HFVBT Presents: Lords Of The Wind + Giveaway

The Lords of the Wind by C.J. Adrien

Publication Date: July 3, 2019
Runestone Books
eBook & Paperback; 339 Pages
Series: The Saga of Hasting the Avenger, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction
“For indeed the Frankish nation, which was crushed by the avenger Hasting, was full of filthy uncleanness. Treasonous and oath-breaking, they were deservedly condemned; unbelievers and faithless, they were justly punished.” Orphaned as a child by a blood-feud, and sold as a slave to an exiled chieftain in Ireland, the boy Hasting had little hope of surviving to adulthood. The gods had other plans. A ship arrived at his master's longphort carrying a man who would alter the course of his destiny, and take him under his wing to teach him the ways of the Vikings. His is a story of a boy who was a slave, who became a warlord, and who helped topple an empire. A supposed son of Ragnar Lodbrok, and referred to in the Gesta Normanorum as the Scourge of the Somme and Loire, his life exemplified the qualities of the ideal Viking. Join author and historian C.J. Adrien on an adventure that explores the coming of age of the Viking Hasting, his first love, his first great trials, and his first betrayal.

Available on Amazon

My Thoughts

The story told in C,J. Adrien's Lords Of The Wind.  Is one that is filled with war, politics, maturation, and love.  As seen through experiences of one Hastings.  Slave turned warlord.

C.J. Adrien's ability to seamlessly transition readers through day to day minutia to important battles and other life occurrences in the life of his story's main character.  Allows readers a full and detailed picture of Hasting's life as a whole.  And better allows one to understand the elements which go into building the man that he is becoming.
A fact which goes a long way in helping the reader to maintain focus on Hastings when the fighting and politicing aspects of the plot seem to want to swallow all else later in the read.

That being said.  The battle scenes are an exquisitely rendered part of this read.  Brimming with loss, pain, triumph, and heart.
All of the things that make Viking battles the gloriously brutal affairs that they are.  And all of the things that help to mold our book's hero into the legendary hero that he is to become.

Lords Of The Wind offers readers that perfect balance between history, lore, and creative licence.  Which serves to create a world that one can both believe and get lost in. With every turn of the page.

About the Author

C.J. Adrien is a French-American author of Viking historical fiction with a passion for Viking history. His Kindred of the Sea series was inspired by research conducted in preparation for a doctoral program in early medieval history as well as his admiration for historical fiction writers such as Bernard Cornwell and Ken Follett. C.J. Adrien’s novels and expertise have earned him invitations to speak at several international events, including the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds.

For more information, please visit C.J. Adrien's website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 18 Review at Al-Alhambra Book Reviews
Tuesday, November 19 Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Wednesday, November 20 Review at @ya.its.lit
Thursday, November 21 Feature at The Book Junkie Reads
Monday, November 25 Interview at The Writing Desk
Tuesday, November 26 Review at Coffee and Ink
Wednesday, November 27 Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Friday, November 29 Feature at Let Them Read Books
Monday, December 2 Review at Hoover Book Reviews
Tuesday, December 3 Feature at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, December 5 Interview at Jathan & Heather
Friday, December 6 Review at RokinRev
Monday, December 9 Review at Books and Zebras
Thursday, December 12 Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Friday, December 13 Review at Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Lords of the Wind! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Paperback giveaway is open to US residents 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.

Berkley Books Presents: Bound For Glory

44641824Title:  Bound For Glory
Series:  Frontiers Of The Heart #4
Author:  Tess LeSue
Length:  384 pages
Date Of Publication:  December 3, 2019
Publisher:  Berkley Books
Rating:  5 stars

An unwilling legend and the woman who made him one face off in this epic conclusion to the Frontiers of the Heart series.

He has many names. They call him Deathrider, White Wolf, The Plague of the West. He's the ice-eyed killer of the plains; the ghost of the trail; the restless spirit who haunts the frontier from California to Missouri, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. They say he seeks vengeance for his murdered people; they say he never sleeps; they say he moves silently through the night and changes form to run with the wolves. And that he is as beautiful as Lucifer.

At least, so they say. Ava Archer wouldn't know; she's never seen him. But that doesn't stop her from writing about him. The Plague of the West is her bread and butter, and after more than a dozen dime novels, she thinks she probably knows Deathrider better than he knows himself, even if she wouldn't recognize him on the street. If only rumors of his death would stop getting in the way of a good story....

Those damn stories make Nathaniel Rides With Death's life an absolute misery. Thanks to his unwanted notoriety, he's hunted like an animal by an endless stream of gunslingers looking to make a name for themselves. When someone close to Nate is shot by one of the gunslingers, Nate decides it's time to hunt down the novelist at the root of all his troubles. He has a plan to end this farce once and for all....

Please enjoy this excerpt from
Bound For Glory

There was a naked man in the desert.
Ava Archer knew trouble when she saw it, and this was trouble with a capital T. She was alone in the desert, her horse was played out, her canteen was bone-dry, and she was out of bullets. This was no time to be running into natives. Even a solitary one. If she had any sense at all, she would turn right around and run in the other direction . . . but Kennedy Voss was in the other direction, and Kennedy Voss was a mean son of a bitch. Besides, she was desperate for water, and maybe this Indian had some.
She’d thought she’d known thirst before—but this was something else again. She felt made of grit and sand, her every pore a desert in miniature, her tongue thick and swollen in her cottony mouth; even her eyes and nose had dried out. And every thud of her horse’s hooves on the ground made a drumbeat: Water. Water. Water. Water.
So Ava kept on toward the man, pulled by the hope of water. As she plodded closer, she reassured herself that at least there was only one of him, and from what she could see, he was in bad shape: he was squatting under the screamingly bright September sun, naked from the waist up, his body a patchwork of bruises, and both of his eyes swollen shut. Ava doubted he could see her. But he knew she was there, because he rose to his feet at the sound of her tired horse dragging his way.
Oh dear. He wasn’t mostly naked, she saw as he stood: he was completely naked. He was also tall, wide, and terrifyingly powerful. A warrior. He was the color of rosewood, his muscles as hard as if he’d been carved from a tree. And he was covered in tattoos, including a sprawling, intricate pattern in the shape of a bird, which stretched its wings the breadth of his thickly muscled chest. His hair was long, loose, and coated in dust; it fell down his back in tangles to his shoulder blades. He was bruised all over, she realized as her gaze drifted down, wincing as she took in the black blotches on his legs. There was a particularly nasty one on his hip, right next to . . .
Ava tore her gaze away. Hell. She was alone in the desert with a naked man. A big, powerful, wounded naked man. And she was heat struck and ill with thirst, barely able to think straight.
She couldn’t have stumbled onto a little old lady instead? Or a nice family, with a pack of kids? A pack of kids and an icy-cold barrel of water . . .
Ava rubbed her hand across her dry mouth. She felt skin flakes come away on her fingers and winced. She needed to get hold of herself. She was growing delirious. This here was just an injured man. Probably an Apache, considering she was somewhere near the Apacheria. Probably. Maybe. Who knew where the hell she was, to be honest. Purgatory seemed likely. Little old ladies and nice families didn’t go wandering around Purgatory—this was the best she could hope for. She should have been grateful that he was just one beat-up Apache and not a whole party. And at least he wasn’t Kennedy Voss. Without even realizing she was doing it, she glanced over her shoulder, as though thinking about Voss might summon him. That man gave her the willies. Voss was likely to be somewhere nearby (she hadn’t had that much of a head start on him), and here she was about to die of thirst right in his path. She didn’t have time to be distracted by naked strangers.

My Thoughts
The story told in Tess LeSue's  Bound For Glory illustrates how legends are created for good or for ill
through stories and word of mouth.
And how said stories can then become the bane of someone's existence.  Or as in the case of Nathaniel.  A threat to their very lives.

As for Ava.  One could honestly say that she had no idea that her tales of Deathrider's supposed exploits would be as widely circulated or as popular as they became.
Let alone that they would serve as the impetus for a sponsored manhunt for the "outlaw" that she helped to make infamous.
By other outlaws.  Who are in themselves just as infamous.
Nor did she have any way of predicting the unbelievable set of circumstances that would find her stranded in the desert.  The threat of death looming, and the only person standing between the certain demise of the very man that her words doomed to the hunt.
But the story of survival, trust, friendship, and unlikely forever love that author LeSue weaves around these two is one that stays in the heart forever.
A big reason for this being that at their first meeting, neither of the two is aware of who the other actually is.
Only that they each are the other's sole hope for survival.
As such, readers get to see their relationship grow and change on a person to person basis.
Without the constraints of preconceived prejudices and judgement.
While being fully aware that there will be a reckoning of sorts when the truth of their identities is revealed.

When the very real history of Native American resettlement and other societal injustices that native peoples had to endure in the name of  "American expansion." come into play within the story.
What could have been a rather light and almost comical "western Amazing Race" gone awry.
Becomes a poignant tale of life love and freedom.

About Tess
Tess LeSueTess LeSue writes raunchy and adventurous historical romances, with strong and sassy heroines and heroes to make your knees go weak. Set against vast and dramatic backdrops, these are love stories to sweep you back in time, and off your feet.

Her historical Western, Bound for Eden, was runner up for Romance Writers of Australia’s 2016 EmeraldPRO award and will be published by Harlequin/MIRA in 2016.

You can find Tess on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tess-LeSue-1...


HFVBT Presents: This Son Of York + Giveaway

This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith

Publication Date: November 10, 2019
Bellastoria Press
eBook & Paperback; 504 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
"Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by This Son of York..." -- William Shakespeare, Richard III Richard III was Anne's muse for her first five books, but, finally, in This Son of York he becomes her protagonist. The story of this English king is one of history's most compelling, made even more fascinating through the discovery in 2012 of his bones buried under a car park in Leicester. This new portrait of England's most controversial king is meticulously researched and brings to vivid life the troubled, complex Richard of Gloucester, who ruled for two years over an England tired of war and civil strife. The loyal and dutiful youngest son of York, Richard lived most of his short life in the shadow of his brother, Edward IV, loyally supporting his sibling until the mantle of power was thrust unexpectedly on him. Some of his actions and motives were misunderstood by his enemies to have been a deliberate usurpation of the throne, but throughout his life, Richard never demonstrated any loftier ambitions than to honorably discharge his duty to his family and his country. In a gentler vein, despite the cruel onset of severe scoliosis in his teens, Richard did find love, first with a lover and then in his marriage to Anne Neville. Between these two devoted women in his life, he sired three and perhaps four children. Bringing the Plantagenet dynasty to a violent end, Richard was the last king of England to die in battle. This Son of York is a faithful chronicle of this much maligned man.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

My Thoughts

This Son Of York offers readers a very human account of the life and times of a very infamous monarch.
King Richard III or Dickon.  As he was known to his family.
Though royal, suffered a life plagued by both perceived and implied inferiority,
The tenuous nature of his familial hold on the English throne, and a host of other life altering slights, wrongs, and betrayals.
Each increasing in consequence and magnitude.  In step with his most circuitous rise to power.
While it was true that Richard did find love.
Even that was not left unmarred by misfortune.
The shadow of which he could never escape.
Neither as man, nor as king.
A tragedy made even more so by his life ending defeat at the hands of Henry Tudor at The Battle Of Bosworth.

Ann Easter Smith writes historical accuracy into poignant and memorable fiction.
Leaving the reader feeling as though they have finally met the "person" behind the names, dates, and facts that historians favor.
As both a reader and a reviewer.  I can say that I will be forever changed after having spent time in her rendition of the last king of
The House Of York.

About the Author

Anne is the award-winning author of The King's Grace and the best-selling A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, Queen By Right, and Royal Mistress. She is an expert on Richard III, having studied the king and his times for decades. Her sixth book, This Son of York, will be published soon. She grew up in England, Germany and Egypt, and has been a resident/citizen of the US since 1968. Anne was the Features Editor at a daily newspaper in northern New York State for ten years, and her writing has been published in several national magazines.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, November 10 Review at Broken Teepee Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Monday, November 11 Excerpt at Words and Peace Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, November 12 Review at Passages to the Past Review at So Many Books, So Little Time 

Wednesday, November 13 Review at Macsbooks Interview at The Writing Desk

Thursday, November 14 Review at A Chick Who Reads 

Friday, November 15 Excerpt at The Lit Bitch Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Saturday, November 16 Review at Curling up by the Fire Review & Excerpt at Nursebookie Review at Red Headed Book Lady Review at WTF Are You Reading? Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, November 17 Review at Bookramblings Review at Just One More Chapter Review at Locks, Hooks and Books Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Royal Beauty Bright by Ryan Byrnes! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules - Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter. - Paperback 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. This Son of York 

Berkley /Jove Publishing Presents: The Devil In The Saddle

Title: Devil In The Saddle
Series: Princes Of Texas #2
Author:  Julia London
Length:  368 pgs.
Publication Date:  October 29, 2019
Publisher:  Berkeley Books
Rating:  5 Stars

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London brings readers a charming, sexy contemporary western, where a Texas princess learns that love may burn brightest for the devil who steps in your path...

No one cheats on a Prince and gets away with it. And Hallie--Texas socialite, would-be ballerina, and the only daughter of Cimarron County's renowned Prince family--is ready to give her two-timing fianc� a piece of her mind. But fate plants hot, sexy ranch hand and ex-Army Ranger Rafael Fontana quite literally in her way. Her childhood friend is all grown up. He's sexy, he's handsome, and suddenly, after all these years, Hallie is taking notice.

Rafe has been in love with Hallie since they were kids, but he was always the help--and she was glamorous and popular, seemingly off-limits to a lowly cowboy. But now he's back at Three Rivers Ranch to help his family and Hallie is there too--and she needs his support. Of course, Rafe agrees, but soon long-buried feelings boil to the surface, and the desire between them is hot and palpable and undeniable. Rafe realizes he wants Hallie for keeps... he just has to convince her to give true love another shot.

Please Enjoy this excerpt from:
The Devil In The Saddle

The dreams that happen just before waking, the ones that take weird turns into hippie-dippie landscapes, are the strangest of all. When Hallie Prince could recall her dreams, which wasn't often, as she was not a morning person and her first thought was usually coffee, it seemed she was always looking for something. Like her ballet shoes in a stranger's house. Her phone in a foreign country. Sometimes she was in the company of people she seemed to know well, but then again, knew not at all. Sometimes she was in places unrecognizable to her, but that she seemed to know.

My Thoughts
Hallie Prince socialite, would be ballerina, and the love of Rafe Fontana's life. Just ditched her cheating fiancee, Chris.  Called a no-go on what was slated to  the social event of the century.  A.k.a. her wedding. And can't remember trying to drive to Houston.  While blitzed out of her mind on Tequila.
But to him...
She is just as perfect as ever.

The trouble.  He doesn't think that he is good enough for her.
Even though he knows her like the back of his hand.  Loves her with his whole heart. And has been in her life for the majority of his.

Now the sexy ex-Army Ranger is once again working at the Prince family ranch. And is ready and able to support her in whatever way she needs.  But he still can't help feeling that his "working-class white night just doesn't measure up to her "platinum princess."

This second offering in Julia London's Princes Of Texas series.  Is steam up your eyeballs sexy. Full of more romantic angst than the best soap opera.  And bound to send readers into face splitting grins more than a time or two.

Watching Hallie and Rafe cat and mouse their way to forever.  As Rafe proves time and time again that his strong, honest, compassionate, and unflappable brand of hero is more than tailor-made for Hallie's unique damsel in distress.
Is more than worth the price of admission to the show.
The real issue here however.  Rafe's coming to the same conclusion about himself before it's too late.

This is an awesome one-sitting wonder of a sequel.  And this reviewer is literally chomping at the bit for more from the Princes Of Texas.

I received a copy of the above referenced work. In exchange for the honest review provided. My thanks to Berkley Books.

Julia LondonAbout Julia
 Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than a two dozen romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, as well as the new Cabot Sisters historical series, including The Trouble with Honor, The Fall of Grace, and The Perils of Prudence. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch and Return to Homecoming Ranch.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. To keep up with all the Julia London news, please visit http://www.julialondon.com. Follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/julialondon

Harlequin Romance Presents: Meant To Be Yours

Author: Susan Mallery
ISBN: 9781335041494
Publication Date: 10/22/19
Publisher: HQN Books

In Happily Inc, love means never having to say “I do”…
Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.
After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.
Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?

Please enjoy this exerpt from:
Meant To Be Yourself

It might just be okay,” wedding coordinator Renee Grothen murmured softly to herself as she surveyed the wedding reception. She wouldn’t risk admitting everything had turned out as planned until the last guest had left, but four and a half hours in, things were going really well.

Jim and Monica Martinez were a sweet couple with a fun firefighter theme for their big day. There was a long tradition of firefighters on both sides of the family and plenty of cute touches in the wedding and reception.

Monica’s dress laced up the back and instead of white ribbon to cinch her gown, she’d used bright red. The centerpieces were ceramic boot vases painted to look like firefighter boots, filled with red, orange and yellow flowers. There was even a walk-through fountain at one end of the reception area, created with fire hoses, a pump and a lot of engineering.

Renee walked around the perimeter of the indoor reception space, looking for problems. So far, so good, she thought with cautious optimism. The cake had been cut, the bar service was about to end and the tone of the party had faded from raucous to comfortably tired—exactly as it should. With a little luck, things would wrap up on time and without a crisis. This was Monica and Jim’s day—Renee wanted it to be as perfect as possible. While she always took care of her clients, she tended to unleash her mother bear instincts for her special couples and Monica and Jim certainly qualified.

She spotted Pallas Mitchell, her boss, walking toward her. It was nearly ten on a Saturday night and Pallas, a pretty brunette only recently returned from maternity leave, yawned widely. When she spotted Renee she held up her hands, palms up.

“What can I say? I’ve been home with an infant. These wild late-night hours are going to take some getting used to.”

“No one’s judging,” Renee told her. “As I said at seven, at eight and again at nine, go home. I can handle this. You’re barely back and you need to give yourself time to adjust to the schedule.”

“You’ve been running things for nearly six months. You need a break.”

In truth, Renee was a little ragged around the edges, but she’d loved handling Weddings Out of the Box while Pallas had been gone. She’d enjoyed the challenges each unique wedding presented and watching all the details fall into place on the big day.

“I had lots of help,” Renee pointed out. “Hiring college students on summer break was a good idea.” And what they’d lacked in experience, they’d made up for in energy and enthusiasm.

“Now that I’m back, things can return to normal,” Pallas said, covering another yawn.

“Go home,” Renee urged. “Please. I can handle things here. I promise.”

“Okay. I will. Thanks. Don’t you dare come in tomorrow.” Pallas’s voice was firm. “For once, we don’t have a Sunday wedding. Enjoy the break.”

“I will.” Renee would probably pop in to do a little paperwork, but she wouldn’t stay long. “Are you coming to The Boardroom on Monday night?”

In a wedding destination town, the rhythms of the residents were determined by weekend weddings. Happily Inc’s workweek started on Wednesdays as the businesses geared up for the dozens of nuptials that occurred in multiple venues. Which meant the town’s Friday night was actually on Monday.

The Boardroom, a local bar, hosted game nights on Mondays. Board games ruled and tournaments were heated and fun as friends crushed each other at everything from Candy Land to Risk.

Pallas shook her head. “I’ll admit to being a bit of a worrier. When we went a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about Ryan. He’s only five months old. It’s too soon to leave him at night.”

Renee held in a smile. “Sure. I get that.”

“I know you don’t, but thank you for pretending. Have fun for me, too. Oh, Jasper’s back, so tell him hi, if you think of it.”

Jasper was back? Renee hadn’t heard. She liked knowing he’d returned from his big book tour. Not for any reason in particular, she amended hastily. Sure, he was nice, but there were a lot of nice guys in the world. There was just something about Jasper. Maybe it was because in addition to being good-looking and just a little dangerous, he wasn’t a forever kind of guy.

“I saw that!” Pallas grinned. “I totally saw that. You did the predatory smile thing I was never good at. You want to use him for sex! Did I know this?” She stomped her foot. “Did this happen while I was on maternity leave? What else went on while I was off having a baby?”

Renee laughed. “You’re reading way too much into my smile. I’m happy he’s home from his book tour. That’s all.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Jasper and I are not involved. I doubt we’ve had more than a three-sentence conversation.”

Not that it took many sentences to ask Your place or mine? And while the description of predatory was nice, it gave her too much credit. Would she stalk him and pounce? Not even on her best day. Would she say yes if the man asked? She smiled again. Oh, yeah, she would. Definitely. Okay, probably. If she was feeling brave. Because while she worked her butt off to give her couples their perfect happily-ever-after day, she knew it was never going to happen for her. Those who could—did. Those who couldn’t became wedding planners.

Avoiding relationships might be the smart choice, but it was also a lonely one. She knew Jasper was into the long-term, monogamous, not-serious kind of thing and she was pretty sure she could handle that. Assuming she was his type and he was interested. They could have some laughs, lots of sex and walk away completely unscathed in the heart department. Where was the bad?

“There’s something going on and you can’t convince me otherwise,” Pallas said. “You have depths. I’m very impressed. Okay, use Jasper and then tell me the details because hey, he’s got to be great.” She yawned again. “I’m such a lightweight. I’m leaving now.”

“Good night. Hug Ryan for me.”

“You know I will.”

Pallas walked out of the reception hall. Renee continued to circle the space, looking for any forgotten handbags or phones, and noting how long it would take the cleaning service to return the huge room to order. Doing her job and not thinking about the fact that Jasper was back—that was her.

A loud whoop got her attention. She turned and saw three teenaged guys running through the fountain at the far end of the big, open room. Each of them jumped, trying to touch the arc of water dancing overhead.

The younger brother, she thought as she made her way toward them. And his friends. No doubt they were bored after so many hours with not very much to do. Regardless, she was not going to have them disrupt the reception when it was so close to being over.

As she approached the running, jumping teens, she saw both sets of parents, along with the bride and groom, still dancing. They swayed in time with the music, oblivious to the fountain and the idiots messing with it. Then several things happened at once.

The younger brother started an extra long run toward the fountain. Jim let go of Monica and spun her out the length of their arms. Monica bumped her mom, who stumbled a little. Dad grabbed Mom, moving all of them closer to the fountain and the younger brother running, who had to swerve suddenly to avoid them. As he swerved, he lost his balance and slipped, tumbling into the fountain mechanism. One of the hoses broke free, wiggling and spraying water everywhere.

Renee saw it all happening and knew there was no way she was going to allow her beautiful bride to get soaked. She lunged for the hose, caught it and held it tightly against her chest as the bride’s father rushed to turn off the water to the hose. It took only seconds, but by then the entire fountain had spilled over and Renee was drenched, shivering and had water up her nose even as she wondered if she looked half as ridiculous as she felt.

The new Mrs. Martinez hurried over. “Renee, are you all right?” She turned on her brother. “How could you? This is a wedding, not a water park.”

Aware that end-of-wedding exhaustion could easily lead to emotions spiraling out of control, Renee quickly faked a smile.

“Monica, it’s fine. Don’t worry. Keeping you and the rest of the wedding party dry was my only concern.” She glanced at the water draining onto the floor and realized part of the fountain was still pumping out water. That couldn’t be good. If she couldn’t get everything turned off, she was going to have to call in one of those companies that took care of disasters like flooding. “Really. It’s no problem.”

“You’re dripping and the water’s rising. My dad went to find the main shutoff.”

Renee wrung out her hair and hoped her makeup wasn’t too badly smudged. Then she realized the water level in the reception hall was indeed climbing and hoped Monica’s father found the shutoff soon.

She was just about to go help him when he returned.

“All turned off.” He glanced at the mini flood. “Sorry about this.”

“It’s fine,” Renee lied, her tone soothing, because that was part of her job. To pretend all was well even when they needed to be figuring out how to build an ark.

The rest of the guests were heading out. Nothing like the threat of an unexpected flood to get people moving, she thought, trying to find the humor in the situation.

“I’m so sorry,” Monica told her as she held her dress out of the water and slipped out of her shoes.

“Don’t be. You had a wonderful wedding and reception. Why don’t you and Jim start gathering your things? I have a spare set of clothes in my office. I’ll get changed, then help you make sure you have everything.”

As she spoke, she noticed the water seemed to have settled at about the six- or seven-inch level. Yup, she was going to have to call someone. No doubt she would be here all night. Oh, joy.

“I’m really sorry,” Jim said. “We thought we’d planned for every contingency.” He glared at his new brother-in-law. “Except for stupid.” He turned back to her. “Let us know the cost of cleanup. We’ll pay for it.”

“Thank you. I think the deposit should take care of it but I’ll let

Buy Links: 

My Thoughts
Meant To Be Yours brings readers back to small town life and love.  As only authoress, Susan Mallery can deliver it.

With this, its fifth installment featuring military veteran turned author, Jasper Dembenski.
And his rather reluctant leading lady and the only wedding coordinator in history determined to never get married.  One Renee Grothon.

This heartmeltingly sweet story of two people who spin their lives weaving the dreams of others.  While never even daring to believe themselves worthy of the same happiness for themselves.  Is filled to the brim with situational cuteness.
And the easy and familiar charm that allows readers to relate to both the characters, and their story.
Reading this book is like meeting new "old friends." In an idyllic setting that you wouldn't mind calling home.

While Jasper and Genre's progression from "hot and not so heavy" to "happily ever after".  Is one that will turn even the most jaded of heart to mush.

*I received a copy of the above referenced title from Harlequin Publishing.  In exchange for the honest review provided.

About Susan
SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations," and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She's passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

See Susan Socially:
Twitter: @susanmallery
Facebook: @SusanMallery
Instagram: @susanmallery

HFVBT Presents The Walls Of Lucca / Above The Walls + Giveaway

The Walls of Lucca by Steve Physioc

Publication Date: March 26, 2018
eBook & Paperback; 509 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Winner of the 2019 Reader Views Historical Fiction Award Winner of the 2019 Tyler R. Tichelaar Award for Best Historical Fiction When Franco, a weary Italian soldier who’s seen some of the worst of World War I, stumbles onto the Martellino vineyard, he’s looking for work — not love. But he finds that and much more with Isabella, the feisty young woman who works there. Franco pours himself into the vineyard, trying to create a wine that will save it from financial ruin and rescue him from his dark memories of war. But it’s not easy when Mussolini's evil shadow continues to loom over all of Italy. It’s even harder when Susanna, the vineyard’s matriarch, invites that shadow to the vineyard with her involvement in Fascist politics — and one very sinister political operative. Influenced by the teachings of A Course In Miracles, The Walls of Lucca is historical fiction that shows readers the power of love and forgiveness in the face of evil. Compelling, colorful characters populate an authentic, inspiring story of friendship, faith, love and loss in a tumultuous time in European history.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for The Walls of Lucca

“An absorbing, well-researched saga.” — Kirkus Reviews “The Walls of Lucca is a tender, suspenseful and touching story sure to please fans of romance, political stories, and historical novels.” — BlueInk Review "Author Steve Physioc has really managed to find the perfect balance of romance and real life." - Readers' Favorite

Above the Walls by Steve Physioc

Publication Date: February 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 484 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
For eight years, the Fascist politician Alfredo Obizzi has kept quiet about his affair with Susanna Martellino, the matriarch of the Martellino vineyard. Now in 1938 Italy, Obizzi uses his growing political power to seek revenge on his past enemies, and Susanna and the vineyard’s spiritual sage, Isabella, are at the top of his list. Will faith and forgiveness be enough to lead the vineyard and its inhabitants through the bloodshed and heartbreak of World War II and Obizzi’s vengeance? Meanwhile, the vineyard’s next generation, DeAngelo and Lily, have been best friends since they were born. But now — is it more? The star-crossed lovers must push through war, distance and outside forces to find out.

Praise for Above the Walls

“Once again, Physioc brings wartime Italy to vibrant life…Convincing historical fiction with a spiritual slant.” - Kirkus Reviews “It was a delight to step back into the Martellino vineyard and to author Steve Physioc’s unique blend of romantic drama and harrowingly austere pre-war conditions.” - Readers Favorite “To write I am astounded by Above the Walls is an understatement; this captivating book captured me and held me prisoner until the very end.” - Red Headed Book Lover blog.

My Thoughts
The Walls Of Lucca offers a very personal perspective on monumental events.  Going into WWI.  Italy as a country is not prepared for what will be asked of it.  In blood, money, manpower, or sheer sacrifice.
Nor is it as a staunchly Christian and Catholic country in any way prepared for the way that war, and Italy's role in said war will effect its ideologies.
So when these facts are taken into account from the more personal perspectives of farmers, landowners, an orphan, and nuns.
Who are literally seeing all that they have ever known being decimated by an untouchable enemy.
While the social and spiritual fabric which they cloaked themselves in.  And have accepted as the central hallmark of who and what they are in this life is being ripped to shreds before their very eyes.  While they struggle to hold on to what they can.
And in some way find love and some semblance of stability.  In a world that has become naught but shifting sand.

The second installment of this series, Above The Walls.  Offers readers a look at a far wiser version of the same cast.  As they have lived, learned, grown, and survived.  With some having made mistakes that will now come back to haunt them and those they hold most dear.

Both The Walls Of Lucca and is sequel, Above The Walls.  Are written with an emotional depth that serves to endear the reader to each character.  Giving one a sense of almost automatic investment in this person's life.  And making whether or not this person could be classified as a hero or villain.  At least in the classical sense.  A moot point.
These are books that take all that seems simple about life, love, survival, and beliefs.
And allow the reader to realize just how complex, nuanced, and multifaceted they have they propensity to become.  In the face of a seemingly unwinable war.  And an even more uncertain future.

Amazon | IndieBound

About the Author

As an Emmy-winning radio and TV broadcaster for football, baseball and basketball, Steve Physioc has been telling stories for 40 years. After a trip to Italy with his wife, Stace, he was inspired to tell a different kind of story — his novels, The Walls of Lucca and Above the Walls. He and Stace live in Kansas City and love to visit and spend time with their children, Ryan and Kevin, and three grandchildren.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub

Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, October 6 Review at Locks, Hooks and Books (The Walls of Lucca) 
  Tuesday, October 8 Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads 
  Thursday, October 10 Review at The Book Reader 
  Friday, October 11 Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Sunday, October 13 Review at Locks, Hooks and Books (Above the Walls) Tuesday, October 15 Interview at Passages to the Past
Thursday, October 17 Review at Coffee and Ink
Saturday, October 19 Review at Just Another Reader (The Walls of Lucca)
Monday, October 21 Feature at CelticLady's Reviews 
Wednesday, October 23 Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots 
  Friday, October 25 Review at Just Another Reader (Above the Walls) Review at WTF Are You Reading?


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The Walls of Lucca and Above the Walls! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Paperback 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. Steve Physioc

Release Day Blitz: The Business Of Blood

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The Business of Blood, an all-new intriguing historical mystery from USA Today bestselling author Kerrigan Byrne, is available now!


London, 1890. Blood and death are Fiona Mahoney’s trade, and business, as they say, is booming.

Dying is the only thing people do with any regularity, and Fiona makes her indecorous living cleaning up after the corpses are carted away. Her childhood best friend, Mary, was the last known victim of Jack the Ripper. It’s been two years since Fiona scrubbed Mary’s blood from the floorboards, and London is no longer buzzing about the Ripper, but Fiona hasn’t forgotten. She hasn’t stopped searching for Jack.

When she’s called to a murder in the middle of the night, Fiona finds a victim mutilated in an eerily similar fashion to those of the Ripper, and only a few doors down from Mary’s old home. The relentless and irritatingly handsome Inspector Grayson Croft warns her away from the case. She might have listened, if she hadn’t found a clue in the blood. A clue that will lead her down a path from which there is no return.

As a killer cuts a devastating swath through London, a letter written in blood arrives at her door, and it is only then that Fiona realizes just how perilous her endeavor is. For she has drawn the attention of an obsessive evil, and is no longer the hunter, but the prey.

Fiona Mahoney is in the business of blood. But she’s not the only one.
With intriguing twists, blood-chilling discoveries, and dazzling prose, USA Today Bestselling author Kerrigan Byrne shows that a woman’s work is never done, even when is sleuthing out a serial killer.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/31q7Q9T
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2qfPPhw

About Kerrigan
Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she’s finally able to have the career she’d decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to “grow up to be a romance novelist.
” Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story.
She lives in a little Victorian coast town on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State with her wonderful husband. When she’s not writing you can find her sailing, beach combing, kayaking, visiting wineries, breweries, and restaurants with friends, Weand hiking…okay…wandering aimlessly clenching bear spray in the mountains.
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Connect with Kerrigan

Stay up to date with Kerrigan by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/33VpuF0