Spring Book Club & Giveaway: The Winter Sea
by Donna Soluri
“For if there was no winter, we could never hope for spring.”
One of my favorite things about being part of Romancelandia is finding like-minded friends and talking about the books we love. When you find your group, it is an extraordinary thing, something you’ll never part with. It’s a community, much like the one we are building here at Book+Main, different people, from different walks of life, with different likes and dislikes but all who love romance. Julie, Beth, and I discussed books, as you do, on a Zoom call one day (as you Covid-do) and thought it would be fun to group-read a book and discuss it here with you. Since we want you to have ample time to read the book yourself, I’m going to give you the details you’ll need to follow along and participate in the comments section of our discussion post.
And, to make it even better, we are giving away not one but TWO ebook copies of our chosen book.
On to the book, since I was tasked with the first book club choice, I knew I needed to find something exceptional. Beth loves historical romance. Julie loves Scotland. I love time travel. I knew almost immediately what I wanted us to read, or in my case, re-read. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. Friends, this book is so outrageously delicious it’s literally two books in one. Yes, you read that correctly. It is TWO books in ONE story. Oh, and a Scottish castle, Slains Castle, is so prevalent in telling both stories it may as well be the main character, not a setting.
So, the story goes that in the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. “Nearly” is a word that implies something went amiss, and we will eventually get to the bottom of that. For now, Carrie McClelland is in Scotland trying to turn that story into her next bestseller. She immerses herself so deeply in her research that she leaves her home in France and settles herself into a cottage near the infamous Slains Castle. Carrie even names her heroine after one of her own ancestors, and then, the real fun begins! Carrie soon discovers her novel is way more fact than fiction and begins to wonder if she might be dealing with ancestral memory. Time begins to slip as she explores the castle, and suddenly Carrie might just be the only living soul that knows what happened on the fateful night James Stewart attempted to reclaim his crown. Of course, we get a local love connection by way of Graham, her landlord’s handsome son. Susanna Kearsley is a phenomenal author who has an uncanny ability to place you so thoroughly in a scene, you’ll believe you are actually there, smelling the scents, feeling the breeze, and experiencing the exhilaration.
The Winter Sea is atmospheric. It’s breathtakingly beautiful in its imagery, it dabbles in betrayal and suspense, there’s love and heartache, it’s steeped in history that literally spills off the page into the present. For me, and hopefully Julie, Beth, and you, it is a book that has a bit of everything we love about romance. The first time I read The Winter Sea, I did so in-between childcare, school runs, homework challenges and bedtime routines. This time, I fully plan on closing out the world under my new favorite blanket, with my new favorite tea and pretending I’m looking out at the water from some drafty turret in a castle in Scotland. Maybe, once we’ve all read it, we can plan a grand Scottish adventure of our own? Who’s with me?
Here’s our plan, and we hope you’ll join us: Take some time to read the book. We will meet back here on Friday, May 14th, to discuss. Beth, Julie, and I will get the discussion rolling in a new post with thought-provoking questions and answers. We will be here all day to banter with you in the comments! It’ll be our first full-on Book+Main Book Club – Spring Edition. Now for the fun part! You can win one of two ebook copies of Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea just by dropping a comment below. Just say hi or tell us if you’ve ever been to Scotland. If you haven’t been, what would you most like to do, see, eat, hear, experience there? Or, maybe tell us something you definitely wouldn’t want to do or eat that’s uniquely Scottish! We want to get to know you, so tell us about yourself. I’ll pull the winners next Friday, April 30th, so you’ll have plenty of time to read the book before our big Book Club day on May 14th!
Donna should be an empty nester, but she’s not, thanks COVID-19. She’s a voracious reader of all books; she can’t pick just one sub-genre. A staunch supporter of seasoned romance and a lover of cupcakes, you’ll often find her with a cup of tea and a mountainous TBR pile close at hand. Follow her @DonnaSoluri on B+M Bites.
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