February 23, 2018

By Love Divided by Elizabeth St. John - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
By Love Divided by Elizabeth St. John
Publication Date: October 12, 2017
Falcon Historical
eBook & Paperback; 381 Pages
Series: The Lydiard Chronicles, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction

Book description
Royalist Sir Allen Apsley thinks his choice is clear, but when his mother embraces the Puritan cause, and his beloved sister Luce falls in love with John Hutchinson, a Roundhead soldier, his loyalties are tested. Is it family first? Is it country first? As England falls into bloody civil war, Allen must fight for king and country, while Luce embraces Parliament’s radical views and confronts the very core of the family’s beliefs. And when their influential Villiers cousins raise the stakes, Allen and Luce face a devastating challenge. Will war unite or divide them? In the dawn of rebellion, love is the final battleground. Based on surviving memoirs, court papers and letters of Elizabeth St.John’s family, By Love Divided continues the story of Lucy St.John, The Lady of the Tower. This powerfully emotional novel tells of England’s great divide, and the heart-wrenching choices one family faces.

Praise for the book
"I am completely blown away by Elizabeth St. John’s follow up novel, By Love Divided. The depth of her characterization, the elegance of her prose (and dialogue) and the masterful way in which she presents the realities of the English Civil War such that we’re bleeding for both sides is nothing short of brilliant. If you want a compelling, exquisitely written story to immerse you in the past, By Love Divided is a must read! I consider it one of my favourite historical reads and it's earned a place on my keeper shelf! 5 plus stars!" -Cryssa Bazos, Author of The Traitor's Knot

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Meet the author - Elizabeth St. John
Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England and lives in California. To inform her writing, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it's hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth's family still occupy them - in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that's a different story... By Love Divided, Elizabeth's sequel to The Lady of the Tower, follows the fortunes of the St.John family during the English Civil War, and is out now. For more information, please visit Elizabeth St. John's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Giveaway
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of By Love Divided to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 8th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US & UK residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. By Love Divided #2


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 19 
Interview at Passages to the Past 

Wednesday, February 21 
Interview at Let Them Read Books 

Thursday, February 22 

Friday, February 23 
Feature at A Holland Reads 

Monday, February 26 
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede 

Thursday, March 1 
Feature at Bibliophile Reviews 
Guest Post at Clarissa Reads It All 

Friday, March 2 
Review at 100 Pages a Day 

Thursday, March 8 

February 22, 2018

The Once & Future Queen by Nicole Evelina - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend by Nicole Evelina
Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Lawson Gartner Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 281 Pages
Genre: History & Criticism/Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

Book description
Guinevere’s journey from literary sinner to feminist icon took over one thousand years…and it’s not over yet. Literature tells us painfully little about Guinevere, mostly focusing on her sin and betrayal of Arthur and Camelot. As a result, she is often seen as a one-dimensional character. But there is more to her story. By examining popular works of more than 20 authors over the last one thousand years, The Once and Future Queen shows how Guinevere reflects attitudes toward women during the time in which her story was written, changing to suit the expectations of her audience. Beginning in Celtic times and continuing through the present day, this book synthesizes academic criticism and popular opinion into a highly readable, approachable work that fills a gap in Arthurian material available to the general public. Nicole Evelina has spent more than 15 years studying Arthurian legend. She is also a feminist known for her fictional portrayals of strong historical and legendary women, including Guinevere. Now, she combines these two passions to examine the effect of changing times and attitudes on the character of Guinevere in a must-read book for Arthurian enthusiasts of every knowledge level. 
Meet the Author - Nicole Evelina
Nicole Evelina is a multi-award-winning historical fiction, romantic comedy and non-fiction writer, whose four novels have collectively won over 20 awards, including two Book of the Year designations (Daughter of Destiny by Chanticleer Reviews and Camelot’s Queen by Author’s Circle). Her most recent book, THE ONCE AND FUTURE QUEEN, traces the evolution of the character of Guinevere in Arthurian legend from her Celtic roots to the present day, showing how the character changed along with the period’s views of women. Nicole is currently working on MISTRESS OF LEGEND (2018), the final book in her Guinevere's Tale trilogy. As an armchair historian, Nicole researches her books extensively, consulting with biographers, historical societies and traveling to locations when possible. For example, she traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon. Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society, as well as a member of the Historical Fiction Writers of America, International Arthurian Society - North American Branch, Romantic Novelists Association, Novelists, Inc., the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Alliance of Independent Authors, the Independent Book Publishers Association and the Midwest Publisher’s Association. For more information, please visit Nicole Evelina's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads. Sign up for Nicole's newsletter to receive news and updates. 

Giveaway
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of The Once and Future Queen! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on February 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. The Once and Future Queen


Blog Tour Schedule
Wednesday, January 31 
Interview at Passages to the Past 

Thursday, February 1 
Review at Pursuing Stacie 

Friday, February 2 
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede 

Tuesday, February 6 

Wednesday, February 7 
Excerpt at What Cathy Read Next 

Thursday, February 8 

Friday, February 9
 Interview at Donna's Book Blog 

Monday, February 12 
Review at Bookworms Anonymous 

Tuesday, February 13 
Feature at A Literary Vacation 

Wednesday, February 14 

Thursday, February 15 
Feature at Just One More Chapter 

Friday, February 16 
Guest Post at The Writing Desk 

Monday, February 19 

Thursday, February 22 
Feature at A Holland Reads 

Monday, February 26 
Review at Cup of Sensibility 
Feature at The Lit Bitch 

Tuesday, February 27 

Wednesday, February 28 

February 20, 2018

Death by a Whisker by T.C. LoTempio - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 
Crooked Lane Books (February 13, 2018) 
Hardcover: 320 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1683314875 
Digital ASIN: B072395VJN
  

Book description
Getting used to life back home in Deer Park, North Carolina, Sydney McCall and her right-hand tabby, Toby, are helping her sister Kat run the local animal shelter. Syd and Kat are all excited about the prospect of the shelter’s newest fundraiser: shopping channel queen Ulla Townsend. Shelter admin Maggie Shayne vehemently refuses to have anything to do with the woman, but the fundraiser ensues as planned. That is, until Ulla turns up dead in the middle of the event.

The cause of death is determined to be an allergic reaction, but Syd and Toby are sniffing out something fishy. When Syd met Ulla, it was clear she was distasteful and rude. And right before the event, Syd spotted some behind-the-scenes drama between Ulla and her manager. As they begin to investigate, they realize there is no shortage of suspects, and Maggie is at the top of the list.

Now Syd and Toby must claw their way to the truth before everything goes paws up at their animal shelter in Death by a Whisker by national bestselling author T. C. LoTempio.

Meet the author - T.C. LoTempio
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM. #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, was released in December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.net and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com

Where to find them: ROCCO’s blog: www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com 
Twitter: @RoccoBlogger - https://twitter.com/@RoccoBlogger 

Purchase Links: Amazon B&N Google Play 

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
February 12 – Mochas, Mysteries, and Meows - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST 
February 12 – Books Direct – GUEST POST 
February 13 – Mysteries with Character – INTERVIEW 
February 13 – La libreria di Beppe – SPOTLIGHT 
February 14 – My Reading Journey – SPOTLIGHT 
February 15 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST 
February 15 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – GUEST POST 
February 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST 
February 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW 
February 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
February 18 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
February 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
February 19 – Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf – INTERVIEW 
February 20 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 
February 20 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
February 21 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST 
February 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 
February 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy –REVIEW, GUEST POST 
February 23 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW 
February 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW 
February 24 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW 
February 25 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
February 26 – Melina's Book Blog - REVIEW

February 17, 2018

Lagom by Niki Brantmark - Review


Book details
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harper Design (October 3, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062748793
ISBN-13: 978-0062748799

Book description
In a fast-paced world, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could slow down and enjoy a life with less pressure, less stress, and more time for the things you love?

Sweden is ranked in the top three of the world’s happiest places to live, and lagom, which means “not too much and not too little—just right,” is the Swedish philosophy for enjoying balance in every aspect of life—from work and leisure to family and food, and everything in between. Experienced bakers know by touch when the dough they are kneading is lagom—not too moist and not too dry. At the office, professionals who work hard—but not to the detriment of other parts of their lives—are following the lagom ideal. Lagom is moderation, balance, and equality.

By using the Swedish lifestyle as an example, Niki Brantmark offers insightful suggestions and bite-sized actions to help you make subtle changes to your life, so you too can make time for the things that matter most and find greater happiness.

Meet the author - Niki Brantmark
Niki Brantmark is the founder and curator of the award winning daily interior design blog My Scandinavian Home, which was inspired by her move to Sweden from London over ten years ago. Myscandinavianhome.com is extremely popular, having received over 18 million hits and averaging around 550,000 page views per month from readers all over the world. Modern Pastoral is her first book. Niki lives with her family in Malmö, Sweden.

My thoughts
This was a very good book. I got a copy from the library but I may have to purchase my own copy later. There were many good things I found I would like to incorporate in my life. I made notes while reading so I would not forget things. One thing I liked was work for 52 minutes rest for 17 or get away from your desk every hour. I may not be able to be away from my desk for 17 minutes at a time but I am going to try to make it a point to at least get up and take a two minute break. I do already get away from my desk for lunch but I am going to try and "get away" by taking my lunch in a quieter area than I do just to recharge. I highly recommend this book for those looking for a way to make your life a little more simplistic. 

February 14, 2018

An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White - Cover Reveal and Giveaway



Book details
Series: Shadows Over England (Book 3)
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 4, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764219286
ISBN-13: 978-0764219283

Book description
Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancĂ© to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Meet the author Roseanna M. White
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

LINKS



Giveaway

February 13, 2018

A Cast for Murder by Jeanne Quigley - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book details
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Jeanne Quigley (February 12, 2018)
Publication Date: February 12, 2018

Book description
Former soap opera actress Veronica Walsh is recovering from her first holiday season in the retail world when she is pulled from retirement to star in a community production of Blithe Spirit. Delighted to play the part of a medium, Veronica must soon also assume the role of amateur sleuth when she finds the play’s director shot dead behind the theater.

Teaming with stage manager Sophie Morrissey, Veronica’s hunt for clues to the murder of Gigi Swanson leads her to a cast of colorful behind-the-scenes characters and a stunning Act Three finale. Will it be a triumph for Veronica, or will the curtain close on more than her career?

Meet the author - Jeanne Quigley
Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would be the foundation of her debut novel. Her love of characters-real and fictional-led her to study Sociology and English at the University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has never been a soap star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She lives in Rockland County, New York.

My thoughts 
Well Veronica has gone and done it again and got herself mixed up in another mystery. She just keeps getting stuck in helping out.  I liked how the author kept me guessing with the twists and turns. The characters worked very well together and I think that may have been where the twists were coming in for me. Just when I thought I liked someone something was brought up that made me change my mind. It is also nice to see Veronica and Mark have a relationship that keeps growing throughout this series. This was a fast paced read for me and very enjoyable. I wonder what Veronica will be up to next time. 

February 10, 2018

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book details
Series: Shadows Over England (Book 2)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 2, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764219278
ISBN-13: 978-0764219276

Book description
Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I--to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won--until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't--that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

Meet the author - Roseanna M. White
Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two kids, designing book covers, editing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books . . . .to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

My thoughts
This is the second book in the Shadows over England series and I thought it was a fitting addition. You can't help but fall in love with Willa once you meet her even though she was a thief. She had to do what she thought she had to to survive I wanted nothing more for her to have a happy life and find someone who truly cared for her. The author did a really good job of setting the scene for this story. I felt like I was along side Willa at times.  I also liked that there was history, romance, adventure and suspense all rolled into one nice little package. Another great book for the year that I would recommend.