[#BlogTour] Sparks: Welcome to the Madhouse by Dan Cummings @dancummings85 @SagesBlogTours 



Sparks: Welcome to the MadhouseBy Dan Cummings

Genre: Supernatural/Action & Adventure

Book Blurb

Dave Reynolds has grown jaded with his life, locked in a dead end janitorial job at the Ravenswood Institute for Mental Health, he quietly yearns for some excitement to stir up his mundane existence.  

That is until he learns that far below the hospital’s grounds lies the Madhouse, the regional headquarters of the Frontline Unified Battalion of Arcane Resistance (FUBAR), a clandestine government agency tasked with combating supernatural evil. If that wasn’t enough of a surprise, he also learns that he is a Spark, an individual with latent gifts, carrying the residual energy of a nigh extinct race of universal protectors.  
Drafted into service, he is accidentally afflicted with a curse, casting the sensible, rational aspects of his personality into a subconscious prison, unleashing a clownish psychotic who is as deadly as he is irritating.  
A wild card personified, Dave must now lead Whiskey Team, a motley crew of fellow Sparks and freaks including a punk rock witch, a werewolf, a medium and his ghostly best friend, and a female Japanese ninja, against the Alliance of Nyx, an ancient demonic organisation with designs on global conquest.  
Now, if Dave’s reckless antics don’t get his team killed, they may just stand a chance in this war.
Purchase Links:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

 

 About the Author

 Dan Cummings is a self-published author from Liverpool, England. He is also a lowly nerd with a short attention span and shorter fuse (depending on poor sleep), but when he is able to stop ranting with his own internal monologue and focus for a few minutes he enjoys putting the noise in his head on to paper. A lifetime fan of monsters, comic books, sarcasm and casual violence, it is inevitable that these constituents regularly crop up in his books. Heartbreaker is his first foray into horror, whilst Sparks: Welcome to the Madhouse, is the first instalment of an on-going supernatural, action/adventure series.

Author Link: Twitter

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[Book Promo] The Beat on Ruby’s Street by Jenna Zara @ZarkWriting @aurorapub #HistoricalFiction #MiddleGradeFiction #KidLit

The Beat on Ruby’s Street by Jenna Zara

Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Publisher: Updrift 

Publication Date: June 1, 2017

Book Blurb

The last thing eleven-year-old Ruby Tabeata expected to happen on her way to a Jack Kerouac reading was to be hauled to the police station.

It’s 1958 and Ruby is the opposite of a 1950s stereotype: fierce, funny and strong willed, she is only just starting to chart her course in a family of Beat Generation artists in Greenwich Village. Ruby dreams of meeting famous poets while becoming one herself; instead, she’s accused of trying to steal fruit from a local vendor and is forced to live in a children’s home. As Ruby struggles to return to family and friends, she learns her only choice is to follow her heart.
Join Ruby’s journey as she finds unexpected friendships, the courage to rebel against unjust authority and the healing power of art in this inspiring middle-grade novel by Jenna Zark.

Purchase Links

Amazon | B&N | iTunes 


Author Bio

Jenna Zark is a columnist, lyricist, playwright, and novelist. Her play A Body of Water was published by Dramatists Play Service and produced regionally after its debut at Circle Repertory Company in New York. Other plays were produced in the Twin Cities, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and St. Louis. As a former staff writer at Scholastic Choices magazine, Zark wrote extensively for middle school and junior high students. Columns, poetry, essays, and articles have been published in TC Jewfolk, Stoneboat literary magazine, Minnesota Bride and numerous other publications. Zark is also a member of a lyricist’s collective in the Twin Cities that performs at local cabarets. She’s still trying to figure out if it’s harder to write a play, a novel, or a song.

Author Links

Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon |
 

Liebster Award ~ Discover New Blogs 


First off, I’d like to thank Naty from Naty’s Bookshelf for nominating me!  Please check out her blog when you get a chance! 

Here are the rules:

• Thank the person who has nominated you for the Award.

 • Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you

 • Nominate up to 11 people

 • Ask the people who you have nominated 11 questions

Okie dokey..here were go:

1. What is your favorite genre?

I actually have more than one.  But if I had to choose only one, it would be mystery/thrillers.

2. Which book of this genre would you recommend to someone who is trying to start reading it?

Ooo..that’s a tough one.  Either Gone Girl or The Girl On the Train.


 3. Is there a stereotypical plot from your favorite genre that you dislike?

Hmm..no not really.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have read books in this genre that haven’t been repeated..yet..

 4. Do you have a guilty pleasure book?

Yes..children’s books.  Lol.  I love Robert Munsch.  Especially The Paper Bag Princess.

 5. What is your favorite movie?

I’m a fan of Tim Burton, and my 2 favourite movies are The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline.

 6. What is your favorite color?

Blue.

 7. Do you have a system to organize your bookshelf?

Yes! I like to organize my books in alphabetical order by author last name.

 8. Which fictional character would you take to be your partner in adventures?

Good question! I would take Hermoine Granger.  She’s loyal, clever and logical.  Plus, she has a magic wand which could come in handy! 

9. What are you currently reading?

The Child by Fiona Barton

10. What is your bookish pet peeve?

My pet peeves..ooh, I hate predictable plots & endings.  It ruins the whole experience.  Overly descriptive stories bug me as well.  I end up getting bored and frustrated.

 11. Do you have a favorite author?

Yes!  Robert Munsch, Dr. Seuss & J.K  Rowling 

My Nominees

I apologize in advance if you’ve already done this.

Erica Robyn Reads

Books, Vertigo & Tea

Eldon Farrell 

Jessica Jesinghaus

Jessica’s Reading Room 

Heather Cilley

Dinh G

Emie’s Nook 

Very Biased Reviewer 

Restless Soul

Chloe’s Books Blog

 
My Questions (copy & paste)

1. What is your favourite genre?

2. Who is your favourite villain?

3.  If you could be a character from a book, who would it be & why?

4.  Who is your favourite author?

5.  What are you currently reading? And are you liking it so far?

6.  Which genre do you absolutely hate?

7.  How do you organize your books on your bookshelf?

8.  What are your bookish pet peeves?

9.  Which do you prefer: Hardcover, Paperback or ebook?

10.  Have you ever bought a book without reading the description?

11. Where is your favourite place to read?

[Book Promo] Blaque Beauty and the Billionaire by Erin Lee Daniels #ContemporaryRomance

Blaque Beauty and the Billionaire by Erin Lee Daniels

Genre:

Publisher: Charenkin House Publishing

Publication Date: February 18, 2017

Book Blurb

Marlee Winters is on top of the world. With a devastating relationship well behind her and her interior design career in high gear, Marlee is thrilled when her firm lands a contract with billionaire developer Marc Ross. But when she discovers that her passionate, mysterious new lover is none other than the boss, himself, will Marlee lose everything, including her heart?

 Billionaire real estate magnate Marc Ross is used to getting what he wants and he wants Marlee Winters. Caring, quirky and confident, she is nothing like the spoiled heiresses and supermodels he is used to dating. But convinced he has at least 4.6 billion reasons to hide his true identity, Marc rolls the dice and hopes for the best. But a vindictive ex -wife and an epic snowstorm are in the cards, threatening to destroy a future Marc didn’t even know he wanted until Marlee walked into his life.

 Will deception be the deal-breaker or is happily ever after written in the fine print?

** Excerpt **

They rode in silence. Marc wanted to say something, anything that would get her to respond or at least listen, but the words wouldn’t come. They were dammed up in his chest like ice, and he couldn’t work past the fear he felt when he looked at her closed face.

He had held out hope at first – that once they were alone in the car they could talk. When she first saw him standing in the Pritchard’s living room, her face had remained blank, but he saw something flash in her eyes. Relief? Anger? But it was gone just as quickly, and after an emotional goodbye to Jan and Paul, Marlee had gathered her things and followed him dutifully out to the Jeep, closed off and silent. Damnit.

No one who knew him, who had ever known him, would be able to reconcile how he had behaved with who he really was. He had certainly never been the type of guy who lied to women to get what he wanted, and yet, here he was with Marlee, her pain so evident, so palpable, it was like a third person in the car. He remembered how she had felt in his arms just the night before, warm and laughing, looking up at him with dark, beautiful eyes. His heart suddenly felt heavy in his chest.

Purchase Link

Amazon


Erin Lee Daniels is an editor and romance author. After receiving a degree in Political Science and International Relations Erin Lee worked in the private sector before pursuing her lifelong dream of authorship. She lives in NYC and enjoys travel, cooking, collecting fine china, keeping a handle on her American Girl addiction and spending time with family and good friends.

[#BlogTour] Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage @Anna_Belfrage @HFVBT @abelfragauthor #HistoricalFiction #Medieval #UndertheApproachingDarkBlogTour

Hello bookworms!  Today is my stop on the Under the Approaching Dark blog tour.

Under the Approaching Dark
by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: April 28, 2017
Matador
eBook & Paperback; 424 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness. But the turmoil is far from over.

After years of strife, England in the early months of 1327 is a country in need of stability, and many turn with hope towards the new young king, Edward III. But Edward is too young to rule, so instead it is his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, who do the actual governing, much to the dislike of barons such as Henry of Lancaster.

In the north, the Scots take advantage of the weakened state of the realm and raid with impunity. Closer to court, it is Mortimer’s increasing powers that cause concerns – both among his enemies, but also for men like Adam, who loves Mortimer dearly, but loves the young king just as much.

When it is announced that Edward II has died in September of 1327, what has so far been a grumble grows into voluble protests against Mortimer. Yet again, the spectre of rebellion haunts the land, and things are further complicated by the reappearance of one of Adam’s personal enemies. Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.

“The writing is impeccable. The story has everything. Under the Approaching Dark is just perfect in every sense” – Sharon Bennett Connolly, History The Interesting Bits

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo

About the Author

Anna was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result she’s multilingual and most of her reading is historical- both non-fiction and fiction. Possessed of a lively imagination, she has drawers full of potential stories, all of them set in the past. She was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Ideally, Anna aspired to becoming a pioneer time traveller, but science has as yet not advanced to the point of making that possible. Instead she ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for her most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career Anna raised her four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive…

For years she combined a challenging career with four children and the odd snatched moment of writing. Nowadays Anna spends most of her spare time at her writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and she slips away into her imaginary world, with her imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in her life pops his head in to ensure she’s still there.

Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel. You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 1
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, May 2
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, May 3
Review at A Book Drunkard

Thursday, May 4
Review at A Holland Reads

Friday, May 5
Spotlight at The Reading Queen

Monday, May 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, May 9
Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, May 10
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Thursday, May 11
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, May 12
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, May 15
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Tuesday, May 16
Review at Back Porchervations
Guest Post at Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company

Wednesday, May 17
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, May 18
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, May 19
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Monday, May 22
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, May 23
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at The Muse in the Fog Book Reviews

Wednesday, May 24
Excerpt at Jo’s Book Blog
Spotlight at The Paperback Princess

Thursday, May 25
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, May 26
Spotlight at Laura’s Interests

Sunday, May 28
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Books and Benches

Monday, May 29
Guest Post at Yelena Casale’s Blog

Tuesday, May 30
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Giveaway

To win a copy of Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– 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.

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[#BlogTour] The Berghof Betrayal by Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin @HFVBT #HistoricalFiction 

The Berghof Betrayal (A Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller) by Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing

Publication Date: May 19, 2016

Description

The Berghof Betrayal, a Winston Churchill 1930s Thriller was inspired by an actual diary entry of German diplomat and publisher Count Harry Kessler in early 1933, shortly after Hitler took power:

“Weiland Herzfelde has absolutely reliable information that the Nazis plan a fake attempt on Hitler’s life which is to be the signal for a general massacre. The sources of his information are the SA in Dortmund and a tapped telephone conversation between Hitler and Röhm.”

This fake assassination attempt will allow the Nazis to declare martial law and liquidate their political opponents. Unknown to Hitler, however, his enemies within the Nazi party—the Black Front—are conspiring with renegade elements of his own SS to turn the fake assassination attempt into a real one.
Churchill learns of the fake plot and persuades Mattie McGary, William Randolph Hearst’s top photojournalist and Churchill’s adventure-seeking Scottish god-daughter, to investigate. McGary meets up in Germany with her fiancé, American lawyer and former MID agent Bourke Cockran, Jr., who is trying to acquire the rights to Rear Area Pig, a book exposing Hitler’s less-than-heroic wartime service. Mattie and Cockran attempt to stay one step ahead of the SS loyal to Hitler who will stop at nothing to keep Cockran from acquiring the book and Mattie from learning the truth about the fake plot.
Michael and Patrick are the co-authors of the award-winning 1930s era “Winston Churchill Thriller” series. The first three books in the series—The DeValera Deception ,The Parsifal Pursuit and The Gemini Agenda—all were named Grand Prize Winners for Fiction by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and Book of the Year for Thriller/Suspense and Historical Fiction by ForeWord Reviews. 
** Excerpt **

THE VIEW WALKING DOWN the access road away from Hitler’s mountain home was even more spectacular than it had been driving up. With the sun high and the air crystal clear, Mattie could see their destination of the village square in Berchtesgaden several miles below while above and around them towered the snow-covered mountain peaks of the Obersalzburg. She took several photos of the scenery in all directions. Hitler had reclaimed his Alsatian Blondi who walked obediently without a leash several yards in front of Hitler. She was once again struck by the lack of security. Anyone could be waiting in ambush in one of the nearby chalets or around the next bend in the road and his two SS guards, who were a good fifty yards behind them to afford their Führer his privacy, would have been useless.

Mattie was curious as to whether he had taken any precautions for his safety. “Herr Hitler, I am surprised at the absence of security here now that you are Chancellor.”

​“I’m a fatalist, Fraulein McGary. Anyone with a rifle, telescopic sights and good aim in one of the chalets up here, “ Hitler replied, pointing to the widely scattered houses on the hill sides around them, “could pick me off as I walk. Or they could wait for me in the village square where I frequently walk as we are today. Still, I am not entirely defenseless. Let me show you. Do they have snow in England? Did you make snowballs as a young girl?” he asked with a smile.

​“I’m a Scot, not English,” Mattie replied, “and I assure you we have plenty of snow in the Highlands. I had two older brothers and, in self-defense if nothing else, I made plenty of snowballs in my youth.”

​“And you threw them as well?”

​“A snowball has no other purpose, Herr Hitler. I pack a mean snowball and I have both a good arm and a good aim. Would you like to see?” she asked with a grin.

​“Actually, yes I would. Make your best snowball and then throw it in front of us as far and as high as you can.”

​Mattie reached down and began to pack a snowball wondering how in bloody hell she was going to work this into her story. When she finished, she held the snowball out for Hitler’s inspection.

​“Excellent! Now, throw!”

​Mattie reached back and threw the snowball high in the air in front of them. Then, she watched in amazement as Hitler swiftly produced a Luger automatic pistol from the pocket of his great coat, extended his right arm straight out and fired. The snowball exploded in a spray of white.

​“Oh! My goodness!” Mattie exclaimed. “That was an incredible shot!”

​Hitler’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean ‘incredible’? You think that was luck? That I can’t do it again?” he asked, the Luger now held barrel down at his side.

​“Oh, no. Of course not. I was simply admiring your marksmanship,” she replied.

​“My SS guards tell me I’m as good as, if not better than, their best marksmen. But go ahead, make another snowball.”

​“Really, Herr Hitler, I’m persuaded. It’s not necessary.”

​“Make another snowball.”

​Mattie did; she threw it; Hitler fired; and the snowball again burst apart in mid-air. He was obviously a crack shot, she thought, and needed no introduction to the new triangle stance which had improved her accuracy after Robbie Rankin had taught it to her.

​“I am a fatalist as I told you. Still, I believe in my destiny to lead the German peoples back to greatness,” he said as he slipped the Luger into his pocket and smiled. “But it never hurts to give Destiny a helping hand every now and then.”

​After that, they walked along in silence. As the snowball exhibition demonstrated, the Nazi leader was in a good mood and showed no signs of displeasure at their interview or some of her tough questions. And he shouldn’t, she thought, because except for his chilling counter-threat against the Jews, he had fielded her questions fairly well, questions she was sure he did not regularly receive from the German press. Moments later, she heard the sound of a motorcar and watched as Hitler’s Mercedes with its black top and windows up passed them.

They were in sight of the village square when Hitler spoke for the first time since ordering the second snowball. “I noticed as we talked in the tea house, Fraulein, that you have acquired an engagement ring since last we met in Munich. Allow me to offer my congratulations. Who is the fortunate young man?”

​“Thank you. His name is Bourke Cockran. I introduced him to you at the Hotel Continental last June.” Mattie said. You know, she thought, that time when you were supposed to meet my godfather Winston and you stood him up.

​“Ah, yes. I do remember. You two were with Kurt von Sturm and his most attractive blonde companion.”

​“Ingrid Johannson. She now owns a major publishing company in New York.”

​ “Yes, well, she and Kurt were a handsome couple, but I daresay you and Kurt would be an even more handsome couple. You know he’s the commander of Germany’s newest zeppelin?”

​What an odd thing to say, Mattie thought. Had Hitler seen her SS file also? “Yes, I know. Kurt’s a good friend. We had drinks a few days ago in Berlin.”

​“A fine young man. I cannot divulge the details, but he was most helpful to the Party and me at a critical time leading up to our breakthrough election in 1930. To me, he represents the Nordic ideal—tall, blond and physically fit. Just like my loyal SS.”

​Yeah, right, Mattie thought. And the “tall, blond and physically fit” snake serving as the number two man in your precious “loyal SS” is up to his neck in a plot to kill you.

​Hitler chuckled. “You’ve heard, of course, the joke about the perfect Aryan man?”

​Mattie thought she had, but she wasn’t sure and she wasn’t going to admit it in any event. When Mattie smiled and shook her head ‘no’, Hitler continued, “The perfect Aryan man is as tall as Goebbels, as physically trim as Goring and as blond as Himmler.”

​Hitler laughed at his own joke and Mattie joined in, but not for the same reason. She had heard the joke, but in the version she heard, it had been ‘as blond as Hitler’, not Himmler.

Purchase Links

B&N | Amazon


MICHAEL McMENAMIN is the author of the critically acclaimed Becoming Winston Churchill: The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor published in hardcover in the UK and US in 2007 by Greenwood World Publishing and in trade paperback in the US by Enigma Books in July 2009. The Churchill Book Club called it “Indispensable. The most important new book about Churchill, one you’ll come back to again and again for its extraordinary insights into Churchill’s genius”. Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biographer, said it was “Fascinating: a tour de force that brings life and light to one of the great early influences on Winston Churchill.”

Michael is also the co-author of the Watergate era expose Milking the Public: Political Scandals of the Dairy Lobby from LBJ to Jimmy Carter (Nelson Hall, 1980) which Robert Sherrill termed “an excellent job of reporting…thoroughly entertaining”. His work has also appeared in the anthologies Choice: The Best of Reason (2004) and Free Minds and Free Markets, Twenty-Five Years of Reason (1993).
Michael has been a Contributing Editor for 35 years on the leading libertarian magazine Reason, regularly ranked by the Chicago Tribune as one of the country’s best magazines. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of Finest Hour, the quarterly journal of the Churchill Centre and Museum in London where his column “Action This Day” chronicles Churchill’s life. Michael’s articles also have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Sacramento Bee, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Inquiry and The Nation magazines.
Michael is a former Army counterintelligence agent and Army JAG officer. He is a member of the Association for Intelligence Officers and the International Thriller Writers Association. He has traveled extensively in Europe, South America and Asia. He was Managing Partner for twelve years of the Cleveland law firm Walter & Haverfield and was twice the Chair of the Global Coordinating Committee of Lexwork International, an alliance of 39 law firms and 2,700 lawyers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

PATRICK McMENAMIN is an award-winning journalist at The Huffington Post, formerly with Fox Business Network and ABC News 20/20. He has worked with John Stossel and Judge Andrew Napolitano producing a wide range of stories, including a report on the unintended consequences of foreign aid, filmed on location in Kenya.

Patrick is currently a Supervising Producer for HuffPost Live, a 12-hour online news network launched in August 2012.
Patrick is a Phi Beta Kappa cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester with departmental honors in both 20th century European history and film studies. Prior to ABC, he worked as a free lance film production assistant for camera crews. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
Author Links

Website | Facebook | Amazon


[Book Review] Little Plane Learns to Write by Stephen Savage @MacKidsBooks @Savageartist #KidsLit #ChildrensFiction #IllustratedBooks

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Publisher: Roaring Book Press

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Description

The best thing about flight school is that Little Plane gets to learn how to sky-write! He adores practicing ARCS! He excels at practicing DIVES! But not everything is easy and fun. Little Plane loathes practicing LOOPITY-LOOPS. They make him dizzy.

My Thoughts

This was a cute story about a little plane learning to write, but having trouble making loopity-loops.  It was perfect for my 3 year old who has an interest in learning the alphabet.  My 5 year old, who is the opposite and doesn’t care about the alphabet, was not a fan which is why I am giving this one a 4 instead of a 5.  To each his own right? 

My Rating:  ❤️❤️❤️❤️

[Book Review] Don’t Blink by Tom Booth @TallTomsTales @MacKidsBooks #KidsLit #ChildrensFiction 


Don’t Blink! By Tom Booth

**I’d like to thank Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for my ARC in exchange for an honest review**

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Description

Think you can win a staring contest against an elephant? What about a gorilla, a cheetah, a fox, or an alligator? What about all them AND a bunch of their other animal friends at the same time? You’re about to find out!

Whatever you do DON’T BLINK!

My Thoughts

This was a fun book where the characters invite the reader to have a staring contest.  My kids love playing this game, so this was an automatic winner!

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


[#BookReview] See What I have Done by Sarah Schmidt #HistoricalFiction #LizzieBorden #Crime


See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

**I’d like to thank the publishers and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review**

Genre: General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Crime

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Description

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence. 

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.

My Thoughts 

I’m torn with this one, because I REALLY thought I’d enjoy this one.  In fact, I was excited because it combines crime and historical fiction!  Two genres I love to read.  It  was a no brainer and should have been a winner. 

I had no previous knowledge of the Lizzie Borden case, so I walked into this intrigued and with a fresh pair of eyes.

The book was off to a great start where Lizzie finds her father’s mutilated body.  But as the story progresses, it gets a bit confusing.  Or at least it did for me.  I didn’t particularly enjoy the narrative.  It’s told from multiple points of views, which can make for a really great read.  However, this fell short of spectacular.  There was too much dialogue and it felt like all the characters were told in the same voice.  

Where I found myself confused was when the story kept going back and forth between the present and the past.  There were too many flashbacks if you ask me.  Whenever a character started to reminisce about their past and got lost in their thoughts, I too was lost and found myself having to backtrack. 
Unfortunately, I did not want to waste anymore time and did not bother finishing it. 

My Rating ❤️❤️

Have you read it? What did you think? 

[#BlogTour] Kate  Clifford Mystery Series by Candace Robb @CandaceMRobb @Pegasus_Books #HistoricalFiction #Mystery

Please join author Candace Robb as her Kate Clifford Mystery Series is featured around the blogosphere, from May 9-24.

The Service of the Dead
by Candace Robb

Paperback Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Pegasus Books
Paperback; 256 Pages

Series: Kate Clifford Mysteries, Book One
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Thriller

 

 

Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe, Candace Robb introduces a new series starring Kate Clifford, a woman forged on the warring northern marches of fourteenth century England.

Political unrest permeates York at the cusp of the fifteenth century, as warring factions take sides on who should be the rightful king–Richard II or his estranged, powerful cousin in exile, Henry Bolingbroke. Independent minded twenty-year-old Kate Clifford is struggling to dig out from beneath the debt left by her late husband. Determined to find a way to be secure in her own wealth and establish her independence in a male dominated society, Kate turns one of her properties near the minster into a guest house and sets up a business. In a dance of power, she also quietly rents the discreet bedchambers to the wealthy, powerful merchants of York for nights with their mistresses.

But the brutal murder of a mysterious guest and the disappearance of his companion for the evening threatens all that Kate has built. Before others in town hear word of a looming scandal, she must call upon all of her hard-won survival skills to save herself from ruin.

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Praise for The Service of the Dead

“Robb’s deft hand creates a realistic political and commercial climate as King Richard II’s reign draws to a close in 1399. Comparable to Sara Poole’s Poisoner mysteries and Ariana Franklin’s Adelia Aguilar series, with its strong political setting and multiple plot strands.” (Booklist)

“A historical novel that deftly captures politics and interactions between different social interests in late medieval England…against the backdrop of social pressures and military actions, Kate’s character and world shine and draw readers into her choices and challenges.” (California Bookwatch)

“Kate Clifford is a wonderful creation, hard-nosed in some respects, compassionate and caring on the other. I look forward to the next installment of this delightful series!” (Historical Novels Review)

“The novel resonates with its compelling portrayal of an England on the brink of crisis.” (Publishers Weekly)

“The Service of the Dead is a tasty brew of political intrigue, larceny, and murder set within the walls of medieval York. Candace Robb’s latest historical mystery is steeped in the atmosphere of the late fourteenth century, and in Kate Clifford she’s given us a no-nonsense heroine and sleuth who is not only smart, but fierce when those she cares about are threatened. You’re going to love her.” (Patricia Bracewell, author of the Emma of Normandy Trilogy)

“The Service of the Dead by Candace Robb is a strikingly well-crafted novel that is a compelling page-turner from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for community library historical fiction collections.” (Midwest Book Review)

A Twisted Vengeance
by Candace Robb

Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Pegasus Books
Hardcover; 400 Pages

Series: Kate Clifford Mysteries, Book Two
Genre: Historical/Mystery/Thriller

 

 

As the fourteenth century comes to a close, York seethes on the brink of civil war?and young widow Kate Clifford, struggling to keep her businesses afloat, realizes that her mother is harboring a dangerous secret…

1399. York is preparing for civil war, teeming with knights and their armed retainers summoned for the city’s defense. Henry of Lancaster is rumored to have landed on the northeast coast of England, not so far from York, intent on reclaiming his inheritance?an inheritance which his cousin, King Richard, has declared forfeit.

With the city unsettled and rife with rumors, Eleanor Clifford’s abrupt return to York upon the mysterious death of her husband in Strasbourg is met with suspicion in the city. Her daughter Kate is determined to keep her distance, but it will not be easy?Eleanor has settled next door with the intention of establishing a house of beguines, or poor sisters. When one of the beguines is set upon in the night by an intruder, Kate knows that for the sake of her own reputation and the safety of her young wards she must investigate.

From the first, Eleanor is clearly frightened yet maintains a stubborn silence. The brutal murder of one of Eleanor’s servants leads Kate to suspect that her mother’s troubles have followed her from Strasbourg. Is she secretly involved in the political upheaval? When one of her wards is frightened by a too-curious stranger, Kate is desperate to draw her mother out of her silence before tragedy strikes her own household.

“Lovers of Shakespeare’s Richard II will find Robb’s intricate sequel to 2016’s The Service of the Dead a particular treat, as it charts the course of Richard’s downfall and his cousin Henry of Bolingbroke’s rise through the fears and uncertainties of the residents of the city of York in July 1399. These anxieties are worsened by a series of strange deaths connected to the extended family of Kate Clifford, a fierce young widow struggling to cope with not only her own household of jostling servants and the recently arrived illegitimate children of her late husband but also the return of her quarrelsome mother, Eleanor, from Strasbourg with religious women in tow. The character of Clifford is compelling and finely drawn, and for those readers who are patient enough to manage an unusually large number of secondary characters, the answers to a series of mysteries, starting with the reason for an intruder’s attack on a beguine (or poor sister) in the middle of the night, are highly satisfying.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

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About the Author

Candace Robb did her graduate work in medieval literature and history, and has continued to study the period while working first as an editor of scientific publications and now for some years as a freelance writer. Candace has published 13 crime novels set in 14th century England, Wales, and Scotland. The Owen Archer series is based in York and currently extends over 10 novels beginning with THE APOTHECARY ROSE; the most recent is A VIGIL OF SPIES. The Margaret Kerr trilogy explores the early days of Scotland’s struggle again England’s King Edward I, and includes A TRUST BETRAYED, THE FIRE IN THE FLINT, and A CRUEL COURTSHIP.

Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published historical novels about two fascinating women she encountered while researching the Owen Archer mysteries, Alice Perrers (THE KING’S MISTRESS) and Joan of Kent (A TRIPLE KNOT).

Candace was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she and her husband love for its combination of natural beauty and culture. Candace enjoys walking, hiking, and gardening, and practices yoga and vipassana meditation. She travels frequently to Great Britain.

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

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