Thursday, June 29, 2023

Man of Shadow and Mist

 

About the Book

Book: Man of Shadow and Mist

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: June, 2023

“The world seems full of good men—even if there are monsters in it.”

–Bram Stoker, Dracula

England, 1890

Vampires are alive and well in North Yorkshire, leastwise in the minds of the uneducated. Librarian Rosa Edwards intends to drive a stake through the heart of such superstitions. But gossip flies when the mysterious Sir James Morgan returns to his shadowy manor. The townsfolk say he is cursed.

James hates everything about England. The weather. The rumours. The scorn. Yet he must stay. His mother is dying of a disease for which he’s desperately trying to find a cure—an illness that will eventually take his own life.

When Rosa sets out to prove the dark gossip about James is wrong, she discovers more questions than answers. How can she accept what she can’t explain—especially the strong allure of the enigmatic man? James must battle a town steeped in fear as well as the unsettling attraction he feels for the no-nonsense librarian.

Can love prevail in a town filled with fear and doubt?

 Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: 

I love this series of books that Michelle Griep has written that are based upon classic Gothic tales. This particular story is based upon Bram Stoker’s Dracula in which superstitious villagers are so easily swayed to believe the worst about Sir James Morgan due to the power of suggestion and unexplained events.

Rosa Edwards is a fearless heroine and a loyal and fierce defender of Sir James. She had me cheering for her throughout the story as she refused to give into fear or rumors about him and his family. Seeing her love for the people of the town and the need for everyone to enjoy reading hit a soft spot in my heart. She went well beyond just being a librarian when she chose to find patrons for those who couldn’t afford a subscription.

While I at first did not like Albin Mallow and the tactics he employed to try and turn circumstances to fit his needs, I was happy to see he redeemed himself and chose to share the truth. I actually felt sorry for him and felt better things would be in the future for him.

I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy Gothic romance stories with a thread of faith throughout the story. While it is the second on the series, it can be read as a standalone if you so choose.

I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive comment. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

And guess what? She loves to hear from readers! Feel free to drop her a note at michellegriep@gmail.com.

 

More from Michelle

A Visit to Whitby

Every time I skip across the pond, I make it a point to visit Whitby. What’s the draw? This northern Yorkshire town is steeped in history and is every bit as magical today as it was back in Bram Stoker’s day…when he went to visit and was inspired to set much of his Dracula tale there. In fact, that is exactly where he got the inspiration for the name Dracula when he visited the library and did a bit of research.

Sound interesting? Then come along with me on a virtual visit with pictures from my last trip.

When walking the windy, narrow roads of Whitby, you can’t help but let your imagination wander because it’s as if you’re there in the nineteenth century. Can’t you just see a long-gowned heroine glancing over her shoulder at you as she flees down this lane?

And overlooking these lanes is the infamous abbey ruins, an eerie sentinel that sits atop the cliffs. It is rumoured a ghostly woman appears in the window, but I didn’t see her.

Still in operation today is this old coaching inn, which of course I had to use in one of my scenes.

There are still fishermen who ply these waters for trade, but this harbor isn’t nearly as active as it was centuries ago.

Twice I’ve made the coastal hike from Whitby to Robinhood’s Bay. This is where I imagined librarian Rosa Edwards riding her bicycle delivering books.

And yes, indeed, the sea mists are a very real thing, sometimes so thick it’s disorienting.

So, see what I mean? Whitby is a magical place, well worth the effort to get to if you ever venture over to England. And if that doesn’t quite fit into your budget or schedule, never fear.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L, June 29

Book Looks by Lisa, June 29

Betti Mace, June 30

Vicky Sluiter, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 1

Back Porch Reads, July 1

Daysong Reflections, July 2

Texas Book-aholic, July 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 3

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, July 3

To Everything There Is A Season , July 4

Cover Lover Book Review, July 4

Kristina Hall, July 4

Connie’s History Classroom, July 5

Scott’s book reviews, July 5

Lights in a Dark World, July 5

Sylvan Musings, July 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 7

Pause for Tales, July 7

Tell Tale Book Reviews , July 8

annette_reads_daily, July 8

Through the Fire Blogs, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 9 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Blogging With Carol, July 9

Where Faith and Books Meet, July 10

Wishful Endings, July 10

For Him and My Family, July 11

Blossoms and Blessings, July 11

Holly’s Book Corner, July 12

Splashes of Joy , July 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/26791/man-of-shadow-and-mist-celebration-tour-giveaway


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

An Appointment in Bath




 About the Book:

Shy and stammering Meg Burton-Smythe has spent the whole of her life living on the fringes of local society. She’s more comfortable with her daydreams than she is with people. But when a dashing, golden-haired hero rides to her rescue one morning, she dares to hope that her dreams might finally come true. There’s only one problem: her handsome rescuer is the son of her father’s sworn enemy.

Ivo Beresford doesn’t believe in clinging to the past. Freshly returned from a lengthy grand tour, he’s looking to the future, eager to spearhead the building of a new railway extension in Somersetshire. But an unexpected encounter with Meg Burton-Smythe, the isolated only daughter of his parents’ oldest foe, sets the past and the future colliding.

Resolved to put ancient grudges to rest—at least where innocent young ladies are concerned—Ivo encourages lonely Meg to embark on a secret friendship. After all, what harm can a friendship do? It isn’t as though there’s any danger of the two of them falling in love…


My Review: 

The story of the Beresford family continues with Ivo and his relationship with the sweet and bashful Meg Burton-Smythe. You can’t help but be drawn into the heart warming story of this couple. Meg has had very little interaction with other young people due to her unloving, controlling father. Ivo has a soft spot for those who are in need of help. He does a fantastic job of getting Meg to see the kind and amazing woman she is.

I loved the bridge scenes because at first Meg is terrified to cross over the old stone structure. One, because it feels unsafe, and two, because of the creepy legend that surrounds it. When Meg begins to cross it daily, she finds the courage she thought she didn’t have. She realizes that she must confront her father and stand up to him. As she finds her voice and questions him about the past, it was interesting to see him begin to change towards her. I am always drawn to stories of reconciliation, and I am hopeful this will happen for Meg and her father.

I recommend reading this book for its intriguing characters, its powerful message, and its wonderful love story. While it can be read as a standalone, I’d read the others in the series to understand the background of why there is such animosity between the Beresfords and the Burton-Smythes.

I received a copy of this book. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

A Royal Competition




About the Book: 

One prince. Twelve women.
A broadcasted dating competition where only one will become queen.
Prepare to be royally entertained.

Prince Liam was never supposed to be king. Now he has ninety days to find a bride or lose the throne. In his final moments, the king shared one last wish—that Liam would star as the lead in a royal dating show and marry the woman of his choosing. Even though he has vowed to never love again, Liam reluctantly agrees to take on the role, hoping to gain the support of the Wistonian people. But then the one person who has the power to break down his walls shows up as a contestant in the competition.

Lady Charlotte never planned to return to the Wistonian Palace. And she definitely didn’t plan to court the man she has secretly been pining over for years. In a competition where most women would do anything to win, she simply hopes to survive with her heart still intact. But things never seem to go according to plan.

A Royal Competition is Book 2 in the Royal Hearts series. This is a sweet, closed-door romance and can be read as a standalone, but it would be most enjoyed after reading A Royal Obligation.

My Review: 

90 days to find a bride or lose the kingdom. It sounds impossible unless... you invite eligible young ladies to come and stay at the palace to see if they could be a perfect match for host Prince Liam.

As you can imagine with a palace full of women, things are bound to get crazy and interesting! There are a variety of ladies from which Prince Liam has to choose. There were several young women who were lovely that I could see Liam deciding they were the one to marry and several of them who were just plain old obnoxious. I couldn't wait to see them be escorted out to harass some other unfortunate man. 

What lengths would ladies go to in order to be chosen queen? You'll have to find out about the antics that may involve animals, food, and beauty products. 

I enjoyed reading the dual POV of Prince Liam and Lady Charlotte. It made the story interesting, and at one point I thought they were going to need some help from their friends getting them to admit their feelings for one another. I think Charlotte is a wonderful and caring lady who will love Liam and the people of  Wistonia with her whole heart. 

If you like TV dating shows that also has some political underhandedness happening, you'll love this book. It is the second in the series and can be read as a standalone. But, I think you will enjoy the story even more if you've read the first book. 

I received a copy of the book from the author. A positive review was not required.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

A Wyoming Summer

 


Title: A Wyoming Summer by Carla Kelly, Christine Sterling, & Heather B. Moore 

BOOK DESCRIPTION

A Wyoming Summer is the fourth book in the Timeless Western Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories ask if true love can survive the changing seasons?

“Ellen Found,” by Carla Kelly

 

Set in location of Old Faithful Inn, 1903-4. Working in a discouraging café, Ellen escapes an awful situation in rough and tumble Butte, Montana, and goes to work as second in command to a wary cook in the shell that will become Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone Park. She meets Charles Penrose, head carpenter on the massive project of Old Faithful Inn, which is being finished in a harsh Wyoming winter. Will it really open June 1, 1904? Can Ellen start to trust the other workers? What will she learn about the other employees? And Charles. He's a widower with a young daughter there, too. Like Ellen, he wants more.

 

“The Widow of Daybreak,” by Christine Sterling

 

Doris Whistler is learning how to survive in a town taken over by outlaws. When the leader of an infamous gang murders her husband, her choices are to tuck tail and run, or stand her ground and make Daybreak as promising as its name. It proves to be a difficult task with the good citizens in fear of the corrupt mayor and godlessness that abounds. What she doesn't expect is the support of a traveling lawman who believes in her and the tiny town she loves so much.

 

“May I Kiss the Bride,” by Heather B. Moore

 

Viola Delany is not happy about being sent to the middle-of-nowhere, small town Wyoming. Yes, it will be good to let the gossips find something else to talk about other than her failed engagement. And yes, it will be nice to spend the summer with her Aunt Beth. But as Viola sits on the train heading for Wyoming, wondering how she'll ever occupy her time in such a small town, none other than a real-life cowboy sits across the way. She can't help but take peeks at him, noting that the condition of his unpolished black boots and scuffed rawhide jacket seem to be authentic . . . All right, so he might be tall, dark-haired, and handsome if a woman doesn't mind green eyes and a dangerous-looking scar, but this man certainly has nothing to do with her. Besides she'll never see him again. What are the chances he's traveling to the same middle-of-nowhere small town? 

 

 

ABOUT THE SERIES

Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Romance Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.   


My Review: 

I love anthologies because you get read several author’s stories and see their style of writing. I enjoyed  each of the three stories, all were unique and interesting. Readers of all ages will like reading this book that contains courageous men and women, danger, historical nuggets, and of course, clean romance. 

Ellen Found 

The building of the Old faithful Inn at the Yellowstone National Park was fascinating. Experiencing the perils of wildlife along with Ellen Found, Charles Penrose, and his young daughter, Gwen, and being a part of the construction of such an American icon made this part of history come alive. 

The Widow of Daybreak

Doris Whistler must stand up to the outlaws and their leader who have taken over her beloved town. I liked that she had backbone and fought for her future.

May I Kiss the Bride?

Viola Delany finds a way to pursue her dream career after she is sent to a small Wyoming town where her Aunt Beth lives. Tasting freedom that she never had before, it will take everything she has to face her parents to tell her what she plans on doing. the towns people, and one rugged cowboy are what makes the town a place where Beth loses her heart. 

I received a copy of the book. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own. 

 

Carla Kelly started writing Regencies because of her interest in the Napoleonic Wars. She like writing about warfare at sea and ordinary people of the British Isles, rather than lords and ladies. In her spare time, she likes to read British crime fiction and history, particularly the U.S. Indian Wars. She is a former park ranger, and double Rita Award and Spur Award winner. She currently lives in Utah, has five interesting children and four grands. Carla’s favorite authors include Robert Crais and Richard Woodman.

 

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

 

Christine Sterling is a USA Today best-selling author who writes small-town inspirational romances with a touch of humor. Most of her stories take place in the plains of Nebraska or Colorado, but she will write wherever there are cowboys needing to find love. Her favorite stories involve tight-knit families, and you will often find that her characters cross over in many of her stories.

 

She lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, four dogs, and one spoiled cat, aka The Floof. She can often be found in her garden with a notebook and a cup of tea. 

BOOKBUB | BOOKFUNNEL | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today best-selling and award-winning author of more than seventy publications, including The Paper Daughters of Chinatown. She has lived on both the East and West Coasts of the United States, as well as Hawaii, and attended school abroad at the Cairo American Collage in Egypt and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about history and is passionate about historical research.

 

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


PURCHASE LINKS AMAZON | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Romancing the Artist

 


About the Book:

A budding artist, a gentleman-in-training, and a fake courtship that takes both of them by surprise.

Caroline Clapham isn’t a world renown artist—she’s simply a farmer’s daughter possessed of natural talent with a paintbrush. Talent that her mentor, the Countess of Inglewood, is happy to foster for a summer at her beautiful seaside estate. Caroline wants to see the world and commit its beauties to canvas, but she fears that the season will end and she will return home as insignificant as ever. The lure of an adventure and the enchanting Inglewood estate keep her dreams alive, but when she meets Edward Everly and agrees to fake a courtship with him, those dreams begin to change.

Mr. Edward Everly is preparing to take over the management of the estate from his father. His new responsibilities are many and varied, and include marrying the girl his parents have selected for him. Unfortunately, the chosen bride is in love with another, and Edward would rather help her cause than champion his own. When he stumbles upon Miss Clapham painting in the woods, he hasn’t any idea the upheaval she will cause to all his plans. The beautiful young artist agrees to enter into a pretend courtship with him, but before summer’s end, Edward’s emotions are far from feigned.

Though it starts as a ruse, Caroline and Edward’s relationship quickly deepens into something neither of them expected. Edward has a role to fill, and Caroline’s lifelong dream is almost within reach. Will their pretend courtship have the chance to blossom into more, or will Edward follow the wishes of his family and risk breaking more than his own heart?


My Review: 


Sally Britton’s stories always make me happy to have read them and this one is just as pleasurable as I had anticipated. I was taken away to the Inglewood estate with Caroline Clapham to enjoy the hospitality of Lady Inglewood and her husband. I couldn't wait to see old friends from a previous series and see who we would come to know in the story. 


Things really begin to happen when Caroline meets Edward Everly and they formulate a plan to help him and their friend Mariah avoid an unwanted marriage. Caroline and Edward are great together as they encourage each other to go after their dreams. I loved Edward’s solution to both of their aspirations. Things I enjoyed: loyal friendships

humor

self sacrificing heroine sweet and clean romance seeing characters from another series the wood nymph imagery Edward and Caroline’s adventures, present and future If you enjoy Regency stories with a great characters, then you will love this book. It is the beginning of a new series and I look forward to reading more! I received a complimentary copy of the book, but a positive review was not required.


Mortal Queens

  About the Book Book:  Mortal Queens Author:  Victoria McCombs Genre:  YA Fae Fantasy Release Date:  February 6, 2023 They vanish without a...