#TheDevilsOwn #LianaLeFey #HFVBTBlogTours

The Devil’s Own Liana LeFey

Publication Date: June 14, 2021
Entangled: Amara

Series: The Wicked Waywards, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance

All hell breaks loose in Harper’s Grove when the devil falls in love with an angel who mistakes him for a saint…

Lord Devlin Wayward, gambler and dedicated rake, returns home for the first time in years only to land himself in deep trouble when he ends up with a broken leg. Unable to travel to London to seal an important deal that will make or break his fortune, Devlin persuades his identical twin, Daniel, who happens to be the parish vicar, to take his place in London while he temporarily minds his flock.

Miss Mary Tomblin is taken with the devastatingly handsome reverend, who represents everything she desires in a husband after narrowly evading a ruthless rake last Season. But the vicar rebuffs every advance—until he suddenly accepts her help with pastoral duties while his broken leg heals. Mary seizes the chance to show the good reverend what an excellent helpmeet she will be.

The devil takes on the role of village vicar and discovers it’s nowhere near as easy as he imagined—especially when he falls in love with an angel who mistakes him for a saint.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

As a romance author, I delight in crafting incendiary tales that capture the heart and the imagination, taking the reader out of the now and into another world. Regardless of whether you choose to dive into the past, leap into the future, or lose yourself in another realm entirely, between the pages you’ll find deep emotional journeys and passionate romance!

The splendor of the Georgian period (1714-1837) provides a lush, glittering backdrop for my sizzling historical romances. Between the pages of my early Georgian pieces you’ll find sensuous lovers, lavish royal courts, and deadly intrigues. My Regencies look back to an era of refined manners and strict propriety, while revealing the secret, wicked desires of its elegant ladies and courtly gentlemen. In my sci-fi romances, love transcends all boundaries and spans a future of endless possibility based on what we’re learning about our universe today. My fantasy romances will take you on a quest through realms both familiar and unknown, with characters and creatures from myth and folklore, and of course include powerful magic paired with that most potent of all enchantments: love.

I live in Central Texas with my dashing hero/husband of 20+ years and our beautiful daughter. I’m also privileged to serve (and it is most definitely servitude) one spoiled-rotten feline overlord. I adore chocolate and just about anything involving the words “salted caramel.” When my brain is too fried to weave stories, I read (of course), watch movies or binge-watch television series, make jewelry, sketch, write music, practice calligraphy, write letters to friends, and knit scarves.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, June 14
Chasing Leslie
Two Bookish Babes
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 15
Gwendalyn’s Books
Reading is My Remedy
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Wednesday, June 16
Books Lattes & Tiaras
Elodie’s Reading Corner

Thursday, June 17
Books & Benches
SplendeurCaisse
Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Friday, June 18
Bookworlder
Coffee and Ink
The Book Junkie Reads

#ThePoisonKeeper #DeborahSwift #HFVBTBlogTours

The Poison Keeper by Deborah Swift

Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Quire Books
Paperback & eBook; 406 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Naples 1633

Aqua Tofana – One drop to heal. Three drops to kill.

Giulia Tofana longs for more responsibility in her mother’s apothecary business, but Mamma has always been secretive and refuses to tell Giulia the hidden keys to her success. When Mamma is arrested for the poisoning of the powerful Duke de Verdi, Giulia is shocked to uncover the darker side of her trade.

Giulia must run for her life, and escapes to Naples, under the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, to the home of her Aunt Isabetta, a famous courtesan. But when Giulia hears that her mother has been executed, and the cruel manner of her death, she swears she will wreak revenge on the Duke de Verdi.

The trouble is, Naples is in the grip of Domenico, the Duke’s brother, who controls the city with the ‘Camorra’, the mafia. Worse, her Aunt Isabetta, under Domenico’s thrall, insists that she should be consort to him – the brother of the man she has vowed to kill.

Based on the legendary life of Italian poisoner Giulia Tofana, this is a story of hidden family secrets, and how even the darkest desires can be vanquished by courage and love.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Deborah Swift is the author of three previous historical novels for adults, The Lady’s Slipper, The Gilded Lily, and A Divided Inheritance, all published by Macmillan/St Martin’s Press, as well as the Highway Trilogy for teens (and anyone young at heart!). Her first novel was shortlisted for the Impress prize for new novelists.

She lives on the edge of the beautiful and literary English Lake District – a place made famous by the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.

For more information, please visit Deborah Swift’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 17
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, May 18
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Wednesday, May 19
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Thursday, May 20
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 21
Review at Booking With Janelle

Monday, May 24
Review at Bookworlder

Tuesday, May 25
Excerpt at I’m All About Books

Wednesday, May 26
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Thursday, May 27
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Interview at Books & Benches

Friday, May 28
Feature at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, May 31
Review at Donna’s Book Blog

Tuesday, June 1
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Thursday, June 3
Review at Reader_ceygo

Friday, June 4
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Interview at Reader_ceygo
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Giveaway

Enter to win a signed paperback copy or eBook of The Poison Keeper!

The giveaway is open internationally and ends on June 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Poison Keeper

#QueenofHell #DanaeLSamms #HFVBTBlogTours

Queen of Hell by Danae L. Samms

Publication Date: November 9, 2020 Paperback & eBook; 446 pages

Series: Persephone, Book One Genre: Historical Fiction

1765. Persephone Nicholas has lived her twenty years with a father she cannot stand. Secluded on their plantation, Persephone feels she has a life destined for spinsterhood. “Life is Heaven for men and Hell for women” is her mantra. But on a visit to her cousin’s wedding, she meets young Mr. Elijah Parker. Opportunities show that things can be much sweeter, and Persephone begins to question her thoughts on life. As the world continues to throw her hardships and struggle, Persephone chooses to fight and master the life she’s been handed to become Queen of the Hell she living in.

Available on Amazon

EXCERPT:

            Abigail was almost hidden in her garden. A week before, she brought in a sprout from the woods and replanted it. Only her straw hat was visible over the short fence as she crouched to examine the garden’s newest addition.

            Her dedication to wearing the hat sealed the youth on her face. Long walks to gather plants and hours with her mortar and pestle kept her body slim and strong. Persephone remembered running to Abigail’s side and seeing the same youthful face since she could walk. Any time not spent with her plants and salves was devoted to caring for Persephone. As Persephone passed into adulthood, she still lingered at Abigail’s side and followed her direction.

            “It’s still set on poking me to death,” she said from the gate. Beneath her dress, her old stays were wearing thin. In the center of her back, a pointed piece of whalebone poked through the fabric and irritated her skin.

            “I told you it would,” Abigail kept her eyes on the lacy white flowers. Long black hair was bound into a strict bun, and was just visible under the straw hat.

            She had been the one to show Persephone how to wrap her body in the stiff stays. Life changed completely when Persephone left her sickbed ten years before. Despite a slight loss of healthy weight, her body was changing. One fever tore away childhood and most of her family before pushing her into the life of a young woman.

            It took her weeks to master lacing up the stiff contraption that kept her back straight and tiny breasts in place. Abigail was there every morning to help her through the mess of dressing like a lady. As Persephone grew and her lanky childish body became the soft curved figure of a woman, Abigail was still by her side every morning to lace on her stays.

            Manure and dust kissed the edges of Persephone’s dress. Yet in the garden she took care not to run her hem in the dirt. At least not in front of Abigail.

            “You also said you’d fix it.”

            “I mentioned attempting to fix your stays were there time.”

            “Is there?”

            “Probably not.” At last she turned to Persephone, blue eyes shining from the shade of her hat. “Not since you’ve checked every corner of the house for dirt and been to the barn twice.”

            Persephone smiled back at her.

            “My other stays don’t fit properly under the blue dress,” Persephone lingered at the gate, aimlessly brushing dirt from her mitts, “and Father told me to wear that one.”

            “It brings out your eyes.”

            “I’d rather wear the purple. That one fits better and matches the other stays.”

            In her opinion, none of the colors matched her raven-black hair, but that was her curse for bearing the last name Nicholas. Almost daily she found herself longing for soft blonde curls like her cousins. At twenty, the hopeless wish remained.

            Abigail’s dark fingers brushed the soft yellow petals of a flower, “Tell me what this is.”

            “You call it a piss daisy,” Persephone replied.

            “I’m the only one who does.”

            Quizzing Persephone on plants and their uses was routine. For the life of her, none of the information stayed in her head very long. None of the information Abigail asked, that is. She examined the clipping and noted the purple coneflower- for colds- and the common chamomile, but that was not the bloom in question.

            “It’s poisonous,” she said after a moment.

            “Anything can be a poison if you use it right.”

            That basic answer was usually adequate. Another tediously long stretch of seconds passed as she focused hard on the yellow flower.

            “Father takes it for the pain in his hand.”

            “Arnica,” Abigail explained as she collected her basket. “For some pains, and yes, like almost any herb taken in excess, it can be lethal.”

            “I was half right.”

            “For anything,” she chuckled. “Salt might kill a man if he had enough.”

About the Author

Danae L. Samms has always been a creator. Loving books, television, and being outside fueled her imagination. Her writing began when she was four with her first play, and continued to grow to a degree in journalism. Finding newspapers terrible and websites tolerable, she paid the bills as a freelance writer. Eventually, her creativity produced a novel and a thousand ideas waiting to become novels. Regularly, she keeps up with a blog of Unqualified Advice on Writing and Everything Else. The only thing she’s been doing longer than writing is horseback riding. While horse shoes were never her forte, Danae has spent plenty of time riding and training. Most of that is with her horse Maggie.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 24
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, May 25
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Excerpt at Carole’s Ramblings

Wednesday, May 26
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Thursday, May 27
Review at Two Bookish Babes
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Friday, May 28
Review at Booking With Janelle

Saturday, May 29
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Monday, May 31
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Tuesday, June 1
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, June 3
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at Probably at the Library

Friday, June 4
Interview at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of Queen of Hell by Danae L. Samms!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on June 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Queen of Hell

#LadyAugust #BeckyMichaels #HFVBTBlogTours

Lady August by Becky Michaels

Publication Date: March 30, 2021
Mildred Press
Paperback & eBook; 310 pages

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

August Summer thinks she is a nobody until a London solicitor barges into her employer’s drawing room, revealing not only is she the daughter of an earl but a wealthy heiress as well. Optimistic about a new life, she travels to her ancestral home of Linfield Hall, only for her brother to banish her to London to live with her aunt, a dowager duchess with a reputation.

When Lord Bolton asks him to fetch his illegitimate daughter, solicitor Samuel Brooks does not expect himself to become so invested in the young woman’s debut after wanting nothing to do with dinners and balls before. But as August navigates her way through this new world of the British aristocracy, Brooks is the one who is most dazzled by her unexpected charms.

Since society demands every young girl must marry, August decides she will accept nothing less than someone’s heart in exchange for possession of her newfound fortune. Forced to reexamine his negative views of love and marriage or lose August forever, Brooks soon realizes his heart is the only thing in danger of becoming possessed.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Chapter Ten

“I will turn her out before I let her cry off, Rutley,” Charles said to Rosamund’s fiancé sometime after she left the room. “I doubt she would rather be homeless than marry you.”

Rutley arched a single eyebrow. “A comforting thought,” he said sarcastically. “I will return later this week, once tempers have cooled.”

When August first saw Rutley at dinner the night before, she thought him very handsome. He was tall, with dark hair and eyes and a profile that resembled a Renaissance sculpture August once saw depicted in a book. Judging by looks alone, August wondered why Rosamund didn’t want to marry him, but now she was beginning to understand. Tempers did not just cool after what had happened in the study.

As Rutley left the room, Lady Bolton moved to do the same. “I will go check on her,” she said. “I’m sure I can think of a way—”

“No,” Brooks said, standing up from his chair. August carefully watched him, waiting for him to say more. She was still annoyed over his comments about her aunt debauchingher. He seemed to think she was this delicate flower, in desperate need of his or someone’s protection. But how bad could her aunt’s reputation be? She was a dowager duchess, after all.

“August should go,” he said, looking down at her. August quickly turned toward Lady Bolton, who stood motionless in the doorway. “She is the only one of us with whom Rosamund isn’t angry.”

August supposed that made sense. But as far as she saw it, Rosamund’s family had treated her very poorly, whether her brother would admit to it or not. August wasn’t entirely sure what comfort the sister Rosamund had only known for one day would bring her, especially when August seemed to be the only one in the dark about what Rosamund meant when she said her brother had mortgaged her future.

After Lady Bolton reluctantly agreed with Brooks, August went upstairs like a nervous soldier marching into battle. Rosamund’s room was on the second floor in the opposite wing from her father’s. When she reached the landing, she tried not to think of his dead body down the hall. What would he say if he knew such a nasty argument had occurred between two of his children the day he died? He probably would have been so disappointed.

As for her, she was upset she didn’t get to know him more—if only to get more information about her mother out of him. The woman’s identity might become a mystery that her father took with him to the grave. When August reached Rosamund’s door, she slowly raised her fist, knocking on it.

“Go away!” her sister immediately shouted back. “I do not wish to speak to anyone!”

“It’s me,” she called back. “August.” When there was no response, she continued. “I have been asked to check in on you. They say I’m the only one with whom you aren’t angry. I can’t promise to be much comfort, seeing how we hardly know each other, but—”

The door swung open. Rosamund stood on the other side, her face blotchy and wet with tears. When she saw August, she let out a loud sob, then dashed back toward the bed, throwing herself upon it. August closed the door behind her, frowning. She sat down on the bed beside Rosamund, a crumpled heap beside her. Sighing, August wondered what to say. If she were in a similar position, what would comfort her? Perhaps she might not want to talk about it all. Maybe a distraction was in order.

“Your brother has ordered me to go and stay with Lady Ramsbury in London,” she said suddenly.

Rosamund sniffed, turning to look at her sister. “What?” she asked, her eyes swollen from crying.

August smiled sadly at her. “I am to leave Linfield and go live with our aunt. I suppose if Charles thinks she would take in someone like me, she might also take in someone like you, even if you decide to go through with calling off your engagement. Since your brother said he would toss you out of the house if you did, I thought I would mention it in case that’s what you wanted to do.”

Rosamund seemed to consider this for a moment before loudly sighing. “Oh, August, I am not sure what to do!”

About the Author

Becky Michaels is a historical romance author and self-proclaimed Anglophile. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in English, she reluctantly decided to get a day job but never stopped writing—or dreaming. THE LAND STEWARD’S DAUGHTER, a Regency romance set in 1815 England, is her debut novel. Despite the cold winters and high rent, she still lives in the Boston area with her boyfriend and cat.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 3
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, May 4
Excerpt at Novels Alive
Review at Probably at the Library

Wednesday, May 5
Review at Bookworlder

Friday, May 7
Review at Novels Alive
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Monday, May 10
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Wednesday, May 12
Excerpt at I’m All About Books

Friday, May 14
Review at Two Bookish Babes

Monday, May 17
Review at Anna’s Book Blog

Tuesday, May 18
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, May 20
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, May 21
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Monday, May 24
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, May 25
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Wednesday, May 26
Review at andreajanel_reads

Friday, May 28
Excerpt at The Tea Queen

Monday, May 31
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 1
Interview at Reader_Ceygo

Wednesday, June 2
Review at Reader_Ceygo
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at Older & Smarter

Thursday, June 3
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Friday, June 4
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Lady August by Becky Michaels!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on June 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Lady August

#RightBackWhereWeStartedFrom #JoyLanzendorfer #HFVBTBlogTours

Right Back Where We Started From by Joy Lanzendorfer

Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Blackstone Publishing
Paperback; eBook, & Audiobook

Genre: Historical Fiction

If misfortune hadn’t gotten in the way, Sandra Sanborn would be where she belongs–among the rich and privileged instead of standing outside a Hollywood studio wearing a sandwich board in the hope of someone discovering her. It’s tough breaking into the movies during the Great Depression, but Sandra knows that she’s destined for greatness. After all, her grandmother Vira crossed the country during the Gold Rush and established the Sanborns as one of San Francisco’s most prominent families, and her mother Mabel grew up in a lavish mansion and married into an agricultural empire. Success, Sandra feels, is in her blood. She just needs a chance to prove it.

In between failed auditions, Sandra receives a letter from a man claiming to be her father, which calls into question everything she believes about her family–and herself. As she tries to climb the social ladder, family secrets lurk in the background, pulling her down. Until Sandra confronts the truth about how Vira and Mabel gained and lost their fortunes, she will always end up right back where she started from.

Right Back Where We Started From is a sweeping, multigenerational work of fiction that explores the lust for ambition that entered into the American consciousness during the Gold Rush and how it affected our nation’s ideas of success, failure, and the pursuit of happiness. It is a meticulously layered saga–at once historically rich, romantic, and suspenseful–about three determined and completely unforgettable women.

Amazon | B&N | BAM | IndieBound | Hudson’s Booksellers

EXCERPT

The image of her mother in her raggedy tea gowns and Gibson hairdo floated in Sandra’s mind like a sunspot. There was so much Sandra didn’t know. Why had her mother left San Francisco in the first place? Her grandparents had died, but Sandra didn’t know the details. And how had Arthur Beard died? Yes, there was an earthquake, but she didn’t know the cause of death. And why had Sandra never inherited any money? Where did it all go? She retrieved the letters from John Hollingsworth from the trash, intending to reread them, and noticed heaviness in one of the envelopes that she’d missed before. Inside was a gray cardboard frame. She pulled up the cover to reveal a picture of Mabel. Sandra’s mouth fell open. In the photo, Mabel was younger than Sandra had ever seen her. She was turned toward the camera, her face at three-quarters profile. Her thick brown hair was swept under a hat and she wore a fur shoulder piece that emphasized a tiny, corseted waist. Even in her confusion, Sandra felt a tickling of pride to see her mother in all her beauty and wealth. On the back was a date stamp: 1904. Two years before Sandra was born. She hated how this was making her feel. She didn’t want to think about any of it. Tomorrow she was going to Central Casting, and she should be focusing on that. This was all a distraction from her plan. Standing, she went to the closet and pulled an orange hatbox from the 24 joy lanzendorfer shelf. It was empty because the hat that was supposed to go in it was still on the costume rack at Rayo Sunshine, along with the dress she’d worn that day. Sandra dropped the letters into the box and shut the lid, thinking that she would ask Mabel about John Hollingsworth later. She didn’t have time right now—she had to get ready for Central Casting—but soon she would find out more. The next time Sandra wrote her mother, she promised herself, she would bring the letters up.

Praise

“In Right Back Where We Started From Joy Lanzendorfer has crafted a terrific first novel, one brimming with energy, wit, and emotional resonance. Sandra Sanborn is a wonderful character, very much alive on the page. And, the novel captures, vividly, some of the crazier times in California’s crazy history. Highly recommended!” –Peter Orner, author of Maggie Brown & Others

“Joy Lanzendorfer’s thrill of a novel, Right Back Where We Started From, tells the story of an engaging young woman, eager to be discovered in 1930s Hollywood. But as she looks to the future, a letter from a man who claims to be her father pulls her to the unknown past. This is a novel of California dreaming, from the Gold Rush to the Hollywood Hills. Lanzendorfer writes with charm, style, and great energy.” –Ellen Sussman, New York Times bestselling author of four novels: A Wedding in Provence, The Paradise Guest House, French Lessons, and On a Night like This

“From the California Gold Rush to the San Francisco earthquake, through the Great Depression and World War II, Joy Lanzendorfer artfully weaves a beautifully textured saga. Yearnings, secrets, and shame shape the lives of three generations of American women as they dare to question the rigid societal expectations that confine them to proscribed roles and stifle ambition. Gripping prose and complex and memorable characters make this shining debut novel a pleasure to read.” –Liza Nash Taylor, author of Etiquette for Runaways and the forthcoming In All Good Faith

About the Author

Joy Lanzendorfer’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, NPR, Smithsonian, Poetry Foundation, and many others. She was included in The Best Small Fictions anthology and was a notable in The Best American Essays 2019. She has been awarded grants and residencies from the Discovered Awards for Emerging Literary Artists, Wildacres Residency Program, and the Speculative Literature Foundation.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, May 5
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 6
Review at Crystal’s Library

Saturday, May 8
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, May 9
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, May 10
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Tuesday, May 11
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Wednesday, May 12
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Sunday, May 16
Interview at Reader_ceygo

Monday, May 17
Review at Reader_ceygo
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Wednesday, May 19
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Thursday, May 20
Review at Jessica Belmont

Friday, May 21
Review at Nursebookie

Monday, May 24
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Two Bookish Babes

Wednesday, May 26
Feature at Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, May 28
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Enchanted Shelf
Review at The Book Club Network

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Right Back Where We Started From by Joy Lanzendorfer!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Right Back Where We Started From

#AMothersPromise #KDAlden #HFVBTBlogTours

A Mother’s Promise by K.D. Alden

Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Forever/Grand Central
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Based on the true story behind a landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision, K.D. Alden’s debut is a rich and moving story of one woman’s courage and strength at a pivotal point in America’s history.

Virginia, 1927. A chance to have a family. That’s all Ruth Ann Riley wants. But because she was unwed and pregnant, she was sent away and her baby given to another woman. Now they’re trying to take Ruth Ann’s right to have another child. But she can’t stand the thought of never seeing little Annabel’s face again, never snuggling up to her warmth or watching her blue eyes crinkle with laughter. Good thing she has a plan.

All the rich and fancy folks may call her feeble-minded, but Ruth Ann is smarter than any of them have bargained for. Because no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, she is going to overcome the scandals in her past and get her child back—and along the way, she just may find unexpected friendships and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.

A Mother’s Promise is a powerful, heart-wrenching, ultimately uplifting novel about the bonds of family and one woman’s courage in the face of adversity. K.D. Alden brings history to life with rich storytelling and deep emotion.“―V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Hudson | IndieBound | Powell’s | Target | Walmart

Excerpt from A Mother’s Promise, by K.D. Alden
(Copyright 2021; All Rights Reserved.)

Chapter One
Dr. Price wore a three-piece suit with lots of authority and a kind smile.
As superintendent of The Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feebleminded, he looked like God, or at least Ruth Ann Riley’s idea of God. She imagined He would wear a fine-cut, hand-stitched three-piece suit like the good doctor’s, with a white coat over it and have pale, narrow blue eyes, thin, refined lips with neatly trimmed whiskers and a beard. He’d smell nice, too, of shaving cream and cigar smoke and heavy volumes of learning.
Doc checked his gold pocket watch and wrote down the time. Time seemed important to him, not so much to her. Ruth Ann told time by how many peas she got shelled, or by how many shirtwaists, nightdresses, petticoats and overskirts she’d hung on the line.
Doc seemed to want more time, but she wished she had less because it stretched and stretched and it wasn’t ever over with. Not ‘til she went to sleep. Then it started up all over again when the cock crowed.
She didn’t want to be here, the focus of attention. Attention was guaranteed to be a bad thing. Better to be invisible. She tried her best to evaporate, like water into air.
But Doc Price wanted to talk to her again for some reason. He picked up a pen. And a file folder. Then he walked round his monster of a desk to sit down.
Ruth Ann knew he must be very smart, because he had read all those books that climbed his shelves to the very ceiling. She loved books herself—fiction that she snuck out of the Colony library. Not these tomes.
Outside, the wind had picked up, torpedoing poor Clarence’s carefully raked piles of leaves and ruining the handyman’s work. Ruth Ann thought uneasily of what a storm might do to the mountains of laundry she’d wrung out until her arms ached. It all hung on the lines. She peered out the window. In the distance, beyond the neatly landscaped terrace outside of Doc Price’s office, she spied a pair of long-johns kicking, skirts flying up indecently, sheets billowing.
“Sit down,” Doc Price said, waving his hand toward a chair on Ruth Ann’s side of the desk.
She limped to the seat, gritting her teeth and sweating with the pain. She’d dropped an iron on her big toe in the laundry. Gotten screeched at by Mother Jenkins for burning her shoe, and the son of a gun still stunk of fried hide.
Doc Price didn’t seem to notice the smell; his nose was buried in some scribbles in the file.
Ruth Ann wondered if she could ask him to examine her toe. But he looked very busy. And what can he do? Tell me to go barefoot? Can’t do that when you work in the laundry and the kitchen.
Doc asked her questions and wrote down her answers, while she went halfway to somewhere else in her head. She did that a lot.
What’s your name?
Ruth Ann Riley.
How old are you?
Sixteen.
Who is your father?
Cullen Riley.
Where is he now?
Dead.
Who’s your mother?
Sheila Riley.
Where does she live?
Here.
Do you know where you are?
Yes, sir. At the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feeble-Minded.
Do you know why your mother is here?
Yes, sir. She don’t have no other place to live. Ruth Ann winced. She should’ve said ‘doesn’t.’ But Doc didn’t seem to notice.
Do you know why you’re here?
Her face heated. She looked down at her lap, at her red, raw hands with their gnawed nails. She just nodded.
Why are you here?
You know that, sir.
Yes, Ruth Ann. But I need to ascertain whether you know it.
Ascertain. Doc did drop some fancy words.
Ruth Ann? His voice was sharper. Do you understand why you’re here?
Pressure built behind her nose, tingling. It pushed unwilling tears into her eyes. She blinked. “Wasn’t my fault.” She couldn’t look at him. Write that down, mister.
“You’ve said so before.” Doc tapped his pen. “It’s all right. It’s not important.”
The hell it ain’t. Her anger startled Ruth Ann. It was usually like a toothache; a dull pain, but not fierce, like this. It blew away her mental fog. All of her was present now, in this chair in front of Doc.
“Ruth Ann. Why are you here?”
“Can I just see her?” she blurted. She forced her chin up, her eyes to his. “Please? Can I just see my baby?”
Ruth Ann had been an open wound when they took her infant, bundled up and howling.
Doc packed soothing into his voice on purpose, like gauze into that wound. “Little Annabel is with Mr. and Mrs. Dade. You know that.”
“Can’t I hold her . . . just one time?” Meh, meh, meh. She hated the way her voice sounded. Like a goat’s. Bleating.
Doc looked down, shuffled his notes. He sighed. “I’m afraid that’s not possible.”
Why? She didn’t say it aloud. She knew it was against the rules.
“Ruth Ann. Let’s get back to the matter at hand.”
Right. My matter don’t matter. His does.
“I’m here,” she said, “because I ain’t married and I had a baby. And that’s bad.”
Doc nodded. “And why else are you here?”
She stared blankly at him. Then she remembered. “They say I’m feeble-minded.” News to her.
“And what does that mean, Ruth Ann?”
She looked over at the diplomas. She could easily read the letters that said where he’d studied, even the Latin ones. She’d finished sixth grade before she’d gone to work for the Dade family. “Feeble-minded means that I ain’t smart.”
Doc Price got up from his desk. He walked around it and folded his arms, looking down at her. “Ruth Ann, we’re going to do an operation on you.”
He’s not asking me. He’s telling me. “An operation?” She didn’t like the sound of that.
“Yes. It’s . . . for the greater good.”
#

About the Author

K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in South Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.

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#TheNextShipHome #coverreveal #historicalfiction

The Next Ship Home: A Novel of Ellis Island by Heather Webb

Publication Date: February 8, 2022 Sourcebooks Landmark

Genre: Historical Fiction

Ellis Island, 1902: Two women band together to hold America to its promise: “Give me your tired, your poor … your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

A young Italian woman arrives on the shores of America, her sights set on a better life. That same day, a young American woman reports to her first day of work at the immigration center. But Ellis Island isn’t a refuge for Francesca or Alma, not when ships depart every day with those who are refused entry to the country and when corruption ripples through every corridor. While Francesca resorts to desperate measures to ensure she will make it off the island, Alma fights for her dreams of becoming a translator, even as women are denied the chance.

As the two women face the misdeeds of a system known to manipulate and abuse immigrants searching for new hope in America, they form an unlikely friendship―and share a terrible secret―altering their fates and the lives of the immigrants who come after them.

Inspired by true events and for fans of Kristina McMorris and Hazel Gaynor, The Next Ship Home holds up a mirror to our own times, deftly questioning America’s history of prejudice and exclusion while also reminding us of our citizens’ singular determination. This is a novel of the dark secrets of Ellis Island, when entry to “the land of the free” promised a better life but often delivered something drastically different, and when immigrant strength and female friendship found ways to triumph even on the darkest days.

Pre-order now!

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About the Author

Heather Webb is the USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction. In 2017, LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association award, and in 2019, MEET ME IN MONACO was shortlisted for both the RNA award in the UK and also the Digital Book World Fiction prize.

Up and coming, Heather’s new solo novel called THE NEXT SHIP HOME: A NOVEL OF ELLIS ISLAND is about unlikely friends that confront a corrupt system altering their fates and the lives of the immigrants who come after them, and it releases in Feb 2022. Also, look for her third collaboration with her beloved writing partner, Hazel Gaynor, THREE WORDS FOR GOODBYE, releasing this July! (2021)

When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills, geeks out on pop culture and history, or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

For more information, please visit Heather’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

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#TheCoronation #JustinNewland #HFVBTBlogTours

The Coronation by Justin Newland

Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Matador
Paperback & eBook; 299 pages

Genre: Historical Fantasy

It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.

In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.

Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…

“The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society

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excerpt:

This extract is from Chapter 51. It’s from the point of view of Marion, Countess von Adler. With Christoph, her assistant, and Kadow, the coachman, they are searching for Marion’s daughter, Sisi. Manfred is a skinner, and someone who they think knows where Sisi is hiding.

Christoph wore a look of utter bewilderment. His hunchback seemed more accentuated than ever. He asked, “What is this place?”

She read the sign on the lintel above the white door:

“The Chambers for the Furious.

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.”

“I’d no idea they were like this,” Christoph said.

“They’re possessed by evil spirits,” Kadow murmured. “I don’t know if I can face these demons.”

“Listen, you must; if Sisi is in there, we must get her out. If not, then Manfred must tell us what he knows.” She was not going to turn back.

Neither Christoph nor Kadow made a move.

“Then I’ll go in there,” she snapped.

The white door creaked as she opened it. She ducked under the lintel. As she stepped into the Löbenicht Lunatic Asylum, she was struck by a blinding light. She pulled the muslin scarf further down over her eyes. No difference! All she could see were black spots, pulsing in and out, like she had accidentally looked directly into the sun and been blinded by its piercing incandescence.

“Help me,” she mumbled. “I can’t see.” She felt vulnerable and just when Sisi needed her most.

“Your Excellency, let’s go back to the main hospital,” Christoph suggested.

“No, we carry on,” she insisted. “We find Sisi. We must. Christoph, take my hand, yes, that’s it. Tell me everything you see.”

“Yes, Your Excellency,” he said. “We’re standing in the middle of a long, curved corridor, which gives way to about twenty cells on each side. Thank the Lord, the cell doors are locked.”

“Can we see inside the cells?” she asked.

“We can, they have viewing slits,” Christoph told her.

“Good,” she said. “Check every one.”

She heard a slit pulled across. She assumed Christoph was looking inside a cell.

“Was she in there?” she asked.

“No, she wasn’t in that one.” His voice was tremulous.

What a relief. Or was it? “Are there no staff?” she asked.

“I’ll see if I can find one,” Kadow said.

“And look for Manfred at the same time,” she called after him.

“I will do that, Your Excellency,” Kadow replied and she heard the sound of his footsteps recede into the distance.

This temporary blindness was hugely frustrating. “Christoph, you are my eyes, speak to me.”

“The corridor is dark, gloomy. My, this is a godforsaken place.” His voice was shot with trepidation.

“Manfred may not be here, but we are,” she said. “I am going to find my daughter.”

About the Author

Justin Newland was born in Essex, England, three days before the end of 1953.

His love of literature began with swashbuckling sea stories, pirates and tales of adventure. Undeterred by the award of a Doctorate in Mathematics from Imperial College, London, he worked in I.T. and later ran a hotel.

His taste in literature is eclectic: from literary fiction and fantasy, to science fiction, with a special mention for the magical realists and the existentialists. Along the way, he was wooed by the muses of history, both ancient and modern, and then got happily lost in the labyrinths of mythology, religion and philosophy. Justin writes secret histories in which real events and historical personages are guided and motivated by numinous and supernatural forces.

His debut novel, The Genes of Isis, is a tale of love, destruction, and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt, and which tells the secret history of the human race, Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

His second is The Old Dragon’s Head, a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times.

Set during the Enlightenment, his third novel, The Coronation reveals the secret history of perhaps the single most important event of the modern world – The Industrial Revolution.

He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

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The Coronation

#FollowingSea #LeahAngstman #CoverReveal #HFVBTBlogTours

Out Front the Following Sea: A Novel of King William’s War in 17th-Century New England by Leah Angstman

Publication Date: January 11, 2022 Regal House Publishing Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook; 334 pages

Genre: Historical / Literary / Epic

**Shortlisted for the Chaucer Book Award**

OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a historical epic of one woman’s survival in a time when the wilderness is still wild, heresy is publicly punishable, and being independent is worse than scorned—it is a death sentence.

At the onset of King William’s War between French and English settlers in 1689 New England, Ruth Miner is accused of witchcraft for the murder of her parents and must flee the brutality of her town. She stows away on the ship of the only other person who knows her innocence: an audacious sailor—Owen—bound to her by years of attraction, friendship, and shared secrets. But when Owen’s French ancestry finds him at odds with a violent English commander, the turmoil becomes life-or-death for the sailor, the headstrong Ruth, and the cast of Quakers, Pequot Indians, soldiers, highwaymen, and townsfolk dragged into the fray. Now Ruth must choose between sending Owen to the gallows or keeping her own neck from the noose.

Steeped in historical events and culminating in a little-known war on pre-American soil, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a story of early feminism, misogyny, arbitrary rulings, persecution, and the treatment of outcasts, with parallels still mirrored and echoed in today’s society. The debut novel will appeal to readers of Paulette Jiles, Alexander Chee, Hilary Mantel, James Clavell, Bernard Cornwell, TaraShea Nesbit, Geraldine Brooks, Stephanie Dray, Patrick O’Brian, and E. L. Doctorow.

Available for Pre-Order

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Praise

“With OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, Leah Angstman reveals herself as a brave new voice in historical fiction. With staggering authenticity, Angstman gives us a story of America before it was America—an era rife with witch hunts and colonial intrigue and New World battles all but forgotten in our history books and popular culture. This is historical fiction that speaks to the present, recalling the bold spirits and cultural upheavals of a nation yet to be born.”
—Taylor Brown, author of PRIDE OF EDEN, GODS OF HOWL MOUNTAIN, and THE RIVER OF KINGS

“Steeped in lush prose, authentic period detail, and edge-of-your-seat action, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a rollicking good read. Leah Angstman keeps the story moving at a breathtaking pace, and she knows more 17th-century seafaring language and items of everyday use than you can shake a stick at. The result is a compelling work of romance, adventure, and historical illumination that pulls the reader straight in.”
—Rilla Askew, author of FIRE IN BEULAH, THE MERCY SEAT, and KIND OF KIN

“Lapidary in its research and lively in its voice, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA by Leah Angstman is a rollicking story, racing along with wind in its sails. Though her tale unfolds hundreds of years in America’s past, Ruth Miner is the kind of high-spirited heroine whose high adventures haul you in and hold you fast.”
—Kathleen Rooney, author of LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK and CHER AMI AND MAJOR WHITTLESEY

“Leah Angstman has written the historical novel that I didn’t know I needed to read. OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is set in an oft-forgotten time in the brutal wilds of pre-America that is so vividly and authentically drawn, with characters that are so alive and relevant, and a narrative so masterfully paced and plotted, that Angstman has performed the miracle of layering the tumultuous past over our troubled present to gift us a sparkling new reality.”
—Kevin Catalano, author of WHERE THE SUN SHINES OUT and DELETED SCENES AND OTHER STORIES

“OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a fascinating book, the kind of historical novel that evokes its time and place so vividly that the effect is just shy of hallucinogenic. I enjoyed it immensely.”
—Scott Phillips, author of THE ICE HARVEST, THE WALKAWAY, COTTONWOOD, and HOP ALLEY

“OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a meticulously researched novel that mixes history, love story, and suspense. Watching Angstman’s willful protagonist, Ruth Miner, openly challenge the brutal world of 17th-century New England, with its limiting ideas about gender, race, and science, was a delight.”
—Aline Ohanesian, author of ORHAN’S INHERITANCE

“Leah Angstman is a gifted storyteller with a poet’s sense of both beauty and darkness, and her stunning historical novel, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, establishes her as one of the most exciting young novelists in the country. Angstman plunges the reader into a brilliantly realized historical milieu peopled by characters real enough to touch. And in Ruth Miner, we are introduced to one of the most compelling protagonists in contemporary literature, a penetratingly intelligent, headstrong woman who is trying to survive on her wits alone in a Colonial America that you won’t find in the history books. A compulsive, vivid read that will change the way you look at the origins of our country, Leah Angstman’s OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA announces the arrival of a preternatural talent.”
—Ashley Shelby, author of MURI and SOUTH POLE STATION

“Rich, lyrical, and atmospheric, with a poet’s hand and a historian’s attention to detail. In OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, Leah Angstman creates an immersive world for readers to get lost in and a fascinating story to propel them through it. A thoroughly engaging and compelling tale.”
—Steph Post, author of HOLDING SMOKE, MIRACULUM, and WALK IN THE FIRE

“It’s a rare story that makes you thankful for having read and experienced it. It’s rarer still for a story to evoke so wholly, so powerfully, another place and time as to make you thankful for the gifts that exist around you, which you take for granted. OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a book rich with misery, yet its characters are indefatigable; they yearn, despite their troubles, for victories personal and societal. Leah Angstman’s eye is keen, and her ability to transport you into America’s beginnings is powerful. With the raw ingredients of history, she creates a story both dashing and pensive, robust yet believable. From an unforgiving time, Angstman draws out a tale of all things inhuman, but one that reminds us of that which is best in all of us.”
—Eric Shonkwiler, author of ABOVE ALL MEN and 8TH STREET POWER AND LIGHT

About the Author

Leah Angstman is a historian and transplanted Michigander living in Boulder. OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, her debut novel of King William’s War in 17th-century New England, is forthcoming from Regal House in January 2022. Her writing has been a finalist for the Saluda River Prize, Cowles Book Prize, Able Muse Book Award, Bevel Summers Fiction Prize, and Chaucer Book Award, and has appeared in Publishers Weekly, L.A. Review of Books, Nashville Review, Slice, and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief for Alternating Current and The Coil magazine and copyeditor for Underscore News, which has included editing partnerships with ProPublica. She is an appointed vice chair of a Colorado historical commission and liaison to a Colorado historic preservation committee.

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Sigurd’s Swords by Eric Schumacher

Publication Date: June 28, 2021
Bodn Books

Series: Olaf’s Saga, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction

From best-selling historical fiction novelist, Eric Schumacher, comes the second volume in Olaf’s Saga: the adrenaline-charged story of Olaf Tryggvason and his adventures in the kingdom of the Rus.

AD 968. It has been ten summers since the noble sons of the North, Olaf and Torgil, were driven from their homeland by the treachery of the Norse king, Harald Eriksson. Having then escaped the horrors of slavery in Estland, they now fight among the Rus in the company of Olaf’s uncle, Sigurd.

It will be some of the bloodiest years in Rus history. The Grand Prince, Sviatoslav, is hungry for land, riches, and power, but his unending campaigns are leaving the corpses of thousands in their wakes. From the siege of Konugard to the battlefields of ancient Bulgaria, Olaf and Torgil struggle to stay alive in Sigurd’s Swords, the heart-pounding sequel to Forged by Iron.

Pre-Order on Amazon

About the Author

Eric Schumacher (1968 – ) is an American historical novelist who currently resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife and two children. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended college at the University of San Diego.

At a very early age, Schumacher discovered his love for writing and medieval European history, as well as authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Those discoveries continue to fuel his imagination and influence the stories he tells. His first novel, God’s Hammer, was published in 2005.

To date, Schumacher has published three novels, collectively known as Hakon’s Saga, and one novella. More information about him and his books can be found on his website. You can also connect with Schumacher on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and AuthorsDB.

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