Ten New Releases I’m Looking Forward To in 2021

You are not alone. By that statement I mean you are not alone in your ever-growing “TBR” pile. #amiright? Please excuse that lame use of a hashtag in a blog post. It seemed like an opportune moment!

Also opportune: new releases! I feel like I’ve read nothing but older titles for the past few years, so I’ve found the addition of a New Releases 2021 list over on Amazon to be quite a refreshing change.

This list is, so far, has encouraged me to seek out new authors and new types of stories I wouldn’t have otherwise found. Feeling stuck with your own reading habits? Try compiling such a list! Not only may you find something new to love, but it’ll give you something to look forward to as well.

Already Released

Author: Martha Keyes
Pub Date: 27 February ’21
Genre: Scottish Historical Romance
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Christina MacKinnon is secretly relieved to be a widow. She is equally desperate to distance herself from the clan of her dead husband, but as the heir to his estate—one she needs in order to support her siblings—she must first stave off both the advances and threats of the man next in line to inherit. It seems the only person she can turn to is a nearby stranger who seems inclined to help her. But he has a request….read more.


My initial thoughts: As I’m on a bit of a Scottish/Highlander story kick right now, I really wanted to read this as soon as I saw it. While it seems like every Highlander tale tries to be the next “Outlander,” I hope this one stands on its own two feet. The use of a widow character in stories has been a popular trait as of late, so I hope this tale doesn’t turn cliche with its use as well. Fingers crossed! I could really use an adventure right now.

Author: Shari L. Tapscott
Pub Date: 29 January ’21
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Temporary peace has settled across Draegan as a new era begins for the cursed kingdom, but the royals know that tranquility is fleeting. In order to fulfill the magic and save the continent from its imminent destruction, Rhys and Amalia must once again return to Renove and see the rightful king ascend his throne.

The sorrows of yesterday forgotten, Amalia looks forward to crossing the rift one last time to see her family, filled with hope that the impossible task she and Rhys were charged with will soon be complete.
read more


My initial thoughts: I’ve followed this series almost since the first novel was published a few years ago. Let me tell you something: I don’t normally gravitate towards fantasy reads, but this one I’m thoroughly enjoying. That should tell you something. I really like Tapscott’s writing style, as well as the characters in this series. You want to root for almost all of them, and that’s rare.

Author: Jennie Goutet
Pub Date: 1 March ’21
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

At the start of their London Season, Philippa Clavering discovers her friend, Susan, is being pursued by the wrong gentleman and decides to turn Susan’s head to a worthier suitor. Not one to shrink from what she views as her duty and gift, Philippa sets plans in motion to bring about the happy ending her friend deserves. What she does not expect is to have Susan’s older brother watching—and criticizing—her every move.

After a respectable number of years on the town, Jack Blythefield is at last contemplating the idea of settling down. What he seeks is a compliant wife to provide him an heir or two and make his home comfortable while he spends his evenings at the club, where a man can get some peace. What he does not need is a termagant who sets his life on end with madcap schemes, which invariably involve his unwilling assistance. read more


My initial thoughts: Right off the bat I can tell this isn’t going to be your typical Regency story. Regencies usually go one of two ways: the hero’s part of the King’s ranks and is undercover; or the wallflower needs attending, much to everyone’s chagrin. This one looks quite promising. We shall see, won’t we?

Not Yet Released

Author: Michele Ashman Bell
Pub Date: 1 April ’21
Genre: Historical Adventure
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Anduron, 1498. The king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess—Rosemund—has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents’ most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival. Soldiers are combing the countryside, searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found—and executed. read more


My initial thoughts: adventure, adventure, adventure! Please, give me all the adventure! I’ve read so much romance as of late that I really need more swordplay n’at. This has Sleeping Beauty vibes as well, and I hope there’s at least a little nod in there to the fairy tale. I’m a sucker for retellings, okay? The heroine might be a bit young for my tastes, but we shall see.

Author: Heather B. Moore
Pub Date: 1 April ’21
Genre: Historical
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Georgina Ballard has been disappointed in love more than a few times, a fact that she is uncomfortably aware of amid her sister’s wedding preparations. When her elderly aunt Rowena bids Gigi to accompany her on an art tour across Europe, Gigi hesitates but eventually resigns herself to the train journey alongside a group of aged art connoisseurs, if only to mollify her aunt. read more


My initial thoughts: Yet another new book for April 1st! I had to check my sources several times while building this post just to make sure I hadn’t read the dates wrong. I normally don’t read books set in this time but c’mon. Trains? How could I pass that up? Just have a train in your tale and I’ll gravitate to it like moths to a flame! Not only that, but it’s received rave reviews over on Goodreads. Yes, histfic! Give me all the adventure, please!

Author: Sally Britton
Pub Date: 30 April ’21
Genre: Historical Regency Romance
Formats: Kindle

Emma Arlen has spent a decade as a member of the duke’s family, in the position of companion to his daughter and ward to the duke himself. She would do anything to show her support to the ducal family for their love and kindness. When Lady Elinor begs Emma to distract a most determined Sicilian suitor, she agrees at once. How hard can it be to keep one man entertained for a few weeks? read more


My initial thoughts: After thoroughly enjoying the first book in this series, I knew I had to pick this one up. I discovered MR GARDINER AND THE GOVERNESS at a time when I wasn’t keen on romance novels. Let’s just say Sally Britton changed my mind. I know it’s impossible to love every story by a single author, so let’s read to find out!

Author: Jen Geigle Johnson
Pub Date: 3 May ’21
Genre: Historical
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Peace is tenuous in the small kingdom of Oldenburg, and the looming threat of invasion from Napoleon weighs heavily on the royal family. Their country’s best chance for safety lies in strengthening their alliance with the English. So it is that Prince Hayes Wilhelm finds himself returning to England, where he hopes a prominent duke can help him protect his country. read more


My initial thoughts: The cover. Look at that cover! I know they say to not judge a book by its cover, but I’m a very visual individual. the cover first, has to draw me in. Followed closely by the synopsis. Speaking of the synopsis, this one certainly gives us a glimpse of high stakes, and not just with matters of the heart. I hope it excels in both.

Author: Esther Hatch
Pub Date: 3 May ’21
Genre: Historical Romance
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

His scandals were right on track until she derailed everything.

As the successful owner of multiple railroad lines, Diana Barton is all too accustomed to fending off suitors seeking to stake their claim on her wealth. In order to keep the wolves at bay, Diana has contrived the perfect plan: appeal to the most notorious rake in London, the Baron Lord Bryant, to ruin her reputation and scare off the worst of the time wasters. The ruse will be no hardship—she’s secretly been fascinated by the man for years. read more


My initial thoughts: it’s the classic “damned if they do, damned if they don’t. While I’ve no idea if this will be a clean romance or not, I’m once again drawn in by yet another element of this story: trains. Yup. I’m a train fiend, okay? Perhaps one day I’ll compile a blog post explaining why, but not today! I’m also a sucker for rake-turned-faithful stories. Looking forward to this one!

Author: Melanie Dickerson
Pub Date: 1 June ’21
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Formats: Kindle, Audiobook

Ever since she was a child, Audrey wanted her life to be extraordinary. But as the daughter of a viscount born in late fourteenth-century England, the only thing expected of her was to marry—until an act of malice by her sister, Maris, four years ago damaged her prospects even further. Though Maris was sent away, twenty-year-old Audrey is still suffering the scars of her sister’s cruelty. So when her father announces his plans to marry off his damaged daughter and bring Maris back home, Audrey decides to flee in search of her true destiny. read more


My initial thoughts: She was already a seasoned author by the time I discovered Melanie Dickerson’s books. I own nearly all of them – though some I like more than others. To this day I’m still not sure how I feel about THE ORPHAN’S WISH or THE PIPER’S PURSUIT. But I’m ready for a another medieval tale, one not connected with the prior series, with the Dericott series.

Author: Lisa Kleypas
Pub Date: 27 July ’21
Genre: Historical Romance
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

“The devil never tries to make people do the wrong thing by scaring them. He does it by tempting them.”

Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible. read more


My initial thoughts: Oh dear. This is book seven in a series of seven! I really hope that it can still be read as a stand-alone tale without much background info needed. This is also another romantic tale with a widow as the heroine. Does this speak to today’s times? I can’t help but wonder… I don’t wonder, however, about the inclusion of more Scottish characters. Yes! Give me all the kilts. Um…that doesn’t sound good, does it?


Well, there you have it. Ten titles I’m looking forward to reading in 2021. As always, this list is subject to change, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Have you made a New Releases list yet? No? What are you waiting for? Go and show your fellow authors some love.


Ten Days // Ten Books

Guess what? I’m on vacation! Since my trip to DC and the Library of Congress was cancelled earlier this year (which would’ve been an amazing trip, by the way), my family and I have decided to visit a town much closer to home for my birthday week.

Call me crazy if you like, but I’ve decided to try reading ten books in the ten days I’ve got off work for this trip. I may be a slow writer, but I’m most definitely a fast reader. Time, however, has gotten in the way of my ability to read down my pile.

I decided to give myself this challenge: ten days of vacation + ten books = ten more adventures I’ve yet to go on! Yesterday’s book, sadly, fell short of my expectations and I had to move it to the DNF (did not finish) list. I gave it more time than I should, hoping beyond hope that maybe some adventure would be included. That did not end up being the case.

So here are the ten books I’ll attempt to read while on vacation this week:

Saturday, Sept. 19

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Unfortunately I had to add INHERITING TROUBLE by Wendy May Andrews to my “Did Not Finish” list. As much as I want to get into Regencies, many of them are Romances, and I just haven’t found the right ones to fall in love with yet.

Sunday, Sept. 20

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m switching gears to read the next book in The Riven Kingdoms series by Shari L. Tapscott. I immediately wanted to know what happened to the two MCs when I finished Book One, not knowing then it’s part of a series.

Monday, Sept. 21

*This title has been added to my DNF list.

NEVERLAND FALLING by Brittany Fichter is the newest addition to my reading list, and I’m always game for a new fairy tale retelling. This one caught my eye because it’s based on Peter Pan, and I don’t read many of those.

Tuesday, Sept. 22

Okay, I lied. A MIDWINTER’S WEDDING by Melanie Cellier is the newest book to my list (having just added it because, well, book distractions). Cellier’s books are hit or miss for me, and I hope this is a hit!

Wednesday, Sept. 23

I got this title last year when I tried doing NetGalley (such a stressful place), but I’ve wanted to read this since then. So I kept it. Wednesday will be MURDER AT KENSINGTON PALACE by Andrea Penrose day!

Thursday, Sept. 24

I love KM Shea’s fairy tale retellings! I was sad when her series ended, but have been meaning to dive into her other series. So I’ll continue my read through of her stories with THE PRINCE’S BARGAIN, the third book in her Elves of Lessa series.

Friday, Sept. 25

A LADY MOST DANGEROUS by Caroline Hanson is next on the agenda for Friday, September 25th. I hope to at least start reading it, because we may go Cosmic Bowling that night! I’m quite ready for some time hopping shenanigans with this one.

Saturday, Sept. 26

To be completely honest, I’m not sure which book comes first, the previously mentioned one or A LADY OUT OF TIME, also by Caroline Hanson. I’ll figure it out when the, ahem, time comes!

Sunday, Sept. 27 (aka my birthday!)

From time travel to even more royalty vs. the lower class, I’m ready to read MAGICAL MISPERCEPTION by Suzanne Rogers. However unsure I am if this is a retelling or not, I know for a fact I’m looking forward to this story.

Monday, Sept. 28

It looks as though I’ll end my vacation with another Tapscott title – PIPPA OF LAURAMORE. I purchased this before SEA OF STARLIGHT, so I don’t know what’s taken me so long to read it. Better late than never, they say!

That’s a lot of variety, isn’t it? And a lot of books! Because I haven’t really been in a good state of mind to write as of late, I debated long and hard over if I should take my laptop on vacation with me or not. I think all I want are a few books, a notepad and no internet.

What are your reading goals for the week?


All The Tropes I Want to Use But Won’t

When I first looked up writing tips, the word “trope” popped up everywhere – on YouTube, on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest. Enter in a whole new world of terms to sift through. Let’s begin discussing tropes.

To be unequivocally cliche here, Webster’s Dictionary defines a TROPE as: “a word or expression used in a figurative sense,” and “a common or overused theme or device.”

Storytelling is an art form that’s been around for centuries. Ever open a new book, get four chapters in, and wonder why it seemed familiar? Every genre has its own kind of formula and character traits to go with them – the love triangle in a Rom Com, the wizard who uses a wand to aid him in his spell casting, faeries who are based off Disney’s Tinkerbell from Neverland.

Are they completely untouchable?

What if the author wants to use them in some form or another? Since putting my #histfict series on hold to get this fantasy concept out, I’ve been revisiting the following tropes.

Different genre, different tropes, right?

Here are five tropes I really want to use but won’t

“Girls who disguise themselves as boys in order to adventure” via silverblade.net

“The main character’s parents die in an accident/in war/murdered” via HobbyLark

“The races/species are uniform” via Fantasy-Faction

“Characters with no experience are better than the experts” via mythcreants

“Going back to their small town to get away from something/rekindling old romances” via The Writing Cooperative

Pick a trope typically used in a genre completely different from what you write and rework it to fit your own genre.

An ever constant challenge: creating a story that isn’t completely trope-y!


What Inspired Project Firedamp

It was literally a dream. Without sounding prophetical or in need of being admitted to an asylum, that is exactly how the idea for Firedamp came about. A dream. The kind of dream that was so vivid that you wake up after and you have to wonder if it actually happened or not. So I had the idea but it was the execution of it that perplexed me at first. Then it dawned on me:  what better way than to combine something fantastical with historical fact? Not only that, but center it in a place you love and where you grew up? We’ve all heard the phrase, “Write what you know.” What I know is Pennsylvania.

The American Keystone State of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest colonies in the United States. From Fort Pitt to Gettysburg to Homestead and beyond, events in these places helped establish Pennsylvania as an integral force throughout history. But also in Pennsylvania, it became an industrial hub for the blue collar working class. With their lives being dictated by old money and those who controlled it. All these factors will come to play in Firedamp in one way or another, and I hope I somehow do it justice.

While I admit that it has been an on-again-off-again project, I am constantly thinking of it, constantly researching, constantly writing and constantly outlining. Firedamp is a historically-driven novel that combines several big events where hopefully readers of all ages will not only enjoy but learn something new in the process about the past that should not be forgotten.