Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Revisiting ROMA AMOR by Sherry Christie

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A few weeks ago I highlighted this book as part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour on it. I was reading it then and really enjoying it!

Well, I finished it and I just wanted to post again and say how much I enjoyed it! I can’t wait for the next one in the series.

If you know me, you know that my favorite historical fiction (outside of WWII) is when I read and learn from a novel. I will admit to knowing not much about Caligula’s Rome (though I did write a report on “Every Day Life in Ancient Rome” in seventh grade – 1979). What a treat this novel was! The details, the historical setting, the characters. Ms. Christie’s writing gives you a story almost within a story — while we focus on the main character of Marcus and his trials and tribulations, the novel is part of the bigger setting of the golden days of Rome.

Just in case you weren’t paying attention the first time I posted, here’s the overview:

Marcus Carinna hears a voice whisper, “Your turn,” as he rides past his family tomb. An unseen presence also startles the Germanic priestess Aurima, whom he is bringing to Rome. But hardheaded Romans scoff at ghosts, and Marcus can’t believe it’s a warning from his brother, who killed himself three years earlier.

37 AD: To great acclaim, 25-year-old Caligula Caesar has become Rome’s new master. No one is more pleased than Senator Titus Carinna, who helped him succeed to the throne. It’s a shame the Senator’s older son–Caligula’s closest friend–committed suicide after being charged with treason. But that still leaves Marcus, his second son.

Headstrong and hot-tempered, Marcus would rather prove his courage by leading legions against Rome’s enemies than take his brother’s place. Yet when his father orders him to befriend Caligula, he has no choice.

Caught in a web of deceit, conspiracy, and betrayal, he will uncover a secret that threatens his family, the woman he desires, even his life… and may bring chaos to the young Roman Empire.

The first installment in a page-turning saga that revisits the heroes and villains of the grandest city of the ancient world…. Comes alive with the long gone characters who were its lifeblood” -Kirkus Reviews

‘Combines current political concerns, the wide lens of the serious historical novel, and emotional maturity and realism with an utterly splendid grasp of what it must have been like to live in Rome under Caligula’s reign.” -Sarah Smith, Agatha Award winner and New York Times Notable author

About the Author

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After earning a Phi Beta Kappa creative award in college for an early draft about a nobly born charioteer, Sherry Christie spent many years of research and revision developing ROMA AMOR into the story about fathers and sons that it wanted to be. It’s a joy to immerse myself in the lives of first-century Romans–and a distinct change from my day job as a . In addition to writing, Sherry is a professional copywriter. She lives on the coast of Maine with a native-born Viking and two cats.

For more information, please visit Sherry Christie’s website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, and Goodreads.

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Thank you for my review copy!

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GREYSON GRAY: RUBICON by B.C. TWEEDT

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I was excited to be offered to highlight this book on my book blog during its blog tour, since it was billed as an engaging choice for reluctant readers (especially boys). My son, who just turned 12 yesterday, is a good reader, but tends to gravitate to Minecraft or LEGO’s rather than picking up a book. I asked him if he’d like to take part in this post with me and he agreed.

First here’s the overview of the book and series (via Amazon):

When the world grows more dangerous, so must its heroes.

The epic adventure described as “perfect reading,” a “high-octane thrill fest,” and “just basic fun,” is cranking the action dial up to full-throttle. Rubicon releases Greyson in a tumultuous America rocked by real, relevant issues it faces today. With the daring and endearing energy you’ve come to expect, Greyson dives head-first into a battle to save U.S. Will he do it? Or will secession tear the country apart? Find out now!

The startling events of Deadfall force the government’s heavy hand – prompting it to enact a harsh new law to rid the country of Pluribus.

Meanwhile, Greyson and his weary friends retreat to Colorado with the paramilitary group, Rubicon. It isn’t long, though, until Sydney and Nick are called on a mission, leaving Greyson with no choice but to patiently recover and train, ready to take on Pluribus whenever he may be called.

A year passes, and the country is still suffering from the fallout of the new law, with divided neighborhoods, nationwide protests, and renewed threats of secession. Even worse, Pluribus and its new Wolf teams have worked under the radar on a bold, crippling attack that they hope will send the country over the brink, spiraling to unavoidable civil war.

When Rubicon finally calls Greyson to mission, he must wield new ammunition and work with friends across the country – both old and new – to face the incredible threat. In a frenzy of explosions, deadly drones, and dazzling new technology, Greyson fights the terrorists in urban streets, snow-covered mountains, and towering skyscrapers in pulse pounding action that challenges Greyson to his core.

Parents continue to herald this series for its unwavering commitment to the theme – fighting for what is good and right – no matter the costs. While the truth is sometimes hidden, Greyson searches for it, fights for it, and holds onto what he has. His faithfulness to Sydney and his friends is unparalleled, even in adversity. Kids of all ages love the ceaseless humor, the gritty action, and the mystery that grows deeper and more sinister with each new book. Who can Greyson trust? Will he prevent a new civil war? Keep reading…

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Well, my son was hooked just by the description. When the book arrived I was surprised to see how big it was (over 400 pages) but that was no deterrent. Jack couldn’t wait to start reading.
Now I’ve mentioned that my son is a social kid who’d rather play online than pick up a book. When he was reading, some of his friends would call and he started a routine of reading over Facetime to his bestie. He would read aloud (great practice!) and his buddy would listen and then illustrate the story as they went along. They both got really into it and were excited to “read together”. That said, we didn’t start until after Jack got home from sleepaway camp at the end of August, so as of this writing, they are still reading and enjoying the story!
I think some of the great appeal is that this series taps into my son’s sense of righteous indignation against evil and evil works. Greyson is almost a mini James Bond – and his adventures are exciting. As Jack said, “He’s kind of a kid superhero, but without special powers.”
Here’s some info on Mr. Tweedy, the author, that his publicist has sent me:

B.C. Tweedt lives in North Liberty, Iowa, with his wife, Julie, and their son, Maverick. When he’s not working on his next book, Tweedt volunteers at his church’s youth group as a mentor of young boys, several of whom served as the inspiration for characters in The Greyson Gray SeriesRubicon is the fourth novel in the series, preceded byDeadfall, Fair Game, and Camp Legend. Tweedt plans to continue expanding the series, following Greyson as he grows up in an increasingly divided and threatening world, and is currently working on the fifth Greyson Gray novel.

For more information, connect with Tweedt on his website, or throughFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, LibraryThing or LinkedIn.

Greyson Gray: Rubicon is now available for pre-order exclusively onAmazon. It will be available online at Barnes & Noble and iBookstore in November 2016.

THANK YOU for our review copy and for sharing this story with my son!

Next stop on the tour: http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com/

Lori’s Reading Corner — hop on over!

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HFVBTour for IN THE SHADOW OF THE STORM by Anne Belfrage and GIVEAWAY!

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I am so very excited today to be part of the virtual book tour for Anna Belfrage’s new series! I loved her Graham saga (e.g. Rip in the  Veil, etc.) and actually cried at the end of the last book because it was over. Rest assured, Ms. Belfrage is still tirelessly penning new works and has started a new series, the first book of which is IN THE SHADOW OF THE STORM.

Here’s what HFVBT has to say:

In the Shadow of the Storm (The King’s Greatest Enemy, Book One)
by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: November 1, 2015
Silverwood Books

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Adam de Guirande owes his lord, Sir Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Sir Roger for his life and all his worldly good, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not quite the woman Sir Roger thinks she is. So when Sir Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the ultimate cost may be.

England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down, and fate is a fickle mistress, favouring first one, then the other.

Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but at present Adam has other matters to concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and the baron, and he hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.

Kit de Courcy has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name. What will Adam do when he finds out he has been duped?

Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Sir Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.

In the Shadow of the Storm is the first in Anna Belfrage’s new series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his baron, his king, and his wife.

Series Graphic

About the Author

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Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does as yet not exists, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing. These days, Anna combines an exciting day-job with a large family and her writing endeavours.

When Anna fell in love with her future husband, she got Scotland as an extra, not because her husband is Scottish or has a predilection for kilts, but because his family fled Scotland due to religious persecution in the 17th century – and were related to the Stuarts. For a history buff like Anna, these little details made Future Husband all the more desirable, and sparked a permanent interest in the Scottish Covenanters, which is how Matthew Graham, protagonist of the acclaimed The Graham Saga, began to take shape.

Set in 17th century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland, the series tells the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him. With this heady blend of romance, adventure, high drama and historical accuracy, Anna hopes to entertain and captivate, and is more than thrilled when readers tell her just how much they love her books and her characters.

Presently, Anna is hard at work with her next project, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimer’s rise to power. The King’s Greatest Enemy is a series where passion and drama play out against a complex political situation, where today’s traitor may be tomorrow’s hero, and the Wheel of Life never stops rolling.

The first installment in the Adam and Kit story, In the Shadow of the Storm, will be published in the autumn of 2015.

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.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 1
Review at I’m Shelfish
Review at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, December 2
Review at Beth’s Book Book
Review & Interview at Bookish

Thursday, December 3
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, December 4
Review at Singing Librarian Books
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Sunday, December 6
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Monday, December 7
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Tuesday, December 8
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Wednesday, December 9
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, December 10
Review at Book Drunkard
Review at Impressions in Ink
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, December 11
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Monday, December 14
Review at Unshelfish
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Guest Post at To Read, Or Not to Read

Tuesday, December 15
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Historical Fiction Notebook

Wednesday, December 16
Review at Room with Books
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Thursday, December 17
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Friday, December 18
Interview at Just One More Chapter
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Monday, December 21
Review at Puddletown Reviews
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Tuesday, December 22
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Broken Teepee

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 eBooks and 1 paperback! To enter, see the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 22nd. 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.

Direct Link: https://gleam.io/IezOD/in-the-shadow-of-the-storm

 

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Now, I asked myself: How could I like this as much as the Graham books? Will I like it even if I know next to nothing about Edward II (I have to say I’m a Tudor person myself, Henry VII and forward)?

Well, I loved this book! It was a great read and fulfilled my historical fiction requirement of being entertaining, engrossing, and fun while also teaching me about something I didn’t already know about. I loved the characters, the events, the writing, and I can’t wait for Book 2 to come out (and I’m happy to review it – just saying!).

Thank you so much for my e-copy to review and for making me part of the tour!

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Spotlight on CHICKADEES, BUMBLEBEEZ, PUSSY WILLOW TREES AND TWO-AND-A-HALF! by Jeffrey M. Politsky

Chickadees Book Cover

I received this fun picture book from the author’s publicist and I will be sharing it with the school library where I teach.

Here’s some info on it:

Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half, by Jeffrey Politsky, is a children’s book of adventure. It is recommended for ages 4-9.

“Kids who still have their parents read to them really like the book, as do kids who are independent readers,” says Dr. Politsky. “The reviews of parents and children who have read the book are very favorable: adults really like the message and the children just love the story. I hope many more children will get to read it.”

Synopsis:

Children love to explore; it’s intuitive. And they tend to struggle when asked to confine their activities and behaviors to our adult-imposed rules and paths. Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half is a vibrantly and exceptionally well-illustrated adventure book meant to inspire children to follow their urges to explore and to appreciate diversity. The book starts off when “One day a little brown monkey with dazzling olive green eyes, a friendly smile, and a long curly tail asked his father if there was more to the life than just hanging around with other monkeys and eating bananas.” Before long he meets a lovely grey cat and a majestic blue pelican each on their own quests. Together, they explore a foreign island and when their journey takes them into a private swath of land, they befriend a local dog who takes them further than they ever imagined.

Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half emphasizes several significant values, which help us subsist and ultimately thrive: learning through independent exploration, the need for friendship, the importance of respect and tolerance for other cultures, languages, and lifestyle diversity, along with a healthy understanding of the powers of mother nature.

About the Author:

Dr. Jeffrey Politsky grew up in Toronto, Canada. He obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Toronto and his medical degree at the University of Western Ontario before moving to Vancouver for his residency training in Neurology. He moved to Boston in the late 1990’s to complete his epilepsy fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and has lived in the United States ever since. Today, Dr. and Mrs. Politsky live in New Jersey with their two children and two giant schnauzers. While he has written numerous articles and chapters related to the neurologic sciences, Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half is Dr. Politsky’s first serious non-academic venture.

Dr. Politsky began writing Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half on Formantera, one of the Balearic Islands in the western Mediterranean Sea off of the east coast of Spain.

“As I began pondering what makes free-form travel so interesting, I decided to try and create a story that would be appealing to youngsters. All of my back-packing adventures, like so many other travelers, had common themes: selecting a location, landing in a foreign place and feeling very foreign, attempting to understand the culture and fit in, survival, discovery, problem solving, raw happiness. I incorporated several of my own experiences in the text,” says Dr. Politsky. “I decided to weave into the story the linguistic nuances that my grandfather used when he would joke with my brother and me when we were youngsters – in essence we would ask him a question and he would answer using neologisms and in a manner that made absolutely no sense at all and then start laughing in a jolly fashion, quite amused with himself. I cherish my memory of my grandfather. His good nature and terminology stuck, much of it is incorporated in the book. In fact, some of his favorite expressions make up the book’s title.”

Dr. Politsky’s grandfather died in 1989 of complications related to multi-infarct dementia.

Tony Santiago illustrated the book with Dr. Politsky’s children and grandfather individually represented in the characters.

In 2011, Dr. Politsky’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is fine now; but the process was quite an ordeal. Anyone who has been through this or a similar experience understands this. Dr. Politsky sees and treats patients every day with epilepsy and related neurologic & medical conditions – in many cases illnesses appear like an unexpected storm and can turn people’s lives upside down and inside out like a tornado. By the end of 2012, Kim had been diagnosed, treated, and had achieved full physical recovery.

Fifty percent of the proceeds of the sale of each book will be donated equally to research programs dedicated to the study of dementia and memory dysfunction, and to the study of breast cancer.

To purchase a copy of the book, go to http://jumpservicesllc.com/projects.html

Readers can connect with Dr. Politsky on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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Me again! This is a fairly lengthy book that can be read over time with little ones. I think they will enjoy some of the repetitive nature of the text and the colorful and fun pictures. Kudos to Dr. Politsky for giving half of the proceeds of this book to medical research!

Thank you for a copy to read and share!

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Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour for BLACKWELL’S HOMECOMING by V.E. Ulett with GIVEAWAY!

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As part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour, I’m blogging about BLACKWELL’S HOMECOMING today – book 3 in the Blackwell series. (I posted about book 2 yesterday).

This series follows the adventures of Captain Blackwell – Royal Navy captain – and his wife Mercedes as they find adventure and romance while sailing around the world.

Here’s what HFVBTours has to say:

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Blackwell’s Homecoming
by V.E. Ulett

Publication Date: December 19, 2014
Publisher: Old Salt Press, LLC
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 278

Series: Blackwell’s Adventures, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction

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“A very satisfying conclusion to the Blackwell’s Adventures series, with lusty escapades tempered with amusing side passages, lively characters and a lovely ending.” – Broos Campbell, author of the Matty Graves series

In a multi-generational saga of love, war and betrayal, Captain Blackwell and Mercedes continue their voyage in Volume III of Blackwell’s Adventures. The Blackwell family’s eventful journey from England to Hawaii, by way of the new and tempestuous nations of Brazil and Chile, provides an intimate portrait of family conflicts and loyalties in the late Georgian Age. Blackwell’s Homecoming is an evocation of the dangers and rewards of desire.

PRAISE

“This entire trilogy has lots of adventure, lots of romance, and lots of wonderful settings that will thrill any historical fiction reader.” – Meg Wessel, A Bookish Affair

“A real pleasure to read, this book can stand alone, although I recommend reading the previous volumes to see additional development of the main characters.” – Jeff Westerhoff, Historical Novels Review

AMAZON (KINDLE) | AMAZON (PB) | BARNES & NOBLE (PB) | BARNES & NOBLE (NOOK) | ITUNES

Me again!!  I love reading about Hawaii in the early 1800’s – the culture and traditions and the thought of the islands being not overdeveloped is wonderful reading. (If you know me, you know I have a long fascination and love of Hawaii and have been there many times). Blackwell and Mercedes have all sorts of interesting relationships with friends and family and adventures together. In this installment, they are growing older and they have the trials of aging. However, their love still binds them strong.

I have to say there is a story line re: Emma and Aloka that I found somewhat disturbing (or at least until the conclusion) – but that might just be me. I’d be curious what other readers think.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A long time resident of California, V.E. Ulett is an avid reader as well as writer of historical fiction. Proud to be an Old Salt Press author, V.E. is also a member of the National Books Critics Circle and an active member and reviewer for the Historical Novel Society.

Eighteenth and nineteenth century journals and letters inspired the writing of CAPTAIN BLACKWELL’S PRIZE. The sequels take Captain Blackwell and Mercedes to the far side of the world, on new personal and cultural adventures. Coming soon from V.E. Ulett, a historical adventure with a fantastic edge.

You, too, can follow the tour!

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, July 27
Spotlight & Excerpt at Unshelfish
Spotlight & Excerpt at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, July 28
Review & Excerpt at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, July 29
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, July 30
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, July 31
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Sunday, August 2
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog (Blackwell’s Paradise Audio Book)

Monday, August 3
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog (Blackwell’s Homecoming)

But wait there’s more! A Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY

To enter to win a paperback of Blackwell’s Paradise, please enter via the GLEAM form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US, UK, Canada & Australia 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.

Click here:

Blackwell’s Homecoming

Or here:

https://gleam.io/6T0Te/blackwells-homecoming-

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HFVB Tour: TO CATCH A FALLING STAR by Anna Belfrage

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I am thrilled today to be part of the TO CATCH A FALLING STAR blog tour for the final Graham saga novel. I love this series, and this book was no exception! Ms. Belfrage is a wonderful writer and I love following the adventures of the Graham family. Reminds me of my beloved Outlander books, but definitely unique in its own right (and not as long!). I love the relationship between Alex and Matthew and I was so sad to see that this was the final book in the series. However, after I gasped in dismay, I saw that some more shorter works will be coming about them and a new series will be starting — what a relief for this fan!

Here’s what HFVBT has to say:

Publication Date: March 1, 2015
SilverWood Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Series: Book Eight, The Graham Saga
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time-Slip

To Catch a Falling Star is the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Some gifts are double-edged swords …

For Matthew Graham, being given the gift of his former Scottish manor is a dream come true. For his wife, Alex, this gift will force her to undertake a perilous sea journey, leaving most of their extensive family in the Colony of Maryland. Alex is torn apart by this, but staying behind while her husband travels to Scotland is no option.
Scotland in 1688 is a divided country, torn between the papist Stuart king and the foreign but Protestant William of Orange. In the Lowlands, popular opinion is with Dutch William, and Matthew’s reluctance to openly support him does not endear him to his former friends and neighbours.

While Matthew struggles to come to terms with the fact that Scotland of 1688 bears little resemblance to his lovingly conserved memories, Alex is forced to confront unresolved issues from her past, including her overly curious brother-in-law, Luke Graham. And then there’s the further complication of the dashing, flamboyant Viscount Dundee, a man who knocks Alex completely off her feet.

All the turmoil that accompanies their return to Scotland pales into insignificance when a letter arrives, detailing the calamities threatening their youngest daughter in Maryland – at the hand of that most obnoxious minister, Richard Campbell. Matthew and Alex have no choice but to hasten back, no matter the heartache this causes.

Will they make it back in time? And what will Richard Campbell do?

Buy To Catch a Falling Star

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Graham Saga Titles

Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star

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About the Author

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

If you like historical fiction, romance, time travel, the 1600’s, adventure, or even just a well-told story, then get this series today!

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Review: THE SECRETS OF CASANOVA by Greg Michaels

I was recently approached to read and review Greg Michaels’ new novel: THE SECRETS OF CASANOVA. It sounded fun and interesting (and to be honest, I know very little about the real Casanova – a great lover, right? And always makes me think of Greg Brady in the Brady Bunch?). This was a rollicking, fun, adventure story, with a little history and a lot of fiction thrown in.

Giacomo Casanova was a real person who lived in the mid to late 1700’s (see Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Casanova). He was known for having many affairs with women and this reputation continues today when we call someone “a Casanova”. However, he was an interesting figure, intelligent and well-known, who wrote many works (best known is his autobiography), was imprisoned in Venice, lived in Paris, and knew many famous people of his era.
Michaels makes Casanova come alive as a flesh and blood man – part swindler, part earnest young man. He’s a bit of a lovable rogue who shows his more sensitive side in his relationships. He is on a quest for a holy relic, complete with “treasure map”, and his adventures take him and his companions across Europe with various close calls along the way.

As I read this book, I thought of what a fun movie it would make! I kept seeing Robert Downey Junior in the lead (call me a child of the 80’s). If you like swashbuckling adventure, you would probably like this book. There are some sexual scenes (not many, but they are there) or I would suggest it to the younger crowd as well.

I wasn’t sure by the ending if we might be hearing more from Mr. Michaels and Casanova. I would look forward to seeing his adventures continue!

You can see this book on Amazon where I am an Associate. Right now it is priced for Kindle at $3.99. Thanks for the opportunity to share your book, Greg!

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Quick Kids’ Review: THE ENCHANTED ATTIC: BOOKS 2 and 4 by LL Samson

If you read me regularly, you know I loved the first book in the Enchanted Attic series, “Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame” (see review here: https://drbethnolan.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/review-facing-the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-the-enchanted-attic-series-1-by-l-l-samson/). Recently, Zondervan sent me two more books in the series: “Saving Moby Dick” and “Wrestling with Tom Sawyer”. (There’s also “Dueling with the Three Musketeers”!). In these books, the adventures continue as twins Linus and Ophelia and their friend Walter meet and have to help the book characters that have come to life and appeared in the attic of their aunt and uncle’s house. Whether they are trying to help a morose and moody Captain Ahab, or trying to keep a rambunctious Tom Sawyer under control, the kids face their adventures with intelligence and humor. I particularly like the voice of the narrator in this series, which lends itself quite well to read-aloud.

Thank you Zonderkidz Publishing for my review copies!

You can see these books on Amazon where I am an Associate:

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