A Gilded Death by Cecelia Tichi is a riveting historical romance novel with a dash of mystery. Set in The Gilded Age in the United States, the reader is plunged into the world of the affluent society of the time. Georgina Brush, Cassandra Forster’s beloved aunt and the heiress to the Brush fortune, dies at an annual ball under odd circumstances. The death of Georgina’s daughter months later under identical circumstances oblige Mr. and Mrs. DeVere, Cassandra’s family by affection, to investigate the murders and prevent a third horrific murder from taking place.
In addition to the historical events depicted in this enthralling whodunit novel, the author uses ample details to show the manners and attitudes of the society at the time, from the fashion and lifestyle of the ladies and gentlemen, to their conversation, and their greed for power and wealth. An eight-plume funeral in the novel proclaiming the great wealth of the deceased epitomizes the avaricious age to which Cecelia Tichi transports readers.
Despite the somewhat serious plot, there is humor, imagery of nature, and irony in the novel. I had to lookup a few terms, historical events, and names of people in history such as Lucrezia Borgia. While I was not familiar with these things overall I certainly appreciated the attention to detail and found that it made the novel feel authentic. Upon looking at the age and events, however, they all began to make sense in the complex plot. This novel is very well characterized, with extravagant clothing, expressions, and mannerisms. The vivid description of elaborate dinner parties and décor is fascinating as well.
While I enjoyed the story, I felt the pace was a bit slow. Although I did feel that the pacing gave time for the development of events and provided a realistic touch to the novel, I felt like some of the conversations between characters seemed redundant. But this does not detract from an otherwise impassioned mystery novel.
A number of aspects of The Gilded Age are examined in the novel, including the exclusion of women from law-making, and the importance of etiquette to the gentlemen and women, the lack of which was met with a scoff. A Gilded Death has an engaging and eventful storyline up until the very end. This is a dramatic story that will appeal to sleuth fans looking for a historical setting to a stirring murder mystery.
Pages: 354 | B09BNRVZZM
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The Retirement Quilt by Dr Ronald Lee Gaudreau takes us to a small town in Australia called Morton, centering around a small group of people hailing from decades of farmers, entrepreneurs, and teachers. This diverse array of people came together with one unifying task: the creation of a quilt.
The Retirement Quilt begins by following the life of Geoffrey Hamilton as he goes through the motions of his last day as a CEO. We dive into the unspoken aspects of his life, like his bittersweet interactions with his driver and secretary. He’s mourning all the time that has passed while trying to feel excited about his coming future in retirement. He reconnects with a woman named Robyn, a dear friend of his deceased wife Margaret. Together they become intertwined in the creation of a memorial quilt, as it brings grieving and loving people together along the way.
I loved the way this inspiring book approached grief and healing. It was a touching look into the aftermath of a loved one’s passing, and how their lingering influence can continue to make the world a better place even after they’re gone. This book emphasizes community and the lengths we go to as people to make lasting connections, and how powerful these connections can truly be. The story has a lasting message—that no matter where you go or who you meet along the way, love is always possible.
While I enjoyed having varied dialogue from different sorts of people throughout the story, I felt that the structure could have been improved. I found that it read like an interview at times because of the dialogue, and I would have rather seen everyone’s conversations blended into the story itself to give it a more narrative driven story feel.
The Retirement Quilt by Dr Ronald Lee Gaudreau is a wistful and impassioned story with an inspirational message. It’s an important reminder that I think everyone can benefit from; even if you feel alone, change is a positive thing.
Pages: 257 | ASIN: B07VLKPQ3G
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Wallflower Pen Pals by K.L. Estrada is a tale of true romance, a love that lasts through anything and becomes everything. The story begins with the lovers daughter being gifted with the promise to be allowed to read all of the letters her parents had sent to one another while her father was away. It continues on into flashes of her parents, Carolyn and Joe’s beautiful life together which we get to read through their own perspectives via their treasured love letters. The entire love story begins in 1955 and continues on for the rest of their life.
This is a sentimental love story that speaks to the true passion two people, who are at first strangers, can have for one another. Readers get to see that love grow throughout this emotional book. I loved seeing how their love developed over time, starting off as innocent and growing into something much deeper. This is something that you will not find in todays contemporary romance stories. This is a timeless love story that will speak to readers looking for a wistful and sensitive story.
While I enjoyed the story, I felt that some things could have been cut just to keep things concise, but still I feel the extra content really rounds out the story and ensures readers get a full appreciation for the writers. This is still a beautifully told story that also gives you a glimpse into the past, and will really appeal to anyone looking for a historical romance story.
Overall Wallflower Pen Pals is a stunning and romantic tale that is sure to put a smile on your face. If you love romance and you are looking for a fantastic beach read, then you will definitely have plenty to enjoy here. This is a story that shows you the power of letters and how writing can connect two people over great distances and time.
Pages: 214 | ASIN: B099FNGWCP
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The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.
Gold Award Winners
Silver Award Winners
La Florida by James D. Snyder
My Hidden Fear by Luan Nguyen
Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information.
Posted in Literary Titan Book Award
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Landscape of a Marriage: Central Park Was Only the Beginning is an impassioned historical romance. The reader gets to enjoy the experiences and even feel different emotions through the wonderful characters thanks to Gail Ward Olmsted’s impeccable writing. Marriage and family are the major themes of the story, exploring topics such as health, finances, politics and governance, love and friendships.
Mary was widowed early. Left with three children after her husband passed away, Mary married her brother in law, Frederick Law Olmsted. This may have appeared eccentric to anyone at first, but it worked for the two. Their love was so deep and beautiful, and made even the naysayers admire them. Among the many beautiful things Mary and her husband did was the creation of a dozen city parks across different cities in America. I enjoyed following the story of Frederick’s career, and how Mary described the landscapes, locations and whatever infrastructure her husband made.
The story of Frederick being told through Mary’s eyes added a beautiful element to the writing. One is able to read every emotion and sensation through the text, which was a great thing for the reader. Landscape of a Marriage: Central Park Was Only the Beginning is a well written and fascinating book that tells an intriguing story that many people can relate to.
Being in a marriage that lasted as long as Mary and Frederick’s is not easy. I also appreciate that amid the narration, Mary also touches on the challenges and issues she and her husband faced, and how they resolved each problem. I learned that no good relationship or marriage is built by one partner. It takes the effort of both parties involved to make something as beautiful as what Mary and Frederick had.
Landscape of a Marriage will make you fall in love with city parks and even inspire you to make more frequent visits to the parks near you. Gail Ward Olmsted inspires the reader through the tales shared in the book.
Landscape of a Marriage: Central Park Was Only the Beginning is a deeply thoughtful and emotionally charged historical fiction story that gets the details of the time period right and sets up stirring characters that readers will love to follow.
Pages: 315 | ASIN: B0947331QQ
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Fate’s Sweet Passion had my attention from page one. The year is 1838, and Queen Victoria has just been coronated. Crumpler’s unique style wove an intriguing web for the reader to meander through. The conflict between Alexina Poole and her cousin, the despicable and conniving lawyer, begins when he tries to force her to marry Peyton Woodleigh, the man she supposedly had been betrothed to since she was three years old. Peyton is the brutish yet handsome owner of Applewood Estate. Alexina must now decide if she will remain teaching at Greenfield School for Young Girls or marry a man she hasn’t seen since early childhood.
Crumpler writes in a captivating style, with interesting characters, riveting cliffhangers, and constant dramatic conflicts that left me desperate to know what happens next. The author spares us the extravagant language and instead smartly uses a more direct narrative and easy to understand language that ensures readers always know what is going on.
This is a romance novel, but it breaks the standard tropes and common romantic setups. Instead, I found myself captivated by the characters actions as well as their underlying motives. Taking place in Northern England, I was given a glimpse of England’s breathtaking countryside, and it all felt authentic and exotic due to the authors superb ability to describe scenes.
Fate’s Sweet Passion has some long chapters, however, Crumpler keeps the action moving and the flow of the story brings each chapter to a stimulating end. Consistent conflicts are presented, seeming unsolvable, yet one by one Alexina and Peyton’s bond grows stronger as they overcome each obstacle.
The blooming relationship between the well-bred Alexina and the obstinate Peyton grows in a convincing and alluring way as they learn what each other brings to the relationship. Despite the many conflicts they must overcome, theirs is a true diamond-in-the-rough marriage.
Fate’s Sweet Passion is a riveting romance novel with an unconventional setup to a romance that is absolutely captivating. With compelling characters and a spellbinding story, fans of historical romance novels will be begging for more.
Pages: 343 | ASIN: B09DJFK69H
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, Fate's Sweet Passion, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, historical romance, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, nook, novel, Patricia Crumpler, read, reader, reading, romance, story, western, womens fiction, writer, writing
Readers fond of time-travel novels in the vein of books like Outlander, will enjoy this “Magical Bookshop Novel” Rose Through Time by Harmke Buursma. We begin our story in modern times with a woman named Rose who is grieving not only the loss of her maternal grandmother but also the loss of her recent relationship. In an effort to ease the pressure of responsibility off of her mother and perhaps to take her mind off her own recent break-up, Rose offers to take on the burden of organizing her late grandmother’s belongings after the funeral. While going through her grandmother’s things, Rose comes across a book that transports her through time.
This is a charming and straightforward romance novel ideal for readers looking for a light beach read. The book is an exceptional reflection of a real life love story, although in the regency era, where the melodrama is set aside and we instead focus on the characters and their lives. There are major decisions to be made throughout the story, and readers will be able to relate to them as well. Though this is a romance novel, the blossoming friendship between our protagonist, Rose, and the lead man’s sister, Beth, is an engaging relationship that I enjoyed reading. Following Beth and Rose’s activities was one of the highlights of this book, at least for me. I liked how this novel provides readers with the opportunity to explore both a romance and a friendship.
The story is entertaining in its ability to convey a simple premise with a passion and a sense of drama that will keep readers engaged. The characters are easy to understand and are endearing. As a reader, we move through the motions of a straight-forward but sentimental romance, encountering many of the usual plot devices and familiar tropes that fans of love stories have come to expect. This book is ideal for die-hard fans of light, simple romances who only want to be taken along for the ride without having to untangle a mess of relationships and angsty drama.
Rose Through Time is an endearing historical romance that will send readers back in time and provide them with a feel-good story that is easy to follow and fun to consume.
Pages: 260 | ASIN: B097RBS4QW
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Hope in Liverpool is a stirring historical romance novel following a dejected young woman who finds renewed hope in a handsome stranger that provides the prospect of a better life. But that life has its own set of obstacles.
Hope Bennett is an intriguing character and could be described as a woman with a gentle soul and a heart of gold, but don’t let that fool you because once you hit a nerve she can be as feisty as ever. This dynamic character is really brought to life by T N Traynor’s sharp writing.
This emotionally charged love story showcases the hardships that women go through on a daily basis, yet somehow they are able to soldier on and continue being the anchors in their home while also being their own pillars of strengths. Traynor takes this novella beyond your typical romantic love story and makes it a book that shows the strength of a woman while adding a twist of romance. The story is a deep but subtle exploration of dysfunctional families and through this it shows the true value of forgiveness.
As a young woman myself I was able to empathize with, if not relate to, Hope as she felt authentic and the writing really places the reader in her shoes. This is a melodramatic love story, but it’s melodrama done right. It brings all the emotions of family drama and love to the forefront and probes them throughout the story in various ways that ensures the reader is always entertained. Although this is a love story it still displays the imperfections of people and choices.
When I read through the prologue I thought this was going to be a stuffy historical fiction novel, but stick with it because after chapter one I was fully engaged with the story.
Hope in Liverpool is a stimulating historical romance novel with a well-conceived and thoughtful protagonist that was a delight to follow. This a compelling romance novel that will appeal to anyone looking for a quick but riveting love story.
Pages: 210 | ASIN: B091B8LYNP
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, christian, christian fiction, Dunmore Historical Society, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, historical romance, Hope in Liverpool, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, TN Traynor, writer, writing