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Showing posts from November, 2013

The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen( Book #1 of the Fairytale Keeper series) by Andrea Cefalo: A Book Review

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The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen (Book #! of the Fairytale Keeper series
Author: Andrea Cefalo
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Scarlet Primrose Press/ Andrea Cefalo
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 268
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Adelaide’s mother, Katrina, was the finest storyteller in all of Airsbach, a borough in the great city of Cologne, but she left one story untold, that of her daughter, that of Snow White. Snow White was a pet name Adelaide’s mother had given her. It was a name that Adelaide hated until now. Now, she would give anything to hear her mother say it once more.

     A rampant fever claimed Adelaide’s mother just like a thousand others in Cologne where the people die without last rites and the dead are dumped in a vast pit outside the city walls. In an effort to save Katrina’s soul, Adelaide's father obtains a secret funeral for his wife by bribing the parish priest, Father Soren.

     Soren commit…

The Ohana by C.W. Schutter: A Book Review

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The Ohana
Author: C.W. Schutter
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: River Ranch Press
Release Date: November 13th, 2013
Pages: 282
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A child is dying. Her life depends on an explosive secret her grandmother has kept from their Ohana (family). As Mary Han wrestles with the toxic revelations, she must finally face the past she fought so hard to forget. 

     The Ohana is a riveting retrospective of the social, political, and economic history of Hawaii told through a historical family saga spanning three unforgettable generations. From the young Korean, Han Chaul Roong, who murders the hated Japanese invaders who kidnap his sister and force her into prostitution, to the Japanese aristocrat Kazuko who abandons her life of wealth and privilege to live in poverty with the servant she loves, the Asians came to work the brutal cane fields of Hawaii under Patrick O'Malley, a refugee from the Irish famine who…

Dance the Moon Down by R. L. Bartram: A Book Review

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Dance the Moon Down
Author: R.L. Bartram
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Authors OnLine
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 300
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: In 1910, no one believed there would ever be a war with Germany. Safe in her affluent middle-class life, the rumors held no significance for Victoria either. It was her father's decision to enroll her at university that began to change all that. There, she befriends the rebellious and outspoken Beryl Whittaker, an emergent suffragette, but it is her love for Gerald Avery, a talented young poet from a neighboring university that sets the seal on her future.

     After a clandestine romance, they marry in January 1914, but with the outbreak of the First World War, Gerald volunteers but within months has gone missing in France. Convinced that he is still alive, Victoria's initial attempts to discover what has become of him, implicate her in a murderous assault on Lord Kitchene…

O, Juliet: A Novel by Robin Maxwell: A Book Review

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O, Juliet: A Novel
Author: Robin Maxwell
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: New American Library
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 352
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: A RICH TALE OF PASSION, REVENGE, AND TRAGEDY ON THE CUSP OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE: A FRESH TWIST ON THE BARD’S BELOVED ROMEO AND JULIET. 

     Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father's business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage into the Medici dynasty, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that takes flight in the privacy of her bedchamber and on her garden balcony.

     Her life and destiny are forever changed when Juliet meets Romeo Monticecco, a soulful young man seeking peace between their warring families. A dreamer himself, Romeo is unstoppable, once he determines to capture the heart of the remarkable woman foretold in his stars.

     My Review:…

The Treason of Mary Louvestre by My Haley: A Book Review

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The Treason of Mary Louvestre
Author: My Haley
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher: Koehler Books
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 338
Source: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: From the widow and collaborator of Alex Haley, award-winning author of Roots, comes a new American epic from the Civil War. The Treason of Mary Louvestre is based on the true story of a seamstress slave from the Confederate town of Norfolk, Virginia. When her owner gets involved with modifications to the ironclad CSS Virginia, Mary copies the plans and sets out to commit treason against the South. Facing certain death as a spy if caught, she treks two hundred miles during the bitter winter of 1862 to reach the office of Union Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, where she hands over the plans. Mary's act of bravery is ably told by Haley, using a rich narrative and characters drawn from that pinnacle era of American history. First there was Roots, now there is The Trea…

The Least of These by Scott Zachary: A Book Review

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The Least of These
Author: Scott Zachary
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publisher: Mahalas Press
Release Date: November 15th, 2013
Pages: 70
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis:  Molly Gregor was not a temperate woman.

The daughter of a murdered Catholic nobleman, and the wife of a Protestant
landowner, she imagines herself a stranger in her own land. Rash, proud, and
headstrong, she has carved her way through life with a bold determination that often
places her at odds with those closest to her.

     When a band of Irish Travellers come to her small town, Molly finds herself torn
between helping the wayfaring strangers and the cruel prejudices of her neighbors.
Will she find the courage to defend these, the least of all people?

     Set in the turbulent spring of 1709, The Least of These is a haunting, yet inspiring
story of questioned faith, restored hope, and the true price of charity.


My Review: Set in Ireland in the spring of 1709, this novellett…

Juliet by Anne Fortier: A Book Review

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Juliet
Author: Anne Fortier
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery & Thriller
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 464
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis:  When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor, Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families immortalized in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse-- “A plague on both your houses!” is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo--but where is he?

My Review:  I have always been a fan of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I’ve always found it romantic that they loved each other so much that they gave thei…

The Sixth by Avery Hays: A Book Review

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The Sixth
Author: Avery Hays
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Mariner Books
Release Date: Oct. 31, 2013
Publisher: Diadema Press
Pages: 362
Source: NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Florbela Sarmentos is 21 and knows what she wants: art, romance, and to free her father from the prison of Portugal's despotic King Manuel II.  Born in Lisbon, educated in London and at a painting academy in Cherbourg, France, the cosmopolitan Florbela moves to Paris and takes up residence in the wildly bohemian enclave of La Ruche, there to pursue a creative life.

     Some of the yet-to-be-discovered artists living in her building are Diego Rivera, Amadeo Modigliani and Marc Chagall.  By day she paints, and by night she attends parties with the residents of La Ruche, who introduce her to collectors and creative spirits in Paris's fabled Sixth Arrondissement.  Along the way, Florbela attracts several hot-headed admirers, two of whom become so inflamed with jealou…

Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy: A Book Review

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Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart
Author: John Guy
Genre:  Nonfiction, Biography, History
Publisher: Mariner Books
Release Date: 2004
Pages: 608
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis:In the first full-scale biography of Mary Stuart in more than thirty years, John Guy creates an intimate and absorbing portrait of one of history’s greatest women, depicting her world and her place in the sweep of history with stunning immediacy. Bringing together all surviving documents and uncovering a trove of new sources for the first time, Guy dispels the popular image of Mary Queen of Scots as a romantic leading lady — achieving her ends through feminine wiles — and establishes her as the intellectual and political equal of Elizabeth I.

     Through Guy’s pioneering research and superbly readable prose, we come to see Mary as a skillful diplomat, maneuvering ingeniously among a dizzying array of factions that sought to control or dethrone her. Queen of Scots is an enthralling, myth-shattering look…

The Melody of Secrets: A Novel by Jeffrey Stepakoff: A Book Review

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The Melody of Secrets: A Novel
Author: Jeffrey Stepakoff
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: October, 29th 2013
Pages: 272
Source: I got this from NetGalley as an invitation from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Jeffrey Stepakoff's The Melody of Secrets is an epic love story set against the 1960s U.S. space program, when deeply-buried secrets could threaten not just a marriage, but a country.

     Maria was barely eighteen as WWII was coming to its explosive end. A brilliant violinist, she tried to comfort herself with the Sibelius Concerto as American bombs rained down. James Cooper wasn't much older. A roguish fighter pilot stationed in London, he was shot down during a daring night raid and sought shelter in Maria’s cottage.

     Fifteen years later, in Huntsville, Alabama, Maria is married to a German rocket scientist who works for the burgeoning U.S. space program. Her life in the South is at peace, purposefully distanced …