Quantcast

Mailbox Monday #435

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Devotion by Meg Kerr for review.

Georgiana Darcy at the age of fifteen had no equal for beauty, elegance and accomplishments, practised her music very constantly, and created beautiful little designs for tables. She also made secret plans to elope with the handsome, charming and immoral George Wickham. Will the real Georgiana Darcy please stand up? In Devotion, Georgiana, now twenty years of age and completely lovely, does just that. Taking centre stage in this sequel to Experience that sweeps the reader back into the world of Pride and Prejudice, she is prepared to shape her own destiny in a manner that perplexes and horrifies not only the Darcy-de Bourgh connexion but the whole of fashionable London. The arrival of a long-delayed letter, and a clandestine journey, bring Georgiana and her fortune into the arms of an utterly wicked young man whose attentions promise her ruin. At the same time, events in Meryton are creating much-needed occupation for Mrs. Bennet and an amorous quandary for Lydia Bennet’s girlhood companion Pen Harrington; and the former Caroline Bingley is given—perhaps—an opportunity to re-make some of her disastrous romantic choices. Meg Kerr writing effortlessly and wittily in the style of Jane Austen gives Pride and Prejudice fans the opportunity to visit the year 1816 to re-unite with favourite characters, and meet some intriguing new ones.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, purchased from Audible.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Yours: A Moment Forever Wedding by Cat Gardiner, a surprise gift from the author.

This is a short sequel to A Moment Forever.  You can buy yours here.

What did you receive?

A Vintage Valentine by Cat Gardiner

Source: Vanity & Pride Press
E-story, 26 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

A Vintage Valentine by Cat Gardiner is a reimagined story of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in which a portal sucks Lizzy into the 1940s when WWII is underway. Modern-day Lizzy, who is a dance instructor, bemoans the social media life that many of us lead and longs for a romance with a gentleman, but she has lost hope. Until her sister Jane convinces her to visit an antique shop in the older part of town, Lizzy has given up on love. Once in the antique shop she is drawn to a special broach.

Gardiner’s story is unique and marries a her two favorite things — Austen and 1940s America. Her take on Lizzy and Darcy in the past is charming and will win over readers quickly because Lizzy has a chance to remedy a situation that could separate these 1940s versions apart forever. That first impression Darcy makes by calling her not tolerable enough to tempt him in the original is similar here, but modern-day Lizzy is more forgiving — setting these two lovers on a path of romance and lasting affection before WWII takes him overseas.

Returning to the modern world, Lizzy has a semi-renewed sense of love and hope, and this propels her to think more openly about opportunities that could come her way in 2017. A Vintage Valentine by Cat Gardiner is too short, but it still has that satisfying happy ending all Austen readers enjoy. Gardiner’s grasp of the 1940s never disappoints, transporting her characters and readers into a believable world, even if they have to suspend disbelief about time portals and wormholes.

RATING: Quatrain

About the Author:

Cat Gardiner loves romance and happy endings, history, comedy and Jane Austen. A member of the esteemed National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America and her local chapter Tampa Area Romance Authors (TARA,) she enjoys writing across the modern spectrum of “Pride and Prejudice” inspired novels.

Voted Austenesque Reviews’ Favorite Modern Adaptation for 2014, the comedic, Chick-Lit “Lucky 13” was released in October 2014. The romantic adventure “Denial of Conscience,” named Favorite “Pride and Prejudice” Modern for 2015 by Margie Must Reads and More Agreeably Engaged has set the sub-genre on fire since June of this year. In December 2015, another romantic comedy titled “Villa Fortuna” was voted Just Jane 1813’s Favorite Modern JAFF for 2015.

Her greatest love, however, is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII Romance. Her debut novel in that genre, “A Moment Forever” was released on May 30, 2016.

Married 23 years to her best friend, they are the proud parents of the smartest honor student in the world – their orange tabby, Ollie. Although they live in Florida, they will always be proud native New Yorkers.

Mailbox Monday #415

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

My Kindle Freebies and discounted finds:

A Perpetual Estrangement by Alice B. Ryder

Anne has two wonderful friends and her own London bookshop, but she isn’t happy. Ten years ago she was put in an impossible position and had to let go of the only man she ever loved, and she’s regretted it ever since. She had to fight her way out of heartbreak and despair just to get this far. Now Freddie is back, and the wound is ripped open.

Freddie once loved Anne deeply, and she had even agreed to join him in his travels abroad. But her family and self-doubt made her back out, and to this day he still feels betrayed. Anne believes he’s determined to remind her of that every day, and it’s all the harder seeing the man he has become since then, stronger in spirit and even more attractive than before.

Whenever Anne is around him now, she sees only his disdain and bitterness. The only way for both of them to find happiness is to finally get over each other. Freddie seems to be trying; but Anne has tried before, and failed. What she fears most is falling back into the agony she felt all those years ago – a dark place she can’t bear to think about.

Longbourn Library by Trudy Wallis

Liz always believed working as a librarian in Hertford, Idaho would give her opportunities to meet intelligent men. Lately, however, she is starting to think her theory was wrong. She finds herself hiding from Collin, that slimy blind date she wishes she could forget. Charlie is a nice fellow, but he is clearly taken with Jane. Then there is that Californian “aspiring writer” named Darcy. What a snob!

What are chances any man could answer the wishes of Liz’s heart? Is being fond of reading the first step toward falling in love?

GI Brides: Love Letters Unite Three Couples Divided by World War II by Grace Livingston Hill

World War II history shines through the pen of a beloved author who lived during it. Grace Livingston Hill introduces readers to three couples who are struggling to find hope in their circumstances. But letters from the home front to the war front and back inspire faith in soldiers under fire and the women who are praying they return. The collection includes All Through the Night, More Than Conqueror, and Through These Fires.

Hope for Mr. Darcy by Jeanna Ellsworth

Still shaken from his horrible proposal, Elizabeth Bennet falls ill at the Rosings Parsonage upon reading Fitzwilliam Darcy’s letter. In her increasingly delirious state, unfathomable influences inspire her to write an impulsive response. The letter gives Mr. Darcy hope in a way that nothing else could.

As her illness progresses, Darcy is there at her side, crossing boundaries he has never crossed, declaring things he has never declared. A unique experience bridges them over their earlier misunderstandings, and they start to work out their differences. That is, until Elizabeth begins to recover.

Suddenly, Elizabeth is left alone to wonder what exactly occurred between the two of them in her dreamlike state. And for the first time since meeting the man from Pemberley, she finds herself hoping for Mr. Darcy to return and rekindle what once was.

Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

Deception by Ola Wegner

Pride and Prejudice variation. After the ball at Netherfield Fitzwilliam Darcy left Hertfordshire scared of his rapidly developing feelings for Elizabeth Bennet. What if another man had appeared in her life, both wealthy and attractive, certain of his affection for her and wishing to marry her? What if in Kent Darcy had met Elizabeth who was practically engaged to another man? How would he have dealt with an unexpected rival and would he face the challenge?

A Vintage Valentine by Cat Gardiner, which I read online. It is still 99 cents at Amazon.

A visit to Memories of Old antique shop turns into so much more than discovering trinkets from the past. Travel back in time with Lizzy Bennet to 1943 where she meets one dashing G.I., following that well-known insult at a U.S.O dance.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #410

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I purchased:

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher on Audible.

In Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher tells the true and intoxicating story of her life with inimitable wit. Born to celebrity parents, she was picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars when only 19 years old. “But it isn’t all sweetness and light sabers.”

Alas, aside from a demanding career and her role as a single mother (not to mention the hyperspace hairdo), Carrie also spends her free time battling addiction, weathering the wild ride of manic depression and lounging around various mental institutions. It’s an incredible tale – from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother, to marrying (and divorcing) Paul Simon, from having the father of her daughter leave her for a man, to ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.

Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher on Audible.

Infused with Carrie Fisher’s trademark incisive wit and on the heels of Wishful Drinking’s instant New York Times bestselling success, Shockaholic takes readers on another rollicking ride into her crazy life.

There is no shortage of people flocking to hear what Princess Leia has to say. Her previous hardcover, Wishful Drinking, was an instant New York Times bestseller and Carrie was featured everywhere on broadcast media and received rave reviews from coast to coast, including People (4 stars; one of their top 10 books of the year), Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, and scores of others.

Told with the same intimate style, brutal honesty, and uproarious wisdom that placed Wishful Drinking on the New York Times bestseller list for months, Shockaholic is the juicy account of Carrie Fisher’s life, focusing more on the Star Wars years and dishing about the various Hollywood relationships she’s formed since she was chosen to play Princess Leia at only nineteen years old. Fisher delves into the gritty details that made the movie—and herself—such a phenomenal success, admitting, “It isn’t all sweetness and light sabers.”

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, purchased from Audible.

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

Ulysses by James Joyce, purchased for the informal February read-a-long with Ti from Book Chatter.

The revised edition follows the complete and unabridged text of ULYSSES as corrected and reset in 1961. Like the first American edition of 1934, it also contains the original foreword by the author and the historic court ruling by Judge John M. Woolsey to remove the federal ban on ULYSSES. It also contains page references to the 1934 edition, which are indicated in the margins.

For Review:

Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey by Ginger Monette for review in February.

1917. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy has won the heart of Elizabeth Bennet. Finally.

Then she disappears.

When tragedy strikes on the battlefield, Darcy is sent to Donwell Abbey to recover. There he is coaxed back to life by an extraordinary nurse determined to teach him how to live and love again. A woman whose uncanny similarities to Elizabeth breach his walls and invite his admiration.

His heart tells him to hold on to Elizabeth. His head tells him to take a chance with his nurse.

But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that just might change everything.

What did you receive?

Best Books of 2016

2016 had a great many books that thrilled me, and others that delighted. The rest of the year I could have done without —  so many deaths and a horribly long election and a range of backlash to terrify anyone.

For those interested, these are the best books I read in 2016, though not all were published in 2016.

Best Series:

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and artist Nate Powell (March: Book One, March: Book Two, March: Book Three)

Best Photography:


Photographs from the Edge: A Master Photographer’s Insights on Capturing an Extraordinary World by Art Wolfe, Rob Sheppard

Best Memoir:

Bukowski in a Sundress by Kim Addonizio

Best Children’s Book:


Science Verse by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

Best Young Adult Fiction:


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Best Short Story Collection: (I only read 3 and these 2 tied)


Heirlooms: Stories by Rachel Hall (this one has remained on my mind more than expected)


Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War by Jessica Brockmole, Hazel Gaynor, Evangeline Holland, Marci Jefferson, Kate Kerrigan, Jennifer Robson, Heather Webb, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig

Best Jane Austen Fiction: (this is a three-way tie)


A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner


Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes by Ginger Monette


The Courtship of Edward Gardiner by Nicole Clarkston

Best Poetry: (another tie)


Field Guide to the End of the World by Jeannine Hall Gailey


Obliterations by Heather Aimee O’Neill and Jessica Piazza

Best Fiction: (a three-way tie)


The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler


My Last Continent by Midge Raymond


This is the Story of You by Beth Kephart

What books were your favorites this year?

Without a Conscience by Cat Gardiner

Source: the author
ebook, 204 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

***There may be spoilers for the first book in this review.***

Without a Conscience (available on Amazon Nov. 11) by Cat Gardiner is a stunning and intense follow-up to Denial of Conscience. If you thought Iceman was stone cold in the first book, you’re going to love watching him thaw and then freeze, before he ultimately melts in Liz’s arms.  Life at Pemberley with the horses is placid, but even training horses can be an adrenaline rush, especially while wielding a gun and shooting targets in the woods.  When danger comes home to roost after a successful operation — his last with Obsidian — all that target practice seems well timed.

“Your conscience, your moral sensibilities will get you and them killed.  It’ll cause you to pause, to flinch, to second guess.  There are no second guesses or second chances.  Only one choice before you: life or death.  You must remain without a conscience in the fight for life.” (ARC)

Given Liz’s sheltered life at Longbourn, Iceman Darcy wonders just how free she’d like to be, not confident that his love or the peace a Pemberley is enough to satisfy her, especially as she hugs the turns in her new Harley. These insecurities mirror Liz’s own as she sees how unsettled he is and the distance in his eyes from time-to-time, but she’s determined to keep their love alive. Even as they navigate their new marriage, it is clear that his past life as the Iceman will reclaim him, even if he doesn’t want it to.

Gardiner’s writing is adept at lulling readers into a false sense of security as we watch Darcy and Liz build a life together on the grounds of a tranquil property. Only glimpses of danger are seen and the solid panic room in the depths of the house are a warning of things to come. From the dangerous tango in an French club to a secluded van, it’s clear that Iceman and Liz have become two halves of the same coin, and they’re bound together more closely at the end of this novel.

Even with the cloak-and-dagger, Liz and Darcy find their ways back to one another, and communication is a key component of that — just like in any marriage. Without a Conscience by Cat Gardiner hugs the corners close, throbs in your ears, sends your nerves over the edge, and brings you in for a smooth, romantic landing.

Check out the Pinterest board and the book’s Playlist.

RATING: Cinquain

Other Reviews:

Guest Posts:

***Cat Gardiner’s new WWII romance, A Moment Forever, also toured with Poetic Book Tours.***

About the Author:

Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation. A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.

She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.

She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.

For more on her book, visit A Moment Forever.

Follow her on Twitter
On Facebook
Follow her blog.

Mailbox Monday #400

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Without a Conscience by Cat Gardiner for review in November.

Someone wants to kill The Iceman, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and will stop at nothing to lure him into the open. Out for retribution, the son of an assassinated South American drug lord is seeking payback. His diabolical objective puts Operation Macarena into play by dangling bait guaranteed to entice his enemy. Can Darcy’s new bride, Liz, accept his decision to leave their tranquil life at Pemberley to resume the deadly profession he swore was behind them forever?

But are Darcy and Liz each fully satisfied with their simple, peaceful existence raising polo ponies and planning exotic vacations? Darcy set Liz’s spirit free; how can she resist the urge to ride on the wild side? Perhaps coming out of retirement is just what her husband needs because The Iceman never truly melted.

Without a Conscience takes readers on an adventure from the dangerous Peruvian Amazon Basin to the salacious underbelly of Parisian nightlife, leading toward a perilous rescue in Moscow.

Essential Readings & Study Guide by K.V. Dominic, which Anna passed on to me.

“K. V. Dominic Essential Readings” gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry from this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: “Winged Reason,” “Write Son, Write” and “Multicultural Symphony.” A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic’s prolific and profound verse. Each poem includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula.

Written in free verse, each of his poems makes the reader contemplate on intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social issues of the present world. Themes range from multiculturalism, environmental issues, social mafia, caste-ism, exploitation of women and children, poverty, and corruption to purely introspective matters. From the observation of neighborhood life to international events, and everyday forgotten tragedies of India, nothing escapes the grasp of Dominic’s keen sense of the fragility of life and morality in the modern world.

R2-D2 and C-3P0’s Guide to the Galaxy (LEGO Star Wars) by Ace Landers, which my daughter picked from her school’s book fair (primarily because it came with a C-3P0 lego character)

A guide to the good guys, bad guys, places and vehicles from LEGO(R) STAR WARS(TM) presented by R2D2 and C-3P0. The two fan-favorite Droids introduce each chapter (i.e. heroes, villains, vehicles, places) and occasionally pop in to comment on things via comic book word balloons, making for a humorous and fresh take on the LEGO(R) STAR WARS(TM) Universe. Plus, comes with buildable C-3P0 minifigure!

Draw DC Universe: Learn to Draw the Heroes and the Villains by Kaitlyn Nichols, which she got from the book fair as well.

This book is a complete how-to-draw package, jammed with expert tips and techniques, tons of practice space, and of course, a universe of DC heroes and villains. The draw-right-in-it book comes with everything you need: a sketching pencil, a drawing marker, artist Have fun

The Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine, illustrated by Marc Brown, which she picked from the book fair.

A frighteningly fun picture book adventure from two monstrously talented children’s book icons–Marc Brown and R.L. Stine!

Are you are afraid of monsters?
Do they make you shiver and shake and shut your eyes really tight at night?

Welcome to the Little Shop of Monsters! Do you want a SNEEZER? A TICKLER? Or one of the CREEPIEST monsters of all? Come on in and choose your favorite, if you dare (before one of them chooses YOU!).

Renowned children’s book creators Marc Brown and R.L. Stine join forces for the very first time-in Stine’s picture book debut-with a tale that is monstrously good fun.

Trick or Treat! by Hayley Down, illustrated by Sarah Vince, which she selected from the book fair.

As Halloween approaches, children will be excited to explore this super spooky story. It contains a silicone torch that can be used to light up the pages and reveal some hidden artwork. Dim the lights of the room for extra effect!

A funny, rhyming story that will help children understand that Halloween doesn’t have to be scary, it’s full of pictures of fun costumes. Shine the torch and you’ll be able to see the excited children inside them!

Political Theatre by Mark Peterson, already reviewed in November.

Over the past two years New York–based Mark Peterson (born 1955) has photographed American presidential candidates as they lead rallies, meet with the public and plead for votes. He began documenting the race shortly before the government shutdown in 2013 at a Tea Party rally at the US Capitol, when politicians were railing against President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. Since then Peterson has followed the political spin as it approaches the November 2016 election, creating already-famous images of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie and others, cutting through the staging of their personalities and revealing the cold, naked ambition for power. This volume documents what has been widely described as the most polarized and bizarre presidential race in American history.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #399

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Guilty Conscience by Cat Gardiner, which I already loved.  Thanks to her for sending such an awesome gift with it.

This BONUS NOVELETTE: Guilty Conscience brings us six vignettes as we await the sequel to the first book in the Conscience Series. It is not a stand-alone piece and it is recommended that you read Denial of Conscience first.

Questions such as: What is married life like for newlyweds Fitzwilliam and Liz Darcy after their whirlwind romance in Denial of Conscience? Can the protective Darcy give his new wife wings to fly without holding on too tight? Can the newly freed Liz learn to compromise after being essentially imprisoned at Longbourn? You’ll also get a glimpse into what the future may bring this couple in Without a Conscience. Does danger lurk around the corner? Although Iceman has retired from Obsidian and trains polo ponies, could he be drawn back into black ops?

Magnesium by Ray Buckley from Mindbuck Media for review.

Magnesium is a collection of poetry, prose, and dialogues. The book will be released January 10, 2017.

Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes by Ginger Monette for review from the author.

1916. World War I has turned French chateaus into bloody field hospitals, British gentlemen into lice-infested soldiers, and left Elizabeth Bennet’s life in tatters.

Her father is dead and her home destroyed. Never again will Elizabeth depend on a man to secure her future!

But when an opportunity arises to advance her dreams of becoming a doctor, she is elated–until HE arrives….

Heartbroken. Devastated. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy is left rejected by the woman he loved and reeling from the slaughter of his men on the battlefield. “Enough!” Darcy vows. “No more sentimental attachments!”

“No comrades, no dog, and certainly no woman!”

But arriving at a field hospital to pursue a covert investigation, Darcy discovers his beloved Elizabeth training with a dashing American doctor and embroiled in an espionage conspiracy.

With only a few months to expose the plot, Darcy is forced to grapple with his feelings for Elizabeth while uncovering the truth. Is she indeed innocent?

What did you receive?

A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner

Source: the author
Paperback, 600 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner, which was on tour with Poetic Book Tours last month, is the first in the Liberty Victory series of books, and it is epic! Elizabeth and Lillian Renner are the daughters of a railroad magnate bent on more power and prestige, but their father holds his cards close to the vest in 1940s Long Island, New York. Even as Lillian becomes a disappointment by working with the American Red Cross, rather than acting the debutante she is, Elizabeth is his shining jewel, one he hopes to marry off to the highest bidder. Her life is easy, but her perceptions of the glistening world she lives in soon become tainted after she meets a dreamy flyboy, William Martel.

When America decided to enter WWII after Pearl Harbor, many men joined up to fight Hitler’s aggression and that of the Axis powers. This left many gaps in American society, with women eagerly filling empty roles. The Renner family, however, remained traditional in its expectations of its female members. Lillian, one of five sisters, consciously decided to embark on her own adventures, while Lizzy tries to straddle two worlds. The Renner fortune protected them and plans to unite the family with the neighboring elite, the owners of Robertson Aviation, would secure their position further.

Fast forward to 1992 when Juliana Martel is gifted Primrose, a home in Brooklyn owned by a great-uncle she never knew. The house is a time capsule, a shrine to true love, devotion, and loyalty. Her great-uncle, who disappeared in 1950, loved his “Pistol”, but the farther Juliana digs through the cobwebs of the past, the more she is sure that they were separated against their wishes. Her role as a journalist has given her the best instincts to uncover the past, and as she untangles the strands of his history, she becomes enchanted herself.

Gardiner has re-created the past in the dress, manner, and speech of her characters, and while loosely in homage to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, this WWII epic romance spans five decades. The heartbreak, the love, the devotion, and the regret leap from these pages. Did Lillian’s independence from the Renners leave her blind to her sisters’ dilemmas? Did Kitty, the younger sister plagued by polio, let emotion overtake her better judgement? Did Lizzy act too rashly when Will was shipped overseas? Readers should be prepared with their tissues. I have not cried this much since the epic read, Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly.

How would you pay homage to those you love? How far would you go to make reparations for the past and to make amends? When should you let the past lie where it is and move on? A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner is like the smooth sounds of Doris Day singing “Again”. It pulls you into Gardiner’s world page by page, and it wraps you up in the passionate notes of Vera Lynn’s “Yours”. I cannot wait for the second book in this series.

(You can listen to the music.)

RATING: Cinquain

About the Author:

Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation. A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.

She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.

She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.

For more on her book, visit A Moment Forever. Follow her on Twitter
On Facebook, and Follow her blog.

Anticipating: Without a Conscience and Guilty Conscience by Cat Gardiner

Since reading Denial of Conscience by Cat Gardiner on vacation this month, I’ve been dying to know what will happen to the Iceman and his Lizzy, modernized characters from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

Gardiner thoughtfully sent me a teaser to her new book, Without a Conscience, and her epilogue/prologue novelette, Guilty Conscience, both due out in the fall. The latter coming out a month before. In the novelette, which begs the question “Will Iceman and Liz Macarena?”, Gardiner gives readers a little tease as to what married life is like for Liz and Darcy after their whirlwind romance in Denial of Conscience. When Darcy takes off for a few days on a camping trip he planned before meeting Liz, she feels his absence strongly. Like many newlyweds, Liz and Darcy have had a passionate honeymoon and first few months of marriage. Gardiner captures this feeling really well.

“For the last three days, she’d walked around Pemberley in a fog, feeling depressed, his absence gutting her soul. The scent of him lingered on bed linen, which she refused to change until his return. … Only two more days, just two more days.”

Can the very controlled Darcy, who holds his emotions close to the vest, let her in completely? Can the newly freed Liz learn to compromise after being essentially imprisoned at Longbourn? You get a taste of not only what married life is like for this couple — not all roses and sunshine — but also the danger that is around the corner. While Iceman has changed his ways and trains horses, could he be drawn back into black ops?

You’ll have to stay tuned for the next book in the series. I’m waiting on the edge of my seat!

Other Reviews:

Guest Posts:

***Cat Gardiner’s new WWII romance, A Moment Forever, is touring with Poetic Book Tours.***

About the Author:

Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation. A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.

She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.

She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.

For more on her book, visit A Moment Forever.

Follow her on Twitter
On Facebook
Follow her blog.

Denial of Conscience by Cat Gardiner

Source: Giveaway win from JAFF Event
Paperback, 347 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Denial of Conscience by Cat Gardiner is a hot, modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. Gardiner writes steamy romance really well, and the fire crackles between this Darcy and Elizabeth like a gunpowder trail to a pile of dynamite. Set in Virginia and Asheville, N.C., it was the perfect getaway novel for vacation, especially since we would be in the same area at the Biltmore estate! Gardiner knows the area well enough to write about the former plantations in a way that makes it believable that Darcy of Pemberley would be a wealthy landowner whose past has pushed him into the military and the world of black ops, while Lizzy has remained at Longbourn beneath the guilt of her mother’s exit from their lives.

Unlike Jane who left the home shortly after Mrs. Bennet to seek freedom, Lizzy stayed behind to care for their father and the repairs of an aging estate. Despite working for the Department of Defense, they are unable to keep up with the costs of the repairs, and without intervention soon, they’ll have to sell off some acreage to keep afloat. While Lizzy is forced to decide between her freedom and saving the ancestral home, her father has other ideas about how to save the place — and these ideas get them both into deep trouble.

“‘Carinatus? In English, Darcy. Our Latin is restricted to the dance floor here.’
‘It’s a snake, Medusa, like the ones writhing on your head.’ Darcy smirked.
‘Screw you.’
‘We tried that; it didn’t work. Remember?'” (pg. 28)

Darcy has become a hardened man since the death of his parents and his Iceman persona keeps him safe from emotional entanglements as his work takes him all over the world assassinating evildoers. He’s turned into a leather wearing, tattooed biker in Gardiner’s modern tale, and he’s hotter than ever. He oozes charm and danger, something that draws Lizzy in, revealing a woman who wants to be free to pursue her passions and take on new adventures. Both emerge from their chrysalises renewed and engaged with life. There’s no going back, and those who want to stop them from being together better look out.

Denial of Conscience by Cat Gardiner explores how people fall in love and why, how that relationship can encourage each partner to grow, and how mutual respect can spur them to greater things. Living a happier and fuller life is something we all should aspire to, and while assassinating evildoers might make the world a safer place, its toll can be devastating. Living for others and denying oneself even the simplest pleasures can also be draining. Gardiner explores all of these themes and more in her novel. This one is hot, hot, hot!

RATING: Quatrain

Other Reviews:

Guest Posts:

***Cat Gardiner’s new WWII romance, A Moment Forever, is touring with Poetic Book Tours.***

About the Author:

Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation. A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.

She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.

She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.

For more on her book, visit A Moment Forever.

Follow her on Twitter
On Facebook
Follow her blog.

The Great Smoky Mountains

great-smoky-mountains-national-park-126051297202143r9P

When you go on vacation, you need some good reading and a variety.  Fun books, books you can dip into and out of in a pinch, and books that can hold your attention before bed.

I haven’t had a vacation in a long while that wasn’t back to Massachusetts, so I’m really looking forward to seeing a new place — Tennessee — and enjoying some non-review copies…

Here’s a list of what I’m thinking of taking — any suggestions, should I nix any of these? Should I take only 2?

Too many, right?  Some are ebook, so they take up less room. What kinds of books do you take on vacation?  Do you read them?  Am I overly ambitious?

My other option is just to bring 1-2 books and write my own stuff.  What say you?

Save

Save

Save