Tag Archives: Book One

Owen – Blitz

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The Tudor Trilogy, Book One
Historical
Fiction
Publisher:
Presei Press
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Based
on the true story of a forgotten hero, OWEN is the epic tale of one young man’s
incredible courage and resilience as he changes the course of English history.
England
1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new
mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the
warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France,
and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her
protector.
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 Excerpt
 
Winter
of 1422
I
tense at the sound of approaching footsteps as I wait to meet my new mistress,
the young widow of King Henry V, Queen Catherine of Valois. Colourful Flemish
tapestries decorate the royal apartments of Windsor Castle, dazzling my senses
and reminding me how life in the royal household presents new opportunities. My
life will change forever, if she finds me acceptable, yet doubt nags at my
mind.
The
doors open and Queen Catherine’s usher appears. I have been told to approach
the queen and bow, but must not look directly at her or speak, other than to
say my name, until spoken to. Taking a deep breath I enter the queen’s private
rooms where she sits surrounded by her sharp-eyed ladies-in-waiting. I have the
briefest glimpse of azure silk, gold brocade, gleaming pearls and a breath of
exotic perfume. I remove my hat and bow, my eyes cast down to her
velvet-slippered feet.
‘Owen
Tudor, Your Highness, Keeper of your Wardrobe.’ My voice echoes in the
high-ceilinged room.
One
of her ladies fails to suppress her giggle, a sweet enough sound, if you are
not the reason for it. I forget my instruction and look up to see the queen
regarding me with confident, ice-blue eyes.
‘You
are a Welshman?’ Her words sound like an accusation.
‘My
full name is Owain ap Maredydd ap Tudur, although the English call me Owen
Tudor. I come from a long line of Welsh noblemen, Your Highness.’ I regret my
boast as soon as I say the words.
‘Owen
Tudor…’ This time her voice carries a hint of amusement.
I
put on my hat and pull my shoulders back. She examines me, as one might study a
horse before offering a price. After years of hard work I have secured a
position worthy of my skills, yet it means nothing without the approval of the
queen.
‘You
look more like a soldier than a servant?’ The challenge in her words seems to
tease me.
‘I
have served in the king’s army as a soldier.’ I feel all their eyes upon me.
‘Yet…
you have no sword?’ She sounds curious.
‘Welshmen
are not permitted to carry a sword in England, Your Highness.’ I am still
bitter at this injustice.
I
remember the last time I saw her, at the king’s state funeral in Westminster.
Her face veiled, she rode in a gilded carriage drawn by a team of black horses.
I followed on foot as the funeral procession passed through sombre crowds,
carrying the king’s standard and wearing the red, blue and gold livery of the
royal household.
‘You
fought in France?’
‘With
the king’s bowmen, Your Highness, before I became a squire.’
The
queen has none of the air of sadness I expected. Slim, almost too thin, her
childlike wrists and delicate fingers are adorned with gold rings sparkling
with diamonds and rubies. Her neck is long and slender, her skin pale with the
whiteness of a woman who rarely sees the sun. Her golden-brown hair is gathered
in tight plaits at the back of her head and her headdress fashionably
emphasises her smooth, high forehead.
King
Henry V chose as his bride the youngest daughter of the man they called the
‘mad king’, Charles VI. They said King Charles feared he was made of glass and
would shatter if he didn’t take care. Charles promised Henry he would inherit
the throne and become the next King of France and there were rumours of a
secret wedding dowry, a fortune in gold.
Barely
a year into his marriage, the king left his new wife pregnant and alone in
Windsor. He returned to fight his war in France, capturing the castle of Dreux
before marching on the fortress at Meaux, defended by Jean de Gast, the Bastard
of Vaurus, a cruel, brave captain. The king never saw his son and heir, his
namesake.
The
siege of Meaux was hard won and he suffered the bloody flux, the dreaded curse
of the battlefield. Men had been known to recover, if they were strong and
lucky. Many did not, despite the bloodletting and leeches. The flux is an
inglorious way to die, poisoned by your own body, especially for a victorious
warrior king who would never now be King of France.
The
queen has an appraising look in her eyes. She has buried her hopes for the
future along with her husband. I remember I am looking at the mother of the new
king, once he comes of age. One thing is certain; she will not be left to raise
the prince alone. Ambitious men are already vying for their share of power and
influence.
At
last she speaks. ‘And now you are in my household?’
‘My
appointment to your service was made by Sir Walter Hungerford, Steward of the
King’s Household and constable here at Windsor.’
‘Sir
Walter was one of my husband’s most trusted men—the executor of the king’s
will.’
‘I
worked as squire to Sir Walter for many years, in England and France.’
‘You
speak French?’
‘A
little, Your Highness.’ I answer in French.
‘Were
you with King Henry at the siege of Rouen?’ Now she speaks in French.
‘I
was, Your Highness. I will never forget it.’ I answer again in French. I
learned the language on the battlefield and in the taverns of Paris and can
swear as well as any Frenchman.
‘I
heard the people of Rouen were starving… before they surrendered.’ Her voice
is softer now and she speaks in English.
‘War
is cruel, yet now there is less appetite for it.’
‘I
pray to God that is true.’ She glances back at her ladies, who are watching and
listening, as ladies-in-waiting do. Queen Catherine regards me, giving nothing
away. ‘I welcome you to our household, Master Tudor.’
‘Thank
you, Your Highness.’
Our
first meeting is over. She is unlike any woman I have known, fascinating, intriguing
and beautiful. More than that; there is something about her I find deeply
attractive, a dangerous thing to admit. Perhaps my fascination is with the
glimpse I’d seen of the real woman, the same age as myself, behind the title of
Dowager Queen of England.
‘Aim
high, boy,’ my garrulous longbow tutor once advised me, his voice gruff from
too much shouting. ‘It’s not the Welsh way to play safe and wait until you have
a clear shot!’ The man spits hard on the ground to add emphasis and stares
knowingly into my eyes, standing so close I can almost feel the coarse grey
stubble of his beard. ‘When you aim high,’ he points an imaginary bow up at the
sky, ‘your arrow will fly far into the enemy ranks and strike with the full
vengeance of God.’
‘Who,
of course, is on our side.’ A daring, foolhardy thing for a boy like me to say
to a man who can punch me to the ground or worse.
For
a moment I see the old man’s mind working as he tries to decide if I am being
disrespectful, sacrilegious or both. The moment passes. I notch a new arrow
into the powerful yew longbow and fire it high into the sky, without a care for
where it will fall.
I
smile at the memory as I return down the long passage to the servants’ hall.
Life as a king’s archer was hard, but I enjoyed the camaraderie of the other
men and it taught me many things. As well as how to use a longbow, I learned to
watch my back, when to speak up and when to remain silent. My tutor died in the
thick mud of Normandy, yet his lesson serves me well. I know to aim high.
That
night, wide awake in the darkness, I reflect on the unthinkable turn my life
has taken. I always imagined I would become a merchant, setting up shop
somewhere in the narrow, dirty streets of London, or perhaps an adventurer,
sailing off to seek my fortune. I remain a servant, yet for the first time I
have my own lodging room, however small and cramped.
My
reward for long and loyal service as squire to Sir Walter has been this new
appointment, a position of great responsibility. The queen’s wardrobe is a
treasure store of priceless gold and jewels, as well as all her expensive
clothes and most valuable possessions. Such a senior post in the royal
household pays more than I have earned in my life and carries influence,
allowing me regular and privileged access to the queen.
I
resolve to become indispensable to her. High and mighty lords and dukes will
come and go, with their false concerns and self-serving advice, yet I will see
her every day, tending to her needs. I recall how she referred to Sir Walter as
one of the king’s most trusted men. That is what I wish to become; Queen
Catherine’s most trusted man.
óóó
About
the Author

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Tony
Riches is a UK historical fiction author living in Pembrokeshire, Wales. You
can find out more on Tony’s website www.tonyriches.com and his blog ‘The
Writing Desk’ at www.tonyriches.co.uk.
Find him on Twitter @tonyriches. Owen – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy is
available in eBook and paperback on Amazon, where it is a #1 historical fiction
bestseller.  There is a short video
trailer for the book on YouTube http://youtu.be/ELH4IU5pxds
Contact
Links
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Links

 

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His Second Chance at Forever – Blitz

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Santa
Barbara Sunsets, Book One
Contemporary
Sweet Romance
Date
Published:
May 14, 2019
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He’s
stuck in the past. She shows him their future.
The
brooding Jason Rogers prefers to keep people at a distance and his pain tucked
safely inside. So what if he’s a grouch? He doesn’t care.
Claire
Albright isn’t afraid to waltz into her new boss’s office and give her
opinions. The fact she has a tagalong little girl, Gina, who reminds Jason of
the daughter he lost, only adds to their bristly start.
Soon,
against Jason’s will, Claire and Gina inject hope back into his dull existence.
Dare he dream of a life he never thought he’d have again?
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About
the Author

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USA
Today Bestselling author Lynne Marshall has written over thirty books for
Harlequin, TULE, and indie-publishing. She believes everyone deserves a happy
ending, and it’s never too late to fall in love.
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Links
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Link
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All Saints High, Book One New Adult Romance Date Published: April 29, 2019 We were
Last Chance Series, Book One Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense Published: April 2019 The last memory
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Pretty Reckless – Blitz

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All Saints High, Book One
New Adult Romance
Date
Published:
April 29, 2019
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We
were supposed to be best friends But turned out to be worst enemies…
Penn
They
say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d
had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and
now
my heart was completely iced.
I
took her first kiss.
She
took the only thing I loved.
I
was poor.
She
was rich.
The
good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now,
I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her
housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so
much.
Yeah,
baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s
a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to
shell out some serious tears.
Daria
Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s
nothing but a spoiled princess.
Daria
Everyone
loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But
being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll,
and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The
thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all
over the people who try to hurt you.
In
Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a
trash can on a bright summer day.
Four
years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now
he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last
everything.
His
parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is
free.
Now?
Now he is making me pay.
About
the Author

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LJ
Shen is a USA Today and Washington Post bestseller of over a dozen books. Her
books are translated into more than 10 languages.
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Bought – Blitz

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Last
Chance Series, Book One
Erotic
Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published:
April 2019
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The
last memory that Alannah ‘Lanie’ Jackson has of her father is the day he went
away. Hidden away in an attic from the rest of the world, the only thing that
Alannah ‘Lanie’ Jackson can hold on to is the memory of her father and the hope
that one day he will come for her. Every day that passes, the memory of her
childhood disappears and she learns that her only purpose now is to please.
Trained to act a certain way, the day comes when she can finally be free. She
only hopes that the man who purchases her will be kinder than her current
master.
Excerpt
The
wind had been whipping around all morning. If I hadn’t known better, I would
have thought that I was in the Arctic instead of Oregon. There wasn’t very much
that I could see through my small window, but it was big enough to see that the
bare branches of the oak tree that had died long ago were swinging in the wind.
Not many people came to visit the mansion since I began living here fourteen
years ago. But in the last six months no one came to visit at all. At first, I
thought it might have been due to the change in weather, but then Master
Winston said it was because I didn’t live up to their expectations and
therefore, I was of no interest to them. He blamed it on my inability to learn
and lack of obedience.
Moving
away from the window, I ducked my head and wandered over to my small bed, which
was nestled in the corner of the space that was my room. Pulling the covers
over my body, I tried to keep warm. The attic was very poorly insulated and the
exposed beams that held the rafters were proof. Sometimes it had gotten so cold
that I could see my breath. I found the best way to keep warm was to pull the
covers up over my head and trap the warmth of my breath beneath them.  As much as I hated this room, I hated what
waited for me on the other side of the door when Master Winston came to call
even more.
Closing
my eyes, I let my mind wander. As I slowly began to fall asleep, I imagined
myself as the fairytale princess who was locked in the attic by her evil
stepfather, waiting to be rescued by a handsome prince. I knew the chance of
ever being rescued would be slim to none, but just the thought of it actually
happening was something that I would never stop hoping for. I wished that
things could be as they were when I was younger. I would give anything to be
together with my father again. So much time had passed since I’d seen him that
every day that went by, my thoughts of him were dimmer. I feared that soon I
would forget him all together. I wasn’t sure if it he would even be able to
find me. Last Chance, Oregon, was just that, and not many people came here. I
don’t think many people knew about this out-of-the-way town, at least not
anyone who cared.
“Push
me higher, Daddy, I want to go higher and fly like the birds.”
“Lanie,
if I push you any higher you are going to fall.”
“I
won’t, Daddy. I promise to hold on tight.”
The
warm wind felt so good against my skin. I loved my new swing set. It was pink
and purple and had two swings, a slide, and a Roman glider. It was the perfect
gift for my fifth birthday. I knew why my dad had put in so many hours at work.
It was so that he could buy me this swing set. Pumping my legs harder, I could
feel myself going higher and higher. It was as though I could reach the birds
above me.
Letting
go of the chain, I reached out to touch one. It was so close, but not close
enough. I felt myself falling from the swing. Instead of hitting the ground as
I should have, I was sent spiraling into a pit of fire.
 
About
the Author


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Award-winning
Author of the Independent Press Award and NYC Big Book Award. A.L. Long is also
the recipient of the National Indie Excellence Award.
My
love for writing began several years ago after an early retirement from a
demanding job that I loved, but also hated because it consumed so much of my
time. Now, I am able to focus my time on what I love. Writing romance has been
a life long dream and to actually say that I am a published author is beyond
what I would have ever expected.
Even
though some may say I have a little naughtiness in my books, I look at it as an
added bonus for my readers. After all what is a romance book without a little
spice.
When
I am not writing, I enjoy spending time with friends either at home or out on
the town. Mostly, I enjoy a relaxing night at home where I can enjoy a glass of
wine in the company of a good book.
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Links
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Link
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Vicious – Blitz

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Sinners of Saint, Book One
Contemporary Romance
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Emilia
They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.
The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares.
He is a brilliant lawyer.
A skilled criminal.
A beautiful liar.
A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.
Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.
Vicious
She is a starving artist.
Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom.
Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down.
She paid the price.
Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate.
That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t.
So she hates me. Big fucking deal.
She better get used to me.
Vicious a complete standalone and a part of the Sinners of Saint series
 
Other Books in The Sinners Of Saint Contemporary Romance Series:
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Defy
Sinners of Saint, Book Two
ISBN: 978-0996135672
Ruckus
Sinners of Saint. Book Three
ISBN: 978-1546904465
Scandalous
Sinners of Saint, Book Four
ISBN: 978-1977569189
Bane
Sinners of Saint, Book 5
ISBN: 978-1717110985
About the Author

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LJ Shen is a USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author of over ten books. She lives in California with her husband, son, and cat.
 
 
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