PIC Tours Presents: Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner

 

Speak No Evil

by Liana Gardner

on Tour October 1 - November 30, 2019

Synopsis:

Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner
What if every time you told the truth, evil followed?

My name is Melody Fisher. My daddy was a snake handler in Appalachia until Mama died. Though years have passed, I can still hear the rattle before the strike that took her from me.

And it’s all my fault.

Since then, I’ve been passed around from foster home to foster home. I didn’t think anything could be as bad as losing Mama.

I was wrong.

But I will not speak of things people have done to me. Every time I do, worse evil follows. Now, the only thing I trust is what saved me years ago.

Back when I would sing the snakes calm …

Book Details:

Genre: YA Mystery
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication Date: October 1st 2019
Number of Pages: 285
ISBN: 1944109366 (ISBN13: 9781944109363)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Uncle Harlan slammed my bedroom door open. “You’re going to learn to show the Lord respect, girl.” He grabbed my neck and forced me to walk in front of him.
My neck hurt where he dug his fingers in.
He took me outside and shoved me toward the shed. He slipped the key in the lock and removed it from the hasp. The door creaked as it opened and then he thrust me through.
“I’m not going to allow you to follow your mother’s footsteps. You’ll learn to make peace with snakes and not show them any fear. Or else.”
He grabbed a snake case from the shelf, put it on the ground, and opened it. He stepped backward out of the shed and swung the door shut. The latch clicked. Uncle Harlan on one side of the door, and the snake and me locked inside.
“I’ll come get you in time for school in the morning.”
His footsteps receded.
Light filtered through the cracks in the shed slats. In the dim light, the snake coiled in the corner, its tongue flicking out periodically. I slowly lowered to the ground and hugged Raksha Waya tight.
The inside of the shed was slightly warmer than outside. Staying warm might be a bigger problem than keeping the snake calm. It ignored me and remained coiled, but the cold seeped into my bones. I scanned the shelves. There had to be something in here I could use to help keep warm.
A tarp sat on a shelf on the opposite side of the shed from the snake. But I might not be tall enough to pull it down. Standing on tiptoes, I grabbed a corner and tugged. My fingers slipped. I set Rakkie on a lower shelf, then reached with both hands and tugged.
The weight of the tarp almost knocked me over as I caught it.
Making sure to keep my movements small so I didn’t threaten the snake, I unfolded the tarp and spread it out. Then I grabbed Rakkie and carefully crawled under a corner. Once settled with Rakkie on my lap, I pulled it over us and tucked it under my chin.
The hours passed as the light changed and moved through the shed. My tailbone ached and my back hurt from sitting still for so long. Twilight came. Surely Uncle Harlan didn’t really mean to leave me here with the snake all night.
When the darkness was complete and I could no longer see my hand in front of my face, I faced the hard truth—Uncle Harlan meant it. I’d spend the night locked in a small space with a pit viper.
While my toes still felt frozen, the rest of me was warmer with the tarp. My eyes drooped and closed. Then I heard it.
Hiss. Rattle. The whisper of something dragging across the floorboards.
The snake was on the move. The slight rattle as it slithered through the shed made my heart pound. I froze.
***
Excerpt from Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner. Copyright © 2019 by Liana Gardner. Reproduced with permission from Liana Gardner. All rights reserved.


 My Thoughts
Melody's story is one that while tragic. Is also full of hope.
The level of emotional depth employed by Ms. Gardner in both the crafting of the story as a whole.  As well as her specific character interactions.  Makes this story a very complex and unforgettable tale.

Author Bio:

Liana Gardner
Liana Gardner is the multi-award-winning author of 7th Grade Revolution (most recently the recipient of a 2018 Nautilus Book Award) and The Journal of Angela Ashby. The daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface.
Liana volunteers with high school students through EXP (expfuture.org). EXP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, EXP helps young people EXPerience, EXPand, and EXPlore.
Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but her imagination takes her wherever she wants to go.
Liana is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Catch Up With Liana Gardner On:
lianagardner.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, & Facebook!




Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!






Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Vesuvian Books and Liana Gardner. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and 2 winners of a signed print copy of Speak No Evil by Liana Gardner. The giveaway begins on October 1, 2019 and runs through December 2, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.
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HFVBT Presents: The Secret Life Of Mrs. London

The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg

Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Lake Union Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 348 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage.
 Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape. As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for The Secret Life of Mrs. London

“An impressively original and exceptionally well-crafted novel by an author who is a master of character- and narrative-driven storytelling, Rebecca Rosenberg’s The Secret Life of Mrs. London is an inherently riveting and thoroughly reader-engaging story from beginning to end and feature[es] many an unexpected plot twist and turn.” —Midwest Book Review

“Interesting, and based on the actual lives of the participants…Learning more about Jack London was enjoyable, as well as seeing early feminist examples.”
Historical Novel Society

“…Rosenberg paints an immensely intriguing portrait of a marriage and tells it in an accomplished lyrical prose that captures each moment with poetic intensity.” —Prairies Book Review

 “The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a riveting behind-the-scenes look at the marriage of Jack and Charmian London, both fascinating and complicated characters with rich inner lives that Rosenberg conveys in crisp yet poetic prose. This contemporary historical fiction raises questions that are still relevant today about what makes a good marriage, and whether creativity and stability are incompatible. A rich, resonant, deeply satisfying novel sure to delight and leave readers thinking long after they put it down.” —Malena Watrous, author of If You Follow Me and Sparked!, and director of the Stanford Continuing Studies Program in Novel Writing

 “The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a heart-wrenching portrait of a marriage between two people who utterly depend on one another, but ultimately aren’t enough for each other. With skillful precision of language, Rosenberg weaves a narrative that defines the complexities of love, passion, and art. This is a perceptive, deeply moving novel by a great new talent about a couple who has gone unnoticed in historical fiction until now. Anyone who has ever loved another person will want to read this book.” —Victoria Kelly, author of Mrs. Houdini: A Novel

 “One of Houdini’s best kept secrets was his affair with Charmian London in 1918. Now Rebecca Rosenberg tells the story using an elegant blend of fact and fiction, creating a Houdini book like no other. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a true peek behind the curtain and a page-turner.” —John Cox, Wild about Harry

My Thoughts
The Secret Life Of Mrs. London is at its heart, a cautionary tale about the oft underestimated power of choice.  Both Charmian and Jack London present to readers as well matched forces of nature.
Each serving to both feed and quell the passions of the other.  For reasons which are often apparent to whichever of the two is in power at that given time.
With the rules of this literal "game of thrones" changing on a whim.  And the supporting players merely window dressing.

Until the unexpected addition of the player destined to change the game of two forever.
The enigmatic Harry Houdini.
A man more than capable of not only leveling the playing field.  But changing the entire game for all involved.
Forever.
This is an intensely emotional and highly intelligent read.
Taking the reader on a roller coaster ride filled the highs divinely inspired genius. Juxtaposed against the deepest depths of self imposed self sabotage, and the ever enduring reality of love.

Played out privately by some of the most public figures of that time's "world stage."

This is a book that readers will feel more than read. A true examination of the frailty that is the human condition.  In the face of a life destined for greatness.




About the Author

Rebecca Rosenberg receiving the IPPY Gold Medal
A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London.
The Secret Life of Mrs. London is her debut novel.
Rebecca and her husband, Gary, own the largest lavender product company in America, selling to 4000 resorts, spas and gift stores.
The Rosenbergs believe in giving back to the Sonoma Community, supporting many causes through financial donations and board positions, including Worth Our Weight, an educational culinary program for at-risk children, YWCA shelter for abused women, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center to provide performances for children, Sonoma Food Bank, Sonoma Boys and Girls Club, and the Valley of the Moon Children's Home. For more information, please visit Rebecca's website and blog.
You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads. Visit the Facebook page for The Secret Life of Mrs. London.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 2 Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Tuesday, September 3 Review at Melissa Reads 
  Wednesday, September 4 Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads 
  Thursday, September 5 Review at 100 Pages a Day 
  Sunday, September 8 Review at My Reading Chronicles 
Review at Oh the Books She Will Read Tuesday, September 10 Review at Diana_bibliophile 
  Thursday, September 12 Excerpt at I'm All About Books
Friday, September 13 Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots 
  Tuesday, September 17 Review at Hooked on Books 
  Wednesday, September 18 Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Friday, September 20 Review at Orange County Readers 
  Monday, September 23 Review at Jathan & Heather 
  Wednesday, September 25 Review at Red Headed Book Lady
Thursday, September 26 Review, Q&A, & Excerpt at Nursebookie 
  Friday, September 27 Review at Macsbooks 
  Monday, September 30 Review at A Chick Who Reads 
  Wednesday, October 2 Review at gatticus_finch
Friday, October 4
Review at Coffee and Ink Interview at Jathan & Heather 
  Saturday, October 5 Review at Reading is My Remedy
Monday, October 7 Review at rebecca.is.reading 
  Wednesday, October 9 Review at This Biblio Life
Thursday, October 10 Review at Peaceful Pastime 
  Friday, October 11 Review at Hopewell's Public Library of Life 
  Saturday, October 12 Review at WTF Are You Reading? 
  Monday, October 14 Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 3 signed paperbacks + swag and 7 eBooks! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. Mrs. London

St. Martin's Griffin Presents: The Widow Of Rose House

Title:  The Widow Of Rose House
Author:  Diana Biller
Length:  352 pages
Date Of Publication:  October 8, 2019
Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin

Rating:  5 Stars
A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel

It's 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren't as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn't believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn't need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva's new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva's history―and her heart.


Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.


Please enjoy this excerpt from:
The Widow Of Rose House





New York City, February 1, 1875

   
Alva stood on the city sidewalk and sucked in a deep, triumphant gulp of air. The clock had just struck ten—the middle of the eve­ ning by New York City standards—and she was surrounded by elegantly dressed men escorting women dripping diamonds and rolled up tightly in furs. A few feet from her, the street was busy


THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE    13
with carriages. She could smell the city: The damp fog, the sharp tang of refuse, the high floral notes of perfumed women. Horse dung.

Had she missed it? She wasn’t sure, although she knew she missed the steep, tangled streets of Montmartre already. But it was America that held her future now, even as it held her past. For a second her triumph was tempered by the remembrance of the thin envelope in her pocket, a few brief lines from her mother’s secretary, thanking her for her interest in visiting and regretting that Mrs. Rensselaer would be unable to see her. Alva knew her mother, likely even now sitting down to a stiff dinner with her husband and twelve of their closest friends fifty blocks away, did indeed feel regret. She just suspected it was about giv­ ing birth to her at all.

The restaurant door opened behind her, and, recalled to the moment, she signaled to the boy hailing cabs to find her one.

“Excuse me,” a deep voice said. “Mrs. Webster?”

Oh, for heaven’s sake. Couldn’t she stand outside for one min- ute without some intrepid lothario assuming she must be wait­ ing for him? In the less than seventy­two hours she’d been back in the States, she’d been propositioned eleven times. Twice by friends of her father’s.

She glanced over her shoulder at the man, receiving an in­ stant impression of big, though he stood mostly in the shadows. “I don’t know you,” she said, her voice flat. “Go home to your wife.”

“But I don’t have a wife,” the man said. He took a hesitant step towards her, leaving the shadows, and her eyebrows lifted. He looked more like a laborer than a man finishing a dinner at Delmonico’s, for all he was dressed in a suit and tie. Sort of dressed, she amended; the suit looked like it had been made for someone two inches shorter and two inches narrower across the


14    DIANA BILLER
shoulders. “Do I need a wife to talk to you? Is it a chaperone sort of thing? I have a mother, but she’s in Ohio.”

Alva blinked. “You’re not very good at this,” she observed. “I’m not a man, but I don’t think it’s standard behavior to invoke one’s mother at a time like this.”

They stared at each other in puzzlement. He was attrac­ tive in the sort of way she’d always imagined the heroes of west­ ern folktales to be: tall, broad shouldered, with a strong nose and a square jaw. He could stand to add barber to the list of people he needed to see, though, the one that started with tailor. Actually, looking at the way his dark blond hair fell into his eyes, she thought he’d better have it start with barber and go from there.

“There’s been a misunderstanding,” he said finally. “Perhaps if I introduce myself—my name is Professor Samuel Moore.”

He held out his hand. She looked at it, looked up at him, and did not extend her own. Bafflingly, he smiled at her, as though she’d done something rather clever.

Was he really a professor? He certainly didn’t look like one, not that it mattered, because she made it a policy, these days, never to talk to strange men—

“A professor of what?” she heard herself saying, although she was pleased it at least came out with a nice air of sarcasm and disbelief.

“This and that,” he said, still smiling. “Engineering, mostly.” She looked at his rumpled clothes. Yes, she could see that, one of those men who always had a tool in one hand and a grease can in the other. She didn’t know they were giving professorships out to men like that, but why not, after all? She was as apprecia­ tive of things like trains and working carriage wheels as the next

person.

And now she’d gone and encouraged him. Stupid. “I see,” she


THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE    15
said as coldly as she could manage. “Well, I’m not interested, so I’ll wish you good evening.”

“But how can you know if you’re not interested?” He shook his head in confusion, still smiling at her. The smile was . . . im­ pressive. “I haven’t even explained my proposition, yet.”

“I find that if you’ve heard one proposition, you’ve heard them all,” she replied. Stop talking to him, you idiot. “They’re not as unique as men would like to believe.”

“But—who else has approached you? Was it Langley, from Yale?” His tone turned plaintive. “How did he hear about this before me?”

“Langley—who?”

“Piers Langley,” he said. “No? I can’t think of anyone else reputable—look here, if you’ve been approached by anyone from that quack Santa Fe institute you should know they’re absolute frauds.”

“Institute?” Alva said faintly. “What on earth are you talking about?”

“Your house, of course. I hadn’t realized I was so behind on the news.” His face fell—What must it be like to let all your emo- tions float freely on your face?—but he nodded gravely. “If it’s Langley, though, he’s an excellent researcher, and a decent human, too.”

“It’s not Lang—what do you want with my house?” It was her turn to sound plaintive.

“But that’s what—” He stared at her, his brows crunched to­ gether. “Oh god. I wasn’t—I wouldn’t—”

To her astonishment, a distinct touch of pink appeared in his cheeks. He cleared his throat.

“I beg your pardon, ma’am. Henry warned me—that is, I shouldn’t have; my proposition is not of an intimate nature.”

“I’m coming to understand that,” she said.


16    DIANA BILLER
“You thought . . . do men . . . they must—good lord.”

She began to feel in charity with this befuddled giant. “In­ deed,” she said. “I quite agree. But I must ask again—what is it you want with Liefdehuis?”

“To study it,” he said. “One of my personal interests is in metaphysical energies, you see, and from what I’ve heard, your house may prove a most interesting case. Your ghost story is so recent, you know. I hardly ever hear one claiming to be that new—”

He broke off as she shook her head. “You almost had me con­ vinced that you were unlike the majority of your sex,” she said. “And now I see you are. I’m just not sure insanity is much of an improvement.”

To her surprise, he smiled again. “You’re not the only one who thinks so,” he said. The embarrassment had left his face; he was quite relaxed once more. A man who apologizes for a propo- sition and grins at an insult, Alva thought. Where did you come from, Professor Moore?

“And I’ll admit there’s no conclusive evidence yet,” he con­ tinued, “but what I have collected looks extremely promising. Certainly promising enough to warrant extensive study.”

A hint of cold pierced her thoughts. Firmly, she banished it. “You’re talking about ghosts,” she said.

“Maybe,” he replied. “Or I could be studying some kind of alien intelligence that just happens to concentrate in areas cor­ responding to local folklore.”

“Alien intelligence.”

“Invisible alien intelligence,” he clarified. “At least invisible to the naked human eye. But ‘ghost’ is probably the easiest term.”

“Really.”

“People tend to go a bit strange when you talk to them about invisible alien intelligences,” he confided. “Which is odd, when


THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE    17
you think about it, because why are the shades of one’s dead an­ cestors any less unsettling?”

She found herself nodding before the rest of her wits caught up with her. “No,” she said, not because the word corresponded with any particular question, but because she had the feeling the only way to survive here was to stick to very black­and­white words. His nuances were both compelling and sticky. “I’m afraid I won’t give you access. I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’m about to start several months’ worth of building work.”

“Don’t decide yet,” he begged. “I’m willing to pay you for the privilege, and I promise I won’t be in the way . . . although there is rather a lot of equipment, so I suppose—”

The boy hailing cabs caught her eye and gestured as a han­ som pulled up beside him.

“That’s mine,” she said. “I’m sorry I can’t help you. Good evening.”

“Wait!” he said. “I’ll—I’ll send you a letter. Henry said that was the way to do it—I’ll write you and explain more.”

“It won’t help,” she said as the cab boy helped her into the carriage. “I’m sorry. Good­bye, Professor Moore.”

Finally, he sighed acceptance and raised his hand. “Good evening, Mrs. Webster.”

As the cab pulled away from the sidewalk, though, she looked back at him, to find him staring after her with his hands shoved in his pockets and that apparently irrepressible grin back in place. An uncomfortable lightness expanded in her chest as she watched him standing head­and­shoulders taller than the passersby around him, looking back at her as though he would be perfectly happy never to look at anything else ever again.

What couldn’t I get, if I could look at people like that? she thought, and settled grumpily back against her seat.












New York City, February 1, 1875


   

Alva stood on the city sidewalk and sucked in a deep, triumphant gulp of air. The clock had just struck ten—the middle of the eve­ ning by New York City standards—and she was surrounded by elegantly dressed men escorting women dripping diamonds and rolled up tightly in furs. A few feet from her, the street was busy



THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE    13

with carriages. She could smell the city: The damp fog, the sharp tang of refuse, the high floral notes of perfumed women. Horse dung.
Had she missed it? She wasn’t sure, although she knew she missed the steep, tangled streets of Montmartre already. But it was America that held her future now, even as it held her past. For a second her triumph was tempered by the remembrance of the thin envelope in her pocket, a few brief lines from her mother’s secretary, thanking her for her interest in visiting and regretting that Mrs. Rensselaer would be unable to see her. Alva knew her mother, likely even now sitting down to a stiff dinner with her husband and twelve of their closest friends fifty blocks away, did indeed feel regret. She just suspected it was about giv­ ing birth to her at all.
The restaurant door opened behind her, and, recalled to the moment, she signaled to the boy hailing cabs to find her one.
“Excuse me,” a deep voice said. “Mrs. Webster?”
Oh, for heaven’s sake. Couldn’t she stand outside for one min- ute without some intrepid lothario assuming she must be wait­ ing for him? In the less than seventy­two hours she’d been back in the States, she’d been propositioned eleven times. Twice by friends of her father’s.
She glanced over her shoulder at the man, receiving an in­ stant impression of big, though he stood mostly in the shadows. “I don’t know you,” she said, her voice flat. “Go home to your wife.”
“But I don’t have a wife,” the man said. He took a hesitant step towards her, leaving the shadows, and her eyebrows lifted. He looked more like a laborer than a man finishing a dinner at Delmonico’s, for all he was dressed in a suit and tie. Sort of dressed, she amended; the suit looked like it had been made for someone two inches shorter and two inches narrower across the



14    DIANA BILLER

shoulders. “Do I need a wife to talk to you? Is it a chaperone sort of thing? I have a mother, but she’s in Ohio.”
Alva blinked. “You’re not very good at this,” she observed. “I’m not a man, but I don’t think it’s standard behavior to invoke one’s mother at a time like this.”
They stared at each other in puzzlement. He was attrac­ tive in the sort of way she’d always imagined the heroes of west­ ern folktales to be: tall, broad shouldered, with a strong nose and a square jaw. He could stand to add barber to the list of people he needed to see, though, the one that started with tailor. Actually, looking at the way his dark blond hair fell into his eyes, she thought he’d better have it start with barber and go from there.
“There’s been a misunderstanding,” he said finally. “Perhaps if I introduce myself—my name is Professor Samuel Moore.”
He held out his hand. She looked at it, looked up at him, and did not extend her own. Bafflingly, he smiled at her, as though she’d done something rather clever.
Was he really a professor? He certainly didn’t look like one, not that it mattered, because she made it a policy, these days, never to talk to strange men—
“A professor of what?” she heard herself saying, although she was pleased it at least came out with a nice air of sarcasm and disbelief.
“This and that,” he said, still smiling. “Engineering, mostly.” She looked at his rumpled clothes. Yes, she could see that, one of those men who always had a tool in one hand and a grease can in the other. She didn’t know they were giving professorships out to men like that, but why not, after all? She was as apprecia­ tive of things like trains and working carriage wheels as the next
person.
And now she’d gone and encouraged him. Stupid. “I see,” she



THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE    15

said as coldly as she could manage. “Well, I’m not interested, so I’ll wish you good evening.”
“But how can you know if you’re not interested?” He shook his head in confusion, still smiling at her. The smile was . . . im­ pressive. “I haven’t even explained my proposition, yet.”
“I find that if you’ve heard one proposition, you’ve heard them all,” she replied. Stop talking to him, you idiot. “They’re not as unique as men would like to believe.”
“But—who else has approached you? Was it Langley, from Yale?” His tone turned plaintive. “How did he hear about this before me?”
“Langley—who?”
“Piers Langley,” he said. “No? I can’t think of anyone else reputable—look here, if you’ve been approached by anyone from that quack Santa Fe institute you should know they’re absolute frauds.”
“Institute?” Alva said faintly. “What on earth are you talking about?”
“Your house, of course. I hadn’t realized I was so behind on the news.” His face fell—What must it be like to let all your emo- tions float freely on your face?—but he nodded gravely. “If it’s Langley, though, he’s an excellent researcher, and a decent human, too.”
“It’s not Lang—what do you want with my house?” It was her turn to sound plaintive.
“But that’s what—” He stared at her, his brows crunched to­ gether. “Oh god. I wasn’t—I wouldn’t—”
To her astonishment, a distinct touch of pink appeared in his cheeks. He cleared his throat.
“I beg your pardon, ma’am. Henry warned me—that is, I shouldn’t have; my proposition is not of an intimate nature.”
“I’m coming to understand that,” she said.



16    DIANA BILLER

“You thought . . . do men . . . they must—good lord.
She began to feel in charity with this befuddled giant. “In­ deed,” she said. “I quite agree. But I must ask again—what is it you want with Liefdehuis?”
“To study it,” he said. “One of my personal interests is in metaphysical energies, you see, and from what I’ve heard, your house may prove a most interesting case. Your ghost story is so recent, you know. I hardly ever hear one claiming to be that new—”
He broke off as she shook her head. “You almost had me con­ vinced that you were unlike the majority of your sex,” she said. “And now I see you are. I’m just not sure insanity is much of an improvement.”
To her surprise, he smiled again. “You’re not the only one who thinks so,” he said. The embarrassment had left his face; he was quite relaxed once more. A man who apologizes for a propo- sition and grins at an insult, Alva thought. Where did you come from, Professor Moore?
“And I’ll admit there’s no conclusive evidence yet,” he con­ tinued, “but what I have collected looks extremely promising. Certainly promising enough to warrant extensive study.”
A hint of cold pierced her thoughts. Firmly, she banished it. “You’re talking about ghosts,” she said.
“Maybe,” he replied. “Or I could be studying some kind of alien intelligence that just happens to concentrate in areas cor­ responding to local folklore.”
“Alien intelligence.”
Invisible alien intelligence,” he clarified. “At least invisible to the naked human eye. But ‘ghost’ is probably the easiest term.”
“Really.”
“People tend to go a bit strange when you talk to them about invisible alien intelligences,” he confided. “Which is odd, when



THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE    17

you think about it, because why are the shades of one’s dead an­ cestors any less unsettling?”
She found herself nodding before the rest of her wits caught up with her. “No,” she said, not because the word corresponded with any particular question, but because she had the feeling the only way to survive here was to stick to very black­and­white words. His nuances were both compelling and sticky. “I’m afraid I won’t give you access. I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’m about to start several months’ worth of building work.”
“Don’t decide yet,” he begged. “I’m willing to pay you for the privilege, and I promise I won’t be in the way . . . although there is rather a lot of equipment, so I suppose—”
The boy hailing cabs caught her eye and gestured as a han­ som pulled up beside him.
“That’s mine,” she said. “I’m sorry I can’t help you. Good evening.”
“Wait!” he said. “I’ll—I’ll send you a letter. Henry said that was the way to do it—I’ll write you and explain more.”
“It won’t help,” she said as the cab boy helped her into the carriage. “I’m sorry. Good­bye, Professor Moore.”
Finally, he sighed acceptance and raised his hand. “Good evening, Mrs. Webster.”
As the cab pulled away from the sidewalk, though, she looked back at him, to find him staring after her with his hands shoved in his pockets and that apparently irrepressible grin back in place. An uncomfortable lightness expanded in her chest as she watched him standing head­and­shoulders taller than the passersby around him, looking back at her as though he would be perfectly happy never to look at anything else ever again.
What couldn’t I get, if I could look at people like that? she thought, and settled grumpily back against her seat.
 

My Thoughts

Infamy it appears, does have it's perks.
Even if it does take the unlikely combination of a lovable yet quirky genius, coupled with need to uncover the truth behind rumors of one's mansion being haunted.

Just ask Miss Alva Webster
Ahem...
She would be the aforementioned reference d lady of infamy.
And her charming yet quite absent minded genius leading man.
One Sam Moore.

Who himself belongs to a fabulously eccentric family.
Who never fail to supply characters to love and plot points to ponder.
But the best parts of the story by far.
The ghost hunting shenanigans that the two intrepid investigators involve themselves in.  When they are not exchanging quippy banter.
Or falling head over heals in love.
In short.

If you love your love story with just a touch of the paranormal.  Charismatic characters, and a pretzel like plot.
The Widow Of Rose House is not to be missed.





About Diana
I think the best way to you about myself is to tell you about the things I love. So here's a completely inexhaustive list: I love my husband, my dog, my family, and my friends. I love ballet--both watching it and taking adult beginner classes. I love hiking alone, writing in gardens, and jumping in waves. I love Disneyland. I love Los Angeles, where I live. I love reading--it's my oldest passion and my favorite.

And I love playing pretend, which is, for me at least, the thing underneath all the words and writing. I love living in worlds I've imagined, and I love meeting every new character who walks into them. I hope you'll love them too.

See Her Socially:  Web / GR / Twitter / Macmillan Publishing 

HFVBT Presents: The Queen Of Warriors + Giveaway

The Queen of Warriors by Zenobia Neil

Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Hypatia Books
eBook & Paperback; 363 Pages
Series: Alexandra of Sparta, Book One
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Alexandra of Sparta vowed her sword and her heart to the goddess Artemis. And the goddess blessed her. But no warrior lives at peace, and soon, Alexandra loses her title, her troops, and all she holds dear, including the man who holds her heart. Cursed by a Babylonian witch, she is forced to return to a city she once conquered to make amends, but is captured by the powerful Persian rebel, Artaxerxes.
As his prisoner, she awaits judgment for her crimes. But Artaxerxes is not what he seems. With death approaching, Alexandra must face her violent past and discover the truth of her captor’s identity before it’s too late.

Available on Amazon

My Thoughts
Alexandra of Sparta...
Feared, revered, reviled, even called a queen.
But what of those who loved her?
Her most trusted men at arms.
Her female confidant and lover, Mithra
And...
The young lordling, turned slave.
Destined to be the only man ever to hold captive.  The only heart that all the world had failed to tame.
That of the Queen Of. Warriors

This wondrous tale of war, victory, desire, atonement, bloodshed, and love. Is one that serves to unveil the mystery and legend that often surrounds great heroes and heroines.

Allowing readers full and unadorned access to the person underneath.
A person who, in this case.  Has been brought low.  Whether through her own hubris, a witch's curse, or some combination of the two.
And must now return to the place she once held in her iron grip.
Serving as slave to the one man she once owned heart, mind, and body.

The Queen Of Warriors is an absolutely breathtaking romance. Which is very careful to never let one forget that the romance of which one reads; is one played out by a woman whose first love has been and will always be that of battle.
It is in fact, only due to her battles that she is able to come into contact with those whom she is destined to have relationships with.
And only after her greatest military loss, that her feet are set to her heart's greatest victory.

This tale is the stuff that epics are made of.
Expressed with a fierce brilliance and effortless sophistication that makes the reader hunger for the flavor of its every word.  In much the same way that a starving man would his last meal.


About the Author
Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. She lives with her husband, two children, and dog in Los Angeles. The Queen of Warriors is her third book.

Visit her at ZenobiaNeil.com. You can also follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.



Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 16 Review at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, September 17 Guest Post by Reading the Past 
  Wednesday, September 18 Excerpt at Bookish Rantings
Thursday, September 19 Review at Gwendalyn's Books 
  Friday, September 20 Review at Passages to the Past
Monday, September 23 Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Tuesday, September 24 Excerpt at What Is That Book About 
  Wednesday, September 25 Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective Thursday, September 26 Review & Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Monday, September 30 Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All 
  Tuesday, October 1 Feature at I'm All About Books
  Wednesday, October 2 Review at book frolic 
Review at Al-Alhambra 
Thursday, October 3 Excerpt at Coffee and Ink 
  Friday, October 4 Review at WTF Are You Reading? 
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 eBooks and 2 paperbacks of Psyche Unbound and The Jinni's Last Wish! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. The Queen of Warriors

HFVBT Presents: A Pheonix Rising + Giveaway

A Phoenix Rising by Vivienne Brereton

Publication Date: July 7, 2019
Yuletide Press
eBook & Paperback; 339 pages
Series: The House of the Red Duke (Book 1)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
“If I have anything to do with it, we Howards will live forever.” Thomas Howard
Charismatic head of one of the most powerful Houses in Tudor England. An indomitable old man approaching eighty: soldier, courtier, politician, a ‘phoenix’ rising from the ashes. After a calamitous period of disgrace, the Howards, renowned for their good looks and charm, are once more riding high at the court of Henry VIII. Set against the backdrop of the extraordinary 1520 ‘Field of Cloth of Gold’, it is a tale of ambition, love, and intrigue, with Thomas at the centre of this intricate tapestry Will Thomas’s bold vow be fulfilled?
Danger stalks the corridors of the royal courts of Europe. Uneasy lies the head beneath a crown. Every other ruler - a fickle bedfellow…or sworn enemy. The action takes place in England, Scotland, and France. On either side of the Narrow Sea, four young lives are interwoven, partly unaware of each other, and certainly oblivious to what Dame Fortune has in store for them.
 “Nicolas de La Barre laid his lute to one side, hardly bothering to stifle a yawn of boredom. Nevertheless, he couldn’t escape the fact he’d agreed to take on a new wife….” Explosive family secrets are concealed behind the ancient walls of castles in three lands. But… “There are no secrets that time does not reveal.”

"From the moment I picked this book up, I was enthralled and the story was so well written that I simply had to keep reading. Brereton weaves a fascinating story of several famous houses which lived during the Tudor age, including the Howards, Stewarts, Boleyns and of course the famous Tudors. If you are looking for a new fiction series that will draw you in and keep you wanting more than this is certainly the book for you!" - Sarah Bryson, author of 'La Reine Blanche'

"I really enjoyed it. I sometimes struggle with books written from the point of view of several characters, as this one is, but this one worked quite well because it had to be told from the points of view of different characters because it is spread across several countries - England, France and Scotland. The addition of Tudor recipes was a nice touch, and demonstrated that the writer had really done her research." - Helene Harrison, Tudorblogger

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


My Thoughts
The link between the Howard and Tudor families is one well chronicled within the annals of both British and World histories.

But the epicly expensive insider viewpoint expressed so lyrically within the pages of A Pheonix Rising.  Manages to imbue the families that we thought we knew, with a humanity and frailty which serves make them all the more relatable to readers.

Further acting to sweeten the historical honeypot that is A Pheonix Rising.  The unsurpassed levels of historical accuracy found within this book's pages is second to none.


About the Author

Born near historic Winchester in the UK, Vivienne Brereton has been passionate about the Tudors for as long as she can remember. This led to a degree in medieval history at university where she met her future husband. Three sons later and six countries she called home, she finally felt ready to write a novel. Words have always played an important part in Vivienne’s life whether it’s been writing, editing, teaching English to foreigners, or just picking up a good book. In preparation for her novel, she read intensively on the skills needed to write well and did an enormous amount of research which she greatly enjoyed. Having three sons was helpful when she came to write about the characters, Tristan and Nicolas. All those squabbles she had to deal with came in very handy. She also used her husband and sons as guinea pigs for her Tudor cookery attempts with varying degrees of success (abuse). Seeing ‘A Phoenix Rising’ in print for the first time was a moment of great joy for her and she hopes you enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads



Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, September 26 Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Friday, September 27 Excerpt at Beady Jans Books
Review & Excerpt at Nursebookie
Saturday, September 28 Review at Reading is My Remedy
Guest Post at Short Book and Scribes
Tuesday, October 1 Review at WTF Are You Reading? 
Guest Post at On the Tudor Trail
Wednesday, October 2 Excerpt at The Writing Desk 
Thursday, October 3 Review at A Chick Who Reads
Friday, October 4 Review at Jessica Belmont 
 Monday
Monday, October 7 Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit 
Tuesday, October 8 Review at Passages to the Past Wednesday, October 9 Review at Red Headed Book Lady 
Thursday, October 10 Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Friday, October 11 Review at Donna's Book Blog Feature at CelticLady's Reviews


Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of A Phoenix Rising! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. A Phoenix Rising