Tag Archives: historical romance fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — Fall TBR

20 Sep

I can’t wait until it is Fall here in the sunny South. High temperatures are still in the mid-80s where I live, but we have had a hint of cool-ish air in the mornings. Not enough to declare it is sweater weather, but it’s promising. 😉 I have a lot of great books on my TBR list spanning a number of genres. There should be something on my list to pique everyone’s interest!

For more Fall TBR Lists, head to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Fall TBR List

Concrete Evidence by DiAnn Mills

Crossfire by Lynette Eason

Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin

Deception by Patricia Bradley

The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers

A Night to Remember by Danny and Wanda Pelfrey

The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright

A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble

Turn to Me by Becky Wade

Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner

Top 10 Tuesday — Geographical Titles

13 Sep

Happy Tuesday! Surprise, surprise! I am actually sticking to the topic today. It was fun looking back at the books I’ve read to find titles (and covers!) that could be found on a map, albeit a fictional one. 😉 Many genres are represented. I hope you find a book to love!

For more geographical titles, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Geographical Titles

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Bookshop by The Sea by Denise Hunter

Bride of A Distant Isle by Sandra Byrd

The Deadly Shallows by Dani Pettrey

The House at The End of The Moor by Michelle Griep

A Light on A Hill by Connilyn Cossette

On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor by Jaime Jo Wright

A Silver Willow by The Shore by Kelli Stuart

Under The Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Top 10 Tuesday — Train Vibes

6 Sep

I am going way off script today in anticipation of my trip to the UK next week. We were supposed to have a planes, trains, and automobiles adventure, but learned that there will be an industrial action the days we were to get on board for two destinations. In the US that would be called a strike! At least they were polite about it and we were given a bit of a heads up. 😉 So it was to the car rental sites we went. We looked for a silver lining to having to drive on the wrong side of the road and navigate the roundabouts (on the wrong side), and found a few. Some train scenes from novels came to mind. You know the ones where orphans were transported across the country without their parent’s permission, the harrowing natural disasters, accidents, bombs, murders, and, of course, serial killers. Maybe planes and automobiles will be enough. 😉 Check out my list of novels with all the train vibes.

For those bloggers who kept to the script, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Novels with Train Vibes

Collison of Lies by Tom Threadgill

The Girl from The Train by Irene Joubert

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

The Mystery of The Blue Train by Agatha Christie

Night Fall by Nancy Mehl

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

If You Liked . . . Bookshop By The Sea

31 Aug

My book club enjoyed the contemporary romance, Bookshop by The Sea, by Denise Hunter. In the words of one of our members, “it is a sweet book that should be made into a Hallmark movie”. 🙂 Our discussion was fun too. The questions included with the novel got us talking. Overall, it was a hit! If you liked it too, I have a couple of recommendations for you.

Bookshop Setting

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (currently $1.99 on Kindle!)

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than her outspoken colleague, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and has found a renewed sense of purpose within its walls.

When Madeline’s professional life falls apart, and a handsome gardener upends her life, she questions her plans and her future. Has she been too quick to dismiss her aunt’s beloved shop? And even if she has, the women’s best efforts to save it may be too little, too late.

Dreams for The Future

Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh (Free with Kindle Unlimited)

Beth Whitaker isn’t supposed to be a small-town girl. She’s always dreamed of leaving Willow Grove, Illinois, for the big city, but she feels trapped, struggling to make up for a mistake that’s haunted her for years. Just when Beth is finally ready to break free, her sister impulsively buys a beloved but run-down farm on the outskirts of town, and she begs Beth to help with the restoration. Reluctantly, Beth agrees to help – and puts her own dreams on hold once again. 

Drew Barlow hasn’t been back to Fairwind Farm since he was a boy, and he’s spent all these years trying to outrun the pain of a past he thought he buried long ago. When he learns that the owner has passed away, his heart knows it’s finally time to do the right thing. Returning to Willow Grove, Drew revisits the old farm, where he attempts to piece together his memories and the puzzle of the crime he witnessed so long ago. 

Both on a journey to find peace, Beth and Drew are surprised when they begin to experience a restoration of their own. But when long-buried secrets break through the soil and the truth unfurls, will it threaten their budding relationship – and the very future of the farm?

Second Chance at Love

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

It is 1755, and the threat of war with France looms over colonial York, Virginia. Chocolatier Esmée Shaw is fighting her own battle of the heart. Having reached her twenty-eighth birthday, she is reconciled to life alone after a decade-old failed love affair from which she’s never quite recovered. But she longs to find something worthwhile to do with her life.

Captain Henri Lennox has returned to port after a lengthy absence, intent on completing the lighthouse in the dangerous Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmée. But when the colonial government asks him to lead a secret naval expedition against the French, his future is plunged into uncertainty.

Will a war and a cache of regrets keep them apart, or can their shared vision and dedication to the colonial cause heal the wounds of the past? Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz whisks you away to a time fraught with peril–on the sea and in the heart–in this redemptive, romantic story.

Top 10 Tuesday — Back to School

30 Aug

Don’t know much about history, don’t know much about biology . . . ? Well, I’ve got some books for you! This week’s TTT is Back to School Freebie. I love Sam Cooke‘s song, What A Wonderful World This Would Be and always think about it when I hear back to school. My list today features books that fit the lyrics of this old school song (see what I did there? 😉 ). There are 6 subjects listed in the lyrics, and I have come up with 2 books each. An even dozen of great books! Who cares if some of the books loosely fit the category — it’s all in fun! I hope you enjoy my list.

For more fun back to school lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top “Back To School” Books

History

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (WWII, could also count as Home Ec 😉 )

To Love A Viking by Heather Day Gilbert and Jen Cudmore (Dark Ages Europe)

Biology

Healing Skye by Janet W. Ferguson (marine biology)

Sunrise by Susan May Warren (bear tracking in Alaska)

Science

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters (nuclear physics)

The Engineer’s Wife by Tracy Enerson Wood (bridge building)

French

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar (WWII France)

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin (WWII France)

Geography

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy (globe-trotting journalist)

The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel (a bucket list trip)

Mathematics

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini (early computing machine)

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White (WWI code breaking)

Author, Author! — Carole Brown and Hunter’s Rose

25 Aug

About The Book

Book: Hunter’s Rose

Editor: Carole Brown

Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense

Release date: August, 2022

It’s the late 1800s, and Hunter Carson has married the woman of his dreams and settled on the land he bought. He’s never known God or even much about him. But his tender heart can be touched. His wife—the beautiful and exotic Mexican Rosita DeSantis, is totally in love with him—but something is wrong. Just days after their marriage, why is she crying and touchy? Has she fallen out of love with him already? Or is there something far more serious going on with her?

Rosita’s past is haunting her emotionally. She adores her new husband, but she’ll do anything to keep him from knowing what happened in Mexico before she fled the country. And not because she doesn’t trust him, but she’s worried for his life. Her loving family in Mexico came to accept God into their lives through the ministry of a missionary. But can she hold onto her beliefs through the trials and tests she’ll face when Carlos De Leon insists on forcing her to marry him?

After all, the Mexican Lord—Carlos De Leon—cares nothing for God or any man. His only desire is to obtain what he wants and when. He has a plan and will do anything to accomplish it.

And Rosita will do anything to keep him from succeeding.

Click here to get your copy!





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About The Author

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of thirteen full-length, best selling and award winning books (with a novella in an anthology), she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. She has found that the traveling and ministering has served her well in writing her novels. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

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More from Carole

Characters That Walk Off The Page

One of my favorite things when writing a new book, is to create the characters. When I wrote the first book in this series, there were quite a few comments about Hunter and Maria, the cook. Readers wanted to read a book about Hunter—Hunter’s personal story. It was a nice affirmation because I’d already decided that the second book would be about Hunter, his love life and the trouble that created the tension in the book.

Hunter is a fun character. With his father murdered while Hunter was just a child, he very well could have been abandoned to fate. Only another young person’s intervention saved Hunter. He grew up to be a man that was both strong and trustworthy. He’s a bit quick-on-the-trigger (as the saying goes) but he’s also smart, loyal, not a bit stuck on himself, and overwhelmed that a beautiful Mexican girl like Rosita DeSantis could fall in love with him. He has the determination to protect her and the ability to give her pretty much anything she wants—without seeming pompous.

Rosita came from a rich, loving family who adored her, and as an only child was entitled to the family inheritance. Having to abandon that life, she was determined to pursue a different life style even when enduring hardship and fear. Nevertheless, she is a sweet, friendly and a loyal friend to those around her. She knows her own mind, yet is not pushy or obnoxious in her efforts, whether it be love or in scorning the man who insists he wants her back. Rosita is both smart and a real lady.

Carlos De Leon, the villain, on the other hand, is one of those persons who has everything: money, prestige, excellent features and education. Yet he lacks the character to realize that it’s not always possible to have everything you desire. Determined to have what he wants and when, he is not afraid to sacrifice the people who he deems is hindering his quest.

And then, there are the secondary characters: those who support and somehow create interest, not only in themselves but in keeping a reader’s interest in how and when the main characters will respond to them.

Could it be the downright good-looking Jackson, who is quiet and withdrawn, has a story? His support of Hunter, the tell-tell signs of his education, and the absence of any real knowledge of his past encourage the reader to imagine who he really is.

Then there’s Gabrielle Autumn Mayfair, a quiet, rather shy girl who is more of a follower than a leader—until it comes to a man who catches her attention. Her friends worry that she may get hurt, but Gabrielle is more persistent than either of her best friends realize. This blondish-redhead has an endurance that may prove favorable—or it might end in a tragic heartache.

Sully, Old Peete, Nicolas, Susie and Maria—characters that flavor the reading and add some laughter, tension and mixed feelings about their possible hindrance or helpfulness.

Characters—one of the best and most fun parts of a book. I hope you readers will get to know the characters in Hunter’s Rose and love (or hate) them as much as I did when creating the story.

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Q&A with Carole Brown

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

Although I was first published in 2013 with The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, I remember vividly that first time. It was in my sixth grade of school when we were assigned a project of writing a week-long diary of a caveman’s family. After that I wrote short stories, poems, etc., plus another full-length novel which I held onto for several years, waiting till I felt it was the right time to have it published. 

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

Two people (other than my husband):  An older lady (Barb) in our church encouraged me to not give up when I was at the point of doing so. Also Lena Nelson Dooley loved the first book I ever wrote. Her words were a blessing in giving me hope not to quit. 

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

I love research and enjoy using all kinds, from interviews with potential people who know about the topic I’m interested in, to online research, books I’ve bought or borrowed, etc. I like to make sure my facts are straight.

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

I’d love to know that their faith has been restored or grown, their hearts are warmed by the forgiveness and spiritual growth of the characters. Also a sense of contentment/happiness when finished with any of my books is a sighworthy emotion. 

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

*  Right now, I’m working on the sixth book of the Appleton, WV Romantic/Mystery series. The tentative title is:  Ne’er the Twain Shall Meet

I’m also working on the second book in my Nursery Rhyme series (romantic suspense), called A Spider Beside Her.

And then I’m plotting the third book of this series, Troubles in the West. It’s title will be Jackson’s Fall.

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Blog Stops

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 20 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 20

Texas Book-aholic, August 21

Inklings and notions, August 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 23

For Him and My Family, August 24

By The Book, August 25 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, August 25

Betti Mace, August 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 27

Connie’s History Classroom, August 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 30 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 31

Pause for Tales, September 1

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 2 (Author Interview)

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Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

The Dreaming Beauty Blog Tour + Giveaway!

17 Aug

The Dreaming Beauty JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for The Dreaming Beauty by Anneka R. Walker, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Dreaming Beauty

Title: The Dreaming Beauty
Series:
Standalone follow-up to The Masked Baron
Author: Anneka R. Walker
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: July 11, 2022
Genre: Clean & Wholesome Romance / Historical / Regency / Fairy Tale

Once upon a dream, two cursed people fell in love . . .

Tansy White doesn’t want to end up alone like her three aunts who raised her, but when she is betrayed by her would-be betrothed, she fears she might never change her fate. At her aunts’ suggestion, she seizes the chance to visit Rose Cottage, the country home of her late mother. For years, dreams of the cottage have haunted Tansy, and she is convinced it holds the answer to her hidden past. But after getting caught in a terrible storm, she meets a man who is just as determined as she is to learn all her secrets.

Marcus Taylor, brother to the Duke of Westmorland, is also troubled by vivid dreams. On a sleepless night, as a tempest rages outside his brother’s estate, he makes a discovery far more mysterious than any dream: a young woman, cold as ice, lies unconscious in the library, and he is sure she is the key to solving his problems. When she wakes, what begins as a shared quest for information turns into an unexpected friendship. As they piece together the fragments of their pasts, they discover a tangled web of lies, and their feelings for each other become just as entwined. But is their love as strong as their dreams . . . or their fate?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookBub

EXCERPT

WHILE THE WORLD SLEPT, MARCUS’s mind came awake. With the crack of thunder and a brilliant streak of light piercing through the gap in his curtains, he sat up in his bed. Sleep often evaded him, but even trying tonight seemed useless. Flipping his covers off, he donned his robe and slippers, and it was back to his makeshift study in his brother’s library, where he’d research until his eyes drooped and his dreams were empty.

Marcus lit a candle and noiselessly moved through the dark corridor. Blasted storm. Though, it did spark an idea in his mind. If the weather played a role in body aches, it likely affected the subconscious too. Natural fears and uneasiness would lead to dreams, no doubt. It would be worth researching.

He held the flickering light out in front of him as he went down the stairs and stepped through the open library door, but instead of the late Duke of Westmorland greeting him silently from his portrait, what he saw made him stumble back. A figure, an unknown person. Whether bandit or boy he did not know, but his heart raced and his hand on the candle tightened.

ALSO AVAILABLE

The Masked Baron


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anneka R. Walker

Anneka Walker is an award-winning author raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor’s degree in English and history. When she isn’t dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she is busy living her own with her husband and adorable children.

Connect with Anneka by visiting annekawalker.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card, The Dreaming Beauty, signed book plate, matching bookmark, stickers, and button!

The Dreaming Beauty JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight August 15, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on August 22, 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

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Top 10 Tuesday — Ruining Book Titles With A Word

9 Aug

Happy Tuesday. Authors, agents, editors, and marketing departments all search for that perfect book title. The one that will call to readers. And here I am ruining perfectly good titles with a change of a letter or a word. Sorry, not sorry. 😉 Today, TTT bloggers were called on to present hilarious titles. I have a more perverse take on the topic. I’d love to know of other titles that can be ruined!

For more book hilarity, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Titles Ruined with A Well-Replaced Letter or Word

Boots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

Uncomfortable shoes in the past and present.

Deadly Swallows by Dani Pettrey

Terrorist-trained birds!

Fatal Cod by Natalie Walters

The fish was a bit off.

Healing Fly by Janet Ferguson

Can a biologist find love while saving the endangered fly?

Quaker Oats Summer by Lisa Samson

It’s heart healthy!

Refuse at Pine Lake by Rose Chandler Johnson

Finding a place to belong at the dump.

Sea Glass Cottage Cheese by Irene Hannon

Can they rekindle love over a diet meal?

Shadows of Swanford Tabby by Julie Klassen

Is that a cat following me?

The Sweat Life by Suzanne Woods Fisher

It’s summer after all.

Until Sleeves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Well-dressed resistance in France.

Top 10 Tuesday — Oh, The Places We’re Going!

2 Aug

Happy Tuesday! Today TTT is taking bloggers to their bucket list destinations via books. I like to read books, including fiction, about the places we travel to to have a feel of the place before we arrive. Next month my husband and I and two friends are traveling to England and Scotland. This is the trip we have put off for 3+ years. We will be traveling by trains, planes, and automobiles and will be staying in different hotels almost every night. This is a very mobile vacay! We have all been to London, our first stop, so we will be doing some fun things that we haven’t done before. Then on to Edinburgh and the Shetland Islands. My husband is especially excited about our days in Shetland. I want to see the ponies. 😉 My list today includes books I have already read that are set in our destinations, along with a couple that I need to work in before we leave.

Where are you traveling in books?

For more bloggers’ bucket lists, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books Set in London, Edinburg, and the Shetland Islands

London

The Barrister And The Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson

As a barrister in 1818 London, William Snopes has witnessed firsthand the danger of only the wealthy having their voices heard, and he’s a strong advocate who defends the poorer classes against the powerful. That changes the day a struggling heiress, Lady Madeleine Jameson, arrives at his door.

In a last-ditch effort to save her faltering estate, Lady Jameson invested in a merchant brig, the Padget. The ship was granted a rare privilege by the king’s regent: a Letter of Marque authorizing the captain to seize the cargo of French traders operating illegally in the Indian Sea. Yet when the Padget returns to London, her crew is met by soldiers ready to take possession of their goods and arrest the captain for piracy. And the Letter–the sole proof his actions were legal–has mysteriously vanished.

Moved by the lady’s distress, intrigued by the Letter, and goaded by an opposing solicitor, Snopes takes the case. But as he delves deeper into the mystery, he learns that the forces arrayed against Lady Jameson, and now himself, are even more perilous than he’d imagined.

The London House by Katherine Reay

Uncovering a dark family secret sends one woman through the history of Britain’s World War II spy network and glamorous 1930s Paris to save her family’s reputation.

Caroline Payne thinks it’s just another day of work until she receives a call from Mat Hammond, an old college friend and historian, but Mat has uncovered a scandalous secret kept buried for decades: In World War II, Caroline’s British great-aunt betrayed family and country to marry her German lover.

Determined to find answers and save her family’s reputation, Caroline flies to her family’s ancestral home in London. She and Mat discover diaries and letters that reveal her grandmother and great-aunt were known as the “Waite sisters.” Popular and witty, they came of age during the interwar years, a time of peace and luxury filled with dances, jazz clubs, and romance. The buoyant tone of the correspondence soon yields to sadder revelations as the sisters grow apart, and one leaves home for the glittering fashion scene of Paris, despite rumblings of a coming world war.

Each letter brings more questions. Was Caroline’s great-aunt actually a traitor and Nazi collaborator, or is there a more complex truth buried in the past? Together, Caroline and Mat uncover stories of spies and secrets, love and heartbreak, and the events of one fateful evening in 1941 that changed everything.

In this rich historical novel from award-winning author Katherine Reay, a young woman is tasked with writing the next chapter of her family’s story. But Caroline must choose whether to embrace a love of her own and proceed with caution if her family’s decades-old wounds are to heal without tearing them even further apart.

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan

The secrets that might save a nation could shatter a marriage.

Madly in love, Diana Foyle and Brent Somerville married in London as the bombs of World War II dropped on their beloved city. Without time for a honeymoon, the couple spent the next four years apart. Diana, an architectural historian, took a top-secret intelligence post at Bletchley Park. Brent, a professor of theology at King’s College, believed his wife was working for the Foreign Office as a translator when he was injured in an attack on the European front.

Now that the war is over, the Somervilles’ long-anticipated reunion is strained by everything they cannot speak of. Diana’s extensive knowledge of London’s churches could help bring down a Russian agent named Eternity. She’s eager to help MI6 thwart Communist efforts to start a new war, but because of the Official Secrets Act, Diana can’t tell Brent the truth about her work.

Determined to save their marriage and rebuild the city they call home, Diana and Brent’s love is put to the ultimate test as they navigate the rubble of war and the ruins of broken trust.

Edinburgh

Benefit of The Doubt by Les Cowan (need to read)

It was a warning. Back off. Stop helping the addicts. 
Stop undercutting demand. He had believed they would be protected. But they took her – the girl in the raspberry beret – and by the time they were done he was broken.

So David Hidalgo flees Spain for his native Edinburgh. Now he must work out how to live again and lead others when his faith has been ripped away and all that’s left is doubt.

In Edinburgh David finds friendship, disturbing and unlooked for romance, and respite from the pain. That is, until a young girl is abducted and it becomes clear that it’s not so easy to leave the past, or danger, behind.

David knows he must set aside his doubts and act. But what will the cost be this time?

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

A mother who cannot face her future.
A daughter who cannot escape her past.
 
Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auldways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.

Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips. 

His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.

One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown. 

A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.

Within The Veil by Brandy Vallance

They never should have met. But they might be made for each other.

Feya Broon, a Scottish half Gypsy, knows what it is to go hungry. Trapped in the Edinburgh tenements with a father lost to his past and only the faded memory of her mother’s faith, Feya is desperate to provide for her siblings. When an ill-conceived plan leads to thievery, she finds herself in the last place she’d ever want to be—captured by a palace guard. But there’s something about this man that tears at every preconceived notion she’s even had about the haughty English. 

Alasdair Cairncross never dreamed he’d be forced to transport a gypsy woman halfway across the wilds of Scotland. The timing is disastrous, considering his fiancée’s imminent arrival and his father’s political goals. Not only that, but the fiery young woman threatens to lay bare secrets Alasdair would rather keep hidden. And yet the farther they travel together, the less concerned he finds himself with duty—both to the crown and to the plans his family has for him.

As their walls begin to crumble, Feya and Alasdair must fight to survive a decades-old feud, a Highland kidnapping, and the awakening of their own hearts. 

Shetland Islands

The Inheritance (Secrets of The Shetlands, book 1) by Michael Phillips

The death of the clan patriarch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whales Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed MacGregor Tulloch’s heir to be his grand-nephew David, a local favorite, but when it is discovered that MacGregor left no will, David’s grasping cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And while Hardy doesn’t enjoy much popular support, he has the backing of a shadowy group of North Sea oil investors. The courts have frozen the estate’s assets while the competing claims are investigated, leaving many of the residents in financial limbo. The future of the island–and its traditional way of life–hangs in the balance.

Loni Ford is enjoying her rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, DC. Yet in spite of her outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her paternal grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .

Past and present collide in master storyteller Phillips’s dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace, and of the dreams of men and women everywhere.

The Cottage (book 2) (need to read)

When Loni Ford is informed that she has inherited property in the Shetland Islands, she laughs. She wants nothing more than to sell it and be done with it. But when she arrives in the North Sea enclave, she is stunned to find that “the Cottage” is not at all what she expected, nor is David Tulloch, the man most of the islanders believe to be the rightful heir.

The locals could hardly be more surprised that the heir is a woman–and an American. Loni, in turn, finds the islanders quaint and a bit behind the times. Expecting David to be as provincial as the rest of his clan, she discovers that there is far more to the man than meets the eye. And there is something about the peaceful atmosphere of the place–and the character of its most prominent citizen–that soon gets under her skin. 

Beneath the peaceful surface, however, change is threatening the island of Whales Reef. David’s cousin Hardy Tulloch, whose claim to the inheritance now in Loni’s hands was backed by oil investors, has not been deterred in his aim to control the island. But his co-conspirators have plans of their own, plans that put Loni’s very life in danger.

The Legacy (book 3) (need to read)

Loni Ford’s unexpected inheritance of substantial real estate–not to mention a title–in the Shetland Islands has caused more than a stir in the quiet fishing hamlet of Whales Reef. How is life ever to be the same with an outsider–and a woman, at that–playing such a pivotal role in the life of this conservative community? But it isn’t just the locals who have deep misgivings about the current situation. Loni herself never imagined this in her wildest dreams. 

What Loni is more sure of, however, is that she is falling in love–with Whales Reef, with its hardy people, with its simple, peaceful way of life, and with local chieftain David Tulloch, whose inheritance she has usurped, at least in the eyes of some. 

But life in Whales Reef is not without drama. Deep rifts exist between certain lifelong residents, and when one local resident turns up dead, suspicion is cast in the direction of the island’s most prominent family. How Loni and David deal with this challenge will go a long way in determining their future, and that of the quaint island community.

First Line Friday — To Love A Viking

15 Jul

I am a big fan of Heather Day Gilbert. You may know her from her mystery series. But did you know she writes Viking novels! Oh, yes! Her newest novel co-written with Jen Cudmore is To Love A Viking. It’s book 1 in the Tavland Vikings series — more great tales to come! I’ve always been fascinated by the early history of Europe and had to order this book. Check out all the details below.

Here’s the first line:

The Vikings had returned.

Get swept up in an enthralling new romance series featuring women who rule the hearts of Viking men.

ELLISIF
Forced into a financially advantageous marriage that spirals into a nightmare, Ellisif cannot help but imagine what might have been and ache for what was lost. The only lights in her life are her daughters and the friendships she’s forged with the household servants.

Though seven years have passed since Ellisif wed another man, Dagar still cannot forget the woman who captured his youthful heart. As the Viking warrior battles for his country’s future, he finds himself entangled in a personal war for Ellisif’s freedom that could cost his family their reputation and standing with the king. If he risks all, can he save the woman whose face still haunts his dreams? And if given another chance, will she choose him?

INARA
Escaped slave Inara is determined to start a new life. Under the guidance of warrior and shipbuilder Håkon, her sword skill grows, as does her confidence that the Viking men will accept her as a warrior in her own right. 

When she is selected to lead a perilous rescue mission to protect Ellisif, Inara finds herself blindsided by feelings for Håkon…and by threats to her freedom far closer than she feared. As dreams and desires collide, she wrestles against the lies holding her captive. Can she conquer her doubts before all that she’s hoped for slips from her hands?

Written by award-winning historical author Heather Day Gilbert and fresh voice Jen Cudmore, two love stories entwine in this sweeping Viking-era romance, the first novel in the Tavland Vikings series.

Award-winning novelist Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing mysteries and Viking historicals. She brings authentic family relationships to the page, and she particularly delights in heroines who take a stand to protect those they love. Avid readers say Heather’s realistic characters–no matter what century–feel like best friends. When she’s not plotting stories, this native West Virginian can often be found hanging out with her husband and four children, playing video games, or reading Agatha Christie novels.

Find all her books and her newsletter signup at heatherdaygilbert.com.

Jen Cudmore‘s favorite type of book is a historical. Throw in a clean, sweet romance and she won’t put it down until she reaches the last page! Currently she is working full-time as a manager for a small medical clinic, and has enjoyed collaborating on this new Viking saga. Jen published a couple western novels and some short stories several years ago, and has blogged for various sites for over a decade. Working on this current project has been a good distraction from her recent empty nest. With her son serving in the Navy and her daughter off to college, Jen is seeking new adventures!