Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Blast and Giveaway: "Sown in Tears" and "Where Do I Go?" by Beverly Magid






Sown in Tears by Beverly Magid



Publication Date: September 18, 2012


Paperback & eBook; 194 Pages


ISBN-13: 978-1478104575




Genre: Fiction/Historical/Jewish









Russia, 1905: The Jews are restricted to the area called thePale of the Settlement and the target of anti-semitism fomented by the government and exacerbated by the laws and the economy. After an attack on the village of Kortitz, Leah Peretz must find a way to survive and protect her young children. Her life is complicated by the unexpected attentions of the Russian officer, Captain Vaselik. Can she trust him? Should she join the burgeoning worker movement? Suddenly her path to self-discovery has become one of drama, revolution and courage.


"I read this story in ONE day. I could not put the book down!" - Impressions In Ink Book Blog





"Sown in Tearswill have you gripped from the first sentence. This exciting, fast-paced novel takes all the elements of romance, family love, friendship and loyalty and places them into the fascinating setting of a small Jewish settlement in Russia in 1905. Magid creates a wonderful atmosphere of stifling terror and poverty in the Jewish community and the courage and survival instincts of Leah or so expertly created that you are willing her on, even when her actions could have serious consequences for her family. This novel truly stands out in the ‘chick lit’ category as a brave and exciting choice of subject matter written with real heart and finesse." - BestChickLit.com


Available in Paperback and eBook on Amazon







Where Do I Go? by Beverly Magid



Publication Date: October 9, 2017


BeWrite Press


Paperback & eBook; 138 Pages




Genre: Fiction/Historical/Jewish










It's 1908 and Leah and her boys have immigrated to New York's Lower East Side to live with her brothers after surviving a pogrom in their Russian village. She is determined to find a home in America but the conditions are harsher than she expected. The garment sweat shops are brutal to work in and it's essential that her son Benny works after school to help with expenses. Unbeknownst to her he runs errands for the local bookie/gangster. Life isn't what Leah hoped for, but she's a fighter and not willing to accept the awful conditions at Wollowitz's Factory. She's on a journey to find her own voice, to find a place for herself and her sons, to find a little beauty and romance in her life.


Available in Paperback and eBook on Amazon




About the Author


Beverly Magid, before writing her novel, was a journalist and an entertainment and celebrity PR executive, who interviewed many luminaries, including John Lennon, Jim Croce and the Monty Python gang, and as a publicist represented clients in music, tv and film, ranging from Whoopi Goldberg, John Denver and Dolly Parton to Tom Skerritt, Martin Landau, Kathy Ireland and Jacqueline Bisset.

Beverly is a longtime west coast resident who still considers herself a New Yorker. Among the social issues she’s passionate about is literacy and she worked with KorehLA to mentor elementary children in reading. Also she has been an advocate for Jewish World Watch, an organization dedicated to working against genocide and to aid the victims of war atrocities. On a lighter side, she is also a volunteer at the Los Angeles Zoo, monitoring animal behavior for their Research Department.

She is a news and political junkie who supports environmental, animal and human rights issues. She believes most passionately that “We must remain vigilant to the those who would erode the rights of people around the world and work to defeat them.”

For more information, please visit Beverly Magid's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Book Blast Schedule


Monday, November 13
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 14
Creating Herstory

Wednesday, November 15
The Never-Ending Book
History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, November 16
A Book Geek

Friday, November 17
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, November 20
WS Momma Readers Nook

Tuesday, November 21
Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, November 22
Adventures Thru Wonderland

Thursday, November 23
What Is That Book About

Monday, November 27
Let Them Read Books

Thursday, November 30
Pursuing Stacie


Giveaway


During the Book Blast we will be giving away a signed copy of SOWN IN TEARS! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Beverly Magid Book Blast


Monday, November 13, 2017

Mini Reviews (23)



I so badly wanted to love this book but it just didn't do it for me.  I was expecting to get to know Eliza Hamilton in this story: her life before, during and after her marriage to Alexander Hamilton but that's not what this story was really about.  This was a more a story Alexander through Eliza's eyes and it got boring after a while to see her gush over Alexander non-stop for the whole book.  I did learn a lot about Alexander from the story but I don't think I really knew Eliza.  It was all completely focused on Alexander and I think the story made Eliza into a lovesick puppy.  Also, Eliza lived for 50 years after his death and there was nothing about that part of her life.   I feel bad for not loving the story but it really didn't work for me. 2 stars.
 


 
Sugar Pine Trail is the 7th book in RaeAnne Thayne's Haven Point series and I'm pretty sure it's my new favorite.  I absolutely loved Jamie Caine!  I loved watching the relationship between him and Julia grow and his relationship with the two boys was adorable.  It also had just the right amount of holiday cheer.  RaeAnne Thayne really knows how to create lovable characters and she outdid herself with this book.  I have enjoyed this series so much and I can't wait to see where she takes us next. 4 stars.
 


I don't think I have ever read anything by this author but I really liked this book.  I love the idea of a female investigator in the early 20th century.  Lady Emily was smart and inquisitive and it was fun to follow her through St. Petersburg as she tried to solve a ballerina's murder.  The author's descriptions of St. Petersburg were gorgeous and showed both the wealth and poverty of the city.  I enjoyed the story as a whole though I thought the ending was a little rushed.  I'll definitely be picking up more of Ms. Alexander's books in the future. 3 stars.

 I received all three books from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Book Blast and Giveaway: The Graham Saga by Anna Belfrage

Please follow Anna Belfrage as her beloved Graham Saga series is blasted around the blogosphere and enter to win Books #1-8!


About The Graham Saga Series


This is the story of Alex and Matthew, two people who should never have met - not when she was born three hundred years after him.

It all began the day Alex Lind got caught in a thunderstorm. Not your ordinary storm, no this was the mother of all storms, causing a most unusual rift in the fabric of time. Alex was dragged three centuries backwards in time, landing more or less at the feet of a very surprised Matthew Graham.

In a series of books we follow the life and adventures of the expanding Graham family, both in Scotland and in the New World - and let me tell you it is quite an exciting life, at times excessively so in Alex' opinion.

Sometimes people ask me why Alex had to be born in the twentieth century, why not make her a woman born and bred in the seventeenth century where the story is set? The answer to that is I have no idea. Alex Lind is an insistent, vibrant character that sprung into my head one morning and simply wouldn't let go.

Seductively she whispered about terrible thunderstorms, about a gorgeous man with magic, hazel eyes, about loss and sorrow, about love - always this love, for her man and her children, for the people she lives with. With a throaty chuckle she shared insights into a life very far removed from mine, now and then stopping to shake her head and tell me that it probably hadn't been easy for Matthew, to have such an outspoken, strange and independent woman at his side.

At this point Matthew groaned into life. Nay, he sighed, this woman of his was at times far too obstinate, with no notion of how a wife should be, meek and dutiful. But, he added with a laugh, he wouldn't want her any different, for all that she was half heathen and a right hand-full. No, he said, stretching to his full length, if truth be told not a day went by without him offering fervent thanks for his marvelous wife, a gift from God no less, how else to explain the propitious circumstances that had her landing at his feet that long gone August day?

Still, dear reader, it isn't always easy. At times Alex thinks he's an overbearing bastard, at others he's sorely tempted to belt her. But the moment their fingertips graze against each other, the moment their eyes meet, the electrical current that always buzzes between them peaks and surges, it rushes through their veins, it makes their breathing hitch and ... She is his woman, he is her man. That's how it is, that's how it always will be.


Graham Saga Titles


Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star
Book Nine: There is Always a Tomorrow (November 2017)





About the Author




Anna was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result she's multilingual and most of her reading is Anna Belfragehistorical- both non-fiction and fiction. Possessed of a lively imagination, she has drawers full of potential stories, all of them set in the past. She was always going to be a writer - or a historian, preferably both. Ideally, Anna aspired to becoming a pioneer time traveller, but science has as yet not advanced to the point of making that possible. Instead she ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for her most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career Anna raised her four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive…

For years she combined a challenging career with four children and the odd snatched moment of writing. Nowadays Anna spends most of her spare time at her writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and she slips away into her imaginary world, with her imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in her life pops his head in to ensure she's still there.

For additional information regarding Anna, her characters, extra scenes, and teasers for her next books, have a look at Anna's website at: www.annabelfrage.com. You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.


Book Blast Schedule


Monday, November 6
Pursuing Stacie
The Reading Queen
Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, November 7
T's Stuff
Susan Heim on Writing

Wednesday, November 8
Bookish
So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, November 9
Let Them Read Books

Friday, November 10
History From a Woman's Perspective
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Saturday, November 11
A Holland Reads

Sunday, November 12
A Chick Who Reads

Monday, November 13
CelticLady's Reviews
What Is That Book About

Tuesday, November 14
A Literary Vacation
Historical Fiction with Spirit
Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!

Wednesday, November 15
The Maiden's Court
Adventures Thru Wonderland

Thursday, November 16
Carole Rae's Random Ramblings
Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company

Friday, November 17
Book Nerd

Saturday, November 18
Passages to the Past
The Book Junkie Reads

Sunday, November 19
Books, Dreams, Life

Monday, November 20
The Lit Bitch
Jorie Loves a Story


Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away Books #1-8 in paperback to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Graham Saga Book Blast


Monday, November 6, 2017

Feature & Giveaway: "By Love Divided" by Elizabeth St. John






By Love Divided by Elizabeth St. John



Publication Date: October 12, 2017


Falcon Historical


eBook & Paperback; 381 Pages




Series: The Lydiard Chronicles, Book Two


Genre: Historical Fiction






Royalist Sir Allen Apsley thinks his choice is clear, but when his mother embraces the Puritan cause, and his beloved sister Luce falls in love with John Hutchinson, a Roundhead soldier, his loyalties are tested. Is it family first? Is it country first? As England falls into bloody civil war, Allen must fight for king and country, while Luce embraces Parliament’s radical views and confronts the very core of the family’s beliefs. And when their influential Villiers cousins raise the stakes, Allen and Luce face a devastating challenge. Will war unite or divide them? In the dawn of rebellion, love is the final battleground.

Based on surviving memoirs, court papers and letters of Elizabeth St.John’s family, By Love Divided continues the story of Lucy St.John, The Lady of the Tower. This powerfully emotional novel tells of England’s great divide, and the heart-wrenching choices one family faces.


"I am completely blown away by Elizabeth St. John’s follow up novel, By Love Divided. The depth of her characterization, the elegance of her prose (and dialogue) and the masterful way in which she presents the realities of the English Civil War such that we’re bleeding for both sides is nothing short of brilliant. If you want a compelling, exquisitely written story to immerse you in the past, By Love Divided is a must read! I consider it one of my favourite historical reads and it's earned a place on my keeper shelf! 5 plus stars!" -Cryssa Bazos, Author of The Traitor's Knot


Available on Amazon



About the Author




Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England and lives in California. To inform her writing, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them - in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story...

By Love Divided, Elizabeth's sequel to The Lady of the Tower, follows the fortunes of the St.John family during the English Civil War, and is out now.

For more information, please visit Elizabeth St. John's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Blog Tour Schedule


Saturday, November 4
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 5
Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Monday, November 6
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, November 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 10
Feature at WS Momma Readers Nook

Monday, November 13
Review at Bookish

Wednesday, November 15
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, November 16
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, November 17
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Monday, November 20
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, November 21
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Thursday, November 23
Excerpt at T's Stuff

Saturday, November 25
Review & Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, November 27
Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland

Tuesday, November 28
Feature at A Literary Vacation


Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of By Love Divided to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & UK residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

By Love Divided




Sunday, November 5, 2017

Mailbox Monday (80)

Time for another Mailbox Monday post! 

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  My daughter had a blast and even though it was freezing, we did a lot of trick or treating.  After Halloween, I swear the week flew by and now we're having a super relaxing weekend.  The weather is pretty chilly so it's nice to curl up inside with a book or a movie.

I'm so excited about the books I got this week. 

For Review:



This is a new book in a one of my favorite series and I absolutely can't wait to dive into it.

Purchased (for Kindle):


I am so excited for the holidays! I can't get enough holiday romance novels right now.  We are going to be in Germany for Thanksgiving so we are already starting to get things ready to decorate the house.  I want it all ready to go when we leave so the house is ready for December when we get back.

I hope you all have a great week!  What books did you get this week?
 

 

 

 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Feature and Giveaway: "The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow" by Laini Giles






The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow by Laini Giles



Publication Date: March 25, 2017


Sepia Stories Publishing


eBook & Paperback; 341 Pages




Series: Forgotten Actresses, Book #2


Gere: Historical Fiction/Biographical






Daisy DeVoe has left her abusive husband, her father has been pinched for bootlegging, and she’s embarrassed by her rural Kentucky roots. But on the plus side, she’s climbing the ladder in the salon of Paramount Pictures, styling hair for actress Clara Bow.

Clara is a handful. The “It” Girl of the Jazz Age personifies the new woman of the 1920s onscreen, smoking, drinking bootleg hooch, and bursting with sex appeal. But her conduct off the set is even more scandalous. Hoping to impose a little order on Clara’s chaotic life, Paramount persuades Daisy to sign on as Clara’s personal secretary.

Thanks to Daisy, Clara's bank account is soon flush with cash. And thanks to Clara, Daisy can finally shake off her embarrassing past and achieve respectability for herself and her family.

The trouble begins when Clara’s newest fiancĂ©, cowboy star Rex Bell, wants to take over, and he and Daisy battle for control. Torn between her loyalty to Clara and her love for her family, Daisy has to make a difficult choice when she ends up in the county jail.

Here, Daisy sets the record straight, from her poverty-stricken childhood to her failed marriage; from a father in San Quentin to her rollercoaster time with Clara, leaving out none of the juicy details.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters




About the Author


Originally from the counterculture mecca of Austin, Texas, Laini discovered a love of reading early on, and when she was eight, decided to be Nancy Drew. This dream was dashed when she realized she was actually a big chicken, and that there were no guarantees of rescue from tarantulas, bad guys with guns, and other fiendish plot twists. She finished her first "mystery novel" (with custom illustrations) when she was nine.

She set the writing aside for a while when life got in the way, but was led back to it through her interest in genealogy and 18 months of enforced unemployment due to moving north for maple-flavored goodies and real beer. Reading old microfilm stirred new life into her interest in writing, and watching early silent films struck the match.

Like most other writers, most of her monthly budget is spent on coffee and books. She lives with her husband and their two gray cats in Edmonton, Alberta.

For more information, please visit Laini Giles' website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


Blog Tour Schedule


Wednesday, November 1
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Thursday, November 2
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 3
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, November 6
Review at Bookish

Tuesday, November 7
Feauture at WS Momma Readers Nook

Thursday, November 9
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog

Friday, November 10
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Monday, November 13
Review at Creating Herstory
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, November 15
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, November 17
Excerpt at A Literary Vacation

Monday, November 20
Feature at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, November 22
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, November 23
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Friday, November 24
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, November 25
Excerpt at T's Stuff

Tuesday, November 28
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Wednesday, November 29
Review at A Book Drunkard


Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 5 paperback copies of The It Girl and Me! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The It Girl and Me


Monday, October 30, 2017

Book Blast: "The Tides Between" by Elizabeth Jane Corbett

The Tides Between
by Elizabeth Jane Corbett


Publication Date: October 20, 2017
Odyssey Books
Paperback; 300 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Young Adult/Historical







She fancied herself part of a timeless chain without beginning or end, linked only by the silver strong words of its tellers.

In the year 1841, on the eve of her departure from London, Bride's mother demands she forget her dead father and prepare for a sensible, adult life in Port Phillip. Desperate to save her childhood, fifteen-year-old Bridie is determined to smuggle a notebook filled with her father's fairytales to the far side of the world.

When Rhys Bevan, a soft-voiced young storyteller and fellow traveller realises Bridie is hiding something, a magical friendship is born. But Rhys has his own secrets and the words written in Bridie’s notebook carry a dark double meaning.

As they inch towards their destination, Rhys's past returns to haunt him. Bridie grapples with the implications of her dad’s final message. The pair take refuge in fairytales, little expecting the trouble it will cause.

Odyssey Books | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo


About the Author


When Elizabeth Jane Corbett isn’t writing, she works as a librarian, teaches Welsh at the Melbourne Celtic Club, writes reviews and articles for the Historical Novel Society and blogs at elizabethjanecorbett.com. In 2009, her short-story, Beyond the Blackout Curtain, won the Bristol Short Story Prize. Another, Silent Night, was short listed for the Allan Marshall Short Story Award. An early draft of her debut novel, The Tides Between, was shortlisted for a HarperCollins Varuna manuscript development award.

Elizabeth lives with her husband, Andrew, in a renovated timber cottage in Melbourne’s inner-north. She likes red shoes, dark chocolate, commuter cycling, and reading quirky, character driven novels set once-upon-a-time in lands far, far away.

For more information, please visit Elizabeth Jane Corbett's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule


Monday, October 16
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 17
The Never-Ending Book

Wednesday, October 18
A Book Geek

Thursday, October 19
The Reading Queen

Friday, October 20
Pursuing Stacie
What Is That Book About

Sunday, October 22
Faery Tales Are Real

Monday, October 23
To Read, Or Not to Read
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, October 24
Creating Herstory

Wednesday, October 25
History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, October 26
Jenn's Book Vibes

Friday, October 27
WS Momma Readers Nook

Monday, October 30
I Heart Reading
So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, October 31
Back Porchervations

Wednesday, November 1
T's Stuff

Thursday, November 2
Singing Librarian Books

Friday, November 3
A Holland Reads

Monday, November 6
Broken Teepee
A Book Drunkard

Tuesday, November 7
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Wednesday, November 8
Just One More Chapter

Thursday, November 9
CelticLady's Reviews
Locks, Hooks and Books
Carole Rae's Random Ramblings

Friday, November 10
What Cathy Read Next

Friday, October 27, 2017

Spotlight and Giveaway: "A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus"






A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus



by David Blixt, Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Scott Oden, Vicky Alvear Shecter, and Russell Whitfield




Publication Date: October 17, 2017


Knight Media, LLC


eBook & Paperback; 524 Pages




Genre: Historical Fiction






Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters--no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are their stories…

A beleaguered queen’s gambit for maintaining power unravels as a son plots vengeance.

A tormented siren battles a goddess’s curse and the forces of nature to survive.

An exiled sorceress defies a lustful captain and his greedy crew.

A blinded shepherd swears revenge on the pirate-king who mutilated him.

A beautiful empress binds a shipwrecked sailor to servitude, only to wonder who is serving whom.

A young suitor dreams of love while a returned king conceives a savage retribution.

Six authors bring to life the epic tale of The Odyssey seen through the eyes of its shattered victims—the monsters, witches, lovers, and warriors whose lives were upended by the antics of the “man of many faces.” You may never look upon this timeless epic—and its iconic ancient hero—in quite the same way again.


About the Authors


Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). Amalia's novels include Tamer of Horses, Helen of Sparta, By Helen's Hand, and Daughter of a Thousand Years.




David Blixt's work is consistently described as "intricate," "taut," and "breathtaking." A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS'D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY'S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.

Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as "actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order."



Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. Libbie's recent novels include Daughter of Sand and Stone, Mercer Girls, A Song of War, White Lotus and Persian Rose.

She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.




Russell Whitfield was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey.

Gladiatrix was Russ's first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book, Imperatrix, sees Lysandra stepping out of the arena and onto the field of battle.




Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Shannon.

Oden’s previous works include the historical fantasy, The Lion of Cairo, and two historical novels, Men of Bronze and Memnon. He is currently working on his next novel.




Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of multiple books set in the ancient world, including the YA novels, CLEOPATRA'S MOON, based on the life of Cleopatra's only daughter, and CURSES AND SMOKE: A NOVEL OF POMPEII and the adult historical collaborations, A SONG OF WAR, A YEAR OF RAVENS, and A DAY OF FIRE. She has written a mid-grade series on mythology (ANUBIS SPEAKS, HADES SPEAKS, and THOR SPEAKS) as well as two award-winning biographies for kids. She a She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.


Blog Tour Schedule


Tuesday, October 17
Review at A Book Drunkard

Wednesday, October 18
Feature at A Holland Reads

Thursday, October 19
Feature at View From the Birdhouse

Friday, October 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, October 23
Review at The Maiden's Court

Tuesday, October 24
Feature at The Reading Queen

Wednesday, October 25
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, October 26
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, October 27
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, October 30
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, October 31
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews

Wednesday, November 1
Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, November 2
Feature at The Writing Desk

Friday, November 3
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, November 6
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, November 7
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, November 8
Feature at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 10
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, November 13
Review at Unabridged Chick
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, November 14
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Thursday, November 16
Feature at I Heart Reading

Friday, November 17
Review at A Book Geek
Review at The True Book Addict


Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

A Sea of Sorrow




Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review and Giveaway: "The Murderer's Maid" by Erika Mailman





Synopsis: The Murderer’s Maid interweaves the stories of two women: one, the servant of infamous Lizzie Borden, and the other a modern-day barista fleeing from an attempt on her life.

Trapped by servitude and afraid for her own safety, Irish maid Bridget finds herself an unwilling witness to the tensions in the volatile Borden household. As Lizzie seethes with resentment, Bridget tries to perform her duties and keep her mouth shut.

Unknowingly connected to the legendary crime of a century ago, Brooke, the illegitimate daughter of an immigrant maid, struggles to conceal her identity and stay a jump ahead of the men who want to kill her. When she unexpectedly falls in love with Anthony, a local attorney, she has to decide whether to stop running and begin her life anew.

With historical detail and taut, modern storytelling, Erika Mailman writes a captivating novel about identity, choices, freedom, and murder. She offers readers a fresh perspective on the notorious crime and explores the trials of immigrants seeking a better life while facing down fear and oppression, today and throughout history. Intelligent and detailed, The Murderer’s Maid is a gripping read from beginning to bloody conclusion.

My Thoughts: Lizzie Borden is such a fascinating figure that I couldn't resist reading this book. I found this story to be completely riveting.  The story also was kind of creepy.  I don't think anyone can not be weirded out by the Borden story but the descriptions of Lizzie were especially creepy.  This made it the perfect read for this time of year.

The story was told from several different perspectives which made for a really interesting look at what was happening in both the past and present.  The events occurring in the Borden house were seen mostly through the eyes of the family maid, Bridget.  I really loved Bridget.  I admired her strength and willingness to stay working with the family despite their oddities.  She had an interesting background and her perspective on the events kept me flipping pages as fast as I could.  I also really liked Brooke's story in the present.  Brooke was an amazing character and she really made the story.  I think the author did an excellent job of mixing the past and present stories together and creating a really cohesive tale.

I always love a good author's note at the end of a book and I really appreciated the extra details as well as the author's opinion on the murders. I've been in a reading funk for a while and it was nice to read something so engrossing.  This was a really great read and I hope to see more from Ms. Mailman in the future. 4 stars.

About the Author:
 
 Erika Mailman is the author of The Witch’s Trinity, a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and Bram Stoker Award finalist, and Woman of Ill Fame, a Pushcart Press Editor’s Book Award nominee. She’s a Yaddo fellow and lives in Northern California with her family.

For more information, please visit Erika Mailman’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


I received this book from HFVBT in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mailbox Monday (79)

It's Monday again and I'm linking up with Mailbox Monday today.

It's a very busy Monday for me as it's time for university students to start enrolling.  My job is to help them pick the right classes so things will be hectic for the next few weeks.

My reading is slow.  I'm slogging through a review book right and I'm hoping I can just get it done this week and move on.  I hate not finishing books so I'm trying to put in the effort to get through it.

I got a few fun books from the library this week.  I can't wait to dive in.



This is the only book of his I haven't read yet and I'm really looking forward to it.

This song irritates me so much but I really enjoy this author's books so I thought I would check this one out.
Her Christmas books are the best!
This is a new to me author but I'm in love with the house on the cover!

What books did you get this week?

Saturday, October 7, 2017

September 2017 Wrap Up

I know I'm late to the party with my September wrap up but I wanted to post it anyway.  

September was a better reading month for me and we took a bookish family trip!  My family and I met my mom in Mansfield, Missouri and went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum and Wilder Days event.  It was so neat!  





We got to tour the farm house at Rocky Ridge farm, the Rock House that Laura's daughter Rose had built and the museum.  There was a lot to see and I was so glad we went.  I wouldn't mind going back when it's less busy so I can get a better look at some things.  I absolutely loved the Rock House!  It's about a mile and half from the farm house and museum and the view is spectacular.  It was so peaceful and beautiful; I would have happily lived there.

I read more books than I have in the past couple months.  I got through seven books!  I know that's not much but I have barely been able to get six books read in a month lately.  I am really behind on my reading goal for the year and I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to make it to 100 this year and I'm kind of sad about it.  I have read 61 books and I don't think I can fit 39 more books into the next three months.  So boo.  It's been kind of a crazy year so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself about it. 

I read the following books in September:

4.) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
6.) By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
7.) The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My September reading stats:


-7 books read
   - 0 non-fiction
   - 5 historical fiction
   - 4 review books
   - 3 library books
   - 0 books I own
   - 7 ebooks

I'm hoping October will be even better!  How was your September?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Mini Reviews (22)




This is one of my favorite books of the year.  Pevear and Volokhonsky (the best Russian translators!) have created a wonderful translation of Ms. Alexievich's amazing oral history.  The author interviewed Soviet women who fought in World War II and recorded their stories.  These stories were beautiful and heart-breaking and such an eye-opening look at the Soviet experience in World War II.  The translators did such a good job and making it seem as thought the book was written in English; it wasn't choppy or weird, it flowed exactly as it should.  I would highly encourage anyone interested in this part of history to read this book.  I will definitely be buying a copy for my home library.  5 stars.




I have such a love/hate relationship with this author but I can't turn down a book on the Grey sisters.  I find them to be so fascinating!  That being said, the whole section on Lady Jane Grey was rough.  Jane was completely insufferable and I just did not like her at all.  The rest of the story that focused on Katherine and Mary was pretty good.  I can't help but feel sympathy for those two because their lives could not have been easy and I enjoyed Ms. Gregory's portrayal of them.  Overall, this was an okay read if you can get past the sections on Jane. 3 stars.




I love this author and I love this series.  The Library of Light and Shadow is a wonderful addition to the Daughters of La Lune series.  Delphine Duplessi is the main focus of this novel and I think she is my favorite so far.  Her gift is so unique and I really liked reading about her regular art as well as her shadow art.  In addition to Delphine's art, the story surrounding the search for Flamel's book kept me reading as fast as I could.  This was a delightfully magical mystery and I highly recommend this series. 4 stars

I received all of the above books from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mailbox Monday (78)


 Happy Sunday everybody!  September is over and I can hardly believe it.  It seems as though the month has flown by.  Now I'm excited for fall and all of the upcoming holidays.  October is the start of my favorite time of year and I'm hoping there will be plenty of room for reading in between all of the upcoming events.

I requested some new holiday books from the library and had no idea all of my holds would come in at once so I need to get moving on these.  I'm really excited to dig into some sweet, fluffy reads and these will do just the trick.

From the Library:





This is the fourth book in a series that I really enjoyed so I'm eager to get started on it.


I was so intrigued by the cover on this one that I had to pick it up.

For Review (from NetGalley):


 I really need to stay away from review books for a while but I can't say no to anything about Anastasia.
I hope y'all have a great week!







I Was Anastasia

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review & Giveaway: "Last Christmas in Paris" by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb


Synopsis:   August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.
But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

My Thoughts:  Last Christmas in Paris is a beautiful story of friendship and love during World War I.  It is so well-written and so seamless that you would never know there were two authors.

The story is told mostly through letters.  Evie is left at home in England while her brother, his good friend and her best friend all go to Europe to serve in the war.  The authors did a wonderful job of connecting the letters into a cohesive story.  I really enjoyed this format and felt like I got to know the characters more by reading their letters.

The portrayal of the war and the effects that it had on the soldiers and others participating in the war were heart wrenching.  It hurt my heart reading about the constant death, the PTSD and shell shock and all the illness in the trenches.  These aspects of the book seemed to be very well-researched and were integrated nicely in to the story.

The romance that grew between Evie and Tom was so sweet.  It was made even better by the short sections set in the 1960s that followed Tom on his last trip to Paris.  The story ended during this time and oh, did it make me cry.

Last Christmas in Paris was a captivating tale and I would highly recommend it.  I hope to see more from each of these author's in the future. 4 stars.

About the Authors:

 
HEATHER WEBB is the author of historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin’s Lover, and the anthology Fall of Poppies, which have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more, as well as received national starred reviews. RODIN’S LOVER was a Goodreads Top Pick in 2015. Up and coming, Last Christmas in Paris, an epistolary love story set during WWI will release October 3, 2017, and The Phantom’s Apprentice, a re-imagining of the Gothic classic Phantom of the Opera from Christine Daae’s point of view releases February 6, 2018. To date, her novels have sold in ten countries. Heather is also a professional freelance editor, foodie, and travel fiend.

HAZEL GAYNOR is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel The Girl from the Savoy was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris will be published in 2017.
Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of ‘Ten Big Breakout Authors’ for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages. Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland.


I received this book from HFBVT in exchange for an honest review.
 
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