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Showing posts from February, 2016

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig: A Book Review

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The Girl from Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date:  February 16, 2016
Pages: 464
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis: Heidi Heilig's debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City, to nineteenth-century Hawaii, to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father's ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility. It's witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, multicultural cast, and enchanting romance will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

     Nix's life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and …

Endure (Book #3 of Defy Trilogy) by Sara B. Larson: A Book Review

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Endure (Book #3 of Defy Trilogy)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: 2015
Pages: 337
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: The remarkable third novel in Sara B. Larson's bestselling Defy series!

     At last, Alexa and King Damian are engaged to be married. But their lives are far from safe. The kingdom of Antion is under siege, and Rylan is a prisoner of the enemy. Even worse, Alexa remains at the mercy of the evil Dansiian Rafe, who controls her mind and can force Alexa to kill or harm Damian at any moment. Despite this, Alexa is determined to rescue Rylan, which soon leads her far from Damian and deep into enemy territory.

     When she arrives, what awaits her is deadlier than anything she could have ever imagined: an army of black sorcerers, and a horrifying plot to destroy the world as Alexa knows it. Will she be able to gather the strength to free herself, protect the love of her life, and save the land? Will there ever be true peace?

   …

Blog Tour: Daughter of Destiny (Guinevere's Tale, Book One) by Nicole Evelina

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Daughter of Destiny (Guinevere's Tale, Book One) By Nicole EvelinaPublication Date: January 1, 2016 Lawson Gartner Publishing eBook & Paperback; 326 Pages Genre: Historical Fantasy



Synopsis: Before queenship and Camelot, Guinevere was a priestess of Avalon. She loved another before Arthur, a warrior who would one day betray her.

     In the war-torn world of late fifth century Britain, young Guinevere faces a choice: stay with her family to defend her home at Northgallis from the Irish, or go to Avalon to seek help for the horrific visions that haunt her. The Sight calls her to Avalon, where she meets Morgan, a woman of questionable parentage who is destined to become her rival. As Guinevere matures to womanhood, she gains the powers of a priestess, and falls in love with a man who will be both her deepest love and her greatest mistake.

     Just when Guinevere is able to envision a future in Avalon, tragedy forces her back home, into a world she barely recognizes, one in w…

Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe by Dawn Tripp: A Book Review

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Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe
Author: Dawn Tripp
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: February, 9 2016
Pages: 337
Source:Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis: In a dazzling work of historical fiction in the vein of Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank, Dawn Tripp brings to life Georgia O’Keeffe, her love affair with photographer Alfred Stieglitz, and her quest to become an independent artist.

This is not a love story. If it were, we would have the same story. But he has his, and I have mine. 

     In 1916, Georgia O’Keeffe is a young, unknown art teacher when she travels to New York to meet Stieglitz, the famed photographer and art dealer, who has discovered O’Keeffe’s work and exhibits it in his gallery. Their connection is instantaneous. O’Keeffe is quickly drawn into Stieglitz’s sophisticated world, becoming his mistress, protégé, and muse, as their attraction deepens into an intense and tempestuous relationship and his photographs of her, bo…

Empress Orchid by Anchee Min: A Book Review

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Empress Orchid
Author: Anchee Min
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Release Date: 2004
Pages: 364
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: The setting is China's Forbidden City in the last days of its imperial glory, a vast complex of palaces and gardens run by thousands of eunuchs and encircled by a wall in the center of Peking. In this highly ordered place -- tradition-bound, ruled by strict etiquette, rife with political and erotic tension -- the Emperor, "the Son of Heaven," performs two duties: he must rule the court and conceive an heir. To achieve the latter, tradition provides a stupendous hierarchy of hundreds of wives and concubines. It is as a minor concubine that the beautiful Tzu Hsi, known as Orchid as a girl, enters the Forbidden City at the age of seventeen. 

     It is not a good time to enter the city. The Ch'ing Dynasty in 1852 has lost its vitality, and the court has become an insular, xenophobic place. A few short decades earlier…

Blog Tour: Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette by L. Davis Munro: A Book Review

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Emmy Nation Undercover Suffragette by L. Davis Munro
Publication Date: 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: This book was given to me by iReads Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Being an independent woman in 1913 London is certainly empowering, but Emmy Nation is tired of the inescapable damp seeping through her worn shoes and the hopeless grumblings of her stomach.

     When she receives an offer from Scotland Yard to boost her typist income by spying on the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), Emmy jumps at the chance. But as she grows closer to the WSPU women the lines begin to blur, and when a painful part of her past resurfaces Emmy begins to question her choices.

​     How far are you willing to go to secure your equality?

My Review: Emmy Nation works as a typewriter in the Scotland Yard. When the suffrage  movement is becoming very militant, the Scotland Yard wants Emmy to go undercover as a Suffragette to spy on their movem…

Dauntless (Valiant Hearts #1) by Dina L. Sleiman: A Book Review

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Dauntless (Valiant Hearts #1)
Author: Dina L. Sleiman
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Christian
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 470
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: Where Legend and History Collide, 

     One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

     Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

     Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he m…

Blog Tour: The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy: A Book Review

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The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy PurdyPublication Date: January 26, 2016 
Kensington Books eBook & Print; 384 Pages 
Genre: Historical Fiction 


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

Synopsis: In her enthralling, richly imagined new novel, Brandy Purdy, author of The Ripper’s Wife, creates a compelling portrait of the real, complex woman behind an unthinkable crime.

     Lizzie Borden should be one of the most fortunate young women in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her wealthy father could easily afford to provide his daughters with fashionable clothes, travel, and a rich, cultured life. Instead, haunted by the ghost of childhood poverty, he forces Lizzie and her sister, Emma, to live frugally, denying them the simplest modern conveniences. Suitors and socializing are discouraged, as her father views all gentleman callers as fortune hunters.

     Lonely and deeply unhappy, Lizzie stifles her frustration, dreaming …

The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia by C.W. Gortner: A Book Review

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The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia
Author: C.W Gortner
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Pages: 401
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: For fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, bestselling author C. W. Gortner effortlessly weaves history and drama in this captivating novel about one of the world’s most notorious families. Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized fifteenth-century Renaissance Italy, and Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival?

     With the ascension of the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, a new era has dawned in Rome. Benefitting from their father’s elevation are the new pope’s illegitimate childre…

Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor: A Book Review

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Into The Dim
Author: Janet B. Taylor
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Pages: 432
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. And she's alive, though currently trapped in the twelfth century, during the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Passing through the Dim, Hope enters a brutal medieval world of political intrigue, danger, and violence. A place where any serious interference could alter the very course of history. And when she meets a boy whose face is impossibly familiar, she must decide between her mission and her heart—both of which coul…

Mrs. Houdini by Victoria Kelly: A Book Review

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Mrs. Houdini
Author: Victoria Kelly
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A captivating debut novel, meticulously researched and beautifully imagined, about the passionate marriage of Harry and Bess Houdini—a love story that defied death itself.

     Before escape artist Harry Houdini died, he vowed he would find a way to speak to his beloved wife Bess from beyond the grave using a coded message known only to the two of them. When a widowed Bess begins seeing this code in seemingly impossible places, it becomes clear that Harry has an urgent message to convey. Unlocking the puzzle will set Bess on a course back through the pair’s extraordinary romance, which swept the illusionist and his bride from the beaches of Coney Island, to the palaces of Budapest, to the back lots of Hollywood. When the mystery finally leads Bess to the doorstep of a mysterious young photographer, s…

Platinum Doll by Anne Girard: A Book Review

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Platinum Doll
Author: Anne Girard
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Set against the dazzling backdrop of Golden Age Hollywood, novelist Anne Girard tells the enchanting story of Jean Harlow, one of the most iconic stars in the history of film. 

It's the Roaring Twenties and seventeen-year-old Harlean Carpenter McGrew has run off to Beverly Hills. She's chasing a dream—to escape her small, Midwestern life and see her name in lights. 

     In California, Harlean has everything a girl could want—a rich husband, glamorous parties, socialite friends—except an outlet for her talent. But everything changes when a dare pushes her to embrace her true ambition—to be an actress on the silver screen. With her timeless beauty and striking shade of platinum-blond hair, Harlean becomes Jean Harlow. And as she's thrust into the limelight, Jean learns that this new world of…

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner: A Book Review

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Stars Over Sunset Boulevard
Author: Susan Meissner
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Pages: 386
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: In this new novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life, two women working in Hollywood during its Golden Age discover the joy and heartbreak of true friendship.

     Los Angeles, Present Day. When an iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind  ends up in Christine McAllister’s vintage clothing boutique by mistake, her efforts to return it to its owner take her on a journey more enchanting than any classic movie… 

     Los Angeles, 1938.  Violet Mayfield sets out to reinvent herself in Hollywood after her  dream of becoming a wife and mother falls apart, and lands a job on the film-set of Gone With the Wind. There, she meets enigmatic Audrey Duvall, a once-rising film star who is now a fellow secretary. Audrey’s zest for life and their adventures together am…