Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Named of the Dragon Spotlight Tour (and giveaway)

I am excited today to be hosting a Spotlight Tour for Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley.  Susana Kearsley is one of my favorite authors and I can't wait to read this novel.  I've got it on my Christmas wish list!  If you want a chance to win a Susanna Kearsley Backlist Bundle, read all about Named of the Dragon and scroll to the bottom of this post for a Rafflecopter Giveaway.

 Title: Named of the Dragon

Author: Susanna Kearsley
ISBN: 9781402258640
Pubdate: October 6, 2015
Genre: Time-slip Romance


A haunting tale of intrigue from New York Times bestselling author Susanna Kearsley.


The charm of spending the Christmas holidays in South Wales, with its crumbling castles and ancient myths, seems the perfect distraction from the nightmares that have plagued literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw since the loss of her baby five years ago.

Instead, she meets an emotionally fragile young widow who's convinced that Lyn's recurring dreams have drawn her to Castle Farm for an important purpose--and she’s running out of time.

With the help of a reclusive, brooding playwright, Lyn begins to untangle the mystery and is pulled into a world of Celtic legends, dangerous prophecies, and a child destined for greatness.


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and RITA award winner Susanna Kearsley is known for her meticulous research and exotic settings from Russia to Italy to Cornwall, which not only entertain her readers but give her a great reason to travel. Her lush writing has been compared to Mary Stewart, Daphne Du Maurier, and Diana Gabaldon. She won the coveted Romance Writers of America RITA Award for The Firebird, and hit the bestseller lists in the U.S. with The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden, both RITA finalists and winners of RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards. Other honors include finaling for the UK’s Romantic Novel of the Year Award, National Readers’ Choice Awards, and the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize. Her popular and critically-acclaimed books are available in translation in more than 20 countries and as audio books. She lives in Canada, near the shores of Lake Ontario.

Social Networking Links

Website: http://susannakearsley.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusannaKearsley
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusannaKearsley
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/486812.Susanna_Kearsley

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Named-Dragon-Susanna-Kearsley/dp/140225864X
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/named-of-the-dragon-susanna-kearsley/1003614908
Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781402258640


While the halls beside it crumbled from the strain of staying upright, Pembroke Castle’s keep had stood through eight long centuries of tumult, and looked capable of weathering another eight with ease. It had been poked at, over time. Bits of the parapet surrounding the domed roof had tumbled down, or been removed, and when we walked round to the north side I could see the black and jagged hole that marked the first-floor entrance, stripped of all its finer facing stones. But such small scars went virtually unnoticed on a building so imposing.
“I’m not sure you should be doing that,” said James, as I scampered up the flight of steps toward the gaping doorway. “Those steps might not be safe. And anyway, you can’t get in that way, you have to go through here.”
The steps didn’t feel dangerous, but I didn’t imagine that open defiance was something James craved in an agent, and I ought to be trying to show him how well I could listen. Reluctantly, I turned back and went through the proper entrance, a much smaller door set at ground level. It felt like walking through a tunnel—the walls of the keep must have been a good twenty feet thick—but at length it discharged us, like puny adventurers, into the cavernous space.
“You see?” James, who had seen it before, pointed up at a ragged-edged hole, streaming light. “It’s a doorway to nothing, the floors have all gone.”
I had tipped my head backward, struck dumb by the sight.
Originally, there would have been three or more levels here, comfortable rooms, wooden floors, warming fires that burned in the royal apartments, but all of that was lost now to the callous hand of time. What remained, though, was in some ways more impressive.
Stripped to its bare outer walls, it was like a cathedral, a great hollow soaring cathedral of stone, with a perfect domed ceiling and small arching windows that slanted pale light through the reverent gloom. From every ledge and opening long streaks of soft and mossy green dripped downward, passing shades of rust and gentle blues that stained the walls in places where the plaster had not fallen from the gray, unyielding stones.
I took a breath, inhaling dust, and fumbled for my guidebook. “Seventy-five feet,” I said, in awe. “This shaft is seventy-five feet tall.”
James looked at me. “You say that as though it’s a challenge.”
“It is.” I’d always liked climbing things. Turning, I spotted the newel stair, and happily squeezed up one tight winding flight to the first narrow landing. Resting my hands on the cold metal piping that served as a guardrail, I leaned through the open arched doorway to look down at James. “Coming up?”
“No, I’ve done it once, thank you.” He sauntered forward, moving through a shifting web of light and shadow, to see me better. By the time I reached the third and final landing, he was standing in the center of the floor. “Do warn me if you’re going to fall,” he said, “so I can step aside.”
“You wouldn’t catch me?”
“From that height? You must be mad.”
I took a firm grip on the guardrail and leaned out as far as I dared, to admire the view. The dome, from this height, was a marvel of masonry, hundreds of stones set with perfect precision to form an impossible half sphere that floated above me. Absorbed, I leaned further, and felt my hand slip in the instant before something clamped round my shoulder.
“Don’t worry,” said Gareth, behind me. “I’ll catch you.”

Rafflecopter code
Click here for a chance to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for 2 Susanna Kearsley Backlist Bundles.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Fine Summer’s Day by Charles Todd

Ian Rutledge proposes to the woman he loves, Jean, on a fine summer’s day in June of 1914 in England.  Little does he know that in Sarajevo, the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire has been assassinated and has started the circumstances which will soon involve the entire world in a war of a scale that had never been seen before.

Ian is an inspector for Scotland Yard and from an upper class family.  He loves Jean, but she wants him to become a military man like her father.  Ian’s friends and family are not sure that the two are suited for each other.  After their engagement, Jean soon becomes angered that Ian spends his time on the job trying to solve a mystery and not signing up to join the streams of men enlisting for the new war.

Rutledge finds himself in a great mysterious puzzle.  He investigates a string of murders that appear as suicides.  The only link between them is that each victim lived in Bristol at one point in their lives.  As he digs further, Rutledge realizes that there are more victims on the murderer’s list and it is just a matter of time before he gets to them.  With no support from his boss at Scotland Yard, Rutledge races around England to solve the crime.

I vastly enjoyed the mystery, characters, the setting, and the time period.  The mystery unfolded layer by layer like an onion until its final conclusion.  I also liked that in the background, Ian still had his family, his fiancé, and the new war to contend with. It was a great story.  It also left me wanting more.  

I have never read any of the Ian Rutledge mysteries before and I was surprised to find this is a prequel of sorts.  If I start the series with book one now, I will find out what happens to Ian Rutledge the future.  I can’t wait!  In the great P.S. section at the back of the novel, there are summaries of all of the books of the series.  They sound fantastic.  There is also more background about the book and a book club set of questions.  I also found it interesting that Charles Todd is actually a mother and son writing team.

I loved the opening of this novel.

“It was a fine summer’s day in England.

In fact one of a string of bright days, languid and unhurried, full of promise.  As if the weeks to come stretched out in an endless spool of long, leisurely afternoons on the lawn, croquet mallets and tea trays, men in summer white, women in frothy wide-brimmed hats, and girls with blue ribbon sashes.  Peaceful, measured, and like the Empire, destined to go on forever.

The distant sound of gunfire was too faint to hear.  It disturbed no dreams, it marred no plans, it stirred no fears.

Nevertheless, before the sun set on this fine summer day, the lives of a handful of people would have been changed by murder.”

Overall, A Fine Summer’s Day is a wonderful historical fiction mystery with fantastic characters.  I highly recommend it.

Book Source:  A Review copy from William Morrow for the TLC Book Tour. For more stops on this fabulous tour, check out this link.

A Fine Summer's Day coverAbout A Fine Summer's Day

• Paperback: 384 pages • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 29, 2015)

On a fine summer's day in June 1914, Ian Rutledge is planning to propose to a woman he deeply loves, despite hints from his family and friends that she may not be the most suitable choice for a policeman's wife. To the north, another man in love—a Scottish Highlander named Hamish MacLeod—asks his own sweetheart to marry him.

Back in England, a son grieves for his mother, dredging up a dark injustice that will trigger a series of murders that Rutledge must solve. The victims are all upstanding and well-liked. The local police have their suspicions about the culprits and are less than cooperative with the London detective.

As clouds of war gather on the horizon, Rutledge digs deeper, finding similarities and patterns between the murders. With every moment at stake, he sets out to right a terrible wrong—an odyssey that will eventually force him to choose between the Yard and his country, between love and duty, and between honor and truth.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Charles ToddAbout Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina. Visit their website at Charlestodd.com and like CharlesToddNovels on Facebook.