Friday, October 5, 2012

American Tapestries - review

 Today I get to participate in the blog tour for the first two books in the new American Tapestries series from Summerside: Queen of the Waves and Where the Trail Ends. The time periods of both novels intrigued me, so I was happy for the opportunity to read them. Thank you to Litfuse Group for providing me with review copies in exchange for my honest reviews.

Queen of the Waves, by Janice Thompson, is a Titanic story. Even though I'm intrigued by the tragic story of the Titanic, I thought this might be just another re-telling of a society debutante experiencing the great ship. Instead, the main character was actually of the working class, but got to travel on the Titanic in First Class, as she is standing in for the high society lady I expected. That gave an interesting twist to the story. It was well-written and not too melodramatic or sappy.

Here's the publisher's synopsis:
When pampered Jacqueline Abington secretly elopes with the family gardener, she asks another woman to take her place on the much anticipated maiden voyage of the Titanic. Tessa Bowen hails from a poor corner of London but has been granted the opportunity of a lifetime—a ticket to sail to America aboard a famed vessel. But there’s a catch: she must assume Jacqueline’s identity. For the first time in her life, Tessa stays in luxurious quarters, dresses in elegant gowns, and dines with prestigious people. Then a wealthy American man takes an interest in her, and Tessa struggles to keep up the ruse as she begins falling for him. When tragedy strikes, the game is up, and two women’s lives are forever changed.

Where the Trail Ends, by Melanie Dobson, is an Oregon Trail story. The novel starts towards the end of the overland journey, just as the wagon train is preparing to cross the Blue Mountains. This was particularly interesting to me, as I've seen that part of the Oregon Trail and have been over the Blues several times. This story was set in the 1840s, in the very early days of westward expansion. The wagon train in the story was one of the first ones to make the trip, so there were fur-trappers and Indians at the end of the trail to greet them rather than other pioneers. That was an interesting perspective that I hadn't read about before. I liked the main character, and found the story believable and well-researched.

Here's the publisher's synopsis:
For two thousand miles along the trail to Oregon Country, Samantha Waldron and her family must overcome tremendous challenges to reach the Willamette Valley before winter. Together they weather autumn storms, hunger and thirst, and the dangers of a wild and unfamiliar country. But when their canoe capsizes on the Columbia River, they must rely on handsome British exporter Alexander Clarke to rescue them from the icy water. Alex escorts Samantha and her young brother, Micah, to Fort Vancouver. There Samantha is overwhelmed with men vying for her affections, but the only one who intrigues her-Alex-is the one she cannot have. When his betrothed arrives unexpectedly from England to escort him home, Samantha becomes determined to create a home for herself and Micah in the fertile valley far away from the fort. But how will an unmarried woman support herself and her brother in the wilderness alone? Then Micah disappears into the wilderness one rainy night, and Samantha must rely on the man she loves-the man she’s trying desperately to forget-to rescue her brother before it’s too late.
 
One fortunate winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson
  • Queen of the Waves by Janice Thompson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 17th. Winner will be announced at the American Tapestries Author Chat Facebook Party on 10/18. Connect with authors Janice Thompson and Melanie Dobson for an evening of book chat, trivia and fun! There will also be gift certificates, books, and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group)!

So grab your copy of Queen of the Waves and Where the Trail Ends and join Janice Thompson and Melanie Dobson on the evening of the October 18th for a chance to connect with the authors and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

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