Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Colonel Brandon's Widow and Willoughby by Marianna Green (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT







by
Marianna Green

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GENRE:   romance historical Jane Austen sequel

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BLURB:

Mrs. Brandon, the former Marianne Dashwood, is now a widow, and not yet twenty-five.
Her former admirer Willoughby is as unhappily married as ever, and the thought that she is free to marry again drives him to distraction. He has continued in his dissolute lifestyle, which Marianne abhors, while his wife Sophia's life has been poisoned by jealousy of Marianne.
Marianne urges him that the only possibility of happiness for Willoughby and his wife is for him to give up his empty pursuit of pleasure - but now the Colonel is gone, Marianne finds that she can no longer push aside thoughts of Willoughby easily herself; she must find some way of occupying her own empty hours. Willoughby retains his rascally charm, which an older and wiser Marianne is determined to resist; Elinor and Edward are as astute as ever, while Sir John and Lady Middleton are as foolish. Mrs. Jennings remains determined to marry off all her associates as before, while Sophia Willoughby is even more sour as the wife of the man she wanted, and Willoughby's friends are suitably cynical rakes.

This sequel to Jane Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility' strives to emulate some of the light ironic touch of the inimitable style of Jane Austen; it is both funny and sad, and is told as dark comedy.



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EXCERPT

The union of the Willoughbys’ only resembled that of the Brandons’ in being childless. Unlike the latter couple, they had no common interests to compensate, unless an unfortunate tendency to over indulge in wine and other stimulants could count as a mutual source of diversion. It is true that they did share in common a manner of relating to each other that involved raised voices behind slammed doors, angry silences and periods of cold civility; but this shared inclination brought them no closer together.

It could be further urged on their behalf , that in this conduct, they provided society with the diversion of much talk, and their staff with constant entertainment; - for Willoughby’s confidential valet knew all about his improper pursuits, while his wife’s lady’s maid could recount how Mrs Willoughby had cursed him for a fortune hunting libertine in full hearing of the servants, and of how savagely he had kicked shut her sitting room door before retorting that, ‘Devil take it, in his whole worthless life, he had only cared for Mrs Brandon, and he’d be damned if he pretended anything else to please a scolding…’

But the reader does not wish to hear any more of this. Seemingly their staff lacked any discretion, and soon enough, the content of the Willoughbys’ exchanges leaked out into polite society, which showed still less decorum in repeating them assiduously. Many a man had dined out for a month on his knowledge of episodes that ought to have been cloaked in decent silence, and Miss Steele was one of many maiden ladies agog for the latest outrage…

“Not another word, damn it!” he exclaimed, coming again to a stop and turning on her in a fury she had never seen in him before. “I cannot endure to hear this from you, of all people. As to my wife, it must come to a separation; we are so at each other’s throats. Then, Mrs. Brandon, you recommend to me a life devoted to duty?” He stood breathing quickly, while unseen by either of them, a hare bolted across their path. Willoughby’s normally fractious mount did not even notice. Throughout their talk, it had showed remarkable patience at being stopped and started at every other minute, and now stood gently waving its ears, almost as if it felt for its master’s desperation.

He rushed on, “No doubt that is how you plan to waste your youth and beauty. No, I cannot find comfort in a life devoted to good works. Mrs. Smith’s tenants must go to the hell in a handcart along with their master, when he comes to inherit. Lord, but I am well served for my former misdeeds and treachery.”



Book will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour.
(Please check price before purchasing)

Amazon

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Marianna Green is lives in the UK, has a geekish fascination with English Literature and History, and an irrepressible sense of humour.


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The tour dates can be found here




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My review:




3.5 out of 5 stars

Colonel Brandon’s Widow and Willoughby: A ‘Sense andSensibility’ Variation Sequel by Marianna Green ostensibly takes place several years after Jane Austen’s tale and gives a glimpse of the twists and turns in the lives of Marianne Brandon nee Dashwood and the rogue Willoughby, whose unhappy marriage is compounded by his yearning after Marianne.

This historical romance is a homage to the story penned by the iconic Jane Austen and indeed has elements of the sometimes stilted language she employed as well as the omniscient voice that permeates her stories. It is difficult to conceive that the heedless and unrepentant Willoughby can redeemed, but not only does he need to grow, Marianne needs to as well. It is possible that my lack of familiarity (gasp) with the original tale hampered my ability to form a connection to either of the main characters but I did like that they evolved as the story progressed. The flavor of the period and the challenges faced by those in the different class strata are nicely portrayed and remind me of why I’m so grateful for modern conveniences. Those who are curious about how things turned out for the characters in “Sense and Sensibility” should give this version a try.


A copy of this title was provided to me for review








Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Her Midnight Sin by Sofie Darling (Spotlight, excerpt, and review)





I have the pleasure of sharing a post by author Sofie Darling, who shares the journey of her first book.

 


SD:
The path to publication for my first book is a bit of a convoluted story, so bear with me.

Even though Tempted by the Viscount is the second book in my Shadows and Silk series, I actually wrote it first. After I’d finished it, I went to RWA’s national convention and pitched it to an editor. She asked for the first three chapters and a synopsis. Months went by, and I didn’t
hear from her. So I figured she’d passed on it. I’d completely moved on and had started writing the next book when I received an email from her, asking for the entire manuscript. Elated, I sent
it.

A few months later, she returned it with revision notes. She wanted me to cut
at least 15,000 words and focus the story more tightly on the main characters and less on the secondary storyline. Because this was an editor with a major publishing house, I gave it a shot.
After a few rounds, the end product wasn’t satisfactory to either of us, and we
decided to part ways. I was tied up in this process for an entire year. It was a huge
learning lesson.

Meanwhile, I was also writing Three Lessons in Seduction, the book that I thought
would be the second in the series. Then a critique partner suggested I switch the order of the
books around due to a big twist that happens in Three Lessons. She was absolutely right. I changed the order, and Three Lessons in Seduction became book one.

The following spring, I submitted Three Lessons to a few unpublished writing
contests. To my delight, it won one and finaled in two others, a double-finalist in
one of them. This was my signal to start submitting to publishers again. Soon, I found an editor who was excited about my work, and we’ve enjoyed a great working relationship since. Her Midnight Sin is the third book in the series, and I’m currently writing the fourth!





Shadows and Silk series
by
Sofie Darling


Blurb:

Like a vengeful Norse God, Captain John Nylander has come from the sea to steal the only home that Callie has ever known. And that might not be all he's after.

Can a Viking . . .

Orphaned as a child, Nylander has never known a real home. Now he is ready to leave the dangers of his past behind and put down the roots he has always longed for. The only thing standing in his way is a lanky aristocratic lady who is more at home on the farm than in the ballroom. And she has secrets . . .

And a Viscountess . . .

Callie, the Dowager Viscountess St. Alban, has poured all her energy into making Wyldcombe Grange her home. Managing an estate is not what she dreamed of, but her late husband's rejection made it clear that love and a family would never be hers. Now she may lose even that to the sinfully handsome Captain. But Nylander is making her dream again . . .

Turn passion into love?

Nylander inspires a recklessness in Callie that she can't control. Soon she finds herself conspiring with pirates and contemplating midnight trysts with the very Viking who has turned her life upside down. For Nylander, being with Callie embodies everything he's always wanted--home. As midnight strikes, will all their secret, sinful dreams come true?




Excerpt

Captain Nylander.

His voice was deep enough to shake the foundations of this mansion loose. Certainly deep enough to rattle Callie, her breath shallow and her mouth dry. She rose to a stand by slow increments and stood so silent and so still that she imagined she might be forgotten. Then the captain’s gaze met hers over St. Alban’s shoulder, and all hope was lost. His eyes narrowed in question, and she lifted a single, imperious eyebrow in response. The Grange knew that eyebrow well, and she sensed it was her best defense against this man in this moment.

Before her stood the man who would never be her friend. He was her rival . . . her enemy. Soft gaslight caught the golden strands of his unfashionably long, slightly unkempt hair and the glint of clear blue sky in his eye. For all his modern English attire, the man could have been a Viking, a Norse god even, from the tales of yore come to life. All he lacked was a shield in one hand and a hammer in the other.

Callie’s breath had no choice but to catch in her chest. Her enemy was imposing, yes, but did he also have to be so blasted, devastatingly . . . god-like?




Social media links:

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My review:

4.25 out of 5 stars



Her Midnight Sin by Sophie Darling is the third book in the ‘A Shadows and Silk novel’ series and centers around Lady Calpurnia (Callie) Radclyffe, the atypical Dowager Viscountess St. Alban, who is fighting to retain control of the estate that she has worked so hard to revive. Nylander, a sea captain who has overcome his harsh past, but has not quite realized his dreams, as nebulous as they might be, becomes her unwitting nemesis. He is fascinated by Callie, but each of them faces difficult decisions and hold secrets that will undoubtedly destroy any chance at a relationship unless they learn to trust one another.





This sensual historical romance has compelling characters who keep the reader rooting for them and anxiously hoping that things work out. The artful revelation of key turning points in each person’s background, the beautiful lyrical descriptions, and the surprising facets that are gradually revealed made this such an enjoyable read for me. Who can resist a woman who has the courage to exercise the way she wants to and dress for comfort, and what a swoonworthy hero who evokes images of Vikings and Thor. I love passages such as “It wouldn’t do to take those words inside. They might fill him with boundless joy.” or sun that “had a scant allotment of light and heat that it must portion out like a miser.” The combination of the beautiful word portraits and the delightfully romantic situations that arise kept me enthralled and invested in the story. There were a couple of elements that I had a few quibbles with, but nothing major. This is part of a series but the story can stand alone with no problem. I think this book will appeal to fans of historical romance and undoubtedly garner new fans for this talented author.





A copy of this title was provided to me for review




Sunday, April 14, 2019

Fangs and Fists 3: Victor by Kate Hill (Spotlight, guest post, and GIVEAWAY) RBC Adult title








Fangs and Fists 3: Victor


by 
Kate Hill 
ADULT title






 
 
  
 
 
Werewolf gladiator Victor vows to escape captivity by demons or die trying--which nearly happens when his latest opponent takes him by surprise. Jolanda is a member of a secret pack of wolf witches who want to free their kin from the dreaded demon tower. Strengthened by the power of her pack, she defeats Victor in the arena and demands that he be given to her as a mate. Alone, they surrender to their overwhelming lust for each other, but Jolanda needs him for more than sex. She's been sent to rescue the captive wolves and Victor is the Alpha she needs to help her. Together he and Jolanda plan a mass escape from the tower, hoping to strike a blow the demon masters will never forget.



Genres: Dark Fantasy, Futuristic, Paranormal, Romance 




~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~ 




Excerpt:



Two demon guards clad in black body armor entered the barracks. Their red eyes glowed behind dark face shields. They approached Victor and one guard said, “Get up and come with us.”

All the guards sounded and looked alike. They were even the same height and body structure.

Victor knew better than to refuse. There would be no point in fighting, even if he was so inclined.

He guessed he would be going to one of two possible places. It would either be the punishment chamber because he’d killed Slate too quickly or -- and this was more likely -- to the demon masters who had bargained with him to kill for their entertainment.

The guards brought Victor out of the barracks and down a steel corridor to an elevator at the end. They boarded it. Except for the soft whir of the elevator descending, there was silence.

It stopped with an almost imperceptible lurch. The door opened and Victor, accompanied by the guards, stepped into a spacious room with an enormous glass ball in the center of it. Several couches surrounded it. While the upholstery resembled leather, Victor’s sense of smell told him the couches were covered with material that hadn’t come from any four-legged animal.

He’d been in this room before. Here, the demons had bargained with him for the lives of his fellow gladiators, their mates, and their cubs. Here, he’d traded his integrity and his soul for their lives.

The guards disappeared into dark corners of the room.

Since he had no intention of sitting on the foul furniture, Victor stood near the glass ball and waited.

The ball glowed faintly at first. Then it brightened. From within, two demon masters -- one male and one female -- stared at him. He knew they weren’t actually there. The ball was similar to television. He could see and hear them, but they were far away.

The male had ink-black, elbow-length hair. Tall and slim, he was dressed from head to foot in red. The female had short white hair. Her skin was nearly as pale as her form-fitting white dress. Both demons stared at him with black eyes.

“Your game has improved, Victor,” said the male, “but I’m afraid you still haven’t mastered the art of performing. Your kills aren’t entertaining enough, but for now that’s beside the point. We haven’t called you here to critique your style, but for another reason.”

“We have something special planned for you,” the female continued. “There’s a new contender in the tower -- one who has seen you fight and wishes to face you in the arena.”




 Buy Links: 
*♥*♥*♥*15% off any order when you shop Kate Hill *♥*♥*♥*
Code: Fangs-and-Fists
(Will work on the entire cart, as long as there's one Kate Hill book in the cart.)
Only at Changeling Press


~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~



  Other Books in the Series:



  Bolt (Fangs and Fists 1)  

Fangs and Fists 1: Bolt 

 Buy Links:
Grit (Fangs and Fists 2)  

Fangs and Fists 2: Grit

Buy Links:





~♥~♥~♥~♥~♥~



  About the Author: The child of a painter and a psychic dreamer, Kate Hill feels spirituality and storytelling go hand-in-hand. She loves the scent of gardenia, the sound of wind chimes and the taste of honey. By listening to what isn’t said, she creates works based on unspoken desires. Kate prefers blurred gender lines and many varieties of romance. In a world where passion must at times be restrained, she believes erotica is a pleasure to be shared. With her stories she would like to make her fantasies yours and hopes you enjoy the ride. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby. 



Please visit her online at:











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♥♥ Giveaway ♥♥



Kate is giving away a $10 Amazon GC during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember there is a chance to enter everyday so be sure to follow the Blog Tour.

You may find the tour schedule and locations here



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Friday, April 12, 2019

The American Crusade by Mark Spivak (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT





by
Mark Spivak


A power-hungry vice president, a bad batch of shady intelligence, and a sinister plot to destroy Western civilization.
Just another day in America.

On May 1, 2001, a group of radical Islamic terrorists crash a Boeing 737 jet airliner into the Mall of America—and Vice President Robert Hornsby knows his moment is coming.

The attack kills three thousand American citizens and throws an entire nation into a panic, but all Hornsby sees is an opportunity, a chance to imprint his fanatical values on the soul of the country he loves and become the most powerful vice president in American history.

With the aid of his affable but ineffectual president; the reluctant, conscience-stricken secretary of defense; and a preening, foppish faith leader with more than a few skeletons in his closet; Hornsby declares war on terror—and anyone who stands in his way. But as media scrutiny of the administration’s actions overseas intensifies, Hornby’s one-man campaign against evil begins to unravel—with striking parallels to the thirteenth century’s doomed Fourth Crusade—and sends the nation spiraling toward another deadly tragedy.

The American Crusade paints a grim and often cynical picture of America’s recent past, reflecting the attitudes, politics, and fears that shaped our nation in the new millennium. By sampling the contemporaneous French text on the Fourth Crusade, On the Conquest of Constantinople, author Mark Spivak reminds us of that ever-vital adage: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”



Fans of The Castle by Jack Pinter, The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, House of Cards by Michael Dobbs, The Whistler by John Grisham, and the Aaron Sorkin–penned TV drama The West Wing will love this book.



Excerpt





To President George Cane, the assembled group represented “the full force and moral authority of the United States of America.”

To the Reverend Sanford J. Bayer, head of the White House Office of Faith and Reconciliation (known internally as the Woofers), they symbolized “the lawful arm of God’s righteous Kingdom … preparing to strike at the heart of our enemy.”

To Salman Al-Akbar, leader of the worldwide terrorist organization Husam al Din and the reason the dignitaries were gathered at this press conference, they were “the cancerous core of modern civilization, bleeding like an ulcer that must be removed.”

They included the heads of both houses of Congress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Directors of the FBI and CIA, most of the Cabinet, and the Chief Justice of the United States.

And to the Vice President, who had assembled this improbable group, they were the usual suspects.


Buy link:

Amazon

About the Author:
In the realm of non-fiction, award-winning author Mark Spivak focuses on wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. His first book, Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History, was published by Lyons Press in 2012. He followed this with Moonshine Nation (Lyons Press, 2014), hailed as the definitive book on illegal corn whiskey in America. From 1994-1999 he was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post, and was honored for excellence in wine criticism “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 he has been the Wine & Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, and contributes to a number of national magazines. He is also the holder of the Certificate and Advanced Diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers.


Mark’s first novel, Friend of the Devil, was published by Black Opal Books in May 2016. Set in Palm Beach in 1990, it tells the story of America’s most famous chef, who has sold his soul to the Devil for fame and fortune. 


Mark also has an endless fascination with the American political system and is an avid follower of Washington politics. His second novel, The American Crusade (a gripping political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq, which dips into the shadowy world of government conspiracy and political sabotage), will be released by TCK Publishing on April 4. He is currently at work on Impeachment, the sequel to The American Crusade.



Book website

Visit Mark's website and sign up for his free newsletter and political blog





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The tour dates can be found here



Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr. (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT





by N. Lombardi Jr.

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GENRE:  Thriller (legal)

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BLURB:

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield's dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?

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Author's dedication:
 
In memory of Kelly Thomas, who was beaten to death by members of the Fullerton Police Department on July 5, 2011.



EXCERPT

“Mr. Bodine, I’m Hamilton Fiske, deputy district attorney. I’ll be prosecuting this case.”

“Didn’t we meet last year at the meeting of the New Jersey Bar Association?” Bodine asked, as his daughter collected their papers and put them in their briefcase.

“Yes, I believe we did.”

“Thought so. I never forget a voice.”

That comment threw Fiske off-center for a moment. “I just wanted to, well, shake hands so to speak, before we come out fighting.”

“Is your hand out there in the air, waiting for mine? Cause if it is, you can put it back wherever you had it. I don’t shake hands these days. And while you’re at it, you can remove that smug smile off your face. I don’t have to see it, I can tell by your tone. You’ve already pissed me off, and this is just the arraignment. So I’m not exactly in a gentlemanly mood. And if you try to set up my client by having him mingle with the others, there’ll be hell to pay. Getting my drift, son?”

Fighting words for sure, but the word that provoked Fiske the most was the condescending “son,” just as Bodine had figured it would. “Is that a threat, Mr. Bodine?”

Emily tugged at her father’s arm with the covert message that he quit this repartee. He turned to leave, but not before saying, “No, Mr. Fiske, just a consequence.”



Buy links:




 




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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People's Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.

Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc.

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Visit his Goodreads page:




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GIVEAWAY



a Rafflecopter giveaway



The tour dates can be found here







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 My review:



3.75 out of 5 stars


Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr. details the sequence of events in a small town after policemen beat a homeless man to death. The search for justice and the maneuverings of those in positions of power is depicted, along with the far-reaching repercussions that ensue.


This book is categorized as a legal thriller and contains a sometimes brief spotlight on a number of very sensitive subjects that are prominent in current headlines—homelessness, police brutality, cover-ups, PTSD and other problems that returning vets are dealing with, and political maneuverings, to name a few. Those who are squeamish should be advised that the book opens with a heartwrenching and violent act that sets the stage for subsequent events, which are sometimes also very harsh and brutal.

I was struck by the portrayal of events as they are colored by individuals’ perspective and biases, and later astounded to see how people can reach such different conclusions when presented with the same material.

The author uses a third person omniscient point of view for most of the book, which allows the reader to get inside different characters’ minds but this also tended to distance one from them as well and got a little frustrating and prevented me from getting to know or connecting with any particular person. I enjoyed the twists that the story takes and felt that the antics of the elder Bodine almost stole the show at times. Although I appreciated Tessa’s stated passion for her patients and her determination to see things through to the end, I was also disappointed in her passivity and wanted her to have a stronger role in the story. 

This is a thought-provoking story that gives a look at the wheels of justice and shines a spotlight on what goes on behind the scenes as well as in front of the cameras. Those who enjoy mysteries and legal thrillers might want to get caught up in this tale.

A copy was provided for review



Monday, April 8, 2019

A Hundred Breaths by Jean M. Grant (VNBtM, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



I am delighted to share a guest post by author Jean Grant, who answers my question (and reminds me why I read romances, lol)...




ELF: What do you think is the strongest attraction about the genre(s) you like to write in?


JG: HEA. Happy ever-after. It’s what drew me to romance. Certainly, I enjoy the romance, the slow burn, and the conflict…but it’s the hope, and the redemption and resolution at the end that really bring me back to romance. When we are surrounded by much heartache in the world, romance is an escape. I’m also a sucker for historical books that sweep me off to another world. A place and time long ago. Granted, those times were also filled with strife, illness, and devastation and I like to learn about those elements, too. No place is all sunshine and butterflies. I like the rich layers of a deep plot, emotional journey, and historical accuracy. Well-researched historical books are history lessons! With a HEA, of course. :)



I also write women’s fiction, and though not all these stories end on a happy note like romance does, they can be captivating stories filled with an emotional journey of a female protagonist(s). Heartache. Reconciliation. Healing. Hope. I’ve read both historical and contemporary, and I do enjoy a good tear-jerker that also causes me to reflect on grand life questions, controversies, and concepts I might not usually pursue. This is a growing niche, and I have a few of my own ideas percolating. They make great book club reads, too.



To date, I’ve published two historical romances (third in the trilogy is being written), one contemporary romance, and one contemporary women’s fiction. What’s next? A balance of all three. Though historical romances have always drawn me in, I am eager to explore a few more contemporary romances and women fiction stories.



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by Jean M. Grant

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GENRE:   historical romance

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BLURB:

1263, Scotland

Simon MacCoinneach’s vengeance runs deep. The blade is the only way to end the blood-thirsty Nordmen’s reign upon Scottish soil. His soul might be lost, but the mystical Healer he kidnaps from the isles could be the answer for his ailing mother…and his heart.

Isles-born Gwyn reluctantly agrees to a marriage alliance with this heathen Scot in return for the sanctuary of her younger brother from her abusive Norse father. Her brother’s condition is beyond the scope of her Ancient power, for larger healings steal breaths of life from her own body.

As Simon and Gwyn fight to outwit her madman father and a resentful Norse betrothed, Gwyn softens Simon’s heart with each merciful touch. Gwyn’s Seer sister foresees a bloody battle—and an end to the Nordmen—but Simon will also die. Will Gwyn save Simon on the battlefield even if it means losing her last breath?


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EXCERPT


“I’m your wife, and still I am guarded?”

Simon shrugged though she couldn’t see. He’d given up on excuses. “What must I do to prove I won’t flee? I signed your marriage contract. I said my vows.” Her voice broke on those words.

Was she crying? He laid the tray of food on her table and approached. He didn’t touch her, as much as he wanted to link his arm within hers as they’d done during their walks. He reached inside his ganache and withdrew her small, simple dagger. Unadorned with jewels or carvings, it possessed a bone hilt and a blade worn from use. Likely from tree limbs, flowers, and household use. His smith had sharpened it and cleaned the hilt.

“Here,” he said, placing it in her lap. Gildy had retrieved the sheath from Gwyn’s laundered gown.

Gwyn stared at it, her fingertips dancing butterfly wings hovering over the hilt. After a moment, she drew her hand around it and pulled it from its leather sheath. She rose and whirled on him, the dagger pointed out before her, barely pressing into his chest.

He didn’t retreat as he met her fiery, misty gaze.

She made no move to remove the dagger’s tip.

“A smidge to the center, Gwyn, and you’ll be square over my blackened heart.” He held her glower. The heat blazed in her entrancing blue eyes like the devil. He fought a smile.



Buy links:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble




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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.









Social Media links:


Twitter   




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GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here