Halloween Historical Giveaway: The Ripper's Wife by Brandy Purdy

What better way to celebrate the year's spookiest night than with a giveaway of Brandy Purdy's dark historical novel featuring one of the world's most infamous serial killers, Jack the Ripper!

Tomorrow Brandy Purdy will be discussing all things The Ripper's Wife during 2 Hour Live Chat on Facebook, and I hope that you'll join us. I have always been fascinated by Jack the Ripper and I can't wait to hear more about this novel. Click on the link below to RSVP.

Join the Live Chat with Brandy Purdy, November 1st 1:00pm PST/4:00pm EST


The Ripper's Wife 

Publication Date: October 27, 2014 | Kensington Books | Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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A suspenseful, spellbinding novel of love, jealousy, and murder, The Ripper's Wife re-imagines the most notorious serial killer in history through the eyes of the woman who sealed his fate.

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

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

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

Praise for the Novels of Brandy Purdy

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

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

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

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

Buy the Book

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author

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

The Ripper's Wife Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 27
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, October 28
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Kinx's Book Nook
Review at The Maiden's Court

Thursday, October 30
Review at Book of Secrets

Friday, October 31
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 3
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Interview & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Tuesday, November 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book reviews
Interview at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, November 5
Review at JulzReads

Thursday, November 6
Review at History & Women

Friday, November 7
Review at A Book Geek

Monday, November 10
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, November 11
Review & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

Wednesday, November 12
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Thursday, November 13
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Friday, November 14
Review at Girl Lost in a Book

Giveaway

To be entered to win a copy of The Ripper's Wife please complete the form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 11th.

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Giveaway: A Little Wicked by Janet R. Macreery

Author Janet Macreery is on Blog Tour with HF Virtual Book Tours for A Little Wicked and I have a chance for one of you to win a copy!

01_A Little Wicked 

Publication Date: April 29, 2014 | Outskirts Press | Paperback; 188p

Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction (Ages 9-13+)

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After her Scottish village is attacked, 12-year-old Dory must flee her home without her family. Once the granddaughter of the chief, now branded a fugitive, Dory begins a dangerous journey trekking through the Scottish wilderness and crossing the Atlantic in disguise in order to reach the distant and unfamiliar Massachusetts Bay Colony in the New World. There she must survive a crisis that is quite different from the one in Scotland but no less fatal, the Salem Witch Trials. The year is 1692 and Dory is plunged into mayhem on both sides of the ocean.

Praise for A Little Wicked

“…readers will learn a lot about resilience and Scottish identity.” – Publisher’s Weekly

"...the fast pace and suspense-filled pages will keep younger teens engrossed while providing notable history lessons. A high-stakes historical adventure full of emotional, social and political drama." – Kirkus Reviews

“…debut novel is addicting, passionate, and fresh.” – Novel Nutritious

“A Little Wicked evokes themes of survival, rebellion, and identity just as vividly as the most popular fantasy novels for young people.” – Amazon.com Reader

“The author writes from the viewpoint of the female child character Dory, making the story highly relatable as well as understandable to young readers. Readers will gain a strong idea of customs, daily life, and government for those living in 1692 in England, Scotland, and The New World…” – Michelle Robertson for Reader Favorites

“Writing with both discipline and creative abandon, Macreery gives studious attention to detail as each carefully crafted sentence flows fluidly to the next.” – Amazon.com Reader

“…fast-paced style that kids are used to from their favorite fantasy-adventure books.The book is full of historical and cultural details, with touches of Scottish folklore leaving open the possibility of the supernatural.” – Goodreads Reader

Watch the Book Trailer



About the Author

02_Janet Macreery AuthorJanet’s parents never had to emphasize the importance of reading; they both genuinely love to read. That love of literature transferred to Janet, her sister and brother as they grew up in suburban New Jersey. College took Janet to Pennsylvania where she met her husband. Proud of her homeland and her heritage, Janet and her husband read about and travel the United States and Scotland to learn more about the history and culture of both countries and currently live in the shadow of Washington, DC in Northern Virginia.

For more information please visit Janet Macreery's website. You can also connect with Janet Macreery on Facebook, Twitter, and Gooreads.

A Little Wicked Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 27
Review at Books Complete Me
Spotlight at Unshelfish

Tuesday, October 28
Review a A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Wednesday, October 29
Spotlight at Let them Read Books

Thursday, October 30
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 3
Review at Beth's Book Nook
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, November 4
Interview at Closed the Cover

Wednesday, November 5
Spotlight at The Maiden's Court

Thursday, November 6
Review at A Book Geek

Friday, November 7
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Giveaway

To win a copy of A Little Wicked please complete the form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 10th.

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A Day of Fire Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Please join historical novelists Vicky Alvear Shecter, Sophie Perinot, Ben Kane, Kate Quinn, E. Knight, and Stephanie Dray as they tour the blogosphere for A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii, from October 27-December 5 with HF Virtual Book Tours!

In honor of the Blog Tour the authors have included a very special giveaway of a beautiful one-of-a-kind Roman style Necklace (18") and Earring set inspired by jewelry from the ancient world. Handcrafted of real carnelian, the most popular semi-precious gemstone of the ancient world, it was designed to commemorate the release of “A Day of Fire.” Wear it yourself and imagine you are in Pompeii (not on the day of disaster of course), or, with the holidays approaching, it would make a great gift for a fan of ancient roman historical fiction.

01_A Day of Fire Cover
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Knight Media, LLC
eBook; 315p
ASIN: B00NI5CBXI

Genre: Historical Fiction

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

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

Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others' path during Pompeii's fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

Pre-order/Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Authors

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Day of Fire Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 27
Review at The Maiden's Court

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 30
Review at leeanna.me

Monday, November 3
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, November 5
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, November 10
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, November 12
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, November 13
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Tuesday, November 18
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, November 19
Review at Book Babe

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Reading the Past

Wednesday, November 26
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, November 28
Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, December 1
Guest Post at From the TBR Pile

Thursday, December 4
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, December 5
Review at Let Them Read Books

Giveaway

To enter to win this beautiful one-of-a-kind Roman style Necklace (18") and Earring set, hand-crafted with real carnelion, and inspired by jewelry of the ancient world, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open internationally.


Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 6th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Giveaway: Slave and Sister by Sabra Waldfogel

Today Passages to the Past is kicking off Sabra Waldfogel's Blog Tour with HF Virtual Book Tours for Slave and Sister with a spotlight & giveaway!

01_Slave and Sister 

Publication Date: March 11, 2014 | Publisher: Sabra Waldfogel | Formats: eBook, Paperback | 379p

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Adelaide Mannheim and her slave Rachel share a shameful secret. Adelaide’s father, a Jewish planter in Cass County, Georgia, is Rachel’s father, too. Adelaide marries neighboring planter Henry Kaltenbach, a Jew deeply troubled by slavery, and watches with a wary eye as her husband treats all of his slaves—including Rachel—with kindness. As the country’s conflict over slavery looms ever larger, Henry and Rachel fall in love, and as the United States is rent by the Civil War, the lives of mistress and slave are torn apart.

When the war brings destruction and Emancipation, can these two women, made kin by slavery, free themselves of the past to truly become sisters?

Praise for Slave and Sister

"Two faces seen in a mirror: a black slave and her white mistress. Their eyes, their cheekbones, reflect a disturbingly similar cast. Disturbing for the times, antebellum Georgia, and for the reason: Adelaide Mannheim and her slave Rachel share the same father. Later, as war clouds gather, Adelaide, newly married, finds her husband and Rachel have fallen in love. What could have been a tawdry tale of forbidden romance becomes, in the hands of author Sabra Waldfogel, a complex story of survival and the emergence of true love and heroism. Waldfogel has an eye for character and the historical training to ground her story in the milieu of the 1850s and '60s. A veritable page-turner that will capture the reader from start to finish." - Lavender Magazine

"A carefully crafted cavern through time... Waldfogel's wizardry with words makes it impossible not to be devastatingly impacted by her work... A literary tapestry of shame and honor, of glory and defeat, and of coming to terms with the most important issues in life." - The Northern Star

About the Author

Waldfogel_Bio headshot thumbnailSabra Waldfogel grew up far from the South in Minneapolis. She studied history at Harvard University and received her Ph.D. in American History from the University of Minnesota. She has worked as a technical writer and has written about historic architecture for Old House Journal and Arts and Crafts Homes. Her short story “Yemaya” appeared in Sixfold’s Winter 2013 fiction issue. Slave and Sister is her first novel.

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

Slave and Sister Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 27
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 28
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes

Wednesday, October 29
Review & Giveaway at Forever Ashley
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, October 30
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, November 3
Review at Book Babe

Tuesday, November 4
Spotlight at I'd Rather Be Reading

Wednesday, November 5
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, November 6
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, November 7
Interview at Mina's Bookshelf
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Giveaway

To win a copy of Slave and Sister (ebook or print) please complete the giveaway form below. Giveaway is open internationally and ends on November 7th.

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Guest Post by Judith Starkston, author of Hand of Fire

Please welcome to the blog today Judith Starkston, author of Hand of Fire. Judith is here to share a fascinating guest post & excerpt from her novel as part of her Virtual Book Tour!


The Care and Feeding of the Gods

We contemporary citizens of the world do not understand how much daily service the gods demand of us. Perhaps this explains the dismal state of things. But seriously, the divine welfare was given far more attention in the ancient world, particularly the Late Bronze Age world of Anatolia (now modern Turkey) where my novel Hand of Fire is set against the backdrop of the Trojan War.

First, for convenience sake, let me explain that much of what I’ll describe comes from the Hittites, one of the largest empires of the Late Bronze Age. This empire and its people held sway in central Anatolia just east of Troy, which was located on the coast of what is now Turkey. The Hittites and the Trojans turn out to be cultural cousins with similar religious traditions, among many other commonalities. We know a great deal about the Hittites because they left behind huge clay tablet libraries, but a Trojan library didn’t happen to survive so we have to get by with what we know about Hittites and apply it. Fortunately, it’s a fair application.

Hittite goddess and child 15th to 13th century BC © PHGCOM Wikimedia Commons
 Just what did a city in those days have to do to appease the gods and ensure their protection of the people? (Apparently the Trojans didn’t follow the instructions very well because we all know things didn’t go well for them.) Many of us will picture sacrificing animals, burning them up on altars, pouring libations—and these are all part of the picture.

But the Hittites and other Near Eastern peoples also had an intimate and quite literal program for pleasing their gods. They viewed the gold and silver statues they formed of their gods and goddesses as if these statues were living beings. Priests and priestesses daily bathed and dressed the statues. They wove beautiful clothing. Precious jewelry bedecked the statues. Meals were laid out at the appropriate times of day.

It does appear that at least in some cases those meals were later eaten by the temple staff. It would be hard to notice that the food didn’t disappear. I’ve always marveled at how dead serious this process was. In some ways this care seems like a parent’s care of a child. To me it does not inspire a sense of awe and dread.

Yet the Hittite prayer formulas often open with the beseecher stressing his relationship to the gods as that of a slave to a master, even when it was the king or queen who delivered the prayer. To the Hittites, this need for daily intimate care indicated the power of the gods.

Any transgression that displeased the gods could result in ill health for the individual, or on a societal level, crop failure or plague. Transgressions could be as small as negligently allowing a dog to wander into the god’s sanctuary. We also hear in Hittite prayers from men and women who, in trying to win the gods’ approval, remind the divinity that they never kept bread away from another or denied them drink, so apparently greed and a lack of charity was also a transgression—just as serious as the dog’s, by the way. The gods didn’t seem to have a sliding scale. If you ticked them off in any way, woe to you and quite likely everyone around you.

In the case of the Hittites, intimacy did not breed contempt. Quite the reverse. But this relationship is hard for a modern writer such as me to portray. In the excerpt below, my main character, Briseis, comes to the temple to perform the daily care.

The stakes are very high for Briseis. She has taken over the job of priestess of Kamrusepa from her deceased mother, but one of the temple priestesses challenges her ability to communicate with the goddess. And their city of Lyrnessos very much needs Kamrusepa on their side at that moment because the Greeks have landed with a large army and a half-immortal warrior named Achilles. So far none of the tales about Achilles that have come to Lyrnessos from across the Aegean include anyone defeating the mighty fighter. If this small town on the far side of Ida, an ally of Troy, has a chance, it will come from divine protection. Briseis’s devoted rites have to work. With all this tension sitting on her shoulders, Briseis walks into the sacred space of her goddess.

Excerpt from Chapter Five, Hand of Fire:

Briseis entered the sanctuary with its soaring midnight blue columns trimmed in red, took a deep breath, and slipped behind a gold-plated door into the goddess’s inner sanctum. Kamrusepa rested on a throne covered in tin, a precious metal brought by traders from a land far away. She had heard her father negotiating for it many times. Milos used tin in his workshop, mixing it with native copper to make bronze. The throne stood on a base of red stone carved as twin stags. The goddess wore a blue woolen robe with a tall, cylindrical hat decorated with lapis lazuli rosettes. A gold necklace set with precious stones hung from her neck. Briseis peered into her lapis eyes, but their deep blue wore a distant expression.

On the green nephrite altar, Briseis placed an ivory box of linen drying cloths and the golden basin for washing, then turned back to the goddess, bracing herself for the undressing. At the sound of the inner sanctum’s door opening, she looked with relief as another priestess entered, bearing a pitcher of perfumed water for the sacred bath. She didn’t know this woman’s name, but she recognized her. The priestess had a lame foot, turned under in a way that must be painful, but Briseis had noticed how swift to volunteer for tasks this woman had been each time she’d seen her. A priestess like this devoted her life to serving the goddess. Briseis bowed her head in respectful greeting. The woman returned only the merest dip. Her lips formed a stern line. She held her thin, off-kilter body with stiff formality.

Briseis sighed and returned to her duties while the priestess stood to one side watching. The rose perfume filled her nose in a pleasant way as she poured water into the basin. She hoped the goddess enjoyed it. She dampened a linen cloth, caught by the iciness of the water, which came from a grotto underneath the goddess’s courtyard. Her fingers ached from the cold as she wiped each part of the goddess’s form as the rite required.

Briseis finished the bath, hoping Kamrusepa did not notice her trembling hands. The goddess’s lips were pursed in a small, secret smile. What was she thinking? She dried the statue quickly, wanting desperately to be rid of the cold. Instead of dressing her in the same gown, Briseis searched through one of the chests at the side of the room and found the garment she herself had woven for Kamrusepa as an offering upon her initiation into the goddess’s service six years earlier. She saw a look of annoyance on the priestess’s face when Briseis brought it to the altar. Perhaps Kamrusepa had been wearing the priestess’s own offering and now Briseis was putting it aside, but whether the woman liked the change of costume or not didn’t matter. What mattered was Briseis’s connection to the goddess. She hoped the goddess would give her a sign of approval.

The robe for the goddess had taken her the whole of a winter to make—the first fine thing she had made by herself. She had loved to weave from an early age, standing at the loom creating tapestries with her mother. The rich colors, fine wool and linen threads she’d spun, her increasing skill and her mother’s praise, had combined to form the one inside activity she adored. The loom she shared with her mother stood in the upstairs women’s hall. Its tall upper beams were braced against the ceiling and its feet rested on the floor two strides out from the wall. Stone weights suspended just above the ground held the warp threads in place, and the tapestry grew under her fingers, gradually being wound around the upper beam.

For Kamrusepa’s gown, her father gave her sun disks hammered out of gold to sew on once she’d completed the weaving. She sewed all the disks he gave her onto five of the ten pleats and then asked for more to cover the rest. At the time she did not realize how extravagant her request was, but her father did not complain, instructing Milos to make more. Each sun looked as though it rose from a deep blue sea. She was glad her robe glistened with so many suns, the wool a soft caress to the skin. Briseis prayed skill and splendor would suffice to show the depth of her devotion.

She bowed to the goddess, her service complete. The priestess scowled and Briseis fell back a step.

About the Book


Publication Date: September 10, 2014
Fireship Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mythology



The Trojan War threatens Troy’s allies and the Greek supply raids spread. A young healing priestess, designated as future queen, must defend her city against both divine anger and invading Greeks. She finds strength in visions of a handsome warrior god. Will that be enough when the half-immortal Achilles attacks? Hand of Fire, a tale of resilience and hope, blends history and legend in the untold story of Achilles’s famous captive, Briseis.

Advance Praise

“But what is the difference between a good historical novel and a brilliant one?
I suggest you read Judith Starkston’s Hand of Fire and you’ll discover the answer." Helen Hollick, Historical Novels Review Editor and author of Forever Queen

"In Hand of Fire, Starkston's careful research brings ancient Greece and Troy to life with passion and grace. This haunting and insightful novel makes you ache for a mortal woman, Briseis, in love with a half-god, Achilles, as she fights to make her own destiny in a world of capricious gods and warriors. I devoured this page-turning escape from the modern world!" -- Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath

“In her portrayal of Briseis, Judith Starkston has cast a bright light on one of the Iliad's most intriguing sub-plots. With her fast-paced story, three-dimensional characters, and fascinating cultural details, Starkston has given historical fiction fans a tale to remember.” –Priscilla Royal, author of Covenant with Hell

Buy Links

Amazon
Amazon UK
Nook
Itunes

About the Author

Judith Starkston writes historical fiction and mysteries set in Troy and the Hittite Empire. Ms. Starkston is a classicist (B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz, M.A. Cornell University) who taught high school English, Latin and humanities. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Arizona with their golden retriever Socrates. Hand of Fire is her debut novel.

Find an excerpt, Q&A, book reviews, ancient recipes, historical background as well as on-going information about the historical fiction community on Starkston’s website www.JudithStarkston.com

Follow Judith Starkston on Facebook and Twitter

Giveaway: Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes

Please welcome Ned Hayes to the blog today! Ned is currently on tour with HF Virtual Book Tours for Sinful Folk through November 21, and today I have a chance for you to win a copy!

02_Sinful Folk 

Publication Date: January 22, 2014
Campanile Press
Formats: eBook, Hardcover, Audiobook

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Medieval

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A tragic loss. A desperate journey. A mother seeks the truth.

In December of 1377, four children were burned to death in a house fire. Villagers traveled hundreds of miles across England to demand justice for their children’s deaths.

Sinful Folk is the story of this terrible mid-winter journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. For years, she has concealed herself and all her history. But on this journey, she will find the strength to redeem the promise of her past. Mear begins her journey in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and transcendence.

The remarkable new novel by Ned Hayes, illustrated by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Nikki McClure, Sinful Folk illuminates the medieval era with profound insight and compassion.

Praise for Sinful Folk

In December of 1377, five children are burned in a suspicious house fire. Awash in paranoia and prejudice, the fathers suspect it is the work of Jews and set out to seek justice from the king, loading the charred bodies of their boys onto a cart. Unbeknownst to them, among them is a woman, Mear, who has been hiding out in the town for the past 10 years posing as a mute man. It is a treacherous journey, for their rations are spare and the weather is brutal. And always, they are haunted by the question, Why were their boys in Benedict the weaver’s house, and who would do this to them? Mear, ever resourceful, not only watches for clues to unravel the mystery but also provides invaluable aid in finding their way, for she has traveled this way before and is the only literate one among them. The reason for her false identity is slowly revealed as the villagers are chased by bandits and must overcome numerous obstacles, hunger and fear among them. Brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed, Hayes’ novel is woven through with a deep knowledge of medieval history, all conveyed in mesmerizing prose. At the center of the novel is Mear, a brave and heartbreaking character whose story of triumph over adversity is a joy to read. --Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist *Starred Review*

"A pilgrim tale worthy of Chaucer, evocative, compelling and peopled with unforgettable characters artfully delivered by a master storyteller." - Brenda Rickman Vantrease, bestselling author of The Illuminator and The Mercy Seller

"Brilliant, insightful, unflinching and wise. This spellbinding mystery will keep readers turning pages until the last sentence. Remarkable." - Ella March Chase, bestselling author of The Virgin Queen's Daughter and Three Maids for a Crown

"Suspenseful, page-turning mystery of a mother pursuing the truth... Every reader will come to love the brave and intrepid Mear, a most memorable character in a most memorable story." - Jim Heynen, award-winning author of The Fall of Alice K.

"Sinful Folk is a work of art. Miriam's story is a raw and brutal and passionate tale, but her story touches the reader because it's a timeless story - a wonderful portrayal of medieval life. Highly recommended." - Kathryn Le Veque, bestselling author of The Dark Lord and The Warrior Poet

"A suspenseful and mesmerizing tale full of rich and vital characters. Ned Hayes crafts a narrative that shows a devotion to craft in each word." - Renée Miller, editor of On Fiction and author of In the Bones

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (Hardcover)
Audible.com
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Hardcover)
Books-a-Million
iBooks
IndieBound

Booknote Interview with Ned Hayes



03_Ned Hayes Credit Linda Marus 2012About the Author

Ned Hayes is the author of the Amazon best-selling historical novel SINFUL FOLK. He is also the author of Coeur d'Alene Waters, a noir mystery set in the Pacific Northwest. He is now at work on a new novel, Garden of Earthly Delights, also set in the Middle Ages.

Ned Hayes is a candidate for an MFA from the Rainier Writer’s Workshop, and holds graduate degrees in English and Theology from Western Washington University and Seattle University.

Born in China, he grew up bi-lingually, speaking both Mandarin and English. He now lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife and two children.

For more information please visit www.sinfulfolk.com and www.nednotes.com. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Booklikes, YouTube, Google+, and Goodreads.

Sinful Folk Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 20
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, October 21
Review at Historical Novel Review

Wednesday, October 22
Spotlight at What is That Book About
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 23
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Guest Post at Books and Benches

Monday, October 27
Review at Just One More Chapter
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, October 28
Interview at Layered Pages

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, October 30
Interview at Back Porchervations

Friday, October 31
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Monday, November 3
Interview at Triclinium
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, November 4
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry

Wednesday, November 5
Review at Deal Sharing Aunt

Thursday, November 6
Review at bookramblings

Saturday, November 8
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, November 10
Review at Book Babe

Tuesday, November 11
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, November 14
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, November 18
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Beth's Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 19
Review at Books in the Burbs
Review at Bookworm Babblings

Thursday, November 20
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Friday, November 21
Review at Library Educated

Giveaway

To win a copy of Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes please complete the form below. Giveaway is open to US & UK residents only and ends on November 2.

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HFVBT Presents C.W. Gortner's The Tudor Vendetta Blog Tour & Giveaway

Please join C.W. Gortner as he tours the blogosphere for the release of the third book in his Spymaster Chronicles Series, The Tudor Vendetta, from October 20 - November 28, and enter to win a complete set of the trilogy!

The Tudor Vendetta 

Publication Date: October 21, 2014
St. Martin's Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Series: Spymaster Chronicles
Genre: Historical Mystery

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Winter, 1558: Elizabeth I has ascended the throne but the first days of her reign are already fraught with turmoil, the kingdom weakened by strife and her ability to rule uncertain.

Summoned from exile abroad at the new queen's behest, Brendan Prescott arrives in London to face his shattered past. He soon finds himself pitted in deadly rivalry with his life-long foe, Robert Dudley, but when a poison attempt overshadows the queen’s coronation, Elizabeth privately dispatches Brendan on a far more dangerous assignation: to find her favored lady-in-waiting, Lady Parry, who has vanished in Yorkshire.

Upon his arrival at the crumbling sea-side manor that may hold the key to Lady Parry's disappearance, he encounters a strange, impoverished family beset by grief, as well as mounting evidence that they hide a secret from him. The mystery surrounding Lady Parry deepens as Brendan begins to realize there is far more going on at the manor than meets the eye, but the closer he gets to the heart of the mystery, the more he becomes the quarry of an elusive stranger with a vendetta— one that could expose both his own buried identity and a long-hidden revelation that will bring about Elizabeth's doom.

From the intrigue-laden passages of Whitehall to a foreboding Catholic manor and the prisons of the Tower, Brendan must risk everything to unravel a vendetta that strikes at the very core of his world, including his loyalty to his queen.

The Tudor Vendetta is the third book in Gortner's Elizabeth I Spymaster Trilogy.

Praise for The Tudor Vendetta

“Fast paced and exciting, with a most engaging hero . . . So vivid, you feel are there!” - Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of the Outlander series

“C.W. Gortner has done it again! Full of breathtaking action, dark twists and unexpected revelations, this is an unputdownable read.” - Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Madame Tussaud

“Suspense, intrigue, betrayal and deadly rivalry: What more can you ask for? A swashbuckling, perilous adventure.” - M.J. Rose, bestselling author of The Reincarnationist

Buy the Book

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound

About the Author

03_CW GortnerC.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

C.W. recently completed his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about Lucrezia Borgia; the third novel in his Tudor Spymaster series for St Martin's Press; and a new novel about the dramatic, glamorous life of Coco Chanel, scheduled for lead title publication by William Morrow, Harper Collins, in the spring of 2015.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.

For more information please visit C.W. Gortner's website and blog. You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube.

The Tudor Vendetta Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 20
Review at The Maiden's Court
Guest Post at Mina's Bookshelf

Tuesday, October 21
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 22
Review at Back Porchervations
Review at Always With a Books

Thursday, October 23
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews

Friday, October 24
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Interview at Back Porchervations

Monday, October 27
Review at JulzReads
Review at Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, October 28
Review at Beth's Book Reviews
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Making My Mark
Review at Writing the Renaissance
Guest Post at Bookish

Thursday, October 30
Review & Guest Post at Drey's Library
Review & Interview at The Copperfield Review & From Meredith Allard
Interview at Writing the Renaissance

Friday, October 31
Review at Book by Book

Monday, November 3
Review at Mari Reads
Review & Gues Post at JM Ledwell Writes

Tuesday, November 4
Review at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, November 5
Review at One Book at a Time
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, November 6
Review at Booktalk & More

Friday, November 7
Review at Build a Bookshelf

Monday, November 10
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, November 11
Review at A Book Geek
Review at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, November 12
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, November 13
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, November 14
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at Paranormal Book Club

Monday, November 17
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at The Never-Ending Book

Tuesday, November 18
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Guest Post at What is That Book About

Wednesday, November 19
Review at Kate Forsyth's Blog

Thursday, November 20
Review & Interview at The Tudor Enthusiast

Friday, November 21
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks

Monday, November 24
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at The True Book Addict

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Historical Tapestry
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, November 26
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, November 28
Review at Books in the Burbs
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Giveaway

To win a complete set of CW Gortner's Spymaster Chronicles Trilogy (The Tudor Secret, The Tudor Conspiracy, and The Tudor Vendetta) please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on November 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on November 29th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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