Saturday, August 6, 2022

Matters of the Heart


About the Book


Book: Matters of the Heart

Author: Heidi Gray McGill

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: July 15, 2022

When those experiencing the same fate she endured show up at her doorstep…

Katie determines to be their champion, no matter the fallout.

Will the man who fought for the other side also fight for her?

Unconventional Katie empathizes with the widows and orphans of the Civil War, searching for a place to call home in Shumard Oak Bend. But with no one to help her, she’ll need to do it secretly, a challenge she readily accepts. She’s taken charge before, and she’ll do it again, no matter who she has to outwit to get the job done.

He vowed to be his own man and stop doing everyone else’s bidding. But he follows orders when a pair of emerald green eyes, blazing red hair, and freckles that dance on the bridge of a pert nose conscript him to duty. Be his own man. Who is he kidding? Skunks don’t change their stripes. They leave disasters in their wake wherever they go, just like him.

Overcoming personal obstacles and finding your true self doesn’t mean going it alone. Yet the answer isn’t always in the one you seek.


Click here to get your copy!


I really enjoyed this slow burn Christian Historical Fiction by the author. This is the first book I've read by her but I'm definitely going read the other books in this series. I loved the lessons weaved throughout the story, it was a great reminder of things happening in God's timing not ours "When our identity comes from anything or anyone other than God,we fail. It's in the time between when we ask, and God answers that He brings to light what we value or what has become an idol." Thank you to the author for following your heart and seeking God's plan as you use writing to reach the masses that may not have otherwise been reached and bringing reminders of God's love and faithfulness to those of us who may have lost our way or felt like we lost our purpose. Katie's determination to follow her purpose and stand up for what she believed in was inspirational. Though PTSD was not a known thing after the Civil War, it is clear that Hans suffered from it as I'm sure many soldiers did, but God put just the right people in his path to help him find his way. Seeing this two souls slowly come together was beautiful. 

About the Author

Heidi is an optimist who chooses to find the silver lining in life’s clouds of doubt. This plays out in her writing. Her ability to weave scripture seamlessly into the lives of her characters will uplift and encourage you, while her masterful storytelling will keep you turning page after page and wishing for more.

Heidi lives with her husband of thirty years near Charlotte, NC. When she isn’t writing, you will find her outside playing with her two grandsons, walking, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, or finding an excuse to have an outing with a girlfriend.

Fusing Faith and Fiction™

True Christian Fiction. Relatable Characters. Life-changing stories.


More from Heidi

Where did the idea for Matters of the Heart originate?


Before I was an author, I was the founder and director of an English as a Second Language ministry. The program touched the lives of students from 35 different countries. Regardless of culture, religion, language, or age, I found a substantial similarity in these students—they all wanted to improve their lot in life and that of their children.


Stories abounded of walks across deserts, financial hardships, desperate attempts to explain emergencies to medical professionals or law enforcement, failed verbal connections with schoolteachers, and an inability to obtain work because of their lack of language skills. Prejudice and distrust blocked them, culture shock took them outside their comfort zones, and the urgent need to survive made them scramble to dig deep inside and find creative ways to secure shelter and put food on their tables.


It wasn’t that these immigrants weren’t capable of achieving success. In their home countries, vocations varied from chemist and biologist with PhDs, to teachers, lawyers, and medical professionals. Others came from poverty and had little education but were not afraid of hard work, long hours, and low pay. They were tenacious, and they worked with relentless determination and a bullheaded resolve to achieve their goals. They relied on each other and soaked in everything around them in their desire to assimilate into the American culture and find a new place to belong.


Immigrants in the late 1800s were not much different. Individuals came to improve their lot in life and be a part of the greatest country in the world. In Matters of the Heart, Hans Korhonen left Finland with his brothers to take advantage of the land grants. Together, they worked to establish a farm large enough to sustain four families and support troops during the Civil War. Yet, in their desire to belong and give back to our great nation, Hans’s idyllic life changed through his service as a Union soldier.


Kathleen Murphy, or Katie, came to the United States to escape a life of extreme poverty and abuse in Ireland. Working in her aunt and uncle’s boarding offered more than a job. It provided the love and support of a family. Katie rose from her previous station and started fresh with hope on the horizon. She found a source of ministry that gave her life a purpose she’d not had before.


My association with my former ESL students helped me develop the characters in this book into individuals with which readers can identify.


Join Katie and Hans as they establish themselves in their new home of Shumard Oak Bend.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5

Texas Book-aholic, August 6

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, August 6

Inklings and notions, August 7

lakesidelivingsite, August 8

For Him and My Family, August 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 11

Blossoms and Blessings, August 12

deb’s Book Review, August 12

Connie’s History Classroom, August 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 15

Pause for Tales, August 16

Truth and Grace HomeschoolAcademy, August 17

To Everything There Is A Season, August 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 18


To celebrate her tour, Heidi is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the first three books in the series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Violet Made of Thorns


TITLE: Violet Made of Thorns

AUTHOR: Gina Chen
PUB. DATE: July 26th, 2022
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
GENRE(S): Young Adult Fiction—Fantasy, Romance
TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNING(S): Child Abuse, Emotional Manipulation, Violence, Death, Body Horror, Self-Harm, Racism


A darkly enchanting fantasy debut about a morally gray witch, a cursed prince, and a prophecy that ignites their fate-twisted destinies—perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.

But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.

Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.


An amazing debut novel! A sort of fairytale retelling with a fresh new twist of rich fantasy,morally gray characters, intriguing magic, epic enemies to lovers, political issues, unforseen turns and twists that keep you guessing to where the plot will go next so you stayed emersed into the story to the very end and still leaves you begging for more. I can't wait to see where the author takes us next in the second installment of this storyline! The story is told from Violet’s POV and eventhough she is unapologetically brash you can't help but relate to her. Cyrus is the charming Prince that seems to have all the women but Violet under his spell. However, none come close to being his equal or the Queen he needs to rule by his side while a curse looms over his head and the nobleman would rather see him fail or just not ever be King. When Violet starts getting visits from the Fates in her dreams and her life and that of Cyrus’s hangs in the balance they must look past their long feuding to find a solution. Now the solution I saw from the beginning or maybe just wishful thinking but there's much that takes place as things become heated between them and within the Kingdom. A foretold prophecy is approaching but it is unclear exactly what was meant by it or if it is even true as the Seer who spoke it was on her deathbed but as a rot in the Kingdom begins,it is clear that the Cyrus must find a wife as she is supposed to be his saving grace.


Gina Chen spent most of her life thinking she hated writing, until she churned out a few hundred thousand words of fanfiction and decided that maybe she was a writer. Her stories lean toward the fantastic, featuring heroines, antiheroines, and the kind of cleverness that brings trouble in its wake.

A self-taught artist with a degree in computer science, she generates creative nonsense in all forms of media and always has a project stewing. She has particular fondness for fairy tales, demon tales, romantic comedies, and quiz shows. Currently, she resides in Southern California, where the sunshine is as plentiful as its tea shops.


Up for grabs we have ONE (1) finished copy of Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen. This giveaway will be available from July 24th to August 7th at 11:59 PM CST. Open to US residents only. No giveaway accounts allowed. To enter, click the (link/button) below!


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Night Queen Tour



TITLE: The Night Queen

AUTHOR: Denise Daye

RELEASE DATE: July 26, 2022











They call me the Night Queen, with a heart as dark as the night itself. And as such, I will rule my future kingdom. No light shall ever touch my broken heart again. 


On her twentieth birthday, the beautiful but arrogant Princess Mina von Rhine crosses the point of no return. Unwilling to be married off to a warmongering Northerner, she defies her father, the powerful King of the Rhine, and ridicules all her potential suitors.


Furious at her appalling behavior, her father vows he will give Mina's hand in marriage to the first unmarried man who walks through the palace gates—be it nobleman or beggar. And when an impoverished Northern soldier arrives at the castle the following day, the king stands by his word and offers Mina to him.


This ill-suggested match, however, might prove of use to Mina after all. The Northern soldier doesn’t seem too fond of the marriage himself, so Mina offers the handsome but insufferable warrior enormous riches if he helps her escape into the North.


But the journey through war-torn lands forces the princess to realize that if she can’t melt her frozen heart, marriage might be the least of her concerns.



From the author: This is a beautiful, dark, and romantic re-imagining of King Thrushbeard, a long-forgotten German fairy tale that was first published by the beloved Brothers Grimm (whose works include such classics as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Rapunzel). If you’d love to read an adult version of a compelling old fairy tale and enjoy enemies to lovers romances with sizzling passion, then this book is a must-read for you.


I would really like to dock a star for the ending cliffhanger lol but it was a great story and I'm totally grabbing Book 2 ASAP to see how our Night Queen fares with the new circumstances. This book has enemies to lovers which could almost also be friends to lovers in a way(you'll have to read to see why I say that ) romance,adventure, emotional family issues and a bit of spice! It was hard to put this down once I started reading it as the characters are compelling and complex! Definitely a must read!



Author Info


Denise graduated with a master’s in Social Work from an ivy league school and has spent many years of her life supporting families and individuals in need of assistance. She has always had a passion for writing, but it wasn't until her baby boy was born that Denise turned her passion into her profession. Whenever Denise is not typing away on one of her books, you can find her chasing after her toddler and binging Netflix with her beloved husband. She is a recovering chocolate and coffee addict and considers her spoiled cat and crazy puppy her kids as well. 








Up for grabs, we have a $20 Amazon gift card. To enter, follow the steps below:


·         Follow @stp_reads, @turnthepagetours and @ddayebooks, @purpleshadowhunter

·         Comment below answering this question: What's your favorite retelling?


For extra entries:

·         Follow Denise on Goodreads:

·         Follow Denise on Tiktok:

·         Add this book to your Goodreads TBR, and DM @turnthepagetours with a screenshot


Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way associated with Instagram and will be open to U.S. residents only and will run from July 12th to July 31st at 12 AM CST.  No giveaway accounts will be allowed. Follow to unfollow will ban you from future giveaways.



Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The Godparent Trap Release Blitz


The Godparent Trap by Rachel Van Dyken is now live!

Life's Too Short meets The Unhoneymooners in this sparkling, steamy, and swoon-worthy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken, in which two sworn enemies must share house, home—and maybe their hearts—when they become co-parents after a sudden loss.

Colby's living her best life: as a popular food blogger, she gets to fulfill her dreams of exploring the globe. But her world comes crashing down when a tragic accident leaves her co-guardian of her best friend's two adorable children. Not only does she need to put down roots—fast—but she'll be sharing custody with the one man she can't stand sharing a continent with, let alone a house.

Accountant-extraordinaire Rip values rules and plans. But when he loses his sister and his best friend and becomes an insta-guardian all in one night, Rip sees his organized life imploding. What he really doesn't need is his sister's irresponsible, flighty—albeit kind and gorgeous—best friend making it worse.

Rip doesn't trust Colby to take their new responsibilities seriously, while Colby can't believe Rip thinks children will thrive under his rigid control. Yet soon Rip and Colby discover they need each other more than they hate each other. Could it be possible that following their hearts is just what their new little family needs?


After reading the synopsis for this book it instantly reminded me of a movie I saw years ago and loved,so I definitely knew I wanted to see how Rachel Van Dyken was going to spin this story with her unique writing. The author is no stranger to writing rom-com,enemies to lovers,opposites attract, and emotional scenarios so I knew this would be a hit and it absolutely was! This story has all the feels from funny and banter to heartbreak and chaos and everything in between. The words just flow effortless into your heart as your pulled into the lives of the characters as they navigate their new life situation while dealing with their own issues, heatache,and two young kids who just lost their parents and now must be cared for by to people who don't really care to be around each other and have two totally different perspectives on living life and parenting that's why the dual POV works so well in this story! This is a MUST read!

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo!

Apple Books:




Google Play:


Add to Goodreads:



Meet Rachel

Rachel Van Dyken is the #1 New York Times Bestselling, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over 90 books ranging from contemporary romance to paranormal. With over four million copies sold, she's been featured in Forbes, US Weekly, and USA Today. Her books have been translated in more than 15 countries. She was one of the first romance authors to have a Kindle in Motion book through Amazon publishing and continues to strive to be on the cutting edge of the reader experience. She keeps her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, adorable sons, naked cat, and two dogs. For more information about her books and upcoming events, visit

Connect with Rachel








RVD Facebook Group:




Friday, July 15, 2022

Shield & Blade Blog Tour


Book Info:


Shield & Blade: A Fate of Eyrinthia Novella (Fate of Eyrinthia #3.5)


YA Fantasy Romance

Release Date:

July 14, 2022

Official Blurb:

His to protect

When Vera broke Venn’s heart, he was shattered. When she was abducted by mercenaries, he vowed to tear Mortise apart to find her. Now, reunited, he is determined to keep her safe–and win back her heart. Of course, things are never that simple.

Hers to defend

Vera has regretted hurting Venn ever since that fateful night in Wexon, but finding the right time to tell him is proving difficult. Traveling with him to Duvan should give her the perfect opportunity, but things take an unexpected turn when they find young children abandoned near a roadside.

Theirs to save

Helping the children isn’t in question, but the detour leads Venn and Vera into the heart of a sinister mystery. The truth they fight to uncover could change everything in Eyrinthia–and may cost them their lives.


This series just keeps getting better with each new book and story that leads you deeper into the lives of the characters where you connect with them on a level that makes you want to stay in there world. True to the author's writing style this stoy has all the feels: romance, heartache, love,mystery, and adventure with trouble. When things go array Vera and Venn must find the truth but it may cost them more than they bargain for.


Shield & Blade Preorder Link (Kindle):

Add on Goodreads:

Guest Post: Why Novellas?

It’s funny how a world can explode into being.

The idea for Royal Decoy took shape one day, and I started writing. I was quite sure I could tell this story in one book–then I realized there were more characters that needed a voice, so I thought, “Okay, it will be a trilogy.” Of course, that didn’t end up working, either. By the time I outlined everything, I knew it would be six books–and that’s where I drew the line. Yet, even as I was writing rough drafts of the series, some characters started whispering that they had stories to tell, too.

In fact, one very loud voice DEMANDED that I tell his story. I won’t tell you who (it’s a novella still to come!) but I very emphatically told him “NO”. It wouldn’t work. There was no way to weave his story into the books, because it took place before Royal Decoy, and, of course, SPOILERS.

I’ll never forget the way he sort of grinned in my head, and a scene popped into my mind. Because I’m me, I started writing that scene. And I couldn’t stop. 

That opened the floodgate for other stories; stories that are a part of the series, but not able to be in the main series for whatever reason. For Fire & Ash, it was because Desfan’s origin story takes place before Royal Decoy, so there was no way to fit it in. But I’d written some of those scenes so I could understand him, his relationship with his father, and with his bodyguard Karim. And the rest was history.

For Shield & Blade, the reason was very practical–the books were too long to accommodate Venn and Vera’s storyline. Also, I knew this was a pivotal time in Eyrinthia; so much is going on, and there are events we haven’t been able to see. Things that have developed since we left Devendra behind in Royal Spy. Telling Venn and Vera’s story now in a novella was the perfect solution! We’re able to see some of what’s happening outside of Duvan, and it’s setting the stage for what’s to come in the rest of the series.

Now, if you’ve read my novellas, you know that the lengths are actually more like a regular novel. I wasn’t sure if I should even call them novellas, but for me, it makes sense. A novella is something that adds to a series, but it doesn’t need to be read to enjoy the main storyline. That’s exactly how I view these extra books. If you love Eyrinthia and you want to know more of the world and more about the characters, then you’ll love the novellas. And while some of the novellas will be prequels, some–like Shield & Blade–will take place during the main storyline, and help fill in some blanks.

And, if you’re looking for your Eyrinthia fix before Royal Rebel comes out, then Shield & Blade is the perfect read for you.

Series Info:

Learn more about the Fate of Eyrinthia series by checking out Royal Decoy (Fate of Eyrinthia #1)

Royal Decoy Blurb:

Clare made a mistake when she saved the princess’s life . . .

In one horrible night, Clare is forced to give up her life as a kitchen maid to become the princess’s decoy. Thrust into a dangerous new world of royals and deadly politics, she must learn how to be the princess’s perfect double to ensure her betrothal to an enemy prince. Desperate to survive, Clare throws herself into self-defense training, taught by her distractingly attractive bodyguard, Bennick. The spark between them is undeniable, though a relationship is forbidden. When a ruthless assassin begins stalking her, it becomes frighteningly clear that some will stop at nothing to end the tenuous peace—and Clare’s life.

Across the northern mountains, Prince Grayson is his father’s ultimate weapon. His name inspires fear in all who hear it, but no one knows his heavily guarded secret. He carries out every brutal order only because his father holds power over the one person he cares about. Grayson’s silent obedience is tested, however, when his father reveals plans to exploit the marriage alliance between two of their greatest enemies. If Grayson submits, the blood of thousands will spill. If he resists, the girl who means everything to him will die.

The fate of Eyrinthia hangs in the balance. Some want peace. Some want war. All will be thrown into chaos.

Royal Decoy is the first in the Fate of Eyrinthia YA fantasy romance series told from multiple POVs. If you like swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and non-stop action with epic twists, then you’ll love the captivating world of Eyrinthia.

Royal Decoy Links:


Add Royal Decoy on Goodreads:

Add Royal Decoy on Bookbub:

Author Info:

Author Bio

Heather Frost is a #1 Amazon Bestselling YA author who loves epic stories with breath-stealing romance. She is the author of the Seers trilogy and the Fate of Eyrinthia series. Her books have been Whitney Award Finalists and Swoony Award Finalists. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and re-watch Lord of the Rings. She lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering mountains in northern Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website:

Heather’s Social Media Links









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Blog Tour Schedule:

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Cover Reveal: The Night Queen



TITLE: The Night Queen

AUTHOR: Denise Daye

RELEASE DATE: July 26, 2022







Friday, July 1, 2022

Creative Blog Tour for Kingdom of Essence by Holly Karlsson


Today I’m excited to participate in the Creative Blog Tour for Kingdom of Essence by Holly Karlsson hosted by MTMC Tours. Kingdom of Essence is the first book in a New Adult Fantasy Adventure series and it was released in Audiobook on May 20th, 2022.


Kingdom of Essence

Series: Kingdom of Essence #1

Author: Holly Karlsson

Publication Date: May 20th, 2022 (audiobook)
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy Adventure

Format: eBook, Paperback, Audiobook

Purchase a copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Blackwell's | Audiobook Links
Add on Goodreads!


Elitsa Serlov only cares about two things — earning enough money to start a new life and finding the rogue mage who murdered her mother. But years without leads have left her jaded, and she won’t let anyone — friend or foe — get in her way.


In Casekraia, anyone can use magic if they’re desperate enough to rent relics from the Tower, a corrupt guild of mages more concerned with their own wealth than the welfare of the people. Elitsa has spent the last three years as a reclamation agent for the Guild, hunting down her own people for precious coin and the hope of uncovering what happened to her mother.


Just one week before her contract with the Tower is set to expire, Elitsa is coerced into a dangerous conspiracy by a gang of rebellious thieves. With her loyalty to the Tower in question, Elitsa must decide between her quest for revenge and charting a new course for her life.


With captivating characters, daring heists, and dangerous magic, this enchanting fantasy adventure spins a tale about the power of hope and friendship and our connection to the world around us.


I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this story and it didn't disappoint. The magic system is unique and interesting. The story holds mystery, politics, friendship and hope.

Here's a bit of aesthetics from the beginning of the story to set the mood on my bookstagram account

Listen to an Audiobook excerpt!

(Audiobook narrated by Kate Reading)



INTL Tour-wide Instagram Giveaway!

Enter the Rafflecopter below where two readers will win a physical copy of Kingdom of Essence sent via Amazon. Ends on July 9th, 2022. Winners will be announced in the Rafflecopter & contacted via email.

Link to Rafflecopter:


Tour Schedule:

June 27
The Reader and the Chef - Book Blog
@heronstairxs - Bookstagram - Bookstagram

June 28
Paper Fury - Book Blog
@booktreasuresau - Bookstagram
@sarah.sbooks - Bookstagram

June 29
@abookworld___ - Bookstagram
Debjani's Thoughts - Book Blog
@millionpagesreader - Bookstagram

June 30
@spookyrevioos - Bookstagram
Fairrry Prose - Book Blog
@conveniently_tongueless - Bookstagram

July 1
@alessasbookshelf - Bookstagram
A Window To My Soul - Book Blog
Purple Shadow Hunter - Book Blog
@la_lectora.ctm - Bookstagram

July 2
@dhirviepages - Booktok
The Nerdy Nook - Book Blog
@fictionalfey - Bookstagram
@feyssatastics - Bookstagram

July 3
Vanilla Moon Books - Book Blog
@mynoveltreasures - Bookstagram
@librarymouselinds - Bookstagram


About Holly Karlsson:

Holly Karlsson writes epic and adventure fantasy filled with magic, dangerous quests, compelling characters, and mythical creatures. Holly is the author of the Daughters of Fire & Sea trilogy, and Kingdom of Essence.

She enjoys connecting to her readers and regularly releases flash fiction stories on her website Other places to follow her are Instagram, Facebook, and Bookbub.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram

Hosted by: MTMC tours


    Elitsa shoved the door closed with her fist, her eyes sweeping the windowless room as her mark spun around with a startled gasp. The man was dressed as a laborer, his travel-stained clothes rumpled and worn. His face was too lean, the bones of his face sharp beneath sunken eyes. Another essence farmer unable to meet the terms of his contract.
    Reclamations had been satisfying once, even fun, but Elitsa’s exhilaration had waned long ago. Now it was simply a job, often tedious and thankless, but a means to an end. “Mr. Janso. I’m a Tower reclamation agent, and you’re in breach of contract. Give me the relic, and I’ll be on my way.” She looked him over for weapons. She didn’t expect to find any, but it was a habit that’d saved her more than once. Anyone could be dangerous, even a hungry, sweet-faced kid on the street. To survive here, you either grew wings or claws.

Desperation shone in Janso’s pale blue eyes, and he fumbled with a chain around his neck, pulling free a silvery medallion. Lightly tarnished, the relic was shaped into the round face of a barn owl.
    Elitsa sighed, a hiss of air between her teeth, but he didn’t attack. Instead, Janso hesitated, eyes darting from the door behind her to her face. She’d seen that doubtful look before. The assumption that with her small build and quiet reserve, she was more fawn than mountain cat. When she wanted the element of surprise, this often worked to her advantage, but right now, Elitsa had no desire to fight or chase him half across the city. Please don’t underestimate me, she thought, tiredly.
    Janso hadn’t been hard to find, though it’d taken two days before she’d caught up with him. Whatever essence he’d been extracting for the Tower, it’d sent him up into the mountains north of Rivna for months at a time. He was foolish to have come back, but perhaps he had a family. Someone who’d miss him if he never came home.
    The man’s fingers tightened on the relic.