Legacy of the Mask Schedule
kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours
SE Lindberg – GUEST POST
R Tran Books – GUEST POST
A Wonderful World of Words – GUEST POST
Inside the Insanity – GUEST POST
4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼ – GUEST POST
Books A-Brewin’ – GUEST POST
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Winners choice of ebook or audiobook of the entire 7-book Dukes of War series,
$15 Amazon giftcard
– 1 winner each!
Alternative history, time travel, feisty orphans, steampunk cats, disappearing Dickens and cursed plays, Jack the Ripper – with a twist, terrorists holding London to ransom, beer wars and more in Britain’s capital city.
Ten tales of survival and mayhem in and beneath the streets of London – Join the adventures in this dark and diverse Tales of the City Bundle.
Somerled’s parentage was noble, of the Kings of Dublin, the royal house of Argyll and the great Ard Ri, the High Kings of Ireland. But when the Norse invaded Argyll and the Isles, his family’s fortunes fell with those of his people. When all hope seemed lost, he rose from the mists of Morvern to rally the Gaels, the Scots and the Irish.
Sweeping across Argyll and the Isles like a fast-moving storm, brilliant in strategy and fearless in battle, Somerled began retaking his ancestral lands, driving away the invaders and freeing the people from the Norse stranglehold. In doing so, he would win the title Somerle Mor, Somerled the Mighty, Lord of Argyll, Kintyre and Lorne and, eventually, Lord of the Isles.
This is the unforgettable saga of his path to victory that birthed the Kingdom of the Isles and won him the heart of a Norse king’s daughter.
Who are you? (Give a brief description of yourself). I am Jack, I seek to clean up the once noble streets, deal with the vice and the stain on our glorious empire.
How did you find yourself in your current predicament/on your current adventure? My adventure? I suppose it is. I avenge my brother, I avenge those who have fallen to the pox. I do it for her – the shining icon of decency and family life. She whose character is unstained.
Who are your companions? I have none, except the beast and the blade.
What is your moral code? How does it compare with the general moral code of your area? You mean the whores, the drunkards, the gamblers and the dens of vice? I come to solve the problems of the streetwalkers and their filth. I serve the common good. I serve in her name.
How many crimes have you committed? Five or five hundred – it matters not.
How do you think others see you? They fear me. My reign of terror has them cowering but still some ply their trade. I hear the cry of the newsboy on the corner when my night’s work is done, and the beast laughs. I want them to fear the blade in the night. I want them to smell the blood.
Do you see yourself as a ‘good’ person? I kill the tainted, the corrupt and the wicked. I serve the empire, I serve her.
What is your greatest achievement? The Double Event – two in one night!
If you could live your life again would you make the same choices? Of course
Do you have any dirty secrets? You have no idea!
Why should we read about your adventures? I will be a legend, a myth. I will disappear and yet my name will live forever.
Author – A. L. Butcher
Jack appears here:
The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown, but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the Ripper.
18 rated for scenes of violence.
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2xdkprc
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2v6xDZs
Amazon UK audio
Today we welcome Historical Romance writer Gina Ardito.
Gina – over to you…
We’re living in strange days. And we’re all trying to find a new normal we can live with. One of the aspects of writing historical romances I love is that I know how it’s going to end. Oh, not the way my characters will win in the end (I’m a total pantser, which means I have no idea where my story will go ‘til it lands somewhere), but definitely how the historical crisis they’re living through will end. That’s a luxury we don’t have these days. But it’s important to remember that when our historical figures were surviving their trying times, they had no idea how it would end, either. We just have the luxury of hindsight.
When I opted to choose to set ECHOES OF LOVE during the time of Napoleon’s march on Russia, I knew how the emperor’s gambit turned out. Chesna, my royal governess, has no such certainty—though she suspects. And yet, time and again, when I threw the worst sort of betrayals at her, she outwitted me and rose to the occasion. Take, for instance, this scene when the French army has invaded her city and she has fled to the church with her young prince for sanctuary until she can plan their next move.
“Please, Your Majesty, you must listen to me.”
The boy flipped down the blanket and opened one eye to stare at her. Obviously, her use of his new title had struck through his sleep-fogged brain. His brow furrowed, and a lone tear slipped down his cheek. “Papa?” The squeaky tremor in his voice confirmed her suspicion that he sensed the truth regarding his father’s fate. “He’s gone, isn’t he?”
She bowed her head. “Yes, sire. Forgive our haste, but we must speak quickly.”
The cot creaked as Mikhail sat up. With a shiver at the cold air, he folded his arms over his chest, and looked around in confusion. “Where are my garments?”
Chesna exchanged a quick glance with Karol, who came forward with the bundle of dirty clothes. “Here, Your Majesty.”
Mikhail’s expression mirrored his disgust. “Those are filthy. Where did you get them?”
Cheeks flushed, Karol backed away from the boy’s indignance. “From a dead boy in the street, sire.”
“How dare you!” he shouted. “I do not wear dirty garments.”
“You do now,” Chesna said flatly. She halted the argument he might attempt with an index finger pressed to the child’s lips. “Please, Your Majesty. Listen to me. I’ll explain.”
Although his eyes narrowed in displeasure, Mikhail nodded.
She removed her finger and gestured for Karol to bring the clothes forward. “Do you recall what you asked of me when I told you of your mama’s death?”
“Yes,” he replied warily. “I asked if you’d be my mama now. But you said you could never take her place.”
She shook out the threadbare shirt to remove any stray dust or insects, then slid the rough garment around his satiny shoulders. “Well, sire, I’ve changed my mind.”
The boy looked up, one eyebrow quirked. “How so?”
“To rule Amatia, Napoleon would destroy the royal family, including you. But the French only plan to remain here for a short time before pressing on toward Moscow. They must cross the mountains before the cold weather sets in. And if they’re defeated in Moscow, a fate my father claimed was all but certain, your throne reverts back to you based on your alliance with Tsar Alexander. Until then, we must keep these foreigners from discovering your true identity so they cannot harm you or take you prisoner.”
One eyebrow quirked up, an expression so like his father’s, Chesna sucked in a sharp breath. “And how will we accomplish this?”
She refocused on the new king. “While you slept, Karol took your garments and went out into the streets. He found a dead boy of about your age, removed his clothing, dressed him in your royal attire and left his body beneath that of your father’s. By tomorrow morning, Napoleon’s army will be under the assumption they succeeded in killing the entire royal family.”
“So you’re going to pretend to be my mama to fool our enemies,” he surmised. At Chesna’s nod, he clapped. “How clever of you!”
I wish I had the answer as to how our current circumstances will end, but the best I can promise is that it will, eventually, end. Until then, why not lose yourself in stories where you may not know how they’ll wind up together and happy at the end, but you know they will? I highly recommend you start with ECHOES OF LOVE.
meant to be, it will return. In Gina Ardito’s historical fiction
novel, she explores the idea of lost love, and bitter-sweet homecomings.
young prince Mikhail, as a means to ease her broken heart. Six years
prior, her childhood sweetheart, Pietor was sent off to Russia, and
soon forgot all about Chesna. However, fate will soon bring the two
lost lovers together again, but under dire circumstances. As
Napoleon’s armies march upon Amatia, Chesna finds herself caught
between loyalty to her country, and what her heart desires.
beautifully crafted love story. She crafts a suspenseful and engaging
narrative, taking readers through historical events, and the inner
conflicts within Chesna, and Pietor. The storytelling is beautifully
done as Ardito explores the concept of long-lost lovers, betrayal,
and learning to follow your heart. The narrative flows in an organic
way, with tension masterfully woven throughout. The dynamics between
Chesna and Pietor is natural, and their relationship is very well written.
and Pietor must unravel before it is too late. Readers will be on the
edge of their seats, as they follow along in the race against time.
Chesna must figure out who to trust, and who she can place her faith in.
of Love is a fantastic historical fiction novel. Gina Ardito is a fantastic
writer, and her novel will pull at your heartstrings, as well as
leave you breathless.
all my life wants me dead. I have nowhere to turn and no one whom I
can trust. I am surrounded by enemies on all sides. Do you have any
idea how that makes me feel?”
Heroika 2: Skirmishers – Souls of a Lion
My name is Thomas Barczak. “Souls of a Lion” tells the story of the twinned souls of Lavi, young men made assassins, both behind enemy lines, both alone, one against the Romans beneath the shadow that was Masada, and the other in the Warsaw Ghetto fighting back against the German occupation, both of them, ultimately and tragically, betrayed by their own people as well. Ultimately, only a girl in red is left for them to save, if there is to be any chance at all of saving themselves from both the hell and death of war. Death of the body. Death of the soul.
I have always listened to the idea of two people joined across time. Unable to speak to one another, they are sometimes given a glimpse. Sometimes, the actions of one may help, or even hurt, the other. The parallels of the Hebrew people’s struggle against both the Romans and the Nazis has always spoken to me as well. I am not Jewish by either faith or blood. I am only an author who has studied some portions of history. I have learned that when you study history, that truth is nearly always stranger than fiction. This is what compels me.
As I went deeper into these two different, yet similar, points in time, the twinned trials of this one group of people spoke to me of something deeper as well. All dogma and religion aside, it spoke to me of how a few, and sometimes even a one, who were willing to rise above circumstance, and sometimes, even the ones they were fighting to protect, to defend against their loss. They had to have to known their likelihood of failure. Perhaps it didn’t matter. Perhaps they weren’t just doing it for themselves, but for generations yet to come, or perhaps, generations that have already been.
A Skirmisher, by definition, is one who goes forward, ahead of the lines, who seeks engagement alone with the enemy, that stands apart, ahead, to protect those that are behind them. They do this with steel on the battlefield, they do it with spirit on the battlefield of their soul.
Lavi is the name shared by the hero(s) of this story, a soul that has already been shaped, and worn, and betrayed as the story opens beneath the new moon over Masada. He is a calculating and shrewd killer who struggles with lament. In the dark night of the Warsaw ghetto the soul, and the name, belong to someone very different, a boy on the leeward cusp of everything he knew, but there is no going back when everything to go back to is already gone. One Lavi still seeks redemption, while the other still looks for something to save.
To both, a little girl in red offers them their only salvation, if not for themselves, then perhaps for the other, or one past, or another yet still to come.
Name: Michael H. Hanson
Give us a brief synopsis of your story:
The Sea People, the largest military force in Mediterranean history, is closing in on Egypt, the last true bastion of order and culture in the ancient world. A never before seen alliance of countries and nation-states have united to defend against this rampaging overwhelming horror. On the eve of battle, it is the skirmish lines of the fierce nomadic tribespeople known as The Habiru, who just may hold the answer to victory. Civilization itself is at stake in this breathless adventure.
Why did you choose that time period/group of people to write about?
I was always fascinated by the theory that the Ancient Hebrews were, in fact, the historically documented peoples known as The Habiru. Biblical accounts of how that ancient people really entered Egypt are questionable at best. I decided to create my own tale as a possible example of how it all came about.
What are the challenges in writing historical fiction/fantasy?
Mixing known facts about B.C. cultures with believable character descriptions and dialogue. It is always tough to keep one’s self from overly romanticizing the past, and also tough to remember how current cultural norms are not the mindset of our ancestors. In a world of political correctness, it is a fine line one has to walk to write an entertaining historical adventure story.
What is your usual genre?
I generally write contemporary science–fiction, fantasy, and horror… and lots of Poetry!
How do you define a hero?
One who is willing to place the needs of others above their own and doing so in the face of great danger and great fear.
What is your writing space like?
A comfortable couch or sofa I can lounge upon with a mac laptop slung on my belly.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A Scuba Diver or an Astronaut
Name three things you really love about writing, and three things you don’t like.
I love the solitude, the challenge, and the total control I have over the endeavour.
I don’t like tight deadlines, the long wait between submission and acceptance/rejection, and the mind-worm my guilty conscious implants in me when I’ve put off writing for too long.
Name: Amnon, son of Amram
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am born of the Naphtali, the eighth of the twelve tribes of the Habiru. I lead a thirty-man group of Skirmishers, lightly armed and fleet-footed warriors whose duties are scouting, spying, and enemy harassment.
Tell us a bit about the society in which you live.
The Habiru are a nomadic warrior nation that once lived along several stretches of the land of Retjenu. In recent years the mighty Ramses III befriended the Habiru leaders and, impressed by our savagery and skills, invited us to move our camps across the border of Egypt and down to the city of Abu, as allies and equals.
How do others see you?
I’m a leader, as was my father, his father, and many grandfathers before them. Mine is a holy bloodline of commitment and duty. Others look to me for leadership and I will never let them down.
Do you believe in a god?
Of course. What kind of stupid question is that? I believe in the high god, Yahweh, and his deific consort, Asherah, the goddess of healing.
How do you define a hero?
I don’t. That word has no meaning in my culture. I am a warrior of god. One of many. I do what I must. What else is there?
What do you REALLY think of your author?
He’s an arrogant pagan, dismissive of the strength of my people’s moral, ethical and religious conviction, and far too interested in the childish minutia of mundane combat.
If you could have three wishes what would they be?
That I never fail in any of my military duties, that I never bring shame upon my family or clan, and that I and all my loved ones will die and earn the right of an eternal afterlife in the Bosom of Abraham.
AUTHOR BIO (short)
Michael H. Hanson created the ongoing SHA’DAA shared-world anthology series currently consisting of “SHA’DAA: TALES OF THE APOCALYPSE”, “SHA’DAA: LAST CALL”, “SHA’DAA: PAWNS,” “SHA’DAA: FACETS”, “SHA’DAA: INKED”, and “SHA’DAA: TOYS”, all published by Moondream Press (an imprint of Copper Dog Publishing). In 2017, Michael’s short story “C.H.A.D.” appeared in the
Eric S. Brown edited anthology “C.H.U.D. LIVES!” and his short story “Rock and Road” appears in the Roger Zelazny tribute anthology “SHADOWS AND REFLECTIONS.” Michael also has stories in Janet Morris’s Heroes in Hell (HIH) anthology volumes, “LAWYERS IN HELL,” “ROGUES IN HELL,” “DREAMERS IN HELL,” “POETS IN HELL,” “DOCTORS IN HELL,” “PIRATES IN HELL,” and “LOVERS IN HELL.”