The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

March 4th, 2015

sorrowsThe Witch of Painted Sorrows is the newest novel from best-selling author M.J. Rose.  I really didn’t think she could top the last series I read of hers that I loved but she has and in a big way and it starts with this absolutely beautiful book cover.  The Witch of Painted Sorrows is the first in a new series and it is utterly fantastic!  I was swept away to 1890s Belle Époque Paris and into an enthralling gothic tale full of the supernatural and a sensuality that drips of the page.

Sandrine Salome has come to Paris to her grandmothers to escape her dangerous husband.  Sandrine has always loved her grandmother’s mansion and is mystified when she arrives to find it all closed up.  Apparently her grandmother is  renting an apartment while renovating the mansion and even more troubling is how evasive her grandmother is being about all of it.  Sandrine’s grandmother insists that she leave Paris as soon as possible; that it’s not safe for her to stay there.  She warns her to stay away from the house as well but this is something Sandrine finds impossible because she feels such a pull to it.  It’s like the house is alive for her and needs her to be a part of it.  With her grandmother not there Sandrine meets the handsome Julien and the bell tower that she was never meant to find.  The bell tower is the beginning of Sandrine’s journey into the occult, the hidden night world of Paris, and into the life of a long ago courtesan and witch called La Lune who has no intention of ever letting Sandrine leave Paris or the house.

Upon discovering La Lune  and the bell tower Sandrine’s life begins to change.  She discovers that she can paint and extremely well.  She finds that she’s not the cold and sexless woman she felt she was with her husband.  She has an erotic side to her just waiting to be released.  Yet with the good comes the bad and something is trying very hard to possess Sandrine and take over her life.  The question is will it succeed?

Once again I am amazed by the captivating story that M.J. Rose can spin.  I know when I delve into a new book she’s written that I’m going to be glued to it until I turn the last page and it was even more true with The Witch of Painted Sorrows.  I love the paranormal and everything that goes with it so this book was perfect for me and I enjoyed each and every minute.  I love how vividly the author built Sandrine’s world with the painting, possession, and erotic romance so much so that I could see the scenes flashing by in my mind. My only complaint is now having to wait for the next one and really it can’t come soon enough!

The Witch of Painted Sorrows has something for everyone – historical fiction, erotic romance, and the supernatural.  Highly recommended!


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Source: Digital copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.  No compensation was received. 

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Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd & Giveaway (US/Canada)

March 2nd, 2015

Mist-of-MidnightMist of Midnight is the first book in the Daughters of Hampshire series which is a brand new series by Sandra Byrd and what a fantastic start! I’m a huge fan of Sandra Byrd’s historical novels and once again she impresses with this novel set in Victorian England. Mist of Midnight with its Gothic feel holds the reader captive with a blending of dark mystery, romance, and a haunting feeling that never quite leaves you until the last page.

Rebecca Ravenshaw is the daughter of missionaries. She has spent most of her life in India but after the death of her parents in the Indian Mutiny she decided to return home to England and claim her family estate in Hampshire. What she doesn’t expect upon her arrival is to be looked upon as an imposter. People are highly suspicious of her because in the past year another woman arrived in Hampshire claiming to be Rebecca Ravenshaw. Where is this woman now … lying in a grave marked with Rebecca’s own name. Needless to say Rebecca is horrified. Who was this woman who took Rebecca’s identity and not only that but spent much of the income intended to be Rebecca’s. Rebecca is baffled and even more so when she learns that this woman apparently committed suicide. Just what has gone on here. One thing is for certain Rebecca intends to find out.

Something else Rebecca finds at her estate is the intriguing and dashing Captain Luke Whitfield. Once it was assumed that Rebecca had died the estate went to Luke as he’s a distant relative and the only one who could inherit. He is most definitely charming and accomodating. Rebecca can’t help but be attracted to him and soon enough she finds herself falling in love. He seems to enjoy her company as well but as time passes and Rebecca begins to experience some strange happenings and even more troubling rumors and she is left not knowing what to think. Is he only after her estate? Will there be yet another grave marked with Rebecca’s name?

Needless to say I really enoyed Mist of Midnight. On first glance I loved the cover and the story inside is just as impressive. I have always found that sitting down with a novel by Sandra Byrd transports me to another time and place and for me that’s the mark of a wonderful author. If you’re a fan of Victorian-Gothic novels, mysteries, historical novels, or romances Mist of Midnight comes highly recommended!


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1 lace bookmark up for giveaway

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date March 18/15





…And once you’ve entered my giveaway be sure to click here or on the picture above and  pop over to Sandra Byrd’s website for a fantastic giveaway she’s holding for a Beautiful lace bookmark, Cinnamon Lip Plumping Gloss, Vintage style antique gold necklace (Peacock theme) & a Kindle Voyage!





Source: Digital copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.  No compensation was received. 

Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb & Giveaway (US/Canada)

January 28th, 2015

Rodins-LoverRodin’s Lover by Heather  Webb is a fascinating journey back in time.  It takes us into the lives of sculptors Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel and sweeps us through their passionate and often volatile relationship together.

Camille Claudel was not your typical woman of the 1800’s.  Not only was she a talented sculptor; she was also fiercely independent and determined to succeed as an artist in a man’s world.  Growing up with a mother who never showed her love and constantly berated her for one reason or another only made Camille strive harder for the future she wanted.

Meeting the great artist Auguste Rodin changes Camille’s life forever.  He not only makes Camille his apprentice but also his muse.  The attraction between the two is magnetic and inspires them both to create amazing works of art.  Not all is perfect in their relationship though.  For years Rodin has lived with a woman called Rose who has taken care of him and given him a son. Despite his troubled relationship with her he is unwilling to leave her.  This sparks a fierce jealousy in Camille who believes if Rodin loved her as much as he claims to he should be able to leave Rose and make her, Camille, his whole life.  It is not to be and eventually the volatile nature of their relationship and the pressures of trying to succeed in the male dominated art world pushes Camille to the edge of madness and beyond.

Rodin’s Lover is a beautifully written book and steeped in history.  From the first to the last page I was fully drawn into the lives of Camille and Auguste and enjoyed every minute.  In fact this novel prompted me to do further reading on both characters because I was so intrigued by them and their art.  Rodin’s Lover is perfect for those who enjoy historical fiction and will also appeal to those who enjoy novels about dramatic relationships.  Highly recommended!


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Buy: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N, IndieBound



1 paperback copy up for giveaway.

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date February 14/15


Rules (as per Tour Co.)
– Must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & Canadian 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.



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Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review. Giveaway sponsored by the tour co. No compensation was received.

HFVBT Presents Tessa Arlen’s Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman Blog Tour & Giveaway (US only)

January 20th, 2015

Please join Tessa Arlen as she tours with HF Virtual Book Tours for Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman, from January 5-February 6.



Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Minotaur Books
Formats: eBook, Hardcover

Genre: Historical Mystery


Lady Montfort has been planning her annual summer costume ball for months, and with scrupulous care. Pulling together the food, flowers and a thousand other details for one of the most significant social occasions of the year is her happily accepted responsibility. But when her husband’s degenerate nephew is found murdered, it’s more than the ball that is ruined. In fact, Lady Montfort fears that the official police enquiry, driven by petty snobbery and class prejudice, is pointing towards her son as a potential suspect.

Taking matters into her own hands, the rather over-imaginative countess enlists the help of her pragmatic housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, to investigate the case, track down the women that vanished the night of the murder, and clear her son’s name. As the two women search for a runaway housemaid and a headstrong young woman, they unearth the hidden lives of Lady Montfort’s close friends, servants and family and discover the identity of a murderer hiding in plain sight.

In this enchanting debut sure to appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, Tessa Arlen draws readers into a world exclusively enjoyed by the rich, privileged classes and suffered by the men and women who serve them. Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman is an elegant mystery filled with intriguing characters and fascinating descriptions of Edwardian life—a superb treat for those who love British novels.

A Party for Winston, the second book in the series to be released in January 2016.


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Praise for Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman

“Tessa Arlen has a worthy debut with Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman. With a deliciously gruesome murder and an unlikely pair of sleuths, this is a treat for fans of Downton Abbey who will want to devour it with a nice steaming pot of Earl Grey.” —New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn

“In her debut novel, Tessa Arlen weaves an evocative tale of the passions, loyalties and ambitions that divide and unite two classes, upstairs and downstairs, in a stately home. She instantly transports the reader to Edwardian England.”—Christine Trent, author of Stolen Remains

“A dash of noblesse oblige sparkles between the upstairs/downstairs world of Lady Montfort and her housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, as they work together to unmask the identity of a killer at large on the Montfort’s country estate. As sharp as a Nancy Mitford novel, Tessa Arlen’s sophisticated Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman deserves its place among the Great and the Good of classic mystery.”—Lyndsy Spence, founder of The Mitford Society and author of The Mitford Girls’ Guide to Life.

“Thoroughly enchanting. Arlen’s debut will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, with its vivid descriptions, firm grip on the intricacies of the time period, and skilled portrayal of the often complicated relationship between upstairs and downstairs.” —Anna Lee Huber, author of the Lady Darby mystery series


Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Book Depository


About the Author

02_Tessa-ArlenTESSA ARLEN, the daughter of a British diplomat, had lived in or visited her parents in Singapore, Cairo, Berlin, the Persian Gulf, Beijing, Delhi and Warsaw by the time she was sixteen. She came to the U.S. in 1980 and worked as an H.R. recruiter for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympic Games, where she interviewed her future husband for a job. DEATH OF A DISHONORABLE GENTLEMAN is Tessa’s first novel. She lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

For more information please visit Tessa Arlen’s website. Read Tessa Arlen’s blog at Redoubtable Edwardians. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Subscribe to Tessa Arlen’s Newsletter.



1 paperback copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date February 4/15




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Source: All post info and giveaway provided by the tour company.  No compensation received.

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