Friday, February 21, 2020

Fall from Trace - Spotlight Book Tour

Series: London League Genre: Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance Publisher: Phase Publishing Publication date: February 1, 2020 

Gone, but not forgotten... Alex Sommerville should have been dead. To the world, he had been dead for almost five years, and with him, the secrets he had carried as Trace, the most elusive member of the London League. When a chance to escape finally comes, Alex finds just enough life left in him to take it, and races off to return to the woman he loves...Back, but at what cost? 

The last person Poppy Edgewood ever expected to see suddenly falls into her life again - literally. Alex is a shell of the man he once was, and on the brink of the death she thought him already lost to. What answers will he have for her when he recovers, and can she even bear to hear them?


Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.

Loneliness is a creeping creature, and its pangs were deep and ravaging. In the evenings, when work was completed and she had so much to tell, there was no one to listen. When she missed her sister or her brothers, her parents, or her life, there was no one to commiserate with. When she cried in the night because Alex was gone and no one cared but her, there was no relief. When she felt more alone than anyone ought to feel, there was no one to take away the darkness.
No one to share her burdens with.
The only person she had in her life with any sort of regularity was Stanton, and he would not take kindly at all to her sharing such personal and emotional thoughts with him. It would have made him uncomfortable and gruff, and he probably would have told her to focus on her work and the farm and forget everything else. He had once told her emotions were a nuisance, after all, and that the past was only good for lessons.
Not for visiting and staying for a time.
Poppy was only too prone to spend an extended period of time in her past these days, though she knew it wouldn’t do her any good.
The trouble was that it was too easy.
She scrubbed at the pot harder, her brow furrowing with the effort, and when she stopped, she looked at her hands. Once these hands had been delicate and soft, protected by gloves more often than not, fair and without blemish but for the occasional pricking of an embroidery needle. Her nails had been clean and manicured, the perfect embodiment of a fine lady. Every now and again, there might be a scratch on the skin from getting into mischief with Alex by climbing a tree or racing across their properties, but her hands had been fairly perfect.
Now, they were rough and worn, weathered by hard work and aggressive labor. She had callouses on her palm, on every fingertip, and along the edges of each finger. Her knuckles were often inflamed, and her skin cracked and peeled regularly. Lines and scars and dry patches dotted every surface of her hands, and her nails were almost brutally short, uneven, and usually had something under them, be it dirt or food or feed for the animals.
These hands were not those of a young lady.
Then again, Poppy could hardly be considered young anymore. Twenty-seven was not particularly old, but in those twenty-seven years, she had lived a lifetime, and she was decades older than anyone of her age. Her life did not even remotely resemble what she had thought out for herself, what she had planned, or anything like it once had.
She closed her eyes and set the pot aside, knowing it was far cleaner now than it had ever been with her excessive scrubbing.
This was what her life amounted to now. Scrubbing the pots and plates from her own meals, feeding the chickens and pigs, currying the horses, farming with whatever help she could afford to pay, even grinding her own flour to make her own bread, at times.
Oh, how far she had fallen.
Lonely and cast out, working for every morsel of bread, sweating her days away in the sun, and mourning a man who had never promised her anything.
Poppy’s hands curled into fists and hot tears filled her eyes. It was wrong to resent a dead man, she knew, but resent him she did. If he hadn’t have died, if that was what had truly happened, she would not be in this situation. He could have just broken off their impending engagement, and she would have been with her family now. She should have been wiser, not giving her heart so freely without the official connection between them.
Never mind that they had been in love since she was fourteen and he sixteen. Never mind that they had been planning to marry for years. Never mind that she was so utterly and completely his that she hadn’t been whole in almost five years.
She should have been wiser.
And it was his fault she was so destitute, despairing, and dismal.
It was his fault she had grown so attached.
It was his fault she still felt the ache within her at the thought of him.
It was his fault that when she looked out of her kitchen window and could see the shadows of Parkerton Lodge in the distance, she still looked for a light in any window.
As she did now.
But there were no lights within, and no lights without, and the crumbling estate looked as foreboding and desolate as it had the day the servants had departed it.
Poppy exhaled slowly, wiping her hands on dry toweling. She couldn’t do this anymore. Couldn’t watch for him, wait for him, ache for him. He wasn’t coming back, and this was the life she had chosen for herself. This was her future, and looking back would not make it any brighter.
She was done.
She had to be.
A knock on her door brought her head around, and she waited for Stanton to enter. When he didn’t, and the knock came again, more firmly, she rolled her eyes as she moved to the door.
“Honestly, Stanton,” she moaned loudly. “It’s not so cold that you had to fill your arms to the brim with wood.”
She reached for the door handle and pulled the door open, fixing her expression into one of mocking amusement.
The man who stood there stared at her with his dark, sunken eyes, leaning both forearms against the doorframe, his chest heaving wildly, and her amusement faded at once.
She knew that face. She knew the line of that jaw, the dark eyes that were endless in their depths, the nose with a slight crook in the bridge from where her brother had walloped him with a tree branch ten years ago. He was thinner, terrifyingly so, and his face was hollow and gaunt, sickly in color despite being tanned, and covered with a sheen of perspiration. His dark hair was cut brutally short, but it, and the scruff on the lower half of his face, were as dark as his eyes, if not darker still.
All changes aside, she knew that man better than any person on this earth.
“Alex…” she breathed, her voice catching on his name.
His corded throat worked on a swallow. “Poppy.”
Her hand lashed out and struck him hard across the face, a weak yet harsh cry ripping from her throat. He stumbled sideways, surprising her with his unsteadiness, and a tremor ran across his once broad shoulders and down to his legs. Slowly, he looked back at her, pressing his left arm against the doorframe again and almost sagging against the wood.
“Please,” he whispered, his voice fading with shocking rapidity as his eyes widened.
Then they rolled back, and he collapsed to the ground at her feet.

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon GC + an ecopy of Falling for Trace.

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Link to full tour schedule below. Giveaway will begin at midnight February 10, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on February 23, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Giveaway open internationally. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

A Rational Attachment - Spotlight Book Tour and Interview

A Rational Attachment by Lauren Gilbert

Publication Date: December 26, 2019
Hardcover, Paperback, and eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction

The daughter of a wealthy business man in York, Anne Emmons knows her father wants her to marry well. Anne, however, has always dreamed of marrying for love. Set in the Regency period, Anne’s introduction to London Society is made difficult by her personal ambitions as well as her family’s lack of aristocratic connections. In time, Anne finds her way aided by family and friends and the surprising support of one of the Ton's leading figures. Will she succeed in finding the love she desires, or will she settle for a marriage transaction?

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

An avid reader, Lauren Gilbert has always dreamed of writing books, and has written all her life. She enjoys non-fiction (especially history) and fiction alike. Favorite authors include James Thomas Flexner, Alison Weir, Diana Gabaldon, Sharon Kay Penman, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and, of course, Jane Austen.

Lauren is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, and has delivered presentations for chapter meetings, as well as a break-out session at the 2011 JASNA Annual General Meeting. Now semi-retired after a career spanning almost 30 years, HEYERWOOD: A Novel is her first published novel. Another novel, A RATIONAL ATTACHMENT, has just been released and a non-fiction work is in process.

Lauren is a contributor to the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, and has several articles in CASTLES, CUSTOMS, AND KINGS True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors volumes 1 and 2. Lauren Gilbert lives in Florida with her husband.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

1. The Regency period is one of my favorites to read about--how did you decide to wanted to research and write about this era of literature? 

I grew up reading English authors with my mother and grandmother. English history has always intrigued me. The Regency period is interesting to me because it has much in common with our time: income inequality, job losses resulting from new technology, a desire for reforms struggling with conservatism, questions regarding the role of women…. When added to the beauty of the art, architecture, furnishings and fashion, and the glamour of Society, the Regency era is irresistible.

2. I visited York, England years ago, and I fell in love with the city. Have you traveled there, and if so, what were some of your favorite things? 

I have traveled to England several times but have not yet made it to York (it’s on my bucket list). I did a lot of research, and have so many things I want to see with my own eyes! York Minster, the New Walk along the River Ouse, the Shambles, Fairfax House, the Jorvik Viking Center, the York Castle Museum and more. So much to see, so little time….

3. What or who inspired you to become and author? 

My mother was a great reader and wrote poetry. She always encouraged me. I used to write books for my dolls.

4. Do you have any advice to give to upcoming novelists? 

Write something every day, even if only notes of ideas and passing thoughts. Beware of predatory publishing companies.

5. I read that you are a member of the Jane Austen Society--how exciting! What do you love most about being a part of this wonderful group of people? 

Our South Florida region and JASNA in general, is filled with interesting people with common interests. We not only study Jane Austen’s work, we study her life and time as well. The members of our local region present the programs, and the programs are a fascinating mixture that never fails to hold interest and provoke stimulating conversation.

6. I had the honor of visiting Jane Austen's home in Chawton, England--she is one of my favorite authors. What do you love most about her works? 

The layers of character and meaning she managed to convey. I first read Jane Austen’s works as a teenager, and reread them periodically. Each time I pick up one of her novels, I find something I had not previous perceived. I love the books now as much as I did on first reading, but for very different reasons. The books in turn stimulate my curiosity about her life and times-she wrote for her contemporaries, who knew the jokes and the situations about which Austen wrote. The more I learn, the better I understand and appreciate her writing.

7. What books do you have planned for the future? 

I am currently researching a non-fiction project due next year. I have also made notes for two novels: another set in Regency England, and a novel set in Tampa Florida at the end of the 19th century.

Monday, February 17 Review at Books and Zebras Interview at Passages to the Past Tuesday, February 18 Review at A Chick Who Reads Wednesday, February 19 Review at YA, It's Lit Thursday, February 20 Feature at I'm Into Books Interview at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Friday, February 21 Review at Gwendalyn's Books Monday, February 24 Review at Passages to the Past

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of A Rational Attachment! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 24th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

 A Rational Attachment

Promised - Spotlight Book Tour

Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart. 

Warwickshire, England, 1812

Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious matchmaking party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake Mr. Northam.

There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match—to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage—to Lord Williams.

Under no condition will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the type of man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.



"Promising Regency-set debut. Vivid period details and the hero's grand romantic efforts will please fans of historical romance."—Publishers Weekly "Debut -author Garriott's smooth prose and character-driven story will enthrall readers looking for sweet historicals with Austenesque plots."—Library Journal 

"Garriott's impressive debut distinguishes itself with its expertly evoked Regency setting, a cast of realistically flawed yet eminently relatable characters, and a sweetly satisfying love story. Teen fans of Austen-era love stories will fall hard for this impeccably crafted romance."—Booklist

“Promised is a sweet regency romance and one that I recommend to all of you romance fans, especially those of you that enjoy stories inspired by Jane Austen.”—The Book Diva’s Reads

“…a fun, entertaining, and perfect addition to the Proper Romance collection.”—The Readathon

“With an Austen-like focus on minute emotional detail and some amusing secondary characters, Garriott’s gentle novel promises a treat for Regency fans who like their characters well-bred, their interiors comfortable, and the romance no racier than the hero turning up in a wet shirt.”—Historical Novel Society

Though she earned degrees in math and statistics, Leah Garriott lives for a good love story. She's resided in Hawaii and Italy, walked the countryside of England, and owns every mainstream movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She's currently living her own happily ever after in Utah with her husband and three kids. Leah is represented by Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.


Friday, February 7, 2020