The Bitter Trade by Piers Alexander & Giveaway (International)

October 16th, 2014

Please join Piers Alexander as he tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Bitter Trade, from October 13 – November 14.



Publication Date: April 7, 2014
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 448p

Genre: Historical Adventure/Thriller

In 1688, torn by rebellions, England lives under the threat of a Dutch invasion. Redheaded Calumny Spinks is the lowliest man in an Essex backwater: half-French and still unapprenticed at seventeen, yet he dreams of wealth and title.

When his father’s violent past resurfaces, Calumny’s desperation leads him to flee to London and become a coffee racketeer. He has just three months to pay off a blackmailer and save his father’s life – but his ambition and talent for mimicry pull him into a conspiracy against the King himself. Cal’s journey takes him from the tough life of Huguenot silk weavers to the vicious intrigues at Court. As the illicit trader Benjamin de Corvis and his controlling daughter Emilia pull him into their plots, and his lover Violet Fintry is threatened by impending war, Cal is forced to choose between his conscience and his dream of becoming Mister Calumny Spinks.

The Bitter Trade won the PEN Factor at The Literary Consultancy’s Writing In A Digital Age Conference. Jury Chair Rebecca Swift (Author, Poetic Lives: Dickinson) said: “The Pen Factor jury selected The Bitter Trade based on the quality of writing, the engaging plot, and the rich and unusual historical context. Dazzling and playful!”


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Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N, iTunes


Praise for The Bitter Trade

“A fantastic debut novel” – Robert Elms, BBC Radio London

“The ambitious, cheeky Calumny Spinks is a great guide through the sensory overload of 17th century London, in an adventure that combines unexpected insights with just the right amount of rollicking ribaldry. I hope it’s the opener to a series.” – Christopher Fowler, author of the Bryant and May novels

“This debut novel is a gripping evocation of late seventeenth century London, rich in persuasive dialect and period detail and with a bold protagonist. An unusual thriller that just keeps you wanting to know more about the many facets of this story. You’ll never view your coffee in quite the same way again.” – Daniel Pembrey, bestselling author of The Candidate

“A very exciting and superbly researched novel” – Mel Ulm, The Reading Life


About the Author

piersPiers Alexander is an author and serial entrepreneur. After a successful career as CEO of media and events companies he became a Co-Founder and Chairman of three start-up businesses. In 2013 he was awarded the PEN Factor Prize for The Bitter Trade. He is currently working on the sequel, Scatterwood, set in Jamaica in 1692.

For more information visit Piers Alexander’s website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.



1 paperback copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date November 1/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)



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Source: Giveaway copy provided by the tour company.  No compensation was received.

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Floats the Dark Shadow by Yves Fey (Audiobook)

October 15th, 2014

darkshadowFloats the Dark Shadow by Yves Fey is set in Belle Epoque Paris in the 1890’s and the author vividly evokes all the sights and smells of this time in such a way that the reader feels they are walking the darkened streets themselves. This is a time filled with artists, poets, and writers and the author takes full advantage of this in the building of this story. Along with this is the seedier side of Paris full of dark magic and the occult and it is very, very dark and disturbing. Floats the Dark Shadow is a historical mystery that begs the reader to immerse themselves in its darkness, intrigue, and depravity.

Inspector Michel Devaux is investigating the disappearances of several children and this investigation is leading him deeper and deeper into the darker side of Paris. It also leads him to meeting Theo Faraday who is an American artist living in Paris. Their paths cross because of the missing children and Theo is just as determined to find out who is responsible as the Inspector is. Theo loves the city life and even more her cousin Averill who is a poet and introduces her to the wonderful side of Paris. As more children disappear – children that Theo knows – and the investigation deepens the fingers of accusation begin to point at Averill and Theo is devastated. Could it be that Averill is responsible for the horrific acts being carried out against children? Theo can’t accept that – she won’t. Despite being warned by Inspector Devaux to stay out of danger Theo instead throws herself headlong into the darkest of places. Will she survive? Or end up as a sacrifice to this killer who imagines himself a reincarnation of Gilles de Rais who was once in Joan of Arc’s army but later burned at the stake for his crimes against young children?

There is so much more to this novel than I’ve briefly touched on. This is one of those books that you want to take your time with.  I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of Paris and I’m a fan of the darker side of things being a horror fan. The author weaved fact with fiction so effortlessly that it’s hard to tell where the truth ends and the story takes over. This is definitely not a novel for the faint of heart though and there were a few parts that I found disturbing but nevertheless it is a beautifully written and well told story. I had some issues getting into it at first but as the story evolved I was sucked completely in and sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for what would happen next. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Hollie Jackson and I thought she did a fantastic job of bringing this story alive. I kept listening because I enjoyed her narration and I’m glad I did because ultimately I really enjoyed this novel.

Recommended for those who enjoy literary historical fiction and the mysterious darker side of Paris!



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Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N, Book Depository, IndieBound



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Source: Audiobook copy provided by the author for an honest review. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

The Secrets of Casanova by Greg Michaels – Spotlight & Giveaway (Int’l)

October 14th, 2014

Please join Greg Michaels as he tours with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Secrets of Casanova, from October 13-24.



Publication Date: October 21, 2013
Booktrope Editions
Formats: eBook Paperback; 334p

Genre: Historical Fiction


2014 Nancy Pearl Award Winner for Fiction

Loosely based on the life of Jacques Casanova, The Secrets of Casanova is a rich, lush novel of love, sex, family, ambition, intrigue, and adventure. Set in Paris of 1755, Casanova’s luck is fading and his past is shoving up against his present with potentially disastrous consequences. What price must he pay to uncover a treasure of inestimable value? What hearts must he break along the way? Casanova’s will and destiny collide again and again in this riveting historical fiction that brings to light a man of great passion and not a few secrets.


Other tour stops with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
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Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N, iTunes


Praise for The Secrets of Casanova

“A Shakespearean actor with a flair for the dramatic and a superb ear for dialogue, Michaels’s debut novel puts a brilliantly original spin on an historical figure whose very name is a cliché. This Casanova must wrestle not only with falling hopelessly and passionately in love, but embarking on a mysterious quest that is as much a spiritual awakening as a swashbuckling adventure. The Secrets of Casanova is so erotic and so sensitively written, I found it difficult to believe its author was a man.” -Robin Maxwell, national best-selling author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn


About the Author

gregAfter receiving his B.A. in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, a chance experience thrust Greg into a career as a professional actor and fight director. To date he’s acted in over fifty theater productions, more than forty television shows, and choreographed dozens of swordfights for stage and screen. In THE SECRETS OF CASANOVA, Greg again proves his skill at telling a theatrical story. He lives with his wife, two sons, and Andy the hamster.

For more information please visit Greg Michaels’s website. Like The Secrets of Casanova Facebook Page. Follow Greg Michaels on Twitter.



1 Paperback copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date November 1/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)


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Source: Giveaway copy provided by the tour company.  No compensation was received.

The Betrayed by Heather Graham & Giveaway (US/Canada)

October 13th, 2014

betrayedThe Betrayed by Heather Graham is part of a series called the Krewe of Hunters and another winner for me!  This series is terrific because they all stand alone with their only commonality being paranormal  investigators from the Krewe of Hunters.  What I love most about this series is the supernatural element, the romance, and the mystery to be solved.  Be prepared to spare a few hours when you start this book because it was one that hooked me from the beginning and I dreaded having to put it down to do something else because I was just too anxious to find out the ‘who done it’ part of the story.

Aiden is a new member to the Krewe of Hunters.  Even though he is valiantly trying to ignore the fact that he can communicate with the dead it is in fact a reality for him.  After being visited in a dream by his old friend Richard Highsmith he is alerted the very next day to the man’s disappearance and sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate.  Upon arriving he meets Maureen, nicknamed Mo, and her dog Rollo and together they are called in on searches for missing people but Mo has another more hidden talent – she can see and communicate with the dead.  They find Richard, unfortunately not alive, and even worse she finds Richard’s head displayed on the statue of the legendary Headless Horseman.  Who would do something so grotesque?  Aiden and Mo become desperate in their search for the killer as whoever it is escalates the game and even Aiden and Mo find themselves in danger.  Who is responsible for the disappearances and killings?  Will Aiden and Mo find the killer before it’s too  late?

The characters of Aiden and Mo are great and Rollo even better.  I love books that have dogs in them and of course connected to Rollo instantly.  Their romance was sweet although Aiden needed a bit of a kick in the butt to let Mo know how he was feeling.  The weaving of history within the story is one of the things I enjoy most about this series of Graham’s.  I love getting to learn a bit while enjoying a good book.  Graham’s ability to immerse the reader in the setting she creates is pretty awesome as well.  Her vivid descriptions of everything just seem to lure the reader in more and more into the story she’s telling.

This is the perfect book for Halloween reading with it’s ghosts, graveyards, and haunted mausoleums.  I listened to the audiobook which I think just adds to the creepiness a person feels.  It’s narrated by Luke Daniels who I really enjoy listening to.  He has the perfect voice for a book like this and really manages to bring the story alive in your mind to the point where you feel like you’re in the middle of a movie set. Just fantastic!

Highly recommended for those who enjoy paranormal mysteries with a touch of romance!


Other tour stops with TLC Book Tours
Add to your Goodreads list
Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter
Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N



1 paperback copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date October 28/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)



Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher however audiobook is personal copy.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

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