Thursday, February 29, 2024

Audiobook Tour: The Scales of Balance (A Vengeful Realm, #1) by Tim Facciola

The Scales of Balance
A Vengeful Realm, Book One
Tim Facciola
Audiobook narrated by Landon Soelberg

Epic Fantasy
Publisher: First Torch Books
Publication Date: October 24, 2023
Listening Length: 16 hours, 6 minutes


Peace bought by blood seldom lasts, for vengeance knows no end. The same is true for mortals and gods alike. Decades, centuries, and even eras may pass, but the cycle remains. As war and revolution rise again, Zephyrus finds himself at the center of it all. Chosen by the gods, hailed as a prophet of liberation, and forged as a weapon to break the kingdom and restore balance to the realm, hope rests squarely on his shoulders.

If only he could remember....

Enslaved as a gladiator and thrust into a prince’s game of espionage, Zephyrus has only two clues to help unlock his shattered past: a prophecy foretelling destruction, and a letter to the enemy king, promising peace. Now Zephyrus must survive the dangers of the gladiatorial arena, the cunning fury of the prince’s enemies, and the gods’ torment if he is to find the truth of his identity and fulfill his fate. But to have any hope of breaking the cycle, first he must secure his freedom—and not just from his slavers.

Within this vengeful realm, a queen protecting her kingdom, a prince defending his father, and a gladiator slave haunted by a prophecy each contend for their own brand of freedom. But the gods have an agenda of their own, and they'll use any vessel—patrician, plebeian, or slave—to see it done.

The scales must be balanced. By peace. Or by blood.


"Arena-set action sequences shine ... but even more impressive is the constant political maneuvering, as characters mingle with enemies while plotting against them. There is, of course, plenty of mystery, and Facciola amps up excitement with signs of magic, appearances from gods, and betrayals." 
Kirkus Reviews

"A captivating fantasy with strong characters and even stronger combat scenes ... It is difficult to overstate the storytelling prowess of author Tim Facciola." 
Independent Book Review



4 stars!

A great audiobook performance of THE SCALES OF BALANCE, the first book in the epic A VENGEFUL REALM, a world reminiscent of ancient Rome.

The Scales of Balance is author Tim Faccioli’s first novel in his epic fantasy series, A Vengeful Realm, a story set in a world similar to ancient Rome. The author sets a high bar for himself with an intrigue-laden plot, complex and competing religious systems of deities, and characters with redeeming qualities and principles on both sides of a political conflict. 

With several sympathetic main characters from both sides of the plot’s conflict, I was torn over who I wanted to root for; there were compelling reasons for the differing points of view. However, Zephyrus, the enslaved gladiator, with his loss of memory and desire to always follow his deeply ingrained internal moral compass, was a clear favorite. It was interesting to watch as he pursued his goal to end slavery, an institution propping up much of the elite’s way of life. The naturally mixed results of his efforts to change the opinions of free citizens and enslaved are fascinating, with opponents, even among the other gladiators, wanting to maintain the status quo. He does meet with at least one success, revealed in a great plot twist. 

Most of the conflict concerns the differences in the religions of the people in power and those who have been conquered. There are gods, judges, and the second comings of three figures, the Prophets of the Return – the Wielder, the Harbinger, and the Herald. I had difficulty sorting the two religious systems out and was left feeling unclear about their mythology. The story is intricate and filled with political intrigue. Some characters keep their true affiliations hidden, so there are traitors and turncoats among the family groupings, leading to additional plot twists when these are finally revealed.
I enjoyed the camaraderie of the gladiators in the ludus, even with the internal conflicts and jockeying for supremacy in the arena. The fight sequences are vivid, fast-paced, and brutal, and the author does a great job choreographing the action. These scenes were visceral, invoking all the sights, smells, and rushes of adrenaline possible, and I had no trouble visualizing what was going on at all.
The narrator of the work for the audiobook is Landon Soelberg, and I was so happy with how he voiced the different characters, both male and female, altering pitch or accent. I sometimes forgot I was listening to one single individual reading rather than several. The production quality is great, easy to hear, and well-paced.
I recommend THE SCALES OF BALANCE to readers who enjoy epic fantasy stories that are complex and filled with heroes and villains, magic, and swordplay.


When Tim isn’t writing epic fantasy, he can often be found in his garage-gym or in the mountains where he lives. A virtual fitness professional by trade, he integrates his creative passions into movement, training with maces, clubs, staves, and swords to unlock his inner gladiator. More than writing, reading, gaming, playing music, hiking, and paddle-boarding, Tim loves story. If he’s not working on his own story, he’s helping others develop theirs as an author coach. Living in Arizona with his wife, Colleen, Tim continues writing epic fantasy novels while exploring different storytelling mediums so he can inspire others to hope. To live. And to believe.

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Book Blitz: Brake Check by Gitte Tamar

Brake Check
Gitte Tamar

Horror / Psychological Thriller / Dark Fantasy / Occult / Fiction
Publisher: BTW LLC
Publication Date: February 18, 2024
Page count: 315 pages


When winning turns deadly…

It's 1972. On a scorching summer day in North Carolina, the sight of Rut, the father of her child, cheating with the next-door neighbor, sends pregnant Loretta into labor. Amidst the chaos, she promises that her baby boy, Rich Richardson, will not follow in his father's footsteps as a loser, but become something much greater - a professional race car driver. Loretta leaves the hospital's entrance, filled with anticipation of a fresh start and dreams of her baby's prosperous future. However, the fairytale life she had sold herself quickly takes a dark turn, when she is left with no choice but to go back home to the child's waiting father. Driven by a sense of entitlement to fame and fortune, her impulsive decisions forever change her and her son's fate.

Are you ready to face the horrors that await?

Get your copy today and uncover the rollercoaster of frightening evil that lurks beneath a young man’s life of fame.



Brigitte “Gitte" Tamar was born in a small rural Oregon town. Growing up, she was enthralled by scary tales featuring poetic tones and consistently gravitated towards writing darkened narratives. In the different storylines, Brigitte explores the harsh realities of social issues faced by today's generations. This includes the dark outcomes brought on by peer pressure, addiction, homelessness, mental illness, childhood trauma, and abuse. She feels it is essential to share narratives that refrain from sugarcoating the topics society tends to shy away from.


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RABT Book Tours & PR

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Edge (DI Barney Mains, #5) by Jim McGhee

The Edge
Jim McGhee
(DI Barney Mains, #5)
Publication date: February 28th 2024
Genres: Adult, Thriller

DI Barney Mains blames himself for the grotesque murder of a top banker in France.

He’s obsessed with the belief that he allowed a near-mythical assassin to escape certain death to kill again.

And when a duplicate murder is reported 1000 miles away in Barney’s home town in Scotland, the guilt drives him ever closer to the edge.

How many more must pay the ultimate price for his failure?

But then death comes closer to home. He is left with no choice but to face his demons, before a shocking confrontation which will change everything…

Goodreads / Amazon


Barney controlled his breathing as he stepped into the room. Wary of sending shadows across that blind, he shone his phone torch onto the floor and started to step carefully around the perimeter of a worn carpet.

There was a small kitchen area on the wall to his right and a fold-down bed on the facing wall. He stopped and dared raise his torch a tad. The bed was empty and neatly made.

He moved around, past an open toilet door, and relaxed a little in the knowledge that this looked like a studio flat, which meant there were no other rooms to check, no need to risk staying too long.

He continued to step into the pool of light until he reached the third wall. He stopped dead. Why the hell would anyone take up this much space in a small flat by installing a bloody great chest freezer? And how could someone who’d been reduced to living in such mean accommodation afford to fill the bugger anyway?

Barney thought these were very interesting questions. But there was another. Why had he fitted a padlock to it?

Well, of course there was a logical explanation. Maybe the man who lived here made his living buying and selling meat. There were so many food shops and restaurants in the area that the logic was inescapable and Barney wanted to like it.

Breaking into a flat was one thing but breaking into a freezer full of meat would be just plain silly. And he badly needed to be gone.

He flicked the patch of light along the floor to the fourth wall, the one with the window. There seemed to be a desk and chair here. He looked closer. Yes, a desk, or rather a make-up table, with a trio of fixed mirrors. He felt that chill run down his back, the one which knew things before he did. It was the kind of table he’d seen Jack use when transforming himself into a movie legend. The Ghost too was said to be a master of disguise.

Had Barney, by going to an AA meeting then following its worthy Leader to this place, discovered the dragon’s lair? But why here and why had he been a regular at such meetings? Unless he was quite simply hiding in plain sight, where no-one would think to look for him. He could return here as Alec and leave as whoever he chose for his next commission. But if so, why would he let the Leader come and go so freely?

Barney knew he was staying too long. He needed to get out before someone returned. And yet, the mystery of the freezer intrigued him.

In such a room, in such a place, a locked freezer?

He took a big breath and realised how tense he was. But he’d come this far and rightly or wrongly he sensed that the freezer was significant.

The thought made him so cold that he might have been inside that big white box. Was he really going to add this next crime to drink driving and housebreaking?

‘Ach, what the hell,’ he said out loud for courage, then pulled out his lock picks again. Now, all he had to do was lift the lid and confirm the contents as lamb chops and steaks before making his escape and laughing at himself as the complete fool that he was.

He paused. He felt both disoriented and exhilarated; shitting himself and screaming inside with some crazed sense of liberation. He was in the forbidden land, beyond the laws he’d spent his adult life enforcing.

The scariest thing, he realised as he pulled open the lid and rested it against the wall, was that he liked it.

At first glance, it looked like the opaque plastic sheet could very well cover nothing more than the stock products of a meat trader.

He reached across to his left to grab the far corner then carefully drew it towards him so that he could put it back in more or less the same position.

He shone his torch. Shit! His gut clenched. A human face stared blankly back at him from within a clear plastic bag.

Barney pulled the cover all the way to his right.

The man, maybe aged around forty, had no obvious injuries and was dressed like half the world, in faded jeans, denim jacket and trainers. He had clear plastic bags over his hands.

But it was that stony, bloodless face like porcelain which drew him. For this could, after all, be the face in the sketch, the face which haunted him.

Author Bio:

Jim McGhee's a former award-winning environmental journalist.

Formerly based in East Lothian, near Edinburgh, Scotland, he is now mainly to be found in Nice in the South of France, the main setting for his DI Barney Mains series.

After a full-on career as a campaigning newspaper reporter, he and wife Jean launched their own recruitment company in central Edinburgh and for twelve fun-packed years worked closely together alongside their brilliant team - without spilling a single drop of blood.

The Alpes-Maritimes and Var departments, on the other hand, have provided a host of dramatic locations just perfect as inspiration for the odd spot of fictional gore.

Locals, blessed with scenery ranging from unspoilt mountain villages to the classic palms-and-marinas coast, claim that they can be swimming one moment and ski-ing a little over an hour later. It's a claim not yet put to the test!

Besides, when not writing or travelling, Jim's more likely to be off on a hike in the hills with his ever-ready buddy, Jack the Irish Terrier.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Bookbub

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Book Tour & Giveaway: The Legend of Rachel Petersen by J.T. Baroni

The Legend of Rachel Petersen
J.T. Baroni

Publisher: Sky Publishing
Date Published: 06-10-2023
Page count: 237 pages



Outraged when The Post Gazette overlooks him for a promotion, 43-year-old sportswriter Christian Kane quits the paper and moves to the country to write fiction. Inspiration flows from a grave he stumbles upon in the woods. He pens The Legend of Rachel Petersen, a fascinating story revolving around the dead twelve-year-old girl who was laid to rest beneath the weathered tombstone in 1863. His book climbs the bestseller lists; then Hollywood adapts it into a blockbuster movie. Kane becomes rich and famous; but then! 

Does an enraged Rachel become more than a figment of the writer’s imagination and rise from her grave, seeking revenge on him for slandering her name?




4 stars!

Eerie tale of a malicious young spirit intent on setting the record straight! 

The Legend of Rachel Petersen is a satisfying, spooky, entertaining story that might not have been the best choice for bedtime reading. The author cleverly juggles multiple points of view and timelines to create a fun and eerie tale that will keep readers wondering about the existence of ghosts and a murder that happened over 150 years ago. 

The main character, sportswriter Christian Kane, is fed up with his job at the Pittsburgh paper, where he has excelled for many years, and impulsively quits when passed over for a promotion. Instead, he decides to pursue his dreams of writing a best-selling novel. However, he is woefully unprepared for the daunting task of crafting such a novel and all that goes into getting a book into publication once written. He's tentatively supported in this endeavor by his loving wife, Shelly, who worries about the practical aspects of their lives when he suddenly quits his well-paying job. While she is his most brutal critic, she is also his most enthusiastic cheerleader, continually boosting his spirits to keep trying. 

The plot is well-paced, and there is an eerie creepiness from the moment the couple discovers the long-hidden tombstone while out for a walk, especially when Christian repeatedly visits the gravesite of his new muse (Rachel Petersen). Headstones are a marvelous inspiration for a story, and a child's marker is always heartbreaking and question-inducing. I enjoyed how the author told the stories of the Kanes, the Yoders, and Rachel and the Tremont family in alternating chapters, each from a significant character's point of view, showing how the past was bleeding into the present. 

The rural Pennsylvania setting was fresh and interesting, and I liked the inclusion of agricultural history and Civil War events that occurred in the vicinity of the farm. I enjoyed it when the Yoder family listened to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio, and the author included the names of real entertainers of the time, famous names readers may recognize. The small and large details gave me a real feel for the place and the area's remoteness, which compounded the brooding atmosphere and unsettled feeling I had while reading. I read this book in an evening, completely absorbed by Christian's, Thaddeus's, and Rachel's stories.

 I recommend THE LEGEND OF RACHEL PETERSEN to readers who enjoy paranormal thrillers and horror stories.


J.T. Baroni, pictured with the tombstone
 that inspired the story.

Living in Western Pennsylvania all my life, I’ve been an avid Whitetail hunter since old enough to tote a rifle, which is also about as long as I’ve had a fondness for word games and literature.

While hunting one year, I actually did stumble upon a weathered tombstone in the middle of the woods.

While waiting patiently for that big buck to cross my path, I had plenty of time to ponder the dead girl's fate, which I was then driven to write.

Eerily enough, this is the premise of The Legend of Rachel Petersen, my first novel published in 2012, which I recently revised.

A newly retired transformer repairman, I refer to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a small town outside of Pittsburgh, as home.

My wife Becky and I share our abode with two retrievers - Piper, and Remmy.


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RABT Book Tours & PR

Teaser Tuesday: Cressida's Betrayal (Empire of the Sky, #2) by Mikala Ash

A Steam and Spells Steampunk Adventure

Empire of the Sky,

Book 2

Steampunk Romance

Publication Date: March 1, 2024

Publisher: Changeling Press LLC

Page count: 153 pages


Things are going well for Cressida. Egged on by Marjorie, the spirit who has taken shelter in her mind, Jacob proposes marriage as they flee the moon and its goblin king. However bigger things are at stake, and their mission to save all of humanity is jeopardized by mistrust and magical chicanery. Sexual energy flares as the danger to the empire overflows in an orgy of lust and violence. Can Jacob and Cressida’s love survive?

Copyright ©2024 Mikala Ash


December 1865 -- Earthbound

Making love in the absence of gravity is a pleasure experienced by few. In this regard my beloved fiancé Jacob and I, and of course Marjorie, made full use of the three-day journey from the moon. Whenever the mood to clicket like a pair of foxes took us -- as it often did -- we’d strap ourselves into our cocoon -- the Lunarians’ term for the soft woollen bag designed to keep slumbering space travellers from drifting about – and had at it with unbridled enthusiasm.

We were not the only ones. The dozen or so “marionettes” – as Jacob termed the human bodies possessed by the spirits of goblins – also took every opportunity to experience the joy of sex. In their natural form, the small leathery-winged creatures, which resembled the ugly statues of gargoyles, were denied by their nervous systems the ability to derive pleasure from copulation. For them, the act of coitus was simply a procreational chore, and so the ecstasy of sexual intercourse that the human body provided was to them as addictive as laudanum is to opium eaters.

Thus, the mid-section of the ship presented a scene straight from a nightmare. Cocoons bolted to the metal wall jostled their neighbours as they twisted and bucked like angry caterpillars. The contortions were accompanied by a discordant symphony of grunts, groans, and ultimate cries of climactic release.

I blush to recall that Jacob and I were no different. I was in seventh heaven with his cock relentlessly sliding, piston-like, in and out of my accommodating quim, causing my heart to gallop and my breathing to quicken into ragged gasps. I wasn’t alone, of course. Marjorie was enjoying it as well, albeit deep inside my head.

Oh, his cock is so very hard, she bellowed.

She didn’t have to tell me that. I could feel every inch of his rigid shaft stretch my tight fleshly sheath. Having a ghost possess me had added a new dimension to the constant monologue people conduct with themselves in their heads. Marjorie knew my thoughts before I could even express them to myself, and she had access to all my memories as well. The most amazing fact of her residency in my mind was that she could “feel” everything I did, from stubbing my toe to the ecstasy of sexual climax, and everything in-between.

Marjorie could also massage my body from the inside, as it were, stimulating my nipples and nub, and creating the sensations that Jacob would make with lips, tongue, fingers, and cock. She was thoroughly enjoying her demise, making liberal use of this ability, and wasn’t a passive member of our unconventional ménage which united the living and the dead.

I’m not dead, she would protest. Just misplaced, and very grateful I found you.

Murdered while she was a virgin, Marjorie’s spirit had, for some unknown reason, been irresistibly drawn to me, and had possessed my body to alert Jacob and I that her corpse had been stolen from her grave. Marjorie’s body was now possessed by a goblin who named herself Esther. One of our goals once on Earth was to return Marjorie to her rightful home. We were confident that I could perform the swap, as I had successfully done the same for Jacob in the chamber of the dead on the moon.

That Esther was writhing in ecstasy in the cocoon next to us, being ploughed enthusiastically by her so-called husband Warrick, both angered and intrigued her. He’s fucking her now, she said bitterly. I wonder what his cock feels like.

“Ugh!” I groaned, as much in disgust on her behalf as from the jolt of Jacob’s thrust. A half dozen followed, and my rising excitement was reflected in the increasing cadence of my whimpers and moans.

Jacob paused, his body tensed, but not from imminent climax.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Something’s changed. I’ll have a look.”

Now that we were not wholly engaged in pleasure, I noticed that the previously muffled grunts and groans were no longer stifled, but clear as a bell. I lifted Jacob’s arm so I could see out of our woollen shell. The agitated caterpillars, not content to remain in their cocoons, had erupted like butterflies from their chrysalides. With no gravity to keep them to the floor they twisted and tumbled through the air until the space became a mass of undulating human flesh. Jacob and I remained inside our woollen bag. The thought of intimacy with stolen bodies repelled us.

I shuddered at the memory of fucking the king of the Lunarians, Mon Ilson and his concubine Gloria, but that had been in the cause of buying time and favour till our escape. I had only suffered the act by imagining I was making love to Jacob and Marjorie.

My memory of that awkward situation was suddenly interrupted by our cocoon being ripped open, and before I could react, Jacob and I were separated by gentle but insistent hands. In an instant Esther was kissing Jacob full on the mouth.

About the Author

Aussie Mikala Ash used to be a mild-mannered training & development consultant by day, and a wild sci-fi and paranormal adventure writer by night. Now she is a brazen full-time writer and nature photographer who is concentrating on having among other things, “… bags, and bags of fun!” Mikala can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.


Contact Links

Author on Facebook

Author on Twitter


Publisher on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok: @changelingpress


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RABT Book Tours & PR

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Sprites and Scuttlebutt (Magical Mystery Book Club, #6) by Elizabeth Pantley


Sprites and Scuttlebutt
Magical Mystery Book Club
Elizabeth Pantley

Paranormal Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Independently Published
Publication Date: February 15, 2024
Print length: 289 pages



Would you join a book club that gets absorbed right into their cozy mysteries? These people did, and now they are hooked on traveling into books to become the amateur sleuths!

In this journey, the book club travels to the Kingdom of Everglow, where the royal family is rocked to the core when a key staff member falls dead at a community event. In the turmoil that follows, any evidence of what happened is destroyed, so they must go by the recollection of witnesses who were too busy enjoying the celebration to offer any valuable testimony. The royal family is further distressed when they return to the castle to see signs of a break in that somehow defied their complex security system. They wake the next day to discover that one member of the royal family has fallen into a deep, deathlike sleep.

Can the Snapdragon Inn Book Club uncover the plot behind this attack on the royal family? Can they find the antidote to wake the princess from her supernatural slumber? Can they bring peace back to the worried royal family and the frightened community? Let’s hope they can, since they must solve the mystery and reach The End to get out of the book and back to their home in Colorado.




5 stars!

Fun and unique adventure for the cozy mystery book club sleuths when they find themselves in the Sprite Kingdom of Everglow. 

I was so glad to see that there was a new addition to author Elizabeth Pantley’s paranormal cozy mystery series featuring the Magical Mystery Book Club. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of the previous books, and I was not disappointed in the least. Sprites and Scuttlebutt is the sixth adventure for the book club members, and they are faced with not only a murder but a mysterious sleeping disorder that has affected a member of the Queen’s household. 

While told from the club leader Paige Erickson’s point of view, the stories are always an ensemble story, and this book maintains this excellent style. However, this time around, Frank, the enigmatic and oft-times sarcastic library cat, takes on a featured role, and readers are finally let in on some of the details of his mysterious past. 

The Everglow setting is vivid, colorful, and populated by paranormal creatures, sprites, with a ruling family led by the split personalitied Queen Iris. The author’s rich and detailed descriptions of the sprites and their world made this setting come alive. 

The mystery involves both a murder and a sudden affliction that makes a member of the Queen’s family fall asleep and unable to be awakened, and the book club members must struggle with whether these two things are related or separate. There are many suspects with possible motives or access to the means to have committed these deeds, so there are lots of red herrings for the characters and armchair sleuths to consider. The clues are present to point the way to the final resolution if one is paying attention. 

The book club members remained much more aware of their chosen book’s author’s role in crafting their adventure in this story. There were discussions of the different routes an author can take in developing their plot, including cozy mystery tropes and common story structure, which I found quite enlightening. I enjoyed this latest adventure and continue to look forward to more. 

I recommend SPRITES AND SCUTTLEBUTT to cozy mystery readers who enjoy a touch of paranormal in their stories and fans of the previous books in the series.


Elizabeth Pantley is the author of fourteen fun, magical cozy mystery books, as well as the international bestselling No-Cry Solution parenting series.

She simultaneously writes well-loved cozy mysteries: The Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic book series and the Magical Mystery Book Club series.

Elizabeth lives in the Pacific Northwest, the gorgeous inspiration for the setting in many of her books. 

All the books in this series are now available as Audio Books! 


February 19 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT
February 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
February 20 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR GUEST POST
February 20 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 22 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
February 24 – Angel's Book Nook – SPOTLIGHT
February 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR GUEST POST
February 25 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – REVIEW
February 25 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 26 – Review Thick And Thin – REVIEW
February 27 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST
February 27 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
February 28 – ebook Addicts – REVIEW
February 28 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
February 29 - MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
March 1 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
March 2 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT


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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway: Murder in Masquerade (Lady of Letters Mystery, #2) by Mary Winters


Murder in Masquerade
A Lady of Letters Mystery
Mary Winters

Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting - London, 1860
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 20, 2024
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0593548787 / ISBN-13: 978-0593548783
Kindle ASIN: B0C5V8FY7P




Extra, extra, read all about it! Countess turned advice columnist Amelia Amesbury finds herself playing the role of sleuth when a night at the theatre turns deadly.

Victorian Countess Amelia Amesbury’s secret hobby, writing an advice column for a London penny paper, has gotten her into hot water before. After all, Amelia will do whatever it takes to help a reader in need. But now, handsome marquis Simon Bainbridge desperately requires her assistance. His beloved younger sister, Marielle, has written Amelia's Lady Agony column seeking advice on her plans to elope with a man her family does not approve of. Determined to save his sister from a scoundrel and the family from scandal, Simon asks Amelia to dissuade Marielle from the ill-advised gambit.

But when the scoundrel makes an untimely exit after a performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto, Amelia realizes there’s much more at stake than saving a young woman’s reputation from ruin. It’s going to take more than her letter-writing skills to help the dashing marquis, mend the familial bond, and find the murderer. Luckily, solving problems is her specialty!


I was so disappointed that scheduling difficulties didn't allow me to read and review Murder in Masquerade for the tour but see my 5-star review of Book One in the Lady of Letters series, Murder in Postscript, HERE!


Mary Winters is the author of the Lady of Letters historical mystery series. She also writes cozy mysteries under the name Mary Angela. A longtime reader and fan of historical fiction, Mary set her latest work in Victorian England after being inspired by a trip to London. Since then, she’s been busily planning her next mystery—and another trip! Find out more about Mary and her writing, reading, and teaching at


February 20 – Sarah Can't Stop Reading Books - REVIEW
February 21 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Jane Reads - REVIEW
February 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
February 22 – fundinmental- SPOTLIGHT
February 23 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW
February 23 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 24 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
February 24 – Guatemala Paula Loves to Read – SPOTLIGHT
February 25 – The Mystery Section – SPOTLIGHT
February 26 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 26 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
February 28 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
February 28 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
February 29 - Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
March 1 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
March 2 – The Mystery of Writing – REVIEW
March 2 – Review Thick And Thin – REVIEW
March 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
March 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
March 4 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee – SPOTLIGHT
March 4 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT


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Friday, February 23, 2024

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Knotted Ring by Myra Hargrave McIlvain


Historical Fiction / Family Saga / Historical Romance
Publisher: Next Chapter
Page Count: 412 pages
Publication Date: December 7, 2023

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Susannah Mobley, expecting a baby by her lover, a slave owned by her family, submits to an arranged marriage to Hezekiah James who is headed to Texas to claim a Spanish land grant. Caught in a series of lies about the origin of a beautiful ring woven from her red hair and the circumstances of her pregnancy, Susannah embarks on the harsh trip to Texas, grieving for her lost love and determined to control her destiny.

On the wagon train journey, Hezekiah is tested by his beliefs and strengths with his slaves and Native Americans, as well as a strange Mad Stone. His determination to build a plantation as fine as Susannah’s home place and to make the best decisions for Susannah fails. Susannah will have to decide if she can live with the consequences of her lies and open herself to this man who shows every form of contrition or if she will allow longing for what she cannot have to destroy her life.

The Knotted Ring is currently a semi-finalist status
in the Laramie Awards for Western and Americana Fiction.

"An often engrossing and well-handled story of the 19th century."
--Kirkus Reviews


Myra Hargrave McIlvain, a sixth-generation Texan, is a storyteller who has written Texas historical markers (yes, real people write those things lining Texas highways), articles for newspapers and magazines such as Texas Highways, and six nonfiction books about famous and infamous Texas characters and places.

McIlvain found her real love when she wrote her first historical fiction. All her tales take place in Texas during major periods of its history. However, The Knotted Ring was inspired by an old family story, and in her search to understand what may have happened, she imagined their lives set in a time that she knew well––the establishment of the first Anglo colony.

McIlvain views history as the story of a people; the people she knows best have made Texas home.                                                                                                                                     

1st Prize: Autographed hardcover & tote bag; 2nd Prize: Autographed paperback + candle; 3rd Prize: Autographed paperback
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 02/29/24)