April 14, 2014

G.K. Holloway's 1066: What Fates Impose - Book Blast and {Giveaway}

Please join G.K. Holloway as he tours the blogosphere for 1066: What Fates Impose, from April 14 - May 2.

1066 What Fates Impose

Publication Date: March 4, 2013
Matador Publishing

King William then utters the following words to the room: ‘I appoint no one as my heir to the Crown of England, but leave it to the disposal of the Eternal Creator, whose I am and who orders all things. For I did not attain that high honour by hereditary right, but wrested it from the perjured King Harold in a desperate bloody battle.’ England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own. There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland. Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold. Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny – or does he have to bow to what fates impose?

Buy the Book

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Book Depository
Troubador Publishing

GK HollowayAbout the Author

I have been interested in history since I was a boy, which I suppose explains why, when I came across a degree course in History and Politics at Coventry University that looked tailor made for me, I applied right away. In my first year at Coventry I lived in the halls of residence within a stone’s throw of the Leofric Hotel. In the opposite direction, just a short walk from my halls, is the bell tower that houses a clock, which when its bell chimes the hour, produces a half size model of naked Lady Godiva riding a horse for the titillation of tourists. Above her, Peeping Tom leans out of a window for a better view. In all of the three years I was there, it never once occurred to me that I would one day write a book featuring Earl Leofric and his famous wife, as key players. After graduating I spent a year in Canada before I returned to England to train as a Careers Officer in Bristol. Later, I lived and worked in Gloucestershire as a Careers Officer and then in Adult Education as an Education Guidance worker. After I met my wife, I moved back to Bristol to live and I worked at Bath Spa University as a Student Welfare Officer for a number of years. It was about this time I read a biography about King Harold II which fascinated me so much I read more and more about the man and the times. I found the whole pre-conquest period of England so interesting I couldn’t understand why no one had written a novel about it. So, I decided to write one myself. Now, after many years of study and time spent over a hot keyboard, I have finally produced thatnovel. 1066: What Fates Impose is the result of all that study and hard work and is the first book I’ve written. I am now working on a sequel.

Virtual Tour and Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 14
Book Blast at Kincavel Korner
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection  
Tuesday, April 15
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Book Blast at Let Them Read Books  
Wednesday, April 16
Review at Svetlana's Reviews and Views
Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read  
Thursday, April 17
Book Blast at Closed the Cover
Book Blast at Historical Tapestry
 Friday, April 18
Book Blast at Time 2 Read
Book Blast at The Bookworm  
Monday, April 21
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Book Blast at Griperang's Bookmarks  
Tuesday, April 22
Review/Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Interview at Flashlight Commentary  
Wednesday, April 23
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Interview at The Maiden's Court  
Thursday, April 24
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Book Blast at Reading the Ages
 Friday, April 25
Review at Impressions in Ink
Book Blast at Ink Sugar Blog
Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer  
Monday, April 28
Review at Kinx's Book Nook
Book Blast at Just One More Chapter  
Tuesday, April 29
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Book Blast at Historical Readings and Reviews  
Wednesday, April 30
Review at Historical Tapestry
Book Blast at Book Nerd  
Thursday, May 1
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes  
Friday, May 2
Review at Curling Up By the Fire
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Book Blast at A Book Geek
Book Blast at Layered Pages


To win a copy of 1066: What Fates Impose please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on May 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on May 3rd and notified via email. Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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April 13, 2014

Inscription by H.H. Miller - Kindle Countdown Deal

Price starts low on Monday (April 14) and increases each day until Friday (April 18). Get it today before the price goes back up!

Pick up your copy at AMAZON here!

April 11, 2014

Andra Watkins' To Live Forever - Guest post and {Giveaway}

Andra Watkins’ Thoughts on Writing

On Writing…

I started writing creatively during the economic crash of 2008. I’d always written, but the crash, coupled with turning 40, left me unmoored, both professionally and personally. Over two decades, I had numerous technical articles published on business topics, but the shift back to creative writing was like going back to kindergarten. I had to learn how to write all over again.

On Being Published…

I still look at my novel To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis and can’t believe it’s mine. I wrote a real book. About a real person who lived like a champion and died too young.

It’s hard to talk about a book. I love that I can just show it to people now. That’s the greatest thing about being published. My work is no longer this abstract thing. It’s real. People can read it.

On Publishing Industry…

The traditional publishing industry would do well to seek out entrepreneurial writers. Focusing on writers who can string together orgasmic sentences or writers who’ve won literary awards or those who’ve been included in literary journals won’t cut it in the 21st century publishing environment. To be successful, a writer has got to be an entrepreneur. He or she must innovate.

I went with Word Hermit Press, a small publisher, because I could stay nimble. I could take risks and try innovative, unusual things to promote my book.

Mistakes Along the Way...

I threw too much money away trying to win the Traditional Publishing Beauty Pageant. I wish I had invested more of that money in myself, in getting my book to readers faster.

On Marketing…

My book is a genre-bending mix of historical fiction, paranormal fiction, action/adventure fiction and magical realism. When anyone asked me where my book would go on a shelf, my answer was always, “Ummmmmm……”

I decided to write a book for readers, and that’s how I’m marketing the book. On March 1, I started walking the 444-mile Natchez Trace, a 10,000 year old road that runs from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. The book is set along the Trace, and I’m taking readers into the world of the novel. Fifteen miles a day. Six days a week. I am the first living person to walk the Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. I’ll finish in 34 days.

My walk gives me the ability to talk about my book all the time, without saying, “Why don’t you buy my book?”

On Goals and Dreams…

I want to make a living as a novelist, because I have more stories to write. I don’t care about being rich. I want the freedom and control to weave unusual stories that surprise readers, that turn pages and that delight me.

To aspiring writers, I say believe in yourself. Believe in your story. Invest in yourself and your story. Take risks on yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself and your story, why should anyone else believe in you?

About the book
​Publication Date: March 1, 2014
World Hermit Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

Is remembrance immortality? Nobody wants to be forgotten, least of all the famous.
Meriwether Lewis lived a memorable life. He and William Clark were the first white men to reach the Pacific in their failed attempt to discover a Northwest Passage. Much celebrated upon their return, Lewis was appointed governor of the vast Upper Louisiana Territory and began preparing his eagerly-anticipated journals for publication. But his re-entry into society proved as challenging as his journey. Battling financial and psychological demons and faced with mounting pressure from Washington, Lewis set out on a pivotal trip to the nation’s capital in September 1809. His mission: to publish his journals and salvage his political career. He never made it. He died in a roadside inn on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee from one gunshot to the head and another to the abdomen.

Was it suicide or murder? His mysterious death tainted his legacy and his fame quickly faded. Merry’s own memory of his death is fuzzy at best. All he knows is he’s fallen into Nowhere, where his only shot at redemption lies in the fate of rescuing another. An ill-suited “guardian angel,” Merry comes to in the same New Orleans bar after twelve straight failures. Now, with one drink and a two-dollar bill he is sent on his last assignment, his final shot at escape from the purgatory in which he’s been dwelling for almost 200 years. Merry still believes he can reverse his forgotten fortunes.

Nine-year-old Emmaline Cagney is the daughter of French Quarter madam and a Dixieland bass player. When her mother wins custody in a bitter divorce, Emmaline carves out her childhood among the ladies of Bourbon Street. Bounced between innocence and immorality, she struggles to find her safe haven, even while her mother makes her open her dress and serve tea to grown men.

It isn’t until Emmaline finds the strange cards hidden in her mother’s desk that she realizes why these men are visiting: her mother has offered to sell her to the highest bidder. To escape a life of prostitution, she slips away during a police raid on her mother’s bordello, desperate to find her father in Nashville.

Merry’s fateful two-dollar bill leads him to Emmaline as she is being chased by the winner of her mother’s sick card game: The Judge. A dangerous Nowhere Man convinced that Emmaline is the reincarnation of his long dead wife, Judge Wilkinson is determined to possess her, to tease out his wife’s spirit and marry her when she is ready. That Emmaline is now guarded by Meriwether Lewis, his bitter rival in life, further stokes his obsessive rage.

To elude the Judge, Em and Merry navigate the Mississippi River to Natchez. They set off on an adventure along the storied Natchez Trace, where they meet Cajun bird watchers, Elvis-crooning Siamese twins, War of 1812 re-enactors, Spanish wild boar hunters and ancient mound dwellers. Are these people their allies? Or pawns of the perverted, powerful Judge?

After a bloody confrontation with the Judge at Lewis’s grave, Merry and Em limp into Nashville and discover her father at the Parthenon. Just as Merry wrestles with the specter of success in his mission to deliver Em, The Judge intercedes with renewed determination to win Emmaline, waging a final battle for her soul. Merry vanquishes the Judge and earns his redemption. As his spirit fuses with the body of Em’s living father, Merry discovers that immortality lives within the salvation of another, not the remembrance of the multitude.

Read an Excerpt HERE.

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle Ebook)

About the Author
Hey. I’m Andra Watkins. I’m a native of Tennessee, but I’m lucky to call Charleston, South Carolina, home for 23 years. I’m the author of ‘To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis’, coming March 1, 2014. It’s a mishmash of historical fiction, paranormal fiction and suspense that follows Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark fame) after his mysterious death on the Natchez Trace in 1809.

I like:
eating (A lot; Italian food is my favorite.)
traveling (I never met a destination I didn’t like.)
reading (My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo.)
coffee (the caffeinated version) and COFFEE (sex)
performing (theater, singing, public speaking, playing piano)
time with my friends
Sirius XM Chill
yoga (No, I can’t stand on my head.)
writing in bed
I don’t like:
getting up in the morning
cilantro (It is the devil weed.)
surprises (For me or for anyone else.)
house cleaning

Author Links

Natchez Trace Walk

The Natchez Trace is a 10,000-year-old road that runs from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. Thousands of years ago, animals used its natural ridge line as a migratory route from points in the Ohio River Valley to the salt licks in Mississippi. It was logical for the first Native Americans to settle along the Trace to follow part of their migrating food supply. When the Kaintucks settled west of the Appalachians, they had to sell their goods at ports in New Orleans or Natchez, but before steam power, they had to walk home. The Trace became one of the busiest roads in North America.

To launch To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis, I will be the first person of either sex to walk the 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did since the rise of steam power in the 1820′s. March 1, 2014 to April 3, 2014. Fifteen miles a day. Six days a week. One rest day per week. I will spend each night in the modern-day equivalent of stands, places much like Grinder’s Stand, where Meriwether Lewis died from two gunshot wounds on October 11, 1809.

I will take readers into the world of the book. You’ll see the places that inspired scenes and hear the backstories of different characters, with running commentary by my father, who’s tagging along with me.

I’ll also have a daily YouTube segment where I answer reader questions about the book, my walk, my arguments—I mean—interactions with my dad, and whatever readers want to know. Ask me anything at mystories(at)andrawatkins(dot)com.
You might see yourself on this site during my tour.

Visit the other tours for more guest posts, reviews and giveaways - HFVBT TOUR SCHEDULE
Follow the tour on Twitter - #ToLiveForeverTour

Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance at (1) one copy of To Live Forever - print or eBook - winner's choice. Print open to US only, eBook open internationally.

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April 08, 2014

Interview with Anna Belfrage, author of Serpents in the Garden

Thank you for being our guest on Historical Fiction Connection today, Anna. We appreciate you answering our questions and look forward to your answers.

Hi, Michelle, thank you for allowing me to visit! Now, in Sweden we have this nice tradition called “knyte” where the guest brings something to the table, so let’s just pretend I’ve set down a plate of warm cardamom buns in front of you. If you have some tea to go with them, that would be nice ;)

HFC: As a matter of fact, I do have a nice pot of tea all ready to go. Perfect! Now, on to our first question, what inspired you to become a historical novelist? 

If we’re going to be quite honest, being a writer of historical fiction comes way behind my first choice, which was to time travel for real – something I quickly realized would never happen…Somewhat more seriously, I have always written, and everything I have written has been set in the past, from those rather clumsy attempts when I was in sixth grade and wrote about a Maya princess who was chosen as a sacrifice to the gods, through a horribly bad romance set in the 1640’s in England (I read it some years back. I cried. A lot. Mainly because it was so bad…) to a number of short stories depicting historical people I find interesting,

HFC: Your book, Serpents in the Garden, is the 5th book in the Graham saga. What is it about this saga and its characters that has kept you writing about them?

Matthew and Alex have sort of grown on me, two rather different people who complement each other and help each other to transcend their limitations and preconceived notions – which is what all successful partnerships are all about. I find it fascinating to allow myself to fall back to their time, to describe their lives and adventures, their relationship to each other and their children. Had they been in the “happily ever after” mode, there would not have been much point in writing more about them, but somehow they always seem to end up with yet another (overly) exciting challenge to handle.

When I started writing this series, I knew I wanted to write about a Presbyterian Scotsman who had to handle persecution in his homeland – this due to the fact that there’s a young man very far up my husband’s family tree who had to flee Scotland in 1624 for religious reasons. I also wanted there to be a time travelling angle to things (Alex had been rattling about in my head for some time when Matthew took shape. She set eyes on him and that was it; she wanted him and told me to fix it) because this allowed me to highlight not only the differences but alas the similarities between life then and now Ultimately, people are more or less the same no matter what period they live in…

Given the various historical events I wanted to comment on, my original plotline covered the period from 1658 to 1690. It still does.

HFC: When do you think the series will come to an end?

There are eight books in the series. The eighth book, To Catch a Falling Star, is planned for February 2015, at which point I will retire to cry my eyes out and generally indulge in separation angst.

HFC: You have always wanted to be an author, but according to your bio, life kind of got in the way. (I can relate) So, do you think it’s true that you’re never too old/it’s never too late to start? 

Absolutely! But I do think it helps if you’ve done some writing all along, or at least exercised your imagination. Just like any other part of you, your imagination can atrophy into something rather useless and humdrum unless you allow it to take flight now and then. I happen to be gifted with a vibrant Ms Inspiration, complete with sweeping skirts in garish colours, hair that stands like Medusa curls, and an extremely uncompromising take on things.

“I’m tired,” I’ll whine, not at all interested in exploring further that rather terrible scene when… (nope; can’t tell) “Tired? You tired? And me, hey? Me? You think not of me?” (Her English slips when she gets upset)

One thing to keep in mind is that there are no shortcuts to writing; unless you write – and write a lot – you will never improve, never learn to wield your keyboard with the elegance of a rapier (and doesn’t that make for the most confusing image?). To write is to take the time to read, read some more, read even more, and then it’s about honing and re-writing, about chasing elusive commas and excessive adjectives/adverbs.

HFC: For aspiring writers of historical fiction, what would be some pointers for them?

Know your period – be passionate about your period. Which is why I have used moss as toilet paper (not nice), plucked hens, hand-milked cows, picked nettles and made nettle-soup (delicious) and concluded that meadowsweet is great when you’re running a fever and elderberry cordial does help against cough. My knitting is still crap, though… A shortcut to all this may be to find other writers who write about the period and learn from them – but it is so much fun to experiment.

HFC: Are you currently reading any historical fiction? If so, which one(s)? 

I’m always reading Historical Fiction – how else to develop my own writing? Some writers I’ve enjoyed recently include Lori Crane Hess, Yael Politis, Kate Quinn, Judith Arnopp and Linda Root.

HFC: What is your favorite historical fiction book and/or who is your favorite historical author? 

My absolute favourite is Here be Dragons by Sharon K Penman. As to favourite authors, I have a couple that tie for first place, namely Sharon K Penman, Edith Pargeter and Pamela Belle.

HFC: Any plans for some new historical subjects in the future?

Oh yes! I have recently completed the first draft version of a book set in 14th  century England, I spend quite some time on my long-time WIP, set in 17th century Sweden, and I would love to write a book set in 15th century Seville. Plus I never know where the younger members of the Graham family may end up in the future (and Matthew has a very interesting ancestress that I may consider writing about).

Anna, thanks again for joining us today. We really enjoyed chatting with you and look forward to hosting you here at HFC again in the future. We wish you continued success with your Graham saga and any and all books in the future.

Why, thank you, Michelle! It’s been a pleasure to pop by.

About the book
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
SilverWood Books
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

After years of hard work, Matthew and Alex Graham have created a thriving home in the Colony of Maryland. About time, in Alex’s opinion, after far too many adventures she is really looking forward to some well-deserved peace and quiet.

A futile hope, as it turns out. Things start to heat up when Jacob, the third Graham son, absconds from his apprenticeship to see the world – especially as Jacob leaves behind a girl whom he has wed in a most irregular fashion.

Then there’s the infected matter of the fellow time traveller Alex feels obliged to help – no matter the risk. Worst of all, one day Philip Burley and his brothers resurface after years of absence. As determined as ever to make Matthew pay for every perceived wrong – starting with the death of their youngest brother – the Burleys play out a complicated cat and mouse game, and Alex is thrown back into an existence where her heart is constantly in her mouth, convinced as she is that one day the Burleys will achieve their purpose.

Will the Burleys succeed? And if they do, will the Graham family survive the exacted price?

Serpents in the Garden is the fifth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Graham Saga Titles
Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution (coming August 2014)
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest

Buy the Book
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Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Kobo Books

About the Author
I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.
I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.
I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website. You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Visit the other tours for more guest posts, reviews and giveaways - HFVBT TOUR SCHEDULE
Follow the tour on Twitter - #SerpentsintheGardenTour

April 01, 2014

H.H. Miller's Inscription Book Blast

H.H. Miller's Book Blast for Inscription will be featured around the blogosphere from March 31-April 13.

Publication: January 9, 2014
H.H Miller
Paperback; 278p
ISBN-10: 0615944418
eBook; 700kb

The year is 1851 and the Grand Guard is ravaging Mainland. Arrests. Floggings. Swift executions. Twenty-year-old Caris McKay, the beautiful heiress of Oakside Manor, is sent to live with distant relations until the danger has passed. It's no refuge, however, as Lady Granville and her scheming son plot to get their hands on Caris's inheritance with treachery and deceit.

Soon, alarming news arrives that the ruthless Captain James Maldoro has seized Oakside and imprisoned Caris's beloved uncle. And now he's after her.

Caris escapes with the help of Tom Granville, the enigmatic silver-eyed heir of Thornbridge. But when a cryptic note about a hidden fortune launches them on a perilous journey across Mainland, Caris and Tom must rely on wits, courage, and their growing love for each other if they hope to survive.

Filled with adventure, intrigue, and romance, Inscription will transport you to a historically fictional world you'll never want to leave.


Buy the Book

Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble

About the AuthorH.H. Miller Author

H. H. Miller is the author of the novel Inscription, a historically fictional romantic adventure. In real life, she's content director at Stoke Strategy, a brand strategy firm in Seattle, Washington, where she specializes in transforming what some might call "boring" technology jargon into compelling, readable, memorable stories. Her favorite escape is Manzanita, Oregon - a place of beautiful beaches, wild storms, chilly nights around the bonfire (even in July), and time to enjoy life with her husband and three children.

For more information please visit H.H. Miller's Facebook Page.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, March 31
A Bookish Affair
Closed the Cover
Mina's Bookshelf

Tuesday, April 1
Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, April 2
Book Nerd
CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, April 3
Flashlight Commentary

Friday, April 4
The Mad Reviewer
Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Saturday, April 5
Pages of Comfort

Sunday, April 6
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, April 7
Confessions of an Avid Reader
History from a Woman's Perspective

Tuesday, April 8
The True Book Addict
Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, April 9
Broken Teepee

Thursday, April 10
SOS Aloha
Caroline Wilson Writes

Friday, April 11
Layered Pages

Saturday, April 12
Susan Heim on Writing
Curling Up With a Good Book

Sunday, April 13
Passages to the Past

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To enter to win one of 2 copies of Inscription please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 13th.. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on April 14th and notifiied via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway