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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Teaser Tuesday! Catching a Witch: A Novel of Loyalty, Deception, and Superstition by Heidi Eljarbo




Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share  doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"Reflections in her mind formed into words and comprehensible sentences. They brought her back to a time when her wavy hair had a deep, flaxen glow and witch-hunting was nothing more than a distant fable."


What Would You Do to Save Your Best Friend from Burning?
The year 1660 is when it all changed...

That's when a witch-hunter comes to Clara Dahl's seaside village in Norway. She's horrified to discover how fast her neighbors and friends are to turn against each other. She soon realizes her sleepy, little, picturesque corner of the world has been invaded by evil—and it has nothing to do with witchcraft.

As neighbor turns against neighbor, Clara finds herself drawn into the fray, forced to do what she can to protect her friends and loved ones. An educated and upstanding minister's daughter, Clara speaks out against the witch-hunter's unjust treatment of those accused of witchcraft. She sees how he plays the villagers, using their superstitions and religious beliefs to make good people accept horrible things.

When Clara’s best friend Bess is accused of being a witch, Clara must make an incredible sacrifice to save not only her friend, but the entire town… before it’s too late.

About the Book

In 1660, women had no voting rights, couldn’t own property, and were treated as second-class citizens. If that weren’t bad enough, many innocent women—especially poor women—were tried and executed for witchcraft. The people responsible for their deaths were often their own friends, family members, and neighbors.

Catching a Witch is a story about a young woman who's willing to do whatever it takes to protect the people she cares about most in this world.

You’ll love this book if you enjoy…

Historical dramas
Witches and witch hunting
Historical thrillers
The history of religion and superstitions
A story with a strong female protagonist fighting for what’s right
Readers of similar books such as Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe, The Heretic’s daughter by Kathleen Kent, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare will love Catching a Witch.

Do you have a blog? Post a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in the comments.

No blog? Post a Teaser in the comments anyway!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Book Review: The War Queen by J.M. Robison




The War Queen by J.M. Robison
Genre: New Adult (Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: September 28, 2016
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Altarn is the first woman to hold the position of State Head in Blindvar. When Lord Kaelin, State Head of Ruidenthall, propositions her to merger with their states, Altarn believes it’s his subtle way of taking her state for his own, making himself king. On the cusp of war, she rides in disguise to her last ally, Luthsinia, to ask for help.

During her journey, Altarn is ambushed but rescued by a man called Torren who offers her protection. Quickly they realize they share a mutual attraction. Upon their arrival to Luthsinia, Altarn receives news that an army has invaded Blindvar in her absence and blames Kaelin. Except it’s not Kaelin’s army, because she discovers Kaelin is in Luthsinia for the purpose of spying on her to take her land. And Torren is not who she thought he was.

Taking advantage of the unraveling situation, Kaelin kidnaps Altarn so he can take her state without her in the way and brings her to Ruidenthall. There’s a war ship on the horizon, led by a fallen angel craving mortal worship. Kaelin realizes he needs Altarn’s help to fight this army if he’s to save his state. She’s forced to agree, but how will she react when he’s wounded in battle? If she lets him die, can she fight the enemy on her own? Or if she saves his life, will he still try claiming her state, or try claiming her heart?


The War Queen by J.M Robison brings you on a fun adventure filled with drama and a bit of romance. Altarn is trying to prove herself as a leader to her people... and herself. Kaelin is already beloved by his people, and he wants to extend his rule to other lands. I'm not sure about the whole situation with the gods. They didn't seem to fit, and the conclusion to their part of the story felt very rushed to me as well. I don't know. Maybe I missed something. The main characters more than make up for it though. I really enjoyed the interactions between Altarn and Kaelin. She didn't take crap, and his actions surprised me a time or two too. I love how they had to grow to even like each other. There wasn't an instant relationship here. Neither of them trusted the other, and they both needed something from the other. This was an entertaining little story, and I hate that I didn't read it sooner. Also, the cover is beautiful and very fitting to the story.

The War Queen by J.M. Robison was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.


All seven members were already seated, one baron for each major city in Blindvar. There were actually six cities, but there could not be an even number on the court.. The seventh was a random member qualified to be a court official, currently held by a female named Brigot. The idea of females serving in positions of authority was not settling easy.
Altarn walked to the head of the table, sitting in her large, leather chair which felt awkwardly like a throne, reminding her of the last king the Blindvarn citizens had dethroned more than three hundred years ago.

Her seven members waited for her to speak. Perseth pushed his glasses higher up his sweaty nose. Leodin coughed into his sleeve.

Females were not discouraged from positions in politics, but the concept still troubled many. It had been a traditionally male position to hold both the state’s title and to fill the positions in court, but Altarn had been in a particular mood eleven years ago and had broken it. She became the first female State Head and had already served one year out of the three-year session.

Two men had competed for the State Head with her. The background check on one revealed he had a criminal record. The second was leading the election by a large margin until authorities discovered he was born in Luthsinia.

“The minutes will reflect the presence of all representatives from their respective cities,” Altarn began. “On seven Midar, year three twenty-four After the Reign of Kings.” She paused to let the court scribe catch up. “So being, I am unaware as to the nature of the request for court so I will let another member proceed from here.”

Perseth stood from his chair and straightened his buttoned waistcoat over his round belly. “Baron Perseth of the City of Fellsbarren requested this session due to concerns with the present dealings with the State of Ruidenthall.”

His nasally voice made Altarn want to hand him a tissue. She drummed her fingers on the armrests. She had suspected as much.

“May I speak freely, Lady?”

“Proceed.”

Perseth pushed his glasses higher up his nose. “We all think it is impulsive of you to threaten Ruidenthall with war.”

His eyes, too round and too close to his nose, swept over the other members of the room, who all nodded.

“They have been our friends and allies since the war to dethrone our king. If Luthsinia didn’t cut straight between our two states, we might even be one. A lot of us have family who either came from Ruidenthall or who live there now.”

“Is it so easily forgotten the Lord of Ruidenthall is trying to steal Blindvar from us?”

The members at the table moaned.

“Please reflect on my use of the word ‘impulsive.’”

It pushed on the edges of her serenity to listen to Perseth’s boldness and not respond to it. But she’d been called to court to listen to a problem, not create one.

“Scribe, will you please read us the letter from the Lord of Ruidenthall concerning the matter our lady has just mentioned?”

The scribe pulled a book off the shelf at his desk and thumbed through it, pages snapping crisply. “Seventeenth of Kaidar,” the scribe read. “Year three twenty-four After the Reign of Kings. Addressed to Lady Altarn Shadheing from Lord Kaelin-drath Morrendrake. It reads:

Greetings, Lady of Blindvar.

It is fortunate our two states are such great friends. It has come to my recent attention that a number of Ruidenthall citizens have taken a fancy to your small town of Heathe. So much so, that there are more Ruids than Blindvarns. I’ll have to visit to see what the attraction is. After all, who would sacrifice great Ruid food to live in a small Blindvarn town where the closest city is thirty miles out?

Of course, having this offset of Blindvarns to Ruids must make it a tad more difficult for the yearly census for you, which gave me an idea. Since our states are such good allies, I propose—just as a speculative thought—that Heathe be merged into the State of Ruidenthall in exchange for a small bit of land out of my own good state, if you like.

Maybe this small exchange can start something bigger, and maybe someday Endendre will eventually be one state instead of divided into three. Of course, it is just an idea, and something like this has never been done before between our two states. Please reply with your thoughts. If it is disagreeable, I’ll digress.

Signed, Lord Kaelin-drath Morrendrake of Ruidenthall.

The members at the table watched Altarn like ghosts waiting for the moment they could pounce on the living and suck out their souls.



author
J.M. Robison is a fantasy author who chronicles the events which force heroes to reveal their mistakes, lead rebellions to dethrone tyranny, and unearth ancient secrets to free the oppressed. Some day she'll pack the wagon and roam the mountains in search of dragons.

To learn more about J.M. Robison and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter.