BLOG TOUR: The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox with #Giveaway, #Excerpt + #review

 

Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Hester Fox‘s The Witch of Willow Hall! Today, on our tour stop, we have an exclusive excerpt AND a tour-wide giveaway to share!!! So… Check it out and grab your copy today!!!

 

~*~

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it. For fans of The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, A Secret of Witches by Louisa Morgan and The Haunting of Maddie Clare by Simone St. James comes an addictive historical debut about strange power, fierce love, family secrets, and how the past haunts us in ways that demand to be seen.

 

Genre:

New Adult

Historical Fiction

Publish Date:

October 2, 2018

Publisher:

Harlequin’s Graydon House Books

Digital ISBN:

B077MKGQLR

Print ISBN:

9781525833014

 

 

Synopsis:

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

 

~*~

 

Hello readers, I’m so excited to share an excerpt with you from my debut novel, The Witch of Willow Hall (on-sale October 2, 2018). My name is Hester Fox, and hailing from Boston, I’ve always been fascinated with the rich and oftentimes dark history of this period. My novel takes place in a small New England town over 130 years after the infamous Salem Witch trials, and features a Gothic, melancholy atmosphere, restless spirits, and of course, resilient women. I hope you enjoy this excerpt I’ve pulled for you.

 

 

*Excerpt*

Gingerly, I get up, my legs full of pins and needles from sitting on the floor so long. Just like the night of the woman in the garden, I can’t stay in the library knowing that someone might be there. I must go and look for myself.

Even with the sun coming through the windows, illuminating the wood floors and catching the light of the crystal lamps, I feel as if I’m making my way through a dark, murky passage. My feet are heavy, as if they know something that my mind does not.

The door to the dining room is closed. It beckons me, yet repels me, exuding a sense of silent occupation. My ears buzz. A singsong chorus of whispers grows as I approach.

Are you ready?

I am here.

You attract them.

Are you ready?

Prepare for what lies ahead.

Prepare.

Prepare.

They mount and mount into a dizzying jumble of sound and I run the rest of the way to the door, my heart in my chest, my eyes squeezed shut. Grasping the knob, I fling open the door. The voices die away.

I knew it would be there. But it doesn’t stop me from gasping as every part of me curls back in on itself in horror. My blood turns to ice.

Seated at the table is a woman, or what used to be a woman. She sits as if she has every right to be there, as if she has always been there. A veil covers her face, but it is gauzy and threadbare, and I can see the contours of the features beneath. Her dress is old, black as night yet opalescent as the moon through a cobweb. Paralyzed with fear, I watch as it moves about her of its own accord, a soft undulation as if she were underwater. And though I can see her as clear as day, the veiled woman in our dining room, there’s a translucence to her, and the panoramic wallpaper is just visible behind her. She is like nothing and no one I have ever seen before, and yet she is familiar, as if I have always known her.

“Come, child.” Her voice comes from everywhere and nowhere, and when her words are finished, I have the unnerving feeling that they weren’t spoken aloud at all, but came from within my head.

She beckons me with a knobby finger, more bone than flesh.

I can’t drag my gaze away from her face, the sunken holes where there ought to be eyes, the lipless mouth, all teeth and blackness. The cold pie that I just enjoyed churns in my stomach and threatens to come up. She beckons me again, and I imagine those long, terrible fingers closing around my neck and choking the life out of me. I imagine them raking me across the face until ribbons of skin flutter from my skull. I stand my ground, unwilling to deliver myself up to her. She is the stuff of my novels, a grotesque horror that titillates on the page, but sends terror into my heart when in the same room as me.

She gives something like a grunt, and as if able to read my thoughts, says, “One hundred and thirty years of death is not gentle on a body. Come, do not gawk.” I dare not disobey her, so I force my leaden feet to move a few steps closer.

The smell of decay and death fills the room, sickly sweet and putrid at the same time. My stomach clenches at the memories the odor brings back of Emeline in her coffin. My throat is tight, my mouth cotton, but somehow I’m able to gasp out, “W-who are you?”

She makes a noise, something between a snort and a laugh, a scraping, rattling sound, though it’s devoid of humor. “Do you not know your own forebear?”

The blackness of her dress curls around her like a snake, but she sits as motionless as if she were carved of stone. Her stillness is suffocating, it dares the house to be silent, and punishes the sunlight for filtering in through the window.

Warily, I come to a halt at the edge of the dining room table. I don’t know what she’s talking about. “Forebear?”

“Have you not looked upon me since you were a babe? Do you not recognize in me what flows through you?”

“I…” But then it comes to me. The lace collar, though tattered and black as her dress, is unmistakable around her neck. “You’re the woman in the painting. Mother’s ancestor.”

The inclination of her head is small, barely perceptible.

 

Copyright© 2018 The Witch of Willow Hall

Hester Fox

 

Praise for The Witch of Willow Hall

“Fox’s spins a satisfying debut yarn that includes witchcraft, tragedy, and love, set in 1821 New England… The inclusion of gothic elements adds a visceral feel that fans of historical fiction with a dash of the supernatural will enjoy.” –Publishers Weekly

 

“Hester Fox’s THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL offers a fascinating location, a great plot with history and twists, and characters that live and breathe. I love the novel, and will be looking forward to all new works by this talented author!” —Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author

 

 

 

“Beautifully written, skillfully plotted, and filled with quiet terror, readers will devour this absorbing, Gothic tale of romance and suspense. Perfect for fans of Simone St James and Kate Morton.” — Anna Lee Huber, the national bestselling author of the historical Lady Darby Mysteries

 

 

 

“Beautifully written, with an intriguing plot full of suspense and mystery, The Witch of Willow Hall will cast a spell over every reader.” — Lisa Hall, author of Tell Me No Lies and Between You and Me

 

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR: The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox with #Giveaway, #Excerpt + #review”

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ROGUES TO RICHES ON TOUR~~LORD OF PLEASURE~~ ERICA RIDLEY

In the Rogues to Riches historical romance series, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Sigh-worthy Regency rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind romance with rollicking adventure.”

 

http://www.ericaridley.com/images/covers/EricaRidley_RTR-2-LOP.jpg

 

EXCERPT:

Breathless, Camellia gazed up into Lord X’s fathomless black mask. She could not see his eyes. Even his brow was hidden. There was no way to know what expression he wore. Nothing to go on except the words he spoke. Yet there could be no other answer to his query.

Bolder. She had longed to be bolder, yearned to be someone else since the moment she realized it was too late to change her personality. Dahlia was forceful, Bryony was fearless, but Camellia watched from the shadows. Looking out for her sisters. Being a good girl. A proper young lady. Minding every one of high society’s interminable rules as if the price for bending them was death. Perhaps the cost of denying her own desires was just as dear.

She was tired of being perfect. The only way to never break a rule, to avoid disappointing anyone’s expectations, was to never do anything at all. That wasn’t life at all.

Yet who was at fault? If she was nothing more substantial than a music box, nothing but a dutiful automaton respectable enough to possess an Almack’s voucher and too terrified to use it, then it was because she had let herself be programmed that way.

She wanted to change. Needed to. Perhaps it wouldn’t be for the better, but it would be more authentic—she would be more herself—if once in a while she did what she wanted, instead of molding to the wishes of everyone around her.

“Bolder,” she repeated. “I want to be bolder. It’s the one thing about my life I would alter.”

“I can grant you that wish.” He pushed his goblet away and sprang to his feet. “Be fearless here. Tonight. With me.”

He held out his hand.

Simultaneously hopeful and nervous, she placed her fingers in his.

“Whatever it is that you want, you need only be bold enough to ask.” He pulled her to him.

Her heart pounded so loudly, she feared he could feel it through his layers of shirt and waistcoat.

“What do you want?” he asked softly. “Be bold. Let me give it to you.”

What did she want, here, with him? She closed her eyes and let the night be her guide.

Now that they were no longer nestled on a woolen blanket, the breeze was cool against her bare upper arms… but not overly so. The warmth from Lord X’s body heated her whether they were lying prone or standing chest-to-chest beneath the moonlight.

The scent of his breath so close to her lips was as sweet as the wine they had shared. The sounds of the night—if indeed there were any other than the thundering of her heart—were eclipsed by the siren call of the orchestra, whose seductive waltz spilled out through the open doorways and up from the balcony overlooking the garden to kiss their feet, even out here on the roof.

She opened her eyes. There was only one answer. One thing among the many she’d never done that he alone could give her. Without scandal. Tonight.

“I want to waltz,” she admitted hesitantly. “But…”

He shook his head. “With me, you never have to justify yourself or your desires. I will never say no.”

Her breath caught at his words. “Why?”

“Because I want to be the reason for the sparkles in your eyes.” His husky voice was intoxicating. “You want to waltz? We waltz.”

He took her hand and turned toward the stairs.

She held her ground.

He looked over his shoulder. Though the expression behind his mask was a mystery, every inch of his posture asked a silent question.

“Here,” she said. Boldly. “I want to waltz here. Where it’s just you and me and the stars.”

He stepped forward and took her into his arms without another word.

At first, she thought he might kiss her. Her heart thumped. She was pressed tight against him, her lips tilted up toward the sensual line of his mouth.

And then he took her hand in his and swung her in time to the music.

Her pulse thrilled at his touch. Never had a moment been so magical as dancing across a rooftop in the arms of a dashing stranger. The wind whipped through her hair, tugging tendrils free from her careful chignon, fluttering the ruby silk of her skirt about her legs.

None of that mattered. All she cared about was the hand holding hers. The warmth of his fingers against the small of her back. The strength in his arms, his body, as he whirled her from one stunning night view of London to another.

The night was crisp but his embrace heated her to her core. She could no longer feel her feet flying across the roof to their private rhythm, or the whispery material of her gown fluttering against her silk stockings in the breeze.

All she could feel were her trembling fingers tucked against his warm palm, the strength of his arm tucked about her waist, her lips curving into the widest, most unabashed smile she’d ever experienced.

This was life!

Every part of him was danger and romance and adventure. He transported her not just from one soaring section of the roof to another, but to an alternate world. One in which she was exactly the woman she pretended to be. Carefree and wild and bubbling with joy at the consuming, heady sensation of being truly, completely, wonderfully alive.

Being in his arms stole her breath, yet gave her strength. He did not look through her as so many men had done throughout her life, but rather as though he could not look anywhere else. As if the sight of her in his embrace was so entrancing, so intoxicating, that he too had forgotten everything and everyone until all that remained was the two of them. Their bodies entwined in a waltz that found its music in their very souls.

Tonight she wouldn’t run away at midnight. She would dance in his arms until dawn.

 

Breathless, Camellia gazed up into Lord X’s fathomless black mask. She could not see his eyes. Even his brow was hidden. There was no way to know what expression he wore. Nothing to go on except the words he spoke. Yet there could be no other answer to his query.

Bolder. She had longed to be bolder, yearned to be someone else since the moment she realized it was too late to change her personality. Dahlia was forceful, Bryony was fearless, but Camellia watched from the shadows. Looking out for her sisters. Being a good girl. A proper young lady. Minding every one of high society’s interminable rules as if the price for bending them was death. Perhaps the cost of denying her own desires was just as dear.

She was tired of being perfect. The only way to never break a rule, to avoid disappointing anyone’s expectations, was to never do anything at all. That wasn’t life at all.

Yet who was at fault? If she was nothing more substantial than a music box, nothing but a dutiful automaton respectable enough to possess an Almack’s voucher and too terrified to use it, then it was because she had let herself be programmed that way.

She wanted to change. Needed to. Perhaps it wouldn’t be for the better, but it would be more authentic—she would be more herself—if once in a while she did what she wanted, instead of molding to the wishes of everyone around her.

“Bolder,” she repeated. “I want to be bolder. It’s the one thing about my life I would alter.”

“I can grant you that wish.” He pushed his goblet away and sprang to his feet. “Be fearless here. Tonight. With me.”

He held out his hand.

Simultaneously hopeful and nervous, she placed her fingers in his.

“Whatever it is that you want, you need only be bold enough to ask.” He pulled her to him.

Her heart pounded so loudly, she feared he could feel it through his layers of shirt and waistcoat.

“What do you want?” he asked softly. “Be bold. Let me give it to you.”

What did she want, here, with him? She closed her eyes and let the night be her guide.

Now that they were no longer nestled on a woolen blanket, the breeze was cool against her bare upper arms… but not overly so. The warmth from Lord X’s body heated her whether they were lying prone or standing chest-to-chest beneath the moonlight.

The scent of his breath so close to her lips was as sweet as the wine they had shared. The sounds of the night—if indeed there were any other than the thundering of her heart—were eclipsed by the siren call of the orchestra, whose seductive waltz spilled out through the open doorways and up from the balcony overlooking the garden to kiss their feet, even out here on the roof.

She opened her eyes. There was only one answer. One thing among the many she’d never done that he alone could give her. Without scandal. Tonight.

“I want to waltz,” she admitted hesitantly. “But…”

He shook his head. “With me, you never have to justify yourself or your desires. I will never say no.”

Her breath caught at his words. “Why?”

“Because I want to be the reason for the sparkles in your eyes.” His husky voice was intoxicating. “You want to waltz? We waltz.”

He took her hand and turned toward the stairs.

She held her ground.

He looked over his shoulder. Though the expression behind his mask was a mystery, every inch of his posture asked a silent question.

“Here,” she said. Boldly. “I want to waltz here. Where it’s just you and me and the stars.”

He stepped forward and took her into his arms without another word.

At first, she thought he might kiss her. Her heart thumped. She was pressed tight against him, her lips tilted up toward the sensual line of his mouth.

And then he took her hand in his and swung her in time to the music.

Her pulse thrilled at his touch. Never had a moment been so magical as dancing across a rooftop in the arms of a dashing stranger. The wind whipped through her hair, tugging tendrils free from her careful chignon, fluttering the ruby silk of her skirt about her legs.

None of that mattered. All she cared about was the hand holding hers. The warmth of his fingers against the small of her back. The strength in his arms, his body, as he whirled her from one stunning night view of London to another.

The night was crisp but his embrace heated her to her core. She could no longer feel her feet flying across the roof to their private rhythm, or the whispery material of her gown fluttering against her silk stockings in the breeze.

All she could feel were her trembling fingers tucked against his warm palm, the strength of his arm tucked about her waist, her lips curving into the widest, most unabashed smile she’d ever experienced.

This was life!

Every part of him was danger and romance and adventure. He transported her not just from one soaring section of the roof to another, but to an alternate world. One in which she was exactly the woman she pretended to be. Carefree and wild and bubbling with joy at the consuming, heady sensation of being truly, completely, wonderfully alive.

Being in his arms stole her breath, yet gave her strength. He did not look through her as so many men had done throughout her life, but rather as though he could not look anywhere else. As if the sight of her in his embrace was so entrancing, so intoxicating, that he too had forgotten everything and everyone until all that remained was the two of them. Their bodies entwined in a waltz that found its music in their very souls.

Tonight she wouldn’t run away at midnight. She would dance in his arms until dawn.

 

Breathless, Camellia gazed up into Lord X’s fathomless black mask. She could not see his eyes. Even his brow was hidden. There was no way to know what expression he wore. Nothing to go on except the words he spoke. Yet there could be no other answer to his query.

Bolder. She had longed to be bolder, yearned to be someone else since the moment she realized it was too late to change her personality. Dahlia was forceful, Bryony was fearless, but Camellia watched from the shadows. Looking out for her sisters. Being a good girl. A proper young lady. Minding every one of high society’s interminable rules as if the price for bending them was death. Perhaps the cost of denying her own desires was just as dear.

She was tired of being perfect. The only way to never break a rule, to avoid disappointing anyone’s expectations, was to never do anything at all. That wasn’t life at all.

Yet who was at fault? If she was nothing more substantial than a music box, nothing but a dutiful automaton respectable enough to possess an Almack’s voucher and too terrified to use it, then it was because she had let herself be programmed that way.

She wanted to change. Needed to. Perhaps it wouldn’t be for the better, but it would be more authentic—she would be more herself—if once in a while she did what she wanted, instead of molding to the wishes of everyone around her.

“Bolder,” she repeated. “I want to be bolder. It’s the one thing about my life I would alter.”

“I can grant you that wish.” He pushed his goblet away and sprang to his feet. “Be fearless here. Tonight. With me.”

He held out his hand.

Simultaneously hopeful and nervous, she placed her fingers in his.

“Whatever it is that you want, you need only be bold enough to ask.” He pulled her to him.

Her heart pounded so loudly, she feared he could feel it through his layers of shirt and waistcoat.

“What do you want?” he asked softly. “Be bold. Let me give it to you.”

What did she want, here, with him? She closed her eyes and let the night be her guide.

Now that they were no longer nestled on a woolen blanket, the breeze was cool against her bare upper arms… but not overly so. The warmth from Lord X’s body heated her whether they were lying prone or standing chest-to-chest beneath the moonlight.

The scent of his breath so close to her lips was as sweet as the wine they had shared. The sounds of the night—if indeed there were any other than the thundering of her heart—were eclipsed by the siren call of the orchestra, whose seductive waltz spilled out through the open doorways and up from the balcony overlooking the garden to kiss their feet, even out here on the roof.

She opened her eyes. There was only one answer. One thing among the many she’d never done that he alone could give her. Without scandal. Tonight.

“I want to waltz,” she admitted hesitantly. “But…”

He shook his head. “With me, you never have to justify yourself or your desires. I will never say no.”

Her breath caught at his words. “Why?”

“Because I want to be the reason for the sparkles in your eyes.” His husky voice was intoxicating. “You want to waltz? We waltz.”

He took her hand and turned toward the stairs.

She held her ground.

He looked over his shoulder. Though the expression behind his mask was a mystery, every inch of his posture asked a silent question.

“Here,” she said. Boldly. “I want to waltz here. Where it’s just you and me and the stars.”

He stepped forward and took her into his arms without another word.

At first, she thought he might kiss her. Her heart thumped. She was pressed tight against him, her lips tilted up toward the sensual line of his mouth.

And then he took her hand in his and swung her in time to the music.

Her pulse thrilled at his touch. Never had a moment been so magical as dancing across a rooftop in the arms of a dashing stranger. The wind whipped through her hair, tugging tendrils free from her careful chignon, fluttering the ruby silk of her skirt about her legs.

None of that mattered. All she cared about was the hand holding hers. The warmth of his fingers against the small of her back. The strength in his arms, his body, as he whirled her from one stunning night view of London to another.

The night was crisp but his embrace heated her to her core. She could no longer feel her feet flying across the roof to their private rhythm, or the whispery material of her gown fluttering against her silk stockings in the breeze.

All she could feel were her trembling fingers tucked against his warm palm, the strength of his arm tucked about her waist, her lips curving into the widest, most unabashed smile she’d ever experienced.

This was life!

Every part of him was danger and romance and adventure. He transported her not just from one soaring section of the roof to another, but to an alternate world. One in which she was exactly the woman she pretended to be. Carefree and wild and bubbling with joy at the consuming, heady sensation of being truly, completely, wonderfully alive.

Being in his arms stole her breath, yet gave her strength. He did not look through her as so many men had done throughout her life, but rather as though he could not look anywhere else. As if the sight of her in his embrace was so entrancing, so intoxicating, that he too had forgotten everything and everyone until all that remained was the two of them. Their bodies entwined in a waltz that found its music in their very souls.

Tonight she wouldn’t run away at midnight. She would dance in his arms until dawn.

 

 

Pick up your copy today!

Apple:

http://apple.co/2ayuKDX

Amazon:

http://smarturl.it/R2RpleasureAmz

B&N:

http://smarturl.it/R2RpleasureBN

Google Play:

http://smarturl.it/R2RpleasureGP

Kobo:

http://smarturl.it/R2RpleasureKobo

******

Author Bio

 

 

Erica Ridley is a USA Today and New York Times best-selling author of historical romance novels.

In the new Rogues to Riches historical romance series, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Sigh-worthy Regency rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind rags-to-riches romance with rollicking adventure.

The popular Dukes of War series features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

 

Get free stories and 99¢ new releases: http://www.EricaRidley.com/club99

 

Website: http://www.EricaRidley.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EricaRidley

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

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/EricaRidley

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/EricaRidley

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ericaridley

Street Team: http://www.ericaridley.com/street-team

 

***

Rogues to Riches series . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

****

Lord of Night (Rogues to Riches Book 3) by [Ridley, Erica]

Take a journey with the “Rogues of Riches” characters by pre-ordering the next grand adventure:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XV6SXCW/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

****

MY THOUGHTS:

LORD OF PLEASURE by Erica Ridley is another pleasurable Historical Romance from this author. #2 in her exciting “Rogues to Riches” series, but can be read as a stand alone. See, “Lord of Chance”.

Miss Camellia Grenville, the “good girl”, and Michael, Lord Wainwright, the infamous and rakish “bad boy”, have chemistry that simply sparks off the pages of this  irresistible story.  A whirlwind relationship to be sure.

The characters are well-rounded, well-developed, and very engaging.  The plot flows smoothly and continuously, with a little bit of naughtiness, a scandalous masquerade party and of course, a rake who needs redeeming. I was pulled into “Lord of Pleasure” from the first page and continued throughout this amazing story. Cinderella has nothing on Camellia. I absolutely loved Camellia and Michael. While, I can’t say their story is one of purity, I can say it was engaging and beautifully written. The reader will find the “Lord of Pleasure”, to be entertaining, engaging, interesting and scandalously intriguing. You gotta love an amazing and fantastic Historical Romance. I can’t say enough about Ms. Ridley, her writing is masterfully and brilliantly written, to hold readers entrapped and enticed in the pages of a good romance. A must read!! Another well done story by the amazing Erica Ridley!

I can’t wait to read the next “Rogues to Riches” story, “Lord of Night”, coming June 23, 2017.

Rating: 5

Heat rating: Mild

Reviewed by: AprilR

 

 

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BLOG TOUR~~THE DU LAC CHRONICLES~~MARY ANNE YARDE~~



The Du Lac Chronicles : Book 1
By
Mary Anne Yarde
“An evocative, timeless saga of love and betrayal”
Tony Riches, author of The Tudor Trilogy
Amazon #1 Best Seller in Young Adult, Medieval Fiction
AD 495, Wessex, Briton.
If all you had left was your heart, would you give it to your enemy?
A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.
The powerful Saxon King, Cerdic of Wessex, has spent the last twenty years hunting down Arthur’s noble knights. He is determined to secure his kingdom against any reprisals for killing their legendary leader. The knights who have survived the genocide are destined to spend the rest of their lives in hiding, never revealing who they really are.
The only knight who refused to be intimidated by this Saxon invader was Lancelot du Lac. Lancelot and Cerdic formed a fragile truce, but Lancelot has been dead these past eight years and it has fallen to his sons to protect Briton from the ambitions of the Saxon King.
Alden du Lac, the once king of Cerniw and son of Lancelot, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. Cerdic has had Alden tied to a post and ordered his skin to be lashed from his back. In the morning, if Alden is still alive, he is to be executed.
Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex, has been secretly in love with Alden for what seems like forever. She will not stand by and see him die. She defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves from her father’s dungeons. Alden and Annis flee Wessex together.
To the horror of Alden’s few remaining allies, he has given his heart to the daughter of his enemy. Alden’s allies see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon witch with her claws in a broken, wounded king.
Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.
 Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury—the fabled Isle of Avalon—was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.
At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.
Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking—so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!
Twitter @maryanneyarde
Inside the Writer’s Mind ~ Mary Anne Yarde. The Du Lac Chronicles
 
Q1 – SDB: Writing can be a daunting prospect, what made you decide to share your story with the world?
MAY: I grew up just outside of Glastonbury ~ The Ancient Isle of Avalon ~ England. The stories of King Arthur and his Knights were very much a part of my childhood ~ he was everywhere. I knew the stories of Arthur from a very young age and as a teen, I became fascinated with his life.
For me, Arthur embodies an almost utopia age. Everything he stands for, everything he did, had such an impact, that we are still talking about him today. He was a hero, and we all need heroes.
The problem with researching Arthur is that there is a very blurry line between what is real and what is fictitious. But the one thing, which I found the most frustrating, wasn’t the lack of evidence, but the actual story itself, particularly with regards to the ending. King Arthur is betrayed by Lancelot, and then he is betrayed by Mordred. Arthur is fatally wounded at the Battle of Camlann. He is taken to Avalon, and we never hear of Arthur again. As for his knights…if they were lucky enough to survive the battle, they simply disappeared or became hermits.
Seriously?
That was the best the great poets could come up with? I’m sorry, but that ending sucks! The Knights stopped being knights? I don’t buy it and I never will.
I came up with an idea for a book that told the story of what happened after King Arthur’s death. My favourite knight has always been Lancelot, and I wanted to create a world for his children ~ a world for the next generation of Du Lacs and Pendragons. I didn’t realise then, that it would take me another 12 years to actually have a manuscript that I thought was worth sharing with the world. Publishing wasn’t so much of a daunting experience as a necessary one. I had sat on this story for too long.
Q2 – SDB: Who has influenced you as an author?
MAY: I am an avid reader. I love the books by Nicholas Evans and Nicholas Sparks. They both write such beautifully emotive prose that I cannot help but admire them.
Q3 – SDB: What is your writing method? Do you outline first or do you purge your brain on paper until your story is told?
MAY: I made a plan once. It took me ages, several months in fact. Once I was happy with the plan I sat down at my computer, looked at my notes and thought ~ oh screw this! I threw the notes away and just started writing. I do have a rough plan in my head and I will jot down the odd sentence that I think would work well later on in the book, but apart from that. I just sit down at the computer and bleed!
Q4 – SDB: How long does it take you to write your story, from getting it down on paper to publishing?
MAY: The Du Lac Chronicles, from start to finish, took me 12 years. The second book in the trilogy, which is due out later this year, took me about six months. Hey, I think I’m getting quicker at this writing game!
Q5 – SDB: Can you tell me a little bit about your book(s) without giving away too much? Why should I read it?
MAY: I would be honoured to tell you about my books…
 A generation after the fall of Arthur Pendragon, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.
Eighteen-year-old, Alden du Lac, Lancelot’s son, ruled the tiny Kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night.
When Alden notices a shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.
Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin ~ a marriage that ended in blood and guilt ~ and she would do anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.
If you love romance, adventure, intrigue and King Arthur’s knights, then check out The Du Lac Chronicles to find out what happened after King Arthur died. I promise you there are not any hermits. Well there is one, but he doesn’t come into the story until much later on in the trilogy!
Q6 – SDB: How much of yourself is in your character(s)?
MAY: It would be wrong to say that there is nothing of me in the characters. I do draw on my life experience…
…there was that terribly traumatic incident where I was chased by a Saxon Army, so I know exactly what that feels like! Rescuing gorgeous men from dungeons is an everyday occurrence for me as well…and…I do have big knees!
Joking aside, I think out of all the characters in The Du Lac Chronicles, I am most like Merton du Lac. He is incredibly loyal, good looking – well, obviously!  He is also very sarcastic ~ Umm…I’m not known for my sarcasm. Maybe he isn’t like me after all?!
Q7 – SDB: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
MAY: You have absolutely nothing to lose by writing your story, so stop making excuses as to why you can’t and just go for it.
Q8 – SDB: Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
MAY: Yes. I think it is about time that we all learnt how to make pottage. Making pottage is an art and one that we have all but forgotten. It was the staple diet for the poor in the Dark Ages. All you need is whatever you can get your hands on  ~ any vegetables you happen to have growing in your garden. If you don’t have any vegetables, you can steal some from your Overlord, but make sure you don’t get caught, because you might lose your hand, or worse, your head.
Throw all of your ingredients into a big pot…a cauldron will do, like the one witches use. Hang the cauldron over an open fire and slowly heat up the pottage, don’t let it boil. Remember if the stew boils the stew spoils ~ oh hang, on, I think my home economics teacher was talking about milk when she said that. Have I told you I hate cooking?
The joy of pottage is that it can last you for days, and you can keep adding things to it, so that bit of venison you poached the other day, can be added in quickly before anyone notices the deer is missing!
What could be better? It is the Dark Ages equivalent of fast-food. Wholesome and Nutritious. Now please eat, because the King’s Soldiers are coming and this may well be your last ever meal in this world.
Thanks for having me on your blog!! Right…now what was I doing? Oh, curses…the pottage is boiling, the pottage is boiling!!


MY THOUGHTS:
The Du Lac Chronicles, Book 1 is a unique Historical Fiction /Fantasy /YA/Teen/Myths /Legends with a mix of Romance. Based on Arthurian Legend. Set during 5th Century, AD 495 Wessex, Briton. A trilogy.

A fantastic Historical Fiction with so many facets interwoven into the story. The characters are endearing and complex, as well as, the storyline.

Alden Du Lac, once King of Cerniw, who loses everything, his kingdom, his people, his country and captured by an enemy, he didn’t see coming. They were supposed to be allies. He is tortured, beaten, whipped, sentence to death, and left hanging on a whipping post, bloodied and weakened.
Annis, only daughter of the Saxon King Cervix of Wessex, a cruel and brutal father, King and man. He was also supposed to be Alden’s ally, but he betrayed him, razed his Kingdom, and either killed or scattered his people.

Annis, defies her father, her King and her country to save Alden, the man she has loved from afar. Alden and Annis are on the run for their lives, hunted, betrayed but also find passion and love, along the way.
Steeped with treachery, betrayal, challenges, a father’s cruelty, secrets, conflicts, lies, deception, adversity, danger and so much more.

The resilience of Annis and Alden is simply captivating and mesmerizing!
Alden is presumed dead by some, his youngest brother missing, and it is hard to tell who is foe or friend.

An epic love story that will hold the reader in awe from the first page to the last and beyond. With political and court intrigue, bravery, honor, and love, it is simply hard to turn away from this fast paced, dangerous and magnificent treasure. Insufferable adversaries lurks, and dangers on every horizon for Alden and Annis. But these two strong, determined characters continue on though, the odds are against them, surviving.

Written flawlessly, uniquely and timelessly captivating! A timeless tale of Kings, love, sacrifice and honor. A breathtaking Historical Fiction, and one I’d highly recommend.

My only complaint, are the several unanswered questions. I think ithe will be amazing to learn the secrets of the families secrets. There is more to this story than meets the eye. No cliffhanger. A satisfying ending. But, Alden and Annis’ story continues in “The Pitchfork Rebellion: The Du Lac Chronicles” novella, available now Free.

I can’t wait for the next installment of “The Du Lac Chronicles”. Ms. Yarde has written an exceptional Historical Fiction based on Arthurian Legend. Well worth your time to read!
Received for an honest review. However, all opinions, insights and thoughts are my own personal opinions.

Rating: 4
Heat rating: Sweet-Mild *due to violence, no true graphic*
Reviewed by: AprilR

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COMING SOON FROM VIVIENNE WESTLAKE! THE WICKED EARL TAKES A WIFE

(Courtesy of the author’s website)

Coming summer of 2015!

TWETAW_Prequel_MED

Coming Summer 2015

This is a prequel to the Wicked Liaisons series. Find out how Alice and Lord Chilton got together! Sign up for my new release newsletter to find out when The Wicked Earl Takes a Wife will be available for release!

Meet Vivienne Westlake…

Vivienne Westlake has been reading and writing romance since the age of fifteen. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and when she’s not plotting stories about sexy heroes and sassy heroines, she’s buying a book on British history, watching the latest teen vampire show, doing an art project or singing karaoke with friends. Vivienne is an active member of Romance Writers of America, Romance Divas, and Indie Romance Ink.
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MAXIMUS~ RICHARD L. BLACK~ Promo and review…

*Debut author*

~Historical Fiction~

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing; First Edition edition (March 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160907985X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609079857

Description (from Net Galley)

General Maximus is commander of Rome’s finest legions. He has known violence his entire life. When he and his best friend, Androcles, return from a long, bloody campaign, Maximus finds himself questioning his life. Word has reached Rome of a man named Jesus who is causing a stir in faraway Judea. Maximus and Androcles are sent to ascertain the truth of the situation. Disguised as a Jew, Maximus slowly begins to understand the true teachings of Jesus in this epic story of one man’s faith-building journey to find the purpose of life.

 

Buy links:

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Maximus-Richard-L-Black/dp/160907985X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422562752&sr=1-1&keywords=Maximus+Richard+L+Black

Barnes & Nobles:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/maximus-christine-elaine-black/1113871629?ean=9781609079857

Indiebound:

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781609079857

Booksamillion

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Maximus/Richard-L-Black/9781609079857?id=6226413681999

Deseretbook:

http://deseretbook.com/Maximus-Richard-L-Black/i/5128402



Meet the author…

Richard earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from California State University Long Beach. His diverse professional background has spanned from the 104th floor of the original World Trade Towers in New York as an Institutional Stock Trader to a major software corporation working closely with the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.


Maximus is his first novel. He defines it as a ten-year research project that became a labor of love. Richard is currently working on his next project entitled Starfish, the saga of a young Danish woman who immigrates to the timber country of Humboldt County in Northern California during World War ll.

Richard grew up in San Diego, California. He and his wife of 39 years, the former Marian Anne Johnsen, from Santa Rosa, California, have called Utah their home since 1993. Richard and Marian are the parents of eight children and grandparents of two beautiful granddaughters and a handsome grandson. Richard enjoys traveling, swimming in the ocean, playing the guitar and working on cars with his four sons.

More on the author and his upcoming work…

Maximus is his first novel. He defines it as a ten-year research project that became a labor of love. Richard is currently working on his next project entitled

Starfish , the saga of a young Danish woman who immigrates to the timber country of Humboldt County in Northern California during World War ll.

 Connect & Socialize!

 



 

MY THOUGHTS:

MAXIMUS by Richard L. Black is  a inspirational historical fiction. An interesting tale, that is familiar but told in a different perception. The re-telling of the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. Told though the eyes of Maximus, a General who commands legions of up to men, and his second-in-command, Androcles. 

While, an interesting and intriguing, I had a hard time connecting with some of the characters. I felt they lacked true character. We all know the story of Jesus’, his crucifixion, his death, and his resurrection, but we hardly hear stories of Maximus, who begins to follow Jesus, and tells Pilate he is not a threat to Rome and others, who was present in Jesus’ life.

While, this is an enjoyable and satisfying read, it was missing something. I had a hard time connecting to some of the characters, but with this said it was an enjoyable read. We find faith, healing, learning to follow your heart, and opening to the unexpected circumstances of life. This is the story of Romans, Judeans, soldiers, fishermen, Jerusalem, family,  Galileans, trust, justice, injustice, a journey of life and faith. This author definitely shows his deep, and extensive research into this tragic story. I would read another story written by this author. He did a just job of this story, you can easily tell this was a labor of love. Any inspirational readers, historical fiction readers, and anyone who enjoys reading of Bible characters. In the end an enjoyable and satisfying read.

*Received for an honest review from the publisher and Net Galley*

Rating: 3

Heat Rating: Sweet

Reviewed by: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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BETWEEN THE CRACKS~ CARMELA CATTUTI~

Please join Carmela Cattuti as she tours the blogosphere for Between the Cracks: One Woman’s Journey from Sicily to America, from February 9-27, and enter to win a Kindle Touch eReader, loaded with an eBook of Between the Cracks!

02_Between the Cracks_CoverPublication Date: August 15, 2013
Three Towers Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 324

Genre: Historical Fiction

READ AN EXCERPT.

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Join Angela Lanza as she experiences the tumultuous world of early 20th century Sicily and New York. Orphaned by the earthquake and powerful eruption of Mt. Etna in 1908, Angela is raised in the strict confines of an Italian convent. Through various twists of fate, she is married to a young Italian man whom she barely knows, then together with her spouse, immigrates to the U.S. This novel is an invitation to accompany the young Angela as she confronts the ephemeral nature of life on this planet and navigates the wide cultural gaps between pre-World War II Italy and the booming prosperity of dynamic young America. Author, artist, and teacher Carmela Cattuti created Between the Cracks as an homage to her great-aunt, who survived the earthquake and eruption of Mt. Etna and bravely left Sicily to start a new life in America.

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author03_Carmela Cattuti_Author

Carmela Cattuti started her writing career as a journalist for the Somerville News in Boston, MA. After she finished her graduate work in English Literature from Boston College she began to write creatively and taught a journal writing course at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education As fate would have it, she felt compelled to write her great aunt’s story. “Between the Cracks” has gone through several incarnations and will now become a trilogy. This is the first installment. To connect with Carmela email her [email protected] or leave a comment at betweenthecracksnovel.blogspot.com.

Between the Cracks Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 9
Guest Post at Book Babe

Tuesday, February 10
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, February 11
Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, February 12
Guest Post at Boom Baby Reviews

Monday, February 16
Review at Bookish

Wednesday, February 18
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, February 20
Spotlight at My Book Addiction and More

Tuesday, February 24
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, February 25
Guest Post at A Literary Vacation
Spotlight at Layered Pages

Thursday, February 26
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, February 27
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

To enter to win a Kindle Touch eReader (valued at $59) & eBook of Between the Cracks, sponsored by author Carmela Cattuti, please complete the giveaway form below.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on February 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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 will be chosen via GLEAM on February 28th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Please email Amy @ [email protected] with any questions.

Between the Cracks

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GUEST BLOGGER~ MAGGIE ANTON~ ENCHANTRESS~

 


Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Plume Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 400

Series: Rav Hisda’s Daughter
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Fantasy

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Fantastic tales of demons and the Evil Eye, magical incantations, and powerful attractions abound in Enchantress, a novel that weaves together Talmudic lore, ancient Jewish magic, and a timeless love story set in fourth-century Babylonia.

One of the most powerful practitioners of these mysterious arts is Rav Hisda’s daughter, whose innate awareness allows her to possess the skills men lack. With her husband, Rava–whose arcane knowledge of the secret Torah enables him to create a “man” out of earth and to resurrect another rabbi from death–the two brave an evil sorceress, Ashmedai the Demon King, and even the Angel of Death in their quest to safeguard their people, even while putting their romance at risk.

The author of the acclaimed Rashi’s Daughters series and the award-winning Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Apprentice has conjured literary magic in the land where “abracadabra” originated. Based on five years of research and populated with characters from the Talmud, Enchantress brings a pivotal era of Jewish and Christian history to life from the perspective of a courageous and passionate woman.

Praise for Apprentice (Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Book I)

“A lushly detailed look into a fascinatingly unknown time and culture—a tale of Talmud, sorcery, and a most engaging heroine!” —Diana Gabaldon, author of the bestselling Outlander series

Anton, the author of the acclaimed “Rashi’s Daughters” trilogy, has penned her best book to date. Using her extensive knowledge of the Talmud and other historical Jewish writings, she immersed herself in the tractates to uncover a marvelous heroine for this historical novel… Complex discussions of Jewish law and tradition as well as detailed description of the culture and customs of the times enhance truly wonderful storytelling. VERDICT This absorbing novel should be on everyone’s historical fiction reading list.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Fascinating reading await those who dive into the vividly depicted world of Babylonian Jewry … Anton succeeds brilliantly in drawing us into the formative period leading up to the Talmud … what we have is the work of a master craftswoman set upon repairing a major gap in Jewish literature —Philadelphia Jewish Voice

“Rav Hisda’s Daughter provides a wealth of historical detail about Jewish life in Babylon and Israel in the 3rd century CE. It depicts the daily life and coming of age of a prominent rabbi’s daughter rather than propelling its reader through a traditional arc of action with a crisis and resolution. Its interest lies in its portrayal of the sorcery, incantations, and women’s customs in this exotic, faraway period of time and place, sometimes against the backdrop of war.” —Historical Novel Society

Praise for the Rashi’s Daughters Trilogy

“Anton delivers a tour de force . . . [Readers] will fly through the pages and come away wishing for more.” –Library Journal (starred review)

“A compelling combination of drama, suspense, and romance.” –Lilith magazine

Buy Links

Amazon
Barnes & Noble



 

About the Author

Maggie Anton was born Margaret Antonofsky in Los Angeles, California. Raised in a secular, socialist household, she reached adulthood with little knowledge of her Jewish religion. All that changed when David Parkhurst, who was to become her husband, entered her life, and they both discovered Judaism as adults. That was the start of a lifetime of Jewish education, synagogue involvement, and ritual observance. In 2006, Anton retired from being a clinical chemist in Kaiser Permanente’s Biochemical Genetics Laboratory to become a fulltime writer.

In the early 1990′s, Anton learned about a women’s Talmud class taught by Rachel Adler, now a professor at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. She became intrigued with the idea that Rashi, one of the greatest Jewish scholars ever, had no sons, only three daughters. Slowly but surely, she began to research the family and the time in which they lived. Much was written about Rashi, but almost nothing of the daughters, except their names and the names of their husbands. Legend has it that Rashi’s daughters were learned in a time when women were traditionally forbidden to study the sacred texts. These forgotten women seemed ripe for rediscovery, and the idea of a trilogy of historical novels about them was born.

After the success of “Rashi’s Daughters” Anton started researching the lives of women in 4th-century Babylonia, where the Talmud was being created. Surprised by the prevalence of sorcery among rabbinic families, she wrote “Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Bk 1 – Apprentice,” which was a 2012 National Jewish Book Award Fiction finalist and a Library Journal pick for Best Historical Fiction.

For more information please visit Maggie Anton’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

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Modern Prosthetics have unusual Civil War Connection~ THE AMAZING LEGACY OF JAMES E. HANGER, CIVIL WAR SOLDIER by Bob O’ Connor ….With review

The Amazing Legacy banner 2

Welcome, Bob!!

Modern prosthetics have unusual Civil War connection

A man in Florida recently showed me his Hanger limb – a modern artificial leg. He had worn a Hanger limb for 40 years.  Yet he had no idea why it was called a Hanger limb.

His limb is named after the inventor, a virtually unknown inventor who happened to also be the first amputee of the American Civil War – James E. Hanger, a Confederate member of the 14th Virginia Cavalry from Churchville, VA.

Hanger was absolutely in the wrong place at the wrong time, as he was injured in a barn by a cannon ball that struck a tree and ricocheted, hitting his leg.  The leg was amputated seven inches above the knee.

Hanger, an engineering student at Washington College in Lexington, VA, used his ingenuity to build an artificial limb that had a hinge at the knee and a hinge at the ankle. His “Hanger limb” became popular with other dismembered soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

His first factory opened in Staunton, VA in 1861 so he could start building limbs for others.  First his customers were Confederate veterans, but after the war, Union veterans sought them out too.

With over 35,000 amputees, there was a great need for his products. By 1919, when Hanger died, over 60,000 people wore Hanger limbs made in his factories in Richmond, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, St. Louis, Paris and London.

Today the company that still carries his name (Hanger Inc.) is a member of the NY Stock Exchange, operates over 700 clinics and serves 1 million patients annually. They are the country’s largest provider of prosthetics and orthodics.

Today that Florida man finally knows who to give credit for in allowing him to take every other step for the last forty years – James E. Hanger, a Civil War soldier.

 

What an amazing legacy and story! Thanks for sharing!!

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Robert J. O'Connor 2About the Author

Bob O’Connor’s first book was published in 2006. He now has ten books published including 6 historical novels and 4 non-fiction books. He has been named finalist four different times in national book competitions conducted by Indie Excellence Awards and USA Books.

O’Connor writes about the Civil War in a way in which persons of interest find compelling as he writes about the soldiers on the front lines instead of the generals and the battle strategy. He speaks around the country on the Civil War and has appeared over 600 times in 18 states since his first book was published. His presentations have spanned the spectrum, as he has spoken to first graders and cadets at the U.S. Naval Academy, in national parks and public libraries, at historical societies and Civil War round tables.

His main topics include abolitionist John Brown, Abraham Lincoln’s bodyguard (Ward Hill Lamon), the United States Colored Troops, the invention of modern prosthetics, and brothers fighting against brothers.

His latest book is the historical fiction, The Amazing Legacy of James E. Hanger, Civil War Soldier.

You can find out more about the author at his website www.boboconnorbooks.com or connect with him on Facebook.

 
The Amazing Legacy of James E. Hanger 7About the Book:

James E. Hanger was wounded at Philippi, Virginia on June 3, 1861 and became the first amputee of the American Civil War. He hated the Yankee peg leg his Union doctor gave him. Instead, he used his ingenuity and engineering background to invent an artificial leg with a joint at the knee and a hinge at the ankle. He patented his Hanger Limb.

His invention revolutionized the prosthetic industry. The company Mr. Hanger founded still operates today (Hanger Inc.) as the country’s largest provider of artificial limbs. His story is quite remarkable.

 

Purchase your copy:

AMAZON

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking

HERE

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MY THOUGHTS: 

THE AMAZING LEGACY OF JAMES E. HANGER, CIVIL WAR SOLDIER by Bob O’ Connor is an interesting Historical Fiction/Civil War Period 1850-1877/United States. It is “based on true accounts of Mr. Hanger’s remarkable life”.

Mr. Hanger was wounded at  Philippi, Virginia on June 3, 1861. He was the first amputee of the Civil War. Due to his amputation, he hated the Union doctor who performed the surgery, and used his engineering ability to invent an artificial leg with a knee joint and a hinge, which became the “Hanger Limb”.

What an amazing story of fortification, knowledge, the human spirit and legacy. Truly, Mr. Hanger revolutionized the prosthetic industry. What a remarkable story and one I would highly recommend to readers of the Medical field, as well as Historical fiction readers. Not a romantic tale, but an wonderful historical based on facts, a man’s determination, the need to overcome what life handed him, and it shows the human spirit is amazing, to say the least.

The company Mr. Hanger founded, Hanger, Inc., is the world’s largest providers of prosthetics and orthotics and is still in operation today. It providers artificial limbs to millions with clinics all over the United States.

A remarkable story of a remarkable man, Mr. James E. Hanger. Mr. Hanger surely left behind a legacy for one and all. An educational read as well as enjoyable. Received for an honest review.

RATING: 4.5

HEAT RATING: NONE

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

 

 

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THE VOICE OF THE PAST~ SOLOMAN’S BRIDE ~ REBECCA HAZELL…review & giveaway

WELCOME, REBECCA!
THE VOICE OF THE PAST

One of the big challenges of writing historical fiction is finding the right voice. No one wants to read something that sounds like the medieval English of The Canterbury Tales; we couldn’t understand it for starters! But if a story is written in language that’s too modern, it’s jarring. You may have read historical novels that read more like People Magazine than, say, a medieval adventure set in Lithuania (I made up the Lithuania part).

So in writing the trilogy, The Tiger and the Dove, set in the thirteenth century in Rus’ (the parent of both Ukraine and Russia), a major choice was finding language that would neither jar nor be unintelligible. My solution was to make sure that none of the words were newer than from 600 years ago. I figured it might take at least a few decades to migrate from the spoken to the written word and from French or Latin into English, so that calculation added somewhere between 50 and 100 more years to the antiquity of the language.

But it eliminated a lot of words and phrases that we take for granted; they didn’t yet exist. For instance, Sofia couldn’t ‘introduce’ someone to someone else. After struggling with the awkward ‘made known to’, I changed to ‘presented’, which comes later as she begins writing in another language. Of course, Sofia wasn’t writing in English but in Rus’ and then Frankish and Latin, and still in some ways thinking in Rus’—but I don’t want to give too much away.

There was another challenge to the voice I had to find for my heroine, Princess Sofia Vladymyrovna. She’s barely out of childhood when she begins her story. By the time she finishes it, she is in her late thirties, has traveled untold miles, been exposed to a myriad of new cultures, and had to learn at least six languages.

In the first novel, The Grip of God, Sofia thinks, speaks, and behaves like a young teenager. But she has to grow up overnight when she’s captured and enslaved by Mongols. She starts her story in her native language, but in the Mongol camps she learns new languages and dialects that influence how she speaks and thinks. In fact, everything she took for granted is challenged by a strange prophecy about her, the ugly politics in her master’s family, and the many religions she encounters.

In the second novel, Solomon’s Bride, Sofia escapes the frying pan of the Mongols and falls into the fire of the Assassins, the Crusader wars, and lots more. So I had to present her growing into young womanhood while confronting more life challenges, love challenges, and language challenges that affect how she expresses herself. By the time she finishes this second installment of her story, not only is she now an adult, she is no longer writing in the Rus’ tongue, but she doesn’t always use words as a native speaker would.

In the third novel, Consolamentum, Sofia is writing as a woman of the world who must face a whole new set of life challenges that nearly break her spirit. And again she has had to learn more new languages, including Veneziano, Italian, and the forerunner of French, which gives you some hints about where her adventures take her next.

Last, Sofia thinks as a medieval woman does, not as a modern woman would. There’s so much she doesn’t know that we take for granted, and there are assumptions she and others make that might seem strange to us. Talk about a challenge! But what happens in the end is that we see much of Sofia in ourselves: her complexity, her heartache and her triumphs. Because in the end, I believe we transcend the boundaries of language in our shared experience of love, confusion, and longing for what is good.

Thank you so much for spending time with us and our readers!
We wish you much sucess!!
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solomon's bride - cover
Solomon’s Bride – Book Two  Amazon Link

Sofia’s journey continues into a new and different foreign world as she heads to Iran:

Once a princess of Rus’, now a fugitive from the Mongols with a price on her head, Sofia flees to Iran and what she thinks will be safety. Instead, she becomes a virtual prisoner in Alamut, capital of the feared, secretive sect called the hashishiyya – known today as the Assassins. There she must answer to the Grand Master himself.

In this gripping second journal of her adventures, she is confronted with a world that further challenges everything she thought she knew.  And like Solomon’s youngest bride, if she escapes, can she face a lonely death in the desert or might she finally find love?

The novel is available both in paperback and Kindle versions and through your local bookstore by special order. The second book, Solomon’s Bride, is out now and the third in the trilogy, Consolamentum, will be released soon.

 

 

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MY THOUGHTS:

SOLOMAN’S BRIDE by Rebecca Hazell is an interesting Historical Fiction. #2 in “The Tiger and the Dove” trilogy. I feel you really need to read book 1, “The Grip of God” in order to better understand “Soloman’s Bride”.

This is the continuance of the story of Princess Sofia. The adventure continues for Sofia, who we see in THE GRIP OF GOD has been captured and made  a concubine to one of the Mongol invaders captains. Now, she in Iran, a fugitive with a price on her head. She flees to Iran and what she believes to be safety to realize she is once again a prisoner, only this time,  to the Grand Master, himself.

Will Sofia, ever find safety, and love? A compelling, and complex tale of courage, slavery, adventure, and a very different world to what Sofia once knew. Not only as a slave of the Mongols but as a young Princess as well. Will she ever find her place, and re-gain her heritage? A gripping tale from beginning to end. I enjoyed “Soloman’s Bride” with it’s vivid descriptions, and its compelling characters. I don’t feel this one is as brutal as THE GRIP OF GOD, but it is intense,emotional, and complex. The third in this THE TIGER AND THE DOVE trilogy will be releasing soon, CONSOLAMENTUM, in which, hopefully, we will see how Sofia’s journey ends. 

If you enjoy historical fiction, Asian culture, and a complex tale, then you will enjoy SOLOMAN’S BRIDE. Received for an honest review.

RATING: 4

HEAT RATING: HOT

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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The Grip of God – Book One  Amazon Link

The Grip of God is the first novel in an epic historical trilogy, The Tiger and the Dove. Set in the thirteenth century, its heroine, Sofia, is a young princess of Kievan Rus. She begins her story by recounting her capture in battle and life of slavery to a young army captain in the Mongol armies that are flooding Europe. Not only is her life shattered, it is threatened by the bitter rivalries in her new master’s powerful family, and shadowed by the leader of the Mongol invasion, Batu Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson. How will she learn to survive in a world of total war, much less rediscover the love she once took for granted? Always seeking to escape and menaced by outer enemies and inner turmoil, where can she find safe haven even if she can break free? Clear eyed and intelligent, Sofia could be a character from The Game of Thrones, but she refuses to believe that life is solely about the strong dominating the weak or about taking endless revenge. Her story is based on actual historical events, which haunt her destiny. Like an intelligent Forrest Gump, she reflects her times. But as she matures, she learns to reflect on them as well, and to transcend their fetters. In doing so, she recreates a lost era for us, her readers.

Praise for the trilogy

“How deftly and compellingly Hazell takes the reader with her into that mysterious and exotic world, and makes it all seem so very close to hand!” – Peter Conradi, Fellow of Britain’s Royal Society of Literature and author of Iris Murdoch: A Life, and of A Very English Hero.

 

“I enjoyed watching her morph from a spoiled sheltered princess with slaves of her own, into a tough, savvy survivor, with a new awareness of social injustice. The book is action packed. I couldn’t put it down.” — from a review on Amazon.com.

 

“I got completely caught up in the characters and story and always looked forward to getting back to them. What a fully fleshed and fascinating world you developed and it was wondrous to learn so much about that time and the Mongol culture. Your gifts come out in your lush descriptions of place and objects. All very vivid and colorful.” –author Dede Crane Gaston

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MY THOUGHTS:

THE GRIP OF GOD by Rebecca Hazell is an intriguing historical fiction set during the 13th century. Book 1 in “The Tiger and the Dove” trilogy. What a fascinating tale of the brutal Mongolian invasions, a young teen of privilege taken as a slave by invaders and made into a concubine to Captain Argamon of the Mongol army. A complex, compelling tale of a young Princess who learns to endure, and survive the brutality of war and all of its atrocity, not only to herself but to others across Asia and Europe. There are some very intense scenes, with nightly rapes, constant sexual harassment of Princess Sofia, you learn so much of the brutality of the Mongolian invaders. Not only toward women but toward men as well. There was some confusion at times to me, concerning the sexual implications, but I would consider “The Grip of God” an epic journey.  Be aware, there are several rape scenes as well as constant sexual harassment,while, not explicit, they can be off putting. “The Grip of God” is a cross-cultural tale of the atrocities of war during the 13th century. Received for an honest review.

RATING: 4

HEAT RATING: HOT(due to the nature)

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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About the author
Rebecca Hazell is a an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created best selling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases.

She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history.

Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. They live near their two adult children in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.

Visit Rebecca:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook

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~GIVEAWAY ALERT~

(Sponsored by the publicist and/or author)

We are offering 1 lucky commenter a chance to win a digital copy of SOLOMAN’S BRIDE by Rebecca Hazell. Just leave a comment.

Giveaway will run from May 22 until May 30, 2014.

*You MUST re-visit the site to check who won*

GOOD LUCK!

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JO GRAFFORD GIVEAWAY~ Look inside to see how to win!!

 ~GIVEAWAY ALERT~

(Sponsored by the author)

First up…..

THREE WINNERS: Two winners will receive a free copy (Nook or Kindle – winner’s choice) of BREAKING TIES, first book in the Lost Colony Series (a historical romance), and one winner will receive a $5.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (again, winner’s choice).

Dates: February 27 – March 8

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

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 2ND GIVEAWAY…..

 

Dates: March 5 – 31

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the book:

*From Amazon*

October 16, 2013

A cursed island, a chilling conspiracy, and an unforgettable love story. The 115 colonists on Roanoke Island couldn’t GPS, skype or twitter their ultimate destination back to their families and friends in 16th Century England. But modern laser technology has finally uncovered a clue – hidden beneath a patch on an ancient map at the British museum – that leads us to their whereabouts. Considered “lost” for centuries, these brave pioneers finally reveal the rest of their story in Book One of the Lost Colony Series.Rose Payne’s world is left in tatters after a disastrous betrothal, making her an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Using every cent she has, Rose sails for the New World and a fresh start, vowing to never again fall for a wealthy man.Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, Chief Manteo is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in Breaking Ties.

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A bit about the author…..

Jo Grafford is from St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author at Astraea Press, Jo writes historical fiction to spotlight unsung heroes and unsolved mysteries. She published her first poem in junior high, edited her high school newspaper while typesetting for a local news journal, and has been writing ever since.  She holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, a junior college finance instructor, and a high school business teacher. She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter.  The mother of three children and the wife of a soldier, she serves as a literacy volunteer for elementary school students.

CONNECT & SOCIALIZE!

Twitter: @jografford
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Thanks everyone and now go forth and spread the word and don’t forget the giveaway!!
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