Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Legends - And Giveaway


The History of Valentines Day...in Legends

 The history of Valentines Day is truly shrouded in legend. Although it is celebrated all over the world as a day of love and gift giving, no one really knows how it originated. But there are stories...
 
St. Valentine (but which one?)
Exactly who is St. Valentine, and why do we celebrate him? We do know there are three suspects named Valentine, or something close to it, who are currently recognized by the Catholic Church as saints. So which one is the true martyr, and what led to his death and subsequent martyrdom? For some clues, let’s go back to Rome in the year 268 A.D.
In that year, Claudius II, Roman Emperor, commanded the Roman army against the Goths. They defeated the Goths, earning Claudius the name of Claudius Gothicus – Defeater of the Goths. It is said that the emperor, the first soldier-emperor to rule Rome, thought that young men would better serve Rome as soldiers rather than husbands. Allegedly, Claudius made it illegal for young men to marry – thus making their only option a life in the military. Whether or not this is true is questionable, and scholars debate both sides.

Claudius Gothicus
One legend stemming from that tale is that a priest named Valentine married young people in secret, believing that love and the sanctity of marriage were more important than expanding Rome’s territory. This legend states that Claudius caught wind of these illegal marriages and had Valentine executed.

Another less elaborate legend states Valentine was imprisoned and ultimately executed for merely helping the persecuted Christians.

A romantic addition to the legend states that Valentine (imprisoned for whichever reason you choose) fell in love with his jailor’s daughter. According to one legend, she brought flowers and notes to Valentine from the children in the area who loved and missed him. Prior to his execution, it is said that Valentine wrote a love poem for the lovely jailor’s daughter. He signed the poem “from your Valentine.”
Birmingham Oratory

Scholars and researchers have been trying to find an answer to which one of these Valentines is the real one, and which, if any, of the legends is true, for a great number of years.

Remains exhumed in 1836 were identified as St. Valentine’s and placed in Dublin, Ireland at the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church. Valentine’s Day Mass includes a casket that is carried to the high alter – where a prayer is said for people in love.

Other relics of St. Valentine can be found in France, Austria, Scotland, and England. England’s Birmingham Oratory holds a gold reliquary on an alter stating it contains the body of St. Valentine, Martyr.

It is said that Valentine was executed on February 14, which is the day we celebrate with gifts of flowers, candy, and trinkets, as well as more valuable presents.

Although we may never know the real story behind this day of love, the legends behind it are intriguing indeed.




And Speaking of Legends...Now for the giveaway!

As a gift to my readers...on Valentine’s Day, I'm giving away a signed copy of my latest book in the Swamp Legend Series, "The Secret in Mossy Swamp: The Legend of the Rougarou." I’ll also include a little Valentine gift. To enter, please tweet, and/or post this giveaway on Facebook, Like my Author Pages on Facebook (if you haven't already), and leave a comment here. I will randomly choose a winner (from the commenters) on February 14, 2017 at noon. So you have plenty of time to get in on the fun.
Nikki says "Happy Valentines Day to all my friends and fans!"
Snooper says "WOOF!"

Here's a blurb from The Secret in Mossy Swamp:

Living in a tiny houseboat, Nikki Landry is stuck with sharing a room with her little brother, Jesse, who does what little brothers do best...torture their sisters. Fed up, she decides to build a place of her own...a tree house where no boys are allowed. Meanwhile, something strange is happening on Bayou Platte. Things and people are coming up missing...and little stick dolls covered in moss, known locally as "signs" from the legendary Rougarou, are showing up in their place.
Is the Rougarou really to blame? Can Nikki get to the bottom of the mystery before things get worse? Find out in this third installment of the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series!

About the author/illustrator:

Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. She enjoys writing and illustrating stories set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. Her stories reflect her childhood, growing up along the levees and bayous. Rita now lives with her husband, six adopted dogs, and two lazy cats, in the mountains of Tennessee.



Author Contacts:
Author’s Web site
Author Page

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Sun God's Heir: Return, Book 1


Elliott Baker and Sapphyria's Book Promotions Present:







Welcome to the Book Launch and Free on Kindle Promotion Tour for 
The Sun God's Heir: Return, Book 1
Historical Fiction, Fantasy


From Jan. 18-22, 2017,  the Kindle version of The Sun God's Heir: Return, Book 1 
will be FREE for everyone.
Release Date: January 2, 2017



About The Sun God's Heir: Return, Book 1:


The Sun God’s Heir is a swashbuckling series, set at the end of the seventeenth century in France, Spain and northern Africa. Slavery is a common plague along the European coast and into this wild time, an ancient Egyptian general armed with dark arts has managed to return and re-embody, intent on recreating the reign of terror he began as Pharaoh. RenĂ© Gilbert must remember his own former lifetime at the feet of Akhenaten to have a chance to defeat Horemheb. A secret sect has waited in Morocco for three thousand years for his arrival.

Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/2ivhu4z


Praise for The Sun God's Heir: Return:

A great read!  From the first sword fight I could not put it down.  Adventure, romance, action with just the right amount of his history and mysticism.  The main character Rene displays all the qualities a true hero should; loyal, smart, humble, and a ferocious warrior all opponents will fear before their end.  I could not help but feel fully immersed in the story.  One of the best reads I can remember, I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series!! ~ Jason Battistelli


The Sun God’s Heir is a page turner. The development of the characters made you really care what happens next to each person, good or evil. The descriptions of the ships, homes and countryside transported me into the era and made me feel like I was one of the onlookers or a part of the story itself. The moment I finished I had to have the second book to see what happens next. Fabulous!” ~
Karyn Krause Cumberland, Esquire


The Sun God’s Heir is a fascinating combination of historical period fiction, sci-fi, and political intrigue. Elliott Baker weaves a tale that one would have to be catatonic not to enjoy. The character development ranks among the best I’ve read; truly, by halfway through the book I found myself thinking like Rene (the main character) in my own daily life. This is the sign of mastery of character depth which is so often lacking in contemporary fiction. And the pacing! Rarely does a book seem to move at the speed of a movie without feeling haphazard. I applaud Elliott for pulling that off, as only an experienced screenwriter or playwright could. If you like a quality story that bridges traditional genre boundaries, then the Sun God’s Heir is for you! ~ Joshua Bartlett

Meet the Author:




Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott B. Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida but has spent the last thirty-five years or so living in sunny New Hampshire. With four musicals and one play published and produced throughout the United States, in New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to offer his first novel, Return, book one of The Sun God’s Heir trilogy. Among his many work experiences, Elliott was a practicing hypnotherapist for seven years. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann. 

You can find Elliott at the following places:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElliottBakerAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElliottBaker?lang=en
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423737



Visit the Blogs Participating in the Book Launch and Free on Kindle Promotion:










Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Time Travelers Resort & Museum



A new Release by David McClain!
Illustrated by Felix Eddy









Genre(s): Time Travel, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Steampunk



Release Date: November 17, 2016



Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing 




Follow the Tour:




About The Time Traveller's Resort and Museum:



“If you need to know men's secrets

Or if there's something you need to find 

If you want to see the dinosaurs 

Or the insides of your mind.

If you want to watch the earth begin,

Or see what the apocalypse will leave behind,

You need to thank Alice Anderson,

For Alice is the mother of time.”



That was how the rhyme went. Every time traveler knew it. Everyone that is, except of course, for Alice herself, since she hadn’t invented time travel yet. Since returning to London, Alice’s life has been turned upside down. She’s been accused of murder and lost her position in the scientific community. Her only ally in this journey is a strange man who seems to think that Alice may be about to open up a strange new world of possibilities, but is probably not telling her everything he knows.



Read an Excerpt:



“Hello,” Alice said, with a certain degree of reluctant enthusiasm.



“You sound American,” an annoyed voice on the other end of the line said.



Alice dropped her bag. “I've been in New York for three years,” Alice said. “You're lucky I don't sound like I'm from the Bronx.”



It was Alice's sister, Wendy, giving what by her standards was a remarkably warm and friendly greeting. “You're lucky I don't steal your passport while you’re here and force you to teach Electrical Engineering at the University of the Orkneys. Electrical Engineering, that's what you do, isn't it?”



“You do realize that I just spent an entire evening in a metal tube, sitting on a very small seat that appeared to have been made from rocks confiscated from terrorists at security?”



“Terrorists use rocks these days?”



“Well, they're harder to spot going through metal detectors, aren't they?”



Ending a sentence with a question apparently sounded appropriately British and Wendy seemed to ease up a little.



“How was the flight, then?” she asked.



“I believe I aged three years,” Alice answered, looking for the way to the exit. “Do you want to have a drink?”



“Is that a rhetorical question?”



“In America, it's considered polite to ask.”



“I believe that the University of the Orkneys has early tenure.”



Wendy took pride in her absolute loathing of all things American. She saw Alice's decampment to New York as nothing less than a complete betrayal.



“Would you mind if we met in at my hotel?” Alice asked, trying to sound as if this were a polite request and not a desperate plea.



“I don't know,” Wendy said. “There aren't going to be a lot of randy outer-space types there, are there?”



“It's an astronomy conference,” Alice insisted. “Not a Sci-Fi convention.”



There was the unmistakable sound of pursing lips on the other end of the phone. “What hotel are you staying at?” Wendy asked.



“The Kensington.”



Wendy thought about it. “I'll meet you, but let's meet somewhere else. There's a pub down that way that I've had my eye on.”



“Wendy–”



“I have to drive in all the way from Brixton. You can walk a hundred metres out of the hotel lobby.”



Alice sighed. She decided not to point out that in fact she had come quite a bit farther than hundred meters. “What's the name of the place?” she asked.



“The Gristle and Thorn,” Wendy said.



Alice spotted the word “EXIT” on the far side of the hall. “Couldn't find any place with a ghastlier name? Was the ‘Skull and Crossbones’ already booked?”



“Just meet me,” Wendy insisted, and for a moment, she did her best to sound kind. “I've missed you.”



It has been said that all journeys begin with a single step, and while it might seem that Alice's journey began all the way back at JFK, in actuality the first step of Alice's journey began with a decision. It was not a big decision, not the kind of thing that would strike a historian as a significant chapter in the decline and fall of the Western Empire, but for Alice Anderson, it was the equivalent of crossing the Rubicon. It was the simplest thing really – a choice of restaurants.



“The Gristle and Thorn it is,” Alice said, picking up her bag again and shuffling through the crowd.






Meet the Author:



David McLain is the author of the two novels: Dragonbait, and The Life of a Thief. His stories have been published in the anthologies Metastasis, Penny Dread II, and the Doctor Who Anthology Time Shadows, as well as over two dozen magazines. He has been featured on NPR's Off the Page and the History of England podcast. He lives in New York.



Connect with David McLain: 


















Meet the Illustrator: 



Felix Eddy graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Alfred University. She is the author and illustrator of A Bestiary Alphabet, and has illustrated several book covers and children's books. You can find out more about her at www.felixeddy.com







Purchase Links:



MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING: 












AMAZON.COM: 




AMAZON.CA: 




KOBO: 




BARNES & NOBLE: 




Chapters.Indigo: 





Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret

It's finally here!   
The third book in the Timekeepers series, by Sharon Ledwith and Mirror World Publishing!





Only a true hero can shine the light in humanity’s darkest time.




Book Details:

Title: The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret
Series:  The Last Timekeepers, Book 2
Author Name: Sharon Ledwith
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, WWII
Release Date: October 17, 2016
Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing 



About The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret:

Fourteen year-old Jordan Jensen always considered himself a team player on and off the field, until the second Timekeeper mission lands him in Amsterdam during World War Two. Pulled into the world of espionage, torture, and intolerance, Jordan and the rest of the Timekeepers have no choice but to stay one step ahead of the Nazis in order to find and protect a mysterious book.

With the help of the Dutch Resistance, an eccentric baron, Nordic runes, and an ancient volume originating from Atlantis, Jordan must learn that it takes true teamwork, trust, and sacrifice to keep time safe from the evils of fascism. Can Jordan find the hero within to conquer the darkness surrounding the Timekeepers? If he doesn’t, then the terrible truth of what the Nazis did will never see the light of day.



Read an Excerpt:



“I wonder what else is down here.” Drake beamed his cell phone across the basement, hitting jars of jams, pickles, and relishes. His stomach growled.

Jordan pulled the cheese from his pocket and handed it to Drake. “Trade you for your phone.”

“Best. Trade. Ever.” Drake passed his phone to Jordan.

Jordan walked over and grabbed a jar of pickles off the dusty shelf. At least they wouldn’t arrive at the baron’s place hungry. He hoped his uncle had managed to stop Amanda’s bleeding. His hand tightened over the jar, the ridges of the lid cutting into his palm. A scrape from behind the shelves made Jordan jump.

“Hello?” he asked, pushing jars aside. He flashed the cell phone into the small, dark area.

“Who ya talking to, Jordan?” Drake asked with his mouth full of cheese.

“Shhh, Drake.” Jordan listened. Hearing nothing, he shrugged and turned back around.

“I thought I heard—” Jordan stopped and pointed the phone at Ravi. His jaw dropped. “A-Are you serious, Sharma?”

Drake spat out his cheese, snorting with laughter.

“Is there a problem?” Ravi asked, tying the bowtie of his tuxedo.

“You look like a penguin with attitude!” Drake slapped his knee.

“Say what you want, but I’m glad we didn’t hit the cleaners on the way to school now,” Ravi replied, pulling down his sleeves, “or else I wouldn’t have these dry clothes.”

Jordan chuckled. Suddenly, he heard a door creak open, followed by heavy footsteps squeaking down the stairs. Panicking, Jordan stuffed Drake’s phone in his track suit jacket’s pocket and waved Drake over by the shelves. Drake slipped behind Jordan just in time, before the small light bulb above the bottom of the stairs clicked on. Jordan swallowed hard. There, staring directly at Ravi was a portly man in a blood-stained apron. Tufts of blond hair sprouted from the sides of his balding head. His brown trousers were pulled up past his waist, making him resemble an evil garden gnome. In one of his hands, he held a huge butcher knife, its blade flecked with blood.

Wielding the knife, the man pointed at Ravi. “Who are you?”

Ravi licked his thick lips nervously. “The name’s Bond. James Bond.”

Purchase Links:


Mirror World Publishing: 



Amazon:  


Amazon.ca: 


KOBO: 


Barnes & Noble: 




Meet the Author:




Escape to the past and have a blast.






Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS. Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.



Connect with Sharon Ledwith:


Sharon’s Website: www.sharonledwith.com




Sharon’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/seledwith




Twitter: @sharonledwith: https://twitter.com/sharonledwith










Amazon Author U.K. Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0084DUHJO