Friday, March 30, 2018

Ashes on the Moor by Sarah M. Eden, Blog Tour





Book Summary:

When Evangeline is sent to live in a small mill town in Northern England as a schoolteacher in 1871, she finds herself struggling to fit in with an unfamiliar culture. Raised with the high-class Victorian values and ideals of a sophisticated upbringing, she is unprepared for the poverty she finds in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, where the locals speak with a hard-to-understand Yorkshire accent and struggle to thrive with few resources or opportunities.

Though she has no training as a teacher, she must prove herself successful before her grandfather will release her substantial inheritance to her and allow her to be reunited with her younger sister, the last remaining member of her family after a fever claimed the lives of her parents and brothers.

Evangeline's sudden change in circumstances is complicated when her aunt—a woman who values class distinctions more than her family relationships—forbids her from acknowledging any connection to her or to her grandfather, Mr. Farr—the man who owns nearly the entire town. For the first time in her life, Evangeline is truly alone.

Heartbroken, she turns to the one person in town who has shown her kindness—an Irish brick mason, Dermot, and his son, Ronan. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot become friends, due in part to her ability to connect with Ronan, whose behavior requires special attention. The boy is uncomfortable around strangers and rarely even speaks to the other children in town. He often fixates on details other people ignore, and he adheres to specific, self-made rules that give his life order and structure; for example, Dermot's coat must be hung on a specific peg next to the door.

Evangeline attempts to prove herself a worthy teacher and earn the respect of her hard-to-understand students. Determined to find a way to introduce them to "proper English" while still honoring their unique language and culture, she enlists the help of a local family to write down familiar stories in the Yorkshire vernacular. Because of her efforts, the students and their families warm to Evangeline and she continues to look for ways to give the children a chance to become more than factory workers in the local cotton mill.

When the town learns of her upper-class status, Evangeline must work twice as hard to win back their trust--especially Dermot's. In the end, Evangeline and Dermot discover that, even though they come from different social spheres, together they can overcome social prejudices, make a positive difference in the lives of even the humblest people, and enjoy the strength that comes when two hearts find each other.

Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman's courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying.




My Review:


This Victorian novel is unlike any I have read, ever. I was immediately drawn into Evangeline's story. How could one not be drawn in when it starts off with two sisters losing their entire family at once? I was so sad for them and concerned for where they would go and who would care for them. Let's be honest, Aunt Barton was awful, cold and unfeeling so I knew she couldn't possibly care for them. Which she didn't, she sent them away and demanded that no one know they were related! It was awful and horrible! Evangeline's only family other than her little sister Lucy, and she treated them so terribly! I felt this huge weight pressing down on me while I read this book. I kept thinking that surely it was some big mistake; Evangeline being forced to care for herself and separated from her only sister. I kept thinking that surely the Bartons or her grandfather was going to rescue her from this awful situation. While I literally zoomed through the book, I was still left saddened. I think I wanted more upliftment and more triumph. I don't want to spoil it, but just suffice it to say that I wanted more happy from the book than what I was given. I love Eden's writing style, her historical aspects were spot on, I just personally wanted more sunshine and rainbows! 


Happy Reading!!!


You can pick up your own copy via Amazon.


Source:  Publisher for review




Monday, March 26, 2018

My Sister's Intended by Rachael Anderson, Book Blast & Giveaway!!!

Happy Release Day to My Sister's Intended by Rachael Anderson.
We're celebrating with a $50 Giveaway!




  My Sister's Intended by Rachael Anderson

 For as long as Prudence can remember, it has been understood that her sister will one day wed the eldest son of their nearest neighbor. Such an alliance will benefit both families and bring a great deal of joy to all parents involved. Unfortunately, Prudence has never been able to feel as joyful. She believes her sister is mad to consider marrying a man she hardly knows, even if he will one day make her a countess. Titles and wealth shouldn't factor into matters of the heart, and as an aspiring romance novelist, Prudence cannot fathom how anyone could even think of settling for less than love. She certainly wouldn’t, and she doesn't want her sister to either. Unable to stand by and do nothing, Prudence sets out to help the awkward couple discover the best in each other with the hope that they will eventually find love. What she neglected to foresee, however, was the possibility that she might fall in love with Lord Knave herself.


 

Excerpt

When Prudence lifted her eyes to his again, they sparkled with a challenge. “I was going to save this question until later so as not to shock you from the get-go, but I really do need to know . . . What does it feel like to kiss a woman?”
A large lump formed in Brand’s throat, and his mouth went dry. What the deuce? She had promised not to ask questions that would make him uncomfortable, but already he wanted to flee like a frightened kitten. How could he possibly explain how it felt to kiss a woman?
Brand searched his mind for a way to avoid answering until he heard a snicker escape her lips. She was laughing at him. Him! Hildebrand Ethan Cannon, Viscount Knave—a man at least eight years her senior and a great deal higher in social standing.
Unbelievable.
“You are teasing me,” he said, hoping it was true. If she’d posed the question to make him squirm—and perhaps make him more inclined to answer her other questions—then she wouldn’t be expecting an answer.
She shook her head, still smiling. “I’m afraid not, my lord, although I did find the look of terror on your face vastly amusing.”
“I’m glad I could entertain you.”
“I hope you will be equally glad to instruct me on a few things as well. The first scene in my book will include a kiss, and I have no idea how to describe the experience. Do a woman’s lips feel warm or soft or even moist? Would your pulse quicken? Aside from touch, what other senses are engaged? How would it make you feel and what would you notice when you held a woman in your arms?”
If she thought he’d appeared terror-stricken before, there would be no word for how he looked now. Did she earnestly expect him to answer such questions? Surely even she knew how inappropriate it would be to discuss such things, her being an innocent.
“I cannot say,” he finally muttered.
Her brow puckered in confusion. “Have you never kissed a woman, my lord?”
Brand was sorely tempted to lie and say he had not, but he couldn’t bring himself to do so. Any man of six-and-twenty who had never experienced a kiss would be laughed out of his manhood. Women were expected to remain innocent until married. Men were not.
“Yes, I have kissed a woman,” he finally admitted, “but I have no intention of discussing any of the details with you.”
“Why not?” she asked, her large brown eyes blinking at him curiously. “Would you rather I invent the information?”
“Yes.”
She obviously didn’t appreciate his retort because she scowled. “Can you not tell me at least a little?”
“No.”
“Why?”
“Because a kiss could never be described with any sort of accuracy, at least not by me. It involves too many feelings and sensations and complexities of thought. If you wish to know what a kiss feels like, you’ll have to experience it for yourself.”
Too late, Brand realized his mistake. Her expression became contemplative, as though she was actually considering doing just that. Good gads, had he really just encouraged an innocent young woman to go hunting for a kiss? Who would she ask? A groom? Stablehand? The next peddler that came to town?
“I think you are right,” she said at last. “I really must experience a kiss for myself if I am to describe it with any sort of accuracy.” She blinked up at him with that innocent expression again. “Will you kiss me Lord Knave? No, how silly of me. You are to marry my sister, so that would never do.” She pursed her lips for a moment before musing, “Perhaps one of the footmen would be kind enough to show me how it’s done.”
Kind enough? Brand could think of a great many reasons a footman would comply with such a request, and kindness did not factor into any of them. Brand would kiss her himself before he allowed a footman near her.
He rubbed the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache coming on. “Perhaps I can try to explain what it feels like after all.” Better that than having her chase after a footman.
“But you only just said you couldn’t do it justice,” she pointed out. “I realize I sound dreadfully forward, but I really must know, and experience is the best teacher, is it not?”
“No, it isn’t,” he lied. “And you are not going to kiss a footman.”
“Then who? Felix or Lionel, perhaps? I’m fairly certain I can convince one of them to do it, if given the opportunity. The question is how to go about it?”
It was plain to see by the firm set of her jaw that she would not rest until she had experienced a kiss of her own. She didn’t seem to care who did the deed, only that the man did a thorough job of it. A quick peck on the lips wouldn’t satisfy her curiosities.
“Perhaps I could send a note to Felix and ask him to call on me,” she continued to muse. “We could take a stroll through the maze in the gardens. There is a hidden alcove on the south side, which could be quite perfect. We would have to evade Ruth, obviously, but—”
“Devil take it,” Brand growled as he pulled her to him. Her quick intake of breath was the only sound she made before his mouth covered hers.


 

Author Rachael Anderson
 A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.  


 


Blog Tour March 28th to April 12th


 

  Release Day Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in Paypal Cash

Ends 4/13/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Beneath the Bellemont Sky, by Ranee S. Clark, Blog Tour & Giveaway



Book Summary:

As WWII draws to a close, war widow Vera Larsen Trumbell knows all too well the sacrifices of those left on the home front. Working on her family's farm has sustained Vera and her young children, but she now yearns for a sense of normalcy. The end of the war has been bittersweet for the Larsen clan as they and the residents of their small Wyoming town continue to pick up the pieces of their former lives.

Navigating the complexities of a postwar world, Vera and her family face the changing ideals swirling around them. From rising controversy surrounding women's presence in the workplace to the town's cold reception of the newest member of the family—a beautiful French freedom fighter—the American dream of days gone by has been thrown off balance. Even Vera's own life is set spinning when, despite her better judgment, she feels a growing attraction for the brooding and mysterious local schoolteacher.

As the Larsen family and their neighbors tread on thorny territory, will the people of this small town find the strength to embrace an unfamiliar and extraordinary future?


My Review:

I was absolutely surprised by how much I truly enjoyed reading this book.  I am not usually a big fan of war era related novels but this one was just perfect! It had just the right amount of war stories and background info, but not too much to be off putting for those with a more sensitive constitution. I really liked the way that Clark let us as readers experience more than one character's perspective. Clark wrote it very well and there was not the confusion that can easily happen when changing view points in a book. It was written seamlessly and truly helped connect the characters and their stories effortlessly. I think that Vera was my favorite character, but each one captured my attention and demanded I pay attention to their story as well. Especially Josette, Dominick and even Fay. All of their lives and stories were so interesting. One of my favorite parts of the book was the deep connection that the Larson family had.  I cannot say enough good things about this book and I would recommend it to my friends. I truly enjoyed every single moment!


You can pick up your own copy via Amazon.


Happy Reading!!!



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Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Stars Above Northumberland by Anita Stansfield, Blog Tour




Book Summary:

Her husband is dead. But far from grieving, young widow Lady Meriwether Sturgess feels nothing but relief and release. After enduring years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her cruel husband, Meri is drawn to the comfort of the one place sure to offer healing both for her and her children: Rosewell Manor. The home of her beloved Aunt Annibel is the site of her happiest childhood memories, and it promises the new beginning for which she longs. Just as she settles into life at the manor, Meri is granted a delightful surprise. Elliott Rosewell has come to stay, as he often has since childhood. Meri and Elliott had once been close friends, and each concealed long-harbored feelings for one another. Their warm relationship is quickly rekindled, and despite the sorrows and secrets they each conceal, they discover that their friendship has blossomed into love. But a relationship that seems to promise happily ever after quickly begins to unravel as devastating truths from both Meri’s and Elliott’s past surface, and their chance at happiness together may be lost forever. . . .


My Review:

I have been reading Stansfield books for years and it was nice to see her write a book set in my favorite period; regency. Meri is the main character who is trying to put the pieces of her life back on the right track after the death of an abusive spouse. She returns to her Aunt's home and her sanctuary, Roswell Manor. Her long time childhood friend Elliot happens to come and stay as well and the story goes from there. There is a lot going on that you have to keep straight and of course you have to read the book for yourself to find out how it ends!


Happy Reading!!!


You can pick up your own copy via Amazon.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Source:  Publisher for review