Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Meet Regency Author Maggie Sims and Read About Her New Title SOPHIA'S SCHOOLING, School of Enlightenment, Book One

Maggie is one of my fellow Wild Rose Press authors, and we're both very happy with WRP (I've been with them since 2010). Meet Maggie here and check out her new Regency romance, released in May.

About Maggie:

Maggie began her love affair with romance before her teen years, drawn to the Regency by her mum’s British influence. In her twenties, she did her best to live the Carrie Bradshaw life in New York City, albeit with less expensive shoes and more books.

Despite reading hundreds of romance novels in her life, she was still blown away when she met the love of her life, an ex-Marine cinnamon roll with creative woodworking and culinary skills.

Having retired from corporate life, they live in Central Texas and are parents to a varying number of dogs and cats.  When not writing, Maggie is a wine enthusiast, a travel junkie, and a romance reading fiend.  She also sporadically crochets for KnotsofLove.org and does just enough exercise for that second glass of wine at night.

To find out more about Maggie’s latest reads, favorite wines, and travel destinations, sign up for her newsletter and follow her on social media.

An Additional Note From Maggie:

I would love to talk about all things romance, wine, and travel with readers, and to introduce everyone to my world.  The deliciously steamy Regency series centers around a unique finishing school where young women learn to take their future and their pleasure in their own hands. Sophia's Schooling , Book 1 of the School of Enlightenment is out, and Book 2 releases October 19. To get an early glimpse of this world, sign up for my newsletter and get a free prequel.

Connect with Maggie:

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About SOPHIA'S SCHOOLING

1816 - London

Orphaned at eighteen, Sophia has learned love means loss.  Now she must leave her country home to navigate the opulence of the London Season, although she has no desire for romance or a husband.

Edward, the newest Earl of Peterborough, is struggling with the business of his family estate. He has shunned marriage due to a shameful secret, but with his title comes the need for heirs.

Despite their misgivings, Sophia and Edward cannot resist their attraction.  When she accidentally discovers his penchant for spankings, her curiosity is her undoing.  A clandestine meeting risks a scandal. Only marriage to a reluctant bridegroom can save her reputation. But perhaps the School of Enlightenment can give her an education in love.

Purchase SOPHIA'S SCHOOLING

Excerpt:

An innocent country girl...a jaded earl...an education in pleasure.

Edward gave a mental snort. “You continue to disobey orders.”

Sophia groaned in frustration, probably suspecting where his statement was leading. “I’m very sorry.” She sucked in a breath. “I shan’t do it again. As I came out alone, I thought it would be safe.” She sent him a sidelong glance. “Is this a punishable offense, my lord?”

Perfect. She knew she was wrong. She saw what was coming. Her side-eyed glance told him she mayhap even invited it. Who was he to refuse a girl a spanking?

He took a deep breath, wishing… No. She’s not mine to covet. But she is mine to punish tonight.

His eyes shuttered as he considered. Was he taking advantage of her naiveté about Ton rules? He knew she’d enjoyed the last punishment and could not deny either of their desires. He almost heard the turn of the key as his conscience was again locked away.

He pushed, “We have been over this, Sophia. Punishment is an important learning tool. Hopefully, it shall be an incentive for you to obey specific directions in the future.”

Frustrated, she crossed her gloved arms. “Darn it. My feet hurt so much. I did not anticipate my bottom becoming sore, too. I shan’t be able to sit or stand comfortably.”

That wasn’t a no.





Thursday, July 7, 2022

Meet D.K. Marley, Author, Artist, Owner and CEO of The Historical Fiction Company, Historium Press, and White Rabbit Arts

About D.K.

D.K. is the owner and CEO of The Historical Fiction Company, Historium Press, and White Rabbit Arts. She's also an artist and award-winning historical fiction author specializing in alternate historicals, Shakespearean adaptations, and historical time-travel. A true Renaissance woman!

I have several of her books on my reading list and can't wait to get to them.

Read about her new title STARCROSSED, a Fractured Shakespeare Novel - Book Three in the Series:




Their love broke all the rules... on both sides.

Rhen, an SS officer, and Julia, a young Jewish girl, fall in love at the outbreak of WWII, defying all the odds as star-crossed lovers. Based on Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, STARCROSSED reimagines the story set in the chaotic world of Berlin. Rhen and Julia meet at a maskenballe, both romantic dreamers whose ideologies rest more in the stars than in their own faith or the politics surrounding them. After their impulsive actions which bind them together, the war rips them apart, and they spend the next four years struggling to find each other... and searching to find their own place within the madness. Again and again, chances are missed as destiny pushes them onward, even as they determine to not end up like the ill-fated lovers of Shakespeare's play.

Will their love survive the horrors of Auschwitz?

Will Rhen save her, and himself, from Hitler's onslaught?

Purchase STARCROSSED






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More News About D.K.

Her book KINGFISHER just won first place with Bookfest for Historical Romance Time Travel

The past, future, and Excalibur lie in her hands.

Wales, 1914. Vala Penrys and her four sisters find solace in their spinster life by story-telling, escaping the chaos of war by dreaming of the romantic days of Camelot. When the war hits close to home, Vala finds love with Taliesin Wren, a mysterious young Welsh Lieutenant, who shows her another world within the tangled roots of a Rowan tree, known to the Druids as ‘the portal’.

One night she falls through, and suddenly she is Vivyane, Lady of the Lake – the Kingfisher – in a divided Britain clamoring for a High King. What begins as an innocent pastime becomes the ultimate quest for peace in two worlds full of secrets, and Vala finds herself torn between the love of her life and the salvation of not only her family but of Britain, itself.

From award-winning historical novelist, D. K. Marley - a story for OUTLANDER and MISTS OF AVALON fans - comes a time-traveling historical spanning centuries.

"It is, at the heart of it, a love story – the love between a man and a woman, between a woman and her country, and between the characters and their fates – but its appeal goes far beyond romance. It is a tale of fate, of power, and, ultimately, of sacrifice for a greater good." - Riana Everly, author of Teaching Eliza and Death of a Clergyman



Connect with D.K.





Sunday, January 30, 2022

Meet Award-Winning Author Ken Farmer, Who Proved It's Never Too Late, and Read About Murder Mystery THREE CREEKS, One Of My Favorite Books Ever

I met Ken when I joined his Facebook group Writers Roundup. Read about Ken's amazing life and THREE CREEKS, Book One of this award-winning series. 

He was my blog guest last year, and since then, I read THREE CREEKS. I cannot praise it enough. I shared my 5-star Amazon review at the end of this post. Meanwhile, meet Ken and read about his amazing life and books: 


About Ken

Ken didn't write his first full novel until he was sixty-nine years of age. He often wonders what the hell took him so long. At age seventy-nine…he's currently working on novel number forty.

He has written in several genres...Military Action, Police Procedural, SyFy, Western, and now, Southern Noir Mystery.              

Ken spent thirty years raising cattle and quarter horses in Texas and forty-five years as a professional actor (after a stint in the Marine Corps). Those years gave him a background for storytelling…or as he has been known to say, "I've always been a bit of a bull---t artist, so writing novels kind of came naturally once it occurred to me I could put my stories down on paper."

His writing style has been likened to a combination of Louis L'Amour and Terry C. Johnston with an occasional Hitchcockian twist…now that's a combination. Ken just likes to say, "I'm a storyteller." 

"I don't write about outlaws and peace officers...I write about people."

At age seventy-nine, he released novel #37 on Sept. 19th...THREE CREEKS. it just may be his opus. He has released #38, book #2 in the THREE CREEKS series...RED HILL ROAD, followed by #39, book #3 in the series...THE POND, Feb. 19, 2021. The THREE CREEKS series is late 1940s Southern Noir Mysteries in the vein of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Rock Hole by Reavis Wortham. The first in the series, THREE CREEKS just won the Firebird Award for Best Mystery of 2020.

Novel #36 was SKINWALKER JUSTICE, a Western Supernatural thriller, book #5 in the Silke Justice series.  STEELDUST, started the BONE & LORAINE spin-off with modern day detectives, Bone and Loraine being accidentally transported back in time to 1898. Current WIPS are #39, DALIA MARRH, book # 6 in the Silke Justice series and FRIENDS, book #4 in the THREE CREEKS MYSTERY SERIES.

Writing has become Ken's second life: he has been a Marine, played collegiate football, been a Texas wildcatter, cattle and horse rancher, professional film and TV actor and now...a novelist. Who knew?

In addition to his love for writing fiction, he taught acting for 17 years, still teaches voice-over and creative writing workshops. His favorite expression is: "Just tell the damn story."



About THREE CREEKS

WINNER - BEST MYSTERY - 2021 - FIREBIRD AWARDS   

Three Creeks is a heart wrenching, gripping, sometimes poignant, all be it occasionally humorous, Southern Noir Mystery seen through the eyes of an eight year old Texas boy, Foot Lee, in southern Arkansas 1949.

Foot's grandfather is called out of retirement from the Sheriff's Department to cover for Sheriff Wilson, wounded during a moonshine still bust, to track down a chain killer who has murdered three teenage girls with a fourth girl missing.

Who is the killer?

What do Foot and his best friend, a colored boy the same age named Hutch, have to do with it?

Is the fourth girl found alive?

Follow the twists and turns to find out in THREE CREEKS.

THREE CREEKS just named First Place Winner - Mystery Category - Firebird Awards.  I have had the story of Three Creek fighting to get out of my head and on paper for the last five or six years...It finally won. I wrote it in 21 days. I've never written a story quite like this before and I'm amazed at how fast it came pouring out...in a torrent. Some of my beta readers told me after reading it that Three Creeks had the flavor of To Kill a Mocking Bird, Catcher in the Rye, and Where the Crawdads Sing and they thought it just as good. That's a bit heady, but I do think most will like it, especially if they like a good Southern Noir Mystery. 

You could almost call it a memoir - minus the murders.

An Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

“No, Daddy, no! I’m scared…” Was all I got out before the waterwings my grandma had made me

out of two one gallon lard buckets and a flour sack went sailing into the bushes one way an’ all I could

see in the other direction was sky, trees, water, sky, trees, water…

I splashed face first to the surface of the murky creek all the way out in the middle of the swimmin’

hole. I came to the surface, spittin’ an’ sputterin’…tryin’ to hold my head above water.

“Put your head down, boy!…Swim to me. Come on…Put your head down…Reach for the bank.”

I looked up with water blurin’ my vision at my daddy standin’ up on the clay bank of the local

swimmin’ hole at Three Creeks, waving me toward him. He was a hard-as-nails, muscular,

square-jawed, broad-shouldered man without a ounce of fat on him.

I was to be eight years old in three days, June 18, 1949…if I survived. My daddy was a driller for

Shell Oil and we currently lived just outside of a boomtown named Gainesville, Texas, in some

former Army barracks. The base where all the drillin’ crews lived had been named Camp Howes

durin’ the war.

The war they called World War II…guess there’d been another one before…had been over

almost four years and we had already lived in seven boomtowns in three states, searchin’ for oil during

the war an’ were still at it. I was born six months before Pearl Harbor.

My Amazon Review:

Better Than Watching A Movie 

Three Creeks, set in 1940’s Arkansas, had me hooked from the first paragraph. In Book One of this series, told in part by 8-year-old “Foot” Lee, three young girls are found drowned, strangled, and discovered to be pregnant. A fourth girl survived a similar horrific ordeal and escaped, but her state of shock prevents her from talking. I cannot remember the last time I’ve experienced dialogue so realistic, so authentic, so true-to-life, and the day-to-day details of the townsfolks’ lives made this story come to such vivid life, I could see every scene and hear every word as if I was watching a movie rather than reading a book. The writing and dialogue are nothing short of brilliant.

I couldn’t even guess who the murderer was, and as in every great mystery, I was dumbfounded when it was revealed.

This is the first of Ken’s books I’ve read, and am going back to purchase the rest of the series. It’s obvious why he’s won so many awards. His storytelling is beyond masterful; he’s up there with the greats. Bravo Ken!

Connect with Ken on Facebook

Book Trailer

Ken's VO Demo


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Meet My Fellow Wild Rose Press Author Terry Korth Fischer and Read About Her New Mystery Novel GONE BEFORE

I've been a happy Wild Rose Press author for 12 years and always enjoy hosting other Wild Rose authors here. Today I'm hosting Terry, featuring her new murder mystery, released last week.

About Terry


Terry Korth Fischer writes short stories, memoirs, and mysteries. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, was published in 2019. Followed in 2021, by her debut mystery, Gone Astray, introducing Detective Rory Naysmith, a seasoned city cop relocated to small-town Winterset, Nebraska. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two guard cats. When not writing, she loves reading, frolicking with the kittens, and basking in sunshine. Yet, her heart often wanders to the country's heartland, where she spent a memorable—ordinary but charmed—childhood. 

About GONE BEFORE



A murderer who doesn’t leave a clue. Small-town detective, Rory Naysmith, thought he’d seen it all, but a young woman’s brutal murder is especially hard to stomach. Doubly so, when he recognizes the murder’s MO is identical to that of Tobias Snearl, the killer he put behind bars a decade before. His frustration grows after a series of senseless accidents plague those dearest to him, and a second woman dies. Searching for answers, Rory races against time, plunging deep into the murder investigations, drawing ever closer to becoming a casualty of the dark, angry deeds himself, until he finds no one is who they pretend to be—and none are beyond evil’s reach. 

Excerpt

The detective studied the cloudless sky and tried not to think about his foot. It didn’t work. “Just use the crowbar to break one of these frickin’ stones loose.”

The jack handle didn’t do the trick. Opening the trenching tool and using the pick end, Thacker swung it against the largest stone. It bounced off the surface. Rory suppressed a scream as pain shot from his knee down his encased leg.

“Easy!”

“Sorry, boss.”

“Try removing one of the outer stones. Loosen them, and maybe we’ll be able to budge these. I’ll hold the light, and you make room for these damn jaws to unclasp. Try finding the cornerstone.” A fine layer of perspiration covered Rory’s face. He felt defeated and a little nauseous. He leaned back on his elbows and looked at the sky. “Thacker,” he said, “this is damn unlucky.”

The rookie moved down the mound to the edge of the pile. Using the crowbar and a lot of muscle, he attacked. Finally, he was able to roll one stone out of position. Then another. He was still three feet from Rory’s crevice, working his way toward the more enormous boulders and Rory’s ultimate freedom, when the rock he was prying loose rolled out of place. He hesitated. “There is something funny here, boss.”

“I could use a good laugh.”

“Not ha-ha funny, peculiar funny.”

“Tell me anyway.”

“There’s someone else in this rock pile.”

 Purchase GONE BEFORE on Amazon

 Purchase on Barnes & Noble

Connect with Terry

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Amazon Author Page

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Book Gems

Blog

Newsletter

                                           


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Meet My Guest Ian Churchward and Read About His Book, His Medieval Band "The Legendary Ten Seconds" and How They Were Created

I met Ian through the Richard III Society, of which I've been a member for 30 years. Ian is a gifted musician and songwriter who writes lyrics and music in the medieval style but with a folksy touch and even hints of rock. All the songs tell stories about the life of Richard III, as ballads, some lively, some slower. His book, Songs About Richard III - A Richard III Music Project (click on the title to see it on Amazon) ties in with all his songs, explains how he became a loyal Ricardian, and how he formed the band. 

About the Book, in Ian's Words

This is a revised edition of the original book which is about the songs I have written for my Richard III music project. It includes the lyrics for the songs which have been released on the albums which have been recorded as The Legendary Ten Seconds. The songs that I have written and recorded tell the story of the life and times of this King and the book has been written to try to satisfy the demand from people who want to know more about my music.

The introduction for the book has been written by the author Kathy Martin and her books include The Woodville Connection and The Beaulieu Vanishing. My book has been edited with the help of the author Sandra Heath Wilson who has had many novels published since the 1970's. Sandra wrote and read the narratives which accompany the songs for the second album about Richard III by The Legendary Ten Seconds and these narratives are included in my book.

The original version of Songs About Richard III was published in 2016 and this revised edition includes details of the songs which have been recorded up until the end of 2020. It includes information about the Mer de Mort album which was recorded to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Mortimer History Society. It also includes details about the Torbay Pageant concept albums which was the main focus of The Legendary Ten Seconds throughout 2020.



About Ian

Ian's main hobby is music and he has played guitar in several bands in South Devon. He started recording as the Legendary Ten Seconds when he was the lead guitar player of The Morrisons who were featured on John Peel's radio one show back in 1987. Ian lives with his wife in Torquay, Devon, England and is a keen supporter of his local football club.

How The Band Was Born

The Legendary Ten Seconds started off as the solo music project of Ian Churchward in 2004 during the time when he was the lead guitar player of The Morrisons who were featured on John Peel's Radio One show back in 1987. When Ian started recording as the Legendary Ten Seconds he was also playing guitar for a ceilidh band called Phoenix. In 2013 Lord Zarquon joined Ian's music project and since then the line up has gradually expanded and various guest musicians and vocalists have helped out in the recording studio. These have included the backing vocals of Camilla Joyce and the lead guitar of Rob Bright. The most recent musicians to join the project are Phil Swann and Martyn Hillstead. The sounds of the Mellotron feature quite significantly in the recordings.

Most notably The Legendary Ten Seconds have recorded many critically acclaimed English folk rock albums which chronicle the Wars of the Roses and the life and times of Richard III in England during the late fifteenth century. The albums are available on Amazon and iTunes and the band have donated money to a scoliosis charity from some of the income generated from the sale of their music. The CD versions of the albums are available via the Richard III Society in the UK. In 2018 the band recorded the Mer de Mort album which was commissioned by the Mortimer History Society to commemorate the Society's tenth anniversary. It is a historically accurate album of songs which tells the story of the significantly important Mortimer medieval family from their roots in Normandy prior to the battle of Hastings and into the 15th century. The album includes historical narratives read by the actor John Challis ( Boycie in Only Fools and Horses ) who was the patron of the Mortimer History Society. The Legendary Ten Seconds have also recorded a comedy song about the Mortimers with John Challis speaking as Boycie.

2019 saw the release of four albums, Devon Roses, History Book Part One. Instrumental Legends and Thrilling Blunder Stories. The Devon Roses album features the lead vocals of the lady singers of the Legendary Ten Seconds, Bridgit England, Pippa West, Jules Jones and Ian's wife Elaine.

In February 2020 the History Book Part Two album was completed and this was followed by The Acoustic Almanac, Amazing Songs and the Pageant of Torbay Part One albums. This last album contains songs which explore the rich and varied history of Torbay. For instance The Billy Ruffian is about when Napoleon Bonaparte was held as a prisoner on board HMS Bellerophon while at anchor in Torbay. Additionally a new version of the first Richard III album was released in digital format via Circle of Spears Productions. The new version of the album features fictional narratives written by Sandra Heath Wilson. The narratives are read by Sandra and Ian's wife Elaine, in the form of an exchange of letters between Richard III's mother and his sister Margaret.

2021 has so far produced three new albums by The Legendary Ten Seconds. These are the Pageant of Torbay Part Two, Semi Acoustic Almanac and a concept album of songs about Devon. This latest album is in the format of a Torquay radio show with jingles recorded by the band and introductions by Riviera FM's Peter Cartwright.

The band have performed several concerts for the Richard III Society including one for the USA branch in Denver.

Click Here for the Band's Website

Purchase CDs on the Band's Website


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I must say, the CD covers are fabulous frame-worthy works of art. Below are some of the covers:

Artist: George Harman


Artist: Georgie Harman


Artist: Georgie Harman


Artist: Graham Moores




Contact Ian


My Review of The Legendary Ten Seconds for the Ricardian Register (magazine of the American branch)

As a longtime Ricardian, I enjoy music from his era, but The Legendary Ten Seconds, led by balladeer Ian Churchward, who writes the music and lyrics, writes songs of Richard III's life. They each tell a story about different times and events in Richard's life before and during his reign, and the music will transport you right back to medieval times. The accompanying flute, as well as Ian's singing voice, instantly made me think of one of my favorite bands of all time, Jethro Tull, with flute virtuoso Ian Anderson's lively melodies and smooth voice. It's folksy, yet some of the songs have a faster tempo, as the folk-rock of Tull, and you'll find yourself tapping your foot as you listen to the livelier songs. Richard, who appreciated music and was reportedly a great dancer, would have thoroughly enjoyed these songs.

The CD covers are works of art. The CD Loyaulte Me Lie, (Richard's motto "Loyalty Binds Me"), released the year after his remains were discovered under a Leicester car park in 2012, features an image of Richard based on the facial reconstruction that shows us what Richard looked like.

If you're not a Ricardian (yet) you will learn much about Richard from these stories put to beautiful music.

 I just purchased Loyaulte Me Lie from Amazon and will undoubtedly purchase more from this multi-talented group of musicians, who, incidentally, donate profits to a UK scoliosis charity.

 



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