First Line Friday: Ladies of Intrigue

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from a digital galley and may differ from the published text.


Michelle Griep has quickly become an author whose historical fiction is a must read for me.  So I’m very much looking forward to reading her three novellas collected in Ladies of Intrigue.

Set in the port village of Treporth in 1815 Cornwall, England, here are the first lines from the first of the three novellas, The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady:

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The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo (review)

thealamobride_ybarbo_barbourKathleen Y’Barbo’s The Alamo Bride is the seventh entry in the Daughters of the Mayflower multi-author series from Barbour.  Each short novel may be read as a stand-alone, though a quick review of the genealogy chart included is always a good idea.

Ellis Dumont doesn’t know if the wounded man she is caring for in her family’s barn is on the side of the Mexican Army, and neither does he once fully awakened for the healing herbs she has used to keep him asleep. Continue reading

Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer

DeathInTheStocks__final_CVR.inddI just finished reading Death in the Stocks, and I must say that it may turn out to be a firm favorite among Georgette Heyer’s mysteries.  Full of Bright Young Things and slightly more sober members of law enforcement, it was a delight to read from the stunning beginning when a murdered Andrew Vereker is discovered with his feet in the stocks in the village green, to the goings on at the artist’s loft where his half-brother and half-sister are more likely to toast his death with champagne than mourn him. Continue reading

Spotlight: RES-Q Tyler Stop by June McRary Jacobs with Book Excerpt (& Giveaway Link!)


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for RES-Q Tyler Stop by June McCrary Jacobs with JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: RES-Q Tyler Stop
Series: Tyler Stop, Book 1
Author: June McCrary Jacobs
Publisher: JMJ Story Stitcher Books
Release Date: April 22, 2019
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction

It’s the summer of 1968 in Sonoma County, California, and eleven-year-old Weston Gregg and his nine-year-old sister, Wendy, are looking for fun things to do during their summer break from school. When they discover some abandoned rabbits, they hatch an idea to make a positive difference for animals and people in their small town of Tyler Stop.

They decide to form ‘Rescue Each Species-Quickly’, or RES-Q Tyler Stop.

There are challenges to face as they move forward into their new venture, including standing up to someone who is targeting Weston’s friends for being different and a painfully bad decision. Continue reading

First Line Friday: Spring Magic

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.


April, it turns out, is a fabulous month for read-alongs.  First, Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility with two of my sisters – and a mutual decision to listen to an audiobook version, with each individually finding and enjoying the same Librivox recording by Karen Savage.  On April 2nd, I began my annual re-read of The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Arnim as part of an Instagram read-along, reading one chapter a night.   On the  7th I began another Instagram read-along, re-reading The Blue Castle, my favorite L.M. Montgomery novel, over the space of three evenings.

I had intended to wait until closer to the end of the month to begin the fourth read-along selection, but could not resist starting Spring Magic by D.E. (Dorothy Emily) Stevenson this week. This is the only one of the four that is completely new to me.  I’m currently about 25% in and feeling that it could hardly be a better companion read to the the other three.  Now, along with the English countryside, Muskoka in Ontario, and a castle in Italy, I’m on a vicarious holiday in the Scottish seaside village of Cairn, circa 1942.

Here is the publisher’s description, taken from my lovely new edition from Dean Street Press:

Frances was free. She had enough money for her holiday, and when it was over she would find useful work. Her plans were vague, but she would have plenty of time to think things out when she got to Cairn. One thing only was certain—she was never going back to prison again.

Young Frances Field arrives in a scenic coastal village in Scotland, having escaped her dreary life as an orphan treated as little more than a servant by an uncle and aunt. Once there, she encounters an array of eccentric locals, the occasional roar of enemy planes overhead, and three army wives—Elise, Tommy, and Tillie—who become fast friends. Elise warns Frances of the discomforts of military life, but she’s inclined to disregard the advice when she meets the dashing and charming Captain Guy Tarlatan.

The ensuing tale, one of D.E. Stevenson’s most cheerful and satisfying, is complicated by a local laird with a shady reputation, a Colonel’s daughter who’s a bit too cosy with Guy, a spring reputed to guarantee marriage within a year to those who drink from it, and a series of misunderstandings only finally resolved in the novel’s harrowing climax.

Spring Magic, first published in 1942, is here reprinted for the first time in more than three decades. Furrowed Middlebrow and Dean Street Press are also reprinting four more of Stevenson’s best works—Smouldering Fire, Mrs. Tim Carries On, Mrs. Tim Gets a Job, and Mrs. Tim Flies Home. This new edition includes an introduction by Alexander McCall Smith.

And here is the first line:

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A Most Inconvenient Love by Ruth Logan Herne (Blog Tour)

A Most Inconvenient Love - Front Cover.jpgRuth Logan Herne’s novella collection, The Sewing Sisters’ Society, introduced the grumpy bachelor Levi Eichas and his three sisters, and showed them starting to break free from the drudgery and restrictions that they had continued to live with after their father’s death.  Levi found love and his sister’s unique talents began to gain appreciation.

In A Most Inconvenient Love, Rachel Eichas has taken a job as the school teacher in Second Chance, South Dakota, and is fully enjoying her newfound independence as well as a new wardrobe that does not include the word “serviceable” Continue reading