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Destination Unknown: The Saga Continues – Book Trailer

Beth, now known as Emilie, did not return to the year 2016 with her brother, Russ. Instead, she left the life of partying and married Daniel.

Daniel and his children, Anna, Sara, and Toby strove to teach her the way of the land. But Emilie still found life in 1860 quite challenging.

When the family’s friend, Mrs. Knutson, learned of secret relatives, Daniel and Emilie accompanied her by wagon train to Saint Anthony. A trip which would’ve taken Emilie thirty minutes by car took three long days. But she trudged forward, determined to be strong even though calamity, with a side of nausea, followed her everywhere.

Now two teenage city boys, forced by their grandfather, had come back to live with them.

The size of her home wasn’t a concern. However, the items she’d brought back from the future were something to worry about. What if one found Toby’s video games? Or Anna’s hand-held sewing machine? She felt sure it would change history.

Meanwhile, Russ and Zena–the woman he had rescued–went to the future in search of a vaccine for his illness. Unable to time travel while recuperating, they found and stayed with Henry in the year 2110.

They had just completed building a larger Scorpion when Zena ran into trouble, causing her and Russ to flee back to the year 2016.

When the time came for Russ to travel again, he and Zena returned to Emilie’s era only to find things not as they should be.

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Dancing the Labyrinth

Dancing the Labyrinth by Karen Martin is a story filled with myths, legends, and goddesses. Karen has woven a tale of the past connecting flawlessly with the future by covering the bridge with a vision of the priestess. Dancing the Labyrinth is a story that makes you question your beliefs. I love tales which makes you broaden your horizons and forces you to see and experience something different, something that changes your perspective. Cressida, whose life changed when she arrived in her dream country of Greece, stumbling into a tomb where she experienced the parallels of the world, the past and the future. The experience was divine, yet gruesome.

Author Karen Martin describes the existence of a matriarchal society. Many religions claim it to be true, but Karen captures the essence of it. The transition that shifted society to a patriarchal and violent nature, the story tells this perspective through Pythia, Ashtar and Lydia. The Priestesses, the embodiment of the Mother, the Goddess. It’s a tale of time, conveyed to Cressida through her dreams. But the story doesn’t stop here. Instead, with the help of Angela, Cressida tries to understand and to decipher what happened to the civilization, the existence of the tomb. It is a harrowing story. With the suffering inflicted upon women, to the modern world. Greek mythology is famous all over the world, but the perspective on it in this book is unique and intriguing.

The story continuously switches writing styles. The book starts casually and with contemporary language and then switches to old an older writing style. Along with this we also get switches in point of views. The story is also filled with Greek myth references that will definitely appeal to readers who are familiar with the mythology.

Dancing the Labyrinth was a rewarding experience. I love a story where mythology meets science and the premise was refreshing and made for a riveting read.

Pages: 300 | ASIN: B0985T8VTH

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What She Wanted Out of Life

Harmke Buursma
Harmke Buursma Author Interview

Rose Through Time follows a woman who is transported back to the Regency era where she is at the mercy of the handsome owner of the Hawthorne estate. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve always loved time-travel novels like Outlander, and I grew up reading the books by Jane Austen or other classics like Jane Eyre. Rose Through Time and its ongoing world was my chance to combine the two.

Rose is an intriguing character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted a character that was both strong and sensitive. In the beginning of the novel I wanted her to really question who she was and what she wanted out of life; questions that came up because of her break-up and the loss of her grandmother. My goal throughout the story was to see her buck against change when it first arrives but have her grow along the way until she isn’t afraid any longer to accept what she wants and deserves.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

One of the major themes in Rose Through Time is Loss; From Rose losing her grandmother to the loss of her relationship. This same theme also plays a role with the other characters. John and Beth have lost their parent’s and William deals with the loss of his lover. Other themes that also come up are friendship and love.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

William Through Time, a semi-stand alone in the A Magical Bookshop Novel series, is coming out early 2022. William Through Time follows William Chambers, a recurring character in Rose Through Time, as he deals with the loss of his lover James during the Napoleonic wars. Spurred by a letter from his friend John, William returns to Hawthorne. There he meets Austin, a man who just like his friend’s wife Rose has traveled from the future. William wrestles with feelings of guilt, nightmares about his military service, and strict Regency Era society rules as he becomes more and more intrigued by the strange and modern young man. Will love slip through his hands once more or can he hold on to it?

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

What would you do if you traveled through time and landed in the Regency era?

Still grieving, Rose Hart takes on the difficult task of packing up her grandmother’s home. There she stumbles upon a mysterious book with her late grandmother’s name which proves to be the first key in an unraveling mystery that leads her to a strange bookshop and catapults her from her modern day life in the Southwest of the U.S.A to a small town called Westbridge in Regency Era England. 

Suddenly Rose finds herself a stranger in a foreign time and place. A guest at the mercy of the handsome John Easton, the wealthy owner of the Hawthorne estate, and his sister Beth. She meets the scheming Mrs. Ashbrook and befriends John’s friend William, a troubled but charming military man just returned from the war in France. Rose finds herself living the life of adventure she always dreamed of filled with intrigue, danger, and perhaps love. Just one question remains; will she stay or will she go?

Perfect for fans of time-travel and enemies to lovers romance.

Blood and Silver

Blood and Silver by [Vali Benson]

Blood and Silver by Vali Benson is a story from a 12-year-old girl’s perspective based in the 1880s era. Carissa Beaumont is sent to the boomtown of Tombstone, Arizona from California. She and her mother are employed (without payment) under Miss Lucille, the owner of a brothel. Her mother, Lisette is drugged and used for her beauty and singing talents. Things looked grim until they reached this new city which changed their lives forever. Carissa meets a few amazing people like the town’s sheriff, a kind doctor,  a new friend Mai-Lin and the town’s prominent dignitary-Chinese Mary, who helps her escape her miserable fate.

Blood and Silver is an enthralling western with superb attention to detail and riveting characters. The story has some funny innuendo which will give you the giggles throughout the book, but these lighthearted moments breakup the otherwise grim nature of rough western life.

The friendship between innocent Carissa and her sarcastic brothel friend Yvonne is perfect for the young adult audience. China Mary is not a native English speaker and that is depicted spectacularly. Her dialogue will keep you waiting for her parts in the book. Carissa, despite her juvenile age has to make tough decisions for herself. She is  a spectacular protagonist. The author has created a strong female lead that has a unique appeal.

The book is short and crisp. This is more of a novella, but in any case we have just enough room to set the scene, setup characters, and set them on a perilous adventure that I enjoyed reading. There’s a lot going in the story in a short amount of time, but author Vali Benson’s writing ensures we never lose track of what’s happening and why, and that balance and relentless pace make the book suspenseful.

Blood and Silver is a captivating coming of age story following the growth of a demure little girl into a smart and courageous individual. This is an enthralling western that gets the historical details right for the history buffs and ramps up the drama for those looking for a thrilling young adult adventure that transports you to another time and place.

Pages: 142 | ASIN: B086R4RBF3

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She Remains True To Herself

Ingrid Ramsdale
Ingrid Ramsdale Author Interview

Emilie follows a young woman who struggles to find her identity during the bloody 16th century French Wars of Religion. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Curiosity about my French Huguenot ancestry on my mother’s maternal side led me to researching and writing my debut novel Emilie. All the women in my family are strong willed and resilient. I started imagining what my female ancestors would have been like escaping from religious persecution and starting their lives again in a foreign land. From there my narrative grew.

Emilie is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Emilie is only 16 years old and trying to find herself in one of the darkest periods in French history. Her character is quite complex. Like many teenagers she is contrary, vulnerable and flawed. But what shines through in her character is her authenticity. No matter what she is faced with, she remains true to herself.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Emilie is set in the 16th Century but the themes are just as relevant and pertinent today. The story is as much an internal story of self-discovery as an historical story of religious persecution, gender inequality, suffering and loss. The themes of overcoming adversity, love and redemption make what could be a dark story very inspirational.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have started researching the sequel to Emilie. I am aiming for a 2022/3 release.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

How much suffering can one person endure? Will it break them or make them stronger?Sixteen-year-old Emilie Lefroy is about to find out as she searches for her identity and sense of self amid the bloody 16th century French Wars of Religion that kills her closest family and friends. Emilie laments being born a female of noble birth. Headstrong and intelligent, she challenges societal and family inequalities. ‘Why should I pray to a god that has given me a brain, but then gives me parents that will not let me use it just because I am a daughter and not a son?’Emilie’s desire is to become a healer, and no one is going to stand in her way. Not her devout Huguenot parents; her malicious brother, Pierre; or the scheming Marcus Daval, her betrothed. Emilie’s plans to run away from home and change her identity are disrupted by the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. As she escapes from one of the heavily guarded gates of Paris, Emilie must decide whether to save herself and flee France forever, or stay and use her newly acquired medical skills to help other Huguenots survive a copycat massacre in Rouen.Emilie is a captivating adventure of self-discovery that is brimming with raw emotions and heartbreak. Can Emilie find herself and true love in a world of hate and violence? This historical romance and adventure novel set in the French Renaissance will keep you spellbound to the end.


Emilie by [Ingrid Ramsdale]

Ingrid Ramsdale’s Emilie narrates the story of a girl who wishes nothing but to pursue her dreams. Set in sixteenth-century France against the backdrop of the turbulent struggle between the rising wave of Protestantism and the established Catholicism, the novel paints a vivid picture of its time and perfectly establishes our intelligent eponymous protagonist, Emilie, within that setting. 

Emilie wishes to learn about the healing properties of plants, and pursue it as a career, but she is vehemently opposed by the French society of that time. Women in those times were not allowed to study, rather they were married off to further the political and economic prowess of the family. Emilie plans to elope, but she finds herself caught within the religious turmoil and fatal attacks on her family. 

Although the story takes places in a dramatic historical setting, the powerful message at the core of this riveting story will still resonate with modern readers, especially during these times when so many still struggle for equality. It is an eternal story of a woman trying to create her identity in a society that doesn’t allow women to have minds of their own. Our heroine’s intellectual mind transcends the barriers imposed upon women, and she seeks to learn medicine, arts, geography, and the healing power of herbs. She attains her goal of becoming a natural healer, but she also has to face the rage of a hateful brother and an even more despicable suitor. 

Emilie carries a universal appeal and presents history in an intriguing way. The characters have been developed with an intellectual depth and intelligence that makes them equal to the momentous times they are living in. If you wish to delve into sixteenth-century France, the ecclesiastical history, and the position of women within that framework, this novel would be a fascinating read.

Pages: 324 | ASIN: B094X822H2

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Fiery Red Hair, Emerald Green Eyes and a Vicious Irish Temper

Fiery Red Hair, Emerald Green Eyes and a Vicious Irish Temper by Ralph E. Jarrells is an adventure book about Anne Bonny, the first female pirate. The author intertwines historical facts and background with a fictional narration from Anne as she tells the story of her life to her granddaughter. Now a 56-year-old, Anne has left the life of piracy behind many years ago. She excels at being the landowner of Goose Creek Plantation, while also supporting financially many of the well-known entities from Charles Town. But the rumors about her past life persists nonetheless, as well as a shade of her fierceness.

Anne is a character with an intense personality, and I do love a strong female lead, so it is no surprise this is one of the aspects of the book I liked the most. In her younger days her temper is so vicious you never know what she’s going to do, and that results in many interesting surprises. While Anne is now a mature woman and wouldn’t repeat many of her past actions, we see her strong nature in the way she handles business successfully. But it is also interesting to note how being a proper lady (in the 1700’s) is important to her, giving her more depth and duality as a character.

The back and forth between past days and present reality, while important to show the beautiful friendship between grandmother and granddaughter as well as give us insights into Anne’s thoughts, slows the pace a little bit. But regardless of that, the great writing will ensures readers are always entertained with Anne’s exploits, and always wanting to know what’s going to happen next.

With quick and engaging writing, surprise moments and a great balance between adventure and emotional moments Fiery Red Hair, Emerald Green Eyes and a Vicious Irish Temper is a riveting historical fiction novel that is perfect for fans of pirates and seagoing adventures.

Pages: 184 | ISBN:1948679647

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I Love Her Rebellious Spirit

Wendy Louise Hawkin
Wendy Hawkin Author Interview

To Kill a King follows a spirited archaeologist trapped in Iron Age Ireland who struggles to survive a prehistoric warrior culture. What were some sources of inspiration that informed this novel’s development?

One night, I was looking through a National Geographic and discovered photographs of Old Croghan Man, a bog body dug from the Irish peat in 2003. When I read the article and saw that he was 6’6”, about twenty-five years old, and likely a warrior-king who’d been deposed and ritually murdered in such a profound way, I was hooked. I had to tell his story and make his life and death meaningful. I hope I did that.

When I was finishing high school in my thirties, I took a course called Native Ancestry 11. I still remember the moment the text explained “animism” – the idea that everything—rocks, trees, soil, animals, clouds, moon, stars—has spiritual energy. “I know that! I’ve always known that.” That moment was the catalyst to my journey in Indigenous Studies. During my BA, I studied archaeology, anthropology, and North American Indigenous cultures. But the Indigenous cultures of Ireland and Scotland, particularly the Neolithic cultures, also intrigue me. These people were so tuned into nature; much more so than we are today.

I suppose Sorcha arose from that part of me. She’s a composite of me and several young women I’ve known, some of them Irish. I love her rebellious spirit and especially her flaws. I love that she asks for what she wants, doesn’t put up with abuse from men, swears her heart out, speaks her mind, and teaches Old Croghan Man to curse even though she’s been forbidden to change history by Cernunnos. I introduced Sorcha and her first experience seeing the Old Croghan Man artifact in Book 2, To Sleep with Stones. Because she’s gifted in psychometry when Sorcha touched the copper mounts on his leather armband, she envisioned the man’s face and that’s one of the reasons she became an archaeologist. When Cernunnos offers to take her anywhere in the world to any time and culture, Iron Age Ireland is the natural choice.

I’ve always wanted to travel back in time especially to the Celtic countries I write about. I find Diana Gabaldon of Outlander fame very inspiring. I love how Diana mixes genres, times, and cultures, and courageously tells the truth of her characters’ experiences. She doesn’t hold anything back and that courage inspires me to do likewise.

Singer-songwriter, Peter Gabriel, inspired the voice of Conall Ceol, my Druid bard. I’ve been listening to Peter’s archetypal lyrics and incredible voice for years but how could I describe it and the effect Peter’s singing has on me? I’m hoping Estrada did Conall and Peter justice with his comments about the “six-hundred-year-old yellow cedar tree that had been split by lightning” that he remembers when he hears Conall sing. The bard’s voice makes him want to “curl into Conall’s yellow cedar soul and steam.” I feel that way listening to Peter Gabriel most days.

Your characters are well defined and intriguing in their own ways. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Thank you for saying that. I’m an intuitive writer and don’t create my characters as much as allow them to speak, so I can’t take credit for their eccentricities. They arrive fully developed. I don’t outline or even plot the stories and never tell them what to do, so they often surprise me.

What I realized after writing this last book was that I’d been chronicling Estrada’s inner journey throughout the books. In To Charm a Killer, he’s a player until he falls in love with an Irish witch named Primrose who heals his past wounds. Unfortunately, that relationship doesn’t work out but, because of Primrose, To Sleep with Stones finds him drawn to the ideal of marriage and family, something new and foreign to him. His father disappeared when he was twelve and his mother abandoned him to his tyrannical uncle—this is why he’s so attracted to magic, myth, and freedom. In Stones, Estrada will do anything to save his friend Dylan from being hurt in prison and that loyalty to his friends is another of his ideals. In To Render a Raven, the ideal of self-sacrifice for the greater good arises. Estrada’s grown into being an amazing father but he’s still questioning what’s more important: freedom or family? Because he’s polyamorous, he loves both Michael and Sensara, his child’s mother, plus he’s still attracted to other people. But Raven ends in tragedy and we see how destroyed Estrada is in the beginning of To Kill a King.

The driving ideals behind Hollystone Coven prevail throughout the books. The value “to thine own self be true” arises with all the characters who are either LGBTQ or allies. The witches celebrate a myth of ecology, which is something our planet desperately needs today. The coven reveres nature so their rituals are all intended to heal the Earth; while their actions are geared at saving peoples’ lives. They fight evil and value honor, respect, and freedom. Sensara, doesn’t go to Iron Age Ireland with Estrada but she’s a healer and the matriarch of Hollystone Coven. Sensara demands truth and loyalty, but values forgiveness and love. That’s how she manages to stay attached to Estrada though he often makes her crazy.

What draws you to Irish folklore and what aspects were important for you to include in your story?

I was raised on faery stories and truly believed in faeries from childhood. Growing up, I spent a lot of time alone out in nature riding my horse and I’m sure I connected with all kinds of spirits. My father’s family, the Carrs, were Celts, so there may be some ancestral connection, but honestly, I feel it’s more a past life thing. When my daughter and I were driving through the west counties of Ireland in 2005, we turned to each other and said, “We’re home.” So, I have an intrinsic connection to Ireland and all that it is. Magic. The Irish faeries are the descendants of gods—the Tuatha de Danann (tribes of the Celtic Goddess Danu). They appear in Books 1 and 2. In To Kill a King, I weave in the Druidic lore.

And of course, Cernunnos is the Ancient Horned God of Celtic Myth. He first appears in Book 2 when Estrada invokes him along with the Celtic Oak King to help solve the murder and get Dylan released from prison. Cernunnos appears again in this story as the trickster god and is really the character who manipulates everything from time to people. I love his character because he’s such a tease and likes to play with the humans. Still, he sees something special in Estrada who he calls “shaman.”

This is book four in your Hollystone Mysteries. What can readers expect in book five?

Well, I can’t say too much since I don’t plan these things. However, at the end of To Kill a King, Estrada is given a timely gift by Cernunnos which creates an epic cliffhanger. Someone said I should have ended it before the cliffhanger, but how could I? Estrada needs this opportunity to right the wrongs and rid the world of evil. Doesn’t he? And, of course, the cast of characters, their motivations, hopes and dreams, change significantly at the end of book 4. I can’t say how. That would be giving it away. But Estrada’s already shown me some of what he’s planning and all I can say is, it will be epic.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

“Her fingers flew to the fey butterfly tattooed on the back of her neck. Her friend, Yasaman, had designed it for her when she finished grad school. It was her symbol of freedom. Sorcha never wanted to be a professor bound to lecture halls—all she ever craved were the wild places and their stories. Now she was deep inside Ruairí’s story. Sometimes the butterfly brought her joy; other times, inspiration . . . but always a sense of hope. And she needed all three in this moment for her heart was breaking to see her man so broken.”Sorcha just wanted to warn Ruairí of his fate until she saw him and fell in love. How could she leave him to be ritually murdered and cast in a bog to cure for two thousand years?Though he’s lost and grieving the loss of his lover, when Estrada realizes his fiery friend, Sorcha O’Hallorhan, is trapped in Iron Age Ireland, he demands that Cernunnos take him and Dylan back through time to rescue her. The Horned God obliges but states the rules: you cannot change history or develop bonds with anyone. How can Sorcha, the spirited archaeologist, survive this prehistoric warrior culture? Assuming she’s fey, Ruairí’s unscrupulous rival wants her power; but worse still, Ruairí’s lover, the wicked Crow Queen, wants her dead.Can Estrada use his Wiccan powers and magician’s skills to defeat these Iron Age Druids and bring his friends home without changing history?A spin-off of To Sleep with Stones, Book Four tells the story of archaeologist Sorcha O’Hallorhan’s deepest desire. Buy this romantic, time-traveling, prehistoric thriller today and find out what it takes To Kill a King.
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