Wednesday, January 29, 2020

SPOTLIGHT - HISTORICAL FICTION - STATE OF TREASON by Paul Walker

State of Treason 

by Paul Walker
Publication Date: May 20th 2019
Sharpe Books
eBook & Paperback; 317 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
"A gripping and evocative page-turner that vibrantly brings Elizabeth's London to life." -Steven Veerapen, author of A Dangerous Trade 


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London 1578 - a cauldron of conspiracy, intrigue and torture. 

The might of Spain and the growing influence of the Catholic League in France all threaten the stability of Queen Elizabeth and her state. 

William Constable, a physician and astrologer, is summoned to the presence of the Queen’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham. He is charged to assist a renowned Puritan, John Foxe, in uncovering the secrets of a mysterious cabinet containing an astrological chart and coded message. Together, these claim Elizabeth has a hidden, illegitimate child (an “unknowing maid”) who will be declared to the masses and serve as the focus for an invasion. 

Constable must uncover the identity of the plotters, unaware that he is also under suspicion. 

A connection to his estranged mentor, Doctor Dee, comes under scrutiny. Pressured into taking up a position as a court physician, Constable becomes a reluctant spy. 

Do the stars and cipher speak true, or is there some other malign intent in the complex web of scheming? 

Constable becomes an unwitting pawn, in a complex game of thrones and power. 

State of Treason is the first in a series of Elizabethan thrillers featuring William Constable. 

Recommended for fans of C.J. Sansom, S J Parris and Rory Clements.

Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK








Author Info
Paul Walker inherited his love of British history and historical fiction from his mother who was an active member of the Richard III Society. State of Treason is the first in a planned series of Elizabethan spy thrillers. The plot is based around real characters and events in London of the 1570’s. The hero, William Constable, is an astrologer and also a skeptic. He is also a mathematician, astronomer and inventor of a navigational aid for ships. The distinction between astrology and astronomy was blurred in the sixteenth century. The second book in the series, A Necessary Killing, was published in November 2019. Paul is married and lives in a village 30 miles north of London. His writing is regularly disrupted by children and a growing number of grandchildren and dogs.

Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of State of Treason! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. 

Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Paperback giveaway is open to US residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.  


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Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, January 20 Review at Donna's Book Blog 
Tuesday, January 21 Review at Books and Zebras 
Wednesday, January 22 Excerpt at Jathan & Heather 
Thursday, January 23 Feature at I'm Into Books Review at Historical Graffiti 
Friday, January 24 Review at Gwendalyn's Books Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit 
Monday, January 27 Review at DFW's Historical Fiction + Adirondack Spirit Blog 
Wednesday, January 29 Feature at The Book Junkie Reads Saturday, February 1 Excerpt at booknook2020 
Monday, February 3 Review at YA, It's Lit 
Tuesday, February 4 Review at Passages to the Past 
Wednesday, February 5 Interview at Passages to the Past 

Thursday, February 6 Review at Nursebookie Review at Tales from the Book Dragon

SPOTLIGHT - HISTORICAL ROMANCE - HUNTING FOR A HIGHLANDER (Highland Brides, #8) by Lynsay Sands



HUNTING FOR A HIGHLANDER
Highland Brides, #8
by Lynsay Sands
Publication Date: January 28th 2020
Publisher: Avon Books
Genre: Historical Romance






Four Buchanan brothers have found their brides…only three more to go in this scintillating romance from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands…


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Lady Dwyn Innes feels utterly out of place among the eligible women who’ve descended on Buchanan Keep, vying for the attention of the last unmarried brothers. She isn’t long-legged and slender like her sisters, or flirtatious and wily like other lasses. Since her betrothed died, Dwyn has resigned herself to becoming an old maid. Yet a chance encounter with a stranger in the orchard awakens her to a new world of sensation and possibility…

After weeks away, Geordie Buchanan returns to find his home swarming with potential brides, thanks to his loving but interfering family. But one lass in particular draws his attention from the moment he spies her climbing a tree. Lady Dwyn is not nearly as plain as she thinks. Her lush figure and eager kisses delight him, as does her honesty. But the real test lies ahead: eliminating a hidden enemy, so that he and Dwyn can seal their Highland passion with a vow.


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Add It To Your Bookshelf!

EXCERPT

HUNTING FOR A HIGHLANDER
A Highland Brides Novel © 2020 Lynsay Sands


“Ye said ye used to fear the 
marriage bed?”
“Aye, well,” she grimaced. “ ’Tis said ’tis un-pleasant and painful and such. Hardly some-thing a lass would look forward to.”
“But ye said you used to,” he pointed out. “As if ye no longer fear it?”
“Oh.” Blushing, she peered at his dark shape, and then feeling brave in the darkness, admitted, “Well, yer kisses this morn made me think mayhap the marriage bed could no’ be all bad. Whatever follows the kisses may be a bit o’ a trial, but might be worth it to enjoy the kissing.”
Geordie was silent so long, Dwyn began to think she’d angered him with her words, which hadn’t been her intention. In truth, she suspected her honesty had been in hopes that he might want to kiss her again, but that obvi-ously wasn’t going to happen. He’d seen how lovely the other women available to him were. Why kiss her when there were so many other, prettier— 
Her thoughts died abruptly, when his lips suddenly covered hers.



Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of HUNTING FOR A HIGHLANDER by Lynsay Sands, we're giving away a paperback copy of The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books.  Giveaway ends 2/29/2020 @ 11:59pm EST.  










Author Info
LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at http://www.lynsaysands.net.
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COVER REVEAL w/EXCERPT - CONTEMPORARY - ARROGANT BASTARD (Bastard, #2) by Jennifer Dawson

Today we are sharing the cover reveal for Arrogant Bastard by Jennifer Dawson. Arrogant Bastard is the second standalone novel in the Bastard series and will be available May 5, 2020. You won't want to miss the sizzling chemistry and banter between Cat and Caden. Check out the cover, excerpt and giveaway then pre-order your copy!

Arrogant Bastard
May 5th 2020


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I’m Cat McKay, and I’m in desperate need of a man. 
My farm manager deserted me six weeks before our grand opening that will help put my family’s business on the map. Now I need to find a replacement, because I’m not about to be the reason we fail. Unfortunately, Caden Landry— whose arrogance, evasions and good looks rub me the wrong way—is my only option on a list of zero candidates. So, as much as it pains me to admit it, I need him to step in and save the day. Yeah, I hate it too. 

I’m Caden Landry, and I have a self-destructive streak a mile wide. 
One thing is clear, I need to stay the hell away from my new boss, Cat McKay. Not an easy task, considering she’s the kind of woman I find irresistible. But I’m tired of running, tired of living paycheck to paycheck with nothing but a flatbed to my name. I’m determined this time I’m going to get my life together. So, I’m not about to screw a golden opportunity because I can’t keep my hands off the woman in charge. This time, self-preservation will prevail. *second book in the Bastards series, each book is a standalone and has its own HEA.

Excerpt

I point to the empty seat at the end of the counter. “Did you not hear me say I want to be alone.” “I did.” He points to the shot glass. “You gonna let me do a shot all by myself?” “You would have been doing it all by yourself if I wasn’t here.” “But you are here,” he points out, oh so helpfully. I contemplate irrationally throwing the tequila in his face but that seems a bit too dramatic and wouldn’t really work in my favor. Not only does it show my cards, but it wastes perfectly good alcohol. Doesn’t mean I can’t work out a deal. I tilt my head. “If I do a shot with you will you leave me alone?” “Probably not.” He grins. I think he intends it to be all good-natured and disarming, but it doesn’t come across like that at all. Heat kicks up low in my belly. I shake my head. “You know, I kinda hate you.” “Oh, I know you do.” He laughs, and it hardens my nipples under the thin cotton of my tank top. “I find you annoying.” I straighten my spine, feeling all justified. Which is probably the liquor. But isn’t that the point in drinking? To justify your actions while you’re in the headspace to not give a shit about the consequences. “You don’t say.” He drinks his beer before placing it on the bar and shifting toward me. “What else?” “You’re infuriating.” “Not the first time I’ve heard that.” I wrinkle my nose. “You think you know everything.” “Not everything, but most things.” I’m on a roll now and it feels good to let loose of the reins a little, I’ve been strung too tight for too long. I need to snap a little to find some balance. “I hate how everyone likes you.” He flashes that smile at me. “That is frustrating.” I roll my eyes at him. “Oh my god, stop it.” “I’m just listening to your list of grievances.” “Well, stop it.” He picks up his glass and tilts it in my direction. “About that shot.” 
© Arrogant Bastard, Jennifer Dawson 

Bastard Series








Author Info
Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later they’re married living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog. Despite going through a light FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is history. These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband.

Giveaway

Open Internationally. The author is giving one lucky winner an eBook copy of Cold Hearted Bastard and a $25.00 Amazon gift card. Giveaway ends February 12, 11:59 pm (EDT). Winner will be notified via email within 24 hours. a Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

BOOK BLITZ w/EXCERPT - YA PARANORMAL FANTASY - LINCOLN (Anglebound Origins, #1.5; Angelbound Lincoln, #1) by Christina Bauer

Lincoln
(Angelbound Origins, #1.5)
by Christina Bauer

Publication date: May 28th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult



***Experience the events of Angelbound from Lincoln’s perspective!!!***

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When it comes to fighting demons, Prince Lincoln is the greatest warrior in the history of his people, the thrax. Now Lincoln faces his hardest fight yet…and it’s not on a traditional battlefield.

Lincoln is falling in love. And the girl is part demon.

Between a fated dance at the Ryder mansion…a life-changing walk through a hedgerow maze…and a massive battle with none other than the King of Hell…Lincoln realizes that he wants to share his life with Myla Lewis, the part-demon girl who has captured his heart. However, an evil thrax noble—the powerful Earl of Acca—is prepared to do anything to stop Lincoln and Myla from having a future.

But Lincoln won’t give up on his Myla. Ever.

To fight Aldred, Lincoln works to create a different kind of marriage—an Alliance of the lesser thrax houses against Acca. Sadly, just as Lincoln starts to makes some progress, the nobles who’ve joined his Alliance begin to vanish. Is Aldred behind the disappearances, or is someone else vying for power? When Lincoln discovers the truth, it upends his entire world, threatening his future with Myla in ways no one could ever have imagined.

“I absolutely love Christina Bauer’s style, full of action, intense scenes, and characters that will test one’s imaginations to the max!”Tome Tender Book Blog
$3.99 for a limited time!
EXCERPT:
An hour later, I stand in an ornate ballroom at the Ryder mansion.
In a tux.
And my world has stopped spinning. Or perhaps it’s simply whirling too fast. At this point, it’s hard to know.
Myla Lewis is here.
Father steps up beside me. “How was the chat with Silvinio, my son?”
“Not too productive. He volunteered that he’s no longer gambling.” I leave out the tidbits about the Tithe and Aldred, since Father thinks those two can do no wrong.
“Is he gambling the demon fighting circuit again?” asks Father.
“Most likely.”
Father then launches into a recap on the latest winners and losers on the circuit. At least, I think that’s what he’s talking about. It’s hard to pay attention.
Myla is crossing the room.
And she’s heading in my direction.
At some point, Father stops talking. Myla pauses a few yards away. Her back is toward me, but even so, I’m a hunter. There’s no missing the slightest twitch in her ears. No one else stands near Myla. Only me and my father.
Myla must be listening to us.
My thoughts race. What did Walker say before? Myla might find me intriguing, and Walker didn’t want Myla to turn heartsick. And now, she seems to be paying attention. This is bad. True, I could be imagining her interest. But even if it’s one chance on a thousand that I could hurt her, I simply can’t risk it. Having Myla in my life will cause her nothing but pain, one way or another.
That leaves only one thing to do. Follow Walker’s instructions. His words echo through my mind.
If you ever encounter Miss Lewis, you should play the haughty thrax. Look down on her demonic side. She’ll hate it—and you—forever.
As Father walks off, I keep my gaze locked in Myla’s outline. She still seems alert, but isn’t fidgeting or clenching her fists. A wave of relief moves through me. Maybe I was imagining the connection between us. Every hunter makes mistakes.
Clang. Myla knocks over a can onto the floor.
Now I could leave, but my feet move toward Myla on their own. “Are you alright, Miss?”
She turns to face me and I could cheer for joy. Up close, she’s lovelier than I imagined. Life and light glitters in her brown eyes. My arms ache to envelop her. She smells of cinnamon and sunshine.
“I’m fine,” she says simply. “I dropped an empty can, that’s all.”
We pause. Lines of energy and interest flow between us, connecting our hearts. No, no, no. This isn’t supposed to happen. And it means I should definitely leave.
And I want to.
Yet I can’t.









Author Info
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes. 
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press. 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

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BOOK BLITZ w/EXCERPT - HISTORICAL MYSTERY - FINDING OUR MORNING by Mickie B. Ashling

Finding Our Morning
by Mickie B. Ashling
Publication date: January 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Historical, Mystery



BLURB
May 1977

Ginny Tate bides her time on the family stud farm in San Antonio, Texas, waiting to start veterinarian school in the fall. Bullied as an adolescent, she’s finally shed her old skin, but the emerging beauty still harbors insecurities and would rather hang out with horses than people.

Sponsored by his uncle, the Shah of Iran, Dariush—David—Akbari, a twenty-five-year-old NYU grad with a degree in International Law, is also a skilled polo player. He joins the royal traveling team for a tournament in Plano, Texas.

A decade in America has gradually altered David’s views on certain aspects of his culture. Torn between familial obligations and his adopted country, David resists the idea of returning to Iran so soon after graduation.

At the traditional after-party, David strikes up a conversation with Ginny, who is refreshingly honest. He receives an invitation to visit Tate Stud Farm and, on the pretext of buying another polo pony, persuades the shah to make a detour.

Great horsemanship coupled with self-effacing charm sets David apart from the entitled braggarts who normally populate the sport, and Ginny falls hard. His visit turns into a life-changing week that neither can foresee. Will they walk away unscathed or live to regret their impulsive behavior?

Inspired by events preceding the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty, Finding Our Morning is a love story that catapults us from Texas Hill Country to the epicenter of a monarchy on the brink of collapse.
EXCERPT:
So much time had elapsed since Ginny issued the invitation, she didn’t know what to expect when David called two weeks later to arrange a meeting. Was he passing through town or was this an intentional stop? Either way, the days leading up to his arrival were pure torture.
On the morning in question, Ginny took longer than necessary to get ready. She left her hair loose instead of tying it back in her usual ponytail. Her luxurious locks were the only thing she could count on to draw eyes away from her face. The dark blond strands fell in a silky curtain to her midback and had been compared to a palomino’s coat on many occasions. As for the rest of her, it was business as usual. Faded jeans, a checked cotton shirt, and her favorite red cowboy boots. Her complexion was clear this morning, thank God, and she took her time applying eye makeup. It was out of the ordinary to get dolled up during the day, and her parents noticed as soon as she sat down to breakfast.
“Going to a party?” Margery asked.
“No, but you know the Shah of Iran is about to grace our doorstep, and I thought I’d look nice for a change.”
“You always look good,” Ray commented. “Anyone who thinks otherwise is a blind fool.”
“Thanks, Dad.”
“What about your chores?” Margery inquired. “Won’t your hair get in the way?”
“I’ll get ’em done,” Ginny promised.
“See that you do,” Margery replied. “I know you want to make a good impression, sweetie, but those foreigners aren’t coming to socialize. We have to present our best, and a clean, well-organized farm is just as important as our livestock. You wouldn’t eat in a dirty kitchen.”
“For Christ’s sake, Marge. Leave the girl alone.”
“Seriously, Mom. You’re overreacting as usual.”
“Then explain why you look more like a debutante than a rancher’s daughter this morning?”
“He offered dinner and dancing the last time we were together. I don’t want him to change his mind.”
Aghast, Margery exclaimed, “The shah?”
“God no,” Ginny said. “David.”
“Which one is he again?”
“Their number-three player.”
“He was good,” Margery recalled.
“Right?”
“What are you going to wear tonight?”
“I’m not sure it’s happening, but I bought a new dress in case.”
“What color is it?”
“Black.”
“You’re too young to wear black,” Margery opined with a tsk.
Ginny rolled her eyes. “Give it a rest, Mom. I’m eighteen.”
“Black is more appropriate for someone older and more experienced.”
Ginny refused to take the bait. Her mother was being overprotective, given her dating history, and was understandably worried. Nonetheless, it was too early in the morning to argue. She scooped up the last of her egg yolk on a piece of toast, swallowed it down with orange juice, and stood up to go. “I’ll catch you guys later.”
Standing on the steps outside the kitchen door, she paused and scanned the horizon. The sun was already a bright ball of pulsing heat in the cloudless blue sky, and she could tell it was going to be another scorcher. Ginny hoped the Iranians had the good sense to come early to avoid the worst of it.
As she headed toward the stable where they kept the horses for sale, she scrutinized their property and tried to see it through the eyes of a stranger. Theirs was a small operation compared to other stud farms, but they had a stellar reputation. Margery Tate was the driving force behind their prosperity. The woman was a stickler for order and quick to remind new employees that pride in ownership was as important as a good pedigree.
Margery acquired her code of ethics from her parents who’d started the stud farm with one stallion and a few mares. As their only child, she’d inherited the bulk of the estate, with small portions divided among the loyal ranch hands who had been around until her father finally passed, a year and a day after her mother died of cancer. Her gender had never been a good enough excuse to avoid the hard work necessary to ensure the success of the farm, and Margery expected her only daughter to work as tirelessly as the rest of them.
She did have a point, Ginny conceded begrudgingly, but her advice was often framed in criticism, which usually rubbed people the wrong way. Horse breeding could be a messy business when things got out of hand, and organization was key.
She made the rounds swiftly this morning, inspecting each area with a critical eye, paying particular attention to the horses for sale. This would be their first stop and she wanted the area to be in tip-top shape. She could only imagine what the royal stables must look like with dozens of helpers at the shah’s beck and call. Well, they might not have his manpower, but over the years, the stud farm had gained a well-earned reputation for their excellent stock and integrity.
By the time the shah and his entourage arrived two hours later, her nerves were frayed. The group of six, dressed in casual attire, climbed out of a gleaming limousine. Ginny wasn’t sure what to expect, given their status, but these men looked like any prospective buyer, albeit better dressed. Her parents greeted the Iranians deferentially and offered to be their guides as they toured the premises. While they concentrated on the shah, Ginny walked up to David with an outstretched hand.
“I’m glad you could make it.”
“Was there any doubt?” he asked, stepping forward and clasping her hand in his. He was so close she could smell his sweet breath, overlaid with a hint of coffee. His eyes weren’t black as she’d first thought. They were deep brown with a touch of caramel and were gazing at her appraisingly. Now that he was actually here, Ginny’s confidence faltered as she met his intense scrutiny. Had he come to buy a horse or check her out? Her heart rate sped up as nerves and anticipation made her breath falter. It was at once unexpected and exhilarating. Ginny withdrew her hand and stepped back, laughing off the moment awkwardly.








Author Info
Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multi-published author who resides in a suburb outside Chicago. She is a product of her upbringing in various cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. 
Since 2009, Mickie has written several dozen novels in the LGBTQ+ genre—which have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Lately, her muse has been nudging her in a different direction, and she’s learned through past experience to pay attention to creative sparks that show up unexpectedly. Her pen name is a part of her now, and will travel along on this exciting new journey, wherever it might lead. She promises to be very specific in her book blurbs and cover art to avoid any confusion.

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