Monday, September 30, 2013

It's October, lets see what's coming...

It is the end of a month and the beginning of October, here are a few of the books that I am looking forward to being released this month.

 A Divided Inheritance by Deborah Swift
Amazon Canada has a Dec 3rd release date, but The Book Depository has a release date of Oct 24th

A family divided by fortune. A country divided by faith.

London 1609...

Elspet Leviston’s greatest ambition is to continue the success of her father Nathaniel’s lace business. But her dreams are thrown into turmoil with the arrival of her mysterious cousin Zachary Deane – who has his own designs on Leviston’s Lace.

Zachary is a dedicated swordsman with a secret past that seems to invite trouble. So Nathaniel sends him on a Grand Tour, away from the distractions of Jacobean London. Elspet believes herself to be free of her hot-headed relative but when Nathaniel dies her fortunes change dramatically. She is forced to leave her beloved home and go in search of Zachary - determined to claim back from him the inheritance that is rightfully hers.

Under the searing Spanish sun, Elspet and Zachary become locked in a battle of wills. But these are dangerous times and they are soon embroiled in the roar and sweep of something far more threatening, sending them both on an unexpected journey of discovery which finally unlocks the true meaning of family . . .

A Divided Inheritance is a breathtaking adventure set in London just after the Gunpowder Plot and in the bustling courtyards of Golden Age Seville.
 
       Stormbird (Wars of the Roses #1) by Conn Iggulden                                                        release date is Oct. 10th


Wars of the Roses: the brand new historical series from Conn Iggulden - internationally best-selling author of the Emperor and Conqueror series.
King Henry V - the great Lion of England - is long dead.
In 1437, after years of regency, the pious and gentle Henry VI, the Lamb, comes of age and accedes to the English throne. His poor health and frailty of mind render him a weakling king -Henry depends on his closest men, Spymaster Derry Brewer and William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, to run his kingdom.

Yet there are those, such as the Plantagenet Richard, Duke of York, who believe England must be led by a strong king if she is to survive. With England's territories in France under threat, and rumours of revolt at home, fears grow that Henry and his advisers will see the country slide into ruin. With a secret deal struck for Henry to marry a young French noblewoman, Margaret of Anjou, those fears become all too real.

As storm clouds gather over England, King Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home. Who, or what can save the kingdom before it is too late?


The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini
release date Oct 1st.

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini is back with another enthralling historical novel set during the Civil War era, this time inspired by the life of �a true Union woman as true as steel” who risked everything by caring for Union prisoners of war — and stealing Confederate secrets.

Born to slave-holding aristocracy in Richmond, Virginia, and educated by Northern Quakers, Elizabeth Van Lew was a paradox of her time. When her native state seceded in April 1861, Van Lew’s convictions compelled her to defy the new Confederate regime. Pledging her loyalty to the Lincoln White House, her courage would never waver, even as her wartime actions threatened not only her reputation, but also her life.

Van Lew’s skills in gathering military intelligence were unparalleled. She helped to construct the Richmond Underground and orchestrated escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison under the guise of humanitarian aid. Her spy ring’s reach was vast, from clerks in the Confederate War and Navy Departments to the very home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Although Van Lew was inducted posthumously into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame, the astonishing scope of her achievements has never been widely known. In Chiaverini’s riveting tale of high-stakes espionage, a great heroine of the Civil War finally gets her due.


Do you have something coming out this month? Comment what it is, my tbr pile will thank you.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora by Stephanie Thornton

Where Theodora went, trouble followed…

In sixth century Constantinople, one woman, Theodora, defied every convention and all the odds, and rose from being a common theater tart to become empress of a great kingdom, the most powerful woman the Roman Empire would ever know. But the woman whose image was later immortalized in glittering mosaic was, in fact, a scrappy, clever, conniving, flesh-and-blood woman full of sensuality and spirit whose real story is as surprising as any ever told…

When her father dies suddenly, Theodora and her sisters face starvation on the streets. Determined to survive, Theodora makes a living any way she can—first on her back with every man who will have her, then on the stage of the city’s infamous amphitheater in a scandalous dramatization of her own invention. When her daring performance grants her a back-door entry into the halls of power, she seizes the chance to win a wealthy protector—only to face heartbreak and betrayal.

Ever resilient, Theodora rises above such trials and by a twist of fate, meets her most passionate admirer yet: the Emperor’s nephew. She will thrive as his confidant and courtesan, but many challenges lie ahead. For one day, this man will hand her a crown. And all the empire will wonder—is she bold enough, shrewd enough, and strong enough to keep it?


I am going to start my review with things I loved about this book:

1) The cover, look at that cover will you.. if that isn't enough to grab ones attention I don't know what is.
  
2) A debut for Stephanie Thornton, I LOVE debuts, I don't think that's a secret so it was a given that I read this one (though I found it hard to believe it was a debut, but more on that later).
.
3) Historical Fiction about unknown person (to me anyways) Theodora in 6th century Constantinople.  This is a time period that I know next to nothing about, but was anxious to read about.

4) The opening line    "My life began the night death visited our house"

And so begins Theodora's story.  I loved Theodora, right from the beginning, I think it would be impossible not to love her.  She was quite the character who had to grow up really fast in a society that didn't have the luxury of widow benefits or life insurance to provide for one's family after death. Instead the family had to rely on the goodwill of family and friends, sometimes it worked out and other times it didn't (as in Theodora's case).

Stephanie Thornton wrote a wonderful story of this young girl who went from being a prostitute to an actress and eventually becoming the empress to Justinian I, an emperor of the Roman Empire. This book is told from Theodora's point of view which made it easy to love her, I was able to sympathize with the young girl trying to provide for her family. To feel the heartaches along the way and even to smile and laugh during her life experiences. 

I love debuts and think this was an exceptional one, the author brought to life the Byzantine Empire, with words that had me visualizing life during that time period, from the dirty smelly streets to life in luxury I found this book very entertaining and had a hard time putting it down (I finished in a matter of days).

Definitely an author that is now a favorite, which I follow through her blog and Facebook.
 
"A shut mouth gathers no foot.  Why did I never remember my mother's advice until it was too late?"


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Like My Facebook Group Winner!

Congratulations to Meghan S., you won a book worth up to $15 from the Book Depository.

I have sent an email, please contact me within 3 days.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Vacations Books

Back from vacation and brought these little gems with me, what do you think?  You can tell where my vacation took place.

Alaska was as remote as the moon, as roistering and lawless as the Gold Rush. And a pretty young schoolteacher from Colorado like Anne Hobbs was even rarer than nuggets."So appealing are the people here, even the villainous ones; so dramatic is the landscape in which they act out their adventure; so pure is the moral conflict that forms the story's backbone, and so honest is its sentimentality - that I managed to suspend all my disbelief as I read it. And it was with pleasure that I raced through this good old-fashioned yarn, hissing the villains, holding my breath at each succeeding catastrophe, and above all adoring 'plain old Anne Hobbs.' as she calls herself, the pretty slip of a nineteen-year-old who in 1927 had the courage not only to brave the Alaska wilderness as a teacher in the tiny gold-mining community called Chicken, but also to face down the community's violent disapproval when she dared to treat the local Indians as human being..."

 A moving love story set in the Canadian wilderness, Mrs. Mike is a classic tale that has enchanted millions of readers worldwide. It brings the fierce, stunning landscape of the Great North to life-and tenderly evokes the love that blossoms between Sergeant Mike Flannigan and beautiful young Katherine Mary O'Fallon.







 Women played a critical role during the gold rush, and this is the only book that brings to light the stories of these diverse women. Backhouse delves into the lives of women-entrepreneurs, nuns, doctors, nurses, journalists, and dancehall entertainers among them-who were caught up in the gold rush and lived amazing lives. Through letters, journals, newspaper accounts, and personal interviews.





 A lively, take-along account of Alaska's sweeping history made vivid with historical photos and entertaining essays. Topics covered include Native lifestyles before contact with the Europeans; Alexander Baranov and the Russian fur trade; John Muir's visit to Glacier Bay in 1879; the Klondike gold rush stampede; pioneer climbs on Mount McKinley; the exploits of early Alaska Bush pilots; big game hunting in the North Country; Alaska's fisheries, where salmon is king; and today's Native traditions.

A history book that's fun to read, Alaska's History sets forth the Last Frontier's glorious past and challenging present.



The early history of the Hudson's Bay Company comes alive in these true tales of fur-trade wars, incredible wilderness journeys, hardships and danger. Founded by the extraordinary adventurers and renegades Radisson and des Groseilliers, the HBC attracted many memorable characters. Explorer Henry Kelsey was the first European to see the buffalo herds. James Knight met a mysterious fate on a frozen northern island. Brave Isabel Gunn worked in the fur trade disguised as a man. Anyone who enjoys historical adventure will relish these exciting stories of Canada's oldest company


 With the utterance of a single line—“Doctor Livingstone, I presume?”—a remote meeting in the heart of Africa was transformed into one of the most famous encounters in exploration history. But the true story behind Dr. David Livingstone and journalist Henry Morton Stanley is one that has escaped telling. Into Africa is an extraordinarily researched account of a thrilling adventure—defined by alarming foolishness, intense courage, and raw human achievement.

In the mid-1860s, exploration had reached a plateau. The seas and continents had been mapped, the globe circumnavigated. Yet one vexing puzzle remained unsolved: what was the source of the mighty Nile river? Aiming to settle the mystery once and for all, Great Britain called upon its legendary explorer, Dr. David Livingstone, who had spent years in Africa as a missionary. In March 1866, Livingstone steered a massive expedition into the heart of Africa. In his path lay nearly impenetrable, uncharted terrain, hostile cannibals, and deadly predators. Within weeks, the explorer had vanished without a trace. Years passed with no word.

While debate raged in England over whether Livingstone could be found—or rescued—from a place as daunting as Africa, James Gordon Bennett, Jr., the brash American newspaper tycoon, hatched a plan to capitalize on the world’s fascination with the missing legend. He would send a young journalist, Henry Morton Stanley, into Africa to search for Livingstone. A drifter with great ambition, but little success to show for it, Stanley undertook his assignment with gusto, filing reports that would one day captivate readers and dominate the front page of the New York Herald.

Tracing the amazing journeys of Livingstone and Stanley in alternating chapters, author Martin Dugard captures with breathtaking immediacy the perils and challenges these men faced. Woven into the narrative, Dugard tells an equally compelling story of the remarkable transformation that occurred over the course of nine years, as Stanley rose in power and prominence and Livingstone found himself alone and in mortal danger. The first book to draw on modern research and to explore the combination of adventure, politics, and larger-than-life personalities involved, Into Africa is a riveting read.






 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Colossus - The Four Emperors Virtual Book Tour - COMING SOON

Review coming October 14th


Publication Date: April 7, 2013
Sordelet Ink
Paperback; 406p
ISBN-10: 061578318X

Rome under Nero is a dangerous place. His cruel artistic whims border on madness, and any man who dares rise too high has his wings clipped, with fatal results.
For one family, Nero means either promotion or destruction. While his uncle Vespasian goes off to put down a rebellion in Judea, Titus Flavius Sabinus struggles to walk the perilous line between success and notoriety as he climbs Rome’s ladder. When Nero is impaled on his own artistry, the whole world is thrown into chaos and Sabinus must navigate shifting allegiances and murderous alliances as his family tries to survive the year of the Four Emperors.
The second novel in the Colossus series.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Prodigal Son Virtual Book Tour - COMING SOON

Review Coming October 11th

Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Matador Publishing
Paperback; 392p
ISBN-10: 1780885741

Safely returned from an involuntary stay on a tobacco plantation in Virginia, Matthew Graham finds the Scottish Lowlands torn asunder by religious strife. The government of His Restored Majesty, Charles II, requires all his subjects to swear fealty to him and the Church of England, riding roughshod over any opposition.

In Ayrshire, the people close ranks around their evicted ministers, stubbornly clinging to their Presbyterian faith. But disobedience comes at a price – a very steep price – and as neighbours and friends are driven from hearth and home, Alex becomes increasingly more nervous as to what her Matthew is risking by his continued support of the clandestine ministers – foremost amongst them the charismatic Sandy Peden.
Privately, Alex considers Sandy an enervating fanatic and all this religious fervour is totally incomprehensible to her. So when Matthew repeatedly sets his faith and minister before his own safety and therefore per extension her safety and the safety of their children, he puts their marriage under severe strain.

The situation is further complicated by the presence of Ian, the son Matthew was cruelly duped into disowning several years ago. Now Matthew wants Ian back and Alex isn’t entirely sure this is a good thing, watching from a distance as her husband dances round his lost boy.

Things are brought to a head when Matthew yet again places all their lives in the balance to save his dear friend and preacher from the dragoons that chase him over the moor.
How much is Matthew willing to risk? How much will he ultimately lose?



Saturday, September 7, 2013

Vacation time and giveaway!


I am on vacation right now, doing a 7 day Alaskian cruise and then driving over the Rockies to Calgary before flying home on the 20th of September.

In honor of my holidays I am hosting a giveaway.  A book, any book that you like (max $15 from the Book Depository - to anywhere they ship).  Of course there is a catch, I've started a group on Facebook and all you have to do is 'like it', simple as that.

I have wonderful plans for my blog when I get back and hope you will be around to join me.


Just fill out the rafflecopter thing below.  Contest closes when I return on the 20th.

Click this to take you to my group.

Now just to make things really confusing someone else has a group called Just One More Chapter, so for my group I added a 'please'.


a Rafflecopter giveaway











Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday - Daughters of the Nile by Stephanie Dray

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


Paperback, 560 pages
Expected publication: December 3rd 2013 by Berkley Trade

Based on the true story of Cleopatra’s daughter…

After years of abuse as the emperor’s captive in Rome, Cleopatra Selene has found a safe harbor. No longer the pitiful orphaned daughter of the despised Egyptian Whore, the twenty year old is now the most powerful queen in the empire, ruling over the kingdom of Mauretania—an exotic land of enchanting possibility where she intends to revive her dynasty.

With her husband, King Juba II and the magic of Isis that is her birthright, Selene brings prosperity and peace to a kingdom thirsty for both. But when Augustus Caesar jealously demands that Selene’s children be given over to him to be fostered in Rome, she’s drawn back into the web of imperial plots and intrigues that she vowed to leave behind.

Determined and resourceful, Selene must shield her loved ones from the emperor’s wrath, all while vying with ruthless rivals like King Herod. Can she find a way to overcome the threat to her marriage, her kingdom, her family, and her faith? Or will she be the last of her line?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Shogun's Daughter Virtual Book Tour - COMING SOON!

COMING OCTOBER 2nd

Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Minotaur Books
Hardcover; 336p
ISBN-10: 1250028612

Japan, 1704.  In an elegant mansion a young woman named Tsuruhime lies on her deathbed, attended by her nurse.  Smallpox pustules cover her face.  Incense burns, to banish the evil spirits of disease. After Tsuruhime takes her last breath, the old woman watching from the doorway says, “Who’s going to tell the Shogun his daughter is dead?”

The death of the Shogun's daughter has immediate consequences on his regime. There will be no grandchild to leave the kingdom. Faced with his own mortality and beset by troubles caused by the recent earthquake, he names as his heir Yoshisato, the seventeen-year-old son he only recently discovered was his. Until five months ago, Yoshisato was raised as the illegitimate son of Yanagisawa, the shogun's favorite advisor. Yanagisawa is also the longtime enemy of Sano Ichiro.

Sano doubts that Yoshisato is really the Shogun's son, believing it's more likely a power-play by Yanagisawa. When Sano learns that Tsuruhime's death may have been a murder, he sets off on a dangerous investigation that leads to more death and destruction as he struggles to keep his pregnant wife, Reiko, and his son safe. Instead, he and his family become the accused. And this time, they may not survive the day.

Laura Joh Rowland's thrilling series set in Feudal Japan is as gripping and entertaining as ever.