Man Overboard

Man Overboard
Man Overboard by J.A. Jance

The Somnanbulist's Dreams

The Somnanbulist's Dreams
The Somnambulist's Dreams

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Axeman of New Orleans by Miriam C. Davis- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK: 

From 1910 to 1919, New Orleans suffered at the hands of its very own Jack the Ripper–style killer. The story has been the subject of websites, short stories, novels, a graphic novel, and most recently the FX television series American Horror Story. But the full story of gruesome murders, sympathetic victims, accused innocents, public panic, the New Orleans Mafia, and a mysterious killer has never been written. Until now. 

The Axeman repeatedly broke into the homes of Italian grocers in the dead of night, leaving his victims in a pool of blood. Iorlando Jordano, an innocent Italian grocer, and his teenaged son Frank were wrongly accused of one of those murders; corrupt officials convicted them with coerced testimony. Miriam C. Davis here expertly tells the story of the search for the Axeman and of the eventual exoneration of the innocent Jordanos. She proves that the person mostly widely suspected of being the Axeman was not the killer. She also shows what few have suspected—that the Axeman continued killing after leaving New Orleans in 1919.

Only thirty years after Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of Whitechapel, the Axeman of New Orleans held an American city hostage. This book tells that story.

READ AN EXCERPT:



MY REVIEW:


The Axeman of New Orleans: The True StoryThe Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story by Miriam C. Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Axman of New Orleans: The True Story by Miriam C. Davis is a 2017 Chicago Review Press publication.

I thought I had heard about most serial killers, recent, past or distant past, but I never heard about this case. I understand this story was even featured on ‘American Horror Story’, but I don’t want much television, so I missed out on that.





 This case is utterly fascinating and so absurdly strange, it’s impossible to believe some of the things that happened back then.

Starting in 1910, a series of murders targeting Italian immigrants, who mainly operated grocery stores, began to occur with an uneven frequency.

The murders are very gruesome and harrowing, and there doesn’t appear to be much a motive aside from the obvious one, which was a strong dislike toward the Italians.

The police, of course, had limited resources and New Orleans was especially under funded and inexperienced. Interviews with the victims and eyewitness accounts were often all they had to go on, other than suspicious behaviors. Often a suspect was held, only to be released due to a lack of evidence.

But, eventually, a couple of arrests were made, based on false testimony. A trial was held which ended with a couple of convictions, the details of which are detailed at length in this book and made for some pretty interesting courtroom drama.

But, the real killer was never brought to justice, and in fact continued to kill after leaving the New Orleans area.




It’s a perplexing case, which caused hysteria, and frankly echoes the sentiments people still seem to hold against immigrants, or other races, no matter what era of time, or the circumstances. But, it is worth noting that New Orleans was packed with immigrants from a number of areas, so why Italians? There are several theories, but it is still very strange.

It was also sad, since several of the victims were young married couples, some with small children. Some of the cases were pinned on the ‘Cleaver’, that may not have been connected, and innocent people found themselves under suspicion. There were several odd incidents that turned out to be unconnected, but were very curious, indeed.

New Orleans is always an interesting locale, and despite the grim subject matter, I did enjoy reading many of the historical details of the period.

I’m thankful the author decided to tackle this case, which as far as I know hasn’t garnered the mass media attention other serial killers from long ago did, and has remained relatively forgotten.

The book isn’t very long, but it’s packed with intrigue and drama and is very puzzling, as well as frustrating to think someone got away with so many murders, and people suffered who were innocent of any wrong doing.

This a quick and easy to read true crime story that definitely held my attention and has piqued my interest in this crime and the era it took place in.

True Crime readers and those who enjoy history or historical mysteries will not want to pass this one up.

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Axeman-New-Orleans-True-Story-ebook/dp/B01M06SMW7/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-axeman-of-new-orleans-miriam-c-davis/1123528091


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Miriam C. Davis has a PhD in history and is the author of Dame Kathleen Kenyon, a biography of the most important female archeologist of the twentieth century. She lectures for Smithsonian Journeys and lives in Montgomery, Alabama.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Last Night at Tremore Beach by Mikel Santiago- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

What starts out as an idyllic summer holiday on the Irish coast soon becomes a living nightmare with unpredictable consequences for a world-renowned composer and his family in this chilling psychological thriller.

Recently divorced and in the middle of a creative crisis, Peter Harper decides to take shelter on Ireland’s scenic and isolated Tremore Beach. But after he is struck by lightning one stormy night, he begins experiencing terrible headaches and strange dreams. As the line between his dreams and reality begins to blur, Peter realizes that his bizarre dreams may be a warning of horror still to come…

READ AN EXCERPT:




MY REVIEW:


The Last Night at Tremore BeachThe Last Night at Tremore Beach by Mikel Santiago
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Last Night at Tremore Beach by Mikel Santiago is a 2017 Atria publication.

An excerpt from my review posted on Night Owl Reviews:

Still, this is a fun, fast paced thriller, entertaining enough and worth taking a look at, especially since this is a debut novel and shows the author’s potential, which I would say is very promising. 3.5 stars

To read my entire review, click on this link:

https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Re...

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Night-Tremore-Beach-Novel-ebook/dp/B01HMXUU16/


http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-night-at-tremore-beach-mikel-santiago/1124016001



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Mikel Santiago was born in Portugalete (Vizcaya) in 1975. He consecrated his youth to play in rock bands and later began publishing stories and short novels on the Internet, with which he managed to reach the Best-Sellers list in Spain and the United States. His first novel "The Last Night On Tremore Beach" was a resounding success of criticism and publicity. He has lived in Ireland and the Netherlands for almost a decade and now combines his activity as a writer with a rock band and the software world.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cries in the Night by Debra Webb- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Every second brings them closer to finding her daughter—and brings him closer to finding out the truth. Secrets of the past ignite in this passionate thriller from USA Today bestseller Debra Webb.

Haunted by her daughter’s cries in the night, Melany Jackson will stop at nothing to track down her precious child. And if that means joining forces with Colby investigator Ryan Braxton—the man she still desperately loves—then so be it. Without a second to spare, Melany and Ryan frantically try to unravel the maze of clues in this confounding case. But what Melany fears even more than her electrifying response to Ryan’s potent masculinity is that he might discover her child...is also his.


READ AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:


Cries in the Night (Colby Agency)Cries in the Night by Debra Webb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cries in the Night by Debra Webb is a 2016 Harlequin Special Releases publication.

This book was originally published by Harlequin Intrigue in paperback format in 2004. This is the new digital format of the book and is a Harlequin special release.



Melany miraculously survives a horrific car crash, only to discover her two year old daughter did not survive. Still, Melany is convinced her daughter did not die and literally uncovers proof that her daughter’s body was not buried.

Calling in the FBI to work on the case, Melany finds herself face to face with her former lover, Ryan Braxton. Although he is the last person she wants to see, she knows if anyone can find her daughter, he can.

Debra Webb is a wonderful, and very popular romantic suspense writer, especially with readers, who has, in my experience, always delivered fast paced and emotionally charged novels.

This one is especially taut with suspense since it deals with a missing child and truly sinister crime operation. Melany is the only one convinced her daughter is still alive and like any mother whose child is in danger, she is prepared to fight to death to learn the truth and save her daughter. But, there are other complications, since she and Ryan have a shared past, and Melany is keeping certain details to herself that might shake Ryan to the core.

The plot is tight and thick with tension, as Melnay and Ryan a race against the clock, and try to quell the simmering chemistry between them.

I read this book in one sitting and am planning on adding more Colby Agency titles to my TBR pile. If you are a fan of romantic suspense or fast paced thrillers I highly recommend any books by this author!

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Cries-Night-Colby-Agency-Debra-ebook/dp/B01M7TL19E/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cries-in-the-night-debra-webb/1100345559


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


DEBRA WEBB is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 100 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil and the Colby Agency series. She is the recipient of the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense as well as numerous Reviewers Choice Awards. In 2012 Debra was honored as the first recipient of the esteemed L. A. Banks Warrior Woman Award for her courage, strength, and grace in the face of adversity. Recently Debra was awarded the distinguished Centennial Award for having achieved publication of her 100th novel. With this award Debra joined the ranks of a handful of authors like Nora Roberts and Carole Mortimer.

With more than four million books in print in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood when, at the age of nine, her mother bought her an old typewriter in a tag sale. Born in Alabama, Debra grew up on a farm. She spent every available hour exploring the world around her and creating her stories. She wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the Commanding General of the US Army in Berlin behind the Iron Curtain and a five-year stint in NASA’s Shuttle Program that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has expanded her work into some of the darkest places the human psyche dares to go. Visit Debra at www.debrawebb.com.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Texas Homecoming- By Leigh Greenwood- Spotlight and Feature + Giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Texas Homecoming
Series: Night Riders, #1
Author: Leigh Greenwood
Pub Date: April 4, 2017
ISBN: 9781492648796

She’s his last chance to find peace…

Cade, Captain of the Night Riders, is determined to lead his men home to Texas to recover from a long and brutal war. But when a fellow Rider betrays the team, Cade sets aside his hopes for peace and swears he will hunt down the traitor no matter what it takes…

He has a foolproof plan to use the feisty Pilar diViere to lure her traitorous brother out of hiding. And yet when he takes the dark-eyed beauty into his arms, Cade can’t help but remember the passionate past they shared. He would do anything for a chance to rekindle that flame…even spare her brother’s life.

The war has changed them and each of the Night Riders must decide what is more important: love or revenge?



EXCERPT
“Let’s go for a walk instead.”
“I don’t want to walk,” she said, angry he’d forced her to leave the fiesta. “I can do that any time.”
“We can walk along the river. The moonlight on the water makes it look like a river of silver.”
A walk sounded awfully dull compared to dancing, but she’d never seen a river in the moonlight. Young ladies of aristocratic lineage weren’t supposed to be interested in such things. Cade made it sound very pretty. “Okay, but if I don’t like it, I want to go back to the fiesta.”
The fruit drinks had undoubtedly contained more tequila than she suspected. She had never felt so uninhibited, so unfettered by tradition, so unrestrained by her grandmother’s strictures. It felt absolutely marvelous.
“Have you walked along rivers in the moonlight with a lot of girls?” she asked.
Cade chuckled softly. “You should ask Owen that question.”
“I’m not interested in Owen. I’m interested in you.” She didn’t mean it quite the way it sounded, but it was too much trouble to explain.
“No one seemed particularly interested,” Cade said.
Pilar couldn’t understand that. To her, Cade seemed like exactly the kind of man a woman would want to walk with in the moonlight. He was strong, handsome, and dependable, everything a young woman would look for in a man.
“I can’t believe the young women you knew were so silly.”
“Young ladies want excitement, clever words, flattery,” he said.
“They’d want something very different if they’d been driven out of their home and forced to cook for a living.” She hadn’t meant to mention that, but what he said seemed so frivolous, she couldn’t help herself.
“Some lost more than you. They just wanted to forget.”
She would never forget. “Let’s not talk about the war. Pretend I’m one of those silly women who pant after Owen. Tell me I’m pretty and you get lost in my eyes.”
Pilar felt herself flush with embarrassment. She didn’t know where those words had come from. She’d never even thought anything so foolish in her entire life.
“You’re not pretty,” Cade said.
That’s what she got for putting words into a man’s mouth.
“You’re beautiful. Any man would give his right arm to be able to drown himself in your eyes.”
Pilar didn’t know what more those Virginia beauties could want. Manuel had never said anything half so poetic.
“Your fiancé should be cut into small pieces and fed to the coyotes for leaving you unprotected. If I had been your fiancé, not even loyalty to my country could have been enough to make me leave you.”
Pilar was wise enough to know that no man ever valued his wife above his loyalty to his country; his money or his children perhaps, but never his wife. But the effect on her was the same as if it had been the truth. She’d never felt so important in her life, and she liked it.
“Would you really have stayed in Texas if I’d been your fiancée?”
“Maybe not, but I’d have made sure you were safe before I left.”
“Why?”
“A man protects what he values. Nothing is more valuable than the woman a man loves.”
Pilar had never expected to be loved by her husband, but when she was alone and faced with the future, she couldn’t help dreaming about it. Respect and all that stuff about lineage and money didn’t seem enough in a world that could turn cold and cruel at any moment.
“How would you show a woman you loved her?” Pilar asked.
“Like this.” Cade took her in his arms and kissed her.
Pilar knew that some part of her must have been wanting this, hoping for it, but a part of her was shocked to find herself in Cade’s embrace. That same part was even more shocked to discover how much she wanted it, welcomed it, moved forward to meet him. Nor did she back away from the kiss when it turned from a genteel brushing of lips to an unbridled expression of pent-up emotions.
She didn’t know what was responsible for the feeling that her life had suddenly turned in a new direction, had taken on a different meaning. She didn’t know how to account for the emptiness inside her, or the conviction that Cade was the only one who could fill it.
She only knew she’d been swept up in Cade’s powerful embrace, and it was the most wonderful feeling of her whole life.
She’d never imagined that anything could feel as wonderful as this kiss. His lips were full, his mouth soft. His tongue darted between her teeth before she knew what was happening. But even as her conscious mind started to reject the idea, her body’s response was the opposite—and enthusiastic. Her own tongue rose to duel with Cade’s, entwining sinuously around his, plunging deep into his mouth.
Gradually Pilar became aware that other parts of her body were reacting to Cade’s embrace. Her breasts—pressed hard against his chest—had become extremely sensitive, her nipples swollen. A feeling unlike anything she’d ever experienced uncoiled deep in her belly, then began to spread through her limbs, causing her muscles to go limp. Instinctively she clung still more tightly to Cade.
Without warning, Cade broke the kiss, took her by the shoulders, and thrust her away from him.
The shock was total.
“We have to go back to the hotel before I forget you’re a lady I’ve promised to protect,” Cade
said.
Pila
r’s brain refused to function. She couldn’t understand what Cole was saying. She could only understand that all comfort had suddenly been torn from her. “What would you do if I weren’t a lady, if we didn’t have to go back to the hotel?”


GIVEAWAY



a Rafflecopter giveaway




 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Leigh Greenwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboys, and Night Riders series. The proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He never intended to be a writer, but he found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and the only way to get them out was to write. Visit him at www.leigh-greenwood.com.

Monday, March 27, 2017

I'll Be Damned by Eric Braeden- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this startling candid and poignant memoir, the legendary Emmy Award-winning star of The Young and The Restless, America's #1 soap opera, chronicles his amazing life, from his birth in World War II Germany to his arrival in America to his rise to humanitarian and daytime superstar for the past thirty-five years.

For nearly four decades, fans have welcomed the star of television’s number-one daytime show, The Young and the Restless, into their living rooms. While they’ve come to know and love the suave Victor Newman, few truly know the man behind the character, the supremely talented Eric Braeden. I'll Be Damned is his story—a startling and uplifting true tale of war, deprivation, determination, fame, and social commitment that spans from Nazi Germany to modern Hollywood.

Braeden’s journey from a hospital basement in Kiel to the soundstages of Los Angeles has taught him more about joy, heartbreak, fear, dignity, loss, love, loneliness, exhilaration, courage, persecution, and profound responsibility to the global community than he could have hoped to learn in several lifetimes. Growing up in the years after Germany’s defeat, Braeden knew very little about the atrocities of his parents’ generation, until he arrived in America as a teenager—a discovery that horrified and transformed him. Trying to redress the wrongs of his homeland, he has dedicated his life to humanitarian work—even forming the German American Culture Society—working for decades to show the world that what we share as humans is far more important than what separates us from one another.

Told with openness, candor, humor, heart, and occasional raw vulnerability, I’ll Be Damned reveals a man committed to making the world a better, more loving place. Filled with sixteen pages of photos from his decorated life and career, I’ll Be Damned will be a treasured keepsake for Y&R fans, and is an inspiring testament to the goodness within us all.


LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:




MY REVIEW:


I'll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America's #1 Daytime DramaI'll Be Damned: How My Young and Restless Life Led Me to America's #1 Daytime Drama by Eric Braeden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

200 I'll Be Damned, by Eric Braeden is a 2017 Dey Street publication.

Here is an excerpt of my review posted on Night Owl Reviews:

The book also includes some very nice glossy photographs of Victor and his lovely family and his famous Y&R co-stars.

I have no idea what I was expecting, but I got a lot more than I bargained for. In fact, I think I just might start checking in on Victor on Y&R again to see what he’s up to these days.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, but if you are a fan of this actor, you will really enjoy learning about his background and life story, which is surprising, refreshing, and makes a very compelling read.


ERIC STARRING IN  THE RAT PATROL




To read the full review, click on this link:

https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Re...





GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Ill-Be-Damned-Restless-Americas-ebook/dp/B01FQQGYYI/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ill-be-damned-eric-braeden/1124026564


VICTOR NEWMAN THROUGH THE YEARS:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Eric Braeden is a German born American actor best known for his role as Victor Newman on the soap opera The Young and the Restless. Braeden has played Newman since 1980. He is also known for his roles as Hans Dietrich in the 1960s TV series The Rat Patrol, and as John Jacob Astor IV in the 1997 film Titanic. He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1998 for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the role of Victor Newman.


Friday, March 24, 2017

The Road to Enchantment by Kaya McLaren- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

As a young girl, Willow watched her mother leave their home in Washington State in a literal blaze of glory: she set the mattress of her cheating husband on fire in her driveway, roasting marshmallow peeps and hot dogs before the fire department arrived. 

And with that, she and Willow set off to New Mexico, to a new life, to a world of arroyos and canyons bordering an Apache reservation. Willow was devastated. Her eccentric mother believed in this new life and set about starting a winery and goat ranch. But for Willow, it meant initially being bullied and feeling like an outsider. Today, as a grown woman, Willow much prefers Los Angeles and her job as a studio musician. But things tend to happen in threes: her mother dies, her boyfriend dumps her, and Willow discovers she is pregnant. 

The DeVine Winery and Goat Ranch is all she has left, even if it is in financial straits and unmanageable back taxes. There is something, though, about the call of “home.” She's surprised to find that her Apache best friend Darrel along with the rest of the community seems to think she belongs far more than she ever thought she did. Can Willow redefine what home means for her, and can she make a go of the legacy her mother left behind? 

Told with Kaya McLaren’s humor and heart, The Road to Enchantment is a story about discovering that the last thing you want is sometimes the one thing you need.

READ AN EXCERPT:

 

MY REVIEW:



The Road to EnchantmentThe Road to Enchantment by Kaya McLaren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Road to Enchantment by Kaya McLaren is a St. Martin's Press publication.

Excerpt from my review on Night Owl Review:

However, Willow’s character development is fun to watch. Witnessing her growth and self-discovery was rewarding, plus, the secondary characters are eccentric, but very likable, and their contributions are what gives the story a real dash of color.

Overall, this is a pleasant contemporary fiction novel that fans of Women’s Fiction or Chick-lit will enjoy.

To read the full review, click on this link:

https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Re...



GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Road-Enchantment-Novel-Kaya-McLaren-ebook/dp/B01HW6Z2MU/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-road-to-enchantment-kaya-mclaren/1123683455


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



After a couple years as a nomad spending winters in Mexico, Kaya McLaren has recently returned to her roots are in the mountains of Washington State. She returned to her career as an art teacher, as well, a career that took her to diverse landscapes like the Quinault Rainforest, Snoqualmie Pass, the wheat country of north central Oregon, and the Jicarilla Apache Reservation in northern New Mexico. In addition to being a writer and art teacher, she's been an archaeologist and a massage therapist. She enjoys art in all its forms, making music with friends, travel, riding horses, telemark skiing, kayaking, soaking in hot springs, and going for walks with her Mexican street dog, Frida.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries...

Love. Guilt. Heartbreak.

1914: Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance—and their lives—in danger...

2016: Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret...

Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Dinah Jefferies.

LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:
The Secret WifeThe Secret Wife by Gill Paul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul is a 2016 Avon publication.

This book is an amazing, epic love story, unlike any I’ve read in a long time!

When Kitty Fischer makes a shocking discovery about her life and marriage, she flees England in search of the property in the Adirondacks she recently inherited. The place is in horrible disrepair, but she sets to work restoring it, while searching out her personal connection to her great-grandfather, Dmitri, the original owner of the property. This is a journey that will take the reader all the way back to 1914 where Dmitri is recovering from a war wound, and meets the great love of his life, Tatiana Romanov.

Like most of you, I have heard stories about the Romanov family. Most of us are familiar with Anastasia, but this novel features her sister, Tatiana, which is a refreshing change of pace. I have not thought about the Romanov family in a very long time, and for some reason, books based on the family or this period in history never seems to show up on my radar. So, because it was so unlike other historical fiction, I normally read, this one really captivated me.

While Kitty does the research into her family tree and discovers the shocking truth about her grandfather, she is feverishly restoring the cabin she inherited, and avoiding contact with her husband until she figures out how to get her life back on track. Her story is the contemporary thread that links the past with the present, but it’s Dmitri and Tatiana’s story that held me prisoner, and broke my heart into a million pieces.

The author obviously did a great deal of painstaking research, providing incredible and lush details that put me right there in the midst of royal opulence, only to later find myself experiencing the fall of the Tsar and the horrors of war, right along with Dmitri and Tatiana. We follow their tragic, but, powerful love story, and Dmitri’s years following the war. I was absolutely on the edge of my seat, riveted, and mesmerized!

I also enjoyed Kitty’s personal growth, her journey toward self-discovery, her awakening, so to speak. Although, she could have worded it a little better, I was happy she decided to use a negative experience as a chance to take stock of her life and made something good come from something bad.

Those of you who have followed my reviews, know that on occasion, I whine about the demise of the sweeping romantic historical sagas of old, so you can imagine how very much I loved this story!

The only thing left to say is: READ THIS BOOK!!


5 stars!!

View all my reviews GET YOUR COPY HERE:


https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Wife-captivating-romance-passion-ebook/dp/B01D4O804G/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-secret-wife-gill-paul/1124751786



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in recent history. Her new novel, The Secret Wife, is about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914. It’s also about a young woman in 2016 deciding whether to forgive her husband after an infidelity.

Gill’s other novels include Women and Children First, about a young steward who works on the Titanic; The Affair, set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fall in love while making Cleopatra; and No Place for a Lady, about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects (to be published 1st October 2016) and a series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series includes Royal Love Stories, World War I Love Stories and Titanic Love Stories.

Gill was born in Scotland and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in West Virginia when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – "It's good for you so long as it doesn't kill you"– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls "research trips" and attempting to match-make for friends.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:


Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s earWait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her.

Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing historyand the part she’s meant to play in it.

Gripping and visceral, this unforgettable debut delves straight into the heart of dark family secrets and into one woman’s emotional journey to save herself from a sinister inheritance.

READ AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:

Burying the Honeysuckle GirlsBurying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter is a 2016 Lake Union publication.


Wow, I got more than I bargained for with this novel!

The southern backdrop is perfect for this atmospheric tale of family secrets and retribution.

Althea has no idea what is in store for her when she returns home after a stint in rehab. Her brother is running or office and her power hungry sister-in-law will stop at nothing to see Althea does nothing to mess that up. But the most disturbing thing for Althea is seeing her Alzheimer’s ridden father in such a bad place and his horrible reaction to seeing her again.

But, she really gets a shock when she discovers that her upcoming thirtieth birthday is a milestone in more ways than one and she could be about to inherit a terrible legacy that has been passed down from generation to generation on her mother’s side.

In order to break that chain and discover the truth about what really happened to her mother and grandmother, Althea must stay one step ahead of her own family.

This is an incredible debut novel that held my attention from start to finish. The story flips back and forth between the present and the past, telling the troubling story of Althea’s grandmother back in the 1930’s alongside Althea’s present day struggles.

There is a definite race against time element in both threads and a real heart pounding sense of dread, mingled with the mystery and drama.

The story is both sad and utterly horrifying. The author does a terrific job of defining the characters, of creating a dark, emotionally taut force, and adding just a tiny pinch of Southern Gothic to top it off.

Overall, this book was a major surprise for me. I’m so glad I took a took a chance on this one in the Kindle store!!

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Burying-Honeysuckle-Girls-Emily-Carpenter-ebook/dp/B017LGAKEG/

THIS BOOK IS ALSO IN THE KINDLE UNLIMITED PROGRAM IS YOU SUBSCRIBE. 

ABOU THE AUTHOR:
EMILY CARPENTER, a former actor, producer, screenwriter, and behind-the-scenes soap opera assistant, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University. Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, she now lives in Georgia with her family. BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS is her first novel. You can visit Emily online at emilycarpenterauthor.com.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Swing Time by Zadie Smith - Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Two brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, about what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.


LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:





MY REVIEW:


Swing TimeSwing Time by Zadie Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Swing Time by Zadie Smith is a 2016 Hamish Hamilton publication.

I picked this book out while reading through some of 2016’s award nominees, eager to read outside my comfort zone for a while.

The story begins with the childhood friendship between two ‘brown girls’ who forge a strong bond, despite their difference in upbringing and approach to life.

Tracey is a talented dancer, while her unnamed friend dances to the beat of a different drummer, so to speak.

As we follow the paths these two embark on in life, the friendship that once cemented them together, begins to crack. Still, no matter what transpires for each of them, that bond seems indestructible and impossible to ignore completely.

This book is truly multi-layered. Tracey has a goal, a purpose, despite her troubled home life. But, her undisciplined childhood promotes unflattering behaviors in her.

Our narrator, may not possess the natural talent of her friend, but her life is grounded by a father who loves her and a strong mother who works hard to achieve her own goals, set an example for her daughter, and hopefully provide her with a better life in the process.

The story is filled with lush locations, introduces us to different cultures, and even has musical soundtrack. The writing, of course, is exceptional, and characterizations vivid and alive.

The women featured are so exotic, each with a distinct and profound sense of themselves, except perhaps for our narrator who is still on that path of self -discovery.

The pop star the narrator works for might conjure up an image or two of real life divas, the mother is a character who leaves a strong and forceful impression on her daughter, and there is no question that Tracey’s friendship has had an impact. Hawa is a unique character, as well. A woman who embraces her life despite the cultural judgements our sensibilities might balk at. All these women make an impression on the narrator in some way and will help her chose her path.

I hope I’ve taken from the book what the author was attempting to express, but for some reason, I find it difficult to articulate what that might be.

I think our storyteller was so focused on leaving her old neighborhood behind, once she manages to do that, she seems to struggle with her selfhood. She attempts to wear several hats, but they don’t always seem to fit.

“I saw all my years at once, but they were not piled up on each other, experience after experience, building into something of substance—the opposite. A truth was being revealed to me: that I had always tried to attach myself to the light of other people, that I had never had any light of my own. I experienced myself as a kind of shadow.”

Ultimately, I think our narrator will find her calling, her niche, will embrace her heritage, her roots, and make peace with who she is deep down and maybe even find a common ground with her old childhood friend, in the old neighborhood where they first danced.

Overall, this is a well written story, which I think is open to various interpretations. It’s a serious character analysis, it’s about personal convictions, friendship, race, and individuality. This is my first novel by this author, and I’m impressed enough, I want to have a look at her previous releases and will look forward enjoying her future efforts.

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Swing-Time-Zadie-Smith-ebook/dp/B01D9H1Q2Q/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/swing-time-zadie-smith/1123566594

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, and NW, as well as a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. Swing Time is her fifth novel.

Visit www.zadiesmith.com for more information.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman- Feature and Review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.
 

LISTEN TO AN EXCERPT:






MY REVIEW:



A Man Called OveA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a 2014 Atria publication.


After I read ‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ and really enjoyed it, my Goodreads friends strongly recommended this book, and were positive I would love it. I vowed to fit the book in as quickly as possible, and was thankful my library had a copy and the wait list wasn’t monstrous.

I have no idea where to begin! This an amazing story, with the most interesting characters, humorous and emotional situations. The writing is unusual, with present tense mingled with past tense.

Ove appears, in the beginning, as though he is a cranky old man, maybe a little anal, but there is also a loneliness surrounding him, and a sense of despair.

As the story progresses, we learn about Ove’s background, his marriage, and how he got to this point where he attempts to end his life, but is always inadvertently prevented from succeeding.

Ove may have been reserved, but his life has meant more, and his influence has reached further, than he ever thought.

Every person has a history. We see people on the surface, without knowing anything about them, and make judgements. I did that with Ove in the beginning, but by the end of the book, my opinion of him and respect for him had grown immeasurably.

I loved the various secondary characters, including the cat and of course the Saab!! But, the relationship between Sonja and Ove is the most poignant and effective part of the novel.

Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn’t.”

Although Ove is dragged out of his shell kicking and screaming, he finally begins to live again, in the most eccentric, but enchanting way!


This book lived up to any and all of my expectations and then some!!

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

https://www.amazon.com/Man-Called-Ove-Novel-ebook/dp/B00GEEB730/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-man-called-ove-fredrik-backman/1117313627

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog: FredrikBackman.com, on twitter @backmanland, or on instagram @backmansk.