The Bridled Tongue by Catherine Meyrick | An Excerpt

It’s my tour stop for ‘The Bridled Tongue’ by Catherine Meyrick! Thank you so much to The Coffee Pot Book Club for letting me participate. Click here for more information about this wonderful group!

‘The Bridled Tongue’ Book Information

The Bridled Tongue by Catherine Meyrick
Courante Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Length: 358 pages
Release Date: 1 February 2020

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | B & N | Kobo | Apple Books


England 1586.

Alyce Bradley has few choices when her father decides it is time she marry as many refuse to see her as other than the girl she once was–unruly, outspoken and close to her grandmother, a woman suspected of witchcraft.

Thomas Granville, an ambitious privateer, inspires fierce loyalty in those close to him and hatred in those he has crossed. Beyond a large dowry, he is seeking a virtuous and dutiful wife. Neither he nor Alyce expect more from marriage than mutual courtesy and respect.

As the King of Spain launches his great armada and England braces for invasion, Alyce must confront closer dangers from both her own and Thomas’s past, threats that could not only destroy her hopes of love and happiness but her life. And Thomas is powerless to help.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

Author Bio

Catherine Meyrick is a writer of historical fiction with a particular love of Elizabethan England. Her stories weave fictional characters into the gaps within the historical record – tales of ordinary people who are very much men and women of their time, yet in so many ways are like us today. These are people with the same hopes and longings as we have to find both love and their own place in a troubled world.

Catherine grew up in regional Victoria, but has lived all her adult life in Melbourne, Australia. Until recently she worked as a customer service librarian at her local library. She has a Master of Arts in history and is also an obsessive genealogist. When not writing, reading and researching, Catherine enjoys gardening, the cinema and music of all sorts from early music and classical to folk and country and western and, not least of all, taking photos of the family cat to post on Instagram.


‘The Bridled Tongue’ | Excerpt

Alyce walked into the parlour, surprised to see Isabel sitting by the window, staring down into the garden.

She turned in her seat, smiling happily. ‘Good morrow, Alyce. Mother asked me to help with cutting out your new gowns.’ She ran her eye over Alyce’s gown. ‘That gown is pretty, but Mother said—’

‘I came back with next to naught,’ Alyce finished for her. She brushed her hand down the moss green worsted of the skirt. ‘Mother had it put away. I did not take it with me to Dalstead.’ She took a bolt of cloth from the chest in the corner of the parlour and spread it on the table. ‘It fits well enough, though it is a mite too short, but I am not going anywhere today.’

Isabel took out the sewing box their mother had stored in the chest. ‘Mother should get a tailor to do this for you. You do not want to spend your whole time sewing.’

‘I like to be busy.’ Alyce straightened the cloth and took the measuring stick from the box.

‘Did you know,’ Isabel handed Alyce a piece of chalk to mark the cloth, ‘old Sir Henry Crabbe is looking for a new wife?’

‘Sir Henry Crabbe,’ Alyce’s eyes widened in horror, ‘but he must be ninety at least.’

‘Seventy-five. And he has buried three wives.’

‘But he is old and fat and bald and…’ she shuddered, ‘… and hideous.’

Isabel giggled. ‘He is indeed.’

‘Father would not…?’ Alyce stood rigid, the chalk crumbling in her hand. ‘I would rather die.’

‘Of course they would not. Mother and Father do want someone you can be content with.’ She smiled brightly. ‘Would Thomas Granville do?’

There was something about Granville. Perhaps it was that he was courteous and one of the few men she had met who listened when she spoke.

‘He was definitely watching you yesterday, and it was more than that he was entranced by your lute playing.’

‘I think it was more the discordant notes I plucked,’ Alyce lied. He had been watching her, but she doubted it was as simple as Isabel imagined.

‘He is old and not so pretty any longer. And there are the numerous women he has debauched. Hundreds, if the stories are all true.’

Alyce did not want to believe that of him. ‘Not all stories are true, Isabel.’

‘Perhaps not all.’ Isabel shrugged. ‘But tales always begin with some grain of truth.’ She frowned, her eyelashes fluttering with thought. ‘Well, what about Robin Chapman?’

Alyce groaned.

You must want to marry…all women do…

‘He is rather handsome. I wonder why he is not married. He has only kept company with one girl for any length of time, Maude Middleton’s maid, Susan, and that ended a few months ago.’ Her eyes twinkled. ‘Perhaps he’s been keeping himself for you.’

Alyce glared at her. ‘You do realise Chapman believes he will be the only one to offer for my hand?’ She blinked against threatening tears. ‘He said I would get no better offer.’

‘He what?’ Isabel gaped. ‘The presumption of him! The only person to benefit would be Robin himself.’ Colour flooded her face. ‘Be assured, no matter what Father might think, Mother would not stand for it. Nor would I. I will have something to say to Father, and Robin Chapman too, if such a ridiculous proposal is taken seriously.’

Isabel put her arms around Alyce, pulling her close. ‘It was a foolish jest on my part.’

You have your grandmother’s gifts’…

Alyce gave herself up to comfort and laid her head on her sister’s shoulder.

‘You are worthy of a man of far higher standing than Robin. And remember, Father said you would decide.’

Alyce moved away from her and dropped into a chair. ‘Service in a pleasant household would be easier.’

‘But you must want to marry—all women do.’

‘I do not know that I do. When I was young, I supposed I would. Now I no longer care.’

‘Well,’ Isabel screwed up her face, ‘let us pretend. If we lived in a perfect world, what would the husband of your dreams be?’

‘I abandoned foolish dreams a long time ago.’

‘I do not believe you.’ Isabel pulled out a chair at the side of the table. ‘We all dream of something. I dream of children. Alyce,’ she lowered her voice, ‘I have a secret. I will tell you if you promise not to tell a single soul, not even Mother.’

‘I promise,’ Alyce said warily.

‘I think I am with child. Every morning I awaken feeling queasy.’ Her face glowed with happiness. ‘I have been married nearly three years, and it has never been like this before. I have hoped I was with child many times but always, whether it is a few days or a week later, the bleeding comes.’ Her lashes glistened. ‘But now it has been two whole months and you are here.’

‘What difference do I make?’

‘You have Grandmother’s gifts.’

‘Isabel,’ Alyce spoke slowly, ‘Grandmother had no special gifts. She knew much of herbs and healing. The help she offered was no different from the apothecary or a housewife tending to the physic of her family.’

‘That is not what most people say.’

A shiver ran down Alyce’s back. ‘Most people are wrong.’ The sight of her grandmother’s friend dancing on the gallows was one that would never leave her. No doubt some had thought Bridget Mason had special gifts too.

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The Art of Running Away | Cover Reveal

I’m excited to show the cover for The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner! Thank you to Jolly Fish Press for letting me take part!

The Art of Running Away, Purple Leaf
The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner.

Are you ready to find out more about Maisie’s adventure? Keep reading…

The Art of Running Away: Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago. Also, she ignores her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try something new—something that isn’t art.

However, Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard times. Maisie’s plan to take over the shop when she’s older and become a lifelong artist starts to crumble. In desperation to make things right, Maisie runs away to London to reconnect with her adult brother, hoping he might be the key to saving the shop. But as Maisie learns about her family’s past from Calum, she starts to rethink everything she’s ever known. Maisie must decide not only if saving her family’s art shop is worth it, but if she can forgive her parents for the mistakes they’ve made.

Author Bio

The Art of Running Away suthor, Sabrina Kleckner

Sabrina Kleckner is the author of The Art of Running Away, a middle grade contemporary novel about family and identity. She began writing at the age of twelve. Sabrina is grateful to not be debuting with the angsty assassin book she toiled over in her teens. When she is not writing, she can be found teaching ESL or gushing about her three cats to anyone who will listen.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

The Art of Running Away: Book Information

The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner

Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Format: Paperback (simultaneous release to ebook)
Length: 256 pages
Genre: Middle Grade (Fiction, Art, LGBTQ+)

Jolly Fish Press | North Star Editions | Goodreads |Bookshop | Indiebound | Amazon | Book Depository

Current Jolly Fish/North Star website promos:

  • 30% off fall release preorders when using code FALL21
  • Free shipping when you spend over $30

Are you excited to place The Art of Running Away on your TBR? Make sure to grab Maisie’s story!

Contact Cathleen!

Go-To Book Recommendations | Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week readers answer a bookish prompt. This way fellow book lovers find a way to connect and communicate with each other!

This Week’s Question

What Is Your Go-To Book Recommendation for Some Who Doesn’t Read Often? (Submitted by Amanda @Give Me Coffee and Books)

A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney. Link:

I recommend A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney. It’s an exciting ‘Alice in Wonderland’ retelling. It features a strong Black female character navigating Wonderland. It’s non-stop action!


The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she battles monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland. Alice wields magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job.

However, when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Link:

I also recommend Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. Jacqueline writes this powerful book in poetic verse. I read this story fairly quickly!


Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

What are your go-to Book Recommendations? Share your thoughts below!

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Goodreads Monday | February 22, 2021

Happy Monday everyone! I hope your week is off to a good start! I’m slowly returning to the blogging mode, since I’ve been away from posting for a while. I hope this is the return of something consistent for me!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. You highlight a book from your Goodreads TBR that you can’t wait to read! Since not many people love Goodreads, this may count toward your personal TBR pile!

This Week’s ‘Goodreads Monday’ Choice

Goodreads Monday. Machinehood by S.B. Divya. Link:

Machinehood by S.B. Divya

Machinehood is on my radar for intense reading! It has both SFF elements and a intense plot. I’m excited to begin this book!


Welga Ramirez, executive bodyguard and ex-special forces, is about to retire early, but her client dies in front of her. It’s 2095 and people don’t usually die from violence. Humanity is entirely dependent on pills that not only help them stay alive, but allow them to compete with artificial intelligence in an increasingly competitive gig economy. Daily doses protect against designer diseases, flow enhances focus, zips and buffs enhance physical strength and speed, and juvers speed the healing process.

However, Welga’s client is killed by The Machinehood, a new and mysterious terrorist group that has simultaneously attacked several major pill funders. The Machinehood operatives are part human, part machine, something the world has never seen. They issue an ultimatum: stop all pill production in one week.

Global panic ensues as pill production slows and many become ill. Thousands destroy their bots in fear of a strong AI takeover. But the US government believes the Machinehood is a cover for an old enemy. One that Welga is uniquely qualified to fight.

Welga, determined to take down the Machinehood, is pulled back into intelligence work by the government that betrayed her. But who are the Machinehood and what do they really want?

What is on your TBR pile? Which books are you excited to read?

Finally, read my previous Goodreads Monday post. We’re going way back!

Six For Sunday | Books That Made Me Feel

Hi everyone! Today I’m participating in Six For Sunday, a weekly meme hosted by Steph in A Little But A Lot. This month’s theme is Read It And Weep!

Six For Sunday. Lydia reading a book. Link:

Six For Sunday | Books That Make Me Feel

Whether it’s excitement, peace, or shock, books bring me to an emotional place! It happens every single time! Here are six books that make me FEEL:

Six For Sunday. Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor. Link:

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

(Science Fiction/Fantasy)

Sankofa truly went through it! Known as the Daughter of Death, she searches for answers of her origins. Sankofa also learns of the chaotic side of humanity.

Six For Sunday. A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum. LInk:

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

(Historical Fiction)

Three Palestinian-American women endure the plight of living under patriarchal rule. This book is told in multiple perspectives, and will pull at your heartstrings!

Books That Made Me Feel. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich. Link:

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

(Science Fiction/Fantasy: Dystopian)

Humanity devolves into chaos. A pregnant woman searches for her origins while avoiding capture. This book is both unsettling and strong as Mary fights for her life.

Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas. Link:

Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas

(YA Cont./LGBT+)

Cemetery Boys has a memorable ‘enemies to lovers’ story line! It also has supernatural elements, AND set around Dia De Los Muertos. It has everything I need!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Link:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

(Historical Fiction)

This is a coming of age story set in Brooklyn during the start of the 20th century. Frankie’s life unfolds and we travel through romantic highs and family lows. It’s definitely an experience!

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. LInk:

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

(Historical Fiction)

Shanghai Girls was the first time I went crazy over Historical Fiction. I felt like I was right there living through Shanghai’s pivotal moments! It also felt special living through Pearl and May’s eyes!

What’s your Six for Sunday? Which stories drew huge emotions from your soul?

Check out my recent reviews:

Future Home of the Living God

White Ivy

NetGalley Weekend Reads | Feb 20, 2021

NetGalley is a place to request online ARCs (Advance Review Copies) to read and review. Popular for both book bloggers and book lovers alike, NetGalley offers a wide catalog of books to request. There’s a waiting period, but there’s also a ‘Read Now’ section for immediate reading. Click here to explore their site!

NetGalley Weekend Reads. Snoopy reading 'The Bunnies'. Link:

NetGalley ARCs

This month I acquired two NetGalley ARCs. They are as follows:

NetGalley. The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher. Link:

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Haunted by her sister’s mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.

Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?

Weekend Purple Leaf
NetGalley. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. Link:

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

When Hope Weaver moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, best friend Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever. The only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How can Jessica handle the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her parents’ obsessions, and a nonexistent love life?

Like a John Hughes for the twenty-first century, Megan McCafferty taps into the inherent humor and drama of the teen experience. This poignant, hilarious novel is sure to appeal to readers who are still going through it, as well as those who are grateful that they don’t have to go back and grow up all over again.

I’m definitely reading The Moonlight School this weekend. I love stories woven with journeys and love!

What books are you reading this weekend?

Other Bookish Links

February 18 Blog

Merci Suarez Book Review

First Lines Friday | February 19, 2021

First Lines Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words. Each week we judge a book not by its cover, but through their opening lines. For more information, click on Wandering Words’ post here.

This Week’s Lines

There’s all sorts of bad advice out there about how to deal with bullies. Ignore them. Stand up to them. Tell a teacher, tell a parent, tell your dentist while he’s jamming your teach back in your face.

The real way to deal with a bully is to stick a raw chicken in their locker.

Any Guesses?

First Lines. A man saying 'I'm So Lost'. Link:
Purple Leaf
Purple Leaf
FIrst Lines Friday. A woman shrugging her shoulders. Link:
Purple Leaf
Purple Leaf

Okay, My Friday Lines Book Is…

First Lines Friday. Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. Link:

When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal.

Gabi is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. 

Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken–including his dead mother–she takes it all in stride. Sal knows that she is someone he can work with.

There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.

This is a fun Middle Grade story with diverse characters! This book is perfect for children 8-12 years of age. It also has Cuban representation!

I hope everyone has a restful weekend!

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Texas Emergency & Resources | February 18

Texas is facing a winter like no other. Since the beginning of the week, the deep freeze crippled many residents’ ways of life. Over 2 million people are without power. Many are living with ‘boil water’ warnings. Due to poor infrastructure, home owners are suffering with busted pipes and flooded surroundings.

While there seems to be no end in sight, there are some resources we can tap into to reach out to Texans in need.

Resources for Texas Residents

Love Thy Neighbor Texas– The Austin Area Urban League offers a donation drive to assist Texans in serious need.

Warming Centers – The Texas Division of Emergency Management has a list of warming centers for many in dire need.

Red Cross– The Red Cross has a list of shelters and donation resources.

Welfare Calls to Texas – Beto O’ Rourke is currently running a volunteer hotline, reaching out to senior citzens in the area. Click the link to access the Zoom and participate.

Relief Efforts in Texas – Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez began a donation effort to help Texas residents. You may chip in any amount!

While this is a small list of resources, I hope it takes a small step of serenity for those in need. Many Texans need comfort right about now!

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Reading Blog | February 18, 2021

Reading while watching snowfall!

While I’m doing a new work routine at the school, winter reminds us that pauses still happen. In New Jersey, icy weather is in the area, so I finally have time for some reading!

My school district pivoted back to full day/full week instruction, which leaves little room for reading. I have poor time management skills to begin with, so its been days without me picking up a book. However, I’m determined to get my reading momentum back!

Current Reads

Reading Blog. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Link:

At the beginning of the month, I read much of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It’s a beautiful non-fiction, told in an essay style format. Coates is sharing with his son the meaning of protecting one’s own self from negative life influences. He discusses his time at Howard University and how these experiences shaped his life.

I still have 30 pages to complete, yet I’m enjoying this book! I’m looking forward to discussing this during my book group this weekend!

What I’m Reading Next

Reading Blog. When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. Link:

My next book is When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. It’s a thriller that involves surprising disappearances in a changing Brooklyn neighborhood. I finished the first 2 chapters, and so far it’s a good one! It’s certainly one to read while watching the snow fall!

Finally, a Question

What new stories did you discover this week? Are you beginning a new series? Did you pick up a ‘new-to-you’ author? Feel free to share below!

Contact Me!

Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil: Cover Reveal

Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil is Danette Vigilante’s third book release! It features a young girl living with a shocking secret! Can Tia find serenity and enjoy her summer vacation? Does the answer rest in a magical place?

Perhaps Tia might turn to her grandmother (and the botanica she frequents) for the answer!

I’m happy to partner with Jolly Fish Press for the Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil cover reveal! It’s an Own Voices Middle Grade tale filled with friendship, magic and thrills!

Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil by Danette Vigilante. A young girl runs inside a botanica. A silhouette looks inside the window.

Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil: Book Information

Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil by Danette Vigilante
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Length: 208 pages
Genre: Middle Grade (10-14 years); Horror, Fiction, Legends & Myths
Representation: Latin American & Caribbean (Puerto Rico)
Format: Paperback and eBook
Book Release: August 17, 2021 (anticipated release)

Jolly Fish Press | North Star Editions | Bookshop | Indiebound | Amazon | Book Depository


Tia Lugo has a deadly secret.

Tia Lugo considers herself an ordinary thirteen-year-old girl. She just wants to enjoy the end of summer. Tia enjoys hanging out with her best friend and neighbor Julius. Her Puerto Rican grandmother relies heavily (and unnecessarily) on creepy candles, weird-smelling herb bundles, and eerie statues—all available for sale at the nearby botánica.

However, Tia witnesses a murder late one night from her bedroom window. And everything changes.

Now, Tia is terrified to tell anyone what she’s seen. What if the killer comes after her too? He knows where she lives. Even worse, Tia believes he’s sending her secret messages, reminding her to stay quiet. Desperate to keep herself and her family safe, Tia turns to the last place she ever thought she’d go: her grandmother’s favorite shopping spot, the botánica.

Author Bio

Author Danette Vigilante

Danette Vigilante grew up in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn, New York. She now resides in Staten Island with her family, sweet pup, and an elderly cat who has just learned to meow. Danette is the author of The Trouble with a Half Moon, a 2012-2013 Sunshine State Young Readers award nominee, and Saving Baby Doe, a 2014 pick for the New York Public Library 100 titles for Reading and Sharing list. Danette encourages literacy in her community via a Little Free Library installed on her front lawn.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil comes out on August 17, 2021! Make sure you pre-order this amazing book!

Contact Cathleen!