Archive | July 2022
Strong Women @IvyLoganAuthor & @MaryLSchmidt #BooksWorthReading
The King’s Inquisitor
Book Title: The King’s Inquisitor
Series: Stuart Monarch Series
Author: Tonya Ulynn Brown
Publication Date: July 1, 2022
Publisher: Late November Literary
Page Length: 369
Genre: Historical Romance
Twitter Handle: @MrsBrownee2U @maryanneyarde
Instagram Handless: @tonyaubrown @coffeepotbookclub
Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub
Book Title and Author Name
The King’s Inquisitor
By Tonya Ulynn Brown
The queen of Scotland is dead. Her almoner’s son, William Broune, has fulfilled his father’s wish that he should serve the king, James VI, at court. William finds himself caught between loyalty to the king or loyalty to his conscience. As William is forced to serve as the king’s inquisitor in the North Berwick witch trials, he must make a decision. Will he do what the king asks, and earn the wife, title, and prestige he has always desired, or will he let a bold Scottish lass influence him to follow his heart and do the right thing?
If William doesn’t make the right choice, he may be among the accused.
Trigger warnings: Some violent imagery.
I browsed the shelves of books, resisting the urge to run my hand over every copy presented to me. A sea of deep burgundies, russet browns and rich blacks sang out to me as their supple leather coverings beckoned me to touch them, stroke their coverings, smell their pages and drink in their alluring words. It was a feast for my senses, yet one that I partook in painfully. For along with the enticing sights and smells came the overwhelming tinge of memory. Memories of Father bringing me along as he sought out a book he needed for study. The recollection of times spent together browsing the shelves and soaking in the captivating draw of a good story.
I picked up a copy of a new book called Astrophel and Stella. It looked to be a collection of love sonnets. I read several lines and thought it would make for great entertainment on the coming long winter nights when Mother and I would retire to our spots by the fire for quiet reflection. No matter that Mother’s idea of quiet reflection was the reading of her book of hours. Perhaps I could convince her to listen to a few sonnets, for they did sound lovely when I glanced through them. I carried the book for a while until I spied a copy of Tamburlaine the Great. My heart began to pound as excitement rushed through my veins. My brother, Nick, had mentioned seeing Christopher Marlowe’s play of the same name in London two years before. His letter made it sound so exciting, and I bemoaned the fact that I would never get to see such entertainment the likes of what Nick got to experience in London.
I grabbed the book and quickly put Astrophel and Stella back on the shelf. As much as I thought I would enjoy the sonnets, I couldn’t resist a good tragedy. And Nick’s description made me to know that I would thoroughly enjoy this book.
I took my selection to the counter and placed it on the smooth, worn surface in front of Master Gordon. He took one look at the book, eyeing the title over the rim of his spectacles.
“Are ye sure, Ailsa? The players in London have put out some questionable material over the past decade. I’m not sure this title here is fit for female consumption.”
“Nick said it was a wonderful play, and he highly recommended it.”
Just then the little bell above the door rang. Gordon’s face lit up as he moved to the new customer. “Jean, can ye assist Ailsa with selecting a book, please?” he called over his shoulder.
Selecting a book? I already selected a book. I didn’t need Mistress Gordon’s assistance in selecting a book. I crossed my arms in agitation. Out of respect for Master Gordon I would wait for his customer to leave before confronting him about his opinions on my book choices.
A stout woman came through the doorway and greeted me with her usual cheerful self. “Ailsa, dear! How are ye? How is your mother?”
But her greeting went unanswered when the voice of the new customer spoke up from the other end of the counter. I would recognize that voice anywhere.
“Master Gordon, good day to you. I had a few minutes and thought I would stop in to see if those books were in that you ordered for me.”
My fingers instinctively went to the feather, tucked safely within the folds of my skirt. Now I could speak to William when he had finished his business with Master Gordon. But as I rehearsed what I would say to him in my mind, Mistress Gordon noticed my distraction and leaned in closer so she could whisper to me. “He is a fine specimen, is he not?”
I felt heat flush my face as I tried to nonchalantly ask, “Who?”
A grin spread across her face, and her eyes brightened. “The king’s man, at the end of the counter. I know ye noticed him. How could ye not?”
I picked up my book and flipped through the pages in a fluster. “I hadn’t noticed,” I lied. “Can I pay for my purchase, please? Then I’ll be out of your way.”
Mistress Gordon reached for the book, and then said, “He always looks so impeccable. And that dark hair. If I were thirty years younger—”
“Jean,” Master Gordon interrupted. “Excuse me for a moment, sir.” He nodded at William then approached Mistress Gordon and me, a look of consternation on his face. “I do not think this is the wisest choice for Mistress Blackburn. Can ye help her pick out something else?”
The heat that burned on my face moments before was now a flaming fire. I could feel William’s eyes on me as he listened to the exchange between Gordon and his wife. I silently wished for the floor to open up and swallow me. I needed to speak to William, but I did not wish for this kind of attention. And I certainly didn’t want Gordon’s interference with my book selections.
William drew closer to us until he stood hovering over me. My skin turned to gooseflesh at his nearness, and I struggled to keep my breathing even. I did not need his opinion either. He would surely side with Gordon, and that would be the end of it.
“What seems to be the problem?” William asked, leaning over my shoulder to peer at the book that lay before me.
“I-I don’t think this is a suitable choice for a young woman, Master Broune. I have known Ailsa and her father for years, and I’m sure her father would agree.”
“With all due respect, Master Gordon, I know my father better than ye do. He would not object. And my brother gives his blessing.” I spoke with feigned calmness, trying desperately to maintain my composure in the face of this unwelcome opposition.
Gordon looked desperately to William. “What think ye, Master Broune?”
I shut my eyes to his interference. The anger bubbling within me was now palpable, and I feared that if I lost my temper, I could do irreparable damage to my relationship with the bookseller. I did not care about any damage between William and me.
“You can read, lass?” His question was a legitimate one, yet it irritated me like a pinprick to my eye. I took a deep breath through my nostrils and tried to calm myself before answering.
“Master Broune, I know ye find it very difficult to believe that a woman could be useful for anything more than adorning your arm at court and perhaps providing ye an heir when the time is right. But some of us do actually have competent minds, capable of reading and writing, and even holding intelligent conversations now and then.” I looked at him finally, fluttering my eyelashes in mock adoration.
He took a step back, a patch of color staining his cheeks. “I meant no offense, Ailsa. I am well aware that women are capable of reading and writing. I am always delighted to meet a woman with whom I can hold an intelligent conversation.”
“Because intelligent women are so few and far between, ye mean?” I stared him down, watching the injury blaze in his eyes.
“You insist on twisting my words, Mistress Blackburn. I find that very off-putting, as this is not the first time that you are guilty of it.”
My stomach tightened as I watched the irritating grin fade from his face. I almost felt sorry for the loss of his pleasure and feared that I may have overstepped my bounds. Now I felt awkward and stupid. Master and Mistress Gordon stood with mouths agape as they watched our conversation. I suddenly felt the air tighten between us, and I couldn’t breathe.
“Ye know what, I think I’ll hold off on my purchase for now, Master Gordon.” I pushed the book toward him and his wife, as I reached for my purse, making sure it was still attached at my hip. Pushing past William, I pulled my cloak tighter about me as I braced for the cold January air. “Good day to ye all,” I said as I stormed out of the bookshop.
That insufferable man. He had turned a beautiful, almost spiritual experience of a trip to the bookseller into an embarrassing catastrophe. Or perhaps it had been Master Gordon that had done that, but William certainly had helped. I set off down the street, pushing the fact that I had wanted to see him, to speak to him about the danger the king was in, to the back of my mind. I needed to calm down before sharing any insight with him. The information I had was important, but it would just have to wait.
This book is available to read on #KindleUnlimited
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NjWD8
Amazon UK: https://tinyurl.com/TheKingsInquisitorAmazonUK
Amazon US: https://tinyurl.com/TheKingsInquisitorAmazonUS
Amazon CA: https://tinyurl.com/TheKingsInquisitorAmazonCA
Amazon AU: https://tinyurl.com/TheKingsInquisitorAmazonAU
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-kings-inquisitor-tonya-ulynn-brown/1141654694
Tonya Ulynn Brown
Tonya Ulynn Brown is an elementary school teacher. She holds a Master’s degree in Teaching and uses her love of history and reading to encourage the same love in her students. Tonya finds inspiration in the historical figures she has studied and in the places she has traveled. Her interest in medieval and early modern British history influences her writing. She resides in rural southeastern Ohio, USA with her husband, Stephen, two boys, Garren and Gabriel, and a very naughty Springer Spaniel.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/AmazonAuthorTonyaUlynnBrown
Check out these books!
Clutching Darkness #GoodVsEvil
From Amazon: Book 2 in the HUNTING FOR LIGHT Trilogy! The second Healer’s been found! Kate Murphy is one step closer to shifting the balance of good and evil. The question is: Can she convince the second Healer to join her modern quest? As Kate musters enough confidence to train the second Healer and lead her clan, the Hunter lurks in the backdrop, accumulating power. And he has a secret. One that could turn the tide of the ongoing battle between good and evil. Just as Kate manages to fully welcome the second Healer, the Hunter strikes. And he hits close to home once more. The Society of Healers begins to unravel as the Hunter poisons the minds of those around her. As Kate loses control, the second Healer, Mira Michaels – a mother, widow, vet student, and descendent of Irish and African immigrants – must decide whether or not she fully accepts her role as a Healer. And if she does, is it worth the risk? Join Kate Murphy and Mira Michaels in the continuation of their unexpected, epic adventure!
My Review: I enjoyed book one in this trilogy and book two didn’t disappoint. Kate finds her second healer and the second healer must overcome her thoughts and feelings to see if she is willing to join Kate in a battle between good and evil. The ending leaves you wanting to know what happened. We shall find out in book three!
Nick S. Klaus #romance #Christmas
From Amazon: Nick S. Klaus is a patient man, but living next door to Mandy Alexander for five years has him running low this Christmas season. He wants nothing more than to make her his Mrs. Klaus, but she’d rather pretend he isn’t real. Mandy Alexander is a single mom and full-time teacher. She doesn’t have time to date or for the entanglements it can cause. Even if she did have time, getting involved with her next-door neighbor, and co-worker, Nick S. Klaus, had disaster written all over it. This Christmas, Nick’s determined to teach Mandy that love doesn’t have to be complicated, and he’s got two of the cutest Christmas elves to help him get the job done. Will this be the year Santa finally gets his Mrs. Klaus under the mistletoe?
My Review: Mettner has done it again. But then, my most favorite contemporary romance writer would never disappoint me. Awe. Such a perfect read on a July day. This book is seriously Christmas in July. Honestly, I love romance, add in challenging situations, all of the emotions and feels, ending in happily ever after, and you have read a book with five shiny gold stars.
Cragside: A 1930s murder mystery
Book Title: Cragside: A 1930s murder mystery
Author: M J Porter
Publication Date: 14th April 2022
Publisher: M J Publishing
Page Length: 234 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Twitter Handles: @coloursofunison @maryanneyarde
Instagram Handles: @m_j_porter @coffeepotbookclub
Hashtags: #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery #HistoricalThriller #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub
Tour Schedule Page: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/04/blog-tour-cragside-1930s-murder-mystery.html
Book Title and Author Name:
Cragside: A 1930s murder mystery
By M J Porter
Lady Merryweather has had a shocking year. Apprehended for the murder of her husband the year before, and only recently released, she hopes a trip away from London will allow her to grieve. The isolated, but much loved, Cragside Estate in North Northumberland, home of her friends, Lord and Lady Bradbury, holds special memories for her.
But, no sooner has she arrived than the body of one of the guests is found on the estate, and suspicion immediately turns on her. Perhaps, there are no friendships to be found here, after all.
Released, due to a lack of evidence, Lady Ella returns to Cragside only to discover a second murder has taken place in her absence, and one she can’t possibly have committed.
Quickly realising that these new murders must be related to that of her beloved husband, Lady Merryweather sets out to solve the crime, once and for all. But there are many who don’t want her to succeed, and as the number of murder victims increases, the possibility that she might well be the next victim, can’t be ignored.
Journey to the 1930s Cragside Estate, to a period house-party where no one is truly safe, and the estate is just as deadly as the people.
Description of murder scenes and bodies
Excerpt 2 – The readers first introduction to Detective Aldcroft
“Ah, Lady Merryweather.” The voice of Detective Inspector Aldcroft is uncertain, far from the confident man I was forced to speak to yesterday. He’s not at all the confident man who ordered my apprehension for a crime I hadn’t committed.
“Detective Inspector,” my words are like ice. I see him shiver at them as he comes to an abrupt stop in front of me, as I do the same. I raise my chin, refusing to be cowed by the state he finds me in, with my blond hair dishevelled by the rain and by not seeing a brush for over twenty-four hours. I’ve slept in my travel clothes. I know I smell of the damp police station, but my eyes are ice blue and clear. My fury ensures I’m thinking clearly.
The detective looks little better than I imagine I do. His overcoat is dark with rain, and beneath his feet, a trail of water pools that one of the housemaids will need to clear up before someone slips.
Silence falls between us, the sound of the kitchen drifting to us. Perhaps the sobbing housemaid has returned inside to make tea. Or maybe Mrs Underhill has taken refuge in what she knows best; providing for the household living at Cragside.
Evidently, Aldcroft has been outside. Aldcroft knows what’s happened in the rain. He knows the identity of the victim who’s been injured on the rockery.
“Well. Um. So I see you’ve been released.” He licks his lips before he speaks. I try not to note how snake-like the action is.
“Of course I have. It seems that even the Northumberland County Constabulary actually require proof of a person’s guilt before holding them indefinitely on suspicion of murder.”
“Ah, yes, well, um, apologies, Lady Merryweather. My humble apologies.”
Aldcroft runs his wide-brimmed hat through thin fingers, his eyes trying to look anywhere but at me. He’s a man of moderate height, a few inches taller than me now that I’ve discarded my shoes. His lips are covered with a fine brown moustache, although no beard. His police-issue overcoat is black, his boots filthy, the hems of his trousers spotted with what I hope is mud. And I feel just a single moment of pity for him, quickly banished. This man doesn’t deserve any kind thoughts.
“Good day,” I turn to continue my path to the library, thoughts of hot tea and something to eat driving me onwards to hunt down one of the housemaids who aren’t assisting the butler and whoever else is on the rockery. I know I’ll pass the stairs to the Turkish bath on the way, but right now, I’m cold and hungry. Bathing can wait.
Only Detective Inspector Aldcroft speaks. Somehow, I sensed he would. I consider whether he has, in fact, been seeking me out, having heard the growl of the motorcar engine pulling up on the gravel drive.
“Well, actually. If I could. If you wouldn’t.” And Aldcroft pauses again. “You’re cold. Let’s talk before the fire. There’s tea and biscuits,” and he indicates with his hand that I should lead into the library. I open my mouth to speak, to proclaim my innocence, but I bite down on those words. I won’t beg. I never have before, even when facing the noose.
I wish I’d kept my shoes on then. My passage makes no sound on the wooden floor, robbing me of the chance to make my displeasure felt in such an obvious way. Instead, I have to rely on rigid shoulders and tight steps. It won’t do. Not at all.
I bend and place my shoes before the vast fireplace in the library, noting as I do that there’s a fine spread laid out on the dark wooden table but that none of the other houseguests is partaking of the delicate sandwiches or gently steaming teapot. The library, which only a day ago had housed twelve people, is now silent and empty, even if every single electric lamp is turned on, including the converted cloisonné vases. The glass pendant shade over the table adds a warm glow to the cold food.
The fire is well-stocked with burning coals and logs, no doubt from the many trees on the estate. The smell is fragrant with pine and the promise of the coming Christmas.
I pull out one of the wooden backed chairs surrounding the table and hang Williams sopping overcoat over its back, stifling a shiver. My eye catches the hem of my sopping skirt. Aldcroft hesitates in the doorway, his eyes peering back towards the open front door. I believe he might attempt to escape at any moment, although he’s asked for this conference.
“Well, come in, or go out, but don’t hover,” my tone is reassuringly acerbic. I’m pleased to be feeling so much myself, despite the tribulations of the last twenty-four hours.
“Yes, well,” and Aldcroft casts a fleeting look along the inner hallway one more time, as though the answer lies out there.
I begin to pour myself tea into the delicate china cups, thinking of Williams. I can’t leave him without sustenance, but I need to see what the Detective Inspector wants first. Equally, I wish for a huge mug so that I can grip it between my two white-rimmed hands.
Carefully, I place two lumps of white sugar into the dark brown mass and then liberally apply the milk.
Only then do I remember my manners.
“Would you like one?” But Aldcroft shakes his head miserably, his lips fixed in something similar to a grimace.
I stand and take a sip, wincing at the tartness of the too-long brewed tea, but welcome the warmth and the sweetness. It soothes me like nothing else. At least it’s better than the mixture they’d given me in the police station, which had not been worthy of the name tea. I don’t even think it deserved the name mud. It had been something indescribable, but I’d needed the warmth.
Universal Link: books2read.com/Cragside
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cragside-1930s-murder-mystery-Porter-ebook/dp/B09R26PFW2/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Cragside-1930s-murder-mystery-Porter-ebook/dp/B09R26PFW2/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Cragside-1930s-murder-mystery-Porter-ebook/dp/B09R26PFW2/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Audible-Cragside/dp/B09WGTRGQ1/
Barnes and Noble:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cragside-m-j-porter/1141311981
MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh to Eleventh-Century England, as well as three twentieth-century mysteries. Raised in the shadow of a building that was believed to house the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia, meant that the author’s writing destiny was set.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page:https://www.amazon.co.uk/MJ-Porter/e/B006N8K6X4/
The Girl from Oto
Book Title: The Girl from Oto
Series: The Miramonde Series, Book 1
Author: Amy Maroney
Publication Date: 20th September 2016
Publisher: Artelan Press
Page Length: 524 Pages
Audio Length: 15 hours 23 minutes
Narrator: Meg Price
Genre: Historical Mystery
Twitter Handles: @wilaroney @maryanneyarde
Instagram Handles: @amymaroneywrites @coffeepotbookclub
Hashtags: #Renaissance #WomenArtists #HistoricalMystery #MiramondeSeries #TheGirlFromOto #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub
Tour Schedule Page: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/03/audio-blog-tour-girl-from-oto-miramonde.html
Book Title and Author Name:
The Girl from Oto
(The Miramonde Series, Book 1)
By Amy Maroney
Narrated by Meg Price
A Renaissance-era woman artist and an American scholar. Linked by a 500-year-old mystery…
The secrets of the past are irresistible—and treacherous.
1500: Born during a time wracked by war and plague, Renaissance-era artist Mira grows up in a Pyrenees convent believing she is an orphan. When tragedy strikes, Mira learns the devastating truth about her own origins. But does she have the strength to face those who would destroy her?
2015: Centuries later, art scholar Zari unearths traces of a mysterious young woman named Mira in two 16th-century portraits. Obsessed, Zari tracks Mira through the great cities of Europe to the pilgrim’s route of Camino de Santiago—and is stunned by what she finds. Will her discovery be enough to bring Mira’s story to life?
A powerful story and an intriguing mystery, The Girl from Oto is an unforgettable novel of obsession, passion, and human resilience.
This book is available on #KindleUnlimited.
The Girl from Oto: https://mybook.to/girlfromoto
Mira’s Way: https://mybook.to/MirasWay
A Place in the World: https://mybook.to/aPlaceInTheWorld
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Oto-Miramonde-Book-ebook/dp/B01LWAHC4H
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Oto-Miramonde-Book-ebook/dp/B01LWAHC4H
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Girl-Oto-Miramonde-Book-ebook/dp/B01LWAHC4H
Amy Maroney lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, and spent many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction before turning her hand to historical fiction. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading. Amy is the author of the Miramonde Series, a trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Amy’s new series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, features ordinary people seeking their fortunes under the rule of the medieval Knights Hospitaller in Rhodes, Greece. To receive a free prequel novella to the Miramonde Series, join Amy Maroney’s readers’ group at www.amymaroney.com.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: author.to/AmyMaroneyAmazonPage
The Warble (The Bernovem Chronicles Book 1)
From Amazon: Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift that transports her to the land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, she is honored as “the chosen one” the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz’s control. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous “Warble” in its resting place. She must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen’s “zelbocks” before reaching her destination. Dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals, a prince, and an evil queen; all these and more can be found in The Warble, an enchanting tale of intrigue and adventure.
My Review: I found this story to be enchanting, to say the least. We have a young girl who receives a metallic ball, in a hat box from her teacher. Once home, with the hat box and her pet rat, things started happening fast. The story unfolds to an amazing adventure with two queens, a king, multiple fairies, gnomes, creatures of all sorts, fairy flowers with special healing properties, and much more. All kinds of problems occur in trying to save a kingdom and dwarves, some of them, helped. Bravery was mustered by each person, fairy tale wide, and good replaced evil in the end. The reader is left wondering if what happened was real or a dream.
6 of the Best Android Apps For Writers – by Jackie Pearce… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog
on Self Publishing: If you’re looking for the best Android apps for writers, we’ve hunted far and wide to find the best ones so you can capture your ideas on the go. As most writers know, you never know when inspiration is going to strike and you need to have something by your side to […]6 of the Best Android Apps For Writers – by Jackie Pearce… — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog