part of The Wild Rose Press’ “Help Wanted Series”by Laura Strickland
I seem to be on a trend of reading amazing books, because this historical fiction novel checked all my boxes! Also, the author donates all her profits to shelters to help dogs! Another good reason to buy and read, aside from it being FANTASTIC!
One of the darkest times in human history was the insane design and execution to rid the world of Jews and “undesirables.” At the hands of the powerful evil madman Adolf Hitler, families were ripped apart and millions were slaughtered. Persecution, torture, devastation, and enduring the unthinkable remained for those who lived. This is the story of one woman who lived to tell her story. This is a narrative of how a young beautiful teenager, Helen Stein, and her family were torn asunder, ultimately bringing her to Auschwitz. It was there she suffered heinous indignity at the hands of the SS. It was also there, in that death camp, she encountered compassion, selfless acts of kindness, and friendship. Written by the award winning, best selling author of His Name Was Ben, comes a story of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave you thinking about Helen Stein and The Seven Year Dress for years to come after the last page is shut.
About the Author:
Paulette Mahurin lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.
While in college, she won awards and was published for her short-story writing. One of these stories, Something Wonderful, was based on the couple presented in His Name Was Ben, which she expanded into a fictionalized novel in 2014. Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction of the year 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine. Her third novel, To Live Out Loud, won international critical acclaim and made it to multiple sites as favorite read book of 2015. Her fourth novel, The Seven Year Dress, made it to the Amazon kindle store bestseller list in its fourth week out. She has been ranked as an Amazon best selling author for several of her books.
Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminster Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue.
Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.
Social Media Links:
Press release on Paulette Mahurin’s donating profits to help dogs: http://www.vcstar.com/lifestyle/ojai-authors-historical-novel-teaches-tolerance-benefits-animal-rescue-ep-363177738-351980511.html
One of my favorite type of book to review is historical fiction taking place during the Holocaust/WWII Europe. In my youth, I did an immense amount of reading on the topic, fiction and non-fiction. I am always pleased when an author sticks to the history, showing they have used the research materials at their disposal.
The Seven Year Dress ticked all the boxes for me. Mahurin touched on a little discussed topic of the time, regarding homosexuality, through Max, one of the main characters. His conflict between who he was and what he had to pretend to be was heartbreaking. Helen’s experience in Auschwitz was raw, and Mahurin wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries of comfort for the sake of her reader. The loss experienced by Helen was palatable, harsh, and yet, she managed to survive her time in the camp, growing stronger with the memories of her family and friends.
I accept that this novel is fiction as well. If I wanted a history book, I would have read one. The Seven Year Dress is well-researched, well-written, and overall, a fantastic example of historical fiction. Five, enthusiastic stars from me!
About the Novel:
Savaged Lands is a story of war and betrayal, of love and forgiveness. It is September 1941 and Hitler’s Army Group South has occupied Kiev. A young Soviet girl named Natasha falls in love with Mark, a Hungarian soldier of Russian descent. Trapped on opposing sides of a brutal conflict, they are forced to keep secrets from everyone they love. With everything stacked against them and nothing to hope for, the two characters are compelled to fight for their love and their very survival.
About the Author:
This is a book I discovered while reviewing for Readers’ Favorite. I wanted to do a feature because I enjoyed the novel so much!
Attorney and pianist Roland Colton has just released his debut historical romance novel, Forever Gentleman, published by Anaphora Literary Press. Told in a style reminiscent of nineteenth-century authors, Forever Gentleman is a sweeping saga of suspense, romance, mystery, and music.
In Forever Gentleman, readers travel back in time to experience Victorian London at its best and worst—a city of beauty and brilliance, yet steeped in filth and despair. Nathan Sinclair, a struggling young architect and gifted pianist, lives in the two vastly different worlds, mingling in high society while dwelling in suffocating debt and poverty. While performing at a gathering of London’s elite, Nathan meets Jocelyn Charlesworth, a breathtakingly beautiful but temperamental celebrity heiress. He is smitten, though she publicly humiliates him; their paths intersect again later, and they form a tentative friendship centered on their mutual love of music. Meanwhile, Nathan makes the acquaintance of Regina Lancaster, a woman of remarkable inner beauty, despite her pedestrian appearance. He must decide whether to follow his heart and pursue Regina, or flee England altogether to avoid imprisonment from a miserly creditor.
In his darkest hour, Nathan is offered a tantalizing proposition that might change everything, but that comes at considerable risk. Nathan must play his role perfectly, or he may lose his reputation, livelihood, and very life to the powerful echelons of Victorian society. Full of unexpected twists and turns, Forever Gentleman races towards a thrilling climax that will determine Nathan’s ultimate destiny.
“I’ve always been fascinated with Victorian-era London,” said Colton. “Since I’m a musician and live part-time in Europe, I decided to merge my interest in music and European history and created Nathan’s to illustrate the cultural forces at work when England was deeply divided by poverty and wealth. Nathan’s love of music and his struggle to find love and a place in society mirror the social issues many young people face today; I’m hoping readers will find his story as fascinating to read as it was to write.”
An experienced trial attorney and musician, Roland Colton attended the University of Utah on a baseball scholarship, graduating cum laude in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1978, where he received scholarships and awards for academic excellence. An avid pianist and composer, Colton performs for public and private gatherings around the world. He resides in Southern California and France. Forever Gentleman is his first novel.
Social Media Links:
Author’s Website: http://rolandcolton.com
Reviewed on behalf of Readers’ Favorite
Forever Gentleman by Roland Colton is a historical fiction novel chronicling the fortunes, and misfortunes, of Nathan Sinclair. Nathan is a talented architect, and sometimes musician, living in London in the 1860s. Yet, all is not well for young Mr. Sinclair. He faces a debt thanks to a client who has been unable to pay, leaving him at the mercy of a loan broker. Still, Nathan does not despair, though he desperately seeks to pay off his debt. Then, while giving an impromptu concert at the home of a wealthy aristocrat, Nathan runs into a startlingly beautiful woman. Little does he know, his encounter with Jocelyn Charlesworth will change his life drastically, and force Nathan to choose between true love and the fulfilment of all his wildest dreams. All the while, outside forces and unexpected encounters threaten the life of our main character. Will he manage to come out of it on the side of honor, or greed?
It has been some time since I found myself swept away in a piece of historical fiction. Mr. Colton brings his readers directly into the world of the wealthy and the poor, delineating the distinctions with great dexterity. I loved that the main story was told from Nathan’s perspective, as I could really get into his head. Still, the ending surprised me and deviated from what I usually expect in historical novels of this type. I wasn’t sure if I liked Nathan at times, as he seemed to seek fame more than honor, but this gave him a flaw. I appreciated that he wasn’t perfect, and it made me empathize with his plight. Forever Gentleman by Roland Colton is not a novel to rush, but each page is to be savored as he paints a delicate picture of Nathan’s life, while still keeping the plot balanced. Easily one of the best books I have read so far this year.
The Geisha with the Green Eyes
By 1850, Japan had been closed to the outside world for centuries. It was a secret, hidden world. And deep within Edo was Yoshiwara − The Floating World. The center of pleasure. Within Yoshiwara was the Hidden House. A place that only the very wealthy could afford to visit. The place where the geisha were… special.
And in the Hidden House lived Midori No Me. Half Japanese, half foreign Barbarian, born in captivity. She was trained to dedicate her life to serving the wealthiest men in Japan. Defiled at thirteen when her virginity was sold to the highest bidder. Possessed by the greatest actor in the Kabuki theater. Stolen by the most powerful Yakuza in Edo.
The geisha who escaped from the Floating World.
I started The Geisha with the Green Eyes with much anticipation. I loved Memoirs of a Geisha, so I was eager to read more historical romance about the practice, and the cover inspired me even more. A well-constructed story, with memorable characters, I found the novel an easy read, and kept going back to it after having put it down. I liked Midori’s character and found her struggles real in the Floating World. However, my favorite character ended up being Carpi, the poor geisha with shortened arms. Her character was how I might imagine a geisha to feel; forced to entertain the outside world while feeling crushing sadness inside.
I feel though that the ending was rushed. There was a great build-up, but there could have been more substance. I do hope the author plans a sequel, as I would love to continue reading Midori’s journey. There are some violent scenes in this novel, some involving sexual context so any readers should be made aware of this. Otherwise, The Geisha with the Green Eyes was a solid four-star read for me. Well done!
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
About India Millar
INDIA MILLAR started her career in heavy industry at British Gas and ended it in the rarefied atmosphere of the British Library. She now lives on Spain’s glorious Costa Blanca North in an entirely male dominated household comprised of her husband, a dog, and a cat. In addition to historical romances, India also writes popular guides to living in Spain under a different name. Her Romance Noir series is highlighted on her website, indiamillar.co.uk.
India Millar Twitter – https://twitter.com/indiamillar23
About Red Empress Publishing
Title: To Win a Viscount (Daughters of Amhurst #2)
Author: Frances Fowlkes
Genre: Historical Romance
England, 1820. To gain a certain marquess’s notice, Lady Albina Beauchamp aims to win the derby. What she hadn’t planned for is the price handsome Mr. Edmund White asks in payment to train her to race: each lesson for a kiss.
A first place finish isn’t the only thing worth racing for
Lady Albina Beauchamp is in love with the Marquess of Satterfield. Unfortunately, his only interest is in horses, and doesn’t know she exists. But when the marquess confesses he will bestow his undying admiration on the jockey racing the winning horse at Emberton Derby, Albina sets out to win his affections by training to race.
Mr. Edmund White is a master groomsmen for the Earl of Amhurst in line for a viscountcy, should he abandon his passion for horses and become a respectable sheep owner. But horses are his love–until he meets Lady Albina and her silly notions of racing. When she affirms she will enter the derby with or without his assistance, Edmund not only instructs his student in racing, but seduction as well.
For Albina, a first place finish isn’t the only thing at stake. She must decide whether to take her place in society…or follow her heart and love a groom.
The enchanting, but very puzzling Lady Albina stared at him. “Do you intend to walk the two miles out to the bluff or will you saddle a horse and ride, Mr. White?”
He pulled his gaze away from her buckskin-encased thighs and shook himself out of his reverie. “Ride, yes,” he said, still in a daze.
Her cheeks flushed pink. “Then please saddle your selection. I don’t have much time.”
Neither did he. Edmund had horses to groom, train, and run. Evaluating the riding technique of a bored lady had not been on his morning agenda. Which was why he made his way back into the barn and saddled the spirited bay mare the earl had only recently acquired. He had to run the horse anyway. Why not kill two birds with one stone?
Edmund adjusted the leather bridle and gripped the thick lead, guiding the steed into the morning sun.
Lady Albina’s face brightened at his approach. “Shall we make a wager, Mr. White? Your mare against mine? The first one to the bluff wins?”
“And what would the prize be, my lady?” He could think of more than one thing he’d very much like to win, like a long, slow kiss on her set of full, pink lips.
“Your full recommendation to the earl about my racng capability, when I arrive on the bluff a minute before you.”
“And when I pass your mare and end up the victor?” he asked. “What shall I win?”
She nibbled on her lip, drawing the supple flesh between her teeth and making his position on the horse a very uncomfortable one. “I named my terms. It seems only fair you should do the same.”
Naïve, then. She was definitely naïve. And he had no qualms exploiting the fact. “A kiss. On my lips. From yours.”
Her eyes widened, her porcelain skin flushing scarlet. He could almost hear her inner voice willing her to object his bold request, but she squeaked out a definite affirmation. “Done. On the count of three, we race to the bluff.”
His blood warmed, and nothing, he was certain, but God himself could prevent him from claiming his prize.
She brought her mare alongside his, a hint of uncertainty passing over her delicate features. “I expect nothing less than honest sportsmanship.”
“And I expect nothing less than a good race, my lady.” He settled into the stirrups and gave her his best rakish smile. “One…two…”
His words were drowned out by the clomping of hooves and Lady Albina’s high-pitched laughter.
“I am not the one claiming the prize, Mr. White. Should you wish to…kiss me, you must…press your lips against mine.” Good heavens, she’d never been so mortified. All this talk about kissing took the very romance out of the notion. But then, this kiss was not a romantic intimacy. It was a business transaction. A payment for her incompetency.
“Your lips. On mine. That was the agreed-upon arrangement.” He crossed his arms in front of his chest and lifted his chin.
“I do not see how it makes any difference,” she said with a huff. “A kiss is a kiss. It does not matter who initiates the act so long as it is given.”
“I am afraid I must disagree. Whoever initiates the act sets the tone for the event, thereby altering the effects.”
Albina rolled her eyes. “It is but a pressing of one’s lips to another’s. And that, only for a moment. I sincerely doubt one person’s initiation of the event is different from anyone else’s.”
“Would you care to test your theory?”
She leveled a glare in his direction. “How so?”
“You kiss me,” he said, his voice low. “And we assess the results. Then I kiss you and we compare the experience.”
She narrowed her eyes. “You wish to kiss me twice?”
“No, I wish to kiss you once, for I claim ownership of the kiss when I initiate the act. Likewise, you would kiss me once when you settle your accounts and do as you have already agreed by settling your lips against mine. I should think it a small price to pay for the sake of an argument, really. And, as you said, it is but a pressing of one’s lips to another. For but a moment.”
Albina rolled her lips inward and took a deep breath. One kiss had slipped into two. And under the guise of settling an argument she had unknowingly started. But a kiss was no more than what she claimed. A simple act. Nothing more than a settling of accounts.
She let out the breath she had been holding and nodded. “If my compliance allows for my continual access and use of the earl’s Thoroughbreds, I agree.”
“My lady.” Mr. White’s exasperated voice called from behind her. “I only seek to help you.”
Albina turned around, her chin lifted, her plaited hair licking past her arm. “Then do so, Mr. White. Tell me how to correct my form without insulting me. Unless you cannot. In which case, I shall seek out assistance elsewhere.”
He ran up to her and took hold of her hand, pulling her into his chest. Her hat fell to the ground as she crumpled against him, her right hand gripping his arm to steady herself. A thick, hard, and solid arm.
He lowered his head, his mouth mere inches from hers. “Your head should be flush with the horse’s.” His words were breathy and low, spoken in a rich tenor she could hardly hear over the hammering of her heart.
“My head,” she whispered. Her thoughts were no longer on her form, but the pair of lips hovering over hers.
“Place it alongside the mare’s, low and even, as though you see and hear as one.”
“See and hear as one,” she repeated, her voice far throatier than it ought to be.
“And your legs,” he continued, “should be tight against her sides.” His hands fell to her outer thighs. With a slight push, he clamped her legs around his. “Like this.”
God in heaven. She couldn’t think. At least not of anything beyond the pair of hands resting on her thighs. She gave a slight nod and licked her lips.
He inhaled, an audible, sharp intake of breath. His hands should not have been anywhere on her person. No gentleman would hold her thus, with such bold possession. But Mr. White was not a gentleman. He was a groom.
And she was, for the first time, glad for it. A heady rush of excitement coursed through her.
“Is that all?” she whispered. “My head and legs?”
Slow and sensual, his lips curled. “Your bottom.” His hands slipped to her backside and cupped her supple flesh through the thin leather of her breeches. “It needs to be held high in the air.”
“M-m-my, my bottom,” she stuttered, lapsing into a mode of speech most often associated with her sister, Henrietta. “Must b-b-be higher,” she ended on a gasp.
Her breath caught, his fingers burning on her bottom as though they were on fire. No man had ever dared, never imagined to place his hands upon her…certainly not the marquess, who, as a titled peer, would respect the rules of decorum and treat her as a lady. As he ought.
Yet…she could not deny the surge of pleasure rushing through her at Mr. White’s forwardness. His blatant disregard for propriety was intoxicating. A shot of rebellion that echoed her own. Her rule-breaking, however, was limited to assuming the appearance of the opposite sex. A simple portrayal. A minor deception, though it was quickly becoming more. She had allowed him to kiss her yesterday. Today…today she was allowing him a firm grasp of her bottom. And what’s more, enjoying every second of it.
After viewing her all-time favorite love story, “Anne of Green Gables”, at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of “highfaluting mumbo jumbo” written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose.
When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation.
Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle.
A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.
Buy the Book
Entangled Publishing: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/to-win-a-viscount/
Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card during the tour.
Publication Date: May 26, 2013
Publisher: Imajin Books
eBook & Paperback; 182 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance/Paranormal/Western
Fate has brought them together, but will a promise tear them apart?
In the small town of Willow Creek, Colorado, Nora Rushton spends most of her days locked up in her home with a father who resents her and fighting off unwanted marriage proposals from the wealthy Elwood Calhoun. Marked as a witch, Nora must hide her healing powers from those who wish to destroy all the witkowin—crazy women. What she doesn’t know is that a bounty hunter is hot on her trail.
Lakota native Otakatay has an obligation to fulfill. He has been hired to kill the witkowin. In a time when race and difference are a threat and innocence holds no ground, courage, love and honor will bring Nora and Otakatay together as they fight for their freedom. Will the desire to fulfill his promise drive Otakatay to kill Nora? Or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?
Publication Date: September 14, 2014
Publisher: Imajin Books
eBook & Paperback; 214 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance/Paranormal/Western
“Upon mine death for the blood ye have shed, Every daughter born to ye shall die before it draws breath, to which ye will know pain and worse, I cast unto ye mine blood curse.” ~ Vadoma
Four years after the Blood Curse, Pril of the Peddlers vows to protect her child against the evil men who hunt her. With her clan unaware of the branded girl among them, Pril has to keep the identity of her daughter a secret. When her child is kidnapped, she is forced to ask Merchant runner, Kade Walker, for his help.
Kade Walker needs to find the gypsy child. Blackmailed and pushed beyond his own moral code, he is determined to do whatever it takes. When he comes across the Peddler clan, he is sure the girl is there, however all hope is lost when the gypsies capture him. Time is running out—until Pril makes him an offer he cannot refuse.
Amidst greed, lust, revenge and love, Pril will need to trust Kade. But as the evil nears and doubt creeps in, will she discover that the enemy has been standing next to her all along?
Kat Flannery’s love of history shows in her novels. She is an avid reader of historical, suspense, paranormal, and romance. When not researching for her next book, Kat can be found running her three sons to hockey and lacrosse. She has her Certificate in Freelance and Business Writing. A member of many writing groups, Kat enjoys promoting other authors on her blog. She’s been published in numerous periodicals. Her debut novel CHASING CLOVERS has been on Amazon’s Bestsellers list many times and was #62 over all their titles. LAKOTA HONOR and BLOOD CURSE (Branded Trilogy) are Kat’s two award-winning novels and HAZARDOUS UNIONS is Kat’s first novella. Kat is currently hard at work on her next book.
Book Blast Schedule
Tuesday, July 5
Passages to the Past
Friday, July 8
Monday, July 11
The Reading Queen
Tuesday, July 12
Wednesday, July 13
Thursday, July 14
Friday, July 15
Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Monday, July 18
The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
Thursday, July 21
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Monday, July 25
One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Thursday, July 28
Saturday, July 30
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