Spotlight: The Coronation by Justin Newland (review+giveaway)

The Coronation
by Justin Newland

Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Matador
Paperback & eBook; 299 pages

Genre: Historical Fantasy

It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.

In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.

Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…

“The author is an excellent storyteller.” – British Fantasy Society

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Justin Newland was born in Essex, England, three days before the end of 1953.

His love of literature began with swashbuckling sea stories, pirates and tales of adventure. Undeterred by the award of a Doctorate in Mathematics from Imperial College, London, he worked in I.T. and later ran a hotel.

His taste in literature is eclectic: from literary fiction and fantasy, to science fiction, with a special mention for the magical realists and the existentialists. Along the way, he was wooed by the muses of history, both ancient and modern, and then got happily lost in the labyrinths of mythology, religion and philosophy. Justin writes secret histories in which real events and historical personages are guided and motivated by numinous and supernatural forces.

His debut novel, The Genes of Isis, is a tale of love, destruction, and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt, and which tells the secret history of the human race, Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

His second is The Old Dragon’s Head, a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times.

Set during the Enlightenment, his third novel, The Coronation reveals the secret history of perhaps the single most important event of the modern world – The Industrial Revolution.

He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

My Thoughts

The Coronation is a curious mix of history, faith, superstition, and the supernatural that at times confounds, but ultimately just works. Set during the Seven Years War in 1761, with glimpses of the Prussian and Russian Imperial courts, the story focuses primarily on Countess Marion von Adler as she works to save the people of her Prussian estate from starvation and her children from harm. As Lieutenant Ian Fermor, left for dead after his Russian company raids the von Adler estate, heals under her care and begins to dream of the great Adler – a supernatural eagle he believes is an angel of God – events are set into motion that will see Marion and Ian’s lives in danger.

Wending its way through brief scenes featuring a variety of characters, the tensions mount with plots, perfidy, and peril. Author Justin Newland has crafted a multi-faceted tale that may initially seem fragmented, but comes together as a whole while maintaining a bit of mystery and the question of whether the followers of the Adler are heretics, heroes, or victims of mass delusion.

As I began to read, I was increasingly unsure if this was really my cup of tea, but pushing through lead to a very interesting reading experience. This is Historical Fantasy unlike any I have read before, so grounded in history that I had to remind myself that it is indeed a work of fantasy. Recommended.

This review refers to a digital galley I voluntarily read, courtesy of the author. A positive review was not required and these are only my own, honest opinions.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 26
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, April 27
Review at Vincent Triola

Thursday, April 29
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Friday, April 30
Excerpt at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, May 3
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, May 5
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Friday, May 7
Review at Bookworlder

Tuesday, May 11
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Friday, May 14
Review at Nurse Bookie

Monday, May 17
Review at Libri Draconis

Friday, May 21
Guest Post Historical Fiction Reviews

Tuesday, May 25
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, May 31
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Coronation! Two paperbacks are up for grabs.

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Coronation
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Spotlight: Lady August by Becky Michaels (review+giveaway)

Lady August
by Becky Michaels

Publication Date: March 30, 2021
Mildred Press
Paperback & eBook; 310 pages

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

 

August Summer thinks she is a nobody until a London solicitor barges into her employer’s drawing room, revealing not only is she the daughter of an earl but a wealthy heiress as well. Optimistic about a new life, she travels to her ancestral home of Linfield Hall, only for her brother to banish her to London to live with her aunt, a dowager duchess with a reputation.

When Lord Bolton asks him to fetch his illegitimate daughter, solicitor Samuel Brooks does not expect himself to become so invested in the young woman’s debut after wanting nothing to do with dinners and balls before. But as August navigates her way through this new world of the British aristocracy, Brooks is the one who is most dazzled by her unexpected charms.

Since society demands every young girl must marry, August decides she will accept nothing less than someone’s heart in exchange for possession of her newfound fortune. Forced to reexamine his negative views of love and marriage or lose August forever, Brooks soon realizes his heart is the only thing in danger of becoming possessed.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

 

Becky Michaels is a historical romance author and self-proclaimed Anglophile. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in English, she reluctantly decided to get a day job but never stopped writingóor dreaming. THE LAND STEWARD’S DAUGHTER, a Regency romance set in 1815 England, is her debut novel. Despite the cold winters and high rent, she still lives in the Boston area with her boyfriend and cat.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Goodreads

Review

There’s a dash of the Cinderella in this Regency story, complete with a cruel step-mother figure and an avaricious sibling. But in the hands of Becky Michaels, Lady August also manages to feel quite modern, as her heroine is no innocent maiden and the hero is no one dimensional prince.

August Summer, erstwhile orphan and governess whose one wish is to have a family, is surprised to learn that her father is alive – though not long for this world – and an Earl. To honor his dying wishes, she must be given a Season and be introduced to society, so she’s shipped off to London to be chaperoned by her aunt, a widow of a certain reputation. The attempts to sabotage her debut do not end there, but at every slight or threat, solicitor Samuel Brooks is quick to defend her. Though he makes for a reluctant and rather anti-social hero, August is soon smitten by her marriage-averse champion.

Lady August does, at times, bring to mind other romances I’ve enjoyed, while still being distinctly it’s own story. The cast of secondary characters helps to keep things lively, and there are few, if any, lulls in the story.

With themes of infidelity, betrayal, and with the history of abuse in the Brooks family, this is still a surprisingly upbeat and charming story, mostly due to the irrepressible August. And while the cover – which is lovely – is reflective of August’s spirit, it does not reflect the fact that this is an open door romance that includes intimacies between characters, accompanied with occasionally graphic language.

All in all, a very entertaining and enjoyable Historical Romance read. If you enjoy Regency romance on the frisky side with a plucky heroine and a damaged hero, Lady August might be just your cup of tea.

This review refers to a finished paperback I voluntarily received from the author. A positive review was not required and these are only my own, honest opinions.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 3
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, May 4
Excerpt at Novels Alive
Review at Probably at the Library

Wednesday, May 5
Review at Bookworlder

Friday, May 7
Review at Novels Alive
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Monday, May 10
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Wednesday, May 12
Excerpt at I’m All About Books

Friday, May 14
Review at Two Bookish Babes

Monday, May 17
Review at Annaís Book Blog

Tuesday, May 18
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, May 20
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, May 21
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Monday, May 24
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, May 25
Interview at Jorie Loves A Story

Wednesday, May 26
Review at andreajanel_reads

Friday, May 28
Excerpt at The Tea Queen

Monday, May 31
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 1
Interview at Reader_Ceygo

Wednesday, June 2
Review at Reader_Ceygo
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at Older & Smarter

Thursday, June 3
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Friday, June 4
Review at The Enchanted Shelf

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Lady August by Becky Michaels!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on June 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

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Continue reading “Spotlight: Lady August by Becky Michaels (review+giveaway)”

Cover Reveal/Giveaway: Out Front the Following Sea by Leah Angstman

Out Front the Following Sea: A Novel of King William’s War in 17th-Century New England
by Leah Angstman

Publication Date: January 11, 2022
Regal House Publishing
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook; 334 pages

Genre: Historical / Literary / Epic

**Shortlisted for the Chaucer Book Award**

OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a historical epic of one woman’s survival in a time when the wilderness is still wild, heresy is publicly punishable, and being independent is worse than scorned–it is a death sentence.

At the onset of King William’s War between French and English settlers in 1689 New England, Ruth Miner is accused of witchcraft for the murder of her parents and must flee the brutality of her town. She stows away on the ship of the only other person who knows her innocence: an audacious sailor–Owen–bound to her by years of attraction, friendship, and shared secrets. But when Owen’s French ancestry finds him at odds with a violent English commander, the turmoil becomes life-or-death for the sailor, the headstrong Ruth, and the cast of Quakers, Pequot Indians, soldiers, highwaymen, and townsfolk dragged into the fray. Now Ruth must choose between sending Owen to the gallows or keeping her own neck from the noose.

Steeped in historical events and culminating in a little-known war on pre-American soil, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a story of early feminism, misogyny, arbitrary rulings, persecution, and the treatment of outcasts, with parallels still mirrored and echoed in today’s society. The debut novel will appeal to readers of Paulette Jiles, Alexander Chee, Hilary Mantel, James Clavell, Bernard Cornwell, TaraShea Nesbit, Geraldine Brooks, Stephanie Dray, Patrick O’Brian, and E. L. Doctorow.

Available for Pre-Order

Regal House Print | Amazon Kindle

Praise

“With OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, Leah Angstman reveals herself as a brave new voice in historical fiction. With staggering authenticity, Angstman gives us a story of America before it was America–an era rife with witch hunts and colonial intrigue and New World battles all but forgotten in our history books and popular culture. This is historical fiction that speaks to the present, recalling the bold spirits and cultural upheavals of a nation yet to be born.”
–Taylor Brown, author of PRIDE OF EDEN, GODS OF HOWL MOUNTAIN, and THE RIVER OF KINGS

“Steeped in lush prose, authentic period detail, and edge-of-your-seat action, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a rollicking good read. Leah Angstman keeps the story moving at a breathtaking pace, and she knows more 17th-century seafaring language and items of everyday use than you can shake a stick at. The result is a compelling work of romance, adventure, and historical illumination that pulls the reader straight in.”
–Rilla Askew, author of FIRE IN BEULAH, THE MERCY SEAT, and KIND OF KIN

“Lapidary in its research and lively in its voice, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA by Leah Angstman is a rollicking story, racing along with wind in its sails. Though her tale unfolds hundreds of years in America’s past, Ruth Miner is the kind of high-spirited heroine whose high adventures haul you in and hold you fast.”
–Kathleen Rooney, author of LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK and CHER AMI AND MAJOR WHITTLESEY

“Leah Angstman has written the historical novel that I didn’t know I needed to read. OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is set in an oft-forgotten time in the brutal wilds of pre-America that is so vividly and authentically drawn, with characters that are so alive and relevant, and a narrative so masterfully paced and plotted, that Angstman has performed the miracle of layering the tumultuous past over our troubled present to gift us a sparkling new reality.”
–Kevin Catalano, author of WHERE THE SUN SHINES OUT and DELETED SCENES AND OTHER STORIES

“OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a fascinating book, the kind of historical novel that evokes its time and place so vividly that the effect is just shy of hallucinogenic. I enjoyed it immensely.”
–Scott Phillips, author of THE ICE HARVEST, THE WALKAWAY, COTTONWOOD, and HOP ALLEY

“OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a meticulously researched novel that mixes history, love story, and suspense. Watching Angstman’s willful protagonist, Ruth Miner, openly challenge the brutal world of 17th-century New England, with its limiting ideas about gender, race, and science, was a delight.”
–Aline Ohanesian, author of ORHAN’S INHERITANCE

“Leah Angstman is a gifted storyteller with a poet’s sense of both beauty and darkness, and her stunning historical novel, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, establishes her as one of the most exciting young novelists in the country. Angstman plunges the reader into a brilliantly realized historical milieu peopled by characters real enough to touch. And in Ruth Miner, we are introduced to one of the most compelling protagonists in contemporary literature, a penetratingly intelligent, headstrong woman who is trying to survive on her wits alone in a Colonial America that you won’t find in the history books. A compulsive, vivid read that will change the way you look at the origins of our country, Leah Angstman’s OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA announces the arrival of a preternatural talent.”
–Ashley Shelby, author of MURI and SOUTH POLE STATION

“Rich, lyrical, and atmospheric, with a poetís hand and a historianís attention to detail. In OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, Leah Angstman creates an immersive world for readers to get lost in and a fascinating story to propel them through it. A thoroughly engaging and compelling tale.”
–Steph Post, author of HOLDING SMOKE, MIRACULUM, and WALK IN THE FIRE

“It’s a rare story that makes you thankful for having read and experienced it. It’s rarer still for a story to evoke so wholly, so powerfully, another place and time as to make you thankful for the gifts that exist around you, which you take for granted. OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a book rich with misery, yet its characters are indefatigable; they yearn, despite their troubles, for victories personal and societal. Leah Angstman’s eye is keen, and her ability to transport you into America’s beginnings is powerful. With the raw ingredients of history, she creates a story both dashing and pensive, robust yet believable. From an unforgiving time, Angstman draws out a tale of all things inhuman, but one that reminds us of that which is best in all of us.”
–Eric Shonkwiler, author of ABOVE ALL MEN and 8TH STREET POWER AND LIGHT

About the Author

 

Leah Angstman is a historian and transplanted Michigander living in Boulder. OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, her debut novel of King William’s War in 17th-century New England, is forthcoming from Regal House in January 2022. Her writing has been a finalist for the Saluda River Prize, Cowles Book Prize, Able Muse Book Award, Bevel Summers Fiction Prize, and Chaucer Book Award, and has appeared in Publishers Weekly, L.A. Review of Books, Nashville Review, Slice, and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief for Alternating Current and The Coil magazine and copyeditor for Underscore News, which has included editing partnerships with ProPublica. She is an appointed vice chair of a Colorado historical commission and liaison to a Colorado historic preservation committee.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Medium | Ello | Mailing List

Cover Reveal Hosts

A Darn Good Read
Books, Cooks, Looks
Bookworlder
CelticLady’s Reviews
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Coffee and Ink
Donna’s Book Blog
Jessica Belmont
Little But Fierce Book Diary
Novels Alive
Passages to the Past
Pursuing Stacie
Reading is My Remedy
The Caffeinated Bibliophile
The Enchanted Shelf
Two Bookish Babes

ARC Giveaway!

Spotlight: When God Says No by Elizabeth Laing Thompson (Takeover Tour Giveaway)

When God Says No JustRead Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for When God Says “No” by Elizabeth Laing Thompson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

When God Says No

Title: When God Says “No”: Facing Disappointment and Denial without Losing Heart, Losing Hope, or Losing Your Head
Author: Elizabeth Laing Thompson
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Release Date: May 1, 2021
Genre: Christian Nonfiction

No is not a four-letter word, but it certainly feels like one.

It’s one thing to feel God’s love when life goes your way, but what happens to your faith when life doesn’t go as you had planned?

When prayers go unanswered and dreams unfulfilled?

When the sick stay sick and the dead do not rise?

When you’re lost in the desert and the Promised Land seems like empty promise?

When God says, “No,” how do you grapple with disappointment?

Author Elizabeth Laing Thompson walks alongside readers as she tackles the difficulties that stymie our faith, stifle our prayers, and stunt our relationship with God. When God Says, “No” will help you to discover hope when life feels hopeless, good in what feels bad, and new dreams when old ones have died. This book is a fantastic reminder of Who is in charge—Who He is and how He works. How He loves us and why He limits us. The better we know Him, the more we understand that He says “No” to a few things, so He might say “Yes” to many more.

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

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Laing Thompson

Elizabeth Laing Thompson writes at LizzyLife.com about clinging to Christ through the chaos of daily life. As a minister, speaker, and novelist, she loves finding humor in holiness and hope in heartache. She lives in North Carolina with her preacher husband and four spunky kids, and they were totally worth the wait.

CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of When God Says No and a $15 Amazon gift card!

When God Says No 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 3, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 10, 2021. 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.

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

JustRead Publicity Tours

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Spotlight: The Cotillion Brigade by Glen Craney (tour-wide giveaway)

The Cotillion Brigade: A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History
by Glen Craney

Publication Date: March 15, 2021
Brigidís Fire Press
Paperback & eBook; 399 pages

Georgia burns.
Shermanís Yankees are closing in.
Will the women of LaGrange run or fight?

Based on the true story of the celebrated Nancy Hart Rifles, The Cotillion Brigade is a sweeping epic of the Civil Warís ravages on family and love, the resilient bonds of sisterhood amid devastation, and the miracle of reconciliation between bitter enemies.

“Gone With The Wind meets A League Of Their Own.”

1856. Sixteen-year-old Nannie Colquitt Hill makes her debut in the antebellum society of the Chattahoochee River plantations. A thousand miles to the north, a Wisconsin farm boy, Hugh LaGrange, joins an Abolitionist crusade to ban slavery in Bleeding Kansas.

Five years later, secession and total war against the homefronts of Dixie hurl them toward a confrontation unrivaled in American history.

Nannie defies the traditions of Southern gentility by forming a women’s militia and drilling it four long years to prepare for battle. With their men dead, wounded, or retreating with the Confederate armies, only Captain Nannie and her Fighting Nancies stand between their beloved homes and the Yankee torches.

Hardened into a slashing Union cavalry colonel, Hugh duels Rebel generals Joseph Wheeler and Nathan Bedford Forrest across Tennessee and Alabama. As the war churns to a bloody climax, he is ordered to drive a burning stake deep into the heart of the Confederacy.

Yet one Georgia town–which by mocking coincidence bears Hughís last name–stands defiant in his path.

Read the remarkable story of the Southern women who formed America’s most famous female militia and the Union officer whose life they changed forever.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

About the Author

A graduate of Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Glen Craney practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to write about national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine. In 1996, the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting. His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was named Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards. He is a three-time Finalist/Honorable Mention winner of Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year and a Chaucer Award winner for Historical Fiction. His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, the Scotland of Robert Bruce, Portugal during the Age of Discovery, the trenches of France during World War I, the battlefields of the Civil War, and the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. He lives in Malibu, California, and has served as president of the Southern California Chapter of the Historical Novel Society.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 19
Feature at Cover Lover Book Review

Tuesday, April 20
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Wednesday, April 21
Feature at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Thursday, April 22
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Friday, April 23
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, April 26
Guest Post at Pamela Stephen

Wednesday, April 28
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, April 29
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Friday, April 30
Feature at Bookworlder

Monday, May 3
Review & Excerpt at Robin Loves Reading

Tuesday, May 4
Interview at Books & Benches

Wednesday, May 5
Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, May 6
Review at Two Bookish Babes

Friday, May 7
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, May 8
Feature at I’m Into Books

Monday, May 10
Review at Girl Who Reads
Review at A Darn Good Read

Friday, May 14
Review at The Enchanted Shelf
Interview at American Historical Novels

Giveaway

We have ten eBooks of The Cotillion Brigade by Glen Craney up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Cotillion Brigade
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Spotlight: The Watcher by Sara Davison (excerpt+giveaway)

The Watcher JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Watcher by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Watcher

Title: The Watcher
Author: Sara Davison
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink
Release Date: April 15, 2021
Genre: Christian speculative romantic suspense

Someone or something is watching Kathryn Ellison.

Kathryn thought she had buried memories of That Night for good—until Nick Lawson returns, reigniting her long-suppressed feelings for him. Seeing Nick has always reminded her too much of the horrible night that changed her life. As much as she wants to be with him, she wants even more to forget. When Nick unexpectedly shows up at her family ranch, Kathryn knows it is finally time to let go of the traumatic past that has held her captive for so long.

David Henley is a captive too—of the dark secret involving Kathryn, a secret he’s kept even from his wife. Now the truth is about to be revealed. And when it is, he could be stripped of everything in his life that matters to him.

A storm is brewing in the spiritual realm, and its effects reverberate through the natural world, summoning otherworldly Beings to the ranch. While Kathryn confronts the memories of That Night and struggles to let them go, she is not as alone in her home as she thinks.

As spiritual and temporal forces collide, Kathryn—and everyone she loves—is about to be caught in the crossfire.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Davison

Sara Davison is the author of three romantic suspense series—The Seven Trilogy, The Night Guardians, and The Rose Tattoo Trilogy. She has been a finalist for ten national writing awards, including Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, a Selah, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a Word and Cascade Award winner. She currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children. The words on the mug she uses every morning pretty much sum up her life—I just want to sleep, drink coffee, and make stuff up. Get to know Sara better at http://www.saradavison.org and @sarajdavison.

CONNECT WITH SARA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


EXCREPT

“Hey.” Kathryn glared at the man. “You don’t know him, and you don’t know me. And I’m not about to take relationship advice from a man who has to use a gun to get a woman to go with him.”

When the stranger spoke, every word was an icy finger trailing up and down her spine. “If I were you, I’d keep my mouth shut, lady. You do not want to make me mad.”

“Maybe you don’t want to make me mad, either.” Defiance was useless, given the odds, but Kathryn drew strength from it anyway.

The man snorted. “Oh, I think I’ve already done that. The difference is,” he leaned forward and stroked her cheek with the barrel of the gun. “If I get angry, I can do something about it.”


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Watcher and a $25 Amazon gift card!

The Watcher 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 April 26, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on May 3, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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JustRead Publicity Tours

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In the Lobby: A Penelope Harris Short Story by E.W. Cooper (review)

In the Lobby is a prequel short story in E.W. Cooper’s Penelope Harris Mysteries series. This brief (31 page) story sets the stage for the series, but feels more like a bit of an adventure than a mystery.

Penelope’s mother Eleanor is upstairs unpacking in their new home, her brother James is likely off in a New York speakeasy, and Penelope herself is supposed to be keeping a low profile. But there’s an impromptu audition downstairs in The Excelsior and the incorrigible elevator boy ensures that she doesn’t miss it – little knowing that she was the “Shanghai Songbird” before leaving her scandalous past behind in China and that being found by the press is the last thing she wants.

This is such a fun story, with Penelope being drawn into the drama around the people who are involved in the auditions. Vera being the most fun of all, with her over the top personality that brought several period actresses to mind.

If you enjoy cozy mysteries and a 1920’s setting (and don’t mind a few typos), definitely give this story and the series a go.


This review refers to a digital short I purchased through Amazon. I then discovered that it is currently being offered as a free gift for signing up for the author’s newsletter. Oh, well…

In The Lobby by E.W. Cooper (Penelope Harris Mysteries #0.5)| Ink Dog Press, Feb 2021 | ebook, 31 pages


About the Book

September 1928, New York City. All she wanted was a fresh start. Then there was an audition in her hotel lobby.

Penelope Harris has returned to America decades after she moved to the Far East with her family. Now she’s back and hoping for a fresh start, her speckled past behind her. All she has to do is keep her head down and her nose clean.

A cattle call audition crashes the lobby of her hotel, and a curious Penelope just can’t help being nosy. An actress locked in a meat locker cinches her interest. Can she help a girl in need? Or will the newspapers sniff her out when they realize she’s surfaced in plain sight?

The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma (review)

Liz Tolsma’s The Silver Shadow is based around crimes perpetrated by the once infamous “Capitol Hill Thug” who assaulted women walking alone after dark in 1900-1901 Denver. In an end note, the author states that this was her most fictionalized of the four stories she’s written for the multi-author True Colors series of true American Historical crime/Inspirational romantic suspense from Barbour Books.

With little source material to work with, Tolsma has woven the story of a young newspaper reporter, Polly Blythe, who is determined to prove herself in a field hostile to women and the policeman, Edwin Timmer, who is determined to bring the Shadow to justice. Interspersed between Polly and Edwin’s growing attraction as they work together and face professional obstacles are chapters that slowly reveal the motivation of the man Polly will name the Silver Shadow.

The Silver Shadow is the eleventh book in the True Crimes series, which can (luckily for me) be read in any order. So, if you have enjoyed other titles in the series you may enjoy this new addition, or if not, then this is a fine place to start. Either way, this is an enjoyable entry in the series, bringing to life an obscure piece of American criminal history. At times it felt that the proscribed length for this series was a hindrance to delving deeper, but Polly and Edwin are personable, the challenges they face keep the story moving, and I enjoyed how commonplace the element of faith was in Edwin’s home and the police station – though not in the newspaper office.


The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma (True Colors #11) | Barbour Publishing, May 1, 2021 | ebook,

This review refers to a temporary digital galley I voluntarily read via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review was not required and all opinions are my own.


About the Book

Fiction Based on Strange, But True, History
 
True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through a unique stories of historical romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times.
 
Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

His Small-Town Girl by Lacy Williams (review + thoughts on Cowboy Ever After)

Looking to put the traumas of his past behind him and get back out of Sutter’s Hollow, Cord Coulter is not too pleased by the appearance of Molly English, even less so when he learns that someone put a help wanted poster up on his behalf. But no matter how hostile he is, Molly remains determined and positive, until the traumas of her recent past begin to be revealed.

But despite the threat that has Molly panicking and the past that has left Cord bitter, their presence in each other’s lives are a godsend. This grumpy/sunshine pairing makes for such a sweet romance as they essentially save each other.

A highly enjoyable Contemporary Romance, this is the first in Lacy Williams’ Sutter’s Hollow series of small town, chaste romances.

This review refers to a temporary digital galley I voluntarily read through NetGalley, courtesy of the author/publisher. A positive review was not required and these are only my own, honest opinions.

About His Small-Town Girl

His Small-Town Girl by Lacy Williams (Sutter’s Hollow #1) | Lacy Williams Books, LLC, May 2020 | ebook, 250 pages

She’s sweet and wholesome. And hiding something.

He’s back home, resurrecting old ghosts.

One of them is going to get hurt.

Molly arrives in Sutter’s Hollow out of gas and out of options. The rundown ranch seems like a perfect place to hide. Except the man who owns it seems just as dangerous as what’s chasing her.

Cord’s mantra growing up? Get out of Sutter’s Hollow. Now he’s back in town, but only long enough to get rid of his grandma’s ball and chain—the ranch. He doesn’t need a complication like Molly, who reminds him of an injured baby bird. He’s no protector. So why can’t he tell her to get lost?

Cowboy Ever After

She’s the girl he walked away from but never forgot.

He only needs her help, not her heart.

After the fireworks fade, he’ll walk away all over again…

As Cord, driven by circumstance and encouraged by Molly, reluctantly reaches out to his estranged younger brother West in His Small-Town Girl, I couldn’t help but hope that West’s story would be told. While not the focus of books 2 or 3 in Lacy Williams’ Sutter’s Hollow series (those would be Cord’s childhood neighbors and friends), Cowboy Ever After is his story.

Cowboy Ever After is a second chance romance set one year after His Small-Town Girl. It is terribly sweet and quick read that begins with false first impressions when West returns to Sutter’s Hollow while on leave, after leaving Cassie behind to join the Marines over 9 years ago.

This short story will definitely appeal to fans of Lacy Williams, Contemporary Romance, and Military Romance. It is available to VIP members of the author’s mailing list as a free prequel short story.

Bent Tree Bride by Denise Weimar (review+giveaway)

Bent Tree Bride JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Bent Tree Bride by Denise Weimer, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Bent Tree BrideTitle: Bent Tree Bride
Author: Denise Weimer
Publisher: Smitten Historical Romance
Release Date: April 13, 2021
Genre: Christian historical romance

“Romance. Intrigue. Honor. All that and more. I heartily recommend it.” —Michelle Griep, Christy Award-winning author

Susanna Moore can’t get him out of her mind—the learned lieutenant who delivered the commission from Andrew Jackson making her father colonel of the Cherokee Regiment. But the next time she sees Lieutenant Sam Hicks, he’s leading a string of prisoners into a frontier fort, and he’s wearing the garb of a Cherokee scout rather than the suit of a white gentleman.

As both Susanna’s father and Sam’s commanding officer, Colonel Moore couldn’t have made his directive to stay away from his daughter clearer to Sam. He wants a better match for Susanna—like the stuffy doctor who escorted her to Creek Territory. Then a suspected spy forces Moore to rely on Sam for military intelligence and Susanna’s protection, making it impossible for either to guard their heart.

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

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Denise Weimer

Denise Weimer writes historical and contemporary romance and romantic suspense mostly set in her home state of Georgia. She’s authored a dozen traditionally published novels and a number of novellas. As a managing editor at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, she also helps others reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.

CONNECT WITH DENISE: Website | Facebook | Twitter


MY THOUGHTS

A struggle to do what is right when your faith is challenged by circumstance and your heart is at odds with family. That is at the core of this historical romance, as mistaken first impressions slowly grow into forbidden love, while duty pulls Susanna Moore and Sam Hicks apart.

In Bent Tree Bride author Denise Weimar explores history through a romance between the daughter of a white American officer and a half-cherokee lieutenant during the Creek War. Blending fictional and historical characters, this is a fascinating fictional account of frontier home life and warfare in the early 1800’s. While I struggled with Sam’s involvement in the massacre of a village and the subsequent statements that he was “only following orders,” there were also parts of this story that I greatly enjoyed, the scenes with Susanna’s Cherokee step-mother and Sam teaching Susanna and her half-brother with knives and tomahawks springing quickly back to mind.

This is Historical Fiction centered around a slow burning romance and faith woven in. While there are light hearted moments, Bent Tree Bride is a more sober read with no excess or fluff, best to set aside time for rather than pick up here and there.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Bent Tree Bride and related story, The Witness Tree (2019), a pair of silver feather earrings, and a $20 Amazon gift card! (retail value $60)

Bent Tree Bride JustRead giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 20, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 27, 2021. 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.

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