30 January 2020

The Gray Chamber | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK


Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?

Step into True Colors—a new series of historical stories of romance and American crime.

On Blackwell’s Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.

With her late parents’ fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. And Edyth fears she will never be found.

At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?

Publisher: Barbour Books
Release Date: January 1, 2020


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


MY REVIEW

Edyth Foster does not favor traditional female pursuits and instead, chooses to fence, cycle, and get into all sorts of unintended mischief. When greed for her fortune overcomes her uncle, her eccentricities seem to support his claim of madness, and she ends up in Blackwell Island’s lunatic asylum. When everything she does reinforces her “diagnosis,” how can she ever hope to get out?

Historical stories set in an asylum are maddening, to say the least. Edyth has little reason to hope from within the walls of her prison—faced with endless threats, abuse, and “treatments”—yet she never gives up. With intrepid reporter Nellie Bly at her side, dashing fencing instructor Raoul Banebridge at work on the outside, and a necessary reminder of her faith, she is never as alone as she feels.

With all the complications of Edyth’s experience, Grace Hitchcock’s The Gray Chamber proves to be quite the suspenseful (and romantic) read. I will admit that the cheesy-sounding dialogue lessen my enjoyment a tad, but the overall stress of the situation still kept me enthralled from beginning to end. I look forward to reading more True Colors novels as they release. 

★.5

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Grace Hitchcock is the author of three novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. The White City is her debut novel and releases March 2019 with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son.


GUEST POST FROM THE AUTHOR

I am thrilled to share with you my second novel in the True Colors series, The Gray Chamber, which is set in New York City in 1887. I loved writing about Edyth Foster, our cat-rescuing, spunky heroine who spends her days painting, fencing with her dreamy instructor, and avoiding society at all costs, which as you can imagine, comes back to haunt her before the end. I’ve never written about a character who despised reading, so that was a new one for me. Edyth just doesn’t like to sit still long enough to finish a book, but you’ll find out why later.

I am pretty certain the librarians at my local branch are wondering what in the world my hobbies are, judging from the stacks of fencing books for beginners, histories of New York crime in the 19th century, and Nellie Bly’s Ten Days in a Mad-House, and more that I have continuously checked out since moving back to Louisiana.

The inspiration for this book came from Nellie Bly’s scandalous exposĂ© for Joseph Pulitzer’s newspaper, The World. In reading Nellie’s articles, I was shocked at the grounds by which the asylum would commit women and that’s when I discovered a tiny mention about an heiress with family members who had her tucked away so they could have her fortune . . . and Edyth Foster was born.

I hope you will enjoy reading about our eccentric leading lady and her fencing master hero, Raoul “Bane” Banebridge. If you are interested in seeing pictures of the asylum and to see what I pictured the characters looking like, check out my Pinterest board here.

Thank you for joining the fun for the Celebrate Lit tour! Join my author newsletter for more bookish news and to find out what is coming next! Just enter your e-mail address and name here. Happy reading!


“With beautiful description and shiver-worthy scenes, Grace Hitchcock has penned an incredible fiction story based on true history. The Gray Chamber was a fascinating and chilling read. Edyth’s story had me glued to the pages. But as I journeyed with the heiress and her eccentricities, the greed of her family which saw her locked up in an asylum against her will made me grateful for the freedoms I have today. And made me pray that my voice would never be silenced. The nightmare was brought to life so vividly that I found myself holding my breath and then cheering on Bane as he never gave up on Edyth. This is a story that will stick with me for a long time…”

Kimberley Woodhouse, Carol-Award winning and Best-Selling Author of more than twenty books, including: MissTaken Identity, The Express Bride, The Golden Bride, The Patriot Bride, and The Mayflower Bride.

GIVEAWAY


To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of The Gray Chamber. Enter below, and be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway.

TOUR SCHEDULE

5 comments:

  1. Looking forward to reading this book! I’ve read others in this series and they are so good! Thanks for the chance to win!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

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  2. Sounds like a great read.

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  3. I could hardly put this book down!

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  4. Great post and I appreciate getting to find out about another great book. Thanks for all you do and for the hard work you put into this. Greatly appreciated!

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  5. Thank you for your wonderful review! This series is fascinating!

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