Saturday, March 31, 2012

This Day in History March 31, 1492

If you are like me, you know about Queen Isabella mainly because she and King Ferdinand financed Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World in 1492.  That is one of those stories that most of us know.  However, you may not know about something that happened on this date in 1492 that does not seem quite so nice.

During this time period, Spain was quite diverse.  It consisted of Christians, Jews, and Muslims.  Some Jews converted to Christianity to avoid persecution.  As you might imagine, these "converted" Jews often still practiced Judaism in secret.  It was important to the monarchy to be unified, and so Catholicism became the only acceptable religion.  The Inquisition was one way this was enforced.

On this date in 1492, the Alhambra Decree was enacted.  This called for the expulsion of Jews from Spain, and 200,000 ultimately did leave.  This decree stated that these Jews had to leave by the end of July or face death and the confiscation of all their property.  Many Jews died as they attempted to leave often at the hands of Spanish ship captains who charged exorbitant sums, threw the Jews overboard, and knifed them to death due to rumors of Jews swallowing gold and diamonds.

Honestly, this is the first time I have ever heard about this horrible decree.  I have often heard about how Jews have been persecuted throughout the centuries, but somehow this story never reached my ears.  I wonder why it is that we generally only teach about this Spanish king and queen in light of Columbus but fail to mention what else they did that very same year.

For more information, please check out:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Beanfields Snacks Review

For the past few weeks, my family and I have been reviewing some wonderful snacks from Beanfield Snacks.  The company was so generous.  In addition to the one pictured above, they sent me:

I wanted to make sure that everyone possible in my family got to try these snacks.  I am always looking for healthier snacks, and I absolutely love chips.  While it is true that we don't have trouble with food allergies, but I love the fact that these are all natural.  And they have 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving.  These snacks are indeed filling and not full of empty calories.

Now, of course, the issue at hand is whether they taste good or not.  Well, I can tell you that my favorite is the nacho flavor!  And my daughter and mom agree.  They are just as good as Doritos but are much, much healthier.  As to the sea salt flavor, I felt they were a bit bland, but once I got used to them, they were good.  My daughter and I both added additional salt when we first ate them.  As to the unsalted variety, I did have to add more salt, but that is just me.

I am a big fan of these snacks, and I was excited to learn that I can buy these somewhat nearby.  And you can find out if these are available near you by clicking here.  To sign up for their newsletter, click here.

Follow Beanfields Snacks on facebook.
Follow Beanfields Snacks on twitter.

I was sent a sample of these snacks in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This Day in History March 30, 1842

I am extremely grateful that this day in history occurred.  Even though I have never had a surgical procedure, I know people who have.  It was on this date in 1842 that Dr. Crawford Long first used ether in a surgical procedure.  He removed a tumor from the neck of James Venable, and an ether-soaked cloth was used to "knock" the patient out.

The sad news is that Dr. Long did not officially document this first use of ether.  Not until 1849, that is.  And by that time, someone else (Dr. Jackson and others) documented his use of ether, so Dr. Long did not receive the credit he should have.  A good reminder to not let the time get away from you!

For more information, please check out:

Blog Tour: By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer Book Review

Win an Unsinkable Titanic Prize Pack & RSVP for a Titanic Party!

Enter Today and Save the Date-4/10!
Celebrate the release of By the Light of the Silvery Moon with Tricia by entering her giveaway and RSVPing to her Titanic party.

One "unsinkable" winner will receive:

  • Flip HD video Camera (Make your own dramatic saga!)
  • Titanic movies from the ages {Titanic (1953) Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), Titanic (1997)}
  • Secrets of the Titanic (Get the facts from National Geographic.)
  • And the Band Played On (Music Played on the Titanic.)
  • By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer (Be swept away in this tale of love and courage.)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 9th. Winner will be announced at "Silvery Moon" Titanic Facebook Party on 4/10. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club). During the live chat Tricia will have a *special guest* join her. More details coming soon!

So grab your copy of By the Light of the Silvery Moon and join Tricia on the evening of the April 10th for a fun chat, trivia contest (How much do you know about the Titanic?) and lots of giveaways. 

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!

About the book:
Amelia Gladstone's hopes are tied up in the Titanic--hopes for a reunion with her sister and an introduction to an admirer. But when she offers a spare ticket to a down-and-out young man, her fate is about to change.

Quentin Walpole is stunned when a sweet lady secures his passage to America--and even more surprised to find his wealthy father and older brother on board the ship. Suddenly Amelia finds herself caught between the attentions of two men, but who should she entrust her heart to? As the fateful night arrives, will Amelia lose everything to the icy waters?

By the Light of the Silvery MoonBy the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I realized that this was historical fiction about the Titanic, I was ecstatic!  I have had a fascination with this great ship since I did a report on it back in sixth grade.  And with the 100th year anniversary, it could not be better timing.

I was immensely pleased with the research that the author did for this book.  She added in everything from the near collision when it set sail to the screams of the doomed passengers in the water.  For the first time, I understood why no one survived who was not in the lifeboat.  And I understood the precarious position of those lifeboats.  I know I may have heard it before, but suddenly it made sense.

I was enthralled by the story.  I was able to tell early on that one of the stories was an updated retelling of the Prodigal Son parable.  I loved the twist the author put in the story.

Amelia is a character that spoke to my heart--as did Quentin.  I am amazed at how God continues to use historical Chrisitan fiction to speak to my heart.  I have been blaming myself lately for the part I have played in my current domestic issue.  I have found myself apologizing over and over for a decision I made some 10 years ago that is making this current issue possible.  Well, I realized yesterday as I read that God orchestrated it all.  It was not something I pursued or sought after.  And God could have stopped it.  But He did not.  It happened, and even as I walk through my current pain, God has a purpose in it all.  Just as Amelia and Quentin learned.  How could the disaster of the Titanic been a part of God's plan?  We may never understand it in this life.  As an old song I know says: When you can't trust His hand, trust His heart.

I also loved the side note about John Astor.  I will not spoil it for the reader, but it was pure genius, in my opinion.

In short, if you love historical fiction romances, this is for you.  Yes, it has a strong Christian message, but it is woeven so seamlessly into the fabric of the story, I doubt it would truly bother anyone who is not a Christian.  It may convict you, but the story line is so strong that I will bet you will not want to put it down.

I was given a copy of this book inexchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews

About Tricia: 
Tricia Goyer is the award winning author of thirty-two books including Beside Still Waters, Remembering You, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences and is the host of Living Inspired. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

Link to buy the book 

Be sure to follow the entire book tour here.

March Into April Giveaway Hop (Ends 4/2) U.S/Canada (Closed)

Welcome to the
March Into April Giveaway Hop
hosted by Planet Weidknecht and
All the bloggers participating in this hop are giving away prizes
worth at least $20 on their blogs. After you enter my giveaway,
be sure to hop around to all the blogs on the list below
to enter more awesome giveaways!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

I was privileged to finally get an opportunity to review a Rockin' Learn DVD!  I have heard about these for a while right now, and since I am a teacher, I am always looking for fantastic learning products for my daughter.  I will tell you up front that I knew she was a little bit past the age for this DVD, but I knew she would still be willing to review it.  She is definitely a blogger in training!

This was the DVD my daughter and I reviewed.  Here's a brief description of the DVD.

Energetic music and fun games build excitement about learning to read. Letter Sounds covers the most common sound that each letter makes. The completely new Letter Sounds DVD with its "on-screen mouth" shows how to form each sound. Letter Sounds CD comes with a full-color illustrated book. By the end of these programs, students are combining letters to read words and even simple sentences. Ages 4–7.

So what did my daughter and I think?  We absolutely loved it!  Even my daughter who is 8 enjoyed sitting there and watching it.  In fact, she was ready to watch it again.  I found myself thinking that she would have loved this when she was in preschool.  The animation is high quality, and the music, rap, and stories really draw the viewer into the learning process without even realizing it.  I love it when programs recognize that music helps students learn.  And this one certainly does the trick!  I even found myself enjoying it!

Now since this doesn't quite equal $20, I will go into my blogger bag of odds and ends and send you enough "surprise" things so this will meet the requirements.  Don't worry!  They will be nice.  I promise!

So how do you enter?  Fill out the rafflecopter form below by 9 P.M. Pacific time April 2.  This giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canada.  And don't forget to hop on to the other blogs!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Charity Hopping Around the World Giveaway Hop (Ends 4/4)

Welcome to the Charity Hopping Around the World Giveaway Hop
March 30th to April 4th

Hosted by:
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
Reading Away the Days
Reading a Little Bit of Everything

Purpose: To promote a charity that you support.

Charities are something that are close to my heart.  I have supported several over the years, and I decided that I am going to spotlight the one that I support on a monthly basis.

A few years ago, as I was trying to get my finances in order, God impressed me to support a child through World Vision on a monthly basis.  If you do not know about World Vision, let me fill you in.

Signing up to sponsor a child is such an easy process.  And you feel really good about it.  I involved my daughter in it, and we decided to find a girl who has the same birthday as us.  (My daughter and I share a birthday.  I know, now you can say, "That is so cool."  Actually, yes it is!)  And we did.  And she was also from the area that we wanted to support--Eastern Europe.  As we have followed her, it has been so neat to see our sponsored child, Megi, grow up, go to school, and learn about God.

About a year or so later, God impressed me yet again to support another child.  And God led me to pick a boy from Africa.  This boy didn't go to school, and he lived in a really bad area.  I was so excited to finally see him going to school and truly growing into a nice, young man.

World Vision is an organization that is local to me (Federal Way, Washington--yay!), and it only takes a small amount each month to support a child.  Depending on the area, it can be $30 or $35 per month.  You can set it up to be drawn out of your bank account or charged to your credit card automatically.  Amazingly, I hardly notice the $65 each month.

Oh, and the neat thing is that you hear from your child now and then.  You also get to send them Christmas cards/gifts and other holidays throughout the year.  You get a yearly report.  World Vision makes it so easy to make a difference in our world.

In addition to supporting children on a monthly basis, you can send a one-time gift towards various countries and relief efforts.  I have to admit that I love doing that.  In the past, I have sent a portion of my income tax return funds to them.

So now to my giveaway.  One person will win a $10 gift to World Vision and an inspirational book of your choice $10 or less.  Entering is very simple--use the rafflecopter form--and the giveaway is open worldwide. Be sure to enter by 9 P.M. Pacific Time on April 4.  And don't forget to check out all the other blogs to learn about more charities and the chance to win even more giveaways.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Day in History March 29, 1848

I think I have grown up hearing about Niagara Falls.  After all, you can't watch Looney Toons without seeing images of one of the characters attempting to go over it in a barrel.  And this is something that has been attempted--successfully, if I remember right.

Whiel the picture up top is how we are used to seeing the Falls, look at what happened on this date in 1848.

Niagara Falls actually stopped flowing for 30 hours!  I had no idea.  It was an American family that noticed first the missing roar of the Falls.  You can imagine what was happening as a result of this tremendous ice that caused the Falls to become silent.  People walked on the frozen portions and found unusual items such as guns and such for souvenirs.  Fish died.  Some people even thought it was the end of the world.

Just as suddenly as it had stopped, the evening of the 31st, the Falls reverted to normal.  The water gushed forward with a deafening roar.

I love the fact that I happened upon this information tonight.  I have never heard this before, but it must have been big news when it happened.  I hope someday I can see the Falls, but if I don't, oh well.

For more information, check out:

Easter Bunny Smiley Cookies Review

I am so pleased that I got the chance to review Smiley cookies again!  I got to review them back during Thanksigiving, and they were a hit then.  But even more so were these wonderful bunny cookies.

When these Easter cookies arrived, my daughter and I were the only ones home, and we were pretty excited.  I was pleased with the decor and the vivid colors.  I have always admired Easter cookies in the store, but these Easter bunny cookies take the cake!  I would be very proud to serve these at any church or friend gathering.

However, my family had other ideas.

My mom said that these cookies tasted better than the ones at Thanksgiving time.  Even I thought they seemed much fresher.  I was pleased to see that you could freeze these--I hadn't noticed that before.  But since there are only a couple left, freezing them will not be necessary.

Be sure to check out Smiley Cookies on facebook.  And if you would like to order these cookies for Easter (or any other time of the year), you can get 10% off your order (except gift cards) by entering the code  BLOG10 at checkout. I think it safe to say that you will find something for even the most picky people in your sphere of influence.  I highly recommend this site for cookies as well as other items.   This is a company that delivers exactly what they say they will do.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Virtual Blog Tour: Life in Death by Harlow Coban Book Review

Life in Death (Kari Marchant Series, Book 1)
by Harlow Coban
Publisher: Wine Not Publishing
Length: 25,000 words
Sub-Genre: Mystery/Thriller

When a girl that social worker Kari Marchant places in foster care is brutally murdered, she’s compelled to learn why. Her quest for the truth pits her against friends and coworkers. As Kari works to solve the horrific plot, more people die. How far should she go to learn the truth—even if it threatens her life?

When homicide detective Rance Nicolet meets Kari, his attraction to her is powerful—and the feeling is mutual. But things between them go terribly wrong when Kari’s old lover is found murdered with a letter from her in his pocket. The evidence against Kari is damning. Rance’s personal and professional lives collide. Does he blindly believe the woman he’s falling in love with or follow the evidence no matter where it leads?

Available at:
"Where is she?" Luke Dolo, Patience’s father, pounded a fist on the table. His face had contorted into an ugly mask. His smooth, dark skin had a reddish tinge to it, either from alcohol, anger or both. 

For the first time ever, Kari thought about alerting security. She weighed her options. 

“Mr. Dolo, please calm down. As I said before, you need to speak to the police.” She slid Detective Nicolet’s card over to him. 

He stared at it, eyes dull.

“Just tell me what happened to her?” The veins in his neck bulged and pulsed. 

She didn’t respond. She couldn’t respond. It wasn’t her place to tell him his daughter was dead.

He leaped across the table, hands closing around Kari’s throat like a vise. She struggled against his strength and they tumbled to the ground. He landed on top of her. The weight of his body coupled with the fall knocked the breath out of her, but she continued to struggle. She scratched and clawed at him to get free. His fetid breath nauseated her as she fought to take a gulp of air. Soon dots danced in front of her eyes and she felt dizzy.

Detective Cobb had Luke on his stomach with his knee pressed into his back as he handcuffed him. “Looks like I showed up just in time.”

Life in DeathLife in Death by Harlow Coban
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mystery, romance, brutal murders, and a confusing ending.  This is the best way to describe this book, and this will be one of the more challenging reviews for me to write.  This is also a rather short book, but I have to say that it is anything but an easy read.

For the first few chapters of the book, I was really mesmerized.  The author had me right there.  Although the murder described was quite horrid and brutal, I was somewhat intrigued.  I am sure that the kind of "murder ring" described in the book that find its inspiration from Eastern practices is something that occurs without anyone's knowledge.  I was sickened to read about the rituals described, but I also wanted to see the perpetrators come to justice.

Unfortunately, the book began to get very confusing as it continued.  I was able to figure some of the characters out and how they figured into the story, but there were definitely some holes that just did not make sense.  I so hoped that everything would get worked out and explained by the end, but it really was not.  And I was highly offended by the epilogue.  As far as I am concerned, murder is murder--no matter if it justified or not.  It is one thing if you kill in self-defense or accidentally.  But pre-meditated murder is something that should never go unpunished.

I was offended by the flagrant use of profanity.  While I do not like profanity, when it is used and if makes sense, I can excuse it.  Not so, here.  And the sex scene did not even seem to make sense.

You might wonder why I gave it a 3-star rating if there were so many thing I did not like.  Well, I would say that the author does have a talent, and the premise behind the book is somewhat intriguing.  I also think that some people may find the book really interesting.  Perhaps if the book had been longer, it may have even been better.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews


Author Harlow Coban was born in Kansas City, MO, but grew up in Denver, CO. She relocated to North Carolina five years ago with her husband, two dogs, and 16-year old twins.

She shares a birthday with the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. In keeping with his legacy, she is currently working on taking over the world. Harlow’s positive attitude and fresh take on life are her tools and conquest is certain.

She spends her free time writing, dancing, traveling and defending mailboxes from her 16-year-old twins’ driving.

Her debut novel, LIFE IN DEATH (February 2012), is a murder mystery which pulls from real-life situations from her own family history. She felt compelled to share her story with the world while offering a thrilling, entertaining, and amusing escape for readers.

In keeping with her commitment to improving the lives of children, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club in her home state of North Carolina.

Twitter: @HarlowCoban

Click here to follow the rest of the blog tour.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This Day in History March 28, 1979

It was on this date in 1979 that the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history occurred.  Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania had been built in 1974.   The disaster began at 4 A.M., and by 8 P.M. that day, it seemed like complete meltdown had been averted.

Unfortunately, two days later it was discovered that radiation had escaped into the air, and over 100,000 people fled to surrounding areas in fear and panic.  Thankfully, the hydrogen gas bubble was not in danger of exploding.  The plant was shut down and did not resume operation until 1985.   Then it closed permanently in 1990. There has not been another power plant erected in this country since this disaster.

Thankfully, this disaster was not any worse.  Hopefully there will never be another disaster, but I have to admit that I don't have a lot of hope.

For more information, please check out:;jsessionid=DBFBC6B0EC253A8A2721A3F146376575

Virtual Blog Tour: "Redneck Heaven" by Marchelle Wallace Book Review and Giveaway (Ends 4/15) WW

Redneck Heaven
by Marchelle Wallace
Publisher: MW Publications
Length: 428 pages/150,390 words
Sub-Genre: Comedy, Contemporary

Meredith Colt has an epiphany on her way to her own wedding. The epiphany leaves her in the arms of sexy green-eyed stranger Marlon Bridges. Four weeks later, the lovely Miss Colt arrives at her deceased Grandfather's house in search of herself in Heaven, Pennsylvania (Redneck Capital of the World, according to her mother and sister) only to find her closest neighbor is none other than the sexy Redneck Marlon Bridges, owner of the Heavenly Timber and Logging Company.

The town has very strict views on Flatlanders and Meredith lives down to their expectations of how a Flatlander should act. Marlon is a card carrying member of the Rednecks-R-Us club.

Can these two strangers put their differences aside and discover that true love hits you upside the head with a two by four when you least expect it?

Available at:
Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle Edition) | CreateSpace | Smashwords

Redneck HeavenRedneck Heaven by Marchelle Wallace
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that was pretty good but had the potential to be great. The premise behind the story is cute and entertaining.  I feel that the author show real promise.  However I feel that there were a few things that spoiled it for me to a degree.

I absolutely love the character of Meredith.  She is a woman who lives life to the fullest, and she tends to change her mood with the wind.  I am not a huge fan of Marlon.  I guess he can't be too bad if Meredith likes him.

The story had its high points, but there were some things that seemed muddied and did not always make sense.  No spoilers from me!

What really hurt this book from my perspective was the prolific use of profanity and erotic sex scenes.  I would just start enjoying the story, and the F-bomb would be dropped for no reason.  And the sex scenes seem really unrealistic.  But that is just my opinion.  I can assure you that many would disagree with me.

In short, this book is a nice, light romance that celebrates all things Redneck. I would not recommend it highly, but the story line will keep you interested.  In fact, the author adds in a few twists at the end that I did not see coming.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews


“Excuse me; pardon me, oh hell, just move.” Gwenivere Meredith Colt said as she desperately tried to navigate the narrow aisle, without much luck, as people kept popping up in front of her.
Gwenivere was trying to get to the bathroom on the rocking, rickety rackety train that she was currently riding on. She was dressed in the most hideous white dress she had ever seen, which was also two (okay 4) sizes too small. Well it was her wedding day so what did you expect. The ginormously ugly dress had an old-fashioned bustle skirt that made her ass look three times its normal size, which was in no way small to start with, so the addition of yards of extra fabric was not helping. It also had a three-mile long train, which she kept stepping on and getting twisted around her ankles, so she was afraid she would fall over at any minute. Added to that, the bodice with the spaghetti straps, which was causing her non- small breasts to smoosh up and over the top and she was in hell. Well actually, Gwenivere was on an excursion train, final destination…Happily ever after, forever and ever. (Yeah right) The hideous dress with the excessive fabric kept getting caught on the seats, the floor, and the men’s shoes.
Men? Where are the maid of honors and the sister and frantic mother of the bride?
Just peachy, wrong train. “Where in the hell is the bathroom?” Someone gave an indistinct wave in the general direction that she was already headed, so she kept going forward, trying not to make eye contact with anyone, since she was already sure that none of them belonged with her wedding party anyway.
Gwenivere heard a distinct rip from the direction of someone’s shoe as she tried pulling all that extra fabric out from behind her, while trying very hard not to breathe so that things didn’t start popping out the top of the ugly dress from hell. She made a frantic attempt to look normal, but let’s face it; normal had been left at the train station.
Where had this gone wrong? Possibly, when she showed up for a wedding she didn’t plan, didn’t remember agreeing to, and probably didn’t want. Not to mention the butt ugly dress that she didn’t pay for or try on before the wedding. How in the *** had she ended up here? She remembered Mark talking about them getting married, and that he would take care of everything, because she was so bogged down at work, because he had bogged her down with so much of his workload that she had a hard time getting her own done, Thank you very much. “No problem, I’ll handle everything,” he’d said. When exactly had he asked her if she wanted to get married? When had she said “yes I will marry you, please plan everything and don’t forget to make me look as stupid as possible?”
Nice time for an epiphany. God I’m dumb. And where in the *** did they hide the bathroom on excursion trains, please God let there be a bathroom.

About the Author:

I live in a very small town in Northern Pennsylvania. I am blessed with one of everything... one husband, one son, one daughter, one dog, one cat, and a pet bunny. I have always wanted to be an author and have been writing stories in my head for years.
When not writing, I am a Bookkeeper and Tax Preparer. I enjoy cooking, swimming, crocheting, flowers, wild birds, cute scarecrows (not the scary kind), photography, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In my spare time, I volunteers at the local senior center, public library as well as various church activities.
I am an avid reader, reading mostly romance, although I am willing to try almost any book that is recommended. I like to be entertained but not scared. My favorite authors are Jennifer Crusie and Janet Chapman. My favorite books are Faking it, Agnes and the Hitman, Bet Me, the Highlander series, The Man Must Marry, and the Magic Series by Patricia rice.
I love country music and listen to it every chance I get. I can be found dancing to the beat everywhere I go. My favorite season is Tax Season.
I am a 2010 and 2011 Participant and Winner of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month Participating in NaNoWriMo helped me take one of the stories from my head to the page. It was an awesome experience and I recommend every budding author give it a try.
Redneck Heaven is the result of Participating in NaNoWriMo 2010.

Follow the entire tour here.

And, yes, this is a worldwide giveaway for a PDF copy of Redneck Heaven. Please enter on the rafflecopter form by 9 P.M. Pacific Time April 15.  Best of wishes to you!

BLOG BARRAGE: "Valkyrie's Vengeance (Maidens of the Shield, Book 1)" by Suzie Grant and a Giveaway Too! (Ends 4/15) WW

Valkyrie's Vengeance (Maidens of the Shield, Book 1)
by Suzie Grant
Publisher: Night Shift Publishing
Length: 70,000 words
Sub-Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Historical

Stranded on foreign soil. Rescued and raised by the enemy. Tyra Svensdottir declares war on her own people after witnessing the death of the very woman who’d saved her life. Kidnapping the man who wields the sword of the underworld —Hel’s Hammer — Tyra forces him to repair her shipwrecked vessel. Her quest to kill the swordsman’s king takes them across frigid waters on a myriad of adventures and a voyage of sensual discovery.

Rorik Thorlicksson uncovers treachery within his clan but in order to return home to warn of the impending attack, he must yield to the woman holding him captive. Along their voyage he unravels the mystery behind his captor. He discovers she is the woman promised to him in wedlock at birth though her disappearance years ago released him from his betrothal. Dissuading the little heathen from her purpose and into his bed becomes a more appealing prospect with every passing day.

Blood vengeance brings them together even as desire binds their hearts. Amongst the secrets and obscurities of their destinies, they find a love that spans a lifetime as well as an end to A Valkyrie’s Vengeance.

Available at:
Amazon | Smashwords

Off the coast of England – 901 AD
Thwack, thwack, thwack. Arrows embedded into the beached ship with every step Tyra Svensdottir took, missing her ankles by mere inches.
She dove for cover inside the grounded longship’s hull. Her heart stalled and then nearly pounded its way outside of her chest. She placed a hand there as if she could stop the horrendous hammering, or at least quiet it somewhat. Eyes wide, she spat the mouthful of salt water out and rose to her knees, making sure to stay hidden. The hull tilted on its side like a great fish dragged from the sea. Leaning against the wooden planks, Tyra summoned the courage not to cry. Who shot at her? How had they found her?
For the last three days, she’d wandered the beach alone. She wasn’t even sure where she was. Her gaze roamed her surroundings. Early morning mist swept the beaches in its wispy grasp and limited visibility. But she could hear voices. She couldn’t locate from whence they came.
Tyra slogged through the calf-high water, leaning low, to the front of the ship. Her fingers shook as she reached out to grasp the edge of the jagged planks where the hull had struck stone, causing the vessel to sink. Waves lapped at her ankles and washed the sand out from under her bare toes as she stepped over one of the bloated, dead bodies. Bile rose in her throat and she tamped it down. The rancid scent of rotting flesh permeated the air around the longship’s belly and her empty stomach protested the smell.
Her lips quivered. From fear? Cold? Both. She only wished to go home. Her father had warned her— when the gods grant our desires we may find we no longer wish for them, Tyra. An ache developed in her chest and she could almost hear the deep timbre of his voice. Why hadn’t she listened to him?
Bodies littered the beach in various positions. Her brother…her cousins…all dead. She’d been the sole survivor. Of the twelve men, only four had washed ashore so far. She covered her mouth, to hold in the scream forming in the back of her throat.
A deep, hearty laugh caused her to stiffen as she waited for further movement. She peered around the edge of the shattered boards and a single arrow thumped into the side of the ship next to her face. She leapt back with a gasp.
The laughter grew louder. They were toying with her now. They must know she was alone. Her legs were weak and wobbly from lack of nourishment and her vision blurred. Voices carried to her and she knew the enemy was closing in.
Tyra could not wait here to be slaughtered like an animal. She must move to a better battlefield. She scanned the area. The beach faded into a dark cluster of trees. If she made it there, she would have a better chance of survival with more places to hide.
But running from here to there…a single arrow would kill her. Tyra choked back her tears.
Taking a deep breath, she burst from the opening and plunged headlong down the stretch of open beach toward the cover of the trees. Her legs pumped furiously and she squealed at the swish of an arrow flying past her.
She gasped for breath and her lungs burned from lack of air. Plink. Plink. Two arrows hit the face of the rocks ahead of her and fell harmlessly to the ground.
Tyra grabbed one as she ran past. A weapon would even the odds somewhat. She might only be twelve-winters-old, but her father had taught her from an early age how to protect herself. He appreciated strength in a woman and had encouraged her to take up arms. A woman’s place was beside the hearth, but a woman also protected the hearth while the men were away.
Steep, craggy rocks settled at the base of an incline. She leapt over a small boulder and burst through the edge of the trees. There was no path here, and she knew not where to go, but she could not falter now.
The sound of the chase followed her as the enemy crashed through the brush behind her. Their harsh breath broke the silence of the forest as the men sucked air into their lungs. Tree limbs slapped against her face and stung her tender skin.
How many were there? Did she dare look? If she fell she would never be able to get away once they caught her. She could not look and risk losing her small advantage.
They laughed and taunted in a foreign tongue, and they were closing in. Lengthening her strides, she dodged a maple tree and leapt over a dead, fallen trunk.
Why had she stowed away on her brother’s ship? Why had she not stayed home where she belonged? Hugh had been headed to Jorvikskyr on a trading expedition, and her father had forbidden her to go. Determined, she had hidden away in an empty trunk. A storm had brewed so suddenly, near falling right atop them, leaving the crew little time to sail safely to land.
And due to her foolish pride she was left running for her life in an unknown land.
The terrain dipped and she slid down an embankment. She sprang forward and raced north. Several seconds later she realized she heard no sound.
Her footsteps slowed. She gasped for breath and leaned a hand against a thick oak, while her other settled against her heart. Dropping to her knees, she hid behind the large trunk, and searched the area. The mist weaved between the carpet of trees, Tyra studied the wall of green for the slightest movement. Nature’s breath seemed to be silenced as she waited for some sound.
Where had they gone? Had they given up the search?
The mist thickened amongst the vegetation and descended into a moist cloud just above her head. Everything beyond her reach faded into a grey haze.
A limb snapped. She shrank back, the bark of the tree scrapping against the soft flesh of her forehead. Hot, silent tears coursed down her cheeks. She’d wished for adventure. And now she wished for home.
Silence hung in the air like the weighty fog. It was there and she felt it. But it was the danger within she feared, not the fog itself.
She swallowed. Her parched tongue scratched against the roof of her mouth. Three days since she’d had any nourishment. Three days since she’d had shelter. And three days since she’d seen another human being. Alive at least.
To have endured the storm stowed away in a trunk and survived the crash—only to die on land at the hands of strangers seemed one of Loki’s cruel jests.
By Odin, she refused to be his entertainment and she refused to die here in a land not her own, amongst a people not her own.

Suzie still believes in happily-ever-after and after growing up reading classic adventure literature like Treasure Isle, Robinson Crusoe, and The Swiss Family Robinson tales, as well as epic novels like Gone with the wind, Suzie would dream up adventures of her own.With her love of history she brings the action of thrillers to historical romance with steamy, love scenes and a pace that will leave you breathless!
She lives happily ever after with her new beau, three boys and one little Shih tzu named Peppy Le’Pew in NC. One day she plans to retire and sail along the east coast an adventurer to the end.

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I am so excited to get to giveaway a PDF copy of this book to one of my international readers.  Yes, this is open worldwide.  All you need to do is enter to win on the rafflecopter form below by 9 P.M. Pacific time on April 15.  Best of wishes to you!

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