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Review: “Venice in the Moonlight” by Elizabeth McKenna

“Venice in the Moonlight” by Elizabeth McKenna

Available from: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Released on: 3 October 2013

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Considered useless by his cold-hearted father, Nico Foscari, eldest son of one of the founding families in Venice, hides his pain behind gambling, drinking and womanizing.

After her husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti returns to her hometown of Venice in hopes of starting a new life and finding the happiness that was missing in her forced marriage.

When Fate throws them together, friendship begins to grow into love until Marietta learns a Foscari family secret that may have cost her father his life. Now, she must choose between vengeance, forgiveness, and love.

Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to eighteenth century Carnival, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.

Review: Venice in the Moonlight is a story that brings to life things I loved when I was a young woman beginning in my romance reading life. A dark hero with a past that makes you wish to change him, a strong heroine willing to risk all to right wrongs, a setting in a land I will never see. But I did not find enough original, except maybe the reason for the thriller sub-plot, which made it stand out to me.

It had the makings of a story that could pull you into the intrigue but I felt it always left me hanging on the edge of what could be really good. Carnival in Venice, a city known to be one of the most romantic in world, with Nico, a hero that made you wish to comfort and bed at the same time. A mystery that needed to be solved, and Marietta the woman willing to do all she could to solve it, including putting herself in situations that were not only daring, but fool hardy. Instead of taking the easy way out of having the hero come to the rescue, the author almost always found a way to pull Marietta out of the situation and leave you saying “that was too close.” It was at those points when I felt the story could elevate and give me all the drama and passion I was hoping for, but it didn’t as those were the points it plateaued at.

The secondary characters were not as original as the main characters, but that is forgivable in this length of a book, you did not need them, but they were decent window dressing. The descriptions of the city, the clothing, the masks and even the food were lovely and decadent at times. Painting a lovely word picture in the mind, it was them that lead me to hope for more from the beginning.

Overall I think this book had tremendous potential that kept me holding on and hoping for it to be reached throughout but at the end I was left with a feeling of, “It was nice, but nothing spectacular.” But boy did it raise my hopes for spectacular. I give this book 3.5 fireballs.

3.5fireballs[1]

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Elizabeth McKenna is Visiting!

Venice in the Moonlight

“Venice in the Moonlight” by Elizabeth McKenna

Published on… 2 October 2013
Published as… Historical Romance

Elizabeth McKenna’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: I fell in love with my husband in high school, though we didn’t date until we were in our mid-twenties.

2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: Nancy Drew. She had great clothes, drove a convertible, and solved mysteries. What more could you want?

3. Your Authorial Theme Song: Since I write romance, I’m going to go with Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”.

4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: I love meeting new people through my social media sites. For shy people like me, the internet is wonderful.

5. Name of Your First Pet (Can include family or significant others…): Maggie was the name of the black lab my husband and I bought the month we were married. She died six years ago and I can still cry about it. She was the sweetest dog.

6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: Silence is the best when I’m writing fiction. In my day job as a technical writer, I often listen to classical music (I find myself too distracted if I listen to other genres).

7. Early Riser or Night Owl: I’m an early riser. My day starts at 4:30 am and ends around 9 pm. I actually don’t like this schedule. I would prefer to sleep until 7 or 8 am – maybe when I retire!!

8. Favorite Season: I live in Wisconsin and get all four seasons, but Fall is definitely my favorite.

9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: Yes. I was a Journalism major in college, though I didn’t start writing fiction until I was around 40 years old.

About the Book

Considered useless by his cold-hearted father, Nico Foscari, eldest son of one of the founding families in Venice, hides his pain behind gambling, drinking and womanizing.

After her husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti returns to her hometown of Venice in hopes of starting a new life and finding the happiness that was missing in her forced marriage.

When Fate throws them together, friendship begins to grow into love until Marietta learns a Foscari family secret that may have cost her father his life. Now, she must choose between vengeance, forgiveness, and love.

Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to eighteenth century Carnival, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.

Buy the Book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Elizabeth McKenna Author Photo
Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write her debut novel Cera’s Place. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website http://elizabethmckenna.com/. She hopes you will enjoy her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, as much as others have enjoyed her previous works.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.

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Carmela Cattuti is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Between the Cracks

“Between the Cracks” by Carmela Cattuti

Published as… Historical Fiction

Carmela Cattuti’s Guest Post

The Rewards and Challenges of Writing a Story Inspired by a Relative

There are many questions one should ask oneself when writing a story based on a relative’s life. How closely should I base my character on his or her real-life characteristics and circumstances? What about the peripheral characters with whom the main character interacts? Sometimes we need to employ literary devices to highlight a point that completely changes the character’s circumstances. I found writing a story about my great aunt, Angela Lanza Barone, a humbling experience on many levels.

Until I wrote Between the Cracks, I did not realize the depth of her influence on my life choices. I knew her quite well, in fact, she was my nanny of sorts. We lived in the same house with her and my uncle twenty five miles north of New York City. The house was a Queen Anne Victorian with four working fireplaces, large sliding French oak door, stained glass windows, and a grand staircase. It was a Grand Dame and one of the grandest homes in town. She told me her life story over and over again until I could repeat it verbatim. Angela handed me my novel on a silver platter as she did most things. I could have written it exactly as she told me and still have come up with a solid piece of work.

Unfortunately, it is a work of fiction with all the pitfalls and challenges the art form presents. I had to embellish parts and cut certain characters and scenes that were part of her landscape. I had to ask myself the difficult question: what do I let go of and what do I keep? When you are writing about a relative you know well answering this question becomes the ultimate challenge, so it is imperative you know what you want to accomplish by writing fiction. For myself, I wanted to integrate her qualities throughout the book so readers would ponder their choices in regard to religion, relationships, setting boundaries, and expressing individuality.

I’ve been asked how my family felt about the book. It has been resoundingly positive. Even my ninety nine year old mother has nothing but praise for novel and shows if off to her friends in her nursing home. I set out to honor my great aunt’s personal experience of immigration and assimilation into an evolving culture in the new world. My brother said, “You have done the family proud.” The positive feedback from my immediate family has aided me in continuing with the second book. In the next installment I am diving into Angela’s unfoldment in not only a changing America but a changing family and social structure. I think she was disappointed in how her life unfolded. She was cultural, creative, and spiritually aware at a time when Catholicism reigned supreme.

Many of my choices in life were based on her influence and her perception of me as a creative individual who should do exactly as she pleases. So, as I embark on the second book in my trilogy, I would support any writer to take on the challenge of writing about a relative. Self-awareness is the benefit.

About the Book

Join Angela Lanza as she experiences the tumultuous world of early 20th century Sicily and New York. Orphaned by the earthquake and powerful eruption of Mt. Etna in 1908, Angela is raised in the strict confines of an Italian convent. Through various twists of fate, she is married to a young Italian man whom she barely knows, then together with her spouse, immigrates to the U.S. This novel is an invitation to accompany the young Angela as she confronts the ephemeral nature of life on this planet and navigates the wide cultural gaps between pre-World War II Italy and the booming prosperity of dynamic young America. Author, artist, and teacher Carmela Cattuti created Between the Cracks as an homage to her great-aunt, who survived the earthquake and eruption of Mt. Etna and bravely left Sicily to start a new life in America.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Book Depository

About the Author

Carmela Cattuti Author Photo
Carmela Cattuti started her writing career as a journalist for the Somerville News in Boston, MA. After she finished her graduate work in English Literature from Boston College she began to write creatively and taught a journal writing course at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education As fate would have it, she felt compelled to write her great aunt’s story. “Between the Cracks” has gone through several incarnations and will now become a trilogy. This is the first installment.

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Between the Cracks

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Janet Lane is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Tabor’s Trinket

“Tabor’s Trinket” (The Coin Forest Series, Book One) by Janet Lane

Published on… 1 September 2014
Published as… Historical/Medieval Romance

A Chat with…Sharai

Bella: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Sharai: Good Morrow, Lady Bella! ‘Tis a grand day for a visit, and I am honored to be here. My adventures are recorded in Tabor’s Trinket. It’s written by Janet Lane, the first story in her Coin Forest series set in fifteenth century England. It’s set during the Gypsy Honeymoon period–though when you learn my story, you would be hard-pressed to believe it was a pleasant time.

Bella: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Sharai: I am Sharai. It rhymes with, “Dare I.” For survival, I keep my background secret. I only say that I am a princess, from Little Egypt, on a pilgrimage.

Bella: So, who are you, really? You can trust me. I care deeply for literary characters!
Sharai: I see kindness in your eyes, yes. I–I’m only a peasant, born of peasants in Wallachia. My uncle betrayed our family, and we were sold as slaves. At just 12 years old, I was dragged, naked and bleeding, to the auction block. My mother and I were hauled to Marseilles, and she died on the slave ship.

Bella: What do you think of the author, giving you such a dreadful childhood? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Sharai: Fie! I’d put a flea in her ear, or simmer an evil spell for her, but how can I? She gave me Etti, who saved my life, and gave me work at the big Winchester Fair! My author gave me the beautiful orphan baby, Kadriya. She gave me good health and provided me with beautiful costumes, so I could learn to dance and support myself. She introduced me to Tabor.

Bella: How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Sharai: Very uncomfortable. Count Aydin’s eyes are hungry, but there’s a darkness about him, and a vague, uncomfortable odor when he comes close and speaks to me. It makes my throat tighten. I must be respectful–he is our Gypsy King and he can make critical decisions about my future, as well as Kadriya’s and Etti’s. But I am strong, stronger than my author ever dreamed I could be. She isn’t sure of my courage, and I’m going to surprise her.

Bella: Do you like being a character in the book?
Sharai: Very much, but ‘twould be a blessing if there were less evil men about.

Bella: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Sharai: Tabor’s eyes stir spells in my heart, but I am a peasant, unworthy. I do not fit in his world, but my heart doesn’t listen. I must accept this reality! I must seek safety and dignity for Kadriya and me. I’m thinking we may find it in a convent.

Bella: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Sharai: I hope to exceed her expectations. I have exquisite spells to share!

Bella: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Whom do you want to play you, and why?
Sharai: Ah, I would pick a Gypsy girl, like me. Maria Shashkova! Search for her on your magic cubes, and she will take your breath away. She’s a dancer like me, and she leads the Gypsy band, “Tarna Romen,” and plays bright, brilliant music!

Thank you so much for having me, Bella. Godspeed!

About the Book

Love proves perilous in this “Pretty Woman/Pride and Prejudice” historical romance tale set in 15th century England.

Sold as a slave in Romania for seven pounds and three solidi, the Gypsy girl, Sharai, escapes a slave ship infected with the plague. As an adult, she performs her silky, exotic dances to earn enough to sustain herself and the toddling orphan girl she adopted. She yearns for relief from the grinding poverty, and a secure home. Having been violated by a nobleman posing as her hero, she wants naught of any other man of title, and also scorns the dubious Gypsy king who pursues her. In a tent at the bustling autumn fair in Winchester, she meets the dashing Lord Tabor, and her resolve to avoid all noblemen softens.

Though possessed of a stately castle with prosperous lands, the English knight,Tabor, teeters on the brink of losing all his holdings. A powerful noble has attacked Tabor’s castle, determined to seize his lands. Tabor seeks revenge for his older brother’s murder, but England’s throne is held by an infant king and his feuding uncles. The realm is paralyzed with uncertainty and lawlessness, and the crown has abandoned him.

Then a stroke of good fortune helps Tabor, a sizeable dowry that can save his holdings. He need only wed an earl’s daughter, the regal Lady Emilyne. But he has already fallen in love with Sharai, and they are locked in a powerful dance of desire. His refusal to abandon Sharai plunges them into life-and-death struggles–and a painful choice between duty and love.

Buy the Book at Amazon

About the Author

Janet Lane Author Photo
Janet Lane writes best-selling historical romance novels set in fifteenth century England during the so-called “Gypsy Honeymoon” decades. She graduated with honors from the University of Colorado, completing their Creative Writing program.

Her debut novel, Tabor’s Trinket, is an Amazon Bestselling novel and has received several awards. Emerald Silk, part two in the Coin Forest series, was reviewed by the Historical Novels Review, which noted that it “goes beyond simple romantic suspense by including serious issues such as racism, homophobia, and clerical greed. However, the love story and the quest for the stolen chalice take center stage throughout.” A Rocky Mountain News review stated, “This fast-moving, smoothly constructed historical novel (features) well-drawn characters and … strong sense of time and place.” #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author Lara Adrian called it “..an enchanting medieval romance filled with passion, intrigue and vividly drawn characters that leap off the page. I loved this novel!”

The Amazon Kindle release of her third novel in the Coin Forest series, Traitor’s Moon, is scheduled for November 25, 2014.

Janet was a featured author in RMFW Press’s Tales from Mistwillow anthology, and co-chaired the editorial board for that press’s anthology, Broken Links, Mended Lives, which was nominated for the Colorado Book Award.

Janet lives with her husband in Colorado, surrounded by a forest of conifers, herds of deer, an occasional black bear and a snorting Chihuahua.

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Donald Michael Platt is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Close to the Sun

“Close to the Sun” by Donald Michael Platt

Published on… 15 June 2014
Published as… Historical Fiction

About the Book

Close to the Sun follows the lives of fighter pilots during the Second World War. As a boy, Hank Milroy from Wyoming idealized the gallant exploits of WWI fighter aces. Karl, Fürst von Pfalz-Teuffelreich, aspires to surpass his father’s 49 Luftsiegen. Seth Braham falls in love with flying during an air show at San Francisco’s Chrissy Field.

The young men encounter friends, rivals, and exceptional women. Braxton Mobley, the hotshot, wants to outscore every man in the air force. Texas tomboy Catherine “Winty” McCabe is as good a flyer as any man. Princess Maria-Xenia, a stateless White Russian, works for the Abwehr, German Intelligence. Elfriede Wohlman is a frontline nurse with a dangerous secret. Miriam Keramopoulos is the girl from Brooklyn with a voice that will take her places.

Once the United States enter the war, Hank, Brax, and Seth experience the exhilaration of aerial combat and acedom during the unromantic reality of combat losses, tedious bomber escort, strafing runs, and the firebombing of entire cities. As one of the hated aristocrats, Karl is in as much danger from Nazis as he is from enemy fighter pilots, as he and his colleagues desperately try to stem the overwhelming tide as the war turns against Germany. Callous political decisions, disastrous mistakes, and horrific atrocities they witness at the end of WWII put a dark spin on all their dreams of glory.

Buy the Book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Donald Michael Platt Author Photo
Author of four other novels, ROCAMORA, HOUSE OF ROCAMORA, A GATHERING OF VULTURES, and CLOSE TO THE SUN, Donald Michael Platt was born and raised in San Francisco. Donald graduated from Lowell High School and received his B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley. After two years in the Army, Donald attended graduate school at San Jose State where he won a batch of literary awards in the annual SENATOR PHELAN LITERARY CONTEST.

Donald moved to southern California to begin his professional writing career. He sold to the TV series, MR. NOVAK, ghosted for health food guru, Dan Dale Alexander, and wrote for and with diverse producers, among them as Harry Joe Brown, Sig Schlager, Albert J. Cohen, Al Ruddy plus Paul Stader Sr, Hollywood stuntman and stunt/2nd unit director. While in Hollywood, Donald taught Creative Writing and Advanced Placement European History at Fairfax High School where he was Social Studies Department Chairman.

After living in Florianópolis, Brazil, setting of his horror novel A GATHERING OF VULTURES, pub. 2007 & 2011, he moved to Florida where he wrote as a with: VITAMIN ENRICHED, pub.1999, for Carl DeSantis, founder of Rexall Sundown Vitamins; and THE COUPLE’S DISEASE, Finding a Cure for Your Lost “Love” Life, pub. 2002, for Lawrence S. Hakim, MD, FACS, Head of Sexual Dysfunction Unit at the Cleveland Clinic.

Currently, Donald resides in Winter Haven, Florida where he is polishing a dark novel and preparing to write a sequel to CLOSE TO THE SUN.

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Shirleen Davies is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Wildfire Creek

“Wildfire Creek” (Redemption Mountain, Book Two) by Shirleen Davies

Published on… 26 January 2015
Published as… Western Romance

Shirleen Davies’ Guest Post

The Appeal of Western Heroes

Today, we’re going to talk about a fun subject: what makes the western hero so very appealing.

If you’re a fan of my work, I assume you agree that cowboys have a certain “je ne sais quoi” that makes them irresistible as leading men and romantic figures. You’d be in good company: the cowboy is an American icon, personified by men like Sam Elliott, Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, and Tom Selleck. Let’s try to put our collective finger on their appeal, shall we?

1. The obvious, raw sex appeal.

This one requires little explanation. Cowboys have swagger. They wear jeans and boots, they always seem to have the perfect level of five-o-clock shadow, they’re strong and tan from working outside, and the cowboy rocks that kindly loner image like no one else.

2. They can, and do, take care of business on their own.

He’s tough, determined, rugged, and resourceful. All those masculine traits, and he can still cook his own dinner, mend his own clothes, and tend to his own home (or camp). A cowboy is a man who does what needs to be done, period, and it’s not a matter of what he should or should not have to do by virtue of his gender.

3. They display kindness and sensitivity.

Cowboys are known as men of honor, integrity, and simple kindness. They have good manners when they pass through town, and they’re good with animals (especially their beloved horses). These traits aren’t rare or hidden, either: they’re basic components of the cowboy ethic.

4. They live on the fringes of society, but integrate with grace.

Cowboys aren’t necessarily used to the creature comforts of living in a town. They don’t expect or need a roof over their heads, a clean and comfortable bed, a hot bath and a shave, or a woman lying beside them at night. “Need” is the operative word, here: they don’t need these things, but when the chance to have them arises, cowboys receive hospitality with unparalleled class and grace.

5. They’re gentlemen, without the baggage.

This ties in to both number four and number two. Cowboys don’t need women to take care of their more domestic needs, and they aren’t totally used to a woman’s company. The combination means that cowboys don’t have the unflattering, cosmopolitan trait of believing that his needs are a woman’s problem, but they do hold the appealing attitude that women deserve the utmost kindness, gratitude, and respect.

Sexy, self-sufficient, sensitive, gracious, and chivalrous…what’s not to like?

About the Book

“A passionate story of rebuilding lives and working to find a place in the wild frontier during the years following the American Civil War. A rugged, heartwarming story of choices and love in the continuing saga of Redemption Mountain.”

Luke Pelletier is settling into his new life as a rancher and occasional Pinkerton Agent, leaving his past as an ex-Confederate major and Texas Ranger far behind. He wants nothing more than to work the ranch, charm the ladies, and live a life of carefree bachelorhood.

Ginny Sorensen has accepted her responsibility as the sole provider for herself and her younger sister. The desire to continue their journey to Oregon is crushed when the need for food and shelter keeps them in the growing frontier town of Splendor, Montana, forcing Ginny to accept work as a server in the local saloon.

Luke has never met a woman as lovely and unspoiled as Ginny. He longs to know her, yet fears his wild ways and unsettled nature aren’t what she deserves. She’s a girl you marry, but that is nowhere in Luke’s plans.

Complicating their tenuous friendship, a twist in circumstances forces Ginny closer to the man she most wants to avoid—the man who can destroy her dreams, and who’s captured her heart.

Believing his bachelor status firm, Luke moves from danger to adventure, never dreaming each step he takes brings him closer to his true destiny and a life much different from what he imagines.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Smashwords

About the Author

Shirleen Davies Author Photo
Shirleen Davies writes romance—historical, contemporary, and romantic suspense. She grew up in Southern California, attended Oregon State University, and has degrees from San Diego State University and the University of Maryland. During the day she provides consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses. But her real passion is writing emotionally charged stories of flawed people who find redemption through love and acceptance. She now lives with her husband in a beautiful town in northern Arizona.

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D. W. Bradbridge is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

A Soldier of Substance

“A Soldier of Substance” (A Daniel Cheswis Mystery) by D. W. Bradbridge

Published on… 1 November 2014
Published as… Historical Mystery

About the Book

1644. The smoke of parliamentary musket, cannon, and mortar fire is in the air around the royalist stronghold of Lathom House. Though guards still stand atop its walls, it is besieged on all sides, and it is only a matter of time until the house, along with its embittered and unwavering countess, Lady Charlotte de Tremouille, falls to Parliament’s might. Yet somehow, a royalist spy still creeps, unseen, through its gates, and brings the countess Parliament’s secrets.

Barely recovered from the trials of the last few months, Daniel Cheswis is torn from his family and sent north, to uncover the identity of the traitor; though before he can even begin, Cheswis finds himself embroiled in a murder. A woman has been garrotted with cheese wire in her Chester home, suggesting there is more than just the usual hatreds of war at play.

As lives are lost and coats are turned on both sides, Cheswis is tasked with finding the murderer, uncovering the traitor, and surviving his soldierly duty long enough to see Lathom House fall.

Buy the Book at Amazon

About the Author

D. W. Bradbridge Author Photo
D.W. Bradbridge was born in 1960 and grew up in Bolton. He has lived in Crewe, Cheshire since 2000, where he and his wife run a small magazine publishing business for the automotive industry.

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Review: “The School of Night” by Colin Falconer

“The School of Night” (The William Shakespeare Detective Agency) by Colin Falconer

Available from: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Released on: 7 October 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review, as part of this book’s blog tour.

Description: “My name is William Shakespeare. No, not that Shakespeare; and no jests please, I’ve heard them all. I’m the other one, the ne’er do well cousin, the loafer, known to family and friends as the dunce, the one who could not recite Cicero or Horace, who could never be as good as his clever cuz, the one who has just come to Bishopsgate from Stratford with silly dreams in his head and a longing to make something more of himself than just a glover’s handyman.”

What he finds in London is Lady Elizabeth Talbot, who is willing to pass a few shillings to this blundering brawler if he will help her find her husband. Poor William does not realize the trail will lead to the truth behind the death of Shakespeare’s great rival, Christopher Marlowe – or to a lifelong love affair with a woman far above his station.

Each book tells the story of William’s adventures as England’s first gumshoe, set against turbulent Elizabethan politics; of his romantic pursuit of the impossible Elizabeth Talbot; while charting the career of his up and coming dramatist cousin, the bard of Stratford, but just Will to his family.

Review: This book I loved. Being a Shakespeare fan, this naturally drew my attention but it following not the bard but the cousin of the same name made it fun. There was just enough history to keep it feeling real, but enough drama and adventure to keep it lively.

I completely hooked into Cousin Will, as just the type of character I love, and I thought that Elizabeth was a great mix of a woman of her age but with those bits of the Modern Women that we like to see. The romantic sub-plot was light, but I liked it.

Falconer’s style and Voice of the character was amazingly readable, and now I want to run off and read his other historical fiction. 5 Fireballs.

5 Fireballs

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Heather Webb is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Rodin’s Lover

“Rodin’s Lover” by Heather Webb

Published on… 27 January 2015
Published as… Historical Fiction

About the Book

A mesmerizing tale of art and passion in Belle Époque France.

As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.

Rodin’s Lover brings to life the volatile love affair between one of the era’s greatest artists and a woman entwined in a tragic dilemma she cannot escape.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or IndieBound

About the Author

Heather Webb Author Photo
Heather Webb grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time novel writing and freelance editing. Her debut, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, released January 2014 from Plume/Penguin. Her forthcoming novel, RODIN’S LOVER, will release in winter of 2015.

When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

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Susanna Fraser is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Freedom to Love

“Freedom to Love” by Susanna Fraser

Published on… 5 January 2015
Published as… Historical Romance

About the Book

Louisiana, 1815

Thérèse Bondurant trusted her parents to provide for her and her young half-sister, though they never wed due to laws against mixed-race marriage. But when both die of a fever, Thérèse learns her only inheritance is debt—and her father’s promise that somewhere on his plantation lies a buried treasure. To save her own life—as well as that of her sister—she’ll need to find it before her white cousins take possession of the land.

British officer Henry Farlow, dazed from a wound received in battle outside New Orleans, stumbles onto Thérèse’s property out of necessity. But he stays because he’s become captivated by her intelligence and beauty. It’s thanks to Thérèse’s tender care that he regains his strength just in time to fend off her cousin, inadvertently killing the would-be rapist in the process.

Though he risks being labeled a deserter, it’s much more than a sense of duty that compels Henry to see the sisters to safety—far away from the scene of the crime. And Thérèse realizes she has come to rely on Henry for so much more than protection. On their journey to freedom in England, they must navigate a territory that’s just as foreign to them both—love.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play or Kobo

About the Author

Susanna Fraser Author Photo
Susanna Fraser wrote her first novel in fourth grade. It starred a family of talking horses who ruled a magical land. In high school she started, but never finished, a succession of tales of girls who were just like her, only with long, naturally curly and often unusually colored hair, who, perhaps because of the hair, had much greater success with boys than she ever did.

Along the way she read her hometown library’s entire collection of Regency romance, fell in love with the works of Jane Austen, and discovered in Patrick O’Brian’s and Bernard Cornwell’s novels another side of the opening decades of the 19th century. When she started to write again as an adult, she knew exactly where she wanted to set her books. Her writing has come a long way from her youthful efforts, but she still gives her heroines great hair.

Susanna grew up in rural Alabama. After high school she left home for the University of Pennsylvania and has been a city girl ever since. She worked in England for a year after college, using her days off to explore history from ancient stone circles to Jane Austen’s Bath.

Susanna lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and daughter. When not writing or reading, she goes to baseball games, sings alto in a local choir and watches cooking competition shows.

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