Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: "Mistress Firebrand" by Donna Thorland

02_Mistress Firebrand Cover
Publication Date: March 3, 2015 
Trade Formats: eBook, Paperback 
416 Pages 
 Series: Renegades of the American Revolution (Book 3) 
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
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  British Occupied Manhattan, 1777. American actress Jenny Leighton has been packing the John Street Theater with her witty comedies, but she longs to escape the provincial circuit for the glamour of the London stage. When the playwright General John Burgoyne visits the city, fresh from a recent success in the capitol, she seizes the opportunity to court his patronage. But her plan is foiled by British intelligence officer Severin Devere. Severin’s mission is to keep the pleasure-loving general focused on the war effort…and away from pretty young actresses. But the tables are turned when Severin himself can’t resist Jenny Leighton… Months later, Jenny has abandoned her dreams of stage glory and begun writing seditious plays for the Rebels under the pen name “Cornelia,” ridiculing “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne and his army—and undermining the crown’s campaign to take Albany. With Jenny’s name now on the hanging list, Severin is ordered to find her—and deliver her to certain death. Soon, the two are launched on a desperate journey through the wilderness, toward an uncertain future shaped by the revolution—and their passion for each other…

My Review

The third in a series dubbed the Renegades of the American Revolution, Mistress Firebrand focuses on Jenny Leighton, an actress who longs to be a London playwright. Jenny is a country bumpkin who has taken up residence with her glamorous aunt in New York. She plays bit parts at the John Street Theater while her aunt Frances packs the house as the lead actress. When she discovers that General Burgoyne is in the harbor, Jenny hopes to gain his patronage. She doesn't count on Severin Devere, the bastard son of an earl, a spy for the British Crown, and self-appointed watchdog for the general.

I will admit that my interest was piqued by the premise of Mistress Firebrand. It's a big departure from the typical historical novel. Conversely, I went into the novel looking for errors, particularly because I am Revolutionary War re-enactor. I'm pleased to say that there were no glaring errors. The initial set-up was a bit slow moving as Thorland is a very detailed writer. I prefer more movement and less play-by-play. Severin's background was particularly fascinating. Jenny seems a bit dull at first, but she improves as the plot progresses. She is realistic but with a heart.

All in all Mistress Firebrand is an interesting novel. I love the fact that it is romantic historical fiction since that is the genre I myself write (or to used write since the muse has deserted me...haha). In any case, pick up a copy of Mistress Firebrand if you like your romance with a side of intelligence.

Buy Mistress Firebrand

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About the Author

03_Donna Thorland

A native of Bergenfield, New Jersey, Donna graduated from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History. For many years she managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, and wrote and directed the Witch City’s most popular Halloween theater festival, Eerie Events. She later earned an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Donna has been a sorority house mother, a Disney/ABC Television Writing Fellow, a WGA Writer’s Access Project Honoree, and a writer on the ABC primetime drama, Cupid. Her screenwriting credits include episodes of the animated series, Tron: Uprising. Her short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Albedo One. The director of several award-winning short films, her most recent project, The Night Caller, aired on WNET Channel 13 and was featured on Ain’t It Cool News. Currently she is a writer on the WGN drama SALEM. She is married with one cat and divides her time between the real Salem and Los Angeles. For more information visit Donna Thorland's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Mistress Firebrand Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 6 Excerpt at What Is That Book About Excerpt & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages Tuesday, April 7 Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary Wednesday, April 8 Interview at The Maiden's Court Thursday, April 9 Guest Post & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing Friday, April 10 Spotlight at Broken Teepee Sunday, April 12 Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book Monday, April 13 Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Thursday, April 16 Review at Caroline Wilson Writes Friday, April 17 Spotlight at I'd So Rather Be Reading Saturday, April 18 Excerpt & Giveaway at A Dream Within a Dream Monday, April 20 Review at Book Nerd Tuesday, April 21 Guest Post & Giveaway at Book Babe Wednesday, April 22 Guest Post & Excerpt at The Lit Bitch Thursday, April 23 Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time Friday, April 24 Review at Back Porchervations Monday, April 27 Review at Just One More Chapter Tuesday, April 28 Review at Historical Readings & Views Wednesday, April 29 Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish Guest Post at Boom Baby Reviews Thursday, April 30 Review at Bookramblings Friday, May 1 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Drey's Library Spotlight at Genre Queen Sunday, May 3 Review at Forever Ashley Monday, May 4 Review at A Chick Who Reads Guest Post & Giveaway at To Read, or Not to Read Tuesday, May 5 Excerpt at CelticLady's Reviews Wednesday, May 6 Review at Unabridged Chick Thursday, May 7 Spotlight at A Literary Vacation Friday, May 8 Interview at Scandalous Woman

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