Colonel Brandon’s Widow & Willoughby Blog Tour

Colonel Brandon’s Widow and Willoughby

by Marianna Green

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GENRE:   romance historical Jane Austen sequel

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BLURB:

Mrs. Brandon, the former Marianne Dashwood, is now a widow, and not yet twenty-five.
Her former admirer Willoughby is as unhappily married as ever, and the thought that she is free to marry again drives him to distraction. He has continued in his dissolute lifestyle, which Marianne abhors, while his wife Sophia’s life has been poisoned by jealousy of Marianne.
Marianne urges him that the only possibility of happiness for Willoughby and his wife is for him to give up his empty pursuit of pleasure – but now the Colonel is gone, Marianne finds that she can no longer push aside thoughts of Willoughby easily herself; she must find some way of occupying her own empty hours. Willoughby retains his rascally charm, which an older and wiser Marianne is determined to resist; Elinor and Edward are as astute as ever, while Sir John and Lady Middleton are as foolish. Mrs. Jennings remains determined to marry off all her associates as before, while Sophia Willoughby is even more sour as the wife of the man she wanted, and Willoughby’s friends are suitably cynical rakes.


This sequel to Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ strives to emulate some of the light ironic touch of the inimitable style of Jane Austen; it is both funny and sad, and is told as dark comedy.

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Excerpt

The union of the Willoughbys’ only resembled that of the Brandons’ in being childless. Unlike the latter couple, they had no common interests to compensate, unless an unfortunate tendency to over indulge in wine and other stimulants could count as a mutual source of diversion. It is true that they did share in common a manner of relating to each other that involved raised voices behind slammed doors, angry silences and periods of cold civility; but this shared inclination brought them no closer together.

It could be further urged on their behalf , that in this conduct, they provided society with the diversion of much talk, and their staff with constant entertainment; – for Willoughby’s confidential valet knew all about his improper pursuits, while his wife’s lady’s maid could recount how Mrs Willoughby had cursed him for a fortune hunting libertine in full hearing of the servants, and of how savagely he had kicked shut her sitting room door before retorting that, ‘Devil take it, in his whole worthless life, he had only cared for Mrs Brandon, and he’d be damned if he pretended anything else to please a scolding…’

But the reader does not wish to hear any more of this. Seemingly their staff lacked any discretion, and soon enough, the content of the Willoughbys’ exchanges leaked out into polite society, which showed still less decorum in repeating them assiduously. Many a man had dined out for a month on his knowledge of episodes that ought to have been cloaked in decent silence, and Miss Steele was one of many maiden ladies agog for the latest outrage…

“Not another word, damn it!” he exclaimed, coming again to a stop and turning on her in a fury she had never seen in him before. “I cannot endure to hear this from you, of all people. As to my wife, it must come to a separation; we are so at each other’s throats. Then, Mrs. Brandon, you recommend to me a life devoted to duty?” He stood breathing quickly, while unseen by either of them, a hare bolted across their path. Willoughby’s normally fractious mount did not even notice. Throughout their talk, it had showed remarkable patience at being stopped and started at every other minute, and now stood gently waving its ears, almost as if it felt for its master’s desperation.

He rushed on, “No doubt that is how you plan to waste your youth and beauty. No, I cannot find comfort in a life devoted to good works. Mrs. Smith’s tenants must go to the hell in a handcart along with their master, when he comes to inherit. Lord, but I am well served for my former misdeeds and treachery.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marianna Green is lives in the UK, has a geekish fascination with English Literature and History, and an irrepressible sense of humour.

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8058693.Marianna_Green

Amazon link

Book is currently on sale for 99 cents!


GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Marianna Green will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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The Ambitious Barrister and the Maid Blog Tour Plus Review

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Cover_The Ambitious Barrister and the Maid.jpgThe Ambitious Barrister and the Maid
by Marianna Green

GENRE: Steamy Historical Romance

Sarah-Ann Jennings is quite happy to satisfy her master’s lust. Forced into domestic service by a penny pinching aunt, she is determined to make enough money to secure her own future and that of her eccentric younger brother. She rather enjoys him, besides.

There is, of course, no question of any emotional entanglement between them. Mr. Alfred Grand is a cold-hearted fortune hunter in search of a wealthy wife, after all.

For all that, when Sarah-Ann comes to suspect that somebody may be trying to poison him for reasons of their own, she is ready to put all her energy and determination into finding out who it is. This steamy romance set in the mid-Victorian UK is definitely for over eighteens.

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I love historical romance stories, and so I was excited to read this story. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

Sarah is a good maid. She listens to the head maid Mrs. Carr, and she listens to everything that Mr. Grand says. When Mr. Grand takes a liking to her, she doesn’t hesitate to fall for him. It is improper for a maid to fall for her master, especially when he is an eligible bachelor looking for a rich wife to marry. He needs this rich wife to save his estate, but he can’t seem to stop falling for his maid.

I thought that this book would be just an adult historical romance, but then I realized that it was going to be a bit different. For starters, Sarah was 17 at the start of the novel. At first, I thought that it was weird, but then I realized that she was probably old for an unmarried girl at the time. Mr. Grand never forced her into anything, he just knew that he liked her and she reciprocated his advances. The start of the novel was more focused on sex, but then things got even more interesting as the story progressed.

Sarah and Mr. Grand were together, but they started having feelings stronger than lust towards one another. The main conflict of the novel was when they were discovered and they were battling with others and with themselves to figure out what would come next in their lives. This novel may be steamy, but it does have a plot, and that plot can truly draw you in.

The only thing that I have to say is that it took me quite a bit of time to get to know and enjoy the characters. It may have seemed at the start that Mr. Grand was cold, but he fell for Sarah quickly in this short story. Then, the rest of the story seemed to fly by, and I was left wanting more. If only this was a series so that I could learn what happened to the other characters in the household in more depth! The story was short enough for me to read in one afternoon but long enough for me to be sad when it was over.

I would definitely recommend this steamy historical romance novel to anyone looking for a new adult book to read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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Excerpt One

The man’s eye fell on me. I would have liked to think that he was wholly moved by pity at the sight of the tears welling in the eyes of the scrawny creature that I then was. There was indeed a spark of sympathy in his, but also some calculation.

That might seem to be a long word for a housemaid, but I had been educated to be a young lady.

Mr Grand was a man who thought ahead. He saw something in me that interested him. It wouldn’t do for now, for though sixteen, I had much filling out to do. He was ready to wait, just as he was prepared to wait for the right chance to further his career. He was a man who saw potentials closed to those with a less penetrating gaze. In pursuing his goals, he was patient.

“She will do very well, Mrs. Carr,” he gave that cold smile he sometimes used. “That solves your little problem. Now, as to mine –”

The housekeeper was indignant enough to do what servants, even the higher ones, should never do. She cut him off, which was bad enough, and then she contradicted him. “Hardly, Sir. I have no time to train her, and -”

He drew back. She could not have done more to ensure I got the post. He looked down his well-shaped nose at her and cut her off in turn. “I just hired the girl, Mrs. Carr. That makes an end to the matter. See about her box and the rest.”

Later on, I was willing to bet, he would see about my box himself.

AuthorPhoto.jpgBio:

Marianna Green is lives in the UK, has a geekish fascination with English Literature and History, and an irrepressible sense of humour.

Goodreads

The book is $0.99.

 

Giveaway!

Marianna Green will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Blog Tour Plus Review

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The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Vol. II
by Collins Hemingway

Publication Date: August 8, 2016
eBook & Paperback; 332 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1535444958

Jane Austen Lived a Quiet, Single Life-Or Did She?

Tradition holds that Jane Austen lived a proper, contemplative, unmarried life. But what if she wed a man as passionate and intelligent as she-and the marriage remained secret for 200 years?

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen resolves the biggest mystery of Austen’s life-the “lost years” of her twenties-of which historians know virtually nothing.

• Why the enduring rumors of a lost love or tragic affair?

• Why, afterward, did the vivacious Austen prematurely put on “the cap of middle age” and close off any thoughts of finding love?

• Why, after her death, did her beloved sister destroy her letters and journals?

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy answers these questions through a riveting love affair based on the history of the times and the details of Austen’s own life.

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The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen: Volume I

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Vol. I
by Collins Hemingway

Tradition holds that Jane Austen lived a prim and proper life as a single woman. But what if she wed a man as passionate and intelligent as she—and the marriage remained secret for 200 years?

Go with Jane Austen as this thinking woman, and sensitive soul, seizes the opportunity for meaningful love with a man who inspires her and understands her independent spirit—the one man worthy of her mind, heart, and soul.

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This story started off with Jane and her best friend going on a hot air balloon excursion. Even though I know little to nothing about hot air balloons, Hemingway perfectly described it. I felt like I was in the sky myself! I was even scared when Jane and Ashton had to figure out how to fly the patchy balloon on their own and was exhilarated when they landed. Then I remembered that this book took place in the early 1800s and that their family is worried sick as they are spending a day or two waiting for a letter to arrive about the pair’s safety.  This perfectly depicted how some things like balloons had been invented, but the world was still far from being modernized in any way.

The first part of this book is getting to know Jane and Ashton. They aren’t together but are just friends. Jane thinks that she is already too old for marriage at 26 years old, and instantly declines Ashton’s offer of marriage. Then, most of the rest of the book is in letter form. This was a beautiful way to write the story, as several years go by, but the characters have to actually wait for the letters to arrive and be responded to. Readers can see how much passion was poured into each letter, as the barrier between friend and lover starts to disintegrate.

I knew little to nothing about Jane Austen before reading this story, and I love how the small tidbits about her life were thrown into the main romance storyline. Like she sends a letter to Ashton about the books that she had been working on, and about all the female authors that she had been having conversations with. It seemed more real. She wasn’t able to do much in society as an unmarried woman, but she decided to spend time with the other talented women of her time. Hopefully, we will get to know who some of these women were in future series installments.

The one thing I didn’t like that much about this book was that some things moved a bit too quickly. I felt like we were rushing from the balloon incident to being at home with Ashton and then Ashton was away again. If those parts had slowed down a bit, I would have loved every second of this read!

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a new historical fiction romance to read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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Praise for The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Series

“A skillful portrayal of an early nineteenth-century literary icon takes this historical romance on an imaginative journey of the soul. … The adventure of a true romantic partnership and all the excitement that the nineteenth century had to offer. … [The] novel invites you to linger, to savor, and to enjoy. … Makes for wonderful reading. … A Jane that lives and breathes on the page.”—Claire Foster, Foreword Reviews, 4 stars

“Hemingway captures the energy of the times, while also writing with the irony and sly humor of Austen herself. … A strikingly real Jane Austen fully engaged in the turbulent times. … She is a living, breathing presence. … [He] displays a notable ability to recreate time and place. … A lively, compelling read, [a] sobering but moving conclusion.” —Blueink Starred Review

“An enjoyable novel in an imaginative, well-researched series. … A well-researched work of historical fiction … [with] sweet moments and intriguing historical insights. … An incredibly moving portrait of a woman facing loss and love.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Whether his subject is literature, history, or science, Collins Hemingway has a passion for the art of creative investigation. For him, the most compelling fiction deeply explores the heart and soul of its characters, while also engaging them in the complex and often dangerous world in which they have a stake. He wants to explore all that goes into people’s lives and everything that makes tThe hem complete though fallible human beings. His fiction is shaped by the language of the heart and an abiding regard for courage in the face of adversity.

As a nonfiction book author, Hemingway has worked alongside some of the world’s thought leaders on topics as diverse as corporate culture and ethics; the Internet and mobile technology; the ins and outs of the retail trade; and the cognitive potential of the brain. Best known for the #1 best-selling book on business and technology, Business @ the Speed of Thought, which he coauthored with Bill Gates, he has earned a reputation for tackling challenging subjects with clarity and insight, writing for the nontechnical but intelligent reader.

Hemingway has published shorter nonfiction on topics including computer technology, medicine, and aviation, and he has written award-winning journalism.

Published books include The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy, Business @ the Speed of Thought, with Bill Gates, Built for Growth, with Arthur Rubinfeld, What Happy Companies Know, with Dan Baker and Cathy Greenberg, Maximum Brainpower, with Shlomo Breznitz, and The Fifth Wave, with Robert Marcus.

Hemingway lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Wendy. Together they have three adult sons and three granddaughters. He supports the Oregon Community Foundation and other civic organizations engaged in conservation and social services in Central Oregon.

For more information please visit Collins Hemingway’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 14
Review at Coffee and Ink

Wednesday, January 16
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, January 17
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, January 18
Review at Rainy Day Reviews

Monday, January 21
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog

Tuesday, January 22
Excerpt at T’s Stuff
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, January 23
Review & Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, January 25
Review at View from the Birdhouse
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, January 28
Review at For the Sake of Good Taste

Tuesday, January 29
Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Wednesday, January 30
Review at Library of Clean Reads

Friday, February 1
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Saturday, February 2
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Sunday, February 3
Review at Bri’s Book Nook

Monday, February 4
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Tuesday, February 5
Review at Maiden of the Pages

Wednesday, February 6
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Bookish Rantings

Thursday, February 7
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, February 8
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Saturday, February 9
Interview at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Vol II

Merry Christmas + My Top 15 Books of 2018

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has a wonderful day with plenty of food with friends and family. I am personally enjoying my day with my family, and watching a few Christmas movies.

I have officially read 300 books (so far) in 2018, and I might add a few to that list once I make sure that I have reviewed all the books that I read on my Kindle. Here is my list of favorite books that I have read in 2018!

15: The Forest Beyond The Earth

The Forest Beyond the EarthThis book made it to my list because it had such a unique ending. The worldbuilding was great, and Wisp was a charming protagonist, but the ending really made the whole book come together for me.

14: Charm: A Cinderella Reverse Fairytale

Charm: A Cinderella Reverse Fairytale book 1 (Reverse Fairytales)I really do love reverse fairytales, and this trilogy was my favorite reverse fairytale one all year! I loved reading about Charm and Cynder, a princess expected to marry, and a servant with a secret. To anyone looking for a reverse fairy tale trilogy to read that has fairly cheap novels, this is the one.

13: Spellbinding His Ranger

Spellbinding His Ranger (Looking for Group #1)I enjoy LitRPG novels, but this novel took things to another level. Not only did it have the LitRPG elements I love, but it also included a real-life romance between characters in a guild. This is also a series, so I am excited to see who falls in love in the third installment of this series.

12: Trouble In Glamour Town

Trouble In Glamour TownI had heard some stories about how dangerous/difficult it was to work in Hollywood in the 1920s, but this book truly took inspiration from those stories and turned it into its own world. I love all of Mallery’s historical fiction novels, but this one definitely taught me some things that I would have never guessed about old Hollywood.

11: The Mermaid’s Escape

The Mermaid's Escape (The Siren, #1)This book was what truly got me into the Reverse Harem genre, and I loved reading the series. Unfortunately, it finished this year, but I am totally into McAllen’s new series. I will never forget this mermaid reverse harem tale.

10: Tales From Piney Grove

Tales from Piney GroveNot many people know what it was like to grow up on a farm as a sharecropper, and it is a piece of American history that is being purposely forgotten. Morrison tells you everything in this novel, their joys and sadnesses, their wins and their losses. Then, he tells you about how it is now in Piney Grove, and it truly opened my eyes. Definitely a worthwhile read.

9: The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining WomenI was truly saddened after reading this book, and partially scared. I was sad for the teenage girls who were tricked and lost their lives because of radium. I was scared because many of the stories took place in a city truly close to mine, and I know my city also had some really bad factories in it at one point. I know that these poisons don’t go away, so I wonder what/who is truly hiding in the cities graveyards and parks. Truly frightening thoughts!

8: Don’t Look At Me

Don't Look at MeThis Beauty and the Beast retelling really stuck with me, and I fell in love with how the story was told. I will definitely be rereading this novel in 2019!

7: Enlightened

EnlightenedI never really got into reincarnation fantasy novels, but this YA one sold it for me. It had parts that were historical fiction, other parts that were romance, and other parts still that were fantasy. I even loved the sequel to this one, can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

6: This Mortal Coil

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1)I have read a lot of fantasy YA novels, but I hadn’t read a great science fiction YA novel in a while before this one. This book, wow. It completely blew me away, and restored my faith in YA science fiction novels!

5: Nevermoore: The Trials of Morrigan Crowe

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #1)This book has some of the best worldbuilding I’ve seen in a middle-grade fiction book in a while. I loved the sequel as well, even though I haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. Stay tuned, I will definitely post my review soon!

4: Off And Away

Off & Away

I definitely wasn’t expecting a picture book to be on my list of favorite books of 2018, but here we are. The art in this book was absolutely stunning, and I was completely drawn in by the story. I am keeping this book for as long as I can, and I hope to be able to see more by Atkinson soon.

3: In A Time Never Known

In a Time Never KnownThis historical fiction novel was long, addictive, and so intricate that I felt as if the characters were leaping off the page. I have heard that there is also a sequel in the works, so I can’t wait for that as well!

2: The War Between Us

The War Between UsI never thought about how World War II would affect Korean-Americans. They weren’t all sent off to internment camps, but people in America would still discriminate against them because they “look Asian.” This story tells a romantic tale of true love in spite of ignorant surroundings.

1: Elizabeth’s War

ELIZABETH'S WAR: Missouri 1863Looks like I truly loved the historical fiction books that I read this year! I still think about this book, and how it opened my eyes about the Civil War. Even though the Union is deemed as a “hero” in the history books, the Southerners weren’t “evil.” Some, like Elizabeth and her family, were simply minding their own business on a family farm when the war broke out. All of a sudden, they were on the front lines, making difficult decisions for the good of the family. This book and Crossfire in the Street were truly amazing reads this past year, and I hope to see more from D.L. Rogers in 2019.
That’s all for now, I will have a 2018 Wrap UP Post as well later this week that includes my goals for 2019. Have a great day everyone!

 

What Girls Are Good For Blog Tour Plus Review

What Girls Are Good For: A Novel of Nellie BlyWhat Girls Are Good For by David Blixt
 
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Creativia
Paperback & eBook; 535 Pages
 
Genre: Historical Fiction
 
Nellie Bly has the story of a lifetime. But will she survive to tell it?
 
Enraged by an article entitled ‘What Girls Are Good For’, Elizabeth Cochrane pens an angry letter to the Pittsburgh Dispatch, never imagining a Victorian newspaper would hire a woman reporter. Taking the name Nellie Bly, she struggles against the male-dominated industry, reporting stories no one else will – the stories of downtrodden women.
 
Chased out of Mexico for revealing government corruption, her romantic advances rejected by a married colleague, Bly earns the chance to break into the New York’s Newspaper Row if she can nab a major scoop – life inside a madhouse. Feigning madness, she dupes the court into committing her to the Insane Asylum on Blackwell’s Island.
 
But matters are far worse than she ever dreamed. Stripped, drugged, beaten, she must endure a week of terror, reliving the darkest days of her childhood, in order to escape and tell the world her story. Only, at the end of the week, no rescue comes, and she fears she may be trapped forever…
 
Based on the real-life events of Nellie Bly’s life and reporting, What Girls Are Good For is a tale of rage, determination, and triumph – all in the frame of a tiny Pennsylvania spitfire who refused to let the world tell her how to live her life, and changed the world instead.
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Elizabeth never wanted to be looked down on for being a girl, and she spoke out against the many injustices against women during her time. Sometimes her family would actually get into a debate with her about the news articles that infuriated her, and sometimes, they would simply let her talk. But she was determined not to be silenced, continuing to debate. A letter to her local newspaper accidentally lands her a job as a reporter, and she takes pride in her work. Even as others try to bring her down, she perseveres to tell the true story of women in Pittsburgh.
My favorite part of this story was when she interviewed the factory workers. These female factory workers were looked down upon in society, considered to barely even be women anymore. The citizens of Pittsburgh didn’t even know that most of the women that were working in factories weren’t working there because they wanted to, but because they had to for their families or for themselves. Elizabeth spoke to them as a fellow woman and saw them as women when they felt invisible. Even when some admitted to drinking or sleeping with men for fun, she didn’t judge them but instead sympathized with them for having to resort to such things just to relax from their grueling jobs. She even spoke to the child laborers and the men that watched over everyone in the factory.
This book is full of short tidbits about Elizabeth’s journey to become Nelly Bly. I didn’t even know that Nelly Bly wasn’t her actual name, and instead was the name of a “colored” girl from a popular song of the time. I also didn’t know anything about her family situation, or anything she did before faking being mad to get entry into an asylum.
I feel that the synopsis of this book focuses more on things that happen later in the novel. You learn a lot about Elizabeth before she even gets close to entering the asylum, and that is why I like this book so much. You really get the full picture about her character without just jumping to the “exciting” parts of her life.

The plot moves quickly, but the book is still packed full of information. It does not feel short in any way, would be a great winter break read.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a new historical fiction read.

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 stars
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Praise for What Girls Are Good For
 
“Dramatic, engrossing, and spirited, What Girls Are Good For takes the reader straight to the heart of an unsung American hero–a feminist icon whose voice rings loud and true. This is a must-read for anyone who loves an underdog and celebrates justice; the perfect accompaniment for our present times.” – Olivia Hawker, international bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night
 
“With rich imagination and meticulous research, David Blixt has brought the hectic, exciting world of nineteenth-century journalism vividly to life. His Nellie Bly is determined, independent, crafty, irresistible — a heroine any reader would be delighted to get to know.” – Matthew Goodman, New York Times bestselling author
 
David BlixtAbout the Author
 
David Blixt‘s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.
 
Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”

The War Between Us Blog Tour Plus Review

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The War Between Us
by Sarah Creviston Lee

Publication Date: December 14, 2015
Paperback & eBook; 330 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Editor’s Choice Award from the Historical Novel Society.

Alex Moon is not the enemy.

Six months after Pearl Harbor’s tragedy, Korean American Alex Moon is sent away from his home in California for refusing his father’s request to join the fight against the Japanese. On his journey, Alex is attacked and stranded in the small town of River Bluff, Indiana just for looking like America’s most hated enemy.

Unexpectedly, Alex is befriended by a local girl, Lonnie Hamilton, who comes to his defense, saving him from doubt and despair while placing herself in the cross hairs of prejudice. Alex falls in love with his ally—a love that is clearly forbidden. Torn between his dual identities, Korean and American, and grappling with how everyone sees him, Alex must wage the war within himself—of defending who he is, resolving his tortured feelings about the war, and fighting for the woman he loves.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

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I knew that Japanese-Americans in the United States suffered abuse during World War II. Their entire country turned against them, treating them as if they were the enemy. That’s even without considering the fact that the citizens were eventually ripped out of their homes and placed into “internment camps.” It was definitely a difficult and dark time to live in. But I never considered how other groups could have been hurt by the discrimination against Japanese people. This book told me exactly how.

Alex doesn’t want to fight for America in the war. He hates what the country did to his Japanese friends, and he doesn’t see how fighting in the war will change anything. That makes his father send him away to live with his uncle. On the way, he starts to experience the racism occurring in other parts of America. Apparently, they believe that everyone that looks even remotely Japanese is Japanese, and so they assume that he is Japanese even though he is Korean. This discrimination causes him to be off the train, in a town far away from his uncle, and without even a fraction of the money that he was traveling with. He thinks that all is lost until a Reverand finds him and offers to help him, and then Alex decides to make the best of a bad situation. He will have to face the judgment of the townspeople, but he has to find some sort of work and lodging until he can contact his uncle. There he meets Lonnie.

Lonnie is not like most of the people in town. The townspeople, children and adults, all hate Alex simply because he looks Japanese. Lonnie finds out that he is Korean, and is immediately intrigued by him. She wants to learn more about his culture and tries to befriend him. Her uncle is the Reverand, so she sees Alex often, but everyone in town is warning her to stay away from him.

This “forbidden romance” novel is interesting because it is realistic. Now, we aren’t hearing about a prince and a princess from warring families falling in love. We do hear about people from different races or different religions falling for each other though, and facing adversity.

Both Alex and Lonnie are technically adults, but they are both under their parents’ control. Alex always had his mother to vouch for him, but eventually, his father got his way and sent him to live with another family member. Lonnie didn’t have her father to protect her from her mother, so she was subjected to her mother’s desires. Neither parent seemed that physically abusive, but they were definitely emotionally abusive and controlling.

This is definitely a slow-burn romance and not an “insta-love” story. Alex and Lonnie were honestly just friends. They felt as if they could relate to each other, and they were both trapped in Indiana. The feelings didn’t even start until the book was about halfway completed, but once they began, I fell for their romance. It was a clean romance novel, but I could feel their honest love for each other.

Lonnie and Alex were such likable characters. Lonnie was innocent about the world, as she had never even left Indiana. She’d never seen the ocean and didn’t know how other’s lived in other countries. All she knew was her family and her town. She worked to support her mother and sisters, even though she never really felt as if she fit in with them. Alex always tried to do the right thing, but then his own country turned against him. Even though his country, Korea, was under siege by the Japanese, they were just lumped in with them as the “enemy.” He watched friends be taken away, friends that he knew he could trust, and he could do nothing about it.

This was truly an eye-opening read, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new historical fiction novel to enjoy.

I received a copy of this novel and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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Praise for The War Between Us

“Sarah Creviston Lee crafts a smart, fast-paced, uncensored, and quite moving story of embattled love and obstacles overcome. Even her unsavory characters are warmly, believably drawn, and the character of Lonnie Hamilton herself is wonderfully authentic. I read hungrily as the story picked up pace. Highly recommended.” -Laura Fahey, The Historical Novel Society

“Lonnie and Alex are perfect renderings of their time, cultures, and upbringings. Anyone familiar with multicultural literature will find a new author to love, and readers new to a beautifully developed look at a culture unlike ours will find a new genre to love. Lonnie isn’t immune to her town’s prejudice against Alex, but she is able to think things through before reacting. Alex is a moving and heartbreaking picture of a young man caught between two cultures and hated for events not of his making. Together, they are remarkable.” -Julie York, InD’Tale Magazine

“Debuting author Sarah Creviston Lee bursts into the historical fiction market with The War Between Us, a distinctive glimpse at post-Pearl Harbor America and the Asian American citizens caught in the resulting backlash of heightened nationalism and fear. Her honest and empathetic handling of the issues, as well as her complex characters, make this a read that remains with you after the cover is closed.” -Laurie L. C. Lewis, award-winning author of the Free Men and Dreamers series

About the Author

Sarah Creviston Lee was born and raised as a proud Hoosier. She can usually be found tinkering in the kitchen with WWII ration recipes, haunting local antique shops, homeschooling her kids, clacking away on her laptop writing one story or another, or watching old school movies with her family.

She currently lives in Maryland with her husband, three children, and flock of feisty chickens.

In 2016, her book, The War Between Us, received the Editor’s Choice Award from the Historical Novel Society.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, December 7
Feature at Tar Heel Reader
Review at Passages to the Past

Saturday, December 8
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, December 10
Review at Bri’s Book Nook
Feature at Old Timey Books
Feature at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, December 11
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, December 12
Feature at A Book Geek
Feature at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Thursday, December 13
Review at Creating Herstory
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, December 14
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All
Review, Excerpt, and Q&A at Confessions of an Avid Reader

Saturday, December 15
Feature at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog

Monday, December 17
Excerpt at Jathan & Heather
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 paperback copies of The War Between Us! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The War Between Us