Category: Historical Fiction

Author Interview | Historical debut novelist, Tanya E. Williams on behalf of her #Epistolary war drama “Becoming Mrs Smith”!

Posted Tuesday, 14 November, 2017 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

This #Epistolary novel captured my attention recently, as I’ve been seeking out more stories evoking ‘letters & correspondences’ for quite a long while now! You might have seen my ruminative thoughts on behalf of Last Christmas in Paris? Whilst previously, you might have seen my happy tweeting and my thoughts on behalf of my beloved Skye? (ie. Letters from Skye!) Or, perhaps – you caught sight of a debut Non-Fiction release this year, entitled: Dennis & Greer: A Love Story? You see, I have a particular penchant for these kinds of stories – not just in Historical Fiction, mind you – nor for the focus to be on war dramas, as my love of ‘3000 Miles to Eternity’ will attest!

What I found so very intriguing about ‘Becoming Mrs Smith’ is how the story is crafted through a succession of novellas! As you might also be aware of – I have a particular interest in reading short stories and novellas – generally, I’ve approached them through one of my two favourite genres: Romance & Speculative Literature (ie. Science Fiction, Fantasy or Cosy Horror) – however, I am finding more authors are releasing novellas and/or shorts – either as accompaniments to their novels directly or as stand-alone arcs for new series and/or an extension of a character’s story from a novel without a series in which to carry the story-line forward. In this case, what is uniquely lovely – the novellas are the series!

I like uncovering new formats for serial fiction – series are a lovely lifeblood of their own – something I cannot pass up the chance to read, as one blessing with a series is how long you get to extend your stay inside the world the writer has knitted together for you! You get to carry the load with the characters, of feeling everything they do as events and memories unfold – whilst feeling as if you, yourself have become drafted into their shoes, fully aware and absorbing their lives.

As I read the premise behind ‘Becoming Mrs Smith’ – my first instinct was to request this story for review purposes – however, realising it was a Digital First release – I opted instead to host the author for a conversation whilst I sought out how to engage in the story-line to help introduce this debut novelist to you, my readers. Perhaps like me, this is an interest of your own – seeking out the stories crafted out of ‘letters & correspondences’ or perhaps, your simply game for a new war drama! Either way, I hope you’ve brewed yourself a cuppa and are ready to settle in for our convo!

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Author Interview | Historical debut novelist, Tanya E. Williams on behalf of her #Epistolary war drama “Becoming Mrs Smith”!Becoming Mrs Smith
by Tanya E. Williams

Not all of war’s destruction takes place on the battlefield.

Violet’s heart flutters from the scarlet fever she survived as a child, and it beats faster at the sight of John Smith, the man she plans to marry. America is entrenched in WWII, and when John enlists, Violet is certain she won’t ever forgive him for dashing their dreams. As the realities of war slowly overtake her life, Violet’s days are filled with uncertainty and grief. She struggles to maintain her faith in John, as the world as she knows it, crumbles.

Becoming Mrs. Smith is the inspiring, and at times, heartbreaking story of a woman’s struggle to reclaim what she lost. War stole the man she loves, and childhood illness weakened her heart—perhaps beyond repair. While guns rage in Europe, the war Violet faces at home may be even more devastating.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

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ISBN: 978-1775070603

Genres: Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Military Fiction, War Drama


Published by Rippling Effects Writing & Photography

on 3rd October, 2017

Excerpt from ‘Becoming Mrs Smith’ provided by the author Tanya E. Williams and is being used with permission.

The walls of the old farmhouse quiver. Thump. Thump. Thump. The sound reverberates inside of me with each strike against our solid oak door. My insides shake like a ground tremor. Until now, I couldn’t have believed my body could shake any more brutally. This cruel and ruthless fever has vibrated inside of me since before yesterday’s sunrise. Doc Walton and his hammer, the cause of all the commotion, have traveled from Cedar Springs. He has since confirmed Mother’s fears. Scarlet fever has attacked our home and invaded my slight, now fragile body. The notice nailed to the front door is both a proclamation of quarantine and a warning. Those who enter or leave the Sanderson property will be reported and punished by South Dakota law.

At eleven years old, I’m not keen to lift my nightdress for the doctor. Mother’s stern gaze, which bores through me from the corner of the bedroom I share with Iris, tells me refusing is not an option. My skin, warm to the touch, shivers as air whispers across the tiny red bumps. The doctor listens to my heart with his instrument, the round metal end cold from winter frost, before he lowers my bedclothes and tucks me into bed. He murmurs to himself as he pats my shoulder and smiles sadly, before the latch on his black bag snaps shut.

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As two of your characters inspired you to tell their stories in two separate novellas, how do these novellas prepare the reader for reading the novel they are anchoured too? What can you tell us about the novel which is the third half of the total story?

Williams responds: Becoming Mrs. Smith and Stealing Mr. Smith (both novellas) allow the reader a deeper view into what motivates these two important female characters in John Smith’s life. Both Violet and Bernice are center stage in John’s life, at different times, and their actions and decisions have a direct affect on how John’s life unfolds.

The final novel in the series, A Man Called Smith will bring the perspective of the story back to John, allowing the reader a global view of his life, his decisions, what haunts him, and what he learns to accept. Essentially, John is defined by these two strong and unique women and he ends up living his life as a result of those definitions.

A Man Called Smith, was where the story started for me. As a writer, I had a desire to answer the question, “What if it is not the choices we make in life that alter the outcome of our life’s path? What if it is instead, the choices that we do not make, the ones we are afraid of, the ones that torture us, threatening our existence and stealing from us along the way? What if those are the moments that truly define us as an individual?” John is a likable character. He is soft spoken and kind yet his life takes a detour and in the end he must live with those consequences. Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 14 November, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Diary Accountment of Life, During WWI, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Medical Fiction, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Story in Diary-Style Format, the Nineteen Hundreds, The World Wars, Women's Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “A Season of Love” (anthology) by Carla Kelly

Posted Sunday, 12 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past three years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming August 2016. I appreciate the diversity of the stories the Indie publisher is publishing per year, not only for fiction and non-fiction but for healthy eats within their Front Table Books (cookbooks). I appreciate their dedication to writing general market, INSPY reads and LDS focused stories across the genres they publish.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Season of Love (anthology)” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I personally *adore!* anthologies – short stories have something special inside them – they are the shorter versions of narrative I truly love to tuck inside because you can live a full life within them! They might be smaller than novels, but each writer attaches us into their thresholds in a different place of entry – generally, I’ve read more Science Fiction, Fantasy & Cosy Horror short stories and novellas – but with this anthology, I am returning to my roots – of reading Regency Christmas shorts for the Christmastide Season!

It is one of my favourite holiday seasons – giving way to beautifully lovely Romances and the tenderness of cosy comforting stories which give you a lift of joy to be reading as the weather turns chill ahead of Winter’s firm grasp on our climate patterns — it is the time to tuck into holiday reads, feel the warmth of the Season and be carted away into a Romance happily revolving round all the festive bursts of happiness you enjoy celebrating every year!

Being a collection of shorts by a beloved author is a double-blessing – as I have been finding my readings of Ms Kelly’s novels to be quite wicked brilliant! I know I shall one day be collecting the rest of her stories – as each one is a treat to read. I delight in her descriptive narratives and I love how her heroines are full of strength, even if they do not always feel they have the fortitude to right the stars of their circumstances, they find the courage whilst they are sorting out the details! They give you a lot to chew on whilst you read their stories – something I appreciate. This collection simply felt fitting to be reading right now – as the timing could not have been more perfect!

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Blog Book Tour | “A Season of Love” (anthology) by Carla KellyA Season of Love
Subtitle: A Christmas Anthology
by Carla Kelly
Source: Direct from Publisher

Join master romance writer Carla Kelly in this joyful celebration of the most wonderful time of the year. Set in Regency England, these Christmas tales will take you from dangerous adventures on snowy roads to cosy little cottages filled with holiday mischief.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1462119820

Also by this author: Softly Falling, Summer Campaign, Courting Carrie in Wonderland

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Short Story or Novella


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 10th October, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 320

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Stories by Carla Kelly I’ve read:

Softly Falling | my first Carla Kelly story | (see also Review)

Summer Campaign | (see also Review)

Courting Carrie in Wonderland | (see also Review)

Converse via: #ChristmasRomance, #HolidayReads, #Anthology, #ShortStories + #CarlaKelly

About Carla Kelly

Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for Borrowed Light, My Loving Vigil Keeping and Softly Falling.

Photo Credit: Marie Bryner-Bowles, Bryner Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Sunday, 12 November, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Anthology Collection of Stories, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, England, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Scotland, Short Stories or Essays, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, the Regency era

Blog Book Tour | “Kin Types” (#Poetry collection) by Luanne Castle

Posted Thursday, 9 November, 2017 by jorielov , , 6 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

I received a complimentary copy of “Kin Types” direct from the author Luanne Castle in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Blog Book Tour | “Kin Types” (#Poetry collection) by Luanne CastleKin Types
by Luanne Castle
Source: Author via Poetic Book Tours

Kin Types is based largely upon genealogy and a fascination with what comes to all of us from the past. A mix of poetry in the traditional sense and highly poetic prose pieces, the collection takes the reader on a journey into the lives of women and somewhat into the lives of men who must carry on alone once the women are gone. The journey of this collection is not a ramble into the past, but a slingshot into the here and now by way of these portrait tales.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781635342543

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Poetry & Drama


Published by Finishing Line Press

on 14th July, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 44

Published By: Finishing Line Press (@FLPress)

Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Read how the author was inspired to create this collection

Converse via: #Ancestry + #Poetry

About Luanne Castle

Luanne Castle Photo Credit headshot by renee

Winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, Doll God, Luanne Castle‘s first collection of poetry, was published by Aldrich Press. Luanne’s poetry and prose have appeared in Grist, Copper Nickel, River Teeth, Glass Poetry Press, Barnstorm Journal, Six Hens, Lunch Ticket, The Review Review, and many other journals. Published by Finishing Line Press, Kin Types was a semi-finalist in the Concrete Wolf chapbook contest.

Luanne has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside. She studied English and creative writing at the University of California, Riverside (Ph.D.); Western Michigan University (MFA); and the Stanford University writing certificate program. Her scholarly work has been published in academic journals, and she contributed to Twice-Told Children’s Tales: The Influence of Childhood Reading on Writers for Adults, edited by Betty Greenway. For fifteen years, she taught college English. She divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelina.

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Posted Thursday, 9 November, 2017 by jorielov in Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Content Note, Excessive Violence in Literature, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry

#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “This Side of Murder” (#VerityKent Mysteries, No.1) by Anna Lee Huber Celebrating All Saint’s Day with a delightfully sophisticated Cosy Historical Mystery!

Posted Wednesday, 1 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed Book By: I have been an appreciator of Ms Huber’s novels ever since I first read “The Antaomist’s Wife” being the first Lady Darby Mystery – which set the course for my heart to fall in love with the relationship building between Lady Darby and Mr Gage! As you can follow my readerly musings and ruminations throughout the length of the series, save the fifth book which I am in the process of reading right now. I was delayed initially from consuming the fifth Lady Darby (which I shall explain when I post my review), however, I’ve been proactively requesting Ms Huber’s novels via my local library!

As I knew I couldn’t purchase copies for myself per each release, I decided to ‘introduce’ the novels to other patrons whilst selecting them for my own reading benefit. Blessedly, my library has been continuously adding the novels of Ms Huber to our card catalogue and I must say, they are regularly finding new ‘readers’ who appreciate her collective works! When it came time for her new series ‘The Verity Kent Mysteries’ and the ‘Gothic Myths’, I knew I wanted to submit these for purchase requests as well. I was overjoyed when they initially arrived, however, I had to ‘let them go’ to re-request lateron. This October, whilst planning my #SpooktasticReads readathon of lovelies, I put the books back into ‘queue’ to be savoured now. Ergo, I was not obliged to post this review – I am sharing it for my own edification and to help those who follow my literary adventures seek out a new author they might not have stumbled across themselves. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I asked my library to purchase more Huber novels:

When you find a writer who can transport you so wholly true into the historic past with convicting narrative clarity such as Ms Huber has established, you simply want to follow their writerly careers. If I had been in the position to purchase the novels as they released, I would have – however, I did something to help others in my area learn of her novels: I submitted purchase requests for her stories! I’ve been doing this since the beginning – encouraging my library to continue to seek out and purchase her next releases as new stories emerge to be read.

As October christianed a new Season, I decided to have a bit of ‘fun’ this year, by spending the weeks leading up to Halloween reading Mysteries, Suspense & Thriller stories in anticipation of a holiday I truly have loved since I was a child! Halloween is a beloved tradition – the stories which leave you thirsty for more which give you a bit of a girth of excitement to read make it even more enjoyable! I couldn’t pick out as many Cosy Horror titles as I would have preferred – I’ll save those for next year’s follies, but this year, the callings of my heart led me back into Ms Huber’ s novels!

Whilst planning to finish my readings of the latest #LadyDarby – I happily re-requested to read her latest: ‘This Side of Murder’ being the first #VerityKent Mystery and ‘Secrets of the Mist’ being a decidedly Gothic tale which was sure to haunt me a wee bit! I hadn’t realised she was publishing through different publishers – as I was focusing more on the ‘stories’ rather than their route to publication. I thought it was quite lovely each of her stories have found wings and a home to fly – as I know this is sometimes a tricky part of a writer’s life – finding how to publish the stories which step outside one of your main veins of interest – in this case, the Lady Darby series.

Equally to why I love Lady Darby, I am finding Verity Kent has a refreshing new ‘interest’ for me to latch onto as she’s set this delightful series between the World Wars – an era I readily explore through war dramas and the odd Cosy Historical Mystery (the category of genre I rightly place her Lady Darby Mysteries) – a definitive term I use for those writers who are so hugged centre into the ‘history’ of their timescapes – they are creating a lovely hybrid new genre which merges & blends everything I love between the ‘Historical Fiction novel’ and the ‘Cosy Mystery’; it’s an elevated sophistication in literature which I wholeheartedly am giddy about exploring!

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Notation on the : Poole harbour – where Lord Ryde & Verity Kent were arriving gives out a certain layer of insight into where this ‘story’ is both set and placed into our view. It also allows the reader to see Mrs Kent from a different perspective than straight-on whilst gaining a bit about how ‘put together’ she is and how she strives to make do with what she has left to give. She’s a curious woman – by all counts – as she is both conflicted and eludes great confidence in not only who she is but where she is in her life. The confliction of course is due to the nature of how she lost her husband and the ‘after effects’ of the war which affected them all.

#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “This Side of Murder” (#VerityKent Mysteries, No.1) by Anna Lee Huber Celebrating All Saint’s Day with a delightfully sophisticated Cosy Historical Mystery!This Side of Murder
Subtitle: A Verity Kent Mystery
by Anna Lee Huber
Source: Borrowed from local library

England, 1919. Verity Kent's grief over the loss of her husband pierces anew when she receives a cryptic letter, suggesting her beloved Sidney may have committed treason before his untimely death. Determined to dull her pain with revelry, Verity's first impulse is to dismiss the derogatory claim. But the mystery sender knows too much—including the fact that during the war, Verity worked for the Secret Service, something not even Sidney knew.

Lured to Umbersea Island to attend the engagement party of one of Sidney's fellow officers, Verity mingles among the men her husband once fought beside, and discovers dark secrets—along with a murder clearly meant to conceal them. Relying on little more than a coded letter, the help of a dashing stranger, and her own sharp instincts, Verity is forced down a path she never imagined—and comes face to face with the shattering possibility that her husband may not have been the man she thought he was. It's a truth that could set her free—or draw her ever deeper into his deception. . .

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781496713155

Also by this author: The Anatomist's Wife, Mortal Arts, A Grave Matter, A Study in Death, As Death Draws Near Book Blast (Series Notes)

Genres: Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Kensington Books

on 26th September, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 304

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The Verity Kent Mysteries:

This Side of Murder | No.1 | Read the 1st Chapter via annaleehuber.com

Treacherous is the Night | No.2 | (Pub Date: October, 2018)

Published By: Kensington Publishing Corp. ()
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook & Ebook

About Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is the Award-Winning and National Bestselling Author of the Lady Darby Mystery Series. She was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. From a young age, her imagination was boundless. She spent her summers with her brothers and sister playing Star Wars, wearing snow boots and her mother's old nightgowns while swinging plastic bats as light-sabers, and The A-Team hanging off the riding lawn mower (what else were they supposed to use for the van?). In the fourth grade, she penned her first story, and she’s been writing ever since.

Anna attended college in Music City USA-Nashville, Tennessee, where she met her husband while acting in a school production of Our Town. They married just before she graduated summa cum laude from Lipscomb University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a minor in Psychology. She now pens the award-winning Lady Darby historical mystery series for Berkley Publishing. Her debut novel, The Anatomist’s Wife, has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including a Daphne du Maurier Award and two 2013 RITA® Awards.

Anna is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She currently lives in Indiana with her family, and when not hard at work on her next novel, she enjoys reading, singing, travel, and spending time with her family.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 1 November, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Castles & Estates, Cosy Historical Mystery, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Lady Detective Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Library Love, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Psychological Suspense, the Nineteen Hundreds, The World Wars