28 June 2022

More Precious Than Gold (The Hearts of Gold Trilogy, Book 2) By Renee Yancy Blog Tour! @YancyRenee @maryanneyarde @reneeyancy @coffeepotbookclub #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub

 Book Title: More Precious Than Gold

Series: The Hearts of Gold Trilogy, Book 2

Author: Renee Yancy

Publication Date: 28th June 2022

Publisher: Vinspire

Page Length: 345 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance

A young woman refuses to become a pawn in her grandmother’s revenge scheme and forgoes a life of wealth and royalty to pursue a nursing career as America enters WWI and the Pandemic Flu of 1918 wreaks havoc in New York City

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INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC HITS CAMP DEVENS 2,000 Soldiers Are Stricken and Washington is Asked to Send More Doctors and Nurses —The New York Times, September 15, 1918

Eleven days later, the first influenza cases were admitted to Bellevue. Kitty set up an isolation unit in Ward A for a young sailor home on leave from France and two workmen from the Port of New York. All three men were in their early twenties, had high fevers, and complained that their lungs hurt. Kitty worked to make them comfortable, sponging them, offering fluids, and administering aspirin powders.

 All three were worse the following morning. The sailor tossed and moaned on his bed and screamed when he was touched. The high fevers continued and even morphine didn’t seem to help much. Kitty noticed a blue tint creeping over their skin, starting with the face and moving down over the chest. Bloody mucus drained from their noses and the sailor had it running from his ears. When Kitty walked into the isolation ward on the third day after their admission, the three beds were empty.

“Died about six a.m.” Miss Simpson, a probationer for two weeks, scrubbed the bare mattress. “One right after the other. It was awful.”

That seemed odd. Influenza typically had a longer course, and fatalities were usually limited to the very young and the elderly. These three young men had been in the prime of their manhood, well-nourished, and strong.

Miss Simpson dropped the washrag into the bucket. “If this is what it’s about, then I don’t think nursing is for me.” She glanced about the ward of men filled with influenza patients—coughing, vomiting, moaning—and shuddered. “I’m going to withdraw today and go home.”

“Better to find out early.” Kitty gave her a sympathetic smile. “But this is unusual. You’ve had a difficult introduction. Baptism by fire, I think it’s called.”

“Maybe so. But it’s too hot for me.” Miss Simpson picked up the bucket. “Goodbye.”

Nursing wasn’t for everyone, which was certain. And this influenza was different from what Bellevue had seen in the spring. It was alarming, but she didn’t have much time to think about it because Admitting called. Five more men were being admitted for influenza, or as some laypeople called it, the grippe. With the help of the probationers assigned to the ward today, Miss Field and Miss Blake, she got them settled in their beds.

Patrick Murphy, 26, a dock worker.

John Beckley, 33, a printer.

Mason Abraham, 36, a cook.

Aaron Mandel, 30, a piano salesman.

And Ashford Stuart-White, 35, a professor from Columbia University.

Five men from five different walks of life with the same illness. The rest of the shift flew by as Kitty and the probies sponged the men down for their fevers, emptied their spit basins, and tried to administer fluids.

“Miss Blake.” Kitty followed the probie into the dirty utility room. “Be careful when you’re emptying the basins into the hopper. Keep your head back, or turn your face away, so you don’t get splashed with the contents. And make sure you wash your hands well before you return to the patients.”

“Yes, Miss Winthrop.” Miss Blake was a sandy-haired, petite young woman with a no-nonsense attitude. “I’ll be careful.”

It was time to give aspirin again. Kitty went down the line, taking temperatures. There wasn’t one under 103°. Mr. Mandel’s temp was 104.6°.

“My joints hurt something awful, Miss.” He groaned as he turned onto his side. “I’ve never been this sick in my life.”

“Here.” Kitty handed him aspirin and morphine tablets. “Drink the whole glass of water, please. You need the fluids.

 Mandel took the meds and lay back down. “How long is this going to last? I’ve got to get back to work.” He stopped and turned away to cough. “I—I have a family to support.” He fought to draw in some air.

 There was no way to know. Especially if it was the same illness that had struck down the first three men admitted to the isolation unit.

“Rest as much as you can. Drink as much water as you can. That will help.”

He moaned again and then grimaced. “I’m sorry…to make so much noise. I can’t help it.”

“It’s all right. Try to sleep. The morphine will start to help soon.”

At lunchtime, Mr. Murphy and Mr. Beckley seemed a bit better. They were able to take some soup and swallow the aspirin, although both complained of severely sore throats. She made a mental note to get some lozenges for them. Mr. Abraham, a stocky fellow with ropy muscles, had lapsed into semi-consciousness and was difficult to arouse. The spit basin on the bedside table was half full of blood- streaked foamy mucus, and his respirations were wheezy and wet. By the end of the shift, Mr. Beckley was worse, Mr. Mandel was unconscious, and Mr. Abraham was dead, his skin color so dark, he looked black. Kitty performed post-mortem care for him.

What was this deadly disease? What could end the lives of vigorous young men so rapidly?

How were their families even going to recognize them?

Renee Yancy is a history and archaeology nut who works as an RN when she isnt 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 cant put the story down. 

When she isnt 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: https://reneeyancy.com/

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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Renee-Yancy/e/B00726MJDQ

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Escape Girl by Michelle Dayton Book Release!

Emily Saturn’s world is spinning out of control. When she isn’t working on an impossible lawsuit, she’s trying to avoid her soon-to-be ex-husband, Bobby March. But Bobby is determined to prove to Emily that he can be the man she deserves and has a very creative plan to win her back. Fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne will love Escape Girl, a spicy second chance romance. "The love story itself is stirring and emotional, and Emily and Bobby’s second chance feels well-earned."---
Publishers Weekly review for Escape Girl

Blurb Emily Saturn’s world is spinning out of control. An intellectual property lawyer, she’s gone rogue from her firm, dealing with a major lawsuit against a predatory software company’s CEO pro bono. When she isn’t looking for elusive evidence she can use—legally, of course—she’s trying to avoid her soon-to-be ex-husband, Bobby March. After their whirlwind courtship and wedding, Bobby can’t pinpoint what went wrong between them. He’s been working for months on his new career and personal growth, determined to be the man his wife deserves. Desperate to get her attention, Bobby invites Emily to a series of individually designed virtual escape rooms, each one a moment from their love story. Hopefully, the sexy, romantic trip down memory lane will rekindle their intense connection—and clue him in on how to fix this. Emily has never been able to resist a puzzle. Or, frankly, Bobby. The more she interacts with her husband online, the more she wants to see him again in person. Which is beyond stupid because Emily knows he’s wrong for her. Right?

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Copyright 2022 Michelle Dayton

One Year Ago

The painting was so ludicrous that I chewed the inside of my top lip—hard enough that the next sip of gin was going to sting. But if I didn’t control my mouth, it was going to shape itself into a judgy, bitchy smirk at our poor hostess’s expense.
The painting was of a woman’s back, butt, and legs as she lounged on a blue velvet settee. It didn’t reveal any part of the subject’s face. But it was clearly supposed to be Selma. Selma was a big fan of strapless gowns and asymmetrical shirts. The triangle of small moles on her left shoulder blade was as familiar to me as the shade of dark pink lipstick always highlighting her formidable lips. The woman in the painting sported an identical isosceles mole triangle, as well as a spill of hair in a variety of blonde shades ranging from honey to platinum. I’d once heard Selma boast that it took three colorists four hours every six weeks to keep her signature blend of hair colors perfect.
I cocked my head as my eyes traveled to the problematic part of the woman in the painting. She may have had Selma’s geometric moles and she may have had Selma’s intricate hair. The ass, however…
“Do you think this painting is a prophecy?” A question spoken so low that only I could hear.
I snapped my gaze away from the painting’s exquisite ass and looked up in surprise at the man suddenly next to me. “Huh?” I didn’t recognize him, but that wasn’t surprising as I’d only been back in the Bay Area for a couple of weeks.
I would have remembered him if I’d seen him before. He was one of those unmistakable people. (Us generic-looking people often resent his kind.) He was probably mid-thirties, over six feet tall with thick, golden hair, grown at a shaggy length that would look stupid on most men, but it decidedly did not look stupid on him. He was tan like he’d just come back from a beach vacation, and he had deep smile lines around his eyes and mouth. They were crinkled now around his bright blue eyes.
My own were crinkled too, not with mirth but with confusion. “A prophecy?”
“A prophecy is a prediction, a forecast,” he began, eyes twinkling. Was he teasing or mansplaining?
“Yes, I know what a prophecy is,” I said. Snapped, really. I’d been around at enough of these nights to be familiar with the typical male attendees. The men near my age usually fell into particular categories: boastful start-up tech founders, schmoozy sales and marketing execs, and lots of “I know everything” lawyers. Most of them treated these nights like networking events or auditions for a TED Talk instead of parties.
I’d been so dreading my possible seating partners for dinner that I’d snuck into the dining room to see the place cards when we first arrived. Thank God I was seated next to my father.
“Excellent.” He waved his negroni toward the painted naked lady. “So I was just wondering if this painting is a heads-up from our hostess about certain impending changes.”
Oh. The mischief in his voice made my lips twitch. He’d been teasing, then. This wasn’t some stuffy ibanker or insufferable crypto bro. Inexplicably, this was someone fun.
I raised an eyebrow at him and spoke softly. “Meaning, Selma wants everyone to know that she’ll soon be getting butt implants?”
He grinned down at me, almost with relief, as though he’d been hoping to find someone snarky. “Perhaps the buttock augmentation is already complete.” He pointed directly below the painting. I hadn’t noticed the blue velvet settee against the wall, an identical twin to the one in the portrait. “Perhaps she’ll settle herself right there later and let us compare art to reality.”
It was just too perfect of an image: ludicrous, of course, but if Selma had one too many negronis, you could almost see it happening. Oh God, please let that happen. I’d suffer through twelve boring dinner parties if Selma would cross that bizarre, hilarious line.
A significant snort-laugh erupted from my nose before I could stop it. “Sorry,” I gasped.
His answering laugh was deep and delighted. “Don’t be. I love it when people snort when they laugh. It’s literally one of my favorite things in life.” Well, I loved when people got tears in their eyes at the smallest of chuckles, and right now, there was a sheen of moisture covering his.
“I don’t know you, and I usually know everyone at these things,” he said, like an invitation.
Sigh. Now I would introduce myself, and he would get that look in his eye when he realized who my father was.
I opened my mouth, but to my surprise, he cut me off. “So I asked four different people here who you were and what you’re like.”
My mouth closed abruptly. Why would he do that? Also, I could guess what the four people had said, and they were all sure to be wrong. I swallowed a sigh. “Oh?” This encounter had started so fun. Now I wondered how soon I could excuse myself.
He took a slow sip. “You’re Sven Saturn’s daughter.” Yep. For the entirety of my life, that would be the first—and sometimes the only—thing most people cared about. “You’re intensely smart and have some sort of big, important job.” OK, he totally embellished that point. I’m sure whoever he talked to actually just used the word workaholic. To be fair, that was also correct. Work was my place, my cathedral, my sports arena. Work was home.
He cocked his head. “And you’re very quiet and sweet.”
Of course that’s what they said. Quiet was correct; sweet was not. But when you’re a little shy with a heart-shaped face and round eyes, people always make the leap to sweet. In actuality, Resting Bitch Face would have suited my internal personality much better. I’m sure people were trying to be kind, but why is sweet a good thing to call someone? In our hyperaggressive, competitive world, who the hell wanted to be sweet?
To the man beside me, I ducked my chin. “Well, that was nice of them.” Where was the tray of negronis? Maybe I’d survive this night with a nice little buzz. Or maybe I could put on headphones and go into another room on the pretense of taking a call. I had Netflix on my phone.
His blue eyes were so bright. “It’s bullshit though, right?”
His gaze and forthright tone gave me a buzz that had nothing to do with gin. He tapped his temple. “There’s a lot going on in there, but I’m guessing that very little of it is sweet.”
Correct. Either he was extremely astute or… “Is this your schtick?” I retorted. “Find the quiet girl in the room and make her feel like she’s some sort of secret badass that only you can see?”
He laughed. Hard. A surprised, loud, genuinely elated laugh. I did that, I thought proudly.
“Who are you?” he asked, and suddenly his blue eyes were…intense.
The direct stare right at me, the timbre of his voice, the way he drew a microinch closer. My skin went warm from head to toe and my pulse went thud, Thud, THUD.
I swallowed, and his gaze went to my throat and back to my eyes. He leaned even closer, then apparently realized that was not dinner-party-appropriate, so he backed up so quickly he banged into someone behind him. A slight flush crawled up his jaw as he recovered, but his embarrassment didn’t make him look away or change the intensity of his expression.
Did I do that to him? I wasn’t the kind of woman that made men clumsy, but I could sense it. He felt the thud, Thud, THUDDING too.
“I’m Emily,” I managed, remembering to offer a hand.
His warm hand took hold of mine, not like a greeting shake, but as if he intended to keep it.

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About Michelle Dayton

There are only three things Michelle Dayton loves more than sexy and suspenseful novels: her family, the city of Chicago, and Mr. Darcy. Michelle dreams of a year of world travel – as long as the trip would include weeks and weeks of beach time. As a bourbon lover and unabashed wine snob, Michelle thinks heaven is discussing a good book over an adult beverage.

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27 June 2022

A Dress of Violet Taffeta by Tessa Arlen Book Tour and Review!

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  • Title: A Dress of Violet Taffeta: A Novel

  • Author: Tessa Arlen

  • Genre: Historical Fiction

  • Publisher: ‎Berkley (July 5, 2022)

  • Length: (352) pages

  • Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

  • ISBN: 978-0593436851

  • Tour Dates: June 27-July 11, 2022

Tess Arlen is the author of In Royal Service to the Queen and she has a new book, A Dress of Violet  Taffeta.

The advance praise for A Dress of Violet Taffeta has been stellar, and I hope you will jump right in and explore the fascinating story of the life and career of Lucy, Lady Duff Gordan.

Book Description

Set in Edwardian England, when a woman’s opportunities outside the home were limited, Lucy is forced to reinvent herself to support herself and her young daughter after being abandoned by her husband. Determined to become a couture fashion designer, when few women had tried, she trailblazed through all the obstacles thrown at her, wins a messy public divorce, and survives the sinking of the Titanic. Her stunning, innovative fashions only mirror her meteoric life and career.

Tessa Arlen is the author of the critically acclaimed Lady Montfort mystery series—Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman and was a finalist for the 2016 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She is also the author of Poppy Redfern: A Woman of World War II mystery series. And the author of the historical fiction; “In Royal Service to the Queen” and available July 5, 2022 “A Dress of Violet Taffeta.”

Tessa lives in the Southwest with her family and two corgis where she gardens in summer and writes in winter.


 Advance Praise

My Thoughts

This novel is about the Belle Epoque icon Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon who was a talented clothing designer in late 1800s England. Forced to find a way to take care of her daughter and her mother after she divorces her husband who was a ne'er do well.  Unfaithful and an alcoholic. Married life with him was not what she hoped it would be. Divorce was frowned upon back then but it didn't matter to her.

She loved making dresses for her dolls as a child and thought to pursue that talent that she had. She became well known for her designs, particularly her tea gowns, and evening wear, and went on to design lingerie which was considered to be risque for some. She also was credited for training her professional models and having the 'catwalk'. Her clients were among the wealthiest in England and America. She also dressed actresses and dancers including Ziegfield Follies. Her company, Lucile Ltd, was one of the elite fashion houses and flourished from the turn of the century to the 1920s. 

She was the sister of Elinor Glyn who was a novelist and scriptwriter, very famous in her own right. Lucy married Sir Cosmos Duff-Gordon. They traveled quite a bit and were passengers on the fateful day the Titanic sunk. They survived but later were questioned in the inquiry in Britain. He was accused of paying bribes to get on a lifeboat which was not true as he wanted to help out the seven crew members that shared the lifeboat with him and his wife. He gave them each some money so they could replace what they lost. He was eventually exonerated but was depressed for the rest of his life because of it.

I really enjoyed this book, I love stories about strong women, especially women from this time period. Written with superb research, I think that the author definitely did Lucy justice.

I received a cop of the book for review purposes only.


Rogue by @tamstales32 Book Blitz and Giveaway! #TamDeRudderJackson #rogue #XpressoTours @XpressoTours


Tam DeRudder Jackson

(Talisman, #6)
Publication date: June 28th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Baz Cormac never intended to be a rogue, but fate had other ideas.

Being forced to pledge loyalty to the evil Morrigan is its own kind of hell. So when Baz discovers the lie she’s used to keep him and his band of rogues under her power, he concocts a plan to force the goddess’s hand, which drops him in the center of a cosmic tug-o-war. No matter which way he leans, someone is going to lose—and it looks like that someone may be Baz.

A talisman fights her fate…and her fatal attraction.

Delaney Ferrell has spent her life trying to live down her uncle’s choice to turn rogue. As a warrior-talisman hybrid, she’d done her best to serve the warrior community as a protector. But a cryptic letter sends her to an abandoned home where she encounters a lone rogue with fighting skills no rogue should possess. Instead of killing her, he kidnaps her and takes her to his lair. He presents a terrible danger to the community, one she must neutralize.

So why does he have to be so damn charming?

Discovering Delaney is his fated mate throws all of Baz’s plans into chaos. And when the goddesses come calling, Baz has to choose between a rogue’s freedom and a talisman’s love.

Will they have a chance at love, or will they be torn apart?

Goodreads / Amazon


The low rumble of a pickup pulling into the house next door brought Baz out of the barn to investigate. He’d managed to convince Rory and Jaime to take a little vacation to Vegas, hit a couple of strip clubs and casinos he knew rogues liked to frequent, and see about adding some new recruits to their little band. They could consider their trip a working vacation.

In the month they’d been away, he’d put his construction skills to work with his supernatural speed and stamina. With the exception of leveling the gravel on the floor of the barn, he’d finished his project in record time. Or perhaps in the nick of time if someone was looking to move in next door. He’d kept a close eye on Ian McCloud’s place, but until today, he hadn’t seen any activity there. Not a family member, not a realtor, not a curious someone looking to take advantage of an empty house.

He made several forays over to McCloud’s in the dead of night, looking to see what it was about the man that had the goddess’s interest. As a fighter, Ian McCloud was unremarkable from other warriors Baz had met on the battlefield. He knew the man was a widower with a small child, and that wasn’t all that attention-grabbing either. So why had the goddess keyed on him? Nothing Baz found in or around McCloud’s house had given him a clue.

The truck’s engine revved once before the driver shut it off. Simultaneously with the slamming of the truck’s door, the hair all over his body stood at attention, like a shock of static electricity zinged over him. Whoever was visiting McCloud’s house on this soft twilight evening was a member of the warrior community. Baz summoned his claymore to his hand and soundlessly made his way around the back of the neighboring property to investigate.

Whoever was visiting knew the place well. A beauty of a three-quarter-ton crew-cab pickup with a gleaming forest green paint job was parked on the tarmac in front of the double door of the garage behind the house. Through the glass of the outer back door, he could see the heavy oak inner door was wide open. The visitor was someone who wasn’t worried about being caught inside.

He debated cornering the warrior inside the house, but decided to wait from his place of concealment in the trees bordering the backyard. Though he’d been inside the house himself on more than one occasion, chances were whoever was there knew the place better than he did. Safer to wait and see who and what the person was and determine the level of threat. That the visitor was a threat he had no doubt. The hairs on his forearms and the back of his neck had remained standing ever since he’d heard the man cut the engine to his truck.

The truck was a beauty. His eyes strayed to the back door, and he wondered how much time he had to check it out. Taking a chance, he sheathed his sword in its scabbard on his back and vaulted through time and space to land on the driver’s side. He ran his hand along the paint of the fender and appreciated the tread on the tires. Though the truck was immaculately clean, whoever owned it used it to work—or play. He squatted low and checked out the suspension, confirming his suspicions that the truck was someone’s toy.

A quick glance inside the cab had him doing a double-take. He chuckled to himself. As close as the driver’s seat was pulled to the steering wheel, it was obvious the warrior who owned this rig was trying to make up for something he lacked. Baz adjusted his own package, and grinned. At six feet three with a wingspan to match, he could easily outmaneuver a warrior who had some distance to make up to reach six feet.

A sound near the back door sobered him up quick. He scanned the area for cover, sighting no bushes or flower beds or other hiding places near the house. Before he could visualize himself back to his hiding place at the back of the yard, a woman stepped through the door and pushed a key into the lock. With a flick of her wrist, she tested the handle and nodded. And stilled.

Time moved in slow motion as Baz catalogued the woman’s features. Long waves of chestnut-colored hair flowed over her shoulders to the middle of her back. Her orange T-shirt showed off toned shoulders and arms and a nipped-in waist where it was tucked into her jeans. Her jeans covered the sweetest ass he’d ever seen, rounded and perfect. Athletic. His hands itched to touch her. The dark navy wash of her jeans made her legs appear endless, and he wondered how they would feel wrapped around him. Before he could appreciate more of her, he caught the flash of a claymore as she summoned it to her hand the second before she faced him.

“Who are you, and what are you doing here?”

He’d expected a scream. Instead, the woman’s soft alto washed over him, momentarily disarming him. That and the intensity of dark chocolate eyes in a perfect heart-shaped face. The last of the sun’s rays slanted off her sword, bringing him back to himself. This gorgeous woman was a warrior, a serious threat.

“I could ask you the same question.”

Tam DeRudder Jackson is the author of the paranormal romance Talisman Series and the contemporary romance Balefire Series. Her favorite “room” in her house is her back patio where she dreams up stories of romance and risk. When she’s not writing her latest paranormal or contemporary romance, you can usually find her driving around with the top down in her convertible or carving turns on the slopes of the local ski hill. The mom of two grown sons, Tam likes to travel, attend rock concerts, watch football and soccer, and visit old car shows with her husband. She lives in the mountains of northwest Wyoming where she spends most of her free time trying to read all the books. Her TBR piles are threatening to take over her office, and she’s fine with that.

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