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Showing posts from May, 2022

Highland Spirits by Amanda Scott

  Publication Date: October 1, 1999 Length: 397 pages Amanda Scott is an interesting author for me in that I can't seem to decide how to classify her books. Are they romance? Historical fiction? Mysteries? Compared to classics or epic sagas they can come across as simplistic, contrived, and predictable. I have read five of her books now and every time I start one I think to myself, "this is a romance book Shellie, you don't read romances! " Then before I know it I'm sucked in and enjoying myself immensely! I definitely do not like the romance genre if that's all the book is about. And some of Scott's covers do her a disservice as they suggest that this is the entirety of the book. You know, the covers with steamy Highlanders gazing out at you with smoldering eyes. But they are so much more. I feel a need to review some of her books in order to appeal to readers like myself who do not care much for typical romances but love historical fiction. It would be a

The Land Beyond the Sea by Sharon Kay Penman

  Publication Date: March 3, 2020 Length: 688 pages This book will always be special to me for two reasons. First, it is Sharon Penman's last novel before her death last year in January 2021. And second, it introduced me to a period of history I knew nothing about. I'd never even heard the term, Outremer, or "the land beyond the sea" until I read this book. We lost a gifted historical novelist with the passing of Penman and I'm so glad she chose to write about this unique period in time. I've searched in vain for another similar book to continue reading about the topic and just haven't found one. I'll have to settle for straight history books and that's okay but this book pulled me into the characters and their feelings in a way no non-fiction book can match. That was Penman's speciality. In the late 11th century the people of the First Crusade captured Jerusalem from the Saracens and the Kingdom of Jerusalem was born. In this world of many com

A Fugitive Green by Diana Gabaldon

  Publication Date: June 27, 2017 Length: 122 pages This story is a novella first published in Gabaldon's collection Seven Stones to Stand or Fall. It has never been published in book form on its own that I can find other than for audible. I highly recommend buying Seven Stones if you are an Outlander fan as it has several of these novellas in one book and it is worth every penny! This story gives us background on some of the more minor Outlander characters that are linked to some of the major ones.  It is 1744 when the story opens. Minnie Rennie (aka: Minerva Wattiswade) lives in Paris with her father Andrew Rennie (aka: Raphael Wattiswade). On the surface Raphael is just a dealer of rare books but really he is a collector of letters and information which he uses to his advantage and financial gain. Minnie is well aware of her father's undercover associations and helps him when necessary. She is smart and capable and has a fierce independent streak which serves her well in thi