Wednesday, May 24, 2017

New HNS Feature: The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz illuminates the idyllic yet dangerous world of lighthouse-keeping in the early 20th century

Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief, is back with a new novel about a woman who travels back in time to 1921 and falls in love with a lighthouse keeper who looks remarkably like her deceased husband, and I recently had the chance to ask Tiffany a few questions on behalf of the Historical Novel Society.


Bestselling and RITA Award-winning romance author Tiffany Reisz is diving into the realm of historical fiction, and her new novel The Night Mark immerses readers in the lighthouse culture of post-WWI America and the shifting social attitudes of 1920s South Carolina. The Night Mark is the tale of a 21st-century woman grieving for her husband who is swept away by the tides. She awakens to find herself in 1921, coming face-to-face with a lighthouse keeper who looks exactly like the man she’s been mourning for four years.

The novel was inspired by a trip with her husband to Savannah, Georgia, where Reisz learned about the legend of Florence Martus. “A lighthouse keeper’s sister, she apparently fell in love with a sailor who shipped out and left her behind. She would greet every ship that came into port by waving a flag or a lantern in the hopes her true love was aboard and coming back to her. Andrew and I thought that sounded like a cover story to us. Maybe Florence just didn’t want to get married so she made up this fiancĂ© so she never had to marry anyone else. Probably not true but that’s how the writer brain works, always looking for plot twists!” With this story, Reisz returns to the barrier islands of South Carolina, the setting that captured her imagination as she wrote her earlier novel The Bourbon Thief.

Reisz describes the time period as a fun one to explore as a writer. “I was shocked by how contemporary it felt researching that time. It’s right after WWI but right before the Great Depression, so it was a kind of eye of history’s storm. And certainly a time period where women were really starting to take charge of their lives as they tasted independence during the war.”

Friday, May 19, 2017

New Book Release: Intermission

I'm a little late in sharing this, but please join me in congratulating Serena Chase on the publication of her fifth novel and first contemporary, Intermission! I had the privilege of offering Serena some early developmental assistance on this emotional tale of theater dreams and first love. Here's the book description:

We are starlight on snow. The reflection of something already beautiful—absorbed, reflected, and remade into something . . . more. 

And this kiss . . . 

This kiss is everything I’ve needed to say . . . and longed to hear.

Sixteen-year-old Faith Prescott eagerly awaits the day she will exchange her small Iowa hometown for the bright lights of Broadway, but her success-driven parents want her to pursue a more practical career, labeling “artsy” people—including their daughter—as foolish dreamers worthy of little more than disdain.

When Faith meets nineteen-year-old Noah Spencer she discovers someone who understands her musical theater dreams . . . because he shares them. 

Faith’s mother despises everything about Noah—his age, his upbringing . . . even his religious beliefs—and she grasps at every opportunity to belittle his plans to study theater and pursue a stage career. When those criticisms shift further toward hostility, resulting in unjust suspicions and baseless accusations, an increasingly fearful stage is set for Faith at home, where severe restrictions and harsh penalties are put in place to remove Noah Spencer from her life.

But Faith has never connected with anyone like she has with Noah, and no matter how tight a stranglehold her mother enforces to keep them apart, Faith will not give him up. Behind the curtain, Faith’s love for Noah continues to grow . . . as does her determination to hold on to her dreams—and him—no matter how high the cost. 

Intermission is available now in ebook and print formats on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Serena's website for the scoop on all of her books, including her bestselling and critically acclaimed Eyes of E'veria series!

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New Cover Design: For the Brave

Please join me in congratulating Holly Bush on the publication of her newest historical romance, For the Brave, the first book in her new Gentrys of Paradise series! I had the pleasure of designing the cover. (And let me tell you it was no hardship spending my time looking for a hunky, rugged model :) Here's the book description:

1869 – Matthew Gentry joined the Confederate Army at eighteen years of age after an argument with his father, leaving Paradise, his Virginia home and famed horse breeding stables, for the fields of Gettysburg. Having survived the War Between the States, Gentry is haunted by the violence and inhumanity of the war. He continues to roam the country long after the conflict is over, finding solace in the arms of soiled doves and at the bottom of whiskey bottles. Finally traveling home after learning of a family tragedy, he nearly loses his life in a spring-flooded riverbed.

Annie Campbell, lone survivor of her family, lives at a remote farm near the North River, raising pigs and trying to grow enough to feed herself, and to stay out of the crosshairs of the Thurmans, violent men who run the town of Bridgewater. Annie’s secrets threaten her safety, even as she rescues and nurses Matthew Gentry. 

Matthew knows he must return to Paradise, to grieve with his family. Will his heart lead him back to Bridgewater and Annie Campbell? 

For the Brave is available now in ebook and print format on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and iTunes. Add it to your shelves on Goodreadsand visit Holly's website for the scoop on all of her historical romances.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New Cover Design: Twilight Empress

Please join me in congratulating Faith Justice on the publication of her newest historical fiction novel, Twilight Empress! I had the pleasure of designing the cover of this first in a trilogy about Theodosian women. Here's the book description:

One woman battles the coming Dark Ages

Twilight Empress tells the little-known story of a remarkable woman: Placidia, sister to one of the last Roman Emperors. Roman Empress and Gothic Queen, Placidia does the unthinkable: she rules the failing Western Roman Empire. A life of ambition, power, and intrigue she doesn’t seek, but can’t refuse, her actions shape the face of Western Europe for centuries.

A woman as well as an empress, Placidia suffers love, loss, and betrayal. Can her intelligence, tenacity, and ambition help her survive and triumph over scheming generals, rebellious children, and Attila the Hun?

Twilight Empress is available now in ebook and print formats on Amazon! Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Faith's website for the scoop on all of her historical fiction novels!

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Monday, May 15, 2017

New Book Release: Traitor's Knot

Please join me in congratulating Cryssa Bazos on the publication of her debut historical fiction novel, Traitor's Knot! I had the pleasure of offering Cryssa some editorial assistance on this gripping and romantic tale of love and war before she began the submission process. Traitor's Knot was acquired by Endeavour Press and is on sale now! Here's the book description:

England 1650: Civil War has given way to an uneasy peace in the year since Parliament executed King Charles I.

Royalist officer James Hart refuses to accept the tyranny of the new government, and to raise funds for the restoration of the king’s son, he takes to the road as a highwayman.

Elizabeth Seton has long been shunned for being a traitor’s daughter. In the midst of the new order, she risks her life by sheltering fugitives from Parliament in a garrison town. But her attempts to rebuild her life are threatened, first by her own sense of injustice, then by falling in love with the dashing Hart.

The lovers’ loyalty is tested through war, defeat and separation. James must fight his way back to the woman he loves, while Elizabeth will do anything to save him, even if it means sacrificing herself.

Traitor's Knot is a sweeping tale of love and conflicted loyalties set against the turmoil of the English Civil War.

Traitor's Knot is available now on Amazon. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Cryssa's website, where she blogs about 17th century history. Cryssa is also an editor of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chance Meetings Cover Is a da Vinci Award Finalist!

I'm thrilled to announce that the cover I designed for Chance Meetings by Madhu Bazaz Wangu was a finalist for the 2017 da Vinci Eye Award! Here's the description from the website: 

"Each year, the Eric Hoffer Award presents the da Vinci Eye to books with superior cover artwork. Cover art is judged on both content and style. The da Vinci Eye is given in honor of the historic artist, scientist, and inventor Leonardo da Vinci."

While our cover did not win, it's still such an honor to be nominated!

In this eloquent collection of stories, twelve different people from different walks of life discover how one chance meeting with a stranger can change a person forever. Drawing from her own Indian-American heritage, Madhu Bazaz Wangu examines the lives of ordinary people facing challenging circumstances—cruelty, prejudiced minds, twisted family relationships, unhappy marriages—and demonstrates how these situations transcend ethnicity and background as interactions with strangers force each character to look deep within themselves, often acknowledging painful truths and long-held secrets, in order to seize control of their own destinies and forge their own paths to independence and happiness. Madhu Bazaz Wangu poignantly weaves a universal message that ties the characters in these stories together, one that applies to anyone who has experienced poverty, jealousy, fear, prejudice, disillusionment, and above all, the feeling of being a foreigner, even within one’s own family.

Chance Meetings is available now in ebook and print formats on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads and visit Madhu's website for the scoop on her Mindful Writers workshops.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

New Book Release: The Exchange Soldier

Please join me in congratulating Yusuke Yahagi on the publication of his debut historical fiction novel, The Exchange Soldier! I had the pleasure of providing Yusuke with some developmental and copyediting assistance on this riveting tale of a Japanese soldier who is sent to train with the Nazis during World War II and, horrified by the atrocities of the concentration camps, crafts a daring plan to save as many Jewish people as he can at great risk to his own life. The Exchange Soldier was acquired by German publisher Edition Forsbach, and Yusuke will soon be embarking on a book tour of Germany! Here's the book description:

Growing up as a fisherman, Shota Yahagi attends Tokyo’s military academy. He becomes a master of self-defense and discovers an affinity for the German language. 

As Adolf Hitler comes to power in Germany, Shota is sent there as an “Exchange Soldier” to exchange mutual war tactics between the two newly allied countries.

Later, Shota becomes an elite SS commander. As Hitler invades Poland, the war breaks out. 

Upon his return to Germany from the Russian front, Shota gets promoted to SS general and is assigned to oversee the concentration camps. What he finds there horrifies him. While he rebels at everything he is witnessing, he quickly learns that questioning the operation has deadly consequences. 

Later he falls in love with a German woman. The problem of the concentration camps continues to plague Shota’s conscience, while millions of innocent Jewish people are being tortured and murdered. 

Then one day Shota makes a courageous decision: he is going to take advantage of his rank and position to free as many Jews as possible with the help of Italian Partisans and the French Resistance. 

The Exchange Soldier is available now in ebook and print formats on Amazon. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Yusuke's band, Dr. Yahagi and the Mended Hearts!

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Book Release: Under the Approaching Dark

Please join me in congratulating Anna Belfrage on the publication of her newest historical fiction novel, Under the Approaching Dark, the third book in The King's Greatest Enemy series, which takes place during the tumultuous years of Edward II's reign and downfall. I had the privilege of providing Anna with some copyediting assistance on this exciting and emotional tale of historical drama. Here's the book description:

Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness. But the turmoil is far from over.

After years of strife, England in the early months of 1327 is a country in need of stability, and many turn with hope towards the new young king, Edward III. But Edward is too young to rule, so instead it is his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, who do the actual governing, much to the dislike of barons such as Henry of Lancaster.

In the north, the Scots take advantage of the weakened state of the realm and raid with impunity. Closer to court, it is Mortimer’s increasing powers that cause concerns – both among his enemies, but also for men like Adam, who loves Mortimer dearly, but loves the young king just as much.

When it is announced that Edward II has died in September of 1327, what has so far been a grumble grows into voluble protests against Mortimer. Yet again, the spectre of rebellion haunts the land, and things are further complicated by the reappearance of one of Adam’s personal enemies. Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.

Under the Approaching Dark is available now in ebook and print formats on Amazon. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and visit Anna's website for more information on all of her books, including the popular Graham Saga series.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Cover Design: Into the Evermore

Please join me in congratulating Holly Bush on the publication of her newest historical romance, Into the Evermore, the prequel novella to her brand new series, The Gentrys of Paradise! I had the privilege of designing the cover, and this is the tenth cover Holly and I have worked on together! Here's the book description:

Virginia, 1842

Eleanor McManus, upright daughter of a minister, is rescued from kidnappers by a rough and tumble fur trader, Beauregard Gentry, in the wilderness of northern Virginia. With Beauregard’s help, Eleanor makes her way back to her intended groom who declares her soiled, and she finds herself alone, pressured to make life decisions without benefit of family or others she can trust. Beauregard and Eleanor agree to begin a life together, build their legacy together, and their growing devotion to each other is witnessed one cold, crisp Christmas morning.

This novella was originally included in the anthology Christmas in America.

Into the Evermore is available now in ebook format for 99 cents on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and visit Holly's website for the scoop on all of her books.

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