Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy by K. Lang-Slattery

02_Immigrant Soldier_CoverImmigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy by K. Lang-Slattery

 

Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy, based on the true experiences of a refugee from Nazi Germany, combines a coming-of-age story with an immigrant tale and a World War II adventure. On a cold November morning in 1938, Herman watches in horror as his cousin is arrested. As a Jew, he realizes it is past time to flee Germany, a decision that catapults him from one adventure to another, his life changed forever by the gathering storm of world events. Gradually, Herman evolves from a frustrated teenager, looking for a place to belong, into a confident US Army intelligence officer who struggles with hate and forgiveness.

I’ve never heard of the Ritchie Boys before so this was very interesting and gave new side of the war.
I learned lot of new and this was the first time I read something with Jews fighting in a army during the war. Heman was very likeable and it was interesting to see him grow first from a boy to a refugee in a strange country and then to a war-hardened man. His life changed so much in relatively short time and he was determined to find out who he really is.

Probably my only problem was that at times it read more like an autobiography than a novel. Nothing wrong with the writing itself but it made connecting with Herman harder.

3,5/5

Published: Pacific Bookworks (February 9, 2015)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author02_Kathryn Lang-Slattery_Author

Kathryn Lang-Slattery, a published author of fiction and nonfiction for youth, became fascinated with her uncleís World War II stories and began taping his conversations in 1996. Soon she knew she had found a fascinating untold story of Jewish refugees who became silent heroes. More than a decade spent researching, interviewing Ritchie Boys, and turning the true story of her uncle into fiction became an odyssey of discovery that resulted in the novel, Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy.

For more information please visit at K. Lang-Slatter’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Immigrant Soldier Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 6
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at Unshelfish

Tuesday, April 7
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 9
Review at Dianne Ascroft
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Friday, April 10
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Sunday, April 12
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, April 13
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, April 14
Guest Post at Books and Benches

Wednesday, April 15
Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Thursday, April 16
Review at Bookramblings

Friday, April 17
Blog Tour Wrap-Up at Passages to the Past

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Scent of Triumph: A Novel of Perfume And Passion by Jan Moran

SCENT OF TRIUMPHScent of Triumph:
A Novel of Perfume And Passion

Perfume is the essence of beauty, the heart of illusion, the soul of desire. It is my past, my present, my future. ófrom the journal of Danielle Bretancourt

When French perfumer and aristocrat Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for the remains of her family, relying on the strength of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a British shipping heir and Royal Navy officer. Finally, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.

Amidst the glamour of Hollywoodís Golden Age, Danielle works her way up from meager jobs to perfumer and fashion designer. Still, personal happiness eludes her. Can her sheer force of will attract the elusive love she desires, or will it only come at the ultimate cost?

This is the story of a strong, determined woman who, after losing her family during World War II, builds her life in America and becomes successful perfumer. It was interesting to see the perfume making and how sensible she was to different smells and it would have been interesting to see more about perfume making.

One of the continuing themes was Danielle’s search for her missing son Nicky. Nicky stayed behind in Poland with his grandmother, but when Poland is occupied by the Nazis things soon gets worse. Even when everyone else believes that Nicky didn’t survive, Danielle won’t give up.

WWII setting was what drew me to this book so I liked the first part more than her time in Los Angeles.
There’s lot going on and at times it goes little too much on the melodramatic side. But on the whole I really enjoyed this.

4/5

Published: St. Martin’s Press (March 31, 2015)
Format: ebook
Pages: 384
Source: France Book Tours

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scent of Triumph - Jan MoranJAN MORAN is the author of Fabulous Fragrances I and II, which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list, and other contemporary novels, including Flawless, Beauty Mark, and Runway. A fragrance and beauty industry expert, she has been featured on CNN, Instyle, and O Magazine, and has spoken before prestigious organizations, including The American Society of Perfumers. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and attended the University of California at Los Angeles Extension Writersí Program.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Subscribe to her newsletter

Go deeper with her Readerís Discussion Guide

Buy the book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks

IndieBound | Powellís | Books A Million | Kobo | eBooks.com | GooglePlay

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ OTHER REVIEWS, EXCERPTS, GUEST-POST AND INTERVIEW

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Mailbox Monday (13.4.15)

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia and is now hosted on its own blog.

Here’s what I got last week:

books12-4-15
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (bookmooch)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (bookmooch)
Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses by Helen Rappaport (purchased)
The English Resistance: The Underground War Against the Normans by Peter Rex (bought)
King Stephen by Donald Matthew (bought)
Chronicles of the Age of Chivalry by Elizabethl Hallam (bought)
Chronicles Of The Middle Ages by Donald Matthew (bought)

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M. J. Rose

The Witch of Painted Sorrows cover

The Witch of Painted Sorrows

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle …poque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmotherís Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists itís dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrineís deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threatenóher cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. Sheís become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrineís ìwild night of the soul,î her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

This is the second book I’ve read from the author and it seems that she manages to make me love books about subjects I know nothing about. I don’t know a first thing about art but this was really interesting.

When we first meet Sandrine she’s insecure woman who is still grieving for her father, running from her husband and her old life. She’s very likeable and you cannot but feel sorry for her. We see Sandrine become more sure of herself and falling passionately in love. After becoming possessed she starts slowly changing, and not always for the better.

Old family secrets starts to unravel and it seems Sandrine’s grandmother knows more than she tells. Why she warns Sandrine to never fall in love? Even though her grandmother is a courtesan, Sandrine has lived very proper life and grandmother isn’t very happy when Sandrine starts to find her sexuality.

Very enjoyable and gripping read that kept me wanting to know what happens next.

4/5

Published: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster (March 17, 2015)
Format: ebook, hardcover
Pages: 384
Source: France Book Tours

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

mj-roseNew York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City
mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum,
the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park
and reading her motherís favorite books before she was allowed.
She believes mystery and magic are all around us
but we are too often too busy to noticeÖ
books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Please visit her website, her blog: Museum of Mysteries
Subscribe to her mailing list

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads

Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ OTHER REVIEWS AND AN INTERVIEW

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Spotlight – Spoils of Olympus: By The Sword by Christian Kachel

02_By the Sword_CoverPublication Date: September 29, 2014 (Kindle), November 10, 2014 (Print)
Publisher: Endeavour Press (Kindle), Createspace (Print)

Formats: eBook, Print
Pages: 370
Series: The Spoils of Olympus
Genre: Historical Fiction/Military Fiction

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READ AN EXCERPT.

322 B.C. The Macedonian Empire is on the verge of civil war following the sudden death of Alexander the Great.

As a boy, Andrikos watched as Alexander’s army marched through his homeland of Greek Ionia after defeating the Persians at the Granicus River on their way to the total conquest of the Persian Empire. Soon he will be embroiled in their world, forced to flee his old life due to an unintentional crime.

Thrust into the army, Andrikos struggles to cope with the brutal yet necessary training which his superiors put him through to prepare for the coming wars of succession as Alexander’s surviving generals seek to divide and conquer the spoils of Olympus.

But Andrikos is not destined to be a nameless soldier; by chance he is chosen for a clandestine mission – and is immersed in a world of intrigue, violence and brotherhood.

The path that lies ahead of Andrikos requires him to shed his immaturity and take on the responsibilities and emotions of a man beyond his years as he struggles to save Alexander’s legacy from those who wish to usurp it.

The Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword is a historical epic which follows the advancements of one soldier from boy to man set during a time of global conflict.

Praise for The Spoils of Olympus

“Kachel does a wonderful job portraying the development of Andrikos from awkward, immature youth to confident and skilled operative.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“5 stars out of 5. All day long.” (Ancient & Medieval Mayhem)

Buy the Book

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About the Author03_Christian Kachel_Author

I am a Long Island, NY native and current resident of Northern Virginia. While attending the University of Maryland- College Park, the events of September 11, 2001 inspired me to join the U.S. Army ROTC program and volunteer for three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan upon my commissioning into the Army Reserves in 2003. I hold three Master’s degrees and work in the defense industry.

The Spoils of Olympus has been a 2 1/2 year project that began in a Marriott hotel room in San Antonio, Texas while attending pre deployment training for a tour in Afghanistan in late 2011. The wars of succession immediately following the death of Alexander the Great have always fascinated me despite being overshadowed in the history books by the life and times of Alexander himself. Many great novels have been written about ancient Greece and Alexander but few fictional works have explored this forgotten era in western civilization where Alexander’s generals, who were once allies, battled each other for control of the largest empire on earth.

By the Sword is the first novel in The Spoils of Olympus series and introduces us to the story’s protagonist, Andrikos. The book follows him from an adolescence of criminality and capriciousness to his forced enlistment in the wars of succession; taking him from the battlefields of Asia Minor to the Achaemenid palaces of the Persian Empire. It is my hope readers will enjoy the story while learning about this important time in history.

For more information please visit Christian Kachel’s website. You can also find him on Facebook.

The Spoils of Olympus: By the Sword Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 2

Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, March 4

Interview & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, March 6

Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Monday, March 9

Review at Flashlight Commentary

Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, March 10

Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Spotlight at Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, March 11

Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, March 12

Review at bookramblings

Review at The Mad Reviewer

Friday, March 13

Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

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Age of Iron by Angus Watson

age of ironAge of Iron (Iron Age 1) by Angus Watson

LEGENDS AREN’T BORN. THEY’RE FORGED.

Dug Sealskinner is a down-on-his-luck mercenary travelling south to join up with King Zadar’s army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people.

First, Spring, a child he finds scavenging on the battlefield, and then Lowa, one of Zadar’s most fearsome warriors, who’s vowed revenge on the king for her sister’s execution.

Now Dug’s on the wrong side of that thousands-strong army he hoped to join ­- and worse, Zadar has bloodthirsty druid magic on his side. All Dug has is his war hammer, one rescued child and one unpredictable, highly-trained warrior with a lust for revenge that’s going to get them all killed . . .

It’s a glorious day to die. (Goodreads)

I really wanted to love this but I didn’t. I like fantasy and I like history so this should be perfect book for me, right?
I think the biggest problem was that I thought this was a fantasy book. But it was in Britain, Romans are coming and Germany was also mentioned. Just because you add pagan gods and add few druids and their magic doesn’t make it proper fantasy book for me. If I think it as a historical book then the too modern language would bother me. At some point I wanted to start counting how many times shagging was mentioned but that would have meant too much commitment.

I didn’t mind the blood, gore or mentions of rape but that could be a problem for someone. I’m pretty sure that every time new female character was introduced we’re told how her face, hair, boobs and ass looks. And it got tiresome after awhile.

Aithne was big-boned, big-arsed, busty and tall with hair the colour of piss-soaked stable straw, while Lowa was average height, slender, with hair so blonde it was almost white. Admittedly she was on the stocky side of slender. Riding and archery had built muscle, and a keen observer would have seen that her right shoulder and arm were bigger than her left from drawing the longbow, but she was slim-waisted and supple, with a bottom that lobbed slingstones would have bounced off. Aithne had the small-featured, freckled face of a milkmaid. Lowa had the pale skin and high cheekbones of a fairy princess. Aithne had dark, bovine eyes with long, heavy lashes. Lowa’s eyes were blue, pale-lashed and slanted like a wildcat’s. Aithne was gregarious while Lowa watched from the edges. Aithne was confused and idealistic where Lowa was logical and pragmatic. Aithne was a glutton for food and booze, often to be found vomiting before bed, while Lowa never overate and had never been sick after drinking. Aithne was two years older, but Lowa had been the leader as long as she could remember. (pg.53)

I couldn’t care less about the characters and I was so bored that I had to force myself to open the book. The writing wasn’t bad but unfortunately that’s not enough to make this good. But I liked that there is strong women who went to battles, and fought well, so that is a bonus and earned higher rating.

This definitely wasn’t for me but everyone else seems to love this so don’t take my word for this.

2/5

Published: Orbit (2014)
Format: paperback
Pages: 523
Source: my own

Sea Witch by Helen Hollick

Sea WitchSea Witch (Sea Witch Voyages 1) by Helen Hollick

The time: the golden age of piracy – 1716

The Place: the Pirate Round – from South Africa to the Islands of the Caribbean

At 15 Jesamiah Acorne escapes the bullying of his elder half brother to become a pirate with only two loves – the sea and his freedom. But his life is to change after an attack on a merchant ship off the coast of South Africa when he meets the mysterious Tiola Oldstagh, an insignificant girl – or so he assumes until he discovers her true identity, that of a white witch. Tiola and Jesamiah becomes lovers, but the wealthy Stefan van Overstratten also wants Tiola as his wife. Meanwhile, Jesamiah’s half-brother, Phillipe Mereno, is determined to seek revenge for resentments of the past.

When the call of the sea and an opportunity to commandeer a beautiful ship, the Sea Witch, is put in Jesamiah’s path he must choose between his life as a pirate or his love for Tiola. He wants both… but Mereno and van Overstratten want him dead.

Tiola must use her gift of Craft to rescue her lover, but first she must brave the darkness of the ocean depths and confront the supernatural presence of Tethys, the goddess of the sea, who will stop at nothing to claim the soul of Jesamiah Acorne for herself. (publisher)

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about pirates so this was interesting. I’ve liked the pirate movies I’ve seen though. Erroll Flynn, people!

I was curious to see how Hollick will show the pirates because I liked her King Arthur books and Arthur wasn’t all nice guy. We get realistic picture of pirate life, there’s murder, whores and lot of rum but Jesamiah is still very likeable guy. Who doesn’t love a man with troubling past? We also meet Jesamiah’s half-brother who is total asshole and while he didn’t have happy childhood either, he’s still an asshole.

Our heroine is Tiola, who also happens to be a witch, carries her own secrets about her past. She first sees Jesamiah when she is quite young and has a crush on him ever since but I liked that when they meet again, despite her crush she holds on to her morals and doesn’t blindly follow Jesamiah and his pirate ways.

The only thing I wasn’t huge fan was the mystical element; Tiola’s craft and especially Tethys. I’m not fan in general mixing magic and historical fiction so that’s not a surprise. It didn’t ruin the book or anything but I could have lived without it.

This was fun and enjoyable read and I learned a lot about ships and what everything is called.

4/5

Published: SilverWood Books (2011)
Format: eBook
Pages: 314
Source: Author