The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

‘Do you believe in the devil? Not so long ago I too would have scoffed. Now – now I am not so sure.’

1645. Alice Hopkins returns in disgrace, husbandless and pregnant, to her brother Matthew’s house in the small Essex town of Manningtree.

When she left, Matthew was an awkward boy, bullied for the scars that disfigure his face. But the brother Alice has come back to is like a different person. Now Matthew has powerful friends, and mysterious business that keeps him out late into the night. Then the rumours begin: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which Matthew is gathering women’s names.

Just how far will Matthew’s obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan? (publisher)

After the death of her husband, Alice Hopkins has no other choice than to return to her childhood home in Manningtree to live with her brother Matthew. But a lot has happened there while she was away and her brother has changed. They haven’t been in contact for years and Matthew didn’t approve her choice of husband and still hasn’t forgiven her.

Little by little Alice discovers that it is Matthew who is behind hunting women and accusing them of witchcraft. But she is horrified when she realizes that Matthew wants her to join him in the quest to find witches.

The first part of the book was really slow and boring so I was thinking about quitting but I still wanted to know how it ends. I mean all the action was in the latter half of the book.

I wasn’t huge fan of Alice and just didn’t connect with her. I just wished she had more backbone. She was too easily influenced by what others think and would agree with them. Then someone else says this and then she agrees with them and so on. She did got little better at the end and I was happy about the ending. I didn’t get why she would tell Matthew about her pregnancy. It probably wouldn’t have made him any warmer or anything but still.

Matthew well… he had his reasons sort of… He is evil person who truly believes in the existence of witches. He really does believe he is doing the right thing. He is not a nice person, I’ll just leave it there.

I have to say I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would but everyone else seems to love this so what do I know. But I was just bored and not scared.

2,5/5

Published: Viking (March 16, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie

The Enemies of Versailles (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy 3) by Sally Christie

In the final installment of Sally Christieís tantalizing (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.

That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute is quite another kettle of fish.

After decades of suffering the King’s endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches irrevocable change.

The book focuses on the last official mistress of Louis XV, Jeanne Becu, better known as Comtesse du Barry. Coming from humble origins she gets a lot of enemies on her way to Versailles and one of them is Madame Adelaide, daughter of the king.

I’ve never liked the women in these books but still somehow loved the books. I don’t know why but here it didn’t work out so well. They were both selfish and wanted the easy life. Adelaide might know Greek but knows nothing about real life. And Jeanne practically grew on the streets; you would think that kicked some sense into her but no. She certainly wasn’t picked for her wits for sure… Even Marie Antoinette was silly and frivolous but even she grew up a bit (too late but still) when needed.

I did feel sad about Louis XV, though. I haven’t been a huge fan of him but I could feel his frustrations with his grandson. Of course, he didn’t help his grandson’s time as a king. Getting a kingdom on a brink of a revolution and debauched life Louis lived and money spending…

I would have liked if it was better stated in what year we were because suddenly you notice the story jumped 2 years, 10 years…

Overall I think this was ok. Which is a shame because I really loved the previous books and in this, I didn’t really care if people got guillotined or not.

3/5

Published: Atria Books (March 21, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author03_sally-christie_author

Sally Christie is the author of The Sisters of Versailles and The Rivals of Versailles. She was born in England and grew up around the world, attending eight schools in three different languages. She spent most of her career working in international development and currently lives in Toronto.

Visit SallyChristieAuthor.com to find out more about Sally and the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy.

You can also find her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, March 15
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Interview at T’s Stuff

Thursday, March 16
Review at Leeanna.me
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, March 17
Review at To Read, Or Not to Read
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Saturday, March 18
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Spotlight at Books, Dreams, Life

Sunday, March 19
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, March 20
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, March 21
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, March 22
Review at First Impressions Reviews
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, March 23
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, March 24
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Sunday, March 26
Review at The Gadoury Dreamer
Review & Interview at Clarissa Reads It All

Monday, March 27
Review at The Reading Queen

Tuesday, March 28
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Luxury Reading
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, March 29
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Thursday, March 30
Review at Curling up by the Fire

Friday, March 31
Review at Bookramblings
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

04_the-enemies-of-versailles_blog-tour-banner_final

Corpus by Rory Clements

Corpus by Rory Clements

1936.
Europe is in turmoil.
The Nazis have marched into the Rhineland.
In Russia, Stalin has unleashed his Great Terror.
Spain has erupted in civil war.

In Berlin, a young Englishwoman evades the Gestapo to deliver vital papers to a Jewish scientist. Within weeks, she is found dead in her Cambridge bedroom, a silver syringe clutched in her fingers.

In a London club, three senior members of the British establishment light the touch paper on a conspiracy that will threaten the very heart of government. Even the ancient colleges of Cambridge are not immune to political division. Dons and students must choose a side: right or left, where do you stand?

When a renowned member of the county set and his wife are found horribly murdered, a maverick history professor finds himself dragged into a world of espionage which, until now, he has only read about in books. But the deeper Thomas Wilde delves, the more he wonders whether the murders are linked to the death of the girl with the silver syringe – and, just as worryingly, to the scandal surrounding King Edward VIII and his mistress Wallis Simpson…

Set against the drumbeat of war and moving from Berlin to Cambridge, from Whitehall to the Kent countryside, and from the Fens to the Aragon Front in Spain, this big canvas international thriller marks the beginning of a major new series from bestselling author Rory Clements. (publisher)

Thomas Wilde is a history professor at Cambridge University who gets himself drawn into a murder investigation. When a young woman is found dead, Lydia Morris doesn’t believe her friend’s death was just an overdose. She thinks it was a murder. When parents of Lydia’s other friend are murdered, Wilde can’t but wonder if the deaths are somehow connected.

Meanwhile, King Edward VIII is determined to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Both are known Nazi sympathizers and the Nazis want to keep Edward on the throne. The whole country is divided; left or right.

This is my first Rory Clements book even though I’ve owned Martyr for some time… And I’m glad I finally read his book!

I loved Wilde. I mean history professor as the main character, what’s not to like? He’s bit of an outsider; American, widower, hasn’t been to war and isn’t a fan of Cambridge traditions or politics. He’s studied Francis Walsingham so he knows something about spies and espionage.
It was interesting to see what might have happened during the Abdication. Politicians and Nazis all wanting their best choice on the throne. Conspiracies and espionage everywhere.

I really enjoyed this and now I have to start reading those John Shakespeare books.

4/5

Published: Zaffre (February 21, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

The Munich Girl: A novel of the legacies that outlast war.

The past may not be done with us. What secrets is a portrait of Eva Braun hiding?

Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her fatherís war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun. Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never didóthat her mother and Hitlerís mistress were friends.

Plunged into the world of the ìordinaryî Munich girl who was her motherís confidanteóand a tyrantís loveróAnna uncovers long-buried secrets and unknown reaches of her heart, to reveal the enduring power of love in the legacies that always outlast war.

After Anna Dahlberg’s mother dies, she finds her old diary and learns that her mother and Hitler’s mistress Eva Braun were friends. She learns how the painting of Eva, that has hung in their dining room, came into her father’s possession.

This was an interesting read since there is so little written about Eva Braun. This book certainly made me want to learn more of her.

I had some difficulties connecting with Anna. Even in her fifties she was so weak and bit childish. My favorite parts were chapters with Peggy, Anna’s mother, and her time during the war. It would have been interesting to have her POV after the war too. How she managed the life after it since she had to make hard decisions leaving Germany behind.

Even if I had some troubles with the book, I did enjoy it very much. You can see that the author has done her research well.

3,5/5

Published: Whole Sky Books (November 14, 2015)
Format: ebook
Source: Premier Virtual Author Book Tours

About Phyllis Edgerly RingMunich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Author Phyllis Edgerly Ring lives in New England and returns as often as she can to her childhood home in Germany. Her years there left her with a deep desire to understand the experience of Germans during the Second World War. She has studied plant sciences and ecology, worked as a nurse, been a magazine writer and editor, taught English to kindergartners in China, and served as program director at a Bahaíi conference center in Maine.

She is also author of the novel, Snow Fence Road, and the inspirational nonfiction, Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details. Her book for children, Jamila Does Not Want a Bat in Her House, is scheduled for release by Bellwood Press in early 2017.

Blog: http://phyllisedgerlyring.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhyllisEdgerlyRing?ref=hl
Twitter: http:// www.twitter.com/phyllisring

Follow Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Feb 2 Interview & Giveaway

Books,Dreams,Life Feb 3 Review & Excerpt

Christy’s Cozy Corners Feb 9 Guest Post

Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings Feb 10 Review

Community Bookstop Feb 14 Review

Between the Beatse Feb 16 Review, Interview, & Giveaway

Jayne’s Books Feb 20 Review

Bookramblings Feb 28 Review

Rainy Day Reviews Mar 1 Review

Lisa’s Writopia Mar 8 Review & Interview

100 Pages A Day Mar 10 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Rockin’ Book Reviews Mar 14 Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Reading Bliss Mar 15 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Library of Clean Reads Mar 21 Review & Giveaway

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Mar 24 Review

Turning the Pages Mar 31 Review & Giveaway

Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough

The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough

A woman sits beside her father’s bedside as the night ticks away the final hours of his life. As she watches over her father, she relives the past week and the events that brought the family together . . . and she recalls all the weeks before that served to pull it apart.

There has never been anything normal about the lives raised in this house. It seems to her that sometimes her family is so colourful that the brightness hurts, and as they all join together in this time of impending loss she examines how they came to be the way they are and how it came to just be her, the drifter, that her father came home to die with.

But, the middle of five children, the woman has her own secrets . . . particularly the draw that pulled her back to the house when her own life looked set to crumble. And sitting through her lonely vigil, she remembers the thing she saw out in the fields all those years ago . . . the thing that they found her screaming for outside in the mud. As she peers through the familiar glass, she can’t help but hope and wonder if it will come again.

Because it’s one of those night, isn’t it dad? A special terrible night. A full night. And that’s always when it comes. If it comes at all. (Goodreads)

5 siblings are coming home to spend the final moments with their father when he is dying. The unnamed narrator is the middle child who stayed home to care for his father after his diagnosis with cancer. When she informs her siblings that their father has mere days left, they finally come back home when they can no longer postpone it. They all have their own ways coping and it causes drifts between them.

The story bounces between past and present while we follow narrator’s relationship with her father and her siblings. We learn how the family slowly drifted apart after their mother left them.

I didn’t get the magical aspects of the story. When she was a child she saw something. And she sees it again as an adult. Was it real or was she just imagining it? Was it supposed to have some bigger meaning? I don’t get it.

Despite that, I really liked this. It’s short book, more like a  novella, and while sad I had to know what happens next.

3,5/5

Published: Jo Fletcher B (December 1, 2016)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

A.D. 1189. After the death of his father, Henry II, and the early demise of two of his brothers, Richard is crowned King of England and immediately sets off for the Holy Land. This is the Third Crusade, marked by internecine warfare among the Christians and extraordinary campaigns against the Saracens. Richard’s surviving brother, the younger John, is left behind—and conspires with the French king to steal his brother’s throne. Only their mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, now freed from decades of captivity, remains to protect Richard’s interests and secure his destiny.

In this engrossing saga, Sharon Kay Penman delivers a novel of passion, intrigue, battle, and deceit. Lionheart is a sweeping tale of a heroic figure—feared by his enemies and beloved by those he commanded—who became a legend in his own lifetime. (back cover)

I have to admit I’ve never tried to read a book about Richard whilst he was on crusade. I feared it would be boring but it certainly wasn’t. I confess I had a crush on him in Devil’s Brood so I was so excited that this book came out.

Have to feel sorry for Berengaria though, even if the marriage started well. They were so ill-matched that I’m surprised it started that well at all. Sometimes opposites attract and all that but sometimes it’s just too different.

I really liked Joanna and how she could knock some sense into her brother’s head at times. It seems like it’s been too long since I read Devil’s Brood and I tried to remember if we met Joanna in that book also? I can’t remember.

It’s not a fast read but I didn’t find it boring. There’s a huge cast of characters and POV changes that might be annoying to some readers.

4,5/5

Published: Ballantine Books (January 1, 2013)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 624
Source: My own

A Song of War: A Novel of Troy

A Song of War: A Novel of Troy by by Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Stephanie Thornton, SJA Turney, and Russell Whitfield
Foreward by Glyn Iliffe

Troy: city of gold, gatekeeper of the east, haven of the god-born and the lucky, a city destined to last a thousand years. But the Fates have other plans—the Fates, and a woman named Helen. In the shadow of Troy’s gates, all must be reborn in the greatest war of the ancient world: slaves and queens, heroes and cowards, seers and kings . . . and these are their stories.

A young princess and an embittered prince join forces to prevent a fatal elopement.

A tormented seeress challenges the gods themselves to save her city from the impending disaster.

A tragedy-haunted king battles private demons and envious rivals as the siege grinds on.

A captured slave girl seizes the reins of her future as two mighty heroes meet in an epic duel.

A grizzled archer and a desperate Amazon risk their lives to avenge their dead.

A trickster conceives the greatest trick of all.

A goddess’ son battles to save the spirit of Troy even as the walls are breached in fire and blood.

Seven authors bring to life the epic tale of the Trojan War: its heroes, its villains, its survivors, its dead. Who will lie forgotten in the embers, and who will rise to shape the bloody dawn of a new age?

I haven’t read many books about Troy so this was a great read. While I absolutely loved this, it was also very hard to read and sometimes I didn’t even want to pick it up. Sometimes it just sucks to know the history! I would just go; Noo, he’s going to die! I don’t want that to happen!

I really liked to read about Cassandra. At times she appears to be a mad-woman and other times she seems to be the only voice of reason. It was frustrating so see how she tried to warn her people what would happen and how they just ignored her.

I liked how Helen was portrayed in a more active role as a schemer. She wasn’t just stolen from Sparta but decided to leaves on her own accord.

Another awesome collaboration by the authors. Christian Cameron was the only new author for me and I was little scared how he would do Hector’s death. I thought it was a great idea to see it through the eyes of Briseis so it was a bit less painful. I thought the chapters worked well together.

5/5

Published: Knight Media, LLC (October 18, 2016)
Format: ebook
Source: Author

2016 End of the Year Survey

Hosted by The Perpetual Page-Turner

Number Of Books You Read: 61 (including novellas etc)
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: Historicals

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?
I really can’t choose just one so here’s top 4 in no particular order:
A Song of War: A Novel of Troy by various
Karolina’s Twins by Ronald H. Balson
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Days of Sun and Glory by Anna Belfrage

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Girl With No Name by Diney Costeloe. It’s set in WWII and sounded so interesting but it was so boring that I didn’t finish it.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Who Is to Blame? A Russian Riddle by Jane Marlow. I was pleasantly surprised how good this was.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I didn’t do that.

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?
Best new series: Da Vinci’s Disciples by Donna Russo Morin. Best sequel: Can’t choose between A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab and Days of Sun and Glory by Anna Belfrage. Best Series Ender: I didn’t end any series this year.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?
Ronald H. Balson. I loved Karolina’s Twins!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Didn’t read anything out of my comfort zone this year.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Karolina’s Twins and Time and Regret by M.K. Tod

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I don’t think I’m doing any re-reading.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose. I chose her book cover the best last year too :)

11. Most memorable character of 2016?
Hmm… This is a tough one… I’d say Hector from A Song of War: A Novel of Troy. Still recovering from his death…

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
Not sure…

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?
Born Survivors by Wendy Holden

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?
A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii by various.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?
I can never remember those…

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?
Shortest: The Assassin and the Princess by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass extra)
Longest: Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)
A Song of War: A Novel of Troy. So many deaths!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Curran and Kate from Kate Daniels.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
hmmm, I’ll say Kate and Andrea (Magic Shifts)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Portrait of Conspiracy by Donna Russo Morin

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
I don’t think I read any

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
Hector from A Song of War: A Novel of Troy

23. Best 2016 debut you read?
Who Is to Blame? A Russian Riddle by Jane Marlow and Promised to the Crown by Aimie K. Runyan

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Unknown Soldiers by Väinö Linna. Even though it’s a story about a war it’s fun to read because of the characters.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?
A Song of War: A Novel of Troy. That was such an emotional book and sometimes it sucks to know the history…

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Unknown Soldiers.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
A Song of War again…

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?
I don’t know

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Born Survivors by Wendy Holden. It tells about three women ho gave birth in a concentration camp.

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?
For The Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I’m not sure what’s coming out yet…

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?
A Conjuring of Light