Fantasy Fans, Celebrate the Release of Rheia by Cassandra Page with a Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Rheia

Title: Rheia
Author: Cassandra Page
Publication date: October 13th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

“Beauty and the Beast” meets Ancient Greece, with a steampunk twist

Every year, Rheia’s father brought home four prisoners of war, sacrifices to keep the demon Typhein bound. Rheia never gave them much thought … until her father’s enemy made her one of them. Now she has two weeks to find a way to escape death at the hands of the Beast and either save her people or condemn them to destruction.

The last thing Rheia expected was to fall in love with the Beast oath-bound to kill her.

 

 

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EXCERPT:

Rheia waited, fidgeting, until the herbalist finished tying off the bundle of fennel and counting out her change. Then she tucked the herbs into her basket and followed her brother, head down so as not to attract attention: an unwed, unaccompanied woman. She would kill Aias if his running off resulted in any slight against her name. She swallowed and adjusted her veil, making sure her hair was completely covered.

She found Aias standing in the deep shadows beneath the statue. He couldn’t see into the temple from there, wedged as he was between one huge sandalled foot and an outer pillar, adjacent to the shadowed porch, but his head was cocked as he listened, eyes wide as wine cups. “You just wait until I tell Mammidon about this,” she hissed.

“Shh,” Aias whispered, raking her with a contemptuous gaze. “I’m listening.”

“And if the priests see you out here, lurking like a thief, what will they say?” She grabbed his arm and tried to pull him away, but he eeled from her grip and stepped closer to the entrance. If she tried to grab him again, he might stumble backward, out into the bright sunshine where he would be much more obvious. Grinding her jaw with frustration, she glared at him.

He glared back, head tilted upward to meet her gaze. “Rheia, something is going on. They are stirred up like an ants’ nest. Don’t you want to know why?”

“No,” she whispered, shaking her head emphatically. And she didn’t. She wanted to browse the trinkets at Phidias’s stall, see if he knew her name, see whether Galen was lurking out the back somewhere and might come over to see her.

But she couldn’t do so without Aias. “All right,” she said with a sigh, crossing her arms and looking away towards the harbour as though she was merely taking a moment to shade herself from the hot sun. “One minute.”

Resolved not to listen to the voices inside the great building, Rheia studied the mason’s mark hidden at the statue’s heel as though it were the most interesting thing in the world. She had heard of Myron, even though he’d died when her grandmother was a baby; the huge statue had been his last great work. But a babble of raised voices as they passed close by the inside doorway caught her ear: the words thysia and offering louder than the rest, as the speaker emphasised a point. They fell away, and she wondered what had happened to cause such consternation. Had the helot girl tried to escape again? Had she been successful this time? There would be a city-wide manhunt to find her if it were true. A surge of sympathy for the girl made her purse her lips. How awful it would be, to know you would be dead when next the moon was full.

Aias’s fingers digging into Rheia’s arm brought her back to herself. “Rheia,” he whispered, the sound sharp with fear. “Let’s go.”

“Finally,” she muttered, glancing up and down the street for watching eyes before hurrying him away from the temple, her hand at the small of his back so he couldn’t dart off again. But when she tried to stop at the goatherder’s stall to buy a pottery jar of milk, he dragged her on, out of the agora. “Aias, stop! Wait!”

“You heard what they said.” He shook his head, curls bouncing emphatically as he hauled her along the street, almost at a run. “We have to get home. Father will know more.”

Rheia’s heart felt strange in her chest, anxiety making it flutter. “More about what? I was trying not to listen. As you should have been.”

Her little brother stopped, staring up at her with his mouth ajar. Then he pulled her by the hand into a quiet alley, away from the bustling traffic of the main street. “One of the helots is dead,” he whispered, eyes glittering with excitement. “One of the girls. Suicide, they say.”

Rheia’s eyes widened as she stared at her brother. The flutter in her chest expanded to swallow her belly. “But what will happen now? It’s only two weeks until the festival. The offering!”

“That’s what they were arguing about. One of the priests thought the triremes would be sent back out, while the other said it was too late. Father will know; if the ships are to be sent, he will captain the fleet. Come on. Before he leaves!”

Rheia let Aias drag her up the hill towards their villa, her mind whirling with the implications. The Broken Ones were meant to have the thysies for a full ten days before the ritual. Something about cleansing rituals. But that would only give the triremes three days to get to the helot lands and back again. Would it be enough?

And if not, what was the alternative?

Author Bio:

Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat – despite being allergic to cats. She has loved to read since primary school, when the library was her refuge, and loves many genres, all of them speculative fiction. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $30 Amazon Gift Card!

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Do you love Greek mythology? Are you a fan of historical fantasy? Then read Athena’s Champion by David Hair and Cath Mayo. Here’s my review.

athenas champion

Pre-order Athena’s Champion on Amazon
Release Date: November 8, 2018

Synopsis from the publisher…

The first in a thrilling new historical fantasy series; Odysseus must embrace his secret heritage and outwit the vengeful Gods who would control or destroy him…

Prince Odysseus of Ithaca is about to have his world torn apart. He’s travelled to the oracle at Pytho to be anointed as heir to his island kingdom; but instead the Pythia reveals a terrible secret, one that tears down every pillar of his life, and marks him out for death.

Outcast by his family, hunted by the vengeful gods, Odysseus is offered sanctuary by Athena, goddess of wisdom, and thrust into the secret war between the Olympians for domination and survival. Only his wits, and his skill as a warrior, can keep him ahead of their power games – and alive.

When one of Athena’s schemes goes drastically wrong, and the young Helen of Sparta is kidnapped, Odysseus must journey past the gates of Hades to save her. Falling in love with a Trojan princess, a bewitching woman who poses a deadly threat to both his homeland and Athena, won’t make his task any easier…

Drawing from classic Greek mythology, Athena’s Champion, first in the epic Olympus Trilogy, is perfect for fans of Madeline Miller and David Gemmell.

Gina’s thoughts…

5 stars

Athena’s Champion tells the story of Odysseus as a young man. Think of this book as a prequel to the infamous Iliad by Homer. Its obvious that the authors did their research as they told of the events and arguments amongst the Gods that lead up to the Trojan War.

This book expands on the idea in Greek mythology that the Gods and Goddesses constantly meddled in the lives of mortals, and used them as pawns, to win favor with Zeus, start wars, gain worshippers, etc.

The writing style was very direct and just focused on the action and dialogue. It did take me a chapter or two to really get into the story, but after that, I was fully engrossed and refused to put the book down. I had fun geeking out throughout the novel by looking up the characters and places found in the story.

As I read the story I felt like I was living the re-telling of an old tale; however, that tale was fresh, like I had just unearthed some long-lost scrolls with new stories that hadn’t been told for ages. I had flashbacks of all the wonderful things I learned in my favorite college courses: mythology, ancient literature, humanities, world history.

The development of characters, that you’ll recognize from Greek myths and legends, plus the endearing love story woven throughout the novel, made everything even more enjoyable.

I knew I was hooked when I thought to myself, “Mom would love this book. I’ll have to buy her a copy.” There were several references, such as Jason and the Argonauts and the Battle of Thermopylae between Sparta and the Persian Empire, which all reminded me of story-time with my Mom growing up. She loved to read me mythological stories and the book brought back very fond memories.

The authors brought Ancient Greece back to life and I can’t wait to read the next book in the Olympus Series.

I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Connect with the authors…

David Hair – Visit his website and Twitter

Cath Mayo – Visit her website and Twitter

Learn more…

Reviews on Goodreads

Review on Bookfever

Have you read Athena’s Champion? Please feel free to share a link to your review in the comments below!

I just love this cover!

athenas champion large

Lusting for Covers – An Outlaw, a Captain, and a Lady

In this week’s Lusting for Covers I have 3 covers for you that I’ve been eyeing all week. And no, they don’t have scantily-clad men in kilts. But now that I’m writing this, I think I’m regretting it! Oh well, there is always next week.

All of these titles have been released within the last 30 days.

The Hollow of Fear (The Lady Sherlock Series) by Sherry Thomas

hollow of fear

Summary from the publisher…

Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, returns in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of A Conspiracy in Belgravia and A Study in Scarlet Women, an NPR Best Book of 2016.

Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t.

Moriarty’s shadow looms large. First, Charlotte’s half brother disappears. Then, Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte’s close friend Lord Ingram, turns up dead on his estate. And all signs point to Lord Ingram as the murderer.

With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to seek out the truth. But uncovering the truth could mean getting too close to Lord Ingram–and a number of malevolent forces…

Why do I lust for this cover? It’s beautiful, mysterious, and a bit eerie.

Once a Scoundrel (Rogues Redeemed) by Mary Jo Putney

Once a Scoundrel

Summary from the publisher…

An outcast on the high seas . . .

The son of a proud naval dynasty, Gabriel Hawkins was born to command the sea, until he leaves the Royal Navy in disgrace and is disowned by his family. As captain of his own ship, he’s earned his living in ways both legal and illegal, and his experience makes him the best choice to ransom an aristocratic beauty captured by Barbary pirates.

Having avoided the traps of convention and marriage, Lady Aurora Lawrence is horrified by the prospect of spending her life as a harem slave. Her only hope of escape is a quiet, steely captain who has a history with her captor—and who will do anything to free Rory. Together they undertake a dangerous mission through troubled waters—and encounter another kind of danger as attraction burns hot within the close confines of his ship. But even if they endure the perils of the sea and enemy lands, can their love survive a return to England, where the distance between a disgraced captain and an earl’s daughter is wider than the ocean?

Why am I lusting for this cover? She reminds me of a lady pirate which is intriguing since I alway love a tale on the seas. I also just love her dress and that she’s just standing on the edge of the ship.

Outlaw King (Renegade Scots Book 1) by Julie Johnstone

Outlaw King

Summary from the publisher…

A deadly game of war entangles them. Deception endangers them. Only the impossible love found in each other’s arms can save them. 

Fierce Scottish warrior Robert the Bruce would do anything to release his country from English rule—and claim his rightful throne. As enemies on both sides surround him, Robert must dance a dangerous line between truth and duplicity. One misstep could topple his nation and cost him his life, yet one irresistible woman tempts him—and threatens his mission—as no other ever has.

Bold beautiful Elizabeth de Burgh longs for freedom. So when she finds herself ordered by the King of England to seduce the leader of the Scottish rebellion and reveal his secrets, she yearns to fight back against their cruel plot. Except they’ve threatened to kill her beloved cousin, leaving her no choice but to comply. As she grows closer to the handsome noble Robert and the mask that hides the man who would be king is peeled away, she cannot imagine aiding in his destruction.

Bound by duty and honor but ensnared by uncontainable passion, Robert and Elizabeth must determine if they are each other’s biggest threat or greatest source of strength and how much they are willing to sacrifice for the one thing neither ever imagine they’d find – extraordinary love.

Why am I lusting for this cover? Ok fine, apparently I can’t make it through one post without a sexy, mysterious highlander.

What covers are you lusting for this week?

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Lusting for Covers is a weekly meme, held on Sunday, that allows bloggers to share their current cover obsession with fellow book lovers. This meme is hosted by TBQ.

Would you like to participate? Then visit this page on TBQ for instructions.

Also, if you wish to post your links or talk about L4C on Twitter, please use the tag #LustingForCovers so that we can easily find all tweets about it. 🙂

Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd – A Roundup of Reviews

The Lady of a Thousand Treasures (by Sandra Byrd) is book 1 in the Victorian Ladies series. The hardcover, paperback, and Kindle editions of this title will be released October 9, 2018. Yay!

I enlarged the cover photo because I think the details are just gorgeous.

lady of a thousand treasures

Are you talking about this book on social media? Then use #LadyOfAThousandTreasures

Summary from the publisher…

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

Reviews from around the book blogosphere…

Over 30 review on Goodreads

Review from Rosanne E. Lortz

Exclusive Excerpt at Book Reviews by Steph

Review by Inkwell Inspirations

Have you reviewed Lady of a Thousand Treasures? Please feel free to comment with the link to your post below!