Tuesday 2 July 2019

Have you heard? #HistoricalFiction author, Julie McElwain, is giving away 4 signed hardcover copies of her fabulous book — A Twist in Time. Julie is also sharing an excerpt of Betrayal in Time #Giveaway #TimeTravel @JulieMcElwain

Betrayal in Time
By Julie McElwain

Criminal Minds Meets Jane Austen
Kendra Donovan’s adventures in nineteenth-century England continue when she is called upon to investigate the murder of a spymaster…
February 1816: A race through the icy, twisting cobblestone streets of London ends inside an abandoned church―and a horrific discovery. Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly is called to investigate the grisly murder of Sir Giles Holbrooke, who was left naked and garroted, with his tongue cut out. Yet as perplexing as that crime is, it becomes even stranger when symbols that resemble crosses mysteriously begin to appear across the dead man’s flesh during autopsy. Is it a message from the killer? And why?

Sam turns to the one person in the kingdom who he believes can answer that question and solve the bizarre murder―the Duke of Aldridge’s odd but brilliant ward, Kendra Donovan.

While Kendra has been trying to adapt to her new life in the early nineteenth century, she is eager to use her skills as a twenty-first century FBI agent again. And she will need all her investigative prowess, because Sir Giles was not an average citizen. He was one of England’s most clever spymasters, whose life had been filled with intrigue and subterfuge.

Kendra’s return to the gritty streets and glittering ballrooms of London takes her down increasingly dangerous paths. When another body is discovered, murdered in the same apparently ritualistic manner as Sir Giles, the American begins to realize that they are dealing with a killer with an agenda, whose mind has been twisted by rage and bitterness so that the price of a perceived betrayal is death.


Edward Price almost caught the bugger, could actually feel the coarse wool of the boy’s raggedy coat skim across his fingertips as he reached out to snag a bone-thin arm. But the urchin evaded him with a twist of his narrow shoulders, and in a spurt of youthful energy, he sprinted across the cobblestone street, slick with sleet and snow, leaving Edward clutching only cold air.

Oy!” he shouted. “Halt, thief!”

Even though his watchman duties wouldn’t begin for another eight hours, Edward pelted after the young criminal, annoyed that the boy had gained a sizeable lead already. A more seasoned watchman would most likely have let the brat go, he knew. But he was only two nights into his job—tonight would be his third—and Edward was still filled with the bright earnestness of a new recruit called upon to keep the peace in London Town. He could hardly look the other way when the bold little napper snatched an apple—never mind that it was shriveled and wormy—off the costermonger’s cart right in front of his very own peepers. And certainly not when the costermonger himself and at least a dozen witnesses had turned to fix their eyes on him, expecting him to do something.

“Stop! Stop, I say!” Edward bellowed, his gaze locked on the small figure running ahead. The thief dodged pedestrians and peddler’s carts with the agility of someone who belonged in the city’s criminal class.

Even though he hadn’t yet reached his nineteenth year, Edward was less nimble. As he raced after the boy, he crashed into three wooden crates stacked on the pavement, having just been hauled off a wagon. He winced when they toppled and the slats cracked, and he had to dodge the potatoes, onions, and turnips spilling underfoot. The two burly men who’d been unloading the wagon stopped long enough to hurl curses after him. Edward gritted his teeth and ignored them—as well as the stitch that had begun to pulse in his side—and plowed on.

He was pretty sure that he was gaining on his quarry. Elation gave him a burst of speed. Edward smiled grimly when the thief tossed him a quick look over his shoulder, his eyes going wide. You’d better be afraid, brat.

As quick as a fox, the boy darted to the right, vanishing from the wider street into a narrow, twisting lane. Edward didn’t waste his breath—he didn’t have any to spare—on ordering the two men loitering outside a candlestick shop to try to capture the urchin, or on again demanding that the boy halt. Instead, he barreled after him, gasping when his boots hit a patch of ice crusted over the dirt road. Arms flapping, he managed to right himself before he fell on his arse.

Bleeding hell. He heard the two men laughing behind him, but he tightened his jaw and renewed his pursuit. The stitch in his side was beginning to feel like someone was jabbing him with a red-hot fire poker. Despite the temperature hovering near freezing, the exertion made him sweat. He could feel perspiration pool in the pits of his arms and slink uncomfortably down the base of his spine.

Still, he ran on. His gaze was fixed on the thief, a small shadow against the area’s crumbling buildings and broken cobblestone. Edward wasn’t sure exactly when it began to dawn on him that no one else seemed to be about. He’d chased the boy into one of London’s more derelict sections. A narrow, unkempt park of dead trees was in the center of the street, creating a poor man’s version of a square. Four- and five-story buildings rose up on either side of the street, the windows either boarded up or the windowpanes broken, the glass like jagged teeth. Snow drifted across steps and stoops, piled in shadowy corners, stained revolting yellows and browns. Even though it was still morning hours, the abandoned buildings cast deep bluish-gray shadows across the square. The back of Edward’s neck prickled with unease.

Bugger it. Edward slowed to an unsteady stop as he sucked in great gulps of cold air, ready to abandon the chase. He swallowed hard, his eyes flitting this way and that. You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting someone in London, so it was peculiar to be in a section of the city that was as desolate and silent as this. The only sounds came from pigeons cooing from rooftop ledges, and curtains that fluttered and snapped in the breeze against empty window frames. And his own pounding footsteps and ragged breathing.

The thief glanced back at him, flashing a cocky grin before scampering up the steps of a building across the square and ducking through an open doorway.

Anger surged through Edward. The thief’s blatant insolence renewed his flagging spirits. His lungs were still burning something fierce and the stitch in his side had yet to subside, but he pushed himself forward into a half-running, half-loping gait. A moment later, he was up the short flight of stairs and clearing the doorway. Only when he was through the door did he register that the building was a Catholic church, long since abandoned. The vestibule was barren, with two water fonts carved into the granite walls left dry and filled with spider webs. Puddles, now iced over, spread across the entrance’s flagstone floor.

Chest heaving, Edward slammed through swinging doors, hinges shrieking, into the nave of the church. Like the vestibule, the nave was empty of its popery trappings. The pews and wall plaques had been removed, the sanctuary stripped bare. A chorus of pigeons cooed from up high, where the birds had made nests in the vaulted ceiling niches. Weak light came through the stained-glass lancet windows, and rainbows fell across the stone tiles of the floor, which was crusted white in places with dried pigeon droppings.

Edward only glanced at the surroundings, as his attention was on the thief. Surprise and triumph flitted through him when he approached his quarry, and saw that the boy had come to a standstill in the middle of the room. The boy looked around, and Edward noticed that the bold smile was gone. Now his small face was pinched, his eyes round with something approaching horror. Still, it never occurred to Edward that the boy’s horror wasn’t about his imminent capture until his gaze dropped to where the scamp stood.

“Good God . . . ” Edward came to a stumbling halt, his breath catching painfully in his throat.

For just a moment, he thought that maybe the wretch lying on the floor was a wax sculpture, like the ones Marie Tussaud used in her traveling exhibits, maybe placed here by schoolboy pranksters. Except who was around to fool?

The man was naked, his flesh nearly blue, his body hair shimmering silver with frost. Edward was no stranger to death. Two nights ago, his first night as a watchman, he’d been the one to discover a poor sod who’d frozen to death huddled outside a coffee shop, across the street from St. Paul’s.

But this . . . this . . .

Edward’s shocked gaze traveled across the dead man’s face, which was swollen and appeared to be twisted into a silent scream. The watchman tried and failed to suppress a shudder.

Someone had cut out the old man’s tongue.


*Giveaway is now closed.

Julie McElwain is giving away 4 signed hardcover copies of
A Twist in Time.

All you need to do is answer this question:

If you could travel back in time, what era and what country would you choose?

Leave your answer in the comments at the bottom of this post.

Giveaway Rules

• Leave your answer in the comments at the bottom of this post.
• Giveaway ends at 11:59pm BST on July 16th.
• You must be 18 or older to enter.
• Giveaway is only open to continental United States only.
Only one entry per household.
• All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
•Winners will be announced in the comments.
• Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Praise for the Kendra Donovan Mystery Series.

“This first novel is absolutely captivating and will appeal to readers of action, mystery, and romance. Expect to stay engaged until the final page. – Library Journal (Starred)

“Readers of Regency romances or FBI thrillers are sure to love this inventive mix of the two genres. Rapid pacing, a slew of interesting characters, and time travel: riveting. Anyone who enjoys the unusual is sure to enjoy Agent Kendra Donovan’s adventures.” – Shelf Awareness

“If the Outlander series were written by Lisa Gardner, this would be the result. A tense page-turner with an excellent dose of feminism, social commentary and badassery.” – Criminal Element

“Engrossing and enjoyable. The book is fast and fun to read, and watching a modern FBI agent try to solve crimes without any twenty-first century tech to help is intriguing.” – Historical Novels Review

Pick up your copy of
Betrayal in Time

Julie McElwain

Julie McElwain is a national award-winning journalist. Her first novel, A Murder In Time, was one of the top 10 picks by the National Librarian Association for its April 2016 book list, and was selected as the mystery to read in 2016 by OverDrive Inc., a digital distributor serving more than 34,000 libraries around the world. The novel was also a finalist for the 2016 Goodreads’ readers choice awards in the Sci-fi/Fantasy category, and made Bustle’s list of 9 Most Addictive Mystery series for 2017. A Twist in Time and Caught in Time were also selected by the National Librarian Association’s book lists.

A Murder In Time has been optioned for television/movie development.

Julie McElwain is a native of North Dakota, and a graduate of NDSU.  She currently lives in Long Beach, CA, but continues to cheer on her alma mater’s football team, the NDSU Bison, and fly home for Christmas, because bone-chilling cold should be experienced at least once a year.

Connect with Julie:


  1. I’d stay in the US and go to the 1920’s

    1. Congratulations Ranchgirl you have won a copy a signed hardback copy of A Twist in Time. If you could email me your details to I will pass them on to Julie.

  2. I would go back 1940s to England.

  3. I would go back to the Tudor period in England, especially while it was under King Henry VIII's reign. I devour any books I can find that take place during that time period.

  4. I would like to visit England in various times but Regency period a favorite.

    1. Congratulations Cassiebooksreader, you have won a copy a signed hardback copy of A Twist in Time. If you could email me your details to I will pass them on to Julie.

  5. After I learn to speak Russian, I would visit St. Petersburg during the time of Peter the Great.

    1. Congratulations Riley, you have won a copy a signed hardback copy of A Twist in Time. If you could email me your details to I will pass them on to Julie.

  6. I would love to visit England during the Edwardian era.

  7. I have always been captivated by Ewardarian Time period

    1. Congratulations Gwendalyn, you have won a copy a signed hardback copy of A Twist in Time. If you could email me your details to I will pass them on to Julie.

  8. Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who took part. The winners are:
    If you could email me your details I will pass them on to Julie


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx