The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel – Blog Tour

  • Title: The Maid of Ballymacool: A Novel
  • Author: Jennifer Deibel
  • Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Co (February 21, 2023)
  • Length: (352) pages
  • Format: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, & eBook 
  • ISBN: 978-0800741747
  • Tour Dates: February 13 – 27, 2023

About The Book

Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.

When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything.

Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption.

Advance Praise

  • “Deibel’s update on the “Cinderella” story features sympathetic, three-dimensional characters that readers will find easy to root for as they navigate the page-turning plot and find their way to one another. This heartwarming entry will keep readers hooked till its satisfying close.”— Publisher’s Weekly
  • “A slow-building, delicious romance wrapped in a mystery!”— Erica Vetsch, author of the Thorndike & Swann Regency Mysteries

Purchase Links


Author Bio

Jennifer Deibel is the author of A Dance in Donegal (winner of the Kipp Award for Historical Romance) and The Lady of Galway Manor (a Parable Group bestseller). Her work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and in other publications. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children.


Barbara’s Review – 4 of 5 Stars

Period:  1935, County Donegal, Ireland

If you are looking for a clean, sweet, Christian retelling of the Cinderella story, then this is the book for you.  The protagonists are two lovely people who want to be of help in the world and the antagonist, well, she doesn’t.  As I read through certain scenes, the original Disney cartoon movie of Cinderella kept running through my head.  You know, the scenes where Cinderella is dancing with the animals and communing with nature. 

Brianna Kelly has lived at Ballymacool House and Boarding School for Girls since she was dropped off on the headmistress’s front stoop.  She has never known anything except drudgery and she works from before sunup till nearly midnight.  She longs to know who she really is – where she comes from – who her parents were – why they abandoned her, but that doesn’t keep her from having a sweet, caring, lovely disposition.  Though she often wonders why the headmistress despises her and treats her so cruelly, she’ll never ask.

Michael Wray and his family are among the ascendency class – wealthy landowners.  Michael, however, prefers to be out among the people, the working classes, rather that the pretentious wealthy aristocrats.  As a dutiful son, he goes to the Ballymacool House when his parents ask him to go straighten out a problem with his cousin who is boarding there. 

Brianna brings out a deep protective streak in Michael and he visits the school longer than originally expected to try to protect her.  As they get to know each other, they come to care for each other – but Brianna is afraid to trust.  She’s never known what it was to be loved, have affection, and have someone to protect her. 

I enjoyed the story, but I found myself skimming over large parts of it.  I skimmed because it seemed too slow-paced and a bit draggy in parts and because the story takes place in a time and place with which I’m not familiar.  I had never heard of the ascendency class, but will now have to do some reading up on it.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Posted by

Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

2 thoughts on “The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel – Blog Tour

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s