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.
The Red-Hot Blues Chanteuse
While performing in vaudeville in 1919 San Francisco, ambitious blues chanteuse Viola Vermillion’s piano player and lover is murdered in the Pantages Theater. With her gun. To remain out of jail, Viola is forced to uncover her lover’s secret past and figure out which one of his lies got him killed.
Viola’s got secrets of her own, of course. Like the encrypted notebook in her possession, which really belongs to the East Coast munitions tycoon who caused her sister’s death. Then there’s her surprising attraction to her hot new piano player, who—unknown to her—is employed by the munitions tycoon.
As Viola unravels multiple secrets, lies, and suspicions, she still holds tight to her dream of reaching the vaudeville Big Time. But to succeed at anything, first she needs to stay alive…
Fanny Newcomb & The Irish Channel Ripper
A Jack the Ripper copycat is terrorizing the women of Gilded Age New Orleans.
Desperate to know if her favorite student was a Ripper copycat victim, tenacious and quick-witted Fanny Newcomb turns detective.
Fanny’s hunt launches her into New Orleans’ darkest enclaves, saloons, and houses of prostitution. She questions authority, seeks out clues, and digs into long-protected secrets. Fanny’s search alienates her friends, alarms the police, and antagonizes her would-be fiancé. Her efforts infuriate the Ripper copycat, who vows to murder another of Fanny’s students by the end of the week.
Fanny persists, and even appears to succeed in her investigation, until the night her curiosity plunges her into a desperate confrontation with the Ripper copycat.
Can amateur detective Fanny Newcomb stop the Irish Channel Ripper before he murders again?
Winner of the IBPA Gold for Historical Fiction
Mari Anne Christie
Freedom of the press is in peril. Families are torn apart by politics and principle. Opposing political parties manipulate the public in speeches, public meetings, and the media, grasping for votes and consolidating power. Foreign nations peddle influence in all directions to achieve their own ends. The struggle between citizens and government tugs at the threads of the American Constitution… and democracy itself. In a matter of moments, the United States will shatter, beginning the long march of the American Civil War.
Harry Wentworth, gentleman of distinction and journalist of renown, spends a lifetime of social and financial capital, exploiting his position as Executive Editor of the Philadelphia Daily Standard to try to arrest the momentum of both Union and Confederacy. To his sorrow and disgust, his calls for a peaceful resolution are worth no more than the ink he buys to print them.
As such, he must finally resolve his own moral quandary: comment on the war from his influential position in Northern Society or make a news story and a target of himself in a Southern city he has long since left behind. His choices, from the first day of the war to the last, will irrevocably alter his mind, his body, his spirit, and his purpose as an honorable man.
Gold Medal Winner (American/Western): 2022 Historical Fiction Company Awards; Solo Medalist: 2017 New Apple Literary Awards, E-book General Fiction; B.R.A.G. Medallion Winner
The Spirited Mrs. Pringle
Upon the death of her husband, self-involved social climber Cora Pringle assumes her recent dalliance with a wealthy gentleman will be her second chance at a happily ever after. That is until her paramour turns out to be a penniless imposter. Despite his betrayal, Cora can’t quite let go of the tug the handsome playwright has on her heart.
Desperate for an income, Cora becomes a séance-performing spiritualist and gets a taste for celebrity—and it’s so delicious. So what if she can’t actually communicate with the dead? Her eager patrons don’t need to know that.
Amelia Baxter, an ambitious journalist and suffragist, is discouraged when her editor refuses to let her cover the horrific Jack the Ripper murders. Instead, Amelia pours her frustrations into bringing Cora’s deceptive and manipulative act to an end, even if it means risking her family’s reputation.
The Hobby Shop on Barnaby Street (Homefront Hearts #1)
A forbidden wartime romance begins just as German planes fill the skies over London in 1940. A playful and heartfelt read perfect for fans of Dear. Mrs. Bird, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
When Maisie Beckett steps into her brother’s struggling London hobby shop during wartime, she’s confronted with two harsh realities: the looming threat of a Nazi invasion and the shop’s dire financial situation. Determined to prove herself to her parents and keep the shop afloat, Maisie moonlights as a pinup photographer, covertly boosting the shop’s earnings. In the midst of London’s nightly bombings, Maisie finds herself irresistibly drawn to the shop’s co-owner, Cal Woodbury, captivated by his quick wit and bashful smile—and his mysterious secret.
But Cal made a promise to his best friend and business partner, Roy—a promise that he would never pursue a romantic relationship with Maisie, Roy’s sweet and beautiful sister. As the German bombs rain down upon London, and as Cal’s bond with Maisie deepens, he discovers that some promises are impossible to keep. When Roy deserts the Navy and unexpectedly appears at Cal’s doorstep, Cal is forced to choose between his loyal friend and the woman he’s falling for.
While London goes to war around them, Maisie and Cal face their own battle—finding their courage and recognizing their worth.
Never Let Go
On the day the Santee Sioux attacked the isolated settlement on Lake Shetek, the white women who lived there had long since accepted their youthful dreams would never be realized. None knew they were about to become pawns in a struggle between cultures.
By day’s end, the five still alive recognized the challenges of their pasts were nothing compared to the strength it would take to survive nor that their views on what mattered most would be changed forever. One abandoned on the prairie with two small children, one left for dead, and three taken captive: these were not submissive wives simply following husbands. They endured and challenged, emerging strong and independent.
This is their story … the story of who they were beneath the historical facts.
Paper Lantern Writers
In much 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 1851-1970
The Happy Heart: A groovy, tarot-soaked tale about a late-blooming flower child seeking enlightenment.
Trust No One: In World War II Washington, a baby shower is overshadowed by espionage, ambition, and betrayal.
True Legacy: A 1920’s inheritance chronicles secrets told and secrets kept, shaping a family’s story.
Threadbare Linens: During the American Civil War, a family is torn apart by filicide and assorted family warfare.
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 1851-1970
Boiling Point: A young mother weighs her future with her pro-colonial husband and their children in 1930s India.
Dear Santa: An aspiring businesswoman gets a job in Santa’s Photo Shop in 1969 California.
Long Winter: Can two educated young misses find their purpose—and the romance of a lifetime—across the backdrop of the Western Expansion?
The Greatest Love: Belgium 1944 – A mixed-race nurse meets an American soldier in WW2 Belgium and they develop feelings for each other.
X Marks the Spot: In 1918 New York, a vaudeville knife thrower’s wife knows she must take the ultimate risk to protect her own life and her unborn baby.
Stitchwork: A woman is wronged by a powerful man and disguises herself to find justice.
And other stories from other eras!