New Release Review: THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict


The Other Einstein

by Marie Benedict

Synopsis:

A vivid and mesmerizing novel about the extraordinary woman who married and worked with one of the greatest scientists in history.

What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century.

In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever.

A literary historical in the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.

Review:

Marie Benedict’s The Other Einstein was a fascinating read, and one that is significantly adding to my TBR pile–with nonfiction, for a change! (Lots of great suggestions in the author’s note at the end–thanks, Ms. Benedict!)

The author freely admits that her book is a fictionalization of Mileva Maric Einstein’s life and that she makes use of much speculation (especially with regards to exactly how much of a contribution the first Mrs. Einstein made to her husband’s famous Theory of Relativity–I’d love to think that her version is the truth, but it’s probably a bit of a stretch and I doubt it could ever be proved), and as such I kind of hoped that Albert wasn’t as much of a, well, b@stard as he seems to be in the book. Though I can still hope that at least one pretty jarring scene is completely fictional, Princeton University has been kind enough to publish volumes of Einstein’s writings and correspondence and their English translations online, and I’ve now read the memorandum myself that made me gasp out loud when I read that part of the book (18 July 1014, Memorandum to Mileva Einstein-Maric, with comments in Volume 8–but don’t read it until after you’ve read the book!) and then the next few letters after that one, and…just whoa. I’m not sure I’ll ever hear the name “Albert Einstein” again and be able to think purely happy thoughts about him. How can a man be so scientifically brilliant and so spectacularly not brilliant in his personal life?

(Interesting side note from the letters, not the book, since Mileva wouldn’t have known this: Albert wouldn’t let his second wife/cousin(!) Elsa be there when he spent time with his sons from his first marriage, because “it is not right to have the children see their father with a woman other than their own mother” yet he had no such scruples about divorcee Elsa’s children from her first marriage spending time with their mother and a man who wasn’t their own father…double-standard much? Oh, and just to really make it next to impossible to look up to him as a father figure and husband–he apparently briefly considered proposing to Elsa’s 20-year-old daughter Ilsa instead… Yeah. He’s a prince among men. But a brilliant scientist.)

Anyway.

Though the story was a bit slow in parts, overall I quite enjoyed it. I look forward to both reading more about Mileva (and her children!) and more from Ms. Benedict in the future.

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.


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New Release Review and Giveaway! THE ENEMIES OF VERSAILLES by Sally Christie (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy #3)

In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.

“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute quite another kettle of fish.”

After decades suffering the King’s endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches inevitable revolution.

Review:

Every time I read a really good historical fiction book I come to the realization that I seriously need to read more historical fiction.

The events leading up to, during, and after the French Revolution have been of particular interest to me ever since my high school trip to France in 1989, the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (and if you don’t think that fact wasn’t marketed to its fullest extent while we were there, then you just don’t know marketing!) so when I had the chance to read this book, which deals with that time period from the POVs of two very different women, you’d better believe my response was, “Yes, PLEASE!”

It did not disappoint.

Oh, the two main characters–Louis XV’s oldest surviving daughter and his last mistress–are never going to make a list of my favorite characters ever, either in books or in history. (Actually, now I’m really tempted to read more about both of them, because I’m dying to know how much of what they said, did, and thought came from actual evidence and how much was the author’s imagination.) Jeanne “Comtesse du Barry” was easier to like overall, but pretty hard to have much respect for. She garnered as much sympathy from me as she did eye rolling. Madame Adelaide, though? She was a lot harder to feel much for beyond frustration. Yes, she was a product of her times and the attitudes of those around her, but…argh. She was such a prig for so much of the book, I kind of wanted to push her down the stairs she was too afraid to walk down without assistance.

Seriously. She wouldn’t walk down the stairs.

But anyway.

Even though I didn’t really love the characters in this book, the drama completely swept me away. I wasn’t able to put it down! Reading the first two in the series is definitely on my to do list once school gets out in May, and I’ll absolutely be keeping an eye out for whatever Ms. Christie decides to write next.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About the author:

I’m a life-long history buff and I really wish time travel were a possibility—I’d be off to the eighteenth century in a flash!

Since I can’t travel back in time (yet), I have done plenty of global travel: as a child I lived in England, Canada, Argentina, and Lesotho, and attended eight schools in three languages. I continued my global wanderings with a career in international development, but now I’m settled in Toronto and loving it.

The Sisters of Versailles is my first novel, though I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. When I’m not writing I’m reading, reading, reading; disappearing down various rabbit holes of historical research, and playing lots of tennis.

Connect with Sally:

Website | Goodreads

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A Letter to Readers by Jane Ashford, Author of LORD SEBASTIAN’S SECRET (The Duke’s Sons #3–with a giveaway!)

Dear readers of The Duke’s Sons series,

We’ve reached volume three, Lord Sebastian’s Secret, out on January 3. The military Gresham brother’s story turned out to be quite a romp. On a visit to his betrothed’s family, Cavalry major Sebastian faces a plethora of impertinent pugs, ubiquitous younger sisters, and a prospective father-in-law dedicated to ancient Saxons and arcane philosophy. Very much not Sebastian’s forte, for several reasons. Fortunately, there’s the lovely Georgina, who makes any amount of adaptation and effort worthwhile. Sebastian would do anything for her, and he very nearly does!

I really like the Gresham family. I’m feeling sad right now as I finish the fifth and final volume about them. I kind of hate to let them go. Should I consider revisiting the clan in future? Hmm. Is there anyone from the stories you’d really like to see again? Get in touch and let me know.

And thanks so much for reading!

Jane Ashford

 

JANE ASHFORD, a beloved author of historical romances, has been published in Sweden, Italy, England,
Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, and Spain, as well as the United States. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews.

 

Social Networking Links
Website: www.janeashford.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaneAshfordWriter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/842700.Jane_Ashford

 

Title: Lord Sebastian’s Secret
Author: Jane Ashford
Series: The Duke’s Sons, #3
ISBN: 9781492621621
Pubdate: January 3, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance

 

He’s hidden this shameful secret all his life…

Lord Sebastian Gresham is a battle tested soldier and brilliant strategist.  Yet all his life he’s had to hide his complete failure to decipher letters. In his own mind, he’s just stupid. What a miracle it is that he’s found the perfect bride. Lady Georgina Stane is beautiful, witty, and brilliantly intelligent. Sebastian is head over heels in love, proud as a peacock, and terrified. But if she finds out his secret, he’ll lose her love forever.

 

Excerpt:

Sebastian closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. He could all too easily picture the astonishing news that he had eloped running through his family—the letters flying back and forth, the disbelief and consternation. The surreptitious brotherly smirking. An image of his mother’s astonished face made him wince.

“Some people think I don’t care about convention,” muttered the marquess. “Not true. And this was too much. An elopement!”

“Except that it wasn’t, Papa,” Georgina pointed out. “It was an unfortunate accident. I think you might have had more faith in my character.”

Frowning at the floor, the older man said something too softly to be heard. Sebastian thought it might have been, “It wasn’t you I was worried about.”

“The duchess is sending your brother,” said Georgina’s mother. She tried to speak blandly, but Sebastian got a clear sense of a woman getting the better of an argument at last.

The marquess glared at the group with a mixture of defiance and contrition.

“Which brother?” Sebastian asked.

“Randolph,” supplied his hostess.

Sebastian groaned softly. If anything could have killed his appetite at this point, the news that a brother had been dispatched to sort him out would have done it. He supposed this was his mother’s idea of just retribution for what she probably characterized as “antics.” She would have known that he would never elope.

If she’d had to send a brother, she could’ve drafted Robert. He’d have made a joke of the whole matter and charmed everyone so thoroughly that they saw it the same way. Alan or James might have refused to be embroiled in such a tangle at all. Nathaniel was still on his honeymoon. Mama couldn’t order him and Violet about quite so easily, anyway.

Randolph, though. Sebastian nearly groaned again. Randolph was usually glad for an excuse to take a few days’ leave from his far-northern parish. And he positively delighted in helping. Sebastian supposed that was why he’d become a parson. Part of the reason. He’d also been asking “why” since he could speak. According to family legend, that had been the first word Randolph learned. Sebastian certainly remembered being followed about by a relentlessly inquisitive toddler.

Nathaniel, a responsible six-year-old, had become so tired of saying he didn’t know that he’d taken to making things up. Sebastian still sometimes had to remind himself that discarded snakeskins were products of reptilian growth rather than intense surprise. Sebastian smiled. Randolph had spent several months trying to startle snakes out of their skin after that tale.

Then Sebastian’s smile died, and he put down his last sandwich. Randolph would revel in Mr. Mitra and the marquess’s lectures on reincarnation. There would be no end to his questions, or to the incomprehensible discussions after the ladies had left the dinner table. Sebastian only just resisted putting his head in his hands.

Georgina was looking at him, though, her expression anxious. He tried a reassuring smile. From her response, he judged that it was only marginally effective. He bolstered it, vowing to deal with Randolph. He would face anything to save her distress.

Georgina stood, holding her still half-full plate to her chest. “I believe I’ll go to my room now,” she said. “I’m quite tired.”

Her father looked guilty, her mother approving. Sebastian wondered at the determination on her face. It seemed excessive for a walk up a few steps. Was her leg hurting? One look at her father told him he would not be allowed to assist her to a bed.

Night had deepened by the time Georgina managed to hunt down Hilda and corner her in a little-used reception room, where she’d apparently been holed up for a good while, judging from the cake crumbs. Georgina stationed herself between her youngest sister and the door and confronted her with hands on hips. “Have you lost your mind?” she demanded.

For a moment, it seemed that Hilda might deny everything, but then she slumped back on the sofa and let out a long sigh. “I only meant to leave you overnight, but everything went wrong from the very first. Whitefoot didn’t like being led. He jerked the rein right out of my hand and ran away. I had to take your Sylph to the Evans farm before I could chase after him. It took hours before I got him there as well.” She paused and looked indignant. “Emma abandoned me! She turned tail and rode home. And she’s been practically hiding in her bedchamber ever since.”

“Perhaps she feels a sense of remorse for having done something absolutely outrageous,” Georgina suggested.

Hilda wrinkled her nose. “Well, we came back first thing the next morning to get you.”

“That does not excuse…”

“And you were gone!” Hilda actually dared to look reproachful. “As if you’d vanished into thin air.”

“Thick mud, more like,” said Georgina.

“If you had just waited, or only walked a little way along the trail, we would have found you. And there wouldn’t have been such a very great fuss. Why didn’t you? How could you be so clumsy as to fall into a gully?” Hilda cocked her head. “I never even knew it was there.”

“Don’t even dream of blaming this on me!” Georgina gazed at her sister. They were alike in coloring and frame, but apparently their minds ran on entirely different paths.

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hnjOyi
B&N: http://bit.ly/2gl0zpf
iBooks: http://apple.co/2hf595m

 

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! LADY CLAIRE IS ALL THAT by Maya Rodale (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #3)

 The one thing neither of them counted on is love . . .
LADY CLAIRE IS ALL THAT
Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #3
Maya Rodale
Releasing Dec 27th, 2016
Avon Books
Her Brains…
Claire Cavendish is in search of a duke, but not for the usual reasons. The man she seeks is a mathematician; the man she unwittingly finds is Lord Fox: dynamic, athletic, and as bored by the equations Claire adores as she is by the social whirl upon which he thrives. As attractive as Fox is, he’s of no use to Claire. . . or is he?
 
Plus His Brawn…
Fox’s male pride has been bruised ever since his fiancée jilted him. One way to recover: win a bet that he can transform Lady Claire, Society’s roughest diamond, into its most prized jewel. But Claire has other ideas—shockingly steamy ones. . .
 
Equals A Study In Seduction
By Claire’s calculations, Fox is the perfect man to satisfy her sensual curiosity. In Fox’s estimation, Claire is the perfect woman to prove his mastery of the ton. But the one thing neither of them counted on is love . . .
 

London, 1824

Lord and Lady Chesham’s ballroom

It was a truth universally acknowledged that Maximilian Frederick DeVere, Lord Fox, was God’s gift to the ladies of London. He was taller and brawnier than his peers and in possession of the sort of chiseled good looks—above and below the neck—that were more often found in works of classical art. By all accounts he was charming and universally liked by men and women alike, though for different reasons, of course. He won at two things, always: women and sport.

Fox strolled through the ballroom as if he owned the place. He nodded at friends and acquaintances—Carlyle, with whom he occasionally fenced, Fitzwalter, who he had soundly thrashed at boxing last week, and Willoughby, who was always game for a curricle race.

Fox flashed his famous grin as he heard the ladies’ usual comments when he strolled past.

“I think he just smiled at me.”

“I think I’m going to swoon.”

“God, Arabella Vaughn is one lucky woman.”

“Was,” someone corrected. “Didn’t you see the report in The London Weekly this morning?”

Fox’s grin faltered.

That was when Mr. Rupert Wright and Lord Mowbray found him. Their friendship stretched all the way back to their early days at Eton.

“We heard the news, Fox,” Rupert said grimly, clapping a hand on his shoulder.

“I daresay everyone has heard the news,” Fox replied dryly.

It didn’t escape his notice that the guests nearby had fallen silent. It was the first time he’d appeared in public since the news broke in the paper this morning, though Arabella had so kindly left him a note the day prior. Everyone was watching him to see how he would react, what he would say, if he would cry.

“Who would have thought we’d see this day?” Mowbray mused. “Miss Arabella Vaughn, darling of the haute ton, running off with an actor.”

“That alone would be scandalous,” Rupert said, adding, “Never mind that she has ditched Fox. Who is, apparently, considered a catch. What with his lofty title, wealth, and not hideous face.”

Fox’s Male Pride bristled. It’d been bristling and seething and enraged ever since the news broke that his beautiful, popular betrothed had left him to elope with some plebian actor.

Not just any actor, either, but Lucien Kemble. Yes, he was the current sensation among the haute ton, lighting up the stage each night in his role as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. Covent Garden theater was sold out for the rest of the season. The gossip columns loved him, given his flair for dramatics both onstage and off—everything from tantrums to torrid love affairs to fits over his artistry. Women adored him; they may have sighed and swooned over Lucien Kemble as much as Fox.

To lose a woman to any other man was insupportable—and, until recently, not something that ever happened to him—but to lose her to someone who made his living prancing around onstage in tights? It was intolerable.

“Just who does she think she is?” Fox wondered aloud.

“She’s Arabella Vaughn. Beautiful. Popular. Enviable. Every young lady here aspires to be her. Every man here would like a shot with her,” Mowbray answered.

“She’s you, but in petticoats,” Rupert said, laughing.

It was true. He and Arabella were perfect together.

Like most men, he’d fallen for her at first sight after catching a glimpse of her across a crowded ballroom. She was beautiful in every possible way: a tall, lithe figure with full breasts; a mouth made for kissing and other things that gentlemen didn’t mention in polite company; blue eyes fringed in dark lashes; honey gold hair that fell in waves; a complexion that begged comparisons to cream and milk and moonlight.

Fox had taken one look at her and thought: mine.

They were a perfect match in beauty, wealth, social standing, all that. They both enjoyed taking the ton by storm. He remembered the pride he felt as they strolled through a ballroom arm in arm and the feeling of everyone’s eyes on them as they waltzed so elegantly.

They were great together.

They belonged together.

Fox also remembered the more private moments—so many stolen kisses, the intimacy of gently pushing aside a wayward strand of her golden hair, promises for their future as man and wife. They would have perfect children, and entertain the best of society, and generally live a life of wealth and pleasure and perfection, together.

Fox remembered his heart racing—nerves!—when he proposed because this beautiful girl he adored was going to be his.

And then she had eloped. With an actor.

It burned, that. Ever since he’d heard the news, Fox had stormed around in high dudgeon. He was not accustomed to losing.

“Take away her flattering gowns and face paint and she’s just like any other woman here,” Fox said, wanting it to be true so he wouldn’t feel the loss so keenly. “Look at her, for example.”

Rupert and Mowbray both glanced at the woman he pointed out—a short, frumpy young lady nervously sipping lemonade. She spilled some down the front of her bodice when she caught three men staring at her.

“If one were to offer her guidance on supportive undergarments and current fashions and get a maid to properly style her coiffure, why, she could be the reigning queen of the haute ton,” Fox pointed out.

Both men stared at him, slack jawed.

“You’ve never been known for being the sharpest tool in the shed, Fox, but now I think you’re really cracked,” Mowbray said. “You cannot just give a girl a new dress and make her popular.”

“Well, Mowbray, maybe you couldn’t. But I could.”

“Gentlemen . . .” Rupert cut in. “I don’t care for the direction of this conversation.”

“You honestly think you can do it,” Mowbray said, awed.

He turned to face Mowbray and drew himself up to his full height, something he did when he wanted to be imposing. His Male Pride had been wounded and his competitive spirit—always used to winning—was spoiling for an opportunity to triumph.

“I know I can,” Fox said with the confidence of a man who won pretty much everything he put his mind to—as long as it involved sport, or women. Arabella had been his first, his only, loss. A fluke, surely.

“Well, that calls for a wager,” Mowbray said.

The two gentlemen stood eye to eye, the tension thick. Rupert groaned.

“Name your terms,” Fox said.

“I pick the girl.”

“Fine.”

“This is a terrible idea,” Rupert said. He was probably right, but he was definitely ignored.

“Let me see . . . who shall I pick?” Mowbray made a dramatic show of looking around the ballroom at all the ladies nearby. There were at least a dozen of varying degrees of pretty and pretty hopeless.

Then Mowbray’s attentions fixed on one particular woman. Fox followed his gaze, and when he saw who his friend had in mind, his stomach dropped.

“No.”

“Yes,” Mowbray said, a cocky grin stretching across his features.

“Unfortunately dressed I can handle. Shy, stuttering English miss who at least knows the rules of society? Sure. But one of the Americans?”

Fox let the question hang there. The Cavendish family had A Reputation the minute the news broke that the new Duke of Durham was none other than a lowly horse trainer from the former colonies. He and his sisters were scandalous before they even set foot in London. Since their debut in society, they hadn’t exactly managed to win over the haute ton, either, to put it politely.

“Now, they’re not all bad,” Rupert said. “I quite like Lady Bridget . . .”

But Fox was still in shock and Mowbray was enjoying it too much to pay any mind to Rupert’s defense of the Americans.

“The bluestocking?”

That was the thing: Mowbray hadn’t picked just any American, but the one who already had a reputation for being insufferably intelligent, without style or charm to make herself more appealing to the gentlemen of the ton. She was known to bore a gentleman to tears by discussing not the weather, or hair ribbons, or gossip of mutual acquaintances, but math.

Lady Claire Cavendish seemed destined to be a hopeless spinster and social pariah.

Even the legendary Duchess of Durham, aunt to the new duke and his sisters, hadn’t yet been able to successfully launch them into society and she’d already had weeks to prepare them! It seemed insane that Fox should succeed where the duchess failed.

But Fox and his Male Pride had never, not once, backed away from a challenge, especially not when the stakes had never been higher. He knew two truths about himself: he won at women and he won at sport.

He was a winner.

And he was not in the mood for soul searching or crafting a new identity when the old one suited him quite well. Given this nonsense with Arabella, he had to redeem himself in the eyes of the ton, not to mention his own. It was an impossible task, but one that Fox would simply have to win.

“Her family is hosting a ball in a fortnight,” Mowbray said. “I expect you to be there—with Lady Claire on your arm as the most desirable and popular woman in London.”

Loved!

I absolutely adore this series (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes)! Three (each oh-so-awkward in their own way) American girls and their newly-made-a-reluctant-duke older brother tossed head first into the ton? Can it get any better than this? And yet every book seems to do just that…

One thing that I especially love is that all of these books take place synchronously, so it really doesn’t make a huge difference what order you read the books in–there are, of course, elements of the other stories mentioned throughout, but you’re really given just enough information in each story about the others’ for that particular story to make sense, without too many spoilers. James’s story looks to continue this trend, so, yay 🙂

Claire and Lord Fox were every bit as awesome as I’d hoped they’d be when reading Bridget and Amelia’s books ( Lady Bridget’s Diary and Chasing Lady Amelia ). Both of them present themselves to the world in a specific way, for different reasons. Claire uses her love of mathematics to try to drive away the boring men of the ton (and yep, it works pretty well), and Fox does everything he can to project to the world his winning image–he wins in sports, and wins with women. He’s puzzled at first when his usual charms don’t appear to work on Lady Claire (she doesn’t remember meeting him the second time they encounter each other, LOL), but he doesn’t think too much of it–until he makes an ill-advised bet with a soon to be former friend of his. Or isit ill-advised? Without it, he never would have gotten to know Claire…

Of course he also would’t have had to sit through so many Royal Society of Boring People to Death with Numbers meetings either, so….

(Kidding. They were totally worth it, even if he did want to bang his head on something hard halfway through some of them. Okay, all of them.)

What I loved best was what they were both willing to do for each other–and that in the end, neither one of them wanted the other to change. Both Claire and Fox came to learn that they really did “fit together like puzzle pieces; strangely shaped, but they clicked together just right to be greater together,” as Fox puts it at one point.

Bring on James and Meredith; I’m more than ready!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Make sure to “Keep Up” with the Cavendishes!

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own. Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

 

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Book Tour Grand Finale and Giveaway! LOVE FOR ALL SEASONS by Stacy Henrie


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Love for All Seasons
By Stacy Henrie

Love is something that is perfect for every season of the year. We hope you enjoyed finding out more about this newest novella collection set during each of the four seasons. If you missed any of the excerpts or review, go back and check them out now…

Launch – Note from the Author

In these four novellas – one for each season of the year – you’ll meet four couples who overcome a myriad of obstacles to love with faith and determination. Each story takes place in a different time period and setting, one that I felt really showcased that particular season.

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

“I love this author’s writing style and loved how well the novellas came together into stories that felt complete. For as much as I complain about certain seasons (namely winter because I hate being freezing cold all of the time…and maybe autumn because right now, I’m pretty tired of raking leaves), I LOVE having seasons. There are things that I love about each and every one and having a sweet story set in each season is truly magical.”

Heidi Reads… – Review

“Love for All Seasons was a perfect reading experience! . . . It was too hard to pick a favorite from the four stories set in each of the four seasons, so I recommend reading them all and deciding for yourself 😉 Can’t wait to read more from this author!”

The Power of Words – Review

“I enjoyed each novella very much and won’t even try to pick a favorite. Love for All Seasons is filled with sweet, touching stories – perfect for any time of the year when you’re looking for a satisfying shorter read.”

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“I loved this anthology! The stories are short and super sweet. I loved all of the characters and wanted to see their romances bloom. The book has a romance for each season of the year.”

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

“If you are looking for some sweet historical romances, set in different eras, tied together with a similar inspirational thread, look no further than Love For All Seasons by Stacy Henrie. It’s a collection that easily be read in one sitting, but you’ll also find yourself wanting to savor each story, reluctant to leave the characters behind. An excellent set of novellas, all four strong and each one unique.”

Zerina Blossom’s Books – Excerpt

Samantha knew the voice without turning. It was Rex. Her best friend. Her longtime neighbor. And the boy she’d bested as many times as she’d lost to during their shared years at the one-room schoolhouse up the road. Their competitive dares hadn’t ended, either, when Rex, two years her senior, had graduated. Though Samantha had enjoyed being the shining star of the classroom for those two years.

Tell Tale Book Reviews – Excerpt

If he stayed here long enough, maybe Mr. Whitefield would give up the idea of Rex accompanying Samantha, in this too-small sleigh, for the evening.

Not that he didn’t want to help deliver the gifts—he hated to see the older man’s traditional Christmas Eve activity halted by illness, and Rex agreed that Samantha shouldn’t go out alone. But tonight’s outing would make keeping his promise to stay away from Samantha impossible.

Wishful Endings – Excerpt

Tempest leapt up to find the hammer sitting innocently on top of the ledger at the far end of the counter. “Aha.” She lifted the tool off the account book and brandished it in the air in triumph. She’d remembered after all.

“Do you greet all of your customers as if you mean to bash them over the head?”

Singing Librarian Books – Review

“As always, Henrie delivers lovely and wonderful stories that readers will absolutely love. I would recommend this magnificent novella collection to readers that enjoy Henrie’s previous work, as well as are fans of historical romance stories.”

Jessica and Gracie’s Tree – Excerpt

Bram charged into the street, heedless of the traffic, his bag of unneeded nails gripped inside his hand. He hadn’t expected his competition to be a woman. And certainly not one as passionate and pretty as Tempest Blakely. When she’d leapt up from behind the counter, brandishing that hammer like some fierce Roman goddess, he quite forgot his purpose in entering the store in the first place.

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“Even though the stories are short, they feel complete. The characters and situations are so different and I enjoyed each one of them. I loved how faith and belief in God played an important role in each of their stories. This is the type of book you can enjoy in bits and pieces or all at once. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading clean, historical romance!”

Bookworm Nation – Excerpt

After gathering up the bundle of towels and clean linens to deliver to the next room, Loralee slipped out the door—only to crash into a firm chest clad in a damp bathing shirt. A hand clasped her elbow to keep her from joining the towels and sheets that had spilled onto the carpet.

Don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaway below as well…

Love for All Seasons: Four Inspirational Historical Romance NovellasLove for All Seasons
(Four Inspirational Historical Romance Novellas)
Inspirational Historical Romance
ebook, 164 pages
November 9th 2016

If you like the inspirational historical romances of Deanne Gist and Lauraine Snelling, you’ll love USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie! With four novellas—one for each season of the year—you’ll find a heartwarming collection of couples from a simpler time in America who discover the redeeming powers of faith and love.

A Long Winter Kiss

As Samantha and Rex’s childhood friendship matured into young love, they promised their hearts to one another, even as Rex headed off to war. But their hope for a bright future was shattered when Rex succumbed to his belief that the horrors of war had made him a man no woman could love. Now he has returned, and Samantha must help Rex see that he still has much to give—and much more to gain—by replacing fear with faith and opening himself to love.

An Unlikely Spring Courtship

Tempest worked hard to secure her independence as a woman running her own mercantile, so when Bram has the audacity to open a competing shop in a town with only enough room for one, Tempest is driven to despair. And then to retaliation. But when tragedy strikes their community and threatens everything they both hold dear, will they be able to recognize that what they share is far more important than what separates them?

A Summer for Love

Loralee’s life has changed dramatically in the eight years since she’s last seen the resort town of Bayocean, but one thing that has never changed is her feelings for Wyatt, a man she promised to meet at the resort on a specific day if they were both still unattached. When Wyatt appears on that date, as hopeful and uncertain as Loralee, the two must see if an old and abiding love has outlasted the changes wrought by time—and begin to build a new life together.

Romance in Autumn

Phoebe and James grew up together but apart in the same beautiful mansion, he as the son of the owners, she as the daughter of a servant. In the years since, Phoebe’s fortunes have changed dramatically, and she carries the dream of one day owning the mansion that is still close to her heart. Until James—now a deeply compelling man—delivers the bad news that securing the purchase will be all but impossible. As Phoebe reluctantly relinquishes her dream, she will also look deep into her soul to learn that a true home might exist in her budding love for James.

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USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids. You can learn more about Stacy and her books by visiting her website at stacyhenrie.com.

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Tour Giveaway

$40 Amazon eGift Card and Winner’s Choice of an ebook of Any of Stacy Henrie’s Books (you can see her books listed on Amazon here)
Open internationally
Ends December 8th

Book on Sale! THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict $2.99 Right Now!

 I absolutely can’t wait to read this one–pick it up now while it’s on sale!

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Summary:

A vivid and mesmerizing novel about the extraordinary woman who married and worked with one of the greatest scientists in history.

What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century.

In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever.

A literary historical in the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.

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A Conversation with Natasha Farrant, Author of THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET

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Welcome, Natasha! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I talk to my cat more than to any human being.
  2. I am addicted to strong black coffee.
  3. I am never happier than by the sea.
  4. I am proud to busting of my two amazing, strong, independent thinking teenage daughters.
  5. I am a European.

Fantastic!

 

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

Headstrong Lydia is the youngest sister of five, bored to death living in the country, dreaming of escape and excitement.

Handsome Wickham is a gambler and chancer, his charm and good looks his only assets.

Recently returned from India, the Comte and Comtesse de Fombelle have escaped the French Revolution and are looking to find their place in English society.

All of them are hustling for money and position, and marriage is the game they’re playing. Who is going to win? And what, pray, of love?

That pretty much sums it up.  As for Lydia, the one thing she would need on a desert island is company! She’d go crazy on her own. If you won’t give her an actual person, please could she have her pet cat, the murderous Napoleon?

LOL, yes, I could definitely see that! The murderous Napoleon, huh?

 

How long have you been writing, and what made you start?

I remember the exact moment when I learned to read on my own.  I must have been about five years old, and I was sitting in class, and suddenly the words on the page in front of me stopped being a cipher and became something magic: a story. I think I’ve known since that moment that I wanted to make the same sort of magic.  I’ve scribbled bits and pieces – ideas, thoughts, poems, diaries – all my life, but I didn’t start on my first full length novel until I left university (college). That novel, by the way, has never seen the light of day!

LOL, I hear you! Neither has my first. And it never, ever will! 😉

 

Besides Jane Austen, what authors and/or books have inspired you?

Oh, where to start! Enid Blyton, of course. Don’t sneer. As a child, there was no-one like her for making me believe I could do anything. Laura Ingalls Wilder. C S Lewis. L M Montgomery. E Nesbit. Eva Ibbotson. PG Wodehouse. Charlotte Bronte. George Orwell. Barbara Kingsolver. Stefan Zweig. Shakespeare.  Cervantes. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Harper Lee. Alexandre Dumas. Georgette Heyer. What can I say, I have eclectic tastes!

I’ll say! Great taste, though 🙂

 

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

What I like best are those rare, rare moments when the magic happens and I am transported as I write to a different time and place.  The most challenging parts are those days – alas, much more numerous – when everything I do feels wrong.  But I couldn’t ever stop.  As a wise man once said, “the only thing I can imagine worse than writing would be not writing.”

Excellent point!

 

What are you working on right now?

A middle-grade boarding school adventure story.

Sounds like fun!

 

If you had to sell The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet in a single Tweet, what would you say?

If you like the sound of a Regency feminist romp with a Jane Austen twist, then this is the book for you!

Perfect! Thanks so much!

 

About Natasha:14439497131443949692norfolk-beach

I am one of those rarities, a Londoner born and bred.  And like most true Londoners, I’m not completely English, but three-quarters French with a little bit Dutch thrown in.  I can’t imagine living anywhere else, though I would like a horse, a big old house with a secret passage or two, a fig tree, a walnut tree, lots of dogs and a vista of rolling hills on one side and the sea on the other.  All of which are sadly incompatible with both life in the city and my income.

I write partly because in my stories I can live the lives I’m not…

I have two teenage daughters, Justine and Lily, who provide endless inspiration for my books.  I am pleased to say inspiration works both ways. One of them has dyed her hair pink, and the other has taken to hanging out on the roof in the middle of the night.

The “person” I talk to most is my tortoiseshell cat, Amber.  This is because as a writer you spend a lot of time alone, which makes you go slightly mad.  Amber repays me for my conversation by trashing my house.  Soon we are goig to buy a dachshund puppy called Blue, and presumably he will be equally destructive.

I get very grumpy if I don’t have a good book to read, if I’m not writing, if I’m hungry, tired or don’t get enough exercise.  Otherwise I am a generally cheerful person.

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about my life as a writer.

 

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Title: THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET
Author: Natasha Farrant
Pub. Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: The Chicken House
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

 

A fresh, funny, and spirited reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet brings the voice of the wildest Bennet sister to life.

Lydia is the youngest of the five Bennet girls. She’s stubborn, never listens, and can’t seem to keep her mouth shut — not that she would want to anyway. She wishes her older sisters would pay her attention, or that something would happen in her boring country life.

Luckily, that something is right around the corner, and it’s the handsome Wickham, who arrives at Longbourn to sweep her off her feet. Lydia’s not going to let him know THAT, of course, especially since he only seems to be interested in friendship. But when they both decide to summer in the fasionable seaside town of Brighton, their paths inevitably become entangled again.

At the seaside, Lydia also finds exciting new ways of life and a pair of friends who offer her a future she would have never dreamed possible. Lydia finally understands what she really wants. But can she get it?

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A Conversation with Catherine Lanigan, Author of WEB OF DECEIT

Web of Deceit BannerOn Tour with Prism Book Tours.

What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. The first is that I feel a great sense of responsibility to my readers. Though I have to be inspired to write these kinds of volumes, I cling to the words my readers email to me or post on social media.  In the end, how do I know what you all want to read if you don’t tell me?
  2. Readers should know that I read nearly as much as I write. My TBR pile is short because I keep plowing through my books.
  3. I like, no love, print books. I don’t like to read on computers. However, there are some books that are only in ebook such as this one. And I’ll read on my computer.
  4. I want an iPad desperately….to read more ebooks
  5. I eat breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner at my computer in order to get everything done I need to do.

LOL to #4—though isn’t that why everyone gets a tablet?

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

This is one of those stories that came from the character. Amanda showed up in dreams as a young girl of about 10. Then later as a woman, the toast of New York society and then later, as the first voice of women’s rights.

Nice!

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I have been writing for 37 years. Though I’ve told this story before, there are always new readers and bloggers, who might have missed it.

I was about six when it really formulated in my mind. When I was young my mother was ill…a lot. My father didn’t believe in television, so to entertain my younger brothers and sister, I created fairy tales and stories I told them. I didn’t write anything down until I was in high school. My teachers thought I had talent.

Actually, I wanted to be a journalist. A foreign correspondent. I dreamed of being like Brenda Starr from the Sunday Chicago Tribune newspaper.  When I went to college, my second semester of my freshman year, the head of the English Department recommended me for a special creative writing class by a “travelling professor” who had taught at Princeton and Yale.

After a month, I’d written a short story. The night before class when the class (all senior women) would critique my story, the professor called me into his office. I just knew he was going to praise my work. Instead, he said, “Frankly, Miss Lanigan, your writing stinks. I have no idea how you weaseled your way into my class. You have no concept of structure, characterization or dialogue. I will give you that your description is nice.”  By this time I was in tears. I’d announced to the entire college that I expected to graduate Summa Cum Laude. (Big mistake.)  He told me that he’d caught me at the crossroads of my life. That my parents were spending a lot of money on my education, but I would never earn a dime as a writer.

He went on further to say that he was mindful of my desire to graduate Summa. To that end, he promised to be my “crutches” to get through his class and he would give me a B on one condition. That I promise never to write again.

I said, “It’s a deal.”  That night I burned my manuscript and promised God I would never believe in dreams again. If I could not chew it, taste it, spit it out, it wasn’t real and it wasn’t for me.

I didn’t write for 14 years until I met a research journalist who encouraged me to write. I sat down and wrote 400 pages of a WWI romantic spy novel.  I sent the unfinished manuscript to him. A month later he called me and said he thought it was “damn good and I’ve sent it to my agent. She’s going to call you in half an hour.”

Thirty minutes later a woman from New York called me and asked me questions about whether I wanted to go trade, soft or hard. I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me she would send a contract for me to sign with her agency. She asked if I had any questions.  I said, “Only one. Does this mean you like the book?”

LOL! I’m guessing yes… 😉

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

Right now, I’m finishing up the edits on DANGER ZONE, my #7 in my SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE SERIES. This is the story of Cate Sullivan, real estate agent, who has been living in Indian Lake for 6 years in disguise. She’s been running from her abusive husband, who is now a drug lord in Chicago.   I’m over half way through the writing of WEDDING FOR ISABELLE.  By November, I should be writing A BRIDE FOR MICA.   Then….onto the next dozen HEARTWARMING books!

Wow—you’re going to be busy! Sounds great!

What are you reading right now, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

I’m reading Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams. I adore it. I’ve read ALL her books and can’t get enough. Next up, is Carousel Nights by Amie Dehnam for Heartwarming.

Oooh, they both sound good 🙂

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Haunting love story amid murderous ambition.

Fabulous! Thank you so much, Catherine!

 

About the author:

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, and more. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into dozens of languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, Apple Store, Mobi and Kobo. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference.

Lanigan is the author of a trilogy of non- fiction books regarding angelic intervention in human life: Angel Watch, Divine Nudges and Angel Tales published by HCI and Cedar Fort.

Skyhorse published Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel.

Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid Foundation to write a non-fiction book addressing teen addictions. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute, was published by Cedar Fort.

Currently, she has published six novels in the Shores of Indian Lake series for Harlequin Heartwarming: Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire, A Fine Year for Love, Katia’s Promise and Fear of Falling. Sophie’s Path pubs July, 2016. She has recently contracted for three more in the series: Danger Zone, Wedding for Isabelle and A Bride for Mica.

As a cancer survivor, Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. (THE EVOLVING WOMAN). She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.

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Web of Deceit
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Historical Romance
ebook, 462 pages
June 4th 2016 by Cat Nolan Publishing

A Passion she could not deny—A lie she could never escape—

From the depths of a London slum, Amanda Granger created an illusion of wealth and breeding that became her passport into New York society. With her dazzling beauty and the ease with which she lived her lie, Amanda captivated an adoring public and drove men to bold and dangerous passions.

But for all her fierce ambition, all her daring dreams, Amanda Granger knew that her heart’s desires were held together by the fragile threads of deception and secrets. Triumph would always be elusive until she escaped from her web of deceit.

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Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends October 1st

Tour Schedule:

September 7th: Falling Leaves
September 8th: Bloomfield of thoughts
September 9th: underneath the covers
September 11th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
September 12th: Nicole’s Book Musings
September 13th: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
September 14th: Mel’s Shelves
September 15th: Wishful Endings
September 16th: Becky on Books
September 18th: Colorimetry
September 20th: Thoughts of a Blonde
September 19th: My Devotional Thoughts
September 21th: EskieMama Reads
September 22nd: Book Lover in Florida
September 23rd: Sylv all about books and films
September 25th: Harlie’s Books
September 26th: Grand Finale

Grab Our Button!

A Conversation with Maya Rodale, Author of CHASING LADY AMELIA (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #2–with a New Release Review and Giveaway!)

 Enter to Win a print copy of LADY BRIDGET’S DIARY (Keeping up with the Cavendishes Book One)

Welcome, Maya! Tell us about yourself.

I’m a New York City girl who loves to read and write romance novels (12 and counting!). I enjoy Beyoncé dance parties, romantic comedies, and talking about why romance novels matter. The hardest part of my day is staying up past 9pm. I married a great guy who thinks all my books are about him and I have the most fabulous dog who knows everything is all about her (Peek at pictures here!). My website is www.mayarodale.com, check it out!

I read Dangerous Books for Girls in a single day—definitely recommend!
What three things about you might surprise your readers?

  1. I once lived in London for a summer for graduate school and spent much of it researching in the British Library and trekking around to every museum and historical house (and gift shop). It has proven to be tremendously helpful when writing my Regency romances.
  2. I’m very short—4 feet, eleven and three quarter inches, barefoot. Do not forget my three/quarters of an inch.
  3. I keep a list of all the books I read, organized by year, color-coded by month. As one does.

I am infinitely jealous over #1.

 

Is there a genre(s) that you think “I might like to write one of those.”?
I have plenty of stories in my head and even some drafts under the bed that aren’t romance and I would love to write them (read: the muse insists I must write them). One is a Young Adult novel, the others are grown up lady fiction. But all of them will end happily 🙂

Excellent! A happy ending is key.

 

Tell us about CHASING LADY AMELIA.

Lady Amelia Cavendish is sister to a duke and hates it. Alistair Finlay-Jones is heir to a baron who hates him. A series of events involving scandal, laudanum and lost shoes result in these two running away for a perfect day around London, taking in the sights and falling in love. When Amelia finds out Alistair had been ordered to marry her, he must woo her and win back the angry American girl. But with the threat of scandals, plural, looming…will he ever catch up to the woman he loves?

Spoiler alert–yes! But he’s going to have to pay first…

 

Where did the idea for the storyline come from?

The idea for Chasing Lady Amelia came from two distinct, but oddly compatible, stories. The first is Pride & Prejudice, which is the inspiration for book one in the Keeping Up With The Cavendishes, Lady Bridget’s Diary. In both those novels, there’s a runaway sister who definitely needs to have her story told (where did she go!? With whom!? What kind of sexy fun trouble did she get into?!) And then I noticed that the plot of my favorite movie of all time, Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, would dovetail perfectly. While her story inspired by that film, Amelia quickly takes over and makes the story uniquely her own.

Ha! I knew it was Roman Holiday! Thank goodness it has a happier ending than the movie, though 🙂

 

What do you think readers will like/love about Alistair and Amelia?
Things to love about Amelia: her irrepressible spirit and love for her family.

Things to love about Alistair: his kindness, determination to do the right thing and the way he pleases Amelia, if you know what I mean 😉

LOL—yes, yes we do.

 

What was your favorite scene from the book?

My favorite scene in Chasing Lady Amelia is a spoiler! (But don’t worry,  no spoilers here).  I’d been having trouble with the ending (I wrote it, oh, three different ways) and over dinner and drinks with my husband we schemed and plotted an alternate ending that is both funny, humorous, plays on the Alistair’s worst fears and gives Amelia a say in her own destiny.  It was a riot to write and is hopefully a delight to read!

It definitely was!
Who are some of your book boyfriends?  What draws you to them?
Not Lord Darcy! I’m much more partial to Gilbert Blythe (If you don’t know who that is, I’m so sorry). But my book boyfriends tend to be the ones I’m writing currently about, so right now they are a hot, hunky Marquess (Lord Fox, of Lady Claire is All That) and a rebellious, American duke (the final book in the Cavendish series). I’m a lucky girl 😉

Wait…there are people out there who don’t know Gilbert Blythe? Inconceivable!
If you had to pick a favorite cocktail of choice, what would it be?  (It can be non-alcoholic too)
Something sparkling! Whether it’s champagne (or Prosecco, I’m not picky) or sparkling water with extra limes please thank you very much. Cheers!

Sounds refreshing!
What’s next for you?

I am Keeping Up With The Cavendishes! I’ve just finished up book three in the series, Lady Claire is All That (12/27/16). Readers will see this smart heroine make an unexpectedly perfect match with the hunky “jock” of the haute ton, Lord Fox, in a story that riffs on the rom com She’s All That. Oh, and then I’m writing the duke’s romance…

I’m seeing a movie re-watch in my future! 😉 Can’t wait for James’s story, either…


Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence and it wasn’t long before she was writing her own. Maya is now the author of multiple Regency historical romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

CHASING LADY AMELIA
Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #2
Maya Rodale
Releasing June 28th, 2016
Avon Books
 
In the second novel of Maya Rodale’s enchanting Keeping Up with the Cavendishes series, an American heiress finds her reputation—and heart—in danger when she travels to London and meets a wickedly tempting rake
 
Terribly Improper

Lady Amelia is fed up with being a proper lady and wishes to explore London, so one night she escapes . . . and finds herself in the company of one Alistair Finlay-Jones. He’s been ordered by his uncle to wed one of the American girls. How lucky, then, that one of them stumbles right into his arms!
Totally Scandalous
Alistair and Amelia have one perfect day to explore London, from Astley’s Amphitheater to Vauxhall Gardens. Inevitably they end up falling in love and making love. If anyone finds out, she will be ruined, but he will win everything he’s ever wanted.
Very Romantic

When Amelia finds out Alistair has been ordered to marry her, he must woo her and win back the angry American girl. But with the threat of scandals, plural, looming . . . will he ever catch up to the woman he loves?
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 Excerpt-Banner

“Ah, Lady Nansen. Lord Nansen!” The duchess and her charges paused before a couple that looked just like all the others Amelia had been introduced to: they were of an indeterminate middle age, decked in an array of brightly colored silks and satins, and honestly, a bit jowly and gray.

“I haven’t yet introduced you to my nephew and nieces.”

“And we have been dying to make their acquaintance,” Lady Nansen said, fanning herself furiously. “The ton has spoken of nothing else.”

The duchess performed the introductions. Upon meeting James, the new duke, fawning ensued.

Everyone fawned over James these days—but then when his back was turned they whispered about how his father was a horse thief and that James had been raised in the stables and how tragic it was that Durham was now in his hands.

“And Lady Claire.”

Amelia watched as they took in Claire’s spectacles and her distracted, impatient demeanor. She had not mastered the slightly vacant look of a simpering miss and with a brain as sharp as hers, never would. Amelia watched as Lady Nansen decided that Claire would never be an “incomparable,” or whatever they called the popular girls of the ton, and flitted her attention to the next sister.

“Lady Bridget.”

Amelia watched as her middle sister glided into an elegant curtsy. The duchess beamed. Lady Nansen judged.

“Your practicing is paying off,” Amelia murmured. She’d caught Bridget curtsying in front of the mirror in the ballroom for an hour last Thursday.

“Do shut up, Amelia,” Bridget said through gritted teeth. Unlike the other Cavendish siblings,

Bridget actually cared about fitting in here. She was obsessed with learning and following the rules.

“And Lady Amelia.” She gave a smile somewhere between gargoyle and simpering miss, but perhaps more on the gargoyle side of the spectrum.

“You must have your hands full, Duchess, trying to make so many matches.”

“It does give one something to do all day,” the duchess replied, with a tight-lipped smile that

Amelia dubbed the One Where I Am Smiling Even Though I Hate What You Just Said. “But I do have every confidence that they will make splendid matches. In fact, I have someone special in mind for Lady Amelia this evening.”

The duchess beamed at her charges, as if they hadn’t been foiling her every effort to marry them off. Amelia began to dread meeting “someone special.”

“I say, Duke,” Lord Nonesuch or whatever began, “do you have an opinion on any of the horses running Ascot?”

The lords always asked James for his opinion on which horse would win a race, so they might win a wager. And then they turned around and made snide remarks about his experience raising and training horses—as if he were beneath them because of this knowledge. Even though he now outranked them.

“I do,” James said, smiling easily.

“Don’t suppose you’d tell a friend who you think will be the winner?” Lord Nansen or Nancy said jovially, with a wink and a nudge.

“I might,” James replied.

This was a conversation he’d had before and Amelia had begged him to do something nefarious, like deliberately suggest a losing horse. But James refused and just smiled like he knew the winner and never said a word.

“I suppose you’re going to build up Durham’s stables,” his lordship said.

“Nansen, he doesn’t have time for horses,” his wife said in that exasperated way of wives. “He must find a bride first.”

The duchess beamed, an I-told-you-so smile.

Then Lady Nansen turned and fixed her attentions on Amelia. Her fan was beating at a furious pace.

“And Lady Amelia, have you found any suitors you care for?”

“After having met nearly all of England’s finest young gentlemen, I can honestly say that no, I have not found any suitors that I could care for,” Amelia said. “But I do have a new appreciation for spinsterhood. In fact, I think it sounds like just the thing.”

Just the thing was a bit of slang she had picked up. Sticking forks in her eye was just the thing (but only with the good silver!). Flustering old matrons with an honest and direct statement was just the thing.

Lady Nansen stared at her a moment, blinking rapidly as she tried to process what Amelia had just said.

“Well your sister seems to have snared the attentions of Darcy’s younger brother,” she said, evidently disregarding Amelia and focusing on Bridget, the one who cared about fitting in and finding suitors.

“Are Lord Darcy and Mr. Wright here tonight?” Bridge asked eagerly. Too eagerly. “I haven’t seen them.”

“It’s not a party without Darcy,” Amelia quipped.

Darcy spent the majority of every social engagement standing against the wall, glowering at the company, refusing to dance, and begging the question of why he even bothered to attend.

But that was neither here nor there and no one deigned to reply to Amelia, so she sighed and lamented her choice in footwear quietly to herself. When Lord and Lady Nansen took their leave and sauntered off, the duchess turned and fixed her cool, blue eyes on Amelia.

“You might endeavor to be a touch more gracious, Lady Amelia.”

The Duchess always said everything in perfectly worded, excruciatingly polite phrases. Translation: Lord above, Amelia, stop acting like a brat.

“I’m just . . . bored.”

And homesick. And unhappy. And dreading the future you have planned for me. And a dozen other feelings one does not mention when one is at a ball.

“Bored?” The duchess arched her brows. “How on earth can you be bored by all this?” She waved her hand elegantly, to indicate everything surrounding them. “Is all the splendor, music, and the company of the best families in the best country not enough for you? I cannot imagine that you had such elegance and luxuries in the provinces.”

Everyone here still referred to her home country as the provinces, or the colonies, or as the remote American backwater plagued by heathens, when Amelia knew that it was a beautiful country full of forthright, spirited people. It was her true home.

They operated under the impression that there was no greater fun to be had than getting overdressed and gossiping with the same old people each night, in crowded ballrooms in a crowded city.

She missed summer nights back home on their farm in Maryland, when she would slip outside at night with a blanket, to look up at the vast, endless expanse of stars.

This, no matter what the duchess said, just did not compare.

Amelia shrugged.

“We already met half these people at the six other balls we have attended this week,” she said. “The other half are crashing bores.”

Crashing bores was a phrase Amelia had read in the gossip columns. The violence of it appealed to her.

“I suppose it would be too much to ask you to pretend to act like an interested and engaging young lady.” Then, turning to Lady Bridget, the duchess said, “I daresay she couldn’t.”

With that, the duchess turned away.

She turned away, leaving the words hanging in the air, floating to the ground, just waiting for

Amelia to pounce on them.

“Well that was a challenge,” Claire said.

“I’m not certain she could manage it.” Bridget sniffed.

Really? Really?

“Is that a dare?” Amelia asked, straightening up. Oh, she would pretend all right. She would pretend so well they’d all be shocked. It would give her something to do at least. “Because I will take that dare.”

“I’d like to see you try,” Bridget replied. Then, muttering under her breath she added, “For once.”

Amelia reddened. Admittedly she hadn’t been taking this whole sister-of-the-duke business seriously. But she would show them. So instead of sticking her tongue out and scowling at Bridget, Amelia stuck her nose right up in the air and turned away.

 

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If you’d have told me last February that I was going to loveChasing Lady Amelia (and Lady Amelia) even more than I loved Lady Bridget’s Diary , I’m not sure I would have believed you. Because, Lady Bridget. And Darcy.

But–Lady Amelia. I loved her story. It’s Roman Holiday, but with the happy ending the movie (sadly) never had…and shows a slightly different view of the P&P/BJD story that we got in Bridget (Amelia’s the less-annoying, and ultimately better choice-making Lydia character). I laughed. (A lot.) I cried. (Slightly less, and mostly for happy reasons.) I actually clapped at the end, and at seeing the excerpt for the next book (oldest sister Claire’s! And it’s a She’s All That / My Fair Lady/Pygmalian story! Woot! Even though this means poor James and Miss Green have to wait…) I highlighted the story all over the place. (Thank goodness for ereaders.)

In other words. SO. GOOD.

I loved that the events of this one are happening right along with the events of book one–we get another angle of some of the events, and of course see what Amelia was up to when she “disappeared”. Claire’s book looks to be more of the same–so fun!–and fingers crossed that James’s will too. Fortunately for Josie (AKA the Duchess, their sponsor/aunt), it looks like all of her charges will be spoken for much sooner than she originally thought! (Despaired of? Felt it would be possible to hope for?) In fact, Josie was so awesome by the end of this story, I actually wished I could reach in and give her a hug.

Except I probably wouldn’t. Because she’s still kind of scary. Alistair’s right about that.

Though the events of this one are intertwined with book one, it shouldn’t be a problem to read them out of order if you had to. Amelia’s story probably could be read as a standalone–but I’ve got to warn you, you won’t want to stop with just one.

Once again I loved, loved, loved watching all four of the Cavendishes interact with each other. If it weren’t for the romance (because, Amelia and Alistair! Kissing! and other stuff) I’d almost be tempted to say that it’s my favorite part of the series. I definitely can’t blame poor Alistair for wanting to be a part of it all (though of course he fell in love with Amelia first–her awesome family was just a bonus). Every time they’re all together on the page you’re guaranteed a giggle. Or seven. And probably a tug at your heart while you’re at it.

Have I mentioned I’m anxious for books 3 and 4?

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

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About America’s First Daughter:

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.

It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.

Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father’s reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

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