2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: August Reviews


Welcome to the August link page for the 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. I hope everyone is staying home safe and reading some yummy books!

Reading Challenge Instructions...

  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review). A direct link to your Goodreads review is also acceptable
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, etc.)
  • Don't forget to look some of the other links that are present. You never know when you will discover new blogs or books!

There's still time to sign up for the 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge! Sign Up Here.


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Interview & Giveaway: The Rose and the Whip by Jae Hodges

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am super excited to be hosting an interview with Jae Hodges, who is currently touring the blogosphere with her new historical, The Rose and the Whip! I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Jae and be sure to enter the giveaway!


Hello Jae and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Rose and the Whip!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Thanks for inviting me, Amy, I’m really happy to be here! About me, well, I retired about a year and a half ago, wanting to spend my time and energy on those things that I’d always been “too busy” to do before. Those included writing, but also photography, traveling and genealogy. The Rose and the Whip was my first adventure in trying to combine all these interests into one project. I enjoyed it so much I pretty much stick to my family history. So many places in the world to see, so many stories to preserve, and so much art in those everyday items just collecting dust in my garage. I’ve got at least a half dozen more stories in various stages of development, and it seems like every time I work on the genealogy part, I find more.

What inspired you to write The Rose and the Whip? 

 I found Lidia Wardell, who is the wife of my first cousin 10x removed, while I was helping my daughter with a school project on the Salem Witch Trials. Lidia’s brother-in-law was Samuel Wardwell, one of the few men and one of the last to be executed. To be honest, Lidia’s story interested me more. I found dozens of references to her one great act of courage—when she walked naked through the Newbury Meeting-house—but when I started digging I found a trail of systemic persecution over the span of years eventually resulting in her family being forced out of their home in Hampton (now in New Hampshire). And what really fascinated me was the fact that most of the persecution was at the instigation of her village priest, the Reverend Seaborn Cotton. There was a story there that just wouldn’t let go of me.

What research did you undertake when writing The Rose and the Whip? 

I started with the court records. From there I found provincial documents. One of the things I love about genealogical research is that it is never complete. There’s always documents being found and scanned into the internet, so I’m actually still finding new information—thankfully nothing that contradicts what I wrote, but some I wish I’d had earlier to include. I also used first and second-hand accounts by Quakers and others who knew Quakers at the time which gave me direct and indirect information about Lidia and the people around her, plus context for the times and cultural nuances. I read and studied Quakerism as well as the Bible. I even used the poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier, a 19th century Quaker poet from the area in which Lidia lived. I’ve visited the towns of Hampton, and Newbury and Ipswich in Massachusetts several times, and Boston where they have a phenomenal historical and genealogical library. I have to admit I really like the research part of writing, and sometimes I actually have to make myself stop to write.

What would you like readers to take away from reading The Rose and the Whip? 

 In general, strong and courageous women are everywhere and in every time. We usually only hear about the women who have been propelled into history or the spotlight, but each one of us has women in our family history who have done amazing things. And they deserve credit for their actions, and they deserve to have their stories told so our daughters can grown up knowing they have strength and courage in their blood.

What was your favorite scene to write? 

 I think I enjoyed writing the chapters about the three vagabond women the most. There was so much going on in that event, with so many people involved, and the emotions were really complex because there were these women, of course, but there were also the men using their positions to manipulate the actions and emotions of the townspeople who came out to watch, and there were the bystanders who chose to put themselves at risk by taking a stand for something that just wasn’t right. I took three chapters to cover this single event.

What was the most difficult scene to write? 

 All the scenes in which Lidia is whipped were difficult because it is something I couldn’t know or understand except by reading about it or watching television or movies. I had to try to understand not only the physical but the psychological effects of being whipped, not just a few times, but so many times that death was a real possibility, and make it believable not just observable. Then I had to write the recovery, which was just as challenging.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

 I loved reading as a child and thought it would be great fun to write stories. As an adult, I’ve always jotted down my ideas, written some short stories about events that have gotten stuck in my head, and written poetry to understand my surroundings. When I decided to retire, I decided it was time to focus attention on writing and story telling.

What does your daily writing routine look like? 

My routine for writing The Rose and the Whip was very different than my routine since I retired. I wrote most of my first book while I was deployed in Afghanistan. I had two half days a week that I wasn’t required to be in the office working, so I spent that time writing. Now, I have a little more flexibility and control over my time so I work out and do household chores in the morning, and I write (or work on writing activities) at least three afternoons/evenings a week. Other days I volunteer, spend time with family, and work on photography or other projects.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it? 

 I never took any formal writing courses in school, and frankly, there’s so many resources available (writing courses, conferences, etc) that it’s overwhelming and a bit confusing sometimes. I’d like to eventually study for a doctorate in creative writing, so in order to catch up and prepare myself for that, I’ve engaged a writing coach for a year or so of one-on-one training. It was probably the best thing I could do to overcome some of the mistakes I made with The Rose and the Whip, and broaden my perspective so I could grow and improve my writing from here.

Who are your writing inspirations? 

 If I could just come close to writing like Alice Munro, A.S. Byatt, Paul Auster, Kazuo Ishiguro and the Victorian women (Virginia Wolff, Edith Wharton and Vita Sackville-West), I’d feel like I’ve achieved something.

What was the first historical novel you read? 

 I honestly don’t pay a lot of attention to genre because I read so many different kinds of things, so I can’t say what was the first, but I might say that Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book could have been the first novel I acknowledged as historical fiction.

What is the last historical novel you read? 

 I’m currently reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. It’s not only a terrific book, but it’s part of my research for my next book which will take my protagonist back through her family history starting from the Civil War and going back to 13th century British royalty and literati, including the Tudor period.

What are three things people may not know about you? 

 I always have to laugh at this question because I feel like there is so much, and yet there is very little. When I was working, and attending team-building events, they would always ask this question. So here’s what my response would almost always be. First, I share ancestry with the two presidential candidates plus one of those candidates’ vice-presidential running mates from the 2004 election cycle. Second, whenever anyone asks for a picture of me I usually refer them to Frieda, the little red-haired girl from the Peanuts cartoon. And third, I was a junior bowling champion in another life.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre? 

 I get to spend time doing genealogy, tracking down interesting stories about everyday people, studying history, and visiting the places where my ancestors lived and walked.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading? 

 I’d have to say I find myself drawn towards the late 19th / early 20th century the most. I often wonder if that’s when I lived in my last life and I have some unresolved issues that continue to draw me in.

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? 

 I like to do genealogy, obviously, but I also like to photograph the family treasures I’ve been fortunate enough to inherit and preserve. I love to travel, and can’t wait to do that again. Reading is a must, so much so I usually read 6-8 books at a time. I keep them in different places so I always have a book handy in case I have a few minutes to spare.

Lastly, what are you working on next? 

 I’ve started working on another historical fiction novel, this one based on an old manuscript I found while I was poking around in the archive of a historical site a few years ago. I’m working on two collections, one short fiction stories and the other creative non-fiction stories, and I’ve collected a stack of books about Ezra Pound because I want to write a book about his prosecution and conviction for treason during World War II—the federal prosecutor in that case was a cousin and I think a fictional account of the interviews between these two men might be really interesting. Beyond that, I have SO many family history stories to tell, I can barely keep up with them all.


The Rose and the Whip by Jae Hodges

Publication Date: March 25, 2020
WordCrafts Press
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook; 252 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Lidia Wardell walked naked through the Newbury meeting house. She was prosecuted, and publicly whipped for this crime.

This event is common historical knowledge. The Rose and the Whip is set in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in May 1663, but tells the entire story of systematic persecution of dissenters, by dissenters. Lidia relates the story of her life, and the series of events that culminated in her decision to take this action in protest of the Puritan community leaders' treatment of Quakers. As she is charged, sentenced, and tied to the whipping post, then subsequently thrashed with twenty or thirty lashes, she critically examines each of these events and reflects on how they served to transform her and her perspectives on truth and faith.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | IndieBound

About the Author


Everyone has a history and a story. Jae uses the most alluring stories from the chronicles of her own ancestry and others around her to create timeless tales of everyday people making history. On her quest to capture the essence of walking in their footsteps, she travels and uses her pencil and camera lens to imagine them in their own surroundings.

Jae lives on the Tennessee River in Alabama with her husband and companion pooch.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 27
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Wednesday, July 29
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 30
Interview at Passages to the Past

Saturday, August 1
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Wednesday, August 5
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, August 7
Feature at I'm All About Books

Wednesday, August 12
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, August 13
Review at Older & Smarter

Friday, August 14
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Monday, August 17
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, August 20
Review at Nurse Bookie

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Rose and the Whip by Jae Hodges! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

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

Rose and the Whip


Review & Giveaway: The Rose and the Whip by Jae Hodges


The Rose and the Whip by Jae Hodges

Publication Date: March 25, 2020
WordCrafts Press
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook; 252 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Lidia Wardell walked naked through the Newbury meeting house. She was prosecuted, and publicly whipped for this crime.

This event is common historical knowledge. The Rose and the Whip is set in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in May 1663, but tells the entire story of systematic persecution of dissenters, by dissenters. Lidia relates the story of her life, and the series of events that culminated in her decision to take this action in protest of the Puritan community leaders' treatment of Quakers. As she is charged, sentenced, and tied to the whipping post, then subsequently thrashed with twenty or thirty lashes, she critically examines each of these events and reflects on how they served to transform her and her perspectives on truth and faith.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | IndieBound


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you ever wanted to write a novel based on one of your ancestors? I always thought it would so interesting to do so!

Inspired by the story of her distant relative by marriage author Jae Hodges has written a captivating novel about a woman who dared to challenge authority and the events that followed.

There isn't a lot known about Lidia Wardell, her story almost lost to history except for her one act of defiance - walking naked into the town meeting house. The novel kicks off at Lidia's trial, where her neighbors who were once close friends, stand against her in court.

The novel also goes back before the trial and touches on the history of the Wardell family and others in the town. Though there isn't a lof of historical information for the author to use, she masterfully fills in the holes to portray a complete picture of Lidia's life.

The Rose and the Whip was an engrossing look into the religious persecution of the time. I'm glad to have gotten to know more about Lidia and her life, and I am grateful for the author for sharing her story with us!

About the Author


Everyone has a history and a story. Jae uses the most alluring stories from the chronicles of her own ancestry and others around her to create timeless tales of everyday people making history. On her quest to capture the essence of walking in their footsteps, she travels and uses her pencil and camera lens to imagine them in their own surroundings.

Jae lives on the Tennessee River in Alabama with her husband and companion pooch.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 27
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Wednesday, July 29
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 30
Interview at Passages to the Past

Saturday, August 1
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Wednesday, August 5
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, August 7
Feature at I'm All About Books

Wednesday, August 12
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, August 13
Review at Older & Smarter

Friday, August 14
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Monday, August 17
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, August 20
Review at Nurse Bookie

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Rose and the Whip by Jae Hodges! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

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

Rose and the Whip


Review & Giveaway: Promise Season by Lee Evie


Promise Season by Lee Evie

Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Interstice Press
Paperback & eBook; 294 pages

Series: Promise Season, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction


A slave. A spy. A promise.

Joseon Dynasty, Korea: A humid summer storm rages across the Pavilion, the greatest entertainment house in the sprawling city of Hanyang. Within its stifling walls a gisaeng slave girl hides a fugitive in her bed, unexpectedly saving the life of a young man who is not all he seems.

Immediately Seorin is thrust into a razor-edged world of conspiracy and spies, doomed rebellion and murky intrigue. For the first time in years, she glimpses an opportunity for change.

Yet it is not her freedom Seorin so desperately desires, but something far more precious. She will risk anything, even death, to gain it.

A dark and romantic historical adventure set in old Korea.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

After recently reading and loving A Song for Lonely Wolves by Lee Evie I was super excited to read her other novel, Promise Season, and it was just as wonderful as the first!

As with her other novel, Promise Season is set in the Joseon dynasty of Old Korea. Seorin is a gisaeng, a trained musician who serves men from the noble class. She lives at the Pavilion with other women like her when one stormy evening a strange man appears in her room begging her to help hide him from the men that are looking for him. She sees the fear in his eyes and agrees to help him. He asks her to hide an item for him and he will send someone later to get it from her. When they meet again the stranger asks for her help even further and to help spy for him, and in return, he will give her what she craves most...the assurance that he will find her long lost sister and help her.

I absolutely loved Seorin! She was brave and clever and craved life. The danger involved in her quest only served to excite her more. She was finally out of the Pavillion and had some excitement in her life.

I am now a huge fan of Lee Evie and I'm so glad that I am learning more about history in Old Korea.

This is the first book in the series and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment! Highly recommended!

About the Author


Lee Evie is a historical fiction author. She writes with a focus on Korean history and loves dark adventures with a heavy dose of danger, mystery and romance. When she's not writing, Lee Evie can be found watching drama, which she will do for hours on end. She believes drama watching is the ultimate joy of life. Even when they make her cry. An avid photography and travel lover, Lee Evie thinks stories are the most precious gift to the universe.

Website | Newsletter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 20
Review at Book Bustle
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, July 21
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, July 23
Feature at I'm All About Books

Friday, July 24
Review at Passages to the Past

Saturday, July 25
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, July 27
Review at Bookworlder
Review at Impressions In Ink

Giveaway

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

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Promise Season


Review & Giveaway: A Flame Through Eternity by Anna Belfrage


A Flame Through Eternity by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: December 2, 2019
Timelight Press

Series: The Wanderer, Book Three
Genre: Historical Fiction


It started 3,000 years ago. It ends now. Who survives the final confrontation?

According to Helle Madsen, being the protagonist of a time-spanning epic love story has some things going for it, primarily Jason Morris. Because seriously, meeting up with your fated lover after 3 000 years apart is not bad—at all. Unfortunately, where Jason goes, there goes Sam Woolf, yet another very, very ancient acquaintance—with the fundamental difference that Sam is not into Happily Ever After. He’s into destruction, more specifically of Jason and Helle.

Helle may believe in second-chance love, but she sure doesn’t believe in reincarnation. Okay, she didn’t believe in stuff like that until she met Jason Morris a year or so ago. By now, she has accepted that sometimes impossible things are quite, quite possible—like an ancient princess being reborn as an ambitious financial analyst.

Finding Jason was like finding the part of her that had always been missing—a perfect match. But handling Sam Woolf, the reborn version of their ancient nemesis is something of a trial. No sooner do you have him well and surely beat, but up he bounces again. Sheesh, will it take an oak stake to permanently rid their lives of him?

Sam Woolf is a powerful adversary. Too powerful, even. Jason and Helle will need help from unexpected quarters to finally bring this tangled, ancient love-and-hate triangle to some sort of conclusion. Question is, will they survive the experience?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Followers of this blog will be well aware of my love for Anna Belfrage's books and her latest, which is the last book in her Wanderer series is another fabulous addition to her repertoire.

The Wanderer series - consisting of A Torch in His Heart, Smoke in Her Eyes, and A Flame Through Eternity - are paranormal romance thrillers that tell the story of Jason, his love Helle, and the Sam whose story began 3000 years ago. Through countless reincarnations, the trio stays intertwined with Jason trying to get back to his love Helle, and Sam scheming to get revenge on them both.

A Flame Through Eternity kicks off two months after the ending of the last book. Jason and Helle are together and Sam is finally gone...or is he? Did he really drown or will their enemy return with a vengeance?

The series is best read in order but Anna provides enough backstory in this one so readers won't be lost. But trust me, you'll want to read all the books! They are just so good and juicy!

Among the reasons why I love Anna's books are the way she fleshes out her characters - they aren't all good or all bad. Her dialogue and humor are stellar and her sexy scenes are....well, freakin' sexy! If you don't mind a little steam in your reading you should definitely check this series out!

I think this was a fantastic and satisfying conclusion to the series and I will truly miss Jason and Helle. This is a series where each installment was equally strong and there was never a dull moment! Highly recommended!

About the Author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with three absorbing interests: history and writing.

Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. (Medieval knight was also high on Anna’s list of potential professions. Yet another disappointment…)

With Jason and Helle, Anna has stepped out of her historical comfort zone and has loved doing so.

Find out more about Anna by visiting her website, www.annabelfrage.com, You can also connect with Anna on FacebookTwitterAmazon, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 6
Review at Books and Zebras

Wednesday, July 8
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Friday, July 10
Review at YA, It's Lit
Excerpt at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, July 13
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, July 15
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Friday, July 17
Review at andreajanel_reads

Monday, July 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 22
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, July 24
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, July 27
Review at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, July 28
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, July 31
Review at Cover To Cover Cafe

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 paperback copies of A Flame Through Eternity! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

A Flame Through Eternity


Review & Giveaway: Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews


Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Perfectly Proper Press

Series: Victorian Romantics, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance


A Secret Burden…

After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy—or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes.

A Longstanding Love…

As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago.

During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings—or betraying his brother?

Available on Amazon


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I feel like I say this whenever I write a review for a Mimi Matthews book, but this one is definitely my favorite so far! And that is saying something because I adore every book she's ever written! But Fair as a Star will always be special to me and I know I will never forget Beryl and Mark. That's reason #4,972,087 that I love Mimi's books. The characters she creates will forever be embedded in your heart and soul.

Beryl is back home in Somerset, England after being away for a year in Paris with her benefactor Aunt. With only three months to go until her wedding Beryl is a reluctant bride and not exactly thrilled to be home. There are rumors in town as to why Beryl left town so suddenly and stayed away so long when she was betrothed to the most eligible man in town. But the real reason Beryl left will be revealed when she confides in her fiance's brother, Mark, the town's curate and the only person she is truly close to. Mark's love for Beryl will have to be forgotten if she is to marry his brother, but their connection is undeniable.

In addition to the love aspect, this book also deals with a very serious topic, that of depression, or melancholia as they called it back then. I've suffered from depression from a very young age so I related to Beryl 100%. I loved the way Mark wanted to learn more about how she was feeling and didn't try to "fix" her. The scenes with those two together had me feeling all the feels! I just love them so much. As I was reading I wanted to wrap them both up in a bubble and stab anyone that threatened their happiness!

Another thing I love about Mimi's books is that she always includes a cute dog and I absolutely loved that feisty little Ernest!

I cannot recommend Fair as a Star enough! It's a beautiful story that will capture your heart! I think I might have to read it again tonight :) I miss them already!

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.

For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews’ website and blog. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterBookBubPinterestGoogle+, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 14
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 15
Interview at Austenprose
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Feature at I'm All About Books
Review at Probably at the Library

Thursday, July 16
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Friday, July 17
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, July 18
Review at The Green Mockingbird

Sunday, July 19
Review at Robin Loves Reading

Monday, July 20
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, July 21
Review at Book Bustle

Wednesday, July 22
Review at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, July 23
Review at Heidi Reads

Friday, July 24
Review at The Lit Bitch

Saturday, July 25
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, July 27
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, July 28
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

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

Fair as a Star


Review & Giveaway: Storms Gather Between Us by Clare Flynn


Storms Gather Between Us by Clare Flynn

Publication Date: June 17, 2019
Canelo Saga
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance


Life can change in a single moment...

Living under the watchful eye of her controlling and abusive father, Hannah Dawson’s hopes for freedom and happiness seem a distant dream. Her mother, passive and ashamed of her self-preservation, refuses to challenge her husband. It is the mysterious circumstances of her long-lost Aunt Lizzie’s disappearance in the 1920s that inspires Hannah to seek a better life.

Since escaping his family’s notoriety in Australia Will Kidd has spent a decade sailing the seas, never looking back. Content to live the life of a wanderer, everything changes in a single moment when he comes face to face with a ghost from his past on a cloudy beach in Liverpool.

Hannah and Will are thrown together by fate and bonded by secrets from long ago. Now, they discover a love like no other. But with Hannah’s father determined to see her wed to a man of his choosing they must fight against a tyrant who has ruined many lives. Even if they succeed, can they escape the chains of their histories? And will their plans for a future be possible when the whole world is changing forever…?

A compelling tale of family secrets and undeniable love against the odds, perfect for fans of Susanne Goldring and Fiona Valpy.

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Barnes and Noble | Google Play | Hive UK | iBooks | Kobo


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Y'all I had the best weekend curled up with this book! Storms Gather Between Us is my first read by Clare Flynn and now I see why everyone raves about her! I see a Clare Flynn book buying spree coming up in my future :)

Storms Gather Between Us tells the story of Will Kidd, a young man currently working on cargo ships, and Hannah Dawson, who lives with her family including an overbearing awful father who pretty much controls her life. In her home, the women are to be seen and not heard, and should definitely not question their father's dwindling business and poor choices.

After sailing the seas for years, Will is a lost man. His family is gone tragically and he's unsure of his future. Hannah is desperate to get out from under her father's grasp and begin a life of her own.

When Will and Hannah meet one day in Liverpool their connection is powerful, and it comes to light that Will knew Hannah's aunt, whom the family never speak of. The love between Will and Hannah grows strong and they must figure out a way to be together and get away from Hannah's father.

I didn't realize that this book was a continuation from A Greater World but I wasn't lost at all and now I can't wait to go back and read that one. I truly loved this read and am very excited at picking up more novels from Clare Flynn!

About the Author

Historical novelist Clare Flynn is a former global marketing director and business owner. She now lives in Eastbourne on the south coast of England and most of her time these days is spent writing her novels – when she's not gazing out of her windows at the sea.

Clare is the author of eleven novels and a short story collection. Her books deal with displacement – her characters are wrenched away from their comfortable existences and forced to face new challenges – often in outposts of an empire which largely disappeared after WW2.

Fluent in Italian, she loves spending time in Italy. In her spare time she likes to quilt, paint and travel as often and as widely as possible. She is an active member of the Historical Novel Society, the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors, NINC and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 13
Review at Passages to the Past
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Tuesday, July 14
Review at A Darn Good Read

Wednesday, July 15
Feature at What Is That Book About
Excerpt at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Thursday, July 16
Review at Amy's Booket List
Feature at Lost in a Book Reviewer

Friday, July 17
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Saturday, July 18
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Sunday, July 19
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Monday, July 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 eBooks of Storms Gather Between Us by Clare Flynn! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

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

Storms Gather Between Us


Review & Giveaway: A Song for Lonely Wolves by Lee Evie


A Song for Lonely Wolves by Lee Evie

Publication Date: February 26, 2020
Interstice Press

Series: Joseon Detective, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction


A missing woman. A frozen body.
A bonded servant girl, determined to solve a mystery.

Joseon Korea, winter, 1590.

At the foot of a jagged mountain range, an isolated village lies in muddy snow. From her bed, a young noblewoman vanishes in the dead of night and rumours of a fearsome ghost with no face echo in her wake.

Hard-working and dogged Dan Ji, arrives in the long winding valley with her own ghosts. As a damo, a tea servant of the police force, she is overlooked and undervalued. Yet this case has gripped her heart, and she craves to prove her worth beyond simply cooking and cleaning for her superiors – she is determined to solve the mystery.

With only the officer in charge on her side – a hard young man with a bloody past and secrets of his own – Dan Ji must convince the local Magistrate and his provincial policemen to trust her judgement. Yet with mistrust brewing, the investigation slowly grinds to a halt. Until a frozen body is unearthed from the deep snows of the mountain range.

It is not within Dan Ji’s nature to leave a mystery unsolved, yet soon she discovers the fine threads of this investigation run much deeper than anyone has anticipated.

A dark historical mystery set in old Korea.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

It's always exciting to start a new historical set in a place that I have never read about so I was super stoked to read A Song for Lonely Wolves. Set in 16th century Korea it follows Dan Ji who is a Damo. In old Korea, damos were women servants who served the police department. They also were sometimes tasked with undercover work as they could cross societal lines, unlike the policemen.

The novel kicks off as the gambling den that Dan Ji is working is raided by police after she was working undercover to bring down the criminal organization. After the success of that mission, she is asked to help investigate a missing noblewoman with ties to the royal family. But the case won't be easy since the girl's father won't help find his daughter and more women disappear during the investigation. It's up to Dan Ji to find out what happened and why, and she must work harder than ever.

I really liked Dan Ji. She clearly knows her role in society though she pushes against it from time to time. She's smart and inquisitive and wants justice and she revels in the little power that comes from her time as an investigator. The mystery was done really well and Evie knows how to keep the readers turning the pages! Lee Evie definitely brought old Korea to life. It was awesome to learn more about the culture and traditions of that time.

All in all, it was a fascinating read and I can't wait for more adventures with Dan Ji! Highly recommended.

About the Author


Lee Evie is a historical fiction author. She writes with a focus on Korean history and loves dark adventures with a heavy dose of danger, mystery and romance. When she's not writing, Lee Evie can be found watching drama, which she will do for hours on end. She believes drama watching is the ultimate joy of life. Even when they make her cry. An avid photography and travel lover, Lee Evie thinks stories are the most precious gift to the universe.

Website | Newsletter | Instagram | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 6
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 7
Review at Bookworlder

Wednesday, July 8
Review at YA, It's Lit

Thursday, July 9
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, July 10
Feature at Donna's Book Blog

Saturday, July 11
Review at Book Bustle
Feature at Let Them Read Books

Sunday, July 12
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Wednesday, July 15
Review at Impressions In Ink

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of A Song for Lonely Wolves by Lee Evie! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

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

A Song for Lonely Wolves


2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: July Reviews


Welcome to the July link page for the 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. I hope everyone is staying home safe and reading some yummy books!

Reading Challenge Instructions...

  • Add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review). A direct link to your Goodreads review is also acceptable
  • Any sub-genre of historical fiction is accepted (Historical Romance, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Young Adult, etc.)
  • Don't forget to look some of the other links that are present. You never know when you will discover new blogs or books!

There's still time to sign up for the 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge! Sign Up Here.


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The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts by Jenetta James

Happy Monday everyone! Today I am hosting the Book Blast for the upcoming release from Jenetta James! The Memory House will be out on August 10th from Quills and Quartos Publishing and is available for pre-order. Isn't that cover beautiful?


The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts
by Jenetta James

Publication Date: August 10, 2020
Quills and Quartos Publishing

Genre: Historical Romance


A house in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods is home to secrets, mysteries, and two love stories spanning two centuries.

In 1859, independent-minded Kitty Cathcart dreams of escaping Veronica Gardens but her father’s determination to marry her off to a rich man of his choosing forces her to seek happiness and find her own voice by other means. And then the handsome but poor Alex Faraday walks through the front doors.

In 2019, Oxford-educated Josie Minton never dreamt of living in a house as grand as Veronica Gardens, but the nanny’s quarters are a perfect fit for a young woman in need of a job. Wealthy financier James Cavendish and his twin girls quickly find her indispensable to their happiness, but Josie is still searching for her future.

Then the great house reveals the first of its secrets, and the tragedy and romance of one era are brought into sharp relief with another.

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon

About the Author

Jenetta James is a lawyer, writer, mother and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practises full time as a barrister. Over the years she has lived in France, Hungary and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing and playing with Lego.

She is the author of "Suddenly Mrs Darcy", "The Elizabeth Papers" and "Lover's Knot" as well as a contributor to The Quill Ink series of anthologies, "The Darcy Monologues", "Dangerous to know", "Rational Creatures" and "Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl".

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, June 22
Robin Loves Reading
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, June 23
Momfluenster
Jorie Loves A Story

Wednesday, June 24
Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, June 25
A Darn Good Read
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, June 26
Austenprose
Donna's Book Blog

Saturday, June 27
Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, June 28
Books, Cooks, Looks

Monday, June 29
Bookworlder
Passages to the Past

Book Blast: Out of Night by Kellie Butler


Out of Night by Kellie Butler

Publication Date: June 24, 2020
Raleigh Hills Press
Paperback & eBook; 328 pages

Series: The Laurelhurst Chronicles, Book 4
Genre: Historical Fiction


How long can you run from yourself?

1968. In the continuing bestselling Laurelhurst Chronicles family saga series comes a gripping, moving tale of separation, self-discovery, new beginnings, and reconciliation.

Kate. A mainstay on Swinging London’s party circuit for years, Kate is plunged into a sordid world when Lord Elliott Cutterworth kicks her out of her home and takes custody of their daughter, Violet after she relapses on her journey to sobriety. Separated from her family, she’s determined to get clean and regain custody of her daughter. On the run from Elliott and her old life, she finds assistance in her reluctant brother-in-law, Edward Cavert, who is running away from some secrets of his own. Can she reconcile her past and face down Elliott?

Lydie. When her youngest son, Cole, is institutionalized from intellectual impairments, it sends Lydie into a downward spiral, and her once loving marriage is in jeopardy.

After botched treatments leave her memory in tatters, her husband, Henry, sends Lydie to Kansas, and to the one psychiatric hospital that can help her restore her memory and her sanity. There, Lydie meets new friends while reconnecting with a childhood friend, Lord Christopher “Kit” Alderley. As she puts the pieces of her life back together, can she finally leave the haunting memories from her youth in Lancashire behind her and reconcile with her brother and her husband?

Available on Amazon


Giveaway

Win a copy of the book (paperback or eBook) and a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Click the photo below to enter
.
Giveaway ends on June 29th.



About the Author

Kellie Butler is the author of Beneath a Moonless Sky, Before the Flood, and The Broken Tree, all part of the bestselling The Laurelhurst Chronicles series.

Born in the deep south and educated at Mississippi State University and Louisiana State University, she has travelled and lived around the globe. Besides writing books, she enjoys knitting, yoga, cooking, hiking, classical film, her MSU Bulldogs, and her dog, Chippy. She lives in Arizona with her family.

She enjoys hearing from readers. To connect with her, visit her website www.kellierbutler.com to join her newsletter, connect with her on social media, and receive updated news on signings and events.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, June 22
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 23
Reading is My Remedy

Wednesday, June 24
SplendeurCaisse
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Thursday, June 25
Pursuing Stacie

Friday, June 26
Donna's Book Blog

Saturday, June 27
CelticLady's Reviews

Sunday, June 28
History From a Woman's Perspective

Monday, June 29
The Book Junkie Reads

Review & Giveaway: The Philosopher's Daughters by Alison Booth


The Philosopher's Daughters by Alison Booth

Publication Date: April 2, 2020
RedDoor Press
Paperback & eBook; 356 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


A tale of two very different sisters whose 1890s voyage from London into remote outback Australia becomes a journey of self-discovery, set against a landscape of wild beauty and savage dispossession.

London in 1891: Harriet Cameron is a talented young artist whose mother died when she was barely five. She and her beloved sister Sarah were brought up by their father, radical thinker James Cameron. After adventurer Henry Vincent arrives on the scene, the sisters' lives are changed forever. Sarah, the beauty of the family, marries Henry and embarks on a voyage to Australia. Harriet, intensely missing Sarah, must decide whether to help her father with his life's work or devote herself to painting.

When James Cameron dies unexpectedly, Harriet is overwhelmed by grief. Seeking distraction, she follows Sarah to Australia, and afterwards into the Northern Territory outback, where she is alienated by the casual violence and great injustices of outback life.

Her rejuvenation begins with her friendship with an Aboriginal stockman and her growing love for the landscape. But this fragile happiness is soon threatened by murders at a nearby cattle station and by a menacing station hand seeking revenge.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Kobo UK | Kobo US | Apple iBooks

Praise for The Philosopher's Daughters

"A lyrical tale of wild, frontier Australia. Evocative, insightful, thought-provoking." -Karen Viggers, author

​"Booth is superb at the small detail that creates a life, and the large one that gives it meaning." -
Marion Halligan, author

"Delicately handled historical drama with a theme of finding self, both in relationships and art, backed by issues on race relations in Australia and women’s rights." -Tom Flood, author and editor

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Philosopher's Daughters is set in the 1890s in London and Australia and focuses on Sarah and Harriet - two sisters who live with their philosopher father, James Cameron.

The sisters are close yet very different in personalities. Sarah is the beauty and when she meets Henry at a suffragette meeting they soon marry and embark on a two-year honeymoon to Australia, which eventually turns into a permanent move, leaving Harriet behind in London with their father. Harriet is the artist of the family and expressly wishes to remain single in order to pursue her own dreams. When her father dies, she decides to take an adventure and visit her sister in Australia. Sarah and Henry are now living in a remote outpost where the mail is delivered every 6 weeks (can you imagine?!) near an Aboriginal camp. At that time there is significant prejudice and racism against the Aboriginal people and this book highlights that. There are some really tough scenes to read, but it's especially poignant given the current circumstances of race and racism in the world today.

I greatly enjoyed The Philosopher's Daughters and Alison's writing is top-notch. For me, it was more of a slow-burn novel with the action coming more towards the latter half of the novel. Australia is fast becoming a new favorite setting for me - I don't know, there's just something about the vastness and wildness of the country that fascinates me.

This was my first read by Alison Booth but I am definitely picking up her others!

About the Author

Alison Booth was born in Melbourne, brought up in Sydney and has worked in the UK and in Australia as a professor as well as a novelist. Her most recent novel, A Perfect Marriage, is in the genre of contemporary fiction, while her first three novels (Stillwater Creek, The Indigo Sky, and A Distant Land) are historical fiction spanning the decades 1950s through to the early 1970s. Alison's work has been translated into French and has also been published by Reader's Digest Select Editions in both Asia and Europe. Alison, who holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics, is an active public speaker and has participated in many writers' festivals and literary events.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, June 17
Excerpt at Donna's Book Blog

Thursday, June 18
Guest Post at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, June 19
Feature at What Is That Book About

Saturday, June 20
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, June 23
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, June 24
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Friday, June 26
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Monday, June 29
Review at A Darn Good Read

Wednesday, July 1
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Friday, July 3
Feature at I'm All About Books

Monday, July 6
Review at Impressions In Ink

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Philosopher's Daughters! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The Philosopher's Daughters

The Philosopher's Daughters


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