Carrie Turansky: No Ocean Too Wide

Description

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans–but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans’ home before Laura is notified about her family’s unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God”.

I enjoyed this novel and learned about the movement in England that was similar to America’s “orphan trains”. The novel ends with no full completion of the children’s stories, so I’m sure another novel is coming. The genre is a mash-up of historical fiction, Christian, and romance. Carrie Turansky always writes about believable and likable characters and you can count on her for a “clean read”. I look forward to the sequel!

Thank you for my e-copy via Net Galley!

WILDWOOD by Elinor Florence

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I loved Elinor Florence’s Bird’s Eye View, so I was excited to see that she had a new book out: Wildwood. Wildwood tells the story of Molly Bannister, who leaves Arizona with her young daughter to go to northernmost Canada as she has inherited a farm from her great aunt. The conditions are: live on the farm for one year (no plumbing, no electricity) and then you can sell it. Molly needs money and the farm is prime land for oil fracking. She moves north (where it’s way colder than she’s ever experienced!) and slowly pioneers her way through the year, with four-year-old Bridget by her side. Finding her great aunt’s diary from her first year at Wildwood in the 20’s is an added bonus. Along the way, Molly begins to find that connecting with the land may be the best thing that has ever happened to her and her daughter.

I just loved this story – especially since I’m a big fan of a pioneer story and this one essentially had two in it: Molly’s and her great aunt’s. I loved how Molly was tough and self-sufficient, but also overwhelmed by the demands of living off the grid. Molly’s little girl, Bridget, is selective mute, something that is near and dear to me if you know me personally, and I loved the character of little Bridget. It was interesting to read about Canadian winter (I thought we had it bad in New England!) and the indigenous people of Canada as well.

Thank you so much for my review e-copy! I truly enjoyed it!!

Description

A Note From the Publisher

DUTY TO THE CROWN by Aimie Runyan

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Via GoodReads:
Set amid the promise and challenge of the first Canadian colonies, Aimie K. Runyan’s vividly rendered novel provides a fascinating portrait of the women who would become the founding mothers of New France.

In 1667, an invisible wall separates settlers in New France from their Huron neighbors. Yet whether in the fledgling city of Quebec or within one of the native tribes, every woman’s fate depends on the man she chooses—or is obligated—to marry.

Although Claudine Deschamps and Gabrielle Giroux both live within the settlement, their prospects are very different. French-born Claudine has followed her older sister across the Atlantic hoping to attract a wealthy husband through her beauty and connections. Gabrielle, orphan daughter of the town drunkard, is forced into a loveless union by a cruel law that requires her to marry by her sixteenth birthday. And Manon Lefebvre, born in the Huron village and later adopted by settlers, has faced the prejudices of both societies and is convinced she can no longer be accepted in either. Drawn into unexpected friendship through their loves, losses, and dreams of home and family, all three women will have to call on their bravery and resilience to succeed in this new world…

Praise for Promised to the Crown
 
“A heart-wrenching and timeless tale of friendship, love and hope that skillfully blends history and romance to educate, entertain and inspire.” –Pam Jenoff, author of The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach (less)

ebook, 352 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Kensington
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I absolutely love this historical fiction series about the young women who were “Daughters of the King” – sent to Canada as the “New Land” to marry and populate for the good of France in the 1600’s. This was Book 2 in the series, and it continues the story of the characters introduced in Book 1, with individuals growing older as the books go along. Three young girls from Book 1 are now young women, and they have many trials and tribulations to face as they tackle pioneer life in the 1600’s. I love how these books encompass the highs and lows of life — births, deaths, joys, and sorrows.
I can’t wait for Book 3!
Thank you to the author who sent me this copy as she knew how much I enjoyed Book 1!
BBC – what are you waiting for? Make a miniseries from these novels!!

HFVBTour and Giveaway for PROMISED TO THE CROWN by Aimie K. Runyan

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I’m part of the HFVBTour today for PROMISED TO THE CROWN, a historical fiction novel that I found so interesting and loved reading!

Here’s what the tour has to say:

Promised to the Crown (Daughters of New France, Book One)
by Aimie K. Runyan

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Kensington
Paperback & eBook; 352 Pages

Series: Daughters of New France
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Bound for a new continent, and a new beginning.

In her illuminating debut novel, Aimie K. Runyan masterfully blends fact and fiction to explore the founding of New France through the experiences of three young women who, in 1667, answer Louis XIV’s call and journey to the Canadian colony.

They are known as the filles du roi, or “King’s Daughters”—young women who leave prosperous France for an uncertain future across the Atlantic. Their duty is to marry and bring forth a new generation of loyal citizens. Each prospective bride has her reason for leaving—poverty, family rejection, a broken engagement. Despite their different backgrounds, Rose, Nicole, and Elisabeth all believe that marriage to a stranger is their best, perhaps only, chance of happiness.

Once in Quebec, Elisabeth quickly accepts baker Gilbert Beaumont, who wants a business partner as well as a wife. Nicole, a farmer’s daughter from Rouen, marries a charming officer who promises comfort and security. Scarred by her traumatic past, Rose decides to take holy vows rather than marry. Yet no matter how carefully she chooses, each will be tested by hardship and heartbreaking loss—and sustained by the strength found in their uncommon friendship, and the precarious freedom offered by their new home.

An engaging, engrossing debut.”—Greer Macallister, USA Today bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie

An absorbing adventure with heart.”—Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

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Aimie K. Runyan, member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, has been an avid student of French and Francophone Studies for more than fifteen years. While working on her Master’s thesis on the brave women who helped found French Canada, she was fortunate enough to win a generous grant from the Quebec government to study onsite for three months which enabled the detailed research necessary for her work. Aimie lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

For more information please visit Aimie’s website. You can also find her on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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This book introduced a whole new piece of history to me and I found it fascinating. I loved these women’s stories, even though they certainly each had her own share of struggle and hardship. I see that this is Book One – which thrilled me as I would love to read the next books in this series.

I had to ask myself while reading: could I have done this? Could I have travelled across the ocean to be the wife of a man I would scarcely have time to get to know and then face all the challenges of living in the New World? I’m not sure I could have been so brave!

There is a Giveaway associated with this tour – so enter and hopefully win a copy!

Giveaway

Two copies of Promised to the Crown by Aimie K. Runyan are up for grabs! To enter, please use the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Link to Giveaway: hhttps://gleam.io/ZEMHo/promised-to-the-crown

Thank you so much for my review e-copy!

Review: BIRD’S EYE VIEW by Elinor Florence

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Several weeks ago I got a friendly email asking if I’d like to review BIRD’S EYE VIEW, a novel about a Canadian young woman working as an aerial photo interpreter during WWII.  You all know my love of historical fiction, and especially that time period, and I didn’t know much about aerial photography during the war, so I said yes.

I have to say – I loved this book! To be honest, I never really thought about what Canada was doing during the war, and it was interesting to see the focus on supporting Britain. Rose Jolliffe is a strong female who wants to do her part for the war, and she ends up going to London to work. Rose is from the farmlands of Canada and she misses her family and her homeland terribly. She has a series of relationships (both friendships and romances) and each one is an opportunity for self-development and growth. She also is quite skilled at what she does and has several successes with the photos. I loved her character and I wanted her to end up safe and happy in the end.

Like the female code breakers of Bletchley Park (with whom I am a little obsessed), these aerial photography interpreters are a fascinating bunch and it was so interesting to read about how they tried to figure out what the Germans were doing, looked for evidence of rockets, studied troop movements, etc.

Here’s a link to a BBC site about the interpreters at Medmenham, where this story takes place:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/places/raf_medmenham

I’d like to thank Elinor for her novel to review and give it a big thumb’s up!

http://www.elinorflorence.com

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pictures via google images and Elinor’s website

Review: AS CHIMNEY SWEEPERS COME TO DUST by Alan Bradley

Oh that Flavia is at it again!

If you read me you know I love this series about young scientific genius Flavia at her decaying manor house in 1950’s England with her morose and distracted father and self-absorbed older sisters. Flavia’s voice makes me laugh out loud. Her antics are always fun to read. Her genius is quite amazing. Yes, she is one of those characters I wish could just come to life!

In this installment, twelve-year-old Flavia has been “banished” to her mother’s old boarding school in Canada. She makes the Atlantic crossing via ship with a rather dour couple (members of the board of overseers for her new school). Poor Flavia has hardly arrived, exhausted and lonely, when a dead body falls from her chimney and she is thrown into the middle of an unsolved mystery. Of course Flavia has not yet learned to let sleeping dogs lie, and she begins to uncover secrets and past misdeeds that some would prefer to keep buried…

What can I say? I love this series and I love Flavia. It combines mystery, humor, and a protagonist you can’t help but like along with a setting in the past. Love, love, love — that is all!

Find it at an Indie!

I am an Indie Bound Affiliate

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HFV Blog Tour: SELDOM COME BY by Sherryl Caulfield with GIVEAWAY link!

I’m thrilled today to be taking part in the Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tour of SELDOM COME BY – Book One in the Iceberg Trilogy – by Sherryl Caulfield.

SELDOM COME BY tells the story of Rebeca Crowe, a teen living in Newfoundland in 1914, and Samuel Dalton, the nineteen-year-old shipwrecked boy she saves and comes to love. This beautifully written story covers almost thirty years, starting with Rebeca and Samuel and their burgeoning love. Rebeca’s family is harsh (particularly her father) and she fears that her sister Rachel loves Samuel, too. When she realizes that he does indeed care for her, they then have to face her authoritarian and strictly religious father, who does not support them. Samuel is actually from Toronto and his family is there; eventually he leaves to go home. Then the war intervenes as he joins the forces for WWI. WIll their love survive the forces pulling them apart?

As I already mentioned, this book covers about thirty years in their lives (in over 500 pages), and with it comes all the tragedies and joys of real lives lived. These characters are drawn so clearly and seem so believable. You get wrapped up in their story! Yet, this book was so realistic that you knew while reading it that you couldn’t count on it being all happiness and light.

Beautifully written, and just the first in a series about these people and their families, this is a beautifully written story that captures the imagination.

Thank you for my copy and for making me part of this blog tour!

Here’s a bit of info on Sherryl and how she came to write this novel:

Australian-born Sherryl Caulfield is a marketer, writer and traveller. After twenty years working for some of the world’s leading technology brands and a stint with Outward Bound, she longed to write about the human experience and the redemptive qualities of nature.

In 2006, haunted by an encounter with a woman she met in Canada, Sherryl started what has now become known as The Iceberg Trilogy. From her home in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, she distilled the lives of three generations of women – Rebecca, Evangeline and Lindsay – over the course of a century. In the telling of their stories she crafted a series rich in landscapes – of sea, land and the human soul.

Here’s the scoop on the GIVEAWAY!

Giveaway

To enter to win an Autographed copy of Seldom Come By, please follow the link and complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway