The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

Thank you for joining me on the Austen Prose tour with Laurel Ann Nattress for Mimi Matthew’s newest release, The Siren of Sussex!

Book Details

Title: The Siren of Sussex: Belles of London (Book 1)
Author: Mimi Matthews
Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Berkley Romance (January 11, 2022)
Length: 432 pages
Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 
Tour dates: January 10-30, 2022

About the Book

Victorian high society’s most daring equestrienne finds love and an unexpected ally in her fight for independence in the strong arms of London’s most sought after and devastatingly handsome half-Indian tailor.

Evelyn Maltravers understands exactly how little she’s worth on the marriage mart. As an incurable bluestocking from a family tumbling swiftly toward ruin, she knows she’ll never make a match in a ballroom. Her only hope is to distinguish herself by making the biggest splash in the one sphere she excels: on horseback. In haute couture. But to truly capture London’s attention she’ll need a habit-maker who’s not afraid to take risks with his designs—and with his heart.

Half-Indian tailor Ahmad Malik has always had a talent for making women beautiful, inching his way toward recognition by designing riding habits for Rotten Row’s infamous Pretty Horsebreakers—but no one compares to Evelyn. Her unbridled spirit enchants him, awakening a depth of feeling he never thought possible.

But pushing boundaries comes at a cost and not everyone is pleased to welcome Evelyn and Ahmad into fashionable society. With obstacles spanning between them, the indomitable pair must decide which hurdles they can jump and what matters most: making their mark or following their hearts?

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats. 

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My Thoughts

What a fascinating story! This book captured my attention from the beginning and enthralled me throughout the entire story. I really liked getting to know Evelyn and Ahmad and it was interesting to read the circumstances they faced and overcame in the novel. I was also very intrigued by the culture of horses in this book and learned lots about caring for them and riding them. The romance is very tastefully done and it’s easy to love the characters. I had a hard time putting the book down and greatly enjoyed the story. I am excited to read more by this author!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from an Austen Prose tour with Laurel Ann Nattress.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Advance Praise

“…a tender and swoon worthy interracial, cross-class romance in Victorian London…Readers will delight in this paean to women’s fashion and horseback riding.”— Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Matthews brings the Victorian era to vivid life with meticulously researched details and an impossible romance made believable and memorable.”— Booklist, starred review

“Matthews deftly underscores racial and gender discrimination in Victorian London in this excellent start to ‘The Belles of London’ series; rather than overshadowing, it propels the romance. Romance aficionados who love fashion and animals will delight in this tender romance and will be excited to see Evelyn’s friends in future installments.” — Library Journal, starred review

“Unflinching, tender, and moving, the delicately crafted The Siren of Sussex might just be my favourite work from Mimi Matthews; it certainly is one of my favourite historical romance reads this year.”— Evie Dunmore, USA Today bestselling author of Portrait of a Scotsman

Giveaway!

Mimi Matthews is generously offering a giveaway to celebrate her release! One winner will receive signed print copy of The Siren of Sussex; a horse scarf; a pewter sidesaddle brooch (made in Sussex, England!); The Siren of Sussex tote bag; three candles in scents Fresh Hay, New Saddle, and Winter Ride; a box of Ahmad Tea (60 count, assorted flavors); and The Siren of Sussex bookmark! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway by clicking the image below.

The giveaway is open from 12:01 am Pacific time 1/4/22 until 11:59pm Pacific time on 2/7/22. The winner will be announced on Mimi’s blog – mimimatthews.com – at 8:00 pm Pacific time on 2/8/22.

Just Read Tour – High Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt

Hard-Wire Heartbreak JustRead Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for High-Wire Heartbreak by Anna Schmidt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: High-Wire Heartbreak

Series: Doors to the Past

Author: Anna Schmidt

Publisher: Barbour Fiction

Release Date: January 1, 2022

Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romance

In 1936–A party at the Ringling mansion Ca d’Zan in Sarasota, Florida, leads to a robbery–and possibly death.

A successful historical mystery writer, Chloe Whitfield comes to Ca’ d’Zan to research her next novel. Chloe’s fascination with the circus is rooted in family stories of her great-grandmother Lucinda Conroy, who reportedly was a trapeze artist of some renown. She’s heard hints of scandal—and perhaps larceny, but no details.

Chloe’s grandmother—rumored to be Lucinda’s only offspring—was raised in an orphanage and never knew her mother. Intrigued as she is, Chloe has no intent of writing about Lucinda until she sees a poster featuring Lucinda as the star performer for a 70th birthday gala for John Ringling in May of 1936. From there the trail goes cold.

Who was Lucinda and what happened to her?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Christianbook | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Schmidt

Anna Schmidt is the author of over twenty works of fiction. Among her many honors, Anna is the recipient of Romantic Times’ Reviewer’s Choice Award and a finalist for the RITA award for romantic fiction. She enjoys gardening and collecting seashells at her winter home in Florida.

CONNECT WITH ANNA: Website | Twitter


TOUR GIVEAWAY

One (1) winner will receive a print copy of High-Wire Heartbreak and a $15 Amazon gift card!

High-Wire Heartbreak JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 5, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on January 12, 2021. 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.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

Thank you for joining me on the Austen Prose tour with Laurel Ann Nattress for Julie Klassen’s newest release, Shadows of Swanford Abbey!

What a stunning cover!

Quick Facts

  • Title: Shadows of Swanford Abbey
  • Author: Julie Klassen
  • Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Suspense, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • Publication Date: December 7, 2021
  • Length: 416 pages
  • Format: Hardcover, trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 
  • Tour Dates: December 6-17, 2021

About the Book

Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen in this atmospheric Regency tale brimming with mystery, intrigue, and romance.

When Miss Rebecca Lane returns to her home village after a few years away, her brother begs for a favor: go to nearby Swanford Abbey and deliver his manuscript to an author staying there who could help him get published. Feeling responsible for her brother’s desperate state, she reluctantly agrees.

The medieval monastery turned grand hotel is rumored to be haunted. Once there, Rebecca begins noticing strange things, including a figure in a hooded black gown gliding silently through the abbey’s cloisters. For all its renovations and veneer of luxury, the ancient foundations seem to echo with whispers of the past–including her own. For there she encounters Sir Frederick—magistrate, widower, and former neighbor—who long ago broke her heart.

When the famous author is found murdered in the abbey, Sir Frederick begins questioning staff and guests and quickly discovers that several people held grudges against the man, including Miss Lane and her brother. Haunted by a painful betrayal in his past, Sir Frederick searches for answers but is torn between his growing feelings for Rebecca and his pursuit of the truth. For Miss Lane is clearly hiding something…

About the Author

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.  Visit her online at:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM

 | BOOKBUBWIKIPEDIA | GOODREADS

More from Julie

Author Julie Klassen shares her inspiration for Shadows of Swanford Abbey

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My Thoughts

Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors because she can write novels with great historical detail, fantastic character development, multiple surprising twists, and amazingly complex plots! This novel is true to her style with intrigue and romance galore! This book has even more of a mystery with a “who done it” theme than some of her past novels and I found myself reading late into the night to discover the villain and the conclusion. The romance is well integrated (although not front and center like the mystery is) and I loved the development of the relationship of the two long time friends. There are fun characters with wit to lighten the plot as well and I found myself chuckling a time or two at Lady Fitzhowards. I truly did not want this novel to end and found myself savoring the rich descriptions and historical setting. This is not a novel to miss! I most highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from an Austen Prose tour with Laurel Ann Nattress.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Advance Praise

“A brilliant Agatha Christie-esque whodunit by reader favorite Julie Klassen. Set in the creepy atmosphere of an old abbey, Shadows of Swanford Abbey will keep you guessing until the very end. There’s plenty of danger, intrigue, and—yes—romance to delight Regency-era lovers of all ages. Truly a don’t-miss read!”—Michelle Griep, Christy Award-winning author of Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

“If you enjoy historical fiction with equal blends MYSTERY (suspense) and ROMANCE, then I recommend Shadows of Swanford Abbey with you wholeheartedly without any reservations. This may just be my FAVORITE Klassen novel yet.”—Becky Laney, Becky’s Book Reviews“Once again Julie Klassen has delivered an intriguing book with all kinds of mystery and a few ghosts added in made it all worth the midnight oil I burned because I didn’t want to put it down!”—Lori Parrish, Red Headed Book Lady

Thanks for stopping by!

Proposing Mischief by Regina Jennings

About the Book

Maisie Kentworth, annoyed with events at her parents’ ranch, explores an idle mine at the edge of their property, only to discover a fascinating treasure.  However, the mine is partially managed by Boone Bragg, a man stuck between pleasing a work associated and avoiding a marriage.  Boone makes Maisie a proposal, but the consequences of this proposal instead causes more chaos than good, forcing Maisie to try to set things right.

About the Author

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a minor in history. She’s the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award and a finalist for the Christy Award and the Oklahoma Book of the Year Award. She lives outside of Oklahoma City with her husband and four children and can be found online at http://www.reginajennings.com.

Amazon

Baker Book House

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

My Thoughts

I loved Maisie!  She has gumption, determination, and grit, but she also is fun, real, and authentic.  She’s the perfect counterpart to Boone and their relationship develops in such a great way in the novel.  The story flows very well and kept my attention with ease; indeed, I had a hard time putting the book down.  The conversations felt natural and the storyline was entertaining.  I also loved how Maisie grew through her insecurities and Boone learned to work as a partner, both changes that evolved gradually and realistically.  I have really been enjoying this series and look forward to the next book!  I definitely recommend this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Favorite Quotes

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Entwined by Jody Hedlund

About the Book

Despite recently learning that she is heir to the throne of Norvegia, Lis resigns herself to staying on her small rural farm and helping her elderly father.  Sir Ansgar, esteemed knight, is determined to save the king, even though the sovereign is losing his mind.  However, soon Ansgar is caught in a web of deceit and must flee for his life—straight to Lis’s farm.  There he and Lis form an unlikely friendship and must fight together to save the kingdom from evil.

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!). When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

My Thoughts

This book has it all—princesses, knights, intrigue, and romance!  Like all Jody Hedlund’s young adult books, this one is easy to devour and I think I read it in only two sittings.  The plot flows well and the twists and turns of danger kept my attention easily.  Both Lis and Ansgar have troubles they must handle, but I enjoyed their character development and their relationship as it grew in the story.  The descriptions and scenes are well written such that as a reader you have no problem picturing this fantastical land.  I think it is best to read this series in order as the storyline does continue between novels (and this one leaves some unfinished details).  I simply cannot wait to read the next two books in the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Favorite Book Quotes

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Crosshairs by Patricia Bradley

About the Book

Investigative Services Branch (ISB) ranger Ainsley Beaumont arrives in her hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, to investigate the murder of a three-month-pregnant teenager. While she wishes the visit was under better circumstances, she never imagined that she would become the killer’s next target–nor that she’d have to work alongside an old flame.

After he almost killed a child, former FBI sniper Lincoln Steele couldn’t bring himself to fire a gun, which had deadly and unforeseen consequences for his best friend. Crushed beneath a load of guilt, Linc is working at Melrose Estate as an interpretive ranger. But as danger closes in on Ainsley during her murder investigation, Linc will have to find the courage to protect her. The only question is, will it be too little, too late?

Award-winning author Patricia Bradley continues her Natchez Trace Park Rangers series with a story about how good must prevail when evil just won’t quit.

About the Author

Patricia Bradley is the author of Standoff and Obsession, as well as the Memphis Cold Case novels and Logan Point series. Bradley won an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award in Romantic Suspense, a Daphne du Maurier Award, and a Touched by Love Award; she was a Carol Award finalist; and three of her books were included in anthologies that debuted on the USA Today bestseller list. She is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at http://www.ptbradley.com.

My Thoughts

This has been one of my favorite series by this author to date! Each novel has been packed full of action and surprising twists and turns! The plot in this third book had me guessing at several points and I had a hard time putting the book down as I eagerly wanted to know the outcome. Danger abounds for the main characters and the eerie setting definitely contributes to the suspense. I really liked the relationship between Ainsley and Lincoln too as they have a past romance before being flung together again. It makes their romance more believable. There are multiple layers to the drama and suspense that create a complex story. I really liked this novel and look forward to the next book in the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lights Out by Natalie Walters

About the Book

CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn’t at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It’s hard to trust a woman who’s already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning–the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn’t trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world–and their hearts–hangs in the balance.

About the Author

Natalie Walters is the author of Carol Award finalist Living Lies, as well as Deadly Deceit and Silent Shadows. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is a proud mom of three adult kiddos. She has been published in Proverbs 31 magazine and has blogged for Guideposts online. She loves connecting on social media, sharing her love of books, cooking, and traveling. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past. Learn more at http://www.nataliewalterswriter.com.

My Thoughts

Another brilliant story from the talented Natalie Walters! Some suspense authors focus on the action of the plot, but I love how this author can develop characters and incorporate romance so seamlessly, allowing readers to really get to know their personalities and relationships, still while not sacrificing the brilliant twists and turns in her books! The characters have spunk and I love the cultural references which make them feel real and authentic. Natalie Walters is also great with the details: this novel has fantastic background with the inner workings of law enforcement and even incorporates Arabic phrases. The suspense made the novel hard to put down, and I loved the themes of forgiveness and trust, too. This novel is an awesome start to a new series! I cannot wait for the next one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Celebrate Lit Tour – Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep

Lost in Darkness

About the Book

Book: Lost in Darkness

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Fiction/Christian/Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

9781636090658

England, 1815

Amelia Balfour has one dream. . .to tour Egypt as a travel writer. But when her wish is finally within reach, her father dies, and her malformed brother Colin depends upon her to arrange for a revolutionary surgery. Amelia returns home, hoping he’ll recover before the ship sails for Cairo.
Former Navy surgeon Graham Lambert is sick—of travelling, loneliness, and especially the injustice of the world. Leaving behind the military, he partners with a renowned surgeon, the man who promises new life to Amelia’s brother.
But just as the operation begins, Graham suspects the surgeon is a fraud. After a botched procedure, Colin goes mad and escapes, terrorizing their neighbor, author Mary Godwin—planting the seed for her greatest creation, Frankenstein.
Can Amelia and Graham stop Colin before he destroys everyone in his path and find the tender soul still trapped inside…or will they be too late?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

MichelleGriep

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore,but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.

More from Michelle

Are You a Monster Too?

“Look at that! The fattest girl in the class is the first one to get in line for a cupcake.”

Those words, spoken to me in junior high by a clueless boy, are forever seared into my memory. Just because I wasn’t a willowy stick-figure who didn’t match up to magazine covers, I was singled out. Made to feel ashamed. Made to feel like a monster.

Have you ever felt that way?

Chances are you have. We are all poked and prodded at some point in our lives…which brings up a few questions. How do you deal with the sometimes ugly perceptions with which others view you? How do you stop trying to prove your worth to others, when in their eyes you are somehow worthless? Why does God allow such hurtful things to happen anyway?

These are the questions I attempt to tackle in my new release, Lost in Darkness. And surprisingly enough, those are the very same issues contemplated in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Now hold on. Don’t go rolling your eyeballs quite yet—which is the usual response whenever Frankenstein is mentioned.

Most people’s conception of this great piece of literature has been forever ruined by Hollywood’s green creature. You know the one, the giant with bolts sticking out of his neck and a stiff-legged walk. So not true. The essence of Shelley’s “horror” story is instead about a creature who struggles with heartfelt needs that can only be met by his creator. In this story, Shelley respectfully handles the subject of what we owe our creator and what our creator’s responsibility is toward us as the created…the very same questions we all struggle with.

As does Colin Balfour, a man with a heart of gold and a face that causes children to scream. In Lost in Darkness, he hopes to undergo a life-changing surgery that will end his self-imposed isolation. But what really happens is a life change for his sister Amelia and the surgeon who tries to prevent it all from happening. For indeed, even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.

My Thoughts

Once again, Michelle Griep delivers a story that is well researched and hard to put down!  This story perfectly marries gothic romance with Christian themes.  I found the plot to be intense, in a good way, but it is definitely not your typical lighthearted romance; instead, the pages ooze with depth, mystery, and difficult topics.  I love that Michelle Griep is not afraid to dive deep into those themes that are sometimes messy.  Her ability to create characters that grow through these circumstances is remarkable.  I really liked this novel and am still reflecting on it even weeks after finishing it.  I highly recommend this story and cannot wait to see what the author writes next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Tours.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, November 29

Genesis 5020, November 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 29

The Write Escape, November 30

Betti Mace, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Remembrancy, December 1

Inklings and notions, December 1

Blossoms and Blessings, December 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 2

Daysong Reflections, December 2

For Him and My Family, December 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 3

Bigreadersite, December 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 4

For the Love of Literature, December 4

SodbusterLiving, December 4

deb’s Book Review, December 5

Splashes of Joy, December 5

Back Porch Reads, December 5

Connie’s History Classroom, December 6

Simple Harvest Reads, December 6 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 7

Through the fire blogs, December 7

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 8

Pause for Tales, December 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 9

Labor Not in Vain, December 9

To Everything There Is A Season, December 9

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 10

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, December 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 10

Truth and Grace HomeschoolAcademy, December 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 11 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 11

Rachael’s Inkwell, December 12

Blogging With Carol, December 12

Connect in Fiction, December 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/13cfd/lost-in-darkness-celebration-tour-giveaway

The London House by Katherine Reay

Thank you for joining me in supporting Katherine Reay on her new release, The London House, on tour with Austen Prose tours from Laurel Ann Nattress!

Book Details

  • Title: The London House: A Novel
  • Author: Katherine Reay
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction
  • Publisher: Harper Muse
  • Publication Date: November 2, 2021
  • Length: 368 pages
  • Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 
  • Tour Dates: November 1-28, 2021

About the Book

Uncovering a dark family secret sends one woman through the history of Britain’s World War II spy network and glamorous 1930s Paris to save her family’s reputation.

Caroline Payne thinks it’s just another day of work until she receives a call from Mat Hammond, an old college friend and historian. But pleasantries are cut short. Mat has uncovered a scandalous secret kept buried for decades: In World War II, Caroline’s British great-aunt betrayed family and country to marry her German lover.

Determined to find answers and save her family’s reputation, Caroline flies to her family’s ancestral home in London. She and Mat discover diaries and letters that reveal her grandmother and great-aunt were known as the “Waite sisters.” Popular and witty, they came of age during the interwar years, a time of peace and luxury filled with dances, jazz clubs, and romance. The buoyant tone of the correspondence soon yields to sadder revelations as the sisters grow apart, and one leaves home for the glittering fashion scene of Paris, despite rumblings of a coming world war.

Each letter brings more questions. Was Caroline’s great-aunt actually a traitor and Nazi collaborator, or is there a more complex truth buried in the past? Together, Caroline and Mat uncover stories of spies and secrets, love and heartbreak, and the events of one fateful evening in 1941 that changed everything.

In this rich historical novel from award-winning author Katherine Reay, a young woman is tasked with writing the next chapter of her family’s story. But Caroline must choose whether to embrace a love of her own and proceed with caution if her family’s decades-old wounds are to heal without tearing them even further apart.

About the Author

Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr.
Knightley, Lizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily Price, The Austen
Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary
stories with a bit of classical flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern
University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and is a wife, mother, former marketer, and avid
chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe,
Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL.
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My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this novel!  The author does a great job creating two timelines that soon seamlessly weave together to create a remarkable story.  I liked learning more about World War II history, gourmet food, and high fashion set in Boston, London, and Paris.  The historical aspect is mostly told via letters and diaries, which is very creative.  What struck me most about this novel, however, was the clever way the author wrote about the multigenerational consequences of choices made by one historical character.  I was so invested in Caroline’s journey that her emotional ups and downs made me feel like I connected closely with her, despite her being a fictional character. The author did a remarkable job of making me care about Caroline and her family and has an exquisite talent for storytelling.  I could not put the book down!  I highly recommend this novel and will be looking for more by this author in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from an Austen Prose tour with Laurel Ann Nattress.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Advance Praise

“Carefully researched, emotionally hewn, and written with a sure hand, The London House is a tantalizing tale of deeply held secrets, heartbreak, redemption, and the enduring way that family can both hurt and heal us. I enjoyed it thoroughly.”— Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars and The Book of Lost Names

“An expertly researched and marvelously paced treatise on the many variants of courage and loyalty . . . Arresting historical fiction destined to thrill fans of Erica Roebuck and Pam Jenoff.”— Rachel McMillan, author of The London Restoration and The Mozart Code

“Reay’s fast-paced foray into the past cleverly reveals a family’s secrets and how a pivotal moment shaped future generations. Readers who enjoy engrossing family mystery should take note.”— Publisher’s Weekly

Thank you for stopping by!

Celebrate Lit Tour – Behind Love’s Wall by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Behind Love's Wall

About the Book

Book: Behind Love’s Wall

Author: Carrie Fancett Pagels

Genre: FICTION/ Christian/Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

9781636090696 (2)

Two successful women, a hundred-and-twenty-years apart, build walls to protect their hearts. Modern-day Willa, a successful interior decorator, is chosen to consult for the Grand Hotel’s possible redesign. She discovers a journal detailing the struggles of a young woman, Lily—which reveals dark secrets. The renowned singer wasn’t who she pretended to be. As Willa reaches out to Lily’s descendant, a charismatic and prominent landscape artist, she lets down her guard. Should she share the journal with him, or once again erect a wall as she struggles to redesign both the Grand and her life?

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

CarrieFancettPagels

ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at http://www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.

More from Carrie

Why I Wrote This Novel

I got a chance to write another novel set on Mackinac Island!!!

I’m the author of over twenty published stories. I have many books, both novel and novella length, set at the Straits of Mackinac including Maggie Award winner and Romantic Times Top Pick My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. In the summer, I go up to the area and I’m blessed to sign books at the Island Bookstore—sometimes hundreds of books which is such an amazing thing I can’t tell you! Now that MHBoMI is out of print, Barbour has been helping by doing limited print runs for while I am up there.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island was originally part of a full series that I pitched but it didn’t get picked up for all three stories. MHBoMI got picked up as part of the My Heart Belongs series that Barbour put out a few years ago. The second book in my original Brides of Mackinac series was heroine Sadie’s story, which was published as a novella “His Anchor” in First Love Forevercollection.  So I had two of my book babies delivered out into the world and Lily’s story sat there for a while.

In the Covid summer of 2020, I arrived in my home state of Michigan and over dinner with a close friend I learned that the folks at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island were having legal trouble with their previous long-time designed Carlton Varney suing them. I’d been disappointed that the Mussers, who’d owned the Grand for generations, had sold the hotel but this new development really bugged me.  While I was in the Upper Peninsula, I finished an Indy book, Dogwood Plantation, which only figures since I often write my Michigan stories while I am in Virginia and vice versa! I knew the only other book I wanted to work on was to complete my Brides of Mackinac trilogy (not exactly since they aren’t all in one series!) with Lily’s story. I also had a manuscript about 70% done that was my very first contemporary Women’s Fiction novel. When my agent encouraged me to submit a Mackinac Island story set at the Grand Hotel to Barbour’s Doors to the Past series, I knew immediately that the only story for historical I wanted to write was Lily’s. That meant that I needed, for this dual-timeline series, a contemporary story. That wasn’t just a chance sharing at dinner—I believe the info about the lawsuit was meant to be passed on to me one of those God-incidences. My modern-day heroine then became an established resort designer who had a trunkful of issues just like Lily did.

Was I ever glad that I had finally written my first contemporary Women’s Fiction (Butterfly Cottage) because that skill set came in very handy in writing the modern-day 2020 story of Willa in Behind Love’s Wall! This was the most difficult novel to write that I have done so far as I write in character and going back and forth between the 1895 and 2020 timelines could be draining. I tried to write each character and setting on separate days but that couldn’t always be managed.

I pray that this story will touch readers’ hearts. I pray that someone, like the young waitress I meant on Mackinac Island who had been spiritually moved by My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (she read her grandmother’s copy after her grandma passed away!), will read this book and feel that connection to our Maker. That’s what Christian Fiction is all about!

My Thoughts

I have enjoyed visiting Mackinac Island before, so I particularly liked the well written descriptions of this island in this novel.  It was easy to visualize the scenery.  I am also a fan of HGTV and I thought the premise for this story was creative—finding an old journal in a home undergoing a renovation? Um, yes, please!  I liked the dual timeline and the connection of the characters.  I do think there was some confusion initially with the amount of characters in the two timelines and it took me a bit to keep everyone straight.  However, eventually I got the rhythm of the dual stories figured out and settled in for a good read.  I liked the mysterious and surprising parts of the novel.  This book might be the first one I’ve read that incorporates so many aspect of real life in 2020 (I read a lot more historical novels), but I appreciate that the author created a reality that’s authentic.  Overall, I enjoyed this novel and have really liked this creative series from Barbour publishing!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit Tours.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 19

Cats in the Cradle Blog, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Inklings and notions, November 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

For Him and My Family, November 21

Mary Hake, November 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

For the Love of Literature, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Betti Mace, November 23

Genesis 5020, November 23

Older & Smarter?, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

Blossoms and Blessings, November 25

Stephanie’s life of determination, November 25

Connect in Fiction, November 25

Rebecca Tews, November 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 26

Through the fire blogs, November 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Bigreadersite, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 28

Connie’s History Classroom, November 29

Bizwings Blog, November 29

Labor Not in Vain, November 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 30

To Everything There Is A Season, November 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 1

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, December 1

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/137e9/behind-love-s-wall-celebration-tour-giveaway