Thursday, October 18, 2018

Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd (TLC Book Tour and GIVEAWAY!)

Miss Eleanor Sheffield has found herself in a precarious situation.  Her father and uncle’s family firm, Sheffield brothers is floundering after her father’s untimely death.  Her uncle is suffering from memory loss, and it is up to Eleanor to keep the family business afloat and her uncle out of debtor’s prison.  Luckily her father and uncle taught her their family business of evaluating priceless artifacts.  She discovers that she has been left with a bequest from the late Lord Lydney to evaluate his artifacts to determine whether his worthless son Harry has been selling them to buy horses.  If he is deemed to have been pilfering the family treasures, the remaining treasures will be donated to a museum, if not, he will be allowed to keep them.  Making this an even harder situation is the fact that Harry is Eleanor’s childhood friend and sweetheart who broke her heart when he left for Europe, didn’t return when he promised, and when he did return, he brought an Italian beauty with him. Is Harry a feckless hard-hearted man or is he the worthwhile man that Eleanor remembers?  Can she keep her family firm afloat?

I loved Lady of a Thousand Treasures.  Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a strong female heroine trying to make her way in a man’s world.  I like how she works to keep her family business afloat while also showing that she is an expert in assessing treasures.  One line that struck me in the novel was that Eleanor never thought of herself as someone to treasure after her mother and Harry’s abandonment, but her friends help her to evaluate her own self-worth.

Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a Gothic Romance, a genre which I love.  This story was at heart a mystery of the treasures and what exactly is going on around Eleanor.  It was also a love story and a coming of age story as well.  I really enjoyed it and couldn’t guess how it would end.

This story also is a Christian story as it has no sex scenes, no swearing, and has times when Eleanor is praying and discussing church.  I like a novel that focus on the story without adding in gratuitous swearing and sex.  I also like when someone must evaluate their faith with their life circumstances as Eleanor does in this story.

The end of the novel has a great author’s note about collecting, real people in the novel, and the Italian wars of unification. There are also questions for a book club. This month at my FLICKS Book and Movie Club (aka Rogue) we are talking about good books we’ve read this past month.  Lady of a Thousand Treasures is the book I’m bringing to share. This is apparently the first novel in the new Victorian Ladies series.  I can’t wait for the next novel!

Favorite Quotes:
“It is only be testing or being tested that we understand whether the substance or the person is as it appears to be or is merely masquerading.”

“Collecting was and is both personal and public.  Before there were museums, viewing other people’s collections was a way to see what they had gathered from their travels, purchased on their own, or inherited from their family.” – From the Author’s Note

 
Overall, Lady of a Thousand Treasures is a wonderful historical fiction and Gothic romance novel with a unique story line, great characters, and an enthralling mystery.  I highly recommend it.


Book Source:  Review Copy as part of the TLC Book Tour.  Thank-you!  For more stops on the tour, check out the following link.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner has a chance to win a copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd. If you would like to win this book, please leave a comment on what interests you about this book. Doo you like to collect objects - if so, what? What is your favorite Gothic tale?

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using random.org (or a Monte Carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to addresses in the United States.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday November 2nd!

Please make sure to check the week of November 5th to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.

Good luck!

Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke


I am going to do a very brief review on Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke.  It was the October pick for my Kewaunee Library Book club and was our attempt to explore the “cozy mystery” genre.  I discovered I was not a fan.  The book moved really slow to me and didn’t get into the actual mystery until well into the story.  I didn’t like how the heroine, Hannah, is deciding between two proposals for which man she will marry and then starts dating a third man.  I found this totally unrealistic in this day and age.  I did enjoy ready the tasty cookie and sweet trick recipes throughout the book and did like the small town of Eden characters.  Overall, Cheery Cheesecake Murder was a book I would not recommend.

Book Source:  Kewaunee Public Library

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox (TLC Book Tour Review and GIVEAWAY!)


Lydia Montrose and her family have been forced to flee Boston due to unsavory rumors about their family and have settled in their newly built summer home, Willow Hall, in New Oldbury.  Sisters Catherine, Lydia, and Emeline couldn’t be more different.  Catherine is noted for her beauty, but what is the scandal that drove the family out of Boston?  Lydia is the plain sensible sister.  She should be heartbroken at the breaking of her engagement due to the rumors, but she finds herself enflamed by her new neighbor and her father’s new business partner, Mr. Barrett, who holds secrets of his own past.  Emeline is still a child entranced by their new home, but what secrets can a small child hold?

The Witch of Willow Hall is a Victorian story, but it has roots in the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century.  Montrose family lore is that a distant ancestress was killed as a witch.  Lydia has always thought of this just as a story, but she did have a jarring experience when she was a child.  As an adult, she now has ever more strange things happening to her and she starts to wonder if there is more to the story of her ancestors than what she had previously believed.

I really liked that this novel fit many different genres.  At the start it seemed like a family drama / coming of age or typical Victorian novel.  Then it veered into being a Gothic Victorian novel and included magical realism.  I enjoyed this.  I also loved the romance between Mr. Barrett and Lydia. It was interesting putting together the pieces of both of their pasts.  I also liked the sisterly conflict between Lydia and Catherine.  It was an original story that combined different fictional elements that I enjoy. 

Overall, The Witch of Willow Hall is a wonderful Halloween read that combines magic, witches, the Victorian era, love, and tragedy.  I really enjoyed it and hope you will as well.
Book Source:  Review Copy for being a part of the TLC Book Tour.  For more stops on this tour, check out this link.



 GIVEAWAY


One lucky winner has a chance to win a copy of The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox. If you would like to win this book, please leave a comment on what interests you about this book. What are your favorite books to read at Halloween?  What are your favorite books with witches or ghosts? 

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using random.org (or a Monte Carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to addresses in the United States.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday October 26th!

Please make sure to check the week of October 29th to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.

Good luck!