Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Mapmaker's Daughter

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.
 

My pick for this week: The Mapmaker's Daughter by Laurel Corona

A sweeping story of 1492 Spain, exploring how what we know about the world shapes our map of life

1492. During the waning decades of Spain's golden age, Christian religious fervor culminated in the expulsion of all Jews and Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula. THE MAPMAKER'S DAUGHTER tells the story of these final years through the eyes of Amalia Cresques, the daughter of a mapmaker who has been living as a converso, hiding her Jewish faith.

As Amalia witnesses history in the making--the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, the court of Henry the Navigator in Portugal, the fall of Muslim Granada, and the Jewish expulsion from Spain--she must decide whether to relinquish what’s left of her true self or risk her life preserving it. A mesmerizing saga about faith, family and Jewish identity.

What are you waiting for?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Interview with Mary Sharratt author of Illuminations (and giveaway)

I am very pleased to welcome Mary Sharratt here for my very first interview. Welcome and thank you very much for stopping by.


Is Hildegard von Bingen your first novel about a real historical person? Why did you choose her?

Actually my first novel about real historical people was Daughters of the Witching Hill (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010), which is based on the heartbreaking and true story of the Pendle Witches of 1612. But Hildegard is much more famous than the Pendle Witches.
I first became fascinated with Hildegard while I was living in Germany where she is revered as a cultural icon, admired by both secular people and spiritual people of all backgrounds for her ethereal music, her vision of Viriditas (the sacred vitality and life force manifest in the green, growing natural world), and her system of holistic medicine that is still practiced in modern day Germany.


Each of your books takes place in different time periods and locations (1612 England, 1100 Germany, Colonial Maryland, 1923 Midwest).  How do you decide the time period and theme of your books?

I find a story or a character that grabs me and then immerse myself in their historical time period and their world. This inevitably involves lots of research, and lots of time to acquaint myself with their society and worldview.


Do you travel to the locations of your books?  If so what is your favorite place? If not, where would you like to travel?

I do try to travel to the locations of all my books when possible. For me, setting and place are as important as character and plot, because setting plays a major role in shaping the characters and influencing their actions and choices. Contrast the rich green fertile world of Hildegard’s Rhineland with its forests and rolling hills and vineyards to the stark, windswept East Pennine moors of the Pendle Witches.
It’s hard to say which place is my favorite.  I enjoyed researching all my books. The Pendle Witches story unfolded almost literally in my backyard so I could walk or ride my horse to all the sites mentioned in the novel, except for Lancaster Castle, which involved driving in my car.
I absolutely loved visiting the Hildegard sites along the Rhine. The Benedictine sisters at the Saint Hildegard Abbey in Eibingen have done so much to keep Hildegard’s legacy and teachings alive. Also visiting the ruined monastery of Disibodenberg, where Hildegard and Jutta were enclosed as anchorites, was a very haunting experience. 

Is there any other historical person that you wish someone would write about?

I always thought it would be fun to write a medieval Eat, Pray, Love novel about the die-hard pilgrim, aspiring mystic, and failed business woman, Margery Kempe.

What are you working on next?

My current work-in-progress, The Dark Lady’s Masque, explores the star-crossed love of Aemilia Bassano Lanier and William Shakespeare. The daughter of an Italian court musician, Lanier is believed to be the musical Dark Lady of Shakespeare’s sonnets. She is also the first English woman to publish a volume of poetry under her own name.

Oh that sounds very exciting, looking forward to reading that one.
Thank you very much for your time.

The author of four critically acclaimed historical novels, Mary Sharratt is an American who lives in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, the setting for her acclaimed Daughters of the Witching Hill, which recasts the Pendle Witches of 1612 in their historical context as cunning folk and healers. She also lived for twelve years in Germany, which, along with her interest in sacred music and herbal medicine, inspired her to write Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen. Illuminations won the Nautilus Gold Award for Better Books for a Better World and was selected as a Kirkus Book of the Year.

For more information, please visit Mary’s website and blog.  You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter
You can purchase your copy from the following places.
 
 
I am thrilled to offer a copy of this book to one lucky reader.  This is open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen by Mary Sharratt (Book Tour)

 click on banner for list of tour stops

Skillfully weaving historical fact with psychological insight and vivid imagination, Illuminations brings to life one of the most extraordinary women of the Middle Ages: Hildegard von Bingen, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath.

Offered to the Church at the age of eight, Hildegard was expected to live in silent submission as the handmaiden of a renowned, disturbed young nun, Jutta von Sponheim. But Hildegard rejected Jutta's masochistic piety, rejoicing in her own secret visions of the divine. When Jutta died, Hildegard broke out of her prison, answering the heavenly call to speak and write about her visions and to liberate her sisters. Riveting and utterly unforgettable, Illuminations is a deeply moving portrayal of a woman willing to risk everything for what she believed.


Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Mariner Books
Paperback; 288p
ISBN-10: 0544106539

 
You know when a book gets rave reviews by Margaret George and Sharon Kay Penman that you are in for a real treat.  This is a book that is not to be rushed through, but to be savoredIt is a story that stays with you long after you are finished.


This is my first book by Mary Sharratt and definitely not my last. She has a writing style that drew me right in, you can feel her compassion with her words and descriptions, at times rather poetic.  The visuals that I had while reading this book put me right in that little room with Hildegard and Jutta. I could feel Hildegard's despair as the wall was being bricked up, her terror at what was happening, she was only 8 years old at the time and didn't fully understand what was happening. This is a part of history that I knew nothing about, let alone knew such things actually happened.

Taking place in the 11th century it was interesting to watch her struggle with ancient views of women's roles and to watch her grow up under that influence. The author did a wonderful job of portraying  Hildegard's relationship with those she was able to be in contact with. 

Definitely a must for those that like historical fiction with strong female characters.

Please come back tomorrow for my interview with Mary Sharratt and a giveaway.


Praise for Illuminations

"An enchanting beginning to the story of the perennially fascinating 12th-century mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. It is easy to paint a picture of a saint from the outside but much more difficult to show them from the inside. Mary Sharratt has undertaken this with sensitivity and grace."
—Margaret George, author of Mary, Called Magdalene

"I loved Mary Sharratt’s The Daughters of Witching Hill, but she has outdone herself with Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard Von Bingen. She brings one of the most famous and enigmatic women of the Middle Ages to vibrant life in this tour de force, which will captivate the reader from the very first page."
—Sharon Kay Penman, author of the New York Times bestseller Time and Chance

"I love Mary Sharratt. The grace of her writing and the grace of her subject combine seamlessly in this wonderful novel about the amazing, too-little-known saint, Hildegard of Bingen, a mystic and visionary. Sharratt captures both the pain and the beauty such gifts bring, as well as bringing to life a time of vast sins and vast redemptions."
—Karleen Koen, author of Before Versailles and the best-selling Through a Glass Darkly

Amazon: Barnes & Noble: Books A Million: Indiebound:

About the Author

The author of four critically acclaimed historical novels, Mary Sharratt is an American who lives in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, the setting for her acclaimed Daughters of the Witching Hill, which recasts the Pendle Witches of 1612 in their historical context as cunning folk and healers. She also lived for twelve years in Germany, which, along with her interest in sacred music and herbal medicine, inspired her to write Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen. Illuminations won the Nautilus Gold Award for Better Books for a Better World and was selected as a Kirkus Book of the Year.

For more information please visit Mary's website and blog.  You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
 

Waiting on Wednesday: A Newfound Land by Anna Belfrage

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.
 

My pick for this week: A Newfound Land by Anna Belfrage

Releases Dec. 2013

 

I have only read the third book in this wonderful series and am excited for the 4th (I will have 1 and 2 done before this one is released :)


It’s 1672, and Matthew Graham and his family have left Scotland. Having taken the drastic decision to leave their homeland due to religious conflicts, Alexandra and Matthew hope for a simpler, if harsher, life in the wilds of the Colony of Maryland.
Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out as you want them to, and the past has a nasty tendency to resurface at the most inappropriate moments. Both Matthew and Alex are forced to cope with the unexpected reappearance of people they had never thought to meet again, and the screw is turned that much tighter when the four rogue Burley brothers enter their lives.

Matters are further complicated by the strained relations between colonists and the Susquehannock Indians. When Matthew intercedes to stop the Burleys from abducting Indian women into slavery he makes lifelong – and deadly – enemies of them all.

Once again Alex is plunged into an existence where death seems to threaten her man wherever he goes.

Will Matthew see himself – and his family – safe in these new circumstances? And will the past finally be laid to rest?

A Newfound Land is the fourth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Winner of Betrayal by Michelle Kallio


Congratulations to Terri M., you are a winner!  I have sent an email, please contact me within 3 days and we will get that off to you.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.



 I finished And the Mountains Echoed this afternoon (only started it Monday night).  As I sit here to type my review it came to me that my son, Matt, aka The Illiterate Scribe said everything that I wanted to say just nicely, so with his permission here are his thoughts on this wonderful book.

On a scale of 1 to 10, Khalid Hosseini’s third novel, And the Mountains Echoed, was Awesome-Sauce. Here’s why:
The story is a wild ride that touches you right down in the viscerals with serious love and pain.
It has all the right elements that made The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns Awesome-Sauce: enticing, complex characters, powerfully real settings and delightful prose.
Hosseini pushes himself to tell a wider story than he has before, giving us more characters to invest in and telling a broader story that rightly shows the ripples of consequence choices of love, hate and neglect make.
The characters are deep and real. The reader understands the ones who hurt and sees the flaws in the ones who love.
When I finished reading it, I felt like a slightly different person. The way you feel after an awesome meal or workout.
Read Khalid Hosseini’s, And the Mountains Echoed. Some people have found it difficult to follow the story because of the relatively larger cast of characters. I say to you, try harder. It’ll be worth it

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

 

Top Ten Books You Were Forced to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!  Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. 
 
This week we are talking about the books you were "forced" to read! Obviously, in most cases, you weren't LITERALLY forced to read it but you know what we are getting at here. Those required reading books, book club picks, books for your job or those books that it simply feels like other readers were going to tie you down until you read it!!
 
1. Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
2. The Paperbag Princess
3. Hana's Suitcase
4. Ender's Game
5. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
6. To Kill a Mockingbird
7. The Midwife's Confession
8. The Memoirs of Cleopatra
9. Cutting for Stone
10. The Day the Falls Stood Still









 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: Colossus: The Four Emperors by David Blixt (Virtual Book Tour)

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.

Publication Date: April 7, 2013
Sordelet Ink
Paperback; 406p
click on banner for more stops in this tour

I did not read the first book in the series, and don't feel that it hindered my enjoyment of this second one, however I think it might have enhanced it somewhat (I will be going back to read it now though).

Rather than go into detail about the events that take place in this book (for fear of giving away too many details and you can read the synopsis above), I will say that this book was a really enjoyable read.  It captivated me, right from the beginning,  with its rich detail without it being overbearing.  It was one of those books that made me walk away from it feeling both entertained and frankly, educated. And that, I think, is a very rare thing. The author definitely did a lot of research for this book and it shows.  I was able to visualize events along with political life in the year 69 AD.

It was a troubled time for Rome and Judea, Nero is dead and in ushers what is known as The Year of the Four Emperors.  The first civil war since Marc Anthony's death a 100 years previous.  Now we have Galba, Otho and Vitelliu as Emperors and a country in unrest. This was a very interesting time in Rome's history with no fictional characters in this book, all straight out of history.  Which shows the amount of work that went into this book.

Definitely a novel for fans of Historical Rome. 


About the Author

Author and playwright 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, including THE MASTER OF VERONA, VOICE OF THE FALCONER, and FORTUNE'S FOOL) 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. As the Historical Novel Society said, "Be prepared to burn the midnight oil. It's well worth it." Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, David describes himself as "actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order."

For more about David and his novels, visit www.davidblixt.com.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: The Prodigal Son by Anna Belfrage (book tour)


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 neighbors 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 fervor 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?

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

This is book three in The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland during the reign of Charles II.  I have not read the first 2 books in the series and that did not hamper me from enjoying (and understanding) this book.  

I will start by saying that I love the cover, there is just something about the crooked gravestones, the wind blowing and the bird perched to hint at the conflict, loneliness and despair that takes place.

This was a fairly quick read for me, it didn't take long till it grabbed me and then I had a hard time putting it down.  Now when I say a quick read I don't mean to imply that the book is a light and fluffy read, because it was far from that.  The story line was very interesting, it is a part of history that I don't know a lot about.  

I know that I have said it before, but I have so much respect for writers of historical fiction because they have such a big responsibility to get history right and portray it as it happened.  In The Prodigal Son, Anna Belfrage did it wonderfully, I could feel the conflict involving Sandy Peden, both from Matthew and Alex's point of views.  Her knowledge of the time period and events was apparent and I learned a lot.

Being introduced to Alex I could tell that she wasn't from this time period originally (from making everyone eat their vegetables and bathing, while everyone else thought she was nuts).  It wasn't hard to bond with her and the family, the interactions with the children was real and you could feel her love for her family and that they were her priority.  Matthew had his issues, between wrestling with his faith, conflicts with his brother and the situation with his son Ian, one could not help feeling his struggles.

There is a lot going on in the book, the religious conflicts, family pressures, friendships tested and more.  This is a series that I will start from the beginning and hope that there is more to come.
Definitely a must for lovers of historical fiction. 



(click on banner for other stops on this tour)



About the Author

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favorite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s WEBSITE.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Review and giveaway: Betrayal by Michele Kallio

Lydia Hamilton was a modern woman, happily in love and living in Canada until the nightmares started. Following the death of her father, Lydia begins dreaming of places and people she doesn't know. When she closes her eyes, she sees a bloodied, severed head. The images are confusing and unclear, but she knows one thing for sure: something bad happened a long time ago. And why only now have the dreams begun? Events propel Lydia to Devon, England, to the home of the mother she never knew, where the lies of her family's past begin to reveal themselves dating back to the sixteenth century and a woman called Elisabeth Beeton, a servant at the Court of King Henry VIII. Caught amid forces she can neither control nor understand Elisabeth's life was in danger.

How is Lydia's modern life related to the life of this tragic woman from the past? Without the guidance of her father, it s hard to say, but Lydia is dedicated to solving the mystery in an effort to put an end to her night terrors and save her relationship with the man she loves. But will the truth set her free, or will the realization of her family's past actions haunt her like the ghost of a woman betrayed?

Paperback, 496 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by iUniverse.com
I was given a copy from the author for my honest review.
 
This is Michele Kallio's debut, and I won't say how much I love debuts, but I do.  Also I love the cover, it has that mysterious feel with the castle in the background and a mystery package all bundled up.

Betrayal is historical, it's mysterious with the supernatural mixed in, along with romance.  But it isn't overboard in the romance department in a way that usually turns me off. 

A fast paced story that switches between present day Canada and 16th century England, in the court of Henry VIII.  I found the the story rather interesting, the relationship between Elisabeth Beeton and the Boleyn's was unique. There was a different approach to how the Boleyn's were portrayed, in a way that I have not run across before (hum, how do I say more without giving spoilers?). They were shown with feelings and compassion that I haven't really seen a lot of before (and believe me I have read a lot of books about the Boleyn's). Well, of course, except for Jane. 

Though the idea of reincarnation and dreams are not something new but in this book as the story developed I found it had unique twists.  Many times as the two story lines played out and I was trying to figure things out,  I would think that I had it and then another twist would come along.

I had a little trouble connecting with Dan and even Alan (in present time), they sometimes jumped from one emotion to another and it was annoying at times.  Dan (Lydia's love) just wanted to help her, but it seemed once he got help, that he didn't want itanymore and back and forth it went, which was confusing at times.  But then it could have been the authors intent to portray him that way, if so she did a good job.

All in all I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be on the lookout for her next book.

The author, Michele F. Kallio is offering a Kindle edition of this book to one lucky reader.  Open internationally, ends Oct 17 at midnight.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Shogun's Daughter by Laura Joh Rowland (Book Tour)


(click on banner for more stops on this tour)

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.


Lets start with the fact that I am a cover snob, I freely admit that, it's just one of my hangups. I have almost missed out on a number of good books just because I didn't like the cover.  The cover for this book I love, especially that little window in the eye, adds a little mysterious element to it.

This is the 17th book in the Sano Ichiro series by Laura Joh Rowland (a new to me author).  It does work as a standalone, but there were times that I would have liked to know more of the history on some the conflicts in this book, especially between Sano and Yanagisawa. Taking place in Edo, ancient Tokyo, I found it to be a very interesting mystery/murder/who dunnit, with a touch of the supernatural. The story played out nicely and had me guessing right to the end.  The ending was not neat and tidy which I think will just lead into the next installment.  The characters were interesting enough, but I didn't really bond or connect with anyone in particular, maybe if I had read the entire series I would have, but I still found the book entertaining.  It was an easy and quick read, very straight forward dialogue, a little more emotion or depth would have been nice. There is one scene that stands out for me, it involved a fire and the search for missing persons.  It was written in such a way that I could almost smell the fire and feel the emotions of those in that scene and I think if more of the book was written with that kind of description and feeling it would have benefited the storyline.  

One of the things that I did not like was the placing of the author's notes.  I don't know if it was just in the copy that I was given (ebook) or whether it was different in the purchased book and corrected in ebooks or not.  But the author's notes were at the beginning of the book, once read it was a major spoiler and I was somewhat disappointed that I read it.


Praise for Laura Joh Rowland

Author of The Fire Kimono, “one of the five best historical mystery novels”—The Wall Street Journal

“Rowland has a painter’s eye for the minutiae of court life, as well as a politician’s ear for intrigue.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Sano may carry a sword and wear a kimono, but you’ll immediately recognize him as an ancestor of Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade.”—The Denver Post

Laura Joh Rowland is the author of a mystery series set in medieval Japan, featuring samurai detective Sano Ichiro.  The Shogun’s Daughter is the seventeenth book in the series.  Her work has been published in 13 foreign countries, nominated for the Anthony Award and the Hammett Prize, and won the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery.  Laura lives in New York City.

For more information please visit Laura's website.  You can also follow her on Facebook.