Spotlight & Excerpt: Between the Dragon King and His Wrath, by Barbara Russell

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Between the Dragon King and His Wrath Book Cover

Between the Dragon King and His Wrath
by Barbara Russell
Romantic Historical Fantasy

Revenge is a curse that can only destroy.

Princess Annika loves dancing, wearing bright gowns, and enjoying life. When she travels to the neighbouring kingdom of Walhack for the spring festival, she expects to make new friends. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Wlad, the former prince of Walhack now a slave in his own kingdom, starved and beaten by the violent usurper. Her attempt to help the fallen prince ends with her being assaulted and her father damaged for life.

Revenge is the only thing that keeps Wlad alive after the invaders occupied his kingdom, killed his parents, and turned him into a slave. Annika is the first ray of sunlight in years of pain and humiliation. Her kindness and compassion awaken the most dangerous feeling of all in his heart—hope.

Desperate to take his kingdom back, he makes a pact with the Sister Witches. He’ll be cursed forever in exchange for the supernatural powers that will allow him to defeat his enemy.

Eight years later

Annika doesn’t dance anymore. Doesn’t wear bright gowns anymore. As she struggles with her trauma, she has to meet King Wlad the Dracul—the Dragon King of Walhack—who slaughtered his way back to the throne. Everyone says he’s cursed, turned into an immortal creature who seeks blood to survive. But she hopes he’s still the kind young man she met years ago.

~ Please note this isn’t a dragon-shifter romance ~

This is a standalone, steamy paranormal/historical romance with a happily ever after. Trigger warning for explicit sex scenes, assault (off page), violence (off page), and trauma. There’s a time jump after the first few chapters. Cinnamon roll hero.

Buy / Goodreads


The Kingdom of Walhack, Arges Castle, 1450

ONE STEP TO the left and Annika would plunge to her death into a chasm of sharp rocks and spiky brambles, and wasn’t that exciting?

She balanced her weight on her toes, walking along the three-foot-wide stone parapet. A thrilled yelp escaped her as the hem of her long skirt almost caused her to trip over. Blood pumped in her veins in a combination of fear and anticipation. Her skin tingled with excitement. If she lifted her skirt, she could twirl on one foot and watch the majestic castle spin around her—

“Annika!” Her father’s deep voice thundered from the room, breaking her moment of freedom. He marched towards her, his lips flattening in a grim line under his grey moustache and beard. “Come down immediately.” He didn’t wait for her to leap off the railing but took her wrist and helped her down.

The heavy crimson brocade skirt of her dress fluttered around her legs as she landed on the stone floor with a graceful leap. “I was about to come down, Papa. There was no need to grab me.”

The sun was setting behind the Carpathian Mountains, casting a red-blood shadow over her father’s face and turning the lake into a large ruby. The view was ominous and stunning at the same time.

He led her inside the bedchamber and locked the window, cutting off the pine resin scent rising from the forest.

“This isn’t the place or the moment for one of your antics.” His hands trembled as he pulled the curtains. “Not to mention that you nearly killed me out of sheer panic when I saw you over the railing. Lord almighty.”

It was never the moment to enjoy herself for her papa. At almost nineteen, Annika had been lectured on the appropriate behaviour of a princess more times than on the arts and literature of her kingdom.

A lady should never sweat. A lady doesn’t laugh too loudly. A lady doesn’t behave recklessly. A lady

…doesn’t have fun.

Author Bio

Barbara Russell Author PhotoLove stories have always captured my imagination. What’s better than two people falling in love with each other? I write steamy romance, usually with a paranormal twist in an historical setting. Add a touch of suspense and mystery and a pinch of darkness. I love stories with strong, sexy heroes and mischievous heroines who pull no punches.

I live in the City of Sails, New Zealand, drinking tea (coffee gives me anxiety) and devouring books.

Join my newsletter for exclusive content and the chance to receive an ARC copy of my books. Just copy and paste this link into your browser: Barbara’s Newsletter

If you love steamy paranormal romance set in Victorian London, my Royal Occult Bureau series is for you: The Royal Occult Bureau Series

Are you into shape-shifter romance? Check out my da Vinci’s Beasts series, set in WW2: da Vinci’s Beasts Series

For more Victorian paranormal romance with witches and sexy warriors, see the Knights of the White Blade series: The White Order Series

Love steampunk? Check out my Auckland Steampunk series: Auckland Steampunk Series

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Through the Veneer of Time + Giveaway


I am so excited that THROUGH THE VENEER OF TIME by Vera Bell is available now and that I get to share the news!

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon GC courtesy of Alexis & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.


Author: Vera Bell

Pub. Date: April 3, 2023

Publisher: Champagne Book Group

Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 470

Find it: Goodreads, books2read


How far would you go to fulfill your terrifying ancient vow?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Outlander in this “hauntingly beautiful debut” (Julie McElwain, A Murder in Time). Take a plunge into this mind-blowing, genre-bending world of historical fantasy, suspense, romance, and time travel.

If not for “The Ghost”—her FBI husband’s gruesome case—Siena Forte’s life would have been perfect. But not when the D.C. serial killer is hunting women like her, and when her husband is so unsettled by this case, he refuses to discuss it. It’s a miracle her art career is thriving at all. And not only her career.

When Siena lands a medieval mural commission at the National Gallery of Art, she discovers a bizarre knack for astral projecting to her past life. In a lucky strike, her visions of love and prominence in medieval Ireland are just the creative inspiration she seeks.

What Siena doesn’t know is her vivid depiction of the past exposes her to someone she has met before—the serial killer, reborn in this century just like her. But when a vicious attack from the past reverberates into the present, Siena’s life unravels in a chilling parallel.

Silenced and alone, she discovers the true reason for her visions. They’re not the creative inspiration they seemed, but a harbinger of her centuries-old revenge vow, and the killer cannot be stopped until she fulfills it. But there is another person from the past with unfinished business—her husband. And another unwelcome déjà vu—their crumbling marriage, once again precipitated by the serial killer’s crime.


His words were a blast that made something inside me snap.
Why couldn’t I unlock my  eyes from his? Unclench my knees despite an unbearable compulsion to run? I dug my fingernails  into my sweaty palms to break the paralysis, drove the graphite shards into my flesh. 

“Do you ever wonder what becomes of your characters?” His vacuous smile didn’t reach  his eyes. “What comes after your painstaking freeze-frame? Your warrior—” He pointed his chin  at the mural. “He’s cocky, but he doesn’t know what he’s riding into. Yet hours from now, he could be lying in some field, stripped of his weapons, bleeding out into the ground as the vultures  peck at his baby blues.” His eyes widened.
“Leaving his beautiful young widow all alone.”  

His impossibly soft voice was a ringing blow in my ears. A tremor braced my throat. I drew  a frantic breath against it.  

“I’m sorry,” I squeezed out, “I’m not sure I follow.” 

“I’m sure you do.” He chuckled. “But don’t look so stricken,
Siena Forte. It’s only a  painting, a fantasy. Nothing more.” 

“Excuse me…” I edged past him, cold all over. 

I rushed into the nearest restroom, tossed the broken graphite into the trash can, and  locked myself in a stall. I hugged myself. Tight. Tighter. Gasped for air, not drawing any. My vision  swam at the edges. Flickering. Fading. My heart thudded, and breath came faster in my chest,  choking me. 

Fragments of his words whirred around me, and I grasped my head to stop the awful  cacophony. But it wouldn’t stop. The image he drew cut like a knife, piercing through something  soft and vulnerable inside.
Something I’d buried deep down and wished to keep that way. But  he’d driven it to the surface and laid it out in the open, raw and exposed. 

Someone entered the restroom, and I froze at the squeak of the adjoining stall door. But  it was only a pair of black pumps through the divider gap. Heartbeat in my ears, I dropped the  toilet lid and sat down. 

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. 

Worgen was a narcissistic egomaniac, pissed off at not getting his way. Certainly, he could  neither read my mind nor know anything about my visions. He was messing with me. Of course,  he was!
Pygmalion was a mythical sculptor, whose ivory creation came to life after he’d fallen in  love with her. And here I was, a female artist, painting a man.
As for the widow, it wasn’t a big  leap to imagine a handsome warrior leaving a young wife at home. Worgen didn’t have to know  about me to understand this mental image would upset me.  

I couldn’t tell how long I stayed in the restroom, but I emerged more determined than  ever to continue with my project. I only needed to go outside and get some fresh air first. But  Worgen was still there, talking to a visitor, and the only way out was past him. I clenched my jaw and went toward them.

All content subject to copyright © Vera Bell 2023. All rights reserved. 

About Vera Bell:

Vera Bell is the author of the time-travel romance trilogy Always & Forever, set in sixteenth-century  Ireland and present-day United States. Book One, Through the Veneer of Time, is her debut novel.  Besides being a writer, she is a wife to her high-school sweetheart, a mother to two teenagers and  one fur baby, a former commercial artist and boutique owner, and a member of the Historical Novel  Society, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Romance Writers of America. Her favorite place  to write is on her porch, overlooking a pond lined with river birches and magnolias. The topics she  never tires of are Ireland, past lives, and love that transcends time and space.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 Giveaway Details:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International.


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Ends May 2nd, midnight EST.

BBNYA Semi-Finalist Spotlight: The Vicar Man, by Amelia Crowley

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This year, the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) is celebrating the 50 books that made it into Round Two with a mini spotlight blitz tour for each title. BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.

If you want some more information about BBNYA, check out the BBNYA Website or take a peek over on Twitter: @BBNYA_Official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (If you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

The Vicar Man
by Amelia Crowley
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 196 Pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Comedy, Satire
Age Category: New Adult, Adult
Date Published: 20 August 2021

Dora is a barmaid.

Usually her life is fairly simple: she gets up, cleans the inn, feeds the chickens, argues with the increasingly obstreperous cockerel, listens to the woes of her fellow barmaid, avoids doing the laundry, and serves drinks to the motley crew of islanders who lurk about the taproom every night.

The same old routine, day in, day out.

Tonight, though, is different.

Tonight, just one week before the vernal equinox, after a catastrophically bad harvest the year before, a stranger has walked into the bar…

Amazon CA / US / UK

Author Bio


Amelia lives in Yorkshire with her family.

At least she definitely had a family around here somewhere, but to be honest she’s spent so much of the last year staring into a word processor she thinks they may have wandered off.

Her writing is fuelled by mugs of terrible, over-sugared coffee, much better chocolate, and the occasional macaron, and is punctuated by her soulless whimpers and the sound of her head hitting the keyboard.

She posts updates on her books and writing at When she remembers.

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