I’m delighted to welcome Anna Belfrage and her new book, Her Castilian Heart, to the blog  #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub #medievalfiction #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #MedievalEngland

I’m delighted to welcome Anna to the blog, and she’s written a fabulous post about her historical research.

Those unruly Welsh – a post about those that would not give up

Some years ago, I published His Castilian Hawk, where the story is set against the backdrop of Edward I’s conquest of Wales in 1282-83. Some may think that after Dafydd ap Gruffyd was executed in late 1283, Wales was permanently cowed, bowing its neck abjectly before its new overlord. Not at all like in Scotland, where the Scots just wouldn’t give up, no matter what Edward I threw at them.

Hmm. I dare say those medieval Welshmen would snort—rather loudly—at the notion that they somehow lacked in bravery. Also, one must keep in mind that the English king could command vastly more men than the Welsh could. Plus, Wales was not a cohesive unit as Scotland was. No, Wales was subdivided into various little principalities, and since the death of Llewellyn Fawr in 1240 no one had really managed to unite all Wales again. Also, large chunks of Wales had been under English control for yonks, ruled over by the so called Marcher Lords. 

So it was a fragmented people who were invaded by the English in 1282-83, and in some places people didn’t overly care who sat in the nearby castle. Besides, many Welshmen had no reason to risk their neck for Llywellyn ap Gruffyd or his brother as they were princes of Gwynedd, not of Wales. But that does not mean the Welsh had rolled over and given up. In fact, there’d be a sequence of rebellions—of varying size—over the years. What all those rebellions have in common is that they failed, even if the impressive Owain Glyndwr in the early 15th century came close to success.

In my latest release, Her Castilian Heart, the adventures and misfortunes that beset my fictional protagonists, Robert FitzStephan and his wife Noor, are to some extent set against the backdrop of another Welsh rebellion, that of Rhys ap Maredudd.

Rhys was a member of the royal house of Deheubarth, a principality in mid Wales. Deheubarth and Gwynedd were traditional enemies, so when Dafydd ap Gruffyd prodded his older brother into rebellion in 1282, Rhys sided with the English. Actually, already in the Anglo-Welsh wars of 1276-77, Rhys submitted to England, hoping that by doing so he’d be able to keep his lands—and regain the impressive Dinefwr Castle, the traditional seat of the princes of Deheubarth. 

In the aftermath of the 1282-83 conquest, Rhys was rewarded for his loyalty with more land.
“And Dinefwr?” he asked. 
King Edward likely raised an eyebrow. No way was he about to return such an impressive castle to a Welsh princeling. Instead, he forced Rhys to sign a quitclaim, effectively handing over “his” castle permanently to the English king. Rhys may not have liked this, but he seems to have swallowed his disappointment and instead focussed his attention on fortifying his remaining castle of note, Dryslwyn.

But it must have rankled, losing Dinefwr. Also, Rhys seems to have been under the impression that he’d been promised Dinefwr if he rode with the English against his fellow Welshmen. Whatever the case, in 1287, Rhys rebelled.

He had some initial success, but King Edward’s appointed regent, Edmund of Cornwall (the king himself was in Gascony) acted with speed, assembling a huge host that marched into Wales. By October, the rebellion had effectively been stamped out until all that was left was a core of determined men besieged at Dryslwyn. This was when King Edward’s interest in siege machines came in handy: soon enough several huge trebuchets began bombarding Dryslwyn’s walls with projectiles. In all that upheaval, Rhys managed to slip away. 

For some weeks, things were quiet, but in mid-November Rhys popped up again, urging his fellow Welshmen to join his rebellion. A new, much smaller force was assembled to sort things out—one in which I’ve included Robert FitzStephan and his friend, Roger Mortimer. Rhys took refuge in yet another castle, this time the triangular-shaped Newydd Emlyn.

The English packed together their siege weapons, loaded them onto carts, requisitioned forty oxen and hauled them all the way up to Newydd Emlyn. Ten days of siege and the English won—but the elusive Rhys had managed to slip away. Again.

For the coming four years, he somehow managed to stay hidden. Some people think he may have escaped to Ireland, but if he had, one wonders why he came back only to be captured. In 1291, Rhys ap Maredudd was executed in York, far from the land of his birth. His son and namesake was to spend the coming fifty years in prison. 

Rhys was not the last Welshman to rebel against Edward. Some years later, the fires of rebellion would yet again threaten Edward’s iron hold on this his newest dominion—but of that I will write in the next book in the series! 

Thank you so much for sharing such a fascinating post. Good luck with your new book and with writing the next one.

Here’s the blurb:

Blood is not always thicker than water…

At times a common bloodline is something of a curse—or so Robert FitzStephan discovers when he realises his half-brother, Eustace de Lamont, wants to kill him.   

A murderous and greedy brother isn’t Robert’s only challenge.  He and his wife, Noor, also have to handle their infected relationship with a mightily displeased Queen Eleanor—all because of their mysterious little foundling whom they refuse to abandon or allow the queen to lock away. 

Eustace is persistent. When Robert’s life hangs in the balance, it falls to Noor to do whatever it takes to rip them free from the toothy jaws of fate. Noor may be a woman, but weak she is not, and in her chest beats a heart as brave and ferocious as that of a lioness. But will her courage be enough to see them safe? 

Trigger Warnings:
There is some sexual (consensual) content. Also some violence

Buy Links: 

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link : http://myBook.to/HEART

Amazon UK: Amazon USAmazon CAAmazon AU

Meet the author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.  

Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. 

Her Castilian Heart is the third in her “Castilian” series, a stand-alone sequel to her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. In the second instalment, The Castilian Pomegranate, we travel with the protagonists to the complex political world of medieval Spain. This latest release finds our protagonists back in England—not necessarily any safer than the wilds of Spain!

Anna has also authored The Whirlpools of Time in which she returns to the world of time travel. Join Duncan and the somewhat reluctant time-traveller Erin on their adventures through the Scottish Highlands just as the first Jacobite rebellion is about to explode! 

All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.

Find out more about Anna, her books and enjoy her eclectic historical blog on her website, www.annabelfrage.com  

Connect with Anna

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

InstagramBookBubAmazon Author PageGoodreads

Follow the Her Castilian Heart blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Sherlock Holmes & The Singular Affair by M.L.Wiseman is on the blog today #blogtour #bookreview

Here’s the blurb:

Before Baker Street, there was Montague.

Before partnership with a former army doctor recently returned from Afghanistan, Sherlock Holmes had but the quiet company of his own great intellect. Solitary he might be but, living as he did for the thrill of the chase, it was enough.

For a little while, at the least, it was enough. 

That is, until a client arrives at his door with a desperate plea and an invitation into a world of societal scandal and stage door dandies. Thrust deep in an all-consuming role and charged with the safe-keeping of another, Holmes must own to his limits or risk danger to others besides himself in this the case of the aluminium crutch. 

Purchase Links 

Amazon UK: Amazon US: 
Barnes and NobleKoboApple Books

My Review

I do love a Sherlock Holmes mystery, and this is a very good one. It wasn’t that long ago that I read some of the original stories, and so I can say that the set-up is very traditional Holmes, even if we don’t have Watson in this story. This Holmes sounds like Holmes and acts like Holmes, and the story is particularly twisty and all the more enjoyable for that. (I am also an avid fan of the 221B Baker Street board game, although I do struggle to find others who love it as much as I do).

Holmes is asked to investigate the identity of a man who only one woman is convinced is not who he says he is. She has proof, she says. She grew up with the ‘real’ man, and this man, wearing his name and even beloved of the missing man’s uncle, is not who he claims to be. This sounds like it should be easy to solve – unmask the culprit and ta-da. But that is not at all the case. Holmes is forced to adopt an alias to live a double life for a while in his attempt to get to the bottom of the case, which becomes somewhat grisly throughout the investigation.

Sometimes I was a little confused, but I think that was intentional. There were times I was a little unsure about what Holmes was up to, but I also believe that was intentional as well. I did feel thoroughly swept up in Holmes’ world, with its slightly murky sidelines, as well as its traditional ‘day at the races,’ and the conclusion to the story was very satisfying.

A really well-done Holmes mystery. MK Wiseman knows her stuff, which is very, very true to the original, even in its brevity. I really recommend this tale if you love a good Holmes mystery.

Meet the author

M. K. Wiseman has degrees in Interarts & Technology and Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her office, therefore, is a curious mix of storyboards and reference materials. Both help immensely in the writing of historical novels. She currently resides in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.

Connect with M.K.Wiseman

http://mkwisemanauthor.com

https://twitter.com/FaublesFables

https://www.facebook.com/FaublesFables/

https://www.instagram.com/faublesfables/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7073540.M_K_Wiseman

Giveaway to Win 2 x M. K. Wiseman Sherlock Holmes Book Bundle (Open to US / UK and Canada)

Prize includes:

Signed and ‘annotated’ with a few margin notes copies of Sherlock Holmes & the Singular Affair  & Sherlock Holmes & the Ripper of Whitechapel

Nifty ‘magnifying glass’ bookmark

*Terms and Conditions –UK / US & Canada entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494539/?

Today, I’m featuring a historical mystery by Alana White, The Hearts of All on Fire #BlogTour

Here’s the blurb:

Florence, 1473. An impossible murder. A bitter rivalry. A serpent in the ranks.

Florentine investigator Guid’Antonio Vespucci returns to Florence from a government mission to find his dreams of success shattered. Life is good—but then a wealthy merchant dies from mushroom poisoning at Guid’Antonio’s Saint John’s Day table, and Guid’Antonio’s servant is charged with murder. Convinced of the youth’s innocence and fearful the killer may strike again, Guid’Antonio launches a private investigation into the merchant’s death, unaware that at the same time powerful enemies are conspiring to overthrow the Florentine Republic—and him. A clever, richly evocative tale for lovers of medieval and renaissance mysteries everywhere, The Hearts of All on Fire is a timeless story of family relationships coupled with themes of love, loss, betrayal and, above all, hope in a challenging world.

Buy Links:

Universal Link:  

Amazon UK: Kindle: Paperback

Amazon US: Kindle: Paperback: 

Amazon Canada: Kindle: Paperback: 

Amazon Australia: Kindle: Paperback: 

Barnes & Noble: BookshopWaterstones

Parnassus Books (Nashville, Tennessee)

Connect with Alana White

Alana White’s passion for Renaissance Italy has taken her to Florence for research on the Vespucci and Medici families on numerous occasions.  There along cobbled streets unchanged over the centuries, she traces their footsteps, listening to their imagined voices, including that of her protagonist, Guid’Antonio Vespucci and his friends, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, Lorenzo de’ Medici.  

Alana’s first short story featuring real-life fifteenth-century lawyer Guid’Antonio Vespucci and his favorite nephew, Amerigo Vespucci, was a Macavity Award finalist and led to the Guid’Antonio Vespucci Mystery Series featuring “The Sign of the Weeping Virgin” (Book I) and “The Hearts of All on Fire” (Book II).  

She is a member of the Women’s National Book Association and the Historical Novel Society, among other organizations.  She loves hearing from readers, and you can contact her at her website, www.alanawhite.com

Connect with Alana

Website:  Twitter:   Facebook

LinkedInInstagramPinterest

Bookbub: Amazon Author Page: Goodreads:

Follow The Hearts of all on Fire blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

It’s cover reveal day for #TheVeniceSecret by Anita Chapman #covereveal

One hidden painting. Two women born centuries apart. A secret uncovered.

In 2019, Rachel is stuck in a rut when she discovers what appears to be a Canaletto painting in her grandmother’s loft along with a note addressed to Philippa in 1782. With help from Jake at the local art gallery, Rachel endeavours to find out if the painting is an original and uncovers a secret from the past.

In 1780, governess at Chipford Hall, Philippa is offered the role of mistress by Earl Rupert. She escapes to Venice as companion to bluestocking, Lady Cordelia who reveals a secret that changes both their lives. They do their best to keep the secret from Lady Cordelia’s social circle, but their nemesis is determined to reveal all and ruin them.

Pre-order Link: https://amzn.to/3ES3oGy

Publication Date: 7th March 2023

Meet the Author

Anita Chapman enjoyed writing stories from a young age, and won a local writing competition when she was nine years old. Encouraged by this, she typed up a series of stories about a mouse on her mum’s typewriter and sent them to Ladybird. She received a polite rejection letter, her first.

Many of Anita’s summers growing up were spent with her family driving to Italy, and she went on to study French and Italian at university. As part of her degree, Anita lived in Siena for several months where she studied and au paired, and she spent a lot of time travelling around Italy in her twenties. 

Anita likes to read journals and diaries from the past, and one of her favourite pastimes is visiting art galleries and country houses. Her first published novel, The Venice Secret is inspired by her mother taking her to see the Canalettos at The National Gallery in London as a child. 

Since 2015, Anita has worked as a social media manager, training authors on social media, and helping to promote their books. She’s run several courses in London and York, and has worked as a tutor at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College.

Connect with Anita

Website

Twitter: @neetschapman 

Facebook Page: Anita Chapman Author 

Instagram: @neetschapman 

Tik Tok: @neetschapman 

I’m delighted to feature a festive offering, Gaming Hell Christmas: Volume 2 by Amanda McCabe and Kathy L Wheeler #blogtour

Gaming Hell Christmas: Volume Two

GAMING HELL CHRISTMAS – VOLUME 2: Mysteries abound at London’s most fashionable Hell.

The Thief Who Stole Christmas – Amanda McCabe
A man who has never broken the rules, and a woman who just might break his heart! But Christmas is always a time for second chances…

As one of Miss Greensley’s Girls, a member of the exclusive club la Sous Rose, and famous author Lady L, Victoria Lanford moves easily through Society ballrooms. Few people know how her unhappy childhood and anxiety led her to pickpocketing (yet, she did return the jewels)! When she comes face-to-face with old flame Rhys Neville, Earl of Hammond, she knows the kind-hearted, straight-laced, devilishly handsome lord is not for her—especially once the past comes back to haunt them. Why, then, can’t she stop thinking about their kisses?

The Kerse Who Saved Christmas – Kathy L Wheeler
Kerse: He, of the no nonsense approach, is stymied by She, a woman considered long past prime marriageability who needs a keeper more than he requires a wife. Yet the dreamy-eyed, impractical, and much too optimistic Philomena still manages to steal his heart despite her unrealistic beliefs and trust in fortune tellers.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gaming-Hell-Christmas-Kathy-Wheeler-ebook/dp/B0B5BCKC1G/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Gaming-Hell-Christmas-Kathy-Wheeler-ebook/dp/B0B5BCKC1G/

Guest Post

Gaming Hell Christmas Volume 2 starts out much like Volume 1 in the sense of setup. For example, we have our eight characters on the Isle of Wite as the young schoolmates from Miss Greensley’s School of Comportment for Young Women of Quality. The focus, however, is on the two main characters of the stories involved, i.e., Miss Victoria Leland and Lady Philomena Staunton. So, there are intricate details that let us see how these young women came to be the women they are.  So, fun.

Excerpt

Phil brought her knees up, prepared to continue her reading on Ancient Greece, but caught a shift of movement in her peripheral vision. She turned her head, lifting her hand and shading her eyes, then groaned.

“Tori,” she hissed. “I was under the impression you had promised to quit taking items that didn’t belong to you.” 

Victoria Lanford’s auburn hair gleamed in the sunlight. Most people thought it unfashionable, but Phil envied her such a striking feature. 

Her friend’s hand froze. She wrinkled her nose, and Tori pulled her hand back, tossing Phil a puckish grin. “I just don’t wish to lose what skills I’ve acquired and used my entire life up to now. That’s all.”

“Well, that’s Augusta’s pile,” Phil retorted. “I suggest moving the next one over. It wouldn’t bother me in the least for you to relieve Thom of her blasted locket. She carries that reprehensible miniature I abhor.”

Tori jumped up and sauntering over, dropped next to Phil on the warm sand. “Please, don’t say anything.”

“I won’t,” Phil told her begrudgingly. “Honestly, though, I detest that locket.” Her twin took every opportunity to flick it open and point out the differences between herself and Thom—difficult in most cases but for a dimple they each sported that mirrored one another’s. Phil’s was in her left cheek. “The artist didn’t care for me and painted me with a glum expression. I suppose I could hide the silly thing.”

  “Sadly,” Tori informed her on a resigned sigh, “everyone would instantly believe that it was I who had filched it.”

Phil and Tori sat beneath the trees where a breeze lightly ruffled their braids, considering Tori’s fact. The sun, high and bright in the sky made it tempting to dash into the water, but Phil was deathly afraid of being swept out to sea. 

“I suppose I shall just have to smash it in a fit of pique in front of Thom,” Phil said after a time. 

Tori laughed. 

Likely because everyone agreed Phil was the least temperamental of all their friends.

“There’s a fortune teller at the fair in Nettlestone,” Tori said, her eyes squinting into the sun. “We should visit.”

Phil’s spine straightened. How intriguing

So, we learn three important things here:

  1. Victoria is a thief
  2. Phil fears water, and
  3. Phil shows a piqued interest in fortune telling.

Then, of course, the hope is the reader is intrigued enough to dive into both stories and love them as much as we loved writing them.

Meet Amanda

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)

She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections. 

When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook.

Connect with Amanda McCabe

 https://www.facebook.com/amandamccabebooks/

https://www.instagram.com/amandamccabeauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/amandamccabebooks

https://twitter.com/AmandaMcCabe01

Meet Kathy L Wheeler

Kathy L Wheeler loves the NFL, the NBA, musical theater (don’t ask how her how many times she’s seen Phantom of the Opera (12); or Wicked (7)), travel, (Europe, Grand Cayman, Mexico, All over the US), reading (practically a book a night), writing (35 books and counting) and karaoke (well….what can I say). She assists other authors in critiquing, formatting, and creating covers for their publishing dreams.

She writes contemporary and historical stories where the heroines save themselves and the heroes who honor their courage with suspense and humor.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest US with her musically talented, lawyer husband, and their adorable dog Angel (who lives up to her name…mostly).

Connect with Kathy L Wheeler

https://kathylwheeler.com

https://kathylwheeler.com/blog/

https://twitter.com/kathylwheeler

Follow the Gaming Hell Christmas Volume II blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources

I’m delighted to be on the An Ear For Trouble by K.T. Lee blog tour, and there’s a fabulous competition to enter #blogtour #mystery

Here’s the blurb:

Elise Butler is a wildlife biologist who enjoys her stable (if somewhat predictable) job in finance at the World Wildlife Trust. However, when the veterinarian at Riverbend Animal Conservation Center goes missing, Elise offers to help the unlucky wildlife Conservation Center get back on its feet. Not only will the job in Riverbend, Indiana let her get back to her roots of working with animals, but it’s also a short drive from her sister’s workplace at Riverbend K-9 Academy, a training center for some of the FBI’s best explosive detection dogs.

FBI Special Agent Finn Cooper and his canine partner, Sedona, are chasing a well-funded animal trafficking ring. After an injury sidelines Finn from official FBI undercover work, he goes to work at Riverbend K-9 Academy to stay busy while he recovers…and to investigate his only remaining lead in the animal trafficking case.

Just as Elise begins to settle into life in Riverbend, her sister asks her to help the K-9 Academy by fostering one of their puppies. Finn is eager to keep Elise focused on training Zeke, the enthusiastic German shepherd puppy earmarked to become Riverbend’s first wildlife detection K-9, and keep her well away from his quiet animal trafficking investigation. Zeke quickly proves himself an expert both at chewing shoes and sniffing out clouded leopards. When Zeke starts finding scents where they don’t belong, Elise and Finn begin to realize that the Conservation Center may be more criminal than unlucky. And if Elise doesn’t keep her nose out of it, she might be the next target.

An Ear for Trouble is Book 2 in the Riverbend K-9 Series. All books in the Riverbend K-9 Series may be enjoyed as standalone novels or as a series.

Purchase Links 

My Review

An Ear For Trouble is an engaging cosy mystery involving a local conservation zoo and some strange shenanigans that causes a member of the WWF accountancy team to be called to help out after the unexpected disappearance and presumed death of not just their veterinarian but also one of their prized cubs.

What follows is an intriguing and well-developed story with all the hallmarks of a small-town mystery. The addition of the K-9s makes for often quite crowded scenes, and I was impressed that the author never once inadvertently forgot one of the animals:)

There’s a great deal of detail in the story about conservation work, alongside the mystery of what’s been happening. We’re not spared the details of spreadsheets and doggy training, but the two main characters of Finn and Elise. alongside their friends and dogs, means that the story never gets bogged down. It moves at a lovely pace – always advancing the storyline. On more than one occasion, I did think I’d worked out ‘who did it’ only to be proved wrong.

An Ear for Trouble is a lovely, easy-going story without too much peril and perfect for fans of wildlife, dogs and small-town mysteries. An enjoyable and rather lovely read.

Meet the author

K.T. Lee is a writer, mom, and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. She’s the author of multiple books, including those in the Riverbend K-9 Series and The Calculated Series.

Connect with K. T. Lee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KTLeeWrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ktleeauthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ktleewrites

Giveaway to Win 10 x e-copies of An Ear For Trouble (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494537/?

Follow the An Ear for Trouble blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources

I’m delighted to welcome the historical fantasy book, Liopleurodon:The Master of the Deep by MB Zucker to the blog #blogtour

I’m delighted to share an excerpt from Liopleurodon. Enjoy.

Scene 4: Luke reflects while waiting for the Liopleurodon to arrive for the monster’s first battle with the protagonists.

Luke watched the sunrise on the Sea Otter’s deck as the sky became an evolving painting, shifting from black to pink to orange to blue. Nature’s beauty was a lifelong source of excitement. He should get up early every morning—with Kelsey beside him. It was free entertainment, as captivating as any work of art ever crafted by man because this was crafted by God. The sky’s progression was only the beginning. Beyond it waited the universe, infinite in scale, majesty, and power. Who knew what was out there, what marvels existed to be adored? Stars, planets, other species, all going through their own cycles of life and death. He resented being stuck on Earth. Though the Earth had its own untapped universe to explore, one that was closer and more meaningful. Luke glanced at the ocean’s surface. Beneath was another world, virtually none of which man had yet seen. Incredible creatures—predator and prey, monster and magnificent—all part of the same planet, from the same hand as the colors drawn across the sky. That included the ancient monster—evolution’s most dangerous creation—that Luke knew was on its way.

Anxiety bubbled below the surface of Luke’s mind. He sought to impose calm, but his consciousness struggled to put its pants on as his subconscious darted ahead. Panic surged every few moments, not derived from thoughts, but from his intuition of what was coming and what was at stake if the Navy failed. What if too many poisoned bullets and harpoons missed? What if the Liopleurodon killed everyone on the patrol boats? What if the Germans captured it? What would they do with it? Could it affect the outcome of a future war? Would the Kaiser rule the world? Luke tried taking his mind off his fear. He thought of Kelsey. Her blonde hair. Her embrace. Yes. Think of that. Another surge. Kelsey’s image faded. Tainted. Next he thought of his father. A legacy redeemed. If only he’d known. He didn’t have to die. Didn’t have to leave Luke and his mother. Another surge. Damnit. Think of the sea, where he was more comfortable than he was on land. Of being a great fish. A being of power and grace. No issues of status or love to think of. Just swimming. And eating. And reproduction. And not being killed by sharks. Or the Liopleurodon. Another surge.

Luke shook his head and snorted. He looked at the others. Maybe getting out of his musings would distract him. Professor Harris was nearby. Like Luke, Harris wore a float vest and a belt that clipped to a canister full of putrescine. Harris looked away from the water, staring blankly, focusing on his breathing to stay calm. Luke looked at Colonel Roosevelt and General Wood, sitting together on the other side of the deck, facing opposite the Paulding and the concoction zone. Roosevelt’s forearms rested on his knees, his hands dangling between his stretched legs. He wore khaki trousers and a blue flannel shirt with yellow suspenders. Atop his head sat a brown felt hat with a blue and white bandanna tied around it. It was the same outfit he’d worn when he rode up Kettle Hill.

Roosevelt noticed Luke staring at him.

Here’s the blurb:

From M. B. Zucker, award-winning author of “The Eisenhower Chronicles” 

Liopleurodon ferox was the deadliest sea predator of all time, the king of the Jurassic ocean. This whale-sized reptile’s return to the early twentieth century triggers a geopolitical crisis in this new historical science fiction thriller. Former President Theodore Roosevelt foresees the threat the Liopleurodon would pose if it falls into the wrong hands. The race is on as Roosevelt leads the American effort to destroy it before the Kaiser’s Germany can turn it into a weapon. 

Fans of Jurassic Park and Steve Alten’s Meg series will not want to miss this adventure filled with action, political intrigue, and characters that readers will remember long after finishing this novel. 

Advance Praise for Liopleurodon: The Master of the Deep

“The storyline itself was superb —- A Jaws/Jurassic Park thriller and a bit of a spy novel all in one – and compelling.– The Historical Fiction Company

Buy Links:
Universal Link: https://mybook.to/liopleurodon  

Amazon UKAmazon US:   Amazon CA:    Amazon AU

Barnes and Noble:     Waterstones:    Kobo:   

Meet the author:
M. B. Zucker has been interested in storytelling for as long as he can remember. He discovered his love of history at fifteen and studied Dwight Eisenhower for over ten years. 

Mr. Zucker earned his B.A. at Occidental College and his J.D. at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He lives in Virginia with his wife. 

Connect with M B Zucker

WebsiteTwitter: and https://twitter.com/michaelzucker1  

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Follow The Master of the Deep Liopleurodon blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

#CoverReveal for My Spanish Romance by Olivia Spring #MySpanishRomance

Here’s the blurb:

My Spanish Romance: Falling For My Brother’s Best Friend…

Dating her brother’s best friend is against the rules. 

But some rules are meant to be broken…

After discovering her cheating ex’s plans to move into her building, accountant Lily jets off on a sabbatical to Marbella. 

When she unexpectedly bumps into her brother’s best friend, hot Spanish DJ Carlos—the guy she’s had a crush on since forever—sparks fly. 

But Carlos promised Lily’s brother he’d never mess with his little sister. Breaking the bro code would end their friendship. 

Lily knows that Casanova Carlos doesn’t do relationships, so all he could offer is a steamy holiday fling. And after wanting him for so long, if they spent the night together, Lily’s heart and body might never recover.

She tries to suppress her feelings, but when Carlos takes Lily to his favourite places in Spain, the attraction becomes harder to resist. With her brother hundreds of miles away, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt, right?

Should Lily throw caution to the wind and risk heartbreak by enjoying a sizzling Spanish romance? And if she does, will it lead to long-term love? 

Order this fun, steamy, brother’s-best-friend, forbidden love romcom now and join Lily in Spain to find out!

Read as a standalone novel or as part of the My Ten-Year Crush series.  

A bright yellow cover showing a man and woman walking on the beach, holding hand.

Pre-order Links

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3OmXHUB

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3zIFw6O

Publication Date: 19th January 2023

Meet the author

Olivia Spring is a British, London-based writer of contemporary women’s fiction, sexy chick lit and romantic comedy. Her uplifting debut novel The Middle-Aged Virgin, which was released in 2018, deals with being newly single in your thirties and beyond, dating, relationships, love, sex and living life to the full.

In addition to The Middle-Aged Virgin, Olivia has published The Middle-Aged Virgin in Italy, Love Offline, Losing My Inhibitions, Only When It’s Love and the sequel When’s The Wedding?

My Ten-Year Crush, Olivia’s seventh novel, marked the start of a new series in 2021. My Lucky Night and My Paris Romance followed soon afterwards and book four, My Spanish Romance will be published in January 2023.

When she’s not writing, Olivia can be found enjoying cupcakes and cocktails and of course, seeking inspiration for her next book!

Connect with Olivia 

https://twitter.com/ospringauthor

https://www.facebook.com/ospringauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/ospringauthor/

https://www.tiktok.com/@oliviaspringauthor

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/olivia-spring

A bright yellow back drop with the title of the book, and the author's name.

Today, I’m delighted to host and review Crazy for You by Domhnall O’Donoghue on the blog #blogtour

Here’s the blurb:

  • ‘Genuinely hilarious, charmingly intelligent’ – The Irish Times​  
  • ‘Assured, astute and wickedly funny’ – Woman’s Way  
  • ‘Witty and charming and very, very funny’ – The Irish Examiner          

When Clooney Coyle promises Vonnie Gallagher they’ll be friends for life, he has no idea what he’s letting himself in for. The lonely and eccentric Vonnie quickly becomes obsessed with the kind-hearted but insecure actor, and her misguided crush soon develops into something much more sinister, which leaves Clooney’s career in tatters.  

But when fate takes a strange turn and elevates the pair into an overnight celebrity couple, Clooney must decide whether to embrace the fame he has longed for since childhood or end the ridiculous charade before Vonnie’s jealous – and murderous – inclinations spiral out of control.

Purchase Links

Amazon: Amazon Crazy for You

Mercier Press: Mercier Press Crazy for You

Book Depository: Book Depository Crazy for You

Itunes: ITunes Crazy for You

My Review

Crazy for You is a deliciously funny story by author Domhnall O’Donoghue. (Do check out my review for Sister Agatha here). Told with a delightful sharp wit and not sparing either of his main characters from their less appealing characteristics, Crazy for You is not at all a love story.

I’m drawn to the fast-pace and wit of Domhnall’s story and their firm grounding in his Irish heritage. The places and people come alive from the page, and the humour is told with just the right amount of detail. The two stories of his that I’ve read have made me chuckle out loud. There is a rich vein of detail in Crazy for You, but never laboured, and the attendant cast are used well and to advance the story.

I really enjoyed Crazy for You (as I did Sister Agatha), and I really hope you’ll try this uproariously funny tale with its unexpected ending.

Meet the Author

Hailing from Navan, Co. Meath, Domhnall is a graduate of the Bachelor in Acting Studies Programme, Trinity College Dublin, later completing a Master’s in Screenwriting at Dún Laoghaire IADT. He now works as a journalist, author and actor.

In 2016, Tirgearr Publishing released Domhnall’s first novel, Sister Agatha: The World’s Oldest Serial Killer (‘We loved it’ – Woman’s Way). Pink Spear, an American, Emmy-winning production company, holds the TV and film rights.

Mercier Press, Ireland’s oldest publishing house, released Domhnall’s second and third novels, Colin and the Concubine (‘Hilarious’ – RTE.ie) and Crazy for You (‘Genuinely hilarious, charmingly intelligent’ – The Irish Times).

For four years, Domhnall enjoyed the responsibility of being Assistant Editor at Irish Tatler Man. Thanks to this role, he interviewed high-profile names such as Tommy Hilfiger, Kevin Spacey and Chris Pine. He writes a monthly column for Woman’s Way and is a features writer for Ireland of the Welcomes, the world’s largest Irish-interest magazine.

As an actor, Domhnall appeared as Pádraig in TG4’s award-winning series Ros na Rún for nine seasons.

Connect with Domhnall 

FB – Domhnall O’Donoghue (facebook.com)

T – https://twitter.com/Domhnall1982

IG – https://instagram.com/domhnall82

Follow the Crazy for You blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources

Today, I’m excited to share my review for the BRAND NEW book in the St Bride’s series, Wicked Whispers at St Bride’s by Debbie Young #blogtour

Here’s the blurb:

Gemma Lamb is ready for an uneventful term at St Bride’s, she’s had enough of dastardly deeds and sinister strangers.

However, she’s barely back at school before:

  • Unlucky in love Oriana is sneaking around at odd hours
  • Handsome Joe is keeping secrets
  • Militant Mavis feels a scandal is brewing

It’s all a bit much, but when a stranger appears Gemma thinks she’s had enough. But this stranger isn’t so sinister, instead he looks rather too familiar. If Gemma can’t get him away from the school the whispers and scandal his presence could unleash may just close St Bride’s doors for good.

Purchase Link https://amzn.to/3Surw7g

My Review

The St Bride’s books are rapidly becoming one of my favourite series.

Wicked Whispers at St Bride’s takes place during the half term after the Christmas holidays. While the girls are all learning how to play games with the teachers, Cluedo, Chess, and a touch of poker, Gemma finds herself wondering what’s going on between Joe and Oriana, which leads her to make a rather impromptu decision when a stranger appears at the doors of St Bride’s.

What follows is a series of misunderstandings, a somewhat unexpected fire alarm, and not one, not two, not three, but four trips out for afternoon tea, during which two more mysteries are solved.

I really do enjoy this series featuring the staff and students of St Bride’s. They’re just the right sort of cosy to fill a couple of hours with feel-good reading. I’m hoping there’ll be a book 4 soon.

Meet the Author

Debbie Young is the much-loved author of the Sophie Sayers and St Brides cosy crime mysteries. She lives in a Cotswold village where she runs the local literary festival, and has worked at Westonbirt School, both of which provide inspiration for her writing. She is bringing both her series to Boldwood in a 13-book contract. They will be publishing several new titles in each series and republishing the backlist, starting in September 2022.

Debbie Young

Connect with Debbie  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDebbieYoung

Twitter https://twitter.com/DebbieYoungBN

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/debbieyoungauthor/  

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/DebbieYoungNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/debbie-young

Follow the St Bride’s blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources