Two siblings following a mystery and finding another time... Estuary by Lisa T. Bergren (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #booktwitter #fantasy #romancebooks #timetravel #cleanreads @EnclaveBooks @Celebrate_Lit

Welcome to my tour stop! Read my review and enter the giveaway below...

(Oceans of Time #1)
By Lisa T. Bergren
Romantic Fantasy, Time Travel, Historical, Inspirational
Hardcover, Audiobook & eBook, 336 Pages
June 13, 2023 by Enclave Publishing 


Can a family bond stand the test of time?

Lady Tiliani Forelli is the epitome of the She-Wolves who raised her, an adept archer with a mind of her own. It is long past time for her to wed, but she deems each young lord who comes to bid for her hand lacking. With battles upon their border, and rumors of war growing louder on every front, Lady Forelli’s decision could secure her kingdom’s peace… or bring about its destruction.

Centuries later, history major Luciana Betarrini takes a summer job alongside her twin, Domenico, as a period actor at Castello Forelli in Italy. As incoming college seniors, this might be their last chance to spend meaningful time together, so she’s soaking up every minute. But when Nico’s theory that their lost Betarrini relatives have traveled through time becomes potentially real—and they might be able to follow—Luci fears they’ll be forever divided.

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My Review

ESTUARY is the start of a new spin-off series from Bergren's other time-travel novels. The characters are likable and easy to relate to and the setting interesting as two siblings travel back in time where some distant cousins have made their home. There was plenty of adventure, some fighting, mystery, an inspirational element and romance.

I really liked both Nico and Luci as well as Tili. The story is told from the two young women's POVs (Luci and Tili). They both end up having quite a bit laid on their shoulders as they seek answers and the direction their lives should take. I liked seeing the time period through both of their eyes and how the way was paved from Tili's mom and aunt for these girls to be strong and somewhat independent when at the time women were expected to be more subservient to the men. The romance was slowly developed and definitely a strong aspect of this story. It was also sweet and I liked the relationships that developed. The faith element was weaved throughout. The plotline was engaging as there wasn't a whole lot of downtime before someone was trying to cause trouble. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next for these characters. Just be warned that there is a bit of a cliffhanger. There's a tough road ahead for them and for peace.

I also had a few things that I thought could have been done a bit better. There were several phrases that were redundant or repeated making it seem like there wasn't enough substance and so the same information, thoughts or questions had to be repeated to make up for it. I would have liked a bit more immersion in the time period with more explaining who everyone was, as I did have some issues keeping names straight, and overall more descriptive details. There were a few things that seemed too easy in a few of the fights and the part with assassins (how could some people be in so many places in such a short timespan without people (particularly of this time period) catching on sooner and doing something about it?).

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an overall enjoyable start to this new series set in this time-travelling Medieval world.  If you enjoyed the previous series from this author or romance-filled Medieval stories with strong heroines then this is definitely a recommended read.

Content: Some violence and innuendo, but would count this as clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over sixty books spanning a variety of genres, from children’s picture books to women’s historical fiction to supernatural suspense and time travel. She lives with her husband and three gradually-flying-from-the-nest young adult children.

More from Lisa


Never go to Italy, I tell everyone, because it gets under your skin and then you have to go back! I’ve been six times over the years. Once with Tim and our BFFs, once with my extended family, twice with a daughter in tow (doing research in Rome and Venice), once to Tuscany alone for a romantic ten days with Tim, and this last summer, with extended family again. It was our 30th anniversary and so we went as far north as the Dolomites (jaw-dropping, Italian Alps). And in the future I want to explore the whole coast of Italy—on both sides!

As a writer it’s glorious, because you get to see remnants of history all around you! I get super excited when I get to walk through the remains of a castle or Roman ruins or even among vineyards, soaking up the smells and sights and cataloging details I can put in my novel so readers feel like they are there too. My family is patient with my sign-reading and desire to take extra long walks, trying to outline what it would be like in medieval times. The food, the views, the people make them pretty happy travel companions.

I am frequently asked what I would recommend for a travel itinerary for people going for the first time. Here’s what I tell them:


If possible, I highly recommend you go late-Spring or in the Fall. Summer is SO much more crowded and winter can be cold/rainy/snowy!

Day 1: Using an “open-jawed” ticket (arriving from one airport, departing from another), fly to Italia!

Day 2: Arrive in Rome in the afternoon/eve. (You lose some hours/time zones in transit!) Stay up until at least 9 or 10, walking the streets, eating gelato, soaking up being in ROME! The goal is to get your body in the right time zone/avoid jet lag.

Day 3: Morning Colosseum tour with a guide group that will take you to the basement, where the gladiators prepared and animals were caged, then on to the Forum. Spend the afternoon walking to quintessential sites such as the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona. Sit and sip something, watching the tourists and locals. Find a fun restaurant for dinner—you’ll want reservations at the most popular places, so research before you go.

Day 4: Morning Vatican tour/Sistine Chapel. Afternoon exploring other sites important to you.

Day 5: Taxi back to airport to rent a car; drive to Tuscany; check into a villa or agriturismo for five days. My preference is somewhere around Montepulciano or Siena. Many provide nightly dinners or you may want to cook!

Day 6-9: Explore a different hill town each day. My favorites are Montepulciano, Siena, Pienza. But there are so many. Just follow your nose one day!

Day 10: Return car to Rome early morning; take train to Florence for the day/night. Have advance reservations to “The David.” Consider reservations for the Uffizi if you’re a fan of classic art. Just explore the city if you’d rather not. Climb the Duomo for a fantastic view of the city.

Day 11: Train to Venice; check into a hotel on the Grand Canal or one of the smaller ones. Start getting your bearings by riding the water bus. It’s noisy but you can see the whole canal for little $. Find a great place for dinner. Again, do some research before you go and make reservations!

Day 12-13: Saint Mark’s (pay to climb to next level!); pay to go up the Campanile (tower) at sunset; walk/wander far enough to get out of the tourist zone—the old naval yard is cool. Take the water bus out to Torcello, the birthplace of Venice. Stop at Murano and Burano. Pay for a private water taxi tour at sunset or take the classic gondola ride.

Day 14: Take a water taxi to the airport. It’s a short walk from the docks and a very cool way to end your trip. Arrivederci! (Which means, “Until we meet again.” Because now, you’ve BEEN there. And you’ll HAVE to return! It’s THAT great!)

Tour Schedule

Through the Fire Blogs, July 4 (Spotlight)

Simple Harvest Reads, July 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Artistic Nobody, July 13 (Spotlight)

Kristina Hall, July 13

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lisa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, autographed copy of the book and an Etsy-artist “Oceans” bookmark!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Have you read Bergren's other series? Will you be reading this one?

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