Cover Reveal: The Age of Resonance by Kathryn Knowles – Genre: Fantasy @RRBookTours #RRBookTours #FantasyBooks

We’re so excited to share this cover with you all today! Isn’t it a beauty?! Read on for more about The Age of Resonance by Kathryn Knowles!

The Age of Resonance

The Age of Resonance (The Quiescence Trilogy)

Expected Publication Date: November 2022

Genre: Fantasy/ Epic Fantasy

After stillness, a new age dawns.

A new war is brewing. The final battle between kingdoms will unearth long-kept secrets; it will challenge friendships and test communities. And Mórceá will change forever.

Catanya’s perilous and mystical journey to Túir-Avlea is over. She has arrived at the legendary mountain community where the eccentric Maílehr Laylian promises to teach her the secrets of Resonance. With the fate of the world resting on her shoulders, Catanya must learn to harness the volatile power within her, no matter the cost.

Inside Caerlon City, Diyah’s world view has been challenged. Surrounded by untrustworthy allies and perplexing enemies, her allegiances are shifting. Before long, Diyah will need to confront her deepest beliefs and choose between her own desires and her duty.

Betrayals will shape the future, and truths will be unveiled in the final installment of the Quiescence Trilogy.

Coming Soon!

The Quiescence Trilogy

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The Relics of Illayan (The Quiescence Trilogy Book 1) 

In the stillness, a power wakes

Caerlon is a kingdom where the power of Resonance has long been bound to a single bloodline, a single all-powerful ruler. Now, for the first time in centuries, the magic has been divided.

On the night of the new king’s coronation, something causes his magic to fracture, and Catanya, a young woman living on the outskirts of Caerlon discovers the long-kept secret of her connection to the throne.

Driven mad by his lust for power, King Cadyan sends his soldiers to hunt her down. He is determined to reclaim his birthright and uncover the truth about the legendary Relics of Illayan, which could hold the key to eternal power and immortality.

On the run, terrified and alone, Catanya must decide how—or even if—she can wield the magic of Caerlon to protect herself and save everyone she loves.

Amazon

The Warrior Queen (The Quiescence Trilogy Book 2)

From the stillness, a hero rises.

Catanya has escaped to the Kingdom of Awnell. Inside the towering fortress city, she meets Queen Ayr, a freethinking and cunning leader intent on safeguarding her people’s liberty. Unsure who to trust, and still grappling with her untamed magic, Catanya must learn what it means to be a warrior.

Miles away, Diyah’s strength is tested as new allies emerge and old secrets unravel. Torn between fear and curiosity, she begins to suspect that nothing is as it seems in Caerlon.

As the division between brother and sister threatens to ignite a centuries old conflict between kingdoms, both Catanya and Diyah must decide what price they are willing to pay for freedom.

New dangers approach and mysterious legends emerge in the second installment of the Quiescence Trilogy.

Amazon

About the Author

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Kathryn Knowles is a composer, cellist, conductor, and writer currently based in Toronto, Ontario. She splits her time between writing, teaching, conducting, composing, and running Mad Endeavour.

In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys taking on new creative projects (i.e. filling up that “spare” time), spending time with friends and family, tending her ever-growing plant collection (obsession), and looking at pictures of puppies and dreaming of the day she can have one of her own.

Kathryn Knowles | Mad Endeavor

Instagram | Mad Endeavor IG | Goodreads | BookBub

 

 

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Book Tour: The Past That Haunts by Jennifer Porter – Genre: Paranormal/ Mafia Romance @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Romance

Congratulations to author Jennifer Porter on the release of novel, The Past That Haunts! Read on for more details and an exclusive excerpt!

the past that haunts copy

The Past That Haunts (Wardman Chronicles #1)

Publication Date: September 12th, 2022

Genre: Paranormal/ Mafia Romance

Lilith Wardman was six when her parents died. Since then, she’s gone through the motions of life, dreaming of what might have been had her world not been ripped apart.

Yet at the age of twenty-three, she finds herself thrust into a fresh nightmare.

Two sides are pitted against each other in a brewing vampire war, and Lilith is caught in between them. One wants her dead. The other will put their lives on the line to save her.

When Dominic Rosini kidnaps Lilith, he claims he accepted his boss’s offer to protect her. Little does she know, Dominic is driven by motives of his own. His boss made a promise Dominic intends to keep, despite his growing attraction to the frightened mortal.

Trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse, can Lilith trust the feelings she’s developing for Dominic? Or will the delicate life she built be left in shambles once more?

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Excerpt

“Go on. I won’t stop you. But you have two minutes from the time you open that door.” He fished out another cigarette and lit it, talking as he closed the lighter. “What are you waiting for?”

Two minutes… I could do it. All I had to do was run until I found the front door and then run some more. Should be easy enough. Right?

I forced myself to stand up, but the room spun quickly. The sedative… Damn it. I fell, my right knee slamming against the floor. I bit down on my bottom lip, making a fist against the thin rug as I cursed under my breath. I didn’t realize just how unsteady this stuff made me.

“Looks like you’re the one in your way.”

“Fuck you,” I fired back, jaw clenched.

Dominic walked past me and opened the door. “Keep going.”

Doing all I knew I could do, I mustered up the strength and crawled across the floor. Dominic stepped out of the way, neglecting to help me up as I reached the doorway. I pushed on and dragged myself, entering the hallway with my handbag in my hand. Time was of the essence. I needed to think fast, but it was difficult through the fog.

The long, narrow red area rug was rough beneath me.

I approached a railing and took advantage, moving toward it as fast as I could, and grabbed its smooth wood. Using it for support, I pulled myself up on my feet, my legs wobbling like jelly.

“One minute and ten seconds,” he announced.

I looked over my shoulder to see Dominic tapping his watch as he watched me, leaning against the door frame.

Fear should’ve consumed me like the sedative did. But I wasn’t afraid; I was focused. When someone told me I couldn’t do something, I proved them wrong or exhausted everything inside of me trying.

I could do this; I had to.

Shaky, my first few steps were slow. I looked at the ceiling. Hardwired lights went down the length of the hall. With the red of the area rug, it gave off a chilling glow.

“Forty-five seconds.”

Inhaling deeply, I ran as fast as these wobbly legs would take me as I exhaled. My heart raced wilder than my thoughts.

But fate had other plans.

I lost my balance and collided with the railing, almost falling down the connecting staircase. I gritted my teeth, close to tears. “Damn it.” I tried again, even though I was certain at this point I wasn’t making it out of here. A fluttering spread through my chest. I clutched my handbag tight against me when the voice of another man that I couldn’t see interrupted my thoughts.

“Time’s up,” he said in a mocking tone.

Studying the staircase where the voice came from, the man became clearer through the dark. So did the barrel of a gun. The unfamiliar man was tall like Dominic, wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt and black sweatpants. He kept his head tipped forward, his face hidden by the hood as he aimed the gun at me, moving up the staircase step by painfully calculated step.

My breaths sped up, my chest tightening. I tried absorbing everything in sight, backing up a step at a time. The only way out was to jump through the curtained window behind me.

Available for Purchase Here!

About the Author

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Jennifer Porter resides in the city of Lewiston, Maine. She enjoys writing and reading adult paranormal romance, mafia romance, & dark romance. The darker and spicier, the better.

She was told she had the potential to write her own book while attending elementary school, and as she grew older, she discovered her passion to become an author. She has written opinion pieces for her local newspaper. Coffee, music, and her supportive husband and family keep her going.

Jennifer spends her spare time with her husband and tends to get lost in her favorite television shows when she’s not lost in books or her creative worlds.

Jennifer Porter | Instagram | TikTok | Facebook

 

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Book Tour & Giveaway: Grave Intervention by Shira Shiloah MD – Genre: Medical Thriller/ Paranormal/ Suspense @ShiraShiloahMD @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #BookTour

Welcome to the book tour for the latest thriller by Shira Shiloah! Read on for more details and a chance to win either a paperback edition of the book (US) or a digital edition (International)!

Cover

Grave Interventions

Expected Publication Date: September 20, 2022

Genre: Paranormal/ Medical Thriller/ Suspense

Dr. Amir Hadad, a successful radiologist, hears an intruder. Hiding in the dark, the stranger whispers, “I can’t rest.”

Alarmed and unwilling to risk his family’s safety, Amir contacts the police. Only there is no trace of an intruder, no marks of forced entry. If there is a stalker afoot, the police cannot find him.

As the days wear on and Amir continues to hear the same disembodied voice speaking to him, he worries about his sanity. The Irish lilt has escalated from pleas for help to threats unless Amir helps the voice find rest – and revenge.

Inspired by true events set in Naperville, Illinois, Dr. Shira Shiloah takes readers through suspenseful twists and turns in her latest novel. GRAVE INTERVENTION, a paranormal medical suspense, blurs the lines between real and imaginary to expose the hidden side of a historical suburban town.

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Excerpt

Camille remained on the couch, her expression sad. He could tell she’d been crying and saw the episode “Death of a Goldfish” was streaming. He thought her grief would’ve let up by now; two-and-a-half years in, the depression showed no sign of leaving. He wished she’d see a therapist. He’d broach the topic again with Viva; maybe she’d listen to her sister.

“Let’s get Mommy,” he whispered into Sami’s ear, and she squealed with delight. He put Sami on his shoulders and said, “One, two, three… attack the Mommy… here we come.” He walked behind the couch and bent at his waist so both he and Sami could hug Camille. “Give Mommy kisses. So many kisses.”

Camille reached for them, pulling them into an embrace with each arm, and taking Sami onto her lap. “Cuddle puddle,” she said. She kissed them both. “How was your day?”

Yer lady’s a grand feen.

The voice. He heard the words clearly. He surveyed the room and saw the front door was closed; no one was there but the three of them. He turned behind him and glanced at the hallway leading from the garage into the foyer.

“Did you hear that?” Amir whispered.
“Hear what? You’re scaring me.”
Jaysus, her legs. You lucky bastard.
“Take Sami now. Get in the car.” He went to the kitchen,

grabbed his phone and a carving knife from the drawer. “Go.” Camille gathered their coats from the laundry room, set Sami on the washing machine and put shoes on her. “Come

with me, Sami. Daddy wants us to take a drive.” Camille carried her and Sami dropped her doll while reaching for her father.

“Daddy, come.”

“I’ll be right there, baby. I have to get dressed. Go with Mommy.” He watched from the garage entrance as Camille strapped Sami into her rear facing car seat in the back of the Tesla SUV. She held her palms up to him.

“Where am I going?”

“Go to Malnati’s, order for us. I’ll be right there.” He closed the garage door after they drove away, and went inside. He walked from the kitchen to the den. Sami’s toys and dolls were scattered on the carpet. Another episode of Mister Rogers’ had started. He turned off the television. The room had turned colder. Amir checked the front windows, all were sealed. He shivered.

Yer lady’s grand.

“Come out where I can see you, you psychopath. Who’s there?” Amir dialed 911 on his phone. “Police. I have an intruder.” He put on jeans and a sweater, grabbed his coat and wallet, and went out the front door holding the carving knife.

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About the Author

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Dr. Shira Shiloah is an anesthesiologist and author of the debut thriller, Emergence, that details Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon who intentionally maims and kills his patients in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Shiloah bring both a personal and professional perspective for what may happen when a sociopath holds a scalpel.

Shira Shiloah MD | Twitter Instagram 

 

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Book Tour Schedule

September 12th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

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September 14th

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September 15th

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September 16th

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Book Review Opportunity: Sojourn by Abigail Linhardt (Available till Nov. 30th/ Digital & Audiobooks) Genre: Dark Fantasy @Promthanius @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #DarkFantasy

Finished with Season of the Runer?

Good! Because now the gorgeous follow-up Sojourn by Abigail Linhardt is now available for review!

Unlike an event, there is no set time to post your review as long as you share and cross-post to Amazon and Goodreads before the end of November! In case you are wondering, this is all to get ready for the highly anticipate third installment, The Eldritch Hunt (COMING SOON)! Digital and audiobooks available!

Request Below!

eBook - Book II Sojourn

Sojourn (Season of the Runer #2)

Publication Date: November 8th, 2021

Genre: Dark Fantasy

“THERE MAY BE NO GHOSTS OR GHOULS HERE, BUT THERE ARE MONSTERS. IT’S OUR JOB TO STOP THEM.”

Fleeing Al’Myrah, Tzarik sails with Sybal as far away from Sharar as they can. Landing on the far eastern continent of Xia, they discover there are no Runers on Xia and a civil war is heating up between the traditionalists and those who believe it is time for Xia to join the ways of the modern world.

A mysterious creed called Wushito culls the monsters without runes or the white blood. Revered or feared, Wushito exists to support the ruler of Xia–the one touched by the White Dragon. But with Runers ashore, their secrets may soon be brought to light and the traditions on which Xia is built will be tipped into chaos.

Put in the middle, Tzarik and Sybal set events into motion they must see through to the end or risk unleashing a malevolent force into the world. However, a shadow from the past appears amidst their new struggle, complicating their sojourn and quest for sanctuary.

Goodreads

Excerpt

The sulfates calming inside her, Sybal gathered all that remained of her patience and followed the general. Not wanting to ever be that close to the general again, she chose a perch a few yards away behind a boulder. Just as she ducked down, the small army came into view. She’d expected them to be out3tted in matching regalia, gleaming armor, and spears. The troupe that emerged was a ragtag team in mismatched pieces of armor. Some wore furs patched together with black leather. These had black paint on their faces and over their eyes. They looked harder and 3ercer than the others. The placards they carried were the only uniform item; it bore the familiar crest of House Xhiaoh.

“They’re peasants,” she whispered. “People.”

Wu-Zhiang scoffed. “What did you expect of a people who want to overthrow Wushito? Ignorant rats.”

Touching her runes under her tunic, Sybal said, “I will not kill them. I will stop them.”

The Masahk narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “As you wish. I have no qualms with killing those who seek to overthrow my creed. On my signal…”

Swallowing hard, Sybal prepared herself. For the 3rst time, her crime 6oated to the front of her mind. She could not cut down another sentient being. She didn’t know what would happen. All she knew was that the recompense was said to be horrifying to witness and painful for the oath breaker. A long, grueling death, no doubt.

Rearing up, Wu-Zhiang held her yari aloft and struck down into the army. Without hesitation, Sybal jumped after her, drawing halat as she landed. She opted for her bow, kiting away from on-coming attacks. Drawing buhkar, she misted away and was able to stay back from the attackers. Wu-Zhiang was not as merciful nor inhibited by a magical oath that would take her life. Her fangs 6ashing in the moonlight, she bit the enemy with quick, deadly strikes. Arching her spine, she turned upside down to 3re a fatal arrow into a man who threw a spear at her.

Sybal thought they’d gotten the upper hand too quickly. She’d released a half dozen arrows into shins and feet when the invading army turned and ran forward into the trees.

“Follow them!” Wu-Zhiang hissed, wiping blood from her lips. “They are heading right to Yasuke!” A wicked grin warped her face into demonic joy. “To the blus.”

Chasing after the serpentine woman took all Sybal’s speed and strength. When the Masahk went down onto her belly and shot o, she moved with the speed of a hunting viper. A whipping, hissing sound alerted her to ShanBao’s arrow going up from where the others waited. This should have been their signal, but Wu- Zhiang had preemptively struck. Now it signaled Yasuke and Jin to move in. Sybal saw how well ShanBao knew his generals when she heard Yasuke give a wild, canine cry.

The two women came over the rocky outcropping and stopped.

“A trap!” Wu-Zhiang shouted.

Below, another horde of Wu-Tang warriors waited, unleashing arrows towards Jin and Yasuke. Sybal prepared to scream for the boy to duck, but he easily dodged the arrows with elegant lips, scaling a tree before hopping across to another, shooting his own arrows down at the same time. Yasuke leapt into the frey for melee attacks, using his claws. His fur stood on end as he roared. A 3ery fox shadow appeared behind him as his attacks grew in rage.

From behind Jin and Yasuke, the Shiuki warriors emerged, spears and staves in hand. Sybal skirted around the edge, the blood from the Wushito general’s savage attacks painting the vibrant green grass red. She met with ShanBao and the royal commander.

“I will lose my rank for this,” Commander Zhen stuttered, his face white. “We are involved in a civil dispute. A battle! The Di- Huan will have my head.”

“This was unexpected, Zhen.” ShanBao watched, horri3ed at the bloodletting. “They played us for the peaceful fools we are.”

Below, Sybal watched a royal warrior brought to his knees by a man welding the banner of House Xiaoh. The royal warrior begged for his life before the Xiaoh 3ghter stabbed him with the placard, standing it up in his corpse. Unable to bear the sight, she leased an arrow into the Xiaoh warrior’s knee.

“Careful, Sybal!” ShanBao cried. “Your oath.”

Glaring at the evil sigil, she spat. “It is far worse a punishment that I cannot take my revenge.” In truth, she had killed Whoang Xiaoh twice. She had tasted her revenge. But the opportunity to fell more of his kinsmen and followers loomed before her in insatiable temptation.

“Guard your anger,” ShanBao whispered, touching her shoulder gently from behind. “I do this to protect Xia. House Xiaoh wants one of their own on the throne.”

“Why are they striking now?” Zhen cried as he watched his men fall. “I thought we were close to an accord.”

“Hardly,” ShanBao replied. “The Di-Huan is ignorant and indecisive. His son has no desire to rule.”

Zhen swallowed hard before he spoke. “He is not touched by the dragon. They must be frightened their rule will be challenged.”

About the Author

Author Pic

Abi has been a writer all her life, but is a mentor at heart. When she is not writing, you can find her slaying enemies online or hunting for the next bohemian adventure. She has published works of fiction, poetry, academia, and even won awards for her short stories in science fiction and horror.

Abi is also a proud mom of two…ferrets! She live streams on Twitch where you can enjoy her terrible gaming skills and join the live discussion. She works part-time as a freelance ghostwriter, editor, and audiobook narrator, hoping to one day make these passions her full-time job. She currently resides in Kansas.

She is one of nine children–all who share the creative spark.

Abigail Linhardt | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok 

 

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Book Tour: What Lies West of the River by Rachel Leigh – Genre: YA Suspense @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #YoungAdultBooks #Thriller

Welcome to the book tour for the spine-chilling new novel by Rachel Leigh! Read on for more!

What_Lies_West_of_the_River_Cover

What Lies West of the River

Publication Date: June 17th, 2022

Genre: YA Suspense

In the wake of a local teenage boy’s mysterious death, the town of Guillane, Connecticut, has been plunged into chaos. A dark, malignant force is rising within the murky waters of the East River, an ancient presence so evil it threatens to devour the very soul of the small town in its wake. Thrown together by circumstance, it is up to an unlikely group—a girl haunted by tragedy, her seemingly perfect older brother, Guillane high’s resident know-it-all, and a weary English teacher—to battle its forces and rid Guillane of its terrible influence. Together, they must struggle to overcome their own fears, come to terms with grief, and understand the nightmarish entity that threatens them at every turn. Their love for one another and their will to survive is powerful, but will it be enough to battle the darkness that is closing in from all sides? The water is rising, and it might just drown the whole world.

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Excerpt

The moon hung low over Guilford on Wednesday night, three days after the funeral of Miles Sullivan. It hung so low, that the top of the church steeple seemed to pierce it as it rose up into the sky. By two o’clock in the morning, most of the frosted windows in the little houses were dark, and the town grew still. Candles were blown out, doors had been locked, and chimneys were barren.

If someone had been standing in the middle of Great Hill Road, and had been asked to describe what they heard that night, they would likely have named the following sounds: the whisper of the wind, the occasional snapping of twigs, and the faint chirping of crickets. However, a very different series of sounds could be heard beneath, but only if one was quiet enough and focused enough to pick them out.

The boy held the freshly lit cigarette up to his mouth and took a drag. He let the smoke escape his lips and watched it with satisfaction. He leaned his skinny body against the railing of the back porch and thought about his hatred of his father, something he often thought about. If he had been slightly smarter and slightly more self-aware, he might have realized that he didn’t truly enjoy smoking, and only did so out of spite for his father, who he knew wouldn’t approve. He did a lot of things out of spite.

The boy’s name was Ryan Gardener. He didn’t have the capacity to analyze himself, and so he was usually as puzzled by his own actions as anyone else was. He seemed to simply roll through his days, collecting up into himself more spite and resentment as he went. At 18 years of age, the only thing he really aspired to was making everyone he disliked admire him. He pictured himself ten years in the future, wealthy and successful, waltzing back through the doors of Guilford High for his class reunion. He could almost see the aged and jealous faces of his classmates. He could practically hear his father’s pathetic voice, begging him for money or support, and Ryan practically shuddered with delight at the thought of what the old man’s face would look like when he was denied. He didn’t care very much to think about how he would obtain such wealth and success, considering he didn’t have any talents or interests whatsoever. Nonetheless, his dream was more real to him than anything else in his life.

He lowered the cigarette from his mouth and turned it over in his slender fingers, studying it. Briefly, only briefly, he wondered if he was a good person, though he didn’t really care what the answer was. He turned his attention back to the darkened yard before him.

If he hadn’t already been looking out in the direction of the woods behind his house as he smoked, he might not have caught the first sign. Straining his eyes, he thought he could pick out two specks of light coming from the darkness between the trees. At first, he thought they might be the headlights of a car, though he wondered how it would be possible to drive through the dense woods. It was only when they grew in size that he realized that they were not lights from something far away, but rather something quite close. They were eyes—big, yellow, and inhuman. They shone from in between the trees that made up the borderline of the woods, and they were advancing.

It was precisely when the terrible realization of being watched by something unknown sunk in, that he noticed the second sign. Music. It started quietly, as if the shrill cry of the violin grew out of the whistle of the wind itself like a mutation. The music floated through the air and wove its way into his mind, and it was because of it that Ryan Gardener found himself frozen. Yes, he was sure he couldn’t move one bit. His own eyes were glued to the advancing pair of yellow eyes, and he desperately wanted to race back through the door he had emerged from and lock it. But he couldn’t.

Two sensations rose in him quite quickly. The first was fear, of course, when he became aware that he could not escape whatever was drawing nearer to him. The other was an inexplicable feeling of calm, which quickly smothered the fear and replaced it entirely.

And there he stood, a cigarette in hand, staring into the approaching eyes of fate.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

authorpic

 Rachel Leigh was born and raised in California. She cultivated her love of writing at an early age, and began working on her first novel What Lies West of the River as a high school student. She is currently living in New York, and attending New York University as a part of the Tisch School of Acting. She has been a lover of stories all her life. Visit her on Instagram at @rachelgleigh.

Rachel Leigh

 

Book Tour Schedule

September 5th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

@my_books_and_coffee (Review) https://www.instagram.com/my_books_and_coffee/

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September 6th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

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September 7th

@allpagesandcoffee (Review) https://www.instagram.com/allpagesandcoffee/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

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September 8th

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Latisha’s Low-Key Life (Review) https://latishaslowkeylife.com

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September 9th

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Book Tour & Giveaway: The Girl From Saint Petersburg by Joyana Peters – Genre: Historical Fiction @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #HistoricalFiction

Welcome the the book tour for Joyana Peters’ latest historical fiction novel, The Girl from Saint Petersburg. The prequel to award-winning novel, The Girl in the Triangle. Read on for more info and a fantastic giveaway!

Petersburg Cover

The Girl From Saint Petersburg (An Industrial Historical Fiction Series Book 1)

Publication Date: July 25th, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction

Sacrifice, Starvation and Survival.

What will she do to stay alive? Russia, 1905: Thirteen-year-old Ruth dreams of growing up to marry the boy next door and living peacefully ever after. But
when he and her father are forced to flee to America after the Bloody Sunday Massacre, Ruth and the other female members of the family are left behind amid the violence and chaos of revolutionary Russia. Overcoming violence and hunger with a strength she never knew she possessed, Ruth resolves to do what it takes to keep her mother and sister alive—whether it be work, beg or steal.

Then she lands herself in a predicament that threatens to put her own neck in a noose. This time she may not be able to keep them all safe, at least not without sacrificing their love for her and all that makes life worth living.

In this prequel to the award-winning novel, The Girl in the Triangle, author, Joyana Peters, portrays a tight-knit family fighting to endure at a precarious and crucial time in Jewish history. Join the countless readers who can’t get enough of Ruth and her story.

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Excerpt

Ruth woke to banging on the front door. Half-asleep, she blinked against the morning light.
Ester shifted on the pillow next to her. “What’s happening?”
“I don’t know, Bird.” Ruth patted her head. “Stay here. I’ll find out.”
Ruth tiptoed out of the bedroom and toward the front door. Her mother was crouched on the floor and peering over the window sill. Her eyes were puffy and red.
“What are you doing?”
“Shh!” Momme tugged Ruth down beside her. “Don’t let them see you.”
“Don’t let who see us? Where’s Tatty? Why were you crying?” Ruth glanced around.
Momme clenched Ruth’s wrist. “I need you to listen. They’ll break in soon. And they will interrogate and hurt me. You need to be brave.”
“Interrogate you? I don’t understand. Where are Tatty and Jeremiah?”
“Tatty left for America last night, but we can’t tell them that.”
Ruth shivered. Her father gone to America without saying good-bye? “Why? Did Jeremiah go too?”
An odd blankness came over her mother’s eyes. She seemed about to answer when an axe crashed through the door.
“Stay in the bed. Cover yourselves to hide and don’t leave Ester.” Momme pushed Ruth toward the bedroom.
Ruth scrambled to her feet and ran. She looked over her shoulder to see her mother dusting herself off. As the door gave way and the czar’s soldiers invaded the house, her mother’s lips moved in silent prayer.
Ruth found her sister hiding under the covers and held a finger to her lips as she crawled beside her. Ester nodded, suddenly appearing older than her ten years. As the men’s voices rose in the next room, Ruth wrapped her arms around Ester and they lay trembling.
There was a slap followed by a muffled sob. Ester cried out. Ruth clapped her hand over Ester’s mouth, but heavy boots stomped toward them and the covers were soon ripped away.
Two soldiers glared down from either side of the bed. They grabbed the girls with rough hands.
“Ruth!” Ester screamed.
“She’s a child!” Ruth begged. “Please, leave her be.”
The soldiers ignored her and dragged the two girls from the house. The street was in chaos. There were more soldiers, and families shivering in their bed clothes. Why was this happening?
The soldier flung her onto the ground, knocking the wind out of her. She scrambled toward Ester, but a soldier stepped between them.
“Please, don’t hurt us, sir!”
“That depends on your mother. If she tells us what we want to know, we won’t need to.”
Ruth tried to squash her instinct to reach for her sister, and instead forced herself to look for her mother.
And there she was—standing with her chin high, in the middle of four soldiers. Ruth could see a dark splotch on her face. Was it blood? But she remained straight and tall. She wasn’t even crying. Ruth was amazed by her mother’s control. How did she manage to appear so unaffected?
A soldier with a drooping mustache stepped close to Momme.
“Where are they?” he growled.
“I told you, I don’t know,” she replied.
“I don’t believe you.” He cracked her on the back of the head with the butt of his rifle and kicked her in the stomach. “Try again. Where are they?”
Momme crumpled forward, coughing. “I don’t know.”
“This is pointless. Grab the girl.” He gestured toward Ester.
The soldier standing near Ester grabbed her. Ester thrashed in his arms.
“No!” Momme lurched forward. “She doesn’t know anything and neither do I. They never returned home.”
“But they were in the square yesterday?” the droopy mustache soldier asked.
“Yes.”
“What was that? I can’t hear you.” He cupped his ear.
“Yes, they were there,” Momme’s voice rang out louder.
Ruth closed her eyes at Momme’s words. This was about Abraham and Jeremiah and wherever they’d gone yesterday. What trouble had they gotten themselves into?
The soldier leaned into Momme’s face. “And the meetings?”
Momme turned away. He popped her in the forehead with his rifle butt so hard she flew backwards. “Answer me!”
A shriek pierced the air. Ruth saw a man being pulled out of his house. His wife reached for him, but the soldiers held her back. They forced the man to his knees and a soldier held a pistol to the back of his head. A shot rang out. The man slumped forward.
Ruth looked to her mother’s horror-stricken face. Droopy Mustache grabbed Momme by the hair.
“Perhaps––now you see how serious we are, drabke?”
Momme moved her head up and down. “They never came home. They must be among the dead.”
“And the meetings?”
“They attended them,” she croaked. “But if they’re dead, what does it matter?”
He studied Momme. Finally, he turned to the other soldiers.
“Search the house again.”

Available for Purchase Here!

About the Author

Joyana Peters Headshot 2

Growing up in New York, she always loved exploring the city, particularly the Lower East Side. This led to her discovery of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the stories it holds.

She currently lives in Northern Virginia where she takes in the sights of DC with her two kids and husband.

Joyana Peters | Facebook | Instagram

 

Giveaway: We are giving away 2 signed copies for winners in the US and 2 e-Books for international winners!

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