Blog Book Tour | “Lies & Letters” by Ashtyn Newbold

Posted Sunday, 23 July, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Lies & Letters” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

To find out why I love Sweet Romances and the #PureRomance imprint you might like to check out my previous postings for Cedar Fort blog tours, wherein I related my love of Historical & INSPY stories on a  blog tour featuring To Suit a Suitor, however, I have happily been reading the offerings of this particular imprint for quite a long while now. To follow through my readings, be sure to scroll through this tag Pure Romance!

Why I was eager to read ‘Lies & Letters’

As stated, I was a bit on the fence about the writing style and pace of Ms Newbold – but dear hearts, Ms Newbold surprised me! This particular novella is such a stark contrast from the debut novel I read previously – where I found repeated sequences and a slower pace of getting further along to the point of a particular arc in the narrative. By contrast, I found conviction, emotional centreing and a strong presence of characterisations which were quite grounded in their lives to where nothing felt out of step or out of narrative scope for this novella! The voice inside this novella is very strong and the direction of the story was well in-tune with how it began. If anything this novella made me dearly hopeful to one day read Ms Newbold’s sophomore novel and continue to watch her develop the strength of her craft! Very thankful I held out a candle of hope a new story of hers might give me a chance to see her truer nature as a novelist and writer. She has grown in this novella – I look forward to continuing to follow her authorly journey!

 (*) quoted from my review of Unexpected Love

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Blog Book Tour | “Lies & Letters” by Ashtyn NewboldLies & Letters
Subtitle: Pure Romace

After a season in London, Charlotte Lyons is still regrettably unattached. With her family's finances in peril, she is sent away with her sister to a bleak coastal town where she is expected to pursue a wealthy Earl. Beautiful and talented, how could she possibly fail? But when her heart is captured by someone entirely unexpected, Charlotte finds herself caught up in a web of lies and intrigue. Between hardship and sorrow, she finds more than she bargained for, forced to choose between the life she once wanted and a new love she never imagined.

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ISBN: 9781462119844

on 1st July, 2017

Pages: 272

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Stories by Ashtyn Newbold

Mischief and Manors by Ashtyn NewboldUnexpecred Love (anthology) stories of Marriage of Convenience by Cedar Fort authors

Mischief & Manors| debut novel | (see also Review )

Unexpected Love | anthology | “Beauty and the Beholder” |  (see also Review)

Recently mentioned Lies & Letters via The Sunday Post

Converse on Twitter via: #INSPYRom, #SweetRomance, #HistRom + #Regency

About Ashtyn Newbold

Ashtyn Newbold

Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah, with her family.

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my review of lies & letters:

Ms Newbold opened Lies & Letters with a quotation from Shakespeare – one I haven’t seen recently about love and affection – I thought it was a lovely sentiment to include as a precursor to reading the story.

As we enter in the middle of a row between two sisters, you gather there what is fuelling the discontent between Clara and Charlotte is the pursuit of matrimony. They are each at an age (sixteen and eighteen) where husband hunting is clearly on their agenda and one which is of most importance to their families. A petty disagreement between them seems rightly placed, as Clara and Charlotte are not akin to Lizzie and Jane; wherein the sisters would do anything they could for each other; in this instance, the sisters are at odds where the tension runs mightily high.

There was something a bit beguiling about how Charlotte treated her sister Clara; almost as if she fed on giving Clara a bit more grief than I generally find sisters given each other in similar situations. Except of course, in the film Ever After, where the step-sisters took sisterly angst to a new level when one of them in particular felt she was the most likely candidate to win a beau’s hand; thus making her other sister uncomfortable and miserable whenever she felt she could. In this story, I am finding the same strength of thought here one sister feels she’s more entitled than the other; simply because she’s been bred to think along those lines and to execute the whims of her mother, whose only hungry for an increase in status and station. Sadly, if only they realised how wrong they were to think along those lines – as true happiness could not be spun out of omissions (or direct lies) nor could rising to the occasion to defeat your own sister through back-handed ploys give the winning sister a heart without remorse! How this will play out is anyone’s guess – but methinks, Charlotte in the end, will have the most to learn and hopefully the most to gain.

In the opening chapters, I nearly felt Ms Newbold was writing in the same vein as her debut: Mischief and Manors rather than in the style she won me over in her novella Beauty and the Beholder. What struck me odd quite a bit is how awkward part of the opening bridge of the novel felt to me – as there are sisters who can be seen as underhanded and sneaky; to get their way and to stop at nothing to succeed in whichever prize motivates them (for Charlotte it would be a winning match in marriage) – but there was something in the undertone of this story… something which made me think it wasn’t as light as I thought it might have been prior to reading it – as this is one thing I like about the Pure Romance line and Sweet Romance in general: the light and airy Romances. This one – is hard to explain, but it felt vindictive in places which isn’t something you would generally think to find.

And, then – right when I was going to give the novel the benefit of the doubt, it twisted into something I wasn’t interested in reading – because to me Charlotte was too tartly to be in a Sweet Romance – she had a blackened heart where the vileness of her personality could inflict injury to a person’s spirit simply because she felt she was superior to others in all ways. She tormented her sister Clara with startling ease and it’s her absence of reproach which rankled me the most! I am uncertain what happened between the novella and this novel; except to say, I think this was written before the novella or perhaps, in novel length I am simply not a Newbold reader – her novella was so radically different than this as it was full of hope and depth, centred on the characters and the setting. I honestly did not feel I could read another chapter of this novel because to me a Sweet Romance is about the lighter side of Romance.

Except to say, I was curious if this might turn round – if there might be a reason to keep with Charlotte a bit longer and rightly so, as once it was announced her family faced ruin (due to her father’s bad choices) – Newbold surprised me again, humbling Charlotte’s character and switching the narrative again. It was such an about-face, too! Charlotte was ice cold moments before hearing of her family’s newfound fate and then, in the blink of that announcement, suddenly she questioned if she had the strength to endure the changes which would be arriving inside their lives shortly thereafter. As she was now in dire need of finding a bloke to wed her if only to pull her sister and Mum out of the sudden poverty they found themselves confined inside.

As I continued to read, I saw Charlotte’s character switching personalities again – she was being spiteful to Clara (as the girls had been set out on their ownsome after the change of fate befalling their family) and she had this incessant need to feel righteous above all others; almost as if she lacked a proper sense of herself. I couldn’t warm to Charlotte at all – she was a wretch of a character because you honestly didn’t want to see her fall in love; it was outside of her conception to ‘be in love’ much less ‘want to feel’ the love of man who might love her. The more I read of the novel, the less I trusted what I’d find next as it seemed to switch off and on the personality of Charlotte. She’s mindful of the gravity of her situation one minute and the next, she’s as spiteful and mean as she was originally; learning nothing through adversity and seeking only the superficial version of love if it meant re-instating her to the status she felt she was owed.

It was here, I quit read the book, dear hearts. I honestly couldn’t take it anymore! Charlotte was not a character I felt I wanted to see have a happier ending than she deserved. She barely understood what was important in life (and even then, she disappoints you) whilst most annoying of all, she has no remorse for what she says or how she behaves. To her everything she thinks, says and does is justified because of the outcome she expects to win. I honestly couldn’t think of why I’d be interested to hear the rest of her story because she’s too selfish and self-righteous. In some ways, I wish this story had been told from Clara’s point of view instead; if she had been the lead character and Charlotte had been her overly aggressive sister who grated on her nerves but did not disrupt her intentions of finding a man she could believe to be her true love – I might have felt differently about the novel.

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This Book Review is courtesy of:
Cedar Fort Publishing & Media
on behalf of the blog tour:
(click to follow the route)

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Lies and Letters blog tour via Cedar Fort Publishing and MediaFun Stuff for Your Blog via

What you love about Sweet Romance in both Historical & Contemporary settings?

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Lies & Letters”, “Mischief & Manors” and “Unexpected Love”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Ashtyn Newbold as well as the blog tour badges were all provided by Cedar Fort, Inc. and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were able to be embedded by the codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 23 July, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Content Note, England, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, Siblings, Sweet Romance, the Regency era

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2 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “Lies & Letters” by Ashtyn Newbold

    • Hallo, Hallo Suzanne!

      Sorry for the late response – my Summer was full of lightning angst – I barely had enough hours to blog the bit I did and had to let go of the things I love doing such as The Sunday Posts, commenting and following up with my own commenters! I hope you had a better Summer w/o such horrid weather patterns! Although, in truth, at the rate things are going I think for some Summer hasn’t quite ended as there is some fierce natural disasters happening lately (ie. the West Coast fires, the insanity of the tropics on the East).

      Yes, I truly agree with you – the story *had!* potential – it simply wasn’t realised. It needed a good read-through with a beta reader and some alpha/ARC readers who could have given feedback on how it sounded in draft form before the final cut as I think that is when things could have been altered and fixed before the first print run. Thanks for your feedback about Charlotte – she really needled me the wrong way! :( Which is also sad – as character growth and character redemptive stories are generally a win for me, as I do like ‘taking a journey with a character’ but in this instance – the components fused together wrong for me. I appreciate knowing what I left in my review is resonating to reflect the issues I had as I read the story, as I did find it tricky to explain what was ‘wrong’ as it was more what you notice as your reading vs something easy to stipulate into a conversation.

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