Book Blitz: Guardians of the Mask by Haley Kate #historical #fantasy @XpressoTours

Guardians of the Mask
Haley Kate
Publication date: June 8th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Historical

An extraordinary golden mask is in the hands of an ordinary boy…

It’s a mask entrusted to great warriors and heroes, thought to be lost in the sands of time. It can summon immortal armies, grant unimaginable strength and heal mortal wounds.

The golden mask has reappeared. And now it’s in the hands of Rafe, a hard working, loyal and at times mischievous teenager who thinks he is of little importance.

But he is wrong. Rafe is chosen by the mask and destined to become as the warriors of legend.

With the powers of the golden mask, he is the only one who can keep the kingdom safe when it comes under threat.

But not everybody thinks the mask should be in the hands of a common boy. When an eccentric Prince finds out the mask is in the hands of a common boy, he decides to interfere with destiny.

Armed with his own dark forces, he threatens to bring the kingdom to its knees.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The sun did not stay for long. A full moon greeted the village early and the gloom of the day sent most people to their beds without supper. Sam had been one of them. Rafe chose to linger for a while, walking on the rooftop of the church. It was a pleasant view from the top, where he could see the gargoyle they had toppled still implanted in the bed of grass beneath. He towered over the treetops and the hills that surrounded the village. Beyond the woodland ranged the fallow deer that grazed the palace fields. The palace never looked more beautiful than it did in the dark. The lights never went out and the spectacular array of gold and white from the turrets sparkled like the stars in the sky. It made the sudden interrupting sound of the horn all the more haunting. Eerie and unexpected, it sent a chill through the spines of all those that heard it, its low groan a warning that danger was coming. The call of it jumpstarted a fear that was resting inside of Rafe. A call he had been expecting and dreading. Lingering in his heart, the sound of it sent his emotions into overdrive. Climbing down from the church rooftop, he tore through the forest as fast as his legs would carry him.

“Rafe!” someone yelled.

Rafe spun around to see Miller, Edward and Theo running from the direction of the mansion. Miller had replaced his top hat with an uncommonly large helmet. Rafe caught up to them, desperate for an explanation. Somehow he doubted whether the Brutes had returned.

“They be comin’ boy! Get ya sword and ya mask. The village be gatherin’ their best to meet ye!” Miller spat. “Meet me? For what? Who’s coming?” Rafe demanded, knowing full well who it was without needing to ask. “Who d’ya think? I’d say ye have ‘bout ten minutes b’fore the Prince be findin’ ya. He wants revenge fer wha’ ye did, though this time he be nay dumb enough to fight on his own! I says there be two dozen knights marchin’ ‘ere. Even if they do b’lieve in the legends o’ Cherubim’s Mask, they be sworn to obey th’ Prince. Th’ villagers b’lieve in ye, Rafe. Some of em are willin’ t’ fight fer ye.” Rafe looked towards the forest, trying to imagine them. “The Prince,” Rafe whispered as the truth of it sank in. “Get the mask, lad!” Miller yelled.

Author Bio:

Haley Kate writes medieval fairytales and magical mysteries for tweens (and their parents). She also writes workbooks for schools to help reluctant readers engage with fiction.

Goodreads / Amazon / Facebook


GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted by:

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.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook (Seb Cielens#SebCielensBooks)

Twitter (Seb Cielens@SebCielens)

Goodreads

Youtube

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Target

Kobo

iBooks

Smashworda

Dymocks

Booktopia

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.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted by:

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!