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Blog Tour: Alina: A Song For The Telling by Malve von Hassel: A Book Review

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Alina: A Song For the Telling by Malve von HassellAugust 27, 2020 BHC Press Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook Genre: Young Adult/Historical/Medieval

Synopsis: You should be grateful, my girl. You have no dowry, and I am doing everything I can to get you settled. You are hardly any man's dream."

    Alina's brother, Milos, pulled his face into a perfect copy of Aunt Marci's sour expression, primly pursing his mouth. He had got her querulous tone just right.

    I pinched my lips together, trying not to laugh. But it was true; Aunt Marci had already introduced me to several suitors. So far I had managed to decline their suits politely.

    Maybe Alina's aunt was right. How could she possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz, as impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage? 

     But fourteen-year-old Alina refuses to accept the oppressing life her strict aunt wants to impose upon her. When the perfect opportunity comes along for her to escape, s…

Blog Tour: Guest Post by Shelley Stratton: Trolley Cars, the Metro, and Bringing Historical Settings to Life

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Shelly Stratton is the author of She Wears the Mask.  This interesting guest post discusses how she incorporates realistic details and facts about streetcars from the early 20th century, which were common long before her birth. Mrs. Stratton describes her love of these older modes of public transportation as well as how she felt a joy and kinship with those who patronized these iconic symbols of urban transportation throughout the industrial age. Thank you, Mrs. Stratton!


Trolley Cars, the Metro, and Bringing Historical Settings to Life
By Shelly Stratton
     Decades ago, whenever I visited my great grandmother and great aunt in NW Washington, D.C., they would always ask me, “Did you drive in or take the trolley car here?” As I removed my coat or stowed away my umbrella, I would politely correct them with “I took the metro.”  But after correcting them so many times and both of them persistently referring to the metropolitan transit train system as the “trolley car,” I gave up.

     I rea…

Blog Tour: A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne Freeman

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A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne FreemanPublication Date: July 28, 2020 Kensington Books Genre: Historical Mystery Series: A Countess of Harleigh Mystery, Book 3

Synopsis: In Dianne Freeman’s charming Victorian-era mystery series, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, finds her sister’s wedding threatened by a vow of vengeance.

     London is known for its bustle and intrigues, but the sedate English countryside can host—or hide—any number of secrets. Frances, the widowed Countess of Harleigh, needs a venue for her sister Lily’s imminent wedding, away from prying eyes. Risings, George Hazleton’s family estate in Hampshire, is a perfect choice, and soon Frances, her beloved George, and other guests have gathered to enjoy the usual country pursuits—shooting, horse riding, and romantic interludes in secluded gardens.

     But the bucolic setting harbors a menace, and it’s not simply the arrival of Frances’s socially ambitious mother. Above and below stairs, …

Blog Tour: Some Can See by J. R. Erickson

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Author: J.R. EricksonNarrator: Allyson VollerLength: 7 hours and 26 minutesSeries: Northern Michigan Asylum Series, Book 1Publisher: J.R. EricksonReleased: May 20, 2020Genre: Paranormal

The dead have stories to tell. Are you listening?
 On a sunny August morning, in 1935, 13-year-old Sophia Gray finds her friend Rosemary wandering in the woods. Rosemary’s yellow dress is tattered and stained, she walks with a strange lurch, and her eyes are vacant and glassy. She beckons to Sophia, desperate to show her something, and Sophia follows. In an abandoned cabin, beneath a tattered blanket, Sophia discovers Rosemary’s body. It was not Rosemary who led her there, but Rosemary’s ghost.
Step into the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane
Twenty years after Sophia discovers Rosemary’s body, she finds herself trapped in the sprawling, and eerily beautiful, Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane, in the hands of a malevolent doctor who preys on patients who exhibit paranormal abilities.
Sometimes t…

Blog Tour: Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles by Will Bashor

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Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles[history/biographical nonfiction] Release date:
June 15, 2020 Postponed due to Covid-19: July 30, 2020 at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Hardcover and ebook, 320 pages
Author’s page | Goodreads SYNOPSISSynopsis: This riveting book explores the little-known intimate life of Marie Antoinette and her milieu in a world filled with intrigue, infidelity, adultery, and sexually transmitted diseases. Will Bashor reveals the intrigue and debauchery of the Bourbon kings from Louis XIII to Louis XV, which were closely intertwined with the expansion of Versailles from a simple hunting lodge to a luxurious and intricately ordered palace. It soon became a retreat for scandalous conspiracies and rendezvous—all hidden from the public eye. 

     When Marie Antoinette arrived, she was quickly drawn into a true viper’s nest, encouraged by her imprudent entourage. Bashor shows that her often thoughtless, fantasy-driven, and no…

Blog Tour: Out of Night by Kellie Butler

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Out of Night by Kellie ButlerPublication Date: June 24, 2020 Raleigh Hills Press Paperback & eBook; 328 pages Series: The Laurelhurst Chronicles, Book 4 Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: How long can you run from yourself? 

1968. In the continuing bestselling Laurelhurst Chronicles family saga series comes a gripping, moving tale of separation, self-discovery, new beginnings, and reconciliation. 

Kate. A mainstay on Swinging London’s party circuit for years, Kate is plunged into a sordid world when Lord Elliott Cutterworth kicks her out of her home and takes custody of their daughter, Violet after she relapses on her journey to sobriety. Separated from her family, she’s determined to get clean and regain custody of her daughter. On the run from Elliott and her old life, she finds assistance in her reluctant brother-in-law, Edward Cavert, who is running away from some secrets of his own. Can she reconcile her past and face down Elliott? 

      Lydie. When her youngest son, Cole, is inst…

Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia by Diana Wallis Taylor: A Book Review

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Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Whitaker House
Release Date: 2019
Pages: 304
Source: My personal collection
Synopsis: One of the great heroines of the Old Testament, Hadassah was a beautiful, graceful young woman who put her faith in God and her guardian, her cousin Mordecai.

    She dreams of marrying Shamir, a tall, handsome, studious young man who is the rabbi’s son. Her heart beats faster when she hears the sound of his deep voice as he reads the Torah. And she hopes that he will visit Mordecai soon to present a betrothal request.

     Then, an upheaval in King Xerxes’s palace changes everything. Queen Vashti has been banished and an edict goes out for all qualified young virgins throughout the empire to be taken to the palace as he searches for a new queen.

     Fear strikes in the hearts of many, including Mordecai, as he realizes Hadassah will be taken. To hide her identity as a Jew, he tells h…

Helen Had a Sister by Penelope Haines: A Book Review

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Helen Had a Sister A Tale of Ancient Greece
Author: Penelope Haines
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: 2020
Pages: 259
Source: My personal collection
Synopsis: Helen of Troy's story is well known. Hers was the "face that launched a thousand ships", started a ten-year war and brought about Troy's destruction. But Helen had a sister.In a world where women were submissive, she ruled.In a world where women were loyal, she was unfaithful.In a world where honour and blood feuds abound, she exacted the ultimate revenge.Born into the Royal House of Sparta, her courageous spirit, passionate love and lust for life make her a unique heroine. Her character and her choices have fascinated people for centuries. Her story is one of betrayal, murder, adultery and revenge, set in ancient Greece at the time of the Trojan war.She is Clytemnestra, High Queen of Mycenae. 

     My Review: For centuries, Clytemnestra has had a horrible reputation in Greek mythology. Greek sources ha…

Revenge of the Barbary Ghost (Lady Anne Addison Mysteries #2) by Victoria Hamilton: A Book Review

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Revenge of the Barbary Ghost (Lady Anne Addison Mysteries #2)
Author: Victoria Hamilton
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Suspense, Romance
Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing
Release Date: 2019
Pages: 243
Source: Netgalley/Publisherin exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Fleeing the attentions of the handsome and commanding Marquess of Darkefell, Lady Anne Addison arrives on the doorstep of a dear friend seeking nothing but rest and relaxation, but soon finds herself putting her investigative talents to work after a sighting of the Barbary Ghost. Always a skeptic of the supernatural, Lady Anne immediately suspects the apparition is nothing more than a diversionary tactic to conceal smugglers on the beach below her friend’s house.

     When the beguiling marquess follows her to Cornwall, Anne is distracted from her ghost hunt by his alluring kisses, until murder gets her attention. Forced once again to work with the marquess to uncover the truth behind a mystery, she soon discove…

Cleopatra Victorious (Cleopatra Reimagined Book #2) by Helen R. Davis: A Book Review

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Cleopatra Victorious (Cleopatra Reimagined Book #2)
Author: Helen R. Davis
Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction
Publisher: Savant Books and Publishings
Release Date: April 30, 2020
Pages: 364
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis:CLEOPATRA VICTORIOUS is the alternative history sequel to Helen R. Davis' award-winning novel, CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED (Savant 2015). Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt, has triumphed at the Battle of Actium, which in the annals of history cost her and her lover, Mark Antony, their lives. She has won the battle, but will she be able to win the war and create a new place for her, her dynasty and Egypt in the annals of history?  

     My Review: The Battle of Actium was one of the most pivotal events in Western history. The battle marked the beginning of imperial Rome. This battle was so important to Western civilization that many began to wonder what would have happened had Cleaopatra and Antony won the Battle of Acti…

Berenice II and the Golden Age of Ptolemaic Egypt by Dee L. Clayman: A Book Review

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Berenice II and the Golden Age of Ptolemaic Egypt (Women in Antiquity)
Author: Dee L. Clayman
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Biography
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 288
Source: My Personal Collection
Synopsis: Berenice II (c. 264-221 BCE), daughter of King Magas of Cyrene and wife of Ptolemy III Euergetes, came to embody all the key religious, political, and artistic ideals of Ptolemaic Alexandria. Though she arrived there nearly friendless, with the taint of murder around her, she became one of the most accomplished and powerful of the Macedonian queens descended from the successors of Alexander the Great. She was at the center of a group of important poets and intellectuals associated with the Museum and Library, not the least of which was Callimachus, the most important poet of the age. These men wrote poems not just for her, but about her, and their eloquent voices projected her charisma widely across the Greek-speaking world. Though the range of Berenice'…