June 2013, with its background in the Troubles. My previous novel, ‘Out of the Depths’, about a search for a priest accused of abuse, is set in Crosby, North Liverpool. As well as a clerical ‘whodunnit’, with priest detectives in the tradition of Cadfael and Father Brown, it is intended as a tribute to the people of Liverpool and their warmth and humour.


Prior to this pursuit of a writing interest comparatively late in life I was a civil servant for 27 years, and also have qualifications in piano performance and teaching.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6498538.Keith_Jacobsen

http://www.keithjacobsen.co.uk/da/113119

 

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Review: SEVERED a tale of sleepy hollow

severeddaxvarley

Blurb:

 

Katrina’s still haunted by her encounter with the Headless Horseman – the night he beckoned to her. Now he has risen again, slashing heads and terrorizing the quiet countryside.

Her only joy during this dismal darkness comes when Ichabod Crane, a gorgeous young man from Connecticut, moves to Sleepy Hollow and their attraction turns to romance.

When the Horseman marks Ichabod as his next victim, Katrina, despite dangerous efforts to save him, sees no other choice than for them to flee.

But the Horseman awaits. Now it’s up to her to sever the horror and alter the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Review:

This was the second novel that I’ve read by Dax Varley and once again, she’s blown me away. The writing style is intelligent, easy to follow, and conducive with the setting. Although this novel is based around the time of the Revolutionary War, the characters are relatable and very entertaining. I was completely enthralled from the first page, and on the edge of my seat as the mystery unraveled.

 

After rereading Irving’s tale, which was actually influenced by an Irish legend known as The Dullahan, I thoroughly enjoyed the route the author took with her version of the Headless Horseman and the inhabitants of Sleepy Hollow. There are several noticeable influences from other versions of the classic, but that does not take away from this story at all. Varley has turned the incorrigible Katrina into a loveable heroine, the lanky Ichabod into eye candy, and has manifested the Headless Horseman into a real being that is feared by all. The supporting characters are compelling as well, making this novel flow with incredible ease.

 

As expected, this author has done justice to a tale that has haunted many for centuries! This novel is romantic, scary, thrilling, and even comical at times. A story for YA and adults, I highly recommend this book!


CLICK BELOW TO CHECK IT OUT!

Amazon

About the Author:

 

daxvarleyWhen Dax Varley isn’t reading, she’s slinging words onto a page. She lives in Richmond, Texas with her husband and a half-dozen imaginary friends.

Author Links:          http://www.goodreads.com/dax_varley

                              http://www.daxvarley.com/

                              http://www.twitter.com/https://twitter.com/daxvarley

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WANTED: ONE GHOST

 wantedBLURB:

Stuck in ghostly limbo for 238 years, James Addison can’t move on to an afterlife. After being falsely accused of treason and executed, fate’s cursed him to remain an earth-bound specter until he meets a historian sent to research his past. Distrustful of fate,Dr. April Branford wants to be taken seriously, but her unique ability to divine history by touching objects seriously compromises her credibility. Her latest assignment? James Addison, a legendary colonial ladies’ man with a shadowy past. Without much to go on, she doesn’t hold out much hope to discover the man behind the legend until the day she accidentally touches him and brings him back to life. With the help of family and ghosts from James’s past, they unravel the truth. But after falling in love and with time running out, it’s hard for April to believe in fate and a future where forever is now

REVIEW:

What a treat just in time for the Halloween season!

This book was mesmerizing!  The astute manner in which the author blended historical and paranormal fiction with modern day intricacies made this an excellent read that I just couldn’t put down!  The story line is captivating and the characters are divine.  I couldn’t help but to think of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” while reading this, as it’s one of my favorite classics.  Of course, the relationship she had with her ghost is tepid, at most, compared to James and April’s steamy love affair.  In this day and age, it’s hard to find a man that’s as attentive and chivalrous as James. 

This novel is much more than a ghost story with a romantic twist, though, it’s a mystery/thriller as well.  A dark secret lurks in the shadows of the historic town, but bringing light on the subject could come at a cost. With the help of April’s hilarious relatives, she and James try to answer questions that no one alive knows.

Joseph Buchanan’s coined term “psychometry”—which means being able to see the past by touching an object– is utilized brilliantly and the author takes it to another level, catapulting this novel high above others in the same genres.  I laughed, I cried, and unfortunately, I was up investigating everything that went “bump!” in the night.  This is definitely a must read!

5/5 STARS

Amazon link

Loni LynneAbout the Author

Navy veteran and Maryland resident, Loni Lynne was born in Michigan, graduated in Texas, and lived in various states in between. Upon graduation she joined the Navy and married her Army hero before being stationed in Hawaii for four years. On their return to the mainland, they settled in Maryland close to family.

Loni started writing in her early teens and never really stopped. Her travels and experiences created ideas and inspired characters for her stories which ended up half finished files on disks and spiral notebooks. On her 40th birthday her husband gave her a laptop, portable hard drive and a membership to Romance Writers of America as a gift and told her she had one year to finish a manuscript and try to get it published.

Her debut novel, Wanted: One Ghost is only one of many she’s written since then.

Author Amazon Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Loni-Lynne/e/B00D4NRM6U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads Page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7115619.Loni_Lynne

Author Website: https://www.lonilynne.com/

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