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Thanks to Amy Bruno of HFVBT, I am giving away one print copy of ‘Godwine Kingmaker’ by Mercedes Rochelle.

Mercedes RochellePublication Date: April 24, 2015 (US & UK)
Top Hat Books
Formats: Kindle eBook, Paperback
351 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Harold Godwineson, the Last Anglo-Saxon King, owed everything to his father. Who was this Godwine, first Earl of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker? Was he an unscrupulous schemer, using King and Witan to gain power? Or was he the greatest of all Saxon Earls, protector of the English against the hated Normans?

The answer depends on who you ask. He was befriended by the Danes, raised up by Canute the Great, given an Earldom and a wife from the highest Danish ranks. He sired nine children, among them four Earls, a Queen and a future King. Along with his power came a struggle to keep his enemies at bay, and Godwine’s best efforts were brought down by the misdeeds of his eldest son Swegn. Although he became father-in-law to a reluctant Edward the Confessor, his fortunes dwindled as the Normans gained prominence at court. Driven into exile, Godwine regathered his forces and came back even stronger, only to discover that his second son Harold was destined to surpass him in renown and glory.

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Guest Post by Author Mercedes Rochelle

Gytha, wife of Earl Godwine by Mercedes Rochelle

Overshadowed by their husbands or subject to their father’s ambitions, noble medieval women had to be pretty plucky to carve out a niche in the history books. Gytha Thorkelsdóttir was related to so many famous (and mostly tragic) figures that it is amazing we know so little about her.

Raised in Denmark, she was the sister of Earl Ulf who served Canute as Regent of Denmark before his unfortunate death (reportedly killed by Canute’s order). Her father Thorkel (also known as Torkel, Torgils, or Thorgil) was said to have been the grandson of a bear and a Swedish maiden. Of course, having a bear as an ancestor is only mentioned when referring to a male (like Ulf), but I can only assume the a female of the line would absorb the same characteristics?

Ulf was married to Canute’s sister, which made Gytha part of the Royal family. So it may have been a great surprise to Gytha when King Canute married her off to his favorite, Godwine. Descended from a less than stellar background (his father was an out-of-favor Thegn in England), Godwine’s rapid rise to power was destined to make him the most important man in England after the king. But he hadn’t achieved this status yet, though he may have been Earl of Wessex when they married. I doubt whether Gytha was given a choice, and I suspect she was not the most appreciative bride. In my novel, GODWINE KINGMAKER, her new husband has quite a time bringing her around.

They did have a large family: at least 10, possibly 11 children. Among their brood was Edith, Queen of England, and Harold Godwineson, last Saxon King of England. Four more sons were Earls: Swegn, Tostig, Gyrth and Leofwine. However, it was her misfortune out outlive at least five of her children; she lost three in one day at the Battle of Hastings, for Harold died alongside his brothers Gyrth and Leofwine. And of course this was only two weeks after the death of Tostig at the Battle of Stamfordbridge. How a mother felt seeing two sons face each other as enemies across the battlefield can only be surmised.

It was written that Gytha petitioned William the Conqueror to let her take Harold’s body after Hastings and even offered to pay him its weight in gold, but William refused, fearing the Saxons would turn it into a shrine. The family estates were confiscated by the Norman King, and is believed Gytha took residence in the city of Exeter. Buoyed up the teenaged sons of King Harold, Exeter held out against King William, who laid siege to it in 1068. After 18 days, the city capitulated and she took refuge on the island of Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel where she awaited the dismal attempts of her grandsons to reassert their claims. Unsuccessful, it is thought that two of Harold’s sons and one daughter  accompanied Gytha to her native Denmark, where her nephew Sweyn was King. She  probably died four years later.


About Mercedes RochelleMercedes Rochelle

Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they built themselves.

For more information please visit Mercedes Rochelle’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Enter to Win ‘Godwine Kingmaker’ by Mercedes Rochelle

This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on May 14, 2015.  Please use Rafflecopter to enter.

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‘Godwine Kingmaker’ by Mercedes Rochelle Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 20
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Spotlight at Genre Queen

Tuesday, April 21
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at Unshelfish

Wednesday, April 22
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, April 23
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Saturday, April 25
Spotlight at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Tuesday, April 28
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, April 29
Review at Broken Teepee

Thursday, April 30
Guest Post & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Spotlight at The Writing Desk

Monday, May 4
Review at Impressions in Ink
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, May 5
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 7
Review at Bookramblings
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Friday, May 8
Review at Layered Pages

Mercedes Rochelle

Thanks to Amy Bruno of HFVBT, I am giving away one print copy of ‘The Saffron Crocus’ by Alison McMahab.

Alison McMahanPublication Date: December 13, 2014
Black Opal Books
eBook; 306p

Genre: Young Adult/Historical Mystery/Romance

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Winner of the 2014 Rosemary Award for Best Historical for Young Adults.

Venice, 1643. Isabella, fifteen, longs to sing in Monteverdi’s Choir, but only boys (and castrati) can do that. Her singing teacher, Margherita, introduces her to a new wonder: opera! Then Isabella finds Margherita murdered. Now people keep trying to kill Margherita’s handsome rogue of a son, Rafaele.

Was Margherita killed so someone could steal her saffron business? Or was it a disgruntled lover, as Margherita—unbeknownst to Isabella—was one of Venice’s wealthiest courtesans?

Or will Isabella and Rafaele find the answer deep in Margherita’s past, buried in the Jewish Ghetto?

Isabella has to solve the mystery of the Saffron Crocus before Rafaele hangs for a murder he didn’t commit, though she fears the truth will drive her and the man she loves irrevocably apart.

Excerpt of ‘The Saffron Crocus’ by Alison McMahan

Who knew a singing career would be this much trouble?

“Rafaele!” She flew into the garret. “Piero, it was so wonderful, wait until I tell you!”

The stool next to the bed was knocked over. The tray with the genepy bottle was on the floor, one of the cups broken. The fat candle that had been burning next to Rafaele’s bed had been flung to the other side of the room.. Canvases were strewn all over the floor, some of them slashed, and many of Master Strozzi’s jars of paint elements were broken.

Did Piero and Rafaele have a fight? She quickly suppressed the thought. Who would get into a fight with a man who was already injured?

Something else must have happened.

She walked across the garret. “Piero? Rafaele, are you here?”

Rafaele was not in the bed. The sheets and blankets she had piled on top of him were strewn everywher. Blood-stained sheets spilled over the edge of the pallet. There was a pile of clothes on the floor.

She walked around to get a closer look.

Not clothes. It was Piero. Face down, one arm stretched out before him, as if in supplication.

A puddle of blood under him.


Praise for ‘The Saffron Crocus’ by Alison McMahan

“I adored this beautifully written, passionate book. The Saffron Crocus is a glittering, thrilling opera of a novel that plucked my heartstrings and kept me reading at fever pitch. Brava, Alison McMahan! Encore!” -Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Wicked Saga

Buy ‘The Saffron Crocus’ by Alison McMahan

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Amazon US
Amazon UK
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About Alison McMahanAlison McMahan

Alison McMahan chased footage for her documentaries through jungles in Honduras and Cambodia, favelas in Brazil and racetracks in the U.S. She brings the same sense of adventure to her award-winning books of historical mystery and romantic adventure for teens and adults. Her latest publication is The Saffron Crocus, a historical mystery for young. Murder, Mystery & Music in 17th Century Venice.

She loves hearing from readers!

Alison McMahan Links

Webpage for The Saffron Crocus


Enter the Giveaway of ‘The Saffron Crocus’ by Alison McMahan

This giveaway is open to the U.S. only and ends on May 13, 2015.  Please use Rafflecopter to enter.

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‘The Saffron Crocus’ by Alison McMahan Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 13
Book Blast at Genre Queen

Thursday, April 16
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, April 17
Interview at Mythical Books

Monday, April 20
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, April 21
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, April 22
Guest Post at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, April 28
Book Blast at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, April 29
Guest Post & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, May 5
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, May 7
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, May 8
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Saturday, May 9
Book Blast at Romantic Historical Lovers

Tuesday, May 12
Review at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, May 13
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Thursday, May 14
Review at Book Babe
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Monday, May 25
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, May 27
Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, May 28
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Monday, June 1
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, June 2
Guest Post at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, June 5
Spotlight & Giveaway at Jorie Loves a Story

Alison McMahan

Tammy Flanders HetrickThanks to Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, LLC, I am giving away one print copy or ebook of ‘Stella Rose’ by Tammy Flanders Hetrick.

Description of Stella Rose by Tammy Flanders:

Upon Stella Rose’s death, her best friend, Abby, moves to rural Vermont to take care of her sixteen-year-old daughter, Olivia. But Abby struggles to connect with Olivia and she soon finds guardianship of a headstrong teenager daunting beyond her wildest misgivings.

Despite her best efforts, and the help of friends old and new, she is unable to keep Olivia from self-destruction. As Abby’s journey unfolds, she grapples with raising a grieving teenager, realizes she didn’t know Stella as well as she thought, and discovers just how far she will go to save the most precious thing in her life.

About Tammy Flanders Hetrick:

Tammy Flanders Hetrick

Photo Credit: Jessica Anderson Photography

Tammy Flanders Hetrick has been telling stories all her life, refining her skills at age ten through marathon tag-team storytelling with her best friend, honing her craft through decades of business writing, and ultimately finding joy in extracurricular creative writing.

She has published short stories in Your Teen Magazine, Blue Ocean Institute’s Sea Stories, and Route 7 Literary Journal. In 2009 she was recognized with the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition’s Pioneering Woman Award for coaching and mentoring women in the workplace. Hetrick lives in Vermont with her husband of thirty years, their two cats, and a beagle/miniature bull mix. Her website is http://www.tammyflandershetrick.com/.

Connect With Tammy Flander Hetrick:


Enter the Giveaway of Stella Rose by Tammy Flanders:

This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only and ends on May 11, 2015.  Please use Rafflecopter to enter.

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Follow the Tour of Stella Rose by Tammy Flanders:

Celtic Lady’s Reviews: April 21, 2015
A Literary Vacation: April 23, 2015
Broken Teepee: review, April 24, 2015
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus: April 27, 2015
Life of a Female Bibliophile: April 28, 2015
I’m A Book Shark: May 1, 2015
Electively Paige: review, May 4, 2015
Under My Apple Tree: May 7, 2015
Celtic Lady’s Reviews: May 12, 2015
Centered on Books: May 16, 2015
Christiecote.com: May 20, 2015
Christiesbookreviews.com: May 21, 2015