Monday 28 February 2022

Blog Tour: More Precious Than Gold (The Hearts of Gold Trilogy, Book 2) by Renee Yancy #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub @YancyRenee

Join The Coffee Pot Book Club on tour with…

More Precious Than Gold
(The Hearts of Gold Trilogy, Book 2)
By Renee Yancy

July 4th – 15th 2022

Publication Date: 28th June 2022
Publisher: Vinspire
Genre: Historical Romance

Bellevue nurse Kitty Winthrop wants to pursue medicine against the wishes of the man she loves as the Pandemic Flu of 1918 reaches its lethal peak. Who will survive to see if love can overcome all obstacles?

Renee Yancy

Renee Yancy is a history and archaeology nut who works as an RN when she isn’t writing historical fiction or traveling the world to see the exotic places her characters have lived.

A voracious reader as a young girl, she now writes the kind of books she loves to read—stories filled with historical and archaeological detail interwoven with strong characters facing big conflicts. Her goal is to take you on a journey into the past so fascinating that you can’t put the story down. 

When she isn’t writing, Renee can be found in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband and a rescue mutt named Ellie. She loves flea markets and collecting pottery and glass and most anything mid-century modern.

Social Media Links:

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Pinterest • BookBub • Amazon Author Page • Goodreads

Tour Schedule

Have a sneak-peek between the covers of Catherine Kullmann's award-winning #HistoricalRomance novel — A Comfortable Alliance @CKullmannAuthor


A Comfortable Alliance

By Catherine Kullmann 

Publication Date: 25th March 2021
Publisher: Willow Books
Page Length: 428 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction (Regency)

Six years ago, Helena Swift’s fiancé was fatally wounded at Waterloo. Locking away all dreams of the heart, she retreated to a safe family haven. On the shelf and happy to be there, Helena has perfected the art of deterring would-be suitors.

Will, Earl of Rastleigh, is the only son of an only son: marriage is his duty. One of the great prizes of the marriage market, he shies away from a cold, society union. While he doesn’t expect love, he seeks something more comfortable. But how to find the woman who will welcome him into her life and her bed, and be a good mother to their children?

When Will meets Helena, he is intrigued by her composure, her kindness and her intelligence. As their friendship develops, he realises he has found his ideal wife, if only he can overcome her well-known aversion to matrimony.

Will succeeds in slipping past Helena’s guard. Tempted by the thought of children of her own, and encouraged by her mother to leave the shallows where she has lingered so long, she accepts his offer of a marriage based not on dangerous love but affectionate companionship and mutual respect.

But is this enough? As Will gets to know his wife better, and the secrets of her past unfold, he realises that they have settled for second-best. Can he change the basis of their marriage? Will Helena risk her heart and dare to love again?

The Coffee Pot Book Club 
Historical Romance Book of the Year 2021
Gold Medal Winner

"A Comfortable Alliance: A Regency Novel by Catherine Kullmann is a beautifully woven love story that is rich with historical detail and unforgettable characters..."

Mary Anne Yarde, The Coffee Pot Book Club

“Benedick, the married man! How goes it, Will?” Stephen Graham said as he dropped into an armchair in Will’s library.

“Until last night, I should have said wonderfully. Now I don’t know.”

“A rift in the lute, eh? Nothing to worry about; it happens a lot in the first months or so I’m told. An apology and a pretty bauble will set you right.”

Receiving no response to this, Stephen abandoned his air of levity. “Do you care to talk about it?”

Will ran his fingers through his hair. “I must, I think, if you don’t mind. Strictly between ourselves, Stephen.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll keep mum. Pour two glasses of your excellent Madeira, sit down, and tell me all.”

Mr Graham listened in silence as Will described the events of the previous evening and this morning’s subsequent conversation.

“She’s nervous about facing the ton,” he said bluntly. “Can’t say I blame her. You know as well as I do how some of those tabbies can be. Is there an older lady who could help her? Her mother, your aunt?”

“Not her mother, I think. Her sister-in-law is expecting another child in the spring. And my aunt rarely comes to town and not for the whole Season. Helena is close to Lady Harbury, I understand. Perhaps she would help.”

“I know her. A pleasant woman, but not one of the leading hostesses. From what you say, your bride doesn’t want for backbone—she just needs some encouragement. She’s right too; she has had a lot to deal with. In the normal way of things, she would still be choosing her bride-clothes—you wouldn’t even be married yet. She would have had a chance to return to society as Miss Swift. Now she must take centre stage as Countess of Rastleigh. There would have been a lot of interest in her, once the betrothal was announced, but she would have had her mother and your aunt to assist her.”

“And I haven’t been much support,” Will said ruefully. “She is so accomplished in all things that it did not occur to me that she might need some. Hell, I even forgot to provide her with funds.”


Mr Graham shook his head at Will’s confession of his neglect in this important matter. “Poor girl. I trust you have rectified the matter.”

“Yes—damn it, no! How the devil am I to do it, Stephen? Do I open a bank account for her, and deposit her allowance there each quarter?”

“That won’t do. She would not be the sole beneficiary of it. As her husband, you could draw on it or close it at any time.”

“But I wouldn’t,” Will protested.

“That is not the point,” Stephen said patiently. “The point is that you could.”

“What should I do? Hand her rouleaux of guineas or a roll of soft?”

“Better a combination of both. And somewhere secure to store it.”

“It seems damn mercenary,” Will muttered. “She’s my wife, not my mistress.”

“A mistress would have haggled with you before you laid a hand on her. And demanded a payment up front. This is completely different. How would you have liked it if, instead of giving you an allowance, your grandfather had made you come to him for everything? No matter how indulgent he might have been, you would rather have had control over your own money.”

“When you put it like that—” Will said slowly.

“It strikes me, Will, that she is trying her best to be a wife, but what sort of a husband are you?”

“Not much of one, I fear.”

His friend regarded him keenly. “You keep people at a distance. It is the way that old devil, your grandfather, trained you, I suppose. But it also means that you are not attuned to the needs of others. You must lessen that reserve of yours if you want to be a husband to your Helena. Try and look at your life together through her eyes for a change.” He paused for a moment. “I remember my mother saying that marriage is easy for men, our lives are not really different afterwards, except perhaps improved. We remain in our own world. A girl gives up everything—her family, even her name.”

Will looked up at this, but did not interrupt.

“If, as in Helena’s case, her husband does not live in the same part of the country, she has to leave her old life behind her. No one knows her except as a wife. It is all strange to her. And for your wife, the change has been extreme. Society will not expect anything more of you now that you are married, but much will be expected of her. The positions of the Countess of Rastleigh and Miss Swift, who lived retired with her widowed mother, are completely different. If she gets off on the wrong foot—”

Will held up his hand. “Enough, Enough! Thank you, Stephen. You’ve given me a lot to think about—more than enough for the moment.”

“Very well. Do you feel up to looking at these papers or would you rather leave them for now and go to Lady Rastleigh?”

“She is resting before Lady Harbury calls. I don’t want to disturb her before then. I’ll talk to her afterwards. Try and mend my fences.”

“You don’t need to mend your fences, Will, you need to tear them down.”

Catherine Kullmann
was born and educated in Dublin. Following a three-year courtship conducted mostly by letter, she moved to Germany where she lived for twenty-five years before returning to Ireland. She has worked in the Irish and New Zealand public services and in the private sector. Widowed, she has three adult sons and two grandchildren.

Catherine has always been interested in the extended Regency period, a time when the foundations of our modern world were laid. She loves writing and is particularly interested in what happens after the first happy end—how life goes on for the protagonists and sometimes catches up with them. Her books are set against a background of the offstage, Napoleonic wars and consider in particular the situation of women trapped in a patriarchal society.

Her new book, Lady Loring’s Dilemma will be published end May 2022.

Catherine also blogs about historical facts and trivia related to this era. You can find out more about her books and read her blog (My Scrap Album) at her website You can contact her via her Facebook page or on Twitter 

Friday 25 February 2022

Books to read in 2022! The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers #HistoricalFiction #mustread @FrancineRivers


The Lady’s Mine
By Francine Rivers

Publication Date: 8th February 2022
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Page Length: 435 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


When Kathryn Walsh arrives in tiny Calvada, a mining town nestled in the Sierra Nevadas, falling in love is the farthest thing from her mind. Banished from Boston by her wealthy stepfather, she has come to claim an inheritance from the uncle she never knew: a defunct newspaper office on a main street overflowing with brothels and saloons, and a seemingly worthless mine. Moved by the oppression of the local miners and their families, Kathryn decides to relaunch her uncle’s newspaper—and then finds herself in the middle of a maelstrom, pitted against Calvada’s most powerful men. But Kathryn intends to continue to say—and publish—whatever she pleases, especially when she knows she’s right.

Matthias Beck, owner of a local saloon and hotel, has a special interest in the new lady in town. He instantly recognizes C. T. Walsh’s same tenacity in the beautiful and outspoken redhead—and knows all too well how dangerous that family trait can be. While Kathryn may be right about Calvada’s problems, her righteousness could also get her killed. But when the handsome hotelier keeps finding himself on the same side of the issues as the opinionated Miss Walsh, Matthias’s restless search for purpose becomes all about answering the call of his heart.

Everyone may be looking to strike it rich in this lawless boomtown, but it’s a love more precious than gold that will ultimately save them all.

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America's coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). 

Connect with Francine: 

Thursday 24 February 2022

Deborah Swift is talking about the challenges of writing #HistoricalFiction based on a diary. There is also a chance to check out Deborah's fabulous novel — Entertaining Mr Pepys @swiftstory

Entertaining Mr Pepys
(Women Of Pepys' Diary Book 3)
By Deborah Swift 

Publication Date: 22nd October 2019
Publisher: Headline Accent 
Page Length: 365 Pages
Genre: Historical Biographical Fiction

London, 1666. 

Elizabeth 'Bird' Carpenter has a wonderful singing voice, and music is her chief passion. When her father persuades her to marry horse-dealer Christopher Knepp, she suspects she is marrying beneath her station, but nothing prepares her for the reality of life with Knepp. Her father has betrayed her trust, for Knepp cares only for his horses; he is a tyrant and a bully, and will allow Bird no life of her own.

When Knepp goes away, she grasps her chance and, encouraged by her maidservant Livvy, makes a secret visit to the theatre. Entranced by the music, the glitter and glamour of the surroundings, and the free and outspoken manner of the women on the stage, she falls in love with the theatre and is determined to forge a path of her own as an actress.

But life in the theatre was never going to be straightforward - for a jealous rival wants to spoil her plans, and worse, Knepp forbids it, and Bird must use all her wit and intelligence to change his mind.

Based on events depicted in the famous Diary of Samuel Pepys, Entertaining Mr Pepys brings London in the 17th Century to life. It includes the vibrant characters of the day such as the diarist himself and actress Nell Gwynne, and features a dazzling and gripping finale during the Great Fire Of London.

The third in Deborah Swift's atmospheric trilogy, bringing to life the women in Pepys' Diary. Each novel features a different character and can be read as a standalone book.

Writing Historical Fiction based on a Diary

By Deborah Swift

Easy? Not.

Pepys Diary is the most famous diary in England. When I first had the idea of writing a book based on the women in Pepys’ Diary, I imagined it would be easy. Pepys would tell me what the women were doing, and all I had to do was re-imagine their lives from a different perspective. Of course this was naïve, and the process turned out to be far more complex than I could have imagined. To construct a historical novel from a diary is an interesting exercise in patience, perseverance and painstaking reading.

Samual Pepys.

In the first novel, (Pleasing Mr Pepys) the three women in the novel were those literally the closest to him; his wife, his maidservant, and the woman who lived next door. As I began to piece together a life for them, I soon saw that his wife Elisabeth might be in the diary every day for months, and then suddenly disappear - there would be no reference to her for weeks. Presumably though, she was still in his bed every night, and running the household. Deb Willet’s story spanned months of intense entries, before she was dismissed for her affair with Pepys, and after that she only appeared sporadically.

Sneaky ladies

Effectively this meant that if I were to follow the chronology in the diary, Pepys himself had control over the pace of the story and what was important to him, disenfranchising the women. To take control back for these women, I needed to compress the parts that were mundane, even if those entries were long, and expand upon those where very little was written, because in these gaps the more interesting story was taking place. This had its problems though. For example I couldn’t just re-locate characters at will. If Elisabeth Pepys had decided to go abroad, or leave him for example, he surely would have mentioned it in his diary. Maids still had to fix fires as usual, even if their lives were unravelling.

The first page of Pepys diary.

Because of this, all the women in the trilogy became more furtive, and their adventures more hidden than I had originally intended, because their ‘ordinary life’ must continue and not arouse Pepys’ suspicion. Undoubtedly though, this led to much more interesting stories, and much of the tension lies in the fact Pepys is oblivious to what is going on right under his nose!
Pepys’ diary is a gift for a novelist as he was interested in everything – science, art, literature - and he supplies us with many small details that give an insight into 17th Century London. The downside is that things can’t be ‘made up’ for effect. No use thinking I could add atmosphere with a storm, when Pepys tells us quite clearly the weather was sunny and dry.

Chronology Nightmare

When it came to writing the second and third books, many of the characters’ lives overlapped. So – should I try to refer to the other women’s stories in the new books, or ignore them? Both Bess Bagwell (in A Plague on Mr Pepys) and Bird Knepp (Entertaining Mr Pepys) lived through the Plague, but in very different ways and with different experiences. Could I write the same event twice? In the first book, Deb Willet the maid arrives in London after the devastation of the Great Fire, whereas in the third book Bird Knepp rescues her husband’s horses from the Great Fire.

A map of the damage caused by the Great Fire.

The chronology of the books was a constant concern, with me checking and re-checking Pepys’ diary entries to check the women’s stories would be congruent not only with the diaries, but with each other.

Difficulty of the Diary Form

You might think that in a novel based on a diary, this might be the natural form for a writer to choose, but I made a deliberate decision not to use the journal form. This was because then the reader is only party to reflection after the event and does not witness the actual scene in real time. This has a distancing effect, and I wanted to really immerse the reader in the time.

Ultimate Rewards

Although each woman is a very different character, in a sense, all the women in the diaries are aspects of myself. A frightening thought, but it was the only way I could inhabit them, because I was imagining myself into the gaps. So the diary instead of pushing me towards the more factual, actually pushed me to the more fictional – one of the paradoxes of writing from a historical diary, but one which was its joy and ultimate reward.

Deborah Swift is the author of three previous historical novels for adults, The Lady’s Slipper, The Gilded Lily, and A Divided Inheritance, all published by Macmillan/St Martin’s Press, as well as the Highway Trilogy for teens (and anyone young at heart!). Her first novel was shortlisted for the Impress prize for new novelists.

She lives on the edge of the beautiful and literary English Lake District – a place made famous by the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Connect with Deborah: Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads.

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Books to read in 2022! Check out Kerri Maher's fabulous #NewRelease - The Paris Bookseller #HistoricalFiction


The Paris Bookseller 

By Kerri Maher 

Publication Date: 11th January 2022
Publisher: Berkley 
Page Length:  336 Pages
Genre: Biographical Historical Fiction

When bookish young American Sylvia Beach opens Shakespeare and Company on a quiet street in Paris in 1919, she has no idea that she and her new bookstore will change the course of literature itself. 

Shakespeare and Company is more than a bookstore and lending library: Many of the prominent writers of the Lost Generation, like Ernest Hemingway, consider it a second home. It's where some of the most important literary friendships of the twentieth century are forged—none more so than the one between Irish writer James Joyce and Sylvia herself. When Joyce's controversial novel Ulysses is banned, Beach takes a massive risk and publishes it under the auspices of Shakespeare and Company. 

But the success and notoriety of publishing the most infamous and influential book of the century comes with steep costs. The future of her beloved store itself is threatened when Ulysses' success brings other publishers to woo Joyce away. Her most cherished relationships are put to the test as Paris is plunged deeper into the Depression and many expatriate friends return to America. As she faces painful personal and financial crises, Sylvia—a woman who has made it her mission to honor the life-changing impact of books—must decide what Shakespeare and Company truly means to her.

“In a novel exuberant, bittersweet, and reflective by turns, Maher explores the life of Sylvia Beach…readers will emerge with sincere appreciation for the artistic spirit and courage of a remarkable woman.

Historical Novel Society

“A fine tribute to a tireless and selfless champion of literary genius.”


“Maher offers an alluring look at the history of Paris’s Shakespeare and Company bookstore…Maher’s portrayal of Sylvia ably capitalizes on the historical figure’s singular life, highlighting how the bookseller and publisher embraced the progressive literature of the time and established a loving partnership with Adrienne that would not have been accepted in the U.S.”

Publishers Weekly

My first novel, The Kennedy Debutante, came out in 2018, and my second in 2020: The Girl In White Gloves: A Novel of Grace Kelly. My third, The Paris Bookseller, about trailblazing entrepreneur Sylvia Beach and the original Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, is coming in early 2022.  I’ll also have another historical novel coming your way from Berkley in 2023, a fact that makes me feel incredibly lucky and grateful after spending so many years (and years!) writing and working on the craft.  If you want to know more about those years, check out my memoir This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World (Writer’s Digest Books) under the name Kerri Majors. I am also the founder of an award-winning journal of YA literature, YARN.

Connect with Kerri: