A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust
In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.
War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.
Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.
Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?
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Escaping Home follows Christine into the past where a rogue agent follows her and threatens to disrupt the timeline. What inspired the setup to this riveting story?
Christine has dealt with a few nefarious characters in the two previous books in the series. In this installment, I wanted to explore what might happen if someone were careless enough to travel back in time with no regard for history. With the world on the brink of war, people would do things they might not ordinarily consider. The possibility of a nuclear war could encourage someone to take risks, thinking there would be no consequences. Of course, Christine and her friends can’t let that happen, especially when they are the reason the rogue agent is in the 1700s to begin with.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
First and foremost, I wanted to get the characters emotions right. Going back to the eighteenth century and surviving would take everything they were made of. It was important to relay their emotional struggle to the reader, so they could place themselves there. Second, I challenged myself to make it as historically accurate as I could. In order to really feel like the reader was a part of this story, they had to know what it was like to live in 1790. The language, the clothing, the city, all had to be authentic.
What were some obstacles you felt were important to developing Christine’s character in this novel?
Christine is a complicated character. She has a tendency to be a loner. She has grown in last two books, but she still clings to the notion that she has to be strong for everyone else all the time. In this book we got to see her personality soften even more. She eventually gets her happy ending, and after all she has been through, it was well deserved!
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book is part of a time travel trilogy with a different twist. It is due out in September of 2022. Without giving too much away, here is a little teaser.
What was supposed to be a few days in the nineteenth century with two of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities goes horribly awry. Now America’s hottest starlet is dead, and Jack the Ripper in on the loose in modern day America. And it’s all my fault.
I was foolish enough to let history’s most ruthless serial killer slip out of the past. But am I smart enough to send him packing?
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Under the Grapevine is the second in The Women of Campbell County series by author S Lee Fisher. Olive Westchester is a married woman with children of her own and a loving husband, all of whom she treats badly. Having lost all her youthful chances, she is locked in her own misery which has festered over the years to create a bitter, angry woman. She treats everyone around her with rude contempt, keeps secrets from her family for her own benefit and only really engages with them when she needs a skivvy.
The book opens after the First World War and covers the years of the Great Depression and the Second World War with vivid detail. Although the characters are affected by these tumultuous events I wanted to dive deeper into their emotional turmoil. The author seems to have a clear vision of the personalities of each member of the family, which I found intriguing and left me wanting to know much more about them. This is a plot driven literary saga that focuses on a series of dramatic events that happen to the characters, but leaves me wanting more insight into the inner worlds of many of the characters.
Harriet bounces along from one experience to the next without sharing with us what is going on in her head apart from the little that is revealed through her conversations with others, this sets her up to be an enigmatic character to me. As for Olive, if you have not read the first book in the series, which I recommend, you would have no idea why she is so hateful, and these reasons can be compelling, but here the characterization is intense and I wanted a window into her soul to understand why. Harriet is surprisingly unscathed by having such a horrid mother, and it is awe inspiring that Tabs remains the loyal, long-suffering husband that he is.
Under the Grapevine is filled with intriguing characters that I wanted to explore further and deeper. This is a great family saga for readers who enjoy rousing drama against a vivid historical backdrop.
Pages: 296 | ASIN: B0981M5QYN
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The Elusive Smuggler follows two people determined not to give into one another while a diabolical enemy plots revenge. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
Well, of course, the story line is nothing new, but what is under the sun?! Anyone who loves swashbuckling heroes full of ‘je ne sais quoi’, feisty heroines and evil villains, and a good romance never runs smooth or it’s boring, will tell you that! However, to delve a bit deeper…outward appearances can be very deceptive, and people’s characters in reality are often very different from the face they put on to the world. Also, a lot of people have events in their past that have made them what they are… either one wrong decision has changed the direction of their life, or the way they were brought up has coloured their personality, ambitions and view of life and, sometimes, the opposite sex. Those themes figure a lot in all my stories, historical and contemporary.
In addition, I suppose that particular period of history has always fascinated me. Enormous social upheaval – radical in France – and the repercussions it had across Europe as new discoveries and inventions went hand in hand with radical thought. I just looked at it all, especially the anarchic situation in France, and it was just perfect as background for someone clever, unscrupulous and brutal to take advantage for personal gain, knowing there was little in the way of law and order to pay much attention and interfere. As for the hero and heroine in The Elusive Smuggler… they were influenced by their pasts in different ways, and their families, and when you have two very strong willed, determined and passionate people, sparks will inevitably fly.
Your characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
No one is perfect, we all have our faults… but being able to see one’s failings and try to improve them, is a challenge, and not everyone succeeds… as is the ability to admit one is wrong and apologise. Just because someone is headstrong, brave and determined doesn’t mean to say they can’t be humble too. I just think people with complex personalities are so much more interesting. It allows them to make mistakes, take wrong decisions, and that creates twists and turns in the storylines.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
To be perfectly honest, I never really set out to have any theme or ideas for characters when I first started writing, nor a plotline. It all just evolved the more I wrote and got involved in each story, and I chose this period of history as it was familiar to me so I didn’t have to do too much research. Given I started writing on a long daily train commute to work and home again, that was quite important! However, as I wrote I always thought about what I would do, or feel, or how I would react if I was in that situation, if I was that character. And I wanted characters with depth, who would make mistakes, but come through adversity somehow, rising to the challenge. Not only that, I wanted other interesting characters threading through each story other than the hero and heroine and the villain, so there were more side plotlines and other people involved in them, to give the whole tale more breadth and interest. I always enjoyed reading stories like that in my youth and loved escaping into them, keeping me engrossed for days, unable to tear myself away I was so involved in the story, full of suspense and impassioned romance… and that’s what I wanted to reproduce when I started writing. Most of us secretly yearn to be something we’re not in some ways… slimmer, fitter, better looking, cleverer or more accomplished at something… fantasy is a great escape from the dreariness or struggle with everyday life and we all do it one way or another at some point. So my stories are simply escapism for romantics!
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The Elusive Smuggler is only the first part of the whole story of Francis and Cat – Behind The Shadow.
The remaining three parts of Behind The Shadow are available now. 2: An Unusual Courtship, 3: The Determined Duchess, 4: The Dangerous Harlot. They’re full of drama, suspense and plot twists until all the threads of the tale finally resolve themselves in part 4.
Then, there is the 5 part sequel, Pride of Lions, set some twenty years later during the latter part of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. Its central character is someone who appears in Behind The Shadow (part 2 onwards) an aristocratic French refugee who has grown up in England and is now an undercover agent working for the Duke of Wellington in his campaign against Napoleon…. a sort of James Bond in every way… except he hasn’t got an Aston Martin, just a black horse called Shadow (of course!) The action moves from London to Spain and to France, and includes action at the epic Battle of Waterloo, and finally a thrilling climax with another crazed villain. And a lot of the characters from the first book reappear in this sequel so you get to find out what has happened in their lives… and The Shadow has his final hurrah. It’s all compelling and engrossing stuff!
Pride of Lions, parts 1 and 2 are due to be published at the beginning of November with the remainder in December and January.
Compelling romance and swashbuckling thrills. The dramatic and gripping story of one man with two lives and the woman he craves, but cannot have. He was the handsome aristocrat and charismatic adventurer who created a dynasty and she was the feisty, unconventional woman he loved. He was English and she was French, two strong-willed people determined never to give in to each other, and a devious, diabolical enemy determined to exact revenge on the smuggler who had constantly evaded him and thwarted his nefarious plans.
Set at the end of the 18th century when France was on the cusp of a bloodthirsty Revolution, this is an exciting and unputdownable tale of daring escapes, broken promises, distrust and misunderstandings, all threaded through by a passionate and turbulent love affair, a scorching romance that wouldn’t be denied.
Part One: The Elusive SmugglerFrance 1790. A country in turmoil and you’re desperate. Your family has been unjustly thrown into a fortress prison for reasons nothing to do with the Revolution and it’s down to you to rescue them, if you can, before they meet a grim fate. So what to do when you only have a crippled brother to aid you? With law and order breaking down and justice gone missing, you decide only someone with a ruthless reputation can help, a devious and cunning criminal, if you can find the man you’ve heard about. The brutal and corrupt Regional Governor has been trying for years without success, but that won’t discourage you because you’re an exceedingly determined woman, wilful and somewhat eccentric, and you’ll pay or do anything if this man can help facilitate an escape from the fortress and get your family out of France.
Marie-Catherine de Mornay had always got her way and done what she wanted, and succeeded, but that was before she met The Shadow. However, Edgar Bernheim, the venal Governor, had his own private agenda, for which the Revolution was merely a front, and was an exceedingly vengeful man people took on at their peril…
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The Sphere of Destiny follows a medieval alchemist who finds a sphere in a pyramid that takes him on an odyssey through time. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?
Ans: The pyramids are the ancient wonder of mysterious and mystical origin. I have been quite interested in pyramids since early childhood and have watched many documentaries on Egypt. In my view, Egyptian pyramids are much older than the date purported in textbooks. The idea is based on the writings of Egyptian historians. According to ancient Sabians (star-worshippers of Egypt), pyramids are pre-flood monuments. I crafted the story on those accounts and made the central protagonist catapulted to an alien planet, thus blending ancient knowledge and science fiction.
Al-Khidr is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Ans: Al-Khidr has many facets. First, he is a Berber orphan, and he belongs to the non-Arabic culture of north Africa and is connected to Africa itself. Second, he spoke Amazigh, which is also considered an ancient language far older than English. Third, he has an interest in chemicals, compounds, acids. I read an exciting novel, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. That inspired me to cast another alchemist character that goes to pyramids and finds something interesting. The milieu and era did the rest of the magic. Later in an alien world, he realized that it was his destiny to move from one planet to another.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Ans: The antiquity of pyramids, the Sphinx, and the zodiac of Dendera — these monuments were the major themes – these are mentioned in book 1 with different names, for example, Sphinx is a greek mythology character, of course, those who had made Sphinx they didn’t call it Sphinx. I called it the monument of Anpu (or Anubis). This theme is discussed more in book 2 (releasing soon). Also, the Hathor-Osiris and Seth, Egyptian mythology is weaved into book one in their original names – Hathor, Usir, and Seth, as in ancient Egyptian pronunciation. Ehsis is Isis in an ancient Egyptian accent. So the mythology is weaved with the story.
This is book one in The Sphere of Destiny Trilogy. What can readers expect in book two?
Ans: Book 2 is historical fiction plus sci-fi. It will show Egypt at Napoleon’s occupation, as humans struggle to reach the herbs. He has to save himself from French forces, an alien killer, Egyptians resisting French occupation.
A daring alchemist. A rogue alien. A battle of nerves and emotions.
Giza, Egypt, 832 A.D.
Al-Khidr is awestruck when he finds a mysterious metallic sphere inside the Pyramid of Giza. As a long-time medieval alchemist, he has seen his fair share of interesting finds, but this discovery is like none other. Unbeknownst to him, the relic will change his life in unimaginable ways.
The curiosity catapults an alchemist through space and time to an alien planet, but his efforts prove futile when he comes head-to-head with the aliens who viewed him as a curse.
With danger looming, a short time frame, and his life on the line, Al-Khidr has to do what he thinks is correct and just.
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Chasing Time by Thomas Reilly is a thrilling blend of realistic and supernatural fiction. The narrative begins in Rome in around A.D. 40-50 with Lucius Fabius Antonius, a Roman oil merchant with an aptitude for predicting events, and his mysterious bronze Janus key ring. It then takes a great leap to Brooklyn in 1965 with the Roman merchants’ mirror image, Anthony Lucas, an eighth-grader. The story revolves around Anthony’s arduous journey to seek a cure for a terminal illness, with the help of a clue he found from an uncanny bronze Janus ring he found by chance 54 years ago.
In order to provide readers with a plot that fills them with eager anticipation, no stones have been left unturned. Along with the protagonist of the story, I found myself trying to put together several puzzle clues. Also, the fact that the latter part of the novel is connected with contemporary life adds more realism to the story. There’s talk of a time prediction key ring on one hand, but there’s also talk of baseball, Google, and the ever-expanding technology on the other.
The plot is clearly shaped by the author Thomas Reilly’s knowledge and expertise as a retired scientist with a background in pharmaceutical and biotechnology. He did inculcate his vast knowledge within the plot, with many instances in the book with terms and language associated with a scientist’s role, but it took me two readings to fully comprehend those particular paragraphs. It did not, however, prevent me from enjoying the novel’s intriguing plot.
Another interesting aspect of the book is the historical facts in it that are again a testament to the amount of research that went into the writing. Everything in the book is well examined to fit them to the overall development and excitement of the story, whether it is Janus key ring, Olive Oil, or several facts about ALS disease.
Chasing Time is as fascinating as it is unpredictable. At times, the plot twists and supernatural elements had me believing that I was watching a movie. Chasing Time is a perfect book for readers who like the thrill of adventure and mystery. One can also discern many hidden messages within the fictional plot by digging deeper. Whether it is the faith of Anthony’s family in him and his mystifying stories, or the several cooperative and significant people he encounters along the way, the story demonstrates hard work and resilience are essential to achieve any unimaginable goal.
Pages: 213 | ASIN: B09DTJPPLR
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Hired to investigate the murder of an 84-year-old widow, P.I. Joe Coopersmith hits one dead end after another in his search for leads. With few clues and no suspects, he nearly gives up, until he uncovers a connection to a bizarre plot to kill the descendants of Irish soldiers who fought for Mexico during the Mexican-American War. Known as San Patricios, they belonged to the St. Patrick’s Battalion, an elite Mexican unit composed mostly of Irish Immigrants. When someone threatens Coopersmith’s life, he knows he’s on the right track. Undeterred, he digs deeper into the plot, soon learning the identity of the man behind it and his warped motive for the cold-blooded murder of the elderly widow.
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The Road Remembered is a riveting historical fiction novel by author Kaye D. Schmitz which recounts the final months of World War II through the eyes of two main characters. On one side, there’s American soldier Sam Ryan, fresh out of training in the 89th Infantry Division, and on the other Gerda Ziegler, a German woman responsible for saving the lives of countless Jewish children.
The author has done impeccable research and interviewed several veterans to bring this story to life, including her own father, the real-life figure who served as inspiration for Sam Ryan. Gerda is also based on a real hero, Irene Sendler, the woman responsible for saving over 2,000 children during the war.
Together, these two viewpoints create a vivid picture of war that condemns the Nazi ideology, but also shows there were good people on both sides of the conflict. The writing is the strong point of the book. The accounts are so detailed that it is very easy to get absorbed by the narrative and feel like you are living that reality with the characters.
Both main characters are well developed and their thoughts and motivations are well explained. The narratives and settings from these two perspectives differ wildly from one another. However, the horrors created by war are ever-present in the protagonists’ minds.
As events unfold, we are curious to know the outcomes of the characters, since we know the one from the war. There is also some excitement about which circumstances the protagonists will meet and what will come out of that.
The book keeps a steady pace right up until the end of the war where we are then treated to something of an epilogue in the last few pages. However, in the end, there’s a beautiful payoff that wraps it all up beautifully.
The Road Remembered is a compelling account of events from World War II with enough liberties taken to make it a fantastic piece of historical fiction. With realistic characters and an enveloping narrative this is a book I highly recommend.
Pages: 334 | ASIN: B0975VVDH6
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