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Friday, 29 September 2017

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway - Birthright by Nick G. Giannaras

Author: Nick G. Giannaras
Genre: Historical Fiction
Date Published: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Yo Productions, LLC

Book Description:
As an infant, Niklas’s family escaped death when the entire royal bloodline of Livonia was murdered. As an adult, Niklas joined the Teutonic Knights in their bloody crusades across Europe to spread God’s Word. After years of service, he discovers that the army he faithfully served has ill-intentioned motives.

When Niklas and his friend defect from the knighthood, they are relentlessly pursued across the Baltic States by the wickedly led Teutonic Order. His only hope to enjoy a peaceful life is to unify the oppressed populace against their tyrannical rulers. But, political upheavals and looming enemies threaten any chance of peace. When it’s discovered that an heir to the Livonian throne is still alive, Niklas vows to help him regain his rightful place as leader. At best, Niklas’s oath can help bring freedom to people in a lost country. At worst, it can cost him his life.

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The front door flew open, sending a rush of cold air into the warm home and fluttering the flames of the crackling hearth. Andrus slammed the door behind him and threw a piece of worn timber across the iron braces, barring its way. Ignoring the savory aroma emanating from an iron kettle atop the cook fire, Andrus turned around and knocked over a small table near a front window. Keepsakes crashed to the floor as he peered past the curtains.

“Maarja! Maarja!” Andrus called in a frantic tone, scanning the interior for his wife. “They’re coming!”

Maarja flew out of the kitchen where the fireplace filled the living room in an orange glow. Her flowing black hair bound in a loose bun behind her head bounced as she ran up to her husband. Andrus kept peeking from behind the curtain at the commotion outside.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” Maarja asked in a worried tone. Andrus whipped his head around, touching her shoulder with one hand and pointing with the other.

“Quick, get the boy. We must flee.” He turned and grabbed a woolen blanket draped on a thin cushioned couch and a brown homespun coat hanging on a wooden hook by the door.

“Is it the fighting?” Maarja asked, her hands clasped near her ample bosom. Andrus checked his right boot, ensuring the dagger was still in its sheath before turning and shoving past his wife toward the fireplace.

“Yes. Pope Martin’s troops have sacked the keep and killed Jaan. All of the Kasesalu family . . . dead.” He grabbed his longsword by its leather scabbard adjacent to a hand axe and strapped on his weapons. Maarja’s mouth hung ajar. “Dead? A-All of them are—”

“Dead, Maarja. Now hurry before we are killed as well.” Andrus’s voice was tense. He stole a second look out the window.

“Why all this?” Maarja questioned, a tear escaping from her eye.

“They want the Kasesalu bloodline destroyed. The Pope uses his sinister alliances and the fa├žade of Christianity to bring retaliation against the entire village. Doing so helps guarantee his future under a new regime,” Andrus answered. “Now go and get Niklas or we are all done for!”

Maarja fled down the hall and into one of the bedrooms while Andrus ran to the kitchen, pulled out a burlap bag, and filled it with chunks of bread, raw vegetables, and smoked meats. He snatched several waterskins hanging near the back door and tossed them over his shoulder, knowing he could fill them in the icy creeks. His wife soon returned with their infant son bundled in warm blankets, a cloth bag with meager supplies strapped across her back. “I am ready,” she said, her voice shaking.

Andrus glimpsed the quaint dinner placements on the table and the iron pot of hot stew steaming on the wood stove. He had no time to grieve as he opened the back door of their home and listened. Sounds of distant yells, the faint clang of metal, and the smell of smoke assaulted
his senses.

“The fighting is getting closer. We will head south along the Duna. The river will give us cover until we can gain the safety of the hills.” He scanned the outside before stepping out. “Come, come,” he urged with vehement motions of his hand. Maarja followed close with her son held tight against her bosom. The three fled into the night across the cold ground, their breaths escaping as white mists into the air. Across the yard, Andrus cast worried glances over his shoulder as he led his family through the back gate toward a long stone wall bordering several adjacent properties.

About the Author
Nick G. Giannaras has been practicing Chiropractic for 20 years. He resides in North Carolina where he is active in his church, Deliverance Christian Center. He enjoys his great family amid numerous hobbies such as: tabletop wargames, creating music, painting, hunting, and fishing. He was also a Civil War reenactor for 15 years. He never considered writing as a ministry until the endeavor commenced in 2005. Nick views his books as ‘Entertainment with a message’ and prays they will reach the world with a positive impact for those who jump into his words.

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