Category: Historical Fiction

#HistoricalMondays Book Review | “Merchant’s of Milan” (Book One: The Night Flyer Trilogy) by Edale Lane

Posted Monday, 24 February, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: When I first started book blogging in [2013] one of my first touring companies to work with was Tomorrow Comes Media who worked in conjunction with Seventh Star Press (an Indie publisher of Speculative Fiction) whilst featuring other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour hostess with Tomorrow Comes Media and enjoy getting to read a wide range of Speculative Fiction across Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror genres of interest. Sometimes the stories are genre-benders and/or they’re embracing the beauty of #SpecLit to such a degree they are their own unique niche in the larger expanse of the genre itself. 2020 marks my seventh year hosting for Tomorrow Comes Media and Seventh Star Press respectively.

I received a complimentary copy of “Merchants of Milan” direct from the author Edale Lane in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Ahead of reading the novel – a note of acknowledgement:

I could definitely relate to the ode of gratitude and serendipity of being raised by a Mum would infused a love of stories, art, music, cultural history and agency into the life of a daughter. My family celebrated art and music instilling within me a wonderment of joy and a deep appreciation for remaining curious and engaged with the pursuit of self-learning the world round me. As a book blogger a lot of the years I lived outside this online space were similar to the ones I share a small window of insight about – drawing closer to topics & subjects which interest me, challenging myself to push through the cosier stories I read regularly to read outside my comfort zones and to remain firmly open to how stories have a way of finding us.

I loved the note Lane shared with us, her readers, because it was one which matches my own appreciation for my family and for my Mum, who as she lamented herself about hers – was my first teacher as well. Mum had a way of teaching me my school teachers never could; mostly as she had a healthy interest herself in the process of learning and in understanding how to each each child in a way that allows what is being taught to capture their interest; rather than letting education fall flat and remain droll. I was also raised in a healthy environment of dissecting topics, subjects and interests – to root round a conversation and re-examine it from different perspectives & angles; openly discussing everything and remaining curious about the things I hadn’t yet had the joy of learning.

In essence, those of us who are taught how to be seekers of knowledge at a young age never fully ‘let go’ of that curious itch to know more – to see further and to explore what captures our imaginations. For that, I could relate most readily. Secondly, I had a healthy appreciation and respect for da Vinci as a teenager who was studying art and art history for the first time. I took those concentrations further than my classmates – they only tipped the scale of his legacy on the superficial surface of his life whereas I wanted to see further and contemplated the Mona Lisa for my mid-term essay project. I apparently surprised my art teacher of whom for reasons I cannot acknowledge wasn’t even sure how to grade the paper as I presented a theory she hadn’t heard of previously.

Which brings me back round to my joy of reading this Author’s Note – sometimes the people who encourage us the most are the people who know us best. They understand how our mind works and how we like to noodle out theories of insight as they are the best at knowing exactly how to challenge us to step away from the status quo and to live with a passion for learning. To question everything and to pursue our own understandings of the routes our curiosity takes us to explore. It was such a wonderful note to read and I was thankful it was included at the start of the novel.

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#HistoricalMondays Book Review | “Merchant’s of Milan” (Book One: The Night Flyer Trilogy) by Edale LaneMerchants of Milan
Subtitle: Book 1 of The Night Flyer Trilogy
by Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Author via Tomorrow Comes Media

Three powerful merchants, two independent women in love, one masked vigilante.

Florentina, set on revenge for her father’s murder, creates an alter-ego known as the Night Flyer. Madelena, whose husband was also murdered, hires Florentina as a tutor for her children and love blossoms between them. However, Florentina’s vendetta is fraught with danger, and surprising developments threaten both women’s lives.

Merchants of Milan is the first book in Edale Lane’s Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like gadgets and gismos, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and fast-paced action with a slow-boil lesbian romance, then you are sure to love this series. Buy this one of a kind novel today and let the adventure begin!

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1654780197

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction


Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 5th January, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 237

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Published by: Past & Prologue Press

Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook

This is the first novel of The Night Flyer Trilogy!

Converse on Twitter: #NightFlyerTrilogy, #SapphicFiction

as well as #HistoricalFantasy & #SpeculativeFiction

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About Edale Lane

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

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Posted Monday, 24 February, 2020 by jorielov in 16th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Clockmakers & Watchmakers, Clockwork & Mechanisations, Content Note, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Vulgarity in Literature

Author Interview | In conversation discussing the #AnnaBlanc series whilst highlighting portions of the third installment “The Body in Griffith Park” with the author Jennifer Kincheloe

Posted Thursday, 20 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Guess whose had the joy of interviewing one of her favourite Cosy Historical Mystery writers!? Yes, that would be Jorie! I had planned to listen to this third installment of the #AnnaBlanc series on audiobook – as it has become a bit of a tradition now – per each new release, wherein I was able to first read the story in print and then watch how the lovely Moira Quirk retransitioned the story into a beautiful rendition of giving us a stage worthy performance of Anna as we’ve come to know her through the imagination of Ms Kincheloe!

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting her during my chat @SatBookChat (in 2019) whilst keeping in step with her series ever since I first spied it as a book I could request from Seventh Street Books – it was my first choice and I still stand behind what drew me into Anna Blanc’s life & world! There was something immediately connective about how the vision for this series was fusing to the idea of what I felt the series would become – as soon as I dug my heels into “The Secret Life of Anna Blanc” – I was a goner!

I was wickedly excited about this independent & spirited young woman who was determined to live her life on her own accords and never let into the pressures of her society. Anna has become a heroine for all women who are striving to raise their voice, stand their ground and be the unique light they are free to be in a world who might not be ready for their individualism. And, for me – that is what carries through the series itself.

Whenever I re-engage with the series through Ms Quirk’s narrations – I find myself noticing subtle things I might have either a) overlooked or b) not have noticed the first go-round of reading this series in print. Her performance has instincts about how to draw out the characters in a truthful way of representing each of their unique personalties whilst bridging the world of Anna Blanc and the pacing of her life into our own readerly lives in the manner of performance only audiobooks can grant a reader.

I still fully intend to listen to this installment – I am awaiting renewing my #Scribd subscription in *March!* as I had a small bit of downtime whilst focusing on my health & wellness these past several months. I was grateful to see it was available on the streaming audiobook site because of how I had originally attempted to get it placed inside my regional library via a purchase request for OverDrive. I will never quite understand the issues facing libraries with how some audiobooks are just not available to be purchased or added to their collections. This is a continual issue as I even learnt the new Clare Chase novel isn’t able to be acquired either which has left me pensively museful about the situation overall.

For the audiobook blog tour – rather than removing myself from the line-up – I decided to host an Author Interview as I never tire of learning more “behind-the-book!” secrets of Anna Blanc nor would I ever tire of talking about a series I truly LOVE to read! I am hoping through this conversation – you might walkaway with a few more keen insights of your own and perhaps, if you haven’t given Anna a chance to entertain you – perhaps this interview might convince you – its high time to start @ the beginning and properly “meet” Anna Blanc!

Without further adieu : brew your favourite cuppa & enjoy the convo!

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why i enjoyed reading “The Body in Griffith park”

You have to love Anna’s spunk – if she’s typing nonsensically at her typewriter or asking the most off the chart curious enquiries from Joe (such as every notation of insight she has on flowers!) – she finds the balance between being completely devoid of the requirements of her job and the spontaneity of fiercely believing she has what it takes to succeed as a detective who breaks the rules but maintains a high success rate of closed cases. In a nutshell, what isn’t to love about Anna Blanc? Stepping back into her shoes is like going home – you know your going to be on this wicked adventurous ride where only her compass knows the route you’ll traverse but ooh, the memories once you return from the experience is worth the anxieties of knowing you’ll get into the fire alongside Anna!

Betwixt the joy of finding her own case to investigate and the dalliance she’d love to have with Joe, Anna once again finds herself pulled into two different directions. Happily self-taught and well read on criminological topics of insight, Anna has the tendency to be a few steps ahead of both Joe and the other detectives in how she pieces together not just the scenes of the crimes she wants to solve but the methodology of how those crimes were left behind to be found. This is where the series is a joy to be reading because you get to see inside her process for sleuthing inasmuch as seeing her disdain at being re-directed by Matron Clemens into more ‘matronly duties’ she was hired to achieve.

Although emboldened by her choices for independence from her father (and family) – her choices do have after effects on her heart, if you take into consideration how much Anna still worries about the conditions of her father’s business affairs and what the choices she made in her own life might have reverberated into his own trials of tribulation. I was firmly against the antics of her father, as he had such a controlling interest in pushing Anna into a life which would have rendered her miserable but at the same time, the empathy, compassion and love she still has for him shows her own humanity in a light that I am not sure would reflect through his own eyes. And, that shows again the stark contrast how Anna Blanc is different from the rest of the Blanc family.

Never let it be said Anna Blanc is short on ingenuity when it comes to sorting out resolutions to problems which fall outside the normal realms of conventional society! When you reach the section on how she needs to start influencing the lives of streetwalkers who might be open to reformation, the interesting bit is how her original idea is now blooming towards fruition but how the ladies society who was attempting to step forward into this niche of charity outreach found they understand very little when it comes to the needs of working ladies! In true Anna Blanc spunkified fashion, Anna herself has to step forward into the hurdles of balancing the influence of a better path in which the women could hope to embark against and the truthfulness of their station, situation and financial needs. In essence, her answer to that particular problem was wickedly inventive and creatively appropriate!

You never know what kind of folly of joy you’ll find within an Anna Blanc Cosy Historical Mystery – one thing is wickedly certain though – Kincheloe is going to give you a hilarious romp of delight in how she carves out the dramatic crime narrative alongside smitten sleuthers Anna Blanc and Joe Singer! Keeping me fast on me feet and in the delightful joy of her seriously #awesomeauce sense of humour – Kincheloe made an early-on reference to “Bosom Buddies” wherein Anna cloyingly encourages Joe to get his groove together and switch how he presents himself in order to sneak into visit Anna at her flat!

When it comes to serial fiction, there is always a need for newfound adversity, ripples of angst and a dash of the unexpected – scenes and sequences to keep you on your toes, itching to dive into new chapters and to see how things will wick out in the end. For this installment of the series, Ms Kincheloe has expertly given us a heap of strife in regards to the relationship between Joe and Anna! She’s inserted quite a heap of drama into their young lives – given them reason to trust and mistrust each other and to confound each other as well – they move between absolute admiration and devotion to bouts of uncertainty and disillusionment. Their each struggling to find the rhythm of what makes their relationship work and how to fuse their connection stronger when they both like to butt heads like those fierce mountain sheep who lose their hooves!

-quoted from my review of The Body in Griffith Park

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Author Interview | In conversation discussing the #AnnaBlanc series whilst highlighting portions of the third installment “The Body in Griffith Park” with the author Jennifer KincheloeThe Body in Griffith Park
Subtitle: An Anna Blanc Mystery
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Source: Direct from Publisher

Los Angeles, 1908. Anna Blanc is a former so-so socialite, a flailing police matron, and a killer detective.

Ex- heiress, Anna Blanc, is precariously employed by the Los Angeles Police Department, reforming delinquent children and minding lady jailbirds. What she really wants is to hunt criminals and be alone with Detective Joe Singer--both no-nos that could get her fired. On a lover's tryst in Griffith Park, Anna and Joe discover the body of a young gambler. Anna can't resist. She's on the case. With a murder to solve and her police matron duties piling up, a young girl shows up at Central Station claiming to have been raped by a man from Mars. The men at the station scoff, but Anna is willing to investigate. Meanwhile, Anna begins getting strange floral arrangements from an unknown admirer. Following the petals leads her to another crime--one close to home. Suddenly pitted against Joe, Anna must examine her loyalties and solve the crimes, even if it means losing the man she loves.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1633885400

ASIN: B0823YYS51

Also by this author: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc [audiobook], The Woman in the Camphor Trunk, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk [audiobook]

Series: Anna Blanc


Also in this series: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc [audiobook], The Woman in the Camphor Trunk, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk [audiobook], The Body in Griffith Park


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Jennifer R. Kincheloe Ltd

on 2nd December, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 11 hours and 42 minutes (unabridged)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #AnnaBlanc + #HistoricalMystery or #HistMyst

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Posted Thursday, 20 February, 2020 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #SaturdaysAreBookish, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, History, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Prometheus Books, Realistic Fiction, the Nineteen Hundreds

Book Spotlight | “Metropolis” by Ellie Midwood

Posted Monday, 10 February, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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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! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary of “Metropolis” direct from the author Ellie Midwood in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read “Metropolis”:

I recognised the film title this novel is based on immediately after receiving the blog tour invite and I must admit, that is what inspired my interest in reading the novel! I have a propensity for seeking out Biographical Historical Fiction inasmuch as I love stories set round important time periods of History or are based on actual living persons or events; including the production of this infamous Classic film! Now, when it comes to Classic Hollywood – I have been an appreciator of early 20th Century film-making for most of my life!

As you might have gathered when I read the first Renee Patrick Cosy Historical Mystery wherein Edith Head plays a strong role in sleuthing out the details of this crafty & clever series! I had such a wonderful pleasure of being caught up inside Old Hollywood and the culture of motion pictures as only Renee Patrick can tell the story as their a husband & wife team of writers who have such a wicked passion for Classic Films!

Thus, I thought ‘Metropolis’ might be a fitting #nextread as I thought it might be an interesting chapter on not just film history but about a part of the past I don’t oft get to read as this dances round the impact of war and how people were striving to restart their lives after such great losses.

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Book Spotlight | “Metropolis” by Ellie MidwoodMetropolis
by Ellie Midwood
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Weimar Berlin, 1924

Unemployed actors, profiteers, cabaret girls, and impoverished aristocracy – out of this wild set of characters populating Weimar Berlin, Margarete Gräfin von Steinhoff belongs to the latter category. Having lost everything due to hyper-inflation, she considers jumping into the freezing waters of the Spree rather than facing the humiliating existence shared by millions of her fellow Germans. However, a chance meeting makes her change her mind at the last moment and offers her a chance to rely on the help of the metropolis itself, where anything can be sold and bought for money and where connections are everything. The bustling nightlife of cosmopolitan Berlin, with its casinos and dance halls, brings good income for the ones who don’t burden themselves too heavily with morals.

After a New Year’s Eve party, Margot finally meets her ever-absent and mysterious neighbor, Paul Schneider, who makes a living by producing a certain type of film for his rich clientele. Under his guidance, Margot discovers a new passion of hers – photography and soon, her talents are noticed by the prominent newspaper, Berliner Tageblatt itself. But being an official photographer of the most celebrated events of the La Scala and most famous Berlin theaters no longer satisfies Margot’s ambitions. As soon as the chance presents itself for her to get involved with the cinematography on the set of “Metropolis” – the film with the highest budget ever produced by the UFA – Margot jumps at it, without thinking twice. At the same time, Paul becomes involved with a rival project, “The Holy Mountain,” which stars an as yet unknown actress and an emerging director in, Leni Riefenstahl. As the two women meet, professional rivalry soon turns into a true friendship, fueled by their passion for cinematography. However, due to the economic woes facing Germany, both projects soon run out of money and now, both film crews must go to extreme lengths to save their respective productions.

Set against the backdrop of a decadent, vibrant, and fascinatingly liberal Weimar Berlin, “Metropolis” is a novel of survival, self-discovery, and self-sacrifice, in the name of art, love, and friendship.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781660165759

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Self Published

on 13th January, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 238

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #Metropolis and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Ellie Midwood

Ellie Midwood

Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, “The Girl from Berlin.” Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

For more information on Ellie and her novels, please visit her online.

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Posted Monday, 10 February, 2020 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours