A Second Chance by Walt Mussell

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Welcome to the Blog Tour for A Second Chance by Walt Mussell, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Tag "Fantasy" with image of fantasy world of mountains and water

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I am a huge fan of time travel stories. I love seeing how someone in a recent time period handles and adjusts to a historical time frame. A Second Chance lived up to my expectations!

Kira ends up in 16th century Japan as a Samurai’s concubine with a young child. I loved reading about the time period, and I thought that the author did a wonderful job of bringing the location to life. The details added were great, creating a world that I could easily envision.

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When I Last Saw You by Bette Lee Crosby

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
When I Last Saw You book cover with girl's side visible with

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was such a beautiful story! I loved the writing and the way the characters wove together. When I Last Saw You will pull you back in time and take you on a journey of family secrets and reunions. It was a wonderful trip!

The story is told through two timelines. We have the 1968 story where Margaret’s husband has passed away, and she is cleaning out his office. She finds some old information about an investigator that her husband hired. She finds out that her husband had hired the investigator to track down all of her siblings that she hasn’t seen since she was a child. The second timeline is in the early 1900s telling the story of her family. We learn about her mother and father’s relationship, and her family dynamic between the siblings and parents.

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Arroyo by Chip Jacobs

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Arroyo book cover with large bridge
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is centered around Pasadena, California, and the “Suicide Bridge” formally titled “Colorado Street Bridge”. The story digs into the history of the bridge and the area around it.

This is told through a dual timeline in the early 1900s, then later in the 1990s. I enjoyed the two different time periods in this story. I always enjoy when we see into the history, and then we get to experience someone later in time trying to understand what happened!

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The Accidental Suffragist by Galia Gichon

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
The Accidental Suffragist book cover of woman's outline with woman's face filling outline
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a wonderful view of the Suffragist movement! I loved having one woman as the MC. I was able to follow her story through her work, her homelife, and how the movement fits into all the facets of her life.

Helen, the main character, is one that drives inspiration and action. As she is pulled into the suffragist movement, she begins to have the movement impact her life, her marriage, and her safety. I really enjoyed Helen’s story, and it’s going to stay with me for a long time.

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The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Cover "The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba" girl in dress by sea shore
Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Well this was a lovely book! The historical aspect was obviously well researched, and woven into the fiction beautifully!

Following three women, this is a great story of women empowerment! We have Evangelina stuck in a Havana jail, Grace who is a reporter, and Marina playing the part of a secret courier! This is a story of people coming together to free Evangelina and of a woman who becomes an icon for Cuba.

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When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book

This book made me cry so hard! It was a beautiful, but heartbreaking historical fiction set in the 1930s. With a southern setting and a town filled with racism, hatred, and fear, this book spoke to me about our historical situations, but also noted today’s similarities.

I loved the emotional story surrounding the community and the people. Opal narrates this story, and ugh, I just felt her story. Her happiness and her heartbreak were mine to share. It was beautiful writing that created a character I was fully connected to.

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The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

This was a lovely trip to Italy spanning two timelines. The beautiful descriptions of Venice truly transport the reader, making a vivid, picturesque story to read!

Caroline has just had her husband leave her when she receives a letter that 90-year-old great aunt is dying. She makes it to her aunt in time for her to give Caroline her dying wish. Great Aunt Lettie gives Caroline a box, three keys, and a sketchbook, and mutters “Venice”. So off to Venice she goes to unravel a great mystery.

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It Happened in Tuscany by Gail Mencini

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
book cover "It Happened in Tuscany" with foggy rolling hills
Book Genre Block with image of group of children

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a story of friendship, hardship, family, and love. I was surprised by the deep emotions this book drew out of me! It was a lovely journey.

We follow Will and his neighbor, Sophie, as they travel to Italy. Their friendship seems impossible, but grows into a bond that is absolutely lovely. I love what an absolute grump Will is. His attitude creates the best payoff for the reader as Sophie works to thaw him and their friendship forms.

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The Girl in the Painting by Tea Cooper

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Tea Cooper continues to create amazing historical fiction stories that are impossible to put down! This one is told through a dual timeline, providing a view of the 1860s as well as the early 1900s.

Strong female characters always make it easy for me to connect with a book, and these characters were definitely that! They are smart and headstrong. They are confident, and are impossible not to love!

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Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan

Rating: 4 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book cover with woman at piano
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

I loved the setting for this story. The descriptions of NYC in the 1920s were wonderful and really helped to create the world and environment for the characters. The characters were people that I never really knew more about outside of their music, so I was really excited to learn more. I had no idea there was a decade long affair between Kay and George. It was surprising, and I enjoyed learning about it.

The musical references were an exciting portion of this book. I loved the way the author portrayed Kay and George’s love for music. As we jump through time, the thing I found most consistent about these two people was that while they both seemed to love each other, truly they were IN love with music, and that was the actual love story in this book.

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I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944 by Lauren Tarshis

Book Genre Block - "Middle Grade"
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo

Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you have not yet discovered this fabulous historical fiction series for kids, then you are in for a treat! My son absolutely loves this series, and we excitedly await the release of new books!

I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944 was originally written as book 9 in the I Survived series. This newly adapted version is in graphic novel format, which is really exciting. We own the original version of this book as well, and found that both formats are exciting, and a great way to tell an important story!

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The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Rating: 5 out of 5.
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and
Book cover flowers with corked bottle
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book phtoo

A woman helping women kill their husbands in the 1790s through her apothecary shop? That got my attention! I loved the way this story was told through present and past day! It was a beautifully written, gripping novel that I thoroughly enjoyed!

The two characters we are focused on are Nella in the 1790s and Caroline in the present day. Nella is using her apothecary shop to help women kill their husbands with poisons. She has very strict morals about this killing. It must always be men, never women. She will destroy potions and refuse service to any request that has the intent to harm another woman. I really enjoyed her character. She was smart and resourceful, but also emotionally wounded, creating a character that I was deeply invested in.

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