Spellbound by History
Island on Fire
Publication date: April 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Historical, Thriller
In the lush, tropical world of Martinique where slavery is a distant memory and voodoo holds sway, Emilie Dujon discovers that her fiancé, a rich sugar planter, has been unfaithful. Desperate to leave him, she elicits the aid of a voodoo witch doctor and is lured into a shadowy world of black magic and extortion. When the volcano known as Mount Pelée begins to rumble and spew ash, she joins a scientific committee sent to investigate the crater. During the journey she meets Lt. Denis Rémy, an army officer with a mysterious past.
At the summit, the explorers discover that a second crater has formed and the volcano appears to be on the verge of eruption. But when they try to warn the governor, he orders them to bury the evidence for fear of upsetting the upcoming election. As the pressure builds, a deadly mudslide inundates Emilie’s plantation and she disappears. With ash and cinders raining down, chaos ensues. Left with no choice, Lt. Rémy deserts his post and sets off on a desperate quest to rescue Emilie. But with all roads blocked, can they escape the doomed city of St. Pierre before it’s too late?
About the Author
Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews called her “an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer”. Her latest novel is Island on Fire, a thriller about the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. She was educated at American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY
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The Matrimonial Advertisement
by Mimi Matthews
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Perfectly Proper Press
Paperback & eBook; 317 Pages
Series: Parish Orphans of Devon, Book 1
She Wanted Sanctuary…
Helena Reynolds will do anything to escape her life in London, even if that means traveling to a remote cliffside estate on the North Devon coast and marrying a complete stranger. But Greyfriar’s Abbey isn’t the sort of refuge she imagined. And ex-army captain Justin Thornhill—though he may be tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome—is anything but a romantic hero.
He Needed Redemption…
Justin has spent the last two decades making his fortune, settling scores, and suffering a prolonged period of torture in an Indian prison. Now, he needs someone to smooth the way for him with the villagers. Someone to manage his household—and warm his bed on occasion. What he needs, in short, is a wife and a matrimonial advertisement seems the perfect way to acquire one.
Their marriage was meant to be a business arrangement and nothing more. A dispassionate union free from the entanglements of love and affection. But when Helena’s past threatens, will Justin’s burgeoning feelings for his new bride compel him to come to her rescue? Or will dark secrets of his own force him to let her go?
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Praise for The Matrimonial Advertisement
“Matthews’ (The Pug Who Bit Napoleon, 2018, etc.) series opener is a guilty pleasure, brimming with beautiful people, damsels in distress, and an abundance of testosterone…It’s a well-written and engaging story that’s more than just a romance. The author chooses to draw on dark moments in British history to create Justin’s and Helena’s complicated pasts…It’s an unexpected narrative addition that works well, as Matthews seamlessly blends some grim history with light and frothy fiction. An enjoyable love story that dares to dip a toe into bleak social and political history.” -Kirkus Reviews
“I don’t have enough words to say how unbelievably incredible this book is…I am a huge fan of Ms Matthews, her writing is always flawless and articulate, but this simply is in a league of its own… ‘The Matrimonial Advertisement’ is a lot darker that what we have come to expect from Ms Matthews, but for me this is Gothic Victorian story-telling at its best. This is how this genre is supposed to be written!…Ms Matthews has out done herself with this, by far one of the best books I have read–ever!…This is a hauntingly beautiful, gripping and heart-wrenching story. It is simply spellbinding!” -Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
“This is an irresistible romance with the added frisson of gothic fear. At a time in Victorian Britain when a woman belonged entirely to her father, guardian or husband, can Helena ever be free to love and live as she wishes? Mimi’s writing style is engaging, and we are plunged immediately into Helena’s predicament. Secrets are gradually revealed, adding depth to our understanding of the main characters. This is Miss Matthews’ best book so far and it is only the first in a new series!” -Lizanne Lloyd, Lost in a Good Book
“This delightful Victorian love story took me away to another time and another place for a few blissful hours. Mimi Matthews is a wonderful storyteller. She creates very likeable, memorable, layered characters that quickly feel like friends. Her style is naturally elegant and warmly flowing, full of historical detail and charm…this is the second of her fictional works that I’ve devoured and I’m looking forward to more.” -Jayne Fresina, bestselling author of Once Upon a Kiss
“Since I first read the sample chapters, I’ve been eager to read this book. Mimi Matthews does not disappoint. She lures the reader in for an emotional journey. Full of romance and heart, The Matrimonial Advertisement takes a marriage of convenience, a pinch of Beauty and the Beast, and some truly engrossing social history and brings to life a satisfying romantic tale. I look forward to more from this talented author!” -Lena Goldfinch, bestselling author of The Unexpected Bride
“The Matrimonial Advertisement is a Victorian romance in all its glory…Mimi Matthews definitely knows how to present historical facts effectively and without sounding bookish…a delightful treat for Jane Austen and historical fiction fans.” -Readers’ Favorite, 5-Stars
“If I could only have one book for the rest of my life, it would be this one. This is my first time reading anything by Mimi Matthews, but rest assured, I now need anything that this incredible author has ever written. The characters were outstanding, developed with complexity and a humanity all their own. The setting and scenery were described with such perfection that I was able to see the circumstances through the characters’ eyes with ease. Both Helena and Justin are forever etched onto this reader’s heart, and I greatly look forward to expanding my Mimi Matthews library.” -Stacie, NetGalley
About the Author
Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Lost Letter) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.
The cover of The Matrimonial Advertisement is elegant and breathtaking. The book description left me intrigued and impatiently waiting for the release date to arrive.
Mimi Matthews did a great job at plucking me from my favorite armchair and placing my feet on the cliffside of the North Devon coast and in the rooms of the abbey. Her attention to detail and world-building drew me in from the beginning. (A must for me as a reader.)
Romance novels aren’t my usual choice when I’m on the hunt for a book. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy romance in a book, but I want there to be more going on than a love story.
The heroine, Helena, I adored from the first few pages. As for the ex-army captain, Justin, I appreciated that he wasn’t the flawless male character romance novels often portray. This outlook Ms. Matthews took along with the added tension of Helena’s uncle and the setting won me on this book. I’d read more from this author in the future.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, September 4
Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, September 5
Interview at Donna’s Book Blog
Thursday, September 6
Review at Based on a True Story
Saturday, September 8
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads
Tuesday, September 11
Feature at To Read, Or Not to Read
Wednesday, September 12
Feature at The Caffeinated Bibliophile
Friday, September 14
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Saturday, September 15
Review at Naomi Finley’s Blog
Sunday, September 16
Interview at T’s Stuff
Monday, September 17
Character Interview at Love Books Group
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a signed copy of The Matrimonial Advertisement! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 18th. 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 Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Philomena meets The Orphan Train in this heart-wrenching story of a mother- daughter bond that could not be broken–a novel inspired by true events.
In 1950s Quebec, the French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility—much like Maggie Hughes’s parents. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy, Gabriel Phénix, on the neighboring farm. But Maggie’s heart is captured by Gabriel. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life “back on track.”
Elodie is raised in Quebec’s impoverished orphanage system. It’s an insecure enough existence that takes a tragic turn when Elodie, along with thousands of other orphans in Quebec, is declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Withstanding abysmal treatment at the nuns’ hands, Elodie finally earns her freedom at seventeen, when she is thrust into an alien, often unnerving, world.
Maggie, married to a businessman who is eager to start a family, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon, and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. Over the years Maggie’s and Elodie’s lives have intertwined but never touched, but they are finally brought together when Maggie goes in search of her long-lost daughter, reclaiming the truth that has been denied them both.
The Home for Unwanted Girls is the best book I’ve read in years! Beautifully written and engaging from the first few pages. Goodman’s character development, plot, and pacing are stellar. The layering of Maggie and Elodie’s chapters added the depth and connection in a book that I love. This story will stay with me for a long time.
Joanna Goodman, thank you for pouring your heart into this book and sharing it with the world. Bravo!