Monday, January 16, 2017

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klaassen (Tales from Ivy Hill Book #1)

I come back to Klaassen's books because they are good, and each time I take away something that moves me. This book is not an exception to that. I'm really happy with this new series. While it was a slower pace, I felt that Jane Bell paralleled some of what Ruth and Naomi in the Bible must have gone through. Oh, yes, the setting was different, but a bitter and hurting mother in law, and a daughter in law grieving her husband and having to go on anyway reminded me of that. It's still romantic, the story, and it still heart gripping to me. I like it and I look forward to the next book in the series. 

My copy came from Bethany House. I wasn't required to leave a review. I do so of my own free volition, and I'm glad I get to do so. 


About

Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill, where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .
The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

Praise for Julie Klassen
"Christy Award-winning Klassen draws on Jane Austen's impeccably crafted novels in her . . . richly nuanced and superbly written inspirational Regency romance."--Booklist starred review

"Klassen blends her tale well; each ingredient--romance, friendship . . . mystery--is measured to produce a lively tale that will satisfy Regency aficionados and general readers, too." 
--Publishers Weekly

JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards and ACFW's Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com.

The Shattered Vigil by Patrick W. Carr

Where some books lag in the second book in a series, Carr gives us a very strong book instead! It's dark, and light, and strong and fascinating. I will be watching and waiting for the next book in this series. It's worth reading in so many ways! 

My copy came from Net Galley and Bethany House. I wasn't required to leave a review. 
I actually couldn't wait to! My thoughts and opinions are my own.





About

A Single Terrible Choice Faces the Vigil. Hide in Safety and Let Darkness Take Over the Land or Face the Growing Danger and Risk All of Their Lives.Their victory over the dark forces during the feast of Bas-solas should have guaranteed safety for the continent. Instead, Willet and the rest of the Vigil discover they've been outsmarted by those seeking to unleash the evil that inhabits the Darkwater. One of the Vigil has gone missing, and new attacks have struck at the six kingdoms' ability to defend themselves.

Worse, a deadly new threat has emerged--assassins hunting the Vigil, men and women who cannot be seen until it's too late. To thwart the perilous new risk, the church makes the drastic decision to safeguard the Vigil by taking the surviving members into protective custody. But there are secrets only the Vigil can unearth, and so Pellin makes the heart-wrenching choice to oppose the church in a race to turn back the evil that threatens an entire continent. 


Acclaim for Patrick W Carr:Winner of the 2014 Carol Award for Speculative Fiction for A Cast of StonesWinner of the 2014 Clive Staples Award for A Cast of StonesWinner of the 2016 Inspy Award for Speculative Fiction for The Shock of Night

Patrick W. Carr is the author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Staff and the Sword. A Cast of Stones won the 2014 Carol Award for Speculative Fiction and the 2014 Clive Staples Award. A Cast of Stones and The Hero's Lotwere both finalists for 2014 Christy Awards. He teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his incredible wife, Mary, and their four sons. Learn more at www.patrickwcarr.com.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund (Beacons of Hope Series)



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Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I couldn't wait to write this review! I rather devoured this last book of this series. The entire series has been excellent, but this book probably touched me the most. 

Abbie is in a major jam. Her precious Grandfather is not doing ok, he is apparently losing it mentally. Together they run the lighthouse at Rose Island. Only nothing in life is that simple. Abbie married Nate, and Nate was addicted to alcohol. Not long after their marriage, he vanished, and it's been a horrific struggle to make it through each day. Now I have to tell you, by this point I was about in tears for Abbie. I could feel her pain and the desperation of her situation easily and I connected to her exceedingly well. When Abbie winds up rescuing someone, a man who has washed up on the beach, she knows he will either be their ruin, or the means to their "salvation". However, the man doesn't know who he is, other than Nathanial, and he makes a might nice Nate. 

It's a lovely plot, and it's a heart-moving one. It is filled with love, and loss, and hope. It has Grace and healing and well shown weakness of our human conditions. It has pride and falls, and hearts that yearn for change, and hearts that are hard and cold. 

It't a perfect final book in this series, and a story that stands alone and is well worth reading. 

About the Book
Book: Never Forget 
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: January 4, 2017
neverforgetfrontfinalRose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island
June 1880
Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves?
Abbie Wilson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.
Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.
Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.
The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?

About the Author

jody-hedlund-web-copyWinner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and Christy Award,  best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.
Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).
When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

Which Do You Prefer: Series or Standalones?
By Jody Hedlund
Readers usually have strong opinions about whether they like series or standalones.
Some readers refuse to read books that are inter-related. Others can’t get enough books about their favorite characters.
I see the pros and cons of both.
For series, I don’t like feeling lost as I try to wade through previous characters along with their backstory. I recently started a series by a well-known author and was disappointed to realize the first book was connected to a previous series she’d already published. From the get-go, I felt left out as though I didn’t quite know who all the characters were or their significance.
On the other hand, for standalones, I sometimes feel as though I would like the story to continue. I’ve invested in the setting and characters and so enjoy when I can return to that place and continue to glimpse the characters I’ve fallen in love with—even if from a distance.
My favorites are books that fall in the middle between standalone and series. I like to think of them as standalones within a series. Becky Wade’s Porter brother series is like that. Each of the books centers around one of the brothers (and a tomboy sister). While characters from other books make an appearance in the stories, each plot is separate and complete without any reliance upon another book.
My Beacons of Hope lighthouse series falls in the middle too. The books are related in that they all take place at lighthouses and share a symbolic “cross of hope” that is passed on from one book to the next. A minor character in a previous book becomes the hero or heroine in the next book. But each book can be read by itself without having read any of the others.
In other words, readers can pick up my newest release, Never Forget, which is the fifth and final book in the series, and they wouldn’t be confused about who the characters are or what their history is. The plot starts with a bang and ends with a satisfying sigh. It is complete story unto itself.
And yet, for those who’ve read other books in the series, they’ll get to see the happily-ever-after of a character from a previous book. And they’ll also get to find out where the cross of hope finally ends.
If you’re not a fan of series, I encourage you to give the Beacons of Hope series a try. It might satisfy the need for standalones and series all in one neat little package.
To that end, I’m giving away all FIVE books in the series as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour to one lucky winner!
Tell us: What is your preference: Standalones, Series, or Standalones within a Series?

Blog Stops

January 10: Karen Sue Hadley
January 10: Bookworm Mama
January 11: Faithfully Bookish
January 12: Smiling Book Reviews
January 12: Genesis 5020
January 13: The Scribbler 
January 13: Bibliophile Reviews 
January 14: Daysong Reflections
January 14: Blogging With Carol
January 15: Moments Dipped in Ink
January 16: A Greater Yes
January 16: Bigreadersite
January 17: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
January 18: Book by Book
January 19: Carpe Diem
January 19: A Bakers Perspective
January 19: Splashes of Joy
January 20: Christian Bookaholic
January 20: Stuff and Nonsense
January 21: Radiant Light
January 21: cherylbbookblog
January 22: Neverending Stories
January 22: A Path of Joy
January 23: Henry Happens
January 23: Onceuponatime

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away the entire Beacons of Hope series. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ad6d

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Meddling Madeline by Chautona Hawig

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


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Click to purchase

It is my hypothesis that social conventions are created to test our fortitude. 
Rockland circa 1900-
As the mayor’s daughter, Madeline Brown enjoys a rich social life that many might envy. But a sharp mind but a growing talent for observation leaves Madeline torn between avoiding social censure and exploring the world around her.
With an aunt who considers higher education and employment equally unsuitable for the mayor’s daughter, there is little to amuse her save endless committee meetings, evening socials, and her favorite pastime: curling up with an exciting detective novel. The temperance and suffrage movements hold little interest for a young woman who has just endured the rigors of her father’s mayoral campaign.
So when a young man shows interest in her friend, Madeline’s interest piques–until his actions hint that he might not be the upstanding gentleman everyone presumes him to be. Unable to ignore her concerns, Madeline finds herself in the middle of an investigation into his character and discovers a side of Rockland she’s never encountered.
Will her new hobby reduce the tedium of her life, or will her “meddling” create tension for herself and her father?  Will she be forced to squelch this budding skill of hers or has Madeline finally found her calling in life?
Meddlin’ Madeline: Sweet on You.
Welcome to Rockland’s infancy.
Sweet on You is the first book in the Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries. Watch for the second book in the series, Such a Tease, in winter, 2017

My Review

Madeline doesn't know when to quit. She is hot on the trail of a the mystery of a man. Is who and all he is suppose to be? What draws her to solve this mystery so and how deeply will she meddle in order to find the answers she seeks? What will she find in the character of this man and will  it bring her peace, or tear her world apart? 

This book is written in a very good feel of the time period vocabulary and style, aka prose. That was out of the ordinary read from the start for me. Some people might find it harder to get into, however, I found it fascinating. 

Madeline is a strong character with the best of intentions, and her mystery solving skills were a great pastime to read about. This book is charming in it's own special way. 

About the Author
chautonaI am fortunate enough to live in the great state of California (in the Mojave Desert) with my husband Kevin and five of my nine children. My eldest is married with five children, so I have the fun of a son-in-law and grandbabies to enjoy. I’ve graduated six out of my nine children from our home school, and they’re all doing quite well in their lives. My younger children keep me from getting too selfish, and someday I’ll be fully retired as their teacher. I have to say, I’m lookin’ forward to it. Teaching about gerunds was fun the first time… not so much anymore. I salute all of those in the education field. You are my heroes.
When I’m not writing (which I admit isn’t often) I enjoy blogging (a totally different kind of writing, trust me), paper crafts, sewing, smocking, photo editing, and old music. No, really, I like OLD stuff… the Beatles are too newfangled for me. Yeah,I know they’re before my time… but I like stuff before my PARENTS time.
 Guest Post from Chautona
The idea for Madeline came while I was searching for photos for another book idea (one I still haven’t fleshed out yet!). I came across an intriguing picture of a girl wearing a bowler and loved it. I wondered who she was and what she was reading. Well… then I turned the page and… wow! Dozens of photos appeared—all in the same general theme. Bowler hat, gloves, late Victorian/early Edwardian clothes…. I could just see her riding through town on a “wheel” and solving crimes. And well, the rest was born. I had to narrow down about twenty pictures to five. I couldn’t do it. So, I did six. I just hope I can limit myself to six.
Fun Facts:
Fact #1:
This is a historical novel, so that meant lots of research. Well, in the sense that it takes place in another period, anyway. Research proved much more difficult than you might imagine. You see, the world was in a state of flux in 1901. Victorian mores gave way way to a new, modern era—a new century! Though an exciting time in history, because everything was in a perpetual state of change, finding truly historically accurate information was almost impossible!
Additionally, the writing style is very different. This is partly due to a quirk of Madeline’s, but it is also because people used broader vocabularies back then. I wrote the book with a style that fit the era. It was difficult not to lapse into modern vernacular or even something a bit more twenties. After all, the series title was inspired by a song from the 1920’s!
Fun Fact #2
This book begins a journey of self-discovery for Madeline. One of the things I wanted most to do with this book was to explore the “birth” of a detective—to show what it might be like for someone to realize that he or she notices things that others don’t. Through Madeline, I explored how people would react to having their secrets exposed, and I tried to show just how difficult it would be to investigate suspicious things without becoming deceitful or putting oneself in compromising positions. It’s easy to assume people would appreciate knowing if they were being taken advantage of, but would they really? Would pride not get in the way of things? I suspect it would.
Each book does have a definite “mystery”. But, these aren’t traditional mysteries. There won’t be a murder until the final book, but each one will increase in difficulty for Madeline and the reader to decipher the truth and will add a new element of danger and self-discovery. Addtionally, there’s an overarching story over the entire series that won’t be resolved until the end.
Fun Fact #3
We have five more books to go! We’re just getting started with Madeline’s adventures. A sneak peek into the rest of the series: we’ll get to learn more about her best friend, Amy. I haven’t decided just what kind of girl Amy is, but I suspect she’s quite beautiful. I think that’ll play a part in a future book. She’s also likely to meet someone in her European tour. Will she be the friend with the suspicious letter in book four? Who knows? Not me!
Madeline’s Unofficial Glossary
One of the best parts about writing this series is playing with words that I grew up using and reading, but most people don’t use anymore. I had parents of a literary turn of mind, so I grew up being told to, “Slow down and enunciate.” This began at age 3. So, while other kids were told to “go potty,” I was told to “use the facilities.” I’ll never forget in second grade telling a classmate, “That’s your prerogative,” when she said, “I don’t like you.” She was… confused, I think.
Add to that the fun slang of the day, not to mention a quirk I’m not giving away, and I can honestly say I had a blast writing this book. However, I know not everyone is fond of sesquipedalian words or erudite language. So, with that in mind, I decided to write this glossary of words you will find in the book. Please note: definitions are mine and written with my tongue super-glued to the inside of my cheek.
Diffidence: noun
  • Pretending to be reserved in an attempt to hide the truth. Desperate. A misguided notion that pretending not to notice someone will create interest.

Vicissitude: noun
  • The quality of never being able to make up your mind. A woman.

Multi-eloquent: adjective
  • The misguided notion that one must be like Nellie Olson in These Happy Golden Years and allow one’s tongue to go “flippity-flop.” Example: Gossips are often multi-eloquent.

Jitney: noun
  • Slang for a nickel. Also, a horse-drawn “cab.” Because it has fewer syll–nope. Not that. Because people like to confuse one another in speech. “Hey, do you have a jitney?” Gee… let’s see. I’ve got a nickel, but I left my horse and carriage in my other pants at home…

Copacetic: adjective
  • Doesn’t matter, because I had to remove it from the book. I didn’t read the entire dictionary entry when I chose the word, and only saw 1880 mentioned. Alas, the first known use is 1919. Eighteen years after this book takes place. I consider the coiner to be tardy, and would appreciate that in the future, words be coined by the dates I need. Thank you. (Do you see the amount of research I must do. I have to check if words were even IN USE before I use them. And I still almost flubbed it.)

Recalcitrant: adjective
  • Madeline… wait. That’s not quite right. But close enough. Okay. Madeline Brown when she has a bee in her bowler. Resisting authority or convention.

Dialogue de sourds: noun (French)
  • Literally: a worthless conversation where both parties speak to a glass wall, hearing only themselves. Example: political conversations, theological conversations, ideological conversations, Facebook wall “discussions,” and arguments with toddlers.

Asinine: adjective
  • Ridiculous or silly–like the assertion that someone saying the word is using foul language.

Penurious: adjective
  • Marked by an inability to part with money. A lickpenny. (see how I did that?)

Scintillating: adjective
  • A word meaning amusing or extremely interesting that lends itself more to sarcasm than plain speaking.

Hawkshaw: noun
  • A nosy person who gets away with it under the guise of “helping.” Sometimes known as a detective.

Fustian: noun
  • Um… yeah. This glossary. Madeline does lend herself to the fustian.

There you go. It’s just a taste of what’s ahead. Happy reading!

Blog Stops

December 13: Bigreadersite 
December 13: Jeanette’s Thoughts
December 14: Daysong Reflections
December 14: Baker Kella
December 15: Back Porch Reads
December 15: Moments Dipped in Ink
December 16: Pause for Tales
December 16: Quiet Quilter
December 17: cherylbbookblog
December 18: ASC Book Reviews
December 19: A Greater Yes
December 20: Lane Hill House
December 21: Reader’s cozy corner
December 22: Two Girls and a Book
December 22: Blogging With Carol
December 23: 1983
December 24: Neverending Stories
December 24: Carpe Diem
December 25: Bibliophile Reviews 
December 25: The Scribbler 
December 26: For The Love of Books
December 26: Ashley’s Bookshelf

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Chautona are giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/aa59


Friday, December 16, 2016

The Red Death by Jeff Altaber

Welcome to a another Novel Publicity Review Tour! Today, we're helping Author Jeff Altabef launch his new book Red Death!

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My Review:

In the city of Eden, every one is safer than the Soulless who are outside of Eden. Eden is a refuge, and the Guardian's of Eden have gas masks so they don't get the Red Death. The Red Death kills those old enough to catch it, their eyes turn red, and they die. Yes, die!  

Aaliss is a Guardian of Eden. One of her brothers is a priest, and the other a odd little genius of sorts, or maybe he is autistic, but Wilky is fascinating. Wilky has been running tests on the Souless and he might have a major discovery. That is when Aaliss finds out their lives or in danger and there is only one place to go if you leave Eden, into the Zones. 

This book is a page turner. Is the religion is as twisted as many religions have become? Certainly there are some corrupt people, but all is not at all as it seems in this book. From fantastic creatures to witches and "painted people", the large cast of characters was far from boring. Is the Creator who I hope he is? Why is Jacob's name the one used for the laws they adhere to? How long have these people been in charge anyway? Who created the virus and why? Those are only a few of the questions that keep the pages turning chapter after chapter, and perspectives from each of the main characters tell each of their parts in this story. 

This is the first in a series that will probably turn out very good. This book alone was quite interesting. My copy came from the author. I was not required to leave a review. I leave this review of my own volition. My thoughts and opinions are all my own.

About the Book

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What happens when everything you believed turns out to be a lie?

Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close. Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother, Wilky, discovers a cure to the plague, her world turns upside down. Branded as traitors by the corrupt High Priest, Aaliss and Wilky are forced to seek refuge in the last place Aaliss thought she'd ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders only a few years older than her.Aaliss yearns to return home, but when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the Soulless, she questions everything she once believed. Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens to tear apart the Soulless world? Or... might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?



We've been with Jeff from the start, and we love helping him launch his latest titles. He and his daughter just finished launching the last of The Chosen Series, Scorched Souls, and now it's time for something new! To celebrate, we've got prizes, sales and more! Check it all out below, and don't forget to pick up your copy of Red Death. If you love action packed YA adventures, or Jeff's other YA books like the Chosen Series, we know you'll love this title too!

Exclusive Blogger only Interview with the Author

We asked author Jeff Altabef 3 questions you won’t see anywhere else besides our tour.

NP: Thanks for offering some extra questions for our bloggers Jeff! First, what’s your favorite meal and drink? Exclusive Blogger only Interview with the Author

JA: Coffee and chocolate! I'm not sure what that says about me. My favorite time to write is in the morning so coffee is a no-brainer. My mind can't start to function without my first cup of Joe. I also like to write in coffeehouses from time to time when I need a little more energy and can feed off of those around me. So when in Rome! I have a pumpkin stuffed with tootsie rolls on my desk. It's a terrible habit that I quit from time to time, but it keeps coming back. I just grabbed another one! I'd like to say my favorite writing food is something healthy like kale, but I won't lie, and I hate kale!

 NP: Some of our staff have a love hate relationship with chocolate and coffee too! I bet that’s pretty common with our bloggers too. Now, the next question is tough, but do your best! Who was your favorite Character to write in Red Death?

JA: This is such a hard question to answer. I really feel such a close connection to all of these characters, that choosing one is a bit of a "Sophie's Choice." I loved to write Piers. I thought he was such a deep character and certainly Aaliss was a lot of fun. She's a really strong character that most people love. The Viper and the High Priest were also a lot of fun. I always love dwelling on the nasty characters, but my favorite character to write was probably Wilky. I did a bunch of research before starting to make sure I captured someone with his condition just right. In many ways, he's the real hero of the series. Now I feel bad that I didn't mention Eamon or P'mina. Argh!

NP For such a tough question you did a really good job of explaining why so many characters in Red Death are loveable. Last but not least, and it may be another head-banger...who are your favorite authors?


 JA: This is a tough question too! I love a wide variety of genres. Really everything from thrillers (Dean Koontz), to historical fiction (Bernard Cornwell), to mysteries (Jonathan Kellerman) and even horror (Steven King). In the Young Adult genre I really like the characters Sarah J. Maas writes in the Glass Throne series. They come across as strong and memorable. I absolutely loved the End of Days series by Susan Ee. Her dystopian world and the use of angels was totally brilliant. I love the first person voice Joelle Charbonneau writes in the Testing Trilogy. She was a huge help when writing the Chosen Trilogy. Still, if I had one writing wish and could write like anyone, I'd choose Christopher Moore. He makes writing funny characters and situations seem effortless. I love his books! Wow, those are some really interesting authors, and definitely diverse. I bet you’ve introduced our readers to some great new authors! Thanks again for doing our interview Jeff! You can sign up to Jeff Altabef’s newselter and get a FREE short story at: http://www.jeffaltabef.com/

Exclusive Excerpt!

Chapter 5 – Eamon
Eamon studied the faces around the campfire, worry etched on his own as he wondered whether this would be the last time they would all gather together. He sat between his two older brothers, King Dermot and Prince Fintan. Dermot had lived six winters more than Eamon had, and Fintan one, yet he was the planner and worrier. Often he wished he could be more like them, but he never stopped fretting about tomorrow, the next season, the next winter. All the council members, twelve in total, joined them this night, forming a loose circle around a campfire that had started to lose its intensity. They met in the Courtyard, in the middle of the Stronghold, a small city protected by a sturdy stone wall. The Stronghold stood in the center of Dermot’s kingdom between the Outpost to the north and the Settlement to the south. When Eamon realized everyone had stopped talking and were looking at him, he remembered what they had been discussing. “We’ll have to slaughter more cattle this year. The tribe’s grown since last winter.” The answer was obvious to him. “The herd’s also added numbers this year, my Lord,” added Keenan, the Cattle Master. Built broad and strong like a steer, he had been Cattle Master for three years, and Dermot trusted him. “I reckon we could cull the herd by another twenty over last year and still maintain the size.” All eyes turned toward Dermot. His reign had already lasted six years, almost an eternity. The Sword of Power lay across his lap, a long sword so heavy that it required two hands to wield it in battle. Its blade gleamed in the firelight, and the many rubies in the gold and silver hilt sparkled brilliantly. An inscription, written in a language no one understood, ran down both sides of the blade and glimmered in the firelight. The smithies could no longer make a weapon like the Sword of Power. That knowledge had been lost. They made other swords, fine ones, victorious ones, but none so grand. Only the King could wield the Sword of Power, the tribe’s finest.

Check out these great prizes from author Jeff Altabef, including a six month Kindle Unlimited Subscription! Did you know we offer exclusive reviewer prizes for tours just like this one? Want in on it? Sign up to Novel Publicity's Newsletter for more great review opportunities!

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Advanced Praise for Red Death

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Not sure if Red Death is for you? 

Take a look at this advanced praise from MidWest Book Reviews and The US Review. “Red Death will appeal to a wide audience since it has something for everyone. It's action-packed, with plenty of chases and fights for those who enjoy adventures and drama. There are enough twists to surprise those who are intrigued by political intrigue, suspense, and cliffhangers. Amid kingdoms to unite, princes to save, and lives on the line, there is also a playful romance sprinkled throughout for those who desire some lightheartedness.” Maria A. Hughes, The US Review "...[A] thought-provoking saga about belief systems and religion, courage, adaptability, greed and goals of ruling humnaity, and a seemingly juggernaut of change that rolls over everyone in its path....[P]erfect for readers who appreciate the complex worlds and feisty protagonists of The Hunger Games and similar novels." Pick of the Month for November, Midwest Book Review


About the Author

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Jeff Altabef is an award-winning author who lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of “telling stories,” he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. In the Young Adult genre, Jeff co-authored the Chosen Trilogy with his teenaged daughter, Erynn. The Chosen Series has won multiple awards including the 2015 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal for Best Coming of Age Novel, the 2015 Beverly HIlls Book Award for Best YA Fiction, and a Mom's Choice Award. As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those who like telling stories. You can connect with Jeff on his website, Facebook, TwitterNewsletter.