Category: Historical Fiction

A #HistoricalMondays blog tour | feat. “The Artist Colony” by Joanna FitzPatrick

Posted Monday, 20 September, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog 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! 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 copy of “The Artist Colony” from the publisher She Writes Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: Once upon a time, I was a reviewer with SparkPress and their imprints as well as a participant in their Summer reading challenges. However, quite a few of those selections I had made in the past ended up on my backlogue of reviews; due to different adversities afflicting during those years – from my chronic migraines and other health ailments as well as my father’s recovery years from his moderate bilateral stroke in late 2016. Each year I grow closer to reading my backlogue – yet, despite falling behind on those reads, I’ve never lost my affinity of appreciation for SparkPress as a publisher or for She Writes Press. A few times since those years, I’ve had the pleasure of hosting their authors again and it isn’t something I take for granted. It is an honour and I love how they focus on stories which are inventively invigorating to be read as much as they stimulate conversation and carry forward a light for inspiring deeper readings and keenly intuitive thinkers.

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On what drew my curious eye towards this novel:

Admittedly, this hasn’t been the best readerly year for me as a Historical Fiction reader. Each year, I try to chronicle my readings into the Historical past through the historical reading challenge hosted every year by Amy @ Passages to the Past (also the wicked awesome owner of HFVBTs!) – yet, this particular year, I’ve written more preview stylised posts (ie. #My25PagePreview) than I have longer reviews. Partially, it was a timing issue for me and yet, some of it seemed like 2021 was just a harder won year than 2020 which in all actuality seems a bit impressive to say considering what the former year was like to live through. Laughter aside, as soon as I learnt about the back-history about the artist cottage and how the cottage in Carmel was linked to the author – it felt like such an introspective kind of read.

I used to study art when I was younger and art has languished in my life for a few decades off/on now. I’d love to find a keenly approachable teacher to help me find my muse again when it comes to drawing as I’d love to pursue watercolours eventually – however, my main pursuit and passion of the past several years (err, a bit longer than that) has been knitting. With a new yarn destination closer than previous years, there is a strong chance I’ll be back at the needles before Autumn grips my weather patterns! And, wouldn’t that be a treasured blessing!? However, until then, I still think about traditional art mediums and how wonderful it would be to have a place to focus on art for the sake of discovering not just want moves me as an artist but what inspires me, too. It is a bit why I have always loved pursuing photography – you just have to step out your door and you’ll find inspiration. Photography was something I could maintain throughout my life and I’m blessed for it. Whereas art, in the more traditional sense backslid a bit and became out of focus.

I’m also one part of my family’s ancestral sleuths team – wherein, I inherited a love of Biographical Fiction stories from my Mum. She has a fierce passion for Non-Fiction in regards to Biographical & Autobiographical stories, but for me, I struggled to lock my mind round those selections. Until I tapped into a niche corner of Historical Fiction and found stories which are either directly derived from a person’s actual lived life OR they are an impression of that life wherein liberties were taken to fill in the missing gaps of their known histories. Both are appreciated by curious mind and I love seeing how authors tackle their subjects and how they extend the lives of the persons once lived.

On that note, I liked how The Artist Colony was first inspired by Fitzpatrick’s Great-Aunt Ada Belle and from that forethought on inspiration – came the story we’re all reading today. It is also a curious antidote of how to pierce together familiar history and enfold a relative of ours into a bit of an expansive story which can chart its own course; either following the line of history for that person or taking a new kind of trajectory which is befitting of the story as it became untangled into the pages it now lives upon. It gives me food for thought every time I see an author utilising this technique and perhaps one day, it might lay down a foundation of a story drawn out of my own living tree of ancestral roots. Until then, I chase after the historical past every which way to Sunday as it is such an intriguing place to revisit time after time, as each story is its own unique portal towards seeing History through a new pair of lens.

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A #HistoricalMondays blog tour | feat. “The Artist Colony” by Joanna FitzPatrickThe Artist Colony
by Joanna FitzPatrick
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Paris, July, 1924…

Sarah, a young Modernist painter, receives a cable from California. Her estranged older sister, Ada Belle, has died under suspicious circumstances. When she arrives two weeks later at San Francisco’s Union Station, Sarah is confronted by a newspaper headline: “Inquest Verdict: Artist Commits Suicide.”

Sarah remembers the last haunting words Ada Belle said to her: “Ars longa, vita brevis: Art is long, life is short.” But Ada Belle’s work is selling, and her upcoming exhibition of portraitures would bring her even wider recognition. Why would she kill herself? Sarah’s quest to find the truth of what happened to Ada Belle leads her to join the bucolic artist colony to look for clues. As she delves into her sister’s underworld, tensions surface. The darker things get, the closer she comes to terrible danger. How far will a killer go before he kills again?

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



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1647421694

Published by She Writes Press

on 7th September, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 328

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Published By: She Writes Press (@shewritespress)
in conjunction with SparkPress (@SparkPress)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLC GoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks
(@BookSparks)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov or #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheArtistColony and #HFVBT

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Joanna FitzPatrick

Joanna FitzPatrick

Joanna FitzPatrick was born and raised in Hollywood. She started her writing habit by applying her orange fountain pen and a wild imagination to screenplays, which led her early on to produce the film White Lilacs and Pink Champagne. At Sarah Lawrence College, she wrote her MFA thesis Sha La La: Live for Today about her life as a rock ’n’ roll star’s wife. Her more recent work includes two novels, Katherine Mansfield and The Drummer’s Widow. The Artist Colony is her third book. Presently, FitzPatrick divides her time between a mountaintop cottage in Northern California and a small hameau in Southern France where she begins all her book projects.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 20 September, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A #HistoricalMondays Audiobook Spotlight | “In A Grove of Maples” (Book One, Sheltering Trees series) by Jenny Knipfer

Posted Monday, 23 August, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “In A Grove of Maples” via Audiobook Empire who is working with the author on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: This was meant to mark my first full review featuring an audiobook released by the Audiobook Empire, however, I had to shorten my showcase for this story for the blog tour whilst I continue to listen to the story whilst I intend to share my full ruminations next Monday post-tour. The Audiobook Empire is run and owned by Jess @ Audiobookworm Promotions; as a reviewer and book blogger with her promotions company for audiobooks, audio publishers, narrators and authors – it felt like a natural transition to find titles I would be interested in reviewing via Audiobook Empire. Some of those reviews will run during audio blog tours and some will run outside of them. 

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might remember how excited I was about discovering the narrator Jenn Lee!? She narrated the emotionally captivating The Fall of Mrs Parsons (see also Review) in which I had such a steadfast and personal reaction to listening whilst I also had the delightful joy in hosting her during @SatBookChat! Of which, this Autumn I look forward to welcoming her back to the chat, as this Summer has proved to be chaotic and inclusive of too many lightning storms to even attempt to schedule new guests and returning favourites, such as Ms Lee!

I’ve been working a lot more hours this Summer without a lot of days off whilst the high frequency of lightning storms has all but derailed my efforts to listen to both audiobooks or to read stories in general. I thought we were going to have a reprieve from these in August, but this month proved to have its own share of mishaps and misalignments. I was also offline for most of last week whilst I found myself unable to properly attach into listening to this story the few moments I had to settle into it. Part of that was my own fault – as I was delayed sorting out how to use the Authors Direct platform which of course delayed me a bit more than usual into opening the audiobook directly.

Which is why I am spotlighting this story vs offering my fuller thoughts which I intend to share next Monday, as I’ll have a blessed few days off on the weekend in which to recharge – not just my energy but my spirits, as I will be reading and listening to the stories which I’ve ached to properly attach inside for the past several weeks; this one in particular, as I have a penchant for Historical Fiction and I love finding Historical Romances under the INSPY umbrella of stories. INSPY of course refers to Inspirational Fiction – in this instance, Christian Fiction as this is a Christian Historical Fiction release. As a hybrid reader and listener to both mainstream and INSPY Lit, it is always a joy whenever I can find stories which speak to me as a reader and thereby, bring different perspectives of stories to the readers of my blog Jorie Loves A Story.
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A #HistoricalMondays Audiobook Spotlight | “In A Grove of Maples” (Book One, Sheltering Trees series) by Jenny KnipferIn A Grove of Maples
Subtitle: Sheltering Trees : Book One
by Jenny Knipfer
Source: Audiobook Empire
Narrator: Jenn Lee

A HISTORICAL NOVEL OF THE PERILS OF NEWLYWED LIFE AND ALL THAT COMES TO DIVIDE LOVERS

In 1897 newly married Beryl and Edward Massart travel more than one thousand miles from Quebec to farm a plot of land in Wisconsin that they bought sight-unseen. An almost magical grove of maples on their property inspires them to dream of a real home built within the grove, not the tiny log cabin they’ve come to live in.

Misunderstandings and tempers get the better of them when difficulties and troubles arise. Just months after they wed, Edward leaves pregnant Beryl in the midst of the coming winter to tend the farm and animals while he goes to be a teamster at a northern Wisconsin logging camp.

Will Beryl and Edward walk into the future together to build their house of dreams in the grove of maples, or will their plans topple like a house of sticks when the winds of misunderstanding and disaster strike?

Readers of Christian historical fiction, Historical fiction, Women’s fiction, and Christian historical romance will be endeared to this slice of late 19th century farm life.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B099LX6X8S

Published by Audiobook Empire

on 16th July, 2021

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 9 minutes (unabridged)

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The Sheltering Tree series:

In A Grove of Maples (book one)

Under the Weeping Willow (book two)

← *forthcoming, October, 2021!

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Published by: The Audiobook Empire (@AudiobookEmpire)

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistRom
as well as #AudiobookwormPromotions OR #TheAudiobookEmpire
+ #loveaudiobooks and #audiobook

About Jenny Knipfer

Jenny Knipfer

Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.

Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.
Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set.

She deems a cup of tea and a good book an essential part of every day. When not writing, Jenny can be found reading, tending to her many houseplants, or piecing quilt blocks at her sewing machine.

Her new historical fiction, four-part series entitled, Sheltering Trees, is set in the area Jenny grew up in, where she currently lives, and places along Minnesota’s Northern Shore, where she loves to visit. She is currently writing a four-part novella series entitled: Botanical Seasons.

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Posted Monday, 23 August, 2021 by jorielov in 19th Century, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Indie Author

A #25PagePreview feat. | “Coming Home to Mercy” (Coming Home series, Book One) by Michelle de Bruin

Posted Friday, 20 August, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “Coming Home to Mercy” direct from the author Michelle de Bruin exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comWhy I am sharing a shorter review about “Coming Home to Mercy”:

I’ve been plagued recently with a lot of fierce lightning storms (hence why content on Jorie Loves A Story has been a bit remiss and absent. Whilst at the same time, the climatic patterns have been keeping our temperatures hovering round 100-110F everyday which is giving me a load of grief as I’m succumbing to heat exhaustion several times a week as our humidity is extremely equal and as dangerously high as our actual temperatures! Therefore, despite my best intentions, I was offline for most of the past week (ie. storms and technology are not a good mix on a good day, throw in batches of lightning storms and its toxic!) and by the time I could re-emerge, I was either a) dearly exhausted by the heat or b) without enough time before/after work to finish reading this story in full.

I decided to write a shorter glimpse into the book itself and talk about how it was to settle into the rhythm of the story for the blog tour. This is only my second story I’ve read by this author and what drew my eye towards it was the prospect of reading about Aviation and Flight History as I’ve always had a keen eye of curiosity on the history of flight and especially how we’ve gone from those early origins in aeroplanes and short flights to the incredible ways in which we can circumnavigate the world on long hauls and flights which connect all of us together.

Plus, I happen to love diving into #HistRom as their always a delightful respite and a lovely comfort read to have whenever life is full of chaos; a bit of calm in the storms!

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A #25PagePreview feat. | “Coming Home to Mercy” (Coming Home series, Book One) by Michelle de BruinComing Home to Mercy
Subtitle: Coming Home series : Book One
by Ms Michelle De Bruin
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A society woman leaves her comfortable lifestyle so that she can help her daughter adjust to the arrival of twin sons in a small town where the courageous doctor teaches her about taking risks.
 
Wealthy and sociable Margaret Millerson has always thought of her brother’s Chicago mansion as her home. But when she receives the telephone call that her daughter has given birth to twins three weeks ahead of the expected due date, Margaret must leave her comfortable home, her family, and her friends to travel out of state. While she is helping her daughter care for the infants, Margaret becomes reacquainted with the town’s doctor, Matthew Kaldenberg.
 
Dr. Matthew Kaldenberg stays busy caring for the health of the citizens of his small town. His profession offers him daily practice in defeating death, his greatest enemy. During the twenty years since losing his own wife and baby in childbirth, Matthew has saved his money for the purchase of a flying machine. But when Matthew takes Margaret for flights on his biplane, he learns that his dreams of rising above the griefs and losses of his past come with a cost. He doesn’t want to lose the trust of the people he cares about most, or the chance at a relationship with Margaret.
 
Both Matthew and Margaret must make difficult decisions to hold on to the love they have discovered. Will Matthew’s heart recover from sorrow? Will Margaret find her true home?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1649171436

Published by Scrivenings Press

on 14th August, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 304

The Coming Home series:

Coming Home to Mercy (book one)

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Published by: Scrivenings Press (@ScriveningsLLC)
co-owned by Shannon Vannatter (@stvauthor)

I was happily surprised to discover this Indie Publisher is co-owned by Ms Vannatter as when I first came across the book blogosphere in (2012) the year before I created and developed Jorie Loves A Story – this author’s blog was one of my mainstays wherein I would read, comment and visit. She is one of the authors’ who has a blog which connects readers to writers and hosts bookaways, too. In the world of INSPY she was one of the authors I enjoyed visiting with due to how she kept her blog and the conversations with authors both approachable but also entertaining to where you learnt something about their stories and their craft for writing. She usually breaks up her blog features into two parts, too which gives you an extra moment to visit with her featured authors.

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistoricalFiction
as well as #HistRom or #HistoricalRomance,
#IndieAuthor, #IndieChristian, #INSPYRomance

About Ms Michelle De Bruin

Michelle De Bruin

Michelle De Bruin grew up in Southern Iowa and graduated from Eddyville High School. These beautiful memories of childhood spent on her family’s farm are the inspiration to the setting in the books of the Tomorrow series.

After high school, Michelle received an Associate’s Degree in Office Management from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. She returned to the family farm and later married Tom De Bruin.

Tom and Michelle and their two teenage sons, Mark and John, live in Pella where Michelle works as the Spiritual Services Facilitator for Christian Opportunity Center. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and in Religion with a Christian Ministries emphasis from Central College in Pella, Iowa.

In 2015, Michelle began writing and joined the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) where she discovered that the stories she wrote for fun might actually amount to something. She finished her manuscript for Hope for Tomorrow and eventually found a home for it with a small publisher of Christian fiction.

Characters that bring to life the delights of farm and small town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 20 August, 2021 by jorielov in 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, the Nineteen Hundreds

Book Spotlight | “Big Dreams for the West End Girls” by Elaine Roberts

Posted Tuesday, 8 June, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am happy to spotlight a Historical novel this morning which is a different kind of Historical war drama in the effect that this one is meant to uplift your heart whilst your reading it! I know for a long, long time in my readerly life I was much more consumed with the ‘other’ half of war dramas, but for me, as a reader, I’m happily finding myself more keen on seeking out stories like this one! The good news for readers like me who are more traditional (ie. reading either print or listening to audiobooks), the paperback for this lovely releasses this September whilst those who can read ebooks, happily you get to dive in this June!

This is a #newtomeauthor I’ve earmarked to want to read for quite awhile now. Sometimes there has been a gap in release dates between the UK and getting books stateside whilst other times I’ve not been able to seek out the stories I’d love to read by this publisher on the timeline of the pub dates but have a ready list of books and authors I’m still attempting to read through my local and regional libraries. This year, as my local library has resumed their purchase requests, I’m hoping I might be able to add a few titles into their collection.

This series [The West End Girls] began with the novel “The West End Girls” and continues now with Big Dreams for the West End Girls. I love reading serial Historicals and I am going to see if my library can acquire the first novel first and then, I’ll request the sequel (today’s featured book) lateron in Autumn at time of release.

The full list of book bloggers taking part in this lovely blog tour is at the foot of this post. Kindly make your loop through the route to find all the reactions to the story and the content assembled for the tour. I know I’m eagerly on pins awaiting my chance to dive into Ms Roberts novels – are you!?

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Let me know if this inspiringly uplifting Historical war drama is on your TBR!

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Book Spotlight | “Big Dreams for the West End Girls” by Elaine RobertsBig Dreams for the West End Girls
Subtitle: Nothing Will Stop Her... Not even the war!
by Elaine Roberts

Nothing will stop her – not even the war!

1914. Working in a bustling café on London's Shaftesbury Avenue, Joyce Taylor dreams of opening her own restaurant. But when the man she loves enlists in the war, and a surprise request comes through from her dying grandmother, Joyce's life gets turned upside down.
Struggling to keep the café afloat with her new-found responsibilities, it's not long before Joyce starts to feel the pressure might be all too much. Luckily, her supportive friends Annie and Rose are on hand to help. Despite all the madness, can Joyce find a way to make her dreams come true? And will her love story have a happy ending?

Annie, Rose and Joyce are three girls with very different dreams – but the same great friendship. From the author of the Foyles Bookshop series, Big Dreams for the West End Girls is a charming and uplifting WW1 saga, perfect for fans of Daisy Styles and Rosie Hendry.

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama, Historical Women's Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1800246096

ASIN: B08L88LMYK

Published by Aria Fiction

on 1st September, 2021

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Published By: Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction)
a Digital First imprint of Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook
→ 3rd June ebook release | 1st September paperback release

Converse via: #WestEndGirls, #WomensFiction and #HeadOfZeus

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Posted Tuesday, 8 June, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Head of Zeus, Historical Fiction