Showing posts with label historical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label historical. Show all posts

Thursday, May 3, 2018

"Scarlet" by Jen Geigle Johnson

by Jen Geigle Johnson

Scarlet by Jen Geigle Johnson

This book blast and giveaway for Scarlet by Jen Geigle Johnson is brought to you by I Am A Reader.

For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on The Nobleman’s Daughter.

The roads in and out of Paris are heavily guarded, but the dead have easy passage out of the city. A ragged old woman transports the coffins of the most recent victims of the guillotine and is waved on unimpeded. Later, the same crone watches five French aristocrats step out of their coffins unscathed. Not beheaded, but spirited away to safety by that most elusive of spies: the Pimpernel. Or, as she’s known in polite society, Lady Scarlet Cavendish.
When not assuming her secret identity as a hero of the French Revolution, Scarlet presents herself as a fashionable, featherbrained young widow flitting about London. In truth, this façade is merely a diversion designed to conceal her clandestine work in France. Among members of the doomed French aristocracy, the Pimpernel is renowned for her bravery and cunning. But when tasked with rescuing handsome Comte Matteo Durand, she faces an unprecedented challenge: she is falling in love with the man. If ever there was a time to keep her head, it is now - because in a world brimming with intrigue, she is not the only one harboring secrets. And if Scarlet doesn’t take care, Madame la Guillotine may finally catch up with the Pimpernel ...

“I think you look handsome.”
“Well, that is something, but coming from a woman in your current attire, I hesitate to lay much weight to your approval.” His eyebrow quirked as his gaze searched her from toe to headdress. A chuckle escaped. “What can you mean by dressing us in such a manner?”
His incredulity gave her pause to question. She had pushed the ridiculous to its upper limits, hoping their decoy would further dispel any possible suspicion of her involvement in serious rescue attempts from France. And by involving Matteo, perhaps convince a few suspicious minds of his new allegiance to wealth, pleasure, and fashion. “I have a reputation to uphold, my dear.”
“Am I to now share in your love of fashion extremes?” He gestured to the embroidery on his sleeves.
“For France, darling. If we appear thus, we set ourselves as the supreme leaders in fashion. And besides the prince himself, everyone will turn to us.” All true, naturally, but an equally important great disguise and sleight of hand were at play as well.
“And you feel that men of substance, men I would care to influence, will have any respect for me at all? I am wearing purple breeches. Could I not simply wear my usual tan or black?”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I loved this story and was intrigued by a female Pimpernel. The characters were great and I loved the costumes. […] This was a sweet, clean romance with wonderful mystery and suspense.” ~ Donna
“Jen handled her adaptation beautifully, she makes the history of this tumultuous era come alive. Those familiar with the fictional world of The Pimpernel will appreciate her salute to the original and lovers of history will applaud how she makes the French Revolution personal, and intimate. […] The violence is moderate due to the nature of the French Revolution and while Jen’s description was accurate and poignantly, it was neither too graphic or distorted. She handled a rather violent setting admirably.” ~ Bookconfessions
“I loved this sweet, clean romance. It had mystery, suspense and a wonderful love story. It was easy to give this book a 5 star rating. I can't wait to read more books by this author.” ~ L. Beers
“The French Revolution is so horrifying, but Johnson did a great job showing the realities without being overly gruesome; she didn't make it too graphic but also didn't downplay it. Well-written and engaging, this is a great choice for fans of historical fiction.” ~ Adrienne
“… if you like the story of the Scarlet Pimpernel & also enjoy stories based on actual historical events then this the book for you. This is the second book I have read from this author & I have not been disappointed! Definitely going to be keeping a look out for the next one!” ~ Stace

About the Author
Jen Geigle Johnson
Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep’s roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.
Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

"A Pirate at Pembroke" by Danielle Thorne

A Pirate at Pembroke
by Danielle Thorne

A Pirate at Pembroke by Danielle Thorne

A Pirate at Pembroke by Danielle Thorne has just been released. This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by I Am a Reader.

Keeping company with a reputed pirate is one thing, but falling in love with him could ruin the eccentric Crestwood family for good …
Sophie Crestwood is never going to catch a husband, and she isn’t even sure she wants one. Her father is a gossip, her mother always has her nose in a book, and little Jack has shamefully been dismissed from boarding school. Worst of all, a pirate moves next door into Pembroke Hall!
When Sophie’s sent to a matchmaking party at a neighboring estate, the pirate from Pembroke arrives and distracts everyone from the summer festivities. Unguarded, her feelings about the mysterious Captain Murdock bloom into a trusted friendship that Sophie fears may come to mean much more than anyone would ever suspect. Keeping company with a reputed pirate is one thing but falling in love with him could ruin the eccentric Crestwood family for good.

He held a handful of her shift in his fist. She had not snagged it after all. Rather, he had snagged her. She jerked in surprise, but his hold kept her from falling backward and tumbling down the stairs. His other hand trembled as it balanced precariously on a carved dragon head at the top of his cane.
“What do you think you are doing?”
“I… I heard music and followed it.”
His eyes blazed with accusation, and it unnerved her.
“I’m so sorry,” she said in a choking voice. Her nose tingled again. She touched it with her fingers to make it stop.
“It’s not possible you heard music from all the way down in your room.”
Sophie took a nervous breath. He stood there, one step above her like a giant, her bedclothes gripped in his hand so tight it shook. She hadn’t heard him shuffle down the hall after her. He moved as silent as a ghost when he wanted — even with a cane. She found the courage to meet his penetrating gaze. “I did hear something from my room. Then I was in the hall.”
Captain Murdock waited for a long pause, while the dust they had stirred up in the rugs pirouetted in the air and into Sophie’s eyes and nose. “You should not be out of bed,” he said.
Sophie swallowed down her frightened apprehension. She tried to beg his pardon, but her lungs failed her, and she coughed in reflex. She covered her mouth with her fingers. “I’m so sorry,” she repeated between them, her cheeks hot with humiliation. She stared at the fistful of her garments he’d snatched, aware his eyes examined her from her straight, waist-length hair down to her naked ankles. With a jerk, he dropped her shift like it burned his hand.
“Go to bed,” he said in a quiet voice.
Sophie’s nose had not quit tingling and itching. “Yes, sir,” she said at once, but not soon enough to keep a sneeze from erupting. It came so fast and without warning, she had no chance to catch it before it doused him with all her rejection.
Horrified, she stumbled down the next step, thankful the old handrail held fast. When she glanced back, he was wiping off his shirt with a look of disgust.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“There have been only a handful of times when a book truly blows me away. This is one of those times. It’s full of emotions from laughter to tears and all in between. There are heroes and villains. There’s mystery, humor, danger, and romance all contained within its pages. As I read, I became fully engaged with the characters.” ~ D. Pearson
“This sweet romance will give you all the feels and keep you turning pages. Romance, mystery and a little humor made this an engaging and satisfying read.” ~ F. Brown
“I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters were believable and well developed. The story line was clean and engaging. As you can see by my review, I am a reader, not a write. Thank goodness for authors like Danielle Thorne. I am looking forward to more of her work.” ~ Nanabear
“I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a little sad that prejudices could keep people apart and what attitudes we're about women in general. Thankfully things are different now. Clean romance. I love the brother and his antics, as well as some of the interactions between the staff. Quite a bit of mystery. I recommend if you like the time period.” ~ atvtnv- mom or many
“This was a great read. A little different than what I was expecting, as far as tone and writing style goes, but very enjoyable and sweet.” ~ V Jones

About the Author
Danielle Thorne
Danielle Thorne is the author of a dozen books, including five-star classic romance and adventure in several genres. A graduate of BYU-Idaho, she has edited for both Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing and participated in writing organizations and contests over the years picking up awards and recognition for her work. When not researching or writing fiction, Danielle freelances as a historical non-fiction author for young adults from her home in Atlanta, Georgia. She loves to hear from romance readers through her website and appreciates feedback and reviews. Her next adventure, The Story of Queen Victoria 200 Years After Her Birth, is coming 2018 with Atlantic Publishing.

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win some a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

"The Staircase of Fire" by Ben Woodard

The Staircase of Fire
(A Shakertown Adventure Book 3)
by Ben Woodard

The Staircase of Fire, the third book in the Shakertown Adventure series by Ben Woodard, is due for release on 25 May but is currently available for pre-order at the special price of $2.99 (save $1.00). Also available: A Stairway to Danger (read my blog post) and Steps Into Darkness (read my blog post).

This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by BeachBoundBooks.

A quiet town in Kentucky explodes from a racial incident and fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace is in the thick of it. His past haunts him and now he’s witness to a horrific event leaving him devastated and afraid.
Tom and his cousin, Will, search for lost Shaker gold he believes can help him escape his town and memories. But leaving has consequences. He will lose his friends and his new love.
On a fiery staircase Tom finally realizes that he must face his inner demons and his terrifying nightmares. To do so he must take a stand that could change his life … or end it.
Author Ben Woodard relies on firsthand experience and family history to tell this moving story of personal tragedy and racial hatred set in the rolling countryside of Kentucky in 1923.

Chapter 1
Rose stood up.
"They could kill you," whispered Tom.
"Tom, sometimes a person has to stand for what they believe, and this is one of them. Go on home."
The County Clerk's door opened and Rose and James moved toward it. A crowd followed.
Tom's eyes pleaded with James. His friend ignored him.
"Rose," said Tom. "Don't do this. It's not that important. Your vote won't change anything."
"You don't understand," she said softly. "You can't understand. The Nineteenth Amendment says I have the right to vote. I intend to use it."
"But you know an amendment passed a couple of years ago won't change anything. Mercer County will never allow you to register, much less vote. Few Negroes ever have — especially women."
Rose moved closer to the door and eyes, dozens of eyes, followed her.
"She wants to register," an elderly man yelled.
Tom tensed as the crowd pressed toward them.
A stench of hate filled the stale, tobacco-laden air and constricted Tom's throat. Doors slammed, feet pounded on steps and curses echoed through the tight courthouse space.
The news had sped like a bullet through the small town and an angry crowd of white people filled the tiny courthouse room, spilling into the hallways and out the door.
Tom unconsciously eased away from his friends. He stopped himself. They needed to get out of here. He leaned closer to Rose, "We have to leave, now."
"Go home, Tom," James spat out the words.
Tom flinched. This wasn't the James he knew. The gentle and quiet farm hand Tom worked with on a daily basis.
James stared straight ahead, the muscles in his face like granite, his eyes hard. Showing only confidence and determination.
Rose and James edged toward the Clerk's office and the crowd surrounded and jammed against them.
Tom stood horrified. As he tried to push his way back to his two friends, a rawboned farmer in overalls stopped him.
"Are you with those two?" he asked.
"I'm trying to get them out."
"I seen you with them. You need to leave. We'll take care of them."
Another man spoke up, "I've seen him before. He knows those Negroes."
"Yeah," said the first. "Isn't he the one from Nicholasville who —"
Tom moved with the crowd into the Clerks office. He had to escape before they figured out who he was, and what he did.
Sweat formed on his upper lip as he glanced in every direction desperately trying to find a way out of the courthouse.
The two men were now in the door and continued to point at him as Rose reached the counter. She said above the din, "I want a voter registration form."
The room went quiet. Deathly quiet.
Then, a woman to Rose's left screamed, "Damn Negroes."
Beside Rose stood an older woman in a simple cotton dress with a bonnet covering her mousy-gray hair. Her face was contorted with rage. The rest of the crowd joined her in shrieking at the small, brown woman.
A glob of spit and tobacco juice smacked into the back of Rose's starched calico dress and the screaming woman yanked out Rose's yellow hair ribbon. James spread his arms around his mother and took the brunt of the slaps and pushes.
The women behind the counter stood confused.
The County Clerk came out of his office and held up his hands for quiet. He glared at Rose.
"What do you want?" he said.
"I want to register to vote."
The crowd growled again and the Clerk quieted them.
"We don't allow your kind to vote," he said.
Rose only smiled. "What kind?" she asked.
The two men came closer to Tom and others now pointed in his direction. They must have figured out who he was and they might turn on him next.
Tom remembered a stairway to the basement that led to a rear exit. He wormed his way toward it finding the stairway door closed, but unlocked.
Tom jerked it open.
His body tightened.
The sounds faded as memories and fears came charging back at the sight of wooden steps vanishing into the shadows.
Sweat stung his eyes and salted his lips. Tom's hands trembled. He wiped his face on a sleeve.
He couldn't go down. He wouldn't.
But the men still watched. Tom was trapped.
The bedlam of the room returned and he heard the Clerk scream at Rose and James telling them to get out.
He had to help them, but fear glued him in place.
Tom jerked as Sheriff Smith pushed his way into the room bellowing for the mob to get away from Rose. Two grim-faced deputies armed with shotguns flanked the lawman. They elbowed their way to Rose and James and the Sheriff whispered to Rose. She shook her head. He spoke to her a few more minutes and she finally nodded.
The three lawmen surrounded Tom's friends and led them through the crowd. Screams and curses followed.
Tom snuck through the throng and barreled down the front courthouse steps. The Sheriff and deputies escorted Rose and James to their wagon
Tom stared as their rig bounced down the dusty road toward Shakertown. His stomach rolled. He should have done something.
Anything. Except freeze in fear.
The reeling in his gut got worse and he staggered toward the clump of trees where he'd tied his horse.
Tom untied the reins and slipped into the saddle. He was sure, or at least tried to convince himself, that the Sheriff would protect Rose and James.
He spun the horse around and headed for Shakertown.
As he rode, the fear for Rose and his fear of the staircase still gripped him. Was every set of stairs he saw going to terrify him? Cause the memories to come crawling back?
And no matter where he was in Mercer County, someone might recognize him.
He released the reins, the horse knew the way home, and dropped his head on the animal's neck. Trying not to throw up. And then the sweats started, soaking his body.
The usual. Caused by a memory from that morning at Grandfather's house. Still there after four years.
He needed to get himself under control before he saw Will or Helen. His best friends. But he couldn't tell them, or anyone, what happened that Sunday morning. The memory hurt too much.
But he had to talk to them about Rose and James. His friends would understand.
And right now, Tom needed a friend.

Praise for the Book
The Staircase of Fire succeeds in offering dramatic action, mystery, social insights, and a story line that evolves from pure adventure to something deeper…” ~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
The Staircase of Fire is a riveting and intense tale ...” ~ The Children's Book Review
“Tom grows a lot in this book and I really enjoyed reading his journey. It seems like almost every white character is racist in some way (which is historically accurate) and it was refreshing to see Tom learn to break out of the narrow-minded thinking that he had and which surrounds him.” ~ Eustacia Tan
“An inspiring adventure where the reader discovers that strength of character, the belief in what is right, and facing your demons, is the only answer to true inner peace – Highly recommended.” ~ Susan Keefe

About the Author
Ben Woodard
Ben Woodard is a (mostly) retired amateur adventurer who has traveled across Tibet, climbed to 18,000 feet on Mt. Everest, and solo backpacked wilderness areas. Now his adventures come in the form of imagining stories, writing and telling them to kids and teens. He works with teachers, schools and literacy organizations spreading the word that books are vital - and fun.

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.