Tag Archives: historical fantasy

Blog Tour: She’s The One Who Can’t Keep Quiet by S. R. Cronin

She’s The One Who Can’t Keep Quiet | S. R. Cronin

The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters #5

BANNER2 - She's the One Who Can't Keep Quiet

Publisher: Cinnabar Press

Cover Artist: DDD (Deranged Doctor Design)

Word Count: 70,000

Release Date: January 14th, 2022

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Smashwords

COVER - She's the One Who Can't Keep Quiet

Blurb

Do you know what your problem is?

Celestine, the fifth of seven sisters, is tired of hearing about hers. Father thinks she’s frivolous because she likes pretty clothes and caters to the crowds in the taverns who adore her music. Mother thinks that because she’s the most social daughter in the family, she can’t keep quiet about anything.

They’re both wrong. Celestine has hidden a secret for most of her life.

As the family beauty and a talented musician with a lyrical voice, she is Mother’s best hope for a son-in-law prince. When a liaison with a prince never happens, everyone assumes Celestine is too picky. But even in somewhat tolerant Ilari, a daughter hates to disappoint her family. How can she tell them she’s in love with a princess instead?

Lucky for Celestine, all six sisters have become obsessed with an invading army headed to their realm. Celestine would rather ignore the threat, and enjoy the freedom their lack of attention gives her. But, her voice can unlock a power that may help save Ilari. And the woman she loves wants to fight these invaders. And her family, for all their talents, seems clueless about how to motivate the masses.

Celestine knows she can inspire the citizens of Ilari to do what needs to be done. Is it time to put her inhibitions aside and use her voice to save those she cares about?

Warnings: There is lightly handled consensual sex between two women (no details) and some violence in the final battle scene (nothing graphic). no other triggers.

About the Series

Can seven women stop the most powerful army the world has seen?

It’s the 1200’s in Ilari, a small mythical realm somewhere between Europe and Asia. Peace and prosperity have reigned for generations. That doesn’t mean every citizen is happy, however.

In the outer nichna of Vinx lives the seven troublesome daughters of an intellectual farmer and his ambitious wife. Ilari has no idea how lucky it is to have this family of misfits, for the Mongols are making their way further westward every winter and this prosperous realm is a tiny plum ripe for picking. Desperate, the seven sisters will devise a way to save their realm. Can their preposterous ideas possibly work?

The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters consists of seven short companion novels. Each tells the personal story and perspective of one of seven radically different sisters in the 1200s as they prepare for an invasion of their realm. While these historical fantasy/alternate history books can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, together they tell the full story of how Ilari survived.

Which sister do you think saved the realm? That will depend on whose story you are reading.

How did they manage it? Each sister offers surprise information on why this didn’t go the way anyone planned.

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Excerpt

I knew music went down better when the audience was on your side. If they didn’t start that way, a good singer had to get them there.

“Hey!” I yelled after a few numbers. The last one had a been a popular jig, yet hardly a finger or toe had tapped while we performed. Most unusual.

“I’ve never seen soldiers so quiet. Did you all party so much last night that you’re still worn out?”

I got a few laughs, but not as many as I expected.

“Come on. Somebody tell us poor troubadours what’s going on. Is one of your commanding officers coming in to check on you?” I looked to my left, then to my right, then gave the crowd an exaggerated look of alarm. “Is he here now?”

Even fewer laughs. Maybe I’d lost my touch.

One young man spoke up. “You seem like a nice lady, so I’ll tell you. Stop trying to cheer us. We got horrible news today and nothing’s going to make us feel better.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Did someone tell you we’d run out of ale in our realm? No more until Kolada?”

I got more chuckles this time.

“No, Miss. The commander of the Mozdols told us that our lands are in the path of a huge marauding horde of thieves. They’ve been burning and pillaging their way towards us for years and now travelers say we ought to expect them this year or next. We’re to begin training tomorrow for this onslaught.”

For several heartbeats, I stood speechless. I’d never done that on a stage before. But how does one respond to such news? I thought it couldn’t be so dire or so certain. Yet, I sensed arguing with the soldier would hardly win over my audience. What would?

“Then, sir, you should know that the musicians of the realm are at your service.”

I stood tall, as if I were a soldier myself, awaiting a command. This earned me a few derisive laughs.

“No offense meant, but musicians can’t do much in a war.”

“What? Of course we can.” I knew where I was going now. “We can inspire you as you assemble to fight.” I began to tap a slow beat against my leg with my hand. Zamarran figured it out. He added his own strong drumbeat and then I thanked the Goddess I hadn’t misjudged Mirva. Her flute began to sound out a war march to match and I added my voice, choosing random phrases about honor and patriotism and weaving in bits of melodies from well-known songs about the beauty of Ilari. It was a mess, but it conveyed the general idea.

“And as you fight, if some do fall, as some may, we will be there to mourn with you,” I said as the other two moved into the saddest of melodies. I knew enough to only do this for a few breaths. No soldier wanted to dwell on the need for funeral music.

“And, when you’re victorious, and you will be victorious, we’ll be there with you, with a rousing song to celebrate your bravery and our freedom.” At that all three of us found an appropriate joyful noise to make and the room broke into applause. We bowed, we collected some tips, and we got ourselves the Heli off the stage and out of there before anyone had time to think too much about my logic.

As we walked back to campus, Zamarran looked at me in wonder.

That was one of the best varmin improvisations I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some good ones.”

I shrugged. I’d been doing this sort of thing since I was in basic school. Not with soldiers, of course, but with classmates, teachers, and the parents of my friends, who’d all found themselves standing up and applauding for me and one of my causes over the years.

Zamarran stopped walking and he looked directly at me. Hard.

“This isn’t easy for me to say, but it’s better said now. This will be your trio, not ours.”

“No, we both agreed ….”

“It doesn’t matter what we agreed. You’ve become our voice, and the whole realm will consider it yours no matter what we decide.” He smiled. “I might as well learn to live with it.”

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About the Author

AUTHOR PIC - She's the One Who Can't Keep Quiet - S. R.__ Cronin

Sherrie Cronin writes stories about people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had. She’s made a lot of stops along the way to telling these tells — living in seven cities, visiting forty-six countries, and working as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. She’s lost too many beloved cats to mention, but has acquired a husband and three children who are all doing fine, despite how odd she is.

Today she lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina where she writes, answers a hot-line, and occasionally checks her phone for a message from Captain Picard. She still hopes to get the chance to pursue her remaining dream in life and become Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise.

Social Media

Book Series Blog: https://troublesome7sisters.xyz/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/46Ascending

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cinnabar01

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.r.cronin/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5805814.Sherrie_Cronin

Liminal Fiction: https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/s-r-cronin/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sherrie-Cronin/e/B007FRMO9Q

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Giveaway

S. R. is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card and a gift copy of book one in the series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog tour: Chaos In Milan by Edale Lane

Chaos In Milan | Edale Lane

Night Flyer #3

BANNER1 - Chaos in Milan

Release Date: December 22nd, 2020

Length: 83,986

Cover Artist: Enggar Adirasa

Buy Links: 

Amazon eBook | Amazon Paperback

COVER Chaos in Milan

Blurb

When chaos strikes at the heart of Milan, it is up to Florentina’s alter-ego the Night Flyer to stop it. As Florentina and Madelena’s love deepens, so does the well of danger surrounding them.

The race is on to discover the mysterious Shadow Guild and uncover who is behind the deadly rampage, but Florentina’s mission is threatened by a gang of assassins. Can the Night Flyer prevail, or will Maddie’s love be ripped from her arms?

Chaos in Milan is the third book in Edale Lane’s Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy.

MEME1 - Chaos in Milan

Excerpt

Madelena found herself winded by the time they departed an old dirt road to traipse through knee high grass to the dilapidated wood-plank structure with an obvious hole in its roof. She was indeed thankful for the sensible shoes. Once inside, she set down the bag containing their lunch and wineskins, and settled herself onto a wooden barrel to catch her breath. The scent of rotting hay permeated the space which offered an abundance of natural light through the open double doors, cracks between siding planks, and the gap overhead. Cobwebs draped the corners, and dry balls of petrified horse manure littered the earthen floor.

Her initial excitement was rekindled as she beheld Fiore change into the black silk tunic and tight leather trousers that never failed to kindle her passion. She brimmed with anticipation while Florentina laced the soft-soled footwear over the bottoms of her leggings. With no need of a mask and cowl, Maddie enjoyed a full view of her face and long brunette braid.

Eyes glowing, Maddie purred, “Seeing you in that attire takes my breath away and inspires me to… well,” she added blushing. “I promised to let you work.”

Florentina flashed her a grin. “Happy to please you, my dear.” Then she proceeded to race toward a reinforced portion of the rear wall and up it, running one, two, three vertical steps up the planks followed by a backflip, landing on her feet in the powdery dust. Maddie’s eyes flew wide as she had not imagined such a feat was even possible.

She witnessed Fiore scale ropes up the sides of walls, swing from one to another, hang upside-down with her ankle wrapped in a cord, and run, hop, leap, and climb over every inch of her lair. Observing the tall, lean frame of her children’s tutor pass from one athletic exploit to the next with the dexterity and strength of an Olympian set her heart racing with desire, but also terrified her. Maddie knew that she would do these same exercises at great heights and risk to her person. A fall here may hurt a little, but a fall from a three-story building… don’t think about it!

After a bit, a sweaty Florentina, breathing heavy from her exertion, walked over for a sip to drink. “Mi Tesoro!” Maddie exclaimed. “I knew you could do things, but you are truly magnificent. How did you ever-”

“Practice,” Fiore answered as she wiped her face with a cloth. “Much practice and determination.”

Next, Florentina withdrew her multi-fire crossbow from her shoulder bag. “You invented that,” Maddie said as a half statement, half question.

Fiore nodded. “It was Master Leonardo’s idea, in a way,” she replied with a shrug. Florentina then fired off eight shots in rapid succession at eight separate targets situated around the barn. Some were painted circles, others sets of clothing stuffed with straw, and a few burlap sacks filled with sand that hung from cords. Fiore retrieved her bolts and reloaded the weapon.

“You hit every one!” Maddie gushed in amazement.

“Yes, but I’ve practiced with these marks for months,” the skilled vigilante replied as though unimpressed with herself. “Moving targets or hitting them while I’m running is more difficult.” Florentina pushed the burlap sacks so that they each started to sway in different directions and at varying speeds, then raced across the barn, pivoted, and began to fire. She first shot at the moving targets, then fired at the dummies as she ran traversed the dirt floor. “See,” she said, motioning as she skidded to a halt in front of Madelena. “I hit that one in the knee—I was aiming for its shoulder. And that bag?” she motioned. “I was supposed to strike the green circle, not just anywhere on it.”

“But still,” Maddie replied in amazement. “You hit every target, even if not in the spot you intended. That is quite astonishing.”

Florentina smiled, bent down, and placed her lips to Maddie’s. “Grazie,” she said. “Now, I want to show you something new,” she announced, a twinkle in her bright, tawny eyes. Madelena stood and followed Fiore over to where she had set her bag; the barrel was getting uncomfortable, anyway.

Fiore withdrew a polished wooden case, set it on a rickety work table, one of the few excuses for furniture in the barn, and opened it with care. “I found these when I went into the Oriental shop to acquire more opium.”

Maddie frowned. “I didn’t know you use that drug.”

“Oh, I don’t,” Fiore assured her. “Only for medicinal purposes and to subdue city watchmen without causing them any actual harm.”

“I’ve been in that shop,” Madelena commented. “They have some unusual merchandise and a few very popular items. I purchased one of those painted silk fans that are in fashion.”

Florentina nodded. “They have nice things.” Then, from the plush black velvet interior of the box, she retrieved a silver five-pointed star about three inches long. The edges appeared sharp and Fiore held it judiciously in her gloved hand.

“What is it?” Maddie asked.

“The shop owner didn’t know,” Florentina answered with a sly grin. “But I had read about these in an obscure book on Oriental weapons. It’s a Chinese throwing star. There are five in the set.”

“A throwing star,” Maddie echoed as she moved in for a closer look.

“The Spaniard threw a knife at me in the Pantheon,” Fiore recalled. “Throwing-knives are deadlier, can do more damage than these, but it is a skill that is difficult to master. With the star, I have five small blades rather than one longer one with which to hit my target. They are good to distract or throw a foe off balance. Strikes to the eye or weapon hand are debilitating and may take an enemy out of the fight. Because the tines are short and cannot penetrate deep into flesh, only a strike to the big artery in the neck or severing the windpipe in the throat can kill. I think these will prove quite useful, but I’ve only been practicing with them for a few weeks.”

With admiration and anticipation oozing through her voice, Maddie sang, “Show me.”

Florentina removed all five stars from the box and positioned herself in the middle of the barn. “Stand behind me,” she instructed as she lifted one from her left hand. “I’ve had no teacher to instruct me, so I had to guess as to how to throw them. I have developed three techniques, hoping to perfect at least one.”

Maddie withdrew, studying her partner’s every move. Florentina gripped the object horizontally in a curled hand with her thumb on top and her forefinger beneath it. Rotating her upper body from the waist, she drew her right arm back then spun, releasing the small weapon with the motion a child may use to toss a pie pan. The star whirled through the air at an astonishing speed until it lodged into the shoulder of one of the dummies. Florentina frowned. “A nuisance hit.”

“But you hit it!” Madelena exclaimed. Florentina continued to practice the move, thrusting at different targets and from varying angles, collecting the projectiles once all five had been expended.

“Semi-successful,” Fiore admitted. “Another way I have tried is a basic overhand throw.” She demonstrated by taking a star in her right hand, holding it vertically, and throwing it as one might a ball, rock, or piece of fruit. Her first attempt landed low on the target, so she adjusted the second by releasing it sooner, gaining better results. After dozens of pitches, Fiore returned to Maddie’s side. “The third method I’ve been trying is trickier, but has far greater potential. I’ll be at this a while if you want to curl up and take a nap.”

“What? And miss witnessing an act no Milanese woman has ever seen?” Maddie exclaimed. “But if you will point them in that direction,” she indicated, “I’ll sit back down over here for a while.” On impulse, she leaned in and kissed Fiore’s lips before retreating to her stool.

She has so much focus and intensity, Maddie contemplated. She is like a force of nature.

MEME2 - Chaos in Milan

About The Author

AUTHOR PIC - Chaos in Milan - Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award-winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Tribute in Blood, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press.

Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States.

A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

Social Media

Author Website: https://pastandprologuepress.lpages.co/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/melodie.romeo/

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

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdaleLane

Author Instagram: http://instagram.com/melodieromeo

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15264354.Edale_Lane?from_search=true&from_srp=true

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/?s=Edale+lane&search_type=authors

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/?s=Edale+lane&search_type=authors

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07GRFPDRZ

Giveaway

Edale is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour

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New Release Blitz: Valhalla by L.A. Ashton

Valhalla | L.A. Ashton

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 31, 2018

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 17,900

Genre: Valkyrie, WW II, Norse Mythology, gay, historical fantasy

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

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Synopsis

Sakuma has served as a Valkyrie for centuries, smoothly escorting thousands of souls to the grand halls of Valhalla. While the world tears itself apart during WWII, he is summoned to retrieve the soul of a fallen Japanese soldier, Ishii Hiroshi. To Sakuma’s surprise, Ishii refuses his invitation to eternity.

The two meet again and again as the war repeatedly sends Ishii to death’s door, and what should have been a fleeting encounter becomes something much greater for the both of them.

Sakuma is determined to give Ishii the reward he so deserves, but Ishii’s stubbornness may condemn him to an eternity outside Valhalla.

Excerpt

Sakuma stared down through the floor, past his feet, through the crack in his dimension. Beyond the collisions and splits of galaxies, Earth’s thrumming pulse called to him. There lay his charges—the human souls he would collect so they might rest easy in Valhalla.

He felt the tug in his chest, the pull of someone destined for his collection, and spread his wings wide before plunging through the rift that linked their worlds. With wings tucked at his sides, stars became burning streaks of light. The universe blurred and twisted, an orb of hazy blue its only clear constant.

Earth had erupted into a time of war, and Sakuma and his fellow Valkyrie labored for the sake of human souls. They saw the hidden crevices and shadows of war no one wanted to see. The world wilted before their eyes, and the bloodstained present turned the future bleak, and dark. But they also saw triumph, and sunrise after sunrise starting the day anew. They saw the look on every soldier’s face as they realized death wasn’t the end.

It was worth it.

Sakuma punctured Earth’s atmosphere, and the smells of the lands and seas gusted against his face. His eyes softened at the reflective sparkle of the ocean; it was a beautiful sight, an unchanging thing that rose and fell under the press of the moon rather than the press of humanity.

The ground approached fast. Sakuma felt the tremble of the soul before his eyes could discern who it belonged to, but then—yes. Sakuma’s wings flared outward, body halting so immediately it dissolved the idea of impossibility.

Tanks, empty bullet shells, and discarded guns were strewn across the ground. Machines and bodies littered the battlefield as if they carried the same value. The acrid stench of gunpowder resisted the wind and hung in the air, a trail left in the wake of Axis and Allies. Sakuma looked down at his charge. The man stared up at him, eyes wide and unblinking. He was bleeding, his uniform more crimson than not, and he shook with such ferocity that Sakuma could hear it in his breaths.

Sakuma knelt down and offered his hand. The man blinked, his lashes coercing loose the tears still clinging to his eyes.

“You’ve done well,” Sakuma told him. He held his outstretched hand steady as his wings flapped at his back. “Let’s take you away from this.”

The soldier gawked at Sakuma’s wings before bringing his eyes down to the offered palm. He immediately grabbed hold, the sensation firm and warm against Sakuma’s skin. Good. He’s ready.

Sakuma curled his fingers around the man’s hand and lifted. As the soldier rose, the flesh of his hand fell away and lowered to the ground. What was left gripping Sakuma’s hand were tendrils of light in the purest, lightest blue.

Strings of energy knit together to form fingers, and arms and shoulders wound away from the confines of a body to become iridescent limbs. Sparkling light ghosted from the soldier, lifting past his body as his human form sighed its last breath. The human didn’t notice the transition. He only smiled, and that smile was lit with the radiant energy of life. Sakuma grabbed his other hand to steady him, and there was a discernible purr of peace.

Sakuma spread his wings, took a breath, and shot them into the air.

He kept his eyes up as they sailed through the Earth’s sky and broke through the seal of the atmosphere. But once they were careening through space, breaking apart time and dimensions, he liked to watch their faces.

Every man thought he knew true beauty. And then every man saw the infinite expanse of space, and they realized they’d been wrong.

Gas, dust, and rock were turned perfect and ethereal in the silence of space, backlit by millions of stars. Galaxies wound into spirals, blues warmed into reds around a sun, purple and green congealed in overheated leftovers of a supernova.

Sakuma watched the faces of the humans he brought, their newly transcendent form experiencing their first taste of eternity.

Eventually, he left them at the gates of Valhalla. There they could take the seat reserved for them—a place promised to true warriors for the rest of time.

Hands now freed, Sakuma turned to gaze into the black. Somewhere beyond that void, there was a pulse. Another life had found a heroic end. Sakuma smiled, spread his wings, and plunged back toward Earth.

Meet the Author

L.A. Ashton is an LGBT+ author writing LGBT+ fiction. They enjoy rock music, traveling, and anything else that adds color to their daydreams.

They believe in the healing properties of art and of having a cat firmly stationed on one’s lap.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr


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