#Interview #QA By Lou with @kathylwheeler, an author of Gaming Hell Christmas Vol 2 @rararesources #BlogTour #Regency #HistoricalRomance #HistoricalFiction #Christmas #ChristmasRead

Interview/Q&A with Kathy L. Wheeler about her and Amanda Cabe’s book Gaming Hell Christmas (vol.2)
Conducted by Louise Cannon (Lou) – Bookmarks and Stages 

CEF7F0A3-B18C-435A-B16F-CDF7C202DE00

Recently I had the great pleasure of conducting an interview/Q&A session with Kathy L. Wheeler, an author of Gaming Hell Christmas, volume two. There are 2 mysteries set in fashionable Regency, London, one by Amanda Cabe, the other by Kathy L. Wheeler.
Readers, after discovering the blurb, can find out from Kathy herself, what to expect from the book, her inspiration and find out whether she would live in the regency period or not, rule breaking and Christmas, all in 6 questions and answers. Her answers are illuminating and there’s no holding back…
Thanks first to Kathy L. Wheeler for taking part and allowing me to interview you for my blog and as part of Rachel’s Random Resources blog tour, to whom I thank for inviting me on to close the blog tour.
Without further ado, onto discover the delights of the book and what was said by the author…

GAMING HELL CHRISTMAS – VOLUME 2: Mysteries abound at London’s most fashionable Hell.

The Thief Who Stole Christmas – Amanda McCabe
A man who has never broken the rules, and a woman who just might break his heart! But Christmas is always a time for second chances…

As one of Miss Greensley’s Girls, a member of the exclusive club la Sous Rose, and famous author Lady L, Victoria Lanford moves easily through Society ballrooms. Few people know how her unhappy childhood and anxiety led her to pickpocketing (yet, she did return the jewels)! When she comes face-to-face with old flame Rhys Neville, Earl of Hammond, she knows the kind-hearted, straight-laced, devilishly handsome lord is not for her—especially once the past comes back to haunt them. Why, then, can’t she stop thinking about their kisses?

The Kerse Who Saved Christmas – Kathy L Wheeler
Kerse: He, of the no nonsense approach, is stymied by She, a woman considered long past prime marriageability who needs a keeper more than he requires a wife. Yet the dreamy-eyed, impractical, and much too optimistic Philomena still manages to steal his heart despite her unrealistic beliefs and trust in fortune tellers.

  1. What can readers expect from your book?

         Readers can expect a fun group of characters who attended school together from a young age.
Each young woman is her own person and craves their own independence and love story, which Amanda and I strive to provide.

 

  1. You have a man who has never broken the rules before. If you were to break a rule, what would it be and why?

    This is an easy question for us in the twenty-first century compared to the 18th and 19th centuries where things were much more stringent for women. Even men were held to a higher standard. I think those of us who write historical romance are always having our characters “break the rules”. It’s just a matter of degree and what they do when they get caught.

 

  1. Your book is historical romance? What is your favourite time period to write about it and would you want to live in it yourself?

    I love writing the Regency era romance. Would I want to live in that period? Hell, no. Not without a ton of money and great resources to good water and decent medical care.

 

  1. Who inspired you to write?

    I think I was mostly inspired to write by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I’m a huge NFL fan and she wrote the Chicago Stars series. I once met her and asked if she watched (like me). Her answer was a resounding no! I was shocked! And thought, yeah, I could write. Of course, she is miles beyond me, above me, etc. etc.

5.    What research into historical exclusive clubs did you need to do and have you ever been to one in present times?

Mostly, it comes from reading the period. It was a fun idea we came up with. Nothing about La Sous Rose would be legit in the period, but it was still fun.

6.      How do you like to celebrate Christmas?

My husband and I moved to Western Washington about six years ago. We would spend Christmas at his family’s, but they were real big on my family attending when they were in town—sad but true. Since we’ve moved to Washington, we spend the holidays with my family where there are always extra people to be found.

Happy Holidays!

Kathy L Wheeler

 

A481ACE5-B767-40DD-A447-35B63EC3BB16

 

 

Advertisement

#Author #Interview Conducted By Lou for The Gentleman of Holly Street By Lotte R. James @lottejamesbooks @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #BlogTour #Christmas #ChristmasReads

The Gentleman of Holly Street
By Lotte R. James

Today I am delighted to be closing the blog tour with an interview session with Lotte R. James about her new historical fiction book – The Gentleman of Holly Street. Discover why she writes in this genre, but not always, the inspiration to themes and the rags to riches tale of her book, what’s coming next and more in 5 questions. I thank Lotte R. James, Mills and Boon and Rachel Random Resources for this opportunity. Without further ado, follow down to the blurb and then the interview.

Will this Christmas…
Change Their Lives Again

When self-made gentleman Freddie Walton rescued penniless Philomena Nichols at Christmas eight years ago, he never imagined that he would build his empire with her. Yet whilst they have created a life together as friends, Freddie can’t let their special connection become more than that. Not when his dangerous past continues to haunt him… But what happens when Freddie’s feelings for Philomena also refuse to stay hidden?

Welcome to my blog Lotte. Thank you for agreeing to take part in a Q&A session with me about your book and what’s next for you. 

  1. What inspired you to write Historical Romance and choose Mills and Boon as your publisher, or did they choose you?

I’ve always loved history, and I think that prompted my interest as a reader in Historical Romance. From there, it was really just wanting to write something in the genre that I loved so much. I did write my debut with Harlequin/Mills & Boon specifically with the Historical line in mind, as it was a literal dream to be part of that collection of incredible authors. It went through quite a few revisions and rewrites, but then I was lucky enough to get the call!

 

  1. You chose to work with some fairly strong themes – Anxiety, Houselessness, Childhood trauma, Mild violence, Mention of suicidal ideation. What inspired you to write about them?

I think all my books feature fairly strong themes to be honest. Merely because we face some very difficult things in life, and it’s important to me to represent that in what I write. I don’t believe all art should be a mirror of reality, don’t get me wrong, but I do feel that I am, and always have been, personally drawn to exploring the grey areas, of people, and of life. To exploring the challenges we all face, and I think to an extent, showing just how incredible humans are.

 

  1. What sort of empire does your main character – Freddie build up and what inspires you to a rags to riches story?

Freddie builds up a sustainable and ethical shipping empire. I’ve always loved rags-to-riches stories myself, and I think that’s why subconsciously, when I first introduced Freddie in The Housekeeper of Thornhallow Hall, I introduced him as a self-made man. Throughout history, you have incredible stories of people who succeeded – in a myriad of ways, I don’t mean success here to be merely financial – by being at the forefront of change, and I think that’s an aspect I am often drawn to as well. People who have the vision to make change happen.

 

  1. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to write in the Historical Fiction genre?

Be passionate about the period you want to write in, and of course, about the genre itself. It isn’t merely about loving old-time clothes, or more polite ways of courting. It’s about finding why you have to write Historical, rather than any other genre; what you want to say, and represent.

 

  1. What book are you currently reading and are you working on a new book?

I’m currently reading Rogue by Jennifer Bernard – which I’m enjoying very much so far – and yes, I am always working on a new book. Currently, I am juggling three main projects – one Historical and two Contemporary – because my brain will not let me stop… Though I haven’t started my next Harlequin/Mills & Boon yet – that will likely be how I start off 2023!

About the Author 

Lotte James trained as an actor and theatre director, but spent most of her life working day jobs crunching numbers whilst dreaming up stories of love and adventure. She’s thrilled to finally be writing those stories, and when she’s not scribbling on tiny pieces of paper, she can usually be found wandering the countryside for inspiration, or nestling with coffee and a book.

01C96993-BDDD-4960-AD65-D5050F33D146

#Review by Lou of An Indiscreet Princess By Georgie Blalock @Harper360UK #GeorgieBlalock #HistoricalFiction #RandomTTours #AnIndiscreetPrincess #RoyalFiction

An Indiscreet Princess
By Georgie Blalock

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for a historical fiction book that takes facts of a time and princess from historical times and fictionalises it, but gives some detail about the rebellious and artistically talented daughter of Queen Victoria – Princess Louise. How could I pass up such a book, when there’s my namesake right there? Except, I have no blue blood that I am aware of running through my veins, but I do have a care for and interest in the Royal family.
Discover more about the princess in the blurb and my thoughts of the book in my review. I also thank RandomTTours, Compulsive Readers and Harper Collins UK for the invite to review and a copy of the book.

Blurb

Before Princess Margaret, before Duchess Meghan, there was Princess Louise: royal rebel.

As the fourth daughter of the perpetually in-mourning Queen Victoria, Princess Louise’s life is more a gilded prison than a fairy tale. Expected to sit quietly next to her mother with down-cast eyes, Louise vows to escape the stultifying royal court. Blessed with beauty, artistic talent, and a common touch, she creates a life outside the walled-in existence of the palace grounds by attending the National Art Training School—where she shockingly learns to sculpt nude models while falling passionately in love with famed sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm.

But even as Louise cultivates a life outside the palace, she is constantly reminded that even royal rebels must heed the call of duty—and for a princess that means marriage. Refusing to leave England, she agrees to a match with the Duke of Argyll, and although her heart belongs to another, she is determined to act out her public role perfectly, even if her private life teeters on the brink of scandal. But when a near fatal accident forces Louise back under her mother’s iron rule, she realizes she must choose: give in to the grief of lost love or find the strength to fight for her unconventional life.

Review

There have often been royals who have a rebellious side and Princess Louise was, as well as being a bit flighty when younger. To put her life in even more context of time, she also  lived at the same time as Bertie, someone perhaps a bit more known than she.
She, interestingly had a love of art, whilst in a way so did Queen Victoria enjoy the arts, but preferring Mr Browning and his writings, rather than the National Art Training School and all that’s as taught there, which was an interest of Princess Louise, who needs to convince the Queen to let her go and then let her stay for another term, urged by her professor who was constructing a memorial for Lord Holland in Holland Park. This again adds context as well as shows her path in life that she is going down.

What is also interesting is how far in history, Balmoral goes as it is mentioned here in this book. The novel has interesting bits of places that play a role in both today’s society and monarchy and of yesteryear. It gives it another hook, especially since it crosses borders and shows the monarchy, even way back then was for all of the UK, as it is now.

There’s the question of romance,marriage and a wedding and all her emotions as well as the UK coming together, but with Princess Louise’s feelings not being quite as you’d expect from a marriage, nor her actions, partly this is because of the times, partly her personality and her desires being different from the Crown.

It is clear to see that Princess Louise does try to balance her passion for art and her beliefs and her duties, but also that of Queen Victoria trying to steer her away from scandal. This book shows appreciation and royals doing their best, especially that of the Queen and eventually an appreciation of the senior royals and what it means to have the crown. It has a surprisingly good and poignant ending.

The book certainly glides along and the author certainly found a story to tell.

#BookReview By Lou of 50 Books To Read If You’re… A Hopeless Romantic By Eric Karl Anderson @lonesomereader @MurdochBooksUK @RandomTTours #50BooksToRead #HopelessRomantic

50 Books To Read If You’re A…
Hopeless Romantic
By Eric Karl Anderson
*****

Today I am pleased to be on the blog tour to review this list book that gives you a bit of insight of 50 great romantic books. Thanks first to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review and to the publisher, Murdoch Books for the book and lights and love heart sweets (see pics below). The sweets are eaten, the book duly read and scrutinised and the lights were on the mantle piece, but will be part of my Christmas decorations in December. Now, onto discovering the book through pics, the blurb and my review.

Books to Read If You’re a Hopeless Romantic is the perfect gift for book-loving friends.

Discover lesser known books and revisit forgotten romantic classics with 50 Books to Read If You’re a Hopeless Romantic.

Whether you’re a Bridget Jones fan or a Pride and Prejudice devotee, bibliophile and book blogger Eric Karl Anderson will introduce any fans of love stories

to some new and unexpected novels. The book includes an interactive element with space for star

ratings, lists of favourite reads, thoughts and dates for beginning and finishing books.

Encompassinga range of authors and books, from classic to contemporary, 50 Books to Read If You’re a Hopeless Romantic offers the lucky reader plenty of scope to discover the best romance books across the globe.

Review

Discover 50 romantic books through different eras, from historical to contemporary, the author has thought about something for everyone who takes pleasure in this genre. Within this , you’ll find books dating from the 1800’s right up to present day. It takes readers to, perhaps well-known books such as Wuthering Heights, The Graduate, One Day, Bridget Jones Diary, Gone With The Wind, Normal People, Never Let Me Go, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, Open Water to name but a few, to perhaps, lesser known books for these days such as The Well of Loneliness, The Price of Salt, The Narrows to name but a few.

This is more than a list that the author has compiled, you’ll find a bit of information about the books that will be sure to inspire. It is a bit like an unearthing of a treasure trove of love and romance through the eras within books. Each with romance and fun but also with storylines to really get your teeth into. It is a list that may also remind readers that romantic fiction isn’t frivolous, it also has gripping, emotional storylines.

The interactive element is both practical and fun as you can jot down your favourites and thoughts. This would be a great treat for any reader, even as a present or for yourself.

What will you unearth and give a try from this book? It is well-worth a read.

About the Author

Eric Karl Anderson, aka the Lonesome Reader,
hails from Maine and has lived in the UK for many
years. He started a reading blog to record his
thoughts on the books he was reading and he now
reviews books for several publishers across his
socials, including his popular YouTube channel.
Asbwell as having his own novel and short stories published, he’s been on the judging panels of
numerous literary awards including The British Book Awards (2017) and The Costa Book Awards
(2020). RuPaul praised his blog on his podcast ‘What’s the Tee?’ after Eric recommended he read Damon Galgut’s novel Arctic Summer.
 
67CED076-4EED-45CB-8C0F-E6B3B96D848A

#Review By Lou of The Echoes of Love By Jenny Ashcroft @Jenny_Ashcroft @HQstories #HistoricalFiction #WartimeFiction #WW2 #1970s #1930s #1940s #RomanticFiction

The Echoes of Love
By Jenny Ashcroft 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Echoes of Love is a historical fiction novel that transports readers between the mid to late  1930’s to the 1940’s and then to 1970’s. It takes readers into the depths of love and war and how it reverberates years later. It’s a book I highly recommend. Find out more in the blurb and my thoughts in my review below. I also thank HQ Stories for the book and extra gifts of delicious Baklava.

Blurb

Under the Cretan sun, in the summer of 1936, two young people fall in love…

Eleni has been coming to Crete her entire life, swapping her English home for cherished sun-baked summers with her grandfather in his idyllic shoreside villa. When she arrives in 1936, she believes the long, hot weeks ahead will be no different to so many that have gone before.

But someone else is visiting the island that year too: a young German man called Otto. And so begins a summer of innocence lost, and love discovered; one that is finite, but not the end.

When, in 1941, the island falls to a Nazi invasion, Eleni and Otto meet there once more. But this time Eleni has returned to fight for her home, and Otto to occupy it. They are enemies, and their love is not only treacherous, but also dangerous. But will it destroy them, or prove strong enough to overcome the ravages of war?

An epic tale of secrets, love, loyalty, family and how far you’d go to keep those you love safe, The Echoes of Love is an exquisite and deeply moving love letter to Crete – one that will move every reader to tears.

Review

Beginning with a transcript in 1974 about Eleni Adams at Broadcasting House. It is an interesting way to start and leads back to the events in 1936, Crete, with the transcript intercepting the main story, giving extra insights. A dangerous time and not far off the cusp of war as Hitler is on the march and the likes of Punch Magazine depicting the road to war in satirical cartoons and trips through Italy with Mussolini in charge have to be made. The book is set between Portsmouth in the UK and Crete, a Greek island. There’s almost an innocence of how this time must have been, against the ensuing darkness that looms, with Hitler being more in the news reels and then an innocent kitten being around and the emotion surrounding that. The characters do enter war times and everything changes as he begins his invasions and what he thinks of the Jews and of Jazz and Swing music.
It, however, never loses sight of it being a war-time story of love and how things change and how it is remembered. Not everything where love is concerned is simple as the book slips through the three very different time eras with great fluidity.

The book is poignant with the reverberations of love and atrocities of war and what the German Nazis had created can be felt deeply and yet it has beautiful writing that has a truth, and yet a softness and not a coarseness surrounding all the events of the day and the people affected in so many different ways.

At the end is an author’s note about how the book was, in part inspired by her own family and about Crete and more… This is a book I highly recommend you lose yourself in.

 

#Review by Lou of An Indiscreet Princess By Georgie Blalock @Harper360UK #GeorgieBlalock #HistoricalFiction #RandomTTours #AnIndiscreetPrincess #RoyalFiction

An Indiscreet Princess
By Georgie Blalock

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for a historical fiction book that takes facts of a time and princess from historical times and fictionalises it, but gives some detail about the rebellious and artistically talented daughter of Queen Victoria – Princess Louise. How could I pass up such a book, when there’s my namesake right there? Except, I have no blue blood that I am aware of running through my veins, but I do have a care for and interest in the Royal family.
Discover more about the princess in the blurb and my thoughts of the book in my review. I also thank RandomTTours, Compulsive Readers and Harper Collins UK for the invite to review and a copy of the book.

Blurb

Before Princess Margaret, before Duchess Meghan, there was Princess Louise: royal rebel.

As the fourth daughter of the perpetually in-mourning Queen Victoria, Princess Louise’s life is more a gilded prison than a fairy tale. Expected to sit quietly next to her mother with down-cast eyes, Louise vows to escape the stultifying royal court. Blessed with beauty, artistic talent, and a common touch, she creates a life outside the walled-in existence of the palace grounds by attending the National Art Training School—where she shockingly learns to sculpt nude models while falling passionately in love with famed sculptor Joseph Edgar Boehm.

But even as Louise cultivates a life outside the palace, she is constantly reminded that even royal rebels must heed the call of duty—and for a princess that means marriage. Refusing to leave England, she agrees to a match with the Duke of Argyll, and although her heart belongs to another, she is determined to act out her public role perfectly, even if her private life teeters on the brink of scandal. But when a near fatal accident forces Louise back under her mother’s iron rule, she realizes she must choose: give in to the grief of lost love or find the strength to fight for her unconventional life.

Review

There have often been royals who have a rebellious side and Princess Louise was, as well as being a bit flighty when younger. To put her life in even more context of time, she also  lived at the same time as Bertie, someone perhaps a bit more known than she.
She, interestingly had a love of art, whilst in a way so did Queen Victoria enjoy the arts, but preferring Mr Browning and his writings, rather than the National Art Training School and all that’s as taught there, which was an interest of Princess Louise, who needs to convince the Queen to let her go and then let her stay for another term, urged by her professor who was constructing a memorial for Lord Holland in Holland Park. This again adds context as well as shows her path in life that she is going down.

What is also interesting is how far in history, Balmoral goes as it is mentioned here in this book. The novel has interesting bits of places that play a role in both today’s society and monarchy and of yesteryear. It gives it another hook, especially since it crosses borders and shows the monarchy, even way back then was for all of the UK, as it is now.

There’s the question of romance,marriage and a wedding and all her emotions as well as the UK coming together, but with Princess Louise’s feelings not being quite as you’d expect from a marriage, nor her actions, partly this is because of the times, partly her personality and her desires being different from the Crown.

It is clear to see that Princess Louise does try to balance her passion for art and her beliefs and her duties, but also that of Queen Victoria trying to steer her away from scandal. This book shows appreciation and royals doing their best, especially that of the Queen and eventually an appreciation of the senior royals and what it means to have the crown. It has a surprisingly good and poignant ending.

The book certainly glides along and the author certainly found a story to tell.