Self-Published Saturday: Joyful Trouble

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help self-published/indie authors promote their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from editing to cover design to marketing. If I can help promote their books in even a small way, I am happy to assist! Below I have provided a review, author bio, and links to buy of Joyful Trouble, which is a children’s book based on the true story of the only dog enlisted in the Royal Navy during World War II.

BOOK REVIEW

Joyful Trouble is a delightful children’s book based on the story of Trouble, a Great Dane enlisted in the Royal Navy. When Ana and Tommy go with their grandfather to a parade celebrating Joyful Trouble, they want to know his story. Throughout the following chapters, Grandad tells them stories of Trouble, the dog he knew in the Navy.

I really enjoyed this book, not just the story of Joyful Trouble, but the lessons built into this book about dogs. As Grandad was telling Trouble’s story, he was also teaching the kids valuable information about our canine friends. In this book, kids learn how to approach a dog, and they learn about the incredible senses of smell and hearing that dogs possess. They are also told about the many jobs dogs occupied in World War II, and lots of other facts and information about our incredible companion, the dog. This is a really wonderful, educational story. We learn about the special bonds between dogs and humans, and we see that bond between Joyful Trouble and Grandad. The author has a wonderful gift for telling interesting stories that also teach.

Children will love this book, but it is longer (225 pages) and I feel it is set up for parents to read to them, possibly a chapter or two at bedtime. I highly recommend this to parents, children, and dog lovers.

I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patricia Furstenberg

(In Her Own Words) 

I have always been drawn to discovering more about the people and the dogs who featured in historical and contemporary events. Why they chose to fight that war; what was it that they sacrificed, silently. What was the lay of the land that they walked upon, the color of the sky or the scent carried by the wind… It is such stories that I find they still resonate today. Discovering these secrets, writing these books, thrills me. Thus, my passion for historical and contemporary fiction books and historical events was born.

As an armchair historian, I love researching such tales, traveling (researching my next book we visited medieval Sighisoara), exploring hidden corners, and unearthing new facts, forgotten characters, or hidden clues. I love to give them a voice and to bring them into the light in my tales. Be it people, animals, or the land and its architecture, no details are too small, no voice is too soft. What was once overlooked now brings history alive in my historical or contemporary fiction books and short stories, such as the 100 Words Stories based on the history of Romania.

Facts belong in the history books, but the passion, the thrill, and the fantasy, these are the realm of the novels. Welcome to my writing world.

BUY LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

*Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read this book for free.

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Self Published Saturday: The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray

Self-Published Saturday (SPS) is my effort to help self-published and indie authors with the heavy task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from cover design to marketing and more. This is my effort to take a bit of that load and help promote their books every week on a Saturday. The next book I’m recommending is The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray, a clever and compelling time travel adventure. See the review, author bio, and cover rating below. Please be sure and share this review with your social media followers. Even if a particular book is not your cup of tea, it might be theirs, and the authors will appreciate it so much!

BOOK REVIEW

When William Wells buys a watch for his girlfriend in 1984 London, he has no idea he is setting off a set of circumstances that will have him running for his life as a murder suspect. The watch is not what it seems, and those who are searching for it will do anything to possess it.

This is a compelling time travel adventure set in London in 1984 and various other time periods. The characters are well written and the action grabs you on the first page and does not let go. As a fan of time travel fiction, the method of time travel is extremely important to me, and the method used here is both creative and fascinating. The rules and nuances of all the time shifts and their repercussions bend the mind a bit, but not so much that I couldn’t keep up. I was entertained throughout, and I’m a pretty demanding reader when it comes to time travel fiction. 

To address something readers may notice, the dates of some events may not exactly match up to reality. For example, the main character went to Blockbuster in London in 1984 although in reality Blockbuster wasn’t founded until 1985 and didn’t spread outside the US until the 1990s. However, this is TIME TRAVEL fiction, not historical fiction. The time travel in this book had been going on for many years and many circumstances were changed. So it’s entirely possible that in this time-manipulated universe, Blockbuster was already in England in 1984. I loved the explanation in this book of how merely bumping into someone on the street could cause a catastrophic event for the whole world. Therefore, a business being founded early in a book about the manipulation of time doesn’t raise any eyebrows for me. 

I truly enjoyed this book and hope to see the characters again in a sequel.

I received a free copy of this book via BookSirens. I also downloaded it on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

O.R. Simmonds

Oliver R. Simmonds is a Writer, Director and Artist working in the Games Industry and author of The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray.

Before working in the games industry, he spent nearly a decade dreaming up deep, detailed worlds with weaving narratives only for them to be ‘value engineered’ by clients. It was during this time that he decided he no longer wanted to be a frustrated writer and to try to be an actual writer instead.

He ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the publication of his first novel, The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray, which is now due for release in 2021. His second book is currently being edited and slated for release sometime in 2022.

Oliver lives in surrey with his wife and two young boys. His eldest son is named after Doc Emmett Brown and the youngest’s middle name is Adventure (yes, really). It’s not all that surprising that his debut is a time travel adventure then. 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

COVER RATING

I think it’s a very effective cover. The title and author’s name are extremely visible. I am always intrigued by clocks, and they work well on this cover. The bit of added gold is very eye-catching.

LINKS TO BUY

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Self-Published Saturday/The Red Button

Self-Published Saturday (SPS) is my effort to help self-published and indie authors with the heavy task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from cover design to marketing and more. This is my effort to take a bit of that load and help promote their books every week on a Saturday. This week I’ve reviewed The Red Button by Keith Eldred. This is an interesting prequel to A Christmas Carol.

The Red Button is a wonderful prequel to the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Belle Endicott, who lost her mother as a child, toils away at her father’s small button shop, trying to take over her mother’s duties. She and her father work constantly, attempting to make ends meet. Then they are visited by the ambitious Ebenezer Scrooge, who wants to turn their small business into a large button factory. As their business relationship grows, so does their personal relationship. But Ebenezer is constantly striving for more success.

This prequel introduces us to Ebenezer Scrooge as a young man, and we meet his love, Belle, who tries to show him there is more to life than possessions and gold.The narration is done from a very unique and imaginative perspective, and the characters are well-written and engaging. The history of early manufacturing and the ruthless business tactics of the time are examined. The effect of an escalating love of money on a person’s character is explored so well here. A touch of the paranormal is also added, although this book does not contain as much ghostly activity as A Christmas Carol. This really is a perfect pre-holiday read, and motivates me to read A Christmas Carol once again.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keith Eldred

Keith Eldred created the THIS IS RED project with his wife Janet, a public library director diagnosed with early-stage dementia. With Janet’s condition making every day precious, they decided to make the most of 2020, the year of their 30th anniversary, by publishing 20 books. All profits from these titles go the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, where Janet works. See more at www.thisis.red.

Keith is also helping his granddaughter Brook Johnson (age 8) create a book trilogy about her character The Puppy Queen.

BUY THE RED BUTTON

AMAZON

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free.

COVER RATING

I think the cover works well. It is colorful and does a good job of evoking the era in which the book is set.

*If you read the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Book Review: The Santa Suit

What a wonderful Christmas story! When Ivy buys an old farmhouse, she doesn’t realize it is the home of the former town Santa, and that a Santa Suit she finds will be the key to happiness for more than one person. The characters are endearing, and the story is fun, magical, and just right for Christmas. The reader is transported to the Christmas season in a big way. 

Sometimes you just want to relax with a book that is just a lot of fun without too many complications, especially at Christmas. This is such a book.

I recommend this to anyone who wants to experience some Christmas joy.

I received a free copy of this book from the St. Martins Press via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mary Kay Andrews

MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 29 novels (including The Santa Suit; The Newcomer; Hello, SummerSunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The WeekendersBeach Town; Save the Date; Ladies’ Night; Christmas Bliss; Spring FeverSummer Rental; The Fixer Upper; Deep Dish; Blue Christmas; Savannah Breeze; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues), and one cookbook,The Beach House Cookbook.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she earned a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia. After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.

Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by fourteen more New York TimesUSA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.

She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide—both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels.

BUY LINKS

Apple Books
Google Play
Kindle
NOOK
Kobo

MY AMAZON REVIEW (“HELPFUL” VOTES APPRECIATED)

MY GOODREADS REVIEW (“LIKES” APPRECIATED)

Guest Post from the author of Champagne Widows, Rebecca Rosenberg

Do you love heartbreaking love stories?

CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS has three! 

The love between Veuve Clicquot and her husband, Francois. Then, she falls in love with her salesman, Louis Bohne, who asks to marry him. But according to Napoleon Code if she marries, ownership of the winery goes to him. Then, there is Napoleon and Josephine, one of the most famous and enduring love stories on earth. Then why did he divorce her? Find out in CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS, $5 off kindle today. 

Did you ever hear the shocking and heartbreaking love story of Napoleon and Josephine? 

Theirs was the most passionate, confusing, tender, manipulative, and damning love I ever heard of, and I loved sharing it in my new novel CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS. Napoleon was obsessed with Josephine, 6 years his elder, a Martinique, and a divorcee with children. He wrote her letters daily from the war fields, begging her to come to him. He wrote to her to his dying day. 

Then why did he divorce her and marry someone he never met?

Find out in CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS, $5 off kindle today. 

Napoleon’s love letters to Josephine

December 1795:

I awake full of you. Your image and the memory of last night’s intoxicating pleasures have left my senses no rest.

Sweet, incomparable Joséphine, what a strange effect you have on my heart. Are you angry? Do I see you sad? Are you worried? My soul breaks with grief, and there is no rest for your lover; but how much the more when I yield to this passion that rules me and drink a burning flame from your lips and your heart? Oh! This night has shown me that your portrait is not you!

You leave at midday; in three hours I shall see you.

Meanwhile, my sweet love, a thousand kisses; but do not give me any, for they set my blood on fire.

B.

November 21, 1796

I am going to bed with my heart full of your adorable image… I cannot wait to give you proofs of my ardent love… How happy I would be if I could assist you at your undressing, the little firm white breast, the adorable face, the hair tied in a scarf à la créole. You know that I will never forget the little visits, you know, the little black forest… I kiss it a thousand times and wait impatiently for the moment I will be in it. To live within Joséphine is to live in the Elysian fields. Kisses on your mouth, your eyes, your breast, everywhere, everywhere.

But, then he hears news of Josephine, and writes:

I don’t love you anymore; on the contrary, I hate you. You are a vile, mean, beastly slut. You don’t write me at all; you don’t love your husband; you know how happy your letters make him, and you don’t write him six lines of nonsense…

Soon, I hope, I will be holding you in my arms; then I will cover you with a million hot kisses, burning like the equator.

CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS, $5 off kindle today. 

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Who Knew You Could Do This With PowerPoint

Self-published/Indie authors: This is a great article on how to make Powerpoint a marketing tool. reblogged from Jacqui Murray’s Worddreams.

During my promo for my latest prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature. one of my wonderful hosts posted this article  I wrote about how I use a venerable favorite PowerPoint in my book marketing. In case you missed it, here’s a revisit:

***

As an Indie author, I not only write my own books but do all the marketing. For most of you, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. I’m always looking for ways to make it easier and faster. The old standby PowerPoint has come to my rescue more often than I expected. I’ve used PowerPoint for a score of years so am entirely comfortable with it and appreciate not having to learn new buttons and widgets. As a result, if PowerPoint can make me look like a pro, I’m using it.

Here are a few ideas on how PowerPoint can spiff up your marketing:

Trailer

Time…

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Self-Published Saturday: 10 Great Self-Published/Indie Books to Check Out

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help self-published/indie authors promote their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from editing to cover design to marketing. If I can help promote their books in even a small way, I am happy to assist! I thought I’d attach links and covers of some of the wonderful Indie books I’ve reviewed in the past. Be sure and click on the cover to check out the book description and buy links on Amazon. Check them out and you won’t be disappointed! I’ll do other lists of this type regularly.

This is the first in the Robin Hood Trilogy. The second book is Robin Hood’s Widow, and the third is Robin Hood’s Return. These are five-star reads that combine the Robin Hood legend with Historical Fiction.

This wonderful novel by Gail Meath was an Editor’s Choice for the August 2021 edition of Historical Novels Review Magazine, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. It got 5 stars from me, too.

Another five star read, the Siege of An Loc is a historical novel about the Vietnam War told from the perspective of a South Vietnamese soldier.

This is Book one in the fascinating dystopian series Juche by Adria Carmichael It set in a North Korean concentration camp in the 1990s. There have been three books released currently.

This is a collection of Tanka poems that explore the issue of grief and celebrate the lives of the author’s departed family. This 5 star collection will cause you to both smile and cry.

Another 5 star poetry collection. Louise Bélanger’s Your Word, Your World is a collection of Inspirational poems that celebrates God and his creation.

This is Book 1 in the Talisman Series by Brett Salter. Rome is a boy who accidentally sets a tree on fire and eventually finds out he is really a dragon! Great 5-star Young Adult Series.
This is the first book in the Alice and Trudy mystery trilogy. Alice and Trudy have opened up a hotel that caters to the elderly, and their gang of residents is a hoot!

This fantastic book by Patricia Furstenberg takes you, through photographs, illustrations, and 100 word stories, on a trip through time in Transylvania’s history. You start in Neanderthal times and work up to the present. Really an entertaining and educational 5 star read.

Full disclosure, I am the editor on this book. But it’s a wonderful start to a cozy mystery series by Gail Meath that is set in the 1920s. Jax Diamond, private investigator, and his canine assistant Ace are on the case when a talented Broadway playwright is murdered. It will be released November 11, 2021.

BEFORE YOU GO

If you decide to check out some or all of these wonderful books, please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and any other sites you use. Reviews are like gold to self-published authors.

Self Published Saturday/Dilly Dally Sally

Self-Published Saturday is my attempt to help self-published authors with the heavy task of marketing. Self-published/indie authors have to do it all, from editing to cover design to marketing. If this blog can lighten the load even a little bit, I am happy to assist! This week, I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful children’s book, Dilly Dally Sally by E.M. Blake.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Explore East London on a quiet summer day and discover how Sally finds her way home. Will her friends the swans and geese help?

The story is inspired by the real wildlife of Regent’s Canal and Limehouse Basin in London. There’s amusing situations and familiar objects to encourage parent-child interaction. It’s great as part of the bedtime routine while helping to support their reading skills. Have fun learning about animals, numbers and the love of family, plus develop life skills like relaxation versus procrastination, problem solving and safety.

This picture book combines photographs of places and wildlife in East London with the tale of a lost duckling to help stimulate children’s natural curiosity about the world. It’s reality with a dash of fiction and rhyme.  

BOOK REVIEW

This is a fun and educational children’s story that takes a walk with a very lost duckling as she tries to find her way home. Accompanied by real-life photos of Regent’s Canal and Limehouse Basin in London, this also teaches kids about these areas while they are reading a cute and entertaining story. The rhymes are adorable and may encourage kids to try rhymes of their own. Children and adults will enjoy the photos and the irresistible rhyming tale of Sally and her adventures.

I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ellie M. Blake lives in London. She loves taking photographs of nature and writing stories. Her other interests include travel, cooking and healthy happy living. 

Once upon a time, she worked in education and did many other jobs, before, after and during completion of an MA in English literature, LLB, B.Commerce and BA. 

Dilly Dally Sally is her first book.

Click the yellow ‘follow’ button to receive emails about new book releases and special deals. 

She enjoys connecting with people. Please get in touch. 

Instagram

Website 

Facebook

COVER RATING

While I love the fun rhymes, real-life pictures of wildlife, and educational opportunities this book provides, the cover needs some work. The duckling on the front appears to have possibly been pasted in, as the background around it is a little darker than the rest of the photo. The lettering on the cover is not showing up well, and the author might consider trying a different color or font. This does not affect my rating of the overall book.

BUY DILLY DALLY SALLY

Amazon

Amazon UK

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read the ebook for free.

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Blog Tour, Q&A, and Book Review: Amongst the Mists

BOOK DESCRIPTION

It was the most anticipated summer break of their young lives. 

For Bran Lampshire, that summer of 1986 would be far different. The lure of a wilderness adventure sends him and his friends on a troublesome journey that would see them far from home and into the isolated shadows of the Sleathton Estate. In a forgotten land where nature thrives, an unexplained mist settles upon the shaded grounds. And stories were told of events so chilling, they were forcibly buried over time.

Lose yourself beneath the endless trees. And discover that legends are sometimes so much more than ghost stories.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M.L. Rayner

Born and bred in the county of Staffordshire. Matt is a keen reader of classical, horror and fantasy literature and enjoys writing in the style of traditional ghost stories. During his working life, Matt joined the ambulance service in 2009, transporting critically ill patients all over the UK. After writing his first novel, Matt was welcomed into the family of Question Mark Press publishing and now dedicates his time on future releases. His hobbies include genealogy and hiking, and he enjoys spending time with his wife, Emma, his children, and his family.

CONTACT M.L. RAYNER

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Amazon

Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW

Bran and his friend Marcus are going on an adventurous trek from their town of Bonhil Dale into the wilderness surrounding the mysterious Sleathton Estate.  Marcus has planned a 9-day hike and decides to also bring along Jack, an odd new boy in town, much to Bran’s displeasure.  The three boys hike into the woods and meet an old man, Gregory, who takes them to his house for the night.  When one of the boys disappears, Gregory begins to tell a story of children disappearing in the swamps and mists of the forest.  Blended into the novel in separate chapters is the story of a missing girl, Olivia, who is chasing a ghostly voice through the same forest.  

Amongst the Mists is a clever mix of paranormal and horror fiction with a heavy dose of folklore and sprinklings of the crime/thriller genre.  M.L. Rayner perfectly blends ghostly figures, mythical creatures, and mysterious characters into a hair-raising but clever tale.  The mystery will keep you guessing until the end, and the cliffhangers between chapters raise the alarm level even more.  The fates of the children collide and the ending is surprising and unexpected. The author’s note at the end is not to be missed as he tells of myths and legends that influenced this book.  Fans of horror and the paranormal, bring your imagination and a flashlight, and be prepared for some terror, because we are about to travel into the Mists. 

I received a free copy of this book via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Links To Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read the ebook for free.

Q&A WITH AUTHOR M.L. RAYNER

Let’s go beyond the bio.  Tell us something about yourself we might not know after reading your bio. 

I love comic cons and collecting signed memorabilia. I usually attend these conventions three or four times a year.  

You mention your inspiration for Amongst the Mists in your author’s note at the end.  Could you share a little of that inspiration for our readers?

Many local stories can just get lost in time. I think there are so many tales of myths and ghosts that many don’t realise there is an element of truth to them. For Amongst the Mists I wanted to capture a little bit of old story telling. 

As a reader, I find that genres cross many lines.  While some classify your books as horror, I would classify them also as paranormal/magical realism.  This one has some of the crime/thriller genre in it as well.  How would you classify it?

I would agree with you. Although I set out to purely write a short story of *something* in the woods, it exploded into something much more. The idea I had for this book was horror. But yes, you’re quite right. There is a good slice of Paranormal and crime involved. If I had to pick I would lean towards Paranormal

This is something I’ve always wanted to ask a writer of paranormal/ghost stories: These stories are supposed to be a little scary.  Do you ever scare yourself while writing these stories?


I can get Goosebumps from time to time. Its all down to the image you create in your head. You have to translate that to paper and hope the reader envisions the same. 

I have read your previous book, Echoes of Home, as well as this one.  Tell our readers about your previous work and what you might be working on next.

Echoes of home  is written in the style of a classic ghost story, and as clean as I could make it. After reading plenty of horror novels I wanted to write something based on not just ghosts but the unsettling sense of isolation. My first book is very special to me and includes a very powerful, yet true backstory. 

What’s up next – I am currently writing my first YA horror book which will be part of the new Question Mark Horror series. I believe it is due for release around March next year.

As your writing journey continues, what are some things you have learned that you can share with other authors?

Help is always at hand. I am involved with a very supportive group of authors and admins that all support each other. Try and share your work to gain feedback and don’t be put down by advice.

Blog Tour and Book Review: Champagne Widows

Champagne Widows by Rebecca Rosenberg

eBook Publication Date: October 1, 2021 Lion Heart Publishing Genre: Historical Fiction     Triple-gold-medal-winning author Rebecca Rosenberg serves up a triumphant tale of talent and ambition, love and loss, betrayal and redemption, and accepting yourself and others for who they are. Champagne, France, 1800 Twenty-year-old Barbe-Nicole has inherited Le Nez (an uncanny sense of smell that makes her picky, persnickety, and particularly perceptive) from her great-grandfather, a renowned champagne maker. Her parents, however, see Le Nez as a curse and try to marry her off to an unsuspecting suitor. But Barbe-Nicole is determined to use Le Nez to make great champagne. When she learns her childhood sweetheart, François Clicquot, wants to start a winery, she rejects her parents’ suitors and marries François despite his mental illness.

The Widow Known as Veuve Clicquot Soon, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot must cope with her husband’s death. Becoming a widow known as Veuve Clicquot, she grapples with a new overbearing partner, the difficulties of making champagne and the Napoleon Codes preventing women from owning a business. All this while her father takes a military uniform contract from Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who wages six wars against European monarchs, crippling Veuve Clicquot’s ability to sell her champagne.

Challenging Napoleon Using Le Nez, Veuve Clicquot struggles through unbearable hardships and challenges Napoleon himself. When she falls in love with her sales manager, Louis Bohne, who asks her to marry, she must choose between losing her winery to her husband, as dictated by Napoleon Code or losing Louis. In the ultimate showdown, Veuve Clicquot risks imprisonment and even death as she defies Napoleon.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

California native Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where she and her husband founded the largest lavender product company in America. A long-time student of Jack London’s work and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian, Rosenberg is a graduate of the Stanford Writing Certificate Program. Her books include: GOLD DIGGER, the Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor, The Secret Life of Mrs. London, Lavender Fields of America, and the Champagne Widows series.

For more information, please visit Rebecca’s website and blog. You can also find her on Amazon, BookBubFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy or eBook of Champagne Widows by Rebecca Rosenberg! The giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends on October 29th. 10 winners will receive a prize pack including a signed copy of Champagne Widows, champagne earrings, champagne jellybeans, champagne bubbles, and a champagne bath bomb! You must be 18 or older to enter. Champagne Widows

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PRAISE

“For anyone who loves champagne, a must-read novel about Veuve Clicquot.”
~ Judithe Little, best-selling author of The Chanel Sisters”These first known women of Champagne/Sparkling winemaking may not have even realized how strong they were until they had to learn and do it all to survive for themselves and their wineries! Reading Champagne Widows makes it even more of an honor tolearn a craft still dominated by men.” ~ Penny Gadd-Coster, ExecutiveDirector of Winemaking, Rack & Riddle

“The sun-drenched vineyards of France, a real-life heroine who against all odds refuses to give up her dreams… and champagne. What’s not to love? And that’s just what Rebecca Rosenberg delivers in Champagne Widows. Barbe-Nicole Clicquot was a woman ahead of her time, a fascinating blend of ingenuity, heart, and sheer tenacity, with a nose for wine and a head for business. A 19th century widow who built an empire as war raged all around her. Note: This richly woven tale is best savored slowly, though with all delicious things, it won’t be easy.” ~ Barbara Davis, best-selling author of The Last of the Moon Girls.

“Champagne Widows is a witty, accomplished novel, featuring a tough and charming heroine of the first order. One can’t help but root for Barbe-Nicole, an astute businesswoman who brilliantly holds her own against none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. Although the events unfold two centuries ago, the story feels so modern, the characters could be your friends and neighbors. As easy to love as a glass of Veuve Clicquot, this may be Rebecca Rosenberg’s best book yet.” ~ Michelle Richmond, best-selling author of The Marriage Pact.

“Award-winning author, Rebecca Rosenberg returns with another Historical Fiction jewel in CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS. Meet the women who succeeded in creating world class champagne in a time men ruled business and society. Lovers of history, romance, and French culture will relish the multi-layered plot and cast of characters including the ultimate French icon, Napoleon Bonaparte.” ~ Johnnie Bernhard, award-winning author of Sisters of the Undertow

BOOK REVIEW

What a wonderful work of historical fiction! We are immediately transported back to the Napoleonic wars, and meet Barbe Nicole Ponsardin, the gifted “Le Nez” who can smell the hidden essence of the grapes she grows. Her sense of smell is so powerful that she sometimes thinks she can smell “..the stink of a lie, or the perfume of a pure heart.” She dreams of using this uncanny sense of smell to make champagne. We watch as Barbe Nicole refuses to give up the right to marry the man she loves, Francois Clicquot, and begins their wine business. The bloody path of Napoleon is recounted by Francois, a former soldier, who is haunted by atrocities he was forced to commit in war.

Barbe-Nicole becomes a young widow, the “Veuve Clicquot,” tragically losing Francois to illness. She continues to try to grow their wine business, employing many widows along the way. Her father is in a business contract with Napoleon himself, and Barbe Nicole is forced to deal with the Emperor while trying to protect her father, who is in fact a royalist. At the same time, she is trying to retain control of her winery. This inspiring story of the first “champagne widow” and owner of the champagne house Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin is woven throughout with history of the Napoleonic wars. The portrayal of Napoleon himself is fascinating. The grit and determination of Clicquot to keep her lands and grow her business, even in the midst of war, is an inspiring look at the timeless and continuing fight of women for their rights. I especially enjoyed the cunning of “Le Nez” and her ability to continually thwart the plans that others made for her life. This spirit of independence possessed by Cliquot and others paved the way for the rights of women today.

Rebecca Rosenberg has made the past come to life. Barbe-Nicole’s determination sparkles as brightly as her champagne, and Napoleon is plagued by the devil that drives him to further and more shocking atrocities. Those interested in Napoleon, the Champagne Widows, or the history of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin will enjoy this book.

I received a free copy of this book via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (HFVBT). My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours