Sunday, February 18, 2018

Review: The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

 From New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen comes a haunting novel about a woman who braves her father’s hidden past to discover his secrets…

 In 1944, British bomber pilot Hugo Langley parachuted from his stricken plane into the verdant fields of German-occupied Tuscany. Badly wounded, he found refuge in a ruined monastery and in the arms of Sofia Bartoli. But the love that kindled between them was shaken by an irreversible betrayal.

 Nearly thirty years later, Hugo’s estranged daughter, Joanna, has returned home to the English countryside to arrange her father’s funeral. Among his personal effects is an unopened letter addressed to Sofia. In it is a startling revelation.

 Still dealing with the emotional wounds of her own personal trauma, Joanna embarks on a healing journey to Tuscany to understand her father’s history—and maybe come to understand herself as well. Joanna soon discovers that some would prefer the past be left undisturbed, but she has come too far to let go of her father’s secrets now…

 Kindle Edition, 329 pages 
Expected publication: February 20th 2018 
by Lake Union Publishing
****

I am late to the party when I comes to Rhys Bowen. My second reading even though I have seen her books around and heard good things about them. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to meet the author last October at the Surrey International Writers Conference (where she was a presenter) that really put her books higher up on my TBR pile. It was during a mystery lunch where I had the honour of sitting beside her and the more we talked about writing, books and history the more I wanted to read her books. As soon as I came home I read the first book in Her Royal Spyness Series  (review coming soon), but it was The Tuscan Child that really caught my eye.

I love dual time period books, especially those revolving around World War 2, those that take place outside of England and France.  Plus given the fact that I LOVE Italy I was extra giddy.  The synopsis above does a great job of telling what the story is about without giving too much information away. As Hugo is first introduced and then his daughter Joanna I was struck by how different his character was (at the end of his life) and intrigued as to what took place to invoke such a dramatic change.  The visuals that I experienced really gave me a wonderful feel of the landscape of Italy and a sense of the danger that this small village endured at the hands of the Germans (and current day as well). I loved the author’s writing style as well as the mystery taking place. While there were some parts I found predictable I really enjoyed reading The Tuscan Child and look forward to reading more by this author.

 I received an ARC from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review. Also in no way did my meeting Rhys Bowen influence my opinions.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Spotlight/Giveaway: The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend by Nicole Evelina


Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Lawson Gartner Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 281 Pages
Genre: History & Criticism/Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

Guinevere’s journey from literary sinner to feminist icon took over one thousand years…and it’s not over yet. Literature tells us painfully little about Guinevere, mostly focusing on her sin and betrayal of Arthur and Camelot. As a result, she is often seen as a one-dimensional character. But there is more to her story. By examining popular works of more than 20 authors over the last one thousand years, The Once and Future Queen shows how Guinevere reflects attitudes toward women during the time in which her story was written, changing to suit the expectations of her audience. Beginning in Celtic times and continuing through the present day, this book synthesizes academic criticism and popular opinion into a highly readable, approachable work that fills a gap in Arthurian material available to the general public.

Nicole Evelina has spent more than 15 years studying Arthurian legend. She is also a feminist known for her fictional portrayals of strong historical and legendary women, including Guinevere. Now, she combines these two passions to examine the effect of changing times and attitudes on the character of Guinevere in a must-read book for Arthurian enthusiasts of every knowledge level.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo

Nicole Evelina is a multi-award-winning historical fiction, romantic comedy and non-fiction writer, whose four novels have collectively won over 20 awards, including two Book of the Year designations (Daughter of Destiny by Chanticleer Reviews and Camelot’s Queen by Author’s Circle).

Her most recent book, THE ONCE AND FUTURE QUEEN, traces the evolution of the character of Guinevere in Arthurian legend from her Celtic roots to the present day, showing how the character changed along with the period’s views of women.

Nicole is currently working on MISTRESS OF LEGEND (2018), the final book in her Guinevere's Tale trilogy. As an armchair historian, Nicole researches her books extensively, consulting with biographers, historical societies and traveling to locations when possible. For example, she traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society, as well as a member of the Historical Fiction Writers of America, International Arthurian Society - North American Branch, Romantic Novelists Association, Novelists, Inc., the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Alliance of Independent Authors, the Independent Book Publishers Association and the Midwest Publisher’s Association.

For more information, please visit Nicole Evelina's website.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Sign up for Nicole's newsletter to receive news and updates.


Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of The Once and Future Queen! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US 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.

  The Once and Future Queen

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Review/Giveaway: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution... 

 Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...

 Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

 Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

Kindle version, 394 pages
 Published February 6th 2018
 by Penguin/Berkley
****
Next Year in Havana is a dual timeperiod story, with one taking place current day and the other in 1958 as Castro takes control of the island. One thing that makes a book extra special for me is when they revolve around places that I have been to, such is the case here. I have been to both Santa Clara and Varadero as well as visited the memorial of Che, making it very easy for me to rekindle my feelings of those trips. Even if I have not been to those places the author did a great job of putting me there with vivid descriptions - from the landscape, food and lifestyles bringing this story to life.

The author doesn’t hold back  but tells it like it is (was). To be honest I really didn’t know what took place that put Castro in control and how it came about. Told in first person pov (my favorite), where I can get inside their heads (and hearts) to really feel the story.

Cleeton is a new author to me, and definitely one I will read more of.  Next Year in Havana is a story of love and lose, of survival and hope, full of family secrets that tug at your heart strings while opening your eyes to Cuba’s history. One that will stay with me and has me anxious for Beatriz's story (sister of Elisa).

Thank you to the author for reaching out to me with an advances copy in exchange for an honest review.




Originally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family's exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution.

Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science.

Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.


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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Review/Giveaway: The Phantom's Apprentice by Heather Webb

In this re-imagining of Phantom of the Opera, meet a Christine Daaé you’ve never seen before… Christine Daaé sings with her violinist Papa in salons all over Paris, but she longs to practice her favorite pastime—illusions. When her beloved Papa dies during a conjurer’s show, she abandons her magic and surrenders to grief and guilt. Life as a female illusionist seems too dangerous, and she must honor her father’s memory. 

Concerned for her welfare, family friend Professor Delacroix secures an audition for her at the Nouvel Opéra—the most illustrious stage in Europe. Yet Christine soon discovers the darker side of Paris opera. Rumors of murder float through the halls, and she is quickly trapped between a scheming diva and a mysterious phantom. The Angel of Music. 

But is the Angel truly a spirit, or a man obsessed, stalking Christine for mysterious reasons tangled in her past? 

As Christine’s fears mount, she returns to her magical arts with the encouragement of her childhood friend, Raoul. Newfound hope and romance abounds…until one fateful night at the masquerade ball. Those she cares for—Delacroix, the Angel, and even Raoul—aren’t as they seem. Now she must decide whom she trusts and which is her rightful path: singer or illusionist. 

To succeed, she will risk her life in the grandest illusion of all.


Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Sonnet Press
Paperback & eBook; 350 Pages
ISBN13: 9780999628508
Genre: Historical Fiction
*** 1/2

I love reading historical fiction off the beaten track, something unique and entertaining. I am not a big connoisseur of The Phantom of the Opera, 20 years ago I saw the musical and enjoyed it (even though the person sitting beside me huffed and puffed and obviously didn’t). My desire to read this one stands not just from the author but my interest in hearing from Christine.

The Phantom's Apprentice is a book of  illusions and manipulation. Told from Christine‘s point of view, it was interesting to see her character change as the story progresses. A young 16 year old at the beginning it's 3 years later that she begins to take control of her life, the guilt of her fathers death still haunting her.

More a mystery with its drama, intrigue and a cast of characters I wasn’t sure whom to trust (a couple I didn’t even like). The Phantom's Apprentice has an almost enchanting setting with its eerie Opera Ghost, secret underground passages, magical illusions and more. Sure to be a hit with not just Phantom of the Opera fans but those that like a good mystical mystery.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Kobo


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.

 For more information, please visit Heather's website.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Giveaway


During the Blog Tour we are giving away two paperback copies of The Phantom's Apprentice! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US & Canada 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.

  The Phantom's Apprentice



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“Heather Webb combines music and magic seamlessly in The Phantom’s Apprentice, weaving glittering new threads into the fabric of a classic story. Romantic, suspenseful and inventive, this novel sweeps you along to its breathless conclusion.”—Greer Macallister, USA Today bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie and Girl in Disguise

“Heather Webb’s The Phantom’s Apprentice delivers a performance worthy of the Paris Opera. Unlike so many other renditions of the Phantom’s tale, Webb breathes life into Christine, so often portrayed as the helpless victim. Christine’s evolution from ‘damsel in distress’ to self-reliant woman is masterfully done, hooking the reader from the first page. Webb’s work is immersive, well-crafted, and beautifully paced. A must-read for fans of this bewitching legend!”—Aimie Runyan, author of Daughters of the Night Sky

Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

Kindle Edition, 416 pages 
Expected publication: February 6th 2018
 by Bethany House Publishers
**** 1/2

Last spring I read The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green and loved it, it made my best of 2017 list (click on title to see my review).  It had everything I love in a book, between the historical fiction, Christian fiction and romance (that didn't dominate), coming in at 416 pages it was the perfect size.  I did what any new fan does and purchased her previous book while waiting for her newest release.  A Refuge Assured releases tomorrow and this lucky reader obtained a copy from the publisher, lucky me!  

French history is not a place I venture that often and I have become picky with books I read revolving around the French Revolution. It's mostly my own ignorance and lack of understand of the French court.  With A Refuge Assured while it begins in France the majority of the story takes place in the US but still centers around French history.

Thinking she is leaving France behind Vivienne still faces danger in unexpected places.  Meeting others that fled overseas should create a common bond but not everyone has the same feelings when it comes to the Revolution.  There are those waiting to return to France and others ready to rebuild their lives in the New World.

Without going into detail of what takes place here (the synopsis above does a great job there).  A Refuge Assured is a well written book of new beginnings, heartbreak, forgiveness and determination (just to name a few).  The author has cleanly done a ton of research here as I could feel so much of emotional and visual side, her author's notes at the end were wonderful.

Definitely a book and author I highly recommend.  Thanks to Bethany House (via Netgalley) for an advanced copy in exchange for honest review.




Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Spotlight: An Argument of Blood by J.A. Ironside & Matthew Willis


Publication Date: June 19, 2017
Penmore Press
Paperback & eBook; 369 Pages
Series: Oath and Crown, Book 1
Genre: Fiction/Historical/War

William, the nineteen-year-old duke of Normandy, is enjoying the full fruits of his station. Life is a succession of hunts, feasts, and revels, with little attention paid to the welfare of his vassals. Tired of the young duke’s dissolute behaviour and ashamed of his illegitimate birth, a group of traitorous barons force their way into his castle. While William survives their assassination attempt, his days of leisure are over. He’ll need help from the king of France to secure his dukedom from the rebels.

On the other side of the English Channel lives ten-year-old Ælfgifa, the malformed and unwanted youngest sister to the Anglo-Saxon Jarl, Harold Godwinson. Ælfgifa discovers powerful rivalries in the heart of the state when her sister Ealdgyth is given in a political marriage to King Edward, and she finds herself caught up in intrigues and political manoeuvring as powerful men vie for influence. Her path will collide with William’s, and both must fight to shape the future.

An Argument of Blood is the first of two sweeping historical novels on the life and battles of William the Conqueror.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Chapters


About the Authors


J.A. Ironside (Jules) grew up in rural Dorset, surrounded by books - which pretty much set he up for life as a complete bibliophile. She loves speculative fiction of all stripes, especially fantasy and science fiction, although when it comes to the written word, she's not choosy and will read almost anything. Actually it would be fair to say she starts to go a bit peculiar if she doesn’t get through at least three books a week. She writes across various genres, both adult and YA fiction, and it’s a rare story if there isn’t a fantastical or speculative element in there somewhere.
Jules has had several short stories published in magazines and anthologies, as well as recorded for literature podcasts. Books 1 and 2 of her popular Unveiled series are currently available with the 3rd and 4th books due for release Autumn/ Winter 2017. She also co-authored the sweeping epic historical Oath and Crown Duology with Matthew Willis, released June 2017 from Penmore Press. Jules now lives on the edge of the Cotswold way with her boyfriend creature and a small black and white cat, both of whom share a god-complex.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Matthew Willis is an author of historical fiction, SF, fantasy and non-fiction. In June 2017 An Argument of Blood, the first of two historical novels about the Norman Conquest co-written with J.A. Ironside, was published. In 2015 his story Energy was shortlisted for the Bridport short story award. Matthew studied Literature and History of Science at the University of Kent, where he wrote an MA thesis on Joseph Conrad and sailed for the University in national competitions. He subsequently worked as a journalist for Autosport and F1 Racing magazines, before switching to a career with the National Health Service. His first non-fiction book, a history of the Blackburn Skua WW2 naval dive bomber, was published in 2007. He now has four non fiction books published with a fifth, a biography of test pilot Duncan Menzies, due later in 2017. He currently lives in Southampton and writes both fiction and non-fiction for a living.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Giveaway

During the Book Blast we will be giving away a signed copy of An Argument of Blood!

To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

  Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

  Argument of Blood

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Review: The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley


From the breathtaking beaches of Thailand to the barely tamed wilds of colonial Australia, The Pearl Sister is the next captivating story in New York Times bestselling author Lucinda Riley’s epic series about two women searching for a place to call home


 CeCe D’Aplièse has always felt like an outcast. But following the death of her father—the reclusive billionaire affectionately called Pa Salt by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe—she finds herself more alone than ever. With nothing left to lose, CeCe delves into the mystery of her familial origins. The only clues she holds are a black and white photograph and the name of a female pioneer who once traversed the globe from Scotland to Australia.

 One hundred years earlier, Kitty McBride, a clergyman's daughter, abandoned her conservative upbringing to serve as the companion to a wealthy woman traveling from Edinburgh to Adelaide. Her ticket to a new land brings the adventure she dreamed of…and a love that she had never imagined.

 When CeCe reaches the searing heat and dusty plains of the Red Centre of Australia, something deep within her responds to the energy of the area and the ancient culture of the Aboriginal people, and her soul reawakens. As she comes closer to finding the truth of her ancestry, CeCe begins to believe that this untamed, vast continent could offer her what she’s always yearned for: a sense of belonging.

 Just as The Shadow Sister was an “engaging and mesmerizing story of self-discovery and love” (Library Journal, starred review), The Pearl Sister is your next “perfect curl-up-in-an-armchair read” (Daily Mail, UK) from Lucinda Riley.

Kindle Edition, 528 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 
by Atria Books
****

The Pearl Sister is book 4 in the Seven Sisters Series. While each story is unique and centers around one of the six sisters and can definitely be read as a standalone I feel that by the time the final book is out each of the sisters story should be read.  What I love about this series is that there are not huge multi year gaps between each book but rather just a year or less which keeps the story fresh in my mind and the added excitement of the next installment.

This isn’t a small book coming in at just over 500 pages, it might sound daunting but it was a pleasure to read. CeCe is one of the sisters I have been very intrigued with, her dominating spirit over sister Star has me wondering how and why she became that way. Though those questions weren’t thoroughly answered in this book her realization came to light.

The Pearl Sister takes place in Australia mostly, the great outback.  There we travel back in time to a young woman named Kitty, originally from England. In this book I found both the past and current stories interesting (usually I always have one preference over the other). I loved Kitty, I loved her determination, her compassion and watching her change after life throws obstacles in her way, she didn’t give up. The aboriginal people played a big part here, their treatment and lifestyle opened my eyes to what they went through. That’s one of things I love about this series is that the author takes us to different places around the globe where I can learn and visualize so much.

As CeCe searches and uncovers her family history she discovers more about herself than she anticipated.

The Pearl Sister is a well written family drama filled with love and loss, determination, culture and loyalty. It is a look at the pearl industry as well as highlighting real historical events. Lucinda Riley has taken on a big task with this big seven book series and I anxiously await the next installment (The Moon Sister releasing sometime in 2018). 

Thank you to the publisher via Negalley for an advanced copies of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Click on the covers below to take you to my thought on the first 3 books in this wonderful series.




Monday, January 29, 2018

Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

 Paperback, 384 pages
 Published January 16th 2018 
by Lake Union Publishing
****



I was first introduced to Barbara Claypole White with her book Echoes of Family (click on to see my review) and was blown away with it, it's one of those books that has stayed with me long after I turned the last page.  It was the first book I've read dealing with mental illness and opened my eyes, giving me a new appreciation for those that suffer from it but also their loved ones. The Promise Between Us takes on OCD, a subject that I am relatively unfamiliar with.

Told from various points of view (I didn’t find it confusing or overwhelming) I was able to get inside the minds of Katie and Maisie, to get a full understand of what OCD entails and their emotional state.  Each of their stories is well written and unique, meshing together into a compelling story with flawed characters centring around this young girl. Though in truth they need to help themselves as well.

The Promise Between Us is a story of love, reconciliation and hope. There is healing and  forgiveness, pulling at the heart strings. 

What I appreciate most is that the author has first hand experience here, giving this book that extra authentic feel.  Definitely an author I recommend.



Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness.

Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family.

Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, andEchoes of Family.

The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity.

To connect with Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Review: Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman, Nancy Freedman

Mrs. Mike' is a love story, a true story; the story of Katherine Mary O’Fallon, a sixteen year-old Irish girl from Boston, and Sergeant Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Mounted Police who meet at her uncle’s ranch in Alberta, Canada where she is sent to recover from pleurisy. They meet, they court, they marry and, following Mike’s orders, move to Hudson’s Hope far into the interior of Alberta.

But it is more than a love story between two people: it is also a love story of the land and animals, of the beavers and the ice, the northern lights and the fires, of whooping cough and whiskey running. It is a love story of the First Peoples and their struggles, the immigrants and their hopes and all the people who came and went through Mike and Kathy’s lives.



 Kindle Edition, 324 pages
by Berkley
(first published 1947)
****

Canadian historical stories are ones I am always on the lookout for, they seem to be few and far between.  But will some digging I have discovered some little gems out there. Mrs. Mike was first published in 1947, considered a classic and tells the story of Katherine Mary O'Fallon and her life with Sergeant Mike Flanagan in the Canadian wilderness. The year is 1907 when Katherine is only 16 years old and journeys to Calgary where she meets her future husband, a RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

There are many things that I really enjoyed about this book including a glimpse of the harsh reality of life in a desolate land where your closest neighbour could be days away. For Mary and Mike it's not always easy, there is heartache, loneliness along with plenty of struggles and even danger. Told from Mary‘s point of view she doesn’t hold back on what life is like, especially for someone so young, naive and unfamiliar with the climate, but her struggles are not just with the land but the natives and mother nature.

This was a relatively quick read and categorized as a love story (which isn’t a favourite genre of mine) but I really enjoyed this one and recommend.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Spotlight/Giveaway: Where Do I Go by Beverly Magid


Publication Date: October 9, 2017
BeWrite Press
Paperback & eBook; 138 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Jewish


READ THE FIRST CHAPTER. 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


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.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 15
Review at Donna's Book Blog
Feature at What Is That Book About
  Tuesday, January 16
Guest Post at My Reading Corner
  Wednesday, January 17
Excerpt at WS Momma Readers Nook
  Monday, January 22
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Feature at View From the Birdhouse
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
  Tuesday, January 23
Feature at A Literary Vacation
  Thursday, January 25
Feature at Just One More Chapter
  Friday, January 26
Review at Life of a Female Bibliophile
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog
  Sunday, January 28
Feature at Books of a Shy Girl
  Monday, January 29
Review at Back Porchervations
  Tuesday, January 30 Review &
Interview at Elizabeth Jane Corbett
  Wednesday, January 31
Review at Cup of Sensibility
Feature at A Holland Reads Thursday, February 1
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
  Friday, February 2
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

During the Book Blast we will be giving away a signed copy of WHERE DO I GO!

To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 2nd.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

  Where Do I Go Blog Tour