Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes (book tour)

Everything is gone, everything except my memories of a life where I was loved, where I was someone with a future, instead of someone with only a past.

A tragic loss. A desperate journey. A mother seeks the truth.

In December of 1377, four children were burned to death in a house fire. Villagers traveled hundreds of miles across England to demand justice for their children’s deaths.


Sinful Folk is the story of this terrible mid-winter journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. For years, she has concealed herself and all her history. But on this journey, she will find the strength to redeem the promise of her past. Mear begins her journey in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and transcendence.


The remarkable new novel by Ned Hayes, illustrated by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Nikki McClure, Sinful Folk illuminates the medieval era with profound insight and compassion.

Publication Date: January 22, 2014
Campanile Press
Formats: eBook, Hardcover, Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Medieval
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****

I love historical fiction, there really isn't any sub-genre that I haven't tried and enjoyed, except one.  That would be, gender role reversals.  I love it when the author writes in such a fashion that I can be drawn in to the story and creates a world that I believe whatever is taking place.  But I seriously had something in my little ole brain that makes it hard for me to believe that a woman can get away with pretending to be a man and have the story work.  It's not that I haven't tried, because I did and it didn't work out too well.

With Sinful Folk the cover was what grabbed my attention as well as the first 2 sentences of the synopsis, I really didn't pay too much attention to the rest, which clearly stated that Mear, a former nun disguised as a mute man.  By the time I realized this I'd already read the first chapter and was totally hooked.  

If there is one word that I could use to sum up this book it would be 'secrets'.  Everyone seems to be hiding something, with Mear leading the pack.  The plot of Sinful Folk was intriguing with all these secrets and subplots lingering around one would think it to be confusing and overwhelming.  It wasn't at all.  There was dept to this story, between the suspicion characters, unsavory knights, fowl weather and much more the journey Mear and the fathers took was vividly described and realistic.  The author definitely knows this time period well, to take a historical truth, the fire that killed 5 boys, and write this book was amazing and I loved the ending, it just finished this book off perfectly.

Ned Hayes has changed my view on gender reversal roles, he made Mear's character easy to follow and believable, with the way she told this story had me empathizing with her and her situation.

Praise for Sinful Folk

In December of 1377, five children are burned in a suspicious house fire. Awash in paranoia and prejudice, the fathers suspect it is the work of Jews and set out to seek justice from the king, loading the charred bodies of their boys onto a cart. Unbeknownst to them, among them is a woman, Mear, who has been hiding out in the town for the past 10 years posing as a mute man. It is a treacherous journey, for their rations are spare and the weather is brutal. And always, they are haunted by the question, Why were their boys in Benedict the weaver’s house, and who would do this to them? Mear, ever resourceful, not only watches for clues to unravel the mystery but also provides invaluable aid in finding their way, for she has traveled this way before and is the only literate one among them. The reason for her false identity is slowly revealed as the villagers are chased by bandits and must overcome numerous obstacles, hunger and fear among them. Brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed, Hayes’ novel is woven through with a deep knowledge of medieval history, all conveyed in mesmerizing prose. At the center of the novel is Mear, a brave and heartbreaking character whose story of triumph over adversity is a joy to read. –Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist *Starred Review*

“A pilgrim tale worthy of Chaucer, evocative, compelling and peopled with unforgettable characters artfully delivered by a master storyteller.” – Brenda Rickman Vantrease, bestselling author of The Illuminator and The Mercy Seller

“Brilliant, insightful, unflinching and wise. This spellbinding mystery will keep readers turning pages until the last sentence. Remarkable.” – Ella March Chase, bestselling author of The Virgin Queen’s Daughter and Three Maids for a Crown

“Suspenseful, page-turning mystery of a mother pursuing the truth… Every reader will come to love the brave and intrepid Mear, a most memorable character in a most memorable story.” – Jim Heynen, award-winning author of The Fall of Alice K.

“Sinful Folk is a work of art. Miriam’s story is a raw and brutal and passionate tale, but her story touches the reader because it’s a timeless story – a wonderful portrayal of medieval life. Highly recommended.” – Kathryn Le Veque, bestselling author of The Dark Lord and The Warrior Poet

“A suspenseful and mesmerizing tale full of rich and vital characters. Ned Hayes crafts a narrative that shows a devotion to craft in each word.” – RenĂ©e Miller, editor of On Fiction and author of In the Bones

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (Hardcover)
Audible.com
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Hardcover)
Books-a-Million
iBooks
IndieBound

Booknote Interview with Ned Hayes


Ned Hayes is the author of the Amazon best-selling historical novel SINFUL FOLK. He is also the author of Coeur d’Alene Waters, a noir mystery set in the Pacific Northwest. He is now at work on a new novel, Garden of Earthly Delights, also set in the Middle Ages.

Ned Hayes is a candidate for an MFA from the Rainier Writer’s Workshop, and holds graduate degrees in English and Theology from Western Washington University and Seattle University.
Born in China, he grew up bi-lingually, speaking both Mandarin and English. He now lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife and two children.

For more information please visit www.sinfulfolk.com and www.nednotes.com. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, PinterestBooklikes, YouTube, Google+, and Goodreads.

Sinful Folk Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 20
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, October 21
Review at Historical Novel Review
Wednesday, October 22
Spotlight at What is That Book About
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, October 23
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Guest Post at Books and Benches
Monday, October 27
Review at Just One More Chapter
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, October 28
Interview at Layered Pages
Wednesday, October 29
Review at Back Porchervations
Thursday, October 30
Interview at Back Porchervations
Friday, October 31
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Monday, November 3
Interview at Triclinium
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews
Tuesday, November 4
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry
Wednesday, November 5
Review at Deal Sharing Aunt
Thursday, November 6
Review at bookramblings
Saturday, November 8
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, November 10
Review at Book Babe
Tuesday, November 11
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Friday, November 14
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, November 18
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Beth’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, November 19
Review at Books in the Burbs
Review at Bookworm Babblings
Thursday, November 20
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Friday, November 21
Review at Library Educated



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