Saturday, June 23, 2018

Grand Finale Blitz: The Battle is O'er by Laura Vosika


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Battle is O'er
By Laura Vosika

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Author Interview


What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read [The Battle is O'er]?

I hope they’ll feel as if they walked beside Shawn and Niall for a time, and all the rest in the story, that the inhabitants of the Blue Bells world have become people they knew and cared about. And many readers seem to very much feel that way. I hope they’ll carry with them the beautiful story of a man who recognizes his flaws and makes a decision to turn himself around. I hope they’ll remember the humorous moments and the poignant moments and smile long after the book is closed.



Bri's Book Nook - Review


"...I enjoyed every bit of plot that I read and could take the storyline seriously. . . . I would recommend this to lovers of fantasy novels, and now-complete series with complex storylines, characters, and worldbuilding."



Among the Reads - Excerpt


Clive moved in silence beside him for a time, flashing his light around the cells that opened on their right, and down another passage.

“That one comes to a dead end,” Shawn said. “I’ll take a look. Stay here. Be ready for anything.”

He followed the passage, quickly, his mind on Niall. His brother would be searching too, neither of them knowing if Simon had crossed or not. He hoped Niall would be okay—not ambushed by Simon. He hoped he wouldn’t be ambushed himself, nor Clive, nor the chief. He doubted they could take on a medieval knight with years of brutal warfare under his belt.



E-Romance News - Excerpt


Yes, Let’s Go Back to the Old Couple
Inverness, Present

“So you want to tell me where you were for a year?” his mother asked. “I’ve given you plenty of space, but I’ve waited long enough and I think you owe me some answers.”

Shawn stared into the fire. “An old couple in the west of Scotland?”

Carol snorted. “One of many stories you’ve told. if it were true, you’d have said so from the start.”
He took another long drink, letting the tea thaw out his insides. “What has Amy told you?”

Carol shook her head. “Nothing I can make sense of. A ring from Robert the Bruce. You turned up in the tower of Glenmirril. None of it makes sense.”

Shawn set the tea mug down, rose, and lifted the linen shirt made by Christina, revealing the scar.



Hearts & Scribbles - Excerpt


Simon Arrives at Claverock
Claverock Castle, Northumbria, December 1317

Simon stared up with pride at the great stone walls of Claverock, at his banners snapping on its towers. His steward had kept the place up. It was all worth it, he thought. He drew breath. This was his moment! “Open the gates!” he bellowed up at his towers. “Your Lord of Claverock is home!”

Men looked down from the walls above the gatehouse. One pointed and shouted. Two ran, and soon the portcullis creaked, lifting. His steward raced through, falling to one knee, as he cried, “My Lord! My Lord, is it really you? We thought you dead, my Lord!”




Niall and Company Meet Christina Coming Home
Scottish Highlands, December 1317

They were two days into the ride, when a scout came racing back to them, spurring his garron. “Lochmaben ahead!” he shouted joyfully. “Milady Christina rides with them!”

Cheers rose from the men of Glenmirril. Relief washed through Niall. Their ruse with James Angus had not entirely silenced the whispers, though Margaret had been stalwart in looking down her nose at those who did so, reprimanding them and silencing them. He was grateful the rumors had not diminished the love of the people of Glenmirril for Christina.



Paulette's Papers - Excerpt


Niall Meets Joan
Creagsmalan, Southwest Scotland, January 1318

Niall waited in the hills outside Creagsmalan as Conal, Lachlan, and Owen rode in. He and Hugh sat on a pair of boulders, watching sunrise spill light over the water beyond the town.

“Are ye sure she’ll believe it?” Hugh’s eyebrows suddenly furrowed. “Surely she knows the Bruce will not return his lands until he swears fealty.”

“Hope,” Niall said. “She wishes to believe it. Moreover, Bruce is known for mercy. She will count on that, for she does not wish to leave Scotland.”



Becky on Books - Excerpt


Angus Warns Shawn

“Sit down. We need to talk.” Angus’s voice snapped Shawn’s attention back to the hospital room. Angus sat in a wheelchair by the hospital window, wearing jeans and a heavy fisherman’s sweater, a book in his hand. He laid it down on his lap.

“You’re up!” Shawn stopped in the doorway, feigning energy. In truth, he’d had multiple late nights, on top of a heavy load of arranging for the album Ben wanted out yesterday. He wanted nothing more than to be in bed, asleep. But when he collapsed in bed, he turned and rolled restlessly through the dark hours with nightmares—if he slept at all.

“Shut the door.”



Rockin' Book Reviews - Spotlight


"It is full of action, danger and romance, plus more..."



Two Points of Interest - Review



"I found the novel to have an interesting premise with realistic characters and development. I like that the story was told from the past, future, and present. Overall, it was an interesting book..."





Simon Meets Eamonn Again

“Good to go home to your young bride, eh?” The man gave a wink as he waved for a stable boy.

Simon grinned. It felt odd and light on his face. Smiles, in his experience, had always been a deliberate tensing of muscles. This time, his features moved on their own, without his will, and his heart lifted, too.

“Cat’s got your tongue,” the man laughed. “She must be a fair delight to the eyes!” He slapped his horse on the rump and melted into the crowd, leaving Simon alone and feeling foolish in the midst of the courtyard, as more men poured through the gates.



Beck Valley Books - Spotlight



Daily Waffle - Excerpt


Amy Sees the Pool

He mentioned it as we entered his foyer. “By the way, I put in a pool.” A pool in the yard, I thought, a small pool or a hot tub on the deck. But this—this is beyond what anyone would conceive from, “by the way, I put in a pool.”

I stand on the terrace where Shawn loved to barbecue. Black velvet sky shows overhead. Starlight shines down—but now it pours through a glass ceiling. I catch my breath as I take it in—on my right, a room like a medieval castle vault; stone walls with Gothic arches at intervals, alternating between windows of leaded glass and stone niches framing….“Sconces,” I breathe. “You put in sconces.”

“They’re electric,” he says defensively. And then, with the child-like joy I loved, the innocent joy that made me believe his public self was the facade: “You like it?”



Mel’s Shelves - Excerpt


Beatrice and Simon
Northumbria, England, 1318

Beatrice’s head shot up as the door burst open, yanking back from her husband’s embrace.

“Sir Kenrick....” The guard, Erol, stumbled to his knees, shoved by a man in chain mail.

“Lord Claverock!” Kenrick jumped forward, reaching to help his man up off the floor as he said, “Why did you not send word you were coming? I’d have met you in the hall.”

Beatrice backed up, gripping her shift close as she studied her cousin. She’d not seen him in years, not since he’d been a vile boy, dropping spiders in her hair. The malice in his eyes had not changed.



Koops Konclusions - Spotlight



"The Battle is O'er blends the excitement of a modern thriller, with the immersive details of the best historical fiction. Vosika clearly shows her writing chops here, drawing her story forward with a cast of colorful and relatable characters living through extraordinary circumstances. I'd highly recommend this to fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series."



Teatime and Books - Excerpt


Escaping the Bishop’s Palace
Linstock, 1318

“Is he dead?” Lachlan whispered, looking at the man on the frosty ground.

Owen shook his head, working at the bolts on the huge doors. “A potion is all. He’ll appear to have fallen asleep at his post.” At the same moment, they heard a shout from the courtyard. Owen eased the door open a crack. They slipped through, onto the dock that ran alongside the castle wall and pulled the door shut behind them.

Lachlan scanned the river, whispering, “Conal!” His breath hung in the air.




Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...




The Battle is O'er
(The Blue Bells Chronicles #5)
By Laura Vosika
Historical Time Travel, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 470 pages
March 23rd 2018 by Gabriel's Horn Press

In the gripping conclusion to The Blue Bells Chronicles, just as Shawn is steadily regaining all he feared he had lost forever—his career, his son, and even Amy’s heart—he learns of MacDougall’s vengeance against Niall, for the act Shawn himself committed. He wrestles with a prophecy and an ancient letter that never changes, a letter that details the fate of his own son, if he cannot stop it—and possibly the fate of the world itself, as he learns of Simon Beaumont’s plan to use his knowledge of the future to destroy it.

Shawn’s selfishness once cost him everything. His newfound selflessness may do the same.





Other Books in the Series





About the Author



Laura Vosika is the author of the beloved series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, a tale of time travel, action and adventure, romance and redemption, ranging across modern and medieval Scotland. She runs Gabriel’s Horn Press, and is active in poetry as a member of the League of Minnesota Poets, routinely performing at local open mics. She has appeared in The Star Tribune, and on WCCO and Channel 12, and hosted Books and Brews with Laura Vosika on AM 950.





Tour Giveaway



- l winner will receive a print copy of Blue Bells of Scotland (book one in the series) and a Team Shawn or Team Angus t-shirt (US only)
- 1 winner will receive an ebook of Blue Bells of Scotland (open internationally)
- Ends June 27th





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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Book Review: The Battle is O'er by Laura Vosika + Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Battle is O'er
(The Blue Bells Chronicles #5)
By Laura Vosika
Historical Time Travel, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 470 pages
March 23rd 2018 by Gabriel's Horn Press

In the gripping conclusion to The Blue Bells Chronicles, just as Shawn is steadily regaining all he feared he had lost forever—his career, his son, and even Amy’s heart—he learns of MacDougall’s vengeance against Niall, for the act Shawn himself committed. He wrestles with a prophecy and an ancient letter that never changes, a letter that details the fate of his own son, if he cannot stop it—and possibly the fate of the world itself, as he learns of Simon Beaumont’s plan to use his knowledge of the future to destroy it.

Shawn’s selfishness once cost him everything. His newfound selflessness may do the same.


Other Books in the Series



My Review

4 of 5 Stars


Since childhood, I've been in love with historical Scotland (no small part thanks to Braveheart). I have been drawn to historical fiction ever since. Author, Laura Vosika blends a unique view of romantic past, mixed with the brutality of medieval Scotland. The Battle is O'er is fifth in a historical time-travel series, about a thoroughly modern man who is pulled back to the time of Robert the Bruce. I'm a big fan of time-travel stories, where the author literally transports us through the main character, into a different time. But Vosika's Blue Bells Chronicles is unique in allowing her characters to rewrite history. 


The Battle is O'er concludes the adventures of Shawn and his friends in the distant past. Shawn may have returned to the present, but the danger is far from over. A prophecy leads Simon Beaumont to unspeakable acts, while Christine is desperate to escape her captors and return home. In the present, Shawn and Amy struggle to protect James, while discovering where they stand in their relationship. This is a carefully interwoven tale, with chapters written in both past and present. Each scene led seamlessly into the next, until I had to reach the satisfying conclusion. 


The Battle is O'er blends the excitement of a modern thriller, with the immersive details of the best historical fiction. Vosika clearly shows her writing chops here, drawing her story forward with a cast of colorful and relatable characters living through extraordinary circumstances. I'd highly recommend this to fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. 




About the Author


Laura Vosika is the author of the beloved series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, a tale of time travel, action and adventure, romance and redemption, ranging across modern and medieval Scotland. She runs Gabriel’s Horn Press, and is active in poetry as a member of the League of Minnesota Poets, routinely performing at local open mics. She has appeared in The Star Tribune, and on WCCO and Channel 12, and hosted Books and Brews with Laura Vosika on AM 950.




Tour Schedule



- l winner will receive a print copy of Blue Bells of Scotland (book one in the series) and a Team Shawn or Team Angus t-shirt (US only)
- 1 winner will receive an ebook of Blue Bells of Scotland (open internationally)
- Ends June 27th



Grab Our Button!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"Not all angels come in peace..." Angels & Magic Boxed Set Blitz + Giveaway!


Angels & Magic 

A Limited Edition Collection of Angel Fantasy Novels

Publication Date: June 6, 2018 Genres: Fantasy, Anthology


PURCHASE


These Aren’t Your Typical Angels Angels aren’t defined by good works. Demons aren’t defined by darkness. In the world of Angels & Magic, all bets are off. This is a world of fantasy and magic, a place where angels are struggling lost souls just like you or I. They’re in need of help and guidance and it’ll take the unlikely soul to set things right. Eleven bestselling and award-winning authors give you a look at what it means to be a hero, wings or not. Enjoy this starter boxed set of urban and epic fantasy full novels, available for a limited time! 




With stories from... Melinda Kucsera L.C. Ireland C. L. Coffey Aldrea Alien Zara Hoffman R.M. Gauthier Carissa Andrews Amanda J Evans Author Lexi C. Foss Emily Martha Sorensen: Author of Clean Fantasy A.J. Flowers Fantasy Author



Check out the bonus set for FREE: https://www.books2read.com/bonusangels








Friday, June 1, 2018

Silver Hollow Tour Stops Excerpts: Day 10

Hey fantasy avengers! Wow, I can't believe we've already made it through to the end of the book tour. Thanks so much to everyone who has come along with us on this epic journey :) For those of you who are just now visiting, there are plenty of lovely blogs you can hop. Just scroll down my blog to discover past tour digests. And remember, it's not too late to enter the giveaway for some fun, bookish prizes!




1. Bookworm Lisa (One of my personal favorite bloggers) shared her lovely thoughts about Silver Hollow today. See her 4 star review below!

When I picked up this book, I thought it would be a typical fantasy book. I was wrong.  Jennifer Silverwood has created a book that has familiar elements but incorporates other stories into hers.

Amie is a woman who has faced many tragedies. She lost her parents at eighteen and her saving grace has been her best friends who watch out for her. Soon, the friends cannot do anything to save her from the danger that awaits her on the other side of the "veil" where she discovers her true heritage. 

I mentioned that this book incorporates elements that I wasn't expecting. Amie becomes a part of the Seelie and Unseelie world.  She has magic that has been hidden from her. This is a book where she uncovers one piece at a time her past and her heritage. There are also ancient tales that become part of her story. I was happy and surprised to find Arthur and Merlin as part of her story. (I grew up loving that story.) 

This book is full of intrigue, war between ancient legends, romance, and non-graphic violence. There are fade to black scenes of intimacy.


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2. Mary of Stacking My Book Shelves, features a fun excerpt below:


They tumbled to the bottom of the hill and her heart felt as if it beat in her stomach. Besides a few aches and bruises, she was fine. The sky was a soft shade of cerulean and the distant rush of water sang in her ears. The Brit’s chest heaved beneath her and his heart beat in time with hers as they caught their breath. His hands were still tightly pressed to her flesh, as if he was afraid to let go. 

Heat built beneath her skin as she recovered her wits. She hadn’t been this close to a man before and she didn’t even know her Brit’s name. His strength was obvious behind the layers of clothes and Amie found she didn’t wish to move. 

“Well,” the Brit began, “that could have been a lot worse.” He released his hold and helped her stand on shaky legs before dusting off the sleeves of his trench coat. Rain began to fall unexpectedly overhead. Amie took him in, from his wet, upright mud-flecked black hair and his amused expression. 

“Are you crazy?” she snapped, “We almost died!” She hit his chest for emphasis. 

“Fine way to thank me for saving your life again,” he quipped with no small dose of sarcasm. 

“What did you expect me to say? Thank you so much for pulling me off that moving train. Now we’re stranded in the middle of God-knows-where. What am I supposed to do without my things? All I have is my…where is my bag?” Amie groaned as she paced a tight circle. Nothing but the hills above and forest behind them. The train continued further along up the hill, growing increasingly smaller and the reality of their situation filled her with wrath. 

“If you would only stop raving at me a second I could explain,” he spat back. 

“All my clothes—my letters—everything was on that train!”

He tucked his chin and she thought she saw pity in his eyes before he thumbed at the howling train. “Um, yeah, about that…” 

An explosion ripped the words from his mouth and roared in her ears.









3. Ms. J Mentions, English teacher, blogger and lovely person, shares her thoughts on her experience reading Silver Hollow. As a fellow book blogger, I've been in her shoes before. So I love that she took the time to still share her thoughts today. Thanks Jessa! 

Why I Can't Wait to Finish It


Normally, when you sign up to review a book as part of a tour people expect you to do that *insert feigned shock and awe here* Unfortunately, my life has been far too insane for me to do that this time around. I did, however, get a chance to start this book and I can tell you that I have not wanted to put it down since I started it. In fact, it has been soooo wonderful that I would feel like I'm doing Silverwood a HUGE disservice by not telling you exactly how captivating these first pages have been. Here are my top three reasons.

1. Silverwood knows how to use her words and isn't afraid to do so! There is a plethora of captivating similes and metaphors. She doesn't only present her audience with a beautiful story, she tells it masterfully.

2. Amie is a wonderfully written character. She seems to go against the grain, yet everything she does is for a perfectly practical reason. Seriously, though, who wears BRIGHT YELLOW to a funeral? Amie. And with good reason.

3. The sense of suspense and mystery are so flipping overwhelming. I HAVE to know how this ends. I honestly don't think I'll feel complete until I know. Silverwood's story definitely weaves its way into the reader's brain and has every intention of staying there until completed. Say goodbye to sleep.

Despite the insanity that life has been, a more complete review of this novel will be on the blog later this month.




4. Teatime and Books was so kind to interview me. After this, y'all may know me too well ;) Here's a sneak peek below:

What or who inspired you to become an author?

There were many little moments that I recall from childhood influences, from the children’s author visiting my school, to watching Little Women the first time and wanting to be Jo March. But the defining moment for me happened when I was eight. We had a Polish exchange student live with us for a time and who was like a big sister to me. Before she flew back to Poland, Kaya gave me a fine leather hardback edition of Anne of Green Gables. The book was more difficult to read than anything I’d read so far but I fell in love with the writing and soon devoured everything L.M. Montgomery had written.


Which type of genre do you love most, and why?

Fantasy, without a doubt. There’s something freeing in a book that enables you to escape to another world or time. It’s such a broad genre, too, which I also love. From the high fantasy immersion of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, to magic in the past like Outlander, there are endless places and stories to explore.







Tour Giveaway

PRIZE PACK #1: 1 winner will receive new Silver Hollow swag, themed bookmarks, stickers, bookish themed tote, and B&N Illustrated Hardcover Editions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and The Story of King Arthur & His Knights (US only)
PRIZE PACK #2: 1 winner will receive signed swag (mainly Silver Hollow and Wylder Tales), ebooks of the Wylder Tales Collection, and a free voucher for Bound Beauty to be published later in 2018 (open internationally)
ENDS: June 6th