Today is the cover reveal for my good friend’s wonderful book – The Innkeeper’s Daughter by Bianca M. Schwarz. Isn’t it gorgeous?
Release January 12, 2021
In the twilight of a November evening, Sir Henry, a man of wealth and charm, comes across a badly beaten Eliza, desperate to escape her vicious stepfather. Realizing she has nowhere to go, Sir Henry takes her to his home in Mayfair.
There, as she recovers, Henry introduces the lovely Eliza to a world of art and literature she never knew existed. But Eliza’s brutal world follows her to London, where the salons of the aristocratic elite co-exist with the back alleys of the criminal underworld.
Thankfully, Henry, a secret agent to the crown, is able and willing to deal with the man Eliza’s stepfather had sold her to, and the pimp who plans to enslave her.
As romance blossoms between them, Eliza unearths an old secret that leads them into the dark sadistic world of sex trafficking, and finally allows Henry to identify the traitor responsible for selling military secrets to the French, causing the death of thousands.
A natural at the spy game, Eliza proves herself a worthy partner in their fight for truth and justice. But with time running out, and the fate of one girl hanging in the balance, Henry and Eliza must find a way to outwit a nasty pimp and eliminate a dangerous enemy agent.
This is the 3rd and final installment of the Memory Collector series. Our familiar characters are back, sort of. The detective is his usual stoic self, but Moira isn’t quite Moira. She is, but she has some internal stuff going on (trying not to be spoilery). Even with this, she makes familiar decisions that we’ve come to be both admirable of and infuriated at. Sometimes I really just want to shake her shoulders… really really hard.
The writing immerses the reader in the time period and era the author has built. She does a great job of being authentic – although this is a fantasy world, it is rooted in turn-of-the-century North America. I can imagine the clothes, the motor vehicles, and the demeanor.
The author is especially good at getting the reader to care about secondary characters where we even worry for them when they’re missing. Even the phoenix is multidimensional and when certain things happen, you have mixed feelings about it (again, trying not to spoil).
I would have liked to have more time with Keenan and Moira together, but I understand why that wasn’t really possible given the plot. I still missed their give-and-take though.
Overall, this was a great ending to the series where all questions were answered and the future set out for us. I would highly recommend this entire series for all lovers of fantasy or just a great story.
Great review for the latest anthology I have a story included in. My story, Summer Healing, is one of the titles specifically reviewed. Thanks to Kendra Olson for taking the time to review. The ebook version of this anthology is free btw (links in the review).
I suppose I was thirsty for historical fiction and didn’t realize it. I’m a sucker for WWII novels, German or Russian literature/history, and women thriving in non-traditional roles. This novel combined all those so needless to say, I enjoyed it immensely. It does begin a little slow and seemingly with triviality, but it soon catches the reader unaware and sucks them (that would be me) in.
The novel is told in two parts by two different narrators. The first narrator is wildly unreliable; hence the perceived vapidity in the beginning. One might conclude certain negativity about her character (okay, me again) and one would be completely wrong. Although even in her banality, there are many reasons to like her anyway, and to root for her. The second storyteller drives that home, and you’re soon heartbroken you (*raises hand*) ever doubted or underestimated her.
If I haven’t mentioned, this is a spy novel (mostly) and you should read it!
So, my thirst has been quenched. Or perhaps maybe whetted for more.
Explore the unlimited nature of love and its many incarnations in the Love Unlimited Anthology, featuring eleven stories that cross generations, cultural backgrounds, and borders. Love Unlimited will warm your heart, tickle your funny bone, and envelop you in the wonderful and complex human emotion the world calls “Love.”
Bryana Beecham — Love Letters to the Universe
When Ursula aims her cupid’s arrow at an office colleague, the drama begins with a series of handwritten letters. Penned to charm and disarm, the one-sided letters take on a life of their own… until one day Ursula decides it’s time to take their relationship to the next level. What could possibly go wrong?
Geralyn Corcillo — In Her Space
A sixty-four-year-old woman lives quietly, content with all she has survived in life. But things change when she discovers a homeless young man living under her small house.
Laura Chapman — Smyth Saves the Date
While clashing with his stern but swoon-worthy producer, George, about the show’s direction—and trying to plan his best friend’s wedding—Smyth will have to choose what he needs more: fame or love.
Katie Leonard — SuperMom and the Theory of Mind
When her mother-in-law is injured, Lauren is forced to bring her wife’s son (okay, he’s her son, too) to a comic book convention. As she navigates a world of masked heroes, flirty villains, and a giant gorilla, she learns unexpected lessons about empathy and love.
Kelly Cain — Summer Healing
A contemporary enemies to lovers romance about a poly-sci major home for the summer from college. While visiting her ailing grandfather in the hospital, she meets a hot RN with strong political opinions, completely opposite of her own.
Anne Hamilton — The Shining Girl
Surviving a cyclone, Caroline travels from India to London and back again, to find – maybe – the man she once loved but shouldn’t have. En route, a surreal encounter with her would-be guardian angel helps her redefine love, life, and what she really wants from both.
Zainab Muhammad Shahid — Kaneez’s Bulbul
Set in Lahore, the capital city of the Pakistani province of Punjab, this love story features a young couple whose marriage of convenience reveals dark family secrets from the pre-Partition era. If love gives life, it certainly has the power to take it away.
Samantha Bryant — Flygirl’s Second Chance
Jessica “Flygirl” Roark has no problem with flying headlong into danger to save the citizens of Springfield, but that doesn’t mean she’s immune to nerves on the eve of her wedding. Sure, she’s survived ovarian cancer and learned to control her new powers of flight, but is she ready for her second chance at romance?
Therese Gilardi — Paris in April
An American woman has her life upended on an April day in Paris.
Lizbeth Durano — Starting Over
When her flight is delayed due to a snowstorm, a young painter, recently betrayed by her boyfriend and best friend, finds herself stuck overnight at Gate 27. But she’s not alone for she finds a new friend in a carefree young man who just might be the perfect friend for the duration of the wait… maybe even longer.
Amy Gettinger — Kiss My Sweet Skull
Is Indiana sugar cream pie seriously the only answer for Betty, an anthropology professor with a daunting forensic task and suffocating skull dreams that haunt her nightly? Or could a perfectly timed, yummy kiss be just the thing she needs to see her through this Halloween?
About two years ago, a group of five novice writers signed with the same small publisher, each inexperienced in the publishing world yet committed to understanding the process and finding success. Through their mutual dive into unchartered territory, Amanda Linsmeier, Bianca M. Schwarz, C.H. Armstrong, Kelly Cain, and Jamie McLachlan reached out to one another and became instant friends, sharing laughs, tears, and the struggles of life and writing. We soon dubbed ourselves “Book Besties.”
During the fall of 2016, we decided to write a book of short stories together. As friends, we wanted to combine our talents to create a collection that would inspire hope and happiness. After much deliberation, we chose the theme “Second Chances” and decided to title this anthology, “Déjà You.” Though each story contains the same theme, they all are as unique as the author who wrote it. Including New Adult, Women’s Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, and Contemporary Romance, each short offers a different take on the theme and involves varying heat levels, from sweet to steamy.
In Déjà You, five authors share stories of second chances, as varied in telling as the writers themselves.
Kelly Cain’s We’ll Always Have Oahu takes us on a whirlwind New Adult romance set in the 80s between a young woman on a high school graduation trip and a handsome Navy sailor.
Bianca M. Schwarz transports us to 1760 in The Pearl with the story of Marcus Landover, who attends a card party and ends up with more than he bargained for in the beautiful Sophia Chelmsford.
Amanda Linsmeier’s Joy and Sorrow reunites lovers separated by death in a Women’s Fiction tinged with the unusual.
The Eyes of the Heart by Jamie McLachlan gives us Rosalina, who is forced to confront her attraction and the truth about her blindness when a new gardener is hired at the Greystone house.
Finally, C.H. Armstrong brings us Mr. Midnight, where tragedy reunites two star-crossed lovers, but misunderstandings soon rip them apart. Now, six years later, the stars are realigning with the help of the smooth voice of a late night radio DJ.
Some of the stories are sweet, some sad, some steamy, but all carry the same theme. Déjà You is a collection of stories for those who believe in love, but most of all, second chances.
To say Casie Armstrong is shy on first dates is an understatement. When she receives a Twitter message from a tattooed, self-identifying IT nerd, she finds comfort in online anonymity. After weeks of messaging, texting, and phone calls, they finally decide to meet. When they do come together, will it be as hot as their online hookups? Or will Casie revert to her normal introverted self?
Connections was first published under the name Spending Time with RandyRob in Fuse Literary’s annual holiday reads anthology for charity, The Stockings Were Hung (Hot Holiday Reads #3). Connections is the standalone version with an added scene and a revision.