Meriden Park Virtual Blog Tour, Review and Author Interview

Monday, December 12, 2022

Following her childhood rescue from the gutters of Calcutta, Mary Grace’s life has been an astonishing rags-to-riches tale. The Wellings raised the half-Indian orphan with all the love and care the childless couple possessed, allowing her to grow into a beautiful and refined woman. But upon Mr. Welling’s death, it is time for Mrs. Welling to take Mary home to England—home to Meriden Park.

Despite her genial nature, Mary is received with suspicion by the villagers. For his part, however, Mr. Robert Markham is intrigued by the curious new beauty in town. Determined to make her acquaintance, he offers Mary a bargain she can’t refuse: a hot cross bun for a kiss. That seemingly innocent exchange is the first of many encounters between Robert and Mary, whose friendship blossoms into love during long walks in the privacy of Sherwood Forest. But the shadows of the forest hide a sinister secret, one Mary fears Robert might be a part of. As the mystery of the recent string of murders creeps closer and closer, Robert and Mary are drawn into a dangerous game, and unless she can unearth the truth, the couple risks losing one another forever.

LIFE IS WHAT IT'S CALLED - What inspired you to write this story? 

JULIE DAINES - Meriden Park fits in with my previous Regency romance stories in that all three have an iconic romantic couple from the past connected to the story. I used Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn in Willowkeep, and King Arthur and Guinevere in Havencross, so of course it was time for Robin Hood and Maid Marian! 

LIFE IS WHAT IT'S CALLED - What will readers like most about this story? 

JULIE DAINES - I hope that readers will enjoy the sweet and fun relationship between Robert and Mary. They are so cute together; it is one of my favorite parts about the book. I love when two very different people discover that they each fill exactly the gaps in the other person. Also, I hope Mary’s journey as a character will intrigue readers and make her a special character for them. 

LIFE IS WHAT IT'S CALLED - How is the book similar and different to your other books? 

JULIE DAINES - Like most of my books, Meriden Park also has a small element of magic within its pages. I personally love books that have just a touch of magic in them. It’s not total fantasy, but just a little something to make you wonder “what?" 

LIFE IS WHAT IT'S CALLED - What writing projects are you working on next? 

JULIE DAINES - I tend to keep my current projects close to my vest. I’m not sure why, but I’m not usually ready to talk about them until they have gone to my publisher and are on the track to be released. I know some authors who like to describe their current work in progress in great detail to anyone who will listen. From me, you get: A set of stories set in the 1700s with love and loss and a tiny hint of magic. You’ll have to wait for the rest. 

LIFE IS WHAT IT'S CALLED - What lessons will the reader learn from this book? 

JULIE DAINES - This book’s main character, Mary, grows quite a lot. I hope that the lessons she learns will also resonate with readers. There are themes about heroes and what makes a person a hero. Themes about family and togetherness. Themes about accepting yourself. And lots more. 

LIFE IS WHAT IT'S CALLED - What type of readers will enjoy this book the most? 

JULIE DAINES - I hope readers who enjoy Regency Romance but are ready to take a break from dukes and earls and rakes will enjoy Meriden Park. Readers who love the lore of the land might love this book. Also, readers who love Shakespeare will find lots of tidbits to swoon over. 

LIFE IS WHAT IT'S CALLED - What should readers know about you as an author? 

JULIE DAINES - I’m very excited about this book. It has probably taken the longest for me to write than any other book. I’m not a fast writer, but this was not an easy book for me. A lot of stuff happened this past year, including the loss of three parents, and I’m looking forward to Meriden Park’s debut and really hope readers will enjoy it.

Meriden Park was not what I expected from reading the description. I thought the book would start off in India, but it started off in England especially since it said, "it is time for Mrs. Welling to take Mary home to England." It almost seemed like there would be a journey to England within the story. I also wasn't expecting the Robin Hood retelling even though the description mentioned Sherwood Forest. It's not a straight retelling, but it has a lot of elements of Robin Hood interwoven into the story. 

There was also a lot going in the story from racial issues, murder mystery, finding one's place, ghosts from the past, romance...I felt like the author did a good job at balancing it all. Writing that many elements in one story is not an easy task. There were also several interesting characters from greedy relations to a Shakespeare quoting mother. I think this book has a little bit of everything in it. It did take me some time to digest after reading it. It would be an interesting book to discuss in a group and talk about. Overall, this is very unique Regency romance. I think Regency romance readers will enjoy the unique twist on Robin Hood. To learn more, click here.

Please note that I received a free copy to review, however, this is my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog. This post is in cooperation with the author.

Lord Farleigh and Miss Frost Virtual Book Tour

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


Isleen Frost wishes her family had stayed in Dublin for Christmas but understands it would have been folly to decline an invitation to the Duke of Montfort’s Christmastide house party. Isleen refuses to allow the opulent castle and powerful duke to impress her. But the duke’s eldest son, Lord Farleigh, is another matter entirely.

Raised as the heir to a duke, Simon Dinard, Lord Farleigh, has learned to project a calm self-assurance despite an inner fear he will never be as confident a leader as his father. When a friendly wager and a spirited Irish lady challenge all his unspoken thoughts, he determines to prove her wrong—and ignore the growing attraction between them.

Christmas celebrations at the castle are always full of surprises, but Isleen and Simon are not at all prepared for the feelings the season inspires between them. An Irish miss and a duke’s son have no business falling in love. But the magic of sleigh rides, snow-covered hills, and mistletoe might change their minds...

This book was a sweet and wholesome romance to read. It's the fourth book in Sally Britton's Clairvoir Castle series. It can be read as a standalone or as part of a series. I prefer to read her books in order, but I've read some of Sally Britton's other series out of order. It just depends on what you want to do. I've enjoyed this series as a whole. It's a nice escape to read. For this particular book, I was curious to see what the author would do. In the other books in the series, Simon's been always calm, collected, and tightly-wound. It was interesting to get inside his head and learn his feelings and thoughts. I also enjoyed getting to know Isleen's character and seeing a bit of the Irish prospective in the story. The author wrote dynamic, well-rounded characters that romance readers will be sure to enjoy. The story moves along easily in a fun and easy manner. Wholesome romance readers will enjoy the story, the characters, and the fun plot. To learn more, click here.

Please note that I received a free copy to review, however, this is my honest opinion. Please note that this post contains affiliate links.

My Testimony Tree Digital Book Tour, Author Interview, Review and Giveaway

Friday, December 2, 2022


My testimony is special.

It's the spiritual things I know.

And just like a tree,

Every day I'll help it grow.

From tiny seed to strong, fruitful tree, a testimony is something that must be nurtured and cared for your whole life through. With beautiful illustrations and poetry, this story of faith helps children understand what a testimony is and how to help it thrive, bringing them closer to Heavenly Father and the Savior.


Sierra Wilson is the author of several faith-filled picture books including I Can Be Like Jesus, The Atonement of Jesus Christ is for Me, and Standout Saints: Church History Heroes from Around the World. She currently lives in Alberta, Canada where she adores hiking, skiing, and adventuring with her husband and five children.


Life Is What It's Called - What inspired you to write this story?

Sierra Wilson - Alma 32 is one of my absolute favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon and was part of my inspiration for this book. I love how that chapter gives such powerful advice on growing faith. I also love how hopeful it is. Anyone can start building a testimony. All you need is the tiniest bit of desire, and that's enough to get started.

Life Is What It's Called - What will children learn from this story?

Sierra Wilson - Children will learn what a testimony is and how to grow and care for it.

Life Is What It's Called - What will children like most about this story?

Sierra Wilson - I think children will enjoy the rhymes, the connection to nature, and the beautiful, child-friendly art by Nicole Koa.

Life Is What It's Called - How does this book stand apart from the others on the market?

Sierra Wilson - As far as I've been able to find, this is the only book available in the LDS children's market that focuses on building and caring for a testimony.

Life Is What It's Called - How is this book similar and different from the other ones that you have written?

Sierra Wilson - Like many of my other picture books, this book focuses on building faith in Christ and learning to be a daily disciple. This book is different because of its special focus on testimonies as well as the gardening/nature symbolism throughout the story.

Life Is What It's Called - What writing projects are you working on now?

Sierra Wilson - So many! I'm working on a larger scripture-based project for kids, a handful of picture books, and a few novels. I'm always bursting with ideas, and I like to work on more than one project at a time.

Life Is What It's Called - What discussions can parents have with children after reading this book?

Sierra Wilson - My hope is that this book will become a conversation starter for kids and caregivers. After reading the book, I hope families will talk about their own testimonies and maybe even share their testimonies with each other. What can they do to help their own testimony trees grow? How can they help each other? What are some goals they could set?

Life Is What It's Called - What do you want readers to know about you as an author?

Sierra Wilson - I want readers to know that I love my Savior and His gospel. My greatest hope for this book is that it brings readers closer to Christ and helps young readers as they take ownership of their own testimonies.

My Testimony Tree shares how a testimony can grow like a tree and be strong through poetry. Kids will be able to learn about how to strengthen their own testimony and faith from this book. The story is told in a simple and straightforward manner that children will appreciate. It's told in a way that kids will understand and find interesting. The pictures are attractive and engaging. Kids will enjoy the colors and the bold imagery. Overall, this is a cute and fun book to add to your home library. To learn more, click here.

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Please note this post is in cooperation with the author. I received a free copy of this book, however, I shared my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.
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