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Blog Tour: Healing Lance by M.D. Grimm

Healing Lance | M.D. Grimm

 Warrior’s Redemption #1

BANNER - Healing Lance

Release Date: July 28th, 2020

Length: 81,810

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Universal Link:

https://www.mdgrimmwrites.com/a-warrior-s-redemption-trilogy

COVER - Healing Lance

Blurb

A baby’s laughter.

A mind uncaged.

Lance is known as Scourge, the warrior in the black armor, the dog of the warlord Ulfr Blackwolf. He was just a boy when Ulfr found him and molded him into the perfect weapon. He slaughters and pillages on command, merciless and numb, devoid of emotions. Then a baby girl laughs at him during a raid.

And everything changes.

When Gust, a talented healer, is out deer hunting and stumbles across a magnificent horse bearing a mortally wounded rider, he has no idea that his life is about to change forever. Gust applies all his skills to his patient, determined to save the rider’s life, and is rewarded when the man opens his eyes.

As friendship, and more, bloom between warrior and healer, so does the danger over the horizon. Ulfr has not forgotten, and Lance must take his first steps on the long road to redemption.

Trigger Warnings: References to past abuse

MEME1 - Healing Lance

Excerpt

Chapter One

The baby shouldn’t matter. But she did.

He easily held her small body in his broad hands. He knew the baby was a girl because she was naked. She kicked her legs as if she wanted to dance, and her wide amber eyes gazed at him in seeming fascination. He stared down at her, wondering why she didn’t scream. Didn’t babies scream? Adults certainly did when they saw him. He didn’t like the sound. All he wanted to do was silence the noise.

The baby stared at him a moment before her mouth curled up at the corners, and she laughed. He froze at the unusual sound. With eyes alight, she grabbed her feet and continued to laugh. It was… all the things foreign to him. It wasn’t cruel or dark but careless, showing a freedom he’d never known. She wiggled in his hands, her pale, pink body flush with life and potential.

Battle roars and the cries of the dying met his ears again, in stark contrast to the little life he held. He wrenched his gaze away from her and looked around the charred hut and over the collapsed roof. The light from the fires consuming the village illuminated the destruction and the blood splattered on the walls and floor. It was a view he was accustomed to, one he understood. The weight of his sword was one he only noticed when it wasn’t there. He returned his gaze to the baby. This was something he didn’t understand. She was confusing.

She laughed again as goosebumps broke out over her body. She was cold. He scanned the area and spotted a blanket that only had blood on one corner. He wrapped her as best he could, another thing unfamiliar to him, and his black armored gloves made the action awkward. Then he pressed her against his steel chest. He wanted her to survive. He didn’t know why—he just knew he didn’t want her to die.

“Please….”

A young woman lay on the floor at his feet, one he thought was dead. It appeared she had only been knocked out. She lay on her side, one arm stretched out to him, her normally golden skin sickly pale. Her dark brown hair was short, barely reaching past her ears, and one side of her head was caked with blood. The southern part of the kingdom of Grekenus didn’t seem too fond of hair as most of the men in the village were bald and beardless while the women grew hair no longer than their chins.

“Please don’t kill her,” she said, dark eyes wide and dazed. “Don’t kill my daughter. Please, I beg you.”

She spoke in Spart, the native language of the kingdom. He knew it well enough to communicate effectively.

He looked at the baby and then back at the woman. If he wanted the baby to survive, she needed a caretaker. Since the woman was her mother, who better? He strode over to the woman where she struggled to rise and grabbed her arm. She winced at his grip as he tugged her to her feet. He shoved the baby into her arms before dragging her outside.

“What are you—?”

“Silence,” he said curtly. He observed the chaos through the smoke and beyond the fires. The broken dead littered the ground and fire ate everything it touched. A horse galloped toward them, one that belonged to the village since there was neither a saddle nor bridle on the beast. He let go of the woman and pointed to the ground.

“Stay.” Then he strode in front of the horse and held up his hands. The beast reared on her hind legs, neighing in fright. Unlike with humans, he knew how to speak to horses. It wasn’t long before he’d calmed her and had her under control. He petted her neck and muzzle, whispering kind words. The frantic look in her eyes eased, and he led her over to the woman and the baby. She swayed on her feet and had stayed where he told her to, not that he’d doubted she would. The hope for escape let her trust him.

He quickly found a length of rope and looped it around the horse’s nose and neck.

“Get on.”

She didn’t question him this time. She struggled to follow his command, and he realized the horse was just too tall for her to mount without help. He shoved her up, and she sat unsteadily on the horse’s back, her daughter clutched to her chest. She stared at him, and he noted the blood from her head now stained the side of her face and dress. She would see nothing of his face since his black armor covered every piece of flesh, and his eyes were barely visible through the narrow visor slit of the helmet.

“Go.” He slapped the horse’s rear and the mare bolted. The woman leaned over the horse and let the mare lead them away from death.

Another warrior, part of the warband, nocked an arrow and leveled it at her. He strode over and kicked the warrior’s knee, sending the man crashing to the ground with a scream of pain. The arrow flew wide. Another warrior was about to give chase on horseback, and he dashed over to grab the sword from his hand before shoving the warrior off the saddle. A few other attempts were made to stop the fleeing woman, and he stopped them all, causing various injuries and not caring in the least. He had no affinity to any of the warriors in the warband. He had no affinity to anyone… except the tiny girl.

He still couldn’t figure out why. He wondered if he ever would.

He stood there, on the muddy ground soaked with blood, staring after the woman. The smoke burned his throat and stung his eyes. The scent, the noise, the mess of battle he knew like he knew his name. He’d never been curious about anything beyond his current life. Now he did.

He hoped she took good care of her daughter.

“Lance!”

He blinked and turned around. The warlord Ulfr, known throughout the Nifdem Empire as Mad Blackwolf, stalked over to him, expression like a thundercloud, his black, bushy beard and thick head of hair obscuring most of his ruddy face. He wasn’t as tall as Lance, although he was much broader, and there wasn’t a weak bone in his burly body. The quality of his black long-sleeved tunic, trousers, and boots showed a hard but fruitful life, and a few glistening red splatters indicated he didn’t leave all the fun to his warriors.

A few of the warriors that Lance had attacked hobbled after their commander, scowling and muttering curses. All the men sported beards of one length or another. Lance remained clean shaven since the helmet made having a beard quite painful as it tugged on the strands and chafed his skin.

“You will explain to me why you disobeyed a direct order!” Ulfr said when he reached Lance. He spoke in Taris, the official language of the empire. His clenched fists and tight jaw indicated his fury, and the rest of the men and women in their warband cowered at such a sight.

Not Lance. He didn’t feel fear.

Lance took off his helmet, long honey blond hair sticking to his face, pressed there by the constriction of the helmet and sweat glistening on his pale skin. Frosty blue eyes stared at Ulfr, eyes hollow from years of war and brutality. Yet, if Ulfr had looked closer, he would have seen a spark of life newly lit in the void.

Lance tucked the helmet in the crook of his arm and smoothed back his hair, the armor grinding and clanking.

“I didn’t want the baby to die.”

Ulfr blinked. “What?”

Lance frowned. He knew Ulfr had heard him clearly enough. “I did not want the baby to die,” he said, slower this time. “She couldn’t survive on her own, so she had to have her mother with her.”

Men and women gathered around them, filthy warriors stained with the evidence of their raid and slaughter. Everyone wore trousers and tunics, though some of the women chose more form-fitting clothing that extenuated their feminine attributes. The ethnicities in Ulfr’s band were as varied as the colors of their wardrobes. Though none dared wear purple or, worse, silver and purple combined. A person could be killed for being so presumptions. Only imperial royalty wore those colors.

Several men were retying their trousers, having violated their victims before killing them. Lance observed the crowd with a detached eye. He knew what would happen now. He’d known it the moment he made the decision to save the infant.

“You disobeyed me!” Ulfr gripped the collar of Lance’s breastplate and yanked him closer until their faces were inches apart. “You showed mercy when I told you all to slaughter those who don’t give us tribute. These people spat on us as if they were better, and so they deserved their punishment. You’ve followed my orders before, Lance. Why not now?”

“I told you.”

Ulfr shoved him away. Lance stumbled back two steps before standing still, like an oak tree against a high wind.

The complete slaughter of a village or town wasn’t what Ulfr usually did. He wouldn’t raid if they paid him. Normally, if they resisted, Lance would only kill one or two people to make a point, and then the villagers would hand over whatever Ulfr wanted to make him go away. This village had done that in the past, and yet they recently decided to fight back against Ulfr’s protection racket. They paid the ultimate price, an example to all who dared defy Mad Blackwolf.

The village was close to the border between the kingdoms of Grekenus and Cairon, and mostly safe from the ravages of the civil war, since it was deep into the protective territory of one of the kings. And yet sometimes, like that day, warlords got through. Ulfr’s band had had scuffles with army units now and then over the years that gave Lance more of a challenge, but none recently.

“You disobeyed me for a wench and her spawn?”

“I did not want the baby to die,” Lance repeated.

“You will go after her.” Ulfr pointed in the direction the woman had fled in. “You will redeem yourself and escape my wrath but only if you go now.”

“No.”

Every single man and woman there gaped, eyes wide.

Ulfr’s eyes bulged and his face grew red. “You ungrateful maggot! Who raised you? Trained you? Who saved you from becoming crow food or sold into slavery? You owe me your loyalty!”

Lance stared at Ulfr. Yes, all he said was true. But there was no way Lance could ever hold his sword over the neck of that baby and kill her. Her laugh echoed in his mind and seemed to unlock something. Something scarred shut.

No, she would live.

He dropped his helmet to the bloody mud, followed by his sword, which had taken countless lives without mercy or hesitation. He stood before the warriors, those he’d trained and slaughtered alongside. Despite living with them, killing with them, he didn’t know them at all. He never cared to.

“I am done,” he said.

About The Author

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M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!).

After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier.

Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.

Social Media

Author Website: https://www.mdgrimmwrites.com

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Author Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.D.Grimm/e/B00I0KZMY6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Giveaway

M.D. is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour

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Blog Tour: Striking Balance by Jeanne G’Fellers

Striking Balance | Jeanne G’Fellers

Appalachian Elementals #3

BANNER - Striking Balance

Publisher: Mountain Gap Books

Release Date: July 21st, 2020

Buy Links:

Mountain Gap Books | Amazon US Kindle | Amazon US Paperback

iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

COVER - Striking Balance

Blurb

Benjamin Schnell is the possessor of secrets he wishes he could bury beneath the rich Nolichucky river flat dirt he farms alongside his dear friend, Conall. But secrets lead to lies, lead to more secrets, and all eventually come home to roost in a bed of distrust, even on the 1779 Appalachian frontier.

After Ben is injured, he realizes there are odd things happening around him that others cannot see. Corner shadows take human shapes, lightning bugs dance in broad daylight, and the farm’s strange owner, Master Gow, returns with an offer Conall cannot refuse if Ben is to live. But making a deal with Master Gow will take them deep into the mountains to where a haunted king reigns and Fire balances Water in a delicate natural friendship.

Ben must learn self-acceptance and trust if he and Conall are going to survive because there can be no secrets in the mountains, only truth.

Another rich tale from the Appalachian Elementals world focusing on complex families containing rich LGBTQIA+ characters.

MEME2 - Striking Balance

Excerpt

I open my eyes to whitewashed walls and sunlight streaming through large open windows covered by gauzy curtains. This is a quiet space reminiscent of my youth. The window is wide to the afternoon air, my pillow is soft, my bed comfortable with sweetgrass, and I rest beneath the lightest of patchworks. And my shirt ‘tis cotton. Heaven. Yes, I am certain I have reached the hereafter. Perhaps I can see Mutti again and—

“Get back here ye’ fool!” I turn my head in time to see Alexandria pause before a window. Her face is flushed, and her hands are in fists at her sides. “Get back here wit’ mah pie!”

“Come get it, you flightless baggage!”

My thoughts of Heaven erode when Alexandria launches into a long line of Scots-Gaelic curses of the likes I have not heard since I left the mine. This is not the Alexandria I know and respect, not the voice of a proper lady at all. She hisses as she threatens to cut off his twiddle-diddles with her kitchen knife, cook them in the pottage, and feed them back to him.

“Return Lexy’s hard work, boy.” This is Master Gow’s voice, but ‘tis also not, higher in tone but equally powerful, and I wonder if he has a sister. “And the crust best not be broke!”

“But… ow!” I am unable to see what occurs next, but a man crosses in front of the window with a pie in his hands and something or someone I cannot see is dragging him. “Ow! King Dane, please! I am sorry, Lexy, real sorry!”

King? This woman who I suspect is related to Master Gow is named King Dane? Whatever… My cough returns, deep and fluidic, but ‘tis clearly not to be my death so I look for something to spit into.

“There’s a bucket of sawdust at your bedside, Benjamin.” Master Gow’s sister speaks from just outside the window. “I’ll be there shortly to talk with you.” Her voice turns away. “Go cut two days of wood for the main kitchen,” she tells the man who is still apologizing to Alexandria.

“But I got hides to scrape and…”

“Do it! Then scrape them hides.”

“Ow! Yes, King Dane.”

I crawl deep beneath my quilt when their voices fade. Where am I? At this point, I have no clue, but I believe I am alive. The table beside my bed is laden with bottles, jars, a fleam and cup, but there is also a mug so I sit up, examining the contents, water, before I drink.

I startle when the door to the apartment swings open. “Ah brought ye soup an’ tea.” Ceardach deposits a tray onto my lap. There’s also buttered bread on the tray, along with bacon, eggs, and a bowl of beans.

“Thank ye, but I need to…”

“Of course.” Ceardach pulls the tray away. “Th’ pot’s under th’ bed.”

I hesitate, but my need is too great so I swallow my pride, thankful when he moves to stand in the doorway with his back to me.

“Ye need tae drink more.” Ceardach returns to my side when I am abed and pushes the pot under the bed after he examines the contents. “An’ ye best get over bein’ bashful right quick. Someone will use it against ye.” He drops the tray onto my lap, “Eat.” pulls his pipe and pouch and begins filling the bowl, watching as I take up my spoon. The food has most certainly been made under Alexandria’s watch. I can tell by the seasonings, and… I am nearing famished.

“Slow an’ steady. Let one bite settle afore th’ next.” Ceardach lights his pipe so quickly I see nothing but a flash. The outside din continually grows while I eat, but Ceardach pays it no heed. I hear hammers striking anvils, a proliferation of swearing, wood being split and stacked, the sounds of a wider community. The smells coming through the door would be enough to turn my stomach if I was not so hungry. Baking bread, multiple privies, wood, ash, dirt, burning wood, herbs, and… I smell iron and sulfur, but none of it quells my appetite to the point I cease eating.

“Am I in a town?” I shovel more into my mouth.

“Of sorts. Ye will grow accustomed tae it all.” Ceardach blows out a billow of white smoke that rings his head then drifts away. “Yer cough an’ congestion will fade in time.”

I nod and bite into my bread. My appetite must be part of my recovery, a drive for nourishment so I might heal quickly. There is another bed I have ignored until now, unmade, with blankets folded neatly at the foot. “Where am I?”

“In the kingdom.” He points to my water. “Drink.”

“But…”

“Drink first.”

I am obedient, but he tells me to empty the mug before he will speak further. “Good, now—” Ceardach raises his head. “Ah, here’s yer answer.”

I attempt to sort through all I see, but ‘tis difficult. Is this Master Gow or—

“Stop gawkin’. ‘Twill get you slapped ‘round here.”

“If not hit or cut,” adds Ceardach. “Sit, Dane. Ah will step out but stay close.”

“Aye, Ceardach, thank you.”

I see a woman’s face, a man’s work cap atop her head. “You’re still under my protection. That hasn’t changed, but the rest…” She wears trousers and a calf-length smith’s apron over a man’s red check work shirt with rolled sleeves. “You’re starin’ even longer than Conall did.” She pulls a tobacco twist from her apron pocket and bites off a piece. “Are you as tongue-tied too?”

“I…” This woman bears the same tattows as Master Gow. “No, sir, I mean, miss, I mean…”

“You’ll address me as King Dane ‘til I tell you elsewise.” My spit bucket slides across the floor to her feet. “How will you address me?”

“I…”

“Say it, Benjamin.” She spits into the bucket. “‘Tis important you know my station ‘round here.”

“Yes, King Dane.” But this is a woman. How does she warrant the title of king?

“And you never disobey your king, right, Benjamin?”

“Yes… King Dane?”

“Smart man. ‘Tis why I chose you, but I made Conall in the process, an excellent deal I am pleased we could accommodate.” King Dane seems amused by my gaping mouth. “Calm yourself. I hear your heart poundin’ from here.”

About The Author

AUTHOR PIC - Striking Balance - Jeanne GFellers

Born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Science Fiction and Fantasy author Jeanne G’Fellers’ early memories include watching the original Star Trek series with their father and reading the books their librarian mother brought home. Jeanne’s writing influences include Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, Isaac Asimov, and Frank Herbert.

Jeanne lives in Northeast Tennessee with their spouse and five crazy felines. Their home is tucked against a small woodland where they regularly see deer, turkeys, raccoons, and experience the magic of the natural world.

Author Website: https://jeannegfellersauthor.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Jeannegfellersauthor

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Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjeannegfellers/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B01N0YWCT7?

Giveaway

Jeanne is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter:

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Blog Tour: Breaking News by Ella Frank

Breaking News | Ella Frank

Prime Time #2

Breaking News - RB banner

Release Date: July 27th, 2020

Universal Link: http://mybook.to/breakingnewsef

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2OQ8YzI

breaking news cover

Blurb

XANDER

Sean Bailey, the older brother of my lifelong best friend, has always been a surly, temperamental pain in my ass. But sometime during the last few weeks, I’ve gone and fallen head over heels for him.

Gruff and charming, charismatic in his own way, I’ve found myself looking past my preconceptions and discovered a whole new side to Detective Dick—a side I could fall in love with.

But life isn’t always easy—it can change course in the blink of an eye. Sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. I know this because last night I experienced both sides.

I went to Sean for help in guarding my body; what I didn’t expect was for him to steal my heart.

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Start the Prime Time Series, today

Inside Affair

Prime1 AMAZON

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link: http://mybook.to/primetime1

About The Author

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Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite erotic serial, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction.

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.

Social Media

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Website: https://www.ellafrank.com

Breaking News - AN

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