Blog Blitz: Dance with Me by Tope Omotosho (excerpt + giveaway)

Dance With Me Blog Blitz
Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Dance with Me by Tope Omotosho, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Dance with Me

Title: Dance with Me
Author: Tope Omotosho
Publisher: Beautiful Feet Publishing
Release Date: January 19, 2020
Genre: Inspirational Fiction

The past is a tricky place. For some, it’s a place to be desperately held on to, for others a place never to be revisited.

For Micah Oramah, the pain of a profound loss has caused his faith to be shaken. Blinded by grief, he questions if serving God is actually worth it.

Tomboy and makeup artist, Zainab Baruwa-Phillips is head over heels in love with God. The only cloud is her past which she is desperate to erase. However, she’ll learn that her past is a strength God is looking to use for his glory.

In Dance With Me, you’ll experience the beauty of our individuality to God.

PURCHASE LINKS*: GoodreadsAmazon



Tope Omotosho

Tope Omotosho is passionate about impacting the world through timeless wisdom and knowledge found in her thought-provoking stories. Her stories and articles cut across love, relationship, and romance in a way that does not deny the relevance of God in our everyday life.

She is a devoted Christian passionate about bringing people to the knowledge of God’s true and unfailing love. You can read more about her stories and articles on

CONNECT WITH TOPE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Shola had called five times that evening and still, Tobi wasn’t ready to talk to him. It was only a matter of time before he came looking for her.  

Tobi popped some pop-corn into her mouth, a novel in another hand.

“Your ringtone is beginning to irritate me. It’s either you turn the phone off or put it on silent.” Detan complained, his eyes refocusing on the basketball game.

“Sorry,” she muttered.

“Who’s calling you sef?”


He looked at her again. Eyes narrowed. Disbelief on his face. “Pick his call nau. Abi wetin happen? You guys are fighting again?”


Detan muted the game and faced her. “What happened?”

“It’s not that serious for you to mute your game.” She picked her phone and decided to send her husband a text. “We will be fine.”

“Talk jere.”

“I’m serious. Married couples have misunderstandings all the time.”

Detan raised his hairy brows. “Okay.” He turned and resumed watching the game. The sounds of the commentators filling the room once more.

“Did you tell him you are here?”

“Yes.” A lie.


(1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Dance with Me!

Dance with Me JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 21, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on October 28, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit by Carrie Hayes review + giveaway

Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit
by Carrie Hayes

Publication Date: February 29, 2020
HTPH Press
Paperback & eBook; 322 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

From Washington Heights to Washington D.C. comes a true American Herstory. Filled with intrigue, lust, and betrayal, this is the fight for sexual equality.

1868, on the eve of the Gilded Age: Spiritualist TENNESSEE CLAFLIN is smart, sexy, and sometimes clairvoyant. But it’s her sister, VICTORIA WOODHULL, who is going to make history as the first woman to run for President of the United States.

It starts with the seduction of the richest man in America. Next, they’ll take New York City and the suffragist movement by storm, because together, Tennessee and Victoria are a force of nature. Boldly ambitious, they stop at nothing, brushing shoulders with Harriet Beecher Stowe and Susan B. Anthony, using enough chutzpah to make a lady blush.

That is, until their backstabbing family takes them to court, and their carefully spun lives unravel, out in public and in the press.

“Unsexed!” — New York Herald, 1872

“Short Haired Women and Long Haired Men.” — New York World, 1872

“Nothing More Than A Shameless Prostitute and A Negro.” — The Guard, Eugene Oregon, 1872

Told from shifting points-of-view and using actual news reportage from the era, Naked Truth is a riveting inside look into the struggle for womenís rights after the Civil War.

Sometimes it is not enough to be the news, sometimes you have to make the news as well.” — James Gordon Bennett, Jr., Proprietor of the New York Herald

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


“Divisiveness. Chutzpah. Seduction. Politics. Oppression. Spirituality. Gender relations. Betrayal. Healers -vs- scam artists. Fortitude. Dismay. Against-all-odds battles. Fighting the good fight. Just like the plight of humanity today, the historical and excellently well-crafted novel, NAKED TRUTH: OR EQUALITY THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Carrie Hayes has it all.” ***** — INDIE READER

“Hayes writes with such care and authenticity that the reader will likely be unsure where the history ends and the fiction begins.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Naked Truth: Or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit is a rich, balanced, and deftly written story that is as moving as it is entertaining.” ***** — Readers’ Favorite

“(Hayes) has found a fascinating chapter in history to explore, and Victoria and Tennie are compelling protagonists: fiercely determined, morally ambiguous, and deeply complicated. Readers with an interest in first-wave feminism, New York history, and detailed storytelling will enjoy mining this debut, which nicely sets up a sequel.” — Book Life

“I thought this novel was brilliant from start to finish. It is fresh, it is vibrant, and the story is one that has been waiting to be told.” ***** — CoffeePot Book Club

Naked Truth is a smooth fast read. Carrie Hayes’ marvelous interlacing of history with the narrative sparks an American story as well as a woman story. She has made this pair of wily sisters and their slickster father vivid and timeless.” — Gail Godwin, three time National Book Award Finalist

About the Author

Over the years, Carrie has tried a lot of things. She’s sold vacuum cleaners, annuities and sofas. She’s lived at the beach and lived in Europe. She’s taught school and worked in film. For a while, she was an aspiring librarian, but she fell in love and threw her life away instead. Back in the States, she started over, then met an architect who said, “Why don’t you become a kitchen designer?” So, she did. Eventually she designed interiors, too. And all that time, she was reading. What mattered was having something to read. Slowly, she realized her craving for books sprang from her need to know how things would turn out. Because in real life, you don’t know how things will turn out. But if you write it, you do. Naked Truth or Equality the Forbidden Fruit is her first book.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads


Naked Truth is an unflinching portrait of sisters Tennessee Claflin and Virginia Woodhull in post Civil War America. With a past as clairvoyants and healers, they use what skills they have to scrabble out a fortune and carve out a path through various levels of society. Audacious and determined, the sisters set out to seduce a Carnegie while at the same time warning him of syphilis, then leverage the fortune they amass to become brokers and publish their own newspaper, force their way into the forefront of the suffragette movement, and even run for President. 

Whether championing self sovereignty or dealing with the realities of the philosophy of Free Love, these were women more modern than social mores allowed and author Carrie Hayes brings them – along with a litany of well-known figures – to life along with their triumphs, tragedies, schemes, scandals, and betrayals. This is an engrossing look at two ambitious women from history, written in a no-nonsense style that never jars the reader with authorial flights of fancy, consistently remaining grounded in the reality of these unconventional, ambitious women from history. 

Recommended with a note that this may be a difficult read for some, not in small part due to the lack of consent that was allowed by law.

This review refers to a finished copy I voluntarily read, a positive review was not required and these are only my own, honest opinions.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 19
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 20
Review at Bookworlder
Feature at I’m All About Books

Wednesday, October 21
Review at YA, it’s Lit
Review at andreajanel_reads

Thursday, October 22
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Friday, October 23
Review at Bri’s Book Nook
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Saturday, October 24
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, October 25
Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, October 26
Review at Books and Zebras
Review & Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, October 27
Review at Novels Alive

Wednesday, October 28
Interview at Novels Alive


During the Blog Tour, one lucky reader will win a copy of Naked Truth by Carrie Hayes!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Naked Truth

The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd (review + excerpt + giveaway)

The Light at Wyndcliff
by Sarah E. Ladd

Publication Date: October 13, 2020
Thomas Nelson
Paperback & eBook; 352 Pages

Series: The Cornwall Novels, Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency/Christian

Set in 1820s Cornwall, this Regency romance evokes the captivating worlds and delicious dramas of Jane Austen, Daphne DuMaurier, and Winston Graham.

Raised on the sprawling and rugged Wyndcliff Estate near the dangerous coast of South Cornwall, Evelyn Bray lives with her grandfather, a once-wealthy man reduced to the post of steward. Evelyn is still grieving her father’s death and her mother’s abandonment when a passing ship is dashed against the rocks. The only survivors, a little girl and her injured mother, are rescued and brought to Wyndcliff Hall.

Liam Twethewey is just twenty-two when he inherits Wyndcliff Estate from his great uncle. His optimistic plans to open a china clay pit to employ the estate’s tenants meets unexpected resistance, and the rumors of smuggling and illegal activity challenge his new-found authority. Though wise beyond his years, young Liam quickly finds himself out of his depth in this land where long-held secrets and high-stakes agendas make no room for newcomers.

Brought together by troubling questions surrounding the shipwreck, Evelyn and Liam uncover even darker mysteries shrouding the estate. But as they untangle truths from deceptions, their loyalties separate them – and their budding love might not be strong enough to overcome the distance.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period – the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance. Ladd also has more than ten years of marketing experience. She holds degrees in public relations and marketing and lives in Indiana with her family and spunky Golden Retriever.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | BookBub | Goodreads


In her third Cornwall novel, Sarah E. Ladd sets a moody atmosphere as she tells a story of expectation and anticipation.

When Liam Trethewey journeys to take hold of the inheritance he has waited ten years to claim, he meets Evelyn Bray on the moors of the Wyndcliff Estate. Granddaughter to the estate’s steward, Evelyn has begun to doubt her newly remarried mother’s intention to send for her.

As Liam works towards making the estate profitable again, the harsher realities of being a landholder on the Cornish coast intrude on his plans. And as Evelyn helps Liam to care for the survivors of a local shipwreck, she begins to discover that there is much she does not understand.

With crumbling estates, changes of fortune, insular communities, shipwrecks, eminent danger, and a slow burning chaste romance, this is a not to be missed story for Regency Romance fans. As is this series that features men who receive an inheritance but have to strive to make a living out of it, women who must work within their circumstances to find their place in the world, and the challenges and responsibilities that they meet with courage and integrity. Highly recommended.

This review refers to an Advance Reading Copy I voluntarily read, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review was not required and these are only my own honest opinions.


Chapter 1

Cornwall, early autumn 1820

Wyndcliff Estate

Twenty-two years was a long time to wait for life to begin. Even now, as Liam Twethewey guided his bay horse down the narrow, deeply rutted path, he could barely prevent the grin from spreading on his face.

Only a mile or so more and he would be in his new home. Everything he’d been dreaming of—his plans for developing the moorland and making his own way in the world—was finally within his reach.

He filled his lungs with the damp earth-scented air. The rain had, for the moment, subsided. Night was falling and twilight’s ominous light cast shadows on the barren land surrounding him, and he squinted to assess the ribbon of road winding before him through the moor’s purple grasses and jagged crags.

He might be far from the home he’d known for most of his life, but he already felt a connection to this bit of earth.

For he was now on Wyndcliff estate land.

And it all belonged to him.

Perhaps it would have been wiser to wait for his solicitor, Edwin Kinden, to join him as they’d originally planned. Liam had never set foot on Wyndcliff property, and the directions he’d received at the inn in town were vague at best. As the man tasked with overseeing the transfer of property, Kinden was the most appropriate person to handle all introductions to the place. But after nearly two hours of waiting for the older man to arrive, impatience won out. He’d anticipated this moment for far too long to spend another second sitting idly in a dark, smoky public house.

Liam had left word with the innkeeper for Mr. Kinden to meet him out at Wyndcliff Hall when he arrived. After all, how hard could it be to find a large manor house along the main road at the moor’s edge?

Liam urged his horse to a quicker pace. This might be his property, but it wouldn’t do to be caught in a storm on unfamiliar moorland, especially this close to nightfall.

A gentle rain began to drizzle from the heavens, and Liam was about to press his horse to an even faster pace when a sharp, panicked whinny met his ears. He slowed.

The sound echoed again, followed by a muffled voice.

Concern trumped his enthusiasm, and he halted his horse. But all was now silent. “Anyone there?”

“Yes!” a feminine voice snapped, high and sharp. “Here! Please help! My pony’s caught.”

Alarm pushed Liam from his saddle, and his boots landed with a splash in the mud. After securing his reins to a rugged piece of rock, he tracked the direction of the voice.

“Mind the bog!” The increasingly volatile wind distorted the woman’s cries, tossing them amidst its gusts. “It’s deep along the crag.”

Heeding the warning, Liam stepped from stone to stone, testing each footfall before taking another step on the marshy ground. The wind tore at his greatcoat, threatening his balance. He cut through tall grasses and crested a rocky ridge, and then a flash of dark blue in the sea of brown and stone caught his attention.

A slight woman with windblown golden hair was yanking on the head collar of a gray pony knee-deep in mud.

Alarm at the potentially dangerous situation shook him from his surprise. One wrong step and the woman would be trapped in the bog, just like her pony. “Stay there. Don’t move.”

He retrieved the leather strap from his horse’s head collar and returned back down to the little valley formed between the crags. He inched down the decline, testing the firmness of the ground before committing his full weight.

The mud-caked pony thrashed and awkwardly bucked to free itself. It reeled back, tossing its muzzle and squealing, but instead of helping the pony break loose, each movement tightened the murky substance around its legs.

“Whoa, whoa,” Liam soothed, lowering and calming his voice. With careful, measured steps he approached the animal, ignoring the rain, now more like sharp bits of ice as it pounded his caped greatcoat and wide-brimmed hat.

He had to get closer.

In order to free his own movements he removed his coat, tossed it on higher land, and stepped farther into the bog. His foot instantly sank to his ankle. Like a noose, mud cinched around it. It would be unwise to go farther, so he reached as far as he could and made several attempts to secure the pony’s head collar.

The pony tossed its head in distress, but Liam’s fingers eventually caught on the head collar, and he pulled. He thrust all of his weight backward and pulled harder, careful not to lose control over his own stance.

The pony swung its head and, in a final display of momentum, freed a foreleg. The animal then broke free, and with all the wild gracelessness of a newborn foal it stumbled up onto dryer, firmer land.

Unsettled by the pony’s momentum, Liam toppled back and fell against the damp earth.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 13
Review at Hallie Reads
Feature at Momfluenster

Wednesday, October 14
Review at McCombs on Main
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Probably at the Library

Thursday, October 15
Review at Jessica Belmont

Friday, October 16
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Review & Excerpt at Bookworlder
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Sunday, October 18
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Monday, October 19
Review at Book Bustle

Tuesday, October 20
Review at Books and Zebras
Review at Robin Loves Reading
Review at Into the Hall of Books

Wednesday, October 21
Review at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, October 22
Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, October 23
Review at Lu Reviews Books

Saturday, October 24
Review & Excerpt at Nursebookie

Monday, October 26
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, October 27
Review at Captivated Reading

Wednesday, October 28
Review at Heidi Reads

Thursday, October 29
Review at YA, it’s Lit

Friday, October 30
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Read Review Rejoice


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of The Light at Wyndcliff! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Light at Wyndcliff

Her Secret Song by Mary Connealy (review)

Book Cover: Her Secret Song by Mary Connealy, book 3 of The Brides of Hope Mountain

This is the third book in Mary Connealy’s Brides of Hope Mountain trilogy, starring a trio of sisters who have spent years alone, isolated on the top of a mountain with a fear of the outside world. As each sister finds her match and ventures into the wider world, even if that is just the local town of Bucksnort, they encounter danger and are confronted by the fact that their dearly held faith is slightly off kilter.

Ursula’s story gets off to an exciting start as she finds a wounded Wax (Jake) Mosby on her mountain. The pairing of Ursula and Wax is another echo, for me, of Connealy’s Wild at Heart trilogy, where the oldest sister is paired with a quasi-villain in the final book. And again, this might just be my favorite of the pairings, although Ursula remains the least appealing of the sisters – though I did like her choice to develop a defensive skill to match her younger sisters.

Ursula and Jake’s story brings the sisters and their new husbands all together to confront the villains – whose number have increased – of the series, giving each of the couples small scenes that encapsulate their personalities and relationship dynamics. And this, along with Jake’s character arc, is where Her Secret Song shines.

A pleasant wrap up to a trilogy that, while enjoyable, leaves me wanting to like it more than I do. For those who enjoy historical fiction filled with faith, humor, cowboys, danger, and over the top heroines with mad hunting skills, this trilogy is best read in order.

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

Her Secret Song by Mary Connealy (The Brides of Hope Mountain, #3) | Bethany House, October 2020 | ebook, 304 pages

About Her Secret Song

After a rough winter spent alone, Ursula Nordegren realizes she must overcome her fears of the outside world and begins a trek down Hope Mountain. Along the way she finds a badly wounded stranger and realizes God may have used her decision to leave as a way of saving the man. 

Wax Mosby was climbing Hope Mountain in part to atone for his terrible choices. He was hired to drive out the Warden family and now knows he was duped. But when he’s wounded during the climb, the last person he expects to rescue him is a beautiful blond woman with the voice of an angel. 

As both Ursula and Wax weigh the costs of living new lives, the two find an unlikely bond. And they’re joined by Ursula’s sisters and the Warden family as the final showdown over the family ranch looms with the coming of spring. 

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd (quick review)

Book Cover: The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd

Ghosts, hidden treasures, and a malevolent housekeeper are not what nineteen year old Julia Twethewey expected when she arrives at Lanwyn Manor as a companion to her pregnant, bedridden cousin. Leaving Penwythe Hall to recover from heartbreak, the attraction she feels for Isaac Blake is also unlooked for, as is her aunt’s encouragement of a match with Isaac’s twin brother.

Continue reading “The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd (quick review)”

Spotlight: Simply West of Heaven by Monique Bucheger with excerpt + giveaway

Simply West of Heaven Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Simply West of Heaven by Monique Bucheger, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Simply West of HeavenTitle: Simply West of Heaven
Series: Ginnie West Adventure #3
Author: Monique Bucheger
Publisher: True West Publishing
Release Date:
Genre: Middle-Grade Contemporary Fiction

Twelve-year-old BFFs are matchmaking geniuses. Sweet! Not long after they schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom, Ginnie stumbled upon her late mom’s journals, making life even more awesome sauce … until her dad confiscated the journals, determined to protect Ginnie from a danger he won’t name.

Ginnie is counting on her future sister’s help to make Dad change his mind, but Tillie’s not so sure the ghost of Ginnie’s mom will make a good addition to their new family tree. The girls’ world gets flipped upside-down when a blast from the past shows up and makes Tillie go nutburgers.

Ginnie is torn between helping her best friend and what could be the answer to her deepest wish.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon


Monique Bucheger

When Monique Bucheger isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.

Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, an adorable granddaughter, a son-in-law, three cats, and many real and imaginary friends.

She is the author of several books and plans to write many more. You can find more about Monique and her works on her website.

CONNECT WITH MONIQUE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


“Gross. You had a crush on Mama?” Toran, Ginnie’s twin brother, teased.

“Thanks a lot. I’d forgotten about that.” Buzz grimaced at Uncle Jake and then winked at Toran. “I got over it quick. And remember, I was only seven. But youasked her to marry you.”

“I did notask my mom to marry me!” Toran shook his blond head. “Huh, Dad?”

When Dad coughed into his fist, Ginnie laughed out loud. “You mean it’s true? Finally, an embarrassing little kid story notabout me!”

“It’s nottrue.” Toran waved his hand, pointing from their dad to Ginnie. “Tell them, Dad.”

Dad and Buzz exchanged shrugs and smiles. “Well, Tor. I would, but it istrue.”

Toran crossed his arms, frowning. “How old was I?”

“Three. Your mama thanked you kindly for the offer, but said she couldn’t accept, because she was already married to me.” Dad grinned and squeezed his shoulder. “You didn’t talk to me for the rest of that day.”

Ginnie and Tillie giggled.

Toran shook his head. “It’s not funny.”

“Oh, yes it is!” Ginnie laughed harder and pointed her thumb at her chest. “Now you know how Ifeel—they’re always telling stories about me.”

“Your mama thought it was sweet.” Dad tugged one of Ginnie’s blonde braids. “And being the kind and loving sister you are, you came up with a plan to help him out.”

“What kind of plan?” Ginnie asked suspiciously.

His grin grew wider. “You asked meto marry you, so Toran could marry your mama.”

“No way!” Ginnie objected.

Tillie and Uncle Jake roared with laughter.


(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card OR winner’s choice of Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Apple, or Kobo!

Simply West of Heaven JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 12, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on October 19, 2020. 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.


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd (quick review)

First in the Cornwall series, The Governess of Penwythe Hall is off to a foreboding start with the immediate establishment of atmosphere – a just-right level of gothic – and strong characterization that characterize Sarah E. Ladd’s novels. With eminent threat established, the story then moves into a narrative that explores themes of grief, responsibility, faith, and love both familial and romantic.

If I were to make a list of modern Regency authors whose writing I admire, Sarah E. Ladd would be one of the first names added. And with a story that brings together a devoted governess with secret sorrows and danger from her past paired with a second son who inherits a failing estate and must suddenly add his brother’s children to his household, complete with governess and tutor, this has quickly become another favorite of her novels.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy a bit of gothic in their Regency Romance, with threads of faith, peril, grief, romance, a slow reveal of a heroine’s past, and a passel of adorable children.

The Governess of Penwythe (Cornwall, #1) by Sarah E. Ladd | Thomas Nelson, April 2019 | paperback, 352 pages

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

From the publisher:

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this Regency romance introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

Cornwall, England, 1811—Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request for her to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she’s tried desperately to forget.

Jac Twethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced, he battles both grief at his brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

The Paris Affair by Susanne Dunlop review with book excerpt + giveaway

The Paris Affair
by Susanne Dunlap

Publication Date: September 30, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 244 pages

Series: Theresa Schurmann Mystery, Book 3
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction

Apparently, false rumors about Marie Antoinette are all the fashion in 1783.

Marie Antoinette is facing hostility from the populace, inflamed by rumors circulated in pamphlets throughout Paris. The rumors claim that she has dozens of lovers, drinks the blood of poor people, holds satanic masses at Versailles, and more, when nothing could be further from the truth. On the advice of the handsome, enigmatic Captain von Bauer, Joseph II–emperor of Austria and Marie Antoinette’s brother–decides that mystery-solving violinist Theresa Schurman is the ideal candidate for a spy to discover the source of these vile slanders.

Theresa is only too glad to get away from Vienna for a while, unwilling to commit herself yet to marrying Zoltan–a Hungarian baron she met when she was fifteen–and running out of reasons to postpone her decision. She is eager, too, to explore a new musical scene and broaden her artistic education. But when the captain confounds her expectations and places her as a bookkeeper in the establishment of Rose Bertin, milliner to the queen, she begins to lose hope that she will ever achieve her musical aims–or the emperor’s goal of exposing the pamphleteers.

A chance encounter with the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an extraordinary black violinist and expert swordsman, sets Theresa on the path to unraveling the mystery. But will the chevalier’s patron, the powerful duc de Chartres, confound her efforts and put her–and the captain’s–lives in danger?

Be prepared for music, mystery, love, and murder in this riveting tale of pre-revolutionary Paris.

“The settings and situations are enchanting and varied; Dunlap is adept at on-the-fly description and at lacing intrigue with romance…Dunlap proves an arresting tour guide through this rich milieu, summoning up the past without slowing down the storytelling. Author and protagonist alike boast an epigrammatic wit. The touch is light, but the scenery and chatter are sumptuous…Theresa stands as a fascinating protagonist, a woman whose nimble navigation of society’s expectations and several burgeoning romances are exciting and inspiring, even more so than the sleuthing that drives the novel’s plot. The people she encounters are likewise memorable, complex, and surprising, especially the chevalier…This sparkling historical mystery conjures up the salons, fashion, and gossip of Marie Antoinette’s Paris, with a winning emphasis on the power of music and the roles that society allowed women.” – The BookLife Prize

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Susanne Dunlap is the author of nine works of historical fiction. A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University, Susanne grew up in Buffalo, New York and has lived in London, Brooklyn and Northampton, MA. She now lives in Northampton with her long-time partner, Charles, has two grown daughters, three granddaughters, a grandson, a stepson and a stepdaughter, five step-grandsons and one step-granddaughter–that’s a total of four children and eleven grandchildren!

In her spare time she cycles in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.

For more information, please visit Susanne Dunlap’s website. You can follow author Susanne Dunlap on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, Pinterest, and BookBub.

~My Thoughts~

With rumors and intrigue surrounding France’s queen, the Austrian Emperor sends violinist Theresa Schurmann undercover to help identify the source of inflammatory pamphlets in Paris. Through her own initiative and the manipulations of her handler, the handsome and secretive Captain von Bauer, she soon finds herself in the orbit of Marie Antoinette herself as well as those who oppose her.

The Paris Affair is a lively blend of historical characters, locations, mystery and intrigue. In Theresa Schurmann, author Susanne Dunlap has created an intrepid and impetuous young woman whose intellect and curiosity lead her to take risks. Her adventures in pre-revolutionary France and the relationships she forms at various levels of society are related in a straight-forward manner. This is a well paced and interesting historical mystery.

A third in series book is not always an advisable entry point. However, in The Paris Affair Dunlap blends Theresa’s past experiences in a way that strikes a fine balance between references that inform the story and the new reader. By the time Theresa is on her way to visit the French court, I was thoroughly engaged and reluctant to put the book down until the end.

This review refers to a digital galley I voluntarily read through NetGalley. A positive review was not required and these are simply my own honest opinions.


I was on the point of fleeing, abandoning my plan and probably ruining any chance I would ever have of blending into the elite society of the salonistes, when a young lady broke free of a group that had been tittering behind their fans and swept over to me. “Ah there you are! I don’t know how I didn’t see you before, you naughty girl. You promised you’d come and find me as soon as you arrived. I’m so out of my depth here among all these talented folk.”

She tried to insert her hand into my arm, but I would not loosen my grip on the sides of the bodice, and I widened my eyes and gave her a piercing gaze, hoping whoever she was she might guess my predicament.

“Monsieur,” she said to the old gentleman who had accosted me, “My friend and I need to discuss a matter of great importance.” Although she could not take my arm, she grasped my hand and pulled me away toward an anteroom. Once we were out of sight of the other guests, she forced my arms open, and to my horror, my skirt slid down to the floor, leaving me standing in my petticoat. 

At this, the girl covered her mouth and laughed hard but silently, tears squeezing from the corners of her eyes. I pulled up the skirt and started fumbling with the laces.

“Come with me,” she said, once she had recovered from her bout of hilarity, and led me into a boudoir and closed the door. “This is simply too delicious. You have to explain to me who you are and why you are here. My aunt will be so entertained when I tell her afterwards.”

“Please! I’ll leave! I only came to hear the chevalier de Saint Georges perform. He invited me. But I can hear him another time.”

“That’s no kind of answer, but at least I know your connection. You have an accent. Are you also from the islands?”

“No,” I said, ashamed that, in my extreme panic, I hadn’t spoken French as perfectly as I knew I could. “I’m from…” I searched my mind for a reasonable excuse for sounding other than Parisian, “Alsace.”

This satisfied her curiosity, I was relieved to see. “But we must do something about your attire. This gown fits you very ill. Is it your mother’s?”

How could I ever explain. “No. I borrowed it.”

“No matter. I have one that will fit you better.”

“Please—you have not told me your name.”

“Nor have you!” She said.

“I am Thérèse… Sauvé.” It was all I could think of in that moment, a reference to the fact that she had saved me from an embarrassing situation.

“I am Sophie Delalande. The hostess is my aunt, Madame de Montesson. I am in Paris to find a husband, so my mother insists, and she has given me only three months to accomplish this. Alas, I’m not likely to find a suitable match at one of these salons. Nothing but poets, musicians, and old lechers here.”

“Thank you, by the way,” I said as she unlaced me and laid the borrowed costume across a velvet-upholstered divan. 

“Not at all. I couldn’t bear to see you stranded, and the duc d’Orléans licking his lips at the innocent prey before his eyes.” She returned bearing a much more suitable sacque gown of pearl brocade. I stepped into the skirt and put my arms through the sleeves of the bodice and she laced and pinned me securely. We must have been nearly the same size. “Now you need an ornament for your hair…” She brought a decoration with feathers and pearls—one I was certain must have been concocted in Mademoiselle Bertin’s atelier. “And slippers… I have big feet, so my mother says, but I can stuff some gauze into the toes.”

My transformation was accomplished within moments. I turned to face the tall mirror in its ornate frame, and gasped.

“You’re very pretty, you know. If you had not been, I might not have come to rescue you.” She pinched my cheek and planted a quick kiss on my lips. “Now, shall we return?”

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, September 30
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary

Thursday, October 1
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, October 2
Feature at I’m Into Books
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, October 5
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Tuesday, October 6
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Wednesday, October 7
Review at Amy’s Booket List
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, October 8
Excerpt at Turn The Page

Friday, October 9
Review & Excerpt at Bookworlder

Sunday, October 11
Review at Bitch Bookshelf

Monday, October 12
Review at Nursebookie

Tuesday, October 13
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Wednesday, October 14
Review at Book Bustle

Thursday, October 15
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, October 16
Review at Passages to the Past
Guest Post at The Intrepid Reader

Saturday, October 17
Review at Reading is My Remedy


During the Blog Tour, one lucky reader will win signed copies of all 3 books in the Theresa Schurmann Mystery series! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Paris Affair

A Life Once Dreamed Takeover Tour

A Life Once Dreamed Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


A Life Once DreamedTitle: A Life Once Dreamed
Author: Rachel Fordham
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Where you come from matters far less than where you’re going

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory. In the shadow of the Black Hills, she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid–despite being only twenty-four. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie’s pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves–but he is precisely the one person who can never know.

Can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can’t seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook


Rachel Fordham
photo credit: Kylee Ann Maughan

Rachel Fordham is the author of The Hope of Azure Springs and Yours Truly, Thomas. She started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She’d pull a book from the shelf, but they’d insist she make one up. Finally, she paired her love of good stories with her love of writing and hasn’t stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

CONNECT WITH RACHEL: Website | Facebook | Instagram


(1) winner will receive 3 books (The Hope of Azure Springs, Yours Truly, Thomas, and A Life Once Dreamed) by Rachel Fordham, book swag, and a set of corner bookmarks!

A Life Once Dreamed JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on these tours for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 5, 2020 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 12, 2020. Winners 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.  For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.



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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Book Blast: Flirtation and Folly by Elizabeth Rasche

Flirtation and Folly
by Elizabeth Rasche

Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Quills and Quartos Publishing
Paperback & eBook; 326 pages

Series: A Season in London, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Marianne Mowbrey is a responsible country rector’s daughter who longs for the novelty and excitement she reads about in novels. When her crusty Aunt Harriet agrees to give her a Season in London, Marianne vows to dazzle the world, win a husband, and never go home again. But the Londoners who determine social success are inclined to pass over plain Marianne in favor of her beautiful, reckless younger sister.

In a world of ambition, fashion, flattery, and deceit, how can Marianne stay true to her real self–when she is not even sure what that real self is?

About the Author

After acquiring a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arkansas, Elizabeth Rasche taught philosophy in the U.S. and co-taught English in Japan. Now she and her husband live in northwest Arkansas, the ‘garden of America.’ (At least, she has only ever heard Arkansas called so.) She dreams of visiting Surrey (if only to look for Mrs. Elton’s Maple Grove), Bath, and of course, London. When she has a Jane Austen novel in one hand, a cup of tea in the other, and a cat on her lap, her day is pretty much perfect.

Elizabeth Rasche is the author of The Birthday Parties of Dragons and her poetry has appeared in Scifaikuest. Flirtation & Folly is her first historical fiction novel.

Book Blast Schedule

Wednesday, September 23
The Lit Bitch
McCombs on Main
Robin Loves Reading

Thursday, September 24
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, September 25
Probably at the Library

Saturday, September 26
Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, September 27
Bookish Rantings

Monday, September 28
Books, Cooks, Looks
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, September 29
Donna’s Book Blog
Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, September 30
Passages to the Past