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A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd



MY REVIEW:

I didn’t realize how much I had missed Gothic romance novels until Sandra Byrd released her first book in the Daughters of Hampshire series. I enjoyed it so much that I looked forward to each subsequent book. “A Lady in Disguise” is the third and final book if the series follows the usual rule of three. I personally would love to see this author continue to write novels in this vein.

“A Lady in Disguise” continues the series with its wonderfully sinister atmosphere, heightened suspense, and characters perfectly suited to their roles. I loved how difficult it was to determine whether certain characters were friend or foe. There were moments that I suspected each of them even when I hoped I was wrong. I did begin to suspect one over the others and my suspicions turned out to be correct; however that did not affect my enjoyment of the story one bit. The dialogue between Thomas and Gillian was delightful. I so enjoyed their scenes together.

With the perfect combination of drama, suspense, romance, and faith with just a touch of humor, “A Lady in Disguise” was exactly what I had hoped. The suspense element grew at just the right rate and had me worried about whether Gillian would survive her troubles. A surprise or two along the way were the icing to the cake.  My only complaint is that it ended much too quickly but then I shouldn’t read so fast. I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for her readers next.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants
to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Sandra Byrd has published four dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including her two historical series with Howard Books. For nearly two decades, Sandra has shared her secrets with the many writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington area.

 

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Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering



MY REVIEW:

Although it is book five in the Drew Farthering mystery series, “Murder on the Moor” easily stands on its own merits. Because of a heavy review calendar, I have had opportunity to read only the first book in the series prior to this one and I had no problems at all figuring out what was going on.

I am not certain if “Murder on the Moor” would be considered a cozy mystery but it is a fairly easy-going read with light suspense and plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor. Several quirky characters help keep things interesting with several of them considered good candidates for the guilty party. Plenty of unexpected twists and a surprise ending were in store. Just when I was beginning to think that Drew was never going to put all the clues together, he came through with flying colors. I sure didn’t see that coming!

I loved this book, especially the subtle humor that runs through it. One scene between Drew and Constable Watts had me in stitches. I highly recommend “Murder on the Moor” as well as the previous books in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to purchase

At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a Brontë hero. There have been several worrisome incidents around those lonesome rolling hills–property desecrated, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered. Worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church, a crime for which Drew can discern no motive at all.

Few in the town of Bunting’s Nest seem like suspects, and Drew can’t keep his suspicions from falling on his friend’s new bride. Do her affections lie more with her husband’s money and estate, while her romantic interests stray to their fiery Welsh gamekeeper? As the danger grows ever closer, it’s up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what’s really going on, and find the killer before it’s too late.

Click here to purchase your copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julianna Deering is the creator of the acclaimed Drew Farthering Mystery series. She has always loved British history and is a particular fan of the writings of Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in business administration and spent several years as a Certified Public Accountant. She lives outside Dallas, Texas.

For more information visit www.juliannadeering.com.

 

 

BLOG STOPS:

March 2: Fiction Aficionado

March 2: Inklings and Notions

March 3: ASC Book Reviews

March 3: Just Commonly

March 4: Reading Is My SuperPower

March 4: A Baker’s Perspective

March 5: The Power of Words

March 5: knightress4theking

March 6: Bibliophile Reviews

March 6: Splashes of Joy

March 7: Blogging With Carol

March 7: Through the Open Window

March 8: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

March 8: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot

March 9: Thoughts from Mill Street

March 9: Christian Bookaholic

March 10: History, Mystery and Faith

March 10: Daysong Reflections

March 11: Just the Write Escape

March 11: Book by Book

March 12: Radiant Light

March 12: Bigreadersite

March 13: A Simple Life, really?!

March 13: Carpe Diem

March 14: Pause for Tales

March 14: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 15: Back Porch Reads

March 15: Baker Kella

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Julianna is giving away a set of the A Drew Farthering Mystery
(5 Book Series)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b0499

 

 

 

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The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller



MY REVIEW:

Oh my! Yet another author to add to my ever growing list of must reads! How will I ever find the time to read them all or to choose between them? But what a delightful challenge for me.

It did not take me very long to find myself totally immersed in Carolyn Miller’s wonderful new Regency novel. The witty dialogue was definitely a highlight for me. Lavinia had a definite gift of cutting people down in such as nice way that they didn’t even realize it. This is an excerpt from one brief conversation that I found endlessly amusing between Lavinia and Mr. Raymond:

“…Pray do not allow yourself to become too sunburned.”

“Thank you, Mr. Raymond, for your concern. I will endeavor to be sunburned just the right amount.”

The story is filled with so many such rejoinders that I was entertained throughout the entire book.

The reader seldom finds a romance between two such unsuitable parties. Nicholas, the younger son of the Earl of Hawkesbury, has returned to St. Hampton Heath as the near Earl, a position he never expected to hold. With baggage of his own from the war and guilt over his late brother’s actions, Nicholas never intended to stay in the country for long. His encounters with the local minister’s outspoken daughter Lavinia have confused him yet left him thinking about his responsibilities to the village. He soon finds that he cannot get her out of his mind but Lavinia is entirely unsuitable for a man of his position no matter how he feels.

This captivating novel takes several unexpected twists and turns before it reaches a mostly satisfying ending. I enjoyed it so much that I am very much looking forward to the next two installments to this series. If you enjoy Regency romance, please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of “The Elusive Miss Ellison”.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Litfuse Publicity and The Book Club Network. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.

Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.

That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.

These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.Find out more about Carolyn at https://www.carolynmiller.org.

KINDLE AND A CUPPA GIVEAWAY:

Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller’s The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.

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Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky



MY REVIEW:

Once again Carrie Turansky has provided me with several hours of captivating entertainment in her latest novel “Shine Like the Dawn”. The historical Edwardian romance is the story of close childhood friends who have been separated by tragedy and reunited years later. Although one of them wants to move on with their friendship, the other is afraid to trust.

The plot was beautifully written and drew me in immediately. Strong characters and plenty of drama and suspense kept me reading. Secrets revealed and surprising plot twists added to my enjoyments and observing a sweet romance as it unfolded was a bonus. A story of forgiveness and restoration, “Shine Like the Dawn” is the perfect book for those who enjoy historical romance with a touch of suspense. I highly recommend it.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to purchase

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

Click here to purchase your copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.

GUEST POST FROM CARRIE TURANSKY:

Hats, Glorious Hats!
By Carrie Turansky

One fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.

Hats in the Edwardian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name.
1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.

The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally.
The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.

Motion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.

I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?

Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.

Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.
Like to my Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky/
Link to my Book Launch Blog Post: http://carrieturansky.com/index.php/blog/

 

BLOG STOPS:

February 21: New Horizon Reviews

February 21: Bookworm Mama

February 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

February 22: Tell Tale Book Reviews

February 22: Book by Book

February 22: History, Mystery and Faith

February 23: Bibliophile Reviews

February 23: Smiling Book Reviews

February 23: A Readers Brain

February 23: Faithfully Bookish

February 23: Lane Hill House

February 24: Back Porch Reads

February 24: The Scribbler

February 24: I Hope You Dance

February 25: Stuff & Nonsense

February 25: The Power of Words

February 25: A Greater Yes

February 26: cherylbbookblog

February 26: Moments Dipped in Ink

February 26: Splashes of Joy

February 27: Genesis 5020

February 27: inklings and notions

February 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

February 28: Karen Sue Hadley

February 28: A Simple Life, really?!

February 28: Neverending Stories

March 1: Daysong Reflections

March 1: Connie’s History Classroom

March 1: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

March 2: These Splendid Sentences

March 2: Singing Librarian Books

March 2: Blossoms and Blessings

March 3: Pause for Tales

March 3: blogging With Carol

March 3: Mary Hake

March 4: Radiant Light

March 4: For The Love of Books

March 5: Christian Bookaholic

March 5: Rachel Scott McDaniel

March 6: History, Hope, Laughter & Happily-ever-after

March 6: Baker Kella

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fb

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Sandra Byrd's 'A Lady in Disguise' Giveaway

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