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This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith

This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith

“Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by This Son of York…” — William Shakespeare, Richard III

Richard III was Anne’s muse for her first five books, but, finally, in This Son of York he becomes her protagonist. The story of this English king is one of history’s most compelling, made even more fascinating through the discovery in 2012 of his bones buried under a car park in Leicester.

This new portrait of England’s most controversial king is meticulously researched and brings to vivid life the troubled, complex Richard of Gloucester, who ruled for two years over an England tired of war and civil strife. The loyal and dutiful youngest son of York, Richard lived most of his short life in the shadow of his brother, Edward IV, loyally supporting his sibling until the mantle of power was thrust unexpectedly on him.

Some of his actions and motives were misunderstood by his enemies to have been a deliberate usurpation of the throne, but throughout his life, Richard never demonstrated any loftier ambitions than to honorably discharge his duty to his family and his country.

In a gentler vein, despite the cruel onset of severe scoliosis in his teens, Richard did find love, first with a lover and then in his marriage to Anne Neville. Between these two devoted women in his life, he sired three and perhaps four children.

Bringing the Plantagenet dynasty to a violent end, Richard was the last king of England to die in battle. This Son of York is a faithful chronicle of this much maligned man.

The book is told from Richard’s point of view and covers his life from childhood to his death.

This was the first book I’ve read from the author, even though I own a couple. Overall, I liked the book, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the characterization of Richard. He just came off as whiny and without backbone and it grew old very soon. I like Richard III but too often he’s described either just too good or either very bad like a Disney character or something. I like something in the between.

Every chapter starts with a quote from Philippa Langley, who was present during the whole research process for Richard’s bones. I found those quotes unnecessary, but I seem to be in minority with this so…

All this being said, I did enjoy the book even if it may sound like I didn’t. It also made me realize that I haven’t read a book about Richard for so long.

3/5

Published: Bellastoria Press (November 10, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

Anne is the award-winning author of The King’s Grace and the best-selling A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, Queen By Right, and Royal Mistress. She is an expert on Richard III, having studied the king and his times for decades. Her sixth book, This Son of York, will be published soon. She grew up in England, Germany and Egypt, and has been a resident/citizen of the US since 1968. Anne was the Features Editor at a daily newspaper in northern New York State for ten years, and her writing has been published in several national magazines.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, November 10
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, November 11
Excerpt at Words and Peace
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, November 12
Review at Passages to the Past
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, November 13
Review at Macsbooks
Interview at The Writing Desk

Thursday, November 14
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, November 15
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Saturday, November 16
Review at Curling up by the Fire
Review & Excerpt at Nursebookie
Review at Red Headed Book Lady
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Sunday, November 17
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

reviews

Repentance by Andrew Lam

Repentance by Andrew Lam

France, October 1944. A Japanese American war hero has a secret.

A secret so awful he’d rather die than tell anyone–one so entwined with the brave act that made him a hero that he’s determined never to speak of the war. Ever.

Decades later his son, Daniel Tokunaga, a world-famous cardiac surgeon, is perplexed when the U.S. government comes calling, wanting to know about his father’s service with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII. Something terrible happened while his father was fighting the Germans in France, and the Department of Defense won’t stop its investigation until it’s determined exactly who did what.

Wanting answers of his own, Daniel upends his life to find out what his father did on a small, obscure hilltop half a world away. As his quest for the truth unravels his family’s catastrophic past, the only thing for certain is that nothing–his life, career, and family–can ever be the same again.

Daniel Tokunaga is a successful cardiac surgeon of Japanese-American descent. He’s never given his father’s war service a second thought until Department of Defense makes contact wanting to know about his war efforts. Daniel has a difficult relationship with his estranged father who’s always been remote and strict.

The book follows Daniel in the present day and his father Ray in the past. Through tragedy, Daniel learns who his father really is and what he sacrificed for his family’s sake.

I knew there were Japanese internment camps in the USA but didn’t know anything more. I would have liked to know more about the camps and more about how the Japanese came to volunteer to fight despite their treatment.

The book is well written, but I would have liked to learn more about the camps and situation in the US at that time. I also found Daniel to be very judgmental and easy to find the worst about his father.

3/5

Published: Tiny Fox Press (May 1, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

Andrew Lam, M.D., is the award-winning author of Repentance, Two Sons of China, and Saving Sight. His writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Born in Philadelphia and raised in central Illinois, he graduated summa cum laude in history from Yale University, where he studied military history and U.S.-East Asian relations. He then attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by specialty training to become a retinal surgeon. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and resides in western Massachusetts with his wife and four children.

His newest book is Repentance, a historical novel and riveting family drama entwined with the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a group of Japanese American soldiers who fought valiantly in Europe during WWII while many of their families were incarcerated in camps like Manzanar at home. The 442nd became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.

Learn more at Andrew Lam’s website. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, May 1
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, May 2
Review at Bookish Sarah

Friday, May 3
Feature at What Is That Book About

Monday, May 6
Review & Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, May 7
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, May 8
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Friday, May 10
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, May 13
Feature at RW Bookclub

Tuesday, May 14
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Wednesday, May 15
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Review at Comet Readings
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

reviews

Shakespeare’s Witch by Samantha Grosser

Shakespeare’s Witch by Samantha Grosser

Love, Witchcraft, Sorcery, Madness.

A fortune told …
When Sarah Stone foresees Will Shakespeare’s latest play has opened doors to evil, she begs the playwright to abandon it. But Will refuses, aware the play is one of his best. And so rehearsals for Macbeth begin.

Forbidden desires …
After her vision, Sarah fears for her life – she has never known the shewstone to lie, and she turns to her brother Tom for comfort. A strange darkness seems to haunt the playhouse, and when Tom sets out to seduce John Upton, the boy actor who plays Lady Macbeth, the boy sees the hand of witchcraft in his own forbidden desires for men. Then Sarah weaves a spell to win the love of the new lead actor, and John, terrified for the safety of his soul, begins to make his accusations.

The Spirits have spoken …
As rehearsals continue, Sarah and Tom must struggle to convince John he is mistaken and that his sins are his own – their lives and the fortune of the play are at stake. But the Spirits have spoken – will the fate that Sarah foresaw come to pass or is their destiny their own to decide?

Set against the first production of Macbeth in 1606, Shakespeare’s Witch is a seductive tale of the origins of the curse of the Scottish Play.

Sarah Stone and her half-brother work with Shakespeare in his company. They both dabble in the occult and their mother taught them witchcraft. That becomes a problem after one player in the company accuses Sarah of being a witch. On the eve of the premiere of Macbeth, Shakespeare asks Sarah to consult the spirits about the play. Sarah is afraid about what she sees and asks Shakespeare not to go through with Macbeth, but he refuses.

This turned out to be different from what I was expecting not that it was a bad thing. It has to be mentioned that there is incest which might be a problem for some.

I don’t really know what to say without giving too much away…

I liked the characters and the writing. There are mystery, witchcraft, and suspense.

I enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to reading more from the author.

3,5 stars

Published: Sam Grosser Books (March 20, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

Historical fiction author Samantha Grosser originally hails from England, but now lives on the sunny Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband, son and a very small dog called Livvy.

Combining a lifelong love of history with a compulsion to write that dates from childhood, Samantha is now bringing her passion for telling compelling stories to the world.

Samantha has an Honours Degree in English Literature and taught English for many years in Asia and Australia. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place and The Officer’s Affair, and The King James Men, set during the turbulent early years of 17th Century.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, March 20
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, March 21
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Friday, March 22
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Saturday, March 23
Feature at Broken Teepee

Monday, March 25
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Tuesday, March 26
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, March 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, March 29
Interview at Passages to the Past

Sunday, March 31
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, April 1
Review at For the Sake of Good Taste

Tuesday, April 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, April 4
Interview at Hisdoryan

Monday, April 8
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, April 9
Review at Bibliophile Reviews

Wednesday, April 10
Review at Macsbooks

Friday, April 12
Review at A Book Geek

Monday, April 15
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, April 16
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, April 17
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Coffee and Ink

reviews

Cherokee America by Margaret Verble

Cherokee America by Margaret Verble

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Maudís Line, an epic novel that follows a web of complex family alliances and culture clashes in the Cherokee Nation during the aftermath of the Civil War, and the unforgettable woman at its center.

Itís the early spring of 1875 in the Cherokee Nation West. A baby, a black hired hand, a bay horse, a gun, a gold stash, and a preacher have all gone missing. Cherokee America Singer, known as ìCheck,î a wealthy farmer, mother of five boys, and soon-to-be widow, is not amused.

In this epic of the American frontier, several plots intertwine around the heroic and resolute Check: her son is caught in a compromising position that results in murder; a neighbor disappears; another man is killed. The tension mounts and the violence escalates as Checkís mixed race family, friends, and neighbors come together to protect their communityóand painfully expel one of their own.

Cherokee America vividly, and often with humor, explores the bondsóof blood and place, of buried histories and half-told tales, of past grief and present injuryóthat connect a colorful, eclectic cast of characters, anchored by the clever, determined, and unforgettable Check.

What drew me to read this was that it’s set in Cherokee Nation. I don’t know much about US history and I did learn much. But I have to say that there’s huge number f characters and I’m still bit confused at who is who and how they’re related. There was also lot of different plots and sub-plots that never really went anywhere.

I liked Check and admired her courage and determination. But there was too little of Check and Cherokee culture.

But I learned a lot about the time period, it just could have been more.

3/5

Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (February 19, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

Margaret Verble is an enrolled and voting citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a member of a large Cherokee family that has, through generations, made many contributions to the tribeís history and survival. Although many of her family have remained in Oklahoma to this day, and some still own and farm the land on which the book is set, Margaret was raised in Nashville, Tennessee, and currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

Many of the characters of Maudís Line are based on people Margaret knew as a child and the setting is land she roamed for many years of her life. In part, Margaret wrote this book to keep those people and that land alive in her heart.

Margaret’s new novel, Cherokee America, will be released by Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt on Feb. 19, 2019. A prequel to Maud’s Line, it is set in 1875 in the Arkansas River bottoms of the old Cherokee Nation West.

Margaret is a member of the Authors Guild and Western Writers of America.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, February 19
Feature at Coffee and Ink

Wednesday, February 20
Review at A Book Geek
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, February 22
Review at Creating Herstory
Feature at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, February 26
Review at Jennifer Silverwood’s Blog

Wednesday, February 27
Review at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, February 28
Review at Tar Heel Reader

Friday, March 1
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, March 4
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Thursday, March 7
Review at The Old Shelter
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog

Friday, March 8
Interview at The Old Shelter

Monday, March 11
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, March 13
Review at Passages to the Past

Friday, March 15
Review at bookramblings
Review at The Reading Woman

reviews

Imperial Passions: The Porta Aurea by Eileen Stephenson

Imperial Passions: The Porta Aurea by Eileen Stephenson

At the center of Byzantine society, fifteen-year old orphaned Anna Dalassena lives with her grandparents among the most powerful men and women in Constantinople. But the cutthroat politics of the Great Palace sends the family into exile in a distant corner of the mepire. Her bleak situation finally turns promising after meeing a handsome young soldier, John Comnenus, and his brother Isaac, before the are finally permitted to return home.

The vicious power struggles, uprisings, and betrayals at the highest levels of the empire push Anna and John unwillingly into its center as they struggle to deal with their own tragedies. When rebellion puts her life and those of everyone she loves at risk, is the reward a throne for her family – too big a gamble?

I’m not very familiar with Byzantine so this was an interesting read. At times it was rather difficult trying to keep the characters in order since everyone seems to be named either Anna or Michael…

We see the young orphaned girl grow into a confident and strong woman. Her family is connected enough to the rulers to be caught up in the power struggles. The book covers Anna’s life from a teenager until her brother-in-law Isaac Comnenus’ coronation. Last year I read a book about Anna Dalassena’s granddaughter, also called Anna, and it was interesting to learn more about her younger years.

This was my first book from the author and I’m looking forward to reading more.

3,5/5

Published: Blachernae Books (April 24, 2018)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, but after a peripatetic childhood ended up in the Washington, DC area, where I attended college, married, worked a day job in finance, and raised three children.

My first book, Tales of Byzantium, contains short stories taking place in the middle years of the Byzantine Empire. My second book and first novel, Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea, introduces Anna Dalassena, the extraordinary mother of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Comnenus, and an unstoppable force in her time.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 19
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 21
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, November 22
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, November 23
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, November 26
Feature at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, November 27
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, November 28
Excerpt at Tea Book Blanket

Thursday, November 29
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, December 3
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, December 4
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 6
Excerpt at Introvert Booklover

Friday, December 7
Feature at Jathan & Heather
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, December 10
Review at Bookramblings