Friday, October 18, 2013

A Book Recommendation

Jessica Dotta and the cover of her book


You may remember the Tea Party Book Launch promotion that my friend, Jessica Dotta, sponsored to introduce her debut novel Born of Persuastion. Jessica was in my online writers critique group several years ago and I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at our group's conference last April. I was so impressed that this young woman had written not one, but three books to make up a trilogy. Self-described as being part Jane Austen and part Bronte's darkness, the tidbits I learned about the book during the conference intrigued me.

Me getting ready for Jessica's Tea Party--with a little photo shop addition

Jessica cleverly organized an online Tea Party to launch her book. It was a lot of fun with a new prize drawing each day for a full month. Since I didn't win a copy, I ordered the book from Amazon a few weeks ago but hadn't been able to start reading until this week. Historical fiction is my cup of tea (couldn't resist, sorry!) so I felt pretty sure I would like Jessica's book. She hooked me with chapter 1 and kept me turning pages far later at night than I'd like to admit. I seldom read during the daytime, but I found myself sneaking an hour after lunch to read a few more chapters. Oh yes, it's a definite page turner. Is the book for everyone? Probably not, but if you like the kind of stories that Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters wrote, like historical fiction and Gothic mysteries, then I guarantee you'll enjoy Born of Persuasion. Besides being a good story, it's beautiful prose. Jessica most definitely employs a bit of magic in the way she puts words together. 

There are so many twists and turns as the story progresses that I found myself changing my opinion of the various characters. One minute a character had my sympathy, and the next, I felt angry or frustrated by that character. Then doubt moved in and I decided maybe he/she was alright, after all. Exactly as Julia Elliston, the heroine, feels as she tumbles through a myriad of complexing situations.

You can read the editorial and customer reviews on the Amazon order page. Gift-giving time is just around the corner. At less than $11, this would make a nice gift for someone on your list. The second book in the trilogy is due to be released during summer of 2014. I know I'll be watching for it to see what happens next. Am I going to start liking some of those despicable people again or not? I know this fine author will keep me on a carousel of doubt as I read the second book. Maybe not doubt as much as she will keep me changing my opinions and turning those pages. I feel quite certain of that.

Amazon's synopsis is reprinted below to give you an inkling of what the story is about:

The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.



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