Book Blitz & Excerpt: Born of Fire + Giveaway

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Born of Fire
by Kella McKinnon
Publication date: January 21st 2021
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance, Time-Travel

More than thirteen centuries ago, the Highlands were ruled by a powerful Pictish King whose ferocity in battle was as legendary as his honor and devotion to his people. When his trusted advisor had a vision that the Picts could one day disappear from the Earth, King Bridei charged one family with protecting and preserving the language and lore of the Picts through the generations to come.

Born into this ancient family line, Nessa Brodie feels both the weight of her responsibility and the desire to pursue her own dreams, until a series of fateful events lands her in the distant past. As she navigates her new world and all of the uncertainty and fear that comes with it, Nessa begins to realize that she is destined to be the completion of a circle begun long before she was born. Torn between the life and love she left behind, and the captivating passion of an untamed warrior-king, Nessa learns that even the path laid out by fate is never easy or straight.

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Born of Fire

EXCERPT:

“Well? Do you want to have her killed tonight with the others?” Namet stood before him, waiting for his answer.

Bridei was eating his dinner. Or at least he was trying to. This was the fourth interruption he’d had to endure since he’d sat down. “No. I need to know who she is first, and who she answers to. There is too much at stake not to know each and every one of my enemies, large or small.” He paused, chewing thoughtfully. “She could be completely innocent, of course.” But maybe that was wishful thinking. The lass’s fathomless green eyes told him nothing except that she was lying.

“Or she could have been sent to seduce you into telling your secrets. Or to poison you.” Namet always argued the other side. It was one of his many roles as chief counselor to the King.

“Then why would the old man be with her? He certainly does not put one in the mind of seduction. Wouldn’t she have come alone, if that was the plan? Played on our sympathies as a woman lost and by herself?” He shook his head, taking another bite of food from the carved wooden bowl. He could have dined from golden plates, of course, but he preferred simpler things. “I need to know more. Bring her to the fires tonight. I would have her see what happens to those who cross me. Perhaps then she will talk. And Namet…”

“Yes?”

Bridei pointed his spoon at him with narrowed eyes. “I would never be seduced by any woman. Know that.”

He wouldn’t have anyone, even his most trusted counselor, thinking he could be weakened in any way. Especially not by feminine wiles. He had had women throwing themselves at him since the day he’d become King, even before that, and never once had he let one touch his heart. Never for a moment had he been ruled by lust or need. He was always in control. He was King.

The old warrior’s mouth curled up at one corner just a little as he nodded. He had been around long enough to know that sometimes a woman came along that a man had no hope of walking away from. Even being a king didn’t make one immune to matters of the heart.

Author Bio:

Kella McKinnon lives in rural New England on a mini-farm with her husband and three children, and has far too many hobbies to list… but writing is her biggest passion.

 

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Cover Reveal: Murder at the Met, by E.W. Cooper

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Murder at the Met
by E.W. Cooper
(Penelope Harris Mysteries #2)
Publication date: April 8th 2021
Genres: Adult, Historical, Mystery

November 1928, New York City. No one can keep a secret like high society – especially when that secret is murder.

There are two things Penelope Harris would rather do than get involved with another murder—sing opera and flirt with Thom Lund. When two tickets ensure Penelope and Thom get some precious time together at the Metropolitan opera, neither believes another murder will interrupt their romantic evening.

Fate has a different plan. Before the night is over a failed manufacturing tycoon is found dead at the bottom of a staircase, his poisoned and dying daughter nearby. Is it an accident? Suicide? Or murder? When a fellow soprano pleads for help, Penelope just can’t help her inquisitive nature.

As Penelope pulls back the cover on a diabolical crime, Lund rushes to complete the investigation of a suicide on the Gold Coast of Long Island. What they find will uncover the sordid underbelly of high society and put Penelope on the wrong side of her own gun.

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Author Bio:

Author of the Penelope Harris Mysteries, E.W. Cooper was ecstatic to learn her debut in the series, The Jade Tiger, was the 2020 Booklife Prize Finalist in Mystery/Thriller. A lifelong fan of classic mysteries and Grand Opera, Ms. Cooper is hard at work on the second book in the Penelope Harris Mystery series, Murder at the Met (April 2021). She lives quietly with her partner, children, three dogs, and one cat in a very noisy house in South Texas.

To learn more about Penelope Harris Mysteries (and the author) go to www.ewcooper.com and snoop around.

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Spotlight + Excerpt: An Unexpected Temptation + Giveaway

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An Unexpected Temptation

The Townsbridges
by Sophie Barnes
Publication Date: December 8, 2020
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple Books | Google Play

No other woman compares…

Six years ago, Athena Townsbridge broke up a wedding. This worked out well for her brother and the lady he loved, but Athena has never forgiven herself for what it did to Robert Carlisle. No one has seen him since he fled the church in humiliation, so when she learns of his estate’s proximity to the property she is staying at during a family visit, she sets out, determined to make amends.

When Robert, Marquess of Darlington, is reunited with Athena, she’s no longer the troublesome girl he remembers, but rather a fully grown woman. Trapped with her when a blizzard sets in, he rediscovers her playful side, the laughter and joy she can bring to his life. But it is her willful nature that tempts him, both with the need to tame her and with the dream of making her his.

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Excerpt:

Athena’s hand shook in response to the name. Hot tea fell against her thigh. Robert Carlisle had been the Earl of Langdon when she’d last seen him. Although things had ended badly between them, she’d been sorry to hear of his father’s passing. Athena darted a look in Charles’s direction. He and Bethany had both gone utterly still.

“I forgot he had property in this area,” Athena’s father finally said.

“I’ve not spoken to him in six years. Not since I left him at that inn where I found him after…” Charles cleared his throat and clasped his wife’s hand.

Athena returned her teacup to its saucer with a clatter. “I should like a chance to apologize to him.”

“No.” The word was unanimously spoken by her parents and siblings alike.

“But—”

“Darlington was furious after what happened.” Charles’s voice was strained with regret. “He made it very clear to me there was nothing more to be said between us.”

“Nevertheless, I would like a chance to explain myself to him directly.” What she was truly after was his forgiveness. Darlington had been Charles’s friend. She’d known him most of her life and while he’d been wrong for Bethany, she could not deny the guilt she still felt over how she’d upended his life. “It would mean a great deal.”

“I’m sorry,” Charles said. A brief silence followed before he confessed. “I made repeated attempts to apologize to him on all our behalves. I wrote him letters, Athena, and he responded once, in a manner I cannot repeat with ladies present. His words were extremely harsh, especially those directed at you. And while I’ve no doubt he was foxed beyond reason when he penned the missive, I cannot excuse such behavior.”

“Not even when we are the ones who drove him to it?” Athena asked. She held Charles’s gaze. “Out of everyone who has criticized me over the years for the part I played in your marriage to Bethany, he is the one with the most right.”

“You’re not wrong,” Athena’s father said, “but there are instances when it is wisest to leave the past alone and move on. It is my opinion that this is such an instance. Our goal right now is to see you settled, not to ruin your chances further by reminding everyone of what happened, and yes, they will be reminded the moment they see you and Darlington in the same room.”

“So then I gather we ought to avoid a ball?” Lady Foxborough asked.

“What about the dance at the assembly hall?” Bethany asked. “Is there any chance Darlington might show up there?”

“No,” Lady Foxborough said. “The marquess, as I understand it, does not go out at all.”

“So then?” Athena prompted. “Why not invite him if you know he’ll stay away.”

“I fear he would not.” Lady Foxborough reached for her teacup while Athena tried to make sense of what she was being told. “The assembly hall functions are free from obligation, but if we, the Marquess and Marchioness of Foxborough, were to ask another peer to join us for a formal event, I believe he would feel duty-bound to attend, so as not to cause offense.”

Athena sank back against the sofa with a sigh. What foolish nonsense. The Foxboroughs could not host a ball because to do so they would have to invite a man who did not wish to attend but would have to do so simply for the sake of appeasing a group of people who did not want him there. Once again, she was reminded of how ridiculous Society was.

She glanced at the beveled glass windows, wet with rain. For six years she’d dreamed of running into Darlington, of voicing her regrets and wishing him well. In all her imaginings, he’d refuse to listen at first, but would relent when she persisted. Eventually, he’d tell her he understood, that it was all right, and that what had happened was for the best.

The only problem was, the marquess had cut all ties with her family and remained absent from Town. She’d had no chance to approach him – no opportunity to make amends. Until now.

Her pulse quickened. She wondered how far away his estate might be. If the Foxboroughs felt they had to invite him to an evening affair in the winter, he must be quite close – at least within an hour’s drive by carriage. Pressing her lips together, she considered those around her. None would provide her with the directions she required.

Perhaps it was just as well. Athena picked up a biscuit and bit into it with a sigh. She knew herself well enough to realize it was probably a foolish idea – the sort of idea best scrapped before it fully formed and began to grow roots in her brain.

But when she got up the following morning after a restless night of contemplation, she accepted what had to be done. If she was to find true happiness, she would have to make peace with the man she’d hurt. It was the only way forward.

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About Sophie Barnes

Born in Denmark, USA TODAY bestselling author Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She’s lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish, and Romanian with varying degrees of fluency. But, most impressive of all, she’s been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses.

When she’s not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading.

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