Book Tour: White Lotus by Seb Cielens #youngadult #fantasy #historical @SebCielens

 Book 1 of The Tripitaka Chronicles

Fantasy, YA, Historical

Date Published: August 15, 2021

Publisher: NewLink Publishing (an imprint of Mystic Publishers)

The year is 1799, and a woodblock engraved with a mysterious message is unearthed near a Korean temple. A novice monk, Kyetsu, is sent north by the abbot on a mission to deliver it to the king. On the journey he meets a great warrior, the leader of a secret society called White Lotus. Kyetsu will need all the help he can get, as there are powerful forces working against him. He must learn the deadly martial arts style practiced by the White Lotus and must look for help in unlikely places. The fate of the kingdom is at stake.

 


Excerpt

“I am traveling north,” Kyetsu said.

“North? Where?” The man looked out into the bleak night.

Habit made Kyetsu pause but something told him he could trust these people. “To Hanseong.”

“Hanseong!” The man shook his head in disbelief. “That is some way from here. Tell me then, which way is north?”

Kyetsu looked in every direction before his shoulders slumped.

“I’m not sure.” Chui might have been right. He had not the faintest hope of making it to the capital.

“The black tortoise,” the woman said. Her wavy hair and round cheeks offered a warmth that drew Kyetsu in and made him feel at ease.

“What?” Despite having surrendered to the woman’s maternal glow, Kyetsu had no idea what she was talking about.

“The black tortoise.” She rested a hand on his shoulder and pointed toward the horizon. “Can you see it?”

“No.” He looked up at the clear black sky, filled with countless stars, trying to glimpse at what she pointed to.

She waved her hand in a smooth, swirling motion, tracing a pattern in the stars. “It is locked in an eternal struggle with the snake.” She now traced the serpent, wrapped around the tortoise in fierce combat. A gasp escaped from Kyetsu, and the man chuckled.

“I can see it.” Kyetsu felt as though he were taking in the heavens with new eyes.

“Follow the tortoise,” the woman said, “and you will always find your way north.”

“Is that how you travel,” Kyetsu said, “by the stars?”

“You can count the starry nights on one hand this time of year.” The man laughed, shaking his head.

“Sometimes.” The woman tsked at the man before offering Kyetsu a smile. “But a road is often easier to follow.”

“When you can find one.” The man laughed again, nodding in the direction of the wild mountains beyond the camp.

About the Author

Seb Cielens is a South Australian writer who has immersed himself in Asian culture and history since he was a child. His stories recount the turmoil of life in late imperial Korea and China, weaving hundreds of hours of historical research into vivid and inspiring fictional tales. When he started training in Kung Fu at the age of thirteen, Seb had no idea that it would lead to a lifelong passion for this amazing place and time. After training in Chinese, Japanese and Korean martial arts for much of his life, he began putting it together with a lifelong passion for writing. Seb is a high school History teacher by day, and writer by night. He has managed these achievements despite being legally blind. White Lotus is the first novel in what promises to be a bountiful career as an author.

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Book Blitz: Murder at the Met by E.W. Cooper #mystery #historical @ewc_cooper

Murder at the Met
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.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“There are three sisters?” Penelope prompted.

“Clover, Ivy, and Tulip Warwick. Sisters, all of them.” Mary replied, happy to be the source of all the best gossip. “Ivy is the worst kind of child. Ill-behaved. Well, you saw, didn’t you? Her mother knows it too—keeps sending her away to finishing school. She must have just gotten back. Tulip would be the best of the three if she could just buck herself up. At least Ivy got to go away. Tulip had to stay behind and look after her mother. I see her from time-to-time volunteering at the library. She’s nice.”

“Only nice? Not the best recommendation, Mary darling.”

“You’d know how high a recommendation if you met Clover.” Mary lowered her voice. “Clover Warwick positively has the very worst temper I’ve ever seen. Last year she attacked one of her housemaids with a shoe. The poor girl lost an eye to Clover’s dancing shoe. I was certain she was going to be arrested this time—”

“This time?”

“—but she wriggled out of it again. Everyone said her father bought the maid off. Roger Warwick must have done something, because the girl had an uncle in the police. I was so certain she would be charged!”

“Mary, that simply cannot be true! You can’t just assault a maid and get away with it!”

“Connie Whitman volunteers at the hospital and saw the maid after it happened. She said Clover could have killed her. Good lord!” Mary put a hand to her mouth. “I hope she didn’t die. I hadn’t thought of that. I hope the poor girl didn’t succumb. Absolutely horrible. But that’s who Clover is, isn’t it?”

“Are you telling me that Clover Warwick, who everyone knows almost beat her maid to death with a shoe, is singing at a society gala with a premier soprano from the Metropolitan Opera? How is that possible?”

“Violet Warwick has spent thousands on Patsy’s production to get Clover the best solo. Patsy says it’s a drawing, you know—so everyone gets a fair chance. But we all know it’s not. It always comes down to money, one way or another,” Mary nodded sagely. “I do wonder what happened to the maid.” A furrow appeared on her brow. “I see how unfair it all was now. No one would have hired her afterward, you see. It would have upset Clover. No one upsets Clover. She retaliates—I suppose it’s a good thing her father is only in manufacturing. If it had been lumber or coal . . .”

“What on earth do you mean by that?” Penelope’s head was spinning with all the social rules she didn’t know. Running a casino in Shanghai had been easier than learning the hierarchy of New York society. The rules guiding the criminal class had been as straightforward as they come. “Why would it make a difference where he makes his money? Isn’t it all the same money?”

Mary was aghast. “It’s well and good to have money when no one else does, but you can’t swan about without a care in the world when everyone knows you made your packet manufacturing cheap wire hangers. I’ll never use them, and I don’t know anyone who would. Charles says it’s just a piece of wire tied up in a knot. Can you imagine? I tell you this, Penelope: Clover can work as hard as she wants to get an invitation from an Astor, but she never will. High society won’t have anything to do with something as low as a wire hanger—even if it is clever. I bet you Clover would leave town and change her name if she could, just to get away from it.”

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 http://www.ewcooper.com and snoop around.

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BOOK REVIEW: Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather #youngadult #paranormal

About the book:

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one.

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship.

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

 

My review…

5 stars

This has been an amazing series and I’m hoping there will be a third installment.

I’ve always been fascinated by the story of the Titanic, and I really enjoyed Ms. Mather’s spin on it. The mix of paranormal elements and historical events was intriguing. Ghosts, a spell, and a mystery to be solved… once I started reading, I couldn’t stop!