Tuesday 23 May 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin

Refuge for Masterminds
Author: Kathleen Baldwin
Series: Stranje House (Book 3)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (May 23, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765376040
ISBN-13: 978-0765376046

Book Description:
Lady Jane Moore has a secret. A secret that must be kept buried. For if anyone discovered the truth, her life at Stranje House would crumble. And with Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of England underway, everyone at Stranje House is already in danger. Mortal danger.

Jane knows it. She may not be like Tess, who has the advantage of prophetic dreams. Nor is she like Sera, who notices every detail no matter how miniscule and draws conclusions based on the smallest thread of evidence. She doesn’t possess Maya’s ability to soothe the tempers around her with a few well-spoken words. Neither is she a brilliant scientist like Georgie. According to Miss Stranje, Lady Jane Moore is a mastermind.


Jane doesn’t consider herself a mastermind. Quite the contrary, she believes herself to be an ordinary young lady. It’s just that she has a rather excessive bent toward the practical. She tends to grasp the facts of a situation quickly, and by so doing, she’s able to devise and implement a sensible course of action. But that’s all there is to it. Well, there is the fact that she also organizes the players in her plans with quiet efficiency. So much so, that occasionally Lady Jane’s friends tease her for being a bit managing.

Do they expect her to sit back and do nothing when trouble is brewing? Not likely. Not when the people she cares about are at risk. Call it being a mastermind if you must, it is a trait that comes in rather handy in a world full of spies, sabotage, and double-dealing. Especially now that Lady Jane and Sera have rooted out the truth: There is a traitor at Stranje House.

Someone is sneaking information to Lady Daneska and Ghost, Napoleon’s spies. Jane is determined to find out who it is before the bonds of friendship at Stranje House are ripped apart by suspicions. Her desperate hunt for the traitor ensnares Robert Fulton’s nephew, Alexander Sinclair, a brash American inventor, in an ambush that puts his life in danger. Sinclair may well be the most maddening man in all of Christendom, a wicked-tongued rascal with boorish manners, but for some reason, Lady Jane cannot bear the thought of the golden-haired genius being harmed.

Is Jane enough of a mastermind to save Alexander, her friends at Stranje House, and possibly England itself?

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Praise for the Stranje House Series
"A Completely Original―and totally engrossing―world, full of smart girls, handsome boys, and sinister mysteries...Sign me up." ―Meg Cabot, New York Times Best Selling Author of The Princess Diaries


Stranje House is an odd place at night when everyone is asleep. It’s as if the old Tudor manor is alive the way it creaks and the windows shudder. A young lady given to flights of imagination might feel as if the walls are leaning in as she walks through the unlit hallways. I, however, do not indulge in such far- fetched thoughts. I’m quite certain that moaning sound is nothing more than wind breathing through the secret passages.

I’ve no need of a candle. Even in the deep of night, I know my way around Stranje House well enough and prefer to forgo the wobbly glare of a flame. Besides, the heavy darkness suits my mood.

The last stairs leading down to the kitchen are wide stone steps with no banister. They can be a trifle thorny to navigate in the dark. Fortunately, thin gray moonlight whiskers up from the downstairs windows and I glide my hand along the wall for added guidance.

Stepping into the spacious room, I breathe deep the smell of baked rye bread and onion soup that still lingers. But something yanks my attention to the window above the baking table.

It might’ve been a wisp of fog, or an owl soaring by to catch a mouse in the garden, except it had seemed bigger and more human. If I were prone to fanciful ruminations, I might’ve thought a phantom flitted past, but my suspicions run in an entirely different direction. I rush to the window and lean up on my toes to peer out. In the distance I spot the creature, cloaked in gray, who passed by the window, and she wears a dress.

Most decidedly not a ghost.
Although she may be working for one.

Unless I miss my guess, this particular phantom is going about her duplicitous duties, reporting our plans to Ghost’s cohorts. I press closer to the window hoping to see her more clearly. Rub-bing the glass, I squint, straining to identify her, watching as the clever minx leads the dogs to their pen and shuts them in.

This has to be our betrayer— our traitor. The person responsible for all our slanted looks and unspoken suspicions. The sneaky girl who is ripping apart the bonds of friendship here at Stranje House. At least, when Lady Daneska betrayed us, we’d known who she was, and she didn’t hide the fact that she ran off to join Napoleon’s cause.

This traitor moves in secret, slowly stealing away the confidence we have in one another’s loyalty. She is a disease, rotting us from the inside out. For what are we without trust? Naught but a group of misfits and outcasts. Trust is the foundation of our strength. Without it, we will surely crumble and leave the path clear for Napoleon to sail in and conquer England.

Which of us would commit such a crime?
I intend to find out.

(Refuge for Masterminds  by Kathleen Baldwin.  Tor Teen. pgs. 12-13)

About the Author
Award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin loves adventure in books and in real life. She taught rock climbing in the Rockies, survival camped in the desert, was stalked by a mountain lion, lost an argument with a rattlesnake, enjoyed way too many classes in college, fell in love at least a dozen times, and married her very own hero. They’ve raised four free-spirited adventurous children.

Awarded 2016 Spirit of Texas, A School for Unusual Girls , is her first historical romance for Young Adults. It is a Junior Library Guild selection. Publisher’s Lunch listed it in their 2015 Young Adult BookBuzz. Kansas State NEA Reading Circle gave it a starred review in their 2016 “Best of the Best” for High Schools. Scholastic licensed it for book fairs, and New York Times Book Review called it “enticing from the first sentence.”

Kathleen is also an avid reader and adores the wit and humor of Oscar Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse, and Jane Austen. Her eclectic reading interests range from Frank Herbert to Meg Cabot, and on to the delightfully imaginative tales of Diana Wynne Jones.

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Blog Tour Organised by:


  1. Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. Abraham Lincoln. I hear he was quite the orator but no one alive has heard his voice.