News and Reviews

Friday Fiction – The Second Chance and Christmas Still

Friday Fiction

Welcome to the March 2021 edition of the Friday Fiction newsletter! If you read my Updates Newsletter a few weeks back, you’ll remember that I was behind on my reading due to edits for Unsettled Shores. Well, I’m happy to announce that edits are complete; however, I did not manage to sneak in any new reads. Determined not to leave you with an empty Friday Fiction (how boring), this month I’m sharing two past reads with new-to-you reviews: Soul Mates by Liz Morrison and Christmas Still by Jennifer Q. Hunt.

23509474Soul Mates by Liz Morrison

World War I France Time-Split

I love historical fiction especially when it has a bit of a twist as this one does with the reincarnation aspect. Wills Harrington has dreams that he is the reincarnation of his great-great-granduncle, William, who died during World War I. Charlie Longley dreams about herself as a World War I nurse, Charlotte, who loved a man named William. Both uncertain what these thoughts and dreams might mean, they set out to discover the details of William and Charlotte’s story while also dealing with backstabbing friends, a mysterious treasure hunt, and their intense feelings for each other. And the clock is ticking.

While this book is definitely a romance novel, it isn’t as cheesy as the cover may lead you to believe. Liz Morrison does a fantastic job of blending the story of Wills and Charlie in the 21st century with the story of their counterparts, William and Charlotte, in 1917. The love story of Wills and Charlie sometimes feels a bit over the top for two average teenagers, but then we remember that their lives are anything but average. We see their relationship blossom amidst their individual struggles to discover who they were, who they are, and who they want to be. Their characters, both past and present, are well developed, the historical aspects seemed well researched, and the plot left me wanting more. It was sad to say goodbye after only 310 pages.

As a complete side note, I loved that Charlie was from St. Louis. It is so rare that St. Louis is mentioned in any of the novels I read that when it is, I have to tip my hat in thanks to the author. As a St. Louis native, I was thrilled to see references to both Forest Park and the Cardinals.

Liz Morrison now writes under the name Liz Costanzo. For more information on her books, visit: https://lizcostanzoauthor.com)

 

Christmas Still by Jennifer Q. Hunt56047722._SY475_

Post-World War I 

Jennifer Q. Hunt’s Some Through the Fire was one of my favorite reads of 2020 and her Christmas novella was the perfect way to end the year. 

During Christmas 1918, Lottie Webster is trying to survive the effects of a pandemic, a world war, and family expectations. Her husband is suffering from PTSD, her nieces are grieving their mother, and her brother is still away fighting in the war. The spirit of Christmas seems to have vanished altogether. When her brother finally returns and brings a German bride with him, she doesn’t know if she will be able to handle one more change. Will the past unravel the final thread of their family or tie them back together?

I finished Christmas Still in a single day and wanted to keep reading! The story had so much emotion packed into so few pages and was beautiful all the way through. World War 1, Spanish Influenza, PTSD, racism, romance, and parenthood flow together seamlessly. It’s a story that shows the hope I think we’re all longing for during COVID. I would love to see this become a full series.

 

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The best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Home page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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Cover Reveal and Pre-Order for Unsettled Shores

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For much of the United States, February brought the winter we had all been waiting for (and hoped would never come). Here in St. Louis, we had wind chill temperatures at -20 degrees Fahrenheit, over 10 inches of ice and snow, and many schools were closed for up to two weeks. Elsewhere, such as Texas, where such a magnitude of snow is the very rare exception, people lost heat and electric, often had difficulty traveling, and stood in line for hours simply to get their groceries. I pray that all of you may be brought through the winter in safety and look forward to the sun of springtime.

Writing Updates

First, I would like to welcome all of my new subscribers for there were many this month! We’re glad to have you with us and you’ve arrived on a great day! Today, I’m excited to share with all of you the cover reveal for my second World War I novel, Unsettled Shores! From the outskirts of New York to the air-raided streets of London, from the French countryside to its German-occupied villages, Unsettled Shores is a story of love, redemption, and the enduring power of hope (with some underground organizations and air raids along the way.) You’ll catch up with familiar characters from Broken Lines and meet some fresh new faces too. Out of the four covers I have designed so far, I definitely love this one the most, and I hope you will love it too.

Unsettled Shores Cover - Front

The ebook version of Unsettled Shores is also now available for pre-order! Pre-order now and receive the special pre-order price of $2.99 for readers in U.S.A., Canada, Great Britain, and Europe. Pre-orders are important as all sales are logged on publication day, moving a new release higher in overall ranking. Paperbacks will also be available, but my distribution channels do not allow me to schedule these for pre-order. I will make sure to post when they go live as I know many of you prefer a physical copy. 

Pre-Order Unsettled Shores

Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 ebookBroken Lines Now on Sale!

Now through March 10, 2021, I am joining 23 other authors in Book Funnel’s Historical Women’s Fiction promotion. If you haven’t read the first book in the War Across Waters series, you can pick up an ebook copy of  Broken Lines for only $2.99 USD. After March 10, the price will return to $4.99 USD. Pick up your copy of Broken Lines here and follow this link for the full list of participating authors.

Recommended Reading

February’s Friday Fiction newsletter posted on February 5 with recommendations for All That Shines and Whispers by Jennifer Craven and The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel. If you missed it, my full reviews can be read here. Thank you to both authors for providing signed paperback giveaways of their fantastic novels! 

March’s Friday Fiction will be posted on March 12 with some surprise reviews. The month of February has been so busy with final edits for Unsettled Shores and personal life commitments that I haven’t read any books yet. A rarity for me! I’m not sure what I’ll be reviewing in March, but I’m sure it will be another great read!

  THE PROMISED PRINCE.b1306708 56303099._SY475_ (1) 

Read a book you’ve loved? Tell others by writing a review! Reviews help authors connect with readers and help readers find books they’ll enjoy.

The Book Shop

Still need a copy of any of my books? All three can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback from major retailers or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

Due to variability in social media algorithms, the best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021

Friday Fiction – All That Shines and Whispers & The Promised Prince

Friday Fiction

Welcome to the February 2021 edition of the Friday Fiction newsletter! This month I’m reviewing two fantastic 5-star reads: All That Shines and Whispers by Jennifer Craven and The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel.

56303099._SY475_ (1)All That Shines and Whispers by Jennifer Craven

World War II Switzerland and Austria

I am thrilled to be on Jennifer Craven’s launch team for this fantastic World War II novel, releasing on February 25, 2021. 

After the Nazis force Gerald and Marlene Weiss to flee Austria for neighboring Switzerland, they are struggling to maintain a normal life for their seven children. They go about their days as they might have back home – work, school, family dinners – but the reality of their happy little sing-along family is much darker than the children know. At least all the children except for Lara. Homesick for Austria and heartbroken over her boyfriend’s betrayal, she knows the secret her parents hide, and she’s not sure if she can live a lie forever. But is she willing to risk her family’s future in order to have the life she wants?

All that Shines and Whispers is only 275 pages, but it packs a punch in such a short span. I finished this novel in only two days because I couldn’t leave the characters alone. There are ten people in the Weiss family and Jennifer Craven makes them all feel like individuals with their own unique personality traits. As a writer, I can tell you that it isn’t easy to write a scene with ten characters and ensure no one speaks too much or is left out entirely. Jennifer Craven made me care about every person in the Weiss family, tugging on every heartstring I have – maternal, spousal, and the memory of young love. They’re a family I won’t soon forget and Jennifer Craven is an author I will definitely return to.

GIVEAWAY: Jennifer Craven is providing an opportunity to win one signed paperback of All That Shines and Whispers. To enter, simply complete the entry form at the link below by February 23, 2021. Winner will be contacted directly. Full giveaway rules are listed on the giveaway page. For more information on Jennifer Craven’s books, visit:  https://www.jencraven.com/

Enter the Giveaway

THE PROMISED PRINCE.b1306708The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel 

Technically Futuristic Dystopian but reads more like a mix of High Fantasy and Historical 

I followed Kortney Keisel online for several months before The Promised Prince came out. After seeing all the rave reviews from her advance readers (and such an intriguing cover filling my Instagram feed), I ordered my copy as soon as it became available. I am so glad that I did.

This is not your typical Dystopian story. If you’ve read books such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, or 1984, put your assumptions aside and read this with new eyes. (All three of those novels are great reads; they just aren’t a good comparison to The Promised Prince.) To me, this novel felt like a blend of high fantasy and historical fiction, while actually taking place in the future. 200 years have passed since The Great Desolation, an incident which caused the world as we know it to be destroyed and rebuilt on top of North and South America. At that point in time, the Council of Essentials was created to dictate law and separate the world into two classes: nobility and everyone else. The concept of the Council of Essentials was particularly interesting as they had control of who received what and what was deemed “essential.” It’s a topic that wasn’t hit on enough in the novel, but relates so well to our world today as we struggle with who deserves basic human rights such as health, dignity, and even life.

Living within this world are two young nobles in love, Trev and Reena. Not being completely forthright at their first meeting, Reena assumes Trev to be a palace soldier and Trev (the future king) assumes Reena to be the princess to whom he is betrothed, but has never actually met. There’s one problem though. Reena is the daughter of a queen, but it’s her stepsister, Seran, who is promised to Trev. What follows is a fantastic, often hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking tale of love lost, won, and sacrificed. I, of course, rooted for Trev and Reena right from the start, but the author threw a wrench in my expected allegiances by making me also like Reena’s competition, Seran. Her stepsister is kind, caring, and graceful and its these traits that make the ending all the more emotional. This novel leaves us asking which is more important: duty to country or duty to oneself? It’s an action-packed romance not to be missed.

GIVEAWAY: Kortney Keisel is providing an opportunity to win one signed paperback of The Promised Prince. To enter, simply complete the entry form at the link below by February 23, 2021. Winner will be contacted directly. Full giveaway rules are listed on the giveaway page. For more information on Kortney Keisel’s books, visit:  https://kortneykeisel.com/

Enter the Giveaway

 

Share the Book Love

Read it? Loved it? Tell others by writing a review!

Need a copy of any of my books? All three can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the photo below to grab your copy!

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The best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Home page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021

Release Date and Cover Blurb for Unsettled Shores

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Nearly a month has passed in 2021 and what a busy month it has been! As always, I continue to pray for each and every one of you that your new year might be blessed in abundance. I have some exciting updates this month, so let’s dive right in!

Writing Updates

It’s always an exciting time when an author can finally see all the pieces of a novel coming together and equally exciting when those details can be shared with you, the readers! Unsettled Shores travels three countries during WW1 (United States, England, and France), making it more challenging to write than its predecessor, but the end result is one I am proud to share. The latest draft will be off for beta reader review in just a few days and then I will dive into a re-read of Broken Lines, ensuring continuity between the two novels.

Ready for your first look at the back cover blurb? Here it is!

us-blurb-1

Now for the detail you’ve all been waiting for – the release date. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been able to move my original release up from late summer or fall to … May 15, 2021! Over the next few months, I will be revealing the cover and pre-order details to newsletter subscribers first, so make sure to keep an eye out.

Recommended Reading

January marked the first month of dividing my newsletter into two: one for writing updates and one for book reviews. The first Friday Fiction newsletter released on January 15 with recommendations for Silver Moon by Jenny Knipfer and The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green. Thank you to Jenny Knipfer for providing a giveaway copy of her fantastic WW1 novel!

February’s Friday Fiction will be posted on February 12 with reviews for The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel and All That Shines and Whispers by Jennifer Craven. Plus, both authors are providing a chance to win one copy of these new releases!

53425786._SY475_ 30259051 THE PROMISED PRINCE.b1306708 56303099._SY475_ (1)

Read a book you’ve loved? Tell others by writing a review! Reviews help authors connect with readers and help readers find books they’ll enjoy.

The Book Shop

Still need a copy of any of my books? All three can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the covers below to purchase! Available online in ebook and paperback from major retailers or by request from your favorite indie bookseller or local library. For book club appearances, contact me here.

Broken Lines Cover - Final 4-25-2020 small     Across Oceans Cover - 2.27 small     Twisted River Cover Final - 2-27-2020

The best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Contact page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Follow me on:

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COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021

Friday Fiction – Silver Moon & The Mark of the King

Friday Fiction

Welcome to the new Friday Fiction newsletter! As noted in my previous monthly newsletter, I have split my updates into two with recommended reads mid-month and writing updates at the end of the month. Let me know your thoughts on this change!

This month I’m reviewing two fantastic 5-star reads: Silver Moon by Jenny Knipfer and The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green.

53425786._SY475_Silver Moon by Jenny Knipfer 

World War 1 Canada and the Western Front, 1914-1917

Although Silver Moon is the third in a series, I found it made for a highly enjoyable standalone novel. The story switches between life on the Canadian home front during WW1 and the trenches on the Western Front. While I enjoyed both aspects, I found the chapters involving the soldiers to be the most compelling and beautifully written. Having researched World War I myself, I can say that Jenny Knipfer does an excellent job of showing the horrors the soldiers endured and the difficult decisions made in the heat of battle. As the story progresses, we see characters perform actions they never would have done prior to the war and suspect the worst of friends they used to trust. Back home, their families have little knowledge of the reality they face, worrying only that tomorrow will herald news of another death. Each character brings a unique perspective to the war, allowing every reader to ask the question, “How might I feel if it was me?” I found this novel to be an emotional ride, but certainly one I would recommend.

One item to note: At the beginning of the novel, Jenny Knipfer has an interesting writing style involving a number of time jumps amid lots of character introductions. It took me several chapters, but once I became familiar with the story’s rhythm, I was completely immersed. If you are struggling in the beginning, don’t give up! There are so few novels about Canada’s involvement in World War I, and I found this one to be rich in detail.

GIVEAWAY: Jenny Knipfer is providing an opportunity to win one e-book copy of Silver Moon. To enter, simply complete the entry form at the link below by January 26, 2021. Winner will be contacted directly. Full giveaway rules are listed on the giveaway page. For more information on Jenny Knipfer’s books, visit: https://jennyknipfer.com/

Enter the Giveaway

 

30259051The mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

Paris, France and French Louisiana, 1719

After having read Veiled in Smoke last year and now this novel, Jocelyn Green has quickly become one of my go-to authors (with a rather large backlist I might add). She has such a way with words and an ability to write incredible amounts of description without being overly thick, boring, or unnecessarily flowery. Mark of the King pulled me in and held me and when I finally came up for air, I had to look around to reorient myself with the world. I love books like that.

This story starts with death, deceit, and drudgery and ends with hope, but it is not a hope earned easily. The heroine of our story, Julianne, is a midwife imprisoned for killing her patient, although she had no intention to do so. Branded with the mark of the king, a French symbol given to all murderers, she accepts a place on a ship bound for French Louisiana after being forced to marry a fellow convict she only met that day. What follows is a tale of heartbreak, not only for Julianne and her new husband, but for her fellow colonists, all trying to make sense of a world which looks nothing like the salvation they were promised. In the end, there is grace and love and forgiveness, but it does not come without sacrifice.

Jocelyn Green’s next book, Shadows of the White City, releases February 2, 2021. More information on her books can be found here: http://www.jocelyngreen.com/

Share the Book Love

Read it? Loved it? Tell others by writing a review!

Need a copy of any of my books? All three can be read on their own or in order of publication. Click the photo below to grab your copy!

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The best way to receive this newsletter is through e-mail. If you were directed to this site via social media or a search engine, you can subscribe to updates by entering your e-mail on the Home page. E-mail addresses are never sold or distributed. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Follow me on:

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COPYRIGHT © KELSEY GIETL 2021