The Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller


The Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller

Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Knox Robinson Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 308 Pages

Series: The Long - Hair Saga, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery


AD 454. Three years after the Roman victory over Attila the Hun at Catalaunum, Arria Felix and Garic the Frank are married and enjoying life on Garic's farm in northern Gaul (France). Their happy life is interrupted, when a cryptic message arrives from Rome, calling Arria home to her father, the esteemed Senator Felix. At Arria's insistence, but against Garic's better judgment, they leave at once.

Upon their arrival at Villa Solis, they are confronted with a brutal murder and the dangerous mission that awaits them. The fate of a profound and sacred object--Christ's Crown of Thorns--rests in their hands. They must carry the holy relic to the safety of Constantinople, away from a corrupt emperor and old enemies determined to steal it for their own gain.

But an even greater force arises to derail their quest--a secret cult willing to commit any atrocity to capture the Crown of Thorns. And all the while, the gruesome murder and the conspiracy behind it haunt Arria's thoughts.

Arria and Garic's marital bonds are tested but forged as they partner together to fulfill one of history's most challenging missions, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Praise

"Ripley Miller astutely brings to life a Rome teetering precariously on the brink of collapse ...the combination of political and romantic drama--spiritual as well--is rousing. The reader should be glad to have read this volume and eager for a third. Intelligent and artfully crafted historical fiction..." -Kirkus Reviews

"From cover to cover a gripping read - in all senses of the word! Grips your interest and imagination, your held breath and your pounding heart! A thumping good novel!" -Helen Hollick USA Today bestselling author of the Sea Witch Voyages

"Forbidden love, a turbulent time period, and world-changing events combine to produce a real page-turner." -India Edghill, author of Queenmaker, Wisdom's Daughter, and Delilah.

"A passionate and intriguing take on the often overlooked clash of three brutal and powerful empires: the Romans, Franks, and Huns. A Compelling read!" -Stephanie Thornton, author of The Secret History and The Tiger Queens

"Readers will be absorbed by a setting of barbarian Gaul and the constancy of Arria's and Garic's destined love amid the strife of a dying Roman Empire." -Albert Noyer, author of The Getorius and Arcadia Mysteries

"The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, is an elegant masterpiece of historical fiction. This book totally ensnared me in its clasps, and it did not release me until I had read it all. The attention to detail was exquisite The characterisation was sublime, and the romance was breathtakingly beautiful. I adored the world that Miller has created, as well as the characters in it. This is a sit-down and finish book and is one I would Highly Recommend." -Mary Anne Yarde author of the Du Lac Chronicles

Interview with Cynthia Ripley Miller

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I’m the author of On the Edge of Sunrise, the first novel in the Long-Hair Saga, a series set in late ancient Rome and France, and a Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist. I’ve lived and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean, taught history and currently, I teach English. My short stories have appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, The Scriptor, and at Orchard Press Mysteries.com. I also blog at Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus and on my website, http://www.cynthiaripleymiller.com. I live with my husband and our cat, Romulus, and German Shepherd, Jessie, in a suburb of Chicago. Book Two: The Quest for the Crown of Thorns was published on June 13, 2017.

Discuss your newest book. The Quest for the Crown of Thorns is the sequel to On the Edge of Sunrise. My heroine and hero are drawn into mysterious death and propelled on a dangerous mission when they are entrusted to get a sacred relic to Constantinople. Secrets from book one are also revealed.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? When I went to college, my teachers praised my writing, and later, when I discovered that a line I used in a letter to the Oprah Winfrey Show in America made it into the script of one of her television shows, it was a boost to my confidence.

What are your current projects? I’m working on book 3 in my series, The Long-Hair Saga set in late ancient Rome.

What books have most influenced your life? I studied World and English literature and so many authors stand out in my mind. Tolstoy, Dickens, Bronte, and Austen have inspired my romantic historical edge. Lewis and Irving brought the human condition to light for me.

What inspired you to write your first book? Reading the romantic historical adventure series, Outlander—it had all the elements of entertaining genre fiction that I enjoyed and getting my own laptop computer.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Arria Felix is a Roman senator’s daughter. An only child, she’s been educated unconventionally for the times by a progressive father. She’s known in Rome and the countryside for her sharp sense of reason and deduction. Suffering from the loss of her soldier husband and looking for a purpose in her life, she accepts the position of political envoy to the barbarian tribes in Gaul. She will recruit their help against Attila the Hun who has invaded the empire.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? On the Edge of Sunrise is crafted as a romantic historical suspense and adventure novel. The foremost themes blended into the story are courage, love at first sight—an aspect of life that still occurs today—and loyalty.

What is the hardest thing about writing? For me it’s carving out long blocks of uninterrupted time. Once I start, time grabs me and accelerates. If I’m undisturbed, hours fly by before I know it. When something interrupts me, I feel jarred into the present. I have found that the library over my office is the perfect writing hideaway for me.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Research. Everything must be fact checked for the time period and locations. From flowers and trees to garments, food, vehicles, customs and weapons, it’s best not to assume. I once had a character put her hand in a dress pocket. It didn’t occur to me until much later that—wait! I don’t think the pocket came into use until the Middle Ages. People did not use pockets in late ancient Rome. Or, the sunflower is not indigenous to Tuscany, but the poppy is a native flower.

What is the easiest thing about writing? For me, it’s writing dialogue. I‘m generally not that talkative, but for some reason, my characters have plenty to say!

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Do your homework on all levels. Know what the industry is about, write a good story, trust your instincts, and join a writer’s group.

About the Author

Cynthia Ripley Miller is a first generation Italian-American writer with a love for history, languages and books. She has lived, worked, and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean. As a girl, she often wondered what it would be like to journey through time (she still does), yet knew, it could only be through the imagination and words of writers and their stories. Today, she writes to bring the past to life.

She holds two degrees and has taught history and teaches English. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, at Orchard Press Mysteries.com and The Scriptor. A Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist for her novel, On the Edge of Sunrise, she has reviewed for UNRV Roman History, and blogs at Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus

Cynthia has four children and lives with her husband, twin cats, Romulus and Remus, and Jessie, a German Shepherd, in a suburb of Chicago.

On the Edge of Sunrise is the first in the Long-Hair Saga; a series set in late ancient Rome and France and published by Knox Robinson Publishing. The second book in the series, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, was released in June 2017.

For more information please visit Cynthia Ripley Miller's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7
Feature at Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!

Tuesday, August 8
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at Aurora B's Book Blog
Feature at The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, August 10
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, August 11
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, August 13
Feature at A Holland Reads

Monday, August 14
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 15
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at Impressions In Ink

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we are giving away a copy of The Quest for the Crown of Thorns to one lucky winner! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US 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 Quest for the Crown of Thorns


Sarah's Secret by Beverly Scott ~ Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today, Passages to the Past is thrilled to be kicking off Beverly Scott's Blog Tour for Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness! You can read all about the book below & enter to win a paperback!


Sarah's Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness by Beverly Scott

Publication Date: January 31, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 306 Pages
Word Project Press

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Western


Follow the paths of Sarah and Will (or Sam) as they tell their stories of trust, secrets, and betrayal on the frontier in the old West. Their pioneer spirit helped to fuel the expansion into the Western territories of the United States. The two are historically on their separate journeys, yet they remain intimately connected. Through the fictionalized Western frontier tale of Sam and Sarah, the author, Beverly Scott, was inspired to reveal rumored secrets from her family history.

In 1878, Will is on the run after killing a man in a barroom gunfight. He escapes the Texas Rangers by joining a cattle drive as a cook headed to Dodge City. He struggles with the dilemma of saving his life or attempting to return to his pregnant wife and five children. Just when he thinks he might be able to return home, he is confronted by a bounty hunter who captures him and plans to return him to Fort Worth, Texas to be hanged.

Although Will changes his name to Sam, he remains an irresponsible, lonely and untrustworthy man on the dodge from the law who abandons the women he loves. He ultimately seeks redemption and marries Sarah.

In 1911, Sarah, a pioneer woman and widow with five children struggles to find the inner strength to overcome betrayal, loneliness, fears, and self-doubt. Her husband, Sam, thirty years her senior, died with a mysterious and defiant declaration, “I won’t answer!”. Despite poverty and a crippling illness, she draws on her pioneer spirit to hold her family together and return to Nebraska to be near her parents and siblings.

When Sarah returns to Nebraska she receives staggering news which complicates her efforts to support her children. She is shocked, angry and emotionally devastated. Since she is attempting to establish herself in the community as a teacher, she believes she must keep her secret even from her own family. Will Sarah find forgiveness in her heart and the resolve to accept her new life alone?

Praise for Sarah's Secret

“In the flash of one moment, the trajectory of a man’s life and of those who loved and depended on him changes forever. The developing plot draws the reader in as we wait to see how this one action reaches into and impacts the lives of future generations. Set against the backdrop of a post-Civil War nation, when thousands headed west to escape their past, disappear into the horizon, and remake themselves, this biography is a rich study of pioneer ethos and the risks faced every day. The women touched by this man, who kept his secrets close, are heroines of courage, steadfastness and goodness. Beverly Scott is an author who has a way of painting word pictures that make you feel like you are a part of the story as it unfolds towards the discovery of his devastating secrets.” -Patricia and Craig Neal, co-founders, Heartland Inc.

“Using the plain spoken language of the women and men who scratched out life on the hard scrabble plains in the early days of this young country Bev Scott crafts a sharp picture of the violence and the love that shaped the middle of this nation. Every river crossing, each spring planting reveals the conflicts inside the characters and their struggle to survive in contested territories.” -Jewell Gomez, Author, The Gilda Stories

Amazon | IndieBound

About the Author

Bev specialized in serving executives and managers as a leadership coach and organizational consultant for over thirty-five years. She taught organization psychology and founded The 3rd Act, a program whose mission supports positive aging. As she grew into her own third act, she started a genealogical journey to uncover the details of her grandparents’ lives. She concluded that the story needed to be told as fiction using the known facts as her framework.

“Sarah’s Secret: A Western Tale of Betrayal and Forgiveness,” Bev’s debut novel, is the culmination of her long-held desire tell the family story and confirm the whispered story about her grandfather.

Bev previously focused on publishing non-fiction work, including the second edition of “Consulting on the Inside,” which she co-authored with Kim Barnes, published in 2011. She has written numerous professional articles and contributed to “70 Things to Do When You Turn 70,” edited by Ronnie Sellers and Mark Chimsky. Bev blogs on several sites, including her own, “The Writing Life” on www.bevscott.com.

Bev enjoys traveling, visiting with friends, reading and spending time with her grandsons. She lives with her spouse in San Francisco.

You can connect with Bev on Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 14
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 15
Guest Post at History From a Woman's Perspective
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, August 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, August 17
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook

Friday, August 18
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Monday, August 21
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, August 22
Review at A Holland Reads

Thursday, August 24
Review & Interview at T's Stuff
Review & Interview at Books and Benches

Monday, August 28
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, August 29
Review at Book Nerd
Feature at Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!

Wednesday, August 30
Review at Linda's Book Obsession

Friday, September 1
Review at Creating Herstory

Monday, September 4
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Sarah's Secret! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any 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.

Sarah's Secret by Beverly Scott


2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: August Reviews


Welcome to the August link page for the 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. This is the page where you will enter the links to your reviews during the month of August 2017.

If you haven't already signed up for the challenge, it's not too late! The sign up post is here.

Links to previous months...

January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017

Reading Challenge Instructions...

  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review). A direct link to your Goodreads review is also acceptable
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, etc.)
  • Don't forget to look some of the other links that are present. You never know when you will discover new blogs or books!

If you have any questions or need assistance please email Amy at passagestothepast@gmail.com.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
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If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.







The Beautician's Notebook by Anne Barnhill ~ Blog Tour & Giveaway

Happy Monday everyone! Today on the blog I am thrilled to be kicking off Anne Barnhill's Blog Tour for The Beautician's Notebook! My histfic peeps will recognize Anne's name as the author of some wonderful historical novels and now she's got a fun mystery novel out. The Beautician's Notebook is set on the coast of North Carolina, which is one of my favorite places to visit. During the blog tour we will be giving away five copies, so be sure to enter our giveaway!

02_The Beautician's Notebook

The Beautician's Notebook by Anne Barnhill

Publication Date: April 12, 2017
Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
eBook & Print; 304 Pages
Genre: Mystery/Romance/Contemporary

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WHEN WILLA JO TEMPLE IS FOUND STABBED THROUGH THE HEART ON THE FLOOR OF HER BEAUTY SHOP, THE GOOD FOLK OF SUMMERSET, NC ARE SENT INTO A TIZZY.

It’s up to her ex-husband, Sheriff Tal Hicks, to investigate. Evidence points to four possible suspects: Willa Jo’s business partner; a town socialite; a preacher’s wife; and Willa Jo’s live-in lover.

Willa Jo kept a notebook containing all the secrets she’s learned while doing hair. Rumor has it Willa Jo is going to write a book, exposing everything. But now, Willa Jo is dead and the incriminating notebook is missing, leaving the sheriff with very little to go on. As he interrogates the suspects, he finds himself attracted to newcomer, Clarissa Myers. He delves into her past only to discover she has deeper ties to Summerset than anyone imagined. Before the sheriff can complete his interrogations, however, another suspect, Avenelle Young, confesses.

The sheriff is skeptical about Avenelle Young’s guilt because she refuses to discuss what happened with Willa Jo. Her statement is a terse declaration of guilt, with neither motive nor method explained. The sheriff has no choice but to incarcerate Mrs. Young.

During the investigations, as the secrets of Summerset are slowly revealed, each family touched by Willa Jo’s death must come to terms with the new information being unearthed. The repercussions are far-reaching, and forgiveness hard to come by. However, at the heart of the book is the possibility of reconciliation among the town folk as they learn the real ‘truth’ about one another.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | IndieBound



Praise for The Beautician's Notebook

“...a great who-done-it" that will keep you reading until the very last page.—Brenda Bevan Remmes, author of The Quaker Cafe and Home to Cedar Branch.

“What a treat! Anne Clinard Barnhill has penned a mystery with heart and soul. Her characters are so likeable—even lovable—that I hated to think of any of them guilty of a heinous crime . . . despite their many motives. An intriguing and heartwarming novel.”—Diane Chamberlain, NYT bestselling author of The Silent Sister.

“More red herrings than in a fishmonger’s wheelbarrow.”—Molly Weston, Mystery Writers of America Raven Award Winner.

About the Author


03_Anne Barnhill
Anne Clinard Barnhill is an award-winning, internationally published writer who has published two historical novels (AT THE MERCY OF THE QUEEN and QUEEN ELIZABETH’S DAUGHTER), a short story collection (WHAT YOU LONG FOR), a memoir (AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ: Autism, My Sister and Me) and a poetry chapbook (COAL, BABY). She has also written hundreds of articles, features, book reviews and essays published in a variety of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Ms. Barnhill has received four regional artist grants, one writer’s residency and has taught writing and creativity workshops in various places across North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Mississippi. She has three grown sons and lives on the NC coast with her husband and a very energetic dog.

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

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at A Holland Reads

Thursday, August 10
Review & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 14
Feature at Rimpy's Reads

Thursday, August 17
Guest Post at Must Read Faster

Tuesday, August 22

Friday, August 25
Interview at I Heart Reading

Monday, August 28
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, September 1

Monday, September 4
Guest Post at Brooke Blogs

Wednesday, September 6

Wednesday, September 13

Wednesday, September 20

Monday, September 25

Wednesday, September 27

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway for a copy of THE BEAUTICIAN'S NOTEBOOK, please see the GLEAM entry form below. Five copies are up for grabs!
Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any 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 Beautician's Notebook


Susan Wittig Albert's The General's Women Blog Tour


The General's Women by Susan Wittig Albert

Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Persevero Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, & Audio

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Biographical


A compelling story of love, betrayal, and ambition by New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert, The General’s Women tells the story of two women--Kay Summersby and Mamie Eisenhower—in love with the same man: General Dwight Eisenhower.

Set during the chaotic years of World War II, The General’s Women tells the story of the conflicted relationship between General Dwight Eisenhower and Kay Summersby, his Irish driver/aide, and the impact of that relationship on Mamie Eisenhower and her life in Washington during the war. Told from three alternating points of view (Kay’s, Ike’s, and Mamie’s), the novel charts the deepening of the relationship as Ike and Kay move from England (1942) to North Africa (1942-43) to England, France, and Germany before and after the Normandy landing (1944-45). At the end of the war, Ike is faced with the heart-wrenching choice between marrying Kay and a political future.

The story continues into the post-war years, as Ike (returning to Mamie) becomes Army Chief of Staff, president of Columbia University, Supreme Commander of NATO, and president of the United States. Kay, meanwhile, struggles to create a life and work of her own, writing two memoirs: the first (Eisenhower Was My Boss, 1948) about her war work with Ike; the second (Past Forgetting, 1976) about their love affair. An author’s note deals with the complicated question of the truth of Kay’s story, as it finally appears in the posthumously-published Past Forgetting.


Pick up the Kindle eBook for only $1.99! Sale ends August 9th

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters | IndieBound | iTunes | Kobo

Praise for The General's Women

"The General's Women is an engrossing and humanizing account of a love that blossomed during wartime and scandalized a nation... A historical novel that is sympathetic, satisfying, and heartbreaking." —Foreword Reviews

"A mature, gripping emotional drama... The arc of this multifaceted novel follows the three main characters [Ike, Kay, and Mamie] and a host of secondary ones through the war and back into civilian life. At every point Albert smoothly incorporates an obviously vast amount of research into a tale of raw emotional conflict that can make for some wonderfully uncomfortable reading." —Kirkus Reviews

"A brilliant work of biographical fiction that will fascinate WW2 history fans. It tells the remarkable true story of General Dwight D Eisenhower and his relationship with his Irish-born driver and secretary, Kay Summersby, and with his longtime wife Mamie. It faithfully shines a light on the hidden relationship of the man behind the D-Day landings and what he got up to while 3,000 miles from his wife. A must read!" —Kieron Wood, author of Ike's Irish Lover: The Echo of A Sigh

About the Author

A NYT bestselling author, Susan's books include biographical fiction (A Wilder Rose 2013, currently under film option; Loving Eleanor 2016; and The General's Women 2017). Her mystery fiction includes the bestselling China Bayles mysteries; The Darling Dahlias; the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter; and the Robin Paige Victorian/Edwardian mysteries written with her husband, Bill Albert. Working together, the Alberts have also written over 60 young adult novels.

Susan's most recent nonfiction work includes two memoirs: An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days and Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place. Her earlier nonfiction work includes Work of Her Own, a study of women who left their careers, and Writing From Life: Telling Your Soul's Story, a guidebook for women memoirists. That book led to the founding of the Story Circle Network in 1997. She has edited two anthologies for the Story Circle Network: With Courage and Common Sense (2004) and What Wildness Is This: Women Write about the Southwest (2007). She currently serves as editor of StoryCircleBookReviews and co-coordinator of SCN's Sarton Women's Book Awards.

She and Bill live in the Texas Hill Country, where she writes, gardens, and tends a varying assortment of barnyard creatures.

For more information, please visit Susan Wittig Albert's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, Amazon, and BookBub.

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, August 3
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Creating Herstory

Friday, August 4
Review at A Holland Reads

Saturday, August 5
Feature at Passages to the Past

Sunday, August 6
Feature at Buried Under Books
Interview at Unusual Historicals

Monday, August 7
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, August 8
Review at Hopewell's Public Library of Life
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Wednesday, August 9
Review at Impressions in Ink
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Guest Post at Must Read Faster
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Traitor's Knot Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today on the blog, I am super excited to be kicking off Cryssa Bazos' Blog Tour for her debut novel, TRAITOR'S KNOT! I am about 35% through the book and L O V I N G every minute! You can read more about the book below and see where Cryssa will be hosted. There is a giveaway for one signed copy so don't forget to enter!


Traitor's Knot by Cryssa Bazos

Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Endeavor Press
eBook; 394 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Romance


England 1650: Civil War has given way to an uneasy peace in the year since Parliament executed King Charles I.

Royalist officer James Hart refuses to accept the tyranny of the new government, and to raise funds for the restoration of the king’s son, he takes to the road as a highwayman.

Elizabeth Seton has long been shunned for being a traitor’s daughter. In the midst of the new order, she risks her life by sheltering fugitives from Parliament in a garrison town. But her attempts to rebuild her life are threatened, first by her own sense of injustice, then by falling in love with the dashing Hart.

The lovers’ loyalty is tested through war, defeat and separation. James must fight his way back to the woman he loves, while Elizabeth will do anything to save him, even if it means sacrificing herself.

Traitor’s Knot is a sweeping tale of love and conflicted loyalties set against the turmoil of the English Civil War.

“A hugely satisfying read that will appeal to historical fiction fans who demand authenticity, and who enjoy a combination of suspense, action, and a very believable love story.” - Elizabeth St. John, author of The Lady of the Tower

“A thrilling historical adventure expertly told.” - Carol McGrath, author of The Handfasted Wife

Traitor's Knot is available in eBook & Paperback at Amazon

About the Author

Cryssa Bazos is a historical fiction writer and 17th Century enthusiast, with a particular interest in the English Civil War (ECW). She blogs about English history and storytelling at her blog, the 17th Century Enthusiast, and is an editor of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog site.

Cryssa's debut novel, Traitor’s Knot, a romantic tale of adventure set during the English Civil War. Traitor’s Knot is the first in a series of adventures spanning from the ECW to the Restoration and is now available from Endeavour Press.

For more information visit Cryssa's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 1
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 2
Review at Romantic Historical Reviews

Thursday, August 3
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, August 7
Interview at Aurora B's Book Blog

Thursday, August 10
Review & Excerpt at Books of All Kinds

Friday, August 11
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook

Tuesday, August 15
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Interview at T's Stuff

Friday, August 18
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed paperback copy of Traitor's Knot! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & 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.

Traitor's Knot


Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis: Excerpt & Giveaway


Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis

Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Kensington Books
eBook & Paperback; 304 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Biographical


Set in eighteenth-century Venice and based on an actual account by Giacomo Casanova—here is a lush tale of desire and risk.

Caterina Capreta was an innocent girl of fourteen when she caught the attention of the world’s most infamous chronicler of seduction: Giacomo Casanova. Intoxicated by a fierce love, she wed Casanova in secret. But his shocking betrayal inspired her to commit an act that would mark her forever …

Now twenty years later on the island of Murano, the woman in possession of Caterina’s most devastating secret has appeared with a request she cannot refuse: to take in a noble-born girl whose scandalous love affair resembles her own. But the girl’s presence stirs up unwelcome memories of Caterina’s turbulent past. Tested like never before, she reveals the story of the man she will never forget.

Bringing to life a fascinating chapter in the history of Venice, Casanova’s Secret Wife is a tour de force that charts one woman’s journey through love and loss to redemption.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Target | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

Praise for Casanova's Secret Wife

“Lynn-Davis admirably incorporates historical detail into this page-turning drama of mystery, love, and loss….Yet the standout is her depiction of Casanova – Lynn-Davis clearly enjoys crafting a real-life character who stands apart from the legend, making him the book’s most enduring character.” - Publishers Weekly

“Lynn-Davis debuts with a fascinating story based on the notorious lover Giacomo Casanova’s writings. With Venice as the romantic backdrop and young love as its focus, this stunning tale of passion, betrayal and redemption is a richly woven tapestry of Casanova’s early life. By bringing little known history to life, Lynn-Davis delivers an unforgettable love story, centering not only on Casanova, but two women who share the beauty of love and the pain of loss; one will find salvation and the other true happiness.”- RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Full of passion and rich historical detail . . . an enthralling read, impossible to put down.” --Phyllis T. Smith, bestselling author

“This is Venice beneath the mask: A dark and fascinating love story hiding in the shadows of the golden city.” --Marina Fiorato, bestselling author of The Glassblower of Murano

“Seductive and unforgettable” –Harmony Verna, author of Daughter of Australia

“Breathtaking, beautiful . . . will mesmerize readers." –Rosanna Chiofalo, author of Stella Mia

Excerpt from Chapter 12

“Don’t take me home yet—please.” I sighed, leaning my head against his shoulder as we left the theater. There were maybe two hours left until dawn, I judged. Campo San Samuele was still alive with lantern lights and throngs of theatergoers, but soon enough, it would be just us beneath a starry sky.

“Shall we take a walk?” he suggested, kissing me on the temple. I giggled, feeling playful and more content than I ever had before. This, I guessed, was love.

“I will take you on a tour,” he announced, giving me a deep, sweeping bow in his black cloak. He tied on his beaked mask again. “Something like the Grand Tour of Europe, only maybe not as grand. It will be a secret tour of this part of Venice.”

“Secret?” I was intrigued.

“Secret,” he responded, taking my hand and steering us to a narrow street that led out of the square.

The reassuring lamplights and noises of the crowd soon faded behind us. At the end of this street he turned down another, this one even more cramped and dark. Every house was locked and shuttered. Giacomo kept us walking as quickly as cats. “Just a little farther,” he called softly over his shoulder. I had paused to look behind, fearing some stranger with a knife.

Giacomo stopped suddenly and I practically fell into him, laughing at my clumsiness. “Shh.” He began laughing, too. “We’ll wake the whole neighborhood.”

He took a powder tinderbox out of his pocket and knelt down. I could hear the fast scraping of steel on flint, and soon saw sparks. He lit a small candle. When he stood and held it above our heads, I saw we were in front of a grated iron entrance door. Everything smelled damp, as if no one had opened the door in a long time.

“Where are we?” I asked. Looking higher up, I saw a plain brick-and-stucco house. Nothing like my own splendid home, which was covered in porphyry, rose and green marble brought to Venice from as far away as Egypt.

“This is where I was born,” announced Giacomo.

“Oh!” I made an effort to sound admiring.

I heard him take a long breath, perhaps steadying himself. “My mother was the only child of a shoemaker. My father—an actor—was performing with his troupe at Teatro San Samuele. He caught sight of her here, sixteen and a perfect beauty, and fell in love. Nine months later, I was born.”

He blew out the candle and I stood very still, listening. I could make out his black cloak, the white mask he now untied from his face. His eyes were glittering—a gambler’s eyes. Taking a gamble he could be honest with me.

“I lived here until I was eight years old,” he continued. “I was a pitiful child, with a disease that baffled everyone. I bled profusely from my nose. As a result, I was extremely weak. I had no appetite, was unable to apply myself to anything, and looked like an idiot.”

“I do not believe it,” I interjected. “That sounds nothing like you.”

“All true,” he insisted, keeping his usual straight face. “I was cured by a witch.”

“Giacomo!” I protested, incredulous.

“Well—that part might not be true. I can’t be sure. All I know is, my grandmother—whose pet I was—took me to a witch to cure me. This witch lived in a hovel on Murano. She locked me in a chest, recited spells over me, sang, wept, and thumped on the lid. I had no idea what was going on but was too stupid to be afraid. Somehow this encounter cured me. I bled less and less. Within the month, my wits improved and I finally learned to read.”

“Do you think it was a miracle?” I asked, becoming excited.

“I have no belief in miracles, my angel. The greatest power God gives us is reason.”

“Oh,” I agreed, feeling disappointed. “Well—miracle or not, che consolazione, that it all ended well.”

“Ah—almost,” he said, taking the back of my hand to his mouth and kissing it softly. “My father died six weeks later. A sudden abscess in the brain.”

“Oh, Giacomo!” I threw my arms around him. He bent his head over mine, and I kissed his cheeks. I found myself crying for him, my tears eventually mingling with his. I knew about grief, having comforted my mother.

“And your mother—was she forced to remarry?” I asked, when he had collected himself.

“My mother was left a widow at twenty-five, with six children. She had to make a living.” He sounded bitter, but I couldn’t tell if he was angry at her, or only the circumstances. “She became an actress and—still young and marvelously beautiful—was in high demand. Within the year, she left for Saint Petersburg, and then accepted a lifetime engagement in Dresden.”

“Who raised you, then?” I asked, feeling anxious for him.

“My grandmother, Marzia. Every few years my mother would return to Venice and make a dazzling appearance, but my grandmother was the one who took care of me. She died ten years ago. And when that happened, my mother sold the house and everything in it. By then I was eighteen years old—a grown man—but I took it all quite badly. I went completely to the dogs. I wasn’t ready to lose my home, and go to live in a boardinghouse.”

“Good God,” I said, understanding these were the misfortunes—at least some of them—Giacomo had alluded to in my father’s study.

We began walking back toward the square in slow silence. Giacomo had wanted to show me his home, but it had made him pensive, and sad. I took his hand to comfort him.
After a few minutes, we passed the east end of the church of San Samuele. “And here”—Giacomo gestured broadly, becoming cheerful again—“is the site of my fine—if short-lived—career as a preacher!”

“No!” I retorted.

“Yes, my angel,” he responded, making a mock blessing over me. “I was destined to be the greatest preacher of the century. Or so my mother and grandmother believed, when—at only fifteen years old, and studying ecclesiastical law in Padua—I was given the honor of delivering a sermon right here on the pulpit.”

He spied a pile of empty vegetable crates outside a shuttered shop, grabbed one, set it down, and stepped on top with a flourish. It could not support his weight for more than a moment, and he quickly leapt off. I was laughing merrily: He was ridiculous.

“Unfortunately, before this most important debut, I enjoyed myself with a huge meal and lots of wine. I stood up in front of everyone in church, went blank, and—whether in fright or to save myself further humiliation—I fainted.”

“Oh, my!” was all I could say, losing myself in laughter. “I could have told you myself you are not fit for an ecclesiastical career!”

“You are very intelligent, Caterina,” he said. “I wish I were half as observant about myself. I wasted four more years chasing after a position in the Church. But it was not suited to my temperament.”

At this, he grabbed me and pinched my behind. I pretended to slap him in outrage. He responded by catching my hand in the air and kissing my palm. Our lovemaking becoming real, he pressed me against the curved apse wall of the church. The sky had become cloudy, with only a few stars glimmering above. He deluged my neck and bosom with kisses, to which I surrendered with the sweetest moans.

“Aren’t you happy you gave up the life of a priest?” I teased, pulling him even closer by the top of his breeches.

“Extremely,” he breathed, pressing against me with a moaning gasp. “A man cannot change who he is.”

About the Author

Barbara Lynn-Davis graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history. She then worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and later spent a year there while completing her Ph.D. in Renaissance art at Princeton University.

She currently teaches art history and writing at Wellesley College, and lives outside Boston with her family.

For more information please visit Barbara Lynn-Davis' website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

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During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Casanova's Secret Wife! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & 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.

Casanova's Secret Wife


An Epiphany in Lilacs Book Blast & Giveaway


An Epiphany in Lilacs by Iris Dorbian

Publication Date: January 1, 2017
Mazo Publishers
eBook & Papberback; 180 Pages

Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction/World War II


An Epiphany In Lilacs is a young adult novel set in a DP camp outside Hamburg, Germany following the end of World War II. The author, Iris Dorbian, captures in this story a unique glimpse into the period after the Holocaust when survivors had to deal with their new realities for living, based on her father's personal experience. After liberation in May 1945, Daniel, a 14-year-old Latvian Jew, is treated in a field hospital in the British zone of partitioned Germany. A survivor of various concentration camps, Daniel fights to recover from starvation and disease. Racked by nightmares, a nearly nightly occurrence, Daniel finds sleep almost impossible. Through his love of nature, and pre-war memories, Daniel struggles to find comfort. He forms an intriguing bond with an older German gentile, another survivor. Later on, as he joins a theater troupe, Daniel tries to move on with his life, yet still searching for the whereabouts of his mother and two sisters. Poised on the cusp of a new life, young Daniel makes his way to the country that will become his new home.

"Rich with powerful and piercing historical references, An Epiphany in Lilacs: In the Aftermath of the Camps by Iris Dorbian captures thereality of Jews who survived the Holocaust, the inner scars and the struggles with uncertainty, incessant nightmares, and fitting into the day-to-day lifestyle of ordinary people. It is a heart-wrenching story,told in excellent prose and in the author's unique style. I have been a huge fan of Holocaust literature, starting with Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and have always felt appalled by man's cruelty to fellow man. In this new book, the author explores the terrible effects of a fragment of history on the life of a little boy. This is a story to read and share, a powerful story about freedom and the perils of war.Well-crafted with compelling characters and interesting themes." - Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

"This was a lovely and inspiring read about survival after the war. The fact that this is based on the author's personal accounts made this absolutely mesmerizing. This was such a tragic and heartbreaking time in our history, so to be able to read a story like this was like none other. Iris really captures this time period quite well through her father. The connection Daniel finds with the older German (another survivor of the war) and his story about rebuilding his life in the country while searching for his family makes it impossible to put book down." -Rainy Day Reviews/Bookjunkie Mom Blog

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble (Paperback) | IndieBound (Paperback)

About the Author

Iris Dorbian is a business and arts journalist whose articles have appeared in a wide number of outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, Buyouts, Investopedia, DMNews, Jerusalem Report, the Forward, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Live Design, Media Industry Newsletter and PR News. From 1999 to 2007, Iris was the editor-in-chief of Stage Directions. She is the author of "Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater," which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008. Her personal essays have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Jewish Literary Journal, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Adanna Literary Journal, ThisSpace.org, Skirt! and Gothesque Magazine. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we are giving away a signed copy of An Epiphany in Lilacs to one lucky winner! To enter please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. 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.

An Epiphany in Lilacs


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