When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Thursday 24 March 2022

Welcoming Glen Craney and his book - The Virgin of the Wind Rose: A Conspiracy Thriller - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Glen Craney and his book - The Virgin of the Wind Rose to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I am delighted to introduce this book to you all.

The Virgin of the Wind Rose

A Templar cryptogram has confounded scholars for centuries.

Is it a ticking cipher bomb just hours away from detonating a global war?

Rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane was never much good at puzzles. But now, assigned to investigate a ritual murder of an American in Ethiopia, she and a shady stolen-art hunter must solve the world's oldest palindrome—the infamous SATOR Square—to thwart a religious conspiracy that reaches back to the Age of Discovery and an arcane monastic order of Portuguese sea explorers.

Separated by half a millennium, two espionage plots dovetail in this breakneck thriller, driven by history's most elusive mystery....

... the shocking secret that Christopher Columbus took to the grave.

"If you love Steve Berry, Dan Brown or Umberto Eco, you may have a new author favorite in Glen Craney." -- BESTTHRILLERS.COM

"An exciting journey across time, with more twists and turns than a strawberry Twizzler." -- QUARTERDECK MAGAZINE

Publication Date: January, 2014

Publisher: Brigid's Fire Press

Page Length: 407 Pages

Genre: Historical Mystery-Thriller

You can purchase the book via -

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

Barnes and Noble:



Apple Books:

Google Play:

Glen Craney

A graduate of Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Glen Craney practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to write about national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine. In 1996, the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting. His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was named Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards. He is a three-time Finalist/Honorable Mention winner of Foreword Magazines Book-of-the-Year, a Chaucer Award winner, and a Military Writers Society of America Gold Medalist. His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, the Scotland of Robert Bruce, Portugal during the Age of Discovery, the trenches of France during World War I, the battlefields of the American Civil War, and the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. He has served as president of the Southern California Chapter of the Historical Novel Society.

You can connect with Glen via these platforms -

You can learn more about the book and the author by visiting the other blogs on the tour.

You can visit the tour blog post here -

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe

Thursday 10 March 2022

Welcoming Elizabeth R.Andersen and her book- The Scribe - to my blog

 Today I'm welcoming Elizabeth R. Andersen and her books - The Scribe & The Land of God (Books 1 & 2 of The Two Daggers Series) to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I am delighted to share an excerpt from The Land of God with you all, but first I will introduce the books.

The Scribe

All Henri of Maron wanted was to stay with his family on his country estate, surrounded by lemon groves and safety. But in 13th century Palestine, when noble-born boys are raised to fight for the Holy Land, young Henri will be sent to live and train among men who hate him for what he is: a French nobleman of an Arab mother. Robbed of his humanity and steeped in cruelty, his encounters with a slave soldier, a former pickpocket, and a kindly scribe will force Henri to confront his own beliefs and behaviours. Will Henri maintain the status quo in order to fit into a society that doesnt want him, or will fate intervene first? 

The first book in The Two Daggers series, The Scribe takes readers on a sweeping adventure through the years and months that lead up to the infamous Siege of Acre in 1291 CE and delves into the psyches of three young people caught up in the wave of history. 


Book Title: The Scribe 

Series: (The Two Daggers, Book 1) 

Author: Elizabeth R. Andersen 

Publication Date: 18th July 2021 

Publisher: Haeddre Press 

Page Length: 360 Pages 

Genre: Historical Fiction 

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

The Land of God

Pain. His sisters screams. And a beautiful face in the jeering crowd. When Henri of Maron woke, he had only a few memories of his brutal flogging, but he knew the world had changed. He had changed. 

 Now, as he grapples with the fallout from his disastrous decisions, war with the Mamluk army looms closer. To convince the city leaders to take the threat seriously, Henri and the grand master of the Templars must rely on unlikely allies and bold risks to avoid a siege. 
Meanwhile, Sidika is trying to find a way to put her life back together. When she is forced to flee her home, her chance encounters with a handsome amir and a strangely familiar old woman will have consequences for her future. 
The Land of God weaves the real historical figures with rich, complex characters and an edge-of-seat plot. Readers who enjoyed the Brethren series by Robyn Young and The Physician by Noah Gordon will appreciate this immersive tale set in the Middle East in the Middle Ages. 

 Book Title: The Land of God 

Series: (The Two Daggers, Book 2) 

Author: Elizabeth R. Andersen 

Publication Date: 8th November 2021 

Publisher: Haeddre Press 

Page Length: 350 Pages 

Genre: Historical Fiction 

You can purchase a copy of the second book via -

Universal Link: 

Now for the excerpt -

The four Franj men stood brazenly in the throne room of the citadel, their feet and legs filthy from travel and their sweaty heads bare. A shimmer of dust fell from their tall bodies onto the fine, red and blue carpets that had been spread over the mosaiced floor. Khalil sat comfortably in his golden chair, which had been completed by his artisans only the day before. The chair separated him from his father, who often preferred to stand, until he was too frail to do so any longer. Khalil stared down at the men from his high dais, his face blank and impassive, every muscle practiced to stillness. 


Have these men been invited to wash before speaking in this council?he asked the room in Turkish. 


The assembled amirs and courtiers looked at each other nervously. A slave rushed forward and prostrated himself to the ground. Yes, my lord, but they did not wish to bathe until after they had spoken to you. They said they rode hard to come to you as quickly as possible. 


Khalils face remained still and unreadable, but Yusuf could guess his thoughts. Although some Franj were courtly and genteel, with knowledge of basic hygiene and manners, many were not. They were generally considered uncouth, foul, smelly, and no Mamluk indeed no Muslim would allow themselves to be seen in such a revolting state. 


The shortest of the four, a man with a ruddy, good-natured face and a tail of dark brown hair, stepped forward and bowed. 


Honored sultan, I am Sir Philip of Mainboeuf. We bring you gifts and a plea of mercy from the leaders of Acre. We desire peace between your people and ours, which has brought prosperity into both of our harbors during times of truce. We ask that you reconsider your intentions to besiege Acre. Your father maintained good relations with our city, and we wish for the same with you. 


Khalil frowned at this. 


Today, Yusuf stood on the dais at the sultans request in case translation was required. He wore his samite robe, belted with a black silk sash embroidered with verses of the Quran. Under the sash, the gold samite itched, and he willed himself to be as still as Khalil, but the urge to adjust his robes was maddening. 


Khalil folded his hands over his stomach and considered the men in front of him. The silence lasted for such a long time that the Franj knights began to glance at each other, confusion muddling their sun-red faces. 


Your king did not honor my fathers request to send the perpetrators of the atrocities against Faithful when we asked.Although the Franj had addressed him in Arabic, Khalil answered in Turkic. The faces of the Franj were changing from confidence to confusion to fear. Therefore, I see no reason why we should return these men to Acre. 


His eyes flicked to Yusuf, who bowed. Yusuf Ibn Shihab, please explain to these men that the gold they sent will be returning to Acre, but they will not. 


Yusuf dutifully translated, and when he had finished, there was a moment of silence. The knight called Mainboeuf stuttered out an explanation to his colleagues in French, and they immediately began to shout and gesticulate. 


Khalil inclined his head, and five of his palace guards approached, their swords drawn. 


Please,the knight called Mainboeuf begged in Arabic, my squire is only a boy. He has nothing to do with this business. Please send him back to Acre with the gold. 


At this, Khalil stood. 


Give him mercy? How much mercy did your people show to ours when they slaughtered innocents in your streets? When they beheaded prisoners of war a hundred years ago? When they came to Jerusalem, their bellies full of the flesh of Muslims that they had consumed in their ravenous hunger? You are not men; you are animals! 


His face flushed with rage, and Yusuf could see his fists clenching and unclenching at his sides. 


Your squire will join you in chains, and I doubt that there is any gift that will be sufficient to slake my anger, which is the anger of every sultan before me! Get them out of my palace! 


He was screaming now, pointing at the door, and the five guards grabbed the Franj knights roughly. One of them, the youngest, whimpered loudly before the door slammed behind him. 


Yusuf looked at his friend, who had reseated himself in his golden chair. Khalil was spirited but always level-headed and not given to bursts of emotion or anger. The man sitting on the throne seemed a stranger to Yusuf. An unknown. 




When word reached Acre that a message had arrived from Cairo, the citizenscouncil crowded into Prince Amalrics lavish house near the harbor. As servants moved sedately among the men, their arms laden with trays of sweets and pitchers of wine, Beaujeu stood and motioned for silence, then cleared his throat. 


Well, we have received an answer from Khalil.He held up a sheaf of papers and handed them to a small man in a black sergeants robe, who began to read. 


The Sultan of Sultans, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, al-Malik al-Ashraf, the Powerful, the Dreadful, the Scourge of Rebels, Hunter of Franks and Tartars and Armenians, Snatcher of Castles from the hands of miscreants, Lord of the Two Seas, Guardian of the Two Pilgrim Sites, Khalil al Salihi.”  


At this elaborate salutation, many of the men in the room murmured and began to look around at each other. Beaujeu rapped the floor loudly with the butt of his baculus, and the crowd quieted. 


To the noble master of the Temple, the true and wise: Greetings and our good will! Because you have been a true man, so we send you advance notice of our intentions, and give you to understand that we are coming into your parts to right the wrongs that have been done. Therefore, we do not want the community of Acre to send us any letters or presents regarding this matter, for we will by no means receive them. 


For a moment, the room was silent. Then the messenger of the sultan stepped forward and bowed curtly, his expression hard and unsmiling. 


Your men,he began in broken French, we have them in our cage. They stay with us,he raised his hand and closed it into a fist. We not give them back. 


Amalric stood from his chair, his silver wine cup clattering to the ground. A murmur rose from the assembled city leaders and servants as the messenger raked them with a disapproving stare. He continued. 


You broke peace. Killed innocent. No more men you send to us. No more gift. We come, and we take this city. Praise to God. 


For a moment, all in the room remained silent. 


Fine,Amalric said, his eyes blazing, let them come. The city of Acre is strong, and so are its people. If Khalil wishes to find this out for himself, we are prepared to meet him in battle. 


Beaujeu stood slowly and walked from the room as his secretary translated Amalrics words into fluid Arabic. The Patriarch raised his face towards heaven and closed his eyes in prayer. Brother Mathieu de Clermont pounded the arm of his chair. 


Then let us march on this madman ourselves and end him before he can come this far north! 


Quiet, Clermont!Amalric snapped. They do not need more reasons to hate us right now. 


Turning to the assembled council members, he sighed heavily. You have heard the message. Please muster your fighting men and bring any servants you can spare. We must begin to secure the city walls immediately. 


Then he stood and swept from the room without looking at Henri or anyone else. 

Elizabeth R. Andersen

Elizabeth R. Andersen's debut novel, The Scribe, launched in July of 2021. Although she spent many years of her life as a journalist, independent fashion designer, and overworked tech employee, there have always been two consistent loves in her life: writing and history. She finally decided to do something about this and put them both together.  


Elizabeth lives in the Seattle area with her long-suffering husband and young son. On the weekends she usually hikes in the stunning Cascade mountains to hide from people and dream up new plotlines and characters. Elizabeth is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors. 

You can connect with Elizabeth via these platforms -


You can learn more about the books and the author by visiting the other blogs on this tour - 

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe