Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

THE BEAUTY SHOP by Suzy Henderson

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I first received this book through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours – through the kindness of the author. It is a wonderful historical fiction novel, centering on a young couple in love, but even more engaging to me, the young men who underwent life-saving and experimental surgeries and treatments for burns during WWII in Britain, and the doctor who was their savior.

Here’s the overview from HFVBTours, from when I featured a cover reveal:

The Beauty Shop by Suzy Henderson

Publication Date: November 2016
eBook & Paperback; 350 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance

England, 1942. After three years of WWII, Britain is showing the scars. But in this darkest of days, three lives intertwine, changing their destinies and those of many more.

Dr Archibald McIndoe, a New Zealand plastic surgeon with unorthodox methods, is on a mission to treat and rehabilitate badly burned airmen – their bodies and souls. With the camaraderie and support of the Guinea Pig Club, his boys battle to overcome disfigurement, pain, and prejudice to learn to live again.

John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie of the US Air Force is aware of the odds. He has one chance in five of surviving the war. Flying bombing missions through hell and back, he’s fighting more than the Luftwaffe. Fear and doubt stalk him on the ground and in the air, and he’s torn between his duty and his conscience.

Shy, decent and sensible, Stella Charlton’s future seems certain until war breaks out. As a new recruit to the WAAF, she meets an American pilot on New Year’s Eve. After just one dance, she falls head over heels for the handsome airman. But when he survives a crash, she realizes her own battle has only just begun.

Based on a true story, The Beauty Shop is a moving tale of love, compassion, and determination against a backdrop of wartime tragedy.

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I found Archie, the doctor, a fascinating person. He basically pioneered burn treatment and plastic surgery. I read more about him on Wikipedia.

Thank you for this interesting and touching story. If you like a romance set in WWII with some interesting real facts worked in, then pick up a copy of The Beauty Shop by Suzy Henderson.

Thank you for my e-copy!

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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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TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Debbie Macomber

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Nothing warms my heart like a Debbie Macomber title – especially at this time of year. This one came out well in advance of the holiday season and is a sweet story of romance and the holidays, family life and the power of kindness.

Description

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HFVBTour for ROMA AMOR: A NOVEL OF CALIGULA’S ROME by Sherry Christie with GIVEAWAY

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So I am reading this now and loving it! I’ve not read many novels set in ancient Rome. This story has a lot of action and romance and history – a great blend – and is well-written with a fast pace and descriptive scenes. If you like to read of this time period, don’t miss it!

Thank you for my review copy.

Roma Amor: A Novel of Caligula’s Rome by Sherry Christie

Publication Date: April 15, 2016
Bexley House Books
Paperback; 496 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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READ EXCERPT.

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 24
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 25
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, October 26
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Friday, October 28
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Monday, October 31
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, November 1
Review at Bookfever

Wednesday, November 2
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Friday, November 4
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, November 7
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, November 9
Review at Bookramblings
Review at The Book Junkie Reads
Interview at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, November 10
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, November 11
Review at Beth’s Book Nook
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Guest Post at The True Book Addict

Giveaway

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To win a paperback copy of Roma Amor: A Novel of Caligula’s Rome by Sherry Christie, please enter via the Gleam form below. 2 copies are up for grabs!

Rules

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

Direct Link: https://gleam.io/alHzT/roma-amor

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THE GIRL FROM VENICE by Martin Cruz Smith

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This historical mystery was an intriguing and thrilling read. Taking place during WWII in Venice, the novel focuses on a young fisherman and his attempt to aid a young Jewish girl who is in hiding.

Description

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The Girl from the Savoy by Hazel Gaynor

My friends over at William Morrow offered me a review copy of THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY as they knew I love historical fiction. This was a fun read with interesting characters, following the life experiences of a young girl who comes, post WWI, to work at the Savoy Hotel, but who really wants to be a star of the stage.

‘Sometimes life gives you cotton stockings. Sometimes it gives you a Chanel gown …’

WILLIAM MORROW is thrilled to publish New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Hazel Gaynor’s third novel, THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY. Gaynor’s previous novels, The Girl Who Came Home (2014), and A Memory of Violets (2015) beautifully illustrated the harrowing era of the Titanic and the gritty streets of London in the 1800s. Now she takes readers back in time to the 1920s and envisions what it was like in one of the most dazzling ages; all while beautifully capturing the sadness of post-war Britain..

“these ordinary girls had been thrown into the most extraordinary experiences during the war, and, for many, the expectation to return to the domestic subservience of the prewar years was almost impossible. After the fear and desolation of war, is it any wonder they wanted to laugh and sing, dance and dazzle?”

– Hazel Gaynor

 Here’s the overview:

In THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY, we meet Dolly Lane, a dreamer but a downtrodden maid fractured by the Great War. Memories of the soldier Dolly loved, of secret shame and profound loss, by turns pull her back and spur her on to make a better life. But once Dolly makes her way as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, she takes a step closer to the glittering lives of the Bright Young Things who thrive on champagne, jazz and rebellion.

Soon after Dolly makes her way to The Savoy, her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to a struggling songwriter’s ad for a ‘muse’ and finds herself thrust into London’s exhilarating theatre scene and into the lives of celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry. In the end, Dolly must choose between everything she knows and everything she dreams of. A brighter future is tantalizingly close—but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?

A deeply compelling and emotional rags to riches story, Gaynor makes the dazzling era of the 1920s come alive within the pages of THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY.

 

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I loved this well-written story, which inspired a variety of emotions in me, from amusement to poignancy. While lengthy (over 400 pages), it read quickly, and I found myself easily engaged in Dolly’s story, primarily, but in the other characters, too. Of course, I always love to read about theater as well.

A recommended historical fiction read if you enjoy this time period.

Thank you for my review copy!

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Litfuse Publicity Tour for GOD BLESS US EVERYONE by Eva Marie Everson

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Today I’m taking part in the Litfuse blog tour for Eva Marie Everson’s new novel: GOD BLESS US EVERYONE. This is a title I’d classify as Christian romance. Here’s the overview:
About the book:

Charlene Dixon—called Charlie by family and friends—is devastated at the recent loss of her job. 
For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.

When Charlie arrives—broken and confused—Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie prickles at working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher and her old crush from schooldays, but is even more put out at that the choice of the Dickens’ classic for the holiday performance. When she discovers her estranged father’s involvement her world turns on its head once more. But when Sis and Dustin encourage her to take a deeper look at the story behind A Christmas Carol, Charlie learns about trust, faith, and forgiveness and the needs of people in their own community.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2bUfaqD

About the author:
 
 
Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of The Road to Testament,Things Left Unspoken, This Fine Life, Chasing Sunsets, Waiting for Sunrise, Slow Moon Rising, and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
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This was my first novel by Ms. Everson. It read quickly and easily (in one day) and I enjoyed the plot and storyline. I did have a slight challenge accepting Charlie’s reason for termination at her job (probably because I work in a similar setting!), but that was just a way to get the story rolling. Of course I wanted Charlie and Dusty to get together, and I always enjoy a Christmas theme and one that encompasses forgiveness. One clever aspect of this story was the way that sections of the original A Christmas Carol started off each chapter and were tied in to the plot.
If you enjoy Christian romances, then you should pick up this one for the holidays!
Thank you for my review e-copy and for making me part of the tour!
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Litfuse Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY for THROUGH THE SHADOWS by Karen Barnett

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I’m excited to be part of the Litfuse Publicity blog tour for Karent Barnett’s latest novel in the Golden Gate Chronicles: THROUGH THE SHADOWS. This story continues on with some of the characters we have come to know from the previous books in the series: OUT OF THE ASHES and BEYOND THE RUINS. That said, it can be a stand alone title as well.

Here’s the description of this story from Litfuse:

Through the Shadows (Abingdon, May 2016)

As San Francisco rises from the ashes, an age-old battle looms between corruption and the promise of new beginnings.

The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome-and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King’s hopeful future.

Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.

Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable. But opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley—a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco’s crooked politics—Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?

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If you are reading this series, you know it is Christian historical fiction, and I like how the story line is able to encapsulate faith right alongside the action and romance plot lines. Elizabeth is a likable and strong character, and I will give this book credit for highlighting an issue that personally I have never read about (so I am assuming it is often overlooked or ignored) — the plight of the young Chinese prostitute in turn of the century California.

Barnett’s writing flows smoothly and this is an easy read – perfect for starting off the summer!

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Karen Barnett is the author of “Beyond the Ashes,” “Out of the Ruins,” and “Mistaken.” Named the 2013 Writer of Promise by Oregon Christian Writers, Karen lives in Albany, Oregon, with her husband and two kids. When she’s not writing novels, she loves speaking at women’s events, libraries, and book clubs.
Thank you for my review copy and for making me part of the tour!

But wait! There’s more!!! There’s a book giveaway for this tour — click below for info and entering:

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LINK FOR GIVEAWAY: https://promosimple.com/ps/99f1

 

 

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HF Review: OUR OWN COUNTRY by Jodi Daynard

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A while ago I read THE MIDWIFE’S REVOLT by Jodi Daynard and really enjoyed it: My Review. I was excited to find this new novel with some of the same characters in it on Net Galley.

Here’s the description:

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Review of THE WINEMAKERS by Jan Moran

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So I somehow missed that this book was coming out. It takes place, in part, in my hometown of Napa so I knew I HAD to read it! Ms. Moran and her publicist kindly sent me a copy via Net Galley.

Here’s the overview from NG:

1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she’s never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret — a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for. Many years before, her mother’s hard-won dreams of staking her family’s claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; but as an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragic secret that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother’s buried past.

From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.

Me again! I really enjoyed this novel, which was a quick read for me. From Italy to Napa, with hidden secrets, strong women, murder, and romance, it captured my attention and kept me reading. My favorite parts were descriptions of the Valley and of winemaking. I liked the main character, Caterina, but liked her mother even more. I really enjoy a non-perfect but strong main female character! The only character who didn’t really work for me was Luca, as I found him one dimensional. Why was he so very evil? Someone read it and tell me!

Rest assured there was a happy ending (I had my doubts for a bit!) which is always a plus for me!

If you enjoy wine, romance, and the Napa Valley, then pick up a copy of THE WINEMAKERS.

A big thank you to the very gracious Ms. Moran and her publicist for my e-copy!

 

 

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