23 February 2019

Browsing The Blogs : February 23rd-24th

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Catherine Kullmann: The first of a series of monthly blogs about the Regency decade.  Let us start with a snapshot of the UK on 31 December 1810. All was not well in the island kingdom. Having lapsed in and out of insanity for over two decades, King George III, sober paterfamilias, was finally deemed incapable of undertaking any affairs of state. Preparations were set in train to appoint as Regent his eldest son and heir, the affable, extravagant and adulterous Prince of Wales.


The Murmur of Masks: Love and Heartbreak in Regency England

Alex Marchant: Author visit to Grange Technology College - I was delighted to have been asked to visit a local senior school in Bradford, West Yorkshire, this week to discuss and read from The Order of the White Boar.


Order Of The White Boar_3d-book
Deborah Swift: 7 things you (probably) didn’t know about Samuel Pepys  - The diary of Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) gives us a fly-on-the-wall account of life during the 17th century – from the devastation of war and plague, to the triumphant return of Charles II. But did you know that Pepys ‘rescued’ a cheese during the Great Fire of London and once kept a lion as a pet? Deborah Swift, author of novel Pleasing Mr Pepys, reveals seven fascinating facts about the diarist…

Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) English diarist and naval administrator. Became Secretary to the Admiralty. Portrait by Godfrey Kneller.

A Plague on Mr Pepys

Alison Morton: Mercury (or Hermes in the Greek pantheon of gods) is said to be the inventor of the written alphabet, god of writing/literature, speech, travellers, treaties and dreams amongst other things but is best know as the gods’ messenger. He’s also is the one invoked by thieves and tricksters… I invoke him on the subject of themes in a book as it’s difficult to talk about the theme in your own book without sounding pretentious. He’s the messenger with a tricky mission. His dual nature brings me back to earth.


22 February 2019

A Discovering Diamonds review of The Loyalist Legacy Elaine Cougler

"I found their [the Garner family] story fascinating for the very reason that, despite this being a series of novels, thanks to Ms Couglar's writing skill, it all seemed so believable and  real."

The Loyalist Trilogy Book 3

Fictional Saga

"After the crushing end of the War of 1812, William and Catherine Garner find their allotted two hundred acres in Nissouri Township by following the Thames River into the wild heart of Upper Canada. On their valuable land straddling the river, dense forest, wild beasts, displaced Natives, and pesky neighbors daily challenge them. The political atmosphere laced with greed and corruption threatens to undermine all of the new settlers’ hopes and plans. William knows he cannot take his family back to Niagara but he longs to check on his parents from whom he has heard nothing for two years. Leaving Catherine and their children, he hurries back along the Governor’s Road toward the turn-off to Fort Erie, hoping to return home in time for spring planting."

Spanning several years The Loyalist Legacy continues the stories of this interesting family as told in The Loyalist's Wife and The Loyalist Luck. Need you have read the other two to enjoy this third part? Not necessarily but I would suggest you do for this is, indeed, a sweeping saga of people who could have been real and of how real people reacted to and lived alongside real situations. The Garner family were patriots (loyal to the British Crown) during the American Revolutionary War (known as the War of Independence here in the UK) and I found their story fascinating for the very reason that, despite this being a series of novels, thanks to Ms Couglar's writing skill, it all seemed so believable and  real. I also found it enjoyable to read about Canada for a change!

I also found the political upheaval of the aftermath of this bitter war to be most engrossing. Just how did families (on both sides) manage to get on with their lives after such turmoil - the winning of the war by the American Colonies must have created great difficulties for both winners and losers. I am deeply reminded of the present chaos of Brexit! The polarisation of those 'for' and those 'against', the bitterness on both sides, the uncertainty... followed by the fears, the hopes, the every-day struggle to carry on despite what Life throws at you. 

I read an e-pub version for review, which did have a few formatting issues, but I suspect these were technical issues at my end, and not a true indication of the actual book.

Very enjoyable.

© Anne Holt

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21 February 2019

A Discovering Diamonds review of Love’s Embrace Heidi Peltier

"A typical romance which should be enjoyed by lovers of the genre."


"Trouble comes to Love's Embrace, Texas in 1883, in the form of barbed wire...and a feisty girl named Hattie. Hattie Sommerville’s father sent her off to Boston nine years ago to learn how to be a lady. Now, she wants to go back home where she belongs, and maybe, after all this time, her old childhood playmate, Simon, might finally see her as more than a friend. She only hopes nobody discovers the secret that sent her running home.  Simon Caldwell lost both parents at a young age and has poured every ounce of his heart and energy into making his Texas ranch a success. Now, an unexpected nemesis in the shape of barbed wire threatens his home and his livelihood. He can’t afford to be distracted if he wants any hope of hanging on to everything he’s worked so hard for, but his old friend Hattie is back in town, turning his head and addling his mind. If he thinks the barbed wire is bad, he has no idea just how much trouble she brought along with her from Boston."

A typical romance which should be enjoyed by lovers of the genre. It has all the required elements: a feisty heroine a bewildered hero who is torn between what he ought to be doing (seeing to the everyday nitty-gritty of life) and what he wants to be doing (seeing to the call of his heart and that feisty heroine!) 

I found it enjoyable to read a romance that was a little different from the usual run-of-the-mill plot - and to immerse myself into life in Texas in the 1800s. 

The author does a good job of blending the believability of the characters with the unfolding drama and the mystery of the mystery.

© Mary Chapple

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