Tag Archives: historical fiction

Book Review & Giveaway: Another Kind of Magic by Elizabeth Davies

1 Nov

 

“I am a cat. But I am no ordinary cat. I am a witch’s familiar. I am also a woman, with a woman’s heart and a woman’s frailty.”

Nearly two hundred years have passed since Caitlyn was trapped by supernatural forces and black magic, and she has known many mistresses. This time, the witch she is enthralled to is Joan, wife of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales.

At first, this mistress appears no different to any of the others Caitlyn has served – until Llewelyn captures William de Braose, and Joan falls in love, risking everything, including Caitlyn, to fulfil her desire.

Caitlyn, meanwhile, has her own cross to bear in the form of the gallant and reckless Hugh of Pembroke…

Pre-Order Link: https://www.books2read.com/AnotherKindOfMagic

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Another Kind of Magic is the third book in a trilogy and I didn’t read the first two books but I didn’t have any trouble with this one so it does stand on its own. 

Caitlyn is a familiar meaning she is a woman who turns into a cat and she has to do the bidding of her mistress. Her current mistress is Lady Joan who is married to Llewelyn, Prince of Wales. She is ruthless and when she decides that she’s in love with William, a married man, Caitlyn is expected to do all she can to help her get her man. 

Hugh is a warrior who is supposed to protect William so Caitlyn spends enough time with Hugh that she ends up falling in love. Will she be able to finally find a way to end the curse and be able to live as her own woman and be able to love Hugh like she wants?

I always enjoy historical fiction that is based on actual facts. The author notes at the end of this book that many of the characters were actual people who lived in the thirteenth century. Since I enjoyed the last book in this trilogy, I’m going to have to go back and read the first two books!

 

 

 

Author Bio –

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

Social Media Links –

Website – www.elizabethdaviesauthor.co.uk

Twitter  – @bethsbooks

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethDaviesAuthor/

Instagram – @elizabethdavies.author

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Giveaway 

Win Tote bag and a signed paperback copy of each of the three books in the Caitlyn series. (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review & Giveaway: 221 B.C. by Kendall Price & Laura Vosika

9 Oct

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221 BC: Scroll 1 of Narmer War by Kendall Price221 BC: Scroll 1 of Narmer War by Kendall Price and Laura Vosika

Publisher:  Mill City Press, Inc. (January 31, 2018)
Category: Historical Fiction, Ancient Civilizations, Supernatural Powers, Young Adult
Tour dates: October-November, 2018
ISBN: 978-1545626108
Available in Print and ebook, 364 pages

221 BC

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Set against the backdrop of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, an alternate history unfolds, linking the power of the pharaohs to magic. Brother is pitted against brother in a race to find twelve amulets, lost with the ancient pharaoh, and unlock their powers. Whoever holds the amulets holds that power; to save the world…or destroy it.

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Guest Review by Sal

Qibo, professor at the Museum of Alexandria and King Ptolemy’s dear friend has been murdered.  He has been stabbed multiple times.  The King is distraught. He asks Hannibal of Carthage to investigate. 

Hannibal has his hunches and gets to work.  He immediately suspects that it is part of a dark magic plot against the King.  The King was given a gift of a ring that he hasn’t been able to remove since he put it on.  He also has had some health issues and it is suspected that the ring has something to do with it. When Qibo was murdered, he was working on translating ancient tablets that may hold the secret to magical powers.

The rich history and alternative history of 221 B.C. come alive in the well written, imaginative novel. There are a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.  I love the hunt for artifacts that are noted in the ancient tablets and said to have magical powers. 

This is the first book that is to become a series.  I can hardly wait for book 2.  I recommend this book to those who enjoy historical mysteries and ancient Egypt. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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Praise for 221 BC by Kendall Price and Laura Vosika

“As the debut novel opens, King Ptolemy IV, Macedonian ruler of Egypt, is distraught over the apparent murder of his friend and mentor, Qibo (“Multiple gashes covered his body. His eyes stared at the ceiling, as if he could still see whatever had killed him”). The ancient Taoist master had worked at the Museum of Alexandria for years. This act seems to be the dark culmination to a number of days in which Ptolemy has been plagued with nightmares laced with what appear to be strange signs. He dreams he is the Pharaoh Amenhotep, worrying over his kingdom and suffering from dental pain, the latter of which seems to affect Ptolemy’s waking hours as well. After exhuming the dead pharaoh’s body, experts discover that he did indeed have advanced abscesses in his teeth, which leads head librarian Eratosthenes to posit that someone might be working magic against the king, perhaps to re-create history. The theory is that Qibo was murdered to prevent him from translating ancient tablets that might help Ptolemy unlock the magical powers of a set of 12 amulets that have been in the possession of the pharaohs for untold years, each associated with a different element. Using the artifacts, someone might be able to wrest control of the kingdom. As the story proceeds, Price paints a vivid, intricate portrait of war, juggling a wide array of famous characters, including the notorious Hannibal, and using meticulous research to flesh out this universe, rooted in historical facts and details. The prose is rich and involving, and the twists are carefully designed and executed. An inventive blend of Egyptian history and magic, this dynastic tale opens what promises to be a stellar series.”- Kirkus

“What grabbed my attention was the fact that it was based in Egypt during the time before Christ, about the Pharaoh Ptolemy III and his family struggle to maintain their control of the united Egypt. I love how the story is created with historical facts into mystery of hidden artifacts that hold magical powers and having characters with unusual powers too. It makes for a very entertaining novel and keeps the reader wondering what will happen next.”- Valerie I. Rosica, Amazon Review

“Clearly a great deal of research was done to write this book. It’s also exceptionally creative and engrossing! Hope there’s more to come….”-Kathryn Price, Amazon Review

“Very interesting  take on the Egyptian family the Ptolemy’s and their possible aliens within the ancient world and the invasion of Rome by Hannbal. Historical fiction worth reading!”-Char, Amazon Review

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About the Authors


Dr. Kendall Price was born and raised in Columbia, Maryland, the third of four children. He attended high school at the Phillips Academy Boarding School in Andover, MA, a place that left him with many fond memories, and that he calls the most formative time of his life. The friendships in 221 BC are loosely based on his time at Andover.

Following in the footsteps of his father and two grandfathers, all doctors, Kendall attended Amherst College in Amherst, MA and the University of Illinois College of Medicine and studied pathology at Stanford University.  While there, he did four fellowships, including medical staff/ autopsy, hematopathology, surgical pathology, and immunohistochemistry.

Doctor Price lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife Michelle and their three children.  It was Michelle’s influence, with her study of Chinese medicine, and a masters degree in Chinese acupuncture, that led Dr. Price to become certified in acupuncture himself.  The magic in 221 BC is based on Chinese medicine.

In addition to writing and Chinese medicine, Dr. Price enjoys exercise, reading, and travel.  He has been to all 48 continental US states, Canada, Mexico, Alaska, and Copenhagen.

Other writing credits include a small booklet, available on Amazon, on healing dental caries by nutritional means.

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221 BC: Scroll 1 of Narmer War by Kendall Price and Laura Vosika

Laura Vosika is a writer, poet, and musician. Her time travel series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, set in modern and medieval Scotland, has garnered praise and comparisons to writers as diverse as Diana Gabaldon and Dostoevsky. Her poetry has been published in The Moccasin and The Martin Lake Journal 2017.

She has been featured in newspapers, on radio, and TV, has spoken for regional book events, and hosted the radio program Books and Brews. She currently teaches writing at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

As a musician, Laura has performed as on trombone, flute, and harp, in orchestras, and big bands. She lives in Brooklyn Park with 5 of her 9 children, 3 cats, and an Irish Wolfhound.

Website: www.bluebellschronicles.com
Blog: http://bluebellstrilogy.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauravosika

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Buy 221 BC

Amazon
Kindle
Barnesandnoble
Indiebound
BookDepository

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Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 winners choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. This giveaway ends November 30, 2018, midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 2 Kickoff

Lisa Book Reviews Oct 3 Review & Excerpt

Dawn Bound 2 Escape Oct 5 Excerpt

Dawn Bound 4 Escape Oct 9 Guest Review

Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Oct 12 Review

Yari Yaris-Book-World Amazon Oct 15 Review

Indie Review Behind the Scenes Oct 16 Video Interview 1 pm est (will be posted later in the week)

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 5 Review

Amber Imaginative Dreams Nov 20 Review & Excerpt

Mindy Room Without Books is Empty Nov 27 Review

This schedule is subject to change.

 

Book Review: The Last Plantagenet? by Jennifer C. Wilson

21 Aug

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The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.
All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.
Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?

Purchase Link  Amazon

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Kate knows a lot about King Richard III and when she falls into a fireplace at Nottingham Castle and travels back to 1485, she gets to learn about him firsthand. I enjoyed reading about what happened in the time before the king was killed as well as how the author portrays him. Since we don’t know how he really was, it was nice to see him portrayed in a positive and romantic light.

It’s a shame this novella wasn’t longer but it’s still good. I especially liked the ending.

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Author Bio 

Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and available via Amazon.

Social Media LinksBlog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Company Files: The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan

26 Feb
 

Book Title: The Company Files: 1. The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan
Category: Adult Fiction, 251 pages
Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction, Crime Fiction, Espionage
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Release date: December 2017
Tour dates: Feb 12 to March 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG + M (No bad language but there is an attempted rape scene, and some violence.)

 

Book Description

In 1948, Vienna was divided among four powers: France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Jack Marshall had served with Walker during the war, and now, working together for The Company, they are tasked to do the inconceivable. Could former Nazis really be recruited to assist the U.S. in the atomic race? As their team moves forward, they quickly discover they are not the only ones looking for these men. And the others in the search may just have the objective of murder.

In this tale of historical noir, of corruption and deceit, no one is who they say they are. Who is The Good Man in a world where an enemy may be a friend, an ally may be the enemy, and governments deny everything?

To read reviews, please visit Gabriel Valjan’s Page on iRead Book Tours.

 

Buy the Book:

 Amazon

 Add to Goodreads

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read The Roma Series by Gabriel Valjan and I liked it so I was looking forward to reading The Company Files: The Good Man.

The Company Files: The Good Man, like the Roma series, is not light reading. It is an international thriller based in Vienna in 1948, post World War II. There’s a lot of history included in the story which makes it all the more interesting.

Walker and Jack Marshall work for The Company trying to recruit former Nazis to assist America in the atomic race. Unfortunately, there is a vigilante who has other ideas. He is killing former Nazis and some of those are on the list of recruits who Walker and Jack are looking for. Can they come to an understanding and possibly work together?

As I would expect from this author, there are many other things happening while the main plot carries out. For example, the vigilante saves a young girl who has nowhere else to go. What will happen to her? And then there’s Leslie who works with Walker and Jack and has many skills. She even infiltrated the Nazis and got a lot of important information during the war. But because she’s a woman, her skills are seldom acknowledged. 

Anyone who enjoys historical fiction, international spy thrillers, or suspense will enjoy The Company Files: The Good Man. It’s not only interesting as far as the history but the characters are well developed and it has a good ending. 

 

 

 Meet the Author

 
Gabriel Valjan is the author of The Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.
Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest
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Enter the Giveaway!

Ends March 10, 2018
 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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Audiobook Review: Murder on the SS Rosa by Lee Strauss

24 Feb

It’s 1923 and young war widow fashionista Ginger Gold makes a cross-Atlantic journey with her companion Haley Higgins to London England to settle her father’s estate. When the ship’s captain is found dead, Ginger is only too happy to lend her assistance to the handsome Chief Inspector Basil Reed.

The SS Rosa delivers a convincing array of suspects–the wife, the mistress, a jealous crew mate. To Ginger’s dismay, her name has been added to the list! With a little help from Ginger’s dog Boss, Ginger and Haley navigate the clues (those wartime operative skills come in handy.) They must solve the case and clear Ginger’s name before they dock–and oh, whatever shall she wear!

Available on Amazon.

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Murder on the SS Rosa is located on the SS Rosa, a ship going from Boston to London. Ginger and Haley are unlikely friends who are both on their way to London. Ginger is well off and needs to settle her father’s estate. Haley is a nurse on her way to medical school. They became friends when Haley was caring for Ginger’s father. The differences between classes in 1923 are apparent in some of their discussions.

The narrator did a good job with timing as well as the different voices. I would think it’d be difficult to go back and forth between accents, but she did very well.

Even though the murder mystery seemed secondary to me, with the historical fiction being the primary focus, I enjoyed the story of Ginger Gold and look forward to reading more of her mysteries. 

 

About the Author

Would you like the FREE Lee Strauss starter library that includes 5 novels and 2 short stories? Visit my website: http://www.laplumepress.com/signup

As Lee Strauss, I’m a bestselling author of The Ginger Gold Mysteries series (cozy historical mystery), A Nursery Rhyme Suspense series (Mystery Sci-fi Romantic Suspense), The Perception series (young adult dystopian), and young adult historical fiction. When I’m not writing or reading I like to cycle, hike and kayak. I enjoy traveling (but not jet lag :0), cashew lattes, red wine and dark chocolate.

I also write younger YA fantasy as Elle Strauss and sweet inspirational romance as Hope Franke Strauss.

 

 

 

Book Review & Giveaway: Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani

17 Jan

Book Title:  Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani
Category:  Adult Fiction,  560  pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Harper Paperbacks
Release date:  January 2018
Format available for review: print (USA only)
Tour dates: Jan 15 to 31, 2018
Content Rating: G (For general audience. Depictions of violence are minimal. No bad language, religious expletives, sex scenes, drug use or underage drinking.)

Book Description
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From Adriana Trigiani, the beloved New York Times-bestselling author of The Shoemaker’s Wife, comes an exhilarating epic novel of love, loyalty, and creativity—the story of an Italian-American family on the cusp of change.
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It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match.Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more—more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes.

From the dreamy mountaintop village of Roseto Valfortore in Italy, to the vibrant streets of South Philly, to the close-knit enclave of Roseto, Pennsylvania, to New York City during the birth of the golden age of television, Kiss Carlo is a powerful, inter-generational story that celebrates the ties that bind, while staying true to oneself when all hope seems lost.

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, this novel brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns. Trigiani’s consummate storytelling skill and her trademark wit, along with a dazzling cast of characters will enthrall readers. Once again, the author has returned to her own family garden to create an unforgettable feast. Kiss Carlo is a jubilee, resplendent with hope, love, and the abiding power of la famiglia.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the first book I’ve read by Adriana Trigiani. I like her writing style because it flows well and she gives good descriptions. They can be a little too detailed at times for my taste, but that’s a personal preference. I especially liked the descriptions of Italy, it was almost like I was there.

Kiss Carlo is about one family with many characters. There are so many characters and so many plots that it’s difficult to get attached to the characters. It was slow at times but it did have a good ending. 

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this author so I plan on trying another one of her books.

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About the Author

Adriana Trigiani is the bestselling author of 17 books, which have been published in 36 countries around the world. She is a playwright, television writer/producer and filmmaker. She wrote and directed the film version of her novel Big Stone Gap, which was shot entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. She is co-founder of the Origin Project, an in-school writing program that serves more than a thousand students in Appalachia. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Giveaway

Prizes: ​ Win a paperback copy of Kiss Carlo (USA only / 1 winner)

(ends Feb 7, 2018)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review & Giveaway: Surviving the Fatherland by Annette Oppenlander

8 Aug

 

Historical Fiction

Date Published: March 15, 2017

Publisher: Oppenlander Enterprises LLC

***An IWIC Hall of Fame Novel***

***Winner 2017 National Indie Excellence Award***

“This book needs to join the ranks of the classic survivor stories of WWII such as “Diary of Anne Frank” and “Man’s Search for Meaning”. It is truly that amazing!” InD’taleMagazine

“This family saga is wonderfully written and, aside from the emotional ramifications, very easy to read. I stayed up too late a couple of nights reading it…I highly recommend this book!” Long and Short Reviews

Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, author Annette Oppenlander’s SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children’s war.

SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children. 

When her father goes off to war, seven-year-old Lilly is left with an unkind mother who favors her brother and chooses to ignore the lecherous pedophile next door. A few blocks away, twelve-year-old Günter also loses his father to the draft and quickly takes charge of supplementing his family’s ever-dwindling rations by any means necessary.

As the war escalates and bombs begin to rain, Lilly and Günter’s lives spiral out of control. Every day is a fight for survival. On a quest for firewood, Lilly encounters a dying soldier and steals her father’s last suit to help the man escape. Barely sixteen, Günter ignores his draft call and embarks as a fugitive on a harrowing 47-day ordeal–always just one step away from execution.

When at last the war ends, Günter grapples with his brother’s severe PTSD and the fact that none of his classmates survived. Welcoming denazification, Lilly takes a desperate step to rid herself once and for all of her disgusting neighbor’s grip. When Lilly and Günter meet in 1949, their love affair is like any other. Or so it seems. But old wounds and secrets have a way of rising to the surface once more.

Purchase Links

 Amazon     B&N     Kobo

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Based on the true story of two children growing up in Nazi Germany, Surviving the Fatherland is historical fiction at its best. To see the effects of this war from a German child’s view is a perspective I haven’t read before.

It’s difficult to read parts of this book knowing that these things actually happened. The innocent Germans who just tried to survive are usually forgotten when talking about World War II. What German families had to endure under Hitler’s regime and afterward is unthinkable and it’s hard to think about the fact that it wasn’t that long ago. 

Annette Oppenlander does such a good job at describing what Lilly and Günter go through that I felt like I was sitting there listening to their stories first-hand.

Surviving the Fatherland is a story of courage, love, and hope during a time of war and rebuilding. Knowing that it’s based on the lives of the author’s parents makes it even more compelling.

 

About the Author

Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past. Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was elected to IWIC’s Hall of Fame and won the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha, in Bloomington, Ind.

 

Contact Information

Website: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annetteoppenlanderauthor

Twitter: https://twitter/aoppenlander

Blog: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com/blog

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/annoppenlander/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34388334-surviving-the-fatherland?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Giveaway

Two autographed copies of ‘Surviving the Fatherland’

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Book Review: The Forgotten Princess by James Holden-White

8 Apr

King Edward of England looks to secure his annexation of Wales and resolves to put the heir to Gwynedd’s throne, the orphaned infant Princess, Gwenllian, out of mind, secure and forgotten in a Lincolnshire Priory. The lady Rowena, ever loyal, undergoes many an ordeal to find, comfort and protect the miserable child, whose identity has been cruelly kept from her.

Eighteen years later when the King conceives a plan to settle any question of Welsh succession and news of the Princess leaks to those who would free her, Rowena finds herself faced with the most agonising of choices.

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Forgotten Princess is a historical novel based on actual history. It’s about when Wales is conquered by King Edward of England and Gwynedd is killed. His young daughter, Gwenllian, heir to the throne,  is taken to a priory to be cared for but forgotten. At the end of the book, James Holden-White explains which characters were real and which were fictional as well as the creative license that he took.

Gwenllian’s wet nurse Rowena follows her to the priory. It takes many years for her to become a Gilbertine and is finally able to watch over her sweet princess. The perseverance of Rowena is commendable. She feels responsible for Gwenllian and would give her life for her princess if needed.

I don’t usually care much for reading about the history of this time period, but it is presented in such a way in The Forgotten Princess that I enjoyed learning about it.  I especially liked the occasional comments about bugs and lice even bothering the king, a reminder that things were quite different in those days. 

I definitely recommend The Forgotten Princess if you like historical fiction.

 

About the Author:

 James Holden-White was brought up in Bath and studied law at Swansea University. He lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and children where they share in a small holding and keep an allotment. He has a passion for the countryside, travel, history and rugby and is a serving Police Officer.

 

Excerpt from the novel:

“She left them in a stunned silence, rocked by the news, and they had no choice but to obey. For the younger two, the prospect was frightening, but they would find new friends if not wiser ones in time, but for Rowena this was totally devastating. She had laboured amongst the lay Sisters for eight and a half years in the shadow of the Gilbertine priory, sustained in part by the distraction of educating Alethea and the naive enthusiasm of the unassuming Edith, but always harbouring nothing but hope that one day she would make her way inside and be reunited with the imprisoned princess, the only drive and inspiration which had kept her alive. But now all hope was cruelly taken from her and dashed against the wall like the head of the spitted rabbits which waited for the feast, she was to be sent to the remotest of the priory’s farms, miles from the child.

Rowena made her way sorrowfully back to the lode, perhaps it was time to give up her siege of the Gilbertines, perhaps patience would never bear fruit. She must turn her back on it all or try to rescue what she knew by now would be an indoctrinated child, a plan likely to expose them both to mortal danger. Feeling hopeless and utterly frustrated, she turned her face to the approaching banners of the prior’s guests and the tears flowed down her windswept cheeks.”

 

 

“The Forgotten Princess” by James Holden-White is currently available in paperback and e-book from Amazon UK. 

 

Press/Media Contact Details:

 Darin Jewell
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency
Tel. 0208 292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

 

 

Audiobook Review: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

28 Mar

 

Author: Louisa May Alcott

Narrator: Andrea Emmes

Length: 17h 36m

Publisher: Listen2aBook.com⎮2016

Genre: Classics

Release date: Aug. 16, 2016

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, set in the 19th century follows the lives of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March as they live, learn, love, and grow as young pilgrims and blossom into fine little women.

Based on the author’s childhood, Little Women is one of the most beloved stories in American literature. It continues to touch listeners both young and old. Alcott takes you on a prolific journey which will make your heart swell, your soul laugh, and your heart ache as we experience the lives of the March sisters as they endure their lessons, scrapes, castles in the air, their romances, and more.

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About the Author

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist and poet best known as the author of the novel Little Women (1868) and its sequels Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886). Raised by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott in New England, she also grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau.

 

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About the Narrator

Andrea Emmes started her career performing in musical theater while growing up on the East Coast. This lead to a successful career as a stage performer working for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Renaissance Cruises and eventually head lining on the Las Vegas Strip. Having worked in tv, film and video games, Andrea, a total bibliophile, now enjoys narrating audiobooks at her home studio in San Jose, California. Known as “The Girl with a Thousand Voices”, her wide range of character voices and dynamic/emotionally invested performances has reviewers and listeners alike commenting on how she effortlessly pulls listeners in, and has versatility and charisma. Not only does she have a Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design, but Andrea gets her inner gamer geek on playing games of all kinds with her husband and their cat, Lucy.

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My Review

I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read Little Woman many years ago when I was a teen and I remember not being real impressed with it but I didn’t remember a lot about it so I thought I’d give the audiobook a try.

Little Women is a good story. I’d say it should be since it’s a classic but there are classics that I didn’t like at all. I did find that it was a bit wordy. It’s about four sisters as they grow from teens into adults. It’s set in the 1800s, when it was written, so a lot of the beliefs and actions are interesting, sometimes funny, when compared to today’s world.

The characters are well developed and I enjoyed seeing how the sisters grew into responsible young women. I worried about their next door neighbor, Laurie, being rich and not having to work. The poor guy just seemed to be set up for having difficulties as he grew up.

The narrator’s voice was good for this book because she sounds like a young woman. There were occasions that Jo and Laurie’s voices weren’t distinguishable from one another but overall she did a very good job.

After reading/listening to Little Women for the second time, I like it better than I remembered although that may just be because it’s been 40 years and my reading tastes have changed. This story is timeless and I recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

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Tour Schedule

Mar. 26: J.R.’s Book Reviews

Mar. 27: Haddie’s Haven

Mar. 28: Bound4Escape

Mar. 29: Dab of Darkness
Riddle’s Reviews

Mar. 30: Ali the Dragon Slayer

Mar. 31: Mama Reads
Literature Approved

Apr. 1: Captivated Reading
Taffy’s Candy

Apr. 2: Ronelle Antoinette

Apr. 3: What Danielle Did Next

Apr. 4: Avid Book Collector
Jorie Loves A Story

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Audiobook Review: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe

13 Mar

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe

Author: Jennifer Kincheloe
Narrator: Moira Quirk
Length: 12h 44m
Publisher: Jennifer R. Kincheloe, Ltd⎮2016
Genre: Historical Mystery/Thriller
Release date: Nov. 14, 2016

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It’s 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels, but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era’s rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. If the police find out, she’ll get fired; if her father finds out, he’ll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he’ll cancel the wedding. Midway into her investigation, the police chief’s son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity, and shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail. Anna must choose – either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

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About the Author

Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse’s aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She’s currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

 

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About the Narrator

Moira grew up in teeny-tiny Rutland, England’s smallest county, which is fitting as she never managed to make it past five feet herself. Moira’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR, video games, commercials, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She’s won Multiple Audie Awards, Earphone Awards, as well as Audible’s prestigious Book-of-the-Year Award. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”

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My Review

 

 

I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Anna Blanc is a young woman who is spoiled by her rich father but she is headstrong and independent so he tries to keep her under control by cancelling her allowance and having her constantly watched by a chaperone. She decides to apply to be a matron at a police station because she thinks it would be fun and she’s bored. 

Anna is a conundrum. She’s been brought up to believe that she’s better than the lower class, that she’s supposed to get married and take care of her husband, and if she gets bored, she should do volunteer work. But Anna wants to be a detective and she shows that she has a big heart when she tries on her own to solve the murders of prostitutes. She treats everyone she meets the same and proves that she is ahead of her time in many ways.

I enjoyed listening to The Secret Life of Anna Blanc. I never knew what Anna was going to do next. Moira Quirk did a very good job of narrating. Her voice is easy to listen to and she had appropriate pauses, inflection, etc.

If you enjoy a good mystery along with a fun female character, you’ll love Anna Blanc. Continue reading

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