#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : His Unlikely Duchess – Amanda McCabe @AmandaMcCabe01 @HarlequinBooks @MillsandBoon

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘His Unlikely Duchess’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

721ab4461717a549bada135e16c0e01c_400x400Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)
She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections.
When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook.

Social Media Links:
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter

Synopsis :

TgNleh9AMoney can buy her marriage
But will it lead to love?
Miss Lily Wilkins hopes her American money will compensate for her lack of etiquette, as she needs a prestigious marriage to save her sisters’ prospects. Raised to believe wealth was her greatest attribute, she’s stunned when her unconventional ways catch the eye of the notorious Duke of Lennox. He’s far from the safe, sensible match she’d planned on—but Lily might just discover he’s the one she needs!

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

(On the frozen Neva, a festive skating party, entices Violet and her duke a bit closer—and then closer still…)

A brass band dressed in the red and gold imperial uniforms launched into a waltz, and Prince Alfred and his fiancee swooped and twirled around the ice, followed by other young couples.
“Shall we?” William asked, offering Violet his hand. He smiled at the dancers, but he seemed rather wistful, distant as he watched Aidan and Lily.
But Violet still felt that fizzing energy inside of her, that strange up-and-down exhilaration that being near him always brought. She didn’t want to give that up just yet, didn’t want to lose the lovely day. “Thank you, yes.”
His arm came close around her back, the other stretched out to clasp her gloved hand in his. He drew her much closer than they would be in any ballroom, and even through their heavy furs and velvets and woolens, she felt the length of his body against hers. Strong and warm and pliable, fitting against hers as if they had always been just like that.
They spun slowly at first, finding their footing under themselves, gentle, lazy circles that seemed to lift her higher and higher off the ice, made her float in his arms.
His touch tightened and he lifted her higher, spinning her around and around until she giggled. The swirling snow, the dazzling bright-white sunlight, the Easter egg-colored palaces, all blended and blended into a rainbow around her. She held onto him, her one still point in the crazy world. Her one reality.
“Oh, bravo, Vi!” Lily applauded. “You could join the Imperial Ballet while you’re here.”
“You’re just jealous at my grace and skill, Lily darling,” Violet answered with mock-haughtiness that gave way to helpless laughter.
“Oh, yes. I shall never know grace and elegance again, ungainly cow that I am now,” Lily sighed, patting her barely-there-yet stomach under her furs.
William slowly lowered Violet to her feet, holding onto her a moment until she was steady on her skates, and the bright blue sky still whirled above her. She held on tightly to his shoulders.
She glanced up into his face, shadowed by the brim of his hat, the dark fur of his collar blown by the breeze against his jaw. He was giving her that solemn, all-penetrating look again, the one where she was sure he saw everything about her, every secret she had ever held, and she could see nothing of him.
“What is it?” she whispered. “Have I made a cake of myself again?”
“Not at all. I just—you do have a nice family,” he said quietly, roughly.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #DamppebblesBlogTours @damppebbles / #Excerpt : Forgotten Lives (A DCI Stirling Investigation #2) #Forgotten_Lives #ADCIStirlingInvestigation – Ray Britain @ray_britain

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Forgotten Lives banner V2

Today I’m on the ‘Forgotten Lives’ blogtour, organized by Damppebbles Blog Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Ray Britain - Damp Pebbles Tour copyRay Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.
As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role – responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.
Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.
Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.
When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit.

Social Media:
Twitter
Facebook
Website
Instagram

Synopsis :

dfw-rb-fl-cover-ebookA man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.
But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?
When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?
Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!
Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!
As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Publishing Information:
Published in paperback and digital format on 10th January 2021.

Excerpt :

Stirling & Doyle at a crime scene

As he followed Doyle and Hardy upstairs, Stirling was struck by a quiet hush throughout the building broken only by occasional radio transmissions rising from the hallway below that receded as they climbed; thin carpeting muffled plastic over-shoes, every step marked by the rhythmic brushing of legs enclosed in forensic coveralls. Behind him, the second SOCO carried a video and cameras. No one spoke.
From the first floor landing a narrower staircase led up to a smaller landing with a single door. Stirling thought it might have been servant’s quarters in the first iteration of the building’s story. At the door, Hardy turned and gave Stirling and Doyle a critical once-over to be sure they were suitably covered to prevent contamination of the scene before leading the way inside.
Hardy’s description had been accurate. The door opened straight into a small living room where a two-seater settee and a beaten armchair competed for space with a cheap wooden coffee table positioned in front of an old TV. On the table stood a half-empty mug of coffee, the debris of a Chinese take-away and some junk mail. On the corner nearest the armchair Carson’s pocket notebook lay open, a pen resting along its stapled binding. Under the table the unattached end of a power cable snaked away over dirty carpet into a shadow where it was plugged into a cracked wall socket.
Standing astride two of the aluminium stepping plates strung across the floor to compel direction of travel, Stirling studied the room to know its occupant, concluding that Carson had either not enough money to spend on possessions, or had not cared for home comforts. Or both. A general untidiness and need of a good clean looked and smelt of a man living alone. Lying directly under the roof, the room was still warm from the previous day. Strained through a grimy roof light, a squared bar of sunlight anchored to the floor was filled with dust that eddied and swirled under the impulse of their movements.
Other than for their breathing, the room was still and oppressively warm, heightening the stink of death stealing insidiously across the room from a half-open pinewood door. Noticing Hardy’s eyes above her mask watching him, waiting for his cue, Stirling gave her a nod to continue. Hardy pointed at the half-open door.
‘He’s in there but it’s a bit tight with the bed as well, so be careful where you step. The window’s shut in there too, so it doesn’t smell good.’
Stirling followed Hardy across the plates into the bedroom and edged his way sideways between the wall and a double bed which occupied most of the available space until he could turn to get a clear look at the back of the door. Doyle edged in to stand beside him. When she turned to look at the body, the thin mask sucked inwards as she gasped.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

dpbt 2

#BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @annecater / #Excerpt : Game of the Gods – Paolo Maurensig , translated by @AnneMilanoAppel @WorldEdBooks

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Game of the Gods BT Poster One

Today I’m on the ‘Game of the Gods’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Paolo Maurensig was born in Gorizo, and lives in Udine, Italy. Now a bestselling author, he debuted in 1993 with The Lüneburg Variation, translated into over twenty languages. His novels include Canone Inverso, The Guardian of Dreams, and The Archangel of Chess. For his novel Theory of Shadows, he won the Bagutta Prize. A Devil Comes to Town, previously published by World Editions, is a brilliant, satirical novella about literary publishing. Game of the Gods is Maurensig’s latest novel and was awarded the prestigious Premio Scanno 2019 Literary Award.

Synopsis :

Inspired by the true story of Indian chess master Malik Mir Sultan Khan

Game of the Gods CoverThe story of a lowly servant who, for an instant, becomes a king.
In 1930s British India, a humble servant learns the art of chaturanga, the ancient Eastern ancestor of chess. His natural talent soon catches the attention of the maharaja, who introduces him to the Western version of the game.
Brought to England as the prince’s pawn, Malik becomes a chess legend, winning the world championship and humiliating the British colonialists. During World War II his skills as a refined strategist eventually drag him into a strange game of warfare with far-reaching consequences.
Inspired by the unlikely true story of chess master Malik Mir Sultan Khan, Game of the Gods is a fascinating tale of karma and destiny, by the author of the multimillion-copy bestseller The Lüneburg Variation.

Amazon

Excerpt :

FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF NORMAN LA MOTTA
1

In 1965 I was in the Punjab, sent by the Washing- ton Post to cover the developments of a difficult diplomatic negotiation that was drawing India and Pakistan towards the abyss of a bloody conflict. At the moment, however, the situation seemed to be at a standstill: news was scant and no one could predict how much longer the respite would go on. For some weeks I had been staying in a hotel in Delhi, along with about thirty col- leagues from other countries. The air was heavy, electric—monsoon season was coming up—and we reporters spent the day formulating hypotheses, drinking beer, and playing cards.
The waiting became more and more enervating day by day, and by then I had reached the point where I could no longer stand that state of vitiating dejection. Fortunately, I found a way out of it. What drove me into a seemingly fruitless venture was a comment overheard in passing while we were at the table. The speaker was a Belgian journalist, a veteran, known for his many years of experience in “oriental matters.”
“The weak point,” he said, “the one that will suffer the greatest repercussion from this conflict, will be the border that passes through Mittha Tawana.”
And it was the name of that place, about sixty miles from Delhi, that made me decide to go in search of a certain individual who had been the center of a scandal about a decade ago in New York. Finding a man who has been missing for years in a region as vast and populous as India is already a difficult undertaking in itself; it becomes hopeless on the eve of a war. Yet I felt confident.
To get a clear idea of the circumstances, how- ever, it is necessary to go back in time. The man I was looking for was an Indian who in the mid- Fifties had unwillingly been thrust into the bleak limelight of world attention, suspected of having defrauded an elderly American billionairess, a blind woman, moreover, in order to gain possession of her assets. What drew my attention to that grotesque affair at the time was the prestigious name of the accused suspect: Malik Mir Sultan Khan.
“It must be a coincidence,” I’d told myself. The name was, in fact, also that of an idol of my youth. As a boy, like so many of my peers, I had been a chess enthusiast, and I had my chosen darlings; among them, Sultan Khan had been my favorite. The fact that he came from mysterious India, traveling under the protection of an authentic maharaja, had only fueled my adolescent fantasy.
Finally, the surprise: it was the very same person! There was no doubt whatsoever. The confirmation had been handed to me by a brief press release: the Sultan Khan who had been pilloried by the scandalmongering press had been a great chess champion in his youth. But for readers eager for risqué details, that fact had gone unnoticed.
At the university and later in the years to come I had tried to reconstruct the life of that individual, with the intent of writing his biography. With that story in pectore, I had subsequently even entertained the idea of winning a Pulitzer. But his tracks had been completely covered, and although I’d sent dozens and dozens of letters to the editorial offices of various chess magazines, I got nothing in return. Then, after vanishing from London even before the Second World War, he reappeared again, after ten years, more than three thousand miles away, in the city of New York.
At the time I’d been elated. It didn’t seem possible to have found him again after such a long absence. All I had to do was wait for the clamor around his case to quiet down so I could go see him and have him tell me his life story personally, word by word. But things did not turn out the way I had hoped, because, once the curtain had been lowered on the tragicomic episode featuring him as protagonist, Sultan Khan disappeared again.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Katharina: Deliverance (Katharina Series Book 1) – Margaret Skea @margaretskea1

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Katharina_ Deliverance BOOK TOUR - Promo 1

Today I’m on the ‘Katharina: Deliverance’ blogtour, organized by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Margaret Skea grew up in Ulster at the height of the ‘Troubles’, but now lives with her husband in the Scottish Borders. Awarded the Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author 2014 and Historical Fiction Winner in the Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People’s Novelist Competition for her debut novel Turn of the Tide, the sequel A House Divided was longlisted for the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2016. The third book in the series, By Sword and Storm, is due for publication in July 2018. Katharina: Deliverance is the first of two novels based on the life of Katharina von Bora, the escaped nun who married Martin Luther. She is passionate about well-researched, authentic historical fiction and providing a ‘you are there’ experience for the reader. An Hawthornden Fellow and award winning short story writer – recent wins include, Neil Gunn, Chrysalis Prize, and Winchester Short Story Prize. Placings and listings include Rubery Short Story, Historical Novel Society Short Story, Mslexia, Fish – Short Story and One Page Prize and the Matthew Pritchard Award. She has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.

Website

Synopsis :

Layout 1It is very shameful that children, especially defenceless young girls, are pushed into the nunneries. Shame on the unmerciful parents who treat their own so cruelly.’
– Martin Luther

Germany 1505
Following the death of her mother and her father’s remarriage, five-year-old Katharina is placed in the convent at Brehna. She will never see her father again.
Sixty-five miles away, at Erfurt in Thuringia, Martin Luder, a promising young law student, turns his back on a lucrative career in order to become a monk.
The consequences of their meeting in Wittenberg, on Easter Sunday 1523, will reverberate down the centuries and throughout the Christian world.
A compelling portrayal of Katharina von Bora, set against the turmoil of the Peasant’s War and the German Reformation … and the controversial priest at its heart.

Amazon

Excerpt :

Chapter One
Lippendorf, February 1505

‘It is very shameful that children, especially defenceless young girls, are pushed into the nunneries. Shame on the unmerciful parents who treat their own so cruelly.’
– Martin Luther

Curled into the window seat, I press my face against the rippled glass, watching the trees bending and straightening before the wind, as the townsfolk do when Duke George passes through the market square. Above the trees, clouds pile, black on black, and I shiver. ‘The rain is coming.’
Klement, standing behind me, whispers in my ear, ‘The giant is coming. His footsteps shake the track leading from the woods. Soon he will reach us and…’ He grips my shoulders, shaking me.
Hans leaps up from his chair, shoves Klement backwards. ‘Stop it!’ And to me, ‘It’s only thunder, Kat, and cannot touch us here.’
Another rumble, louder than the last, and with it a distant rattle, like a cart on the cobbles in Lippendorf. The sky darkens, sucking out the light, Klement hissing, ‘And darkness was over the earth from the sixth until the ninth hour…’
Hans glares at Klement again as a jagged line of light splits open the sky, the accompanying crack frightening. I cross myself and shut my eyes until the noise fades, then peep between my fingers and see the rain spiking onto the ground below the window, churning the semicircle of path that curves to our door into a river of mud. The tree outside the window is blackened and a curl of smoke struggles upwards against the falling rain.
Klement is triumphant. ‘See? Next time it will be…’
‘Shut up!’ Hans spins round, claps his hand over Klement’s mouth. ‘Listen. There’s a carriage coming. Can it be Father?’ His voice has a catch in it that sends another shiver through me. ‘Anna said…’
Klement is at my other side, mischief forgotten. ‘Anna is a gossip. We shouldn’t pay too much attention to what she says.’
I tug at Hans’ arm. ‘What did Anna say?’
He pats my hand, shakes his head. ‘Nothing. Klement is right. It is but gossip and likely nonsense.’
We all crane to see as the carriage rolls to a stop, sending a wave of water arcing towards Anna, drenching her skirts as she waits in the open doorway. There is another flash of lightning as our father emerges and, holding the carriage door, reaches up to hand down a woman dressed in a burgundy cloak, her face shadowed by the broad brim of her hat. The padded velvet top is studded with pearls in the shape of a swan, its wings raised as if poised for flight.
‘Rich, I suppose,’ Hans says.
She hesitates on the carriage step, as if reluctant to soil her shoes in the mud, then, with a flash of ankle, she lifts her skirt and, holding onto our father, leaps the puddle between the carriage and the threshold of the door, slipping as she lands. He keeps his arm around her waist even when she’s steady again.
I catch a glimpse of a silver buckle and shining leather, just like our mother’s shoes she wore on Sundays going to Mass, and my stomach aches. ‘Who’s she?’ I ask. ‘And why’s she with Father?’
‘The wicked stepmother, I presume,’ Klement says.
‘Hans?’ I jiggle his arm, but he stares at the floor, shrugs.
Anna appears, her voice husky as she sends the boys downstairs. She shakes her head at me when I go to follow. ‘Not you, miss. I’m going to tidy you up first.’ She fusses at my dress, running her hands down the skirt, straightening the girdle, tugging at the sleeves. Her grip on my hair is firm, the comb strokes rapid, the teeth biting into my scalp, but when I put up my hand to stop her she slaps it away.
‘Ouch,’ I say, hurt as much by her uncharacteristic brusqueness as by the action itself.
She sets the comb down and turns me to face her. ‘Be good, Kat. Try to behave like a little girl, not a hoyden.’
‘For whom?’
‘For Frau Seidewitz. She’s…’ She takes a deep breath, the huskiness back. ‘She’s to be your new mother.’

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love Books Tour Host

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : When the Time is Right – Kim Cano @KimCano2

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

When the Time is Right Promo 1 (1)

Today I’m on the ‘When the Time is Right’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

KimCanoAuthorPhoto (1)Kim Cano is the author of five women’s fiction novels: A Widow Redefined, On the Inside, Eighty and Out, His Secret Life, and When the Time Is Right. Readers say her books are about strong women who struggle but survive, hard-won second chances, family life, and friendship.
Kim has also written a short story collection called For Animal Lovers. 10% of the sale price of that book is donated to the ASPCA® to help homeless pets.
Visit Kim’s website to receive a free copy of The Rescue.

Synopsis :

A note from the author:
I want to let you know that animals die in this book. Some people have problems with that, so I just wanted to mention it upfront. The main character is a hospice veterinarian, and although readers go with her to work on and off, it’s not the main focus of the novel. I was inspired to write a book about a hospice veterinarian after my husband and I had a veterinarian come to our home to put our elderly cat with cancer to sleep. (He is the cat on the book cover). After the veterinarian left, we grieved, and I kept thinking about her, wondering how she could be strong enough to do what she does for a living. I felt that she was the kind of hero I hadn’t read about, and a story started to form in my mind, and I wrote When the Time Is Right.

WhentheTimeIsRightKindleCover (1)A bond so strong that the gate to Rainbow Bridge can’t hold it back.
As veterinarian Michelle Catalano helps other people’s ailing animals earn their angel wings, she tries not to think about the empty cat perch in her own home. Or the empty side of her bed, grown cold since her boyfriend left town.
Then a pet psychic’s uncannily accurate reading leaves Michelle with more questions than the answers she thought were set in stone. And warnings so dark, she wishes she still had her cat at her side to cuddle the fear away.
When a brutal murder devastates Michelle and her family, the detective working the case is her only anchor. And soon, she’s turning to Bruce for the comfort that could heal her broken heart.
But there are too many unanswered questions about the killer, causing Michelle to secretly investigate on her own. Will Michelle’s search for answers spell her doom, or deliver help from the animal afterlife above?

Amazon

Excerpt :

The sound of rain gently tapping the window kept Dr. Michelle Catalano company as she wrote the eulogy for the Border Collie she had put to sleep earlier that day. His owners had said that Oreo had loved to play in the yard with their children, that he was happiest when he was running after a ball they had thrown and never tired of returning it to them so they could throw it again and again. They had also said that Oreo had been an excellent guard dog, but most of all, he’d been a beloved best friend. Michelle included the qualities his family had mentioned in her prose, then read the eulogy aloud to make sure it sounded good before double-checking her spelling and saving the document to her PC. The veterinary service she worked for provided in-home euthanasia services for animals. They had a page on their website for each pet that had passed away. It contained the animal’s photo, the eulogy the veterinarian had written, and an area for owners to post a comment about their pet. Michelle logged into the website, uploaded Oreo’s photo and eulogy, then lit a virtual candle for the dog, and said a prayer. As she watched the digital flame slowly flicker back and forth, a loud noise outside made her jump.
Michelle rushed to the window and saw two teenage boys surveying their Camaro. It had skidded into a telephone pole. The impact did significant damage to the passenger side of the car. Michelle considered asking them if they needed help but decided against it, preferring to call the cops. As she reached for her phone, the kids hopped back into the Camaro and sped down the street. She squinted, trying to see their plates, but was unable to make out any of the numbers or letters as they drove away.
The incident reminded her of the time her old cat Blackjack had saved her life. She had been walking out the door, and he had howled loudly. It was a sound he’d never made before. The yowl had made Michelle stop in her tracks. A moment later, a vehicle had crashed into her parked car. It had hit the driver’s side door and could’ve killed whoever was inside.
Michelle glanced at Blackjack’s perch. The one she didn’t have the heart to move. He had passed away six months ago at the age of twelve. He had lived a full life, and although Michelle knew he wouldn’t live forever, it was hard to believe she would never see him again.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love Books Tour Host

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Bad Karma – Debi Chestnut @DebiChestnut1 @CayellePub

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Bad Karma Twitter

Today I’m on the ‘Bad Karma’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

A Northern girl with a wicked imagination, Debi fell in love with mysteries after reading her first Nancy Drew book. She left her job as a paralegal to write full-time. Along with her mystery series, Debi is also the author of many books on the paranormal. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two black cats, and her lab, Hunter. You can find her at www.authordebichestnut.com.

Synopsis :

Bad Karma eCoverZOEY CALLAWAY is an introverted Information Professional, content with her cramped apartment above her mother’s garage. She’s a simple person with a simple life until murder shatters her small town of Hope Harbor, Michigan.
When Zoey’s uncle is found dead in his bathtub, police think it’s an accidental overdose, but circumstances tell Zoey a different story. After inheriting her deceased uncle’s home and black kitten, she moves in and catalogues his belongings, inadvertently piecing together clues to solve a crime her uncle had stumbled upon before his death. With a stalker following her every move, Zoey calls upon all her investigative skills to identify the killer before she becomes the next victim.

Amazon

Excerpt :

Before leaving, I checked my mail. There was a package wrapped in an old brown grocery bag. it was from Felix. “What the hell?” I said and set the box down on the passenger seat. As much as I was dying to open it, I knew I couldn’t afford to get sidetracked.
On the way to Hope Harbor I kept casting a sideways glance at the package. It just didn’t make sense. We saw each other two or three times a month, why didn’t he just give this to me when
I was there over the weekend? My stomach lurched. Was Felix sick and hadn’t told me?
Traffic was light, and I made it to Hope Harbor by noon and decided to drive by Uncle Felix’s house on the way to the police station.
His Craftsman style house sat on Ashley Lane and was within walking distance of downtown. Old oak trees shaded the front porch and yard, and there was plenty of space between houses for privacy, if there was such a thing in Hope Harbor. It was a small town where secrets were hard to keep. I’d spent enough time here over the years to get to know a lot of people and Hope Harbor felt like home.
The house was surrounded by police and emergency vehicles, so I parked on the street and made my way up the porch steps toward the front door. A policeman stopped me as I approached and told me to wait outside while he got Detective Andrews.
As I waited, I could see the neighbors rubbernecking, wondering what was happening. No doubt the whole town knew by now and I could feel my face flush as I considered the stories they must be telling about what happened to Felix. I made for the door, keeping an eye on the neighbors. I ran smack dab into a broad-chested man about a foot taller than me.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love Books Tour Host

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Morgan Le Fay: Giants in the Earth (Fata Morgana Book III) – Jo-Anne Blanco

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Giants in the Earth - TOUR P5 (1)

Today I’m on the ‘Morgan Le Fay: Giants in the Earth’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

JJo-Anne Blanco Photo 2 (1)o-Anne Blanco was born in Brazil to an English mother and Spanish father. She has spent much of her life travelling around the world as a teacher. Her travels, together with her lifelong passion for reading, writing and storytelling, inspired her to embark upon her Fata Morgana epic fantasy series, about the life and adventures of Morgan le Fay. Mythology, fairy tales and Arthurian legend are all major influences on her work, and her ongoing journeys to countries of great landscapes and folklore are never-ending sources of inspiration.
She is the author of Morgan Le Fay: Small Things and Great and Morgan Le Fay: Children of This World. These novels are the first two books in the Fata Morgana series.
Morgan Le Fay: Giants in the Earth, the third novel in the series, will be published in 2020.

Synopsis :

Fata Morgana Book 3 Front Cover(1)WHEN MONSTERS COME TO LIFE…
In the aftermath of Ambrosius’ attack on Tintagel Castle, young Morgan is sent away to the fortress of Dimilioc with her family, friends and tutor. But when bandits ambush their party, Morgan gets lost in the forest with nothing but her wits and her magic powers to rely on.
In her battle for survival, Morgan faces a cruel, hostile world that is suspicious, afraid and jealous of her magic. Silver-tongued faeries who are not what they seem. Vengeful Piskies and Muryans holding her friend Ganieda captive. Angry Giants and Spriggans who have awakened in the earth. And the ever-present threat of Ambrosius and his army, waiting to strike again…
To rescue her friends and outwit her enemies, Morgan must draw upon all her gifts, magic and mortal, in a perilous journey that will test her strength, faith and loyalty to the utmost…

Amazon

Excerpt :

The unfamiliar countryside rolled on and on as if it would never end.
Morgan had spent hours that day and the day before staring out of the window at rocky hills, autumn woodlands, and grassy valleys she had never seen before. Occasionally the Sun would peep out from behind the clouds, but for the most part the sky was grey and hazy with the oncoming of winter. Branches of brightly-coloured red and gold trees bowed under the weight of water from rain showers that fell on and off, spattering through the glassless window.
Morgan wondered if the Hyades, the Rainy Ones, were crying so much from the sky because she and her family had left Tintagel.
They were travelling in a wooden covered wagon with beams arching from the roof, dividing the sides into windows. At first Fleur looked eagerly out of the window with Morgan, but then the little princess got bored and went to sit beside their tutor Sebile, who was quietly reading one of the bound books she had brought with her. Morgan’s mother Igraine was lying on some sacks stuffed with feathers and covered with an ornate quilt. Morgan’s twin sisters Anna and Blasine, a year younger than her, played with their straw dolls on the floor inside.
Lady-in-waiting Halwynna watched them seated on a pile of cushions, clutching the side of the wagon and looking deathly white. Morgan and Fleur’s young maid Angharad was travelling behind them in an open cart with the pinch-faced kitchen maid Janniper and the food supplies. Morgan hadn’t been happy at all when she’d seen that Janniper was coming with them, knowing how cruel Janniper had been to the kitchen servants back at Tintagel. But it seemed Igraine had insisted on taking a cook to Dimilioc and Halwynna had picked Janniper.
Prince Vortimer had refused to ride in the covered wagon with them and rode on his horse alongside the guards. About twenty soldiers accompanied their party, chosen by High King Vortigern and Morgan’s father Gorlois, the Duke of Belerion, to protect them on the journey. Vortimer had insisted that his pasty-faced companion Prince Urien of Rheged ride with him, so the two boys rode outside together in the cold and the rain.
The only boy inside the covered wagon with them was Merlin. Being the same age as Morgan and Fleur, he was too young to ride with the others. He sat cross-legged in a corner on the opposite side of the wagon to Morgan. His face was expressionless as usual, his eyes dark as ever. He was holding a book in his hands, but Morgan didn’t know if he was reading it or not since she resolutely refused to look at him. He hadn’t looked at her or said a word to her either – or to anyone at all, in fact.
Morgan had tried to read as well, but the wagon was so bumpy that reading made her feel sick. Sebile had looked at her keenly and said that such nausea was usually something people felt at sea. The tutor said a famous physician called Hippocrates had discovered how sailing on the sea proved that motion disordered the body, but Sebile herself had observed that the same travelling motion could also affect people on land. The tutor gave Morgan an infusion of ginger to drink and told her to sit by the window and breathe deeply in the fresh air.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love Books Tour Host

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : An Ivy Hill Christmas – Julie Klassen @Julie_Klassen @Bethany_House

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Ivy Hill Christmas - Promo 4

Today I’m on the ‘An Ivy Hill Christmas’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

5egBVlgo_400x400Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies, and three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance.
The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and a Christian Retailing‘s Best Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Website

Synopsis :

9780764233807Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.
But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.
Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?

Amazon

Excerpt :

December 1822
London

Walking past a linen draper’s, Richard Brockwell surveyed his reflection in the shop windows with approval. He cut a fine figure, although he said it himself. Inside, he glimpsed a pretty debutante he had been introduced to at some ball or other. She had flirted with him, and they had danced once, but he had not asked her again nor called on her afterward. Nor did he stop to renew their acquaintance now. She was too young and too . . . eligible.
He walked on. A stern-looking older woman stood outside the humble chapel on the corner. In hopes of avoiding her, he crossed the cobbled street.
Too late. Her voice gripped his neck like a mother cat grasping the scruff of her wayward offspring.
“You, sir! Will you make a donation to our most worthy charity?”
Dodging a passing hackney coach, she strode across the street to accost him.
Richard turned and pasted on a smile. His upbringing, while not without its faults, had taught him to feign politeness with ease.
Reaching him, she went on with her appeal, “I am Miss Arbuthnot, directress of the St. George Orphan Refuge. We rescue orphans from the retreats of villainy and teach them skills like printing, bookbinding, and twine spinning to enable them to obtain an honest living.” She held out a basket. “Our institution is supported by voluntary contributions.”
Voluntary or coerced? Richard wondered. He warmly replied, “My dear madam, how I look forward to you or one of your comrades addressing me almost every time I pass this way. Your . . . stamina is breathtaking. You rival an athlete in a Greek pentathlon.”
Her eyes narrowed, but he persisted with his most charming smile. “I applaud your philanthropic spirit. Truly. And like you, I give all I can spare to my charity of choice. My favorite coffeehouse and bookshop have first claim on my heart—and my purse.”
With a pert bow, he turned and walked on, leaving her sputtering and him quite satisfied with himself.
Richard was, he knew, a selfish creature. A person could not change his nature, his very heart, could he? He thought not.
Reaching the coffeehouse, he tipped his hat to the beggar outside and entered the beloved establishment, the aromas of coffee, pipe tobacco, newsprint, and books rushing up to greet him. Seeing his bespectacled editor bent over a newspaper at their usual table, Richard walked over to join him.
“Murray. Good to see you, old boy.”
David Murray raised his dark curly head and stood to shake Richard’s hand. “How are you, Brockwell?”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love Books Tour Host

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Morgan Le Fay: Children of This World (Fata Morgana Series Book 2) – Jo-Anne Blanco

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Children of This World A2 (1)

Today I’m on the ‘Morgan Le Fay: Children of This World’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Jo-Anne Blanco Photo 2 (1)Jo-Anne Blanco was born in Brazil to an English mother and Spanish father. She has spent much of her life travelling around the world as a teacher. Her travels, together with her lifelong passion for reading, writing and storytelling, inspired her to embark upon her Fata Morgana epic fantasy series, about the life and adventures of Morgan le Fay. Mythology, fairy tales and Arthurian legend are all major influences on her work, and her ongoing journeys to countries of great landscapes and folklore are never-ending sources of inspiration.
She is the author of Morgan Le Fay: Small Things and Great and Morgan Le Fay: Children of This World. These novels are the first two books in the Fata Morgana series.
Morgan Le Fay: Giants in the Earth, the third novel in the series, will be published in 2020.

Synopsis :

Fata Morgana Book 2 Front CoverA STORM IS BREWING … Brothers Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon have landed in Belerion with an army raised to fight High King Vortigern. Supporters of the High King gather at Tintagel, seat of Morgan’s father the Duke of Belerion, as they prepare for battle. Ominous clouds of war hang over the castle, treachery lurks in the shadows, and rumours abound that Ambrosius is being aided by a powerful dark force from the past … Since Morgan’s encounter with the Piskies and the Muryans, the faerie tribes have united against her, vowing revenge. Meanwhile, her powers are growing faster and stronger, her dreams and visions more potent. On Samhain night, when the veil between the worlds becomes thin, Morgan resolves to summon Diana the Moon Huntress to her once again, with terrifying and tragic consequences …

Amazon

Excerpt :

It didn’t seem as if it would ever stop raining. The water bucketed down, plummeting to earth in torrents from the dark sky. It flooded the courtyard and gathered in great pools of water, soaking into the green and brown headlands beyond. It even started dripping in through the roof. Wooden pails were placed directly underneath to stop the water spreading, but the river rushes and straw strewn across the floor still got all damp and soggy. The rain seemed to be doing all it could to get inside, drumming relentlessly and remorselessly on the roof, pounding at the battlements, lashing at the walls.
Tintagel Castle stood on the edge of the cliff in lonely defiance against the ferocity of the storm. A western wind swept around the castle, howling and gusting with fury. From time to time, jagged forks of bright white lightning shot across the sky, lighting up the black clouds, followed by deafening crashes of thunder so loud they threatened to shatter the walls. It felt as if the storm were trying to beat and blow and smash Tintagel into pieces, attempting to sweep the castle off the edge of the cliff into the raging ocean below. Beyond the castle window, the steel-hued sea was in turmoil. Huge, roaring waves lurched themselves at the cliff faces, crashing against the granite rocks in misty mountains of spray so high that they almost reached the castle itself. The waves were joining in with the rain and the wind, the thunder and lightning; attacking Tintagel, trying to drag it all down into the depths of the dark waters.
Morgan sat in her mother Igraine’s chambers, gazing up at the window from the cushions she was sitting on. A fire was blazing in the hearth but Morgan didn’t want to be near it. Strangely, she didn’t mind the cold, or the wind, or the occasional spurts of rain that splashed in through the window. She preferred to be where she could see as much as possible – the brilliant flashes of lightning, the churning, steely ocean, the sheets of rain billowing against the grey stone walls.
Everyone else in the room seemed to be uninterested in the storm, or at least was studiously ignoring it. Igraine’s lady-in-waiting, Halwynna, was seated on a chair by the fire darning a woollen dress with great concentration. Morgan’s two younger sisters, the twins Anna and Blasine, were sitting on a bear rug by the fire at Halwynna’s feet. Blasine was playing with a couple of her straw dolls, while Anna was waving a small wooden stick around mouthing words silently to herself. Morgan had no idea what game Anna was playing, but she didn’t much care either. Morgan’s best friend Fleur was on the cushions beside her, reading her beautiful gold-illustrated Bible. She didn’t look up from her book or out at the storm at all.
Igraine herself wasn’t there. The Duchess had gone to help her husband with the visitors arriving at the castle. As the Duke and Duchess of Belerion, it was the duty of Gorlois and Igraine to greet all the people who came to visit them; especially now, as many nobleman and ladies were coming to see High King Vortigern and his Queen Rowena, who were soon to arrive at Tintagel. Morgan recalled the richly dressed men on horseback and elegant ladies either on horses or in covered wooden wagons that she had seen from the storm-swept battlements. She remembered that many of the men had also been wearing armour, and she thought of the guards armed with spears and swords whom she had seen standing sentinel on the battlements.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love Books Tour Host

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Cuddies Strip – Rob McInroy @McInRob

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

CUDDIES STRIP GRAPHIC 4 (2)

Today I’m on the ‘Cuddies Strip’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Rob McInroy July 2020 (1)Rob McInroy is the author of Cuddies Strip, a novel based on true crimes in 1930s Scotland, published by Ringwood Publishing. He has won four short story competitions in the past eighteen months (Hissac, ChipLit Fest, Writing Magazine and the Bedford International Writing Competition). His short stories have been placed or shortlisted in a further sixteen competitions in the past eighteen months. In 2018 he was a winner of the Bradford Literature Festival Northern Noir Crime Novel competition with Cuddies Strip and in 2019, he won the Darling Axe Novel First Page Prize with another novel, Cloudland. He was born in Crieff, Perthshire and his writing is all based on the Perthshire area, from the 1920s to the 2010s. He has an MA (with distinction) in Creative Writing and a PhD in American Literature, both from the University of Hull. He currently lives in Yorkshire and is working on a follow-up to Cuddies Strip.

Synopsis :

51lPJi64DlL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_ (1)August 1935. A young couple stroll down Cuddies Strip, a lovers’ lane on the outskirts of their hometown. Neither is aware of the tragedy about to befall them – horrifying crimes that shook the residents of Perth, Scotland, to their very core. The murder of Daniel Kerrigan, 18, and the violent attack on his girlfriend Marjory Fenwick, 17, is a true story that is heartbreakingly retold in this fictionalised account.
Marjory’s ordeal didn’t end that night, however. This novel painstakingly explores her mistreatment by those meant to help her – the police and judicial system. Inspector Conoboy and PC Bob Kelty struggle against the ignorance of their colleagues as they race to catch the culprit before someone else falls victim – and to give Marjory the justice and peace she deserves.

Amazon

Excerpt :

They sat in a triangle of plush grass at the edge of the Cuddies Strip, looking over fields of wheat that stretched towards the River Earn. In the milky-blue of a late-night full moon, the lights of Perth burned low. Love like a moment in time. Danny Kerrigan turned and kissed Marjory Fenwick inexpertly, his hand tentative on her back. She leaned into him, felt him warm and gentle.
‘Thank you,’ he said.
‘What for?’
‘This. You’re right. This is much better than the pictures.’
‘Better than Shirley Temple anyway.’
‘Shirley Temple’s alright.’
She peered at him pretend-haughtily. ‘I think you’ll find I’m a lot more alright than Shirley Temple, Daniel Kerrigan.’
Danny grinned. ‘Yes ma’am.’
They kissed again, long and slow, each discovering the joy of intimacy. In the distance the clock of Perth Academy struck ten.
‘We’d best get back. Your mum’ll be starting to worry.’
Marjory stood and wiped grass and moisture from the back of her swagger coat and put her hands in her pockets, hooking out an arm to allow Danny to slip his inside. They walked down the Cuddies Strip towards Perth. Trees hung low around them, beeches and silver birches rustling in the wind as darkness settled over Strathearn. Swifts, hundreds of them, circled in the moonlight. The Strip narrowed and dipped and turned, then opened out again, and they walked arm in arm, laughing, into the gathering gloom.
The stand of whins was so innocuous they didn’t even notice it but as they did their lives changed forever. From behind them the evening quiet was shattered by an explosion and Marjory felt a surge of air whistle past her right ear.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Love Books Tour Host