Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Sisters of Sea View


About the Book: 

When their father's death leaves them impoverished, Sarah Summers convinces her sisters to open their seaside home to guests to provide for their ailing mother. Emily and Georgiana agree, but Viola, who wears a veil to cover a scar, detests the idea.

Determined to stay together, the sisters begin the new venture. Instead of the elderly invalids they expect, however, they find themselves hosting eligible gentlemen. Sarah is torn between a growing attraction to a mysterious Scottish widower and duty to her family. Meanwhile, the new situation exposes Viola's scars--both the visible and those hidden deep within--and her cloistered heart will never be the same.


My Review: 

There are so many things to love about this book starting with the four Summer sisters and their mother who live on the Devonshire coast. Opening their home to short term boarders, we have a glimpse into the lives of such interesting people. You are sure to love some of the boarders as well as the villagers and the neighbors. 


With the Devonshire coast as the setting that was described in such vivid detail I would happily register for a seaside vacation stay at Sea View. Who wouldn’t want to walk along the cliffs, enjoying the sea breeze and strolling through the town of Old Sidmouth?


I loved the beautiful love story of Viola and Major Jack Hutton. While each had visible scars that made people fearful of them, they could see beyond that to who the person really was. Viola + Jack = perfect couple


There are discussion questions for book club readers at the end of the book and a map of the village for your reference, both of which I appreciate. Lovable characters, faith, a time of crisis, and a well written plot, I highly recommend this book. If you are a fan of historical fiction or books by authors such as Elizabeth Gaskell or Jane Austen, you will want to read this first book in the On Devonshire Shores series. There were many questions that were unanswered and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing what else will take place at Sea View. 


I received an advanced e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not expected to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 28, 2022

His Delightful Lady Delia

 

About the Book

Book: His Delightful Lady Delia

Author: Grace Hitchcock

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: November 1, 2022

Behind the curtain, she must put on the performance of a lifetime . . . while love and risk take center stage.

Delia Vittoria’s mother has lost her voice at last. After five years of being her diva mother’s understudy, it is time for Delia to assume her place as the lead soprano onstage behind the Academy of Music’s faded velvet curtain. And she is all that stands between the Academy and its greatest threat–the nouveaux riches’ lavish new Metropolitan Opera House.

Kit Quincy never misses opening night, but when his sister begs him to help get her husband out of an Italian opera star’s arms, Kit accidentally confronts the younger Lady Vittoria instead. When he meets the stunning young diva again, he attempts to make amends, but then finds himself pulled into a society matron’s plot to win the great opera war. To draw attention to Delia Vittoria as the Academy’s new soprano star, Kit is convinced to act as both Delia’s patron and the enigmatic phantom who once haunted the Academy years ago. But when a second phantom appears, more than Delia’s rising career is threatened.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: 

This being the third book in the American Realty series, I was glad to see Kit Quincy get his own story. Centering around two opera houses and a mother and daughter competing for the diva role was an interesting plot for this story. 


I liked the phantom component of the story, both in Giovanna’s story from the past and Delia’s story that was set in the present. It was fun to figure out who both of the phantoms were and I think other readers will enjoy that part of the story too. 


Delia’s faith was evident throughout the events that took place in her life and I found that an encouraging part of the story. She came to realize that her worth wasn’t in what people thought of her and to trust God in her life. I liked that Kit was not swayed by opinion, but saw Delia as a faithful, giving, and trusting young lady. 


I received a copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed here are completely my own. 


TW: extra marital affairs, abandonment

About the Author

Grace Hitchcock (www.gracehitchcock.com) is the award-winning author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a master’s degree in creative writing and a bachelor of arts in English with a minor in history. Grace lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, Dakota, and their sons and daughter.

 

More from Grace

I’m pretty certain every author started as an avid reader who dreamed of how they would change an ending or change who the heroine ended up with if they could write the book instead. (Anyone else think Theodore Laurence should have married Jo March?) It’s that ever-beautiful question of “what if” that has haunted some of my favorite stories and often drives my own stories to spark to life.

 I first discovered The Phantom of the Opera as a child and fell in love with the beauty of the Broadway musical, a love that continued into my adulthood. So, when I was researching ideas for Book Three in the American Royalty series and I stumbled upon the great opera-house wars between the new money’s opera house and the Academy’s elite opera house, the “what if” sequence began and I knew I had to write my version of a phantom-of-the-opera story. Then when I researched the Italian opera company, I grew even more excited, as I’m from a large Italian family. And when I say large, I mean it’s not uncommon for our smallest gatherings to be only forty people, and when the whole krewe is together, we need a large facility to house us all. I’ve also visited New York and Italy and felt I could add some authenticity to the Italian characters in my novel, which brings me to the leading lady—a delightful opera singer named Delia Vittoria, who takes a beloved hero from Book One in My Dear Miss Dupré, Kit Quincy, by surprise.

 I knew from Kit’s character that if he’d met the woman he was meant to wed, nothing would have stopped him in his pursuit, so I knew I had to introduce a new heroine instead of a lady introduced in Book One. It is rather daring to bring in a new lead in the third book of a series without some form of introduction in prior novels, but I felt Kit’s character warranted it. Kit is by far the “oldest” hero I have written about to date, and to my delight, he captured my heart with his genuine soul and fierce devotion toward the woman he loves. Because of his age and personal experience, I felt that Kit could be a wonderful example of true, godly love to a woman who has seen almost nothing but poor imitations. I hope that you will enjoy their journey toward love and my nod to The Phantom of the Opera! Happy reading, friends!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 19

Melissa’s Bookshelf, November 19

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

The Book Club Network, November 21

deb’s Book Review, November 22

For Him and My Family, November 22

Girls in white dresses, November 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 24 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 25

Holly’s Book Corner, November 25

Remembrancy, November 26

Connie’s History Classroom, November 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 27

Book Looks by Lisa, November 28

Cover Lover Book Review, November 28

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 30

Blogging With Carol, December 1

Back Porch Reads, December 1

Splashes of Joy, December 2

Through the Fire Blogs, December 3

Labor Not in Vain, December 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 e-gift card to Baker Book House and a paperback copy of all three books in the American Royalty series: My Dear Miss Dupré, Her Darling Mr. Day, and His Delightful Lady Delia!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/22ec4/his-delightful-lady-delia-celebration-tour-giveaway


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The Cairo Curse


About the Book:

Clue meets Indiana Jones with a fiction-loving twist only Grace Percy can provide.



Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense, but when a honeymoon trip takes a detour to the mystical land of Egypt, not even Grace with her fiction-loving mind is prepared for the dangers in store. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their dangerous surroundings. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of ancient proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands?


My Review: 

 “Gunfire erupted from outside, sending Frederick Percy, Earl of Astley, leaping from his chair.” With this opening line, I was immediately drawn into the book. I had to see what was going on and if my suspicion was correct in thinking that Grace (Freddie’s wife) was somehow involved. 

Freddy and Grace are the perfect dynamic detective duo. Freddie is the “proceed with caution” type while Grace is, “let’s investigate, no matter the danger” type. Finding themselves embroiled in a case of murder, archaeological mishaps, and tomb robbing, I enjoyed seeing what was going to happen next and if I could figure out who was behind the nefarious activities. 


Grace is my favorite! She seems to thrive on curiosity and imagination that leads her into some predicaments from which Freddie must rescue her. With her bold and risk-taking nature, clues are discovered that might not have been otherwise. I was sorry to see the Egyptian adventure end and am eagerly anticipating the next case that Freddie and Grace will need to solve. 


This is the second book in the Frederick & Grace Mystery series. This can be read as a standalone, but I’d recommend reading The Mistletoe Countess to see the beginning of this wonderful series. I highly recommend this if you like sleuthing couples such as Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence or Dorothy Sayer’s Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane.


I received an ecopy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Stay With Me



About the Book:

Sacrificing and dying to oneself is costly.

But doing so brings new purpose and joy.


As a private investigator, Sybil Huxham has seen her fair share of strange occurrences. But nothing in her career has been more perplexing than the miracles she's witnessed as a result of people drinking ancient holy water. When she discovers more of the rare holy water, she experiences strange overlaps with a nobleman in the Middle Ages who is languishing in a dungeon, accused of treason and condemned to die. To save his life, she finally crosses to the past completely.


Nicholas Worth has never met a woman quite like Sybil, and as the two run for their lives into the Weald, they find refuge among a community of outlaws. With both their reputations on the line, they have little choice but to marry. As they get to know each other, an undeniable attraction develops. But danger and disease chase after them, drawing ever closer. Will they be able to escape the threats? And will Sybil choose to stay with Nicholas in the past, or will she be ripped apart from him forever?


My Review: 

This book is primarily set in the Middle Ages with private investigator Sybil Huxum traveling to the 1300’s to rescue Nicolas Worth. Sybil is one amazing lady who handles herself well in both the present and the past. In the present she kickboxes and likes to take Cross Fit classes. In the past she uses her skills to incapacitate some very nasty characters. She also learns how to ride a horse and use a long bow; I am hoping we see her in upcoming battles.

I loved the Robin Hood feeling of the village of Devil’s Bend in the Weald. The villagers are unique and lovable as they share hardships that have forced them to live in exile in order to escape the evil lord and Nicolas’s brother, Simon. The contrast between the two brothers was well done as you see Simon is cruel and consumed with making a kingdom for himself, while Nicholas has his focus on coming to the aid of others and his king. 

This is the third book in the Waters of Time series. You will need to read the other two books in order to understand this story. I loved the cliffhanger ending and the author’s notes. I always appreciate reading about the history of the time period and the research an author has given in order to make their story come alive.

I would recommend this book for mature readers because there were some scenes between Nicholas and Sybil that were more than just a chaste kiss. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Counterfeit Truth

 


Book Description: 

Felicity Richmond is determined to prove her place at her male-dominated family newspaper. If Father wants a story on the Secret Service's corruption, then that's what she'll get him—at any cost. But Gregory Thompson is willing to kill rather than be exposed. When her plan to catch him goes horribly wrong, her rescue comes in the form of Secret Service operative Hayden Orton. The one man she longs for but can never have.

Hayden Orton nearly had former operative Thompson in his grasp . . . until Felicity interfered. Now it's his responsibility to keep her out of the way until Thompson is arrested. Disguising her protection as a chance at an exclusive story, he invites her to join him on an investigation of the Philadelphia Mint robbery.

But Felicity isn't content to just observe. As they work together—and at odds—to discover the culprit, Felicity stirs up trouble and emotions that leave Hayden wondering if finding the truth might cost him more than he's ready for.

My Review: 

Entering into the world of the Secret Service and their fight against counterfeiters made my afternoon speed by quickly. I loved the spunky, determined, and impetuous Felicity Redmond. She is tired of writing fluff articles for her father's newspaper so she decides to do some investigative reporting on her own. But, as she uncovers details about what is happening with a counterfeit network, her life is at risk. Agent Hayden Orton has quite the unenviable task in trying to keep her safe and out of the way of the investigation. The hair-raising exploits that Felicity continues to find herself in had me nervous and at the same time smiling to see what lengths she would go to in order to get a story.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers of all ages. It is the beginning of the Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age series and I look forward to reading more of the books that Ms. Caudill has planned.

I was given a complimentary electronic copy of the novella. All opinions are my own. 

** Crystal Caudill has made this available for free if you subscribe to her newsletter: www.crystalcaudill.com

Sunday, November 6, 2022

The Bookshop of Secrets

 

About the Book

Book: The Bookshop of Secrects

Author: Mollie Rushmeyer

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction (Christian)

Release date: October 25, 2022

A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family’s legacy…and her future.

Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family’s history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope’s last ties to her late mother—and to a rumored family treasure that could help her start over.

Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can’t remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she’s lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all…

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

Dealing with some extremely traumatic events that have taken place in her life, Hope Sparrow is led to the Dusty Jackets bookstore to recover some books her mother left her in the quaint town where she (her mother) was born. The search for the missing books, the clues to a possible hidden treasure were what made this an interesting story.  The help of Ronan and his unwavering support, along with his grandparents and her new friends believing in her, are the keys Hope experiences to begin to heal, love, and trust again. 


The issue of human trafficking and abuse in a faith-filled manner brought encouragement to know that even in the most broken places of our hearts God is there and can fix it if we let Him. While trafficking is central t0 the story is used as Hope’s backstory, it is not described in great detail.


I enjoyed all of these things that made this a unique story: 


treasure hunt

artwork clues on the books

literary references

literary themed food dishes 

food truck/bookshop

faith aspect 

redemption


Some of my favorite quotes: 


“We’re not meant to live in the shadows, unseen. Everybody needs to know and be known by others.”


“Sometimes we have to stop moving around and quiet down to realize He’s been there all along.”


Thank you to the publisher and Celebrate Lit for a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Mollie writes contemporary fiction with a heart for history. What does this mean exactly? She loves to write inspirational fiction in contemporary settings with fascinating historical elements, people, objects, and stories woven throughout.

A modern girl herself– She wouldn’t want to go a day without modern plumbing and central air! But she’s always felt a special connection to the past. The legacies and lives left behind are like gifts waiting to be unwrapped, and she’s excited to share this blend of history and contemporary living with readers.

A born and bred Midwestern gal, Mollie Rushmeyer, makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband and two spunky, beautiful daughters. She is not only a bibliophile (the dustier the better, in her opinion), she’s a true anglophile at heart. Tea and coffee fuel her travels, by Google maps at least, and her passion for the written word.

 

More from Mollie

Since childhood, opening up a book unlocked a whole new world for me. Of possibilities and adventure, and made me care for people and places that didn’t exist. Like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia, books transported me. It was like magic.

As I began dreaming up The Bookshop of Secrets in its early stages, I knew I wanted to create a character who loved books and was in awe of their transformative and transportive power as much as I am. Thus, Hope Sparrow, a human trafficking survivor and ultimate book lover, was born. I also wanted to honor my grandpa, who planted the seed—love of the written word—in my heart from the time I was very young. And so, Ulysses, the owner of Dusty Jackets Bookshop in the story, is based on my sweet grandpa who has since passed away. But I know he’d love this homage to all things literary.

Afterward, I didn’t know if I’d ever write again and I was more terrified of that than not gaining back the full strength of my left arm.

In the middle of writing this book, in 2018, I had a stroke. As with most medical emergencies, it was quite unexpected. I had a hole in my heart (that has been repaired, thankfully). Afterward, I didn’t know if I’d ever write again and I was more terrified of that than not being able to fully move my left arm again. My brain had to make new connections and it was so difficult, still is some days, to be creative. To find the right words.

But God. In the way that only He can, He brought this forgotten story, this project’s finish line that seemed to be at the summit of an insurmountable mountain within reach. I thought I had something to prove to myself. I begged God not to forget my dream to write. Like He could. But in the end, I just had to trust like my character Hope. Trust that He is good even when life hurts and is uncertain.

“Do you know what the opposite of fear is?”

“Bravery? Peace?” Dare she say her namesake, hope?

“The true counterpart of fear is faith. It takes faith to walk into the future, the unknown, with confidence. Secure in the love of the One who created you and those around you outweighs any hardship, real or imagined, that lies on the path ahead.”

I hope following Hope’s journey of healing and love in The Bookshop of Secrets truly blesses you.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 27

lakesidelivingsite, October 27

Inklings and notions, October 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 28

Simple Harvest Reads, October 28 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

An Author’s Take, October 29

The Write Escape, October 29

deb’s Book Review, October 29

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Rebecca Tews, October 30

Blogging With Carol, October 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 31

Inspired by fiction, October 31

Life of Literature, October 31

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 1

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 1

Cover Lover Book Review, November 1

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 2

Losing the Busyness, November 2

For Him and My Family, November 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 3

Holly’s Book Corner, November 3

Mary Hake, November 3

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 4 (Author Interview)

Paula’s Pad of Suspense and Detection, November 4

Blossoms and Blessings, November 4

Sylvan Musings, November 5

Lily’s Book Reviews, November 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 5

A Reader’s Brain, November 6

Book Looks by Lisa, November 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 7

Truth and Grace Homeachool Academy, November 7

Story Craft, November 7

Through the fire blogs, November 8

Pause for Tales, November 8

Labor Not in Vain, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 9

To Everything There Is A Season, November 9

Lights in a Dark World, November 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Mollie is giving away the grand prize package of a eBook or signed paperback copy (paperback U.S. Only) of The Bookshop of Secrets and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/226c7/the-bookshop-of-secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway


The Letter

  Book:  The Letter Author:  Edwina Kiernan Genre:  Christian Historical Romance Release date:  November 1, 2022 She wants a new life. He’s ...