Posts Tagged ‘book review’

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!


Self Help Spiritual / Personal Growth – Happiness / Meditation

Date Published: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Cygnet Publications, Cygnet Media Group Inc.

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Your heart’s journey began when the Creator took a portion of Her consciousness to create you as a living soul and endowed you with individuality and your own unique personality. Your supreme duty and sole mission on planet earth is to remember your exalted state of consciousness and reclaim your divinity.
The One Cosmic Heart created and endowed you with love in your heart as a yearning that you might awaken and return that love unconditionally, thus coming to feel your oneness with all hearts.
Everyone is on the journey of the heart. As you explore the stages of the heart you will be able to tell where you and your friends are on this sacred journey. Here are the steps you can take to move forward in opening your heart to the fullness of its own natural love.

About the Author
Author, musician, spiritual director and meditation instructor,  Alex Soltys Jones is most well known for his best-selling book Seven Mansions of Color. Published in 1976, it has become a classic in Color Therapy.
Perfectly timed for 2017, his newest books are  Journey of the Heart and Spiritualize the Workplace.
His other titles include: Meditation — Where East and West Meet, How Much Did You Love, Awaken the Christ Within You, Christian Meditation, Conversations with Christ, and Creative Thought Remedies.
Alex was the first to write and produce New Age relaxation music in Canada. His music titles include Kali’s Dream, Awake & Dreaming and Pranava. His guided meditations include Angels of Color & Sound and Peace Beyond Stress. All have become soothing and enlightening aids to meditation, yoga and stress management classes as well as popular relaxation induction aids for listeners at home.
A longtime Stress Management Instructor, Alex worked at the Dorothy Madgett Stress Management Clinic in downtown Toronto where he taught relaxation classes and a 15 week lecture series to groups and individuals.
Many of his clients at the clinic were from the business community. As he worked with these clients they disclosed to him and themselves their own misgivings and vulnerabilities. Alex saw the tremendous stress and anxiety individuals were facing in the workplace: “It was obvious to me that a deep sense of spirituality was needed in the workplace and hence the creation of  Spiritualize the Workplace.”
Alex offers meditation classes based on his book Meditation — Where East and West Meet, and lectures and workshops on color, stress management and opening the heart.
Alex, a certified Spiritual Director, graduated from the University of British Columbia’s Pacific Jubilee Program at the Vancouver School of Theology. He is also a  graduate of Tyndale University with the degree bachelor of Religious Education.
He has practiced meditation and yoga since his twenties and, in young adulthood, spent a nine month period of seclusion in the Rocky Mountains. At 24, he became a monastic in Paramahansa Yogananda’s Spiritual Organization ( Self-Realization Fellowship), dedicating his life in the search for God. He continues to faithfully practice Paramahansa Yogananda’s life transforming meditation techniques to this day.
“I have been fortunate to have touched the lives of thousands through my books, music and workshops. Many have said my gentle approach makes it easy for them to feel safe and open to their highest potential…My mission is to help others rediscover their diamond essence and from that inner center meet all life’s difficulties with courage, love, peace and joy.”
Contact Links
Purchase Links
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It was clear on the first page that the title was appropriate for the book.  I wouldn’t have picked this book to read on the basis of the book cover itself…it just doesn’t do the work inside justice!  I will exclude details about the characters and the plot, the synopsis and the other reviews cover that.  I liked this twistedlovebkcvrauthor’s writing style, very direct and to the point and he did not overuse adjectives and adverbs as I so often see these days. I floated through the prose and slipped into a comfortable journey filled with the images he painted as if he’d used a paint brush instead of the proverbial pen and ink. The quick pace was also perfect for me, building up to each twist and turn as it went along and keeping me intrigued and interested so that it was difficult to put the book down. By the ninth page, you think you have a serial killer story but don’t settle into that thought process, this book isn’t that simple!

 
Loved the balance of character, location and time period development in this book. I was imagining the scenes as the characters were introduced and enough shared about the past and present to make them real so that they stepped out from the pages. Then as the story moved on and more information was revealed, more suspense was built and more clues to connections between characters and story lines, the layers and mystery folding in and around the story, I found myself gripping the edge of my kindle for dear life! This book had the elements that I enjoy in a big screen hit movie and as the imagery formed in my mind, I associated characters with actors. As the tension was building for the surprising end, I couldn’t help but feel something for each of the characters.

 
No spoilers here but suffice it to say that you start out reading with several characters and more are introduced very cleverly and timed perfectly to emphasize the twists and turns of the plot and allow the reader to identify with each person before having to learn about new ones. Interesting to note, each story line is told in their perspective POV’s and the author did an exceptional job of adjusting his writing to the intellectual, educational and occupational levels of each character. I can’t say more without risking ruining some aspect of the surprises in this book. If you are a fan of thrillers and suspense, you’ll love this book and if you’re not already a fan, you will be.  This is a must read filled with suspense and mystery and just when you think you have guessed…nope, not yet!

~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ Debra L Hartmann, professional editor, published author, book reviewer for the fun of it….  http://www.theprobookeditor.com and come have an AHA moment with us at http://authorshelpingauthors.wordpress.com