Tuesday, October 17, 2017

G913 Book Review of The Quest for the crown of thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller

Name of Book: The Quest for the Crown of Thorns

Author: Cynthia Ripley Miller

ISBN: 9781911261124

Publisher: Fort Knox Robinson Publishing

Part of a Series: The Long Haired Saga

Type of book: 454-455, Constantinople, Rome, mystery, travel, servants, the crown and thorns of christ, marriage, teamwork, murder

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

AD 454. Three years after the Roman victory over Attila the Hun at Catalaunum, Arria Felix and Garic the Frank are married and enjoying life on Garic's farm in northern Gaul (France). Their happy life is interrupted, when a cryptic message arrives from Rome, calling Arria home to her father, the esteemed Senator Felix. At Arria's insistence, but against Garic's better judgment, they leave at once.

Upon their arrival at Villa Solis, they are confronted with a brutal murder and the dangerous mission that awaits them. The fate of a profound and sacred object--Christ's Crown of Thorns--rests in their hands. They must carry the holy relic to the safety of Constantinople, away from a corrupt emperor and old enemies determined to steal it for their own gain.

But an even greater force arises to derail their quest--a secret cult willing to commit any atrocity to capture the Crown of Thorns. And all the while, the gruesome murder and the conspiracy behind it haunt Arria's thoughts.

Arria and Garic's marital bonds are tested but forged as they partner together to fulfill one of history's most challenging missions, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns.

Characters:

While I liked Arria and Garric, the main characters of the novel, part of me felt as if beyond a certain image I wasn't able to see them as full fledged humans. I did enjoy the relationship they had with one another and how they acted as a team in all decisions they had made. I also loved how they conferred with one another from small things to big things. Those two definitely had extremely strong and loving relationship. The character that perhaps interested me the most is Marcella, a young and conflicted half-sister to Arria. Its hard to see Marcella as completely evil because there is a lot of complexity to her character and her decisions. One becomes even curious about why she became the way she did. Other characters such as Drusus or even Marcella's mother seemed to be more clear cut rather than gray as Marcella was. I do hope to see more of Marcella in the future installments and I hope that my hunch about where the author will take her character to will prove to be correct.

Theme:

What goes around comes around

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from multiple characters' points of view. I do feel that one does need to read the previous book of the series, On the Edge of Sunrise because some scenes do not have same impact without the knowledge from the previous book, I imagine. Aside from that, very well written and researched and something that I might recommend for people who are starting out with historical fiction but find some books too intimidating. The detail that went into the story is amazing, from the food that was cooked and eaten to the herbs to travel and to religion as well. While there are christian elements, I am happy to say that the story does not preach conversion.

Author Information:
(From the website)


AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE




About the Author

Cynthia Ripley Miller is a first generation Italian-American writer with a love for history, languages and books. She has lived, worked, and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean. As a girl, she often wondered what it would be like to journey through time (she still does), yet knew, it could only be through the imagination and words of writers and their stories. Today, she writes to bring the past to life.

She holds two degrees and has taught history and teaches English. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, at Orchard Press Mysteries.com and The Scriptor. A Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist for her novel, On the Edge of Sunrise, she has reviewed for UNRV Roman History, and blogs at Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus

Cynthia has four children and lives with her husband, twin cats, Romulus and Remus, and Jessie, a German Shepherd, in a suburb of Chicago.

On the Edge of Sunrise is the first in the Long-Hair Saga; a series set in late ancient Rome and France and published by Knox Robinson Publishing. The second book in the series, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, was released in June 2017.

For more information please visit Cynthia Ripley Miller’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Opinion:

The author is comfortable in the novel and very careful details are laid out. If there was something that she took liberty with, its very difficult to tell. I also am not sure how to classify the novel because its part romance part mystery/thriller yet its historical fiction at its finest. (That's it, I need to read the prequel to the book now. And yes, I am hoping the third book of the series will come out soon.) I am eager to see what will happen to both heroes and the villains of the stories. I also loved seeing the cusp of medieval ages begin to make appearance. In an odd way as well, this book was sort of a sequel to another book I was reading at the same time; Twilight Empress by Faith L Justice (Review to come soon!) While the story does stand on its own, the juicy bits that are included about the characters really make the prequel too tempting to pass up.

This is for HFVBT


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 9
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 10
Excerpt at T’s Stuff

Wednesday, October 11
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Thursday, October 12
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, October 13
Review at Laura’s Interests

Monday, October 16
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Feature at A Literary Vacation

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.)

Friday, October 13, 2017

FFE2 Book Review ofWhere the sweet bird sings by Ella joy olsen

Name of Book: Where the Sweet Bird Sings

Author: Ella Joy Olsen

ISBN:  B01NCHBT7B

Publisher: Kensington

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

In this provocative new novel, the author of Root, Petal, Thorn offers a powerful story of resilience, hope, and the secrets that, no matter how deeply hidden, can shape and ultimately unite a family. What connects us to one another? Is it shared history? Is it ancestry? Or is it love?

People respond to tragedy in different ways. Some try to move on. Some don’t move at all. A year after her young son’s death due to a rare genetic disease, Emma Hazelton is still frozen by grief, unable and unwilling to consider her husband Noah’s suggestion that they try to have another child. She can’t gamble with heartbreak and loss again. Yet she can’t stand in the way of Noah having the family he deserves—even if she believes the answer is to push him away.

As the future Emma once imagined crumbles, her family’s past comes into sharp relief. Searching for the roots of her son’s disease, Emma discovers other secrets concealed among the branches of her family tree. Within an old wedding photograph of her great-grandparents is a truth Emma never guessed at—a window into all the ways that love can be surprising, generous, and fiercely brave… and a truth that may help her find her own way forward at last.

Link for Review

2 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.)

G920 Book Review of The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter

Name of Book: The Sky Throne

Author: Chris Ledbetter

ISBN: 978-1-945107-87-0

Publisher: Month9Books

Type of book: Greek myths retelling, Mount Olympus Prep, secrets, Zeus, Hera, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, Hestia, Metis, Rhea, the Titans, pantheon, deities, gods and goddesses, high school/middle school, lessons, mischief, relationships, YA read

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.

When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.

Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.

Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus's quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.

On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love.

Characters:

The story's characters are the strongest aspect of the story because they are more than just names and deeds, and they are drawn as complex human beings, which I've really enjoyed. Zeus, at first, seems to be an average boy who seems to have a penchant for getting into trouble, even getting as far as expelled from a lower school. However when he comes to Mount Olympus Prep, he is revealed as having hidden talents, being a leader, very ambitious and yes, still a mischief-maker. There is also Poseidon, or Don as he is known. Don strikes me as methodical, intense and determined especially when it comes to swimming and winning. Hades, or Shade, (I blame Disney's Hercules) while intense, is also oblivious and loyal to others. He doesn't seem to have ambitions for becoming a leader. The women, namely Hera, Hestia, Metis and Demeter were all likable and were more than just names. Hera keeps to herself but underneath she is ambitious and isn't afraid to push Zeus beyond his boundaries. Hestia, or Tia as she is known is talented in artistry and is also a chatterbox and has latest gossip about others. Demeter, or Meter, is either a vegan or vegetarian and is patient with others and good with outdoors. Metis has a troubled past and is determined to make up for her sins. Other characters like the Titans also make appearances as well.

Theme:

One never knows where they'll find themselves

Plot:

The story is in first person narrative from Zeus's point of view. The writing style is more modern, so if one is looking for something ancient and literary, then its not the right fit.  At first the style was a little off-putting, but once I got past it, I found myself enjoying the beginning of how the world came to be. I also am curious how far the author is planning on taking the series and how he will handle some questionable aspects of Greek myths that will make everyone cringe. What is also neat about the story is that the goddesses are far more than just names and instead they are portrayed as individuals.

Author Information:

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~IndieBound
Quail Ridge Books ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon.ca ~
Amazon AUS
Add to Goodreads
Meet the author:

Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USATODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult novel. The second book in the series is set to release in 2018.

He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ facebook ~ Pinterest
Opinion:

Can old stories be retold in a way that will appeal to younger generation? Recently the book publishing companies have been revisiting the classics of the past to see if the old tales can interest the new reader; be it Hogarth's Shakespeare series, or even a twist to children's classics like Little Women and Little House series. In the case of Greek and Roman myths, the author has done a good job in filling in the details about the gods and goddesses as well as making it likable for possible new readers to want to research more on their own. Since I'm a fan of Greek and Roman myths, I will admit honestly that I am curious how the future installments will be handled, especially in terms of relationships between gods and goddesses. For a slightly more modern spin but one that is far away, this is a worthy read.

This is for iRead Book Tours

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Sept 18 - Library of Clean Reads - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 19 - Working Mommy Journal - review / giveaway
Sept 20 - FLYLÄ“F Reviews - review
Sept 21 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sept 22 - Adventures Thru Wonderland - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 25 - Travelling Through Words - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 26 - The Autistic Gamer - review
Sept 27 - Leels Loves Books - review
Sept 28 - Bookworm for Kids - review / author interview / giveaway
Sept 29 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 2 - Olio by Marilyn - review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 3 - Dab of Darkness - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 3 - The All Night Library - review / guest post
Oct 4 - A Holland Reads - review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 5 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
Oct 6 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review / giveaway
Oct 9 - Laura's Interests - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 9 - Splashes Into Books - review
Oct 10 - 411 on Books, Authors and Publishing News - review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 11 - The Book Drealms - review / giveaway
Oct 12 - JBronder Book Reviews - review
Oct 13 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
Oct 16 - Jorie Loves A Story - review / guest post
Oct 17 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
Oct 18 - Bookwyrming Thoughts - review / author interview
Oct 18 - Thoughts on Books - review
Oct 19 - Nighttime Reading Center - review / giveaway
Oct 19 - 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 20 - Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest - review
Oct 20 - Books for Books - review

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.)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

G916 Book Review of Life long by Ronald L Ruiz

Name of Book: Life Long

Author: Ronald L. Ruiz

ISBN: 9781937484538

Publisher: Amika Press

Type of book: Schizophrenia, bus ride from California to Texas, Zyprexa, money, bad choices and decisions, voices, interesting characters, Laredo, Mexico

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

Ray Lopez is on the run with a duffel bag full of cash. Both drug dealers and the police are after him. But Ray is not a criminal. His last brush with the law was over traffic tickets. Recently released from the hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, he is haunted by voices, auditory hallucinations, that frighten him and cause him to question his every move.

Ray’s journey from California to Laredo is perilous. Like so many Americans before him, he travels through unfamiliar territory with no clear way of knowing who will help and who will harm him. And he may well find himself on the wrong side of the border with a mind that has no borders.

Characters:

Main character is Raymond Lopez, an orphan with auditory schizophrenia who made some bad choices and is now on the run from both cops and his cousin's possible druggie friends. Raymond is resourceful although reckless and he is trying to survive his decisions. Other characters seemed to come and go and like Raymond they were drawn well and memorably, although its a pity their visits were short.

Theme:

Things are not what they seem

Plot:

The story is told in first person narrative from Ray's point of view. What is also cool about this book is that made me wonder and question the plot. Ray is schizophrenic, and it feels as if the author plays with the reader's perception of schizophrenia because I wondered what was real and what wasn't and how the story will turn out, and it gave me a taste of how frightening schizophrenia can be. The characters, the mood and the grittiness along with realism are done very well and are extremely feasible. What I also appreciated about the story is that the main focus was not on illegal drugs or an undercover cop/detective, but it was, literally, on an everyday human being who could be a next door neighbor or friend or an acquaintance.

Author Information:
(from iRead Book Tours)


Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ AbeBooksIndieBound ~ BookDepository
Add to Goodreads



Meet the Author:

Born and raised in Fresno California - Educated at St. Mary´s College California, University of California Berkeley, University of San Francisco - Practiced law from !966 to 2003 as a Deputy District Attorney, a criminal defense attorney, and a Deputy Public Defender - Appointed to the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board by Governor Jerry Brown in 1974 and later served as the District Attorney of Santa Cruz County California.

Ronald L. Ruiz has published 5 novels and a memoir. Happy Birthday Jesus (1994), Giuseppe Rocco (1998), The Big Bear (2003), A Lawyer (2012), Jesusita(2015). and Life Long (2017).

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook

Opinion:

When I saw that the author has returned for another book tour, my heart grew excited at the thought of reading his latest novel. I loved his previous beautiful and haunting novel, Jesusita where there is a combination of historical fiction as well as immigration story; how will Life Long be like? It definitely isn't a historical fiction. and it sounded far different. I am happy to say that although Life Long is a different genre, that of suspense/psychological thriller, it really matches up to Jesusita.  The ending is also different than what one would expect in a suspense/psychological novel, and the story is both gripping and gritty with bus rides from California to Mexico and the uncertainty that plagues Ray as he tries to run away. Somehow, this book feels far more true to life than some other suspense/psychology thrillers I have previously read in the past.

This is for iRead Book Tours

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Sept 18 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
Sept 18 - Books for Books - review
Sept 19 - Working Mommy Journal - review / giveaway
Sept 21 - The Reading Life - book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 22 - Olio By Marilyn - review / giveaway
Sept 25 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 26 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / guest post / giveaway
Sept 27 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review / giveaway
Sept 28 - Leels Loves Books - review
Sept 29 - The All Night Library - review / guest post
Oct 3 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
Oct 4 - Ali - The Dragon Slayer - review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 5 - Travelling Through Words - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 6 - Nighttime Reading Center - review / giveaway
Oct 6 - Library of Clean Reads - review / author interview / giveaway
TBD - The Book Drealms - book spotlight / giveaway

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, October 1, 2017

Coming Attractions of October 2017

Reading-wise, I met the goals I set out for myself, short of finishing To be a Queen by Annie Whitehead. However, I really need to work more on reviewing my reads. I'm scared to mention how many books are awaiting my reviews. October will be a full month of book tours for me, although it seems that so far, November might be a bit free. Maybe in November I'll accomplish finishing the previous POFM books that just happened to be Goodreads Firstreads wins from years back. 

In a previous month, I've had quite a few wonderful authors return to my blog for sophmore reviews, namely Colleen M Story's Overwhelmed Writer Rescue and Teresa Neumann's A Year in the Company of Freaks as well as The Chesapeake Bride by Mariah Stewart. This month I also have some sophmore reviews namely Life Long by Ronald L Ruiz, Twilight Empress by Faith L Justice and Firsth Crush Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna. Enjoy the month!

Expect Reviews for...(Can change)

Life Long by Ronald L Ruiz (October 2nd, 2017)

Twilight Empress by Faith L Justice (October 3rd, 2017)

Woman Enters Left by Jessica Brockmole (October 5th, 2017)

The Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller (October 9th, 2017)

The Sky Throne-Chris Ledbetter (October 13th, 2017)

Tribal Affairs- Matt Dallmann (October 27th, 2017)

First Crush Last Love-Elizabeth McKenna (October 30th, 2017)

Beyond Believing by D.D. Marx (October 31st, 2017)



Hopeful Reads...(Can change)

How to build a Piano Bench by Ruthi Pistwo Birch

Guy by Jowita Bydlowska

The Last Outlaws-Thom Hatch

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc-Jennifer Kincheloe

The Heirs-Susan Rieger

What is Forgiven-C.F. Yetmen

October 2017

Woman Enters Left-Jessica Brockmole
SR: September 25th, 2017
FR: October 8th, 2017
A House Divided-Pearl S Buck
SR: March 11th, 2016
FR: N/A
Tribal Affairs-Matt Dallmann
SR: October 16th, 2017
FR:
The matrimonial flirtations of Emma kaulfield- Anna Fishbeyn
SR: September 17th, 2017
FR: October 8th, 2017
The Republic of uzupis- halJi
SR: January 4th 2017
FR:
Twilight empress- Faith L Justice
SR: September 16th, 2017
FR: October 16th, 2017
The sky throne- Chris Ledbetter
SR: October 8th, 2017
FR: October 12th, 2017
First crush, last love- Elizabeth McKenna
SR: October 17th, 2017
FR:
the Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller
SR: September 30th, 2017
FR: October 17th, 2017
The map that leads to you- J.P Monninger
SR: October 8th, 2017
FR:
The Comet Seekers Helen Sedgwick
SR: January 17th 2017
FR:
A gentleman in Moscow- amor Towles
SR: June 8th, 2017
FR:
To be a queen- Annie Whitehead
SR: September 23rd, 2017
FR:
What is forgiven-C.F Yetmen
SR: October 12th, 2017
FR:

Nonfiction:
Tree of Souls-Howard Schwartz
SR: February 10th, 2014
FR: N/A

Saturday, September 30, 2017

First Impressions G390. The Captive Queen by Danny Saunders

Name of Book: The Captive Queen

Author: Danny Saunders

ISBN:  9781497462434

Publisher: Self published

Year it was published: 2014

Summary:

Political schemes, religious partisanship and unbridled love shake the Royal Court of Scotland at the end of the Stuart dynasty.

Witness to sordid murders, spy for Her Majesty among the Protestants of the infamous preacher John Knox, forced to give up her one true love, thrown out onto the streets then ruthlessly attacked by a drunkard, Charlotte Gray will do everything in her power to remain the sovereign’s lady-in-waiting.

As for the Queen of Scots, she faces turmoil of a completely different kind: prisoner in a castle under the command of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart learns that she is the victim of a vast conspiracy and that her English counterpart has ordered her imminent execution.

Despite their hardships, Mary and Charlotte will keep their dignity throughout the storm. The two women will finally find serenity, one in the arms of a man and the other in the arms of God.

Interwoven with historical facts of the era, the thrilling The Captive Queen saga is worthy of the greatest royal intrigues that still fascinate us several centuries later.

Opinion:

If the reader is looking for a short version life of Mary Queen of Scots, then this is the right book, although historical aspects are not explained as well as I hoped. For a longer version, I would try Margaret George's book.

Verdict:

I don't think I'll continue reading the book

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.)

First Impressions G139. Beyond the Storm by Joseph Pittman

Name of Book: Beyond the Storm

Author: Joseph Pittman

ISBN: 978-0-7582-7698-8

Publisher: Kensington

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

They chose their own roads, but they couldn't change their destination. . .

Twenty years ago, Vanessa Massey couldn't wait to graduate from high school and make her small hometown of Danton Hill a distant memory--despite an indelible friendship she'd recently forged. But life has largely ignored her plans, and time has summoned her back to the shores of Lake Ontario for a school reunion that could change everything.

After four years as Danton Hill High's resident outcast, Adam Blackburn went on to a successful career in New York City. Yet now he's drawn homeward for a reunion he's surprisingly curious to attend--if he and his car survive the fierce summer storm that's hit. Adam always hated storms and their destruction. And sure enough, he soon collides with another vehicle in the blinding rain. But it turns out the driver is the one person he'd hoped to see: Vanessa.

Reunited by Mother Nature, the two take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse where they are forced to decipher their unresolved history. Together, they'll unravel the twists of fate that have brought them to the present--and discover the remarkable truth that may carry them through the future. . .

Opinion:

I'm sorry to say, but the inside of the story isn't as attention grabbing as I hoped it would be. 

Verdict:

I don't think I'll continue reading the book

2 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.)

First Impressions G128. The Laws of Gravity by Liz Rosenberg

Name of Book: The Laws of Gravity

Author: Liz Rosenberg

ISBN: 9781611099546

Publisher: Amazon publishing

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

An exquisite tour de force, The Laws of Gravity is a testament to what it means to be a family, what it takes to save a life, and the lengths we will go to to protect the ones we love. Two families, bound by blood, hear terrible news. One decision holds the key to survival--but at a devastating cost.

Nicole, auburn-haired, airy, and beautiful, discovers her body is betraying her. She turns to cousin and childhood best friend Ari for the cord blood he's been banking for his own children. Ari stands firm, bringing them before the scales of justice. Solomon Richter, a state Supreme Court judge on the brink of retirement, is touched by this legal battle like no other. His blood case, he calls it. A case that calls into question the very things we live for: the enduring bonds of family, and the love that lasts a lifetime. It's Nicole's last chance, Ari's last stand, and the judge's last case.

A novel of heartbreaking honesty, humor, and depth--an unforgettable story of finding love and finding family--The Laws of Gravity heralds Liz Rosenberg as a storytelling sensation.

Opinion:

Long time ago I attempted to read Jodi Picoult and made a realization after one book that I didn't like her, and I imagine that I will not enjoy her. I wanted to like the story, at least the little I read, but its not for me, I'm sorry to say.

Verdict:

I don't think I'll continue reading the book

2 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.)

First Impressions: G126. Teller of Tales by Ray Dacolias

Name of Book: Teller of Tales

Author: Ray Dacolias

ISBN: 978098881772

Publisher: Self published

Year it was published:  2012

Summary:

“Janitor” is a story about a man whose skin pigments happen to be predominantly black, who exists in Southern society before the advent of a kinder and gentler America. Although he is not treated with respect at his custodial job or in town, he is the embodiment of affability and graciousness. One day, something dramatic happens to alter the shameful attitude of his fellow citizens toward him.

“Love” is about the inviolate affection between a father and his daughter. As she lies dying on a hospital bed, he faithfully attends to her every need; it is here that we see their special bond, and the deep sorrow that compels him to desperate measures.

“The Whispering Bells” is a tale about tiny creatures that seek adventure and excitement as they soar throughout the galaxies. Sometimes, they form long lines and watch young Bells catch meteoroids and perform entertaining routines on them. One of these Bells is not so cautious and he lands on a planet where he cannot fly, and this is where his real journey begins.

“Crashing Into You” examines the life of a beautiful young woman and the consequences of her irresponsible actions. She speeds everywhere she goes, never thinking that her reckless driving might hurt someone; but one day she does hurt someone and goes to jail, and when she comes out, she is forced to examine her past life and the people she affected.

“March of Life” takes place during World War II. American and Filipino soldiers are on a forced march by Japanese captors who mistreat and often murder those prisoners who displease them or who are unable to physically make the trek. One of the Japanese soldiers does not agree with this inhumane treatment. He finds a way to leave the island, but unfortunately lands on the Chinese coastline, and must somehow survive the very people his country is seeking to commit genocide against.

“Autograph” profiles an old man who has had decades of nightmares about his role in the horrific bombing of another nation. He eventually realizes that he must go to this country and make amends with the people, but once there, he finds it is not an easy task.

“Of Greater Significance than Mammon” begins with a dying man struggling to move along a snow-covered road. He is trying to get to the house where his wife and precious daughter live, but he soon collapses. A Good Samaritan comes along and learns from this man that there are assassins coming to kill the man’s family. The youth now must make a decision to run, merely help, or take action.

“100” depicts the struggles of one hundred men in a bleak desert. They are cogitating on the methods to prevent a fast-moving truck with a deadly cargo from reaching a nearby city. These bald-headed men, dressed in beige clothes, have no weapons and very little time to resolve this dilemma.

“Soul Love” begins with a man holding onto the railing of a boat, his other hand grasping his wife’s as she dangles above a tempestuous sea. Soon his grasp will weaken and she will fall into the boiling cauldron—but when his hold on her is gone, something miraculous happens.

“A Purpose Given” profiles a wandering man who appears to be just like every bum or hobo who inhabits the landscape, but his past life was exemplary, and due to tragic circumstances, he has voluntarily left home and hearth to look for a greater purpose beyond his own life, and finds it.

Opinion:

I feel that the story tends to be too detailed for me to enjoy it, I'm sorry to say. I feel that there needs to be the right amount of detail and story but detail is a bit overwhelming.

Verdict:

I don't think I'll continue reading the book

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.)

FFE3 Book Review of Can't hardly breathe by Gena Showalter

Name of Book: Can't Hardly Breathe

Author: Gena Showalter

ISBN:  B01MTBXD8G

Publisher: Harlequin

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with an irresistible Original Heartbreakers story about a woman who's never felt desired and the man who wants her more than air to breathe…

Bullied in high school, Dorothea Mathis's past is full of memories she'd rather forget. But there's one she can't seem to shake—her long-standing crush on former army ranger Daniel Porter. Now that the sexy bad boy has started using her inn as his personal playground, she should kick him out…but his every heated glance makes her want to join him instead.

Daniel returned to Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, to care for his ailing father and burn off a little steam with no strings attached. Though he craves curvy Dorothea night and day, he's as marred by his past as she is by hers. The more he desires her, the more he fears losing her.

But every sizzling encounter leaves him desperate for more, and soon Daniel must make a choice: take a chance on love or walk away forever.

Link for Review

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.)

Monday, September 25, 2017

G905 Book Review of a year in the company of freaks by Teresa neumann

Name of Book: A Year in the Company of Freaks

Author: Teresa Neumann

ISBN: 978-0-9831210-4-6

Publisher: All's Well House

Type of book: hippies, California, 1972-1973, farming, lost, jesus freak, motorcycle, warm-hearted tale of connections, second chances, probation, getting high, drugs, friendships, relationships

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

It's 1972 and a seismic clash-of-cultures is rattling northern California. In the redneck town of Trinity Springs, rumors of hippies migrating up from San Francisco have residents bracing for an invasion. When Italian-American hometown boy and Berkeley graduate Sid Jackson is busted for growing pot on his deceased parents' farm, locals suspect the assault has begun. Will a crazy deferral program devised by the sheriff keep Sid out of prison? Or will a house full of eccentric strangers, a passionate love interest, and demons from his past be his undoing? A "disarmingly appealing" tale of discrimination, transformation and restoration, Freaks is bursting with intrigue, drama, comic relief and romance. Reviewers agree this five-star, coming-of-age classic "very much reflects the attitude and mood of the times."

Characters:

Main characters include Sid, Mika as well as Pearlie and Otis. There are secondary characters such as Ketch, Woolf, Liz and Kate and Max Quinn.  Sid is an orphan who is half-Italian on his mother's side and who seems to be disconnected from everything. It also seems as if he has a chip on his shoulder that's not addressed. Sid inherits a farm and tries to do the very best he can in terms of his probation. Because of the negative experiences I've had with a number of jesus freaks, I was a bit on guard about Mika and half expected her to start preaching, but I am relieved to say that Mika did not attempt to convert or preach in the book. Mika is a warm-hearted woman in fact who is accepting and wants best for everyone. Otis is a local sheriff and is Sid's godfather. He is a warm personable man who has best interests of Sid and tries to do what he can for him. He was also best friends with Sid's parents. Pearlie is a great cook , generous with food and money and was also best friends with Sid's parents. Ketch is albino and has a lot of rough edges, but he is trying to grab a second chance. Not much is shown about Woolf aside from the fact he was in a war and is a kind veterinarian. Liz is best described as feminist who also has a lot of rough edges and becomes best friends with Mika. Kate Quinn is Sid's former babysitter who seems to seek something she cannot get, and Max is one that helped get Sid in trouble. He is Kate's younger brother.

Theme:

A year can bring many changes to people

Plot:

For perhaps 95 percent of the book the story is written in third person narrative from Sid's and Mika's point of view. The story's strong points is that history doesn't feel like history, if it makes sense; the reader becomes immediately roped in with Sid and the gang as they navigate the year and learn a lot about themselves throughout the months. I also enjoyed the characters a lot and wished that we could have seen more of Ketch, Woolf and Liz in the story. For some odd reason, I don't think I really bought Sid's growth throughout the year because he still had a lot of issues that seemed to be unresolved. But I did enjoy that nothing was instantaneous and it all took hard work and effort to come to certain points.

Author Information:
(From the website)

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads
About the Author:

Author of highly-acclaimed "A Year in the Company of Freaks," Teresa was raised in a large Midwest family and now lives in Oregon. She is also the author of "Bianca's Vineyard," and its sequel, "Domenico's Table." Both books are based on the true stories of her husband's Italian family in Tuscany. In addition to enjoying family, writing, reading, meeting her readers, wine tasting, traveling, and all things Italian, Teresa loves playing the fiddle with other musicians.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Opinion:

I was born in mid '80s, therefore the '70s wasn't exactly a time of nostalgia for me, what it was however is a realization of the often used cliche: history repeats itself. I wasn't really sure what to make of the story to be honest because while it starts as sort of a flashback, not until the very end does the reader might suspect who the mysterious narrator is. I found the story a bit confusing and it often felt as if the style is designed to be a sitcom due to the episodic nature of the book, but at the same time it is definitely a highlight of the day and its something that any reader-historical fiction aficionado or not-can really sink their teeth into.

This is for iRead Book Tours

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, September 21, 2017

G922 Alycat and the Monday Blues by Alysson Foti Bourque, Illustrations by Chiara Civati

Title of the book: Alycat and the Monday Blues

Author: Alysson Foti Bourque, Illustrations by Chiara Civati

Publisher: Mascot Books

Publishing Date: 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68401-245-9

Summary:

Alycat wakes up on Monday with the dreaded Monday Bluescertain that nothing will go right. But when a mishap sends her astray, she discovers that helping a friend will help her discover her own hidden talent and cure her Monday Blues!

Author Info:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Mascot Books
Book Depository ~ Powells Books
Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the Rhyme or ReasonTravel series, and the multi-award winning Alycat series. Alysson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She believes that there is an Alycat in all of us, encouraging our imaginations to guide us through new opportunities and adventures. ​

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
Personal Opinion:

To be honest, I kind of hoped that the book would be another story for a certain 17 month old boy who enjoys turning into a tornado, but its written more towards grownup children rather than little tornado boys, which might explain my disappointment. (There is a picture my tornado boy likes to look at though :) ) I do love the illustrations in the book and the colors that went into them. The story is good for my mommy eyes, but my son is not ready to chime in with his opinion.

This is for iRead Book Tours

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.)

Monday, September 18, 2017

G904 Book Review of the luster of lost things by Sophie Chen Keller

Name of Book: The Luster of Lost Things

Author: Sophie Chen Keller

ISBN: 978-0-7352-1078-3

Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons

Type of book: Bakery, good deeds, connections, New York, journey of one day, subway, denizens of underworld, speech impediment, dogs, Golden retrievers, relationships, kindness, small deeds, friendships

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

In this story for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man Called Ove, when all seems lost, he finds what matters most.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting.

But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing—except for his lost father.

So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.

Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.

Characters:

Walter is an intelligent young boy who is suffering from a speech impediment and who is thoughtful, observant and extremely determined.Walter is also joined by Milton, an overweight golden retriever who is Walter's loyal companion and seems to know more than he lets on. Other companions join in such as Ruby, a girl about Walter's age who is also helpful, sweet although a bit domineering and often comes in second especially when compared to her special needs sister Debbie. There is also Junker, a man who creates things out of junk, Karl is a man who misses his wife, Nico has lost his motivation, and Lan is an immigrant struggling with English.

Theme:

We are more connected than divided

Plot:

The story is told in first person narrative from Walter Lavender Jr.'s point of view. On the surface the story is simple; that of a boy searching for a magical book to help his mother's beloved bakery, but underneath an untold layer of complexity exists of finding one's voice as well as doing good deeds for others and loving yourself for whom you are. For me the story has elements of Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford which also has character searching for answers, but then the story also has elements of my favorite foodie novels by Erica Bauermeister in that it shows human connections through book pages and how we are far more united rather than divided, an important message to remember in this day and age.

Author Information:
(From the book)

Sophie Chen Keller was born in Beijing, China, and was raised in Ohio and California. Her fiction has won several awards and has appeared in publications such as Glimmer Train (where her first short story was published when she was fifteen) and Pedestal. After graduating from Harvard, she worked in the fashion industry and in brand consulting before leaving to pursue her dream of writing. She currently resides in New York with her husband and a not-so-secret cabinet of sweets.

Opinion:

I am happy to report that my expectations for the novel were met and in some cases even exceeded what I expected. From the summary I expected for the story to have similarities to Monday Night Cooking School/ The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister, which it does in that it shows connections Walter has to people he meets, and it also shows how simple and small things can mean a whole lot for a person, much more than grand gestures. What I didn't expect is to compare the book to Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford in that both novels share a young man's journey with different messages at the end. For a warm and sweet novel to help restore one's faith in humanity, this is the right one to turn to.

This was given to me for consideration and 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.)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

G901 Book Review of Raven's feast by Eric Schumacher

Name of Book: Raven's Feast

Author: Eric Schumacher

ISBN: 9781545516843

Publisher: Creativia

Type of book: Vikings, Danes, powers, Hakon, 935-936, North, Uplands, Norway, Swedes, christianity, priests, Eric the Bloodaxe, battles, brotherhood, two sides to the story

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

It is 935 A.D. and Hakon Haraldsson has just wrested the High Seat of the North from his ruthless brother, Erik Bloodaxe. Now, he must fight to keep it.

The land-hungry Danes are pressing from the south to test Hakon before he can solidify his rule. In the east, the Uplanders are making their own plans to seize the throne. It does not help that Hakon is committed to his dream of Christianizing his people - a dream his countrymen do not share and will fight to resist.

As his enemies move in and his realm begins to crumble, Hakon and his band of oath-sworn warriors must make a stand in Raven’s Feast, the riveting sequel to God’s Hammer.

Characters:

Main character includes Hakon who has recently destroyed his brother Eric the Bloodaxe and is now seeking men to help him consolidate power as the rightful king. Hakon is best described as an extremely controversial king because first of all he happens to be a christian in a land before christianity took over, and he refuses to compromise his beliefs which leads to a lot of troubles for him. He also happens to be charismatic as well as impulsive and he is young. Hakon also some advisers and helpers in helping him such as Sigurd who has a wife and a daughter and is seen as a big influence on other nobles. The antagonists included Thorgill who has a personal vendetta against Hakon and is willing to do whatever he can to pursue it as well as Ragnvald who seems to care more for his own skin than for honor.

Theme:

Its difficult to introduce new beliefs to old beliefs

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative from Hakon's point of view. I didn't read the previous novel to be honest, and yes, it seems that the story requires the first book because the story seemed to continue from when it was left off and the reader will only pick up bits and pieces about what happened to Hakon previously. The strength of the novel also lies in the vivid descriptions of the world Hakon has inhabited as well as vikings' beliefs which are gruesome.

Author Information:
(From HFVBT)


About the Author

Eric Schumacher was born in Los Angeles in 1968 and currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife, two children and dog. He is the author of two historical fiction novels, God’s Hammer and its sequel, Raven’s Feast. Both tell the story of the first Christian king of Viking Norway, Hakon Haraldsson, and his struggles to gain and hold the High Seat of his realm.
More information on Eric and his Hakon Sagas can be found on his website. You can also connect with Eric on TwitterFacebookGoodreads, and AuthorsDB.

Opinion:

If the reader is looking for a fast paced action novel that takes place in 900s about Vikings and their beliefs prior to christianity taking over, then its a good story to get lost in and to enjoy. The story is of brotherhood, battles, and of survival in a distant and cold land where everyone is out for themselves, or so it seems. A few things did disappoint me in the story; one is the treatment of a female character that the author describes as pockmarked and someone without manners. ( I honestly felt kind of bad for her.) and another is that the story seemed to lack character growth or so. For example, in my eyes, Hakon seemed to have stayed the same in the novel and didn't seem to grow as a person.

This is for HFVBT

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.)

Friday, September 15, 2017

G908 overwhelmed writer to the rescue; Boost Productivity, Improve Time Management, and Replenish the Creator Within

Title of the book:  overwhelmed writer to the rescue; Boost Productivity, Improve Time Management, and Replenish the Creator Within

Author: Colleen M. Story

Publisher: MidChannel Press

Publishing Date: 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9990991-0-0

Summary:

Find the time, energy, and confidence you need to make your creative dreams come true!

Do you feel like you're always behind? Do less important tasks frequently flood your schedule and sink your creative motivation? Are you frustrated and out of touch with your inner artist?

After 20 years experience in the writing industry, author Colleen M. Story extends a lifeline to pull you out of the sinking swamp of "busyness" and back into the flourishing creative life you deserve.

Today's demands on writers and other creative artists are overwhelming. Not only must you produce the work you love, but build and maintain a platform and market your finished products to the world--all while holding down a day job and/or caring for a family.

You teeter on the edge. What waits on the other side are burnout, exhaustion, and a complete loss of creative motivation.

Overwhelmed Writer Rescue provides practical, personalized solutions to help beginning and experienced writers and other creative artists escape the tyranny of the to-do list to nurture the genius within. You'll find ways to boost productivity, improve time management, and restore your sanity while gaining insight into your unique creative nature and what it needs to thrive.

Ultimately, you'll discover what may be holding you back from experiencing the true joy that a creative life can bring.

In this motivational and inspiring book, you'll learn:

–Why you feel so rushed and how you can regain control of your time.
–Your unique "time personality" and how to use it to get more writing done.
–Practical steps to overcome distractions and focus faster.
–The 7 "productivity saboteurs" that plague creative artists and how to outsmart them.
–Your personal motivation style and how to use it to increase productivity.
–How to tap into your unconscious mind to find "writer solutions" when you need them.
–Why affirmations don't work and how to instill true belief in yourself.
–Why it's critical to your overall health and well being to nurture the creator within.

There's no reason to feel overwhelmed one moment longer. No matter how crazy your life is, you can find more time for your creative work, and start feeling more like yourself again.

Author Info:
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble


Add to Goodreads 

About the Author:

Colleen M. Story has worked in the creative writing industry for over twenty years. Her novels include "Loreena’s Gift," an Idaho Author Awards first place winner, New Apple Solo Medalist winner, Foreword Reviews INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, Reader Views award finalist, and Best Book Awards finalist; and "Rise of the Sidenah," a North American Book Awards winner and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection.

As a health writer, she’s authored thousands of articles for publications like "Healthline" and "Women’s Health;" worked with high-profile clients like Gerber Baby Products and Kellogg’s; and ghostwritten books on back pain, nutrition, and cancer recovery. She finds most rewarding her work as a motivational speaker and workshop leader, where she helps writers remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers.

Colleen is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com), a motivational site helping writers and other creative artists maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being throughout their careers. Sign up for your free weekly email containing tips for living your best creative life at: www.writingandwellness/newsletter.

To find more information on Colleen and her work, please see her website or follow her on Twitter. She loves to hear from readers—feel free to use the “contact” form on either her website or Writing and Wellness to get in touch with her.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter  

Personal Opinion:

For a book that's only 200 pages, the claims sound outrageous,  and perhaps I think I was expecting it to be a run-of-the-mill self help book. Instead I got a wonderful read on my hands that lives up to the promises and refuses to accept excuses about why and how people are not following their creative calling. The author uses scientific studies along with personal experiences to create a fascinating cocktail blend of a self help book that gets you thinking on the why and how and that should help you do the purported claims. There is also exploration from different angles about what might possibly be sabotaging the reader's creativity, and like the author claims, the book is not designed merely for writers but can be used by any creative person, so don't let the title fool you in other words.

This is for iRead Book Tours

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, September 14, 2017

G706 The Fever of 1721; The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics

Title of the book: The Fever of 1721; The Epidemic That Revolutionized Medicine and American Politics

Author:Stephen Coss

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publishing Date: 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4767-8308-6

Summary:

More than fifty years before the American Revolution, Boston was in revolt against the tyrannies of the Crown, Puritan Authority, and Superstition. This is the story of a fateful year that prefigured the events of 1776.

In The Fever of 1721, Stephen Coss brings to life an amazing cast of characters in a year that changed the course of medical history, American journalism, and colonial revolution, including Cotton Mather, the great Puritan preacher, son of the president of Harvard College; Zabdiel Boylston, a doctor whose name is on one of Boston's grand avenues; James and his younger brother Benjamin Franklin; and Elisha Cooke and his protegee; Samuel Adams.

During the worst smallpox epidemic in Boston history Mather convinced Doctor Boylston to try a procedure that he believed would prevent death--by making an incision in the arm of a healthy person and implanting it with smallpox. Inoculation led to vaccination, one of the most profound medical discoveries in history. Public outrage forced Boylston into hiding, and Mather's house was firebombed.

A political fever also raged. Elisha Cooke was challenging the Crown for control of the colony and finally forced Royal Governor Samuel Shute to flee Massachusetts. Samuel Adams and the Patriots would build on this to resist the British in the run-up to the American Revolution. And a bold young printer James Franklin (who was on the wrong side of the controversy on inoculation), launched America's first independent newspaper and landed in jail. His teenage brother and apprentice, Benjamin Franklin, however, learned his trade in James' shop and became a father of the Independence movement.

One by one, the atmosphere in Boston in 1721 simmered and ultimately boiled over, leading to the full drama of the American Revolution.

Author Info:
(From the book)

Stephen Coss lives in Madison, Wisconsin. This is his first book

Personal Opinion:

To be honest, the book deserves more like 1.5 stars if I did ratings in half, but since I don't, I rounded it up to two stars. While well researched, what the book promised it didn't deliver and I ended up being more frustrated than educated. This is what I thought I would get from the book; a story of how newspaper, politics and smallpox connected. Most of the book focused on newspaper wars and smallpox and left the politics out. In this case the author would have been better off writing two non-fiction books rather than trying to cram everything into one book, and he should've left politics out of the story. I didn't understand what lesson, if anything, I should have learned from those stories; that there is always competition, that great men get their fame from troubled times, that smallpox is an opportunity instead of a scourge? I also am being honest in feeling disconnected from people and feel that perhaps a dash of fiction would have worked in his favor. I didn't understand the political maneuverings aside from the fact that England was always in charge. Newspaper wars and smallpox were a bit more entertaining and more well told rather than politics.

I won this from Goodreads Firstreads program

2 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.)

Book Blast for the Soldier's Return by Laura Libricz


The Soldier's Return by Laura Libricz

Publication Date: September 15, 2017
eBook & Paperback

Series: Heaven's Pond Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction


The year is 1626. A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this lucrative business of war.

The young dutchman, Pieter van Diemen, returns to Amsterdam in chains after a period of imprisonment in the Spice Islands. He manages to escape but must leave Amsterdam in a hurry. Soldiers are in demand in Germany and he decides to travel with a regiment until he can desert. His hope of survival is to reach Sichardtshof, the farm in Franconia, Germany; the farm he left ten years ago. His desire to seek refuge with them lies in his fond memories of the maid Katarina and her master, the humanist patrician Herr Tucher. But ten years is a long time and the farm has changed. Franconia is not only torn by war but falling victim to a church-driven witch hunt. The Jesuit priest, Ralf, has his sights set on Sichardtshof as well. Ralf believes that ridding the area of evil will be his saving grace. Can Pieter, Katarina and Herr Tucher unite to fight against a senseless war out of control?
?
The Soldier’s Return is the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy and will be released on September 15, 2017.

Available on Amazon


About the Author

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven's Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

For more information, please visit Laura Libricz's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 4
A Book Geek
Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!

Tuesday, September 5
100 Pages a Day
The Reading Queen

Wednesday, September 6
Must Read Faster
Just One More Chapter

Thursday, September 7
The Writing Desk
The Maiden's Court
To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, September 8
Book Nerd
CelticLady's Reviews

Saturday, September 9
Passages to the Past
Books, Dreams, Life

Sunday, September 10
I Heart Reading

Monday, September 11
A Literary Vacation
Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, September 12
Jo's Book Blog
WS Momma Readers Nook

Wednesday, September 13
Laura's Interests
Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, September 14
A Holland Reads
Svetlana's Reads and Views

Friday, September 15
T's Stuff
Pursuing Stacie

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

SPOTLIGHT TOUR: Journey's End: Death, Dying and the End of Life by Victoria Brewster & Julie Saeger Nierenberg


Book Details:



Book Title: Journey's End: Death, Dying and the End of Life

Authors: Victoria Brewster & Julie Saeger Nierenberg

​Category: Adult Non-Fiction; 558 pages

​Genre: Resource/Educational

Publisher: Xlibris

Release date: July 20, 2017

Tour dates: Sept 4 to 22, 2017

Content Rating: PG-13 + M



Book Description:



In Journey's End, we write about death, dying, and end of life issues. We attempt to define and describe these real-life circumstances, and we discuss ways to proactively deal with them. Multiple personal and professional perspectives provide valuable insights.



What is dying like for dying persons, for loved ones, and for those who lend support in the process? Each experience will have unique qualities. Everyone dies in his own way, on his own schedule. While we explore the dying process, we make no assumptions about how any particular death will unfold.



Grief and bereavement support, training tools, and educational resources are included.


Meet the Authors:






Victoria has a master of social work degree. She has worked as a case manager with older adults for the past seventeen years and as a group facilitator. Her past work experience was as a therapist with children and families, and as a case manager for adults with mental health issues. She just launched a consulting business, NorthernMSW to focus on end of life issues, planning, training, and advocacy, along with memoir writing and life legacy writing.



Julie was inspired equally by her professional backgrounds as a biomedical researcher and long time educator. Julie values open and lively discussions based on interview and research findings, trends in health and wellness, and exciting new modalities of treatment and professional education. She believes it will be through such discussions that we will create new and more satisfying cultural paradigms within which we may live all the days of our lives with dignity and quality of care.



Connect with the authors: Website ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 30


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