Cat’s Meow~~Reviews that Purr~~Snow in July @KimHeadlee

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BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Snow in July
AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee
GENRE – Paranormal Historical Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – July 2014
LENTH (Pages/# Words) – 386 pages/94K words
PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press
COVER DESIGNER – Natasha Brown


Snow in July - Book CoverBOOK SYNOPSIS

Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate’s Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people’s lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady.

Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother.

Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman… unless it snows in July.

Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman “squire.” But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance

My Review

 4 Meows 0 Purrrs (no sexual content)

Sir Robert is given a duke’s daughter as a way to show peace between the Saxons and Normons. He has been betrayed by his fiancé that left him for his half-brother that has a title and money. He doesn’t want an arranged marriage but wants to see if he can win the damsel’s heart. Once he sees Kendra he is smitten but still wants her to love him.

Kendra  has made a vow to her dying brother to find happiness. Yet she has made a vow to not marry a man from Normandy that was responsible for her brother’s death.  she told him on his death- bed she would marry when it snows in July. She meets the Squire Alain (sir Robert posing as a Squire that is scoping out some rebel rousings in the area) and she is smitten but knowing he is Norman she can’t act on her feelings. Her Cousin keeps asking for her hand yet she refuses. Ulfric needs Kendra and plots to have her abducted. He will go to any extreme to get what he needs for his ow reasons

There is a lot going on in this story. It is told in many viewpoints but it’s not too hard to follow. You have Alain and Kedra as main characters but also get some viewpoints from her father, Ulfric,one of the abductors and Alain’s partner and friend.  There are little illustrations that seperate each view that adds charm to the story. There is lots of action, and so many twists and turns to keep you on your toes.

Snow in July is a sweet, exciting  historical romance. It says it’s paranormal but I didn’t see much paranormal in it. However, It does have one shifter but I would say it’s more magic. So I suggest don’t go into this expecting a lot of paranormal activity but read it expecting a fabulous story set in historical times with Knights and Kings.

If you like knights in shining armor, sweet romance, lots of action, a touch of magic and a very romantic ending I highly suggest this story.

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EXCERPT

(Story setup encapsulation, heroine’s POV)

Kendra genuflected again, grasped her basket’s handle, and turned to accompany Waldron from the church. Not across the yard to the feast hall, as she’d expected, since that was where most Edgarburh business—including private matters—transpired, but past the garden toward the manor house. In silence they ascended the outer wooden staircase, entered the building, and trod the corridor containing the bedchambers. Specifically, she realized with a start when their course became apparent, Waldron’s.

Several paces from their destination, curiosity compelled her to blurt, “What’s wrong?”

Pulling up short, Waldron gave her an odd look. “Wrong? Let me see.” He snorted, ticking the points on his fingers. “Taxes are due ere long, and the tenants have barely recovered from the war to scrape together their payments. A Norman is on his way to take possession of my daughter and the estate.” His gray eyes gazed at her levelly. “My son is dead, and my daughter acts like a widow rather than a bride.” He inclined his head at the black woolen veil she wore even as these final spring days warmed toward summer.

This time it wasn’t the sun that made her face heat. “My choices honor Del’s memory.” She gripped the basket with both fists, raising it before her like a shield. “Do yours?”


Author Photo - Kim HeadleeAUTHOR BIO

Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight, first edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.

Snow in July - Book Spine

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Cat’s Meow~~Náápiikoan Winter By Althea Williams

Hi Y’all! Today I have something for all of you lovers of western historical, and Indian lore.

Naapiikoan Winter Cover

Title: Náápiikoan Winter

Author: Alethea Williams

Genre: Western historical

Publication date: May 9, 2016

Pages: 295

Blurb:

At the turn of a new century, changes unimagined are about to unfold.

THE WOMAN: Kidnapped by the Apaches, a Mexican woman learns the healing arts. Stolen by the Utes, she is sold and traded until she ends up with the Piikáni. All she has left are her skills—and her honor. What price will she pay to ensure a lasting place among the People?

THE MAN: Raised in a London charitable school, a young man at the end of the third of a seven year term of indenture to the Hudson’s Bay Company is sent to the Rocky Mountains to live among the Piikáni for the winter to learn their language and to foster trade. He dreams of his advancement in the company, but he doesn’t reckon the price for becoming entangled in the passions of the Piikáni.

THE LAND: After centuries of conflict, Náápiikoan traders approach the Piikáni, powerful members of the Blackfoot Confederation. The Piikáni already have horses and weapons, but they are promised they will become rich if they agree to trap beaver for Náápiikoan. Will the People trade their beliefs for the White Man’s bargains?

 

When I decided that Náápiikoan Winter wasn’t only the woman’s story, some of her background got cut. Here is an outtake that didn’t make it into the final version of the book:

 Special Scene not in the book

The brush wickiup quivered with the activity of too many excited women stuffed into its narrow confines. The women’s best celebration clothing rustled when they moved, bright loose shirts of stolen Spanish cloth rippling over buckskin skirts made from two pieces of swaying fringed leather. Some wore dangling headpieces of looped shell, others gold eardrops or nose rings, and most sported layer upon layer of beaded bone necklaces. Female sisters and cousins of the bridegroom, they’d dressed to honor Kayitah, renowned Apache warrior, on his wedding day.

But none of them outshone the bride. Unruly tumble of black curls adorned with so many beads she could barely lift her head, Lame Wolf gazed about at her new family in fear and consternation. The white stripe down the middle of her hair didn’t seem to deter these Apache women at all. None of them treated her with the fear and aversion she’d come to expect while living among the band that raised her. Kayitah’s female relatives had descended on her like a swarm of whirring grasshoppers this morning, and she—unused to so much attention and easy acceptance—shied from their over-familiar touch as they discarded her old clothes and then dressed her in the softest, finest yellow doeskin she’d ever seen.

Across the swept dirt floor of the wickiup sat Kayitah’s mother, Alope, loftily supervising the proceedings. Alope had made the yellow dress with her own hands, from five blacktail doeskins. One doe tail hung from the hem in back, and Alope had painted on its breast with her own hands the symbols of the morning star, the crescent moon, the sun circle and the rainbow arc. Alope had paid a singer for the two months of prayers sung over the dress, asking for the blessings of the spirits on the wearer and her new husband.

Alope had done all this in welcome to her new daughter and out of respect to her son’s choice of wife, even if Lame Wolf didn’t for a moment believe Alope actually liked her.

Kayitah’s aunt, his dead father’s sister, stepped forward to paint Lame Wolf’s cheeks with sacred pollen. Lame Wolf tried to repress a shiver in response. They honored her too much, trying to combine the puberty ceremony she’d never had with her wedding to their esteemed relative. They tried to elevate her to Kayitah’s level in the clan, but too fast for Lame Wolf’s comfort.

“For this day,” Kayitah’s aunt Ugohun said, “you represent Esdzanadeha, White Painted Woman, mother of fertility and life for the People.”

Lame Wolf wanted to protest. She couldn’t marry Kayitah. At nearly twenty-two winters, she was too old: Apache girls married soon after their first menstruation, at twelve or thirteen. She was too poor: a captured Spanish slave, she’d never been formally adopted into the band and had no property and no family of her own. She was unworthy: she still hadn’t fully accepted Apache ways and beliefs and customs. In her heart, Lame Wolf remained Isobel Ochoa Ramírez de Santiago, granddaughter of a rich New Mexico hacendado.

In her secret heart of hearts, Lame Wolf burned to return to that civilized life and leave far behind her experiences as an unwanted captive slave girl. She’d lived too many oppressive years with the dream of escape. How could she marry Kayitah now, settle down and raise his children, and give up forever the desire to go back?

Two peoples, two cultures, two clashing ways of life. Lame Wolf stood squarely in the middle, on the verge of teetering irredeemably toward the Apaches if she married Kayitah.

Buy link:

http://www.amazon.com/Naapiikoan-Winter-Alethea-Williams-ebook/dp/B01EIQNCMO/

Meet Althea:

head Althea

Alethea Williams is the author of Willow Vale, the story of a Tyrolean immigrant’s journey to America after WWI. Willow Vale won a 2012 Wyoming State Historical Society Publications Award. In her second novel, Walls for the Wind, a group of New York City immigrant orphans arrive in Hell on Wheels, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Walls for the Wind is a WILLA Literary Award finalist, a gold Will Rogers Medallion winner, and placed first at the Laramie Awards in the Prairie Fiction category.

You can Stalk Althea:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AletheaWilliams.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/actuallyalethea

Blog: http://www.actuallyalethea.blogspot.com/

Website: http://aletheawilliams.weebly.com/

 

 

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