Coming soon in Paperback: The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis

The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis will be released in paperback on December 8th from Penguin Random House and has a snazzy new cover! Isn't it great!?



The bright lights of the theater district, the glamour and danger of 1950s New York, and the wild scene at the iconic Chelsea Hotel come together in a dazzling new novel about a twenty-year friendship that will irrevocably change two women’s lives—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue.

From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City’s creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red Scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine’s Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.

Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.

You can pre-order your copy here.

Praise for The Chelsea Girls

“Davis tells a very good story and deserves all the praise she won for her other books set in famous New York landmarks… a tale that is intricate and subtle, unpredictable and exciting.” —The Washington Post

“Davis, who has given juicy supporting roles to New York landmarks in The Masterpiece and The Address, uses Chelsea as a metaphor for the grandeur that was within reach but spirals into a much darker place.” —Associated Press

“Another spectacular novel… Davis needs to be celebrated for this. Sure, she gets the history right and does a magnificent job of bringing the Chelsea’s special magic to life. Beyond that, she is an exquisite writer, who captures the essence of people and times.” —The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)

“The glitz and glamour of the Chelsea Hotel provides a perfect backdrop for Davis's story of friendship, ambition, and behind-the-scenes theatrical intrigue… both a sharp-eyed commentary on female friendship and a vivid glimpse into the life of a New York City icon.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)

“A fascinating and wholly immersive celebration of friendship, love, loyalty, and courage during a turbulent and often underrepresented period in American history… Richly detailed and transporting, historical fiction fans will love this one!” —Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of When We Left Cuba

Other Novels by Fiona Davis

The Dollhouse
The Address
The Masterpiece
The Lions of Fifth Avenue

Book Blast & Giveaway: She's the One Who Thinks Too Much by S. R. Cronin

Next up on the blog today I am hosting the Blast for She's the One Who Thinks Too Much by S. R. Cronin! This is the first book in Cronin's The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters series. Check out the book below and enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

She's the One Who Thinks Too Much by S. R. Cronin

Publication Date: November 13, 2020
Cinnabar Press

Series: The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters, Book One
Genre: Historical Fantasy


Do you know what your problem is?

Ryalgar knows hers. People have been telling this over-educated 13th-century woman for years. So when an equally intellectual prince decides he loves her, it looks like everyone was wrong and her dreams have come true.

Except, this prince is already betrothed to another. He’s leading the army training to defend their tiny realm against an expected Mongol invasion and he is considering sacrificing Ryalgar’s home nichna of Vinx by abandoning it’s rich farmlands to their foes.

Another woman would flee to safety. Maybe she would seek another lover. But not Ryalgar. Living in a world where witchcraft has been allowed to flourish and problematic powers remain, she devises her own strategy to keep the invaders from destroying her home.

This is just the sort of thing that happens when a woman thinks too much.

Available on Amazon

About the Author


Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.

She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how odd she is.

All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, November 16
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, November 17
What Is That Book About

Thursday, November 19
Donna's Book Blog

Friday, November 20
CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, November 23
Gwendalyn's Books

Wednesday, November 25
Passages to the Past

Saturday, November 28
Reading is My Remedy

Monday, November 30
Novels Alive
Coffee and Ink

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 internationally and ends on November 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

She Who Thinks Too Much

Book Blast & Giveaway: A Home for Christmas by MK McClintock

Hello, dear readers! Today on the blog I am super excited to be hosting MK McClintock's Book Blast for A Home for Christmas! I don't know about you but I am so ready for the Christmas season. It's my favorite time of the year and this year I especially need the twinkling lights and holiday music. This book sounds like the perfect way to get in the mood AND we have the best giveaway ever that will help keep you cozy and comfy.

A Home for Christmas by MK McClintock

Publication Date: November 5, 2014
Trappers Peak Publishing

Genre: Holiday/Historical Western Romance


Will six strangers find hope, love, and family at Christmas? A collection of three historical western short stories to inspire love and warm the heart.

"Christmas Mountain"

In search of family she barely knows and adventure she’s always wanted, Katherine Donahue is saved from freezing on a winter night in the mountains of Montana by August Hollister. Neither of them expected that what one woman had in mind was a new beginning for them both.

"Teton Christmas"

Heartache and a thirst for adventure lead McKensie Stewart and her sister to Wyoming after the death of their parents. With the help of a widowed aunt and a charming horse breeder, McKensie discovers that hope is a cherished promise, and there is no greater gift than love.

"Lily's Christmas Wish"

Lily Malone has never had a real family or a real Christmas. This holiday season, she might get both. From an orphanage in New York City to the rugged mountains of Colorado, Lily sends out only one wish. But when the time comes, can she give it up so someone else’s wish can come true?

If you love inspirational romance and heartfelt holidays, then you'll enjoy this trio of stories as we remember the true meaning of love any time of the year.

"Ms. McClintock has a true genius when writing beauty to touch the heart. This holiday treat is a gift any time one needs to remember the true meaning of love!" —InD'tale Magazine

"The cold nips at your face and delicious Christmas cake leaves you wanting more." —M. Ann Roher, Author of Mattie


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Indiebound | Bookshop | Large Print



Also available in audio!

Audible | Apple | Libro.fm



About the Author

Award-winning author MK McClintock is devoted to giving her readers books laced with adventure, romance, and a touch of mystery. Her novels and short stories take you from the rugged mountains of Montana to the Victorian British Isles, all with good helpings of daring exploits and endearing love stories. Her works comprise multiple series, including: Montana Gallaghers, British Agents, Crooked Creek, and Whitcomb Springs. She enjoys a peaceful life in the Rocky Mountains where she is writing her next book.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bookbub | Goodreads

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, November 23

Tuesday, November 24

Wednesday, November 25

Thursday, November 26

Friday, November 27

Saturday, November 28

Sunday, November 29

Monday, November 30

Tuesday, December 1

Wednesday, December 2

Thursday, December 3

Friday, December 4

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, a wool blanket from England, a Christmas candle, a tote/shopping bag, and treats!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on December 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.


Excerpt & Giveaway: Flirtation and Folly by Elizabeth Rasche


Flirtation and Folly by Elizabeth Rasche

Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Quills and Quartos Publishing

Series: A Season in London, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance


Marianne Mowbrey is a responsible country rector’s daughter who longs for the novelty and excitement she reads about in novels. When her crusty Aunt Harriet agrees to give her a Season in London, Marianne vows to dazzle the world, win a husband, and never go home again. But the Londoners who determine social success are inclined to pass over plain Marianne in favor of her beautiful, reckless younger sister.

In a world of ambition, fashion, flattery, and deceit, how can Marianne stay true to her real self—when she is not even sure what that real self is?

Available on Amazon

Excerpt


As if the wayward Fates had declared themselves as much in favour of Marianne’s situation at table as they had been against it before, she found herself seated between two young men at Aunt Cartwright’s dinner. As one of those men was Captain Pulteney, Marianne’s bliss knew no bounds. The other young man was Frederick Lowes, an anaemic-looking gentleman with nut-brown hair stiff with pomade, a trim, clocked waistcoat, and a careless manner. Although the dinner table had been forced to expand for three guests more than the previous visit there seemed to be just as many eatables spread out along the table, as well as the occasional candelabra or well-stocked épergne. There were even small folded bits of coloured paper fashioned into flowers, fans, and jewel shapes delicately arranged among the dishes.

“Shall I congratulate you on your position at table, Miss Mowbrey? Or would that be self-congratulation?” Captain Pulteney said. The gold trim of his regimentals caught the light in a way that made Marianne’s heart giddy. As handsome as he was when she first saw him, he looked even better in regimentals.

“I am always pleased to dine at my aunt’s,” Marianne said, proud of herself for avoiding too particular a reply. As the captain invoked the usual topics of conversation, she felt delightfully at ease, and much more the gracious lady of elegance she wanted to be. Captain Pulteney’s admiration made her feel beautiful and charming.

Glancing down the table, she saw Mr Hearn not far from them, chewing on roast chicken with a solemn air, and Miss Emily further on. As loud as Miss Emily could be with her family, she was decorum itself at dinner in society. Her voice never rose above a murmur, and Marianne could make out nothing of what she said to Mr Hearn. Every once in a while, Miss Emily threw a hard look in Marianne’s direction, but Marianne thought it likely simple envy, not anything personal. Miss Emily seemed eager to please the captain when she could, and Frederick Lowes seemed no small catch himself.

At least, he was no small catch from a worldly perspective. From a more personal view, Marianne could not say that she liked him. Mr Lowes’s demeanour had a studied indifference that she suspected was anything but genuine. His slight body looked too weak to impress anyone, but he held himself with confidence. In her judgment, his confidence was more the false bravado of a child, rather than the genuine self-assurance of an adult. Mr Lowes’s expression seemed to show little interest in others, but he scrupulously attended to his table manners in a way that suggested he was anxious to avoid reproach. Stranger still, Mr Lowes had the oddest way of throwing remarks across the table in a pointed way, as if trying to communicate something to Mr Hearn without addressing him directly.

“I hear you are from the country, Miss Mowbrey,” Mr Lowes said. He had accompanied his claim that she was from the country with a sneer, and then pasted a smile on his face as he spoke her name.

“Yes, my father is a rector—ˮ

“Oh, a clergyman. I cannot say I envy him for that. But a country estate—ˮ He leaned over his plate, and Marianne could not help but think he was trying to attract Mr Hearn’s attention with his raised voice. “I adore country estates. The prettiest of them are in Ireland, I would say. Have you ever been to Ireland?”

“I regret I have not.” Marianne tried to focus on Mr Lowes, but she, too, found herself staring at Mr Hearn, who listened to the conversation with a grimace. She did not understand what sort of allusion Mr Lowes was trying to make. Was he twitting his friend for being half-Irish? She could not see why Mr Hearn would choose a friend prejudiced against the Irish, but whatever the allusion, clearly Mr Hearn was angry. He was digging into his chicken with a ferocity that ill became a fashionable dinner party.

Mr Lowes continued, seemingly unaware of Mr Hearn. “I have several places in Ireland. I pick them up here and there, from people without the sense to hang onto them. There is always a risk associated with them, of course, but I never mind that. Are you afraid of risk, Miss Mowbrey?”

“I suppose I am, a little.” She gave him a puzzled look, and then looked across the table at Mr Hearn, only to see a scowl on his face.

“Now, I adore risk. Life is nothing but a gamble.” Mr Lowes roared with laughter at this, and Marianne began to wonder if he had had too much to drink. There had not been much wine served, but perhaps the gentleman was delicate. It was with relief she realised Captain Pulteney was trying to attract her attention again, and she turned to her other side.

About the Author

After acquiring a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arkansas, Elizabeth Rasche taught philosophy in the U.S. and co-taught English in Japan. Now she and her husband live in northwest Arkansas, the ‘garden of America.’ (At least, she has only ever heard Arkansas called so.) She dreams of visiting Surrey (if only to look for Mrs. Elton’s Maple Grove), Bath, and of course, London. When she has a Jane Austen novel in one hand, a cup of tea in the other, and a cat on her lap, her day is pretty much perfect.

Elizabeth Rasche is the author of The Birthday Parties of Dragons and her poetry has appeared in Scifaikuest. Flirtation & Folly is her first historical fiction novel.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, November 10
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, November 11
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, November 12
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, November 13
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, November 14
Review at Book Bustle

Sunday, November 15
Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings

Monday, November 16
Feature at I'm Into Books
Review at Probably at the Library

Tuesday, November 17
Review at Bookworlder

Wednesday, November 18
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, November 19
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Friday, November 20
Review at Library of Clean Reads
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, November 21
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 22
Review at Robin Loves Reading

Monday, November 23
Review at Jessica Belmont

Tuesday, November 24
Review at Novels Alive
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Flirtation and Folly by Elizabeth Rasche! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

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

Flirtation and Folly

Review & Giveaway: Lady Margaret's Escape by Victoria Sportelli


Lady Margaret's Escape by Victoria Sportelli

Publication Date: September 24, 2020
Creazzo Publishing
Paperback & eBook; 376 pages

Series: Henry's Spare Queen, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction


A Desperate Midwife Bargains with a King

After suffering the loss of her first pregnancy, a son and heir to the English throne, Queen Matilda is once again with child. Overjoyed but cautious of another loss, King Henry seeks a skilled midwife to assist his wife throughout her pregnancy and labor. His search leads him to Margaret.

Margaret, once a woman of rank and leisure, has been betrayed by her father and made a common slave. The king’s dire need for a midwife provides her with an enticing opportunity to escape a life of servitude and return to her previous station, but first she must prove her worth and make a bargain with the devil.

King Henry is reluctant to haggle with the midwife, but when Margaret reveals her suspicions of foul play being the cause of the queen’s previous loss, his mind is made up. Not only will Margaret attend the queen, her fate with be tied to the queen's – and that of their unborn babe. Deliver a healthy heir and King Henry will reward Margaret with the return of her rank, social status and wealth. Fail, and her life will be forfeit.

The two women are sent to a secret forest retreat to wait out Queen Matilda’s confinement away from the conspiracies and dangers of court life. Meanwhile, Henry’s brother Robert invades England to seize Henry’s crown and Margaret begins to fear she has allied herself with the wrong ruler.

Will Margaret earn her freedom…or a severed head?

Pick up Lady Margaret’s Escape today and experience the perils of living in medieval England.

Note: This novel includes the death of an infant which may be a trigger for some readers.

Amazon


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

When the author says she likes to write books about strong women she really means it! Lady Margaret's Escape completely took me by surprise - it's a fantastic, intriguing read featuring a badass woman and I loved every minute of it!

Lady Margaret is working as a chatelaine in her father's manor, Royal Oaks, after the death of her mother when King Henry and Queen Mathilde visit. Henry is looking for someone to attend the Queen as she is newly pregnant. Having lost their first child they are frightened of losing another and have heard word of Lady Rosamund at the manor. She is no longer there but Margaret learned from her and offers to accompany Henry and the Queen and serve them if he takes her with them. She offers up her life if she is unsuccessful with the birth but makes Henry promise her 3 favors if she saves the baby. I don't want to give much more away than that because if you are like me you like to go in as fresh as possible.

I can't say enough good things about Margaret. I loved her from the start and can't wait to see what is in store for her in the next two books. She's clever, caring, courageous, and smart. I can't believe the bravery it took for her to leave her father like that. I loooooved that scene and even whooped out loud when her father realized she was actually leaving. I love it when people get their just rewards. It's so satisfying!

I will be eagerly counting the days until the second book is released. Victoria Sportelli's writing will easily transport you back into Margaret's world and I know you're going to love it!


About the Author


Ms. Sportelli, who loves to share her knowledge of English history, has concluded that Henry I was an under-rated king who struggled to keep his throne amid conflicts between Normans and Saxons. She writes of the era in novels featuring Lady Margaret, King Henry and Queen Matilda.

A life-long Anglophile, Ms. Sportelli loves British manners, folklore, customs, history, and humor; she watches every British film, television, show and documentary she can find.

Ms Sportelli has both children and grandchildren. She has taken seven trips to eight western European countries and loves England and Italy the most.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 9
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at Novels Alive

Tuesday, November 10
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, November 11
Feature at I'm Into Books

Thursday, November 12
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, November 13
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Monday, November 16
Review & Excerpt at Bookworlder

Tuesday, November 17
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Wednesday, November 18
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 19
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Friday, November 20
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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

Lady Margaret's Escape

Excerpt + Giveaway: The Tobacconist's Wife by AnneMarie Brear

Happy Saturday everyone! Today on the blog I am super excited to be hosting AnneMarie Brear today! She is currently on Blog Tour with HF Virtual Book Tours and today I'm sharing an excerpt from her new novel with you, The Tobacconist's Wife! I hope you enjoy it + don't forget to enter the giveaway!


The Tobacconist's Wife by AnneMarie Brear

Publication Date: November 12, 2020
Lume Books
Paperback & eBook; 244 pages

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian


From the bestselling author of The Slum Angel.

Having lost her father, Thea Goodson is alone in the world.

It is true she has a husband, but Ernie is a brutal man, more inclined to use his fists to keep Thea in line than to build on their marriage. And besides, Ernie Goodson has secrets – secrets that even his wife cannot share.

But in Victorian Yorkshire, appearances must be kept up, so Thea goes on powdering her bruises and forcing a smile as she toils in Ernie’s home and tobacco shop. There seems to be no other option.

That is, until a handsome and well-bred stranger arrives to set up shop next door…

Can Thea escape her misery and break from the conventions of society? Or will the clutches of her abusive husband confine her forever?

The Tobacconist’s Wife is the latest book from AnneMarie Brear, the highly acclaimed author of bestselling The Slum Angel. Perfect for fans of Catherine Cookson, Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin.

Available on Amazon

Excerpt 

Behind the shops were two yards, one each, fenced and gated. The river ran at the end of the yards and he could see across to the bank on the other side. Boats of all shapes and sizes plied the water as busy as any road.

From somewhere a siren sounded, ending the day’s shift for the workers.

Aware that he was losing the light, Adam tried the latch on the gate, but it was locked. The fence was high, well over seven feet – for he was six feet tall and he couldn’t see over it. He tried the latch again, to no avail.

‘May I help you?’

Adam spun around at the voice and flushed, as though caught breaking into someone’s house. He stared at the woman as she raised her eyebrows at him, her alluring moss green eyes full of inquiry.

‘I apologise. I wasn’t meaning any harm. That is … I was simply trying to see if the gate was open.’

‘Why? The shop and rooms above are empty.’

‘Yes, I understand that.’

‘No one lives here. Are you looking for someone?’

‘No. I wish to inspect the property, and am doing so with an agent, in the morning, at ten o’clock.’ Good heavens, why was he explaining himself like a child?

She relaxed a little, the stiffness leaving her shoulders and she gave him a tiny smile, a mere lift of the corners of her mouth.

‘I’m Thea Goodson, from the tobacconist’s shop next door.’

‘Adam Fitzwilliam.’ Adam held out his hand for her to shake, and after a slight hesitation she did so.

Her eyes, such a deep green he’d never seen the colour of before, stared at him. She wasn’t a classic beauty, the kind men raved over, but there was something in her face, an alertness, that intrigued him. Her abundant chestnut hair was roughly tied at the back of her head, and she wore a neat plain black skirt and a cream blouse with lace cuffs. In his mother’s world of pure silk, diamonds and pearls, she would be considered plain, but in fact, there was nothing plain about Thea Goodson. Those large green eyes would never allow her to be plain.

In the space of a heartbeat, he noted all that about her. His mind and body responded to her in a way he’d not experienced before. It was as if every one of his senses were on high alert. He wanted to say something witty and clever, or do something that would impress her.

Sucking in a breath, he felt disorientated by his own reaction to this woman. His chest tightened as he gazed at her and he wondered if perhaps he was coming down with something.

‘Thea!’ A man’s voice boomed from the other yard. ‘I need help in here!’

The woman flinched and seemed to shrink into herself. The light went from her eyes.

Adam frowned. Was that her father? His hand reached out, but he quickly dropped it. He could think of nothing to make her stay and talk to him.

About the Author

Amazon UK bestseller and award-winning Australian author, AnneMarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, historical research for her novels, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate - not always in that order! 

 For more information please visit AnneMarie Brear's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, November 12
Guest Post at Coffee and Ink
Review at Probably at the Library

Friday, November 13
Review at View from the Birdhouse
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Saturday, November 14
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 15
Review & Excerpt at Bookworlder

Monday, November 16
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, November 17
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Wednesday, November 18
Review at Novels Alive
Interview at Books & Benches

Thursday, November 19
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 eBooks of The Tobacconist's Wife! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on November 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Tobacconist's Wife





Review & Giveaway: His Castilian Hawk by Anna Belfrage


His Castilian Hawk by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: September 28, 2020
Troubador Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction


For bastard-born Robert FitzStephan, being given Eleanor d’Outremer in marriage is an honour. For Eleanor, this forced wedding is anything but a fairy tale.

Robert FitzStephan has served Edward Longshanks loyally since the age of twelve. Now he is riding with his king to once and for all bring Wales under English control.

Eleanor d’Outremer—Noor to family—lost her Castilian mother as a child and is left entirely alone when her father and brother are killed. When ordered to wed the unknown Robert FitzStephan, she has no choice but to comply.

Two strangers in a marriage bed is not easy. Things are further complicated by Noor’s blood-ties to the Welsh princes and by covetous Edith who has warmed Robert’s bed for years.

Robert’s new wife may be young and innocent, but he is soon to discover that not only is she spirited and proud, she is also brave. Because when Wales lies gasping and Edward I exacts terrible justice on the last prince and his children, Noor is determined to save at least one member of the House of Aberffraw from the English king.

Will years of ingrained service have Robert standing with his king or will he follow his heart and protect his wife, his beautiful and fierce Castilian hawk?

Available on Amazon


Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I found the perfect escape method while we anxiously await the election results in the US....Emotional Support Books! Thankfully I had the perfect book from one of my all-time favorite authors to keep me sane the past few days! Well, as sane as one can possibly be right now :)

His Castilian Hawk by Anna Belfrage is one amazing historical! When I first started reading Historical Fiction I was hooked on the Medieval Ages and was fascinated with Sharon Kay Penman's Welsh trilogy, so this felt like being back with old friends.

Set during the time when the English King, Edward I, was trying to gain control of Wales. One of his most loyal men, Robert FitzStephan, saves the life of the King by striking down two men who were trying to kill him. Those two men happened to be the father and brother of Eleanor d'Outremer. King Edward I rewards Robert by giving him Eleanor's hand in marriage and her lands. Can you imagine having to marry the man that killed the only family you had left?

Their relationship starts off rocky as you can imagine, but the more time they spend together the closer they become and they soon develop true feelings for each other. There will be obstacles to overcome - especially from Robert's ex-lover Edith and Eleanor's (called Noor) loathing of how the English are treating the Welsh. She is half Welsh herself and much to Robert's horror, she speaks her mind about what she thinks - despite the danger in that.

Queen Eleanor takes Noor under her wing and teaches her the way of court and about her own family history.

I absolutely loved Noor. Watching her develop from a timid young girl to a confident and clever woman. A small brown Hen turned into a Hawk. I wasn't a fan of Robert straight away but he grew on me and I loved their relationship.

There's nothing that Anna isn't a master of with her books. The action scenes, the dialog, the history, character development, and setting are always on point. I especially love how she writes romance. It's sweet and hot at the same time.

I highly recommend His Castilian Hawk and I cannot wait for the next one in the series!

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

Saturday, October 24
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, October 26
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Tuesday, October 27
Review at Rajiv's Reviews

Wednesday, October 28
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Friday, October 30
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, November 1
Interview at Reader_ceygo

Tuesday, November 3
Review at YA, It's Lit

Wednesday, November 4
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 6
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 9
Excerpt at I'm Into Books

Tuesday, November 10
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, November 12
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Monday, November 16
Review at Reader_ceygo
Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, November 17
Review at Books and Zebras

Wednesday, November 18
Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, November 19
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, November 20
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Review at Bookramblings
Interview at Books & Benches

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two paperback copies of His Castilian Hawk! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open internationally and ends on November 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Castilian Hawk

Cover Reveal: Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan


Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan

Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Gallery Books
Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook; 352 pages

Genre: Biographical/Literary/Historical


One evening in 1924, Katharine “Kay” Swift—the restless but loyal society wife of wealthy banker James Warburg and a serious pianist who longs for recognition—attends a concert. The piece: Rhapsody in Blue. The composer: a brilliant, elusive young musical genius named George Gershwin.

Kay is transfixed, helpless to resist the magnetic pull of George’s talent, charm, and swagger. Their ten-year love affair, complicated by her conflicted loyalty to her husband and the twists and turns of her own musical career, ends only with George’s death from a brain tumor at the age of thirty-eight.

Set in Jazz Age New York City, this stunning work of fiction, for fans of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, explores the timeless bond between two brilliant, strong-willed artists. George Gershwin left behind not just a body of work unmatched in popular musical history, but a woman who loved him with all her heart, knowing all the while that he belonged not to her, but to the world.

Available for Pre-Order
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound

Praise

"Mitchell James Kaplan pens a lilting, jazzy ballad as catchy as a Gershwin tune, bringing to vibrant life the complicated relationship between classically trained composer Kay Swift and free-wheeling star George Gershwin. Their musical bond is as powerful as their passion, and jazz-soaked gin-drenched Broadway is their playground through the tumultuous years of the Great War and Prohibition. Rhapsody will have you humming, toe-tapping, and singing along with every turn of the page." –Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of THE ALICE NETWORK and THE HUNTRESS

"We all know Gershwin, but how many know he was 'the man behind the woman," the conflicted, extraordinary Katherine 'Kay' Swift? Mitchell James Kaplan illuminates her in Rhapsody, bringing his impressive knowledge of history, composition, and the heart’s whims to bear on this shining rendition of Swift and Gershwin’s star-crossed love." –Therese Anne Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Z and A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD

“In Rhapsody, Mitchell James Kaplan brings to lyrical life the romance between Kay Swift and George Gershwin. A gifted musician in her own right, Kay was no mere accompanist to Gershwin’s genius; she was a true partner, unfortunately little remembered today. Kaplan’s vivid prose and empathetic characterization shines a spotlight on this remarkable woman who contributed so much to American music.” –Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue and Mistress of the Ritz

“Mitchell James Kaplan’s Rhapsody shines a blazing light on the celebrated George Gershwin, uncovering the man behind the legend through the story of the woman he loved, Kay Swift, a brilliant musician caught in the swiftly moving mores of New York’s Jazz Age. Rich with history and packed with intricate detail, Rhapsody soars.” –Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET and WAISTED

“Mitchell James Kaplan has captured a whole world in his luminous journey through the jazz age in fast-paced New York City with this love story of composer Kay Swift and the brilliant but elusive George Gershwin. Kay first heard him playing his Rhapsody in Blue, but she was married to a wealthy man and Gershwin could be faithful only to his own genius. Through Broadway theaters and concerts, he was rising so fast that neither the Great Depression, nor the darkening rise of Hitler across the sea, nor the impossible difficulties of writing the first black folk-opera Porgy and Bess could stop him. Through their love affair, Gershwin and Kay gave fire to each other’s music until nothing could derail his meteoric success but time." –Stephanie Cowell, American Book Award-winning author of CLAUDE AND CAMILLE and THE PHYSICIAN OF LONDON

About the Author

Mitchell James Kaplan graduated with honors from Yale University, where he won the Paine Memorial Prize for Best Long-Form Senior Essay submitted to the English Department. His first mentor was the author William Styron.

After college, Kaplan lived in Paris, France, where he worked as a translator, then in Southern California, where he worked as a screenwriter and in film production.

He lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with his family and two cats.

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2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: November Reviews


Welcome to the November 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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