Wednesday, September 30, 2015


In THE ART OF LANGUAGE INVENTION, master language creator David J. Peterson lays out a creative, highly accessible guide to language construction for science-fiction and fantasy fans, writers, game creators, and language lovers. Peterson begins with a brief history of constructed languages—also known as conlangs—from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Quenya and Sindarin to Star Trek’s Klingon to the thriving global community of language construction. Then, using examples from a variety of languages including his own conlangs, Peterson offers a captivating and lucid overview of language creation, providing a basic foundation of essential linguistic tools for inventing and evolving one’s own lexicon. Along the way, behind-the-scenes stories lift the curtain on how he built languages for television series and movies like Dothraki and High Valyrian for HBO’s Game of Thrones and Shiväisith for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, and an included phrasebook will start fans speaking Peterson’s conlangs.

An inside look at a fascinating culture and a perfect entry point into an art form as old as civilization, THE ART OF LANGUAGE INVENTION is a wild linguistic adventure that will have readers ready to rub shoulders with horse lords and dark elves and perhaps inspire them to create their own languages.

“A gateway to the rich and rigorous process of language invention and a course in linguistics unto itself.”
Library Journal

“Equal parts fascinating, challenging, and geeky… Peterson writes with witty flair… Readers [will] learn more about linguistics than they ever learned in school.”
Publishers Weekly

“David Peterson’s language work transformed our show, investing it with a sense of reality and history that would have been impossible without him. There’s nothing like the real thing, and David Peterson is it. This fascinating book will not only illuminate the task of language creation—it will make you look at your own language in a whole new way.”
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, co-creators of HBO’s Game of Thrones

“David J. Peterson’s THE ART OF LANGUAGE INVENTION accomplishes a minor miracle in taking a potentially arcane discipline and infusing it with life, humor and passion.  It makes a compelling and entertaining case for language creation as visual and aural poetry.  I cherish words, I love books about words and for me this is the best book about language since Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Traveled.  And, best of all, there’s a phrasebook!”
Kevin Murphy, co-creator and showrunner of Syfy’s Defiance

“George R. R. Martin created Khal Drogo, and David Benioff and Dan Weiss believed in me, but David Peterson gave me life.”
Jason Momoa

“If you want to know how someone makes up a language from the ground up, you'll find out how in this book—and the glory of it is that along the way you'll get the handiest introduction now in existence to what linguistics is. In fact, read this even if you DON’T feel like making up a language!”
John McWhorter, author of The Language Hoax

“Accessible, entertaining, and thorough, Peterson has created an invaluable resource for authors, dedicated fans, and casual enthusiasts. This is the book I wish I'd had when I started writing.”
Leigh Bardugo, New York Times bestselling author of Shadow and Bone
“This book not only lucidly ushers language invention into its own as an art form, it's also an excellent introduction to linguistics.”
Arika Okrent, author of In the Land of Invented Languages

DAVID J. PETERSON began creating languages in 2000, received his MA in Linguistics from the University of California, San Diego, in 2005, and cofounded the Language Creation Society in 2007. He has created languages for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Syfy’s Defiance and Dominion, the CW’s Star-Crossed, and Thor: The Dark World. He is also the author of Living Language Dothraki.

Thanks to Viking/Penguin, I have a copy to give away to a lucky reader. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. This giveaway is open to US addresses only. Please read our entire giveaway policy before entering. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

0 Cover Reveal: Angel of Redemption by J.A. Little

Bite me off a piece of that...COVER REVEAL
by J.A. Little
AOR-final copy
...sure wish I saw this on my Tinder
Seasoned social worker Kayla Brooks has dealt with her fair share of difficult situations, but nothing could have prepared her for the likes of Dean Wyatt, head of Wyatt House Group Home for Boys. When a case unexpectedly brings Kayla to his door in the middle of the night, sparks fly. With a piercing gaze and heavily inked skin, Dean looks like a walking wet dream.

Until he turns out to be an asshole.

Dean Wyatt has always kept those around him at arm’s length. Secrets lurk beneath his tattoos—a traumatic past known to very few.

Forced to work together in order to help two vulnerable boys, Kayla slowly penetrates Dean’s tough exterior. Along the way the two discover something they've each been missing—but only time will tell if they can overcome the painful past that’s kept anyone from bringing true happiness into Dean’s world.

This book contains adult situations and sexual content. For mature audiences only.

Angel of Redemption will be available on November 24th. Pre-order now to add this hunk directly to your bookshelf!

Monday, September 28, 2015

1 Feature: The Beautiful American

02_The Beautiful American

The Beautiful American
by Jeanne Mackin

Publication Date: June 3, 2014
NAL/Penguin Group
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio
352 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

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As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen-year-old daughter. There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller. Neither has emerged from the war unscathed. Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts to survive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughter's life. Lee suffers from what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920's Paris, when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee's magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons. But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever. Will Nora's reunion with Lee give them a chance to forgive past betrayals, and break years of silence?

A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationship between two passionate, unconventional woman.



"Will transport you to expat Paris." - Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist

"A brilliant, beautifully written literary masterpiece" - Sandra Dallas, author of Fallen Women

"Leaves its essence of love, loss, regret and hope long after the novel concludes." - Erika Robuck, author of Fallen Beauty

"Achingly beautiful and utterly mesmerizing...her vividly drawn characters...come heartbreakingly alive in their obsessions, tragedies and triumphs" - Jennifer Robson, author of Somewhere in France

"From Poughkeepsie to Paris, from the razzmatazz of the twenties to the turmoil of World War Two and the perfume factories of Grasse, Mackin draws you into the world of expatriate artists and photographers and tells a story of love, betrayal, survival and engaging and unforgettable novel" - Renee Rosen, author Doll Face

03_Jeanne MackinABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanne Mackin’s novel, The Beautiful American (New American Library), based on the life of photographer and war correspondent Lee Miller, received the 2014 CNY award for fiction. Her other novels include A Lady of Good Family, about gilded age personality Beatrix Farrand, The Sweet By and By, about nineteenth century spiritualist Maggie Fox, Dreams of Empire set in Napoleonic Egypt, The Queen’s War, about Eleanor of Aquitaine, and The Frenchwoman, set in revolutionary France and the Pennsylvania wilderness.

Jeanne Mackin is also the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs and Edible Flowers (Cornell University publications) and co-editor of The Book of Love (W.W. Norton.) She was the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society and a keynote speaker for The Dickens Fellowship. Her work in journalism won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, in Washington, D.C. She has taught or conducted workshops in Pennsylvania, Hawaii and at Goddard College in Vermont.



Monday, September 21
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, September 22
Interview at Please Pass the Books

Wednesday, Spetember 23
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, September 24
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, September 25
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Interview at History Undressed
Spotlight at Book Nerd

Sunday, September 27

Monday, September 28
Review at I'm Shelf-ish

Tuesday, September 29

Wednesday, September 30
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, October 1
Interview at The Old Shelter
Guest Post at Books and Benches
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Friday, October 2
Review & Interview at Singing Librarian Books
Spotlight & Excerpt at A Literary Vacation


To enter to win a paperback copy of The Beautiful American, please enter via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– 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 suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

5 Feature and Giveaway: A Master Passion by Juliet Waldron

02_A Master Passion

A Master Passion: The Story of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton: Book One: Love and Liberty
by Juliet Waldron

Publication Date: March 25, 2015
Books We Love
eBook & Print; 428 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

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THE MASTER PASSION is the story of the marriage of our brilliant first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his courageous wife, Elizabeth Schuyler. It begins with a whirlwind Revolutionary War courtship at Washington’s headquarters. Conflict, however, is built into this marriage.

Betsy's passion is Alexander. While Hamilton adores his wife and children, there are times when he loves America more.

“...And hence one Master Passion in the breast
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up all the rest..." ~~Alexander Pope

Guest Post

Alexander Hamilton has been my hero since I was a ten year old, which means I’ve been imagining him for a long time. When I decided to finally write “his” book, I’d just finished a novel about Wolfgang A. Mozart, as told by his wife. It would be a familiar approach, I thought, to tell the Hamilton story from the same womanly angle.  Or, so I thought—until I realized I didn’t know much about Alexander’s wife, Betsy.

Was she just another Colonial Dame? Well not exactly. The big house in Albany where Elizabeth Schuyler was brought up was “American with a difference.” 

Historical fiction readers are familiar with the customs of the Scots, Irish and. But as a New York school child, I also was taught about the Dutch, who had given place names all along the Hudson, founded N.Y.C., and had inspired Washington Irving to write his winking ghost story: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Although Betsy’s father, Major General Philip Schuyler, successfully “English-ified” himself, she probably learned Dutch at her Daddy’s knee. (During the Revolution, Betsy and Baron von Steuben would converse in it.) She was raised on the tail end of a folkway which retained some notable differences from those of her English neighbors. 

Even the wealthiest ladies were inclined to hands-on. They were taught how to cook and garden, how to spin, to keep fowl, to weave and sew—as well as keep household accounts.  An old family friend, James McHenry, wrote tellingly to Hamilton: “Your wife…has as much merit as your Treasurer as you have as Treasurer of the wealth of the United States.” It was no secret who kept afloat the daily affairs of this often-preoccupied Founding Father.

Dutch women were also not so quick to hand their babies—messy, inconvenient creatures—off to servants or slaves. Despite the then commonly fatal water-borne and childhood diseases, Mrs. Hamilton not only bore eight children, she raised every one of them to adulthood, something of a feat in that era, which testifies to a woman diligently breast-feeding. 

They were never wealthy, so Mrs. Hamilton probably did a great deal more around her house than the wives of many other men in that founding federal government. I enjoyed putting growing Hamilton family into the story, to try to imagine something about the children—six boys and two girls—from scant facts and a few anecdotes. Every big family has a hierarchy, from oldest to youngest, from girls to boys; these young Hamiltons will experience their father’s “odd destiny” as a personal tragedy.
~Learn more about Elizabeth’s life and about her beloved Alexanderimmigrant, genius, and nation builderin A Master Passion, in print and “e” @

Jean Zimmerman’s The Women of the House, Mariner Books, 2007
David Fischer Hackett’s Albion’s Seed, Oxford University Press, 1989
Washington Irving’s Knickerbocker’s History of New York, GP Putnam & Sons, 1894
Mary Elizabeth Springer, Elizabeth Schuyler, A Story of Old New York, 1903


03_Juliet WaldronABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juliet Waldron has lived in many US states, in the UK and the West Indies. She earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist’s model to brokerage. Thirty years ago, after her sons left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for her readers. Juliet’s a grandmother, a cat person, and fascinated by reading history and archeology. Juliet spends a lot of time visiting other centuries, but she’s also certain she doesn’t want to live there.

Juliet gardens, bicycles and is involved in local advocacy groups. She and her husband of fifty years enjoy the winding backroads of PA aboard their Hayabusa superbike.

For more information visit Juliet Waldron's website. Juliet also blogs at Possum Tracks and Crone Henge, and you can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


Monday, September 21
Interview at Library Educated

Tuesday, September 22
Spotlight at Please Pass the Books

Wednesday, September 23

Thursday, September 24

Friday, September 25
Spotlight at Raven Haired Girl

Saturday, September 26

Monday, September 28
Review at In a Minute

Tuesday, September 29

Wednesday, September 30
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, October 1
Review at Bookish

Friday, October 2
Review at I'm Shelf-ish
Spotlight at Broken Teepee


To enter to win a paperback copy of A Master Passion & $5 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– 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 suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

A Master Passion

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Monday, September 21, 2015

0 The Case of the Washed-Up Warlock Cover Reveal

Title: The Case of the Washed-Up Warlock (Poison Ivy Charm School #2)
Author:  Patrice Lyle
Publisher: Leap Books
Cover Reveal Posting Date: Sept 21, 2015
Release Date: October 5, 2015

Back-cover blurb
When thirteen-year-old Tulip Bonnaire’s super-cute crush, Dexter, is threatened with expulsion from Poison Ivy Charm School, she can’t help but take the case. Someone has put a spell on Garrett’s Levitation skills and all the evidence, including the testimony of a sea hag stone, points to Dex. Tulip can’t imagine Poison Ivy without him, so she’s intent on proving his innocence. But that means delving into an old secret to find out who turned Garrett into a washed-up warlock.

Author Bio:

 Patrice Lyle has never met a ghost story she didn’t like. She’s been fascinated with the paranormal since childhood. She attributes this fascination to having heard old family stories of ghostly wreaths, ESP, and money hidden in the lining of antique purses. She grew up on the Oregon Coast and has a Master’s Degree in Writing Popular Fiction. Now she lives with her husband and two cats on Florida’s Space Coast, where she’s working on her next novel under an umbrella on the beach. For more information, please visit her website at

Friday, September 18, 2015

0 Review: Decorum by Kaaren Christopherson


Decorum: A Novel
by Kaaren Christopherson

Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Kensington Publishing Corp.
Foramts: eBook, Paperback, Audio
Pages: 425
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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Kaaren Christopherson's brilliantly observed novel captures the glamour and grit of one of the world's most dazzling cities during one of its most tumultuous eras--as seen through the eyes of a singularly captivating heroine...

In 1890s New York, beautiful, wealthy Francesca Lund is an intriguing prospect for worthy suitors and fortune hunters alike. Recently orphaned, she copes by working with the poor in the city's settlement movement. But a young woman of means can't shun society for long, and Francesca's long-standing acquaintance with dashing Edmund Tracey eventually leads to engagement. Yet her sheltered upbringing doesn't blind her to the indiscretions of the well-to-do...

Among the fashionable circle that gathers around her there are mistresses, scandals, and gentlemen of ruthless ambition. And there is Connor O'Casey--an entirely new kind of New Yorker. A self-made millionaire of Irish stock, Connor wants more than riches. He wants to create a legacy in the form of a luxury Madison Avenue hotel--and he wants Francesca by his side as he does it. In a quest that will take her from impeccable Manhattan salons to the wild Canadian Rockies, Francesca must choose not only between two vastly different men, but between convention and her own emerging self-reliance.

Rules Of Decorum

A gentleman should not be presented to a lady without her permission being previously asked and granted. This formality is not necessary between men alone; but, still, you should not present any one, even at his own request, to another, unless you are quite well assured that the acquaintance will be agreeable to the latter.

If you wish to avoid the company of any one that has been properly introduced, satisfy your own mind that your reasons are correct; and then let no inducement cause you to shrink from treating him with respect, at the same time shunning his company. No gentleman will thus be able either to blame or mistake you.

The mode in which the avowal of love should be made, must of course, depend upon circumstances. It would be impossible to indicate the style in which the matter should be told... Let it, however, be taken as a rule that an interview is best; but let it be remembered that all rules have exceptions...

My Thoughts

I don't know why I love the 1800's so much, but I do. There's also something so stifling about that time period as well. Way too many rules for me. Particularly if you're a woman. In Decorum, the characters of the novel are under the thumb of society. Some are trying to find their way. Others are trying to make it the best they can in the circumstances they are dealt. 

Francesca is an heiress with an independent spirit; Conner is a wealthy up and coming hotel tycoon; Edmund is a handsome, charming, and shady character, and Blanche is a opportunist. These fascinating characters and their relationships are what drive this book. Kaaren Christopherson does a fantastic job of weaving a tale that had me enraptured. 

This book wasn't exactly what I expected when I started reading, but it was so much more. Francesca's naivete and Edmund's cunning had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't wait to find out the whole background story with Edmund. Blanche also was a formidable character to be dealt with. It was like a soap opera, but only like a really good soap opera. 

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I look forward to Kaaren Christopherson's next book!


“Reminiscent of Washington Square but with a more modern heroine, Decorum illuminates the dark world beneath New York society. …” - RT Book Review, 4 stars

“Christopherson provides the reader with a fully-realized world of brazen and aspiring women, ambitious men and strict expectations regarding how to conduct one's private and/or social life. The characters are so beautifully drawn that I felt like I could start casting the mini-series the minute I put the book down. And, this book would make a wonderful TV series with settings ranging from early New York City to the Canadian Rockies. …I loved every minute.” - Nancy, Goodreads reviewer

“…the novel is remarkable in its similarities to the work of Edith Wharton. The reader feels drawn into a world of glamour, glitz, and supreme hypocrisy. Everything is permissible as long as one does not get caught. It is a drama of manners and the stakes are high—one misstep could mean social oblivion. … This novel will appeal to a wide range of readers, particularly those who enjoy period novels such as Age of Innocence and The Portrait of a Lady." - The Historical Novel Society

“New York, 1890, and the glitz and glamor of the time and setting, are the backdrop for this novel about a young heiress who suddenly finds herself alone in the world. I loved how each chapter began with a rule of etiquette based upon the societal norms of the time. The story gave me a glimpse of what it would have been like to live among the wealthiest and most prominent citizens. Of course, all is not perfect, for the heroine must maneuver her way through treachery, greed, and scandal to find which of the two men in her life is her true love. I thoroughly enjoyed how the characters interacted, and how authentic they felt to me. Lots of wonderfully rich descriptions of places and gowns really brought the era to life. … I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys New York in the Gilded Age. A good historical read!” - Mirella Patzer, Historical Novel Review

”A fantastically engaging book with everything you need for a really good read, probably best summed up as the American Downton Abbey meets Jane Austen. It starts a little slowly, but when it gets going, it really is difficult to put down.

The plot and the various subplots are fascinating, with so many twists and turns, it never stops weaving a new thread. You constantly feel that the story will be coming to an end, but then there is more... and more... and more.

The characters are well-developed, credible and, though not always likeable, possessing some magical quality that makes us feel like we know them so well. The central character manages to make herself someone to admire and someone we almost want to dismiss at the same time, whilst she metamorphoses throughout the novel, constantly changing on her journey of discovery. She presents a sense of strength and courage as she is faced with the most heart-wrenching and, often, downright embarrassing situations, yet she wins through in the end, despite overwhelming odds against a woman at this time.

Throughout the novel, there is a quality that makes it feel like a movie—and this would make an excellent movie, without a doubt. The pace is just right and it keeps you gripped until the end. Excellently written and a thoroughly enjoyable read.” - Annemarie Macken, Goodreads review

"In this remarkable first novel, Christopherson takes us back to 1890s New York -- to tell a tale so pitch perfect it hurts. Bridging the divide between historical fiction and literary fiction, the story of the rising immigrant Connor and the unlikely pairing with orphaned socialite/settlement house worker Francesca is beset with conflict from her devious fiance Tracy, Connor's lover the scandalous Blanche and Francesca's meddling guardians the Jeromes. Some of the most gorgeous scenes are set in an art warehouse examining paintings that have just arrived from Paris, a hat shop, a delightful tea house and of course, tangled in the bedsheets! Between murder, trials, and lies, this tale takes us to Argentina and Louisiana, Ireland and Chicago, the lower east side to the upper west side and finally to a real resort in Banff Canada where our unlikely pair will finally get a chance. Or will they?" - Booksmart, Amazon review

03_Kaaren ChristophersonABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kaaren Christopherson is the author of Decorum—a novel about Gilded Age New York—that began taking form in 1999 during a course on writing historical fiction. From that moment, Connor O’Casey (who had been rattling around in her brain for months) finally appeared one night and said, “All right, woman. Here I am. What are you going to do about my story?” So she began to put his words on paper, and he hasn’t kept quiet since. Soon Francesca, Blanche, Tracey, Vinnie, and the rest of the characters began arguing, gossiping, loving, and forming themselves into Kaaren’s first novel.

Kaaren has had a professional career writing and editing for over 30 years and is a senior editor for an international development nonprofit organization in Washington, DC.

She has written fiction since her school days, story poems, children’s books, historical fiction, and time travel, and continues to be active in writer’s groups and writing workshops. In addition to her career as a writer, Kaaren was the owner of a decorative painting business. She loves to travel and prowl through historical sites, galleries, and museums. She is active in several churches in DC and in her local Northern Virginia community, where she shares her home with feline brothers, Archie and Sammy.

A Michigan native, Kaaren received her BA in history and art and her MA in educational administration from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

For more information visit Kaaren Christopherson's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Monday, August 24
Review at Bookish
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, August 26
Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway at History Undressed

Thursday, August 27
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Friday, August 28
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, August 31

Tuesday, September 1
Review at A Book Geek
Spotlight & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Wednesday, September 2
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, September 3
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Friday, September 4
Review & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Monday, September 7
Review at I'm Shelf-ish
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, September 8
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, September 9
Spotlight at Please Pass the Books

Thursday, September 10

Friday, September 11
Interview & Giveaway at The Bookdragon

Monday, September 14

Tuesday, September 15
Guest Post at Books and Benches

Wednesday, September 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Thursday, September 17
Review at Kinx's Book Nook
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, September 18

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015


A Penguin Mystery Original; On-sale: September 15, 2015; $15.00; ISBN: 978-0-14-312807-6)

The fifth entry in this acclaimed series finds Verlaque and Bonnet investigating a murder and the provenance of a mysterious painting
Like Donna Leon and Andrea Camilleri, M. L. Longworth’s enchanting mystery series blends clever whodunits with gustatory delights and the timeless appeal of Provence. The Mystery of the Lost Cézanne adds a new twist by immersing Antoine and Marine in a clever double narrative that costars Provence’s greatest artist.

A friend in his cigar club asks Antoine to visit René Rouquet, a retired postal worker who has found a rolled-up canvas in his apartment. As the apartment once belonged to Cézanne, Rouquet is convinced he’s discovered a treasure. But when Antoine arrives at the apartment, he finds René dead, the canvas missing, and a mysterious art history professor standing over the body.

When the painting is finally recovered, the mystery only deepens. The brushwork and color all point to Cézanne. But who is the smiling woman in the painting? She is definitely not the dour Madame Cézanne. Who killed René? Who stole the painting? And what will they do to get it back?

Thanks to Viking/Penguin, I have a copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. This giveaway is open to US addresses only. Please read our entire giveaway policy before entering. By entering you are agreeing to the terms stated. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

0 Feature: Blade the Destroyer by Andy Peloquin

The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.
When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?


"Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark...fantasy addicts will love it!" -- Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates --

"The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you." - Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut

"From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!" -- Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine

Andy Peloquin--a third culture kid to the core--has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.

When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn't looked back since.

Andy's first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.

Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.

His website ( is a second home for him, a place where he can post his thoughts and feelings--along with reviews of books he finds laying around the internet.

He can also be found on his social media pages, such as:


 Eyes the color of night watched Lord Damuria's body plunge to the forest floor. The wind seemed to hold the nobleman suspended in the air for a moment before slowly releasing his body to the grasping clutches of gravity.
The hard, dark face of the Hunter showed no sign of pity as the body landed with a loud thud at his feet.
It is no more than he deserves, he thought.
The Hunter had no idea why Lord Damuria deserved death, nor did he care. He had been paid, and that was all that mattered.
He felt no remorse as he watched the broken man fight for his last pitiful, agonizing breaths. Not given to mercy, the fear in Lord Damuria's eyes meant nothing.
Soot and mud stained the nobleman's robes, his bright crimson blood contrasting sharply with the white blond of his hair. Where Damuria's hands had once been, only stumps remained. The Hunter's broad-headed crossbow bolts had sliced through bone and tendon, severing the man's hands at the wrist. The bolts were buried deep in the stone of the cliff, still stained with Damuria's blood.
The nobleman struggled to speak, made difficult by the quarrel puncturing his lungs. The Hunter bent close to hear the whispered words.
"Do…it…you…bastard." Lord Damuria's eyes closed as he awaited the inevitable.
The Hunter moved with precision and speed, drawing the dagger from his belt and plunging it deep into the dying man's chest. The thrust snapped ribs and sliced through smooth heart muscle. Damuria's screams echoed in the silence of the forest, an eerie sound tinged with desperation and terror.
The screams of his victims always remained with him long after their deaths. They played over and over in his mind, accompanied by the vision of their dying faces. 
Bright ruby light flared from the gem set in the hilt of the dagger, and power rushed through the blade. The Hunter gasped as the voice in his mind screamed its pleasure. The familiar pain flared along his back, but he was accustomed to it. This pain was the price he paid for the power.
This, he thought, reveling in the sensations flooding through him, this is why I do it.
A final shudder ran through the broken body before him, and the cries of agony faded into a gentle whisper. "Fucking…Hunter…" Damuria cursed with his dying breath.
Silence reigned in the forest, broken only by the sound of the wind whistling through the trees. After the thrill of the chase, the stillness hung like a weight on the Hunter's mind. A tremble ran through his calloused hands as he gripped the worn hilt of the knife embedded in his latest kill, his long, lean muscles bulging in his effort to wrench the blade free. The knife was caught on the dead man's ribs, and pulling it free required a surprising amount of effort, even with the Hunter's immense strength.
Blood glistened on the blade, and the Hunter watched it soak into the steel. The bright red light leaking from the gem slowly dimmed, and the stone became translucent and colorless once more.
The dagger has been sated. He no longer heard the insistent voice in his head urging him to kill. It will remain silent, for now.
The Hunter sheathed his blade and stooped to kneel over the lifeless form of his prey. Placing one hand on the man's head and the other on his now-silent heart, he bowed his head.
"May the Long Keeper take your body; your soul is forfeit," the Hunter intoned. His voice was rich and deep with a hint of gravel. A hard voice, reciting a final ritual for fallen prey. A ritual from a past he could no longer remember.
He stared down at the broken body lying at his feet.
This one was surprisingly difficult to track down.
Green blood now oozed from the dead man's severed wrists, staining the forest canopy a sickly color. The scent of poisoned flesh hung in the air—the effects of the venomous argam with which he coated the bolts, the Hunter knew.
A fit creature for the hunt. A sense of satisfaction flooded him. Another contract fulfilled.
He had killed all manner of men. Big men, little men, strong men, weak men. Cowards, and brave fools. Heroes, villains, rich men, beggars.

He was the Hunter, and all men were his prey.

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