Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart...review added May 18, 2022

 


My review: 

Wow! Have you ever sat back and wondered how someone could write such a story, one that keeps you engaged and causes you to go to Google over and over to see what the author is talking about. TheMaster Craftsman was such a book. In the manner of true historical fiction, The Master Craftsman is based on a true story, that of Peter Karl Faberge and the Imperial Eggs he created. I loved the three timelines that Ms. Stuart used in the story. She created three storylines all focused on an egg that Faberge might have created. It also demonstrates the true value of treasures, both monetary and otherwise. And the ending was not at all what I expected but was the perfect ending.


I recommend you brew a pot of chai. find a cozy nook and prepare to be whisked away to a world of jewels and plots and suspense...The hunt is on!


I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley with no expectations. All thoughts are my own




I hate to admit but I am seriously behind on my reading. I was supposed to have finished Kelli Stuart's The Master Craftsman and posted a review today. Well unfortunately that is not happening. So I thought I would give a shout-out today and post my review soon. 


From Amazon:

In 1917, Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history--an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar's family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family. 

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance--and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

This modern-day treasure hunt from award-winning author Kelli Stuart transports you into the opulent and treacherous world of the Russian Revolution to unearth mysteries long buried.


About the author:


Kelli Stuart is a writer and a storyteller at heart. A graduate of Baylor University with a degree in English Professional Writing, and a minor in the Russian language, Kelli has honed her skills in the written word through editing, ghostwriting, blogging, and traveling the world.

Kelli is the author of the Carol-award winning novel, Like a River From Its Course, based on true stories from Ukrainian World War II survivors. Her second novel, A Silver Willow by the Shore, was the NIEA winner for literary fiction and received the IPPY silver award for literary fiction in 2020.

Kelli's third book, The Fabulous Freaks of Monsieur Beaumont released in August, 2021. She will release her fourth novel, The Master Craftsman in April, 2022 with Revell books. In addition, Kelli is part of a collection of short stories in the Christmas release, It's a Wonderful Christmas: Classics Reimagined.

Kelli has co-authored the non-fiction books Dare 2B Wise with Joe White, and Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom with Wendy Speake. Kelli lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband and five children.




Link to The House of Faberge:


https://www.faberge.com/the-world-of-faberge/timeline


Faberge Imperial Egg :: 1906 Moscow Kremlin | Faberge eggs, Easter eggs,  Faberge Examples of Faberge Eggs


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Foreign Crown by Jen Geigle Johnson

 


Jen Geigle Johnson is a new to me author, and after reading A Foreign Crown I will definitely be reading more of her books. I loved the way she weaves a story that explores marriage for love or duty. I really enjoyed the historical detail of King George the 3rd and Queen Charlotte's court. The characters came to life and enticed me to keep reading late into the night. I will be adding Ms. Johnson to the list of authors whose books I seek out! 


I recommend that you brew a pot of tea, curl up in a comfy chair and travel back in time to the court of the mad king!

All thoughts are my own.


From Amazon:

Following a devastating series of misfortunes, Lady Aribella Bardsley has bravely shouldered the responsibilities of her household. But just as the bleakness of her situation threatens to overwhelm her, a summons arrives from the Queen with a providential offer: Aribella’s presence is requested as a lady-in-waiting at the palace. 

Prince Layton Wilhelm’s family has clung to their neutrality in the war for far too long. As the youngest of the King of Oldenburg’s eight sons, Layton is determined to prove his worth and is unwilling to turn a blind eye to Napoleon’s encroaching privateers. When Layton embarks on a journey to England, it is for one purpose: to petition the British navy for aid. But when he becomes acquainted with the lovely Lady Aribella, he cannot deny their powerful connection. Amid the intrigues and schemes within the walls of the palace, Layton and Aribella know a future together is impossible—but torn between loyalty and love, will they risk everything to follow their hearts



About the author:




An award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance, Jen Geigle Johnson has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well. Six children and an inspiring husband keep her going and make certain she doesn't stay glued to a keyboard or lost in obscure fascinating details of old castles. She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She waterskis like a boss and hits the powder, falling down steep moguls with grace. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love with the man who would become her everything.

Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.

https://www.jengeiglejohnson.com

Twitter--@authorjen

Instagram--@authorlyjen

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenGeigleJohnson/



Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Letter From Briarton Park by Sarah Ladd.

 


All Cassandra Hale has ever known is the orphanage where she grew up. She receives a mysterious letter that leads her to Briarton Park. There she is caught between two worlds, one of the gentry and the other of the villagers. She catches the interest of two men and gets caught up in a mystery. I loved the setting and the plot was very interesting. Ms. Ladd does an excellent job telling of life in Regency England. She tells lovely faith-filled stories that compel you to read long after bedtime.


So brew your favorite tea, shut off your phone (unless that is where you read) and curl up for a relaxing afternoon.


I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.


From Amazon:

In Regency England, one letter will alter a young woman’s fate when it summons her to Briarton Park—an ancient estate that holds the secrets of her past and the keys to her future.

Cassandra Hale grew up knowing little about her parentage, and she had made peace with the fact that she never would. But her world shifts when a shocking deathbed confession reveals a two-year-old letter from Mr. Clark, the master of Briarton Park, with hints to her family’s identity. Stung by betrayal, Cassandra travels to the village of Anston only to learn Mr. Clark has since passed away.

James Warrington is a widower and the new master of Briarton Park, where he lives with his two young daughters, his sister, and his mother-in-law. When Cassandra appears at his doorstep with a letter from the previous owner and then proceeds to assist his family in an unexpected way, he is honor bound to help uncover the answers she seeks.

The more time Cassandra spends in Anston, the more she begins to suspect not everything—or everyone—is as they seem. As details emerge, the danger surrounding her intensifies. Using wit and intuition, she must navigate the treacherous landscapes between truth and rumor and between loyalty and deception if she is to uncover the realities of her past and find the place her heart can finally call home.

Sarah Ladd’s latest Regency romance, first in the new Houses of Yorkshire series, combines mystery and intrigue with the best of historical storytelling.

Praise for The Letter from Briarton Park:

“The swoon-worthy romance of Jane Austen meets the suspense of Charlotte Bronte in Sarah Ladd's enthralling The Letter from Briarton Park. As Cassandra navigates the mystery of her own life, it is absolutely clear that family—either of blood or heart—are where she, and we, ultimately find our home.” —Joy Callaway, international bestselling author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society and The Greenbrier Resort

  • Sweet Regency romance with mystery elements
  • The first book in the Houses of Yorkshire series, but can be read in any order
  • Book-length: approximately 91,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

About the author:



Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

In Honor's Defense Hanger's Horsemen book three by Karen Witemeyer

 


I have yet to read a Karen Witemeyer book that I don't love. Karen's newest book, In Honors Defense, is her latest offering and I adored it. Luke Davenport and Demaris Baxter are intriguing characters who each for their own reasons feel that they do not deserve a family of their own. However, when they meet God changes their plans. This was a fun book to read and it was great to sit back and enjoy a western romance. I highly recommend this whole series. All three books show God's redemptive power.


So if I were you, I would brew up a pot of tea, power off the phone, and settle in for a great read.


I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.


From Amazon:

He's Faced Countless Perils on the Battlefield, but Nothing so Dangerous as Falling in Love.

Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life--for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he's left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she'd have and to give him the family he desperately needs.

When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke's attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris's brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.


About the author:


For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warm-hearted historical romances with a flair of humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.

Winner of the HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, National Reader's Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, please visit www.karenwitemeyer.com.


Monday, May 2, 2022

The Deadly Shallows by Dani Pettrey

 


I have read every book that Dani Pettrey has written, beginning with Submerged in 2012. I have just finished The Deadly Shallows and it is awesome how Dani has gone from a wonderful author to a fantastic storyteller. Her books simply draw you in causing the world to fade away. I love the way she always weaves faith through her characters' lives. The deadly Shallows brings to a thrilling conclusion the Coastal Guardians series and I am sincerely sorry to say goodbye to these characters. And the situations the folks find themselves in are so realistic, that I find myself ducking in order to avoid danger. I do recommend you read the first two books in the series before reading the Deadly Shallows. 

Grab a pitcher of tea and curl up for an awesome adventure!


I was given a copy of Deadly Shallows by NetGalley with no expectations. All thoughts are my own!


From Amazon:

A mass shooting.
A stolen weapon capable of immense destruction. 
A painful secret that threatens to tear two hearts apart.

CGIS Agent Noah Rowley is rocked to the core when he learns of a mass shooting raging on his Coast Guard base. He and his team stop the attack, but not before numerous innocent lives are lost. Furious and grief-stricken, he determines to do whatever is needed to bring the mastermind behind the attack to justice.

Coast Guard flight medic Brooke Kesler evacuates the scene of the shooting in a helicopter carrying the only surviving gunman. Gravely wounded, the man whispers mysterious information to Brooke that immediately paints a target on her back.

As Brooke and Noah race to uncover answers, emotions between them ignite. Noah struggles to protect Brooke at all costs and to conceal the secret that prevents him from becoming what he longs to be--the right man for her.

Everything is at stake as a horrifying truth emerges. . . .

The mass shooting wasn't the end game. It was only the beginning.

"This action-packed thriller is sure to please."--IRENE HANNON, bestselling and award-winning author

"I love Dani's writing, and The Deadly Shallows is one of her best! Tightly written and dripping with tension. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough."--CARRIE STUART PARKS, bestselling and award-winning author of Relative Silence


About the author:


About Dani Pettrey

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than a half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award finalist, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award.

From her early years eagerly reading Nancy Drew mysteries, to paging through Agatha Christie novels or watching on-the-edge-of-her-seat adventure movies, Dani has always enjoyed mystery and suspense. She considers herself blessed to be able to write the kind of stories she loves—full of plot twists and peril, love, and longing for hope and redemption. Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart. She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit www.danipettrey.com


Sunday, May 1, 2022

Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna White

 



Author Roseanna White is an accomplished author who writes many different genres and I love all of her books! Shadowed Loyalty is her latest book and it is a different time period for Ms. White. In Shadowed Loyalty Ms. White tells the story of Sabina and Lorenzo, both adult children of mobsters in Chicago, during Prohibition. Sabina, the innocent daughter of a mob boss is engaged to Lorenzo, a young lawyer struggling to make a life outside of the Family! I loved the characters and the growth they show as the book progresses. The setting is great and the story reads very well. I loved the plot as Sabina discovers her heritage and her faith. I must add that all of Roseanna White's books are on my must-buy and add to my keeper shelf.

So find a comfy chair, brew up a pot of tea and curl up for an excellent story.

I was given a copy of Shadowed Loyalty by the publisher with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.


From Amazon:

Sabina Mancari never questioned her life as the daughter of Chicago’s leading mob boss until bullets tear apart her world and the man she thought she loved turns out to be an undercover Prohibition agent. Ambushes, bribes, murder, prostitution—all her life, her father sheltered her from his crimes, but now she can no longer turn away from the truth. Maybe Lorenzo, the fiancé who barely paid her any attention in the last two years, has the right idea by planning to escape their world. But can she truly turn her back on her family?

All his life, Lorenzo’s family assumed he would become a priest, but he has different ideas—marrying Sabina and pursuing a career in the law. Despite his morals, he knows at the core he isn’t so unlike his mafiosi father and brothers. Has he, in trying to protect Sabina, forced her into the arms of the Prohibition agent bent on tearing her family apart? How can they rebuild what has so long been neglected and do it in the shadow of the dark empire of the Mafia?

Shadowed Loyalty, set amid the glitz and scandal of the Roaring Twenties, examines what love really means and how we draw lines between family and our own convictions, especially when following one could mean losing the other.



About the author:



Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.



#RoseannaWhite #ShadowedLoyalty 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Elinor by Shannon McNear

 


I love historical fiction when it is well done! Shannon McNear did an excellent job with Elinor, postulating what might have been. Elinor is the story of Elinor White Dare and her time as a settler of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Ms. McNear has written an intriguing story mixing the small amount known about Roanoke with what might have happened. I really enjoyed the storytelling, and her descriptions were enthralling. This is the first book by Ms. McNear that I have read and I hope it won't be the last!


Pour up a glass of peach tea, grab a throw, and settle in for a tale of what might have been...


I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.


From Amazon:

A Journey Full of Hope...
Escape into a riveting story based on the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.

In 1587, Elinor White Dare sailed from England heavy with her first child but full of hopes. Her father, a renowned artist and experienced traveler, has convinced her and her bricklayer husband Ananias to make the journey to the New World. Land, they are promised, more goodly and beautiful than they can ever imagine. But nothing goes as planned from landing at the wrong location, to facing starvation, to the endless wait for help to arrive. And, beyond her comprehension, Elinor finds herself utterly alone. . . .
The colony at Roanoke disappeared into the shadows of history. But, what if one survived to leave a lasting legacy?


About the author:


Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. A Midwestern farm girl who lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for more than two decades before being transplanted to North Dakota, she's a military wife, mother of 8, and a member of ACFW and FHL. When not cooking, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies.