Excerpt – The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Short Story – A. L. Butcher #Horror #HistoricalFiction

The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Tale

(c) A. L. Butcher

https://www.books2read.com/TheWatcherJTR

1888, Whitechapel, London.

There she was, that whore. Once more. There she was.

Beneath the flickering gas lamp at the corner of Dorset Street, Whitechapel, she strode, grinning a seductive smile at a passing sailor, just ashore and looking for company. He, as bad as the bitch whose breasts he felt and whose ear he nipped with yellowing teeth, the unseen Watcher thought. With eyes burning hatred and a menace previously unseen and misunderstood. It was, he thought, a righteous hatred, and they blaze all the brighter for it. The beast within told him so. For he was the beast and he was its creature, at once the same.

She could have been twenty or forty; the Watcher neither knew nor cared. She’d not see another year, another week, another night. The dim streets grew ever wickeder to those of her sort spreading around their sin, their poison. Defiling this town, this land, defiling HER. The Watcher shook his head; no more whores and this place would rise like the jewel it was. Not jaded and dull but glorious and fit for a queen. The beast within whispered in his head. “Cleanse this town, make it fit again.” And so he did. A knife in the darkness, once more.

Geneva liquor and poverty aged a person far better than mere passing of the years. In the greatest Empire on Earth, they blighted the land. Gin palaces, opium dens, and hash houses aplenty gave heaven and hell to those with money, and those without. Life was cheap, and oblivion cheaper. The Watcher knew these unfortunates dropped their drawers for a taste of it, panting and moaning beneath the bridges and in the alleys, with their grunting men, and their penny a tumble.

The sailor moved on. He’d had his pleasure with another of her kind and spent his last pennies in the tavern, and she was here to work.  Nothing was free in her line of employment. Except for death.

So there she was, alone. Death walked these streets – and tonight it watched the red-haired whore, who sang and smiled and patted her new bonnet. There she was. The whore. Alone.

The minutes passed, creeping towards death; ebbing away from heaven and him ever closer to immortality. The whore did not know it. Of course, she’d heard the tales, everyone had. Screamed by newsboys on every corner “another ‘orrible murder” but rent still needed to be paid. And so she plied her trade. Afraid. Denying it would be her turn this night. A whore, alone.

Another night, another customer. Fear curled in her belly; these streets were streets of blood, four of her sisters slain in just a few weeks. But hunger was the greater force. Desperation made Mary-Jane brave – so she walked the streets, as she had often done. It wouldn’t be her, she thought. As they had. It couldn’t be her. Besides the police watched the alleys and the thoroughfares. The streets were largely empty, save the desperate and the foolhardy, and those too much in drink or lust to know or care.

The Watcher stood, beyond the pool of light from the gas lamp. This night was his. She would be his. This woman wasn’t as much a drab as some of her sisters-in-sin. Lust rose, entwined with his loathing. Two joined as one, desire and disgust, powerful and compelling. He’d never understood why they went together, but then he was a simple man, not one of the mind-doctors who had been so influential of late. The beast within did not care. Lust and hatred, pain and desire…bound so close he could experience little else when the darkness overtook him. Now, however, he watched.

The hunt was almost as enthralling as the kill; the knowledge of their fear, their desperation, and yet still they strutted themselves, offering a screw in the alleys and passages of the East End, and more if the customer had money and the taste for it. Filthy strumpets, he’d said to any who’d listen. Never did he consider the terrible choices they made. Never did he consider their choice was no real choice. What cared he for desperation and poverty? Respectable women did not sell their bodies. They kept sex for the marriage bed. SHE did – his icon, the woman he loved above all others.

The whores’ sins, the watcher thought, was what damned them. And they would pay, in this world and the next. He’d save London. He’d save it for HER. Blood would cleanse the streets.

 

Swift Six Character Interview – Henry Fitzroy#Vampire #Paranormal #HistoricalFiction

Character Name

Henry Fitzroy – formerly Duke of Richmond, bastard son of Henry VIII

Which book/world do you live in?

Anarchic Destiny – Book 2 of the Naturae Series

Tell us about yourself:

‘Dying’ when I was 17 was a trauma, but I was told if I became a vampire, I would still be able to fulfil my destiny to be King. Annoyingly, after I said yes to being made vampire, my half brother Edward was born, so I had to wait, hidden and captive for another 17 years, until he too died in 1553. But, when I found out about his plans for succession, I realised I’d been forgotten. I was no-one. I have to find my place in this new world, find a way to fulfil my destiny to rule.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I didn’t realise how liberating it would be to give up my soul, and so I would say my greatest strength is that I have no compunction about doing what is necessary to achieve my given purpose. I’m also super-fast, super strong, and, depending on the day or how I feel, super compassionate. Perhaps that is my weakness, but I still feel for the humans, even though most of my kind view them as fodder.

Name three important people/creatures/institutions in your world (such as lovers, pets, government institutions, leaders, gods etc).

The institutions in my world are the structures which enable people like me to rule – the Church, although I have wavering affiliation to it, and the monarchy. I’m ambiguous as to which of these institutions should remain once I get into power. On a personal front, I have few friends. Those I can count are Thomas Fairfax, a daemon, and, I suppose, my half sister, Elizabeth. She knows who and what I am, and means a great deal to me, possibly because I cannot influence her as I can mere mortals. She has the potential though, to be great, I have always sensed this about her and I hope that in the future our two realms can grow closer in proximity. Naturae is where I will set my sights though, the home of the fae.

What does ‘heroism’ mean to you?

I have thought a great deal about this, and my opinion of what it means to be a hero, and a leader, was largely influenced by my father, Henry VIII. He had his flaws, to be sure, but he was driven to greatness by passion. A desire to grow his influence, be the best. However, I am of the mind that life should be preserved where possible. I regret losing my mortal life, and mourn the loss of my soul. I am not about revenge, or killing for the sake of it, but rather, people should be allowed to choose how they live, not die because of what someone else thinks. I think that makes me quite heroic, I will always stand up for liberty. That is my passion.

What do you think of your ‘creator’?

She tries hard to make me into a sympathetic character, although I know at times I may make some choices which ordinary people could view as morally wrong.

Give us your favourite piece of advice:

Life is short, for humans. Make the most of it, live how you want to and with honesty and you will have no regrets when it is over. If, like me, you are destined to live a long life, then there is even more reason to be true to yourself, because hiding who you are will cause you untold miseries which you have your whole life to regret.

Links to book

www.books2read.com/anarchicdestiny

Anarchic Destiny - Bk2 - Naturae Series by Jan Foster

 

The Conall Series – Blog Tour and Guest Post #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalFantasy

The Women of Conall – Guest Post – David H. Millar

The Conall series is a tale of the ancient Gaels, their lives, loves, and battles. It is a story of a warlike people who also had an undisputed talent for art, design, and music. The series is set in Europe, 400 years before Christ, in a time when life was harsh and violent, and the boundaries between myth and reality were fluid.

A young blacksmith’s apprentice, Conall Mac Gabhann, returns home from a hunting trip with his friends to find his parents and young sisters slaughtered, along with the rest of the small rural community. A meeting with the mysterious Sidhe, Mongfhionn, and a geis accepted, sets Conall on the path of retribution. Several decades later, the former apprentice, now Rí Ruirech, King over Kings, of the great clann he founded and nurtured, stands before the gates of Rome to face his nemesis, Marcus Fabius Ambustus, Pontifex Maximus of Rome.

Conall is a journey of bloody battles, honour, treachery, tragedy, love, and high passions. It is an epic tale of vengeance and retribution, of courage and the frailty of body and spirit.

In Gaelic society, the women fought alongside the men, and many would argue they were the better and more ferocious warriors. From Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and north-western France, the ancient Gaels were guided by the Fénechas (The Law), a set of laws predating those of any Western civilisation. The Fénechas was well ahead of its time in establishing and protecting the rights of women.

Conall III: The Sisters—Na Deirfiúracha is the third book in the Conall series, and the women take centre stage. That said, all the Conall novels feature strong, sometimes tragic, and in some instances truly frightening women.

Mórrígan and Mongfhionn are the main female characters of the series. Both are powerful, troubled souls. After her family was slaughtered, a darkness of the soul overtakes Mórrígan, threatening to destroy her. From beginning to end, Mórrígan, a haunted, beautiful, and emerald-eyed queen, treads a fine line between sanity and madness, often finding relief in dispensing terror.

Her eyes blazed in fury, and her appearance was terrible to look upon; her waist-length, almost white hair shot through with streaks of red-gold. Her face was pale, highlighted by fiery red cheeks and full, blood-red lips; her eyes near black as the night sky.” Mongfhionn of the Aes Sidhe—a race of demi-goddesses—is an enigmatic and ageless creature whose driving force is avenging the murder of her sisters. Sometimes dark, the lady and her alter ego—the Hag—terrify both friend and foe.

A further sampling would include: Mòrag, “A voluptuous, somewhat narcissistic beauty, and an inveterate flirt, Mòrag was also a fierce warrior who could flatten most of the men in the army,” sets her sights on Conall, setting up an inevitable clash with Mórrígan. The tragic queen Ceana whose betrayal of her husband is a lesson in misjudgement and the descent into madness. “Áine had a mind, and it was a cunning, manipulative one that interpreted everything through its own twisted perspective.” Áine, a spoilt and indulged princess whose guilty conscience sets her on the path to madness, murder, and disease. After extreme abuse by her grandmother, Gràinne, of the Cinn Péinteáilte, swears that never again will she be defenceless. The malevolent Queen Kartimandu is not all she appears and is the only truly irredeemable female character.

Author Tidbits

My influences? I have three main influences: my Irish cultural background, my love of history, and my wife, Lauren. It was Lauren who, when I was constantly complaining about the paucity of stories in this genre of historical fantasy, turned to me and said, “Write your own.”

My target audience? Anyone with an interest in Celtic culture. I had always considered my books historical fiction. However, given the time period of 400 B.C., the distinction between myth and reality is quite blurred, and I recently recategorized my genre as historical fantasy. Some characters are mythical, such as the Sidhe, Mongfhionn, and others such as Medb, queen of the Connachta, are open to interpretation. The latter had a unique negotiating style and was often described as “Medb of the friendly thighs”!

My goals? My priority is to give readers a good yarn in the tradition of the ancient Celtic seanchaithe—the storytellers. The books are a gritty reflection of the time, the battle settings are bloody, and some scenes may raise a blush to your cheeks.

Future works? The future is Celtic. It is a niche that I enjoy writing about and is underserved.

Now that I have completed the Conall series, there is a need to emphasise marketing and promotion. For most authors, marketing, which includes acquiring reviews, is a daunting, vital, and ongoing need. Branded merchandise, author events, and blogs like the Authors’ Lounge are all part of the mix.

 

The Place of Blood – Rinn-Iru

Conall Book I

by David H. Millar

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Over four hundred years before the birth of Christ, the island of Ériu is a patchwork of feuding kingdoms, wide plains, and impassable bogs. Battle, intrigue, betrayals, and courage are part of life for the Celts who call Ériu home, while from their underground halls the mysterious aes sidhe seduce brave warriors, turning men in to kings and binding them with fearsome geis.

Conall Mac Gabhann is content with his apprenticeship to the local blacksmith. Content, that is, until his family is slaughtered in their home.

Two men share responsibility for the massacre: a mad Irish king and a dissolute Roman. Conall will have his vengeance on both, or die in the attempt.

Accompanied by his childhood friend Brion ó Cathasaigh and the veteran warrior Fearghal ó Maoilriain, Conall’s hunt takes him northward through unfriendly kingdoms and treacherous bogs to a confrontation beyond the ancient earthworks of the Black Pig’s Dyke.

Along the way, Conall will gather an army, and come to the attention of the aes sidhe. An apprentice blacksmith could become a king with their help—if he so desires.

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The Raven’s Flight – Eitilt an Fhiagh Dhuibh

Conall Book II

Conall II: The Raven’s Flight continues to chronicle the epic journey of the warriors from Ériu (Ireland).

Conall Mac Gabhann and his brooding queen, Mórrígan, lead over two thousand warriors together with their followers across the narrow sea that separates Ériu from Albu (Britain). Their quest: the capture of Cassius Fabius Scaeva, the dissolute Roman patrician held responsible for the slaughter of their families.

The Ériu encounter human, natural, and supernatural foes and friends. At the mercy of the aes sidhe, a race of demi-goddesses who demand that he fulfill an ancient geis, Conall is named as the “Hand of the Goddess” and given the instrument that will crush the Na Daoine Tùrsach—a tribe of fanatical, blood-lusting priests.

They battle fierce northern tribes: the Aos na Coille, whose one-eyed king, Drostan Ruadh, opposes their presence as do the Na Mèadaidh led by the sly Finnean Mac Sèitheach. Not all are enemies. The Aos an Fhithich offer their support, although it too comes at a price.

Heroes and villains from myth, legend, and history converge in this saga set in the vast ancient forests, treacherous bogs, snow-capped mountains, and mysterious lochs of Scotland some four hundred years before the birth of Christ.

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The Sisters – Na Deirfiúracha

Conall Book III

It is 406 B.C. The Gaels tramp through the vast forests of lowland Scotland, cross the brooding moors and marshes of the Pennines, and plough the grain fields of the South. The majestic stone brochs and dùns of the north give way to the great hillforts of the south.

Cloaked in a rich tapestry of tattoos or wearing armour inlaid with iron scales, the Gaels stand as one, taunting their enemies with fierce battle-cries and insults.

In Conall III: The Sisters—the third book of the Conall series—the women take centre stage. Brighid and Danu are kidnapped on the orders of Kartimandu, a malevolent queen bent on conquering the North. Mórrígan and Conall’s blood oath promises no quarter until the young twins are returned.

Will Eachdonn Breac, betrayed by his queen—Ceana, redeem his honour on the battlefield? A merciless assassin stalks the community. Tadhg Ó Cuileannáin is given the unenviable task of tracking the killer down. A mission made worse, when the signs point to the sister of one of Conall’s closest friends. Amid, the battles and intrigue, Mòrag Ni Artair, a tall beauty and fearsome warrior, sets her sights on Conall. A clash with Mórrígan—Conall’s queen, appears inevitable.

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A Brace of Eagles – Snaidhm Iolar

Conall Book IV

Butter-gold and cruelly hooked, the beak ripped a ragged gash across the newborn’s throat.”

Son of a blacksmith, Conall Mac Gabhann’s only desire was to follow in his father’s footsteps and enjoy a long life with his childhood love, Mórrígan. The slaughter of their parents dashed those dreams. Fuelled by vengeance, both embark on the dark path of retribution.

From the ancient forest, two great eagles take wing. With amber-gold eyes, Fate and the Goddess watch, ready to guide and meddle in human lives. Conall, now Clann Ui Flaithimh’s ‘king over kings’, must complete his geis—at any cost. Conall takes another stride closer to Rome and a reckoning with Marcus Fabius Ambustus. Flat-bottomed biremes carry Conall’s army cross the Muir nIocht to crash on the shingle beaches of North-western Gaul. New enemies and uneasy alliances flourish.

Assassins, treason, and treachery thrive. Above all, Conall values loyalty. Thus, treason within the tribe sours his belly. Mercy will have no part in his response.

The fourth novel in the Conall series, Conall IV: A Brace of Eagles is a rousing epic of Celtic heroes and villains, bloody battles, political intrigue, honour, treachery, and forbidden love.

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Retribution – Díoltas

Conall Book V

Witch!” Tullus gasped.
“You are not that fortunate, Roman,” came the menacing reply.”


Blood has purchased a fragile peace for Conall and Mórrígan and the close circle of friends they call family. Now, allies and enemies alike wonder if the king and queen have lost the thirst for vengeance on those who slaughtered their families. Alarmed, gods, kings, and despots conspire to poke the slumbering fire.
Brennus of the Senones still smarts at his defeat at Conall’s hands and covets his lands and wealth. Will a bruised ego and hubris overrule the Gaulish king’s normal pragmatism?
The Gaiscedach want revenge for the defeat and execution of their queen. In the dead of night, like cockroaches, they scuttle over the walls of Lugudunon.
Marcus Fabius Ambustus tolerates no challenge to his plan to be Dictator of Rome. But has arrogance blinded him to the enemy he has nurtured?
The gates of Rome and retribution draw closer. But Conall needs his enemies as much as his friends. Still, who are enemies and who are friends? It is a time of schisms and rebuilding, of loved ones endangered, and assassins and spies revealed.
Yet, there has always been one constant. Only the foolish doubt Conall and Mórrígan will show any mercy to those who threaten their family.

Conall V: Retribution is the fifth and final book in the Conall series.

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Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, David H. Millar is the founder, owner, and author-in-residence of Houston-based ‘A Wee Publishing Company’—a business that promotes Celtic literature, authors and art.

Millar moved from Ireland to Nova Scotia, Canada, in the late 1990s. After ten years shovelling snow, he decided to relocate to warmer climates and has now settled in Houston, Texas. Quite a contrast!

An avid reader, armchair sportsman, and Liverpool Football Club fan, Millar lives with his family and Bailey, a Manx cat of questionable disposition known to his friends as ‘the small angry one!’

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner WW

Conall t-shirt of choice – 3 winners, US only!

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Weathering Old Souls – Blog Tour

Weathering Old Souls
by James J. Cudney & Didi Oviatt
Genre: Metaphysical, Spiritual Historical Fiction
Abigail has always struggled with the voices. From the relentless tyranny a woman faces on an antebellum plantation to the unknown prison camps in America during World War II, our heroine discovers the past in a way that changes her future.
Moments from the past serve as guiding posts for the country’s growth, and also mark the transitions for Abigail’s own personal history. Her best friend, Margaret, partners with Abigail to discover the identity of the mysterious voices, while focusing on her passion and quest to become a United States senator.
Through it all, a serial killer torments the country, romance blossoms between people they meet during the journey, and long-buried secrets come to light in devastating ways. As elements twist, numbers align and spiritual powers connect, no one will be the same again.
Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search for Maylee, Justice for Belle, Aggravated Momentum, and Sketch, along with multiple short story collections. She’s collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology, The Suspenseful Collection. Most recently, she published her first romance novella titled Skinny Dippin’ which was originally released as a part of the highly appraised Anthology, Sinners and Saints. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid-back outdoorsy lifestyle. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, and sun-bathing in the desert heat play an important part of her day to day lifestyle.
James J. Cudney
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Didi and James are giving away 4 prizes as part of this marketing campaign. Winner will be drawn the week after release:
$25 Amazon Gift Card
$40 Psychic Services
1 eBook of Weathering Old Souls
1 physical book of Weathering Old Souls (US Only)

O Sentinela (Watcher Portuguese Edition)

O ano é 1888, e o lugar é Whitechapel, no coração de Londres. O coração, porém, está sangrando. Um misterioso assassino está perseguindo mulheres nas ruas – seu verdadeiro nome é desconhecido, mas sua lenda ficará para a história. Este é um breve conto de Jack, o Estripador.

https://books2read.com/Sentinela-WatcherPortuguese

#história de terror

#Fantasia

#Fantasia histórica

#História curta

Review – The Retreat to Avalon – Historical Fiction/Arthurian Fiction

The Retreat to Avalon – The Arthurian Age – Book I 

Sean Poage

Review – Retreat to Avalon

Fifteen hundred years have turned history into legend…

After three generations of struggle against ruthless invaders, Britain has finally clawed its way back within reach of peace and prosperity. Across the sea, Rome is crumbling under an onslaught of barbarian attacks, internal corruption and civil war. Desperate for allies, Rome’s last great emperor looks to Britain and the rising fame of her High King, Arthur.

Arthur believes the coming war is inevitable, but many are opposed. Dissent, intrigue and betrayal threaten to tear the fragile British alliance apart from within, while the enemies of Britain wait for the first sign of weakness.

Gawain, a young warrior craving fame, is swept up in Arthur’s wake as the king raises an army. While his wife and kin face their own struggles at home, Gawain finds himself taking on more than he bargained for and heading into the greatest battle his people have faced in generations.

***

Gawain is a young warrior, newly married, restless for battle and excitement beyond his settlement but also dutiful to his family and his clan. The Romans have left Britain, but their influence remains. Other forces vie for control and intrigue and alliances are ephemeral.

This is Gawain’s coming of age, in many ways, fulfilling a duty for another man’s cause and finding battle and politics are bedfellows. He’s a complex character – tender to his wife, loyal to his friends and leaders but also headstrong, creative and brave. The author does not shy away from the grimness of battle, the emotions of the men, far away from home and in dangerous territory. There is humour, there is grief. There are conflicting thoughts and needs. There is a land left in limbo, with warlords grabbing what they can.

There is Arthur.

King Arthur is a warrior – charismatic to an almost supernatural degree, yet a man, with a man’s weaknesses – rage, impatience, even hubris. He is a legend but a fragile one. He is the ultimate warrior-king. There is no magic, at least no obvious magic. Merlin appears, he is a mysterious figure with many allies and legends of his own. This is a time when Christianity was new to Britain and many of the old ways and believes lingered. Merlin knows it. Is he a wizard? Yes. Does he cast any obvious magic? No, but that makes him more intriguing and I really hope he appears in later books.

The author weaves a building tale of loyalty and what price that demands. His worldbuilding is detailed and rich, with the complexities of a society finding a new identity in an uncertain world. It’s far more historically accurate than many of the Arthurian legends and tales.

The emotive characters capture the reader and bring to life the trials of living in such a world as this, and such a time as this.

Some of the scenes are long, perhaps a little too detailed – such as the training scenes and day to day camp business, but overall a really good read.

Wish Upon a Duke – Blog Tour #Historical Romance

Wish Upon a Duke
Love & Devotion Book 1
by J R Salisbury
Genre: Historical Romance
The duke’s bargain never included falling in love…
When Savannah Dawson married the second son of an English earl, she never dreamed she’d have to leave her beloved America, let alone enter the aristocracy at her son’s side. Yet when the earl dies and her husband disappears at sea, Savannah’s life is upended. Bringing her young son to England to meet her shrewish mother-in-law is only the beginning of her trials. The dowager countess has asked a duke to assist in the new earl’s education—a man whose power and position could define the course of Savannah’s life. Proud and stubborn, Savannah refuses to be intimidated. And yet neither can she resist the attraction that catches fire between them.
Reformed rakehell Gabriel Armstrong, Duke of Clevedon, has no room in his life for a woman. Especially an American commoner, the widow of his childhood friend. Beautiful and bold, Savannah nevertheless captivates his imagination. Unlike her English counterparts, she speaks her mind and demands to be heard. Something that does not endear her to the dowager countess, yet which Gabriel finds fascinating. Troubles follow her from America, however. Her husband’s business was in debt, his money invested in illicit trade, and his ship was not the first to be lost at sea.
Rumors abound that Savannah’s husband is still alive. Forces are at work to deny her son his title. And when an interloper arrives demanding repayment or revenge, the life of Savannah’s young son is in jeopardy. Savannah and Gabriel must work together to escape the shadows that could blot out the light of their future.
**Only .99 cents for November!**
I’ve always been a creative individual. Writing is just a facet of that creativity…
My careers in public relations in and around the entertainment industry, photography, editing, artist management, modeling and special event planning all elevated my passion for writing, not to mention gave me a treasure trove for story lines.
I write women’s fiction; contemporary romance (as Jamie Salisbury) and historical romance (as JR Salisbury) which is ever evolving. I am fortunate enough that writing (and marketing of said product(s)) is my full-time job, although I always have one or two other projects going at the same time.
I now live in a suburb of Atlanta. Some of my other interests include photography, equestrianism, reading, and of course, travel.
I sincerely hope my writing will entertain, enlighten, and inspire others to pick up the pen and pursue their own dreams. I love to be contacted by readers, writers, and history buffs.

Website * Facebook * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram* Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$25 Amazon

Summer Warrior – Blog Tour

Summer Warrior
The Clan Donald Saga Book 1
by Regan Walker
Genre: Romantic Historical Fiction

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.

A lawyer turned writer, Regan Walker is an award-winning, bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romantic historical fiction. Her novels weave history and historical figures into fictional stories with political intrigue, a bit of mystery and love. She lives in San Diego and loves to walk along the seashore with her dog “Cody”.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$20 Amazon giftcard + winner’s choice of ebook from Regan Walker
(If US winner, you can choose an autographed paperback if preferred!)

Here Be Pirates Bundle #Pirates #Fantasy #HistoricalFiction #HerebeSeries

Here Be Pirates Bundle

https://books2read.com/HereBePirates

Pirates, marauders, ghosts and legends of dread and daredevils of steam fight foe, heroes and one another to bring you adventures from the high seas, outer space, time and myth. Here Be Pirates, Me Hearties!

 

The Blade Was Not Brass       Meyari McFarland

Heart’s Revenge          Michael Jasper

Hook Island    Russ Crossley

Stealing from Pirates  Stefon Mears

Bloody Betty, Queen of the Pirates    Russ Crossley

The Scarlet Curse       Rita Schulz

The Wise Guy and the Pirates            Russ Crossley

Duchess Rampant       Alison Naomi Holt

Queen of the Pirates: Jessica Keller Chronicles #2    Blaze Ward

Confessions of A Bold Maiden          Rita Schulz

Where the Purple Grass Grows          J.A. MarlowHERE BE Pirates 2 FINAL

Echoes of Love – Book Tour – Guest Post – Gina Ardito – #Historical #Romance

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.

Echoes of Love
by Gina Ardito
Genre: Historical Romance
Royal governess Chesna Dubrow must protect the five-year-old king of Amatia from Napoleon Bonaparte’s invading army. To do so, she’ll be forced to wed one of the emperor’s loyal soldiers. But Pietor Gabris isn’t any soldier. Years ago, he broke Chesna’s heart, forgetting the vows they’d made to love each other forever.
Pietor’s return to Amatia is embroiled in subterfuge. Amidst the deceit surrounding him, he clings to the one truth he cannot ignore: his timeless love for Chesna. Yet confessing what’s in his heart would sentence them both to death. To keep Chesna safe, he must portray the role of traitor, ensuring her animosity continues to blow hot and harsh.
As danger and intrigue swirl around the palace, can Chesna place her faith—and heart—with the one man she swore she’d never forgive?
Editorial Review from Entrada Publishing:
The old saying goes, if you love something, set it free, and if it is
meant to be, it will return. In Gina Ardito’s historical fiction
novel, she explores the idea of lost love, and bitter-sweet homecomings.
Set in the fictional country of Amatia, Chesna is the governess of the
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.
Ardito does a masterful job blending real-life historical events, with a
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.
Along with a tender love story, the author sets up a mystery that Chensa,
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.
For those looking for a suspenseful, yet tender love story, Echoes
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.
I honestly don’t know. If I believe you, someone whom I’ve known
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?”
I kill houseplants. There. Now you know one of my greatest shames. I’m not boasting. I just figure that if you’re reading this, you’re looking for more than how wonderful life is as a writer. You get enough of that elsewhere. Ditto for political rants, how to lose thirty pounds in a week, and creating gorgeous crafts with nothing more than twine and soup cans. My goal is to connect with you, dear reader, even if you’re not a writer, not a New Yorker, not a mother, not a female. We’re human (unless one of us is a spambot), and what we have in common is flaws. So here are a few more of mine:
I sing all the time. I sing songs most people don’t know–jingles from television, crazy stuff I used to listen to on Dr. Demento, Broadway and movie soundtracks, and I can even bum-bum-bum through instrumental music. I sing in the car. In the shower. While I’m grocery shopping. And I headbop while I sing. When I’m not singing, I talk to myself. Just ignore me and move on. You get used to it after a while.
I don’t eat my vegetables. Seriously. I only started eating salad about ten years ago, but I’d still rather have a cookie.
Given the option, I would live in a mall where I would never have to worry about freezing temperatures or too much sun. I’m extremely fair-skinned and could burn under a 60-watt light bulb.
I can’t sleep without background noise so the television’s on all night. If it’s too dark and too quiet, all I have are my thoughts. And even *I* don’t want to be alone with my thoughts.
Don’t ask me to Zumba, line dance, or march in the parade. I have absolutely no rhythm.
I color outside the lines. Not because I’m a rebel, but because I suck as an artist. My artistic ability is limited to being able to draw Snoopy sleeping on his doghouse. And I don’t even draw that well.
Regrets. I have more than a few.
My favorite activity is sleep, and I’m pretty good at it. I don’t clock a lot of hours, but I can powernap like a Persian cat and rejuvenate within ten minutes.
I consider shopping and dining out excellent therapy for anything wrong in my life.
My feet are always cold. Always. My husband of more than a quarter century claims it’s because I’m an alien sent to Earth to destroy him. (He might be right about that.)
Coming to my house for a visit? Unless you’ve given me plenty of advance notice, be prepared. My floor will not be vacuumed, there will be dishes in my sink, and I only make my bed when I change the sheets once a week (I’m climbing back into it ASAP. Why make it?) Housecleaning is not high on my priority list. Okay, to be totally honest, it’s not on the list at all.
I can resist anything…except ice cream.
Since this is our first date, I figure I’ve revealed enough secrets for now. But if you’ve read this bio and think I might be the author for you, pick up one of my books or stalk my website: www.ginaardito.com.
$25 Amazon
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