Tag Archives: Historical Fiction Novel

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller with a Giveaway on Tour with Celebrate Lit

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About the Book

Book: The Elusive Miss Ellison

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Historical, Regency Fiction

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Pride, Presumption, and forgiveness…

Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world. Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic singing voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along. Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what happens when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?

Click here to get your copy!

Daughter of St. Hampton Heath Village’s pastor, Lavinia Ellison, isn’t affected by riches or looks. She believes everyone should help the poor, live modestly and own up to their obligations.

Thwarted at every turn, Nicholas Stamford, Earl to St. Hampton Heath Village, just wants to turn his duties over to his bailiff and be done with it.

I especially enjoyed Lavinia’s wit and somewhat sharp tongue. Critical of those not living up to their legal and moral responsibilities, she often had an acerbic tone. However, she was equally as condemnatory of her own failings.

Interspersed throughout the story are rich portrayals of the villagers’ pitiable homes and the landscape of the area juxtaposed against the detailed narrative of the aristocrats’ estates and opulent lifestyle. The starkness of the contrasts leaves you feeling the despair and sadness against which Lavinia struggled.

An impressively written book rich in history, the novel abounds with faith, aspirations, romance and just the right amount of intrigue and family mystery. It is so beautifully written; I had a hard time comprehending this was Carolyn Miller’s debut novel.

The main characters’ development, tempered by their faith, added a unique perspective to this tale.

Regency Era fans will love Carolyn Miller’s debut book, The Elusive Miss Ellison.

I received The Elusive Miss Ellison from Celebrate Lit. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

About the Author

carolyn-miller-HR-4

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc Her contemporary novels include Restoring Fairhaven and Regaining Mercy, as part of the Independence Islands series.

More from Carolyn

Mr. Darcy has a lot to answer for, doesn’t he?

I’ve long been a fan of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, and my first historical romance, The Elusive Miss Ellison, was so fun to write as I worked to weave the social commentary of Jane Austen with the wit and romantic dash of Heyer, an unwavering Christian thread, and a dash of Aussie perspective.

I’ve been very fortunate to visit many of the settings used in my Regency Brides series (of series), including the Cotswolds, Brighton, Bath, London, Derbyshire and the gorgeous Scottish castle featured on the cover of Misleading Miss Verity, and have loved seeing readers respond so positively to these stories of hope, redemption, family and love.

I love to share images of my trips and what I envisage concerning these stories at my website (www.carolynmillerauthor.com) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerAuthor) and hope readers will enjoy being swept up into an age of ladies and true gentlemen, when the code of honor was paramount, and Mr. Darcy showed that first impressions can never be fully trusted, and that there is always something deeper to the story.

Happy reading, friends!

Carolyn 🙂

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, October 28

Losing the Busyness, October 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 29

Emily Yager, October 29

Worthy2Read, October 30

Artistic Nobody, October 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 31

Mary Hake, October 31

Splashes of Joy, November 1

deb’s Book Review, November 1

Texas Book-aholic, November 2

Inklings and notions, November 3

Vicky Sluiter, November 3

For Him and My Family, November 4

Heidi and Books, November 4

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 5

Bigreadersite, November 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 6

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Mia Reads, November 7

She Lives To Read, November 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 8

Simple Harvest Reads, November 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Godly Book Reviews, November 9

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, November 10

Captive Dreams Window, November 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon prize and a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/102ad/the-elusive-miss-ellison-celebration-tour-giveaway

Roll Back the Clouds by Terri Wangard

Terri Wangard interweaves a tale of heart-wrenching sadness, devastating disclosures and earth-shattering secrets masterfully blended in unexpected ways. As the Lusitania passengers embark on journeys of friendship, each person’s life becomes interwoven with the other, in unforeseen and helpful manners.

Historical fiction has always been my choice in fiction books because I love history, but sometimes it is just the cut and dried bare facts and dates, leaving me wanting to know more about the people and the era.

As I read the story, I felt dread because I knew the fateful ending (same reason I am the only person in the world that has not watched the movie Titanic). However, even though I knew about the history surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania, I knew very few details.

Wangard writes about the stunning beauty of the ocean liner, in diagrammatic detail, leaving the reader in breathless awe, and in raw, poignant sadness knowing the future of the fated liner.

Geoff and Rosaleen, along with a multitude of others board the Lusitania, looked forward to enjoying its beauty along with scheduled fun activities and relaxation. But such was not to be.

As a survivor, Rosaleen relives the horrific circumstances repeatedly, and her husband’s injuries add to her distress. Wangard’s details leave the reader feeling Rosaleen’s anguish, suffering and torment, too. I can not even begin to imagine.

Historical fiction fans will want to read Terri Wangard’s newest book, Roll Back the Clouds.

Some scenes are very intense and may be difficult for a few readers; for this reason, I would suggest the book be read by older teens-14+ and adults.

I received this book from the author through Interviews & Reviews.

Publisher’s Summary

A dream-come-true becomes a nightmare.

Geoff and Rosaleen Bonnard embark on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to England aboard the fabled Lusitania in 1915. Europe is embroiled in war, but everyone insists the conflict shouldn’t affect a passenger liner.

Then, the grand ship is crippled by a German torpedo. Rosaleen makes it into a lifeboat, but Geoff is missing. Convinced he lives, she searches the morgues in Queenstown, heartsick at recognizing so many of her fellow travelers. Geoff is finally located in a Cork hospital, alive but suffering a devastating back injury.

While waiting for him to recover, Rosaleen is thrilled to meet her mother’s family, but a dark cloud hovers over her. The battered faces of dead babies haunt her. She sinks into depression, despairing of Geoff’s new interest in religion. Her once happy life seems out of reach.

Will joy ever be theirs again?

Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano


Storing Up Trouble is another delightful book by Jen Turano. Her books are always well researched and full of fun!

The escapades of Beatrix Waterbury and Norman Nesbit, along with Norman’s assistant, Theo, will have you smiling and laughing quite frequently. Add in Beatrix’s eccentric and non-conformist Aunt Gladys and her odd companions, not to mention her 20 cats, and you have a recipe for great entertainment, enjoyment and amusement.

Lest you think it’s all fun and games, let me assure you it’s not. There are very real and important issues covered. Turano addresses inequality in the workplace for women, their inability to vote and society’s cruelty to those they consider inferior. Additionally, there is an element of mystery and suspense, too.

Turano included a small “cameo” featuring Mr. Selfridge, pioneer of the modern department store. I saw a fascinating show highlighting his forward and visionary thinking. Now, I have enjoyed seeing another side to him.

Norman, and later Beatrix’s family seemed to change a little too quickly for my tastes. But that is just a feeling on my part, as I like to see the transformation as it progresses, not after it happens.

Storing Up Trouble is book 3 of the American Heiresses series by Jan Turano. However, it can work as a stand-alone. I also read and reviewed book 1, Flights of Fancy.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to write a review.

#StoringUpTrouble #NetGalley

Publisher’s Summary

When Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s Chicago-bound train ride is interrupted by a heist, Mr. Norman Nesbit, a man of science who believes his research was the target of the heist, comes to her aid. Despite the fact that they immediately butt heads, they join forces to make a quick escape.

Upon her arrival in Chicago, Beatrix is surprised to discover her supposedly querulous Aunt Gladys shares her own suffragette passions. Encouraged by Gladys to leave her sheltered world, Beatrix begins working as a salesclerk at the Marshall Field and Company department store. When she again encounters Norman on a shopping expedition, he is quickly swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract.

But when another attempt is made to part Norman from his research papers, and it becomes clear Beatrix’s safety is also at risk, they soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

Hope Reborn (Texas Romance Series Book 3) by Caryl McAdoo

About the Book

Historical Christian ‘Western Adventure’ Romance Novel Hope Reborn is Book 3 in Caryl McAdoo’s Texas Romance series and debuted December 20, 2014.

Set in 1850, it tells the story of May Meriwether, a successful New York dime novelist thinking life is slipping away unfulfilled. She’s bored with the same old heroes and heroines and stories and Uptown social circles. Then she spots an interesting article in the Tribune. Texas Ranger Levi Baylor and his Captain Wallace Rusk have captured the Comanche War Chief Bold Eagle.

The wheels start turning. Throwing caution to the wind, she charges her companion, Chester, to arrange passage to Texas for the both of them. The Rangers will be wonderful hero models for some fresh stories wrought with adventure and intrigue. May couldn’t know the troubles she’d find in Texas and what she could lose there in the new wild west state.

Hope Reborn follows Book 1 Vow Unbroken set in 1832 and released by Simon and Schuster’s Howard Books March 4th, 2014 wherein Levi is the orphaned nephew of Susannah Baylor, a gritty young widow scratching out a living from the untamed Tejas prairie.

And Book 2 Hearts Stolen that debuted September 5th, 2014 indie published by Ron and Caryl McAdoo. Twelve years have passed, and young Levi Baylor is now twenty-six and making quite a name for himself as the Ranger who always gets his man.

Dispatched to the peace camp of Comanche Chief Bold Eagle to pick up the stolen white woman bargained for in Sam Houston’s treaty, But the beautiful redhead he spots Sassy Fogelsong, a girl from back home he happens to notice, but her name isn’t on his list.

My Review

I must confess I have a weakness for stories about Texas. I lived in the D/FW area for many years, and it still holds a huge piece of my heart.

Caryl McAdoo writes a delightful story about Patrick “Henry” Buckmeyer, Texas Ranger extraordinaire and his family, and about an author of dime novels, May Meriwether. However, May has many secrets. Secrets she’d rather stay that way, but a certain Texas Ranger may “tickle” the truth out of her.

One of my favorite characters was May’s friend Chester. Chester acts as chaperone, helper and friend to May.  He also helps guide her through life, something she needs as a single woman in the 18800s. But the thing I enjoy most about Chester…he knows May better than she knows herself and can get in those little zingers that only someone who really knows and cares about you could or would be allowed to do.

Hope Reborn has a very distinct and constant theme of Christianity and makes no apologies for it, either. Part of the storyline deals with the strong faith of many of the characters and the lack of faith on the part of an individual essential to the narrative. I appreciate McAdoo’s handling of the situation and its resolution.

I enjoyed reading Hope Reborn and getting reacquainted with the Buckmeyers, Baylors and Wheelers. I have always relished reading stories that follow a family, or in this case families, and continue throughout several books.

Caryl McAdoo wrote this story several years ago. I read it at the time, then read the others in the series. I had the chance to reread it and review it, so I jumped at the opportunity.

I received a free copy of this book/eBook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Publisher’s Summary

New York dime novelist May Meriwether decides a heroic Texas Ranger will make a great love interest for her new heroine. Bored to tears and loving adventure, she sets out to the Lone Star State with her constant companion and confidant Chester in tow.

Dreams for a husband and children are relegated to the recesses of her heart, the self-confessed old maid deems it too late. But the near-perfect widower resurrects a smidgen of hope. Only his impenetrable, superstitious religious beliefs stand in the path to her falling head over heels, those and his love for his dead wife. Would there ever be room for her in his heart? And would he give up his fanaticism for God?

An unexpected romance surprises both. Hope is reborn in God’s unfailing love and grace. Can a life built on lies find the Way to confession, forgiveness, and true joy? In a day when the church offers the only stability on the 1850 Texas prairie, these unlikely players find one another and fall in love. But will it be enough?

Author Bio

In April 2012, Caryl met Mary Sue Seymour at NETWO’s Spring Conference and wrote her first historical Christian romance set in the 1800s especially for the agent. (Whose maiden name was remarkably ‘McAdoo’!) Mary Sue offered representation in August, and VOW UNBROKEN sold in October to Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It debuts on March 4, 2014.

Six months later, book two in the Texas Romance series debuted, HEARTS STOLEN set in 1839-1844, Then two months later a new Biblical fiction series The Generations was born with volume one A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Sheriah, and Abel in Paradise with a kindly old cherub named Namrel!

Caryl, also known as Grami, has fourteen grandsugars (one more than she has books now) and enjoys painting and gardening. A proclaimed psalmist, she’s dedicated to serving God, loving praise and worship and that He frequently gives her new songs. Caryl believes all good things are from Him and prays her new books will minister His love, mercy, and grace to her readers.

Contact Information

Website: http://carylmcadoo.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caryl.mcadoo/author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarylMcAdoo
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/caryl-mcadoo/23/623/5
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CarylMcAdoo/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/181587.Caryl_McAdoo?from_search=true
Amazon link:http://www.amazon.com/Hope-Reborn-Caryl-McAdoo/dp/1502817047/ref=la_B00E963CFG_1_6_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420728398&sr=1-6

#cwareviewcrew

Red Sky Over America (Ladies of Oberlin Book 1) by Tamera Lynn Kraft

My Review

Tamera Lynn Kraft’s book Red Sky Over America (a great play on words, btw!) has many characters integral to the story. However, the main characters are America (Merry) Leighton and William Woods, both students, though from very different parts of the country, at Oberlin College.

Merry grew up in Kentucky, the daughter of a slave owner, but she begins to realize just how wrong it is to be a part of slave ownership.

William is a student at Oberlin and an abolitionist preacher who spends his winter break in Kentucky preaching against slavery.

Kraft doesn’t shy away from writing about some very harrowing situations that were challenging for me to read. The book deals with the treatment of slaves in a very gritty way. The imagery is grim and incomprehensible in some cases; the life portrayed of some slaves was grueling. However, I believe, as inconceivable, unfathomable and beyond understanding that the cruelty some circumstances were, they only touched on the tip of the iceberg.

I appreciated the attention to details and to the reality of life in 1850’s South, even as I cringed and felt sick to my stomach reading about it. Kraft’s extensive research resonates throughout the story, and her words stir up graphic and powerful mental imagery of the time.

I was surprised, but fascinated, by how the novel, tagged as a romance, addresses the interaction between the two love interests almost as an afterthought. Instead, we become acquainted with them as individuals. Each separately carries out the plans they feel God has called them to do. At the same time, they are learning the lessons necessary to trust Him in their walk with Him and to bring them together if it is His will.

Red Sky Over America is a profoundly moving book that features a large cast of characters in a myriad of situations, but it flows smoothly and effortlessly.  I am looking forward to reading the other novels in the series as soon as they become available.

I received an advance copy of the book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

William and America confront evil, but will it cost them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America’s classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy Book #1) by Sarah Sundin

My Review

The Sea Before Us is Sarah Sundin’s first book in her new series, Sunrise at Normandy. The story focuses on Dorothy Fairfax, a WREN (The Women’s Royal Naval Service-WRNS, known as WREN/S), and Lt. Wyatt Paxton.

First, I have to say, that the research and authenticity of the story is astounding. The time-frame is from January through June of 1944. There are so very many historical (and very sad) tidbits of information highlighting the time leading up to and including D-Day.

As you read, you are transported back to a different era and three different countries, England, France and Scotland. It’s not hard to picture yourself right in the middle of everything going on-from the urgency of preparing for a military invasion to the freneticism of trying to squeeze the last drop of normalcy from a life that seems as if it will never be normal again.

Both Dorothy and Wyatt have some significant issues in their lives and need to learn to rely more fully on the Lord. The spiritual thread is woven seamlessly into the book, with most of the truths applicable to anyone’s life.

I have always loved historical fiction, and The Sea Before Us doesn’t disappoint.

I received this book from Library Thing. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

(Release date February 6, 2018)

Publisher’s Summary

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “WREN” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas

My Review

I was interested in the book, The Sound of Rain, because of the settings of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, West Virginia and Kentucky. I lived and worked in Myrtle Beach just before Hurricane Hugo hit, then visited after Hugo and was amazed at the devastation to the area and changes to the shoreline. I also lived for a short while in St. Albans, West Virginia. In addition, I was interested because Sarah Loudin Thomas is a new author to me.

The story’s premise is about Judd Markley, a coal miner from West Virginia, and Larkin Heyward, the daughter of an affluent family in Myrtle Beach.

Judd leaves the hills of West Virginia and moves to Myrtle Beach after a coal mining accident left him permanently injured and killed his brother. His main reason for moving is to honor his brother’s dream of going to Myrtle Beach.

Larkin wants to move to Kentucky to give meaning to her life and help the poor who live there.

I am not sure how I feel about the book. Several elements of it are good, and other aspects made it less than enjoyable for me. The sequence of events during Hurricane Hazel didn’t seem realistic in many ways, especially considering the destruction it caused. Plus, Larkin’s deception toward Judd and deliberate disobedience to her father bothered me, too.

Overall, I felt the author tried to put too much into the book, making it feel watered down (no pun intended). There were characters I would have liked to have gotten to know better, for instance, Granny Jane, Ben and Larkin’s mother.

The Sound of Rain was interesting but not as compelling as other stories I have read.

I enjoyed reading about Myrtle Beach in 1954 and was sad to hear The Pavilion had its last season in 2006 and was demolished for redevelopment in 2007.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Review

Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother–and nearly his own life–in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company.

Larkin Heyward’s life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more–maybe moving to the hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company.

Drawn together in the wake of a devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together.

Out of the Ordinary (Apart from the Crowd Book #2) by Jen Turano

My Review

Jen Turano’s delightful book, Out of the Ordinary, reintroduces us to Gertrude Cadwalader whom we met in At Your Request (Apart From the Crowd): An Apart From the Crowd Novella and in Behind the Scenes (Apart From the Crowd Book #1).

Out of the Ordinary is an out of the ordinary story. I laughed so hard at some sections; I literally had tears running down my eyes. I would be hard-pressed to explain which comedic moment was my favorite as they all have their own laugh-out-loud, crack up moments. However, don’t let that mislead you. There are some very serious aspects to the story.

Gertrude is paid to be a companion to Mrs. Davenport, an eccentric lady with a propensity to take things that aren’t hers, thereby creating many precarious situations for Gertrude to correct. I really felt sorry for poor Gertrude when one situation leads to a disastrous misunderstanding and a less than ideal situation for unfortunate Gertrude.

Harrison Sinclair is a lovable hero. He has absolutely no fashion sense, and his problems with being able to see colors as others do lead to some unusual combinations of clothing. He loves his family, is loyal to his friends and overall, makes a great champion for those he cares about.

I enjoyed catching up with other characters from earlier stories. In spite of the fact that there is overlap of characters in the series, Out of the Ordinary works easily as a stand-alone.

Jen Turano has written another historical novel with quirky characters, messages of faith and humor interspersed between serious subjects.

I received this book from Bethany House and NetGalley. However, I was not required to write a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Miss Gertrude Cadwalader hoped her position as the paid companion to Mrs. Davenport would be easy. But as she becomes acquainted with her employer, she realizes the wealthy Mrs. Davenport has a strange tendency to be a bit light-fingered with other people’s trinkets. Gertrude is relieved when Mrs. Davenport decides to have a quiet summer away from the social scene–until the woman changes her mind in order to help a young socialite launch into society.

When Gertrude is caught in the act of trying to return one of the trinkets by Mrs. Sinclair, the mother of shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair, the woman jumps to an unfortunate conclusion. Harrison is determined to mend fences with Miss Cadwalader, but he’s unprepared for the escapades a friendship with her will entail.