THE NIGHT WEAVER by Monique Snyman Official Nerd Blast

Hey Book Nerds!

Welcome to my stop on The Night Weaver by Monique Snyman Book Blast

Series: Shadow Grove (Book 1)
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: 
Vesuvian Books (October 15, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1645480062
ISBN-13: 978-1645480068

Praise for THE NIGHT WEAVER“With its boogeyman-like creature based in lesser-known folklore, the novel is unique, as well as creepy and unsettling. It also functions on a metaphorical level, growing stronger by feeding on the negative emotions of the townspeople … The Night Weaver introduces a world of myth, intrigue, and darkness with considerable technique.” Foreword Reviews“Simultaneously refreshing and deeply unsettling, The Night Weaver weaves together small-town horror with an intricate otherworldly fairytale to deliver a blend of horror and fantasy that captures the essence of young adult terror seasoned with the stuff of grown-up nightmares.” The Nerd Daily

“… a very easy to read page-turner … As the mystery develops it moves deeper into dark fantasy … brimming with ideas.” Ginger Nuts of Horror
“I have been searching high and low to find a writer that could intrigue me with writing as witty and crafty as Cassandra Clare, and lo and behold I found one. HOLY HELL what a read.” Nadine Maritz, MY HEAD “IN A NUTSHELL“
2018 BRAM STOKER AWARDS® Final Ballot FINAL BALLOT
LOS ANGELES, CA, FEBRUARY 23, 2019

Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior achievement in writing in eleven categories. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates, and Neil Gaiman. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe R. Lansdale. The HWA is home to the prestigious Bram Stoker Award® and the annual StokerCon convention.SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
•Ireland, Justina – Dread Nation (Balzer + Bray)
•Legrand, Claire – Sawkill Girls (Katherine Tegen Books)
•Maberry, Jonathan – Broken Lands (Simon & Schuster)
•Snyman, Monique – The Night Weaver
•White, Kiersten – The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein (Delacorte Press)

Shadow Grove isn’t a typical town. Bad things happen here. Children disappear, one after the other, and nobody is doing anything about it. Parents don’t grieve, missing posters don’t line the streets, and the sheriff seems unconcerned.

Seventeen-year-old Rachel Cleary lives on the outskirts of Shadow Grove, next to the creepy forest everyone pretends doesn’t exist. Usually the forest is filled with an eerie calm, and unmistakeable graveyard solemnity. But the trees have started whispering, forgotten creatures are stirring and the night feels darker than ever.

Something is stalking the residents of Shadow Grove, changing them into brain-dead caricatures of themselves. It’s up to Rachel to find a way to stop the devouring of her hometown before all is destroyed and everyone she loves is forever lost.


Original cover art by Marcela Bolivar 
And title treatment by Michael J. Canales

You can purchase The Night Weaver at the following Retailers: 

The Night Weaver

Click on the image below to go directly to The Night Weaver’s Playlist. Alternatively, you can CLICK HERE!

 

The Harrowsgate Series Playlist 1

This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

The Night Weaver is the first installment in Monique Snyman, Harrowsgate Series.

Every once in a while you come across an author that you know by reading their writing for the very first time. that you will be buying anything they write in the future. Monique Snyman, writing is suspenseful and gripping, that made for a nonstop read for me.

Rachel Cleary is trying to make sense of the abductions occurrences in Shadow Grove and the even weirder reactions from the non responsive adults. There are no missing persons posters for the children who have gone missing, no search parties have been organized. This is all very odd indeed.

The town’s history is tainted with the strange and the horrific occurrences. From poisoned school lunches to devastating factory fires. Definitely odd because all events that have been glossed over in the town’s history with nonchalant excuses. The only people who seem concerned about the newest calamity are the kids that have not yet been taken by a strange and sinister presences.

Rachel Cleary’s family, along with her neighbors the Crenchaws, harbor a clandestine, which is a multigenerational obligation. It means they are responsible for guarding the perimeter of the forest at the edge of Shadow Grove. They must keep the boundary intact and closed. By maintaining a sort of peace with the un human creatures that inhabit the forest. It has worked in the past, this delicate balance has been more-or-less kept, even if an occasional shadow does slip through the boundary. Now it seems like something something more usual has made it or her way through the cracks of the boundary .

“There’s something wrong with the forest. It’s waking up.”

Imaginative world building drawing on the inspiration from old English folklore, The Night Weaver does not only prey upon the flesh of children, but also on the grief, fear, and ultimately pain— This dark creature is both the feared monster that is hiding under ever scared child’s bed. Or it’s a glimpse of a sinister dark shadow, maybe something that you think you might have saw out of the corner of your eye. A thing that that preys on the minds of anyone who has experienced a tragedy.

In this spine tingling book of dark fantasy, That captivates you and draws you into it’s unsettling, atmospheric pages The plot is intriguing, and the writing flows perfectly. The characters are well developed and are easily connected to.

The book is a dark chilling blend of horror and fantasy, with an entering dialogue that was easy to follow. A spellbinding storyline that kept me engaged all the way through to the end. Once I started reading this novel I had to finish it, and stayed up all night to do so.

An immensely enjoyable, suspenseful, gripping, page-turner of a read.

Photo Content from Monique Snyman

Monique Snyman’s mind is a confusing bedlam of glitter and death, where candy-coated gore is found in abundance and homicidal unicorns thrive. Sorting out the mess in her head is particularly irksome before she’s ingested a specific amount of coffee, which is equal to half the recommended intake of water for humans per day. When she’s not playing referee to her imaginary friends or trying to overdose on caffeine, she’s doing something with words—be it writing, reading, or fixing all the words.

NERD BLAST SCHEDULE:
http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2019/09/nerd-blast-night-weaver-by-monique.html
Monique Snyman lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her husband and an adorable Chihuahua. She’s the author of MUTI NATION, a horror novel set in South Africa, and Bram Stoker Award® nominated novel, THE NIGHT WEAVER, which is the first installment in a dark fantasy series for young adults.

  
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

– 1 Winner will receive a Limited Edition The Night Weaver Box by Monique Snyman.
– 1 Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

ENDS: November 5, 2019

Book Tour and Review

Cursed

Hi guys! Today we have a very exciting blog tour! Y’all know how much I love retellings, and this one is extra special. Cursed is going take over, and it is very soon going to be a NETFLIX SHOW. So, you better get on it and read this book now,

by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller(Illustrator)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling, Fantasy
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Synopsis: 

The Lady of the Lake is the true hero in this cinematic twist on the tale of King Arthur created by Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller (300, Batman: The Dark Night Returns, Sin City). Featuring 8 full color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller. 
Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.
But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?
Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…
That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.
Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.
But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.

Welcome to my stop of the Cursed blog tour! Thank you to @theffbc @thomaswheelerofficial and @simonandschuster @simonteen for allowing me to take part in this tour!

I am a huge fan of anything Arthurian and every year I reread the Mists of Avalon!

So when I was given the chance to read and review this hard copy breathtaking Arc, I jumped at the chance and greatly appreciate The Fantastic Flying Book Tour @theffbc for giving me this incredible opportunity.

In this imaginative fantastic retelling of the Notorious Arthurian legend. The Lady of the Lake takes the role of hero in this tale of king Arthur.Creators Thomas Wheeler and legendary artist, producer, and director Frank Miller of 300, Batman, The Dark Knight Returns, and Sin City.This book features full-color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork by Frank Miller.

Cursed is told through the eyes of Nimue, a teenage heroine with a mysterious gift who is destined to become the powerful and tragic Lady of the Lake.Nimue is a child, living in a nurturing environment still following the old ways of the Druid. When the evil Red Paladins, a section of the Church who have made it their mission to wipe out the Fey Folk, attack her village, Nimue finds herself journeying across England to fulfill her mother’s last wish. She sets out on a quest to find Merlin and deliver an ancient sword. Nimue, finds an unexpected partner in a young mercenary named Arthur.

Rumors grow that the Sword of Power has resurfaced again has spread through out the country. Nimue faces incredible forces who all want to claim the sword for themselves, King Uther Pendragon, the Viking Ice King and the Catholic Church.

All knowing the ancient prophecy of the sword …

Nimue will become the hero and the symbol of courage and rebellion against the terrifying Red Paladins, and their King Uther.

I can’t wait to see this novel turned into a show. I love the portrayal of Nimue and everything surrounding her story. Make sure to buy this beautiful novel on October 1st and be sure to watch the Netflix series.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Star Book

Illustrations: From Frank Miller

GIVEAWAY
1 Finished copy US only

Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86408/?

Thomas Wheeler sold his first screenplay at age twenty-two, to Twentieth Century Fox. He has continued to work on major Hollywood features for the last several years. Wheeler lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Christina, and his son, Luca. The Arcanum is his first novel.

Frank Miller is an award-winning comic book writer, novelist, inker, screenwriter, film director, and producer best known for Daredevil, The Dark Knight ReturnsSin City, and 300, among others. He also created Cursed with Tom Wheeler, which is being adapted as a series for Netflix starring Katherine Langford. Visit him online at FrankMillerInk.com or on Twitter @FrankMillerInk.

Week 1

September 23rd

_bookishaestha_-Review/Bookstagram

September 24th

Maddie.TV– Review
Worlds Unlike Our Own– Review & Favorite Quotes

September 25th

@thereadingchemist– Bookstagram

September 26th

Kait Plus Books– Creative Post

September 27th

Shelf-rated– Review

Week 2

September 30th

Morgan Vega– Review & Favorite Quotes

October 1st

Fictitiouswonderland– Bookstagram
Book Blog London– Review & Favorite Quotes

October 2nd

A Bookish Dream– Review/Bookstagram

October 3rd

Bookishly Nerdy– Review
Booked J– Review

October 4th

Book Review

Release Day

Ten Thousand Doors of January

#0rbitbook @AlixEHarrow

Thank you to Orbit Books for gifting me a finished copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Publication date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Redhook
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical

In the summer of 1901, at the age of seven, January Scaller found a Door. You know the kind of door–they lead to Faerie, to Valhalla, to Atlantis, to all the places never found on a map.

Years later, January has forgotten her brief glimpse of Elsewhere. Her life is quiet and lonely but safe on her guardian’s estate, until one day she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds in its pages, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure, and danger. A book that might lead her back to the half-remembered door of her childhood.

But, as January gets answers to questions she never imagined, shadows creep closer. There are truths about the world that should never be revealed. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble.

Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Author: Alix E. Harrow
Publication date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Redhook, Orbit Book Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 Star Book

One of the most stunning, captivating book of 2019

“Listen, not every story is made for telling. Sometimes just by telling a story you’re stealing it, stealing a little of the mystery away from it.”

Have you ever had penchant for the whimsical? Have you looked sideways at doors ever? Or held your breath as walked through a threshold? Or maybe in a moment of fancy, while staring longing at a wall hoping for for a chance of something magical. An opening, a portal…That just maybe there is something magical in the world.

I have despite voices to the contrary, telling me otherwise.

Are you a readers who remembers what it was once like to have the ability to imagine a wide world of endless possibilities. In Within these pages, January will discover the impossible truth of her own existence– and the harrowing dangers that lurk between the Doors and other worlds. 

This fairy tale will have you stepping through the void, into fables, folklore, adventure, love and sanctuary, and the infinite power of words and love. In this completely original lyrical debut, Alix E. Harrow captivating book is a magical blend of both historical fiction and magical realism.

Alix E. Harrow effortless writing is stunning and unconsciously literary.

” I almost didn’t notice the Door at all. All Doors are like that, half-shadowed and sideways until someone looks at them in just the right way.”

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is completely original storyline but written in classical childhood fairy tale style of older work. Beautiful writing that is poetic and the words are fluid in this captivating and lyrical debut. In the turn of the twentieth century, a time of change with inventions and new discoveries, We meet January, an oddly colored, wild and headstrong imaginative girl.

From the first pages I fell in love with January Scaller. When we first meet January, she is seven years old and, though her father is living, she is being cared for by Mr. Locke, her fathers benefactor. Her father travels the world, seeking out exotic treasures to bring back to his employer. Throughout her childhood years, she is herded and tamed into submission, well almost..

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, is lush and richly imaginative book of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the incredible power of opening doors .

Alix Harrow’s has masterly written a captivating illustrious tale with this story. If you love stories that have rich descriptive prose and a within a wonderful historical storyline with magical realism then you definitely want to pick this one up.

Life has a kind of momentum to it, I’ve found, an accumulated weight of decisions which becomes impossible to shift.”

Alix E. Harrow has been a student and a teacher, a farm-worker and a cashier, an ice-cream-scooper and a 9-to-5 office-dweller. She’s lived in tents and cars, cramped city apartments and lonely cabins, and spent a summer in a really sweet ’79 VW Vanagon. She has library cards in at least five states.

Now she’s a full-time writer living in with her husband and two semi-feral kids in Kentucky. Her short fiction has appeared in Shimmer, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Apex, and other venues, and The Ten Thousand Doors of January is her debut novel. Find her wasting time and having opinions at @AlixEHarrow on Twitter.

Book Tour

The Necromancer’s Bride

The Necromancer’s Bride
Kat Ross
(Gaslamp Gothic, #4)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: May 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling

Forgiveness is not Gabriel D’Ange’s strong suit.

A self-appointed soldier of God with a penchant for ruthlessly punishing his enemies, he vanished after Anne Lawrence stabbed him with his own dagger.

The smart thing would be to let him go.

Unfortunately, Anne’s life isn’t just lonely without Gabriel. It’s insufferably boring.

Determined to heal the rift between them, she goes in search of her tempestuous former lover, black parasol in hand and daeva magic crackling at her fingertips. But Gabriel has his own plans afoot and Anne finds herself drawn into one of his tangled webs, much against her better judgment.

Gabriel’s nemesis has reappeared in Brussels, a vile slaver who’s plundering the Congo Free State with the blessing of King Leopold. Gabriel might be willing to give Anne a second chance, but not until Jorin Bekker’s head is lying at his feet.

Back in London, the quasi-reformed necromancer Balthazar sets his sights on the same quarry. He holds a very personal grudge against Bekker — and killing him might be the only way to keep Gabriel D’Ange from Balthazar’s own throat.

When the hunters collide at a lavish gala thrown by the king, Anne learns just how far she’ll go to save the man she loves.

Note: The Necromancer’s Bride is the sequel to A Bad Breed, which should be read first.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

The Necromancer’s Bride.

Gaslamps Gothic Series, is a Victorian-era paranormal fantasy series

This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

The Author Kat Ross’s Victorian-era paranormal fantasy series The Necromancer’s Bride is the sequel to A Bad Breed, And takes off just as A Bad Breed Ended.

Anne Lawrence is a daeva, who has the ability to use elemental magic.

The man She is in love with was almost killed by her hand. Will he able to forgive Anne? Gabriel is a Necromancer A self-appointed soldier of God with a penchant for ruthlessly punishing his enemies. Anne goes against her better judgment and is drawn into a Gabriel vengeful web.

The Necromancer’s Bride, catapultes you into a dark Victorian era. The authors writing flows, and the characters are well developed along with notable sub characters. The book is a creative blend of turn of the century Victorian with a lot of fantasy_magical realism.

Kat Ross delivers such a wickedly delightful, gripping and immersive tale that totally sucked me right into this hauntingly dark gothic suspense novel. Once I started reading this one it was hard not to get totally wrapped up in Jane’s fascinating, snarky, obsessive and audacious character. Making it quite the deliciously fun, compelling and an all consuming page-turner. 

Imaginative and captivating the ending was perfect and sets up for a continuation this amazing series.

Highly recommend this book and it’s series to anyone who enjoys a great storyline and incredible writing

I am definitely looking forward to the next installment in this series., Kat Ross has become an auto-buy for me!

Gaslamps Gothic Series, is a Victorian-era paranormal fantasy series

by author Kat Ross.

Books Include:

The Daemoniac,

The Thirteenth Gate, A Bad Breed

The Necromancer’s Bride

?????

Author Bio:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

GIVEAWAY!
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Book Review

Kingdom Of Souls

Title: King Of Souls

Author: Rena Barron

Print Length: 487 pages

Publisher: HarperTeen (September 3, 2019)

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Print Length: 487 pages

THERE’S MAGIC IN HER BLOOD.

Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment follow her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.

****

This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Conntent warning about assault. Without getting too spoiler-y, there are several women characters whose past magical, psychological, and physical abuse at the hands of a powerful man is described obliquely, but it’s clear that the women are deeply traumatized by it. So much so that it fuels the motivations of one woman in particular and sets in motion the plot of the novel.

Kingdom of Souls Kingdom of Souls is a gripping, riveting, and ambitious dark fantasy epic. This is the first of a planned trilogy, but there is so much plot crammed into the first book. Vivid, magical, and utterly thrilling. Kingdom of Souls is a story of a girl born to a powerful bloodline of witchdoctors with no powers of her own who discovers that she may be the only one who stands a chance to save her kingdom from being ruined …but she finds this battle to be more personal than she expects.

The authors truly excels is in worldbuilding and character development. The stage she sets is as lush as a jungle and unforgiving as a desert. This is no homogeneous fantasy land. Inspired by West African mythology, Barron infuses her world with a rich tapestry of ideas.

The main protagonist, Arrah, has no magic. Every year she attends a ritual that should reveal her powers, and every year she leaves as magic-less as she arrived. Her father, Oshe, is a skilled herbalist and potion-maker and her mother, Arti, is the third most powerful person in the kingdom. Her father’s love and her witchdoctor grandmother’s compassion make bearable her mother’s seething disgust at her daughter’s shame, as does the affection shared between her and Rudjek, the son of the king’s right hand also known as her mother’s nemesis.She is willing to sacrifice everything for her people, even when they despise her.

Throughout it all, she remains true to who she is while growing into a better version of herself.

Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Arrah’s world is shattered. Children have been disappearing, and fear and distrust is spreading across the city. The temple priests cannot locate them and the orishas—the gods her people worship—are not responding to prayers.

When a friend of Arrah’s is taken, she makes the ultimate sacrifice and trades years of her life to cheat her way into possessing magic. What she discovers next propels her down a path she cannot escape from and a destiny she is ill-prepared for. The Demon King, believed to have been killed by the orishas millennia ago, is rising once more and Arrah’s fate is tied to his. Before this is over, she will lose everything and everyone she loves, maybe even herself.

Throughout it all, she remains true to who she is while growing into a better version of herself.

*They are some uneven pacing issues that should have been addressed before publication, but over all it was a solid ya fantasy.*

Have a wonderful day.

Book Tour All The Bad Apples

#penguinteen #allthebadapples

Title: All the Bad Apples

Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Genre: YA, Magical Realism

Publisher:  Penguin UK / Kathy Dawson Books  US

Publication date: August 1 / August 27 2019

Hardcover: 352 pages

@penguinteen

Huge thanks to Penguin for sending me an early copy of this book!
Trigger warnings for homophobia, abortion, suicide, rape, abuse, forced pregnancy.

‘It’s on every woman in this country. Kept in shame and silence for generations. Kicked out, locked up, taken away. Their children sold in illegal adoptions; their babies buried in unmarked graves. Forced pregnancies and back-street abortions, eleven a day on the boat to England only to come home to rejection and stigma. Insults and prayers and keeping up appearances – and how do you break a curse like that?’

“Some loves ignite like forest fires, burn down entire towns before anybody’s noticed. . . Some loves smolder like a turf fire, are slow to start but will then burn bright and steady through entire winters.”

“A good cup of tea is a witch’s brew,” the old women said together with wicked grins. “Heals all ills.”

The stunning new novel about silenced female voices, family secrets and dangerous truths from the author of The Accident Season.

‘Exquisite . . . This is a book to hold tightly to your chest’ Irish Times

‘Lyrical . . . Compelling’ Guardian

‘Beautiful, visceral . . . A primal scream’ Louise O’Neill

‘Uncompromising, raw, devastating’ Publishers Weekly

‘I am in absolute awe of it’ Melinda Salisbury

Moïra Fowley-Doyle is half-French, half-Irish and made of equal parts feminism, whimsy and Doc Martens. She lives in Dublin where she writes magic realism, reads tarot cards and raises witch babies.

Moïra’s first novel, The Accident Season, was shortlisted for the 2015 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize & the North East Teen Book Awards, nominated for the Carnegie Medal & won the inaugural School Library Association of Ireland Great Reads Award. It received two starred reviews & sold in ten territories. Her second novel, Spellbook of the Lost and Found, was published in summer 2017, received a starred review from School Library Journal and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards.


Book Tour The Great Jewel Robbery

The Great Jewel Robbery:A Front Page Mystery Book 1
Elizabeth McKenna
Category: Adult Fiction, 204 pages
Genre: Cozy mystery
Publisher: Elizabeth McKenna
Release date: May 28, 2019
Tour dates: August 19-30, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13

There is no profanity. There is drinking, desire, and a kiss.

Synopsis

Mystery with a splash of romance…Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.

To read more reviews, please visit Elizabeth McKenna’s page on iRead Book Tours.

This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

The Great Jewel Robbery by Elizabeth McKenna is the first book in this delightful cozy mystery series.

Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. Grace has been assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a Lakeside Mansion on shores of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When her boyfriend has a change of plans she brings Emma along.

I was immediately sucked into the narrative and devoured every single page of this highly entertaining and deceptive book. Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in the storyline that I lost all sense of time. The author ability to keep my attention in this intriguing cozy mystery. I was definitely lost in this book and nothing was going to distract me until I finished reading it.

An entertaining and quick read with the right amount of romance, a robbery, murder..a weekend party at a mansion. What more could you ask for?

This is a fun, breezy mystery that totally enchanted me. The storyline is engaging tension filled who-did -it.

A great light hearted mystery, that keeps you guessing all the way through.

Faced paced exceptional dialogue with well developed characters.

I definitely recommend this book and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Do you read cozy mysteries, The light hearted who don it’s?

Cozy Sweet Cream Pancakes Recipe

• All-Purpose Flour

• Baking Powder

• Baking Soda

• Salt

• Sugar

• Eggs

• Vanilla Extract

• Heavy Cream

• Milk, to thin the batter if desired

Toppings for Pancakes

These pancakes may take a few extra minutes to cook, but boy is it worth it! I feel like pancakes are kind of like the blank canvas of breakfast food!

You can add different toppings to create totally different experiences.

Gwendalyn G Anderson

Meet the Author: 

Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write the historical romance novels Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life (she eventually married her first crush)

The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances. Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.

Connect with the author: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 6, 2019

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Book Review The Doll Factory

Hi everyone!

So today I’m reviewing Elizabeth Macneal’s debut, The Doll Factory

the doll factory small

Title: The Doll Factory

Author: Elizabeth Macneal

Published: April 30th 2019 Uk

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Pages: 336

Genres:  Fiction, Historical, Gothic Victorian, Thriller

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

USA RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 13, 2019

The Doll Factory is the debut novel from Elizabeth Macneal. The recipient of the 2018 New Caledonia Novel Award, The Doll Factory is a potent historical tale, exposing a world filled with artistry, passion, compulsion and control. A book that thrusts the reader into days gone by, The Doll Factory is a highly authentic and fresh tale from an emerging author.

The Doll Factory has been a subject to a 14-way bidding war and has been snapped up for television already. I can never resist a shiny new debut, and this one didn’t disappoint. It’s an evocative, gothic Victorian thriller which starts slow before building a crescendo to fever pitch.

It won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018 and film and TV rights have sold to Buccaneer Media. It is a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, a Radio 2 Book Club pick, and Radio 4 Book at Bedtime.

You can purchase The Doll Factory (Picador) here. Us August 13

TheDoll Factory was published on 30th April 2019 Uk

by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

Excerpt

He sees a child dart forward and snatch a red handkerchief from a lady’s purse.  He peers closer, recognizing that scruff of pale hair.  The familiarity is a balm, a reminder that he is not alone in this roiling mass of industry.  Silas smiles, and calls out, ‘Albie!’
But the boy does not hear him.  And then Silas understands: he has been caught.  A woman’s hand is on his wrist, the handkerchief a limp flag in his fist, and Silas slips on a piece of turf in his haste to hurry over, readying himself to play Albie’s rescuer, to beg her not to notify the authorities – but then he sees that Albie is laughing.
Silas looks at the woman more closely.  She is as tall as a man and has her red hair tidied into a long plait.  She is – Flick?  Grown up, womanly.  But it cannot be.  This woman has a slight stoop on her left side.
It is as if a bell has been rung in an old house.  Silas has felt the tremor of the wire as it runs deeper into the building, through walls and floors.  He stands transfixed, watching as the vibrations set a series of smaller bells ringing.
He could not say what it means.

– Elizabeth Macneal, The Doll Factory

Opening sentence: 

“When the streets are at their darkest and quietest, a girl settles at a small desk in the cellar of a dollmaker’s shop.”

In the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, we see a marriage of visual art and literature. Their early works are filled with scenes from the literary world, taken from authors such as Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Keats. These works demonstrate the interconnection of artistic expression and the written word in a way that goes far deeper than merely illustrating

Iris is our leading lady. Alongside her twin sister, Rose, they toil away at Mrs Salter’s Doll Emporium creating objects of beauty. But Iris is unsettled. She wants to paint, she wants the freedom to create her own masterpieces, not just what someone demands of her. I did feel for Iris, she is trapped in an uninspiring situation and when she is offered opportunity for something better, she grabs it. I became her cheerleader as I read this book, she is strong, talented and full of ambition.

This new life leads her to become involved in with the pre-Raphaelite’s and we meet the key artistic figures of this movement. Elizabeth Macneal has seamlessly and brilliantly inserted real-life people into a work of fiction. I didn’t know a great deal about the pre-Raphaelite’s before reading this, but after I finished it, I whiled away some time Googling and looking at the stunning works of art and have fallen head over heels for them. I love it when a book prompts me to do a little research!

The story is told from multi-view perspectives, Iris’ as well as from, Albie the street urchin’s and from Silas, an obsessive collector of weird and wonderful things.

Iris and Silas have a brief encounter, after being introduced by Albie, to which they have very different reactions to! As you read this, you do become very aware of a creeping sense of danger and tension. Especially the further along you get in Silas’s narrative. The tension slowly builds and builds and it leads you to a chilling, dramatic conclusion.

If you historical fiction, or are just in the mood for some creepy Victorian fiction, thenThe Doll Factory might be for you. Macneal has captured London perfectly; evoking all the seedy bars and fancy houses and everywhere in between. Her characters are beautifully rendered; they are endlessly fascinating to watch and I was disappointed when the book ended.

It is hard to imagine this is a debut as it is really impressive; great characters, evocative writing and a truly gripping story.

What more can you want out of a book?

Overall a really excellent debut. Highly Recommended.

You can purchase The Doll Factory (Picador) here.

That’s it for today. Thanks so much for stopping by and happy reading!

o

 Born in Scotland, Elizabeth Macneal is a potter based in Limehouse, East London, working from a small studio at the bottom of her garden.  She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship. The Doll Factory, Elizabeth’s first book, won the Caledonia Novel Award 2018.  

To learn more about the author of The Doll Factory, Elizabeth Macneal visit here.

Book To movie

Hello Bookish Friends,

Do you enjoy the classics?

How about Movie adaptations of Classical Books?

Here is a sneak peek of upcoming Movie, coming out this Winter .

Classical Books To Movies

Little Women (December 25, 2019)

Based on: Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Directed by: Greta Gerwig

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Chris Cooper, Meryl Streep

Based on Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel, the trailer introduces the four March sisters — Meg (Emma Watson of “Harry Potter” fame), Jo (Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”), Beth (Eliza Scanlen, “Sharp Objects”), and Amy (Florence Pugh, “Midsommar”) — living in a cramped house Alcott loosely based on her own home in Concord, Mass.

In this new adaptation directed by Greta Gerwig (Ladybird) Saoirse Ronan plays Jo, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy and Eliza Scanlen as Beth. The rest of the cast is too good not to share including Timothée Chalamet as Laurie, Meryl Streep as Aunt March and James Norton as John Brooke. To add to the excitement, the score is being written by the genius Alexander Desplat. The film is set to be released this Christmas! –

This is now one of several adaptations of the book onto the screen so it will be interesting to see how it compares.

Little Women” will land in theaters on Dec. 25, 2019.

Click the Link: to watch the New Trailer
Little Woman 2019 Trailer

QOTD:: Have Read Little Woman?

When asked Why She Remained A Spinster? Mrs Alcott Reply Was….

Because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man.”

Louisa May Alcott’s grave in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts.

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters.

Alcott’s father established an experimental school and joined the Transcendental Club with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Alcott’s early education included lessons from the naturalist Henry David Thoreau. She received the majority of her schooling from her father. She received some instruction also from writers and educators such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller, who were all family friends. She later described these early years in a newspaper sketch entitled “Transcendental Wild Oats”.

Alcott became an advocate for women’s suffrage and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts, in a school board election.

“Some books are so

familiar that reading them is

like being home again”

—Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868. This novel is loosely based on her childhood experiences with her three sisters.

Alcott was the daughter of noted transcendentalist and educator Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail May Alcott. She shared a birthday with her father on November 29, 1832. In a letter to his brother-in-law, Samuel Joseph May, a noted abolitionist, her father wrote: “It is with great pleasure that I announce to you the birth of my second daughter…born about half-past 12 this morning, on my [33rd] birthday.” Though of New England heritage, she was born in Germantown, which is currently part of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the second of four daughters: Anna Bronson Alcott was the eldest; Elizabeth Sewall Alcott and Abigail May Alcott were the two youngest. The family moved to Boston in 1834,[1] After the family moved to Massachusetts, Alcott’s father established an experimental school and joined the Transcendental Club with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

In 1840, after several setbacks with the school, the Alcott family moved to a cottage on 2 acres (8,100 m2) of land, situated along the Sudbury River in Concord, Massachusetts. The Alcott family moved to the Utopian Fruitlands community for a brief interval in 1843-1844 and then, after its collapse, to rented rooms and finally to a house in Concord purchased with her mother’s inheritance and financial help from Emerson. They moved into the home they named “Hillside” on April 1, 1845.

Alcott’s early education included lessons from the naturalist Henry David Thoreau. She received the majority of her schooling from her father. She received some instruction also from writers and educators such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller, who were all family friends. She later described these early years in a newspaper sketch entitled “Transcendental Wild Oats”. The sketch was reprinted in the volume Silver Pitchers (1876), which relates the family’s experiment in “plain living and high thinking” at Fruitlands.

As an adult, Alcott was an abolitionist and a feminist. In 1847, the family housed a fugitive slave for one week. In 1848, Alcott read and admired the “Declaration of Sentiments” published by the Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights.

Poverty made it necessary for Alcott to go to work at an early age as an occasional teacher, seamstress, governess, domestic helper, and writer. Her first book was Flower Fables (1849), a selection of tales originally written for Ellen Emerson, daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1860, Alcott began writing for the Atlantic Monthly. When the American Civil War broke out, she served as a nurse in the Union Hospital at Georgetown, D.C., for six weeks in 1862-1863. Her letters home – revised and published in the Commonwealth and collected as Hospital Sketches (1863, republished with additions in 1869) – garnered her first critical recognition for her observations and humor. Her novel Moods (1864), based on her own experience, was also promising.

She also wrote passionate, fiery novels and sensational stories under the nom de plume A. M. Barnard. Among these are A Long Fatal Love Chase and Pauline’s Passion and Punishment. Her protagonists for these tales are willful and relentless in their pursuit of their own aims, which often include revenge on those who have humiliated or thwarted them. Written in a style which was wildly popular at the time, these works achieved immediate commercial success.

Alcott produced wholesome stories for children also, and after their positive reception, she did not generally return to creating works for adults. Adult-oriented exceptions include the anonymous novelette A Modern Mephistopheles (1875), which attracted suspicion that it was written by Julian Hawthorne; and the semi-autobiographical tale Work (1873).

Literary success and later life

Alcott’s literary success arrived with the publication by the Roberts Brothers of the first part of Little Women: or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, (1868) a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood with her sisters in Concord, Massachusetts. Part two, or Part Second, also known as Good Wives, (1869) followed the March sisters into adulthood and their respective marriages. Little Men (1871) detailed Jo’s life at the Plumfield School that she founded with her husband Professor Bhaer at the conclusion of Part Two of Little Women. Jo’s Boys (1886) completed the “March Family Saga.”

In “Little Women,” Alcott based her heroine “Jo” on herself. But whereas Jo marries at the end of the story, Alcott remained single throughout her life. She explained her “spinsterhood” in an interview with Louise Chandler Moulton, “… because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man.” However, Alcott’s romance while in Europe with Ladislas Wisniewski, “Laddie,” was detailed in her journals but then deleted by Alcott herself before her death. Alcott identified Laddie as the model for Laurie in Little Women, and there is strong evidence this was the significant emotional relationship of her life.

In 1879 her younger sister, May, died. Alcott took in May’s daughter, Louisa May Nieriker (“Lulu”), who was two years old. The baby had been named after her aunt, but was nicknamed Lulu, whereas Louisa May’s nicknames were “Weed” and “Louy.”

In her later life, Alcott became an advocate for women’s suffrage and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts, in a school board election.

Alcott, along with Elizabeth Stoddard, Rebecca Harding Davis, Anne Moncure Crane, and others, were part of a group of female authors during the Gilded Age who addressed women’s issues in a modern and candid manner. Their works were, as one newspaper columnist of the period commented, “among the decided ‘signs of the times’” (“Review 2 – No Title” from The Radical, May 1868, see References below).

Alcott, who continued to write until her death, suffered chronic health problems in her later years. She and her earliest biographers[citation needed] attributed her illness and death to mercury poisoning: during her American Civil War service, Alcott contracted typhoid fever and was treated with a compound containing mercury. Recent analysis of Alcott’s illness suggests that mercury poisoning was not the culprit. Alcott’s chronic health problems may be associated with an autoimmune disease, not acute mercury exposure. Moreover, a late portrait of Alcott shows on her cheeks rashes characteristic of lupus.[5][6] Alcott died of a stroke in Boston, on March 6, 1888, at age 55, two days after visiting her father’s deathbed. Her last words were “Is it not meningitis?”

The story of her life and career was told initially in Ednah D. Cheney’s Louisa May Alcott: Her Life, Letters and Journals (Boston, 1889) and then in Madeleine B. Stern’s seminal biography Louisa May Alcott (University of Oklahoma Press, 1950). In 2008, John Matteson won the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for his first book, Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father. Harriet Reisen’s biography, “Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women,” was published in 2009, and includes the most extensive primary source material (much discovered since Stern’s biography), including Madelon Bedell’s unpublished notes of interviews with Lulu before Lulu’s death.The children’s biography Invincible Louisa written by Cornelia Meigs received the Newbery Award in 1934 for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Selected works

* The Inheritance (1849, unpublished until 1997)

* Flower Fables (1849)

* Hospital Sketches (1863)

* The Rose Family: A Fairy Tale (1864)

* Moods (1865, revised 1882)

* Morning-Glories and Other Stories (1867)

* The Mysterious Key and What It Opened (1867)

* Little Women or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy (1868)

* Three Proverb Stories (includes “Kitty’s Class Day”, “Aunt Kipp” and “Psyche’s Art”) (1868)

* A Strange Island, (1868)

* Part Second of Little Women, also known as “Good Wives” (1869)

* Perilous Play, (1869)

* An Old Fashioned Girl (1870)

* Will’s Wonder Book (1870)

* Aunt Jo’s Scrap-Bag (1872–1882)

* Little Men: Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys (1871)

* “Transcendental Wild Oats” (1873)

* Work: A Story of Experience (1873)

* Eight Cousins or The Aunt-Hill (1875)

* Beginning Again, Being a Continuation of Work (1875)

* Silver Pitchers, and Independence: A Centennial Love Story,” (1876)

* Rose in Bloom: A Sequel to Eight Cousins (1876)

* Under the Lilacs (1878)

* Jack and Jill: A Village Story (1880)

* The Candy Country (1885)

* Jo’s Boys and How They Turned Out: A Sequel to “Little Men” (1886)

* Lulu’s Library (1886–1889)

* A Garland for Girls (1888)

* Comic Tragedies (1893 [posthumously])

As A. M. Barnard

* Behind a Mask, or a Woman’s Power (1866)

* The Abbot’s Ghost, or Maurice Treherne’s Temptation (1867)

* A Long Fatal Love Chase (1866 – first published 1995)

First published anonymously

* A Modern Mephistopheles (1877)

 

Have a wonderful Day

Blog Tour 120 Days and Author Interview

Hello Bookish Friends and welcome to my stop

120 Days by Ronald L. Ruiz Book Tour



Book Title:  120 Days

Author: Ronald L. Ruiz

Category:  Adult Fiction, 318 pages

Publisher:  Amika Press
Release date:   May 22, 2019
Tour dates: Aug 5 to 23, 2019

Genre:  Legal thriller, crime fiction, literary fiction

TW:There are two explicit scenes and some language

BARBARA BLAKE is a bright, young, attractive, and ambitious defense attorney. Alejandro Soto, an inmate already serving two life sentences for the brutal murder of a drug dealer and the man’s mother, is on trial for a third murder, one he did not commit but that could well result in the Death Penalty. When Blake and Soto meet in the San Cristobal, California courtroom, they begin a 120-day journey that will invariably alter both of their lives. Together, they spiral ever more deeply into the dark heart of a quintessentially American story of sex and love, truth and lies, justice and prejudice, crime and punishment, and, ultimately, life and death.Praise for 120 Days:“There is a human element here that is only found in top-tiered crime fiction, and this book is filled with it. I adore all of the major bestselling authors of this genre and have finally found a new favorite that, in my opinion, belongs in the same league. A truly brilliant novel. An exceptional writer.

Highly recommended.”
– Readers’ Favorite Reviews
Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Amika Press

A Riveting Read …Emotionally Detailed

Ronald L. Ruiz’s Book 120 Days Is a courtroom drama and legal thriller.

Creative phenomenal characters and a a fast paced entertaining book. This a riveting read with emotional details, difficult conditions of Mexican immigrants.

California attorney on the rise, named Barbara Blake, And Alejandro Soto, a double-lifer now facing the death penalty Alejandro Soto, life is hanging in the balance, Blake’s own professional and personal come merge over the course of 120 Days.

This is a complex story that is definitely character driven, the authors ability to create emotional empathy for the criminal, Alejandro. This is just another example of the storytellers ultimate writing ability to illicit your response and trigger the ultimate reader response.

What really stood out for me was a social commentary on the American justice system and society as a whole. This is was such emotional and intimately brilliant read of a controversial topic that weaves together an engaging and critical aspect of our justice system.

This is a must read, with a critical message that goes beyond a surface response.

1. How did you do research for your book?

I did no specific research for this book other than returning to my own life experiences and reflecting on my actions and motives, as well as those of other people around me.

 

 

2. Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

The hardest character to write was Barbara Blake because she is a woman and I am a man with a man’s perspectives. I asked several female friends to give me feedback to help me with the woman’s perspective. The easiest character for me was the lawyer, Greg Olsen, because I was a criminal defense lawyer and prosecutor myself for 37 years.

 

 

3. How did you come up with this idea? What made you write a book about it?

This book is about a successful woman lawyer falling in love with a twice-convicted murderer who she is now representing in a death penalty trial. The idea came from a similar situation that I was aware of and had almost first-hand knowledge about. I can’t think of anything more compelling to write about.

 

 

4. Your book is set in a courthouse, jail and prison. Have you ever been there?

Absolutely. I spent 37 years working as a criminal defense attorney and prosecutor. I was in those places probably more than I was anyplace else, other than my home.

 

 

5. Do you have another profession besides writing?

I am now retired as a lawyer after 37 years working in criminal cases, but I have been a volunteer teaching English to prison inmates and at local schools.

 

Giveaway:

Prizes:  Win one of two copies of 120 Days, or Amazon gift card of $30 (3 winners) (open USA & Canada)

Ends August 30, 2019

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/defcd44e474/

Meet the author:   Ronald L. Ruiz is a retired attorney whose entire career was spent in criminal law as a deputy District Attorney, a District Attorney, a Defense Attorney and a Public Defender.

Book Review The Undertakers Assistant

Hello Bookish Friends

Thanks for joining me today

There are few places on earth that I love more than New Orleans, Louisiana.

I lived for 34 years in South Louisiana, So New Orleans will all always be very special to me. Along with the amazing food and the wonderful people, there is so much historical places that few people other than native to the area know about.

Storyville, a city within the city that had its own Mayor and prostitution was legal from 1897 to 1917. This neighborhood born some of biggest known Jazz musicians ever. To the areas where the the Quadroon Balls of New Orleans where held.

THE UNDERTAKER’S ASSISTANT

BY AMANDA SKENANDORE

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Kensington Publishing Corp.

eBook & Paperback; 304 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Set during Reconstruction-era New Orleans, and with an extraordinary and unforgettable heroine at its heart, The Undertaker’s Assistant is a powerful story of human resilience–and of the unlikely bonds that hold fast even in our darkest moments.

Synopsis:

“The dead can’t hurt you. Only the living can.” Effie Jones, a former slave who escaped to the Union side as a child, knows the truth of her words. Taken in by an army surgeon and his wife during the War, she learned to read and write, to tolerate the sight of blood and broken bodies–and to forget what is too painful to bear. Now a young freedwoman, she has returned south to New Orleans and earns her living as an embalmer, her steady hand and skillful incisions compensating for her white employer’s shortcomings.

Tall and serious, Effie keeps her distance from the other girls in her boarding house, holding tight to the satisfaction she finds in her work. But despite her reticence, two encounters–with a charismatic state legislator named Samson Greene, and a beautiful young Creole, Adeline–introduce her to new worlds of protests and activism, of soirees and social ambition. Effie decides to seek out the past she has blocked from her memory and try to trace her kin. As her hopes are tested by betrayal, and New Orleans grapples with violence and growing racial turmoil, Effie faces loss and heartache, but also a chance to finally find her place . . .

Purchase links :

AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND

Praise for Amanda Skenandore and Between Earth and Sky

“Gripping and beautifully written, Between Earth and Sky tugs at the heart with its dynamic heroine and unique cast of characters. Though this novel brings alive two historical American eras and settings, the story is achingly modern, universal and important.” –Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The It Girls

“Intensely emotional. . . . Skenandore’s deeply introspective and moving novel will appeal to readers of American history, particularly those interested in the dynamics behind the misguided efforts of white people to better the lives Native American by forcing them to adopt white cultural mores.” –Publishers Weekly

“A masterfully written novel about the heart-wrenching clash of two American cultures . . . a fresh and astonishing debut.” –V.S. Alexander, author of The Magdalen Girls and The Taster

“By describing its costs in human terms, the author shapes tension between whites and Native Americans into a touching story. The title of Skenandore’s debut could refer to reality and dreams, or to love and betrayal; all are present in this highly original novel.” –Booklist

“A heartbreaking story about the destructive legacy of the forced assimilation of Native American children. Historical fiction readers and book discussion groups will find much to ponder here.” –Library Journal

“At its heart, this luminous book tells a Romeo and Juliet story. But Skenandore’s book is so much more than a simple romance. This novel examines the complex relationship between love and loss, culture and conquest, annihilation and assimilation.” –Historical Novel Society

This book was received as an ARC from the publisher and Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

A deeply intriguing and introspective moving novel

Amanda Skenandore, new novel is Intensely emotional historical drama set during the Reconstruction-era New Orleans. Euphemia also known as Effie is a compelling and unforgettable heroine. A former slave and now an accomplished undertaker’s assistant, she has returned to New Orleans to forge a new life and confront her traumatic deeply barrier past.

Skenandore involves all the senses in her evocation of the past, from the bustling, multi-lingual French Quarter, where Creole socialites are elevated. to the riveting terrifying raids of mobs of angry white men that carry out violence against law-abiding Black citizens. An educated freedwoman Effie who’s occupation as an embalmer makes her stand out among the rest. Barely 21 years old Effie takes a position with a white employer. Her meticulous talents as an embalmer make up for her present employers short comings. The author does a wonderful narrative setting the plot line up in the beginning as we get to know each character and a bit of the back stories. This richly atmospheric historical fiction with interpersonal drama and well developed characters with a creative storyline will keep you glued to the pages.

Under the Authors narrative voice you are catapult into the book setting of 1870s

New Orleans.

Authenticity researched this novel examines the complex relationship between love and loss, culture and social caste, and assimilation

Skenandore’s impressive second novel, The Undertaker’s Assistant, is a phenomenal book, that I will definitely recommend to my family and friends

A deeply intriguing and introspective moving novel

A little Piece of History

The System of Plaçage

The Quadroon balls were elegant and elaborate, designed to appeal to wealthy white men. Although race mixing was prohibited by New Orleans law, it was common for white gentleman to attend the balls, sometimes stealing away from white balls to mingle with the city’s quadroon female population. The principal desire of quadroon women attending these balls was to become placée as the mistress of a wealthy gentleman, usually a young white Creole or a visiting European.[21] These arrangements were a common occurrence, Some suggests, because the highly educated, socially refined quadroons were prohibited from marrying white men and were unlikely to find Black men of their own status.

A quadroon’s mother usually negotiated with an admirer the compensation that would be received for having the woman as his mistress. Typical terms included some financial payment to the parent, financial and/or housing arrangements for the quadroon herself, and, many times, paternal recognition of any children the union produced. Some of these matches were as enduring and exclusive as marriages. A beloved quadroon mistress had the power to destabilize white marriages and families, something she was much resented for.

The system of plaçage had a basis in the economics of mixed race. The plaçage of black women with white lovers, One could take place only because of the socially determined value of their light skin, the same light skin that commanded a higher price on the slave block, where light skinned girls fetched much higher prices than did prime field hands The quadroon balls as the best among severely limited options for these near-white women, a way for them to control their sexuality and decide the price of their own bodies.

“The most a mulatto mother and a quadroon daughter could hope to attain in the rigid confines of the black/white world was some semblance of economic independence and social distinction from the slaves and other blacks”

Amanda Skenandore, is a historical fiction writer and registered nurse. Between Earth and Sky was her first novel. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Readers can visit her website at www.amandaskenandore.com.
#Skenandore #bookreview #thrundertaker @arshenandoah @kensingtonbooks #theundertakersassistant

Book Tour

Hello Book Friends,

Today Is My Stop On The Book Tour

How The Light Gets In



How the Light Gets In
Katy Upperman
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Katy Upperman’s How the Light Gets In is a haunting YA novel about a teen coping with the loss of her sibling.

Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents once were.

When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine.

But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

This book was received as an ARC from the publisher and Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

How the Light Gets In is a ya romance, with just enough plot twist to make a perfect Summertime read.

Struggling with the tragic death of her younger sister, Callie Ryan has pushed aside everything and everyone that ever meant something to her. She ends up returning to her aunt’s home, one year later.

Callie reluctantly begins helping her aunt restore her old Victorian into a working bed and breakfast, in a small coastal town. A local boy Tucker Morgan proves to be an even bigger distraction, sneaking between the cracks of the walls that Callie has built around the walls herself.

The author kept me interested all the way to the end. The characters were all endearing with creative twist that this an engaging storyline.

When mysterious occurrences have Callie on the edge, believing it is her sister trying to communicate with her. She starts To here strange noises, and having sensations of being watched. In this haunting contemporary novel, Callie must find the answers to some mysterious clues before returning home.

Author Bio:

Katy Upperman is a wife, mama, author, reader, baker, and wanderer. She writes novels for teens and teens at heart. She’s a Washington State University alum (go Cougs!), a country music fanatic, and a makeup stockpiler. She loves the ocean, pedicures, sunshine, Instagram, Dirty Dancing and The Princess Bride, Jelly Bellies, true crime documentaries, and Friday Night Lights.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram

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Book Tour

Book Tour and Spotlight

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for joining Me on this Book tour for A Bolt from the Blue by Lise McClendon and Fire and Rain by Katy Munger

#mystery #cozymystery #giveaway 

 @LiseMcClendon and @iReadBookTours

Book Details:
Book Title:  A Bolt From the Blue by Lise McClendon
Category:  Adult Fiction, 243 pages
Genre:  Mystery, women’s fiction, suspense
Publisher:  Thalia Press
Release date:   August 1, 2019
Tour dates: Aug 1 to 23, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (No sex scenes but some language, mostly mild)
Book Description:
More international intrigue, murder, and romance for the Bennett Sisters overseas in the newest entry to the bestselling women’s fiction and suspense series. The next to youngest Bennett Sister, Francie Bennett (Blame it on Paris) is a hard-charging attorney whose boyfriend Dylan Hardy invites her to join him in Paris to help with a client. When Axelle Fourcier left Paris behind after the student riots of 1968, she vowed never to go back. She made a life for herself in America as a professor.But now a beloved aunt, age 104, has died and left her an inheritance to be shared with a cousin she never met. A fabulous Belle Epoque apartment in Paris filled with pop art from the ’50s and ’60s is just the start of Axelle’s discoveries in Paris. Wrangling with her slick cousin for the proceeds is distasteful but oh so French. Then the apartment is broken into, a friend is murdered, and Axelle’s fears that the French state is once again conspiring against her seem very plausible.Francie tries to deal with her cranky client, her own new relationship, and her boyfriend’s nine-year-old daughter, as the estate problems spin out of control. Intrigue, romance, Paris and the Dordogne, and a soupçon of murder, wrapped in the legal and art world of France bring more than a few ‘Bolts from the Blue’ to the Bennett Sisters.
Meet the Author:  
Lise McClendon writes fiction from her home in Montana. She is the author of numerous novels, short stories, and articles. In 1997 she wrote and directed the short film, The Hoodoo Artist, featured at the Telluride Indiefest. She has served on the national boards of directors for Mystery Writers of America and International Association of Crime Writers/North America. She is on the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference.
Her books, written under her own name and as Rory Tate and Grier Lake, are full of the fascinating lives of women. The choices that women sometimes make are a quagmire of directions and misdirections, sending women into careers, love affairs, children (or no children), travels, and hobbies. And, in the case of her novels, into suspense, crime, secrets, and love.Connect with the author:    Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Instagram



Book Details:
Book Title:  Fire and Rain (A Casey Jones Mystery) by Katy Munger
Category:   Adult fiction, 260 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Thalia Press
Release date:   August 2019
Tour dates: Aug 1 to 23, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13

Book Description:
Casey Jones is back with a new adventure that takes her from four-foot strippers to forty-something bikers—and a head-on collision with too many ex-boyfriends to count. When a routine bodyguarding case turns deadly and Casey loses one of her oldest friends, tracking the killers and a missing stripper — who may or may not be in on the murder — turns out to be a wild ride that takes her from the flatlands of eastern North Carolina to its most exclusive mountain enclaves.

Fans of Casey Jones will recognize their favorites in the cast of colorful supporting characters who answer Casey’s “all hands on deck!” call. If you’ve been missing your kick-ass Casey and craving Krispy Kremes, you’ll find all that you have missed in this seventh installment of a long and beloved female P.I. series.

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com 

Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:    

Katy Munger is a North Carolina-based mystery author who has written under several different pseudonyms. She is the author of the Dead Detective series, writing as Katy Munger (Angel Among Us and Angel of Darkness) and as Chaz McGee (Desolate Angel and Angel Interrupted); the Casey Jones crime fiction series writing as Katy Munger; and the Hubbert & Lil mystery series, writing as Gallagher Gray. She has also been a book reviewer for the Washington Post and served as North Carolina’s 2016 Piedmont Laureate.

Connect with the author:    Website  

Enter the Giveaway!  

Ends August 30, 2019


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Book Tour Author Interview

Hello and welcome to Gwendalyn’s Books

Happy Tuesday to you! I hope your week will be is overflowing with great reads.

I am delighted to welcome a wonderful author to the blog today,

Chris Thorndycroft

Sign of the White Foal
by Chris Thorndycroft

Publication Date: July 1, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 327 Pages

Series: Arthur of the Cymry Trilogy (Book 1)
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

A generation after Hengest and Horsa carved out a kingdom in the east, a hero of the Britons rises in the west…

480 A.D. The sons of Cunedag have ruled Venedotia for fifty years but the chief of them – the Pendraig – is now dying. His sons Cadwallon and Owain must fight to retain their birthright from their envious cousins. As civil war consumes Venedotia, Arthur – a young warrior and bastard son of the Pendraig – is sent on a perilous quest that will determine the fate of the kingdom.

The Morgens; nine priestesses of the Mother Goddess have found the cauldron of rebirth – a symbol of otherworldly power – and have allied themselves with the enemy. Arthur and six companions are dispatched to the mysterious island of Ynys Mon to steal the cauldron and break the power of the Morgens. Along the way they run into the formidable Guenhuifar whose family have been stewards of Ynys Mon for generations. They need her help. The trouble is, Guenhuifar despises Arthur’s family and all they stand for…

Based on the earliest Arthurian legends, Sign of the White Foal is a rip-roaring adventure of Celtic myth and real history set in the ruins of post-Roman Britain.

Amazon | IndieBound

About the Author

Chris Thorndycroft is a British writer of historical fiction, horror and fantasy. His early short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Dark Moon Digest and American Nightmare. His first novel under his own name was A Brother’s Oath; the first book in the Hengest and Horsa Trilogy. He also writes under the pseudonym P. J. Thorndyke.

For more information, please visit Chris Thorndycroft’s website. You can also find him on Twitter and Goodreads.

Gwendalyn’s Books Q&A with Chris Thorndycroft

Q: Was the research easier for this book, or harder than the last series you completed?

A: Probably easier as I had done the lion’s share of research for the first trilogy. This trilogy really just follows on from the first so I had a lot of the background filled in already. It was mostly small details I had to research for this one. I generally research stuff as it comes up. Say I have a scene set in a particular town. I’ll then search for references to that town and make sure I have things like the layout right.

Q: What special challenges did you face making your story stand out from others in the genre ?

A: Arthurian fiction is a massive genre of its own and some really big authors have done their versions so it was daunting trying to come up with a unique take. There are several different ways you can look at the legend. One is to go the traditionalist route and basically use Thomas Malory as your template. He is the guy who, in the 15th century, rounded up all the things we associate with the Arthurian legend into one book – the sword in the stone, the round table, the quest for the Holy Grail etc. But that is very much in the fantasy vein. The Britain (or England) Mallory presented never existed and you’re pretty much in alternate history territory even if you strip out all the magical elements. Other writers have gone the realistic ‘how the legend might have happened’ route by grounding it very much in the 5th century and that is what I wanted to do but I knew I’d be up against several big names in doing so – Rosemary Sutcliff and Bernard Cornwell for a start! I had an idea I thought might make my Arthur stand out and that was to slot him into a real royal dynasty that ruled Gwynedd (North Wales) in the 5th century. It was fun to try and work elements of the legend around real figures.

Q: How did you go about developing the setting(s) for this story?

A: Britain at this time (the 5th century) was very wide open and mostly rural so the countryside was important. I researched what the land was like, what sort of trees, flora and fauna was around. Religion (both pagan and Christian) was a big deal for my characters so I really did the research on that. I also looked at how Roman Britain changed (or deteriorated) into post-Roman Britain, how towns decreased or were abandoned entir ely as focus shifted to a more rural economy. Hill forts, some of which had been abandoned since before the Romans came, were refortified suggesting that people moved from towns to more easily defendable places.

Q: What research methods have been most fruitful for you?

A: Reading, reading and more reading. As well as picking up several intimidating textbooks, I found the internet invaluable. Facebook groups are the haunts of some serious Arthurian scholars and reading through their posts (and occasional arguments) was really helpful. I also got ahold of a lot of academic papers relating to just about every aspect of the 5th century you can think of as well as some antique books no longer in print that have been scanned into Google books. You really have to dig and follow leads to get to the good stuff!

Q: Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

A: Probably Arthur. It’s something of a curse in Arthurian fiction that Arthur is usually the least fleshed-out character. With everybody else running off on quests, the king and his court usually just provides the backdrop. I wanted Arthur to be the main character but he’s a bit of a blank slate. I had to give him motivation, desires and fears. That, in turn, helped bring the cast around him to life.

Q: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

A: Living in Norway with two small children doesn’t provide many opportunities for jetting off on research trips to Britain but I did use to live in North Wales so I had those memories of the landscape to inspire me. It was fun to write scenes set on the exact stretch of coastline I used to live on.

Q: Some writers create a bubble around themselves until they’re finished with their project – how true is that in your case?

A: It’s a bit hard to create much of a bubble when you have two young kids and a full time job, but I make sure the last couple of hours in the day is my time to get stuck in and get some writing done. I try to stick with one project until it’s done but all my other writing projects keep trying to sneak in. It’s an effort to push them out and focus on what needs to be done so I suppose I do isolate myself a little bit, at least from anything that might get me excited about those other books I have planned in my head.

Q: Do you prefer writing in silence or to music?

A: Music usually, but only instrumental stuff. Song lyrics distract me when I’m writing so I stick to movie and game soundtracks mostly. There’s loads of playlists on Spotify that have been very motivational in writing my Arthur trilogy. Anything epic or stirring.

Q: What book from your childhood has shaped you most as a writer?

A: The Hobbit was a big influence. I remember my primary school teacher reading it to us and I just loved the sense of adventure, of going from one peril to another, so that has probably had an effect. I always seem to put a bit of adventure in my writing.

Q: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

A: I don’t base characters on people I know or anything like that, at least not wholesale. Sometimes I have a real person in mind when I’m writing a character but I always make sure I change a few things! When it comes to other stuff, there are a few nods in my Arthur books to things in Arthurian literature that only real enthusiasts will spot. I try to keep things as authentic as possible even if it’s a small detail nobody will notice.

Thanks so much Chris, for visiting Gwendalyn’s Books

http://Instagram.com/gwendalyn_books_

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 22
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, July 23
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, July 24
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, July 25
Review at My Reading Chronicles

Friday, July 26
Guest Post at Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, July 29
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Faery Tales Are Real

Tuesday, July 30
Interview at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, July 31
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Friday, August 2
Review at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction

Blog Tour The Work Of Art

Welcome to the blog tour for The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews!

You can read my review of this Regency romance below

and enter the Tour-Wide Giveaway!

The Work of Art
by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: July 23, 2019
Perfectly Proper Press
Paperback & eBook

Genre: Historical Romance

READ AN EXCERPT.

 

 

An Uncommon Beauty…

Hidden away in rural Devonshire, Phyllida Satterthwaite has always been considered more odd than beautiful. But in London, her oddity has made her a sensation. Far worse, it’s caught the eye of the sinister Duke of Moreland—a notorious art collector obsessed with acquiring one-of-a-kind treasures. To escape the Duke’s clutches, she’s going to need a little help.

An Unlikely Hero…

Captain Arthur Heywood’s days of heroism are long past. Grievously injured in the Peninsular War, he can no longer walk unaided, let alone shoot a pistol. What use can he possibly be to a damsel in distress? He has nothing left to offer except his good name.

Can a marriage of convenience save Philly from the vengeful duke? Or will life with Arthur put her—and her heart—in more danger than ever?

“In her sixth historical romance, Matthews (The Pug Who Bit Napoleon; A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty) weaves suspense and mystery within an absorbing love story. Readers will be hard put to set this one down before the end. Highly recommended to historical romance and/or mystery buffs and especially animal lovers.” – Library Journal, Starred Review

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE

Amazon | Apple | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Mimi Mathews has written an captivating Regency Historical Romance..

The Work of Art Set in London during Spring, 1814, Mimi has written a absorbing and perfect romance. Upon the death of her grandfather, Phyllida (Philly) Satterthwaite’s entire life has changed. Philly is orphaned and still unmarried at 23 and up to this point her life she lived solely in the quiet country. Surround by everything she has come to love in her genteel life. Philly is now some what destitute and has been taken into her uncle’s household in London. Philly will certainly come to realize that all is not what it seems, and her uncle has ulterior motives.

London is full of treachery and untrustworthy people.

Philly is a rare beauty both with looks and her genuine warmth, and a compassionate heart to all. From her unruly dogs to horses, to wounded moody Captains, anything that might need her nurturing.

Captain Arthur Heywood’s life has changed three years ago on a battlefield in the Great Peninsular War. He is a wounded broken soul, dealing with inner demons.

He has completely isolated himself from London and all its gossiping forays, at his estate,Heywood House.

In chance meeting in town on business he meets Phyllida Satterthwaite.

Society calls her “The Work of Art , Phyllida will not be used as pawn in game to be sold into marriage. In a courageous act that takes her out of the hands of sinister Duke. She escapes from London with a marriage of convenience.

In this captivating storyline with an engaging cast of characters, I was swept up and completely taken by Mimi Matthews writing style. She weaves historical romance in such a way that you lose yourself within the pages of her books

In her more than steamy, Jane Austin-Style of writing, you find yourself completely immersed until the very satisfying end. This book was an unstoppable read for me.

Matthews approach to giving the reader just the right amount of tender romance and her unique writing skill that leaves you smiling and actually happy after reading her books.

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Matrimonial Advertisement) writes both historical non-fiction and traditional historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated weekly at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.

For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews’ website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 23
Review at Bookish Rantings
Review at View from the Birdhouse

Wednesday, July 24
Review at Courtney Clark

Thursday, July 25
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, July 26
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, July 29
Review at Red Headed Book Lady

Tuesday, July 30
Excerpt at Faery Tales Are Real

Wednesday, July 31
Review at The Lit Bitch

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, one winner will receive a signed copy of The Work of Art! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The Work of Art
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