Review & Giveaway: Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit by Carrie Hayes


Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit by Carrie Hayes

Publication Date: February 29, 2020
HTPH Press
Paperback & eBook; 322 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction



From Washington Heights to Washington D.C. comes a true American Herstory. Filled with intrigue, lust, and betrayal, this is the fight for sexual equality.

1868, on the eve of the Gilded Age: Spiritualist TENNESSEE CLAFLIN is smart, sexy, and sometimes clairvoyant. But it’s her sister, VICTORIA WOODHULL, who is going to make history as the first woman to run for President of the United States.

It starts with the seduction of the richest man in America. Next, they'll take New York City and the suffragist movement by storm, because together, Tennessee and Victoria are a force of nature. Boldly ambitious, they stop at nothing, brushing shoulders with Harriet Beecher Stowe and Susan B. Anthony, using enough chutzpah to make a lady blush.

That is, until their backstabbing family takes them to court, and their carefully spun lives unravel, out in public and in the press.

“Unsexed!” – New York Herald, 1872

“Short Haired Women and Long Haired Men.” – New York World, 1872

“Nothing More Than A Shameless Prostitute and A Negro.” – The Guard, Eugene Oregon, 1872

Told from shifting points-of-view and using actual news reportage from the era, Naked Truth is a riveting inside look into the struggle for women’s rights after the Civil War.

"Sometimes it is not enough to be the news, sometimes you have to make the news as well." –James Gordon Bennett, Jr., Proprietor of the New York Herald

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Praise

"Divisiveness. Chutzpah. Seduction. Politics. Oppression. Spirituality. Gender relations. Betrayal. Healers -vs- scam artists. Fortitude. Dismay. Against-all-odds battles. Fighting the good fight. Just like the plight of humanity today, the historical and excellently well-crafted novel, NAKED TRUTH: OR EQUALITY THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Carrie Hayes has it all." ***** – INDIE READER

"Hayes writes with such care and authenticity that the reader will likely be unsure where the history ends and the fiction begins." – KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Naked Truth: Or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit is a rich, balanced, and deftly written story that is as moving as it is entertaining." ***** – Readers' Favorite

"(Hayes) has found a fascinating chapter in history to explore, and Victoria and Tennie are compelling protagonists: fiercely determined, morally ambiguous, and deeply complicated. Readers with an interest in first-wave feminism, New York history, and detailed storytelling will enjoy mining this debut, which nicely sets up a sequel." – Book Life

"I thought this novel was brilliant from start to finish. It is fresh, it is vibrant, and the story is one that has been waiting to be told." ***** – CoffeePot Book Club

Naked Truth is a smooth fast read. Carrie Hayes’ marvelous interlacing of history with the narrative sparks an American story as well as a woman story. She has made this pair of wily sisters and their slickster father vivid and timeless.” – Gail Godwin, three time National Book Award Finalist

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Three sisters fair, of worth and weight, a queen, a city and a state."

The three daughters of Reuben Buckman Claflin are all unique woman for their time, but it's Tennesee and Victoria (the third daughter is named Utica) who take the stage in Carrie Hayes's Naked Truth: or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit.

Tennessee and Victoria are fascinating women! Early pioneers of the women's movement, the sisters rise from their beginnings as clairvoyants and enter into the world of politics and women's rights. Victoria would eventually become the first woman to run for President despite the fact that she couldn't even vote.

"You will enlighten the masses to emancipate themselves from the shackles of hypocrisy, my darling. That's what you will do. Here in New York, you shall take your place in history."

Important figures from that time are also featured in the book - Frederick Douglas, who would run with Victoria as her VP, the Vanderbilts, Elizabeth Cody Stanton, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The author keeps the story moving along at a great pace, keeping the reader turning the pages, and the author's style of writing make for a fabulous read! I also loved how she included journal entries from Tenneesee and newspaper articles in the book.

I greatly enjoyed my time with Naked Truth and highly recommend it to lovers of historical fiction, and those that like to read about women's history and politics. I can't wait to learn more from the author when she speaks at her Online Launch Party!

If you'd like to attend the party as well, you can RSVP here!

About the Author

Over the years, Carrie has tried a lot of things. She’s sold vacuum cleaners, annuities and sofas. She’s lived at the beach and lived in Europe. She’s taught school and worked in film. For a while, she was an aspiring librarian, but she fell in love and threw her life away instead. Back in the States, she started over, then met an architect who said, “Why don’t you become a kitchen designer?” So, she did. Eventually she designed interiors, too. And all that time, she was reading. What mattered was having something to read. Slowly, she realized her craving for books sprang from her need to know how things would turn out. Because in real life, you don’t know how things will turn out. But if you write it, you do. Naked Truth or Equality the Forbidden Fruit is her first book.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 19
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 20
Review at Bookworlder
Feature at I'm All About Books

Wednesday, October 21
Review at YA, it's Lit
Review at andreajanel_reads

Thursday, October 22
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Friday, October 23
Review at Bri's Book Nook
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Saturday, October 24
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, October 25
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, October 26
Review at Books and Zebras
Review & Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, October 27
Review at Novels Alive

Wednesday, October 28
Interview at Novels Alive

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, one lucky reader will win a copy of Naked Truth by Carrie Hayes!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Naked Truth 

Review & Giveaway: The Paris Affair by Susanne Dunlap


The Paris Affair by Susanne Dunlap

Publication Date: September 30, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 244 pages

Series: Theresa Schurmann Mystery, Book 3
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction


Apparently, false rumors about Marie Antoinette are all the fashion in 1783.

Marie Antoinette is facing hostility from the populace, inflamed by rumors circulated in pamphlets throughout Paris. The rumors claim that she has dozens of lovers, drinks the blood of poor people, holds satanic masses at Versailles, and more, when nothing could be further from the truth. On the advice of the handsome, enigmatic Captain von Bauer, Joseph II--emperor of Austria and Marie Antoinette's brother--decides that mystery-solving violinist Theresa Schurman is the ideal candidate for a spy to discover the source of these vile slanders.

Theresa is only too glad to get away from Vienna for a while, unwilling to commit herself yet to marrying Zoltan--a Hungarian baron she met when she was fifteen--and running out of reasons to postpone her decision. She is eager, too, to explore a new musical scene and broaden her artistic education. But when the captain confounds her expectations and places her as a bookkeeper in the establishment of Rose Bertin, milliner to the queen, she begins to lose hope that she will ever achieve her musical aims--or the emperor's goal of exposing the pamphleteers.

A chance encounter with the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an extraordinary black violinist and expert swordsman, sets Theresa on the path to unraveling the mystery. But will the chevalier's patron, the powerful duc de Chartres, confound her efforts and put her--and the captain's--lives in danger?

Be prepared for music, mystery, love, and murder in this riveting tale of pre-revolutionary Paris.

"The settings and situations are enchanting and varied; Dunlap is adept at on-the-fly description and at lacing intrigue with romance...Dunlap proves an arresting tour guide through this rich milieu, summoning up the past without slowing down the storytelling. Author and protagonist alike boast an epigrammatic wit. The touch is light, but the scenery and chatter are sumptuous...Theresa stands as a fascinating protagonist, a woman whose nimble navigation of society's expectations and several burgeoning romances are exciting and inspiring, even more so than the sleuthing that drives the novel's plot. The people she encounters are likewise memorable, complex, and surprising, especially the chevalier...This sparkling historical mystery conjures up the salons, fashion, and gossip of Marie Antoinette's Paris, with a winning emphasis on the power of music and the roles that society allowed women." - The BookLife Prize


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Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

"No one was more surprised thank I was to find myself in Paris at the end of October, 1783, working as a bookkeeper for queen Marie Antoinette's milliner, and living in a whorehouse."

Thus begins The Paris Affair, the third book in Susanne Dunlap's Theresa Shurmann mystery series.

When Emperor Joseph II summons Theresa to his office Theresa is unsure of why she is there. The last case she worked on helped save the Emperor's life but she isn't there to be thanked. She is being asked to go to Paris to investigate the rumors being spread about his sister, Queen Marie Antoinette of France. She isn't keen on going but you don't say no to an Emperor. She is to work with Captain von Bauer, whom she had worked with before on a previous case. They have a bit of a love/hate thing going on, but the Captain and Emperor trust her and think she will be able to ingratiate herself into the world around the Queen to try and find out who is spreading the rumors. It's a tough job though because Marie Antoinette has enemies within and outside the Palace walls. She is assigned to be a bookkeeper for the Queen's milliner and she is to stay at a whorehouse while there. The madam at the whorehouse is an agent of the Austrian government and teaches Theresa about the families and connections at court.

The sounds, sights, and smells (both good and bad) of Paris are brought to life with Dunlap's masterful writing. Though I hadn't read the first two books in the series the Author touches back on past relationships and events so that you aren't lost.

While I adored Theresa, the secondary characters are wonderful too - especially Chevalier de Saint-Georges. There is a little something for everyone in this book - danger, mystery, intrigue, history, romance. I found it to be an extremely fun read and can't wait to go back and read the first two books in the series. I can't wait to see how this all started! Highly recommended!


About the Author


Susanne Dunlap is the author of nine works of historical fiction. A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University, Susanne grew up in Buffalo, New York and has lived in London, Brooklyn and Northampton, MA. She now lives in Northampton with her long-time partner, Charles, has two grown daughters, three granddaughters, a grandson, a stepson and a stepdaughter, five step-grandsons and one step-granddaughter—that's a total of four children and eleven grandchildren!

In her spare time she cycles in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.

For more information, please visit Susanne Dunlap's website. You can follow author Susanne Dunlap on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, and BookBub.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, September 30
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Thursday, October 1
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, October 2
Feature at I'm Into Books
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Monday, October 5
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, October 6
Review at YA, It's Lit

Wednesday, October 7
Review at Amy's Booket List
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, October 8
Excerpt at Turn The Page

Friday, October 9
Review & Excerpt at Bookworlder

Sunday, October 11
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Monday, October 12
Review at Nursebookie

Tuesday, October 13
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Wednesday, October 14
Review at Book Bustle

Thursday, October 15
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, October 16
Review at Passages to the Past
Guest Post at The Intrepid Reader

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, one lucky reader will win signed copies of all 3 books in the Theresa Schurmann Mystery series! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Paris Affair

Review & Giveaway: Where Butterflies Go by Debra Doxer

Where Butterflies Go by Debra Doxer

Publication Date: October 7, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 270 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Meira Sokolow had the misfortune of being born to Jewish parents in Warsaw, Poland, in 1912. Before she took her first breath, her fate had been sealed.

Residing in the Jewish Quarter of the city, Meira’s early life was typical. She fell in love with a local boy, got married, and had a daughter. Then the German army marched into Warsaw and everything changed. Forced into the ghetto with her family, she found survival to be a daily struggle. Hunger, disease, and unimaginable cruelty were her stark realities. When the ghetto was purged and she was sent to a concentration camp, Meira still had her family, and that was all that mattered. Then the camp was liquidated, and only a handful of survivors remained out of thousands. Meira Sokolow was one of them.

No longer a wife or mother, Meira emigrated to New York City. After World War II, the world wanted to move on and start a new chapter, but Meira couldn’t turn the page so easily. She walked through her days alone, like a ghost with nothing to tether her to the earth. Then she met Max, a handsome American, who first mistook her for one of the boring socialites he encountered every day. He soon learned she was unlike anyone he had met before, seeing her strength and resilience, even when she couldn’t. Max knew he could breathe life into her again, if only she would let him.

Tragic and heartfelt, Where Butterflies Go is based on the harrowing true story of one woman’s survival during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and her struggle to find meaning in the aftermath.

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Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wow, wow, wow! This book was so beautiful, I don't even know how I can write a review worthy of it!

Where Butterflies Go is a stunning and highly emotional read that will grab you from the start and not let go. I read it in one sitting - it's that good!

Based on the life of Author Debra Doxer's grandmother's sister, Where Butterflies Go tells the story of Meira, who is living with her sisters and parents in the Jewish quarter in Warsaw, Poland, at the time when the book begins. The anti-semitism in the country is on the rise and a few years later when she is married and has a young daughter the German army marches into Poland. The Polish government does nothing to help protect them so they are forced to leave their homes and taken by the Nazis to various camps around the country. Meira and her family are taken to a ghetto where Meira works as a seamstress until one day when the Nazis removed everyone from the camp and murdered them. Miraculously, Meira survives and perseveres to eventually make it to America.

"I was the luckiest unlucky person I knew."

"Entire families were eradicated from the face of the earth. Their stories ended abruptly, and the generations meant to follow would never come. It wasn't only the people who were gone-their history was gone too. Heirlooms were stolen. Synagogues were burned down. Traditions were erased."

Once in America, she reunites with her long lost sister though their relationship is strained because of something that happened in their past. Meira forges on though - working as a hairstylist and then seamstress again. When she meets Max a new future is now a possibility, but can she move on with someone new?

This was a seriously amazing read! Yes, it was extremely sad and I swear I went through an entire box of Kleenex but it's so important to me that we hear these stories so that we may bear witness and have the foresight to make sure that something like this never happens again. While there was a lot of loss and horrific things that happened, there is also hope and love. I think the Author's family should be very proud of her loving telling of Meira's story, and I am grateful for having had the chance to read it. I know I will never forget Meira, and Avrom, and especially little Tovah.

About the Author

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When not writing, she's walking her Havanese puppy and forcing her daughter to listen to new wave 80s music."

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 12
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 13
Review at Amy's Booket List

Wednesday, October 14
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Monday, October 19
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Tuesday, October 20
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Thursday, October 22
Review at Books, Writings, and More
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Saturday, October 24
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, October 26
Feature at I'm All About Books

Wednesday, October 28
Review at Robin Loves Reading
Review at Tangents and Tissues

Friday, October 30
Interview at Novels Alive

Sunday, November 1
Review at YA, it's Lit

Wednesday, November 4
Interview at Books & Benches

Thursday, November 5
Review at Girl Who Reads

Friday, November 6
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Monday, November 9
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, November 10
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, November 12
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, November 13
Review at Bookramblings

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away three $25 Amazon Gift Cards! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Where Butterflies Go

Excerpt & Giveaway: Her Accidental Highlander Husband by Allison B. Hanson


Her Accidental Highlander Husband by Allison B. Hanson

Publication Date: September 28, 2020
Entangled Amara
eBook; 277 pages

Series: Clan MacKinlay, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance/Scottish


Marian Fletcher Blackley, Duchess of Endsmere, has been on the run from the English Crown for weeks since killing her abusive husband…no matter that it was self-defense. She has only one safe place to go—the MacKinlay clan in Scotland, where her sister is the laird’s wife.

War Chief Cameron MacKinlay has vowed never to marry after witnessing his widowed mother’s grief. He has his lands and his clan, and that’s enough for a good life. When one day a sprite of a lass comes running out of the forest with hounds nipping at her heels and an English bounty hunter not far behind, he feels compelled to save her by claiming the disheveled duchess is his wife. But he certainly didn’t intend to marry her for real!

And now he’ll do anything to protect her…

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Excerpt

Looking down at her hands, covered in her husband’s blood, Marian Fletcher Blackley, Duchess of Endsmere, felt surprisingly calm. She’d known for the last five years this was the way it would end.

With blood on someone’s hands.

She’d expected it to be the other way around. Many times during the duke’s rages she’d thought he would kill her. There were times, after being kicked repeatedly, she’d almost wished he had killed her so the pain would end. So her torment as his wife would be over, and she would no longer have to live in constant fear.

But tonight, something deep inside her—an intense will to survive—had taken over. He was angrier with her than she’d ever seen, and she’d known it would happen tonight. He was going to kill her. She had seen it in his eyes. He wouldn’t have been able to control himself and she would have died.

When he’d raised his fists, she’d reached out in defense. Her protection had come in the form of the fireplace poker. Her palm had grasped it unerringly and her first strike along his temple had downed him.

It would be unladylike to mention the second, third and fifth strikes that had ended her fear and pain from this man indefinitely.

Lucy, her lady’s maid, knocked frantically at the door, having heard Marian’s screams. “Your Grace, are you all right? Do you need me to call a doctor?”

Lucy knew all, having had to dress Marian’s injuries in the past. It was no surprise that tonight Lucy expected to need to piece Marian together once again. Only it wasn’t Marian who was injured. In fact, for once, Marian didn’t have a mark on her.

The duke, however, was clearly dead.

Opening the door, Lucy gasped. “Oh, Your Grace! What has he done? I will fetch Dr. Simmons. He cannot expect me to tend—” Lucy’s rambling stopped abruptly when Marian allowed the door to open wider so the maid could see the carnage spread out on the rug.

“’Tis not my blood this time.” Even Marian’s voice was calm.

Surely this wasn’t normal. She should have swooned or launched into hysterics by now. But all she felt was peace with what she’d done. What she’d been forced to do to save herself.

Marian’s gown was covered in blood, as were the rug and a good part of her bedchamber.

“I see.” Lucy swallowed, her voice just as calm as Marian’s. “Well, he’s dead,” she announced after checking the body. “Now what?”

The fear and panic that had previously been kept at bay, swarmed in now, chilling her bones. Marian’s hands trembled as she tossed the poker to the side.

“I— I don’t know. I guess we call for the magistrate.”

Lucy shook her head. “You’ve not a mark on you, and with your Scottish accent they’ll see you’re hanged for killing a peer of the realm.”

Marian tried to swallow and found it impossible. “What should I do?”

“You must leave. We’ll get you changed out of that dress and I’ll burn it. You must leave London immediately before word gets out. I can go with you.”

“You can’t come with me. Your daughter is expecting any day. You’re needed here.” Plus, Marian would never implicate her maid in her crimes.

At five and thirty Lucy was ten years older than Marian, and the only friend the duke had allowed. Mainly because he was unaware of their friendship.

“Where will you go?” Lucy asked.

“I won’t tell you. That way you can answer honestly when you’re questioned.”

Lucy grasped her arm to stop her as she moved toward her wardrobe. “You cannot go to your family home in Scotland. They will surely track you there and bring you back to hang. You need to stay clear of your clan lands. It’s certain death.”


About the Author

 

One very early morning, Allison B. Hanson woke up with a conversation going on in her head. It wasn’t so much a dream as being forced awake by her imagination. Unable to go back to sleep, she gave in, went to the computer, and began writing. Years later it still hasn’t stopped.

Allison lives near Hershey, Pennsylvania. Her contemporary romances include paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery suspense. She enjoys candy immensely, as well as long motorcycle rides, running and reading.

Watch an interview with the author here.

She would love to hear from you. Click here to leave a message.

Sign up here for her newsletter to be informed about new releases as well a deleted scenes and pre-release excerpts.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 28

Wednesday, September 30
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, October 2
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Sunday, October 4

Monday, October 5
Review at SplendeurCaisse

Wednesday, October 7

Friday, October 9

Monday, October 12

Wednesday, October 14

Thursday, October 15
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Friday, October 16
Review at Coffee and Ink
Interview at Books & Benches

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter.


2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: October Reviews


Welcome to the October link page for the 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. I hope everyone is staying home & being 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!


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Review & Giveaway: The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew by Denise Heinze


The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew
by Denise Heinze

Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Blackstone Publishing
Hardcover, eBook, AudioBook; 176 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Determined to set the historical record straight, and clear her conscience, Temperance Flowerdew -- the wife of Virginia's first two governors -- puts quill to paper, recounting the hardships that nearly brought the Jamestown colony to its knees, and the extraordinary sacrifice of her servant girl, Lily.

When she steps aboard the Falcon in 1609, Temperance Flowerdew was not only setting sail from England to the distant shores of America, she was embarking upon a future of opportunity. She didn't yet know how she would make her mark, but in this new place she could do or be whatever she wanted.

Willing as she is to brave this new world, Temperance is utterly ill-equipped to survive the wilderness; all she knows is how to live inside the pages of adventure and philosophy books. Loyally at her side, Lily helps Temperance weather pioneer life. A young woman running from lifelong accusations of witchcraft, Lily finds friendship with Temperance and an acceptance of her psychic gifts. Together, they forge paths within the community: Temperance attempts to advise the makeshift government, while Lily experiences the blossoming of first love.

But as the harsh winter approaches, Lily intuitively senses a darkness creep over the colony and the veneer of civilized life threatens to fall away -- negotiations with the Indians grow increasingly hostile and provisions become scarce. Lily struggles to keep food on the table by foraging in the woods and being resourceful. Famine could mean the end of days. It's up to Lily to save them both, but what sacrifice will be enough to survive?

A transporting and evocative story, The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is a fiercely hopeful novel -- a portrait of two intrepid women who choose to live out their dreams of a future more free than the past.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

True to its name, The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew, is a short account of Temperance Flowerdew after she left her life of luxury to travel across the ocean to the remote town of Jamestown in the New World.

The story is told in hindsight as Temperance is writing down her memories of the time as she knows she is dying and won't be around to tell her tale to her children. It focuses on Temperance and her young servant girl, Lily, during the winter of 1609-1610, also known as the "Starvng Time" when most of the population in Jamestown died from starvation. Conflicts with the local Indian population, greedy fellow settlers, and harsh weather are just some of the dangers in Jamestown and the two women must work hard and smart to survive.

Denise Heinze's writing is wonderful and it's clear she did her research. I was hooked the entire time! My only issue with the book is that I wish it were longer! Highly recommended!

Praise

'Denise Heinze has written a stirring novel about America's first pioneers, with particular attention to the women whose pluck and forbearance made it all possible. Temperance Flowerdew's 'Brief and True Report' retells the story of America's first colony, established by English settlers in 1609, all but destroyed by Powhatan Indians twenty years later, then rescued from oblivion by remnants of Britain's exploratory fleet. In that saga, Heinze manages to preserve the formal language of the period with a storytelling appetite for narrative, complete with native savagery, thwarted romance, the harsh realities of seventeenth-century ocean travel, and the unpredictable currents that made such explorations so daunting and so frequently fatal.' --C. Michael Curtis, Fiction Editor Emeritus, The Atlantic

'With a poet's tongue and painter's eye, Denise Heinze summons the wonder, horror, and selfless grit of the women who pioneered a new world. Temperance Flowerdew makes compulsive reading.' --Elizabeth Cobbs, bestselling author of The Hamilton Affair

'With careful research, and lyrical and evocative writing, Denise Heinze's The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew transports the reader to the harrowing seventeenth-century Jamestown settlement. The richly imagined story of two pioneering women who escape a stifling old-world existence, only to face a tempest at sea, and land in a new world of hunger, thirst, and desperation, is captivating from first page to last. Temperance and Lily represent the untold stories of the heroic American Founding Mothers.' --Tracey Enerson Wood, author of The Engineer's Wife

'The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew by Denise Heinze is a vivid novel about the winter of 1609-10 in Jamestown, Virginia, America's first colony. A relentless drought preceded the winter, and a siege by natives of the region blocked access to food. Through the voices of Temperance and her housemaid and friend, Lily, Heinze takes us into the desperate days of what became known as 'the Starving Time' in sometimes ruthless detail. This richly researched novel, in an elegant narrative using the vernacular of the seventeenth century, is a must-read for those who love historical fiction and for all who enjoy a compelling drama well told. I read this captivating book straight through.' --Anna Jean Mayhew, author of Tomorrow's Bread, The Dry Grass of August, and a third novel in progress.

'A literary thriller. This remarkable novel infuses the history of the Jamestown experiment with the tale of two women, a mistress and her servant, who find in one another the full measure of sacrifice and survival. This story is spun of silk and rendered in blood.' --Elaine Neil Orr, author of Swimming Between Worlds

'In this vividly imagined historical novel, Denise Heinze gives voice to one of the few survivors of the darkest period (1609-10) in the life of the Jamestown colony. The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is not only an unforgettable account of the extreme hardships faced by the colonists but also the moving story of two remarkable young women who faced the challenges with courage and ingenuity.' --Nancy Grayson, executive editor emeritus, University of Georgia Press

'Denise Heinze skillfully resurrects a forgotten life, and puts her heroine where she belongs -- at the center, not the sidelines, of early Jamestown history. Wonderfully inventive, briskly plotted, and rich with historical detail, this fact-filled novel will delight readers of historical fiction and women's history alike.' --Kate Bolick, bestselling author of Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own

'At the end of Denise Heinze's compelling new novel, main character Temperance Flowerdew wonders 'what goes missing when the women are nowhere to be found as actors in history.' Heinze has created a character whose life answers that question. A product of the English landed gentry, Flowerdew endures the Starving Time in the early days of the Jamestown colony. Surrounded by desperation and death, she manages to prevail, eventually documenting her story of survival and salvation using a quill from a Christmas goose. Although this book is a novel, it is a powerful, truthful, richly detailed portrayal of the daily struggle to survive in early seventeenth-century Virginia.' --Fred Sauceman, associate professor, East Tennessee State University

'An enthralling tale of female strength and courage against seemingly impossible odds. Denise Heinze's Temperance is a complex, nuanced character (as is her maid, Lily, a real treat), and the world we see through her eyes is fascinating and terrifying in equal measure. The research is impeccable but sits lightly on the narrative. The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is more than an engaging tale of a pivotal time in America's history -- it draws the women who lived it out of the shadows and, finally, lets them take their rightful place at the center of the story.' --Meg Keneally, author of Fled

About the Author


Denise Heinze, a former literature professor and a PhD graduate of Duke University, writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. She is the author of the novel Sally St. Johns and her work has appeared in Now and Then, Thought and Action, Reunions, Wow! Women on Writing, THEMA literary journal, and Gemini Magazine; her story The Grid, was a quarter-finalist for the Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award. The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew is her second novel and was a finalist for the University of New Orleans Press Publishing Lab Prize. A descendant of Louisa May Alcott, she lives in North Carolina.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 21
Review at The b00kreader
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, September 22
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Wednesday, September 23
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, September 24
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, September 25
Review at Bookworlder

Monday, September 28
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, September 29
Review at Amy's Booket List

Wednesday, September 30
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, October 1
Review at Bri's Book Nook

Friday, October 2
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, October 3
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, October 5
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 6
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, October 7
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Thursday, October 8
Review at A Book and a Latte
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, October 9
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 paperback copies of The Brief and True Report of Temperance Flowerdew! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Temperance Flowerdew

Review & Giveaway: Shelley and the Unknown Lady By Lona Manning

Shelley and the Unknown Lady By Lona Manning

Publication Date: October 5, 2020
eBook; 177 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Percy Bysshe Shelley’s brief and turbulent life was as passionate and haunting as his poetry.

Romantic, idealistic and impulsive, Shelley had several intense love affairs.

When Shelley drowned at sea, he took his secrets with him.

Did a beautiful, lovelorn lady really follow him throughout Europe, as he claimed? Did Mary Shelley ever learn about this rival for her affections?

Shelley and the Unknown Lady is a carefully researched imagining of the true-life tragedy behind the mystery.

This novella is a stand-alone story excerpted from Lona Manning’s Mansfield Trilogy.

Available on Amazon

Praise for Lona Manning's Writing

“Many try to emulate [Jane] Austen; not all succeed. Here, Manning triumphs.” -Blue Ink Reviews

"Manning’s books are… maniacally well-researched, gorgeously written, and wholly accurate in character. I can’t wait for the next one! I wholeheartedly recommend her books..." -Goodreads reviewer

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Percy Shelley is someone I've always wanted to learn more about but haven't had the chance, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to read Lona Manning's novella, Shelley and the Unknown Lady.

Per the author's note this novella was inspired by Percy Shelley's claim that a mysterious woman was stalking him throughout Europe. He relayed this story to several people but no one was ever able to solve the mystery. Author Lona Manning takes this mystery and puts her own spin on it. She combines the character of Mary Crawford from Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park, and her own novel, A Different Kind of Woman, to create her own version of the events.

Mary Crawford meets Percy Shelley one day as she is visiting a small town in Italy and instantly becomes enamored with him. She is no longer happy in her marriage so she has left her husband and children back in London.

Mary and Percy begin to meet daily, discussing life and philosophy and their friendship soon turns into a pasionate love affair...with all the drama that inevitably follows. I don't want to give too much away, so you will just have to pick it up and find out for yourself!

I loved how the author included passages from Shelley's poems, and there is a treasure trove of information on Shelley at the end of the book, including a preview of Manning's novel, A Contrary Wind.

Pick up Shelley and the Unknown Lady for a wonderfully entertaining read!

About the Author

Lona Manning loves reading, choral singing, gardening and travel. Over the years, she has been a home care aide, legal secretary, political speech writer, office manager, vocational instructor, non-profit administrator and ESL Teacher. She has also written true crime articles for www.CrimeMagazine.com. She began writing A Contrary Wind, her award-winning debut novel, while she was teaching English in China. Manning and her husband raised their family in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada. You can follow her on Twitter or Goodreads or at her Facebook page, "A Contrary Wind" where she posts on all things Jane Austen.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 5
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 6
Interview at Novels Alive
Excerpt at Probably at the Library

Wednesday, October 7
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Thursday, October 8
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, October 10
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, October 11
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Monday, October 12
Guest Post at Coffee and Ink

Tuesday, October 13
Review at Novels Alive
Interview at Bookish Rantings

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Shelley and the Unknown Lady

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