Monday, December 11, 2017

Spotlight on Blood of the Stone Prince by M.J. Neary

Publisher: Crossroad Press
Pub. Date: September 23rd, 2017
Pages: 325

Genre: Historical Fiction


From the alchemy labs of fifteenth-century France comes a tale of one beauty and three beasts on a macabre journey through the Parisian underworld. After sixteen years of priesthood, Monseigneur Desmoulins secretly wishes for excommunication. Fed up with sacristy intrigues and tedious inquisition proceedings, he keeps himself amused by dissecting rats, playing with explosives and stalking foreign women. Some of his dirty work he delegates to his nineteen-year-old protégé Daniel Dufort nicknamed Stone Prince, who plays the organ at the cathedral. The gaunt, copper-haired youth looks may look like an angel, but his music is believed to be demonic, pushing the faithful towards crime and suicide.

To keep themselves safe amidst urban violence, the master and his ward take fencing lessons from Lucius Castelmaure, an alcoholic officer facing a court martial. Their alliance is tested when a Wallachian traveler implores them to entertain his terminally-ill daughter Agniese, whose dying whim to is be buried inside the Montfaucon cellar alongside felons and traitors. The three men jump at the chance to indulge the eccentric virgin in the final months of her life.

Raised in the spirit of polyamory, Agniese has no qualms about taking all three men as lovers. In a city of where street festivals turn into massacres, it's only a matter of time before the romantic quadrangle tumbles into a pit of hellfire. Filled with witch-hanging, bone-cracking, gargoyle-hugging humor, Blood of the Stone Prince is a blasphemous thriller for the heretic in each one of us.


*Read M.J. Neary's imaginary interview with the main character from Blood of the Stone Prince, Daniel Dufort, on "History Imagined" HERE*

 
 

Buy the Book

 
 
 

About the Author

 
 
An only child of classical musicians, M.J. Neary is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed expert on military and social disasters, from the Charge of the Light Brigade, to the Irish Famine, to the Easter Rising in Dublin, to the nuclear explosion in Chernobyl. Notable achievements include a series revolving around the Anglo-Irish conflict, including Never Be at Peace and Big Hero of a Small Country. She continues to explore the topic of ethnic tension in her autobiographical satire Saved by the Bang: a Nuclear Comedy. Her cyber mystery Trench Coat Pal, set in Westport, CT at the dawn of the internet era features a cast of delusional and forlorn New Englanders who become pawns in an impromptu revenge scheme devised by a self-proclaimed Robin Hood. A revised edition of Wynfield’s Kingdom, her debut Neo-Victorian thriller, was recently rereleased through Crossroad Press. Wynfield’s War is the sequel following the volatile protagonist to the Crimea. Sirens Over the Hudson, a social satire set in Tarrytown, NY during the Great Recession, is colored with the same dark misanthropic humor as the rest of her works. Her latest release Blood of the Stone Prince is a macabre tale of one beauty and three beasts set in the late 15th century France.
 
 


Friday, December 8, 2017

Stone Circle by Kate Murdoch

Pub. Date: December 1, 2017
Publisher: Fireship Press
Pages: 286

Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance / Fantasy



Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse?

When Antonius’s father dies, he must work to support his family. He finds employment as a servant in the Palazzo Ducal, home of Conte Valperga. Sixteenth-century Pesaro is a society governed by status, and Antonius has limited opportunities.

When a competition is announced, Antonius seizes his chance. The winner will be apprenticed to the town seer. Antonius shares first place with his employer’s son.

The two men compete for their mentor’s approval. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy grows, so does the rivalry and animosity between them. When the love of a beautiful woman is at stake, Antonius must find a way to follow his heart and navigate his future.


Praise for Stone Circle



"Murdoch presents a delightful romance, feathered with light touches of fantasy. The development of her love triangle is gratifying, and even secondary characters offer stark dramatic moments…" -Kirkus Reviews

 "Kate Murdoch’s characters are so greatly human, that it’s easy to sympathise with them: to cheer them on during hard times and to admonish them for being foolish. Her characters’ interactions with each other and their individualities helped shape the book into something wonderful; at the same time she excels at pacing the story with her characters, all within a framework designed to help readers understand the world of seers and alchemy she has created." -Readers’ Favorite (5 Stars)

 "Kate Murdoch's STONE CIRCLE is a stunning historical fantasy debut set in Renaissance Italy, packed with rich imagery, well-developed characters, and an enthralling plot. The execution of the love triangle is both captivating and refreshing, weaving love, jealousy, and rivalry into a complicated but realistic story of one young seer's journey into alchemy and adulthood. I can't wait to read more by Kate Murdoch." -Madeline Dyer, author of the Untamed series


Book Trailer

 
 
 
 
 

About the Author

 
 
Kate Murdoch is a Melbourne-based writer and artist. Her short-form fiction is regularly published
in Flash Fiction Magazine, Eunoia Review, Sick Lit Magazine, Ink in Thirds and Spelk Fiction. She also writes for her blog at https://kabiba.wordpress.com/.

Kate’s first novel is Stone Circle, a beautifully imagined work of historical fiction. An earlier version of Stone Circle was widely-acclaimed on the HarperCollins UK website, Authonomy, where it was chosen by the editors as the “one to watch” and ultimately ended up ranked 16th out of more than 10,000 manuscripts.

For more information, please visit Kate Murdoch's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


It's Giveaway Time!!

 
 
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 3 paperback copies of Stone Circle! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form HERE.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & Canada 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.
 
Good Luck!
 
 

HFVBT Schedule for Stone Circle

 


Friday, December 1


Interview at Passages to the Past

Monday, December 4


Feature at The Writing Desk
Feature at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, December 6


Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, December 8


Feature at A Literary Vacation

Monday, December 11

Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, December 12

Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, December 14

Review at Book Nerd

Sunday, December 17


Review at Carole's Ramblings

Tuesday, December 19


Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, December 21

 
 
 
 
 



Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cover Crush (Holiday Edition): The Season of Us by Holly Chamberlin

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. I've decided to join in this year and will link to their posts down below.
 
Now that it's December all I can think about are the upcoming holidays and hot cocoa and snow, even thought I live in Florida and it very rarely has that "holiday feel" outside. To help me get in the mood, I've decided to highlight holiday-themed covers all month long!

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
I love how soft the images on this cover appear, both in the foreground and the background. The colors are also soft and glittering, giving an aura of peacefulness and comfort. I happen to love snowglobes too, so having one of those center stage, with a pretty white tree in it no less, definitely catches my eye.
 
So what sort of Christmassy magic lies behind this deliciously seasonal cover....
 
 
Against the irresistible backdrop of Christmas in New England, bestselling author Holly Chamberlin creates a heartfelt and memorable novel—a story of reunited family, new beginnings, and unconditional love—the best gift of all.

To outsiders, Appleville, New Hampshire, is a storybook small town complete with a little white church and a gazebo on the village green. To Gincy Gannon Luongo, it was a place to escape from, as quickly and as permanently as she could. Since she moved away twenty years ago, Appleville has been her hometown in name only. But at her brother Tommy’s urging, Gincy is coming back to visit their recently widowed mother in the weeks leading up to Christmas—and she’s bringing her teenage daughter, Tamsin, with her.

Ellen Gannon, once feisty and strong-willed, is mired in depression six months after losing her husband. Tommy isn’t doing much better. Gincy starts restoring order to the household in her usual practical way, but the real issues run much deeper than an empty fridge or an unpaid bill. Imagined slights and lingering resentments have created chasms between them all.

With each passing day, Gincy realizes she has seriously undervalued her mother and underestimated her brother. Only now, with the support of her husband, daughter, and best friends, is she starting to see how much she may have missed. For beyond the surface of every family and every picturesque town is something more complicated but infinitely more rewarding—a tapestry of those small acts of acceptance, love, and loyalty that could transform this Christmas into the best Gincy’s ever known.
 
 
Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper by Ana Brazil + Tour-Wide Giveaway!

Pub. Date: November 1, 2017
Publisher: Sand Hill Review Press
Pages: 319

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mystery



Gilded Age New Orleans is overrun with prostitutes, pornographers, and a malicious Jack the Ripper copycat. As threatening letters to newspaper editors proclaim, no woman is safe from his blade.


Desperate to know who murdered her favorite student, ambitious typewriting teacher Fanny Newcomb launches into a hunt for the self-proclaimed Irish Channel Ripper.

Fanny quickly enlists her well-connected employers—Principal Sylvia Giddings and her sister Dr. Olive—to help, and the women forge through saloons, cemeteries, slums, and houses of prostitution in their pursuit.

Fanny’s good intentions quickly infuriate her longtime beau Lawrence Decatur, while her reckless persistence confounds the talented police detective Daniel Crenshaw. Reluctantly, Lawrence and Daniel also lend their investigative talents to Fanny’s investigation.

As the murderer sets a date for his next heinous crime, can Fanny Newcomb and her crew stop the Irish Channel Ripper before he kills again?

Buy the Book

 
 

About the Author

 

A native of California, Ana Brazil lived in the south for many years. She earned her MA in
American history from Florida State University and traveled her way through Mississippi as an architectural historian. Ana loves fried mullet, Greek Revival colonnades, and Miss Welty’s garden. She has a weakness for almost all things New Orleans. (Although she’s not sure just how it happened…but she favors bluegrass over jazz.)

The Fanny Newcomb stories celebrate the tenacity, intelligence, and wisdom of the dozens of courageous and outrageous southern women that Ana is proud to call friends.

Although Ana, her husband, and their dog Traveller live in the beautiful Oakland foothills, she is forever drawn to the lush mystique of New Orleans, where Fanny Newcomb and her friends are ever prepared to seek a certain justice.

For more information, please visit Ana Brazil’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Goodreads.
 
 

It's Giveaway Time!!



During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form HERE.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
 
Good Luck!!
 

Blog Tour Schedule



Monday, November 6

Feature at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, November 7

Feature at The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, November 9

Feature at The Bookworm

Sunday, November 12

Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

Tuesday, November 14

Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, November 15

Guest Post & Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, November 17

Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, November 20

Guest Post at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, November 22

Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Monday, November 27

Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, December 1

Interview at T’s Stuff

Tuesday, December 5

Feature at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, December 6

Feature at A Literary Vacation

Sunday, December 10


Wednesday, December 13
 

Friday, December 15
 
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books
 
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Excerpt of There is Always a Tomorrow by Anna Belfrage + Tour-Wide Giveaway!!

Pub. Date: November 5, 2017
Publisher: Timelight Press
Pages: 400

Series: Graham Saga, Book #9
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time-Slip



There is Always a Tomorrow is the ninth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.


It is 1692 and the Colony of Maryland is still adapting to the consequences of Coode’s Rebellion some years previously. Religious tolerance in the colony is now a thing of the past, but safe in their home, Alex and Matthew Graham have no reason to suspect they will become embroiled in the ongoing religious conflicts—until one of their sons betrays their friend Carlos Muñoz to the authorities.

Matthew Graham does not leave his friends to rot—not even if they’re papist priests—so soon enough most of the Graham family is involved in a rescue attempt, desperate to save Carlos from a sentence that may well kill him.

Meanwhile, in London little Rachel is going through hell. In a matter of months she loses everything, even her surname, as apparently her father is not Master Cooke but one Jacob Graham. Not that her paternity matters when her entire life implodes.

Will Alex and Matthew be able to help their unknown grandchild? More importantly, will Rachel want their help?


Excerpt of There is Always a Tomorrow



John Law at eight in the morning was not as sparkling a personage as he was at midnight. In fact, the young man looked as if he’d planted one foot in a premature grave, a side-effect, Luke presumed, of ingesting too much wine and gin the previous night.

“You came in with Charlie?” Luke asked, nodding a greeting at his son who was presently helping himself to porridge.

“Aye.” John Law grinned. “At the time, it seemed wise not to repair to my own lodgings.”

“Ah. And who did you ruin this time?”

“Yet another little lordling.” Law sniffed. “With a rich papa and no sense whatsoever.”

“One day you’ll overstep the mark,” Luke warned.

“Which is why I accepted Charlie’s offer of a bed,” Law replied.

“In my house—not his,” Luke commented.

At this, Charlie grimaced. “It was late. Jane would not have liked it, that we came home smelling of gin and—” He broke off.

Women, Luke filled in. Little more than perfumed whores, those desperate third and fourth daughters who frequented the salons at night, hoping to meet a man who’d marry them or at least set them up in style, like his dear departed king and lord, Charles II, used to do.

“Mind you,” Law continued, “should they challenge me, I would win.”

“Mmm?” Luke added some salt to his porridge. No matter that he’d lived most of his life in London, some habits were hard to break. His mam had always served them porridge for breakfast, Margaret had done the same, and so here they were, with Luke closer to sixty than fifty and still starting his days with a bowl of oat porridge.

“I am a skilled fencer,” Law explained.

“Ah.” Luke dabbed at his mouth. “So am I. And unlike you, I’ve used those skills to stay alive on the battlefield.”

Law cocked his head. “Begging your pardon, but you’re too old to be much of a challenge now, Sir Luke.”

Luke suppressed a smile. “Really?” he said mildly.

“Father is an excellent swordsman,” Charlie put in. “I’d not wager against him.”

“No?” A speculative light lit up Law’s eyes. “I would.”

In the doorway, David laughed. “Best make sure the footmen come prepared with bandages, Law. He’ll leave you covered in gashes. The only one who stands a chance against him is—”

“Yes, yes,” Luke interrupted, sharing a swift look with Charlie. A responding wink had him suppressing yet another smile.

“Ten guineas says I’ll win.” Law threw a heavy pouch on the table.

Luke looked at his nephew, his son. “Done.”

Law was good, but Luke was better. After having bloodied the youngster—a mere scratch across his cheek—Luke bowed out and chose to watch as the three young men went at it with their swords. David was a hopeless case, attempting to compensate with brute force for the grace and skills he lacked.

“Did Matthew not teach you to fence?” Luke asked. His brother was an impressive swordsman.

“No time.” David mopped at his brow. “Da is a farmer, not a gentleman of leisure.”

“You should have seen him on Barbados.” Charlie made a couple of quick sweeps with his rapier. “One man against six, and he held them off.”

“Aye, with some help from Mama.” David joined Luke on the bench, shivering as a sudden gust of wind swept through the garden.

“Your mother knows how to fence?” Law sounded impressed.

“Nay, she kicks—like a mule,” David said.

Law wrinkled his nose. “How unladylike.”

“Useful, though.” David shrugged and nodded at Charlie. “Have you bested him yet?”

Law smirked and straightened up, all elegant grace. As tall as Charlie, John Law was substantially lighter and was already bouncing on his toes in anticipation. David elbowed Luke. “Dear John doesn’t stand a chance,” he murmured.

“No,” Luke agreed, just as quietly. “And he has committed the grave mistake of underestimating his opponent.”

Charlie was standing sturdily on both feet, an ox facing a temperamental stallion. In contrast to Law, he was not holding his sword aloft, rather he was looking inept and clumsy. Until Law darted towards him. A whirlwind of red hair, of billowing sleeves, and Charlie was dancing round Law, his sword flashing in the October sun. Some while later, Law gave up, looking quite disgruntled.

“I haven’t lost for years,” he admitted. “Now, I’ve lost twice in one morning.”

“Complacency,” Luke told him. “The most dangerous adversary of all.” He looked the young Scotsman up and down. “Best beware you don’t fleece the wrong man.”

Law’s face reddened. “I don’t cheat,” he protested. “I just count.”

“A man who loses consistently will accuse you of cheating rather than admitting to his own incompetence.” Luke handed his sword to one footman and allowed the other to help him into his coat, a fashionably cut affair that fell almost to his knees.

“I’ll keep it in mind, sir,” Law said, bowing politely. He clapped Charlie on his shoulder and excused himself.

“I don’t think he will,” David said to Luke. “Yon Law is too full of himself.”

“But bright as a button.” Luke glanced at David. “He’ll learn.”

 

Buy the Book


 
 
 

About the Author



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

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

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

It's Giveaway Time!!

 

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 eBooks & 2 paperback copies of There is Always a Tomorrow! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form HERE.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
 
Good Luck!!
 
 

HFVBT Blog Tour Schedule

 

Monday, November 27

Review at A Holland Reads

Tuesday, November 28

Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Wednesday, November 29

Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, November 30

Feature at WS Momma Readers Nook
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, December 1

Review at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, December 3

Feature at T’s Stuff

Monday, December 4

Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, December 5

Excerpt at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, December 6

Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, December 7

Feature at A Bookaholic Swede

Friday, December 8

Review at A Bookish Affair

Monday, December 11

Feature at View From the Birdhouse
Feature at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Tuesday, December 12

Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, December 13

Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, December 14

Feature at Passages to the Past

Friday, December 15

Review at Book Nerd

Monday, December 18

Feature at A Book Geek

Tuesday, December 19

Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, December 20

Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, December 21

Review at Broken Teepee
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, December 4, 2017

New Release Spotlight: Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib

Publisher: Imajin Books
Pub. Date: December 1st, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Thriller



A stolen piece of history, an abducted actress and international intrigue…


When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.

After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.


Praise for Gun Kiss



“A terrific adventure… prepare yourself for breathless suspense.” — Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins

 “Every page is chock full of angst-riddled action and searing suspense.” – Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of The Rising 

 “This blockbuster thriller offers the perfect mix of elements to satisfy any reader.” — K.J. Howe, author of The Freedom Broker 

 “High octane action… A super charged plot that grabs interest tightly and does not let go.” — Midwest Book Review


Buy the Book

 
 

About the Author

 

Khaled Talib is the author of SMOKESCREEN, INCOGNITO and GUN KISS.

Born and raised in Singapore, Khaled is a former journalist with local and international exposure. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines.

The author is a member of the Crime Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers. Khaled's novel Incognito won the Silver award for the AuthorsDB Book Cover Contest 2017.
 
To learn more about the author go to his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.
 
 



Friday, December 1, 2017

Spotlight on The Museum of Broken Relationships by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub. Date: November 14th, 2017
Pages: 224

Genre: Art and Photography / Essays / Relationships


In the spirit of Humans of New York and PostSecret, MUSEUM OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS is a gorgeous gift book celebrating the objects that outlast love: a poignant, funny, sometimes bizarre and always delightful window into modern love and loss.


A postcard from a childhood sweetheart. A wedding dress sealed in a jar. A roll of undeveloped film. An axe used to chop an ex-lover's furniture in a fit of rage. A wind-up toy, a bar of bath soap, a tin of Love Potion with the simple caption "Doesn't work." These objects, and many more, make up the whimsical, imaginative, poignant population of the Museum of Broken Relationships.

Started by two former lovers who wanted a way to commemorate their relationship even after it ended, who couldn't bear to simply throw away the objects that had once meant so much, the Museum of Broken Relationships has captured hearts and imaginations around the globe since its founding in 2010. Anonymous submissions have poured in by the thousands: objects with brief, compelling captions confessing to the story behind their meaning. The museum's Croatian exhibit quickly became a main draw for tourists from around the globe, and has garnered enthusiastic, glowing media attention from sources as disparate as the New York Times and the Chinese national news.

Now, as the physical museum arrives for a permanent spot in Los Angeles, the authors have collected the best, funniest, most heartwarming and heartrending stories from their huge selection of submissions. Much like the bestselling Postsecret series, this beautiful oversized, four-color book will offer an irresistible glimpse inside other people's secret worlds, creating moments of deep human connection. It is a must read for anyone who has ever loved and lost.


Praise for The Museum of Broken Relationships



"This menagerie of heart-felt creations like the wedding dress in a jar or love-letter piñata will hit you with unexpected emotions and leave your heart feeling full and connected.” —Frank Warren, New York Timesbestselling author of the PostSecret series

"If all the world is a museum of broken relationships, then telling our stories about what is left behind is the way to help us mend.” —Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin and President of Narrative 4


Buy the Book

 
 
 

About the Authors 

 

Olinka Vistica is an arts producer, born in Split, Croatia, and cofounder of the Museum of Broken Relationships. She holds master's degrees in English and French language and literature from the Faculty of Humanities at Zagreb University.


Drazen Grubisic is a versatile visual artist from Zagreb, Croatia. He holds a master's in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb and is a cofounder of the Museum of Broken Relationships.
 
You can learn more about the authors and the Museum of Broken Relationships on their website. You can also connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instragram.
 
 


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cover Crush: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. I've decided to join in this year and will link to their posts down below.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
I absolutely love the opposing images on both sides of this cover!!! Are the blue moths flying over that golden landscape, or are the golden butterflies escaping to fly free into the blue horizon? I don't know but it's gorgeous nonetheless!
 
I'm thinking from the image that the story might be about two worlds, each the opposite of the other  (if you know what I mean). Let's see if I'm right.....
 
 
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?
 

Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede

 
 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

By Love Divided by Elizabeth St. John + Tour-Wide Giveaway!!

Pub. Date: October 12, 2017
Publisher: Falcon Historical
Pages: 381

Series: The Lydiard Chronicles, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction



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 By Love Divided



“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


Buy the Book

 
 

About the Author

 
 
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.
 
 

It's Giveaway Time!!



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 HERE.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on November 28th. 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.
 
Good Luck!!
 
 

By Love Divided Blog Tour Schedule

 

Saturday, November 4


Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 5


Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Monday, November 6


Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, November 9


Review at Pursuing Stacie
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Friday, November 10


Feature at WS Momma Readers Nook

Monday, November 13


Review at Bookish

Wednesday, November 15


Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, November 16


Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, November 17


Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, November 20


Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 21


Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Thursday, November 23


Excerpt at T’s Stuff

Saturday, November 25


Review & Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, November 27


Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland

Tuesday, November 28


Feature at A Literary Vacation



 
 
 


Friday, November 24, 2017

The Tip of My Wish List: Historical Fiction Book Series

If you're anything like me you've got a book wish list so long there is no way you will ever be able to read through it all. And, on top of that, it's never ending because you just can't stop adding more books to it! To try and organize myself I'm sharing 5 books from my wish list that I'm most excited to get to, usually with a common theme, on the last Friday of each month. I know a number of excellent bloggers who will be doing similar posts and I'll be sure to link to their posts as well so you can see all the goodies we're excited about and, hopefully, add a few new books to your own wish list. I'll also link the titles to Goodreads where you can read reviews and find the various ways to purchase a copy of the books if they sound like your style. I really hope you enjoy and let me know if you've read any of these or have others you would add to the list.
 
For November I thought I would share the first book in 5 book series that I'd really like to find the time to read. With a series there is always a greater commitment, in my opinion, when deciding to dive in because, once I start, I might not want to stop until I've made my way through the whole series! While I already own a number of book series these five are some that I haven't yet gotten my hands on.
 
 
 
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Weaving a tapestry of fact and fiction, Sara Donati's epic novel sweeps us into another time and place...and into the heart of a forbidden affair between an unconventional Englishwoman and an American frontiersman.


It is December of 1792. Elizabeth Middleton leaves her comfortable English estate to join her family in a remote New York mountain village. It is a place unlike any she has ever experienced. And she meets a man unlike any she has ever encountered - a white man dressed like a Native American, Nathanial Booner, known to the Mohawk people as Between-Two-Lives. Determined to provide schooling for all the children of the village, she soons finds herself locked in conflict with the local slave owners as well as her own family.


Interweaving the fate of the Mohawk Nation with the destiny of two lovers, Sara Donati's compelling novel creates a complex, profound, passionate portrait of an emerging America.



Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs Series #1)


Maisie Dobbs isn’t just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence—and the patronage of her benevolent employers—she works her way into college at Cambridge. When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.



The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories #1)


This is the story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.

The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred’s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father’s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.

This thrilling adventure—based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell’s ancestors—depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.



The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge Series #1)


Ken Follett is known worldwide as the master of split-second suspense, but his most beloved and bestselling book tells the magnificent tale of a twelfth-century monk driven to do the seemingly impossible: build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known.


Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.



The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman Series #1)


The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler's armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander's impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.



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Check out these lovely blogs for more books to add to your wish list(updated as they become available):


Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Magdalena at A Bookish Swede
 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cover Crush: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. I've decided to join in this year and will link to their posts down below.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....




I love the fluidity of this cover, especially the corset (which looks, slightly, like the sinewy insides of a person) and the green snake-like ribbon twisting around it. The darker, contrasting colors are very appealing as well.

Let's see what the synopsis can tell us about the stories within....



A highly anticipated debut by one of the most ferociously gifted young writers working today (Michelle Huneven)

In Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the arbitrary borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. While her work has earned her comparisons to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, she has a voice that is all her own. In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store's prom dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella Especially Heinous, Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naively assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.

Earthy and otherworldly, antic and sexy, queer and caustic, comic and deadly serious, Her Body and Other Parties swings from horrific violence to the most exquisite sentiment. In their explosive originality, these stories enlarge the possibilities of contemporary fiction.



Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Publisher: Avon
Pub. Date: September 26th, 2006
Pages: 293

Genre: Fiction / Science Fiction / Horror


Synopsis



A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show's smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes - and the stuff of nightmare.

 

What Did I Think About the Story?



I decided to pick up and finally read Something Wicked This Way Comes for a number of reasons, including the fact that I was feeling like reading a "scary story" when I read it last month, I vaguely remember really enjoying the movie version when I was a kid, and author Riley Sager was going to be conducting a Twitter chat around the book on October 25th (#ReadWithRiley) and I really wanted to participate. It's one of those classics that I felt bad about never reading, even more so because it sounds so deliciously scary. I'm incredibly sad to say that I didn't love it as much as I'd expected.

My biggest issue with the story was the way the author told it. The writing style is so florid and poetic that I found myself having to constantly stop reading and reread passages to make sure I fully understood what was happening to the characters. While this might be perfect and quite beautiful writing for a different sort of genre, when it comes to a story that is meant to be terrifying, being removed from the tension, panic, and horror ruins that feeling of terror for me. I want to feel scared, not be confused about whether or not I am understanding what is happening in the story and whether or not those characters are feeling scared. That terror has to be visceral, not just cerebral.

I do have to say that there were a few instances where I was able to get into the flow of the story and enjoy the quite unsettling things happening to this town and its inhabitants. There is one scene in particular, where the two boys witness a man riding backwards on the carousel and the horrible results when that carousel finally stops turning, that had my heart pumping deliciously. The scenes taking place within the house of mirrors were pretty scary as well. I just wish there were more of these sorts of scenes and less waxing descriptions.

I also enjoyed the way the story highlighted the frenetic nature of boys and their imaginations and need for adventure that seems to seep away as they age, as well as how that aging can slowly begin to pull even the closest boys apart as their interests and motivations begin to separate. I thought the story an interesting way to show the dangers of not being satisfied in whatever chapter of life you happen to be in - either wishing to be young and back in the "good ol' days" or fighting to grow up before your time - and how that dissatisfaction can leave you open to all sorts of nefarious choices.

All in all I am happy that I read Something Wicked This Way Comes for the Twitter chat as it is a classic and did have parts that I ended up enjoying. It was not, however, the quick, terrifying read I anticipated and I will admit that this left me somewhat disappointed overall. I would recommend those that are interested in the story based on the synopsis or other reviews give it a try...you might end up loving it as so many other readers have.
      

What Did I Think About the Cover?



No, just no. While I know what the carousel represents, why one of the boys is riding one of the horses off into the sky I cannot figure out. The book also has an 80s feel (not in a good way) even though this edition was printed in 2006, and it doesn't do anything to make me want to read the story. With so many sinister happenings going on within the story there are almost endless possibilities for a better cover than this.  


My Rating: 3.0/5.0



I purchased a copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes for my own library. All opinions are mine alone. For more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, see Goodreads HERE.