Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Odin's Child by Bruce Macbain

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============== POST TEXT ==============Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Blank Slate Press
Formats: eBook, Trade Paperback
Pages: 400

Genre: Historical Fiction
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Driven from the flaming ruin of his Iceland farmhouse, young Odd Tangle-Hair, the only survivor of a feud in which his family is slaughtered, steals a ship, rounds up a rag-tag crew and embarks on the Viking life. He swears one day to return, rich and powerful enough to take vengeance on his enemies. But how far off that day seems!
His father, Black Thorvald, had once been a chieftain in Iceland. But in the year 1000, when the country adopted Christianity, Thorvald denounced the new faith and shut himself up in his hall, shunning the world and shunned by it. Odd fears that the worm of cowardice that unmanned his father has infected him too. He has inherited from Thorvald a shock of black hair, a gift for poetry, and an allegiance to Odin, god of battles and magic. But Odd is heir to darker traits as well—a hint of madness and a temper which will sometimes cost him dearly.
Fate carries him and his men to a shamanistic healer in Lapland, to bloody religious strife in Norway, to the lair of a witch in Finland, and finally to the borders of Russia. Here Odd will leave his comrades behind to join the retinue of a Norwegian princeling who is fleeing to the court of Yaroslav, Grand Prince of Rus. New dangers wait for him in that faraway country.
Eager, curious, quick-witted—and sometimes wrong-headed—Odd Tangle-Hair recounts his story with candor, insight, and always an ironic sense of humor.

Odin’s Child Available at

Praise for Odin’s Child

“Meticulous research and poetic writing make Odin’s Child a multilayered masterpiece…It brings medieval Scandinavia vividly alive. Written with passion, peopled with superbly realized characters, I was gripped from the very first page of this historical novel.” -Carol McGrath, author of The Handfasted Wife and The Swan-Daughter
“[Macbain’s] writing is vivid and compelling, and his understanding of Norse and Icelandic culture and history is woven deftly throughout the tale. The cast of characters is well-fleshed out and Odd makes for a wonderful protagonist. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I eagerly await its sequel. Highly recommended.” -Historical Novels Review, Editor’s Choice

Excerpt from Chapter 1: The Stallion Fight At Thingholt

On that day in May, as we rode to the stallion fight at Thingholt, my fate showed itself to me. A raven flew low across the sky into the rising sun and the moment I saw it I knew that Odin had spoken to me and that he would give me courage for the thing I had secretly made up my mind to do. Only now, half a century later, do I see what a long text was folded into that swift vision.
The spring of my sixteenth year had come early to the South Quarter of Iceland, with hot-cold days and thunderclouds sweeping up over the mountains. The stallions, smelling the air, trembled and kicked against their stalls. At this season if you stake out a mare where the stallions can smell her, they will fight like berserkers to get at her, and a great one will die before he breaks and runs.
Black Grani was such a one. This was his fourth spring and the time had come to bring him to the South Quarter Thing and fight him. Thorvald, my father, grumbled and held back, but I gave him no peace, until, at last, he flung up an arm, which meant ‘yes’.
Although my brother Gunnar and I had set out early from the farm, the day was far gone before we came in sight of Thingholt plain and heard the distant shouts of men and the whinnying of horses. We left Grani and our mounts at the horse lines and walked across the sparse heath into the holiday crowd. And as we pushed our way through, there were some who knew us. A few old men came up and in low voices asked to be remembered to our father. But one red-faced woman, seeing us, cried, “Jesu!” and dragged her little daughter from our path.

My review
Four Stars
Copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
"Odin's Child" is the first book in the "Odd-Tangle Hair Saga" it was an entertaining mix of history and adventure.  Odd Thorvald is a young man who is thrown in the middle of a big conflict.   The story takes place in Iceland and at a time when "white Christ" is spreading.  When Odd finds himself in Russia he is forced to fend for himself and becomes a Viking.  I found this story to be original and fascinating.  It was a real coming of age story.  I was completely fascinated by the places that Odd travels and the adventures he encounters.  There were many elements of this story that reminded my of the Odyssey.  I really enjoyed the splashes of humor that the author threw in especially during tense times.  It was interesting to see the many shifts in culture and the shift in belief systems of the people in the story.  The conflicts these caused were very enlightening.  Overall, I really enjoyed this story and found it to be a very refreshing and entertaining read. 

About the Author


From boyhood, Bruce Macbain spent his days in reading history and historical fiction. The Greeks and Romans have held a special fascination for him and this led to earning a master’s degree in Classical Studies and a doctorate in Ancient History. Along the way, he also taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Borneo. Later, he taught courses in Greek and Roman civilization at Vanderbilt University and Boston University, and published a few dense scholarly monographs, read by very few. Recently, he has turned to writing fiction, a much more congenial pursuit. He has previously published two historical mysteries set in ancient Rome, Roman Games and its sequel, The Bull Slayer. Now, he has turned his attention to his other favorite folk, the Vikings. Odin’s Child is the first novel of a trilogy, Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga, which follows our hero—a wanderer, poet and warrior—from his tiny Iceland farm to the Great Palace in Constantinople. It will be published by Blank Slate Press in May, 2015.
Bruce spends his spare time in the kitchen, cooking spicy food.
For more information please visit Bruce Macbain’s website. You can also follow him on FacebookTwitter,Google+, and Goodreads.

Odin’s Child Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 29
Review at A Book Geek
Interview at Shelf Full of Books
Spotlight & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Tuesday, June 30
Interview at Brooke Blogs
Wednesday, July 1
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, July 3
Spotlight at Layered Pages
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Monday, July 6
Interview at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, July 7
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, July 8
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, July 9
Review at Bookramblings
Friday, July 10
Review at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Across Great Divides by Monique Roy

01_Across Great DividesPublication Date: June 19, 2013
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
223 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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READ AN EXCERPT.

Across Great Divides is a timeless story of the upheavals of war, the power of family, and the resiliency of human spirit. When Hitler came to power in 1933, one Jewish family refused to be destroyed and defied the Nazis only to come up against another struggle—confronting apartheid in South Africa.

Sixteen-year-old Eva and her twin sister, Inge, witness their lives in Berlin change before their eyes. Their best friend, Trudy, betrays them when she becomes a member of the Hitler Youth. A valuable family heirloom, a beautiful emerald and diamond pendant necklace, is confiscated by the Nazis as they continue to harass Jewish families and businesses.

Their younger brother, Max, a member of the underground resistance, sees even greater danger ahead. Their father, Oskar, a diamond merchant with a thriving business, refuses to leave his beloved Germany and believes Hitler will eventually fail. Their mother, Helene, the elegant matriarch of the family, holds her family together.

The family is conflicted whether they should leave home. But after the devastation of Kristallnacht in 1938, they finally flee Germany with the help of the underground resistance after hiding many diamonds. They seek refuge in Antwerp, but war follows them as Belgium is occupied by the Germans.

A young German man, a nun, a countess conspiring against the Nazis, and a winegrower secretly hiding Jewish children, help them to escape Europe. They hike over the Pyrenees Mountains while eluding German patrols and Spanish informers. Then, they spend agonizing days on a ship bound for Rio de Janeiro that is targeted by a German U-boat. As Rio’s diamond business is corrupt, they decide to go to South Africa, another diamond market.

In Cape Town, Eva encounters an impoverished colored woman, Zoe, who is in need of work. The family hires Zoe as their maid and shields her and her daughter, Zola, from the dangers they face in the slums of District Six and from the horrors of apartheid, which are all too reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

But, when Max gets into trouble with the South African police over his participation in an anti-apartheid march, will he be subject to imprisonment?

In a thrilling conclusion, the family comes to terms with the evils of society, both in their memories and current situation in South Africa.
My Review
Four Stars
Copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review
The only reason that I did not read this in one sitting was because time would not allow it.  "Across Great Divides" by Monique Roy was a beautifully written story about the Holocaust.  Although I've read many stories about the Holocaust "Across Great Divides" was a very unique and heartbreaking read.  The author combined both the persecution of the Jews and  apartheid.  The characters are so endearing and I instantly connected with them and their struggle.  I wouldn't consider this a light read, it's far from it. But it is a very worthwhile and touching read.

Praise for Across Great Divides

"Monique Roy writes an rousing story about a Jewish family leaving Germany during the start of WWII with the Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) hot on their tails. The author must have paid attention at SMU because her prose is excellent." - Rick O

"The story in this novel is its best feature. It's a fascinating look at one family's survival of the Holocaust and their experiences on the other side of the fence in apartheid South Africa. It's that dichotomy that makes this story so intriguing." - Sarah Gruwell

"Across Great Divides" is a wonderful tale of resilience, family, and following your moral compass. Author Monique Roy, based this inspiring story on her own grandparents journey across countries, continents, and beliefs to try and find safety from the Nazis. - Madame Librarian

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Across Great Divides Available At

Amazon

About the Author02_Monique Roy

Monique loves writing that twitches her smiling muscles or transports her to another time or place. Her passion for writing began as a young girl while penning stories in a journal. Now she looks forward to deepening her passion by creating many unique stories that do nothing less than intrigue her readers.

Monique was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and her grandparents were European Jews who fled their home as Hitler rose to power. It's their story that inspired her to write Across Great Divides, her debut, historical fiction novel.

Monique holds a degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is also the author of a children's book Once Upon a Time in Venice. In her free time, she loves to travel, play tennis, pursue her passion for writing, and read historical fiction. In 2008, she was chosen by the American Jewish Committee's ACCESS program to travel to Berlin, Germany, on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, to explore German and Israeli relations along with 20 other Jewish professionals from across the U.S.

Discover more at Monique Roy's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Across Great Divides Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, June 17
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, June 18
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, June 19
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Monday, June 22
Review at Room With Books

Tuesday, June 23
Review at Book Babe

Wednesday, June 24
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, June 25
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, June 26
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to Marry a Royal Highlander The Renegade Royals # 4 By: Vanessa Kelly /Plus Give Away


How to Marry a Royal Highlander
The Renegade Royals # 4  
By: Vanessa Kelly  
Releasing June 30, 2015
Zebra



Blurb

Illegitimate yet thoroughly irresistible, the Renegade Royals are leaving behind their careers as daring spies for the greatest adventure of all…

At sixteen, Alasdair Gilbride, heir to a Scottish earldom, fled the Highlands and an arranged betrothal. Ten years later, Alasdair must travel home to face his responsibilities. It’s a task that would be much easier without the distracting presence of the most enticing woman he’s ever met…

After one escapade too many, Eden Whitney has been snubbed by the ton. The solution: rusticating in the Scottish wilderness, miles from all temptation. Except, of course, for brawny, charming Alasdair. The man is so exasperating she’d likely kill him before they reach the border—if someone else weren’t trying to do just that. Now Eden and Alasdair are plunging into a scandalous affair with his life and her reputation at stake—and their hearts already irreparably lost…


Goodreads Link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22891461-how-to-marry-a-royal-highlander?from_search=true

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/102630-the-renegade-royals


Buy Links:   Amazon | B & N iTunes Kobo | Publisher
Author Info

Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Her current series, The Renegade Royals is a national bestseller. Vanessa also writes USA Today bestselling contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes.

Author Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads


Excerpts
Excerpt 1
A moment later, Dailey ushered Evelyn Endicott into the room. She halted when she saw Aden, but smoothly recovered, a warm smile curving her lush mouth. Alec got a jolt, both to his brain and to his groin. The latter was an unerring barometer when it came to one person in particular.
Goddammit.
The gorgeous young woman who’d just swept into his library was no more the wife of Wolf Endicott than Alec was the King of Spain.
“Mrs. Endicott, what a pleasure to see you,” Aden said with a bow.
The faux Mrs. Endicott dimpled up prettily and returned his greeting with a brief curtsey. “And you, Captain St. George, although I see I interrupted your meeting. Please forgive me.”
She cast what she no doubt thought was a shy, apologetic glance at Alec. He raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest. Her brows, partly hidden by her spectacles, tilted down in a frown.
But a moment later she was directing another charming smile at Aden, who seemed completely taken in by her silly charade. Alec almost laughed out loud at the notion of the outrageous Eden Whitney pulling the wool over the eyes of England’s most accomplished spy.
“No apology necessary, Mrs. Endicott,” Aden said. He nodded to Alec. “I’ll speak with later.”
Alec answered his cousin with a polite smile, enjoying the prospect of mocking him at a later date. But when Aden reached the door, he glanced over his shoulder, his eyebrows raised and his gaze glinting with laughter.
Clearly, the little minx hadn’t fooled Aden, after all.
The woman who was fast becoming the bane of Alec’s existence flashed him what she probably thought was an innocent, shy smile. It was nothing of the sort, of course. Eden Whitney exuded a mostly unconscious sensuality that could knock a man flat from twenty paces.
“I’m sure you must be surprised to see me,” she said in a sweet, quiet voice.
He had to admit she got the voice right. If he hadn’t been looking straight at her, he would have thought he was listening to Evie and not her diabolical twin.
“Give it up, Miss Whitney.” He took her by the elbow and steered her to one of the club chairs. “You’re not fooling anyone.”
She gaped up at him with astonishment. “Confound it, how do you do that? I haven’t been in the room for more than a minute.”
It wasn’t the first time Edie had switched identities with her twin, but it hadn’t worked any better with him this time than it had a few months ago. There were a dozen differences between the sisters, some quite noticeable. For one, Edie carried herself with a degree of confidence and restless energy her twin lacked. She cut a swath through the ton like a sharpened sickle through a field of ripe wheat.
There were more subtle signs as well, like the way her clothes hugged her generous curves just a little more snuggly than her sister’s. She might think she was fooling him by choosing a modestly cut carriage dress in dove gray, but Edie’s sense of dash always seemed to bleed through. No cautious ponderings or sober second thoughts for Miss Eden Whitney. To her, life was a challenge and a lark, something to be enjoyed to the hilt.
“Never mind that, you daft woman,” he said. “Have you no care for your reputation?”
She let out a disdainful snort. “Reputation? That’s rich, coming from you. You’re constantly doing outrageous things.”
“I’m a man. I can get away with it. You, however, cannot.”
“It’s so unfair,” she grumbled.





Monday, June 22, 2015

Wealth and Privilege by Jeantte Wells

Please join author Jeanette Watts as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Wealth and Privilege, from June 16-July 17.

02_Wealth and Privilege_CoverEbook Release Date: 2013
Paperback Release Date: 2014
CreateSpace

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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Money. Family. Love. Hate. Obsession. Duty. Politics. Religion - or the lack thereof. Sex -- or, once again, the lack thereof.

Thomas Baldwin finds himself married to a woman he can’t stand, while head-over heels in love with another woman he can’t have. Talk about bad planning. He is something of a kite, buffeted by circumstances which blow him not only through personal crises, but also through some of the most significant events of the late 1800s, including the railroad riots of 1877, the creation of the Homestead Steel Works, the assassination of President Garfield, and the Johnstown Flood. Over time, and with the help of his muse, who dances maddeningly just beyond his reach, he takes control of his life, wresting it from the winds attempting to control him.

A carefully-researched historical novel about life among the privileged class of Pittsburgh during the Industrial Revolution.
My Review:
Review will be up later today

Praise for Wealth and Privilege

"Thomas Baldwin is like a Rorschach inkblot test. Some people love him, some people find him unlikeable. Most people can't stand his wife. Others feel sorry for her. I take the fact that people have such a huge variety of reactions to my characters as a sign I succeeded in writing full, rich personalities." - Kirkus Reviews

"Wealth and Privilege is an exceptionally provoking read. The real romance is between the author and the reader" - Page Traveler

Wealth and Privilege Available at

Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble Nook
CreateSpace (Paperback)

About the Author03A_Jeanette Watts_Author

Jeanette Watts couldn't help but notice that all romances seemed to be set in the American West or the South. A staunch Yankee girl, she asked what is unromantic about the North or the East? After living for four years in Pittsburgh, and falling deeply in love with southwestern Pennsylvania, she found it the perfect location for a love story.

Besides writing, she is also a dance instructor, an inveterate seamstress, the artistic director for several dance companies, an actress, and a history buff. Wealth and Privilege took her 10 years to write, because she felt the research needed to be thorough. Everything from big events and famous people to little details like dog breeds and women’s fashions have been carefully researched.

For more information visit Jeanette Watt's website, and follow the Wealth and Privilege Facebook Page.

Wealth & Privilege Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews

Wednesday, June 17
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Friday, June 19
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Monday, June 22
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, June 23
Guest Post at I Heart Reading

Wednesday, July 1
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Thursday, July 2
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Monday, July 6
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, July 7
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, July 17
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Oracle by D.J. Niko

02_The Oracle_CoverPublication Date: November 10, 2015
Medallion Press
Paperback; 456p
ISBN-13: 978-1605426273

Series: The Sarah Weston Chronicles, Book Three
Genre: Historical/Archeological Adventure

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In Delphi, the mountain city deemed by the Greek gods to be the center of the Earth, a cult of neo-pagans re-create with painstaking authenticity ancient rituals to glorify the god Apollo and deliver oracles to seekers from around the world.

When antiquities are stolen from a museum in nearby Thebes, British archaeologist Sarah Weston and her American partner, Daniel Madigan, are drawn into a plot that goes beyond harmless role-playing: someone’s using the Delphian oracle as a smoke screen for an information exchange, with devastating consequences for the Western world.

Pitted against each other by the cult’s mastermind, Sarah and Daniel race against time and their own personal demons to uncover clues left behind by the ancients. Their mission: to find the original navel stone marked with a lost Pythagorean formula detailing the natural events that led to the collapse of the Minoan Empire.

But will they find it in time to stop the ultimate terrorist act?

Pre-Order The Oracle at

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
IndieBound

About the Author

[caption id="attachment_7307" align="alignright" width="246"]Daphne Nikolopoulos, photography by Lauren Lieberman / LILA PHOTO Daphne Nikolopoulos, photography by Lauren Lieberman / LILA PHOTO[/caption]

Daphne Nikolopoulos in an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer. Under the pen name D.J. Niko, she has written two novels in an archaeological thriller series titled The Sarah Weston Chronicles. Her debut novel, The Tenth Saint (Medallion Press, 2012), won the Gold Medal (popular fiction) in the prestigious, juried Florida Book Awards. Her follow-up release, The Riddle of Solomon, continues the story of British archaeologist Sarah Weston as she seeks the relics—and mystical secrets—left behind by the biblical King Solomon in remote Israel.

Daphne is currently at work on The Oracle, book 3 in The Sarah Weston Chronicles, which releases in 2015. Also slated for publication in 2015 is her first historical novel, The Judgment, which is set in Israel and Egypt in the tenth century BCE.

In addition to writing fiction, Daphne is editor in chief of Palm Beach Illustrated magazine and editorial director of Palm Beach Media Group. Prior to that, she was a travel journalist who logged hundreds of thousands of miles traveling across the globe, with emphasis on little-known and off-the-beaten-path locales—many of which have inspired her novels.

Daphne frequently lectures about her research on the ancient world. She is an instructor at Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society, teaching on the subject of archaeology. She has also spoken to audiences at the Jewish Community Center of the Palm Beaches’ Academy for Continuous Education, and several libraries and private groups throughout Florida.

Born and raised in Athens, Greece, Daphne now resides in West Palm Beach with her husband and twin son and daughter. You can find her on the Web at djnikobooks.com and connect with her on Facebook (AuthorDJNiko) and on Twitter: @djnikobooks.

The Oracle Cover Reveal Schedule

Monday, June 15
100 Pages a Day
Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, June 16
Genre Queen
The Reading Queen

Wednesday, June 17
Book Nerd
Diana's Book Reviews

Thursday, June 18
The Lit Bitch
To Read, Or Not to Read

Friday, June 19
A Book Geek

Monday, June 22
Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, June 23
Raven Haired Girl
CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, June 24
So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, June 25
The Never-Ending Book

Friday, June 26
Passages to the Past

Giveaway

To enter to win an Advanced Reading Copy of The Oracle by D.J. Niko please complete the giveaway form below. Two copies are up for grabs!

⇒ Giveaway is open to residents in the US, UK, and Canada.
⇒Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on June 26th.
⇒You must be 18 or older to enter.
⇒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.
⇒Winners will be chosen via GLEAM on April 27th and notified via email. Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
⇒Please email Amy @ hfvirtualbooktours@gmail.com with any questions.

The Oracle Cover Reveal + Giveaway


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Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble

Whisper BeachAbout Whisper Beach

• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 16, 2015)

When a group of friends reunite in the idyllic beach town where they grew up, they must reevaluate their loyalty to one another or lose their friendship forever

Twelve years ago, Vanessa "Van" Moran fell in love and lost her virginity—but not to the same boy. She fled Whisper Beach desperate and pregnant, never telling a soul about her secret. Now a professional Manhattan organizer, she must return home for the first time to attend the funeral of her best friend's husband. Van intends to only stay for a weekend, but her plans fall by the wayside as the troubles of this coastal town draw her in.

Dorie, the owner of the pier's infamous Blue Crab Restaurant where Van and her friends worked as teenagers, enlists Van's help to save the nearly bankrupt eatery. While Van throws herself into this new task, the man she once loved reenters her life, willing to pick up where they left off.

As the restaurant begins to thrive and Van reconnects with old friends, trouble comes from an unexpected source and she realizes she must face the decisions of her past or sacrifice this new life she has so carefully built.

For Van, this summer will test the meaning of friendship and trust—and how far love can bend before it breaks.

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My Review:
Four Stars
Copy received from TLC Book Tours for an honest review
"Whisper Beach" by Shelley Noble was a perfect summer beach read.  I was instantly engaged in the story.  I loved that the author provided a light but also mysterious tone to the story. Vanessa, or Van as she is referred to, is back in her hometown to attend a funeral.  Van has been away for about 18 years.  At first the author doesn't clue us into why she has been gone for son long, which I really liked. It added a tone of mystery to the story.  The small town feel was very endearing and added to the drama that made Van decide to leave. Although Van has childhood friends she always seemed isolated and distanced from them. As her past slowly creeps back into her life she can no longer run from the secrets she has been hiding.  Added to this already engrossing story line is her unfinished romantic business with Joe.  Overall, this was a great story. I found it heartwarming and a great lesson in the importance of communication. 
Purchase Links

Shelley NobleAbout Shelley Noble

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer and has worked on a number of films. She lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to visit lighthouses and vintage carousels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.

Find out more about Shelley at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Isaac and Ishmael by May F. Burns

Please join Mary F. Burns as she tours the blogospere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Isaac and Ishmael: A Novel of Genesis from June 8-26.

02_Isaac and Ishmael_CoverPublication Date: November 15, 2014
Sand Hill Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biblical







Isaac and Ishmael attempts to bring to human scale the legends and mythic dimensions of Abraham and Sarah, their sons Isaac and Ishmael, and Isaac and Rebecca’s twin sons Esau and Jacob. Readers will experience the struggles, competition, betrayals and loves of these brothers, fathers and sons caught up in the overarching tension between time and eternity, a place where a new God is coming into being—Yahweh, the uncanny, irascible, mischievous, bargaining God who participated in the life of a new people and compelled them to a new way of being human.

The stormy relationship of Isaac and Ishmael has long passed into a tradition which looks to Isaac as the father of the Jewish people, and Ishmael as the father of the Arab people, particularly in Egypt. Similarly, while Jacob carries on his father’s heritage, becoming the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, his twin brother Esau, the red-haired archer who sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil soup, is traditionally said to have departed for the North, and populated what would later become Rome. Isaac and Ishmael explores the thorny, complex yet delicate relations between these brothers and fathers, providing a more human understanding of the differences that arise between individuals and peoples, even now as the ancient tensions in the Middle East continue to flare up in modern confrontations and war. Ever present in the story are the strong, subtle and often ambitious women of Biblical legend: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.

My Review
Four Stars
Copy received for an honest review from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
I personally love stories from the old testament so Isaac and Ishmael by Mary F. Burns was an enjoyable read for me.  The author really set the tone for this story with the way the story was written. Burns writes as if this story were written like the bible. The tone was serious and somber. I also loved how she gave us insight into Isaac and Ishmael.  The complex relationship between Isaac and Ishmael was captivating and intense. I also really enjoyed the strength of the women and how they were portrayed as strong and integral parts of the story. Overall, this was an enjoyable story. Once I opened it I wanted to see what the other would do with Isaac and Ishmael.  I highly recommend and enjoyed this story. 

Official Book Trailer


Isaac & Ishmael Available at

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

About the Author03_Mary F. Burns

Mary F. Burns is the author of ISAAC AND ISHMAEL, published by Sand Hill Review Press in November 2014. Other historical fiction includes THE SPOILS OF AVALON and PORTRAITS OF AN ARTIST (Sand Hill Review Press, February 2014, 2013), both books featuring the celebrated portrait painter, John Singer Sargent and his best friend, writer Violet Paget (aka Vernon Lee). Mary is a member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society and a former member of the HNS Conference board of directors. Her debut historical novel J-THE WOMAN WHO WROTE THE BIBLE was published in July 2010 by O-Books (John Hunt Publishers, UK). She has also written two cozy-village mysteries in a series titled The West Portal Mysteries (The Lucky Dog Lottery and The Tarot Card Murders). She will be part of two panels at the upcoming North American Historical Novel Society Conference in June in Denver, one on The Historical Mystery and the other on Art and Artists in Historical Fiction.

Ms. Burns was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees in English, along with a high school teaching certificate. She relocated to San Francisco in 1976 where she now lives with her husband Stuart in the West Portal neighborhood.

Ms. Burns may be contacted by email at maryfburns@att.net. For more information please visit Mary Burns’s website at www.maryfburns.com. You can also connect with Mary on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, or read her blog posts at:

www.jthewomanwhowrotethebible.com
www.literarygracenotes.blogspot.com
www.portraitsofanartist.blogspot.com
www.sargent-pagetmysteries.blogspot.com
www.genesisnovel.blogspot.com

Isaac and Ishmael Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 8
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, June 9
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, June 10
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, June 11
Review at A Book Drunkard

Friday, June 12
Spotlight & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Monday, June 15
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, June 16
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, June 17
Review & Excerpt at Book Lovers Paradise

Thursday, June 18
Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book

Friday, June 19
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, June 21
Review & Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, June 22
Excerpt at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, June 23
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Thursday, June 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, June 26
Review & Giveaway at Genre Queen

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Monday, June 15, 2015

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN by Renee Collins

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN Summary

They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time.
Cassandra is a headstrong teenager craving drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and new stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger named Lawrence shows up on their private beach claiming it’s his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence’s life—in jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history—or risk losing Lawrence forever.


Biography

Renee Collins grew up on a beach in Hawaii. Sadly, she never met anyone from the past on those shores, but she did go on to get a degree in History, which is almost the same.


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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Keep Dancing by Leslie Wells

02_Keep Dancing Cover
Publication Date: February 5, 2015
Percambio Press
Formats: Print & ebook
256 pages
Series: Come Dancing, Book Two
Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult/Chick Lit
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Julia is a young book editor on the rise. Jack is a British rock star at the pinnacle of his fame.
Can they both get what they want—if what they need threatens to tear them apart?
It’s January, 1982. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has just moved in with her boyfriend, rock and roll guitarist extraordinaire Jack Kipling. Their connection sizzles as Jack takes her to England to meet his mother, and then to a private Caribbean island for a sensual post-holiday retreat.
But back in New York, they hit a turbulent patch. Career-focused Julia is in the running for a new job, while Jack’s life becomes even more chaotic with an upcoming thirty-city tour. Although free-spirited Jack enjoys his partying lifestyle, he craves more support on the home front. But Julia doesn’t know if she can ever be a domestic goddess—or if her wild boyfriend can ever be domesticated.
On tour, Julia experiences private jets, mind-blowing concerts, shocking hotel room antics, and screaming headlines. Back home, she has to decide if their relationship can withstand the ravages of fame and conflicting interests—not to mention a suave bestselling author who seems to like more than her grammar sense.
Emotionally poignant, hilarious and steamy, Keep Dancing will delight brand-new readers as a stand-alone novel, and also serves as the perfect follow-up to Come Dancing.

Praise for Keep Dancing

“Set in the 80s and dripping with the excesses this time period excelled at, Julia and Jack have reached a point in their relationship where the hard work begins. Julia is working towards her own stardom, while Jack continues to play in the world that made him. As external forces do their best to force this unusual couple apart, Jack and Julia will need to decide if they should keep dancing or find new partners. Emotionally plump with laughter, love, and heartbreak…” —Smexy Book Reviews

“HOT”—“In book two of the Jack and Julia series, Wells once again titles chapters after hit songs, and finds even more ways to describe the excitement surrounding New York City as she did in the debut…” —Romance Times

"This is a 5 star series, and I recommend this as a wonderfully fun yet angsty read. I loved the chemistry between Jack and Julia and their crazy bad communication skills (they didn’t have cell phones, after all). The breakups were worth it, if only just so they could make up!" -Cindy Becker, The Book Enthusiast

Three Stars
Copy received from Bookjunkie for an honest review
It was so nice to reconnect with Jack and Julia in "Keep Dancing." I also want to thank Leslie Wells for breaking my readers block. Lately I can't focus on a book and I've drifted from story to story but once I picked up "Keep Dancing" I was immediately sucked into Jack and Julia's world.  I really like both Jack and Julie and I appreciated their struggles as a couple. In this book, Wells continues to show Jack and Julie's growth in their relationship. We also get an inside view of his family in England and his childhood but also Julia's.  In this story Jack is determined to help her find her father
and Julia gets some closure on some of her childhood issues. Also, even thought Jack and Julia are a couple now there are still some grey areas that they have not figured out and Jack's lifestyle often makes Julia doubt his commitment to her.  Like all relationships, there is room for them to grow and also to work out their miscommunication.  I was happy to see Julia's work as an editor grow and that she was her own person despite her famous rocker boyfriend. It was also fun to see some of the situations in the 1980's i.e. no cell phone and the ever famous shoulder pads. 

I really enjoyed this story and recommend it to anyone that is looking for a fun and light read with very interesting characters. Because Julia is still in her early 20's and Jack is eight years older they have to face some tough life choices and where their future will lead.  I personally really liked how Wells wrapped up their story and felt satisfied with Jack and Julia's life and evolution.

Praise for the first novel about Jack and Julia: Come Dancing, an Amazon Bestseller and Apple iBooks Breakout Book

“Wells builds an emotionally poignant love story, abounding with romance and humor.” —Smexy Book Reviews
“Sometimes a book like this comes along and takes me out of the niche reading that I tend to find myself in.... I am in love… So very sex + the city.” —Must Read Books or Die
“It reads like a very, very good romantic comedy movie.” —Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks
“Once you start, you are completely unable to put it down.” —Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews
“Like a well-oiled machine or a well-tuned guitar, Julia and friends work their way into your heart.” —Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
“Hot, sexy, and combustible.” —Blushing Divas Book Reviews
“Come Dancing is brimming with both humor and heart.” —Flashlight Commentary
“It's a fun romp, and the sparkling characters definitely made it worth the read.” —A Bookish Affair
“I enjoyed reading Come Dancing! It had a good story, fascinating characters, and a charming vibe.” —Julie Anne, Teacups & Book Love

Keep Dancing Available at


About the Author

03_Leslie Wells Credit © Leslie WellsLeslie Wells left her small Southern town in 1979 for graduate school in Manhattan, after which she got her first job in book publishing. She has edited forty-eight New York Times bestsellers in her over thirty-year career, including thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. Leslie has worked with numerous internationally known authors, musicians, actors, actresses, television and radio personalities, athletes, and coaches. She lives on Long Island, New York.

Author Links


Keep Dancing Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, May 1
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Saturday, May 2
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Monday, May 4
Review at Red Hot Books
Thursday, May 7
Guest Post at I Heart Reading
Friday, May 8
Spotlight at Rainy Day Reviews
Monday, May 11
Review at Tea Cups and Book Love
Tuesday, May 12
Review at Room With Books
Wednesday, May 13
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing
Friday, May 15
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, May 20
Review & Guest Post at Must Read Books or Die
Thursday, May 21
Spotlight at Romance Junkies Blog
Monday, June 1
Review at The Life & Times of a Book Addict
Spotlight at Genre Queen
Tuesday, June 2
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Wednesday, June 3
Review at Shelly's Book Shelves
Thursday, June 4
Review at SOS Aloha
Friday, June 5
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Monday, June 8
Review at The Danish Bookaholic
Tuesday, June 9
Review & Excerpt at Reading in Pajamas
Wednesday, June 10
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, June 18
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Monday, June 22
Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Wednesday, June 24
Guest Post at Brooke Blogs
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Exciting Giveaway!

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