The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee (Audiobook)

August 4th, 2014

typeI’m pleased today to kick of Alison Atlee’s debut novel The Typewriter Girl with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. The Typewriter Girl is a journey back in time to the seaside resort of Idensea and into the life of Betsey Dobson. Betsey is a woman who longed for an independent life but living in a man’s world has made that difficult. After being fired from her job as a typewriter girl and having her reputation completely sullied Betsey decides to travel to Idensea where she was previously offered a job and she can only pray it was a true offer. Upon arriving she is thankfully given a job by John Jones managing excursions for the Idensea Pier and Seaside Pleasure Building Company.

Betsey enjoys her new job so much more than that of a typewriter girl. Even though being a typewriter girl was considered the ultimate job for a woman of her time it wasn’t enough for Betsey. Now with this job Betsey can show that she has the ability to do well in business even though she is a woman. Adding a little turmoil to her life is her attraction to John Jones who is seeing a wealthy woman who has much more to offer than Betsey. Yet once again Betsey is a woman not afraid to take what she wants and it isn’t long before sparks are flying between the two. One thing for sure is that John has never met a woman like Betsey and it intrigues him a great deal. Is it enough to bring the two together in love?

This novel is a love story and a pretty good one in that it’s complicated by the personalities of the two main characters of Betsey and John. They can be quite funny in their dealings with each other and I enjoyed the banter between the two. I also really liked Betsey with her independence and strength of character. It’s always a pleasure to read about women who were strong and didn’t want to settle for what it was believed all they were capable of.

All in all I enjoyed The Typewriter Girl. I found it a bit slow in places but still very enjoyable. I listened to the audio version which is narrated by Rosalyn Landor who I love. She is a fabulous narrator who brings so much to the telling of a story. She brought the time and place alive in my mind and she portrayed Betsey’s character perfectly. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed this novel as much in print as I did in audio because of Rosalyn Landor’s beautiful narration of it.

Recommended for fans of historical fiction with a splash of romance. 

 

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Source: Audiobook copy was provided for review by the author. No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are that of the blog owner.

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Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner & Giveaway (US/Canada)

July 14th, 2014

02_Go-Away-HomeGo Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner takes us back to the early 1900′s and into the life of Liddie Treadwell, an Iowan farm girl. Liddie wants more from life than the same old hum drum happenings of farm life, teaching, or marriage. She dreams of a career doing what she loves – sewing, and her dreams are almost within her grasp when her older sister suddenly has to leave the farm which means Liddie must stay and help instead.

Luckily Liddie’s family knows how important it is for Liddie to realize her dream and she leaves the farm and secures a job as a seamstress. Liddie revels in her freedom and is amazed that she is getting paid money to do what she loves. She later meets Thomas who awakens in her a love of photography and she considers making a life with him despite not loving him in order to realize even more of dreams. Taking a trip home though takes her back in time and has her longing for the simple life of the farm and a man named Joe. Liddie has a decision – go with Thomas and live the life of adventure she craves or stay with Joe, the man who makes her heart pound.

Go Away Home is an excellent portrayal of life back in the early 1900′s. It made me think of my grandmother as she was just beginning a marriage and life on the farm at the same time as Liddie. Liddie was a wonderful character. At a time in history when women were made to accept being only housewives or teachers she dared to be different and want more for herself. She realized the high level of inequality between men and women and wanted that to change. At the same time she had a deep love for family, friendship, and the farm that she grew up on.

Go Away Home will tug at your heart and leave you feeling enriched for having read it. For fans of historical fiction who enjoy stories of early farm life and the love of family Go Away Home is a beautiful story that definitely fits the bill! Recommended!

 

Other tour stops with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
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Author Links: Website/Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Carol’s Newsletter
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GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

Win 1 copy of Go Away Home

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date July 30/14

Good Luck!

(Comments are still very much welcome but don’t count as an entry)

 

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Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own. 

Mozart’s Wife by Juliet Waldron & Giveaway (Rafflecopter-US only)

June 23rd, 2014

mozartMozart’s Wife by Juliet Waldron is a brilliant novel that weaves fact with fiction in the telling of what life with Mozart was like from his wife’s point of view. This novel is rich in historical detail and is one of those books to savor, not rush through. The writing is eloquent and the story intriguing. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Celeste Lawson and she does a great job. I think she has the perfect tone of voice for this type of story and for me she just really brought Mozart and Konstanze’s world to life for me.

Konstanze falls in love with Mozart from a young age when he begins courting her sister and when that doesn’t work out she’s secretly happy. In a family of girls Konstanze doesn’t shine as her sisters do so she’s surprised and thrilled when Mozart confesses that he loves her and can’t live without her in his always over dramatic way. They marry and that is really where this story explodes as it delves into the marriage of Konstanze and Mozart which is sometimes happy and sometimes in turmoil.

Life with Mozart is definitely not always an easy one. Mozart is constantly creating his music and spending his time out among the people – especially those with praise for him. Mozart though has a hard time saving any money and whenever he has any he spends it. For Konstanze with the household to maintain and kids to care for this is more often a nightmare than anything else. Many, many times the family is much to close to the poverty line with Mozart lending out money they don’t have.

Mozart was a man who just lived day to day; never planning. As well Mozart seemed to be quite often unfaithful to his wife. While Konstanze didn’t believe it at first soon enough she does and while she scolds him for his philandering ways she certainly never leaves him for it. More often than not though she finds herself pregnant and with having troubled births and children passing from disease childbirth has turned into something to be feared for her.

The research that went into this novel shines through on every page. I didn’t know anything about Mozart apart from his music before reading this book and I really appreciate the knowledge I’ve gained through this reading. More than that it is always interesting to see the lives of the people behind the one who is famous. It is because of Konstanze that Mozart’s music is still as popular today as it was then because she made sure it would be. Despite the troubles in her marriage she loved her husband and I found her a fascinating character to read about.

For readers of historical fiction Mozart’s Wife is an excellent choice and one I enjoyed a great deal!

 

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GIVEAWAY DETAILS – US ONLY

To win a $20 Amazon Gift Card please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on June 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on July 1st and notified via email. Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

*Click Here* to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

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Source: Audiobook from my personal library. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.

The Queen’s Exiles by Barbara Kyle & Giveaway (US/Canada)

June 16th, 2014

queenI’m really excited to kick off Barbara’s Kyle’s book tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours today with her newest novel The Queen’s Exiles. Once again Barbara Kyle has written a fantastic novel that sweeps us back in time to the Tudor era and tells us the story of Fenella, a brave, independent, and courageous woman.

The year is 1572 and while Elizabeth is Queen there are many plots underway to overthrow her and put Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne instead. In the midst of battles on land and sea there is Fenella Doorn who, after the death of her husband, has managed to successfully run her own business repairing ships that have been damaged at sea. It is one of these ships that once again brings Baron Adam Thornleigh, one of the Queen’s men, into her life. They had met once before and Fenella has never been able to forget this man. With it being unsafe for Fenella to stay in Sark she embarks on a journey to Brussels with Adam where the war is ravaging everything. Adam’s mission is to find his traitor of a wife who was in on a plan to overthrow Elizabeth and get his children back and Fenella is going to help him. Nobody can predict the danger that these two will encounter together and apart or the agonies they will suffer. Will they find their way back to each other or will they find obstacles at every turn or even more foreboding – will they even survive?

I so enjoyed all the intricacies and plots of this novel that so seamlessly all came together. Fenella is a wonderful character who is so strong at a time when women were expected to sew and run a household. Instead Fenella was right there ready to fight for what she believed in or even more so for those she loved. Adam as well was a character I really enjoyed. His loyalty to his men, Fenella, and his children was admirable. It’s funny that even though I have nothing in common with characters from so long ago I formed an immediate connection with Fenella. Maybe it was her strength or her determination or just that she was a woman unwilling to be solely independent on a man that made her so easy to relate to but I really liked her.

The Queen’s Exiles is part of the Thornleigh series of which I’ve only read one other but I fully intend on reading all of them. The nice thing is that they are all stand alone novels. For me Barbara is one of those authors who is able to weave fact and fiction in such a way that entices the reader and draws them fully into her storytelling.

Most definitely recommended for lovers of historical fiction but even for those who like a fast paced, exciting story with a little romance thrown in for good measure. I really enjoyed it!

 

Other tour stops with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Read the First Chapter
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GIVEAWAY – US AND CANADA

*Click Here* and fill out the Form

Draw Date July 1/14

Good luck to all!

(comments are still welcome!)

 

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Source:  Digital review copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.
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