Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: New Year, New Worlds
Author Guest / January 19, 2022

Although the societal shifts that happened after World War I might have been more ground-breaking, by the 1940s, women were still mostly confined to traditional roles as wives and mothers or to a few “approved” careers, such as secretaries, sales clerks, or nurses.  The advent of World War II and the resulting manpower shortage once again opened opportunities—and challenges—for women to explore vastly different and sometimes dangerous occupations.  This month’s selection of stories transports the reader from England to Russia to the Hawaiian islands as intrepid ladies in difficult times take on exciting, essential, and unprecedented work. In roughly chronological order, we begin with THE ROSE CODE by Kate Quinn.  As German submarines ravage British shipping, Bletchley Park, a stately house in Buckinghamshire, is converted into the top-secret headquarters of a group of academics, scientists, mathematicians, and puzzle fanatics whose goal is breaking the German military communication code.  Included in this group are three very unlikely code-breakers: Canadian debutante Osla, beautiful, wealthy and one of Prince Phillip’s flirts; East-Ender Mab, who burns to utilize her wits and expertise to rise from poverty to make a genteel marriage, and shy spinster Beth, whose brilliance at solving puzzles soon turns her into…

SUMMER BBQ RECIPE ROUNDUP | If I Were You by Lynn Austin
Author Guest , Giveaways / June 15, 2020

We’re excited to bring you the Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup! Join us all week for great books, awesome authors, and delicious recipes to create the perfect BBQ menu! Read on for our first recipe, shared by Lynn Austin, and learn more about her new inspirational historical novel, IF I WERE YOU. And be sure to come back the rest of the week for more fun and book giveaways! My newest novel, If I Were You, begins in the summer of 1950. Audrey Barrett has endured the devastating bombing Blitz in London during World War II. She has fallen in love and married an American soldier who was stationed in England. And now she has moved to the US as a British war bride. She lives in one of the thousands of postwar bungalows that sprang up in new neighborhoods all over America after the war. As chapter one begins, Audrey and her four-year-old son, Robbie, are enjoying a swim in the backyard pool. Then–surprise! A woman claiming to be the real Audrey Barrett rings the doorbell, holding her four-year-old son, Bobby, by the hand. The two Audreys know each other. They were best friends until they parted ways in England four…

Julia Justiss | History ReFreshed: A Thanksgiving Treat
Author Guest / November 20, 2019

For one of America’s favorite holidays, that gathering of families and friends to give thanks for blessings and to share meals, I’m offering a dessert selection of books guaranteed to be delicious.  Fashion, gossip, weddings, tales of artists and actors…what could be better? We begin with Jennifer Robson’s THE GOWN.  As recent royal weddings demonstrate, the fashion world’s most feverish speculation revolves around the material and styling of the gown chosen by a royal bride.  In 1947, in the midst of a harsh winter after a long, grim war of rationing and privation, anticipation at the upcoming royal wedding was one of the few topics to lift the spirits of war-weary Britons.  This was nowhere truer than with Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the prestigious fashion house Norman Hartnell, who are thrilled to be selected for the honor of embroidering the iconic gown to be worn by Princess Elizabeth at her wedding to Prince Phillip.  Seventy years later, Heather Mackenzie is mystified to receive a legacy from her grandmother Nan–a set of embroidered flowers that closely resemble the motifs used on Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown.  As Heather sets out to uncover the truth behind the embroidery, her story…