Showing posts with label Historical fiction virtual book tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Historical fiction virtual book tours. Show all posts

Thursday, January 3, 2019

A Murder by Any Name by Suzanne M. Wolfe

A Murder By Any Name by Suzanne M. Wolfe

Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Crooked Lane Books
Hardcover & eBook; 326 Pages

Genre: Historical Mystery

When a brutal murder threatens the sanctity of the Elizabethan court, it’s up to a hot-tempered spy to save the day.

The court of Elizabeth I is no stranger to plotting and intrigue, but the royal retinue is thrown into chaos when the Queen’s youngest and sweetest lady-in-waiting is murdered, her body left on the high altar of the Chapel Royal in Whitehall Palace. Solving the murder will require the cunning and savvy possessed by only one man. Enter Nicholas Holt, younger brother of the Earl of Blackwell—spy, rake, and owner of the infamous Black Sheep tavern in the seedy district of Bankside. Nick quickly learns that working for the Queen is a mixed blessing. Elizabeth—salty-tongued, vain, and fiercely intelligent—can, with a glance, either reward Nick with a purse of gold or have his head forcibly removed.

When a second lady-in-waiting is slain at Whitehall, the court once again reels with shock and dismay. On the trail of a diabolical killer, Nick and his faithful sidekick—an enormous Irish Wolfhound named Hector—are treading on treacherous ground, and only the killer’s head on a platter can keep them in the Queen’s good graces.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo

Excerpt 3:
“Can you heat some water, Mouse?” the man said. The girl nodded, her face hidden by a curtain of black hair. Under a hastily thrown on cloak, Nick glimpsed a linen nightgown. She had been sleeping but her movements were calm and precise as if her husband brought back bleeding strangers every night of the week. “And I’ll need a needle and thread.” Then Eli folded a square of clean linen into a thick pad and, placing it in Nick’s hand, said: “I suggest you press this as hard as you can against your neck if you don’t want to bleed to death all over my sister’s nice clean floor.”
Nick’s heart did a little flip when he realized the girl was not Eli’s wife, then gave a giant lurch when he caught sight of her face as she carried a bowl of steaming water to the table. She looked just like Eli—dark eyes below thick brows, small straight nose, jutting cheekbones, wide mouth. The only difference he could see was her hair, as dark as her brother’s but falling in waves over her shoulders down to her waist. He knew there were other, more interesting, differences, but these were hidden by a billowing dark-colored cloak she must have hastily slung round her shoulders when Eli awakened her and which she now held protectively about her body. As if resentful of his astonished gaze, she gathered up her mass of hair in both hands, twisted it into a knot at the back of her neck and secured it with a quill pen she picked up from the table. He caught a glimpse of the lace on the plunging neckline of her gown before she wrapped the cloak around herself again.
“We’re twins,” she explained, unnecessarily.
“I can see that,” Nick replied, in a voice that sounded surprisingly croaky. He saw again the small twin mounds pushing out the front of her shift.
The girl scowled. Nick thought this made her look even more beautiful. Tendrils of hair had escaped her makeshift knot and were wafting against her smooth pale cheeks as she moved around the table setting out clean napkins, a jar of some ointment and a needle and thread which she first dunked in boiling water with tongs and then set carefully on a clean strip of linen. A strand had caught in the corner of her mouth, and he longed to lift it away with his finger and hook it over her ear.
“He’s obviously delirious,” the girl said, addressing her brother. “Not enough blood to the brain. Perhaps we should purge him, relieve the pressure on his…extremities.” Nick blanched as she lifted a razor from the table and smiled sweetly.
Calmly Eli rolled up his sleeves and began to wash his hands. “My sister has a, shall we say,narcoticeffect on men,” he said conversationally. “Which is a good thing as what I’m about to do is going to hurt like the dickens. But I should watch it if I were you. She’s handles a mean scalpel.”
Nick remembered feeling a little resentful at this apparent lack of sympathy for his agony, then marveled at the sureness and rapidity with which Eli sewed up the wound and stanched the bleeding. He was right: it did hurt. A lot. But Nick clamped his lips firmly together and did not utter a sound, hoping the girl would notice his bravery. The rest of the night he spent sitting bolt upright before the fire and when he asked if he could lie down, the girl shook her head. 
“A drink?”
She clapped a beaker of water down by his elbow.
“I was thinking more of wine.”
She snorted. “Call if the wound reopens,” she said, a little callously Nick thought, given his ordeal. Then she and Eli took themselves off up the ladder to bed. Though dizzy with blood loss, something that would soon pass the girl informed him in the morning, Nick was quite certain he owed them his life. He returned to the house a few days later with a small bag of gold. Eli refused payment, but the girl, who he learned was named Rivkah, took the purse from him.
“My brother believes in a Utopia where medicine is free to all. I, however, know that Utopia means No Place and that even doctors must eat.” He noticed her use of the plural as she slipped the purse down the front of her bodice. She didn’t offer him a drink then either.

Praise for A Murder By Any Name

“Captivating… Fans of Fiona Buckley’s Ursula Blanchard and Kathy Lynn Emerson’s Rosamond Jaffrey will be delighted to add Wolfe to their reading lists.” ―Booklist

“[A] promising series launch… Fans of Elizabethan historicals will be satisfied.” ―Publishers Weekly

“An excellent series kickoff by Wolfe that cleverly highlights both the mystery and the many ills of Elizabethan times.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“In vivid passages, Suzanne Wolfe’s novel brings to the reader the light and dark of Elizabethan England, its squalor and splendor, filth and riches, intrigues and delights.” ―NY Journal of Books

“A deeply atmospheric and richly textured Elizabethan mystery... I was captivated by Nicholas and Hector as they navigated court treachery and the dark recesses of the lower classes in this compelling Elizabethan mystery.” ―Shelley Freydont, New York Times bestselling author

"Wolfe’s descriptions are unparalleled, immersing the reader in the time period as they join her wily protagonist on his quest to catch a cold-hearted killer.” ―Anna Lee Huber, bestselling author of the Lady Darby Mysteries

"I stayed up reading much too late to finish this book! Wonderful Elizabethan atmosphere, well-drawn and unusual characters, action and intrigue and excitement―I felt like I was in the 1570s" ―Amanda Carmack, award-winning author of the Elizabethan mysteries

“Bewitching! Suzanne Wolfe opens the door to Elizabethan life through her masterful creation of the sympathetic spy, Nicholas Holt. An exciting start to a promising new historical mystery series.” ―Naomi Hirahara, Edgar Award-winning author of the Mas Arai series

“A classically plotted whodunit set against the background of Elizabethan London and the court of Queen Elizabeth the First, both of them well researched and vividly realized, with a wealth of detail. One can almost smell the reek of the 16th century streets and waterways.” ―Fiona Buckley, author of the Ursula Blanchard Elizabethan mysteries

About the Author

Suzanne M. Wolfe grew up in Manchester, England and read English Literature at Oxford University, where she co-founded the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society. She served as Writer in Residence at Seattle Pacific University and taught literature and creative writing there for nearly two decades. Wolfe is the author of three novels: A Murder by Any Name, The Confessions of X, and Unveiling.

Thirty years ago, she and her husband, Gregory Wolfe, co-founded Image, a journal of the arts and faith. They have also co-authored many books on literature and prayer including Books That Build Character: How to Teach Your Child Moral Values Through Stories, and Bless This House: Prayers For Children and Families. Her essays and blog posts have appeared in Image and other publications. She and her husband are the parents of four grown children. They live in Richmond Beach, Washington.

For more information, please visit Suzanne M. Wolfe's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 17
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 18
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, December 19
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Guest Post at Jathan & Heather

Thursday, December 20
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Review at Peppermint Ph.D.

Friday, December 21
Feature at What Is That Book About

Sunday, December 23
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Thursday, December 27
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, December 28
Review at Tar Heel Reader
Review at Amy's Booket List

Monday, December 31
Review at Tudor Enthusiast

Wednesday, January 2
Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Thursday, January 3
Excerpt at T's Stuff
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, January 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, January 7
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, January 8
Guest Post at On the Tudor Trail

Wednesday, January 9
Review at Reading the Past

Thursday, January 10
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Clarissa Reads it All

Friday, January 11
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, January 14
Review at Maiden of the Pages

Tuesday, January 15
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, January 16
Review at A Book Geek

Thursday, January 17
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at CelticLady's Reviews


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 3 hardcover copies of A Murder By Any Name! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 17th. 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 Murder By Any Name

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Nova Praetorian by N.R. Walker

Nova Praetorian by N.R. Walker

Publication Date: October 24, 2018
BlueHeart Press
Paperback & eBook; 394 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance/LGBT

Quintus Furius Varus is one of the best lanistas in Rome. Tall and strong in build, fearsome in manner, and sharp of wit, he trains the best gladiators bound for the arenas of Rome. When Senator Servius Augendus seeks personal guards, he attends the Ludus Varus for purchase of the very best. He puts to Quintus an offer he cannot refuse, and Quintus finds himself in Neapolis, contracted as a trainer of guards instead of gladiators.

Kaeso Agorix was taken from his homelands of Iberia and delivered to Rome as a slave. Bought by a senator to be trained as a guard, his fate is handed to the man who would train him. Absent free will, Kaeso knows his life is no longer his own, though he soon realises the gods have favoured him when he learns his new master has a kind heart.

Quintus and Kaeso forge a bond that far exceeds the collar at Kaeso's neck, and together they discover the senator's move for promotion has an ulterior motive. Thrown into a world of politics and conspiracy, of keeping enemies close, they move against time to save Rome before traitors and the gods themselves see to their end.

And in doing so, see the dawn of the nova praetorian--the new guard--rise.

"Highest marks for bringing to life a time and place not often tackled these days, the tale told with such authenticity it draws you in and holds you in thrall. Add to that mix a devious plot of traitorous political machinations and characters who will not only warm your heart but command your respect. Nova Praetorian is yet another well-crafted, engrossing tale that kept me up half the night, sighing with pleasure even while chewing my fingernails with anxiety. I highly recommend this read." - Beach Bum Books

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn't have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things...but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since...

For more information, please visit N.R. Walker's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, November 26
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 28
Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, November 29
Coffee and Ink

Friday, November 30
Hoover Book Reviews

Monday, December 3
CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, December 4
Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, December 5
Donna's Book Blog

Friday, December 7
Velvet Panic

Monday, December 10
Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, December 12
T's Stuff

Friday, December 14
What Is That Book About


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $40 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 14th. 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.

Nova Praetorian

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Fisher for Women by Catherine Magia

A Fisher of Women by Catherine Magia

Publication Date: October 3, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 184 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Biblical

When the wife of Simon Peter returns to Galilee, she brings nothing but her faith in an enigmatic carpenter named Jesus, who has an extraordinary gift of healing the sick. But as she spends time in the presence of this divine leader, she discovers the gift of healing comes at a devastating cost. A terrible burden Jesus bears for the sake of his love for humanity.

In her quest to alleviate Jesus’s eternal suffering, the wife of Simon Peter befriends a pagan magician named Helen. Helen possesses a wisdom and healing power exceeded only by Jesus himself, but bears an unsavory reputation. Can Helen be trusted to ease Jesus's suffering? Or is she a rival seeking his ultimate destruction?

Simon Peter is immortalized as a devoted pillar of the early Church. This is the untold story of his wife, forgotten as a healer and invisible to the pages of history. Her journey leads her to understand the inevitable price of healing, and what it truly means to love.

Available on Amazon

Praise for A Fisher of Women

"Catherine Magia has penned an affecting narrative, weaving a woman's journey of discovery with pagan sorcery, ancient medicine, and the Christian faith. Biblical details are given a fresh and unconventional interpretation, particularly the very human suffering of Jesus and the alienation of the sick in this enthralling chronicle of miracles. A thrilling sequel." - Lan Cao, author of The Lotus and the Storm and Monkey Bridge

"Catherine's name springs from the root for magic, which perhaps explains her uncanny skill at conjuring fictional worlds. We quickly fall under the spell of her heroine in A Fisher of Women, the wife of Simon Peter, a healer who learns not only the virtues of plants but the restorative power of forgiveness. Be transported back to Galilee: its fragrant spices, its pagan magicians, its wealth and danger, the golden light in Jesus's eyes. More than a great read -- it's a revelation." - Duncan W. Alderson, author of the Harper's Bazaar Must-Read Magnolia City

"The story is smoothly written, with clear characters, a mix of scripture and historical events presented in an easy to follow manner... Letting go of fear, learning to forgive, and healing with more than just faith, will require a journey Simon Peter's wife did not expect." - Sarah Bradley, Ind'tale Magazine

"Author Catherine Magia presents an intense story of Peter's wife who struggles against many odds, including the her husband's refusal to accept his wife as his equal as a disciple. The story takes place in and around the Sea of Galilee, the home base of the first disciples of Christ, which comes alive in the readers imagination. Familiar biblical characters are portrayed as deeply human, both in their flaws and in their redemptive moments."-E. Ann McIntyre, author of Lazarus of Bethany and Feast of Pontius Pilate, member of Catholic Writers' Guild

About the Author

Catherine Magia's debut novel The Fisherman's Bride won the 2017 New England Book Festival. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to New Jersey at the age of ten. At eighteen, she won a creative writing scholarship to Drew University, where she studied political theory and chemistry. Although her formal education was in the hard sciences, Catherine has always maintained a passion for the written word, publishing her poetry in several literary journals including the Michigan Quarterly Review.

She discovered the voice of Simon Peter's wife on a soul-searching journey, a trek through the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. She spent seven years researching and writing her debut novel, traveling as far as Ephesus, Turkey.

The Fisherman's Bride was described as "unique and authentic" by the Booklife Prize, indie division of Publisher's Weekly. The Historical Novel Society has praised the book as "complex and engaging," while Reader's Favorite Magazine has lauded it as "literature," awarding it the Silver Medal for Historical Christian Fiction.

A Fisher of Women, the sequel to The Fisherman's Bride, was released on October 3rd. She is currently writing and researching the third book of The Fisherwoman Series.

By day, she works as a director of market insights in the development of new cancer medications. She is focused on connecting cancer patients and their stories to the executives and employees of the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently based in Boston.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 3
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, December 4
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Thursday, December 6
Excerpt at T's Stuff

Sunday, December 9
Interview at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Monday, December 10
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, December 11
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, December 13
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, December 14
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Saturday, December 15
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Monday, December 17
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, December 19
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away an eBook of A Fisher of Women! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 19th. 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 Fisher of Women

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Jinni's Last Wish by Zenobia Neil

The Jinni's Last Wish by Zenobia Neil

Publication Date: September 13, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 224 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

As a eunuch in the Ottoman Imperial Harem, Olin has already lost his home, his freedom, and his manhood. His only wish is for a painless death, until he meets Dark Star, a beautiful odalisque who promises to give him his deepest desire. He refuses to believe her claim to possess a jinni in a bottle. But when Dark Star is accused of witchcraft, Olin rubs the bottle in desperation and discovers she’s told the truth.

Olin becomes the jinni’s master to save Dark Star, but it's not enough. In the complex world of the Topkapi Palace, where silk pillows conceal knives, sherbets contain poison, and jewels buy loyalty, no one is safe. With each wish, Olin must choose between becoming like the masters he detests or risk his life, his body, and his sanity to break the bonds that tie them all.

"Vividly imagined and achingly beautiful, this is the closest you'll get to an Ottoman harem without a time machine." -- Jessica Cale, Editor of Dirty, Sexy History

"Sensual, magical, and meticulously researched, THE JINNI'S LAST WISH is a scrumptious read." --Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris."

"Hauntingly sensual, The Jinni's Last Wish is an erotic fever dream that lingers long after the last page." -- Mia Hopkins, author of Thirsty

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters

About the Author

Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. Zenobia spends her free time imagining interesting people and putting them in terrible situations.

She lives with her husband, two children, and dog in an overpriced hipster neighborhood of Los Angeles. Visit her at

Interview with Zenobia Neil

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

This story took me about four years to write. My main character, Olin always remained pretty consistent, but Mustafa Agha, the Chief Black Eunuch, the jinni (I don’t think it’s a spoiler to give away that there’s a jinni in the story) and Altai, a beautiful Sudanese girl all demanded that their stories be told. Normally it’s my supporting characters who try to steal the show.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

For readers of historical fiction who want unique stories and diverse points of view, The Jinni’s Last Wish is a great place to start. One of my goals as a historical fiction writer is to tell stories that have been lost or under-represented. Black eunuchs were very important in the Ottoman Empire, but often overlooked or forgotten. I hope that reading The Jinni’s Last Wish gives readers a new perspective as well as inspiration to find out more about different eras and peoples who have been glossed over in history books. Also, readers say the book is sexy, intriguing, and haunting.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I’ve written several books that have not yet been published. In the last few years, I’ve been more drawn to historical fiction, mostly to the ancient world of Persia and Sparta, and I love writing about the Greco-Roman gods and the people who worshipped them.

Pen or typewriter or computer? I usually use a computer and haven’t used a typewriter in years. I use a pen when an idea or sentence comes to me.

Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I’m excited to share The Jinni’s Last Wish and my take on an Ottoman Harem. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 12
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 13
Feature at Teaser Addicts Book Blog

Wednesday, November 14
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, November 15
Feature at Maiden of the Pages

Sunday, November 18
Interview at T's Stuff

Monday, November 19
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, November 20
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Wednesday, November 21
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 23
Review at Pass Me That Book

Tuesday, November 27
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, November 29
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, November 30
Feature at Book Nerd

Monday, December 3
Review at Bookfever

Wednesday, December 5
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Monday, December 10
Review & Guest Post The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, December 11
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a copy of The Jinni's Last Wish! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 11th. 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.

The Jinni's Last Wish

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Elizabeth's War by D.L. Rogers

Elizabeth's War by D.L. Rogers

Publication Date: June 1, 2013
Paperback, AudioBook, & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Read the complete first chapter here.

In a time when raiders, bushwhackers, and Redlegs rode the Cass County, Missouri, countryside bringing fear and destruction with them, Elizabeth Miers and her family barely survived into the next day. When the enemy, in the form of Elizabeth’s neighbors, comes a-calling more than once with mischief on their minds, Elizabeth fights back to keep her children safe against men she once called friends.

On August 25, 1863, following the issuance of General Order No. 11 by Union General Thomas Ewing, thousands of women, children, and the elderly were forced to vacate their homes in the brutal summer heat within fifteen days. With determination and a plan, Elizabeth sets out on a sixty-mile trek toward St. Clair County. Carrying enough prepared food and water on a rickety built sled to reach her aunt and uncle’s farm, she prays her kin are there to welcome them, not knowing whether they lived through the burning of Osceola two years prior—or not.

Facing more than just the lack of food and shelter and the unbearable heat, they’re set upon by raiders and foraging soldiers who try to take more than just their meager provisions. Much more. Left with little after their supplies are stolen and their property destroyed, Elizabeth and her fellow travelers continue south, facing more indignities before their journey is done.

Through Elizabeth and the thousands of other refugees that traveled ahead of and behind her, feel what they felt in the wake of General Order No. 11, an order that took everything and left them destitute and afraid they wouldn’t live to see one more day.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Crossfire in the Street by D.L. Rogers

Publication Date: June 7, 2018
Paperback & eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction

Read the first two chapters here.

The Civil War yielded many bloody battles and the Battle at Lone Jack was among the worst. Fought across a sixty-foot strip of dusty road, brothers fought brothers, neighbors fought neighbors, cousins fought cousins, and the blood of horses and men ran together in the street under the blistering August sun.

The Green family tried to keep from being caught up in the war headed for their doorstep, but their efforts were lost—even before the Yankees came to town.

In their youthful exuberance and ignorance, sixteen and fifteen year old Hank and Jesse sneak into town to watch the battle—and find more trouble than they bargained for. Pete, the oldest brother, joins the Rebels and fights to save his life—and that of his brothers. Cora, the oldest daughter on the cusp of becoming a woman, loves a boy who runs off to fight with the Federals—and breaks her heart.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Chapter Two
(Mid-June, 1861)

Elizabeth’s heart pounded like a horse shoer’s hammer. She’d never known fear like she felt right now, awakened in their beds by riders pounding up the lane, men shouting and firing guns into the bright, moonlit night.
Elizabeth was out of bed seconds after her husband.
James turned hard eyes to her. “Hurry, I’ll rouse Steven, if he isn’t already awake. Get the children.”
Elizabeth was so scared she could only nod. Her hands shook so much she couldn’t find the opening of her day dress to slide over her head, wasting precious moments. Please, please, please, Dear Lord, protect my family this night, she prayed over and over in her head.
Dressed but barefoot, she hurried to gather the children. Nora, Vera, and Sally were sitting up in the bed they shared in the large room at the back of the house, the covers balled in fists at their necks, eyes wild with fright. Little Joseph was still sound asleep in his fold down cot attached to the wall.
“What’s happening, Mama?” Nora cried.
“Make it stop, Mama, make it stop!” Vera shouted.
“Shhh, girls. We must all go to the front room. Hurry now, hurry.”
Clutching their long nightshirts the girls jumped out of bed. Nora hauled Sally into her arms and Elizabeth awkwardly lifted a still slumbering Joseph over her shoulder.
“What’s going on?” Vera asked again, voice quavering, following behind her mother and sister.
Elizabeth ignored her daughter’s question and herded everyone to the other room.
James and Steven were already positioned at the two windows, the shutters open wide enough to slide out a rifle barrel. Elizabeth put Joseph on his feet, the little boy whining and swaying. Elizabeth pointed. “Vera, Nora, sit down on the floor between the wall and cabinet with the children. Quickly now.”
“They’ve finally come, haven’t they, Mama?” Nora shuffled the two little ones toward where her mother had directed. Her words were said matter-of-factly, like she’d been waiting for this night for a long time.
“Yes, they’ve come. I want you both to keep your brother and sister quiet on your laps and do not move until I or your Papa tells you it’s all right. Do you understand?”
Neither girl spoke, but each nodded, their eyes as wide as the full moon outside. Needing no further encouragement, they squeezed into the corner with Joseph and Sally on their laps, their arms wrapped tight around the sleepy, whining smaller children who understood none of what was happening.
Unsatisfied a stray bullet wouldn’t find one of her children, Elizabeth cleared the heavy oak table in the middle of the floor with one stroke of her arm, shattering two glass candle holders, a plate of fruit, and a glass left there after supper. “Help me move this,” she ordered her son who hurried from the window to help. In moments the table lay on its side in front of the cowering children.
Four windows in the house needed defending. Two were in the front room, one to the right of the door and one on the left wall, the third was in James and Elizabeth’s bedroom on the right side of the house, and the fourth in the loft, where Steven slept.
“Go,” was all James said to his son before the boy scurried up the ladder carrying an older-model Spencer rifle and a six-shot Colt revolver, one of two pieces James had purchased recently in preparation for such an attack. “Liz.” He handed her a small squirrel rifle, a Colt, and pointed her to their bedroom. “I’ll take the brunt of it here.”
Elizabeth hurried to the bedroom, laid the Colt on the table under the window, opened the shutter enough to slide the rifle barrel out, and waited. She didn’t wait long before three men emerged into the moonlit yard from behind the house on her right headed toward the barn. They disappeared inside and re-emerged a few moments later leading Solomon, Blaze and Poppyseed, Elizabeth’s palomino mare.
“You, inside!” someone yelled from the front of the house. The children shrieked in the other room and Elizabeth almost dropped the rifle.
“What do you want from us? We’ve got no quarrel with you. There are children in here!” James yelled from the window.
“You know what we want,” came the reply.
What did they want? Elizabeth’s skin bubbled up with fear. Had they come to take her husband and son away because they believed in the southern cause? Were they here to burn their house down and leave them homeless? Her mind was whirling, waiting for James’ response when a rifle exploded from the front of the house. She didn’t know where it had come from and thought she’d choke on her heart. Poppyseed, the greenest of the three horses being led from the barn reared. The man leading her tried to hang onto the rope, but the mare was having none of it. She pawed the air until the rope jerked through the man’s hands. He shrieked and the horse raced away, the rope flying wildly behind her. Feeding on Poppyseed’s fear Solomon and Blaze reared and jerked away from the men leading them, thundering off into the darkness after Poppyseed. Regardless of the graveness of the situation, Elizabeth smiled and said a silent prayer they might escape this night with their lives and their horses.
Her attention was drawn from the men, blowing on their rope-burned hands, when someone out front shouted, “Whoever’s up in that loft better make sure if you shoot again you don’t miss!”
“I didn’t miss the first time! I hit exactly what I intended. Next time it’ll be right in the middle of your gut!” Steven shouted from the loft.
Running footsteps drew Elizabeth’s attention and she turned in time to see the three men who’d been leading the horses disappear around front. Her pounding heart roared like a train in her head, but she forced herself to stay steady, watching for any mischief at the rear of the house or near the barn. With each shouted threat from out front, her children whimpered and cried. She wanted to run to them and comfort them, but she stayed put, aware if she left it would leave them all vulnerable.
Her husband’s voice drew her attention. “My son means what he says. And he’s not the only one inside this house that can shoot. I can hit the eye out of a squirrel at 60 paces without trying, so it won’t be difficult for me to hit any one of you!”
Bile rose in Elizabeth’s throat when she spotted three men creeping from the front of the house along the left wall toward her. One man carried a torch. She waited until they were only a few feet away before she said, “I suggest you stop right there, drop the torch and put your hands up.”
The man carrying the torch didn’t hesitate. He dropped the torch and jerked his hands in the air. The other two did the same. When they looked up Elizabeth couldn’t believe her eyes. Two were neighbors, the Harrison boys!
Shaking off her surprise and allowing anger to replace it, she said in a deep, even tone that brooked no argument, “You boys better think hard about what you mean to do. I’m not usually a violent person. I try to be a good, Christian woman. But when you attack me or mine, my children in particular, there’s a side of me you boys don’t want to see—and won’t live to tell about if you don’t git outta here.” She paused a moment to let her words sink in before she added, “I’ll give you ten seconds to make up your minds whether to do as I say or defy me, but if you doubt my words, I promise I’ll blow a hole right through you.”
“You ain’t got but one shot in that squirrel gun, Miz Miers,” the unknown man challenged of the single-shot .32 caliber rifle she had pointed at them.
Elizabeth chuckled so deep it sounded evil even to her. “You haven’t seen what I’ve got next to me. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve shot many a varmint in my lifetime with this rifle I’m pointing at you boys, and to me right now you’re worse than any one of those slimy creatures. You threaten my family any further, you’ll find out exactly what I can, and will, do when I shoot each one of you just like one of those critters I’ve pulled this trigger on many times before. So make up your minds. You gonna skedaddle? Or am I gonna show you exactly what me and this rifle, and whatever else I’ve got next to me, can do? One, two....”
“We believe you, Miz Miers. We’ll go,” Roger, the older Harrison brother shouted.
“Good. Throw those guns in the dirt, kick them away, tuck your tails between your legs and run back out front with those other cowards who are threatening my family! I don’t really want to shoot anybody tonight, especially not neighbors, but if I’m provoked further I will not hesitate!”
Slowly, using only two fingers, Roger pulled his weapon, threw it down and kicked it away. Elija, the younger brother, heaved his rifle away and waited, but the third man hesitated.
“Walker, don’t be a fool. Do what she says,” Elija said.
Elizabeth thought she was going to be sick and her hands started to shake, but she couldn’t let them see it. She could not back down. Everything she loved was at stake. “Throw it down, now!” she shouted at Walker. The brothers jumped and raised their hands higher in the air.
Walker put his hand on his pistol, but Elizabeth sensed he had no intention of throwing it away. The weapon glinted in the moonlight as he drew on her and, without a moment’s hesitation, she pulled the trigger. The rifle exploded, shattering Walker’s arm below the elbow. He screamed and fell to his knees.
“You shot me!” He rocked back and forth, holding his elbow with his other hand. Blood ran down his arm, through his fingers and dripped on the ground.
“She told you she would you dumb peckerwood. Elija looked up at Elizabeth. “We’re going now, all right?”
“Take him with you. And don’t come back!”
The Harrison boys grabbed Walker and dragged him out front, his blood leaving a dark trail in the dirt behind him. Absently, Elizabeth wondered if he’d die before someone stopped the bleeding, but she pushed the thought from her mind. He’d brought it on himself and she would shoot him again if need be.
Elizabeth had no idea how many men were outside her home, but there had to be at least a dozen or so. Anger began to gnaw at her belly like bad food then started to boil like a witch’s cauldron the more she thought on what these men were doing. They had no right! How dare they attack her home! There were children here! Innocent children! They hadn’t done anything to anybody! They just wanted to be left alone! Anger overrode all rational thought and exploded like an uncapped volcano. She dropped the spent rifle on the bed, grabbed the pistol and headed for the front room.
James was yelling out the window, but she had no idea what he was saying. She stomped to the front door.
“What are you doing!” James screamed from beside her, but she ignored him.
She threw open the door and stepped outside. “You men!” she challenged, standing straight as a post, her legs braced. Elizabeth held the cocked pistol at the ready, moving it back and forth between the men on horseback.
She saw and heard rifles lifted and cocked through the thundering in her head. She was crazed with anger, and until that anger was spent, these men would either listen to her—or shoot her. But not before she was heard!
“If you men want to shoot someone so badly, here I am! Will you shoot a woman? Or is there still a shred of moral, Christian decency in you? If you intend to shoot us all, perhaps I should save you the trouble and bring my babies out here right now so you can dispense with them first!” The children shrieked in the background, spurring her anger even higher. She was charged like lightning and would have her say. “Cowards! Coming in the middle of the night to threaten my family! Every one of you is a coward!”
She aimed her pistol at the lead rider. “Hello, Mr. Bartlet. It’s a fine, moonlit night for a raid, don’t you think? And Mr. Warren? Did you get your crops planted? Oh, perhaps not. I see you’ve found other things to keep you busy.” She stood defiant, stared down every man, and said hello to each one she knew.
“You came here threatening my home and my children. I won’t hold with that, and I’ll shoot the first man who makes a move toward my house. You may shoot me down, but I’ll take one or two of you with me before the ammunition in this gun is spent!” She swung the gun at Mr. Bartlet. “You’ll be the first one I shoot, Mr. Bartlet. Count on it. Ask that man over there, whose arm is dripping blood, if I’ll shoot you if I say so, and if I don’t hit what I aim for?” She waved the pistol at Walker, woozy on his feet, watching her with blazing, hate-filled eyes, his arm wrapped in someone’s kerchief, but still dripping blood. She thought her heart would explode, but she couldn’t stop now. She’d gone too far. Anger and indignation rode her back like a serpent.
James stepped out beside his wife, his rifle raised and ready, his pistol tucked in easy access at his belt. “I guarantee you men, she means what she says. She’s as good a shot as most men.” He paused and smiled. “But I’m better, and whoever she misses, I’ll be sure to take with me before I’m done.” He swung the rifle toward another of their neighbors and the man shifted uneasily in his saddle.
“And whoever they miss, I won’t!” came Steven’s voice from the upper window. “And I’ve got a good view of every one of y’all from up here, so you can bet I’ll take a few down before any of y’all even get close to the house!”
“So, gentlemen, unless you intend to shoot me, my husband and my children,” Elizabeth raised a hand to encompass the house, “the children screaming and crying in that house behind me, I suggest you git on outta here and leave us to our own business!”
The men sat in stunned silence. Seemingly unnerved by her bravado, knowing they’d lost the upper hand and unwilling to die to test her and her family’s mettle, those farthest away turned their horses and melted into the night.
Minutes later when the last rider passed beyond the front gates, Elizabeth grabbed James’ arm, cried out, and slid to the floor in a faint.

About the Author

Although born in New Jersey of parents from New Jersey and Tennessee, it was just a matter of time before Diane's "southern" blood revealed itself. And reveal itself it did, in a passion for all things western and related to the Civil War. Having learned a great deal in her research since her historical journey began, especially in the midwest, Diane has attempted to portray both the west and the war from numerous points-of-view, which is not always the same history as what has been previously portrayed--or taught.

As a kid, Diane played Cowboys and Indians more than she did Barbie, and as she got older, she and her cousin (whose parents were reversed) gave themselves the moniker of "Yebels." The question of what it would have been like during the Civil War years, when friends and family fought on opposite sides of the war, festered inside Diane until she answered her own question in the form of the novels she writes of the west and Civil War, where everyday people, regardless of what "side" they were on, when faced with difficult situations, rose to the challenge, and survived.

Now living south of Kansas City, Missouri, on fourteen acres of property, when Diane's not writing or marketing, she enjoys sitting on her front porch, reading when she can or just watching her horses in the pasture and multitude of cats in the yard. When she does venture into town, it's to work at a lawfirm on the Plaza, or visit her two children and five grandchildren.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 5
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Elizabeth's War)

Tuesday, November 6
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 7
Excerpt at T's Stuff
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads (Crossfire in the Street)

Thursday, November 8
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Elizabeth's War)

Friday, November 9
Review at Bri's Book Nook (Elizabeth's War)

Monday, November 12
Review at The Reading Woman (Elizabeth's War)

Tuesday, November 13
Feature at Book Nerd

Wednesday, November 14
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 15
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Review at The Book Junkie Reads (Elizabeth's War)

Friday, November 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Crossfire in the Street)

Monday, November 19
Review at Bri's Book Nook (Crossfire in the Street)

Tuesday, November 20
Review at Locks, Hooks, and Books (Crossfire in the Street)


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 20th. 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.

D.L. Rogers