15 January, 2021

The Kingdom Under Siege By Steven Szmyt Book Tour and Interview!

The Kingdom Under Siege

By Steven Szmyt

Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy 

About the Book

The pieces have fallen after the battle at Elm Hills and the Kingdom’s two biggest foes, the Prominent Order and the Wanderers, have regrouped to plan their retaliation.  With help from unlikely sources, the Kingdom’s hierarchy is threatened as it also uncovers one of the boldest coups it has ever faced.

Meanwhile, a key young potential has fled from the Kingdom which has created a ripple effect of dangerous events that the Wolf King must navigate through. As Anne learns more about werewolf lore an unusual ally is revealed. She must also overcome the greatest deception she has ever encountered, a deception that will have every Kingdom member questioning its own.

This powerful lycan syndicate must unleash all of its might to survive or the future of the Kingdom will finally lie in the hands of its enemies. Even if the Wolf King and his soldiers can endure, these historic events could change the future of the Kingdom as they know it.

Author Steven Szmyt blends the modern era and familiar locations with ancient legends and warm characters to make you wonder, “What if werewolves existed?” Follow the continuing tale of the Wolf King as he defends his Kingdom against rival wolf packs while keeping his ancient society hidden from human civilization.

About the Author

A native New Englander, author Steven Szmyt lives in Portsmouth New Hampshire with his wife and two daughters.

Inspired by the writings of Stephen King, J.R.R Tolkien and Clive Cussler, he attended Notre Dame College then transferred to the Maine College of Art where he honed his artistic creativeness.  

After a few other ventures, Szmyt focused on writing. Starting many stories but never completing, he became frustrated. One cold winter evening, he experienced a brief but vivid dream. He got out of bed, fired up his computer and started typing.  His wife woke up a few hours later to find him working feverishly over a growing manuscript. During the next several weeks, he wrote tirelessly before and after work.  

“The story just wrote itself, I was compulsive, I wanted to know where it was going to lead me,” he says. The work he was doing would become his first novel, “The Kingdom.”

Steven is an avid cyclist and is frequently found on the roads surrounding Portsmouth.  He plays piano and drums, and is learning guitar along with his youngest daughter.  His passion is rescuing Doberman Pinschers. 

Book Two: The Kingdom Under Siege, promises to give readers an intriguing re-entry, a dramatic delve into darker areas of the story, and breathtaking ending to Book One: The Kingdom.  


Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08Q6SVN1P?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

FB: https://www.facebook.com/steven.szmyt.1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/molyoy

Website: http://www.stevenszmyt.com/about.html

B & N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-kingdom-steven-szmyt/1126122012

Interview with Author!

How did you come up with the story of The Kingdom and its sequel The Kingdom Under Siege?

I came up with the idea for the Kingdom from a dream that I had. I was so moved by the dream that I started writing the next day and never looked back. The follow up to the Kingdom was a different process of evaluating each character and where I wanted to go with their story. Once I had the basic storyline I worked on how the plot could be twisted to really make the story intriguing. 

What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?

For me, coming up with the basic storyline can be a struggle. To overcome this hurdle, I envision the story as if I were watching a movie and imagine how it would look visually. This usually helps me through tough areas of the story.

When and where do you do your writing? 

I try to be outside as much as possible when I write. My favorite places to write are at the beach or parks. During the winter of bad weather days I will most often be at the library. 

What are you most proud of as a writer?

I truly enjoy talking to readers who have made a connection with the story and want to express how they felt after reading.

If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you

talk about?

I think the most fascinating author to have dinner with would be George Orwell. He lived during incredible times in our history and his experiences helped him create some of the most talked-about stories in history. I would love to hear his thoughts on how and why he decided to write them.  

Grayson: Hellbound Lovers MC, #2 by Crimson Syn Book Blitz!

Title: Grayson: Hellbound Lovers MC, #2  

Author: Crimson Syn 

Genre: Romantic Suspense/ Motorcycle Club 

Romance Release Date: 01/15/2021 

Cover Designer: Gray Creations-Lou Gray 

Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.


She’s a tempting wildcat and she’s driving me insane!
Ever since the first night we met,
I can’t seem to get away from Rahyne Andrews.
Her kisses are toxic and I can’t seem to say no to her.
My only problem is that she doesn’t seem to be interested in anything
more than my body.
And I’m not about to have my control taken away from me.
She either bends to my will, or I’m walking.


Grayson Carter is everything I ever dreamed of and more.
He’s gorgeous, smart, and knows how to take care of a woman’s every need.
But I’ve suffered enough with men in my past,
And the last thing I want is to have another failed relationship.
Especially, when it involves the VP of the Hellbound Lovers MC.
What he doesn’t know, is that I’m the one in control.
I’m always in control…
So why is it that Grayson Carter is the only man who has ever made me want to lose it?

Re-Released and new content! Read on Amazon & in #KU


Tweet: #BookBlitz Grayson: Hellbound Lovers MC, #2 By @crimsonsyn82 Purchase your copy today @Amazon #KindleUnlimited https://ctt.ec/0X3f1+ Pick up both books in the series here> https://ctt.ec/6UZ4d+ #BAPpr #MCRomance

International Bestselling Author, Crimson Syn, has been writing since the age of sixteen. Born and raised in New York City, to two extremely supportive Colombian parents, Crimson picked up the pen to escape from bullying in school. Her first book, Wolf: Hellbound Lovers MC, was published in March 2017, and ever since she has been focused on bringing her readers page turning, lip biting, bookmarking passion. 

Today she is the lead on the Royal Bastards MC project, and she is working hard on creating brand new worlds for you to escape into. Her alphas are rough and possessive, and her heroines are independent, bright women with lots of sexy curves who know how to handle these naughty boys. From the Motorcycle Club world, to a twisted Alice in Wonderland, and a very sexy Cowboy series-Crimson's sole goal is to indulge her readers into these steamy reads that will send you into the arms of dangerous alphas and deliciously sexy rogues without leaving the confines of your nice warm beds. 

If she is able to entice your inner goddesses, then she has done her job.

Available in Kindle Unlimited


Crime Scene Connection (Love Inspired Suspense) by Deena Alexander Book Tour and Giveaway! @DeenaAlexanderA

Crime Scene Connection (Love Inspired Suspense) by Deena Alexander

About Crime Scene Connection


Crime Scene Connection (Love Inspired Suspense) 

Inspirational Romantic Suspense 

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense (January 12, 2021) 

Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages 

ISBN-10: 1335404996 ISBN-13: 978-1335404992 

Digital Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense (January 1, 2021) 


Her writing was fiction,


until a killer made the danger very real…


A serial killer’s imitating crime scenes from Addison Keller’s bestselling novel, determined to make her the final victim. But with former police officer Jace Montana and his dog at her side, Addison might just be able to unmask the murderer. With time running out as the killer closes in, she must confront her past and unravel long-buried secrets…and hope they can all escape with their lives.


About Deena Alexander

Deena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, where she met and married her high school sweetheart. She recently relocated to Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Now she enjoys long walks in nature all year long, despite the occasional alligator or snake she sometimes encounters. Deena's love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn't sleep through the night, and she now works full time as a writer and a freelance editor.

Author Links

  Purchase Links – 

January 4 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 5 – Nadaness In Motion - REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
January 5 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
January 6 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW
January 7 - Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic - REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 7 - Baroness' Book Trove – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 8 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 8 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW
January 12 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 13 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Christy's Cozy Corners – REVIEW
January 14 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT    
January 15 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – Books to the Ceiling – REVIEW
January 16 – eBook Addicts – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 17 – Maureen's Musings – REVIEW
January 17 – I'm All About Books - REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY
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14 January, 2021

A Man of Honor, or Horatio's Confessions by J.A. Nelson Boo Tour and Giveaway! @JANelsonAuthor @hfvbt

A Man of Honor, or Horatio's Confessions by J.A. Nelson

Publication Date: December 9, 2019
Quill Point Press
Paperback, eBook & AudioBook; 414 pages

Genre: Historical/Thriller/Mystery

Winner of two silver medals
Best First Book, Fiction
Best Cover, Fiction
Awarded by the IBPA (2020)

2020 Notable Indie, Top 100 - Best Indie Book Awards, Shelf Unbound

Finalist, Literary Fiction
14th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards (2020)

A Man of Honor tells the fictional tale of how one man’s oath gave birth to the legend of Hamlet.

How far would you go to keep a deathbed promise?

Surrounded by the bodies of slain monarchs, a dying prince extracts a promise from his friend, Horatio: "Tell my story."

Rival kings of warring nations strive to lay claim to the throne, now vacant, but what will happen to the people who live there, at Helsingør's Krogen Castle? How will Horatio preserve his honor and the prince's legacy while surviving this murderous kingdom and the men who would rule it?

Despite the odds and threats against him, Horatio persists, weaving the story of his dear friend into the fabric of one of their oldest and most revered medieval texts.

But when a nefarious Spaniard thwarts his plans, Horatio must once again risk everything to fulfill his oath.

With the help of some unexpected allies in the form of Margrete, a courageous lady-in-waiting, and Lanier, a disgraced French nobleman, Horatio undertakes this perilous quest that will lead him on a journey none of them could have ever predicted, to a place none of them ever thought they would see.

And after their hard-fought journey will it all be for naught?

Will Hamlet's glory be Horatio's downfall?

Amazon | Apple Books | Audible | Barnes and Noble | Google Play


"Like a train, A MAN OF HONOR's narrative builds speed and takes off into an often gripping adventure of love,war, and discovery. Author J.A. Nelson's novel follows in the tradition of historical fiction. Nelson creates a beautiful but terrifying sixteenth century where numerous factions struggle for power and influence. The main characters are loyal but fallible, and the reader identifies with their struggle to keep moving forward--to finish what they've started.... Nelson has developed a timeless story.... A MAN OF HONOR may be set in a distant time and place, but Horatio's search for the truth about his late friend, Hamlet, is an internal journey of discovery to which many readers will relate." - IndieReader Reviews

"With its literary flourishes and exciting scenes, A Man of Honor addresses ethical questions in fascinating ways....Setting and moods...capture the flavor of Nordic sagas.... A literary novel featuring taut action and strong characters who address questions about the nature of integrity." - Clarion Reviews

"The story of Hamlet survives, truthfully told.... Horatio is the perfect character to carry on Hamlet's story.... An intriguing twist.... Among the pages of an adventure is a story of one man's commitment to his sense of honor and duty, as well as the importance and worth of legends." - The US Review

About the Author

J. A. Nelson’s passion for exploring connections between history, literature, and evidence in written texts has shaped her life—from a BA (Occidental College) and MA (The George Washington University) in cultural studies to a two-decade career at the National Archives of the United States, working with historical documentary treasures and helping people access unique stories in those records. Ms. Nelson is a native of Culver City, CA, a Los Angeles suburb. She lives with her husband in Northern Virginia. A Man of Honor, or Horatio’s Confessions is her debut novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, January 3
Excerpt at Bookworlder
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, January 4
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Wednesday, January 6
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Friday, January 8
Review at @the.b00kreader
Interview at The Whispering Bookworm

Monday, January 11
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Thursday, January 14
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, January 18
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Wednesday, January 20
Feature at What Is That Book About

Thursday, January 21
Excerpt at Journey in Bookland

Friday, January 22
Review at Amy's Booket List

Monday, January 25
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, January 27
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, January 29
Feature at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Monday, February 1
Review at YA, It's Lit

Wednesday, February 3
Review at A Book Geek

Friday, February 5
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, February 6
Review at Bibliostatic

Monday, February 8
Review at Books and Zebras

Wednesday, February 10
Review at Impressions In Ink

Friday, February 12
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, February 15
Excerpt at Novels Alive
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary


Enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Man of Honor

13 January, 2021

The Diamond Rose (A Sentinel 10 Novel) by Daniela Valenti Book Tour and Giveaway!

Join us for this tour from Nov 30 to Jan 29!

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Diamond Rose (A Sentinel 10 Novel) by Daniela Valenti
CategoryAdult Fiction (18 yrs +),  250 pages
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance
PublisherEnigma Publishing
Release date:   Nov 2020
Content RatingPG-13 + M. Suicide is mentioned, that's for the M. One sex scene without explicit description of the genitals.

Book Description:

Amanda’s med school graduation is unlike any other. A solar flare awakens her super psychic powers, enabling her to fight evil, supernatural and human alike. She is the Sentinel 10, the most powerful warrior in a secret society of similarly endowed people. Her life becomes a whirlwind of international travel and exciting paranormal challenges. But all is not as it seems. Soon Amanda discovers that the man she loves has an evil alter ego, and that her own powers have a dark side. This first year as a Sentinel will push the limits of her resilience, and put her own humanity to the test. The Diamond Rose is a thrilling and romantic adventure, the first in an exciting new series. Fans of paranormal romance will enjoy this tale of a female heroine who struggles to understand love and master her own powers.


Meet the Author:

Daniela Valenti is the pen name for a Canadian psychiatrist who writes Paranormal Fiction. That may seem incongruous, but it’s not really. The work in her chosen field and her writing dovetail nicely. She is able to draw upon her work as a psychiatrist to create multidimensional characters who are simultaneously powerful and vulnerable. Daniela lives in Montreal and holds a medical degree from McGill. She speaks French and regards herself a chatty introvert. Growing up, she was a voracious reader of sci-fi and fantasy. Her interests today include supernatural lore, skincare and fashion, gorgeous travel destinations, true crime, and learning about narcissism and psychopathy. She’s thought a lot about love and evil and maintains that narcissism is the true nature of all evil. Daniela has traveled extensively. Her love of the exotic dominates many of the settings where the characters in her stories romp and play their parts. Her prior attempts at writing began at age nine with a story about a doctor’s cat, and then a short sci-fi story at age twenty-three. Thirteen years later, her foray into serious-minded writing simply happened. She began writing in 2017, after she returned from a trip to Prague for an international forensic psychiatry conference. What she learned there, combined with her impressions of Prague, her prior ruminations on the nature of love and evil, and her clinical knowledge all combined to create the first book in her series. It was a moment when all sorts of aspects of herself, her life experiences and her interests came together, like a self-assembling puzzle. The story came to her like a movie, unfolding in her head as she sat on an airplane, staring at the screen-less back of the chair in front of her, for the eight-hour trip back to Canada. Once set in motion, the wheels of creation kept on turning, and resulted in the Sentinel 10 series.

connect with the author:  website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram

Tour Schedule:

Nov 30 -Splashes of Joy – book spotlight
Dec 1 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Dec 7 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 7 - Gina Rae Mitchell  - book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 10 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 14 – Sadie's Spotlight – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 - Amy's Booket List - book review / giveaway
Jan 11 –Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 13 - Celticlady's Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 14 - Olio by Marilyn - book spotlight / author interview
Jan 14 - Olio by Marilyn - book review / giveaway
Jan 15 –she_a_bibliophile - book review
Jan 18 - Bookswithpaulak - book review
Jan 19 - Pine Enshrined Reviews - book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 – The Momma Spot – book review
Jan 21 - Four Moon Reviews - book review / giveaway
Jan 22 – The Review Crew – book review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 28 – JBronder Book Reviews – book review
Jan 29 -
I'm Into Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 29 – Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review

Enter the Giveaway: 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


12 January, 2021

Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks Book Tour!


A Regency romance on the high seas.

1811, HMS Deborah

Georgana Woodall dreams of freedom—freedom from her past and freedom from her secret.

She has been living on her father’s ship for years, disguised as a cabin boy named “George.”

But hiding her true self is becoming more difficult, and she yearns to break free of her life

on the sea.

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His

Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. Determined to prove himself to his new

captain, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin

boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the boy under

his wing.

Georgana quickly loses her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care, but needing to maintain

her disguise as a cabin boy, she is convinced nothing can come of her affection.

Georgana’s Secret is about two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting


About the Author:

ARLEM HAWKS began making up stories before she could write. Living all

over the western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love

of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. She has a bachelor’s

degree in communications, with an emphasis in print journalism, and she lives

in Arizona with her husband and three children.

For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at chansen@shadowmountain.com

Advanced Praise:

“Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember

those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb

to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the

perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored

seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine

as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love.”

-Booklist, starred review

“Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw

emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its

danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own

in a world dominated by men, while Peyton’s charm and sensitivity

\marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery

make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances.”

-Publishers Weekly

Purchase Links:

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Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery) by Paula Darnell Book Tour and Giveaway!

Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery) by Paula Darnell

About Artistic License to Kill


Artistic License to Kill (A Fine Art Mystery) 

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 

Publisher: Campbell and Rogers Press (January 15, 2021) 

Hardcover: 384 pages 

ISBN-10: 1887402136 

ISBN-13: 978-1887402132 

Paperback: 258 pages 

ISBN-10: 1887402128 

ISBN-13: 978-1887402125 

Publisher: Campbell and Rogers Press (January 5, 2021) 

Digital Print length: 211 pages 


Artist Amanda Trent, accompanied by her beloved golden retriever Laddie and her persnickety calico cat Mona Lisa, is determined to start a new life after her husband divorces her to marry a younger woman, but it isn't easy.


After a disastrous interview at the prestigious Roadrunner Gallery in Lonesome Valley, Arizona, far away from her previous home in Kansas City, Amanda's afraid that she'll fail at her new career. But her prospects begin to improve when she's accepted as the newest member of the cooperative gallery.


Then, on her very first day, she discovers Janice, the stern director, has been murdered right in the art gallery, and the Roadrunner's members, including Amanda herself, become suspects. Which gallery member murdered the unpopular director? Or was the killer an outsider with an ax to grind?


About Paula Darnell

Award-winning author Paula Darnell is a former college instructor who has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in English and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in English with a Writing Emphasis. Artistic License to Kill is the first book in her Fine Art Mystery series. She's also the author of the DIY Diva Mystery series and The Six-Week Solution, a historical mystery set in Nevada. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband Gary and their Pyrador Rocky.

Author Links Author 
  Purchase Links Amazon - Apple Books - Barnes & Noble - Kobo

January 11 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 11 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 12 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Laura' Interests – REVIEW
January 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 13 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 14 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
January 14 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – Christy's Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 15 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 16 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – GUEST POST
January 17 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST POST

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host? 


11 January, 2021

Win Copies of Two Historical Western Romance Novels!

 Journey to Hawk’s Peak by MK McClintock

One woman’s desperation to escape will become the greatest journey of her life.

Amanda Warren arrives in Briarwood, Montana, with one satchel and a dream. After death destroyed her happiness, she flees, unwilling to believe it is the end, yet her weary spirit thinks only of survival.

Then she meets the Gallaghers.

They take a chance and give her a home and a family, but is she strong enough to make a new start?

Ben Stuart has seen more of life than he wants to remember, but with the Gallaghers he has found a place where he can forget times gone by and live the life he always wanted. When Amanda arrives at Hawk’s Peak, Ben sees a woman hiding from secrets and running from her past. How will he convince her that the journey is over?

Join us on a journey to Hawk's Peak for a romantic adventure you'll never forget.

Journey to Hawk's Peak by MK McClintock is one of the most gripping and thrilling western novels that anyone will ever read. This novel is a serious page-turner, and for fans of western fiction, it is a must-read." —Readers' Favorite

Excerpt from Journey to Hawk’s Peak

Hawk’s Peak, Montana Territory

May 1884

A hawk and its mate soared high above their heads. White clouds tipped with gray created a continuous patchwork in the vast, blue sky, casting shadows over the snow-capped mountains. A cool, spring breeze caressed Amanda’s face and whipped her unbound hair over her shoulders. She’d left the house wearing only a shawl, preferring to relish in the warmer air after the long, harsh season. 

The winter of ’84 had been one of the coldest in Amanda’s memory. Although it had been her first in Montana, she was no stranger to the hardships of the western frontier. No matter how settled the land became or how many people from the East ventured in search of the same dreams which brought her parents west, she loved the wildness the land fought to retain. 

“I’ll never tire of this sight.” Not a soul within one hundred miles could miss the grand mountain ranges that crisscrossed the land and protected their valley. 

“I won’t either.” Brenna wore a heavier wool shawl, the edges gathered over her growing belly. Amanda smiled at her friend—one of many she’d made since arriving at Hawk’s Peak—and imagined Brenna as a new mother once again. 

Brenna and Ethan Gallagher already had one son, Jacob, named after Ethan’s father and born in Scotland, Brenna’s homeland. The courage to leave behind everything and everyone she knew at Cameron Manor to journey across an ocean and vast continent impressed Amanda. She’d embarked on her own journey when she left home, but it compared nothing to what Brenna must have experienced. 

Brenna stopped at a point in the meadow and bent over to pick a few sprigs of wild lupine and add them to the basket she carried over one arm. Calves frolicked in the nearby pastures, another sign that spring had come regardless of winter’s efforts to linger. In her lyrical voice with her refined Scottish accent, Brenna said, “When I first stepped foot off the stage, the sheer enormity of what I’d done paled in comparison to the beauty of these mountains. I abhorred the circumstances that forced me to flee, and yet without those trials, I wouldn’t be here now. I wouldn’t have Ethan or Jacob.” She patted her belly and smiled. “Or this one.” 

“I envy you, Brenna.” Amanda continued walking, but it was Brenna who stopped, surprised by the quietly spoken words. 

“What a dear thing for you to say, but there are many who could say the same of you.” 

Amanda was quick to assure Brenna. “Please, don’t think me ungrateful for what I have. I’ve been blessed many times over in my life. I envy the way you approach life, every day with such hope.” 

“It got me into trouble often as a child,” Brenna said with a smile. “Give yourself time. I often feel as though you’ve always been a part of our lives, but it wasn’t so long ago when you arrived.” 

Amanda stared across the quiet meadow, fixated on the swaying grass. “Before you met Ethan, did you ever . . .” 

“Did I ever what?” Brenna asked. “You may ask me anything, and I’ll answer if I can.” 

“Did you ever wonder if you were strong enough to live the life you always wanted?”

Comes the Winter by Samantha St. Claire

Alena Sommer isn’t one to run from adversity. But when the child she’s been governess to dies, she boldly seeks a new life in Idaho Territory by accepting a marriage proposal from a man she’s never met. When she arrives in Sawtooth City she finds the mines are in financial trouble and the man she was to marry is dead. Determined to stay, she ignores the warnings about harsh winters known to plague the Sawtooth Mountains. Will the same man who warns her to leave be the one who gives her the strength to stay? Surviving winter’s threat will take more than courage; it will require mettle forged of two strong wills.

"Reading this wonderful book, Comes the Winter, is like finding yourself in your favorite chair, near a crackling fire, when it’s cold outside. Weather is changeable and so is life, but you are in a warm and happy place." —The Constant Reader

Excerpt from Comes the Winter

Evan stumbled up the steps to the porch, his body yearning for sleep even more than food. A full day of back-breaking work followed by a one-hour ride in a stiff saddle made the prospect of a soft bed all the more enticing.

A whisper of sound and a small movement to his left brought him fully alert. An animal, a bear perhaps? One had taken to roaming the river bank this summer looking through garbage. He pulled his gun from its holster, taking slow quiet steps across the porch. The shadow moved. Now he could discern the pattern not of fur but of a quilt. Maybe one of the men had come home drunk and decided to sleep it off out here. 

Then a slender, bare ankle, attached to a pale white foot, emerged from the corner of the quilt. A woman? Here? 

He slid the gun back into its holster. Standing in front of her now, he saw the face framed by dark curls, softly falling across her cheek. Standing there with the moonlight caressing each curve of her face, he wondered if he were asleep. Maybe he'd come off the mountain, walked inside the house and was already dreaming of this angel. 

She shifted, sending Evan scuttling back into the shadowed edge of the porch. He held his breath lest she see him and think him up to some mischief. Drawing her foot back within the folds of the blanket, she settled back into sleep. In a moment, her breathing changed to that of a very human being, not at all angelic. He considered that for a moment. Who was he to say angels didn’t snore?

He remembered then, Nash's expected lady. This must be her. Most conjectured that she’d be an older woman, certainly not a woman possessing such an ankle as this one, or a cheek as comely. 

Evan frowned. Bad business, this. The poor woman. He scratched at his beard, newly sprouted for the coming winter months. Turning back to the door, he left the sleeping angel to her dreams. He had little doubt she'd be on the first wagon out of the basin, off the mountain before winter locked the doors to the outside world. Or she would if she knew what was good for her.

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