Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Review Tour and Giveaway: Soil and Ceremony by Julia Byrd

Soil and Ceremony
by Julia Byrd


GENRE:   Gothic romance



A history of loss and a terrible stammer have led gravedigger Benjamin Hood to a life of isolation.

When a rash of untimely deaths sweeps through his small English village, he cannot stand by in silence. To uncover the truth about the lives lost, he takes up a long-neglected role of responsibility among the townspeople.

As Benjamin questions the victims' families, he finds that beautiful widow Juno Stephens has preceded him in each case. She makes no secret of her odd midnight ceremonies and dark powers of persuasion. The villagers are whispering about a woman bearing a lethal hex.

Is Juno the source of danger in the village, or a victim of it? Benjamin must resist her beguiling ways and decide if he can trust her...until another death sets his smoldering worries ablaze.



“N-no. T-this is n-not a cure, it’s n-nothing.”

“Say my name,” urged Mrs. Stephens. “My name is not nothing, I promise you. There is power in it. There is strength in those things to which we assign strength.”


But somehow, I heard ‘no’ with no slur or stutter. The initial tripping consonant was still there, as real as the trampled grass below my feet, but I didn’t mind the sound that emerged. I focused only on the perfect, spherical word I intended to say, and my voice vibrated in the cool, clammy air. What had she done to me?

“Say my name.”


“I want to hear my name in your voice.”

Her whispered command was too seductive to resist. I raised a hand to my head, scrubbed at my hair. “Mrs. Stephens.”

“Not that part. That’s another man’s name.”

Infernal woman. Stubborn, demanding, witchy creature. “Mrs. Juno Stephens.”

“Too much.”

“Juno!” I shouted, raised my arms to the sky, then let them fall. “Goddess of Rome, protector of women. Juno.”

My voice was flawless, deep, rolling, and aggravated. Exactly how I have always sounded inside my own head. It was the true sound of the internal voice I had heard when I wrote those notes to her. Could they possibly hear me as I heard myself?

Juno curtsied. “At your service.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Julia lives and writes in Chicago with her handsome dog and scruffy husband. She tells people she enjoys books, wine, baking, and architecture as plausible cover for her secret double life.

Soil and Ceremony is available FREE to members of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program and the book is on sale for only $0.99.


Julia Byrd will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


August 27: A Chick Who Reads
September 3: Iron Canuck
September 3: Renee Wildes Weblog
September 10: Locks, Hooks and Books
September 10: Kit 'N Kabookle

My Review

Soil and Ceremony is my first introduction to Julia Byrd’s writing. It will not be the last. I thought this book was great. It has a mixture of mystery, history, and suspense, as well as, adventure and action. I was intrigued from start to finish. 

I am giving Soil and Ceremony four stars. I would love to read more by Miss Byrd in the future. I recommend this one for readers who enjoy exciting, suspense filled historical fiction. 

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion. 

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  1. Good Morning! Thank you for the book description.These tours are great and we have found some terrific books so thanks so  much.

  2. Great review, sounds like my kind of book!

  3. I love the cover. The colors are beautiful.

  4. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

  5. I read Julia's Gray Places, so I really am looking forward to this book.

  6. i love this reivew and great title to your book