Thursday, November 8, 2018

Giveaway Winner: The Gown by Jennifer Robson

Thank you to all who entered to win a signed copy of The Gown by Jennifer Robson


Big congrats to:  

Colleen T.


Stayed tuned later on this month when I will be hosting giveaways for signed copies of:

The Huntress by Kate Quinn (ARC)

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Spotlight: A Torch in His Heart by Anna Belfrage

A Torch in His Heart by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: August 31, 2018
Timelight Press
eBook & Paperback 514 Pages
Series: The Wanderer, Book One
Genre: Romance/Erotica/Paranormal

In the long lost ancient past, two men fought over the girl with eyes like the Bosporus under a summer sky. It ended badly. She died. They died. Since then, they have all tumbled through time, reborn over and over again. Now they are all here, in the same place, the same time and what began so long ago must finally come to an end. Ask Helle Madsen what she thinks about reincarnation and she’ll laugh in your face. Besides, Helle has other stuff to handle, what with her new, exciting job in London and her drop-dead but seriously sinister boss, Sam Woolf. And then one day Jason Morris walks into her life and despite never having clapped eyes on him before, she recognises him immediately. Very weird. Even more weird is the fact that Sam and Jason clearly hate each other’s guts. Helle’s life is about to become extremely complicated and far too exciting.

Available on Amazon

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with three absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. (Medieval knight was also high on Anna’s list of potential professions. Yet another disappointment…) With Jason and Helle, Anna has stepped out of her historical comfort zone and has loved doing so.

Find out more about Anna by visiting her website, www.annabelfrage.com,

 You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads.
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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of A Torch in His Heart! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to residents INTERNATIONALLY. – 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. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

  A Torch in His Heart


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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Review: Girls on the Line: by Aimie K. Runyan

From the celebrated author of Daughters of the Night Sky comes a stirring novel inspired by the courage, dedication, and love of the unsung heroines of the Great War.

 December 1917. As World War I rages in Europe, twenty-four-year-old Ruby Wagner, the jewel in a prominent Philadelphia family, prepares for her upcoming wedding to a society scion. Like her life so far, it’s all been carefully arranged. But when her beloved older brother is killed in combat, Ruby follows her heart and answers the Army Signal Corps’ call for women operators to help overseas.

As one of the trailblazing “Hello Girls” deployed to war-torn France, Ruby must find her place in the military strata, fight for authority and respect among the Allied soldiers, and forge a victory for the cause. But balancing service to country becomes even more complicated by a burgeoning relationship with army medic Andrew Carrigan.

What begins as a friendship forged on the front lines soon blossoms into something more, forcing Ruby to choose between the conventions of a well-ordered life back home, and the risk of an unknown future.

Kindle Edition, 368 pages 
Expected publication: November 6th 2018 
by Lake Union Publishing
****

Aimie K. Runyan has become one of my go-to authors when it comes to historical fiction off the beaten track.  Those women of history that left marks we rarely heard about in history class.  She researches and writes compelling stories that educate me at the same time as keeping me captivated, plus you can feel her passion for the story in her telling.

Girls on the Line takes place in World War 1 and told from the POV of Ruby a young woman wanting to do her part (reasons I won't divulge) and not states side but in France.  Her journey across the ocean is more than just a change of location but an inner journey of self-discovery, of self-worth and discovering who she is.  There is much she must overcome and it isn't an easy trek. 

Girls on the Line is a story of friendship, duty, trust, and family, with some love mixed in. The telling had me right in the action feeling the heartache and struggles taking place.

'...success is usually pretending you're capable of doing something until you are.'

I received an e-arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


 click on the cover to take you my review



Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Spotlight and Giveaway: A Different Kind of Fire by Suanne Schafer

A Different Kind of Fire by Suanne Schafer

Publication Date: November 1, 2018
Waldorf Publishing
Paperback & AudioBook
Genre: Historical Fiction

Ruby Schmidt has the talent, the drive, even the guts to enroll in art school, leaving behind her childhood home and the beau she always expected to marry. Her life at the Academy seems heavenly at first, but she soon learns that societal norms in the East are as restrictive as those back home in West Texas. Rebelling against the insipid imagery woman are expected to produce, Ruby embraces bohemian life. Her burgeoning sexuality drives her into a life-long love affair with another woman and into the arms of an Italian baron. With the Panic of 1893, the nation spirals into a depression, and Ruby’s career takes a similar downward trajectory. After thinking she could have it all, Ruby, now pregnant and broke, returns to Texas rather than join the queues at the neighborhood soup kitchen. She discovers her life back home is as challenging as that in Philadelphia. A Different Kind of Fire depicts one woman’s battle to balance husband, family, career, and ambition. Torn between her childhood sweetheart, her forbidden passion for another woman, the nobleman she had to marry, and becoming a renowned painter, Ruby’s choices mold her in ways she could never have foreseen.

Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | BookBub | Waldorf Publishing




Suanne Schafer, born in West Texas at the height of the Cold War, finds it ironic that grade school drills for tornadoes and nuclear war were the same: hide beneath your desk and kiss your rear-end goodbye. Now a retired family-practice physician whose only child has fledged the nest, her pioneer ancestors and world travels fuel her imagination. She originally planned to write romances, but either as a consequence of a series of failed relationships or a genetic distrust of happily ever-after, her heroines are strong women who battle tough environments and intersect with men who might—or might not—love them.

Suanne completed the Stanford University Creative Writing Certificate program. Her short works have been featured in print and on-line magazines and anthologies. Her debut women’s fiction novel, A Different Kind of Fire, explores the life of Ruby Schmidt, a nineteenth century artist who escapes—and returns—to West Texas. Suanne’s next book explores the heartbreak and healing of an American physician caught up in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away A Fiery Bookish Prize Pack, including a literary scarf, beaded velvet bookmark, a copy of A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE & $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to readers in the US 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. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Price of Compassion by A.B. Michaels

The Price of Compassion by A.B. Michaels

Publication Date: August 27, 2018
Red Trumpet Press
eBook; 296 Pages
Series: Golden City, Book #4
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

April 18, 1906. San Francisco has just been shattered by a massive earthquake and is in the throes of an even more deadly fire. During the chaos, gifted surgeon Tom Justice makes a life-changing decision that wreaks havoc on his body, mind, and spirit. Leaving the woman he loves, he embarks on a quest to regain his sanity and self-worth. Yet just when he finds some answers, he’s arrested for murder—a crime he may very well be guilty of. The facts of the case are troubling; they’ll have you asking the question: “Is he guilty?” Or even worse…”What would I have done?”

"[The Price of Compassion] is chock-full of details about California in the earliest part of the 20th century, and it showcases the rampant prejudice against Chinese immigrants that pervaded the West Coast during the period. In accessible and absorbing prose, the author also describes the arcane medical practices of the era [with] a sufficient number of high stakes moments to keep the tale suspenseful and engaging throughout. [It's] a well-thought-out legal drama, full of intrigue and duplicity." -Kirkus Reviews

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


A native of northern California, A.B. Michaels earned masters' degrees in history and broadcasting, and worked for many years in public relations and marketing. Now that she's an empty nester, she has time to write the kinds of stories she loves to read. Her historical series, "The Golden City," follows characters who make their way in turn of the twentieth century San Francisco. "I love creating flawed characters I can relate to, who have to make difficult choices, and who long for happiness like the rest of us. So much was happening in the early 1900's that help shape my novels. Once I tear myself away from the underlying research, they are fascinating stories to write."

Currently, Ms. Michaels lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband and two furry creatures who are unclear on the concept that they are just dogs. In addition to writing, she loves to read and travel. A dabbler in fabric art, she also plays bocce in a summer league. Her latest stand-alone novel, "The Price of Compassion," is Book Four of the "Golden City" series. It's scheduled for release this summer and will be followed by Book Five, "Josephine's Daughter."

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


click on banner for more stops on this tour


Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US residents 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. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Price of Compassion

Monday, October 29, 2018

Cover Reveal: At the Mountain's Edge by Genevieve Graham

I am so excited to be part of this cover reveal.  Canadian Historical Fiction is my thing and Genevieve Graham has a passion for the history of this great country and it shines through in her writing.  

Coming Spring of 2019

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
At The Mountain's Edge

From bestselling author, Genevieve Graham comes a sweeping new historical novel of love, tragedy, and redemption set during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush.

 In 1897, the discovery of gold in the desolate reaches of the Yukon has the world abuzz with excitement, and thousands of prospectors swarm to the north seeking riches the likes of which have never been seen before.

 For Liza Peterson and her family, the gold rush is a chance for them to make a fortune by moving their general store business from Vancouver to Dawson City, the only established town in the Yukon. For Constable Ben Turner, a recent recruit of the North-West Mounted Police, upholding the law in a place overrun with guns, liquor, prostitutes, and thieves is an opportunity to escape a dark past and become the man of integrity he has always wanted to be. But the long, difficult journey over icy mountain passes and whitewater rapids is much more treacherous than Liza or Ben imagined, and neither is completely prepared for the forbidding north.

As Liza’s family nears the mountain’s peak, a catastrophe strikes with fatal consequences, and not even the NWMP can help. Alone and desperate, Liza finally reaches Dawson City, only to find herself in a different kind of peril. Meanwhile, Ben, wracked with guilt over the accident on the trail, sees the chance to make things right. But just as love begins to grow, new dangers arise, threatening to separate the couple forever.

Inspired by history as rich as the Klondike’s gold, At the Mountain’s Edge is an epic tale of romance and adventure about two people who must let go of the past not only to be together, but also to survive.




Preordering is now available






Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review: Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and the choices that will open her life to the possibility of heartbreak—and unimaginable greatness.

 Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother has dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables with her brother, Matthew and father, Hugh. In Avonlea—a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island—life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress has allowed her to build a thriving business and make her own way in the world.

 Emboldened by her aunt, Marilla dares to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia that secretly serves as a way station for runaway slaves from America. Her budding romance with John Blythe, the charming son of a neighbor, offers her a possibility of future happiness—Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. Now Marilla must face a reckoning between her dreams of making a difference in the wider world and the small-town reality of life at Green Gables.

Kindle, 320 pages
Published October 23rd 2018
by William Morrow
****

What was Green Gables like before Anne showed up? How did it get the name Green Gables? Sarah McCoy answers these questions and more.  This is my second book by McCoy, The Mapmaker’s Children being my first.

It’s a gutsy move if you ask me to dive into the well-loved world of Green Gables. People adore Anne, Prince Edward Island is a favorited holiday destination for many fans and the following is enormous. But what about Matthew and Marilla, wouldn’t it be great to know their story? That’s exactly what the author did here.

The story of Marilla, Green Gables, and Matthew, told in a voice true to the feel of Anne's stories and I really enjoyed reading it.  I was transported to Avonlea with its charm, traditions and enticing scenery.  Told from Marilla's point of view, and beginning when she is only 13 years old, I was able to connect and watch her grow.  Life wasn't easy during that time period as political strife affected this little island also.  What I loved also was St. Catharines being the home for Aunt Izzy, that's where I live (well really close) and the historical elements here have me looking into the local history.

I loved the author's note at the end, what prompted her to write this book, the research and respect she paid to the community and legacy of Anne are evident.

Definitely a book I recommend to fans of Anne of Green Gables and even those that aren't (I'll confess I've only read the first book in series).  Thanks to the publisher for an advanced copy (via Edelweiss) in exchange for honest review.

click on cover for my review

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Giveaway: Signed ARC of The Gown by Jennifer Robson

Last month I had the awesome opportunity to share High Tea in Toronto with the talented Jennifer Robson where I received an ARC of her new book The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding.

Courtesy of Harper Collins Canada I have an ARC to give to one of my lucky readers.  I am saving my copy for a holiday in 2 weeks time.  If you haven't read any Jennifer Robson books, you are missing out.

Scroll down to bottom of this post for entry details. 



From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.

Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel.”—Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding.

 London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

 Paperback, 400 pages 
Expected publication: December 31st 2018 
by William Morrow Paperbacks

Open to those in Canada/USA/Europe. Must respond within 48 hours of receiving my email (remember I am going on vacation).


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 15, 2018

Review: Escape From the Tower (The Royal Rabbits of London #2) by Santa Montefiore, Simon Sebag Montefiore

‘Packed with fun, fantasy and the sort of adventure guaranteed to have sticky little fingers hungrily turning the pages’ The Mail on Sunday

 Life is an adventure. Anything in the world is possible – by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet nose and a slice of mad courage!

 Little Shylo Tawny-Tail is proud to call himself one of the Royal Rabbits of London, a secret order who live under Buckingham Palace and fight evil across the world. But high up in London’s famous skyscraper, the Shard, the horrible Ratzis are plotting to cause chaos during a visit from the President of the United States. And when the Grand Burrow is attacked and Shylo is kidnapped, it looks as though they might just manage it! Can Shylo escape in time to save the day?

The Hobbit meets Fantastic Mr Fox meets Watership Down in this bestselling series from Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore, which proves even the smallest rabbit can be the biggest hero. Featuring illustrations throughout by award-winning illustrator Kate Hindley.

PRAISE FOR THE ROYAL RABBITS OF LONDON: ‘The Royal Rabbits of London is sweet, funny and beautifully illustrated' The Times ‘Enchanting….Kate Hindley’s illustrations are a treat’ The Lady

Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 21st 2017
by Simon Schuster Children's UK
****
"Life is an adventure and anything in the world is possible - by will and by luck, a moist carrot, a wet nose and a slice of mad courage."
It was through searching for more Santa Mortefiore books that I discovered this series for middle grade and younger (even older). 

Call this a short and sweet review.  Perfect for the targeted audience with adventure and suspense.  The illustrations were great connecting the reader and characters.  You are stronger than you think, courageous when you don't feel like it.  Yea not just a good story but good morals for little ones.


click on cover for my 'short and sweet' review

Monday, October 8, 2018

Audio Review: The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.

For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.

For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public's disdain for a "woman artist." Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded--even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter--Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they'll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay's life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece--an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.

Audiobook - 11 hours, 43 minutes
 Published August 7th 2018
by Penguin Audio
****

This is my second book by Fiona Davis, her previous The Address was a favorite from 2017.  Rich in detail and history with a writing style I loved, she took a part of New York City's history and brought it to life.  I was excited when I saw she was taking on another part of the city, the Grand Central Terminal in The Masterpiece.

I opted for the audio version this time, Cassandra Campbell was the reader and if you know audiobooks then you know she is a great reader, one of my favorites.  I borrowed via Scribd.

I love when a book opens my eyes to parts of history I know nothing about, this time around I learned about Grand Central Terminal (not Station). The bid to demolish this landmark, the School of Art and what an icon it was.  A dual time period story beginning in 1928 just before the Great Depression, when women couldn't succeed at 'men's jobs'.  When the struggle to have a career and succeed in a man's world was next to impossible.   Jumping ahead to 1974 life was still tough for women and a divorced one to boot was even harder.  Both these women, Clara and Virginia struggled but they were strong and had a passion for life. It wasn't hard to feel for them both, to be their cheerleaders and even shake my head at some of the decisions made. 

Both storylines were interesting, usually I enjoy one over the other (the past because of its history) but this time it was an equal liking.  Both had the historical facts I enjoy as well as the mysterious elements drawing the plots together.  While there was a little predictability it didn't take away from my enjoyment.

Definitely a book and author I recommend.

click on cover to take you to my review