20 October 2021

Cynthia Starts a Band by Olivia Swindler Virtual Book Tour!

 


EVEN AMERICA’S SWEETHEART POP-SUPERSTAR HAS TROUBLE FINDING THEIR VOICE IN THE HEARTBREAKINGLY HONEST DEBUT NOVEL FROM OLIVIA SWINDLER

Eleanor Quinn lives a life most young girls dream of. She’s the lead singer of a wildly successful band, dating the most beautiful man in America, and in love with her life on tour. She pours her heart into every song she writes and genuinely enjoys connecting with fans. So, when she disappears after her fiance’s fairy-tale perfect proposal on stage, the world is shocked. Worse yet, he starts telling interviewers that Eleanor is crazy -- possibly even a danger to herself and those around her. As the weeks go by, the world wants to know: Who is Eleanor Quinn really?

But Eleanor needs to find that out for herself.

Broken and filled with self-doubt after the proposal, Eleanor embarks on a journey to regain agency in her life. She needs to reconnect with the Ellie Quinn underneath pop sensation “Eleanor Quinn.” Determined to find herself again, she moves in with her cousin in Seattle, picks a new name, and enrolls in a local university’s writing class. But she starts to realize that running away and starting over isn’t as easy as it seems in movies. Crushed by self-doubt and subconscious fears, ghosts from her past refuse to leave her alone. She realizes the only way forward is to share her version of the past.

Olivia Swindler’s debut novel embraces the values of family, empowerment, and healing and draws on the #metoo movement. Reminiscent of Evvie Drake Starts Over (Linda Holmes) and Searching for Sylvie Lee (Jean Kwok), Cynthia Starts a Band tells the story of starting over, discovering who you are when the world isn’t looking, and summoning the courage to be honest with yourself and the world.


Buy links:

Amazon:

B&N:


Read an Excerpt!


Cynthia

I had no idea what day of the week it was, but that was normal for me. Days of the week meant nothing to me when we were touring. My internal calendar instead went like this: today, the bus will take us there, and then tomorrow, we will get back on the bus and be there. It didn’t matter if it was Tuesday or Friday; all days had the same value.

On the other hand, this was the first time in a long time I hadn’t needed to incessantly check the clock on my phone. I wasn’t afraid of being late to a soundcheck. I didn’t feel that familiar pit in my stomach telling me that I had overslept and would be late for hair and makeup.

For the first time in years, my time was mine.

I opened my eyes and peered out the window. We were cruising along a major highway. I was sure that I had been on this road at some point in my life before. Before, this road had meant nothing, but now the same open road meant freedom.

I had told the ticket salesman that I wanted a ticket to get to Seattle—although I had no real idea of how to get there. I wasn’t even sure if I knew precisely where Seattle was. I had visited Seattle plenty of times, but it had been clouded by the tour haze. I knew it was a big city, which meant I would be able to slip into my new life there without standing out.

I hadn’t realized how far away Seattle was from Denver. They were both on the West Coast; somehow, I had figured it would only take a few hours to get from one to the other. They had always been so close together on our schedule.

In Portland, I changed buses. The stop made me surer than ever of my decision.

I had done it. I had gotten out.

It still didn’t feel real. I had dreamed about this moment for so long, without ever actually believing it would happen.

I hadn’t told anyone that I was leaving, but I was sure they knew by now.

After the incident, I had walked out of the arena and gone straight to the bus station. I hadn’t even bothered getting my things from my bus or the dressing room. It hadn’t occurred to me that I should have withdrawn some cash. I would get some money soon. If they wanted to find me, they would check my credit card statements. I had seen enough action movies to know this was usually the first thing checked when looking for a missing person: a credit card trail.

I guessed I also needed to change my name. Or at least go by a dierent one? I really hadn’t thought this part of the plan through very well.

When we were first starting out, someone had asked me if I planned on using a stage name. “Everyone does it,” I was told. But I was sixteen at the time and thought there was something cool about seeing my name up in lights. That was me! My real name. At no point had I imagined that I would need a pseudonym.

If I had gone by a stage name, this might have been easier. I could have just reverted to who I had been before the world cared about who I had become.

I needed the opposite of a stage name.

I reached for my phone—at least I had had the presence of mind to grab that—and had another realization: I would probably have to get a new phone. After checking the runaway’s credit card activity, people always tracked their phones. There was something techy that could be done by pinging o cell towers. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I had seen it in enough movies to be wary of calling anyone.

I looked down at my lit-up phone screen.

Of course, he had called. It would have been stupid to expect otherwise.

I didn’t have to call him back. A weight lifted from my shoulders, and I took a deep, shuddering breath. I was free! I never had to call him back ever again.

James had called me twenty-three times, to be exact. While I had expected that, I still felt a slight pang of remorse. I had known James since high school. I was just a long-legged teenager when he became our manager. We had walked through everything together. He had turned me from a gangly teenage girl to a polished pop star. And here I was, on a bus, running away.

I needed to let James know I was safe. I felt like I owed him at least that.

I turned o all the location services on my phone. I didn’t know if that would actually do anything, but at least I felt a little more secure.

“I am safe. Promise. Will call if I can.” I texted. But I knew that I was never going to call.

I needed a plan.

While I had been fantasizing about this escape for months, it had always felt like something belonging to the distant future, like a dream that would never come to fruition. Now, it was actually happening, and I needed to figure out my next move.

One of my cousins, Kristy, lived in Seattle. I needed to let her know I was coming. She and I had always been close. If I could stay with her, I wouldn’t have to put something else on my credit card. Maybe she could front me the money for a hotel. I had never had to do any of this by myself before. I wasn’t sure if I even knew how to get a hotel room. Or how to figure out which hotel was decent and safe. These things had always been taken care of for me. In fact, now that I thought about it, this was the first time that I was able to choose for myself. No one was telling me what I needed to wear. No one was telling me what time I needed to go to bed or wake up. No one had made a dinner reservation for me in Seattle. I didn’t have any obligation to make an appearance. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I had the freedom to make my own decisions.

The entire bus ride had been filled with peace and quiet. It was almost too much to take in all at once. 

The only decision I had made for myself in the recent past was my decision to leave. I could not have imagined how many subsequent decisions would result.

I could feel myself getting overwhelmed. Was this really what I desired? The events of the previous hours flashed through my mind. I wanted to hide. I had abandoned my life without a second thought or a clear plan of what to do next.

What had I done? I had left the life that most people only dreamed of living, and for what? Nothing? I had no plan. No boyfriend. I had given no warning to my friends or family. There was no promise of another job (though it wasn’t like I would need the money). But I was starting to realize that this was probably not my most responsible decision.

James had once told me that I was his favorite client because I always did what I was told. He never had to worry about me get- ting caught in the wrong bar or getting cited with a DUI. I was a dream client. I did what I was told, and people loved me.

Maybe they just loved the person James had made me into. I wasn’t sure that person had ever been me.

James had texted me back right away, “Ellie, you need to call me right now. Your bus had to leave without you. The plane is already waiting for you in Denver. Go to the airport now, and you will be able to meet us in Dallas by soundcheck.”

I was not going to get on that plane. I was not going to make it in time for soundcheck. A piece of my soul had been slowly suocating. I knew my choice was not just aecting me; this was James’s life as well. The lives of the rest of the band. But after last night, I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue as Eleanor Quinn.

They could do the set without me. Our publicist would release some statement about how I had come down with bronchitis or lupus. It would be something nasty (but not life-threatening), and I would rejoin the tour as soon as I was cleared.

The publicist would be lying.

I would not be rejoining the tour. After what happened, I couldn’t be Eleanor Quinn, singer extraordinaire from Kittanning. I was going to become someone new.

Outside the window, the road markers flashed past, dimmed by the rain. The bus passed a billboard advertising a weight loss company that had helped a woman named Cynthia lose seventy-five pounds. I was going to be Cynthia. Cynthia, who had just lost more than seventy-five figurative pounds of a band that had been controlling her every waking moment.

I ignored James’s text. I didn’t know how to tell him that I would not be on the plane. It felt unfair to him. I had never intended for him to end up in the crosshairs of my consequences. Our lives had become intertwined; that was just the harsh reality. But I couldn’t let that change my mind. I would figure out how to break the news to him once I had settled. The tour was going to take a week o after Dallas, so that would give them time to regroup.

I tried to focus on that.

Giving up on my vain attempt to shove my guilt aside, I started searching for Kristy’s number. It was almost 8:00 a.m. This, I thought to myself, was when most people got up. I checked my phone and saw that it was a Tuesday. She worked for Amazon, and the last time I’d seen her, she had mentioned how long and crazy the hours were, so it was a safe assumption that she would be either getting ready or on her way to work. Or maybe already there.

Her phone started ringing.

“Hey, El, what’s up! Why are you calling so early? Didn’t you have a show last night?”

Okay, so she hadn’t heard about the incident.

“It’s a long story, and I can’t tell you over the phone.” I was still worried about those nasty cell tower pings, “Basically, I’m on a Grayhen heading to Seattle. Can I stay with you?”

“Wait, what? You mean a . . . Greyhound? Uh . . . yes, of course, what time does your bus get in? I’ll pick you up.”

“Oh, yeah, a Greyhound, and I can’t tell you more over the phone. I think we should be there in, like, two hours. Is that okay?”

“Yes, I’ll be there.”

“Hey, also, could you bring me a change of clothes?”

        Kristy was waiting for me on the bus platform, clearly dressed for work, brown hair twisted into an easy, elegant bun. I was impressed. I realized that if I had gotten a call like that, I wouldn’t have even known where the bus stop was, let alone on which platform to wait.

As soon as I stepped o the bus, she burst out laughing. “What on earth are you wearing?”

“This is why I asked for a change of clothes,” I motioned down to my cobalt-blue bejeweled onesie. “Isn’t this what the kids are wearing in Seattle? This is all the rage in New York right now.” I tried to joke.

She looked over the top of her designer glasses at me: “You know, they probably are. I’ve never really been able to keep up with what kids are wearing these days.”

Kristy was eight months older than me. When we were kids, that eight-month gap had felt like years. It meant that she was a grade above me in school. She got her license before me. She experienced everything just a bit before me.

If only we had known as kids that our lives would turn out so dierently.

She walked me over to her car. On the passenger seat sat a bottle of wine, a change of clothes, and a bar of chocolate. I knew what this meant.

“Is there a video? Oh gosh. How bad is it?”

“Well, it’s not all bad. You guys went viral, which is something most people only dream of!”

“Kristy, my whole life has been viral for like the past year.” “Okay, fair point.”

We drove in silence for a few blocks. The weight of the unspoken was almost unbearable.

“So,” Kristy broke the silence first, “Do you want to talk about

it?”

I thought about this for a second. The request was expected.

After all, I had just barged into my cousin’s life without any warning. The familiar fear of letting someone down wormed its way into my heart.

I barely managed: “I don’t think I know how to yet.” It was the only honest answer I could give. The incident flashed through my mind. Again.

Kristy smiled warmly from the driver’s seat, “That’s okay.” And, just like that, the weight on my chest lifted just a little more.





Olivia Swindler was raised in Spokane, Washington but resides currently in Grenoble, France, where she eats approximately a baguette a day. Cynthia Starts a Band is her first book.

https://www.oliviaswindler.com/

FB: @olivia.swindler

IG: @oliviaswindler

Twitter: @oliviaswindler


Q&A With the Author


Where did you grow up /live now?

I grew up in Spokane, Washington. I currently live in Grenoble, France.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I spent most of my childhood reading books and making up stories. 


What is your education/career background?

I have a degree in Sport Management and a degree in French from Washington State University. I moved to France in 2016 and currently am the Communications Coordinator for Young Life in Europe.


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?

I remember attending a reading fair for elementary school students when I was 6 or 7 with my parents and one of the speakers talked about how he got his book published. It was the first time I realized that people got to write as a job, and ever since then, I have dreamed of being a writer.


Where/When do you best like to write?

I love writing on the train. I am always inspired by travel and people watching always gives me new character ideas!


Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

When I was working on Cynthia Starts a Band I wrote 1,000 words every day. I was so worried that if I didn’t hit that word count goal the momentum and motivation I had for the story would disappear. 


How does a new story idea come to you? Is it an event that sparks the plot or a character speaking to you?

Every idea is different. Sometimes it is just a random comment that someone makes or an interesting fact, and instantly my brain starts writing the story. I normally know my main character and the plot first and build the story out from there.


Is there a message/theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

One of the important themes in the book is women supporting women. I also wanted to write a story that reflects hope for people starting over. I think everyone has the power to be courageous and find their voice, and that is a major theme for Eleanor and the novel. 


What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to be outside. I grew up spending most weekends in the mountains and I feel most at home there. I love to backpack and bike. I also love to travel (and eat, honestly I travel so I can eat new foods, if you ever ask me about the places I have been to, I will really only be able to tell you if the food was good or not, I have my priorities straight).


Who are some of your favorite authors?

Non-Fiction: I love Malcolm Gladwell. Fiction: I love Fredrick Backman, Maria Semple, and Taylor Jenkins Reid.

 

What person(s) has/have helped you the most in your career?

My dad has always been my biggest cheerleader! My sister as well has always been one of the first people to read my writing and has offered invaluable feedback.


What’s the best writing advice you have ever received?

Just write. If you want to be a good writer, you need to spend time each day writing. It sounds so simple, but it helped me to develop good writing habits.




The Choices: A Treasure Hunt Thriller by Alan L. Moss Book Tour and Giveaway!

The Choices: A Treasure Hunt Thriller
Alan L. Moss
Publication date: October 15th 2021
Genres: Adult, Thriller

Sixty-six million years ago, the Chicxulub asteroid crashed into the Yucatan peninsula. Its heat and dust killed the dinosaurs and most other species on the planet.

Based on newly generated NASA measurements and a unique theory, a Ph.D. geology student concludes the Chicxulub asteroid created a fortune in hidden diamonds. When she discovers her business partner and financier is of questionable character, she escapes to Canada to plan an expedition to mine the stones.

Gary Levin arrives in the same Canadian village to mourn the loss of his wife, senselessly murdered during a white supremacist shooting. He soon finds a wounded golden retriever and a flash drive of unknown origin.

Puzzled by information on the flash drive, Levin learns the data could guide mining the fortune in diamonds from Mexico’s Yucatan cenotes (underground water channels). Although there is danger diving/mining the waters and evidence of opposition plotting their demise, the lure of the diamonds and the opulence they represent are too much to resist.

Levin and his companions crisscross the globe in a race to obtain the diamonds before the spurned financier and an approaching hurricane can disrupt their efforts.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Without warning, the cabin door burst open, and three men entered. One, with a full beard, wearing a black flight jacket, slammed the door shut. It popped back open and remained that way.

Mia dove for her pistol. Another man slapped it out of her hand. He held her against the wall, his hand around her neck.

“Hello, Mia, it’s very nice to see you at last. We met with Cornell, and we know the data we’ve financed is on a single flash drive. Azeer will forget your transgressions if you give it up. If you don’t, I promise, the suffering you will endure will make you wish you had.”

A tall man with a gray ponytail delivered the words in a calm and calculated manner. The look in his eye screamed enforcer.

Gracie bared her teeth, growling menacingly. Knowing the men wouldn’t think twice about doing away with the dog, Mia said a few soft words, and Gracie calmed, although she still looked concerned. Mia looked at the men, fighting to appear confident. The drive, worth billions of dollars, was in the right-hand pocket of her jeans. She bluffed.

“You think I’m stupid enough to have the drive with me? It’s hundreds of miles from here in a safe deposit box. If you do away with me, no one, including Azeer, will ever see it.”

Although she was no athlete, Mia, thanks to Adrienne, had a jogger’s trim, fit appearance. The man with the full beard wasn’t impressed. He grabbed Mia and slammed her against the wall. She bounced off, falling into Gracie’s water bowl next to the dish of fresh dog food. Recognizing this would not end well, Mia slipped one of the dog’s treats she carried in her pocket along with the flash drive into the dish of food.

Despite concern for her master, the treat was too much to resist. While the bearded bully dragged Mia away by her hair, the dog gulped down the contents of the dish, including the data storage device.

From her knees, Mia spotted her pistol. She picked it up from behind a chair and got off a shot, barely missing the man with the ponytail. Then she delivered a desperate punch to the bearded man’s crotch. He doubled over in pain. The ponytailed man panicked, ignoring the combatants.

The Choices by Alan L. Moss


Excerpt


Without warning, the cabin door burst open, and three men entered. One, with a full beard, wearing a black flight jacket, slammed the door shut. It popped back open and remained that way.


Mia dove for her pistol. Another man slapped it out of her hand. He held her against the wall, his hand around her neck.


“Hello, Mia, it’s very nice to see you at last. We met with Cornell, and we know the data we’ve financed is on a single flash drive. Azeer will forget your transgressions if you give it up. If you don’t, I promise, the suffering you will endure will make you wish you had.”


A tall man with a gray ponytail delivered the words in a calm and calculated manner. The look in his eye screamed enforcer. 


Gracie bared her teeth, growling menacingly. Knowing the men wouldn’t think twice about doing away with the dog, Mia said a few soft words, and Gracie calmed, although she still looked concerned. Mia looked at the men, fighting to appear confident. The drive, worth billions of dollars, was in the right-hand pocket of her jeans. She bluffed.


“You think I’m stupid enough to have the drive with me? It’s hundreds of miles from here in a safe deposit box. If you do away with me, no one, including Azeer, will ever see it.”


Although she was no athlete, Mia, thanks to Adrienne, had a jogger’s trim, fit appearance. The man with the full beard wasn’t impressed. He grabbed Mia and slammed her against the wall. She bounced off, falling into Gracie’s water bowl next to the dish of fresh dog food. Recognizing this would not end well, Mia slipped one of the dog’s treats she carried in her pocket along with the flash drive into the dish of food.


Despite concern for her master, the treat was too much to resist. While the bearded bully dragged Mia away by her hair, the dog gulped down the contents of the dish, including the data storage device.


From her knees, Mia spotted her pistol. She picked it up from behind a chair and got off a shot, barely missing the man with the ponytail. Then she delivered a desperate punch to the bearded man’s crotch. He doubled over in pain. The ponytailed man panicked, ignoring the combatants.


Author Bio:

Alan L. Moss is a unique and emerging voice in the thriller genre. His novels spin sophisticated tales of conspiracy, love, sex, and subterfuge.

In his latest work, The Samoa Seduction, two strong willed individuals are haunted by their love for one another while manipulated by a deadly conspiracy.

Alan's writing draws upon Ph. D. research capabilities and many years in Washington, D.C. as a federal Chief Economist, Congressional Fellow, and Adjunct Instructor at the University of Virginia's Northern Virginia Center. In 2002 he put his government career aside and moved to the Jersey Shore to pursue his writing.

He has penned six published books, four novels and two nonfiction works. After years of politics and bureaucracy, Alan has found the freedom of writing fiction an intoxicating and satisfying calling.

Distinguishing features of Alan's novels are involvement with significant national and international issues and spectacular locations. His new novel, The Samoa Seduction (October 2015 by A-Argus Books/W & B Publishers) is an eye opening thriller that combines the action of a drug company conspiracy, industry efforts to suppress wages, and government corruption with murder and a steamy affair. Settings include Samoa's lush scenery, the Central Canterbury Plains of New Zealand's south island, a resort on Hawaii's Molokai Island, the TranzAlpine Railroad, and tuna fishing vessels on the Tasman Sea.

Alan’s previous work on The Insidious Deception Saga chronicles how a pre-med student and brilliant college professor become entangled in conspiracies hatched by al Qaeda and a ruthless CEO. The two resulting novels include: Insidious Deception (Whiskey Creek Press 2013), and the sequel, Surviving the Endgame (Whiskey Creek Press 2014), in which a presidential election becomes a deadly contest between the international conspirators and those seeking their destruction. Rob Taylor, the series' protagonist, finds the love of his life and struggles to protect her from the conspiracy's violent tentacles.

Turning to Alan's nonfiction work, in May 2008 Praeger Publishing released Selling-Out America’s Democracy. The book shows how special interests, through their lobbyists and the U.S. system of campaign financing, have denied a majority of the American population the policies they seek and have led the nation into a period of decline. The book includes telling interviews of Washington insiders and a four-part plan to restore the U.S. democracy. Copies are available at www.amazon.com and other web book sites.

Alan is a member of the Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, and the American Political Science Association.

For more information about Alan and his writing, see www.alanlmoss.com.

See Alan's BLOG columns at www.alanlmossmyview.com.

Website / Amazon / Facebook


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A Sacrament of Sin by Matthew Angelo New Release Blitz!

Title: A Sacrament of Sin

Series: The Midnight Agency #4

Author: Matthew Angelo

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: October 15th, 2021

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: No Romance

Length: 30k

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Paranormal, shifter, urban fantasy

Add to Goodreads


Synopsis

Working as a paranormal private investigator has its trials. I’m busy, which is excellent, but there are more people, alive and otherwise, after me than ever before. The Other Side has stepped up their game. The Fallen are trying to strong-arm me into joining their ranks; they feel I’m the perfect person to aid in their eventual rise to world power, and they don’t give a damn what I have to say about it. Then there’s the Catholic Church. Apparently, they’ve painted a giant bullseye on my back. That keeps you looking over your shoulder, I’ll tell you.

Oh, and did I mention the bastard who abandoned my mother and me when I was born wants to repair a relationship we never had in the first place?

Just another day in the life of Rian MacCaren—that’s me, by the way. I solve mysteries, and I see things… things other people don’t. First, dreams plagued me. Now they’ve escalated to visions. Aside from keeping myself alive, my next step is to use my gift, or curse however you want to look at it, to figure out who killed the woman we just discovered in the basement of an abandoned house. Who was she, and why is she dressed in a wedding gown?

Excerpt

I heard laughter from the other side of the screen. It wasn’t the kind that speaks of madness, but the evil supervillain type. While I love the sound of truth, this sound chilled me to the bones and left me unclean.

“Sister Catherine…I should’ve known. As for you, my little angel, I’ll send you back to heaven.”

“Not today, buddy.”

A ripping sound hit my ears as a clawed hand burst through the screen and wrapped around my neck. It pulled me through the wall that divided the confessional. I tried to struggle out of its grip, but the preacher held on for all he's worth. Yeah, that’s gonna leave a mark.

I kicked at his face in the hope he’d release his hold over my throat. “Sorry, but choking isn’t my thing.”

The priest slammed me against the wall, knocking what air I did have out of my lungs in one exhale. I switched the safety off my gun and tried to raise it. Let me tell you that trying to fight for your life while being choked wasn’t that easy. I tried, though. Look at me being all optimistic and shit.

The father saw the gun. His eyes widened in anger as if the weapon was an insult to the sanctuary of the church. I may have had a gun, but I wasn’t a pedophile molesting kids and stealing their life force from them. Nope, I was a simple angel trying to get by in the world. By get by, I mean shoot the bad guy and rescue the children, thereby being the hero that saves the day.

Whoever the priest had become gripped me harder and threw me through the confessional door with one movement. The cracking of the wood against my back hurt, and the sound of screaming reached my ears. What hurt the most was hitting the floor and sliding across the carpet. I also heard the sound of my gun as it fell from my hand, bumping into something.

Movement from in front of me caught my attention. I attempted to get up, but the ceiling above me spun like a top, and vertigo kept me from moving too much. Massaging my neck, I could breathe easier, but the joy of still being alive didn’t last long.

There he stood. The possessed priest looked like a devil out of a bad CW series. Both his arms stretched longer than natural and ended in clawed, veiny hands. The skin on his face looked tighter and a bit like leather. The look someone gets after they tan in one of those cancer coffins too long.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

 

Matthew Angelo is a part-time writer, dog trainer, and photo enthusiast in the Northern Colorado area. In his free time, providing he has any, he practices Krav Maga, reads, and continues writing. He has written fantasy, science fiction, and urban fantasy stories amongst others.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | eMail | Instagram

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19 October 2021

Traitor’s Knot Quest for Three Kingdoms By Cryssa Bazos Blog Tour and Excerpt! @CryssaBazos @maryanneyarde @cryssabazos @coffeepotbookclub #HistoricalFiction #historicalsuspense #TheKnot #StuartAge #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

 


Book Title: Traitor’s Knot

Series: Quest for Three Kingdoms

Author: Cryssa Bazos

Publication Date: 1st October 2021

Publisher: W.M. Jackson Publishing

Page Length: 450 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance



England 1650: Civil War has given way to an uneasy peace . . . 

 

Royalist officer James Hart refuses to accept the tyranny of the new government after the execution of King Charles I, and to raise funds for the restoration of the kings son, he takes to the road as a highwayman.

 

Elizabeth Seton has long been shunned for being a traitors 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 an outlaw. 

 

The loversloyalty 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.


 

Trigger Warnings:

Violence, animal injury/death.


Buy Links:


Universal Link: https://books2read.com/TraitorsKnot

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09J1SY8VD

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09J1SY8VD

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09J1SY8VD

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09J1SY8VD

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/traitors-knot-cryssa-bazos/1140328380

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/traitor-s-knot


Cryssa Bazos is an award-winning historical fiction author and a seventeenth century enthusiast. Her debut novel, Traitor's Knot is the Medalist winner of the 2017 New Apple Award for Historical Fiction, a finalist for the 2018 EPIC eBook Awards for Historical Romance. Her second novel, Severed Knot, is a B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree and a finalist for the 2019 Chaucer Award. A forthcoming third book in the standalone series, Rebel's Knot, will be released November 2021.

 

Social Media Links:


Website: https://cryssabazos.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CryssaBazos

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cbazos/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cryssabazos/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cryssa-bazos?list=about

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B072871QB3

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35489304-traitor-s-knot

Excerpt!

Traitor’s Knot, by Cryssa Bazos



Elizabeth pushed through the knot of women pressing to take her place at the stall. “Excuse me,” she gasped, and they cleared the way for her and the ugly yellow ribbon. 


Just as she reached the last matron, a demon in the form of a Puritan Roundhead materialised in her path.


“Good morning, my dear,” Hammond drawled.


She pressed her hand to her chest. “Lieutenant—you surprised me.”


“A pleasant one, I trust,” he said. “I’m glad I found you. There is something I thought you might find of interest.” Without waiting for a reply, he took her by the elbow and led her away from the haberdasher’s stall. “A godly woman does not gild herself with laces and frills.”


Elizabeth’s expression hardened. She had every right to visit any shop she desired. Next he would criticise her for frequenting the bookseller’s. Would they hang her for choking a constable with a mustard-coloured ribbon? 


“I would lower your voice, Lieutenant. Mistress Rathbone will not thank you for your comments.” 


Hammond led her to the draper’s with bolts of broadcloth laid out in display—various shades of grey, charcoal, black and mud brown. He held up a corner of the wool. “Plain, simple fabrics—these are pleasing to the Lord. We must not draw attention to our corrupt body.”


“And what of your russet feathers, Lieutenant?” Elizabeth pointed to his coat. “Methinks that this colour draws sufficient attention to the material world.” 


Rather than take offence, he smiled. “A banner for the godly. My lord Cromwell has seen fit to garb us in this fashion. Come.” 


Hammond led her away, but to her relief, he did not head for the Chequer. “I should tell you that I’m leaving Warwick for apace.”


Elizabeth choked down her excitement. “Indeed? The town will not be the same. Are you returning to London? I recall that you missed it keenly.” 


“Nothing of the sort,” he said. “I shan’t be leaving the county. Sir Richard has entrusted me to oversee a particularly delicate enterprise.” 


Elizabeth’s instincts prickled. This sounded ominous, and anything that made Hammond look smug as a cat in cream could not be good. She feared it might have something to do with James. “Might I enquire as to the nature of this business, Lieutenant? I hope it shan’t be a dangerous enterprise?”


“Your concern warms me a great deal, my dear.” 


The softening in his expression made Elizabeth squirm. She hated to encourage the man, but if it could protect James . . .


“Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to explain,” Hammond said. “Suffice it to say that if we are successful, a mortal blow will be struck to the Commonwealth’s enemies.”


Elizabeth’s worry increased. The only enemy to the Commonwealth that she knew had stolen her heart. She had to warn James. “I wish you joy in your mission, Lieutenant. I must take my leave of you. My aunt wasn’t feeling well this day, and I’m anxious to return to her side.” 


“But you haven’t seen my treat.”


“A treat?” The hairs on the back of her neck lifted.


Hammond led her down a side street lined by a row of town houses and away from the din of the market. A waiting company of dragoons clustered around the glover’s house. Hammond watched her as though savouring her reaction. 


“Why are we here?” 


“I promised you something of interest.” 


One of the dragoons presented himself to Hammond. “Everything is secure inside, Lieutenant.” 


“Very good.” Hammond looked around. “And the wagon?” Before the man could answer, a conveyance with thick bars turned the corner and rumbled to a halt before the house. “Excellent timing.” 


“Why is the gaol cart here?” Elizabeth asked.


 “Patience is a virtue, mistress.” 


A piercing shriek and shattering glass broke the expectant hush. Barked commands drowned out a series of angry shouts. The front door flew open, and a pair of dragoons burst from the house dragging a young woman. Tears streamed down her face, and she clutched a sheet to cover her nakedness as the soldiers marched her to the cart. Elizabeth recognised her as the glover’s maid. 


The woman stumbled and spilled to the sidewalk, exposing small, quivering breasts. “Please!” she cried as they hauled her to her feet. 


Shocked, Elizabeth watched them push the naked woman into the wagon. One of the soldiers tossed the sheet back to her. 


Next the dragoons marched out the second prisoner—the glover. The man stumbled out of his home, clad only in a shirt. The garment barely covered his naked loins. Normally fond of gawking at the young maids, he no longer leered.


“Distressing, isn’t it?” Hammond said. 


Elizabeth started. “What—?”


“Adultery and fornication,” he replied. “They will spend time in the arms of the stocks. We must prepare to don the mantle of the New Jerusalem. There is no room for heretics and the ungodly in this new order.”


Elizabeth’s stomach turned. By now, a small crowd had flooded in from the market. A few of the bolder men hovered near the wagon to get a good look at the prisoners. Laughter and jeering rippled through the crowd. Elizabeth found it difficult to watch. “What of mercy?” 


“Mercy? Would that please you?” Hammond’s smile widened. “I have shown them mercy. Had we arrested them in another fortnight, they’d both be in the gaol.”


Tour Schedule Page: https://www.coffeepotbookclub.com/post/blog-tour-traitor-s-knot-quest-for-three-kingdoms-by-cryssa-bazos-cryssabazos





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