May 31, 2017

Where Rainbows End by Anne Marie Brear - Book Blast

Where Rainbows End by AnneMarie Brear

Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Choc Lit
eBook; ASIN: B071P7KBH6
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Romance/Western

About the book:
Can she hold on to her dreams...? It’s 1850 and the Noble family have travelled to the other side of the world to start a new life after scandal drove them from their native England. Pippa Noble is determined to reclaim their honour by making her father’s plan for an outback farm reality, although her ambition is frowned upon by a society that has very set ideas about a woman’s place... Pippa learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush, sometimes with devastating consequences. And when unfortunate circumstance leads to Pippa tending the farm alone, it is the friendship of neighbouring estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through. Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa's dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family's land, even if it means losing everything else...

"A compelling story of a headstrong woman who defies the traditional female role and forages a successful life through hard work and a strong vision. Excellent descriptions of the outback and the hardships of life in Australia in the 1850's." - Amazon Review

You can purchase Where Rainbows End in eBook via:

About the Author

AnneMarie has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate – not always in that order! AnneMarie grew up in Australia but now lives in the UK. For more information please visit AnneMarie Brear's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Goodreads.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, May 29 

Tuesday, May 30 

Wednesday, May 31 

Thursday, June 1 

Friday, June 2 

Saturday, June 3 

Sunday, June 4 

Monday, June 5 

Tuesday, June 6 

Wednesday, June 7 

Thursday, June 8 

Friday, June 9 

May 29, 2017

Bloodline by Vicki Vass - Review and Character Guest Post

I received this book free from the publisher

Book Details:
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery
New Series
Date of Release – May 1
Number of Pages: 326

Fleeing from the witch trials in Salem, Terra Rowan finds herself in modern day Asheville, North Carolina. A dark spirit from the past hunts this last witch of Salem. With the help of the ladies of the Biltmore Society, Terra must discover the secret within the forest to preserve the bloodline.

About the book:
I have been enjoying Vicki's antique mystery series so when I found out she had a new series coming out I was excited. This book has a couple of things in it that I love. First it is set in Asheville, North Carolina. Then it is also centered around a witch from the Salem witch travels who has come to the future. I liked how the author mixed a bit of history, a bit of mystery and a bit of wiccan all into one story and did so seamlessly. As I have probably said before I enjoy this author's writing style. I like how her books read at a steady pace. She likes to give the reader just enough clues that you think you have the mystery all figured out then she gives you a twist. I am looking forward to more books in this series. 

Meet the author - Vicki Vass
Vicki Vass traded in her reporter’s notebook to pursue her passion of writing cozy mysteries. Her Antique Hunter series was a finalist in the 2016 Mystery & Mayhem contest. Bloodline is the first book in the Witch Cat Mystery series.

Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.

Author Links –
Website –
Blog –
Facebook –
Purchase Link – Amazon

Character Guest Post:
Somedays my bones ache so much I don’t want to move. Oh forgive me, let me introduce myself, My name is Emma Tangledwood, and I live in Asheville, North Carolina. Our journalist friend, Vicki Vass, tells our story in the newly released Bloodline: A Witch Cat Mystery.

I am nearly 80 and arthritis has ravaged me something terrible. The only relief that I’ve been able to find are in the herbal remedies and teas that my dear friend, Beatrice Twiggs, prepares in her shop, the Leaf & Page. Unlike me, Mrs. Twiggs is new to Asheville.

I grew up in this town, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. At one time, my feet and those of my friends, were firm on the uneven cobblestone sidewalks. These days I walk with a cane but am still surrounded by my friends. We have developed our own exclusive club, the Biltmore Ladies Society.

We owe our name to the Biltmore Estate, the grand vision of George Vanderbilt, who built his magnificent French chateau style home within the 10-square-mile perimeter of what is now Biltmore Village. The estate actually came first, the village followed as tradespeople moved to Asheville to service the estate.

My family was here way before Vanderbilt had stepped foot in the area and before Asheville was Asheville. After fighting in the Revolution, my forefather settled in the area, growing tobacco and building a small fortune. When he became tired of farming, he moved into town and founded the bank.

My family still owns the original ancestral home in the Montford area of town. I do not live there, preferring to rent it out. I am partial to my married home within Biltmore Forest, a small community carved out of land from the estate. My home is modeled after the estate and my husband and I spared no luxury. I traveled near and far searching for just the right finishes and antiquities with which to furnish our home. And, when, my dear Richard passed, I couldn’t bear the thought of living anywhere else.

Like me, the ladies in my society are all widows, and we all hold a common interest, a shared history of celebrating our community both past and present. I am president of the Asheville Historical Society and take this responsibility seriously. I make sure our collections are up-to-date, schedule talks and tours around town and otherwise help out in anyway I can.

I am happy to give back to my community but it becomes more difficult as my bones ache more. Mrs. Twiggs’ remedies only help to a certain extent. I long for the days of my youth back when I could dance the night away under the summer stars during the evening concerts at the estate. Or, hike up Black Mountain, Richard at my side, stopping for a picnic as we watched the blue mist rise over our community. Those days are behind me now. I find myself keeping a close grip on my cane as I wind through town, carefully stepping over cracks.

Thank you for letting me stop by. I hope you will enjoy our little tale.


Tour Participants

May 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
May 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – Celebrating Authors – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
May 18 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
May 19 – Teresa Trent Author Site – GUEST POST
May 20 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
May 21 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 22 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 23 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW
May 24 – Jane Reads – REVIEW
May 25 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, GUEST POST
May 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
May 27 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
May 28 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST 
May 30 – Varietats – REVIEW
May 31 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
May 31 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

May 28, 2017

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - Review

Book details:
Paperback: 447 pages
Publisher: Vintage (February 10, 2004)
ISBN-13: 978-0375725609

About this book:
Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that 'The Devil in the White City' is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.

My thoughts:
This book caught my attention because it was about the Chicago's Worlds Fair of 1893. I have always wondered what it would be like to attend one of those fairs so thought this was a good way to learn more about it. Then I saw it was also about America's first recorded serial killer H.H. Holmes and I thought this may interesting as well. Even though this was a non-fiction book I thought parts of it read just like a novel. I guess I mean to say that it was not just all restated facts or dry reading like a report would be. While I enjoyed the book there were a few parts that were a little slow to me. Some of the descriptions of the politics behind the World's Fair were a little long for me, but it was not fault of the author. I just was not as interested in those parts. I did like all how the author told us of a number of things that we still have to day that were debuted at the fair: shredded wheat cereal, the Ferris wheel, juicy fruit gum as well as the famous people that were a part of creating the fair: Frank Lloyd Wright, Walt's Disney's father, and the man who built the Biltmore estate. It was also interesting to read about all the statistics from the fair, from the people that attended to the money earned. All the information about H.H. Holmes was very interesting to me. For example how he swindled so many people out of money, how he pulled off a number of scams as well as the horrible killings he did. The descriptions of these was not gruesome, just facts. I also liked how the author would go back and forth between the two stories he was writing about. The ending of the book was very fitting as the author tied up all the loose ends. I have other books by this author and am looking forward to reading them. 

Meet the author - Erik Larson:
Erik Larson is a writer, journalist and novelist. Nominated for a Pulitzer prize for investigative journalism on The Wall Street Journal, he has taught non-fiction writing at San Francisco State and Johns Hopkins.

May 27, 2017

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details:
Series: Ladies of the Manor
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 5, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0764213519

About the book:
A Riveting Edwardian Series Set among Britain's High Society

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough--not for her father, not for the man she thought she'd marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she's willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when Rowena's father tries to trap Brice into marrying his daughter, Brice makes a surprising decision.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she's reluctant to marry a notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she's about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

My thoughts:
This was a great book maybe even better than the first if that is possible. I really enjoyed getting to  read another installment in the Ladies of the Manor Series. I loved that is is sent in the Scottish Highlands as I am drawn to books from there. Lady Rowena character was one I really felt for at times. She always felt like she was not good enough when she was really more than enough, she was a good person. I also liked the Duke and how he became a hero. The descriptions the author gave us were very good, you could really feel as if you were a part of the story. There was a little mystery as well as romance which added to the story. This book is a part of a series but it can be read as a stand alone. I myself am looking forward to book number three.

Meet the author - Roseanna M. White:
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna has a slew of historical novels available, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at

Mail Order Sweetheart by Christine Johnson - Review

I received this book free from the author

Book details:
Series: Boom Town Brides
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired Historicals (June 6, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0373425280

About this book:
The Husband Hunt

Theater singer Fiona O'Keefe is on a quest to form the perfect family for her orphaned niece. It's a shame handsome and musically talented Sawyer Evans can't support a household on his sawmill-manager wages. Fiona needs a respectable gentleman of means. And if she can't find one in Singapore, Michigan, then she'll just have to look for a husband in the mail-order want ads…

Sawyer doesn't want Fiona to marry a stranger…or anyone other than him. It would be easy to reveal that he's secretly heir to a railroad fortune. But Sawyer's determined to be a self-made man, so he isn't willing to take his father's money. Instead, can he prove to Fiona that the man she needs is already by her side?

My thoughts:
I want to start off by saying that this book is a part of a series but you can read it as a stand alone as I have not read any of the other books and was not at all lost. Both main characters Fiona and Sawyer were people I found likable. You have to respect Sawyer for not taking the easy road and living off his father's money. Instead he wanted to make it on his and prove that he could do it. Fiona was trying to do what she could to make a happy healthy home for her niece. Both people had a lot on their shoulders. I liked the overall theme of this book as well as the time period. I like how this author's books make me feel good after reading them. 

Meet the author - Christine Johnson
A small-town Michigan girl, Christine Johnson has lived in every corner of the state's Lower Peninsula. After trying her hand at music and art, she returned to her first love--story. She holds degrees in English and library studies and works part-time as a librarian. She feels blessed to write for Love Inspired and Revell.

When not at the computer keyboard, she loves to hike, kayak, and explore God's majestic creation. She and her husband split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys. Christine enjoys hearing from readers through her web site at

The Story Cure by Dinty W. Moore

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details:
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press (May 2, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0399578809

About the book:
A collection of cures for writer's block, plotting and characterization issues, and other ailments writers face when completing a novel or memoir, prescribed by the director of creative writing at Ohio University.

People want to write the book they know is inside of them, but they run into stumbling blocks that trouble everyone from beginners to seasoned writers. Drawing on his years of teaching at both the university level and at writing workshops across the country, Professor Dinty W. Moore dons his book-doctor hat to present an authoritative guide to curing the issues that truly plague writers at
all levels. His hard-hitting handbook provides inspiring solutions for diagnoses such as character anemia, flat plot, and silent voice, and is peppered with flashes of Moore's signature wit and unique take on the writing life.

My thoughts:
My dream is to write a book and I have yet to get over my fear of just getting started with it, so when I saw this book up for review I jumped at the chance to read it. I also thought the doctor theme was unique and made it fun to read this book. There were dips in this book that I will go back to over and over again. I thought the writing style was easy to read and moved right along nicely. I plan on looking for more books by this author to help me in my writing journey. 

Meet the author - Dinty W. Moore:
Dinty W. Moore was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, and spent his formative years fishing for bluegill, riding a bike with a banana seat, and dodging the Sisters of St. Joseph. He earned a BA in writing from the University of Pittsburgh, worked briefly as a journalist, and also served short stints as a documentary filmmaker, modern dance performer, zookeeper, and Greenwich Village waiter. It was only after failing at each of these professions that he went on to earn an MFA in fiction writing from Louisiana State University.

A National Endowment for the Arts fellowship recipient, Moore has guest taught creative nonfiction seminars across the United States and in Europe. In addition to editing the internet journal, Brevity, he is on the editorial board of Creative Nonfiction magazine.

Moore teaches writing at Ohio University.

Quilts, Barns & Buggies: Amish Quilts and Proverbs Coloring Book - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details:
Series: Coloring Faith
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Clr Csm edition (June 6, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0310087595

About the book:
Take Time Away from Your Busy Day to Reflect on the Simpler Life

Take a walk through the fields and feel the warm breeze as you color your way through an Amish lifestyle. With intricate patterned quilts, beautiful scenery, and a focus on the simpler things in life, Quilts, Barns & Buggies will encourage you to relax on even the most hectic days. Sprinkled throughout the pages are wise Amish sayings and biblical proverbs that will inspire you.

Special Features
• 90 beautiful coloring designs of Amish quilts and scenery
• More than 40 Amish sayings and biblical proverbs
• Perforated pages on heavy stock

Look for more inspirational coloring books at Coloring Faith,

My thoughts:
I thought this was a nice coloring book. I really liked the pictures as they are some you can color then frame and hang on your wall. The details of each picture was something that drew me to this book. Another thing I liked about this book was the Amish proverbs that were included. The pages are made of heavy card stock which is nice for coloring. I only use colored pencils so I am not sure if markers will bleed through or not. 

May 23, 2017

Romance on the High Seas - Spotlight and Giveaway



Katherine Bone
Jennifer Bray-Weber
Barbara Devlin
Chloe Flowers
Danelle Harmon
Amanda Mariel
Kamery Solomon


If you love historical romance, pirates, adventure and thrills, you'll love this 7-book set by these award winning and best selling pirate romance authors! 

The Pirate’s Debt by National Best-selling Author Katherine Bone:
An earl-turned pirate is ordered by his benefactor to find an adventurous young runaway and return her home.To do so, he must retrieve her without being discovered by the most ruthless pirate hunter on the seas: her brother.

Dead Man’s Kiss by Award Winning Author Jennifer Bray-Weber:
Eight weeks. That’s all pirate captain Valeryn Barone has to escort a tempting naturalist untouched across the Caribbean or face the gallows. Can he resist the beauty who’s fallen for him? Does a dead man walking even have a chance?

The Black Morass by USA Today Bestselling Author Barbara Devlin:
In exchange for a chance at redemption and pardons for his crew, Jean Marc Cavalier accepts a pact that could result in liberty or death, if only he can survive the terms, but at least he will be free.

Pirate Heiress by Award Winning Author Chloe Flowers:
Captain Conal O’Brien has already lost control of his ship to the most unlikely band of pirates sailing the seas. If he’s not careful, he’s going to lose his heart to a notorious lady pirate determined to destroy both. 

My Lady Pirate by NYTimes Bestselling Author Danelle Harmon:
The sea delivers a handsome castaway to Pirate Queen Maeve Merrick’s island. But her handsome prisoner harbors secrets dark enough to change the fates of nations and threatens their new found love. 

Captivated by the Captain by USA Today Bestselling Author Amanda Mariel:
What happens when an American shipping company heiress crosses paths with a pirate? Can two people whose life paths are at odds find common ground?

Carried Away by Kamery Solomon:
After falling through time and being forced to join a pirate crew, Mark Bell falls in love with his fellow time traveler, Samantha. She's a woman he can't have, though. Will their presence in the past alter the future they know and love?

Katherine Bone
National Bestselling Historical Romance Author Katherine Bone has been passionate about history since she had the opportunity to travel to various Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals as an Army brat turned Officer's Wife. Who knew that an Army wife's passion for romance novels would lead to pirates? Certainly not her rogue, whose Alma Mater's adage is "Go Army. Beat Navy!" Now enjoying the best of both worlds, Katherine lives with her rogue in the south where she writes about rogues, rebels and rakes, aka pirates, spies, the Royal Navy, and duty, honor, and country and the happily ever afters every alpha male and lady deserve. 

As an Army wife raising four children, romance helped Katherine weather loneliness. Now she hopes to pay it forward, to ease readers’ burdens by taking them on a swashbuckling, adventurous voyage into historical romance and beyond.

Chloe Flowers
A Parrothead at heart, Chloe’s love for pirates began with Peter Pan and continued with Pirates of the Caribbean and ghost stories about pirates from the Outer Banks. She listens to Celtic music while she writes. When life gets too serious, she reads Calvin and Hobbes comics. She lives in Ohio with her tall, dark and handsome husband, three children and two rambunctious dogs, Indiana and Luke, who are named after her two favorite action heroes.

Descended from a family of cooks and gourmet chefs, Chloe is a true foodie and along with working for fortune 500 companies in marketing and teaching MBA students strategic marketing, she also ran a gourmet cookie company. Cooking for a crowd runs in the blood, so her fridge is always full. She deals with stress by baking pies (just ask her college roommates what it was like for them around exam time). 

Her idea of a perfect day? Sailing on the Caribbean with her family, sun in her face and wind at her back, and finishing the day in the kitchen making a fab gourmet meal and sipping a glass of wine.

The Pirates & Petticoats Series is about spunky heroines and the scoundrels who love them. 

Jennifer Bray-Weber
Award-winning author Jennifer Bray-Weber is a proud native Texan. She is a married domestic goddess/beach bum with two beautiful daughters. Holding two degrees, one is Music and Video Business, the other in Liberal Arts, she has been able to express her creative thinking through countless questionable, often hilarious, life experiences.

Her interests include writing, reading, traveling (what she likes to call "research"), horseback riding, scrapbooking, shopping, relaxing at the beach, and dares.

Join Jennifer's mailing list for sneak peeks, excerpts, and free giveaways.

Barbara Devlin
USA Today bestselling, Amazon All-Star author Barbara Devlin was born a storyteller, but it was a weeklong vacation to Bethany Beach, DE that forever changed her life. The little house her parents rented had a collection of books by Kathleen Woodiwiss, which exposed Barbara to the world of romance, and Shanna remains a personal favorite. Barbara writes heartfelt historical romances that feature flawed heroes who may know how to seduce a woman but know nothing of marriage. And she prefers feisty but smart heroines who sometimes save the hero, before they find their happily ever after. Barbara earned an MA in English and continued a course of study for a Doctorate in Literature and Rhetoric. She happily considered herself an exceedingly eccentric English professor, until success in Indie publishing lured her into writing, full-time, featuring her fictional knighthood, the Brethren of the Coast.

Danelle Harmon
First published in 1991, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Danelle Harmon has written sixteen books, with many distributed in various languages throughout the world. She and her family make their home in New England with a menagerie including four dogs, an Egyptian Arabian horse, and pet chickens.

Amanda Mariel
USA Today Bestselling author Amanda Mariel dreams of days gone by when life moved at a slower pace. She enjoys taking pen to paper and exploring historical time periods through her imagination and the written word. When she is not writing she can be found reading, crocheting, traveling, practicing her photography skills, or spending time with her family. 

Kamery Solomon
Kamery is not the person who grew up dreaming of the day that she would clutch her very own novel to her chest, tears brimming over the rims of her eyes as she thought about how she'd written it herself, finally! In fact, anything remotely like that didn't even happen until she was actually holding her first book in her hand, amazed that she'd written it and wondering how on Earth she'd managed to do it when it hadn't ever occurred to her to write one until months before. Surprisingly, though, it was just what she never realized she loved doing.

When starting out in life, Kamery had (and still has) big dreams to perform on Broadway. She loves music and acting very much, while she and dance have a love/hate relationship; she would love to do it and every form of dance decides it hates that about her, haha! The one constant she always had between the performing world and the book world were the stories, tales that transported her to other worlds and made her feel like she really could do anything. Finally, she decided she wanted to do that for someone else and sat down to write. 

It's been a few years since she held that first book, realizing that she really liked writing and wanted to do more, but the love that blossomed in that moment has only grown. Currently, Kamery works from home in Arizona, while taking care of her two adorable kids, a girl and a boy, and talking her sweet husband Jake's ear off about the insane amount of characters in her head who are ready to fight to the death for a chance at their own novels. It truly is a wonderful life!

It’s a Treasure Hunt!

Grand prize: Kindle Fire, carrying case, $20 Amazon gift card, wine charms, coasters, a Root candle, Pirate bandana, playing cards, autographed copies of pirate romances by the authors of the boxed set, and other booty! Valued at $175

Runner up Prize: Various signed books, $20 Amazon Gift Card and some nautical fun pirate booty!

To WIN THE GRAND PRIZE: Read the short 200 word story. One line of the story will be revealed on the Romance on the High Seas page on each blog on the tour. At the end of the tour, simply answer the question: “What started it all?”

Find links to all the blogs HERE!

Ahoy me treasure hunting hearties! Your treasure hunt word or phrase for this blog is:
No worries the Royal Navy would find her.

Grand Prize!

Runner Up Prize!

May 17, 2017

The Apache Wars by Paul Andrew Hutton - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details:
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (May 2, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0770435837

About the book:
In the tradition of Empire of the Summer Moon, a stunningly vivid historical account of the manhunt for Geronimo and the 25-year Apache struggle for their homeland

They called him Mickey Free. His kidnapping started the longest war in American history, and both sides--the Apaches and the white invaders—blamed him for it. A mixed-blood warrior who moved uneasily between the worlds of the Apaches and the American soldiers, he was never trusted by either but desperately needed by both. He was the only man Geronimo ever feared. He played a pivotal role in this long war for the desert Southwest from its beginning in 1861 until its end in 1890 with his pursuit of the renegade scout, Apache Kid.

In this sprawling, monumental work, Paul Hutton unfolds over two decades of the last war for the West through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. This is Mickey Free's story, but also the story of his contemporaries: the great Apache leaders Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Victorio; the soldiers Kit Carson, O. O. Howard, George Crook, and Nelson Miles; the scouts and frontiersmen Al Sieber, Tom Horn, Tom Jeffords, and Texas John Slaughter; the great White Mountain scout Alchesay and the Apache female warrior Lozen; the fierce Apache warrior Geronimo; and the Apache Kid. These lives shaped the violent history of the deserts and mountains of the Southwestern borderlands--a bleak and unforgiving world where a people would make a final, bloody stand against an American war machine bent on their destruction.

My thoughts:
This was a very interesting book. I have not read a lot about this subject before but was interested in finding out more. I have always liked stories about Native Americans and their history. In my opinion they were dealt a very bad hand and were lied to and treated horribly. The author did a great job with his research and in doing so answered a lot of questions for me. This book was well written and read like a novel for me. I felt bad for Mickey Free as he was in the middle of this whole "war" all because he was kidnapped. I felt like I was transferred back to another time while reading this book. A very good telling of a bad situation.

Meet the author - Paul Andrew Hutton:
Paul Andrew Hutton is an American cultural historian, award-winning author, documentary writer, and television personality. He is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of New Mexico, a former director of the Western History Association, and former president of the Western Writers of America. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, he was adopted at six months of age by an American Air Force couple and was raised around the world, in Germany, England, and Taiwan. The four years he spent in San Angelo, Texas, however, had a profound impact--imprinting a love of all things Western, and most especially the history of the era known as the Wild West. It was Davy Crockett and the Alamo that first sparked this fascination. Educated in England, Texas, Taiwan, and Indiana, he received his doctorate in American history from Indiana University in 1981. He has published widely in both scholarly and popular magazines, and is a six-time winner of both the Western Writers of America Spur Award and the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum for his print and film writing. His first book, Phil Sheridan and His Army,received the Billington Prize from the Organization of American Historians, the Evans Biography Award, and the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. He is also the editor of Western Heritage (2011), Roundup (2010), Frontier and Region (1997), The Custer Reader (1992), Soldiers West (1987), and the ten-volume Eyewitness to the Civil War series from Bantam Books (1991-1993). His latest book, The Apache Wars, was just awarded the best nonfiction Spur Award from Western Writers of America (June 2017). From 1977 to 1984 he was associate editor of the Western Historical Quarterly and assistant professor at Utah State University, before moving to the University of New Mexico in 1984. From 1985 to 1991 he served as editor of the New Mexico Historical Review. He has written several short films for state and national parks as well as a dozen television documentaries and has appeared in over 300 television programs on CBS, NBC, PBS, BBC, Fox, Discovery, the History Channel and other networks. In 2003 he was historical consultant for the Ron Howard film The Missing, in 2010 repeated that role in Jon Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens, and again in 2016 on Gavin O'Connor's Jane Got a Gun, and even has a small speaking role in David Zucker's 1994 Naked Gun 33 1/3. He has also been active as a public historian with museums, guest curating major exhibits in 1985 on the Alamo at the DeGolyer Library in Dallas, in 1996 on the Custer legend at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, in 2002 on Davy Crockett at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, in 2007 on Billy the Kid at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. His new exhibit on New Mexico film-making, opened in February 2017 at the Albuquerque Museum. He has five children--Laura, Caitlin, Lorena, Chelsea, and Paul Andy--and currently lives with his wife Tracy and two pups--lab Bucky O'Neill and boxer-mix Annie Oakley-- in Albuquerque

May 10, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday - May 10th

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

I saw the spine of this book on a Facebook post and knew I had to check it out. When I did I found it sounded like a great book that would be a can't put down story. I am always looking for Jane Austen themed books. Now I just have to get the book I am reading now done so I can get started on it. 

Book details:
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (May 2, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0062651259

About the book:
Two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane Austen and recover a suspected unpublished novel.

ENGLAND, 1815:Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. They are not what they seem, but colleagues from a technologically advanced future, posing as wealthy West Indies planters—a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team from the future to “go back,” their mission is by far the most audacious: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen herself.

Carefully selected and rigorously trained by the Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common besides the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in—circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen’s circle via her favorite brother, Henry.

But diagnosing Jane’s fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the continuous convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile her true self with the constrictions of nineteenth-century society. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history intact and exactly as they found it . . . however heartbreaking that may prove.

May 9, 2017

The Victoria Letters by Helen Rappaport - Review

Book details:
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Harper Design (January 31, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0062568892

About the book:
The official companion to ITV’s hotly anticipated new drama, The Victoria Letters delves into the private writings of the young Queen Victoria, painting a vivid picture of the personal life of one of England’s greatest monarchs.

From the producers of Poldark and Endeavour, ITV’s Victoria follows the early years of the young Queen’s reign, based closely on Victoria’s own letters and journals. Now explore this extensive collection in greater depth, and discover who Victoria really was behind her upright public persona.

At only 18 years old, Victoria ascended the throne as a rebellious teenager and gradually grew to become one of the most memorable, unshakeable and powerful women in history. The extensive writings she left behind document this personal journey and show how she triumphed over scandal and corruption. Written by Internationally bestselling author, historian of 12 books and Victoria historical consultant, Helen Rappaport, and including a foreword by Daisy Goodwin – acclaimed novelist and screenwriter of the series – The Victoria Letters details the history behind the show. Revealing Victoria’s own thoughts about the love interests, family dramas and court scandals during her early reign, it also delves into the running of the royal household, the upstairs-downstairs relationships, and what it was like to live in Victorian England.

Full of beautiful photography from the series and genuine imagery from the era, come behind the palace doors and discover the girl behind the Queen.

My thoughts:
I was happy when I won this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. My daughter and I watched this show on PBS and really enjoyed it so to get the companion book was a win win. I really enjoyed reading this book. The pictures were nice. Not only did you have pictures from the mini-series but you had pictures of the real people. It was nice to not only read about the real Victoria, her court and all things royalty related but it was nice to read about the show. Most of the characters were real or based on a real person and this book explains that. I learned a lot about the Queen from reading this book. I have not read much about her in the past. In the end they book tells how the show was made, the costumes and the scenes were all made to be historically accurate. All in all a very good book. 

Meet the author - Helen Rappaport
Born in Bromley, England, Helen Rappaport studied Russian at Leeds University but ill-advisedly rejected suggestions of a career in the Foreign Office and opted for the acting profession. After appearing on British TV and in films until the early 1990s she abandoned acting and embraced her second love - history and with it the insecurities of a writer’s life.

She started out contributing to biographical and historical reference works for publishers such as Cassell, Reader’s Digest, and Oxford University Press. Between 1999 and 2003 she wrote three books back-to-back for a leading US reference publisher: Joseph Stalin: A Biographical Companion, the award-winning An Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers and Queen Victoria: A Biographical Companion. Her first trade title was No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War ( Aurum press, 2007 ). She followed this with Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs (Hutchinson 2008), which became a best seller in the USA, published by St.Martin’s Press as The Last days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg. She then followed with Conspirator: Lenin in Exile, (Hutchinson, 2009; Basic Books USA, 2010).Helen’s next title was a new departure - a Victorian true-crime story: Beautiful for Ever: Madame Rachel of Bond Street - Cosmetician, Con-Artist and Blackmailer published by novelist Susan Hill’s imprint, Long Barn Books, 2010. A paperback edition will be published by Vintage on 3 May 2012.

Helen's newest title, published by Hutchinson in the UK, is Magnificent Obsession; Victoria, Albert and the Death that Changed the Monarchy a study of the impact of the Prince Consort’s premature death in 1861 on England, the monarchy, and Queen Victoria, and covering the first terrible ten years of her retreat from public view. The book will be published in the USA on 13 March 2012 by St Martin’s Press.

Helen is currently working on two forthcoming titles: Capturing the Light - a collaboration with Roger Watson on the birth of photography, to be published in the UK by PanMacmillan in 2013 and in the USA by St Martin's Press (date TBC); and Four Sisters, about the tragic lives of the daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, to be published in the USA by St Martin's Press 2014; UK details to follow.

Helen’s only foray into fiction, so far, has been a collaboration with William Horwood on a historical thriller, Dark Hearts of Chicago published by Hutchinson in April 2007.

Helen is a fluent Russian speaker and a specialist in Russian history and 19th century women’s history, her great passion being to winkle out lost stories from the footnotes and to breathe new life and new perspectives into old subjects. In 2005 she was historical consultant and talking head on a Channel 4 documentary The Real Angel of the Crimea about the Jamaican nurse, Mary Seacole. In 2010 she was talking head on a Mystery Files documentary about the Murder of the Romanovs for National Geographic channel.

Helen has had considerable radio experience talking on Victorian and Russian history for: BBC Radio Oxford and Radio Berkshire; Radio 4: Woman's Hour, Start the Week and the Today programme. In December 2011 she appeared on a Radio 2 programme on the history of the Royal Albert Hall and on Peter Snow's Random Edition about the death of Prince Albert. In 2012 she is a talking head on the major 8-part Radio 4 series The Art of Monarchy.

Since the mid -70s Helen has also become well-known as a Russian translator in the theatre, working with British playwrights on new versions of Russian plays. She has translated all seven of Chekhov’s plays, including Ivanov for Tom Stoppard’s new version that was a huge critical success at the Donmar Season at Wyndham’s in 2008. In 2002 she was Russian consultant to the National Theatre’s Tom Stoppard trilogy, The Coast of Utopia.

A passionate Victorianist and Russianist, Helen is a member of Equity, the Victorian Society, the Society of Gen

Magick & Mayhem by Sharon Pape - Guest Post

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (May 2, 2017)

What’s in a murderer’s bag of tricks?

Twenty-something Kailyn Wilde has learned to embrace her unpredictable life as a descendant of small-town New Camel’s most magickal family. She just didn’t expect to inherit her mother and grandmother’s centuries-old shop, Abracadabra, so suddenly. The surprises keep coming when Kailyn goes to finalize the estate at the local attorney’s office—and stumbles over the body of her best friend Elise’s husband . . .

As a brash detective casts the blame on Elise, Kailyn summons her deepest powers to find answers and start an investigation of her own. What with running a business, perfecting ancient spells, and keeping up with an uninvited guest of fabled origins, Kailyn has her hands full. But with the help of her uncanny black cat Sashkatu and her muumuu-clad Aunt Tilly, she’s closing in on a killer—who will do anything to make sure she never tests her supernatural skills again!

About The Author
I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to put letters together to form words. From that day forward, writing has been a part of my life whether it was my first attempt at a novel in seventh grade or the little plays I wrote for my friends to perform for neighbors and family. After college, when I was busy teaching French and Spanish to high school students, I was also writing poetry — some of it in French.

After several years, I left teaching to be a full time mom, and when my two children started school, I went back to writing. To my delight I found that the muse was still there, still waiting patiently for me to come around. My first novel, Ghostfire, was published at that time. It went on to be condensed in Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed.) Then came The God Children and The Portal. Redbook also published my first short story, which was subsequently sold to several foreign magazines. With two great kids, a golden retriever and a loving, supportive husband (whom I’d met at the beach when I was fourteen — but that’s a story for another day), I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be in my life. But fate had another plan for me, and it went by the name of “breast cancer.”

Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was that the cancer was discovered at such an early stage, but at the time it was all very overwhelming. Once I was back on my feet, I wanted to help other women who were newly diagnosed, worried and afraid. I became a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society and went on to run the program for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. A number of years later, with the help of my surgical oncologist and two other volunteers, I started Lean On Me, a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and information to breast cancer patients. When Lean On Me celebrated its tenth anniversary it no longer required as much of my time, and I once again found myself free to pursue my first love — writing.

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Guest Post:
Hello, hello Everyone! I’m Lorelei Donovan, but you can call me Lolly. It’s the perfect moniker for a purveyor of candy and fudge. I opened my shop here in New Camel, New York, during a midlife crisis thirty years ago and I’ve never regretted it for a single day. It’s pretty darn hard to be glum or cranky when you spend your day creating mouth-watering treats. Most of my customers come in with a twinkle in their eyes, anticipating the goodies they’ll find. The few who come in after a bad day or with troubles heavy on their shoulders, always leave with a smile and a lighter step. I have the best milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate in all sorts of combinations, including peanut butter, nuts and caramels, plus chocolate dipped fruit and at least ten flavors of fudge at any given time. Sometimes ideas for new fudge flavors come to me in my sleep, so I keep a pad and pen near my bed. I’m never wanting for customers, not even in the depths of winter. In fact, quite a few locals stock up on candy before every impending storm. It helps get them through, if you know what I mean. 

Now I don’t want to have you thinking that candy is my whole life. I have three adult children who’ve given me a passel of grandkids to keep me on my toes. And I have wonderful friends, including the Wilde family, as fine a group of women as you’ll ever meet. They own Abracadabra, the magick shop across the street. There are some folks who give them a wider berth once they learn that they’re sorcerers. The important thing to know is that they only practice white magick and that they use their extensive knowledge of plants and herbs to create natural healing agents and beauty products for everyone’s benefit. I would trust any one of them with my life and the lives of my nearest and dearest. When murder showed its ugly face for the first time in our town, Kailyn Wilde made it her business to hunt down the killer before the tourists were scared off. I kept my eyes open and my ears tuned up to help in whatever way I could. This town owes her a lot. If you’ve never been to New Camel, it’s high time you paid us a visit. Just follow your nose to my shop and then cross the street for a fascinating look at a real magick shop. I can promise you won’t be sorry on either count.


Tour Participants
May 1 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
May 1 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
May 2 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
May 2 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT
May 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 3 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – INTERVIEW
May 3 – Bubble Bath Books – REVIEW
May 4 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
May 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 5 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
May 5 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW
May 6 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
May 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
May 7 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
May 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
May 8 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
May 9 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
May 10 – Book Babble – REVIEW
May 10 – Varietats – REVIEW
May 12 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
May 13 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
May 13 – Deal Sharing Aunt – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

May 8, 2017

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details:
Series: A Treasures of Surrey Novel
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 16, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0718011857

About this book:
Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancĂ© has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.

Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.

As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.

Meet the author - Sarah Ladd
Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance.

My thoughts:
I enjoy it when Sarah comes out with a new book. Her writing style is one that I like and for me her books just seem to flow off the pages. This is the third book in a series but you are able to read it on it's own as well. I could not help but feel for Annabelle. She is used to living a certain lifestyle then her father looses his money and her brother is all set to marry her off for money not love. So she runs. I think the best thing for her was to go away to her aunt and uncle's home even if she did have to work to pay her way. I think that taught her a little bit. Although Annabelle was such a good person and you could tell that from the time you meet her on the first page. It was fun reading how her and Owen got to know each other and grow close as the book goes on. I am glad the way everything turned out in this story and look forward to more books by this author.