All posts by oma

Author Mike Lord

Olivia Andem’s Wednesday blog tour

OLD TIMES NEW VOICES                                                                                                                                                                                  Books Go Social Historical Fiction authors 

Blank white book w/path

featuring Mike Lord’s  Sinagiri…                                                an exotic tale of romance and intrigue  

 READ EXCERPT from SINat end of article

2,000 years ago, in the centre of the tropical island of Ceylon, there was the mysterious Kingdom of Rajah Kasyapu.

SINAGIRI, a thrilling historical novel, relates the trials and tribulations of the Ethiopian princess Abebech and her marriage to the Raja.

Mike Lord based his novel on a chance encounter with a portrait of the imagined princess in an ancient fresco on the walls of the old palace at SINAGIRI, which lay hidden from western eyes for a thousand years.

Today you too can visit the Hall of Mirrors and see the remaining frescoes…that is, if you can climb the stairs to the ruins of the castle.

HereMike 100 is an overview of this fascinating author:

MIKE LORD: After working for over 50 years in what is called ‘developing economies’, Mike finally retired and started writing. He is the author of 32 fantasy romance books: 9 have been published and 23 self-published at Smashwords and Amazon KDP.

Most of Mike’s novels are set in the countries well-known to him during his career, especially the remote locations. He worked with the thousands of small scale farmers who have appreciated sustainable livelihoods, so that they now have enough food to feed themselves and also some to sell so that they have a cash income.

Mike Lord is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia

Website:  http://www.lordmaity.comttps://


Mekoria could not resist it. “Where is Raja Kasyapu?” he asked. “Why does he not stay in this beautiful capital?”

The others looked at one another, but one man spoke up clearly.

“Raja Kasyapu does not often leave Sinagiri,” he explained diplomatically, “as he is building a new palace there, and wants to supervise the work himself.”

They looked at one another and nodded. This was not the first time that Abebech had begun to think that the Raja might be having problems. She also wondered why her father’s emissary was not there to greet her.

No more was said. The people who had been showing them around had been kind and considerate, and had been helping by translating words they heard, and in explaining everything that they had seen that day. Anarajapura was truly a magnificent city. Apart from the magnificence of the buildings, the streets were wide and straight, there were almshouses, rest houses for travellers, arches decorated with flags, clean sand strewn in the streets, a vast array of shops and flower stalls, and from time to time they had seen a profusion of animals, jugglers, dancers, musicians and peoples of all nations.

A separate mansion, indeed a palace, had been prepared for their stay in Anarajapura. It was built from stone and carefully finished in white lime.

There were two stories, and Mekoria found a subterranean section two floors below his bedroom. There were guards, and gardeners, and a profusion of flowers and fruit trees in the gardens. The house had carpets from Persia and Irak, silk furnishings from China, chairs and stools covered in leather and local fabrics, with white cotton overlays in every conceivable place, and a whole host of smartly dressed servants at every level in the house.  Visitors came to greet them until late in the evening, and a whole pile of gifts was accumulating in the main hall. Some of the visitors said that they would be coming with them to Sinagiri in the morning.


Author Michele McGrath


Books Go Social-Historical Fiction Blog Tour

Michele McGrath, Award Winning Author

REGENCY BELLES & BEAUX                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Action and Adventure in a Regency World


This box set contains my three Regency novels: Lady Alice’s Dilemma, Lord Philip’s Christmas, Miss Ridgeway’s Privateer. The first two books are linked by their characters and by some of the events.The third is a stand-alone novel, based to a small extent on fact.                             Purchase URL =

Lady Alice’s Dilemma:

In the middle of her first London season, Lady Alice Sutherland is shocked to encounter her renegade brother, Philip, at Lady Roche’s ball. Masquerading under another name and heavily disguised, why has Philip suddenly returned? If his true identity is discovered, Philip could hang for attempted murder. Alice finds herself caught up in a web of intrigue and violence as she helps her brother to fulfil his rescue mission. Standing in the shadows is her cousin, Edward, newly returned from the Peninsular War. Will Edward help or hinder her? Why should Alice care so much for his opinion?

Lord Philip’s Christmas:

Lord Philip Sutherland is unaware that, due to his father’s death, he has inherited the Earldom of Kirkmore. Philip’s youngest sister, Lady Alice, with her husband, Edward, and her companion, Grace Talbot, travel to Paris to find Philip and, if possible, to bring him home. All three are caught up in the turmoil which follows the Emperor Napoleon’s return from Elba. Accused of espionage, Philip escapes from France into Belgium where troops are gathering and where the battle of Waterloo is about to begin.

Miss Ridgeway’s Privateer:

Left destitute by her father’s death in the battle of Talavera, Lucy Ridgeway is sent to live with her grandmother in Ireland. Instead of her planned debut in London, her grandmother offers to present her at the Viceroy’s court in Dublin. These plans are interrupted when Lucy’s ship is captured by French privateers. One of her captors is the Irishman, Patrick O’Rourke, the ship’s surgeon, whom she has met before in unusual circumstances. Attraction is instant and mutual but … how can a well brought up girl fall in love with a pirate?

Purchase URL =

Award winning author, Michele McGrath, was born on the beautiful Isle of Man in the middle of the Irish Sea. She has lived in California, Liverpool, France and Lancashire before returning home. Living in Paris and Grenoble taught her to make a mean ratatouille and she learned the hula in Hawaii.
Michele is a qualified swimming teacher and manager, writing self-help books on these subjects. Although she writes in many genres, her real loves are historical romance and fantasy. She has won numerous writing competitions, had second places and been short-listed many times.
**Visit her blog at
**Follow Michele on Facebook at                                                                             She loves to chat with readers.
**Follow her on Twitter at



EXCERPT from Lady Alice’s Dilemma

Chapter One: June 1814

As the sweet sounds of the quadrille faded away, Lady Alice Sutherland walked off the dance floor, fanning herself vigorously. The weather was unseasonably hot for early spring, almost too hot for dancing, if such a thing was actually possible.

“Will you dance with me again, later on?” her partner asked.

“I’m sorry but my card is full,” she replied, without regret. Mr. Hardwick was an adequate dancer, but she was glad protocol forbade her from dancing with him again this evening. He was becoming far too particular in his attentions to her, despite her discouragement. He did not seem to be able to understand something as subtle as a hint.

“Then may I take you in to supper?” Mr. Hardwick persisted.

“Unfortunately no, I am already engaged with a family party,” she said, hoping that either her aunt or her cousin would come to her rescue. Otherwise she would have to hide from him until the meal was over.

“Then allow me to call on you tomorrow.”

“I would be pleased to see you.” Politeness dictated her reply, although, for an instant, she wished she might have responded differently. Mr. Hardwick possessed a monotonous voice and an interest in things that held no interest at all for her. A few minutes spent in his company made her long to scream with boredom. Alice was searching for a way to escape from him now when she was spared the trouble.

“Oh, there you are, I’ve been looking for you.” Miss Kitty Maitland came bouncing over to them.

“The dance has only just finished this moment. You are acquainted with Mr. Hardwick, aren’t you, Kitty?”

“Of course, how do you do, Mr. Hardwick? I’m delighted to meet you again.” Kitty gave him her hand. “Excuse me, but I really must steal Lady Alice away from you, it’s urgent.”

Perforce Mr. Hardwick bowed and stepped back. He looked rather shocked at Kitty’s bold manner and not very pleased. Kitty only smiled at him, linked arms with Alice and pulled her away.

“Whatever is so important? You were quite rude to Mr. Hardwick just then,” Alice asked.

“He will forgive me.” Kitty’s smile was an urchin’s grin. “Gentlemen always do.” Alice readily believed it.  Kitty was both lovely and blessed with a handsome fortune. Usually surrounded by admirers, it was rare for her to be alone and seeking the company of another female, even one of her bosom bows, as her cousin had become in the very short time they had been acquainted.

“I thought you looked as if you wanted to be rescued. Am I right?”

“Quite right, but no need to shock the poor man.”

“It will do him good. He needs to be shocked now and then. He’s far too prosy and concerned about his own dignity for someone his age. He’s an old man before his time. That’s why he prefers you to me, of course. You’re far more stately and dignified.”

“Am I? Alice enquired mildly. “I didn’t know it.” She was laughing inside and wondering what her audacious cousin would say to her next.

“To strangers and slight acquaintances, you are; with me, never.”

“No one could be dignified with you.”

“Forget Mr. Hardwick. If he had accompanied us, he would have been very much in the way, I assure you.”

“Where are we going?”

“Out into the garden. You will allow that I cannot go there unaccompanied. Think of what all the old tabbies would say about me if I did. After all, the moon is full, Lady Roche’s gardens are in shadow. Who knows what mischief I might get up to on my own?”

Alice laughed. “You rogue. You’ve dragged me away from the ball for some mad scheme of your own. You’ve never lacked for an escort before. Why do you need me all of a sudden?”

“I sent all my usual escorts away. Like Mr Hardwick, they would have been very much in the way. I can share my mischief with you; you know all my secrets.”

“Do I? Not quite all of them, I wager.”

Kitty giggled. “Perhaps not, but most of them anyway. This one you certainly do.”

“The gallant Captain Roper, by any chance?” Alice asked slyly, naming Kitty’s latest flirt. Her affections for him had lasted rather longer than those she had for the callow boys who usually surrounded her.

“How odd that you should say so. You know me far too well. I must cast myself on your mercy and beg you not to carry tales of me to Mama.”

“As if I would.”

“Then I will tell you that I saw Captain Roper go out onto the terrace a little while ago.”

“Kitty! You really can’t be suggesting that we run after him like a pair of hoydens?”

“How can you say such a terrible thing?” Kitty exclaimed, with a grin. “The night is so hot. Is it any wonder I prefer to walk in the gardens with my cousin, rather than dance in a stuffy ballroom?”

“Where we encounter the Captain, of course?”

“Quite by chance. A coincidence, no more. How could it be anything else?”

“You rogue!” Alice laughed. “Dragging me into one of your nefarious schemes!”

“What are cousins for? But you will be a dear and come with me, won’t you?” Kitty asked in her most wheedling tone.

“Don’t I always?” Alice said, abandoning her protests with a sigh. Being with Kitty was such fun. The only daughter and youngest child of the elderly Earl and Countess of Kirkmore, Alice had led a formal and lonely life, before she came to London. Older than the other debutantes in her year, Alice was delighted when her parents decided she was to make her come out at last. Her father’s younger sister, Lady Mary Maitland, Kitty’s mother, had written expressly to invite her.

Kitty is to be presented this season, now she has turned seventeen. If you let Alice come to me, they can make their debut together, which will be more comfortable for both of them. Alice must be nearly twenty by now. Time for her to be wed if she is not to dwindle into an old maid and become a burden to the family. Send her to me, dear brother, if you please, and I will do what I can to find her a suitable husband.


Alice had discovered Lady Mary was a kind and sensible woman, who enjoyed the frivolities of polite society without making them the reason for her existence. She was very different from Lord Kirkmore. Alice found it difficult at times to believe they were brother and sister. They were eldest and youngest of a large family, with many years between them, which she thought might explain the differences in their characters. Alice was astonished that her father had agreed to send her to his sister. Usually he ignored her, and his other children completely, living in a world of his own, surrounded by his books.

Lady Mary’s scheme had certainly proved a success. No longer under her mother’s watchful eye, Alice blossomed in the freer atmosphere of her aunt’s house. Kitty took an instant liking to her little-known cousin. Alice felt lucky to be welcomed into her circle of friends, a group intent on having as much fun as the season offered. They were totally unlike the rather prim and proper acquaintances Alice had made at home.

“There he is now.”

“Don’t point!” Alice pushed Kitty’s finger down, hoping it had not been seen. Alice often felt a tiny bit shocked at the freedom of her cousin’s behaviour, at odds with all she had ever been taught, but Kitty only giggled.

Two young men were sauntering towards them. The object of Kitty’s affections, seen in the flickering light of the torches that lined the paths, was the taller of the two. He wore the uniform of His Majesty’s Navy and his fair hair glinted gold. Alice had been told that he had commanded a sloop in the late wars and had now taken up a post at the Admiralty building in Whitehall. His actual task was a mystery. Whenever he was asked, he always changed the subject, which naturally made everyone agog with curiosity. Kitty had been teasing him to tell her, but he had resisted temptation so far. Alice imagined he was amused by the rumours circulating about his occupation.

“Who is his companion, do you know?” Alice murmured.

“No, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him before. Pretend to be nonchalant, they’re heading this way.”

As the two men came closer, Alice suddenly felt herself go rigid and she stumbled.

“What happened?” Kitty caught her arm and steadied her.

“Nothing. A stone turned under my shoe, that’s all,” Alice dissembled, staring hard at the stranger, imperfectly seen in the uncertain light. Less tall than his companion, he walked with a lithe swinging step that was familiar to her, very familiar. Memory stirred within her and she repressed a pang. Even after four years she still missed her favourite brother. It couldn’t be, of course, yet it looked so like him. How she wished it was him who was coming towards her, but even Philip would not do something so foolish as to return to England, surely? Her heart began to thump so wildly, she was sure everyone in the garden would hear it. The two young men halted and bowed to them.

“Lady Alice, Miss Maitland, what a delightful surprise,” Captain Roper said. “May I present to you my friend, the Baron de Vezey, who has just arrived in this country from France?  Louis, these are my friends, Lady Alice Sutherland and Miss Maitland.”

Enchanté, Mesdemoiselles.” The stranger bowed. For a second, Alice wondered. His voice sounded so French. Then he raised his eyes to hers and all doubts vanished. She recognised that look, none better. Doubt was replaced with fear for him and for herself, lest she inadvertently make a slip and betray him. In an instant her pleasant evening had changed. She fought hard to stop herself shaking. How foolhardy he was to walk into a situation like this!  She forced herself to say as indifferently as possible,

Monsieur le Baron.”

The Baron took Alice’s hand. Alice felt her fingers trembling and he gave them a little pinch, even as he kissed them. The slight pain brought her to her senses as he had no doubt intended.

“What a charming evening for a stroll in the gardens,” Captain Roper said, when the introductions had finished. “May we have the pleasure of escorting you?”

“If you please,” Kitty replied for them both, smiling up at him, and taking his arm.

“The pathway is not wide enough for four, Roper. You go ahead with Miss Maitland. Lady Alice and I will follow behind you,” the Baron said. He stood still with Alice beside him as they watched the two figures draw away from them.

“Philip?” Alice asked in a small voice.

“Wait a moment. Let them walk on a bit further.” His voice had changed from the strong French accent he had used during the introductions, to the voice she had known all her life. She forced back the tears that suddenly flooded into her eyes. She longed to fling her arms around him, but she could not do so here. Other people were strolling on the terrace and along the garden paths. She did not dare. Reminding herself that she must act as if he was the merest acquaintance, she took his arm and said softly,

“What are you doing here, Philip? I almost fainted when I recognised you.”

“I didn’t think you would be in London or I would have attempted to see you before, rather than meet you without any warning. Are Papa and Mama here with you?”

“No. Mama is not strong enough to present me at court, so I am staying with Aunt Maitland for the season.”

“Thank heavens for that.”

“No doubt Papa will come here post haste if he hears that you are in England again.”

“You won’t tell him?”

“I always kept your secrets when we were little, didn’t I? I haven’t changed.”

“Remember how you used to open a window for me when I came home late?” Philip grinned. “Provided, of course, I bribed you with bonbons or ribbons.”

Alice was suddenly transported back to one dark night when she struggled to unlatch a kitchen window to admit her soaking and dishevelled brother. They had both escaped censure that time, but they were no longer children and the consequences now were far greater than a beating if Philip was found in England.

“You took a great risk, coming into society again. Many people could recognise you and know who you really are.  It is as well Kitty has never seen you before. I would not rely on her discretion if she had.”

“I make you my compliments, my dear. Your own discretion is admirable.”

“It was sorely tried this evening. But why did you come here, masquerading under a false name?”

“Strangely enough, I am not masquerading under a false name. True, I am not using Philip Sutherland any more, but Louis is also one of my names, as you will remember. The title of Baron de Vezey was granted to me by the Emperor Napoleon.”

Aghast, Alice took a step away from him and pulled her hand from his arm. Only a scant few months ago, Britain had been at war with the French Empire. For an Englishman to serve the tyrant in any capacity was high treason.

“You fought for that monster against your own country?”

“Easy, little sister. No, I did not. I fought no one, except with words. Take my arm again. There are people on the next path who are looking at us.”

“Why did Boney give you a title then?” Alice asked as they continued their walk.

“The Emperor employed many people, not only soldiers. When I had to leave home, I went to France, to Mama’s family. They had come back from exile and settled on their land again. They did not know about my troubles. Mama had not written to them, no doubt thinking them still in Germany. So they welcomed me and did not ask awkward questions. They used to praise Napoleon because he allowed them to return and for some of the changes he has made in the country. Cousin Victor was working in Paris. It was through him that I met Caulaincourt, the Duc de Vicenze, one of the Emperor’s diplomats and chief aides. He’s an honourable man who found himself in a difficult position. It was useful for the Duke to have another person who spoke fluent English on his staff, so he appointed me as one of his ADCs. It was a perfect place for me to be. I enjoyed the work and I had some success, which resulted in the gift of my title. Caulaincourt wanted to make peace with England long ago. I tried to help him as best I could. Although he was unsuccessful, I am proud to have known him.”

“Why didn’t you stay safely in France, then, if you were doing so well?”

“I could have stayed, but I can’t serve the Bourbons. They’re fools and buffoons. They want to turn the clock back to 1789. I won’t be party to dismantling all the Empire has achieved in the years since then.”

“There are other countries you could have gone to rather than here…”

“Hush, Roper and Kitty are coming back. I need to talk with you and tell you my story because there is something I want you to do for me. I’ll call at Aunt’s house tomorrow.”

“No. That must be one of the most dangerous places for you in all of London. What if she recognises you?”

“She hasn’t seen me since I was a scrubby schoolboy of nine years old.”

“Servants have long memories, don’t forget. Several of them would have accompanied her when she visited us at Kirkmore.”

“You worry too much, little sister. I’ve faced far worse dangers in the last four years than a mere morning visit to a respectable house, even this one. Trust me.”


Author Dianne Ascroft: The Yankee Years

Dianne Ascroft: The Yankee Years

Yankee Years ebook cover Updated

After the Allied troops arrived in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland during the Second World War, life in the quiet, rural county would never be the same again.

The Yankee Years: Books 1-3

Amazon US                 Amazon UK

The Shadow Ally

June 1941: When Ruth Corey finds a letter her journalist beau, Harry Coalter, has written, revealing details of the secret construction of an American flying-boat base, she fears it could destroy America’s neutrality and land him in serious trouble. The letter must not be posted. She enlists the help of attractive Italian-American civilian contractor Frank Long to help her stop Harry. Can Ruth safeguard this military secret and protect her beau?

Acts of Sabotage

December 1941: After the attack on Pearl Harbour, the new American flying-boat base must be ready when the first US troops arrive on Northern Ireland’s shores. But, despite Frank’s best efforts, religious conflict within the workforce and thefts on the construction site threaten to scupper the project. Frank confides his worries to Ruth and the pair devise a plan to catch the thieves. Can they stop these acts of sabotage and then what does the future hold for them?

Keeping Her Pledge

June 1942: Pearl Grainger’s life is much more exciting since the Allied troops arrived but she is unprepared for the harsh reality of war, and her RCAF boyfriend is determined to protect her from it. Can Pearl keep her pledge to do her bit for the war effort without losing the man she loves?

DAscroft Promo Image1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dianne Ascroft writes historical and contemporary fiction, often with an Irish connection. Her series The Yankee Years is a collection of Short Reads and novels set in World War II Northern Ireland. After the Allied troops arrived in this outlying part of Great Britain, life there would never be the same again. The series brings those heady, fleeting years to life again, in thrilling and romantic tales of the era.

Her other writing includes a ghost tale inspired by the famous Coonian ghost, A.n Unbidden Visitor; a short story collection, Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves, and an historical novel, Hitler and Mars Bars

TIDBIT from Patience

This tidbit is from a letter sent by Patience Hawthorne to a close friend. During my stay in Bath, I attended a music soiree at an elegant residence in the Royal Crescent… …and basked in the close attention of a certain bold gentleman without caring who might notice. I blush to admit how his…

via Patience Dreams — History Novel Gal

Patience Dreams

This tidbit is from a letter sent by
Patience Hawthorne to a close friend.


During my stay in Bath,

I attended a music soiree

at an elegant residence

in the Royal Crescent…

…and basked in the close

attention of a certain bold

gentleman without caring

who might notice.

I blush to admit how his

glance enlivened my senses.

‘Twas a moment stolen

from another lifetime,

a shared dream of love

than can never be…!

Author’s Note:

this romantic event

is depicted in the

The Hawthorne Diaries II

Patience Betrayed



…my sweet romance novel setting is England during                              the Jane Austen era of carriages and candlelight. 

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but Patience- or give it a more fascinating name, call it         hope.”   Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

What a surprise it was to discover this lovely quote AFTER I had chosen the heroine’s name as Patience and began to write about a plucky girl who is suddenly orphaned and beset by the perils of courtship. Read first chapters here: Patience Becomes A Lady

A sweet romance in my novels does not mean the characters are bland and the story without drama and the tension of attraction.

Vintage drawings like the one featured above turn on my creative juices and I think, oh, I must write about a white cat playing in my heroine’s satin shoe…stay tuned, it might happen soon!

I am fascinated with the charming places and customs of Regency England that find their way into scenes I am writing.  When things go well, writing is an excitement akin to spotting a fantastic pastry at the bake shop. When it’s not so good, it is like having to clean the stove.

Please leave your comments re Olivia Andem’s blog, subject:   WHITE CAT IN MY SHOE

Review: Ashes/France

posted on (France) 4 stars out of 5 ‘commentaires’                                                     5 septembre 2016

“Worth checking out!”                                                                                       Par Kimberly Sue –publié sur

Format Broché

The period in history that Napoleon was dominant in the world is one that has always interested me. I requested this book mainly because of that, but it ended up being so much more than just a historical fiction novel dealing with Napoleon.

The main character, Lisette, is one that a reader will automatically be drawn to. She is strong and determined, not to mention courageous and intelligent. She is the type of female character that draws me into a historical fiction novel, because I am able to relate to her, unlike characters who are ‘damsels in distress’.

REVIEW: Ashes of Waterloo #AM

Reviewed for Reader’s Favourite:                                                               the-ashes-of-waterloo-by-olivia-andem/

“Andem’s Ashes of Waterloo isn’t my typical fare. I’m not the biggest fan if historical romance (or romance in general), but I’ve been working to expand my reading horizons.

I do greatly enjoy historical fiction in general, and this book provided a great story. The title is what captured my attention first. I have a particular interest in the Napoleonic era, and with Bonaparte himself. Side note- I also really liked the cover.

Ashes of Waterloo focuses on the story of Lisette and Darbin, and the relationship they develop. It is set amidst the larger backdrop of the devastating battle at Waterloo, between Bonaparte and Wellington.

The battle, the war itself, that larger picture, shapes the relationship between this French farm girl, and her English officer. War is a worldshaper. It can mix the most unlikely of allies, and certainly changes all it touches. War also helps one realise just how precious life and live can be. I found the characters to be good, strong complex ones. They were thrown into situations that allowed them to grow, and rise to their potential. They felt ‘real’ to me, and I cared what happened to them.”

REVIEW 1: Readers’ Favorite

REVIEW: Ashes of Waterloo #RF/TAF


“There’s very little that I love more, in terms of reading material, than a great work of historical fiction. That being said, I also have been getting just a bit burned out by some of the books I’ve read in the genre lately. So many of them don’t seem to be well researched and the story lines and the plots seem to be formulaic and very similar to each other. Well, I didn’t have to worry about these issues when I picked up Ashes of Waterloo, the new book by author Olivia Andem. Follow the story of soldier’s daughter Lisette as she and her family are preparing for the arrival of Napoleon’s soldiers in their village. The lovely young woman comes to the attention of a British soldier, Darbin, just as the battle of Waterloo intensifies, and Lisette finds herself in the unenviable position of having the three men that she loves the most in harm’s way. Will they, or even Lisette herself, survive the war to be able to live together in peace?

Ashes of Waterloo is a well-researched, well-written book of historical fiction that will keep the reader turning the pages from the very beginning. I so enjoyed the book, and also really enjoyed discovering a new and talented author in this genre. Author Olivia Andem is incredibly skilled at creating characters that the reader will care about long after the story has ended, as well as drawing scenarios and scenes that seem so authentic that the reader will feel as if they are back in Napoleonic times. This book would be enjoyed by any reader who loves historical fiction, romance, or just a great read. I highly recommend Ashes of Waterloo and am very much looking forward to reading the next book written by Olivia Andem, and hope she’s hard at work on it right now! ”   9/7/15


5 Star REVIEW: Ashes of Waterloo #LO

Ashes Of Waterloo…

“A Wonderful Historical Novel!”

Reviewed by Loraine Oliver, September 12, 2015
By Loraine Oliver
This review is from: Ashes of Waterloo (Kindle Edition)
Received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


“All I can say is if you do not read this book you will be missing out on a book rich with the history of part of the war, and a love story that withstands the test of time. I am so glad I took the time to read this!  I gave this book 5***** wonderful stars and look forward to more by this author.”


“Ashes of Waterloo is an awesome book, filled with historical information, and an outstanding cast of characters, major and minor both.

This is the first time I have read anything by Olivia Andem, and honestly I did not know if I would be able to read it as the first two pages were filled with an extensive cast of characters and I was afraid it would be too much to keep track of. I was wrong!

I started the book and could not put it down and I read it through the night, it was that good!

From the very first page I became engrossed in the story, when Lisette the main character is checking over her step father’s property to make sure everything is in order, while awaiting the family’s return. She is the eldest daughter of her mother and her brother Henri is the oldest son, however he does not live at home anymore, just comes and goes. Lisette on the other hand still lives at home and is in charge of a vast amount of work daily, including the care for her 4 younger siblings. On this day, she is going to her family cottage when a french soldier rides up into her yard, and he has no good intentions on his mind, he attempts to rape Lisette but at the last moment her brother Henri and his friend Andrew rides into the yard with his friend and puts a stop to it. Lisette had scratched the man’s face with a sword, so he was forever marked from it and he vowed revenge as he rode out of the yard, after being beaten by her brother. When her Mom and stepfather come home and she attempts to explain, her stepfather told her they must leave for good, she and Henri, and never come back.

Henri finds his sister a place to work at a town not far from their home where she is to help with the running of a hotel, and the owner is a fair but stern woman, and her brother leaves her there, even though she wants to go with him.

This is all happening during the time near Brussels in 1815 where Napoleon is planning an war to claim Brussels and there are so many different soldiers fighting this war from England to Cossacks to French soldiers under Napoleon’s rule. At the hotel all kinds of people pass through and it is here she also makes friends with some of the people who work there including Josef a young orphan who works in the stables there for the hotel’s owner, Madame Simone.

Time passes and she is daily required to go to market to buy the day’s provisions, and Josef usually accompanies her. One day she and Josef are at the market and the french soldiers ride in and take everything from the farmers and a fight breaks out, and Josef bravely defends the farmers but is hauled away with the French soldiers. During this time she also runs into her brother’s friend who gives her a note from her brother and this man’s real name is Major Darbin Marlowe, known before to her as Andrew, the one who had helped her and her brother that day at the barn. Darbin is infatuated with his friend’s sister as Lisette is with him. He also helps her a few times to get a message to her mother and to get her back to the hotel, knowing he can’t leave her to wander the countryside. After he rides away all that Lisette dreams of is Darbin and he of her. She hopes with all her heart she will see him again.

Then the war is a reality as all kinds of things happen, all the people running to get away from the soldiers, and people getting killed as well at their horses. After Lisette finds out that horrible French soldier has tracked her to the hotel, she has to leave and escape the place lest he find her! She disguises herself as a boy with some of the old clothes that Josef had left and she is on her way.

The book goes into detail about how the war got so terrible where soldiers were killed by the thousands and horses were caught up in the crossfire, and Lisette is so worried she will never see her brother again, or Darbin, the man she has fallen in love with.

But fate has other plans for these two and when the book ended I realized that it had to have been one of the worst times of anyone’s life, to have lived through that time. The plot is great in this book and keeps moving along at a fast pace, and there is so much emotional angst between all of the characters, as well as bitterness, and jealousy, and hatred and envy.

Even during all this turmoil, the separation of classes in all of these people comes into play where for instance Darbin’s mother, whom he has not seen for 5 years due to the fact she kept trying to make him marry someone in his “station” in life, refuses to accept the fact that her son wants to marry a simple farmer’s daughter. He leaves again for a long time this time and decides that he is going after what he wants.

All I can say is if you do not read this book you will be missing out on a book rich with the history of part of the war, and a love story that withstands the test of time. I am so glad I took the time to read this!

I gave this book 5***** wonderful stars and look forward to more by this author.”