‘The Lovers’ (Echoes From The Past Book 1) by Irina Shapiro

is books

Have you heard about Kindle Scout? If you have an Amazon account, you can help authors be published.

How It Works

Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

If you’re like me, then you’re always on the lookout for new authors. I came across this one on Facebook. It was the cover that turned my head and then I followed the link and read the Prologue and I was hooked.

This book hasn’t been published yet, but if you like what’s been written so far, please take the time to vote for it to be published.

All you have to do is follow the same link I did.

tl isBOOK BLURB: Shocking secrets. Unexpected revelations.

1665.
On her wedding night, Elise finds out exactly what her husband has in store for her. His request is shocking, but she has no right to refuse. The consequences of that night seal Elise’s fate and lead to tragedy.
2013.

Dr. Quinn Allenby has a gift; she can see into the past when holding an object that belonged to the dead. Quinn uses her gift to find out what happened to the 17th century couple known only as ‘The Lovers,’ and stumbles onto the secret of her own birth and abandonment.

TEASER:

Prologue

The darkness was absolute, the interior of the chest smelling rank and damp. Their bodies were pressed together, crammed in an unnatural position, limbs stiff after hours of immobility. At first, there was still hope, but it had run out, as had the air, as the tight-fitting lid prevented even the smallest amount from seeping in. His arms felt like lead, but he gathered what was left of his waning strength and lifted his hand to her face. He didn’t need to see it; her features were burned into his brain, as were those of their child. Please God, keep the babe safe.

Her skin was still warm, but she was already gone, as surely as he would be in the next few minutes. His lungs were already burning, a sheen of sweat covering his face. He pressed his lips against her unresponsive mouth in a final kiss as a last thought flashed through his dying brain:

It had all been worth it.

To read the longer excerpt, click HERE.

If you like it and want it published, there are only 11 days left for us to VOTE HERE:

irina shapiroAUTHOR BIO: Irina Shapiro was born in Moscow, Russia during the hight of Communism and “enjoyed” the life of an average Russian child until her family’s immigration to the United States in 1982.

They settled in Brooklyn, NY where she finished school and then graduated from Bernard M. Baruch College in New York City with a degree in International Business. Despite her business degree, history and travel have always been her passions and she has tried to incorporate her knowledge and experiences into her stories.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook /

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‘The Jane Austen Project’ by Kathleen A. Flynn

jap kafSTORY: England, 1815: Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. They are not what they seem, but colleagues from a technologically advanced future, posing as a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team of time travelers, their mission is the most audacious yet: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen.

Carefully selected and rigorously trained by The Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common excerpt their extraordinary circumstances. Circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen’s circle via her favorite brother, Henry.

But diagnosing Jane’s fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile her true self with the constrictions of 19th century society. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history as they found it…however heartbreaking that proves.

REVIEW: I honestly didn’t expect that this story would grab my imagination as much as it did. I’m a fan of Jane Austen and her amazing stories and am really glad to have read this mind boggling tale.

There’s so much I loved about this book, from an impeccable research to complexity of the plot and characterization, I thought the author did a magnificent job in catapulting me into Jane Austen world.

If you’re a fan of Jane Austen, SyFy and if you like reads that would make you wonder “what if …” this is a must for you. Highly recommend it!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Spinning the Moon’ by Karen White

stm-kwSTORY: In the Shadow of the Moon
When Laura Truitt first sees the dilapidated plantation house, she’s overcome by a sense of familiarity. Inside, the owner claims to have been waiting for years and offers an old photograph of a woman with Laura’s face. Soon afterwards, when a lunar eclipse inexplicably thrusts Laura back in time to Civil War Georgia, she finds herself fighting not just for her heart, but for her very survival…

Whispers of Goodbye
Alone and with nothing left to fear, Catherine deClaire Reed answers her sister’s desperate plea and travels to the cold comfort of her home in Reconstruction Louisiana. But Elizabeth is nowhere to be found. No one—including her husband—has seen her for days. Now, Catherine must search for her sister in a place where secrets wait behind every closed door…

stm-kw-audioREVIEW: I was gifted this audio CD by LibraryThing.com and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it contained two novels, and today I’ll review the firs one, having not heard the second one yet.

As an avid Diana Gabaldon fan of her Outlander series, I was happy to learn that Ms. White was not just a fan, but an author that has never written a book before she read Outlander, and decided that she just might try and write one herself. Good for her, I say! 

In the Shadow of the Moon was her debut which features time travel and that’s about the only thing that this story has in common with Gabaldon’s Outlander.

I must say that I was impressed with her prose as much as with the plot, pace and setting, which was south in the middle of the Civil War period. I also liked the characters, drama and suspense  this author created for her characters, main and secondary alike.

I also must give credit to the wonderful narrator, Susan Bennett, whose voice perfectly echo’s the time period, regardless of female or male voices.

I do recommend you either read or listen. It is a solid and entertaining story. Now off I go to the second one …..

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary audio CD’s won on LibraryThing.com

‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ by Beth Harbison

iictbt bhSTORY: Told with Beth Harbison’s wit and warmth, If I Could Turn Back Time is the fantasy of every woman who has ever thought, “If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I’d do things so differently…”

Thirty-seven year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous, and she enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But despite it all, she can’t ignore the fact that she isn’t necessarily happy. In fact, lately Ramie has begun to feel more than a little empty.

On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives off…

Suddenly Ramie is waking up, straining to understand a voice calling in the distance…It’s her mother: “Wake up! You’re going to be late for school again. I’m not writing a note this time…”

Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she’s lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she’ll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?

REVIEW: Ramie Phillips is about to turn 38.  She is from Potomac Maryland and a middle class family.  Ramie has always been good at math.  Her father was a banker so at a young age, she learned all about the stock market.  Today, she a very nice nest egg she has earned from her savvy investing.  She works for Whitestone, a top private equity investment company.  Sadly, she lost her father when she was just 20. He had been a heavy smoker all of her life and died from the effects of that smoking.  Ramie is quite satisfied with her life at it is.  She loves her job and is happy to be single and to have no kids.

Ramie’s best friend is Sammy, a gay guy.  So, on the day before her 38th birthday, she, Sammy and some other friends were partying and sipping champagne on a boat when Ramie fell and hit her head.  When she woke up, she found herself in her bed in her childhood home and was once again a teenager.

Next, we follow Ramie through her high school graduation; her last few good times with her father knowing he will die soon; and chances to just be young again.  Through this, the reader learns about her life and her friends.

Has Ramie time traveled?  Will she be able to return?  Is it a dream and will she wake up soon?

I admit that I am not a fan of time travel scenarios.  Perhaps that is way the book dragged for me.  It started off like it was going to be a good story but it simply went downhill from there.  Even the ending was predictable.  I know that other readers have thoroughly enjoyed this book.  So, if you like time travel books, do give it a try.

Connie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘True to the Highlander’ by Barbara Longley

bl ttthSTORY: Treachery rules the Highlands of 1423. With their king captured by the English, Scottish nobles plot to ransom James behind the back of the brutal regent holding their land in his iron grip. But not every clan wishes to see King James back on his throne…

Sitting atop this powder keg of bloodthirsty rivalries, Malcolm of clan MacKintosh takes the mysterious, lone maiden he finds along his road as a bad omen…though an undeniably beautiful one. When he attempts to save her from a rogue within his own garrison, she deftly brings Malcolm to his knees. Who is this willful lass who has so quickly laid siege to his heart?

Alethia Goodsky has met all kinds working at the New York Renaissance Festival, but no one like the fortune-teller who tasks her with a cryptic life-saving mission and flings her into the fifteenth century. Now Alethia must rely on her wits to unravel the mystery in this violent land. Malcolm has sworn to protect her, but her gifts may soon make her his protector. With enemies closing in, Alethia must choose between finding a way home…and remaining true to her Highlander.

REVIEW: New York- Present Day

Alethia Goodsky has the gift of being able to read people…. knowing if they tell the truth or lie. She’s working at a Renaissance Festival and feels like the fortune-teller is always watching her. She always tries to give her a wide berth but one day finds herself walking past the tent and getting invited in. Madame Giselle gives her a pendant with a crane on it which takes her by surprise because her father’s people, the Anishinaabe, belong to the Crane clan. Another surprise is that the pendant was crafted long ago in Scotland. Her mother had Scottish ancestry. She had been a MacConnell. Giselle tells her she has deeper gifts than she realizes. Alethia had lost both her parents at a young age and her grandmother raised her. As she goes to leave the tent she finds herself flung into the past.

Northern Scotland – 1423

Malcolm MacKintosh is heading to his father with an important missive when he finds Alethia passed out cold on the ground. He and his men are wondering who she is and why she’s there, alone. They clearly think she’s highborn because of her clothing and jewelry. She comes to, he snatches her from the ground and puts her on his horse and refuses to go back for her bag which was a huge mistake. Malcolm cannot know why her belongings mean so much to her, especially her violin. She uses her self-defense tactics and presses on his neck putting him to sleep. She jumps from the horse and runs. He comes to and goes after her, finding one of the men who was with his group, a Hugh Fraser, circling her. He makes Hugh leave which angers Hugh. Malcolm thinks him a spy for the Red Comyn and knows him to be cruel, spiteful, and perverse. They’ve made an enemy.

These two…. they keep me laughing! Alethia is a spitfire. Malcolm is entranced by her and loves her spunk even though at times he surely could find himself pulling his hair out. She wins the love of his people and her sight will save his clan. Their way will be full of deadly threats but the love they share will see them through.

This is the first book I’ve read by Barbara Longley and as soon as I finished reading this I bought HEART OF THE DRUID LAIRD. I find myself anxious for book 2 in the Loch Moigh series, THE HIGHLANDER’S BARGAIN.

*Leah for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley

Leah’s 2013 choices for…

Five Star Reads are:

XMTS VRI know we all have our favorite genres and our favorite authors. As for me, I read all types of historical books. Even a few contemporaries.

I had many 4 – 4 1/2 star reviews this year but I thought I’d post about my 5 star reads and you will see by my list just where my heart lies when it comes to genres, which doesn’t mean that I won’t give high marks to contemporary novels.

I gave a very high 4 1/2 to ‘Spin’ by Bella Love.  I am hooked! You can check out my review here.

Now, back to my FIVE STAR reads and so, here we go….

Julianne Lee and her Tenebrae series

‘Knight Tenebrae’, ‘Knight’s Blood’ and ‘Knight’s Lady’.

“Trapped in a place not their own, two strangers find the only thing they can count on is one another”.

Follow Alex and Lindsay as they travel back through time to 14th century Scotland. All three books take you on their journey. I was simply full of emotion throughout all three books. Read Mel’s reviews for the series here.

Sue-Ellen Welfonder and her Highland Warriors series

 ‘Sins Of a Highland Devil’, ‘Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel’ and ‘Seduction of a Highland Warrior’, along with SOTC PBthe novella, ‘Once Upon a Highland Christmas’.

I can tell you that Sue-Ellen brings medieval Scotland to life for me every time I go into one of her stories. They are full of humor, mystery, highland magic, warfare, and love. All are filled with history bits that will keep all history buffs happy. You can read my reviews for the series here, here & here, with Melanie’s review for the novella here,

Monica McCarty and ‘The Hawk’

It is part of the Highland Guard series and I highly recommend it. They all received high marks from me but Eric “Hawk” MacSorely stood out above the rest. She is another auto-buy for me. You can read my review here.

Diane Darcy and ‘She Owns The Knight’

I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed this book! I am sitting here smiling from ear to ear as I write this. If you love 13th century England, laughing, and watching as two people learn what love is all about, this story is a must buy! You can read my review here.

Victoria Roberts and ‘X Marks The Scot’

TH MMcCThis is #2 in the Bad Boys of the Highlands series and I waited patiently for Declan and his story and was so excited when I finally got it in my hands.

I knew there was a wonderful man behind the rogue. Laidain is just the woman for him too, one who won’t let him hide behind his blether, and one who is strong enough to stand her ground with him and everyone else for that matter.

This story is packed with treason, danger it seems around every turn, secrets discovered that condemns some and saves another, and laughter…..tons of laughter!

Patricia Bracewell and ‘Shadow on the Crown

Loved this story! From the history to the direction Patricia took this story in, her writing had hooked me in!

I felt for Emma as she accepted her lot in life and smiled when she stood for herself when needed. King Aethelred was constantly suspicious of everyone and because of his guilt, found himself tortured by visits from his murdered brother’s ghostly shadow. He also blatantly carried on with Elgiva, his mistress. I enjoyed the way Ms. Bracewell took the story line with Athelstan, the King’s son and his relationship with Emma. Through her words she brought OUAHC SEWcharacters into my life to love and hate, and added with the history, this became one of my most favorite reads this year. I cannot wait for the next on this series to see what she brings us next!

Kris Kennedy and ‘The Conqueror’

This author’s words move me. Period. I feel a deep connection while reading her work and urge you to give her a try if you haven’t yet. You can read my review here.

Margaret Mallory and ‘The Chieftain’

This is book 4 in the Return of the Highlanders series.

From beginning to end she had me captured in their world. My heart-felt warmth as I read the epilogue. I enjoyed watching their love come to fruition and talk about HOT!! I loved the mystical parts of this story. Tearlag and Ilysa and their sight, the fairy glens and the chants… ghostly sightings and the legends surrounding them all call to my heart. Scotland is full of lore and Margaret Mallory does an TIW KKexcellent job of bringing it to life.

She left me aching to walk the fairy glens, graveyards, and hills with standing stones. You can read Melanie’s review here.

Tanya Anne Crosby and her Highland Brides series. 

‘The MacKinnon’s Bride’, ‘Lyon’s Gift’, ‘On Bended Knee’ and ‘Lion Heart’ were re-reads for me that kept calling for me to pull out. Screamed at me actually. ‘Highland Song’ is a new addition to the series and stole my heart just as swiftly as the others did.

I found Tanya when I started reading 20 years ago and she was instantly catapulted to the top of my favorites list.

To me, her writing pulls at my heart and wraps me solidly within its pages.

You can read my reviews for the series herehereherehere, and here. You can now get the first 4 in the series in a boxed set…Cheaper that way, only $9.99!

So, there you have it! The stories that hit 5 stars for me this year and in no particular order. I would love to hear what everyone else read this year that received a 5 star rating. Feel free to share with us and give us your recommendations.

Now, I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings into my reading world.

*Leah for b2b

‘She Owns the Knight’ by Diane Darcy

SOTK DDSTORY: Why does she have to travel seven hundred years through time to find a decent guy?

Brokenhearted Gillian Corbett finally finds the knight of her dreams…in the past. Unfortunately he’s bossy, overbearing, and…betrothed! Fortunately, he thinks she is his affianced, which keeps her from garderobe duty. Or worse, being hanged as a spy. She knows she has to get back to her own time before his real fiancé shows up and the truth is discovered, but until she finds a way, she’s going to squeeze every bit of enjoyment she can out of this situation. As far as she’s concerned, this is one relationship in which she gets to call the shots, not the other way around. The dowry provided by his betrothed bought him, lock, stock, and barrel. She’ll gladly whip him into shape for the girl who ends up with him. No thanks required. In the meantime, Gillian owns him, and as every twenty-first century girl knows…ownership has its privileges.

Why can’t he find a lady who is obedient, submissive…or at least not trying to kill him?

After a horrible first marriage that ended badly, Sir Kellen Marshall is determined to protect what is left of his dreams. He needs an heir, an alliance, and a chaste bride who has never loved another. Would that he’d been choosier in his specifications because what he’s ended up with is a loud, bossy, demanding female who will drive him daft at every opportunity. So why does he feel he’d like to lay the world at her feet if she’d simply give him the chance?

When modern meets medieval, can there be a happily ever after?

REVIEW: This story had me rolling in laughter! Hard belly laughs!

England 1260: Lord Kellen Marshall was married to a Corbett. His wife tried to poison him but she drinks the poison instead. Before she dies, she admits to despising him, to having a lover who fathered their daughter and the babe she carries.

After she dies, he knows that he could never trust another woman again, yet still demands of her father to send him another daughter to wed and if he fails, threatens war. 

England, present day: Gillian Corbett has broken her engagement and is spending her would be honeymoon searching for her genealogy in England. As she sits drawing a castle ruin and graveyard she is set upon by four young men. One tries to steal a gold ring her father gave her and as she’s running from them she falls into oblivion …

England 1260:… and finds herself set upon by four men on horseback wearing medieval clothing. 

Kellen and his men see what’s going on and ride out to investigate. Seeing the ring on her hand, which looks to be a Corbett seal, he takes her to be his intended and takes her back to the castle.

Gillian can’t believe what she’s seeing or where she’s at and thinks she’s either dreaming or badly hurt by the original guys trying to attack her and maybe she’s been knocked unconscious.

Kellen has a midwife check her to make sure she’s a virgin and she was screaming and cussing like a sailor at the women holding her down as our hero and his men have their mouths open while below listening to her ranting.

“Has the girl been raised in the barracks with the foulest of knights?” one of the knights asks.

As they go through her backpack they are amazed at the odd items they find in it. Her passport picture has them astounded. I was howling in laughter reading about them trying to figure out what the objects are. They think the zipper on her shorts is a chastity belt!

“She no longer had any doubt that she was wide awake. This wasn’t a dream, and she wasn’t in a coma. There was nothing like a good gynecological exam to snap a girl out of a delusion.”

I urge you to pick this book up and follow these two and their friends on their journey to love. I laughed and I cried. I wanted so badly to blink myself there with them. One of my favorite reads this year!

Leah for b2b