Saturday, December 6, 2014

Blog Tour: Past Encounters by Davina Blake: A Book Review

02_Past Encounters 

Publication Date: November 22, 2014 |  CreateSpace | Paperback; 442p

Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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England 1955.

The day Rhoda Middleton opens a letter from another woman, she becomes convinced her husband, Peter, is having an affair. But when Rhoda tracks the mysterious woman down, she discovers she is not Peter's lover after all, but the wife of his best friend, Archie Foster. There is only one problem - Rhoda has never even heard of Archie Foster.

Devastated by this betrayal of trust, Rhoda tries to find out why Peter has kept this friendship a secret for so long. Her search leads her back to 1945, but as she gradually uncovers Peter's wartime experiences she must wrestle with painful memories of her own. For Rhoda too cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

Taking us on a journey from the atmospheric filming of Brief Encounter, to the extraordinary Great March of prisoners of war through snow-bound Germany, PAST ENCOUNTERS explores themes of friendship, hope, and how in the end, it is the small things that enable love to survive.

Includes bonus material for reading groups.

     My Review:  Rhoda is troubled by her husband’s behavior. He seems to be distant to her and quiet. She also finds out that he is hiding something. When she receives a letter from a woman addressed to her husband, she believes that he is having an an affair. When she finds her, she finds that this woman is the wife of her husband’s best friend, Archie Foster who just passed away. What stuns and confuses Rhoda is that Peter has never mentioned Archie. She then goes on a quest to search for answers which lead her to Peter’s past of when he was a prisoner of war in WWII.

     This novel  is about a married couple whose past has caught up with them. The novel is structured on Rhoda’s and Peter’s marriage in 1955; then it goes to their past from their first date, to Peter being a prisoner of war and Rhoda being faithful to him. Both of them must come to terms of their secrets in their past to have a successful marriage to the present. Therefore, I found the characters to be very realistic and human. The reader can connect to them and the story.

     I found the novel to be beautifully-written. The plot is simple, but it is mainly focused on the characters. This novel is also psychological because it deals with the trauma of the characters and their past and how they deal with it to overcome the present to have a great future. The story is told in first person from Rhoda’s perspective, with a little bit of Helen’s. It is also told in third person from Peter’s perspective. Through these different viewpoints, we are able to understand their characters and how they are affected by the events.

     Overall, the story is about love, friendship, acceptance, and hope. The message of the book is that love conquers all.The plot is predictable and simple. The pace is slow-going, but it’s an interesting story. The characters are well-developed for they are flawed and human. I recommend this book to anyone interested in WWII. I find that this book is great for people who are going through a crisis in their marriage, and people who are dealing with emotional trauma. I suggest that you should watch the movie Brief Encounter before you read this book because it highly referenced. I highly enjoyed this novel, and I would like to read more novels from the author.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Praise for Past Encounters

"Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly Recommended!" - The Historical Novels Review


Praise for Deborah Swift

"stellar historical fiction" -Orange Prize Nominee Ann Weisgarber

"compelling'" -Westmorland Gazette

"The past comes alive through impeccable research...and the sheer power of descriptive prose" -Lancashire Evening Post


Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK


Deborah SwiftAbout the Author

Davina Blake used to be a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, during which time she developed a love of research which fueled her passion for the past. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and also writes successful seventeenth century historicals under the pen name Deborah Swift. 'Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly recommended.' The Historical Novels Review From Davina: 'I was inspired to write Past Encounters because I live close to the railway station where the iconic Brief Encounter was filmed in 1945. I have often used the refreshment room that featured in the film when waiting for a train. I love a good cup of tea, preferably accompanied by a chocolate brownie!'

For more information visit Davina Blake's website and blog. You can also find her on Twitter.


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Friday, December 5, 2014

Blog Tour: Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads by S.R. Mallery

02_Sewing Can Be Dangerous Cover
Publication Date: December 16, 2013
Mockingbird Lane Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio Book
Pages: 276

Genre: Historical Fiction/Short Stories
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book tours in exchange for an honest review.

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The eleven long short stories in Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads combine history, mystery, action and/or romance, and range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets, to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits, to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980's Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial "star"and an eclectic fiber artist, to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macrame artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.

     My Review: Sewing Can Be Dangerous is a collection of short stories that incorporates action, mystery, and history. These topics also focus on social injustice such as drug trafficking, slavery, abuse, and prejudices. Each of these stories are connected through sewing.  For not only does it involve threads, but also in some stories it connects the present to the past. For a person from the present is interested in an event from the past, and digs to find the truth of the person and the incident.

     I found these stories to be very intriguing. I like how in the historical short stories, the present introduces us to something that happened in the past, and it makes the reader curious to read what happened to that particular character. At first, I didn’t want to read about the person from the past because I thought that she was going to have a tragic ending, yet I was surprised that it was satisfactory. I also like the modern stories. They were also fun to read. In fact, I love all the endings in the short story. The writing is engaging, and the last sentence of each story is written beautifully.

     The writing is very well-written and engaging. The characters of the story are well-developed. We get attached to these characters emotionally and want to see them triumph over their hardships. Some of the stories can be dark, but I find them deeply moving. Most of the stories lingered with me even after I read each word. I felt that I was there experiencing the characters’ hardships, and I didn’t move but just read on to see what had happened to them.

     Overall, the story is about friendship, love, and family.  This collection of stories offers something for everyone, for it covers a broad range of genres, and also has contemporary and historical storylines. This book is also great for anyone whose favorite hobby is sewing. Thus, this book was a fun read.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Buy the Book

Amazon
Barnes & Noble


Buy the Audio Book

Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads is now in AUDIO!!! Listen to narrator, Suzie Althens, breathe life and depth into these stories!

Amazon
Audible.com
iTunes


About the Author

03_S.R. Mallery

S.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life.

First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy. Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.

Unexpected Gifts, her debut novel, is currently available on Amazon. Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads, her collection of short stories, Jan. 2014, both books by Mockingbird Lane Press.

For more information please visit S.R. Mallery's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.


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Monday, December 1, 2014

Rebecca Hazell's The Tiger and The Dove Trilogy Book Blast

Please join Rebecca Hazell as she tours the blogosphere for the Tiger and
the Dove trilogy Book Blast, from December 1 - 14, and be entered to win
all three books in the trilogy!

The Grip of God (Book One)


The Grip of God is the first novel in an epic historical trilogy, The Tiger and the Dove. Set in the thirteenth century, its heroine, Sofia, is a young princess of Kievan Rus. She begins her story by recounting her capture in battle and life of slavery to a young army captain in the Mongol armies that are flooding Europe. Not only is her life shattered, it is threatened by the bitter rivalries in her new master's powerful family, and shadowed by the leader of the Mongol invasion, Batu Khan, Genghis Khan's grandson. How will she learn to survive in a world of total war, much less rediscover the love she once took for granted? Always seeking to escape and menaced by outer enemies and inner turmoil, where can she find safe haven even if she can break free? Clear eyed and intelligent, Sofia could be a character from The Game of Thrones, but she refuses to believe that life is solely about the strong dominating the weak or about taking endless revenge. Her story is based on actual historical events, which haunt her destiny. Like an intelligent Forrest Gump, she reflects her times. But as she matures, she learns to reflect on them as well, and to transcend their fetters. In doing so, she recreates a lost era for us, her readers.

Solomon's Bride (Book Two)




Solomon's Bride is the dramatic sequel to The Grip of God. Sofia, the heroine, a former princess from Kievan Rus' was enslaved by a Mongol nobleman and then taken as a concubine by the leader of the Mongol invasions, Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan. Now, having fled the Mongols with a price on her head, Sofia escapes into Persia and what she believes will be safety, only to fall into the clutches of the Assassins, who seek to disrupt the Mongol empire. In a world at war, both outer and inner, the second phase of her adventures unfolds. Can she ever find safe haven, much less the lost love and family that was almost destroyed by the Mongols?

Consolamentum (Book Three)




In the finale of Sofia's memoir, Consolamentum, both dramatic and poignant, her dreams of home are shattered when her own family betrays her. Raising her child on her own, mourning the loss of her beloved knight, and building a trading empire, she seeks safe haven for her child and herself. Her quest takes her from Antioch to Constantinople to Venice. A surprise reunion in Venice leads her to France where she runs afoul of the newly established Holy Inquisition, possibly the greatest challenge she has yet faced. Can a woman so marked by oppression, betrayal, and danger ever find her safe haven, much less genuine happiness?

Buy Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository


About the Author




Rebecca Hazell is a an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created best selling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases. She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history.

Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouver Island. They live near their two adult children in the beautiful Cowichan Valley.

Visit Rebecca:

Website | Goodreads | Facebook

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, December 1:

History from a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, December 2:

A Book Geek

Wednesday, December 3:

The Never-Ending Book


Thursday, December 4:

Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Friday, December 5:

Must Read Faster 

Saturday, December 6:

What is that Book About 

Sunday, December 7:

The True Book Addict

Tuesday, December 9:

She is Too Fond of Books & Movies


Wednesday, December 10:

To Read, Or Not to Read

Thursday, December 11:

Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, December 12:

Book Drunkard 

Saturday, December 13:

Brooke Blogs 

Giveaway

To win all three books in Rebecca Hazell’s The Tiger and the Dove trilogy
(eBook and print, two winners), please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway
form below. Ebook giveaway is open internationally. Print book giveaway is
open to U.S./Canada.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 17th and notified via
email.

Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Blog Tour: The Spoils of Avalon (A John Singer Sargent/Violet Paget Mystery Series Book One) by Mary F. Burns: A Book Review

02_The Spoils of Avalon
The Spoils of Avalon by Mary F. Burns
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
Sand Hill Review Press
Paperback; 300p
ISBN: 978-1937818289

Series: A John Singer Sargent/Violet Paget Mystery (Book One)
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Mystery
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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The death of a humble clergyman in 1877 leads amateur sleuths Violet Paget and John Singer Sargent into a medieval world of saints and kings-including the legendary Arthur- as they follow a trail of relics and antiquities lost since the destruction of Glastonbury Abbey in 1539. Written in alternating chapters between the two time periods, The Spoils of Avalon creates a sparkling, magical mystery that bridges the gap between two worlds that could hardly be more different-the industrialized, Darwinian, materialistic Victorian Age and the agricultural, faith-infused life of a medieval abbey on the brink of violent change at the hands of Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell.

First in a new series of historical mysteries, The Spoils of Avalon introduces two unlikely detectives and life-long friends-beginning as young people on the verge of making their names famous for the next several decades throughout Europe and America: the brilliant and brittle Violet Paget, known as the writer Vernon Lee, and the talented, genial portrait painter John Singer Sargent.

Friends from the age of ten, Paget and Sargent frequently met in the popular European watering places and capitals, frequenting the same salons and drawing rooms in London, Rome, Paris, Florence, Venice, Vienna and Madrid. Both were possessed of keen minds and bohemian tendencies, unorthodox educations and outsized egos (especially Paget). Their instant, natural bonding led them to address each other as "Twin", and they corresponded frequently when they were apart.

Henry James once described Violet Paget as having "the most formidable mind"of their times, and he was an active fan and patron of John Sargent, introducing him to London society and his own inner circles of literary and artistic genius.

     My Review:  The Spoils of Avalon is a mystery novel that stars real historical figures, the artists Violet Paget and John Sargent. When Violet gets a letter from her relative Mr. Crickley, a clergyman, telling her that he found something interesting the two lifelong friends decide to visit him, only to discover that he is dead. His mysterious death leads them to a trail of holy relics that links them to the legendary King Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea, who as legend says traveled to England after the death of Jesus Christ. Together they discover the past of the Glastonbury abbey that Henry VIII destroyed.

     To be honest, I had never heard of Violet Paget or John Sargent until I read this book so them starring in the novel really didn’t excite me much. What really made me enthusiastic was that it involved King Arthur, and I am a major Arthurian buff. One interesting thing that I liked about the book was that they linked King Arthur and Glastonbury Abbey, where he and Guinevere are said to have been buried. 

     I really liked the narrator Violet Paget. She was very interesting along with her companion John Sargent. Violet has a sharp wit, and most of the times I found her funny. Both she and John have an eye for detail. She also loves to read the legends of King Arthur.

     The story involves two storylines set in different time periods. The first is set in the Victorian period that involves the murder mystery with Violet Paget and John Sargent. The second is set in Glastonbury in the Tudor era during the reign of Henry VIII, and the main character Arthur, a novice, who watches his convent and his friend, the abbot being under threat by both the king and Thomas Cromwell. He also watches a great divide and inner conflict in the convent as most are for the Protestant Reformation. Arthur strives to protect his abbey and the relics in it.

     Overall, this was a fun mystery to read. The book is fast-paced and easy to read. It is full of suspense, intrigue, and drama that keeps you invested in the story. The characters are likable, and I found myself interested in the real life of Violet Paget and John Sargent. I recommend this story to anyone interested in historical fiction, mystery, The Victorian Era, The Tudors, and King Arthur.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Watch the Book Trailer:




Praise for The Spoils of Avalon

"An artist, a writer, a murder, a mysterious tome, a dissolving time, a crime, Arthurian legends, ancient saints books and bones. Burns' prose drives and is sublime, with characters and settings that live on in your mind. This is an original historical mystery connecting the Age of Industry with the Age of Miracles." - Stephanie Renee dos Santos, forthcoming novel: Cut From The Earth


Buy the Book

Amazon


About the Author

03_Mary Burns

Mary F. Burns is the author of PORTRAITS OF AN ARTIST (Sand Hill Review Press, February 2013), a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society and a former member of the HNS Conference board of directors. A novella-length book, ISAAC AND ISHMAEL, is also being published by Sand Hill Review Press in 2014. Ms. Burns's debut historical novel J-THE WOMAN WHO WROTE THE BIBLE was published in July 2010 by O-Books (John Hunt Publishers, UK). She has also written two cozy-village mysteries in a series titled The West Portal Mysteries (The Lucky Dog Lottery and The Tarot Card Murders).

Ms. Burns was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees in English, along with a high school teaching certificate. She relocated to San Francisco in 1976 where she now lives with her husband Stuart in the West Portal neighborhood. Ms. Burns has a law degree from Golden Gate University, has been president of her neighborhood association and is active in citywide issues. During most of her working career she was employed as a director of employee communications, public relations and issues management at various San Francisco Bay Area corporations, was an editor and manager of the Books on Tape department for Ignatius Press, and has managed her own communications/PR consulting business, producing written communications, websites and video productions for numerous corporate and non-profit clients.

Ms. Burns may be contacted by email at maryfburns@att.net. For more information please visit Mary Burns's website. You can also connect with Mary on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, or read her blog posts at:

www.jthewomanwhowrotethebible.com
www.literarygracenotes.blogspot.com
www.portraitsofanartist.blogspot.com
www.sargent-pagetmysteries.blogspot.com
www.genesisnovel.blogspot.com


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Blog Tour: Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes: A Book Review

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes
Publication Date: January 22, 2014
Campanile Press
Formats: eBook, Hardcover, Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Medieval
Source: This book was given to me by the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
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.
     
     My Review: In this dark novel, five children are burned to death in what may have been a suspicious house fire. Angry village fathers roam England demanding justice for those five children. Mear, the main protagonist and mother of one of the burned children, decides to go on a journey to find the truth of what happened in that fire. As she goes on her journey she finds that is she is also embarking on a quest of redemption and a new beginning.

     Believing that her lover would come back for her, Mear, a former nun, escaped the convent and raised their son as a mute man in an isolated village. When her son dies, she like everyone wants justice. As she goes on the journey with other travelers, she experiences the emotional pain of losing her son, especially when one of them is the same age as her son. She experiences hardships, terror, and trials, but she also experiences triumphs and healing.

     I found this novel to be fascinating. While it is dark - for the novel discusses heavy topics like starvation, hostility to the Jews, and death, it is also shows a silver lining like friendship. One of the things I liked about this book was that Edward, The Black Prince, plays a big role in this book. I didn’t know much about The Black Prince, but the scenes I loved were the scenes that he was involved in.

     Another thing that I liked about the book was that it gives flashbacks to the main character. The book is constantly unfolding many layers to Mear’s past that is important to the book. By this we feel like we are getting to know the main character more. Mear is just as complex as the novel, but eventually we see them both interweave together like threads into a single picture.

     Overall this book is about justice, friendship, hope and redemption. The setting is beautiful and the plot is well-developed. The characters are human. Together we experience Mear's hardships, pain, trials, and triumphs. I recommend this to anyone who loves historical fiction, thrillers, and mystery. I also recommend this to anyone who loves to read about the Dark Ages and The Black Prince, who is a historical famous figure in British history. This book is also great for people who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. Overall, this is a moving, well-written, emotional book that will linger even after you read the last word.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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.” – Renée 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:




About the Author:

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.nednote.com



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blog Tour: The Prospective Princess by Kary Rader: A Reign of Light Novel: A Book Review and Giveaway

Kary Rader - The Prospective Princess - Virtual Book Tour


New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Date Published: September 23, 2014
Source: Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tour in exchange for an honest review.

 
     Giving up the beautiful Lady Brislyn is only the first step toward Commander Marchant saving her from Darkness—and then winning her heart.

 A MAN AMONG PRINCES

     Five years ago Lady Brislyn of Komissa fell in love. Five years ago her heart was broken, never to be mended. But when one careless act finds her abducted by marauders and forcibly betrothed to a seductive enemy prince, there’s only one man she can count on to free her: Her father’s brilliant—and devastatingly handsome—military commander. The very man who rejected her.

     Five years ago, Commander Marchant rebuffed the fifteen-year-old daughter of his duke. Now she is a woman grown, a Gifted musician whose song captured his heart. Yet Brislyn is not so easily reclaimed. To save her from one royal suitor, he must make a show of engaging her to another. Then March will rescue the kidnapped lady or die in the perilous journey to reach her. If he can survive the storms, the pirates, and the princes, he will win back Brislyn’s heart.

     My Review: Lady Brislyn was 15 when she was rejected by her bodyguard Commander Marchant. Five years later, Marchant finds that he has feeling for her and wants to ask her father’s permission to marry her. When he tells this to Lady Brislyn she rejects him because she doesn’t believe his feelings are real.  Later that night, she is kidnapped by pirates who are hired by the evil emperor to be the intended bride of his son. Marchant then embarks on a quest to rescue his love.

     The story is quite simple. A damsel in distress and a hero that rescues her. They meet a few interesting characters including a beautiful female captain. The villain is interesting - he is out for revenge, and wants to conquer Brislyn’s land. I also found the evil emperor’s son fascinating, for unlike his father, he is not evil. As for the setting, there really wasn’t much detail of the world building, but it was short and simple as the story was.

     As for the main characters, their story was sweet. Lady Brislyn loved him because she was always with him and he was her bodyguard. He was her protector. Yet, when she was kidnapped, she never lost faith that he would rescue her.  She had faith that everything would work out right. Commander Marchant, however, was a womanizer, and never was serious for any woman. At first, he viewed Lady Brislyn as a child, yet over time he had feelings for her because she was now a grown woman. When he fell in love with her, he gave up his womanizing ways and has been faithful to Lady Brislyn. He was willing to do whatever it took to rescue Lady Brislyn and to make her his wife. Together, they both proved their love beyond all obstacles.

     Overall, the story is about friendship, love and hope. The message of the book is that love conquers all and that there is always a way. The plot is predictable and the story and setting is very simple. The characters are well-developed. I recommend this novella to anyone who is interested in magic, pirates, fantasy, and a quest for true love.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars



Kary Rader













     Kary Rader is an award-winning author, stay-at-home mom, and part-time Twitter sage, because one shouldn’t have to use more than 140 characters to impart wisdom.

     She lives with her husband, three kids, and one low-maintenance kitty cat in Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex.

     Whether contemporary or fantasy, spicy or sweet, her stories always have true love, romance, and lots of humor.

Website/Blog
Twitter
FB Author Page
Goodreads


Monday, November 3, 2014

Blog Tour: Juliet Waldron's 4 Books Tour: A Book Review of Roan Rose

Roan Rose


04_Roan Rose
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Books We Love, Ltd.
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: This book was given to by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

READ AN EXCERPT.

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Loyalty Binds Her.


     More like a gangland war for turf and loot than chivalry, the War of Roses disrupted the life of the English commoners for hundreds of years. Roan Rose is the story of one of them, a girl born on the Yorkshire dales. When the Countess of Warwick decides to take sturdy, gentle Rose to Middleham Castle to be companion and bed-time poppet for her youngest daughter, Anne, her fate is changed forever. Rose bears intimate witness to the passions, betrayals, battles and all the reversals of fortune which will shape her lady's life and her own. Anne Neville will briefly become a Queen, and Richard, Rose's secret love, will become a King, one whose name has become synonymous with evil. When her King is betrayed and slain at Bosworth Field, Rose returns to a peasant's hard life. She has one final service to perform.

     My Review: Roan Rose tells the story of the War of The Roses from a unique perspective, that of Anne of York’s (queen to Richard III). Unlike most books of the Wars of the Roses, which focuses on the politics and machinations of the nobility, this novel shows how the war affected the peasants. Rose, who at ten, leaves her poor household and abusive father to become the servant of Anne of York. There she forms a bond between her and falls in love with the young Richard. The novel then continues to the rise and fall of Richard III’s reign.

     Rose’s life before she came to Middleham was a hard life. Her father resents her, her mother and her family because they were not the sons he wanted. Because of this, he abused his family and treated them less than cattle. Her life changes when she goes to Middleham. There she learns about the hardships of her class. She treats Anne like a sister, yet she falls for Richard knowing that because of their class it cannot happen. She also learns life changing lessons from the servants that she foreshadows would help her when she has to go back to poverty after Richard III’s death. Rose is a strong heroine and she overcomes trials and hardships.

     This book is sympathetic to Richard. Because Rose loves him, she sees his good qualities and defends his controversies, though sometimes she is suspicious of him. I found her love for Richard a bit uncomfortable. For she loves her best friend, Anne, yet she wants Richard for herself. That doesn’t seem to be fair to Anne. There are also some scenes of domestic abuse that I did not like. Yet, it is important to the novel because it shows the pressure that women had in that time.

     Overall, this is a very human account of The Wars of The Roses for it shows Rose’s struggles, pain, joys, and triumphs. It is about friendship, love, choices, and hope. It is also about how to make the best of your situation. The novel is very well-written, and I like how we see the life of Anne of York and Richard III from the perspective of an average woman. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the War of The Roses, Longbourn, and fans of Downton Abbey.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Praise for Roan Rose


"a beautiful story of love and loyalty set during the tumultuous reign of Richard III"

"I loved the strength of this woman"

"This author has a powerful sense of Time and Place"

"Waldron certainly knows her history.Yet despite its accuracy. Roan Rose is ultimately a book about character".


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Hand-Me-Down Bride


05_Hand Me Down Bride
Publication Date: October 26, 2013
Books We Love, Ltd.
eBook; ASIN: B00G8OYHFG

Genre: Historical Romance

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To help her impoverished family, Sophie agrees to marry a wealthy older man in far off America. Less than twenty-four hours after she arrives in German's Mill, Pennsylvania, events have taken a far stranger turn than anything she could have imagined.

Set in Post-Civil War Pennsylvania, this tale of an arranged marriage gone wrong is as much family saga as it is a romance. Sophie is a sensitive young woman trying to make sense of her past and to understand the unfamiliar ways of her new homeland. Karl Joe is not only a veteran of the great war, but scarred by the secret violence of his privileged childhood. How they learn to trust each other and how they discover love is the beating heart of this old time story.


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Angel's Flight

06_Angel's Flight
Publication Date: September 9, 2012
Books We Love, Ltd.
eBook; ASIN: B0098CSH5Q

Genre: Historical Romance

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Angelica is a Patriot heiress, stalked by a brutal, fortune-hunting British officer. Forced to trust Jack, the mystery man who pledges to take her on a dangerous war-time journey to her Albany home, she expects to encounter brigands, Tories and Indians. What she doesnít expect is to lose her heart along the way.


Praise for Angel's Flight


"It's quite a journey. If you like detailed historical novels, road romances, and war stories, then Angel's Flight is for you." -IRRS @ Amazon

"This story has heart." -Linda @ Romance Studio

"I found Juliet Waldron's attention to detail and historical accuracy refreshing and entertaining... a unique voice. Readers will be transported to a time of peril, divided loyalties and intrigue as Angelica triumphs over threats and danger." -Southern Gal @ Amazon


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About the Author

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"Not all who wander are lost." Juliet Waldron earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist's model to brokerage. Thirty years ago, after the boys left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for herself--and for her readers. She loves her grand-girls and her kitties, likes to take long hikes, and reads historical/archeological non-fiction as well as reviewing for the Historical Novel Society. For summer adventure, she rides behind her husband of 50 years on his "bucket list" (black, and ridiculously fast) Hyabusa motorcycle.

You can find more information at www.julietwaldron.com or connect with Juliet on Facebook.

Juliet Waldron Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, October 6
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes

Monday, October 13
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Book Nerd (Hand-Me-Down Bride)

Monday, November 3
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective (Roan Rose)

Monday, November 10
Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews (Roan Rose)

Saturday, November 15
Guest Post at Romantic Historical Lovers

Tuesday, November 18
Review at TeacherWriter (Roan Rose)

Monday, November 24
Review at Book Nerd (Roan Rose)

Tuesday, November 25
Guest Post at TeacherWriter (Roan Rose)

Thursday, November 27
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books


Giveaway


To win a $20 Amazon Gift Card please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.


Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on November 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 1st and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.





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