Godwine Kingmaker by Mercedes Rochelle

02_Godwine Kingmaker Cover

Godwine Kingmaker by Mercedes Rochelle

Harold Godwineson, the Last Anglo-Saxon King, owed everything to his father. Who was this Godwine, first Earl of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker? Was he an unscrupulous schemer, using King and Witan to gain power? Or was he the greatest of all Saxon Earls, protector of the English against the hated Normans? The answer depends on who you ask. He was befriended by the Danes, raised up by Canute the Great, given an Earldom and a wife from the highest Danish ranks. He sired nine children, among them four Earls, a Queen and a future King. Along with his power came a struggle to keep his enemies at bay, and Godwine’s best efforts were brought down by the misdeeds of his eldest son Swegn. Although he became father-in-law to a reluctant Edward the Confessor, his fortunes dwindled as the Normans gained prominence at court. Driven into exile, Godwine regathered his forces and came back even stronger, only to discover that his second son Harold was destined to surpass him in renown and glory.

This was the first book I read that has Godwine as the main character and it was great to see things from his perspective. We see how he manages to rise from a commoner to one of the most influential men in England.

I’m in two minds how I felt about this book and probably the biggest reason is that I couldn’t relate to Godwine. He’s like I met this total stranger in the forest, he seems like a nice fellow so why don’t I join him and turn traitor to my country? Simple as that. And off to kill your countymen you go. Hmm…

He falls in love with Gytha, who refuses his proposal and acts all haughty anyway, and king gives permission to marry her after Gytha’s brother is killed. She suspects Godwine is involved in the murder. Does it surprise that the marriage starts bit rocky? I just couldn’t understand why he wanted to marry her in the first place. I did like to see how they could turn that into a love match later on.

Godwine was a good hero for the book and it was fascinating to see how he manages to maneuver between difficult political times and different alliances. Later in the book we get another view of him when Edward the Confessor comes into picture.

3/5

Published: Top Hat Books (April 24, 2015)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author03_Mercedes Rochelle Author

Born in St. Louis MO with a degree from University of Missouri, Mercedes Rochelle learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they built themselves.

For more information please visit Mercedes Rochelleís website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Godwine Kingmaker Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 20
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Spotlight at Genre Queen

Tuesday, April 21
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at Unshelfish

Wednesday, April 22
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, April 23
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Saturday, April 25
Spotlight at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Tuesday, April 28
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, April 29
Review at Broken Teepee

Thursday, April 30
Guest Post & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Spotlight at The Writing Desk

Monday, May 4
Review at Impressions in Ink
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews

Tuesday, May 5
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 7
Review at Bookramblings
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Friday, May 8
Review at Layered Pages

04_Godwine Kingmaker_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL copy

 

 

Mistress Firebrand by Donna Thorland

02_Mistress Firebrand Cover

Mistress Firebrand (Renegades of the American Revolution 3) by Donna Thorland

 

Add to GR Button

 

British Occupied Manhattan, 1777. American actress Jenny Leighton has been packing the John Street Theater with her witty comedies, but she longs to escape the provincial circuit for the glamour of the London stage. When the playwright General John Burgoyne visits the city, fresh from a recent success in the capitol, she seizes the opportunity to court his patronage. But her plan is foiled by British intelligence officer Severin Devere.

Severinís mission is to keep the pleasure-loving general focused on the war effortÖand away from pretty young actresses. But the tables are turned when Severin himself canít resist Jenny LeightonÖ

Months later, Jenny has abandoned her dreams of stage glory and begun writing seditious plays for the Rebels under the pen name ìCornelia,î ridiculing ìGentleman Johnnyî Burgoyne and his armyóand undermining the crownís campaign to take Albany. With Jennyís name now on the hanging list, Severin is ordered to find heróand deliver her to certain death. Soon, the two are launched on a desperate journey through the wilderness, toward an uncertain future shaped by the revolutionóand their passion for each other…

American revolution is an era that I haven’t read much – if anything, so this was all new and fascinating for me.

I liked Jenny who was a strong woman who was determined to be successful in her own right. In a time when actress was pretty much synonym for a whore it wasn’t easy to be taken seriously as a playwright.

Severin is half-Indian so he’s had his own share of troubles. I liked these two together and it was great to see this mutual respect between an actress and a spy. Jenny didn’t just fall head-over-heels in love but realized that Severin could be dangerous killer.

Jenny’s aunt Frances was interesting character as well as Angela Ferrers. Strong women, who chose another life than the life of a dutiful wife.

This was my first Thorland book but it definitely won’t be my last. In fact I don’t remember when was the last time I ordered the other books in a series before I even finished the book.

4,5/5

Published: NAL Trade (March 3, 2015)
Format: Paperback
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author03_Donna Thorland

A native of Bergenfield, New Jersey, Donna graduated from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History. For many years she managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, and wrote and directed the Witch Cityís most popular Halloween theater festival, Eerie Events. She later earned an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Donna has been a sorority house mother, a Disney/ABC Television Writing Fellow, a WGA Writerís Access Project Honoree, and a writer on the ABC primetime drama, Cupid. Her screenwriting credits include episodes of the animated series, Tron: Uprising. Her short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcockís Mystery Magazine and Albedo One. The director of several award-winning short films, her most recent project, The Night Caller, aired on WNET Channel 13 and was featured on Ainít It Cool News. Currently she is a writer on the WGN drama SALEM. She is married with one cat and divides her time between the real Salem and Los Angeles.

For more information visit Donna Thorland’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Mistress Firebrand Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 6
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Excerpt & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, April 7
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, April 8
Interview at The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, April 9
Guest Post & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

Friday, April 10
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Sunday, April 12
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, April 13
Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 16
Review at Caroline Wilson Writes

Friday, April 17
Spotlight at I’d So Rather Be Reading

Saturday, April 18
Excerpt & Giveaway at A Dream Within a Dream

Monday, April 20
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, April 21
Guest Post & Giveaway at Book Babe

Wednesday, April 22
Guest Post & Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, April 23
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Friday, April 24
Review at Back Porchervations

Monday, April 27
Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, April 28
Review at Historical Readings & Views

Wednesday, April 29
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Guest Post at Boom Baby Reviews

Thursday, April 30
Review at Bookramblings

Friday, May 1
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Drey’s Library
Spotlight at Genre Queen

Sunday, May 3
Review at Forever Ashley

Monday, May 4
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Guest Post & Giveaway at To Read, or Not to Read

Tuesday, May 5
Excerpt at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Unabridged Chick

Thursday, May 7
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, May 8
Interview at Scandalous Woman

04_Mistress Firebrand_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL_JPEG

 

 

Mailbox Monday (27.4.15)

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

Here’s what I got last week:

books27.4.15
The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland (bought)
The Turncoat by Donna Thorland (bought)
Odin’s Wolves by Giles Kristian (bought)
God of Vengeance by Giles Kristian (bought)
The Woodvilles: The Wars of the Roses and England’s Most Infamous Family by Susan Higginbotham (bought)
Jane Seymour: Henry VIII”s True Love by Elizabeth Norton (bought)

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

 photo 2d4e8d4d-bc55-4782-a784-5154a9902d18.png

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

Scent of Triumph banner

 

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

The Witch of Painted Sorrows banner

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

Add to GR Button

 

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

Amazon

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

 photo 49e4e26e-2131-42d8-91c7-3320866ac524.jpg