Monday, November 28, 2016

Harlequin November Blog Tour: Bon Appetit and a Book

By New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
Allison Leigh

'Tis the season for second chances…and secrets!
Forget the mistletoe maneuvers. Kelly Rasmussen isn't planning on having that reunion kiss with Dr. Caleb Buchanan any time soon. Things had long ago gone south for these former high school sweethearts. Except for that one night six years ago—which resulted in an explosive secret Kelly's kept till this very day.
Now career and family have brought them both back to Weaver, Wyoming. Their unavoidable clashes—and instant chemistry—make them realize this town isn't big enough for the two of them. Or three of them—counting Kelly's son. Because there's something about that little boy… For one thing, he has Caleb's eyes…

ALLISON LEIGH'S high point as a writer is hearing from readers that they laughed, cried or lost sleep while reading her books. She makes her home in Arizona where she’s blessed with an immensely
patient family who doesn’t mind (much) her time spent at her computer and who gives her the kind of love she wants her readers to share in every page. Stay in touch at and @allisonleighbks.

Bon App├ętit and a Book: A delicious recipe to enjoy alongside the book with an image.
Fudge Drop Cookies
1 ¾ C sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ C sifted unsweetened cocoa
2 eggs
2/3 C vegetable oil (Canola works well)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1 C granulated sugar

2 C sifted confectioner’s sugar
¼ C sifted unsweetened cocoa (can be omitted if you prefer a plain glaze)
2/3 TBSP milk
Dash salt
Dash almond extract

Sift flour with baking powder, salt and cocoa and set aside. In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly. Stir in oil, extracts and sugar until combined. Beat in flour mixture until smooth, then refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Drop chilled dough in slightly rounded teaspoons about 2” apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 400° preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool. Make glaze: In medium bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring until smooth. Spread tops of cooled cookies with glaze and enjoy! Makes about 3 dozen 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Spotlight: Under the Kissing Bough

15 brand-new novellas. 15 best-selling romance authors. A holiday-themed collection like no other.

What happens under the kissing bough doesn't necessarily stay beneath the kissing bough...

According to lore, the origins of which date to the late 12th century, no lady should refuse a kiss beneath the mistletoe, else she will not marry in the next year. In exchange for the kiss, a berry is removed from the sprig until all of the berries are gone and no more kisses can be stolen. Some also believe that a sprig of mistletoe collected from a local church and placed beneath a maiden's pillow will inspire dreams of her future husband. 

What happens when fifteen daring heroines pin their hopes on mistletoe, a little luck, and a kiss in this multi-genre, limited edition holiday collection from 15 bestselling authors? Pure holiday magic!

This set includes USA TODAY bestselling and National bestselling authors Sandy Blair, Suzanne Ferrell, Kathryn Le Veque, Jeanne Adams, Anna Campbell, Tina De Salvo, Barbara Devlin, Joan Kayse, Catherine Kean, Anna Markland, Hildie McQueen, Meara Platt, Elizabeth Rose, Jordan K. Rose, and Lana Williams.



A once great love
Sold into marriage at sixteen, widowed at nineteen, and mired in a scandal of her own making at twenty-two, Lady Moreton has fallen on hard times.  Alone, shunned by society, and on the verge of homelessness, she desperately searches for salvation.  When Almira receives an intriguing invitation to join one of England’s most respected families for Christmas, she clings to hope, to the possibility of rescue, and packs her best gowns.
Two broken hearts
Heir to a tarnished title, Lord Nicholas Sheldon seeks to right the wrongs of his past, after his father is found floating in the Thames, and his younger brother faces trial for kidnapping a high-ranking member of the peerage.  In exchange for evidence in support of the Crown’s charges, Nicholas wants only one thing: the beautiful woman who stole his heart, so long ago.  Pinning his hopes on a kiss beneath the kissing bough, he enlists the aid of his onetime enemies, journeys to Portsea Island, and risks everything for a chance at happiness.

Traditions, mistletoe kisses and second chances…
The Cajun Christmas on the Bayou Celebration is an annual event in the remote town of Fa La, Louisiana, nicknamed – Fa La La. It has supported generations of the families who live in the tiny, isolated bayou community. This year may be the last. Thanks to Hunter James who bought the neighboring island, they can no longer use his land for a major part of the celebration.  The island is his home where he expects to find much needed peace and quiet.  He doesn’t want Christmas lights, music and revelers on his land no matter what Fa La La’s beautiful advocate, Dr. Camille Comeaux, says as she tries to change his mind…and changes his heart.
Will Camille fight to steal Hunter’s peace so her family can have theirs?

If someone has to die in order to save the citizens of Central City from the heinous experiments of Panthera Laboratories, Oswald Addison would gladly volunteer. But a three-hundred-year-old vampire should never have to choose between dying to save those he has sworn to protect or living with the knowledge he is responsible for their doomed existence—especially when the life of the woman he loves is at stake.
For Selene Kittery, having to hold her own in the male-dominated Vampire Guard is enough of a challenge. With Christmas right around the corner and mistletoe hanging in doorways, controlling the impulse to fall into the arms of the sexiest womanizer to walk the earth makes getting through every night damn near impossible. As the iron-clad grip she’s kept on her dignity weakens, Selene must face the truth about Oz.
Realizing Selene is Panthera’s next target, Oz is forced to share the secret about what happened on the night they met and risk losing her forever.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book Blast & Giveaway: Battle for Cymmera by Dani-Lyn Alexander

We’re happy to host Dani-Lyn Alexander’s BATTLE FOR CYMMERA Book Blast today! Dani-Lyn is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  Enter below!

Title: Battle for Cymmera, Kingdom of Cymmera Book Three
Author: Dani-Lyn Alexander
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington
Pages: 226
Genre: YA Fantasy

With Chayce Maynard on the run, Ryleigh and Jackson can finally begin rebuilding their kingdom. But when a cryptic message suggests Chayce was seen in Argonas, chaos creeps back into Cymmera once more . . .

Jackson knows Cymmera will never be safe until Chayce, guilty of treason, is detained and executed. After ordering Cymmeran guardsmen to scour the land, he and the Death Dealer team brave wild Argonas in search of the informant who spotted his foe. And in his absence, Jackson not only leaves the throne empty, but the kingdom vulnerable to attack . . .

As a vicious army descends on Cymmera, Ryleigh is forced to flee to an uncharted realm with a small group of survivors—a place Jackson has no chance of discovering. Alone, but for the few people she was able to save, Ryleigh must decide whether to reclaim her kingdom or remain in the new realm forever, forsaking all she left behind . . .

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

As she slid past her throne, Ryleigh’s sword caught on the arm, and she took a step back and untangled it. She’d never get used to wearing the stupid thing everywhere she went. If not for Jackson’s insistence, it’d probably be stuffed under her bed beside the baseball bat she kept hidden there.
She pulled open a drawer on the side table behind her throne and rifled through the papers she’d stuffed in there in search of her leather appointment book. If she couldn’t find answers, may as well get some work done. It was either that or dwell on Jackson’s mission and the terror it brought. She pressed a hand against her heaving stomach. No. She couldn’t think about that. She had more immediate problems she might actually be able to do something about.
Several meetings had to be scheduled, and without writing them down, she’d never keep track of where she was supposed to be. Especially with her mind so jumbled with images of Jackson going up against Chayce.
She snatched the book, shoved the drawers shut, and turned to leave.
Ryleigh’s vision blurred. The air shimmered in the center of the throne room, and her ears popped.
She ripped her sword from its sheath even as the portal opened.
A seven-foot-tall beast built of solid muscle tore through the portal. A triple headed flail swung from one massive hand.

About the Author

Dani-Lyn lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac, and she has an addiction to chocolate.


            Giveaway Details:

Dani-Lyn Alexander is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • This giveaway ends midnight November 22.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on November 23.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Review: Secrets of Nanreath Hall by Alix Rickloff

Secrets of Nanreath Hall
by Alix Rickloff
Release Date: August 2nd 2016
2016 William Morrow Paperbacks
Ebook Edition; 416 Pages
ISBN: 978-0062433183
ASIN: B017R5C79W
Genre: Fiction / Historical
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

Cornwall, 1940. Back in England after the harrowing evacuation at Dunkirk, WWII Red Cross nurse Anna Trenowyth is shocked to learn her adoptive parents Graham and Prue Handley have been killed in an air raid. She desperately needs their advice as she’s been assigned to the military hospital that has set up camp inside her biological mother’s childhood home—Nanreath Hall. Anna was just six years old when her mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, died. All she has left are vague memories that tease her with clues she can’t unravel. Anna’s assignment to Nanreath Hall could be the chance for her to finally become acquainted with the family she’s never known—and to unbury the truth and secrets surrounding her past.

Cornwall, 1913. In the luxury of pre-WWI England, Lady Katherine Trenowyth is expected to do nothing more than make a smart marriage and have a respectable life. When Simon Halliday, a bohemian painter, enters her world, Katherine begins to question the future that was so carefully laid out for her. Her choices begin to lead her away from the stability of her home and family toward a wild existence of life, art, and love. But as everything begins to fall apart, Katherine finds herself destitute and alone.

My Thoughts 
Secrets of Nanreath Hall is one those historical novels that gently unfolds, without a whole lot of drama, into a nice historical novel that is still interesting and with characters that are charming and quirky.  

The novel is written is dual timeline format, one during the Great War and the other during World War II.  If done right, the dual timeline works rather well, and although I enjoyed the two story lines in this novel, I don't think they quite connected in the way that was intended as they felt a bit disjointed and didn't quite live up to the promise of great secrets and family intrigues in the book's summary.  I did enjoy them for the descriptions of the individual wars and the effects they had on each character; the Great War perspective was told from Kitty's viewpoint and women's struggles to survive as the men battled on the front while Anna's perspective was from a nursing perspective as men recovered from serious wounds diseases fighting in France and Italy.  There was also quite a bit of information on pilots and the grievous injuries and losses they suffered during WWII; it was quite apparent the author did a lot of research on the subject matter which showed in her writing.  

I enjoyed both Anna and Kitty's characters.  Kitty, deciding to follow her heart, leaves her family and their expectations as debutante and wife to live with Simon and pursue her dreams.  Their daughter, Anna, raised by family friends, after a tragic accident is posted to her mother's old home and decided it's time to discover what has been hidden from her all of these years.  To be honest, it wasn't hard to figure out what the big 'secret' was that had been hidden from Anna all this time; it's an old familiar story that has been written about over and over again.  What I rather liked about Anna's investigations was the people with which she in contact,how it all came together, and especially Anna's interactions with the soldiers, of which there wasn't enough.  I also liked how she got along with Hugh, her cousin, and his mother, despite her aloofness, with little drama.  It seems like so many novels are so full of drama and angst that the actual story gets overlooked.  Things weren't exactly perfect for a while, but I liked how the characters got to know each other and developed deep bonds for each other.  

Secrets of Nanreath Hall was an interesting story, but I especially liked how the author brought the after-effects of the war to life through the stories of nurses like Anna, the soldiers convalescing, the bombings that occurred, and through the descriptions of London and other places recently bombed.  I thought the author did a great job portraying the time period, the hopelessness people felt during those dark times before the U.S. joined the war effort; it's very compelling, and it's the stories of these people that linger long afterwards. While Anna and Kitty's story line is really nothing novel in terms of story telling, this story is also a story about how these wars changed society and changed people, and the struggle that came with that change, and that's what I found fascinating.  I am definitely looking forward to the next chapter in this series, the story about Cynthia's daughter. 
Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala by Laura DiSilverio

The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala (Book Club Mystery #3)
by Laura DiSilverio
Release Date: August 2nd 2016
2016 NAL
Ebook Edition; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-0451470850
ASIN: B01839Q4IG
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

Amy-Faye Johnson has her hands full coordinating the Celebration of Gothic Novels in Heaven, Colorado. The festivities start off smoothly, but the weekend is soon cursed with large egos, old resentments, and uninvited guests. Matters become truly grave when a dead body is found at the gothic-themed costume party.

The out-of-town authors claim not to know the victim, but Amy-Faye has doubts. With skeletons turning up in all of the suspects’ closets, Amy-Faye and the Readaholics must tap into their knowledge of gothic literature to find a killer who lurks in the shadows...

My Thoughts
The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala is the third entry in the Book Club Mystery series and it was a light and interesting romp, something I easily read in an afternoon.  This one naturally drew me in because of the gothic theme running through it and I was curious as to exactly what that was about - and it was enough to send me scurrying through my bookshelves in search of a dog-eared, long-lost copy of Rebecca I haven't seen in years, longing to read it again. 

What I really like about this series, and it certainly continues in this novel, is the emphasis on friendships and the responsibilities one holds to main those friendships.  The author definitely takes the time to develop Amy-Faye's friendships as well as continuing some alternative story lines that have nothing to do with the mystery; it's something I rather enjoy in these books and always look forward to learning more about the various characters through these interactions.  While the secondary characters are not quite as developed as I would like to see however, it was still fun to learn more about them and the problems in their lives and how these might develop into other story lines in the future.

While I didn't find the mystery overly difficult to figure out, challenging mysteries is not why I read cozies to begin with - I save that for those rather difficult police procedurals I love to read.   I like this book because it's lighthearted and fun, and the main character doesn't go out of her way to antagonize the police and hide important information from them, something which tends to drive me crazy in some cozy mysteries.  Amy-Faye goes out of her way to make sure the police are informed as soon as she knows something, and doesn't sculk about breaking into other peoples' homes and so on; she does the right thing.  It may sound a bit boring, but the author does such a good job at describing a scene and including witty dialogue that you don't really think about Amy-Faye doing the right thing.  

The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala is a fun mystery with some twists and surprises, one of which caught me off guard because I wasn't paying too much attention.  I loved the Gothic theme to this novel and enjoyed the references to other famous Gothic authors and books, most of which I'd read, especially the tie-in to DuMaurier's Rebecca. The secondary characters were fun and interesting, and I look forward to learning more about all of them in future novels. 

Spotlight & Giveaway: My Maker's Keeper by Tiffany Current

My Maker’s Keeper
Tiffany Current 
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: November 1, 2016

Book Description:
Hannah Clark used to be an ordinary girl. She used to be a lot of things. Until she was bitten.

Five months ago, Hannah woke up in the middle of the woods as a vampire. She didn’t know how it happened or who turned her. She just knew she wasn’t safe in her hometown anymore.

Fort Wayne was supposed to be her fresh start. Her chance to finish high school without any other incidents. But then she met Jackson. Their attraction was instant and awakened something deep inside of her. Her thirst for blood.

Things only got worse when her maker, Lucas, came to town. He might have been sexy, but he was one dangerous vampire. And if Hannah wanted to keep Jackson safe, she had to protect him from Lucas’ ravenous ways. Even though she found herself excited by them.

But Lucas wasn’t there for her. Something sinister was happening in town. Vampires were going missing, and if Hannah didn’t want to be next, she had to work with Lucas to solve the mystery. But could she trust him? Or should she trust Jackson? She had to make a choice—and her life might just depend on it.

About the Author:
Tiffany Current earned her Bachelor's degree in dramatic writing from Drexel University. Her first book, the self-help relationship guide How to Move in with Your Boyfriend (and Not Break Up with Him), was published by Turner Publishing. 

Tiffany writes paranormal, young adult, urban fantasy, and self-help books. In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys reading books, watching trashy action movies, and pestering her cat.

Tour giveaway - Rafflecopter Oct 24 - Nov 6
3 copies of My Maker’s Keeper
2 $15 Amazon gift cards

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Review: Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory

Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet & Tudor Novels, Book #8)
by Philippa Gregory
Release Date: Augus 9th 2016
2016 Touchstone
Ebook Edition; 556 Pages
ISBN: 978-1476758872
Genre: Fiction / Historical
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

When Katherine of Aragon is brought to the Tudor court as a young bride, the oldest princess, Margaret, takes her measure. With one look, each knows the other for a rival, an ally, a pawn, destined—with Margaret’s younger sister Mary—to a sisterhood unique in all the world. The three sisters will become the queens of England, Scotland, and France.

United by family loyalties and affections, the three queens find themselves set against each other. Katherine commands an army against Margaret and kills her husband James IV of Scotland. But Margaret’s boy becomes heir to the Tudor throne when Katherine loses her son. Mary steals the widowed Margaret’s proposed husband, but when Mary is widowed it is her secret marriage for love that is the envy of the others. As they experience betrayals, dangers, loss, and passion, the three sisters find that the only constant in their perilous lives is their special bond, more powerful than any man, even a king.

My Thoughts
Three Sisters, Three Queens is a bit deceptive in its summary as the point of view in this story is entirely Margaret's while I was hoping for an intertwining of all three of the women and their personal stories.  Although I usually tend to like Philippa Gregory's writing, and her actual writing was still very good in this story, making the events and situations seem very realistic and interesting, it was Margaret herself I had a really hard time with, and I really feel the author was not up to par with her character development in this regard.

First of all, when we first meet Margaret, she is around 12 years old, whiny, self-centered, vain, and just so full of her self-importance and how she ranks to everyone around her.  To be honest, I disliked her instantly, feeling completely sympathetic to Katherine of Aragon and her situation, and I almost stopped reading the book right then and there.  Having read so many other Gregory books however, I decided to give it another shot, and although Margaret's character didn't really improve, there was enough of interest in the people who surrounded her and their development, that it kept me reading.  It's a shame though, as this could have been a really fabulous book, but there are only so many pages of listening to Margaret's thoughts on how she ranks against everyone else in Europe and how she feels slighted because she has to enter behind Katherine of Aragon in state processions before you just want to slap her.  There were a couple of times when Margaret was reprimanded for her behaviour and I thought that we would finally see some growth in her character, but it very quickly deteriorated back to thoughts of how Katherine is getting all of this glory and I got tired of it.   Grow up already!!  It got tiring real fast.  If the author has alternated points of view, this whole thing may have been avoided, although maybe not, as the other two may have been obsessed by this too, who knows? 

Unfortunately, the character development kind of overshadowed a lot of the major events that happened in Margaret's life, and I would have preferred some exploration around her life with James, the abduction of her son, the coup in 1524, her flight from Scotland and the ramifications, the religious ramifications of her actions as well as what was happening in England, the events happening in England due to Katherine's infertility issues, and other historically interesting facts, and the impact these had on the various women.  So much of this was glossed over in light of the petty rivalries between Katherine and Margaret that as soon as anything got remotely interesting, it quickly went back to rankings and popularity figures, and petty jealousies,  and so on.  

Three Sisters, Three Queens definitely had some interesting historical moments in it, hence the rating, but I really feel these were glossed over in favour of the petty jealousies and rivalries that existed between Katherine and Margaret, whether real or imagined.  Margaret is definitely not a likeable character by any stretch of the imagination, and she didn't really develop beyond that of the girl we saw from the very beginning which means she was whiny, self-centered, petty, and jealous for pretty much the entire book.  I only pushed through this because I enjoyed some of the author's previous novels, but I don't think I would do it again.  I don't think I would recommend this one as this is one that you have to see for yourself what you think about it. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Spotlight: Demon Assassins Series by Ann Gimpel

Witch’s Bounty
Demon Assassins
Book One
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
66K words
Release Date: 9/6/16
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance

Urban Fantasy Romance with a heaping side of Hexes, Spells, and Magick!

Book Description:
One of three remaining demon assassin witches, Colleen is almost the last of her kind. Along with her familiar, a changeling spirit, she was hoping for a few months of quiet, running a small magicians’ supply store in Fairbanks, Alaska. Peace isn’t in the cards, though. Demons are raising hell in Seattle. She’s on her way to kick some serious demon ass, when a Sidhe shows up and demands she accompany him to England to quell a demon uprising.

Gutsy, opinionated, and outspoken, Colleen refuses to come. Witches need her help, and they trump everything else. Despite breaking a prime Sidhe precept concerning non-interference in mortals’ affairs, Duncan offers his assistance. Colleen fascinates him, and he wants to discover more about her. Lots more.
The Sidhe might be the best-looking man Colleen’s ever stumbled over, but she doesn’t have time for him—or much of anything else. She, Jenna, and Roz are Earth’s only hedge against being overrun by Hell’s minions. Even with help from a powerful magic wielder like Duncan, the odds aren’t good and the demons know it.
Sensing victory is within their grasp, they close in for the kill.

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Excerpt from Witch’s Bounty:

Rain worsened from a steady drizzle to a pounding, punishing deluge of icy sleet. Colleen Kelly strengthened the spell around herself. It sizzled where it ran up against the droplets. At least she wasn't quite as wet as she would have been without its protection. Pavement glistened wetly in the last of the day's light. It was just past three in the afternoon, but December days were short in the northern latitudes and Fairbanks was pretty far north.
“At least it’s not snowing,” she muttered as she pushed through a nearby glass-fronted door into the magicians’ supply store she owned with two other witches in the older part of downtown. Bells hanging around the door pealed discordantly. She sent a small jolt of magic to silence them.
“I heard that. Not the bells, but you. It’s supposed to snow this time of year. How could you possibly be pleased the weather patterns have gone to hell?”
Jenna Neil stalked over to the coatrack where Colleen stood. Blonde hair, hacked off at shoulder level, framed a gamine’s face and shrewd, hazel eyes. Jenna towered over Colleen’s six foot height by a good four inches, and her broad shoulders would’ve made most men jealous. Between her trademark high-heeled boots and a scruffy embroidered red cloak tossed over skintight blue jeans, she looked as exotic as the anti-hex hoop earrings dangling from each ear.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Competition by Donna Russo Morin


THE COMPETITION: Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two!

Ready (willing and eager) to see the cover of the much-anticipated second book in the Da Vinci’s Disciples trilogy? Well, we hope so, because here it is (be sure to read to the end of the post for an extra special bonus!).  But before we get to the gorgeous cover, here’s what the author has to say about the next book in this thrilling trilogy and its cover:

 “I knew I wanted the second book in this trilogy to be a little more personal, get into the lives of these courageous women, and da Vinci himself, a bit more deeply. Oh, they are still daring to go where women had never gone before in the Renaissance, and they put everything on the line for the love of their art—their marriages, their family relationships, even their lives—to do it, to bring their work out into the open, no matter the consequence. Another form of art is explored through their eyes, through their hands. But in THE COMPETITION, I’ve pulled back more of the layers of their lives and the secrets they may hold. Love bursts to fulfillment, desire is ignited, disastrous illnesses change lives, and familial condemnations are shattered. All set amidst the glory that is Florence during the Renaissance. These women are bold; there can be no doubt. But they are elegant women and this cover, like the first, captures that elegance to perfection. It is the seamless companion to the first, and they look dazzling together.” 

Ready to see the cover?

Not just yet.

Here’s the official description first: A commission to paint a fresco in the church of Santo Spirito is about to be announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative contract will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage, and now able to pursue her artistic passions, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win. The very public commission belongs to them. But with the victory comes a powerful cost. The church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring up) on themselves will disrupt their families, and even put them in physical danger. All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing to her a joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has a flame reignited, sparked by Lorenzo himself. Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.  

THE COMPETITION: Da Vinci’s Disciples Book Two goes on sale April 25, 2017. Pre-order a copy here. Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Now, are you ready to see the cover?


Are you sure?

Here it is!


Do you love it?!

Haven’t read the first book yet? Now’s your chance at a special reduced price. For the next SEVEN days (beginning November 2 until November 9!), the Kindle version of PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY IS ONLY $.99…that’s a $7 savings! Get your copy now! Read the first critically acclaimed book, fall in love with these daring women, and get ready to fight beside them for the right to be who they truly want to be in THE COMPETITION.

 “Russo Morin’s elegant command of language and composition left me breathless, but the story itself, with its flawless depiction of power, corruption, defiance, intrigue, and retribution makes Portrait of a Conspiracy an absolute must read.” Flashlight Commentary

“...a page-turner unlike any historical novel, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition...a masterful writer at the peak of her craft.”—C. W. Gortner, author of THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE’ MEDICI

“This riveting book is filled with art, assassinations, retribution, and a sisterhood of fascinating women who inspire as well as entertain.”—Stephanie Dray, NYT Bestselling author of AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER

 “In PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY, Russo Morin's prose is as sharp as a Medici dagger...Thwarting danger, finding love, and creating masterpieces, [these women] remind us just how powerful the bonds of womanhood can be.”—Marci Jefferson, author of THE ENCHANTRESS OF PARIS

“A 15th-century Florence of exquisite art, sensual passion and sudden, remorseless violence comes vividly to life in Donna Russo Morin's new novel.”—Nancy Bilyeau, author of THE CROWN

“In PORTRAIT OF A CONSPIRACY, Russo Morin's rich detailing transports the reader to the heart of Renaissance Italy from the first page.”—Heather Webb, author of BECOMING JOSEPHINE

“Illicit plots, mysterious paintings, and a young Leonardo da Vinci all have their part to play in this delicious, heart-pounding tale.”—Kate Quinn, author of THE EMPRESS OF ROME SAGA

03_donna-russo-morinAbout the Author

Donna Russo Morin is the award winning of author of historical fiction. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, she lives near the shore with her two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress. Donna enjoys meeting with book groups in person and via Skype chat. Visit her website at; friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @DonnaRussoMorin.

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