Book Blitz & Giveaway: Vicar Brekonridge, by Richard Helms

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Vicar Brekonridge

by Richard Helms

Historical Mystery

Date Published: 10-23-2023

Publisher: Level Best Books’ Historia Imprint

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A historical mystery based on Helms’ Derringer Award-nominated EQMM short story “The Cripplegate Apprehension”. 

 In 1843 London, a Scottish woodturner named Daniel M’Naghten gunned down Edward Drummond, the private secretary to Prime Minister Robert Peel, while Drummond strolled the streets of Whitehall. M’Naghten believed he shot the Prime Minister and, after being informed otherwise and making a brief statement at his arraignment, he never spoke in public about the crime again. M’Naghten was represented at trial by firebrand Queen’s Counsel Alexander Cockburn, who intended to plead insanity and rewrite four hundred years of English Common Law in the process. In this fictional retelling of the famous historical event, Cockburn recruits legendary London thief-taker Vicar Brekonridge to travel to Glasgow, M’Naghten’s home, and find witnesses who can bolster the insanity defense. What Brekonridge finds instead suggests that M’Naghten was part of a frightening conspiracy to bring down the British government. 

Purchase Link

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 PRAISE FOR VICAR BREKONRIDGE 

“In a seamless blending of historical fact and narrative skill, Richard Helms reimagines the sensational case of Daniel M’Naghten, whose 1843 murder trial set a precedent that reverberates to this day. Helms has crafted a thoroughly gripping historical mystery that will leave readers eager to hear more of the “notorious thief-taker” Vicar Brekonridge. 

 —Daniel Stashower, Edgar Award Winning Author of American Demon 

 

“VICAR BREKONRIDGE may be one of (Richard Helms’) more intriguing creations…a fascinating character to follow around, as he makes his way through the streets and back alleys of London, through its open air markets and dingy taverns or journeying out to Newgate Prison to visit a man he put there…For all his rough-and-tumble manners, cynical bravado, mercenary motives and sliding scale honesty, in a shady profession not particularly known for its integrity, he struts through the streets of London, a cloud of hemp in his wake, hewing to some inexplicable personal code that betrays a startling even-minded empathy for the criminals he hunts down, and a concern for — of all things — justice, which reminded me of Sam Spade‘s moral ambivalence. “ 

—Kevin Burton Smith, Thrilling Detective Website

 

 


About the Author

A lifelong North Carolinian, Richard Helms retired from active practice as a forensic psychologist in 2005, after working in the field for over two decades. At one time, he was the only court psychologist covering four counties in NC. A court-recognized expert in sex crimes and the psychology of sex offenders, mystery writing was an easy transition and a logical next step after Helms left his professional career to become a college professor in Charlotte. He retired from teaching in the summer of 2016 to become a full time writer. Helms has twenty-two novels in print. 

Besides writing, Helms loves gourmet cooking, woodworking, traveling, simracing, amateur astronomy, playing with his grandsons, and rooting for the Carolina Tarheels and Carolina Panthers. For a peek at his non-writing life, check out his other website at www.rickhelms.com

The parents of two grown children, Richard Helms and his wife Elaine live in Charlotte, NC. 

Contact Links

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: The Travelling City + Giveaway

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The Travelling City
by Adrienne Miller
(The Travelling City, #1)
Publication date: April 21st 2023
Genres: Action, Adult, Adventure, Fantasy

After a hundred years of watching humans make bad decisions, anyone would be sick of their job as peacekeeper.
Reihan, a seaver created to deal with humans who lose control over their manifestation abilities, is no exception.

Worse still, virtually all humans in the Travelling City can manifest.
That is, shape reality according to their more or less well-formed and often poorly thought-out designs.
That alone would be enough to keep her busy, but then there are people like Phillippe.
Phillippe, who drenched himself in the city’s collective subconscious to strengthen his inborn powers.
Even though he shouldn’t be, he seems fine, crowned as the new star escort in the Brothel of Transformative Curiosities.
But Reihan has seen this story play out before. And Phillippe is far too charming, far too kind, and far too inconsolable for her to simply look away.

The Travelling City is a dark fantasy mystery packed with romance and even more existential dread; set in a whimsical, bizarre and ever-changing world. You’ll love the Travelling City if you’re looking for:

  • Character-driven fantasy books
  • A queer approach to gender
  • Dark themes
  • A painfully beautiful world
  • A Grumpy and Sunshine romance dynamic
  • A magic system that reflects the characters’ psychology
  • Ambiguous but ultimately lovable characters
  • Moral and existential philosophy

Epic Indie review: “Wielding a psychedelic array of bizarre imagery and space-distorting magic, The Travelling City boasts a truly fantastical setting for readers to dive in to. In a world where humans can manifest new realities for themselves, Adrienne Miller tests the limits of how weird and unfamiliar she can make her debut world, and it’s in this uniqueness that the book finds its shine […] the indie space is blessed to have another author trying new things.”

Goodreads / Amazon


EXCERPT:

“Are you sure that’s what you want?”, she asked. She hadn’t expected that she would struggle to read Phillippe’s mood. Frustration gnawed at the edges of her desire, making her wonder if it wasn’t easier to retreat now that they could still laugh it off.

“Yes”, he replied, half-closing his eyes. He lowered his head to hers, impossibly slowly, impossibly softly, lashes fluttering against his cheek.

“Sometimes that’s all I want.”

He hesitated as if he was waiting for a single word to tear him down. Instead, she closed her eyes and softly kissed the side of his mouth. Phillippe didn’t tense and he didn’t move. He held her back in perfect equilibrium, and Reihan waited, one moment, another, time passing them by like a stranger. Then Phillippe breathed in and moved his lips against hers in a painfully gentle descent. She felt longing, sharp and tangy, on her fingertips as they held onto Phillippe’s arms and on her lips that Phillippe caressed with painful slowness.


Author Bio:

Adrienne Miller writes in the genre of Dark Fantasy; combining beautiful aesthetics with existential dread. Her stories feature complex romances, found family dynamics, and storylines centred on world mysteries.

She has grown up with both classic and new Fantasy, from Michael Moorcok’s Eternal Hero series, Michael’s Scott’s “Thraxas” magical detective romps, to quiet and heart-felt Science-Fantasy by Becky Chambers.

The Travelling City is inspired by her love for the imaginative worlds of old-school role-playing games like Planescape Torment and the intricate character work of urban fantasy authors like Holly Black.

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: The Queen’s Crown + Giveaway

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The Queen’s Crown
by Jennifer Anne Davis
(League of Rulers, #1)
Publication date: October 19th 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Eighteen-year-old Princess Sabine Ludwig of Backley thought her biggest problem was finding a man remotely interesting to dabble with while trying to fill her days with something other than knitting or drinking tea. But when her dear sister is brutally murdered in a foreign kingdom a week before she’s to be married, Sabine suddenly wishes for boring, ordinary days again.

Seeking retribution, Sabine decides to take her sister’s place and marry the mysterious king of Lynk. It’s the only way she can hunt down and find the killer. It’s the only way she can get revenge. When she finds the king far more appealing than she’d intended, it becomes difficult to keep her wits about her and remember why she’s there.

Thrown into a world of lies, power struggles, and seduction, Sabine must learn to navigate through the foreign kingdom’s dangerous court as she seeks her sister’s killer. The closer she gets to discovering who it is, the more she questions who she can trust—including herself.

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EXCERPT:

“I really don’t feel like dancing right now.” Sabine needed to be alone to think over everything the man from Avoni had just said.

“Neither do I.” He clasped his hands behind his back and headed toward the balcony. He tilted his head and raised his eyebrows, the invitation clear.

Being away from the dancing couples sounded like a good idea, so she followed him. No one else was on the balcony. She rested her arms on the railing and looked out over the dark valley below, trying to calm her rattled nerves.

“Interesting outfit,” Axel said as he mirrored her position beside her. His mask was a deep purple, matching his pants and shirt.

“Weren’t you supposed to be an eagle?” she asked.

“I changed my mind.”

“What are you?”

He shrugged. “Nothing.”

She could almost hear the unspoken words: because that’s what I am. She shivered. Nothing about tonight was going the way she thought it would.

“Since I planned this event,” he continued, “I didn’t have time to have an extravagant mask made.”

“I thought Rainer planned this?”

“He told me to arrange a masquerade, so I did.” He turned, looking at her. “Does it matter who planned it?”

She shook her head. Gazing back out at the night, she couldn’t help but wonder why Axel was out here with her instead of inside dancing.

“Sometimes I want to fall into the silence of the night,” he whispered.

Surprised by the admission, Sabine twisted to face him. “Why is that?”

“The silence demands nothing but silence in return.”

Though it might be quiet at night, that was when most dark deeds were done. That was when Sabine planned on breaking into the Avoni’s rooms and snooping around. Night provided cover for things that shouldn’t happen. The daylight exposed them.

The corners of his lips rose. “Of course, there are plenty of other things I enjoy doing in the night.”

And there was the Axel she’d come to know. “I’m sure your nights are rarely spent silently.”

He laughed. “I do love your candor.”

“Prince Axel,” a woman said from behind them.

“Duty calls,” he whispered. With a wink, he turned and strode away, joining the woman and heading back into the throne room.

 

Author Bio:

Jennifer Anne Davis graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. She is currently a full-time writer.

Awards:
Cage of Deceit: Winner 2018 Kindle Book Awards
The Key: Finalist 2014 USA Book Awards
The Voice: Finalist 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
The Voice: Winner 2013 San Diego Book Awards

For more information, visit www.JenniferAnneDavis.com.

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