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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

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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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#SigurdsSwords #EricSchumacher #HFVBTBlogTours #historicalfiction #Vikings #Norse #newrelease #KindleUnlimited

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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The Bareknuckle Groom by Holly Bush

Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Holly Bush Books

Series: The Thompsons of Locust Street, Book #2
Genre: Historical Romance

Meet the Thompsons of Locust Street, an unconventional family taking Philadelphia high society by storm…

1869 Bareknuckle champion, James Thompson, is confident his future continues with beautiful women and victories in the boxing ring. Men admire his skills, power, and quick fists, and are more than willing to bet their hard-earned coins on his name. Women admire his handsome face, his undaunted confidence, and his powerful body. Nothing will change his successfully plotted course, until…

Lucinda Vermeal arrives on the Philadelphia social scene when her father moves them to the city in the hopes that his only daughter will find a suitable partner. After all, her husband will be intimately involved with Vermeal Industries whose business interests and political connections touch France, England and all of the United States. Lucinda’s pale statuesque beauty attracts the finest of Philadelphia’s young men, but her cool and reserved attitude keep them at arm’s length. Until she meets a man willing to challenge her at every turn. Will James Thompson expose Lucinda’s passionate nature like no other man ever could?

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An Excerpt:

“You are looking particularly lovely, Lucinda,” Aunt Louisa said when she came into her dressing room as Giselle was putting the final touches on her hair.

“You look very nice too, Aunt.”

“Your father wants to see us before we leave.”

Lucinda looked in the mirror as Giselle dabbed rose water on her neck and wrists. “I’m sure he wants to tell us how lovely we look. Thank you, Giselle. That will be all.”

The door closed softly as the maid departed. “He is in a mood, dear. Let us go and hear his tirade and then enjoy ourselves to the fullest at the Pendergasts’ ball.”

Lucinda would have opened the library door without knocking, but knowing that any casual behavior only irritated her father, she would take any advantage, even if it were to wait until Laurent opened the door for her. She was quite certain what her father was going to say. There was no need to anger him further.

“Good evening, Papa. Aunt Louisa said you wished to speak to us before we left?”

Henri Vermeal stood at their entrance to the room and trained his eyes on his daughter. He waited until the door had closed behind the two women. “I trust that you will conduct yourself in a manner befitting your family’s place in society. And your aunt will make sure that all the proprieties are observed. I do not want to hear of you making a spectacle of yourself with that . . . that street ruffian. Am I understood?”

“Of course, Papa. I understand everything you have said,” she replied. She walked to his chair and stood on her toes to kiss his cheek. “I will see you tomorrow. Sleep well.”

The two women climbed into the Vermeal carriage and were seated side by side for the short ride to Nathan and Isadora Pendergast’s home.

“I don’t know what game you are playing, child, but your father is not a fool.”

“I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about, Aunt.” Lucinda turned to look out the window as the streetlights were beginning to shine.

But she did know what her aunt meant. She understood everything her father had said, but that did not necessarily mean she would abide by it. She intended to have a conversation with James Thompson. If he attended. If she did not lose her nerve. She would tell him exactly what she thought of him and his comments about her. Her stomach rolled over with the thought of confronting him. But she chided herself. She was not the daughter of Henri Vermeal for nothing. She would put that man, that street fighter, in his place.

About the Author

“Love always has something to say. Sometimes it shouts from the highest hill, and sometimes it whispers so softly one must listen closely to hear. Do not turn away. It is a rare and precious commodity. Treasure it.” The Gentrys of Paradise

Holly Bush’s historical romances are set during the turbulent and transformative years of the late 1800’s. The first two books in her newest series, The Gentrys of Paradise, released in the spring of 2017 and began with the novella Into the Evermore where readers meet Virginia horse breeders, Eleanor and Beauregard Gentry. The following books feature their children, Adam, Matthew, and Olivia. For the Brave is Matthew’s story and is the first full length book of the series. Olivia’s book, For This Moment, released in the spring of 2018. The final book, For Her Honor, is now available.

The Crawford Family Series following the fortunes of the three Boston born Crawford sisters and includes Train Station Bride, Contract to Wed, Her Safe Harbor, and companion novella, The Maid’s Quarters. Cross the Ocean and Charming the Duke are both British set Victorian romances. Fan favorites stand-alone historical romance novels include Romancing Olive and Reconstructing Jackson. Holly’s books are described as ‘emotional, with heartfelt, sexy romance.’

She also writes General Fiction under the name of Hollis Bush.

Holly makes her home with her husband, one happy Labrador Retriever and a clever Jack Russell rescued from the pound, and two difficult cats in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Connect with Holly at www.hollybushbooks.com, on Twitter @hollybushbooks, on Instagram, and on Facebook at Holly Bush. Follow Holly on her Amazon author page to receive new release updates and on BookBub to check out her reviews and get sale information.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 19
Review at Probably at the Library
Review at American Historical Novels

Tuesday, April 20
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, April 21
Excerpt at American Historical Novels
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, April 22
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Bookish Rantings

Monday, April 26
Review + Excerpt at Elodie’s Reading Corner

Tuesday, April 27
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 28
Review at Unabridged Chick

Friday, April 30
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Giveaway

Enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Bareknuckle Groom Tour

#HighlandWarrior #HeatherMcCollum #HFVBTBlogTours

Highland Warrior by Heather McCollum

Publication Date: April 27, 2021
Entangled Amara

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Sons of Sinclair, Book 2

Joshua Sinclair was once the fiercest and most notorious warrior of the mighty Sinclair clan of Northern Scotland. But now there’s nothing and no one that can make him take up arms again. Except a beautiful woman, it seems.

When Kára Flett, daughter of a fallen Norse chief, finds herself unexpectedly sheltering the strongest, most brutal warrior in the land, she throws together a risky and outrageous plan to bring him to her side. Threats of violence bounce right off him. Offers of gold seem to entice him even less. Desperate enough to use the pleas of the village children to sway him, she’s shocked when he’s completely unmoved. There’s only one tactic left for her: seduction.

Her hasty proposition falls completely by the wayside, though, as she and the Highlander come together in a carnal inferno. But bringing him into her life also brings his enemies to her clan’s doorstep—the very clan Kára is trying to protect. And as their feelings deepen, Joshua will have to decide between duty and love once and for all.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

About the Author

Heather McCollum is an award-winning, historical romance writer. With over twenty books published, she is an Amazon Best Seller and a Readers’ Choice winner.

The rugged beauty and rich history of Great Britain captivates Ms. McCollum each time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her stories since her very first book.

When she is not dreaming up adventures and conflict for brawny Highlanders and feisty heroines, she spends her time educating women on the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. She is a survivor and resides with her very own Highland hero and three spirited children in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Release Day Blast Hosts

Coffee and Ink Jessica Belmont Two Bookish Babes Passages to the Past Books, Cooks, Looks Reading is My Remedy Historical Fiction with Spirit Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

#IntotheHeartland #JackCasey #HFVBTBlogTours

Into the Heartland by Jack Casey

Publication Date: March 8, 2021
Diamonds Big As Radishes, LLC
Paperback & eBook; 404 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

A forbidden love.
An impossible dream.
And a daring venture to open America…

The year is 1810. For decades men have dreamed of reaching west of the Hudson – of unlocking the untold riches in America’s heartland. Yet, these visionaries lacked the necessary skill, willpower, and political might.

Enter: DeWitt Clinton, mayor of New York City.

Ignoring naysayers and cynics, Clinton vows to construct an audacious waterway through the wilderness to Lake Erie. For this he needs support from the highest echelons of New York society. And there is only one woman with the talent and connections for the job.

Eleanora Van Rensselaer, an aristocratic widow, rules a vast Hudson Valley estate, but her wealth and power will vanish if a dark secret is revealed. Clinton enlists her charm and intelligence to battle his formidable opponent Martin Van Buren. When Eleanora encounters Daniel Hedges, a dashing ship captain with frontier ingenuity, she knows he is the key to this massive project. Eleanora’s social savvy and Hedges’ skills make them an ideal team – if they can fight the powerful feelings growing between them.

But as America plunges into the war of 1812, they could lose all that they have built.

From America’s stunning naval victory on Lake Erie to the British invasion of Washington, D.C., Daniel and Eleanora persevere through tragedy and deep personal loss. Despite Van Buren’s plot to sabotage Clinton and expose Eleanora’s secret, Daniel and Eleanora won’t stop until they make their colossal dream a reality.

And somewhere along the way, they might just find a love that will change them, and America, forever.

Amazon

EXCERPT

“Love?” Lady Eleanora turned and frowned at her maid. “Did you say you were in love?”

Again, Kate’s idle tongue had betrayed her. Her face flushed and her nimble fingers, braiding her ladyship’s hair, darted and wove more quickly. “Yes, mum,” Kate thrust her chin up heroically. “Leastways, I believe I’m in . . . in love.”

“And what, poor lamb, would you know of love?” Lady Eleanora’s eyes gleamed with mirth. The maid stepped behind the chair to avoid her gaze, but Eleanora turned fully around. “Well?”

Kate pulled the braid and her ladyship winced. “P’rhaps it weren’t that neither.”

“But you said you were in love! I heard you!”

Kate’s eyes welled with tears. She longed to be away, out in the cool evening river breeze. “Well, to me, mum, it is!” Her breath came short and quick. “And it mayn’t be so grand as you knew, neither, but it’s the best I can ever hope for!” Now she dared to look into her mistress’ eyes and saw her smile. When Lady Eleanora smiled it was like the sun beaming on a summer morn. Only now her dark eyes held a gleam of ridicule, so Kate concentrated mightily on her work.

“Who is he?”

Kate threw up her hands and the braid fell, slowly untwining. “You mock me, mum! It’s not as though we’ll be setting up a household and scrapin’ the ground for a few bushels of corn, and raisin’ brats and growin’ mean and sour to each other! But if he should pr’pose, and mind you I believe he will, then I must think on it hard, and if I accept, as I’m not saying I won’t, then I’ll be his wife.”

Lady Eleanora spoke softly, “Who is he?”

“A groom of the stables here at the general’s manor. I’ll fetch the wig so’s you can descend the stairs to the ball. I can hear them fiddles now.”

Indeed, the strains of a Viennese waltz lilted up the stairs above the low rumble of men’s laughter.

“Let them wait, pet.” Eleanora turned to face her reflection in the mirror. She wore a low-cut sapphire gown with a lace bodice, and though her rich dark hair usually hung freely, tonight it would be tightly pinned under the heavy old-fashioned powdered wig. “Tell me more about him.”

“Why, he’s ever so nice. Joel Kipp’s his name. From Connetty-cut. He’s tall, mum, and lean, and he has such happy gray eyes. He can ride the most spirited of the general’s steeds with ease and skill. I bet he could ride your Hecate first time.”

“How does this, this love make you feel?”

Kate blushed. “It’s ever so wonderful, mum! When he speaks my name, I quiver, . . . though I’d never compromise my virtue! Never!” She shook her head seriously, then her eyes widened. “But I did kiss him once, and it stole my very breath away.” Kate pinned up the braid. “A-course it’s nothing, like you must’ve felt with Master Jacob . . . ”

The mention of her late husband stung Eleanora.

About the Author

JACK CASEY is an attorney who has handled civil, criminal and constitutional matters for thirty years in his solo practice. In HAMILTON’S CHOICE, Casey dramatizes the last three years of Alexander Hamilton’s life, and plausibly explains why he went to his first and fatal duel. Casey’s newest release, INTO THE HEARTLAND, is a sweeping saga of adversity and triumph around the building of the Erie Canal (1810–1825). His other published historical novels are LILY OF THE MOHAWKS and THE TRIAL OF BAT SHEA.

Casey graduated with honors from Yale University and Albany Law School, and has studied literature at Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities. He lives in Troy, NY and Raleigh, NC with his wife and editor, Victoria.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 19
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, April 20
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Thursday, April 22
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Friday, April 23
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, April 24
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, April 25
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Wednesday, April 28
Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, April 29
Excerpt at Donna’s Book Blog

Friday, April 30
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Monday, May 3
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Wednesday, May 5
Review at Sheila Myers Author

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of Into the Heartland by Jack Casey!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Into the Heartland

#TheForsakenChildren #NaomiFinley #HFVBTBlogTours

The Forsaken Children by Naomi Finley

Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Huntson Press

Series: The British Home Children, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction

A riveting tale of endurance and resilience, illustrating the spirit of a child and the bond between siblings.

It’s 1922. Fifteen-year-old Hazel Winters and her six-year-old brother, William, are placed on a ship by an organization that relocates British orphans and children of poverty to new homes in Canada. Arrivals in the new land are exported to distributing houses, where devastation and heartache greet the youngsters as headmistresses govern their fate.

The assurance of a better life across the ocean is far from what Hazel experiences. Through hardships and loneliness, she is determined to survive. Finding refuge in memories of the past, she clings to the dream of returning to her homeland while preserving a reunion in her heart.

In 1890, orphaned Charlotte Appleton and her sister Ellie were scooped up from London’s streets and sent to new homes across the ocean. Although mere miles kept them apart, Charlotte never knew her sister’s whereabouts until a chance interaction reunites them. Together the siblings vow to make a difference for the families and home children of an institution in Toronto, Ontario.

Can an unexpected guardian give Hazel renewed strength and resolve for a future of promise?

Based on the child emigration movement that occurred from 1869 through the late1930s, this poignant tale follows the lives of siblings who were burdensome byproducts of Britain’s poverty.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Naomi is an award-winning author living in Northern Alberta. She loves to travel and her suitcase is always on standby awaiting her next adventure. Naomi’s affinity for the Deep South and its history was cultivated during her childhood living in a Tennessee plantation house with six sisters. Her fascination with history and the resiliency of the human spirit to overcome obstacles are major inspirations for her writing and she is passionately devoted to creativity. In addition to writing fiction, her interests include interior design, cooking new recipes, and hosting dinner parties. Naomi is married to her high school sweetheart and she has two teenage children and two dogs named Egypt and Persia.

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

EXCERPT

The innocence in his sweet voice gripped my chest, and thoughts I’d grappled with since our departure filled me with despair. The sea had swallowed up Liverpool and all hopes of our return to the safety of Mum’s arms. All we had left in the world was each other.

I pulled him close, into the crook of my arm. “I reckon it’ll be mighty ’ard.”

He was quiet for a minute or two, then he said, “You ain’t gonna leave me, right, ’azel? ’Cause I don’t want to be alone.”

“You shan’t. Dad is watching over us.”

“But I can’t see ’im,” he said.

“You don’t need to. Just know ’e is.” I stroked his hair.

His brown eyes pleaded with me. “You won’t let no one take me from you?”

“You’re tired. Close your eyes and try to fink of ’appy thoughts.”

“I try to fink of Mummy. ’Er eyes and the sound of ’er ’eart against me ear. I’m afraid I will forget Mummy like I did Daddy.”

Soon after Dad had left for the war, Mum found out she was pregnant. William never knew the man who’d walked through life with pride and devotion to his family. I recalled Dad’s countless stories of the bonny lass from Ireland and my parents’ courtship. And how his eyes sparkled when he swept Mum into his arms and broke out in dance while singing “Molly Malone.” After releasing her, he would swing me around our small flat until, breathless, we’d collapse into a chair. I had resisted the memories of happy times because to think on them meant to recall all I’d lost. However, as the ship took us far from all we’d ever known, I clung to the mere glimpses in time. I bit down to stifle my sob and turned my head to hide the anguish twisting my heart.

“We must never forget where we came from,” I said. “Sleep now. When you wake, I’ll be right ’ere.”

“Promise?”

“Promise,” I said.

He rolled onto his side, and I scooped into the warmth of his body.

“Sing it, ’azel.”

I hummed the Welsh lullaby Dad had sung to me.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 12
Review & Excerpt at Novels Alive

Tuesday, April 13
Review at Nursebookie

Wednesday, April 14
Review at Girl Who Reads
Excerpt at Books & Benches

Thursday, April 15
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Friday, April 16
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Saturday, April 17
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Monday, April 19
Review at Reader_ceygo

Tuesday, April 20
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, April 21
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Thursday, April 22
Review at Impressions in Ink
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Friday, April 23
Review at Bibliostatic
Excerpt at Gwendalyn’s Books

Giveaway

Enter to win a mystery box of goodies + a copy of The Forsaken Children by Naomi Finley!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 23rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Forsaken Children

#TheRebelNun #MarjCharlier #HFVBTBlogTours

The Rebel Nun by Marj Charlier

Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Blackstone Publishing
Hardcover, AudioBook, & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Marj Charlier’s The Rebel Nun is based on the true story of Clotild, the daughter of a sixth-century king and his concubine, who leads a rebellion of nuns against the rising misogyny and patriarchy of the medieval church.

At that time, women are afforded few choices in life: prostitution, motherhood, or the cloister. Only the latter offers them any kind of independence. By the end of the sixth century, even this is eroding as the church begins to eject women from the clergy and declares them too unclean to touch sacramental objects or even their priest-husbands.

Craving the legitimacy thwarted by her bastard status, Clotild seeks to become the next abbess of the female Monastery of the Holy Cross, the most famous of the women’s cloisters of the early Middle Ages. When the bishop of Poitiers blocks her appointment and seeks to control the nunnery himself, Clotild masterminds an escape, leading a group of nuns on a dangerous pilgrimage to beg her royal relatives to intercede on their behalf. But the bishop refuses to back down, and a bloody battle ensues. Will Clotild and her sisters succeed with their quest, or will they face ex-communication, possibly even death?

In the only historical novel written about the incident, The Rebel Nun is a richly imagined story about a truly remarkable heroine.

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

Praise

‘The Rebel Nun is a boldly imagined story of one early medieval woman’s struggle against the societal forces that constrained her. It draws on historical sources that briefly mention — and condemn — the insurrection that two noble nuns led within their abbey, in Poitiers, in 589. On the basis of this sparse information, Marj Charlier imagines the incident from the perspective of one of these nuns, the noblewoman Clothild, and embeds these events within the larger story of Clothild’s life. The result is an engaging and thought-provoking tale.’ –Samantha Kahn Herrick, Associate Professor of History, Syracuse University

‘Marj Charlier takes an obscure sixth-century tale and turns it into a stunning story of a nun caught up in the misogyny of the early Christian church. Led by Clotild, a king’s bastard daughter, a group of nuns attempts to rescue their monastery from the all-male church hierarchy. Extensively researched and rich in historical detail, The Rebel Nun tells of a time when women were chattel, when priests questioned whether females had souls. Charlier’s artfully written account of Clotild’s struggle to save her medieval sisterhood from the dominance of kings and bishops is a perfect novel for today’s women.’ — Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author

‘Vividly imagines one of the most fascinating events to occur in sixth-century Gaul, bringing into focus the complexity of the early centuries of Western Christianity as the Church struggled to define its positions on clerical celibacy, the role of women, pre-Christian traditions, and its relationship to secular power. Scholars have long been fascinated with Gregory of Tours’s account of how a rebellion of nuns from the monastery of the Holy Cross in Poitiers supposedly resulted in acts of murder, plunder, and unplanned pregnancies. It is a moment that has been calling out for a writer to do it justice in a work of historical fiction, but which feat no one has dared to attempt — until now. Marj Charlier’s The Rebel Nun brings the sights, sounds, and smells of this event and its aftermath to life in a richly imagined story that is firmly rooted in equal parts rigorous historical research and inspired, creative imagination.” –Dorsey Armstrong, PhD, professor of English/medieval studies at Purdue University, and lecturer for The Great Courses (The Medieval World, The Black Death, and others)

‘What could lead nuns to armed rebellion?…This thoughtful imagining of the underlying causes and characters involved in the revolt centers on Clotild, the leader of the insurrection…Charlier carefully constructs a narrative that positions Clotild, a pagan at heart despite her outward piety, as a reluctant revolutionary who pushes for fairness in a Christian world increasingly dominated by men. With power available to so few women, Clotild dares to imagine freedom, despite its cost.’ –Booklist

‘The Rebel Nun is a gripping, well-told story of women fighting against a church and society dominated by men who are determined to defeat them in body and spirit. A great tale that will immerse you in a world so different — and not so different — from our own.’ –Philip Freeman, Fletcher Jones Chair of Western Culture at Pepperdine University, author of Saint Brigid’s Bones

‘The Rebel Nun is a wildly original, suspenseful account of a group of nuns in medieval France who must endure hardships and treachery from both outside and within their walls. It feels both historically authentic and startlingly contemporary, and I loved every word of it.’ –Elizabeth Stuckey-French, author of The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady

‘The Rebel Nun is a gripping tale of heroism and audacity in the least likely of guises — a renowned cloister under the heel of the medieval church. With meticulous research and in exacting detail, Marj Charlier brings to light the remarkable exploits of Clotild, who leads her fellow sisters on a daring escape that culminates in bloody revolt, and a place in history.’ –Denise Heinze, author of The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew

‘The story of a community of women in crisis and the power they found through their will to save themselves, The Rebel Nun tells the fictional truth behind the historical rebellion of the Holy Cross nuns in 589 CE, as recounted in her latter days by one of the rebellion’s leaders, Clotild … Rich in facts and foreshadowing, the historical novel The Rebel Nun finds in the nuns’ rebellion, and in Germanic tribal paganism, an inspirational morality tale and historical precedent for modern women to connect with their own powers, no matter the stakes.’ –Foreword Reviews

‘The Rebel Nun is a well-written window into the life of a sixth-century royal bastard and the changing landscape of holy power structures. Charlier writes a strong voice for Clotild, with vivid descriptions of a daily life that brings readers along into her world. The research shows, and Charlier does an excellent job of seamlessly integrating the historical record with her own fiction.’ –Historical Novels Review

‘A startling look into a world I never imagined visiting — a sixth-century nunnery, where one bride of Christ only a generation away from paganism breaks her vows of obedience to the church’s male hierarchy and makes it her mission to battle the corruption of bishops oppressing the sisters of the Holy Cross. A well-wrought yarn reflective of historical fact.’ –Darryl Ponicsán, author of Eternal Sojourners

About the Author

Marj Charlier began her writing career at daily and mid-size newspapers before joining the Wall Street Journal as a staff reporter. After twenty years in journalism, she pursued her MBA and began a second career in corporate finance. The Rebel Nun is her first historical novel, and her eleventh published novel.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 14
Feature at Reading is My Remedy
Review at With A Book In Our Hands

Thursday, April 15
Review at Two Bookish Babes

Friday, April 16
Excerpt at Madwoman in the Attic

Tuesday, April 20
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Wednesday, April 21
Review at Crystal’s Library

Thursday, April 22
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, April 26
Guest Post at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Tuesday, April 27
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Wednesday, April 28
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Thursday, April 29
Review at Novels Alive
Review at Into the Hall of Books

Monday, May 3
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, May 7
Review at Bookramblings

Monday, May 10
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Friday, May 14
Feature at Books, Cooks, Looks
Interview at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Rebel Nun by Marj Charlier!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Rebel Nun