Posted in Blog Tour

The Poppy Wife by Caroline Scott @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview

happy Thursday all!

delighted to share with you today my review for this intriguing historical fiction novel.I love a historical fiction novel that makes you really think about parts

Of history you haven’t before.

My Thoughts

Caroline Scott’s debut is beautifully written, powerful, and intense. The book takes place primarily in France 1921 with flashbacks to 1917. A story about the aftermath of war, the sorrow and the devastation. The guilt and heartbreak felt by those left behind. This is a piece of history I have not read much about it was sobering to acknowledge the impact of war on both the land and human spirit. It was lovely and heart wrenching to see the hope inspired by the rebuilding of France, all I could think was in a couple decades they would be in the midst of war again.

This story was told from the alternating perspectives of Harry and Edie. Harry is the only one of three brothers to survive the war. He is now back in France working as a photographer taking pictures of soldier’s graves for their families. Edie was married to one of Harry’s brothers Francis. After receiving a mysterious photo she is convinced that Francis is alive and heads to France to find him. Harry and Eadie’s haves cross in France it is bittersweet. There is so much confusion, guilt, and history between the two of them, will discovering the truth about Francis bring them healing and closure? I was completely drawn into this riveting story. I had to know the fate of Francis and what had happened between Edie and Harry in the past. Scott’s vivid writing completely immersed me in Post WWI France. This book will appeal to all fans of historical fiction. It was raw. Real. And beautiful.

This book in emojis 📷 🚃 🇫🇷

*** Big thanks to William Morro for my copy of this book ***

About The Poppy Wife

• Paperback: 448 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 5, 2019)

In the tradition of Jennifer Robson and Hazel Gaynor, this unforgettable debut novel is a sweeping tale of forbidden love, profound loss, and the startling truth of the broken families left behind in the wake of World War I.

1921. Survivors of the Great War are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. Francis is presumed to have been killed in action, but Edie believes he might still be alive.

Harry, Francis’s brother, was there the day Francis was wounded. He was certain it was a fatal wound—that he saw his brother die—but as time passes, Harry begins questioning his memory of what happened. Could Francis, like many soldiers, merely be lost and confused somewhere? Hired by grieving families, Harry returns to the Western Front to photograph gravesites. As he travels through battle-scarred France and Belgium gathering news for British wives and mothers, he searches for evidence of Francis.

When Edie receives a mysterious photograph of Francis, she is more convinced than ever he might still be alive. And so, she embarks on a journey in the hope of finding some trace of her husband. Is he truly gone? And if he isn’t, then why hasn’t he come home?

As Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to the truth about Francis and, as they do, are faced with the life-changing impact of the answers they discover.

Artful and incredibly moving, The Poppy Wife tells the unforgettable story of the soldiers lost amid the chaos and ruins, and those who were desperate to find them.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Caroline Scott

Caroline Scott is a freelance writer and historian specializing in WWI and women’s history, with a PhD from Durham University. Born in the UK, Caroline currently resides in France. The Poppy Wife is partially inspired by her family history.of history you haven’t before.

Posted in Blog Tour

The Other Windsor Girl by Georgie Blalock @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview

happy hump day all!

this was such a fun fascinating story about Princess Margaret. I really had very little prior knowledge of her before this book, and found her life both complicated and compelling.👑

My Thoughts

Georgie Blalock has written a fascinating tale about Princess Margaret the royal rebel. I have to admit prior to reading this book I really had very little knowledge about Princess Margaret’s life. I have not watched The Crown, but I’m definitely planning on watching it now. I really love books that take place in the 40s and 50s Post WWII, add in all the glitz and glam and pomp and circumstance of the Royals, and I’m all in! Throughout this book I found myself constantly googling to get even more information about this time period. That’s the thing about an engaging historical fiction book it always makes you want to learn even more about that piece of history.

The story is entirely told through the eyes of the honorable Vera Strathmore. Vera is a romance author who catches the attention of Princess Margaret and soon finds herself to be her second lady in waiting. Vera gets swept up in the princesses glamorous lifestyle as did I. The dynamics between Margaret and all of her “people“ was interesting. Can you imagine always referring to your BFF by their title? I felt as though there was always a little distance between the princess and her supposed friends. It was so interesting how unhappy she was, some of it was self imposed and some of it was trying to follow all the royal protocol. I’d imagine it wasn’t easy being little sister to the queen. Vera also had her own challenges, does she want to serve the queen forever or follow her own dreams. A well-crafted historical fiction book with the perfect amount of romance.

This book in emojis 👑 🥂 🚬 💃🏼

*** Big thanks to William Morro for my copy of this book ***

About The Other Windsor Girl

• Paperback: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 5, 2019)

In a historical debut evoking the style of The Crown, the daughter of an impoverished noble is swept into the fame and notoriety of the royal family and Princess Margaret’s fast-living friends when she is appointed as Margaret’s second Lady-in-Waiting.

Diana, Catherine, Meghan…glamorous Princess Margaret outdid them all. Springing into post-World War II society, and quite naughty and haughty, she lived in a whirlwind of fame and notoriety. Georgie Blalock captures the fascinating, fast-living princess and her “set” as seen through the eyes of one of her ladies-in-waiting.

In dreary, post-war Britain, Princess Margaret captivates everyone with her cutting edge fashion sense and biting quips. The royal socialite, cigarette holder in one hand, cocktail in the other, sparkles in the company of her glittering entourage of wealthy young aristocrats known as the Margaret Set, but her outrageous lifestyle conflicts with her place as Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister. Can she be a dutiful princess while still dazzling the world on her own terms?

Post-war Britain isn’t glamorous for The Honorable Vera Strathmore. While writing scandalous novels, she dreams of living and working in New York, and regaining the happiness she enjoyed before her fiancé was killed in the war. A chance meeting with the Princess changes her life forever. Vera amuses the princess, and what—or who—Margaret wants, Margaret gets. Soon, Vera gains Margaret’s confidence and the privileged position of second lady-in-waiting to the Princess. Thrust into the center of Margaret’s social and royal life, Vera watches the princess’s love affair with dashing Captain Peter Townsend unfurl.

But while Margaret, as a member of the Royal Family, is not free to act on her desires, Vera soon wants the freedom to pursue her own dreams. As time and Princess Margaret’s scandalous behavior progress, both women will be forced to choose between status, duty, and love…

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Georgie Blalock

Georgie Blalock is an amateur historian and movie buff who loves combining her different passions through historical fiction, and a healthy dose of period piece films. When not writing, she can be found prowling the non-fiction history section of the library or the British film listings on Netflix. Georgie writes historical romance under the name Georgie Lee. Please visit www.georgieblalock.com for more info about Georgie and her writing.

Follow Georgie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

One For the Blackbird, One For the Crow by Olivia Hawker @tlcbooktours @amazonpub @luauthors #bookreview

Happy Tuesday everybody!

So excited about this book! Do you ever read a historical book and think wow that was really interesting, but I’m sure glad I did not live back then? That was me with this book, I was definitely born in the right century!

My Thoughts

Olivia Hawker’s descriptive storytelling Whisked me away to 1870s Wyoming. Gritty and raw this is a tale about resilience, acceptance, and forgiveness. Two families living on the Wyoming Prairie with their nearest neighbors over 20 miles away. When the husband of one family and the wife of another are caught in a compromising position. One man is killed and the other man is sent to jail, leaving the women Cora and Nettie Mae to pick up the pieces. Life on the frontier is hard and these women have to find a way past their grief, guilt, and hurt and help each other survive.

The strength of the story was in these characters. They will tug at your heart strings, you will cry with them, you will sweat with them, you will laugh with them, and you’ll pray with them. The main focus of the story for me was Beulah. Beulah was such a free spirit with a spark of magic. This was a quiet understated story that was loosely based on the author’s own family history. Sometimes it’s just nice to cozy up with a good book! An old fashion well told story full of colorful characters and descriptive writing that envelops you.

This book in three emojis: 💪🏻 👩🏼‍🌾 🙏🏻

*** Big thanks to Lake Union for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

From the bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night comes a powerful and poetic novel of survival and sacrifice on the American frontier.

Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.

Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.

Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Olivia

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Let’s Connect

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Goodreads|

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Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Glass Ocean by Beatrix Williams, Karen White, Lauren Willig @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio @tlcbooktours #bookreview

Happy Wednesday all!

Super excited to share with you today my review for this amazing book that I loved from first page to last! Thanks to Trish for my invitation to this tour!🛳



My Thoughts

Beatrice Williams, Karen White, and Lauren Willig’s collaboration was flawless, beautiful, and riveting. These three authors have seamlessly woven together the lives of three strong, smart, and brave women. Caroline and Tess are two women from very different circumstances who find themselves onboard the Lusitania in May of 1915. Where they find themselves tangled up in elicit love, scandal, and beTrayal. Caroline was sophisticated and charming while Tess was feisty and tenacious, but these two ladies will find themselves forever bonded together I tragedy and love. Sarah is a present day struggling author trying to find the perfect storyline for her next book when she comes across her great grandfather’s chest. The information inside the chest contains some information about the Lusitania that could alter the perception of history. The story was exquisitely told, flowing together perfectly as the narrative bounced between these three women. I was never confused and I think this was helped by the fact that I listen to this on audio. The book had three amazing narrators who gave the perfect unique voice to each of these characters. A remarkable story equal parts romantic and mysterious. Atmospheric and evocative this book will transport you to the opulence of the Lusitania and then to the horror of tragedy. The present day story was equally as absorbing. I loved watching Sarah piece all the clues together.

This book really made me quite curious about the Lusitania and why it hasn’t been romanticize as much as the titanic, almost the same amount of lies were lost in both tragedies. It also made me wonder why in the world would the US allow a passenger ship to sail across the ocean in the middle of a war? Especially because according to history Germany said they would sink the ship, and they were true to their word. Sounds like a terrible vacation, if Caroline and her husband Gilbert had gone to the Grand Canyon none of this would’ve happened. But then I guess we wouldn’t of had this exceptional story!

This book in three emojis: 🛳 🎼 ✒️

*** thank you to William Morrow and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

About The Glass Ocean

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 10, 2019)

From the New York Times bestselling authors of The Forgotten Room comes a captivating historical mystery, infused with romance, that links the lives of three women across a century—two deep in the past, one in the present—to the doomed passenger liner, RMS Lusitania.

May 2013
Her finances are in dire straits and bestselling author Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book. Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great-grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. What she discovers there could change history. Sarah embarks on an ambitious journey to England to enlist the help of John Langford, a recently disgraced Member of Parliament whose family archives might contain the only key to the long-ago catastrophe. . . .

April 1915
Southern belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter’s marriage is in crisis. Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre-occupied with business . . . and something else that she can’t quite put a finger on. She’s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania’s lavish first-class accommodations will help them reconnect—but she can’t ignore the spark she feels for her old friend, Robert Langford, who turns out to be on the same voyage. Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life. . . .

Tessa Fairweather is traveling second-class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon. Or at least, that’s her story. Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake. She’s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything. But she’s had enough. Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they’ll finally leave the game behind. Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there’s something about this job that isn’t as it seems. . . .

As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Amanda Suanne Photography

About Beatriz Williams

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.

Find out more about Beatriz at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Amanda Suanne Photography

About Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several novels. She lives in New York City with her family.

Find out more about Lauren at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About Karen White

Karen White is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and currently writes Southern women’s fiction. She lives in Georgia with her husband and two Havanese dogs.

Find out more about Karen at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael McLellan @mclellanbooks @rrbooktours1 #bookreview

Michael McLellan1

Today I have something a little different for you! This blog tour is for two amazing novels by author, Michael McLellan. I will be sharing my review of In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, in addition to excerpts from both books and a giveaway to enter!

32886177In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree

Publication Date: April 26th, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1865 a shadow hovers over the nation: the shadow lingers still…

Born into slavery, Henry’s young life is spent working in tobacco drying sheds on Missouri plantations. Freed at the onset of the Civil War, he’s alone, starving, and on the run from Confederate militiamen.

Five years later, Clara Hanfield, the daughter of a powerful New York shipping magnate, escapes her tyrannical father and travels west in pursuit of John Elliot, the man she loves. John, a U.S. Army lieutenant, was sent to the Dakota Territory where he discovers a government conspiracy to incite an all-out war with the Indians; a war meant to finally eliminate them as an obstacle to the westward expansion.

Henry finds himself caught in the middle.

Aided by Clara, John, and his native ally, Standing Elk, Henry must battle hatred, greed, and the ghosts of his past during this turbulent and troubling time in American history

My Thoughts

Michael McLellan has written a raw and emotional story about a dark but important time in our country‘s history. This book touches on both The atrocities of slavery and the abysmal treatment of Native Americans. It is a hard pill to swallow that there is so much hate running through our country‘s history, but I think it is important for us to acknowledge this and hopefully learn from it. Mr. McLellan is a brilliant storyteller who has woven together this compelling story that is simultaneously beautiful and ugly.

The book starts off with two seemingly separate storylines. Henry a freed slave who is heading towards the north to start his new life. John Elliot an army lieutenant who has been sent out west and soon learns of the governments plans to kill off the Indians. It is ultimately Standing Elk Who unites these characters as well as Clara John’s fiancé. Each one of these characters were so well drawn, so vivid, so substantial, and sympathetic. My heart broke and my hope sword for each of these characters. But I have to say Henry really tugged at my heart strings, his grief and despair were palpable. This book was so well researched, almost too realistic at times. The story does not paint a pretty picture, no punches are held. A well told character driven story about a vile time in our country’s past.

This book in three emojis: 🌳 ⛅️ 🎗

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Emmet Dawson pulled the crumpled sheets of Henry and Eliza’s free papers from his coat and held them close to his face, squinting. “…Samuel Cromwell.” He held the papers out. “Can you read these?”

Henry averted his eyes. “No, sir,” he lied.

“No, of course you can’t. It’s not only near to impossible to teach a nigger to read but it’s also against the law—God’s and man’s.” He lowered the papers to his side. “These jayhawkers are burning and pillaging their way across our great state. They’re murdering innocent Missouri families in their sleep, then setting niggers loose on the land like a pestilence. That boy’s an orphan. His father, his mother, and his little baby sister were inside the house when it was set fire. They were unable to escape. We found their niggers a few miles away, riding their horses and leading their pigs just like they had the right to. We are at war, Henry. We are at war to save our families and our way of life.”

Emmet turned and looked at Bob. “Hang him with the others.”

Eliza let out an anguished wail and dropped to her knees where she began screaming hysterically. Henry tried to kneel down with her but Bob yanked the rope tight and wrapped it on his saddle horn. This left Henry standing at an awkward lean as he tried not to drag Eliza.

“What about the woman?” Bob asked.

Emmet Dawson looked down at Eliza appraisingly. “Shut her up and tie her to my wagon…and here,” he handed Bob the free papers. “Pin these to his shirt. There aren’t any free niggers in Missouri.” He gave Henry a final stony look then walked into the camp.

Available on Amazon

35618158American Flowers

Publication Date: July 7th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Drama

*Triggers: Addiction, Abuse, Sexual Assault

Nineteen-year-old Chris Shafer and seventeen-year-old Allie Laughton came from similar backgrounds of neglect and indifference. Chris spent his childhood desperately trying to gain his alcoholic parents’ love. Allie was dragged through an ugly divorce before narrowly escaping being molested by her mother’s new boyfriend.

A chance meeting draws the two together and Allie is quickly caught up in Chris’ new-found lifestyle. Plagued by poor choices, Chris sets into motion a chain of events that drags them deeper into the murky world of meth. Ultimately pursued by both the police and Chris’ volatile tempered drug dealer, Chris and Allie are forced to confront their only real enemy: themselves.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

“You’re poison to that girl. You do see that?”

“We love each other and don’t want to be apart.”

“What do you know about love?” Jan suddenly spat, leaning forward in the easy chair and staring angrily at Chris.

“You listen to me. The only truly unbreakable love is that of a parent for their child. All the other kinds of love, like the kind you and that beautiful young girl in there think you have is fragile and weak, and saddest of all, fleeting. That kind of love can be broken in an instant”—she snapped her arthritis twisted fingers for emphasis, making more of a dry papery sound than a snap. “It can be broken by the smallest of indiscretions, or nothing more than a few poorly chosen words. Mostly it’s just worn away over time like the banks of that creek out there. And it’ll happen so slowly that you never even feel more than a faint tickle at the back of your mind. Oh, it can burn as hot as blue blazes for a moment, but eventually it burns out and leaves something entirely different behind…like the bed of ashes in the bottom of a woodstove after the fire’s gone out. Some folks still insist on calling it love, but it isn’t, not really. It’s obligation, it’s responsibility, it’s apathy. Often it just becomes who you are…what you’re accustomed to. Sometimes it even becomes hate.

Available on Amazon!

giveaway gif

Click HERE for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

About the Author

Mike Author 1

Michael’s love of books began with Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle when he was seven-years-old. Later influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Stephen King, James Baldwin, and Cormac McCarthy, Michael developed his style of storytelling. A self-proclaimed blue-collar writer, he draws on his experiences and observations to bring relevant and compelling topics to life.

Michael lives in Northern California and when he’s not writing, he can usually be found wandering around the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.

His body of work includes the 2014 novel After and Again, the 2015 novel American Flowers, and the 2017 novel, In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree, as well as various shorts and essays.

Michael McLellan | GoodreadsTwitter

Michael McLellan2

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R&R Book Tours

Posted in Blog Tour

The Third Daughter by Talia Carner @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview #thethirddaughter

Happy Wednesday all!

Excited to share my review with you today for this book that showcased a part of history I was not familiar with. That is the thing I enjoy most about historical fiction learning important things about the past.🌎

My Thoughts

Talia Carner has written a raw, heartbreaking, disturbing, and important story. One of the things I like most about historical fiction is it is an engaging and entertaining way to learn about our past. This book spotlights a part of history I was not previously aware of. Thousands of eastern European women at the turn of the 20th century being tricked into moving to South America where they will work as prostitutes anti-Semitism was prevalent in Eastern Europe and these young girls and their families were hopeful for a better life in the Americas. There is no way to paint this desolate situation in a good light, but this book handled it with a loving and gentle hand. This book was not always easy to read, but I believe it is so necessary because human trafficking is still going on. And these girl’s deserve to have their stories told.

Batya and her family are living a life of poverty in Russia. When a stranger approaches offering Batya a Life of riches filled with big mansions and society events The family feels as though this could be their way out. The only thing is that young Batya will move to Argentina on her own and in a couple years at the age of 16 she will marry this man. When Batya arrives in Argentina she realizes all the promises were falls and she finds herself in a life full of beatings, rape, and prostitution. Batya was such a sympathetic character my heart could not help but break for her. She was so strong, so determined, and so angry. I loved the bond she found with the other girls in the house and I admired how she never lost her desire to reunite with her family. She was also extremely resourceful eventually finding love and even becoming a well-known tango dancer. This was such an important story about a determined girl and her relentless fight for a better life.

This book in three emojis: 🌎 💃🏼 💪🏻

About The Third Daughter

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 3, 2019)

“In The Third Daughter, Talia Carner ably illuminates a little-known piece of history: the sex trafficking of young women from Russia to South America in the late 19th century. Thoroughly researched and vividly rendered, this is an important and unforgettable story of exploitation and empowerment that will leave you both shaken and inspired.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

The turn of the 20th century finds fourteen-year-old Batya in the Russian countryside, fleeing with her family endless pogroms. Desperate, her father leaps at the opportunity to marry Batya to a worldly, wealthy stranger who can guarantee his daughter an easy life and passage to America.

Feeling like a princess in a fairytale, Batya leaves her old life behind as she is whisked away to a new world. But soon she discovers that she’s entered a waking nightmare. Her new “husband” does indeed bring her to America: Buenos Aires, a vibrant, growing city in which prostitution is not only legal but deeply embedded in the culture. And now Batya is one of thousands of women tricked and sold into a brothel.

As the years pass, Batya forms deep bonds with her “sisters” in the house as well as some men who are both kind and cruel. Through it all, she holds onto one dream: to bring her family to America, where they will be safe from the anti-Semitism that plagues Russia. Just as Batya is becoming a known tango dancer,  she gets an unexpected but dangerous opportunity—to help bring down the criminal network that has enslaved so many young women and has been instrumental in developing Buenos Aires into   a major metropolis.

A powerful story of finding courage in the face of danger, and hope in the face of despair, The Third Daughter brings to life a dark period of Jewish history and gives a voice to victims whose truth deserves to finally be told.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Robbie Michaels

About Talia Carner

Talia Carner is the former publisher of Savvy Woman magazine and a lecturer at international women’s economic forums. This is her fifth novel.

Find out more about Talia at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted in Blog Tour

Castle of Concrete by Katia Raina @tlcbooktours #bookreview #castleofconcrete

happy Monday evening all!

excited to share with you today my review for this delightful story! I love historical fiction because it always teaches me something that I did not already know, and this one taught me a lot! Thanks much to Trish for my invitation to this tour.

My Thoughts

Katia Raina brought the Soviet Union in the 1990s to life with her vivid writing. This book really made me realize how unaware I was of world events when I was 20. I did know that communism and the Soviet Union were crumbling, I did know there was a Gorbachev, but there was also much I did not know. This book did a marvelous job of enlightening me on important historical events by interweaving them into this story about this delightful girl. Sonia has spent most of her life living in Siberia with her grandmother, but now she has returned to Moscow to live with her mother. Not only does she now have to fit into a new school, but she is also torn between her Russian and her Jewish roots. Sonia really had a magnanimous personality, being a teenager is tough in the best of circumstances, I really admired her fortitude. I also felt so deeply for her, the poor girl was falling for a boy who was further tearing her in different directions. And her mother, I like to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I truly don’t think she always had a handle on the big picture. Beautifully told, highly engaging, A lovely story that taught me a thing or two about historical world events.

About Castle of Concrete

• Paperback: 304 pages
• Publisher: Young Europe Books (June 11, 2019)

Set in the final year of Soviet Russia’s collapse, this stunning debut novel tells the story of Sonya, a timid Jewish girl reuniting with her once-dissident mother and falling in love with a mysterious boy who may be an anti-Semite. All the while, Sonya’s mama is falling in love also?with shiny America, a land where differences seem to be celebrated. The place sounds amazing, but so far away. Will Sonya ever find her way there?

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About Katia Raina

When she was a child, Katia Raina played at construction sites and believed in magic mirrors. She emigrated from Russia at the age of almost sixteen. A former journalist and currently a middle school English teacher in Washington, D.C., she has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her family just outside of D.C., and still believes in magic.

Find out more about Katia at her website, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

The Accidentals by Minrose Gwin @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours #bookreview #theaccidentals

Happy Monday all!

Delighted to share with you today my review for this engaging story. A beautiful story packed with interesting characters. Thanks Trish for my invitation to the tour!🦚

My Thoughts

Minrose Gwin has written a beautiful story packed with Drama, tragedy, family, and hope. Life is complicated and the characters in this story had way more than their fair share of complicated situations. This family drama spans five decades of hurt and healing. The primary focus of the story is on sisters Grace and June, but we do get the point of view of several other characters. The story starts off with the death of Grace and June’s mother after a botched backstreet abortion. Grace carries around a lot of grief and guilt in regards to the death of her mother and this leads to some questionable choices in her own life. June is also struggling and this leads to her own poor decisions. When June betrays her sister in a big way a huge divide develops both physically and emotionally in the girls relationship. What follows is a heartbreaking story of hardship and regret that will eventually bring the sisters back together, and it only takes 50 years.

The book really makes you think about limitations that women had in the 1950s and 1960s. I personally thought that the issues that the women in this book struggled with and how they overcame them or didn’t really was the best part of the story. I’m not certain if I liked either Grace or June, but I really was rooting for them, these girls had a hard life. There were a few places the book fell a little flat for me. There was just way too much going on. I know the author was trying to give us a sense of time and place, but in doing so I think a lot was overlooked (everything having to do with the spacerace I felt that have been left out). The book was also extremely lopsided, most of the book focus on the first 10 years of the sisters lives and then raced through the final 40 years. I think I would’ve preferred it to end after the first 10 years and then conclude with a apologue. I mean I did not mind the book being wrapped up in a nice little bow, but it jumped around aimlessly in order to get there. But as I said this was such a small part of the book that it didn’t really bother me, for the most part I was thoroughly invested in the sisters lives.

*** Big thanks to William Morrow for my copy of this book ***

About The Accidentals

• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 13, 2019)

Following the death of their mother from a botched backwoods abortion, the McAlister daughters have to cope with the ripple effect of this tragedy as they come of age in 1950s Mississippi and then grow up to face their own impossible choices—an unforgettable, beautiful novel that is threaded throughout with the stories of mothers and daughters in pre-Roe versus Wade America.

Life heads down back alleys, takes sharp left turns. Then, one fine day it jumps the track and crashes.”

In the fall of 1957, Olivia McAlister is living in Opelika, Mississippi, caring for her two girls, June and Grace, and her husband, Holly. She dreams of living a much larger life–seeing the world and returning to her wartime job at a landing boat factory in New Orleans. As she watches over the birds in her yard, Olivia feels like an “accidental”—a migratory bird blown off course.

When Olivia becomes pregnant again, she makes a fateful decision, compelling Grace, June, and Holly to cope in different ways. While their father digs up the backyard to build a bomb shelter, desperate to protect his family, Olivia’s spinster sister tries to take them all under her wing. But the impact of Olivia’s decision reverberates throughout Grace’s and June’s lives. Grace, caught up in an unconventional love affair, becomes one of the “girls who went away” to have a baby in secret. June, guilt-ridden for her part in exposing Grace’s pregnancy, eventually makes an unhappy marriage. Meanwhile Ed Mae Johnson, an African-American care worker in a New Orleans orphanage, is drastically impacted by Grace’s choices.

As the years go by, their lives intersect in ways that reflect the unpredictable nature of bird flight that lands in accidental locations—and the consolations of imperfect return.

Filled with tragedy, humor, joy, and the indomitable strength of women facing the constricted spaces of the 1950s and 60s, The Accidentals is a poignant, timely novel that reminds us of the hope and consolation that can be found in unexpected landings.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Kim Jew Photography Studios

About Minrose Gwin

Minrose Gwin is the author of The Queen of Palmyra, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award, and the memoir Wishing for Snow, cited by Booklist as “eloquent” and “lyrical”—“a real life story we all need to know.” She has written four scholarly books and coedited The Literature of the American South. She grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, hearing stories of the Tupelo tornado of 1936. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Find out more about Minrose at her website.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review

Montauk by Nicola Harrison @NicolaHAuthor @StMartinsPress @MacmillanAudio #bookreview #audiobook #Montauk

Happy Friday y’all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this delightful story that transported me to 1938 Montauk! Another wonderful debut, this has really been a great year for debuts!🤩

My Thoughts

sᴜɴ. sᴀʟᴛ. sᴀɴᴅ. ᴍᴏɴᴛᴀᴜᴋ.

Nicola Harrison completely captivated me with this dazzling tale set against the backdrop of 1938 Montauk Long Island. The story had a great sense of place and time. You really got a good handle on the role of women and the class divide in the late 1930s. Sometimes a character would do or say something that would make me cringe and I had to put it in perspective and realize this was a different place and time. This was a romance with a historical setting rather than historical fiction with some romance. Beatrice is a strong smart savvy woman who finds herself in a loveless and childless marriage. Excited and a little hesitant to spend her summer on Montauk Beatrice is hopeful to rekindle things with her husband. When she finds out that he will only be spending the weekends with her she is less than thrilled how is she going to pass her time with these women that she has nothing in common with? Fortunately Beatrice befriends Dolly an older and wiser woman and Elizabeth a local who does laundry for the hotel. Beatrice finds herself more drawn to the locals and the natural beauty of Montauk rather than the socialites and the glitz. When she meets Thomas the lighthouse keeper there is an instant attraction. He is kind and caring and authentic the complete opposite of Beatrice‘s husband Harry. As the summer goes on Beatrice realizes that she is going to need to choose between a life of luxury and true love.

Beatrice was such a likable character I really wanted her to find her happily ever after even if she was technically cheating. Her husband was unfaithful, inattentive, and a misogynist, so I guess I gave her a bit of a pass. I could also see why she was drawn to a simpler life in this charming fishing village rather than trying to position herself all the time in society. Her friend Dolly was such a breath of fresh air. She was so spunky, so ahead of her time, and such a great support to Beatrice. And the hats! Oh the hats! Elizabeth was also a great character a little quieter but just as supportive. The romance in the story was so sweet and tender, I could really sense the chemistry between Thomas and Beatrice. The ending to the story really took me by surprise, and I’m still not quite sure what to think. In the audiobook there was an interview with the author at the end and she said that she always knew that was how the book was going to end. This book is the perfect addition to your summer reading plans. A little romance. A little glamour. A little history. And a whole lot of goodness.

🎧🎧🎧 Erin Bennett narrates the audio and really brings life to the story. Bringing a voice to the character of Beatrice who this entire story is told through the eyes of. In the author interview on the audio Nicola Harrison mentions that she hears the characters voices in her head as she is writing. I thought that was so interesting and how exciting it must be for an author to hear their story brought to life through audio.

*** thank you so much to St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Montauk, Long Island, 1938. 
For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city. 
College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was. 
As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future. 
Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…
Buy Links:

About the Author

Born in England, Nicola Harrison moved to CA where she received a BA in Literature at UCLA before moving to NYC and earning an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook. She is a member of The Writers Room, has short stories published in The Southampton Review and Glimmer Train and articles in Los Angeles Magazine and Orange Coast Magazine. She was the fashion and style staff writer for Forbes, had a weekly column at Lucky Magazine and is the founder of a personal styling business, Harrison Style. Montauk is Harrison’s debut novel.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Summer Country by Lauren Willig @LaurenWillig @wmmorrowbooks @tlcbooktours @harperaudio #bookreview #audiobooks #thesummercountry

Happy Tuesday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this wonderful book that completely captivated me! many thanks to Trish for my invitation to this tour.🏝

About The Summer Country

 

A brilliant, multigenerational saga in the tradition of THE THORN BIRDS and NORTH AND SOUTH, New York Timesbestselling historical novelist Lauren Willig delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Barbados, 1854: Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English merchant clan– merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day.  But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins?  Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills? The answer lies in the past— a tangled history of lies, greed, clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

THE SUMMER COUNTRY will beguile readers with its rendering of families, heartbreak, and the endurance of hope against all odds.

My Thoughts

𝔹𝕖𝕒𝕦𝕥𝕚𝕗𝕦𝕝 𝕤𝕖𝕥𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘. 𝕃𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕪 𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕪 .

Lauren Willig will completely captivate you with this sweeping family saga. A beautiful story that spans over four decades. Steeped in family history, family secrets, and family ties. The story is set in Barbados and introduces you to two sets of characters living 40 years apart. 1850to Emily‘s beloved grandfather has passed away and left her a sugar plantation on the island of Barbados. So Emily travels from England to Barbados with her cousin Adam and his wife to check out this plantation that nobody had any idea of. What follows is Emily discovering family history and secrets with deep ties to Barbados. In 1812 Charles and Jenny find themselves in a torrid and forbidden love affair with great consequences. Two tales seamlessly woven together into one beautiful engaging story.

This book was clearly well researched and I learned something about a time and place I new little about previously. Slavery and the slave trade were a big part of life in Barbados in the early 1800s. I have to admit it was really disturbing to read about people referring to other people as their property and talking about leasing them out. The Cholera outbreak in the 1850s was not as disturbing but was equally as devastating. There was a large cast of characters in the story that took me a while to get straight, but once I did I was completely invested. The story jumped perfectly between time periods that were well marked.Lauren’s Willig’s exquisite storytelling will completely transport you to 19th century Barbados. A well told story full of interesting characters and an engaging plot. A sweeping tale that will appeal to all historical fiction lovers.

🎧🎧🎧 Micola Barber does an exceptional job narrating the audio of this book. So many accents that she completely Masters. The audio narration added another layer to this already exquisite story.

*** many thanks to Harper Audio and William Morrow for my copy of this book ***

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Amanda Suanne Photography

About Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of several novels. She lives in New York City with her family.

Find out more about Lauren at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.