Posts Tagged ‘historical’

I’ve read a bunch of Kathryn’s books and enjoyed them all. From man eating dinosaurs, to witches and other strange beings, it’s always a wild ride. I’ve got another good one to share today.

The Calling

by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

1957917

 

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Genre: Mystery / Horror / Paranormal

 My Review

Kathryn is quite skillful at pulling me out of my mundane world and dropping me into one of hers. This time it’s Egypt. The land of queens and pharaohs, pyramids and ancient mysteries.

Faye and her husband, Nick, are ideal partners. They share a strong work ethic and a love of music.  Their happy existence is soon shattered and sends them across the world to Egypt where they must solve an ancient mystery and face unspeakable perils.

Faye’s visions become stronger. The pleas of the long dead Egyptian princess will no longer be ignored. Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? I’m a sucker for this type of scenario. A modern woman haunted by a ghost from long ago.  Faye is a strong character. She’s well grounded despite the haunting visions, loves her husband, and is surrounded by friends that share her passion for music. Take out the visions and she sounds a lot like me in my younger days. Made her very likable and easy to relate to.

Nick adores Faye. Shares her passions. And when he gets a peek into one of her visions, he doesn’t hesitate to drop everything and follow her to Egypt. Nick is my kind of guy. Loyal, loving, and all alpha when it’s required. I loved him and Faye as a couple.

Ankhesenaton has been haunting Faye ever since Faye died and came back. She needs her help to find justice for the murder of her and her family. When I read the part about what happened to her, it brought sadness and anger. I wanted Ankhesenaton to get her justice. And maybe a good dose of vengeance too.

I enjoy traveling through reading and the author is masterful in her visual descriptions. You see the immense pyramids. Feel the heat of the desert and the abrasive sand blown against your exposed skin. I was awed and thirsty at the same time.

This story reads fast. Starts out ordinary as you meet the main characters. Moves into a ghostly mystery. And then drops you into the heat and dust of Egypt, where things you can’t imagine come to light. As with many of her books, Katherine doesn’t hesitate to put her characters in peril and she often lets them perish. This added to the suspense as I really wanted Faye and Nick to survive. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best but prepared for the worst.

A haunting mystery, some time travel, and plenty of action and suspense with a dash or two of horror. If you enjoy any of that, you should read The Calling.

 4  Stars

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Synopsis

Faye Summer has been haunted by a three-thousand-year-old-murdered Egyptian princess, one of the five daughters of Nefertiti and the doomed pharaoh Akhenaton, since she was a young girl…glimpsed her ghostly and desperate face in darkened mirrors and heard her whispers in her dreams. Whispers begging for Faye’s help in uncovering the true story of her and her family’s long ago disappearances and deaths, their terrible fate, so she would no longer be damned to eternal wandering. On that grave quest, Faye and her husband, Nick, reluctantly travel to Egypt and among the ancient pyramids, sparkling hot sands and the ghosts of the past they discover a truth far worse than they could have imagined…and then end up fighting for their own survival.

Amazon

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Welcome to My Monday Minis where I share short reviews about books I’ve read.

When I was first offered a book to review from Bette Lee Crosby, I was hesitant. Contemporaries aren’t really a genre I read much of. Many years and lots of books later, I’m so happy I accepted.

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Passing Through Perfect

The Wyattsville Series #3

by Bette Lee Crosby

23377843

Genre: Historical / Contemporary / Romance

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My Review

I adored the first two books in this series, Spare Change and Jubilee’s Journey. Once again Bette has us step back to earlier times,  where we meet Delia and Ben as they fall in love and fight to stay together despite what other’s may want.

Bette can write with a southern twang. Her descriptions of settings, how people comport themselves and what the consequences are for defying family seep into you.

This is a story of hope and despair, of fighting against prejudice and finding goodness in the least likely of places. Passing Through Perfect is an excellent choice for the title of this book.

From the first sentence I was hooked and never looked back, turning each page and relishing the saga of two young lovers defying their families to be together and the travesty that befalls their decision.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Benjamin Church came to the grange hall expecting to meet someone else, but then the girl in a red dress looked across the dance floor and smiled…

Passing through Perfect is a heart-wrenching, Southern family saga that starts on the night Benjamin fell madly and completely in love with Delia. Once he tasted the sweetness of her kiss, he envisioned them spending the rest of their life together.

He didn’t stop to consider her daddy was a learned Pastor and her mama a woman with a college degree; he only knew she set his heart to racing. When he touched his mouth to hers, he forgot the hardships of being a sharecropper, forgot what it was like to work from dawn ‘til dark and forgot that nothing in Grinder’s Corner ever really changed.

Benjamin’s only thoughts were about lying together every night, sitting side by side on the front porch, and raising a family. Yes, he knew there’d be heartaches. Every couple had their share of heartaches, it was to be expected; but he never imagined such a tragedy would befall their family.

Winner of the 2016 RONE Award for Inspirational Fiction and the 2016 Readers Favorite Gold Medal.

Amazon

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Memory House

The Memory House Series #1

by Bette Lee Crosby

31559914

Genre: Fantasy / Contemporary / Romance

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My Review

I was spellbound by this moving story about Ophelia and the young guest, Annie, who finds her way to her doorstep and her heart. These two women were a delight to meet and each one holds a special place in my heart.

Ophelia is nearing 90 and time is running out for her. Annie is a young woman with no direction, drifting through life and looking for her place to call home. Was it fate that brought them together? I like to think so.

I loved this story. The excitement to see what would happen, to see if what I wanted to happen would and where these two women wound up kept me flipping the pages. Every time something I wanted to happen did, I looked up, wanting to share what I just read. No one was there.  Probably a good thing as I would have spoiled the book for them.

I can share this with you though. Bette has a way of sprinkling connections to her other books into this story. I recognized characters and events, and even some of the objects that held memories. It endeared this book to me even more.

I finished with a sigh of delight and a twinkle in my eye. Magical.

  5 Stars

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Synopsis

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MEMORY TO OUTLIVE ITS OWNER?

Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety.

Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading.

When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.

Amazon

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Welcome to Teaser Tuesday hosted by Ambrosia  @ The Purple Booker.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page.
•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

My Teaser for this week is from

 The Samsaric

by G.W. Lwin

27977952

 

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Genre: Historical / Fantasy / Horror

 My teaser from page 48 in the paperback.

“So where were we? Oh yes, three against one,” Wither said, his fingers outstretched, each nail as long and sharp as a bear’s claw.

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Read on if you want to know more.

SAMSARA: "The cycle of birth, death and rebirth within the realms of existence …" The plague of 1918 A.D. The mortal world is in a state of devastation. A woman wakes up in an abandoned temple of Kali, the goddess of darkness, in the ancient city of Gaya. She does not know where she is. She does not remember the events leading to this. She only hears the familiar voice of a tormented man who has haunted in her dreams. He tells her a story – of a time of souls and suffering, of immortality and gods, of life and death. This, he says, is Mesopotamia. The SAMSARIC is a fast-paced fantasy-horror novel full of history, horror and vampirism from an ancient era.

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How about you? Got a tease? Tell me!

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The Rise of Miss Notley

by Rachael Anderson

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When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow. The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?

 

Excerpt

Cora nodded and followed Mr. Ludlow into the parlor. He closed the doors and stood in front of them with his arms folded, looking far more intimidating than he had during their last meeting. He said nothing, merely lifted an inquiring eyebrow and waited.
Caught unprepared, Cora stared at him, trying to organize her thoughts into words. After a few moments of awkward silence, he lost patience. “What is it you wished to speak with me about, Mrs. Notley? Or are we to stand here staring at each other all afternoon?”
Not knowing how else to begin, Cora blurted, “Why have you hired me, sir?”
He blinked a few times before frowning. “I believe I have made that perfectly clear. You are to be the housekeeper, are you not?”
This was going to be more difficult than she had imagined. “Yes, of course, but there has been some talk about, or rather concerns expressed . . .” How did one put this delicately?
“About . . .?” he prodded, obviously not thrilled that his morning regime had been waylaid.
“About the reasons I have been offered the position,” she quickly said, hoping that would be enough to make him understand her meaning.
Unfortunately, his brows drew together in confusion. “What are you saying, Mrs. Notley? I have hired you to do certain duties that will hopefully make my household run more smoothly. What other reason could I possibly have for offering you the position?”
“You have hired me to do a job I am untrained to do,” she said. “While I am grateful for the opportunity, I also find it necessary to clarify that I have come here to be a housekeeper and only a housekeeper. Even though I am young and . . .” Her voice drifted off. Had she almost referred to herself as pretty? Goodness, this was proving to be very awkward indeed.
“Beautiful?” he finally guessed, not looking at all pleased with the direction the conversation was taking.
“I was going to say not repulsive,” she fibbed.
“Very well,” he said. “Even though you are young and not repulsive . . .” He moved his hand in a circular gesture, urging her to finish her thought.
Cora straightened her shoulders and forced herself to continue. “I am not the sort of girl who would ever . . . fraternize with her employer.” Her face infused with heat, but she forced her gaze to remain steady.
“I see.” He walked slowly towards her, rubbing his chin with his hand. A few steps away, he stopped and eyed her quizzically. “Have I made any improper advances towards you?”
“No, sir.”
“Have I spoken to you in an unprofessional manner?”
“No.”
“Have I looked at you in a way that has made you feel uncomfortable?”
“No.” Cora suddenly wished she had not felt the need to clarify anything. He made her feel as though she had put the cart before the horse when what she had been trying to do was see that the cart and horse simply stayed in their proper places. Was that so wrong?
“Might I ask who, exactly, has led you to believe that I am the sort of man capable of—how did you put it? Fraternizing with my help?”
“I, er, would rather not say, sir.” Though Cora felt no loyalty towards Sally, she refused to bring Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd’s names into the conversation. “I did not mean to besmirch your name or cause any offense, Mr. Ludlow. I merely wanted to make my feelings on the matter clear.”
“And you have.”
“Good.” Cora dropped into a quick curtsy, anxious to get away. “I shall go and find Watts now.”
She was almost to the door when his voice stopped her. “Once again, you are attempting to scuttle away before we have completed our conversation.”
Slowly, she turned around and lifted her eyes to his. “I never scuttle, sir.”
“What would you call that rapid walk of yours?”
“A rapid walk.”

 

RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Website

 

 

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/15/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

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Have a Very Scary Christmas
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This time of the year is often
happy, filled with cheer and the spirit of giving. For those who enjoy
something a little darker, though, there are plenty of thrills on the movie
front.
If you like things that are
twisted and dark, then here are the top five scary holiday movies you can
watch:
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Jack Frost
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Nothing like a killer snowman
named Jack Frost to get you in the mood for the holidays, right? This 1997
thriller is a classic holiday romp you are sure to enjoy. The movie takes place
in the fictional town of Snowmonton, where a truck carrying serial killer Jack
Frost to his execution crashes into a genetics truck. The genetic material
causes Jack’s body to mutate and fuse together with the snow on the ground. As
you can imagine, what happens next is pretty freaky and fun!
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Gremlins
 

As cute as those little buggers
are when they are soft, fuzzy Mogwai, they are delightfully evil as Gremlins.
They wreak havoc during Christmas when a boy inadvertently breaks three
important rules about getting his new pet wet. This is a family favorite and if
you’ve never seen it, now it is the season.

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Silent Night, Deadly Night



A slasher flick that brings us
all back to the 80s, this film is perfect for fans of serial killer movies.
It’s tehe story of an escaped maniac who returns to his childhood home on
Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority
sisters one by one. There is lots of blood and gore, watch this one with the
lights low after the kids are in bed.

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Krampus
Released last year, Krampus is
based on a German legend and takes the notion of St. Nick and spins it in a
whole new direction. It’s about a boy who has a bad Christmas ends up
accidentally summoning this festive demon to his family home. Lots of jumpy
moments make this a must-watch during the holidays.
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The
Nightmare Before Christmas
Okay, this is considered a
Halloween flick, too, but it certainly crosses over and spans two of the best
holidays of the year. You see, Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town,
discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept. Can you
blame him? Tim Burton is a master and this film can be enjoyed by young and old
anytime during the season.
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Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place
Vanta M. Black
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Paranormal, 
Historical Fiction, Genre-Fiction, 
New Adult, Horror
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Publisher: Black Chateau Publishing
Date of Publication: March 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-2-6 / ISBN: 978-0-9964488-1-9
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-0-2
Number of pages: 566 / Word Count: 247,912
Cover Artist: Black Chateau Enterprises
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My Review
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This is a rather long book but reads quickly as the author transports you back in time and forward to the present, giving you multiple perspectives that enrich this tale of historical horror.  And it all starts with a ten-year-old girl, Veronica, suffering from what everyone believes are night terrors.

The author then flashes to the present. Veronica is all grown up and struggling to make it on her own as an interior designer. A mysterious invitation to come to France for the summer and do a complete makeover at the historical Le Chateau du Feu Ardent, which means The  Castle Of Blazing Fire, sounds like a dream come true to her. But she could never have imagined the nightmares that await.

Veronica invites her sister, Nikki, to come along. Nikki is a bit spoiled and self-centered but I still found her a delight. She adds that light- hearted humor that provides a break in the suspense, allowing you to fully connect with these two sisters. But all isn’t light and laughter as the two are exposed to something dark, insidious. It will be a summer they’ll never forget, and maybe won’t survive.

Oubliette is filled with historical fact that blends the real and fictional. The author’s ability to do this shines in her descriptions of the different periods. You feel like you’ve stepped in a time capsule and are actually seeing the places she reveals.

The cover was what first caught my attention. I thought I was getting a horror story. And I did. But I also got much, much more, and I highly recommend this tale.

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4 Stars
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Book Description
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Veronica knows the monsters aren’t “just in her head”, but no one listens to the headstrong ten-year-old as they tie her to a hospital bed every night.
Years later, after being dumped by her business-partner/boyfriend, Veronica finds herself on the verge of bankruptcy. Then a late-night call promises the perfect solution — a job opportunity decorating a castle in France.
Will Veronica risk what little she has left to chase a fairytale?
When the shadowy things that once terrorized her come back, Veronica must decide how much she’ll sacrifice for them, for her sanity, and for her life.
This epic book consists of interwoven stories with paranormal twists. A horror-filled historical fiction adventure, it spans nearly two millennia.
You’ll be transported to an ancient Pagan ritual, Roman-ruled Gaul, the bloody Inquisition of the Knights Templar, France as it’s ravaged by the Black Death, the duplicitous Reformation, the Paris Catacombs, and the gory French Revolution, while you unravel Oubliette’s cryptic layers.
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Amazon    BN    Author Website
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Excerpt One from Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black – From the Prologue to Veronica’s Story
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Veronica didn’t understand why they looked for the monsters in her head, that’s obviously not where they were. Instead of listening, the doctors stuck pads with wires to her temples and increased the dosage of an IV that dripped into her veins.
They also told the nurses to tie her down with thick, leather belts every night.
The tethers didn’t matter though, because when the monsters came, she wouldn’t be able to move anyway. The only thing Veronica could ever do was scream.
The doctors called them “night terrors”. The pudgy lady who talked funny –– she told Veronica it was her accent –– said they were “spirits”. Mommy used the term “shadow people”. Veronica just called them “monsters”, and wished they’d stop scaring her when she slept. 
They wanted her. Deep inside, on a primal level, Veronica knew the monsters –– or whatever they were –– craved her, and if given the chance, they would do something very, very bad to her. 
The little girl tried to explain this to the doctors, the nurses, the accent-talking lady, and her mother, but none of the adults really listened. Instead they argued and shouted at each other, and huffed in and out of the room –– but the thing that frightened Veronica the most, is when the adults would simply shrug their shoulders, and admit that they really didn’t have any idea what the monsters were at all.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:
Vanta M. Black, author of Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place, enjoys uncovering the dark mysteries of our Universe.
In addition to writing,  she enjoys traveling to provocative places and studying all things esoteric.
Black has degrees in English, communication and art. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two pug-mix dogs, and spends her time in support of causes that empower women and advance science and technology.
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HORROR WRITING PROMOTION
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 The Oh Lá Lá Oubliette Fan Fiction Contest gives writers the opportunity to win a trip to France! This is ideal for horror fans who love to read and write. 
 
The criteria is simple. Writers are asked to submit between 500 and 10,000 words. 
 
Any of the many story lines or characters from the book may be used for inspiration. A judging panel will evaluate fan fiction submissions on story structure, creativity, and authenticity to the book. 
 
Entries can be flash fiction, biographical, historical, poem, or 
nearly any other narrative format.
 

 

 

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Historical biographies may not be my normal reading genre, but if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that you miss those hidden gems if you don’t read outside the box.

Madam President sounds like one of those gems.

Check out The Secret Presidency Of Edith Wilson.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Madam President
Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson by William Hazelgrove

After President Woodrow Wilson suffered a paralyzing stroke in the fall of 1919, his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson, began to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of the Executive Office. Mrs. Wilson had had little formal education and had only been married to President Wilson for four years; yet, in the tenuous peace following the end of World War I, Mrs. Wilson dedicated herself to managing the office of the President, reading all correspondence intended for her bedridden husband. Though her Oval Office authority was acknowledged in Washington, D.C. circles at the time–one senator called her “the Presidentress who had fulfilled the dream of suffragettes by changing her title from First Lady to Acting First Man”–her legacy as “First Woman President” is now largely forgotten.

William Hazelgrove’s Madam President is a vivid, engaging portrait of the woman who became the acting President of the United States in 1919, months before women officially won the right to vote.

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Praise

William Hazelgrove’s riveting style lets us into the backrooms of the White House to see how a woman who had only two years formal education was able to pull it off and do it for two years! A great read and ride!
~Robin Hutton New York Times Bestselling Author of Sgt Reckless

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Excerpt – Chapter One

The Cover-Up

President Woodrow Wilson lay with his mouth drooping, unconscious, having suffered a thrombosis on October 2, 1919, that left him paralyzed on his left side and barely able to speak. The doctors believed the president’s best chance for survival was in the only known remedy for a stroke at the time: a rest cure consisting of total isolation from the world.

His wife of four years, Edith Bolling Wilson, asked how a country could function with no chief executive. Dr. Dercum, the attending physician, leaned over and gave Edith her charge: “Madam, it is a grave situation, but I think you can solve it. Have everything come to you; weigh the importance of each matter: and see if it is possible by consultation with the respective heads of the Departments to solve them without the guidance of your husband.”

From there, Edith Wilson would act as the president’s proxy and run the White House and, by extension, the country, by controlling access to the president, signing documents, pushing bills through Congress, issuing vetoes, isolating advisors, crafting State of the Union addresses, disposing of or censoring correspondence, and filling positions. She would analyze every problem and decide which ones to bring to the president’s attention and which to solve on her own through her own devices. All the while she had to keep the fact that the country was no longer being run by President Woodrow Wilson a guarded secret.

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hazelgroveAuthor William Hazelgove

William Elliott Hazelgrove is the best-selling author of thirteen novels, Ripples, Tobacco Sticks, Mica Highways, Rocket Man, The Pitcher, Real Santa, Jackpine and The Pitcher 2. His books have received starred reviews in Publisher Weekly and Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild Selections, ALA Editors Choice Awards and optioned for the movies. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer in Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway’s birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR’s All Things Considered along with features in The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times Dispatch, USA Today, People, Channel 11, NBC, WBEZ, WGN. The Pitcher is a Junior Library Guild Selection and was chosen Book of the Year by Books and Authors. net. His next book Jackpine will be out Spring 2014 with Koehler Books. A follow up novel Real Santa will be out fall of 2014. Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson will be out Fall 2016. Storyline optioned the movie rights. Forging a President How the West Created Teddy Roosevelt will be out May 2017.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter

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amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/8/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky kitty below!

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Coven Enforcers Banner two

This series sounds fabulous. And I fell in love with the book covers. Check out Ann Gimpel’s Coven Enforcers series!

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Blood and Magic

Coven Enforcers

Book One

Ann Gimpel

 

Dream Shadow Press

63K words

Release Date: 7/18/16

Genre: Historical paranormal romance with a steampunk edge

 

Coven Enforcers = Dark, Dangerous, Magical Men

Coven Witches bow to no one—least of all Enforcers.

Sparks ignite. Tempers run high. Passion explodes. Hot. Sweet. Impossible to ignore….

Book Description:

Magic didn’t just find Luke Caulfield. It chased him down, bludgeoned him, and has been dogging him ever since. Some lessons are harder than others, but Luke embraces danger, upping the ante to give it one better. An enforcer for the Coven, a large, established group of witches, his latest assignment is playing bodyguard to the daughter of Coven leaders.

Abigail Ruskin is chaperoning a spoiled twelve-year-old from New York to her parents’ home in Utah Territory when Luke gets on their stagecoach in Colorado. A powerful witch herself, Abigail senses Luke’s magic, but has no idea what he’s doing on her stagecoach. Stuck between the petulant child and Luke’s raw sexual energy, Abigail can’t wait for the trip to end.

Unpleasant truths surface about the child. While Abigail’s struggling with those, wraiths, wolves, and dark mages launch an attack. Luke’s so attracted to Abigail, she’s almost all he can think about, but he’s leery too. The child is just plain evil.

Is Abigail in league with her? It might explain the odd attack that took out their driver and one of their horses. In over his head, he summons enforcer backup.

Will they help him save the woman he’s falling in love with, or demand her immediate execution?

Amazon    BN    iBooks    Google Play    ARe    Author’s Store

 

Excerpt from Blood and Magic:

…Cursing her long skirts and cumbersome petticoats, Abigail used magic to skip the coach steps. Power blazed from her hands before she could see what she was aiming at. She was afraid if she took even a few seconds to hunt for a target, something would get her. Being dead wasn’t desirable, but it was better than the other things wraiths could do to her. Those turned her blood to ice chips.

With her booted feet planted firmly on the ground, Abigail finally got a good look at the wraiths. She drew magic from deep in the earth and sent it chasing after them when they jumped sideways to evade her magic. Insubstantial as tall, thin puffs of smoke, they had glowing charcoal eyes. Long, blood red claws graced what passed for hands. Binding their victims with fiery strands was a favorite trick—just before they sucked your soul right out of you, leaving a handy vessel for one of their masters to occupy. Wraiths used to feed only on the living, making them into new wraiths. They’d been bad enough then, but now they functioned as hired thugs for practitioners of the Black Arts. It lent them the ability to operate in broad daylight. Abigail wondered which group of sorcerers this crew worked for. The Alchemical Council? Black Magick?

Good God but there were a lot of them. Why? Surely they weren’t interested in the contents of the coach, which only carried mail and Carolyn’s substantial luggage. Ducking and spinning to escape being entwined in a blazing net, she thought about the girl’s steamer trunks. Abigail only helped pack two of them. The third had been locked and ready to go. Could that possibly be what the wraiths were after?

She shut off her thoughts so she could focus. The ragged sound of her own panting thrummed loud in her ears as she chucked one killing blow after another. Bolts of blue-white light flared from both hands. No point in running anything less than wide open. For each wraith she obliterated, three more showed up to take its place. Her chest ached from breathing sooty air and wraith stench.

Heat seared her back. Damnation! Her skirts were on fire. Abigail funneled magic behind her to quell the flames, but it didn’t work. Smoke stung her nostrils. Fire had already eaten a long gouge in one of her hands. If she dropped to the ground to deal with her burning clothes, the wraiths would pounce. Terror licked at her along with the flames.

In spite of her brave thoughts earlier, she didn’t want to die. Not here. And not like this. She cursed her corset. It was hard to get a decent breath. If she’d known she was going to have to fight—

“Keep after ’em,” Luke growled from behind her. “I have your dress under control.” She felt him drape something heavy around her shoulders—a lap robe he must’ve snatched from inside the coach—and press it close against her with his body. Gratitude wrapped warm tentacles around her. Having him right next to her made her already pounding heart do flip-flops, but she forced herself to focus on something other than all those rock-hard muscles jammed against her back.

“Are they all on this side of the coach?” she wheezed, still struggling to breathe. Between the smoke, her stays, and Luke’s body so near, it was a losing battle.

“Pretty much. Guess they want you more than me. Actually, they’ve been trying to get to the trunks up top.”

A discordant warning note sounded in the back of her mind. What the hell was in the girl’s luggage that would draw wraiths? Her back wasn’t hot anymore, so she assumed the fire was out.

That fire, maybe. The one inside me is just getting going…

She squirmed from more than the smoke and struggled not to turn around and press the front of herself against Luke. They had bigger problems than his undeniable charisma. Luke didn’t seem to be in a hurry to move away, though. He remained front to back with her, and she absorbed power flowing from him. Damn, but he was strong. What she wouldn’t give for that kind of magic.

It would help if I could breathe…

With difficulty, Abigail forced her mind away from Luke’s charms. “The driver?” She hadn’t been round to the front of the wagon to check.

“Dead.”

“Ever driven one of these things?”

“Concentrate on killing, woman. If we can’t get shut of the wraiths, ’twon’t matter a diddly damn.”

 

30989198

Blood and Sorcery

Coven Enforcers

Book Two

Ann Gimpel

 

Dream Shadow Press

64K words

Release Date: 8/1/16

Genre: Historical paranormal romance with a steampunk edge

 

Coven Enforcers = Dark, Dangerous, Magical Men

Coven Witches bow to no one—least of all Enforcers.

Sparks ignite. Tempers run high. Passion explodes. Hot. Sweet. Impossible to ignore….

Book Description:

Joshua committed his life to fighting Black Magick. Not sure who he hates worse, dark sorcerers or the clerics who tortured and mutilated his family, he lives on the road with his horse and his magic, working as a Coven enforcer. Breana Giraud is the only woman he’s ever loved, and until very recently she was married to someone else.

Breana’s husband, Don, sold his soul to the devil, embracing dark practices. Along the way, he corrupted their daughter. While Breana could’ve turned him in to Coven justice without a second thought, she couldn’t bring herself to implicate her child. Still reeling from her daughter’s death at the hands of evil, and grateful her husband met the vicious end he deserved, she feels broken, damaged. The last thing on her mind is falling in love.

Joshua tries to hold back, give Breana room to mourn her losses, but if he has his way, she’ll become his wife. With Don dead, and the path to his heart’s true love finally clear, he’ll do anything he can to make her his. Even if it means fighting his way past the dark mages’ leader, who wants her for his own.

 

Excerpt from Blood and Sorcery:

Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

Breana Giraud bolted upright in her bed, the darkness around her shattering into fire-tinged motes of black. Heart thudding hard against her chest, throat constricted with fear, she reached for power, intent on shrouding herself in a protective spell. Goddamn her husband. He was at it again. It was like him to wait until she was sleeping—and she had to sleep sometime.

Once upon a time, she’d cared about Don—a witch with power to match her own. But he’d been seduced by the dark and become deeply entrenched in Black Magick. Shielding herself against him drained her, but she didn’t have any choice. Sucking air around the narrow place that used to be her throat, she sent magic spiraling outward. She didn’t sense him near, but the enchantment that just dragged her from a sound sleep had Don’s name—and sliminess—stamped all over it.

Her eyes snapped open. Don was dead.

Dead.

What the hell was happening to her?

He couldn’t harm her anymore, so why was his stench all over the room? It wasn’t even the bedroom they’d shared. She’d moved to the far end of the hall to escape the horrible memories that swamped her every time she thought about him.

Guess that didn’t work very well.

She pressed her tongue hard against her teeth and reached for her magic again. Surely she could summon a mage light. Simplest of spells, it required almost nothing in the way of power. Finally, after she was shaking and sweating with effort, a wavery blue light formed, casting the bedroom in eerie shadows. Breana urged her light to burn hotter, brighter. Her teeth were chattering, and she felt as if she’d never be warm again. Icy sweat dripped down her sides.

She tugged the heavy, wool blanket around her shuddering form, but it didn’t help so she dragged air hard into lungs that had nearly forgotten how to cooperate. And then did it again. And again, until she was able to clamp her jaws in a harsh, desperate line.

Her light flickered and brightened, and the ball of fear making it hard to breathe eased the slightest bit. Falling back asleep was laughable, so she dug her way out from under the covers and pulled a robe woven from soft, cream-colored wool over her linen nightdress. Sheepskin slippers came next.

At least the godawful chill that had permeated the air was dissipating, and the reek of evil along with it. Brimstone held a sulfur taint that burned the back of her throat and made her skin prickle with a million points of discomfort.

She blinked back tears as she made her way downstairs, her mage light bouncing over one shoulder. The dark had taken both her husband and her daughter, and robbed her of what had once been a warm and comfortable marriage. She hated Black Magick with a passion. Hated what it had almost done to her as she walked a tightrope between her husband’s demands and her responsibility to the Coven.

“Yeah, and I did a shitty job all the way round,” she muttered as she poured a cup of tepid coffee into a mug. It was bitter as all get out from sitting on the back of the woodstove since early the previous morning, but she gulped it down anyway, wanting the quick stimulation.

Too keyed up to sit, she wandered to a window and looked to the east. Dawn wasn’t far off, but the horizon was still dark. Days were growing longer, but it was still winter, and it might not get light until seven. She’d sent a meticulous letter to Coven headquarters in New York. Within it, she detailed her sins in not turning her husband and daughter over to Coven justice—once she fully understood their allegiance had shifted to dark power.

That letter had certainly arrived by now.

What would they do to her?

A snort of derision curled her mouth into a bitter smile. She knew what she’d do to someone in her position. Banish them from the Coven for starters. After that, it would be anyone’s guess, but the Coven wouldn’t be out of line demanding her life as punishment for shielding her family from what they deserved.

Not much she could do. About any of it. No. She needed to keep going, day by day, and let the wheel spin as it would. She’d find out soon enough. Certainly by this coming summer when most—if not all—of the Coven had relocated to Utah Territory. At least she’d given Luke and Abigail a good start by marrying them. Memories of that day—and their joy—kept her going through the hardest spots.

She plodded back to the stove and poured the last of the coffee into her cup before she opened the woodstove door and sent a jot of magic to stir the embers. Once they crackled merrily, she added chunks of wood and refilled the kettle on the back of the stove with water

from the pump next to the sink. The chores were automatic, and they settled her nerves enough to dissect what had driven her awake.

Coven enforcers, a group of hard-bodied, sharp-eyed men, who kept witches on the straight and narrow, had seen to it that both Don and her daughter, Carolyn, met their end in mage fire, purging their souls of darkness. And they’d killed Alistair MacDuff, head of the Alchemical Council. She and Abigail had seen to the death of Alistair’s henchman before he, too, was dumped in the purification of mage fire.

“Guess we didn’t get them all,” she muttered as she ground coffee beans with a mortar and pestle.

“If them refers to who I think it does,” Joshua drawled from the kitchen doorway, “of course they’re not all dead. That fresh coffee I smell?”

Breana curved her mouth into a soft smile. “You know damn good and well it is. I drank the dregs from yesterday morning. Hang on till the water boils, and I’ll brew a fresh pot.”

“Don’t rush. I got time.” Joshua moved closer to the stove, extending his hands toward its warmth. Tight-fitting, buff-colored leathers, similar to what most Coven enforcers wore, hugged him like a second skin. Flame red hair hung loose to the middle of his back.

Breana turned to face him squarely and crossed her arms beneath her breasts. “Looks as if you got up in a hurry. Your hair’s not braided.”

30989213

Blood and Illusion

Coven Enforcers

Book Three

Ann Gimpel

 

Dream Shadow Press

64K words

Release Date: 8/22/16

Genre: Historical paranormal romance with a steampunk edge

 

Coven Enforcers = Dark, Dangerous, Magical Men

Coven Witches bow to no one—least of all Enforcers.

Sparks ignite. Tempers run high. Passion explodes. Hot. Sweet. Impossible to ignore….

Book Description:

Not all witches join the Coven. Fiercely independent, Isla heads up her own small band in the San Francisco area. She’s never needed help before, but dark sorcerers drive her and her group into hiding, trapping them.

Sam’s worked for the Coven as one of their enforcers forever. He’s been there so long, the Coven is the only mistress he knows. It’s a lonely life on the road thwarting wickedness and Black Magick with his guns, his magic, and his horse, but it’s been enough to satisfy him. Until now.

A group of witches is in deep trouble. They’re not part of the Coven, but Sam is sworn to protect all witches and he rides to their assistance with several of his brothers. Nothing prepares him for the outspoken spitfire who ends up riding double with him. She’s forthright, opinionated, and downright hostile, but he’s drawn to her self-sufficiency—and her undeniable beauty. Soon, Isla is all he can think about.

Dark forces are on the move. Protecting the woman he’s falling in love with is at the very top of Sam’s list. If they manage to survive, he’ll tame her. Claim her. Make her his.

 

Excerpt from Blood and Illusion:

…Isla huddled with six other witches in a basement beneath one of the warehouses lining San Francisco’s docks. Her hair hung in filthy strands. Grime caked beneath her nails, and she stank, but at least she was alive. Russian sorcerers—or at least sorcerers who spoke Russian—had killed four of her sisters before she’d dragged the rest of their small band to a defensible position and swathed them in layers and layers of magic.

It had been a short-term solution, but they hadn’t had any choice. Not really. Only problem was they had no easy way out. If they dismantled their spell, the sorcerers would find them in a trice. If they remained where they were, eventually they’d starve to death. She was far weaker than she’d been a week ago when they’d barricaded themselves into the underground room with its dirt floor and dirt walls. Small cutouts high on two walls coincided with ground level, and provided their only source of light.

In desperation, she’d used her power stone to call Hester Thorne, a witch who’d been instrumental drawing their group into a cohesive unit. Hester promised help, but it had yet to materialize. Breath steamed through Isla’s teeth as she bent forward and stirred the shallow pool she’d created from a broken pot made of crockery and water dripping down the walls. It took a while, but the water had finally grown deep enough to become a scrying instrument.

Weariness dogged her, and her vision blurred. She squeezed her eyes shut, willing them to focus next time she dragged her lids open. Thinking it might help, she pushed herself upright and walked around the six- by ten-foot room.

“What are you doing?” Kat eyed her balefully out of bloodshot blue eyes. “I was asleep.” Dirty blonde hair had been braided to keep it out of the way.

“Aye, and ye’ll be asleep permanently if ye’re not careful,” Isla shot back, the brogue from her native Scotland thicker than usual. It was one of the reasons she and Hester had bonded so tightly. Shared roots from Scotland’s Highlands and islands.

“Isla! Come look at your pool!” Rowan cried. Silver hair fell about her, dragging in the dirt, but her brown eyes were lit with hope.

Isla skidded to her knees and stared at the water’s surface. Nine men strutted down the rock-strewn sand fronting the ocean. Tall, rangy, hard-bodied and clad in leathers, it was obvious they were used to ruling the world. At first she thought they were a new passel of sorcerers, but she forced herself to look closer.

Not trusting her first take, she took a ragged breath. Maybe she wished for salvation from the room that was likely to become their crypt so desperately, she was imagining things, “What does it look like to you?” she asked Rowan.

The other woman turned to face her. “Help. That’s what it looks like. Those men are bleeding power, and it’s the good kind.”

The other women skittered across the floor, jostling one another to get close to the pool so they could see.

“Be careful!” Isla cautioned. “Else ye’ll tip the dish, and we might not live long enough for me to refill it.”

Her heart hammered against her ribs as she took in the men. One of them in particular caught her attention and held it. Long, blond hair spilled across his shoulders, and his eyes were a bright, turquoise blue. Strong bones carved his cheekbones into bas-relief, and his jaw was square, determined. Buff colored leathers covered him, and they were skintight, leaving virtually nothing to her imagination. Broad shoulders led to deeply muscled arms and narrow hips with a high, tight ass. Long legs disappeared into boots that laced to his knees.

Her throat grew dry. Many a year had passed since she’d experienced such an immediate reaction to a man, and it confused her.

Must be because I’m half-staved.

Och aye, and ye know better, the other half of her brain inserted dryly. Whoever he was, he was one gorgeous man.

Understanding slammed into her, and she was ashamed she hadn’t put two and two together immediately. “They must be the aid Hester promised.” She glanced at the other women.

Rowan lurched upright. “If that’s true, then we need to go outside and help them.”

Isla licked her chapped lips. “They’re not looking as if they need any help, but at least that way they won’t have to hunt for us, and mayhap we can leave this accursed place.”

“You’re the one with the strongest magic,” Kat pointed out. “And the only one who can project telepathy beyond the enchantment hiding us. See if they answer.”

Isla exhaled sharply. It was a reasonable suggestion, but not without risk. If she was wrong, and those men were actually allied with the dark, she’d have given away their position. Opened them to a certain death. Or worse, imprisonment at the hands of evil.

“I was in your mind,” Rowan said, her voice surprisingly gentle. “We’re as good as dead now. I say we chance it.”

“I was coming around to the same conclusion.” Isla breathed deeply to center herself and drew out her pink moonstone. Before she could think things to death, and her courage failed utterly, she linked to the stone and sent her magic thrumming outward. No need to make things fancy, so she settled on the shortest phrase imaginable.

“Are ye who Hester sent?”

Depending on the answer, she’d ask for proof and take things from there.

About Author Ann Gimpel:

Ann Gimpel

 

Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients, now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. When she’s not writing, she’s in the backcountry getting down and dirty with her camera. She’s published over 30 books to date, with several more planned for 2016 and beyond. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and wolf hybrids round out her family.

Find Ann At:

Website / Twitter / Blog / Amazon / Facebook

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