Friday, October 28, 2022

Enter into the past with two mystery novels, time travel and spies, by Diane Scott Lewis

 

In a neglected cemetery, Tamara falls two hundred years into the past. Will she find her way home, or stay with the rebel farmer who is capturing her heart?

"A fabulous and compelling time-travel romance that 
readers will revel in. Full of twists and turns... The character development is skillful and impressive.
An original work of fiction written with a unique and 
extraordinary voice."

~ Reviews, ChickLit Cafe

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Countess Eseld returns to England in the midst of the French Revolution, determined to catch a spy. But will her old love Robert, now working with the Secret Services, complicate her mission? Or could their passion revive?

"The author's research into the period shines through in every paragraph of this tale. I was never pulled out of the story by a tidbit that didn't ring true. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and To Entice a Spy ranks among the best." *Gina Rae Mitchell*

Friday, October 14, 2022

This Tarnished Light by Laura Strickland reviewed by Diane Scott Lewis

 


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In Victorian London, Polly lives in comfortable poverty with her parents and baby sister. Her father fashions dolls, and her mother sews their garments. Polly helps her. Then one day her father grows ill and soon dies. Her mom has no way to pay the rent. The landlord preys upon her, favors for rent. Soon the woman has no choice. The baby becomes ill and also dies. Polly and her mom are moved to a smaller apartment in a worse part of the tenements.


Polly, now twelve, is disgusted by the landlord's actions with her mom. She huddles in the freezing yard to save herself from the ugly ministrations. A boy notices her and they talk. His name is Albert and he's friendly and kind. They become close friends. Albert says he'll marry her one day. He brings her food but she has no idea where he gets the money to buy it.

Polly's mother finds she's with child but the landlord orders her to get rid of it. She drinks a drought and it kills her. Polly is now out on the streets. Albert is arrested for thievery, leaving her all alone in the world. She tries to find work but no one will hire her. She meets Darcy who promises her a better life if she gives herself to men, men sick with the Pox who hope a virgin will cure them.

At fifteen, she soon finds her choices are few. Will Albert return once his sentence is up? Will he still marry her if she sullies herself?

Strickland writes a heartbreaking tale of desperation, extreme poverty, and the love of two young people who scrounge to survive. The novel reminded me of Charles Dicken's tales, but without the overly descriptive prose. I rooted for Polly to prevail in a world set against her. Albert is always her hero, he never judges her. Sadly, the poor have limited options.

An interesting aspect is that Polly perceives "light" in certain people, especially her mom and Albert, and this helps her grasp onto hope.

Holding on to the fact the heroine is speaking from the grave would have been a great twist. But this comes out quite early. And I wished Polly could have found more happiness.

Some may not like the grim atmosphere of the story, but I found it very Dickensonian, so it reads a bit like one of the classics.

Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund. 

To find out more about her novels, check out her Amazon page:

DianeScottLewis


Friday, October 7, 2022

The Twenty-one Year Contract, L. B. Griffin, reviewed by Diane Scott Lewis

 



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In the 1950s, young Kate is devastated when her adopted parents are killed in a car crash. But her handsome Uncle Jack takes over her care. However, his busy life precludes him from being a day to day surrogate father. He sends her to boarding school. Kate, at fifteen, realizes she needs to forge her own life and runs away to London. Her dream is to be a clothing designer. She also laments over who were her birth parents. Why did they give her up?

She finds a job at a small design company, but soon meets a shady woman named Dorian. Dorian offers her contacts, assignments, but she has a darker side that could destroy Kate if she doesn't cooperate.

After Kate meets Hester, they quickly bond, but Hester is also heading down a dark road with an unscrupulous man. How can they help one another?

Secrets from both their pasts surface in surprising ways.

Author Griffin dribbles in hints of secrets and lies throughout the story. Kate is a likeable heroine, talented and determined. She involves herself in charity, showing her kindness.

This is not an action-packed story, but one about family, betrayal, emotion, and love. I enjoyed finding out the truth about Kate's past.

This novel is the sequel to Secrets, Shame and a Shoebox, which might tell more of Hester's story. Will there be a third?


Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund. 

To find out more about her novels, check out her Amazon page:

DianeScottLewis



Excellent Review by Terry Newman VINE VOICE, by Diane Scott Lewis

  To purchase, click HERE Prepare to fall in love with To Entice a Spy Intrigue. Espionage. Romance. If you love these elements in an histor...