Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

A Lady in Hiding by Amy Corwin

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Blurb:

A tragic case of arson sends Sarah into hiding to escape the terrible fate of her family. She works as a common laborer, and is safe for thirteen years, until she receives an ominous note. Despite her disguise, the killer has caught up with her, and she is once again in danger from a man determined to silence all echoes from the past.

William, an inquiry agent, is consumed with curiosity when he meets Sarah and hears about her case. And one look into her gray eyes has him hooked. Even though the evidence is scanty after so many years, he vows to assist her, unaware how events will challenge him both as a man of honor and as an investigator.

When a second attempt is made on Sarah’s life, William is forced to follow a treacherous path through the twisted, dark past. And his growing attraction to the independent woman proves just as dangerous. He needs a clear head to sift through the ashes of the old tragedy, with its hints of corruption reaching into the highest levels of Society. Above all, he must protect Sarah, regardless of personal cost.

Love must find a way to bring the two together and thwart a desperate arsonist, or the last survivor of the long-ago fire will die.

ALadyinHiding Promo GraphicSnippets:

SNIPPET 1

Now, as if aware of her scrutiny, Major Pickering caught her gaze across the street between them. His attention fixed on her. His body stiffened like a dog pointing at a likely grouse. Sam stepped closer to the brick building at the edge of the sidewalk seeking the safety of its towering shadow, her skin prickling.

She glanced around, trying to listen over the pounding of her heart. No one shouted. No one except the major showed any interest in her—other than sheer annoyance when she impeded the smooth flow of foot traffic.

Major Pickering raised his hand, his eyes intent on her face. She took a slow step forward.

Then without warning, he stumbled. His hand fell to his side. His gaze wavered. A look of confusion passed over his thin face. Glancing down, he pressed a hand to his side. And as he brought his palm up in front of his face, his legs buckled beneath him. He fell sharply to his knees, and with a shudder, he raised his head. His gaze once more met Sam’s as his mouth worked soundlessly.

A sense of urgency sent her running forward, hand outstretched. Alarmed by the pallor of his face, she tried to reach him to hear the words he uselessly mouthed. Then, although she couldn’t be sure with the jostling men between them, he shook his head slightly in warning. A spasm twisted his features.

Sam stopped and watched in agonized horror as he slowly crumpled, face down, onto the pavement.

SNIPPET 2

Archer arched his back and dug in a pocket, drawing out a flattened slug of metal. He threw it at William, who caught it in one hand. A spent bullet, dimpled and compressed where it had hit the brick wall. He raised a brow and caught Archer’s eye.

“Looks like our sleeping lad is in need of watching,” Archer said. When he didn’t answer, Archer leaned forward, his voice softer. “I didn’t fire the rifle, son. Remember that. Your Mr. Sanderson is safe in this house.”

He caught himself rigidly, just before he accidentally referred to Sam as ‘she’. “Is he?”

“Why not? What would I want with a bricklayer? Other than to finish that blasted garden wall, of course. Which looks like it will never get done, now. I promised my wife it would be completed in time to plant the summer herbs—and it’s April already.” He snorted. “Like as not, it’ll be fall again before these blockheads complete it.”

“I hope this incident hasn’t upset your wife.”

“Not at all. Tender-hearted female—always worries over the merest trifles.”

“She seemed upset when she heard his name. Perhaps she knows him? Or his family?”

“There are scores of Sandersons littering the English countryside. No doubt, she knows several of them. She may even have thought she knew this one.”

“Does she?”

“It’s hard to say. Did you notice that peculiar scar on his forehead? The one shaped like a star?”

The mark could no longer be seen. Sam’s entire head was swathed in yards of white linen, but William nodded slowly and cautiously.

How much should he reveal? He chose the easy course. Nothing.

“What of it?” He asked.

 

SNIPPET 3

“Get back into bed, or I’ll put you there,” William said.

Sam’s eyes turned silver as she studied him, her head cocked to one side. “If you think you can, try.”

“I don’t foresee any difficulties,” he said, striding toward her. After all the stabbing and head bashing, he’d have thought she’d have enough sense to stay abed.

Obviously, he was wrong.

He came to a stop mere inches from her, hoping to discomfort her at least half as much as she had discomforted him since their first meeting.

She stared at him, her chin thrust out at a mutinous angle. Although she blinked a few times, she didn’t back away.

He frowned.

Her eyes blinked more rapidly.

So he did the only thing he could think of that would put the fear of God into her soul.

He leaned nearer and kissed her.

Meet Amy Corwin:

Amy Corwin is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She has been writing for a number of years and recently retired from a career as an enterprise systems administrator in the computer industry to write full time. She writes mysteries, sweet Regency romances, and paranormal romances. To be truthful, most of her books include a bit of murder and mayhem since she discovered that killing off at least one character is a highly effective way of encouraging the remaining ones to toe the plot line.

In her spare time she cooks, gardens and has won several awards at local rose shows for her Old Garden and English roses. She is also a birdwatcher and generally fascinated with nature, having gotten her first Peterson’s Field Guide when she was six years old.

Join her and discover that every good mystery has a touch of romance.

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A Review of The Suspicion at Sanditon by Carrie Bebris

The Suspicion at Sanditon
(Or, The Disappearance of Lady Denham)
(Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries #7)

by Carrie Bebris

When I opened a package that I had received in the mail and saw The Suspicion at Sanditon inside, I thought to myself, “Well, I would never have picked this book up at the bookstore. I wonder if I will make it through this one.” Luckily I have had some extra time available for reading lately, and was able to squeeze it in near the publication date.

The Suspicion at Sanditon was something that I don’t normally read. True it is a mystery and I read a lot of mysteries, but this book takes place in England in the early 1800s. It is written in the style of Jane Austen, or so I’ve been lead to believe, having never read any Jane Austen, I’ll just have to take their word for it. The writing is very old-fashioned, as are the characters. Everything must be proper. You must follow protocol and be very aware of any impropriety. I had a real hard time getting into it, but something just made me keep reading. Once I got about half way though, the pace of the story seemed to pick up. Then by the end of the book it was flying. I’m not sure, but I think that Ms. Bebris may have simplified the language a little, either that or I just got used to it and no longer had to think as hard while reading. I don’t know which it was, but it was much easier to read near the end of the book than it was at the beginning.

I enjoyed the story and the characters, but I probably won’t be reading any more books in this series. If you are a Jane Austen fan, I would imagine that you have already heard of this series. If you haven’t, then I think that you should try to get a hold of this book. Even though this is book 7 in the series, it works quite well as a standalone book, and if this is the kind of book you enjoy, there are six other books available.

I give The Suspicion at Sanditon 4 Stars out of 5 and a Thumbs Up. I know there are a lot of people out there that would rate it higher.

I received a hardcover copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

The Suspicion at SanditonSuspicion at Sanditon, a new adventure in Carrie Bebris’s award-winning Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series takes Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy to Sanditon, the setting of Jane Austen’s final work. There, accompanied by their friend Miss Charlotte Heywood, they encounter an array of eccentric villagers and visitors. Among Sanditon’s most prominent residents: Lady Denham, a childless, twice-widowed dowager with a fortune to bequeath and a flight of distant relations circling for a place in her will.

The Darcys have scarcely settled into their lodgings when Lady Denham unexpectedly invites them to a dinner party. Thirteen guests assemble at Sanditon House-but their hostess never appears. As a violent storm rises, a search for Lady Denham begins. The Darcys, like most of their fellow attendees, speculate that one of her ladyship’s would-be heirs has grown impatient .?.?. until the guests start to vanish one by one.

Does a kidnapper lurk in the centuries-old mansion, or is a still more sinister force at work? As the night grows short, the dwelling’s population grows thin, and tales of Sanditon House’s storied past emerge, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy find themselves leading a desperate effort to discover what has happened to Lady Denham and the missing guests, before they all-perhaps even Elizabeth and Darcy themselves-disappear.

The Regency era’s answer to Nick and Nora Charles, the Darcys once again demonstrate their quick wits and signature wit as they search for the truth-universally acknowledged and otherwise.

Book Details

Series: Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries (Book 7)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (July 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765327996
ISBN-13: 978-0765327994
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces

About the Author

CarrieBebris-biopicAward-winning author Carrie Bebris is best known for her Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series. Set in Regency England, the novels entangle some of Jane Austen’s most beloved characters in intrigue.

Carrie began her career in publishing after previous roles as a journalist and college English teacher. As an editor for fantasy publisher TSR, Inc., she developed supplements for the Dungeons & Dragons® roleplaying game before striking out on her own as a freelance writer and editor. She wrote two fantasy novels, Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (2001) and Shadowborn (1998, with William W. Connors), before making her mystery debut in 2004 with Pride and Prescience. The novel made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list and was named one of the five best mysteries of the year by Library Journal. Successive Mr. & Mrs. Darcy mysteries have earned starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, and other publications. North by Northanger won the Daphne du Maurier Award, which honors excellence in romantic suspense, and a Reviewers Choice Award from RT Book Reviews magazine for Best Historical Mystery of 2006. The seventh book of the series, The Suspicion at Sanditon (or the Disappearance of Lady Denham), releases in Summer 2015.

In addition to her novels, Carrie is a contributor to the short fiction collection Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart. She pens articles for Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine, writes other nonfiction, and has edited such books as Tea with Jane Austen (by Kim Wilson) and Walking with William Shakespeare (by Anne-Marie Edwards). She speaks nationally and locally about Austen, writing, and publishing, including serving as a faculty member and guest lecturer for the Antioch Writers Workshop.

Carrie holds a master’s degree in English literature with an emphasis on 19th- century authors and studied Austen on the graduate level with one of today’s most respected Austen scholars. She is a life member and regional officer of the Jane Austen Society of North America, and travels to England to enhance her understanding of Austen’s life and work. Reviewers praise her for capturing not only the spirit of Austen’s writings, but also the historical details of the Regency era; in the name of research, she has engaged in experiences that range from dancing at Regency balls to firing a dueling pistol.

When not writing, Carrie enjoys traveling, watching costume dramas that send her husband fleeing the house, and indulging in her love of all things British. Originally from Wisconsin, she now resides in Ohio, where she is currently working on her next novel.

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A Review of At the Water’s Edge: A Novel by Sara Gruen

At the Water’s Edge: A Novel

by Sara Gruen

I don’t usually read a book like At the Water’s Edge. I lean more toward action thrillers and mysteries, but I thought that a change of pace might do me good. I’m glad that I went out on a limb and read this. I don’t know exactly how to describe At the Water’s Edge. It takes place in Scotland near the end of World War II, so that would give it a historic label. The story involves a trio of wealthy twenty somethings from the states who are spoiled rich kids on a quest to find the Loch Ness monster, while staying  well lubricated from morning ’till night; so I guess that At the Water’s Edge might be called a buddy film if it was a movie. But then Maddie starts to realize that this party life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and begins to discover the real side of life and love, so maybe it could be called a coming of age novel, or maybe a romance. And then there are some mystical elements and even the possibility that the Loch Ness monster is real. So what can we call it? Amazon gives it two main labels, Historical, and Literary. While edelweiss.com adds Contemporary Women, so I guess that you will have to figure it out for yourself.

Ms. Gruen brings this story to life. It felt like a peek into a lifestyle that I only know from film and fiction. Hank and Ellis (Maddie’s husband) think that the world is divided into two groups, the wealthy and everyone else, whose sole purpose is to serve their privileged class. When Maddie sees that everything isn’t quite the way she always thought; she starts to doubt that she can continue live that way. She connects with the common people, and that threatens her relationship with Ellis. He can’t have his wife becoming a commoner.

Is this a great book? Not quite, but it was very enjoyable. It gives you a lot to think about. I imagine that At the Water’s Edge would make a great book club selection. It would have a plenty of ideas to discuss.

I give At the Water’s Edge 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! If you liked the movie Water for Elephants, then I’m sure you will be captured by At the Water’s Edge.

I received a Digital Review Copy from Netgalley.

Book Description

At-the-Waters-EdgeIn this thrilling new novel from the author of Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen again demonstrates her talent for creating spellbinding period pieces. At the Water’s Edge is a gripping and poignant love story about a privileged young woman’s awakening as she experiences the devastation of World War II in a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands.

After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed—by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster—Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.

The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Yet she finds herself falling in love with the stark beauty and subtle magic of the Scottish countryside. Gradually she comes to know the villagers, and the friendships she forms with two young women open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.

As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life’s beauty and surprising possibilities.

Book Details

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (March 31, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385523238
ISBN-13: 978-0385523233
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound

About the Author

Photo credit: Tasha Thomas
Photo credit: Tasha Thomas

Sara Gruen is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Water for Elephants, Ape House, Riding Lessons, and Flying Changes. Her works have been translated into forty-three languages, and have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. Water for Elephants was adapted into a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon, Rob Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz in 2011.

She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and three sons, along with their dogs, cats, horses, birds, and the world’s fussiest goat.

A Review of World Gone By: A Novel by Dennis Lehane

World Gone By: A Novel

by Dennis Lehane

For some reason I had a real hard time getting into World Gone By. It’s very well written. The world that Mr. Lehane is describing rings true, and his characters are entertaining. Joe Coughlin has been featured in some of Mr. Lehane’s previous books, but this book really doesn’t feel like part of a series. The story holds up quite well on its own.

Joe Coughlin has tried to “go straight”. He has gotten out of the mob businesses and earns a good legitimate income in Florida. He is an advisor to the local underworld, but no longer considers himself connected. After he learns that someone has put out a “contract” on him, he has to go back in and try to discover who wants him eliminated. It gets a bit messy.

It took me a long time to get interested in this book. Maybe it was because I wasn’t ready for a gangster story set in 1944, or maybe it was that I hadn’t read any of Mr. Lehane’s previous works; but whatever the reason, it was a struggle getting going. The last half felt much better. I was glad that I pushed through, because it really was quite good. Most people will probably really enjoy World Gone By.

I give World Gone By a strong 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up. If you have read any of Mr. Lehane’s books, I’m sure you will like this one.

I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from the publisher.

Book Description

World Gone ByDennis Lehane, the New York Times bestselling author of The Given Day and Live by Night, returns with a psychologically and morally complex novel of blood, crime, passion, and vengeance, set in Cuba and Ybor City, Florida, during World War II, in which Joe Coughlin must confront the cost of his criminal past and present.

Ten years have passed since Joe Coughlin’s enemies killed his wife and destroyed his empire, and much has changed. Prohibition is dead, the world is at war again, and Joe’s son, Tomás, is growing up. Now, the former crime kingpin works as a consigliore to the Bartolo crime family, traveling between Tampa and Cuba, his wife’s homeland.

A master who moves in and out of the black, white, and Cuban underworlds, Joe effortlessly mixes with Tampa’s social elite, U.S. Naval intelligence, the Lansky-Luciano mob, and the mob-financed government of Fulgencio Batista. He has everything—money, power, a beautiful mistress, and anonymity.

But success cannot protect him from the dark truth of his past—and ultimately, the wages of a lifetime of sin will finally be paid in full.

Dennis Lehane vividly recreates the rise of the mob during a world at war, from a masterfully choreographed Ash Wednesday gun battle in the streets of Ybor City to a chilling, heartbreaking climax in a Cuban sugar cane field. Told with verve and skill,  World Gone By is a superb work of historical fiction from one of “the most interesting and accomplished American novelists” (Washington Post) writing today.

Book Details

Series: Joe Coughlin Series (Book 2)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (March 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060004908
ISBN-13: 978-0060004903
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces

About the Author

Photo by Gaby Gerster / Diogenes, Zurich
Photo by Gaby Gerster / Diogenes, Zurich

Dennis Lehane grew up in the Dorchester section of Boston. Since his first novel, A Drink Before the War, won the Shamus Award, he’s published nine more novels with William Morrow that have been translated into more than 30 languages and become international bestsellers: Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone Baby Gone; Prayers for Rain; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; Moonlight Mile; and Live By Night, which won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2013. Morrow also published Coronado, a collection of five stories and a play. Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and Shutter Island have been made into award-winning films, and the film rights for Live by Night are under option to Warner Bros. with Ben Affleck producing, writing, directing, and starring.

Lehane adapted his short story Animal Rescue, which appeared in “Playboy” as well as in Boston Noir, a collection published by Akashic Books, into a feature film called THE DROP for the Chernin Company and Fox Searchlight, starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini. He then transformed the screenplay for THE DROP into a novel, which will be published by William Morrow in August 2014 to coincide with the film’s US release.

Lehane was a staff writer for HBO’s The Wire, and is a writer/producer on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. He has taught fiction and literature at the Harvard Extension School, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and Tufts University.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Mr. Lehane worked as a counselor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. He and his wife and children divide their time between Boston and Los Angeles.

 

The Book Description and Details are from Amazon. World Gone By: A Novel