Posts Categorized: walnut springs press
Paperback, 254 pages
Expected publication: February 2012
by Walnut Springs/Inkberry Press
Series: The Jane Austen Diaries
Book Source: publisher
Seattle Washington, and the Russo family, are no match for Claire Hart and her savvy knowledge of all things vampire related. Thanks to her obsession with the Twilight series–if there is anyone who would know a vampire when she saw one, it’s Claire. And she’s positive totally hot Tony Russo is a vampire, she just has to prove it! Follow Claire’s hilarious journey on her first summer adventure away from home, where she learns everything isn’t what it seems, and in some instances, reality is way better than anything she’d ever find in a book.
I am adoring the Jane Austen Diaries series as a fun, clean choice for tweens and teens. Book two of the set, Northanger Alibi follows the crazy antics of Clarie Hart, a die hard Twilight fan who is itching to get a glimpse of Washington State. She and her sister Cassidy win the perfect opportunity as friends of the family invite them both to stay with them for the summer in their small town near the center of all things Forks. Both girls have led a pretty sheltered life, so Claire gleans her excitement reading and re-reading Stephenie Meyers series. At 16 she has never been kissed. But that is all about to change!
Once the girls hit Washington they meet the Russo family, rich and perfect with twin brother and sister Claire’s age. Tony likes to ceaselessly tease Claire. At first she is utterly unimpressed. But he also has an air of mysteriousness- doesn’t eat, seems to be able to read her mind…Claire begins to wonder, is he a vampire? All the while her older sister is about to find out what all this crazy nonsense and inability to separate real life from fiction is all about as she picks up the books for the first time and can’t put them down.
I would recommend Northanger Alibi to all readers, and think it will especially appeal to middle grade and younger teens. If you haven’t read the first in the series, Pride and Popularity I would go pick it up, since it was one of my favorite reads of this year. This, book two is a stand alone so you won’t be lost without book one. Thanks once again to Walnut Springs press for introducing me to such a fun series!
When I’m not writing up a storm, I enjoy reading, acting, portrait painting, directing plays, cooking, planning elaborate parties and chasing my kids around the house. Oh, and before you ask–I haven’t been to college, YET! But I’ve always been able to write one mean essay when I needed to. *wink*
At six and twenty, the impoverished Lydia Hathaway has endured bleak years of heartbreak, longing for a love that never came. Her deceased father’s foolhardiness has left her family bankrupt, and Lydia is eventually left no alternative but to take a position as the companion and governess to Susan Ashcroft of Danbury Park in Surrey. During the first days at her post, Lydia pines bitterly for a life she believes forever lost. Anxious for peace, she rambles one morning across the muddy wilds of the Ashcroft estate where she has a most unimaginable encounter with the notorious Lord Connor Denton. As their paths continue to cross, Lydia falls ever deeper in love with the charming rogue while battling against his growing assault on her heart. In spite of his forward attentions, she considers his behavior toward her as nothing less than idle flirtation. And why should she think otherwise? As the wealthy son of an earl, Lord Denton may choose from among the most beautiful women of England’s first circles–none to which Lydia claims inclusion. In spite of her indignation over Lord Denton’s rakish maneuvering, she anguishes beneath the reality that he is forever beyond her reach. Tormented in a relentless battle to suppress a love she cannot overcome, Lydia resolves to leave the Ashcrofts and Danbury Park forever. After all, she is nothing to Denton–isn’t she?
I make no attempt to hide that I am a huge Jane Austen fan so when I got this one in the mail I had to read it right away. Lydia feels like a cross between Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and is written in the language and style of the Regency Era. The landscape includes sweeping vistas of English countryside, old historic broken down castles, a bookstore with leather bound tomes and docks harboring slave ships. Everything about Lydia immerses you in the period it is written. It feels authentic and weaves historical fact and figures into the storyline without being dry. The language is flowery, at times slow paced, but with Lord Denton around to stir things up you’ll want to keep reading. He’s the perfect mix of gorgeous gentleman and fiery politician with a romantic side and witty sense of humor. He’s also way out of reach for Lydia as he’s in the highest social circles and she has been reduced to a governess after her father’s death. The two literally run into each other in the countryside as Lydia is returning from one of her adventurous jaunts in the woods. From then on you’ll be pining for them to run into each other even more. It also helps that Lydia has Charles around a resident at the Ashcroft’s. Brotherly kindness, absolute loyalty and endearing compliments make him a strong male character as well.
I easily lost myself in this one. It took me less than 24 hours to finish and I would recommend it to adults as a clean Regency romance. My only hesitation with it was that the ending seemed rushed and too neatly tied up. At times the main heroine’s self depricating and longing thoughts also seemed to drone on a little bit. I personally would have liked the book better without the Epilogue because I feel it tipped it out of something I would let my teen read into better suited for an adult. But overall, if you are a sucker for anything Jane Austen you will be a huge fan of Lydia. It would make a great movie and I’m hoping to see the author Wanda Luce release more books along the same vein. She makes history and social progress interesting as she mixes it with just the right sprinkle of romance. Thanks so much to Walnut Springs for another great release! Learn more at Wanda Luce’s website.
Someone is watching . . .
As a young widow, all Elaina Bryant wants is a fresh start. Determined to put ten painful years behind her, she returns to her hometown and moves in with her sister, Natalie. Elaina soon accepts a job working at a small bookstore owned by the handsome Ryan Hill and his mother. Despite her reluctance to become romantically involved with anyone, she is drawn to Ryan and finds herself falling in love.
But someone isn’t happy with Elaina’s new life and is watching her every move. Her tormenter seems determined to destroy her sanity and her future, but Elaina can’t convince anyone the threat is real. Natalie is preoccupied with her own blossoming romance, and their friend Peter, a police officer, seems to believe the threat has been manufactured in Elaina’s own mind as a result of her guilt and grief.
Now Elaina’s plans for a new start are crashing down around her. She knows she will have to find the answers before she can overcome the past and enjoy love and happiness again. But how can she protect those she loves when she doesn’t know whom to trust?
This one’s a page turner! I picked up Double Deceit on vacation and couldn’t put it down until I found out how it all ended. You hear stories all the time about creepy stalker situations, but to become immersed in one as a reader was so fascinating.
Elaina has lost everything she loves in life except one younger sister. As a 19 year old she eloped and left home never to return. Then in a tragic turn of events, she loses her husband and infant daughter in a car accident. Alone and jobless, Elaina decides to return to her hometown to look for a fresh start. Her childhood home should be a welcoming place to heal and become a new person, but soon after her arrival things turn scary. She receives weird letters as well as phone calls warning her she needs to be alone. Elaina has isolated herself in the past and trusted no one. So opening up to her best friend Peter and a new man in town Ryan, to tell them what is unfolding proves difficult. Meanwhile things are heating up fast between her younger sister and her new boyfriend Chad giving Elaina bad flashbacks of her own mistakes.
Can Elaina, her sister and the two men get to the bottom of the mystery behind her strange follower before time runs out and they are all in danger?
I loved that the two main characters of Double Deceit meet and work at a book store.
Main love interest Ryan! He is the perfect gentleman and so supportive despite the fact that Elaina’s world is falling apart around her. With mysterious prank calls, hearing voices and disappearing evidence he could have easily chalked her up as crazy.
That Elaina comes into who she is as a person and uses therapy and a journal as well as a support system to help her grieve and change. So often in life and literature counseling is not discussed as an open and valuable tool.
I had a hard time with the last three chapters…talk about intense!
With suspension of disbelief about who her stalker was. I can’t give anything away but you’ll be kept guessing.
Content: domestic violence, kidnapping, no swearing or sexual content. Recommended for readers 17 and up.
In a sentence: Double Deceit was a well crafted suspenseful romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat and checking your locks.
I’m excited I’ve found Stephanie and am going to buy her other book, Finding Rose now that I know how talented she is.
You might also like: Rebound by Heather Justesen, Meg’s Melody by Kaylee Baldwin or Chocolate Roses by Joan Sowards.
The author, Stephanie Humphreys, is giving away a huge prize pack as part of the Double Deceit Blog Tour. Make sure to stop by each blog and come back to her site every day for chances to win prizes. The tour for Double Deceit starts Monday August 15 and runs through September 2.
She will be giving away a prize package each week.
Week 1 – Wild Irish Rose by Deborah L. Weikel, a beaded bookmark, and chocolate.
Week 2 – Running on Empty by J.Burns Alsto, a beaded bookmark, and chocolate.
Week 3 – $25 amazon gift card
There will also be a grand prize. This will include both of her books, Double Deceit and Finding Rose, a beaded bookmark, and of course chocolate. Here are the ways you can enter to win the prizes.
Become a follower of her blog.
Comment on any post or comment on any reviewer’s post.
Blog about the contest or the book tour
Mention the book on Facebook or Twitter
Leave a review of either of Stephanie Humphreys books on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.
Good luck and here’s a list of the 15 bloggers participating in the tour so you have lots of chances to win…
August 15 – Maria Hoagland
August 16 – Heather Gardner
August 17 – Rachelle Christensen
August 18 – Jane Still
August 19 – Deborah Davis
August 22 – Renae Mackley
August 23 – Cindy Hogan
August 24 – Matthew Tandy
August 25 – Taffy Lovell
August 26 – Kathy Habel
August 29 – Don Carey
August 30 – Teri Rodeman
August 31 – Cathy Witbeck
Sept. 1 – Shelly Seele
Sept. 2 – Tristi Pinkston
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
1) Grab your current read
2) Open to a random page
3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
4) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
“Her expression remained somber, but excitement crept into her voice. You are the Firstborn She…You must go to them. You want me to act as bait? Not bait, Emi. A spy. Our Trojan horse.”
“My Father slowly shook his head. “The Poldi won’t risk such a step, Emi, especially when it comes to maintaining their wealth, their power or their secrets.” p.101 Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
Watch for our review and author interview coming as part of her blog tour on August 9th!