SPOTLIGHT + GIVEAWAY – Madame Presidentess by Nicole Evelina

Today we are spotlighting an exciting and timely new novel by one of my favorite writers – Nicole Evelina. I will be following up in the next few days with a full review. In the meantime check out the giveaway below and stop in at some of the other sites also on this blog tour.

 

02_Madame PresidentessMadame Presidentess
by Nicole Evelina

Publication Date: July 25, 2016
Lawson Gartner Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 400 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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*Winner: U.S. Women’s History category – 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction

 

Forty-eight years before women were granted the right to vote, one woman dared to run for President of the United States, yet her name has been virtually written out of the history books.

 

Rising from the shame of an abusive childhood, Victoria Woodhull, the daughter of a con-man and a religious zealot, vows to follow her destiny, one the spirits say will lead her out of poverty to “become ruler of her people.”

 

But the road to glory is far from easy. A nightmarish marriage teaches Victoria that women are stronger and deserve far more credit than society gives. Eschewing the conventions of her day, she strikes out on her own to improve herself and the lot of American women.

 

Over the next several years, she sets into motion plans that shatter the old boys club of Wall Street and defile even the sanctity of the halls of Congress. But it’s not just her ambition that threatens men of wealth and privilege; when she announces her candidacy for President in the 1872 election, they realize she may well usurp the power they’ve so long fought to protect.

 

Those who support her laud “Notorious Victoria” as a gifted spiritualist medium and healer, a talented financial mind, a fresh voice in the suffrage movement, and the radical idealist needed to move the nation forward. But those who dislike her see a dangerous force who is too willing to speak out when women are expected to be quiet. Ultimately, “Mrs. Satan’s” radical views on women’s rights, equality of the sexes, free love and the role of politics in private affairs collide with her tumultuous personal life to endanger all she has built and change how she is viewed by future generations.

 

This is the story of one woman who was ahead of her time – a woman who would make waves even in the 21st century – but who dared to speak out and challenge the conventions of post-Civil War America, setting a precedent that is still followed by female politicians today.

 

Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords

 

About the Author03_Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her most recent novel, Been Searching for You, a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

 

She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, took the Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. The sequel, Camelot’s Queen is out now.

 

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

 

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

 

Her website/blog is http://nicoleevelina.com and she can be found on Twitter as well as on Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Tumblr.

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 25
Tour Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 26
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, July 27
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Thursday, July 28
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Friday, July 29
Spotlight at A Bookaholic Swede

Monday, August 1
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, August 2
Guest Post & Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Wednesday, August 3
Review at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, August 4
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Monday, August 8
Review at The Book Connection (First Chapter Review)

Tuesday, August 9
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Saturday, August 13
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Tuesday, August 16
Review at First Impressions Reviews

Wednesday, August 17
Review at Creating Herstory

Thursday, August 18
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Guest Post at Creating Herstory

Friday, August 19
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews

Monday, August 22
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Spotlight at To Read, Or Not to Read

Tuesday, August 23
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, August 24
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, August 25
Review at Bookramblings

Friday, August 26
Review at A Bookish Affair

 

Giveaway

To enter the Madame Presidentess Giveaway for a paperback of the book and/or Victoria Woodhull Bumper Sticker, please see the GLEAM form below. 3 winners will receive a copy of the book and a bumper sticker. 7 winners will receive the Victoria Woodhull Bumper Sticker.

 

 

Victoria Woodhull Bumper Sticker
 

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 

Madame Presidentess

 

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MY TAKE:

My review will be forthcoming in the next few days.
  

Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

 

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review – only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.  I received a copy of this book from the author and Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a review.

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REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Rebel of Ross by Mary Lancaster

We’re back today with the review of Mary Lancaster’s “Rebel of Ross” as well as an exciting giveaway. 

 

02_Rebel of RossRebel of Ross
by Mary Lancaster

Publication Date: July 31, 2016
eBook & Paperback; 340 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance/Medieval

READ AN EXCERPT.

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Scotland, 1156.

Malcolm MacHeth, one time Earl of Ross, languishes a prisoner in Roxburgh Castle while his sons raise rebellion in his name. Optimistically, the King of Scots promises the earldom of Ross to landless Norman knight, Sir William de Lanson, if he can somehow defeat the infamous MacHeths.

It wasn’t quite how William’s disgraced wife Christian dreamed of coming home. Capture by the strange and ferocious Adam MacHeth was hardly part of her plan either, although she and William quickly become pawns in his.

Adam, warrior and seer, fights for his father’s freedom and for his family’s right to claim the kingdom of the Scots. Plagued by waking dreams which threaten his sanity and his life, he’s learned to use his prophecies to further his family’s goals. But when he abducts his enemy’s lady, his dreams and his desires are suddenly more personal.

Surrounded by intrigue, ambition and betrayal, Christian must choose between loyalty and love in order to keep a fragile peace for her people and for the man she loves beyond all reason.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

About the Author03_Mary Lancaster

Mary Lancaster’s first love was historical fiction. Since then she has grown to love coffee, chocolate, red wine and black and white films – simultaneously where possible. She hates housework.

As a direct consequence of the first love, she studied history at St. Andrews University, after which she worked variously as editorial assistant, researcher and librarian. Although she has always written stories for her own entertainment, she began to make serious efforts toward publication in order to distract herself from a job she disliked. She now writes full time at her seaside home in Scotland, which she shares with her husband and three children.

Mary is the author of three historical novels:
An Endless Exile – the story of Hereward, 11th century outlaw hero
A World to Win – a Scottish governess finds love in revolutionary Hungary
A Prince to be Feared: the love story of Vlad Dracula

Mary loves to hear from readers. You can email her at Mary@MaryLancaster.com, and connect on Facebook. Find out more about Mary and her books at www.MaryLancaster.com.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 8
Review at A Book Drunkard

Tuesday, August 9
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads
Interview at Books and Benches

Wednesday, August 10
Excerpt at The Reading Queen
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Thursday, August 11
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Guest Post & Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Friday, August 12
Review at Let Them Read Books

Saturday, August 13
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 15
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review & Excerpt at Historical Fiction Obsession

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card, please see the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Rebel of Ross

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My Take:

Books like this newest offering from Mary Lancaster are one of the top reasons why I adore reading historical fiction. From the very beginning it is easy to get swept away and completely immersed in this medieval tale of adventure and romance. The characters are rich and lively, pulling you into their lives and inviting you to stay. The two main characters of Christian and Adam are well developed. I especially enjoyed the many depths of Adam, being the lover, seer and warrior all at the same time.

One of my other reasons for my serious enjoyment of books like this is the author’s obvious dedication and love of the subject matter. Her extensive research shines through with exquisite details and solid facts from the period. I found the book to be a delight and am looking forward to reading more from Mary Lancaster.


  Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it 4/5:

 

Excerpt from Rebel of Ross

So it was over. Slowly, Christian turned back to face reality. The mask she’d taken to wearing at the king’s court to hide the disfigurement of one side of her face hadn’t brought her much luck after all.

Those of her husband’s men left alive, swords drawn but wavering, were herded inexorably back into the huddle of fearful women outside the now fully collapsed tent. Their attackers advanced menacingly.

One man moved faster, pushing his way through to the enemy’s front. Their leader, the man who’d observed them so closely from the thick of battle. At his gesture, everyone halted. He strode on alone, giving an impression of a young, incongruously calm face streaked with dirt and yet of dark eyes, even at that distance, not calm at all but deeply troubled, swirling like whirlpools.

Drop your weapons,” he said in passable French. “Or we’ll kill all of you.”

It might have been worth it to die, just to spite William, who had still no real idea how useful, not to say necessary, Christian was to him in this venture. However, luck seemed to have sent her the local berserker. Judging by those violent eyes, he was too unstable to rely on his mercy for her people.

She opened her mouth to command the men, but before she could speak, she heard the thud of weapons hitting the ground, the clash of steel as others landed on top, and she closed her lips again in silence. The MacHeth legend had won.

As if those wild, unworldly eyes had caught her tiny gestures, the berserker glanced at her, then almost immediately away as Henry formally offered him the hilt of his sword.

His mouth twisted slightly. Christian’s stomach gave a sudden wrench as he took the sword. Almost, she expected him to cut Henry down with it. Instead, he inclined his head rather graciously, like a knight accepting victory at a tournament.

Maybe he could be reasoned with after all.

His men began collecting the surrendered weapons. Others were already stripping the armour from the fallen.

The berserker stepped through the chaos towards the women. This time he had no need to push. The men left standing parted for him without a quibble.

Which of you,” he asked in the same soft, casual voice, “is the lady de Lanson?”

Close-to, he was no more comforting. Different shades of blood stained his clothes and forearms, his hands and face. Remote yet wild dark brown eyes scanned everyone impartially and still somehow gave the alarming impression of seeing something else entirely—no doubt his recent kills or his plans for the next ones.

Beside Christian, Alys cleared her throat. Christian could feel the other woman’s tension, the failing of her courage, and yet Alys still meant to do it. Her loyalty would have humbled most women. Christian, it angered.

She would not let William do this. These people were in her charge, her care.

She caught Alys’s arm, roughly enough to surprise her into silence. And to disguise her own trembling. “I am Christian de Lanson.”

His gaze crashed into hers. Now that she had his full attention at last, she’d have welcomed the remoteness back with enthusiasm. Dear God, unstable was an understatement. They were the most dangerous eyes she had ever encountered: the eyes of a man who has seen and done terrible things and not yet learned how to live with them.

If he noticed the oddity of her mask, his gaze didn’t linger on it. Turning away, he spoke only three words in the same quiet voice he had used before. “Come with me.”

No, thank you,” Christian said clearly, and he paused without turning. Now Alys clutched her arm, convulsively. The other women drew back into the wreckage of the tent again, as if afraid his wrath would consume them as well. “There’s no point,” Christian said brazenly. “I am a useless hostage, being worth nothing to my husband.”

You are William de Lanson’s wife?” The young berserker turned back to her abruptly, impatience clear in his face for the first time.

I am. But disgraced and barren, my value is not high.”

She actually laughed at his shock. “Ask them,” she added, nodding at her husband’s soldiers. The one whose unflattering opinion she’d overheard earlier stood bleeding among them.

The young barbarian before her looked as if he had no idea what she was talking about. Without warning, he reached out and seized her wrist. His touch shocked her; perhaps it was the rough strength of his bare fingers or their unexpected warmth. But before she could properly register it, let alone object, he dropped her wrist as if it had burned him.

He actually spun away from her so that she couldn’t see his face. It struck her that he was wounded or ill, and the watchful way a few of his men regarded him seemed to bear this out. And yet they never moved to enquire or to help him. In any case, the moment passed before it was properly begun.

He glanced back at her. “Let’s talk,” he invited. This time he didn’t touch her, merely gestured with his arm in a fashion almost courtly. She couldn’t hesitate; she could only pray he wouldn’t perceive the shaking of her legs. She stepped forward, and Alys, reluctantly, released her arm.

I am Adam,” he said, “son of Malcolm.”

Of course he was. Christian closed her eyes. “MacHeth.”

 

 

 

 

 

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review – only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


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