Happy Release!

Wishing Susan Elia MacNeal a (belated) Happy Release Day for the sixth book in her fantastic Maggie Hope series!  If you haven’t read them, I highly suggest that you do. If, like me, you’re a fan of Agent Carter from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then Maggie will really win a spot in your heart. In a world where there were rules and regulations on how to act, Maggie Hope is breaking down those barriers. Of course, as Prime Minister Winston Churchill said often in the first book, ‘there’s a war on!’ The Second World War really helped change things for women; they joined the work force, they joined the service, they did their part as opposed to being compliant little women and sitting about at home raising the children. It’s a strange thing to think that a war is what really helped women
break free of society’s expectations.

I mean, in particular, the Princess Elizabeth served in the war as a mechanic and driver intsft9 the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service. It would have been hard and viewed as highly unpatriotic for women not to do their part since the boys were putting their lives on the line. Knowing what we know now, the British Royals did not hide, nor flinch, remaining in London during the bombings and even went out and about to view the wreckage and to walk amongst the people. Today, the Princess is now the longest reigning monarch in British history and she is also the last remaining head of state to have served in WWII. Yes, that picture is of the nearly 91 year old monarch!

Getting back to Maggie, she’s a spy and a code-breaker and she has had to work damn hard to be where she is. Bright, beautiful and determined, Maggie makes for a splendid lead and the usual cast of characters that are with her only add to the story, making it shine as usual. Mrs. MacNeal has quite the talent in how she can draw you into Maggie’s world and make you feel like you are right in the thick of it with her. It’s a disappointment when you’re drawn away and have to go do ‘adulting’, as my friends and I joke. I always endeavor to rush back as soon as I possibly can. agent-carter-season-3-pic

Whilst I don’t yet have a copy, I will post a review as soon as I have devoured this. Also, I totally envision Hayley Atwell as Maggie. I know it’s typecasting but Hayley has that perfect look, the attitude and we know she can play a badass, code breaking, no sh*t-taking secret agent. I took the liberty of editing her hair to red much like Maggie’s infamously stubborn tresses. If you were going to cast an actress to play Maggie, who would you pick?

I’ve included links below, so please go show love to this wonderful series of novels and enjoy them!

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51fesnje8dlSynopsis: Spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope returns to war-weary London, where she is thrust into the dangerous hunt for a monster, as the New York Times bestselling mystery series for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Anne Perry continues.
England, 1942. The Nazis’ relentless Blitz may have paused, but London’s nightly blackouts continue. Now, under the cover of darkness, a madman is brutally killing and mutilating young women in eerie and exact re-creations of Jack the Ripper’s crimes. What’s more, he’s targeting women who are reporting for duty to be Winston Churchill’s spies and saboteurs abroad. The officers at MI-5 quickly realize they need the help of special agent Maggie Hope to find the killer dubbed “the Blackout Beast.” A trap is set. But once the murderer has his sights on Maggie, not even Buckingham Palace can protect the resourceful spy from her fate.

Praise for the Maggie Hope series
“You’ll be [Maggie Hope’s] loyal subject, ready to follow her wherever she goes.”O: The Oprah Magazine


Again, congratulations! I can’t wait for book 7, The Paris Spy!
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Get A Copy!

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  • About the author:517286  New York Times-bestselling author Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of the Maggie Hope Mystery series from Bantam/Random House. She is the winner of the Barry Award, and her books have been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, and Dilys Awards.

    The first novel in the series is Mr. Churchill’s Secretary. It won the Barry Award and was nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the Mystery Readers International’s Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel. It was also nominated for the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association’s 2013 Dilys Award for “the mystery title of the year that booksellers have most enjoyed hand-selling,” Mr. Churchill’s Secretary was also declared one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Debut of 2012, Deadly Pleasures’s Best Paperback Original of 2012, and chosen as one of Target’s “Emerging Authors” series.

    The sequel, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy, was a New York Times bestseller and chosen by Oprah.com as “Mystery of the Week” and one of “7 Compulsively Readable Mysteries (for the Crazy-Smart Reader),” as well as Tagret’s “Emerging Authors” series. It was nominated for the Macavity Award’s Sue Feder Historical Memorial Award.

    His Majesty’s Hope made the New York Times- and USA Today-bestseller lists and was chosen as one of Target’s Emerging Author Series.

    Books #4, The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, will be published in spring of 2014.

    Susan graduated cum laude from Wellesley College, with departmental honors in English Literature and credits from cross-registered classes at MIT. She attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University.

    Her first job was as an intern at Random House for then-publisher Harold Evans, before moving her way up the editorial ladder at Viking/Penguin and McGraw-Hill, then becoming an associate editor at Dance Magazine.

    Her writing has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Fodor’s, Time Out New York, Time Out London, Publishers Weekly, Dance Magazine, and various publications of New York City Ballet. She’s also the author of two non-fiction books and a professional editor.

I Am Lincoln {A Review}

02_I Am AbrahamPB Publication Date: February 9, 2015
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Paperback; 480p

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Narrated in Lincoln’s own voice, the tragicomic I Am Abraham promises to be the masterwork of Jerome Charyn’s remarkable career.

Since publishing his first novel in 1964, Jerome Charyn has established himself as one of the most inventive and prolific literary chroniclers of the American landscape. Here in I Am Abraham, Charyn returns with an unforgettable portrait of Lincoln and the Civil War. Narrated boldly in the first person, I Am Abraham effortlessly mixes humor with Shakespearean-like tragedy, in the process creating an achingly human portrait of our sixteenth President.

Tracing the historic arc of Lincoln’s life from his picaresque days as a gangly young lawyer in Sangamon County, Illinois, through his improbable marriage to Kentucky belle Mary Todd, to his 1865 visit to war-shattered Richmond only days before his assassination, I Am Abraham hews closely to the familiar Lincoln saga. Charyn seamlessly braids historical figures such as Mrs. Keckley—the former slave, who became the First Lady’s dressmaker and confidante—and the swaggering and almost treasonous General McClellan with a parade of fictional extras: wise-cracking knaves, conniving hangers-on, speculators, scheming Senators, and even patriotic whores.

We encounter the renegade Rebel soldiers who flanked the District in tattered uniforms and cardboard shoes, living in a no-man’s-land between North and South; as well as the Northern deserters, young men all, with sunken, hollowed faces, sitting in the punishing sun, waiting for their rendezvous with the firing squad; and the black recruits, whom Lincoln’s own generals wanted to discard, but who play a pivotal role in winning the Civil War. At the center of this grand pageant is always Lincoln himself, clad in a green shawl, pacing the White House halls in the darkest hours of America’s bloodiest war.

Using biblically cadenced prose, cornpone nineteenth-century humor, and Lincoln’s own letters and speeches, Charyn concocts a profoundly moral but troubled commander in chief, whose relationship with his Ophelia-like wife and sons—Robert, Willie, and Tad—is explored with penetrating psychological insight and the utmost compassion. Seized by melancholy and imbued with an unfaltering sense of human worth, Charyn’s President Lincoln comes to vibrant, three-dimensional life in a haunting portrait we have rarely seen in historical fiction.

Praise for I Am Abraham: A Novel of Lincoln and the Civil War

“Thoughtful, observant and droll.” — Richard Brookhiser, New York Times Book Review

“Not only the best novel about President Lincoln since Gore Vidal’s Lincoln in 1984, but it is also twice as good to read.” — Gabor Boritt, author of The Lincoln Enigma and recipient of the National Humanities Medal

“Jerome Charyn [is] a fearless writer… Brave and brazen… The book is daringly imagined, written with exuberance, and with a remarkable command of historical detail. It gives us a human Lincoln besieged by vividly drawn enemies and allies… Placing Lincoln within the web ordinary and sometimes petty human relations is no small achievement.” — Andrew Delbanco, New York Review of Books

“Audacious as ever, Jerome Charyn now casts his novelist’s gimlet eye on sad-souled Abraham Lincoln, a man of many parts, who controls events and people—wife, sons, a splintering nation—even though they often are, as they must be, beyond his compassion or power. Brooding, dreamlike, resonant, and studded with strutting characters, I Am Abraham is as wide and deep and morally sure as its wonderful subjects.” — Brenda Wineapple, author of Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compassion: 1848-1877

“If all historians—or any historian—could write with the magnetic charm and authoritative verve of Jerome Charyn, American readers would be fighting over the privilege of learning about their past. They can learn much from this book—an audacious, first-person novel that makes Lincoln the most irresistible figure of a compelling story singed with equal doses of comedy, tragedy, and moral grandeur. Here is something beyond history and approaching art.” — Harold Holzer, chairman, Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation

“Jerome Charyn is one of the most important writers in American literature.” — Michael Chabon

“Jerome Charyn is merely one of our finest writers with a polymorphous imagination and crack comic timing. Whatever milieu he chooses to inhabit, his characters sizzle with life, and his sentences are pure vernacular music, his voice unmistakable.” — Jonathan Lethem

“Charyn, like Nabokov, is that most fiendish sort of writer—so seductive as to beg imitation, so singular as to make imitation impossible.” — Tom Bissell

“One of our most intriguing fiction writers takes on the story of Honest Abe, narrating the tale in Lincoln’s voice and offering a revealing portrait of a man as flawed as he was great.” — Abbe Wright, O, The Oprah Magazine

“Jerome Charyn, like Daniel Day-Lewis in Steven Spielberg’s superb 2012 movie, manages a feat of ventriloquism to be admired… Most of all, Lincoln comes across as human and not some remote giant… With that, Jerome Charyn has given Lincoln a most appropriate present for what would have been his 205th birthday this month: rebirth not as a marble memorial but as a three-dimensional human who overcame much to save his nation.” — Erik Spanberg, Christian Science Monitor

“Daring… Memorable… Charyn’s richly textured portrait captures the pragmatism, cunning, despair, and moral strength of a man who could have empathy for his bitterest foes, and who ‘had never outgrown the forest and a dirt floor.’” — The New Yorker


Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be president? Any president, really. I once imagined being George Washington when I was a little girl. As I got older, I wanted a book like that. I wanted to be put into the mindset of a president and to see things from their point of view, even if it’s fictional. So, paint me a happy woman when I was contacted to review ‘I Am Abraham’. I did not hesitate because firstly, it’s what I wanted and secondly, I find that there’s a severe lack of American Historical Fiction. Now, mind you, I did try once to read a book about Mary Todd Lincoln that was from her point of view…and well, I just didn’t enjoy that. (Click her name and it will take you to my review of ‘The Emancipator’s Wife’.) So, alright, I did worry I might not like it but I was not too disappointed at all. In fact, I loved this book as much as I loved the film, Lincoln.

To fully jump into the role of our 16th President and to do it so effortlessly is really something amazing. from the use of proper language and phrases and to the descriptions of where he was, what he aimed to do…brilliant. I do think though, that there are flaws, such as his fixation on the female body and how Mary was portrayed.She is never portrayed as a being a woman with a mental illness; she is always written as being crazy or maddeningly annoying, It was also very interesting to me and I think that this is something that people forget with how much we glorify him, that he didn’t view himself as anyone great. He was a man elected to office right as we were going to war. He was not the Great Emancipator yet, he wasn’t any of the things that we refer to him as. Not yet anyway…and even then, I don’t imagine that Lincoln would have taken to referring himself as those things.

I think that’s what I loved so much; was that he was written as a simple man, with his own ideals on things. We see him as a husband, a father, a man who very clearly works to end the war between the states. I liked seeing this human side to him. We very often glorify people and forget that they too are/were mortal. We only seem to recollect the things he did but never consider, what was Abraham like? The author illustrates this perfectly for us and I couldn’t be happier to have read that. And we are reminded how mortal Lincoln was. We are reminded that he had hopes for the future, that he wanted to travel…there’s so much and one shot of a gun changed all of that. The man who had endured so much in his life, who was looking forward to taking some pleasure in it…was denied that.

I often wonder–what would the rest of his presidency have brought us had he not been killed? Just some food for thought.

I think you’ll really enjoy this book if you’re willing to put aside the glorified view of Lincoln and are willing to see the man, not the legend. The author did a wonderful job of researching and it shows in every page. Yes, the book is a bit long and some sections could have been shortened, but it wasn’t unpleasant. I hope you’ll give it a try. Let me know what you all think of it. (Also, if you listen to the movie soundtrack of “Lincoln”, whilst reading it’s a rather cool experience.)

My rating:4Star


Postscript: My deepest apologies to the author for the lateness in which this review reaches him. I hope you will forgive me.

Buy the Paperback

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About the Author

Jerome Charyn is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.” New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,”and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American 03_Jerome Charyn_Author Photowriters.” Since the 1964 release of Charyn’s first novel, Once Upon a Droshky, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture. Charyn was Distinguished Professor of Film Studies at the American University of Paris until he left teaching in 2009. In addition to his writing and teaching, Charyn is a tournament table tennis player, once ranked in the top 10 percent of players in France. Noted novelist Don DeLillo called Charyn’s book on table tennis, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, “The Sun Also Rises of ping-pong.” Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

For more information please visit Jerome Charyn’s website. You can also find him on Twitter and Goodreads.

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Blast off with Red Fury Revolt!

Please join author J.F. Ridgley as her novel, Red Fury Revolt is featured around the blogosphere and enter to win a copy of the book plus a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

02_Red Fury Revolt_CoverPublication Date: January 31, 2015
R Pride Publishing
eBook; 412p

Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Book One, The Agricola Series

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Something keeps drawing G. Julius Agricola to Britannia again and again…

This is where it starts… book one, Red Fury…Revolt

A.D. 60…

Camulodunum! Londinium! Verulaneum!

Three towns writhe under the Iceni queen’s wrath, as she leads her warriors intent on destroying all things Roman – be it Roman temples, Roman villas, or entire families sympathetic to Rome. At stake is Suetonius Paulinus’s reputation. With only 80,000 legionaries, will he destroy Boudica or will he endure the disgrace in Rome for losing–to a woman?

Julius Agricola-Rome’s tribune, and Rhianna-Boudica’s youngest daughter, become ensnared in this horrific historical revolt against Roman injustice. Just as Julius and Rhianna reveal their love to each other, they are hurled back into the harsh reality of their differing worlds that are determined to destroy each other.

Who will survive?

Book two in the Agricola series, Red Fury Rebellion, coming 2016!

Praise for Red Fury Revolt

“…Ms. Ridgley has done very well at telling her story, while being respectful to the events that devastated Britannia, and even shook the Roman Empire itself, in 60 to 61 A.D.” – James Mace, Author of ‘Soldier of Rome – The Artorian Chronicles’

Watch the Book Trailer

Buy the eBook

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About the Author03_Author JF Ridgley

Ms Ridgley loves the ancient world. Even after years of researching and many trips to the sites of her stories, she is still fascinated by what she can use for her next story. One thing she does enjoy more is bringing this world to life in her award-winning stories of power, greed, violence, and love.

Be sure to stop by her website to discover her books and novellas available on Amazon.com. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter to stay up with her next book or her next giveaway!

You can also connect with JF Ridgley on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Book Blast Schedule

Saturday, January 31 – Release Day!
Back Porchervations
Flashlight Commentary

Sunday, February 1
Book Nerd
100 Pages a Day

Monday, February 2
A Literary Vacation
With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Tuesday, February 3
Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 4
Let Them Read Books

Thursday, February 5
CelticLady’s Reviews
A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus

Friday, February 6
What is That Book About
The Never-Ending Book

Saturday, February 7
A Book Geek
Just One More Chapter


To enter to win a copy of Red Fury Revolt and a $25 Amazon Gift Card, sponsored by author J.F. Ridgley, please complete the giveaway form below.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on February 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via GLEAM on February 8th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Please email Amy @ hfvirtualbooktours@gmail.com with any questions.

Red Fury Revolt Book Blast

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Guest Post: Brenda B. Taylor!

Five Things I Learned About Writing Fiction

When I embarked upon the sea of writing fiction, I had no idea the waves would splash so high and try to drown me. After retirement as a public school teacher and administrator, I decided to fulfill a long-held desire to write historical fiction. Since one of my teaching fields is in history and I enjoy research, historical fiction seemed the best fit. Which brings me to the first topic.

·        INSPIRATION for a novel doesn’t just pop into my brain. I must work for ideas, contemplate and outline a story, plot the story using certain guidelines like A Hero’s Journey, study A Hero’s Journey, and read many books about fiction writing. My hobby has already turned into work and I haven’t put one word on paper.

·        DECIDED ON CHARACTERS. I ask myself, “What type of hero or heroine best fits the story line?” Then I answer one hundred questions about the main characters to find the answer. After that task is done, I decided on secondary characters and answer some questions about each one. Now the characters in the story become my family, because I know them better than the members of my family.

·        WRITE THE STORY. Spend many hours a day putting the words on paper. I had to discipline myself to sit and write. Teaching is so different from writing. Teaching requires talking and interaction with others for the entire day. Writing requires no conversation or interaction with others. Writing requires sitting by myself with my own thoughts for hours each day. Who said that is fun?

·        EDIT THE STORY. Oh my, what a job. I thought I knew something about proper use of words and considered myself a fairly decent speller, but wow. Not only must I write the story, but it must be in correct verb usage with active voice and not too many passive verbs or adverbs to slow the action. Conflict and action must be present on every page.

·        EDIT The Story. Look for breaks in the storyline, the timeline, the action and the conflict. I must answer the questions—does each scene have the necessary elements of action, conflict, and resolution? Are the historical facts accurate, describing the setting, custom, and language with precision?

I’m very tired, now, but determined to see the novel completed. The irony is, I really enjoy writing and researching the story. Character conversations swirl in my head until I put them on paper. Sometimes I wish they would just let me rest for a while.

Rodin's Lover: A Review.


02_Rodin's LoverPublication Date: January 27, 2015
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 306

Genre: Historical Fiction

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A mesmerizing tale of art and passion in Belle Époque France.

As a woman, aspiring sculptor Camille Claudel has plenty of critics, especially her ultra-traditional mother. But when Auguste Rodin makes Camille his apprentice—and his muse—their passion inspires groundbreaking works. Yet, Camille’s success is overshadowed by her lover’s rising star, and her obsessions cross the line into madness.

Rodin’s Lover brings to life the volatile love affair between one of the era’s greatest artists and a woman entwined in a tragic dilemma she cannot escape.


Advanced Praise for Rodin’s Lover

“Rodin’s Lover is a textured historical novel that captures the indomitable spirit of artist Camille Claudel, a woman whose mighty talent was nearly eclipsed by her potent love for fellow artist Auguste Rodin. Can two passionate, creative talents thrive together or will one flame inevitably consume the other? Webb gracefully explores this ignitable relationship while illuminating Claudel’s untold heartbreak and evocative artwork. A story of human emotion, once raw and malleable, now preserved to lasting stone.” ~ Sarah McCoy, New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author of The Baker’s Daughter

“Rodin’s Lover is the story of Camille Claudel–one of history’s boldest and most brilliant artists. Forced to choose between a torturous love affair and the art that consumed her, Claudel is an audacious and authentic character who deserves to be remembered. RODIN’S LOVER is epic and unflinching–a book you won’t soon forget.” –Deanna Raybourn, NYT bestselling author and Rita Winner of City of Jasmine waltz

“Rodin’s Lover is an evocative portrait of the talented and explosive Camille Claudel who struggled between passion as the lover of Rodin and recognition as an innovative sculptor in her own right. From smoky cafés to clay-streaked ateliers, Heather Webb has created a vivid picture of Belle Époque Paris.” –Jessica Brockmole, author of Letters from Skye

“Dazzling!….. In Rodin’s Lover, author Heather Webb brings to life, with vivid detail, the story of brilliant and tormented sculptress Camille Claudel and the epic love affair with the legendary sculptor who worshiped her. Deeply moving and meticulously researched, this book will capture your heart, then hold it tightly long after the final page.” –Anne Girard, author of Madame Picasso

“A rich, sensuous novel…[was] written with great empathy for the very human Rodin and his lover, this novel of the visceral world of the 19th century Paris ateliers, of clay-stained dresses and fingernails, lithe models who vow to remain and then go, family love which stays through all difficulties and talent which endures, comes vividly to life.” –Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet

“Rodin’s Lover is a taut and engrossing look at sexism in the arts through the eyes of a lesser known figure, Camille Claudel, inspiring the reader to examine what’s changed and what hasn’t.” –Julie Kibler, bestselling author of Calling Me Home

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About the AuthorHeather Webb

Heather Webb grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time novel writing and freelance editing. Her debut, BECOMING JOSEPHINE, released January 2014 from Plume/Penguin. Her forthcoming novel, RODIN’S LOVER, will release in winter of 2015.

When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world.

For more information, please visit Heather’s website. She loves to chitchat on Twitter with new reader friends or writers (@msheatherwebb), on Facebook, or via her blog. Stop on by!

Rodin’s Lover Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 19
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Review & Interview at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Tuesday, January 20
Review at Broken Teepee
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews

Wednesday, January 21
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, January 22
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Friday, January 23
Review at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Monday, January 26
Review at Poof Books
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Tuesday, January 27
Review at Library Educated
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, January 28
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, January 29
Review at Book Babe
Review at The Book Binder’s Daughter

Friday, January 30
Review at Book Drunkard

Monday, February 2
Review at Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, February 3
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes
Interview at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, February 4
Review at Brooke Blogs

Thursday, February 5
Review at A Book Geek

Friday, February 6
Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, February 9
Review at A Literary Vacation
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, February 10
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, February 11
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Thursday, February 12
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at Historical Readings & Reviews

Friday, February 13
Review at The Maiden’s Court

ist2_259704-rule-line-divider-vectorMy Review:

I don’t know if I’ve said, but I really enjoy art. I don’t possess any real artistic talents, unfortunately, but I do have an appreciation for those who do have it. And no matter the selected medium, I am always one to take the time to appreciate it, even if I don’t understand it. It’s weird to think that as little as 100 years ago, women weren’t really accepted into the art world. In a time where women were expected to marry and have children, where mental illness wasn’t understood…it was a world full of repression.

I have been looking forward to this book for months and when I saw the chance to join the tour–I jumped. An amazing feat for one of my size, I assure you! I was not disappointed in the least. We are transported to Belle Epoque France and into the grand world of artists and muses, models and awards.


I confess, I never knew who Camille was and this saddens me as she was an extraordinary woman for her time; however, she was a terrible victim of her family. The odds were always stocked against her and in the end…it was rubbish how her family treated her. The only people who ever truly and really ever loved her and believed in her were her father and Rodin. (Just my opinion!) It was a terrible shame what became of Camille. I would go further into her life, but we know how I feel about giving you spoilers. (Though, if you read this book or go to wikipedia…you could find out what became of her.)

I highly, highly recommend that you get yourself a copy of Heather’s book and introduce yourself to Camille. She is very worthy of your attentions and her story will captivate you. I cannot sing enough praises to Ms. Webb, I absolutely loved this book. You’d be silly to miss this. It is certainly a book I will reread and recommend to others.


My Rating: 4auqZQi

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Spotlight: Journeys Through France and Life

Journeys Through France and LifeJourneys Through France and Life

Release date: March 23, 2013
Journeys Press
296 pages
ISBN: 978-0615660875

Website | Goodreads



Month-long trips to France twice a year – that was the life! Until real life intervenes and everything changes. Come on a journey through France with the author and her husband, eating delicious cuisine, seeing fabulous sights, mixing it up with the French. Stay on the journey as a crisis reveals that her son from a previous marriage has schizophrenia, and that her husband is not only unsympathetic, but something more.

Travel with the author as she faces her fears, and finds a way back to her true self. Through her experience, others may find insight regarding dark corners of their own lives. She puts a human face on the stigmatized illness of schizophrenia, while sharing her love of France, where she finds frustration, humor, and joy. [provided by the author]



De VaneySmitten with France, Glenda de Vaney has traveled there
over thirty times to photograph châteaux, gardens,
villages and whatever is beautiful.
She presents slide shows on France and sells framed pictures.
The author is a former volunteer for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
and an advocate for those suffering from mental illness.
She is also an avid table tennis player
who strikes fear in her opponents’ hearts,
or at least wishes she did.
Glenda lives in a historic home in a suburb of San Diego with the younger of her two sons.

Visit her website.

Follow Glenda de Vaney on Facebook

Buy the book | on Amazon




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I, James [A Review]

I JamesTitle: I, James
Author: Mike Hartner
Publisher: Eternity4Popsicle Publishing
Pages: 293
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Synopsis: James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11.

Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land.

Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires?  


Book Excerpt:

It required two days of marching to get to what I’d learned was a plantation, which was in the middle of nowhere.  When we finally arrived at our destination, I considered how memorable my last 16 months had been since I was removed from a prince’s life.  Yes, they were memorable.  And even though I had a pouch full of coin hidden inside my drawers, I was now a slave on a plantation in Africa.

tumblr_inline_my61lgaUiZ1rj4i42My Review:  I have to admit, I didn’t read the first book in this series, however, that didn’t seem to be too much of an issue. I read some reviews of ‘I, Walter’, and I would enjoy reading it, I’m pretty certain I will look for it. I enjoyed this book a lot! Whilst it did have some points where it went too fast or I found it a little unsteady. ‘I, James’ takes you on a grand adventure, it draws you in straight away and you can’t pull away.

I enjoyed that there was also a female narrative too, more than one narrative can sometimes feel overwhelming but the author did a good job with it and it was really good. However, I admit I would have liked a little more detail to things. It’s based in the 1600’s, so I would have enjoyed just a touch more in the detail department. I loved learning about currency into an economy based on coinage! That was brilliant and I really liked learning how that worked. So to Mr. Hartner, I give a solid three and a half stars. 🙂

My Rating= 3 1/2 out of 5!



Mike Hartner is giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.

This giveaway begins November 3 and ends January 30.

Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, February 2.

Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


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