Cragside: A 1930s murder mystery

By M J Porter

Book Title: Cragside: A 1930s murder mystery

Author: M J Porter

Publication Date: 14th April 2022

Publisher: M J Publishing

Page Length: 234 Pages

Genre: Historical Mystery

Twitter Handles: @coloursofunison @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @m_j_porter @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery #HistoricalThriller #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

Tour Schedule Page: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/04/blog-tour-cragside-1930s-murder-mystery.html

Blurb

Lady Merryweather has had a shocking year. Apprehended for the murder of her husband the year before, and only recently released, she hopes a trip away from London will allow her to grieve. The isolated, but much loved, Cragside Estate in North Northumberland, home of her friends, Lord and Lady Bradbury, holds special memories for her.

But, no sooner has she arrived than the body of one of the guests is found on the estate, and suspicion immediately turns on her. Perhaps, there are no friendships to be found here, after all.

Released, due to a lack of evidence, Lady Ella returns to Cragside only to discover a second murder has taken place in her absence, and one she can’t possibly have committed.

Quickly realising that these new murders must be related to that of her beloved husband, Lady Merryweather sets out to solve the crime, once and for all. But there are many who don’t want her to succeed, and as the number of murder victims increases, the possibility that she might well be the next victim, can’t be ignored.

Journey to the 1930s Cragside Estate, to a period house-party where no one is truly safe, and the estate is just as deadly as the people.

Trigger Warnings:

Description of murder scenes and bodies

EXCERPT

Cragside

Excerpt 3 – Our suspects begin to doubt one another

I consider who’ll speak first.

I’m unsurprised when it’s the rotund Mr Hector Alwinton.

“Well, it can’t be me, as you all know,” he pleads with the other members of our party from his place in front of the fire.

“And why is that?” Miss Rebecca Barlow surprises me by asking. She’s sitting as close to the fire as it’s possible to be, warming her knees and her hands. She doesn’t even look at Hector when she replies, although he’s so close to her. Miss Amelia Clarke seems unaware that anyone has spoken.

Hector’s mouth opens and then snaps shut, only to open again. He leans forward, or as far as he can over his protruding belly, and then takes a deep breath. I watch it fill his chest, the buttons on his evening shirt, straining at this extra pressure on them.

“I, of course, would be unable to overpower anyone in my pitiful state.” He motions down to his large stomach as he speaks. “And even if I could, I was with Lord and Lady Bradbury at the time of this second murder.”

“And what time did the second murder take place?” Rebecca Barlow probes. There’s no malice to her voice, but her intent is pointed. Perhaps the detective inspector should have asked her to assist him instead of me.

“I, well. Of course, it was sometime this afternoon. Since luncheon, when I last saw poor Mr Harrington-Featherington.”

“When did everyone else last see Mr Harrington-Featherington?” Rebecca doesn’t raise her head but asks the room in general. Her words sound almost bored.

“When did you last see Mr Harrington-Featherington?”

It’s Lady Bradbury who spits the question at Rebecca. The two are like cats circling one another before pouncing. Now, this I might like to see.

“I last saw him after luncheon. I was, here, in the library, with Miss Amelia Clarke and Hugh Bradbury. And you?”

“Well,” Margot splutters. “I really don’t recall, but I was with my husband and Mr Hector Alwinton immediately after luncheon and until we were once more brought together and told of Mr Harrington-Featherington’s death.” How Margot speaks of the dead man assures me that my assumptions about her feelings towards him are correct. She didn’t like him, and he didn’t like her. Watching them share meals, sat next to one another in my home nearly a year ago was a sight to see.

“So, you were with Mr Hector Alwinton and Lord Edmund Bradbury, and I was with Miss Amelia Clarke and Mr Hugh Bradbury. And, of course, Lady Ella Merryweather was at the police station. So who does that leave?”

Unknowingly, my eyes slide towards Lilian and Olive.

Lilian sits very neatly, one thin leg crossed over another. She seems insubstantial and entirely unable to kill another. Yet, I know better than to allow someone’s appearance to influence me. The kindest looking people can be the roughest: the roughest, the kindest. If I hadn’t known that before, then my incarceration at Holloway has reinforced the knowledge.

“I was out for a walk in the rain,” Miss Lilian Braithwaite announces. “I like to walk in the rain. The house felt quite stuffy and hot.”

“And you were alone?” I can’t get a word in edgeways to ask the questions. I’m secretly relieved. Sooner they think I’m angry with the Detective Inspector than attempting to help him, the more likely they are not to watch their words as carefully as they should.

“I wasn’t. I had the dogs with me.”

“Then you were alone other than with two canines?” Rebecca retorts.

“I was, yes.” Lilian confirms softly.

“And where did you walk?”

“To the old quarry, Cragend. It’s a tricky walk in the wet. I fell and scuffed my hands.” As though to prove the point, Lilian shows both of her hands. They have small cuts on the palm of them, where the implication must be pieces of gravel have pierced her skin.

“And you were gone all that time?”

“Yes. I returned when the Detective Inspector had already arrived.”

“And you, Miss Olive Mabel?” Rebecca lifts her head from the perusal of the fire, and her eyes alight on Olive, who has moved back to the heat of the fire, now that Aldcroft has left the room.

“I was resting, in my bed-chamber,” Olive states, her words ringing with finality.

“And you, Lord and Lady Sunderland? Where were you this afternoon?”

The two look affronted to be called to account by someone so beneath their notice. They share a look and then glower at Rebecca.

Rebecca ticks off on her fingers what she knows. “You weren’t in the library, as I was in there with Hugh Bradbury and Amelia Clarke, and you weren’t with Lord and Lady Bradbury and Hector Alwinton in the drawing-room, and you weren’t with Olive Mabel or Lilian Braithwaite.”

“No, we were in our bed-chamber as well. It was a late night and looked to be another one this evening.” “I thought it better to catch up on my sleep.” It’s Reginald who speaks.

“And did you sleep?”

“I did, yes.”

“All afternoon?”

“Yes. Why?” and his forehead furrows, eyes disappearing beneath his eyebrows.

“So you don’t know what your wife was doing then? She might have slept, or she might not have done.”

“Now,” and Lord Sunderland looks bristly, like a hedgehog in his rage. I’m surprised he can show such anger. He’s such a calm soul, usually.

“Calm down, dear,” his wife consoles him. “I can assure you that I slept all afternoon as well. We’re not used to drinking heavily and staying up so late talking with much loved friends about such shocking events. We had another dear friend to mourn, and we believed justice was going to be achieved for poor Lady Carver.”

hose words make me doubt Lady Sunderland, although Rebecca seems to accept them quickly enough. I grimace, realising what Gwendoline implies with her statement. They were up all night talking about the fact I’d been led away in handcuffs. Again.

Buy Links:

Universal Link: books2read.com/Cragside

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cragside-1930s-murder-mystery-Porter-ebook/dp/B09R26PFW2/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Cragside-1930s-murder-mystery-Porter-ebook/dp/B09R26PFW2/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Cragside-1930s-murder-mystery-Porter-ebook/dp/B09R26PFW2/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Audible-Cragside/dp/B09WGTRGQ1/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cragside-m-j-porter/1141311981

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/cragside/m-j-porter/9781914332838

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/cragside-1

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/cragside/id1617307479

Audio: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Cragside-Audiobook/B09WH16CH9

Author Bio:

MJ Porter

MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh to Eleventh-Century England, as well as three twentieth-century mysteries. Raised in the shadow of a building that was believed to house the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia, meant that the author’s writing destiny was set.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.mjporterauthor.com/

Blog: https://mjporterauthor.blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/coloursofunison

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006592412433

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mj-porterauthor/

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/coloursofunison/_saved/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/mj-porter?list=about

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/MJ-Porter/e/B006N8K6X4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7163404.M_J_Porter

Linktr.ee: https://linktr.ee/MJPorterauthor

The Dark Earth

(Empires of Bronze #6)

by 

Gordon Doherty

BLURB

The time will come, as all times must, when the world will shake, and fall to dust…

1237 BC: It is an age of panic. The great empires are in disarray – ravaged by endless drought, shaken by ferocious earthquakes and starved of precious tin. Some say the Gods have abandoned mankind.
When Tudha ascends the Hittite throne, the burden of stabilising the realm falls upon his shoulders. Despite his valiant endeavours, things continue to disintegrate; allies become foes, lethal plots arise, and enemy battle horns echo across Hittite lands.

Yet this is nothing compared to the colossal, insidious shadow emerging from the west. Crawling unseen towards Tudha’s collapsing Hittite world comes a force unlike any ever witnessed; an immeasurable swarm of outlanders, driven by the cruel whip of nature, spreading fire and destruction: the Sea Peoples.

Every age must end. The measure of a man is how he chooses to face it.

REVIEW

The Dark Earth, my fellow peeps and fellow readers is, in my own personal dictionary, the definition of how to end an already mind-blowing series. A slew of cataclysmic events in the historical record, have been masterfully researched and turned into an engrossing look at the fall of the Hittite Empire. The reader isn’t allowed a moments respite from the turmoil brought about by forces Tudha could not avoid, nor conquer. Be prepared for an amazing tale; be prepared to be surprised all the way to the end.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Night of Flames

(A Time for Swords #2)

by 

Matthew Harffy

BLURB

A wild land. A lethal fanatic. A violent revolt.
Northumbria, AD 794.
Those who rule the seas, rule the land. None know the truth of this more than the Vikings. To compete with the sea-faring, violent raiders, the king of Northumbria orders the construction of his own longships under the command of oath-sworn Norseman, Runolf.

When the Northern sea wolves attack for the second year, the king sends cleric turned warrior, Hunlaf, on a mission across the Whale Road to persuade the king of Rogaland into an alliance. But Runolf and Hunlaf have other plans; old scores to settle, kin to seek out, and a heretical tome to find in the wild lands of the Norse.

Their voyage takes them into the centre of a violent uprising. A slave has broken free of his captors, and, with religious fervour, he is leading his fanatical followers on a rampage – burning all in his path.

Hunlaf must brave the Norse wilderness, and overcome deadly foes to stop this madman. To fail would see too many die…

REVIEW

A resounding sequel, my peeps and fellow readers. Chock full of action, drama, loss, victory, and the full spectrum of human emotion, A Night of Flames is one stunning tale. It didn’t take long for me to become a fan of the Beobrand series; and this one has me hooked as well. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Accursed King – A Coffee Pot Book Club Spotlight – by Mercedes Rochelle

Book Title: The Accursed King                    

Series: The Plantagenet Legacy

Author: Mercedes Rochelle

Publication Date: 18th April 2022

Publisher: Sergeant Press

Page Length: 282 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Twitter Handles: @authorRochelle @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handle: @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #Plantagenet #HenryV #HenryIV #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

Tour Schedule Page: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/04/blog-tour-accursed-king-plantagenet.html

Book Title and Author Name

The Accursed King

(The Plantagenet Legacy Book 4)

By Mercedes Rochelle

Blurb

What happens when a king loses his prowess? The day Henry IV could finally declare he had vanquished his enemies, he threw it all away with an infamous deed. No English king had executed an archbishop before. And divine judgment was quick to follow. Many thought he was struck with leprosy—God’s greatest punishment for sinners. From that point on, Henry’s health was cursed and he fought doggedly on as his body continued to betray him—reducing this once great warrior to an invalid. Fortunately for England, his heir was ready and eager to take over. But Henry wasn’t willing to relinquish what he had worked so hard to preserve. No one was going to take away his royal prerogative—not even Prince Hal. But Henry didn’t count on Hal’s dauntless nature, which threatened to tear the royal family apart.

Buy Links:

This book is free to read with #KindleUnlimited subscription

Series Links:

A King Under Siege (Book 1): https://books2read.com/u/mKdzpV

The King’s Retribution (Book 2): https://books2read.com/u/mBzGwA

The Usurper King (Book 3): https://books2read.com/u/b6RZMW

The Accursed King (Book 4): https://books2read.com/u/3RLxZL

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Accursed-King-Plantagenet-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B09X89CMLC

Amazon US:  https://www.amazon.com/Accursed-King-Plantagenet-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B09X89CMLC

Amazon CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/Accursed-King-Plantagenet-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B09X89CMLC

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Accursed-King-Plantagenet-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B09X89CMLC

Author Bio:

Mercedes Rochelle

Mercedes Rochelle is an ardent lover of medieval history, and has channeled this interest into fiction writing. Her first four books cover eleventh-century Britain and events surrounding the Norman Conquest of England. The next series is called The Plantagenet Legacy about the struggles and abdication of Richard II, leading to the troubled reigns of the Lancastrian Kings. She also writes a blog: HistoricalBritainBlog.com to explore the history behind the story. Born in St. Louis, MO, she received by BA in Literature at the Univ. of Missouri St.Louis in 1979 then moved to New York in 1982 while in her mid-20s to “see the world”. The search hasn’t ended! Today she lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.MercedesRochelle.com

Twitter: https://www.Twitter.com/authorRochelle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mercedesrochelle.net

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mercedes-rochelle

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Mercedes-Rochelle/e/B001KMG5P6

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1696491.Mercedes_Rochelle

Muskets and Minuets by Lindsey S. Fera A Coffee Pot Book Club Excerpt

Book Title: Muskets and Minuets

Author: Lindsey S. Fera

Publication Date: 19th October 2021

Publisher: Zenith Publishing (imprint of GenZ Publishing)

Page Length: 486 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Twitter Handles: @AuthorLinzFera @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @bostonduchess @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

Tour Schedule Page: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/01/blog-tour-muskets-and-minuets-by.html

Book Title and Author Name:

Muskets and Minuets

By Lindsey S. Fera

(Blurb)

Love. Politics. War.

Amidst mounting tensions between the British crown and the American colonists of Boston, Annalisa Howlett struggles with her identity and purpose as a woman. Rather than concern herself with proper womanly duties, like learning to dance a minuet or chasing after the eligible and charming Jack Perkins, Annalisa prefers the company of her brother, George, and her beloved musket, Bixby. She intends to join the rebellion, but as complications in her personal life intensify, and the colonies inch closer to war with England, everything Annalisa thought about her world and womanhood are transformed forever.

Join Annalisa on her journey to discover what it truly means to be a woman in the 18th century, all set against the backdrop of some of the most pivotal moments in American history.

Trigger Warnings:

Violence and battle scenes, sexual assault, mild sexual content, and profanity.

Excerpt

The following night, Jack sat in Aunt Catherine’s parlor on Tory Row in Cambridge. Oliver sat silently sipping his brandy, but Father’s round face glowed redder than a boiled beet as he stood by the fireplace.

“Three-hundred-forty-two crates of tea into the harbor. The Gazette is calling it ‘the late transaction in Boston’.”

News of the ransack had spread like smallpox. Father paced before the hearth and puffed his pipe, while Aunt Catherine and Oliver looked on, their faces twisted with grievous doubt.

Jack stood tall. “I hear it was organized, sir. A peaceful protest.”

“Peaceful or not, ’twas an act of treason. I hardly agree with the Tea Act, or the control Parliament and the East India Company have imparted on tea. But I daresay, we may end up paying the duty anyhow. The ruffians, those Sons of Liberty.”

“But sir, it was said not a single item else on board those ships was so much as touched.”

“How could you know such information?” Oliver’s eyes narrowed. “Were you there? Did you partake in this traitorous event?”

Jack fisted his hands under the scrutiny. “I was not.”

“You were,” Oliver jeered. “I found a hatchet in your trunk last night, covered in soot. And you still bear the remnant of lampblack under your fingernails. Are you entirely determined to sully our family name at all cost?”

Jack glanced at his hands. He’d taken great care to clip and clean his nails when he returned from the raid, but the soot was embedded.

Father’s nostrils flared and he grabbed Jack’s hands. “You didn’t.”

“No. Of course not.” Jack pulled free and crossed his arms. “Ollie, you dare accuse me of treason?”

“Admit your treachery, you rebellious lout. You humiliated our family enough while we were in France.” 

“You lie.”

“Ollie, for shame.” Aunt Catherine frowned.

Father set down his pipe. “Jack, is this true?”

Oliver faced Father. “Sir, Jack made no attempt to conceal his connection with the rebels. He sought any Frenchman at Versailles who would hear his plights for freedom in the colonies. And this was all in the presence of Lord General Cornwallis. I am sure the gentleman overheard the nature of his treasonous tongue.”

Father’s forehead vein bulged. “Jack, I know where your principles lie, but to engage in such topics of discussion at a ball?”

“No, sir, he lies.” Jack ground his teeth. “Ollie, that account is false. I spoke with one gentleman by the name of Beauregard, who sought me out. The exchange was brief and cordial. That was exactly how the intercourse went, and your rotten Tory self knows it.”

“Enough.” Father slammed his fist against the fireplace mantel. A small reverberating wave rattled the clock and wavered the candle flames. Jack and Oliver stood at attention. “Tory, Patriot. These are mere words. Remember, you are brothers above these.” He regarded Jack, his face no longer red with anger. “I want to believe you. And Ollie, I’ll be damned if you slander your brother with indecency. I’m no Tory. You both know that. But neither am I radical. Jack, you must look to gentlemanly ways of dissent. I’ll not have one son gallivanting about with the Sons of Liberty while the other accuses his own brother of treason.”

Author Bio:

A born and bred New Englander, Lindsey hails from the North Shore of Boston. A member of the Topsfield Historical Society and the Historical Novel Society, she forged her love for writing with her intrigue for colonial America by writing her debut novel, Muskets and Minuets. When she’s not attending historical reenactments or spouting off facts about Boston, she’s nursing patients back to health in the ICU. 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.lindseyfera.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorLinzFera

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

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

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Lindsey-S-Fera/e/B09598KYNM

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21491352.Lindsey_S_Fera

Buy Links:      

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Muskets-Minuets-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B094WBHWBB

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Muskets-Minuets-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B094WBHWBB

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Muskets-Minuets-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B094WBHWBB

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Muskets-Minuets-Lindsey-Fera-ebook/dp/B094WBHWBB

Apollo’s Raven

(Curse of Clansmen and Kings #1)

by 

Linnea Tanner

Book Title: Apollo’s Raven

Series: (Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 1)

Author: Linnea Tanner

Publication Date: 20th January 2020 (3rd Edition)

Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher, LLC

Page Length: 394 Pages

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Twitter Handles: @linneatanner @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handles: @linneatanner @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFantasy #HistoricalFiction #AncientRome #AncientBritannia #ApollosRaven #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

Tour Schedule Page: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/01/blog-tour-apollos-raven-curse-of.html

BLURB

A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.

AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

REVIEW

An intriguing tale steeped in Druidic mythology coupled with the complexities of life in Britannia under the ever growing greed of Roman domination. Defeating a curse, juggling love and loyalty, learning the dark secrets of her abilities, Catrin faces impossible tasks with resolve. A definite page turning story that has the reader drawn into the depths of her despair as she negotiates the treacherous path laid before her. Wonderful characters set into an exciting tale rich in detail that keeps you guessing. 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.

Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include Apollo’s Raven (Book 1), Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2), and Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3). Skull’s Vengeance (Book 4) is anticipated to be released in late October 2022.

A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.linneatanner.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/linneatanner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linnea.tanner

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/linnea-tanner-a021932b/

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/linneatanner/_created/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/linnea-tanner

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linnea-Tanner/e/B01N6YEM04

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16474282.Linnea_Tanner

Buy Links:

Apollo’s Raven:

Amazon (Universal Link): https://books2read.com/u/4DKGMg

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0848QHHK4/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0848QHHK4/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0848QHHK4/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0848QHHK4/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/apollos-raven-linnea-d-tanner/1125792731?ean=2940161846049

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/9781948543293

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/apollo-s-raven-2

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/apollos-raven/id1497211722

GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Linnea_Tanner_Apollo_s_Raven?id=sSbNDwAAQBAJ

Booktopia: https://www.booktopia.com.au/apollo-s-raven-linnea-tanner/book/9781948543293.html

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/search?query=9781948543293&AID=35140&PID=6172252&SID=kxqdk37d3b01wlps0001m&cjevent=5e966e16680211ec817835ad0a1c0e0b

Audio:

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Apollos-Raven-Audiobook/B072C2N25B

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/apollos-raven-unabridged/id1240427604

Series Links:

Apollo’s Raven (Book 1): https://books2read.com/u/mVRR0J

Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2): https://books2read.com/u/bxQQro

Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3): https://books2read.com/u/mdddX5

Valentia by Adam Lofthouse

BLURB

Meet Tribune Sixtus Victorinus. Drunken soldier. Absent father. Unlikely hero.

Wall of Hadrian, Britannia, AD 367

It’s just another day, until it isn’t. Tribune Sixtus Victorinus is scouting north of the Wall when he first sees the smoke. Little does he know it’s about to change his life forever. Riding south he finds a province in chaos, the local populace in flight, the soldiers absent.

For rebellion is in the air at the far reaches of empire. The land is ablaze, overrun with barbarians, ‘Valentia’, is the word on everyone’s lips. And no one seems to have the first clue what to do about it.

And so Victorinus must act. He has let his life run to ruin, drunk his youth away. Now he must forge himself into the soldier he always wanted to be, the hero his children think he is.

Because his family are among the missing, and traitors lurk much closer than he could ever believe.

To save his family, he must first save an empire.

REVIEW

A compelling tale of a sparsely chronicled event…something that is the mark of a good author of historical fiction. To create a story like Valentia out of that lack of information, and to craft it such that the reader cannot tell it’s mostly fiction, takes talent my peeps and fellow readers. To create characters who breathe realism, emotion, and insight takes talent, and that is one of the strong suits of this tale. Believable characters coping with an unbelievable situation, keeping the reader engaged and turning pages, the author leads us on a journey filled with unexpected surprises. Many twists and turns in this one, my peeps, an enjoyable read awaits you. 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rikka

by Joan Soggie 

BLURB

“Rikka remembered her teacher’s words. Spirit needs muscle.
Not only muscle of flesh and bone, she thought, but the muscle of a spirit inured to hardship and suffering. Surely, we have had enough of that to make us strong!”
From a close-knit community on the wave-scoured islands of northern Norway to a wind-swept prairie homestead, Rikka traverses love and loss, joy and sorrow, with passion and determination. Rikka’s journey takes her across an ocean, a continent, and a lifetime. She plumbs the depths of her own heart and discovers the beauty of life beyond grit and endurance. This novel is based on the true story of one of Western Canada’s female immigrant pioneers.

REVIEW

A vivid, poignant, and emotional read awaits you my fellow seekers of page turning bliss. There were times when I was simply blown away by the circumstances and events surrounding this amazing woman. The author’s portrayal of the bitter harshness of Rikka’s life, juxtaposed with the inner strength she finds to survive the ordeals, is flat out good storytelling. It’s one of those tales that makes me wonder about my own reactions to things so much more minor than what Rikka endures…a lesson in perspectives.

This is the second book I’ve read by Joan Soggie, and I’ve got to say that she is a master at character development….combine that with the feel and flavor of her settings – the historical gleanings of life in late 19th century – early 20th century and you end up with a tale that keeps you entertained while you’re turning those pages. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Douglas Bastard – A Coffee Pot Book Club Excerpt

J.R. Tomlin

Book Title: The Douglas Bastard

Series: (A sequel to The Black Douglas Trilogy)

Author: J R Tomlin

Publication Date: 26th April 2022

Publisher: Albannach Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction

Twitter Handles: @JRTomlinAuthor @maryanneyarde

Instagram Handle: @coffeepotbookclub

Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #Scotland #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

Tour Schedule Page: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/01/blog-tour-douglas-bastard-sequel-to.html

Blurb

The Black Douglas is dead. With Scotland’s greatest knight no more, the throne is up for grabs as enemies try to devour the kingdom.

An orphaned youth returning from exile, Archibald, the Black Douglas’s bastard son, fights for a land being torn apart from within and without. If Archibald is to survive, he must learn to sleep with a claymore in his hand and one eye open because even his closest friend might betray him…

This is an adventure set in the bloody Second Scottish War of Independence when Scotland’s very survival is in question.

EXCERPT

Ten days later, we left Perth amid the commotion of a moving army, though only two hundred, riding away to the sound of men yelling, horses snorting, and the clatter of armor and weapons as the late summer sun shone around us. The road south began at the bridge over the River Tay. We rode past Stirling Castle, which Lord Robert now had under siege. A new camp of tents and rough shelters spread beneath the Stewart’s banner, but Sir William continued south on the Old Roman Road.

Sweat trickled down my sides, and it was silent except for the tramp of hooves. West of the road were mountains—gray, rugged, and snow-capped. To the south, the land was lower, peat bogged and marshy. A goshawk hovered overhead before it dove like an arrow and a hare shrieked.

“There.” Sir William pointed past the marsh. “It is called the Bannockburn.” At the bottom of the brae, a narrow burn rolled over the rocks. “That is where King Robert, your father, and Randolph defeated the English King. He fled like the craven he was.”

I stood in my stirrups, trying to find some sign of the battle, but there was nothing but a village, some barren farmland, and a stone bridge across a swift, wide river beyond it. The road had no traffic, and at night we made a cold camp despite the howl of a distant wolf. Sir William rode stiff-faced and pale, but he refused to let up the pace.

The next day, the farmland and bogs gave way to dense forest that smelled of damp earth, pine, and decay. Thick trunks crowded close, their branches weaving a canopy that cut off the warmth of the sun. It was a dark, primal place, miles and miles of it where entire armies could hide unseen. There was a crashing of a large animal, perhaps a boar, deep in the depth of the forest. I gave a shiver. 

“The Great Forest of Ettrick.” Sir William’s lip lifted in a half-smile for the first time in days. “Aye, it is an unco place. Here we have ambushed many an English supply train on its way north.” At midday, they rode out of the forest into a long valley dotted with gorse growing between a few fields of oats. 

My nerves jittered as we finally neared what would be my new home. Then a wooden palisade on a hilltop came into sight with a familiar banner fluttering overhead.

The sight was greeted with relieved laughter and talk of what they would do with their share of the loot from the men. A horn blew a greeting, and we put our heels to our horses’ flanks and sped to a canter. The gates swung open. At the top of the motte, a palisade surrounded a rough stone tower. An earthen rampart topped with another palisade surrounded the wattle and daub, thatch-roofed buildings, and cots in the bailey. A high-walled well stood in the middle, and a family of chickens scratched in the dirt. The sharp smells of burning peat and horseshit stung my nose.

After the isolation of the forest, the bailey was a tumult of bustle. Youths practicing with spears turned to watch us. Grooms scurried to take our horses as we dismounted. A blacksmith’s anvil clanged with blows. A boy threw down his hoop and waved an arm over his head in hello as one of the men-at-arms loped to scoop the lad up.

I snapped my mouth shut from gaping. Nothing could possibly be more unlike the massive, glistening Château Gaillard.

The gates closed behind us, and a brown-haired knight wearing a surcoat over a habergeon of chainmail stood in the doorway of the square stone tower. A broad grin across his bony face, he strode to greet us. “Welcome home, brother.” He pounded Sir William on the back. When the knight stumbled under his greeting, he grasped him by the shoulder. “Are you injured?”

The men-at-arms in their following were already scattering.

“Aye, but it’s healing, and we took Perth, so it was worth a little bloodletting.”

“Well done!”

I chewed on the inside of my cheek and scuffed the dirt with my foot. What was I supposed to do now?

At last, the brown-haired man tilted his head and looked me up and down. “And what have we here?”

“A cousin I brought back from France. James’s love-bairn, you recall? Archibald, he’s called. Seems to be a good enough lad, ready to turn his hand to what needs doing, so he will be a page for us.”

The new cousin, whose name I still did not know, clapped me on the shoulder. “Then welcome to Hermitage Castle, Archie.” He grinned. “You are called Archie, aye? It will be Black Archibald with the dark look of you.” He stuck out his hand, and I grasped it. “I’m Sir John. This one’s baby brother.”

So the two men walked toward the open door of the keep, and I followed, wondering what exactly I had fallen into.

A woman met Sir William at the door with a cup of ale that she held out. “My Lord,” she said as she put it in his hands. She was a small woman with shrewd eyes and a square, stubborn chin. Her head was covered by a linen veil, her green kirtle had long fitted sleeves, and a loosely fitted pink cotehardie, embroidered around the neck, covered her to her feet. “You’re limping. Take that and sit yourself down.” She turned to a girl of about ten years with dusty-blond hair and the same shrewd eyes. “Mary, come and do your courtesy to your father.”

While the pinch-faced daughter curtseyed to her father, Elizabeth stared at me. “This is the cousin you wrote me about?”

Mary’s mouth drew up like a cat’s arse. “He looks like a cook’s boy. Are you sure that he’s our cousin?”

Sir William limped to sit down at the long table on the dais. “Aye.”

“And I suppose you are hungry, Archibald.” There was a quick gleam of humor in Elizabeth’s sharp eyes. “Boys are always like bottomless pits.”

She did not seem too bad-tempered, so I gave a little shrug. “We did ride a long way, My Lady.”

“And hungry whether you did or nae, but everyone will have had a time of it.” She clapped her hands, and a steward in a simple blue cotehardie came hurrying through a door. “Have the tables set up, Ingelram. There is enough food prepared to have our meal early.”

The steward shouted orders, and soon, a couple of servers were rushing about, setting up long trestle tables and wooden benches below the low dais.

“Do I serve the wine?”

“You can start your duties tomorrow,” Sir William said and tilted his cup of ale.

“Mary, take your place by your father. Archibald, sit by me tonight. Were you being schooled over there in France?” I had opened my mouth to answer, but she spoke over me without waiting, “Will Father Absalom do for his lessons, my lord?”

“Why does he need lessons? Isnae he a bastard?” Mary asked as she leaned forward to glare past her father.

I narrowed my eyes at her. “Aye, and I will be a bastard who is a knight.”

“Wheesht, the two of you,” Sir William said. “Aye, for now anyroad. His learning in arms is what matters.” He scratched his chin. “John, I want you to take that on. The Keith told me he showed promise, so see what you can do. Your own lads will soon be old enough to join him.”

Then the door opened, and men-at-arms streamed in, filling the long benches as servers carried in trays of food and set down steaming bowls of bean pottage. My mouth watered when a trencher was laid in front of me filled with wood pigeon with onion, pease pudding, and apples baked with honey.

Lady Elizabeth tilted her head toward me. “Time enough tomorrow to talk anent your duties. For now, a lad must keep up his strength.”

Author Bio:

J. R. Tomlin is the author of nineteen historical novels.

She has close ties with Scotland since her father was a native Scot, and she spent substantial time in Edinburgh while growing up. Her historical novels are set for the most part in Scotland. Her love of that nation is traced from the stories of Robert the Bruce and the Good Sir James her grandmother read to her when she was small, to hillwalking through the Cairngorms where the granite hills have a gorgeous red glow under the setting sun. Later, her writing was influenced by Alexander Dumas, Victor Hugo, Nigel Tranter, and Sir Walter Scott.

When JR isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, playing with her Westie, and killing monsters in computer games. In addition to spending time in Scotland, she has traveled in the US, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. She now lives in Oregon.

Social Media Links:

Website: jrtomlin.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JRTomlinAuthor

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-r-tomlin

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/J.R.-Tomlin/e/B002J4ME1S

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4094154.J_R_Tomlin

Buy Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0968X5V3Y

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0968X5V3Y

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0968X5V3Y

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0968X5V3Y

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-douglas-bastard-a-historical-novel-of-scotland-j-r-tomlin/1140930069

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-douglas-bastard

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1606972264

The Capsarius

(Legion XXII #1)

by Simon Turney

BLURB

Warrior and combat medic, Titus Cervianus, must lead a legion and quell the
uprisings in Egypt in a new Roman adventure from Simon Turney.
Titus Cervianus is no ordinary soldier. And the Twenty Second is no
ordinary legion…
Egypt. 25 BC. A former surgeon from the city of Ancyra, Titus Cervianus is now a
capsarius – a combat medic. He is a pragmatist, a scientist – and deeply unpopular
with his legion, the Twenty Second Deiotariana.
The Twenty Second have been sent to deal with uprisings in Egypt. Founded as the
private army of one of Rome’s most devoted allies, their ways are not the same as the
other legions’, which sets them apart and causes friction with their fellow soldiers.
Marching into the unknown, Cervianus will find unexpected allies: a local cavalryman
and a troublesome lunatic. Both will be of critical importance as the young medic
marches through the searing sands of the south, finding forbidden temples, hidden
assassins, and worst of all, the warrior queen of Kush…
Reviews for Simon Turney:
‘A blistering epic brimming with tension, mystery & adventure!’ Gordon Doherty
‘A page turner from beginning to end… A damn fine read’ Ben Kane
‘First-rate Roman fiction’ Matthew Harffy

REVIEW

I’ve been a long time admirer of this author. The only thing he does that causes any consternation on my part is that he writes too many good books too damn fast. On top of that, he keeps veering off into new regions for yet another series. I mean, how am I supposed to deal with all of this? I’ll tell you how…by reading his stuff and being blown away time and time again. The Capsarius is no exception to all of the things that make this author stand out. Impeccable research combined with a vivid imagination…story telling that keeps you turning the pages…a diverse cast of characters… In a succinct summation – another triumph for yet another captivating series. Pulse racing action in the burning lands of the Nile.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the Author

Simon Turney is from Yorkshire and, having spent much of his childhood visiting
historic sites, fell in love with the Roman heritage of the region. His fascination with
the ancient world snowballed from there with great interest in Rome, Egypt, Greece
and Byzantium. His works include the Marius’ Mules and Praetorian series, the Tales
of the Empire and The Damned Emperor series, and the Rise of Emperors books with
Gordon Doherty.
Follow Simon
Twitter: @SJATurney
Instagram: @simonturney_aka_sjaturney
Website: http://simonturney.com/

@AriesFiction

Fiction / FJH (Action & Adventure)
Extent: 432 pages Format: 228 x 145 mm Illus: 1 map
Exclusive: GB CA AU NZ IN ZA SG US
Hashtag: #TheCapsarius
Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3NPxluz