Friday, August 21, 2015

Author Spotlight: Bob Strother's "Burning Time"


ISBN: 978-0-9743410-8-8
Cover Price: $23.95
Publisher: MOONSHINE PRESS


ABOUT


Louise Schmidt would sacrifice almost anything to protect and provide for her family—even her innocence…

Set in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the early 1900s, "Burning Time" portrays the life of Louise Schmidt, from early childhood to adulthood, as Louise, her mother, and younger brother fight to survive the abuse of Louise’s father, Will.
The largess of Will’s parents initially provides refuge from her father’s drunken exploits, but Louise learns too young that nothing lasts forever. Though previously ostracized from the family, the prodigal son returns at the behest of his ailing father, and brings along a new wife, Maude, who fans the flames of Will’s inherent avarice and disregard for his former wife and children.
At fifteen, Louise is forced from the only home she’s ever known and into marriage with a man ten years her senior.  Even as Louise comes to terms with her life and assumes the role of family matriarch, she still must face the consequences of her actions—including a death sentence for murder…
PRAISE
One part Southern Gothic, one part crime novel, one part coming-of-age story, Burning Time is a compelling read I couldn’t put down. It’s beautifully delivered in Strother’s clear, concise prose and authentic Southern voice.
—Susan M. Boyer, USA TODAY Bestselling Author of the Liz Talbot Mystery Series
A page-turner of historical fiction! Strother is a class act whose prose does not disappoint. He has mastered the art of rooting the reader in the time period and then supported that with a great coming of age tale.
—David Burnsworth, Author of the Brack Pelton Mystery Series
PURCHASE

Monday, August 3, 2015

Author Spotlight: Rachel Demeter and "Finding Gabriel"

Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die.

After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon's army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger. 

FINDING GABRIEL - coverBut fate has a different plan. 

Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she's moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home. 

Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah – and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah's own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts – or will the cycle of history repeat again?  

Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley's Lord of Ice and Judith James's Broken Wing, Finding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.

Available August 27, 2015 from Momentum (Pan Macmillan) and can be pre-ordered at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play.


Author bio

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of eleven years. She enjoys writing dark, poignant romances that challenge the reader's emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.
RachelDemeter_portrait

Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel's passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.

Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.
Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

Don't be a stranger! Rachel loves to connect and interact with her readers: 



Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: Sally Christie's "The Sisters of Versailles"

Hello dear readers!

Today I bring you a review of Sally Christie's upcoming novel, "The Sisters of Versailles". I was immediately excited upon sighting the novel on Netgalley and I was not disappointed. Christie explores the previously neglected reign of Louis XV and the result is nothing short of page turning.

This fascinating fictional (but still accurate) account takes on the lives of the notorious Mailly-Nesle. The five sisters--Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne were brought up in the shadow of Versailles and expected to marry well. Instead, four of them become royal mistresses. Louise is the first to go to Versailles and capture the heart of King Louis VX. Naive and pure of heart, Louise is Louis's first documented mistress, but her unaffected ways and sweet spirit are overthrown by the arrival of Pauline. Described in the novel as "a force of nature", Pauline is determined to seduce the king and make a name for herself. The two sisters co-exist in a strange menage trois until Pauline's death leaves a void. Then Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne arrive on the scene, but it is the youngest Mailly-Nesle sister who impacts the king in ways previously not seen. Marie-Anne is determined to use her position to live the good life, but there are always sacrifices and consequences.

Louis XV's fascination with the Mailly-Nesle sisters was certainly a unique situation and one that has been surprisingly unexplored in the past. Sally Christie brings all five sisters to life, alternating each chapter with a new voice and view. The fact that each sister's voice is distinct is clear evidence of Christie's talents as a writer. The reader in turns will find themselves laughing with, rolling their eyes at, or downright hating the sisters. This lovely novel is not to be missed! There were many nights that I stayed awake long past my bedtime because I didn't want to put it down. It hits bookshelves on September 1, 2015 and can be pre-ordered through Amazon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Review: Marci Jefferson's "Enchantress of Paris"

"Enchantress of Paris" details the rise and fall of Marie Mancini, niece of the powerful Cardinal Mazarin and possible true love of Louis XIV. Destined for convent, the willful and clever Marie strikes out on her own after catching the eye of the young Louis. Her uncle seeks to use her to control the king, but Marie sees Louis as more than a pawn. Their love electrifies the court, but as time comes for Louis to wed, Marie must outwit her uncle in an attempt to forge her own destiny.

"Enchantress of Paris" is similar to Marci Jefferson's debut novel "Girl on the Golden Coin" in that it details the life of a king's mistress. Pitted against forces larger than herself, Marie is determined to outfox the horoscope cast by her astrologer father and live her life happily. She is bold and cunning, but not without heart. The love she has for the king forces her to do the wise thing but not without consequences to herself and those around her. She is ultimately defeated by her uncle--she loses the battle, but not perhaps not the war as she goes on to live a scandalous but full life.

The characters are well drawn; Marie sparkles with vibrancy while Louis is young and all too trusting--truly the man before he becomes the great Sun King. Cardinal Mazarin is perfectly wicked while a host of other characters manage to carry their own plot points. The pacing starts to lag towards the end as Marie and Louis struggle in vain to be together, but character investment at that point spurs the reader on.

Marci Jefferson brings 17th century France to life in "Enchantress of Paris"; lovers of historical fiction will enjoy this new novel.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Author Spotlight: Diann Ducharme and The Outer Banks House

The Outer Banks House

02_The Outer Banks House_Cover
Publication Date: June 8, 2010
Crown Publishing
Formats: Ebook, Paperback, Hardcover

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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As the wounds of the Civil War are just beginning to heal, one fateful summer would forever alter the course of a young girl's life.

In 1868, on the barren shores of post-war Outer Banks North Carolina, the once wealthy Sinclair family moves for the summer to one of the first cottages on the ocean side of the resort village of Nags Head. Seventeen-year-old Abigail is beautiful, book-smart, but sheltered by her plantation life and hemmed-in by her emotionally distant family. To make good use of time, she is encouraged by her family to teach her father?s fishing guide, the good-natured but penniless Benjamin Whimble, how to read and write. And in a twist of fate unforeseen by anyone around them, there on the porch of the cottage, the two come to love each other deeply, and to understand each other in a way that no one else does.

But when, against everything he claims to represent, Ben becomes entangled in Abby's father's Klu Klux Klan work, the terrible tragedy and surprising revelations that one hot Outer Banks night brings forth threaten to tear them apart forever.

With vivid historical detail and stunning emotional resonance, Diann Ducharme recounts a dramatic story of love, loss, and coming of age at a singular and rapidly changing time in one of America?s most beautiful and storied communities.

Download the Lost Chapter of The Outer Banks House.

Praise for The Outer Banks House

There's real darkness on the edge of this romance that hurls the lovers toward tragedy, as if the price to re-enter the innocence of Eden might afford Abby nothing but despair. This 2010 debut novel and portrayal of the historical Outer Banks offers a terrific option for beach reading; it's the sort of novel that can be charming without requiring an abundance of character complexity and depth. Abby's evolution ultimately parallels the positive aspects of how the South reconciled to change after the Civil War, a change that required a culture of ignorance to wash out to sea. -Style Weekly Review

It's 1868, and the natives of North Carolina's Outer Banks think the Sinclairs' summer residence on the beach at Nags Head is right peculiar. Seventeen-year-old Abigail Sinclair is enlisted by her parents to teach Ben Whimble, her father's fishing guide, to read. Abby is being courted by medical student Hector Newman and is appalled at the dirty and perpetually barefoot Ben. But Abby is also restless and slowly sees in Ben more than just a willing pupil. Ben might be getting sweet on his teacher as well, but her father has involved him in a matter that doesn't sit right with the Banker, knowing that freedmen and runaway slaves have long lived contentedly out on Roanoke Island. It?s just three years since the end of the war, and for some, that isn't long enough. VERDICT: First time novelist Ducharme has laced her novel with the sounds and the smells of the North Carolina shoreline. Racism and Southern tradition run along parallel paths in this affecting debut, where gentlemen can be less than honorable and enslavement doesn't always involve chains. Highly recommended for fans of Southern fiction. - Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal, Starred Review

A heart-felt and engrossing novel about the coming of age of two very different young people in the South just after the Civil War: a curious upper-class girl from an almost bankrupt plantation and a handsome young barefoot fisherman made of sand and seawater who comes to her to learn to read. What they learn from each other about tolerance and caring in those turbulent times will change their lives forever. A beautiful sense of this place by the sea, of a country in conflict, of death and redemption, and of new love. - Stephanie Cowell, Author of CLAUDE & CAMILLE: A NOVEL OF CLAUDE MONET and MARRYING MOZART

The Outer Banks House is a beautifully written and deeply moving story of a sheltered young woman's awakening to life, love and the injustice of discrimination against former slaves. In theme and impact, shades of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn; in the evocative setting and fresh voice, a unique novel all its own. - Karen Harper, Author of THE QUEEN'S GOVERNESS

Buy The Outer Banks House

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Crown Publishing
IndieBound

Return to the Outer Banks House

03_Return to the Outer Banks House_Cover
Publication Date: December 10, 2014
Kill Devil Publishing
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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She was the spirited daughter of a North Carolina plantation owner, and he was a poor fisherman who she tutored on the porch of her family's Nags Head cottage. When we last saw Abigail Sinclair and Ben Whimble at the close of The Outer Banks House, they'd overcome their differences in life stations and defied convention to begin their new life together.

But now it's seven years later, and Return to the Outer Banks House finds the couple married and in hard times riddled by poverty, miscarriages, and weakened family ties. The strong bonds that once held them together have eroded over time, and their marriage threatens to unravel, particularly when relationships from the past and ambitions for the future find their way into the mismatched couple?s present predicament.

Can their love survive? Or are the challenges they face insurmountable? Return to the Outer Banks House carries readers back to 1875 to answer these questions and explore the ebb and flow of a rocky marriage set against the enchanting North Carolina shoreline. Replete with history, intrigue, and plenty of maritime drama, it's an evocative tale of struggle in the Reconstruction-era South.

Praise for Return to the Outer Banks House

Set between 1875 and 76, Ducharme's story, this being the sequel to The Outer Banks House (2010), is about love and its many faces, from young and reckless to unrequited. Specifically, she explores the unlikely passion that forms between smart, affluent Abigail Sinclair and uneducated, penniless Benjamin Whimble. The people of this tight knit island community on the Outer Banks, off the coast of North Carolina, are connected by their collective poverty and abiding love for the sea. Outsiders are generally unwelcome... - Kirkus Reviews

Buy Return to the Outer Banks House

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound

04_Diann Ducharme_AuthorAbout the Author

Diann was born in Indiana in 1971, but she spent the majority of her childhood in Newport News, Virginia. She majored in English literature at the University of Virginia, but she never wrote creatively until, after the birth of her second child in 2003, she sat down to write The Outer Banks House. She soon followed up with her second book, Chasing Eternity, and in 2015 the sequel to her first novel, Return to the Outer Banks House.

Diann has vacationed on the Outer Banks since the age of three. She even married her husband of 10 years, Sean Ducharme, in Duck, North Carolina, immediately after a stubborn Hurricane Bonnie churned through the Outer Banks. Conveniently, the family beach house in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina provided shelter while she conducted research for her historical fiction novels.

She has three beach-loving children and a border collie named Toby, who enjoys his sprints along the shore. The family lives in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, counting down the months until summer.

For more information visit Diann Ducharme's website. You can also follow Diann on her blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Outer Banks Series Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at Raven Haired Girl

Tuesday, May 26
Guest Post & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

Wednesday, May 27
Review (Book One) at Back Porchervations

Thursday, May 28
Review (Book One) at In a Minute

Friday, May 29
Interview & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Saturday, May 30
Spotlight at Becky on Books

Sunday, May 31
Review (Book One) at Book Nerd

Monday, June 1
Review (Book Two) at Let them Read Books
Spotlight at I'd So Rather Be Reading

Tuesday, June 2
Review (Book One) at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, June 3
Review (Book Two) at Back Porchervations

Thursday, June 4
Spotlight & Giveaway (Book One) at View from the Birdhouse

Friday, June 5
Review (Both Books) at Bibliotica

Sunday, June 7
Review (Book One) at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, June 8
Review (Book One) at Ageless Pages Reviews
Guest Post at Curling Up With A Good Book

Tuesday, June 9
Review & Giveaway (Book One) at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, June 10
Review (Both Books) at Unshelfish
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, June 11
Review (Book Two) at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Friday, June 12
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes

Sunday, June 14
Review (Book Two) at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, June 15
Review & Giveaway (Both Books) at Genre Queen

Tuesday, June 16
Interview at Books and Benches
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, June 17
Review (Both Books) at Luxury Reading

Thursday, June 18
Review (Book One) at Books and Benches
Interview at Layered Pages

Friday, June 19
Review (Book One) at Build a Bookshelf
Review (Book Two) at Ageless Pages Reviews

05_Outer Banks Series_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hot Book Alert! Pre-order Sophie Perinot's "Medici's Daughter"!

The wait is over. Sophie Perinot, author of The Sister Queens, has a new book available for pre-order! Medicis Daughter travels forward three-hundred years from Perinot’s last novel to the intrigue-riven French court of Charles IX, spinning the tale of beautiful princess Marguerite who walks the knife’s edge between the demands of her serpentine mother, Catherine de Medicis, and those of her own conscience. This is a coming-of-age story that will remind audiences that, when it comes to the 16th century, the Valois are even sexier than the Tudors—and just as treacherous.

02_Medici's Daughter_Cover
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Winter, 1564. Beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France, where nothing is what it seems and a wrong word can lead to ruin. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Margot’s intimidating mother, Queen Catherine de Médicis, is a powerful force in a country devastated by religious war. Among the crafty nobility of the royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her poisonous family. Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot accepts her role as a marriage pawn, even as she is charmed by the powerful, charismatic Duc de Guise. Though Margot's heart belongs to Guise, her hand will be offered to Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic looking to seal a tenuous truce. But the promised peace is a mirage: her mother's schemes are endless, and her brothers plot vengeance in the streets of Paris. When Margot's wedding devolves into the bloodshed of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, she will be forced to choose between her family and her soul. Médicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history.


Praise for Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois

“This is Renaissance France meets Game of Thrones: dark, sumptuous historical fiction that coils religious strife, court intrigue, passionate love, family hatred, and betrayed innocence like a nest of poisonous snakes. Beautiful Princess Margot acts as our guide to the heart of her violent family, as she blossoms from naive court pawn to woman of conscience and renown. A highly recommended coming-of-age tale where the princess learns to slay her own dragons!” --Kate Quinn, Bestselling author of LADY OF THE ETERNAL CITY "The riveting story of a 16th century French princess caught in the throes of royal intrigue and religious war. From the arms of the charismatic Duke of Guise to the blood-soaked streets of Paris, Princess Marguerite runs a dangerous gauntlet, taking the reader with her. An absolutely gripping read!" --Michelle Moran, bestselling author of THE REBEL QUEEN "Rising above the chorus of historical drama is Perinot's epic tale of the fascinating, lascivious, ruthless House of Valois, as told through the eyes of the complicated and intelligent Princess Marguerite. Burdened by her unscrupulous family and desperate for meaningful relationships, Margot is forced to navigate her own path in sixteenth century France. Amid wars of nation and heart, Médicis Daughter brilliantly demonstrates how one unique woman beats staggering odds to find the strength and power that is her birthright." --Erika Robuck, bestselling author of HEMINGWAY'S GIRL


Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois Available for Pre-Order at


About the Author

SP SmallSOPHIE PERINOT is the author of The Sister Queens and one of six contributing authors of A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii. A former attorney, Perinot is now a full-time writer. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia with her three children, three cats, one dog and one husband. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, Sophie has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences and served as a panelist multiple times. Find her among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal or on facebook at www.facebook.com/sophie.perinot.author.


Médicis Daughter Pre-Order Blitz Schedule

Monday, June 8 The True Book Addict Peeking Between the Pages So Many Books, So Little Time Tuesday, June 9 Unshelfish 100 Pages a Day A Book Drunkard The Reading Queen The Never-Ending Book Wednesday, June 10 Broken Teepee Passages to the Past Just One More Chapter Historical Fiction Connection Historical Readings & Reviews Thursday, June 11 A Bookish Affair Let Them Read Books Caroline Wilson Writes Svetlana's Reads and Views Friday, June 12 Boom Baby Reviews CelticLady's Reviews Book Lovers Paradise What Is That Book About



Thursday, May 28, 2015

Non-fiction Spotlight: "Only Yesterday" and "Since Yesterday"

Today I'm pleased to spotlight two books that will be of enormous help to those of you writing books in the 1920s and 1930s. Of course, if you're a fan of those decades, you will also find these books very interesting.

Only Yesterday and Since Yesterday were published by Frederick Lewis Allen in the 30s and 40s. Allen was a journalist who wrote many pieces for such publications as Atlantic Monthly and Harper's. These books are being re-released in digital format and can be found at Amazon.

Only Yesterday begins when President Woodrow Wilson declared the end of World War I in a letter to the American public, and continuing through his defeat, Prohibition, the Big Red Scare, the rise of women’s hem lines, and the stock market crash of 1929. Allen, of course, was a first witness to all these events, so this is a very interesting piece of primary history. Since Yesterday picks up where Only Yesterday left off. Published in 1940, starts in the days before the stock market crash.  From the Lindbergh kidnapping to the New Deal, from the devastating dust storms that raged through our farmlands to the rise of Benny Goodman, the public adoration of Shirley Temple, and our mass escape to the movies, this book is a hopeful and powerful reminder of why history matters.


 Both books are now available.