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

Blog Tour, Q&A, and Book Review: Scandal’s Deception

*Book Review and Q&A at the bottom of the page

Scandal’s Deception by Pamela Gibson

Publication Date: July 21, 2021 Soul Mate Publishing, LLC Series: Scandal Series, Book 4 Genre: Regency Historical Romance     Jane Stafford, raised in America, is shocked to learn she is a wealthy heiress, her late father was an earl, and her English mother is alive. Anxious to meet the woman she long-thought dead, she travels to London, only to be whisked away by her sinfully handsome guardian to a remote estate to be “schooled” in the ways of the ton. Gilbert Carmichael, Lord Ralston, chafes at having to make a rebellious young heiress acceptable to society, especially one who is impetuous and blatantly democratic. Because the instruction she needs is more than deportment and dancing. It’s also about how to spot a rake who might woo her for her fortune. When Ralston learns his ward is to be used as a pawn in an elaborate scheme involving a secret impersonation, he will move heaven and earth to keep her safe. Because proximity has brought the uncomfortable knowledge that his interest may be more than duty—it just might be love.

About the Author

Author of eight books on California history and sixteen romance novels, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who now lives in the Nevada desert. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in public administration, but her passion is and always has been writing. Having spent three years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of Ralph, her Siamese rescue cat. If you want to learn more about her activities go to https://www.pamelagibsonwrites.com and sign up for her blog and quarterly newsletter. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, and Goodreads.

BOOK REVIEW

Upon the death of her beloved father, Jane, an American, learns she is an heiress, her father was an earl, and her mother is still alive and living in England. Her home in America is sold and Jane is sent to England to her mother. However, upon arrival, she is told she will be under the tutelage of her guardian, Lord Ralston, learning the ways of “The ton,” so she can fit into society. Then she finds out she has a twin sister.

This is a compelling Regency romance with plenty of action. There are mild sex scenes and language. Jane’s anguish upon losing her father and her home and being forced to go to another country is well portrayed. The villain is a definitely a “rakish rogue,” who gets away with some shocking behavior, but since he is highly placed in society, I feel this is believable. Jane’s mother is haughty, remote, and manipulative, and I would have liked to have seen more of her in the book. I don’t think the twin sister’s character is as well developed, but we will learn more about her in an upcoming book in the series, Scandal’s Redemption. Jane is delightful, as she is a skilled and intelligent young woman, and no fainting Regency flower. She is described by Lord Ralston as “having the education of a young male,” which would have been quite unusual at the time.

Scandal’s Deception is filled with adventure and intrigue, and fans of Regency romances will enjoy this story of a misfit thrust into an unfamiliar world. As a warning, there is an attempted rape in this novel.

I received a free copy of this book via HistFic Virtual Book Tours. My review is voluntary.

BUY SCANDAL’S DECEPTION ON AMAZON

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free, or you can buy it outright for only $3.99

Q&A WITH AUTHOR PAMELA GIBSON

I’m excited to provide a Q&A I did with the author of Scandal’s Deception, Pamela Gibson. She gave us some GREAT answers, and I want to thank her again for participating in this interview.

Hi Pamela.  To start off, tell us a little bit more about yourself.  Where are you from, what do you like to do in your spare time, and what inspired you to start writing?

Hi Bonnie. Thanks for having me today. 

I was born and raised in San Juan Capistrano, a small town on the California coast. At its heart was a famous Franciscan Mission.  I was allowed to roam freely inside the mission grounds as a child. The town was small and everybody knew everyone.  I made up a lot of stories while hanging around that Mission, especially after my little brother died of leukemia. I think my love of story-telling began as an escape, but expanded into an avocation.  I can certainly trace my interest in history to that time and it is still with me today.

In college I majored in history, but I didn’t go into teaching. Instead, I became a newspaper reporter, writing about “current history” every day. In my spare time I researched the past and eventually published eight history books covering localized subjects. When I married a man who liked to “mess about in boats” my spare time was spent on a sailboat racing crew, and over time we transitioned to power boats. My greatest boating adventure was a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot trawler which took eight months. We actually circumnavigated the eastern third of the United States and parts of Canada via oceans, lakes, rivers, and canals.

Needless to say there was lots of time to read and I’d always wanted to write a novel, so I began writing fiction on the boat. Now that our boating adventures are over and my husband and I are retired, I write at home. 

What was the inspiration behind Scandal’s Deception?

I’d always wanted to write a “fish out of water” story and while I write contemporary and historical novels, I decided putting this type of character in my Regency series would be a good challenge. I remembered the old film, The Parent Trap, about twins who were separated by their divorced parents at birth, who meet at a camp, and decide to trade places. This book doesn’t go quite that far, but my American twin’s father dies and she discovers he had many secrets, including a wife still living. When she’s sent to her mother in England, her guardian takes it upon himself to prepare her for life as the daughter of an earl, a life full of rules. 

This was the perfect scenario for my “fish out of water” trope because the two countries had been at war and life for my heroine in Maryland had been completely different from the life of her twin sister. It created unusual conflicts and allowed for a good learning curve for my heroine. 

What message or information would you like us to take away after reading the book?

Books should have themes and this one’s is about believing in yourself. My heroine goes through a great deal of upheaval, has to learn a whole set of rules she finds silly, becomes attached to the sister she never knew she had, and resents the woman who doesn’t act like a mother should. Later in the book, when she undergoes a difficult situation and has to use her wits and her strength of will to outwit a villain, she constantly has to trust her instincts to get her through it all.  In an early chapter she remembers her best friend’s advice: Everything comes right if you believe in yourself. She recalls this at the end of the book when indeed, everything has, and she is about to get her happily ever after.

Who are your favorite authors?  Which books do you constantly re-read?

My list is endless when it comes to favorite authors, but I adore Mary Balogh because of the feelings she can evoke in her readers. I also admire Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Beverly Jenkins, and Sarah MacLean. I admit to not re-reading books because there are too many books I haven’t read, and I also have a list of authors that are auto-buys who do not necessarily write historical romance. These are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susanna Kearsley, Karen White, Nora Roberts both as herself and J.D. Robb, and Jayne Ann Krentz.

I also like John Lescroat (cop and courtroom thrillers), and Randy Wayne White (sailing thrillers). I could go on and on but I won’t.

We have a lot of new authors who follow my blog.  What would be your advice to new authors who need motivation to finish their book?

Before I began writing fiction, I joined a writer’s group (Romance Writers of America), took online classes, and read craft books. All this was good preparation. My best advice though, is keep writing, even if you only have time for one paragraph or one page a day. If you can afford it, once you have a perfect first five pages and at least three or four chapters, enter a contest for unpublished writers. Choose one that give feedback. If the comments are consistent, pay attention. If  not, shrug them off unless you tend to agree. I found my current publisher through one of these contests. Also, it’s best to have the book finished.  The field is pretty crowded these days and a publisher may not want to wait.

If you decide to self-publish, you must hire a professional editor to review your manuscript. I cannot stress this enough. You’d be surprised at what you miss, even after reading through a book several times. 

Finally, be like my heroine in Scandal’s Deception. Believe in yourself.

Could you tell us a little about your other work?

I mentioned I spent several years as a newspaper reporter, then I went back to college, got a master’s degree and worked in city governments that had the council-manager form of government, retiring as a City Manager. That’s when I began to write full time. I have a contemporary series called Love in the Wine Country, based on characters in my own family as well as people I met while living in Sonoma, California. There are six books in this family saga covering the lives of the Reynoso cousins—three girls, three boys—who work in the wine industry. There are also five novellas set in a Sonoma coastal town with some overlapping characters.

My other historical series is Mission Belles, going back to my first love, California history. Two books are in this series, set in California just before the gold rush, when it was still part of Mexico and about to go to war with the U.S.  

Scandal’s Deception is the fourth book in the Regency series, with lots of familiar characters in each book. I’ve tried to create a world so there can be more books in this series. Scandal’s Redemption, the other twin’s book, will be released next spring.

Thanks so much, Pamela, for taking the time to answer our questions, and we look forward to reading more of your work.

Audiobook Review: A Woman of Intelligence

This review is of the audiobook, received from Macmillan Audio.

On the surface, Katharina Edgeworth has it all–a rich and handsome doctor husband, two gorgeous sons, and an expensive New York apartment. But reality is very different. She is a college graduate who speaks four languages and worked at the United Nations until she got pregnant. She loves her kids, but wants more than motherhood. It is the 1950s, and it is frowned upon for women with children to work. Now she has been forbidden to work or use any babysitters by her controlling husband, who works days at a time, but doesn’t want babysitters or anyone else raising his children. When an FBI agent leaves Katharina his card and says he could use her help, she is tempted, but how can she work as a spy while raising two boys practically on her own? To top it all off, her rich and haughty mother-in-law is continually butting into her business, and is even more controlling than her husband.

I enjoyed many aspects of this women’s fiction and spy thriller mashup. Katharina’s struggle to be more than a housewife in a time when this was discouraged makes an engaging read. Her work for the FBI during the McCarthy era is thrilling. Her friendship with a stunning woman who happens to be a prominent member of the Communist party is one of the best parts of the book. Her determination to use her talents in a fulfilling way for herself is admirable. However, the characterization of her husband Tom is way over the top. He is every stereotype of a 1950s husband–times ten. I also did not like some of the choices Katharina made along the way, but overall this was a satisfying and compelling thriller.

The narration of the book is well done, and the narrator, Jennifer Jill Araya, handles different characters and accents with ease.

My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karin Tanabe

Karin Tanabe is the author of six novels, including A Hundred Suns and The Gilded Years (soon to be a major motion picture starring Zendaya, who will produce alongside Reese Witherspoon). A former Politico reporter, her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, and Newsday. She has appeared as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and CBS Early Show. Karin is a graduate of Vassar College and lives in Washington, D.C.

ABOUT THE NARRATOR

Jennifer Jill Araya

Jennifer Jill Araya has been listening to audiobooks since she was a young child, and the fact that she now gets to narrate audiobooks for a living is a dream come true. Jennifer’s training as an opera singer and orchestral cellist lend a musicality and depth of understanding to her narration that help bring her authors’ stories to life. A two-time Independent Audiobook Award Finalist, Jennifer has narrated over 150 audiobooks for a variety of publishers and producers, including Penguin Random House Audio, Simon & Schuster Audio, HarperAudio, Blackstone Publishing, and Audible Studios. When she’s not narrating, Jennifer can be found hiking, biking, running, or generally exploring her home city of Cincinnati with her husband Arturo (aka “Partner in Crime”) and their two children.

BUY A WOMAN OF INTELLIGENCE

AUDIBLE (AUDIOBOOK)

AMAZON

APPLE BOOKS

MY AMAZON REVIEW (“HELPFUL” VOTES APPRECIATED)

Book Review: Shadows of Lions

This is another book I reviewed for the May edition of Historical Novels Review Magazine.

This is Book 2 of the In Spite of Lions series set in 1840s Africa and England. It can be read as a standalone. Catherine Kensington, an unmarried heiress, has been manipulated back to England from Africa by her abusive and violent mother, Lady Kensington. After her mother’s scheming caused great harm to Catherine’s friends in an African village, Catherine has gone back to deal with her and find her missing twin brother. She knows that sometimes to survive a lion attack, you must run straight at the lion.

This Victorian-era adventure is much more than a romance. It becomes almost a psychological thriller as Catherine engages in a long game of deception to outsmart her mother while her friend/protector, Mebalwe, searches for her brother. They are also trying to find a stolen child, Motsasi. Catherine’s love, Captain Ashmore, is desperate to protect her from the evil Lady Kensington, who has no qualms about harming her children to get what she wants. The characters are complex, and the battle of wits between Catherine and Lady Kensington is mesmerizing. This is a mother/daughter battle to the extreme. I truly enjoyed this book and will definitely read Book 1 and any others to come in this series. Four and a half stars. Rounded up to 5 on sites with no half star option.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scarlette is a mother of three, wife to one, and friend to many. In her spare time she enjoys scuba diving and gardening – sometimes at the same time! Pike is also interested in emotional health for kids and she writes children’s books with True Worth Books under her real name – Jamie Jensen.

BUY SHADOWS OF LIONS

Amazon

BUY BOOK 1: IN SPITE OF LIONS

Amazon

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can download both books for free or they are both priced very low to buy outright. Book 1 is only 99 cents and Book 2 is 2.99 (ebook only).

Self-Published Saturday: June 5, 2021

This is my weekly feature in which I highlight a great self-published book. Below is my review of Jalopy by Wes Verde, set in 1928. As always, if you decide to read this very well-written book, be sure to leave a review. Reviews are so important to self-published authors.

#BOOK REVIEW

Etta and her father are all that are left of their once large and thriving family, as illness and tragedy have visited them often. It is 1928, and they are struggling to meet a huge tax burden on their failing farm. Etta goes into town to sell eggs every day, and on the way back she often walks to a secret, hidden place she has found in the countryside. Resting in that place is an old, abandoned jalopy, and Etta often sits in the broken-down jalopy, opens a map she found in the car, and dreams of places she wants to go.

Art, even at over 6 feet, is in the smallest of all of his brothers, and they are all towered over by their strict, controlling father. Art’s father is a very successful and well-to-do salesman of refrigerator units. He spends his days on sales calls trying to convince business owners to switch from ice houses to electric refrigeration. Art’s mother is controlling in her own way and has arranged a marriage for Art. Art is not enthusiastic about any of this, but has learned not to rock the boat. He is going along with everything, and spends his days on uncomfortable sales calls with his father. In his his free time, he is avoiding his new fiancee. Then a night out with his brothers ends with Art sleeping it off in Etta’s barn.

This is a captivating novel that draws you into Etta’s world immediately, starting with the gorgeous book cover. The author does a good job of depicting the drudgery and fear involved in barely scraping by with the tax man looming. The class division in the town between the locals and the part-time, wealthy lakeside resort visitors is well portrayed. Etta is an endearing protagonist, and you will begin rooting for her immediately as she finds herself in more than one life-threatening circumstance. Art’s situation of being bullied in his own family is also well written, and I found myself wanting to knock some heads together on his behalf. 

My only criticism is that the book ended rather abruptly, followed by an epilogue that was set five years later and basically explained how everything turned out. I would rather have been shown what happened than told in an epilogue. That being said, this is a beautiful, endearing novel that will transport you to a time when life was hard, loss was prevalent, and love, if you could find it, was cherished.

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free. I highly recommend you check it out.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wes Verde

Wes is an engineer by trade, a busybody by habit, and a lifelong Jersey boy.

Writing has been a hobby in one form or another since 2006 when he started drawing 3-panel comics. When he is not putting words down, he is picking them up; the “to-read” pile only seems to grow larger.

A fan of nature, he spends as much time outside as possible

BUY JALOPY ON AMAZON

WES VERDE’S WEBSITE

MY AMAZON REVIEW (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

Self Published Saturday: May 8, 2021

Here is another edition of my weekly feature, Self-Published Saturday. Self-Published authors need our support. If you like the book I’ve chosen this week and decide to buy it, please share the link with your friends and put a review up on Amazon. It’s so important for these authors.

The book I’m highlighting this week is The Milk Wagon by Michael Hewes. Enjoy.

#BOOK REVIEW: THE MILK WAGON

The Milk Wagon is a fantastic thriller set in the 80’s, much of it revolving around a group of high school boys. As an 80’s high schooler myself, this was a wonderful walk down memory lane. This book has the 80’s high school mentality exactly right, and transported me back there as the movies we watched, the cars we drove, and the way we thought were so accurately described. 

This novel was perfectly woven together as both an 80’s book and a crime/murder thriller. There were many twists and turns, and although I am usually pretty good at guessing the “bad guy,” i was totally wrong this time. The fact that this book was not predictable impressed me. 

The characters are so well done, especially the 80s high school kids, that I was sad when it ended. That’s how you tell a great book. You don’t want it to end.

If you love crime thrillers, if you loved the 80s, or if you just love a well written book, check this one out.

I received a free copy of this book from Michael Hewes and BooksGoSocial via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Hewes

Michael Hewes earned his undergraduate degree from University of Southern Mississippi and his law degree from Ole Miss.

A retired JAG officer, Hewes currently practices law in Gulfport, Mississippi, where he lives with his wife and their three sons, two dogs, and one cat.

Link to The Milk Wagon on Amazon: 

Link to other work by Michael Hewes: 

Link to my Goodreads review 

Link to my Amazon Review (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

#Book Review: The Far Away Girl

This was probably my favorite read for the May issue of Historical Novels Review., the magazine of The Historical Novel Society. They also made it an “Editor’s Choice.”

In 1976, five-year-old Rita is ripped away from the only family she has ever known and is taken to Georgetown, Guyana, to live with her father, Jitty Miraj. A wild child, she surrounds herself with animals and   books,   and   shares   everything   with   her   diary,   a   gift   from   her   father.   Her    father becomes    her world,    and   she     forgets   her     past.      When     Doomsday     comes,     and     she    meets Jitty’s   new   wife Chandra,   Rita    is    told   that   she is not good   enough.    Chandra   is   embarrassed   of Rita’s African and Amerindian roots, her curly hair, and the fact that her parents weren’t married. Rita is quickly set off to the side.   Then a chance to visit her mother’s family presents itself.    Will Rita finally learn the truth her father will never tell? How did her mother die? This is the coming of age story of Rita Miraj, from five years old to adulthood.

This is an absolutely gorgeous, soul-touching book that I could not put down. We are immediately drawn into Rita’s life and grow up with her as she learns to cope with a weak but manipulative father and his empty promises. Words are her gift, and we are gifted with her poems and diary entries. Music, movies, and   political/historical   events   of   the   1970s   and    1980s    are relayed    through Rita,    Jitty,    and flashbacks   to   Rita’s   mother   Cassie.   The   lush   beauty, diverse wildlife,   and   rich   history    of the Pomeroon River area   are   described    in   vivid   detail.    Rita    has    a    deeply    moving     and     soul- changing moment on Shell   Beach   watching   a   turtle   lay   her   eggs,   and   I was drawn in to her overwhelming wonder and joy. The evolution of Rita’s heart, mind, and goals as she grows and learns is so well captured here. This book was an unforgettable, magical joy to read.  Highly recommend.

I received a free copy from Bookouture for Historical Novels Review. I also purchased a copy to support this amazing book. My opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Maas was born in Georgetown, Guyana in 1951, and a sense of adventure has followed her around the world. In 1971 she spent a year backpacking around South America, followed by a few months with pioneering friends in the Guyana rainforest, followed by an overland trip to India, followed by a year in a Hindu Ashram.

She settled in Germany where she married, studied, worked, and raised children. 

Officially retired, she continues to write from her new home in Ireland.

Her first novel was published by HarperCollins in 1999, followed by two more in 2001 and 2002. At present she has 10 published works with the digital publisher Bookouture.

She has one self-published work, a retelling of the magnificent Indian epic Mahabharata: a project of love which took her over 30 years to “get right”, written under the pen name S. Aruna.

BUY THE FAR AWAY GIRL

MY AMAZON REVIEW (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY WEBSITE

ALL OF MY REVIEWS FOR THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY

#Book Review: A Peculiar Combination

A Peculiar Combination was one of my favorites of all the books I read for the May edition of Historical Novels Review. They also made this book an “Editor’s Choice.” It’s a great read and the start of a new series.

A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver is the first book in the new Electra McDonnell series, which is set in World War II England. Electra (Ellie) belongs to a family of thieves.   Her Uncle Mick is a master safecracker, and she and her cousins, Toby and Colm, have learned everything they know from him. With Toby and Colm off fighting in the war, it is up to Ellie and Uncle Mick to keep supporting the family. When a house robbery goes bad, Ellie finds herself working for a government official, Major Ramsey, in order to keep herself and Uncle Mick out of jail. Their first mission leads to more as it becomes clear a traitor is at work and German spies are involved.

This is an engaging and addictive historical thriller with a touch of romance. I immediately connected with these characters, especially Ellie and Uncle Mick. Ellie is an intriguing and complex individual. She is a thief and safecracker, but has also been to finishing school. She can operate in any level of society, which makes her a perfect thief and a perfect spy. Uncle Mick is a locksmith by day and safecracker by night, but he has a moral code, even as a thief, that he will not break. He has passed that code onto Ellie.    Ellie’s missions into high society with the Major are thrilling and fun to watch. They are a reminder that World War II was also fought silently by spies on both sides.   Fans of historical thrillers and strong female characters are going to love this World War II spy adventure.  Highly recommend.

I received a free copy of this book from Minotaur Books for review in Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are voluntary and are my own.

Ashley Weaver

ASHLEY WEAVER is the Technical Services Coordinator for the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She lives in Oakdale, Louisiana. She is the author of the Amory Ames series and the new Electra McDonnell series.

BUY A PECULIAR COMBINATION

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BARNES AND NOBLE

INDIEBOUND

#Book Review: Death of a Showman

This week I will be posting the reviews I did for the May issue of Historical Novels Review Magazine. I was not able to post them until after they appeared on the Historical Novel Society website on May 1st. They will also be in the May print issue of Historical Novels Review. The first is an outstanding cozy mystery that had me chuckling throughout. It is call Death of a Showman and is set in 1914 New York.

This fun and well-written cozy historical mystery by Mariah Fredericks takes us right to the heart of Broadway. This is the fourth book in the Jane Prescott series. It can be read as a standalone, but events from previous books are discussed in this story, so reading the first three books would be beneficial. In 1914 New York City, Jane Prescott, lady's maid to Louise Tyler, is back in New York after a trip to Europe. Louise has invested in a Broadway Show and Jane begins accompanying her to events and rehearsals as a chaperone. Leo Hirschfeld, Jane's romance from the previous summer, has written this Broadway musical. He has also made some choices that are hard for Jane to accept.  Then a well-known producer is killed in a bathroom of the famous Rector's. Tabloid reporter Michael Behan is on the case. Will Jane help him find the killer?

Mariah Fredericks takes us on a sometimes hilarious journey into the world of Broadway and the elite circles of 1914 New York City. The author's wry humor will keep you chuckling as we uncover more secrets and clues, and we learn that especially in show business, things aren't always as they seem. Jane is an engaging protagonist. Her shrewd mind, adventurous spirit, and clever wit will definitely keep the reader entertained. Jane is perfectly imperfect, and stumbles frequently into mishaps and mayhem, taking us along for the ride. The mystery is multi-faceted and compelling, and the characters all shine. Historical people, places, and events from Gilded Age New York are shown in vivid detail.

This was an enjoyable read from start to finish. Highly recommend.

I received a free copy of this book from Minotaur Books for review in Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mariah Fredericks

Mariah Fredericks was born and raised in New York City, where she still lives today with her family. She is a graduate of Vassar College with a BA in history. She has written several novels for young adults; her novel Crunch Time was nominated for an Edgar in 2007. A Death of No Importance is her first mystery for adults. 

Mariah Fredericks’ Website

LINK TO BUY ALL FOUR BOOKS IN THE JANE PRESCOTT SERIES, INCLUDING DEATH OF A SHOWMAN

LINK TO MY AMAZON REVIEW OF DEATH OF A SHOWMAN (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

Self-Published Saturday – May 1, 2021 (Weekly Series)

Below are three books from some great self-published authors for my new weekly feature, Self-Published Saturday. This is a chance for you to meet some wonderful authors and check out their work. Self-published authors need your support. If you decide to buy any of these books today, please be sure and leave a review on Amazon. Reviews are so important to self-published authors.

The first two books I want to highlight today are self-published books that I’ve reviewed before. I will introduce you to the author and provide links to buy the book. There will also be a link to my previous review. The third self-published book is my latest review.

My first book to highlight is Once Upon a Rhyme by Antony L. Saragas.

Once upon a rhyme is a heartfelt story based on true events. Dylan or “Oskie” has experienced great loss even prior to the recent passing of his father, Hollis, who was also his long-time baseball coach.  This loss has made him hesitate to move forward, especially in love.  While cleaning out his father’s belongings, Oskie finds a book of poems written by his father.  As he begins to read them, memories come flooding back and he truly sees the importance of his father’s words.   

Buy the book on Amazon.

My full review of Once Upon A Rhyme is here.

My second book to highlight is The Siege of An Loc by Hien T. Nguyen.

The Siege of An Loc is the story of the defense of An Loc in 1972 during the Vietnam War. It is also a love story between a South Vietnamese soldier, Trung, and Ly, a student, daughter of a rubber plantation owner. As Trung struggles to defend his country, he finds himself falling for the beautiful Ly, but do they have a chance for happiness in the midst of war? We also see the evil of communism especially personified in one of the characters, and two brothers are reunited, one from North Vietnam and one from South Vietnam.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nguyễn Trọng Hiền is originally from Vietnam. In the United States, he is known as Hien Nguyen, or Hien T. Nguyen.  He also uses the name Neihtn online. Neihtn is his Vietnamese first name (Hien)  and initials, spelled backward. Why backward? One reason is to indicate that he now lives on the opposite side of the world from where he was born and spent over two decades of his life.

Hein wrote his first book,  Village Teacher at night and on weekends over four years while he worked a full-time job. He is now retired and spends his time writing and taking photographs of birds, wildlife, flowers and landscapes. He posts the photos on his blog,  Village Teacher.  He published his second novel, The Siege of An Loc, in 2020

The Siege of An Loc can be borrowed for free on Amazon by Kindle Unlimited Subscribers, or purchased outright.

BUY THE SIEGE OF AN LOC ON AMAZON

My full review of The Siege of An Loc is here.

My Third book to highlight is 7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart

My third self-published book to highlight today is also a new review for me. It is a nonfiction book called 7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart by John Christopher Frame.

BOOK REVIEW

I don’t know if all of you have seen extreme poverty or not, but it is eye-opening to behold. I grew up in the suburbs of Cincinnati, and although I’ve seen people struggling, I did not really see abject poverty until my husband was stationed with the Air Force in the country of Panama. There I saw crowds of people living on the streets, sleeping on the ground by night and washing car windows and begging in the streets by day. I was going to college then and passed them every day on my way to school. It really opened my heart to the struggling of others.

7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart introduces you to people in circumstances of poverty and tells you their stories. It also offers guidance on developing your own “helping heart.” The author, John Christopher Frame, goes on to explore the emotions and attitudes most needed by Christians when helping the poor. He takes a closer look at hope, compassion, empathy, gratitude, humility, generosity, and holiness and provides real-life anecdotes from people in situations of need.

This book is well written and will help anyone interested in improving not just charitable giving, but their everyday relationships with others .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Christopher Frame is an author and a faculty member at an online university. He has lived internationally and holds a PhD from the University of Oxford. Publishers Weekly stated his first book, Homeless at Harvard: Finding Faith and Friendship on the Streets of Harvard Square, was “touching, and well worth the read…” John’s passion is combining his interests in theology and social concerns to help Christians become more aware of global issues so they can better live out their faith. He loves traveling on the cheap, visiting outdoor markets, balcony gardening, and working in quirky cafés in his neighborhood. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, whom he met while buying a carpet at a souvenir shop in Istanbul, Turkey. Connect with him at http://www.johnchristopherframe.com.

7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart can be purchased on Kindle for only 99 cents!

Buy 7 Attitudes of the Helping Heart on Amazon.

Just a reminder to be sure and leave a review if you choose to purchase any of these three amazing self-published books.