Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Bleddyn Hall by Amanda L.V. Shalaby

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Bleddyn Hall by Amanda L.V. Shalaby.  Please leave a comment or question for Amanda to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a free digital copy of her book, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow the rest of the stops on her tour by clicking on the tour banner above.  

Bleddyn Hall
By Amanda L.V. Shalaby

Publisher:  Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: February 11, 2015
Genre: Historical Romance/Gothic Mystery
Length:  220 Pages

Buy link:  Amazon

About the book: 

After a whirlwind romance during the London Season, Lady Isabel Sutton finds herself quickly engaged to the handsome Lord Tresham Bleddyn, Earl of Dancy. When his father passes away suddenly, however, his period of mourning delays their marriage and ruins the season for Tresham’s younger, twin sisters, Annalise and Rosamund.

After the girls invite Isabel to their Yorkshire home, Bleddyn Hall, Tresham seems an entirely different man than the one she fell in love with in London. Not only that, but all is not well within the walls of Bleddyn Hall. The house’s dark secrets lead to murder, mystery, and a gruesome discovery.

Was Isabel’s happy future with Tresham nothing more than an illusion? What is more, will she survive her stay at Bleddyn Hall?


Lord Tresham Bleddyn, the Earl of Dancy was altogether too handsome for one man. Not that Lady Isabel Sutton had the pleasure of laying eyes upon many men from the English country estate where she had grown up and was therefore not in the greatest position to judge masculine attractiveness. During these last weeks in London, she, for the first time, saw more men collected in a single ballroom than she had the pleasure of meeting her entire life prior. But even to her inexperienced eyes, it was obvious none compared to Lord Dancy.

The Tyrwhitt’s ballroom resembled a Roman basilica and to Isabel’s mind was something of a work of art: fluted alabaster columns with Corinthian capitals topped with lavishly ornate architrave, frieze and cornice lined the oblong room. Beyond the columns, Italian marble statues decorated alcoves in the walls, and green and pink grisaille panels depicting classical scenes sat above four sets of double wooden doors.

Beneath the chandeliers of the room’s barrel-vaulted ceiling, Lord and Lady Tyrwhitt introduced one finely dressed gentleman after another to Isabel, this one tall, the other short, another with eyes too far apart, and the next with eyes too close together—and all with mothers who loved them dearly. She saw her share of bucked teeth, straight teeth, crooked noses, straight noses, long faces, round faces, thickly built, slimly built men, some with wild-looking, untamed locks, and others with perfectly coiffed manes. Many seemed confident and comfortable in their surroundings, and some were not altogether a fright to look upon.

Lord Dancy, however—oh, Lord Dancy! His masculine attractiveness held an otherworldly quality. When he was at last brought before her, she could scarcely suppress an appreciative sigh.

“Lord Tresham Dancy,” Lady Tyrwhitt said, giving the slightest of gestures toward the man before doing the same for Isabel, “Lady Isabel Sutton.”

“A pleasure.” Lord Dancy inclined his head.

So entranced was she by the slight bounce of his black curls that Isabel’s curtsey was severely delayed. But she was too captivated by the man to wonder if he noticed. It took all her focus to remember how to smile, which she did unceasingly. And blinking—well, blinking was out of the question. She did as little of it as possible so as not to miss a single movement or expression. It took considerable effort.

“May I add my name to your dance card?” he asked.

“I would be delighted,” she said, handing her card to him.

There was nothing feminine in his features save for a lusciously thick set of black eyelashes that framed his chocolate-brown eyes. Neither his black brows nor his sideburns were unruly, and balsam kept his wavy hair mostly in its place. A fresh shave placed his strong facial structure at the greatest advantage for admiration, and Lady Isabel regarded his symmetry with a captivation she felt no inclination to contest.

Lord Dancy handed her card back and shortly thereafter they were parted. It was the most basic interaction two people could have at a gathering—and the most powerful, the effects of which were felt long after. Yes, Isabel was convinced, when it came to God’s sculptures of the male sex, Lord Dancy was without question His greatest masterpiece.

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Amanda L. V. Shalaby’s passion for all things Jane Austen was inspired by her mother and grandmother.  She now writes her own historical romantic mysteries. Amanda’s previously published works, Rhianna and Audra, both were nominated for the prestigious InD’Tale Magazine RONE Award.  Bleddyn Hall is her most recent novel. 

Twitter: @AmandaShalaby

An interesting genre blend of sweet romance and gothic mystery, Bleddyn Hall by Amanda L.V. Shalaby, takes place in Regency England during the year 1860.  Set in both London and the English countryside, Bleddyn Hall is filled with colorful characters, Regency fashion and behavior and a mystery with several twists and turns.  If you like historical suspense, this just might be the book for you.

In London and on the marriage hunt during “The Season”, Lady Isabel Sutton has been enjoying her stay with her aunt and uncle.  Determined to find both a wealthy husband, and a man she can fall in love with, Isabel is considered one of the two best ‘catches” of the season. Beautiful, intelligent and extremely well behaved, Isabel knows her prospects are good and is slowly considering all of the attentive gentlemen until the night she meets Lord Tresham Bleddyn, Earl of Dancy at a ball and falls head over heels in love. 

Quickly becoming engaged, Isabel’s plans for the rest of the season and a beautiful wedding get put on hold when Tresham’s father dies and his family must go into mourning.  Transported to the countryside with his family, Isobel soon wonders if the man she’s fallen in love with is the real Tresham or just an illusion.  All she knows for sure is that something is not right at Bleddyn Hall.

Ms. Shalaby does a good job developing the characters and I found them colorful, easy to like and a good representation of the “types” of people I’ve come to expect in a Regency romance.  While I liked Isabel and found her easy to connect with, I did think she was a bit too much of a romantic because she pretty much fell in “love at first sight” with Tresham and didn’t really know anything about him other than he was a very handsome man with good manners and a reported fortune.  For his part, Tresham, the oldest son of a wealthy noble family, knew next to nothing about Isabel before he too is smitten with her.  Though in reality I think both families would have done a “background” search, such as it was, to make sure the object of affection really was who they claimed to be.

The secondary characters are mostly Tresham’s family and I also found them colorful, especially Annalise and Rosamund, his two younger sisters.  His mother and younger brother, Clement, also prove to be very important to the mystery plot of the story.  The villain is not as well developed as I would have liked but his identity and his purpose were quite the twist.  Overall the mystery is easy to follow and it was enjoyable watching Isabel get involved in solving it and in the end helping to save the day.

Will Isabel and Tresham get a chance to have a happy ending?  Will the secrets of Bleddyn Hall prove to be too much for a Regency era lady?  You’ll have to read it to find out.  I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Shalaby’s work.

My Rating:  3 out of 5 Crowns

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for hosting me today, Maria! It's a pleasure to be here!

  2. What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

  3. Mai T, how wonderful to see you today! Although my novels take place in a different era than Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park were big influences of mine. Not to mention Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and - especially for this novel - Ann Radcliffe's Romance of the Forest, to mention some of the great classics :-) Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Maria, thank you again for today! I've enjoyed being here :-)

  5. I enjoy reading historical suspense so I am looking forward to Bleddyn Hall. Thank you for the review, excerpt, and giveaway. :)