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December 2014

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Book Spotlight: The Oblate’s Confession by William Peak

02_The Oblate's ConfessionThe Oblate’s Confession by William Peak

Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Secant Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover

Set in 7th century England, The Oblate’s Confession tells the story of Winwaed, a boy who – in a practice common at the time – is donated by his father to a local monastery. In a countryside wracked by plague and war, the child comes to serve as a regular messenger between the monastery and a hermit living on a nearby mountain. Missing his father, he finds a surrogate in the hermit, an old man who teaches him woodcraft, the practice of contemplative prayer, and, ultimately, the true meaning of fatherhood. When the boy’s natural father visits the monastery and asks him to pray for the death of his enemy – an enemy who turns out to be the child’s monastic superior – the boy’s life is thrown into turmoil. It is the struggle Winawed undergoes to answer the questions – Who is my father? Whom am I to obey? – that animates, and finally necessitates, The Oblate’s Confession.

While entirely a work of fiction, the novel’s background is historically accurate: all the kings and queens named really lived, all the political divisions and rivalries actually existed, and each of the plagues that visit the author’s imagined monastery did in fact ravage that long-ago world. In the midst of a tale that touches the human in all of us, readers will find themselves treated to a history of the “Dark Ages” unlike anything available today outside of textbooks and original source material.

Buy the Book
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About the Author

03_William Peak William Peak spent ten years researching and writing The Oblate’s Confession, his debut novel. Based upon the work of one of the great (if less well known) figures of Western European history, the Venerable Bede, Peak’s book is meant to reawaken an interest in that lost and mysterious period of time sometimes called “The Dark Ages.”
Peak received his baccalaureate degree from Washington & Lee University and his master’s from the creative writing program at Hollins University. He works for the Talbot County Free Library on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Thanks to the column he writes for The Star Democrat about life at the library (archived at http://www.tcfl.org/peak/), Peak is regularly greeted on the streets of Easton: “Hey, library guy!” In his free time he likes to fish and bird and write long love letters to his wife Melissa.

For more information please visit William Peak’s website.

The Oblate’s Confession Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 1
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, December 2
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, December 3
Review at Back Porchervations
Review at A Fantastical Librarian

Thursday, December 4
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Friday, December 5
Interview at Back Porchervations

Monday, December 8
Review at A Book Geek

Tuesday, December 9
Review at The Writing Desk
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, December 11
Interview at Forever Ashley

Monday, December 15
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, December 16
Spotlight at Bibliophilic Book Blog

Thursday, December 18
Review at 100 Pages a Day…Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Guest Post at Books and Benches

Friday, December 19
Review at Book Nerd
Review at bookramblings

Monday, December 22
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, December 23
Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, December 24
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, December 29
Review at The Never-Ending Book

Tuesday, December 30
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, January 2
Review at Library Educated

Monday, January 5
Review & Interview at Words and Peace

Tuesday, January 6
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, January 7
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Thursday, January 8
Review at Impressions in Ink

Friday, January 9
Review at The True Book Addict
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

04_The Oblate's Confession_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

meme

Mailbox Monday (15.12)

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is now hosted on its own blog.

Here’s the books I got in the last 2 weeks.

IMG_3414
The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell (purchased)
Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane (bought)
Jason by Laurell K. Hamilton (bought)
The Sweet Scent Of Blood by Suzanne McLeod (bought)
Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw (bought)
The She-Wolf by Pamela Bennetts (bought)
Battle Story: Bosworth 1485 by Mike Ingram (bought)
The de Montfort Legacy by Pamela Bennetts (bought)
The Queen’s Promise by Lyn Andrews (bought)

reviews

Gentlemen of Pitchfork by Kamil Gruca

01_Gentlemen of Pitchfork CoverGentlemen of Pitchfork by Kamil Gruca

The year is 1415. France is weakened by the recently ended Civil War between the factions of Burgundians and Armagnacs. The young and belligerent King Henry V Lancaster decides to pay the French a neighbourly visit. With him – the flower of the English knighthood.

Among them – Sir Arthur, the Baron of Pitchfork, an ideal of all chivalric virtues – his uncle, Sir Ralph, a veteran soldier with a taste for women and bitter humour – and his cousin, Sir Robert, a young and romantic would-be scholar who will have his first taste of war, sieges, duels, betrayal and intrigue but also love and practical philosophy.

Together they ride as secret envoys of their King to meet Burgundian emissaries. But the Armagnacs’ spies keep their eyes open for any sign of treason on the part of their political opponents and three powerful French armies are gathering to cross King Henry’s way.

This was quite quick and short read. I haven’t read many books set during the reign of Henry V but it was nice to read about the war from the point of view some other than Henry.

My problem with the book was that there were too many POV’s which made it very confusing. Half the time I was wondering how these people connect or will they connect at some point. There was nothing wrong with the chapters itself but I don’t think all were necessary.

And I have to say that I hate endings where you don’t know what happens to the characters. You see people falling in love and you have no idea if they end up together. How frustrating!

All that said it was enjoyable read and it gives realistic image about medieval war.

3/5

Published: Kamil Gruca (2014)
Format: eBook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

03_Gentlemen of Pitchfork_Blog Tour Bannerjpg You can check the tour schedule here

About the author

Kamil Gruca is a Polish writer born in 1982 in Warsaw. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Warsaw University.

Kamil is also an active knight who confirmed his battle prowess by winning the Polish National Knights League in 2006 under the alias of Sir Robert Neville. He has studied medieval swordsmanship for over 15 years hence his novels are full of dynamic and realistic swordplay.

Being an avid re-enactor and a passionate history geek Kamil moved to France for two years to study documents unavailable in other countries that would add to the feel and realism of the book on multiple levels.

His first novel “Panowie z Pitchfork” was published in 2009 by a major publishing house Rebis. Receiving a warm welcome from Polish critics, readers and fellow writers, the first part of the adventures of the young and keen Sir Robert was soon followed by a sequel “Baron i Łotr”, published by another publishing house Znak, bringing closure to the major plot.

Currently Kamil lives in Warsaw with his family and is working on another series of historical novels focused around one of Poland’s most famous knights – Zawisza Czarny – and his not so famous yet equally interesting brothers.

For more information about the book please visit http://gentlemenofpitchfork.blogspot.com or http://facebook.com/gentlemenofpitchfork. You can contact Kamil at Gruca.Kamil@gmail.com.

If you want to learn more about how Kamil trains medieval swordsmanship please visit HAM-Historyczna-Akademia-Miecza on Facebook (Site in Polish), as well as http://draby.pl (Site in Polish).