Check out these previously posted features, because you can enter to win these books all the way until December 21!
- December 3 - Joanna Bourne
- December 4 - Pamela Callow
- December 5 - MK McClintock
- December 6 - Steve Vernon
- December 7 - Sophie Perinot
- December 10 - Rona Altrows
- December 11 - Kaki Warner
- December 12 - Katherine Scott Crawford
And don't forget to enter to win the GRAND PRIZES at the bottom of the page!
FEATURE AND GIVEAWAY!!!
Today's featured book is:
When the fate of worlds rests on shifting loyalties and the vagaries of the human heart, will time and history slip into shadow?
1515 Venice, a city of art, music and commerce, wealthy, greedy, whose rulers engage in war as simply an extension of commerce by other means. Cosimo de' Medici, capo of an ancient family with uncommon power, ruler of Florence, maker of kings and popes, with secrets and plans, orchestrating and plotting as the Holy Roman Empire stands poised to change the face of the continent, and even the world.
Three brothers with uncommon gifts: Stefano, Antonio and Nicolo de' Medici, Veluria: an operative of the Sisterhood and Andreas, a cleric from the competing Council--strangers out of time and out of place--haunt a chaotic shadow world where knowledge is power. Tasked with averting disaster in a future falling prey to disintegration and yet another apocalypse, two operatives seek independently to stay events, to manipulate, control and direct, yet neither truly understands the scope of the looming tragedy, the shifting loyalties and matters of the heart, the acts of desperation that will change history, and the roles each will play.
Venice, a city of beauty whose canals string like pearls through her heart, a city on the edge, poised for a tumultuous plunge into a cavernous maw, indistinct, hazy, falling into ...The Shadow of This World.
How I Know Nya Rawlyns:
Nya is the first "erotica" author I've ever known, and her sheer bravery astounds me. I've often attempted to write erotica, but as my readers know, I kind of shy away from anything that happens beneath the sheets (or wherever …). THIS book isn't categorized as erotica, though. Sorry! This is Historical Romance, and I can't wait to read it. Nya writes very descriptively, sucking you right into the scene.
I've known Nya for a few years now, and she's not only a great friend, but a wonderful author and a generous editor and publisher. I was so happy that I got to meet her last June at the RWA convention in NY. We had so much fun getting to know each other even better. Thank you so much for joining this promotion, Nya!
“Madame, this way, if you will.” Antonio held out a hand but Veluria brushed past him into the small walled garden. Faint echoes of waves slapping the stone abutment and the occasional skritching sound as pilings and piers groaned in unison led her to peer over the smooth granite cap lining the top of the barricade.
“This is lovely,” Veluria sighed, and truly meant it. Such retreats in the heart of the city were indeed rare and precious, and most unexpected in this, the center of the commercial and shipping district. The Grand Canal commanded her attention off to the southeast, and in the distance the stunning visage of the Rialto Bridge gleamed in the mid-afternoon sun. A slight breeze brought relief from the building heat. She felt a trickle of sweat along her spine and twisted uncomfortably against the stays.
“Is something amiss?” Antonio edged next to her, like a phantom morphing from the shadows.
She would never get used to the man’s ability to materialize without warning into her very personal space. Such closeness bespoke an intimacy she feared and desired. She reached out for Stefano, seeking a measure of comfort to ground herself and restrain her developing attraction to the huge man who might hold the key for them all. Unfortunately her connection continued to degrade and she no longer commanded access to his thoughts or feelings. Why … she couldn’t be sure.
“No, signore, I am quite well, gracie. Such beauty,” Veluria waved a hand to encompass the vista spread before them, “gives me chills.”
What gave her greater chills was the brush of flesh against flesh as the Demon moved in close. He’d rolled up his sleeves in deference to the growing heat of the day, revealing deeply tanned muscular forearms. The brief touch seemed more deliberate than incidental.
“My father’s interests lay to the north.” Tonio pointed to a mass of imposing warehouses where the canal opened out onto a bay that fed eventually into the Adriatic. The sway of masts heralded the fleet of ships awaiting cargo. “Our mills in Florence require that we maintain a presence here in Venice.”
Veluria nodded with interest. She well understood the intricate interweaving of commerce, politics and war that dominated the fabric of the city and its denizens. The tall man, and his threatening visage, should have made him a natural fit in this theatre of avaricious pursuit of power, but somehow Veluria detected a depth to his character, something off-kilter, that had nothing to do with his heritage or the unusual ‘gifts’ he and his brothers wielded so adeptly.
“And exactly what is your role in all this?” Veluria decided to begin the inevitable interrogation on her own terms. She needed to define this man’s position, determine exactly how and why his energy so swamped her own abilities, before she could mine him for the location of the key, whatever ‘the key’ was. Euphemisms, the Holy Mother gloried in them.
Find the key, daughter, and save us all.
Well, she was convinced she had found the one who could lead her to the object of power, but what she would or could do with it remained to be seen.
Antonio’s gaze followed the petite woman’s, taking in the wall of algae coated stone across the canal. He drifted closer, drawn by the set of her shoulders and the graceful curve of her neck as it flowed like peach satin into the square-cut bodice. He approved of her lack of pretension, eschewing the bouffant sleeves and exaggerated skirts so common to Venezia. Unlike his brothers who seemed inordinately well-versed in fashion, Antonio preferred simplicity and elegance to the frippery and extravagance of his peers, male and female. He liked the cut of her gown, clinging to a narrow waist with just enough flare to accentuate her slim figure.
Without a thought he fingered the leather lacing on her bodice, his mind racing as he imagined pulling the narrow thongs through the eyelets, slowly, enjoying the exquisite feel and the soft shushing sound—the promise of what lay beneath the smooth fabric. He imagined releasing her breasts into his hands, slipping the ribbed fabric away to drop carelessly to the ceramic tiled floor. Imagined undoing the braid that circled her beautifully shaped head, freeing the blue-black tresses to fall about her rosy-hued shoulders. Imagined cupping her chin in his rough hands, dark against light, pressing into the flesh until she bent back to receive his mouth.
The memory of their brief kiss still taunted him. That anyone could taste so sweet defied explanation.
As he reached to pull a strand of hair off her neck, Antonio caught himself, appalled at what he was about to do.
Mio dio, what is this? Where has my mind gone? This is insanity.
Insane indeed. This was his brother’s woman, as much as Cosimo might dispute that fact. Antonio had seen the looks exchanged between his brother and this woman. He didn’t need special skills to detect the connection they had with each other. That his beloved brother was entirely besotted by her concerned him, but he would do everything in his power to make sure that Stefano would have all that he desired. If this woman proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was worthy of Stefano’s trust and love, Antonio swore to himself that he would personally thwart his father’s grandiose schemes to see the lovers pulled asunder.
He owed Stefano that. It might be the only thing he could do to make amends for his rash and vicious attack on the boy.
“Perdonatemi, mio signore, your father wants a word with you.” Cosimo’s manservant approached circumspectly, as if intruding on an intimate moment. That would surely give the man pause since in his long years of service he’d probably never once seen him so much as look at a woman, let alone engage in polite conversation on the terrace.
“Gracie, Paulo. Please stay with Madame until I return.”
“M’Lord, your father wishes for me to bring,” Paulo stumbled as he had not been accorded the woman’s surname and feared using her given name in a gesture of disrespect, “Madame to your brother.” He hastened to add, “A light lunch awaits once your discussion is completed.”
Breathing an obvious sigh of relief that the mercurial elder would find little fault with his delivery, Paulo held an arm out for Veluria.
Tonio held back, his gut in a knot. It was one thing to resolve to see to his brother’s happiness, even if that meant supporting a potentially unsuitable match. It was quite another when the debilitating headache returned at the mere thought of Veluria and Stefano together.
He watched Veluria disappear into the palazzo, his face a grim mask of displeasure.
Writer, editor and hopeless romantic. Nya Rawlins lived on a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay, has ridden more than 1000 miles in trail competitions on horseback, and has been owned by two Newfoundlands. She’s staff for a herd of cats and a herd of horses.
And two fantastic additional Christmas presents:
#1 GRAND PRIZE:
Kaki Warner's acclaimed trilogy: THE RUNAWAY BRIDES—three strong-willed women headed West in search of new lives. But when their train is stranded in a dying Colorado mining town, they get more than they bargained for…and find love where they least expect it.
GRAND PRIZE #2:
"Lightning paced, innovative, topical … and most of all, frightening."
-- James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author