Book Review -Death by the Book

SUMMARY

Drew Farthering is fresh off the success of solving the murder of his mother and step-father. During which time he met Madeline the woman of his dreams. Now that the tragedy is behind them, he is attempting to convince his American girlfriend to settle down in England and marry him.  Though she loves Drew, she asks for more time to make such an important decision.

Unfortunately circumstances intervene in the arrival of Madeline’s prickly Aunt Ruth. She is determined to drag her niece back to Chicago, away from the man she views as an insincere playboy. And then of course, there is the added interruption of the murder of Drew’s family attorney.

Thanks to Drew’s keen eye and nimble mind, the local police detective invites Drew’s help in solving this latest crime. Drew is unprepared for how involved he will actually become. More murder victims keep appearing with seemingly no apparent connection to each other other than hatpins stuck through notes left on the victim’s chests. Even more disturbing is that these crimes continue to move closer and closer in proximity to  Drew’s family home and the village of Farthering St. John. Will this amateur sleuth solve this mystery before the murderer strikes again? Or was his first success just luck? Even more importantly, will Drew be able to win over Madeline’s Aunt Ruth before she talks her niece into leaving England and Drew for good?

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Top Ten Tuesday -Back to School with History

Well, it’s that time of year when all the children and educators head back to school. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a back to school freebie.

I will confess, I’m a bit of a nerd. I always enjoyed learning in the classroom. My favorite subject was history and I was often chided for reading ahead in my textbook. Many of my friends complained that history was dull, full of names and dates which meant very little to them. To counter that opinion I am sharing my favorite novels set during various times with stories that make make history come alive. For more information on the titles, clicking on each link will give you a description of the story. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Back to School with History”

Book Review -The Mark of the King

SUMMARY

The year is 1720. In Mark of the King French midwife Julianne finds herself unjustly convicted of murder. Branded and married off to a fellow convict, she is shipped off to the primitive French outpost of New Orleans, where a delicate balance exists between the natives and the settlers.

One ray of hope in her exile is Julianne’s hope of finding her brother, a soldier who had been sent with the army to New Orleans. Another silver lining is the French military officer Marc-Paul who takes a special interest in making sure she is protected in a colony where she is marked as a criminal.

But conditions in New Orleans are difficult at best. Tensions run high with the threat of starvation and war ever present.  Will Julianne find the answers she seek? Will she ever overcome the king’s brand marking her as a criminal?

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Book Review – High as the Heavens

SUMMARY

In High as the Heavens Evelyn March has endured her fair share of tragedy. She’s lost much of her family, including her husband during WWI.  Eve is also a survivor with terrible secrets that cripple her with guilt as she goes about her job as a British nurse working with the Red Cross in the enemy occupied territory of Brussels. But Eve is not all that she seems. At night she carries out high risk missions for the Belgian underground resistance to assist the Allies in defeating the German occupiers.

British pilot Simon Forrester is on his way to meet with a contact of the resistance when his plane crashes and he is injured. Eve is stunned to recognize a familiar face from home and makes it her mission to care for and protect this link to her past at great risk to herself. But Eve is also determined to protect her own secrets as Simon begins to dig into memories which have left her shattered. At the same time Eve and Simon must work together to expose a deadly double agent within their ranks while both of them also continue in their own private side missions.

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Book Review – Storm and Silence

SUMMARY

In Storm and Silence suffragist Lilly Linton dresses up like a man in order to cast her vote. But she doesn’t count on meeting Rikkard Ambrose, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in London. Nor does she expect his job offer after she unintentionally displays the very attributes he is looking for in a personal secretary.

Mr. Ambrose is shocked to find out his newest employee is in actuality a woman! Though he tries to rescind his offer, she plays up to his honor as a gentleman and he is forced to employ her. Though she refuses to give him a reason to fire her, Ambrose decides to force her to quit the job of her own accord.

But Lilly is more stubborn and wily than he expects. The office is a powder keg ready to explode when the brilliant, progressive and hot-tempered Lilly matches wits against her silently cold and ruthless boss. Who will win this battle? And when Mr. Ambrose’s business dealings put them in danger will the fact that LIlly is a woman be a hindrance or an asset? Continue reading “Book Review – Storm and Silence”

Book Review -From Sand and Ash

SUMMARY

When young Angelo’s mother dies, his father sends him to live with his grandparents in Italy who are employed by a wealthy Jewish businessman. Still grieving, Angelo is befriended by the precocious daughter of the house, Eva Roselli. Eva and Angelo grow up together much like a brother and sister, but they both know the feelings between them run deeper. However, Angelo is determined to be a priest and Eva is set on a path to be an accomplished violinist, so despite occasionally betraying their feelings for one another, they each pursue their chosen vocations.

Everything changes when WWII breaks out and Italy allies itself with Germany. Angelo’s duty to God and the priesthood are challenged by his mission to keep not only his beloved Eva safe, but also their shared loved ones. Things only become more complicated when they both get involved in the Italian underground working to save and rescue Italy’s Jewish population. Continue reading “Book Review -From Sand and Ash”

Book Review -A Moonbow Night

SUMMARY

Tempe Tucker is still reeling from a devastating event which led to the death of her fiance and the crippling of her brother. Thanks to a separate incident her father is wanted for the murder of a land surveyor and remains in hiding.

Into this fractured life walks Sion Morgan, another land surveyor from the same company as the man her father murdered. He arrives with his crew at the Tucker family’s Moonbow Inn along the banks of the Cumberland river, in the Indian territory of Kentucke.

Morgan is in need of an experienced guide to lead his crew through uncharted territory and Tempe has the knowledge and skills to do so.  Initially, she refuses, but at her father’s insistence Tempe is soon leading this group of men into the wilderness to chart the land, create maps for future settlers and also lead them away from her father.

However, the eastern states are at war with Britain for their freedom and Kentucke is still a dangerous place for white settlers and surveyors whom the Indians deem as a threat to their way of life. Continue reading “Book Review -A Moonbow Night”

Author Spotlight -Helen Argers

One of the many things I want to use my website for is to introduce you to authors and films which are not often celebrated, but which deserve to be.  That is why you will find that I am not always writing about the newest releases or the most popular author.  A good story can be found in unlikely even obscure places and I would hate for you to miss out on such hidden treasure.

Today I want to spotlight Helen Argers, author of historical romance stories. Helen has ten titles to her name two of which were written under the name Helen Archery. The majority of her books were published in the nineties with seven of them being published in the smaller mass paperback form. These paperbacks are all set in Regency England.

Helen Argers also published three titles in hardback, one of which, The Gilded Lily, is actually available in ebook form. These three books are longer and as such have more intricate and detailed plots.

I have read and own every one of her stories and love them. In fact, I often re-read them.  Her heroines are independent and fit the mold of early feminists while still remaining true to the time in which they live. Continue reading “Author Spotlight -Helen Argers”

Book Review -The Mutual Admiration Society

The Mutual Admiration Society Synopsis

When eleven year old Theresa “Tessie” Finley watches her father drown, she determines to redeem herself and to honor her father’s memory by becoming the emotional caretaker and guardian of her younger mentally handicapped sister Birdie. Their mother hides her grief and immediately starts dating a man with hopes of marrying him but Tessie does not trust her mother and detests her new boyfriend.

She also names herself president of The Mutual Admiration Society, a group consisting of herself, Birdie and Tessie’s wannabe boyfriend Charlie. The group’s purpose is to either solve crime or use it to blackmail  others as a way of earning money in case Tessie must take Birdie and run away from home for their own safety.

When Tessie witnesses what she believes is a murder in the cemetery behind her home, she must use all of her wiles to solve the crime while also dodging her mother and their evil next door neighbor lady.

Personal Review

The Mutual Admiration Society was an unusual read for me due to it’s setting and subject matter. It is a coming of age story set in a blue collar neighborhood of Milwaukee in the 1950’s. Continue reading “Book Review -The Mutual Admiration Society”

Favorite Historical Fiction Series

Since historical (romance) fiction is my favorite genre, today I’m sharing a list of my favorite series in this genre. Some of these are long-time favorites some are newer. The list may seem a bit long, but believe me, I got it as short as I could. I can’t help that there are so many good stories out there. So without further ado…

BIBLICAL HISTORICALS

The Reluctant Demon Diaries by Linda Rios Brooks -tells the events of the Bible from the perspective of a demon longing for redemption.

Harvest Series by Tessa Afshar -not technically a series, but I love this book and it’s sequel which tells the story of the biblical Nehemiah’s fictional female cousin who finds herself married to a Persian prince when all she wants is to be a scribe. Continue reading “Favorite Historical Fiction Series”