Genre: Historical Fiction

A #HistoricalMondays Book Review | Feminist forward #HistRom set in the Victorian 19thC feat. STEM minded women who are fiercely independent within the pages of “Inventing Vivian” (Book Two: The Blue Orchard Society series) by Jennifer Moore

Posted Monday, 12 July, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

I received a complimentary copy of “Inventing Vivian” direct from the publisher Covenant Communications, Inc. 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 eye towards this novel & author:

I, admit, the past several months I’ve had a lot on my mind and my attention on my blog hasn’t quite been what it used to be prior to my return to work. There was a short expanse of time in Spring where I had better focus, but honestly, #WyrdAndWonder gave me the blessing of being able to stay super focused on genre (ie. Fantasy) and allowed me the grace of dissolving into beloved reads and treasured characters’ journeys. I met new authors in their stories and I found new worlds and series I cannot wait to read further as new installments emerge; yet, two of those final reads have been left stagnant awaiting me on my desk, as ever since June first began (including the first week AFTER our lovely event this May) — we’ve had nothing but seriously difficult weather patterns!

The lightning has been unreal this year – although, its a yearly angst, I had 29 out of 30 days of June dealing with it, including 10x of grief without connectivity. Whilst 9 out of the past 10 days of July have been a repeat of June’s weather. I’ve also worked a solid 3x weeks with only 1x day off which hasn’t left me a lot of personal time to read or think about revising the drafts I have leftover from #WyrdAndWonder, or the goals I had set forth for my Summer reading plans. Including announcement formally my new even co-hosted with Peyton, #MyYASummer! (grr!)

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Somewhere in that recent bit of chaotic hours, I’ve overlooked the fact this novel Inventing Vivian is a sequel and the second in a series. I learnt there is a novella (blessedly on audio!) prequel as well — however, I learnt this as I was picking up this particular novel to read and thereby, despite my efforts checking all my local & regional libraries – no one has these titles in print or audio sadly to borrow this weekend. I decided to read this novel after gleaming a bit from the chapter samplers online and meet the series in the second installment. It breaks a pattern I prefer in how I read series but I’ve done this a few times with success with Harlequin Heartwarming novelists and a few others as well, to where I can align myself into a series without having the grace of knowing the characters in the first novel.

I intend to seek out the other stories but for now, what intrigued me the most about wanting to read this story is both the setting (have a great fond affection for the Victorians!) and the fact, this is an INSPY release by a publisher I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading previously! I am a HUGE fan of INSPY Lit – both Historical and Contemporary, so whenever I see a chance to read an author by a publisher of INSPY I haven’t yet locked eyes on in a story, I am truly grateful for a blog tour to allow the meeting to happen! Plus, of course, I am dearly addicted to Historical Mysteries and Feminist Fiction.

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A #HistoricalMondays Book Review | Feminist forward #HistRom set in the Victorian 19thC feat. STEM minded women who are fiercely independent within the pages of “Inventing Vivian” (Book Two: The Blue Orchard Society series) by Jennifer MooreInventing Vivian
Subtitle: A Blue Orchid Society novel | A Victorian Romance
by Jennifer Moore
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Ladies of London’s High Society are known for their social graces and poise. Vivian Kirby boasts neither of these enviable qualities, though she does offer impressive conversation on chemical compositions. Unfortunately, it appears that not many men want a brilliant wife. So it is that Vivian finds kinship with a group of young women who embrace each other’s differences: The Blue Orchid Society. 

After an extended stay in China, Lord Benedict has returned transformed to his family’s estate, where an encounter with Vivian, whose scientific knowledge he once undermined, leaves him determined to make amends. He arranges to help forward her research—anonymously, of course. Through letters, Vivian establishes a warm friendship with her secret benefactor, even as she’s unexpectedly drawn into a murder investigation that forces her to work alongside Benedict to unearth the truth. Soon, Vivian fears she may be falling in love with two men, never suspecting that they are one and the same.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Amateur Detective, Cosy Historical Mystery, Science & Technology


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781524418946

Published by Covenant Communications Inc

on 7th June, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 212

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The Blue Orchid Society series:

(more info on author’s blog) wherein I was right, there are truly six women!
(can we just pause a moment & take stock of their outfits? LOVE Vivian’s ensemble!)

Solving Sophronia by Jennifer MooreInventing Vivian by Jennifer Moore

Emmeline (prequel novella or 0.5)

Having read the synopsis – I knew quite immediately, I’d be keenly curious to read this story or rather, as I cannot read digitally, listen to this novella on audiobook! There is something curious about how two people who have such friction with each other who are constantly placed in each others’ path to give you a happy dose of curiosity to see how and when they’ll start to see each other differently! Plus, I spent a full year (approx. five years ago) reading Historical Feminist Fiction – wherein, I learnt a lot about the suffragette movement and have continued to seek out stories of that nature whenever I get the chance to read them. It is essential reading for all women – to both understand our present rights and the hard-won fight we had to endure to secure them in the past. Whilst mindful of how fragile those rights are still as their constantly being debated and attempted to be removed even in today’s world.

Emmeline sounds exactly like the kind of heroine I would enjoy rallying behind – here is what I gleamed out of the chapter sampler online: Arthur for all his bluster was at a complete loss to keep company in conversation with Emmeline because she, for whichever reason caught him off-guard and without a way to defend his positions. He clearly was not a bourne believer in Feminist rights nor in the ability to see gender equality but he for his own sake held his own until he abandoned the fight altogether – in that short expanse of seeing him quite befuddled and put to rights by Emmeline, I knew this was a novella I would quite devour! And, rightly so! It is hard to find a well-writ Historical drama set during the Suffragette movement where both men and women are on their game and give you such a delish bout of dialogue to soak inside!

Emmaline is definitely the kind of heroine I want to read about further and I am thankful for the sampler to introduce me both to this series and to a character who is equally as well-developed and fully alive as Arthur is himself. A credit to Ms Moore and her tenacious eye on this setting in History. I can tell it will be a pure delight to listen to this once I’ve secured a copy on audiobook.

Solving Sophronia (book one)

Alas! The Blue Orchid Society was launched (per this novel’s synopsis) due to the goals of five women – each of them, I would presume want to break convention and go their own way in life at a time where women were fighting for gender equality & the rights all of us today are thankful for their fight so many years ago. I had a feeling the Society had something to do with women coming together – either for mutual benefit or as mentioned, for sisterhood fellowship. It is fitting there are five women – which means, this must be a quartet, with Emmeline’s story (the fifth) being the extra one or its a full quintet and hers was a bonus story and she’s the six member rather than the fifth? Either way, I’m equally more curious to read this lovely than I was after reading about Emmeline! It isn’t oft I find a series that situates itself in a timescape that I delight in reading about about topics that interest me as much as this one is now.

It was through her acknowledgements in this novel where you really gather the feel for how she textured her series and how she plotted out the five novels and Emmeline’s novella. Interestingly, I hadn’t expected to find out she was fully new to all of this – the setting, the suffragette movement and even the forensic knowledge of the era! Most of the authors she credited with a boost of informational nudges are ones I’ve read myself (ie. Carla Kelly being a stand-out in my own readerly life as well) — whilst I am so thankful Ms Moore found “Murdoch Mysteries” as for me, it is a family favourite as well. Until of course, we reached one of the last years (Season 10 I believe?) and we couldn’t take it anymore – it was after they killed off a beloved constable – so if that sounds familiar, you know whom was lost and why it was too hard to return. Murdoch as a series is landmark though for showing historical forensics (even if they play liberties at times) and for showcasing non-conventional women succeeding in fields wherein you might not expect them to find success. Its a beautiful series!

I decided to hold off reading further into this sampler as I intuited enough through the acknowledgements and synopsis to realise its a winner for me!! I’d much prefer to read the novel just as it is and enjoy it after I listen to Emmeline’s novella. Which of course, means, I’ll have to re-read Vivian’s novel as everything will have new dimension for me, too!

Inventing Vivian (book two)

Hazel | Elizabeth | Dahlia ← forthcoming installments!

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Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #HistoricalRomance, #HistRom and #HistoricalMysteries

About Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. She suffers from an acute addiction to 18th and 19th century military history and literature. Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family, but most of the time wishes she was on board a frigate during the Age of Sail.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 12 July, 2021 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Historical Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Sisterhood friendships, the Victorian era

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

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

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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

Author Interview | Diving behind the story of “Lady August” by Becky Michaels and her writerly styling for #HistRom!

Posted Monday, 7 June, 2021 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

I had a lot of lovely plans for last week on Jorie Loves A Story – I was going to run a finale week for my beloved #WyrdAndWonder event I happily co-host with Imyril and Lisa every May and October. I was also planning to run this interview with Ms Michaels on Friday, which was the last day of the blog tour for Lady August. Sometimes best laid plans go a bit awry as they had for me this past week. Between the seriously serious thunderstorms, the wreck of a work week and a bit of illness thrown into it – I decided to throw the towel in on it all late Sunday night whilst stuck in my car due to another fierce storm for two hours after my shift.

Whilst there is a lot of finale celebrations happening today via #booktwt, I had already sorted out I could feature this interview today. Apparently, time is now in my favour and I can bring this conversation to you at long last! I wanted to dive into the topics and subjects being explored in the context of the novel as well as give Ms Michaels a chance to talk about her writerly style and process of creating her stories.

For those who haven’t read the novel, this is a different kind of Regency Romance as it delves more into topics which will relate to women which is why for me it felt a bit more like a Historical Women’s Fiction novel than a traditional Regency Romance. I also felt this was a work of Feminist Historical Fiction with a 21st Century sensibility attached to it as well. As although I do agree Jane Austen was a Feminist, she showed her feminism in a different way than how the romance and relationships were presented in Lady August. And, of course, none of the traditional Regencies bespoke of relationships in such an open manner of approach – as things like that might have been held in more private conversations or at least, that is what it has felt like since I’ve been reading Regencies and other #HistRoms throughout my life.

Lady August broaches a conversation I felt today’s reader would enjoy seeing explored especially since a lot of our Women’s Rights are always on the fringes of being expelled. It has been an incredible several years on that front and the battle continues to see where our rights will remain and which of our rights as women will be unceremoniously removed. It is a good novel to open a discussion with your friends and all the women in your life.

And, without further adieu – enjoy where the conversation I had with Ms Michaels took us!

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Author Interview | Diving behind the story of “Lady August” by Becky Michaels and her writerly styling for #HistRom!Lady August
by Becky Michaels
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

August Summer thinks she is a nobody until a London solicitor barges into her employer’s drawing room, revealing not only is she the daughter of an earl but a wealthy heiress as well. Optimistic about a new life, she travels to her ancestral home of Linfield Hall, only for her brother to banish her to London to live with her aunt, a dowager duchess with a reputation.

When Lord Bolton asks him to fetch his illegitimate daughter, solicitor Samuel Brooks does not expect himself to become so invested in the young woman’s debut after wanting nothing to do with dinners and balls before. But as August navigates her way through this new world of the British aristocracy, Brooks is the one who is most dazzled by her unexpected charms.

Since society demands every young girl must marry, August decides she will accept nothing less than someone’s heart in exchange for possession of her newfound fortune. Forced to reexamine his negative views of love and marriage or lose August forever, Brooks soon realizes his heart is the only thing in danger of becoming possessed.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1735140131

Also by this author: Lady August

Published by Mildred Press

on 30th March, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

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On the Historical & Romantic styling of Becky Michaels:

You easily fall into step with Ms Michaels reading this lovely story because of the charm and the delivery of the novel itself. She has captured the Regency well, with descriptive narrative and dialogue which alights through the pages as if we were timewinders ourselves and could easily remove ourselves back into the Regency to experience these scenes firsthand. I love whenever I find a writer who can write a Regency like this one, as it allows your mind to suspend itself into a timescape you enjoy reading! It has all the essences of the Regency, too, from the mindset of the men to the priorities of the women  – Michaels happily carts you backwards into a time where there wasn’t as much equality between men and women as much as the fact young children oft found themselves betwixt and between their parents rows! (ie. arguments)

Michaels is exploring topics and subjects not generally inclusive of a Regency Romance – such as a woman’s right to explore her sexuality even at a young age such as Lady August – there were a few content warnings attached to this novel post-receival but so far, I haven’t had any issues in the pages I’ve read this far along. It is a wonderfully Feminist driven storyline as well – as Michaels have all her female characters in the story feel more well-rounded in their abilities to choose their own paths and speak their own minds; which wasn’t always the case in the Regency.

Even when she shifts back to the male perspective in the novel, she is writing with a realism that is oft found in more contemporary novels than historical; though there have been quite a few I’ve read in the Historical market too, which re-explores sentiment and opinion on these subjects as well. It was a bit refreshing to find this kind of voice in a Historical Regency – wherein its not your traditional Regency by the constructs you’re familiar with finding inside one – but rather a more contemporary Regency by way of how this novel re-explores a look into a time period in History with the sensibility and perspective of a 21st Century writer who is tapping into previously unspoken moments in people’s lives which has merit of being explored.

-quoted from my #25PagePreview of Lady August

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #HistRom
+ #LadyAugust and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Becky Michaels

Becky Michaels

Becky Michaels is a historical romance author and self-proclaimed Anglophile. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in English, she reluctantly decided to get a day job but never stopped writing—or dreaming. THE LAND STEWARD’S DAUGHTER, a Regency romance set in 1815 England, is her debut novel. Despite the cold winters and high rent, she still lives in the Boston area with her boyfriend and cat.

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Posted Monday, 7 June, 2021 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, 19th Century, Author Interview, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, the Regency era

A #HistNov #25PagePreview | feat. “Right Back Where We Started From” by Joy Lanzendorfer

Posted Friday, 28 May, 2021 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! 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 “Right Back Where We Started From” from the publisher Blackstone Publishing 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 elected to write a smaller review for this novel:

Earlier in May, I was able to resume full-time hours at work and since then, I’ve been working a lot of double shifts – which has altered some of my readings this May all the way round as I’ve been a bit more fatigued than I expected to be as I’ve been slowly re-adjusting to working full-time again since February. I decided to give a sampling of a preview of what my first impressions of “Right Back Where We Started From” were today rather than to feel guilty I’ve been reading this story a bit slower than others given the fact I’ve also have been working on most of my days off rather than to stress about trying to read this too fast. I am enjoying working again but I’ve found it to be a bit of an adjustment to re-find the balances in my life.

I am always keenly fascinated with Old Hollywood and the years from 1900-1949 which is why I have a firm affinity for Classic Movies and stories set round those decades. Everything was just becoming new again and discovered – if you extract the war years and focus on the homefront, it was an interesting time in American History. Especially as there were such landmark changes – for women and men alike and for the industries which were coming online for the first time. Back then, it was easier to find a niche of entrance into the film industry (or rather, perhaps it only appeared to be?) but it also was a moment of great change for our country.

This novel reads like a delishly alive Biographical Historical Fiction piece – as it is rooted in the telling of one family’s generational story – anchoured through the women and told with their own perspectives in tact. I love when authors can take that vantage point and run with it – as if you’ve not only had the chance to live their lives with them but you get to see the backdrop of where in History they had lived, too.

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A #HistNov #25PagePreview | feat. “Right Back Where We Started From” by Joy LanzendorferRight Back Where We Started From
by Joy Lanzendorfer
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

If misfortune hadn’t gotten in the way, Sandra Sanborn would be where she belongs–among the rich and privileged instead of standing outside a Hollywood studio wearing a sandwich board in the hope of someone discovering her. It’s tough breaking into the movies during the Great Depression, but Sandra knows that she’s destined for greatness. After all, her grandmother Vira crossed the country during the Gold Rush and established the Sanborns as one of San Francisco’s most prominent families, and her mother Mabel grew up in a lavish mansion and married into an agricultural empire. Success, Sandra feels, is in her blood. She just needs a chance to prove it.

In between failed auditions, Sandra receives a letter from a man claiming to be her father, which calls into question everything she believes about her family–and herself. As she tries to climb the social ladder, family secrets lurk in the background, pulling her down. Until Sandra confronts the truth about how Vira and Mabel gained and lost their fortunes, she will always end up right back where she started from.

Right Back Where We Started From is a sweeping, multigenerational work of fiction that explores the lust for ambition that entered into the American consciousness during the Gold Rush and how it affected our nation’s ideas of success, failure, and the pursuit of happiness. It is a meticulously layered saga–at once historically rich, romantic, and suspenseful–about three determined and completely unforgettable women.

Genres: Historical Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781094089027

Published by Blackstone Publishing

on 4th May, 2021

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 400

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Published by: Blackstone Publishing (@BlackstoneAudio)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov or #HistoricalFiction
+ #RightBackWhereWeStartedFrom and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Hardback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Joy Lanzendorfer

Joy Lanzendorfer

Joy Lanzendorfer’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, NPR, Smithsonian, Poetry Foundation, and many others. She was included in The Best Small Fictions anthology and was a notable in The Best American Essays 2019. She has been awarded grants and residencies from the Discovered Awards for Emerging Literary Artists, Wildacres Residency Program, and the Speculative Literature Foundation.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 28 May, 2021 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours