#Ascent #CathieDunn #HFVBT

Ascent by Cathie Dunn

Publication Date: April 8, 2022
Ocelot Press

Series: House of Normandy, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction

A brutal Viking raid heralds the dawn of a new, powerful dynasty – the House of Normandy
Neustria, Kingdom of the West Franks
AD 890

Fourteen-year-old Poppa’s life changes when Northmen land near Bayeux. Count Bérengar, her father, submits to them, and she is handfasted to Hrólfr, the Northmen’s heathen leader, as part of their agreement.

To her relief, Hrólfr leaves immediately in search of further conquest, only returning to claim her years later. In the face of retaliating Franks, they flee to East Anglia, where she gives birth to their son and daughter.

When Hrólfr and Poppa return to reclaim Bayeux, his new campaign strikes at the heart of Frankish power, and King Charles of the West Franks offers him a pact he cannot refuse. In exchange for vast tracts of land in Neustria, Hrólfr must convert to Christianity and accept marriage to Gisela, the king’s illegitimate daughter.

Poppa’s world shatters. She remains in Bayeux, with her daughter, Adela. When Gisela arrives one day, demanding she hand over Adela, to be raised in Rouen, Poppa’s patience is at an end. But Gisela makes for a dangerous enemy, and only one woman will survive their confrontation high up on the cliffs.

Will Poppa live to witness the dawn of a new era?

ASCENT is the first in a new series about the early women of the House of Normandy – women whose stories have been forgotten through time.

Until now!

Readers of Viking and medieval fiction will enjoy ASCENT, a fictional account of the life of Poppa of Bayeux, handfasted wife of Rollo the Viking.

Ascent is on sale for eBook for only $.99 across all Amazon platforms!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Cathie Dunn writes historical fiction, mystery, and romance. The focus of her historical fiction novels is on strong women through time.

Cathie has been writing for over twenty years. She studied Creative Writing, with a focus on novel writing, which she teaches in the south of France. She loves researching for her novels, delving into history books, and visiting castles and historic sites.

At the moment, Cathie is working on two novels: Treachery, #2 in the House of Normandy series, about Sprota the Breton, handfasted wife of William Longsword, the son of Poppa and Rollo; and The Alchemist’s Daughter, #2 in the Affair of the Poisons series. She also continues to plot a medieval murder mystery series set in 13th century Languedoc at the height of the Cathar persecutions.

Cathie’s stories have garnered awards and praise from reviewers and readers for their authentic description of the past.

Cathie is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors, and she organises historical fiction blog tours for The Coffee Pot Book Club.

After many years in Scotland, Cathie now lives in south of France with her husband, and rescued Charlie Cat and Ellie Dog.

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Book Blast Schedule

Monday, January 9
Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, January 10
History from a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, January 11
Lisa Everyday Reads

Thursday, January 12
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, January 13
CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, January 16
Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Tuesday, January 17
Passages to the Past

Thursday, January 19
Reading is My Remedy

Friday, January 20
Coffee & Ink
Jathan & Heather


Enter to win a signed copy of Ascent by Cathie Dunn!

The giveaway is open internationally and ends on January 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Ascent Book Blast


Synopsis (from Amazon):

A device that can save a life is also one that can end it

Kadence, a new type of implanted defibrillator, misfires in a patient visiting University Hospital for a routine medical procedure—causing the heart rhythm problem it’s meant to correct. Dr. Kate Downey, an experienced anesthesiologist, resuscitates the patient, but she grows concerned for a loved one who recently received the same device—her beloved Great-Aunt Irm.

When a second device misfires, Kate turns to Nikki Yarborough, her friend and Aunt Irm’s cardiologist. Though Nikki helps protect Kate’s aunt, she is prevented from alerting other patients by the corporate greed of her department chairman. As the inventor of the device and part owner of MDI, the company he formed to commercialize it, he claims that the device misfires are due to a soon-to-be-corrected software bug. Kate learns his claim is false.

The misfires continue as Christian O’Donnell, a friend and lawyer, comes to town to facilitate the sale of MDI. Kate and Nikki are drawn into a race to find the source of the malfunctions, but threats to Nikki and a mysterious murder complicate their progress. Are the seemingly random shocks misfires, or are they attacks?

A jaw-dropping twist causes her to rethink everything she once thought she knew, but Kate will stop at nothing to protect her aunt and the other patients whose life-saving devices could turn on them at any moment.


Misfire is the second book in the excellent series by Tammy Euliano. The first is Fatal Intent, which I literally could not put down. I felt the same way about Misfire—I just didn’t want to stop reading. From the first book, I knew I was in for a complicated, twisting plot with engaging characters. I don’t usually read medical thrillers and found the writer’s style refreshing and uncomplicated. Fatal Intent introduces the main character, Kate Downey, an anesthesiologist who gets involved in the machinations of evil people. In the first book, dissimilar yet preventable deaths in a hospital lead to deep trouble for the doctor already on probation. More trouble comes from all sides as she investigates, but she also has strong allies—her Aunt Irm, her medical student Jenn, tech guy Nathan, and a potential romance in Christian.

Misfire puts the focus on pacemakers and their lethal misfires. Kate’s beloved Aunt Irm has to wear one after a recent cardiac event. What I especially like about the writing is how complicated medical issues are made less so without feeling like I’m being talked down to or the terms oversimplified, so we miss the nuances. They’re an inextricable part of Kate’s life and so they are a natural part of the character. She feels strongly about what she does for her patients and advocates for their care and safety, which is how she gets involved in these investigations. Again, lots of twists and turns, subplots to work out, and a heartbreaking but satisfying ending. Also, I like the juxtaposition of suffering hearts and her growing romance with Christian, which is difficult in different ways for both.

A five-star read, which I also highly recommend to all mystery lovers.

Author Bio:

Tammy Euliano writes medical thrillers. She’s inspired by her day job as a physician, researcher and medical educator. She is a tenured professor at the University of Florida, where she’s been honored with numerous teaching awards, nearly 100,000 views of her YouTube teaching videos, and was featured in a calendar of women inventors (copies available wherever you buy your out-of-date calendars).

When she’s not writing or at the hospital, she enjoys traveling with her family, playing sports, cheering on the Gators, and entertaining her two wonderful dogs.

Website: http://www.teuliano.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/teuliano

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

Author Marketing Experts tags for social media:

Twitter: @Bookgal

Instagram: @therealbookgal

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3Chdv7t

Goodreads link: https://bit.ly/3Z8GTqu


Severn House, December 6, 2022

The Kind To Kill

Book blurb: A missing tourist spells trouble for Senior Investigator Shana Merchant in this page-turning twisty mystery set in an atmospheric island community with a small-town vibe.

Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant is a skilled Senior Investigator keeping New York’s beautiful Thousands Islands community safe. She’s a loving partner. A strong woman. A survivor.

She’s also bound by blood to a serial killer. And after months of concealing the truth from the world as she hunted Blake Bram down, her secret is finally out.

Shana just wants to get on with her life and win back her community’s trust. But as Alexandria Bay fills up with tourists in advance of the annual festival known as Pirate Days, a visitor goes missing, and the case threatens to destroy not just the celebrations, but what remains of Shana’s reputation.

Shana’s not to blame for the killer in her family, but people are starting to whisper that she attracts trouble. That A-Bay was safer before she arrived. And as the investigation deepens, Shana starts to fear that they may be right.

Because while Bram is gone, he is far from forgotten.

Review by Coffee and Ink

In the terrible basement where Bram kept Shana, a young policeman had tried to save her and lost his life. Little A-Bay, after the death of Bram, is trying to get back to normal. Normal means tourists and Pirate Days. Shana is trying for normal, too. Continuing her relationship with Tim has become the most healing aspect of it. But like a stone thrown into a pool, the ripple effect of Bram’s life and death hasn’t ceased.

Another wonderful installment in the Shana Merchant series, number four. I’m not always a fan of police procedurals but what I love about this series is the seamless weaving of Shana’s personal life with her work life. You can blame that on Bram, of course. One of the best threads in the new novel is the journalist who wants to highlight the families of serial killers. As in Shana’s case, the families end up enduring the most of the blame, and he wants to give them a voice. Another dilemma for Shana, as she wants nothing more than to disappear into what she does best, her police work.

This is a book to be absorbed by, a more thoughtful book I wouldn’t exactly call a page-turner, but I certainly had a hard time putting it down.

A 5-star read, highly recommended.

Thanks to Simone at Books Forward and the publisher for an arc of this book,

About Tessa

Tessa Wegert is the author of the popular Shana Merchant novels, which include Death in the Family, The Dead Season, Dead Wind, and The Kind to Kill. A former freelance journalist and digital media strategist, Tessa’s work has appeared in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Adweek, and The Economist. She grew up in Quebec and now lives with her husband and children in Connecticut, where she studies martial arts and is co-president of Sisters in Crime CT.

Prior to writing novels, Tessa was the first place winner in the Crime category of the Eighth Annual Writer’s Digest Magazine Popular Fiction Awards for her short story Moms’ Night Out. In addition to her work with Sisters in Crime Connecticut, she is a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Sisters in Crime New England, and Sisters in Crime New York, and is co-director of ITW PitchFest.

(photo by Hildi Todrin/Crane Song Photography)



Preorder: The Three Lives of Alix St.Pierre

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of The Paris Seamstress , The Paris Orphan and The Paris Secret , Natasha Lester offers us a fascinating tale of another daring woman in THE THREE LIVES OF ALIX ST. PIERRE ( Grand Central/Forever; January 10, 2023 ). An orphan turned WWII spy turned fashion icon in Paris, Alix St. Pierre is an unforgettable name for an unforgettable woman.

Filled with schemes, romance, revenge, and the intrigue of international espionage, the novel expertly intersperses the savagery of war and the glamorous and golden age of French fashion.  With special appearances by Rita Hayworth and Christian Dior!


“Natasha Lester has done it again with this sumptuously written page-turner! Alix St. Pierre is everything that makes an admirable heroine – independent, plucky, and clever as the story spans from the fashionable world of Dior in Paris to the fascinating intrigue of international espionage in neutral Switzerland. The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre is a captivating novel that readers will absolutely adore.” —Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London

“Natasha Lester has expertly woven a brilliant heroine who is as brave in the fashion world as she is spying on the enemy. From page one, I was completely captivated by her daring and enamored with the glamour of Paris fashion. Unputdownable!” —Eliza Knight, USA Today bestselling author of The Mayfair Bookshop

“Natasha Lester weaves an intricate plot of espionage and revenge around fascinating true facts about the war and its aftermath. A thrilling read.” ―Ruth Druart, author of While Paris Slept

“An enthralling page turner! Luxuriant and opulent, just like Dior’s glorious gowns.” ―Tania Blanchard, author of The Girl from Munich  

“Sparkling and complex, like vintage champagne. In The Three Lives of Alix St Pierre, Natasha Lester gives us a brilliant, fascinating and multi-layered heroine whose dangerous past as a spy in World War II comes to threaten her future in glamorous post-war Paris. Lester’s masterful storytelling held me enthralled from the first page!” ―Christine Wells, author of Sisters of the Resistance

“With true-life characters, detailed descriptions, and a strong sense of place, she celebrates the glamour of Dior without shying away from the horrors endured by Italian partisans during Nazi occupation. For readers who enjoyed Code Name Hélène …or Resistance Women .” —Booklist

“The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre braids espionage, fashion, and a broken-but-unbowed heroine together into one fascinating tale. Natasha Lester weaves a triple-stranded delight!” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye


This novel absolutely radiates and illuminates. What strikes me the most at this point is the contrast between beauty and brutality as Alix’s three lives unfold on the pages. Working for Christian Dior in her present creating beauty, style, and substance in post-war Paris. In a world that won’t let go of the past—that can’t let go of the brutality of men and the war, still in shock. These bloody shadows reappear in Alix’s life as the survivors, each with a different idea of who Alix is, what part she played in the war working for the OSS. Utterly unputdownable once those secrets spill, reverberating into the present.

Precisian, silken prose, vividly alive whether the author is describing fabric or the state of the Italian partisans. Alix is an iron-willed character with a strong sense of right and wrong even when dealing with her enemies, with a sharp wit and intelligence that hides her tender heart. Had me crying by the end.

I’ve seen this author’s books around, but I resist current trends, and omygod I am so wrong to do that! I’ll definitely check out more of Natasha Lester’s books.

10-star read, recommended to all historical fiction lovers.

Thanks to Kayla at Wunderkind PR and the Hachette Group/GCP/Forever for an arc of this book.


Natasha Lester: worked as a marketing executive for L’Oreal before penning the New York Times and internationally bestselling novel The Paris Orphan . She is also the author of the USA Today bestseller The Paris Seamstress as well as several other historical fiction novels including The Riviera House , Her Mother’s Secret and A Kiss from Mr. Fitzgerald . 

When she’s not writing, she loves collecting vintage fashion, traveling, reading, practicing yoga and playing with her three children. Natasha lives in Perth, Western Australia. 

Connect with her on:

Instagram: @natashalesterauthor

Facebook : @NatashaLesterAuthor

YouTube :  Natasha Lester

Website:  NatashaLester.com

#TheLivesofLillyParris #DanielSugar #HFVBT

Salem Burning (The Lives Of Lilly Parris Book 1) by Daniel Sugar

Publication Date: February 20, 2018

In 1692, a disreputable young man named Kyle Edwards breaks his engagement by accusing his fiancee, Lilly Parris, of witchcraft.

Kyle is a liar; he does not believe in witchcraft, he is simply trying to get rid of Lilly. But Kyle is in for a shock because, as it turns out, Lilly really is a witch.

“Salem Burning” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Salem witch trials.

The Witch And The Guillotine (The Lives Of Lilly Parris Book 2) by Daniel Sugar

Publication Date: January 26, 2019

After narrowly escaping the horrors of the Salem witch trials, Lilly Parris comes of age in 18th Century France, where she is pampered by Louis XVI and pursued by one of history’s greatest fiends: Maximilien Robespierre, the monster who sent thousands of innocent men, women and children to the guillotine.

“The Witch and the Guillotine” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the French Revolution.

The Witch and the Revolution (The Lives Of Lilly Parris Book 3) by Daniel Sugar

Publication Date: March 23, 2020

As the Tsar’s subjects turn against him, Lilly Parris races to save Anastasia Romanov and her brother Alexis – the heir to the Russian throne.

The Witch and the Revolution is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Russian Revolution.

The Witch And The Resistance (The Lives Of Lilly Parris Book 4) by Daniel Sugar

Publication Date: November 13, 2020

As the Allies prepare to liberate Europe, Lilly Parris learns of a diabolical Nazi plot.

“The Witch And The Resistance” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Second World War.

The Witch And The Merry Monarch (The Lives Of Lilly Parris Book 5) by Daniel Sugar

Publication Date: August 16, 2021

After witnessing the execution of King Charles I, Lilly Parris tries to save the life of his son, Charles II.

The Witch And The Merry Monarch is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the English Civil War.

The Witch And The Physician (The Lives Of Lilly Parris) by Daniel Sugar

Publication Date: July 7, 2022

As fear grips London, Lilly Parris matches wits with one of history’s most notorious serial killers.

“The Witch and the Physician” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on a killing spree that shocked the world.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Daniel Sugar has written for a number of celebrities and for several TV shows, including “The Tonight Show, With Jay Leno”. He has always been fascinated by witches, witchcraft, the Salem witch trials, and the French Revolution. The Lives of Lilly Parris includes six novels: “Salem Burning”, “The Witch and the Guillotine”, “The Witch and the Revolution”, “The Witch and The Resistance”, “The Witch and The Merry Monarch”, and “The Witch and the Physician”.

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