Review: The London Monster by Donna Scott


The London Monster by Donna Scott

Publication Date: November 21, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 322 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


In 1788, exactly one hundred years before Jack the Ripper terrorizes the people of London, a sexual miscreant known as the London Monster roams the streets in search of his next victim…

Thomas Hayes, having lost his mother in a vicious street assault, becomes an underground pugilist on a mission to rid the streets of violent criminals. But his vigilante actions lead to him being mistaken for the most terrifying criminal of all.

Assistance arrives in the form of Sophie Carlisle, a young journalist with dreams of covering a big story, though she is forced to masquerade as a man to do it. Trapped in an engagement to a man she doesn’t love, Sophie yearns to break free to tell stories that matter about London’s darker side—gaming, prostitution, violence—and realizes Tom could be the one to help. Together, they come up with a plan.

Straddling the line between his need for vengeance and the need to hide his true identity as a politician's son becomes increasingly difficult as Tom is pressured to win more fights. The more he wins, the more notoriety he receives, and the greater the chance his identity may be exposed—a revelation that could jeopardize his father’s political aspirations and destroy his family’s reputation.

Sophie is also in danger as hysteria spreads and the attacks increase in severity and frequency. No one knows who to trust, and no one is safe—Tom included, yet he refuses to end the hunt.

Little does he realize, the monster is also hunting him.

Available on Amazon

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Donna Scott has done it again!

After loving Scott's previous book, Shame the Devil, I have been anxiously awaiting her new release, The London Monster, and I am happy to report that I loved this one too!

There is a monster on the loose in London. He prefers to stalk high-class ladies as they walk at night, whisper something naughty in their ear to get a reaction, and then the knife comes out.

Sophie Carlisle is a young woman and daughter to a prominent family and is currently betrothed to a family friend, though it's not quite a love match. She is an aspiring writer and is on the hunt to track down the London Monster. She must dress as a man when researching her story and that is how she is disguised when she meets Thomas Hayes.

Tom is on the hunt for the London Monster as well and he's quite certain that the young reporter he has been speaking to is indeed a young woman. They become close and team up to help catch the Monster before he strikes again.

I loved, loved, loved Sophie and Tom! Their chemistry was awesome and I loved how their relationship progressed.

In addition to Tom and Sophie, we have a great supporting cast. Maeve, poor Maeve, was one of my favorites. Her story was so sad.

While the violence is on the tame side, there is quite a bit of bawdy talk and sexy scenes so a warning for those that may not enjoy that aspect.

I swear I had the killer identified so many times but then nope...I was wrong! I like how Donna keeps you on your toes and makes you question everyone :)

A deliciously creepy mystery with a touch of romance and a glimpse at the darker side of London, I highly recommend The London Monster!

About the Author

Donna Scott is an award-winning author of 17th and 18th century historical fiction. Before embarking on a writing career, she spent her time in the world of academia. She earned her BA in English from the University of Miami and her MS and EdD (ABD) from Florida International University. She has two sons and lives in sunny South Florida with her husband. Her first novel, Shame the Devil, received the first place Chaucer Award for historical fiction and a Best Book designation from Chanticleer International Book Reviews. Her newest novel, The London Monster, was released in November 2020. To learn about new releases and special offers, please sign up for Donna's newsletter.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 22
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 23
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Wednesday, February 24
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, February 25
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, February 26
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Saturday, February 27
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Monday, March 1
Guest Post at Reading the Past
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, March 2
Review at Donna's Book Blog

Wednesday, March 3
Review at Coffee and Ink

Review & Giveaway: A Mother's Promise by K.D. Alden


A Mother's Promise by K.D. Alden

Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Forever/Grand Central
Paperback & eBook; 384 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


Based on the true story behind a landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decision, K.D. Alden’s debut is a rich and moving story of one woman’s courage and strength at a pivotal point in America’s history.

Virginia, 1927. A chance to have a family. That’s all Ruth Ann Riley wants. But because she was unwed and pregnant, she was sent away and her baby given to another woman. Now they’re trying to take Ruth Ann’s right to have another child. But she can’t stand the thought of never seeing little Annabel’s face again, never snuggling up to her warmth or watching her blue eyes crinkle with laughter. Good thing she has a plan.

All the rich and fancy folks may call her feeble-minded, but Ruth Ann is smarter than any of them have bargained for. Because no matter how high the odds are stacked against her, she is going to overcome the scandals in her past and get her child back—and along the way, she just may find unexpected friendships and the possibility of love in the most unlikely of places.

"A Mother's Promise is a powerful, heart-wrenching, ultimately uplifting novel about the bonds of family and one woman's courage in the face of adversity. K.D. Alden brings history to life with rich storytelling and deep emotion."―V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls


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Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Emotional, captivating, and unforgettable, A Mother's Promise is an excellent work of Historical Fiction that grabbed me from the start.

Ruth Ann Riley is a young woman living at The Colony Home for Epileptics and Feeble-minded after getting pregnant out of wedlock. Her daughter was taken from her and given to a local family to care for.

Ruth Ann is the daughter to one of the most infamous patients at The Colony - her mother is known for her violent episodes and manic behavior. Ruth Ann knows she is not like her mother and is definitely not feeble-minded.
 
Between cruel nurses and inhumane treatment, the only kindness Ruth Ann finds at the Colony is Ruby and the handyman that works there, Clarence. I just adored Clarence! The scenes with him and Ruth Ann were my favorite.

Dr. Price, who runs The Colony, believes that the madness in their family will continue to pass down to other generations, so he wants to sterilize Ruth Ann. The case is eventually taken to the Supreme Court and decided in a landmark ruling.

While tough to read at times, I truly enjoyed A Mother's Promise! K.D. Alden's writing is fantastic - I can't wait to pick up more of her backlist. Highly recommended!

About the Author


K.D. Alden is the pseudonym of an award-winning author who has written more than twenty novels in various genres. She has been the recipient of the Maggie Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, and an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A Mother’s Promise is her first historical novel.

K.D. is a graduate of Smith College, grew up in Austin, Texas, and resides in South Florida with her husband and two rescue greyhounds.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 16
Review at The Review Crew

Wednesday, February 17
Review at Crystal's Library

Thursday, February 18
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, February 20
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, February 22
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Tuesday, February 23
Review at Novels Alive

Wednesday, February 24
Review at Girl Who Reads

Thursday, February 25
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, February 26
Review at Rajiv's Reviews
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Giveaway

Enter to win a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Target! Two gift cards up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

A Mother's Promise Tour

Review & Giveaway: A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy


A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy

Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Pegasus Crime

Genre: Historical Mystery


A historical mystery in the vein of The Alienist, in which a young woman in Gilded Age New York must use a special talent to unravel a deadly conspiracy.

Amelia Matthew has done the all-but-impossible, especially for an orphan in Gilded Age New York City. Along with her foster brother Jonas, she has parleyed her modest psychic talent into a safe and comfortable life. But safety and comfort vanish when a head injury leaves Amelia with a dramatically-expanded gift. After she publicly channels an angry spirit, she finds herself imprisoned in the notorious insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. As Jonas searches for a way to free her, Amelia struggles to control her disturbing new abilities and survive a place where cruelty and despair threaten her sanity.

Andrew Cavanaugh is familiar with despair. In the wake of a devastating loss, he abandons a promising medical career—and his place in Philadelphia society—to devote himself to the study and treatment of mental disease. Miss Amelia Matthew is just another patient—until she channels a spirit in front of him and proves her gift is real.

When a distraught mother comes to Andrew searching for her missing daughter—a daughter she believes is being hidden at the asylum—he turns to Amelia. Together, they uncover evidence of a deadly conspiracy, and then it’s no longer just Amelia’s sanity and freedom at stake. Amelia must master her gift and use it to catch a killer—or risk becoming the next victim.

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Advance Praise for A Deadly Fortune

“The 1893 world of the infamous lunatic asylum on Blackwell’s Island comes alive in frightening and horrific detail as a string of murders for profit is discovered when a young woman with a gift for contacting the dead becomes an accidental patient. She must fight for her life as well as her freedom in this engrossing mystery that reveals that all was not golden in Gilded Age New York.” —Rosemary Simpson, author of Death Brings a Shadow: A Gilded Age Mystery

“This engrossing mystery, rich in period detail, probes the dark side of Gilded Age New York and the even darker side of life at the insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. Plucky Amelia Matthew rises to the considerable challenges that surround her, uncovering increasingly dangerous secrets that point to the presence of a murderer in the asylum. Amelia has a special gift that both helps and complicates her search for the truth, making her a unique heroine. A Deadly Fortune builds to a satisfying conclusion that will whet the reader’s appetite for more of Amelia’s adventures!” —Clarissa Harwood, author of Impossible Saints and Bear No Malice

“Stacie Murphy proves herself to be a masterful storyteller with A Deadly Fortune—an elegantly written, fast-paced mystery that blends the dark side of the Gilded Age, great characters, and a paranormal twist. Impossible to put down.” —Julie McElwain, author of the Kendra Donovan Mystery Series

“Murphy serves up a dark side of the Gilded Age with intrigue, historical detail, and captivating characters. This is a mystery to savor!” —Dianne Freeman, award winning author of the Countess of Harleigh mysteries.

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A debut novel? Are you kidding me? Stacie Murphy just graced us readers with one hell of a novel and I loved every minute of it! Once I started the book I did not and could not put it down. I mean....chores not done, kids begging for food, husband crying in the corner...and me blissfully entranced into the world of A DEADLY FORTUNE!

Amelia and her brother Jonas work in a fancy club together after being discovered on the streets by the club owner. Amelia reads Tarot cards and tells fortunes. She does have some psychic ability, but it's not reliable nor strong. That is until she is accidentally injured while coming to her brother's aid when he is in a fight. Once recovered her powers come full force. She can feel and see things when she touches someone and feels danger coming.

After she collapses one day on the street she is mistaken for someone else and taken to a local mental asylum, the same one that reporter Nellie Bly would expose later. No one believes that she isn't who they think she is and her brother has no idea where she has gone to, but he will do everything he can to find her.

It's so crazy to me that at that time a woman could be held and imprisoned in asylums at the whim of their husband or parents, despite that there is nothing wrong with her. It's absolutely terrifying!

I don't want to give too much away because the story is amazing! So many twists and it also had some creepy parts, which I loved!

A Deadly Fortune was deliciously addictive! I absolutely loved it and will be counting the days until her next release. I would seriously offer her my house cleaning services just so she has more writing time :) Ha!
Read this book! You can thank me later :)

About the Author

Stacie Murphy grew up near Nashville, TN. She began writing A Deadly Fortune in 2017 as a way to force herself to stay off Twitter in the evenings. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and the worst cat in the world.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 11
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, January 12
Excerpt at Probably at the Library

Wednesday, January 13
Review at McCombs on Main
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Thursday, January 14
Feature at The Lit Bitch

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Review at A Darn Good Read

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Review at Novels Alive

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Review at Rajiv's Reviews

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Guest Post at Novels Alive

Thursday, January 21
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, January 22
Review & Excerpt at Books & Benches

Monday, January 25
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, January 26
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Wednesday, January 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, January 28
Excerpt at Always With a Book

Friday, January 29
Review at Amy's Booket List
Interview at Madwoman in the Attic

Monday, February 1
Review at Book Bustle

Tuesday, February 2
Review at Tangents and Tissues

Wednesday, February 3
Feature at Reading is My Remedy
Review & Excerpt at The Book Review Crew

Friday, February 5
Review at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of A Deadly Fortune by Stacie Murphy & a $50 Gift Card to Amazon or your favorite Indie store. Winner's choice.

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Loxby Manor

Review & Giveaway: The Vanishing at Loxby Manor by Abigail Wilson


The Vanishing at Loxby Manor by Abigail Wilson

Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Thomas Nelson
Paperback & eBook; 336 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Regency


A story of second chances and secrets, this mysterious Regency romance will transport you to 19th-century England as one young lady reunites with her childhood love to find his missing sister.

Her friend is missing.

After five years abroad, Charity Halliwell finally returns to Loxby Manor, the home of dear friends—and her lost love. No longer a young girl, she is now haunted by a painful secret and the demise of her dreams. Instead of the healing and happiness she hopes to find, she encounters a darkness lurking in the shadows of the once-familiar house. When her friend, Seline, disappears the very night of her arrival, Charity is determined to uncover the truth.

Her only hope is the man who broke her heart.

Branded a coward, Piers Cavanaugh has lived the last five years as an outcast far from his family home. When his sister presumably elopes with a stable hand, Piers joins forces with an unlikely partner—the one woman he thought he’d never see again. Together they launch an investigation that leads to strange nightly meetings in the ruins of an old abbey and disturbing whispers of a secret organization. The more they learn, the more desperate the situation becomes.

The house seems determined to keep its secrets.

As they struggle to piece together the clues, Charity and Piers also endeavor to rebuild their friendship. One cryptic letter changed everything between them. To find happiness they will have to overcome the grief and shame keeping them apart. But first they must discover why Seline vanished and confront the growing fear that she may never return.

Settle in, because once you start The Vanishing at Loxby Manor, you won’t be able to put it down.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


Praise for The Vanishing at Loxby Manor

“Vanishing at Loxby Manor cleverly combines Regency romance with Gothic intrigue, and the result is a suspenseful, thoroughly entertaining read. Charming and lovely.”—Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of In the Shadow of Vesuvius

“Like each of Wilson’s novels, The Vanishing at Loxby Manor drew me in from the start and didn’t let go. From the heartfelt characters to the twists that kept me guessing, I relished each turn of the page. Wilson is a master at historical mystery, and I cannot wait for her next story.”—Lindsay Harrel, author of The Joy of Falling

“Abigail Wilson’s latest Gothic romance hits the notes readers have come to expect from her talented pen: romance, shadows and intrigue and a brilliantly executed atmosphere. She is a master at her craft and a rare stand-out in a popular genre.”—Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration

“Weaving a shadow of mystery among the gilded countryside of Regency England, Wilson's tale of love lost, buried shame, and secret societies is a delicious blend of romance and intrigue. Splash in gorgeous historical Regency details, and murder brewing around every stone, and readers will be burning through the pages until the riveting end.”—J'nell Ciesielski, author of The Socialite

“A gothic romance that is filled with great characters and a mystery that unfolds chapter by chapter. A perfect blend of mystery, family relationships, lost years, and star-crossed love. Be warned, you won't be able to walk away from these characters.”—Cara Putman, award-winning author of Flight Risk

Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Well, it looks like I have found a new go-to author for Regency mysteries! Abigail Wilson blew me away with this book!

Charity Halliwell is visiting Loxby Manor for the next year when her friend Seline runs off one night and goes missing. They believe she has run away to be with her forbidden love, but inconsistencies in the story and the letter that is left makes Charity question what really happened. Was it something more nefarious? Is Charity in danger?

Charity must team up with Seline's brother, Piers, to help find her. Piers has also just returned to Loxby Manor after a scandalous event. Piers and Charity have a past together that they will have to overcome in order to find Seline.

I felt that the story moved along at a great pace, enough to keep you turning the pages and staying engaged. The writing is excellent, as is the character development.

I loved The Vanishing at Loxby Manor so much that I immediately added her other books to my wishlist and can't wait to pick them up! If you like mysteries and romance in your historicals, I highly recommend The Vanishing at Loxby Manor!

About the Author


Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A registered nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the national parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.

She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, January 19
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, January 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, January 21
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Friday, January 22
Review at The Green Mockingbird

Saturday, January 23
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Monday, January 25
Review at Jorie Loves A Story
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Tuesday, January 26
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Wednesday, January 27
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Thursday, January 28
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Friday, January 29
Review at Heidi Reads
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, January 30
Review at Nursebookie

Monday, February 1
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Tuesday, February 2
Review at Amy's Booket List

Wednesday, February 3
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, February 4
Review at Hallie Reads
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Friday, February 5
Review at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Books & Benches

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Vanishing at Loxby Manor by Abigail Wilson! Five copies are up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

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