Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Waiting On" Wednesday: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week:

I believe stories like this fascinate me because I getting pregnant right out of high school and being a single parent for over a decade altered the planned course of my life. (Not too keen on this cover.)

A dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community—and the things that ultimately haunt us most. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

What are you "waiting on" this week?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Musing Mondays - Sept 19

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme now hosted at Jenn's blog Books And A Beat that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Write out a description of your life, as if it were a book’s description.

It is Monday again. I'll be busy working, but if you comment I will catch you later tonight.

Right now I am reading, Joshua's Mission by Vannetta Chapman. I loved the first book in this series and this one is great so far.

I've got several books I need to review:

I might try my hand at this week's activity later, but right now I need to get to bed. Hope you have a great day!

Book Blast & Giveaway: The Christmas Cookie Shop by Ginny Baird

Come home this Christmas to…


Where everyday dreams come true!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ginny Baird brings you the start of a brand new holiday series…


(Christmas Town, Book 1)

Hannah Winchester is down on her luck and disillusioned with love, but her fortunes are about to change. When Hannah inherits a defunct bakery in East Tennessee, her first thought is to sell it and settle her substantial debt. Then the townsfolk welcome her warmly and she’s taken with the joyful spirit of the place, where stores employ holiday themes and residents have surnames like Christmas and Claus. After a handsome lawman comes to her aid dressed as Santa, Hannah learns he’s more than a hot guy in a red suit and shiny black boots. Sheriff Carter Livingston has joined in the cause of rejuvenating the town, and he’s encouraging her to do her part. Hannah’s great-grandmother, Lena, sold special holiday cookies that brought hope and renewal to the people of Christmas Town. Yet Hannah has plans elsewhere and isn’t looking to stay. Can she possibly reopen the shop known for kindling romance—without sacrificing her heart?


Carter wondered what someone so young and pretty was doing in this neck of the woods. Christmas Town, Tennessee. Population: thirteen hundred. And, most of those thirteen hundred were over the age of sixty, which was probably why Carter couldn’t take his eyes off the striking brunette with warm brown eyes. Wispy raven tresses tumbled out from beneath a colorful knitted cap, framing her creamy complexion and lightly grazing her chin. She turned her eyes back on his and Carter’s heart stuttered. What was wrong with his ticker today? When he’d first laid eyes on her, it had skipped a beat. Now, it was slamming like a jackhammer. He pounded his chest with a fist to set it right before asking, “Long drive?”

She shook out her map and folded it, setting it aside. “I came here from Stafford, Virginia. Near Washington, DC.”

“Wow. What did that take you? Seven or eight hours, I’d guess?”

“Could have been less without the weather.”

“I’ll bet.” A blast of cold air roared through the lowered window and the woman shivered, gripping her arms by the elbows of her tattered pea coat. “My apologies,” Carter said, embarrassed by his attempts to detain her. “Here I am keeping you, when what you asked for was help in getting under way.”

“That’s all right.” Her pretty mouth drew up in a smile and heat warmed the back of his neck. “I’m new in town so I don’t have many friends yet.” The kittens mewed again. “Apart from those two,” she said with a laugh.

“Then you’re in for a treat. Everyone knows everyone in Christmas Town. It’s a very friendly place.”

Mirth sparked in her eyes as she lowered her window even further and stuck out her hand. “I’m Hannah, by the way. Hannah Winchester. It’s nice to meet you, Sheriff.”

“Call me Carter, please.” He latched onto her worn leather glove, thinking it felt warm and feminine in his calloused hand. Apart from patrolling, Carter did a whole lot of handyman work around town. All pro bono stuff to help the locals. Gave him something to do, since he’d only written one traffic ticket all year. Even then, he’d ultimately let the guy off with a warning.

“Staying in Christmas Town long?” He tried to downplay the hopefulness in his voice, but he wasn’t completely successful.

She blushed and withdrew her hand. “Just passing through. I’ve rented a place for a month. But I might stay two, depending.”

Carter scolded himself for nearly hitting on the woman. But nearly wasn’t doing. Nearly only counted in horseshoes and hand grenades…

Copyright © 2016 Ginny Baird


Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Barnes & Noble NOOK

Apple iBooks



Romance writer Ginny Baird has published novels in print and online and received screenplay options from Hollywood for her family and romantic comedy scripts. Whether writing lighthearted romantic comedy or spine-tingling romantic suspense, she delights in delivering heartwarming stories.

She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a Top 10 Best Seller on Kindle, NOOK and iBooks, and a #1 Best Seller in several Romance and Women's Fiction categories. When she's not writing, Ginny enjoys cooking, biking and spending time with her family in Virginia. Ginny loves hearing from her readers! She invites you to visit her website and connect with her on social media. 


Ginny will be awarding The Complete Holiday Brides Collection (Books 1 - 5) to five randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 17, 2016

New Release: Monticello: A Novel of A Daughter and Her Father by Sally Cabot Gunning

From the critically acclaimed author of The Widow's War comes a captivating work of literary historical fiction, set in America in the years after the Revolution, that explores the tenuous relationship between the brilliant and complex founding father Thomas Jefferson and his devoted daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph.

After the early death of her mother, young Martha Jefferson accompanied her father, Thomas Jefferson, on his first diplomatic mission to Paris. Five years later, father and daughter have come home to Monticello, the family’s beloved plantation set high in the lush hills of the Virginia countryside.

Though Monticello has suffered from her father’s absence, Martha finds it essentially unchanged, even as she has been transformed. The sheltered girl that sailed to Europe is now a handsome seventeen-year-old woman with a battle-scarred heart, who sees a world far more complicated than it once seemed.

Blessed with her father’s sharp mind and independent spirit, Martha has long abhorred slavery and yearned for its swift end. Yet she now discovers that the home she adores is burdened by growing debt and cannot survive long without the labor of its slaves. Her bonds with those around her are shifting, too. As the doting father she has idolized since childhood returns to government, he becomes increasingly distracted by tumultuous fights for power and troubling attachments that pull him further away. And as Martha begins to pay closer attention to Sally Hemings—the beautiful light-skinned slave long acknowledged to be her mother’s half-sister—she realizes that the slave’s position in the household has subtly changed. Eager for distraction, Martha welcomes the attentions of Thomas Randolph, her exotic distant cousin, but soon Martha uncovers burdens and desires in him that threaten to compromise her own.

As her life becomes constrained by the demands of marriage, motherhood, politics, scandal, and her family’s increasing impoverishment, Martha yearns to find her way back to her childhood home; to the gentle beauty and quiet happiness of the world she once knew at the top of her father’s “little mountain.”

An irresistible blend of emotional drama, historical detail, and vivid atmosphere, Monticello skillfully brings to life Martha Jefferson Randolph, a strong and compelling woman who influenced -- as much as she was influenced by -- one of the most intriguing figures in American history.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (September 6, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062320432
ISBN-13: 978-0062320438

Purchase at:


Friday, September 16, 2016

Book Showcase & Giveaway: My Heart's Desire by Andrea Kane

My Heart’s Desire by Andrea Kane Tour Banner

My Heart’s Desire
by Andrea Kane
on Tour September 2016

My Heart’s Desire by Andrea Kane
Book Details
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Number of Pages: ~ 402
Series: Book 1 in "Barrett Family Series"
Purchase My Heart’s Desire at: Amazon Barnes & Noble or Add it to your reading list on: Goodreads


Lady Alexandria Cassel scorned London's frivolous social whirl, seeking adventure as a stowaway aboard a merchant ship. Drake Barrett was the vessel's powerful captain—and a cynical duke who disdained a noble's shallow life. At sea he revealed neither his origins nor his wealth, and to Alexandria he was simply a man who made her cool reserve fly with the winds… whose desire for her was as wild as the ocean they sailed.

Caught in the crossfire of war, they were shipwrecked on an idyllic island, where they tasted perfect passion… and tenderness. But Drake dreaded the day of their rescue—when his love would discover that the virile man she adored was at the pinnacle of the aristocracy she despised. Hardly did they suspect the base treachery that would soon threaten them… and the dangers each would brave to join forever their hearts and lives!

Read an excerpt:

No storm could be as fierce as the one that raged in Alexandria’s flashing eyes as she faced Drake across the cabin. Her expression was murderous, her small hands clenched at her sides, her tone lethal.
Drake closed the door behind him with a firm click. “By ‘your clothes’ I presume you mean that dusty gown and shredded chemise you discarded on my cabin floor?” He leaned nonchalantly against the wall, regarding her with amusement.
Alex was too angry to be shocked at his casual mention of her undergarment. “You know damned well what clothes I mean!”
“Now, now … such language, my lady. I am truly shocked.”
She looked as though she might strike him.
“I demand that you return my things at once!”
His brows went up. “You demand? Careful, princess, your snobbish airs are showing. Remember, on this ship the only one who demands is me.” He crossed the room, ignoring her as if she were no more than an annoying child.
She stepped in front of him, blocking his way.
“Did you want something, my lady?” He paused, studying her livid expression. She was as transparent as glass, her anger and exasperation clearly evident on her beautiful face.
Drake grinned. “Your clothes are no longer with us.”
The color in her face deepened. “What?”
“They were torn from your adventure.”
“Liar!” she shot back. “There was no reason for you to discard them … at least not for the reason you just gave.”
Her accusing tone made him chuckle. “You are quite correct, princess. The real reason is that I cannot have you parading around in your finery. My men are already lusting after you quite openly. We wouldn’t want to further intoxicate their senses, now would we?”
“The only one on this ship who has treated me with any disrespect is you!” she retorted.
“Then be grateful that I have limited you to men’s attire. Perhaps you will be safe from my lecherous advances.”
Drake moved away, and Alex turned her back as he took off his shirt and tossed it carelessly onto the chair. Tossing his breeches next to his shirt, he put an end to her torment by climbing into his berth.
The cabin was silent. Drake could sense Alex’s presence nearby, and he knew instinctively that she was not in bed.
He heard her jump. “What is it?”
He cleared his throat. “Is there some problem?”
“No … yes …” She paused. “May I use your basin and some water to wash the dirt from my face?”
Drake smiled in the darkness. “Go right ahead. And, princess … if you can find your way around in the dark, help yourself to one of my shirts. They are clean and more than large enough to protect your modesty.”
Again, silence. Then, “Thank you, Captain.”
Her bare feet padded across the room. Drake listened to her opening the heavy chest, taking out one of his shirts, and slipping it on. Splashing sounds told him she was washing, followed by her soft footsteps as she returned to her cot. Then a thud and a cry of pain.
Drake was out of bed in an instant, moving toward the sound of her choked cry.
“Alexandria? What is it?”
“I walked into the cot,” she whimpered.
“Are you badly hurt?”
In truth she was not. It had been a sudden painful blow, yet already the pain was subsiding to a dull throb. But it was more than she could withstand after her emotionally taxing day. Hot tears filled her eyes, spilled down her cheeks. Try though she would, she could not control the sobs that shook her.
“I’m sorry,” she gasped. “I never cry … and it is not that bad a bruise … I just can’t …” She shook her head helplessly, covering her eyes with trembling hands.
There was no forethought. Drake reacted instantly, pulling her into his arms.
“Shhh,” he soothed, pressing her head against his chest. He felt her tears drenching his bare skin, her narrow shoulders shaking. “It’s all right, sweetheart … don’t cry,” he murmured, raising her chin with his forefinger, wishing he could see her face. He stroked his other hand down her back, pressing her closer to him.
They became aware of each other at the same moment. He was totally naked. She was clad only in a thin white shirt. She needed comfort. He needed more.

Author Bio:

Andrea KaneAndrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including thirteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles.

With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.

Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, The Last Duke, and Wishes in the Wind.

With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.

Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Connect With Ms. Kane:




Tour participants

9/11 Showcase @ Alextheshadowgirl's Blog
9/12 Showcase @ Celticlady's Reviews
9/13 Interview @ Writers and Authors
9/14 Review @ A Holland Reads
9/15 Review @ Hott Books
9/16 Review @ Deal Sharing Aunt
9/16 Showcase @ Books Direct
9/17 Showcase @ The Book Connection

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Andrea Kane. There will be 5 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of My Heart’s Desire by Andrea Kane. The giveaway begins on August 31st and runs through September 30th, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cover Reveal: Lady of Silver by Shona Husk

Inside the Book:

Title: Lady of Silver
Author: Shona Husk
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Paranormal
Format: Ecopy 
A man on a mission

A brutal crime is haunting detective Dale Morgan. A young woman has been murdered on the city’s outskirts, and her blood drained. Dale suspects the leader of a depraved cult may be to blame. Yet with barely a shred of evidence at the crime scene, Dale will have to turn to the one person despises almost as much as the killers he puts behind bars.

A woman with secrets

To humans, Saba Venn is a psychic, but she’s Albah, a race long forgotten by humans but who live amongst them, her powers fueled by blood and silver.  She agrees to help Detective Morgan, if it means stopping the vampire cult she believes is behind the killing. But the attraction she feels with Dale is immediate, and as their relationship intensifies she begins to doubt she can keep her secret from him.




Romance author Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back.

With over forty published stories, ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance.




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New Release: The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis

Katerina inherits a scented, wooden spice box after her grandmother Mariam dies. It contains letters and a diary, written in Armenian. As she pieces together her family story, Katerina learns that Mariam's childhood was shattered by the Armenian tragedy of 1915.

Mariam was exiled from her home in Turkey and separated from her beloved brother, Gabriel, her life marred by grief and the loss of her first love. Dissatisfied and restless, Katerina tries to find resolution in her own life as she completes Mariam's story – on a journey that takes her across Cyprus and then half a world away to New York.

Miracles, it seems, can happen—for those trapped by the past, and for Katerina herself.


"The Spice Box Letters takes readers on a compelling journey through love and war, continents and centuries, into the heart of what it means to be family." —Helen Klein Ross, author of What Was Mine?

"Reading The Spice Box Letters is like sitting down to a delicious Armenian dinner hosted by an ebullient family with a riveting and sorrowful tale to tell. Makis' story goes to some dark places, but her warmth and light touch keeps this engaging novel aloft. You will come away impressed by the resilience of her wonderful characters—and craving Armenian delicacies. (I devoured a chunk of halva while reading this book.) I deeply enjoyed this novel." —Sharon Guskin, author of The Forgetting Time

"With humor, heartbreak and lyrical prose, Eve Makis has woven a moving tale of resilience in the face of tragedy. I thoroughly enjoyed The Spice Box Letters." —Maggie Leffler, author of The Secrets of Flight

"The Spice Box Letters is a beautifully evocative novel that moves from past to present and affirms the enduring love of family and explores the tragic, unsettling wake of the Armenian genocide. Eve Makis has written a novel that should be read, contemplated, and read again." —Peter Golden, author of Wherever There Is Light

"Heartwarming, funny, tragic, and uplifting...the story has a feel good factor to equal My Big Fat Greek Wedding." —Narinder Dhami, author of Bend It Like Beckham

Purchase from:

EVE MAKIS studied at Leicester University and worked as a journalist and radio presenter in the UK and Cyprus before becoming a novelist. Eve is a part time tutor in creative writing at Nottingham University. She is married with two children and lives in the UK and Cyprus.

        Book Spotlight & Giveaway: A Black Sail by Rich Zahradnik

        A Black Sail by Rich Zahradnik Tour Banner

        A Black Sail

        Rich Zahradnik

        on Tour September 2016


        A Black Sail by Rich ZahradnikOn the eve of the U.S. Bicentennial, newsman Coleridge Taylor is covering Operation Sail. New York Harbor is teeming with tall ships from all over the world. While enjoying the spectacle, Taylor is still a police reporter. He wants to cover real stories, not fluff, and gritty New York City still has plenty of those in July of 1976. One surfaces right in front of him when a housewife is fished out of the harbor wearing bricks of heroin, inferior stuff users have been rejecting for China White, peddled by the Chinatown gangs.

        Convinced he’s stumbled upon a drug war between the Italian Mafia and a Chinese tong, Taylor is on fire once more. But as he blazes forward, flanked by his new girlfriend, ex-cop Samantha Callahan, his precious story grows ever more twisted and deadly. In his reckless search for the truth, he rattles New York’s major drug cartels. If he solves the mystery, he may end up like his victim—in a watery grave.

        Book Details:

        Genre: Mystery, Thriller

        Published by: Camel Press

        Publication Date: Oct 2016

        Number of Pages: 264

        ISBN: 1603812113 (ISBN13: 9781603812115)

        Series: Coleridge Taylor Mystery, 3rd (Stand Alone Novel)

        Purchase Your Copy of A Black Sail by Rich Zahradnik on:
        Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or check it out on Goodreads

        Read an excerpt:

        CHAPTER 1

        The NYPD Harbor Launch Patrolman Crane thudded over the waves toward the Brooklyn docks.
        Millions of New Yorkers lived on islands and never gave a thought to the sea surrounding them. At this moment, the water was very much on Taylor’s mind. Gripping the rail of the police boat, he was looking down at a small undulating patch of it. Throwing up.

        Minutes earlier, Taylor had watched the big orange Staten Island Ferry John F. Kennedy cross the harbor. He’d stared too long, and the police boat had bounced even harder as it crossed the ferry’s wake. The rocking of the Patrolman Crane and the counter movement of the Kennedy on Taylor’s immediate horizon had sent him running for the side.

        Once he was done, Taylor stood and leaned against the side of the boat. A small American flag fluttered from a pole on the back of the launch. The Patrolman Crane’s white cabin and pilothouse, which took up most of the space on the vessel, were in front of him. The NYPD craft looked like a working boat—all business—and one that could move quickly when necessary.

        Officer Greg Mott laughed at Taylor’s rookie distress. “You haven’t been out on the water for thirty minutes and you’re sick.” He handed Taylor a wet cloth.

        Taylor wiped his face and thanked the Greek Orthodox God of his late mother he’d only had a buttered hard roll for breakfast two hours ago.

        “Wouldn’t mind if this was real news. Seasick for a feature story? Not a price worth paying.”

        “We’ve had a bunch of ride-alongs with reporters. Suddenly there’s lots of interest because the tall ships are coming for the Bicentennial celebrations. Usually no one cares what we do out here.”

        Taylor gritted his teeth and ordered his stomach to stop flipping. It wasn’t listening.

        The police boat slowed as it neared the Brooklyn piers, which jutted into water deceptively blue, considering how badly polluted it was. Must be some trick of the light.

        Mott, a short, muscular member of the NYPD scuba team, leaned against the rail. “How the hell you going to cover Operation Sail if you’re seasick?”

        “After this one feature about the harbor and what you guys will be doing July Fourth, I’m working from dry land. There are lots of safe, solid places to watch the boats.”

        “Wouldn’t call them boats. Not if you want to write accurate. There’ll be ships. A lot of ships. Full-rigged and barks and barkentines and schooners.”

        “Sound like an expert.”

        “Sail myself. I begged to work the Bicentennial on Sunday. July Fourth, 1976. Two hundredth birthday of the USA. We’ll have the biggest modern day assembly of tall ships ever. Naval review. Fireworks. Great day to be on the water. Then there’s all the events on land. Might not see the like of any of it again. I mean, took them years negotiating just to get the ships here.”

        At this moment, Taylor didn’t care if he saw a boat, ship, or whatever again, much less stood on one.

        Sergeant Pat McCarthy, pilot and commander of the launch, stuck his head out the window of the bridge.

        “Get ready, Motty. Possible drop.”

        Mott pulled on his wetsuit and zipped himself in. “What’s the call?”

        “Someone said they saw something go in before dawn.” “They’re telling us that now?”

        “Precinct’s apparently been really busy.” Sarcasm seasoned McCarthy’s thick New York accent—Queens or maybe the borderlands with Brooklyn. “New York, man.”

        Mott checked his equipment. Taylor marveled at him. The man should get a medal for just jumping into the polluted soup of New York Harbor.

        “What’s a ‘drop’?” Taylor said.

        “Drugs, usually. They cruise over from Jersey and dump sealed packages near the piers for pick-up later. The narcotics boys have had me check a bunch of times. Came up with four kilos of smack a month ago.”

        “Why go by water?”

        “Because of traffic stops outside the Jersey docks. The narcs have a fix on some of the suppliers’ messenger boys. Been grabbing them after the stuff comes off the freighters.”

        Taylor shook his head. More than a decade covering cops in New York, and he still came across new and different ways to commit crime. The launch slowed more as McCarthy eased the craft between two piers. Sunlight turned to shadow. The morning had started with the air on land humid and heating up, but the breeze across the water made it feel less like an oppressive summer day.

        The police boat stopped, gently bobbing between the pilings. That wasn’t enough to convince his stomach. Taylor didn’t know what would, but he wasn’t putting his head over the side if a real story was about to come aboard. He’d held no hope of anything that good happening when he stepped onto the launch.

        Mott dropped into the water. Minutes passed. He came up with a headshake and dove again.
        McCarthy stood by the rail, watching.

        Taylor joined him. “How does he know where to look?” “The divers have a way of combing an area. Eliminates guesswork. Dumbasses think they can throw a gun in the water and it’s gone. They’re so wrong. Motty and the other divers know what they’re about.”

        “What will they do during Operation Sail?”

        “Untangle anchor lines of civilian craft. Help direct traffic. We hope nothing more serious. The Coast Guard expects thousands of small boats. Maybe more. We don’t want anything bad to go down on Sunday. New York needs this.”

        Mott came up, pulled his mouthpiece out, and yelled for a line.


        “Up against one of the pilings. A body.”

        “Shit. I’ll call homicide.”

        It took Mott more than ten minutes to get the body properly secured with the line. McCarthy and a second crewman strained to pull the dripping thing up into the boat. Water ran off a blue gingham dress onto the deck. The face and arms were already puffed up. Taylor knew the dead woman hadn’t been in the water long because the body would have looked a whole lot worse. She was white, with red hair, and appeared to have been relatively young. Her right foot had on a purple sandal. Her left was bare. She’d been shot in the right eye.

        The witness had seen the body dumped early this morning. It was like the woman had gone for a summer walk sometime on Tuesday and run into terrible violence.

        Around the body’s waist, looking almost like a floatation belt, was taped a chain of six square packages wrapped in heavy-duty black plastic. Maybe garbage bags. Maybe sheets of industrial-grade stuff.

        Mott came up the ladder and dropped an iron bar in the boat. “That was tied to her foot. Why she wasn’t a floater.” Perversely, the body had settled Taylor’s stomach. Now he had a crime to focus on, and the possibility of a real story acted like some kind of natural Dramamine. He eased around to her left side. There was a deep depression above her left ear, the hair still matted by dried blood that hadn’t washed away. Hit hard and shot. Just to make sure? Somebody seriously wanted this woman dead. He wrote down everything he saw so he’d remember what to ask about later.

        Wearing a work glove, McCarthy leaned in and pressed one of the black packages. It gave in to the pressure. “They’re not weights. That was the iron bar’s job. What’s inside stayed dry. The heroin we pulled up last month was wrapped exactly like this.”

        Taylor looked up from his notebook. “Really think it’s drugs?”

        “What else?”

        “Why would someone deliver drugs strapped to a body?” “What if we didn’t pull her up?”

        “Well, whoever was coming for the drugs would find her.”

        Taylor pointed at the blue gingham.

        “Exactly. I ain’t no detective. Never will be. Like driving my boat too much. My guess is someone’s sending a message.”


        “That I couldn’t tell you. Know a message when I see one. Right now, I got other things to worry about. This week is supposed to be big PR for the city. My captain is going to go through the roof. Like I dropped the poor thing in the water.”

        McCarthy went back to the cockpit, slowly backed the 50-foot Patrolman Crane out and navigated her between Governor’s Island and Brooklyn. Taylor, at the rear, took one moment to watch the Brooklyn Bridge, with its massive granite towers and, by comparison, fragile webs of steel cables, recede and disappear as the boat came around Red Hook. He loved that bridge, New York’s most majestic. As a Queens boy, he had to give Brooklyn credit for the bridge, but that was all. Brooklyn had nothing else to recommend it. He could say that in full confidence, especially since he lived there now.

        McCarthy, the crewman, and Mott attended to their duties, taking care of all sorts of boat-related chores. There wasn’t anything more they could tell Taylor about the woman. Once the bridge disappeared from view, he sat near the body with his long, lanky legs stretched out in front of him, wondering who had put her under the water as some kind of message. He folded a stick of Teaberry Gum in his mouth to clear the bad taste. His stomach didn’t flinch. He stayed with her during the launch’s short journey from the piers to Harbor Charlie, the docks at the Army Terminal used by the Patrolman Crane and the rest of the Harbor Precinct.

        Narcotics and homicide detectives, two apiece, from the 72nd Precinct were on the scene when the launch tied up. The narcs and the murder cops both wanted the case. They were still arguing over jurisdiction when the wagon took away the woman’s body. McCarthy and his crewman stowed gear and secured rope. Mott checked his diving equipment. Taylor hung back from the argument. Stepping in the middle of it would get him in trouble and yield no information.

        The homicide cops ended the dispute by leaving. As the aristocracy of the NYPD, they swaggered off, probably certain they would go back to the house and win the turf war. Why were any of them trying so hard to add to their caseload? There was more than enough crime to go around for a police force shrunk by huge budget cuts. Too much. Maybe they wanted to be in on what was happening in New York Harbor this weekend. Even if it was the evil stuff.

        One of the two narcotics detectives jumped into a Ford, leaving behind the other, Marty Phillips, a narc of Taylor’s acquaintance. Dressed in the not-quite-convincing attire of the modern plainclothesman—flared jeans, blue-and-white tie- dye T-shirt, and long hair not actually long enough—Phillips walked toward the exit to the street.

        Taylor caught up. “Where’re you heading?”

        “I need a drink.” Phillips always needed a drink. “How’d you sniff this one out so fast?”

        “I was on the launch.”

        Phillips’ light-brown eyes gave Taylor a quizzical look.

        “A ride-along for an Operation Sail feature.”

        “Seriously? Police reporter like you is writing about sailboats?”

        “Everybody’s writing about sailboats. At least through the weekend. That why the homicide guys wanted to add this to their board?”


        “I’ve seen killings over drug deals. I’ve seen ’em over who sells on what corner. This doesn’t fit.”

        “This one’s not about corners.” Phillips looked around, which was odd, since he wasn’t a guy to worry who heard what. “It’s an import war. Not saying more out on the street. Let’s get a beer. Fraunces Tavern.”

        “All the way back in Manhattan?” “I like to get off my patch to think.” To drink.

        After the subway ride under the East River, they walked several blocks, winding their way along the narrow streets that made downtown so different from the grid—the squares and numbers—of midtown. At the corner of Broad and Pearl Streets stood Fraunces Tavern, one of New York’s great survivors. Built in 1719, a tavern off and on since 1762, it had been headquarters to Washington and witnessed his farewell to his officers.

        As they both stepped up to the bar, Taylor breathed in sweet wood polish mixed with the pleasant hint of fresh beer. The tavern’s greatest feat of survival was the most recent one: re- opening after being bombed by the Puerto Rican terrorist liberation group FALN. A year ago January, a deadly explosion had ripped through the building when ten sticks of dynamite detonated, killing four and injuring more than 50. A crack running through the wall mural of the City of New York remained as a testament to the attack.

        Taylor pushed a hand through windblown brown hair, trying to get back the rough side part that was supposed to last all day. He didn’t carry a comb. Unlike Phillips’ hair, his was trimmed shorter than the fashionable style. He’d tried long hair briefly, but it’d looked messy and dirty. He now kept the close, parted style he’d worn—except for the experiment with the mop top—since he’d outgrown his childhood crew cut.

        Phillips ordered rye on rocks, and Taylor a seven-ounce Rolling Rock. It was a few minutes after noon.

        “What’s with the cute beers?”

        “I’m a cute guy.”

        Taylor didn’t tell the narc that drinking little beers was one of the rules he followed to avoid the alcoholism of his father. The rules weren’t something he shared with cops—or anyone else. His stomach had already settled some. The Rolling Rock would be the real test. The first sip went down well. In fact, made him feel better.

        Phillips took a big swallow of rye. “Never used to come here. Place is for bankers, not cops. But I’ll be fucked if some scumbag ’Rican terrorists are going to kick me out of a bar.”

        “Still haven’t arrested anyone.”

        “This is America. We let you blow shit up. We let you get away.”

        “Tell me about this import war.”

        “Where’s the heroin on the street come from?’

        That question was New York Crime 101. “Mostly Afghanistan by way of Marseilles. Brought in by the Italian mob.”

        “Yeah. The Fronti crime family, to be specific. That’s one reason for those Brooklyn pier drops. When the package comes in on a ship, the ship docks in Jersey. Slipping across the water’s become a safer way to get it over. But there’s a new supply of heroin and a new supplier. China White out of Southeast Asia. The Golden Triangle. The Leung tong in Chinatown is bringing it in. They want the import license for New York City.”

        Confirms what Mott said about Brooklyn drops. But….

        “It’s actually referred to as the ‘import license’?” “No, that’s me. Pretty good huh?”

        He smiled around another swallow of whiskey. “How’s the murder figure into this?”

        “The tong wants to take over as heroin supplier to New York City. I’ll bet money the victim’s related to someone in the Fronti family. That woman’s a statement.”

        “McCarthy said something like that. Sounds like a leap with the body just recovered.”

        “C’mon. It’s even obvious to a guy who paddles around in a boat. Wives and kids are off limits for the Italians. Nobody hits them. The tong doesn’t play by the same rules. Slant-eyed bastards never do. That’s why her body says this is about the import war.”

        “What other evidence you got?”

        “There’s already more China White on the street. This is big. It’s why the homicide guys want in. Important case. Meanwhile, they want us to stay on the street busting pushers—who will sell whatever comes their way. Pushers don’t care who’s importing. They want the smack the addicts will buy. China White is the better shit.”

        Taylor got Phillips a second rye and left the narcotics cop at the bar. The one little beer on an empty stomach had already given him a buzz. He needed to get out of there before he spent the afternoon drinking and talking cop stories he wouldn’t remember later.

        He caught the subway uptown to Times Square and walked one block to the City News Bureau’s offices in the Paramount Building. He needed to manage expectations with Henry Novak. He’d write the feature on the harbor patrol. He also wanted to work on something his boss—and friend—wasn’t looking for on the eve of the Bicentennial. Taylor was covering a murder that could turn into a big drug story.

        © Rich Zahradnik

        Author Bio:

        authorRich Zahradnik is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Coleridge Taylor Mystery series (A Black Sail, Drop Dead Punk, Last Words).

        The second installment, Drop Dead Punk, won the gold medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs). It was also named a finalist in the mystery category of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Last Words won the bronze medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2015 IPPYs and honorable mention for mystery in the 2015 Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Awards.

        "Taylor, who lives for the big story, makes an appealingly single-minded hero," Publishers Weekly wrote of Drop Dead Punk.

        Zahradnik was a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter.

        In January 2012, he was one of 20 writers selected for the inaugural class of the Crime Fiction Academy, a first-of-its-kind program run by New York's Center for Fiction.

        Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1960 and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where writes fiction and teaches kids how to publish newspapers.

        Catch Up with Rich on his Website, Twitter, or Facebook


        This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Rich Zahradnik. There will be 5 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of A Black Sail by Rich Zahradnik. The giveaway begins on August 31st and runs through September 30th, 2016.
        a Rafflecopter giveaway

        Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

        Thursday, September 8, 2016

        Now Available: Assimilation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J. A. Hunsinger

        Was thrilled to hear about the release of Assimilation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J. A. Hunsinger. I had the pleasure of editing the first two books in this series, but my schedule didn't allow me to work on this last piece of the trilogy.

        Assimilation will wet the appetite of the fans that have developed a fascination with the plight of the Greenland Viking settlers in the first two novels of the series, The Settlers and Confrontation.

        The twists and turns of this continuing tale will engage the reader from the outset as the tall, fair-skinned invaders, knowing it is their key to survival, gradually assimilate with the savage natives of the pre-historical land that will become the Hudson Bay and Great Lakes regions of Canada and the US.

        In a scenario ordained by the gods, this assimilation process has a thin chance of success through the forced involvement of two of the Viking settlers with tribes of natives that are habitual enemies of one another. Against overwhelming odds that can have but one successful outcome for the settlers, daily life becomes a balancing act where one word, one gesture, one innocent mistake, can spell disaster in this hostile setting.

        Series: Axe of Iron
        Paperback: 424 pages
        Publisher: Vinland Publishing; 1 edition (August 14, 2016)
        Language: English
        ISBN-10: 0988945525
        ISBN-13: 978-0988945524

        Purchase from:

        Wednesday, September 7, 2016

        "Waiting On" Wednesday: Murder She Wrote: Hook, Line, and Murder

        "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

        My pick for this week:

        Murder, She Wrote was one of my TV favorites when it originally aired. I've gotten to watch the series again thanks to Netflix. Since cozy mysteries remain one of my favorite genres of books, this one is right up my alley.

        The USA Today bestselling Murder, She Wrote mystery series continues as Jessica Fletcher takes a relaxing getaway that turns into a reel deadly situation...

        Jessica enters a fly-fishing competition at a nearby lake. Joining her is the sheriff’s wife, Maureen Metzger, who surprises Jess with her enthusiasm for the sport. Their guide, however, is a surprise to both...

        Brian Kinney is an ex-con. Jailed as an accomplice to Darryl Jepson, a convicted killer, Brian was later exonerated, but not before spending seven years behind bars. He seems like a decent enough fellow. Just a man trying to rebuild his life as a family man and fishing guide.

        Yet when Jepson breaks out of prison vowing revenge, and the lawyer for both men is found murdered, Cabot Cove becomes the focus of the nation as local, state, and federal authorities descend on Jessica’s hometown. And to add to the tension, Maureen has gone missing. Is she lost or is she a hostage? Jess soon finds herself caught in a netful of lies, deceit and ulterior motives. In order to save her friend, she’ll need to find some answers by hook or by crook...

        What are you "waiting on" this week?

        Tuesday, September 6, 2016

        Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Popular TV Shows I Have Never Watched or Seen a Full Episode Of

        Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

        Top Ten Popular TV Shows I Have Never Watched or Seen a Full Episode Of

        Though this is usually a book-related meme, in honor of Fall TV the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish asked us to come up with a Top Ten TV theme. Since I rarely watch TV (the most recent shows I watched regularly being Cedar Cove, Downton Abbey and Mercy Street), this would go way beyond a top ten if I let it. I'll stick with popular shows my kids or family and friends have suggested I watch.

        One Tree Hill - My girls are obsessed with watching this show on Netflix. I swear they must be on their second or third round of viewing the entire series. I've watched bits and pieces, but I'll take Dawson's Creek any day; still great teen drama and way fewer sexual shenanigans.

        Lost - Not sure why I never gave this one a try. All my kids enjoyed it, but I never had the urge to dip in. 

        Two and a Half Men - Charlie Sheen being part of this show was probably the biggest reason I never watched; never realized why he was considered so great and felt much of that was due to the family he was born into. Charlie Harper's way of life also didn't appeal to me, so there really was no reason to watch.

        Grey's Anatomy - I've seen bits and pieces of episodes, but ultimately get turned off by all the flirtation and sexual situations in what seems to be a great medical drama. I'm probably showing my age here, but listening to Alex, Callie, and Mark all talk in different scenes about how great Arizona's boobs are (Can't Fight Biology) really doesn't do much for me. I would honestly like to think that if doctors are performing surgery on any of my body parts their minds are focused on something other than another person's breasts. 

        Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - I've seen part of an episode of this spin-off series and actually loved the original Law & Order. The nature of the crimes they investigate in this series is a big issue for me, so I tend to steer clear of it. 

        Felicity - In the same year that Dawson's Creek debuted, so did Felicity. I didn't know much about it then and the previews never excited me so I never watched it. Having read the premise of the show--a girl who has had a crush on a guy for four years abandons her plans for medical school to follow said guy who she barely knows to NY--I doubt I would have enjoyed it.

        The Bachelor/The Bachelorette - Reality TV--which seldom depicts true reality--irritates me. That there is so much "reality" TV on the air these days is another reason I rarely turn the TV set on. In the case of these dating shows, I feel it cheapens the remarkable thing that happens when two people truly fall in love. And don't even get me started on how Jerry Springer has made dating realty TV worse with his show, Baggage. 

        The Big Bang Theory - Not sure why I've avoided this one except that it began airing when I wasn't especially interested in watching TV: I was the mother of two toddlers. 

        Mad Men - Shows set in offices haven't done much for me since the end of Designing Women. (Yes, I know I am dating myself again.)

        Modern Family - I stomached most of one episode, but ultimately couldn't watch to the end. I find most of the characters annoying. This seems more like reality TV than most reality television.

        What are some popular shows you've never seen or at least haven't seen a full episode of? 

        Monday, September 5, 2016

        Musing Mondays - Sep 5

        Musing Mondays is a weekly meme now hosted at Jenn's blog Books And A Beat that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
        • I’m currently reading…
        • Up next I think I’ll read…
        • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
        • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
        • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
        • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
        • I wish I could read ___, but…
        • I blogged about ____ this past week…
        THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Name your best-loved character from a fiction book.

        Happy Labor Day, everyone! Hope you have some nice weather to enjoy it. It's breezy here, the result of Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine. But the sky is blue and it's a lovely late summer day.

        The girls started school on Wednesday. so we are all getting back into our regular schedules. Hopefully that means more blogging here.

        I'm currently reading Joshua's Mission by Vannetta Chapman. It's the second book in her Plain And Simple Miracles series. Coincidentally--considering we've been watching the path of Hermine this past week--a storm plays a pivotal role in this book.

        As for my best-loved character from a fiction book, I'll have to give you two: for children's literature it would need to be Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series and for adult literature it is Gordon Butler from F.M. Meredith's Rocky Bluff P.D. series. 

        Young Anne is impulsive, out-spoken, and usually finds herself in a spot of trouble. Thanks to her imagination and her ability to string words together she can get herself out of most jams. 

        Gordon finds himself the butt of jokes because strange things happen to him, but he's got a heart of gold. He is usually in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he is as dependable as the day is long. 

        I like characters that I can root for; characters who make me care about them and have me wishing they succeed simply because, despite their tiny flaws or quirks, they are good people. Anne and Gordon fit that bill. 

        Who are some of your favorite fictional characters?

        Book Blast & Giveaway: A Killer's Grace and My Name is Wonder by Ronald Chapman

        From the high desert of New Mexico comes a tale of mystery, murder and redemption. When journalist Kevin Pitcairn receives a disturbing letter from a serial killer, he is drawn into a compelling journey with profound psychological and spiritual implications, not just for the murderer, but for himself and society as a whole. As he tries to investigate and then tell the story, he finds himself battling his own inner demons and sordid history. Events conspire to propel an isolated matter to a national stage and audiences that are increasingly hostile. Forced to explore the roots of human psychology and sanity, Pitcairn must navigate moral and philosophical realms. What is the nature of evil? What powers of choice do humans actually possess? How may we be redeemed? And in the end, how do we reconcile with ourselves?


        As a freelance journalist and columnist for the local afternoon newspaper, the Albuquerque Chronicle, Pitcairn often received unsolicited mail. In this case, he immediately recognized the name of Daniel Davidson. He knew all about the case. Davidson was convicted for the murder of four of his six Texas victims after protracted delays for psychiatric evaluation. During that time, the state of Oklahoma had opted not to prosecute him for the murder of a seventh victim. But after those many lengthy delays, he was remanded to the custody of the state of New Mexico for trial in the murder of a seventeen-year-old Santa Fe high school girl.

        That final proceeding was notorious for ending without a conviction two weeks before. Unlike the Texans, this jury had bought the psychological evidence. Their decision was greeted with derision and accusations of racism from the northern New Mexican, Hispanic community to which the young woman belonged. The police had to quell a near riot. Now Davidson was to be returned to Texas to await execution.

        Davidson’s case was unusual. Despite the efforts of anti-death penalty agitators to appeal his case in Texas on psychiatric grounds, especially in light of the New Mexican decision, the murderer requested that his sentence be carried out as soon as possible. It was reported that he understood he had broken society’s covenants and actively sought his own death.




        My Name is Wonder chronicles the transcendent adventures of a little goat with big dreams. Join Wonder and his wisecracking guide, the mysterious crow Mac Craack, on a journey through the scenic landscapes of the American Southwest and into the heart of a mindful presence. Along the way, you’ll meet an unforgettable cast of creatures, each with an important lesson to teach.


        Oren turned back to Wonder and spoke gently. “First, little one, I must tell you that you are not Wonder.”

        Wonder knew enough about Oren to know he spoke with the weight of the wisdom of generations. He had also heard that Oren was a philosopher. The gravity of the moment was not lost on the little goat as he considered this statement carefully. Somehow he knew that nothing but the truth would suffice.

        “I don’t get it,” he said with a scrunched up face.

        “Your name may be Wonder, but Wonder you are not.” He studied the kid, watching for any signs of dawning comprehension. Wonder cocked his head to one side, still puzzled, and the old buck continued. “The form you find yourself in is that of a goat, but you are not a goat. There is that which is, and then there is that which is truth. If you are to learn, you must learn to be absolutely clear about such matters.”

        Oren fell silent, waiting.

        Wonder blinked—once, twice—and then said, “Got it!”

        The wise goat responded in an amused tone, “Do you now?”

        “Yes, sir. My name is Wonder.” He grinned and then continued, “And I am not that.”

        “Ha!” responded Oren. “I believe you do have it, young one, but let us see.” He almost, but not quite, grinned back at Wonder. It was hard to tell with the long, white beard. “What are you if not Wonder?”

        The kid leapt at the answer. “Well sir, I don’t guess I know.”

        “Indeed,” replied Oren, his yellow eyes dancing. “True wisdom is knowing that you know nothing.”

        “Then I must be very wise indeed, sir.”


        “…a book for the ages, with profound truths simply stated. First there was Jonathan Livingston Seagull and then Yoda—Now there is Wonder…”
        -Beverly Molander, Minister and Radio Host of Activating the Power of Yes

        “…an exploration of human nature and into the allegorical realm that shows us how to be wise teachers and guides…”
        -Paula Renaye, Author of Living the Life You Love

        “Clarity is an aspect of love, it is seeing clearly. Ron Chapman sees with those eyes. He pays attention as few do to the miracles around us.”

        -Stephen Levine, Author and Teacher

        Ronald Chapman is owner of an international speaking and consulting company, Magnetic North LLC. In addition to international accreditation as a speaker and national awards for radio commentary, he is the author of two novels, My Name is Wonder (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016) and A Killer's Grace (Terra Nova Publishing, 2016 and 2012), two works of non-fiction, Seeing True: Ninety Contemplations in Ninety Days (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2008) and What a Wonderful World: Seeing Through New Eyes (Page Free Publishing, 2004) and the producer of three audio sets, Seeing True: The Way of Spirit (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2016, 2005), Breathing, Releasing and Breaking Through: Practices for Seeing True (Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2015), and Seeing True – The Way of Success in Leadership (Magnetic North Audio, 2005). Ron provides a wide array of social media content at www.SeeingTrue.comcontent for people in substance abuse recovery at,  and other content from his master site,  He holds a Masters in Social Welfare from The University at Albany (New York.) Prior to his relocation to Atlanta, Georgia in 2008, he was a long-time resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

        Note: A Killer’s Grace is one of two novels by Chapman being released simultaneously by Terra Nova Publishing, the other being My Name is Wonder. The publisher commented, ““It is remarkable that these two books can be so very different but somehow speak to the same messages.”

        Ron Chapman Websites: for other information from the author. for ongoing social media content including blogs, v-logs, graphical materials, etc. for materials relevant to those in recovery from substance abuse.

        Ronald will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

        a Rafflecopter giveaway

        Thursday, September 1, 2016

        Release Day Blitz: The Boy Who Wanted Wings by James Conroyd Martin

        02_The Boy Who Wanted Wings

        The Boy Who Wanted Wings

        by James Conroyd Martin

        Publication Date: September 1, 2016
        Hardcover ISBN: 97809978994516
        Paperback ISBN: 9780997894509
        358 Pages

        Genre: Historical Fiction

        Add to GR Button 

        Aleksy, a dark-complexioned Tatar raised by a Polish peasant family, holds in his heart the wish is to become a Polish hussar, a lancer who carries into battle a device attached to his back that holds dozens of eagle feathers. As a Tatar and as a peasant, this is an unlikely quest. When he meets Krystyna, the daughter of the noble who owns the land that his parents work, he falls hopelessly in love. But even though she returns his love, race and class differences make this quest as impossible as that of becoming a hussar. Under the most harrowing and unlikely circumstances, one day Aleksy must choose between his dreams.

        On the eve of September 11, 1683, a massive Muslim Ottoman horde was besieging the gates of the imperial city of Vienna and had been doing so since the previous July. Now, however, they were just hours from capturing this capital of the Holy Roman Empire. The Turks intent was to bring Islam to all of Europe, and this city was seen by East and West alike as the gateway. With the window of time closing for Vienna, the walls were about to be breached on September 12 when the vastly outnumbered Christian coalition, led by Polish King Jan III Sobieski and his famous winged hussars, descended Kahlenberg Mountain to engage the Turks in an attempt to lift the siege. As crucial and consequential as the 1066 Battle of Hastings, the ensuing battle changed the course of European history.

        (Was it the first 9/11? Some people believe that the date for the September 11th attack in 2001 was chosen to symbolically resume the effort that began in 1683.)

        Amazon | Barnes & Noble


        A poor archer in medieval Poland takes aim at the love of his life in this epic novel from Martin. The anxious Aleksy Gazdecki, a young farmhand, embodies the ethnic and political tensions of Europe during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. The believability of this novel, which is sprinkled with period-specific details, is never in question. Martin sets the stage so tidily that the plight of Aleksy and Krystyna, who desire to move beyond the social classes that keep them apart, transcends the historical moment. Sprawling but never slow, the plot moves naturally from battle to intimacy and back again. A gripping, transporting story of self-determination set against fate. ~Kirkus Reviews

        "Amidst class and religious warfare, this alternately romantic and brutal love story is also a reminder that the struggle between Christianity and Islam is a great deal older than 2001. Culminating in the re-creation of the Siege of Vienna in 1683, where monstrous killing was perpetrated in the name of God and power, this is a meticulously researched and convincingly written tale of love s triumph that will surprise historical fiction readers with its little known historical backdrop. In an ethnically diverse Poland that is now long gone, the main characters struggle with loyalties to family, race, and country as they come to understand that no fear or evil is unchangeable." ~Leonard Kniffel, Past Editor in Chief of American Libraries Director, Polish American Librarians Association

        About The Poland Trilogy

        04_The Poland Trilogy

        Based on the diary of a Polish countess who lived through the rise and fall of the Third of May Constitution years, 1791-94, Push Not the River paints a vivid picture of a tumultuous and unforgettable metamorphosis of a nation and of Anna, a proud and resilient woman. Against a Crimson Sky continues Anna s saga as Napolion comes calling, implying independence would follow if only Polish lancers would accompany him on his fateful 1812 march into Russia. Anna s family fights valiantly to hold onto a tenuous happiness, their country, and their very lives. Set against the November Rising (1830-31), The Warsaw Conspiracy depicts partitioned Poland s daring challenge to the Russian Empire. Brilliantly illustrating the psyche of a people determined to reclaim independence in the face of monumental odds, the story features Anna s sons and their fates in love and war.

        03_James Conroyd MartinAbout the Author

        James Conroyd Martin is the award-winning author of The Poland Trilogy (Push Not the River, Against a Crimson Sky, & The Warsaw Conspiracy), a saga inspired by the diary of a countess in 1790s Poland. Hologram: A Haunting was inspired by a house he lived in in Hammond, Indiana. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon.

        For more information please visit James Conroyd Martin's website. You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

        Blog Hosts

        05_The Boy Who Wanted Wings_Release Day Banner_FINAL