Promo: Skull's Vengeance by Linnea Tanner

I'm thrilled to share with you a gripping excerpt from Skull's Vengeance, by historical fiction and fantasy writer, Linnea Tanner. I've not had the pleasure of reading Linnea's novels yet, but Skull's Vengeance sounds like a fantastic adventure.

It's currently on blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club, so make sure to check out all the other interesting stops here.

Skull’s Vengeance

Curse of Clansmen and Kings

Linnea Tanner


Chapter 12 Imperator Tiberius Caesar
Island of Capri, 12 May, 28 AD
Marcellus gazed at the massive villa on top of the sheer cliffs as the ferry-boat approached the Island of Capri. Beside him were Ferrex and Negasi, who had accompanied him as his bodyguards on the three-day journey to Capua by horseback. Ferrex had talked nonstop, speaking in Celtic to Negasi, on the morning boat trip. The Ethiopian said very little but often chuckled. From the sarcastic tone of voice, Marcellus surmised they were mocking him. Though he still felt uneasy being with the gladiators, he had a greater appreciation for why Catrin had recruited them as her commanders.
On the Appian Way to Capua, they had rescued Marcellus from what appeared to be a kidnapping attempt. The skilled gladiators fought off four heavily armed men who accosted Marcellus in the middle of the day. Not sure who the assailants were, Marcellus felt unsettled. He didn’t know if his stomach was queasy from the motion of the undulating ship or from his anticipation of meeting Tiberius.
“Are you ready to toss your morning meal?” Ferrex jested, wearing a lopsided smirk. “You look as white as those cliffs.”
“No!” Marcellus snapped.
“Rough waves today,” Negasi remarked. “Hope it is calmer on our way back.”
“Nervous about the meeting?” Ferrex interjected with a smug grin. “I would be if I were you. The emperor lives in a palace fit for a god.”
“He is a god in Rome. He personifies Jupiter,” Marcellus admitted. 
“Then you are ready to puke your guts out,” Ferrex said, jabbing Marcellus in the side. Marcellus gagged and leaned over the boat’s rail to vomit the sour contents of the moldy cheese he had eaten for breakfast.
“Feel better now?” Ferrex quipped. “It always does, particularly before a battle.”
Both bodyguards’ laughter pounded into Marcellus’s ears as he tried to balance himself against the rail. 
The gladiators chortled even harder.
Feeling dizzy, Marcellus stumbled into Negasi’s broad chest, who steadied him as the boat docked in the harbor.
Still sick to his stomach, Marrock disembarked on the ship’s plank, with Negasi and Ferrex behind him. Waiting onshore were four armed members from the Praetorian Guard who greeted them.
Marcellus showed his credentials and the letter of introduction by Matron Antonia to the commanding officer. “I am Marcellus Antonius. Tiberius Caesar accepted my petition to speak with him today.”
The stern-faced guard inspected the document, then wrote something on a wax tablet with a stylus. “All documents seem in order,” he said, then regarded Negasi and Ferrex. “Who are the two men with you?”
“My bodyguards,” Marcellus clarified.
“They can escort you to the Villa Jovis, but only you will be presented to Tiberius Caesar,” the commanding officer demanded.
Marcellus nodded his agreement.
The praetorian officer pointed to the cliffside. “My guards will take you up those stairs to the main floor of the villa.”
The stone stairs along the sheer cliff looked like those used by the gods to ascend to the heavens, isolating themselves from the mortals. Dreading the steep climb with an upset stomach, Marcellus took a deep breath and clutched his abdomen. Breathing hard, he struggled to keep pace with Ferrex, who bounded on the stairs like a lion after his prey. Negasi stayed a short distance behind Marcellus. As they ascended the stairs, the surrounding countryside transformed into a lush landscape of streams and woods.
“Look at that,” Ferrex said, pointing at a meandering stream. “It looks like a man with goat legs.”
Marcellus caught sight of what appeared to be a satyr chasing a nymph across a stream in the distance. He asked himself if this was where Roman power truly lay. On a mythical island away from Rome? Then, his mind suddenly shifted to the disturbing discussion he’d had with his father about how Augustus had forced him to witness Iullus Antonius’s suicide before exiling him to Gaul. His father had hoped to gain Augustus’s favor by rising politically in the imperial family, but he instead suffered the consequences of his father’s sins throughout his life.
Will I suffer the same fate by appealing directly to Tiberius and over-stepping Sejanus?


A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.
AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent's stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin's head.
To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin's cause.
Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellus outmaneuver political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?
Trigger warnings:
Sex, Slave trafficking and abuse, Violence, Childbirth

Praise for Linnea Tanner
Acclaim for other books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series:
"[An] epic tale of love, betrayal and political intrigue." —InD'tale Magazine
"The requisite fantasy elements of magic and mystery abound...Tanner also does an admirable job weaving in the politics and mythology of a bygone people." —Kirkus
"Part fantasy, part historical fiction, Linnea Tanner has woven together a wonderful tale of romance, intrigue, mystery, and legend to create an entertaining and complex story." —The International Review of Books
"[A] captivating tale of triangles; love, lust and espionage; friend, foe, and spies; barbarians, civilized Rome and spiritual-supernatural beings." —2019 Pencraft Book of the Year Award


Buy Links:
Amazon UK:
Amazon US:
Amazon CA:
Amazon AU:
Barnes and Noble:
Buy Links for Books from Curse of Clansmen and Kings series:
Apollo’s Raven:

Dagger’s Destiny:
Amulet’s Rapture:

Skull’s Vengeance:

About the Author:

Linnea Tanner

Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical druids.

Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include Apollo’s Raven (Book 1), Dagger’s Destiny (Book 2), Amulet’s Rapture (Book 3), and Skull’s Vengeance (Book 4).

A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.


  1. Thank you, Cathie, for hosting the blog tour for Skull's Vengeance and for supporting me as an author.


Post a Comment