#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : The Brantford Wagers (The Brantford Series, Book 1) #TheBrantfordWagers – Nadine Kampen @cookiebuxton #HistoricalFiction #RegencyRomance

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

The Brantford Wagers Tour Banner

Today I’m on the ‘The Brantford Wagers’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Nadine Kampen_1MBIn her début novel, The Brantford Wagers, Nadine Kampen draws on her passion for stories that bring a smile and warm the hearts of the reader. The author immerses the reader in the fictional world of traditional historical romance, set in the memorable Regency England period, sharing the hopes, schemes, and antics of her characters.
Prior to her career as an author, Nadine served as a regional marketing manager with an international consulting firm and as a communications and marketing director on university campuses. Earlier in her career, she worked in public relations and journalism, and was co-author and project lead for five non-fiction books comprising The Canadian Breast Cancer Series, published in 1989.
A resident of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, Nadine loves relaxing with family and friends, reading and walking, playing tunes on her 1905 Bell piano, and gardening.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: The Brantford Wagers
Series: The Brantford Series, Book 1
Author: Nadine Kampen
Publication Date: 20th January 2022
Publisher: Birdsgate Publishing
Page Length: 358 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Regency Romance

Nadine Kampen_1MBIs Clara Vincent ready to risk it all for love?
Clara Vincent is “the artful dodger” when it comes to marriage, especially when her father is bent on match-making. Will her attitude change when she meets two eligible suitors and is drawn into the lives of intensely competitive families? Clara falls unexpectedly in love, but when fortunes are reversed and relationships up-ended, she needs to decide whether to trust James Brantford, who is seeking retribution, or accept the love of the man everyone else
believes is her ideal match.
As the Brantford wagers unfold and lay bare the history of past relationships, will Clara be able to learn the truth and finally follow her heart?

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Excerpt :

Chapter 16
A Memorable Composition

If Clara anticipated anything at all of Andrew Hill’s music, it was heaviness and fury. She fully expected him, in fact, to bang his hands down onto the ivories. What she heard instead completely startled her. The first sounds were full, sweet notes in the upper octaves. The music began in lightness and rapid motion, the melody beginning in the higher tones and echoed in an enchanting counter-movement in the bass.
‘How beautiful!’ she said quietly, tingling with excitement. Brantford smiled and nodded.
On the man played to his company, phrase after phrase taking shape under his capable hands. Clara watched his wrists and saw how his hands hovered, moving with such speed, caressing the keys. He came at length to a variation on his opening melody but played now with authority and power. The melody held more weight this time, more maturity, almost. The passage was mournful rather than sweet, resolving in a manner that was utterly satisfying and complete.
They remained still at the end of it, shocked by what they had heard. It was as though he had placed a spell on them. What an extraordinary composition. Lifting her daughter from her lap, Jenny Hill moved silently to her husband’s side. Mr Brantford and Clara looked to one another. Mr Hill rested, absolutely still. His wife lifted one of her husband’s massive hands to her tear-stained face, kissed the tips of his fingers, and pressed his hand to her cheek.
The husband had played for his wife alone. Clara understood that and looked away. Brantford, watching her, pressed his handkerchief into her hand, and she took it gratefully.
Mr Hill stood up and bowed, smiling at no one in particular. He knew the value of his work and he knew he had played brilliantly. When he did finally look towards his guests, it was in triumph and pride.
Brantford rose to his feet. ‘It is outstanding. All England shall thank you for it.’
‘What a privilege it is to hear your music. I was deeply moved. Thank you for inviting me to stay.’ Clara would have said more, but he had heard enough of praise. Mr Hill fixed his attention upon his daughter.
‘What say you, daughter? Do you like it?’
‘Yes, Papa, except the middle is noisy. The ending is splendid; that is the best part.’
‘I see. You were glad when it was over.’
The child pursed her lips and blinked back tears, hurt at being misinterpreted.
‘It has a happy ending,’ she explained.
He hugged Angelina and gave his wife a tender smile that lit up his tired features.
Clara looked away once more. This was all so private, these emotions and hidden feelings. She yearned to leave, and expressing her appreciation once more, bid the couple farewell. Mr Brantford, saying he would follow her in a moment, asked her to wait for him. Outside, she felt a wave of emotion sweeping over her. She could name the feeling, had anyone asked her: it was loneliness, and it seemed to fill her lungs, leaving her breathless. Hearing of Jenny’s estrangement and listening to the husband’s music made her heart hurt, and it brought a flood of memories, of the loss of her loved ones and her own isolation as an outsider. Even gaining the affection of the wrong man—she realised that now—brought a sense of emptiness, and she felt overwhelmed. Happiness had some future date written upon it; it was not to be claimed any time soon. Every note of that song had resounded inside her chest, and her heart was pounding.
Mr Brantford soon joined her, and they sat beside one another on a low stone wall.
‘His music is so very memorable. My father commissioned this piece and has secured a buyer in London, which will help considerably. The timing could not be better.’
‘Truly? I am glad to hear it.’
‘Miss Vincent, you mentioned at our last meeting that your brother-in-law enquired after my stables. I confess, it caught me by surprise, but I would be pleased to show you some of our horses. They are not all here at Middlegate, but you are welcome to see them. Feel free to come by when it suits you.’
‘I should like that immensely. Perhaps I could return at the end of October, then, since the day of your picnic will be rather busy for you,’ she suggested, pleased by his offer.
Brantford nodded and smiled happily. ‘You need only name the date.’
Clara, confused by his attention and friendly demeanour, felt exhausted from trying to rein in her natural warmth. The effort must have shown on her expressive features.
‘Are you tired? Let me see you home. I am ashamed I let you walk home from the river that day, when you so badly needed rest. I shall not be guilty a second time. Wait here while I collect my grandmother, and I will take you home.’
‘Your grandmother is here with you?’
‘Yes, on a rendez-vous with some acquaintances, enjoying tea. I shan’t be long.’ True to his word, he returned promptly with Mrs Brantford already settled in the carriage, and they journeyed the few miles to Stancrofts’ in comfort and ease.
On arrival, Mr Brantford declined Mrs Stancroft’s invitation to stay for refreshments. Clara was grateful he was leaving. She wanted and needed time to be alone. The music she had heard was still playing through her mind, and her enjoyment of Mr Brantford’s company on the ride home had given her much to think about. She escaped to her own room, lay down on her bed, and closed her eyes. Stretched out on her back, arms under her head, she replayed the sounds and scenes over and over to her heart’s content while tears trickled down her cheeks.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : Shake Loose the Border (Thunder on the Moor, Book 3) – Andrea Matthews @AMatthewsAuthor #HistoricalRomance #TimeTravelRomance #ScottishHistoryRomance

– ‘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 ‘Shake Loose the Border’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century An-glo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Long Island Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Shake Loose the Border
Series: Thunder on the Moor, Book 3
Author: Andrea Matthews
Publication Date: 22nd November 2021
Publisher: Inez M. Foster
Page Length: 356 Pages
Genre: Historical Time Travel Romance

Andrea Matthews(1)With Will and Maggie’s wedding just a week away, the last thing they need to stumble upon is Johnnie Hetherington’s dead body tied to a tree, especially one that’s so close to their cottage. Recognizing it as a sure sign that Johnnie has betrayed the family once too often, Sergeant Richie Carnaby gathers Will and his family together for questioning, though it seems obvious only a fool would kill a man on his own land. Then who did murder the rogue, and why?
Feeling confident it wasn’t any of the Fosters, Richie allows Will and Maggie’s wedding to proceed, but the couple has barely exchanged vows when the Armstrongs attack in force. Geordie is determined to rescue his niece from the clutches of Will Foster, whether she wants to go or not. And if he happens to make her a widow in the process, so be it. Will senses the danger and implores Dylan to get Maggie away to safety, no matter where — or when — that may be.
Though Maggie protests, Will assures her he will follow as soon as he is able. Yet how can that be possible when Dylan whisks her back to the twentieth century? Sharing her fears about Will, and unable to forget his own love, Annie, Dylan attempts to return to the past one last time despite his growing concerns over the disintegrating amulet stone. But will he make it in time to rescue Will, or will the villainous Ian Rutherford, who has already killed in cold blood once, win the ultimate battle and see Will and Maggie separated forever?
Trigger Warnings: Sex and violence

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Excerpt :

Once more, there was a knock and this time Dennis stepped into the room. “Are ye coming, brother? Auld Geordie’s moving fast. Then again, if I was coming after such a fine lass . . . I’m sorry, mistress, to steal yer husband away on this yer wedding night, but . . .”
“I’ll be there presently,” Will said, and Dennis nodded, leaving the room. “I’ve nae desire to argue with ye, Wife,” Will said as he stood. He held Maggie in front of him and finished hooking the clasp on her cloak. “Now have ye a kiss for yer husband afore he goes off to battle?”
Maggie just stared at him, her eyes filled with tears, until she could contain herself no longer. “Oh, Will, I’m so scared of losing you.”
“Ye’ll no’ lose me, Wife. ’Twill take more than a few Armstrongs to cut me down.”
Maggie took a deep breath to summon her courage. “Oh, you think not, rogue? Well, I know of one who plans to do so all by herself.”
“Do ye, mistress? Then I must prepare a strong defense.” Will grinned broadly as his lips parted to embrace Maggie’s in one long, erotic caress. Then with an obvious reluctance, he pulled away, and the first sign of fear she had ever seen in his eyes crossed their dusky gray surface. “Take yer dagger, Maggie, and if anyone dares touch ye . . . make sure they never see another sunrise, aye.”
Maggie swallowed hard and, with a shaking hand, relieved him of the weapon. She couldn’t imagine killing anyone, and yet she wouldn’t be abused again, nor would she be separated from her husband. Will took her hand and led her to the top floor, where the other women and children had gathered. He checked that she still held her dagger, then looked at her longingly, as if he were never going to see her again.
“I love ye, Maggie Armstrong,” he whispered, and he kissed her lips one last time before hurrying down the stairs.
Maggie’s heart filled with emotion, and she gasped for air. It was as if her very life’s breath had been taken away. Slipping down on the floor, she huddled up against the wall, still clutching the dagger he’d given her. Should Will die, she’d use it on the man who took him. Though she wanted to be by his side, her place was there above, in a way guarding their last bastion of defense. If the Armstrongs broke through, it was where they would all end up, and Maggie knew she would defend it to her dying breath.
Arrows shot back and forth through the early morning sky, the silver-gray tinge of daylight brightening with each passing moment. Maggie shivered in the cool crisp air of the tower, though it was not the chilling dampness of the stone walls that caused her trembling, but the sound of cold hard steel clashing in the yard below. The Armstrongs had somehow breached the barmekin gate and were even now fighting their way toward the tower. She inched her way over to one of the narrow arrow slots and peeked over the ledge to look down at the melee below.
Will and Dylan were fighting back-to-back. Many of the Hetheringtons had been there for the wedding, so she couldn’t tell if more had arrived, but she did spot Tom and Richie Carnaby over by the cottage, getting the best of two scraggly looking scoundrels. Another man came riding through the gate, followed by his kinsman, a Selby, she thought. The fact that he aimed his bill at her cousin Jamie’s heart confirmed her suspicion.
She held her breath as her cousin managed to move aside at the last moment, yanking the Selby man from his horse. Part of her was relieved, for Jamie had always been a decent sort, and yet the fact that he lived only meant another sword aimed at Will’s heart. A sudden wave of nausea overcame her, and it was all she could do to hold it down. At least help was arriving, she told herself as she chanced another peek.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : Under the Weeping Willow (Sheltering Trees, Book Two) #ShelteringTreesSeries – Jenny Knipfer @JennyKnipfer #HistoricalFiction #ChristianHistoricalFiction #WomensFiction

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

Under the Weeping Willow Tour Banner

Today I’m on the ‘Under the Weeping Willow’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Jenny KnipferJenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.
Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.
All of Jenny’s books have earned five-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, a book review and award contest company. She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.
Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set.
She deems a cup of tea and a good book an essential part of every day. When not writing, Jenny can be found reading, tending to her many houseplants, or piecing quilt blocks at her sewing machine.
Her new historical fiction, four-part series entitled, Sheltering Trees, is set in the area Jenny grew up in, where she currently lives, and places along Minnesota’s Northern Shore, where she loves to visit. She is currently writing a four-part novella series entitled: Botanical Seasons.
Keep current with Jenny by visiting her website. Ways to connect with Jenny via social media, newsletter, and various book sites can be found there.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Under the Weeping Willow
Series: Sheltering Trees, Book Two
Author: Jenny Knipfer
Publication Date: 21st October 2021
Publisher: Jenny Knipfer—Author
Page Length: 346 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, Split Timeline Fiction

Under the Weeping Willow Cover

A HISTORICAL NOVEL ABOUT A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER AND THE SECRET SHAPING THEIR ROCKY RELATIONSHIP

1918:
Just as Robin Holcomb settles into married life with her husband, Willis, on his aunt and uncle’s farm in Wisconsin, WWI calls Willis away. With an unknown future and a child on the way, Robin makes the best of life among people she barely knows.
After the birth of her child, Robin struggles with depression and battles to overcome her inner demons before despair and hopelessness drive her to attempt to take her own life. Will Robin survive her dive into postpartum depression, let alone see Willis again?
1983:
Enid Fenton clears out her Mother’s house and puts the family farm up for sale, trying to not be consumed by guilt for installing her mother into the county nursing home.
Reading through some of her mother’s diary entries, Enid uncovers a secret that helps her make sense of the unnamed point of division that has always soured their relationship.
Can Enid reconcile with her mother before the ravages of Alzheimer’s claim her?
Readers of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, literary fiction, and women’s fiction will be moved as this novel takes them from the depths of a person’s psyche and grief to the pinnacle of long-hoped-for peace.

Trigger Warnings: Postpartum depression, attempted suicide, Alzheimer’s

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Excerpt :

But is it my goal to get her to remember? If so, I’m fooling myself. That’s a losing battle, at least from what Mom’s doctor told me. On our last visit, Doctor Chang told me Mom’s memory would slowly decline until practically nothing remained, if she lived that long.
Why does she have to slowly lose herself until there’s nothing left? What cruel twist of fate handed Mom this? I imagine a large emery file in her brain, slowly grating away at her memories.
The words of Mom’s written prayer in ’77 come back to me,
“Whatever unknown path is ahead, I pray that you will walk it with me.”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #PromoPost : The Feathered Nest (The Thornton Mysteries, Book 4) – Ellen Read @ellenreadauthor #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery #SuspenseFiction #HistoricalRomance

– ‘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 ‘The Feathered Nest’ blog tour organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Ellen ReadEllen Read is the author of The Dragon Sleeps, The Inca’s Curse and The Amber Trap—historical murder mystery romance novels.
Ellen was born in Queensland, Australia.
She loves to read fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She particularly loves history and stories of ancient myths and legends. Authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Victoria Holt, the latter of whom wrote gothic mystery/romances, have influenced her own work.
Other interests include photography, painting, music and musical theatre, and dance. Ellen was a ballroom dancing teacher for many years and has also worked in Performing Arts administration.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: The Feathered Nest
Series: The Thornton Mysteries, Book 4
Author: Ellen Read
Publication Date: 14th March 2022
Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing
Page Length: 372 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Cosy Murder Mystery

The Feathered Nest by Ellen Read - Front Cover v4Murder comes to Norfolk Island, but is the killer after Alexandra Archer’s Tahitian black pearl or a lost illustration of the rare Green Parrot?
The Thorntons, along with a small team of people, mount an expedition to Norfolk Island, a small island in the South Pacific, to study the Green Parrot and set up research programmes to help protect it and other endangered birds.
As a birthday surprise, Alexandra’s father tells her she is to be the official photographer for the expedition. Her father gives her a black pearl brooch that Alexandra’s great-grandfather had bought off a merchant in Hong Kong in the 1850s. The pearls are Tahitian black pearls.
Before they depart Melbourne, they learn that Norfolk Island has had its first murder. It sends ripples of unease through Alexandra. She hoped she could escape murder on this small island paradise.
Alexandra is astonished to learn that the main inhabitants of Norfolk Island are descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives. Once on the island, she wonders if this is why her Tahitian black pearl brooch causes such interest.
A chain of events is set in motion, commencing with a threat on the life of one of their expedition members, followed by intrigue surrounding bird smuggling and a lost illustration of the Green Parrot. Then two of their team are murdered.
Alexandra is determined to find the answers and nearly loses her life in the process.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : The Prisoner of Paradise (The Paradise Series, Book 1) – Rob Samborn @RobSamborn @TouchPointPress #HistoricalFiction #MagicalRealism #Thrillers #Tintoretto #Venice #UnlockThePast

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

The Prisoner of Paradise Tour Banner

Today I’m on the ‘The Prisoner of Paradise’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

ROB SAMBORNIn addition to being a novelist, Rob Samborn is a screenwriter, entrepreneur and avid travel-er. He’s been to forty countries, lived in five of them and studied nine languages. As a rest-less spirit who can’t remember the last time he was bored, Rob is on a quest to explore the intricacies of our world and try his hand at a multitude of crafts; he’s also an accomplished artist and musician, as well as a budding furniture maker. A native New Yorker who lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, he now makes his home in Denver with his wife, daughter and dog.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: The Prisoner of Paradise
Series: The Paradise Series, Book 1
Author: Rob Samborn
Publication Date: 30th November 2021
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
Page Length: 333 Pages
Genre: Commercial Thriller, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

The Prisoner of Paradise-Rob Samborn-ebook coverA present-day wife.
A soul mate murdered in 1589.
An ancient order that will kill to silence the truth.
Nick and Julia O’Connor’s dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto’s Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting.
Though Julia worries her husband suffers from a delusion, Nick is adamant the voice belongs to a woman from the 16th century—his soul mate from a previous life. He discovers an ancient order that has developed a method of extracting people’s souls, which they imprison in Paradise. Over the centuries, they’ve judged thousands of souls and sentenced them to eternal purgatory.
As infatuation with the past clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick must right an age-old wrong—destroy the painting and liberate his soul mate. But freeing her would allow all the souls to be reborn.
The order will never let that happen.
A riveting thriller ignites with a time-spanning love story.
Perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman or David Mitchell.

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Excerpt :

Coffee Pot-Samborn-Excerpt Image-3

Angelo eyed the boat. He had already been forced to flee danger twice in three days. The mere notion of abandoning Venice without so much as a goodbye to his friends and family grated his core. He’d never set foot on the mainland and was now told to traverse it. A most uncertain future lay beyond the horizon. How could he help Isabella from across the oceans, idling for years with a handful of ducats to his name?
“No,” Angelo said. “I cannot leave my home.”
“You should have considered that before seducing a married woman.”
Angelo seethed. “She’s the love of my life. Not some wanton mistress. I’ll join your cause and fight them here.” He grasped the rapier at his hip.
“Your prowess with the blade is well known.” The nobleman laid a gentle hand over Angelo’s and guided the sword into its sheath. “But how will you fare against a hundred men?”
“I shall die fighting.”
“Death is but the first consideration. And then your beloved will indeed be lost forever.”
Angelo conceded and released the hilt. He accepted the letter and coin purse, tucking them into his doublet. “To what purpose do you aid me? Answer that, I pray you.”
“Mutual adversaries. You may be the key to their demise. I’ll send word when it’s safe to return. When we can free Isabella and the others. Now go.”
With a reluctant nod, Angelo untied the small boat, then clasped his collaborator’s hand. “Thank you, sir. Tell me. How can I save her?”
“We need to—”
A whiz through the air was followed by the sickening thud of penetrated flesh and bone. The nobleman gazed at the blood pooling around the tip of the arrow jutting from his right shoulder, then at Angelo, with a mouth agape and befuddled eyes.
A second arrow embedded itself in his collaborator’s thigh. Cries of anguish slipped from the old man’s sagging lips. He dropped to his knees. The sight of yet another person’s blood inches away was too much for Angelo to bear. Like all Venetians, he was accustomed to injury and death, but never like what he’d witnessed recently. Never so sadistically.
“Go,” the man ordered, straining to utter the command. “You’ve seen what happens if they catch you alive.”
Angelo crouched and examined the arrow.
“There’s nothing you can do.”
Shifting to the wall, Angelo peeked around the corner. Two hulking men dressed in dark garb—one winding a crossbow, the other loading a bolt into his, stood thirty paces away.
“How? How can I save her?” Angelo asked in a whisper, crouching close to his collaborator. If he didn’t learn now, he’d likely never learn.
“Love of God, Mascari.” The man gripped Angelo’s collar. “What are you waiting for?”
Footsteps ambushed them.
Angelo squeezed the nobleman’s uninjured shoulder, then drew his rapier. “Wrongs shall be righted. Starting now.”
The attackers reached the corner. Both wore hoods obscuring much of their faces. A scar spread from the larger one’s eye to his mouth. The shorter of the two, though taller than Angelo, had an unruly brown beard.
“Run, you fool,” the nobleman shouted as he slunk into the canal, just below the bearded man’s swipe. The nobleman struggled to swim away, but the assailant caught his cloak and hauled him back onto the ledge.
The larger attacker charged. Angelo was ready. He lunged his rapier at the man’s crossbow, inducing an errant shot. The arrow ricocheted off the wall. In a flash, the man dropped the weapon, drew a short sword, and unleashed an assault. He pressed Angelo without remorse, driving the bout down the length of the narrow fondamenta.
The strikes were relentless and crushing, but the attacker’s shoddy technique exposed a weakness—his arm remained stiff, his wrist lacked rotation. Angelo parried the hacks, anticipating the right moment to riposte. It soon arrived. He angled for a side-cutting stroke, but an arrow flew through the flesh between his knuckles, cleaving a lump of skin from the back of his hand and spraying his arm with blood. The bearded assailant, while kneeing the nobleman to the ground, had shot with remarkable aim. Angelo gritted his teeth; his scorching right hand would be useless in this contest.
In one fluid motion, Angelo parried a wild swing from the attacker, tossed his rapier to his weaker left hand, and pivoted, dodging another blow. The switch drove his opponent off balance. His blade scraped the wall.
Angelo circled the man’s short sword with his rapier and squatted, completing his move with a slice through both thighs. The man dropped to his knees, writhing in agony. Angelo kicked his chin, then booted him into the canal.
Isabella was not yet lost.
He rushed to aid his collaborator but stopped short. From the alley, the commotion of an untold number of men, yelling and running toward him, reverberated off the adjacent walls.
At the corner, the nobleman’s eyes grew wide at the fast-approaching mob. “Go,” he screamed to Angelo with his remaining strength.
Death is but the first consideration. His collaborator’s words tolled in Angelo’s mind.
He spun, stomped on the scarred man’s fingers gripping the fondamenta edge, and raced for the skiff. An arrow zipped over Angelo’s head as his horsehide boots met the boat’s bottom, his impetus propelling the craft forward. He thrust the oars into the murky water.
Half a dozen men, all in black, rounded the corner. The first gave chase, dashing along the canal edge. Angelo paddled with all his strength, an excruciating task with a mangled hand.
At the canal’s edge, the pursuer tossed his empty crossbow on the cobblestones and dove for the boat. He caught the gunwale, nearly capsizing it.
“The Order will take you,” he cried as he climbed in.
Angelo yanked an oar from its rowlock and swung it into the attacker’s cheek, knocking the man into the water. Resuming his frantic paddling, he glimpsed the far end of the fondamenta. As the bearded assailant pressed the nobleman to the ground, the old man stretched for his boot, retrieved a dagger… and slid the blade across his own throat.
Stunned, Angelo rested an oar to cross himself.
An arrow struck the skiff. Another flew past from his ear. As more arrows landed in the water, Angelo hunkered and rowed furiously to the wider Rio di San Girolamo canal, which led to the open waters of the Venetian Lagoon.
Guilt roared through him—his collaborator’s death was on his hands. A vision of Isabella flashed in his mind. ‘Mòre mio. I failed you.
One day, he vowed. One day, her captors will feel a pain far more severe.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #PromoPost : The Virgin of the Wind Rose – Glen Craney @glencraney #HistoricalThriller #HistoricalMystery

– ‘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 ‘The Virgin of the Wind Rose’ blog tour organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Glen Craney-200x300A graduate of Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Glen Craney practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to write about national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine. In 1996, the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting. His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was named Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards. He is a three-time Final-ist/Honorable Mention winner of Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year, a Chaucer Award winner, and a Military Writers Society of America Gold Medalist. His books have taken read-ers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, the Scotland of Robert Bruce, Portugal during the Age of Discovery, the trenches of France during World War I, the battlefields of the Ameri-can Civil War, and the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. He has served as presi-dent of the Southern California Chapter of the Historical Novel Society.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: The Virgin of the Wind Rose: A Conspiracy Thriller
Author: Glen Craney
Publication Date: January, 2014
Publisher: Brigid’s Fire Press
Page Length: 407 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery-Thriller

TheVirginOfTheWindRose CoverA Templar cryptogram has confounded scholars for centuries.
Is it a ticking cipher bomb just hours away from detonating a global war?
Rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane was never much good at puzzles. But now, assigned to investigate a ritual murder of an American in Ethiopia, she and a shady stolen-art hunter must solve the world’s oldest palindrome—the infamous SATOR Square—to thwart a religious conspiracy that reaches back to the Age of Discovery and an arcane monastic order of Portuguese sea explorers.
Separated by half a millennium, two espionage plots dovetail in this breakneck thriller, driven by history’s most elusive mystery …
… the shocking secret that Christopher Columbus took to the grave.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #PromoPost : Under the Emerald Sky (The Irish Fortune Series, Book 1) – Juliane Weber @Writer_JW #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #Ireland #IrishHistory #GreatFamine

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

Today I’m on the ‘Under the Emerald Sky’ blog tour organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

JulianeWeber_BiographyImageJuliane is actually a scientist. She holds degrees in physiology and zoology, including a PhD in physiology. During her studies she realised, however, that her passion lay not in conducting scientific research herself, but in writing about it. Thus began her career as a medical writer, where she took on all manner of writing and editing tasks, in the process honing her writing skills, until she finally plucked up the courage to write her first historical novel, Under the Emerald Sky. The book is the first in The Irish Fortune Series, which is set in 19th century Ireland around the time of the Great Famine.
Juliane lives with her husband and two sons in Hamelin, Germany, the town made famous by the story of the Pied Piper.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Under the Emerald Sky
Series: The Irish Fortune Series, Book 1
Author: Juliane Weber
Publication Date: 23rd October 2020
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 468 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

He’s come to Ireland to escape his past. She’s trying to run from her future.
It’s 1843 and the English nobleman Quinton Williams has come to Ireland to oversee the running of his father’s ailing estate and escape his painful past. Here he meets the alluring Alannah O’Neill, whose Irish family is one of few to have retained ownership of their land, the rest having been supplanted by the English over the course of the country’s bloody histo-ry. Finding herself drawn to the handsome Englishman, Alannah offers to help Quin com-municate with the estate’s Gaelic-speaking tenants, as much to assist him as to counter her own ennui. Aware of her controlling brother’s hostility towards the English, she keeps her growing relationship with Quin a secret – a secret that cannot, however, be kept for long from those who dream of ridding Ireland of her English oppressors.
Among the stark contrasts that separate the rich few from the plentiful poor, Under the Em-erald Sky is a tale of love and betrayal in a land teetering on the brink of disaster – the Great Famine that would forever change the course of Ireland’s history.

Trigger Warnings:
Violence, sexual content.

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#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #PromoPost : Raid of the Wolves (Ormstunga Saga, Book 2) #RaidOfTheWolves – Donovan Cook @DonovanCook20 #HistoricalFiction

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

Today I’m on the ‘Raid of the Wolves’ blog tour organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Even as a young child, Donovan loved reading stories about Vikings and other medieval warriors fighting to defend their homeland or raiding in distant lands. He would often be found running around outside with nothing other than a wooden sword and his imagination.
Now older, he spends his time writing about them. His novels come from his fascination with the Viking world and Norse Mythology and he hopes that you will enjoy exploring this world as much as he did writing about it.
Born in South Africa but raised in England, Donovan currently lives in Moscow, Russia with his wife and their French Bulldog, where he works as an English tutor. When he is not teaching or writing, he can be found reading, watching rugby, or working on DIY projects. Being born in South Africa, he is a massive Springboks fan and never misses a match.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Raid of the Wolves
Series: (Ormstunga Saga, Book 2)
Author: Donovan Cook
Publication Date: 15th November 2021
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 362 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

The only thing that kept him going were the voices of his ancestors, screaming for blood…
Ulf and his shield brothers are sent on a raid against an old enemy — Francia, a mighty kingdom to the south, now ravaged by civil war. During the perilous sea voyage, Ulf can only focus on one thing. He demands closure: to find the man who slaughtered his family — Griml.
A hidden enemy stalks Ulf and his warriors through Francia, striking mercilessly when they least expect it. Soon the hunters become the hunted. The Norse warriors must make the ultimate choice between defying the king or angering the gods. Both could end in fury.
But there is another threat lurking in the shadows. One that Ulf could never anticipate.
Ulf is not the only one who wants vengeance.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : The Heart of a Hussar (The Winged Warrior Series, Book 1) #TheHeartOfAHussar #PolishWingedHussars – Griffin Brady @griffbrady1588 #HistoricalFiction

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

The Heart of a Hussar Tour Banner

Today I’m on the ‘The Heart of a Hussar’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

GB Head shot (1)Griffin Brady is a historical fiction author with a keen interest in the Polish Winged Hussars of the 16th and 17th centuries. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. The Heart of a Hussar took third place in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2018 Colorado Gold Contest and was a finalist in the Northern Colorado Writers’ 2017 Top of the Mountain Award.
The proud mother three grown sons, she lives in Colorado with her husband. She is also an award-winning, Amazon bestselling romance author who writes under the pen name G.K. Brady.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: The Heart of a Hussar
Series: (The Winged Warrior Series, Book 1)
Author: Griffin Brady
Publication Date: 12th September 2020
Publisher: Trefoil Publishing
Page Length: 434 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Heart of a Hussar eBook Cover LargeHe’s determined to protect his country. But can he defend himself against the ultimate betrayal?
Muscovy, 1610. Jacek Dąbrowski yearns to be recognized for his valor. Hoping his recent promotion to lieutenant will help secure the lands he desires, the twenty-two-year-old Polish cavalry officer earns instead the enmity of his captain. And his out-of-character rescue of two innocents from slaughter sets in motion a chain of grave consequences.
Discovering the young woman and her brother are not Russian enemies and have no kin, Dąbrowski escorts them back to the castle in his homeland. But as the rivalry with his superior grows and the blossoming beauty sparks a fire in his heart, the brave horseman may find his dreams of glory lying in tatters.
Can the courageous warrior survive hidden schemes that could destroy all he holds dear?
The Heart of a Hussar is the stirring first book in The Winged Warrior Series historical fiction duology. If you like driven heroes, gut-wrenching twists, and vivid scenes of combat, then you’ll love Griffin Brady’s well-researched tale.
⬧ Bronze Medal Winner of the 2021 Independent Publishers Book Awards for Best Adult Fiction E-Book!
⬧ Finalist for the 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards in Historical Fiction!
This book includes adult content and is intended for mature audiences.

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Excerpt :

Chapter 14

Jacek stood just outside Eryk’s solar and announced himself. Low voices interspersed with pacing bootsteps drifted through the partly open door.
“Come,” Eryk ordered. Jacek stepped beside Mateusz and stood at attention.
Eryk swatted a sheaf of papers against the edge of his desk. “Jacek, Mateusz has been advising me of rumors my cousin Antonin is building up his forces.”
Jacek tracked Eryk as he resumed pacing.
“I still do not believe he could have had anything to do with the ambush, but in spite of our inquiries, we’ve learned absolutely nothing. I thought perhaps to pay him a visit at his fortress and satisfy myself.”
“Of course, my lord. When do we leave?” Mateusz asked.
“Two weeks, but you are not going, Mateusz. As captain of the guard, you will remain here. Jacek will be my second on this foray.”
In Jacek’s peripheral vision, Mateusz eyed him with a frown. Jacek kept his eyes straight ahead, trained on the lord.
Eryk’s shoulders drooped. “I would have left sooner but for my wife’s health. She is recovering from a bout of illness, and I expect her to be fully restored when we leave for my cousin’s stronghold. I need to make it seem like a friendly visit, a family visit.” Eryk chuckled mirthlessly. “I shall call on a man I neither like nor trust.”
When the meeting ended, Jacek left the solar briskly, putting distance between himself and Mateusz. His effort did not get him far.
“Dąbrowski!” Mateusz barked.
Jacek bit back his irritation and turned to face his superior.
“Captain?”
They stood outside the great hall, poised at the top of the forestairs in a chill wind.
Mateusz’s face was mere inches from Jacek’s. “I know what you’re doing, Dąbrowski.”
Jacek looked down at him. “Sir?”
“You’ve set that brat of yours to spy on me while you ingratiate yourself with Lord Eryk. You’re trying to steal my position.” Mateusz pulled his gloves on.
Heat rose in Jacek’s cheeks. “Begging your pardon, Captain, but I have given Filip no orders to ‘spy’ on you. If the boy is being a nuisance, I will deal with him.”
Mateusz’s mouth twisted in a snarl. “See that you do, Dąbrowski. See that you keep him away from me. And another thing. Stay away from my wife!” Mateusz was so close he sprayed Jacek’s chin and mouth.
Calmy, Jacek removed a linen square and scrubbed it over his face. The captain’s bloodshot eyes smoldered, and a vision of a deformed, split nose bleeding between them flashed through Jacek’s mind.
In a low voice, Jacek replied, “I think, Captain, it would serve you better if you told your wife to leave me alone.”
Jacek turned on his heel, but before he took a step, a hand clamped on his shoulder. He let the captain spin him around, calculating all the while. One well-placed jab. One well-placed jab and a knee to the groin. Grab the back of his head and ram his face into the knee, hear the gratifying crunch. Watch the blood pour.
Jacek clenched his fists. Mateusz stared at him for several heartbeats. Two of Mateusz’s underlings called to him from the bottom of the forestairs, and Mateusz started to laugh. He smacked Jacek’s cheek and pointed a blocky finger at him.
“Don’t flatter yourself, Dąbrowski.” He gave Jacek a rough shove, turned, and leapt down the stairs, still laughing.
Just then, Filip careened into the courtyard, his head down as he trod the rutted path to the forestairs. Mateusz took four steps out of his way and barreled over Filip, sending him sprawling on his backside in the dirt. Mateusz roared with laughter, spurring his two men-at-arms to join in.
“Why don’t you watch where you’re going, you little rat? Now stand up and apologize.”
A hand gripped Jacek’s arm as he readied to descend the stairs, and Henryk’s even voice sounded in his ear. “Don’t give him the satisfaction.”
Feliks paced into the courtyard and pulled Filip up by the scruff, talking to him in a low voice Jacek couldn’t make out. Filip looked up at Mateusz with blazing eyes and mumbled something. Mateusz wheeled toward Jacek and erupted in another round of laughter before turning his attention back to Filip.
“Apology accepted,” he hollered. Mateusz started to walk away but stopped and pivoted. “And tell that sister of yours I’ll pay her a visit soon.”
Jacek jerked his arm from Henryk’s grasp. Feliks caught his eye and shook his head, then grasped Filip’s shoulders and spun him toward the stables.
“Jacek. Time for the midday meal. Come, before the food is gone,” Henryk said. Jacek blew out a breath and trailed his friend, his hands still fisted.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : Christmas at Hembry Castle – Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #Victorian

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

Today I’m on the ‘Christmas at Hembry Castle’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Meredith Allard is the author of the bestselling paranormal historical Loving Husband Tril-ogy. Her sweet Victorian romance, When It Rained at Hembry Castle, was named a best historical novel by IndieReader. Her latest book, Painting the Past: A Guide for Writing Historical Fiction, was named a #1 new release in Authorship and Creativity Self-Help on Amazon. When she isn’t writing she’s teaching writing, and she has taught writing to stu-dents ages five to 75. She loves books, cats, and coffee, though not always in that order. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Christmas at Hembry Castle
Series: Hembry Castle Chronicles
Author: Meredith Allard
Publication Date: 1st December 2020
Publisher: Copperfield Press
Page Length: 120 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Victorian/Holiday

You are cordially invited to Christmas at Hembry Castle.
An unlikely earl struggles with his new place. A young couple’s love is tested. What is a meddling ghost to do?
In the tradition of A Christmas Carol, travel back to Victorian England and enjoy a light-hearted, festive holiday celebration.

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Excerpt :

Edward walked at his usual brisk pace along Barking Creek and the town wharf, an inlet of the Thames. The fishing port was not as prosperous as it once had been, but it still flourished, a bit. This area of East London had been little more than a slum before the reign of Her Majesty the Queen but now it had its own railway connecting it to London proper. The area had lost its tenements and gained the London office workers seeking less expensive but still respectable accommodations in the neat rows of terraced cottages. And there, at the north end of North Street, were the red brick semi-detached houses. The Ellises of Barking lived in one such semi-detached house on the north side of the north end of North Street.
He arrived outside his family’s home and paused near the door, his hand extended toward the knocker, hanging midair. Normally, he would be happy to be there, eager to see his younger brother and sister, happy enough to see his mother, and not entirely displeased to see his father since, if nothing else, George Ellis had an affable nature. He nearly walked away, Edward, back toward the wharf, back to his flat on Fetter Lane, back to Staton House, even back to Hembry Castle. Anywhere, Edward thought. Anywhere but here.
“Perhaps Daphne and I should emigrate to Canada,” he said.
The door answered by way of swinging open and Edward saw his very own sister Kate—since who else’s sister would it be?—with her arms open. Even in her green cotton tea dress, with her chocolate brown hair swept back into a simple chignon, Kate Ellis bloomed. Her scalloped green collar matched her eyes, greener than her brother’s, and she smiled as if the sight of Edward was the greatest gift ever.
“Edward Augustus Ellis! You never said you were coming. Why are you standing outside? It’s going to pour rain on your head any moment now. For heaven’s sake, come in!”
Edward shivered, realizing indeed it had grown colder since he arrived. He shook the mist from his overcoat and hung it on the rack while glancing around the small but tidy sitting room. The house struck Edward as rather dark with its mustard colored walls and the green papered wainscoting, the heavy oak furnishings, the shelves covered in bric-a-brac, the red and mustard rugs, and the white damask curtains pulled to one side. It looked, Edward thought, rather ordinary, and he admonished himself immediately for the thought.
“They’re not here,” Kate said. “Neither is Nathan. They’ve gone visiting at the Brookings’ but they should be home any time now.”
Edward looked at his sister, the very spit of him, as so many said. When they were younger they were mistaken for twins. Sometimes, when they were in a mischievous mood, they insisted they were indeed twins, gaining the instant admiration of their friends. He grabbed his sister’s hands.
“Kate, I have something important to tell you.”
“Is it something good? Heaven knows we need some good news around here.”
Edward pulled back. “What has he done now?”
“I’m only interested in your news, which is indeed good news if I can judge by the smile on your face.”
“I’m engaged.”
“Of course you’re engaged. To Christina Chattaway. Have you finally set the date?”
Edward groaned loudly enough to wake the orange striped cat who had been sleeping soundly on the wide arm of the chaise lounge. The cat grumbled with displeasure and disappeared around the corner.
“Oh, dear,” Edward said. “I thought I told you. Christina and I are no longer engaged. We ended it some months ago.”
Kate eyed her brother through squinted lids. “What did you do?”
“What did I do?”
“Yes, Edward Ellis. What did you do? Did you displease her? Did she grow tired of waiting for you when you were always working? Did you scare her away?”
“Yes. I mean no. I mean I met someone else and I fell in love. I didn’t mean to, but I fell in love.”
Edward expected Kate to protest. At the very least he expected a fist waved in his direction. Instead, Kate sat in rapt attention, her hands clasped on her lap like a child listening to an adventurous bedtime story wondering whatever would happen next.
“I will always care about Christina,” Edward said, “but I didn’t love her, not the way I love Daphne. Daphne is special, Kate. She’s beautiful and smart and kind and…”
“The truth is, Neddie, I’m not surprised. I never understood what you saw in Christina. She’s so quiet you’d hardly remember she was sitting next to you. But didn’t her parents complain? They could have sued you. They could have ruined your reputation and career. You could have been the subject for every gossiping old biddy in England!”
“Fortunately, the Chattaways never pressed charges. Daphne’s father talked Mr. Chattaway out of making my breach of promise public knowledge.”
“How did he do that?”
“I’m sure a bribe had something to do with it.”
“You’re lucky your future father-in-law was willing to help.”
“I’m very lucky, Kate. More than I have any right to be.”
Kate leaned close to her brother and grinned. “Her Christian name is Daphne, then? Does Daphne have a family name?”
“Meriwether.”
“So how did you meet Miss Daphne Meriwether?”
“Lady Daphne Meriwether.”
“Lady Daphne Meriwether? Oh, Neddie! Grandmother and Grandfather work for the Meriwethers. You didn’t.”
“She loves me too, Kate.”

The Magic of Wor(l)ds