Archive for the ‘book reviews’ Category

Historical Fiction

Date Published: 12th May 2017

Publisher: Harper Impulse

A sensual, heartbreaking, romance

The sounds and scents of the Crimean War are strangling Harry Marlow, shutting him off and silently smothering his soul. But he is a soldier and that is his life, and he can see nothing else besides that. So why should he care when a woman watches him? His life is not one to share with a woman, other than for a few moments in his bed.

When a woman is already drowning so deeply in sin she is without any fear of judgement – what can it matter if she chooses to begin a new affair? It is like escape to choose her own man and Captain Marlow is the perfect candidate for a dalliance. All she has to do is obtain an introduction…


 


Jane began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write. 

Now Jane has been shortlisted for three reader awards, and become a bestselling author in the UK and the USA.

 


Excerpt

The Tainted Love of a Captain Excerpt One

She was there, with her maid. They were on the path at the head of the beach, a few yards away. He crossed the street. She walked towards him and intercepted his path. ‘Captain Marlow!’ she called. ‘Well met!’ She spoke as though she had not written and he therefore presumed the maid did not know that this interchange had been orchestrated.

He bowed, slightly. ‘Miss Cotton.’ What was the etiquette for a man’s mistress? He knew how to behave with whores and with respectable women, but a mistress was somewhere in between. ‘Would you care to walk with me?’ He lifted his arm, in the way he might have offered his arm to one of his sisters or cousins.

The maid held back to walk a few paces behind them as Ash looked up at him with eyes that asked why he had not walked on to the pebbles. Harry clicked the fingers of his free hand and tapped his leg to tell Ash to stay at his side.

‘I like your dog. What is her name?’ Miss Cotton said loudly. He presumed for the benefit of the maid as much as for an answer.

‘Ash. She was named by my niece.’

She looked at him as though the fact that he might have a niece was a bizarre thought. ‘Oh.’

He smiled. Her colour had been high since the moment they had faced each other, but now it became even redder.

‘Your dog has a very pleasant nature.’

‘Yes, she does.’

‘I am glad you came,’ she said in a quieter voice, leaning closer to him as he’d seen her do when she spoke to her maid. ‘It took me so much courage to write. But you have never looked at me here. Then you looked at me last night and I wrote in a rash moment because I have had a great desire to know the man with the lovely dog. I hope you do not think me too forward.’ Her back straightened when she had finished her conspiratorial whisper and her chin lifted high. There was a sense of dignity in her posture, no matter her status.

‘I was not sure that I would come.’

Her head turned and she looked at him about the rim of her bonnet, her fingers pulling on his arm a little. ‘I admire you as much as your dog. I have wanted to meet you as well as Ash.’

‘I am aware. I have seen you watching me.’ He breathed in. ‘It was flattering.’ He had not thought so a day ago and yet having seen the woman up close. Yes, the interest and attention of such a beautiful woman was flattering. Her large, expressive eyes, within the shadow of her bonnet’s brim, were particularly fascinating and the curls of her vibrantly coloured hair peeked from beneath the edges of the bonnet, providing a temptation to touch it.

She smiled. ‘I think it is lovely how you play with the dog. There seems such regard between you as you play. So, yes, I have been watching your games and admiring you and your affection for Ash, from a distance. It is very charming to watch. Your friend has looked back at me, but you have no more than glanced. You have given me no opportunity to compliment you before.’

‘I thought you were…’ He had been about to insult her and say that he’d thought her respectable, which would tell her that now he thought she was not. ‘I thought you someone different.’

‘Who?’

‘No one in particular, simply a young woman looking for a husband and I would make a poor candidate for that.’

The Tainted Love of a Captain Excerpt Two

‘Hello!’ he called from a few feet away.

The pace of her heart beat lifted in a fluttering sensation.

Since they had been talking each day, her heart felt as though it had grown the wings of a butterfly. ‘Hello.’

‘How are you?’ he asked as he joined her.

Charlie glanced back along the path at the maid who’d walked with her. She had left Tilly a few feet away to mind her own business and Tilly had not come nearer to listen, which was what Charlie feared. But if anything had been said to Mark about her liaisons with Harry, which it probably had, he had not complained to her about it.

She looked at Harry, again, turning her back on Tilly. ‘I am well. How was your game last evening?’

‘Must you ask?’ He threw the stick out into the sea. ‘Do you not know?’

‘No.’

‘Then do not ask.’

She laughed as Ash returned with the stick.

Harry looked at her after he’d thrown the stick again. ‘I have a question to ask you, though.’

‘Then you must ask it.’ She was very forward with Harry. She kept surprising herself. But it was the atmosphere he exuded. He always spoke so liberally it made her more confident to reply. But she had been forward with him from the beginning because she had been desperate to know this man with his dog. So desperate she had dared to write. But she had told herself that a woman of her status need not worry over what was right or wrong or fear the judgement of others. She had transcended those things. It was the one benefit of her status—she might do as she wished and she had wished to meet Ash and speak to Harry. That was not a crime.

Her chin lifted and her back straightened in denial of the accusation of forwardness that continued charging at her in her head.

Harry turned and faced her fully as Ash ran into the shallow, frothing ripples, chasing the stick as the tide pulled it out on a retreating wave. ‘If I hired a room in an inn, would you come there with me?’

‘Now?’ To… Oh… She had not thought about where this might lead. She had thought of nothing other than that she admired him and she had wanted to know him. But. ‘My maid is with me.’ Her heart had jolted suddenly into a sharp pace.

‘Tomorrow. Would you meet me there?’

Her heart was pounding as hard as her father had used to pound a hammer on a straight bar of iron to twist and curve it to make a horse’s shoe. She had not imagined, and yet she had in daydreams sometimes thought about what it would be like to kiss Harry.

But to make this a sin…

Ash shook the sea water off her coat, spraying them both. Then Harry took the stick from Ash’s mouth, lifted it and held it out of Ash’s reach. The dog barked and leapt around, waiting for it to be thrown again, then it was and Ash went racing after it.

Harry looked at her. ‘Will you?’


If you enjoy historical romance stories full of sensory details transporting you back in time, then you should give Jane Lark’s series a try. I signed up to review this book accidently but am glad I gave it my attention. This is a smooth read with the traditional milestones and payoffs you would expect. I haven’t had a chance to read the other stories in the series, but there are several and will keep you with summer reading material for quite a while!

This story unravels around Harry Marlow and his struggles between a stalwart but loving family who sees him as a bit of an outsider, and his chosen profession as a Captain, recently returned from the Crimean war. Harry meets a young woman, or rather, he is watched by a young woman and their introduction is quite unconventional. However, this woman is not all she appears to be, and regardless of recent revelations about the woman, Captain Marlow’s interest is not so easily squashed. The woman is full of secrets but has an obvious attraction and sense of security around the Captain, and his beloved dog, Ash. As the story unfolds truths are revealed, lives are broken apart, and those seeking redemption or a truer way of life struggle across the page. I detest when someone ruins plot points in a review, so I will leave it there and let you discover more for yourself.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, give this series a chance. If you do, please consider leaving the author a review, they value your opinions!

gettysburg_general_armistead_picketts_chargeMy inspiration for writing about the Civil War had an unusual beginning. During high school, I wasn’t really interested in history, probably because I had a mundane, monotone teacher. Years later, I moved to Colorado, and became fascinated with the Victorian era because of the old mining and mountain towns. While in Glenwood Springs, I entered a contest at a toy store to win a trip to Gettysburg. Looking back, I think it was divine intervention of some sort, because I won. I had never seen a battlefield of any kind before, so when I saw the Gettysburg battlefield, I was awestruck. It was much larger than I had ever imagined, and when I started hearing some of the heart wrenching stories about the soldiers, I wanted to write one of my own. I decided to incorporate some of their stories into my book.

I wrote A Beckoning Hellfire, but decided it was too long, so I split it in two. The second half became A Rebel Among Us. I then wrote another sequel, yet to be published, and a prequel titled A Beautiful Glittering Lie. The Renegade Series is based on real life situations, although the main characters are fictitious. The series revolves around a family from north Alabama, and how the war impacts their lives. I wanted to write from the Southern perspective to give readers an idea of what a typical Southern soldier fought for and experienced. Growing up in Iowa, I was taught that the Civil War was fought over slavery, but I couldn’t understand why every Southern soldier would fight to preserve such an evil institution. After doing my own research, I learned that wasn’t the case at all. So I decided to write a story about why Southerners (and those who didn’t own slaves) fought for Dixie. A Rebel Among Us is unique from the first two books in the series, because it doesn’t involve battle scenes, it has a strong romantic element, and it discusses attitudes and opinions from both sides of the war.

A Beautiful, Glittering Lie (Renegade #1)

14425456In the spring of 1861, a country once united is fractured by war. Half of America fights for the Confederate cause; the other, for unification. Rebel forces have already seized Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, a new Confederate president has been elected, and the Constitution has been revised. In north Alabama, a farmer and father of three decides to enlist. For Hiram Summers, it is the end of everything he has ever known.

After Hiram travels to Virginia with the Fourth Alabama Infantry Regiment, he is quickly thrust into combat. His son, David, who must stay behind, searches for adventure at home by traipsing to Huntsville with his best friend, Jake Kimball, to scrutinize invading Yankees. Meanwhile, Caroline – Hiram’s wife and David’s mother – struggles to keep up with the farm as her world revolves around the letters she receives from her husband, whom she misses dearly. As Hiram and his son discover the true meaning of war, they soon realize that their choices have torn their family apart.

In this historical tale, the naïveté of a young country is tested, a father sacrifices everything to defend his home, and a young man longs for adventure – regardless of the perilous cost.

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Winner of the 2013 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award

2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

Winner of Editor’s Choice Award

Honorable Mention – 2013 DIY Book Festival

Honorable Mention – 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival

Civil war tore families apart, and many of those families fought to stay together every step of the way. A Beautiful Glittering Lie is a novel of the American Civil War, as J.D.R. Hawkins writes of the Summers family and the rift the war brought to their family. Drawing on her heritage to tell the tale, Hawkins presents an insightful and riveting read of a family at war. A Beautiful Glittering Lie is a strong pick for historical fiction collections. ~ Able Greenspan- Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

A Beckoning Hellfire (Renegade #2)

2851467During the bloody American Civil War, the stark reality of death leads one young man on a course of revenge that takes him from his quiet farm in northern Alabama to the horrific battlefields of Virginia and Pennsylvania.

On Christmas Eve 1862, David Summers hears the dreaded news: his father has perished at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Reeling with grief and thoughts of vengeance, David enlists and sets off for Richmond to join the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

But once in the cavalry, David’s life changes drastically, and his dream of glamorous chivalry becomes nothing but a cold, cruel existence of pain and suffering. He is hurled into one battle after another, and his desire for revenge wanes when he experiences first-hand the catastrophes of war.

A haunting look at the human side of one of America’s most tragic conflicts, A Beckoning Hellfire speaks to the delusion of war’s idealism.

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Hawkins should be nicknamed `Arachne’ for the beautiful tapestries she weaves of the Civil War. Without a doubt, 5/5 stars. ~ Susan Barton

The author gives the reader a realistic view of the horrors of the battlefield, along with the characters’ reactions to all that happens around them. ~ Elaine

A Rebel Among Us (Renegade #3)

5184nldldelAfter David Summers enlists with the Confederate cavalry, his delusion of chivalry is soon crushed when he witnesses the horrors of battle. Shot by a Union picket, he winds up at a stranger’s farm. Four girls compassionately nurse him back to health. David learns his comrades have deserted him in Pennsylvania following the Battle of Gettysburg, but his dilemma becomes much worse. He falls in love with the older sister, Anna, who entices him with a proposition. To his dismay, he must make a decision. Should he stay and help Anna with her underhanded plan, or return to the army and risk capture?

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About the Author

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of a few female Civil War authors, uniquely describing the front lines from a Confederate perspective.

j-d-r-hawkinsHer Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, A Beckoning Hellfire, and A Rebel Among Us. All three novels are award winners, and tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Ms. Hawkins is currently working on a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as another sequel to her series.

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Insurance-Greed-31Despite the World Health Organization predicting a 70% increase in cancer cases worldwide over the next 20 years, there remains no cure or vaccine. One man from North Carolina, disgusted by the lack of progress and with his own father dying from pancreatic cancer, angrily embarks upon a personal crusade to find a cure before it’s too late. In the face of personal tragedy, he defies the odds and stumbles upon a cure that could change the course of history, only to find the real battle has just begun.

“If you stumbled upon a cure for cancer,
would you throw it away?”

 

LogoA Questionable Cure is a newly released fact-based fiction novel about a man who finds a cure for cancer – and then throws it away. It’s disturbing and funny, informative and entertaining, heartbreaking, surprising, and sobering. In his debut novel, Roger Gerald Scott calls into question much of what many of us might like to believe about the people we are and the society we live in.

“Shines a light into true facts about cancer, research, the medical profession, and the pharmaceutical industry, which is funding research for its cure – but also profiting from its existence.”

A Questionable Cure  was released worldwide on March 11th

Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle

http://amzn.to/1x7Vtzs 

Read what British journalist Aysha Mendes said about this novel: CLICK HERE

“…refreshingly original, written with authenticity, and with bewildering revelations around every bend. Not to mention the impressive handling of American terminology and detail from Scott, who is a Brit living in Norway.”

For more details, go to:

www.rogergeraldscott.com

https://www.facebook.com/aquestionablecure

https://twitter.com/aquestioncure

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About Roger Gerald Scott

Roger was born in 1970 in Surrey, England. After his education at Oundle School and Oxford, he embarked on careers in music publishing, songwriting and software engineering before eventually settling on a career as a professional musician. He now lives in Norway.