Cover Reveal: Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau

Publication Date: January 16, 2020
Endeavor Quill
Genre: Historical Fiction

Blogger Note

I’m so excited to be hosting the cover reveal for Dreamland! A big big thank you to Nancy Bilyeau and HFVBT for allowing me to be a part of this exciting reveal! I absolutely love the cover and hope you all will too! Don’t forget to follow along with the cover reveal tour and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

About Dreamland

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

But the invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer at the Moonrise Bookstore where she works voluntarily, than keeping up appearances with Brooklyn socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy more of the freedom she has been longing for. For one, she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.s

It is up to Peggy to overcome the oppression of her family and clear the name of her vulnerable lover, before she or her beloved sister become the next victims of Dreamland.

Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.

About the Author

“Dreamland” is Nancy Bilyeau’s fifth novel of historical suspense. She is the author of the best-selling historical thriller “The Blue” and the Tudor mystery series “The Crown,” “The Chalice,” and “The Tapestry,” on sale in nine countries.

Nancy is a magazine editor who has lived in the United States and Canada. She studied History and English Literature at the University of Michigan. After moving to New York City, she worked on the staffs of “InStyle,” “Good Housekeeping,” and “Rolling Stone.” She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the Research Foundation of CUNY and a regular contributing writer to “Town & Country” and “Mystery Scene Magazine.”

Nancy’s mind is always in past centuries but she currently lives with her husband and two children in Forest Hills in the borough of Queens. “Dreamland” is her first novel set in her adopted hometown of New York City.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

Cover Reveal Schedule

Monday, August 19
A Bookish Affair
Gwendalyn’s Books
What Is That Book About

Tuesday, August 20
Clarissa Reads it All
Just One More Chapter
Books In Their Natural Habitat

Wednesday, August 21
Unabridged Chick
Donna’s Book Blog
Let Them Read Books

Thursday, August 22
A Book Geek
The Lit Bitch
Tar Heel Reader
Kris Waldherr Art & Words

Friday, August 23
I’m All About Books
Lost_in_a_book_reviewer
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, August 24
Broken Teepee
Passages to the Past
Locks, Hooks and Books

Sunday, August 25
A Darn Good Read
Orange County Readers
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, August 26
Coffee and Ink
Jessica Belmont
Maiden of the Pages

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The Undertaker’s Assistant by Amanda Skenandore

About The Undertaker’s Assistant

Meet Effie, a former slave who escaped when she was a child. She was taken in by an army surgeon and grew up in the North. Though unusual for an African-American woman of that time, she has learned the skills of undertaking and seems to prefer to be isolated among the dead.

Effie can’t remember her family, her friends, or what happened as a child slave… even her escape. She has many questions and ventures to the deep south in search of answers. Living in a boardinghouse with a bunch of other women is a big adjustment; thankfully she has a job as an undertaker’s assistant to escape to. She finds friendship in two unexpected people who may help lead her to the answers of her life. What she doesn’t know is how much of an uphill battle she has ahead of her.

My Thoughts

This book had been on my radar since early in the year and I am so excited and thankful to Netgalley and Kensington Books for providing me with the opportunity to read and review it!

I absolutely love that the author writes about perspectives of historical fiction that are often brushed aside. While Effie is an incredible young woman, she is very much trying to find herself and her place in this world. I can’t imagine how tough it would be to return to the area in which she was enslaved as a child and even years later was not always a friendly place for her to be. I also loved that she’s an incredibly deep and unpredictable person. The depth of Effie that the author captured was something you don’t see often.

I rated this book four stars because of the depth of the characters, the tension and the beautiful (and tragic) story line that was artfully crafted. Any time Amanda Skenandore writes a book, it’s on my list to read as soon as it comes out. I always know I’ll be completely immersed in the world, the well-being of the characters and really taking away a different perspective of life that I can learn from.

More from Amanda Skenandore

If you loved The Undertaker’s Assistant, check out Between Earth and Sky!

Blog Tour & Giveaway: No Stone Unturned by Pam Lecky

Publication Date: June 28, 2019
eBook; 286 Pages
Series: The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, Book 1
Genre: Historical Mystery

A suspicious death, stolen gems, and an unclaimed reward: who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?

London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.

When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave, and her life is threatened by the leader of London’s most notorious gang, Lucy must find the strength to rise to the challenge. But who can she trust and how is she to stay out of the murderous clutches of London’s most dangerous criminal?

Available on Amazon

My Thoughts:

I found No Stone Unturned to be a genuinely enjoyable read. I will admit that my exposure to historical mysteries is limited, but this book has made me want to change that.

From the very first page I was intrigued by Lucy; she had an endearing tenacity and naivety to her. Though she was utterly frustrating sometimes (I think Phineas would agree!), I was engrossed in following her journey through financial issues, familial tensions and the big whodunit question. Stress and pressure sure does make people show their true colors no matter what time period you’re reading about!

Overall, I’m going to give this book a rating of four stars out of five. This was a well-paced book that I looked forward to reading and found the characters both understandable and relatable. I’m definitely keeping my eye out for book two because I want to know what Lucy is up to next! There’s never a dull moment where she’s concerned!

A big thank you goes out to both HFVBT and Pam Lecky for providing me with the opportunity to be a part of this tour. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and have been voluntarily given.

About the Author

Pam is an Irish writer of historical fiction with a particular love of the late Victorian era and early 20th century. She is fascinated by all things 19th century, from food and clothes to architecture and social history. She is patiently awaiting the invention of time travel, but in the meantime, indulges her love of the past by writing about it.

Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the BRAG Medallion in 2017. It was shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016; made ‘Editor’s Choice’ by the Historical Novel Society; long-listed for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award; and chosen as a Discovered Diamond in February 2017.

In April 2018, Pam published an anthology of some previously published short reads, along with some new work. Her collection of short stories is entitled, Past Imperfect, and features stories set in such diverse settings as WW1 Dublin, the sinking of the Lusitania and a lonely haunted lighthouse.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 5 Review & Interview at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 6 Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Wednesday, August 7 Excerpt at Words and Peace
Guest Post at Short Books and Scribes
Thursday, August 8 Review & Guest Post at Gwendalyn_Books_
Friday, August 9 Review at Bibliophile Reviews
Sunday, August 11 Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Monday, August 12 Feature at Coffee and Ink
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two copies of No Stone Unturned by Pam Lecky! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules:
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
ENTER HERE: No Stone Unturned

Blog Tour & Excerpt: A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb

Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Severn House/Crème de la Crime Hardcover & eBook
256 Pages Series: Owen Archer
Book 11 Genre: Historical Mystery

About A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb

    When a prominent citizen is murdered, former Captain of the Guard Owen Archer is persuaded out of retirement to investigate in this gripping medieval mystery. 1374. When a member of one of York’s most prominent families is found dead in the woods, his throat torn out, rumours spread like wildfire that wolves are running loose throughout the city. Persuaded to investigate by the victim’s father, Owen Archer is convinced that a human killer is responsible. But before he can gather sufficient evidence to prove his case, a second body is discovered, stabbed to death. Is there a connection? What secrets are contained within the victim’s household? And what does apprentice healer Alisoun know that she’s not telling? Teaming up with Geoffrey Chaucer, who is in York on a secret mission on behalf of Prince Edward, Owen’s enquiries will draw him headlong into a deadly conspiracy.

An Excerpt from A Conspiracy of Wolves

“For a while they had traveled behind a group of players who serenaded them with songs and japes, a felicitous arrangement, though he hoped that his eight-year-old daughter Gwenllian would forget the bawdier lyrics. Now that the players had moved on, the monotonous rattle of the cart and horses was punctured occasion­ally by sounds of reapers and gleaners in the fields, though not as many as on their journey to Freythorpe. Harvest was almost over. Adding to the monotony, his companion droned on and on about something – Owen had stopped listening to Geoffrey a while back. Chaucer was shaping one of his poems aloud, replete with mythical palaces, gods, fantastical creatures, which might be entertaining but for his pauses to play with language, trying a phrase this way and that. Owen was perhaps to blame, having insisted that Geoffrey not address the mission that had brought him to York until they returned to the city. He’d hoped the man might ride in silence, but he’d know that was too much to ask of the chattering jay.

In her wisdom, Magda Digby might have found a way to delay Geoffrey’s departure. Thou art needed in the city, she had told Owen as they sat beneath an oak the previous evening, drawing down the day. Depart in the morning.

But Lucie . . .

Agrees with Magda. She has readied the children.

How do you know?

Not the question, Bird-eye. She had turned to him, pressing her forefinger to the spot between his eyes. Open thine eyes. Trust thyself. The wolves circle their prey. Thou hast the sight to see what awakens.

He’d questioned the wolves. They came only in winter, the wolves that the steward of the Forest of Galtres swore no longer bided in the land.

What do folk see when they see a wolf, Bird-eye? The animal? Think again.

Magda Digby, his guide, his tormentor. In his mourning for John Thoresby, Owen had sought her out, confided in her all that was in his heart. Long she listened, holding his hands, looking into his eye. Open thine eyes, she repeated, and corrected him when he argued that he had but one. He did not understand, and she did not explain. Her last words to him on departing Freythorpe, Trust thyself, Bird-eye. Thou art called.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

I’m Candace Robb, a writer/historian engaged in creating fiction about the late middle ages with a large cast of characters with whom I enjoy spending my days. Two series, the Owen Archer mysteries and the Kate Clifford mysteries, are set in late medieval York. The Margaret Kerr trilogy is set in early 14th century Scotland, at the beginning of the Wars of Independence. Two standalone novels (published under pseudonym Emma Campion) expand on the lives of two women in the court of King Edward III who have fascinated me ever since I first encountered them in history and fiction. I am a dreamer. Writing, gardening, walking, dancing, reading, being with friends—there’s always a dreaming element.

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | BookBub

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, August 1 Review at Book Frolic
Excerpt at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, August 2 Review at A Book Geek

Saturday, August 3 Feature at The Writing Desk

Monday, August 5 Feature at Book Addict Rambles

Tuesday, August 6 Excerpt at Broken Teepee
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, August 7 Interview at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, August 8 Guest Post at Reading the Past
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Friday, August 9 Feature at I’m All About Books
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Saturday, August 10 Feature at Clarissa Reads it All

Sunday, August 11 Excerpt at A Darn Good Read

Monday, August 12 Excerpt at Just One More Chapter
Review & Interview at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, August 13 Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 14 Guest Post at Words and Peace
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, August 15 Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a Hardcover copy of A Conspiracy of Wolves by Candace Robb! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. Conspiracy of Wolves

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: No Woman’s Land by Ellie Midwood

Rating: 5 Stars
Publication Date: May 31, 2019
eBook: 368 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

About No Woman’s Land

“It was very dangerous for him, and he knew it. But his love for me was stronger than fear.” – Ilse Stein

This novel is based on the inspiring and moving love story of Ilse Stein, a German Jew, and Willy Schultz, a Luftwaffe Captain in the Minsk ghetto, who risked his life to save the one he loved the most.

When the last of the Jews’ rights are stripped in 1941, Ilse’s family is deported to a Minsk ghetto. Confined to a Sonderghetto and unable to speak the locals’ language, Ilse struggles to support the surviving members of her family. Befriended by a local underground member Rivka, Ilse partakes in small acts of resistance and sabotage to help her fellow Jews escape to the partisans.

A few months later, after losing almost his entire brigade of workers to one of the bloodiest massacres conducted by the SS, a local administrative officer Willy Schultz summons the survivors to form a new brigade. Ilse’s good looks immediately catch his eye, and he makes her a leader of the new unit and later, an office worker. Soon, an unlikely romance blossoms amid death and gore, moving a Nazi officer to go to great risks to protect not only Ilse but as many others as possible and allowing a Jewish girl to open her heart to the former enemy. Knowing that the ghetto would soon be liquidated, Willy Schultz swears to save Ilse, even if the cost would be his own life.

“We live together, or we die together,” – an ultimate oath of love in the most harrowing setting.

Dark, haunting, but full of hope, “No Woman’s Land” is a testament to the love that is stronger than fear and death itself.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

My Thoughts:

No Woman’s Land is one of the few books that have left me reeling for days. Talk about having a book hangover!

I have read historical fiction books primarily around the World War II setting since I was in the third grade so to say the least, I’ve read a LOT of WWII books. There are so many perspectives of that time period to explore. The bravery, internal struggle and historical accuracy are what I find keep me reading more about WWII and are also telling signs of an outstanding book… all things I would attribute to No Woman’s Land.

This book, for me, was on the level of reading Night by Elie Wiesel. Reading this book catapulted me to being in the camp with Ilse. You could feel the unspoken thoughts between herself and Willy before it was even really recognized as if you were watching two of your friends fall in love in real life. You held your breath when there were orders to downsize the camp or people stuck their necks out to improve the lives of others.

I smiled, I sighed of relief, I held my breath, I cried. This book gave me all the feels and chills. Hands down, a five star must-read of 2019.

Thank you to HFVBT and Ellie Midwood for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this amazing book!

About the Author

Ellie Midwood is a best-selling, award-winning historical fiction writer. She’s a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, a neat freak, an adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew and a doggie mama.

Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

Readers’ Favorite – winner in the Historical Fiction category (2016) – “The Girl from Berlin: Standartenfuhrer’s Wife”

Readers’ Favorite – winner in the Historical Fiction category (2016) – “The Austrian” (honorable mention)

New Apple – 2016 Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing – “The Austrian” (official selection)

For more information on Ellie and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, July 19 Review at Passages to the Past
Saturday, July 20 Review at Amy’s Booket List
Monday, July 22 Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Tuesday, July 23 Feature at Words and Peace
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat
Wednesday, July 24 Review at Impressions In Ink
Thursday, July 25 Review at Bibliophile Reviews
Friday, July 26 Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Saturday, July 27 Feature at What Is That Book About
Monday, July 29 Review at Red Headed Book Lady
Tuesday, July 30 Feature at Coffee and Ink
Wednesday, July 31 Feature at Broken Teepee
Review at Lost_in_a_book_reviewer

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away one paperback copy of No Woman’s Land! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
Enter Here! No Woman’s Land

An Unorthodox Match by Naomi Ragen

5-Star Review
St. Martin’s Press
Pub Date – Sept. 24, 2019

About An Unorthodox Match

Lola has it all – great career, amazing fiance, solid business degree – but everything comes crashing down at once. Post-tragedy, she is lost. She spends a lot of time searching for what she once had only to be left with an empty hole inside her. Something is missing and she finds herself diving into her religious beliefs for answers much to the horror of her family.

Her mother believes Lola is falling prey to a religious cult where everything she strove for early in life will be smothered. She wants so much for her daughter. But Lola insists she knows what she’s doing, especially once she starts volunteering time in the family’s home. The family in shambles after losing their mother and Lola brings comfort and organization back to the children’s lives.

Is Lola being manipulated into becoming a part of a religious cult or will she find the missing pieces of her that her heart is so desperately searching for?

My Thoughts

I don’t generally read books on religion and spirituality so volunteering to read through Netgalley was completely by chance. What really caught my eye and gave me reason to give An Unorthodox Match a shot was the idea of religious cultism, what we may view as one from the outside, and what value others see as they join and live on the inside. I’ve read a total of maybe two-ish other similarly-based books and just could not get anywhere with them.

It’s a good thing I took a stab at An Unorthodox Match – I was enraptured by it within the first chapter. You immediately get this sense of something really messed Lola up. There’s a certain element of mystery behind what really happened to her to put her in the position of trying to seek out a bigger, deeper sense of religious belief and the author does an excellent job of giving you small pieces of what made Lola who she is throughout the book. Without giving too much away, there are things that happen in everyone’s lives with unexpected job issues, relationships, etc. and we all respond to them differently.

I also really loved how deep the characters in this book were, even beyond the main player Lola. The deep turmoil of one of the children she cares for is completely relatable and understandable. The internal argument among some of the friends she meets of community views versus their own personal beliefs – we all have them regardless of whether it’s a religious community or not. At the end of the day, my heart felt so much for everyone and I found myself rooting for them. And maybe, just maybe, I hoped to celebrate at the end.

If you are looking for a book with deep characters who will tug on your heart strings as they explore their own beliefs and how they fit in or conflict with religious belief, give An Unorthodox Match a read!

Save to Your TBR!

GOODREADS

Lacewood by Jessica James – Out Now!

Because I know you love historical fiction as much as I do, I want to share LACEWOOD with you. I have not yet had the opportunity to read the book, however, it’s a definite contender on my TBR! There’s also a giveaway. Thanks to HF Virtual Book Tours for providing me with the opportunity to share this with all of my followers!

Publication Date: June 18, 2019 Patriot Press eBook
348 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction

Sometimes love is just too powerful for one lifetime… Part love story, part ghost story, Lacewood is a timeless novel about trusting in fate, letting go of the past, and believing in things that can’t be seen.


MOVING TO A SMALL TOWN in Virginia is a big change for New York socialite Katie McCain. But when she stumbles across an abandoned 200-year-old mansion, she’s enthralled by the enduring beauty of the neglected estate—and captivated by the haunting portrait of a woman in mourning. Purchasing the property on a whim, Katie attempts to fit in with the colorful characters in the town of New Hope, while trying to unravel the mystery of the “widow of Lacewood.” As she pieces together the previous owner’s heartrending story, Katie uncovers secrets the house has held for centuries, and discovers the key to coming to terms with her own sense of loss. The past and present converge when hometown hero Will Durham returns and begins his own healing process by helping the “city girl” restore the place that holds so many memories. As the mystic web of destiny is woven, a love story that might have been lost forever is exposed, and a destiny that has been waiting in the shadows for centuries is fulfilled. Rich in emotion and poignant in its telling, Lacewood is an unforgettable story about love and loss, roots and belonging…and spirits of the past that refuse to be quieted. A haunting story from award-winning author Jessica James that connects the past with the present—and the present with eternity.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Jessica James is an award-winning author of suspense, historical fiction, and military fiction ranging from the Revolutionary War to modern day. Her highly acclaimed Civil War novel Shades of Gray won numerous national literary awards, and is often compared to Gone with the Wind. By weaving the principles of courage, devotion, duty, and dedication into each book, James attempts to honor the unsung heroes of the American military–past and present–and to convey the magnitude of their sacrifice and service. Her novels appeal to both men and women and are featured in library collections all over the United States including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy. James resides in Gettysburg, Pa., and is a member of the Military Writers Society of America, NINC, Sisters in Crime, and the Romance Writers of America. She is a two-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and was featured in the book 50 Authors You Should Be Reading, published in 2010. Sign up for her free newsletter at www.jessicajamesbooks.com and ask for a free copy of From the Heart: Civil War Love Letters and Stories. You can also find Jessica on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, June 18 – To Read, Or Not to Read & Book Reviews from CanadaChicks, Rogues and Scandals
Wednesday, June 19 – A Book GeekJorie Loves a Story
Thursday, June 20 – CelticLady’s Reviews & What Is That Book About
Friday, June 21 – A Darn Good Read & Just One More Chapter
Saturday, June 22– The Book Junkie Reads
Sunday, June 23 – So Many Books, So Little Time
Monday, June 24 – Passages to the Past
Tuesday, June 25 – Locks, Hooks and Books & Books In Their Natural Habitat
Wednesday, June 26 – Maiden of the Pages & Historical Fiction with Spirit
Thursday, June 27 – Coffee and Ink & 100 Pages a Day
Friday, June 28 – The Lit BitchLet Them Read Books

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. Enter here: Lacewood