Genre: Historical Fiction

An Audiobook Blog Tour | “Search for the Holy Grail” (Volumes: 1-3 Boxed Set) produced by The Audiobook Empire, writ by MJL Evans and GM O’Connor

Posted Saturday, 27 August, 2022 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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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 you’re 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 (which is now Audiobook Empire*), I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive and/or CloudLibrary for their digital audiobook catalogues. Aside from my libraries, I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It has been a wonderful journey and one I enjoy sharing – as I am now fully expanding how many audiobooks I listen to per year whilst enjoying being a part of the LibroFM ALC programme and an audiobook reviewer for NetGalley as well.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Search for the Holy Grail” 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: (*) 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. In 2022, she decided to merge the promotional side of Audiobookworm Promotions into Audiobook Empire rather than maintain the two separately.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am starting to dive back into reading per my latest #WWWWednesday wherein I discussed my unexpected sabbatical from reading, blogging and engaging whilst mentioning that it is through audiobooks and Cosy Mysteries, I am starting to make my journey back into stories and the joys they have always given me as a reader. For today’s post, I am taking part on an audiobook blog tour – one of my first in a long absence from hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions which is now known directly as Audiobook Empire. Jess made the transition this year to merge her promotional side of her business into her audiobook producing company which I felt was a fantastic move on her part as everything is inclusive and together now.

It is a credit to Jess @ the Audiobookworm who first tipped my hat into considering to listen to audiobooks and to this day is one of the key reasons why I fell in love with audiobooks as much as I have throughout the past six years. By participating on her blog tours, I’ve developed a good sense of narration styles that I prefer and have found many beloved narrators who unexpected walked into my life through their audiobooks which arrived in my ears! It has been such a clever journey – to re-discover the artfulness of a story through an audio presentation.

Thereby this marks my first listen as a returning audiobook listener and my first blog tour as a returning blog tour hostess. If you haven’t yet heard of the Audiobook Empire, I encourage you to check out their website and also, if you’re a book blogger who is just getting familiar with audiobooks, I encourage you to consider hosting for the Empire, too. If you’re already a huge fan of audiobooks, the Empire is where you want to become a part of as a listener.
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An Audiobook Blog Tour | “Search for the Holy Grail” (Volumes: 1-3 Boxed Set) produced by The Audiobook Empire, writ by MJL Evans and GM O’ConnorSearch for the Holy Grail
by MJL Evans, GM O' Connor
Source: Audiobook Empire
Narrator: Anne Marie Lewis

Every pirate in the Caribbean is searching for The Holy Grail - a ship carrying the treasury of Hanover and the countess Aurora of Calenberg, suspected of orchestrating the theft. Prinz Maximilian will stop at nothing to catch her and regain the fortune, even if it means following her into the deepest, darkest recesses of Samaná Bay. With pirates and cutthroats at every turn, will she be reunited with her handmaiden, Helena and her portrait painter, Dodo? Aurora’s only solace is in a bottle of Cognac with a chaser of coca-leaf powder in this vibrant, fast-paced chase through the Caribbean.

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Pirate Fiction, Historical Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B0B6RSD9Y6

Published by Audiobook Empire

on 18th July, 2022

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 19 hours and 20 minutes (unabridged)

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Published by: The Audiobook Empire (@AudiobookEmpire)

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #Pirates
as well as #TheAudiobookEmpire

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Posted Saturday, 27 August, 2022 by jorielov in 19th Century, Audiobook Empire, Blog Tour Host, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Sexually Explicit Content (Erotica)

Author Guest Post | “The Valley” (The Druid Chronicles, Book Two, a Prequel) by A.M. Linden

Posted Wednesday, 13 July, 2022 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts and fellow book bloggers from the #TheDruidChronicles tour!

You might have been curious where I’ve been this Summer, as I haven’t been actively posting on my blog nor on my feeds via Twitter. The truth is after Wyrd And Wonder ended in May, my life turnt a bit upside down with car issues and climatic health issues; as Summers are the worst seasons for me next to Spring; as one brings my chronic allergies back into my life and the other brings back the murderously hot humidity and heat. It was my intention to bring four posts to Jorie Loves A Story this week – as I was planning to start re-populating my blog with posts this past Sunday, however, as time reflects otherwise, those posts are still in queue to be written and edited.

Part of what I’m enjoying right now is finishing my readings and review of Walks with Spirits by Edale Lane (my final selection from Wyrd And Wonder) as well as diving into The Unveilling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte Whitney which was held over from late Spring. I am also currently reading The Valley which is the focus of today’s guest feature by A.M. Linden as it is such an interestingly told story! This book actually features a bit of a purview and prequel to the series – as I was meant to receive The Oath as well (which thankfully our tour hostess is checking on right now as my copy went amiss) which interconnects into The Valley; despite the fact the events of The Valley occur prior to The Oath.

As it is explained by the author in a note within The Valley – the whole series is hinged to what happens inside this particular novel and I found that a wicked place to begin my readings rather than to read The Oath first as I felt The Valley was a better starting place and foundation to better understand the fuller vision of the author’s goals for The Druid Chronicles. This isn’t the first foray I’ve had in undertaking hidden niches of History or in reading about the Saxons or other murkier and unknown parts in History, too. Sometimes I find myself enchanted by the unknowns and harder to understand annals of History to where you have to take a lot of creative fortitude to both understand and seek out in fiction as you want to find authors who are striving to give us a story that is both imagined and nearly as accurate as it can become as those days were once lived, too.

Your given a lot of information before you begin reading The Valley – as Linden outlines the continuous threads of her series: the Druid Chronicles in the opening pages of this sequel which is really a prequel within the series itself. This novel follows The Oath within the publication of the series but in truth, pulls back time within the framework of the series itself to better align us with the events within the series before moving into book three to five. This is why I felt it was a good stepping stone to enter The Druid Chronicles whilst Linden also talked about a recapture of interest for what her characters were going through during The Oath.

It was a hard-hitting story from that angle as one woman simply wanted to have her freedom whilst two other characters were striving to find where they belong when their community was no longer secure and stable due to a betrayal. As this all takes place at a point in History where there is a lot of empathsis on religion and religious backgrounds, it was interesting to see the cross-overlays between what the Druids believed and what was being presented through early eras of Christianity. This was also a period of time fraught with violence and instability in regards to politics and/or the aligning of power within the context of the timeline of the series as well.

For now, let’s enjoy this teaser of insight into both the series and the writing styling of the author whose charming us with her spin on Druid History and historic timelines. Similar to how Walks with Spirits is an entreaty of vision and presence within the Native cultures and spirituality of First Nations, The Valley seeks to explore the beliefs, cultures and traditions of the Druids – of whom are still very unknown and understood in today’s contemporary world. I love whenever writers such as Lane and Linden seek to highlight and entreat inside communities we could not otherwise meet and better understand without their thoughtfulness of vision and exploration into those cultural heritages and thereby, give us something unique to read.

And, without further adieu – enjoy the response Ms Linden shared with us!

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The Druid Chronicles:

The Oath by A.M. LindenThe Valley by A.M. Linden

The Oath (book one)

In the wake of a betrayal that threatens an end to their way of life, the last members of a secluded pagan cult send the youngest of their remaining priests in search of Annwr, their chief priestess’s sister, who was abducted by a Saxon war band fifteen years ago. With only a rudimentary grasp of English and the ambiguous guidance of an oracle’s prophecy, Caelym manages to find Annwr living in a hut on the grounds of a Christian convent.

Annwr has spent her years of captivity caring for the timid Aleswina, an orphaned Saxon princess who was consigned to the cloistered convent by her cousin, King Gilberth, after he assumed her father’s throne. Just as Caelym and Annwr are about leave together, Aleswina learns that Gilberth, a tyrant known for his cruelty and vicious temper, means to take her out of the convent and marry her. Terrified, she flees with the two Druids–beginning a heart-pounding adventure that unfolds in ways none of them could have anticipated.

The Valley (book two) : A Prequel

Llwddawanden is a hidden sanctuary where remnants of a once-powerful pagan cult carry on their ancient ritual practices, supported by a small but faithful following of servants, craftsmen, and laborers.

Cut off from the outside world by both geography and conviction, the Druids of Llwddawanden continue to venerate the Great Mother Goddess and to view themselves as the first-born and favorite of Her mortal children. While the belief that the most important of all divine beings gave birth to their ancestors and that Her spirit inhabits the body of their highest priestess is a tenuous conclusion in view of their reduced lot in life, the Druids of Llwddawanden believe it and are, for the most part, committed to carrying on the traditions handed down to them by their forbears.

Herrwn, the shrine’s chief priest and master bard, has the responsibility of overseeing the education of Caelym, the orphaned son of the cult’s previous chief priestess, as well as keeping the peace within the upper ranks of their order—two tasks that grow more difficult as the rivalry over which of the three highest priests will claim Caelym as his disciple grows, and as mounting conflicts between the current chief priestess and her only living daughter threaten to rend the fabric of a society that has endured for more than a millennium.

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #Druids and #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheDruidChronicles as well as #HFVBT

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About A.M. Linden

Ann Margaret Linden was born in Seattle, Washington, but grew up on the East Coast before returning to the Pacific Northwest as a young adult. She has undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and in Nursing and a Master’s degree as a Nurse Practitioner.

After working in a variety of acute care and community health settings, she took a position in a program for children with special health care needs where her responsibilities included writing clinical reports, parent educational materials, provider newsletters, grant submissions and other program related materials.

The Oath is the first installment of The Druid Chronicles, a five-volume series that began as a somewhat whimsical decision to write something for fun and ended up becoming a lengthy journey that involved Linden taking adult education creative writing courses, researching early British history, and traveling to England, Scotland, and Wales. Retired from nursing, she lives with her husband, dogs, and cat in Bellingham, WA.

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Posted Wednesday, 13 July, 2022 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author

Book Spotlight with Notes | “Love At Last” (Bramley Hall Regency Romance, Book One) by Michelle Helen Fritz and E.A. Shanniak

Posted Thursday, 17 February, 2022 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 copy of “Love At Last” direct from the authors Michelle Helen Fritz and E.A. Shanniak in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I appreciate the Regency:

I’ve been reading Regency Romances since I was either eight or nine, as honestly I cannot remember my exact age when I was shifting from reading Agatha Christie & Nancy Drew into the anthological Christmas Regency Romances which set my mind aflame with stories about the Regency — from the balls & the propriety of society to the ton and everything that came from that particular era of manners & etiquette.

The appeal of course were the details and depictions of the Regency; the glamour of the style and the structure of the society. There were different rules of propriety back then and it was a curious adventure to see how each new author I was reading (from childhood to my life as a bookblogger) would elect to feature this generation as everyone had their own approach as much as their own individual influences. Generally speaking it was either Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer or the two of them together. For me personally, I am a Janeite and haven’t quite sorted out Heyer, as she tends to remain an author I simply find not my cuppa.

I love getting caught inside the dramas of the Regency and the gaiety of its celebrations whilst I love finding realistically drawn characters who are multi-layered without being too predictable and one-dimensional. I like the joy of feeling surprised and entertained whilst carting myself back to one of the eras I prefer to read a Historical Romance – the second being the Victorian. For these reasons and others, Regencies for me are a lovely light of joy but having said that – I am also quite discerning and particular about the tone & execution of how a Regency Romance can reflect both the timescape and its flare within its genre of presence. The last Regency I loved reading was An Unlikely Duchess which was a beautiful presentation of the era and wickedly kept me feeling enraptured by the drama of the characters’ situations. For me, that’s when Regency lifts my heart and grants me immeasurable #bookJOY.

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Book Spotlight with Notes | “Love At Last” (Bramley Hall Regency Romance, Book One) by Michelle Helen Fritz and E.A. ShanniakLove At Last
Subtitle: A Bramley Hall Regency Romance
by Michelle Helen Fritz, E.A. Shanniak
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

As the Parson’s daughter, Mariah Morten has spent much of her life inside the stone walls of Bramley Hall. Before tragedy struck, she had fond childhood memories made alongside her two brothers and the Earl’s son: Harrison Pembroke.

Years later, she has done her best to ignore the yearning of past memories and futile dreams of becoming the next countess. If only she could secure her own happiness and let her heart have it’s one true desire.

Harrison Pembroke is the seventh Earl of Bramley. He’s spent the last four years trying to reconcile his heart after being jilted so that he can focus his energy on those under his care. Except no matter how much he wishes to keep his walls up, the draw he feels toward a certain set of sparkling sapphire eyes can’t be ignored.

An invitation arrives, sweeping Mariah and Harrison into the midst of balls, soirees, family meddling, and one memorable night under the stars. Will outside forces keep them separated forever, or will their own wants persevere allowing them to find Love At Last?

Love At Last is a clean Regency Romance and the first book in a three-story series that will entertain and delight you with its swoon-worthy heroes and the compelling leading ladies that capture their hearts. Each book can be read as a standalone, but are best read in release order.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8985288100

Published by Clear Springs Books LLC

on 15th December, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 282

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The Bramley Hall Regency Romances:

Love At Last (book one)

Love That Lasts (book two)

Love Ever Lasting (book three)

(*) as disclosed on E.A. Shanniak’s author site

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #BramleyHall
+ #Regency, #RegencyRomance or #HistRom and #HistoricalRomance
as well as #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About E.A. Shanniak

E.A. Shanniak

E.A. (Ericka Ashlee) Shanniak is the author of the successful fantasy romance series – A Castre World Novel. She is hobbit-sized, barely reaching over five feet tall on a good day. When she wears her Georgia Romeo’s not only does she gain an inch, she is then able to reach the kitchen cabinets. Ericka loves to write at her desk that her daughter’s cat destroyed. Fortunately for everyone, she can see over it.

About Michelle Helen Fritz

Michelle Helen Fritz

Michelle Helen Fritz was born and raised in Maryland and Arizona with lots of traveling throughout the States. She began her literary career as a personal assistant to Indie authors and loves to see the process of an idea turn into a finished book. Michelle loves to write about dashing heroes, and the compelling women that tempt them, with a dash of intrigue, an abundant amount of romance, and scenes that hopefully make her reader’s swoon. She is the mother of four children whom she homeschools and currently resides in Maryland with her own jaunty hero who makes all of her dreams come true.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 17 February, 2022 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, the Regency era

A #HistoricalMondays blog tour | feat. a #25PagePreview of “Out Front the Following Sea” by Leah Angstman

Posted Monday, 31 January, 2022 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 “Out Front the Following Sea” by the author Leah Angstman in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On what drew my curious eye towards this novel:

As you might have gathered through back-reading the reviews through my Story Vault (which sadly needs quite a bit of updating as the last few years were not as well maintained) you’ll notice I have a tendency to draw a keen eye of interest into Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical narratives and Literary Fiction. I enjoy seeking out stories which re-visionalise the boundaries of where History and Truth meet in the passageways of books and the stories which are being written to re-teach us something new which we might have not seen otherwise. Likewise, I believe there is a strong purpose in finding Feminist bent stories of Historical significance as so much of Women’s History is become lost or left unsaid for far too long.

One keen reason I love seeking out Historical Fiction in all its eloquence of study and intrigue is how dedicated the writers are who are writing these historical tomes of insight. These are well-researched stories and the incredible layers of both depth and information contained within them truly have enriched my own understanding of both History and the narratives of History as told through storytellers who bring History back to vibrant life. This is of course one reason I love Historical Fiction – you get to traverse through a looking-glass of time and re-step through those thresholds which wouldn’t have been given access to us otherwise.

Towards that end, I have known about the persecution of women during the earlier days of American History for most of my life as you can’t get through Elementary or Middle school without learning about the Salem Witch trials. However, it wasn’t until I became a book blogger in my mid to late thirties where I started to view those pieces of History a bit differently as the presentation of those years and of the plight of those women had changed through new research and a better dedication of telling the fuller truth of their lives. A lot of the women were misaligned of being something they weren’t and others were simply marked for reasons I still do not understand.

Ontop of which, early Colonial America was fraught with adversity and it is a time in our country’s history I felt had the most to be shared because it was on the fragile grounds of just being founded. Everything was quite new and yet, not a lot was changing for all persons who wanted to call this land their home. I’ve long known about the difficulties women faced for seeking out their own independence as much as how hard it was to carve out a living overall. It was a fiercely harsh world and it had to take a considerable amount of courage to tackle the challenges of surviving here. Ergo, this novel tipped a curious eye towards wanting to be read – as although I’ve read some Colonial America and Revolutionary War novels, I haven’t sought out novels within the scope of Pre-Colonial America — on the brink of when America was not yet America and the turmoil of what that part of this country’s history must have looked like for the earlier settlers.

I knew one thing going into reading this novel – it was going to be an eye opener in regards to the timeline of the central story’s arc and what was happening in the background as far as America was concerned directly. It is also a story about hard choices and the choices we make whilst we’re trying to survive – in that regard, it felt like a keenly insightful historical drama through the lens of two lead characters who you might not have felt would carry the story but of whom were the best to have that voice and perspective to share with us. I personally leant more towards Ruth than Owen initially. Sometimes we all need to challenge ourselves to read harder into History and find what was waiting for us therein.

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A #HistoricalMondays blog tour | feat. a #25PagePreview of “Out Front the Following Sea” by Leah AngstmanOut Front the Following Sea
by Leah Angstman
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

**Shortlisted for the Chaucer Book Award**

OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a historical epic of one woman’s survival in a time when the wilderness is still wild, heresy is publicly punishable, and being independent is worse than scorned—it is a death sentence.

At the onset of King William’s War between French and English settlers in 1689 New England, Ruth Miner is accused of witchcraft for the murder of her parents and must flee the brutality of her town. She stows away on the ship of the only other person who knows her innocence: an audacious sailor—Owen—bound to her by years of attraction, friendship, and shared secrets. But when Owen’s French ancestry finds him at odds with a violent English commander, the turmoil becomes life-or-death for the sailor, the headstrong Ruth, and the cast of Quakers, Pequot Indians, soldiers, highwaymen, and townsfolk dragged into the fray. Now Ruth must choose between sending Owen to the gallows or keeping her own neck from the noose.

Steeped in historical events and culminating in a little-known war on pre-American soil, OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA is a story of early feminism, misogyny, arbitrary rulings, persecution, and the treatment of outcasts, with parallels still mirrored and echoed in today’s society. The debut novel will appeal to readers of Paulette Jiles, Alexander Chee, Hilary Mantel, James Clavell, Bernard Cornwell, TaraShea Nesbit, Geraldine Brooks, Stephanie Dray, Patrick O’Brian, and E. L. Doctorow.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1646031948

Published by Regal House Publishing

on 11th January, 2022

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 334

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Published by: Regal House Publishing (@RegalHouse1)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistoricalFiction
+ #OutFrontTheFollowingSea and #HFVBT

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Leah Angstman

Leah Angstman

Leah Angstman is a historian and transplanted Michigander living in Boulder. OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA, her debut novel of King William’s War in 17th-century New England, is forthcoming from Regal House in January 2022.

Her writing has been a finalist for the Saluda River Prize, Cowles Book Prize, Able Muse Book Award, Bevel Summers Fiction Prize, and Chaucer Book Award, and has appeared in Publishers Weekly, L.A. Review of Books, Nashville Review, Slice, and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief for Alternating Current and The Coil magazine and copyeditor for Underscore News, which has included editing partnerships with ProPublica. She is an appointed vice chair of a Colorado historical commission and liaison to a Colorado historic preservation committee.

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Posted Monday, 31 January, 2022 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours