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

Monday 31 October 2022

Welcoming Linnea Tanner and her book - Skull's Vengeance - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming Linnea Tanner and her book - Skull's Vengeance (Book 4 of Curse of Clansmen and Kings series) - to my blog as part of the blog tour hosted by The Coffee Pot Book Club (founded by Mary Anne Yarde)

I'm delighted to share an excerpt with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

Skull's Vengeance

A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.

AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent's stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin's head.

To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin's cause.

Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellu outmanoeuvre political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?

Trigger warnings: Sex, Slave trafficking and abuse, Violence, Childbirth

Publication Date: 18 October 2022

Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher, LLC

Page Length: 402 pages

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Acclaim for other books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series:

"[An] epic tale of love, betrayal and political intrigue." —InD'tale Magazine

"The requisite fantasy elements of magic and mystery abound...Tanner also does an admirable job weaving in the politics and mythology of a bygone people." —Kirkus

"Part fantasy, part historical fiction, Linnea Tanner has woven together a wonderful tale of romance, intrigue, mystery, and legend to create an entertaining and complex story." —The International Review of Books

"[A] captivating tale of triangles; love, lust and espionage; friend, foe, and spies; barbarians, civilized Rome and spiritual-supernatural beings." —2019 Pencraft Book of the Year Award

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon CA:

Amazon AU:

Barnes and Noble:





Buy Links for Books from Curse of Clansmen and Kings series:

Apollo’s Raven:

Dagger’s Destiny:

Amulet’s Rapture:

Skull’s Vengeance:

Now for the excerpt -

The sun was sitting high in the sky when they reached a small clearing in the forest. After a few weeks of living in the stuffy hut, the air in the forest felt fresher than before. Ulf breathed in the rich forest aroma of damp ground and green leaves, feeling his anger being calmed, as if Freya had placed a soothing hand on his head. Even the sounds seem louder, he thought as he heard the birds singing in the trees. There were twigs snapping in the distance, a constant reminder they were not alone in this old forest.

“Let’s rest here,” Ulf said. He was tired and the pain in his side was making it difficult to carry on. His mood was in contrast to the sunny weather as he sat down and tried to figure out what to do. He didn’t have much of a plan, didn’t even know where to go. There was Thorgilsstad, but his uncle had always told him to stay away from there. But Ulf didn’t know of any other jarls.

Vidar, on the other hand, was smiling. Ulf guessed Vidar felt free, but he didn’t understand why Vidar had waited so long to kill the old man.

“Why now?” he asked Vidar.

Vidar looked at him, confused at first, but then he understood the question. He replied by pointing at Ulf.

“You waited for me?” This made no sense. How did Vidar know that he would be there?

Vidar shrugged and then nodded. A yes and no answer.

“How did you know that I would not kill you instead? Thralls who kill their owners must be killed themselves. Those are the rules of our land.”

Vidar only smiled and shrugged.

Somehow, he knew. Ulf felt a bit uneasy and it was not because of the pain. It felt like there was more to this silent boy with his large hands. Before Ulf could say anything else, he saw Vidar scanning the trees at the other side of the clearing. The smile disappeared from Vidar’s face, replaced by a snarl that reminded Ulf of a dog.

“What is it?” Ulf asked, realizing the birds had gone quiet. He got back to his feet and took Olaf’s axe from his belt.

In response to his question, a man jumped out of the undergrowth. Ulf pushed Vidar behind him and held the axe ready, though he wasn’t sure what he was going to do. The man had a long hunting spear, which he now pointed at Ulf and Vidar. He looked as surprised to see them as they were to see him.

“Who are you?” he asked. He had a strong voice which spoke of confidence.

“Nobody important,” Ulf replied. “Who are you?”

The man smiled at the response. He was the same height as Ulf, but sturdier. He had a round face with light hair, braided and tied at the back. His beard, the same colour as his hair, also had a thick braid and went to the top of his chest. Ulf could tell by the many arm-rings he wore and his bunched-up shoulder muscles that the man was an experienced warrior.

“My name is Snorri Thorgilsson,” he said with a broad smile as he stood up straight and stopped pointing the spear at them. He must have decided they were no threat.

“Thorgilsson? As in Jarl Thorgils?” Ulf should have guessed he was someone important by the quality of the clothes he was wearing.

“Yes, I am the son of the jarl. You mean to kill me.” He was smiling at the thought. Even Ulf doubted he could kill the warrior, especially with his side still hurting.

Vidar started pulling at Ulf’s sleeve, but Ulf ignored him. He didn’t want to take his eyes off the man facing them. Again, Vidar tugged at Ulf’s sleeve, more persistently this time.

“What?” Ulf turned to look at Vidar but kept an eye on the warrior in front of them.

Vidar pointed to the trees as a large brown bear walked into the clearing, behind the man who called himself Snorri. But Snorri hadn’t noticed the bear and must have thought Vidar was pointing at him.

“What does he want?” Snorri asked Ulf as the bear crept closer. Ulf had never seen a bear as large as this one.

“Behind you,” Ulf answered and was shocked to see Snorri laugh.

“Those are my men, nothing to worry about.”

“There are no men behind you.”

Linnea Tanner

Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical druids.

Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include Apollo’s Raven (Book 1), Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2), Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3), and Skull’s Vengeance (Book 4).

A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

You can connect with Linnea Tanner via these platforms -







Book Bub:

Amazon Author Page:

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

Tour Schedule:

That's it for now.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.

Thursday 13 October 2022

Welcoming G. J. Williams and her book - The Conjuror's Apprentice - to my blog

Today I'm welcoming G. J. Williams and her book - The Conjuror's Apprentice (Book 1 of The Tudor Rose 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 with you all, but first I will introduce the book.

The Conjuror's Apprentice

Born with the ability to hear thoughts and feelings when there is no sound, Margaretta Morgan’s strange gift sees her apprenticed to Doctor John Dee, mathematician, astronomer, and alchemist. Using her secret link with the hidden side and her master’s brilliance, Margaretta faces her first murder mystery. Margaretta and Dee must uncover the evil bound to unravel the court of Bloody Mary.

The year is 1555. This is a time ruled by fear. What secrets await to be pulled from the water?

The Conjuror’s Apprentice takes real people and true events in 1555, into which G J Williams weaves a tale of murder and intrigue. Appealing to readers of crime and well researched historical fiction alike, this is the first in a series which will follow the life, times, plots and murders of the Tudor Court.

Trigger Warnings:

Descriptions of bodies and the injuries that brought about their death.

Threat of torture; description of man who has been tortured.

Publication Date: October 6th 2022

Publisher: RedDoor Press

Page Length: 320 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction 

You can purchase a copy of the book via -

Amazon UK:



Now for the excerpt -

The coach rattled out of St Dunstan’s onto Eastcheap and headed west. The night’s rain had made the road a mess of mud and small stones. Every few minutes, a large divot would make their vehicle lurch to the side. Margaretta clung to the window frame and stared out to stop herself getting sick in her stomach. Doctor John, dressed in his favourite coat of blue and his head well covered by his cap, was reading a document, apparently oblivious to the rolling and clattering. He had taken care to wash his beard this morning, so it shone like a dark waterfall from his chin to his chest. His face, prematurely lined but kind, was golden as the early sun shone through from the East.

Margaretta studied him. She had calculated he was only twenty-seven years old yet his face seemed to hold the history of a hundred men – though this was not so surprising. In his life he had already been a scholar in both England and in foreign lands, a tutor, a maker of fantastical models, a mathematician, an astrologer, and advisor to King Edward, the poor child. Even the great warrior knight, Sir Herbert of Pembroke, had trusted him in his household. John Dee had been born the son of an immensely rich wool-tax collector, favoured by King Henry. But now he was poor and ignored by Henry’s daughter, Mary Tudor, though he was ever seeking a route back to the riches of court, recognition and the resumption of the family fortunes.

In John Dee’s lap was a parchment covered in circles within a divided square. Words were carefully entered into a panel at the side while numbers littered the circles. Periodically, he would sigh and shake his head. ‘What is the document?’ asked Margaretta, bored with the silence now.

‘Another horoscope divined using my new method of measurement,’ came the vague answer.

‘Is it not foolish to carry such things out of the house, doctor? Anything but the words of the Pope is beckoning accusation these days and you…’

John Dee batted away the end of her sentence with an irritated wagging of his hand. ‘I need to check my calculations. If this is true then the tarot underestimated the future. This portends many enemies surrounding the Lady Elizabeth. I saw it last month when I conjured her first horoscope. But it worsens.’

Margaretta pushed her head out of the window to see if the coachman could hear them. Thank the Lord he was singing to himself and so taking no notice. She turned to warn Dee anyway but he was deep in contemplation again.

Margaretta stared out. The streets thronged with animals and people all busying their way through the detritus of the road. Hawkers screeched their wares, delivery boys shouted for a clear path to save dropping the huge packages on their back, well-dressed women held up nosegays and looked away from the beggars and children who held out hopeful hands. But not a single face held a smile. Yet only a few short weeks ago, the streets had been full of rejoicing, hailing of glad tidings; Te Deums were sung in every church. Priests thanked the Lord for the safe delivery of a son to Queen Mary and in the streets people danced as if this child was the second coming, here to save them from a terrible fate – being ruled by Mary’s husband, the very Spanish King Philip.

Then the rumours started. There was no cry of a newborn. Some said the queen had lied, others spoke behind their hands of Lord North trying to buy the babes of women who had birthed the child of a Spaniard; pamphlets shouted that the queen was dead. Court went quiet and London waited while criers claimed the doctors had simply miscalculated the birthing day. Sullen silence. Then the screams from the pyres started again.

As if he could read her thoughts, John Dee suddenly looked up. ‘You have not told me about your lesson yesterday.’

Margaretta swallowed hard. Recalling the flames and the screams would only raise the bile already collecting in her throat. ‘Cruel,’ she snapped, not looking at him.

‘Come, Margaretta. If you are going to hone your gifts you have to understand the full spectrum of men’s feelings, fears and fallacious thoughts. The good, the evil, the kind, the cruel, the intelligent and the witless. It is all part of our soul and you need to see them all.’

Margaretta turned bright, green eyes on her master. ‘I can feel evil without having to see its result, Doctor John. I’ll never forget those cries. Terrible it was.’ She sat back with a self- righteous huff.

Abruptly, her travelling companion looked out of the window, his face setting into a grim glare. ‘They will be with their maker now, Margaretta. There will be peace for them.’

‘But not for the poor souls sitting in a cell condemned to such an end…nor their kin who have to watch.’

‘That is enough, Margaretta.’

‘Then I have had enough learning for this week, doctor.’ John Dee sighed and stared down at his parchment.

Margaretta gazed at him. Strange. He is the only one I cannot read, cannot feel. I cannot sense the spirit below the skin. It’s as if he is able to block me. What thoughts fill that great head, other than dreams of getting to court and recreating his family’s position in the palace?

C. J. Williams

After a career as a business psychologist for city firms, G.J. Williams has returned to her first passion – writing tales of murder, mystery and intrigue. Her psychology background melded with a love of medieval history, draws her to the twists and turns of the human mind, subconscious powers and the dark-side of people who want too much.

She lives between Somerset and London in the UK and is regularly found writing on a train next to a grumpy cat and a bucket of tea.

You can connect with C J Williams via -


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

Tour Schedule:

That's it.

Till the next time.

Take care Zoe.