Book Features, Giveaways

Series Spotlight of Curse of Clansmen and Kings by Linnea Tanner

Apollo’s Raven

Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 1

by Linnea Tanner

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

PenCraft 2019 Best Book of the Year Award

A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people. 

AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

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Dagger’s Destiny

Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 2

A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust

In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.
Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?

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Amulet’s Rapture

Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 3

Blood stains her Celtic home and kingdom.

The warrior Druid princess will do anything to retake her kingdom.

Although Catrin is the rightful heir to the Celtic throne in Britannia, she is lucky to be alive. After witnessing the slaughter of her family at the hands of her half-brother, who was aided by the Romans, she is enslaved by a Roman commander. He disguises her as a boy in the Roman Legion with the belief that she is an oracle of Apollo and can foretell his future. The sole bright spot in her miserable new life is her forbidden lover Marcellus, the great-grandson of the famed Roman General Mark Antony.

But Marcellus has been wounded and his memories of Catrin and their secret marriage were erased by a dark Druidess. Though Marcellus reunites with Catrin in Gaul and becomes her ally as she struggles to survive the brutality of her Roman master, he questions the legitimacy of their marriage and hesitates to help her escape and retake her kingdom. If their forbidden love and alliance are discovered, her dreams of returning to her Celtic home with Marcellus will be shattered.

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Skull’s Vengeance

Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 4

A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.

AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent’s stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin’s head.

To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin’s cause.

Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellus outmaneuver political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?

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Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.

Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include “Apollo’s Raven” (Book 1), “Dagger’s Destiny” (Book 2), “Amulet’s Rapture” (Book 3), and “Skull’s Vengeance” (Book 4). She has also released the historical fiction short story, “Two Faces of Janus.”

A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

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Sneak Peek of Caravanserai by Miriam Newman

Already tall and broad-shouldered, with a face more striking than pretty, she was becoming a woman.  She had to cover herself carefully now, because men were becoming interested.  Wildly waving hair from her unknown father, black as midnight, attracted them.  The curious, almost greenish color of her eyes so different from dark Domidian eyes drew attention, as did her skin that was lighter than most because of her Havacian blood.  It was unseemly for a girl to receive so much notice, and soon Cousin Imrun would select a husband for her.  Since her grandfather’s death, he had assumed his place as head of the family, other men having perished in the Great War, and she knew whom Imrun had in mind for her.

          Jalal, the young clerk he had taken in from one of the last internment camps to work for him, was nice enough.  Secretly, though, she had always suspected Imrun took Jalal not out of charity, but because he envisioned a marriage between them.  It was her mother’s money he was after, though not directly, because he feared the Omanis would arrest him if he took it.  Instead, he would get it through Jalal’s involvement in her business, which Jalal would take one day on Serafina’s behalf.  She would never see a single coin.  They would take everything when her mother died and she would be like every other woman she knew except her mother—dependent on a husband, fortunate if he was kind, miserable if he was not, but in any case never free.

          If she succeeded in refusing Jalal, which was unlikely, then the alternative would no doubt be a rich old man smelling of garlic and the hookah, who nonetheless would father many children on her, then die when she had passed her years of attractiveness.  The law prescribed only that she be left enough money to support her and keep her in her home for a year.  One year.  Then, if she had not remarried, she would be at the mercy of his sons while they took everything he had owned, which would include everything she brought to the marriage. 

          They thought she didn’t know.  They took her for a stupid girl.

Caravanserai

The Chronicles of Alcinia Book 7

by Miriam Newman

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

Her grandmother’s dying words launch Serafina on a quest to find her unknown father. Unable to accept the love of a childhood friend, she nevertheless accepts his company on her journey, but what they discover may lead to a quick trip to an enemy prison.

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Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books at http://www.miriamnewman.com.

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Sneak Peek of The Honor of an Heir by Linda Rae Sande

From the threshold of the parlor in which the argument was taking place, Clarinda, Countess of Norwick, regarded her identical twin daughters with a look of resignation. She did that often given their propensity to vex her.
At least she could tell them apart—most could not. Dahlia Davida bore a slight scar on her neck from when her sister had scratched her, and Diana Dorothea, who preferred to be called Danielle because the man she knew as her father was named Daniel, tended to hold her left hand in a fist as if she needed to punch someone.
“Whatever has you two arguing now?” Clarinda asked as her own fists went to her hips. She decided she needed to appear more determined.
More battle-ready.
Girls were trouble.
Twin girls were double the trouble.
Dealing with double the trouble meant girding her loins.
Dahlia and Danielle turned to face her, immediately silenced upon seeing their mother’s stance.
“Something important, Mother,” Dahlia replied.
“Terribly important,” Danielle agreed.
Clarinda blinked. Well, they apparently agreed on something. “Out with it.”
“It’s about making love,” Dahlia stated.
“What’s involved, exactly,” Danielle added. “I’m quite sure I know, but Davy seems to think otherwise.” She directed a glare in Dahlia’s direction. “She claims she read all about it in one of Father’s books.”
“I didn’t just read about it,” Dahlia argued. “I examined all the color plates. They were quite instructive.”
Clarinda blinked. So much for battle.
Glancing toward the sideboard, Clarinda had a thought to pour herself a glass of brandy before she dared attempt to answer the girls. Instead, she motioned the twins to take seats near the fireplace and rang for tea.
Perhaps she would merely add some brandy after the maid brought the tea service.
“First, I must ask why you’re even discussing this,” Clarinda said as she moved to her favorite floral upholstered chair. “Has one of you accepted an offer of marriage without telling me?”
The twins shook their heads in unison. “If lovemaking involves bending over a library table with my naked bum pressed against some man’s bare frontside, then I shall insist Father give me my dowry so I can go on a permanent holiday to Italy,” Danielle announced. “I’ll have none of that.”

Settling back into the velvet squabs, Anthony regarded Dahlia for a moment, now worried the ghost might have had a conversation or two with his mother. He sighed. “He had a long talk with me, too, although he didn’t mention the insipid miss.”
“When was this?” she asked in alarm.
“He left only a moment ago. Just… disappeared.”
She sighed. “He does that.”
“Well, he is a ghost,” Anthony remarked.
Her eyes once again rounded. “You know that?”
Wincing, Anthony nodded. “I probably should be petrified with fear, but I find the old coot rather interesting.”
“Old coot?” she repeated in disbelief. “Aren’t you worried that he’ll… he’ll—?”
“Haunt me?” Anthony finished for her. “What do you think he’s been doing these past few days?”
It was Dahlia’s turn to wince. “I’m so sorry.” When she noted his furrowed brows, she added, “This is all my fault.” She couldn’t help the sob that accompanied her words. She’d been attempting to swallow it since stepping into the coach.
“May I join you?” he asked as he nodded to the bench upon which she sat.
She nodded and scooted over to give him room to sit next to her.
“Why do you think that?” he asked, his arm resting on the squabs behind her shoulders so he could sit closer to her.
“I should never have looked at that damned book,” she whispered.
He leaned over and kissed her on her temple. “Now I know you’re upset,” he whispered. “You so rarely curse,” he added when she gave him a quelling glance. “I take it you are referring to the book about sexual congress?”
Dahlia gasped. “Did my father tell you about that, too?” she whined as her face bloomed with color.
Chuckling, Anthony said, “Actually, your sister did.” When he saw anger in her eyes, he added, “Don’t be cross with her. I’m glad she did. Otherwise, how would I know about your fear of the marriage bed? You certainly weren’t going to inform me.”
“I’m not supposed to know about such things,” Dahlia countered.
“But now that you do know a thing or two, is that the real reason you don’t wish to marry me?”
“I never said I don’t wish to marry you,” Dahlia countered. When she saw his look of confusion, she added, “I just didn’t wish for us to have to … negotiate.”
Anthony straightened, deciding it best he not respond to the comment about negotiating, at least not yet. “Well, you’ve certainly vexed your father,” he accused.
“Good, because he’s done nothing but make matters worse,” she complained on a huff.
“Careful what you say, or he might haunt you for the rest of your life,” Anthony warned.

The Honor of an Heir

The Heirs of Aristocracy Book 7

by Linda Rae Sande

Genre: Historical Regency Romance

They swore never to marry. But will the right suitors melt their hearts?

Fiercely independent and daughters of a wealthy countess, twins Dahlia and Diana have no desire to husband-hunt, despite their mother’s pleas. But when the ghost of their late father makes an appearance, he takes it upon himself to guide the girls into marriage – even if his presence will scare off potential suitors.

Caught cheating in one of their university courses, twin brothers Anthony and Andrew’s dreams of a Grand Tour are shattered when their father pulls the plug on their allowances. They had hoped to put marriage off as long as possible – but with their father withholding their allowances until they are wed, they have no choice but to face the daunting task of a lifelong commitment. There’s only one problem – although one of the brothers wants to marry, the other feels as if he‘s being forced to wed for money.

Brought crashing together by fate and aided by the girls’ late father, both pairs of twins must learn to see through their differences and get along. But marriage is no easy decision, and it will take more than a miracle to convince these sisters to tie the knot.

Are the twins a match made in Heaven? Or will the girls’ independence and the brothers’ lack of a fortune serve to drive them apart?

Artfully blending a beautiful 19th-century backdrop with all the classic charm of British aristocratic life, this scintillating historical romance novel by bestselling author Linda Rae Sande is a delightful read that’s perfect for anyone looking for their next emotional fix. Scroll up and grab your copy now…

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A self-described nerd and lover of science, Linda Rae spent many years as a published technical writer specializing in 3D graphics workstations, software and 3D animation (her movie credits include SHREK and SHREK 2). Getting lost in the rabbit holes of research has resulted in historical romances set in the Regency-era as well as Ancient Greece. A fan of action-adventure movies, she can frequently be found at the local cinema. Although she no longer has any fish, she follows the San Jose Sharks. She is a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC) and makes her home in Cody, Wyoming.

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Sneak Peek of A Glimpse of Music by Sydney Winward

The breeze whispered through the few leaves remaining glued to the trees as winter approached on autumn’s wing.

Her blistered hands ached at the reminder. Chopping wood proved to be too difficult for her small frame. But she had to try again. She had no choice if she wanted to keep her daughters warm during the winter.

By the time they reached the path leading to the house on the outskirts of the small village they now lived in, her entire body ached from the protesting muscles in her arm to the screaming pain of her leg. 

And then she stopped short when she spotted the house.

Dread tightened in her stomach as her gaze rested on the red paint plastered on one side of the wall, dripping down gray stone like streams of blood.

Murderer.

Fear slammed into her heart as she stared at the house for a long minute, waiting for someone to rush out of the trees with weapons drawn.

The property remained quiet. Eerily quiet.

“What does that say, Mama?” Maisy asked inquisitively. She began spelling it out. “M-U-R—”

“Nothing!” She quickly turned her daughter away and grabbed her hand, cautiously approaching the house. They passed through the wooden gate connected to the property’s waist-high stone wall. They walked across crisp grass and wilted wildflowers and finally stopped before the arched wooden door of the small, two-story structure. Her fingers shook as she wrapped them around the door handle and turned.

It was locked.

Relief escaped on her sigh as she unlocked it with the key and ushered her girls inside. To Maisy, she said, “Get your little sister supper, will you? I’ll be inside in a minute.”

Or a few…

Her gaze despondently turned to the dripping red paint. Last week, her cow had been stolen. And this week, it was defacement.

Ignoring her protesting leg, she gathered a scrub brush, soap, and water before kneeling on the cold ground. She began to clean.

Red bled into red, quickly tainting the bowl of water. The scrub brush oozed paint like a bloody wound. Her leg throbbed against the cold, brittle ground. An unforgiving chill shivered down her spine.

But she did not cry.

And she did not curse.

She deserved this. But her daughters did not.

A Glimpse of Music

Sunlight and Shadows Book 3

by Sydney Winward

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

If fate gives you a third chance, would you take it?

Joel Harrington has been in love with the same woman for as long as he could remember. But he had to watch her court his best friend, and then marry his king. Now that she’s once more unattached, he refuses to let her slip through his fingers for a third time.

Darkness torments Nyana’s memories, and even after her cruel husband is killed, he still haunts her from the grave. When her past refuses to leave her alone, it puts not only her, but her daughters in danger. She has no choice but to lean on the man she has called a friend for the past eight years, a friend whose charms she tries hard to resist.

But along with the growing threat to her family, she keeps an even more dangerous secret—a secret that could change her life forever.

This book is part of the Sunlight and Shadows series, and each can be read as a standalone with their own happily ever after.

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Sydney Winward is a fantasy and paranormal romance author who dabbles in the occasional historical fiction. She loves building complex worlds filled with magic, strong characters, and emotional stories that can make you laugh and cry.

Sydney is the author of The Bloodborn Series and the Sunlight and Shadows Series. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, thinking about stories, or going on adventures with her children. She lives in Utah with her husband and three amazing kids.

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