Lady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1) by Sandra Byrd

Synopsis:

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

My Thoughts:

This story is filled with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Eleanore Sheffield’s life has centered around her love of antiques. Growing up her father taught her all he knew about evaluating and obtaining antiques and priceless treasures for the nobility. But now that her father has died and her uncle’s health is rapidly declining, the upkeep of not only the house but the business has fallen on her shoulders.

With the death of Baron Lydney; Eleanore is tasked with not only cataloging but deciding the fate of the items in his vast estate. Should the items be donated to the local museum or should the items be awarded to the Baron’s only son, Harry? Who should she trust?

While this story is as artistic as the countless antiquities described within the pages, the plot seemed to drag in places. This story has an abundance of information and details, and I would suggest that it may be best enjoyed by someone who can carve out large chunks of time for reading it.

For me personally, I recognized several places in the story where the Christian viewpoint would have added greatly to the story, however, it was missing. There were a few mentions of God and trusting in His plan. However, it seemed to fall flat when the characters didn’t act on the knowledge.

Sandra Byrd writes with beautiful word imagery, and really sets up the scenes for the story beautifully. The mystery was expertly woven throughout the story and kept me guessing as to how it would turn out.

While I enjoyed certain aspects of the story, I never could fully get into the story and identify with the characters. I give this story 3-stars.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

  Lady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1) 

About the Author:

SandraByrd  Bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published more than fifty books over her editing and writing career. Her traditionally published books include titles by Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Tyndale House Publishers, WaterBrook Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, and Bethany House. She’s also an independent author.

Sandra’s series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017 and was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fiction books of the year.

Her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a nonfiction author with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions. The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional was named by Called Magazine, the #1 magazine for Christian Women, as among their favorite, must-read books for Fall, 2017.

Sandra is passionate about helping writers develop their talents and their work through content coaching and line editing, and has mentored hundreds of writers. For testimonials about her editing and coaching, please visit novelcoaching.com.

Web Page // Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter //

Pick up your copy:

  Lady of a Thousand Treasures (The Victorian Ladies #1) 

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Author Interview: Lynn Austin

I’m super excited to have Lynn Austin visiting with us today about her new book, Legacy of Mercy (Waves of Mercy #2) due to hit the shelves on October 2nd!

Austin_Lynn1 Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home in western Michigan.

Web page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

 

LegacyOfMercyHaving returned to Chicago, young socialite Anna Nicholson can’t seem to focus on her upcoming marriage. The new information she’s learned about her birth mother continues to pull at her, and she hires Pinkerton detectives to help her find the truth. But as she meets people who once knew her mother and hears stories about the past, Anna soon discovers that some secrets are better left hidden.

At the same time, unflattering stories about Anna are leaked by someone who would love to see her disgraced and her engagement broken. And as Anna tries to share her faith with her society friends, she understands that her choice to seek God’s purpose for her life isn’t as simple as she had hoped.

When things are at their darkest, Anna knows she can turn to her grandmother, Geesje de Jonge, back in Holland, Michigan. Geesje’s been helping new Dutch immigrants, including a teen with a haunted past, adjust to America. She only hopes that her wisdom can help all these young people through the turmoil they face.

Legacy of Mercy (Waves of Mercy #2)

 

Friends, please join me in giving a warm welcome to Lynn Austin!

beach-beauty-close-up-733828Q:  Legacy of Mercy will be released on October 2 and will be the first sequel you’ve ever written. What made you decide to write a sequel?

Lynn:  My readers decided for me! I received many, many letters from them asking if there would be a sequel to “Waves of Mercy.” The main character, Anna, is only in her twenties and is a new Christian, so when she decides to return to Chicago and marry her fiancé at the end of the book, readers wanted to know what happens next in her life. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to explore what happens next for Anna, too. She has just discovered who her birth mother is, so naturally, she’ll want to learn more about her. She’ll also want to solve the mystery of who her real father is and what became of him. What if he is still alive? Lots of material for a story here, especially when the other people in Anna’s life try to discourage her investigations.

 

blur-close-up-culture-615328Q:  This story is set in your hometown of Holland, MI. Did you discover anything surprising while you were researching these books?

Lynn:  I knew very little about the early history of Holland, Michigan when I began this series—only that it was settled by Dutch immigrants. What surprised me was how much they suffered to establish a settlement here, including religious persecution, a malaria plague, and a devastating fire. Their enduring faith in spite of all their many trials was a huge inspiration to me.

 

tulips-1152802_1920Q:  The city of Holland must have seen an increase in tourism since you started writing about it. You even did a bus tour, tell us about it.

Lynn:  The book seems to have sparked a renewed interest in local history. The Holland tourist bureau told me they’ve guided several happy tourists to the places described in my book.  And I was very pleasantly surprised by the interest in my “Waves of Mercy” bus tour! When I offered to guide interested readers to some of the settings from my book, I never imagined there would be enough interest to fill two chartered busses! There may even be another tour after “Legacy of Mercy” releases.

 

agriculture-barn-clouds-462136Q:  You are known for writing multi-generational books and Legacy of Mercy is no exception. What intrigues you about writing in this style?

Lynn:  I enjoy creating women’s personalities from various eras and exploring how the roles and opportunities changed for women from generation to generation. I find it very interesting to see how the choices one generation makes has an influence on each generation after them. It causes me to be more thoughtful in the way I live, knowing that my children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren may be impacted by my life.

 

girls-739071_1920Q:  Which character in Legacy of Mercy do you identify with the most and why?

Lynn:  I would have to say I identify the most with Geesje DeJonge. For one thing, she is about the same age as I am, and has lived long enough to be able to look back through the years and analyze them. She is in a position to see all of the ways and times when God carried her through—something we usually only see in hindsight, not when we’re going through the difficulties. I’m at the same stage in my life, and I can see God’s faithfulness to me in spite of the many times I questioned His wisdom.

 

desk-1148994_640Q:  When you sit down to write a story, do you know how it is going to end? Describe your writing process. How do you stay disciplined and not get distracted?

Lynn:  I never know how a story will end when I start writing. I rarely even know what comes next when I’m writing a chapter! I begin with the historical setting, and as I’m doing my research, my characters usually begin to take shape in my mind. I flesh them out by developing resumes for them so that they become real people in my mind, with backgrounds and personalities. Then I figure out where to begin the novel and simply make up the plot as I go along. If I’m surprised then the reader will be surprised.

My deadline keeps me disciplined. I know that if I write a certain number of pages a day, I’ll finish the book on time. I also know how very hard it is to write well when I’m behind schedule and a deadline is looming. Wanting to avoid that last minute panic keeps me disciplined on a daily basis.

As for distractions—there are so many! Over the years, I’ve had to learn when to put the book aside and enjoy a pleasant distraction (an old friend who has come to town, an afternoon with my husband), and when there’s no value in the distraction and it will only make the writing process harder.

 

books-315677_640Q:  Did anything surprise you about the Legacy of Mercy story?

Lynn:  Yes. One of the main characters ends up in an impossible situation, which put me in an impossible situation as I tried to figure out what to do! But I just kept writing and the dilemma untangled in a very natural but surprising way. (You’ll see when you read it!)

Also, the ending surprised me—a lot! I hope that all of my readers who asked for a sequel are pleased with it.

 

Thank you, Lynn Austin for chatting with us today and sharing about your books as well as your writing process!

 

Order your copy today!

Waves of Mercy

Legacy of Mercy (Waves of Mercy #2)

 

Let’s Connect:

I’d love to hear from you!  Have you read Waves of Mercy?
Have you visited Holland?

First Line Friday: Magnolia Summer

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m happy to be featuring Magnolia Summer (Southern seasons #1) by Melanie Dickerson. If you enjoy reading southern historical novels, with lots of heart, a splash of adventure, and characters that will linger long after you’ve closed the book, you won’t want to miss out on this delightful story. CLICK HERE to read my review.

MagnoliaSummer

June, 1880
Bethel Sprints, Alabama

          Truett Beverly aimed his rifle at the noose above James’s head. He would only get one shot to sever the rope, but that wasn’t what bothered him.

 

 

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

Book 2 in Reader Favorite Michelle Griep’s Charming Once Upon a Dickens Christmas Series

Synopsis:

London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such deception?

My Thoughts:

This delightful story captured my heart! With irresistible characters, a fully immersable setting, and Michelle Gripe’s signature way with words, it all adds up to an unforgettable story that you are sure to need for your keeper shelf.

The Victorian era comes vividly to life in this charming Christmas story. An exciting, fast-paced story that kept me eagerly turning pages. I enjoyed the Dickens flair woven throughout the story. While this is the second book in the series, it is easily a stand-alone.

I especially appreciated the gentle reminders of faith woven into the story. A reminder of the importance of trusting God and waiting on Him, and finding joy in the unexpected. We are also reminded of the importance of extending forgiveness to others as well as ourselves.

I always know that I’m in for a special treat any time I pick up on of Michelle Griep’s books! I give this delightful story 5 starts and please trust me when I say that you must run out to the store today, and purchase a copy to enjoy! Get a copy for you and for a friend, while you are at it!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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About the Author:

2754194 I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

Pick up your copy:

  A Tale of Two Hearts (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #2)

 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon A Dickens Christmas #1)

 

IMG_0958

Magnolia Summer (Southern Seasons #1) by Melanie Dickerson

From New York Times Bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a story of love, heroism, and secrets so dangerous they could change this sleepy Southern town forever.

Synopsis:

Truett’s hometown needed a doctor, so after finishing medical school, he returned to Bethel Springs. Fighting a secret war with a corrupt lawman wasn’t in his plans, but Sheriff Suggs thinks he’s above the law and can lynch anyone who crosses him. When Suggs threatens his childhood friend, Truett dons a cape and hood and rescues him—placing “the Hooded Horseman” in Sheriff Suggs’s crosshairs.

Celia Wilcox arrives in Bethel Springs, Alabama, in June of 1880. She’s come from Nashville to help her sister care for their younger siblings. She hopes only to be on the small farm for the summer, just until her mother recovers from the shock of Celia’s father’s death. She must return to Nashville to fulfill her dream of opening her own dress shop, especially now, to provide for her family.

The lovely Celia catches Truett’s eye, and he finds himself wanting to impress her. But she flatly refuses to flirt with him or to fall for his—if he does say so himself—considerable charm.

Celia’s growing attraction to the young Dr. Beverly terrifies her, and even if she could marry him, which she cannot, what will happen when Sheriff Suggs discovers Truett is the Hooded Horseman? Will Celia be able to prevent the sheriff from carrying out one last lynching?

My Thoughts:

Melanie Dickerson has created a unique cast of characters and set them in a country trying to rebuild after it was torn apart by war. To say I enjoyed this story would be an understatement.  Once I started reading it, I felt like I had fallen into the world created by Ms. Dickerson. Fully immersed in this story and eagerly turning pages to see what would happen next.

An angry sheriff who can’t seem to let go of the past, taking the law into his own hands and unjustly judging the innocent, as guilty and swiftly enacting his own form of judgment.

A mysterious, masked hero fighting for fair treatment of those who the majority of society sees as unworthy. He is willing to risk his own safety to see that the innocent aren’t harmed.

Celia is an independent woman, ahead of her time. She longs to make a name for herself, to own her own business and stand on her own feet. She sees how being married has affected her mother, and doesn’t want to set aside her dreams, to have a family.

Lessons can be learned from any one of the dynamic characters in this story. There is something for everyone in the pages of this wonderful story. A reminder that we should stand up for others, that we aren’t to pass judgment and that by giving of ourselves, new dreams can be discovered.

If you enjoy reading southern historical novels, with lots of heart, a splash of adventure, and characters that will linger long after you’ve closed the book, then I encourage you to find a copy of this wonderful story to enjoy! I give this story 4.5 stars and I eagerly look forward to reading more stories with southern flair from Melanie Dickerson!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

MelanieDickerson  Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author whose two favorite time periods are Medieval, which she has combined with her love of fairy tales, and Regency England, which stems from her love of Jane Austen. She is a 2-time Christy Award finalist, a 2-time Maggie Award winner, winner of The National Reader’s Choice Award for 2010’s Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing, hanging out on facebook, and being with her husband, two daughters, and two guinea pigs near Huntsville, Alabama.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Magnolia Summer (Southern Seasons #1)

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund

A desperate noblewoman, a rebellious peasant, and a forbidden love.

Synopsis:

While fleeing an arranged betrothal to a heartless lord, Lady Isabelle becomes injured and lost. Rescued by a young peasant man, she hides her identity as a noblewoman for fear of reprisal from the peasants who are bitter and angry toward the nobility.

Cole Warwick cannot turn his back on a person in need and soon finds himself falling for Izzy, the gentle and beautiful runaway who is mending in his cottage. As the leader of an imminent uprising against the nobility, he tries to resist his growing feelings for Izzy to protect her from the dangerous life he’s chosen. But the longer she stays, the more he hopes she’ll never leave.

When Izzy’s true identity is revealed, Cole feels betrayed. With the rebellion underway, can Cole forgive Izzy and find a way to save her from an unhappy marriage? Or will he and his peasant army be destroyed before he has the chance to fight for the people and the woman he loves?

My Thoughts:

I was swept away into the intrigue and adventure right from the beginning of this delightful story! Jody Hedlund has a way with words that seems to captivate my imagination and keep me eagerly turning pages late into the night.

Lady Isabelle starts out as a young lady who is fearful and sheltered. I enjoyed watching her grow into a strong character as she not only learns to trust those she once feared, but she also learns to see her own worth and her ability to make a difference in the lives of those around her.

Cole Warwick has a gentle heart for those he sees in need, yet at the same time, he carries around a heavy burden of anger toward the unjust treatment from the nobility. Cole often brushes aside the advice of not only his mother but of his best friend. However, their words do stick with him and he comes to understand that letting go of the past is the only way he will be able to move forward and enjoy his future.

Will two people from polar opposite ends of the class spectrum find a way to be together? Or will their differences be too big of a wall to tear down?

While this book is the 5th in the series, you could read it as a stand-alone. A few characters show up from previous books, but not in such a way that you would feel lost. With that said, however, I would encourage you to read the other books, as they are just as delightful as this one.

I give this story 4.5 stars and would encourage you to snag a copy of this book for yourself and a friend to enjoy!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

JodyHedlund Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award for fiction and Christy Award for historical romance, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Web page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

  A Worthy Rebel (An Uncertain Choice #5)

Other books in this series:

The Vow (An Uncertain Choice #0.5)

An Uncertain Choice (An Uncertain Choice #1)

  A Daring Sacrifice (An Uncertain Choice #2)

  For Love and Honor (An Uncertain Choice #3)

A Loyal Heart (An Uncertain Choice #4)

  Noble Knights Historical Romance Collection

Release Day & Giveaway: An Hour Unspent

When Big Ben Joined the Skyline

When the design for A Name Unknown, book 1 in the Shadows Over England Series, was shown to me and I saw the spine for the first time, I was so excited to see the series logo they’d come up with. Big Ben’s clock tower.

shaouraav-shreshtha-428492-unsplashBig Ben says London. Which is what the designers were no doubt trying to invoke, as my family of thieves are firmly Londoners. But for me, it was more than that. Because in the third book of the series, An Hour Unspent, that iconic clock actually plays a role in the story.

For starters, a bit of naming. Most of us think of “Big Ben” as the clock, but it’s technically not. Big Ben is actually the bell. The clock is the Great Westminster Clock, though over the years the name Big Ben has come to be associated with the entire structure. So now that we’ve got that straight… 😉

The clock tower was designed by Augustus Pugin and completed in 1859. Pugin was an architect, one who is most remembered for redesigning the interior of Westminster Palace and the tower in question, which has become one of the most iconic symbols of England. Though he also designed the face of the clock, the mechanics of the thing he wisely handed over to someone else.

palace-of-westminster-1659289_1920But interestingly, the movement–the gears and weights that make a clockwork, and in this case, work with amazing reliability–was actually designed by two amateurs to the field. Edmund Denison, a lawyer, and mathematician George Airy. The construction was the only part undertaken by an actual clockmaker, Edward Dent.

The Great Clock’s inner workings are so precise that a penny sitting on the pendulum is all it takes to make slight alterations to the time. That one little coin will make an adjustment of nearly half a second a day. That doesn’t sound like much, but it allows for small incremental adjustments to keep the clock accurate year after year. The pendulum still has a stack of old coins on it, and the clock is still hand-wound three times a week.

marlon-maya-44935-unsplash

In my story, I gave the job of upkeep of the Great Clock to my heroine’s father, a clockmaker. This part is purely fictional, of course, but it would have been considered a great honor to be tasked with such a responsibility, and in my story that’s the proof of Cecil Manning’s proficiency in his trade, even though he’s by no means made himself rich.

That honor goes to another historical figure that my fictional Manning claims as a friend, who revolutionized the timekeeping world. But you’ll have to check out An Hour Unspent: Companion Guide to learn more about that…

An Hour UnspentAbout the Book

With Danger Creeping Ever Closer,
Do Their Dreams Still Matter?

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Series: Shadows Over England (Book 3)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 4, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0764219283

About the Author

Roseanna 2018

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Website

Giveaways & Contest

Roseanna has several giveaways and a special CONTEST for her readers! Click on the images below to learn more about each Giveaway. Or visit Roseanna’s blog.

 

 

First Line Friday: Caught By Surprise

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m happy to be featuring Caught By Surprise by Jen Turano! This is such a fun and engaging story! I was hooked from the very first page. CLICK HERE to read my full review and be sure to click below and enter the giveaway for an autographed print copy!

Be sure to check out the Author Interview & Giveaway with Jen Turano!

CaughtBySurprise

September 1883
New York City

The first inkling Miss Temperance Flowerdew had that her rather mundane day was about to turn anything but mundane happened when a closed carriage trundled up beside her, keeping pace with her every step as she walked down the sidewalk adjacent to Broadway.

 

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Caught by Surprise (Apart from the Crowd #3) by Jen Turano

Synopsis:

Miss Temperance Flowerdew is on her way to work when a stranger suddenly grabs her off the street and sends her on a Chicago-bound train before she can figure out what happened.

When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the trail to Chicago only to discover that the woman is his good friend Temperance. Before they can discover who was behind the abduction, they’re seen alone together by a New York society matron, putting their reputations at risk.

Gilbert is willing to propose marriage–except Temperance will have none of it. She’s finally stepped out of the shadow of her relations and won’t give up her independence. But when it becomes clear the misunderstanding in Chicago has escalated into a threat on her life and followed her to New York, accepting Gilbert’s help in solving the mystery may lead to more than she ever could have dreamed.

My Thoughts:

This is such a fun and engaging story! I was hooked from the very first page when Temperance is kidnapped right off the street and finds herself whisked away on a train bound for Chicago.

Temperance Flowerdew quickly became my favorite wallflower. Hidden behind her quiet reserve beats the heart of a lioness. The loss of her parents affected her deeply and as a result, she hid within herself. It is only at being reunited with a childhood friend that she blooms and returns to her feisty personality. She is independent, impulsive and sassy!

With a fun lively cast of characters, a mystery to solve and lots of laughs, this a story you will want on your keeper shelf to pull out to enjoy again and again! I give this delightful book 5-stars and strongly encourage you to pick up a copy!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

IMG_0921

About the Author:

Jen  Jen Turano is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. She pursued a career in management for nine years before switching to full-time motherhood after the birth of her son. When she’s not writing, Jen can be found watching her teenage son participate in various activities, taking long walks with her husband and dog, socializing with friends, or delving into a good book. She lives in suburban Denver, Colorado.  Connect with Jen at:

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

 

Snag your copy today!

 Caught by Surprise (Apart from the Crowd #3)

  Out of the Ordinary (Apart from the Crowd #2)

Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd #1)

 At Your Request (Apart from the Crowd #0.5 Novella)

****** Giveaway Opportunity ******

PhotoFunia-1535382334  Don’t miss the Author Interview & Giveaway with Jen Turano!

CLICK HERE

 

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

Synopsis:

Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they’ll not soon forget.

My Thoughts:

With deep and thoughtful prose this enthralling story wove its way around my heart. From the very beginning, the characters monopolized my attention and I was along for a beautiful journey on a tapestry of exquisitely crafted words.

Tressa’s story touched my heart with its raw emotion. She grew up longing for her father’s attention and love, and now that he is gone she feels lost. Growing up, Tressa spent many hours in her father’s vineyard and now as she works with the vineyard manager to hold the estate together she will grow closer to her heavenly father and through the very vines growing in her vineyard learn to have a relationship with God.

Woven into this story is an intriguing mystery of a hidden treasure. With the wolves circling, some disguised as sheep, Tressa must decide who to trust and who to keep at arms-length. But will she make the right choice?

I’ll be honest, I struggled to not flip ahead to the end to find out who was behind the mystery. This story is so tightly woven, with lots of layers that you will be left guessing till near the end before you realize the truth! I had several suspicious and found myself talking to the characters on more than one occasion. In the end, I was glad that I prolonged the agony of not knowing and stayed with characters as the truth unfolded.

I really loved reading this book and give it 5-stars! You will want to be sure to carve out some solid blocks of time for enjoying this story, as you won’t want to put it down!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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Grab your Copy!

A Rumored Fortune

About the Author:

Joanna-Davidson-Politano  Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her.

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Books by Joanna:

Lady Jayne Disappears

A Rumored Fortune

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