Book Excerpt: Sudetenland

Please join George T. Chronis as he tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Sudetenland, from March 16-27.

02_Sudetenland_CoverPublication Date: September 30, 2014
BookBaby
Formats: eBook
ASIN: B00O2T6B9Y

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Sudetenland is the premiere novel by author George T. Chronis. The book delivers suspenseful and sweeping historical fiction set against Central European intrigue during the late 1930s leading up to 1938’s Munich Conference. Having swallowed up Austria, Adolph Hitler now covets Czechoslovakian territory. Only France has the power to stand beside the government in Prague against Germany… but will she? The characters are the smart and sometimes wise-cracking men and women of this era – the foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, diplomats and career military – who are on the front lines of that decade’s most dangerous political crisis. If Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš ignores the advice of French premier Édouard Daladier and refuses to give up Bohemian territory willingly, then Hitler orders that it be taken by force. The novel takes readers behind the scenes into the deliberations and high drama taking place within major hurtles toward the crucible of a shooting war.

Book Excerpt:

Général Gamelin appeared satisfied with the progress marked on the main campaign board illustrating the disposition of French units committed to Offensive Sarre. At least that was the conclusion of the général’s adjutants who were reliably quick to sense the slightest sign of irritation in the normally unruffled demeanor of their chief of staff. What he had wanted, Gamelin had achieved: a springboard into Germany should he choose to press the attack. Of course, Gamelin had yet to make that decision but this was something he by rights kept to himself. Colonel Petibon, the général’s chef de cabinet, knew Gamelin’s mind yet was just as secretive. For now, Gamelin was content to finish bringing up his reserves while allowing advance units to probe the German lines for weakness. Outside of Petibon, Gamelin’s intentions were something of an enigma to the général’s staff. Out of earshot there was a lively debate whether the chief of staff would turn out like McClellan in Virginia; raising a great army he was unwilling to commit to battle; or Marshal Davout, who’s wise prudence never impeded his boldness of action.
“Fine, fine… everything is as it should be,” Gamelin moved away from the board. “Now what of the British? Any word?”
“No developments,” Commandant Huet supplied like a shipping clerk checking off items ordered yet not delivered. As one of Gamelin’s primary adjutants, Huet had a full list of topics to stay current on. The British were at the top of the list.
“High time for Chamberlain to get off the pot. What more does he need? The Czechs are mounting a spirited defence against all expectations. Hitler has already been denied the easy victory he coveted. Now is the moment for us to settle the matter,” Gamelin allowed his growing impatience to show.
“A shame the prime minister appears set on denying himself a role in the final outcome,” Petibon coveted the sole disposition of spoils that might lie ahead.
Much of Gamelin’s strategic goals had hinged on what the British did or did not do. Three weeks prior the général had sincerely believed that his freedom to choose an aggressive offensive against the Germans required, at the very least, commitment of Royal Air Force squadrons to the battle. Gamelin accepted that London was hard-pressed to raise an expeditionary corps of any consequence. Yet France’s glaring need was for far more aircraft than she could raise herself. On the ground, Gamelin was in a far better position to move forward without British ground troops. The French chief of staff’s analysis had long been that without the promise of fresh reserves from the United Kingdom, the depth of any French penetration into Germany should be limited. Push too deep into the middle of Germany and he risked the Wehrmacht sweeping through Belgium to outflank the French lines, which is why Gamelin had always sought British support opposite the Low Countries. But that was before the Czechoslovak’s amazing battlefield success in their border mountains. The bulk of Hitler’s available divisions were tied down and suffering significant rates of attrition. Those regiments would be difficult to extricate from action to shift west. That gave Gamelin more aggressive options, and he was flirting with availing himself upon them.
A runner from the headquarters wireless section hurried into the room and approached Huet. The adjutant took receipt of the message and dismissed the clerk. An eyebrow raised as Huet read the details.
“What is it?” Petibon, who was aware of everything that went on around the général, inquired at once.
“Editors from the major newspapers are calling, sir. Their correspondents are reporting by telephone from the Sarre that units of the 3éme Brigade de Chars have accepted the surrender of Saarbrücken. They seek confirmation on this great victory,” Huet felt like whistling but did not dare.
“Which regiments of the 3éme Brigade?” Petibon sharply cross-examined the messenger.
“Such details were not provided,” Huet answered truthfully, although there was little doubt about who was leading this attack.
“Damn that man! Those were not his orders,” Gamelin pounded a fist onto the table.
“Of course, if true, it could be argued that Delestraint’s regiments never operated beyond their artillery cover,” Petibon thought to soften Gamelin’s ire. “Which means they have not violated the principles of the Methodical Battle.”
“Do not attempt to sugarcoat the matter. We both know this is de Gaulle’s handiwork. That rogue is attempting to force my hand – a great victory indeed,” Gamelin would not put it past de Gaulle to have delivered engraved invitations to the correspondents corps.”
“Général, how would you advise we respond to these inquiries?” Huet returned to the topic at hand. “If we say nothing the editors will print whatever they wish.”
“Quite correct,” contemplating a plan of action permitted Gamelin an avenue to calm himself. “Until we get confirmation from General Georges’ command, issue a communiqué: The campaign in the Sarre is continuing as planned.”

Praise for Sudetenland

“Chronis impresses with such a challenging and intriguing debut effort, well written, impeccably researched.” — Melinda, Unshelfish

“Anyone that is looking for a thorough and rewarding read will enjoy Sudetenland.” — Diana, BookNerd

“The plot moves quickly along keeping you intrigued with well defined characters and great imagery to help immerse yourself in the story… I adored the way George managed to weave together the tragedy of war, depression and politics with romance, love and hope.” — Jennifer, pirategrl1014

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Kobo

About the Author03_George T. Chronis

After years as a journalist and magazine editor, George T. Chronis decided to return to his lifelong passion, storytelling. A lover of both 1930s cinema and world history, Chronis is now devoted to bringing life to the mid-20th Century fictional narratives that have been in his thoughts for years. Sudetenland© is his first novel. Taking place during turbulent times in Central Europe during the 1930s, the book took eight years to research and write. The author is already hard at work on his second novel.

Chronis is married with two daughters, and lives with his wife in a Southern California mountain community.

For more information please visit the Sudetenland website or George T. Chronis’s website, or follow him on Tumblr. Subscribe to George T. Chronis’s newsletter.

Sudetenland Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 17
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, March 24
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, March 26
Review at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus

Friday, March 27
Review at Genre Queen

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Review: The Crown

The Crown (Joanna Stafford #1)
Written by Nancy Bilyeau
Published on January 10, 2012 by Touchstone
409 pages
Historical Fiction
Purchased from Amazon

Synopsis:

The CrownJoanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London.

While Joanna is in the Tower, the ruthless Bishop of Winchester forces her to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may possess the ability to end the Reformation.

With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must decide who she can trust so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story set in Tudor England melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England’s past.

The Crown is a wonderful depiction of Tudor England. Henry VIII has broken away from Rome in order to produce an heir. By doing, he has selfishly destroyed so many lives that depended on the Catholic church for survival. Joanna Stafford is one such person. She only wanted to live a peaceful life as a bride of Christ. But that life was cruelly taken from her. Nancy Bilyeau has a written a tale that takes the reader through Joanna’s turbulent life. It is a tale that depicts a woman’s life that has so few choices and very little power.

Joanna is a remarkable heroine for this story. She is highly educated which was very rare for that time. She is intelligent, strong-willed and a true believer of the Faith. Her Faith is what carries her through each brutal event in her life. Ms. Bilyeau brings her to life with such intensity and richness. Joanna is not weak and she will fight for beliefs and the people she loves.

Ms. Bilyeau has also vividly brought to life the bloody times of Tudor England. By destroying the Catholic Church in England, he basically started a civil war. Conspiracies ran everywhere. Henry VIII executed thousands to protect his new church reign. His paranoia and selfishness runs rampant. I find it so amazing how ugly and brutal religious war can be. So much torture, blood and betrayal in the name of God. It’s too bad we can’t learn from the past. There are never any winners in a religious war. Furthermore, the political intrigue is dizzying. Cardinal Gardner plays both sides to increase his power. Joanna is caught in his vicious web.

The Crown is a piece of historical fiction that needs to be savored. This is a wonderful being to a series that will be full of intrigue and suspense. I look forward to see how Joanna Stafford is able to find her place in this new world of hers.

KinxsBookNookScore4

Review: The Ripper’s Wife

Please join Brandy Purdy and HF Virtual Book Tours for The Ripper’s Wife Blog Tour from October 27-November 14.

The Ripper's Wife

 

Publication Date: October 27, 2014 | Kensington Books | Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
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A suspenseful, spellbinding novel of love, jealousy, and murder, The Ripper’s Wife re-imagines the most notorious serial killer in history through the eyes of the woman who sealed his fate.

“Love makes sane men mad and can turn a gentle man into a fiend.”

It begins as a fairytale romance–a shipboard meeting in 1880 between vivacious Southern belle Florence Chandler and handsome English cotton broker James Maybrick. Courtship and a lavish wedding soon follow, and the couple settles into an affluent Liverpool suburb.

From the first, their marriage is doomed by lies. Florie, hardly the heiress her scheming mother portrayed, is treated as an outsider by fashionable English society. James’s secrets are infinitely darker–he has a mistress, an arsenic addiction, and a vicious temper. But Florie has no inkling of her husband’s depravity until she discovers his diary–and in it, a litany of bloody deeds…

My Review:

The Ripper’s Wife is a compelling look into how a repressive society can completely turn people into fiends and psychopaths. On it’s face, Victorian society is all manners and civility. However, behind closed doors you have addiction, affairs, violence and abuse. It is hypocrisy at its best.

I found all the characters in this book to be completely insane; but at different levels. Florie lives in her own little girl world; she wants to grow up but no one will let her. In my opinion she really doesn’t want to face reality. However, she is forced to when she has to face what her husband has become. At times, I found it hard to reconcile the young Florie with the woman who narrated the story. They seem to be two completely different people. But leading a life full of death and regret can do that.

James Maybrick makes for a very believable Jack the Ripper. Furthermore, his entire family are completely depraved and insane. Edwin is such plain creepy without any moral sensibility. James complete break from reality is pure hypocrisy. He can philander all he wants but God forbid that his wife does the same. However, he must maintain the illusion of his sweet and innocent wife. In the end, he created a woman that could take his own fate into her hands.

The Ripper’s Wife is a riveting tale of the dark side of Victorian life. It is dark, depraved and completely insane. Getting a glimpse into Jack the Ripper’s mind is not a pretty experience; but it makes for a wonderful story.

KinxsBookNookScore4

Praise for the Novels of Brandy Purdy

“Recommended for readers who can’t get enough of the Tudors and have devoured all of Philippa Gregory’s books.” —Library Journal on The Boleyn Wife

“Purdy wonderfully reimagines the behind-the-scenes lives of the two sisters.” —Historical Novel Reviews on The Tudor Throne

“I love Brandy Purdy’s books, she does thorough research into the lives of the people in the Tudor era and it shows in her writing style. Very descriptive, engaging characters makes The Queen’s Rivals a page turning novel. If you are a fan of the Tudor era like I am, then this book is a must.” -CelticLady’s Reviews on The Queen’s Rivals

“The writing is inviting, intense and flawless, rich with the flavor of English country life as well as court life. The political machinations, the tragedy to befall the Dudley family and the mystery surrounding Amy’s death were weaved to captivating detail and the end result is a mesmerizing work of historical fiction that puts Brandy Purdy on my “must read” list.” -Psychotic State Book Reviews on The Queen’s Pleasures

Buy the Book

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

About the Author

Brandy Purdy is the author of several historical novels. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading or watching classic movies. She currently lives in Beaumont, TX. Visit her website at http://www.brandypurdy.com for more information about her books. You can also follow her via her blog at http://brandypurdy.blogspot.com/ where she posts updates about her work and reviews of what she has been reading.

The Ripper’s Wife Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 27

Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, October 28

Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, October 29

Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Review at The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, October 30

Review at Book of Secrets

Friday, October 31

Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 3

Review at A Chick Who Reads

Interview & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf

Tuesday, November 4

Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book reviews

Interview at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, November 5

Review at JulzReads

Thursday, November 6

Review at History & Women

Friday, November 7

Review at A Book Geek

Monday, November 10

Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 11

Review & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

Wednesday, November 12

Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Thursday, November 13

Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Friday, November 14

Review at Girl Lost in a Book

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Review: The Stuart Vampire

Please join Andrea Zuvich as she tours with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Stuart Vampire, from October 13-24.

02_The Stuart Vampire

Publication Date: October 31, 2013

Self-Published

eBook; 215p

Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror/Paranormal

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Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest brother of King Charles II is a handsome man with sound principles. When the twenty-year-old prince contracts smallpox in 1660, however, his life takes a decidedly sinister turn. Obsessed with Henry from afar, Contessa Griselda di Cuorenero – one of the Devil’s concubines – turns him into a vampire and plunges him into the world of night. But Henry soon discovers that not all horrors are of the paranormal kind…

In the unnaturally close village of Coffin’s Bishop, Henry encounters a severely abused young woman – a woman who has suffered under humans who are more monstrous than vampires. Could love save them from the evil they have known? And at what cost?

Henry must choose between his humanity and his monstrous, insatiable desire for human blood.

From the author of “His Last Mistress,” The Stuart Vampire is a dark gothic tale in the vein of The Monk.

My Review of the Stuart Vampire:

The Stuart Vampire is a nice blending of historical fiction and supernatural fiction. It is, also, a really good start to new series of books that I really look forward to reading. It is dark and full of vampire lore. However, the author, Andrea Zuvich, has put a unique twist to the traditional vampire story.

In Ms. Zuvich’s vampire world, vampires are initially begotten by the Devil himself. But the Heavens don’t give up and reclaim many who have been unjustly begotten. I really enjoyed the conflict between the two sides. It is a true good versus evil story. This sets up a really interesting battle that will evolve in future books.

Henry and Susanna are a wonderful hero and heroine. They represent all that is good; but human flaws as well. Henry was turned against his will and must try to overcome what he has become. Susanna reminds him is humanity and what he must do to reclaim his soul. Susanna is an incredibly strong character who has faced and survived some serious horrific acts. But her love for Henry keeps her alive and strong.

The true villain of this story is Griselda. She is a nasty piece of work. She is psychotic and perfect for this book. She’s obsessive and truly insane. She will do anything to keep Henry to herself.

If you like supernatural fiction, then this book is a must read. It is dark, brooding and romantic. It will keep you engaged until the very last page; which I might add is quite the cliffhanger. I can’t wait to get the second installment. Thank you Ms. Zuvich for giving us a new vampire series that we can really sink our teeth into.

KinxsBookNookScore4

Praise for The Stuart Vampire

“An intriguing historical with a darkly gothic twist, I enjoyed The Stuart Vampire and would recommend it to anyone with a taste for period horror.” – Erin Davies, Flashlight Commentary

Buy the Book

Amazon US

Amazon UK

About the Author03_Andrea Zuvich

Andrea (aka The Seventeenth Century Lady) is a 17th-century historian, historical consultant, and historical fiction authoress. His Last Mistress – a biographical fiction novella about the Duke of Monmouth and Lady Henrietta Wentworth was published by Endeavour Press, London in 2013. She received double BA degrees in History and Anthropology from the University of Central Florida, and continued her History studies with the University of Oxford and Princeton University. Zuvich has been filmed for NTR television in The Netherlands, talking about William III, and was recently on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour discussing Queen Anne. She was one of the original developers and leaders on The Garden History Tours at Kensington Palace, London. Zuvich lives in Windsor, England.

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

The Stuart Vampire Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 13

Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, October 14

The Stuart Vampire Launch Party @ 12:00pm-2:00pm EST

Wednesday, October 15

Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, October 16

Review & Guest Post at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Friday, October 17

Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, October 20

Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Tuesday, October 21

Review at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, October 22

Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, October 24

Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

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Review: The Vintner’s Daughter

The Vintner’s Daughter
Written by Kristen Harnisch
Published on August 5, 2014 by She Writes Press
342 pages
Historical Fiction
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Vintners-DaughterSynopsis:

Loire Valley, 1895. When Sara Thibault’s father is killed in a mudslide, her mother sells their vineyard to a rival family, whose eldest son marries Sara’s sister, Lydia. But a violent tragedy compels the sisters to flee to America, forcing Sara to put aside her dream to follow in her father’s footsteps as a master winemaker.

Meanwhile, Philippe Lemieux has arrived in California with the ambition of owning the largest vineyard in Napa. When he learns of his brother’s death in France, he resolves to bring the killer to justice. Sara has travelled to California in hopes of making her own way in the winemaking world. When she encounters Philippe, they are instantly drawn to one another. But Sara knows he is the one man who could either return her family’s vineyard to her – or send her to the guillotine.

Kristen Harnisch has written a remarkable novel that takes us deep into the wonderful world of winemaking. She has empowered her main character, Sara, to chase her dream and nothing will stop her. Sara is a character that the reader can connect with and admire.

At the center of The Vintner’s Daughter is the making of wine. I have always found this world to be so fascinating. Ms. Harnisch has done a wonderful job of capturing it and making it come alive. Wine represents such passion and romance which matches the passion and romance of Sara and Philippe. Their relationship is not just their attraction for each other; it is their quest to create and sell the perfect bottle of wine.

Philippe makes for a wonderful hero in this story. He is driven but compassionate. He is loyal to his family but he is also able to see their faults. Basically, he is a very good man. He is the exact opposite from his older brother and father. They are driven, but unlike Philippe, they are cruel and will stop at nothing to get what they want. It doesn’t make who they hurt or destroy. Their cruelty makes Philippe’s character stand out more for his kindness.

Sara is a strong young woman with a dream that really should be possible for a woman during the late 19th century. She is incredibly brave to face her fears and take responsibility for her family. Ms. Harnisch has written a wonderful female character in Sara Thibault. She doesn’t expect to be saved by a knight in shining armor. She expects to work hard for her dreams. She is very hard on herself and takes too much blame at times; but I found her to be very engaging and resilient character.

The Vintner’s Daughter is a wonderful first novel from Kristen Harnisch. You will definitely lose yourself in the tantalizing world of winemaking. It’s a world full of passion, love and need. It’s a remarkable read.

KinxsBookNookScore4

Spotlight: East India

02_East IndiaPublication Date: July 8, 2014
Cool Gus Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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In any other circumstance but shipwreck, rape and murder, a man like Michiel van Texel would never have met a fine lady such as Cornelia Noorstrandt.

He was just a soldier, a sergeant in the Dutch East India company’s army, on his way from Amsterdam to the Indies to fight the Mataram. Such a woman was far above the likes of him.

But both their destinies intertwine far away from Holland, on some god-forsaken islands near the Great Southland. When their great ship, the Utrecht, founders far from home, surviving the Houtman Rocks is the least of their worries.

As they battle to survive and the bravest and the best reveal themselves for what they are, Cornelia’s only hope is a mercenary in a torn coat who shows her that a man is more than just manners and money.

He makes her one promise: ‘Even if God forsakes you, I will find you.’

But can he keep it?

Described by one critic as ‘Jack and Rose in the seventeenth century’, East India will keep you wondering until the final page.

Watch the Book Trailer

Buy the Book

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Google Play
iTunes
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About the AuthorColin Falconer

Born in London, Colin first trialed as a professional football player in England, and was eventually brought to Australia. He went to Sydney and worked in TV and radio and freelanced for many of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. He has published over twenty novels and his work has so far been translated into 23 languages.

He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz.

He currently lives in Barcelona.

For more information please visit Colin Falconer’s website. You can also find him on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

East India Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 28
Review at History & Women

Tuesday, July 29
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, July 30
Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, August 5
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, August 7
Review at Bibliotica

Monday, August 11
Review at A Library of My Own

Friday, August 15
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, August 18
Review at The Book Binder’s Daughter

Thursday, August 21
Review at Beth’s Book Reviews

Monday, August 25
Review at Casual Readers

Wednesday, August 27
Review at Book Reviews by Lanise Brown

Saturday, August 30
Review at Book by Book

Wednesday, September 3
Review at Unshelfish

Wednesday, September 10
Review at A Bookish Affair

Monday, September 15
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Wednesday, September 17
Review at The True Book Addict

Friday, September 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 25
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, September 26
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Tuesday, October 7
Review at A Cup Of Tea and A Big Book

Sunday, October 12
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

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Cover Reveal: A Day of Fire

I am excited to reveal the cover for “A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii”! This is a book for historical fiction TBR piles everywhere—six authors (look at that list!), one volume, the gripping story of Pompeii’s final days. And now you can pre-order your copy so that, come November 4th, you won’t have to wait.

It’s Cover Reveal Time . . .

Title: A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii
Authors: Stephanie Dray, Ben Kane, E. Knight, Sophie Perinot, Kate Quinn and Vicky Alvear Shecter, with an introduction by Michelle Moran
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: November 4, 2014

Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain’s wrath . . .

01_A Day of Fire Cover

Six top historical novelists join forces to bring readers the stories of Pompeii’s residents—from patricians to prostitutes—as their world ended. You will meet:

A boy who loses his innocence in Pompeii’s flourishing streets;
An heiress dreading her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire;
An ex-legionary who stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished;
A crippled senator welcoming death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue;
A young mother facing an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls;
And a priestess and a whore seeking redemption and resurrection as the town is buried.

Pre-order today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the Authors

STEPHANIE DRAY is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical women’s fiction and fantasy set in the ancient world. Her critically acclaimed historical Nile series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into more than six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf. Her focus on Ptolemaic Egypt and Augustan Age Rome has given her a unique perspective on the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion. Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Learn more at www.StephanieDray.com

BEN KANE worked as a veterinarian for sixteen years, but his love of ancient history and historical fiction drew him to write fast-paced novels about Roman soldiers, generals and gladiators. Irish by nationality but UK-based, he is the author of seven books, the last five of which have been Sunday Times top ten bestsellers.Ben’s books have been translated into ten languages. In 2013, Ben walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall with two other authors, for charity; he did so in full Roman military kit, including hobnailed boots. He repeated the madness in 2014, over 130 miles in Italy. Over $50,000 has been raised with these two efforts. Learn more at http://www.benkane.net/

E. KNIGHT is an award-winning, indie national best-selling author historical fiction. Under the name, Eliza Knight she writes historical romance and time-travel. Her debut historical fiction novel, MY LADY VIPER, has received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Historical Novel Society 2015 Annual Indie Award. She regularly presents on writing panels and was named Romance Writer’s of America’s 2013 PRO Mentor of the Year. Eliza lives in Maryland atop a small mountain with a knight, three princesses and a very naughty puppy. For more information, visit Eliza at www.elizaknight.com.

SOPHIE PERINOT is the author of the acclaimed debut, The Sister Queens, which weaves the story of medieval sisters Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence who became queens of France and England respectively. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. A long-time member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences, serving as a panelist at the most recent. When she is not visiting corners of the past, Sophie lives in Great Falls, VA. Learn more at www.SophiePerinot.com

KATE QUINN is the national bestselling author of the Empress of Rome novels, which have been variously translated into thirteen different languages. She first got hooked on Roman history while watching “I, Claudius” at the age of seven, and wrote her first book during her freshman year in college, retreating from a Boston winter into ancient Rome. She and her husband now live in Maryland with an imperious black dog named Caesar. Learn more at http://www.katequinnauthor.com

VICKY ALVEAR SHECTER is the award-winning author of the young adult novel, Cleopatra’s Moon (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra’s only daughter. She is also the author of two biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. The LA Times called Cleopatra’s Moon–set in Rome and Egypt–“magical” and “impressive.” Publisher’s Weekly said it was “fascinating” and “highly memorable.” Her young adult novel of Pompeii, Curses and Smoke (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic), released in June 2014. She has two other upcoming books for younger readers, Anubis Speaks! and Hades Speaks! Vicky is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.vickyalvearshecter.com/main

Giveaway

To win a copy of A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii please complete the Rafflecopter form. There are two copies (Ebook or Paperback) up for grabs. Giveaway is open to US & UK residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on September 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on September 27th and notified via email.
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Review: Bitter Greens

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  • Bitter Greens
  • Written by Kate Forsyth
  • Published on September 23, 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books
  • 496 pages
  • Historical/Fantasy/Fairy-Tale Retellings
  • Received from HFVBT in exchange for an honest review

02_Bitter GreensSynopsis:

The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in the breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love.

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Soeur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens…

After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Lionelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.

Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young many does.

Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy-tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.

Bitter Greens is a wonderful retelling of a classic fairy tale where three strong women must find their way in a very dark world. They must survive with their minds, bodies and souls somewhat intact. Each makes their own decisions to overcome their own individual circumstances and survive.

In my opinion, Kate Forsyth has a written a very insightful book about the treatment and limitations of being a woman during the Renaissance. It may seem a romantic time for some; but for the women who lived it, there will few options. A woman could either be “a nun, a wife or a whore.” The witch Sibilia made that very clear to Selena. Each created its own kind of prison with very little chance of escape. By using Selena, Margherita, and Charlotte-Rose, Ms. Forsyth really brought to life how awful the world was to a woman.

I found that this book so easy and fast to read. I was totally caught at the first page. The characters really popped and I could really immerse myself in the lives of these three women. As I read, I ran through a gamut of emotions: anger, sympathy, empathy, disgust, fear. I could not put it down. Plus, Ms. Forsyth really knows how to capture the period. You could see France and Italy in your mind. It was truly amazing.

As you can tell, I really loved this book and I really hope that you will as well.

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About the AuthorKate Forsyth 1

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling & award-winning author of thirty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both adults and children. She was recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 20 Novelists, and has been called ‘one of the finest writers of this generation. She is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers, and has told stories to both children and adults all over the world.

Her most recent book for adults is a historical novel called ‘The Wild Girl’, which tells the true, untold love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world’s most famous fairy tales. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, ‘The Wild Girl’ is a story of love, war, heartbreak, and the redemptive power of storytelling, and was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013.

She is probably most famous for ‘Bitter Greens’, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale interwoven with the dramatic life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. ‘Bitter Greens’ has been called ‘the best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter’, and has been nominated for a Norma K. Hemming Award, the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Fiction, and a Ditmar Award.

Her most recent book for children is ‘Grumpy Grandpa’, a charming picture book that shows people are not always what they seem.

Since ‘The Witches of Eileanan’ was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She’s also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with ‘The Gypsy Crown’ – which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, ‘The Lightning Bolt’, was also a CBCA Notable Book.

Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, ‘A Mother’s Offering to her Children’. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, and many thousands of books.

For more information please visit Kate Forsyth’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Bitter Greens Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 16
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Review & Giveaway at Bookish

Wednesday, September 17
Review & Giveaway at Literary, etc
Review & Giveaway at Book Drunkard

Thursday, September 18
Review & Giveaway at Build a Bookshelf
Review & Giveaway at The Eclectic Reader

Friday, September 19
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Review & Giveaway at Icey Books

Monday, September 22
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at A Dream Within a Dream
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, September 23
Review at Book Dilettante
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at SurLaLune

Wednesday, September 24
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Review, Interview, and Giveaway at Ink Gypsy
Review, Interview, and Giveaway at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, September 25
Review & Giveaway at No BS Book Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter

Friday, September 26
Review at The Gilmore Guide to Books
Review at Must Read Faster

Monday, September 29
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at Bookworm Blues

Tuesday, September 30
Review at The Life & Times of a Book Addict
Review & Excerpt at Books-n-Kisses
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, October 1
Review at One Book at a Time
Review at Book-alicious Mama
Review & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, October 2
Interview at Layered Pages
Review & Giveaway at Oh Magic Hour

Friday, October 3
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Review & Giveaway at Gone Pecan

Sunday, October 5
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, October 6
Review at Book Babe
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Interview, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Harlequin Junkie

Tuesday, October 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Giveaway at The Pretty Good Gatsby

Wednesday, October 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Review & Giveaway at My Friends Are Fiction

Thursday, October 9
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, October 10
Review at Mel’s Shelves
Review & Giveaway at No More Grumpy Bookseller
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, October 13
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Layers of Thought

Tuesday, October 14
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace
Review & Giveaway at Beth’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 15
Review at Crossroad Review
Review at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews

Thursday, October 16
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, October 17
Review at Mary Gramlich
Review at She Reads Novels

Monday, October 20
Interview & Giveaway at The Reading Frenzy

 

Spotlight: CLose to the Sun

pPublication Date: June 15, 2014
Fireship Press
eBook; 404p

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Close to the Sun follows the lives of fighter pilots during the Second World War. As a boy, Hank Milroy from Wyoming idealized the gallant exploits of WWI fighter aces. Karl, Fürst von Pfalz-Teuffelreich, aspires to surpass his father’s 49 Luftsiegen. Seth Braham falls in love with flying during an air show at San Francisco’s Chrissy Field.

The young men encounter friends, rivals, and exceptional women. Braxton Mobley, the hotshot, wants to outscore every man in the air force. Texas tomboy Catherine “Winty” McCabe is as good a flyer as any man. Princess Maria-Xenia, a stateless White Russian, works for the Abwehr, German Intelligence. Elfriede Wohlman is a frontline nurse with a dangerous secret. Miriam Keramopoulos is the girl from Brooklyn with a voice that will take her places.

Once the United States enter the war, Hank, Brax, and Seth experience the exhilaration of aerial combat and acedom during the unromantic reality of combat losses, tedious bomber escort, strafing runs, and the firebombing of entire cities. As one of the hated aristocrats, Karl is in as much danger from Nazis as he is from enemy fighter pilots, as he and his colleagues desperately try to stem the overwhelming tide as the war turns against Germany. Callous political decisions, disastrous mistakes, and horrific atrocities they witness at the end of WWII put a dark spin on all their dreams of glory.

Blogger Praise for Close to the Sun

“Donald Michael Platt’s Close to the Sun is an amazing story told from the perspective of average male fighter pilots in the onset and during WWII, juxtaposing between various men from many sides of the war. The details in this novel were spectacular, creating imagery and depth in the scenes and characters, as well as the dialogue being so nostalgic and well-written it felt right out of a 1950’s film. The romantic nuances of his storytelling felt incredibly authentic with the tug and pull of the men being called to serve and the women whom they loved who had their own high hopes, dreams, or work. I loved how he portrayed this women the most—strongly and fiercely independent. I’ve read several other books by Platt, and this is the best one I’ve read yet! I couldn’t stop reading. ” – Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, Hook of a Book

“Donald Platt’s Close To The Sun, is nothing short of Historical Fiction gold. Platt’s flair for emotionally provocative storytelling makes this book attractive to both male and female readers. Seamlessly weaving the threads of action and feeling into a brilliant tableau of humanity. This is a masterfully penned tale of war, ambition, love, loss, and ACES!” – Frishawn Rasheed, WTF Are You Reading?

“Fast-paced and riveting I couldn’t get enough of Hank, Karl and Seth’s exploits! CLOSE TO THE SUN is a thrilling novel that leads readers through idyllic dreams of heroism and the grim reality of war. Platt provides readers with a unique coming-of-age story as three adventure-seeking boys discover far more than how to be an aerial combat pilot. CLOSE TO THE SUN is an amazing tale of adventure, heroism, war and the drive within us all that keeps us going when things look bleak.” – Ashley LaMar, Closed the Cover

“I found Close to the Sun to be an entertaining read, it was well written, with well developed characters, these characters had depth and emotion. A unique plot, told from the point of view of pilots prior to and during World War II. It was a well researched and interesting book” – Margaret Cook, Just One More Chapter

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About the AuthorDonald Michael Platt Author

Author of four other novels, ROCAMORA, HOUSE OF ROCAMORA, A GATHERING OF VULTURES, and CLOSE TO THE SUN, Donald Michael Platt was born and raised in San Francisco. Donald graduated from Lowell High School and received his B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley. After two years in the Army, Donald attended graduate school at San Jose State where he won a batch of literary awards in the annual SENATOR PHELAN LITERARY CONTEST.

Donald moved to southern California to begin his professional writing career. He sold to the TV series, MR. NOVAK, ghosted for health food guru, Dan Dale Alexander, and wrote for and with diverse producers, among them as Harry Joe Brown, Sig Schlager, Albert J. Cohen, Al Ruddy plus Paul Stader Sr, Hollywood stuntman and stunt/2nd unit director. While in Hollywood, Donald taught Creative Writing and Advanced Placement European History at Fairfax High School where he was Social Studies Department Chairman.

After living in Florianópolis, Brazil, setting of his horror novel A GATHERING OF VULTURES, pub. 2007 & 2011, he moved to Florida where he wrote as a with: VITAMIN ENRICHED, pub.1999, for Carl DeSantis, founder of Rexall Sundown Vitamins; and THE COUPLE’S DISEASE, Finding a Cure for Your Lost “Love” Life, pub. 2002, for Lawrence S. Hakim, MD, FACS, Head of Sexual Dysfunction Unit at the Cleveland Clinic.

Currently, Donald resides in Winter Haven, Florida where he is polishing a dark novel and preparing to write a sequel to CLOSE TO THE SUN.

For more information please visit Donald Michael Platt’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Close to the Sun Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 18
Review at Forever Ashley & Closed the Cover

Wednesday, August 20
Spotlight at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, August 21
Review at Tribute Books Mama

Friday, August 22
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Saturday, August 23
Review at Beth’s Book Reviews

Monday, August 25
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, August 26
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, August 27
Spotlight at Princess of Eboli

Thursday, August 28
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Friday, August 29
Review at Queen of All She Reads

Monday, September 1
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, September 2
Review & Guest Post at My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 3
Review at Book Babe

Thursday, September 4
Spotlight at Layered Pages
Spotlight at Kinx’s Book Nook

Friday, September 5
Guest Post at Cynthia Robertson Blog

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Cover Reveal: The Tapestry

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Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Touchstone Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Pages: 390

Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: Joanna Stafford, Book Three

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In THE CROWN, Sister Joanna Stafford searched for a Dark Ages relic that could save her priory from Cromwellís advancing army of destruction. In THE CHALICE, Joanna was drawn into an international conspiracy against Henry VIII himself as she struggled to learn the truth behind a prophecy of his destruction.

Now, in THE TAPESTRY, Joanna Stafford finally chooses her own destiny.

After her Dominican priory in Dartford closed foreverócollateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIIIís quest to overthrow the Catholic ChurchóJoanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving tapestries, shunning dangerous quests and conspiracies. Until she is summoned to Whitehall Palace, where her tapestry weaving has drawn the Kingís attention.

Joanna is uncomfortable serving the King, and fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual disregard for the virtues she holds dear. Her suspicions are confirmed when an assassin attempts to kill her moments after arriving at Whitehall.

Struggling to stay ahead of her most formidable enemy yet, an unknown one, she becomes entangled in dangerous court politics. Her dear friend Catherine Howard is rumored to be the Kingís mistress. Joanna is determined to protect young, beautiful, naÔve Catherine from becoming the Kingís next wife and, possibly, victim.

Set in a world of royal banquets and feasts, tournament jousts, ship voyages, and Tower Hill executions, this thrilling tale finds Joanna in her most dangerous situation yet, as she attempts to decide the life she wants to live: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. Joanna Stafford must finally choose.

Pre-Order the Book

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About the Authorunnamed-1

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay “Zenobia” placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and “Loving Marys” reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. THE TAPESTRY will be released in March 2015.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Stay in touch with her on Twitter at @tudorscribe. For more information please visit Nancy Bilyeau’s website.