Tag Archives: pirates

Blog Tour: Windfall by Shawna Barnett

Shawna Barnett | Windfall

Legends of Vioria #1

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Release Date: August 12th, 2021

Publisher: Hansen House

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Blurb

Captain Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fights. She fights the King’s Navy. She fights to balance power in oppressive Vioria. She fights for respect as a female, bisexual, pirate captain. But she’s losing her biggest fight: to escape her secret past as a lost Princess.

With a mysterious letter and a stranger threatening to expose her, Liana is blackmailed into attending a royal ball and protecting her counterpart, sheltered Princess Rhian. The pretenses are suspicious enough, but Liana takes the risk in hopes to finally unveil the magic plot that killed her parents and forced her into hiding.

When Liana encounters Rhian’s own lightning-wielding powers, the ball erupts in violence. The sheltered princess falls into the care of Liana—and her band of pirates. On the run, the only safe haven for the Windfall crew to hide is the most-dangerous place of all: under the thumb of Liana’s narcissistic, abusive brother-in-law.

In order to protect her crew, her family, and naïve Rhian, Liana must demand sacrifices from herself and the people she loves. Her choices will make powerful enemies; good thing Liana Foley knows a thing or two about fighting those.

Warnings: Violence, attempted rape, domestic violence, torture, murder.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

To Go on the Account

6th of Lengnath, 1715

The Capital of Caerwyn

A shadow crept around a stone archway, unseen by a passing pair of guards on patrol. The woman who cast it pulled down her hood and peered about. Her thick, unkempt black hair fell over her shoulders. A long cloak covered her curves, but she had flung it back to rest a hand on her hip, revealing a sword in its sheath. Her fingers, ruddy and coarse with use, pinched her bottom lip. She strained her ears to hear over the soft slaps of water in the harbor, the creaking of the ships’ hulls as they swayed, and the occasional caw of laughter from the nearby row of pubs.

Just as she began to wring her hands under the cloak, another duo approached. They weren’t dressed in soldiers’ uniforms, but sailors’ garb. She took a step forward and allowed her silhouette to be revealed. “There you are. What took you so long?”

“I’m sorry, Captain,” her quartermaster, Ameen Almasi, said, stopping at her side and turning on his heel to face his companion. “Our young friend was… distracted.”

The youth in question tucked his chin and smiled guiltily at his captain.

“Damn it, Squiddy,” she scolded. “Learn to keep up.”

Her expression softened to amusement as he scowled. His real name was Sava, but she’d settled on calling him “Squiddy.” Not much would be able to change her mind.

Ameen chuckled, deep and quiet. Sava looked much like a young Ameen—slight, lanky, and youthfully energetic. Ameen towered over him. He held his posture, straight and sure, lean with muscle gained by nautical labor. The boy still had some way to go before he would be able to carry himself so confidently. Tonight, he would have a chance to prove himself. She beckoned them to follow her.

The Capital of Caerwyn rose before them in layers, on a crest overlooking the sea. The docks formed its base, spanning out south, east, and west like the fingers of an outstretched hand. The rest of the city stacked upon the palm; rows upon rows of buildings, each one smaller than the width of the one below it. The Royal Palace stood at the zenith of this view, like a crooked mountain range, sporting banners of blue and silver. The ocean-side of the palace stretched out like the hand’s thumb, wide and thick.

“Liana,” Ameen breathed her name rather than her title. His voice plucked her from the high towers of the palace and steadily anchored her back to the alley behind the harbormaster’s office.

She looked about the alley to make sure they hadn’t been noticed creeping about. “This is it?” Sava’s voice cracked.

“Yes. Do you remember what you have to do?”

He nodded. Even in the dark, she could see him shake. Placing a firm hold on his arm, she looked into his face. His eyebrow twitched.

Liana breathed in deeply, nodding to invite him to mimic her. “You can do this.”

“I’m ready,” he said as he twisted a lockpick between his fingers.

The building had suffered some damage since the last storm season and was under renovation, therefore it had an outer shell of scaffolding that looked sturdy enough to climb. Ameen knelt to give Sava a lift, and he was off, scaling the walls as easily as strolling the streets. They watched as he reached the third story, settled himself on a beam, and picked open the window. He scrambled through it and disappeared.

Liana saw Ameen lift his hand to his chest, where a Circle of the Divine hung on a chain under his linen shirt.

“He’ll be alright,” she assured him.

His eyes grazed over her face, then downward. “You weren’t supposed to bring that.”

She followed his line of sight to the cutlass at her side. “It’s for protection, if we’re caught.”

“If we are caught, we agreed you would distract them while Sava and I get away. Soldiers won’t harm an unarmed Caerwyn woman.” He looked straight back at her expectantly with an extended hand, wagging his fingers. After a meaningful silence, she begrudgingly loosened her belt. He was right, after all. It was the reason she was wearing her Mass dress.

“Insubordination is what I call that, Almasi,” she spat. Her tone could cut as deeply as the blade she handed over. But Ameen knew her well enough not to be offended. He grinned, obviously pleased with himself. His amber eyes lit up as he caught her looking for a moment too long. Liana began to pace, her shoulder purposefully knocking against his side as a final jab. She didn’t need to look back to know he was still smiling.

The lighthearted energy between them evaporated as they heard a whistling call in the distance—a warning. Sava’s head emerged from the window. Liana waved for him to come down. In return, he made an exaggerated shrugging gesture and went back in.

“That stupid little—” She rushed to the base of the scaffold and gathered her skirts. “Lift me up, I’m going to get him.”

“You’re in a dress.”

“And whose brilliant idea was that?!”

Deep voices and the light of a lantern cut through the darkness. Despite the cool breeze, she began to sweat. She could hear the patrolmen at the front of the building now. They must have taken a shorter route than usual.

An object landed at Liana’s feet with a flutter and thud. She snatched up the book and flipped it open. The ledger was unreadable in the pale moonlight, but she knew it was exactly what they had come for. “Blimey, Squiddy! You’ve done it.”

“Who’s back there?” came a gruff voice from the front, cutting their victory short. The sound of the ledger’s landing had alerted the patrol.

Liana whirled around and shoved the ledger into Ameen’s hands. She unfastened her cloak and threw that at him as well. “Wait for him but go as quickly as you can.”

He tucked it under his arm with her sword. “Be careful, Captain.”

As she lifted her skirts and sprinted off, Sava was already halfway to the ground.

But, by the Divine, this dress!

She hadn’t gone to Mass in years and had outgrown the gown. Ameen had insisted on this particular one—the rest she owned were plain, albeit comfortable. She’d been a fool to think she could have climbed after Sava. Between the binding bodice around her torso and carrying the weight of the layers of the skirt, she was out of breath within seconds. Still, it made her distress all the more convincing as she collided into the chest of the soldier before her.

The man grunted in surprise and took a step back to steady himself. She clung to his dark blue long-skirted coat. His jaw unhinged.

“It’s a woman!” his friend declared.

“Thank the Divine you’re here!” she gasped out. “Th-these men had me cornered and robbed me!”

She gave a doe-eyed shrug, feigning helplessness. The soldier settled his hands on her shoulders. It made her feel uncomfortably small. The other one, a fair young man, threw himself in the direction she had come.

“It’s alright, ye’re safe now,” the soldier who stayed with her said, beginning to stroke her upper back. He had a slight Northern accent, and his features were darker than the other soldier. She arched away.

The fair soldier returned at a slower pace this time. “Whoever attacked you, miss, they’ve gone now. Likely pirates who’ve come to port for the season.”

“Thank you.” She spoke as demurely as her pride would allow. “I’ll be on my way, now.”

“Shall we escort you home—?”

“No!” She realized too late she had interrupted him. “No… Thank you.”

About The Author

Shawna Barnett is a mother, life-long advocate and author of swashbuckling tales. After receiving a BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz, Shawna worked in victim advocacy and behavioral health. Born in San Diego, California, her experiences have taken her all over the United States.

After settling in Tennessee with her daughter, Shawna seeks to speak out through writing and contribute to a world where everyone is safe and respectfully represented.

Social Media

Website: https://www.shawnabarnett.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SBarnettAuthor

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20653893.Shawna_Barnett

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shawna-Barnett/e/B09235XR1H

Giveaway

Shawna is giving away a $20 Barnes & Noble gift card with this tour:

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Blog Tour: Ablaze by Elvira Bell

Ablaze | Elvira Bell

Wavesongs #3

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Release Date: December 8, 2019

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: approx. 94K words

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

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Blurb

Nick Andrews has returned to the Caribbean—but the world he remembers has changed for the worse. Despite the dangers, he needs to find a way to get to Corona. All he can think of is to reunite there with the love of his life.

Meanwhile, Tom is watching his every move. Tom, who has turned cold and demanding, and is desperate for Nick to love him.

One night things get out of hand, and something happens between them. Something unforgivable.

Content note: This book contains non-gratuitous depictions of torture, slavery, and sexual abuse.

Please note that the books in the Wavesongs series should be read in chronological order!

Excerpt

Tom is sullen and quiet as he gets ready for bed. His chamber is at the corner of the house, three times as spacious as Nick’s room next door, and far away from O’Connell, whose quarters are next to the kitchen and dining hall. There’s fresh water by the washstand, clean bed linens, and a mirror on the wall—but Tom complains about the mosquitoes, the humidity, and the house’s size.

“Just one floor, like a house for poor people… and nothing is beautiful here, nothing! How am I supposed to live like this?” He lies down in bed, curling up before giving Nick a hard look. “But you think it’s all fine, don’t you?”

“No.” From what he’s seen so far, Harrow Hall is not a good place. That whip in Buckley’s hand… “Why would I think that?”

Tom turns over. “Oh, I don’t know. I’m tired. Please, leave me alone now.”

Nick goes into his own chamber. His body is sore, exhausted, but once he’s in bed he finds it hard to sleep. From the other part of the house comes the sound of voices, laughter. O’Connell and his men sampling their own rum, probably.

There is nothing to like about this place, but Nick won’t stay long. He’ll take the first opportunity to leave.

An Interview With Elvira Bell

When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?
The first story I wrote that was more than a few pages long was about a farmer’s wife in the middle of the 19th century. I was always a history nerd and had a lot of inspiration for my earliest stories from books about the immigration from Sweden to the United States.

Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?
I try to write every day, but it depends on what I’m working on and what is going on in my life otherwise. When I write the first draft of a novel, I tend to work very hard and finish in a short amount of time, rather than write some words here and there.

Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?
I tend to do a pretty extensive outline, unless I’m working on a short story or something that doesn’t have a very complicated plot. I often have to do several outlines, each one more detailed than the last, until I’m at a point where I feel ready to start writing. If I’m working on a novel, I also fill in character sheets for all the characters before I get to writing.

Where did the desire to write LGBT romance come from?
I discovered LGBT romance mainly through the British show Queer as Folk, which I started watching when I was 13. My writing was affected gradually—I hinted at minor characters being bisexual or gay in my otherwise straight romantic stories, and then when I was 14-15 I found fan fiction and started writing male/male romance.

How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
It depends a lot on the story, but I usually do a lot of research since I mainly write historical novels. It’s not my favorite part of writing, since I’m always eager to get on with the story, but it’s fun and always makes me learn a lot.

What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?
I think creating book titles is certainly the most difficult part. I love naming characters, and I can take forever to come up with the perfect name, and the cover design process hasn’t been very hard at all for me since I’ve worked with such skilled and professional people. But book titles… It really isn’t easy.

“How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?”
That really depends on who’s asking! I don’t like to talk a lot about my writing with co-workers, for example, but it’s different when it’s someone who’s familiar with the genre or who’s into nerdy things in general. I can be more honest then.

What does your family think of your writing?
They are proud and supportive.

Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.
My current WIP is a fantasy story. In the future, I’d love to write about Vikings!

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
All writers give the same advice, don’t they, but that’s because it’s true—READ. Read a lot, write a lot. Find out who your favorite authors are, and why, and what you can learn from them. Find your own style.

If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?
I’d go back in time and see the seven wonders of the Ancient World. ❤

We’ve all got a little voyeurism in us right? If you could be a fly on the wall during an intimate encounter between two characters, not your own, who would they be?
Aragorn and Legolas? Because some pairings are too good to ever get old (and not only because one of them is an elf).

If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?
Olives, pickles, peanut butter… anything in a jar, really.

If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Since I’m the kind of person who can’t stand traveling (and isn’t fond of tropical heat or insects), I guess I’d just trade with one of the villagers Nick left behind when he went to sea. A calm and simple life!

If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?
Well, since I don’t enjoy traveling I wouldn’t go far—only to some quiet little cottage in the countryside, with the woods nearby.

What’s the one thing, you can’t live without?
Loved ones aside, I really couldn’t live without books.

What internet site do you surf to the most?
Tumblr or various news sites.

When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?
I was very shocked, very excited, and rushed through the apartment at once to tell my boyfriend.

About the Author

Elvira Bell lives in Sweden and spends most of her time writing, reading or watching movies.

Her weaknesses include, but are not limited to: vintage jazz, musicals, kittens, oversized tea cups, men in suits, the 18th century, and anything sparkly.

Elvira writes MM fiction with a touch of romance and has a penchant for historical settings. She adores all things gothic and will put her characters through hell from time to time because she just loves watching them suffer.

It makes the happy endings so much sweeter, after all.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Schedule

12/11 Love Bytes

12/12 Mirrigold Mutterings and Musings

12/13 MM Good Book Reviews

12/14 I Love Books and Stuff Blog

12/15 Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

Giveaway

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New Release Blitz: Ablaze by Elvira Bell

Ablaze | Elvira Bell

Wavesongs #3

Release Date: December 8, 2019

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: approx. 94K words

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

Add to Goodreads

Blurb

The final book in the Wavesongs series!

Nick Andrews has returned to the Caribbean—but the world he remembers has changed for the worse. Despite the dangers, he needs to find a way to get to Corona. All he can think of is to reunite there with the love of his life.

Meanwhile, Tom is watching his every move. Tom, who has turned cold and demanding, and is desperate for Nick to love him.

One night things get out of hand, and something happens between them. Something unforgivable.

Content note: This book contains non-gratuitous depictions of torture, slavery, and sexual abuse.

Please note that the books in the Wavesongs series should be read in chronological order!

Excerpt

Tom is sullen and quiet as he gets ready for bed. His chamber is at the corner of the house, three times as spacious as Nick’s room next door, and far away from O’Connell, whose quarters are next to the kitchen and dining hall. There’s fresh water by the washstand, clean bed linens, and a mirror on the wall—but Tom complains about the mosquitoes, the humidity, and the house’s size.

“Just one floor, like a house for poor people… and nothing is beautiful here, nothing! How am I supposed to live like this?” He lies down in bed, curling up before giving Nick a hard look. “But you think it’s all fine, don’t you?”

“No.” From what he’s seen so far, Harrow Hall is not a good place. That whip in Buckley’s hand… “Why would I think that?”

Tom turns over. “Oh, I don’t know. I’m tired. Please, leave me alone now.”

Nick goes into his own chamber. His body is sore, exhausted, but once he’s in bed he finds it hard to sleep. From the other part of the house comes the sound of voices, laughter. O’Connell and his men sampling their own rum, probably.

There is nothing to like about this place, but Nick won’t stay long. He’ll take the first opportunity to leave.

About The Author

Elvira Bell lives in Sweden and spends most of her time writing, reading or watching movies. Her weaknesses include, but are not limited to: vintage jazz, musicals, kittens, oversized tea cups, men in suits, the 18th century, and anything sparkly.

Elvira writes MM fiction with a touch of romance and has a penchant for historical settings.

She adores all things gothic and will put her characters through hell from time to time because she just loves watching them suffer. It makes the happy endings so much sweeter, after all.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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