Guest Post: My Journey in Writing & Publishing by Andrew Joyce

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Dawn has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, Mahoney. I thought it might be interesting to any new writers out there if I talked about my journey in general and the publishing business in particular.

I sold one of my first short stories and it was published in an anthology of short fiction entitled The Best of 2011. Since then I have written seven books. Several have become best-sellers on Amazon and two went on to win awards in their genres.

My first book, Yellow Hair, was a 164,000-word historical novel. And in the publishing world, anything over 80,000 words for a first-time author is heresy. Or so I was told time and time again when I approached an agent for representation. After two years of research and writing and a year of trying to secure the services of an agent, I got angry. To be told that my efforts were meaningless was somewhat demoralizing, to say the least. I mean, those rejections were coming from people who had never even read my book.

So you want an 80,000-word novel?” I said to no one in particular, unless you count my dog, because he was the only one around at the time. Consequently, I decided to show them City Slickers that I could write an 80,000-word novel!

I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in two months. I had them as adults in the Old West. Then I sent out query letters to literary agents.

A few weeks later, the chairman of one of the biggest agencies in the country emailed me. He loved the story and suggested a few changes. They were good suggestions, and I incorporated some of them into the book. We signed a contract and it was off to the races, or so I thought. But then the real fun began: the serious editing. Seven months later, I gave birth to Huck and Tom as adults. The book went on to reach #1 status in its category on Amazon (twice) and won the Editor’s Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. And just for the record, the final word count was 79,914.

My readers really enjoyed the book. So I ended up writing two sequels, one of which reached #5 in its category on Amazon. Then I turned my attention to my first novel, the one I couldn’t sell to an agent. I whittled it down from 164,000 words to 132,000 and published it myself. It won Book of the Year from one outfit and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from another.

Now that I’ve established my bona fides, I’ll tell you what I’ve learned along the way. It might help you with your writing career or it might not. I hope it does.

The first piece of advice I received from a fellow writer (while I was writing my first novel) was that the process of writing is what’s important. Not the dreams of becoming a best-selling author. Not the certainty that Hollywood would come a-knocking on my door, begging me to let them turn my book into a movie. No, what is important, according to my friend, is the act of creating.

Of course, I did not believe him. I was going to be the next Stephen King, and I was already (figuratively speaking) picking out a tuxedo to wear to the Academy Awards. I was not going to self-publish. I was going to get an agent and get published by one of the Big Five Publishing Houses.

I did everything I had to do. I spent ten hours a day, seven days a week sitting at my computer, writing. When the book was finished, I spent ten hours a day sending out query letters to agents. When the book was rejected because of word count, I wrote another, shorter novel. When it was accepted and published, I spent ten hours a day sending out emails (over 3,000) to book bloggers (each addressed to the blogger by name, and that takes a lot of work) requesting an opportunity to write a Guest Post for the purpose of marketing my book. Then writing the Guest Posts took up another serious chunk of time. To date, I’ve written well over three hundred Guest Posts. At first, the rate of return was not much. But once I worked with a blogger, they were more apt to respond positively when I came to them for help in marketing my next book.

Side note: Even Stephen King has to market his own books. He puts aside $200,000 of his own money to buy advertising for each book he writes.

Now, ten years later, I know that my friend was right, plain and simple.

My agent and I have since gone our separate ways. His client roster included some of the most famous authors in the world who, combined, sell millions of books a month. Understandably, he was more focused on them than me, so I set out on my own.

I love writing. I used to hate editing, but now I like it. And I really hate marketing. This kind of marketing is okay because I’m writing. Before I wrote my latest novel, I came to a decision. I was going to write Mahoney for myself. I had a story I wanted to tell and I wanted to tell it in my own way. I didn’t care if the book sold or not. It’s a long story (171,000 words). I was told time and time again that I should make it into a trilogy. But that’s not what I wanted. I ended up doing it my way and it worked out pretty well.

This post has gone on a little bit longer than expected. So, I better wrap it up. Here’s my advice for all you new or aspiring writers:

  • Sit down at your computer and write. Let the words flow. You have to have the fire in the belly. Turn off the TV. Better yet, throw it out the window.
  • Write for yourself. Enjoy the process.
  • If you want, try to get an agent. But do your homework. Learn how to write a killer query letter. And never approach an agent until your book is finished and 110% edited!!!
  • There’s a lot to be said for self-publishing. Here’s an article you should check out.
  • Read, read, and then read some more. Read everything you can get your hands on! Reading to a writer is as medical school is to a doctor, as physical training is to an athlete … as breathing is to life.
  • NEVER, EVER RESPOND TO A NEGATIVE REVIEW. Do so at your own risk.

That’s about it. Good luck in your endeavors.

Andrew Joyce
August, 2019
Gloucester, Massachusetts

In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a riveting story of adventure, endurance, and hope as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America.

In the second year of an Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

Available on Amazon.

August 24 & 25 only 99¢

About the Author

Andrew Joyce left home at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written seven books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.

Website

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Book Review: This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

For fans of Before We Were Yours and Where the Crawdads Sing, a magnificent novel about four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression, from the New York Times bestselling author of Ordinary Grace

1932, Minnesota—the Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own.

Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds. With the feel of a modern classic, This Tender Land is an en­thralling, big-hearted epic that shows how the magnificent American landscape connects us all, haunts our dreams, and makes us whole.

Publication date Sept. 3: Pre-order on Amazon

My Review

I chose to review this book after requesting a free advanced reading copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s been a while since I read historical fiction even though it’s one of my favorite genres. The description of This Tender Land caught my eye, and I had a feeling I’d like it. I didn’t just like it. I thought it was amazing.

The story takes places in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Odie and his brother are orphans and living in a school for Indians even though they obviously are not Indians. The school has a good reputation, but its conditions are deplorable. Eventually, they have to run away with Mose, another student, and Emmy, a young neighbor girl who has just been orphaned. The situation is getting worse for Odie but, more importantly, they feel they have to save Emmy from the superintendent whose nickname is appropriately the Black Witch.

The four children head from Lincoln, Nebraska, to St. Louis by river. Although the story sounds a bit like Huck Finn, there’s a lot more to it. They have an adventure of a lifetime and they all grow and change and learn a lot about themselves. After the children went through so much, I was wondering if the ending would be gratifying. Absolutely!

Not only is This Tender Land a good tale, but the author’s descriptions are so good that I could picture everything the children encountered as they went down the river in the canoe: the revival tent, the people, the shanty towns, and so much more. I also appreciated the research that the author did about our history, not only in the 1930s but about the Sioux.

This is the first book that I’ve read by William Kent Krueger but it definitely won’t be the last.

About the Author

Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for over 40 years to a marvelous woman who is an attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage—part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers.

Website: http://www.williamkentkrueger.com/
Twitter: WmKentKrueger

Guest Book Review & Giveaway: Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh HaMrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha

Publisher:  The Permanent Press (March 1, 2019)
Category: Historical Fiction, Vietnam, Literary Fiction, Multicultural
Tour dates: Mar-Apr, 2019
ISBN: 978-1579625689
Available in Print and ebook, 312 pages

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream

 

 

Description 

“I live in a coastal town in the deep south of the Mekong Delta. During the war this was IV Corps, which saw many savage fights. Although the battles might have long been forgotten, some places cannot forget.”

Thus begins the harrowing yet poignant story of a North Vietnamese communist defector who spends ten years in a far-flung reform prison after the war, and now, in 1987, a free man again, finds work as caretaker at a roadside inn in the U Minh region. One day new guests arrived at the inn: an elderly American woman and her daughter, an eighteen-year-old Vietnamese girl adopted at the age of five from an orphanage in the Mekong Delta before the war ended. Catherine Rossi has come to this region to find the remains of her son, a lieutenant who went missing-in-action during the war.

“Mrs. Rossi’s Dream” tells the stories of two men in time parallel: Giang, the 39-year-old war veteran; Nicola Rossi, a deceased lieutenant in the U.S. army, the voice of a spirit.

From the haunting ugliness of the Vietnam War, the stories of these two men shout, cry and whisper to us the voices of love and loneliness, barbarity and longing, lived and felt by a multitude of people from all walks of life: the tender adolescent vulnerability of a girl toward a man who, as a drifter and a war-hardened man, draws beautifully in his spare time; the test of love and faith endured by a mother whose dogged patience even baffles the local hired hand who thinks the poor old lady must have gone out of her mind; and whose determination drives her into the spooky forest, rain or shine, until one day she claims she has sensed an otherworldly presence in there with her. In the end she wishes to see, just once, a river the local Vietnamese call “The River of White Water Lilies,” the very river her son saw, now that all her hopes to find his remains die out.

Just then something happens. She finds out where he has lain buried for twenty years?and how he was killed.

 

 

Awards 

Parts of the book were previously published in literary magazines and became finalists for the following awards:

2016 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction (Sarabande Books)

2016 Many Voices Project (New Rivers Press)

2016 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction (Prairie Schooner)

2015 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Award (Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society)

A short story adapted from the book won the 2013 Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction (The Greensboro Review)

 

 

Guest Review by Nora S.

Memories are a funny thing. Sometimes they can take you back to a different time and place so effectively that they feel like time travel. Such is the case for the characters in Khanh Ha’s book, “Mrs. Rossi’s Dream.” It is a book about a group of characters who are tortured and influenced by the past in many ways. 

Take for instance, the character of Giang Le. Despite not being the title character, he is the main character of the novel as the reader is most often given his perspective on things. Giang is a fairly peaceful and low-key Vietnamese man who works at a roadside inn. But through his recollections about his past, we find out that he was a prisoner of war during the conflict in his country and that he was imprisoned for ten years by his own government for defecting.
 
Giang is such a soft-spoken man in his everyday life that the flashbacks to his time as a youth and during the war serve almost as a window into his soul for the reader. Here is a man who has seen so much suffering and so many terrible things but you’d never know it from talking to him. 

Alternatively, Mrs. Rossi is a character who tends to speak her mind and be forthright at all times. She tells Giang very quickly after meeting him about her quest to find her soldier son’s remains in the jungle and stays determined throughout most of the novel that she will succeed in her objective. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the perspectives of both characters as well as the interspersed chapters where we got the perspective of Mrs. Rossi’s son, Nicola. 
I found this book to be a worthwhile and fascinating read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well written novel. I promise you’ll enjoy it. I don’t give out a 5 star review very often but this book deserves that plus so much more.

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Guest Review & Giveaway: The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K’inuuw Mat of Palenque by Leonide Martin

Prophetic Mayan Queen: K'inuuw Mat of Palenque by Leonide MartinPublisher:  Made for Success Publishing/Made for Wonder (Dec 1, 2018)
Category: :  Historical Fiction, Ancient World, Caribbean & Latin American, Historical Romance/ Ancient World
Tour dates: Feb-Mar, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-64146-365-2
Available in Print and ebook, 350 pages

Prophetic Mayan Queen

 

Description 

She was born to serve the Goddess Ix Chel. But K’inuuw Mat is destined to continue the Palenque (Lakam Ha) dynasty by marriage to Tiwol, fourth son of famous ruler Pakal. Trained in prophetic arts, she uses scrying to foresee the face of the man with whom she will bear the dynastic heir—but it is not her husband’s image. She is shocked upon arriving at Palenque to recognize that face as her husband’s older brother, Kan Bahlam. They are immediately attracted, sharing deep interest in astronomy. Though she resists, the magnetic force of their attraction propels them into forbidden embraces, until Kan Bahlam designs a bold plan that would solve his inability to produce a son—if he can gain his brother’s cooperation.

Set in the splendor of Lakam Ha’s artistic and scientific zenith, royal family conflicts and ambitions play out in a tapestry of brilliant Mayan accomplishments in calendars, astronomy, architecture, arts, and secret language codes that will astound people centuries later. As K’inuuw Mat contends with explosive emotions, she must answer the Goddess’ mandate to preserve Mayan culture for future generations. Her passion with Kan Bahlam leads to a pale daughter and bold son who carry this out as their civilization begins the decline and eventual collapse her prophetic vision foresees.

One great cycle rolls into the next . . . Contemporary Mexican archaeologist Francesca and her partner Charlie, a British linguist, venture into Chiapas jungles to a remote Maya village, seeking to unravel her grandmother’s secrets. The hostile village shaman holds the key but refuses to share with outsiders the scandal that leads to foreign blood and ancient Palenque lineages. Only by reclaiming her own shamanic heritage can Francesca learn the truth of who she is, and bring her dynasty into the present.

 

 

Guest Review by Betty B.

Remember, K’inuuw Mat. Your destiny is to serve me in an important royal court. A dynasty will be carried in your womb; a people will be continued through your legacy. This is a far greater destiny than being a seer in Cuzamil. Remember, and never doubt again.” 

A stunning and informative story from an author I hadn’t heard of before. This book really took me on an unexpected and delightful journey through ancient Mayan territories. 
K’inuuw Mat is a twelve-year-old Mayan girl who comes from a long line of seers who are chosen by the goddess Ix Chel once they reach their first menstrual cycle and become a woman. 
Because her older sister was not chosen for this destiny, K’inuuw assumes, with the ambitious nature of youth, that she will be the one chosen. Of course, things don’t go as planned and instead of being chosen as a seer, the oracle tells K’inuuw Mat that she has a different destiny ahead of her. 
I won’t go into the details, because I wouldn’t want to spoil anything but this novel was beautiful, fascinating, educational and heartbreaking. I was enveloped in its world and felt everything that the characters felt. 
Martin’s writing was descriptive and breathtaking. The detailed descriptions of the Mayan lifestyle alone must have taken years to research but she added a style and flair that didn’t make it feel dragged down. She added just enough detail to make her world come alive. 
I’m giving this book 5 stars for the world building, the beautiful characters, the excellent dialogue and the terrific plotting that just made me unable to put it down. I fully plan to read the rest of the series by this author just so I can get back into this world for a little while longer.

 

 

 Mists of Palenque Series Awards

The Visionary Mayan Queen: Yohl Ik’nal of Palenque (Mists of Palenque Series Book 1) received the Writer’s Digest 2nd Annual Self-Published eBook award in 2015.

The Mayan Red Queen: Tz’aakb’u Ahau of Palenque (Mists of Palenque Series Book 3) received a Silver Medal in Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards for 2016.

 

Praise 

“K’inuuw Mat…struggles to embrace new ideas, a new destiny, and a much broader purpose…  Readers who have enjoyed the other books in this series will find an even more compelling story… takes an individual’s spiritual and political perspectives and turns them on end, leading a young woman to realize her value and purpose far beyond her belief system or the duty she’s been assigned… She’s prophesized the very decline her culture is experiencing, but can her choices then make a difference in its ultimate preservation? Riveting…engrossing, well-detailed…”-Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“It is expected she will follow her matrilineal line by being the daughter of her generation who will serve the goddess Ix Chel on Her island of Cuzamil. However, an oracular prophecy says she will serve the goddess in a different way. At first, K’inuuw Mat resists this and contemplates escaping back to the island. In the end, she accepts Ix Chel’s will for her. The prophecy comes to pass when she becomes bride to one of the sons of the ruling family in Lakam Ha. She does her own divination to see what her future husband looks like and is granted a vision of a man who turns out to be her husband’s brother. What does this vision actually mean, and how will it affect her people?

This was a complex, quite advanced culture… the Mayan language was very flowery and formal… and I liked that not only was the dialogue written this way, but the entity of the story was… K’inuuw Mat was the first book of this series that I’ve read, but I went and purchased the previous ones. I’m looking forward to reading them. A highly recommended book for those interested in the ancient Maya, or archaeology in general!”-Aislynn d’Merricksson, Seattle Book Review

“Imagine this book in vivid color on the big screen with the opening scene set in a canoe traveling in the Caribbean blue waters close to the tropical island of Cozumel at the time of the ancient Maya, and the spectacular ending scene at the magnificent Mayan archaeological site of Palenque in the mountainous jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. Awesome!
This book will carry you away to another place. It is hard to put down. This compelling story, which is based on well-research history, and the author’s lively imagination brings to life the ancient Mayan people, their rulers, their gods, their romance, and their struggles for survival, revenge and justice.”-Jane Grimsrud, Mayan Travel Guide

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“Fans of historical fiction rejoice!… the eagerly-awaited Book 4 of Leonide Martin’s Mists of Palenque series, has arrived! Martin weaves masterful storytelling with scholarly research and intuitive insight to bring-to-life a lost culture in this rich series. She draws one into a world of unique and exotic customs, politics, history, arts, sciences, spiritual practices, and relationships, so artfully and seamlessly, that the reader feels she has time-traveled and experienced the Mayan life and culture first-hand. I simultaneously could not put this page-turner down and didn’t want it to end. Fans of historical fiction rejoice. You are in for a treat!”-Stephanie Costanza, Research Associate, UCSF School of Medicine

“I loved reading The Prophetic Mayan Queen. This book really tied the series together, but I think it would be a great read on its own. What a fascinating civilization the Mayans were! The vivid descriptions of the daily lives, how the community was organized, what deities they worshipped and why, how the children were raised and educated, what careers they chose and why; all of this was a fascinating look at an ancient civilization… Read this book and the entire series, you won’t be disappointed!”-Leslie Oberholtzer, Amazon Reviewer

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Book Review & Giveaway: Another Kind of Magic by Elizabeth Davies

 

“I am a cat. But I am no ordinary cat. I am a witch’s familiar. I am also a woman, with a woman’s heart and a woman’s frailty.”

Nearly two hundred years have passed since Caitlyn was trapped by supernatural forces and black magic, and she has known many mistresses. This time, the witch she is enthralled to is Joan, wife of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales.

At first, this mistress appears no different to any of the others Caitlyn has served – until Llewelyn captures William de Braose, and Joan falls in love, risking everything, including Caitlyn, to fulfil her desire.

Caitlyn, meanwhile, has her own cross to bear in the form of the gallant and reckless Hugh of Pembroke…

Pre-Order Link: https://www.books2read.com/AnotherKindOfMagic

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Another Kind of Magic is the third book in a trilogy and I didn’t read the first two books but I didn’t have any trouble with this one so it does stand on its own. 

Caitlyn is a familiar meaning she is a woman who turns into a cat and she has to do the bidding of her mistress. Her current mistress is Lady Joan who is married to Llewelyn, Prince of Wales. She is ruthless and when she decides that she’s in love with William, a married man, Caitlyn is expected to do all she can to help her get her man. 

Hugh is a warrior who is supposed to protect William so Caitlyn spends enough time with Hugh that she ends up falling in love. Will she be able to finally find a way to end the curse and be able to live as her own woman and be able to love Hugh like she wants?

I always enjoy historical fiction that is based on actual facts. The author notes at the end of this book that many of the characters were actual people who lived in the thirteenth century. Since I enjoyed the last book in this trilogy, I’m going to have to go back and read the first two books!

 

 

 

Author Bio –

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

Social Media Links –

Website – www.elizabethdaviesauthor.co.uk

Twitter  – @bethsbooks

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethDaviesAuthor/

Instagram – @elizabethdavies.author

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Giveaway 

Win Tote bag and a signed paperback copy of each of the three books in the Caitlyn series. (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review & Giveaway: 221 B.C. by Kendall Price & Laura Vosika

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221 BC: Scroll 1 of Narmer War by Kendall Price221 BC: Scroll 1 of Narmer War by Kendall Price and Laura Vosika

Publisher:  Mill City Press, Inc. (January 31, 2018)
Category: Historical Fiction, Ancient Civilizations, Supernatural Powers, Young Adult
Tour dates: October-November, 2018
ISBN: 978-1545626108
Available in Print and ebook, 364 pages

221 BC

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Set against the backdrop of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, an alternate history unfolds, linking the power of the pharaohs to magic. Brother is pitted against brother in a race to find twelve amulets, lost with the ancient pharaoh, and unlock their powers. Whoever holds the amulets holds that power; to save the world…or destroy it.

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Guest Review by Sal

Qibo, professor at the Museum of Alexandria and King Ptolemy’s dear friend has been murdered.  He has been stabbed multiple times.  The King is distraught. He asks Hannibal of Carthage to investigate. 

Hannibal has his hunches and gets to work.  He immediately suspects that it is part of a dark magic plot against the King.  The King was given a gift of a ring that he hasn’t been able to remove since he put it on.  He also has had some health issues and it is suspected that the ring has something to do with it. When Qibo was murdered, he was working on translating ancient tablets that may hold the secret to magical powers.

The rich history and alternative history of 221 B.C. come alive in the well written, imaginative novel. There are a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.  I love the hunt for artifacts that are noted in the ancient tablets and said to have magical powers. 

This is the first book that is to become a series.  I can hardly wait for book 2.  I recommend this book to those who enjoy historical mysteries and ancient Egypt. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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Praise for 221 BC by Kendall Price and Laura Vosika

“As the debut novel opens, King Ptolemy IV, Macedonian ruler of Egypt, is distraught over the apparent murder of his friend and mentor, Qibo (“Multiple gashes covered his body. His eyes stared at the ceiling, as if he could still see whatever had killed him”). The ancient Taoist master had worked at the Museum of Alexandria for years. This act seems to be the dark culmination to a number of days in which Ptolemy has been plagued with nightmares laced with what appear to be strange signs. He dreams he is the Pharaoh Amenhotep, worrying over his kingdom and suffering from dental pain, the latter of which seems to affect Ptolemy’s waking hours as well. After exhuming the dead pharaoh’s body, experts discover that he did indeed have advanced abscesses in his teeth, which leads head librarian Eratosthenes to posit that someone might be working magic against the king, perhaps to re-create history. The theory is that Qibo was murdered to prevent him from translating ancient tablets that might help Ptolemy unlock the magical powers of a set of 12 amulets that have been in the possession of the pharaohs for untold years, each associated with a different element. Using the artifacts, someone might be able to wrest control of the kingdom. As the story proceeds, Price paints a vivid, intricate portrait of war, juggling a wide array of famous characters, including the notorious Hannibal, and using meticulous research to flesh out this universe, rooted in historical facts and details. The prose is rich and involving, and the twists are carefully designed and executed. An inventive blend of Egyptian history and magic, this dynastic tale opens what promises to be a stellar series.”- Kirkus

“What grabbed my attention was the fact that it was based in Egypt during the time before Christ, about the Pharaoh Ptolemy III and his family struggle to maintain their control of the united Egypt. I love how the story is created with historical facts into mystery of hidden artifacts that hold magical powers and having characters with unusual powers too. It makes for a very entertaining novel and keeps the reader wondering what will happen next.”- Valerie I. Rosica, Amazon Review

“Clearly a great deal of research was done to write this book. It’s also exceptionally creative and engrossing! Hope there’s more to come….”-Kathryn Price, Amazon Review

“Very interesting  take on the Egyptian family the Ptolemy’s and their possible aliens within the ancient world and the invasion of Rome by Hannbal. Historical fiction worth reading!”-Char, Amazon Review

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About the Authors


Dr. Kendall Price was born and raised in Columbia, Maryland, the third of four children. He attended high school at the Phillips Academy Boarding School in Andover, MA, a place that left him with many fond memories, and that he calls the most formative time of his life. The friendships in 221 BC are loosely based on his time at Andover.

Following in the footsteps of his father and two grandfathers, all doctors, Kendall attended Amherst College in Amherst, MA and the University of Illinois College of Medicine and studied pathology at Stanford University.  While there, he did four fellowships, including medical staff/ autopsy, hematopathology, surgical pathology, and immunohistochemistry.

Doctor Price lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife Michelle and their three children.  It was Michelle’s influence, with her study of Chinese medicine, and a masters degree in Chinese acupuncture, that led Dr. Price to become certified in acupuncture himself.  The magic in 221 BC is based on Chinese medicine.

In addition to writing and Chinese medicine, Dr. Price enjoys exercise, reading, and travel.  He has been to all 48 continental US states, Canada, Mexico, Alaska, and Copenhagen.

Other writing credits include a small booklet, available on Amazon, on healing dental caries by nutritional means.

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221 BC: Scroll 1 of Narmer War by Kendall Price and Laura Vosika

Laura Vosika is a writer, poet, and musician. Her time travel series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, set in modern and medieval Scotland, has garnered praise and comparisons to writers as diverse as Diana Gabaldon and Dostoevsky. Her poetry has been published in The Moccasin and The Martin Lake Journal 2017.

She has been featured in newspapers, on radio, and TV, has spoken for regional book events, and hosted the radio program Books and Brews. She currently teaches writing at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

As a musician, Laura has performed as on trombone, flute, and harp, in orchestras, and big bands. She lives in Brooklyn Park with 5 of her 9 children, 3 cats, and an Irish Wolfhound.

Website: www.bluebellschronicles.com
Blog: http://bluebellstrilogy.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauravosika

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Buy 221 BC

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Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 winners choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. This giveaway ends November 30, 2018, midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

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Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 2 Kickoff

Lisa Book Reviews Oct 3 Review & Excerpt

Dawn Bound 2 Escape Oct 5 Excerpt

Dawn Bound 4 Escape Oct 9 Guest Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Oct 12 Review

Yari Yaris-Book-World Amazon Oct 15 Review

Indie Review Behind the Scenes Oct 16 Video Interview 1 pm est (will be posted later in the week)

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 5 Review

Amber Imaginative Dreams Nov 20 Review & Excerpt

Mindy Room Without Books is Empty Nov 27 Review

This schedule is subject to change.

 

Book Review: The Last Plantagenet? by Jennifer C. Wilson

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The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.
All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.
Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?

Purchase Link  Amazon

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Kate knows a lot about King Richard III and when she falls into a fireplace at Nottingham Castle and travels back to 1485, she gets to learn about him firsthand. I enjoyed reading about what happened in the time before the king was killed as well as how the author portrays him. Since we don’t know how he really was, it was nice to see him portrayed in a positive and romantic light.

It’s a shame this novella wasn’t longer but it’s still good. I especially liked the ending.

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Author Bio 

Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and available via Amazon.

Social Media LinksBlog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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