The Canary Club Blitz and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
The Canary Club 
by Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:

“Bad Luck” Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.

Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.

Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams’ A CERTAIN AGE or Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS, THE CANARY CLUB by Sherry D. Ficklin will entice Historical Romance fans of all ages. This Gatsby-era tale filled with dazzling speakeasies, vicious shoot-outs, gritty gangsters, and iridescent ingenues has also been compared to the television series Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING and BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

 

 

CANARY CLUB EXCERPT 

“Is the laudanum not helping?” Doctor Mackie asks, shining a penlight in my eyes, momentarily blinding me.

I take a deep breath. Truthfully, I passed the last three bottles off to June for recreational use. Despite his assurances it will help with my insomnia, I can’t bring myself to use it. After seeing Mother abuse it so often, and with such devastating results, just the thought of it turns my stomach.

“I don’t like it,” I complain. “It makes my mind foggy.”

Putting the light down, he tsks. “That’s the point, dear.”

Far greyer than a man should be in his mid-thirties, Doc Mac has a surprisingly grandfatherly countenance. One stern look from him carries the guilt of a hundred nuns, and he gives me one now.

“I know you are under a great deal of strain, dear.” He hesitates, choosing his words very carefully. My father is his employer, so he can only complain so much about my working such long hours, my frequent headaches from the smoke and lights, and my borderline high blood pressure. We both know the culprit behind my troubles, but we also know that nothing either of us says or does will change my circumstances. “But you must try to rest. You will put yourself in an early grave otherwise.”

“Better me than someone else, I suppose,” I quip, attempting to lighten the mood, but failing.

“The laudanum will help you relax. Help you rest. You need that, at least.”

Sprawling back against the white wing-backed chair, I wave him off. “Whatever you say, Doc.”

He opens his mouth to speak, but he’s cut off by Butler, who clears his throat behind him.

“What is it?” I ask, wearily draping one arm over the headrest.

“JD just telephoned, Miss. He and your father are on their way here. Doctor, they ask that you remain here until they arrive. There has been a shooting.”

I spring forward, the bodice of my floral dress tightening around my middle, adding to tension already growing there.

“Is everyone alright?” I demand, pushing to my feet and slipping back into my t-strap shoes.

“One assumes not,” Butler responds, holding out his gloved hands. “But I gather that he and your father, at least, are unharmed.”

My breath escapes in a low hiss. Is this my fault? Retaliation for the beating I’d personally ordered on the man who’d assaulted my friend? Or was this something else entirely? Father has no shortage of enemies on his own. Even so, I mentally curse myself for adding one more name to that list—even if he’d well and truly deserved it.

Doc nods to me. “I should go wash up and get ready to receive any wounded.”

I nod, but say nothing. This is his real job, after all. Not looking after me—though Lord knows he tries to do that as well—but pulling out bullets and stitching up knife wounds. The sort of thing that can’t be done in a hospital without having to answer too many questions. I motion to Butler, who stands in the doorway still.

“Fetch some clean linens and towels. Set them up in the kitchen. It will be easier to clean up blood from the tile than the carpet.”

He bows stiffly and exits, leaving me standing in the study and wringing my hands. I should probably go, or at least hide in my room. That’s what Daddy would want. He’s very keen on pretending the violence of his world can’t reach its icy hands into my life—though deep down, I’m sure he knows better. Perhaps this will be a good thing, a way to remind him that, despite his best efforts, he can’t shelter me. He can’t keep me safe, not really. Perhaps he’ll be more open to the idea of sending me off to college, then.

I roll the thought around in my head, balancing it with the silent prayer that whoever is hurt will be all right, while wondering if using this person’s misfortune to my own advantage makes me a truly awful person.

I don’t have time to debate it too much because the front doors open with a thunderous boom, and I rush toward the sound. One young man, his face pink with exertion and speckled with sweat, carries the limp body of another as JD ushers them toward the kitchen. Father enters last, followed by Vincent, who twists his cap in his hands. Daddy rushes toward me, planting a rough kiss on my forehead.

“You should go to your room, darling. You don’t need to see this,” he mutters, nearly pushing me down the hall. Then he points toward Doc, who is ushering the boys into the kitchen. “Take care of that boy. He saved my life.”

I dig my feet into the long carpet. “No, that’s alright, Daddy. I want to see if I can help.”

Without giving him a chance to respond, I hurry to the kitchen, throwing open the door just in time to see Doc lean over the young man now laid across our antique mahogany table.

The one who’d been carrying him backs up against the sink, watching Doc work with intent eyes.

“What can I do?” I ask, taking a spot across the table.

Doc doesn’t even look up; he simply hands me a towel. “Apply pressure here while I remove the bullet.”

Taking the towel, I press it to the young man’s side, drawing a deep groan from the mostly unconscious patient.

Doc uses his light to check the boy’s eyes. Though his face is spotted with blood, his skin paler than my fine bone china, there’s something attractive about him in the cut of his jaw and the small, barely noticeable dimple in his chin. As soon as the thought comes, I shake it away, forcing myself to remain clinical as Doc cuts off his shirt and tie with a pair of medical shears.

No time for that now.

“Young man, can you hear me?” Doc asks as he sets to work. “What’s your name?”

The other boy answers, “It’s Benny. Benjamin.”

“Alright Benny, this is going to hurt, but I need you to lie very still.”

Doc motions to the other boy, then to me. “You two are going to need to hold him.”

I almost ask why since he clearly isn’t responsive, but the other boy takes one shoulder, just above where Doc begins to cut. As soon as the metal pierces his skin, the boy bucks, his eyes flying open. I struggle to hold his other side, pinning him to the table with all the weight I have.

Finally, there’s a wet popping sound, and Doc wrenches the bullet free. Blood flows in earnest now, down Benny’s arm and soaking his chest. The boy whimpers through gritted teeth. Doc wets a rag with some laudanum, pressing it over his nose and mouth for a few seconds. When he finally draws it back, the boy’s head lulls to the side, his green eyes wide.

Leaning over, I lower my face close to his. “Are you alright?”

He opens and closes his mouth a few times, as if it isn’t quite functioning.

Finally, he half grins and manages to slur, “I can’t feel my tongue.”

I let out a sharp laugh, and he smiles up at me. “Hey, you’re really pretty.”

“You aren’t too shabby yourself,” I offer with a grin. “I mean, except for being full of holes and all.”

He frowns. “Why am I full of holes?”

His face is so full of concerned innocence that it’s hard not to smile. “Because you got shot, silly.”

“I got shot?” His head jerks up in alarm. “Is everyone else alright?”

“Calm down,” I say, soothing him as best I can with a hand on his shoulder. Then, realizing I’d almost forgotten to keep pressure on the towel at his side, I return to it. “Everyone else is fine.”

He nods once, his expression relaxing again. “I feel pretty good, considering. Really good, actually.”

“That’d be the laudanum Doc gave you. Takes the edge off,” I offer, my eyes flicking up to Doc. He’s slowly stitching up the hole in the boy’s shoulder. The bleeding has mostly stopped; it’s just sort of weeping now. “But you’re gonna be fine, Benjamin. Just rest now.”

His eyes flicker up to mine. “That’s a shame.”

“What is?” I ask.

“That I’m gonna be fine. I kinda like being here with you.”

I sigh. “Oh, you like bleeding out on my kitchen table?”

He nods once, his face serious. “Whatever it takes.” He hesitates, then continues, “But just in case I don’t make it, do me a solid and look in on Aggie for me.”

I raise one eyebrow. “Aggie… that your girl?”

But his eyes roll back and his face goes slack, his head rolling to the side once more.

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Glitter and Gold (A Canary Club Prequel) is currently FREE!

Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

Author Bio:

Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Sherry also writes contemporary romance under the pen name SJ Noble. You can find her at her official website, www.sherryficklin.com, or stalk her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin.

 

 

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Hidden Sea: Playlist and Giveaway

HIDDEN SEA
by
MILES ARCENEAUX
  Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Suspense
Date of Publication: November 2017
Number of Pages: 384
Scroll down for giveaway!
Charlie Sweetwater saw Mexico—especially the Mexican Gulf Coast—as a spiritual second home. He’d worked, played and lived there for much of his life, and thought the country suited him better than anywhere this side of his home on the Texas Coast.
But now a worrisome and potentially dangerous development has shown up on Charlie’s radar. Young Augustus Sweetwater, affectionately known as Augie, hasn’t reported in after completing a south-of-the-border sales trip for Sweetwater Marine. Raul, Augie’s father and Charlie’s nephew, is worried sick. Drug cartel violence in Mexico has reached epidemic proportions and Augie’s path took him through the heart of the narcotraficantes’ territory.
Charlie figures Augie just went off the grid to do some well-deserved fishing, surfing and beer-drinking at the end of his trip. He’d done the same in his time. But as Augie’s unexplained absence grows, Charlie and Raul become increasingly alarmed and set off for Mexico to bring their boy home.
What they unearth is far more than the sum of their fears. The familiar and friendly Gulf of Mexico has turned into a hidden sea plagued by smugglers, human traffickers, crooked politicians and even pirates. And Augie is lost somewhere in the middle of it all.
Charlie and Raul must summon an unlikely cast of characters to aid them, including a hilariously dissolute ex-pat musician, a priest whose faith struggles against the rising tide of refugee migration, a Mexican tycoon who may have secrets of his own and a beautiful maritime “repo man”. At the end of their quest, as the deepest secret of all is revealed, Charlie Sweetwater learns that neither Raul and Augie, nor the Gulf of Mexico, nor even himself, will ever be the same again.
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Praise for Hidden Sea:

“A riveting story from Texas that wanders down the cartel-invested Gulf Coast of Mexico and drifts across to lawless Cuba. The characters are as salty as the sea and the plot pulls you along as powerfully as the loop current.
W.F. Strong, Stories from Texas, Texas Standard Radio Network
“Hidden Sea is a total blast: smart, funny, and riveting, with unforgettably colorful characters and a world so alive that you’ll swear you’re really there.”
Lou Berney, Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone
  
“In Hidden Sea, Miles Arceneaux tosses us in the drink of a timely contemporary adventure tale with the Sweetwater clan, complete with pirates, slave ships, family secrets, and the mother of all plot twists, in his patented Gulf Coast noir style.”

Michelle Newby Lancaster, Contributing Editor, Lone Star Literary Life, NBCC Literary Critic

Purchase Links:
 

Check out Miles Arceneaux’s playlist for Hidden Sea

(Spotify account required or sign-up for a FREE Spotify account)

“Miles Arceneaux” is the pen name of three long-time Texas friends. James R. Dennis is a former attorney turned Dominican friar who lives in San Antonio. Brent Douglass is an international businessman from Austin. John T. Davis, also of Austin, is a journalist and author. Together, as “Miles,” they have been featured authors at the Texas Book Festival, the San Antonio Book Festival, and the Lubbock Book Festival.
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Grand Prize: Autographed copies of all five Gulf Coast series books by Miles Arceneaux + a copy of Geoff Winningham’s Traveling the Shore of the Spanish Sea — The Gulf Coast of Texas and Mexico
Two Runners-Up: Each win an autographed copy of Hidden Sea

October 11-October 20, 2017
U.S. Only
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Monsters and Angels Excerpt and Giveaway

 

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Book details:
 
Monsters & Angels 
by Anne Marie Andrus
Publication date: October 11th 2017
Genres: Historical, New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Synopsis:

Fledgling nurse Sorcha Alden knew she had the skills to save lives, but she never dreamed that her own life would be the one in danger.

Driven by tragedy to honor her family name, Sorcha embarks on a journey that takes her from the bleak but familiar streets of New York, through the sultry and seductive city of New Orleans, and into the brutal jungles of Nepal. Forging friendships and carrying on her mother’s mission of healing was her dream. Plunging into a love affair with the mysterious Dr. Ashayle could have been a fairytale.

Being murdered and waking up as a blood-thirsty monster—became her living nightmare.

Torn away form a life that had just begun, Sorcha returns to New Orleans as a newborn vampire, forced to start over in a cutthroat underworld of devilry and decadence. Complicated politics, bitter rivals and jealous ancestors stand between her and the promises she’s still determined to keep.

In a realm where the boundary between good and evil is as murky as the Mississippi River and immortal does not mean invincible, will Sorcha ever risk her shattered heart and love again? Can the magical harmony of the Crescent City give her enough courage to fulfill her eternal destiny?

 

Excerpt:

Hospitals were worse than high school. Everyone knew everyone else’s business. Plenty of people saw Vir and Sorcha disappear into the woods at the festival and come running back when the ground shook.

“The earthquake was terrifying.” Sorcha hid her face in her hands.

“And, common for this region,” Zelia said.

“Everyone laughed at us.”

Chère, they’re jealous.”

Sorcha slumped onto the stool in front of her dressing table. “Of what?”

“The power couple. Young, beautiful and in love.”

“Love is a stretch.”

“Since the festival, he’s been here every night for dinner or tea. It’s obvious Vir adores you.” Zelia picked up a lock of Sorcha’s hair. “Split ends.”

“What do the Sisters think?”

“He’s a gentleman and gives them no excuse to object.” Zelia grabbed scissors. “Let me trim an inch.”

“Just a wee inch.” Sorcha stared at her friend’s smile in the mirror. “He adores me?”

“Maybe you caused the earthquake.”

 

 

Purchase Link:

Amazon

 

Book Trailer:

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Anne Marie has been an equestrienne, chorale singer, candy-striper, EMT, and baseball fan. Roaming the back roads of New Jersey with her family, she found great respect for antiques, historical locations and the stories they hold. Her current list of favorite pastimes include coffee, bourbon, and Les Miserables–which requires more bourbon. She has been known to attend sporting events just for the flyover. The boat she and her husband christened Glory Days, is her escape from the chaos of everyday life.

The inspiration for Anne Marie’s debut novel, Monsters & Angels, is her fascination with vampires and her passion for everything New Orleans. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working nights with the critical care team in a busy trauma center.

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The Unremembered Girl: Review and Giveaway

Rating:


THE UNREMEMBERED GIRL

by
ELIZA MAXWELL
  Genre: Psychological Suspense / Mystery
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of Publication: November 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 332

Scroll down for giveaway!

 

In the deep woods of East Texas, Henry supports his family by selling bootleg liquor. It’s all he can do to keep his compassionate but ailing mother and his stepfather—a fanatical grassroots minister with a bruising rhetoric—from ruin. But they have no idea they’ve become the obsession of the girl in the woods.
Abandoned and nearly feral, Eve has been watching them, seduced by the notion of family—something she’s known only in the most brutal sense. Soon she can’t resist the temptation to get close. Where Henry’s mother sees a poor girl in need, his father sees only wickedness. When Henry forges an
unexpected bond with Eve, he believes he might be able to save her. He doesn’t know how wrong he is.
Eve is about to take charge of her own destiny—and that of Henry’s family. As both their worlds spin violently out of control, Henry must make an impossible choice: protect the broken young woman who’s claimed a piece of his soul, or put everyone he loves at risk in order to do the right thing.


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Praise for The Grave Tender, Maxwell’s previous book:

“An emotional powerhouse of a story that will leave readers reeling from the beginning to the end.” —Christena Stephens, Forgotten Winds

“Beautiful and intoxicating.” —Chelsea Humphrey, The Suspense is Thrilling Me

“Haunting. Lyrical. Beautiful. Dark. At times, sickening.” —Julia Byers, Books in the Garden

“This is dark psychological suspense that skillfully inspires a slow-dawning dread. . .It will shred you.” — Michelle Newby, Lone Star Literary Life
CLICK TO PURCHASE

Check out the book trailer!


The Unremembered Girl is a riveting and captivating story. For fans of Shutter Island, this story will surely unravel your heart just as deeply. It’s a psychological suspense with a heart wrenching twist that you won’t see coming. It’s dark, its gripping, and it’s the kind of read that will keep you up late at night just so you can tear through the pages. A novel worth devouring!


The Unremembered Girl is told by multiple points of view. There’s Henry, Caroline, Eve, Jonah, Del, Alice, and Livingston. Henry has longed to serve his country but remains at his sick mothers side to help take care of her. In the mean time, his mother Caroline takes in a damaged and quiet girl Eve that has been living in the woods. This girl has been emotionally broken and hurt in absolutely horrible ways. Caroline gives her a home, gives her love, and does her best to take care of the girl. Henry too begins to feel like he’s Eve’s protector and does everything he can to help the girl with her haunting past. A past that has twisted and tormented the poor girl into something dark that Henry isn’t sure he can save her from.

I loved everything about this book, from the characters, to the driven and fast pace plot, and to the suspense and thrill of the mystery behind Eve. This book is gripping and truly an unstoppable force. You won’t be able to put this book down. Get ready though for some heartache!

Eliza Maxwell, whom gave us a gripping read with The Grave Tender, has truly done it again! You don’t want to miss this truly spectacular read!

Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with her ever patient husband and two kids. She’s an artist and writer, an introvert and a British cop drama addict. She loves nothing more than to hear from readers. You can find her at theelizamaxwell@gmail.com
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Grand Prize ($90 value): Autographed copy of The Unremembered Girl, 1.75 mL bottle of Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka, Jusalpha white porcelain decorative cake stand, recipe for “Caroline’s Coconut Cake” (featured in the book), $20 Amazon Gift Card.
2nd Prize: Autographed copy of The Unremembered Girl, $10 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Prize: Autographed copy of The Unremembered Girl
October 5-October 14, 2017
(U.S. Only; proof of age 21 or older required to receive vodka)
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Blog Reveal Giveaway

Hello everyone! The time has finally come to celebrate our new banner for The Page Unbound. We’ve been working on some changes to our website which you’ll soon be able to explore. Plus some great updates later this month!!

What better way to celebrate than a giveaway! See below for the exclusive items a lucky winner will win on Halloween.

 

Giveaway items:

The hand made bag  is signed by the following authors: Stephanie Perkins, Julie Buxbaum, E. Lockhart, S.J. Kincaid, Erin Bowman, Lisa Maxwell, Renee Watson, Corrie Wang, Cindy Pon, Amy Tintera, Ashely Poston, Adam Silvera, and Ryan Graudin

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Gate Of Air: Review and Giveaway

Gate of Air 
By Resa Nelson 
(Dragon Gods, #1) 
Publication date: June 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Book Synopsis

 

burning woman,illustration digital painting

Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them.

The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. Only an old map can show her how to get there. Once she arrives, all of Frayka’s sensibilities put her in danger. And every dangerous turn delays her from finding the dragon gods whose help she so desperately needs.

Although Frayka looks like a Far Easterner, she is a powerful Northlander warrior who is quick to voice her thoughts. She is trained to fight and won’t hesitate to do so.

But everything about Frayka puts her in deadly peril in the Far East, where the laws are strict and the punishment cruel.

Especially when the one being punished is a woman.
 
 
Purchase

 

99¢ for a limited time only!

 

Review

 

Another great book with dragons that drew me in. This is a fast paced tale that will easily tempt you to finish reading in a day. Nelson has a unique style of writing and humor that was really enjoyable and easy to read. I liked the chemistry between the characters and overall concept the story followed. It was interesting delving into the culture of the Far East with all sorts of magic thrown in!

 

Frayka is tasked with an important mission but still wishes to be herself and can be brash at times. As her and Njall travel to the Far East, she is faced with learning a new culture different from her own. The flow is Gate of Air was easy to follow and I could easily appreciate the details Nelson created in her book. I read this as the first book of the series but didn’t have any issue following along in this thrilling world. The ending will leave you on the edge of your seat and surely wanting more!

 

About the Author

 

Resa Nelson is the author of the 4-book Dragonslayer series: The Dragonslayer’s Sword (nominated for the Nebula Award, finalist for the EPPIE Award), The Iron Maiden , The Stone of Darkness , and The Dragon’s Egg . Her 4-book Dragonfly series takes place after the Dragonslayer series.

Her standalone novels include the mystery/thrillers All Of Us Were Sophie and Our Lady of the Absolute .

Resa has been selling short stories professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and she is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years as well as a regular contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

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A Memory of Fire Excerpt and Giveaway

A Memory of Fire
R.L. Stedman
(SoulNecklace Stories #3)
Publication date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

About my wrist is a tattoo of roses, strung like beads on a bracelet of thorns. I have a past, if only I could remember — but I cannot remember.

Held captive in a strange city, Dana dreams of fire and flight. There is something she must find, but she does not know what it is, or why it is important. If only her dreams would let her rest.

Half a world away, Will studies a new, exciting discipline. But while N’tombe the enchantress is impressed by his newfound skills, inside he feels only desperation. A terrible moment is approaching; soon, Dana must face her final ordeal. Is his new power enough to save her? And is he prepared for what might happen next?

In this thrilling conclusion to the award-winning SoulNecklace Stories, Will and Dana must make a heart-breaking choice. A choice that may change their world forever.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

Excerpt:

“Will never enjoyed sea travel. At best it was boring; at worst it was downright dangerous. He preferred solid ground. Traveling on foot might be tiring and hard on the shoes, but it carried one advantage: you couldn’t be drowned.

“Ready?” TeSin asked.

Will settled the blindfold across his eyes. “Not really.”

The strangest part of this journey was that TeSin, a warrior Will had left for dead, was teaching him a new fighting technique! Who would have thought an enemy might become a teacher?

TeSin laughed. “I will be kind.”

Will doubted this, but he raised his staff anyway. Clack! TeSin knocked it aside. “Hey!” Will rubbed his stinging palms.

“You must try,” TeSin said.

“I am trying.”

“You think you try.”

Lifting his blindfold, Will peered in irritation at the older man. “What more can I do?”

TeSin raised his staff. “Try again.” 

Above in the rigging sailors made bets with each other: which fighter would take the first hit, when would Will be knocked out, how long each bout would last. None of the bets favored Will.

Focus.

The sailors fell silent. TeSin’s feet moved just as the ship lifted on the swell, and for a moment Will knew exactly what TeSin would do; he would lift his sword arm, raise the other as a guard, then lunge forward, drive the point home. Will swung his staff down, blocking the lunge, and twisted. A sailor howled in annoyance (ha! Someone lost their bet), and the Noyan’s warm breath touched Will’s face. Will swept his left leg forward and bashed his head toward TeSin. Their foreheads connected, hard.

“Ugh!” TeSin grunted.

Will heard the man stagger sideways. The Noyan was a bad sailor. Perhaps he had a chance after– “Uh!” he grunted, as TeSin’s staff caught him in the belly. Will staggered backwards and fell hard on the wooden deck.

From above, the sailors cheered. “Come on, lad!” “My money’s on the foreign one!” “Get up, boy!”

Awkwardly, Will got to his feet and, catching his breath, stood listening. The soft plut-plut of the waves; the snap of the wind in the canvas above; the shouting of the sailors; the soft glide of the Noyan’s bare feet on the deck.

And here comes the lunge. Will ducked, felt the sideswipe skim across his back and his kick. He jumped backwards and felt the Noyan’s foot just miss his face. Quite suddenly, the dance of the fight caught him. Oh, he loved those moments; when everything focused on the now. Will didn’t need to see. In the very center of his being, Will knew TeSin’s next move. He feinted; left, right, and barreled forward. His shoulder caught the Noyan hard in the belly (fighting like children!) and the man toppled backwards.

“Go lad!” shouted one sailor, but the rest booed. Doubtless they had lost money.

Will grinned and tore off the blindfold. TeSin lay on the deck coughing, but he smiled, and lifted an arm to Will. “You do well.”

Will took the offered hand and pulled the Noyan onto his feet. “Thank you.” He waved the blindfold at the sailors. “So. Who bet on me?” Two swarthy men raised their hands, grinning. “Thank you, boys. When we’re next in port, I’ll be buying you drinks.” “

 

Author Bio:

Award-winning author Rachel Stedman lives in Dunedin, New Zealand with her husband and two children. Her first novel, A Necklace of Souls, won Best First Novel at the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2014. In 2012 Rachel was the winner of the Tessa Duder Award and was shortlisted for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award. If she’s not got her nose in a book, she’s on instagram or twitter (@rlstedman) or at her local library. Her website is www.RLStedman.com.

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Loving Luther: Promo

LOVING LUTHER

By ALLISON PITTMAN

  Genre: Christian Historical Romance 

Publisher: Tyndale House

Date of Publication: September 1, 2017

Number of Pages: 432

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Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows–a choice more practical than pious–but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.

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Praise for Loving Luther:

[Pittman] pens an exquisite tale, capturing the emotions of a nun grappling with the faith she’s always known vs. a new and unfamiliar freedom in faith.  Simmering with tension of Katharina’s discontent and longings, the novel unveils a slow morphing that follows Katharina’s own personal transformation, from reverence to spirited determination in choosing her own way in the world. — Booklist

Loving Luther is a moving and rich historical romance based on Luther’s relationship with his wife Katharina.  In addition, it shows how their marriage was actually significant to the Lutheran faith.  Instead of dwelling on the couple’s courtship, the story goes deep into the roots of the Reformation.  Luther and Katharina interrogate their faith, living out their convictions in a way that is both inspiring and profoundly human.  Loving Luther has depth, and it is unexpectedly touching.  Katharina and Luther, in search of a happy ending, find one another.  Their love, Pittman shows, really did change the world. — Foreword Magazine

A historical novel with characters who are brave, strong and willing to take chances in times of persecution.  The plot is partially based on the teachings of Martin Luther and the many lives he changed, some for the better, some for the worse.  Pittman is a talented author who touches on topics that have been debated over the decades and are still being talked about today. — Romantic Times Reviews

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Eight Things I Learned about Martin Luther

Guest Post by Allison Pittman

Luther was fond of singing and pioneered the inclusion of congregational singing as part of the worship service. His hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” has maintained a prominence in worship, and even has its place in pop culture on the popular show Gilmore Girls. (“Dude, what’s a bulwark?”)

Gilmore Girls link

Luther was centuries ahead of his time in his views of gender equality. An excerpt from “The Estate of Marriage,” published in 1522:

Now you tell me, when a father goes ahead and washes diapers or performs some other mean task for his child, and someone ridicules him as an effeminate fool, though that father is acting in the spirit just described and in Christian faith, my dear fellow you tell me, which of the two is most keenly ridiculing the other? God, with all his angels and creatures, is smiling, not because that father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith. Those who sneer at him and see only the task but not the faith are ridiculing God with all his creatures, as the biggest fool on earth. Indeed, they are only ridiculing themselves; with all their cleverness they are nothing but devil’s fools.

He loved his wife, his home…and his beer.  (pretty much in that order) From a letter to his “Dear Kathie” dated July 29, 1534:

Yesterday I had to take a nasty drink, and I do not like what is not good. I keep thinking what good wine and beer I have at home, as well as a beautiful wife, or shall I say lord? And you would do well to send me over my whole cellar of wine and a bottle of thy beer, or else I shall not be back before the new beer is ready.

Luther married his wife after a couple of unsuccessful attempts at matchmaking. From a letter to Heironymus Baumgartner, a young student in Nurnberg, October, 1524:

Moreover, if you intend marrying Katherine von Bora, make haste before she is given to someone else, for C. Glatz, pastor in Orlamunde, is ready waiting. She has not yet got over her love for you. I wish that you two were married.

He wasn’t afraid to present the gospel to anyone—including the King of England. An excerpt from a letter to Henry VIII, September 1, 1525

Is it not almost a miracle when a king or prince loves the gospel? Oh, how I long to be able to rejoice over such a miracle in your Majesty! Would that God, before whom I write this, would endue my words with power, so that the King of England may, ere long, become a devoted disciple of the Lord Christ and a confessor of the gospel, and also Luther’s most gracious lord.

Luther is the reason you battle with strings of lights every Christmas. While Christians used boughs of evergreen to decorate their homes for Christmas, Martin Luther is credited with attaching small candles to the branches. Legend says he was inspired by the stars twinkling through the trees on a crisp winter night.

Source: History.com

Luther was an early spokesperson for Staying in School. In 1530 he wrote a sermon on the subject, saying:

For in this [education] they have shown generous Christian consideration of their subjects, contributing faithfully to their eternal salvation as well as to their temporal well-being and honor. God will assuredly strengthen such a work with ever increasing blessings and grace, though the devil must strive against it for a while since he cannot be happy when so excellent a tabernacle is built to the Lord in this sun. He must assemble clouds and mist and dust, trying in every way to keep such glory from shining too far, or at least to dim its splendor.

Martin Luther had a sense of humor, quoted as saying, “If God has no sense of humor, I don’t want to go to heaven.” His sharp wit brought focus to matters of complex theology to basic human nature.

Source: Uncommon Travel Germany (translated)

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties.

She lives near San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike.

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

 

10/2 Author Video #1 Texan Girl Reads
10/2 Excerpt, Part 1 Chapter Break Book Blog
10/3 Review Hall Ways Blog
10/3 Author Interview StoreyBook Reviews
10/4 Author Video #2 A Page Before Bedtime
10/5 Review Syd Savvy
10/6 Guest Post The Page Unbound
10/6 Scrapbook Page Books in the Garden
10/7 Review Books and Broomsticks
10/8 Author Video #3 Missus Gonzo
10/8 Excerpt, Part 2 Forgotten Winds
10/9 Review Reading by Moonlight
10/9 Review Margie’s Must Reads
10/10 Author Video #4 Tangled in Text
10/11 Review The Librarian Talks

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The Divine Heart Promo and Giveaway

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The Divine Heart

by Danielle R. Mani

Genre: YA Paranormal

Release Date: September 27th 2017

 

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Elle Collins spent most her life waiting for someone else to die…

When a heart donor is found, Elle awakes from surgery gifted with more than just a new heart—clairaudient messages and spiritual apparitions haunt her until she is convinced that she must be insane. Either that, or her donor is sending a message.

Desperate for answers the medical community can’t provide, Elle’s divination leads her to the family of her donor—a young girl named, Cas. With the help of her best friend, Rob—the guy who’s a testament that her new heart is capable of love, Elle must make sense of the clues Cas is sending. As pieces of Cas’s life and death emerge, Elle will discover that she and Cas share more than just a heart.

 

Excerpt:

She lets out a long sigh. “I heard that you received the heart of a girl about the same age as you.” She looks at me intently. I can tell she’s trying to read my expression, but I play it cool and keep a straight face. “She had an accident, honey.” After a long pause and a moment of uncomfortable silence, she continues. “There was nothing anyone could do,” She takes a deep breath and pushes the strands of hair away from my face. “Are you okay?”

“I am,” I say, surprised by my composure. A sense of calm washes over me and I use my pain as a guide to trace my fingers over my chest. I feel the bulkiness of the bandages under the linen hospital gown and rest my hand over my chest. It takes a moment before I feel the beating of my new heart. It’s different—steadier. I slide my tongue over my lips and taste the salt of my tears. Thank you. Thank you. I’m not exactly sure whom I’m thanking—God or my donor. It doesn’t feel right to thank God for what’s happened. He couldn’t have taken this girl’s life just to save mine. Closing my eyes tightly, I say a quiet prayer. I wish I knew your name. Then I could know whose soul I am praying for.

“Cas!” The voice is a soft, willowy whisper. I open one eye and gaze around the room. My mother is seated in the chair next to me, a closed People Magazine on her lap. She’s staring at a blank TV screen, lost in thought. The nurse is standing in the doorway, speaking with a doctor. From where I lie, I can’t see anyone else around.

“Cas!”

 

 

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About the Author

Danielle R. Mani is a fan of the paranormal in both print and film. In her first book, The Divine One, Ms. Mani combines supernatural fiction with the everyday dramas of young adulthood. Her newest YA paranormal novel, The Divine Heart, is scheduled to be released later this year. Ms. Mani holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in communications. She is currently a doctoral student studying parapsychology. She resides in Westchester, New York, with her husband, four children, two dogs, and two rescue cats.

 

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Across the Darkling Sea: Review and Giveaway

Rating:

Across the Darkling Sea
K. Ferrin
Publication date: November 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: 3/5

Book Summary:

Across the Darkling Sea is the first book in the new serial fantasy series Magicfall, by K. Ferrin!

Magic is forbidden in Brielle, but that never stopped Evelyn. Until Now. Because Evelyn has discovered she is magic, and now she is running for her life.

Her only hope is on an island cloaked in shadow, an island of dark magic and even darker beasts. An island warlocks call home.

Evelyn’s friends have turned against her, her own mother tried to kill her, and the place she calls home has banished her. Hidden away in the belly of a riverboat, a stowaway, her journey begins.

Across the Darkling Sea is book one in a serial series. Each book is roughly 50,000 words or about 150 pages. To emphasize, this is a serial series, meaning it’s one story that stretches across multiple books.

 

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My Review:

Across the Darkling Sea is a charming and captivating tale about a girl named Ling whom finds out that she is a changeling, finds the “her” she thought she was in a deep sleep, and decides to find her maker and be unmade so that the girl, Evelyn, can wake up from her sleep. Beautiful premise and it instantly wove a place in my heart as Ling set out on her daring quest. Ling is everything you want in a classic heroine, driven, brave, and sincere.

As for other characters go, I simply loved Dreskin, but he wasn’t in it enough! He’s a certain ship member that decides to help Ling on her journey. He’s mysterious and I found myself eagerly wanting to know more about it. Perhaps we will find out in book 2!

The only thing I wasn’t a fan of with this book is that it does sort of just end. But it’s the kind of ending that makes you ready and excited for book 2!

If you like magic and fairies and ships and fantasy then this book is definitely for you!

Author Bio:

K. Ferrin spends her days surrounded by engineers, technology, and humming

machinery, but her evenings are steeped in magic, myth, and adventure. She writes fantasy, loves gardening, and eats way too much pie. She lives at the foot of the Colorado Rockies with her husband and two pooches.

Her novels include the stand alone YA fantasy novel Magicless, as well as Across the Darkling Sea, and A Dying Land, the first two books of a series. You can find her online at www.kferrin.com.

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