It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

Monday was a public holiday in my part of the world which meant a long week-end. My reading was set aside for a few days while I caught up with family. However I did finish a couple of books last week, ones that I hadn't planned on reading - it just happened!

Both books were quick reads. The Winter Sea  by Susanna Kearsley is only the second book by this author that I've read though The Firebird has been sitting on my tablet for a while without me knowing that it was the sequel to The Winter Sea. I enjoyed this dual time frame novel. Usually I enjoy the historical part more than the present day one, but in this book I loved both time frames.

The other book I read was the fourth and final novel in Deborah Challinor's series about convict girls, A Tattooed Heart. All the story lines are resolved in this final volume and there is a surprise that makes the ending more memorable. I cannot elaborate further as it would spoil the ending for those yet to read the book.

This week I'm determined to finish at least one of the books I started a while ago, Mary Anerley: A Yorkshire Tale or The Virgin of the Wind Rose: A Christopher Columbus Mystery Thriller. Both of these are ebooks and were set aside until the replacement charger for my tablet arrived. All is good now and I'm back on track. I also have two print books started All That I Am by Anna Funder and The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans. Both are good so far.

As to what's up next, I have four ebooks to read by the middle of April as a participant in Endeavour Press's Virtual Historical Festival. These are not lengthy books, so I should be able to make the deadline.

What I Read Last Week

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.
Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth—the ultimate betrayal—that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her.…

A Tattooed Heart by Deborah Challinor

1832: Convict girls Friday Woolfe, Sarah Morgan and Harriet Clarke have been serving their sentences in Sydney Town for three years. For much of that time they have lived in fear of sinister and formidable Bella Jackson, who continues to blackmail them for a terrible crime. Each of them has begun to make a life for herself, but when Harrie's adopted child Charlotte is abducted and taken to Newcastle, the girls must risk their very freedom to save her.
But is Friday up to the task? Will her desperate battle with her own vices drive her to fail not only herself, but those she loves and all who love her?
In this final volume of a saga about four convict girls transported halfway around the world, friends and family reunite but cherished loved ones are lost, and an utterly shocking secret is revealed.

What I'm Reading Today

Mary Anerley: A Yorkshire Tale by R.D. Blackmore

An early 19th century romance set in Yorkshire. Mary Anerley falls in love with smuggler Robin Lyth, but the relationship is discouraged by Mary's family due to Robin's obscure beginnings and his occupation as a smuggler.

The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney

While investigating the murder of an American missionary in Ethiopia, rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane becomes obsessed with a magical word square found inside an underground church guarding the tomb of the biblical Adam. Drawn into a web of esoteric intrigue, she and a roguish antiquities thief named Elymas must race an elusive and taunting mastermind to find the one relic needed to resurrect Solomon's Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads them to the catacombs of Rome, the crypt below Chartres Cathedral, a Masonic shaft in Nova Scotia, a Portuguese shipwreck off Sumatra, and the caverns under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Intertwined with this modern mystery-thriller, a parallel duel is waged:
The year is 1452. One of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal's Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary, Prince Henry the Navigator. He and his medieval version of NASA merged with the CIA scheme to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who plan to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.
Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies to usher in the Tribulations promised by the Book of Revelation dovetail in this fast-paced thriller to expose the world's most explosive secret: The true identity of Christopher Columbus and the explorer's connection to those now trying to spark the End of Days.

All That I Am by Anna Funder

All That I Am is a masterful and exhilarating exploration of bravery and betrayal, of the risks and sacrifices some people make for their beliefs, and of heroism hidden in the most unexpected places.When eighteen-year-old Ruth Becker visits her cousin Dora in Munich in 1923, she meets the love of her life, the dashing young journalist Hans Wesemann, and eagerly joins in the heady activities of the militant political Left in Germany. Ten years later, Ruth and Hans are married and living in Weimar Berlin when Hitler is elected chancellor of Germany. Together with Dora and her lover, Ernst Toller, the celebrated poet and self-doubting revolutionary, the four become hunted outlaws overnight and are forced to flee to London. Inspired by the fearless Dora to breathtaking acts of courage, the friends risk betrayal and deceit as they dedicate themselves to a dangerous mission: to inform the British government of the very real Nazi threat to which it remains willfully blind. All That I Am is the heartbreaking story of these extraordinary people, who discover that Hitler's reach extends much further than they had thought.Gripping, compassionate, and inspiring, this remarkable debut novel reveals an uncommon depth of humanity and wisdom. Anna Funder has given us a searing and intimate portrait of courage and its price, of desire and ambition, and of the devastating consequences when they are thwarted.

The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans

What magic is this?

You follow the hidden creek towards a long-forgotten house.
They call it Keepsake, a place full of wonder ... and danger. Locked inside the crumbling elegance of its walls lies the story of the Butterfly Summer, a story you've been waiting all your life to hear.
This house is Nina Parr's birthright. It holds the truth about her family - and a chance to put everything right at last.

What I Hope to Read Next

The Code of Love by Cheryl Sawyer

July, 1810. The Peninsular war is in full swing. Delphine Dalgleish is a Paris-bred Bonapartist who cares as deeply for the honour of France as she does for her island home on tropical Mauritius. Sir Gideon Landor is a naval prisoner of war, who has every reason to consider her the enemy, especially when he commandeers her family’s yacht to escape back to England.
They expect never to meet again, but Gideon’s secret mission to decipher Napoleon’s military Grand Code forces them into a shock encounter on a Paris street. In the seductively peaceful English countryside, they must recognise that they are both spies – on opposing sides of the war that Napoleon has unleashed on Europe. As Sir Arthur Wellesley’s forces pursue the French across the Peninsula, Delphine and Gideon are trapped in a personal feud as complex and dangerous as a military campaign. It will take them in the end to war-torn Portugal and Spain, menacing not only their lives but the armies of two nations.
Cheryl Sawyer pens a sweeping saga, beginning on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, a far-flung Bonapartist stronghold buffeted by the winds of war...

Fletcher's Fortune by John Drake

Young Jacob Fletcher, whilst unsure of his parentage, did know that as an apprentice he couldn't legally be seized by the press gang. But this particular gang couldn't actually read the rules. And didn't care anyway. Which was how he found himself risking life, limb and sea sickness on board His Majesty's frigate Phiandra, about to do battle with what looked like half the French fleet. Meanwhile at Coignwood Hall, the late Sir Henry lay face-down in his soup as his beautiful but evil widow, Lady Sarah, along with their two loathsome sons, ransacked his papers for the will that would disclose to their horror that the entire family fortune has been left to a previously unknown illegitimate son. Who would now have to be tracked down and disposed of as a matter of some urgency...
What will become of Fletcher's Fortune?
Fletcher's Fortune is the first in a rollicking series of memoirs that bring the 18th Century back to life in its tawdry glory.

Endless Love by James MacManus

After being attacked outside her home Rose Loxton decides enough is enough - she needs to get out of London. She falls in love with an old converted Stable Lodge in the Cotswolds and decides to rent it. But it soon becomes clear that her husband isn’t going to move with her. Part of Rose feels relieved – she knows their marriage hasn’t been right for a long time, so this is a chance for her to start over. At the age of forty, she finally feels like she can do exactly what she wants, and revisits her dreams of becoming a famous scientist. But then strange things start happening in her new home - pages turning of their own accord, sudden drops in temperature, and the sound of music seemingly coming from her empty garden. Rose decides to delve in the history of the house, and finds out that in 1908 a young servant hung himself from the Stable beams. But was it really a suicide? As Rose uncovers more she finds out that the young man, Will had been in love with Emily, the daughter of the land-owner. They broke all the conventions of the time by embarking on an affair that crossed the class barrier. It is clear they were deeply in love. So why would Will have killed himself? Was his death, in fact, the result of something more sinister? Can Rose find out the real story behind their Endless Love?

Shadow on the Highway by Deborah Swift

May 1651. England has been in the midst of a civil war for nearly ten years. The country has been torn in two, and the King is getting ready to make his last stand against Cromwell’s New Model Army. Abigail Chaplin, a young mute girl, has lost her father to the parliamentarian cause. But with her family now in reduced circumstances, she is forced to work as a servant at a royalist household - the estate of Lady Katherine Fanshawe. Abi is soon caught up in a web of sinister secrets which surround the Fanshawe estate. The most curious of which is the disappearance of Lady Katherine late at night. Why are her husband’s clothes worn and muddy even though he hasn’t been home for weeks? How is she stealing out of the house late at night when her room is being guarded? And what is her involvement with the robberies being committed by the mysterious Shadow on the Highway?
‘Shadow On The Highway’ is based on the life and legend of Lady Katherine Fanshawe, the highwaywoman, sometimes known as ‘The Wicked Lady’. It is the first book in ‘The Highway Trilogy’.


  1. I did the same thing! I bought The Firebird without realizing that there is another book I should read first...

  2. I'm pleased you enjoyed The Winter Sea as that's one of the only Susanna Kearsley books I haven't read yet. I also have The Code of Love and Shadow on the Highway to read for Endeavour Press, but not the other two books.

    1. I'm looking forward to reading more of Susanna Kearsley's novels. I hope you enjoy The Code of Love and Shadow on the Highway. Both of these books are by authors I've not read before.

  3. Do you have Easter Monday off, too? That would be two long weekends in a month, pretty spectacular! Suffice it to say I'm eagerly waiting my long weekend in a few weeks....!

    1. Good Friday and Easter Monday! Which makes it 3 x 4-day working weeks in a row for those who work Monday to Friday. I'm retired so all my week-ends are long :-) but family still work and are doing a happy dance because of the short working weeks. Enjoy your long week-end.

  4. Wow....great week.

    The Winter Sea and The Butterfly Summer look amazing.

    I hope you had a great reading week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

    1. The Winter Sea was very good and I'm enjoying The Butterfly Summer. I love the cover.