How can a meek wallflower help a returning war hero whose dreams are plunged into darkness?
Mary Bloomfield has no illusions. Her chances for matrimony have long since passed her by. Still, her circumstances are pleasant enough, especially now that she has found purpose in assisting her father with his medical practice in England’s beautiful Lake District. Even without love, it’s a peaceful life.
That is until Adam Edgerton returns to the sleepy district. This decorated war hero did not arrive home to acclaim and rest, but to a new battle against the repercussions of an insidious disease. Mary’s caring nature cannot stand to see someone suffer–but how can she help this man see any brightness in his future when he’s plunged into melancholic darkness, his dreams laid waste by his condition?
Adam wants no charity, but he’s also no coward. If this gentle woman can work hard, how can he do less? Together they struggle to find a way forward for him. Frustration and antipathy slowly develop into friendship and esteem. Then a summer storm atop a mountain peak leads to scandal–and both Mary and Adam must search the depths of their closed hearts for answers if they hope to find any future path with happiness at its end.
I’ve been expectantly waiting this book since I heard Carolyn Miller say she was going to write about older heroines in Regency England. Mary is a character you can’t help but love. She is doesn’t feel like she compares to her younger friend and sister, yet, she knows her life has not lost its purpose though she might be following the “normal” path towards marimony. Coming face-to-face with wounded war-hero Adam Edgerton might awaken old dreams but, most of all, she wants to see him fully restored , mind and body, and she knows there is only one who can do that.
Dusks Darkest Shores is an endearing story about second-chances, hope and love.
Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.
Enter to win a fun prize pack inspired by the book and its English setting that includes:
– a copy of Dusk’s Darkest Shores – a canvas bag to carry your latest reads – a fun pair of Jane Austen socks – Novel Teas’ English Breakfast tea – “Drink tea, read books, and be happy” tea spoon – “Let your faith be bigger than your fear” mug – Black currant preserves from England – Wax Lyrical candle from England
Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.
When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.
But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.
Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn’t mind.
I’m glad one day Kimberly Duffy decided to write a book. Her stories are always refreshing, thoughtful, and engaging. The story starts with lots of pain — for another loss of a parent, divided family but also as we see Ottilee struggling with her identity. Through all the darkness and with community, the characters press on and light shines through the pages.
More from Kimberly
When I set out to write a new novel, I plan the entire thing from start to finish. I write down each scene on an index card and know exactly what’s going to happen when I sit down for the day’s work. I’m meticulous that way.
But I never plan my characters’ spiritual arcs. Because I want their faith journey to be organic to the story. I want it to feel authentic. It’s such an important part of each of my books and I recognize that some things just refuse plotting and need to develop in a more natural way.
My debut novel, A Mosaic of Wings, features a heroine steeped in science. Nora loves the natural world and so her faith was encouraged by studying the wings of a butterfly or examining an interesting plant. She’s not particularly sentimental or emotive so the faith element of that story had to be presented in a way that made sense for her. Nora’s faith arc is subtle.
Not so for A Tapestry of Light. I had no intention of writing a book that delved into my own struggle with doubt. But that’s what Ottilie required. And it wrung me dry.
Then built me back up.
My faith story is a twisted kind of one. Raised a Christian, I went into ministry, firmly attached myself to the faith of my childhood, and thought it would never waver.
I was wrong.
Oh, how it wavered. For whatever reason, when I hit about 30, it seemed everything I had always believed no longer made sense. It was devastating. Terrifying. And it broke me.
But brokenness is its own sort of beauty and when you recognize there is no way for you to pick up the pieces yourself, God can come in and fill those cracks and shattered places.
Those five years of doubt and questioning and facing the reality that even though I’d always loved Christ, I didn’t really know Him (and didn’t really know why I believed in Him), were some of the most painful I’ve experienced. But I believe with every bit of my being that God is in the business of redemption. Of restoration. Of filling up so that we can pour out.
And he took my own very personal struggle and helped me turn it into a story that, I hope and pray, might encourage others. I gave Ottilie my questions. I gave her my doubt. I gave her my fear and desperation and, in the end, I gave her my hope.
There’s a little piece of me in each of my books, but this one contains my heart.
Genre: Christian Fiction, Futuristic Action & Adventure
It’s the war story he’s dreamed of. But the battle may cost him his mind.
Military journalist Raymin Dahl thinks he’s finally getting the story of a lifetime. Secret peace talks on a remote tropical moon are about to surrender five colonized worlds—and six hundred million civilians—to a ruthless enemy.
But when his commanding officer, Captain Ansell Sterling, is fatally wounded before the negotiations can begin, Dahl can no longer just report on the mission. He’s ordered to complete it. With help from the AI embedded in Sterling’s comms bracelet, Dahl must impersonate his commander—a Marine Corps hero and psychological operations expert.
However, Sterling’s AI may be luring him to surrender more than he realizes. And the mission Corporal Dahl thinks he’s running isn’t the only operation underway.
Daniel Schwabauer, M.A., is a lifelong reader of speculative fiction. He studied the genre under science fiction great James Gunn before graduating with honors from Kansas University’s Masters program in Creative Writing in 1995. Winner of the Eric Hoffer and Ben Franklin awards for his middle grade fantasy series, The Legends of Tira-Nor, Daniel enjoys riding his motorcycle on country roads and pondering other worlds. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and dog.
Whoa, I have never read anythng like this. Such a smart and engaging read! The author had me interested in the story from the beginning. So be warned to clear your calendar before picking this one up 😉
I really can’t write a proper review for this book. Like, it is so surprising!!! And no review can do it justice. Just be warned, again 🙂
More from Daniel
The Operation Grendel Origin StoryI’ve always been fascinated by the power of storytelling, especially as a lever for moving culture. For several years I studied the development of modern propaganda, the rise and fall of yellow journalism, and the relationship of these to psychological warfare. This culminated in 2017 with a brief investigation into quantum computing and the rising popularity of trans-humanism. Sometimes the best story ideas are combinations of things that have rattled around in the back of your mind for years.Operation Grendel is a keyhole glimpse of a future in which every person in the galaxy is bonded to an artificial intelligence. Some AIs are embedded in the brain, and some are snapped onto the wrist as a wearable device. I didn’t realize when I started writing the book that Elon Musk had already launched Neuralink to create this technology in real life. I discovered the corporation after finishing my fourth draft.The use of this technology probably means a lack of autonomy. How can you think for yourself, or even know what you think, if your thoughts are constantly being shaped and influenced by a quantum computer wirelessly connected to your brain?Then again, is that all we really are as humans—biological computers? I don’t think so. But if not, then there will surely be resistance to the trans-humanist movement. Which means, in a work of fiction, clearly opposing sides. One empire supports this integration of man and machine; the other places limits on AI technology.But “warring empires” was not a story I felt capable of telling. I wanted something closer to home, something smaller and more accessible, something more human. I wanted to show what a life spent entirely under the influence of an inner nanny—a substitute Holy Spirit—might look like.Well, who better to tell that story than a man who has, in his own way, been manipulating others through storytelling? In other words, a journalist.This fit my desire to write the story as military science fiction. Since I never had the honor of serving in the armed forces, I needed a way to give my narrator a believable voice. Corporal Raymin Dahl, a military reporter who barely scraped his way through reservist boot camp, fit the bill.Before long the story seemed to take on a life of its own.
When a freak storm uncovers the entrance to a mysterious underground chamber, Ivy and Martin expect to find treasure. But what they discover is even more valuable: a barrow full of sleeping spriggans, magically preserved for centuries. With the vengeful piskey queen Betony determined to capture Ivy and her followers, the secret hideaway could be key to both their peoples’ survival.
But the piskeys and spriggans are ancient enemies, and when Ivy tries to make peace her own followers threaten to turn against her. Plagued by treachery, betrayal and desertion on every side, Ivy must find a way to unite the magical folk of Cornwall–or doom herself, Martin and everyone she loves to death at Betony’s hand.
Yet without the legendary fire-wielding power that marks a true piskey queen, can Ivy convince her people to believe?
Born in Uganda to missionary parents, R.J. (Rebecca Joan) Anderson is a women’s Bible teacher, a wife and mother of three, and a bestselling fantasy author for older children and teens. Her debut novel Knife has sold more than 120,000 copies worldwide, while her other books have been shortlisted for the Nebula Award, the Christy Award, and the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Science Fiction. Rebecca lives with her family in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.
It is always bittersweet to come to an end of a series, especially one that captures your heart so easily as The Flight and Flame series. But this book also culminates to the moment we’ve all been waiting for, when all things can be made right, when Ivy character development will face her biggest challenge yet. Woven in this delightful tale is the theme of community, love that is everlasting and long suffering, and courage that shows in patience and gentleness.
More from R. J.
What does it take to be a good leader?Looking at some of the religious, social and political leaders around us, it seems like a confident attitude, dramatic flair, and the ability to make stirring speeches are the keys to success. But is that the kind of leadership people really need, or is it only what we’ve grown used to?Ivy, the heroine of my book Torch, never wanted to become a leader, or expected anyone to follow her. After being exiled from her underground home by her proud Aunt Betony, she’s been struggling to make sense of her own life, never mind anyone else’s. But when a ragtag band of old friends and former neighbours turn up on Ivy’s doorstep looking for a new home, she has no choice but to help her fellow Cornish piskeys as best she can.What Ivy soon finds, however, is that her people’s hopes and expectations for her are much bigger than any she had for herself. They want a queen strong enough to defeat Betony and free their people — but how can Ivy stand up to her aunt’s ruthless tactics and magical fire-wielding powers, when she’s just a slight teenager with barely any magic at all?As I wrote this book, the last in my Flight and Flame trilogy about Ivy of the Delve, I wanted to explore the difference between the popular idea of a great leader, and the humble servant leadership taught and exemplified by Christ. Unlike Betony, who has become so obsessed with her own power and reputation that she’s blind to her people’s suffering, Ivy only wants to help and encourage her fellow piskeys and keep them safe from harm. She’s willing to sacrifice her own comfort, put aside her own feelings, and do whatever it takes to make sure her followers survive. And though she makes some mistakes and faces some painful challenges along the way, she never forgets that her goal isn’t personal fame or glory, but the good of everyone around her.Ivy’s personal journey also reflects some of my own recent experiences of caregiving, which can seem like an impossible task when the needs of our loved ones grow greater than our own strength and wisdom can bear. She has to learn, as I did, that the only solution is to ask for help and be willing to let others do it their own way, instead of trying to control everything ourselves.Torch is the last book of the epic adventure that began with Swift and continued in Nomad, taking Ivy from the depths of obscurity to heights she never imagined, and from a life of loneliness to a love sweeter — and stranger — than she ever dreamed she’d find. It’s a story that’s close to my heart, and I hope it will find a place in yours and your family’s as well!— R.J. Anderson
Can a Legacy of Sadness be Broken at the Menger Hotel?
Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance.
Young widow Hedda Krause checks into the Menger Hotel in 1915 with a trunk full of dresses, a case full of jewels, and enough cash to pay for a two-month stay, which she hopes will be long enough to meet, charm, and attach herself to a new, rich husband. Her plans are derailed when a ghostly apparition lures her into a long, dark hallway, and Hedda returns to her room to find her precious jewelry has been stolen. She falls immediately under a cloud of suspicion with her haunting tale, but true ghost enthusiasts bring her expensive pieces of jewelry in an attempt to lure the ghost to appear again.
In 2017, Dini Blackstone is a fifth-generation magician, who performs at private parties, but she also gives ghost walk tours, narrating the more tragic historical events of San Antonio with familial affection. Above all, her favorite is the tale of Hedda Krause who, in Dini’s estimation, succeeded in perpetrating the world’s longest con, dying old and wealthy from her ghost story. But then Dini meets Quinn Carmichael, great-great-grandson of the detective who originally investigated Hedda’s case, who’s come to the Alamo City with a box full of clues that might lead to Hedda’s exoneration. Can Dini see another side of the story that is worthy of God’s grace?
Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a four-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series, once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties and most recently for the critically acclaimed The Seamstress which takes a cameo character from the Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities and flourishes her to life amidst the French Revolution. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike. Connect with her on Facebook (Allison Pittman Author), Twitter (@allisonkpittman) or her website, allisonkpittman.com.
I found the premise for this book intriguing. A main character magician? Yes, please. Not to mention an intriguing ghost story 😉
I enjoyed how the main characters in the present came together to solve a mysery murder from the past, while trying to keep to what they know as true rather than believing to quickly in legends. There’s a mix of suspense and curiosity that keeps you turning the pages. Overall a very enjoyable novel.
More from Allison
From Haunting to Healing: How Stories Bring New Life to Old Ghosts
If you really think about it, every story is a ghost story. Not the floating spirits of the dearly departed kind, not bumps in the night or mysterious howling in the darkness—but the best stories come from examining a haunted heart. Memories that pursue the present.
A few years ago I took the walking tour of haunted San Antonio. It was a lark, a fun tourist-y thing to do with some visiting friends. I’m not a believer in ghosts, but I am a collector of stories. The tour opens at the Alamo—sacred ground of slain soldiers. The second stop is the Menger Hotel, listed as one of the most haunted hotels in the United States by those who measure and evaluate such things. And while the tour guide waxed on about the guests’ litany of haunted experiences (including Teddy Roosevelt raging through the lobby), my mind stuck with the story of Sallie White. Sallie White is the Menger Hotel’s most famous ghost—a chambermaid whose apparition is reported to be seen walking the halls, towels draped over her arm, or to be heard as an efficient two-rap knock on your door late at night. My mind, however, didn’t dwell on Sallie the ghost, but Sallie the woman—just a normal, hard-working, poor woman, murdered in the street by a man who claimed to love her. But for that, she would have passed into history unknown. Instead, her story is told every night as strangers gather on the very sidewalk where the crime took place.
Years after first hearing the story of Sallie white, I stayed in the Menger for a few days to gather details for The Lady in Residence. I booked what they call a “Petite” room—meaning it is a room that maintains its original structure. Read: tiny. Exposed pipes, creaky wooden floors, antique furniture—the only update, the bathroom fixtures. As it turned out, my room was directly above the place where Sallie White was murdered. One night I pressed my ear against the glass and listened to the ghost tour guide tell her story. The next morning, I stood in the exact spot with a fancy Starbucks drink, thinking about her. She lives on, not because people claim to see her walking and hear her knocking in the dead of night, but because she is a woman remembered.
So, is that beautiful? Is it ghoulish? Maybe it’s both, but when I was given the chance to write a story set in and around the Menger Hotel, I was determined to make Sallie White’s story a part of it. I didn’t want to write her story—that would have required embellishment beyond those few historic, factual tid-bits that such a woman left behind. Sallie White didn’t have correspondence to catalog or a journal to give us insight to her thoughts. Instead, I wanted to tell it to readers everywhere who might never make it to San Antonio to hear it for themselves. When you read The Lady in Residence, you are going to hear the true story of Sallie White, all of it taken from a newspaper account of the time. And then, I did what all historical writers do…I folded it into my own tale and folded that tale into another.
That’s really the joy of writing a split-time novel—being able to draw back and shoot a narrative-arrow straight through the hearts of two stories, threading them together, to bring a haunting to a place of healing.
Catherine Winthrop is almost at her last prayers, rejected years ago by the man who stole her heart. When tragedy brings him back into her life, she must suffer further grief in silence, amid her family’s pain and hostility, which eventually sends her to seek solace in Bath. Jonathan Carlew might be wealthy, but the mystery surrounding his birth has shadowed his life, bringing fresh challenges as he takes on the Barony. Caught between appeasing the Winthrop family’s concerns and doing what he could to salvage their failing estate, he must also weigh the echoes of the past with the demands of his new responsibilities.Two hearts must decide whether present speculation will condemn them to the dust of their memories, or if the whispers of forgiveness can provide freedom for the future.
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc.
Since reading Ms. Miller’s first book, what has struck me as refreshing is her characters’ integrity. They are never portrayed as perfect or unapproachable, but there is a noble air to them which is very much appreciated. It also, many times, sets the pace of the plot as the characters try to remain steadfast through a time period stained by unruly tongues and a judgemental society.
I saw this integrity portrayed once again in Jonathan Carlew as he sought to wisely fulfill an unexpected inherited role, through his interactions with his family and close friends, and his patience to not let society’s prejudice make him doubt his good influence. And then there’s his… bullheadedness. Yep, he’s pretty much as stubborn as they get. I confess this caught me by surprise, not in a bad way for I knew this promised for a good character growth.
Morality is a fine line to walk on. Though righteous character may be grown, there’s always the chance of developing pride in one’s self and forgetting that a noble persona walks alongside gentleness and meekness. Can Jonathan find this out in time to repair severed ties? Specially one in regards to the young lady who never stopped having a place in his heart.
Catherine Winthrop has suffered enough heartache in recent times to make her sick to her bones. And to be in constant association with the man she once gave her heart to hasn’t been helping her healing. She can’t forget how he coldly and unceremonious broke their understanding. Still, here in there she sees the kindhearted man she once knew. How to associate these two sides? Who is the true Jonathan Carlew?
Full of the captivating Regency world, with the bonus of a masquerade ball (!!!), this book sure kept me interested as page-to-page I was challenged to not judge a character by first impressions, as they can be misguided, as well as to believe hope is always unwavering, no matter the situation. I’m very much looking forward to Serena’s book.
More from Carolyn
In 2015 I was fortunate enough to visit England and see my sister who was living there at the time. What followed was three weeks of visiting parts of England, Ireland and Scotland in a whistle-stop tour of some of the places I’d long dreamed about visiting, but never thought I’d get the chance: London, Brighton, the Blarney stone in an Irish castle, Chatsworth in the Peak District, Loch Ness and Culloden in the Scottish Highlands, the gorgeous grounds of Dunrobin Castle, and the beautiful Cotswolds of England, which includes World Heritage-listed Bath.
I’ve used many of the places I’ve visited as inspiration behind my historical stories, but none as much as the places I visited while in Bath. Pretty much every place I visited – Sydney Gardens, Bath Abbey, the Pump Room, The Assembly Rooms and more – were mentioned in my story Winning Miss Winthrop, which I view as my homage to Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which vies with Pride and Prejudice as my favorite Austen novel.
I loved my all-too-brief time in Bath, and I love this story, with its depiction of two people learning to overcome the misunderstandings of the past in order to find a future. Winning Miss Winthrop is the first book in the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series, and has the attention to period detail, romance, banter, and faith threads that readers in the Regency Brides series have come to expect. I hope readers enjoy Catherine and Jon’s story.
A Christian Regency Romantic Adventure serial novel with a supernatural twist
Lady Wynwood’s Spies volume 1
She met him again by shooting him.
Part one in a Christian Regency Romantic Adventure epic serial novel with a supernatural twist. After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than most of her dance partners, Miss Phoebe Sauber receives the shocking news that she is being callously banished from her father’s estate because he is remarrying. Feeling betrayed by her father and by God, and wanting to escape her family’s presence, she attends an archery tournament with her friends.
But her perfect aim fails her, and her arrow hits a piece of paper held by Mr. Michael Coulton-Jones, whom she hasn’t seen much in society in several years. But strangely, her arrow tears a section of the paper with a partial symbol that looks eerily familiar to her.
He met her again while searching for a killer.
Michael had quit his work as a spy for the Foreign Office when his brother was poisoned. His search for the murderer leads him to Apothecary Jack, a criminal underworld leader with a penchant for poisons, who is gathering a powerful army through an alchemical potion that can give men supernatural strength.
But his path unexpectedly crosses again with Miss Sauber, who saves him from a trap laid by Jack. She and her Aunt Laura, Lady Wynwood, have found a vital connection to Apothecary Jack and the mysterious group he works for.
Now Michael, who had vowed to never again allow civilians to come to harm, must work with a nobleman keeping dangerous secrets, a human lie detector, a chemist, a fellow former spy, and the one woman he’s never allowed himself to get close to.
And it is only this ragtag group that stands against a traitorous organization that could enable Napoleon to conquer the world.
Camy writes Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance as USA Today bestselling author Camille Elliot. She lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She was a staff worker for her church youth group for over 20 years and she currently plays on one of the Sunday worship teams. Visit her websites at http://www.camytang.com/ and http://www.camilleelliot.com/ to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.
I really love Camille Elliot’s regency novel so of course I had to sign up for an ARC of her latest!
I loved it! he characters are well fleshed out, the mystery is intriguing, and I just couldn’t put this book down! And the fantasy part! Who would have guessed speculative fiction would work well with regency!
Phoebe is considered a bit odd by society, and she does no care one bit. All she wants in independence, especially from her overbering and thoughtless father. Really, what Phoebe is tired is always competing — for society’s attention, for her father’s love, for respect… When circumstances are dire, she finds herself staying with her dear Aunt Laura, though this is actually a spark of hope that things might get better. What she does not expect is the layer of secrets and intrigue to start uncovering.
This is the first book in a series I am sure to be great 😉
I’m off to read the second book!
More from Camy
I love Regency romances! I started reading them when I was 13 years old and haven’t stopped since.
There’s something about the Regency time period and culture that’s glamorous and decadent and the epitome of elegance. The resplendent dresses! The brooding, romantic Lord Byron and the distinguished Beau Brummell! Dashing naval captains and army lieutenants, glittering ballrooms and winsome debutantes!
The flip side of my personality loves romantic suspense and action adventure. I love seeing strong women face danger with courage and smarts, and strong men willing to do anything to protect their loved ones and fight for justice.
So, basically, the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series grew out of my desire to see Mission: Impossible in the Regency era!
My Regency “IMF” team is brought together when my spinster heroine, a botanist and a skilled archer, discovers that her late uncle had ties to a mysterious group. She goes to her aunt’s best friend, a gentleman who has secretly been a spy for decades, and he forms his team of ex-agents and uniquely gifted civilians to battle this group of alchemists who want to ensure that Napoleon wins the war with England. (Cue the Mission: Impossible theme music!)
I’ve also structured the series a little differently. It’s a very long serial novel, similar to a Japanese manga or light novel series, with 12 volumes that each have a completed story arc, but the main plot isn’t resolved until the end.
I hope you’ll join me on this epic Regency romantic adventure!
After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother. Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt’s Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men–Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother’s tragic death. However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems…and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn’t who she thought at all.
Dawn Crandall’s debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, The Hesitant Heiress, was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader’s Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader’s Choice Award. Her follow-up novel, The Bound Heart, received the 2016 Laurel Award from Clash of the Titles. Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She’s been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.
I you like a romance in which the heroe surely has to fight for the heroine because she couldn’t care less for the ground he stands on, this one is for you. And fully satisfying! 😉
Amaryllis feels like she is liking a lie. She doesn’t belong to rich society as she has no interest in fulfilling her grandparents only wish which will allow her gain her inheritance, marriage. She also doesn’t know why her beloved parents would abandon her, and the scars of being tossed aside run deep. Naturally she wants nothing to do with the son of the man who kept her away from the place she dearly loves.
But can Nathan Everstone show her there’s more to his name than she once associated it to?
More from Dawn
Some things just float your boat, you know? What are some of yours? I’m thinking, for many of you, having piles of awesome newly released novels to read is one of those things. Do you remember what it was that you loved to do more than anything else… when you were a kid? Well, for me, at least, it hasn’t changed much. I remember being in third grade and KNOWING that I was meant to write books. But having ADD in the 80’s and feeling like I was a pretty lousy student through most of my school years sort of put my dreams of being a published author in the category of “pipe dream”. Then during my senior year of college, I had one glorious spring break week of creative thinking, and I came up with the name of the heroine I would (hopefully) write someday—Amaryllis Brigham. And I also came up with the last name of the hero, and the family I would write a series about—the Everstones.
Five years after I graduated from college, I got married. And because I had lots of extra time at that point, I decided to check out some books about character development from the library. Which was the first clue to my husband that I wanted to write a novel. Yes, I hadn’t even told him! Then another five years went by while I worked full time at a daycare. I had definitely thought more about writing it by then, but I didn’t really know how to start.
But then I did. At the age of 32, during January 2010, I finally started writing The Hesitant Heiress. I just dove in, half planned and half one-chapter-at-a-time. I love history so much, when I’m doing research the world as it was just comes to life in my imagination and the story possibilities are endless! And really, I wrote Nathan and Amaryllis’s story for myself—for the joy of writing! Creating story, I found, was my favorite hobby beyond reading them! I did have a dream once during the two year process of writing THH, and I very vaguely saw a cover face out on a shelf. But again, to me it seemed like an impossibility, and I just kept focused on the joy I attained from writing it. If you would have told me back then that that first novel I loved writing would be traditionally published and on the market two and a half years after I finished writing it, I would have laughed in your face! And then, when I first saw Amaryllis on the cover of that first book in my series of five… I thought back to the dream I had that one time, and she was it. The way Amaryllis Brigham is situated on the cover of my published novel was very similar to the vague book cover of my dream. God had done it; He had taken the biggest desire of my life, given me a dream even when I was too cautious to hope, and He had made it a possibility.
American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.
Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.
Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?
With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the INSPY and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.
I loved loved loved the Downtown Abbey tones of this novel! But also, the author made the story completely her own.
Lily is a free spirit. A bit too free in her parents opinion. Which is how she ended on the other side of the ocean to spend some time with her cousin and hopefully have some manners rubbed on her. Her free spirit though is also how she is not asked to return home once war breaks out…
She is all smiles and sass, but people don’t often recognize she is (or has the potential to be) more than what her money indicates. And she doesn’t have to change that much 🙂 though Lord Strathem would maybe desagree at first 😉
I thoroughly enjoyed this one!
More from J’Nell
Inspiration for Beauty Among Ruins
Once again, blame it on Downton Abbey. This time on Lady Rose. She was impulsive, spoiled, a free spirit, yet with a good heart. I knew I wanted to take on the challenge of writing a heroine like her. A character who starts off one way and by the end of the book has completely charmed you over. So I started writing and everything was going great until … it wasn’t. The plot just stopped on me. No matter how hard I tried the story refused to reveal itself to me which is incredibly frustrating for someone who doesn’t like to give up once they’ve started something. But I had to. In the end, I had to put the story, affectionately titled Love on the Limp, away for several months while I wrote The Socialite. Then one day the story clicked. It was meant to be a WWI telling on the classic Beauty and the Beast story. Everything fell into place and the story and characters burst onto the page in glorious technicolor.
Lily and Alec took me by surprised with how much I fell in love with them. Bubbly Lily and brooding Alec. Never had two more opposites been so perfect for one another (at least in my writing experience). They had so many obstacles to overcome, many of them self-imposed, that I often found myself in tears over their heartaches, but golly gumdrops when they came together, boy o boy were there fireworks!
You may have also noticed that the story is set in Scotland because I happen to believe that every good story is set there. I had the privilege of staring at pictures of this breathtaking landscape for months so I could imagine the characters strolling among the heather and watching the river twist through the green moors. To me, nothing rivals the awe inspiring beauty of a certain place, and hopefully readers will feel that through these pages.