Monday, January 29, 2018

Shadow of the Swan {+ Giveaway}

Shadow of the Swan
Judith Sterling
(The Novels of Ravenwood #3)
Publication date: January 31st 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance

Lady Constance de Bret was determined to be a nun, until shadows from the past eclipsed her present. Marriage is the safest option, but she insists on a spiritual union, in which physical intimacy is forbidden. Not so easy with a bridegroom who wields unparalleled charm! But a long-buried secret could taint his affection and cloak her in shadow forever.
Back from the Crusades, Sir Robert le Donjon craves a home of his own and children to inherit it. From the moment he meets Constance, he feels a mysterious bond between them. When she’s threatened, he vows to protect her and agrees to the spiritual marriage, with the hope of one day persuading her to enjoy a “real” one. She captivates him but opens old wounds and challenges everything he thought he believed.
Two souls in need of healing. Two hearts destined to beat as one.
Robert turned to Constance but said nothing.
After a moment, she met his gaze. “Why do you stare at me?”
He grinned. “On the morrow, I want to show you something.”
“You’ll see.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Why won’t you tell me?”
“’Tis a surprise.”
“I don’t like surprises.”
“Neither do I, on the whole. But you’ll like this one.” He reached toward his belt.
She stepped back. “What are you doing?”
“Undressing.” He set his belt on the table.
Her stomach dropped. “Why?”
“Aren’t you the suspicious one?” He pulled off his boots. “’Tis customary to doff one’s clothes at bedtime.”
She whirled around, turning her back on him. “I slept fully clothed at the nunnery.” She stared hard at the stone wall.
“I hate to state the obvious, but this isn’t a nunnery.”
“Well, how do you sleep?”
“Naked, of course.”
Heat flooded her cheeks and forehead. “Is that necessary?”
“I could wear my breeches.”
She sighed. Whew!
“On one condition.” His tone was loaded with meaning beyond her grasp.
What condition? What does he want from me?
She turned to face him. Apart from his calf-length breeches, he was nude. Her gaze locked onto his chest.
Sculpted by combat. Scarred by war. Covered with black hair.
“Any objection?” His voice was soft, deep.
She forced her gaze to his eyes. They looked darker now. Was it a trick of the light?
He’s waiting for an answer. Say something! “No.”
“How did you undress so fast?”
“The battlefield teaches one to do everything fast.” His eyes sparkled. “Well, not everything.”
Did her heart still beat? She couldn’t tell. His tone was so suggestive.
“You blush, my lady.”
Her hands flew to her cheeks. “And whose fault is that?”
He gave her a rueful smile. “Mine. But if we’re to be friends, I have to speak honestly.”
“About sexual matters?”
“About all matters. Can you live with that?”
She hesitated, then gave him a nod. “I can. And in that vein, what is the condition you proposed?”
“Right. If I’m to smother myself with added linen—”
“Breeches, Sir Robert. They’re just breeches.”
He cocked an eyebrow. “So say you. But if I do that, you must sleep in your chemise only.”
Her jaw dropped. Then she frowned. “Why?”
“For the sake of comfort.”
“I’m comfortable clad.”
He looked down, and his fingers seized the tie to his breeches. “Fine. If you’d rather I drop my—”
“Stop!” She grumbled. “Very well. I’ll sleep in my chemise.”
He smiled. “I’ll go lie in bed and shut my eyes, if you’d like.”
“I would like.”
“Do you prefer one side of the bed to the other?”
She shrugged. “It matters not.”
“Then I lay claim to the left.”
As soon as the bed creaked beneath his weight, she removed her headdress. Then she disrobed as quickly as she could and scurried to the bed.
“Why such haste?” he asked as she slid beneath the covers.
“My feet are cold.”
“Mine are warm. You’re welcome to—”
“No, Sir Robert. I’ll warm up soon enough.”

Author Bio:
Judith Sterling's love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven, Soul of the Wolf, and Shadow of the Swan are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in her YA paranormal fantasy series, Guardians of Erin. Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books--My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories--have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

How’s It Going?

How is your week going? Can you believe it’s already Thursday or has your week been the kind that makes you question that it’s only Thursday?

With the crazy cold weather we’ve been having and all the sickness everyone is experiencing, I thought I’d share a light-hearted post today and a puzzle. It’s been sometime since I posted a puzzle so here you go.

Thanks for stopping by. Has it been a crazy week for you? How was your timing on the puzzle?

Click to Mix and

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Queen Moxie on Tour {+ Giveaway}

I’m happy to welcome author Hank Quense here today as he is on tour with his latest release, QUEEN MOXIE.

Come join in the fun and enter to win one of the wonderful prizes being given away by the author. First, a summary of the story.

  • File Size: 4861 KB
  • Print Length: 85 pages
  • Publisher: Strange Worlds Publishing (February 1, 2018)
  • Publication Date: February 1, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0775W1NWP

In this humorous tale, it is now ten years since Moxie became Queen of Usca in south-west Britain. A tribe of Picts shatters her peaceful reign by migrating from the north and occupying territory just outside her border.
Moxie decides to build a fort to help control the wild Picts. To her surprise, she discovers that the fort has been built on land claimed by the forest fairies. Oberon, the King of the fairies, destroys the fort using magic.
Moxie threatens Oberon with military might. Oberon threatens Moxie with magic. To counter Oberon, Moxie asks Camelot to send Merlin to help her out and Arthur agrees.
Once Merlin arrives, Moxie demands that he confront Oberon and use magic spells to defeat the Fairy King. Merlin isn’t thrilled by the request. Moxie wants him to cast field magic spells, a type of spell casting that Merlin has never been able to master.
The Picts hear about the fort and decide Moxie has become hostile. They determine to attack rather than wait for Moxie to attack them.
Meanwhile, Moxie’s only child, the ten-year-old daughter, Aethelwine, decides she won’t be the next queen, leaving Moxie without an heir.
Tristan, a Knight of the Round Table, has been exiled by Arthur for insulting all the nobles with his songs and is staying in Moxie’s castle. He is working on a play to be staged in Stonehenge. Tristan hopes the play will end his exile since it praises King Arthur and Camelot
Faced with threats from the fairies and the Picts, Moxie decides to take on the fairies. Merlin tells Moxie and Oberon they are both idiots for fighting each other when the real threat comes from the Picts who will be able to conquer both after they fight a battle and are weakened by casualties.
Moxie and Oberon agree to a treaty and combine forces to confront the Picts who have been reinforced by boatloads of warriors.
Can Moxie and Oberon convince the Picts to back down?
And what about Aethelwine?
Is Tristan’s play any good?

For those who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s some background on him.

Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric sci-fi and fantasy stories. He also writes and lectures about fiction writing and self-publishing. He has published 19 books and 50 short stories along with dozens of articles.

He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a series of guides covering the basics on each subject. He is currently working on a third Moxie novel that takes place in the Camelot era.

He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe. They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.

For more on Hank and his writing, visit his Amazon Author Page.

Now for the giveaway.

The giveaway will consist of 5 eBook copies of QUEEN MOXIE, 2 eBook copies of PRINCESS MOXIE, a 2-book boxed set. Click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter or click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for stopping by during Hank’s visit. You can check out his tour page here. Be sure and stop back later in the tour for my thoughts on this delightful release. Would you want to be the next heir to a kingdom?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Daughter of the Goddess
Rita Webb
Publication date: November 20th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

The wind calls her to play.
Will she listen?
I was a nameless child abandoned on the temple doorsteps.
Soul, the gods called me. So they named me Nephecia.
My plans don’t include marriage to some silly nobleman. When I come of age, I will take vows and devote my life to serving the goddess of Light. As a priestess, a daughter of the goddess, I’ll make the world a better place.
The summer before my eighteenth birthday, an oracle arrives with word from the gods: I must leave the only home, the only family, I’ve ever known, to marry a stranger in a foreign land.
There must be some mistake.
If I follow my own plans, I’ll disobey the very goddess I want to serve. But how can I trust the gods have my best interest at heart?
Daughter of the Goddess is a Young Adult Fairy Tale retelling of the Greek myth Eros and Psyche, set in a fantasy world.
If you enjoy sweet love stories and fairy tales, then you’ll fall in love with Nephecia’s story. Grab your copy today.
99¢ for a limited time only!
Q&A with author Rita Webb
Where did you get the idea for Daughter of the Goddess?
My favorite Greek myth is the story of Eros and Psyche. I think it’s the only Greek myth I read with anywhere close to a happy ending, even if there was a great deal of turmoil getting there.

The philosopher in me always wondered what a soul really was. When someone says, “That music is full of soul,” what does that mean?
So Nephecia epitomizes what I believe soul means. I took her out of Ancient Greece and put her into a world of my own making.

How did the name “Psyche” become “Nephecia”?
I searched other languages for the word “Soul” and found nephesh in Hebrew.

How did the name “Eros” become “Gabin”?
Gabin is a variation of Gabriel (according to my baby name book), that means “Hero of God.” I remember something about it meaning “Beloved by God” too.

Why do you write stories?
I have 3 daughters, ages 15, 13, and 11, and I want them to grow up believing in their dreams. The only way I can see that happening is if I believe in my own.

What’s your secret to success?
My husband. He believes in me, and when I’m discouraged, he never lets me give up.

What one piece of advice do you have for new writers?
Read, write, study, write some more. Never give up. Okay, that’s 5 pieces of advice.

Author Bio:
Leaving the house to go to school, I had schoolbooks spilling out of one hand, the other holding my place in a Nancy Drew novel, and bunny slippers still on my feet. My mom was a wee bit upset.
I haven't changed much. Still always have a book (or two) in my hand or creating stories in my head, and although I don't have any bunny slippers, I love writing in my jammies and snuggly slipper socks.
With my husband TJ (my own cuddly werewolf), I home-school our three girls, who keep us busy with art, science projects, books to read, dance classes, and walks about the park.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Knock, Knock … It’s Me!

Hi all, it’s Mason. I hope y’all remember me. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve been here at Thoughts in Progress.

I didn’t intend on being away so long but one day turned into two, two turned into four and then it just snowballed. With the holidays and a full-time job now outside the home, life has been a bit crazy (whose life isn’t, right?). Then I decided since we were having such fun weather here in the South (extremely low temperatures, ice, snow, you know) that it was the perfect time to get this nice cough and cold that’s going around. You know the one that doesn’t want to leave you once you get even if you take all the medicine the doctor prescribes for you. It has finally decided to visit someone else and I’m feeling better (not coughing with every other breath).

My plan is to get back to blogging on a regular basis. That means sharing new books and authors with you here and visiting with you on your blogs. If I don’t make it by to see you today, I’ll be by soon I promise.

Meanwhile, I need a bit of help. I had a note on my calendar concerning DEADLY SWEET by Lola Dodge for today, but I can’t find anything in my emails about it. The note didn’t say if it was a book tour, feature or what. If you have contacted me about this book, please contact me again.

One other bit of information concerns a book tour I’m handling through MC Book Tours. Author Hank Quense has a new book, QUEEN MOXIE, that will be on tour today through Feb. 20. If you’d like to participate in the tour, just drop me an email or visit the tour page.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Has this crazy cough/cold visited with you?