Wanders Far

Blog Tour and Review

Wanders Far
by David Fitz-Gerald

Publication Date: May 11, 2019
Outskirts Press
eBook, Paperback, AudioBook; 197 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Wanders Far lived in dangerous times and was faced with one difficult challenge after another. He was a skinny, quiet boy who was raised on the banks of a tributary of New York State’s Mohawk River, hundreds of years before colonists arrived. One lifetime was not enough for Wanders Far’s old soul.

From a very young age, his wanderlust compelled him down one path after another. No village could contain him.

He was happy living a simple life in the physical world during challenging times. The spirit world had other plans.

A wise, enigmatic shaman mentored Wanders Far and helped him cultivate the supernatural visions that haunted him. His guide could only help him so far.

He set out to become a runner, carrying important messages across the lands of his people and their enemies. He ended up fulfilling a much greater destiny than he ever imagined.

“This engrossing, well-written novel tells the story of a pivotal moment in Iroquois history through a well-traveled protagonist.” – Kirkus Reviews

Watch the Book Trailer HERE

This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the Author,

Wanders Far-an Unlikely Hero’s Journey – Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series

David Fitz-Gerald, has written a thought provoking early American historical fiction. The story spans from the year 1125 through about 1192. Rich in Imagery, the author has given us a glimpse into life among the the native people of North America, hundreds of years before Europeans Colonist reached its shores. An intriguing storyline with well developed characters. Wonderful atmospheric details, that catapult you into the struggle and hardships of the natives. The setting takes place in what is now the Adirondack’s mountain range, in upstate New York.

Wonders Far, is name given to the main protagonist in the story. In the beginning of the story we are introduced to this precocious young boy who has been with gifted talents that he will use throughout the book. His mother is the tribal leader, Bear Fat.

It is a traditional matriarchal family with his mother at the head but with all members working together in unity. Wanders Far, has wanderlust and curiosity that will send him down many different paths. He become a runner early carrying important messages across the lands of his people and their enemies. Encountering the elements along wild animals. This is a coming of an age story we see him grow through trials and tribulations to marriage and his spiritual beliefs.

An enjoyable well crafted novel of early American historical fiction that I really enjoyed immensely.

Captivated and enduring characters, that you can easily feel connected to, and they kept me engaged throughout their struggles. The heartwarming sense of family and enduring family ties. The author has done a great job in making the characters well fleshed out. I was completely captivated and fully immersed in adventures tale.

Fitz-Gerald, has an intriguing written an engaging and thought provoking story, that gives a glimpse into the traditions, culture of the people, their crafts. I enjoyed learning about the others tribes and their sophisticated government as well.

There are some dramatic scenes, and tribal warfare, along with great adventures that made for a non stop read and had me glued to the pages. The author has meticulously blended historical, spiritual, along with adventurous elements. I am highly anticipating the next book in the this series

If you enjoyed the stories about Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse or Geronimo, then Wanders Far is a definite must read for you.

Thank you @hfvbt for the spot in this tour.

The Iroquois Confederacy was comprised of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca tribes it had sophisticated governments and societies.

The Mohawk were Kanyengehaga, or “people of the place of the flint.”

The Oneida were Oneyotdehaga, or “people of the standing stone.”

The Onondaga were Onontaga, or “on the mountain.”

The Cayuga were Gayokwehonu, or “where they land the boats.”

The Seneca were Onondewagaono, or “great hills people.”

About the Author

After a chaotic day as a business person, Dave enjoys getting lost in the settings he imagines and spending time with the characters he creates. Writing historical fiction is like making paintings of the past. He loves to weave fact and fiction together, stirring in action, adventure, romance, and a heavy dose of the supernatural with the hope of transporting the reader to another time and place. He is an Adirondack 46-er, which means he has hiked all of the highest peaks in New York State, so it should not be surprising when Dave attempts to glorify hikers as swashbuckling superheroes in his writing.

Wanders Far—An Unlikely Hero’s Journey is the first in a series of books in the Adirondack Spirit Series.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Instagram

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 2
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews

Thursday, September 5
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, September 9
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, September 10
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Monday, September 16
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Friday, September 20
Feature at Coffee and Ink

Monday, September 23
Review at Nursebookie

Wednesday, September 25
Review & Excerpt at Just Another Reader

Friday, September 27
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Monday, September 30
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, October 4
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, October 9
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Monday, October 14
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 17
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Monday, October 21
Review at Jessica Belmont
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Saturday, October 26
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, October 28
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Giveaway

Giveaway
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Wanders Far and a $50 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Wanders Far

– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Embed Code: Wanders Far

Direct Link: https://gleam.io/competitions/X5kgH-wanders-far

A lady Never Tells

Book Tour and Giveaway

A Lady Never Tells
by Lynn Winchester

Publication Date: September 23, 2019
Entangled Publishing
eBook, 368 pages

Series: Women of Daring, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

 #LynnWinchester #HFVBTBlogTours

Richard Downing may be a viscount of impeccable character, but he’s bored beyond belief of dancing at balls, faking smiles, and making dull conversation. So when he stumbles upon a house maid with defiance in her striking blue eyes and a dagger hidden in her skirts…well, color him intrigued.

Raised with a rather…peculiar upbringing, Lady Victoria Daring is full of secrets and surprises. As part of His Majesty’s personal homeland spy network and as a master of disguises, Vic is charged with infiltrating high society to uncover the enemies hiding in plain sight.

But Richard is the first man to see through her disguises–and infiltrate deep into her heart. Too bad his family is at the top of her list of suspects…

Hi everyone! Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of , A Lady Never Tells, which is being hosted by HFBT

This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Lynn Winchester new novel, A Lady Never Tells, is the first installment in a brand new Regency Series. Ms. Winchester has written an absolutely charming and enchanting novel.

Victoria {Vic} Daring, is not your typical lady of the Regency period, and her family’s business is very unconventional to say the least.

Trained in espionage and intrigue. All of Darings from father and her charming sisters Honoria and Verity, are part of a spy network trying to reveal the men or women hiding behind masks in the House of Cards Society. Their mission, spy on people responsible for smuggling and any crimes against the Crown of England.

Victoria is a master in disguises for the Imperial Espionage Home Office. A Historical Romance set in 1817, from Zhejiang, China and quickly moves to London where she and her siblings have taken a position, as part of “Operation Imperial Twilight”

During one of those missions, she is almost discovered by a dashing viscount named Richard Downing. Meeting Richard only complicates things. While trying to gather gather evidence, Richard is becoming an obstacle. More importantly his family is on list of people to be investigated. Victoria has made a definite impression. She is not an ordinary lady of high birth, she enjoys fencing and she is full of surprises. How will Richard react when if out about Victoria double life.

Ms Winchester, delivers a fast-paced, amusing, and well-written read here that had the perfect mix of humour, romantic moments, and suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the relationship between Victoria and Richard grow and thought that they the had great chemistry. The supporting cast was also great and complimented the dynamics of the storyline extremely well. The book is both Intriguing, and entertaining , a fabulous representation of a storyline. The author has set up the creative ending that is perfect for the next in the series.

I adored this extremely engrossing, enjoyable & entertaining book right from the very start and had me engaged and at some parts laughing. Victoria is an unforgettable heroine and I excited to read the next in this captivating delightful series.

Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

and the Author, Lynn Winchester

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

About the Author

Lynn Winchester is the pseudonym of a hardworking California-born conservative, now living in the wilds of Northeast Pennsylvania. Lynn has been writing fiction since the 5th grade, and enjoys creating worlds, characters, and stories for her readers.

When Lynn isn’t writing she is running a successful editing business, reading whatever she can get her hands on, raising her four children, making sure her husband is happy, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 24
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Wednesday, September 25
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, September 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Monday, September 30
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, October 2
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Sunday, October 6
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 9
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, October 10
Review at Coffee and Ink

Friday, October 11
Review at Spooky’s Maze Of Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away an eBook of A Lady Never Tells by Lynn Winchester! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Giveaway is open to the US only.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

A Lady Never Tells

 

The First Lady and the Rebel by Susan Higginbotham

Blog Tour and Giveaway#TheFirstLadyandtheRebel #SusanHigginbotham #HFVBTBlogTour

The First Lady and the Rebel
by Susan Higginbotham

Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Sourcebooks Landmark
eBook & Paperback; 400 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

From the celebrated author Susan Higginbotham

comes the incredible story of Lincoln’s First Lady

A Union’s First Lady
As the Civil War cracks the country in two, Mary Lincoln stands beside her husband praying for a swift Northern victory. But as the body count rises, Mary can’t help but fear each bloody gain. Because her beloved sister Emily is across party lines, fighting for the South, and Mary is at risk of losing both her country and her family in the tides of a brutal war.

A Confederate Rebel’s Wife
Emily Todd Helm has married the love of her life. But when her husband’s southern ties pull them into a war neither want to join, she must make a choice. Abandon the family she has built in the South or fight against the sister she has always loved best.

With a country’s legacy at stake, how will two sisters shape history?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters | IndieBound

Praise

“Historical fiction at it best: A unique, intimate view of a character we thought we knew. The Civil War comes to life through two sisters on opposite sides, one the first lady of the not-so United States. And through it all, a fascinating family saga. I learned a lot and loved this book.” – Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of American Duchess

“Susan Higginbotham’s The First Lady and the Rebel is a meticulously researched and powerfully written account of the complicated and compelling relationship between the Todd sisters. Higginbotham’s two female protagonists are bonded by blood and love, but pulled apart by war. Set against the sweeping backdrop of our nation’s Civil War, this is the tragic and true story of human hearts both fierce and fallible, of deeply mixed loyalties, and of the imperfect but inspiring individuals who were asked to do the unimaginable. Moving and enlightening.” – Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress

“Susan Higginbotham has done it again-crafted a richly detailed novel that immerses readers in America’s Civil War. The First Lady and the Rebel explores the tragic story of a family and a nation torn apart, while shedding light on rarely reported events in the personal life of Abraham Lincoln. Mary Todd Lincoln, the President’s wife, and her sister, Emily Todd Helm, are devoted to their husbands and to each other, yet find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict as they face overwhelming grief and loss. The novel presents a devastating time and place rendered so vividly you’ll feel as if you’d lived through the war yourself. Higginbotham’s painstaking and extensive research is evident from the engaging first chapter to the novel’s moving conclusion. For those who like their historical novels based on real people, this book is a must-read.” – Amy Belding Brown, author of Flight of the Sparrow

This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Sourcebooks And the Author.

@S_Higginbotham @hfvbt @ Sourcebooks

The First Lady and the Rebel is award-winning author Susan Higginbotham’s, latest novel. A captivating and powerful book that captures the sisterly relationship of Mary Todd Lincoln and her sister, Emily Todd Helm, wife of a Confederate general.

The author has created a compelling dual narration, that gives us an intimate look into the lives of two of the most notable woman in civil war history.

1839, Mary Todd travels from her home in Lexington, Ky., for an extended visit with her married sister, Elizabeth Edwards, in Springfield, Ill. Elizabeth’s house drew everyone of of importance in Springfield. A luxurious mansion, that held Sunday parties where the best educated society of Springfield gathered.

A chance encounter with a quiet and reserved gentlemen Mr Abraham Lincoln, He captures Mary’s attention right from the start with his intellectual face. Mary’s passion for politics and her unladylike ways of saying what she thought. Seeks every opportunity to engage Mr Lincoln. After the on again off again dramatics the two eventually do marry.

Soon after Mr. Abraham Lincoln is elected president, The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 caused seven southern states to secede and form the Confederate States of America. With impending war just on the horizon Mr Lincoln extends an offer of Union Army Paymaster to his brother-in-law, Hardin Helm, who is married to Mary’s younger sister, Emily. Hardin declines the job and offers his services to Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States, where he was initially a colonel and later promoted to brigadier general. Helm commanded the 1st Kentucky Brigade.

Like so many torn families during The Civil War the Todd sisters were divided my family and state-loyalties along with moral and politics beliefs. Steadfast in their loyalty to their husbands, who both become tragic victims to the war. The once close relationship the sisters shared is shattered and broken as War rages through the country. This immensely character driven book, I enjoyed every page in this richly detailed period piece of historical fiction . The author skillfully leads the reader right from the first page all the way through to end heart rendering ending.

Emily Todd Hardin along with her children, like so many dedicated woman, became nomadic, moving from one encampment to another in constant fear that her husband would be wounded or killed in battle.

This was a perfect read for me. Both historical true and well researched. Higginbotham, once again delivers in immersive and deeply moving novel.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Emily Todd Hardin

About the Author

Susan Higginbotham is the author of seven historical novels, including Hanging Mary, The Stolen Crown, and The Queen of Last Hopes. The Traitor’s Wife, her first novel, was the winner of ForeWord Magazine’s 2005 Silver Award for historical fiction and was a Gold Medalist, Historical/Military Fiction, 2008 Independent Publisher Book wards. She writes her own historical fiction blog, History Refreshed. Higginbotham has worked as an editor and an attorney, and lives in Maryland with her family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 1
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, October 2
Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, October 3
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction

Friday, October 4
Review at Donna’s Book Blog

Saturday, October 5
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, October 7
Review at Hooked on Books
Interview at Reading the Past

Tuesday, October 8
Review at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, October 9
Review at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, October 10
Review at Unabridged Chick

Friday, October 11
Interview at Unabridged Chick
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, October 12
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, October 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, October 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The First Lady and the Rebel! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The First Lady and the Rebel

Madam In Silk

Book Tour

#GiniGrossenbacher #HFVBTBlogTours

@GGrossenbacher @hfvbt  

Madam in Silk

By Gini Grossenbacher

Publication Date: July 15, 2019
JGKS Press
eBook & Paperback; 476 Pages

Series: The American Madams, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction.

 

San Francisco,1849. Despite her objections, twenty-year-old Ah Toy and her servant Chen voyage from China to San Francisco with her husband who dies on board ship. With little cash and bound feet, how is she to find employment in the Gold Rush town? Since she is the only Chinese woman there, she opens a “Lookee Shop,” catering to miners who pay in gold dust to see her exotic beauty. As her notoriety grows, so does her attraction to the devoted policeman, John Clark. Yet should she put her faith in one man? Will their love survive despite her frightening encounter with Sydney Ducks, threats from rival madam Li Fan, and a tempting offer from Henry Conrad who promises her wealth and security? Armed with her mystical beliefs of the inner dragon and Goddess Mazu, Ah Toy faces much more than the journey from the ancient ways in China to the new world in America. In fact, she must find the true source of courage in a life or death struggle for her own fate, justice, and dignity. Based on page-turning accounts about the life of Ah Toy, one of San Francisco’s most legendary madams.

“Readers were effusive in their praise of Gini Grossenbacher’s dynamic debut novel Madam of My Heart, based on the life of the infamous brothel owner Belle Cora. This, the prequel to her American Madams Series, is inspired by the life of a beautiful young Chinese woman of high birth brought to California against her will. She was able–and willing–to do whatever it took to find security and fortune in Gold Rush San Francisco. Madam in Silk is this year’s exciting addition to historical fiction.” -Cheryl Anne Stapp, Author of Disaster & Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush Through the Civil War

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the Author,

Listen to your Inner Dragon 🐉…..

Madame In Silk, is Gini Grossenbacher’s second novel in The American Madam Series.

Ah Toy, finds herself along with her dedicated lifelong servant Chen, on a ship bond for San Francisco. Her life takes a sudden twist when her husband dies on the voyage. Stepping off the ship she finds herself in the rapidly expanding world of the San Francisco Gold Rush.

In a Tragic turn of events her dead husbands well laid plans comes a halt. Ah Toy is now destitute, and struggles to find employment. With time running out and her resources depleted. Her lotus bond feet were once highly prized in her native Guangzhou, but actually have handicapped her making everyday walking a trial. She decides to capitalize on her one true aspect, her extraordinary beauty. With help from her devoted Chen she opens a Lookee Shop.

Gini Grossenbacher, has written a vividly descriptive, atmospheric, intriguing, well-written and irresistible historical fiction here, that I absolutely loved and was thoroughly impressed by. The characters were extremely interesting, compelling, and definitely held my full attention. Exquisite prose, with great pacing and depth, Victorian San Francisco comes to life within the pages of this beautifully atmospheric, compelling novel. Ah Toy’s narrative voice allows you to struggle along with her and Chen as the find themselves facing obstacles and dangers on all sides.

Grossenbacher, writing ability shines through in the details of the interaction between the characters themselves. To me the the strength of the novel is the trials and tribulations that the main protagonist has survived through. Fierce and inspirational, Ah Toy must listen to her inner dragon to find her way in this truly stunning beautifully written historical fiction.

As her notoriety grows, so does her attraction to the devoted policeman, John Clark. Yet should she put her faith in one man? Ah’s relationship with Chen, is definitely worth noting, his complete devotion to her was truly heartwarming.

This is a touching, raw, heartbreaking and an absolutely wonderful novel that had me emotionally engaged and interested throughout the entire book. I was completely immersed in this deeply moving and beautifully written story here. I connected with and absolutely loved Gini Grossenbacher writing style.

This well researched historical fiction was incredible, I am definitely looking forward to reading the next installment in her series.

I also enjoyed the selective placement of Li Po’s writing in the book. Li Po wrote occasional verse and poems about his own life. His poetry is known for its clear imagery and conversational tone. His work influenced a number of 20th-century poets, including Ezra Pound and James Wright.

The author touches on some critical subjects, the position of the Chinese immigrant in the Victorian era, and the foundation of the Californi’s 19th century sex trade

This is a 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Book

#GiniGrossenbacher #HFVBTBlogTours

About the Author

California author Gini Grossenbacher was a successful high school English teacher until she abandoned grades and term papers, choosing to write historical novels instead. Now she leads small writing groups and coaches other writers. She loves researching the history behind her novels, and enjoys traveling to the setting where they take place. Her hobbies include needlepoint, nature walks, and Scrabble. She lives in the Sacramento Valley where she grew up, east of San Francisco.

For more information, please visit Gini’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 23
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, September 25
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Friday, September 27
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, September 30
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Tuesday, October 1
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Thursday, October 3
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, October 4
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, October 7
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 10
Review at @jypsylynn
Review at my.boys.mom

Friday, October 11
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Madam in Silk! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Madam in Silk

Book Tour The Secret Life Of Mrs. London

#TheSecretLifeofMrsLondon #RebeccaRosenberg #HFVBTBlogTours 

The Secret Life of Mrs. London
by Rebecca Rosenberg

Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Lake Union Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 348 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for The Secret Life of Mrs. London

“An impressively original and exceptionally well-crafted novel by an author who is a master of character- and narrative-driven storytelling, Rebecca Rosenberg’s The Secret Life of Mrs. London is an inherently riveting and thoroughly reader-engaging story from beginning to end and feature[es] many an unexpected plot twist and turn.” —Midwest Book Review

“Interesting, and based on the actual lives of the participants…Learning more about Jack London was enjoyable, as well as seeing early feminist examples.” —Historical Novel Society

“…Rosenberg paints an immensely intriguing portrait of a marriage and tells it in an accomplished lyrical prose that captures each moment with poetic intensity.” —Prairies Book Review

“The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a riveting behind-the-scenes look at the marriage of Jack and Charmian London, both fascinating and complicated characters with rich inner lives that Rosenberg conveys in crisp yet poetic prose. This contemporary historical fiction raises questions that are still relevant today about what makes a good marriage, and whether creativity and stability are incompatible. A rich, resonant, deeply satisfying novel sure to delight and leave readers thinking long after they put it down.” —Malena Watrous, author of If You Follow Me and Sparked!, and director of the Stanford Continuing Studies Program in Novel Writing

“The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a heart-wrenching portrait of a marriage between two people who utterly depend on one another, but ultimately aren’t enough for each other. With skillful precision of language, Rosenberg weaves a narrative that defines the complexities of love, passion, and art. This is a perceptive, deeply moving novel by a great new talent about a couple who has gone unnoticed in historical fiction until now. Anyone who has ever loved another person will want to read this book.” —Victoria Kelly, author of Mrs. Houdini: A Novel

“One of Houdini’s best kept secrets was his affair with Charmian London in 1918. Now Rebecca Rosenberg tells the story using an elegant blend of fact and fiction, creating a Houdini book like no other. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a true peek behind the curtain and a page-turner.” —John Cox, Wild about Harry

This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

The secret life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg Is an alluring fictionalized account of Charmaine London and her legendary husband Jack London. Rebecca Rosenberg delivers quite the fascinating, intriguing, vulnerable, lifelike, and beautifully written read here with deep and realistic characters, a brazen and dynamic premise and an extremely spellbinding and enthralling storyline.

What really stood out about this novel for me was how realistic and raw these characters were written. I could see myself and others in probably every single one of these characters in this story. I thought the inner thoughts of Charmian and dialogue was absolutely spot on. With skillful narration the author gives the reader an insight Into almost two years in the life of Charmian Kittredge London. Through Mrs. London’s voice we get a glimpse of what it must have been, being a strong a creative determined female living in the shadow of her famous husband.

We are introduced to other famous figures of the past, all weaved perfectly into the absorbing in storyline. The reader is shown how Charmian and Bess Houdini, the wife of the world-renowned Harry “Handcuff” Houdini, despite being exceptional women in their own rights, have put aside personal ambition to support their celebrated husbands. Through trials and heartbreak we see Charmian character development as the progressive of the plot.

A passionate look of a woman struggling to find herself during a time when woman still did not have a right to vote. Set to the backdrop of America on the verge of enter a world war.

The author respectively includes some of political aspects of that time period. The author interweaves superb well researched historical details to capture the enduring life Mrs Charmian London.

Rebecca Rosenberg has written an incredible American historical fiction, where the characters the come to life within the pages of enjoyable and highly entertaining read.

What a joy to was for me to read this book. Like most authors their personal and sometimes chaotic life we only get a glimpse of every know and then.

I own most Jack London work. From novels to his short stories I especially enjoyed how each chapter opens with an extract from the real Jack London’s writing.

About the Author

Rebecca Rosenberg receiving the IPPY Gold Medal

A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is her debut novel.

Rebecca and her husband, Gary, own the largest lavender product company in America, selling to 4000 resorts, spas and gift stores. The Rosenbergs believe in giving back to the Sonoma Community, supporting many causes through financial donations and board positions, including Worth Our Weight, an educational culinary program for at-risk children, YWCA shelter for abused women, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center to provide performances for children, Sonoma Food Bank, Sonoma Boys and Girls Club, and the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home.

For more information, please visit Rebecca’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads. Visit the Facebook page for The Secret Life of Mrs. London.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 2
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, September 3
Review at Melissa Reads

Wednesday, September 4
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, September 5
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Sunday, September 8
Review at My Reading Chronicles
Review at Oh the Books She Will Read

Tuesday, September 10
Review at Diana_bibliophile

Thursday, September 12
Excerpt at I’m All About Books

Friday, September 13
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, September 17
Review at Hooked on Books

Wednesday, September 18
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 20
Review at Orange County Readers

Monday, September 23
Review at Jathan & Heather

Wednesday, September 25
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Thursday, September 26
Review, Q&A, & Excerpt at Nursebookie

Friday, September 27
Review at Macsbooks

Monday, September 30
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, October 2
Review at gatticus_finch

Friday, October 4
Review at Coffee and Ink
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Saturday, October 5
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, October 7
Review at rebecca.is.reading

Wednesday, October 9
Review at This Biblio Life

Thursday, October 10
Review at Peaceful Pastime

Friday, October 11
Review at Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

Saturday, October 12
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Monday, October 14
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 3 signed paperbacks + swag and 7 eBooks! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Mrs. London

 

Book Tour And Giveaway of Dragon Lady

Hi everyone! Today I’m really excited to be taking part in the Book Tour of Dragon Lady, By Autumn Bardot which is being hosted by HFVBT Blog Tours
Tours #DragonLady #AutumnBardot #HFVBTBlogTours

Dragon Lady
by Autumn Bardot

Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Flores Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction

“Prostitution required the violation of my body. Piracy required my soul. The first enslaved me. The second set me free. ”

Against all odds, a prostitute becomes the most powerful pirate chieftain in the South China Seas. Sold into slavery by her parents, Xianggu works on a floating brothel for ten years before a midnight pirate raid changes her life. Determined to rise above her lowly status, the fearless young woman embarks on a journey requiring beauty, brains, and brawn.

Red Flag boss, Zheng Yi, is captivated by the spirited Xianggu and soon makes her his wife. This begins her adventure into the violent world of sea banditry. But Xianggu must do more than learn to wield a sword, sail a ship, and swim across a bay. She must become indispensable to Zheng Yi or risk losing everything, even her life.

In 18th century China, when men made and enforced the rules, the Dragon Lady lived by her own.

Available on Amazon

#DragonLady #AutumnBardot #HFVBTBlogTours

This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Autumn Bardot, Dragon Lady

At 13 years old Xianggu life is a dramatically changed when she is sold into slavery to a moneylender by her father, to cover his debts. In an era where young children were sold quite often to slavers by their parents. This sets her on a remarkable path. Xianggu, along with other young girls who are transported to the coast to be sold. Her fate is sealed when she is purchased by the very successful Madame Xu, who operates a floating brothel, a two story flower boat on the river.

Rising from a mere slave to learning everything she can to survive. Xianggu was not afraid of working as flower girl. She was afraid of staying one. Making the best of any situation Xianggu wanted more for herself than what has been dealt to her. In a strike of bad fortune she takes destiny in her own hands .She sets her life on a course that leads her out of enslavement.

“Prostitution required the violation of my body. Piracy required my soul. The first enslaved me. The second set me free.”

In Bardot’s rich imagery, you are catapulted 18th century China, as the legendary Xianggu Cantonese pirate comes to life. {Ching Shih also, now as Zhèng Yi Sao}Atmospheric, riveting and intensely entertaining! The Dragon Lady is faced paced and well researched historical fiction. The author intricately plots a character driven adventure that fights poignancy through the complex conflicts of fate.

Xianggu, proves herself as a shrewd business woman along with being a competent an dangerous pirate. A courageous, notorious woman feared and admired.She struggled within bonds that where placed on woman of her day.

The author blends historical fiction with intense fiery romantic scenes that make for a passionate storyline.

Thank you so, so much to HFVBT and Autumn Bardot for the the opportunity to be a part of this tour and to read such an enjoyable book!

About the Author

Autumn Bardot writes historical fiction and erotica about sassy women and daring passions!

Her erotic fiction includes Legends of Lust, Erotic Myths from around the World, published by Cleis Press. Confessions of a Sheba Queen (erotica) will be available Jan 2020.

The Impaler’s Wife is her debut historical fiction, released in April 2019.

Autumn has a BA in English literature and a MaEd in curriculum and instruction. She’s been teaching literary analysis for fourteen years

When Autumn’s not writing or working, you’ll find her hanging out with her ever-growing family, spoiled husband, and pampered rescue pooch. Her favorite things include salty French fries, coffee, swimming, and a great book.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 2
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Wednesday, September 4
Feature at I’m All About Books

Friday, September 6
Review at Coffee and Ink

Saturday, September 7
Review & Excerpt at Robin Loves Reading

Tuesday, September 10
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages

Thursday, September 12
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, September 13
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Monday, September 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, September 18
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, September 20
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, September 23
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, September 25
Excerpt at BeadyJans Books

Friday, September 27
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, September 30
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 3
Review at Al-Alhambra

Friday, October 4
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Saturday, October 5
Feature at Broken Teepee

Monday, October 7
Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Dragon Lady! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on October 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Dragon Lady

Book Review The Lost Daughter

Synopsis from goodreads

About The Lost Daughter

• Paperback: 496 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 27, 2019)

If you loved I Am Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon you won’t want to miss this novel about her sister, Grand Duchess Maria. What really happened to this lost Romanov daughter? A new novel perfect for anyone curious about Anastasia, Maria, and the other lost Romanov daughters, by the author of The Secret Wife.

The Lost Daughter

A family tragedy. A fight for love. A long-buried secret.

1918 With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of Russia’s imperial family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria Romanova captivates two of the guards, it will lead to a fateful choice between right and wrong. Fifty-five years later . . . Val rushes to her father’s bedside when she hears of his troubling end-of-life confession: ‘I didn’t want to kill her.’ As she unravels the secrets behind her mother’s disappearance when she was twelve years old, she finds herself caught up in one of the world’s greatest mysteries.

#thelostdaughter @gwendalyns_books_ @williammorrowbooks, @gill.paul1.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

This was his moment; his place in the history books beckoned.

This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

The Lost Daughter, begins in Ekaterinburg in 1918, just at the time the Romanov family are imprisoned at what was to be their final destination, in the Impatiev House. The fate of the Romanovs is recorded in history however Gill Paul presents a creative thought provoking alternative version.

In the 1970’s, Val is living in Australia. She is called to her father’s nursing home after the staff report that in his state of dementia he keeps repeating a phrase ..” I didn’t want to kill her” Val has no idea what he means.

Ms Paul link between Val and events of the past are slowly revealed but not at all in the way that you will expect. So, she begins a search for the truth about his words and her past. The clues she discovers are baffling a jewel-encrusted box that won’t open and a camera with its film intact. What she finds out pulls Val into one of the world’s greatest mysteries what truly happened to the Grand Duchess Maria?

Atmospheric, riveting and intensely entertaining historical fiction

About Gill Paul

Photo from authors website

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history. She has written two novels about the last Russian royal family: The Secret Wife, published in 2016, which tells the story of cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar; and The Lost Daughter, published in October 2018, that tells of the attachment Grand Duchess Maria formed with a guard in the house in Ekaterinburg where the family was held from April to July 1918.

Gill’s other novels include Another Woman’s Husband, about links you may not have been aware of between Wallis Simpson, later Duchess of Windsor, and Diana, Princess of Wales; Women and Children First, about a young steward who works on the TitanicThe Affair, set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fall in love while making Cleopatra; and No Place for a Lady, about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Book Tour All The Bad Apples

#penguinteen #allthebadapples

Title: All the Bad Apples

Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Genre: YA, Magical Realism

Publisher:  Penguin UK / Kathy Dawson Books  US

Publication date: August 1 / August 27 2019

Hardcover: 352 pages

@penguinteen

Huge thanks to Penguin for sending me an early copy of this book!
Trigger warnings for homophobia, abortion, suicide, rape, abuse, forced pregnancy.

‘It’s on every woman in this country. Kept in shame and silence for generations. Kicked out, locked up, taken away. Their children sold in illegal adoptions; their babies buried in unmarked graves. Forced pregnancies and back-street abortions, eleven a day on the boat to England only to come home to rejection and stigma. Insults and prayers and keeping up appearances – and how do you break a curse like that?’

“Some loves ignite like forest fires, burn down entire towns before anybody’s noticed. . . Some loves smolder like a turf fire, are slow to start but will then burn bright and steady through entire winters.”

“A good cup of tea is a witch’s brew,” the old women said together with wicked grins. “Heals all ills.”

The stunning new novel about silenced female voices, family secrets and dangerous truths from the author of The Accident Season.

‘Exquisite . . . This is a book to hold tightly to your chest’ Irish Times

‘Lyrical . . . Compelling’ Guardian

‘Beautiful, visceral . . . A primal scream’ Louise O’Neill

‘Uncompromising, raw, devastating’ Publishers Weekly

‘I am in absolute awe of it’ Melinda Salisbury

Moïra Fowley-Doyle is half-French, half-Irish and made of equal parts feminism, whimsy and Doc Martens. She lives in Dublin where she writes magic realism, reads tarot cards and raises witch babies.

Moïra’s first novel, The Accident Season, was shortlisted for the 2015 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize & the North East Teen Book Awards, nominated for the Carnegie Medal & won the inaugural School Library Association of Ireland Great Reads Award. It received two starred reviews & sold in ten territories. Her second novel, Spellbook of the Lost and Found, was published in summer 2017, received a starred review from School Library Journal and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards.


Book Tour Cover Reveal

Hello Everyone,

Today I Am Partnered with HFBT And

The Author Nancy Bilyeau,

To Bringing You This Gorgeous Cover Reveal

#DreamlandCoverReveal @NancyBilyeauAuthor @EndeavourMedia1 @Tudorscribe @Endeavour_Media @EndeavourQuill

Dreamland
by Nancy Bilyeau

Publication Date: January 16, 2020
Endeavor Quill

Genre: Historical Fiction

@NancyBilyeauAuthor @EndeavourMedia1

@Tudorscribe @Endeavour_Media @EndeavourQuill

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

But the invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer at the Moonrise Bookstore where she works voluntarily, than keeping up appearances with Brooklyn socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy more of the freedom she has been longing for. For one, she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.s

It is up to Peggy to overcome the oppression of her family and clear the name of her vulnerable lover, before she or her beloved sister become the next victims of Dreamland.

Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.

About the Author

“Dreamland” is Nancy Bilyeau’s fifth novel of historical suspense. She is the author of the best-selling historical thriller “The Blue” and the Tudor mystery series “The Crown,” “The Chalice,” and “The Tapestry,” on sale in nine countries.

Nancy is a magazine editor who has lived in the United States and Canada. She studied History and English Literature at the University of Michigan. After moving to New York City, she worked on the staffs of “InStyle,” “Good Housekeeping,” and “Rolling Stone.” She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the Research Foundation of CUNY and a regular contributing writer to “Town & Country” and “Mystery Scene Magazine.”

Nancy’s mind is always in past centuries but she currently lives with her husband and two children in Forest Hills in the borough of Queens. “Dreamland” is her first novel set in her adopted hometown of New York City.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

Cover Reveal Schedule

Monday, August 19
A Bookish Affair
Gwendalyn’s Books
What Is That Book About

Tuesday, August 20
Clarissa Reads it All
Just One More Chapter
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Wednesday, August 21
Unabridged Chick
Donna’s Book Blog
Let Them Read Books

Thursday, August 22
A Book Geek
The Lit Bitch
Tar Heel Reader
Kris Waldherr Art & Words

Friday, August 23
I’m All About Books
Lost_in_a_book_reviewer
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, August 24
Broken Teepee
Passages to the Past
Locks, Hooks and Books

Sunday, August 25
A Darn Good Read
Orange County Readers
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, August 26
Coffee and Ink
Jessica Belmont
Maiden of the Pages

Featured Book Reviewer

Book Review The Doll Factory

Hi everyone!

So today I’m reviewing Elizabeth Macneal’s debut, The Doll Factory

the doll factory small

Title: The Doll Factory

Author: Elizabeth Macneal

Published: April 30th 2019 Uk

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Pages: 336

Genres:  Fiction, Historical, Gothic Victorian, Thriller

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

USA RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 13, 2019

The Doll Factory is the debut novel from Elizabeth Macneal. The recipient of the 2018 New Caledonia Novel Award, The Doll Factory is a potent historical tale, exposing a world filled with artistry, passion, compulsion and control. A book that thrusts the reader into days gone by, The Doll Factory is a highly authentic and fresh tale from an emerging author.

The Doll Factory has been a subject to a 14-way bidding war and has been snapped up for television already. I can never resist a shiny new debut, and this one didn’t disappoint. It’s an evocative, gothic Victorian thriller which starts slow before building a crescendo to fever pitch.

It won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018 and film and TV rights have sold to Buccaneer Media. It is a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, a Radio 2 Book Club pick, and Radio 4 Book at Bedtime.

You can purchase The Doll Factory (Picador) here. Us August 13

TheDoll Factory was published on 30th April 2019 Uk

by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

Excerpt

He sees a child dart forward and snatch a red handkerchief from a lady’s purse.  He peers closer, recognizing that scruff of pale hair.  The familiarity is a balm, a reminder that he is not alone in this roiling mass of industry.  Silas smiles, and calls out, ‘Albie!’
But the boy does not hear him.  And then Silas understands: he has been caught.  A woman’s hand is on his wrist, the handkerchief a limp flag in his fist, and Silas slips on a piece of turf in his haste to hurry over, readying himself to play Albie’s rescuer, to beg her not to notify the authorities – but then he sees that Albie is laughing.
Silas looks at the woman more closely.  She is as tall as a man and has her red hair tidied into a long plait.  She is – Flick?  Grown up, womanly.  But it cannot be.  This woman has a slight stoop on her left side.
It is as if a bell has been rung in an old house.  Silas has felt the tremor of the wire as it runs deeper into the building, through walls and floors.  He stands transfixed, watching as the vibrations set a series of smaller bells ringing.
He could not say what it means.

– Elizabeth Macneal, The Doll Factory

Opening sentence: 

“When the streets are at their darkest and quietest, a girl settles at a small desk in the cellar of a dollmaker’s shop.”

In the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, we see a marriage of visual art and literature. Their early works are filled with scenes from the literary world, taken from authors such as Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Keats. These works demonstrate the interconnection of artistic expression and the written word in a way that goes far deeper than merely illustrating

Iris is our leading lady. Alongside her twin sister, Rose, they toil away at Mrs Salter’s Doll Emporium creating objects of beauty. But Iris is unsettled. She wants to paint, she wants the freedom to create her own masterpieces, not just what someone demands of her. I did feel for Iris, she is trapped in an uninspiring situation and when she is offered opportunity for something better, she grabs it. I became her cheerleader as I read this book, she is strong, talented and full of ambition.

This new life leads her to become involved in with the pre-Raphaelite’s and we meet the key artistic figures of this movement. Elizabeth Macneal has seamlessly and brilliantly inserted real-life people into a work of fiction. I didn’t know a great deal about the pre-Raphaelite’s before reading this, but after I finished it, I whiled away some time Googling and looking at the stunning works of art and have fallen head over heels for them. I love it when a book prompts me to do a little research!

The story is told from multi-view perspectives, Iris’ as well as from, Albie the street urchin’s and from Silas, an obsessive collector of weird and wonderful things.

Iris and Silas have a brief encounter, after being introduced by Albie, to which they have very different reactions to! As you read this, you do become very aware of a creeping sense of danger and tension. Especially the further along you get in Silas’s narrative. The tension slowly builds and builds and it leads you to a chilling, dramatic conclusion.

If you historical fiction, or are just in the mood for some creepy Victorian fiction, thenThe Doll Factory might be for you. Macneal has captured London perfectly; evoking all the seedy bars and fancy houses and everywhere in between. Her characters are beautifully rendered; they are endlessly fascinating to watch and I was disappointed when the book ended.

It is hard to imagine this is a debut as it is really impressive; great characters, evocative writing and a truly gripping story.

What more can you want out of a book?

Overall a really excellent debut. Highly Recommended.

You can purchase The Doll Factory (Picador) here.

That’s it for today. Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading!

o

 Born in Scotland, Elizabeth Macneal is a potter based in Limehouse, East London, working from a small studio at the bottom of her garden.  She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship. The Doll Factory, Elizabeth’s first book, won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018.  

To learn more about the author of The Doll Factory, Elizabeth Macneal visit here.

Book To movie

Hello Bookish Friends,

Do you enjoy the classics?

How about Movie adaptations of Classical Books?

Here is a sneak peek of upcoming Movie, coming out this Winter .

Classical Books To Movies

Little Women (December 25, 2019)

Based on: Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Directed by: Greta Gerwig

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Chris Cooper, Meryl Streep

Based on Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel, the trailer introduces the four March sisters — Meg (Emma Watson of “Harry Potter” fame), Jo (Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”), Beth (Eliza Scanlen, “Sharp Objects”), and Amy (Florence Pugh, “Midsommar”) — living in a cramped house Alcott loosely based on her own home in Concord, Mass.

In this new adaptation directed by Greta Gerwig (Ladybird) Saoirse Ronan plays Jo, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy and Eliza Scanlen as Beth. The rest of the cast is too good not to share including Timothée Chalamet as Laurie, Meryl Streep as Aunt March and James Norton as John Brooke. To add to the excitement, the score is being written by the genius Alexander Desplat. The film is set to be released this Christmas! –

This is now one of several adaptations of the book onto the screen so it will be interesting to see how it compares.

Little Women” will land in theaters on Dec. 25, 2019.

Click the Link: to watch the New Trailer
Little Woman 2019 Trailer

QOTD:: Have Read Little Woman?

When asked Why She Remained A Spinster? Mrs Alcott Reply Was….

Because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man.”

Louisa May Alcott’s grave in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts.

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters.

Alcott’s father established an experimental school and joined the Transcendental Club with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Alcott’s early education included lessons from the naturalist Henry David Thoreau. She received the majority of her schooling from her father. She received some instruction also from writers and educators such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller, who were all family friends. She later described these early years in a newspaper sketch entitled “Transcendental Wild Oats”.

Alcott became an advocate for women’s suffrage and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts, in a school board election.

“Some books are so

familiar that reading them is

like being home again”

—Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters.

Alcott was the daughter of noted transcendentalist and educator Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail May Alcott. She shared a birthday with her father on November 29, 1832. In a letter to his brother-in-law, Samuel Joseph May, a noted abolitionist, her father wrote: “It is with great pleasure that I announce to you the birth of my second daughter…born about half-past 12 this morning, on my [33rd] birthday.” Though of New England heritage, she was born in Germantown, which is currently part of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the second of four daughters: Anna Bronson Alcott was the eldest; Elizabeth Sewall Alcott and Abigail May Alcott were the two youngest. The family moved to Boston in 1834,[1] After the family moved to Massachusetts, Alcott’s father established an experimental school and joined the Transcendental Club with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

In 1840, after several setbacks with the school, the Alcott family moved to a cottage on 2 acres (8,100 m2) of land, situated along the Sudbury River in Concord, Massachusetts. The Alcott family moved to the Utopian Fruitlands community for a brief interval in 1843-1844 and then, after its collapse, to rented rooms and finally to a house in Concord purchased with her mother’s inheritance and financial help from Emerson. They moved into the home they named “Hillside” on April 1, 1845.

Alcott’s early education included lessons from the naturalist Henry David Thoreau. She received the majority of her schooling from her father. She received some instruction also from writers and educators such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller, who were all family friends. She later described these early years in a newspaper sketch entitled “Transcendental Wild Oats”. The sketch was reprinted in the volume Silver Pitchers (1876), which relates the family’s experiment in “plain living and high thinking” at Fruitlands.

As an adult, Alcott was an abolitionist and a feminist. In 1847, the family housed a fugitive slave for one week. In 1848, Alcott read and admired the “Declaration of Sentiments” published by the Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights.

Poverty made it necessary for Alcott to go to work at an early age as an occasional teacher, seamstress, governess, domestic helper, and writer. Her first book was Flower Fables (1849), a selection of tales originally written for Ellen Emerson, daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1860, Alcott began writing for the Atlantic Monthly. When the American Civil War broke out, she served as a nurse in the Union Hospital at Georgetown, D.C., for six weeks in 1862-1863. Her letters home – revised and published in the Commonwealth and collected as Hospital Sketches (1863, republished with additions in 1869) – garnered her first critical recognition for her observations and humor. Her novel Moods (1864), based on her own experience, was also promising.

She also wrote passionate, fiery novels and sensational stories under the nom de plume A. M. Barnard. Among these are A Long Fatal Love Chase and Pauline’s Passion and Punishment. Her protagonists for these tales are willful and relentless in their pursuit of their own aims, which often include revenge on those who have humiliated or thwarted them. Written in a style which was wildly popular at the time, these works achieved immediate commercial success.

Alcott produced wholesome stories for children also, and after their positive reception, she did not generally return to creating works for adults. Adult-oriented exceptions include the anonymous novelette A Modern Mephistopheles (1875), which attracted suspicion that it was written by Julian Hawthorne; and the semi-autobiographical tale Work (1873).

Literary success and later life

Alcott’s literary success arrived with the publication by the Roberts Brothers of the first part of Little Women: or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, (1868) a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood with her sisters in Concord, Massachusetts. Part two, or Part Second, also known as Good Wives, (1869) followed the March sisters into adulthood and their respective marriages. Little Men (1871) detailed Jo’s life at the Plumfield School that she founded with her husband Professor Bhaer at the conclusion of Part Two of Little Women. Jo’s Boys (1886) completed the “March Family Saga.”

In “Little Women,” Alcott based her heroine “Jo” on herself. But whereas Jo marries at the end of the story, Alcott remained single throughout her life. She explained her “spinsterhood” in an interview with Louise Chandler Moulton, “… because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man.” However, Alcott’s romance while in Europe with Ladislas Wisniewski, “Laddie,” was detailed in her journals but then deleted by Alcott herself before her death. Alcott identified Laddie as the model for Laurie in Little Women, and there is strong evidence this was the significant emotional relationship of her life.

In 1879 her younger sister, May, died. Alcott took in May’s daughter, Louisa May Nieriker (“Lulu”), who was two years old. The baby had been named after her aunt, but was nicknamed Lulu, whereas Louisa May’s nicknames were “Weed” and “Louy.”

In her later life, Alcott became an advocate for women’s suffrage and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts, in a school board election.

Alcott, along with Elizabeth Stoddard, Rebecca Harding Davis, Anne Moncure Crane, and others, were part of a group of female authors during the Gilded Age who addressed women’s issues in a modern and candid manner. Their works were, as one newspaper columnist of the period commented, “among the decided ‘signs of the times’” (“Review 2 – No Title” from The Radical, May 1868, see References below).

Alcott, who continued to write until her death, suffered chronic health problems in her later years. She and her earliest biographers[citation needed] attributed her illness and death to mercury poisoning: during her American Civil War service, Alcott contracted typhoid fever and was treated with a compound containing mercury. Recent analysis of Alcott’s illness suggests that mercury poisoning was not the culprit. Alcott’s chronic health problems may be associated with an autoimmune disease, not acute mercury exposure. Moreover, a late portrait of Alcott shows on her cheeks rashes characteristic of lupus.[5][6] Alcott died of a stroke in Boston, on March 6, 1888, at age 55, two days after visiting her father’s deathbed. Her last words were “Is it not meningitis?”

The story of her life and career was told initially in Ednah D. Cheney’s Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters and Journals (Boston, 1889) and then in Madeleine B. Stern’s seminal biography Louisa May Alcott (University of Oklahoma Press, 1950). In 2008, John Matteson won the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for his first book, Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father. Harriet Reisen’s biography, “Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women,” was published in 2009, and includes the most extensive primary source material (much discovered since Stern’s biography), including Madelon Bedell’s unpublished notes of interviews with Lulu before Lulu’s death.The children’s biography Invincible Louisa written by Cornelia Meigs received the Newbery Award in 1934 for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Selected works

* The Inheritance (1849, unpublished until 1997)

* Flower Fables (1849)

* Hospital Sketches (1863)

* The Rose Family: A Fairy Tale (1864)

* Moods (1865, revised 1882)

* Morning-Glories and Other Stories (1867)

* The Mysterious Key and What It Opened (1867)

* Little Women or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy (1868)

* Three Proverb Stories (includes “Kitty’s Class Day”, “Aunt Kipp” and “Psyche’s Art”) (1868)

* A Strange Island, (1868)

* Part Second of Little Women, also known as “Good Wives” (1869)

* Perilous Play, (1869)

* An Old Fashioned Girl (1870)

* Will’s Wonder Book (1870)

* Aunt Jo’s Scrap-Bag (1872–1882)

* Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys (1871)

* “Transcendental Wild Oats” (1873)

* Work: A Story of Experience (1873)

* Eight Cousins or The Aunt-Hill (1875)

* Beginning Again, Being a Continuation of Work (1875)

* Silver Pitchers, and Independence: A Centennial Love Story,” (1876)

* Rose in Bloom: A Sequel to Eight Cousins (1876)

* Under the Lilacs (1878)

* Jack and Jill: A Village Story (1880)

* The Candy Country (1885)

* Jo’s Boys and How They Turned Out: A Sequel to “Little Men” (1886)

* Lulu’s Library (1886–1889)

* A Garland for Girls (1888)

* Comic Tragedies (1893 [posthumously])

As A. M. Barnard

* Behind a Mask, or a Woman’s Power (1866)

* The Abbot’s Ghost, or Maurice Treherne’s Temptation (1867)

* A Long Fatal Love Chase (1866 – first published 1995)

First published anonymously

* A Modern Mephistopheles (1877)

 

Have a wonderful Day

Blog Tour The Quest For The Crown Of Thorns

Hello there fellow book lovers!

Today, I am excited to be participating in the blog tour

The Quest for The Crown Of ThornsThe Quest for the Crown of Thorns
by Cynthia Ripley Miller

Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Knox Robinson Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 308 Pages

Series: The Long – Hair Saga, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

 #QuestfortheCrownofThorns #CynthiaRipleyMiller #HFVBTBlogTours 

 

AD 454. Three years after the Roman victory over Attila the Hun at Catalaunum, Arria Felix and Garic the Frank are married and enjoying life on Garic’s farm in northern Gaul (France). Their happy life is interrupted, when a cryptic message arrives from Rome, calling Arria home to her father, the esteemed Senator Felix. At Arria’s insistence, but against Garic’s better judgment, they leave at once.

Upon their arrival at Villa Solis, they are confronted with a brutal murder and the dangerous mission that awaits them. The fate of a profound and sacred object–Christ’s Crown of Thorns–rests in their hands. They must carry the holy relic to the safety of Constantinople, away from a corrupt emperor and old enemies determined to steal it for their own gain.

But an even greater force arises to derail their quest–a secret cult willing to commit any atrocity to capture the Crown of Thorns. And all the while, the gruesome murder and the conspiracy behind it haunt Arria’s thoughts.

Arria and Garic’s marital bonds are tested but forged as they partner together to fulfill one of history’s most challenging missions, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Praise

“In this thriller, set in fifth-century Rome, rivals race to possess Christ’s crown of thorns. Ripley Miller (On the Edge of Sunrise 2015) astutely brings to life a Rome teetering precariously on the brink of collapse … The plot advances energetically, and the combination of political and romantic drama—spiritual as well—is rousing. The reader should be glad to have read this volume and eager for a third. Intelligent and artfully crafted historical fiction … Recommended.” -Kirkus Reviews

“From cover to cover a gripping read – in all senses of the word! Grips your interest and imagination, your held breath and your pounding heart! A thumping good novel!” -Helen Hollick USA Today bestselling author of the Sea Witch Voyages

“Forbidden love, a turbulent time period, and world-changing events combine to produce a real page-turner.” -India Edghill, author of Queenmaker, Wisdom’s Daughter, and Delilah.

“A passionate and intriguing take on the often overlooked clash of three brutal and powerful empires: the Romans, Franks, and Huns. A Compelling read!” -Stephanie Thornton, author of The Secret History and The Tiger Queens

“Readers will be absorbed by a setting of barbarian Gaul and the constancy of Arria’s and Garic’s destined love amid the strife of a dying Roman Empire.” -Albert Noyer, author of The Getorius and Arcadia Mysteries

“The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, is an elegant masterpiece of historical fiction. This book totally ensnared me in its clasps, and it did not release me until I had read it all. The attention to detail was exquisite The characterisation was sublime, and the romance was breathtakingly beautiful. I adored the world that Miller has created, as well as the characters in it. This is a sit-down and finish book and is one I would Highly Recommend.” -Mary Anne Yarde author of the Du Lac Chronicles

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway
and follow the blog tour

This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

The Quest For The Crown Of Thorns, is the second installment in Cynthia Ripley Miller, The Long Hair Saga

The Quest For The Crown Of Thorns, takes you on a suspense intriguing quest. Southern Europe AD 454 after the demise, Attila-the-Hun, Rome is teetering precariously on the brink of collapse. In a questionable turn of events, the Roman General Flavius Aetius dies. a precious relic is placed in the trusted hands of a senators daughter.

A dramatic and riveting storyline with a decaying Roman Empire, threatened by barbarians. The author masterly weaves historically events and a captivating quest to give readers and thrill ride of an adventure. Miller’s well researched and descriptive imagery is set with the backdrop of fifth century Roman. The book is brilliantly executed with superb narration, along with great character development. A plot fueled with intrigue and complex relationships. A thrilling, satisfying faced paced book with right amount of sensuality, that will keep you turning the pages as fast as can.

Once again Cynthia Miller delivers a compelling, intriguing, and well-written read here with absolutely fantastic characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. A masterpiece of historical fiction, rich in atmospheric descriptive details.

The novel is gripping and speedy paced, with vivid characters and enjoyable supportive cast, along with unwavering tension.

This is a fantastic read that left me with high anticipation for the next installment in this series.

About the Author

Cynthia Ripley Miller is a first generation Italian-American writer with a love for history, languages and books. She has lived, worked, and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean. As a girl, she often wondered what it would be like to journey through time (she still does), yet knew, it could only be through the imagination and words of writers and their stories. Today, she writes to bring the past to life.

She holds two degrees and has taught history and teaches English. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, at Orchard Press Mysteries.com and The Scriptor. A Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist for her novel, On the Edge of Sunrise, she has reviewed for UNRV Roman History, and blogs at Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus

Cynthia has four children and lives with her husband, twin cats, Romulus and Remus, and Jessie, a German Shepherd, in a suburb of Chicago.

On the Edge of Sunrise is the first in the Long-Hair Saga; a series set in late ancient Rome and France and published by Knox Robinson Publishing. The second book in the series, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, was released in June 2017.

For more information please visit Cynthia Ripley Miller’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, August 14
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Thursday, August 15
Interview at Unabridged Chick
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Friday, August 16
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Saturday, August 17
Feature at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Monday, August 19
Interview at Passages to the Past
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, August 20
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Unabridged Chick

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 1 paperback and 2 eBook copies of The Quest for the Crown of Thorns! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only. Ebooks are available for international entries.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Crown of Thorns – Tour #3

Book Tour and Author Interview

Hello and welcome to Gwendalyn’s Books,

Happy Tuesday to you! I hope your week will be is overflowing with great reads.

I am delighted to welcome a wonderful author to the blog today, CANDACE ROBB

#AConspiracyofWolves #CandaceRobb #HFVBTBlogTours

A Conspiracy of Wolves
by Candace Robb

Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Severn House/Crème de la Crime
Hardcover & eBook; 256 Pages

Series: Owen Archer, Book 11
Genre: Historical Mystery

 

Synopsis

When a prominent citizen is murdered, former Captain of the Guard Owen Archer is persuaded out of retirement to investigate in this gripping medieval mystery.

1374. When a member of one of York’s most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim’s father, Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim’s household? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she’s not telling?

Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen’s enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

GWENDALYN’S BOOKS INTERVIEW – CANDACE ROBB

 

1. If you could choose a book character to be for a day, who would it be and why?

One? That would be Magda Digby, the Riverwoman. She is so wise and comfortable in her own skin. How I created her I don’t know, but she’s become my guide. When life challenges me I find myself asking “What would Magda do?” I’d love to spend time in her stillness, living on her tidal island, in her house redolent with dried herbs and roots, the aroma of her tinctures and poultices. I’d love to walk the forest with her, seeing through her eyes, learning all she knows. She’s my first choice.

But if I could have a second choice, I’d be Lucie Wilton for a day—or a night, because…Owen Archer’s in her bed, you know?  

 

2. Which scene or chapter in the book is your favorite? Why?

 

I love how I shaped the first chapter of A Conspiracy of Wolves. I begin with Alisoun Ffulford, Magda Digby’s apprentice, feeling her way as a healer working solo while the Riverwoman is away. Alisoun’s so connected to the earth and such a complex young woman—I feel I finally caught that in the early scenes. And then I shift to Owen being bored to tears by Geoffrey Chaucer’s prattle as the latter composes poetry aloud while they ride back to York. That moment is hilariously vivid for me. Then the sharp contrast when Brother Michaelo and Bartolf Swann ride up, clearly in crisis. A bit of everything, even some Magda Digby.

 

3. Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

 I certainly think an eye-catching cover attracts readers in brick and mortar bookshops and libraries, particularly when piled face up on a table with many other books. That aspect might not be as important online, except in a publisher’s ads in which it might stand out. What is on the cover is just as important as the overall design—far too many historical novels written by women are marketed with covers that appeal to women, not men. That the majority of male readers shy away from anything that looks in anyway romantic is a fact the publishing industry can’t seem to learn. I was so happy to see Severn House’s cover for A Conspiracy of Wolves. I love it. The color, the design, the feel of it—I couldn’t be happier.

 

4. Which of your books took you the most time to write?

A Triple Knot, a novel about Joan of Kent, written under the pseudonym Emma Campion, took four years.  I had an absentee editor, pulled away from her fiction titles to work on celebrity books, so her response rate was glacial. She learned when I was several months away from delivering the manuscript that marketing demanded it be MUCH shorter than originally agreed. So the tempo of the book was all wrong, and, once we’d agreed that I would focus on Joan of Kent’s early marriage(s) and end the book shortly after she wed Prince Edward, I felt I needed to start over. An excellent editor, but spread far too thin.

 

5. Were you a young writer, a late bloomer, or something in between? What advice would you give to others who took up writing at a similar life phase?

 If you’re asking about when I began to write, my answer is early—the first poem my Dad saved and dated was written when I was 7. But I wasn’t published until my early 40s, so in that sense I’m a late bloomer—to my mind that was late. Advice? If spinning tales is as necessary to you as breathing, just keep doing it. And if you hope to reach an audience, submit your work!

 

6. Which of your books took you the most time to write?

Same question as #4

 

7. Is writing book series more challenging?

 I presume you mean is it more challenging than writing standalone novels? Not for me. Once the characters are well established they become collaborators, their skills and predilections providing ideas or ways into the story. Each series has its own rhythm, and the overall tone is fairly well set, although some stories are heavier than others. All of these decisions are made afresh for a standalone.

 

8. Do you enjoy theatre? Would you ever like one of your stories to be turned into a play?

 

I love theater, and, yes, I would love to experience one of my stories as theater. A play brings together a variety of talents and visions—the playwright’s script, the director’s take on the script, the actors’ interpretations of their roles, set design, costuming, lighting, any ambient music… What a thrill to see what they would bring to one of my books. It would be entirely different in their hands. I’d enjoy their insights.

 

9. Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?

 

My mother was a reader. Some of my happiest memories are our weekly trips to the library. We alternated between two in the neighborhood, for variety. When I’d exhausted the juvenile section she convinced the librarians to issue an adult card so I could read the classics. Mom put Jane Eyre into my hands, and Wuthering Heights. When I visited in her last years we’d sit side by side in the reading chairs in her living room, lost in our separate books, but interrupting each other now and then to share choice passages.

 

10. Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?

 

I need solitude in which to pace and think, and I prefer being in my office with all my reference works and music in the background—early music or Bach’s cello concertos.

 

11. What other projects are in the works?

 

My current focus is the Owen Archer series. I’m writing the 12th novel and playing with future plot concepts. Now and then I fiddle with ideas that have nothing to do with my deadline, just for a change of pace and the experience of writing something entirely different. Keeps me fresh! I don’t worry about whether it will ever amount to something I’ll complete, which in itself is liberating.

About the Author

I’m Candace Robb, a writer/historian engaged in creating fiction about the late middle ages with a large cast of characters with whom I enjoy spending my days. Two series, the Owen Archer mysteries and the Kate Clifford mysteries, are set in late medieval York. The Margaret Kerr trilogy is set in early 14th century Scotland, at the beginning of the Wars of Independence. Two standalone novels (published under pseudonym Emma Campion) expand on the lives of two women in the court of King Edward III who have fascinated me ever since I first encountered them in history and fiction.

I am a dreamer. Writing, gardening, walking, dancing, reading, being with friends—there’s always a dreaming element.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, August 1
Review at Book Frolic
Excerpt at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, August 2
Review at A Book Geek

Saturday, August 3
Feature at The Writing Desk

Monday, August 5
Feature at Book Addict Rambles

Tuesday, August 6
Excerpt at Broken Teepee
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, August 7
Interview at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, August 8
Guest Post at Reading the Past
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Friday, August 9
Feature at I’m All About Books
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Saturday, August 10
Feature at Clarissa Reads it All

Sunday, August 11
Excerpt at A Darn Good Read

Monday, August 12
Excerpt at Just One More Chapter
Review & Interview at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, August 13
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 14
Guest Post at Words and Peace
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, August 15
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a Hardcover copy of A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Conspiracy of Wolves

Book Review The Undertakers Assistant

Hello Bookish Friends

Thanks for joining me today

There are few places on earth that I love more than New Orleans, Louisiana.

I lived for 34 years in South Louisiana, So New Orleans will all always be very special to me. Along with the amazing food and the wonderful people, there is so much historical places that few people other than native to the area know about.

Storyville, a city within the city that had its own Mayor and prostitution was legal from 1897 to 1917. This neighborhood born some of biggest known Jazz musicians ever. To the areas where the the Quadroon Balls of New Orleans where held.

THE UNDERTAKER’S ASSISTANT

BY AMANDA SKENANDORE

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Kensington Publishing Corp.

eBook & Paperback; 304 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Set during Reconstruction-era New Orleans, and with an extraordinary and unforgettable heroine at its heart, The Undertaker’s Assistant is a powerful story of human resilience–and of the unlikely bonds that hold fast even in our darkest moments.

Synopsis:

“The dead can’t hurt you. Only the living can.” Effie Jones, a former slave who escaped to the Union side as a child, knows the truth of her words. Taken in by an army surgeon and his wife during the War, she learned to read and write, to tolerate the sight of blood and broken bodies–and to forget what is too painful to bear. Now a young freedwoman, she has returned south to New Orleans and earns her living as an embalmer, her steady hand and skillful incisions compensating for her white employer’s shortcomings.

Tall and serious, Effie keeps her distance from the other girls in her boarding house, holding tight to the satisfaction she finds in her work. But despite her reticence, two encounters–with a charismatic state legislator named Samson Greene, and a beautiful young Creole, Adeline–introduce her to new worlds of protests and activism, of soirees and social ambition. Effie decides to seek out the past she has blocked from her memory and try to trace her kin. As her hopes are tested by betrayal, and New Orleans grapples with violence and growing racial turmoil, Effie faces loss and heartache, but also a chance to finally find her place . . .

Purchase links :

AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND

Praise for Amanda Skenandore and Between Earth and Sky

“Gripping and beautifully written, Between Earth and Sky tugs at the heart with its dynamic heroine and unique cast of characters. Though this novel brings alive two historical American eras and settings, the story is achingly modern, universal and important.” –Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The It Girls

“Intensely emotional. . . . Skenandore’s deeply introspective and moving novel will appeal to readers of American history, particularly those interested in the dynamics behind the misguided efforts of white people to better the lives Native American by forcing them to adopt white cultural mores.” –Publishers Weekly

“A masterfully written novel about the heart-wrenching clash of two American cultures . . . a fresh and astonishing debut.” –V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls and The Taster

“By describing its costs in human terms, the author shapes tension between whites and Native Americans into a touching story. The title of Skenandore’s debut could refer to reality and dreams, or to love and betrayal; all are present in this highly original novel.” –Booklist

“A heartbreaking story about the destructive legacy of the forced assimilation of Native American children. Historical fiction readers and book discussion groups will find much to ponder here.” –Library Journal

“At its heart, this luminous book tells a Romeo and Juliet story. But Skenandore’s book is so much more than a simple romance. This novel examines the complex relationship between love and loss, culture and conquest, annihilation and assimilation.” –Historical Novel Society

This book was received as an ARC from the publisher and Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

A deeply intriguing and introspective moving novel

Amanda Skenandore, new novel is Intensely emotional historical drama set during the Reconstruction-era New Orleans. Euphemia also known as Effie is a compelling and unforgettable heroine. A former slave and now an accomplished undertaker’s assistant, she has returned to New Orleans to forge a new life and confront her traumatic deeply barrier past.

Skenandore involves all the senses in her evocation of the past, from the bustling, multi-lingual French Quarter, where Creole socialites are elevated. to the riveting terrifying raids of mobs of angry white men that carry out violence against law-abiding Black citizens. An educated freedwoman Effie who’s occupation as an embalmer makes her stand out among the rest. Barely 21 years old Effie takes a position with a white employer. Her meticulous talents as an embalmer make up for her present employers short comings. The author does a wonderful narrative setting the plot line up in the beginning as we get to know each character and a bit of the back stories. This richly atmospheric historical fiction with interpersonal drama and well developed characters with a creative storyline will keep you glued to the pages.

Under the Authors narrative voice you are catapult into the book setting of 1870s

New Orleans.

Authenticity researched this novel examines the complex relationship between love and loss, culture and social caste, and assimilation

Skenandore’s impressive second novel, The Undertaker’s Assistant, is a phenomenal book, that I will definitely recommend to my family and friends

A deeply intriguing and introspective moving novel

A little Piece of History

The System of Plaçage

The Quadroon balls were elegant and elaborate, designed to appeal to wealthy white men. Although race mixing was prohibited by New Orleans law, it was common for white gentleman to attend the balls, sometimes stealing away from white balls to mingle with the city’s quadroon female population. The principal desire of quadroon women attending these balls was to become placée as the mistress of a wealthy gentleman, usually a young white Creole or a visiting European.[21] These arrangements were a common occurrence, Some suggests, because the highly educated, socially refined quadroons were prohibited from marrying white men and were unlikely to find Black men of their own status.

A quadroon’s mother usually negotiated with an admirer the compensation that would be received for having the woman as his mistress. Typical terms included some financial payment to the parent, financial and/or housing arrangements for the quadroon herself, and, many times, paternal recognition of any children the union produced. Some of these matches were as enduring and exclusive as marriages. A beloved quadroon mistress had the power to destabilize white marriages and families, something she was much resented for.

The system of plaçage had a basis in the economics of mixed race. The plaçage of black women with white lovers, One could take place only because of the socially determined value of their light skin, the same light skin that commanded a higher price on the slave block, where light skinned girls fetched much higher prices than did prime field hands The quadroon balls as the best among severely limited options for these near-white women, a way for them to control their sexuality and decide the price of their own bodies.

“The most a mulatto mother and a quadroon daughter could hope to attain in the rigid confines of the black/white world was some semblance of economic independence and social distinction from the slaves and other blacks”

Amanda Skenandore, is a historical fiction writer and registered nurse. Between Earth and Sky was her first novel. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Readers can visit her website at www.amandaskenandore.com.
#Skenandore #bookreview #thrundertaker @arshenandoah @kensingtonbooks #theundertakersassistant

Book Tour Author Interview

Hello and welcome to Gwendalyn’s Books

Happy Tuesday to you! I hope your week will be is overflowing with great reads.

I am delighted to welcome a wonderful author to the blog today,

Chris Thorndycroft

Sign of the White Foal
by Chris Thorndycroft

Publication Date: July 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 327 Pages

Series: Arthur of the Cymry Trilogy (Book 1)
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

A generation after Hengest and Horsa carved out a kingdom in the east, a hero of the Britons rises in the west…

480 A.D. The sons of Cunedag have ruled Venedotia for fifty years but the chief of them – the Pendraig – is now dying. His sons Cadwallon and Owain must fight to retain their birthright from their envious cousins. As civil war consumes Venedotia, Arthur – a young warrior and bastard son of the Pendraig – is sent on a perilous quest that will determine the fate of the kingdom.

The Morgens; nine priestesses of the Mother Goddess have found the cauldron of rebirth – a symbol of otherworldly power – and have allied themselves with the enemy. Arthur and six companions are dispatched to the mysterious island of Ynys Mon to steal the cauldron and break the power of the Morgens. Along the way they run into the formidable Guenhuifar whose family have been stewards of Ynys Mon for generations. They need her help. The trouble is, Guenhuifar despises Arthur’s family and all they stand for…

Based on the earliest Arthurian legends, Sign of the White Foal is a rip-roaring adventure of Celtic myth and real history set in the ruins of post-Roman Britain.

Amazon | IndieBound

About the Author

Chris Thorndycroft is a British writer of historical fiction, horror and fantasy. His early short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Dark Moon Digest and American Nightmare. His first novel under his own name was A Brother’s Oath; the first book in the Hengest and Horsa Trilogy. He also writes under the pseudonym P. J. Thorndyke.

For more information, please visit Chris Thorndycroft’s website. You can also find him on Twitter and Goodreads.

Gwendalyn’s Books Q&A with Chris Thorndycroft

Q: Was the research easier for this book, or harder than the last series you completed?

A: Probably easier as I had done the lion’s share of research for the first trilogy. This trilogy really just follows on from the first so I had a lot of the background filled in already. It was mostly small details I had to research for this one. I generally research stuff as it comes up. Say I have a scene set in a particular town. I’ll then search for references to that town and make sure I have things like the layout right.

Q: What special challenges did you face making your story stand out from others in the genre ?

A: Arthurian fiction is a massive genre of its own and some really big authors have done their versions so it was daunting trying to come up with a unique take. There are several different ways you can look at the legend. One is to go the traditionalist route and basically use Thomas Malory as your template. He is the guy who, in the 15th century, rounded up all the things we associate with the Arthurian legend into one book – the sword in the stone, the round table, the quest for the Holy Grail etc. But that is very much in the fantasy vein. The Britain (or England) Mallory presented never existed and you’re pretty much in alternate history territory even if you strip out all the magical elements. Other writers have gone the realistic ‘how the legend might have happened’ route by grounding it very much in the 5th century and that is what I wanted to do but I knew I’d be up against several big names in doing so – Rosemary Sutcliff and Bernard Cornwell for a start! I had an idea I thought might make my Arthur stand out and that was to slot him into a real royal dynasty that ruled Gwynedd (North Wales) in the 5th century. It was fun to try and work elements of the legend around real figures.

Q: How did you go about developing the setting(s) for this story?

A: Britain at this time (the 5th century) was very wide open and mostly rural so the countryside was important. I researched what the land was like, what sort of trees, flora and fauna was around. Religion (both pagan and Christian) was a big deal for my characters so I really did the research on that. I also looked at how Roman Britain changed (or deteriorated) into post-Roman Britain, how towns decreased or were abandoned entir ely as focus shifted to a more rural economy. Hill forts, some of which had been abandoned since before the Romans came, were refortified suggesting that people moved from towns to more easily defendable places.

Q: What research methods have been most fruitful for you?

A: Reading, reading and more reading. As well as picking up several intimidating textbooks, I found the internet invaluable. Facebook groups are the haunts of some serious Arthurian scholars and reading through their posts (and occasional arguments) was really helpful. I also got ahold of a lot of academic papers relating to just about every aspect of the 5th century you can think of as well as some antique books no longer in print that have been scanned into Google books. You really have to dig and follow leads to get to the good stuff!

Q: Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

A: Probably Arthur. It’s something of a curse in Arthurian fiction that Arthur is usually the least fleshed-out character. With everybody else running off on quests, the king and his court usually just provides the backdrop. I wanted Arthur to be the main character but he’s a bit of a blank slate. I had to give him motivation, desires and fears. That, in turn, helped bring the cast around him to life.

Q: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

A: Living in Norway with two small children doesn’t provide many opportunities for jetting off on research trips to Britain but I did use to live in North Wales so I had those memories of the landscape to inspire me. It was fun to write scenes set on the exact stretch of coastline I used to live on.

Q: Some writers create a bubble around themselves until they’re finished with their project – how true is that in your case?

A: It’s a bit hard to create much of a bubble when you have two young kids and a full time job, but I make sure the last couple of hours in the day is my time to get stuck in and get some writing done. I try to stick with one project until it’s done but all my other writing projects keep trying to sneak in. It’s an effort to push them out and focus on what needs to be done so I suppose I do isolate myself a little bit, at least from anything that might get me excited about those other books I have planned in my head.

Q: Do you prefer writing in silence or to music?

A: Music usually, but only instrumental stuff. Song lyrics distract me when I’m writing so I stick to movie and game soundtracks mostly. There’s loads of playlists on Spotify that have been very motivational in writing my Arthur trilogy. Anything epic or stirring.

Q: What book from your childhood has shaped you most as a writer?

A: The Hobbit was a big influence. I remember my primary school teacher reading it to us and I just loved the sense of adventure, of going from one peril to another, so that has probably had an effect. I always seem to put a bit of adventure in my writing.

Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

A: I don’t base characters on people I know or anything like that, at least not wholesale. Sometimes I have a real person in mind when I’m writing a character but I always make sure I change a few things! When it comes to other stuff, there are a few nods in my Arthur books to things in Arthurian literature that only real enthusiasts will spot. I try to keep things as authentic as possible even if it’s a small detail nobody will notice.

Thanks so much Chris, for visiting Gwendalyn’s Books

http://Instagram.com/gwendalyn_books_

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 22
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, July 23
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 24
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, July 25
Review at My Reading Chronicles

Friday, July 26
Guest Post at Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, July 29
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Faery Tales Are Real

Tuesday, July 30
Interview at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, July 31
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Friday, August 2
Review at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction