Tag Archives: Sandra Byrd

Book Review: A Lady in Disguise

4 Apr

In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than fifty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick, as was The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr.

A life-long lover of Victorian Gothic romances, Sandra’s new series, Daughters of Hampshire, weaves elements of that mystical, traditional genre with inspirational and literary threads. Mist of Midnight, the series’ first book, was honored with a coveted Editor’s Choice designation from the Historical Novel Society. The second book in the series, Bride of a Distant Isle, launched in March, 2016 and the third, A Lady in Disguise is just out in 2017.

A devotionalist as well as a novelist, Sandra’s best-selling devotional for tweens, One Year Be-Tween You and God  was followed up with her first devotional for adults, The One Year Home and Garden Devotions.  The One Year Experiencing God’s Love devotional will publish in Fall, 2017.

She is passionate about helping new authors develop their talent and their work toward traditional or independent publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to edit and coach dozens to success each year.

Please visit www.novelcoaching.com to learn more.

 

My Impressions:

Sandra Byrd combines meticulous research with excellent story-telling in her newest novel, A Lady in Disguise. Victorian England comes to life within the pages of this historical novel laced with gothic overtones. I became fully immersed in Gillian Young’s story, so much so that the hours and pages flew by — this one is unputdownable!

Gillian Young’s father has just been buried and she is left to find her way and living in the theatre business. But a mystery surrounds her police inspector father’s death and his alleged unsavory doings that skirted the law he vowed to uphold. A young woman of determination, Gillian is set upon discovering the truth, but danger lurks in every dark alley of London.

It is obvious that Sandra Byrd is devoted to accurate research. She naturally inserts details that add an authenticity to her story. From the history of the theatre, to fashion, to the sport of fencing, to the description of the coal fog, to the language used, A Lady in Disguise is a thoroughly Victorian novel. The action of the novel progresses at a steady pace, feeling neither rushed or plodding, but just right. The characters are well-developed and become dear to the reader. And a happily-ever-after is certainly in Gillian’s future. There is a twist at the end of the novel that I never saw coming, but was the perfect addition to the faith threads woven throughout the book. Trust in others, self and God is explored, along with dependence on a God who promises to provide and protect.

Fans of historical fiction will love this book. But I think A Lady in Disguise goes beyond just genre fiction; I would recommend it to any reader. It is also a perfect selection for your book club. Make sure to check it out.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Great for book clubs.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Howard Books and the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Happy Book Birthday! A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

21 Mar

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd is releasing today! Yay! For fans of historical romance with more than a bit of mystery, this one is right up your street! Check it out.

 

In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father.

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so.

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father?

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

To purchase, click HERE.

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published fifty books.

Sandra’s new series, Daughters of Hampshire, historically sound Gothic romances, launched with best-selling Book One: Mist of Midnight. That book earned a coveted Editor’s Choice from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, will publish in March 2017. Sandra’s latest nonfiction title is The One Year Home and Garden Devotions.

Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens and teens, including the best-selling, The One Year Be-Tween You and God, Devotions For Girls, and two read aloud picture books.

She is passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self-publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year via novelcoaching.com

Please visit http://www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.

Top 10 Tuesday — Spring TBR List

14 Mar

The folks at The Broke And The Bookish are back with their Top 10 Tuesday‘s! Yay! This week bloggers are spotlighting their Spring TBR Lists. What are you reading?

A couple of weeks ago I posted my TBR list for the coming months. Well as things go in my book world, even a few days will yield more books to add to the non-ending TBR pile. So here is the new and updated TBR.

Top 10 Spring TBR List

Doctor’s Dilemma by Richard Mabry

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Home by Ginny Yttrup

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser

Pursued by Lisa Harris

Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

The Sacred Scarred by Joanna Alonzo

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

What’s on your Spring TBR List?

 

Top 10 Tuesday — What’s Up Next in The TBR Pile

28 Feb

The folks at the Broke And The Bookish are taking a short and well-deserved break this week. Six years of hosting this great meme! Our hats are off to you! So that means bloggers are coming up with their own topics. I’m taking the easy way out and sharing what I will be reading in the coming weeks. Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think.

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Top 10 Books in The TBR Pile

By Cat or By Crook by Patricia Fry

Doctor’s Dilemma by Richard Mabry

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller

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Exit Katrina by Chris Link

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Home at Last by Deborah Raney

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

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Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

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What book is next up for you?

 

Book Review: To Die For

16 Oct

183113_w185To Die For, is the story of Meg Wyatt, pledged forever as the best friend to Anne Boleyn since their childhoods on neighboring manors in Kent. When Anne’s star begins to ascend, of course she takes her best friend Meg along for the ride. Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling at first, but as Anne’s favor rises and falls, so does Meg’s. And though she’s pledged her loyalty to Anne no matter what the test, Meg just might lose her greatest love—and her own life—because of it.  

Meg’s childhood flirtation with a boy on a neighboring estate turns to true love early on. When he is called to follow the Lord and be a priest she turns her back on both the man and his God. Slowly, though, both woo her back through the heady times of the English reformation. In the midst of it, Meg finds her place in history, her own calling to the Lord that she must follow, too, with consequences of her own. Each character in the book is tested to figure out what love really means, and what, in this life, is worth dying for.

Though much of Meg’s story is fictionalized, it is drawn from known facts. The Wyatt family and the Boleyn family were neighbors and friends, and perhaps even distant cousins. Meg’s brother, Thomas Wyatt, wooed Anne Boleyn and ultimately came very close to the axe blade for it. Two Wyatt sisters attended Anne at her death, and at her death, she gave one of them her jeweled prayer book — Meg.

aboutAfter earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I will publish in April, 2013.

Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens.

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra has also published many nonfiction articles and books. She is also passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.
Please visit http://www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more, or to invite Sandra to your bookclub via Skype.

My Impressions:

I have always loved the Tudor era and in particular the lives of Henry VIII’s wives. Sandra Byrd’s book To Die For offers an interesting look into the life and times of Henry and Anne Boleyn. Told by Anne’s longtime friend, Meg Wyatt, the novel is a fresh look at the woman who did much to bring the Reformation to England.

Meg Wyatt, sister of poet and courtier Thomas Wyatt, is the narrator of To Die For. She is truly a woman of her time, bound by the patriarchal society that determines a woman’s future while controlling her present. Meg is the childhood friend of Anne Boleyn and attends her rise and fall with loyalty and love. Although Meg’s story is fictionalized, Byrd brings to life the historical events and people surrounding the court of Henry VIII. The politics, power and greed are all shown through the mostly unbiased eye of Meg. And while Anne’s tale is fascinating, it is Meg’s story that holds the reader’s heart. Controlled by her family, Anne’s court and the laws of the land, Meg finds her way by committing herself to service to God and Queen.

For those of you who love historical details, you will enjoy To Die For. King Henry’s court — its extravagance and glory and its intrigue and deception — comes to life. The royal excesses are aptly contrasted with the sacrifices of men and women seeking religious reform. To Die For is book 1 in the Ladies in Waiting series, and I am looking forward to more great reading from Sandra Byrd.

Recommended.

Great For Book Clubs.

(I purchased this novel. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase a copy of To Die For, click on the image below.

Page Turners’ October Selection

25 Sep

183113_w185To Die For, by Sandra Byrd, is the story of Meg Wyatt, pledged forever as the best friend to Anne Boleyn since their childhoods on neighboring manors in Kent. When Anne’s star begins to ascend, of course she takes her best friend Meg along for the ride. Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling at first, but as Anne’s favor rises and falls, so does Meg’s. And though she’s pledged her loyalty to Anne no matter what the test, Meg just might lose her greatest love — and her own life — because of it.  

Meg’s childhood flirtation with a boy on a neighboring estate turns to true love early on. When he is called to follow the Lord and be a priest she turns her back on both the man and his God. Slowly, though, both woo her back through the heady times of the English reformation. In the midst of it, Meg finds her place in history, her own calling to the Lord that she must follow, too, with consequences of her own. Each character in the book is tested to figure out what love really means, and what, in this life, is worth dying for.

Though much of Meg’s story is fictionalized, it is drawn from known facts. The Wyatt family and the Boleyn family were neighbors and friends, and perhaps even distant cousins. Meg’s brother, Thomas Wyatt, wooed Anne Boleyn and ultimately came very close to the axe blade for it. Two Wyatt sisters attended Anne at her death, and at her death, she gave one of them her jeweled prayer book — Meg.