BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson with giveaway and excerpt

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About the Book

Book: Midnight on the River Grey                          6c783407-6e8e-4344-99de-e6e3427005c1.jpg

Author: Abigail Wilson

Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery

Release date: July 2, 2019

Abigail Wilson returns to Regency England with another tale of murder, mystery, and romance.

After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible-Mr. Lewis Browning-known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian. He alone was on the bridge that fateful night and openly admits striking her brother with his horse, but he claims he remembers little else.

Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation. Yet, Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and whether she too will follow the same heartbreaking path.

Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Lewis, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust him with her uncertain future?

 

Click here to grab your copy.

My Review

English moors beset by swirling mists and winds; wicked storms, dreary weather, and centuries-old decrepit buildings slowly decaying; combine to make a great Gothic tale, but not a place I would care to visit. Abigail Wilson, in Midnight on the River Grey, carefully employs dark words, effectively painting a very dreary, spooky mood in Regency England. 

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What is the allure of a musty setting like this? It “must” be the reader’s desire to see if the unfortunate characters can find hope or color in their lives, against all the odds of the Dickens-like environment. Rebecca has an overriding fear that she must face head-on. Lewis Browning has a horrible reputation that causes townspeople to ostracize him completely. Under the darkness of this tale is a thin ray of light struggling to find greater purchase and freedom. As a reader, I raced through the pages hoping to free Rebecca from her invisible prison. Would she determine the cause of the turmoil in her new surroundings, or would she become the next victim? 

Who will not like Rebecca? She can’t seem to stay safe, but she is determined to prove her loved one innocent and make the guilty pay. Rebecca has spunk, inquisitiveness, and clear thinking in spades, although some might like her to think otherwise. 
I loved the slow unwrapping of the romance as if one were unwrapping a present covered in layers of newsprint. Lewis was kind enough to sympathize with Rebecca’s feelings. That goes a long ways towards winning her respect, as opposed to just defending her father. Lewis also proves himself to be thoughtful and generous in undeniable ways. By this point, I didn’t care if Lewis was good-looking or not. Actions transform the face and person. 

I wondered if maybe Rebecca had unfairly judged both her father and Lewis. My Bible reading just yesterday cautioned against judging. It seems we point fingers back at ourselves when we refuse to extend grace to others. 
Aunt Jo is very likable and seems to have a quiet caution and wisdom. She is an excellent foil for Rebecca. 
A quote. (I will post longer ones as memes.)

“Sometimes people do awful things when they feel justified.” 

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I recommend this book, with a few caveats. While it is clean, there are, however, a few situations that would make it for mature readers. There was no mention of faith, which is disappointing when the book comes from a Christian publisher. 

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. No positive review was required and all opinions are my own. 

My Rating

golden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-stargolden-star

 

About the Author

Abigail-Wilson-1-200x300Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at www.acwilsonbooks.com; Instagram: acwilsonbooks; Facebook: ACWilsonbooks; Twitter: @acwilsonbooks.

 

An excerpt from Midnight on the River Grey

My heartbeat turned sluggish as an ache swelled in the back of my throat. This man—the

person responsible for my brother’s death—expected me to live with him? In his house? Madness.

“And if we refuse?”

“I’m afraid there is little choice in the matter at this point. The arrangements are already complete.”

Mr. Browning narrowed his blue eyes, scrutinizing me, no doubt, as the numbing shock of his declaration faded to resignation across my face. He sighed. “I do realize Greybourne Hall might hold unfortunate associations for you—”

 “Unfortunate?” My voice came out a bit louder than I’d expected. “Is that what you choose to call it?”

He gave a sideways glance at Aunt Jo then returned to me, a pained look hovering about his eyes. His voice, however, remained firm. “Forgive me if I startled you. I hadn’t expected such a violent reaction to what I assumed was the logical next step. Perhaps I should make myself a bit clearer.” He gave a curt sigh. “I only intend for you to stay at Greybourne Hall till someplace more suitable can be arranged. Unfortunately, there are few options at present.”

Ice enveloped my heart. I had no wish to travel to, let alone live at that dreadful house, not even for a single night. In his letters, Jacob had described the rambling structure as a gray pile of stones fit for vampires, or worse. I could only image Mr. Browning, this dark-headed devil before me, at home in such a place.

Blog Stops

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The Power of Words, July 11

Emily Yager, July 12

Blogging With Carol , July 12

Stories By Gina, July 12

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D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 13

Simple Harvest Reads, July 14 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

For Him and My Family, July 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 15

Wishful Endings, July 15

Godly Book Reviews, July 15

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Retrospective Spines, July 16

Seasons of Opportunities, July 17

For the Love of Literature, July 17

Mary Hake, July 17

Genesis 5020, July 18

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 18

Bigreadersite, July 18

Blessed & Bookish, July 19

Through the Fire Blogs, July 19

Blossoms and Blessings, July 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 20

Remembrancy, July 20

Inspiration Clothesline, July 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 21

Pause for Tales, July 21

A Reader’s Brain, July 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 22

Inklings and notions, July 22

Hallie Reads, July 23

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, July 23

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A Baker’s Perspective, July 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, July 24

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Abigail is giving away a grand prize of a copy of her book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e5a8/midnight-on-the-river-grey-towers-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley, Thomas Nelson

The Pages of Her Life by James Rubart

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About the Book

Book: The Pages of Her Life

Author: James L. Rubart    Pages-of-Her-Life-cover-198x300

Genre: Christian fiction – suspense

Release Date: May 21, 2019

Award-winning and bestselling author James L. Rubart explores the way our memories shape us . . . and how they affect our beliefs.

Allison Moore has no idea why she got out of her car on that rainy March afternoon and picked up the soaked journal laying on the side of the road. Brought it home. But she did. It was empty. Except for two lines scrawled in the front, too washed out to read. And a Jesus emblem inside the back cover. Something about the journal compels her to start writing in it, capturing thoughts about her newly acquired job that she thought would be heaven, but has turned into hell. Then one day, she finds words in the center of the journal. Words she didn’t write: Mene mene tekel upharsin. After her heart stops hammering, Allison Googles the phrase, and reads the story of Belshazzar’s Feast, where a hand from God writes on the wall, and the king is slain. Fear grips her, certain God is coming after her for what she did twelve years back. What she’s done wrong her whole life. She vows to make things right. Then she discovers more phrases appearing underneath each of her journal entries. Those phrases take her on an emotional roller coaster that forces her to look at everything she believes about her past in a new light, and opens her eyes to a supernatural realm of staggering consequence.

  The-Pages-of-her-life-quote 
 Click here to purchase a copy of the book.

My Review

“…secrets did not make for strong alliances.” And yet, in The Pages of Her Life, by James Rubart, we see a family thrown into a Twilight Zone setting by the death of the father and husband who kept unwelcome secrets. Allison, and her estranged brother, Parker, have difficulty in their lives as they try to escape the legacy of inadequacy their father bestowed upon them. An old journal and a stranger are about to shake up their lives forever.
This novel was a great reminder for me that not everything that seems to be of God really is. Certainly, some people claimed to love God in the book, but their actions proved just the opposite. They were their own gods. I wanted to cry with Allison as she begins to figure this out. It is easy to relate with her and her brother, as all the outer trimmings are stripped away and each is forced to look at his most basic needs.
Of course, there is the mysterious working of God. The journal was unpredictable. “God isn’t working on my time frame, I’m working on his.” As I finish the novel, I have to say I feel like it is imaginative, yet there is that piece of me that says, “all things are possible with God.”
In a few places, there were large portions of Scripture written out. That seemed to detract from the smoothness of the story. I felt that in at least one instance, the Scripture story could have been shared shortly and easily without being long and drawn-out, given that it is a familiar story.
My other little issue is a theological one. I can’t share it without a spoiler, but I will say that many Christians, including me, may be surprised when we get to heaven and find out that things we held tightly to as Biblical absolutes are not. Also, the novel couldn’t happen without this theological difference, and that’s ok.
One quote I will adopt as my own for fun:
“She really needed to get in the habit of waking up before she decided to think.”
Most memorable quote?

The Pages of Her Life
“Choose to believe the kingdom is in your midst and is here to set you free.” The Jews missed this when Jesus came the first time. Allison and Parker have their turns to choose freedom or bondage. Now it is our turn; which will we choose?
“Got it” quote?
“Compared to the ocean, she felt small. Insignificant. And that was a good thing. A reminder that He was God, she was not, and that all along He’d had a plan to rescue her.”
What a great tome to cause the mind’s cogs to start turning! And turning mine are. Pass me another Rubart, please.
References by other readers have been made to a previous book, Rooms. I have not read that and understood The Pages of Her Life well. I feel it stands alone on its own merit.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

My Rating

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About the Author

James L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker. He is the author of the best-selling novel Rooms as well as Book of Days, The Chair, Soul’s Gate, Memory’s Door, and Rubart-James-240x300Spirit Bridge. He lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest. Website: www.jameslrubart.com Twitter: @jameslrubart Facebook: JamesLRubart

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 21

Spoken from the Heart, May 22

Godly Book Reviews, May 23

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Bigreadersite, May 24

Simple Harvest Reads, May 24

Through the Fire Blogs, May 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, May 26

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 27

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All-of-a-kind Mom, May 28

Hallie Reads, May 28

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 29

Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, May 30

Inspired by fiction, May 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 31

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 1

For Him and My Family, June 2

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Maureen’s Musings, June 3

Inklings and notions , June 3

Mary Hake, June 4

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Retrospective Spines, June 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 5

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, June 6

Blogging With Carol, June 7

Just the Write Escape, June 7

For The Love of Books, June 8

Remembrancy, June 8

All 4 and About Books, June 9

Livin’ Lit, June 9

A Reader’s Brain, June 10

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, James is giving away a finished copy of The Pages of Her Life!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f2/the-pages-of-her-life-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, Thomas Nelson

The Governess of Penwythe Hall, #1 The Cornwall Novels by Sarah Ladd

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About the Book

 

Book: The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Author: Sarah Laddpro_pbid_4172296

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: April 16, 2019

In the first of a new series from beloved Regency romance author, Sarah Ladd, Delia, a governess to five recently orphaned children, would risk anything to protect them . . . even her heart.

Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.

Cornwall, England, 1811

Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast, she tries desperately to forget.

Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

My Review

Timing is everything. Sarah E. Ladd’s Governess of Penwythe Hall has an orchard-setting cover, filled with soft spring colors. This beautiful book with nature’s long-awaited colors of olive, grass green, lilac, rose, and pink releases during blossom time here where fruit trees are abundant. Score for Thomas Nelson publishing.
This was the first novel I had read by Sarah Ladd. Ladd is quite the anglophile and quickly makes the reader want to visit the moors and marshes, or at least the craggy seacoast. I do wish mightily for a map, which may be included in the final copy.
This story had all the ingredients I needed for a very enjoyable tale. A young, attractive governess; a passel of children who depend on her and whom she loves; a rather unwilling, handsome guardian; and enough secondary characters to help steer the tale into interesting and dangerous waters.
Besides Delia and Jac, Jac’s aunt is my favorite character. She is very insightful. She seems to understand Delia’s struggles, she loves the Lord, and she understands the importance of relationships over things or business.
In short, The Governess of Penwythe Hall is a great choice if you are looking for a Regency novel of faith, fear, learning to open one’s heart to others, and facing down the giants from the past that would threaten the future. Delia especially has to figure out which relationships to build and which to cut off and how.

Notable quotables:

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“Sometimes, whether we like it or not, things do not happen the way we think they should.” How true. We must then rise to the occasion in maturity.
“…walls alone do not make children feel safe. People do.”
“People, ah, people. That’s where the real success lies.”
“Fear knew no bounds and came in so many forms…”
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. This in no way affects my opinions, for which I am solely responsible.

My Rating

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About the Author

 

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of

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marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at SarahLadd.com; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.

More About The Governess of Penwythe Hall

5 things to know about Cornwall, England:

  1. Throughout its early history, Cornwall’s inhabitants called the country Kernow.
  2. Early inhabitants largely spoke their own language known as “Cornish,” which became nearly extinct in the 1800s
  3. The country has a long and rugged coastline and there were frequent shipwrecks.
  4. Fishing was a major industry, with herring, mackerel, and sardines being common catches.
  5. In 1870, novelist and poet Thomas Hardy called Cornwall “the region of dream and mystery.”

 

Imagine yourself in The Governess of Penwythe Hall with these pictures of 19thCentury life in Cornwall

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2016/may/19/everyday-life-in-cornwall-captured-in-the-19th-century-in-pictures

 

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/cornish_nation_01.shtml

https://www.maritimeheritage.org/ports/Cornwall.html

http://www.cornwallgoodseafoodguide.org.uk/cornish-fishing/history-of-the-cornish-fishing-industry.php

 

Blog Stops

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Kat’s Corner Books, April 16

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Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 17

Blossoms and Blessings, April 17

Remembrancy, April 17

Worthy2Read, April 18

By The Book, April 18

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

Just the Write Escape, April 19

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 19

Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 20

For HIm and My Family, April 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 21

Inspiration Clothesline, April 21

Pause for Tales, April 21

Through the Fire Blogs, April 22

Bigreadersite, April 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 22

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 22

Inspired by fiction, April 23

A Reader’s Brain, April 23

Hallie Reads, April 23

Henry Happens, April 24

Connect in Fiction, April 24

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 24

janicesbookreviews, April 24

 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of The Governess of Penwythe  Hall!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/de80/the-governess-of-penwythe-hall-celebration-tour-giveaway