Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Blast: A Hero for the People by Arthur Powers

A Hero for the People: Stories of the Brazilian Backlands is Arthur Power’s debut collection of short stories set in Contemporary Brazil, where he and his wife lived for almost 30 years.

“Set in the vast and sometimes violent landscape of contemporary Brazil, this book is a gorgeous collection of stories-wise, hopeful, and forgiving, but clear-eyed in its exploration of the toll taken on the human heart by greed, malice, and the lust for land.” (Debra Murphy,

 Publication Date: May 3, 2013
Publisher: Press 53
Paperback; 190P
ISBN: 978-1935708834
Genre: General Fiction/Literary

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Praise for A Hero for the People: Stories of the Brazilian Backlands

“This is a remarkable collection. The Brazil that Arthur Powers brings to life in these stories is a testing ground for the human heart, an alarmingly real place where the extremes of poverty and opulence, iniquity and justice, hate and love, bring his characters—and readers—face to face with life.” —Bernardo Aparicio García, Publisher of Dappled Things

“A Hero for the People is a stirring narrative about the people, history, and culture of Brazil. At root are the working-class men and women who sparkle with delight and labor in pain—and the reader is implicated intimately in their elemental emotions and vital experiences. This is a book where otherwise parched historical details become life stories worth imbibing, remembering, and repeating.” —Gregory F. Tague, Professor of English, General Editor of Editions Bibliotekos

“Arthur Powers is more than a totally captivating, adventurous storyteller. He is a wonderfully accomplished writer who enriches the reader’s experience of life, and is a mighty skillful reporter who knows the ins and outs of people and places. While his locations are often fascinatingly exotic, more importantly his people are always engagingly real! In short, Powers is in that rare company of authors who are impossible to put down!” —John Reid, director of the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Short Story Contest

Arthur Powers went to Brazil in 1969 and lived most his adult life there. From 1985 to 1997, he and his wife served with the Franciscan Friars in the Amazon, doing pastoral work and organizing subsistence farmers and rural workers’ unions in a region of violent land conflicts. The Powers currently live in Raleigh North Carolina.
Arthur received a Fellowship in Fiction from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, three annual awards for short fiction from the Catholic Press Association, and 2nd place in the 2008 Tom Howard Fiction Contest. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in many magazines & anthologies. He is the author of A Hero For The People: Stories From The Brazilian Backlands (Press 53, 2013) and The Book of Jotham (Tuscany Press, 2013).

Author Links

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A Hero for the People Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 11
Guest Post at What Is That Book About
Wednesday, August 13
Review at Onyx Book Château
Friday, August 15
Spotlight at Closed the Cover
Monday, August 18
Review at Book Nerd
Wednesday, August 20
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, August 25
Guest Post at The Bookworm
Wednesday, August 27
Spotlight at Unshelfish
Monday, September 1
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, September 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Friday, September 5
Review at A Bookish Affair
Monday, September 8
Review at Mel’s Shelves
Review at Savvy Verse & Wit
Wednesday, September 10
Review & Interview at 80 Acres and a Book
Friday, September 12
Review at A Rose in the City

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

Abigail is a maidservant in Greave Hall, an elegant London household governed by the tyrannical housekeeper, Mrs Cotton. Whilst the widowed master slips slowly into madness, Mrs Cotton gradually usurps the position of gentlewoman of the house. She wears his dead wife's jewellery and clothes, entertains guests as though the house is her own and reserves her most despotic treatment for Abi. In the dead of night, Abi makes a desperate bid for freedom, but is soon captured and returned to Greave Hall. As Mrs Cotton's malice intensifies, a ghostly presence distracts Abi with clues to a deadly secret. And Abi now realises that she can trust no one in the house.

Paperback, 283 pages
Published August 2nd 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing

 A YA book taking place in the 1850's, there is the haunted house, strange housekeeper and even weird things taking place (the master is losing it) and poor Abigail is stuck in the middle.  All making up for a nice gothic/mystery/paranormal book that will appeal to not just YA but adults also.  I enjoyed it, it kept my attention and had me guessing right to the end.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert (Book Tour)

02_Edwin High King of Britain
Debut historical fiction series vividly recreating the rise of the Christian kings of Northumbria, England.

In 604 AD, Edwin, the deposed king of Northumbria, seeks refuge at the court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. But Raedwald is urged to kill his guest by Aethelfrith, Edwin's usurper. As Edwin walks by the shore, alone and at bay, he is confronted by a mysterious figure--the missionary Paulinus-- who prophesies that he will become High King of Britain. It is a turning point.

Through battles and astute political alliances Edwin rises to power, in the process marrying the Kentish princess Aethelburh. As part of the marriage contract the princess is allowed to retain her Christian faith. But, in these times, to be a king is not a recipe for a long life.

This turbulent and tormented period in British history sees the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon settlers who have forced their way on to British shores over previous centuries, arriving first to pillage, then to farm and trade--and to come to terms with the faith of the Celtic tribes they have driven out.

The dramatic story of Northumbria's Christian kings helped give birth to England as a nation, English as a language, and the adoption of Christianity as the faith of the English.

Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Lion Fiction
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Northumbrian Thrones (Book 1)

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"For this is one island and it should have one king - and such a king would be a mighty king, able to stand as equal to the king of the Franks and even the emperor of the Romans."
I've never read anything before the 11th century (other than prior to 1st century). So this book was a new experience for me.  A little nervous with the spelling of names and places that I was unfamiliar with. Along with the way kingdoms were divided and the different, and again unfamiliar, territories.  This is one of those times that I was grateful for a print copy.  There was a nice detailed map, a full cast of characters and a glossary.  I found this very helpful and referred to it numerous times.

This is Edoardo Albert's debut and the start of a new series, The Northumbrian Thrones.  There is no hiding the fact that the author has definitely done his homework here.  From the very first chapter, when the secret messenger makes his appearance and has his say, I was captivated.

One of the reasons that I love historical fiction is not only to be entertained but to learn something at the same time.  This book was a pleasure to read, it was true to the time period with authentic language, settings and descriptions. The different relationships portrayed here showed Edwin as a leader, a father, a husband, a friend and one questioning his beliefs.  With his marriage to Aethelburh we are introduced to a Roman priest named Paulinus and his friend James.  They are bringing their belief in one true God verses a civilizations that believes in many gods.  Paulinus's style of sharing the gospel was unique and added much to this book.

The book ended with 3 pages of authors notes and with this type of book it was the perfect way to end.  The notes just complete the book adding the finishing touches that this reader loves.

I am very thankful to be part of this tour and having been given the opportunity to begin this series.

Praise for Edwin: High King of Britain

“In the first installment of the Northumbrian Thrones, a new historical fiction series, Albert launches readers into the tumultuous world of 7th century Northumbria. Edwin, the deposed king of the region, forges political alliances, is betrayed, and fights critical battles that form the arc of his rise and fall as High King of Britain. As he ages, he fears for the future of his kingdom, and war has simply become a necessary evil. His shifting worldview leads to conversion to the Christian faith—a slow process given special attention by Albert. But it is not a clear path, and sometimes Edwin and his subordinates doubt the validity and the power of the Christian God, as opposed to the pagan deities they have left behind. Albert’s focus on the religious element does not detract from the political and dramatic aspects of the history he is portraying. Rather, it lends an extra dimension of psychological turmoil, because characters must deal with the problem of not only individual identity but also the beginnings of a national identity related to religion. Albert’s offering is a highly entertaining and refreshing work of historical fiction thanks to his emphasis on the precarious intersection of religion and identity.” –Publishers Weekly

“A splendid novel that leaves the reader wanting more.” –Bernard Cornwell, New York Times bestselling author

“A fast-paced and gripping tale of the great Northumbrian King Edwin, reclaiming one of our great national figures from the shadows of history.” –Justin Hill, author of Shieldwall

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

03_Edoardo Albert

Edoardo Albert is a writer of Sri Lankan and Italian extraction based in London. The best response to his writing was when he reduced a friend to helpless, hysterical, rolling-on-the-floor-holding-his-stomach laughter. Unfortunately, the writing in question was a lonely hearts ad. He hopes to produce similar results in readers, without inadvertently acquiring another wife.

For more information, please visit Edoardo Albert's website. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Edwin: High King of Britain Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 25
Review at Princess of Eboli
Review at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

Tuesday, August 26
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Wednesday, August 27
Review at Dab of Darkness

Thursday, August 28
Interview & Giveaway at Dab of Darkness

Monday, September 1
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review at Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, September 2
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, September 3
Review at The Writing Desk
Review at The Mad Reviewer

Friday, September 5
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Monday, September 8
Review at A Book Geek
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Tuesday, September 9
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, September 10
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at Thoughts in Progress

Friday, September 12
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Monday, September 15
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Tuesday, September 16
Review at Layered Pages

Thursday, September 18
Review & Giveaway at Beth's Book Reviews

Friday, September 19
Review at Book Drunkard

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Review & Giveaway: Maxwell Street Blues by Marc Krulewitch (TLC Tours)

Readers of Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole mysteries will love Jules Landau, a college man turned private eye on the Windy City’s mean streets—a virtual school of hard knocks where graduation means just staying alive.

Chicago runs in Jules Landau’s veins. So does the blood of crooks. Now Jules is going legit as a private eye, stalking bail jumpers and cheating spouses—until he gets his first big case. Unfortunately, the client is his ex-con father, and the job is finding the killer of a man whom Jules loved like family. Why did someone put two bullets in the head of gentle bookkeeper Charles Snook? Jules is determined to find out, even if the search takes him to perilous places he never wanted to go.

Snooky, as he was affectionately known, had a knack for turning dirty dollars clean, with clients ranging from humble shop owners to sharp-dressed mobsters. As Jules retraces Snooky’s last days, he crosses paths with a way-too-eager detective, a gorgeous and perplexing tattoo artist, a silver-haired university administrator with a kinky side, and a crusading journalist. Exposing one dirty secret after another, the PI is on a dangerous learning curve. And, at the top of that curve, a killer readies to strike again.

Kindle Edition

Published August 5th 2014 by Alibi (first published October 21st 2010) 

It's been awhile since I've read a good murder mystery and this one fill the bill nicely.
The first book in the Blues series, it didn't take long to get me involved in this story.  
Some interesting characters right off the bat made for a great start that had me
finishing this book in no time flat.  Jules is a likeable character who is just trying
to shed the unfavorable reputation of his family's shady past.  The author did a 
commendable job of portraying the underworld in a vivid way, with authentic
descriptions of corruptions and lawlessness in Chicago. 

As with any good murder mystery there are twists and turns here that kept me entertained. 
It's not a huge book, coming in around 235 pages, that will appeal to mystery fans and 
those that like to read about Chicago.

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Purchase Links


About Marc Krulewitch

Marc Krulewitch’s Jules Landau mysteries take place in Chicago, where he was born and where his family has lived for generations. He now resides in Colorado.

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Marc Krulewitch’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, July 28th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, July 29th: Mystery Playground
Wednesday, July 30th: Dwell in Possibility
Monday, August 4th: Omnimystery News - author guest post
Thursday, August 7th:  Rhodes Review
Thursday, August 14th: Book Dilettante
Tuesday, August 19th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, August 19th:  Words by Webb
Monday, August 25th:  Just One More Chapter
Monday, August 25th:  By the Book Reviews

Tuesday, August 26th: Fiction Zeal
Thursday, August 28th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Wednesday, September 3rd:  Kritter’s Ramblings
Friday, September 5th: A Book Geek


Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Dance of the Spirits by Catherine Aerie (giveaway)

Spring 1951: it is the fiery zenith of the Korean War, a war that the youthful US Army lieutenant Wesley Palm and his men thought that they had won… until the Chinese swept across the Yalu River.

Traveling with the million-man army bent on driving back the march of “American imperialism” is Jasmine Young, a Chinese surgeon who has volunteered herself into the war for unspoken, grave reasons. Through a chronicle of merciless battles, freezing winters, and the brutality and hypocrisy of human nature, the two will find themselves weaving through the twists and turns of fate and destiny.

Though their love is forbidden, their passion and pursuit of liberty cannot be quenched.

 Publication Date: November 16, 2013
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
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 Praise for The Dance of the Spirits

“…On the surface, The Dance of the Spirits is a story of love and of war, but on a deeper level, it is a story of the misery that the communist ideology brought to millions of souls in the twentieth century. Whether that philosophy is related to nationalism, internationalism or faith, Catherine Aerie reminds readers that when a system that will entertain no contradiction in thought or deed comes to power, no one is safe — and no one is free. Aerie draws a vivid picture of war and its price, and a tender image of love…” – Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)
“…a love that is stronger than all the horrors that war can throw at them… compelling…poignant… sensitive and beautiful…” – San Francisco Book Reviews (4.5/ Stars)
“Adversaries in the Korean War find love in Aerie’s debut novel. The story starts in the middle of a firefight… Out of the rubble, two characters emerge: an American officer… and a Chinese military doctor… Their paths cross again and again… In the intimacy of the war, these coincidences don’t feel forced, nor even particularly fated–it’s just the way things went… Readers will likely find Palm a decent, very human person, but Young has more complexity and vibrancy… As the war rages around them, Palm and Young fall in love… but their romance is ill-starred and open to tragedy. Aerie keeps readers on their toes with the twists…fleeting but intense…
An often engaging tale of a flickering moment of love during a forgotten war.” – Kirkus Reviews


Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble


About the Author

Catherine Aerie, a graduate from the University of California, Irvine with a master degree in finance, grew up in China as the daughter of a Shanghai architect. She was inspired to write The Dance of the Spirits while researching a family member’s role in the Korean War, deciding to revive an often neglected and overlooked setting in fiction and heighten the universality of resilient pursuit of love and liberty. Her debut novel was finished after about two years of research. She currently resides in southern California.

For more information please visit Catherine Aerie’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

The Dance of the Spirits Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 11
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Spotlight at Mina’s Bookshelf
Interview at Library Educated
Tuesday, August 12
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Wednesday, August 13
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, August 14
Review at Queen of All She Reads
Friday, August 15
Review at JM Ledwell
Review at Based on a True Story
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Monday, August 18
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes
Tuesday, August 19
Review at Book Babe
Wednesday, August 20
Review at Unshelfish
Spotlight at Princess of Eboli
Thursday, August 21
Review & Interview Back Porchervations
Friday, August 22
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter


To win a copy of The Dance of the Spirits please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US & UK residents only.
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 23rd and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella

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.   

   This week I am waiting for:

 ok I will admit it, as much as I LOVE my historical fiction,  I love this series (works wonders as audio book).  

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: October 21st 2014 by The Dial Press

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) has stars in her eyes. She and her daughter, Minnie, have joined husband Luke in LA—city of herbal smoothies, multimillion-dollar yoga retreats, and the lure of celebrity. Luke is there to help manage the career of famous actress Sage Seymour—and Becky is convinced she is destined to be Sage’s personal stylist, and go from there to every A-list celebrity in Hollywood! But things become complicated when Becky joins the team of Sage’s archrival. How will charming and supportive Luke deal with this conflict? Is it possible that what Becky wants most will end up hurting those she loves most? Shopaholic fans old and new will devour Sophie Kinsella’s newest adventure!

What are you waiting for?

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini

In Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, novelist Jennifer Chiaverini presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history.

In March 1861, Mrs. Lincoln chose Keckley from among a number of applicants to be her personal “modiste,” responsible not only for creating the First Lady’s gowns, but also for dressing Mrs. Lincoln in the beautiful attire Keckley had fashioned. The relationship between the two women quickly evolved, as Keckley was drawn into the intimate life of the Lincoln family, supporting Mary Todd Lincoln in the loss of first her son, and then her husband to the assassination that stunned the nation and the world.

Keckley saved scraps from the dozens of gowns she made for Mrs. Lincoln, eventually piecing together a tribute known as the Mary Todd Lincoln Quilt. She also saved memories, which she fashioned into a book, Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House. Upon its publication, Keckley’s memoir created a scandal that compelled Mary Todd Lincoln to sever all ties with her, but in the decades since, Keckley’s story has languished in the archives. In this impeccably researched, engrossing novel, Chiaverini brings history to life in rich, moving style.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Dutton Adult 
(ebook provided by netgalley, audio version from personal library)
I am not overly familair with the Lincoln's (other then that he was president, I'm Canadian) or the lives of US presidents let alone their wives.  I listened to the audio version of this book and really enjoyed it.  Christina Moore is the reader here and she did a great job of it.

Like I said I listen to the audio version and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The reader brought this story to life.  My interest was peeked and I was engaged the whole way through.  This book read more like nonfiction and I had no problem with that.  It appears to be well researched and felt authentic.  Elizabeth Keckley has had quite the life, former slave, mother, separated from her husband and she runs her own dressmaking shop.  You know she is hard working, to be able to buy not just herself but her son also out of slavery shows her drive. The relationship between Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley is unique and made for an interesting story.  Whether I would have enjoyed this book if I had read it myself I am not sure.  

I've read this author's Elim Creek Quilt series and enjoyed those also. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Revenge & Retribution by Anna Belfrage (Book Tour)

Revenge and Retribution is the sixth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Life in the Colony of Maryland is no sinecure – as Alex and Matthew Graham well know. But nothing in their previous life has prepared them for the mayhem that is about to be unleashed upon them.
Being labelled a witch is not a good thing in 1684, so it is no wonder Alex Graham is aghast at having such insinuations thrown at her. Even worse, it’s Matthew’s brother-in-law, Simon Melville, who points finger at her.

Not that the ensuing hearing is her main concern, because nowadays Alex’s entire life is tainted by the fear of what Philip Burley will do to them once he gets hold of them – there is no longer any ‘if’ about it. On a sunny May afternoon, it seems Philip Burley will at last revenge himself on Matthew for every single perceived wrong. Over the course of twenty-four hours, Alex’s life – and that of her family’s – is permanently changed.

As if all this wasn’t enough, Alex also has to cope with the loss of one of her sons. Forcibly adopted by the former Susquehannock, Samuel is dragged from Alex’s arms to begin a new life in the wilderness.
How is Alex to survive all this? And will she be able to put her damaged family back together?

Publication Date: July 1,2014
SilverWood Books
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time-Slip
Series: The Graham Saga

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The Graham's are back! Oh how I have missed you guys.  Book 6 in this series and I will let you in on a little fact here, I didn't start at the beginning with this series, I joined in at book 3 and have loved every minute of it.   So don't let the fact that this is book 6 scare you, but be warned you will want to read the whole series.

Here is a family that has been through so much, they've moved across the ocean to a wilderness civilization and have dealt with so much.  Things happen in this book, bad things.  If you want a real authentic family, one that suffers their share of heartaches and pain, a family that laughs and plays together, a family that sticks together through thick and thin then this family is for you.

I am not giving anything away, its says right there in the synopsis about a permanent change.  Some might think 'why', how could the author do this?  Me, I wasn't surprised, it was bound to happen and given the story lines it had to happen otherwise this series would lose its authenticity.  Let me tell you, I finished the last 1/3 of this book in one sitting.  And I didn't even read the preview chapter for the next book for fear of it gnawing at me till November.

Anna Balfrage is a powerful author, her words bring this story to life. I have a wonderful picture of Graham Gardens in my head, the stream, fields and the cemetery.  Anna has a way of drawing the reader into her books with characters that are genuine and have depth. Alex is a force to be reckoned with, coming from the 21st century and thrown back in time she has adapted well with her husband Matthew. Their love is genuine, but their marriage is not without hurtles, many of them taking place in Revenge & Retribution. 

I must read for fans of historical fiction set in early American.

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

Anna Belfrage

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

check out more spots on this tour

Friday, August 15
Review at Just One More Chapter
Monday, August 18
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Tuesday, August 19
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 20
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Friday, August 22
Review at Layered Pages
Monday, August 25
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, August 26
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, August 27
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Friday, August 29
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, September 1
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Tuesday, September 2
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Wednesday, September 3
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, September 4
Review at Kincavel Korner
Friday, September 5
Guest Post at Kincavel Korner
Guest Post at bookworm2bookworm’s Blog

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner

In the spirit of Anita Diamant, this ambitious and unforgettable novel about the story of Noah blends Biblical history, mythology, and the inimitable strength of women.

Cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, the young heroine in The Sinners and the Sea is deprived even of a name for fear that it would make it easier for people to spread lies about her. But this virtuous woman has the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories live anew.

Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a land of outcasts. Noah, a 600-year-old paragon of virtue, rises to the role of preacher to a town full of sinners. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons, but is faced with the hardship of living with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than with her. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite a pious upbringing, have developed some sinful tendencies of their own. But her trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming—and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world.

Kanner weaves a masterful tale that breathes new life into one of the Bible’s voiceless characters. Through the eyes of Noah’s wife we see a complex world where the lines between righteousness and wickedness blur. And we are left wondering: Would I have been considered virtuous enough to save?

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Howard Books 
(my copy provided by netgalley for honest review) 
(HC copy from personal library, I love the cover so much)

Rebecca Kanner started this book off by painting a picture of this little nameless girl. Born with a birthmark which everyone referred to as the devils mark, she is an outcast and to name her would be to draw attention.  I think the mother in me felt protective of her and had me inhaling this book.  I liked the authors writing style, at times it wasn't as smooth flowing, but not enough to take away from the story.

This is a fictional account of the famous Noah and the Ark story.  Taking place in Sorum, a place of utter depravity and violence, Noah wants to save the inhabitants, he gets himself a wife with the goal of sons to continue his legacy.   A very engrossing story that was not at all how I pictured this time period. Beginning before he was commanded to build the ark this story was an interesting take on 'what could a happened'. 

Is it Bibically correct? I have my doubts. The Bible does not expound on what actually was happening on the earth to make Him want to destroy everyone, but it must have been something rather dreadful. Told from the POV of Noah's wife she gave fascinating side to Noah and their 3 sons.

The cover is absolutely gorgeous and that is what drew me to this book in the first place, then I read the synopsis and was intrigued.

This book will appeal to those that like storys told from the POV of lesser known individuals.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Lyrebird Hill by Anna Romer

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.   

   This week I am waiting for:

Paperback, 416 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2014 by Simon & Schuster AU

From the bestselling author of Thornwood House (I adored this book!)
When all that you know comes crashing down, do you run? Or face the truth?

Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life – a loving boyfriend, a fulfilling career – but in one terrible moment, her life unravels. The discovery that the death of her sister, Jamie, was not an accident makes her question all she’s known about herself and her past.

Travelling back home to Lyrebird Hill, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been forever blocked in her memory . . . Snatches of her childhood with beautiful Jamie, and Ruby’s only friendship with the boy from the next property, a troubled foster kid.

Then Ruby uncovers a cache of ancient letters from a long-lost relative, Brenna Magavin, written from her cell in a Tasmanian gaol where she is imprisoned for murder. As she reads, Ruby discovers that her family line is littered with tragedy and violence.

Slowly, the gaps in Ruby’s memory come to her. And as she pieces together the shards of truth, what she finally discovers will shock her to the core – about what happened to Jamie that fateful day, and how she died.

A thrilling tale about family secrets and trusting yourself...

What are you waiting for? 

This book is not available through Amazon or Book Depository but can be purchased through Fishpond, which  offers free shipping worldwide

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Review & Giveaway: The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee (Book Tour)

Pub­lish­ers Weekly Best Books of the Year pick: The Type­writer Girl is a “spec­tac­u­lar debut, set in a per­fectly real­ized Vic­to­rian England.”

When Bet­sey Dob­son dis­em­barks from the Lon­don train in the sea­side resort of Idensea, all she owns is a small valise and a canary in a cage. After an attempt to forge a let­ter of ref­er­ence she knew would be denied her, Bet­sey has been fired from the typ­ing pool of her pre­vi­ous employer. Her vig­or­ous protest left one man wounded, another jilted, and her char­ac­ter per­ma­nently besmirched.
Now, with­out money or a ref­er­ence for a new job, the future looks even bleaker than the deba­cle she left behind her.
But her life is about to change … because a young Welsh­man on the rail­road quay, wait­ing for another woman, is the one finally will­ing to believe in her.
Mr. Jones is inept in mat­ters of love, but a genius at things mechan­i­cal. In Idensea, he has con­structed a glit­ter­ing pier that astounds the wealthy tourists. And in Bet­sey, he rec­og­nizes the ideal tour man­ager for the Idensea Pier & Plea­sure Build­ing Company.
After a life­time of guard­ing her secrets and break­ing the rules, Bet­sey becomes a force to be reck­oned with. Together, she and Mr. Jones must find a way for her to suc­ceed in a soci­ety that would reject her, and fig­ure the price of sur­ren­der­ing to the tides of love.

Audible Audio Book Edition Release Date: April 4, 2014
Listening Length: 12 hours and 39 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios
Language: English

Genre: Historical Fiction

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I love the cover of this book, I found it intriguing and it peeked my interest  This is Alison Atlee's debut and that is another plus for me.  I listened to the audio version which is read by Rosalyn Landor, who is my favorite reader, boy can she bring a story to life (even if there isn't much life in there).  That isn't the case with this book though. 

Betsey is a woman who wanted control of her life without conforming to society's expectations. She is a  strong woman with drive, even if some of her methods were unsavory.  I did at times have a hard time liking her.  In the last third of the book things picked up and she seemed to come into her own.

One interesting thing was the authors use of profanity, which I found a bit distracting.  I have nothing against profanity but in its place.  With this book, the setting and general language, it just seemed out of place and instead of adding to the story I was thrown off.  It wasn't until I was writing this review that I read the Publishers Weekly endorsement and saw that this book takes place in Victorian England. I was in the dark as to the time period thinking that I missed it being mentioned somewhere.

Praise for The Typewriter Girl

“Atlee’s out¬standing debut unflinchingly explores … the unforgiving man’s world of Victorian England.” –PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

“Easily one of the most romantic books I’ll read all year … John and Betsey are compelling and worth rooting for.” –DEAR AUTHOR (a Recommended Read)

“Sweeps readers to a satisfying conclusion.” –LIBRARY JOURNAL


Buy the AudioBook

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Alison Atlee spent her childhood re-enacting Little Women and trying to fashion nineteenth century wardrobes for her Barbie dolls. Happily, these activities turned out to be good preparation for writing historical novels. She now lives in Kentucky.
For more information please visit Alison Atlee’s website.

You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest.




The Typewriter Girl Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, August 4
Review at Peeking Between the Pages (Audio Book)
Book Blast at Mina’s Bookshelf
Book Blast at Princess of Eboli
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse
Book Blast at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, August 5
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews (Print)
Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time
Wednesday, August 6
Book Blast at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, August 7
Book Blast at Mari Reads
Book Blast at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, August 8
Book Blast at Book Blast Central
Saturday, August 9
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes
Sunday, August 10
Book Blast at Book Nerd
Monday, August 11
Review at Just One More Chapter (Audio Book)
Book Blast at Gobs and Gobs of Books
Tuesday, August 12
Book Blast at Queen of All She Reads
Wednesday, August 13
Review at Historical Tapestry (Audio Book)
Book Blast at The Lit Bitch
Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, August 14
Review at A Bookish Affair (Print)
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Friday, August 15
Review at Brooke Blogs (Audio Book)
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Saturday, August 16
Book Blast at Broken Teepee
Sunday, August 17
Interview at Closed the Cover
Monday, August 18
Review at The Maiden’s Court (Audio Book)
Tuesday, August 19
Book Blast at Layered Pages
Book Blast at Always with a Book
Wednesday, August 20
Book Blast at Literary, Etc.
Thursday, August 21
Review at Books in the Burbs (Print)
Book Blast at Bibliotica
Friday, August 22
Review at Bibliophilia, Please (Audio Book)
Saturday, August 23
Book Blast at Reading Lark
Book Blast at Ageless Pages Reviews
Sunday, August 24
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Monday, August 25
Review at Flashlight Commentary (Audio Book)
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, August 26
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 27
Book Blast at Susan Heim on Writing
Thursday, August 28
Review at Luxury Reading (Print)
Review at The True Book Addict (Audio Book)
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (Print)
Friday, August 29
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story


The Typewriter Girl Swag Giveaway

One copy of The Typewriter Girl (Audio Book or Print)
Set of earbuds in a cute typewriter print pouch
A Typewriter Girl Happily-Ever-After t-shirt (features last lines from famous novels)
A vintage style postcard “from” Idensea, the setting of The Typewriter Girl
A “dream wildly” ribbon bookmark with typewriter key charms

To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to residents in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 30th and notified via email.
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Tudor Conspiracy by C.W. Gortner

Winter 1554. Brendan Prescott, spymaster to the Princess Elizabeth, has discovered that he is connected to the Tudors by blood as well as allegiance. Though his secret is known only by a few, it could be his downfall as he is called to London to protect the princess. 

Accompanied by his young squire Peregrine, he reluctantly leaves his sweetheart Kate behind - but in the city he discovers that no one is quite what they seem. What fate does Queen Mary intend for her sister? Is Robert Dudley somehow manipulating the princess, even though he is locked in the Tower? And should Brendan trust the alluring Sybilla, Mary's lady-in-waiting, who professes to be on his side?

As he tries to unravel the mysteries of the Tudor court Brendan's life will be put in danger many times, and along the way he learns more about his own past.

Paperback, 352 pages

Published July 16th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin
copy provided by netgalley for honest review
audio version from personal library via audible
10 hours 21 minutes

I was so excited when I heard that book 3 in this series was coming out (The Tudor Vendetta)  But then I discovered (and here I am holding my head in shame) that I hadn't read book 2 yet.  Netgalley very graciously provided me with a copy and everything.  That was quickly rectified and I actually ended up downloading the audio version from audible.  Steve West was the reader and he did a stellar job.

Though this is book 2 in the series, it can very easily work as a stand alone. But really why would you want to do that? This is turning into a great series with book 3 being released in October.

C. W. Gortner is one of my favorite authors. He has a way of writing that brings the characters to life and they feel very real. Taking place in 1544 prior to the Wyatt Rebellion it was nice to have a male point of view.  Though Brendan Prescott is a fictional character the author stayed true to the facts and delivered a fascinating account of this time period.

Fast paced, it was hard to stop listening to and I eagerly await the third installment.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Guestpost: Lies Told in Silence by M.K. Tod
I am very happy to have M.K. Tod stop by for a guest post.

A Passion for WWI

At the age of seventy-five, my grandmother died on the way to her second wedding.

I often thought this would make an amazing ending for a story and in 2005, living in Hong Kong as an expat with lots of time on my hands, I decided to try to fictionalize her story. She was a wonderful woman, dearly loved by many, and her life had the usual ups and downs of marriage and children. But a novel requires drama, a plot with twists and turns, characters going through change, and conflict. Clearly I would have to embellish.

My first step was research. To create a story about a woman like my grandmother, I would have to understand WWI, the Depression and WWII. Not being a student of history, I felt the need to begin at the beginning. What caused WWI? Who were the players? What did soldiers experience? What happened on the home front?

Happily, the Internet offered lots of information on military and political events as well as maps and photos and stories of individual experiences of war. I found soldiers’ diaries lovingly transcribed by relatives or perfect strangers intent on preserving and honoring long ago sacrifice. I found regiments maintaining information about those who had fought in WWI, the weapons used and uniforms worn, the rations eaten and songs sung. A world of chaos and bungling and death emerged and I was utterly captivated.

“But what about the story?” you ask.

My mother provided raw ingredients by telling me that my grandfather fought at Vimy Ridge in April of 1917 and went on to be part of the Army of Occupation in Germany after WWI ended. She spoke of my great-grandparents and what she knew of my grandparents’ wedding, a few memories of the Depression and more substantial memories of living through WWII. On a visit home one summer, she gave me a box of old photos and newspaper clippings and told me that my older brother had my grandfather’s scrapbooks. Gradually the plot emerged.

Edward Jamieson brought nightmares back from WWI and left a French lover behind. With a wife named Ann, two young children, and a successful career, the novel opens when Edward receives an invitation to attend the Vimy war memorial dedication in France on July 26, 1936. Like a nest of snakes, his memories stir, prompting consequences neither Edward nor Ann could have imagined. The novel spans the years from 1936 to 1944; its tagline is Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage.

After completing Unravelled, and while waiting for replies from literary agents, I wrote Lies Told in Silence, the story of Edward’s WWI lover told from her point of view. The novels intersect but are not sequels.

Many of us know (or have known) someone who fought in one of the world wars – a grandfather, father, uncle, cousin, possibly even a husband – and we may also know someone who stayed behind, enduring fear, uncertainty and the pain of loss. Reams of material are available about these two devastating wars – weaponry used, trench construction techniques, how long it takes to die in a gas attack, the use of pigeons to carry messages, tools of espionage, battle strategies, casualty statistics, the sounds of bombing, speeches by leaders like Roosevelt and Churchill, radio broadcasts, rationing and regulations on the home front.

As I read I reeled at the thought that my grandfather, who was nineteen when he enlisted for WWI, would have experienced these conditions. Every story became personal as I imagined what might have happened to him. He walked the duckboards where a misplaced step could lead to drowning, climbed the parapets risking sniper fire, slept in filth while rats scoured for food around him, shot at other men to avoid his own death . . . he survived Vimy Ridge. My tall, reserved, good-looking grandfather – who never, ever spoke of the war – did these things. They all did.

Many thanks to Margaret at Just One More Chapter for the opportunity to tell you about my unexpected passion for WWI.

 be sure to click on book cover that will take you my review of this book for a chance to win a copy

Monday, July 28
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Book Blast at Our Wolves Den
Tuesday, July 29
Review at Just One More Chapter
Book Blast at Book Babe
Book Blast at A Book Geek
Book Blast at Mel’s Shelves
Wednesday, July 30
Review at Bookish
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Thursday, July 31
Book Blast at Royalty Free Fiction
Friday, August 1
Book Blast at Back Porchervations
Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time
Saturday, August 2
Book Blast at Mythical Books
Monday, August 4
Review & Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Book Blast at Historical Tapestry
Tuesday, August 5
Book Blast at Layered Pages
Book Blast at Princess of Eboli
Book Blast at What Is That Book About
Wednesday, August 6
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes
Thursday, August 7
Review at The Book Binder’s Daughter
Book Blast at Kinx’s Book Nook
Friday, August 8
Book Blast at The Maiden’s Court
Monday, August 11
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Book Blast at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, August 12
Book Blast at Book Nerd
Book Blast at The Bookworm
Wednesday, August 13
Review at The Writing Desk
Thursday, August 14
Book Blast at Words and Peace
Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews
Friday, August 15
Review at Lost in Books
Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer
Sunday, August 17
Book Blast at Brooke Blogs
Monday, August 18
Review at The Librarian Fatale
Review at Historical Fiction Notebook