Journeys: the Archers of Saint Sebastian

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Jeanne Roland and her young adult historical romance and adventure novel, Journeys: the Archers of Saint Sebastian.

Author’s description

A barracks full of beautiful boys. A girl in disguise, living among them.

 

It’s the 14th century, and the longbow is king. But in the northern European principality of Ardennes, archery isn’t just the nation’s defense. It’s the national obsession.

 

MEET THE JOURNEYS

12 young Journeyman archers, the best in the country

2 years of public competitions, in which looks count almost as much as ability

6 will win a coveted membership in the Archers’ Guild of St. Sebastian

1 will become the prince’s new Guardsman

 

MEET MARIEKE

15-year-old Marieke is as obsessed with St. Sebastian’s as everyone else in Ardennes. Only it’s the middle ages, and girls just don’t become elite archers. Except Marieke’s prospects as a girl aren’t promising either, after a well-timed kick from a mule has left her with a face that’s badly scarred and ruined for marriage. But when circumstances force her to leave her old life behind and flee to the guild for refuge, there are only two things Marieke really knows about the place. One is that a mysterious accident ended her own father’s time as a Journey. The other?

 

There are no women allowed inside St. Sebastian’s.

 

Marieke knows disguising herself as a boy and infiltrating the guild means embarking on a dangerous deception. But it may be her only chance to find out the truth about her father’s past and to stop a murderous plot from coming to fruition. When the dashing young Journeyman Tristan takes her under his wing as his squire, she’s got to stay – at least long enough to help him beat out his brutal arch-rival to win the competitions.

 

Keeping her identity a secret will be hard. Living in close quarters with a pack of gorgeous boys? That will be harder still. But the hardest thing of all will be keeping the vow she makes for herself: to see Tristan become the next Guardsman, without ever letting him find out she’s a girl – a girl, who loves him.

 

Part Robin Hood and part Princess Bride, with a pinch of Mulan and a dash of Cyrano de Bergerac in the mix, The Archers of St. Sebastian I: Journeys is a humorous action and adventure saga inspired by late medieval/early Renaissance Belgium and packed with romance, wit, and longbow archery. Perfect for young adults looking for an immersive read and for adults who love young adult themes, Journeys is an escape into the past that reads more like romantic historical fantasy than pure historical fiction.

 

Unrequited love? Ugly heroines who stay ugly? Friendship, coming of age, romance, adventure, and plenty of archery competitions? A unique setting inspired by the glorious city of Bruges, with a richly imagined world set within the walls of a male-only archers’ guild? Journeys: The Archers of Saint Sebastian has it all, so if you’re looking for a great escape, don your disguise and join Marieke as she enters the forbidden world of Saint Sebastian’s, and prepare to fall in love with the Journeys – that is, the twelve best and most beautiful archers in all of Ardennes, the Journeyman archers of St. Sebastian’s.

About the Author

Roland hails from Davis, California, where she spent most of her youth lounging at the pool, soaking up the sun, and daydreaming. She had a key ring that read ‘I’m running away to join the circus,’ and her favorite moment of the day was when the local movie theater went dark, and the slogan ‘escape to the movies’ appeared on the screen. As an adult, her passions include all things melodramatic and beautiful — everything from classic movies, British romantic poetry, ancient tragedy and epic, to Italian opera. She is now a professor of Classics in a small midwestern town, where she lives with her Greek husband, her fraternal twins, and a Bernese mountain dog named Franco Corelli.

Find the Author

I’m not a big social media person; the best ways to reach me are via my website, or Facebook.
Author website: http://www.jeanneroland.com
Other websites: I blog as the Allegorical Traveler about Greek mythology at http://www.nepenthepress.com
Twitter: @booksbyJeanneR
Instagram: @jeannerolandwrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeannerolandwrites

Buy the Book

Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09L6KZ8D7

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. This is the very last stop on the tour, but if you go back and comments on some of the previous tour stops, you can greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

(Context: 15-year-old Marieke is disguised as Marek, and she’s serving as a squire to the Journeyman archer Tristan at the archers’ guild of Saint Sebastian. She’s in love with him, but she’s sworn an oath never to let him find out she’s a girl. In this scene, after Tristan and Marieke find an abandoned windmill, and spend an idyllic afternoon daydreaming in its shadow).

“Do you know what I love about you, Marek?” he says. At the word ‘love,’ the band around my chest constricts painfully, though he’s used it lightly enough. “You’re completely without pretense!”

If he only knew. I blush, not only at the compliment, but out of shame, too. But Tristan doesn’t notice. He rolls back onto his back.

“Admit it. Much as we may love dear old St. Seb’s, it’s good to be away. It’s good to be able to let your guard down.”

“And, to stop acting?” I venture boldly.

“Oh, I’d never do that. Not entirely!” he laughs.

“Tristan,” I ask, “Just between us. Who are you, really?”

“I firmly believe, Marek, a man has two choices,” he replies, crossing his arms behind his head and looking up at the sky. “He can stage his life as a comedy, or as a tragedy. Personally, I prefer comedy.”

“Very clever. But that’s not an answer. Besides, not even you can really laugh at everything.”

“No. But I can try.”

“Come on, Tristan,” I say, refusing to let him brush me off this time. “Give me a real answer.”

“A real answer? Ok, Marek, my friend,” he says. “The real answer is, I wish I knew.”

On impulse, I say, “Well, I know exactly who you are, Tristan.”

“Oh really? Who’s that?”

“You’re the next member of the Black Guards, if I have anything to say about it.” And I mean it. I resolve right then and there that I’m going to find a way to make it happen.

Thank you!

Jeanne Roland — we appreciate your sharing your book Journeys: the Archers of Saint Sebastian with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

XNOR

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Anand Purohit and his historical fanatsy novel, XNOR.

Author’s description

1759 was a defining year for the colonies that became Canada. It was also the year the British Empire rose to preeminence over other European nations and empires. All that changes when technology deployed in 2047 to shield Canadians from an escalating world conflict inadvertently teleports a group of scientists, engineers, teachers and medical people back to Nova Scotia, 1759. Despite their technological superiority, they, like many new settlers, struggle to establish a homestead, feed their community and deal with the constant threat from a violent world. Established empires with their large populations are not about to let a small group of upstarts interfere in their lucrative slave trade and subjugation of whomever they please.

About the Author

ANAND PUROHIT was born and raised in a Caucasian, Christian family. After several years of inexplicable experiences, he travelled as young man to India for insight. The shocking immersion, alone in a chaotic and foreign culture, forever changed him. Wandering among the slums, always on the edge of death and disease, his perception was shattered. He returned to Canada with a new name and legalized it to cement his commitment to a life of mindfulness.

While enlightenment proved elusive, the quest for greater understanding remained strong. Forty years of software design and business ownership did not quell the thirst. Constant study of history, logistics, physics and metaphysics watered the desire to weld a nexus between analyst and mystic.

The days of designing complex software systems have passed. A new door has opened.

Find the Author

WEBSITE: https://xnorbooks.com/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21824579.Anand_Purohit

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM: https://amazon.com/dp/0228858232
KINDLE: https://amazon.com/dp/B09FQY5BBY
BOOKSHOP: https://bookshop.org/books/xnor/9780228858232
INDIGO CHAPTERS: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/xnor/9780228858256-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/xnor-anand-purohit/1140158627
BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/Xnor-Anand-Purohit/9780228858232
RAKUTEN KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/xnor
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1103304
APPLE BOOKS: https://books.apple.com/us/book/xnor/id1585704734

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Chan considers his options. I need to give something to the media. At least the teleport didn’t end in an explosion, a sinking Ark, or mutilated animals. This could actually be an opportunity. The successful teleport could propel Wei Corp. into the stratosphere of the financial world.

He brings his speedboat alongside the news boat and attempts to hold a short interview at an appropriate distance. “My name is Chan Wei. I’m the president and major shareholder of Wei Corp. This area must maintain a strict quarantine. You have witnessed the first test of a new technology Wei Corp. developed. There are many details I cannot share at this time. Please be assured that we will hold a full and transparent interview after we have all the facts assembled. A navy ship will be escorting you from this area shortly.”

Chan is inundated with the usual blast of questions and demands from an excited news scrum. He gives only a single reply before rushing his boat back to the Ark. “Yes, the technology you witnessed is similar to the teleport technology from Star Trek. As this test has confirmed, it will revolutionize transportation. However, I plead for a reserved display and description of today’s test in your presentation to the public. There is still much that needs to be analysed before we can comment further.”

As he speeds away from the media boat, he smiles. There’s no way the media will be “reserved” in its presentation. This will be a truly global event with twenty-four–hour speculation for months. I should start a private consultation with JPM and other major brokers. An IPO at this time will be worth many billions!

A Little More From the Author

I asked: Is there a character in XNOR who insisted on playing a larger role in the story?

He answered: There are two.

General Hammond started as a supporting role for the community of people who eventually teleported back in time. He became caught up in the jump along with other military people. Being the senior military person in the new era he assumed command and declared martial law while a workable democratic structure could be implemented. It took longer than expected.

The second character who was also intended to be a supporting person is Cecile Dubois, a French Immersion teacher. Her students call her Mademoiselle Dubois to her face and ‘the Mad Moiselle’ behind her back. Her gruff demeanor and ever-present scowl hide a tender heart. The story started using her diary entries to provide some background info on how unmentioned people in the community might be thinking and feeling. It continued till the end of the book including her brief romance with the larger-than-life, eighteen-century woodsman Jacques Hébert.

Thank you!

Anand Purohit — we appreciate your sharing your book XNOR with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Secret of Drulea Cottage

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Claire Kohler and her historical fantasy novel, The Secret of Drulea Cottage.

Author’s description

Briony Fairborn, a midwife in eighteenth-century Scotland, comes from a family shrouded in scandal. Left with only one friend after her mother’s death, she has little hope of gaining any others, let alone finding a husband. Instead, Briony tries to live a quiet life and avoid her neighbors’ ridicule as much as possible.

 

But things in Everton take a drastic turn when a storm brings foreigners to the village docks.

 

On the night Santiago Mendes arrives, he comes with a broken ship, a broken leg, and a broken spirit that Briony finds herself profoundly drawn to. Her scarred heart slowly starts to open, and although Briony suspects he may be hiding something, she cannot help but dream of the possibility of love.

 

That is, until another stranger appears in town, intent on repaying a childhood debt. A dangerously handsome stranger who shows Briony that she’s even more different than she could have imagined. And that her past is far darker than she realized.

 

Magic, romance, and political intrigue collide as the secrets surrounding one Scottish woman begin to unravel. Secrets that she may not be ready to face.

About the Author

Claire Kohler grew up in Mooresville, NC, as the eldest of four daughters. Her love of stories began at an early age, and as a child, she could often be found borrowing way too many books from the library and scribbling away in a journal.

In 2016, Claire became a full-time middle school English teacher in a public school. In her second year of teaching, she also taught social studies. After becoming pregnant in 2018, Claire decided to shift careers and become an online ESL teacher so that she could also take care of her newborn at home.

She now lives in Statesville, NC, with her husband, two children, and three cats. She is also an active member of Christ Community Church Mooresville, where she often serves as a Bible study and small group leader.

Claire plans to continue creating exciting historical fantasy novels and potentially branching out into other genres as well.

Find the Author

Website Link: https://secretdruleacottage.wixsite.com/clairekohlerbooks

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/Claire-Kohler-Books-100151582291586

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

“Open the door! By order of His Majesty the King!” The harsh shout from the street below wrenched Santiago out of his reverie.

The sounds of merriment abruptly ended within the house, and nervous whispers took their place. Santiago peered down from the balcony at the ten quadrilheiros  standing right outside the door. He’d never seen that many gathered in one place, since they typically stayed in Lisbon near the king. What could be so important for them to show up here?

“Santiago!”

The man turned to find his sister standing before him, a nervous Andreas at her side. Her entire body was trembling as though she would fall apart at a moment’s notice, and Santiago observed the way she gripped Andreas’s arm with such intensity that her knuckles had turned white.

“Are they going to arrest us? Why are the quadrilheiros here?” Lucia whimpered in a low voice, her breaths so shallow she could barely get the words out.

Santiago reached out and patted her shoulder. “Calm down, sister. We’ve done nothing wrong. I’m sure they just need information for something—”

The door creaked open below them, and Santiago motioned for Lucia to be silent.

“What’s the meaning of this?” Tomas Cabral, head servant for the Mendes family, demanded. Santiago smirked at the older gentleman’s steady voice; it was difficult for anyone to intimidate Tomas.

“Are Senhor and Senhorita Mendes in?”

Rather than answering, the man said, “Why have you come?”

The leading officer growled and said, “Senhor Mendes is to be taken into custody and his sister brought in for questioning.”

Lucia gasped. “What!”

“Shh!” Santiago insisted.

“You’re arresting Senhor Mendes? On what grounds?” Tomas didn’t sound nearly as confident anymore, but Santiago was proud of the man for not allowing the quadrilheiros into the house yet.

“Treason! Now, stand aside!”

Thank you!

Claire Kohler — we appreciate your sharing your book The Secret of Drulea Cottage with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Lady Who Knew Too Much

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Alyson Chase and her steamy historical romance novel, The Lady Who Knew Too Much.

Author’s description

He’s an ex-boxer. She sips tea at philosophical salons. And when these two opposites meet, their lives will never be the same.

Lady Juliana knows someone is trying to kill her father. The problem is getting anyone to believe her. Her father thinks she’s imagining things. Her brother that she’s seeking attention. And the man her brother hired to bring her back home…well, he thinks nothing much of her at all.

Brogan Duffy has clawed his way up from the streets to become the lead investigator on his very first inquiry case. The fact that it is to retrieve a spoiled aristocrat playing at intrigue is of no consequence. Nor is the fact that she beguiles him like no other woman. He has a job to do, and he won’t let anything stand in his way, not even this illogical attraction.

But Juliana might not be imagining the threat. And when it’s her life that’s on the line, Brogan has to decide to what lengths he’ll go to keep her safe. Because in order to resolve this make-or-break case in his career, Brogan might have to hazard more than his heart. And with some gambles, there’s no going back…

About the Author

Alyson Chase lives in Colorado. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts. (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?)  She also writes humorous, small-town, contemporary romance novels under the name Allyson Charles, and paranormal romances as A. Caprice.

Find the Author

You can catch up with her at https://www.allysoncharles.com/alyson-chase-1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlysonChaseAuthor/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/1alysonchase
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBDDk6MbGufWiwi9cydVbZg
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/alysonchaseauthor/boards/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alyson-chase

Buy the Book

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Who-Knew-Too-Much-ebook/dp/B094TH9B8R

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

His driver stretched from his spot underneath a willow tree and lumbered over. “Off to London, sir?”

“Yes.” Brogan looked back at Bluff Hall. The sun glinted off the front windows. Ivy climbed up the white walls. All in all, a cheerful picture.

A sliver of dread wedged in his gut.

He sniffed. It was Lady Juliana’s doing, filling his mind with unfounded suspicions. Yanking open the carriage door, he climbed inside, slamming it behind him.

He pounded on the ceiling, eager to be away. He’d done his job, and kept his promise to the lady. He had nothing to feel badly for.

He stretched his legs out, kicking the blanket-wrapped bundle underneath the seat opposite.

“Ouch!” The bundle shifted.

Brogan’s stomach twisted. He bent over and yanked the edge of the blanket toward him.

Dark hair spilled across the floor. Juliana pushed a hank off her face and peered up at him, blinking.

“Good afternoon,” she said, with the dignity of a princess instead of the stowaway she was. “I don’t suppose I could have a ride back to London?”

Thank you!

Alyson Chase — we appreciate your sharing your book The Lady Who Knew Too Much with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Monique Gliozzi and her supernatural thriller novel, Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished.

Author’s description

When Hank Gild is given the opportunity to take up his dream job, he accepts the offer with excitement. As a tour guide at the historical imperial castle on Lake Starnberg, Hank delights his guests with stories of the late Bavarian emperor-his antics, his precious artifacts and the mystery shrouding his death in 1886. But it seems that not all the castle’s visitors are of pure heart. Before long, Hank is forced down a path of greed, deception and danger with no way out. A once happy and simple life unexpectedly becomes a treacherous nightmare. Who can he trust? Can Hank save himself before learning the ultimate lesson?

You be the Judge

In my books I’ve always have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So when authors visit this blog,  I love to ask them if there was such a character in their novel.

Monique Gliozzi gave it some thought and decided she had one but the reader needs to decide how big a role her intruder got. It’s an intriguing response and one I’ve never gotten before. Read on to see what I mean.

Historically in my previous novellas, I’ve always had a main protagonist and created the plot around them, weaving different characters into the story line. Facets of the Past is no different. The main players are Hank, our hero, Karl and his niece, the evil villains and masterminds behind the treacherous deed that Hank finds himself embroiled in. Early in the piece we meet Helena, an official of the museum (imperial palace) who helps Hank become accustomed to his responsibilities as a tour guide. Initially, I thought of leaving it at that, but something told me to create a little more of a role for her, which would bring more depth to Hank’s character. So after some soul searching, her persona became more involved with the plot while still remaining in the wings of the story’s suspense. You might be asking yourself, is there a little romance between the two? Well I will let you decide and be the judge of the path I chose for them.

The Author’s Story

Born in Dublin, Dr Monique Gliozzi, a graduate from the University of Western Australia medical school, has a keen interest in forensic sciences and psychiatry. She works as a psychiatrist in Perth, with ties to the UWA School of Psychiatry, where she has had a role as a senior clinical lecturer. Her love for teaching granted her a nomination for an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016.

Monique also holds an interest in aviation. She trained at the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, where she obtained a commercial pilot license. Following this, Monique completed her instructor rating and is now working on a casual basis as a senior flight instructor.

Monique rekindled her passion for writing starting with the fictional thriller Foresight, followed by Hunted and ghostly encounters in Vestige. Her latest book, Diversity, is a compilation of entertaining short stories of different genres.

Find the Author

WEBSITE  — https://moniquegliozzi.com/
BLOG — https://paranormalpsychiatrist.com/
FACEBOOK — https://www.facebook.com/moniquegliozziauthor
INSTAGRAM — https://www.instagram.com/monique.gliozzi/?hl=en
TWITTER — https://twitter.com/GliozziMonique

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM — https://amazon.com/dp/0228848903
INDIGO CHAPTERS — https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/facets-of-the-past-no/9780228848929-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/facets-of-the-past-monique-gliozzi/1139129049
RAKUTEN KOBO — https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/facets-of-the-past
SMASHWORDS — https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1076824
APPLE BOOKS — https://books.apple.com/us/book/facets-of-the-past-no-dark-deed-goes-unpunished/id1561052315

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Sliding behind the tapestry immortalizing the king’s coronation, then positioning my flashlight to take full advantage of its beam, I went to work. The old lock cracked within seconds. The click echoing around the room appeared loud to my already adrenaline-laden senses. With a heart pounding like a jackhammer, I reached for the handle, savoring the feeling of cold brass against my clammy palm. The little secret door was finally ajar.

Anyone familiar with old doors would know that they never open quietly, their hinges invariably will creak. This one was no different. A rush of cold musty air rushed past me. Shining the torch, I could see that behind this partition was a short narrow corridor leading to a set of steps. Glancing at my watch, I noted there was still time before a second security sweep would be needed.

Tentatively, I walked into the unknown, first tackling the corridor and steep set of winding stairs to another locked door. As I prepared to pick its lock, images of an archaeological expedition crossed my mind – Tutankhamen. The oppressive musty air, steep dark tunnels and unlawful intrusion were some similarities taunting with my moral compass. I hoped that there were no microorganisms in this space causing a mysterious and deadly affliction or, worse, a curse.

Sweat built on my brow, the tools slipped from between my moist fingers, but eventually I opened the second door, revealing yet another very long tunnel. The ceiling was arched and low, suitable for anyone of shorter stature than my six-foot frame. As I walked bent over like the hunchback of Notre Dame, I calculated the approximate length of this tunnel to be eight hundred yards. Finally, reaching its end, another door beckoned to be unlocked. Putting my skill to good use, within seconds I found myself in a small underground room.

Shining the beam around the space, a sense of uncanny familiarity befell me. Then, at the far end of the antique wine cellar, I recognized a set of wooden steps. I was in the cellar of my cottage! Relieved at having completed this little adventure unscathed, I decided to retrace my steps back to the castle.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Hank!”

Startled, I spun around, my flashlight catching a dark hooded shape emerging from the shadows.

“Who are you? How do you know my name?” The harshness of my tone barely disguised my fear. The figure slowly stepped toward the middle of the room, his head bowed and face still concealed by the hood of what appeared to be a monk’s habit. He stood in silence.

“Who are you?” I demanded. Then, slowly lifting his head toward the light, revealing a sunken midface, sharply jutting jaw, a long beaked nose, and black penetrating eyes, the stranger answered, sending a chill down my spine.

“Call me the Handyman.”

Thank you!

Monique Gliozzi  — we appreciate your sharing your book Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

When Destiny Calls

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Tricia McGill and her  time-travel romance novel, When Destiny Calls.

Author’s description

From one crazy period in history to another.

 

Whisked by some unseen force from the Covid-19 ridden world of 2020 in Australia, to an equally horrific time in the past, carer Chloe Simpson finds herself in North London during the Blitz of 1940. Could be that Chloe became too immersed in the stories related to her by Minnie, a woman in the Australian nursing home where she cares for elderly people? Stories about the dreadful days and nights endured during the Blitz.

 

Engrossed in the stories surrounding photographs in 98-year-old Minnie Clacton’s cherished album, back in time Chloe meets up with the young Minnie plus her own Great Great Grandmother Aggie.

In the midst of an air raid, Chloe is discovered, wet and confused, by a man and his dog. A man and his canine companion who coincidentally appeared prominently in the photo album alongside the young Minnie and Aggie. Did Chloe simply answer the call of Destiny?

My Review

This is a difficult book to review without giving too much away, so I’m going to start out by saying it is a well told story with likable characters and then approach it in chunks in hopes of doing both the story and my review justice.

First, I loved the opening chapter. I’ve got a soft spot for compassionate care givers like Chloe and the set up was well done. I’m going to love this book, I thought.

Then in the second chapter, Chloe hits her head and goes back in time. Really? I suppose there are only so many non-technical ways to move characters about in time, but as life-long science fiction reader, I’ve had it with this one. Ugh, I thought. Am I going to make it through this book?

In the next several chapters, we get two things. One is a fair bit of fish out of water humor as Chloe deals with the seamed nylon stockings and sanitary pads of the 1940s. The other is a surprisingly hot sweet romance. (As in you don’t see them do much but it really works. ) I flew through this part and I think most reader’s will.

Then, you get chapter after chapter of Chloe’s life. It’s a pleasant life, with some ups and down, but it’s not the sort of life that makes for much of a novel. She’s likable, he’s likable, and I was delighted the two of them were happy, but at this point I’m turning the pages to find out what I really want to know. What’s the deal with the time travel? What is the universe doing? Why did this happen? What’s the meaning of life? I want answers.

Suffice to say, I didn’t feel I got them. I know, explaining how the universe works is fraught with problems, but this author didn’t try.

Then I realized she never intended to. She wanted to write a sweet romance book that started in the 1940’s and ended up with lots of happy people. The going back in time (I wouldn’t call it time travel) was an artifact for making the story happen.

I wanted to read science fiction (which I prefer over romance) and I wanted intricate explanations of the nature of time and the cosmos. So, I didn’t get the book I wanted.

However, I do think the author did a fine job of writing the book she wanted to write. I DNF a lot of books, and I made it to her last page based not only on my curiosity, but also on the likability of her characters, her competent story telling, and the sweetness of the world she created. I suspect those more inclined to overlook the entire time travel thing and enjoy the author’s focus will love this book!

About the Author

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

Award winning author Tricia McGill spent her early days in Highbury, London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart.

Tricia’s love of animals has always shown up in her books. Tricia devotes as much time and money as she can spare to supporting worldwide conservation groups and is passionate about supporting those who do all they can to preserve our wildlife for future generations. She also volunteers for a local community group that helps disabled adults and children to connect to the internet with provided computer equipment. When people ask what she does in her spare time, she is heard to ask, “Spare time, what is that?”

Find the Author

http://www.triciamcgill.com
http://triciamg.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/authorTriciaMcGill

Buy the Book

https://bookswelove.net/mcgill-tricia/
http://www.triciamcgill.com

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

I shivered. The cold seemed to seep into my bones. How long had I lain there in the rain? I clutched Minnie’s album to my breast. Right now, it seemed the only normal thing in this crazy scenario. Feeling as if I should say something to break the silence, I blurted, “I just had a thought. Perhaps they put me in my car and then decided to dump me here near a farm before they took off. Is it your property?”

All I heard from him was a soft noise that sounded like a cough or could have been a huff of disbelief. I stumbled and he caught my arm to stop me falling. It was still too dark to see his features well, and his peaked cap was pulled down low on his forehead. I had a fleeting feeling that I might be dreaming and he was a figment of my imagination. “My name is Chloe, by the way,” I said. “What’s your tag?”

Turning around, I caught a grin and wondered if he was laughing at me. “You don’t talk like anyone around here, miss. Where do you hail from, and I am Bill, by the way. You already know Tiger there.” He carried on walking.

We seemed to be getting no nearer to a homestead, so I asked, “As a matter of curiosity, where are you leading me? Oh, I’m Australian—obviously,” I tacked on as if it needed explanation.

Thank you!

Tricia McGill — we appreciate your sharing your book When Destiny Calls with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Nuclear Power Nuclear Game

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Helen Huang and her political thriller, Nuclear Power Nuclear Game.

Author’s description

The year is 1950. Zoe and John, two young nuclear scientists from Berkeley, seem to have the perfect life, with promising careers and marriage plans. But their innocence is soon shattered when the Chinese Communist Party seizes power. Choosing to postpone the wedding and return back to her home country, Zoe finds herself locked in a political cage and separated from John indefinitely.

 

Caught in a complex web of revolutionary propaganda and forced to participate in dangerous research, Zoe must confront the looming question of where her true loyalties lie: with her country or with John back in America?

 

Set during China’s march towards nuclear power amidst the political turmoil of the Cold War, Nuclear Power Nuclear Game spans multiple decades and countries across the globe to tell the story of two nuclear scientists’ fight for world peace and a love torn apart by conflicting ideologies.

 Helen Huang’s Story

Born and raised in Shanghai, Helen Huang now resides in Melbourne, Australia. Nuclear Power Nuclear Game is her first novel, inspired by her own experience living under the Communist regime and working at a nuclear institute in China.

To be a novelist was Helen’s childhood dream. She started writing Nuclear Power Nuclear Game when she was a housewife looking after her four daughters. It took her sixteen years to write, as she raised her children and grew her house design and construction business. Helen hopes to finish a sequel to Nuclear Power Nuclear Game next year.

Find the Author

WEBSITE https://helenhuangauthor.com/
GOODREADS https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14688825.Helen_Huang

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM https://amazon.com/dp/0228847176
AMAZON.CA https://amazon.ca/dp/0228847176
AMAZON.COM.AU https://amazon.com.au/dp/0228847176
KINDLE https://amazon.com/dp/B091G4B12M
INDIGO CHAPTERS https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/nuclear-power-nuclear-game/9780228847199-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nuclear-power-nuclear-game-helen-huang/1139180912
BOOK DEPOSITORY https://www.bookdepository.com/Nuclear-Power-Nuclear-Game-Helen-Huang/9780228847175
KOBO https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/nuclear-power-nuclear-game
SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1077359
APPLE https://books.apple.com/us/book/nuclear-power-nuclear-game/id1561834330

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

An Exclusive Excerpt

(Just for us!)

A stern voice interrupted her thoughts. “Comrade Meng, why did you not go to the rally?” Ma Dagui, chief of the propaganda team, poked his head around the open door.

Zoe jumped and nearly fell off her stool in fright. “Oh, I’m preparing for my class.” She gestured at the table. “Chief Ma, we really have to get more modern equipment. I’ve spent hours trying to set up this experiment and still haven’t gotten it right.”

He pushed the door open and strode in, looking down his nose at her. “Comrade Meng, we have more important things to think about than your experiments at the moment.”

“But atomic science is developing so rapidly! The success of the US nuclear bomb would not have happened without modern, sophisticated facilities. We have to catch up. The more we learn, the further we penetrate into these fields, the more complex the equipment becomes.”

He stared at her for several long seconds with his brow furrowed, as if considering her argument. Then he launched into one of his standard propaganda speeches, like the political lessons he gave at the department meetings. “Comrade Meng, we are in a difficult period. During the Sino-Japanese War and Chinese Civil War, the National government had no intention of promoting scientific research, instead allocating all possible resources to the army. That’s why our base is very low. Now that we are facing direct American aggression, our priority is to consolidate our socialist government and protect the new China. Imagine if the US were to take over China. If China became America’s colony …”

Yes, yes, I’ve heard all this propaganda before, Zoe thought, but science should not be bound by politics. She could not stand aside any longer. She had a strong urge to make her voice heard for once. “We have entered the nuclear age, Chief Ma. With up-to-date, powerful equipment, atomic particles are perceptible and measurable, so our physicists can study them, and China can compete. But we don’t have any kind of reasonable equipment. I can’t even do basic demonstrations for my students, much less the type of research I was doing in America and would like to continue here.”

Chief Ma’s eyebrows lowered ominously at Zoe’s blunt words, his mouth half open. Then he snapped it shut. According to Chairman Mao, enemies were everywhere, and his military instinct now told him Comrade Meng might be hiding more serious problems behind her constant grouchiness. “You mean you miss your life in America?”

“I don’t mean that, but I do miss the research I did there.”

“Why do you want to follow the Americans? We should do our own research.”

Zoe shook her head, wearing a bitter smile to cover her disappointment: You’re a military officer. You may know how to fight, but you have no idea what science is about. There’s clearly no point arguing with you.

Chief Ma masked his humiliation with an angry attack. “Comrade Meng, where is your political consciousness? You’re putting your personal ambition above China’s national interest. You had better think about where you stand—with the Chinese Communists, or the American imperialists?”

Thank you!

Helen Huang —  we appreciate your sharing your book  Nuclear Power Nuclear Game with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Lockdown Tales

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Alan Whelan and his contemporary fiction novel The Lockdown Tales

Author’s description

Seven women and three men leave the city to avoid a pandemic. They isolate together in a local farm, where they pass the time working, flirting, eating, drinking, making music and above all telling stories. It happened in Florence in 1351, during the Plague, and gave us Boccaccio’s Decameron.

 

Seven hundred years later, in Australia, it happens again. The stories are very different, but they’re still bawdy, satirical, funny and sometimes sad, and they celebrate human cleverness, love, courage and imagination.

 

“Alan Whelan brings us a clever, sensual and sometimes poignant collection of stories that would make Boccaccio proud”

– Tangea Tansley, author of A Question of Belonging

 

“An old frame for a sharp new snapshot of contemporary Australia”

– Leigh Swinbourne, author of Shadow in the Forest

Creating Characters

I tend to have minor characters who surprise me by insisting on a larger role in my story. I’m always curious as to whether other authors experience this, so I asked Alan Whelan if there was such a character in one of his stories. Here is his surprising and well thought out answer.

I once set out to see what would happen if I let my characters take the reins.

I was starting a historical novel, set in Victorian London. I put my cast in a drawing room together. Most of them were real historical figures, so they obviously had a life outside my book.

I had a direction I wanted to go in, but I let the characters say and do what they were likely to say and do.

So they made conversation, they drank tea and ate muffins, and one of the men started flirting with Ellen Terry, the actor. After I’d written twenty pages of this, I found that … nothing had happened. They were still lounging about in comfortable chairs in a nice drawing room, thanks, and in no mood to go out and have adventures.

So I saved some of the better lines of dialogue and started again. This time I made them get to work. They had things to do if I was to have a story, and I was going to make them work for their existence. I’d give them motives for their actions, but their actions are up to me.

After that experiment I decided that the “I just let the characters lead me” approach is not for me.

The question, for me, is who or what a character is. Like most writers, I expect, I create my people by making composites of two or three people I know, taking bits from each, and then I give them characteristics, experiences, attitudes, habits of speech and so on. So I tend to work out the plot and the characters at the same time.

I usually have an outline of the story I want to tell, and the people in the story have to be people who are likely to do the things that happen in the story. I make their actions as psychologically plausible as I can, and then they do what I say they do.  

Still, I’ve had minor characters turn into major characters, when I hadn’t expected that.

I might have a passing stranger insult the hero so he’s in a bad mood when he meets the heroine. Originally that person is a minor character, probably slightly comic, and I expected they’d only have that walk-on and get-off part.

Then it occurs to me that the story would be stronger if there’s a character hanging around the edge of the action, always saying the wrong thing and being clumsy: spilling drinks on people and generally getting in the way. It adds an extra thread in the story that makes the rope stronger. Also, you can show important things about your lead characters by showing how they react to this nuisance.

So that minor character acquires a more detailed description of his (let’s make it “his”) appearance. I’ll tell the reader what he wears and how he moves. His speech will become more idiosyncratic.

I’ll provide him with a reason for being grumpy and clumsy. Is it a new baby? Lack of sleep? Or illness, or a wound? Maybe he’s got Achilles tendon trouble so he has to hobble everywhere, which can be exhausting and it always hurts, just a little.

But that process isn’t exactly a matter of a minor character demanding more time. It’s more that as the writer I realise that the other characters need him to react to, and maybe the story structure needs him, and it opens the possibility of having a story element that is funny or sad, or both at once, which I like.

So it’s not so much that a character bursts onto the page (or computer screen) fully formed, demanding attention. Not in my writing, or not very often.

Sometimes, if I’m very drawn to a particular character after just one paragraph’s acquaintance, I start looking closer, and suspiciously: that’s one of the signs of a stock figure.

For me it’s more that as I decide to make more use of a small character, I give him or her more depth and weight so she or he can sustain that more prominent role.

Tasso said that the only beings that deserve the name of creators are his God and writers. He actually said “poets”, but let’s extend it to prose writers as well. Writers are our characters’ unknown gods. We make them the way they are, and we set them on their way, both the lead roles and the minor roles.

About the Author

Alan Whelan lives in the Blue Mountains of NSW, Australia. He’s been a political activist, mainly on homelessness, landlord-tenant issues and unemployment, and a public servant writing social policy for governments. He’s now a free-lance writer, editor and researcher.

His story, There Is, was short-listed for the Newcastle Short Story Award in June 2020, and appeared in their 2020 anthology. His story, Wilful Damage, won a Merit Prize in the TulipTree Publications (Colorado) September 2020 Short Story Competition, and appears in their anthology, Stories that Need to be Told. It was nominated by the publisher for the 2021 Pushcart Prize.

His book The Lockdown Tales, using Boccaccio’s Decameron framework to show people living with the Covid-19 lockdown, is now on sale in paperback and ebook.

His novels, Harris in Underland and Blood and Bone are soon to be sent to publishers. He is currently working on the sequel to The Lockdown Tales and will then complete the sequel to Harris in Underland.

Alan Whelan co-wrote the book, New Zealand Republic, and has had journalism and comment pieces published in The New Zealand Listener and every major New Zealand newspaper, plus The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

He wrote two books for the NZ Government: Renting and You and How to Buy Your Own Home. His stories also appear in Stories of Hope, a 2020 anthology to raise funds for Australian bushfire victims, and other anthologies.

Find the Author

His website is alanwhelan.org.
He tweets as @alannwhelan.
His phone number is +61 433 159 663.
Enthusiastic acceptances and emphatic rejections, also thoughtful questions, are generally sent by email to alan@alanwhelan.org.

CONNECT WITH ALAN WHELAN
WEBSITE: https://alanwhelan.org/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/alanNwhelan
ADD THE LOCKDOWN TALES TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56931387-the-lockdown-tales

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM: https://amazon.com/dp/022884052X
AMAZON.CA: https://amazon.ca/dp/022884052X
AMAZON AUS: https://amazon.com.au/dp/022884052X
KINDLE: https://amazon.com/dp/B08SCQ132Q
BOOKSHOP: https://bookshop.org/books/the-lockdown-tales-disobedience-love-patience-and-other-stories-9780228840534/9780228840527
INDIGO CHAPTERS: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-lockdown-tales-disobedience-love/9780228840527-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lockdown-tales-alan-whelan/1138592053
BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Lockdown-Tales-Alan-Whelan/9780228840527
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-lockdown-tales
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1063049
APPLE BOOKS: https://books.apple.com/us/book/lockdown-tales-disobedience-love-patience-other-stories/id1548072263

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

She drank, then coughed. I wanted to put my arm, or perhaps both arms, round her, but it seemed opportunistic. I should just be there, being supportive and putting no extra responsibilities on her.

I heard guitar notes from the house. It was less skilled than what we’d become used to, which meant that Bran was playing. I suspected that when we returned inside Grace and Danny would be gone. Danny’s room was the furthest room from Amelia’s. They’d be there.

Amelia sighed. She’d probably had the same thought. At last she said, “Actually, though, I’m still glad I’m here. This is a lovely place. And these are good people. If we have to be locked down, I can’t think of a better place to be.”

“Yeah. I have no idea what happens now. Yesterday I tuned into the news, for the first time in weeks. None of it’s good. I’m pretty pessimistic, to tell the truth. There’s a second wave. And maybe years to wait for a vaccine. Or even an effective treatment.”

Amelia nodded. “In Boccaccio his people went back to Florence after just 15 days. In reality, that would’ve been too soon. They’d still have been at risk. We might have to be here for months.”

“I’m not going anywhere. Nor’s this place. And I’m not tired of anyone yet.”

Amelia smiled. “Well, I’ll have to try not to be tiresome. I may be doing more work, I mean academic work, from now on.”

I nodded. “Sure. You can borrow my office. Anyway,” I inclined my head towards the house, “let’s face the music.”

We walked from the vast comfort of a sky that didn’t know us or care, to the warmth, where people did both.

Thank you!

Alan Whelan — we appreciate your sharing your book The Lockdown Tales with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Yes—These Are Your Grandma’s Romances

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Nancy Fraser and her historical romance anthology Yes—These Are Your Grandma’s Romances.

Author’s description

Ah … the Fifties!

A time of innocence, and the not so innocent. From “I Love Lucy” and “Willy” to “Private Secretary”, “Father Knows Best” and “Bachelor Father”, television and music from the fifties gave us inspiration. Come take a trip down memory lane with these five vintage reads!

Get your romance on, and make grandma proud!

Ed Loves Marnie ~ 1955 – Can this handsome military man convince the single mother to take another chance at love? Or, will their shared memory put a wall between them?

Willa Thomas, Attorney-in-Love ~ 1956 – Will these co-workers be able to tow the company line and forego a chance at love? Or, will they risk everything for love?

Professor Knows Best ~ 1957 – Will this freaky trip back in time to 1957 give her the answers she seeks? Or, only more confusion? How difficult will she find it to navigate being best friends with the college-age version of her own mother?

His Private Secretary ~ 1958 – Can she run interference between her handsome boss, his needy family, and the scores of women trying to bed him and wed him and still remain unaffected by his many charms?

The Bachelor Father ~ 1959 – Will Nanny #5 be the one to finally ace the job, and coax him out of his shell and back into life? And, will a family vacation to Paris fulfill their wildest dreams?

About the Author

Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Nancy has published over forty books in full-length, novella, and short format. When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Find the Author

Website: http://www.nancyfraser.ca
Facebook: http://facebook.com/nancyfraserauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor  @nfraserauthor
Bookbub: http://bookbub.com/profile/nancy-fraser
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Fraser/e/B004AOL61Y/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7206382.Nancy_Fraser
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3gC68iMStwKCr4v_S6fMIA
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/bxkKvD
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/-U12J3KXdb0
Jigsaw puzzle link: https://bit.ly/3tbK6oN

Buy the Book

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.
Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091HXWJPD
Apple:  https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1561179077
B&N/Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/yes-these-are-your-grandmas-romances-nancy-fraser/1139151824
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/yes-these-are-your-grandma-s-romances
Universal: books2read.com/u/bMRR68
Custom: books2read.com/Grandma
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/yes-these-are-your-grandma-s-romances-a-romance-anthology-from-the-fifties-by-nancy-fraser
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57606497-yes–these-are-your-grandma-s-romances

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

An Exclusive Excerpt!

Day 10: The Bachelor Father ~ 1959

The moment Mrs. Wilkes left the room, Winnie climbed onto Haley’s lap. Haley couldn’t help but be moved by the innocent trust of the child, as well as Mrs. Wilkes willingness to give them some time to get to know one another.

They finished the first book and were five pages into a second when the door to the library opened.

“Daddy,” Winnie shouted, jumping off Haley’s lap and running toward the opposite side of the room.

Haley stood and set the book down on the table beside the chair and then turned to meet Eric Garrison, the man who would hopefully become her employer. The moment their gazes met, Haley’s breath caught and her heartbeat picked up its tempo, fluttering inside her chest as wildly as the wings of the smallest hummingbird.

Dark chestnut hair, neatly cut, and a hint of five-o’clock shadow skimming his firm jaw, the man was absolutely the most handsome she’d ever seen.

Her knees knocking, Haley started forward until she stood a few feet from the man. “Good evening, Mr. Garrison, I’m Haley Parker.”

“Miss Parker,” he acknowledged, nodding in her direction while scooping his daughter up in his arms. “I see my daughter has already coaxed you into reading her a book.”

“Yes, we were just beginning our second.”

“Between your willingness to read storybooks and your obvious skill at making paper hats, I’m sure you’ve already won over both my children. However, it would be remiss of me to not conduct a proper interview.”

“Of course.”

Eric Garrison pressed a quick kiss to his daughter’s forehead and suggested, “Doodlebug, perhaps you could head up to your room and get ready for bed. I’ll come up in a few minutes and finish your storybook.”

“Yes, Daddy.” She turned in Haley’s direction, “It was very nice meeting you, Miss Haley.”

“It was very nice meeting you as well, Winnie.”

“I’m sure my daddy will like you as much as we do.”

Haley could only hope that were true.

“She’s a lovely child,” Haley said once Winnie had left the room.

Eric Garrison motioned Haley toward one of the two chairs facing the fireplace then took the other for himself.

“She can be handful, as can her brother. I’m looking for someone who, while exploring both academics and play, can administer discipline when necessary.”

“Discipline?” Haley repeated. The thought of spanking a child totally went against everything she believed.

“Time spent in their rooms, contemplation of bad behavior,” he clarified. “I do not condone physical punishment of any sort.”

Haley breathed an audible sigh of relief. “Neither do I Mr. Garrison. I find the best approach to questionable behavior is either quiet time or perhaps an additional school lesson.”

He nodded in agreement. “I understand you are friends with Winnie’s teacher.”

“Yes, Chloe and I grew up together and were roommates at college, at least for the first two years.”

“Mrs. Wilkes tells me you dropped out to care for an ailing mother. I find your sacrifice most admirable, yet a bit foolhardy.”

“Foolhardy? How can caring for loved ones seem rash or unwise?”

“Foregoing the remainder of your education sets you up for failure. Or, do you prefer a position as a nanny to that of a teacher?”

Haley suddenly understood what Chase Garrison meant when he suggested his brother had scared off yet another nanny. The man was obviously not shy about voicing his opinion of other people’s choices in life.

My Review of The Bachelor Father

This is a sweet story, filled with cute kids, a heart-broken widower and a likeable woman searching for love. One of Nancy Fraser’s gifts is that she creates three-dimensional people out of stock characters and then moves their story along so fast and so well that you find yourself caught up in it.

I reviewed this because I thought a dose of 50s romance would make me smile, and I was right. I finished “The Bachelor Father” feeling warm, happy and right with the world.

Thank you!

Nancy Fraser — we appreciate your sharing your book Yes—These Are Your Grandma’s Romances with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Where Your Treasure Is

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author M. C. Bunn and her historical romance novel, Where Your Treasure Is.

Author’s description

Feisty, independent heiress Winifred de la Coeur has never wanted to live according to someone else’s rules—but even she didn’t plan on falling in love with a bank robber.

Winifred is a wealthy, nontraditional beauty who bridles against the strict rules and conventions of Victorian London society. When she gets caught up in the chaos of a bungled bank robbery, she is thrust unwillingly into an encounter with Court Furor, a reluctant getaway driver and prizefighter.  In the bitter cold of a bleak London winter, sparks fly.

Winifred and Court are two misfits in their own circumscribed worlds—the fashionable beau monde with its rigorously upheld rules, and the gritty demimonde, where survival often means life-or-death choices.

Despite their conflicting backgrounds, they fall desperately in love while acknowledging the impossibility of remaining together. Returning to their own worlds, they try to make peace with their lives until a moment of unrestrained honesty and defiance threatens to topple the deceptions they have carefully constructed to protect each other.

A story of the overlapping entanglements of Victorian London’s social classes, the strength of family bonds and true friendship, and the power of love to heal a broken spirit.

Who Wants Well-behaved Characters?

In my books I usually have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. I’m always curious as to whether other authors experience this, so I asked M. C. Bunn if she had such a character in her novel, Where Your Treasure Is? (And if she didn’t, I wanted to know how she got the characters in her head to behave so well!)

It turns out her book is full of unexpected characters! Read on to learn the rest of her fascinating answer.

If our characters behaved, we wouldn’t have any stories!

Actually, during the first draft of Where Your Treasure Is, a host of characters completely blind-sided me. Though I never planned per se to write a romance that only focused on the lovers, I was unprepared for the world that opened up around them while I wrote their story. There are Winifred’s cousins, young and old, her Uncle Percival and his manservant Morrant, her staff in the town and country—and George Broughton-Caruthers, her handsome, devilish neighbor. Court is a gang member and horse racing enthusiast. His cronies are other prizefighters, cardsharps, gamblers, prostitutes, and circus folk.

The beginning of Winifred and Court’s story came to me in a flash, as did its end. What I had to find out was what happened in the middle. Every time I sat down to write, thinking that I was about to get back to my lovers, all these characters popped out, and the plot, with all its twists, followed them. What was really strange was how familiar they all were. Dorothy felt like that the entire time she was in Oz. Mentally chasing after these characters through London’s streets and around the Norfolk countryside, so did I.

Yet it was Beryl Stuart, Court’s half-sister, who added a richer, darker layer of complications to a plot that could otherwise have easily been summed up as “lonely rich girl meets poor bad boy” and “the course of true love never runs smoothly.” Because of their differences in social class, Winifred and Court were going to have a rough time of it, no matter what. There’s a dark current that flows out of Court’s world into Winifred’s long before their love story begins, though neither one of them is aware of it. Beryl and her friends bring a second love triangle into the plot, which leads to the next book in the series, Time’s Promise.

I’m also deeply fond of Court’s friend Sam Merton, a boy with a love of firecrackers, rip-roaring yarns, and penny dreadfuls, and Winifred’s memoir-writing uncle, the old adventurer Sir Percival and his manservant Morrant.

About the Author

C. Bunn is a writer of Victorian romance and historical romance novels, a singer (in the indie rock band Mister Felix), and a songwriter. She holds an English degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s in English from North Carolina State University.

“I’ve always loved writing. It’s a joy to do what makes me happy and to share it.

“My father was a great story-teller. He read to us at the dinner table and passed on his love of history. He’d haul me out of bed in the middle of the night if there was a great old movie on the late show, and family trips always included visits to historic sites. His father was born in 1888, and I have Granddaddy’s letters to his bride-to-be in my dresser. I’m working on the story of Daddy’s first ancestor in America. It’s set in Jamestown, 1690. My mother’s grandmother was placed in an orphanage after the Civil War because her father died on the way home, so I always felt that connection to and had a curiosity about the past. Both of my parents read to me before I could walk. Daddy gave me Dickens, Twain, and Stevenson. Mama put the dictionary in my hands and let me watch I, Claudius  and Shoulder to Shoulder when they first aired on Masterpiece Theatre. She told me I’d be a writer one day.”

Acting was another girlhood passion. “I wanted to play all the characters in the books I’d read, or in the stories I made up, like Dickens and Louisa May Alcott did. I also wanted to be an archaeologist because we knew one who worked on digs in Israel. There was never a time when I wasn’t making up a story, and it was always set ‘a long time ago.’ What I really wished for was the car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, so I could fly back in time and see what it was actually like for women in Victorian and Edwardian England.”

When she’s not writing, she loves reading long old books. “I love Anthony Trollope’s series, and Anna Karenina. Of more recent vintage, I really enjoyed The Forsyte Saga and The Raj Quartet.”

Her idea of a well-appointed room includes multiple bookshelves, a full pot of coffee, and a place to lie down and read. To feed her soul, she takes a walk or makes music with friends. “I try to remember to look up at the sky and take some time each day to be thankful.”

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their dog. Where Your Treasure Is is her first published novel.

Find the Author

Website https://www.mcbunn.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mcbauthor/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mcbunnauthor/
Twitter https://twitter.com/MCBunn3
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/bunn6220/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Chapter 2. A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted

Approaching the right turn that would take him to Swift Street and the Royal Empire Bank, Court Furor concentrated on traffic. Cold bit his cheeks and hunger gnawed his belly, but he ignored both through force of habit. The soles of his boots were thin and his gloves pointless…No point worrying about what the day would bring, never mind the next one…He was a man of no prospects and no property but preferred to think of it as freedom from responsibility…It was no secret he fancied himself a bit of a lad though he wasn’t overly tempted by long, romantic entanglements. An hour or two with a willing girl would suit…

He directed the horse to a slow walk, trying to secure a place in the queue for the curb. In the gleaming brougham beside him sat a woman, her face hidden under an enormous, bright green hat trimmed with black ostrich feathers. Her driver signaled, and Court tugged his reins…Though a thick veil covered her face, Court caught a glimpse of golden hair, coiled in heavy masses on her shoulders. The wind lifted the edge of her mantle, and he was briefly amazed by the brilliant green of her dress…She’d obviously never missed a meal in her life.

********

Suddenly Geoff and a woman appeared at the bottom of the stairs…Their progress was impeded by the woman’s wildly kicking little boots. Her struggles and the flashes of her bright green and purple silks made her look like an exotic bird thrashing in Geoff’s arms….

Geoff…thrust the woman at him…the woman struggled and kicked…and cried for help. Involuntarily, he clapped his hand over her mouth. She only screamed louder.

“Shut up, you fat sow!” Geoff swatted her across the temple….

The woman’s eyes rolled and she went limp.

Court howled in dismay and caught her… In his arms, she was a mountain of soft cashmere and folds of velvet. Her mantle fell open, and her scent hit him. Lilies and some dark, exotic spice. It was so unexpected and heavenly that the alley and the hackney disappeared. Even his panic was gone.

“…We can’t take ’er!”

Geoff clicked off the safety and waved the pistol under Court’s nose. When Court did not let go of the woman, he pointed the pistol at her head. “I ain’t arguin’! Drive!” He slammed the cab door…

His heart hammering, his head whirling, Court untied the horse, swung up onto the box, and grabbed the reins. As he turned the cab into the street behind the bank, yet another fire truck raced past. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! They were in for it now.

Thank you!

M. C. Bunn — we appreciate your sharing your book Where Your Treasure Is with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.