12 February 2016

The Renegade Queen Blog Tour @evaflyn @HFVBT

The Renegade Queen

Rebellious Times Book 1

by Eva Flynn


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Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Omega Press
eBook & Paperback; 330 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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About the Book

Two Renegades So Controversial, They Were Erased From History

Discarded by society, she led a social revolution. Disgusted by war, he sought a new world.

She was the first women to run for President, campaigning before women could vote.

He was the Hero of Vicksburg, disillusioned with the government after witnessing the devastating carnage of the Civil War.

Their social revolution attracted the unwanted who were left out of the new wealth: the freed slaves, the new immigrants, and women.

Who were they?

This is the true story of Victoria Woodhull and the love of her life, James Blood.

Adored by the poor, hated by the powerful, forced into hiding during their lifetimes and erased from history after death, the legend of their love lives on.

It’s 1869 and Victoria has a choice to make. She can stay in an abusive marriage and continue to work as a psychic, or she can take the offer of support from handsome Civil War general James Blood and set about to turn society upside down. Victoria chooses revolution.

But revolutions are expensive, and Victoria needs money. James introduces Victoria to one of the wealthiest man in America—Commodore Vanderbilt. Along with her loose and scandalous sister, Tennessee, Victoria manipulates Vanderbilt and together they conspire to crash the stock market—and profit from it. Victoria then parlays her fortune into the first female-owned brokerage firm.

When her idol Susan B. Anthony publishes scandalous rumors about Victoria’s past, Victoria enters into a fierce rivalry with Susan to control the women’s movement. James supports Victoria’s efforts despite his deep fears that she may lose more than the battle. She might lose part of herself.

Victoria starts her own newspaper, testifies to Congress, and even announces her candidacy for President. But when Victoria adopts James’s radical ideas and free love beliefs, she ignites new, bruising, battles with Susan B. Anthony and the powerful Reverend Henry Beecher. These skirmishes turn into an all-out war, with Victoria facing prejudice, prosecution, and imprisonment. Ultimately, Victoria and James face the hardest choice of all: the choice between their country and their love.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo


Book Review

As  one who is overcoming a history of sexual abuse, domestic violence and one who is living with severe PTSD, I began this novel with the most open mind as possible. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the life of Victoria Woodhull was one that I wasn’t yet able to read. I offer my most humble and sincere apologies to Ms. Flynn and HF Virtual Book Tours and offer this most interesting bit of information gleaned from the History.com.

9 Things You Should Know About Victoria Woodhull

Women’s rights leader Victoria Woodhull, though not especially well known today, once attracted more media attention than just about any female in the United States. A jack-of-all-trades, Woodhull alternately tried her hand at stockbroking, newspaper publishing, lobbying, public speaking, clairvoyance and philanthropy, and even ran for president long before women won the right to vote. Her unconventional lifestyle and radical political views helped her make powerful friends and equally powerful enemies. On the 175th anniversary of her birth, here are nine things you should know about one of the most controversial figures of her time.

  1. Woodhull received almost no formal education.
    Victoria Claflin, later Victoria Woodhull, was born on September 23, 1838, to an illiterate mother and a petty criminal father. One of 10 children, Woodhull did not start elementary school until she turned 8. She then attended off and on for only three years before dropping out. Any hope of further education was dashed at age 15, when she married a doctor who soon revealed himself as an alcoholic philanderer. To make matters even more difficult, Woodhull gave birth to a mentally handicapped son in 1854.
  2. Woodhull worked as a traveling clairvoyant. 
    As a child in rural Ohio, Woodhull purportedly believed that she could communicate with three siblings who had died in infancy and that she could heal the sick. Always on the lookout for a good moneymaking scheme, her father put her and her sister Tennessee to work telling fortunes and contacting spirits. The family also went into the alternative healing business, selling life elixirs, giving massages and offering cures for diseases ranging from cancer to asthma. But although Woodhull later claimed to have made a small fortune during the Civil War as a traveling medical clairvoyant, she and Tennessee both had their share of setbacks. Tennessee, for example, was indicted for manslaughter in Illinois after one of her cancer patients died.
  3. Woodhull and her sister were the first female brokers on Wall Street.
    Upon moving to New York City in 1868, Victoria and Tennessee began working as clairvoyants for the railroad baron Cornelius Vanderbilt, who distrusted medically trained doctors. Tennessee also apparently became Vanderbilt’s lover and may even have received a marriage proposal from him. Stock tips gleaned from this relationship proved handy during an 1869 gold panic, during which the sisters claimed to have netted around $700,000. With Vanderbilt’s financial backing, Victoria and Tennessee then opened their own highly publicized firm named Woodhull, Claflin & Co., becoming the first female stockbrokers on Wall Street. Nonetheless, they never gained a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, something no woman would achieve until 1967.
  4. Woodhull was the first woman to address a congressional committee. 
    Woodhull attended a female suffrage convention in January 1869 and became a devout believer in the cause. Not long afterward she befriended Massachusetts congressman Benjamin Butler, from whom she cajoled an invitation to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. On January 11, 1871, Woodhull declared to the panel that women had already won the right to vote under the recently enacted 14th and 15th amendments. Women are citizens, she argued, and “the citizen who is taxed should also have a voice in the subject matter of taxation.” Although the committee rejected her petition to pass “enabling legislation,” her history-making appearance immediately propelled her into a leadership position among suffragists.
  5. Woodhull was the first woman to run for president.
    In April 1870, just two months after opening her brokerage firm, Woodhull announced her candidacy for president of the United States. She campaigned on a platform of women’s suffrage, regulation of monopolies, nationalization of railroads, an eight-hour workday, direct taxation, abolition of the death penalty and welfare for the poor, among other things. In addition to promoting herself in her weekly newspaper, Woodhull organized an Equal Rights Party, which nominated her at its May 1872 convention. Famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass was selected as her running mate. He never acknowledged it, however, and in fact campaigned for Republican Ulysses S. Grant. Woodhull was furthermore hurt by embarrassing details about her private life, which came to light during a lawsuit that her mother brought against her second husband. In the end, Woodhull’s name appeared on ballots in at least some states. No one knows how many votes she received because they apparently weren’t counted.
  6. Woodhull spent Election Day in jail. 
    A few days before the 1872 presidential election returned Grant to office, Woodhull published an article in her newspaper aimed at exposing popular preacher Henry Ward Beecher as an adulterous hypocrite. The backlash was immediate, as Beecher’s supporters helped garner arrest warrants for Victoria and Tennessee on charges of sending obscene material through the mail. They also faced libel charges over a second article that accused a Wall Street trader of getting two teenage girls drunk and seducing them. Police took the sisters into custody on November 2, and they remained in jail for about a month. Additional arrests followed, including one after a briefly on-the-lam Woodhull snuck up on stage in disguise in order to give a speech. The sisters were eventually found not guilty, but not before taking a beating in the press. Their harshest critics included Harriet Beecher Stowe, Beecher’s sister and the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” who called Woodhull a “vile jailbird” and an “impudent witch,” and cartoonist Thomas Nast, who depicted Woodhull as “Mrs. Satan.”
  7. Woodhull was a proponent of free love.
    Woodhull often spoke about sex on the lecture circuit, saying, among other things, that women should have the right to escape bad marriages and control their own bodies. Even more shocking to Victorian sensibilities, she espoused free love. “I want the love of you all, promiscuously,” she once declared. “It makes no difference who or what you are, old or young, black or white, pagan, Jew, or Christian, I want to love you all and be loved by you all, and I mean to have your love.” Woodhull practiced what she preached, at one point living with her ex-husband, her husband and her lover in the same apartment. Yet she also knew when to hold back her amorous affections. “Let women issue a declaration of independence sexually, and absolutely refuse to cohabit with men until they are acknowledged as equals in everything, and the victory would be won in a single week,” she wrote.
  8. Woodhull spent over half her life as an expat.
    When Vanderbilt died in January 1877, his children began fighting in court over his $100 million estate. Rumor holds that Victoria and Tennessee were paid off to not testify at trial. Either way, they left that August for England, where Woodhull met her third husband, a wealthy banker. She resided there until her death in 1927, devoting her later years to running a new newspaper and preserving the English home of George Washington’s ancestors. Woodhull also became an automobile enthusiast, donated money and services to the townspeople around her estate, traveled overseas to run again for U.S. president in 1892, founded a short-lived agricultural school and volunteered with the Red Cross during World War I.
  9. Woodhull lost the backing of other suffragist leaders. 
    Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other giants of the women’s suffrage movement embraced Woodhull around the time of her congressional appearance. But they soon had a falling out, in part over Woodhull’s political ambitions and love of the limelight. She did not get invited to speak at suffrage conventions following her first run for president, and Anthony even advised a British suffrage leader not to meet with her. “Both sisters are regarded as lewd and indecent,” Anthony wrote in a letter. Moreover, when Anthony, Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage published a comprehensive history of the women’s suffrage movement in the 1880s, they essentially left out Woodhull entirely.

Article Details: 9 Things You Should Know About Victoria Woodhull

  • Author Jesse Greenspan
  • Website Name History.com
  • Year Published 2013
  • Title 9 Things You Should Know About Victoria Woodhull
  • URL http://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-should-know-about-victoria-woodhull
  • Access Date February 11, 2016
  • Publisher A+E Networks

Patricia, Room With Books


About the Author

Eva was raised on bedtime stories of feminists (the tooth fairy even brought Susan B. Anthony 03_Eva Flynndollars) and daytime lessons on American politics. On one fateful day years ago when knowledge was found on bound paper, she discovered two paragraphs about Victoria Woodhull in the WXYZ volume of the World Book Encyclopedia. When she realized that neither of her brilliant parents (a conservative political science professor and a liberal feminist) had never heard of her, it was the beginning of a lifelong fascination not only with Victoria Woodhull but in discovering the stories that the history books do not tell. Brave battles fought, new worlds sought, loves lost all in the name of some future glory have led her to spend years researching the period of Reconstruction. Her first book, The Renegade Queen , explores the forgotten trailblazer Victoria Woodhull and her rivalry with Susan B. Anthony.

Eva was born and raised in Tennessee, earned her B.A. in Political Science from DePauw in Greencastle, Indiana and still lives in Indiana. Eva enjoys reading, classic movies, and travelling. She loves to hear from readers, you may reach her at eva@rebellioustimes.com, and follow her on Goodreads and Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 1
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, February 2
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, February 3
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, February 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Friday, February 5
Review at Raven Haired Girl
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Monday, February 8
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Tuesday, February 9
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 10
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Thursday, February 11
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, February 12
Review at Room With Books
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Saturday, February 13
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Monday, February 15
Spotlight at Layered Pages
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, February 16
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, February 18
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Friday, February 19
Review at Luxury Reading


17 December 2015

The Ice Queen Blog Tour @BMacbain @HFVBT

The Ice Queen

Book Two of Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga

By Bruce Macbain

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Publication Date: November 30, 2015
Blank Slate Press
eBook & Paperback; 285 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


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The second volume of Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga takes up Odd’s adventures as a skald (court poet) in the land of the Rus. Here he is drawn into a dangerous love affair with the passionate and cunning Princess Ingigerd of Novgorod, and is forced to break with his sworn lord, Harald the Ruthless. Along the way, Odd devises a stratagem to defeat the wild Pechenegs, nomadic warriors of the Russian steppe, and goes off on a doomed mission to explore the distant reaches of the Black Sea. The novel concludes with Odd sailing into the harbor of Constantinople, bent on a secret mission, which will almost certainly cost him his life.

Eager, curious, quick-witted—and sometimes wrong-headed—Odd Tangle-Hair recounts his story with candor, insight, and always an ironic sense of humor.


Author Interview

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Room With Books!

What do you do when you are not writing?

I work part time as a library assistant in the Brookline Public Library, a job which I enjoy very much. It’s a beautiful little library and it gives me a chance to get out of the house, meet neighbors, and see what all the latest books and DVDs are. And naturally they always stock a few copies of my books.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

At an early age that would be Edgar Rice Burroughs’s ‘A Princess of Mars’ and all the numerous sequels. I read them all; I made costumes; I played Martian chess—the whole nine yards. But a few years ago I picked up a copy to see if the old magic was still there and found that it was absolutely unreadable—badly written, blatantly racist, utterly witless. Sigh. Nevertheless, I learned things from those books; namely the words ‘escarpment’ and ‘chagrin’. So no experience is ever wasted.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

My first book was “Roman Games”, a mystery set in ancient Rome featuring Pliny the Younger as my sleuth. And actually the publication came about painlessly. Poisoned Pen Press simply advertised for manuscripts from new writers on a list serve that I belong to. I submitted it and, a few months later, when I’d just about forgotten about it, I got an email from Barbara Peters saying they wanted to publish it, with virtually no revisions. I didn’t have an agent at the time and still don’t.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

Time travel! What else would a historian want?

What was your first job?

My first job was as a waiter at the University of Chicago Faculty Club. I lasted a week before they fired me. Ever since then I’ve had enormous respect for waiters.

Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?

My current favorite is the one I’m writing about now: Odd Thorvaldsson, the hero of my Viking trilogy, “Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga.” Odd is what I like to call ‘a thinking man’s Viking.’ We meet him first at the age of sixteen (in “Odin’s Child”) when his family is slaughtered in a feud and he flees Iceland in a stolen ship to set out for the Viking life. And the saga carries him to Russia (“The Ice Queen”) where he is ensnared by the beautiful Princess Ingigerd; and finally to Byzantium (in “The Guardsman”, coming next year), where he rises to the height of power and happiness, and then suffers a terrible reversal. I haven’t based him on a real character (as I have some other figures in the series), he’s entirely my own creation. He’s what I like to think I might have been if I had lived then—adventurous, curious, eager to learn, gifted at languages, sometimes naïve, sometimes foolish, but always with an ironic, self-deprecating take on everything.

What does your writing schedule look like?

I try to put in about three hours a day most days. But even when I’m not at my desk, things are always clicking along in the back of my mind and ideas are filtering up to my consciousness. The most valuable tool I have is a small pocket voice recorder, so that wherever I am, night or day, I can capture every thought that crosses my mind.

Do you use your own experiences?

No, not really. I’ve led a pretty quiet life—no sword fights, no storms at sea.

Was it easy to pick the title for your book?

It was, actually. Titles seem to come easily to me. “Roman Games” because the setting of the novel is an ancient festival called the Ludi Romani. “The Bull Slayer” because the plot revolves around the ancient cult of Mithras, who is always shown killing a bull. “Odin’s Child” because Odd is a heathen, devoted to the old Norse worship of Odin. “The Ice Queen” because Princess Ingigerd is cold and cunning (of course, who could have predicted that Disney’s “Frozen” would come along and usurp her name!). And finally, “The Guardsman” because Odd joins the Varangian Guard, the emperor’s bodyguard, in Constantinople.

If you could pick one profession other than author, what would it be? Why does it appeal to you?

Movie director, I think. Because that’s another form of storytelling, and they make a lotta dough! (Wouldn’t that be nice?)

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently finishing up a final draft of “The Guardsman” and then I’ll bid a fond farewell to Odd Tangle-Hair. It’s time to move on. I’m starting to research a novel set in 18th century England and Scotland in which one of the characters is actually an ancestor of mine, one Donald McBane, who was a British soldier and expert swordsman.


What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Vanilla, I’m afraid.
Night owl, or early bird? Night owl.
Coffee or tea? Coffee. I only drink tea when I have a cold.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? I’ve done some white water rafting and loved it. I also rode the Cyclone at Coney Island a few years ago (I must have been out of my mind) and couldn’t stand up straight for a week.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? The ocean, as long as it’s the Pacific, nice and warm.
Walking or fitness club?  I love to walk. I used to belong to a fitness club but I found that every time I went in there I was overcome by the strange delusion that I was Arnold Schwarzenegger. (It’s a guy thing.) So I hurt my shoulder, my knees, my back. I finally quit and I feel so much better!

Any last words?

Oops! I’m about to be late for work at the library. It’s been fun. See ya.

Thank you for chatting with our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!

About the Author03_Bruce Macbain

From boyhood, Bruce Macbain spent his days in reading history and historical fiction. The Greeks and Romans have held a special fascination for him, and this led to earning a master’s degree in Classical Studies and a doctorate in Ancient History. Along the way, he also taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Borneo. Later, he taught courses in Greek and Roman civilization at Boston University, and published a few dense monographs, read by very few. In recent years he has turned to writing fiction, a much more congenial pursuit, beginning with two historical mysteries set in ancient Rome (Roman Games and The Bull Slayer). Now, he has turned his attention to his other favorite folk, the Vikings. Odin’s Child , the first novel of Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga, was published in May, 2015 and is now followed the sequel, The Ice Queen. A concluding volume will follow next year.

Bruce spends his spare time in the kitchen, cooking spicy food.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 14
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, December 15
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, December 16
Spotlight at Puddletown Reviews
Spotlight & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Thursday, December 17
Spotlight at Room With Books

Sunday, December 20
Spotlight at Layered Pages

Tuesday, December 22
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, December 28
Review at A Book Geek
Review at The Absurd Book Nerd

Tuesday, December 29
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Guest Post at The Absurd Book Nerd

Wednesday, December 30
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Thursday, December 31
Review at Boom Baby Reviews


Category: Author Interview, Blog Tour | Comments Off on The Ice Queen Blog Tour @BMacbain @HFVBT
16 December 2015

In the Shadow of the Storm Blog Tour

In the Shadow of the Storm

The King’s Greatest Enemy, Book One

by Anna Belfrage


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Publication Date: November 1, 2015
Silverwood Books
eBook & Print; 398 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


02_In the Shadow of the Storm


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Adam de Guirande owes his lord, Sir Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Sir Roger for his life and all his worldly good, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not quite the woman Sir Roger thinks she is. So when Sir Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the ultimate cost may be.

England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down, and fate is a fickle mistress, favouring first one, then the other.

Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but at present Adam has other matters to concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and the baron, and he hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.

Kit de Courcy has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name. What will Adam do when he finds out he has been duped?

Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Sir Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.

In the Shadow of the Storm is the first in Anna Belfrage’s new series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his baron, his king, and his wife.

Series Graphic



Chapter 1

“Will she do?” The voice came from somewhere over Kit’s head.

“Do? She will have to, won’t she?”

With a series of grunts, the men carrying her deposited her in a cart. Kit made as if to protest. A large hand gripped her by the neck, tilted her head, and held something to her mouth. No. No more. She spat like a cornered cat, to no avail. Her mouth was forced open; sweet wine was poured, obliging her to swallow. And then there was nothing but a spinning darkness. Nothing at all.

When next she came to, a wrinkled face was peering down at her.

“Remarkable,” the old woman said. “Absolutely remarkable.”

Kit shrank back. Her heart leapt erratically in her chest, her gaze flitting from one side to the other in this unfamiliar chamber, taking in tapestries and painted walls, streaks of sunlight from the open shutters. Where was she? All she had were vague recollections of days on a cart, being jolted this way and that. Days in which strong fingers pinched her nose closed until she was forced to open her mouth and swallow the unctuously sweet concoction that submerged her in darkness.

“Not so remarkable when one considers that they have the same father,” someone else said drily. A pair of light blue eyes studied Kit dispassionately. The eyes sat in a narrow face, a nose like a knife blade separating the two halves. A wimple in pristine linen and a veil in what Kit supposed to be silk framed a face that would have looked better on a man than on a woman – harsh, aloof and with an expression which reminded her of old John back home when he’d cornered a rat.

“M…m’ lady,” Kit stuttered. She tried to sit up but was pushed down again.

“Oh, no. You will not move until we have reached an agreement.”

“Agreement?” Kit pulled at her hands, noting with a burst of panic that she was tied to the bed – a simple thing, consisting of a rough wooden frame and a straw mattress.

“We are in a quandary,” the lady with the blue eyes said. For an instant, she pressed her lips together. “Stupid, wilful child!”

“Me?” Kit’s head hurt, a constant thudding behind her eyes. What had happened to her?

There was a barking sound which Kit took for laughter.

“You, little one, will be anything but wilful. If you are…” The lady made a swift motion across her throat with her hand. Kit cowered. What did they want with her, these two old crones? The older of the women patted her hand.

“It will be none too bad.” From the homespun material of her clothes and the coarse linen of her veil, Kit concluded that she was not a lady but a servant.

“Where am I?” Kit asked.

“Where you are doesn’t matter. It is what you are that is important.” The lady gave her an icy smile. “You are a soon-to-be bride. At noon, you will wed Adam de Guirande.”

Kit did not know what to say. She didn’t like the look in the lady’s eyes, and for some reason she suspected that should she refuse to comply, she would end up dead in the latrine pit – the lady had that sort of air to her.

“Who are you?” she whispered.

“Me?” The lady cackled. “Why, I am the bride’s mother, Lady Cecily de Monmouth.”

Kit wanted to protest. Her mother was Alaïs Coucy – dead since two months back. Grief tore at her, and she turned her face towards the wall, not wanting these strangers to see the tears welling in her eyes.

“I know all about your whore of a mother,” Lady Cecily said. “My husband’s great love, no less.” She sounded bitter. “But at least his bastard will come in handy.”

Kit tugged at her bindings. “I am no bastard!”

“What lies has little Alaïs told you? That your father is dead? That he abandoned her to pursue a religious vocation?”

Kit flushed. “My father—”

“Is my husband, Thomas de Monmouth. My husband, you hear?”

“But…” Kit slumped back against the thin pillow. For most of her eighteen years, she’d heard her mother’s sad story: how two young lovers fled their irate parents, exchanged their vows before a priest and hoped for an eternity together – except that her father had died of a fever. She didn’t understand. Life as she knew it was caving in on top of her – all at the say-so of this unknown woman. “You lie,” she tried.

“I most certainly do not,” Lady Cecily said.

Kit closed her eyes to avoid that penetrating light blue gaze. She suspected the lady was telling the truth: every question Kit had ever asked about her father had been met with an evasion, or the sad tale of star-crossed lovers as trotted out by her mother. When she’d taken her questions to John or to Mall, they had looked discomfited and referred to her mother.

A hand on her shoulder shook her – hard. “No time for all that now. Those dolts I sent to abduct you took their time getting you here, and we have urgent matters at hand. First and foremost, your impending wedding. Mabel, call for a bath – the child is revoltingly dirty.”

“No.” Kit raised her chin and stared Lady Cecily in the eye, summoning what little courage she had. “I’ll not wed on your say-so.”

“No? Oh, I think yes.” Lady Cecily’s eyes were of a sudden far too close, filled with such menace Kit flinched. “If you don’t, I will have you thrown out of Tresaints and publicly branded a bastard.”

“Tresaints? It’s my home.”

“It was deeded to your mother for life. And she is quite, quite dead, isn’t she?” Lady Cecily smirked. “You have nowhere to go, little…Kit, is it? But here you’ll respond to the full version of the name you share with your sister, Katherine.”

A sister? Kit gaped.

Lady Cecily smiled wickedly. “What? You didn’t know you had a trueborn half-sister? A girl who looks just like you?” She laughed as she straightened up to her full height. “So, what will it be? Destitution or marriage?”

Kit wanted to say destitution. She wanted to snarl and spit in Lady Cecily’s face – accuse her of abduction, even – but she knew it would be futile. Women like Lady Cecily had power and wealth on their side. Kit had nothing. She swallowed a sob.

“If you say no, I will evict every single one of the tenants as well,” Lady Cecily said, effectively nailing down the lid on what felt very much like a coffin.

“And if I say yes?”

“If you say yes, your father will include Tresaints in your dowry.”

Kit was trapped. She knew it; Lady Cecily knew it. She acquiesced with a single nod.

Lady Cecily patted her cheek. “Good girl.”


About the Author

03_Annna_Belfrage 2015Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveler. As such a profession does as yet not exists, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing. These days, Anna combines an exciting day-job with a large family and her writing endeavours.

When Anna fell in love with her future husband, she got Scotland as an extra, not because her husband is Scottish or has a predilection for kilts, but because his family fled Scotland due to religious persecution in the 17th century – and were related to the Stuarts. For a history buff like Anna, these little details made Future Husband all the more desirable, and sparked a permanent interest in the Scottish Covenanters, which is how Matthew Graham, protagonist of the acclaimed The Graham Saga, began to take shape.

Set in 17th century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland, the series tells the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him. With this heady blend of romance, adventure, high drama and historical accuracy, Anna hopes to entertain and captivate, and is more than thrilled when readers tell her just how much they love her books and her characters.

Presently, Anna is hard at work with her next project, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimer’s rise to power. The King’s Greatest Enemy is a series where passion and drama play out against a complex political situation, where today’s traitor may be tomorrow’s hero, and the Wheel of Life never stops rolling.

The first installment in the Adam and Kit story, In the Shadow of the Storm, will be published in the autumn of 2015.

Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 1
Review at I’m Shelfish
Review at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, December 2
Review at Beth’s Book Book
Review & Interview at Bookish

Thursday, December 3
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, December 4
Review at Singing Librarian Books
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Sunday, December 6
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Monday, December 7
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Tuesday, December 8
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Wednesday, December 9
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, December 10
Review at Book Drunkard
Review at Impressions in Ink
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, December 11
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Monday, December 14
Review at Unshelfish
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read

Tuesday, December 15
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Historical Fiction Notebook

Wednesday, December 16
Spotlight at Room with Books
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Thursday, December 17
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Friday, December 18
Interview at Just One More Chapter
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Monday, December 21
Review at Puddletown Reviews
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Tuesday, December 22
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Broken Teepee


Category: Blog Tour | Comments Off on In the Shadow of the Storm Blog Tour
5 December 2015

Decorum: A Novel Book Blast @KChrisBooks @HFVBT

Decorum: A Novel

by Kaaren Christopherson

04_Decorum_Book Blast Banner_FINAL


Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Kensington Publishing Corp.
Foramts: eBook, Paperback, Audio
Pages: 425
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
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Kaaren Christopherson’s brilliantly observed novel captures the glamour and grit of one of the world’s most dazzling cities during one of its most tumultuous eras–as seen through the eyes of a singularly captivating heroine…

In 1890s New York, beautiful, wealthy Francesca Lund is an intriguing prospect for worthy suitors and fortune hunters alike. Recently orphaned, she copes by working with the poor in the city’s settlement movement. But a young woman of means can’t shun society for long, and Francesca’s long-standing acquaintance with dashing Edmund Tracey eventually leads to engagement. Yet her sheltered upbringing doesn’t blind her to the indiscretions of the well-to-do…

Among the fashionable circle that gathers around her there are mistresses, scandals, and gentlemen of ruthless ambition. And there is Connor O’Casey–an entirely new kind of New Yorker. A self-made millionaire of Irish stock, Connor wants more than riches. He wants to create a legacy in the form of a luxury Madison Avenue hotel–and he wants Francesca by his side as he does it. In a quest that will take her from impeccable Manhattan salons to the wild Canadian Rockies, Francesca must choose not only between two vastly different men, but between convention and her own emerging self-reliance.

Rules Of Decorum

A gentleman should not be presented to a lady without her permission being previously asked and granted. This formality is not necessary between men alone; but, still, you should not present any one, even at his own request, to another, unless you are quite well assured that the acquaintance will be agreeable to the latter.

If you wish to avoid the company of any one that has been properly introduced, satisfy your own mind that your reasons are correct; and then let no inducement cause you to shrink from treating him with respect, at the same time shunning his company. No gentleman will thus be able either to blame or mistake you.

The mode in which the avowal of love should be made, must of course, depend upon circumstances. It would be impossible to indicate the style in which the matter should be told… Let it, however, be taken as a rule that an interview is best; but let it be remembered that all rules have exceptions…



“A story of discovery, entitlement and love.” – Northern Virginia Magazine

“Remarkable in its similarities to the work of Edith Wharton. The reader feels drawn into a world of glamour, glitz, and supreme hypocrisy. Everything is permissible as long as one does not get caught. It is a drama of manners and the stakes are high—one misstep could mean social oblivion…[Decorum] will appeal to a wide range of readers, particularly those who enjoy period novels such as Age of Innocence and The Portrait of a Lady.” – The Historical Novel Society

“Beautiful heiress Francesca Lund must figure out how to assert her ideas within the confines of 1890’s New York high society.” – Library Journal

“Reminiscent of Washington Square but with a more modern heroine, Decorum illuminates the dark world beneath New York society. Christopherson incorporates a clever mystery and populates the novel with a large cast of characters.” – RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

About the Author

03_Kaaren ChristophersonKaaren Christopherson is the author of Decorum—a novel about Gilded Age New York—that began taking form in 1999 during a course on writing historical fiction. From that moment, Connor O’Casey (who had been rattling around in her brain for months) finally appeared one night and said, “All right, woman. Here I am. What are you going to do about my story?” So she began to put his words on paper, and he hasn’t kept quiet since. Soon Francesca, Blanche, Tracey, Vinnie, and the rest of the characters began arguing, gossiping, loving, and forming themselves into Kaaren’s first novel.

Kaaren has had a professional career writing and editing for over 30 years and is a senior editor for an international development nonprofit organization in Washington, DC.

She has written fiction since her school days, story poems, children’s books, historical fiction, and time travel, and continues to be active in writer’s groups and writing workshops. In addition to her career as a writer, Kaaren was the owner of a decorative painting business. She loves to travel and prowl through historical sites, galleries, and museums. She is active in several churches in DC and in her local Northern Virginia community, where she shares her home with feline brothers, Archie and Sammy.

A Michigan native, Kaaren received her BA in history and art and her MA in educational administration from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

For more information visit Kaaren Christopherson’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Sunday, November 15 Seize the Words: Books in Review
Tuesday, November 17 The Reading Queen
Thursday, November 19 A Chick Who Reads
Monday, November 23 Kinx’s Book Nook
Wednesday, December 2 Brooke Blogs
Saturday, December 5 Room With Books
Monday, December 7 The Absurd Book Nerd
Tuesday, December 8 A Literary Vacation & The Lit Bitch
Wednesday, December 9 CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, December 10 Book Nerd & Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, December 11 To Read, Or Not to Read
Sunday, December 13 The Maiden’s Court
Monday, December 14 100 Pages a Day & Boom Baby Reviews
Tuesday, December 15 So Many Books, So Little Time
Wednesday, December 16 What Is That Book About
Thursday, December 17 With Her Nose Stuck In A Book
Friday, December 18 Queen of All She Reads


To win a Paperback or AudioBook of Decorum please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway starts at 12:01am EST on November 15th and ends at 11:59pm EST on December 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Decorum Book Blast


Category: Book Tour | Comments Off on Decorum: A Novel Book Blast @KChrisBooks @HFVBT
22 July 2015


02_Naked A Novel of Lady Godiva_Cover


Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 320

Genre: Historical Fiction

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We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.



“Redgold’s variation on this enticing legend is often lyrical and offers a satisfying blend of history, lore, and romance.” (Booklist)

“Breathes new life into the story of the woman who would stop at nothing to protect her land and people.” (Romantic Times)

“NAKED delivers far more than the famous ride of Lady Godiva. It’s a beautifully woven story of love, loyalty, and the determination of a young woman trying to protect her people and their way of life, no matter the price. Godiva is a wonderfully strong woman in an age of dangerous men, and in NAKED, she certainly meets her match!” (Amalia Carosella, author of HELEN OF SPARTA)

“A wonderful, romantic retelling of the Lady Godiva legend. There is the colorful Anglo-Saxon backdrop, warriors, battles, peacemaking, desire, revenge and love – everything a fan of medieval romance could desire – plus a strong-willed heroin. Written with a lyrical lilt to her prose, Redgold adds realism to the myth and love to the lusty tale, allowing readers a glimpse into what might have been.” (RT Book Reviews)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR03_Eliza Redgold_Author

ELIZA REDGOLD is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.

For more information visit Eliza Redgold’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Google+.


Tuesday, July 14
Boom Baby Reviews
Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, July 15
Genre Queen
The Maiden’s Court
What Is That Book About

Thursday, July 16
Bibliophilia, Please
The Reader’s Hollow
CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, July 17
100 Pages a Day
The Never-Ending Book

Saturday, July 18
Just One More Chapter

Monday, July 20
To Read, or Not to Read
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, July 21
A Literary Vacation
Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, July 22
Unabridged Chick

Thursday, July 23
So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, July 24
The Reading Queen

Saturday, July 25
Book Nerd

Sunday, July 26
Passages to the Past

Monday, July 27
The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, July 28
A Chick Who Reads


To enter to win a copy of Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva & a $50 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva Book Blast

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29 June 2015

Roman Mask Release Day Blitz

03_Roman Mask_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Publication Date: June 29, 2015


Formats: Kindle & Paperback

Pages: 388

Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure/Action

What is it we normally expect of the leading character in our books? Self-sacrifice? Bravery? Strength of character? Possibly with a hint of self-deprecation? Well, Cassius doesn’t have any of those. Cynicism – yes. Cowardice – possibly. Prepared to live a lie in order to further his own ends – absolutely!

Large copy of CoverIt is Rome AD 9 and Augustus Caesar rules Imperial Rome at the height of its power, as the Roman Empire stretches across the known world. Cassius, son of one of her most powerful families, is the personification of Rome’s imperial strength: wealthy, popular, a war hero with a decorated military career. None of Rome’s fashionable parties are complete without him.

But he hides a secret.

After his nerve is broken in Germany, even the thought of genuine armed combat is enough to send him into a cold sweat. But this doesn’t dissuade him from living off a false reputation so he can continue a life of womanising, wine and wild parties, as he is seduced by the many vices of Rome. However, his scandalous life is interrupted by a summons from the emperor’s wife. It ends his happy decadent life and returns him to Germany to assist the Roman legions in their greatest ever trial. The events will resound through history, in the dark forests of the Teutoburg …

I have researched the calamitous history of the doomed legions that marched into the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9, using a wide range of historical sources including the classical works of Tacitus and the more recent archaeological findings of the early 1990s in Kalkriese. I have put my complicated hero, who clearly suffers from the post-traumatic stress of his last encounter with the German tribes, at the centre of the events that rocked Rome to its foundations. How can a man, so flawed in so many respects, possibly impact on these terrible events? By his humanity, by coming to terms with his flaws, and learning to stop hating himself for them. It is a tale of betrayal and hardship, but also personal redemption.

Roman Mask Available At

Amazon US ~~ Amazon UK ~~ Amazon DE

About the Author

TomThomas Brooke lives in London where he works in the exciting, and sometimes crazy, fashion world. He is also a committed writer and he spends as much time as he can in his beloved Northumbrian hills, where up until recently could be seen walking with his black Labrador Fergus, who sadly passed in January 2015. Fergus was a constant companion to the writing of the novel and prevented many writers’ tantrums.

Roman Mask is Thomas Brooke’s second novel, although this will be the first available for sale.

As well as writing novels, he also writes a blog on both historical and fantasy genre novels.

For more information on Thomas M D Brooke, visit www.thomasmdbrooke.com and www.romanmask.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.


Category: Release | Comments Off on Roman Mask Release Day Blitz
26 March 2015

Angels at the Gate Blog Tour

Please join author T.K. Thorne as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Angels at the Gate Blog Tour from March 23-April 17, and enter to win your own hardcover copy!

Publication Date: March 5, 2015

Cappuccino Books

Formats: eBook, Hardcover

Pages: 368

Genre: Historical Fiction

02_Angels at the Gate_Cover

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Based on historical, biblical, and archaeological research, visits to the Middle East, and a large measure of creativity, ANGELS AT THE GATE is the story of Adira, destined to become Lot’s wife. A daughter of Abram’s tribe, Adira is an impetuous young girl whose mother died in childbirth. Secretly raised as a boy in her father’s caravan and schooled in languages and the art of negotiation, Adira rejects the looming changes of womanhood that threaten her nomadic life and independence.

But with the arrival of two mysterious strangers – Northmen rumored to be holy or possibly even “Angels” – Adira’s world unravels. Raiders invade the caravan, and she loses everything she values most – her father, her freedom, and even the “Angels.”

Caught between her oath to her father to return to her tribe and the “proper life for a woman” and tormented by an impossible love, she abandons all she has known in a dangerous quest to seek revenge and find her kidnapped “Angel.” With only her beloved dog, Nami, at her side, Adira must use the skills she learned in the caravan to survive the perils of the desert, Sodom, and her own heart.

ANGELS AT THE GATE is a story of adventure and the power of love, exploring themes about choice – the importance of asking the right questions and walking the fine edge between duty and personal freedom.

Based on a simple mention in the Bible, T.K. Thorne has developed a complex and full-bodied character in the wife of Lot, a woman both ancient and modern, who will touch readers’ hearts, and live in their memories for years to come. As Dianne Mooney, founder of Southern Living At Home says, “For all those whose curiosity is piqued by how it might have been in the time of Sodom and Gomorrah, this is a must read!”

Praise for Angels at the Gate

“ANGELS AT THE GATE is nothing short of a masterwork–superbly and eloquently written, solidly researched and a high-speed page-turner. Readers will be swept up in a story they can’t put down.” –Elsa D. Ruther, editor,The Nifty Pickle

“A masterpiece of historical research, interweaving history and theology in a re-visioning of an ancient story from a woman’s perspective. Thorne is a dazzlingly gifted writer.” –Sue Walker, Poet Laureate of Alabama, 2003-2012

“Thorne unspools an ancient adventure with crackling undertones of our contemporary lives. Lean, polished action sequences render a young woman’s life with both intensity and nuanced truth.” –Dale Short, public radio commentator and author of A Shinning, Shinning Path

Buy Angels at the Gate

Amazon ~~ Barnes & Noble

About the Author

03_Author TK. ThorneT.K. Thorne’s childhood passion for storytelling deepened when she became a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama. “It was a crash course in life and what motivated and mattered to people.” When she retired as a captain, she took on Birmingham’s business improvement district as the executive director. Both careers provide fodder for her writing, which has garnered several awards, including “Book of the Year for Historical Fiction” (ForeWord Reviews) for her debut novel Noah’s Wife. Her first non-fiction book, Last Chance for Justice, was featured on the New York Post’s “Books You Should Be Reading” list. She loves traveling, especially to research her novels, and speaking about her books and life lessons. She writes at her mountaintop home, often with two dogs by her side and a cat on her lap.

She blogs at www.TKs-tales.com and her web site is www.TKThorne.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads. Sign Up for T.K. Thorne’s newsletter.

Angels at the Gate Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 23
Review at Genre Queen
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, March 25
Review at Quirky Book Reviews
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, March 26
Spotlight at Room With Books
Review at Unshelfish

Friday, March 27
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review at Broken Teepee

Saturday, March 28
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, March 31
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, April 2
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Monday, April 6
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, April 9
Spotlight at I’d So Rather Be Reading

Monday, April 13
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, April 15
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, April 16
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Friday, April 17
Blog Tour Wrap Up at Passages to the Past


To enter to win a Hardcover copy of Angels at the Gate please complete the giveaway form below. Five copies are up for grabs!

* Giveaway is open to US residents only.
* Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 17th.
* You must be 18 or older to enter.
* Only one entry per household.
* All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
* Winners will be chosen via GLEAM on April 18th and notified via email. Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
* Please email Amy @ hfvirtualbooktours@gmail.com with any questions.

Angels at the Gate

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Category: Blog Tour | Comments Off on Angels at the Gate Blog Tour