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#HistFicThursdays - Clement: The Templar's Treasure - Craig R. Hipkins - Guest Post

It's #HistFicThursdays again, and this week I'm thrilled to be sharing a guest post from Craig R. Hipkins ,   as part of his  Coffee Pot Book Club  tour. Find out what research drew him into the world of Clement and Dagena, Viking exploration, and linguistic adventures... Blurb Clement & Dagena return for another action packed adventure. From the cold and dreary shores of Greenland to the fabled land of Vinland. The legendary treasure of the Knights Templar awaits. Clement: The Templar's Treasure  is available via this Universal Link Guest Post Clement: The Templar’s Treasure is set in the middle of the 12th century. This was at the height of the age of chivalry when the troubadours sang their poetry and martial tournaments were the rage over all Europe. Although the first book in the Clement series concentrated on historical elements related to the continent, the second and third installments took Clement far away from the kingdoms of Europe. However, chivalry, a commo

#HistFicThursdays - Sea of Shadows - Amy Maroney - Book Excerpt


This week, I'm delighted to once again be teaming up with The Coffee Pot Book Club! Today I'm sharing a excerpt from the gorgeous book, Sea of Shadows! This is book two of Sea and Stone Chronicles.

So let's begin by meeting the book...

1459. A gifted woman artist. A ruthless Scottish privateer. And an audacious plan that throws them together—with dangerous consequences. 

No one on the Greek island of Rhodes suspects Anica is responsible for her Venetian father’s exquisite portraits, least of all her wealthy fiancé. But her father’s vision is failing, and with every passing day it’s more difficult to conceal the truth. 

When their secret is discovered by a powerful knight of the Order of St. John, Anica must act quickly to salvage her father’s honor and her own future. Desperate, she enlists the help of a fierce Scottish privateer named Drummond. Together, they craft a daring plan to restore her father’s sight. 

There’s only one problem—she never imagined falling in love with her accomplice.

Before their plan can unfold, a shocking scandal involving the knights puts Anica’s entire family at risk. Her only hope is to turn to Drummond once again, defying her parents, her betrothed, even the Grand Master of the Knights himself. But can she survive the consequences? 

With this captivating tale of passion, courage, and loyalty, Amy Maroney brings a lost, dazzling world to vivid life.

Sea of Shadows is Book 2 in a series of stand-alone historical novels packed with adventure and romance.

And here's an excerpt to whet your appetite:

Summer, 1459
Rhodes Town

When the three dejected knights had disappeared into the corridor, the grand master returned to his seat.

“All went as planned?” he asked Drummond.

“Yes, Lord de Milly. I turned over the Arab merchants we’d held captive, and the Mamluks were satisfied the men had been treated well. My men and I stayed in the Genoese quarter in Alexandria, and no trouble visited us there. The gold you’d been promised was delivered without incident. All around, it was as peaceful a transfer as I could have hoped for.”

One of the Egyptian merchants he’d exchanged for the knights had arranged a deal with the Order. During his captivity in Rhodes Town, the knights had allowed him to live in an elegant home complete with cook and servants. The chest full of gold Drummond had carried back from Alexandria was payment from the merchant’s family for his lavish treatment.

“Do you bring news from the Sultanate?” 

Drummond thrust a hand into his leather pouch and fished out the letter. He handed it over with another slight bow.

Lord de Milly turned the letter over in his hands, nodding in satisfaction at the unbroken seal. “Excellent. And I’ve been informed that Signor Syriano has returned to his home as well.” 

Drummond nodded. “He was a pleasant companion on the voyage, my lord.”

The grand master’s mouth tightened. “Even though he carries safe-passage papers, I worry each time he journeys east. He’s a valuable asset to the Order. I only let him return to Alexandria and Damascus to get training and supplies that are impossible to obtain here.”

“I’d be happy to accompany him east on his next voyage, Lord de Milly.”

The grand master pulled a small velvet sack from a drawer and tossed it to Drummond. “I wish I had a dozen privateers of your caliber. There are many missions requiring skills that only you seem to have. You’re a seasoned sea captain, your fighting instincts are superb, and you speak—what, a half-dozen languages?” He leaned back in his chair. “I’ve come to expect the highest standards from you, Master Fordun, and I’ve yet to be disappointed. It would be a huge blow to the knights if you were to return to Scotland.”

He put his elbows on the arms of his chair and tented his fingers together, contemplating Drummond with a probing gaze. 

“I’ve no intention of returning to my homeland,” Drummond said brusquely.

“Your family must long for your return.” 

“My life is here. This is where I belong.” Even as he spoke, the lurch of sorrow in his heart pinned Drummond to the floor like a lead weight. The falcon shifted on its perch, opening its wings and beating the air for an instant. It was as if the bird felt his emotions shift and could not help but react.

“You do have a family, do you not?”

Drummond swallowed. “Of course. My father and mother are dead, God rest their souls. But I’ve brothers and sisters left to me.”

Half his pay went home to them, had always done. If he could, he would take the form of a falcon this instant and wing his way back to Scotland. For his family’s sake, though, he would not return—not as a man, a bird, or a puff of wind. With each letter from a sibling, his heart railed wildly against his ribs, throbbing with hope. So far, the words he’d prayed for had not appeared. It was more than ten years since he left Scotland, and he’d almost given up hoping his chance to go back would come. Hope sometimes hurt more than missing home.

“Do not imagine I take you for granted.” The grand master’s voice softened. “I know exactly how valuable you are to the Order. What can I do to show you our gratitude?”

Drummond looked at him in surprise. This was unexpected. The Order had already been extraordinarily generous to him. Asking for more money when he had a bag of gold in his hand seemed greedy. All he could think to do was stall.

“I—I’d like to reflect on it, my lord, if you find that agreeable.”

“As you wish. At the very least, you must join me for a feast at my villa on Saturday. You’ll be quite entertained, I imagine. And you’ll no doubt make some beneficial acquaintances.”

Drummond weighed the sack in his palm and inwardly groaned. The last thing he wanted was to share a table with fancy folk all spewing hot air. He longed for the freedom to spend his scant time off as he wished. But the grand master was king in all but name. To refuse his invitation would be disastrous. For starters, velvet sacks full of gold coins would never come Drummond’s way again.

“That’s generous of you, my lord,” he replied in as polite a tone as he could muster. “I’d be honored.”

You can buy Sea of Shadows from Amazon UK - Amazon US - Amazon CA - Amazon AU

Now, let's meet the author:

Amy Maroney studied English Literature at Boston University and worked for many years as a writer and editor of nonfiction. She lives in Oregon, U.S.A. with her family. When she’s not diving down research rabbit holes, she enjoys hiking, dancing, traveling, and reading. Amy is the author of The Miramonde Series, an award-winning historical fiction trilogy about a Renaissance-era female artist and the modern-day scholar on her trail. Her new historical suspense/romance series, Sea and Stone Chronicles, is set in medieval Rhodes and Cyprus.

You can find Amy on this links:

To follow the rest of the Sea of Shadows tour, click on the banner below:


  1. Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for Sea of Shadows.

    All the best,
    Mary Anne
    The Coffee Pot Book Club

  2. Thank you for hosting Sea of Shadows on the blog today!
    All my best,
    Amy Maroney

  3. You're very welcome! I hope the tour was a great success!


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