Blog Tour and Book Review: Dark Blue Waves #TimeTravel #JaneAusten

*Book review at the bottom of the page.

Dark Blue Waves by Kimberly Sullivan

Publication Date: May 27, 2022 Genre: Time Travel Romance/Regency     When you wake up in Bath, England two hundred years in the past, how far can a love of Jane Austen get you? Janet Roberts dreams of an academic career in literature, so she can hardly believe her good fortune when she’s accepted into a Jane Austen graduate seminar in Bath, England. Settled in Georgian splendor among her seminar colleagues, Janet and her classmates live, eat and breathe Jane Austen. An accident interrupts this idyll when Janet regains consciousness in her own room—back in Regency England. For a scholar of nineteenth-century literature, this should be a dream come true. But Janet quickly learns there’s a world of difference between scholarly knowledge of the written page and maneuvering real life as a reluctant time traveler. Her burgeoning friendship with Emma Huntington eases her entrée into nineteenth-century society. However, Emma’s brother, the handsome, proud and frustratingly magnetic Sir Edward, is far less welcoming. While desperately attempting to make sense of her dilemma, Janet treads a thin line between trying to blend into her new world and not being unmasked as the imposter she is. Can she find the way to return to her twenty-first century life before her secret is discovered? After working so hard to create a rewarding nineteenth-century life for herself, does she even want to?

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Praise

“Sullivan has crafted a detailed and immersive time-traveling romance populated with colorful characters and plot twists that would make Jane Austen proud.” -IndieReader Review “A transporting drama of love, desire, and hope. Sullivan’s deft, assured narrative is interwoven with wry humor and shrewd observations as she delves into love, passion, courage, integrity, honor, duty, and sacrifice. The assured prose, visceral images, and sharp dialogue create a suitably period feel, and the swift plot advances unpredictably. Janet is an endearing heroine, and her inner turmoil at the core of the story is beautifully conveyed. Steeped in period feeling and written with intelligence and authenticity, this time-travel tale makes for a winner.” -The Prairies Book Review “A captivating story about finding love and discovering where you belong. Sullivan’s novel is absolutely enchanting, and it’s a joy to see Janet reassess her contemporary prejudices, offering a compelling take on both the time period and on period literature. Dark Blue Waves is an effortlessly charming novel about following your heart, which is recommended for all fans of Austen and historical romance.” -Self-Publishing Review

About the Author

Kimberly grew up in the suburbs of Boston and in Saratoga Springs, New York, although she now calls the Harlem neighborhood of New York City home when she’s back in the US. She studied political science and history at Cornell University and earned her MBA, with a concentration in strategy and marketing, from Bocconi University in Milan. Afflicted with a severe case of Wanderlust, she worked in journalism and government in the US, Czech Republic and Austria, before settling down in Rome, where she works in international development, and writes fiction any chance she gets. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and The Historical Novel Society and has published several short stories and two novels: Three Coins and Dark Blue Waves. After years spent living in Italy with her Italian husband and sons, she’s fluent in speaking with her hands, and she loves setting her stories in her beautiful, adoptive country.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 27 Feature at Bookworlder Review at Gwendalyn’s Books Tuesday, June 28 Guest Post at The Romance Book Fairy Wednesday, June 29 Review at Booking with Janelle Thursday, June 30 Excerpt at Books Blog Review at Bonnie Reads and Writes Friday, July 1 Review at Books, Writings, and More Monday, July 4 Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy Tuesday, July 5 Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read Wednesday, July 6 Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Dark Blue Waves by Kimberly Sullivan! The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on July 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter. Dark Blue Waves https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js  

BOOK REVIEW

This is a very interesting combination of a Jane Austen inspired romance combined with time travel! I will address the time travel first, as my expectations for time travel fiction are very high. The method of time travel in this book is extremely unique. It is a combination of an object and another event working together. I certainly haven’t seen it before. It may fall somewhere between unique and over the top, but it is intriguing. As far as rules of time travel, It is up to the author to set the rules of time travel and I don’t see too many here. I would say this book is definitely Jane Austen forward with just a bit of time travel.

The Jane Austen aspect of this book is superb and Austen fans will be delighted by all the references to her work. The location of both timelines was Bath, England, and I felt completely transported to the 19th century there. The romance is very well done. I loved the references to Austen’s books and the comparisons between the 19th and 21st centuries. Fans of Jane Austen will surely enjoy this romance with a bit of time travel and lots and lots of Jane.

I received a free copy of this book via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

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Blog Tour and Book Review: The Girl From Jonestown #JimJones #Guyana

Book Description:

The woman looked at me, anguish brimming in her eyes. I picked up the note she’d left and read the scrawl: HELP!!! Then: Mom. Followed by a number.

A gripping and heartbreaking read, based on the true story of the Jonestown cult, one of the darkest chapters in American history.

When journalist Zoe Quint loses her husband and child in a tragic accident, she returns home to Guyana to heal. But when she hears cries and music floating through the trees, her curiosity compels her to learn more about the Americans who have set up camp in a run-down village nearby. Their leader, Jim Jones, dark eyed and charismatic, claims to be a peaceful man who has promised his followers paradise.

But everything changes when Zoe meets one of his followers, a young woman called Lucy, in a ramshackle grocery store. Lucy grabs Zoe’s arm, raw terror in her eyes, and passes her a note with a phone number, begging her to call her mother in America.

Zoe is determined to help Lucy, but locals warn her to stay away from the camp, and as sirens and gunshots echo through the jungle at nightfall, she knows they are right. But she can’t shake the frightened woman’s face from her mind, and when she discovers that there are young children kept in the camp, she has to act fast.

Zoe’s only route to the lost people is to get close to their leader, Jim Jones. But if she is accepted, will she be able to persuade the frightened followers to risk their lives and embark on a perilous escape under the cover of darkness? And when Jim Jones hears of her plans, could she pay the highest price of all?

A powerful novel inspired by the true story of Jonestown, about a woman’s brave attempt to save people who were promised paradise but found only lies. Fans of Where the Crawdads SingBefore We Were Yours and The Girls will be captivated by The Girl from Jonestown.

BOOK REVIEW

Zoe comes home to Guyana to finally try and heal after the loss of her husband and child, but her peace is interrupted by strange voices and chantings in the jungle. That is when she learns about the group of Americans living there. They are The People’s Temple, led by the charismatic Jim Jones, and seem to be there of their own accord. When Lucy, a terrified girl from this group, passes her a note, Zoe realizes everyone may not be present willingly. Determined to help, she decides to go inside “Jonestown” and try to help.

This powerful book takes a fresh look at Jonestown through the eyes of a Guyanese reporter, Zoe, and a Jonestown captive, Lucy. We look at the reality of Jonestown as not just a group of willing people who “drank Kool-aid,” but as prisoners, some of whom were killed before the mass suicide, and many who were poisoned against their will. We see desperate people trying to escape, and evil leaders determined to stop them. The jungle setting and its deadly beauty is brilliantly described by Sharon Maas, who is from Guyana and knows it inside and out. She does a masterful job of portraying the tactics of an evil and malicious cult and of putting faces on the victims and survivors through the character Lucy and others. The absolute crazy of Jim Jones flies off the page, but we learn that his was not the only malicious mind in the group, and we are shown more about those who helped him wield his iron fist. True crime meets Historical Thriller in this fictionalized story of the complete horror that was the People’s Temple.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon Maas

Sharon Maas was born to politically active parents in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1951. She was educated in England, Guyana, and, later, Germany. After leaving school, she worked as a reporter with the Guyana Graphic in Georgetown and later wrote feature articles for the Sunday Chronicle as a staff journalist. Sharon has always had a great sense of adventure and curiosity about the world we live in, and Guyana could not hold her for long. In 1971 she set off on a year-long backpacking trip around South America, followed by an overland trek to South India, where she spent two years in an ashram. She lived in Germany for forty-three years and now lives in Ireland. She is the author of The Violin Maker’s Daughter, The Soldier’s Girl, Her Darkest Hour and many other novels.

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BUY THE GIRL FROM JONESTOWN ON AMAZON

Blog Tour and Audiobook Review: To Kiss a Wallflower #TimelessRegencyCollection

  • Genre:Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: Mirror Press (June 21, 2022)
  • Length: (305) pages
  • Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 
  • ISBN: 978-1952611261
  • Tour Dates: June 20 – July 1, 2022

BOOK DESCRIPTION

To Kiss a Wallflower is the nineteenth book in the Timeless Regency Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories reveal that eventually, all wallflowers will have their chance at love . . . This is where it begins.

“The Wallflower’s Dance,” by Jen Geigle Johnson


Lottie Hughes likes people, as long as they aren’t too close. Does it bother her that no one asks her to dance? Yes, but she’s not sure how to drum up dance partners when she has almost no dowry, no title, and freezes up when anyone tries to talk to her. When she suddenly inherits a huge amount and is the new center of attention all over London, her secret dreams might come true but also her worst nightmares. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to her. Men ask her to dance. And she is inundated with interested suitors. She fights to stay close to the few friends she knows are true. One man saw her before her life changed forever. But does she want to accept his help when he, too, might be insincere?

“Letters to a Wallflower,” by Heather B. Moore


Ellen might be beautiful and considered a diamond of the first water by Society, but she is so very tired of the pressure to marry a titled gentleman so that her beauty won’t go to waste. When her cousin Dinah dares Ellen to attend a ball with no frills and to stand with the wallflowers, Ellen takes on the dare. What’s in the wager for her? The prize cuttings of her aunt’s extraordinary roses. But what Ellen isn’t expecting is Lord Ravenshire to engage her in the most interesting conversation. When she confesses to him of her opposition in marrying for a title, he confesses his distaste of the London scene. They strike a bargain together, one which will either push them apart or lead to a future sweeter than either of them could have imagined.

“To Marry a Wallflower,” by Anneka R. Walker


Charlotte Winters is destined to spinsterhood until she turns down an unwanted proposal and everything changes. With gossip rampant, her father attempts to salvage her reputation by betrothing her to another. Soon she is sent off to her aunt’s to meet Lord Templeton, her intended. Anxiety-ridden, Charlotte begs her aunt to let her observe Lord Templeton from afar before their introduction. She never planned to pretend to be her fictional cousin to learn more about him, or to fall in love with Lord Templeton’s friend in the process. Lord Templeton dreads returning to the empty halls of Newcliff Manor. When his father’s old friend, Mr. Winters reaches out for assistance, Lord Templeton finds himself returning home engaged to a woman he has never met. Desperate to learn more about Miss Winters, he befriends her cousin. He wouldn’t have spoken to her, or lied about his identity, if he’d known the quiet woman would sneak into his heart.

ABOUT THE SERIES

Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Regency Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.  

ADVANCE PRAISE

  • “5 STARS – I loved the unique twists that each author used in their stories and how they tied them into the theme.”— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads
  • “What a great set of stories! If you have read any of these three authors you know you are in for a treat. If you aren’t familiar with them, prepare to add their names to your list of favorites.”— Shauna Jones, Goodreads
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed all three of these novellas. They were lighthearted, fun, and took me away from my worries for a while.”— A Bookish Romantic, Goodreads

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

This is a collection of three Regency romances that revolve around the concept of a “wallflower,” and they all take a different and intriguing approach to the theme. I enjoyed all three stories. My favorite was “The Wallflower’s Dance,” with a light, “friends-to-romance” theme that kept me smiling and entertained. However, I enjoyed all three of these stories, which together provide another strong anthology in the Timeless Regency collection. “Letters to a Wallflower” is a funny and clever tale about a beautiful woman who would rather tend her garden than get betrothed to a titled gentleman, and “To Marry a Wallflower” is a delightful case of mistaken identity.

I listened to the audiobook, and I felt the narrators did a great job. I don’t always enjoy a book with two different narrators, but Shane East and Shakira Shute complemented each other perfectly.

This is a wonderful way to while away a summer day with three delightful novellas that will make you smile. I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publishers via Austenprose PR. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

AUTHOR BIOS

Jen Geigle Johnson

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.

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.

WEBSITE |  TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Heather B. Moore

Heather B. Mooreis a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She’s lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Anneka R. Walker

Anneka Walker is an award-winning author raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor’s degree in English and history. When she isn’t dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she is busy living her own with her husband and adorable children.

WEBSITE | PINTEREST | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Blog Tour and Book Review: A Dress of Violet Taffeta by Tessa Arlen:

QUICK FACTS

  • Title:A Dress of Violet Taffeta: A Novel
  • Author:Tessa Arlen
  • Genre:Historical Fiction
  • Publisher: ‎Berkley (July 5, 2022)
  • Length: (352) pages
  • Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 
  • ISBN: 978-0593436851
  • Tour Dates: June 27-July 11, 2022

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Lady Lucy Duff Gordon

A sumptuous novel based on the fascinating true story of La Belle Époque icon Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon, who shattered the boundaries of fashion with her magnificently sensual and enchantingly unique designs.

Lucy Duff Gordon knows she is talented. She sees color, light, and texture in ways few people can begin to imagine. But is the male-dominated world of haute couture, who would use her art for their own gain, ready for her?
 
When she is deserted by her wealthy husband, Lucy is left penniless with an aging mother and her five-year-old daughter to support. Desperate to survive, Lucy turns to her one true talent to make a living. As a little girl, the dresses she made for her dolls were the envy of her group of playmates. Now, she uses her creative designs and her remarkable eye for color to take her place in the fashion world—failure is not an option. 
 
Then, on a frigid night in 1912, Lucy’s life changes once more, when she becomes one of 706 people to survive the sinking of the Titanic. She could never have imagined the effects the disaster would have on her fashion label Lucile, her marriage to her second husband, and her legacy. But no matter what life throws at her, Lucy will live on as a trailblazing and innovative fashion icon, never letting go of what she worked so hard to earn.

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Fans of the 1991 BBC series The House of Eliott will find familiar comfort in Arlen’s descriptions of fabrics, colorworks, and evolving fashions.” —Library Journal

“Tessa Arlen’s novel is as elegant as a Lucille gown, full of movement, color and beauty…For anyone interested in fashion, in the Gilded Age, in stories about strong, visionary woman, Tessa Arlen’s novel is a must read!” —Jeanne Mackin, author of The Last Collection

“A sumptuous treat of elegant prose, evocative descriptions, and compelling emotions. Arlen’s writing absolutely shines.” —Anna Lee Huber, USA TODAY Bestselling author of A Perilous Perspective

“Tessa Arlen delivers a fascinating tale based on the real-life fashion icon, Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon, who went up against a male dominated industry and revolutionized it…A must read for fashion fans everywhere.” —Renee Rosen, USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces

“…written in a sumptuous, engaging style that appeals to all the senses and brings Lucy, her creations, and her world vividly alive.” —Alyssa Maxwell, author of The Gilded Newport Mysteries

ONE OF LUCY DUFF GORDON’S DESIGNS

This one’s not violet taffeta, but this 1918 evening dress of bright leaf green and red shot silk is another eye-catching design by Lady Duff Gordon.

BOOK REVIEW

What a gorgeously written and beautifully woven work of historical fiction! The accomplishments of “Madame Lucile,” aka Lucy Duff-Gordon, come to life. Tessa Arlen has managed to capture Lucy’s incredible talent and vision for color, and then translate that to the written word for all of us to see. Lucy led an absolutely incredible life, from penniless abandonment by her first husband to building her own business and finding success as a fashion designer. Despite poverty and the scorn of divorce at that time, Lucy took control of her own destiny. At her side is Celia, also impeccably written. Celia is actually a composite of two women who were very important in Lady Duff-Gordon’s life and business. The chapters vary between Lucy and Celia, and this gives us a look at two different class experiences of women in the early 1900s.

I also loved the peeks we get into the very dressing rooms of some of Lucy’s clients, and we get to see the way they are transformed by her amazing gowns. And we watch Lucy find love again. Lucy’s second marriage to Cosmo Duff-Gordon is written in a realistic way with all its ups and downs, especially their presence on and survival of the sinking of the Titanic, the media frenzy afterward, and its effect on their marriage. This is a mesmerizing, captivating work of art that transports us to late 19th and early 20th Century London (and later America). A Dress of Violet Taffeta truly shows us the life of a visionary woman who lived through hard times and made the most of them. Anyone who wants to read an incredible story of grit, determination, and extraordinary talent will certainly enjoy this gem by Tessa Arlen.

I received a free print copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via Austenprose Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB

AUTHOR BIO

Tessa Arlen writes historical fiction when she is not toiling away in her garden. She is the author of the Edwardian mystery series: Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson; the Woman of World War II mystery series. Poppy Redfern. And two standalone historical novels: In Royal Service to the Queen, and A Dress of Violet Taffeta.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

EXCLUSIVE AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Sunday Post: Plans? What Plans?

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Good morning on a Sleepy Sunday from a very tired grandmother. I spent all day yesterday with my three grandchildren. They live two hours from me so in addition to driving four hours, I played all day with three-year-old twins and a seven-year-old. I’m exhausted! Many of the things I had planned for the blog this week didn’t happen, but such is life. “Always plan for the fact that no plan ever goes according to plan.”–Simon Sinek.

LAST WEEK ON BONNIE READS AND WRITES

On Monday I gave a sneak peek at books I reviewed for the August edition of Historical Novels Review.

On Thursday I reviewed BAKE: My Best-Ever Recipes for the Classics by Paul Hollywood.

On Friday I reviewed A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong

Self-Published Saturday was postponed due to the abovementioned visit to the grandkids.

NEXT WEEK ON BONNIE READS AND WRITES

Monday I will review A Dress of Violet Taffeta for an Austenprose Book Tour.

Tuesday I have two book tours: The Girl from Jonestown for Bookouture (formerly called “A Home for the Lost.”) and To Kiss A Wallflower for Austenprose.

Thursday I will review Dark Blue Waves for HFVBT (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours)

Self-Published Saturday I will spotlight and/or review self-published books.

BOOKS I RECEIVED THIS WEEK

Big Book Haul This Week:

NETGALLEY

When I saw that the author of The World According to Garp had a new novel out, I jumped on it!

I noticed something while reading this that I can’t wait to share with you.

HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY

The reading has begun for the November issue of Historical Novels Review. I have three books so far:

A Christian Novel about a family that starts a boarding house in frontier-era Nebraska.

Summer 1968. Jack devises a plan to keep his older brother Pete from getting drafted.

A Regency Romance with a “family secrets” vibe.

WHAT I’M WATCHING

I’m loving The Lincoln Lawyer! A lawyer fresh out of rehab inherits the practice of a recently murdered friend and does business mostly out of the back of his Lincoln.

Have a great week everyone, and I hope all your plans work out (unless you’d rather they don’t!)

WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

I thought it might be fun to add my Sunday dinner plans. I have some leftover rotisserie chicken, some mushrooms, and a lot of fresh broccoli florets, so I’m currently looking for a recipe for chicken and broccoli casserole (no rice or pasta).

Self-Published Spotlight: Oz Perch’s Elegantly Simple Introduction to #Jazz Improvisation

From Oz Perch: Are you a musician who is just beginning to venture into the world of jazz? Perhaps you have some experience playing blues, rock, R&B, funk, or other forms of popular music, but the idea of improvising a solo over rapidly changing jazz chords makes you dizzy?

I began playing the guitar professionally during the 1970s in blues, R&B and funk bands. I picked up bits of jazz lore back then from my fellow musicians. Then I took lessons from a nationally known jazz guitarist, who had a very sophisticated system of theory that left me thoroughly confused. I also attended college as a music major, which taught me some very useful theory, but not about jazz (they didn’t have jazz courses back then at your typical music school.)

45 years later, I believe I finally have a handle on all this. If I could go back and give advice to my 23 year-old self, the material in this book is the advice I would give, to significantly speed up the process of becoming a confident and articulate jazz soloist.

This book will teach you:

  • The relationship between the 7 modes, and the chords they generate
  • Additional scales that correspond to some of the more esoteric chords
  • How to use altered dominant chords, and the corresponding altered scales, in a way that sounds lyrical and not random
  • How to use the “theory of relativity” to expand your improvising vocabulary

This book will not teach you to play your instrument. For that, I would recommend a qualified teacher who can watch you play and assess your technique. What this book is designed to do is to teach you, as quickly and simply as possible, how to think about improvising over jazz tunes, specifically about the relationship between modes, scales, the chords that they generate, and how to navigate from one to the next.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON|AMAZON UK

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free.

Self-Published Spotlight: Step Lively: New York City Tales of Love and Change

A fictionalized biography. Step back in time to 1980 in New York City.  “Step lively!” – what the subway conductors used to say when you got off the train — describes Jill, as she and her husband Alex “step lively” in adjusting to their new life in Manhattan. In their move to the city, they realize a long-held dream and struggle like all of us, to find their place in the world.

Each tale is a slice of life of the “ordinary,” the minutiae of daily life.  The tales can stand alone, but as a whole they compose the mosaic of Jill’s life. As she and Alex discover the city, we see the unraveling of love and dreams against the backdrop of change.

A cast of others joins the couple in their world: a businessman from Iceland the night John Lennon is shot, a restless philosopher, a born-again come-to-Jesus elevator man in their building, a talking parakeet, and Jill’s grandmothers. Then there is Jill’s bicycle. A character itself in the collection, it transports her through the streets of her beloved Manhattan. Much of what we see is from the handlebars of her bike – from there we explore Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side and get glimpses into the city’s loneliness and its rapid changes.  We see the direction Alex and Jill’s lives take in this constantly changing landscape that is New York City.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON|AMAZON UK

*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free.

Book Review: A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong

In A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong, Mallory Atkinson is a modern-day Canadian cop, a homicide detective, who is in Edinburg to visit her dying grandmother. She tries to stop a murder and ends up being attacked herself. She wakes up to find herself in the body of a woman, Catriona, who was attacked at the same time, 150 years before.

I’ll start this off by saying that time-travel fiction is my favorite genre, which means I’ve read a lot of it.  Consequently, I’m harder on this genre than any other in my reviews.  There are many types of time travel books. Some have a scientific, sci-fi bent.  Some are more historical.  Some are romances that only use time travel briefly.  I would classify this one as a historical mystery/thriller with a bit of time travel. 

Every time travel story has to have a means or method of time travel.  Some use a machine, some use an enchanted or scientific object, and some use a place.  This story uses a murder, which I find unique.

Each story also has to establish rules of time travel.  Because time travel doesn’t actually exist, the rules are wide open for every author to set.  For example, in Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s series, you cannot travel back to the same place where you’ve already been and you can’t change history without history slapping back.  In this one, I find little to no rules of time travel at all.  Time travel happens, and the only consequence seems to be that the main character, a cop, feels awkward as a maid in the Victorian era and sometimes uses language that is not appropriate for the time.  She doesn’t seem worried about paradoxes or anything similar.  She mentions she’s not concerned with a “butterfly effect.” She has little trouble–not enough trouble–as a Canadian blending into Victorian times in Edinburg. She’s not really concerned with changing history, other than catching a murderer.  As a fan of time travel fiction, I feel at this point that the time travel was used basically as “wow” factor to draw the reader into a book that is actually a historical thriller.

The murder mystery is very strong on its own, with intricate twists and turns. The employer/employee relationship between Mallory and Gray is well done, as we progress slowly from Gray learning that Mallory, who he knows as Catriona, can read and write, to Gray and his sister realizing there is much more going on. The book does move too slowly at times.

I feel the Victorian era is well researched.  The author’s note in the front outlines the liberties she took with history, as is her right in a fictional work. 

Overall, this is a compelling and intriguing historical mystery/thriller that will quickly draw the reader in.  The minimal use of time travel is off-putting for me, as is the fact that the book is written in present tense. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelley Armstrong believes experience is the best teacher, though she’s been told this shouldn’t apply to writing her murder scenes. To craft her books, she has studied aikido, archery, and fencing. She sucks at all of them. She has also crawled through very shallow cave systems and climbed half a mountain before chickening out. She is however an expert coffee drinker and a true connoisseur of chocolate-chip cookies.

BUY LINKS

Amazon|Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Apple Books

Google

Kobo

#BookReview: Bake: My best ever recipes for the #Classics by #PaulHollywood

Paul Hollywood, The King of Bread and of course the star of the Great British Baking Show, gives us a wonderful book of classics perfect for both beginning and experienced bakers. This book is easy to understand and the pictures are beautiful. I love sourdough bread, so why would I not want Paul Hollywood’s recipe? He’s Mr. Bread! Likewise for the pizza dough. Of course I want to try it!

I’ve always wanted to learn to make macarons, and the lime macaron recipe looks amazing. That is top of my list, along with the Victoria Sponge, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Individual Lemon Sponges, and so much more. All the classics are here, and they are shared in a much more casual way than we’re used to seeing from Hollywood, who is normally in “baking competition” mode on our tv screens.

If you want a beautiful cookbook of all the classics as shared with you by an experienced and famous baker, pick this one up.

I received a temporary digital copy of this book from Bloomsbury USA via Netgalley, but I will purchase a hard copy of this one. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

BUY LINKS

Amazon|Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

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Paul Hollywood is an English baker and celebrity chef. He has worked as a baker since taking up the career at his father’s bakery as a teenager and has gone on to become head baker at a number of hotels around Britain. After returning from working in Cyprus, he began appearing in guest spots on a number of British television shows on both BBC and ITV channels. Since 2010 he has appeared as a judge on The Great British Bake Off. He runs his own artisanal baking business, which supplies stores such as Harrods.