Sing Us A Song….

51r2bnxs5ehlSynopsis: The long-awaited, all-access biography of a music legend

In Billy Joel, acclaimed music journalist Fred Schruers draws upon more than one hundred hours of exclusive interviews with Joel to present an unprecedented look at the life, career, and legacy of the pint-sized kid from Long Island who became a rock icon.

Exhibiting unparalleled intimate knowledge, Schruers chronicles Joel’s rise to the top of the charts, from his working-class origins in Levittown and early days spent in boxing rings and sweaty clubs to his monumental success in the seventies and eighties. He also explores Joel’s creative transformation in the nineties, his dream performance with Paul McCartney at Shea Stadium in 2008, and beyond.

Along the way, Schruers reveals the stories behind all the key events and relationships—including Joel’s high-profile marriages and legal battles—that defined his path to stardom and inspired his signature songs, such as “Piano Man,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “New York State of Mind,” and “She’s Always a Woman.” Throughout, he captures the spirit of a restless artist determined to break through by sharing, in his deeply personal lyrics, the dreams and heartbreaks of suburban American life.

Comprehensive, vibrantly written, and filled with Joel’s memories and reflections—as well as those of the family, friends, and band members who have formed his inner circle, including Christie Brinkley, Alexa Ray Joel, Jon Small, and Steve Cohen—this is the definitive account of a beloved rock star’s epic American journey.

dancing_notes_piano_divider600

billy_joel_tampa_2013If you’re like me, you love Billy Joel. I had the distinct honour and pleasure of getting to see the Piano Man in January when he stopped by Tampa on his tour. I was absolutely over the moon. He puts an amazing show on and I would basically kill (not kill–you guys know what I mean) to see him again. His voice was as rich as ever, his stories and humour filling in the breaks between his songs. He is the ultimate showman and I can’t wait until I’m able to see him again.

I think my favorite moment was when he was about to play New York State of Mind and he dedicated it to Ted Cruz since he bashed “New York Values”. Let me tell you, the screams were overwhelming when he said, “Here Ted, lemme tell you about MY values.”

That being said, this book is full of those gems, stories and factoids that were revealed from the Piano Man himself to the author, who was a very capable writer. It is a mix of the writer and Billy’s voices and together, it is an intriguing mix. It’s not a book that holds anything back either, you get an excellent sense of who Billy is. He never shies away from his Long Island roots and his music is infused with his love for New York. I think if you enjoy Billy’s music, that this biography will be for you.

Here’s one of my favourite songs–this is not my video, my phone died! D: :

Welcome, welcome!

Well, as you can see, I have a new name and new URL. It seems that I was deleted. Rather rudely, if you ask me. I logged in and you’ll imagine my shock (and fury) at seeing that my hard work of two years was gone. Fortunately, not all was lost. I have all of my posts and have uploaded them back here. It will take me a bit of time to go through everything as I am not certain if the images I chose to use in said posts will show up properly.

Bear with me, my darlings, I shall get to the bottom of this whole damned affair.

Spotlight: Galerie

02_Galerie

Galerie by Steven Greenberg

Publication Date: October 26, 2015
Evolved Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller/Literary
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WINNER: Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Fall 2015 — Best Books in Fiction.

Every family has secrets, but some are far darker, reach deeper, and touch a rawer nerve than others.

For Vanesa Neuman, the past is a closed book. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, her childhood in the cramped intimacy of south Tel Aviv is shadowed by her parents’ unspoken wartime experiences. But when her father passes away, the closed book falls literally open. Vanesa decides to unravel the mystery of the diary she has received, and strange symbol in it, at all costs.

Set against the backdrop of the Jewish Museum of Prague during the Nazi occupation – Adolf Eichmann’s “Museum of an Extinct Race” – Galerie is fast-paced historical fiction in the tradition of Tatiana De Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key. From Jerusalem’s Yad V’Shem Holocaust research center, to the backstreets of Prague, and into the former “paradise ghetto” of Theresienstadt – Vanesa’s journey of understanding will reveal a darker family past than she ever imagined and a secret kept alive for over half a century.

PERFECT FOR BOOK CLUBS: A book club guide is included at the end of the story.

Praise

“…dark and gritty…the story and writing lift it up to the point of being nearly sublime. Buy this book and say goodbye to your family for the weekend, because you will not want to put it down once you get started.” ~ Eric W. Swett

“Galerie is a gripping read, rich with intrigue from beginning to end. As much a thriller as a Holocaust novel…” ~ BookWormNZ

“Imagine Stephen King wrote Schindler’s List…Galerie manages to break away from the accepted treatment of Europe’s darkest hour and explore the horror from an unexpected point of view.” ~ Nikki

“…uncomfortable in moments, but so provocative that it is impossible to put down.” ~ Sydology

03_Steven GreenbergAbout the Author

Steven Greenberg is a professional writer, as well as a full-time cook, cleaner, chauffeur, and work-at-home Dad for three amazing young children, and the lucky husband of a loving and very supportive wife. Born in Texas and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Steven emigrated to Israel only months before the first Gulf War, following graduation from Indiana University in 1990. In 1996, he was drafted into the Israel Defense Forces, where he served for 12 years as a Reserves Combat Medic. Since 2002, Steven has worked as an independent marketing writer, copywriter and consultant.

You can find more information at Steven Greenberg’s website. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 5
Review at Library Educated

Wednesday, April 6
Review & Giveaway at Man of la Book
Interview at Library Educated

Thursday, April 7
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, April 8
Review & Giveaway at Singing Librarian Books

Monday, April 11
Guest Post & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 12
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Wednesday, April 13
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, April 14
Review at Bookramblings
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, April 15
Review at Book Nerd

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Blast Off with: The Tapestry!

02_The TapestryThe Tapestry (Joanna Stafford #3)
by Nancy Bilyeau

Paperback Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
Paperback; 416 Pages

Series: Joanna Stafford
Genre: Historical Mystery

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Fans of the Tudor era, you’re in for a treat” –InStyle magazine

Henry VIII’s Palace of Whitehall is the last place on earth Joanna Stafford wants to be. But a summons from the king cannot be refused.

After her priory was destroyed, Joanna, a young Dominican novice, vowed to live a quiet life, weaving tapestries and shunning dangerous conspiracies. That all changes when the king takes an interest in her tapestry talent.

With a ruthless monarch tiring of his fourth wife and amoral noblemen driven by hidden agendas, Joanna becomes entangled in court politics. Her close friend, Catherine Howard, is rumored to be the king’s mistress, and Joanna is determined to protect her from becoming the king’s next wife–and victim. All the while, Joanna tries to understand her feelings for the two men in her life: the constable who tried to save her and the friar she can’t forget.

Ina world of royal banquets, jousts, sea voyages and Tower Hill executions, Joanna must finally choose her future: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier.

The Tapestry is the final book in a trilogy that began in 2012 with The Crown, an Oprah magazine pick. Don’t miss the adventures of one of the most unforgettable heroines in historical fiction.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Praise

“In Joanna Stafford, Bilyeau has given us a memorable character who is prepared to risk her life to save what she most values.” (Deborah Harkness)

“Nancy Bilyeau’s passion for history infuses her books and transports us back to the dangerous world of Tudor England. Vivid characters and gripping plots are at the heart of this wonderful trilogy, and this third book will not fail to thrill readers. Warmly recommended!” (Alison Weir, author of The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I)

“A rip-roaring Tudor adventure from Nancy Bilyeau! Novice nun turned tapestry weaver Joanna Stafford returns to the court of Henry VIII. She’s that great rarity of historical fiction: a fiercely independent woman who is still firmly of her time. A mystery as richly woven as any of Joanna’s tapestries.” (Kate Quinn, author of Lady of the Eternal City)

The Tapestry takes its history seriously, but that doesn’t stop it from being a supremely deft, clever and pacy entertainment. This is Nancy Bilyeau’s most thrilling – and enlightening – novel in the Joanna Stafford series yet.” (Andrew Pyper, International Thriller Writers Award winner of The Demonologist and The Damned)

“A master of atmosphere, Nancy Bilyeau imbues her novel with the sense of dread and oppression lurking behind the royal glamour; in her descriptions and characterizations . . . Bilyeau breathes life into history.” (Laura Andersen, author of The Boleyn King)

“In The Tapestry, Nancy Bilyeau brilliantly captures both the white-hot religious passions and the brutal politics of Tudor England. It is a rare book that does both so well.” (Sam Thomas, author of The Midwife’s Tale)

“In spite of murderous plots, volatile kings, and a divided heart, Joanna Stafford manages to stay true to her noble character. Fans of Ken Follett will devour Nancy Bilyeau’s novel of political treachery and courageous love, set amid the endlessly fascinating Tudor landscape.” (Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl)

“These aren’t your mother’s nuns! Nancy Bilyeau has done it again, giving us a compelling and wonderfully realized portrait of Tudor life in all its complexity and wonder. A nun, a tapestry, a page-turning tale of suspense: this is historical mystery at its finest.” (Bruce Holsinger, author of A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire)

About the Author02_Nancy Bilyeau

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay “Zenobia” placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and “Loving Marys” reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013, and THE TAPESTRY in 2015.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Stay in touch with her on Twitter at @tudorscribe. For more information or to sign up for Nancy’s Newsletter please visit her official website.

Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, March 22
Just One More Chapter
Historical Fiction Addicts
Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, March 23
Passages to the Past
With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Thursday, March 24
Impressions In Ink
The Life & Times of a Book Addict

Friday, March 25
The Reading Queen
Queen of All She Reads

Saturday, March 26
A Holland Reads

Sunday, March 27
Layered Pages

Monday, March 28
A Book Drunkard
Historical Readings & Reviews

Tuesday, March 29
Book Nerd
Carpe Librum

Wednesday, March 30
The Lit Bitch
Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Thursday, March 31
A Book Geek
What Is That Book About

Friday, April 1
CelticLady’s Reviews
A Dream within a Dream

Saturday, April 2
So Many Books, So Little Time

Sunday, April 3
Susan Heim on Writing

Monday, April 4
100 Pages a Day
A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, April 5
The Tudor Enthusiast
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Giveaway

Two paperbacks of The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau are up for grabs! To enter, please use the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US addresses only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Tapestry Book Blast

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Death of an Alchemist: A Review

02_Death of an AlchemistDeath of an Alchemist: A Bianca Goddard Mystery (Bianca Goddard Mysteries, Book 2)
by Mary Lawrence

Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Kensington Books
Hardcover & eBook; 304 Pages

Genre: Historical Mystery

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In the mid sixteenth century, Henry VIII sits on the throne, and Bianca Goddard tends to the sick and suffering in London’s slums, where disease can take a life as quickly as murder…

For years, alchemist Ferris Stannum has devoted himself to developing the Elixir of Life, the reputed serum of immortality. Having tested his remedy successfully on an animal, Stannum intends to send his alchemy journal to a colleague in Cairo for confirmation. But the next day his body is found and the journal is gone.

Bianca, the daughter of an alchemist, is well acquainted with the mystical healing arts. When her husband John falls ill with the sweating sickness, she dares to hope Stannum’s journal could contain the secret to his recovery. But first she must solve the alchemist’s murder. As she ventures into a world of treachery and deceit, Stannum’s death is only the first in a series of murders—and Bianca’s quest becomes a matter of life and death, not only for her husband, but for herself…

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Praise for The Alchemist’s Daughter (Bianca Goddard Mysteries, Book 1)

“A realistic evocation of 16th century London’s underside. The various strands of the plot are so skillfully plaited together.” —Fiona Buckley

“Mystery and Tudor fans alike will raise a glass to this new series.” —Karen Harper

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I was so excited when this came up as a blog tour because having read the first book in this series, ‘The Alchemist’s Daughter’, I definitely wanted more of Bianca and her story. Fortunately for you, if you just pick up this one, you won’t be totally lost. This is a good novel just on its own; the first book’s adventure is mentioned but you won’t feel lost if you don’t read it. (You should though; it’s really fantastic!)

The pacing in this book is spot on; it isn’t rushed and it’s not too slow either. Some novels go on and on, drawing things out more than needs to be done, however, this isn’t one of those books. It is just the proper length and keeps you wanting for the next one. As, of course, does the main story itself. Murder, adventure, intrigue…it’s all so perfect and enthralling.

All of the characters are lifelike and enjoyable in their own ways. They aren’t one dimensional, they each have individualities that make them special in their own ways. It’s easy to relate to them because of this. Meddybemps is a particular favorite of mine; he’s witty and tends to lighten the mood when things are a bit bleak looking. Bianca is tenacious and headstrong, two qualities that my mother says are very strong in me too, haha. There is a character that everyone can find familiarity with and look forward to seeing in the story.

I can’t recommend it enough!

4Star

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03_Mary Lawrence

Mary Lawrence studied biology and chemistry, graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Cytotechnology. Along with writing and farming, Lawrence works as a cytologist near Boston. She lives in Maine. The Alchemist’s Daughter is the first book in the Bianca Goddard Mystery series.

For more information please visit Mary’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 21
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, March 22
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book
Guest Post at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Wednesday, March 23
Review at A Book Geek

Thursday, March 24
Interview at Books and Benches

Friday, March 25
Review at Book Nerd
Interview at The Book Connection

Monday, March 28
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Tuesday, March 29
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, March 30
Review at A Holland Reads

Thursday, March 31
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Friday, April 1
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Giveaway

To enter the Death of an Alchemist giveaway, please use the GLEAM form below. Four winners will receive a signed copy and the Grand Prize Winner will receive a signed copy plus a $15 Amazon Gift Card!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 1st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US addresses only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Death of an Alchemist Blog Tour

04_Outrageous_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Spotlight: In Another Life

In Another Life Banner

In Another Life

In Another Life

(Historical Fiction/Contemporary Women’s Fiction/
Fantasy/Romance)

Release date: February 2, 2016
at Sourcebooks

368  pages

ISBN: 9782954168197

Website | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Historian Lia Carrer has finally returned to southern France, determined to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. But instead of finding solace in the region’s quiet hills and medieval ruins, she falls in love with Raoul, a man whose very existence challenges everything she knows about life–and about her husband’s death. As Raoul reveals the story of his past to Lia, she becomes entangled in the echoes of an ancient murder, resulting in a haunting and suspenseful journey that reminds Lia that the dead may not be as far from us as we think. Steeped in the rich history and romantic landscape of the Languedoc region, In Another Life is a story of love that conquers time and the lost loves that haunt us all.

PRAISE FOR IN ANOTHER LIFE

“Delicate and haunting, romantic and mystical, In Another Life is a novel with an extraordinary sense of place. Fans swept away by Diana Gabaldon’s 18th-century Scotland will want to explore Julie Christine Johnson’s 13th-century Languedoc.” – Greer Macallister, author of The Magician’s Lie

“In this lovely novel, Johnson shows us the redemptive power of love and second chances through the ages. Evocative of Outlander, In Another Life is a thrilling combination of romance, adventure, and history.” – Margaret Dilloway, author of Sisters of Heart and Snow and How to Be an American Housewife

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In Another Life- Julie Christine Johnson

Julie Christine Johnson
is the author of the novels In Another Life
(February 2016, Sourcebooks Landmark)
and The Crows of Beara (September 2017, Ashland Creek Press).
Her short stories and essays have appeared in several journals,
including Emerge Literary Journal, Mud Season Review;
Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim;
Cobalt, the anthologies Stories for Sendai;
Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers;
and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss
and featured on the flash fiction podcast, No Extra Words.
She holds undergraduate degrees in French and Psychology
and a Master’s in International Affairs.
A runner, hiker, and wine geek,
Julie makes her home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state
with her husband.
In Another Life is her first novel.

Visit Julie’s website and blog
Follow Julie Christine Johnson on Twitter  | on Facebook
Sign up to receive her Newsletter.

 

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

Tuesday, March 1
Review + Interview + Giveaway at The Fictional 100

Wednesday, March 2
Review + Excerpt + Giveaway at Macarons & Paperbacks

Thursday, March 3
Spotlight + Excerpt + Giveaway at A Holland Reads

Friday, March 4
Review + Giveaway at Library of Clean Reads

Saturday, March 5
Review + Excerpt + Giveaway at Book Nerd

Sunday, March 6
Review + Giveaway at An Accidental Blog

Guest-Post at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, March 7
Review + Guest-Post + Giveaway at
Musings of a Writer & Unabashed Francophile

Tuesday, March 8
Review + Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, March 9
Review + Giveaway at
History from a Woman’s Perspective

Spotlight + Giveaway at Words And Peace

Thursday, March 10
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Review + Giveaway at Just One More ChapterEiffel Tower Orange

Blast Off with Death of Alchemist!

02_Death of an AlchemistDeath of an Alchemist: A Bianca Goddard Mystery (Bianca Goddard Mysteries, Book 2)
by Mary Lawrence

Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Kensington Books
Hardcover & eBook; 304 Pages

Genre: Historical Mystery

Add to GR Button

 

 

In the mid sixteenth century, Henry VIII sits on the throne, and Bianca Goddard tends to the sick and suffering in London’s slums, where disease can take a life as quickly as murder…

For years, alchemist Ferris Stannum has devoted himself to developing the Elixir of Life, the reputed serum of immortality. Having tested his remedy successfully on an animal, Stannum intends to send his alchemy journal to a colleague in Cairo for confirmation. But the next day his body is found and the journal is gone.

Bianca, the daughter of an alchemist, is well acquainted with the mystical healing arts. When her husband John falls ill with the sweating sickness, she dares to hope Stannum’s journal could contain the secret to his recovery. But first she must solve the alchemist’s murder. As she ventures into a world of treachery and deceit, Stannum’s death is only the first in a series of murders—and Bianca’s quest becomes a matter of life and death, not only for her husband, but for herself…

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

Praise for The Alchemist’s Daughter (Bianca Goddard Mysteries, Book 1)

“A realistic evocation of 16th century London’s underside. The various strands of the plot are so skillfully plaited together.” —Fiona Buckley, author of the Ursula Blanchard Mystery Series

“Mystery and Tudor fans alike will raise a glass to this new series.” —Karen Harper, author of The Poyson Garden (Elizabeth I Mysteries) Series

About the Author03_Mary Lawrence

Mary Lawrence studied biology and chemistry, graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Cytotechnology. Along with writing and farming, Lawrence works as a cytologist near Boston. She lives in Maine. The Alchemist’s Daughter is the first book in the Bianca Goddard Mystery series.

For more information please visit Mary’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, March 7
Passages to the Past
Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Tuesday, March 8
Book Nerd
With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Wednesday, March 9
The Book Connection
Seize the Words: Books in Review

Thursday, March 10
Reading Is My SuperPower

Friday, March 11
Rambling Reviews

Saturday, March 12
Time 2 Read

Sunday, March 13
Susan Heim on Writing

Monday, March 14
CelticLady’s Reviews
Ageless Pages Reviews

Tuesday, March 15
Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, March 16
A Literary Vacation

Thursday, March 17
A Book Geek

Friday, March 18
The Lit Bitch
A Holland Reads

04_Outrageous_Book Blast Banner_FINAL