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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Ways of Mud and Bone by Carrie Ann Lahain: A Book Review

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The Ways of Mud and Bone
Author: Carrie Ann Lahain
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 248
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: In the summer of 1918, as the Great War rages in Europe, nineteen-year-old Meryl Goodson’s small-town life is shattered when her cousin Nora’s fiancé is killed in France. The tragedy causes a rift in the community between those for the war and those against it. As local tensions rise, Meryl begins her service with an overseas relief unit. Caught up in her own brutal day-to-day struggle in war-weary France, she is unaware of how far matters have deteriorated at home. The truth leaves her broken and grieving. Is the world she once knew gone forever? Or can the friendships she’s made help Meryl find the strength to begin again? 

     A bit like LITTLE WOMEN meets ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, THE WAYS OF MUD AND BONE is a uniquely American book about the war to end all wars.

 …

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts: A Book Review

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Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
Author: Cokie Roberts
Genre: Nonfiction. History, Biography
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 2004
Pages: 384
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: Cokie Roberts’s number one New York Times bestseller, We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters, examined the nature of women’s roles throughout history and led USA Today praise her as a “custodian of time-honored values.” Her second bestseller, From This Day Forward, written with her husband, Steve Roberts, described American marriages throughout history, including the romance of John and Abigail Adam. Now Roberts returns with Founding Mothers, an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families--and their country--proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.

      While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and…

Cook Recipes From The Women of The American Revolution

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My friend recommended to me Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts. It is a biography the wives, sisters and daughters of America's Founding Fathers. In her biography, she included some recipes that these women used. I found them fascinating, so I decided to share some of them with you. I hope you enjoy reading them as I did. Be sure to check out Cokie Roberts Founding Mothers. This is a book you wouldn't want to miss for it is the story of the Founding of America told from the perspective of the Founding Fathers' women.

Martha Washington’s Recipes:

Crab Soup:

Ingredients:

Fresh crabs  
Butter        
Flour                                                     
Hard-boiled eggs                                                               
Lemon rind, grated
Salt and Pepper
Milk
Cream
Sherry
Worcestershire sauce                             

Directions:

     Boil enough crabs in salted water to make ½ pound or (use 1 cup canned or frozen) crabmeat. Combine 1 tablespoon butter. 1 ½ tablespoo…

Anna Howard Shaw: The Work of Women Suffrage (Women In American History) by Trisha Franzen: A Book Review

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Anna Howard Shaw: The Work of Women Suffrage (Women in American History)
Author: Trisha Franzen
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: March 15th 2014
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: With this first scholarly biography of Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919), Trisha Franzen sheds new light on an important woman suffrage leader who has too often been overlooked and misunderstood.

     An immigrant from a poor family, Shaw grew up in an economic reality that encouraged the adoption of non-traditional gender roles. Challenging traditional gender boundaries throughout her life, she put herself through college, worked as an ordained minister and a doctor, and built a tightly-knit family with her secretary and longtime companion Lucy E. Anthony.

     Drawing on unprecedented research, Franzen shows how these circumstances and choices both impacted Shaw's role in the woman suffrage movement and set her…

Interview with Rachel Florence Roberts

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Today, I have the honor to host Rachel Florence Roberts. She is the debuted author of The Medea Complex. It is a psychological thriller about a woman, who is placed in an insane asylum because she was viewed unfit to stand trial for the crime which she was believed to be indicted. I have enjoyed and recently reviewed the novel, and I believe that she will continue writing great novels in the future. This interview gives us an insight about the author and her novel. Thank you, Ms. Roberts.



1. Did you always aspire to be a writer?

Yes. Ever since I was eleven years old, and sneaking my dad's Stephen King Books out of his (not so well) locked 'man cupboard'. I shocked my English teacher when I did a book report on 'Misery'  - but she gave me an A+ (boo-yah!).

 2. What are your favorite genres? Do you like historical fiction?

I love historical fiction, but my absolute favorites are psychological thrillers - such as Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Shutter Island by Dennis …

The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts: A Book Review

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The Medea Complex
Author: Rachel Florence Roberts
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 272
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis:  ****BASED ON A TRUE STORY***

     1885. Anne Stanbury - Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems?

     Edgar Stanbury - the grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity, and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life.

     Dr George Savage - the well respected psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne's future wholly in his hands. 

     The Medea Complex tells the story of a misunderstood woman suffering from insanity in an era when mental illnesses' were all too often misdiagnosed and mistreated. A deep a…

Longbourn: A Novel by Jo Baker: A Book Review

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Longbourn: A Novel
Author: Jo Baker
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Knopf 
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 352Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Pride and Prejudice was only half the story.

"If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them."

      In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. 

     Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen m…

Defy (Book #1 of Defy Trilogy) by Sara B. Larson: A Book Review

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Defy (Book #1 of Defy Trilogy)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Genre:YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review/
Synopsis: A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart-racing romance.

      Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

     The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is…

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin: A Book Review

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Alice I Have Been
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: 2009
Pages: 400
Source: Personal Collection 
Synopsis: Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.

     “But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful?” 

 Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful…

Interview with C.W. Gortner

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Today, I have the privilege of interviewing C.W, Gortner. He is author who first introduced me to historical fiction, and is one of my favorite authors in this genre. He is an international best-selling authors and is recognized as one of the hottest authors in historical fiction. This interview gives an insight to some of his works, namely The Last Queen, Confessions of Catherine de Medici, and The Queen’s Vow. Thank you, Mr. Gortner.



    1. Your books have been about Catherine de Medici, Queen Isabella of Spain, and Juana of Castile.  What drew you to write about these women?
Since childhood, history and women in history, especially those who are maligned or mired in controversy, have fascinated me. Perhaps because I was raised in Spain, where history can be seen everywhere, in a family of strong women, I absorbed early on that even those closest to us can hide secrets. Historical figures are no different; though we think we know everything about them, the truth is they too had …

Winner of The Captive Maiden Giveaway!

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The winner of The Captive Maiden Giveaway is Sandra F! Congratulations, Sandra! Thanks to all who entered the giveaway, and to those who are interested in Melanie Dickerson!