Sunday, March 30, 2014

Seer of Sevenwaters (Book #5 of the Sevenwaters Series) by Juliet Marillier: A Book Review

Seer of Sevenwaters (Book #5 of the Sevenwaters Series)
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: 2011
Pages: 448
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Get swept away in the romantic fantasy of this national bestselling author's world of Sevenwaters.

     The young seer Sibeal is visiting an island of elite warriors, prior to making her final pledge as a druid. It's there she finds Felix, a survivor of a Viking shipwreck, who's lost his memory. The scholarly Felix and Sibeal form a natural bond. He could even be her soul mate, but Sibeal's vocation is her true calling, and her heart must answer. 

     As Felix fully regains his memory, Sibeal has a runic divination showing her that Felix must go on a perilous mission-and that she will join him. The rough waters and the sea creatures they will face are no match for Sibeal's own inner turmoil. She must choose between the two things that tug at her soul-her spirituality and a chance at love...

     My Review: This book takes place 4 years after Heir of Sevenwaters. Sibeal, who was first introduced as a quiet eight year-old seer in Child of the Prophecy, is sent to Inis Eala for the summer before she takes a vow to become a druid. On the day she arrives, there is a shipwreck and there are only three survivors. Each of these survivors have a mysterious past, and Sibeal embarks on a quest to uncover the truth behind their past and eventually falls in love with the amnesiac survivor, Felix.

     This is the first book in the Sevenwaters series where the reader does not go to Sevenwaters. Instead, most of the setting is on Inis Eala. However, there is still a feeling of homecoming in this book because there are still many recurring characters from the previous novels.

     It is also the first in the Sevenwaters series where half of the narration is  told by a male protagonist, Felix, who is Sibeal's love interest. This book mostly focuses on the slow-budding relationship between Felix and Sibeal. Felix is suffering from much pain and loss. He has recently lost his brother and his memories. Yet, it is Sibeal, who with her gentle healing and storytelling that gives Felix hope, goodness and light. She helps bring Felix courage, strength and willpower to move on. Felix is slowly able to let go of the past and to focus on his future.

     I felt that Seer of Sevenwaters did not have as much of a plot than the other books. Most of the novel is a summary of the previous novels. While it will be interesting to a reader who has never read this Sevenwater series before, it is very tedious for readers familiar with the series. There is a seafaring adventure that involves a man-eating sea monster, but it takes place in the last ⅔ of the novel. However, there is still enough mystery and intrigue that will keep the reader invested.

      Overall, the themes of this novel deal with love, loss, family, friendship, and hope. The message of the book is if one door closes another opens. It is a coming of age story about two people trying to find their identities. I felt that the Seer of Sevenwaters fell flat compared to the other novels in this series, yet it is still a beautiful book. It is a touching love story that comes with a powerful message. I recommend this novel to lovers of fantasy, romance, and historical fiction. I also believe that this book can speak to anyone. A lot of times things often don’t go as we plan, but we cannot get discouraged because there is another path that is just as good.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Guest Post by Heath Jacks: Heads Are Gonna Roll! The Trend of Headless Women Book Covers

      Today's guest writer is Heath Jacks, whom I am proud to say is my father. He is an amateur comedian, and always makes me laugh. We were talking about historical book covers earlier, and he asked if he could write a guest article. I hope you enjoy my dad and his humor!




     Greetings, readers of History From A Woman's Perspective. I am the father of the lovely young woman who writes this blog. I have my own blog, Cancer - The Lighter Side, which takes a lighter, more humorous look at my battle with colon cancer and the ensuing chemotherapy, which I am happy to report is over and all is well. I have written some short stories, and am attempting a longer work called "Walking Dumb". I know you're breathless already in anticipation. Look for it to be self-published posthumously. I am also a former stand-up comic.

     I am writing this guest post after noticing the number of historical fiction novels with covers where the model's head is cut off.  It shows them from the neck down. This topic was asked about in the excellent and informative interview my daughter had with C.W. Gortner (if you missed it, it is still on this site). He basically said that the publishing companies do that for many historical novels, and not just his. I hadn't noticed until after that, but...he was right! There are several covers where the model is depicted with a beautiful dress, arms, neck, and no head! Were they all Marie Antoinette wanna-bes?



     According to Mr. Gortner, the reasoning behind the publishing company's thinking is that they want to show the gown and so forth to give the impression that it is a historical novel, but do not show the face because if it is unpleasant to the potential buyer, they will bypass the book. This struck me as extremely odd. After all, these are models! They are all supposed to be gorgeous, otherwise they would be in a different profession. So why not show their face? Besides, I buy several books myself. I have never once looked at some dude in a business suit on the cover and said to myself, "I don't like his haircut. I think I'll look further."

     The cover models are the ones who get the raw deal here. For one thing, what is the audition process like for the job? 

     "Welcome, Miss Johnson, please change into your shoes and gown. Don't worry about fixing your hair and make-up. Don't forget to put on the grocery bag we'll be placing over your head."

     Another thing, how can the poor model brag to her friends about making the cover of the book?

     "Look, that really IS me! See those arms? Those are MY arms! I can prove it. Look at that freckle, it is in the exact same place as mine!"

     I urge the publishing companies to loosen up, to not be so overly-uptight, and show the entire cover model. Besides, I always had nightmares about people with their heads chopped off by a guillotine and the Headless Horseman. I don't need to see the Headless Model. I do not care how pleasant or unpleasant her face may look, at least she has a face, and I can avoid the nightmares. And, the ultimate point is, let the story be what sells the book, and not the picture on the front. After all, you know what they say..."Never judge a book by its decapitated cover!" 


Monday, March 17, 2014

Deborah Swift's Book Blast

HF Virtual Book Tours is delighted to introduce you to historical novelist Deborah Swift! Deborah’s acclaimed novels are set in turbulent seventeenth century England and have been described as “brilliant” and “a must for all readers looking for something out of the ordinary but grippingly alive”. Her previous life as a scenographer and costume designer shine through as the settings are beautifully evoked, immersing the reader in the sights and smells of the time.

Deborah’s multi-layered and engrossing historical adventures will make perfect picks for reading groups. Reading Group Guides can be conveniently found in the back of each book and on her website.

Find more information on Deborah's novels below and enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (£15 UK)!


The Lady's Slipper

The Lady's SlipperPublication Date: June 3, 2011
Pan MacMillan
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

England, 1660.

The King is back, but memories of the English Civil War still rankle. In rural Westmorland, artist Alice Ibbetson has become captivated by the rare Lady’s Slipper orchid. She is determined to capture it’s unique beauty for posterity, even if it means stealing the flower from the land of the recently converted Quaker, Richard Wheeler. Fired by his newfound faith, the former soldier Wheeler feels bound to track down the missing orchid. Meanwhile, others are eager to lay hands on the flower, and have their own powerful motives.

Margaret Poulter, a local medicine woman, is seduced by the orchid’s mysterious herbal powers, while Geoffrey Fisk, Alice’s patron and former comrade-in-arms of Wheeler, sees the valuable plant as a way to repair his ailing fortunes and cure his own agonizing illness. Fearing that Wheeler and his friends are planning revolution, Fisk sends his son Stephen to spy on the Quakers, only for the young man to find his loyalties divided as he befriends the group he has been sent to investigate.

Then, when Alice Ibbetson is implicated in a brutal murder, she is imprisoned along with the suspected anti-royalist Wheeler. As Fisk’s sanity grows ever more precarious, and Wheeler and Alice plot their escape, a storm begins to brew, from which no party will escape unscathed. Vivid, gripping and intensely atmospheric, The Lady’s Slipper is a novel about beauty, faith and loyalty.


Praise for The Lady's Slipper

"The novel grips from the opening lines and carries the interest throughout. The several plot-lines are seamlessly blended and come together in a wholly satisfying conclusion. Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly recommended." - Historical Novels Review Magazine

"Recommended for fans of Philippa Gregory and Rose Tremain, as well as students of the English Civil War." - Library Journal

“The intertwined stories of the orchid’s fate, the mounting problems between the Quakers and the King’s men, and Alice’s murder trial and its aftermath make for a riveting narrative.” - For the Love of Books Blog


The Gilded Lily

The Gilded Lily UK CoverPublication Date: September 13, 2012
Pan MacMillan
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

Westmorland, 1660.

Sadie Appleby has lived all her life in her small village. One night she is rudely awoken by her older and bolder sister, Ella, who has robbed her employer and is on the run. The girls flee their rural home of Westmorland to head for London, hoping to lose themselves in the teeming city. But the dead man’s relatives are in hot pursuit, and soon a game of cat and mouse begins.

Ella becomes obsessed with the glitter and glamour of city life and sets her sights on the flamboyant man-about-town, Jay Whitgift. But nothing is what it seems – even Jay Whitgift.

Can Sadie survive a fugitive’s life in the big city? But even more pressing, can she survive life with her older sister Ella?

Set in London’s atmospheric coffee houses, the rich mansions of Whitehall, and the pawnshops, slums and rookeries hidden from rich men’s view, The Gilded Lily is about beauty and desire, about the stories we tell ourselves, and about how sisterhood can be both a burden and a saving grace.


Praise for The Gilded Lily

"There is no greater compliment than ‘Give me more!’ A delight." - Susanna Gregory

"The Gilded Lily is impeccably written historical fiction. The detail is superb and life in London is so vividly depicted that the city seems to take on its own persona and become a lurking character in the story." - Let Them Read Books

"A heart-rending story of two sisters on the run, searching for a better life. Beautifully written and meticulously researched, the novel drew me straight into the teeming streets of Restoration London. An addictive, page-turning read." - Mary Sharratt


"Superb dialogue, steeped in contemporary language, adds credibility and atmosphere to this compelling tale which examines the ties that bind together siblings, the consequences of greed and ambition, the fickleness of fate and women’s constant battle to survive in a man’s world. The Gilded Lily is also a fast-paced adventure peopled with ruthless villains and feisty heroines whose exploits grab the imagination and add suspense and excitement to a historical gem." - Lancashire Evening Post


The Gilded Lily Book Trailer






A Divided Inheritance

A Divided InheritanceUK Publication Date: October 24, 2013
Pan MacMillan
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

London, 1609.

Elspet Leviston’s greatest ambition is to continue the success of her father Nathaniel’s lace business. But her simple dreams are thrown into turmoil with the arrival of her mysterious cousin Zachary Deane – who has his own designs on Leviston’s Lace. Zachary is a dedicated swordsman with a secret past that seems to invite trouble. So Nathaniel sends him on a Grand Tour, away from the distractions of Jacobean London. Elspet believes herself to be free of her hot-headed relation but when Nathaniel dies her fortunes change dramatically. She is forced to leave her beloved home and go in search of Zachary – determined to claim the inheritance that is rightfully hers.

In the searing heat of Seville, Elspet and Zachary become locked in a battle of wills. But these are dangerous times and they are soon embroiled in the roar and sweep of something far more threatening, sending them both on an unexpected journey of discovery and finally unlocking the true meaning of family.


Praise for A Divided Inheritance

"a true gem. It has a pacy storyline, the characters are complex, intriguing and often unexpected – and it is packed with fascinating historical fact" - Gabrielle Kimm, author of His Last Duchess

"Elegantly written, A Divided Inheritance brings the uncertainty of the seventeenth century gloriously to life in an engaging tale of determination, tenacity and family loyalty." - Flashlight Commentary Blog

"a multifaceted tale about the consequences of religious intolerance, the expiation of guilt, the importance of family, and the appearance of unexpected love. And swordplay! The action sequences are as sharp and dazzling as Zachary’s hand-forged blade." - Sarah Johnson, Reading the Past


Buy the Books

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Books-a-Million
Hive.co.uk
Waterstones


Deborah Swift About the Author

Deborah Swift used to work in the theatre and at the BBC as a set and costume designer, before studying for an MA in Creative Writing in 2007. She lives in a beautiful area of Lancashire near the Lake District National Park. She is the author of The Lady’s Slipper and is a member of the Historical Writers Association, the Historical Novel Society, and the Romantic Novelists Association.

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
The Riddle of Writing Blog
Royalty Free Fiction Blog
English History Authors Blog


Book Blast Schedule

Sunday, March 16
Lily Pond Reads
Kincavel Korner
Bibliophilia, Please
Passages to the Past
The True Book Addict

Monday, March 17
Mari Reads
Turning the Pages
A Chick Who Reads
Historical Fiction Connection
History from a Woman's Perspective

Tuesday, March 18
Just One More Chapter
Susan Heim on Writing
Caroline Wilson Writes
Historical Fiction Obsession
Historical Readings & Reviews

Wednesday, March 19
Book Nerd
Broken Teepee
Literary Chanteuse
Historical Tapestry

Thursday, March 20
Book Drunkard
Mina's Bookshelf
Curling Up By the Fire
To Read or Not to Read
Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, March 21
Closed the Cover
CelticLady's Reviews
The Little Reader Library
Books by the Willow Tree


Giveaway

To enter to win a $20 (£15 UK) Amazon Gift Card please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form.

Giveaway will run from March 16-21. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on March 22 and notified via email.
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Heir to Sevenwaters (Book #4 of the Sevenwaters Series) by Juliet Marillier: A Book Review

Heir to Sevenwaters (Book #4 of the Sevenwaters Series)
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: 2008
Pages: 416
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: "A brand new novel in the beloved world of Sevenwaters—a fantasy series that “should appeal to Lord of the Rings fans” (VOYA)."

     The chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast and mysterious forest. Human and Otherworld dwellers have existed there side by side, sharing a wary trust. Until the spring when Lady Aisling of Sevenwaters finds herself expecting another child—a new heir to Sevenwaters.

     Then the family’s joy turns to despair when the baby is taken from his room and something...unnatural is left in his place. To reclaim her newborn brother, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there.

     My Review: This story takes place 4 years after Child of the Prophecy. Because the first three books of the Sevenwaters series was wrapped and neatly tied together in Child of the Prophecy, in the Heir to Sevenwaters, the author forms a second story arc with new villains and a new adventure.The protagonist of this book is Clodagh,  Fainne’s cousin and was first introduced as a 12 year-old girl in Child of the Prophecy. She is a girl that likes to keep herself busy by running the household. However, her perfect routine is turned upside down when her newborn baby Finbar is kidnapped by the Prince of the Otherworld and in its place is a changeling baby that only she herself sees. She is forced to leave her home and journeys to the Otherworld with a warrior with a questionable past to rescue her brother.

     This was a light and fun read. The author finally lets the reader explore the Otherworld, that has always been mentioned but never explored. The Otherworld is the world of the fairies, who have aided the people of Sevenwaters in their need. However, the fairies that had helped Sorcha, Liadan, and Fainne are long gone, and the ruler of the Otherworld is ruthless. In this book, we get to explore a different world. The author depicts an excellent setting of the Otherworld. It seems like a magical world, but soon we realize that it is not as it seems. The Otherworld is losing its magic and influence because the Christian religion is rapidly takings it place as Ireland’s main religion.

      Clodagh is a loveable character that wants things to be in order. With her mother giving birth, and her twin sister newly married to a powerful warlord, she is the de-facto mistress of Sevenwaters. Although she has an unusual power that she uses frequently, which is that she and her twin sister can talk to each other in the minds no matter how far the distance, in her quest it is useless. Clodagh may seem like she is an ordinary girl, she is courageous, selfless, and loving. She is determined to save her brother, whom she loves, and to help restore her family’s happiness.

      Overall, this book is about love, family, and sacrifice. The message of this novel is that love conquers all and to never give up, even if you feel you are at your weakest moment. Readers will be delighted with this fresh fantasy adventure with Clodagh as its new heroine. Heir of Sevenwaters is lighter in tone compared to the first three books in the series. It is also the shortest novel in her series. I recommend this book to lovers of Marion Zimmer Bradley, J.R. R. Tolkien, fantasy, history, and romance. I believe that anyone should pick up one of her novels in the series, because they are good books filled with encouraging messages that pertain to all of us.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Child of the Prophecy (Book #3 of the Sevenwaters Series) by Juliet Marillier: A Book Review

Child of the Prophecy (Book #3 of the Sevenwaters Series)
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: 2003
Pages: 528
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Magic is fading... and the ways of Man are driving the Old Ones to the West, beyond the ken of humankind. The ancient groves are being destroyed, and if nothing is done, Ireland will lose its essential mystic core. 

     The prophecies of long ago have foretold a way to prevent this horror, and it is the Sevenwaters clan that the spirits of Eire look to for salvation. They are a family bound into the lifeblood of the land, and their promise to preserve the magic has been the cause of great joy to them... as well as great sorrow.

     It is up to Fainne, daughter of Niamh, the lost sister of Sevenwaters, to solve the riddles of power. A shy child of a reclusive sorcerer, she finds that her way is hard: She is the granddaughter of the wicked sorceress Oonagh, who has emerged from the shadows and seeks to destroy all that Sevenwaters has striven for. Oonagh will use Fainne most cruelly to accomplish her ends, and stops at nothing to see her will done. 

     Will Fainne be strong enough to battle this evil and save those she has come to love?

     My Review: This is the third book in the Sevenwaters series. This novel out of all the books in this series has the most magic in it, for the protagonist is a sorceress. This book has the protagonist doing magic such as conjuring up fire, transformation, and flight. This novel focuses on Fainne, who is both the granddaughter of Sorcha, the protagonist of Daughter of the Forest, and Lady Oonagh, who is Sorcha’s antagonist. Because Lady Oonagh has threatened to kill Fainne’s father, Fainne must do Lady Oonagh's will to destroy the Sevenwaters family to save her father. Along the way, Fainne discovers the meaning of family love, and instead is horrified to do Lady Oonagh's bidding. Fainne then goes on a quest to defy the Lady Oonagh and to save those she loves.

     Fainne is very complex, and yet she very human. She is an only child, for her mother dies when she is an infant, and the only person she has is her father. Because of this, Fainne is a very lonely person. Her only friend is Darragh, a traveling tinker’s son that visits her once a year, who looks out for her. Because of her loneliness, Oonagh takes advantage of her granddaughter. She tells her that her relatives at Sevenwaters hate her and her parents. She then makes Fainne destroy the Sevenwaters family, especially the one who is the Child of the Prophecy, Liadan’s son, who is to bring peace to the races of Erin and British. Lady Oonagh’s plan takes effect when the Lord of Sevenwaters officially recognizes Fainne as his niece and brings her into his household.

      While she does make some very wrong choices, and commits ruthless actions where she harms her family, we can understand her pain, conscience, guilt, and repentance. At first, Fainne seems like a dark character, the villain of the story, but underneath she has a very good heart. She realizes that the family of Sevenwaters doesn’t hate her, but that they love her and embrace her as family. We, the reader, root for her to change her dark path to follow the path to goodness and light. 

     I have to say that we see Lady Oonagh more than in the first two books. This book shows how Lady Oonagh was deeply affected since she was defeated by Sorcha in Daughter of the Forest. In Child of the Prophecy, Lady Oonagh is still one of the best literary villains I have ever read. When she makes interactions with Fainne, she is so despicably evil that as I was reading them, it sent chills down my spine. Her ruthlessness and wickedness truly has no bounds especially when she has the thrill to torture her own son and granddaughter so they can do her wishes. Lady Oonagh is a villain that makes it so easy to love to hate her, and we eagerly await the moment when Lady Oonagh has her just desserts.

      Overall, this book is about family, friendship, love, repentance, forgiveness, sacrifice, and redemption. The message of the book is to be true to yourself and that there is always hope and redemption. While there are new characters, there are still plenty of returning characters that you love in the first two books. After reading the first two books, the moment you read the third book, the setting of the Sevenwaters feels like you have returned home. The family of Sevenwaters feels like you have adopted them into your family. This is an excellent conclusion to the first two books. There are still three more books in the series, but they have a different story arc. I recommend this book to fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley, and lovers of fantasy, romance, or anyone who wants to read about the true meaning of love and family. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars





Saturday, March 8, 2014

Son of Shadows (Book #2 of the Sevenwaters Series) by Juliet Marillier: A Book Review

Son of Shadows (Book #2 of the Sevenwaters Series)
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: 2002
Pages: 608
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Beautiful Sorcha is the courageous young woman who risked all to save her family from a wicked curse and whose love shattered generations of hate and bridged two cultures. 

     It is from her sacrifice that Sorcha's brothers were brought home to their ancestral fortress Sevenwaters, and her life has known much joy. 

     But not all the brothers were able to fully escape the spell that transformed them into swans, and it is left to Sorcha's daughter Liadan to help fulfill the destiny of the Sevenwaters clan. Beloved child and dutiful daughter, Liadan embarks on a journey that shows her just how hard-won was the peace that she has known all her life.

     Liadan will need all of her courage to help save her family, for there are dark forces and ancient powers conspiring to destroy this family's peace--and their world. And she will need all of her strength to stand up to those she loves best, for in the finding of her own true love, Liadan's course may doom them all . . . or be their salvation.

     My Review: This is the sequel to Daughter of the Forest that focuses on the second generation of the Sevenwaters family. The story centers on Sorcha's daughter, Liadan. Liadan is a shy girl who just wants to concentrate on being a healer. Certain events take Liadan on an unexpected turn when she gets abducted by a group of mercenary warriors. Soon, Liadan falls in love with the leader of these warriors that has a dark past. Can Liadan help bring this leader to a path of light and goodness, or must he continue on the path of darkness and death?

     This was a good follow up to Daughter of the Forest. The story takes place sixteen years after the events of the first book. It ties up all the loose ends, including what happens to the brothers, that were not answered in Daughter of The Forest. It was great seeing the characters that I loved again from the first book and being introduced to new loveable characters. Reading the book felt like a family reunion.

     Liadan is a strong heroine. She has her mother’s gift of healing. However, she soon finds out that she not only has the gift of healing physically, but also mentally. The love story Liadan has is beautiful and heart-wrenching. Her love interest, a mercenary, is a great match to Liadan, for he is emotionally-damaged, and it is Liadan’s quest to heal him from the shadows that continually haunts him.

     Overall, this book's message was be true to yourself. It is also about friendship, love, family, and loyalty. There is a love triangle, and a lot of mini stories of Irish folktales. There are new villains and heroes in the story. Liadan has to make hard choices, and also has to make a sacrifice in order to bring about a greater good. Readers will fall in love with the main character and will be able to empathize in her triumphs, her pains, her choices, and her sacrifice. This is a very satisfying sequel to Daughter of the Forest. I recommend this to lovers of historical fantasy, feminism, and romance.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Check out my review of the Sevenwaters series:

Daughter of The Forest

Also check out my reviews of Juliet Marillier's other novels:

Shadowfell (Book #1 of the Shadowfell Series)







Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Blast of The Frost of Springtime by Rachel L. Demeter

The recent release of The Frost of Springtime, by debut author Rachel L. Demeter, transports readers to the war torn streets of nineteenth century Paris. Driven by paradoxical characters, steamy encounters, and a compelling storyline, it's a bittersweet tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love. Described as "poignant," emotionally devastating," and "beautiful," The Frost of Springtime is sure to please historical and romance readers alike. Available now in both eBook and paperback. Currently Amazon Prime members can read the Kindle edition for free!


Genre: Historical/Romance/Historical Fiction
Publication Date: February 14, 2014
Black Lyon Publishing
Formats: Paperback, Kindle eBook
Pages: 288

Book Description:

To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman--a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.


Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that "home" is gone, replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal--and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he's thrust into a world of sensuality and violence--a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.


Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.


This is the author's official book trailer for The Frost in Springtime:




Here is an excerpt of The Frost of Springtime to get a taste of  the author's writing style:


The heat of their bodies mingled as one. With each breath, Aleksender drank in the sweet essence of his beloved ward. His mind swam with unorthodox visions and desires. He inclined his head, lost to the power of her nearness, entranced by everything that was Sofia.

"Alek, my Alek ..."


Each word infused Aleksender with a delicious and undeniable warmth. Intoxicated by roses and wintertime, he found it difficult to speak, difficult to think. Breathless, he swallowed and met the haunting depths of her eyes.


"Please," she dreamily murmured, "I want you to kiss me again..."


YOU CAN ALSO SAMPLE THE PROLOGUE AND THE FIRST TWO CHAPTERS ON GOODREADS. 
The Frost of Springtime

Praise for The Frost of Springtime:
“I am astonished at this being Rachel L. Demeter’s debut work, for in form and style, it is very much a tour de force. A riveting story of love and courage in the aftermath of a brutal war, the author brilliantly juxtaposes the hazing splendor of French nobility and the impassioned elegance of two people in love, despite all the world’s oppositions. The title is, in a sense, a representation of change: the beginning of a new spring with La Belle Époque and the transition into a new era, for the world and our protagonists. The wistful loveliness of the setting paints a picture of a crying France, blending in with the dynamic romance perfectly. Or rather, it does not merely blend in the background as much as glitters like the brightest jewel, shining with a vibrancy that makes one want to relieve the halcyon days of grand old Paris. I was captivated by the setting, the lush writing of Rachel L. Demeter, and the subtle expressiveness of the characters, which all compelled me to research more of the historical background, of the 1871 Paris Commune, through which this story is made more infinitely dearer.” – Buried Under Romance

“We are in awe. The Frost of Springtime is a MUST HAVE! Despite that we loved the true facts, we fell instantly in love with the story. It was dark, emotionally devastating, and sensual. The innocence between the two main characters was beautiful and their love grew so strong throughout the story with such grace. One of us even cried while reading The Frost of Springtime. We loved the cover, we loved the writing style, and we adored the characters. We fell in love, really hard.” – Divas Book Blog


“This novel is intricately detailed and wonderfully written! Opening with a heartbreaking scene, I was immediately drawn to the story of Aleksender and his Sofia. Of course, as the story moved on, other enchanting characters helped to make this poignant book complete. The author has blended historical facts with fiction skillfully, and presented several narratives flawlessly. It’s beautiful! I loved it!” – Romancebookworm’s Reviews


“I absolutely love this book. The Frost of Springtime shows how love and tragedy go hand in hand and that love can actually be more powerful than anything. I have found that most books do not hit this point right on the nail like this one does. It’s a Historical Romance and let me just tell you this is one book I couldn’t put down.” – Magic Within The Pages


“WOW!! The Frost of Springtime is a powerful, epic love story unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The emotional and visual/sensory depth is astounding. I felt Aleksender and Sofia’s connection from beginning to end. Aleksender’s path to healing was at times breathtaking and heartbreaking. This is a hero who loves his woman with every last breath, every fiber of his being… and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her. AMAZING cast of secondary characters as well… a ‘villain’ who actually leaves you morally torn! Beautifully written (loved the vivid imagery and descriptions!), dark, unusual, rich with history, epic scope, and a soul deep love that only comes once in a lifetime… Brava!!!” – Sivonna, an advanced reader


You can purchase the book on Amazon as a Kindle eBook. Amazon Prime members can read the kindle edition for free! You also purchase the paperback from Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Books-A-Million, and Black Lyon Publishing.


About Rachel L. Demeter:


Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader's emotions and examine the redeeming power of love. Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel's passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul. Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

You can also get a free autograph from the author here.










You can find Rachel L. Demeter on these following sites: website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Youtube. You can also sign up for Rachel L. Demeter's newsletter.

This is part of the Book Blast of The Frost in Springtime hosted by the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Here is the virtual tour schedule so you can follow along and meet other great blogs that are hosting this author.

Monday, March 3

HF Book Muse
Read More Romance
A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Romance Reviews by Alice
Good Books and Good Coffee

Tuesday, March 4

Diva's Book Blog
Room With Books
LovLivLife Reviews
Perusing Princesses
The Maiden's Court
Book Lovers Paradise
Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, March 5

The True Book Addict
Curling Up By the Fire
Buried Under Romance
A Blog Hop Place For Books
Svetlana's Reads and Views
History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, March 6

Bibliophilia, Please
One Book at a Time  
Susan Heim on Writing
Just One More Chapter
Romantic Historical Lovers
Blushing Divas Book Reviews
Devilishly Delicious Book Blog

Friday, March 7

I Read Indie
A Bookish Libraria
Historical Tapestry
Literary Chanteuse
CelticLady's Reviews
Magic Within the Pages
Confessions of an Avid Reader

Saturday, March 8

Book Nerd
MIBookshelf
Mina's Bookshelf
Between the Pages
Historical Fiction Obsession
Caffeinated Bookworm Reviews

Sunday, March 9

Rookie Romance
A Dirty Book Affair
Passages to the Past
Caroline Wilson Writes
Book Obsessed Chicks
Love Romance Passion
Peeking Between the Pages


Giveaways:
To enter to win one of the following prizes please on on the link to rafflecopter below:



2 - Kindle Ebooks of THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME (open internationally)
1 - Signed Paperback of THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME (open to US residents only)
1 - $15 Amazon Gift Card (open to US residents only)

Giveaway will run from March 3-9. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on March 10 and notified via email. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.





Monday, March 3, 2014

The Copper Witch (Book One of the Broken Line Series) by Jessica Dall: A Book Review

The Copper Witch
Author: Jessica Dall
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: 5 Prince Publishing and Books, LLC
Release Date: March 13th, 2014
Pages: 374
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Adela Tilden has always been more ambitious than her station in life might allow. A minor nobleman’s daughter on a failing barony, Adela’s prospects seem dire outside of marrying well-off. When Adela catches the eye of the crown prince, Edward, however, well-off doesn’t seem to be a problem. Thrown into a world of politics and intrigue, Adela might have found all the excitement she ever wanted—if she can manage to leave her past behind.

     My Review: Jessica Dall’s debut novel tells the story of the impoverished daughter of a baron who manages to catch the crown prince’s eye. She then rises from her humble beginnings to become the most powerful woman in the country. This is a tale of ambition, romance, and betrayal that will be sure to delight fans of soap operas. But overall, there is an intelligent woman, who will do anything to achieve her goals.

     Adela at first seems to be a carefree, independent, bold woman, who loves to speak her mind. However, as the novel progresses, she soon shows her true colors. She is vain. She cares a lot about her own beauty, and she judges and makes fun of others who are not as beautiful as her. She is also cold, calculating, power-hungry and ruthless. She does not care about the harm she causes in others, and leaves them on the roadside if they are of no use to her, for she is focused on her own goal. Adela is the person spinning the web and all the other characters become entangled in the web she spins. 

     I found that it is because of these reasons that I did not like Adela, the protagonist. Adela is a hard woman to like, and she is hard to trust. The story also focuses on Antony, who is Adela’s former art tutor and an admirer of Adela. Sometimes, reading from his perspective feels like a very nice reprieve because it takes the focus off of Adela for a little bit.

     Overall, it is a very well-written story. The setting is beautifully well--developed that helps us understand the plot and Adela’s motives. Although the main character is not likeable, the author makes up for it by having a fast-paced and interesting plot. She keeps the reader eager to read what happens next. Adela reminds me of other literary ambitious gold diggers like Holly Golightly, Scarlett O’Hara, and Becky Sharp. This book will appeal to readers who love historical fiction, royal romances, and a female gold digger as the protagonist. The book is also recommended for fans of Vanity Fair, Gone With The Wind, and Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars