Showing posts with label historical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label historical. Show all posts

Monday, February 19, 2018

"The Nobleman’s Daughter" by Jen Geigle Johnson


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Nobleman’s Daughter
by Jen Geigle Johnson

The Nobleman’s Daughter by Jen Geigle Johnson

This book blast and giveaway for The Nobleman’s Daughter by Jen Geigle Johnson is brought to you by I Am A Reader as part of the Romance is in the Air promotion.


Description
England, 1819
While British high society primps and plays, the impoverished citizens of London languish. But there are those fighting for the freedom of common citizens - including two members of the aristocracy who secretly champion revolution. In the drawing rooms of the upper class, Lady Amanda and Lord Nathaniel flirt and tease with the best of them as she pretends to win every heart in London for sport, and he, to conquer them. But in truth, their flirtation is merely a façade designed to keep their clandestine actions hidden from the ton - and from each other. When Nathaniel presents himself as a potential suitor, the attraction between the two is undeniable - but the faces they portray to the world are not enough to win each other’s hearts.
When their crusade for London’s poor unites them more deeply than they could imagine, Amanda and Nathaniel struggle to trust one another with their true ideals and identities. But when the call to action leads Amanda into the path of danger, she can only hope that Nathaniel will see through her frivolous pretense. Because now, only the aid of the suitor she loves most - but trusts least - can save her.

Excerpt
While British high society primps and plays, the impoverished citizens of London languish. But there are those fighting for the freedom of common citizens—including two members of the aristocracy who secretly champion revolution. In the drawing rooms of the upper class, Lady Amanda and Lord Nathaniel flirt and tease with the best of them as she pretends to win every heart in London for sport, and he, to conquer them. But in truth, their flirtation is merely a façade designed to keep their clandestine actions hidden from the ton—and from each other. When Nathaniel presents himself as a potential suitor, the attraction between the two is undeniable—but the faces they portray to the world are not enough to win each other’s hearts.
While their crusade for London’s poor unites them more deeply than they could imagine, Amanda and Nathaniel struggle to trust one another with their true ideals and identities. But when the call to action leads Amanda into the path of danger, she can only hope that Nathaniel will see through her frivolous pretense. Because now, only the aid of the suitor she loves most—but trusts least—can save her.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“This book touched me in a personal way. […] This story is sweet, realistic, and a much-needed reminder that we all should give more to those who have less—even better if we do it with a hidden identity.” ~ M. Gray
“The fiction and actual history are woven together seamlessly. This book has meaning beyond just a traditional romance, but that doesn't mean it's stodgy--it's also a fun read. I would love to read a sequel!” ~ Lonestar10
“I loved this book! Such a fun read, even set against the heels of change in England. It really ramps up at the end. Grab a tissue!” ~ Stacy Wells
“With intrigue and mystery from the first sentence of the story, The Nobleman’s Daughter by Jen Geigle Johnson immediate springs to life off the pages.” ~ Singing Librarian Books
“Excellent Debut novel by Jen Geigle Johnson. Love the depth of the characters that grab ahold of you and won’t let go. Not your typical romance tale.” ~ Jessica

About the Author
Jen Geigle Johnson
Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep’s roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.
Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Links



Saturday, February 17, 2018

"A Pirate at Pembroke" by Danielle Thorne


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
A Pirate at Pembroke
by Danielle Thorne

A Pirate at Pembroke by Danielle Thorne

A Pirate at Pembroke by Danielle Thorne is currently listed on Kindle Scout. Nominate the book by 17 March and, if it's selected for publication, you will receive a FREE copy when it's published! This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by I Am a Reader.


Description
A Jane Austen-inspired Pirate Romance
Sophie Crestwood is never going to catch a husband, and she isn’t even sure she wants one. Her father is a gossip, her mother always has her nose in a book, and little Jack has shamefully been dismissed from boarding school. Worst of all, a pirate moves next door into Pembroke Hall!
When Sophie’s sent to a matchmaking party at a neighboring estate, the pirate from Pembroke arrives and distracts everyone from the summer festivities. Unguarded, her feelings about the mysterious Captain Murdock bloom into a trusted friendship that Sophie fears may come to mean much more than anyone would ever suspect. Keeping company with a reputed pirate is one thing but falling in love with him could ruin the eccentric Crestwood family for good.


Excerpt
The sad sonata continued its siren’s call. It echoed a passionate and haunting melody, just like the dark halls of Pembroke with its soiled paintings of aristocrats from long ago. Sophie examined the chamber doors through the gloom and decided the door to the second room on the left was slightly ajar with a dim light shimmering around it. She moved in silence to the small gap and caught her breath.
Captain Murdock stood in front of a languid fire burning beneath a marble mantel. One bare foot was balanced on a low, milking stool nestled up against a heavy, velvet-covered chair. The other kept time on the floor. With his cane leaning against the fireplace, Murdock stood balanced on his own. In his hands, a violin tucked underneath his chin swayed. It moved in time with his body as he performed a strange dance to the music. His profile in the firelight was sharp and clear. He stood slender and tall. In these private bedchambers, half-dressed in loose buckskin breeches and an untucked shirt open at the neck, he did not seem as rigid and menacing as before. From his dreamy stare, his thoughts were somewhere inside the flickering blue and orange flames. The reflection of the firelight made his pale eyes glow.
Sophie noticed his hair was undone. It hung far past his neck, with slight waves resting on his broad upper back on either side of his shoulders. She put a hand to her mouth realizing it had fallen open, and at the same time, that it was scandalous to spy on her host. She swallowed and stepped away. The music stopped in mid-cry. Her heart jumped in her chest, and for a brief pause, the only sound to be heard was her own loud breathing. She stepped back and pivoted on her heel.
Horrified he might have felt her examination, she strode down the rug-lined hallway as quietly as she could, but each footfall sounded like muffled thunder as she hurried back to the stairs. She reached the banister and slipped down the first step, but her shift snagged on something, and she spun about to free it.
Captain Murdock stood behind her, silent. He held a handful of her shift in his fist. She had not snagged it after all. Rather, he had snagged her. She jerked in surprise, but his hold kept her from falling backward and tumbling down the stairs. His other hand trembled as it balanced precariously on a carved dragon head at the top of his cane.
“What do you think you are doing?”
“I… I heard music and followed it.”
His eyes blazed with accusation, and it unnerved her.
“I’m so sorry,” she said in a choking voice. Her nose tingled again. She touched it with her fingers to make it stop.
“It’s not possible you heard music from all the way down in your room.”
Sophie took a nervous breath. He stood there, one step above her like a giant, her bedclothes gripped in his hand so tight it shook. She hadn’t heard him shuffle down the hall after her. He moved as silent as a ghost when he wanted — even with a cane. She found the courage to meet his penetrating gaze. “I did hear something from my room. Then I was in the hall.”
Captain Murdock waited for a long pause, while the dust they had stirred up in the rugs pirouetted in the air and into Sophie’s eyes and nose. “You should not be out of bed,” he said.
Sophie swallowed down her frightened apprehension. She tried to beg his pardon, but her lungs failed her, and she coughed in reflex. She covered her mouth with her fingers. “I’m so sorry,” she repeated between them, her cheeks hot with humiliation. She stared at the fistful of her garments he’d snatched, aware his eyes examined her from her straight, waist-length hair down to her naked ankles. With a jerk, he dropped her shift like it burned his hand.
“Go to bed,” he said in a quiet voice.
Sophie’s nose had not quit tingling and itching. “Yes, sir,” she said at once, but not soon enough to keep a sneeze from erupting. It came so fast and without warning, she had no chance to catch it before it doused him with all her rejection.
Horrified, she stumbled down the next step, thankful the old handrail held fast. When she glanced back, he was wiping off his shirt with a look of disgust.


About the Author
Danielle Thorne
Danielle Thorne is the author of classic romance and adventure in several genres. She loves Jane Austen, pirates, beaches, cookies, antiques, cats, dogs, and long naps. She does not like phone calls or sushi. A graduate of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho, Danielle saw early work published by Every Day Fiction, Arts and Prose Magazine, Mississippi Crow, The Nantahala Review, StorySouth, and… you get the idea. Besides writing, she’s edited for both Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing. Her growing blog, The Balanced Writer, focuses on writing, life, and the pursuit of peace and happiness. Currently, Danielle freelances as a non-fiction author while waiting to hear from readers like you through her website. During free time, which means when Netflix is down, she combs through feedback and offers virtual hugs for reviews. A Pirate at Pembroke is her newest release. Her non-fiction book, The Story of Queen Victoria 200 Years After Her Birth, is coming fall 2018.

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win some a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.

Links

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"Searching for Gertrude" by D. E. Haggerty

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Searching for Gertrude
by D. E. Haggerty

Searching for Gertrude by D. E. Haggerty

Searching for Gertrude by D. E. Haggerty is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.



Description
While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey.
Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position working at the consulate in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love.
Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago.
How far would you go to find the woman you love?


Excerpt
As usual, the clerk rushed out of the room as soon as it was lunchtime the next day. Rudolf waited until the other administrative workers had left, and then he waited an additional five minutes to make sure no one was coming back. He didn’t sneak over to the clerk’s desk. He strolled over as if he had business to which he needed to attend even as his palms sweated and his heart beat erratically. He tugged on the drawer to ensure it was locked before pulling the letter opener out of his pocket. He looked around to ensure he was still alone before kneeling in front of the drawer and sticking the letter opener in the tiny lock. With only a bit of jiggling, the lock clicked open. As quietly as he could, Rudolf pulled the drawer open and peeked in. Sure enough, the cabinet keys were sitting in the tray on the top of the drawer. He slid the drawer closed and went to stand. That’s when he realized his mistake. The drawer had to be locked when the clerk arrived. Otherwise, he would immediately assume something was wrong.
Rudolf kneeled in front of the closed drawer and once again stuck his letter opener in the lock. If the letter opener could unlock the drawer, it stood to reason it could also lock it. It took quite a bit of fiddling made worse by his shaky hands before he felt a click. He heard the clacking of boots on tile and jumped to his feet while thrusting the letter opener in his pocket. The sound came closer. He didn’t have time to check the lock was engaged. He rushed in the opposite direction of the approaching person, entering the hallway on the far side of the office. He walked to the toilet and waited until he was locked in a stall before he dared to take a breath. He leaned against the stall door and took deep breaths while his heart slowly went back to its regular rhythm.
After he managed to gain some semblance of calm, he splashed cold water on his face before returning to his desk where he waited for the clerk to arrive. Was the desk drawer locked? Would the clerk know someone had tampered with the drawer even if it was locked? It took all of Rudolf’s willpower to not constantly glance at the clerk’s empty desk. When the clerk finally arrived, Rudolf tilted his chair in the clerk’s direction and waited with bated breath. But nothing happened other than the clerk unlocking his desk after sitting down. Rudolf waited for the man to notice things were amiss. It took several hours before he realized the clerk was not going to notice anything, and he could relax. He could breathe for the first time since lunch and got back to work.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“This WWII era story, set in Istanbul, is emotional, captivating and amazing. The author has obviously done her research, and she makes actual historical events an integral part of the story.” ~ Book Babble
“This story is just full of historical details that really give the reader a sense of the life that the people in Europe were leading during this dark time in history. It provides an excellent backdrop for this information that keeps the reader wondering what the two characters will discover next.” ~ Books a Plenty Book Reviews
“Searching for Gertrude is in two words spectacularly beautiful. It is emotional, beautiful, captivating and just engaging and so so amazing. DE Haggerty’s creates the environment of what Rudolf and Rosalynn are going through that is so palpable and real. She creates the historical emotion and happenings in such a realistic way in both situations and emotion.” ~ hello-booklover
“The entire story is entrancing, the setting is perfect, and the trials and tribulations our characters endure are believable. Historical events are a pivotal part of the story, instead of being thrown in as background noise, and they’re intelligently written. There’s never a lull, and the author puts you in that time and place. I was hooked from the beginning and just hated to put it down!” ~ CeeCee Lawson
“This was a really good book and well written. I was drawn into the story and could visualize all that was going on. This is a book that I am still thinking about and I will read again.” ~ T from Florida


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
The book begins in Germany, 1933, when sixteen-year-old Gertrude and her family are forced to abandon their home and move to Istanbul, Turkey, because they are Jewish. Her nineteen-year-old neighbour Rudolf is forced to watch his soulmate leave, and he vows to be reunited with her one day. Eight years later, in 1941, Rudolf finally makes his way to Istanbul, after studying and gaining a position as a foreign diplomat. There, he meets Rosalyn, a young Jewish woman who has recently arrived from New York - in the guise of becoming a nanny - to help the exiled Jews in any way she can. Rudolf and Rosalyn form a mutually beneficial relationship, meeting on a bench in the park to update each other on their search for Gertrude. But, as their feelings for each other grow, what will happen once their search for Gertrude is over?
The story is told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of Rosalyn and Rudolf. The chapters headed with a quote by Rosalyn are from Rudolf’s viewpoint and vice versa, so these quotes serve to provide a commentary on the events of the preceding chapter. It’s obvious the author has done extensive research to write this book. The inclusion of German and Turkish dialogue adds an authentic touch; however, it is never translated, and the meaning is not always apparent in context. Many real-life events are also incorporated into the plot; the account of the Struma, a ship carrying nearly 800 Jewish refugees, is particularly heartbreaking.
While the author builds suspense by foreshadowing trials and tribulations to come, these never eventuate, and things are often resolved quite easily. This leaves us with more of a sweet, historical romance than a thrilling espionage thriller.
An entertaining and informative read.


About the Author
D. E. Haggerty
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed.
College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.
After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law.
But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. So, I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before followingd the husband to Istanbul, where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.
But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague, where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Searching for Gertrude is my twelfth book.

Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Links

Monday, January 29, 2018

"Smoke City" by Keith Rosson

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Smoke City
by Keith Rosson

Smoke City by Keith Rosson

Smoke City by Keith Rosson is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Marvin Deitz has some serious problems. His mob-connected landlord is strong-arming him out of his storefront. His therapist has concerns about his stability. He’s compelled to volunteer at the local Children’s Hospital even though it breaks his heart every week.
Oh, and he’s also the guilt-ridden reincarnation of Geoffroy Thérage, the French executioner who lit Joan of Arc’s pyre in 1431. He’s just seen a woman on a Los Angeles talk show claiming to be Joan, and absolution seems closer than it’s ever been ... but how will he find her?
When Marvin heads to Los Angeles to locate the woman who may or may not be Joan, he’s picked up hitchhiking by Mike Vale, a self-destructive alcoholic painter traveling to his ex-wife’s funeral. As they move through a California landscape populated with “smokes” (ghostly apparitions that’ve inexplicably begun appearing throughout the southwestern US), each seeks absolution in his own way.
In Smoke City, Keith Rosson continues to blur genre and literary fiction in a way that is in turns surprising, heartfelt, brutal, relentlessly inventive, and entirely his own.

Excerpt
The years bled together. Each waking morning—or afternoon, truth be told, or evening—couched in a familiar bloom of panic. After that, after Vale realized where he was, who he was, came the rest: sickness, fear, assessment of damage, all of it stitched together with the fine red thread of guilt.
Art & Artists had once called him a “relentless avatar of our contemporary, post-nuclear unease.”
He woke to the alarm, studded in fresh bruises. New scabs on his knees and his teeth loose in his mouth. His lack of memory familiar in itself. Sunlight fell in the room in fierce, distinct bands.
He stood shivering in the shower, the water lancing against him while lava, hot and malicious, compressed itself behind his optic nerves. This pulsing thunder in the skull, and moments from the Ace High the night before came to him slowly, like something spied through a fun house mirror. He bent over to pick up a sliver of soap and with his trembling hand batted a rust-dotted razor lying on the rim of the bathtub. The razor slid down the tub, luge-like, and Vale reached down for it, trying not to gag as dark spots burst like stars in his periphery. He stumbled and stepped on the razor. The crack of plastic, and thin threads of blood began to snake toward the drain. It was painless.
“Oh, come on,” he croaked. “Shit’s sake.” He’d smoked nearly two packs of Camels the night before and sounded now like something pulled howling from a crypt. He tried to stand on his other foot to examine the cut and couldn’t manage it. He put his foot back down and stepped on the broken razor again, and now the floor of the tub was awash in an idiot’s Rorschach of red on white. He retched once and shut the water off, resigned to death—or at least collapse—at any second. The towel hanging from the back of the door reeked of mold, and he gagged against it and dropped it to the floor. He left bloody, shambling one-sided footprints to his bedroom.
Apart from the painting hanging above his bed (the sole Mike Vale original still in his possession), the fist-sized hole next to the light switch was the room’s only decoration. There was a dresser pitted with cigarette burns and topped with a constellation of empty beer bottles. An unmade bed ringed with dirty sheets. The alarm clock on the floor. Plastic blinds rattled against the open window.
He dressed slowly and stepped to the kitchen. Flies dive-bombed bottles mounded in the sink, on the counters. The light on the answering machine was blinking. He pressed the Play button, already knowing who it would be—who else called him?—and there was Candice’s voice.
“The only man in the country still using an answering machine,” she said. “Okay. This is me saying hi. Give me a ring when you discover, you know, fire and the wheel.” Her voice then became steeped in a cautious, thoughtful cadence, a measured quality he remembered more clearly from their marriage. “Richard and I should be heading up through there on tour for another Janey book soon. It’d be good to touch base, get dinner. Call me.”
It was September, the last gasp of summer. The apartment was explosive with trapped heat. A swath of sunlight fell across the countertop. Just looking at that glare hurt his eyes, his entire body, made him feel as if rancid dishwater was shooting straight into his guts. A nameless sadness, the sadness, the exact opposite of the Moment and so much more insistent, tore through him like a torrent. Like a rip of lightning, there and gone, and Vale sobbed. Just once. One ragged, graceless gasp. Pathetic. He stood sweating over the answering machine, ashamed of himself.
He was out the door five minutes later, blood wetting his sock, cold coffee and aspirin hammering a bitter waltz somewhere below his heart.
Time had once called him “a shaman of America’s apocalyptic incantations, one who catalogs our fears and thrusts them back at us in a ferocious Day-Glo palette.”
On his way to the bus stop Mike Vale, the shaman, the avatar—looking down in his shirt pocket for a cigarette—ran directly into a telephone pole, hard enough to give himself a nosebleed.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“Rosson is a talent to be watched.” ~ Jason Heller, NPR
“A brilliantly haunting tale of forgiveness and redemption even in the face of abject failure ... Depravity and grace meet in a powerful, profound, and lavish banquet for the soul.” ~ Foreword Reviews (starred review)
“Rosson's talent is staggering, his craft is meticulous, and his story is one of the quirkiest, but most heartfelt I have ever read.” ~ Dianah Hughley, Bookseller, Powell's
“A surreal road novel about misfits on a journey to Southern California ... An offbeat, strangely satisfying adventure through a land of (literal) ghosts.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
“[A] story about hope, about love and about the essential decency of people ... hugely satisfying ... the literary quality of Keith Rosson’s writing is truly remarkable and, at times, quite breathtakingly beautiful.” ~ Linda Hepworth, Nudge-Book Magazine

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Mike Vale is a brilliant artist who has fallen from grace into drunken obscurity. When his ex-wife dies suddenly, he feels compelled to travel to Los Angeles for her funeral. He picks up hitchhiker Marvin Deitz, who has been reincarnated and forced to die again and again as penance for executing Joan of Arc. Marvin is due to die again soon and is headed to Los Angeles in a last-ditch effort at redemption. Along the way, they pick up another hitchhiker - the ironically named Casper - a ghost hunter on his way to Los Angeles to make a reality show about “smokes”, the ghostly figures whose appearance in LA is becoming a regular occurrence. When these three lost souls come together, their lives will be changed forever.
The story is told from the points-of-view of Mike in the third person and Marvin in the first person, including entries from the journal he has been keeping over the centuries. Their accounts are interspersed with excerpts from newspaper articles, religious pamphlets, CDC pamphlets, and even a radio interview. The characters are perfectly flawed, and you will come to love each of them. And the way their stories converge is nothing short of amazing. The author sure has a way with words; his descriptions of Mike’s filthy apartment are so real that I am practically gagging right alongside Mike himself. His drunken bouts are also all too real, as are his hangovers.
Full of heartbreak and despair, this tale of friendship, love, and forgiveness is highly original and ultimately uplifting. Brilliant.
Warnings: coarse language, alcohol abuse, drug use.

About the Author
Keith Rosson
Keith Rosson is the author of the novels The Mercy of the Tide (2017, Meerkat Press) and Smoke City (2018, Meerkat Press). His short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, Redivider, December, and more. He is an advocate of both public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape.




Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Links