Thursday, February 23, 2023

Meet Rachel Brimble and Read About Her Newest Victorian Romance, VICTORIA AND VIOLET (The Royal Maids Book One)

Rachel is a fellow Wild Rose Press author, and she hosted me on her blog the other day. I'm reciprocating, as I enjoy hosting authors of any genre. Meet Rachel, her heroine Violet Parker, her hero James Greene, and the overwhelming odds they overcame to fall in love!

About Rachel

Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of 29 novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin). Her latest novel, Victoria & Violet was released 17th October 2022.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association as well as the Historical Novel Society and has thousands of social media followers all over the world. 

About Victoria & Violet

It should be a dream come true to serve the Queen of England…

When Violet Parker is told she will be Queen Victoria’s personal housemaid, she

cannot believe her good fortune. She finally has the chance to escape her

overbearing mother, a servant to the Duchess of Kent.

Violet hopes to explore who she is and what the world has to offer without her

mother’s schemes overshadowing her every thought and action.

Then she meets James Greene, assistant to the queen's chief political adviser,

 Lord Melbourne. From entirely different backgrounds and social class, Violet and

James should have neither need nor desire to speak to one another, yet through

their service, their paths cross and their lives merge--as do their feelings. Only

Victoria's court is not always the place for romance, but rather secrets, scandals,

and conspiracies...

Five Reasons You Should Read Victoria & Violet 

Victoria & Violet is my 28th novel and the first book I have written that includes real people and real events – to do this was a long-held ambition of mine that has finally come to fruition, and I loved writing every word. Now I pray readers will take it into their hearts just as deeply as I have…

Reasons to read:

1)      If you are a fan of British period dramas, then this is the book for you! I am period drama obsessed, and they inevitably influence my writing. As you follow Victoria, Violet and hero James on their journey and burgeoning relationships, you will find yourself embroiled in ample story threads that lead to satisfying doses drama, intrigue & romance!

2)      If you love British royal history (especially Queen Victoria, of course!) – I have included many real events that occurred in the early reign of Queen Victoria and take you right into her heart and mind as they are unfolding. The book is told from her housemaid’s point of view, so I hope it feels like a new and unique incite into events that you have heard about, but maybe did not know too much.

3)      Violet Parker – Violet is without doubt one of my favorite heroines ever. When the book opens, she is in an unbearable situation under the control of her mother and Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent. However, despite her nervousness and fear, the reader quickly gets a sense of Violet’s steeliness, too. Writing her character growth was a joy and I came to admire her so very much.

4)      The settings – another reason I loved writing this book was the chance to re-create Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle in 1839. I have been lucky enough to visit both of these royal palaces over the last few years, and it wasn’t hard to imagine what might or might not have changed over the last 180 years or so. My imagination went into overdrive, and it was wonderful…

5)      James Greene – if I’m honest James was a little bit of an enigma to me when I was writing the first draft of this book. He was there, I could see him, hear his voice and see certain cheeky mannerisms, but I couldn’t quite get into his heart. That all changed when I took him back to his family home in Oxfordshire. When he is at Cassington Park, James cannot hide his vulnerabilities and flaws – that was when I fell in love with him and I hope readers do, too…

Purchase Victoria & Violet

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Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Abraham Lincoln's Birthday and my Civil War Romance A NECESSARY END


Hello, readers. I'd like to honor President Lincoln's birthday with a blog post about 

A NECESSARY END, my paranormal twist on Booth's insane plot to assassinate President Lincoln.  I’ve been a Lincoln buff since childhood, and decided to combine my love of Lincoln and the paranormal. 

Abraham Lincoln has fascinated me since I was eight years old. I don’t know what got me started, but it might’ve been a book which I still have titled The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1, written in 1895. When I was in 3rd grade, in the mid-60s (which shows how long I’ve been a Lincoln nut), my teacher asked us to bring a book to school from home, for a show & tell. My mother suggested I bring this Lincoln book, which even in 1966 was in bad shape—yellowed, stiffened strips of Scotch tape barely held the covers to the spine. With the wisdom of an 8-year-old that sadly, all of us outgrow, I demurred, saying, “This old book? She’ll think we’re poor!” My mother corrected me: “No, she’ll think we’re rich. Books like this are rare.” Then she proceeded to tape it up some more. Those 47-year-old Scotch tape fragments adhere to the book’s spine and pages to this day. My teacher, Miss Cohen, was duly impressed. I treasure that book to this day, and it’s one of many on my “Lincoln shelf” which holds books about our murdered president, his wife Mary, his assassin John Wilkes Booth and his family, the “Mad Booths of Maryland” and the conspirators who faced the gallows or years of hard labor because Booth, their charismatic leader, sucked these poor impressionable souls into his insane plot. 

After writing 8 historicals set in England and New York City, I wanted to indulge my passion for Lincoln-lore. I began researching in depth about Lincoln’s life, his presidency, his role in the Civil War, and Booth’s plans to first kidnap him, and then to assassinate him. 

This is a short list of the many books I read for research: 

The Day Lincoln Was Shot by Jim Bishop. (I read this in one sitting—I am not exaggerating. I could NOT put it down)

 The Unlocked Book by Asia Booth Clarke. Asia is John Wilkes Booth’s sister. She and her husband were arrested after the assassination. 

The Mad Booths of Maryland by Stanley Kimmel. A fascinating insight into what made the Booth family tick—John Wilkes’s parents, Junius and Mary Ann, had ten children, and Junius had another wife and child in England, where they originally came from. 

A True History of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Louis WeichmannLouis lived in Mary Surratt’s boardinghouse, where Booth and the other conspirators met to hatch their heinous plot. Louis was not charged as a conspirator, but Mrs. Surratt and the 3 other conspirators were. They were all hanged in July 1865. 

A NECESSARY END combines two genres I’m passionate about—history and paranormal. I joined The Surratt Society, based in Maryland, and attended their conferences and tours. Through the Surratt Society I met several Lincoln/Booth/Civil War experts. One lady I’ll never forget meeting is Marjorie “Peg” Page, who claimed to be John Wilkes Booth’s great granddaughter. My trips to Lincoln's home and tomb in Springfield, Illinois, Gettysburg, Ford’s Theater, and the house he died in, Petersen House, brought me close to Mr. Lincoln’s spirit. My travels also acquainted me with Booth’s brother Edwin, the most famous actor of his time, and his unconventional family.  A recording of Edwin’s voice reciting Shakespeare on one of Edison’s wax cylinders still exists at

Tragically, we’ll never hear Abraham Lincoln’s voice. But his spirit lives on. In my book, which is fiction--but we all know that novels are fictionalized truths--I gave Booth what was coming to him. He got his justice in real life, but in A NECESSARY END, he also got the paranormal twist he deserves. 

And I enjoyed sticking it to him! 

I paralleled the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar in this story because in the play, Caesar was known as a tyrant to the Senators, who feared losing their power, as Booth feared losing the Confederacy. Booth always considered Lincoln the tyrant, hence his proclamation ‘sic simper tyrannis’ (be it ever to tyrants) when he jumped to the stage after shooting Lincoln. 

Caesar’s Senators, Brutus and Cassius among them, conspired to stab Caesar to death on an appointed day. Booth recruited a group of like-minded disciples to aid him in his insane plot, at first to kidnap Lincoln, then to kill him. 

By day, Booth was a Confederate spy and courier, taking dangerous missions so that his beloved South could fight the North in the war that tore the nation in two. But in this story, an even darker secret plagues him–he believes he’s the reincarnation of Brutus, the man who slew the tyrant Caesar, and Booth’s destiny in this life is to murder the tyrant who’s ravaged the South—Abraham Lincoln. In obeying the spirit of Brutus, Booth devises a plot to assassinate the tyrant. 

I wrote it as a paranormal instead of a straight historical novel because spirituality was extremely popular in 1865 and all throughout Victorian times. Mary Lincoln was a staunch spiritualist. So stricken with grief after the deaths of her boys Willie and Eddie, she hired mediums such as Nettie Maynard to visit the White House and hold séances in attempts to contact her boys from beyond the grave. 

The extent of séances, table-tapping, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, and otherworldly activities in this era fit perfectly with the story I wanted to tell. We could never enter Booth’s head, but his insane behavior begs the question: was he truly haunted by a spirit who drove him to his heinous act that changed history forever?

Or was he simply insane? 


And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I; Brutus, my country's friend; know me for Brutus!" Booth declared to the proud reflections in his three facing mirrors.

          The center mirror clouded over. Puzzled, he leaned into it to peer closer. His  reflection faded as if the mirror were clear glass, and another human form took shape, becoming sharper as the mist faded. He was astonished to be looking into the face of a man whose eyes bored into his, pinning him with an unnerving stare. Booth took a step back, glancing to the left, then to the right, but his own reflections were moving right along with him. He focused once more on the stranger in the center, the Roman nose giving the weathered features distinction. He’d seen this face before, but where?

          The head nodded and the hint of a pleased smile curled the thin lips. Without so much as a word, the figure faded into the mirror’s eternal depths, and Booth was once again looking at his own astonished face.

          “Damn you! Who are you?” He pounded the mirror and it wavered, his image jerking back and forth with the moving glass.

          Exasperated, he turned away.

          “I’ll find out who you are if I die doing it.” He twirled around to face the mirror, seeing only his three perplexed reflections.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Meet SciFi Author Elaine Isaak and Read About Her New (Released Tuesday) YA Title A WRECK OF DRAGONS


Meet Elaine

Elaine writes knowledge inspired adventure fiction including The Dark Apostle series about medieval surgery as by E. C. Ambrose, and the Bone Guard archaeological thrillers as by E. Chris Ambrose. She's a frequent workshop instructor and former adventure guide who makes wearable art in her free time. Another recent adventure is interactive superhero novel Skystrike: Wings of Justice, for Choice of Games.

About A WRECK OF DRAGONS in Elaine's Words

I am thrilled to announce the launch of A Wreck of Dragons! This young adult science fiction novel could be described as "Pacific Rim" meets "How to Train your Dragon."  Author Julie E. Czerneda, called it, "A stellar work of science fiction!"  And fellow New Hampshire SF author R.W.W. Greene said it was "a gut punch to the mecha v. kaiju genre."

We’re not animals working on instinct; we’re not machines, just running programs. We choose. That, more than anything else, is what makes us human. I’m trying real hard to make the right choice.

With his giant robot, Norgay, orphaned teen Johari leads a team of scouts to find a new planet for mankind.  The next prospect has it all:  a great climate, nearly perfect air, and no signs of civilization.  As the team dives in for their inspection, Johari's best friend risks exposure to the alien world to claim biological samples that might be the salvation of their own species. Then the sample he shatters draws the wrath of angry, flying reptiles, and his own robot companion sacrifices itself to shield the fragile humans.

Johari races to save his friend and raise one of their precious bots from beneath an alien sea—only to find he's being hunted by dragons.  As he's cast into a world of doubts, Johari suspects that these monsters are more than they seem.  Will he claim a new world for mankind—and allow them to destroy their own humanity?

Johari stared down the barrel of the gun, standing between humanity and their future. All he had to do was die.

Read an excerpt and find links to all the formats on the publisher's website, WaterDragon Publishing. (Yes, it did seem like a perfect fit for this book!)






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