A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of Austens of Broadford: The Midwife Chronicles (Book 3) by Carole Penfield

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Merry Christmas Eve to one and all. Are you ready for the big day?

Can you image how the Christmas holiday season was celebrated in England in the early 1700s? Featured today is an exclusive excerpt from Austens of Broadford, by Carole Penfield, sharing a New Year’s Day dinner party and gift-exchange typical with English families during this time.

The new novel fictionalizes the life of Jane Austen’s great grandmother Elizabeth Weller Austen who lived in Horsmonden, Kent. The Austens of Broadford is the third stand-alone novel in The Midwife Chronicles series and was Continue reading “A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of Austens of Broadford: The Midwife Chronicles (Book 3) by Carole Penfield”

Frenchman’s Creek, by Daphne du Maurier—A Review

Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du MaurierFrom the desk of Tracy Hickman:

Revisiting a classic novel years after first reading it can yield surprises. Add a hazy recollection of major plot points and you are approaching a fresh canvas rather than a reproduction of a familiar portrait. I was intrigued to revisit Frenchman’s Creek because having last read it in high school, I retained only a faint memory of dissatisfaction with its ending, but found I was unable to recall the specifics of the story. Would rereading the novel confirm my youthful opinion or uncover a different experience of Daphne du Maurier’s adventure?

Originally published in 1941, Frenchman’s Creek features the coast of Cornwall as the setting for a romantic novel featuring an English aristocrat and a French pirate. The heroine, Lady Dona St. Columb, is the toast of Restoration London. She is beautiful, reckless, and enjoys flouting social conventions, but underneath the froth and frivolity, Dona admits to herself that she is bored with and ashamed of her hollow flirtations and outrageous pranks. At the opening of the novel, she leaves London for Navron, her husband’s estate in Cornwall. Continue reading “Frenchman’s Creek, by Daphne du Maurier—A Review”

Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor — A Review

Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor (2000)From the desk of Pamela Mingle:

When I was a young girl, I found a copy of Forever Amber on my aunt’s bookcase. I’d heard about its scandalous reputation and asked if I could borrow it. Written by Kathleen Winsor and published in 1944, the book became famous for its racy and bawdy storyline. It was banned in Massachusetts and subsequently in several other states. Preachers railed against it from their pulpits. Despite all that, Forever Amber was the bestselling book of the 1940s, and by 1947 the movie, a very condensed version of the book, starring Linda Darnell and Cornel Wilde, was released.

As a teenager, the frenetic passion between the two main characters, Amber St. Clare and Bruce, Lord Carlton, was all I cared about. The heady feeling of experiencing a great romance through a literary character stuck with me through the years. Although explicit sex is kept behind closed doors, the underlying desire between Amber and Bruce is always there, simmering beneath the surface. Continue reading “Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor — A Review”

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