“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Beautiful Coming of Age Story--"The Crooked Path" by Irma Joubert Review




"The Crooked Path" by Irma Joubert is a book I knew nothing about.  I don't normally like books that take place around the World Wars, as I'm more of a "happily ever after" type of person and books about the Wars are often too realistic and hard to read emotionally.  That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by this book!

From the moment you read the first few pages, you can tell Ms. Joubert is a wordsmith.  Her writing style is top notch and flows well, making it easy to read.  The setting in this book is unique--South Africa and Italy during the World War II era.  I appreciate how Ms. Joubert incorporates a lot from the cultures of the places she writes about.  She obviously did a lot of research. 

There are a lot of great themes in this book, such as self-esteem, loss, death, chronic illness and the path we travel in life.  There is some faith content, but I would have liked more.  Overall, the book is a little too sad for me and some of the parts were so well written that I had to disengage so I didn't become depressed.  This is not a fluffy read.  I appreciate books that deal with such issues and themes, but they are not my favorite to read.  Like I said before, I do truly appreciate the writing style and the lessons that are incorporated into this story!

Content:  I would give this book a PG rating.  There is a girl asking how people get pregnant and if there's a way to not be pregnant.  A guy notices a woman's curves.  A guy and a girl who are not married sleep under the same blanket, but nothing happens.  The word "hellhole" is used.  There are harsh conditions described in concentration camps.  A married couple is in bed talking without any clothes on.  Babies are born out of wedlock.  A character wants an abortion.  Characters drink alcohol. 

Rating:  I give this book 3.5 stars.

Genre: Christian Fiction; Historical Fiction; Romance

I want to thank Irma Joubert, Thomas Nelson and the Fiction Guild for the complimentary copy of this book for review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.



About the Author:

International bestselling author Irma Joubert was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing. Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail. She's the author of eight novels and a regular fixture on bestseller lists in The Netherlands and in her native South Africa. She is the winner of the 2010 ATKV Prize for Romance Novels.

To purchase this book click here

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

"The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen: A Novel by a Gentleman Volume I" by Collins Hemingway Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!

 

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen: A Novel by a Gentleman Volume I
by Collins Hemingway

Publication Date: June 20, 2015
AuthorHouse
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook
 
Genre: Historical Fiction
 
 
Everyone should marry once for love – Even Jane Austen
 
Jane Austen, single and seemingly comfortable in the role of clergyman’s daughter and aspiring writer in the early 1800s, tells friends and family to hold out for true affection in any prospective relationship. Everybody, she says, has a right to marry once in their lives for love.
 
But when, after a series of disappointing relationships, the prospect of true love arrives for her, will she have the courage to act? The Marriage of Miss Jane AUsten re-imagines the life of England’s archetypal female by exploring what might have happened if she had ever married. It shows how a meaningful, caring relationship would have changed her as a person and a writer.
 
It also takes her beyond England’s tranquil country villages and plunges her info what the Regency era was really about: great explorations and scientific advances, political foment, and an unceasing, bloody war.
 
In such times, can love—can marriage—triumph?
 

Amazon | Austen Books | Barnes and Noble

 

Praise

 
“What if Austen, who penned so many classic love stories, found her own romantic match? Ashton Dennis fits right into the Austen universe, while this Jane remains true to life, an intelligent and determined young woman. The writing is Austen-ian, and Hemingway has a talent for witty banter and wry observations that would make Elizabeth Bennet proud. An enjoyable first novel in an imaginative, well-researched series.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“A skillful portrayal of a … literary icon takes this historical romance on an imaginative journey of the soul. … Insight and intuition, along with meticulous research, have created a believable version of her character in this tender story of Ashton and Jane. … Excellent character development enhances the plausibility of the scenario. Background, motivation, eccentricity—everything that constitutes a personality allow these fascinating people to step off the pages in lifelike form.” —Julia Ann Charpentier, Foreword CLARION Reviews, 4 stars
 
“All readers of Jane Austen wonder what Jane’s life might have been like had she married, or had money. The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen explores these intriguing possibilities. It also depicts Austen in a rapidly changing world, connecting her to important aspects of the era-war, slavery, indistralization, and new modes of travel. Heminghway’s book raises many ‘what if’s’ in his thoughtful and thought-provoking portrayal of Jane Austen falling in love.” -Susannah Fullerton, author of A Dance with Jane Austen and Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
 
“[An] engaging and remarkably convincing romance. … Wry, observant, laconic—much like Jane Austen herself, without ever dipping into pastiche or mimicry. … Hemingway, with the lightest touch, builds up a thoroughly convincing alternative history for Jane. … [A] thoughtful re-imagining of Austen’s love life.” —Joceline Bury, Jane Austen’s Regency World
 
 

About the Author

 
 
Whether his subject is literature, history, or science, Collins Hemingway has a passion for the art of creative investigation. For him, the most compelling fiction deeply explores the heart and soul of its characters, while also engaging them in the complex and often dangerous world in which they have a stake. He wants to explore all that goes into people’s lives and everything that makes tThe hem complete though fallible human beings. His fiction is shaped by the language of the heart and an abiding regard for courage in the face of adversity.
 
As a nonfiction book author, Hemingway has worked alongside some of the world’s thought leaders on topics as diverse as corporate culture and ethics; the Internet and mobile technology; the ins and outs of the retail trade; and the cognitive potential of the brain. Best known for the #1 best-selling book on business and technology, Business @ the Speed of Thought, which he coauthored with Bill Gates, he has earned a reputation for tackling challenging subjects with clarity and insight, writing for the nontechnical but intelligent reader.
 
Hemingway has published shorter nonfiction on topics including computer technology, medicine, and aviation, and he has written award-winning journalism.
 
Published books include The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy, Business @ the Speed of Thought, with Bill Gates, Built for Growth, with Arthur Rubinfeld, What Happy Companies Know, with Dan Baker and Cathy Greenberg, Maximum Brainpower, with Shlomo Breznitz, and The Fifth Wave, with Robert Marcus.
 
Hemingway lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Wendy. Together they have three adult sons and three granddaughters. He supports the Oregon Community Foundation and other civic organizations engaged in conservation and social services in Central Oregon.
 
For more information please visit Collins Hemingway’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.
 

Blog Tour Schedule

 
Monday, December 4
Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, December 5
Guest Post at The Writing Desk
Wednesday, December 6
Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Thursday, December 7
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Friday, December 8
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland
Sunday, December 10
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings
Monday, December 11
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads
Tuesday, December 12
Feature at The Hungry Bookworm
Wednesday, December 13
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Saturday, December 16
Interview & Excerpt at T’s Stuff
Monday, December 18
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Wednesday, December 20 Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Feature at A Literary Vacation
Friday, December 22 Feature at The Reading Queen
Wednesday, December 27 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, December 29 Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, January 2 Feature at Broken Teepee
Thursday, January 4 Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review & Excerpt at Books of All Kinds
Friday, January 5 Review at Birdhouse Books
Monday, January 8 Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Wednesday, January 10 Review at Singing Librarian Books
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook
Thursday, January 11 Review at What Cathy Read Next
Friday, January 12 Review at Diary of an Eccentric
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
 
 

Giveaway

 
 
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen! To enter, please enter via the link below.
 
Giveaway Rules
 
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


 Direct Link to GIVEAWAY: https://gleam.io/uOcgl/the-marriage-of-miss-jane-austen


Thursday, December 14, 2017

"12 Days at Bleakly Manor" by Michelle Griep Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY!


Bleakly Manor COVERAbout the Book


Name of book: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christmas

Release Date: September 1, 2017

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Click here to purchase your copy.


My Review

Prepare yourself to be highly entertained by this delightful book!  "12 Days at Bleakly Manor" by Michelle Griep is the first book in the "Once Upon a Dickens Christmas" series.  Ms. Griep fills her story with danger and mystery, leaving the reader guessing as to what will happen next! 

"12 Days at Bleakly Manor" is a mix of Charles Dickens's "Bleak House", Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None", and pure genius.  I love BBC's version of "Bleak House", so I was excited to pick this book up.  I've never read "And Then There Were None", but I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not having read the book.  It was fun for me to pick up the "Bleak House" nods throughout the story.  Ms. Griep reminds me of Dickens in the way that she shows and describes the conditions of prisons, the plight of the poor in Victorian England and the unfair and corrupt justice system. 

This story is a fast-paced read with amazing characters and a gothic, mysterious setting.  Ms. Griep employs great descriptions and word pictures.  There is a darker side to the goings-on at Bleakly Manor.  I appreciate how Ms. Griep gives the readers a helpful list and description (at the back of the book) of the Victorian Christmas traditions that are mentioned in the story.   

If you think the people at your Christmas get-togethers are crazy, check out this group at Bleakly Manor!  Some of the characters have very funny and weird idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, which makes the story all the more interesting.  With everything going on in the house and mystery looming everywhere, can the characters trust that God is in control? 

"12 Days at Bleakly Manor" is a novel of second chances and choosing between revenge and forgiveness.  There is a theme of trust and a strong faith element.  I very much enjoyed this book!

Content: This is a clean read.  There is a scene where a man is in prison and the conditions are described vividly, which might make sensitive readers uncomfortable.  It also mentions that a character swears, but the word is not actually used.

Rating:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

Genre: Christian historical fiction; Victorian England; Mystery

I want to thank Michelle Griep, Shiloh Run Press and Barbour Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

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About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of both Regency and Colonial historical romances but also leaped the writerly fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. Keep up with her escapades at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

 

Go Green With Victorian Christmas Décor

Guest post by Michelle Griep

Walk in any store and you’ll be bombarded with displays of Christmas lights, gaudy ornaments, and inflatable life-size lawn characters. Commercialization at its worst. 150 years ago, that wasn’t the case. Yearning to decorate in a simpler fashion this year? Here are some ways you can bring a bit of the nineteenth century to your home this Christmas…

TREE DECORATIONS

Queen Elizabeth’s husband, the German Prince Albert, introduced the concept of a Christmas tree to Windsor castle. And you know, if it’s good enough for royalty its good enough for the common folk, right? So, the tradition spread. Generally trees were brought inside on Christmas Eve and taken down on January 6th. Trees were decorated with homemade ornaments from paper or fruits and nuts, strings of popcorn or cranberries, or hanging cookies such as gingerbread men from the branches. And remember, an authentic Victorian Christmas tree would’ve been small, like small enough to stand on a table.

GREENERY

Holly. Evergreens. Mistletoe. Most Victorians couldn’t afford store-bought decorations even were there a commercialized industry at the time (which there wasn’t). So the next best thing was to bring in some free/natural ornamentations. Greenery would’ve been perked up with berries, ribbons, dough ornaments or flowers. Pinecones were also scattered throughout the house.

WREATHS

“Writhen” is the root word where we get the word wreath from. It’s an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” While the art of hanging wreaths goes back to Roman times, Victorians continued the tradition.

CANDLES

Candles were primarily placed in one of two spots during a Victorian Christmas. A single candle in a window was lit to show that the house was willing to provide food and shelter to travelers. Candles were also used on each and every branch of a Christmas tree, which meant a huge danger of fire. Usually a servant would stand nearby with a bucket of water just in case the thing started to burn.

DRESDENS

Dresdens are ornaments hung from the tree, from a window, or really hanging pretty much anywhere. These were handmade by cutting out shapes (usually animals or trains) and painted with metallic paint so that they looked like metal.

And that’s about it. No obnoxious Santas or reindeer inflated on the front lawn. No psycho Christmas lights strobing enough to give every passerby a seizure. Just plain and simple decor that made the home feel cozy.

And speaking of cozy, how about grabbing a blanket and a cup of hot tea and settling in for a holiday read that’s sure to put you in the Christmas spirit? My latest release is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, a Victorian blend of Dickens and Agatha Christie.

Blog Stops

 

By The Book, December 14
Bukwurmzzz, December 14
Faery Tales Are Real, December 14
A Reader’s Brain, December 15
Have A Wonderful Day, December 15
Texas Book-aholic, December 16
Carpe Diem, December 16
Cafinated Reads, December 16
Just the Write Escape, December 17
A Greater Yes, December 17
Remembrancy, December 17
Allofakindmom, December 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 18
amandainpa, December 19
Kat’s Corner Books, December 19
Mommynificent, December 19
Bookworm Mama, December 20
Vicky Sluiter, December 20
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 21
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 22 (Interview)
My Writer’s Life, December 23
Janices book reviews, December 23
For The Love of Books, December 23
Red Headed Book Lady, December 25
Bibliophile Reviews, December 26
Blogging With Carol,December 26
Mary Hake, December 26
 

Giveaway

 
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To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift card and a signed copy of 12 Days of Bleakly Manor!!
 
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c5b8

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Laugh Out Loud Kind of Book--"Out of the Ordinary" by Jen Turano Review




 
"Out of the Ordinary" is certainly just that--a not very ordinary book!  This book is the second book in the "Apart from the Crowd" series, although it can be read as a standalone.  This is my first book by Jen Turano and I really enjoyed this hilarious, anything-but-ordinary story.

This book certainly stands out among the Christian historical fiction I have read.  Ms. Turano's sense of humor and style of writing is especially noteworthy.  The way she writes makes me feel like I'm watching an "I Love Lucy" episode, where characters are always getting into hilarious scrapes.  I really loved the “birdcage which is used as a bustle” incident (need I say more?).  This is a light and fluffy read, with some serious parts.  An episode driven novel isn't my favorite type of novel (I prefer dialogue driven), but I especially appreciated the more serious tone and the addition of more dialogue towards the second half of the book.

I really appreciate the characters and how unique they are.  I think many readers will love that our heroine, Gertrude Cadwalader, is a wallflower (a girl who is not a part of the popular crowd).  Gertrude doesn't mind doing peculiar things for her employer because she doesn't want to hurt her feelings.  I also enjoyed the side characters, especially the quirky older women.  These characters have struggles that they have to overcome throughout the course of the novel, such as accepting God's forgiveness. 

Ms. Turano employs engaging and witty writing that is thrown in with a good dash of humor, which makes for an excellent read!

Content:  I would give this book a PG rating.  There is mention of a woman's bust; a man accidentally sees a woman in her undergarments; a man is in a house of ill repute and visits a woman there who's not his wife; a character struggles with depression, stealing and alcoholism; one character hits another; someone commits suicide; and there is talk of emotional and physical abuse.

Rating: I give this book 4 stars

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction; Romance

I want to thank Jen Turano and Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

About the Author:


A USA Today Best-Selling Author, Jen Turano has written the critically acclaimed Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times,  as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist.  It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, released in the spring of 2016, and will be followed by a new four-book series, Apart from the Crowd. When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester since her son recently abandoned her for the college life. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Her books may be found in fine bookstores, or follow the Baker House Publishing link to find additional places to purchase her work – http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/authors/jen-turano/1761

To visit the author's website click here

To purchase this book click here



Friday, December 8, 2017

"Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I" by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb ARC GIVEAWAY!!!

Hello dear readers!  I received two advanced paperback copies of "Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I" by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, so I decided to give one of you the chance to win it!  This is my first giveaway I'm doing personally since I've started my blog up again (I did get permission from the publisher to giveaway an ARC.  If you win, you cannot sell the ARC).  I'm so excited, I'm even throwing in a scarf and some swag.  Please be sure to read the rules before entering.  Be sure to read my review and interview with the authors here.

Details: 
  • 1 paperback advanced copy of "Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I" by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, the pictured scarf and some swag
  • US residents only please due to shipping
  • Only valid entries will be counted (I will be verifying entries)
  • Contest will be held for a week (12/8-12/15)
  • Winner will be contacted via e-mail
  • If winner does not respond after 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen
 
 Click here to enter via Rafflecopter

Thursday, December 7, 2017

"The Tides Between" by Elizabeth Jane Corbett Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY!

 

 

The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett

Publication Date: October 20, 2017
Odyssey Books
Paperback; 300 Pages
 
Genre: Fiction/Young Adult/Historical
 
 
She fancied herself part of a timeless chain without beginning or end, linked only by the silver strong words of its tellers.
 
In the year 1841, on the eve of her departure from London, Bridie’s mother demands she forget her dead father and prepare for a sensible, adult life in Port Phillip. Desperate to save her childhood, fifteen-year-old Bridie is determined to smuggle a notebook filled with her father’s fairytales to the far side of the world.
 
When Rhys Bevan, a soft-voiced young storyteller and fellow traveller realises Bridie is hiding something, a magical friendship is born. But Rhys has his own secrets and the words written in Bridie’s notebook carry a dark double meaning.
 
As they inch towards their destination, Rhys’s past returns to haunt him. Bridie grapples with the implications of her dad’s final message. The pair take refuge in fairytales, little expecting the trouble it will cause.
 

Odyssey Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 
 
My Review
 
“The Tides Between” by Elizabeth Jane Corbett is a multi-layered coming of age novel.  I was interested in reviewing this book when I read the description and saw that fairy tales are involved.  Obviously, from my blog name, I am a lover of fairy tales.  This isn’t your typical fairy tale, but a very realistic story that incorporates fairy tales in a fascinating way. 

Ms. Corbett tells the story of Bridie, who along with her mother and step father, is on an immigrant vessel travelling from London to Australia in 1841.  “The Tides Between” does a great job of showing the reality of what life is like on the ship and the harsh conditions the passengers have to deal with.  It is so realistic; I often found some parts hard to read.  This realism is a good contrast to Bridie’s fairy tales.  There are a lot of hard topics and tough situations in this story.  Bridie and her new friend Rhys use fairy tales and imagination to help each other through the voyage.  This really goes along with the quote I have as the header on my blog by G.K. Chesterton: “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”  I also love this quote from “The Tides Between”:  “Fairy tales aren’t nonsense…they help us understand our lives.”  This is why the world needs stories, fairy tales and legends and Ms. Corbett conveys that truth so well through her own story!

There are so many great themes woven into the fabric of Ms. Corbett’s story.  Bridie learns about people–how they are complex and that everyone has their own burdens to carry and problems to face.   But we can also help one another and don’t have to face hardship alone.  Ms. Corbett does an amazing job of depicting grief and the way one processes it.  Lastly, Ms. Corbett shows that sometimes as we get older, the hardships of life crowd in and we lose ourselves, our innate sense of wonder and the magic of life.  Often stories can help us to find ourselves and the wonder of life again.  By reading about the courage of others, we can find the strength within ourselves to face the battles and hardships that life throws at us. 

Content: I give this book a PG-13 rating and would only recommend it to adults.  This is a very realistic story.  There are a lot of minor swear words.  The Lord’s name is taken in vain.  There is alcohol and alcoholics.  There is a character with PTSD.  There is physical abuse.  There is talk about a woman’s menstrual cycle.  There is talk about magic and curses.  There is an affair.  There is mention of sex, things related to sex and one brief sex scene (without a lot of detail).  There is talk of a father forcing himself on his daughter. 

Rating: I give this book 4 stars.

Genre: Historical Fiction

I want to thank Elizabeth Jane Corbett, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and Odyssey Books for the complimentary copy of this book for review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.



 

 

About the Author

 
When Elizabeth Jane Corbett isn’t writing, she works as a librarian, teaches Welsh at the Melbourne Celtic Club, writes reviews and articles for the Historical Novel Society and blogs at elizabethjanecorbett.com. In 2009, her short-story, Beyond the Blackout Curtain, won the Bristol Short Story Prize. Another, Silent Night, was short listed for the Allan Marshall Short Story Award. An early draft of her debut novel, The Tides Between, was shortlisted for a HarperCollins Varuna manuscript development award.
 
Elizabeth lives with her husband, Andrew, in a renovated timber cottage in Melbourne’s inner-north. She likes red shoes, dark chocolate, commuter cycling, and reading quirky, character driven novels set once-upon-a-time in lands far, far away.
 
For more information, please visit Elizabeth Jane Corbett’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
 

Blog Tour Schedule

 
Monday, December 4
Review at Back Porchervations
Feature at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, December 5 Guest Post at Booklover Book Reviews
Wednesday, December 6 Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, December 7 Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Friday, December 8 Review & Guest Post at Locks, Hooks and Books
Monday, December 11 Review at Creating Herstory
Tuesday, December 12 Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review at Singing Librarian Books
Wednesday, December 13 Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
 

Giveaway

 
During the Cover Reveal we will be giving away a signed copy of The Tides Between and Bookplate! To enter, please enter via the link below.
 
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

"The Heart of An Agent" by Tracey Lyons Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!



Lyons-TheHeartofanAgent-24864-CV-FT (1)About the Book:


Name of book: The Heart of an Agent

Author: Tracey J. Lyons

Genre: Inspirational historical romance

Release Date: November 7, 2017

 
Tracey J. Lyons, the author of A Changed Agent, returns to the Adirondack Mountains of the 1890s in a novel of love, faith, and secrets…
 
Former Pinkerton spy Lily Handland has always dreamed of a quiet, safe life, free from chasing criminals and putting herself at risk. So when the opportunity to invest in a failing Great Camp in the Adirondacks comes to her attention, she quickly jumps at the chance.
 
Filled with grief, widower Owen Murphy wants to run away from it all. Though he’s worked hard to forge a future for himself, his guilt has kept him mired in the past. But all that changes when a headstrong, mysterious woman shows up at Owen’s door. Together, as Lily and Owen restore the beauty of the Great Camp, he begins to finally see a future. But will learning about Lily’s past destroy it all?
 
Click here to purchase your copy.


My Review:


“The Heart of an Agent” by Tracey J. Lyons is the second book in “Adirondack Pinkertons” series, but can easily be read as a standalone.  I have not read the first book, “A Changed Agent”, but I am now interested in it after reading this book.

Ms. Lyons excels in the way she describes her settings.   This book contains such vivid and beautiful descriptions of the Adirondacks.  Ms. Lyons writes the setting so well that I could picture everything in my mind.  I am not even much of a mountain or wilderness person, but the descriptions won me over so much so that I want to visit the Adirondacks and to go outside more to experience God’s creation.  Ms. Lyons also takes the reader back to a slower paced way of life consisting of small towns and Great Camps.  I enjoyed learning a lot about the Great Camps and the Adirondacks in the 1890s. 

I really love the characters in this story.  I somewhat felt a Beauty and the Beast vibe throughout (I’m not sure if the author intended that or not).  Ms. Lyons shows a very realistic portrayal of grief through her main character, Owen Murphy.  I love our other main character too, Lily Handland, who is a former Pinkerton spy.  Both characters have a faith that grows throughout the story.  I like how the characters pray and quote Scripture.  This book also has a slow building romance, as opposed to insta-love which can feel unnatural.  Because there is so much descriptive language and a love story that builds up over time, it is a slower paced read overall.  When I saw it was about a former Pinkerton agent, I expected there to be more action and more about the Pinkerton Detective Agency in general, but it sounds like that was more in the first book of the series.

“The Heart of an Agent” by Tracey J. Lyons is a book with a sweet romance and a breathtaking setting! 
Content: This is a clean read.  Lily was a salon girl as a part of her job in the past, but she didn’t do anything more than serve drinks.  There is mention of a low neckline on a gown.  There is a brief scene with a drunken man who tries to accost Lily.

Rating:  I give this book 3 ½ stars. 

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction; Romance
I want to thank Tracey J. Lyons, Waterfall Press and Celebrate Lit Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book for review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.





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About the Author:


An Amazon Top Ten bestselling historical romance author of the Adirondack Pinkertons and the Women of Surprise series, Tracey was a 2017 National Excellence Romance Fiction Award finalist. She sold her first book on 9/9/99! Her books have been translated into several languages and are available in print, digital and audio formats. A true upstate New Yorker, Tracey believes you should write what you know. Her historical romances are all set in the New York State area. Tracey considers herself a small town gal who writes small town romances. You can learn more about Tracey and her books by visiting her website at www.traceylyons.com.


Guest Post from Tracey Lyons


My family and I spent a lot of time in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. When I came up with the idea for the Pinkerton series, I knew the books had to be set in a place that I loved. The Heart of An Agent, book 2 in The Adirondack Pinkertons series takes place at an Adirondack great camp. Imagine a time when people would travel from faraway places to hike the many trails or lounge on a porch in one of the famed Adirondack chairs. These intricate, grand structures, built during the latter part of the nineteenth century are part of the unique landscape and history that makes up the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. I enjoyed creating the fictional Murphy camp, the setting for Lily Handland and Owen Murphy’s story.

Blog Stops

 
Just the Write Escape, November 30
Texas Book-aholic, December 1
A Greater Yes, December 2
Multifarious, December 3
Carpe Diem, December 6
Bibliophile Reviews, December 7
Pause for Tales, December 8
With a Joyful Noise, December 9
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 10
Daysong Reflections, December 10
Mary Hake, December 11
My Writer’s Life, December 12
Books n Baubles, December 12
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 13
 

Giveaway

 

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To celebrate her tour, Tracey is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a tea-time themed gift box (Valued at over $75) and a $25 Visa Gift Card!!

 
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1f6