Category: 15th Century

A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Spotlight | “A Murder by Any Name” (Book One: An Elizabethan Spy Mystery series) by Suzanne M. Wolfe

Posted Thursday, 27 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Book Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “A Murder by Any Name” direct from the author Suzanne M. Wolfe in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On finding a new publisher of Mysteries & Suspense:

Earlier in [2018] I crossed paths with Vivian Conroy on Twitter – this led me to the weekly #HistFic chat known as #HistFicChat, wherein I had the delightful joy of being able to engage in conversation with like-minded bookish spirits who loved devouring Historical stories across genres of interest whilst having the happiness of interacting with today’s writers of Historical Fiction. I attempted to join each of the convos as I could as they run on Thursdays at 3pm (EST)(NYC) – bearing weather or connectivity issues or illness, I can honestly say they became a fixture of bookish loveliness for me! I continue to look forward to each new chat as they arrive, which will be resuming on the 3rd of January, 2019!

Due to this connection, I was noting a new publisher I hadn’t come across previously or if I had, I hadn’t had the opportunity to read their titles – as I felt I had known of them (in name only) prior to conversing with Ms Conroy. This new publisher is Crooked Lane Books – if you visit their website you’ll find they have a delightful array of Mysteries, Suspense & Thrillers! So much so, I have a feeling I’ll be reading through more of their catalogue of authors throughout the coming New Year!

I have been reading Ms Conroy’s series this Christmas Week – specifically the first of her Book & Tea Mysteries and the first of her Historical Mysteries: A Merriweather and Royston Mystery. How lovely is it then, during the same week I had the chance to read a second author by this lovely publisher?

You’ll find that I have a soft spot for Mysteries – especially of the Cosier side of the ledger, as most of my #cloakanddaggerchristmas showcases are of that particular variety, however, I also love to sink my teeth into something more daring within the realms of Suspense & Thrillers, yielding to my affinity for Historical narratives within that scope as there is nothing more enjoyable than traversing through History whilst caught up in a suspenseful plot!

Thereby, I am happy to say, I think I have found a lovely new publisher and I continue to look forward to expanding my readerly life with their stories and serials! Even if some of their releases are not my cuppa tea there is such a wide variety of stories to chose from it will be a joy to figure out which authors and their stories will become my favourites as I explore the publisher’s offerings.

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A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Spotlight | “A Murder by Any Name” (Book One: An Elizabethan Spy Mystery series) by Suzanne M. WolfeA Murder by Any Name
Subtitle: An Elizabethan Spy Mystery
by Suzanne M. Wolfe
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

When a brutal murder threatens the sanctity of the Elizabethan court, it’s up to a hot-tempered spy to save the day.

The court of Elizabeth I is no stranger to plotting and intrigue, but the royal retinue is thrown into chaos when the Queen’s youngest and sweetest lady-in-waiting is murdered, her body left on the high altar of the Chapel Royal in Whitehall Palace. Solving the murder will require the cunning and savvy possessed by only one man. Enter Nicholas Holt, younger brother of the Earl of Blackwell—spy, rake, and owner of the infamous Black Sheep tavern in the seedy district of Bankside. Nick quickly learns that working for the Queen is a mixed blessing. Elizabeth—salty-tongued, vain, and fiercely intelligent—can, with a glance, either reward Nick with a purse of gold or have his head forcibly removed.

When a second lady-in-waiting is slain at Whitehall, the court once again reels with shock and dismay. On the trail of a diabolical killer, Nick and his faithful sidekick—an enormous Irish Wolfhound named Hector—are treading on treacherous ground, and only the killer’s head on a platter can keep them in the Queen’s good graces.

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 9781683317142

Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Crooked Lane Books

on 9th October, 2018

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 336

Published by: Published By: Crooked Lane Books (@crookedlanebks)

Converse via: #HistoricalMystery, #HistMys #HistFic or #HistNov

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Suzanne M. Wolfe

Suzanne M. Wolfe

Suzanne M. Wolfe grew up in Manchester, England and read English Literature at Oxford University, where she co-founded the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society. She served as Writer in Residence at Seattle Pacific University and taught literature and creative writing there for nearly two decades. Wolfe is the author of three novels: A Murder by Any Name, The Confessions of X, and Unveiling.

Thirty years ago, she and her husband, Gregory Wolfe, co-founded Image, a journal of the arts and faith. They have also co-authored many books on literature and prayer including Books That Build Character: How to Teach Your Child Moral Values Through Stories, and Bless This House: Prayers For Children and Families. Her essays and blog posts have appeared in Image and other publications. She and her husband are the parents of four grown children. They live in Richmond Beach, Washington.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 27 December, 2018 by jorielov in 15th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Crime Fiction, Elizabeth I, Elizabethan Era, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Indie Author, Queen Elizabeth I

Blog Book Tour | “The Shepherdess of Siena” by Linda Lafferty

Posted Thursday, 14 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I originally found BookSparks PR last Spring, when I came upon the Summer Reading Challenge a bit too late in the game. I hadn’t forgotten about it, and was going to re-contact them this Spring to see if I could join the challenge this year instead. Coincidentally, before I sorted this out, I was contacted by one of their publicists about Linda Lafferty’s Renaissance historical novel.  I received a complimentary copy of “The Shepherdess of Siena” direct from the publicist at BookSparks in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I will be blogging about my contributions and participation in the Summer Reading Challenge 2015 because something quite remarkable happened to allow me to read the first six novels of the ten I selected to blog about. Mum’s the word until I post a very special edition of ’10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts’!

On reading about the Renaissance and stories about strong women:

I fell in love with Renaissance Italy as a child, swept away by the artisans and artists during the re-genesis of creative voice and freedom of expression across their societal divides. The Renaissance is fraught with drama depending on where you alight during it’s different periods of time, but one thing remains: the will of the people to not only overcome what is happening but to dig deeper into a well of strength to overtake what is wrong and shift forward into the future on a sturdier path towards change. It was an incredible time in history, and it is the stories of the people that I am always drawn towards most when I pick up a historical work of fiction.

To tuck inside a commoners or royals life, seeing what they might have seen or felt what they might have bled out of their hearts whilst surviving or yielding to the fray of the hour. Historical fiction I find is enriching because it presents a different worldview than our contemporary timescape; it knits together ideas and motivations to conquer issues which have had lasting results even in our own generations. I like seeing how the people rose to the occasions they were presented with living through but moreso to that end, I like reading about their ordinary lives. Even a royal family at the end of the day are merely who they are behind closed doors — the circumstances of their royal origins do not limit their curiosity but rather increase it, as who are they when the world is not looking?

On the opposite end of it, I love unearthing little unknown pockets of the historical past, elements of how time, life, family, and evolution of thought can expand itself into a boiling stew of passion and declaration for liberty to live on one’s own terms. Strong women in fiction is awe-inspiring, but my favourite preference is finding the women who lived so very long ago held within them a chalice of strength written into the fiber of all women before and after them.

Blog Book Tour | “The Shepherdess of Siena” by Linda LaffertyThe Shepherdess of Siena: a novel of Renaissance Tuscany
by Linda Lafferty
Source: Direct from Publicist

The Shepherdess of Siena takes us to the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside in a lush drama of untamed horses and wild hearts played out in historic Siena.

Linda Lafferty, bestselling author of The Bloodletter’s Daughter, releases her fourth novel The Shepherdess of Siena. This riveting new novel is based on the real life tale of Virgina Tacci who at age fourteen rode the Palio Horse tournament in 1581 bareback. Linda’s love of all things equestrian and her extensive travel to Italy paints a vivid picture of Tuscany with passion and truth.

Raised by her aunt and uncle amidst the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, young orphan Virginia Tacci has big dreams of competing in Siena’s Palio horse race. As a shepherdess in sixteenth-century Italy, her peasant class and her gender supremely limit Virginia’s possibilities. Inspired by the daring equestrian feats of Isabella de’ Medici, who rides with the strength and courage of any man, Virgina’s dreams don’t seem so difficult to reach.

The Shepherdess of Siena brings alive the rich history of one of Tuscany’s most famed cities and this lush, captivating saga draws an illuminating portrait of one girl with an unbreakable spirit.

 

Places to find the book:

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Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Lake Union Publishing

on 31st March, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 616

Published By: Lake Union Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, and Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #ShepherdessOfSiena

About Linda Lafferty

Linda Lafferty taught in public education for nearly three decades, in schools from the American School of Madrid to the Boulder Valley schools to the Aspen school district. She completed her PhD in bilingual special education and went on to work in that field, as well as teaching English as a second language and bilingual American history.

Horses are Linda’s first love, and she rode on the University of Lancaster’s riding team for a year in England. As a teenager, her uncle introduced her to the sport of polo, and she played in her first polo tournament when she was seventeen.

Linda also loves Siena, Italy, and the people of the region and has returned to the city half a dozen times in the past three years to research her novel. Linda is the author of three previous novels: The Bloodletter’s Daughter, The Drowning Guard, and House of Bathory. She lives in Colorado with her husband.

Lafferty's Author Page on Book Browse

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 14 May, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 15th Century, Audiobook, Audiobook Excerpt, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, BookSparks, Catherine de Medici, Catholicism, Coming-Of Age, Father-Daughter Relationships, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Horse Drama & Fiction, Indie Author, Isabella de' Medici, Italy, Library Love, Literary Fiction, Literature of Italy, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Nun, Orphans & Guardians, Religious Orders, Renaissance Tuscany, Sisterhood friendships, Soundcloud, the Renaissance (14th-17th Centuries), Tuscany, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Rights

Blog Book Tour | “Midnight Runner” by Marilee Jackson A debut novelist who gave me quite a heap to blog about with this #histfic!

Posted Friday, 13 February, 2015 by jorielov , , , 6 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

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 “Midnight Runner” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Curiosity was Piqued:

My curiosity to read this novel was piqued as I do happen to be drawn into story-lines where the lead characters are caught inside compelling dramas. I like reading about strong female characters who overcome adversity and as I routinely mention, I have a particular fondness for Southern Lit which can be quite an emotional and difficult read (depending on the novel).

What stood out to me before I went into reading Midnight Runner is how two girls of seemingly different backgrounds find their lifepaths intersected with each other’s — to where it would appear on the onset, a choice has to be made about how to move forward or how to stumble backwards. This is most definitely a novel of flight in order to survive and overcome a past that is not wrought out of happy circumstances, yet the title lead characters spoke to me within the small space of the synopsis to implore a closer examination of their story.

I fancy historical fiction moreso than I ever realised, so for this to be set within the Medieval Ages (I marked this as 15th & 16th Centuries as the ‘exact’ date is unknown) held a certain cross-appeal for me. Books are my method of time travelling, and if I can find a way to cart myself back as far as I dare to stretch my imagination, I want to go where an author will lead me! I’m just never quite as certain if where I end up is somewhere where I want to settle for a long period of time! Ha! The journey itself is what envelopes me into a character’s shoes and into the heart of where a novel resides.

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Blog Book Tour | “Midnight Runner” by Marilee Jackson A debut novelist who gave me quite a heap to blog about with this #histfic!Midnight Runner
by Marilee Jackson
Source: Direct from Publisher

"Run." The soft whisper in her ear cut through the pitch-black hiding place. After the nightmare she had just endured, he was the only person she could still trust.

She waited. The silence surrounded her life a heavy blanket.

"Run!" he shouted, and they took off in opposite directions.

Orphaned, mistreated, and misunderstood, Moira has always dreamed of building a new life in the royal city. But when she finally arrives, her ambition gets the better of her. And little orphan Moira becomes a person she never imagined.

Isobail has never been ambitious. She wants nothing more than the simple life she's always enjoyed. But when she's recruited to work in the royal city, she finds her dreams changing.

This medieval tale of secrets, mistaken identities, romance, and long-sought redemption is sure to captivate readers. With a compelling story and characters that will keep you guessing, this book will change how you feel about villains and heroines, loss and love.

Places to find the book:

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Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 10th February, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 272

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),

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

Converse on Twitter via: #MidnightRunner Read More

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Posted Friday, 13 February, 2015 by jorielov in 15th Century, 16th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Castles & Estates, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Midwife | Midwifery, Orphans & Guardians, Psychological Abuse, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Women's Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review | “I, Walter” by Mike Hartner The first book in a #YALit series for #HistFic

Posted Friday, 30 January, 2015 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I joined Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers as a way to seek out stories written by emerging Self Published and/or Indie Published writers who might not otherwise get highlighted by book bloggers. This was the first novel that interested me to request for review, as I enjoyed reading the premise inasmuch as the request was to read outside of a firm deadline. This is not an organised blog tour, thereby those of us who request to read the books and/or host the authors Ms. Tilton organises is scheduled around our own time frames. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Mike Hartner, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Book Review | “I, Walter” by Mike Hartner The first book in a #YALit series for #HistFicI, Walter
by Mike Hartner
Source: Author via Kate Tilton's Book Bloggers

I, Walter is the first in a series of books in a saga which will span continents and time to arrive in present day North America.

Each in the series will be connected, though that connection may not be obvious for several more books.

It's almost like looking at a menorah. Many lines, seemingly individual, connect to center at different points.

Walter Crofter was born into Elizabethan England.

In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself?

Especially given his family background?

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 978-0973356137

Series: The Eternity Series,


Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, Nautical Fiction, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Eternity4Popsicle Publishing

on 10th May, 2013

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 225

Published by: Eternity4Popsicle Publishing (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #MikeHartner, #IWalter, #YALit

About Mike Hartner

Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
  • CanLit Reading Bingo Card 2015
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Posted Friday, 30 January, 2015 by jorielov in 15th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Canadian Literature, Cliffhanger Ending, Coming-Of Age, Elizabethan Era, England, Father-Daughter Relationships, High Seas Epic, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Kate Tilton's Book Bloggers, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Nautical Fiction, Pirates and Swashbucklers, Spain, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Vulgarity in Literature, Young Adult Fiction

+Book Review+ The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina Courtenay via #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 28 June, 2014 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

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#ChocLitSaturdays | a feature exclusive to Jorie Loves A Story

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by honestly written characters whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read! I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other! I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

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The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina CourtenayThe Silent Touch of Shadows

by Christina Courtenay

Author Connections:

Personal Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Converse via: #TheSilentTouchOfShadows

Genre(s): Fiction | Romance | Historical| 

Time Slip | Suspense

Published by: ChocLitUK, 15 March, 2013

Available Formats:

Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print & E-Book

Series: Shadows of the Past, No.1 | Page Count: 356

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases that I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. I have a weakness for time slips because I love seeing how each individual author handles the story arc as much as bringing the characters into a compelling thread of thought and time. I received a complimentary copy of The Silent Touch of Shadows from ChocLit via IPM (International Publisher’s Marketing) in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intriqued to Read:

I must confess, I am positively addicted to the notions of time travel and time slip between dimensions of history! There is something to be said to slip in and out of realities, embarking on adventures where time itself can not hold you. One of my favourite examples in film is “Kate and Leopold” due to the brilliance of how they chose to keep the ‘time’ in tact for each setting the characters moved forward and backwards inside! This particular one drew my eye as I am an amateur ancestry historian following in the footsteps of my Mum! There is such a joy in being able to knit the pieces together of your ancestral past – although, more times than naught, the surprising threads you discover leave you rather pensive! This appears to be a question of reincarnated soul mates, struggling to find each other in the present who were not able to be together in the past! Smashing!

On my Connection to Ms. Courtenay:

When I began reading this novel, in early May I had only hosted one or two #ChocLitSaturdays chats which were at the time becoming one of my favourite ‘hours’ on Saturday mornings! I was starting to look forward to the hour to arrive, and the joy of discovering ‘who’ would be there was half the bliss for me! Ms. Courtenay started to become a regular fixture, and her encouraging conversations & ability to inspire others to converse freely throughout the chats put me at ease in my new role as a ‘Hostess’. She always seemed to know how to either start a topic or how to best suggest something to break the ice! I was always so very grateful to her and I am thinking I might have forgotten to tell her directly how much gratitude I had for her in those earlier chats! Over the weeks that have followed, I have found myself attached to each of my ‘regular’ chatters during the hour, and I consider Ms. Courtenay a bookish like-minded soul, as we tend to appreciate the same types of stories!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Courtenay through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturdays the chat; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time.

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Book Synopsis: 

What will it take to put the past to rest? Professional genealogist Melissa Grantham receives an invitation to visit her family’s ancestral home, Ashleigh Manor. From the moment she arrives, life-like dreams and visions haunt her. The spiritual connection to a medieval young woman and her forbidden lover have her questioning her sanity, but Melissa is determined to solve the mystery.

Jake Precy, owner of a nearby cottage, has disturbing dreams too, but it’s not until he meets Melissa that they begin to make sense. He hires her to research his family’s history, unaware their lives are already entwined. Is the mutual attraction real or the result of ghostly interference?

A haunting love story set partly in the present and partly in fifteenth century Kent.

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Author Biography:

Christina CourtenayChristina lives in Hereford and is married with two children. Although born in England she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan where she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East.

Christina’s debut Trade Winds was short listed for the 2011 Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction.The Scarlet Kimono won the 2011 Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction AwardHighland Storms (in 2012) and The Gilded Fan (in 2014) won the Best Historical Romantic Novel of the year award and The Silent Touch of Shadows won the 2012 Best Historical Read Award from the Festival of Romance. Christina is Chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Unless my eyes belie me, I do believe “The Silent Touch of Shadows” is the topmost book in the stack of books underneath Ms. Courtenay’s hands! I wondered when I first saw this if “The Secret Kiss of Darkness” was the one on the bottom!? As that would be quite clever as I am reading both during #ChocLitSaturdays!

A longer & more engrossing biography is on her website.

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Posted Saturday, 28 June, 2014 by jorielov in 15th Century, 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Britian, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, London, Magical Realism, Modern British Literature, Paranormal Romance, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Romance Fiction, Time Slip, Time Travel Romance, Vulgarity in Literature