Monthly Archives

November 2017

reviews

Becoming Mrs. Smith by Tanya E. Williams

Becoming Mrs. Smith
by Tanya E. Williams

Not all of warís destruction takes place on the battlefield.

Violetís heart flutters from the scarlet fever she survived as a child, and it beats faster at the sight of John Smith, the man she plans to marry. America is entrenched in WWII, and when John enlists, Violet is certain she wonít ever forgive him for dashing their dreams. As the realities of war slowly overtake her life, Violet’s days are filled with uncertainty and grief. She struggles to maintain her faith in John, as the world as she knows it, crumbles.

Becoming Mrs. Smith is the inspiring, and at times, heartbreaking story of a womanís struggle to reclaim what she lost. War stole the man she loves, and childhood illness weakened her heartóperhaps beyond repair. While guns rage in Europe, the war Violet faces at home may be even more devastating.

Wonderfully emotional and beautifully written, Becoming Mrs. Smith will take hold of your heartstrings and leave you longing for more.” –Kelsey Gietl, author of Across Oceans

As a child Violet suffers scarlet fever that leaves her with a fluttering heart. At first, she believes it means she will die because of her broken heart – like her grandmother. Ah, the days of innocence…

Growing up, she falls in love with her childhood friend John Smith. When WWII rages and John enlists, Violet swears she will never forgive him and at first doesn’t even read his letters from the war.

I thought it was a different and honest emotion being angry for him to enlist. Usually, in books it’s like everyone is eager for war but I doubt everyone at home supported their men when they wanted to go to war.

I don’t usually read novellas and while I enjoyed this, it was just short and I wanted to know more. But this is the first in a series so at least there will be more.

3,5/5

Published: Rippling Effects Writing & Photography (October 10, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

A writer from a young age, Tanya E Williams loves to help a reader get lost in another time, another place through the magic of books. History continues to inspire her stories and her insightfulness into the human condition deepens her character’s experiences and propels them on their journey. Ms. Williams’ favourite tales, speak to the reader’s heart, making them smile, laugh, cry, and think.

For more information, please visit Tanya Williams’ website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 30
Feature at View from the Birdhouse
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, October 31
Review at Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

Wednesday, November 1
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, November 2
Review at Bookish

Friday, November 3
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 6
Review at Once Upon A Book

Tuesday, November 7
Feature at The Reading Queen

Wednesday, November 8
Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Thursday, November 9
Excerpt at Just One More Chapter

Friday, November 10
Feature at Jenn’s Book Vibes

Monday, November 13
Excerpt at What Cathy Read Next

Tuesday, November 14
Interview & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, November 15
Feature at A Literary Vacation
Review at Singing Librarian Books

Friday, November 17
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Feature at Broken Teepee

reviews

A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus by Various authors

A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus

by David Blixt, Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Scott Oden, Vicky Alvear Shecter, and Russell Whitfield

Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters–no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are their stories…

A beleaguered queen’s gambit for maintaining power unravels as a son plots vengeance.

A tormented siren battles a goddess’s curse and the forces of nature to survive.

An exiled sorceress defies a lustful captain and his greedy crew.

A blinded shepherd swears revenge on the pirate-king who mutilated him.

A beautiful empress binds a shipwrecked sailor to servitude, only to wonder who is serving whom.

A young suitor dreams of love while a returned king conceives a savage retribution.

Six authors bring to life the epic tale of The Odyssey seen through the eyes of its shattered victims—the monsters, witches, lovers, and warriors whose lives were upended by the antics of the “man of many faces.” You may never look upon this timeless epic—and its iconic ancient hero—in quite the same way again.

I haven’t read anything by Homer and while I know the basics of Odyssey and his journey, there is much to learn. Mostly I know Circe, Calypso etc by name but that’s about it. In a way, it’s a good thing since I don’t have anything to compare these characters to.

My favorite chapters were with Penelope. I loved seeing how she manages to keep the throne during all those years her husband was away. She had to be clever to do that since the majority of Ithaca’s men were gone to war or died on the journey. And she was realistic enough to wonder how he would explain his absence during all those years away.

Another awesome collaboration from the authors. David Blixt, Scott Oden, and Amalia Carosella were new authors for me. Another great book by The H Team and I’ve really come to look forward to these books.

4/5

Published: Knight Media, LLC (October 17, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Authors

Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). Amalia’s novels include Tamer of Horses, Helen of Sparta, By Helen’s Hand, and Daughter of a Thousand Years.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

David Blixt‘s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.

Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. Libbie’s recent novels include Daughter of Sand and Stone, Mercer Girls, A Song of War, White Lotus and Persian Rose.

She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Russell Whitfield was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey.

Gladiatrix was Russ’s first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book, Imperatrix, sees Lysandra stepping out of the arena and onto the field of battle.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Shannon.

Oden’s previous works include the historical fantasy, The Lion of Cairo, and two historical novels, Men of Bronze and Memnon. He is currently working on his next novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of multiple books set in the ancient world, including the YA novels, CLEOPATRA’S MOON, based on the life of Cleopatra’s only daughter, and CURSES AND SMOKE: A NOVEL OF POMPEII and the adult historical collaborations, A SONG OF WAR, A YEAR OF RAVENS, and A DAY OF FIRE. She has written a mid-grade series on mythology (ANUBIS SPEAKS, HADES SPEAKS, and THOR SPEAKS) as well as two award-winning biographies for kids. She a She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 17
Review at A Book Drunkard

Wednesday, October 18
Feature at A Holland Reads

Thursday, October 19
Feature at View From the Birdhouse

Friday, October 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, October 23
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, October 24
Feature at The Reading Queen

Wednesday, October 25
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, October 26
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, October 27
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, October 30
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, October 31
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews

Wednesday, November 1
Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, November 2
Feature at The Writing Desk

Friday, November 3
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, November 6
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, November 7
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, November 8
Feature at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 10
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, November 13
Review at Unabridged Chick
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 14
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Thursday, November 16
Feature at I Heart Reading

Friday, November 17
Review at A Book Geek
Review at The True Book Addict

reviews

The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose

The Library of Light and Shadow (Daughters of La Lune 3) by M.J. Rose

In the wake of a dark and brutal World War, the glitz and glamour of 1925 Manhattan shine like a beacon for the high society set, desperate to keep their gaze firmly fixed to the future. But Delphine Duplessi sees more than most. At a time in her career when she could easily be unknown and penniless, like so many of her classmates from L’École des Beaux Arts, in America she has gained notoriety for her stunning “shadow portraits” that frequently expose her subjects’ most scandalous secrets. Most nights Delphine doesn’t mind that her gift has become mere entertainment—a party trick—for the fashionable crowd.

Then, on a snowy night in February, in a penthouse high above Fifth Avenue, Delphine’s mystical talent leads to a tragedy between two brothers. Devastated and disconsolate, Delphine renounces her gift and returns to her old life in the south of France where Picasso, Matisse, and the Fitzgeralds are summering. There, Delphine is thrust into recapturing the past. First by her charismatic twin brother and business manager Sebastian who attempts to cajole her back to work and into co-dependence, then by the world famous opera singer Emma Calvé, who is obsessed with the writings of the fourteenth-century alchemist Nicolas Flamel. And finally by her ex-lover Mathieu, who is determined to lure her back into his arms, unaware of the danger that led Delphine to flee Paris for New York five years before.

Trapped in an ancient chateau where hidden knowledge lurks in the shadows, Delphine questions everything and everyone she loves the most—her art, her magick, her family, and Mathieu—in an effort to accept them as the gifts they are. Only there can she shed her fear of loving and living with her eyes wide open. (publisher)

Delphine Duplessi is an artist who paints “shadow” portraits while blindfolded showing her subjects darkest secrets. After an accident involving one of her portraits, Delphine returns home to France vowing to never paint shadow portraits again. Her twin brother and manager Sebastian tries to get her into painting again and manages to cajole her into accepting a commission to search for a book about alchemy hidden in a mysterious château.

It’s been too long since I read the previous books since I’ve forgotten so much about those. In this book were many characters that I just know we’ve encountered before but have no recollection where or how.

I liked Delphine but at times I wished she would stand up to her brother who was so manipulative. They’re twins so of course she sees only the good in him, especially since Sebastian saved her life when they were children, but I thought he was just selfish.

I thought the ending was bit abrupt leaving more questions than answers. We see Mathieu mostly through diary of a kind and I would have liked to see him more in the present. I felt I didn’t really know him and that he forgave Delphine way too easily for leaving him.

This was a really quick read and I wanted to know what happens next. I really hope there will be a book about the 3rd Duplessi sister!

4/5

Published: Atria Books (July 18, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley