2023 Holiday Gift Guide
It’s back by popular demand! Last year, our Gift Guide was the most popular download on our website. This year, it is back with new books, new gifts, and new Lanterns!
Whether you are looking for a ship in a bottle or an embroidery kit or some classical music to listen to while you read, and whether you read Tudor or Ancient Worlds or the Western Expansion or something else entirely, you will find historical fiction to fit your tastes and lots of books and gifts to fit your friends and family. Check out the PLW Holiday Gift Guide today!
Click on any book or product to view it on Amazon.
A Lady’s Revenge
Lady Lydia Somerset is an earl’s daughter. At the ripe age of twenty-five, she dances the dainty steps of the haute ton as if she were pursuing a husband; but her goals are far more personal. Pugilism, England’s manliest pastime, is her only relief. Training in secret with a female boxer keeps her sane, but when her instructor is hired away by one of the men she is seeking to destroy, she is in a bind.
John Arthur was a street kid who dazzled with his fists, but now he dazzles as a miracle worker on the London Stock Exchange. John Arthur knows he shouldn’t tangle with bluebloods—he should be happy with a full belly and coin-filled pockets. But when he meets a woman who finds boxing as vital as he does, his life suddenly gets complicated.
*Winner of the Indie Next Generation Book Award in 2020
*Winner of the Golden Leaf Best First Book Award in 2020
The Boxer and the Blacksmith
Can London’s lady champion fight for love?
As London’s undefeated women’s boxer, Bess Abbott has the scars—both inside and out—to prove it. But when one of her boxing students, Violet, needs protection, Bess Abbott’s rock hard heart cracks open. And when a handsome blacksmith comes along, giving her compliments and treating her, well, like a woman, Bess doesn’t know what to do. She’s on the ropes in the face of his affections.
Os Worley was a child when he became an accidental stow-away. He grew up not knowing the family or the island that inflected his accent. His only memory of his mother is a head bent, hands working a stitch, a voice humming a melody. Now that he has his own foundry, and his own apprentice, he’s come to London to find the woman attached to this impression. His heart is already tempered and quenched, focused on his goal—but a lady boxer threatens to recast his love in her own image.
As Os and Bess face off, will they toe the line or retreat to their corners?
*Winner of the Best Indie Book Award 2021
A Lady’s Finder
Lady Agnes is a scandal thanks to her sister’s marriage to a prizefighter. Or rather, she should be, but as a charitable spinster-to-be, she remains firmly invisible, even to those she loves. Always dutiful, Lady Agnes should be the toast of her family, but only if she marries well. Finding the prospect of wedding a man unpalatable, Lady Agnes cannot be the social savior of her sister. Suddenly, receiving attentions from the unpredictable and surprisingly resourceful Mr. Jack Townsend, Lady Agnes finds herself believing he might love her and not her dowry. After being overlooked for so long, can she believe he cares for her, or is she a means to an end as her family insists?
Jack About Town is London’s best Finder of Lost Things. What few realize is that Jack transcends the spheres of men and women, existing as both, or perhaps neither, sex. True, his most lucrative finds are pornographic artifacts for rich toffs. But now he has found Lady Agnes, a meticulous, generous, knock-down incredible lady who wears men’s boots. Best of all, Lady Agnes accepts him in his entirety—a jewel so rare that even Jack is surprised he could find it.
When Jack is commissioned to steal from Lady Agnes’s cousin, can Jack find a way to prove his love and still earn the money he needs to protect himself and his home?
A Viscount’s Vengeance
A brooding viscount carries the weight of his dead father’s misdeeds. An unassuming young woman who knows more than she lets on. A marriage of convenience that comes to blows in the boxing ring.
One morning, for reasons of his own, Lord Andrepont proposes marriage to the first eligible woman he sees: Miss Pearl Arthur, the younger sister of his good friend, the prizefighter John Arthur. She’s barely said a word in his presence, but of course she’ll accept: he’s everything women like her dream about: wealthy, titled, handsome. The marriage will be easy—he’ll go his way, and she’ll go hers.
Pearl Arthur has never had a home. Bounced from family to family as a child, Pearl has always been an afterthought. When Lord Andrepont—a handsome man whose brooding rivals her sister-in-law’s moodiness—proposes, how can she not accept? She could finally find a home of her own. A place to call hers. And dare she think it? A family?
But when Pearl arrives as the new Lady Andrepont, nothing is as it seems. Can Pearl build a life in a house with secrets hidden in every corner?
The Lines Between Us: a Novel
In 1661 Madrid, Ana is grieving the loss of her husband when her niece, sixteen-year-old Juliana, suddenly vanishes. Ana frantically searches the girl’s room and comes across a diary. Journeying to southern Spain in the hope of finding her, Ana immerses herself in her niece’s private thoughts. After a futile search in Seville, she comes to Juliana’s final entries, and discovers the horrifying reason for the girl’s flight.
In 1992 Missouri, in her deceased mother’s home, Rachel finds a packet of letters, and a diary written by a woman named Juliana. Rachel recognizes the names Ana and Juliana: her mother uttered them on her deathbed. As she reads the papers, Rachel begins to understand a centuries-old secret, what effect it had on her mother’s life, and on her own in turn.
Winner in New Fiction in the Independent Press Awards
Winner Best in Category in the CIBA Chaucer Book Award
The Map Colorist
In 1660, Amsterdam is the map-printing capital of the world. Anneke van Brug is a colorist, paid to enhance the black-and-white maps for the growing number of collectors. Her talent brings her to the attention of the Blaeu printing house, and she begins to color for a rich merchant, Willem de Groot. Not content to simply embellish the work of others, she longs to create her own map, but cartography is the domain of men. Keeping it secret, she borrows the notes her father made on a trip to Africa in 1642 to design a new map.
Anneke hopes to persuade Blaeu to include her map in the Atlas Maior, which will be the largest and most expensive publication of the century. But family secrets, infidelity, and murder threaten to put an end to her dream. Will her map withstand these catastrophes, or will it be forever lost?
Firebird Book Award – First place in Historical Fiction and in Literary Fiction
Literary Titan Award – Gold Book Award
American Fiction Award – Finalist in Historical Fiction
When Bella Holsworthy returns to England after fifteen years roaming the globe with her husband, an elderly diplomat, she quickly finds herself in a place more perilous than any in her travels—the Court of King George IV. As the newly elevated Earl and Countess settle into an unfamiliar life in London, this shy, not-so-young lady faces wicked agendas, society’s censure, and the realities of a woman soon to be alone in England.
Unaccustomed to the ways of the beau monde, she is disarmed and deceived by a dissolute duke and a noble French émigré with a silver tongue. Hindered by the meddling of her dying husband, not to mention the King himself, Bella must decide whether to choose one of her fascinating new suitors or the quiet country life she has searched the world to find.
‘Tis Her Season
Charlotte Amberly would rather eat a lump of coal for Christmas dinner than marry the Marquess of Firthley, so when her parents cancel her London Season in favor of a rush to the altar, the feisty debutante takes husband-hunting into her own hands.
Alexander Marloughe, reluctant heir to a marquessate, would rather not spend his holiday dashing through the snow after a flibbertigibbet just out of the schoolroom, but no woman before Charlotte has ever led him such a merry chase.
The heavy hands and sharp tongues of Bella Smithson’s family have left her almost too timid to converse with a gentleman, much less conduct a husband hunt. Unfortunately, her overbearing aunt and managing cousin are determined to help her escape her black-hearted father and brothers.
Thanks to the Prince of Wales, retiring shipping magnate Myron Clewes has an ever-growing fortune, a fresh-minted peerage, a brand-new flagship, and an impossible set of requirements for a bride. Not least, she must be willing to leave England and everything she knows, possibly for good, in less than two months’ time.
Shipmate is always free!
Hearts by the Sea
An innocent game brings unforeseen consequences
In the idyllic setting of a seaside holiday in 1800s England, Jamie Flowers meets enigmatic Ella Parker and is instantly smitten. As the children bond over the Romeo and Juliet rehearsal, Jamie wants to learn what troubles her. The two decide to sneak out for a swim at night. Their plans are dashed by the terrible news Jamie’s family receives. When Ella leaves town, Jamie must cling to the hope of finding her… and himself.
No Job for a Woman
She sailed against the current.
Ella Parker’s male alias was a star pupil in medical school. But as a woman in 1810 England, Ella cannot find a job as a doctor’s assistant. In a life-or-death emergency with a mother in labor, she oversteps her boundaries and risks arrest. Determined to practice medicine, she decides to join her mentor on the Neptune, a warship heading for open waters.
Following an accident, she is quickly thrust into the role of ship surgeon, and her skills are put to the test. Hoping to fit in with the all-male crew and make friends, instead, Ella creates chaos and suspicion among the superstitious sailors. Lieutenant Jack Wyse, though charged by the captain with protecting Ella, is keen on making her leave.
After a fierce battle, Ella saves the handsome officer, Robert Weston. Her commitment to her profession is tested, however, when he asks for her hand in marriage. But are Weston’s intentions sincere, and would he allow her the freedom to pursue her calling?
Ella must decide where she belongs before her future sails away from her.
The River Remembers
Three women have reason to be in Fort Snelling in 1835. All three are wildly different from one another, but they have one thing in common: the world is changing faster than they can cope.
After Samantha Lockwood refuses another suitor he’s chosen for her, Samantha’s father banishes her to live in the territory with her brother. He, too, tries to take over her marriage plans;but she is determined to find her own husband, even when her choices go awry.
Day Sets demands that her white husband create a school to educate their daughter, supporting her father’s belief that his people must learn the ways of the white man in order to ensure the tribe’s future. Until events prove her father wrong.
Harriet’s life in the territory is more like that of a free person than anywhere she’s lived. She even falls in love with Dred Scott and dreams of a life with him. But they are both enslaved, and she keeps being reminded of how little control she has over her own fate.
As their cultures collide, each woman must find a way to direct her own future and leave a legacy for her children.
Paper Lantern Writers
uch the same manner as Pandora, each Paper Lantern Writer takes a turn opening an old wooden chest, digging out stories spanning seven centuries. The individuals in these tales—heroes, villains, and in between—are more than people from the past. Whether they are making mayhem, waging war, or quietly holding their families together, their strength and fortitude shines on the page. From the Swinging Seventies to the Middle Ages, these characters gather, keep, and spill the secrets of their souls.
Who knows what treasures will be found when this ancient trunk is finally Unlocked?
Short stories set from 1600-1850
A Rarefied Gift: A Regency London mystery about adult twins searching for answers surrounding their birth.
The Shell: In 1679 Amsterdam, a wife struggles to forget a past love.
And other stories from other eras!
Beneath a Midwinter Moon
Paper Lantern Writers
What mystery, romance, and adventure lie Beneath the Midwinter Moon?
It may be cold outside, but inside this anthology, the Paper Lantern Writers bring you warm and engaging reflections of holiday celebrations across seven centuries. From the United States to India and Europe, eleven stories of courage, fortitude and love are illuminated by the midwinter moon.
Short stories set from 1600-1850
Star Lantern:A downcast woman in 17th century Amsterdam gets a surprise at the Twelfth Night celebrations.
Hand-in-Hand Pies: A young girl learns a new skill and meets a lifelong friend when she visits the 1789 Frost Fair in London.
Frontier Christmas: A young girl sets her sights on her ideal man, but a rival wants to steal him away.
And other stories from other eras!