Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.
But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.
Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.
It’s been a long time since I have bought a book on release day, but I did purchase Chain of Iron as soon as it came out. I loved book one in the Last Hours Series, Chain of Gold. (5 Stars. Pick it up if you haven’t already) Cassandra Clare has created a world of escape. No matter how many books I read of hers, I still enjoy everything she puts out.
Chain of Iron has so many plot twists and points of view. The marriage between Cordelia and James Herondale is beautiful and selfless. James shows what a gentleman he can be and Cordelia is selfless and strong. It was a delight to just sit with them in their home and enjoy the time they spent as a couple. I did not like the scenes of disloyalty and fleeting romantic encounters between characters, but, they are meant to be developing….young and reckless. The portrayal of alcoholism by two characters is raw and real.
The end was a bit muddled because there’s so much going on all at once. Plots converge at a cliffhanger for book 3. A year is a long time to wait for the ending!
Cassie is one of my favorite writers. She’s a master storyteller in every way. Gorgeous cover!
Content and trigger warnings: alcohol addiction, heavy petting, kissing, moderate violence.
About the Author
Cassandra Clare is the author of the #1 New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices trilogy, and coauthor of the Bane Chronicles with Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. She also wrote The Shadowhunter’s Codex with her husband, Joshua Lewis. Her books have more than 36 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Cassandra lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at CassandraClare.com. Learn more about the world of the Shadowhunters at Shadowhunters.com.
From the award-winning author of The Truth of Right Now comes a stunning, grounded fantasy in the vein of Dread Nation that follows a black teen as she finds her place among a family of women gifted with magical abilities.
In the Jim Crow South, white supremacy reigns and tensions are high. But Evalene Deschamps has other things to worry about. She has two little sisters to look after, an overworked single mother, and a longtime crush who is finally making a move.
On top of all that, Evvie’s magic abilities are growing stronger by the day. Her family calls it jubilation—a gift passed down from generations of black women since the time of slavery. And as Evvie’s talents waken, something dark comes loose and threatens to resurface…
And when the demons of Evvie’s past finally shake free, she must embrace her mighty lineage, and summon the power that lies within her.
“A lyrical novel about a young Black woman discovering her power.” —PopSugar
“The exploration of home, and the reflection on how a place where you can’t be safe can nevertheless be called home, is powerful. A compelling story of first love and battling racism with a magical twist.” —Kirkus, starred review
“A well-told, fast-paced story about a teenage girl coming of age, while coming to terms with her family’s legacy.” —SLJ, starred review
“Corthron brings her writing talent to the realm of YA with a powerful story about a magic-wielding Black teen in the Jim Crow South…Corthron inventively explores America’s heinous racist history while telling the story of a Black teen grappling with a hostile culture on top of ordinary teenage growing pains, like a first crush. Readers swept up by Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation series will gravitate to this historical fantasy, almost as if by magic.” —Booklist
“The legacy of slavery, the persistence of racism, and the intergenerational trauma experienced by Black women and girls are explored with a deft hand. . . . Evvie’s narration is bold and self-assured.” —BCCB
Breview: Heart wrenching book set in the Jim Crow South. There are some beautiful moments about love. The violence endured by the main characters is devastating. I cried. The author creates a hopeful ending to a horrible past.
Content and trigger warnings: sexual abuse of a child, lynching, racial violence, swearing, sex scene. Mature read.
About the Author
Kara Lee Corthron is a playwright, author, and TV writer based in Los Angeles. Her full-length plays include AliceGraceAnon (New Georges), Holly Down in Heaven (Forum Theatre, DC area), Listen for the Light (Know Theatre of Cincinnati), Welcome to Fear City (CATF and Kansas City Rep, Kilroys’ List 2016), Etched in Skin on a Sunlit Night (InterAct Theatre, Philadelphia), What Are You Worth?, and Time and a Half. Kara is the author of the young-adult novels, The Truth of Right Now from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse and Daughters of Jubilation from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Awards: the 2019 Otis L. Guernsey New Voices in Playwriting Award,theParents’ Choice Gold Award and a Kirkus Star for The Truth of Right Now, the Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Fellowship, Boomerang Fund for Artists Grant, 2012-2014 Women’s Project Lab Time Warner Foundation Fellowship, The Vineyard Theatre’s 3rd Annual Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Princess Grace Award, the Helen Merrill Award, Lincoln Center’s Lecomte du Nouy Prize (three-time recipient), the Theodore Ward Prize, the New Professional Theatre Writers Award, and residencies at MacDowell (four-time fellow), Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), Hawthornden Castle (Scotland), Skriðuklaustur (Iceland), Camargo (Cultural Diaspora Creative Residency, France), Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and Ledig House. She’s a proud member of New Dramatists. Currently under commission for La Jolla Playhouse. Past commissions include South Coast Rep, New Georges, Playwrights Horizons Theater School, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, InterAct, EST/Sloan, and Naked Angels.
Caroline Gray’s third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it’s because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband.
However, her family’s dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn’t work, Caroline cannot return home.
Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the Fishing Fleet, he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away.
The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip’s first night’s dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty.
The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer.
Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother’s wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met, thus securing a future for her and her mother, or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last?
“A charming historical romance in which smarts and sass are vindicated.”— Foreword Reviews
“…a delightful, not exactly traditional Regency romance. Teen readers will enjoy this adventurous journey with its proactive heroine and exotic settings.”— Booklist, starred review
“An unconventional woman finds herself at home at sea in this stirring Regency from Julie Wright…This adventure is sure to entice fans of historical romance.”— Publishers Weekly
I’ve been on a bit of a Naval Historical novel kick lately. After reading Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks, A Captain for Caroline was perfect. They have similar themes, characters and ship based settings… historical fiction at its finest.
Caroline is off to secure her future. Her choices are being narrowed at the hand of her family and of an Englishman living in India. She’s a bluestocking–outspoken, intelligent. Being fluent in political discussion is all but forbidden for ladies. She’s not afraid to speak her mind. She believes this practice in London’s society circles fails to make her a match and leaves her without girls to call friends. Trying to fit in with the crowd, Caroline loses her feisty spirit. Wright teaches an important message about being true to who you are.
Thomas is a sea captain, in charge of helping many of the ladies of England seeking a husband to India. He’s stubborn and hard headed at times. As a reader, you’ll find yourself wanting to yell at him for his assumptions.
With stops and starts in their relationship, Wright builds a historical romance which teaches about the dangers of gossip, the need to be true to yourself and the value of sincere apologies. The villains of the story could have been a little more well fleshed out, but that’s about all I missed in this book. I so loved being swept away at sea once again. The Proper Romance series by Shadow Mountain continues to put out wonderful books!
Content: clean, mild violence.
Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen and has written over twenty novels since then. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me, and she is a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.
She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition). She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.
Join the virtual blog tour of A CAPTAIN FOR CAROLINE GRAY (Proper Romance Regency), Julie Wright’s highly acclaimed historical romance novel March 1 – 28, 2021. Over forty popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard an English ship bound for India.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
March 01 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)
March 01 Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
March 02 Storeybook Reviews (Review)
March 02 Lu Reviews Books (Review)
March 02 Bookworm Lisa (Review)
March 03 Probably at the Library (Excerpt)
March 03 Our Book Confessions (Review)
March 03 Lady with a Quill (Review)
March 04 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)
March 04 Fire & Ice (Review)
March 05 Literary Time Out (Review)
March 05 Among the Reads (Review)
March 06 Books and Socks Rock (Review)
March 07 Encouraging Words (Excerpt)
March 08 So Little Time… (Review)
March 09 For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)
March 10 Laura’s Reviews (Review)
March 10 My Bookish Bliss (Review)
March 11 Heidi Reads (Review)
March 12 Reading with Emily (Review)
March 13 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)
March 14 Silver Petticoat Reviews (Excerpt)
March 15 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
March 16 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)
March 16 Greenish Bookself (Review)
March 17 Inkwell Inspirations (Review)
March 18 A Darn Good Read (Review)
March 19 Relz Reviewz (Review)
March 20 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)
March 20 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)
March 21 Jorie Loves a Story (Review)
March 22 From Pemberley to Milton (Review)
March 23 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)
March 23 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)
March 24 Captivated Reading (Review)
March 24 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)
March 25 Roseanne E. Lortz (Review)
March 26 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please (Review)
The Soldier’s Unexpected Family(Heroines of Hollydale #3)By Tanya Agler
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 230 Pages
March 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming
He had a plan…She changed it all!
Major Aidan Murphy arrives in the charming small town of Hollydale to take full guardianship of his six-year-old nephew. Only there’s a slight problem—his vivacious, fiery co-guardian. School teacher Natalie Harrison has no intention of letting Aidan take her best friend’s heartbroken little boy away. Now Aidan must convince Natalie that blood is stronger than love…even if his heart tells him otherwise.
Tanya Agler remembers the first set of Harlequin books her grandmother gifted her, and she’s been in love with romance novels ever since. An award-winning author, Tanya makes her home in Georgia with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable rescue beagle. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies and a good cup of tea. Visit her at www.tanyaagler.com or email her at email@example.com.
The Soldier’s Unexpected Family is squeaky clean romance set in Hollydale, a small town with a big heart. Aidan and Natalie are vying for their stewardship of little boy Danny, who lost his mother unexpectedly..one co-guardian a best friend and one an uncle. A lot of the book is taken up by their battering of white way is the best way and which environment will be the best. Planning and discipline or home grown love and stability of placement. There’s discussion of counseling, trauma and avoiding uncomfortable feelings through distraction and projects, or over controlling one’s life plan.
I loved Hollydale’s quirky characters. The pie contest bribes and wars, the Mayor who is willing to look for unconventional leadership options. There is a strong sense of family and duty to country. At times the dialogue seems a bit repetitive between the two main characters. Overall, it’s a light summer read with a homey feel. I loved the larger print paperback and the cover image fits the story well. Thanks to the author who was amazingly kind and to the book tour hosts.
Content and trigger warnings: mention of death, night terrors. Clean.
Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.
What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.
Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…
The Saint-Martins are cursed in love and relationships. Their town Beauty is built on half-truths and digging up dirt on others, then spreading it like wildfire. Josie, an amateur photographer, daughter of a famous professional photographer, has moved back with her mother after many years away. Sucked into the vortex of their past and their messy history, Josie wants to get away. The St. Martin girls live in and run the family business– Siren’s Book Nook. Who lurks in first day back, but Lucky Karras, bad boy and former crush?
There’s so much more to this contemporary YA than the dreamy seascape atmosphere. It’s about learning to break down invisible walls and navigating communication….second chances and keeping promises. Nothing is as it seems at first glance. Family is complicated, but loyal.
Love, Love, Loved Chasing Lucky! Thank you Simon and Schuster for the review copy.
Quote:“But Beauty is an insanely finger-wagging, gossipy town that has made an art of shunning outcasts since it was a colonial village, and people are publicly judged, facts or no facts.” (p.45)
Content and trigger warnings: mention of pornography, predatory relationship, homelessness, stalking, moderate swearing, abortion, sneaking out, lying, misuse of personal images, talk of sex, parental neglect.
About the Author
Jenn Bennett is the author of over a dozen books, including the young adult titles: ALEX, APPROXIMATELY; STARRY EYES; SERIOUS MOONLIGHT; and THE LADY ROGUE. She also writes romance and fantasy for adults. Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, been Goodreads Choice Award nominees, and have been included on annual Best Book lists for both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two dogs. Visit her at www.jennbennett.net.
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.
1920’s re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet set in Shanghai, China. Blood feuds, gangs, opium dens, a contagion, politics. These Violent Delights is fast paced and vicious. What I loved most of all was rich world building based on history and the multi-layered storytelling. All that glitters is not gold. Chloe Gong knows her characters and the forces behind imperial China.
Juliette is fierce. Princess of the Red Flowers, sent away to speakeasy New York, the heroine collides with her Eastern roots when she returns to Shanghai. Roma is Russian, heir to the White Flower regime, he will risk it all for the one he loves.
Action packed with visually lush scenes and constant intrigue. Two rival gangs need to find common ground. Communism is on the rise, workers are unhappy, all the while people are dying and a monster is lurking.
There’s so much to love. This is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Unique. I plan to read the whole series.
Thanks to McElderry books for the book, the cover is beautiful!
Content: heavy violence, drinking, opium.
About the Author
Chloe Gong is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, studying English and International Relations. During her breaks, she’s either at home in New Zealand or visiting her many relatives in Shanghai. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear by chanting “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and doesn’t deserve its slander in pop culture” into a mirror three times. You can find her on Twitter @thechloegong, check out her website at thechloegong.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Concert Film LAMB OF GOD Announces Big Screen Release Date -Film Opens Exclusively in Theaters on Friday, March 12-
Salt Lake City – Writer, Director and Composer Rob Gardner in partnership with Excel Entertainment and Purdie Distribution announced today the release of a new, groundbreaking concert film adaptation of Gardner’s acclaimed oratorio, LAMB OF GOD. The new film opens in theatres nationwide on Friday, March 12, 2021, featuring acclaimed performers, a never-before-heard song and narration.
Told entirely through music, LAMB OF GOD portrays the final week in the life of Jesus Christ. The story is told from the perspective of those who loved and followed Him, including Peter, John, Thomas, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and Christ’s mother, Mary. Filmed in Utah at the Utah Film Studios in Park City, LAMB OF GOD stars acclaimed musical artists Casey Elliott of GENTRI, Oyoyo Bonner, Tyler Hardwick, Katherine Thomas, Emily Moffat, and many more.
“I’ve dreamed and planned for years to create a concert film of ‘Lamb of God’ and I am thrilled to bring this new cinematic, can’t miss experience to long-time fans and newcomers alike,” said creator Rob Gardner. “We brought together a world-class, once-in-a-lifetime cast and crew to create this film. And I am absolutely overjoyed that we are able to release it in theatres in time for Easter, and help bring light and hope so desperately needed at this time.”
Fans have compared “Lamb of God” to Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem and in the past decade, “Lamb of God” has been performed throughout the world by tens of thousands of performers for millions of fans encompassing nearly every Christian faith. In addition, the original recording of “Lamb of God” featuring the London Symphony Orchestra and Spire Chorus has been streamed millions of times. The new big-screen version features a new, original song as well as updated narration. “This unique film brings Gardner’s incredible music to the big screen for the first time,” said Brandon Purdie, founder of Purdie Distribution and co-producer of the film. “Audiences will be thrilled to experience this sacred music in a whole new way.”
About The Show: This Easter, experience the power of the last week of Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry as told through the widely celebrated and sacred oratorio, LAMB OF GOD. This unique concert film brings composer Rob Gardner’s work to the big screen for the first time. Join us for breathtaking performances from new soloists, a new orchestration, and a close-up view of this work that has been compared to Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem.
About Rob Gardner: Rob Gardner began his musical career in high school as a member of and arranger for the a cappella band Two Five Nine. The group recorded 5 albums together and, while in college, toured around the country. From there, Rob began composing original works for film, theater and the concert stage. He is the author of a handful of stage musicals, including Blackbeard, The Price of Freedom, and 12 Princesses. Rob has also composed several sacred music oratorios. Rob is an accomplished producer and conductor and appears regularly on the concert stage conducting his works.
Rob has a bachelor’s degree in Management and Entrepreneurship from Brigham Young University. He also attended the University of Southern California, doing graduate studies in the prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program. He currently resides in Gilbert, AZ.
A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”
Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.
Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.
“Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton’s charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances.”— Publishers Weekly
“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson, RegencyProofreading.com
Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily
“Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love.”— Booklist, starred review
Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.
Papa was in the cabin when Lieutenant Peyton came to retrieve his coat that night. Georgana did not know why her stomach twisted when her father expressed his surprise at the visit.
Georgana put her head down. She quickly finished off a last stitch on the coat and wove the tail of thread into the other stitches. The location of the hole made the repair more obvious
than the mending she had done on her father’s coat. She hoped it would meet the lieutenant’s expectations.
“George has been so kind as to mend my coat for me,” Lieutenant Peyton said.
Georgana felt Papa’s gaze. She had very little interaction with the men on the ship beyond relaying messages.
“Ah. I thought it was mine.” He feigned interest in the notes before him on the table, but Georgana saw him watching them.
“I’ve finished, sir.” She held out the coat to Lieutenant Peyton, but his eyes were on an open book sitting on the table. Her heart leaped into her throat. Her sketchbook.
The lieutenant picked it up and flipped through the pages. “Did you draw these, George?”
She wanted to pull his coat over her head. After finishing the mending, she had planned to make her first attempt at drawing a person. Thank heavens she hadn’t already begun.
“These are very good.” He held the book toward the lantern light, examining each image.
“They’re just waves,” Georgana said. She hoped the confession would dissuade him from continuing his perusal.
It didn’t. He gave each page more attention than the silly sketches deserved. “I can never grow tired of looking at waves. You have talent, George.”
Hardly. She bit her tongue, hoping to avoid blushing under his praise. “Your coat, sir.”
The lieutenant finally set down her book. “Thank you.” He inspected the mending. “If I did not already know you came from a naval family, I would ask your father’s profession, Mr. Taylor. Where did you learn how to do this?”
What did she say to that? Grandmother had made her learn mending.
Her father cleared his throat, turning the lieutenant’s attention back to him. “Has Jarvis’s temper cooled?”
Georgana relaxed. As much as she would have preferred to talk to the lieutenant alone, she was grateful her father had stayed in tonight.
“I believe so, sir.”
Lieutenant Peyton held up his coat. “Thank you, George. Good evening, Captain.”
Her father followed him to the door and shut it behind the lieutenant. When the sound of Peyton’s footsteps faded, he whirled.
“Does he know?”
Georgana’s eyes widened. “No, Captain.”
Her father let out a breath. His hand rose to his forehead. “Peyton has shown a marked interest in you of late. Does he suspect?”
Georgana swallowed. “I don’t think so.” Papa remained unaware of the defense lessons with the lieutenant, and she didn’t think he would appreciate knowing. Keeping things from her
father came easily. More easily than it should. She had kept Grandmother’s mistreatment hidden most of her life.
“You must be careful in your interactions with the men on this ship. We cannot be too cautious.” He returned to the table and sat heavily. He picked up his pen again, dipped into the inkwell, and continued the notes from before Lieutenant Peyton’s visit. “I cannot understand why he would take an interest in you.”
“Perhaps . . .”
He looked up and waited.
“Perhaps he saw a lonely cabin boy who needed a friend.” Her voice came out small and shaky.
Papa stared at her, mouth open as if to speak. But no words came. Eventually he closed it and turned back to his work.
Georgana slipped her needle into its place in her trunk, then plucked up her book and pencils. She took them to the chair by the windows and set a lantern on a sill. Papa would have to be her first unsuspecting subject.
They didn’t speak again that night. She drew until her father lay on his cot and let down the curtains. When his exhales deepened, she stopped her work on his likeness and turned to a fresh sheet.
Georgana drew lines for the bulwark, then outlined a head and shoulders. Arms resting against the rail. Hair flying back. Eyes closed. Ends of his lips lifted. She held the book back to
examine her work. The picture did not look like the lieutenant.
Grandmother cried out in her head. Mistake! Mistake!
Her fingers slowly, quietly tore the page from her book. She eased the window open enough to stick her hand through and released the page into the night air. It drifted this way and that until coming to rest on the surface of the water. The paper tarried a moment, then faded into the deep.
Chapter 6 Pages. 51-54
Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11 – February 14, 2021. Over forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard a Royal Naval ship.
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying curse, swoon-worthy sea captains, and the power of one girl to choose her own fate in this contemporary standalone adventure that's perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and Seafire, and for anyone who has ever felt unchosen.
For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.
The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.
The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.
Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.
When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.
The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.
But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.
Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.
Gorgeous cover, pirates, zombie apocalypse. Unchosen is fast paced and action filled. Three sisters in the middle of a plague spread through eye contact. This book was way out of my usual genre with horror elements, but I was pulled in quickly with a daring rescue of human cargo on the sea. The world building is multi layered and complicated, at times the contagion and plot elements are a bit confusing. The characters are amazing. Charlotte finds her strong voice and her role. The main male hero is on point and perfect for Charlotte. Folklore, fantasy, dystopian elements with a cinematic feel. Once you pick it up, it’s hard to put down! Thank you Katherine Tegen Books/ HarperCollins for the unforgettable saga!
Content: heavy swearing, violence, mention of sex, human trafficking.
About Katharyn Blair
Oh, hi. My name is in very large letters at the top of this heading, so I assume you know my name (Katharyn).
And what I do (Write novels and screenplays).
I live in LA, drink way too much coffee, and write all day long — because I’m crazy blessed to do what I’ve been doing for fun since I was a kid hiding in my garage loft writing terrible, terrible vampire stories. Glitter enthusiast. Bethyl shipper. Pluviophile. Ask me about my Dean Winchester obsession. John 1:5.
I’m wife to Ross and mom to Aryn, Liam, and River Grace. Also, mom to Cricket (a dog, not an insect), Maximus Dogimus Meridius (a ferocious cuddlebug) Maggie Rhee (cat, not the bad ass from The Walking Dead), and Kovacs (no parenthetical needed for him). Source: https://www.katharynblair.com/about
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