On the Shores of Tregalwen

Whenever I write a review, whether I thoroughly enjoyed the story or not, I try to leave out as many spoilers as possible. Knowing that will not always be possible, I’ll still do my best to refrain from spoiling such things as climaxes, twists and the like. Who wants a book completely ruined before you even try it for yourself?

Touted by Amazon as “a swoony award winner,” this story is an introductory novella to a series of romances set in Cornwall, England. It follows our two MCs, Hannah Summerfield and Thomas Causey, as they navigate and explore their feelings for one another. I’ll begin this review with complete honesty: I find Ms. Hathaway’s books to be very hit-or-miss when it comes to the stories themselves. There is absolutely nothing amiss with grammar or structure.

As this isn’t the first I’ve read of the series, I already knew some of what to expect. The only thing I found lacking was a little bit more adventure. But then again, I’m always looking for more adventure in my reads. The best modern comparison would have to be any novel by Nicholas Sparks. It’s most definitely a feel-good-when-you’re-down kind of read. This book takes place before BEHIND THE LIGHT OF GOLOWDUYN; a tale I enjoyed more than this novella.

Everything in TREGALWEN wraps up neatly, if not a bit rushed. And, if I may say, there is such a thing as a romance that’s a bit too sweet, a bit too predictable. If you’re looking for a HEA (happily ever after), then certainly give TREGALWEN a read. The four stars are for location, well built characters, and tight plotting. Minus one star for a noticeable POV issue along the way. Finally, if you like something with a tad bit more adventure, then BEHIND THE LIGHT OF GOLOWDUYN may just be the tale for you.

SYNOPSIS:
Cornwall, 1815
When her estranged mother beckons her to London, Hannah Summerfield has no choice but to answer her call. Forced to leave behind her peaceful life in Cornwall, she bids farewell to the seaside, her grandparents—and her childhood sweetheart, Thomas. She becomes subdued at once by Society’s rigid rules and her mother’s censure, and when Thomas’s letters unexplainedly stop, she is left to wonder if she ought to embrace her new life in Town after all. But when her mother pressures her to accept an unwanted proposal, Hannah cannot help but flee to the one place she has ever called home—to the only boy she has ever loved.

After three years apart, Thomas Causey has all but given up hope of Hannah ever returning to Cornwall, fearing she has fallen in love with another. But when she appears on his doorstep, soaked through with rain and covered in mud, he allows himself to long once more for a future with the woman he still loves.

However, Thomas quickly realizes that Hannah is not who she was before. She has left London for a reason—a reason he cannot uncover. He longs for the truth they once so easily shared, but Hannah must first find the courage to rediscover herself—and what her heart truly desires.

This is a prequel novella for the clean and sweet Regency Cornish Romance series by Deborah M. Hathaway.
Although this friends to more romance is a stand-alone novella, the books are best enjoyed when read in order.


Change is Coming

There are many types of bloggers out here on the interwebs, and I’m still finding my footing. Even after all these years of blogging, writing, and blogging about writing. I used to think I wanted to, one day, become a published writer, but I’ve come to understand something about myself: I’m really not all that disciplined to do so.

As I’ve got multiple failed attempts under my belt – from Project Firedamp in 2016 to Project Star and Sea most recently in 2020 – publication is no longer a viable path for me. I’ve failed at so many short story attempts it’s not even funny. I’ve failed at consistently posting web story series. I’ve failed at completing any manuscript on my hard drive.

Because of this decision, my website will undergo a transformation. Let me go ahead and answer a few questions you may already have: yes, I’ll still be reading. Yes, I’ll still blog about life, books, history, and writing stuff. No, I’m not disappearing for good. Things are just…changing. And never before would I have personally accepted or attempted this change if I didn’t feel it was a good direction to go in.

Now, mind you, I’m no expert in reviewing books. I’ve tried doing them on my site in the past, but I realized, very quickly, that I was only reviewing books that disappointed me. How biased is that? So I’ll be taking another look at how I’ll do so moving forward. I’m also going to try expanding my reading habits, though I know I’ll always revert back to my favorite genres.

Look for changes in the coming days, weeks, months, years. Because change is coming to anotherhartmanauthor.com. Including this site’s link. Authorship may no longer be my goal in life, but if I can help others achieve their dreams, then why not use this visibility to do so?


Five Booktube Channels I Recommend

To be completely candid here, I’ve been less excited about books lately than in years past. Inspiration comes in many forms, and some bookish inspiration was needed. So I headed to YouTube and looked for a few channels to get started.

As a long time viewer of beauty community drama (it’s my guilty pleasure), it’s only logical to assume that other YouTube communities aren’t immune to the “spilling the tea” phenom. I don’t know anyone save for two channels mentioned in this post, so that gave me an unbiased look into this new realm.

It’s funny; during my time on Twitter I’ve stayed out of as much writing drama as possible, save for a few opinions and problematic accounts. It’s impossible to ignore bad advice when it’s given. Below are six booktube and authortube channels I recommend (in no particular order).

Natalia Leigh

Sub Count: 10.4 k
Links: Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Website

From what I’ve seen so far, Natalia is a well grounded author who takes the time to look into what kind of writer and content creator she wants to be. My first video of hers was actually in reference to some Twitter drama that happened in early 2019, and I appreciate her kind of honesty. We may believe in different things, but writing is one of the things we’ve got in common. That transparency is why I recommend Natalia. It also doesn’t hurt that “Leigh’s” in her name as well!

bytheBrooke

Sub Count: 4.96 k
Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

New Adult author Brooke Passmore also hooked me with her honesty (you’ll find this to be a common thread with these channels). I’ll admit that my first video of hers also came on the heels of online writing drama (surprise surprise), but her demeanor is what kept me watching. As a thirty-four year old viewer of entertainment, I don’t need over-the-top personalities and crazy editing many 2019 content creators seemed so fond of. Simplicity is the best medicine, and, well, her background’s PURPLE! I love purple…

Peter Likes Books

Sub Count: 21.7 k
Links: Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

I’ve known about this channel for quite a while due to Peter’s beauty community drama channel. His honesty on subjects other than books is what convinced me to give his booktube a chance, and why I am thinking about beginning a history themed booktube channel myself. If you’re looking for someone to tell you like it is, I’d give Peter’s videos a shot! Variety is the spice of life, and Peter certainly lives up to that 🙂

Kate Cavanaugh

Sub Count: 29.8 k
Links: Twitter | Instagram | Website | Patreon

Kate’s channel was one of the first I stumbled upon in my quest to find booktubes, and the first video of hers I viewed was “I Tried Writing Like JK Rowling for Two Days.” While entertaining, it really drove the point home that every writer needs to find their own methodology. What’ll work for one individual may not for the next. Take a look at some of Kate’s videos below!

Sara Lubratt

Sub Count: 95
Links: none

In YouTube talk, a small channel like Sara’s would be called a “micro channel” as she only has 95 subs. Even with little over a dozen videos to her name, I can see returning to this channel time and time again. We all have to start somewhere, right? Sara’s story is just beginning. As far as I can tell, she has no other social media links to share. And that’s okay!


One of my goals for this post was to find a group book lovers and authors at varying stages in their careers and ages. While I don’t know yet if watching booktube will become part of my daily writing routine, it’s good to engage with other writers and opinions. That’s what makes the book community such a rich one, and it’s vain to think you don’t need anyone else to accomplish your own goals. So no matter your routine, beliefs or demographic, I hope you’ll explore the channels above with an open mind and who knows, maybe you’ll find a kindred spirit or two!

Happy writing/reading, friends!


Book Review | Christmas by the Lighthouse

In this new realm of reviewing books, I have to constantly remind myself that I’m not going to love every book I read, be it from the library, a second hand book store, ARCs for review from NetGalley, or directly from the authors themselves.

I received CHRISTMAS BY THE LIGHTHOUSE as an ARC from NetGalley. This did not affect my review.

*Future Leigh here: this review was particularly difficult to write.

With CHRISTMAS BY THE LIGHTHOUSE by Rebecca Boxall, I didn’t fully dislike it, as it does highlight classic struggles of human nature. There are just a few things I’d like to touch upon before I go about deciding if I should recommend this book or not.

Settings
Setting description is one of Ms. Boxall’s strengths. The main settings described in CHRISTMAS BY THE LIGHTHOUSE are gorgeous – the lighthouse, the cottages and locations around Jersey. Being from England herself, I wonder if it’s a place she knows. As much as I want to visit places like this I hate being close to open water. So I live vicariously through books.

Characters
Although the story centered around Summer and Jude, they felt just as two-dimensional as the rather large supporting cast. They say that every person you meet influences your life in some way or another. Jude certainly went on a journey (all I can say without giving away any spoilers), and there is a twist at the end.

Overall Flow
Things pick up in the second half of the tale. While there’s some fabulous scenes centered around connections characters have with World War Two, the slow pace of the first part nearly made me put down the book.

I couldn’t get behind with how nonchalant many of the supporting characters were of Summer’s marital status and her growing interest in Jude. I get that this is a work of fiction, but it bothered me that Summer’s husband kept “apologizing” as well. For these reasons, and the slow pace, I’ve given CHRISTMAS BY THE LIGHTHOUSE three out of five stars.

STRENGTHS: Conversation and Description,.

RATING: THREE out of FIVE stars

Christmas by the Lighthouse releases in Sept. 2019

Here’s just a bit of the journal page I made so I could easily take down my thoughts for this review. It’s a hobby I’ve always enjoyed doing and I wanted to start sharing images of what I create with the posts. I hope you enjoy!