Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

IF I RUN by Terri Blackstock

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I received this a while ago from Net Galley (thank you for my copy!) and read it in two days. It was a thrilling and suspenseful read! I see it’s the beginning of a series with “If I’m Found” as Book Two. It is a bit reminiscent of the Fugitive (or whatever that show was when I was a kid with the man accused of killing his wife and he was innocent).

Here’s the overview:

Description

Perfect for summer! This came out last year and the sequel this year (2017) and should be readily available at your favorite indie bookstore, online, or at your local library!

Find it on Amazon where I am an Associate:

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HFVBTour for UNDER THE APPROACHING DARK by Anna Belfrage with GIVEAWAY!!

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I’m super excited to be part of the blog tour for the amazing Anna’s latest novel in the King’s Greatest Enemy series: UNDER THE APPROACHING DARK. Anna’s books are always a treat to read, and they are chock full of exciting adventures and tons of historical details. She has an incredible gift in making history come alive.

I have to be honest and say that this is a time period that I’m a bit sketchy on. I’m one of those Americans who read a lot of Tudor-type books, without thinking too much of the centuries of English history that are not Tudor! Fascinating in its grittiness, I love learning about this time in history through lovable and fun characters, such as ADam and Kit.

I loved Anna’s Graham Saga, so if you did, too, you will certainly adore this series as well! I follow Anna on Facebook – she is a treat! Thank you so much for my review e-copy and for making me part of the tour!!

Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage

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Publication Date: April 28, 2017
Matador
eBook & Paperback; 424 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness. But the turmoil is far from over.

After years of strife, England in the early months of 1327 is a country in need of stability, and many turn with hope towards the new young king, Edward III. But Edward is too young to rule, so instead it is his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, who do the actual governing, much to the dislike of barons such as Henry of Lancaster.

In the north, the Scots take advantage of the weakened state of the realm and raid with impunity. Closer to court, it is Mortimer’s increasing powers that cause concerns – both among his enemies, but also for men like Adam, who loves Mortimer dearly, but loves the young king just as much.

When it is announced that Edward II has died in September of 1327, what has so far been a grumble grows into voluble protests against Mortimer. Yet again, the spectre of rebellion haunts the land, and things are further complicated by the reappearance of one of Adam’s personal enemies. Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.

“The writing is impeccable. The story has everything. Under the Approaching Dark is just perfect in every sense” – Sharon Bennett Connolly, History The Interesting Bits

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo

About the Author

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

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

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

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 1
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, May 2
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, May 3
Review at A Book Drunkard

Thursday, May 4
Review at A Holland Reads

Friday, May 5
Spotlight at The Reading Queen

Monday, May 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, May 9
Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, May 10
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Thursday, May 11
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, May 12
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, May 15
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Tuesday, May 16
Review at Back Porchervations
Guest Post at Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company

Wednesday, May 17
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, May 18
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, May 19
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Monday, May 22
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, May 23
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at The Muse in the Fog Book Reviews

Wednesday, May 24
Excerpt at Jo’s Book Blog
Spotlight at The Paperback Princess

Thursday, May 25
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, May 26
Spotlight at Laura’s Interests

Sunday, May 28
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Books and Benches

Monday, May 29
Guest Post at Yelena Casale’s Blog

Tuesday, May 30
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Giveaway

To win a copy of Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 30th. 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/2f2eV/under-the-appraoching-dark

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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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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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HF Virtual Tour: WHITHER THOU GOEST by Anna Belfrage

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Today I am taking part in the Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tour for Anna Belfrage’s WHITHER THOU GOEST, the seventh book in the Graham Saga. This series focuses on time traveller, Alex Graham, as she goes back to the 1600’s to be with her soulmate, husband Matthew, and their trials, tribulations, and adventures.

In this installment, there is no lack of excitement! Alex and Matthew start off with the issue of their pregnant daughter, Sarah, the victim of an earlier gang rape by the deplorable Burley men. Trying to help Sarah cope with her feelings and emotional scars, along with what to do with a new baby, are all-consuming tasks, second only to tracking down what remains of those Burleys, previously thought dead but maybe not…

Then Matthew receives a letter from brother-in-bad-blood Luke, begging him to help with his son who has been taken as a slave to the West Indies. Matthew decides blood is thicker than water and, along with Alex, they head out to the Caribbean to try to locate and help their nephew.

This book is a steady stream of events and excitement, along with a big dose of romance, similar to the Outlander series (which I love) but not as lengthy. I really connected to the character of Alex, who is smart and plucky but not perfect. She loves her husband but also gets jealous. She is attractive but not ridiculously so – in fact I think her confidence and integrity are her most appealing characteristics. I have not read the earlier books and while this one can certainly stand on its own, having the earlier books would have made my understanding of characters a tad easier as I would have the backstory as it happened. I enjoyed Belfrage’s writing which has an easy flow to it. I think I will go back and read A RIP IN THE VEIL which is the first novel in this series.

Thank you for letting me take part in this tour and for my review copy!

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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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Review: The Body in the Boudoir by Katherine Hall Page

If you read my blog, you know I love, love, love the Faith Fairchild mysteries! The latest came out in May – The Body in the Boudoir – and I read it this rainy Hurricane Sandy weekend. In this installment, Faith is preparing for her wedding when her uncle’s housekeeper is mysteriously murdered. At the same time, Faith’s sister, Hope, is being blacklisted at work. All the while Faith is dealing with the emotions and chaos that are involved in moving from NYC to Massachusetts and marrying her beloved.

I just love this series! I have read them all and particularly enjoy how they take place near to where I live. I also like how several of Faith’s recipes are included in the back. It was an interesting take for Page to jump back twenty years for this story, and I really enjoyed it. I recommend it to those who are fans of the series, or even if it’s your first time!

I got mine from the library, where you can get yours! Or you can see it on Amazon where I am an Associate:

 The Body in the Boudoir: A Faith Fairchild Mystery (Faith Fairchild Mysteries)

 

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Book Trailer: Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame by LL Samson

Here’s a book trailer for a new series for kids that I am reading right now. I love it!

It’s coming out in May. Definitely will be on my to-buy list for the school library:

http://youtu.be/NLtZbRBhuv0

Full review coming in time…

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