Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Empire’s Ghost by Isabelle Steiger

The Empire’s Ghost

By Isabelle Steiger

$25.99;  978-1-250-08848-2

Thomas Dunne Books

Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Hardcover

Description:

Isabelle Steiger has crafted a powerful and masterful debut with The Empire’s Ghost, the first book in a haunting new epic fantasy series.

The empire of Elesthene once spanned a continent, but its rise heralded the death of magic. It tore itself apart from within, leaving behind a patchwork of kingdoms struggling to rebuild. But when a new dictator, the ambitious and enigmatic Imperator Elgar, seizes power in the old capital and seeks to recreate the lost empire anew, the other kingdoms have little hope of stopping him. Prince Kelken of Reglay finds himself at odds with his father at his country’s darkest hour; the marquise of Esthrades is unmatched in politics and strategy, but she sits at a staggering military disadvantage. And Issamira, the most powerful of the free countries, has shut itself off from the conflict, thrown into confusion by the disappearance of its crown prince and the ensuing struggle for succession.

Everything seems aligned in Elgar’s favor, but when he presses a band of insignificant but skilled alley-dwellers into his service for a mission of greatest secrecy, they find an unexpected opportunity to alter the balance of power in the war. Through their actions and those of the remaining royals, they may uncover not just a way to defeat Elgar, but also a deeper truth about their world’s lost history.


About the author:

Isabelle Steiger was born in the city and grew up in the woods. She received her first notebook when she was eight, and she’s been filling them up ever since. She lives in New York, though her erstwhile companion, a very moody gray cat, has since retired and moved to Florida. The Empire’s Ghost is her first novel.


Praise for The Empire’s Ghost:

“In The Empires Ghost, Isabelle Steiger has created a tapestry of compelling characters in a world that feels steeped in its own history. It’s the kind of book that you sink into, that envelops you and compels you to read more. I can’t wait for the sequel!” – Sarah Beth Durst, author of The Queen of Blood

“Steiger’s enjoyable epic fantasy debut weaves in and out of the lives of people on all sides of the struggle to determine the destiny of a continent… Steiger handles a complex plot and a multitude of viewpoints neatly and well. Revelations about the world and the characters are placed at suspenseful intervals, and the story raises many interesting questions…” – Publisher’s Weekly


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Giveaway ends on May 24, 2017


Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Last Iota by Robert Kroese

Description:

The year is 2039, and Los Angeles is poised between order and chaos. After the Collapse of 2028, a vast section of LA, now known as the Disincorporated Zone, was disowned by the civil authorities and became a de facto third world country within the borders of the city.

Navigating the boundaries between DZ and LA proper is a tricky task, and there’s no one better suited than eccentric private investigator Erasmus Keane. So when movie mogul Selah Fiore decides she needs to get her hands on a rare coin lost somewhere in the city, she knows Keane is the man for the job.

But while the erratic Keane and his more sensible partner Blake Fowler struggle to unravel the mystery of the elusive coins, Blake’s girlfriend Gwen goes missing and Selah Fiore turns up murdered. Both of these crimes seem to be linked to the coins―and to an untraceable virtual currency called iotas, used by drug dealers and terrorist networks.

Framed for Selah’s murder and desperate to find Gwen, Keane and Fowler must outwit DZ warlords, outmaneuver a reclusive billionaire, and stay a step ahead of the police while they gradually uncover the truth about iotas. Soon the clues begin to point to a conspiracy at the highest levels of government―and to a mysterious trickster who has orchestrated it all. As the DZ devolves into chaos and another Collapse seems to loom, Blake Fowler realizes that the brilliant Erasmus Keane may have finally met his match.

Set in the world of The Big Sheep, Robert Kroese delivers another dystopian adventure novel full of wit and intrigue.


About the author:

Robert Kroese honed his sense of irony growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After barely graduating from Calvin College, he stumbled into software development. In 2009, he called upon his extensive knowledge of useless information and love of explosions to write his first novel, Mercury Falls. He has written three more books in the Mercury series and a humorous epic fantasy, Disenchanted. The Last Iota is probably something like Kroese’s twelfth book, but there’s no way to know for certain.


THE LAST IOTA

By Robert Kroese

$26.99; 978-1-250-08846-8

Thomas Dunne Books

May 9, 2017

Hardcover

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Giveaway ends May 10, 2017


Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo

 

About the Book:  A girl as beautiful as Simonetta Cattaneo never wants for marriage proposals in 15th Century Italy, but she jumps at the chance to marry Marco Vespucci. Marco is young, handsome and well-educated. Not to mention he is one of the powerful Medici family’s favored circle.

Even before her marriage with Marco is set, Simonetta is swept up into Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici’s glittering circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. The men of Florence—most notably the rakish Giuliano de’ Medici—become enthralled with her beauty. That she is educated and an ardent reader of poetry makes her more desirable and fashionable still. But it is her acquaintance with a young painter, Sandro Botticelli, which strikes her heart most. Botticelli immediately invites Simonetta, newly proclaimed the most beautiful woman in Florence, to pose for him. As Simonetta learns to navigate her marriage, her place in Florentine society, and the politics of beauty and desire, she and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalization in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

Alyssa Palombo’s The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence vividly captures the dangerous allure of the artist and muse bond with candor and unforgettable passion.


About the author:  Alyssa Palombo is the author of The Violinist of Venice. She has published short fiction pieces in Black Lantern Magazine and The Great Lakes Review.  She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively.  A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. The Violinist of Venice is her first novel. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

 

 

Photo credit: Elizabeth Snyder Photography, LLC

 

Connect with Alyssa Palombo:

Website: https://alyssapalombo.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alyssinwnderlnd


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Giveaway ends on May 3, 2017 


Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Sisters of Blue Mountain

I want to Spotlight THE SISTERS OF BLUE MOUNTAIN because today is publication day. I look forward to reading it soon!

Description:

For Linnet, owner of a Bed and Breakfast in Mountain Springs, Pennsylvania, life has been a bit complicated lately. Hundreds of snow geese have died overnight in the dam near the B&B, sparking a media frenzy, threatening the tourist season, and bringing her estranged sister, Myna, to town. If that isn’t enough, the women’s father has been charged with investigating the incident. But when a younger expert is brought in to replace him on the case and then turns up dead on Linnet’s B&B’s property, their father becomes the primary suspect. As the investigation unfolds, the sisters will have to confront each other, their hidden past, and a side of Mountain Springs not seen before.

Karen Katchur has written a thrilling novel of sisters and the secrets that bind them that is sure to appeal to readers of her acclaimed first novel, The Secrets of Lake Road.


Praise for Karen Katchur:

“THE SISTERS OF BLUE MOUNTAIN is evocative, atmospheric and haunting. Equally suspenseful and heart-wrenching, Katchur expertly exposes the fault lines between sisters who share a past. I couldn’t put it down.” – Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of THOUGHT I KNEW YOU and THE VANISHING YEAR

“Katchur weaves a suspenseful tale of family secrets and what it means to keep quiet. For readers who relish complex family mysteries.” – Library Journal


About the author:

Karen Katchur lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. She is the author of THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD.


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Giveaway ends on April 12, 2017


Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Halo Effect by Anne D. LeClaire

The Halo Effect: A Novel

by Anne D. LeClaire

Lake Union Publishing – April 1, 2017 – 348 pages

Trade Paperback Original: 9781503943186 – $14.95

eBook: B01K4TXXH8 – $4.99


In this tour de force, a father, shaken by tragedy, tries to avenge his daughter’s murder—and restore his family’s shattered life.

It was supposed to be a typical October evening for renowned portrait artist Will Light. Over dinner of lamb tagine, his wife, Sophie, would share news about chorus rehearsals for the upcoming holiday concert, and their teenage daughter, Lucy, would chatter about French club and field hockey. Only Lucy never came home. Her body was found, days later, in the woods.

The Eastern Seaboard town of Port Fortune used to be Will’s comfort. Now, there’s no safe harbor for him. Not even when Father Gervase asks Will to paint portraits of saints for the new cathedral. Using the townspeople as models, Will sees in each face only a mask of the darkness of evil. And he just might be painting his daughter’s killer.

As Will navigates his rage and heartbreak, Sophie tries to move on; Father Gervase becomes an unexpected ally; and Rain, Lucy’s best friend, shrouds herself in a near-silent fugue. Their paths collide in a series of inextricably linked, dark, dangerous moments that could lead to their undoing…or to their redemption.


About the Author:  Bestselling author Anne D. LeClaire has written eight novels, including Entering Normal, The Lavender Hour, and Leaving Eden, as well as her critically acclaimed memoir, Listening Below the Noise: The Transformative Power of Silence. Known for her exquisite and lyrical writing, the former op-ed columnist has been published in Redbook, the Boston Globe, Yoga Journal, and the New York Times.

A Distinguished Fellow at the Ragdale Foundation, LeClaire teaches creative-writing workshops around the globe. She is also a dynamic speaker—leading popular seminars and workshops exploring silence, creativity, and deep listening. LeClaire has been a visiting lecturer at Mt. Holyoke College, the University of Tennessee, and Columbia College and was a featured presenter at the Lincoln Center.

A former reporter, print journalist, radio broadcaster, and private pilot, LeClaire lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where she leads silent retreats, practices yoga, and plays the washboard.

www.anneleclaire.com


Praise for The Halo Effect

“The terms ‘literary’ and ‘page turner’ dovetail beautifully in Anne D. LeClaire’s new novel. The Halo Effect is a must-read for LeClaire’s faithful fans and a sit-up-and-take-notice book for those who have yet to discover this talented, truth-seeking storyteller who asks the big questions as she observes the small but intricate details that make us human.” – Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author

The Halo Effect is a wonderful hybrid: a compelling murder mystery and a thoughtful meditation on longing and loss. I was fascinated by the book’s saints – and sinners.” – Chris Bohjalian, author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls

“The people of Port Fortune are irrevocably changed by the murder of teenager Lucy Light, and Anne LeClaire’s generous spirit illuminates their flaws, struggles, and personal triumphs as they search for truth and meaning. After I finished reading The Halo Effect, I sat thinking for a long time about the people in this beautiful novel, so much like the ones I know and love.” – Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Secrets in Summer

“I wasn’t ready for this one. As a fan of Anne LeClaire’s work I knew that her writing would be of its usual excellence, watchful, luminous, and moving, but in The Halo Effect she has also drawn a New England community in its exact contours by placing it under the revealing pressure of tragedy. Th result is a mystery at once literate, intimate, and almost intolerably suspenseful – reminiscent of Louis Penny at her best.” – Charles Finch, author of the bestselling Charles Lenox mystery novels.


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Spotlight on Starlight Bridge by Debbie Mason

mason_starlightbridge_blogtour

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: STARLIGHT BRIDGE Author: Debbie Mason Series: Harmony Harbor, #2

On Sale: February 28, 2017 Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD eBook: $5.99 USD

starlight-bridgeA second chance for romance…

Hidden in Graystone Manor is a book containing all the dark secrets of Harmony Harbor, and Ava DiRossi is determined to find it. No one—especially not her ex-husband, Griffin Gallagher—can ever discover what really tore her life apart all those years ago. With Griffin back in town, it’s more important than ever that she find the book before someone else does. Because her ex is still angry with her for leaving him. And he still has no idea Ava never stopped loving him…

Ava is no longer the vibrant, happy woman Griffin had once loved and married, and he would do anything to bring back the sparkle to her brilliant green eyes. But what’s never changed are the sexy sparks of attraction between Ava and Griffin, and he won’t give her up again without a fight. He knows there’s the real possibility of a future together…if the truth doesn’t burn the bridge between them forever.  (publisher)

My take:  Starlight Bridge is the second full-length novel in the Harmony Harbor series. It’s set in Graystone Manor run by an extended family that has recently seen their matriarch (and great-grandmother) pass. The fate of the Manor is in the hands of her descendants. They must unanimously agree to keep the inn running or sell it and split the proceeds.

In Starlight Bridge we have Griffin who has never gotten over losing Ava. She was forced to end their relationship when an event occurred over a decade ago. Now that circumstances have brought them together again will they get a second chance?

One interesting aspect of the series is that the deceased has not departed Graystone Manor. She seems to be overseeing (with the help of her friends who are still alive) the reunion of several grandchildren with the love each let get away. There’s also the matter of a tell-all journal of sorts that is hidden somewhere in Graystone Manor. If that book is found the secrets of many could be made known to all.

Debbie Mason’s series is light-hearted for the most part. The novels also have serious issues that the main characters must deal with in order to move forward. I enjoyed Starlight Bridge and, because of some foreshadowing at the end of this novel, look forward to reading the next book in the series.


debbie-mason-credit-debbie-mazzuraABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado and Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their “likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots” (RT Book Reviews). When she isn’t writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, three wonderful children, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella in Ontario, Canada.

 Author  Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Goodreads

harmony-harbor

THE HARMONY HARBOR SERIES

Series Page on Goodreads

  • MISTLETOE COTTAGE, #1
  • CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL, #1.5
  • STARLIGHT BRIDGE, #2
    PRIMROSE LANE, #3


Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George

the-confessions-of-young-nero

The New York Times bestselling and legendary author of Helen of Troy and Elizabeth I now turns her gaze on Emperor Nero, one of the most notorious and misunderstood figures in history.

Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar’s imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman—or child.

As a boy, Nero’s royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great-aunt attempts to secure her own son’s inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead.

While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina’s machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero’s determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become—an Emperor who became legendary.

With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy’s ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.


AUTHOR BIO

Margaret George is the author of the bestselling Autobiography of Henry VIIIMary, Queen of Scotland and the IslesThe Memoirs of Cleopatra; and Mary, Called Magdalene.


Praise for Margaret George:

“EVOCATIVE” The New York Times •  “DELICIOUS” People • “SCINTILLATING” The Chicago Tribune •“ENGAGING AND INTELLIGENT” Kirkus Reviews • “FRESH AND VIVID” The Washington Post •“EXPANSIVE, THOUGHTFUL” San Francisco Chronicle • “AWASH IN SENSUOUS, JEWEL-LIKE DETAIL”Entertainment Weekly • “A TRIUMPH” Houston Chronicle  “A MASTERPIECE” Pittsburgh Press • “BEAUTIFULLY AND LYRICALLY WRITTEN” Baltimore Sun •  “IMMENSELY READABLE” Cleveland Plain Dealer • A STYLISTIC TOUR DE FORCE”  Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“If only history lessons had been like this.”—Cosmopolitan
 
“Extensively researched with the highest integrity, and deeply engaging, it sets a new benchmark for the genre.”—New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir

 “George leaves us with the most coveted prize of fiction: a world. . . we wished existed, and that thoroughly does between the covers.” —Chicago Tribune


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Giveaway ends on March 8th, 2017