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Showing posts from April, 2017

A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8) by Jacqueline Winspear: A Book Review

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A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8)
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 2011
Pages:  477
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs’ career goes in an exciting new direction when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard’s Special Branch and the Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities “not in the interests of His Majesty’s Government.” 

     When the college’s controversial pacifist founder and principal, Greville Liddicote, is murdered, Maisie is directed to stand back as Detective Chief Superintendent Robert MacFarlane and Detective Chief Inspector Stratton spearhead the investigation. She soon discovers, however, that the circumstances of Liddicote’s death appear inextricably linked to the suspicious comings and goings of faculty and students under her surveillance. 

     To unravel this web, Maisie mu…

Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs #2) by Jacqueline Winspear: A Book Review

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Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs #2)
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Release Date: 2004
Pages:  321
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: The second Maisie Dobbs mystery

     Jacqueline Winspear’s marvelous debut, Maisie Dobbs, won her fans from around the world and raised her intuitive, intelligent, and resourceful heroine to the ranks of literature’s favorite sleuths. Birds of a Feather, its follow-up, finds psychologist and private investigator Maisie Dobbs on another dangerously intriguing adventure in London “between the wars.” It is the spring of 1930, and Maisie has been hired to find a runaway heiress. But what seems a simple case at the outset soon becomes increasingly complicated when three of the heiress’s old friends are found dead. Is there a connection between the woman’s mysterious disappearance and the murders? Who would want to kill three seemingly respectable young women? As Maisie investigates, she discovers that the answers l…

Da Vinci's Tiger by L. M. Elliott: A Book Review

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Da Vinci’s Tiger
Author: L. M. Elliott
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: 2015
Pages:  305
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: For fans of rich and complex historical novels like Girl with a Pearl Earring or Code Name Verity, Laura Malone Elliott delivers the stunning tale of real-life Renaissance woman Ginevra de' Benci, the inspiration for one of Leonardo da Vinci's earliest masterpieces. 

     The young and beautiful daughter of a wealthy family, Ginevra longs to share her poetry and participate in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence but is trapped in an arranged marriage in a society dictated by men. The arrival of the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers. Bembo chooses Ginevra as his Platonic muse and commissions a portrait of her by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between t…

Michal (The Wives of King David #1) by Jill Eileen Smith: A Book Review

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Michal (The Wives of King David #1)
Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: 2009
Pages:  382
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: As the daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege--but one that is haunted by her father's unpredictable moods and by competition from her beautiful older sister. When Michal falls for young David, the harpist who plays to calm her father, she has no idea what romance, adventures, and heartache await her.

     As readers enter the colorful and unpredictable worlds of King Saul and King David, they will be swept up in this exciting and romantic story. Against the backdrop of opulent palace life, raging war, and desert escapes, Jill Eileen Smith takes her readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride as Michal deals with love, loss, and personal transformation as one of the wives of David. A sweeping tale of passion and drama, readers will love this amazing story.

My Review: Micha…

Courageous (Valiant Hearts series #3) by Dina L. Sleiman: A Book Review

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Courageous (Valiant Heart series #3)
Author: Dina L. Sleiman
Genre: YA, Christian, Historical Fiction,
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: 2016
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Valiant Hearts: Where Adventure and Romance Meet

     Inspired by the vision of the Young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She gladly gives herself to the cause, as she's haunted by a tragic mistake and no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

   Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church, but dreams of protecting the innocent as a knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of young adolescents. When they face political machinations, danger, and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced…

Blog Tour: The Spoils of Allsveil by S. N. McKibben

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The Spoils of Allsveil by S.N. McKibben Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Murder. Marriage. Forgiveness. The kingdom of Allsveil is the chessboard, and the royals are the pieces. Two noble families meet in a whirlwind of battle, conquest, hate, and passion. When a neighboring army conquers her home, Princess Alexia is forced to marry her father’s murderer, Darrin, the new king's young prince. While Alexia grapples with revenge and flirtation, finding her own strength in the process, the new king, Goththor, seeks forgiveness from his queen and from himself. Two generations learn that the game of chess is nothing compared to the game of love and forgiveness... Play chess with a princess...get your copy today! Goodreads * Amazon


Slave to a 100 lbs. GSD (German Shepard) and a computer she calls "Dave", you'll often see her riding a 19 hand Shire nicknamed "Gunny" to the local coffee shop near the Santa Monica mountains. Stephanie reads for the love of words, an…

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund: A Book Review

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Luther and Katharina
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Waterbrook
Release Date: 2015
Pages: 402
Source: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.  

     In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther.

     His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself. 

     Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They coul…

Never Done by Ginger Dehlinger: A Book Review

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Never Done
Author: Ginger Dehlinger
Genre: Historical Fiction, Western
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: April 21, 2017
Pages: 290
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Clara, ​14, and Geneva, ​16, are close friends until Geneva secretly marries Clara’s widowed father. Feeling betrayed by her pa and a girl she idolizes, Clara wants nothing to do with her new young stepmother. Geneva retaliates, beginning a clash of wills that lasts from 1884 to the flu epidemic of 1918.

     Years go by without them speaking to one another. Geneva, bolder of the two, lives a life of ease in elegant homes with piped water and domestic help. She shops for the latest in women’s fashions and plays pinochle with lady friends.

     For spite, Clara marries a handsome cowboy Geneva fancies, but ends up living in a freezing cold cabin and a house infested with bugs. She takes in ironing and feeds miners to make ends meet, discovering love and purpose in …

Book Blast: Lilli de Jong by Janet Benton

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Lilli de Jong by Janet BentonPublication Date: May 16, 2017 Nan A. Talese Hardcover & eBook; 352 Pages Genre: Fiction/Historical/Literary



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Synopsis: A young woman finds the most powerful love of her life when she gives birth at an institution for unwed mothers in 1883 Philadelphia. She is told she must give up her daughter to avoid lifelong poverty and shame. But she chooses to keep her.

     Pregnant, left behind by her lover, and banished from her Quaker home and teaching position, Lilli de Jong enters a home for wronged women to deliver her child. She is stunned at how much her infant needs her and at how quickly their bond overtakes her heart. Mothers in her position face disabling prejudice, which is why most give up their newborns. But Lilli can’t accept such an outcome. Instead, she braves moral condemnation and financial ruin in a quest to keep herself and her baby alive.

     Confiding their story to her diary as it unfolds, Lilli takes readers from an impov…

Blog Tour: The Mourning Ring by Sarah Parke

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The Mourning Ring by Sarah ParkePublication Date: October 10, 2016 CreateSpace eBook & Paperback; 350 Pages Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fantasy



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Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Bronte lives to tell stories. She longs to improve her fortunes through her writing. Charlotte’s father expects her to leave behind her childish fantasies in order to set an example for her three younger siblings.

     But the Bronte children hold a secret in their veins—a smidgen of fairy blood that can bring their words to life.

     When Charlotte discovers that the characters from their childish stories exist in an alternate world called Glass Town, she jumps at the opportunity to be the heroine of her own tale.

     The city of Angria teeters on the brink of civil war and Charlotte and her siblings must use their magic and their wits to save its people from a tyrant with magic abilities. But entering the fictional world means forfeiting control of their own creations. If they fail, …

The Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters #3) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

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The Shadow Sister (The Seven Sisters #3)
Author: Lucinda Riley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Pages: 512
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Travel through the lush English countryside and explore the magnificent estates of the British aristocracy in this next spellbinding love story in The Seven Sisters series by #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.

    Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

     A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s…