Audiobook Review: Bloomsbury Girls

17 May

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner is a sequel of sorts of the author’s highly acclaimed novel, The Jane Austen Society. One character from the first book is part of the story as the reader is transported to a book store in early 1950s London. It’s a must read for bibliophiles, but it so much more than books. 😉 I liked it very much. Find all the details and my thoughts below.

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Natalie Jenner, the internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world in Bloomsbury Girls.

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager’s unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiancĂ© was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances–most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she’s been working to support the family following her husband’s breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she’s working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time–Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others–these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

BOOK TRAILER

AUDIOBOOK

Narrated by esteemed stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson, enjoy the full unabridged edition of Bloomsbury Girls. “Stevenson delivers the satisfying triumph at the end with perfect polish.” —AudioFile Magazine

AUDIOBOOK EXCERPT 

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB

AUDIOBOOK

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS

MY IMPRESSIONS:

I loved The Jane Austen Society, so when I heard Natalie Jenner had another book-related novel, I said yes, please! Bloomsbury Girls takes Evie Stone from Jenner’s first novel, and places her, along with a strong cast of characters, in the book shop Bloomsbury Books. Jenner does an admirable job of transporting the reader back to post-WWII England as many strive to find new lives in the ever-changing aftermath of the war. Class distinctions and the place of women and minorities in a new world are explored amid the bookshelves of a grand, but struggling bookstore. And for the bibliophiles among us, there are plenty of interactions with publishing notables and favorite authors. (My favorite, Daphne DuMaurier, plays an integral role.) The struggles of a society are mirrored in the microcosm of the bookstore. Characterization is a strong point of this book. Main and supporting characters alike are fully developed. I listened to the audiobook version of the novel which was excellently read by Juliet Stevenson. If you are a fan of audiobooks, I suggest you download this one soon.

Bloomsbury Girls is an outstanding general market novel that I won’t hesitate to recommend. Filled with historical detail, societal issues that make one think, and characters to love, it is a recommended read.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I received a link to the audiobook from AustenProse. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Natalie Jenner is the author of the instant international bestseller The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls. A Goodreads Choice Award runner-up for historical fiction and finalist for best debut novel, The Jane Austen Society was a USA Today and #1 national bestseller and has been sold for translation in twenty countries. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer, career coach and, most recently, an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. Visit her website to learn more.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

A message from the author:


Dear readers, I am immensely grateful for the outpouring of affection that so many of you have expressed for my debut novel The Jane Austen Society and its eight main characters. When I wrote its epilogue (in one go and without ever changing a word), I wanted to give each of Adam, Mimi, Dr. Gray, Adeline, Yardley, Frances, Evie and Andrew the happy Austenesque ending they each deserved. But I could not let go of servant girl Evie Stone, the youngest and only character inspired by real life (my mother, who had to leave school at age fourteen, and my daughter, who does eighteenth-century research for a university professor and his team). Bloomsbury Girls continues Evie’s adventures into a 1950s London bookshop where there is a battle of the sexes raging between the male managers and the female staff, who decide to pull together their smarts, connections, and limited resources to take over the shop and make it their own. There are dozens of new characters in Bloomsbury Girls from several different countries, and audiobook narration was going to require a female voice of the highest training and caliber. When I learned that British stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson, CBE, had agreed to narrate, I knew that my story could not be in better hands, and I so hope you enjoy reading or listening to it. Warmest regards, Natalie

Audiobook Mini-Review: The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post.

16 May

Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweather Post lived an epic life few could imagine.
 
Marjorie’s journey began gluing cereal boxes in her father’s barn as a young girl. No one could have predicted that C. W. Post’s Cereal Company would grow into the General Foods empire and reshape the American way of life, with Marjorie as its heiress and leading lady. Not content to stay in her prescribed roles of high-society wife, mother, and hostess, Marjorie dared to demand more, making history in the process. Before turning thirty she amassed millions, becoming the wealthiest woman in the United States. But it was her life-force, advocacy, passion, and adventurous spirit that led to her stunning legacy.
 
And yet Marjorie’s story, though full of beauty and grandeur, set in the palatial homes she built such as Mar-a-Lago, was equally marked by challenge and tumult. A wife four times over, Marjorie sought her happily-ever-after with the blue-blooded party boy who could not outrun his demons, the charismatic financier whose charm turned to betrayal, the international diplomat with a dark side, and the bon vivant whose shocking secrets would shake Marjorie and all of society. Marjorie did everything on a grand scale, especially when it came to love.

Bestselling and acclaimed author Allison Pataki has crafted an intimate portrait of a larger-than-life woman, a powerful story of one woman falling in love with her own voice and embracing her own power while shaping history in the process.

Allison Pataki is the New York Times bestselling author of THE QUEEN’S FORTUNE, THE TRAITOR’S WIFE, THE ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS, SISI: EMPRESS ON HER OWN, WHERE THE LIGHT FALLS, as well as the nonfiction memoir BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES and two children’s books, NELLY TAKES NEW YORK and POPPY TAKES PARIS. Allison’s novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. A former news writer and producer, Allison has written for The New York Times, ABC News, The Huffington Post, USA Today, Fox News and other outlets. She has appeared on The TODAY Show, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, Good Day New York, Good Day Chicago and MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Allison graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years in journalism before switching to fiction writing. A member of The Historical Novel Society, Allison lives in New York with her husband and family. To learn more and connect with Allison, please visit http://www.AllisonPataki.com or Twitter @AllisonPataki.

My Impressions:

I am a member of a book club that loves to read biographical fiction. Think fictionalized accounts of real people. We chose The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post because we have read and loved other of Allison Pataki‘s novels and because the subject character, Marjorie Merriweather Post, sounded fascinating. It got an unanimous thumbs up from us. The story is told in the first person voice of Marjorie Post, giving the reader an inside look into the workings of a very interesting woman. Smart, determined, resourceful — Marjorie took her company to new levels of success. She also had lots of marriages, and we felt that the one-sided viewpoint may have been a little biased. 😉 But we loved tagging along with Marjorie as she built Mar-A-Lago, wooed and wowed the DC elite, and rescued priceless Russian treasures. The audiobook version was well read, and made me find excuses to listen longer. If you are looking for an engaging read featuring a real-life person, I recommend this book. (Please note this is a general market novel.)

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine.)

First Line Friday — False Pretense

13 May

Happy Friday! Tomorrow is my birthday, so I will be treating myself to a little reading. Just like every other day of the year, LOL! Seriously though, I am so excited to begin False Pretense, the final book in the Murder in The Mountains series by Heather Day Gilbert. I love main character Tess Spencer, and while I am looking forward to this book, I know I will be a little sad that the series is ending. If you haven’t read this 4-book series yet, you are in for a treat.

Here’s the first line:

A layer of frost has coated the grass as I step outside and take a deep breath of the October morning air.

Beloved amateur sleuth Tess Spencer returns in this fourth and final Murder in the Mountains mystery.

Tess has her work cut out for her—from her day job at the police station to her nights on the campaign trail with her husband, she’s stretched thin. Her two young children also keep her busy, but thankfully she has a supportive mother-in-law who lives just next door.

When the legendary Mothman makes a terrifying appearance and a local librarian goes missing, Tess feels compelled to get involved, convinced something evil has been unleashed on her little town. Then another woman disappears—this one bearing an eerie resemblance to Tess—and the police receive a cryptic message hinting that a serial killer is on the prowl.

After a nightmarish turn of events completely upends the Spencer family, Tess musters her courage to hunt for the monstrous murderer in the woods…even if she has to walk straight into the Mothman’s lair to do it.

False Pretense brings a stunning and memorable conclusion to the award-winning Murder in the Mountains series.

Children’s Corner: This Farm Is A Family

12 May

This Farm Is A Family by Dan McKernan and illustrated by Denise Hughes is a children’s storybook based on a real life sanctuary farm and its real life inhabitants. Kids will love the cute and quirky animals that have formed a family along with Farmer Dan. The animals all care about each other and are eager to welcome a new member into their family. Lessons on acceptance, patience, and love are played out within the pages of this book. If your child has a soft spot for animals, like my granddaughter does, I think this book would be a great choice for your family library. At the end of the book you and your child can learn more about Barn Sanctuary and ways to help in their rescue of abused and neglected farm animals.

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

In this adorable illustrated picture book for kids written by Dan McKernan (Saved by the Barn), the rescue farm animals at Barn Sanctuary decide to help a cow who is dealing with fear and anxiety in her new home. Children will learn the importance of friendship and compassion, as well as why it’s important to support others during hard times.

Inside this book, kids ages 4-8 will discover:

  • A positive message about friendship, kindness, and understanding others
  • How to show compassion to others
  • Ways of coping with difficult situations, including how to deal with fear and anxiety
  • A page with information on Barn Sanctuary and their rescue efforts, with information on ways you can support the real-life animals featured in the book

This Farm Is a Family follows a group of rescued farm animals who are living their best lives at Barn Sanctuary. Each one is eager to meet the newest arrival, Buttercup the cow, and show her all the fun things they can do together. But Buttercup doesn’t want to play–in fact, she doesn’t want anything to do with the other animals. So with a lot of love and understanding, the animals work together to help Buttercup discover she’s part of a new family and can leave her old fears behind.

Dan McKernan is the Founder of Barn Sanctuary and star of the popular Animal Planet series Saved by the Barn. In 2015, Dan left his tech job in Austin, Texas, to transform his family’s 140-year-old farm into a safe haven for farmed animals. That safe haven is Barn Sanctuary. Author of a forthcoming children’s book, “This Farm Is a Family,” Dan’s mission, through the work of Barn Sanctuary, is to change the way the world views farmed animals and help lead society towards a more compassionate and plant-based lifestyle.

Author, Author! — Janet Sketchley

11 May

Please welcome Janet Sketchely, author of Bitter Truth, book 3 in the Green Dory Inn Mystery Series. I love talking to authors about what motivates them, how they organize their writing life, and the books that they have created. Thanks Janet for sharing with my readers!

Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

I did make up stories as a child—I even cleared out a corner of my closet for a tiny writing nook, although I don’t think I ever finished anything I started. My teen years brought other interests, and it wasn’t until my late 20s or early 30s that I started writing again.  


Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

My grade 9 English teacher, Mr. Campbell, was a great encourager. My short stories then bear no resemblance to what I write now. I did send him a copy of my first book to thank him for his influence, and he appreciated the gesture but I don’t know what he thought of the story.

Why did you choose Christian mystery/suspense?

The genre chose me! I had this idea of a woman abducted by the serial killer she’d been praying for—and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Basically I started writing in hopes it’d go away. (It was eventually published as Heaven’s Prey.) By the time I finished, I knew I wanted to keep writing Christian fiction because I value stories that show people working out how their faith applies to life’s challenges. I lightened the suspense level but continued with mystery-suspense because those are some of my favourite stories to read.

Were there any obstacles you faced in your journey to publication?

Other than learning how to craft fiction well enough? 😊 It was almost 25 years before that first book found a home, so I’m definitely on the slow road. As a Canadian writer, I’ve faced a few extra challenges over my US peers. Attending conferences allowed me to connect with a few agents and publishers, and online groups like American Christian Fiction Writers also helped bridge that divide.

What types of research do you pursue? Books, on-site visits, etc.

I like to do on-site visits when I can, to get a feel for the setting and atmosphere. And I’ve joined a couple of Facebook groups for the area where my stories are set (locals give great information!) and one where writers can ask medical research questions. Most of my research is online, though. Google is my friend, even for things like street view of a location.

What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

My goal is to spend weekday afternoons writing. Far too often I lose some of that time to other responsibilities. I’m ever more aware of the need to start each writing time with prayer—this is too big and too complex for me to craft a God-honouring story and characters on my own. I like to start with a tumbler of ice water or a cup of tea. Right now, the plotting stage, involves covering my table with sheets of graph paper and breaking out the coloured pens and highlighters. I’ll eventually move to my laptop to develop an outline and to write.

How long does it usually take to craft your books?

I think I can do it in a year, but between COVID-19 and family health issues, the last one was two years or more. I love being an independent publisher, because deadlines stress me. I still want to produce books in a regular and timely manner, but as one of my characters (he’s a writer) likes to point out, “deadline” contains the word “dead.”

Can you tell us a little about what inspired your latest novel?

Bitter Truth is book 3 in my Green Dory Inn Mystery Series, so I already knew the setting and the series characters. This particular story came from an idea I’d had about a young woman returning to her hometown to regroup and being pushed over a cliff by someone who perceived her as a threat. The mental picture was of her on the side of a cliff, being held in place by a passing motorcyclist who’d seen the attack and climbed down to help her. Bitter Truth also let me introduce a character I’ve thought about for years but didn’t know how I’d use him. The original concept wasn’t one I wanted to write, but I’m pleased with how he “adapted” to this story and allowed me to address his core idea.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

“Whatever happens, Jesus will be there.” I often sign that in books. Too many times, when we imagine troubling “what ifs,” we imagine ourselves facing them alone. I hope readers will be satisfied that they’ve enjoyed a good story, but I also pray that a reader who needs a little spiritual encouragement will find it in what the characters learn in their struggles.

Readers always want to know what is next for an author. Do you have any works in progress you can share about?

I’m excited about Green Dory Inn 4, which will be a Christmas book. So far, I have an unwelcome snow globe gift, a cast of suspects, a victim, and a killer. And I’ve “overheard” a conversation between two series regulars about “invisible mistletoe.” The way Bitter Truth ended, neither of them will be expecting that!

Janet Sketchley is the author of the Green Dory Inn Mystery Series, the Redemption’s Edge Christian suspense series, and the daily devotional books A Year of Tenacity and Tenacity at Christmas. She likes her fiction with a splash of mystery and a dash of Christianity. Why leave faith out of our stories if it’s part of our lives? Janet writes in Atlantic Canada, and you can find her online at https://janetsketchley.ca/. Or you can follow Janet on BookBub at https://bit.ly/JanetSketchleyBookBub.

Who would want Ciara dead? And why?

Against all odds, Landon Smith and her ordinary-hero neighbour Bobby Hawke survived a murderous plot six weeks ago. Now, she’s determined to leave solving mysteries to the experts—like handsome local police officer Dylan Tremblay.

But when a friend is nearly killed in a daring daylight attack, Landon can’t sit this out. Not when she knows the anger of being a victim.

Her faith tells her to leave room for God’s vengeance. Her heart says to retaliate.

The fight to expose Ciara’s enemy will uncover secrets and betrayal that could cost Landon her life.

If you like clean Christian mystery and suspense, read Bitter Truth today!

PURCHASE LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MDY3SZQ

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Welcome to the Green Dory Inn, a fictional bed & breakfast set outside the real town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Meet Landon, a young Christian woman with a traumatic past. And Anna, recently widowed, who owns the inn.

Meet Roy, their wisecracking elderly neighbour, and his adult grandson Bobby, who writes space novels.

And meet the cats, fastidious Timkin and the battle-scarred marmalade stray.

Come for the clean, faith-based mysteries.
Stay for the characters.



TITLES IN THE GREEN DORY INN MYSTERY SERIES:

Unknown Enemy(novella length) Who is the secretive prowler harassing innkeeper Anna?

Hidden Secrets(novel length) What secrets has the inn’s original owner left behind, and how far will Anna’s enemy go to find them?

Bitter Truth (novel length) Who would want Ciara dead? And why?

And more TBA…

If you like clean Christian mystery and suspense, visit the Green Dory Inn today!

Top 10 Tuesday — Professional Book Pushers

10 May

Happy Tuesday! This week’s prompt is a joy. It’s all about bookish characters. I chose to focus on books in which the main character(s) is a professional book pusher — one who gets paid to get someone to read. (As opposed to those of us who just do it for fun. 🙂 ) Basically booksellers and librarians. I am currently listening to The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar. It is riveting, and naturally it is on my list. With the variety of genres represented, I hope you find a book to pique your interest.

For more lists of bookish characters, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Professional Book Pushers

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Camino Island by John Grisham

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

Miss Zukas And The Library Murders by Jo Dereske

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

The Secrets of Paper And Ink by Lindsey Harrel

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Children’s Corner: How High Is Heaven

9 May

I really liked the children’s book, How High Is Heaven by Linsey Davis. The author takes a difficult subject, the death of a loved one, and creates a hope-filled book that will speak to the hearts of children ages 4-8. With rhyme and vivid illustrations, this storybook tells of a young boy’s honest questions of how he can see his grandmother again. This is not a sad book at all, but a celebration of life here on earth as well as in heaven. I loved the last line — One day I’ll see gran, but until that time . . . I’ll enjoy heaven here on earth. If your family is going through the loss of a family member, I highly recommend this book. It speaks to a child’s honest questions and the promises they can find in God.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children ask A LOT of questions when it comes to heaven, particularly when they’ve experienced the loss of a loved one. In this uplifting, imaginative picture book, How High Is Heaven? inspires hope and comfort in readers young and old, that heaven can be experienced here and now and is open for us all. 

Bestselling author and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis invites children to explore age-appropriate questions about heaven. Kids (and their parents) can celebrate that, thanks to God’s grace, heaven is a place we can look forward to while finding moments of heaven here on earth.  

How High Is Heaven? is the perfect books for parents and grandparents to read aloud and provides an uplifting message for kids ages 4-8, delivering: 

  • Read-aloud, lyrical rhymes  
  • Whimsical, engaging illustrations by Lucy Fleming 
  • Answers to children’s questions about heaven
 and a safe place to ask them  
  • Comfort to those who have lost a loved one 

Linsey Davis is an Emmy Award winning ABC News Correspondent, filing reports for World News, Good Morning America, 20/20 and Nightline. She has covered major news stories around the globe, and is excited to share her latest story, THE WORLD IS AWAKE with the world. 

For Davis her three-year-old son served as her inspiration, and Psalm 118:24 is the blueprint of the book: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” 

“Almost daily he takes my hand and he leads me into the world around him with fresh eyes, and it serves as a subtle reminder of all the reasons to rejoice and anticipate each new day. The World is Awake is a whimsical look at all that is extraordinary in an ordinary day. It is an exploration of the splendor and majesty of God’s blessings all around us through the lens of young people.”

In addition to her role at ABC, she is a Christian, wife, mother and author. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and the National Association of Black Journalists.

First Line Friday — The Librarian of Saint-Malo

6 May

Happy Friday! I have been wanting to read The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar for a long time. I even have a physical copy of the book on my shelf. But it’s been put back so many times, I despaired of every getting to it. Until . . . I discovered that my local library, through Libby, had the audiobook version available to borrow. Yay! I am finally reading/listening. Have you read this book? I’d love to know your thoughts.

In the meantime, here’s the first line.

Dear Marcel Zola:

Time takes care with no one.

Saint-Malo, France: August 1938. Jocelyn and Antoine are childhood sweethearts, but just after they marry and are hoping for a child, Antoine is called up to fight against Germany. As the war rages, Jocelyn focuses on comforting and encouraging the local population by recommending books from her beloved library in Saint-Malo. She herself finds hope in her letters to a famous author.

After the French capitulation, the s occupy the town and turn it into a fortress to control the north of French Brittany. Residents try passive resistance, but the German commander ruthlessly purges part of the city’s libraries to destroy any potentially subversive writings. At great risk to herself, Jocelyn manages to hide some of the books while waiting to receive news from Antoine, who has been taken to a German prison camp.

What unfolds in her letters is Jocelyn’s description of her mission: to protect the people of Saint-Malo and the books they hold so dear. With prose both sweeping and romantic, Mario Escobar brings to life the occupied city and re-creates the history of those who sacrificed all to care for the people they loved.

Book Review: The Murder of Mr. Wickham

5 May

  • Title: The Murder of Mr. Wickham
  • Author: Claudia Gray
  • Genre: Historical Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Austenesque
  • Publisher: ‎Vintage (May 3, 2022)
  • Length: (400) pages
  • Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 
  • ISBN: 978-0593313817

A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen’s Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.

Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang. 

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB

Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs. 

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

MY IMPRESSIONS:

For Jane Austen fans, The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray is a must read. Not only because one of the most odious of all literary characters meets his end, but because Gray gives the reader a credible look at what might have happened to Austen’s main characters after the curtain is drawn on their stories. Gray explores the what-ifs of Darcy and Elizabeth, Fanny and Edmund, Emma and Knightley, Marianne and Colonel Brandon, Anne and Captain Wentworth, as well as two original characters in Juliet Tilney and Jonathan Darcy. While the murder mystery is interesting with sufficient twists, turns, and surprises, the beyond-the-wedding stuff is great. However, the most interesting character of all is Jonathan Darcy, eldest son of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy. I won’t disclose too much, but he decidedly does not fit into the standards of Regency England. His characterization is fascinating, especially through a Regency lens. Gray keeps her writing style true to Austen’s too. You will feel you are right back in Highbury with all your favorites.

Clever imagining of the later lives of the Austen characters all with Mr. Wickham’s murder — what more could a Janeite want? 😉 The Murder of Mr. Wickham is a recommended read.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to AustenProse for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Spotlight And Giveaway — The Rancher’s Want Ad Mix-Up

4 May

The Rancher's Want Ad Mix-Up JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Rancher’s Want Ad Mix-Up by Megan Besing, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Rancher's Want Ad Mix-UpTitle: The Rancher’s Want Ad Mix-Up
Author: Megan Besing
Publisher: Love Inspired Historical
Release Date: April 26, 2022
Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance

A mail-order mistake


Or a made-to-be match?

When Della Mae Wagner’s train arrives in Missouri, she’s shocked to find that the couple who hired her don’t just want a teacher for their grandsons but a wife for their son! After a broken engagement, marriage is not in Della’s plans. And Hank Lamson isn’t pleased—with his parents, with his unexpected guest or with Della’s unfairly appealing smile. But his plans to send her packing are foiled as his family comes to love her
and he feels the walls around his wounded heart start to fall.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

EXCERPT

He drew closer, intending to remove a piece of straw sticking in her hair, but instead his fingers brushed her cheek. Her breathing hitched at his touch, and the storm faded into the dimness around them, leaving just him and Della.

Her eyes sought his before drifting to his mouth and then back. He didn’t need her to smile to read the questions she held. They matched the ones running through his mind. To answer them, he rested his forehead against hers, erasing what space there was left between them.

“Della.” He didn’t know why he was whispering. All he knew was that he was trying to think of a reason not to kiss his own wife.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Besing

Despite always adoring happily-ever-afters, Megan Besing didn’t unlock a love for reading until her mid-twenties, which quickly expanded into writing. Her own stories have won many awards, including the Selah for her novella, Perfect for the Preacher, along with the Pre-published Maggie for The Rancher’s Want Ad Mix-up. And now she’s thrilled to be a Sunrise Publishing author. However, her most cherished achievements are being a wife and mother. She lives in a pocket-size Indiana town, centered around extended family, where she’s always planning a road trip with a view. Yet, her favorite place may just be on her front porch drinking tea. Connect with Megan at meganbesing.com.

CONNECT WITH MEGAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


TOUR GIVEAWAY

Grand Prize Package: (1) winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card, signed copy of The Rancher’s Want Ad Mix-up, rose necklace, 1 Cor. 13:13 tote, apple oven mitt, apple kitchen towel, and a Great is Thy Faithfulness bookmark!

2nd Prize: (1) winner will receive an engraved rose leather journal!

Third Prize: (1) winner will receive a signed copy of The Rancher’s Want Ad Mix-up!

The Rancher's Want Ad Mix-Up JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 2, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 9, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

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