*UPDATE*

I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!


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Friday, November 24, 2017

Audiobook Discussions: Audible Car Mode

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I have been doing a lot of audiobook listening lately and I attended a recent blogger webinar about audiobook reviewing which got me thinking more and more about audiobooks.  So I wanted to know more of what you think about them!  From there, Audiobook Discussions has been born!


I love when my favorite apps make changes based on important social needs.  In this case, Audible made a Car Mode that will make it easier for hands-free listening while driving.  I think this is a fantastic upgrade as so many people, myself included, use audiobooks to pass the time on a long car ride or even in the daily commute.  We know that many accidents are caused by being distracted, so this change to help reduce distractions is very cool.  Let me share this feature with you:

  • Enter into car mode by selecting the “Car” button at the top of the screen
  • Simplicity of app – It is reduced to 3 buttons only – Play/Pause; Rewind 30 Seconds; Bookmark

car mode
Car Mode Screenshot
Credit: Audible

Of course, use caution when using this app in the car and only use your phone when legally allowed, but I love that they have simplified the app for easier use in the car. 

Have you tried this feature yet?  I haven’t as I have been using my iPod for my recent audiobooks because of review copies.



You can check out the other posts in this series:



Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Interview with Ana Brazil

Good morning everyone!  Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow friends in the USA.  Hope you all have a wonderful holiday today.  Before you dig in to all that food and family-time, take a few minutes to check out my interview with Ana Brazil, author of Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper.  Brazil writes a historical mystery series set in Gilded Age New Orleans that has me dying to check out the location!

02_Fanny Newcomb

Heather: Hi Ana, welcome to The Maiden’s Court!

I first wanted to ask where you got your start with writing?

Ana Brazil: I started writing stories way back in elementary school. I read Little Women in fifth grade and I wanted to be Jo March. I even remember writing part of the Christmas play in sixth grade! So I've always been a writer, which also means that I've always been a reader.

H: I think you have to be in love with reading to be an effective storyteller for sure!

Not many books that take place during the Gilded Age tend to be set outside New York or Newport. How did you settle upon New Orleans for your novel?

AB: You're right; the northeast seems to have a monopoly on Gilded Age novels and it's just not fair! Although New Orleans reached its heyday prior to the Civil War, it was still very cosmopolitan and cultured during the late 19th century.

I actually tried to write Fanny's story in Victorian London, when Jack the Ripper was on his rampage in 1888. But I soon realized that Fanny's story really belonged in New Orleans, a city and culture that was much more familiar to me. I researched and wrote my master's thesis about "Social Volunteerism" in Gilded Age New Orleans, so I was very familiar with the dynamic personalities and events of late 19th century.

H: That’s pretty cool! I hoped that it would have had some sort of personal connection. I love seeing authors take on some of those locales that are less featured – it keeps things interesting!

Have you been a longtime reader of crime novels and mysteries? What are some of your favorites or inspiration?

AB: Oh yes, I've always read mysteries. Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane have always been my favorites. Not surprisingly (since Fanny Newcomb falls into this category), I've always been attracted to heroic female characters. Some of my favorite writers of heroines are Laurie R. King, Miriam Grace Monfredo, Karen Rose Cercone, Julia Spencer Fleming, and Lauren Willig.

H: There are some FANTASTIC names in that list!

Fanny Newcomb, a teacher, and her friends, a school principal, and a doctor, seek out the Ripper plaguing their city. How did you settle upon these roles for your leading women?

AB: As the story starts, these three women aren't exactly friends! But they do all live together at the Wisdom Hall Settlement House in one of the poorer neighborhoods of New Orleans. Wisdom Hall is based on Toynbee Hall, a settlement house located in London's Whitechapel. At Toynbee Hall and other settlement houses, you would have a principal, teachers, and on-call or doctors. So--as with all of the details in the story--I'm historically correct.

Sylvia (the principal) certainly is in charge and expects to be obeyed. And Olive (the doctor) bristles with efficiency as she manages her infirmary. Fanny has a legal background and has been hired to teach typing and business skills. When Fanny realizes that she, Sylvia, and Olive have the skills to hunt down the Irish Channel Ripper, she's determined to make it happen.

H: How awesome! I know extremely little about Settlement houses so I appreciate that bit of info!

Do you intend Fanny to have more adventures in crime-solving?

AB: I can't keep Fanny down! As much the act of murder breaks her heart, she grows to enjoy the hunt for the Irish Channel Ripper. Detective work gives her the opportunity to use her intelligence and flex her new muscles. And yes, I'm already writing a sequel; this adventure takes place in New Orleans' very romantic but very dangerous French Quarter.

H: I’m excited to hear that she will have more mysteries to solve!

What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of writing and publishing?

AB: Historical fiction is known for being a "good, long read", and a lot of these books have anywhere from 110K to 130K words. That's a lot of story! And that's a lot of time for readers to spend reading one story. Especially when there are so many good books to read.

So I've challenged myself to tell Fanny's next story in fewer words. At the same time I need to make sure that I do justice to the needs and wants of each character. And that includes Gilded Age New Orleans, which is one of my biggest characters! So, big challenge!

H: Especially considering it isn’t one of those locations that people have a lot of experience with as a setting!

Thank-you for taking the time today to stop and chat! I can’t wait to check out your book.

03_Ana Brazil

A native of California, Ana Brazil lived in the south for many years. She earned her MA in American history from Florida State University and traveled her way through Mississippi as an architectural historian. Ana loves fried mullet, Greek Revival colonnades, and Miss Welty’s garden. She has a weakness for almost all things New Orleans. (Although she’s not sure just how it happened…but she favors bluegrass over jazz.)

The Fanny Newcomb stories celebrate the tenacity, intelligence, and wisdom of the dozens of courageous and outrageous southern women that Ana is proud to call friends.

Although Ana, her husband, and their dog, Traveller, live in the beautiful Oakland foothills, she is forever drawn to the lush mystique of New Orleans, where Fanny Newcomb and her friends are ever prepared to seek a certain justice.

Find Ana Brazil: Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads 

02_Fanny Newcomb

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Book Blurb:

Gilded Age New Orleans is overrun with prostitutes, pornographers, and a malicious Jack the Ripper copycat. As threatening letters to newspaper editors proclaim, no woman is safe from his blade.

Desperate to know who murdered her favorite student, ambitious typewriting teacher Fanny Newcomb launches into a hunt for the self-proclaimed Irish Channel Ripper.

Fanny quickly enlists her well-connected employers—Principal Sylvia Giddings and her sister Dr. Olive—to help, and the women forge through saloons, cemeteries, slums, and houses of prostitution in their pursuit.

Fanny’s good intentions quickly infuriate her longtime beau Lawrence Decatur, while her reckless persistence confounds the talented police detective Daniel Crenshaw. Reluctantly, Lawrence and Daniel also lend their investigative talents to Fanny’s investigation.

As the murderer sets a date for his next heinous crime, can Fanny Newcomb and her crew stop the Irish Channel Ripper before he kills again?

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Tour-Wide Giveaway!

As part of the Blog Tour there is a tour-wide giveaway for a paperback copy of Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.  If you have any questions about this giveaway, please contact the tour coordinator, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Giveaway Rules

  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


Fanny Newcomb

Follow the Tour

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On the HFVBT Website or on Twitter #FannyNewcombBlogTour

Monday, November 6
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 7
Feature at The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, November 9
Feature at The Bookworm

Sunday, November 12
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

Tuesday, November 14
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, November 15
Guest Post & Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, November 17
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, November 20
Guest Post at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, November 22
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Monday, November 27
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, December 1
Interview at T’s Stuff

Tuesday, December 5
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, December 6
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Sunday, December 10
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook

Wednesday, December 13
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Friday, December 15
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books



Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cover Crush: Where We Belong

cover crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.

where we belong

Oh Egypt!  I love everything about this cover.  The Victorian past-time of exotic travel juxtaposed against the desert, ancient structures.  Unlike most covers I have seen lately. 

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: (Updated as they are live).

keep calm and support book bloggers




Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book Review: The Murderer’s Maid by Erika Mailman

the murderers maid

The Murder’s Maid by Erika Mailman
ARC, e-Book, 366 pages
Bonhomie Press
October 10, 2017
★★★★☆
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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received for review for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

Bram Stoker Award finalist Erika Mailman brings the true story of the brutal murder of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother into new focus by adding a riveting contemporary narrative.

The Murderer’s Maid interweaves the stories of two women: one, the servant of infamous Lizzie Borden, and the other a modern-day barista fleeing from an attempt on her life.

Trapped by servitude and afraid for her own safety, Irish maid Bridget finds herself an unwilling witness to the tensions in the volatile Borden household. As Lizzie seethes with resentment, Bridget tries to perform her duties and keep her mouth shut.

Unknowingly connected to the legendary crime of a century ago, Brooke, the illegitimate daughter of an immigrant maid, struggles to conceal her identity and stay a jump ahead of the men who want to kill her. When she unexpectedly falls in love with Anthony, a local attorney, she has to decide whether to stop running and begin her life anew.

With historical detail and taut, modern storytelling, Erika Mailman writes a captivating novel about identity, choices, freedom, and murder. She offers readers a fresh perspective on the notorious crime and explores the trials of immigrants seeking a better life while facing down fear and oppression, today and throughout history. Intelligent and detailed, The Murderer’s Maid is a gripping read from beginning to bloody conclusion.

I don’t know about you, but true crime stories draw me in. I might not be able to sleep afterward or want to be home by myself at night, but there is something about getting behind the mind of someone who could do such a terrible thing that holds my attention. Mailman uses this concept to draw the reader into both her historical thread of Lizzie Borden, but also builds that into the contemporary thread of Brooke who also finds herself drawn to true crime.

I don’t tend to be a huge fan of dual timelines, particularly when one of those is a contemporary set storyline. I don’t read contemporary novels in general because I don’t care to read about people living a life that is somewhat similar to mine, and that did impact my ability to get into this story early on. On the other hand, I immediately connected with the Lizzie Borden storyline. Mailman builds the drama and distinct personalities of those within the Borden house. While Lizzie was very clearly unhinged, she wasn’t the only one who had her issues in that household and you could see how someone who might already have her own issues might be driven to more extreme means by her circumstances. This made me want to find out a little more about the trial and especially the Borden maid because I found her interesting within this story.

The shocking part of this novel comes in the contemporary story, as anyone who knows about the Borden case will not be surprised in her story. Mailman brings in a major twist at the end of Brooke’s story that I didn’t see coming at all. I liked how her storyline wrapped up and thought that it would have been good on its own, but I really don’t know that it was necessary with the historical Borden story. I get the connections drawn between the two throughout, and it helped to bolster Brooke’s mission in life and her character, but I often felt that it just wasn’t necessary to have a dual storyline here and would have been stronger to stick with one or the other.


Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Also by Erika Mailman:

the witches trinity
The Witches Trinity

woman of ill fame
Woman of Ill Fame

house of bellaver
House of Bellaver

Find Erika Mailman: Website | Facebook | Twitter


Follow the Tour!

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I know I’m a little late to the party on this one – there were some technical difficulties, but you can check out the other lovely contributions from this tour at the HFVBT Website or on Twitter at #TheMurderersMaidBlogTour.


Monday, October 16
Review at Unabridged Chick
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 17
Interview at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, October 18
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, October 19
Review & Excerpt at Books of All Kinds
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, October 20
Spotlight at Bookfever
Review at Once Upon A Book

Monday, October 23
Review at Poppy Coburn
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, October 24
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, October 25
Review at Back Porchervations
Feature at Must Read Faster

Thursday, October 26
Review at Linda’s Book Obsession

Friday, October 27
Review at What Cathy Read Next
Feature at The Reading Queen

Monday, October 30
Review at A Holland Reads

Tuesday, October 31
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, November 1
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review at Books of a Shy Girl

Thursday, November 2
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, November 3
Review at T’s Stuff
Review at Just One More Chapter

Monday, November 6
Review at A Book Geek
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 7
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, November 8
Review at The True Book Addict



Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Friday, November 17, 2017

Voices on the Road: My Favorite Narrators & HUGE Giveaway!!

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November and December are months where many travel to see family and friends during the holidays and to celebrate with each other.  Audiobooks are an awesome travel companion when making a lengthy road-trip.  The Audio Publishers Association is hosting a tour this month with blogs featuring their favorite audiobooks or narrators and allowing each blog to host a HUGE giveaway (stay tuned to the end of the post).  I am choosing to share my favorite narrators.

Carly Robins

I have only listened to one work by this narrator (A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt), but it was one of my favorites this year.  Robins was able to relay the author’s pacing well in the narration of the story. There is an interplay between slow or fast reading based on the need of the scene. I appreciated the appropriate pause length between sentences – just the right amount of time. Robins imbues her characters with all their personality quirks. It certainly feels like she spent some time getting to know the characters before recording the passages. There is some voice work to make characters unique, and this is one of the few times I have found myself feeling comfortable with a narration of characters of the opposite sex rom the narrator. An admirable job that never felt jarring or out of place.

A List of Carly Robins Narration (via Audible) 

My Review of A Deadly Affection



Moira Quirk

Moira Quirk is a WONDERFUL narrator that I cannot get enough of!  I have only heard her read The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, but I would pick up anything else she reads.  Quirk doesn’t just read the novel, but imbues the characters with even more life. Quirk brings out their complete nature to where you feel like they are standing in the room next to you. Yes, each character has their own unique voice, but many narrators do that. However, Quirk not only brings a different voice, but you can envision their mannerisms as well just from the way they are speaking. I’m not sure how she does this, but whatever it is, keep doing it! There is quite the range of nationalities and type of personalities in this novel and Quirk makes them all feel truly real, not cookie cutter or stereotyped. And she doesn’t veer away from signing if it is in the novel!

A List of Moira Quick Narration (via Audible)

My Review of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc



Cassandra Campbell

I have listened to Cassandra Campbell read both fiction (My Last Continent) and non-fiction (The Jersey Brothers) and can absolutely see why she is an award winning narrator.  She fills her words with feeling and passion.  She pronounces foreign words beautifully.  I highly recommend you seek out her work.

A List of Cassandra Campbell Narration (via Audible)

My Reviews of The Jersey Brothers and My Last Continent



Scott Brick

Scott Brick is another mega award winning audiobook narrator, lending his voice to works ranging from thrillers to non-fiction.  He happens to be my most widely listened to narrator so that in and of itself should say something.  His narration can make even the driest material feel exciting. 

List of Scott Brick Narration (via Audible)

My Reviews of Devil in the White City, In the Heart of the Sea, and Salt



Davina Porter

Davina Porter is best known for her work with the Outlander series and she is FANTASTIC is that role.  She had the perfect voice for the Scottish and English characters; for me her accents were spot on. Her pacing was perfect – especially considering the length of these books! She put real emotion behind her narration and truly contributed to the feel of this book and bringing the characters to vivid life.  I am thrilled that she narrates most of this series.

List of Davina Porter Narration (via Audible)

My Reviews of Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber



GIVEAWAY!!!

As part of the Voices on the Road tour, the Audio Publishers Association and these publishers (Galaxy Press, Hachette Audio, Harper Audio, High Bridge Audio, Macmillan, Penguin Random House Audio, and Post Hypnotic Press, Scholastic,Simon & Schuster Audio, and Tantor Audio) are sponsoring a HUGE giveaway for 10 titles!  Entries can be made via the Rafflecopter widget below.  Giveaway is open to the USA and Canada only and will run from today through November 25, 2017.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow the Tour

You can check out the other fantastic selections by the other excellent blogs on this tour:

The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog  – Wednesday, Nov 1

Beth Fish Reads  – Thursday, Nov 2

Reading Books Like a Boss – Friday, Nov 3

Collector of Book Boyfriends  – Monday, Nov 6

Caffeinated Book Reviewer  – Tuesday, Nov 7

Audio Gals  –  Wednesday, Nov 8

Under My Apple Tree  – Thursday, Nov 9

Shelf Addiction  – Friday, Nov 10

To Read or Not To Read  – Monday, Nov 13

Adolescent Audio Adventures  – Tuesday, Nov 14

I Am, Indeed  – Wednesday, Nov 15

Enchantress of Books  – Thursday, Nov 16.

The Maiden’s Court  – Friday, Nov 17

A Bookworm’s World – Monday, Nov 20

Books, Movies Reviews Oh My  – Tuesday, Nov 21

Joyfully Jay   – Wednesday, Nov 22

Carol Baldwin Blog  – Monday, Nov 27

Backwards Compatible Podcast  Tuesday, Nov 28

Audio Gals   – Wednesday, Nov 29

The Book’s the Thing
- Thursday, Nov 30



Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Book Review: Becoming Mrs. Smith by Tanya E. Williams

becoming mrs smith
Becoming Mrs. Smith (Volume 1)
by Tanya E. Williams
ARC, e-Book, 110 pages
Rippling Effects Writing & Photography
October 10, 2017
★★★★ ½☆
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction, Novella

Source: Received for review with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Not all of war’s destruction takes place on the battlefield.
Violet’s heart flutters from the scarlet fever she survived as a child, and it beats faster at the sight of John Smith, the man she plans to marry. America is entrenched in WWII, and when John enlists, Violet is certain she won’t ever forgive him for dashing their dreams. As the realities of war slowly overtake her life, Violet's days are filled with uncertainty and grief. She struggles to maintain her faith in John, as the world as she knows it, crumbles.

Becoming Mrs. Smith is the inspiring, and at times, heartbreaking story of a woman’s struggle to reclaim what she lost. War stole the man she loves, and childhood illness weakened her heart—perhaps beyond repair. While guns rage in Europe, the war Violet faces at home may be even more devastating.

For a short novella, Williams covers a lot of ground within those few pages and moves us quickly through the gamut of emotions to include anger, happiness, and sadness. You are rapidly sucked into the action and moved a lot with the events as they unfold. Violet ages from a young girl at home to a woman out in the world, working and falling in love. Each segment jumps oftentimes several months between events and sometimes even years. Whereas this would normally be a potential turnoff as I would feel compelled to ask “what happened in between”, I didn’t find myself having time to ask that as Williams moves us right into the next emotional beat. There was maybe a half a moment, before the last scene, where I felt if it was a novel it would have built up more, however, it was emotionally satisfying just the way it resulted.

This is most definitely a story of those left behind during war. Violet and her friends face the challenges of watching those they care about leave for the front and some not return. This affects them all in different ways and I appreciated seeing how they all reacted to traumatic events. It is not all stiff upper lip and carrying on for those abroad, which made it feel very real.

I was absolutely crying by the end of this novella. I’m not one who typically cries while reading; for that to happen within this short time span is a testament to how quickly Williams’ characters grew on me and how much I cared about their outcomes. If your heart isn’t just a little broken by the end of this I don’t know what will! I look forward to reading the next in this series.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia


Also by Tanya E. Williams:

breathe
Breathe


Find Tanya E. Williams:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog


Tour-Wide Giveaway

During the Blog Tour there is an opportunity to enter a giveaway for an eBook of Becoming Mrs. Smith! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Becoming Mrs. Smith


Follow the Tour!

04_Becoming-Mrs.-Smith_Blog-Tour-Banner_FINAL

HFVBT Website or on Twitter #BecomingMrsSmithBlogTour

Monday, October 30
Feature at View from the Birdhouse
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, October 31
Review at Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

Wednesday, November 1
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, November 2
Review at Bookish

Friday, November 3
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 6
Review at Once Upon A Book

Tuesday, November 7
Feature at The Reading Queen

Wednesday, November 8
Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Thursday, November 9
Excerpt at Just One More Chapter

Friday, November 10
Feature at Jenn’s Book Vibes

Monday, November 13
Excerpt at What Cathy Read Next

Tuesday, November 14
Interview & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, November 15
Feature at A Literary Vacation
Review at Singing Librarian Books

Thursday, November 16
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, November 17
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Feature at Broken Teepee



Copyright © 2017 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Series Highlight: The Graham Saga by Anna Belfrage

Graham Series Graphic

About The Graham Saga Series

This is the story of Alex and Matthew, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him.

It all began the day Alex Lind got caught in a thunderstorm. Not your ordinary storm, no this was the mother of all storms, causing a most unusual rift in the fabric of time. Alex was dragged three centuries backwards in time, landing more or less at the feet of a very surprised Matthew Graham.

In a series of books we follow the life and adventures of the expanding Graham family, both in Scotland and in the New World – and let me tell you it is quite an exciting life, at times excessively so in Alex’ opinion.

Sometimes people ask me why Alex had to be born in the twentieth century, why not make her a woman born and bred in the seventeenth century where the story is set? The answer to that is I have no idea. Alex Lind is an insistent, vibrant character that sprung into my head one morning and simply wouldn’t let go.

Seductively she whispered about terrible thunderstorms, about a gorgeous man with magic, hazel eyes, about loss and sorrow, about love – always this love, for her man and her children, for the people she lives with. With a throaty chuckle she shared insights into a life very far removed from mine, now and then stopping to shake her head and tell me that it probably hadn’t been easy for Matthew, to have such an outspoken, strange and independent woman at his side.

At this point Matthew groaned into life. Nay, he sighed, this woman of his was at times far too obstinate, with no notion of how a wife should be, meek and dutiful. But, he added with a laugh, he wouldn’t want her any different, for all that she was half heathen and a right hand-full. No, he said, stretching to his full length, if truth be told not a day went by without him offering fervent thanks for his marvelous wife, a gift from God no less, how else to explain the propitious circumstances that had her landing at his feet that long gone August day?

Still, dear reader, it isn’t always easy. At times Alex thinks he’s an overbearing bastard, at others he’s sorely tempted to belt her. But the moment their fingertips graze against each other, the moment their eyes meet, the electrical current that always buzzes between them peaks and surges, it rushes through their veins, it makes their breathing hitch and … She is his woman, he is her man. That’s how it is, that’s how it always will be.


Titles in The Graham Saga Series

a rip in the veil
Book One: A Rip in the Veil
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A Rip in the Veil is the first book in The Graham Saga, Anna Belfrage's time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

On a muggy August day in 2002 Alexandra Lind is inexplicably thrown several centuries backwards in time to 1658. Life will never be the same for Alex. Alex lands at the feet of Matthew Graham - an escaped convict making his way home to Scotland. She gawks at this tall gaunt man with hazel eyes, dressed in what looks like rags. At first she thinks he might be some sort of hermit, an oddball, but she quickly realises that she is the odd one out, not him. Catapulted from a life of modern comfort, Alex grapples with her frightening new existence. Potential compensation for this brutal shift in fate comes in the shape of Matthew - a man she should never have met, not when she was born three centuries after him. But Matthew comes with baggage of his own, and at times it seems his past will see them killed. How will she ever get back? And more importantly, does she want to?

like chaff in the wind
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
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Matthew Graham committed the mistake of his life when he cut off his brother's nose. In revenge, Luke Graham has Matthew abducted and transported to the colony of Virginia to be sold as indentured labour. Matthew arrives in Virginia in May 1661 and any hope he had of finding someone willing to listen to his story of unlawful abduction is quickly extinguished. If anything, Matthew's insistence that he is an innocent man leads him to being singled out for the heaviest tasks. Insufficient food, gruelling days and the humid heat combine to wear him down. With a sinking feeling, he realises no one has ever survived their seven years of service on the plantation Suffolk Rose.

Fortunately for Matthew, he has a remarkable wife. Alex  Graham has no intention of letting her husband suffer and die. So she sets off from Scotland on a perilous journey to bring her husband home. Alex is plagued by nightmares in which Matthew is reduced to a wheezing wreck by his tormentors. Sailing to Virginia, she prays for a miracle to carry her swiftly to his side. But fate has other plans, and what should have been a two month crossing turns into a year long adventure - from one side of the Atlantic to the other. Will Alex find Matthew in time? Will she be able to pay the price of setting him free? Like Chaff in the Wind continues on from The Rip in the Veil, taking Alex and Matthew's love story to a new continent.

the prodigal son
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
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'The Prodigal Son' is the third in The Graham Saga, Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Safely returned from an involuntary stay in Virginia, Matthew Graham finds the Scottish Lowlands torn asunder by religious strife. His Restored Majesty, Charles II, requires all his subjects to swear fealty to him and the Church of England, riding roughshod over any opposition.

In Ayrshire, people close ranks around their evicted Presbyterian ministers. But disobedience comes at a high price, and Alex becomes increasingly nervous as to what her Matthew is risking by his support of the clandestine ministers – foremost amongst them the charismatic Sandy Peden.

Privately, Alex considers Sandy an enervating fanatic and all this religious fervour is incomprehensible to her. So when Matthew repeatedly sets his faith and ministers before his own safety, he puts their marriage under severe strain.

The situation is further complicated by the presence of Ian, the son Matthew was cruelly duped into disowning several years ago. Now Matthew wants Ian back and Alex isn’t entirely sure this is a good thing. Things are brought to a head when Matthew places all their lives in the balance to save his dear preacher from the dragoons.

How much is Matthew willing to risk? How much will he ultimately lose?

a newfound land
Book Four: A Newfound Land
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It’s 1672, and Matthew Graham and his family have left Scotland. Having taken the drastic decision to leave their homeland due to religious conflicts, Alexandra and Matthew hope for a simpler, if harsher, life in the wilds of the Colony of Maryland.

Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out as you want them to, and the past has a nasty tendency to resurface at the most inappropriate moments. Both Matthew and Alex are forced to cope with the unexpected reappearance of people they had never thought to meet again, and the screw is turned that much tighter when the four rogue Burley brothers enter their lives.

Matters are further complicated by the strained relations between colonists and the Susquehannock Indians. When Matthew intercedes to stop the Burleys from abducting Indian women into slavery he makes lifelong – and deadly – enemies of them all.

Once again Alex is plunged into an existence where death seems to threaten her man wherever he goes.

Will Matthew see himself – and his family – safe in these new circumstances? And will the past finally be laid to rest?

A Newfound Land is the fourth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham

serpents in the garden
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
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'Serpents in the Garden' is the fifth book in Anna Belfrage's time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

After years of hard work, Matthew and Alex Graham have created a thriving home in the Colony of Maryland. About time, in Alex's opinion, after far too many adventures she is really looking forward to some well-deserved peace and quiet. A futile hope, as it turns out. Things start to heat up when Jacob, the third Graham son, absconds from his apprenticeship to see the world - especially as Jacob leaves behind a girl whom he has wed in a most irregular fashion. Then there's the infected matter of the fellow time traveller Alex feels obliged to help - no matter the risk. Worst of all, one day Philip Burley and his brothers resurface after years of absence. As determined as ever to make Matthew pay for every perceived wrong - starting with the death of their youngest brother - the Burleys play out a complicated cat and mouse game, and Alex is thrown back into an existence where her heart is constantly in her mouth, convinced as she is that one day the Burleys will achieve their purpose. Will the Burleys succeed? And if they do, will the Graham family survive the exacted price?

revenge and retribution
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
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Life in the Colony of Maryland is no sinecure - as Alex and Matthew Graham well know. But nothing in their previous life has prepared them for the mayhem that is about to be unleashed upon them. Being labelled a witch is not a good thing in 1684, so it is no wonder Alex Graham is aghast at having such insinuations thrown at her. Even worse, it's Matthew's brother-in-law, Simon Melville, who points finger at her. Not that the ensuing hearing is her main concern, because nowadays Alex's entire life is tainted by the fear of what Philip Burley will do to them once he gets hold of them. On a sunny May afternoon, Philip finally achieves his aim and over the course of the coming days Alex sees her whole life unravelling, leaving her family permanently maimed. As if all this wasn't enough, Alex also has to cope with the loss of one of her sons. Forcibly adopted by the former Susquehannock, Samuel is dragged from Alex's arms to begin a new life in the wilderness. How is Alex to survive all this? And will she be able to put her damaged family back together? 'Revenge and Retribution' was Historical Novel Society (HNS) 2015 Indie Book of the Year. It has been awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion and was HNS's Indie Editor's Choice in 2015.

wither thou goest
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
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Whither Thou Goest is the seventh book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

In their rural home in the Colony of Maryland, Matthew and Alex Graham are still recovering from the awful events of the previous years when Luke Graham, Matthew’s estranged brother, asks them for a favour.

Alex has no problems whatsoever ignoring Luke’s sad plea for help. In her opinion Matthew’s brother is an evil excuse of a man who deserves whatever nasty stuff fate throws at him. Except, as Matthew points out, Luke is begging them to save his son – his misled Charlie, one of the Monmouth rebels – and can Charlie Graham be held responsible for his father’s ill deeds?

So off they go on yet another adventure, this time to the West Indies to find a young man neither of them knows but who faces imminent death on a sugar plantation, condemned to slavery for treason. The journey is hazardous and along the way Alex comes face to face with a most disturbing ghost from her previous life, a man she would much have preferred never to have met.

Time is running out for Charlie Graham, Matthew is haunted by reawakened memories of his days as an indentured servant, and then there’s the eerie Mr Brown, Charlie’s new owner, who will do anything to keep his secrets safe, anything at all.

Will Matthew deliver his nephew from imminent death? And will they ever make it back home?

to catch a falling star
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star
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'To Catch a Falling Star' is the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham

Some gifts are double-edged swords…

For Matthew Graham, being given the gift of his former Scottish manor is a dream come true. For his wife, Alex, this gift will force her to undertake a perilous sea journey, leaving most of their extensive family in the Colony of Maryland. Alex is torn apart by this, but staying behind while her husband travels to Scotland is no option.
Scotland in 1688 is a divided country, torn between the papist Stuart king and the foreign but Protestant William of Orange. In the Lowlands, popular opinion is with Dutch William, and Matthew’s reluctance to openly support him does not endear him to his former friends and neighbours.

While Matthew struggles to come to terms with the fact that Scotland of 1688 bears little resemblance to his lovingly conserved memories, Alex is forced to confront unresolved issues from her past, including her overly curious brother-in-law, Luke Graham. And then there’s the further complication of the dashing, flamboyant Viscount Dundee, a man who knocks Alex completely off her feet.

All the turmoil that accompanies their return to Scotland pales into insignificance when a letter arrives, detailing the calamities threatening their youngest daughter in Maryland – at the hand of that most obnoxious minister, Richard Campbell. Matthew and Alex have no choice but to hasten back, no matter the heartache this causes.
Will they make it back in time? And what will Richard Campbell do?

there is always a tomorrow
Book Nine: There is Always a Tomorrow
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There is Always a Tomorrow is the ninth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

It is 1692 and the Colony of Maryland is still adapting to the consequences of Coode’s Rebellion some years previously. Religious tolerance in the colony is now a thing of the past, but safe in their home, Alex and Matthew Graham have no reason to suspect they will become embroiled in the ongoing religious conflicts—until one of their sons betrays their friend Carlos Muñoz to the authorities.
Matthew Graham does not leave his friends to rot—not even if they’re papist priests—so soon enough most of the Graham family is involved in a rescue attempt, desperate to save Carlos from a sentence that may well kill him.

Meanwhile, in London little Rachel is going through hell. In a matter of months she loses everything, even her surname, as apparently her father is not Master Cooke but one Jacob Graham. Not that her paternity matters when her entire life implodes.

Will Alex and Matthew be able to help their unknown grandchild? More importantly, will Rachel want their help?

About the Author

03_Anna Belfrage

Anna was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result she’s multilingual and most of her reading is Anna Belfragehistorical- both non-fiction and fiction. Possessed of a lively imagination, she has drawers full of potential stories, all of them set in the past. She was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Ideally, Anna aspired to becoming a pioneer time traveller, but science has as yet not advanced to the point of making that possible. Instead she ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for her most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career Anna raised her four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive…

For years she combined a challenging career with four children and the odd snatched moment of writing. Nowadays Anna spends most of her spare time at her writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and she slips away into her imaginary world, with her imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in her life pops his head in to ensure she’s still there.

Find Anna Belfrage: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be a host site for the giveaway of Books #1-8 in paperback to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.  If you have any questions, please contact the tour coordinator.

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  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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Monday, November 6
Pursuing Stacie
The Reading Queen
Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, November 7
T’s Stuff
Susan Heim on Writing

Wednesday, November 8
Bookish
So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, November 9
Let Them Read Books

Friday, November 10
History From a Woman’s Perspective
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

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A Holland Reads

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A Chick Who Reads

Monday, November 13
CelticLady’s Reviews
What Is That Book About

Tuesday, November 14
A Literary Vacation
Historical Fiction with Spirit
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The Maiden’s Court
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Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings
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Book Nerd

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Passages to the Past
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Books, Dreams, Life

Monday, November 20
The Lit Bitch
Jorie Loves a Story



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