Saturday, December 29, 2018

What I've Been Reading - December 2018

The Reformer by Jaima Fixsen

Jaima Fixsen is now one of my go-to authors because she writes a great story with wonderful characters AND makes almost no typos or grammatical errors. Yes!

This is a good, solid, entertaining romance, and I also enjoyed the historical info about reform movements in the early 19th century. (This book is part of a multi-author series, but you don’t have to read the others to enjoy this one. I know, because I haven’t.) A great choice for an evening curled up away from the TV.

The Unexpected Wife by Caroline Warfield

Caroline Warfield always delivers a good story. I think I’ve read every book she has published and enjoyed them all. Not only are her characters realistic and captivating, but her plots are so gripping that you just have to keep on reading late into the night.

She chooses unusual locations, too, which works for me, as I love to learn something new. This story takes place in China at the time of the First Opium War. Definitely worth a read.

Note: this is the third in a series. It's helpful to read them in order, although not entirely necessary. But they're all good stories, so why not?

Vita Brevis by Ruth Downie

Back to mysteries, my favorite genre, and one of my favorite time periods, Ancient Rome. Vita Brevis is several books into the Gaius Petreius Ruso series by Ruth Downie, and although it works fine on its own, I recommend that you read them in order, starting with Medicus (which is only $2.99 for Kindle at the moment.)

Ruso is a doctor with the Roman army in Britain, and he marries a woman from one of the British tribes. Their life together and the trouble they get into in Britain, Gaul, and Rome (so far) make fabulous reads. Generally, I like the ones in Britain best because I know Britain better, but they're all excellent, and in this one Downie paints an all-too-believable picture of life in Ancient Rome. Entire series highly recommended!

Happy reading!


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What I've Been #Reading

A month or two ago, I mentioned reading The Dark Before Dawn by Jaima Fixsen. Since I loved it so much, I decided to try another of hers -- Fairchild, which is the first in the Fairchild Regency Romance series. As romances go, it was very, very good. I don't read much romance -- I think writing it has got me somewhat jaded -- but this was well worth the read. Great characters and plot, some social commentary (which almost always works for me), and two sequels. I bought the next one, Incognita, for when I'm in the mood for more romance. 

Next up is The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill. This mystery was recommended by a couple of people, including a friend who gave me her spare copy. (Thank you, Linda!) Ordinarily, I wouldn't read a book about 1970s Laos under a Communist regime, but it was fabulous. The main character, Dr. Siri Paiboun, is a hoot, and there were two mysteries in one story, always a plus. Oh, and a paranormal element, too! Definitely worth a read, and there are many books in the series, oh joy. ​ Sorry, no cover -- I couldn't get it to save from Amazon, and I'm not at home to take a photo of my paperback.
Lastly, an oldie but very, very goodie -- Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. This is a brilliant time travel story that goes back and forth between the future -- 2050s -- and the 14th Century. This was my third time reading it, and I appreciate more and more about it with each read. Some things about the future don't work well anymore because of technological changes since the book was first published, but the story still works fine. In some ways it's a harrowing read, but the theme (not that I go for themes anymore, since it's long, long ago since I was in college) is probably something about the resilience of the human spirit. It's about love, fear, sorrow, loss, caring, faith, and so on. Wonderful, wonderful book.

That's it for now. Happy Thanksgiving! 


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Christmas Knot is Free!

My ghostly Regency novella, The Christmas Knot, is free on Amazon from today through Saturday.

Widowed and destitute, Edwina White takes a position as governess in a haunted house. She’s so desperate that she’ll take anything, and besides, she doesn’t believe in ghosts. Little does she know that her new employer is the seducer who lied and deceived her many years ago.

Sir Richard Ballister inherited an estate with a ghost and a curse, and every governess he hires leaves within a week. Finally, a woman desperate enough to stay arrives on his doorstep—but she’s the seductress who dropped him many years earlier for a richer man.

The last thing Richard and Edwina want is to work together, but they have no choice. Can they overcome the bitterness of the past in time to unravel a centuries-old knot and end the Christmas curse?

Amazon US: 

Amazon Canada:

Amazon Australia:

Amazon UK:

Friday, November 2, 2018

Today's My Day at the Year End Splash

But it's the day for a bunch of other authors, too, at The Romance Reviews Year End Splash. And it's just one of 30 days to enter their giveaways in many, many ways. The more points you rack up, the better chance you have to win.

My giveaway is a copy of The Redemption of the Shrew. Just scroll down to Question # 2 and there it is. But don't stop there -- there are five other multiple choice giveaways, as well as other ways to win. Good luck!


Monday, October 29, 2018

What I've Been Reading - More Mysteries

Baby's First Felony is the long-awaited seventh book in the Cecil Younger mystery series. It’s fabulous—but I say that about every one of Mr. Straley’s books. Just read the cover quotes and you’ll see that I’m not the only one who loves his writing. The Alaska setting just adds to the reading pleasure. I must say, though, that although Baby’s First Felony can be read as a standalone, you’ll appreciate it much more if you read the other six books first, starting with the The Woman Who Married a Bear. Cecil Younger is a completely screwed-up yet nevertheless adorable character, and reading Baby’s First Felony was like visiting an old, much-loved friend. Great mystery, chilling suspense that was almost unbearable (I had to read ahead), and some wonderful bursts of humor. Highly recommended.


At some point this month I needed an old, familiar read, so I turned to Dorothy Sayers. The Nine Tailors is one of her Lord Peter Wimsey stories. Lord Peter is a delightful character who also feels like an old friend, since I’ve read all the books about him more than once, some of them several times. The secondary characters in The Nine Tailors are fun, too – the absent-minded vicar and his capable wife, the villagers who ring the church bells, and of course Bunter, Lord Peter's valet. The mystery is both intriguing and educational. I love learning something new as I read, in this case about change ringing – a musical art form in which bells are rung in varying sequences according to a prescribed pattern. At least I think that’s more or less right – if you want more, Google it. If you haven’t read Sayers, start with the first in the series and read them all. They will surely become lifelong favorites.

The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson totally blew me away. I’m so glad I read it – thanks to fellow author Marguerite Kaye, who finds the most amazing dark historicals and reviews them on Goodreads. The story takes place in London in 1727, mostly in a ghastly debtor’s prison. It’s violent and often horrifying, but so realistic and well written that you just have to keep going. The mystery is excellent, and the central character, Thomas Hawkins, is one of those wild, restless, totally endearing characters who make for a great series. I’m already reading book two, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins, and looking forward to book three, A Death at Fountains Abbey.

Happy Halloween!