Bitter Bonds Cover Reveal!

Bitter Bonds full cover

 

From bestselling and award-winning author, Heather Osborne, comes a new historical romance of unrequited love and devious plots.

Brutally torn between duty and his heart, Henri Du Cormier never expected to be completely enraptured with Adrienne Beaumont, the sister of his betrothed. As the new owner of St. Esprit, Henri knows he must work his way into a tight-knit society, and spurning his fiancée will do the complete opposite. However, there are hidden secrets, black magic, and voodoo entwined like poisonous vines into the Louisiana plantation. Will Henri end up cursing himself in life and love?

Adrienne Beaumont is anything but ordinary in a world of demure, Southern belles. Desiring little more than to be rid of a vengeful older sister, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the mysterious Henri Du Cormier. As their lives grow increasingly entangled, will Adrienne give in to the burgeoning attraction, or will fate play another card?

Expected publication: April 2016

Visit Heather’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HAOsborne

Goodreads book link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28694162-bitter-bonds

Cover Design by: Christian Havran

Teaser:
Teaser One

The Renegade Queen Blog Tour!

02_The Renegade QueenThe Renegade Queen (Rebellious Times Book 1)
by Eva Flynn

Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Omega Press
eBook & Paperback; 330 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Two Renegades So Controversial, They Were Erased From History

Discarded by society, she led a social revolution. Disgusted by war, he sought a new world.

She was the first women to run for President, campaigning before women could vote.

He was the Hero of Vicksburg, disillusioned with the government after witnessing the devastating carnage of the Civil War.

Their social revolution attracted the unwanted who were left out of the new wealth: the freed slaves, the new immigrants, and women.

Who were they?

This is the true story of Victoria Woodhull and the love of her life, James Blood.

Adored by the poor, hated by the powerful, forced into hiding during their lifetimes and erased from history after death, the legend of their love lives on.

It’s 1869 and Victoria has a choice to make. She can stay in an abusive marriage and continue to work as a psychic, or she can take the offer of support from handsome Civil War general James Blood and set about to turn society upside down. Victoria chooses revolution.

But revolutions are expensive, and Victoria needs money. James introduces Victoria to one of the wealthiest man in America—Commodore Vanderbilt. Along with her loose and scandalous sister, Tennessee, Victoria manipulates Vanderbilt and together they conspire to crash the stock market—and profit from it. Victoria then parlays her fortune into the first female-owned brokerage firm.

When her idol Susan B. Anthony publishes scandalous rumors about Victoria’s past, Victoria enters into a fierce rivalry with Susan to control the women’s movement. James supports Victoria’s efforts despite his deep fears that she may lose more than the battle. She might lose part of herself.

Victoria starts her own newspaper, testifies to Congress, and even announces her candidacy for President. But when Victoria adopts James’s radical ideas and free love beliefs, she ignites new, bruising, battles with Susan B. Anthony and the powerful Reverend Henry Beecher. These skirmishes turn into an all-out war, with Victoria facing prejudice, prosecution, and imprisonment. Ultimately, Victoria and James face the hardest choice of all: the choice between their country and their love.

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Review
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Victoria Woodhull was one of the early advocates for women’s rights, including the right to vote, manage her own finances, and seek a divorce in the case of abusive relationships. She also was a proponent of free love, and a fierce rival of Susan B. Anthony. The novel, The Renegade Queen, is an account of Victoria Woodhull’s life, trials, and tribulations in her “own” words.

Like many others, I knew very little about Victoria Woodhull, having been taught in school about the more famous women’s rights advocates, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Woodhull was definitely far ahead of her time, and as such, faced suspicion and scorn at every turn. Many of these opinions were largely pushed by the newspapers and other media outlets, such as public speaking engagements.

I found the novel itself to be interesting, although some parts did seem to draw out particular points. As a personal preference, I did not like that the story was written in first person, present tense because I feel historical fiction needs to be written in past tense. Again though, that is a personal preference. Aside from this, I believe readers, women in particular, will find Victoria Woodhull a fascinating historical figure, and they will be prompted (as I was) to do their own research on this vivacious, and often forgotten, women’s rights advocate.

About the Author03_Eva Flynn

Eva was raised on bedtime stories of feminists (the tooth fairy even brought Susan B. Anthony dollars) and daytime lessons on American politics. On one fateful day years ago when knowledge was found on bound paper, she discovered two paragraphs about Victoria Woodhull in the WXYZ volume of the World Book Encyclopedia. When she realized that neither of her brilliant parents (a conservative political science professor and a liberal feminist) had never heard of her, it was the beginning of a lifelong fascination not only with Victoria Woodhull but in discovering the stories that the history books do not tell. Brave battles fought, new worlds sought, loves lost all in the name of some future glory have led her to spend years researching the period of Reconstruction. Her first book, The Renegade Queen , explores the forgotten trailblazer Victoria Woodhull and her rivalry with Susan B. Anthony.

Eva was born and raised in Tennessee, earned her B.A. in Political Science from DePauw in Greencastle, Indiana and still lives in Indiana. Eva enjoys reading, classic movies, and travelling. She loves to hear from readers, you may reach her at eva@rebellioustimes.com, and follow her on Goodreads and Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 1
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, February 2
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, February 3
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, February 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Friday, February 5
Review at Raven Haired Girl
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Monday, February 8
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Tuesday, February 9
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 10
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Thursday, February 11
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, February 12
Review at Room With Books
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Saturday, February 13
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Monday, February 15
Spotlight at Layered Pages
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, February 16
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, February 18
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Friday, February 19
Review at Luxury Reading

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Bitter Bonds Excerpt

A sneak preview of my upcoming historical romance. Enjoy!


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Chapter One

May, 1834

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

“A commoner? Father, you do realize our family can be traced back to the echelons of European royalty? You still correspond with relatives in England and France.” Francine Beaumont was hardly ready to lay down her virginity for a man who bought his way into high society.

“What a despicable thing to say about a man you do not know. Besides, he can offer you a large plantation, slaves, and wealth. We are faltering, my dear. Certainly you have seen how household expenses have been cut in the past year,” Lord Arnaud Beaumont admonished his eldest daughter.

Francine had spurned nearly every suitor placed in her path, but now it was time to marry off the bane of his existence. How had something so vicious spawned from such a gentle-born woman as Francine’s mother? If only she were living now. Perhaps genial Marie would have been able to calm their daughter’s ire.

“It is tantamount to selling me off to the highest bidder, Papa!” Francine attempted to use the childhood endearment so often uttered by her much more pliable sister.

“The matter is settled!” Lord Beaumont pounded his fist on the top of the polished desk, causing Francine to flee the room in tears, past her younger sister, Adrienne. She watched the retreating form of Francine for a few moments before creeping into her father’s study.

Arnaud was relieved to see his sweet, patient daughter appear in the doorway. Her pleasant face was encircled with golden ringlets, her clear, blue eyes full of love and concern. Adrienne, his pride and joy, so much like her mother in every way, would never have protested an arranged marriage. She would have considered it her honor, and duty, to oblige. She was the opposite in every way to her tantruming sister.

“Papa, you mustn’t let Francine trouble you. Remember your constitution…” Adrienne had always been aware of the troubles plaguing her father. They had caused him to suffer horribly with stomach pains, only recently diagnosed as ulcerous. She knew Francine had no idea, nor would she care.

Ma petite, you are too kind. If only it were you who Henri Du Cormier sought.”

Seventeen-year old Adrienne was already well-versed in the matters of arranged marriage, knowing though she had more chance of marrying for love than her titled, elder sister. Francine looked upon Adrienne with contempt, envying her freedom, however minute.

“Papa, if I could, I would gladly take her place. Why does Monsieur Du Cormier seek a bride with a title? Surely such things do not matter here anymore.” Louisiana was a part of the United States. The French Revolution had dispatched with the monarchy, and the British held no control over them. Titles were obsolete relics of the past.

Arnaud rubbed the bridge of his nose, removing his silver-rimmed spectacles, and closing his doleful chocolate brown eyes. His greying, dark brown hair only betrayed his age. “I wish I knew, ma petite. He came into this money suddenly, only able to buy St. Esprit through sheer luck! I wish it were different. My title, therefore Francine’s, is useless.”

Adrienne crossed the room, kneeling at her father’s side, no care that she wrinkled her carefully pressed silk gown. “Mayhap we could speak to him? Surely he would not want such a wife as Francine, once he sees her ways.”

“Francine would never disgrace herself by behaving poorly at a public function, especially with the height of society attending.” Arnaud shuffled some papers aside. “It would alleviate my anguish greatly if you were to find a husband, someone to make you completely happy beyond your wildest dreams.”

Smiling warmly, Adrienne gazed up at her mother’s portrait above the fireplace. Her mother, Marie, was captured in the prime of youth and beauty. She saw her mother’s features in herself, knowing this was why her father favored her so. “You mean like how you were with Mama?”

Arnaud lifted his gaze, peering up at his beloved. They had grown up in a tumultuous world in pre-revolutionary France, hiding their aristocratic upbringing. When Arnaud had prospered in the shipping business, the young couple made their way to the French owned Louisiana territory. How they celebrated when the United States bought it, knowing their daughters would grow up in a free country.

Adrienne was three when their mother passed away from consumption. She vaguely remembered the tender-hearted woman who soothed her nightmares with soft, French lullabies. Often, her dreams were full of the music, as she twirled her small fingers into the woman’s blonde ringlets. She felt cheated not to have spent more time with her mother, but guilty for those feelings at the same time.

Finally, Arnaud spoke, “Yes, like how I was with Mama. I wish she were here. She had a way with Francine. Francine would throw the most violent tantrums, sending nannies and maids running from the nursery. Marie walked in, composed, and quieted the storm.”

Before melancholy could descend over the pair, Adrienne changed the subject. “Helene says everything is prepared for this evening. All the silver is polished, and the ballroom floor has been swept and cleaned. She wanted me to ask your approval on the canapés for the hors d’oeuvres.”

Patting his daughter’s hand, Arnaud left the final touches to Adrienne. “I am sure what you decide will be scrumptious. Is she preparing a full course meal, or a buffet?”

“I believe she thought it best to provide guests with titbits of food right in the ballroom. It’s very new-fangled. I believe I will ask for the salmon and dill. It is my favorite, after all.” Adrienne rose, brushing the fabric of her pale pink dress.

“I leave it all in your more than capable care, ma petite. Now, hurry along and reassure Helene. I am sure she will be beside herself, wondering what my decision shall be.” Arnaud winked and stood, placing a doting kiss on his daughter’s brow.

“I will, Papa.” Adrienne exited the room in a rustle of skirts, her heels clicking delicately on the wooden floor.

Arnaud sat down again, pressing his hand to his stomach to find some relief from the gurgling sensation building there. He slid open a drawer in his desk, and took a dose of the prescribed laudanum. Reclining back in the chair, he waited for the pain to recede, praying to his long silent God that Francine would do something for the family, for once in her life.

~

“Helene?” Adrienne poked her head into the kitchen, breathing in the smell of freshly baked honey bread. “Mmmm!” She crept over to the place where the bread was cooling and reached to break off a chunk.

“Mademoiselle Adrienne! That is for the midday meal! I have a fresh pot of stew bubblin’ away.” Helene bustled from the pantry, wiping her hands on her worn apron.

Snatching her hand back, Adrienne smiled warmly at the old cook. Helene had been there as long as she could remember, with her kind, brown eyes and work-worn features; always stern but kind. “I am sorry, Helene. Papa asked me to come down and say the salmon and dill will be fine for the canapés.”

“Well, it’s about time! I’ve been frettin’ for hours! Now, shoo. You’ll want to have a rest before the guests descend on us like a holy plague!” Helene ushered Adrienne out of the kitchen, but not before slipping a fresh, honey bread roll into her hand. “Don’t you say I’m never good to you, missy!” Her eyes crinkled as she smiled.

Adrienne felt the warm confection in her hand and ascended the stairs, only to be met at the top by Francine, green eyes red-rimmed from her heart-wrenching sobs. “What were you doing down there?”

“I was delivering a message from Father about the hors d’oeuvres for tonight,” Adrienne spoke carefully, knowing her sister was quick to anger. She still felt the sting of many hair pulls from their childhood. She secreted her prize in the folds of her skirt with subtle movements, knowing Francine would steal it, if given the chance.

“Tonight? You mean the evening where my life comes to an end? Where I am forced to marry a man I know nothing about?” Francine, ever the expert in dramatics, slumped delicately against the wall.

Drawing in a shaky breath, Adrienne strove to soothe her sister. “Have you met him yet? Perhaps he is devastatingly handsome.”

“How could he be? He is not from our class of people!” Francine flounced off down the hall, punctuating her flight with more sobs.

Adrienne shook her head. Francine would surely bring the entire mood of the house to a head. Everyone would be on edge, worried about upsetting their volatile charge. Bringing her treat once more back into sight, she pressed her nose to the top, breathing in the sweet smell and biting into it, letting the flavors fill her senses. Maybe this marriage to Henri Du Cormier would be good for all of them, if it got Francine out of their lives.

~

The evening arrived swiftly. Adrienne stood proudly by her father’s side as hostess, as Francine was too sulky to perform the duty. Her new dress was the color of the midnight sky, lit by a full moon. It fell in soft waves down the full skirt, accented by white lace. Her gloves were of the best quality, and her hair was styled meticulously. Despite the financial troubles, Arnaud always managed to dress his daughters to their standing.

Francine was a contrast to her sister, choosing a low-cut bodice, almost daring. Her emerald dress mimicked her disagreeable personality, and she chose black accents, instead of the more delicate white. Her ebony hair upswept in corkscrew curls around her pinched face. There was no persuading her otherwise. She maintained her position in the ballroom, away from the arriving guests, seething in silent rage. When was this Du Cormier meant to arrive? She pondered this question over and over, wanting to do something to dissuade him, but not wanting to ruin her name in the process.

“Francine, darling! You look…divine!” Rosalind Denis floated towards her in a divine creation of burgundy.

One of Francine’s only friends, the woman was quick to confide in her. “Rosalind, darling, something horrible has happened!”

“Oh my, do tell.” Rosalind flicked open her fan, surveying the entering guests, and attempting to discern who the eligible bachelors were. Her hazel eyes scanned the room eagerly, using a free hand to gently puff her blonde coiffed hair.

Francine drew her attention back, exasperated at the lack of sympathy from her friend. “I am to be married.”

“Married? But isn’t that wonderful? You will have your own household and expenditures. It will be divine.”

Francine opened her mouth to protest, but then pressed the full lips together. She had not considered this. Du Cormier had come into money; a great sum, if rumors were to be believed. “Oh, I did not consider this.”

“Of course not, my dear. You were thinking with your heart. Foolish really.” Rosalind returned to her perusal of the men.

Francine balked at the accusation. “Foolish? My heart? I fear you’ve confused me with Adrienne.”

“Who is your betrothed then?”

“Nothing is formal yet. It is Henri Du Cormier though.”

Rosalind’s eyes went like saucers, and she snapped her fan closed. “Oh my, aren’t we the lucky one? Did you know he recently bought St. Esprit, with all the slaves, and money to spare? The previous owner, sadly, was a gambler. I don’t blame him. His wife ran off with some merchant.” She prattled on about the scandal, but Francine was no longer listening. She had to make Du Cormier love her, no matter what.

Adrienne glanced over her shoulder, watching Francine conspire with Rosalind. Each was as bad as the other. The sound of her father’s rumbling voice uttering a familiar name had her turning her head. The new arrival did not go unnoticed, as a hush fell over the room.

“Monsieur Du Cormier, such a pleasure to see you again. May I present my daughter, Adrienne?”

Henri Du Cormier wasn’t like any knight in shining armor. His features were plain, intensified by high cheekbones, and a square jaw. He had long, black hair pulled back in a queue, and dark grey eyes that seemed to pierce her very soul, bringing a blush to her cheeks.

“Monsieur, welcome to our home.”

Henri took the delicate beauty’s hand, pressing his lips to the back. “A pleasure, mademoiselle.”

Francine huffed in indignation from across the room. She was not going to let Adrienne steal this man’s attentions. She pranced over, pushing her sister aside. “Monsieur! So sorry I was detained. I am Francine Beaumont.” She held out her hand expectantly, carefully perusing his appearance. She did not care much for the facial hair, but that was something she could easily change, once they were married.

Adrienne wisely chose the moment to retreat, leaving the perplexing man to her sister. She did not want a husband she had to decipher on a daily basis. Simple, loving, and kind was more than enough for her.

Reflections on Making of a Murderer

making-a-murderer
After some hype by friends, I decided to sit down and watch the Netflix documentary, Making of  Murderer. This blog may contain spoilers at some parts, so if you haven’t seen it, or want to make your own opinions, please keep that in mind. You can watch the first episode on YouTube, if you don’t have Netflix. Here is the trailer.

The program chronicles the life of a man, Steven Avery, who was wrongfully convicted of the rape and assault of a woman, and eighteen years later, exonerated by DNA evidence. However, he is later accused of the assault and murder of another woman, Teresa Halbach. The documentary shows the lead up the the trial and the subsequent aftermath.

Since I hold a BS in Criminology, I was very intrigued by the premise. I wanted to see what the film makers would show. I knew from my studies that the media can be and often is very biased when they have an agenda, BUT I went in with an open mind.

After watching, I compiled a list of final thoughts on the program.


Final views on Making A Murderer​ *contains spoilers*


 

I have little doubt in my mind Steven Avery was wrongfully convicted of his first crime. DNA evidence showed that, as well as the fact he was not in the area during the crime, as shown by his alibi. I feel the need to comment on this because it lays the foundations of what is to follow, including Avery’s contention that he was being targeted and harassed by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department.

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Steven Avery

I was almost drawn in by the argument made by the defense about police corruption and tampering with evidence. The forensics presented in the documentary seemed to be poorly processed and there were some questionable practices by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department, as presented by the defense. I wanted to know why other suspects were not looked at, but then again, I don’t know that for sure. I feel a lot of the case evidence shown in the documentary was presented to disprove police tampering, and completely dehumanized the victim, using her to sensationalize the actions of the offenders. I feel in the end, it was the inability to prove the key nor the blood were planted by Manitowoc deputies that sealed Steven Avery’s fate, however, I do feel reasonable doubt was raised, at least in my mind.

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Teresa Halbach

In regards to the victim, only snippets of her were shown. This wasn’t like your typical CI show where they go into detail about her upbringing, showing pictures of her childhood, etc. The same images were used, as well as a video of her. This documentary was clearly offender-centered, instead showing images of Steven Avery as a child. The documentary makers stated they offered to interview Teresa’s family, but they declined to participate. Perhaps they knew things would not be taken at face value. Again, that’s an opinion you’ll have to make if you watch.

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Brendan Dassey

I did not like the questioning tactics used on Brendan Dassey. The officers used very leading questions and put some words into his mouth, taking advantage of his low intelligence (according to the opinions/testimony shown in the documentary, I have not researched this topic further). I know interrogations are often intense, but the fact his initial lawyer was not present and his mother states she was never asked rings a bit fishy to me. People lie though, however I feel he was deprived of adequate counsel. If he had a lawyer present, he may have not been so impressionable to the police questioning. Saying that, I understand the documentary makers probably used what would be advantageous to their cause, a running theme throughout this program.

I read some news articles about a juror feeling they were threatened into making a guilty verdict, and that they came forward after the documentary aired. Were they so fearful of one sheriff’s department, that they were unable to express these concerns to the judge, knowing a man’s, well, two men’s lives in prison were on the line? Others have stated cases where Manitowoc deputies seem to have personal agendas. I think it would be worth investigating the department, but again, if there was so much concern, why were people not speaking out? Was the fear so great they were afraid to end up like Avery in his earlier case?

The documentary makers admitted to having an agenda, and that was to document the trial as they saw it. This is akin to Michael Moore and his own documentaries, but those gave no pretense about being biased. While I understand the documentary took over ten years to complete, by the end, the message was clear and the motivation even clearer. This was not done objectively, but I did not expect this to be the case, although I hoped. I think deep down, I knew it wouldn’t be.

Finally, I ask that anyone who watches this really think about what you are being shown. How is the prosecution shown? The law enforcement? The defense? How are Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey portrayed? How did the humanizing of the offenders’ families make you feel?  How has the media reacted? Go into this with a very open mind, like I did, and I do hope to hear some of your thoughts on the topic.


 

In conclusion, I would like to ask, how is this related to what authors do every day? We take an idea, twist it, make the reader believe what we want them to believe. We take you for a ride, all be it fictional. Then again, what aren’t you being shown? 🙂 I leave you with that thought, dear readers.


 

Update: I received this article from a friend. I suggest reading it after watching the documentary and seeing if it changes your perspective in any way.

The Edge of Lost Book Blast!

02_The Edge of LostThe Edge of Lost
by Kristina McMorris

Publication Date: November 24, 2015
Kensington Books
Trade Paperback, 340 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes an ambitious and heartrending story of immigrants, deception, and second chances.

On a cold night in October 1937, searchlights cut through the darkness around Alcatraz. A prison guard’s only daughter—one of the youngest civilians who lives on the island—has gone missing. Tending the warden’s greenhouse, convicted bank robber Tommy Capello waits anxiously. Only he knows the truth about the little girl’s whereabouts, and that both of their lives depend on the search’s outcome.

Almost two decades earlier and thousands of miles away, a young boy named Shanley Keagan ekes out a living as an aspiring vaudevillian in Dublin pubs. Talented and shrewd, Shan dreams of shedding his dingy existence and finding his real father in America. The chance finally comes to cross the Atlantic, but when tragedy strikes, Shan must summon all his ingenuity to forge a new life in a volatile and foreign world.

Skillfully weaving these two stories, Kristina McMorris delivers a compelling novel that moves from Ireland to New York to San Francisco Bay. As her finely crafted characters discover the true nature of loyalty, sacrifice, and betrayal, they are forced to confront the lies we tell—and believe—in order to survive.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | POWELL’S | INDIEBOUND

Advance Praise

“Kristina McMorris evokes such a strong sense of place that to open her books feels less like reading and more like traveling. Her absorbing new novel..[is an] epic, deeply felt tale of struggle and second chances… a transporting piece of historical fiction.” — BookPage

“McMorris’ gripping immigrant saga sweeps from Dublin to New York, through Prohibition and vaudeville, from New York to San Francisco and Alcatraz. It is a young man’s battle with hardship and tragedy, but it is also a portrait of America during a turbulent time and a quest that ends in triumph. Readers will be caught up in this well-told story.” — RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Compelling, resonant and deeply moving, The Edge of Lost is an absorbing tale of deceit and self-deception, survival and second chances, the ties that bind and the lure of the unknown.” — Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

“The story will grab your heart on page one and won’t let go until the end—and if you’re like me, not even then. I absolutely love this book, and so will you.” — Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants

“A beautifully told story about a young man’s journey through adversity and loss with an exhilarating ending that I couldn’t put down and stayed up well past my bedtime to finish.” — Charles Belfoure, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Architect

“In The Edge of Lost Kristina McMorris takes us on a thrilling ride . . . I found myself thoroughly immersed in her richly evocative settings, just as I was captivated by the pure humanity of her characters as they struggled for redemption. This book is a wonderful read!” — David R. Gillham, New York Times bestselling author of City of Women

“The Edge of Lost takes readers on an enthralling journey . . . right up to a tense, edge-of-your-seat ending that left me breathless. An absorbing, addictive read.” — Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant

“With prose as lyrical as the music woven through its narrative, and boasting impeccably observed historical details, The Edge of Lost is a thoroughly mesmerizing novel. I adore everything that Kristina McMorris writes and this book is no exception.” — Jennifer Robson, international bestselling author of Somewhere in France

About the Author03_Kristina McMorris

Kristina McMorris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and the recipient of more than twenty national literary awards, as well as a nomination for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA’s RITA® Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her works of fiction have been published by Kensington Books, Penguin Random House, and HarperCollins. The Edge of Lost is her fourth novel, following the widely praised Letters from Home, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, and The Pieces We Keep, in addition to her novellas in the anthologies A Winter Wonderland and Grand Central.

Prior to her writing career, Kristina hosted weekly TV shows since age nine, including an Emmy® Award-winning program, and has been named one of Portland’s “40 Under 40” by The Business Journal. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oregon, where she is working on her next novel. For more, visit www.KristinaMcMorris.com. You can also follow Kristina on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, December 14
The Maiden’s Court
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 15
A Literary Vacation
CelticLady’s Reviews
What Is That Book About

Wednesday, December 16
Reading Is My SuperPower
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, December 17
Unshelfish
A Book Geek
With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Friday, December 18
The Lit Bitch
The Reading Queen

Saturday, December 19
Book Nerd
Beth’s Book Nook Blog
So Many Books, So Little Time

Sunday, December 20
Let Them Read Books
Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Monday, December 21
Boom Baby Reviews

Giveaway

To win a signed copy of The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway starts at 12:01am EST on December 14th and ends at 11:59pm EST on December 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US and Canada ONLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Edge of Lost Book Blast Giveaway

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Tales of Byzantium Blog Tour!

02_Tales of ByzantiumTales of Byzantium: A Selection of Short Stories
by Eileen Stephenson

Publication Date: May 2, 2015
Paperback & eBook; 152 Pages

Genre: History

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A young empress defies her powerful father for love and her rightful place on the throne.

A charismatic commander takes the gamble of a lifetime to save the lives of thousands of innocents.

An exiled princess finds a new sense of purpose and creates a legacy that will stand through the ages.

These stories provide a glimpse of the dynamic and proud Byzantines who lived during the height of the empire’s splendor.

“Through elegantly described details, sharply observed characters, and especially crisp, modern-sounding dialogue, Stephenson takes these vignettes from the thousand years of Byzantine history, mixes them liberally with such excellent modern narrative histories as John Julius Norwich’s A Short History of Byzantium, and manages to create three very intriguing windows into a part of history largely unknown to many readers.” -Anne McNulty, Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews

AMAZON

About the Author03_Eileen Stephenson

Eileen Stephenson was born in Fort Worth, Texas but spent most of her life in the Washington, DC area. She has degrees from both Georgetown University and George Washington University (neither involving the Byzantines) and is married with three daughters. Her interest in Byzantine history all started one fateful day when every other book in the library looked boring except for John Julius Norwich’s A Short History of Byzantium.

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy of short stories, although I have to say I favored the first out of the three the most. I almost wished the author had made it into a full length novel instead of a short story, as I feel there could have been much more build-up and intrigue behind Helena and Constantine’s courtship. Overall, for a quick read and a glimpse into Byzantium life, I do recommend this novel. A solid four stars.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 14
Review at Library Educated
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, December 15
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, December 16
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, December 17
Review at The Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Friday, December 18
Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Spotlight at The Writing Desk

Saturday, December 19
Spotlight at Teatime and Books
Spotlight at To Read, Or Not to Read

Sunday, December 20
Review at Seize the Words: Books in Review

Monday, December 21
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, December 22
Review at Luxury Reading
Review & Giveaway at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Giveaway

To win a Paperback copy of Tales of Byzantium by Eileen Stephenson please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway starts at 12:01am EST on December 14th and ends at 11:59pm EST on December 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Tales of Byzantium

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The Prince of Prigs Blog Tour!

perf5.250x8.000.inddThe Prince of Prigs
by Anthony Anglorus

Publication Date: July 6, 2015
Bygone Era Books
Formats: eBook & Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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The union of England and Scotland under one crown is not even a half century old, and the Parliamentarians already threaten the very fabric of the nation. These are the adventures of highwayman Capt. James Hind who, in Robin Hood fashion, steals from the Roundheads to help fund the royalist cause. When Cromwell comes to power, James, the Prince of Prigs, must be careful whom among his treacherous “friends” he trusts.

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | BARNES & NOBLE | CHAPTERS | KOBO

Review

I’ll admit, I don’t know much about England and Scotland’s history surrounding the Roundheads and Cromwell, aside from the basics, so I started this book with a very open mind. Immediately, I found myself giggling at the antics of James as he tried to escape from soldiers dressed as a prostitute. I was not disappointed throughout the rest of the novel. Although I found parts a bit slow, as a historical fiction author, I understand sometimes it’s important to discuss some of the historical and political issues of the time frame. It allows the reader to have a better understanding of the people living during that period. Overall, this is a solid four star read for me.

Praise

“Any who view historical fiction as dry or plodding should pick up The Prince of Prigs: it wraps courtroom drama, social issues, flamboyant personalities and British politics under one cover and represents a rollicking good read even for audiences who normally eschew the genre. As for those who know how compelling it can be – The Prince of Prigs is ample evidence of the powers of historical fiction.” – D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review

About the Author03_Anthony Anglorus 1

After a lifetime of balancing books, Anthony turned his hand to writing them in 2009. His first book, The Other Robin Hood, is available as an ebook. An Englishman still living in England, he married a Russian doctor in 1999 and will be moving to rural France after reaching retirement age — but the writing will continue. He is already working on the sequel to The Prince of Prigs, tentatively titled Dark Days, Dark Deeds.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 7
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Thursday, December 10
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews

Monday, December 14
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Interview at Historical Fiction Addicts

Tuesday, December 22
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, December 23
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Monday, December 28
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Addicts

Tuesday, December 29
Review at Queen of All She Reads

Thursday, December 31
Tour Wrap-Up at Passages to the Past

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Blackout Cover Reveal!

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely…dead.”

Rae Hatting and Luke Thompson return in the third Rae Hatting Mystery, Blackout.

I’m proud to present the cover, done by my amazing pal, Christian.

Preview_02

And…the Prologue. Copyright Heather Osborne. May not be reproduced without permission of the author.

Prologue

The theatre was packed with patrons, each curious to see the new interpretation of an old classic. Everyone knew the story, fell in love with the trials of its characters, and mourned the loss of the pair at the end. The stage manager quietly spoke into her headset, directing the scene changes with military precision. So far, the production had run without a hitch. This was the pivotal moment of the play, and she wasn’t about to screw up her first time stage managing. The change went off smoothly, revealing a prone Juliet on a stone slab.

She smiled to herself, but nervously gnawed on the eraser of her pencil. Several actors waited in the wings, preparing for the moment at the end where the bodies of Romeo and Juliet are discovered, forever entwined in life and death. She peered at the monitor, showing an overview of the stage. Romeo was on form tonight, dramatically drinking from the small bottle of poison. His performance was flawless, and he collapsed in death across Juliet.

Awaking from her faked slumber, Juliet found her love, dead. She gave her final speech, embedding a dagger in her breast. The blood pack burst on cue, and the actress fell back, knife protruding from her chest. The pair remained still, professional to the end, as the final speeches were spoken with great woe.

Giving the signal, the curtain dropped. A scream echoed over the applause, and pandemonium began.

“He’s dead! He’s dead!” The actress playing Juliet screamed, over and over, trying to extract herself from under the corpse of the actor playing Romeo. White foam escaped his mouth, and his eyes were fixed open, as if in death.

Only, it wasn’t a stage trick. The bottle had rattled to the floor, a single drop of transparent liquid lingering at the opening.

“Call an ambulance, quickly!” The stage manager was frozen in fear. Thoughts raced through her head. Surely it was not possible! The bottle contained water! That was all! Just water! Commotion ensued around her, Romeo’s final words forever imprinted on her mind: Thus, with a kiss, I die.

 

 

 

 

The Spanish Patriot Blog Tour

02_The Spanish Patriot_CoverThe Spanish Patriot
by Nicky Penttila

Publication Date: September 3, 2015
Wondrous Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio

Genre: Historical Fiction

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READ AN EXCERPT.

Some fly to war. Others flee it. No one is safe.

When the British army is sent into Spain to help expel Napoleon’s invaders, nothing goes as expected. Not for London newsman Sam Kerr, hunting a story that will win him the editor chair, who discovers one that could wreck his career. Not for the Wakefield family, loyalist refugees from America seeking peace among people of their faith, who find war has followed them even here. And certainly not for the British troops, whose mission of support turns into a fight for all their lives. Historical fiction set in Corunna 1808.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INKTERA | ITUNES (AUDIOBOOK) | KOBO | SMASHWORDS

PRAISE FOR AN UNTITLED LADY

Penttila shows a deft hand with complex, believable characterizations that accurately reflect the historical period. ~ Publishers Weekly

The social turmoil in Manchester leading to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 is the unusual setting for Penttila quietly stunning, memorable debut novel. A very highly recommended book. ~ Historical Novel Society

ABOUT THE AUTHORAmaliaG-web-600w

Nicky Penttila writes stories with adventure, ideas, history, and love. She enjoys coming up with stories that are set in faraway cities and countries, because then she *must* travel there, you know, for research. She lives in Maryland with her reading-mad husband and amazing rescue cat.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | TUMBLR | GOOGLE+ | GOODREADS | PINTEREST

Review

The Spanish Patriot by Nicky Penttila is probably one of the most well-researched historical fiction novels I’ve read in quite some time. It covers a period of history I had little knowledge about. The characters are deep, flawed, but also admirable in their ambitions. I would certainly recommend this novel for anyone wanting to explore a different part of history!

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Sunday, November 1
Guest Post at Please Pass the Books

Monday, November 2
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, November 3
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, November 4
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 5
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Friday, November 6
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Monday, November 9
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, November 10
Review at She Is Too Fond of Books

Wednesday, November 11
Review & Interview at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, November 13
Spotlight & Giveaway at Queen of All She Reads

Saturday, November 14
Spotlight & Giveaway at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Monday, November 16
Guest Post at I Heart Reading

Wednesday, November 18
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, November 19
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, November 20
Review & Giveaway at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

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Learning to Breathe Cover Reveal!

By Amanda

From bestselling author, Marisa Oldham, comes Learning to Breathe: A novel based on the popular Falling Series.

Blurb:

Like the ocean, life is a beautiful force. One that can tear you limb from limb or lavish you in perfect moments.

Michelle Hathaway has it all: a view of the Eiffel Tower from her loft in Paris, a successful career as a fashion photographer, ownership in an up-and-coming art gallery, and jet-setting days filled with excitement. But, even with all that luxury, her life feels aimless.

Over the years, Michelle drifted on the tide of a long distance, on-again off-again relationship with Micah Roberts, a hot bass player in a popular rock band. When he finally asks her to move to Los Angeles to be with him, she risks everything, taking the leap into a new life.

Drowning in the wake of her decisions, she struggles just to breathe as destiny threatens to take everything. As unexpected events devastate her, will Michelle surface from the depths of despair?

Visit Marisa’s website: bit.ly/AuthorMarisa

Join Marisa’s mailing list: http://bit.ly/MOMailingList

Cover design by: Amanda Walker PA & Design Services

https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalkerPA

Some Teasers 🙂
The Kiss - LTB Teaser 1 Learning-to-Breathe-again-teaser-fb-SIZE Her favorite tat - LTB Teaser 2.0