Review & Giveaway: The Whirlpools of Time


The Whirlpools of Time by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: June 11, 2021
Timelight Press

Series: The Locket, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance/Scottish/Time Travel


He hoped for a wife. He found a companion through time and beyond.

It is 1715 and for Duncan Melville something fundamental is missing from his life. Despite a flourishing legal practice and several close friends, he is lonely, even more so after the recent death of his father. He needs a wife—a companion through life, someone to hold and be held by. What he wasn’t expecting was to be torn away from everything he knew and find said woman in 2016…

Erin Barnes has a lot of stuff going on in her life. She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour. Besides, whoever Duncan may be, she can’t exactly deny the immediate attraction.

The complications in Erin’s life explode. Events are set in motion and to Erin’s horror she and Duncan are thrown back to 1715. Not only does Erin have to cope with a different and intimidating world, soon enough she and Duncan are embroiled in a dangerous quest for Duncan’s uncle, a quest that may very well cost them their lives as they travel through a Scotland poised on the brink of rebellion.

Will they find Duncan’s uncle in time? And is the door to the future permanently closed, or will Erin find a way back?

Amazon


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Author Anna Belfrage has knocked it out of the park again!

I was instantly sucked into The Whirlpools of Time from the start, especially excited to see Duncan again, who was in her Graham saga series, which is fabulous as well.

Duncan is returning from a visit to his family following the death of this father. He's a bit estranged from his family, especially his mother, through no fault of his own. Despite having a good career he feels restless and would like a wife and a family like his brothers.

It's a stormy night and when he reaches a crossroad on the path, lightning crashes down and when he awakens he finds himself in the year 2016. When Erin comes upon him she has no idea why he is dressed so strangely and in the middle of the road. She's on the run after trying to expose a local family that stole a family heirloom. Duncan saves her from them and she decides to help him in return.

There's mystery, adventure, danger, and of course, romance....this is Anna Belfrage we're talking about here! I just adore the way Anna writes, especially the romance/love/sexiness aspects. The connection between Erin and Duncan was unmistakable!

I cannot wait for the next book in the series! You should definitely pick this one up and I would also recommend checking out the Graham saga!

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 two 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.

More recently, Anna has published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. While she loved stepping out of her comfort zone (and will likely do so again ) she is delighted to be back in medieval times in her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love.

Find out more about Anna on her website or on her Amazon page. You can also follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 23
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, August 24
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review + Excerpt at Books & Benches

Thursday, August 26
Review at Reader_ceygo

Friday, August 27
Review at Novels Alive

Monday, August 30
Review at With A Book In Our Hands

Wednesday, September 1
Review at The Book Review Crew

Friday, September 3
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, September 6
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Wednesday, September 8
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, September 10
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Monday, September 13
Guest Post at Hoover Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 15
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Friday, September 17
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, September 20
Review at Amy's Booket List

Tuesday, September 21
Review at Anna’s Book Blog

Wednesday, September 22
Excerpt at The Cozy Book Blog

Friday, September 24
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, September 27
Excerpt at Cross My Heart Writing & Reviews
Wednesday, September 29
Review at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Whirlpools of Time by Anna Belfrage! Two copies are up for grabs!

The giveaway is open internationally and ends on September 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Whirlpools of Time



Review & Giveaway: The Artist Colony by Joanna FitzPatrick


The Artist Colony by Joanna FitzPatrick

Publication Date: September 7, 2021
She Writes Press
Paperback & eBook; 328 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Paris, July, 1924…

Sarah, a young Modernist painter, receives a cable from California. Her estranged older sister, Ada Belle, has died under suspicious circumstances. When she arrives two weeks later at San Francisco's Union Station, Sarah is confronted by a newspaper headline: "Inquest Verdict: Artist Commits Suicide."

Sarah remembers the last haunting words Ada Belle said to her: "Ars longa, vita brevis: Art is long, life is short.” But Ada Belle’s work is selling, and her upcoming exhibition of portraitures would bring her even wider recognition. Why would she kill herself? Sarah’s quest to find the truth of what happened to Ada Belle leads her to join the bucolic artist colony to look for clues. As she delves into her sister's underworld, tensions surface. The darker things get, the closer she comes to terrible danger. How far will a killer go before he kills again?

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Praise

“. . . delivers an escape to gorgeous Carmel and an engaging mystery.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The Artist Colony is bold, creative, and unexpected – all the things nice ladies weren’t supposed to be in the 1920’s when they escaped to Carmel-By-The-Sea to make art without criticism. Joanna FitzPatrick, a descendant of one of those feisty female pioneers, has honored her family legacy and entertained her fans yet again with a fast-paced whodunnit that is equal parts loving tribute and killer thriller.” — Meredith May, author of The Honey Bus and Loving Edie

“The Artist Colony” is a sumptuous ride through the Carmel-by-the-Sea, circa 1920, as Sarah Cunningham, newly arrived from Paris, attempts to uncover the truth about her sister’s mysterious death. Atmospheric and delicious, FitzPatrick delivers a thrilling page-turner woven with artistic flourish. This exquisite novel does not disappoint! Highly recommended!" — Michelle Cox, author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series

“It’s 1924 and a young woman journeys to Carmel, California, to learn more about her sister’s sudden death. She soon learns that the bohemian arts colony is anything but idyllic, as she’s confronted by flagrant racism and intimations of murder. Fitzpatrick has written a vivid historical novel with an absorbing mystery at the center of it, and I was riveted.” — Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen

“The dramatic landscapes of Carmel, beautifully depicted by FitzPatrick, are central to the plot, whose blow-by-blow story keeps us gripped to the final revelation of Ada’s murderer . . . a must-read novel for anyone who loves historical fiction, art, detective stories, and the West Coast.” — Maggie Humm, author of Talland House

“. . . readers who enjoy an exciting narrative with unexpected twists will find this a diverting and illuminating read.” — Historical Novels Review

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Beautiful writing and a beautiful setting combine to make The Artist Colony by Joanna FitzPatrick an enticing and engrossing read.

Sarah is an artist living in Paris when she receives word that her estranged sister, Ada, has died by suicide in Carmel-by-the-Sea. She leaves immediately for California to see where her sister passed. When she arrives she meets with the local inn owner who knew her sister and who tells Sarah that she doesn't believe that it was suicide, but murder. Taken by surprise, Sarah isn't sure what to believe so she decides to do some investigating herself, along with Rosie the innkeeper, and her pup, Albert.

I truly enjoyed my time with The Artist Colony! Murder mystery, art, missing portraits, strange happenings, colorful locals, and a gorgeous location...it has it all! You should definitely pick this one up! I know I'm glad that I did!


About the Author

 

Joanna FitzPatrick was born and raised in Hollywood. She started her writing habit by applying her orange fountain pen and a wild imagination to screenplays, which led her early on to produce the film White Lilacs and Pink Champagne. At Sarah Lawrence College, she wrote her MFA thesis Sha La La: Live for Today about her life as a rock ’n’ roll star’s wife. Her more recent work includes two novels, Katherine Mansfield and The Drummer’s Widow. The Artist Colony is her third book. Presently, FitzPatrick divides her time between a mountaintop cottage in Northern California and a small hameau in Southern France where she begins all her book projects.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, September 1
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, September 2
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, September 3
Review at SJ Through the Looking Glass

Tuesday, September 7
Interview at Books & Benches

Wednesday, September 8
Review at Booking With Janelle

Thursday, September 9
Review at Novels Alive
Interview at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Saturday, September 11
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, September 13
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Wednesday, September 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, September 17
Review at Nat Reads

Monday, September 20
Feature at What Is That Book About

Thursday, September 23
Review at Coffee and Ink

Friday, September 24
Guest Post at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Artist Colony by Joanna FitzPatrick! We have 2 copies up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends on September 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Artist Colony

Interview & Giveaway: The Spirited Mrs. Pringle by Jillianne Hamilton

Happy Bookish Tuesday, dear readers! I am so excited to share with you my interview with Author Jillianne Hamilton. Her newest release, The Spirited Mrs. Pringle, is on blog tour and I had the chance to ask her some questions!

The book is SO much fun! I loved every single page! You can check out my review here. I hope you enjoy the interview!


Hello Jillianne and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Spirited Mrs. Pringle!

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

My path to being a historical fiction author hasn’t exactly been a straight line. My first novel, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, was published in 2015 and nominated for the 2016 Prince Edward Island Book Award. It’s an action/comedy trilogy that was a lot of fun to write. I wanted to try something different after that. I’ve had a general history blog, The Lazy Historian, since 2015 and published The Lazy Historian’s Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII in 2018. It combines my love of Tudor history with a light and witty look at what was generally a crap time in history for women— particularly these ones. It was around that time that I started getting into historical fiction and came up with the idea for The Spirited Mrs. Pringle. My next project is already in the works—the first novel in a historical romance series.

What inspired you to write The Spirited Mrs. Pringle?

I met Cora Pringle, my main character, in a really roundabout way. I found a Facebook group where users wrote penpal letters to one another using characters they made up based in the Jane Austen universe. I found it interesting and started a similar group for any period in history. The group didn’t really get much traction but I ended up creating the character of Cora for that purpose. I can’t remember how I came up with her but I’ve always had a fascination with women who make professions out of unwholesome activities. (Example: my first three novels were about a professional thief.) The more I looked into spiritualism, the more I knew I had to write this story.

What research did you undertake when writing The Spirited Mrs. Pringle?

Probably far too much! Several books about spiritualists and mediums in the 19th century, an academic book about the overlap between the early suffrage movement and spiritualism, a Nellie Bly biography and many books on life in Victorian England.

What would you like readers to take away from reading The Spirited Mrs. Pringle?

Everything can be looked at from multiple angles, including motivation for doing something. And sometimes two people who seem very different from one another are actually more similar than they themselves might realize.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Any scene where Cora or her companions are performing on stage was super fun to write. Late Victorian audiences were wowed by anything relating to my mysticism and magic and anything deemed “exotic” so Cora’s spiritualism act would have been well received. Most of these performances would be considered so over-the-top by today’s standards. With that being said, I researched“cold reading” techniques used by modern mediums for Cora to use on her audiences. It’s funny because these methods still work on “sophisticated” modern audiences. I don’t want to give too much away but there’s also a scene with some rodents that was also really fun to write. Silliness is always the best stuff to write. 

What was the most difficult scene to write? 

There’s a scene where one of my favorite characters gets into some trouble. He’s such a sweetheart. Putting him into those situations made me feel guilty.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Like a lot of writers, I knew very early on that I would be a writer. Probably around age five. I was one of those precocious little twerps who wrote a book and did the pictures on looseleaf and then stapled it together. I started writing my first historical fiction story in junior high, set during the Tudor era. Obviously, it was hot garbage.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

Well, it’s not every day for a start. Hahaha I’m trying to get better about that though. Tracking the days I write and the days I don’t helps. Usually, in the evening, I get comfy on the sofa or on my bed with a lap desk and my iPad (equipped with a Logitech ComboTouch keyboard case—I love that thing). I have a bottle of water and I usually put on some instrumental music, sometimes from the era I’m writing in, sometimes not. I usually have Scrivener, Notion, Chrome and Goodnotes open on my iPad as I’m working. (I made a TikTok about it if you want to share that: https://www.tiktok.com/@jilliannewrites/video/ 6961567118689094918)

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

Finding the time! Or, making the time, rather. I know a lot of writers who have day jobs have this same complaint but there are lots of people who manage to do both. It took me too long to learn this but when I finally did, it helped a lot: you don’t need 3+ hours to dedicate to writing. You can still get a lot of words written if you have only an hour.

Who are your writing inspirations?

I like to include humour in my novels. Louise Rennison was an incredible YA author and her Georgia Nicolson series made me want to be a writer. As for historical fiction authors specifically, I am continually blown away by Deanna Raybourn, Kate Quinn, Jennifer Ryan and Mandy Robotham. I admire them so much.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I’m pretty sure it was Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor (Royal Diaries) by Kathryn Lasky. Scholastic put out a bunch of those middle-grade books; fictional diaries written by actual queens and princesses.and my friend loaned me the Elizabeth one and I became instantly obsessed with Tudor history. Two others that I read around the same time were Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer and Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman. I’m positive these books were the gateway drug for many historical fiction readers today.

What is the last historical novel you read?

A Rogue of One’s Own (A League of Extraordinary Women) by Evie Dunmore. I love this series so much. 

If you could read one book again for the first time ever, what would you choose? 

Ooh! That’s a tough one! Probably Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Reid Jenkins or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

What are three things people may not know about you?

1. I almost always listen to fiction audiobooks and read non-fiction books. (And just for the record, your brain reacts the same if you’re listening to audiobooks and reading them, so, yes, listening to audiobooks is reading.) 

2. If I get an audiobook or an ebook and really love it, I will usually end up getting a hardcover or a paperback version just to keep on my shelf. 

3. I adored Anne of Green Gables as a kid—still do. I would visit Prince Edward Island every summer with my cousins and grandparents and ended up moving to Charlottetown for college. After I met my own Gilbert Blythe, I made sure to mention Anne of Green Gables in our thank-you at the wedding reception.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I think it’s probably because it’s an incredibly flexible genre combined with one of my most favorite things—history! There are so many different things a write can create or a write can experience within the genre because of its flexibility; you can have romance, you can have adventures, you can have friendships and family drama, you can have betrayal, you can have mysteries, etc. Writing and reading historical fiction is the closest thing we have to time travel right now—and this version is probably much safer anyway.

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

I’ve been reading a ton of WWII novels lately but I also read novels based during the Regency, Victorian era (obviously), 20th century. I would say I am more attracted to the setting of a novel (western Europe) and tone of a novel, moreso than the period it’s set in.

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

Reading, crafting, painting, watching documentaries and costume dramas, playing video games, and walking my dog.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I’m currently working on a historical romance series featuring linked standalone novels, all taking place in the first half of the 20th century. It’s my first traditional romance novel and I’m having a lot of fun with it.


The Spirited Mrs. Pringle by Jillianne Hamilton

Publication Date: June 30, 2021
Tomfoolery Press

Genre: Historical Fiction


LONDON, 1888.

Upon the death of her husband, self-involved social climber Cora Pringle assumes her recent dalliance with a wealthy gentleman will be her second chance at a happily ever after. That is until her paramour turns out to be a penniless imposter. Despite his betrayal, Cora can’t quite let go of the tug the handsome playwright has on her heart.

Desperate for an income, Cora becomes a séance-performing spiritualist and gets a taste for celebrity—and it’s so delicious. So what if she can’t actually communicate with the dead? Her eager patrons don’t need to know that.

Amelia Baxter, an ambitious journalist and suffragist, is discouraged when her editor refuses to let her cover the horrific Jack the Ripper murders. Instead, Amelia pours her frustrations into bringing Cora’s deceptive and manipulative act to an end, even if it means risking her family’s reputation.

“Like the most memorable of its vividly drawn characters, The Spirited Mrs. Pringle is clever, lively, and unabashedly entertaining. Perhaps most enjoyable of all is the seemingly endless series of surprises. A string of sometimes astonishing pleasures to the last page.” - Award-Winning Author Leo McKay Jr.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


About the Author


Jillianne Hamilton is the author of three novels and one non-fiction book. Her debut novel, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire (2015), was shortlisted for the 2016 Prince Edward Island Book Award. The Molly Miranda sequels were published in 2016 and 2017.

Her lighthearted look at the 16th century, The Lazy Historian’s Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII, was published in 2018.

Jillianne has been published in Macleans, the Truro Daily News, the Sackville Tribune-Post, and Career Options Magazine. She also blogs about history at The Lazy Historian. Jill graduated from Journalism at Holland College in Prince Edward Island in 2010.

She lives in Charlottetown on Canada’s beautiful east coast.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 30
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, August 31
Review at Booking With Janelle

Wednesday, September 1
Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, September 2
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, September 3
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Monday, September 6
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, September 7
Guest Post at Books & Benches
Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Wednesday, September 8
Feature at I'm All About Books

Thursday, September 9
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Friday, September 10
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, September 13
Review at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, September 14
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, September 15
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 17
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Lotus Readers

Monday, September 20
Review at Bonnie Reads and Writes

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Spirited Mrs. Pringle by Jillianne Hamilton!

The giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends on September 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Spirited Mrs. Pringle

Review & Giveaway: The Spirited Mrs. Pringle by Jillianne Hamilton


The Spirited Mrs. Pringle by Jillianne Hamilton

Publication Date: June 30, 2021
Tomfoolery Press

Genre: Historical Fiction


LONDON, 1888.

Upon the death of her husband, self-involved social climber Cora Pringle assumes her recent dalliance with a wealthy gentleman will be her second chance at a happily ever after. That is until her paramour turns out to be a penniless imposter. Despite his betrayal, Cora can’t quite let go of the tug the handsome playwright has on her heart.

Desperate for an income, Cora becomes a séance-performing spiritualist and gets a taste for celebrity—and it’s so delicious. So what if she can’t actually communicate with the dead? Her eager patrons don’t need to know that.

Amelia Baxter, an ambitious journalist and suffragist, is discouraged when her editor refuses to let her cover the horrific Jack the Ripper murders. Instead, Amelia pours her frustrations into bringing Cora’s deceptive and manipulative act to an end, even if it means risking her family’s reputation.

“Like the most memorable of its vividly drawn characters, The Spirited Mrs. Pringle is clever, lively, and unabashedly entertaining. Perhaps most enjoyable of all is the seemingly endless series of surprises. A string of sometimes astonishing pleasures to the last page.” - Award-Winning Author Leo McKay Jr.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh how I loved, loved, loved The Spirited Mrs. Pringle! Loved it so much that I inhaled it in two sittings...well, it would have been one sitting but you know, life and all.

Author Jillianne Hamilton has written a wonderfully charming historical that features two women, Cora (Mrs. Pringle) and Amelia. Cora is in a loveless marriage when she meets and falls for another man (Everett), though he turns out to be not what she thought. When her husband passes unexpectedly, she learns just how dire her circumstances are. He's left her with no home and no money. She is without family and her friends can't help, so she has no choice but to reach out to Everett who has offered her a place to stay. Cora needs money so she decides to try her hand at being a spiritualist. She's done this act at parties before but only as a joke.

Amelia is newlywed and has ambition to become a reporter and writer. She soon learns about the famous Mrs. Pringle and decides to check her out. When she sees that Mrs. Pringle can't really talk to the dead she exposes her.

I don't want to give too much away, but trust me it's an extremely fun read. There were twists and turns and a slow-burn romance that will leave you swooning! My word, how I adored Everett! There is also a lot of witty and clever dialogue that I loved.

I will definitely be picking up Jillianne's previous books as I greatly enjoyed this one. If you like Mimi Matthews, Harper St. George, or Diane Biller I strongly recommend you check Jillianne out!


About the Author


Jillianne Hamilton is the author of three novels and one non-fiction book. Her debut novel, Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire (2015), was shortlisted for the 2016 Prince Edward Island Book Award. The Molly Miranda sequels were published in 2016 and 2017.

Her lighthearted look at the 16th century, The Lazy Historian’s Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII, was published in 2018.

Jillianne has been published in Macleans, the Truro Daily News, the Sackville Tribune-Post, and Career Options Magazine. She also blogs about history at The Lazy Historian. Jill graduated from Journalism at Holland College in Prince Edward Island in 2010.

She lives in Charlottetown on Canada’s beautiful east coast.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 30
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, August 31
Review at Booking With Janelle

Wednesday, September 1
Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, September 2
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, September 3
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Monday, September 6
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Tuesday, September 7
Guest Post at Books & Benches
Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Wednesday, September 8
Feature at I'm All About Books

Thursday, September 9
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Friday, September 10
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, September 13
Review at A Darn Good Read

Tuesday, September 14
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, September 15
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 17
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Lotus Readers

Monday, September 20
Review at Bonnie Reads and Writes

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Spirited Mrs. Pringle by Jillianne Hamilton!

The giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends on September 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Spirited Mrs. Pringle

Review: A War in Too Many Worlds by Elizabeth Crowens


A War in Too Many Worlds by Elizabeth Crowens

Publication Date: August 16, 2021
Atomic Alchemist Productions, LLC

Series: Time Traveler Professor, #3
Genre: Historical Fiction


The secret diaries of John Patrick Scott pick up at the close of 1917. British intelligence sends Scott to work undercover in Berlin with his old partner-in-crime, Wendell Mackenzie, as his outside contact in Paris. Back on the Western Front, Scott discovered his ability to see the ghosts of the dead. Unsure if that’s a blessing or a curse, he takes this one-step further, employing spirits in the world of deception and intrigue. As the Russian monarchy crumbles and the Red Baron meets his final match, for Scott, true love is always beyond arm’s reach. His long-lost patrons and paramours, Sophia and Francois Poincaré, resurface but as potential enemies of the Crown.

Arthur Conan Doyle vows to retrieve his stolen time machine from H.G. Wells. Scott is still at odds with Doyle, who still refuses to publicly acknowledge his contributions for ghostwriting Sherlock Holmes, and Doyle encounters Harry Houdini in the most unlikely of places. Get ready for a wild ride. Time Traveler Professor, Book Three: A War in Too Many Worlds, pairs murder, mayhem and mysticism in a mashup where The Lost World meets The Island of Doctor Moreau. Stayed tuned for Book Four, The Story Beyond Time, the final book in this epic series.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise

"Meticulously researched and wholly evocative of its time period; rich detail, immersive atmosphere and clever use of documented Victorian interests in the paranormal give Crowens’s latest novel distinct authenticity. The difficult task of channeling such bold and beloved icons as Doyle, Wells and Houdini is confidently and capably handled. Brimming with specificity, historic flavor and intriguing supernatural fancy, A War in Too Many Worlds is an impressive feat of fact weaving into fiction; sure to please history buffs as well as the more fantastical at heart in equal measure." -Leanna Renee Hieber, award-winning, bestselling author of the Strangely Beautiful and Spectral City series

"Pack your best time-traveling attire, your sense of humor, and your open mind. A War in Too Many Worlds by Elizabeth Crowens, the third book in the Time Traveler Professor series, is a vibrant, explosive treatise on the intersection of magic, science, and spirituality. The book is both a loving nod to an era when magic and science were separated by a hairsbreadth, and a Jungian exploration of time, memory, and mysticism. Though the topics are erudite, the author’s wit and humor combined with karmic twists, musical accompaniment, and a historical who’s who, keep the book moving to its thrilling and unexpected climax. The entire series is highly recommended, and I can't wait to see what happens next." -Kerry Adrienne, USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty books in a wide range of genres, including paranormal romance, historical romance, LGBT, horror, and fantasy

"This genre-bending trip through time and space offers the same delightfully loopy charm as a Doctor Who episode—but with its own irresistible allure, as if Douglas Adams and Jules Verne collaborated with a little help from Kafka. Crowens jumps effortlessly from the mournful haunts of Berlin during the Great War to the unpredictable travels of H.G. Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle. Exotic—and yet strangely familiar—characters keep popping up to entertain us. However, even among the amusements are laments of lost loves and lost opportunities—along with ghosts (both real and imagined)—all of which elevate the story. Indeed, together with the many fantastic elements, we are moved by the strivings and desires of the all-too-human characters, who will stick with you long after you get to the last page." -R.J. Koreto, author of the Lady Frances Ffolkes and Alice Roosevelt historical mysteries

"Take your favorite elements for a paranormal mystery adventure— from Victorian times into the 20th century, historical (and then some) characters like Conan Doyle, Jung, Houdini, and a few surprises. Add the MacGuffin of a mysterious red book, and you will understand the delights of Elizabeth Crowens’s series featuring the Time Traveling Professor. Things come to a head in the third book in this delightful series. If you need to escape this world for a bit, try the one she has so beautifully built for you." -Jim Freund, host of radio program Hour of the Wolf, now for 50 years

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

First, let me say that A War in Too Many Worlds has to be one of the most unique historicals I've read to date! It combines time travel, the paranormal, historical events, literature, famous authors and historical figures, mystery, and adventure! It's the third book in Crowen's Time Traveler Professor Series. Don't worry if you haven't read the first two books, the author provides a good summary of them at the start of the book. Although the author does suggest for readers to read the series in order. And I mean to definitely pick those up and see how this all began.

The book starts off in 1917. The Bolsheviks have overthrown the Russian government. The main protagonist, John is on his way to visit his close friend Arthur Conan Doyle. And along with him is his spiritual guide, Finn aka Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock is John's constant companion and provides guidance.

Doyle's time machine is missing and he suspects it was taken by H.G. Wells who wants to use it to travel back in time to retrieve an important red book. The time machine however proves unreliable and takes them to random times and places.

I don't want to give too much away, but trust me it's a fast-paced interesting read. I enjoyed Crowen's writing and you can tell that vast research has been done. There's a lot going on in the book but that just keeps the pages turning.

If you're looking for an out-of-the-box historical series, pick these up!

About the Author


Over 20 years in the entertainment industry, a black belt in martial arts, and a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast. Credits include: Black Belt Magazine, interviews for Black Gate Magazine, short stories in the Hell’s Heart and the Bram Stoker Award nominated anthology, A New York State of Fright, and two award-winning alternate history novels, Silent Meridian and A Pocketful of Lodestones and A War in Too Many Worlds being released in August 2021. She also writes in the Hollywood mystery genre. Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the Horror Writers Association, and winner of the 2020 Leo B. Burstein/MWA-NY Scholarship. She also writes in the Hollywood mystery genre and can’t stay away from black humor.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 16
Feature at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Tuesday, August 17
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Thursday, August 19
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, August 22
Guest Post at The Cozy Book Blog

Tuesday, August 24
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Monday, August 30
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 31
Interview at Passages to the Past

Saturday, September 4
Review at Booking with Janelle

Friday, September 10
Feature Coffee and Ink
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of A War in Too Many Worlds by Elizabeth Crowens! We have 6 copies up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only and ends on September 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

A War in Too Many Worlds

Book Blast: The Rake of Hearts by Emily Windsor


The Rake of Hearts by Emily Windsor

Publication Date: August 23, 2021
Senara Press Ltd

Series: A Lady to Suit, Book 2
Genre: Regency Romance


When the heart is afire...
By his own admission, Lord Ernest Brook is a rake. With sapphire gaze, sinfully handsome looks and a duke for a brother, the pleasures of London have come with ease...apart from one. Ever since the gauntlet of her first wintry dismissal was thrown, the widowed Hebe Lock has stirred his deepest desires, but just what would it take to woo such a woman?

Sparks will fly.
Hebe Locke has vowed to never again fall for a scoundrel after her brief marriage to one left her broken and haunted. Now she finds comfort with paintbrush and canvas, but as a female artist in a male world, commissions are as rare as a ballroom without rakes.

A castle of enchantment.
As the heat of late summer warms the land, an ancient, moated castle plays host to a widow and a rake, both concealing passions contrary to their reputations. But as Lord Ernest awakens Hebe's desire and thaws her frozen emotions, can she hold true to her vow? Or can this rake win the one heart he yearns for?

Sensual Regency romance with warmth and wit, this tale also includes a disreputable aunt with a secondary love story, Cotswold country fairs, sinful masquerades and...a goat.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

A Lady to Suit Series

1 - The Duke of Diamonds - Out now!
2 - The Rake of Hearts - Out now!
3 - The Earl of Spades - Coming soon
4 - The Prince of Clubs - Coming soon

Praise

“Five gleaming stars for this amazing Regency romance.” -Bookbub Reviewer

If you love historical romance, you can’t do without this wonderful book.” -Goodreads Reviewer

“This is a beautiful historical romance where our author paints a picture just as well with her words as our heroine with her sketches.” -Bookbub Reviewer

“A little masterpiece.” -Bookbub Reviewer


About the Author


Emily Windsor grew up in the north of England on a diet of historical romance and strong tea.

Unfortunately, you couldn’t study Regency slang, so she did the next best thing and gained a degree in Classics and History instead. This ‘led’ to an eight-year stint in engineering.

Having left city life, she now lives in a dilapidated farmhouse where her days are spent writing, fixing the leaky roof, battling the endless vegetation and finding pictures of well-tied cravats.

Newsletter | Amazon | Facebook Author Page | BookBub | Goodreads | Facebook Group | Pinterest | Instagram

Book Blast Schedule

Friday, August 27
Novels Alive
Bonnie Reads and Writes
What Is That Book About
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Saturday, August 28
Pursuing Stacie
Passages to the Past
Reading is My Remedy
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Sunday, August 29
Coffee and Ink
Saynab Reads Books
The Cozy Book Blog
CelticLady's Reviews

Giveaway

Enter to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card & an eBook of The Rake of Hearts!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Rake of Hearts

Interview & Giveaway: Necessary Sins by Elizabeth Bell

Happy FriYAY, dear readers! Today on the blog I am very excited to share my interview with Author Elizabeth Bell with you! She is currently on blog tour for Necessary Sins and has graciously stopped by to tell us more about it!

This is a wonderful historical that I loved and that has received fabulous reviews from other readers. You can read my review here.

We also have a giveaway on Instagram! Pop over to enter to win an eBook! Enter here.

Interview with Elizabeth Bell

Hello Elizabeth and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Necessary Sins!

Thank you, Amy! I’m happy to be here.

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

I work in a university library, a researcher’s dream. I’m the author of The Lazare Family Saga, a historical fiction series that follows a multiracial family struggling to understand where they belong in the young United States. Two of the books were Editors’ Choices in the Historical Novels Review—all that research paid off.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Since childhood. I remember in the second grade, my teacher would give us vocabulary words, and we were supposed to use each one in a sentence to show we understood what they meant. No matter how disparate the words were, I’d fit them into a story. At the age of fourteen, I chose a pen name and vowed to become a published author.

What research did you undertake when writing Necessary Sins?

The four-book Lazare Family Saga took me twenty-eight years to write. About a decade of that was researching, writing, and rewriting Necessary Sins. My father was raised Catholic, but I was raised Protestant, so most of traditional Catholicism was foreign to me. I really wanted to get into the mindset of someone dogmatic so I could unpack and unravel those beliefs. I attended Masses in Latin. I read memoirs by priests and former priests. I read hundreds of books on everything from the Haitian Revolution to Charleston architecture to mixed-race people “passing” as white to the Oregon Trail. I studied 18th and 19th century paintings, clothing, furniture, food, transportation, medicine—you name it! If it was familiar to my characters, I had to know about it. I did genealogical research on a real family who appear as supporting characters in Necessary Sins, the family of horticulturalist Philippe Noisette. I read whole books about roses and visited the places where Noisette roses are still grown in my adopted state of Virginia: the Lewis Gintner Botanical Garden outside Richmond and the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants near Charlottesville. Best of all were my research trips to the South Carolina Lowcountry, where I got to walk Longitude Lane in Charleston and the beach on Sullivan’s Island.

What inspired you to write Necessary Sins?

When I was eight years old, my parents took me to visit Charleston, South Carolina. I fell in love with the architecture and the gardens, the flora and fauna, the beaches and the food. I knew I had to set a story there.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Initially, Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds, Alex Haley’s Roots, and John Jakes’s North and South. Later historical novels that inspired my work were Jewell Parker Rhodes’s Douglass’ Women, James Welch’s Fools Crow, and Kathleen Grissom’s The Kitchen House.

What is the last historical novel you read?

A Sitting in St. James, Rita Williams-Garcia’s outstanding family saga published a few months ago, set mostly in Louisiana on the eve of the Civil War. Full of fascinating, despicable, complex characters—including a bitter, racist French noblewoman who fled the Haitian Revolution, a striking parallel to my character Marguerite Lazare.

How did you come up with the title?

The concept of “necessary sins” is straight from my research. Near the novel’s climax, Joseph discovers the writings of 14th-century anchoress and mystic Julian of Norwich. Her Revelations include the line “Sin is necessary, but all shall be well.” Then Joseph sings the Exultet hymn, part of the Easter Vigil Mass, which includes the line “O truly necessary sin of Adam…” My priest protagonist, Joseph Lazare, has been trying to live a life without sin, but he comes to understand that that’s not only impossible but wrongheaded. Good can come from bad. When we screw up, we learn—and hopefully we become more compassionate.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I’m particularly fond of a certain scene at the end between Joseph and his soulmate Tessa. I had so much fun with the double entendres that Joseph doesn’t consciously realize are double entendres—but I trust my readers do!

What would you like readers to take away from reading Necessary Sins?

I want to transport my readers to the 18th-century Caribbean and to 19th-century Charleston. I want to make my readers’ hearts race. I want them to rejoice and grieve with my characters. I hope I draw readers out of their comfort zones. I hope they see American history in a vivid new way and not just through rose-colored glasses. I hope that my readers walk away with more empathy for their fellow humans.


Necessary Sins by Elizabeth Bell

Publication Date: August 7, 2019
Claire-Voie Books
eBook & Paperback; 490 Pages

Series: Lazare Family Saga, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction


In antebellum Charleston, a Catholic priest grapples with doubt, his family's secret African ancestry, and his love for a slave owner's wife.

Joseph Lazare and his two sisters grow up believing their black hair and olive skin come from a Spanish grandmother—until the summer they learn she was an African slave. While his sisters make very different choices, Joseph struggles to transcend the flesh by becoming a celibate priest.

Then young Father Joseph meets Tessa Conley, a devout Irish immigrant who shares his passions for music and botany. Joseph must conceal his true feelings as Tessa marries another man—a plantation owner who treats her like property. Acting on their love for each other will ruin Joseph and Tessa in this world and damn them in the next.

Or will it?

Necessary Sins is the first book in the sweeping Lazare Family Saga that transports readers from the West Indies to the Wild West, from Charleston, Paris, and Rome into the depths of the human heart. Passion, prejudice, secrets, and a mother's desperate choice in the chaos of revolution echo through five generations. If you enjoyed The Thorn Birds or the novels of Sara Donati, dive into Elizabeth Bell's epic historical fiction today.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise

“A feast of a novel by an extraordinary new voice. Haunting, meticulously researched, and exquisitely told through characters so human you’d swear they have beating hearts.” — Kathleen Grisson, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House

"From the ashes of rebellion to heart-rending forbidden love, Necessary Sins is a work of art. Bell's voice is a refreshing addition to the genre, and the breadth of her research is impressive. A strong start to a promising series." -- Jessica Cale, bestselling author of Tyburn

"A taut, compelling family drama with a fresh and intriguing setting. Necessary Sins will be a welcome read for fans of historical fiction." -- Olivia Hawker, internationally bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night

"A gripping family saga with complex characters, Necessary Sins is lushly detailed and beautifully written. I look forward to following the fortunes of this antebellum family in future volumes." -- Susan Higginbotham, author of The First Lady and the Rebel

"In antebellum South Carolina young Joseph Lazare discovers a secret that would ruin his family. Driven to atone, he becomes a priest, only to fall in love with a married woman. In this carefully researched historical novel Bell examines the way race, religion and class weave a web that Joseph may never escape. A thoughtful, vividly imagined and engrossing historical novel, highly recommended." -- Sara Donati, internationally bestselling author of The Gilded Hour

About the Author

Elizabeth Bell has been writing stories since the second grade. At the age of fourteen, she chose a pen name and vowed to become a published author. That same year, she began the Lazare Family Saga. It took her a couple of decades to get it right. New generations kept demanding attention, and the saga became four epic novels.

After earning her MFA in Creative Writing at George Mason University, Elizabeth realized she would have to return her two hundred library books. Instead, she cleverly found a job in the university library. She works there to this day.

Elizabeth is an active member of the Historical Novel Society, and she loves chatting with fellow readers, writers, and history buffs. Visit her at elizabethbellauthor.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, BookBub, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, August 4
Review at The Cozy Book Blog

Friday, August 6
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Monday, August 9
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Wednesday, August 11
Interview at Books, Tiaras, and Lattes

Friday, August 13
Review at Coffee and Ink

Monday, August 16
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, August 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 25
Review at Robin Loves Reading


Excerpt & Giveaway: Cad's Trilogy by Cheryl Holt


Cad's Wish (Book One)

Publication Date: August 16, 2021


New York Times bestselling author, Cheryl Holt, delivers her new and dazzling ‘CADS’ trilogy, three lush novels filled with drama, heartache, and love forevermore…

Hunter Stone is London’s most notorious cad. He’s lived a life of debauchery and vice, and he’s the most dedicated bachelor in the kingdom. He’s renowned for his wicked ways, and he always has a beautiful woman on his arm to keep him company. But when his father suddenly inherits the family’s earldom—an elevation that was completely unexpected—Hunter is next in line to be earl. He has to marry quickly to secure the title and inheritance. What’s a cad supposed to do?

Hannah Graves is a modern, independent young woman. She thinks men are fools and idiots, and she’s decided to avoid the path to matrimony that most females are forced to walk. When her father died and left her a small inheritance, she fled her rural life in the country and used the money to open a bookshop in London. She’s proud of herself and delighted with the strong choices she’d made, but it’s not easy to be a female proprietor in a man’s world, and she constantly dances on the edge of fiscal ruin.

When Hannah meets Hunter, sparks fly and passion ignites. But Hunter’s corrupt reputation precedes him, and he represents everything she detests in a male. But he’s a handsome, wealthy scoundrel who always gets exactly what he wants. When he sets his eye on Hannah, how can she resist?


Cad's Pick (Book Two)

Publication Date: August 16, 2021


New York Times bestselling author, Cheryl Holt, delivers the second novel in her new and dazzling ‘CADS’ trilogy.

Warwick Stone is a rich, handsome cad. He revels in outrageous ways and enjoys his reputation as a scoundrel. But when his father suddenly inherits the family’s earldom—an elevation that was completely unexpected—Warwick has to marry in a hurry and start siring some heirs. As the consummate bachelor, who never expected to wed, the whole notion of matrimony is exhausting. He figures he’ll quickly pick a fetching debutante with a good dowry, and he’ll become a husband by expending as little effort as possible.

Wilhelmina Dobbs had an odd childhood. Her father was a famous artist, but a flawed and damaged man. As a girl, she followed him across Europe, standing in the background as he painted masterpieces and disgraced himself with his extravagant habits. After his death, she retired to the country to live quietly and paint too. After watching her father regularly disgrace himself, she’s sworn off all men. She can’t imagine ever marrying and intends to remain a spinster.

When Wilhelmina crosses paths with Warwick, sparks fly and passion ignites, but his corrupt reputation precedes him. He represents everything she detests in a male, but he’s spoiled and determined, and he always gets exactly what he wants. When he decides he wants Wilhelmina, how can she resist?

Excerpt from Cad's Pick


Chapter One

“No. Absolutely not.”

Warwick Stone glared at his father, Neville, but Neville could never be shamed or cowed. He glared back, his expression bland and infuriating.

“Why would you automatically refuse?” Neville asked. “You haven’t heard me out.”

“And I don’t intend to hear you. Hunter told me you were about to start nagging.” Hunter was Warwick’s older brother. “Your badgering worked on him, but it won’t work on me.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Yes, I’m very sure.”

They were sequestered in a parlor at his father’s newly-inherited town house, seated side by side on comfortable chairs. A warm fire burned in the grate to ward off the evening chill. For once, they were alone, which was odd. They were rich and entitled, so they carried on extravagantly, liking to loaf and wager at their favorite clubs and haunts. It meant they were constantly surrounded by hordes of people.

Neville, especially, like being in a crowd and the center of attention, so it was an unusual moment, and Warwick was trying to cherish it. But he and Neville had a difficult relationship, so their interactions were never smooth.

“Our situation has changed,” Neville said.

“I realize that fact. I’m not a dunce.”

“That might be debatable.”

Warwick had just returned from an extended holiday in Scotland where he’d reveled outrageously. The end of the stay had culminated with his winning a thousand pounds in a reckless hundred-mile horse race. His friends were still agog over it. It was the sort of antic he and his male kin were renowned for pursuing, and over the centuries, it had delivered all sorts of ruin.

He became more absurd by the month, and it was really quite amazing that he’d lived to be twenty-nine. Yet if he was negligent and foolish, he blamed Neville.

His father had been a worthless parent, and he’d provided no guidance or supervision whatsoever. Warwick’s mother had died when he was small, and he and his two brothers, Hunter and Sheridan, had grown up at Neville’s country estate of Stone Manor, while Neville had caroused in London.

He’d paid servants to raise them, and they’d been a lazy, unscrupulous bunch who’d had little interest in managing, and no ability to control, three rambunctious boys. Warwick and his brothers had wandered like a trio of abandoned wolf pups. There had been no challenge they didn’t accept and no feat they wouldn’t attempt.

As adolescents, then adults, they’d simply continued their rash routines, but their deeds were ever more dangerous. They had too much time on their hands, and they were much too brave. They loved trouble and mischief, and they exhibited an irrepressible amount of daring-do that could be astonishing.

Their impulsive conduct was only matched by their immoral tendencies. They possessed all of Neville’s worst traits and very few of his good ones. Actually, Neville didn’t have many good traits. He gambled and chased loose women, and he rarely engaged in any other endeavors. Even though he was fifty, he was still a debauched wretch—and he was proud of it.


Cad's Choice (Book Three)

Publication Date: August 16, 2021


CHERYL HOLT delivers the third and final novel in her fun and dazzling CADS trilogy…

Captain Sheridan Stone sails the Atlantic as a privateer who harasses enemies of the British Crown. He’s not a pirate, but he’s close enough. He lives a life of adventure, danger, and violence, but he was wounded in a battle. It’s left him weary, and he’s thinking of retiring and returning to England. He might even be ready to marry and settle down, but his bride would have to be the perfect girl from the perfect family.

Miss Sophia Cantwell is a poor relative with no dowry or prospects. Her father was a dreamer and schemer, and she’s possessed of his wanderlust and grandiose ideas. She wishes she’d been born a man so she could shuck off society’s restrictions and have the exciting future she’s always envisioned for herself.

When Sheridan meets Sophia, there’s an instant attraction, but he’s an earl’s son, and he’s convinced himself that he will wed very high. Sophia has nothing he wants, so she could never be the bride he imagined. But she just might be the woman who could make him happy forever.

Pick up the Cad's Trilogy on Amazon



About the Author



Cheryl Holt is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author who has published over fifty novels.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance”, and she’s also revered as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, August 6
Review at Booking With Janelle (Book 1)
Review at Across the Sky in Stars (Book 1)

Saturday, August 7
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, August 9
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Rajiv's Reviews (Book 1)

Tuesday, August 10
Feature at The Cozy Book Blog

Wednesday, August 11
Review at Booking With Janelle (Book 2)

Thursday, August 12
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Book 1)

Friday, August 13
Review & Excerpt at Elodie’s Reading Corner (trilogy)

Sunday, August 15
Review at Booking With Janelle (Book 3)

Monday, August 16
Review at The Enchanted Shelf (trilogy)

Tuesday, August 17
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 18
Review at Rajiv's Reviews (Book 2)

Thursday, August 19
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Friday, August 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Book 2)

Monday, August 23
Review at Chasing Leslie (trilogy)

Wednesday, August 25
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Thursday, August 26
Review at Rajiv's Reviews (Book 2)

Friday, August 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie (Book 3)

Giveaway

9 winners will receive a copy of Cad's Wish and 1 grand prize winner will win all three books! To enter, please leave a comment below with your email address. Please note, your email address will be added to the author's newsletter mailing list.

The giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends on August 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Review: Necessary Sins by Elizabeth Bell


Necessary Sins by Elizabeth Bell

Publication Date: August 7, 2019
Claire-Voie Books
eBook & Paperback; 490 Pages

Series: Lazare Family Saga, Book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction


In antebellum Charleston, a Catholic priest grapples with doubt, his family's secret African ancestry, and his love for a slave owner's wife.

Joseph Lazare and his two sisters grow up believing their black hair and olive skin come from a Spanish grandmother—until the summer they learn she was an African slave. While his sisters make very different choices, Joseph struggles to transcend the flesh by becoming a celibate priest.

Then young Father Joseph meets Tessa Conley, a devout Irish immigrant who shares his passions for music and botany. Joseph must conceal his true feelings as Tessa marries another man—a plantation owner who treats her like property. Acting on their love for each other will ruin Joseph and Tessa in this world and damn them in the next.

Or will it?

Necessary Sins is the first book in the sweeping Lazare Family Saga that transports readers from the West Indies to the Wild West, from Charleston, Paris, and Rome into the depths of the human heart. Passion, prejudice, secrets, and a mother's desperate choice in the chaos of revolution echo through five generations. If you enjoyed The Thorn Birds or the novels of Sara Donati, dive into Elizabeth Bell's epic historical fiction today.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise

“A feast of a novel by an extraordinary new voice. Haunting, meticulously researched, and exquisitely told through characters so human you’d swear they have beating hearts.” — Kathleen Grisson, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House

"From the ashes of rebellion to heart-rending forbidden love, Necessary Sins is a work of art. Bell's voice is a refreshing addition to the genre, and the breadth of her research is impressive. A strong start to a promising series." -- Jessica Cale, bestselling author of Tyburn

"A taut, compelling family drama with a fresh and intriguing setting. Necessary Sins will be a welcome read for fans of historical fiction." -- Olivia Hawker, internationally bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night

"A gripping family saga with complex characters, Necessary Sins is lushly detailed and beautifully written. I look forward to following the fortunes of this antebellum family in future volumes." -- Susan Higginbotham, author of The First Lady and the Rebel

"In antebellum South Carolina young Joseph Lazare discovers a secret that would ruin his family. Driven to atone, he becomes a priest, only to fall in love with a married woman. In this carefully researched historical novel Bell examines the way race, religion and class weave a web that Joseph may never escape. A thoughtful, vividly imagined and engrossing historical novel, highly recommended." -- Sara Donati, internationally bestselling author of The Gilded Hour

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

There is nothing that will grab my attention more than a hefty family saga filled with drama, secrets, and family dynamics, so I was very excited to finally read Necessary Sins and happy to report that it checked all the boxes!

The author takes us back to Antebellum South and delivers a raw glimpse into the times back then. It features the Lazare family and spans decades and locations. It tackles some pretty harsh topics such as slavery and racism which were hard to read and I definitely went through some tissues in a few scenes. Religion is also a strong theme in the novel, with the devout Joseph. A recently discovered secret about his heritage has caused him inner turmoil about who he is and his religion. His faith is tested even more when he falls in love with a married woman.

Necessary Sins is a door-stopper of a book but the pages go by quickly as the author keeps the reader entranced in the story. It's obvious that she poured her heart and soul into this novel and I'm excited to read the next book in the series!

This is a historical fiction saga not to be missed!

About the Author

Elizabeth Bell has been writing stories since the second grade. At the age of fourteen, she chose a pen name and vowed to become a published author. That same year, she began the Lazare Family Saga. It took her a couple of decades to get it right. New generations kept demanding attention, and the saga became four epic novels.

After earning her MFA in Creative Writing at George Mason University, Elizabeth realized she would have to return her two hundred library books. Instead, she cleverly found a job in the university library. She works there to this day.

Elizabeth is an active member of the Historical Novel Society, and she loves chatting with fellow readers, writers, and history buffs. Visit her at elizabethbellauthor.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, BookBub, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, August 4
Review at The Cozy Book Blog

Friday, August 6
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Monday, August 9
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Wednesday, August 11
Interview at Books, Tiaras, and Lattes

Friday, August 13
Review at Coffee and Ink

Monday, August 16
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, August 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 25
Review at Robin Loves Reading


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