Monday, July 24, 2017

G860 Book Review of A Twisted Vengenance by Candace Robb


Name of Book: A Twisted Vengeance

Author: Candace Robb

ISBN: 978-1-68177-452-7

Publisher: Pegasus Crime

Part of a Series: Kate Clifford Mysteries

Type of book: 1399, England, daily life, mother/daughter relationship, being a nun, heresy, confessor, secrets, war, knighthood, running a business, independent woman

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

1399. York is preparing for civil war, teeming with knights and their armed retainers summoned for the city’s defense. Henry of Lancaster is rumored to have landed on the northeast coast of England, not so far from York, intent on reclaiming his inheritance—an inheritance which his cousin, King Richard, has declared forfeit.


With the city unsettled and rife with rumors, Eleanor Clifford’s abrupt return to York upon the mysterious death of her husband in Strasbourg is met with suspicion in the city. Her daughter Kate is determined to keep her distance, but it will not be easy—Eleanor has settled next door with the intention of establishing a house of beguines, or poor sisters. When one of the beguines is set upon in the night by an intruder, Kate knows that for the sake of her own reputation and the safety of her young wards she must investigate.


From the first, Eleanor is clearly frightened yet maintains a stubborn silence. The brutal murder of one of Eleanor’s servants leads Kate to suspect that her mother’s troubles have followed her from Strasbourg. Is she secretly involved in the political upheaval? When one of her wards is frightened by a too-curious stranger, Kate is desperate to draw her mother out of her silence before tragedy strikes her own household.

Characters:

Main characters include Kate Clifford, a young widow who is raising three "bastard" children (two by her husband and one by her brother) as well as Kate Clifford's mother, Kate's uncle who played a big role in the first book, the knight and Kate's helpers. Kate is best described as resourceful, highly independent, loyal to her family and someone who is not a stereotype of a wilting flower. Kate's mother is a complex character although she seems to be dependent a lot on men and often the best of her attentions go awry. She becomes a bedouin and tries to start a house where Kate lives. Kate's helpers include a former assassin who is a talented chef and is loyal to Kate and the three children. He often helps Kate with mysteries and gives her details when it comes to either thievery or assassinations. Another of Kate's helpers is a young woman, a former thief who is good at gathering information and protecting Kate. The knight and Kate seem to share chemistry of sorts as well as respect but they are wary of one another as well. The knight often wants to handle things on his own without Kate and often ends up not telling Kate vital information.

Theme:

Don't trust appearances

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from Kate's point of view. I don't think I'd classify this as a cozy mystery, but it is a mystery anyways and focuses on a lot of threads from politics to being a woman in 1399 and to living an ordinary life. The characters are well rounded and memorable and the best thing about the story is the relationship between Kate and her mother because the reader is never quite sure of the mother's motives or reasons as to why she has made the decisions she did. I also enjoyed seeing the village life through Kate's eyes, from when she is walking her hounds to when she is with the girls and teaching them archery to when she has to care for and manage the estate. The story is detailed with historical detail, but its not over-bogged with it.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)



AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
About the Author

Candace Robb did her graduate work in medieval literature and history, and has continued to study the period while working first as an editor of scientific publications and now for some years as a freelance writer. Candace has published 13 crime novels set in 14th century England, Wales, and Scotland. The Owen Archer series is based in York and currently extends over 10 novels beginning with THE APOTHECARY ROSE; the most recent is A VIGIL OF SPIES. The Margaret Kerr trilogy explores the early days of Scotland’s struggle again England’s King Edward I, and includes A TRUST BETRAYED, THE FIRE IN THE FLINT, and A CRUEL COURTSHIP.

Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published historical novels about two fascinating women she encountered while researching the Owen Archer mysteries, Alice Perrers (THE KING’S MISTRESS) and Joan of Kent (A TRIPLE KNOT).

Candace was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she and her husband love for its combination of natural beauty and culture. Candace enjoys walking, hiking, and gardening, and practices yoga and vipassana meditation. She travels frequently to Great Britain.

For more information, please visit Candace Robb’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Opinion:

I really enjoyed reading this book a lot because its a straightforward mystery and the reader understands what's going on in the story. I do think it can be read as more of a stand-alone novel because although I read the first book, I didn't fully understand what was going on in the first book. This one is more compelling and also very detailed when it came to the year of 1399 and what was going on. I also enjoyed the relationship between Kate and her mother as well as Kate and her possible romantic interests. I do look forward to possible more books with Kate Clifford in them and hope I can get a chance to review them.

This is for HFVBT


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 3
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 4
Review at Laura’s Interests (The Service of the Dead)
Review & Guest Post at Books of All Kinds (The Service of the Dead & A Twisted Vengeance)

Wednesday, July 5
Review at Broken Teepee (A Twisted Vengeance)

Thursday, July 6
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (The Service of the Dead)
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Friday, July 7
Review at Brooke Blogs (The Service of the Dead)
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Sunday, July 9
Feature at Svetlana’s Reads and Views (The Service of the Dead)

Monday, July 10
Review at Queen of All She Reads (The Service of the Dead)
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews (The Service of the Dead)

Tuesday, July 11
Review at Rainy Day Reviews (The Service of the Dead)

Wednesday, July 12
Review at 100 Pages a Day (The Service of the Dead)
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective (The Service of the Dead)

Thursday, July 13
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Friday, July 14
Review at The True Book Addict (The Service of the Dead)
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective (A Twisted Vengeance)

Monday, July 17
Review at Laura’s Interests (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews (The Service of the Dead)

Tuesday, July 18
Review at Brooke Blogs (A Twisted Vengeance)
Guest Post at Cafinated Reads

Wednesday, July 19
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at The True Book Addict (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Queen of All She Reads (A Twisted Vengeance)

Thursday, July 20
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Just One More Chapter (The Service of the Dead)

Friday, July 21
Review at Rainy Day Reviews (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views (A Twisted Vengeance)
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G887 A Paris All YOur Own; Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light

Title of the book: A Paris All YOur Own; Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light

Author: Eleanor Brown, J. Courtney Sullivan, Michelle Gable, Ellen Sussman, Susan Vreeland, Megan Crane, Paula McLain, Jennifer L. Scott, Cara Black, M.J Rose, Jennifer Coburn, Cathy Kelly, Rachel Hore, Julie Powell, Lauren Willig, Therese Ann Fowler, Maggie Shipstead, Meg Waite Clayton

Publisher: G.P Putnam's Sons

Publishing Date: 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-57447-4

Summary:

A collection of all-new Paris-themed essays written by some of the biggest names in women's fiction, including Paula McLain, Therese Anne Fowler, Maggie Shipstead, and Lauren Willig, edited by Eleanor Brown, the New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters and The Light of Paris.

"My time in Paris," says New York Times-bestselling author Paula McLain (The Paris Wife), "was like no one else's ever." For each of the eighteen bestselling authors in this warm, inspiring, and charming collection of personal essays on the City of Light, nothing could be more true.
While all of the women writers featured here have written books connected to Paris, their personal stories of the city are wildly different. Meg Waite Clayton (The Race for Paris) and M. J. Rose (The Book of Lost Fragrances) share the romantic secrets that have made Paris the destination for lovers for hundreds of years. Susan Vreeland (The Girl in Hyacinth Blue) and J. Courtney Sullivan (The Engagements) peek behind the stereotype of snobbish Parisians to show us the genuine kindness of real people.

From book club favorites Paula McLain, Therese Anne Fowler (Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald), and anthology editor Eleanor Brown (The Light of Paris) to mystery writer Cara Black (Murder in the Marais), historical author Lauren Willig (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation), and memoirist Julie Powell (Julie and Julia), these Parisian memoirs range from laugh-out-loud funny to wistfully romantic to thoughtfully somber and reflective.

Perfect for armchair travelers and veterans of Parisian pilgrimages alike, readers will delight in these brand-new tales from their most beloved authors.

Author Info:

Eighteen writers contributed to the book, so it will take way too long to write down their mini biographies. (Will do that in the anthology review section) Here are the authors though:

Eleanor Brown (Introduction and Failing at Paris)
J. Courtney Sullivan (Thirteen Ways of Looking at a French Woman)
Michelle Gable (Too Much Paris)
Ellen Sussman (Paris is Your Mistress)
Susan Vreeland (A Myth, a Museum, and a Man)
Megan Crane (French for "Intrepid")
Paula McLain (Paris, Lost and Found)
Jennifer L. Scott (The Passion of Routine)
Cara Black (Investigating Paris)
M.J Rose (My Paris Dreams)
Jennifer Coburn (We'll Never Have Paris)
Cathy Kelly (Reading Paris)
Rachel Hore(Finding Paris's Hidden Past)
Julie Powell (Secret Eatings)
Lauren Willig (Until We Meet Again)
Therese Ann Fowler (A Good Idea?)
Maggie Shipstead (Paris Alone)
Meg Waite Clayton (Thirty-four THings you should know about Paris)

Personal Opinion:

Truthfully, I have never been to Paris, although yes, I do want to go and experience it one day, I hope. The book and its stories are really reminiscent of a kaleidoscope; one never sees the same Paris through these eighteen memorable and unique stories with experiences that range from good to bad. What is obvious is an impact that Paris has had on the writers and that the reader will experience a Paris as a tourist as well as someone who has been there for a long time (depends on the story.) In other words, no story or experience is the same. Highly recommended for those who want to travel to Paris or who have been there before.

This was given to me for an honest opinion

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

G834 Book Review of the woman behind the Waterfall by Leonora Meriel

Name of Book: The Woman Behind the Waterfall

Author: Leonora Meriel

ISBN: 978-1-911079-34-7

Publisher: Granite Cloud

Type of book:Ukraine, motherhood, mother/daughter relationship, depression, alcoholism, refusing help, friendship, death, alternative choices, love, shapeshifter, fantasy, magical realism, protection, struggles

Year it was published: 2011, 2016

Summary:

Heartbreak and transformation in the beauty of a Ukrainian village

For seven-year old Angela, happiness is exploring the lush countryside around her home in western Ukraine. Her wild imagination takes her into birds and flowers, and into the waters of the river.

All that changes when, one morning, she sees her mother crying. As she tries to find out why, she is drawn on an extraordinary journey into the secrets of her family, and her mother's fateful choices.

Can Angela lead her mother back to happiness before her innocence is destroyed by the shadows of a dark past?

Beautiful, poetic and richly sensory, this is a tale that will haunt and lift its readers.

"A strange and beautiful novel" - Esther Freud, author of Mr Mac and Me, Hideous Kinky, Peeless Flats

"Readers looking for a classic tale of love and loss will be rewarded with an intoxicating world" - Kirkus Reviews

Characters:

One of the main characters is a little seven year old girl, Angela, who can become part of the earth or a bird or someone else entirely. She can also communicate with her dead grandmother and there is something beautiful and special about her. Angela is dark haired and shares special connection with her family. She knows next to nothing about her father. Lyuda is beautiful, blonde haired single mother who has went through heartbreak and abandonment by Angela's birth father. She is an alcoholic and depressed and turns away help when she needs it the most. Sveta (character in the book, not me) is Lyuda's supportive friend who is very supportive of her friend and tries to help her get past depression and alcoholism. There are few other characters like Vova who sounds way too familiar to me for comfort as well as Zoroyana, Lyuda's mother and Angela's grandmother and Grisha, Zoryana's husband who did the best he could for his family.

Theme:

The most important choice to make in life is to live

Plot:

The story is both in third and first person narratives. Angela, the young seven year old daughter is using first person narrative while her mother, Lyuda as well as some other characters are using third person narrative. More than half of the story, up until the reader learns how Lyuda became a single mother, was confusing to me and is filled a lot with imagery, with people and so forth. I really liked Lyuda's story and could really relate to her character and how she felt about different things. Most of the time when the character is determined to be happy all of a sudden everything is roses and butterflies, but not in this story and I liked that Lyuda still struggled with bad things and with consequences of her actions in a realistic manner.

Author Information:
(From the book)

Leonora Meriel grew up in London and studied literature at the University of Edinburgh and Queen's University, Ontario. After a career in business in New York and Kyiv, she turned to writing full-time and has completed two novels: The Woman Behind the Waterfall and The Unity Game. SHe lives in Barcelona nad London and has two children. Read more about Leonora Meriel and her work at www.leonorameriel.com

Opinion:

I'll admit that I read the book awhile ago, but for some odd reason I kept procrastinating when it came to reviewing it. Not because a negative rating, but simply because I was likely waiting for something or a sign to tell me to go ahead and review it. When I reviewed Lilli de Jong, I realized that this is the moment I waited for. By an odd coincidence, this story also deals with being a single mother but unlike Lilli de Jong, this story has a lot more darker complex emotions of being a mother. The story is both a fantasy and realism, something extremely similar to Theresa of the New World by Sharman Apt Russell. The first half of the story, or perhaps more, I had trouble understanding what was going on, except that I wanted to keep on reading. When the story moves on to Angela's mother, Lyuda's mother and her tale of her failed first love, then the story began to make more sense, especially when Angela and the grandmother, Zoryana, attempt to help the struggling Lyuda with issues of alcoholism and depression. I admire that the book brought up the taboo issues and tried to gracefully tackle them in a land that looks down upon drugs, psychologists and psychiatrists. I really do think that this book will need to be re-read in order to fully understand what is going on.

This was given to me for an honest review

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

G884 Book Review of Lili de jong by Janet Benton

Name of Book: Lilli de Jong

Author: Janet Benton

ISBN: 978-0-385-54145-9

Publisher: Nan. A Talese

Type of book: motherhood, mother/daughter bond, babies, children, 1883, house for single mothers, work, money, finances, scrupulous people, cheating, coping, self, wet-nursing, friendship, betrayal

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

A young woman finds the most powerful love of her life when she gives birth at an institution for unwed mothers in 1883 Philadelphia. She is told she must give up her daughter to avoid a life of poverty and shame. But she chooses to keep her.

Pregnant, abandoned by her lover, and banished from her Quaker home and teaching position, Lilli de Jong enters a charity for wronged women to deliver her child. She is stunned at how much her infant needs her and at how quickly their bond overpowers her heart. Mothers in her position have no sensible alternative to giving up their children, but Lilli can't bear such an outcome. Determined to chart a path toward an independent life, Lilli braves moral condemnation and financial ruin in a quest to keep herself and her baby alive.

Confiding their story to her diary as it unfolds, Lilli takes readers from an impoverished charity to a wealthy family's home to the perilous streets of a burgeoning American city. Lilli de Jong is at once a historical saga, an intimate romance, and a lasting testament to the work of mothers. "So little is permissible for a woman," writes Lilli, yet on her back every human climbs to adulthood."

Characters:

Main character includes Lilli de Jong, a "fallen" Friend who becomes a single mother and refuses to give up her daughter. Lilli is amazing, courageous, resourceful, intelligent and high principled. She is also extremely dedicated to her daughter and will do whatever she can for her. There are many other secondary characters like the Burnham family who decide to hire Lilli as a wet-nurse for their son as well as some of Lilli's family and even her intended and some people she meets along the way. Lilli's daughter sounds quite a bit like my son in that he was passionate about being fed, also hated being swaddled. (he allowed himself to be swaddled, but during sleep somehow those little arms and legs got loose.) Women of all sorts were captured in motherhood, be it those who gave up their babies or kept them.

Theme:

Although women have come far, there is still a long way to go

Plot:

The story is in first person narrative from Lilli's point of view told in diary entries in ten notebooks. The author has done a lot of research and is very passionate about the subject. Lilli's tale is intimate in scope yet it encompasses the bigger picture of life and work created against mothers. Also it shows the ugly side of humanity and of those who dare to take advantage of a woman's situation. I was also saddened a lot by how babies, born to wed and unwed working mothers were treated by the "caretakers" or by necessity.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)


About the Author

Janet Benton’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Glimmer Train, and many other publications. She has co-written and edited historical documentaries for television. She holds a B.A. in religious studies from Oberlin College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and for decades she has taught writing and helped individuals and organizations craft their stories. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Lilli de Jong is her first novel.

Visit Janet Benton’s website for more information and updates. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Opinion:

On my blog, I'd like to think of myself as a reviewer without bringing politics into my book reviews, especially the incendiary politics of today where both sides see each other as inhuman and are encouraged to continue to see one another this way. However, as I realized, in this particular review, its impossible to be removed from today, its impossible to not reflect on the commonality we humans share and how far we have come and how far to go. Its also heartbreaking to realize that all the progress women have made that I'm taking for granted would have had a different ending a hundred or more years ago, and that the world that some people desire to bring back would judge me and my son badly simply because I am an unmarried single mother who is raising a Hapa son. (Prior to 1960s, interracial marriage and children from those unions were reviled.) Its also distressing to realize that in America work is not tailored or accommodated towards mothers who are able to breastfed or who have recently had babies. If I could, I'd personally send this book to male politicians who honestly desire to bring back the world where women had little to no rights so they can experience the heartbreak and the struggle mothers of old went through. A beautifully well crafted love story to mothers and their children.

This is for HFVBT


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 10
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, July 13
Review at Caryn, the Book Whisperer

Monday, July 17
Review at Trisha Jenn Reads

Tuesday, July 18
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, July 19
Review at Creating Herstory
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, July 21
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, July 24
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, July 25
Review at SJ2B House of Books

Wednesday, July 26
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, July 27
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Friday, July 28
Review at Just One More Chapter

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

G882 the Madeline project; Uncovering a Parisian Life

Title of the book: Madeleine Project; Uncovering a Parisian Life

Author: Clara Beaudoux, Alison Anderson Translator

Publisher: New Vessel Press

Publishing Date: 2016

ISBN: 978-1-939931-49-8

Summary:

"Simply magical. . . . Words and images, magnified in this book, are woven together in small strokes to create two moving portraits of women." —Lire

"A beautiful book that bears witness. An original compilation of traces, thoughts and photos . . . that form the strata of our collective memory." —Télérama

A young woman moves into a Paris apartment and discovers a storage room filled with the belongings of the previous owner, a certain Madeleine who died in her late nineties, and whose treasured possessions nobody seems to want. In an audacious act of journalism driven by personal curiosity and humane tenderness, Clara Beaudoux embarks on The Madeleine Project, documenting what she finds on Twitter with text and photographs, introducing the world to an unsung twentieth-century figure. Along the way, she discovers a Parisian life indelibly marked by European history. This is a graphic novel for the Twitter age, a true story that encapsulates one woman's attempt to live a life of love and meaning together with a contemporary quest to prevent that existence from slipping into oblivion. Through it all, The Madeleine Project movingly chronicles, and allows us to reconstruct, intimate memories of a bygone era.

Clara Beaudoux is a Paris-based journalist for the France Info news network. The Madeleine Project has been wildly popular in France. You can follow her on Twitter at @Clarabdx.


Author Info:
(From France Book Tours)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clara Beaudoux
is a Paris-based journalist for the France Info news network.
The Madeleine Project has been wildly popular in France.
You can follow her on Twitter at @Clarabdx

In French: on Facebook, The Madeleine Project page,
and the author’s main website
Follow New Vessel Press on Twitter | on Facebook
Sign up to receive their latest news and deals.

Buy the book: on Indiebound | on Amazon


Personal Opinion:

The book is similar to becoming an archaeologist, using objects and place to build a forgotten life. While archaeology requires a degree and a substantial knowledge of history, this book only requires two things: being human and familiarity with France because this is a story that is close to our hearts and close to our time; a time we still remember from stories. I am unhappy that the story tended to be short because I feel as if the book only scratched at the surface of Madeleine instead of going full depth, and I do hope that future twits will be translated to English so I can learn more about Madeleine. By the way, I am planning on sharing this book with my little boy as soon as he becomes far older than just 15 months.

This is for France Book Tours

Wednesday, July 12
Review + Giveaway at The French Village Diaries

Review + Giveaway at Readerbuzz

Thursday, July 13
Review + Giveaway at Reading To Unwind

Review + Giveaway at
Musings of a Writer & Unabashed Francophile

Friday, July 14
Review + Giveaway at An Accidental Blog

Monday, July 17
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Review + Giveaway at Walkie Talkie Book Club

Tuessday, July 18
Review + Giveaway at Chocolate & Croissants

Review + Giveaway at A Book Geek

Review + Giveaway at Words And Peace

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G866 Book Review of infinity by Tabitha lord

Name of Book: Infinity

Author: Tabitha Lord

ISBN: 9781634899451

Publisher: Wise Ink

Part of a Series: Horizon Series

Type of book: Space, Almagest, genetic testing, love, fighting, freedom, help, technology, alliance, friends, friendship, loyalty

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

In the second installment of the award-winning Horizon series, Dr. Caeli Crys returns to her war-torn world to fight for those she left behind.

Almagest, Caeli’s home, stands on the brink of revolution. Long hidden from the rest of the galaxy, the once-peaceful planet suffers under a regime that grows more violent and oppressive by the day. Marcus, Almagest’s dictator, is building an arsenal of alien weaponry by selling empathic children into slavery. A resistance has risen, but they are outmanned, outgunned, and in hiding.

Joined by Commander Derek Markham and his elite squadron of operatives, Caeli embarks on a dangerous mission to find the Resistance, rescue her captive people, and save her civilization from destruction.

Characters:

The only two characters that I was able to starkly recall are Caeli and Derek as well as Caeli's friend Lia. Other characters, whether main or secondary are not as well developed and for me not as memorable. Caeli is a powerful healer who is also Empathetic, a mind-reader and  can even make others vanish with her mind. She has recently went through extermination of her own people, been in a resistance and fell in love with Derek. Derek was rescued by Caeli in the first book when his ship fell on her world and he has suffered loss of a friend. If it were not for Caeli's abilities, he would have died.

Theme:

Freedom comes with a price

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from Caeli's, Derek's and few other characters' points of view. The plot of the story was more interesting than the first book because the focus was on the bigger picture, and I liked learning the history of Caeli's world as well as development of the Empathetic people versus those of Marcus. I actually wish that the author would consider fleshing out the snippets about development of Empathetic people which would make a pretty fascinating by itself. I feel that there is way too much going on for me to be able to connect to any action or character, and I was pretty confused towards the end with everything going on. For example there was death of one of the characters, which I sensed was important, but I couldn't recall who this character was and what made him important in Caeli's life.

Author Information:
(From iRead book Tours)


Buy the Book:
​Amazon  ~  Kindle
Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Tabitha currently lives in Rhode Island. She is married, has four great kids, two spoiled cats, and lovable lab mix. Her degree is in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and she taught Latin for years at an independent Waldorf school, where she now serves on the Board of Trustees.

Tabitha’s debut novel, Horizon, won the Writer’s Digest Grand Prize for Self-Published Fiction in 2016, and was named finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and National Indie Excellence Awards. Infinity, the second book in the Horizon series, will be released in June 2017. Her short story “Homecoming” appears in the anthology Sirens, edited by Rhonda Parrish and published by World Weaver Press, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is also a senior editor for www.BookClubBabble.com.

Visit her blog at www.tabithalordauthor.com where she discusses favorite topics including parenting, teaching, and her writing journey.

​Connect with Tabitha: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Opinion:

First of all, the plot of the story is much better developed than in the previous novel, and the novel is a bit more engaging than the first one. There is some romance, but the novel doesn't revolve around it like in the first book. In the second book, it seems that this time the characters weren't as well drawn as in the first. Apparently from reading the reviews on Goodreads, reading first novel is required to read this one, which means its not a stand-alone, but what does make the journey more difficult is that I don't recall whether or not the author put in reminders for all the people in Caeli's life, which means a lot of confusion for the reader as to whom the characters are.

This is for iRead Book Tours

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

May 22 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Horizon / giveaway
May 22 - To Be Read - review of Horizon
May 23 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Infinity / giveaway
May 24 - 411 on Books, Authors and Publishing News - spotlight / guest post/giveaway
May 25 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Horizon / giveaway
May 26 - Cheryl' Book Nook - review of Horizon / author interview / giveaway
May 30 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Horizon / giveaway
May 31 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - review of Horizon / giveaway
May 31 - Lisa Loves Literature - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 1 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review on Horizon
June 2 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review on Infinity
June 5 - Haddie's Haven - review of Horizon / guest post / giveaway
June 6 - The Autistic Gamer - review of Horizon
June 7 - The Autistic Gamer - review of Infinity
June 8 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 9 - Cheryl' Book Nook - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 12 - To Be Read - review of Infinity
June 12 - Deal Sharing Aunt - review of Horizon / giveaway
June 13 - Haddie's Haven - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 14 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review of Horizon / guest post
June 16 - 100 Pages A Day - review of Horizon / guest post / giveaway
June 19 - Elsie's Audiobook Digest - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 20 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 21 - Deal Sharing Aunt - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 22 - Books, Dreams, Life - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
June 26 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Horizon / giveaway
June 27 - Crossroad Reviews - review of Horizon
June 28 - Baker Kella - review of Horizon / author interview / giveaway
June 29 - Baker Kella - review of Infinity / giveaway
June 30 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Horizon
July 4 - Sharing Stories - review of Horizon
July 4 - Books for Books - review of Horizon
July 5 - Lukten av trykksverte - review of Horizon / giveaway
July 6 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Horizon / guest post
July 7 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Infinity
July 7 - A Book Geek - review of Horizon
July 10 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Infinity / giveaway
July 11 - Books for Books - review of Infinity
July 11 - Crossroad Reviews - review of Infinity
July 12 - Lukten av trykksverte - review of Infinity / giveaway
July 13 - A Book Geek - review of Infinity
July 13 - Reviews in the City - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 14 - Sharing Stories - review of Infinity
July 14 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Infinity
July 14 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Infinity / giveaway

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Service of the Dead by Candace Robb Spotlight


The Service of the Dead by Candace Robb

Paperback Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Pegasus Books
Paperback; 256 Pages

Series: Kate Clifford Mysteries, Book One
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Thriller


Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe, Candace Robb introduces a new series starring Kate Clifford, a woman forged on the warring northern marches of fourteenth century England.

Political unrest permeates York at the cusp of the fifteenth century, as warring factions take sides on who should be the rightful king--Richard II or his estranged, powerful cousin in exile, Henry Bolingbroke. Independent minded twenty-year-old Kate Clifford is struggling to dig out from beneath the debt left by her late husband. Determined to find a way to be secure in her own wealth and establish her independence in a male dominated society, Kate turns one of her properties near the minster into a guest house and sets up a business. In a dance of power, she also quietly rents the discreet bedchambers to the wealthy, powerful merchants of York for nights with their mistresses.

But the brutal murder of a mysterious guest and the disappearance of his companion for the evening threatens all that Kate has built. Before others in town hear word of a looming scandal, she must call upon all of her hard-won survival skills to save herself from ruin.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Praise for The Service of the Dead

“Robb’s deft hand creates a realistic political and commercial climate as King Richard II’s reign draws to a close in 1399. Comparable to Sara Poole’s Poisoner mysteries and Ariana Franklin’s Adelia Aguilar series, with its strong political setting and multiple plot strands.” (Booklist)

“A historical novel that deftly captures politics and interactions between different social interests in late medieval England…against the backdrop of social pressures and military actions, Kate’s character and world shine and draw readers into her choices and challenges.” (California Bookwatch)

“Kate Clifford is a wonderful creation, hard-nosed in some respects, compassionate and caring on the other. I look forward to the next installment of this delightful series!” (Historical Novels Review)

“The novel resonates with its compelling portrayal of an England on the brink of crisis.” (Publishers Weekly)

“The Service of the Dead is a tasty brew of political intrigue, larceny, and murder set within the walls of medieval York. Candace Robb’s latest historical mystery is steeped in the atmosphere of the late fourteenth century, and in Kate Clifford she’s given us a no-nonsense heroine and sleuth who is not only smart, but fierce when those she cares about are threatened. You’re going to love her.” (Patricia Bracewell, author of the Emma of Normandy Trilogy)

“The Service of the Dead by Candace Robb is a strikingly well-crafted novel that is a compelling page-turner from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for community library historical fiction collections.” (Midwest Book Review)


A Twisted Vengeance by Candace Robb

Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Pegasus Books
Hardcover; 400 Pages

Series: Kate Clifford Mysteries, Book Two
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Thriller


As the fourteenth century comes to a close, York seethes on the brink of civil war―and young widow Kate Clifford, struggling to keep her businesses afloat, realizes that her mother is harboring a dangerous secret…

1399. York is preparing for civil war, teeming with knights and their armed retainers summoned for the city’s defense. Henry of Lancaster is rumored to have landed on the northeast coast of England, not so far from York, intent on reclaiming his inheritance―an inheritance which his cousin, King Richard, has declared forfeit.

With the city unsettled and rife with rumors, Eleanor Clifford’s abrupt return to York upon the mysterious death of her husband in Strasbourg is met with suspicion in the city. Her daughter Kate is determined to keep her distance, but it will not be easy―Eleanor has settled next door with the intention of establishing a house of beguines, or poor sisters. When one of the beguines is set upon in the night by an intruder, Kate knows that for the sake of her own reputation and the safety of her young wards she must investigate.

From the first, Eleanor is clearly frightened yet maintains a stubborn silence. The brutal murder of one of Eleanor’s servants leads Kate to suspect that her mother’s troubles have followed her from Strasbourg. Is she secretly involved in the political upheaval? When one of her wards is frightened by a too-curious stranger, Kate is desperate to draw her mother out of her silence before tragedy strikes her own household.

"Lovers of Shakespeare’s Richard II will find Robb’s intricate sequel to 2016’s The Service of the Dead a particular treat, as it charts the course of Richard’s downfall and his cousin Henry of Bolingbroke’s rise through the fears and uncertainties of the residents of the city of York in July 1399. These anxieties are worsened by a series of strange deaths connected to the extended family of Kate Clifford, a fierce young widow struggling to cope with not only her own household of jostling servants and the recently arrived illegitimate children of her late husband but also the return of her quarrelsome mother, Eleanor, from Strasbourg with religious women in tow. The character of Clifford is compelling and finely drawn, and for those readers who are patient enough to manage an unusually large number of secondary characters, the answers to a series of mysteries, starting with the reason for an intruder’s attack on a beguine (or poor sister) in the middle of the night, are highly satisfying." - Publisher's Weekley, STARRED REVIEW

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound



About the Author

Candace Robb did her graduate work in medieval literature and history, and has continued to study the period while working first as an editor of scientific publications and now for some years as a freelance writer. Candace has published 13 crime novels set in 14th century England, Wales, and Scotland. The Owen Archer series is based in York and currently extends over 10 novels beginning with THE APOTHECARY ROSE; the most recent is A VIGIL OF SPIES. The Margaret Kerr trilogy explores the early days of Scotland’s struggle again England’s King Edward I, and includes A TRUST BETRAYED, THE FIRE IN THE FLINT, and A CRUEL COURTSHIP.

Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published historical novels about two fascinating women she encountered while researching the Owen Archer mysteries, Alice Perrers (THE KING’S MISTRESS) and Joan of Kent (A TRIPLE KNOT).

Candace was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she and her husband love for its combination of natural beauty and culture. Candace enjoys walking, hiking, and gardening, and practices yoga and vipassana meditation. She travels frequently to Great Britain.

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

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 3
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, July 4
Review at Laura's Interests (The Service of the Dead)
Review & Guest Post at Books of All Kinds (The Service of the Dead & A Twisted Vengeance)

Wednesday, July 5
Review at Broken Teepee (A Twisted Vengeance)

Thursday, July 6
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (The Service of the Dead)
Review at Queen of All She Reads (The Service of the Dead)
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Friday, July 7
Review at Brooke Blogs (The Service of the Dead)
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Saturday, July 8
Review at The True Book Addict (The Service of the Dead)

Sunday, July 9
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views (The Service of the Dead)

Monday, July 10
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews (The Service of the Dead)

Tuesday, July 11
Review at Rainy Day Reviews (The Service of the Dead)
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, July 12
Review at 100 Pages a Day (The Service of the Dead)
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective (The Service of the Dead)

Thursday, July 13
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, July 14
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective (A Twisted Vengeance)

Monday, July 17
Review at Laura's Interests (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at CelticLady's Reviews (The Service of the Dead)

Tuesday, July 18
Review at Brooke Blogs (A Twisted Vengeance)
Guest Post at Cafinated Reads

Wednesday, July 19
Review at CelticLady's Reviews (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at The True Book Addict (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Queen of All She Reads (A Twisted Vengeance)

Thursday, July 20
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Just One More Chapter (The Service of the Dead)

Friday, July 21
Review at Rainy Day Reviews (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews (A Twisted Vengeance)
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views (A Twisted Vengeance)

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we are giving away a copy of The Service of the Dead and A Twisted Vengeance to one lucky winner! To enter please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Kate Clifford Series Blog Tour


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