#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : The Gentleman of Holly Street – Lotte R. James @lottejamesbooks @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

The Gentleman of Holly Street

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘The Gentleman of Holly Street’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information

About the Author :

The Gentleman of Holly Street - L.James.2021Lotte James trained as an actor and theatre director, but spent most of her life working day jobs crunching numbers whilst dreaming up stories of love and adventure. She’s thrilled to finally be writing those stories, and when she’s not scribbling on tiny pieces of paper, she can usually be found wandering the countryside for inspiration, or nestling with coffee and a book.

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About the Book :

The Gentleman of Holly Street - L.James.2021Will this Christmas…
Change their lives again?
When self-made gentleman Freddie Walton rescued penniless Philomena Nichols at Christmas eight years ago, he never imagined that he would build his empire with her. Yet whilst they have created a life together as friends, Freddie can’t let their special connection become more than that. Not when his dangerous past continues to haunt him… But what happens when Freddie’s feelings for Philomena also refuse to stay hidden?

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And now it’s finally time for the

blog-excerpt

In this extract, we follow Freddie as he returns to London after a long voyage across the Atlantic, just in time for Christmas with Philomena – the Christmas which will change everything for them both…

All those years ago, he’d made building this company, this venture, his purpose. It had demanded all the focus, all the energy, he had. And somehow, it had grown beyond him. In a sense, his success had freed him to…
Do what?
‘Mind yerself, sir,’ one of the stevedores shouted as the men prepared to haul crates out with the winches.
Freddie waved, and, shaking his head at himself, took himself well out of the way of those actually working.
Those actually serving a purpose.
In fact, he took himself off the wharf entirely, and was not even spared a second glance, though some he passed tapped their caps or nodded. As he crossed the gates securing his enterprise, joined the bustle of the streets, and began to make his way home, Freddie felt glad, actually, that he didn’t have any more work to do this evening. Well, at least nothing pressing that would delay him any longer. And, shaking off the earlier melancholy thoughts, he reassured himself that the loss of old responsibilities only meant he would have time for new ones. He had money and influence now. He could find new ways to yield it. Perhaps politics.
Perhaps not.
Though it was tempting, to think he could make change that way, it didn’t quite fit.
What does?
Right this moment, Freddie couldn’t think of anything. Likely because of the toll of his journey. Though every step that brought him closer to Holly Street seemed to belie that summation that he was tired. Because with every step, he felt…lighter. Excited, happy, really. To be home. To be going home.
A smile even lifted the corners of his lips as he weaved around dockers and merchants, shoppers, and visitors. As he dodged coaches and carriages and fishmongers and women of the night. The brisk, somewhat foul air was a tonic, a balm, reminding him that he was home.
Right on time.
As promised.
A light dusting of snow began to fall, tiny little flakes that would likely not survive the night, but then, more would follow soon enough. A shiver ran through him, turning his mood and making his gut clench, and he ignored the prickles at the back of his neck, though he did glance over his shoulder.
Merely the cold, he reassured himself, spotting absolutely nothing out of the ordinary as he tightened his scarf. And he didn’t mind the cold, nor the snow for that matter; it was certainly better than London in the summer, and, well, it never ceased to remind him of his first night at Holly Street.
Of Mena.
Yes, very soon now, he would be home. And then, everything would be right again. Everything would come together, somehow, and he would be able to see, and plan for his future, with clarity, good sense, and verve.
Back where it all began…
The perfect place to begin again.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#OneDayBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : For Richer, For Deader – Helen Golden @HelenGoldenAuth

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

For Richer For Deader

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘For Richer, For Deader’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information

About the Author :

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.
I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.
It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes

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About the Book :

Content for The Magic of WorldsFrench WW1 AmbulanceIs the Wedding Between Sir Hewitt Willoughby-Franklin’s Step-Daughter and Billionaire’s Son Off?
Rumours are that the recent death of Kelley Lindsell (29), the personal chef of tycoon Rudy (68) and Sheri Trotman (65) at Sir Hewitt’s Fawstead Manor country estate in Fenshire, has spooked Sybil Bransgrove (36) so badly she’s considering cancelling her nuptials.
Meanwhile the bride and her mother, Lady Grace (61), are being supported by family friend Lady Beatrice (36), the Countess of Rossex, who, alongside her business partner Perry Juke, is currently managing the project to refurbish the Manor House and Lodge on the estate.
Not again! Now that Lady Grace has asked Lady Beatrice to liaise with the police during the investigation into Kelley’s death, she’ll have to cooperate with boorish Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam whether she likes it or not. Her only relief will be solving the murder with the help of her friends Perry and Simon and her dog Daisy to get rid of him faster. But with so many wedding party guests staying on-site, any one of them could be the killer. Can they find out who it is before Sybil calls off the wedding…

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And now it’s finally time for the

blog-excerpt

This is the first scene from the third chapter of For Richer, For Deader. In it Lady Beatrice, the Countess of Rossex, who is seventeenth in line to the British throne, and her business partner Perry Juke discovered the first body, at Fawstead Manor, the recently purchased country home of TV’s Sir Hewitt Willoughby-Franklin and his wife Lady Grace, who is a close friend of Lady Beatrice’s mother, HRH Princess Helen. They are there working on the refurbishment of Fawstead Manor in preparation for the arrival of the wedding party for the marriage of Lady Grace’s daughter Sybil to Otis Trotman, the son and heir of the American billionaire Rudy Trotman.

“Oh my giddy aunt!” Perry Juke exclaimed as he screwed his face up at the sight before him. Turning, his blue eyes now the size of saucers, he stared at Lady Beatrice, who stood just behind him in the sitting room at Fawstead Manor. “What is it?”
Lady Beatrice tentatively stepped forward to inspect the body lying on the low coffee table in front of them. “I think it’s a rat,” she told him.
A rat looks just like a large mouse, doesn’t it?
She peered a little closer at the animal lying on its side in front of her. There was a stiffness about it that suggested it had been dead for a while. The furry body was slightly hunched over, looking like a hairy brownish-grey banana with four legs. It has a much longer tail than I imagined, almost as long as its body. It looked like a large dead mouse. “Yes, I’m fairly sure it’s a rat.”
“Ew.” Perry turned his head away in disgust.
“Indeed,” she replied, screwing up her nose. A dead rat — or in fact, anything dead hadn’t been what they’d expected when they’d walked into the sitting room this morning to do a final check before handing the room over as completed to Lady Grace Willoughby-Franklin, their client.
“Hold on.” Lady Beatrice moved slightly closer still, her focus moving from the rigid form of the rodent to a white piece of paper lying beside it. Reaching the edge of the table, she leaned over and examined it. Oh, that’s not good.
“What?” Perry, curiosity clearly winning over his aversion to dead animals, moved to stand by her side. He reached over the table with his right hand.
“No!” she cried, grabbing his arm before his hand got any closer. “We shouldn’t touch it. There might be fingerprints.”
Perry dropped his arm as she let go, turning to her with a frown.
“Read it; just don’t touch it,” she told him.
As he paused to read it, her eyes roamed over the large bold letters printed on the paper again. Stop this or else.
Perry gasped. “What does that mean?”
“It sounds like a threat to me.”
He pulled a face, giving her a sarcastic smile. “I get that. But stop what?” He shook his head and ran his fingers through his short spiky blond hair. “So what do we do now?”
Straightening up, Lady Beatrice tucked her long red hair behind her ears. “I suppose we should tell Lady Grace, and then she’ll need to call the police.”
Perry snorted. “Good luck with that! I doubt she’ll take kindly to having the police here with the Americans about to arrive.”
He’s right. Lady Grace won’t be happy about this… “I think you should tell her. I’ll stay here and guard the crime scene,” she said hopefully.
Giving a short laugh, Perry shook his head. “Nice try, my lady. But no way.”
“But she likes you, Perry. She says you’re charming,” she protested.
“Well, that’s true, of course.” He gave her a smug smile. “But she scares the life out of me, and she won’t take this well. She’s your mother’s friend, so you should go.”
She scares me too! “Oh, all right,” Lady Beatrice said, giving a huff. “But if she kills me, you’ll have to finish this project on your own and deal with her all the time. So don’t say I didn’t warn you!”
Perry grinned as he took his phone out of his jacket pocket. “She wouldn’t dare hurt a member of the royal family, Bea. You’ll be fine.”
She rolled her eyes, turned around, and headed for the door.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#PublicationDayPush #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : Never Rescue a Rogue – Virginia Heath @VirginiaHeath_

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Never Rescue a Rogue

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘Never Rescue a Rogue’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information

About the Author :

Never SUE (5)When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty-five books and three Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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About the Book :

Skullsvengeance_eBookWhy on earth would she want to kiss him when he vexed her so?
Diana Merriwell and Giles Sinclair only tolerate one another for the sake of their nearest and dearest. Everyone believes that they are meant to be together, but Diana and Giles know that it is animosity, not attraction, that fuels their barbed exchanges. Anyway, Diana loves her freedom too much to give it up for marriage, and Giles is happily wedded to his bachelor lifestyle.
After Giles’ curmudgeonly father, the Duke of Harpenden, unexpectedly turns up his toes, it’s only a matter of time before the circumstances of his only son’s birth are revealed. With the threat of blackmail hanging over him, Giles must uncover the truth, or he and all those who depend on him will be ruined.
As Giles and Diana dive into his family’s past, the attraction that they insisted wasn’t there proves impossible to ignore. It seems that the future of the Sinclair estate isn’t the only thing on the line…

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And now it’s finally time for the

blog-excerpt

As a bevy of liveried footmen distributed freshly filled glasses amongst his guests, Giles sensed her before she spoke, or rather sniffed her. The heady scent of fat Summer roses tinged with peach and the merest smidgen of vanilla was as unique a perfume as the unconventional and vexing woman who wore it.
“You will be delighted to learn that Lady Sewell and that awful Russian count you insist on inviting to everything are in the midst of a tryst in your music room.”
She had a penchant for bold, fashionable gowns despite her desire to blend into the wall and tonight’s was particularly lovely. The ivory silk skimmed her curves in all the right places while the saucy flashes of red at the hem and the big ribbon which highlighted her trim waist complimented her dark hair to perfection. As was her way, that hair was arranged in an artful but asymmetrical style which went completely against the current fashion for symmetry but suited her regardless, for she wasn’t so much a woman who marched to the beat of her own drum but one who made everyone else seem as if it were they who were out of step. She was, as always, stunning—not that he would ever tell her, of course. “I suppose that shocking incident is bound to feature in your newspaper tomorrow harridan?”
“As usual, I have no earthly idea what you are talking about.” Miss Diana Merriwell sipped her champagne with artful nonchalance as she gazed at the sea of twirling silk on the dance floor rather than at him. “But that is hardly a surprise.” She always delivered her insults deadpan for maximum effect and that never failed to make her feline green eyes sparkle. “You rarely make any sense at the best of times, my dear Lord Bellingham, and I confess, I have long given up any hope of you ever doing so. If you weren’t so inextricably linked to my brother-in-law, I would have washed my hands of the chore of you last winter—but alas…” She sighed as if merely knowing him was a huge inconvenience. “You continue to linger on the periphery of my life like a bad smell.”
Giles took no offence at her words. In the last twelve months she had said far worse and so had he, because sparring was what they did.
“Then you flatly deny all of your insightful contributions to the London Tribune’s gossip column of late?”
“As if the establishment would ever trust a mere woman to write the news.”
“But you are Diana—Goddess of the Hunt and Hunter of the Truth.”
She stifled a yawn. “I simply edit some of the stories for spelling and grammar as a way to pass the time. How do you aristocrats stand the monotonous boredom of an inane life of leisure?” Another well placed barb which made him smile. She loved to put him in his place. Nothing here impressed her.
“And there I was, quietly impressed with your journalistic aplomb, but alas…” He stared at the dance floor too as if he was bored stiff with it all. “Had I known you had no real press credentials whatsoever and are merely a nit-picking grammarian, I never would have invited you here tonight. And now I am peeved, for if you do not smear all of this evening’s shocking scandals over your tawdry paper tomorrow, then who will?”
“A mystery to be sure—but I am certain you will not have to worry. When one courts scandal like you do Giles, word inevitably gets around.” She slanted him a knowing glance. “And fast too… so your father is bound to be spouting steam from his ears in time for your audience with him tomorrow exactly as you intended.”
Her canny intelligence always grated. “As usual, I have no earthly idea what you are talking about either Diana.” The more he got to know her, the more he became convinced she read him like a book and that really galled. Because Giles liked to think he was always the canniest person in any room and several paces ahead of the crowd—but she was always hot on his heels. Or more often, he trailed on hers. “Hardly a surprise when you rarely make any sense at the best of times either. You do know I only tolerate you on sufferance because my best friend married your sister don’t you? Although it is still a mystery to me why he aligned himself with such a bunch of lowly commoners.” He pulled a face as he sipped his drink, even though his lips were twitching because he loved to put her in her place too. She wore her common roots like a badge of honour and sometimes wielded them like a shield to ward off unwelcome attention. “We blue bloods must ensure the purity of our species or civilization as we know it will end and chaos will ensue.”
Like him, she wasn’t the least bit offended by the insult. “Then you flatly deny going out of your way to annoy your father purely for sport?”
It wasn’t for sport. It was necessity. The only avenue available to punish the duplicitous scoundrel for all his many unconscionable sins.
“It is hardly my fault if he finds me disappointing, any more than it is my fault I was born that way.” An outright lie and he suspected she knew it, but he would rather die than let her glimpse any of the sorry truth.
Whilst it was true the insufferable Duke of Harpenden had always considered his only son unworthy in every possible sense, Giles had used outright rebellion as a defence mechanism long before he had discovered the Dirty Secret and that he really was unworthy in every possible sense. By then, it had been too late to rejoice in that enlightening fact. The dreadful die had been cast, the hand of fate had been dealt and there really wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it apart from the one thing which blew his entire world to smithereens. A prospect which he wouldn’t have minded in the slightest if it were just himself it affected. Unfortunately, the awful, unpalatable, and toxic truth had dire consequences for a great many innocent people and, more unfortunately, he had failed to inherit his father’s unfeeling, granite heart. If he had, he would have lit the fuse himself then cheerfully pulled up a chair and enjoyed an entire plate of biscuits while he watched the illustrious name of Harpenden implode spectacularly in the full glare of the public gaze.
“I hear rumour that you are about to do something your father wholeheartedly approves of… and that finally, congratulations are in order.” Her sip of champagne was much too nonchalant this time, as if she were fishing though for the life of him he couldn’t think what for.
“Congratulations?”
“Does the name Miss Dahlia Regis ring any bells?”
“Doe-eyed Dahlia the dumpy draper’s daughter?”
“Surely you mean desirable Dahlia with the newly doubled dowry?” She stared him dead in the eye. “Or perhaps Determined-to-be-a-Duchess Dahlia would be a better description if the rumours I hear about the pair of you are true?”
He couldn’t help but laugh at the preposterousness of her suggestion. “Surely you do not think I am romantically linked to Miss Regis? For she is far too proper for my dissolute tastes.” And far too vapid. Daft Dahlia was her nickname in the gentleman’s clubs because she could not converse without prompts from her pushy father but he was too much of a gentleman to repeat that moniker outside of one.
“Not linked, Giles. Engaged.”

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Win 2 x e-copies of Never Rescue A Rogue (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : Skull’s Vengeance (Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 4) #SkullsVengeance – Linnea Tanner @linneatanner #HistoricalFantasy #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #AncientRome #AncientBritannia

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Skull's Vengeance Tour Banner

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘Skull’s Vengeance’ blogtour, organised by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information

About the Author :

Linnea Tanner Head ShotAward-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical druids.
Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include Apollo’s Raven (Book 1), Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2), Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3), and Skull’s Vengeance (Book 4).
A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

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About the Book :

Linnea Tanner Head ShotA Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.
AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent’s stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin’s head.
To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin’s cause.
Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellus outmaneuver political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?

Trigger warnings:
Sex, Slave trafficking and abuse, Violence, Childbirth

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And now it’s finally time for the

blog-excerpt

Chapter 8 The Dragon Insignia
Lugdunum, 20 December, 27 AD

On the eve of the winter equinox, the apartment was unbearably cold. To get warm, Catrin wrapped a shawl around her shoulders and closely watched the guard with tattoos of Celtic knots lining his forehead as he filled the brazier with coal. His glacier-blue eyes pierced through her.
Unnerved, she felt a chill slice down her spine.
Studying the various faces of the men in the atrium, she counted ten more guards whom Trystan had invited to sleep inside on the frigid, cloudless night. The image of the raven-black life thread tying a knot around Marcellus’s red strand on the Wall of Lives flashed in her mind. She knew the vision was a glimpse of her future.
She excused herself to the privacy of her bedchamber, drawing the curtain back to enter. There, waiting on the straw mattress bed was the Raven. She fed it some dried meat strips, then blew out the burning candle and lay on her bedding. The Raven’s soft, feathered head nestled against her neck, providing her much-needed warmth and comfort.
Yet, a chill gnawed at her bones. To ward off the air’s frigid nip, she cocooned herself in a woolen blanket. The silvery moonlight filtered through the uneven surface of the gray-smoked window in the curtained-off room, casting shadows on the wall.
Falling into restless sleep, she dreamed of her life thread tying a knot around Marcellus’s red life strand, but then…
Blood unexpectedly spurted out of the knot and splattered all over a blade that was plunging at her throat.
“This is not a dream!” the Raven’s deep voice cried out.
With her warrior’s instincts awakened, she opened her eyes to find a shadow of a man kneeling beside her. Seeing the dagger in his hand, she quickly blocked his arm and discharged sizzling heat from her fingertips. The sparks of energy forced him to dropped the dagger.
She rolled abruptly to her side to escape, but his strong arm pulled her back as his legs coiled around her hips like a snake. As he reached for the dagger, she cried out to awake the others in the main room and poked her fingers into his eyes.
“Wicked witch,” he snarled in Celtic as he wildly thrust his blade at her. Its metal tip bit into her shoulder, shooting sharp pain down her arm. Fighting for her life, she punched him in the throat.
In the blink of an eye, his body fell hard on hers, forcing the air out of her lungs. She gasped and pushed him off her with a burst of strength. Finally freed of his weight, she staggered to her feet and scanned the floor for the loose dagger or another weapon.
Any weapon!
Another strong hand unexpectedly gripped her injured shoulder from the back. A wave of pain flamed across her chest as she quickly turned to defend herself against the next attacker.
To her relief, Cynwrig’s good eye blazed in the silvery illumination of moonlight from the other room.
“Get back! There are two of them!” he roared.
To make room for the ensuing fight, Catrin stepped back into the atrium and watched. The tattooed men swept around Cynwrig in a deadly dance. Each darted back and forth between the silver light of the moon and the darkness.
The assailant, whom Catrin recognized as Gawain, slammed Cynwrig into the wall and wildly thrust his knife. Cynwrig blocked Gawain’s forearm twice, then swiftly shot his other arm under the assassin’s armpit at the next thrust, gripping his upper arm.
With a loud roar, Cynwrig pushed Gawain back while at the same time curling his leg around the assassin’s calf to trip him into the other attacker.
The dagger flew out of Gawain’s hand and landed with a clink on the floor. Catrin swooped the weapon up into her hand and plunged the blade into the other assailant’s lower back. The man tried to reach around with his hand, but then, his body went limp and crumpled to the floor.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : A Stolen Knight’s Kiss – Melissa Oliver @melissaoauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

A Stolen Knights Kiss

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘A Stolen Knight’s Kiss’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information

About the Author :

A Stolen - Melissa Oliver picMelissa Oliver is from south-west London where she writes sweeping historical romance and is the winner of The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers 2020 for her debut, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight.

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About the Book :

A Stolen Knight's Kiss HarlequinCaptured by a knight…
Rescued by his kiss!
When orphan Eva loses the father-figure who’d protected her on the streets of London, she suspects the Knights of Fortitude. But when she steals information from them, she’s caught by brooding knight Nicholas. Learning he might not be the villain after all, she puts her distrust aside to work with him, yet Eva must stay focussed – and not get distracted when they share a stolen kiss!

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And now it’s finally time for the

blog-excerpt

In this scene- Nicholas d’Amberly meets with Eva Siward in a tavern on London Bridge and makes a bargain with her- the return of the pouch that she had stolen from him, for the return of her friend…

Nicholas swallowed down his amusement as the woman mustered all the dignity and poise befitting a lady rather than a conniving thief—his eyes skimmed her from her head down to her toes—albeit an inelegant lady at that. And while he could understand her apprehension at his coming alone, it had been a necessity to protect both himself and the secret work he and The Knights Fortitude did for the Crown. And it had been imperative that the woman had come alone and without any accomplices who might have scuppered his aim to regain the pouch, with not just the important missive it contained but also his mother’s ring.
After all, Eva Siward had gone to great lengths to steal it from him in the first instance so, in truth, it was not outside the realm of possibility for her to use underhand methods to renege on their agreement. Besides, he wanted more from her. He needed answers regarding the men who had hired her. But the only way to achieve his aims was to put his questions to her in a place out of earshot. Somewhere safe.
‘Where are we going?’ she mumbled as he led her through the narrow hall at the back of the tavern.
‘All shall become clear very soon.’
‘I can hardly wait,’ she said wryly.
‘Good, I do aim to please.’ He chuckled softly despite himself as he grabbed a flaming torch from the rusty sconce on the wall. ‘In fact, I had hoped to engage your anticipation.’
‘Indeed, I am all agog, Sir Nicholas.’
He watched her from behind as they made their way down a dozen steps that led to a damp, dark narrow hallway and bit back a smile. Eva Siward was indeed as inelegant and ungainly as he had initially observed, dressed as she was in a long flowing woollen kirtle flapping about her feet and a short cloak draped over the shoulder. Yet it was more than her attire but the way she fidgeted with her veil, the long strides she took when walking and the way the woman had slurped and tossed the ale back in the tavern that amused and surprised him most. Once again, he wagered that it had not been the first time that the young woman had dressed as a boy when he had first encountered her. But then as a London thief it was evidently useful and prudent to disguise herself as she evidently did.
They reached the dead-end of the hallway, moisture skimming the surface of the walls.
‘Where to now, then?’ she muttered, turning to face him.
‘Now we venture below.’ He nodded to the trapdoor beneath the rushes on the floor as he passed her the flaming torch. He knelt and pulled open the square wooden door with the metal ring handle, revealing the River Thames lapping and surging around a waiting skiff far below them. Under London Bridge itself, concealing their descent, this was a highly effective means for The Knights Fortitude to get in and out of the city without arousing any notice. Nicholas could take no chances with this woman, in case she had other accomplices, or even the man who had hired her, ready in wait for him outside the tavern.
She snapped her head around and then shook her head. ‘I am not going down that…that ladder. And I am not going on that thing. Not with you.’
‘It does not seem as though you have much of a choice, mistress,’ he sighed. ‘It’s either that or terminate our agreement here and now.’
‘You are despicable and dishonourable, Sir Nicholas.’
He forced himself to grin, hiding a spark of irritation at being described as such. ‘So I have been told by many a good woman. Not that I would put you in their esteemed company, Mistress Eva.’
Her eyes flashed. ‘I would never expect anything less, sir. We thieves would never dream of being likened to real ladies. After all, we are nothing but the lowest of the low, after all.’
‘Whatever you say, mistress.’ He chuckled. ‘But they’re your words, not mine.’
‘I do not even know whether this is a highly inventive ruse to entrap me for whatever nefarious reason you exalted Knights of the Crown might have.’
‘What an extraordinary imagination you have, mistress.’ He raised a brow, crossing his arms over his chest. ‘And the only entrapment I have in mind is to get you on that skiff, so that we can be away. In fact, the sooner you board it, the sooner you shall be reunited with your friend.’
‘Do you swear to it?’
‘Solemnly. Now, shall we?’

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : Altered Helix – Stephanie Hansen @hansenwriter

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Altered Helix

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘Altered Helix’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information

About the Author :

Altered Helix - Stephanie HansenStephanie Hansen is a PenCraft and Global Book Award Winning Author. Her debut novella series, Altered Helix, released in 2020. It hit the #1 New Release, #1 Best Seller, and other top 100 lists on Amazon. It is now being adapted to an animated story for Tales. Her debut novel, Replaced Parts, released in 2021 through Fire & Ice YA and Tantor Audio. It has been in a Forbes article, hit Amazon bestseller lists, and made the Apple young adult coming soon bestsellers list. The second book in the Transformed Nexus series, Omitted Pieces, released in 2022. Her next novella, Ghostly Howls, releases 2/7/23. She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community so she tries to incorporate that into her fiction.

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About the Book :

AlteredHelix_mock1I didn’t want to take the traditional path. First, I wasn’t ready for college. Second, I was going to live with my best friend, Tiff, and work at the Haunted House. Third, did I mention the hot guy Josh that works there too?
The most exciting thing about Austria’s new job, at a local haunted house, was the fact that the toughest looking people screamed the loudest. But when she meets the boy without a home, Josh, Austria’s life takes intriguing and eventful turns. Up until now, Josh has managed to hang with his Street crowd, but they’re in danger, and so is Austria, the girl Josh recently fell for. The group finds themselves joining forces with previously considered enemies who also now find themselves in danger.
Deeply compassionate and full of twists, Altered Helix captures the struggle of polarized people that must work together for the greater good.

Purchase Link

And now it’s finally time for the

blog-excerpt

The following extract is after our protagonist, Austria, has been working at a new job, the local haunted house, and is now crashing with a few of the other works. It’s begins with Patrice giving a tour of Ethan’s house and leads into a scene between Austria and her love interest, Josh.

She points to the first room on the right of the stairs. I peek in and can see one bed and a dresser. This room is as messy as the other. Finally, she points to the last room.
“That’s where Josh stays.”
My heart rate speeds up just thinking of him. I see a mattress on the floor, piles of books, and art supplies. I want to see what kind of books he reads, and I can’t hold myself back. I walk in and pick up a book. It’s Foundation by Isaac Asimov. I wasn’t able to follow that one as well as I would have liked. I pick up the next. It’s one of the Dark Tower books by Stephen King. I love this series. It looks like there’s more Josh and I could talk about, if we were even talking.
Just then, as if on cue, he enters the room. I had not noticed that the others had left.
“I was just grabbing something quick,” he says.
“Josh.” I grip his hand.
“I, I can’t, Austria,” he says as his chin drops to his chest.
I touch his face and turn it up to me.
“Josh, I don’t want you to get hurt, so I understand. I care about you. I wish there was something we could do.”
“I’m used to my dreams being crushed. It’s easier if you stay busy.”
“Well, I’m not.”
I peck kiss him lightly as I run my fingers through his hair. The electricity makes me lightheaded. I don’t know how I’ve gone a second without this. I put my arms around his waist and lock my fingers so he can’t run.
“Austria, this will just make it worse.”
“I don’t care. No one can see us, Josh. We can just keep it a secret.”
“Not when you can’t control the way you look at me.”
“What way is that?”
“The way you’re looking at me now.”
He kisses me, more deeply than ever before. The heat between us burns yet feels remarkably good. He looks at me, and I can tell he cares, but then he looks away and hugs me. It feels like goodbye.
“Please,” I say. I can feel my lower lip curling into a pout.
“No, Austria, I don’t care what they do to me, but this will put you in danger, and I can’t bear that.”
He walks off. I can’t slow my breathing enough to call after him. Part of me feels broken. I don’t know what to do, so I just walk downstairs to see what everyone else is doing. Luke has joined Josh and Ethan playing video games. He seems to fit right in. I hear laughter from the formal living room and follow it. Ceresa, Patrice, and Tiff have set up a game of Euchre. I join as Tiff’s partner. Ceresa and Patrice are pretty good. Tiff and I have to make some risky calls so we can get ahead. It’s a close game, but we win in the end, even though I don’t feel like a victor.

Giveaway :

Win $10 Amazon Gift Card (Open to US Only)
*Terms and Conditions – US entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RRBookTours @RRBookTours1 / #Excerpt : The Unlikely Spy #TheUnlikelySpy – Sophie Schiller @SophieSchiller #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #HistoricalFictionBooks

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

Tour Banner

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘The Unlikely Spy’ blogtour, organised by R&R Book Tours.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information

About the Author :

AuthorSophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ. She is a novelist and a poet. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews has called her “an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.” Publishers Weekly called her novel, ISLAND ON FIRE, “a memorable romantic thriller”, her novel RACE TO TIBET, “a thrilling yarn,” and her TRANSFER DAY, “a page-turner with emotional resonance.” Her novel, THE LOST DIARY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, was called, “an engaging coming-of-age story of heartbreak, bravery, honor, and triumph” by Kirkus Reviews. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC and lives in New York.

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About the Book :

Title: The Unlikely Spy
Publication Date: August 21st, 2022
Genre: Spy Thriller / Historical Romance / Historical Fiction

AuthorCasablanca meets Notorious in a Hitchcock-style thriller of espionage, romance, adventure, and intrigue.
1917. Emma Christensen is a young widow who returns to the Danish West Indies to reclaim the life and the villa she left behind. When she discovers her husband has disinherited her in favor of his young heir—an illegitimate son—she turns to the one thing she knows, gambling, and soon finds herself deeply in debt.
Emma is approached by Cornelius Smith, a representative of an American shipping line, who offers an alternative: infiltrate the suspicious Hamburg-American Line and spy on its nefarious leader, Julius Luckner, to gain valuable business intelligence for his firm.
It doesn’t take long for Emma to realize that both Smith and Luckner are not as they seem. Close to the Allies but even closer to the enemy, Emma bravely engages in missions that could blow her cover at any moment. But with the Panama Canal at stake, how far will she go to help the Allies?
A gripping and suspenseful World War I spy thriller from an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.

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And now it’s finally time for the

blog-excerpt

From the moment she left the telegraph office, Emma had an eerie feeling that someone was following her. It stayed with her all the way back to the hotel. She felt as if someone was watching her every move although she was quite certain she had slipped past the German in the lobby.
When she returned to her hotel, waited impatiently for Smith’s cable. She called down to the front desk numerous times to ask if any message had arrived for her, but the answer was always no. With no other recourse, she went to bed, tossing and turning half the night, fearing that something terrible had happened to Allendorf and now she was all alone. This was completely unexpected. For several agonizing hours she pondered what she should do, but couldn’t come up with a viable plan. The Germans were watching her every move. She was basically trapped in her hotel room, and Smith was counting on her to complete her mission. But no one could have foreseen such a reversal.
As the hours ticked by, she had an ominous feeling she couldn’t shake, that her life was hanging in the balance. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she had an unsettling feeling that would not quit.
When she could no longer tolerate her insomnia, she picked up the phone and ordered a chamomile tea from room service, hoping it would calm her jangling nerves. When the drink arrived, she splashed a bit of rum in it from her trusty flask. Yet she still had a nagging feeling that something was wrong.
Her eyes fell on her purse. It sat on the nightstand near her bed, just within her reach. She opened it, took out the pistol, and rehearsed priming it so she could use it in a tight spot. She needed to have the movements go like clockwork. There was no room for failure in this business. Luckily it only weighed two pounds. That made slipping it into her pocket easier. The magazine was already loaded with seven bullets. Seven chances to save her life. She gripped the pistol in her right hand and racked the slide, then added a bullet to the barrel. Now it was ready. She flicked the lever to “safe” and set the pistol down on the nightstand. Perhaps now she could sleep.
She lay down, pulled the sheet around her, and turned off the light. She closed her eyes and tried to relax, but she could not fall asleep.
Outside, the moon cast a luminous glow on the surroundings. Crickets croaked their nightly serenade and the stars lit up the heavens. The palm fronds billowed in the breeze. The waves crashing on the rocks sent an ominous warning. Emma found it difficult to sleep in a different bed, and impossible to relax when she had so much on her mind, so much responsibility on her shoulders.
She got up and peered outside. Despite the late hour, there were still people milling about, laughing and heading to restaurants and casinos. Horse carriages trotted past while motorcars meandered down the streets, their glowing lights like the eyes of a puma. Sounds of amusement echoed from the restaurant below. Lights shone from the ships in Manzanillo Bay, creating a scene that was idyllic, almost peaceful. Further out, she could see the lights on the ships waiting to enter the canal. There was a long line of them that suspended off to the horizon. Each one had its own purpose and destination. Each one could be sunk at any time by German torpedoes or hidden bombs. She shivered. An explosion along the canal would cause chaos for the Allies. The Kaiser would gloat in his victory. His generals and their underlings would launch even more attacks. Emma could picture Luckner in his office toasting his triumph, patting himself on the back even as the embers of the canal still glowed.
She went back to bed and covered herself with the sheet, trying to block out her worries. But it was impossible. She had a sense of impending doom. And for some strange reason, the hairs on the back of her neck stood up.
Suddenly she heard a scratching noise near her door. A man’s footsteps shuffled just outside. She froze and listened, not daring to move. Someone was fumbling with the lock, trying to break in. She sat up in bed, listening. She felt her heart stop. Yes, somebody was trying to break in.
She fumbled in the dark for her pistol. She grabbed it, flicked the safety to “fire” then eased herself off the bed. Crouching down on the floor, she listened as the noise continued ever so slightly that it was barely detectable. She sat behind the bed, aiming the pistol, not daring to breathe.
The latch turned and the door opened, allowing just enough light from the hallway to illuminate the figure of a man entering her room. When he was inside, he closed the door behind him and latched it. Her eyes widened. He tiptoed toward the bed and raised his hands as if to attack. Emma’s heart pounded as she released the pistol break and held her breath.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #Excerpt : New Vision: 7 Parallels #7Parallels – Jessica Lorenzi Conti @JLcontiauthor

– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –

7 Parallels Tour Poster

Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘New Vision: 7 Parallels’ blogtour, organised by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information

About the Author :

Jessica Lorenzi Conti Author PhotoBorn and raised in Los Angeles (exactly in Burbank in the San Fernando Valley), I grew up in a multicultural home as my mother is French and my dad is from Italian descent at a very early age I was already speaking and writing English, French and Italian and after obtaining a Master’s degree in Education with specialization in Human Development and Psychology, Social Science and Comparative Education from UCLA I worked several years as a teacher, a humanitarian aid worker for UNICEF and finally a linguist for Apple artificial intelligence system.
Today I live in Algarve in Portugal and inspired by the many countries I worked and lived in, and by my background as cognitive psychologist I use my favourite topics, sociology, cultural diversity, and fight against inequalities in Science-fiction where I strive to get a sharp portrait of our society and get an idea, a preview of what could happen and what could become of our future.

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About the Book :

7 Parallels Book CoverA TIME TRAVEL adventure through history and a multiverse
2121, the world in which the populations of the five continents evolve has become chaotic and unlivable. Since G20 countries leaders have been condemned for genocide, New Vision established a new world order in 2080 and masters time travel since 2105.
One of its most brilliant members, Kazuhiko Ken has developed a blank page project, a rewrite from scratch of the world as we know it by choosing to annihilate from the history of humanity, some events which would have, if they had not existed, avoided humanity’s decline.
Members of New Vision are therefore recruited across continents and eras to return to the past and annihilate Six distinct events in the history of humanity and ensure that Seven parallel worlds, six alternate realities are created.
A science fiction novel mixing history and adventure full of twists through space and time.

Buy Link

And now it’s finally time for the

blog-excerpt

Saturday August 9th, 2111, Hawthorne, California former territory of the United States, North America, premises of New Vision, formerly owned by SpaceX.
Experiment n°56: Experiment aiming to know the possibilities of annihilation of the existence of particles. The test is carried out on an object and on a living being.
Live test: Description of the experiment: Mating of two rabbits to obtain a litter of young rabbits. These rabbits will then be manipulated for time travel and the butterfly effect will thus be tested on their continued existence or not.
Beginning of the experiment: Mating of the male rabbit and the female rabbit carried out on Saturday June 20, 2111. Result: successful fertilization of the female, the female gives birth on Monday July 27, 2111 to six young rabbits, two white, one black, one brown , a black-spotted white and a brown-spotted white.
Today Saturday August 9th: A member of the research center takes the brown-spotted white rabbit with him into an individual transfer platform, they go to the past, the day when the mating of his parents is planned, therefore, Saturday, June 20th, 2111.
In reality A where the parents mate, the member of the research center will make a modification. Reality A will therefore be altered, the mating of the rabbits will not take place, in order to observe the consequences on the lives of the rabbits existing in reality A. The researcher therefore prevents the coupling and returns with the rabbit on Saturday August 9th, 2111, which this time becomes the second reality. Arriving in reality bis, on Saturday August 9th, 2111, the researcher notes that the white rabbit with brown spots, taken with him, is in good health and is not affected by the alteration of reality A. On the other hand, all the rest of the scope is non-existent. We can therefore conclude: A living being traveling in a reality other than the altered reality, does not suffer annihilation or any damage if it left reality A before its alteration.
Test on object: Description of the experiment: Thursday, August 5th, 2111 A member of the New Vision research center paints a picture on a canvas of 60cm X 40 cm. Then, the same day, he painted another on a 60cm X 90cm painting.
Today August 9th, 2111, he takes with him in the individual transfer platform the canvas of 60cm X 40 cm. He goes, with the canvas therefore, in the past on Thursday August 5 before he paints the two paintings, there, instead of painting them, he tears the two canvases in order to make them unusable. He thus creates a second reality where his action of painting in reality A is altered, prevented.
This action thus creates a second reality where the paintings are torn and not painted. Our researcher still has the 60 cm by 40 cm canvas that he had painted in reality A and that he took with him to reality bis. The researcher and the canvas return to the individual transfer platform to return to their present, therefore August 9th, 2111. The researcher observes the two canvases, which are not painted but torn, while the one he took away and which he still holds in his hand is painted and has not been touched by the alteration of reality A.
We can therefore conclude: an object traveling in a reality other than the altered reality does not suffer annihilation or any damage if it left reality A before its alteration. The conclusion of this experiment is that both living and object react in the same way to the alteration of their reality.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds