Mailbox Monday (26.3.2018)

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

I haven’t posted mailbox for ages but here’s what I’ve got in the last few weeks:


The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George (bought)
Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong (bought)
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark (purchased)
Godblind by Anna Stephens (purchased)
Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong (bookmooch)

For the Winner by Emily Hauser

For the Winner by Emily Hauser

Some three thousand years ago, in a time before history, the warriors of Greece journeyed to the ends of the earth in the greatest expedition the world had ever seen. One woman fought alongside them.
When the king of Pagasae left his infant daughter on the slopes of a mountain to die, he believed he would never see her again. But Atalanta, against the will of the gods and the dictates of the Fates, survived – and went on to bring to life one of the greatest legends of all of ancient Greece…

Teaching herself to hunt and fight, Atalanta is determined to prove her worth to her father and, disguising herself as a man, she wins a place on the greatest voyage of that heroic age: the journey of Jason and the Argonauts to the very ends of the known world in search of the legendary Golden Fleece. But Atalanta is discovered, and abandoned in the mythical land of Colchis, where she is forced to make a choice that will determine her place in history – and change her life forever.

Here then is the legend of Jason and the Argonauts as never told before: the true story of the princess who became a warrior, who sailed and fought alongside Jason and Theseus and Peleus, father of Achilles, and who ultimately ran a race that would decide her destiny. Based on the myths of the ancient Greeks, For the Winner brings alive an archaic world where the gods can transform a mortal’s life on a whim, where warrior heroes carve out names that will echo down the ages . . . and where one woman fights to determine her own fate. (publisher)

As a baby, Atalanta was abandoned on Mount Pelion during a storm but rescued by a peasant family who raises her as their own. She grows up to be a tomboy learning to use the bow and hunting. After learning that she was adopted, she sets about learning the truth about her true family.

I have to confess that I’ve never heard of Atalanta or Jason and the Argonauts before reading this. My knowledge of ancient Greece is limited but still, I probably should have even heard about this before… This was my first Hauser book even though I own her first book For the Most Beautiful.

I really liked Atalanta who was strong, clever and capable of protecting herself. At first, she wants to just find her father and prove herself to him but getting to know ruthless Jason, she wants the crown to protect the people knowing she would be a fairer ruler.

I liked the scenes on Mount Olympus showing gods plotting and interfering in human affairs. This portrayal was how I always think about them. I blame Xena: Warrior Princess for that…

4/5

Published: Transworld (July 25, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley

An Argument of Blood (Oath and Crown 1) by J.A. Ironside, Matthew Willis

An Argument of Blood
by J.A. Ironside & Matthew Willis

William, the nineteen-year-old duke of Normandy, is enjoying the full fruits of his station. Life is a succession of hunts, feasts, and revels, with little attention paid to the welfare of his vassals. Tired of the young dukeís dissolute behaviour and ashamed of his illegitimate birth, a group of traitorous barons force their way into his castle. While William survives their assassination attempt, his days of leisure are over. Heíll need help from the king of France to secure his dukedom from the rebels.

On the other side of the English Channel lives ten-year-old ∆lfgifa, the malformed and unwanted youngest sister to the Anglo-Saxon Jarl, Harold Godwinson. ∆lfgifa discovers powerful rivalries in the heart of the state when her sister Ealdgyth is given in a political marriage to King Edward, and she finds herself caught up in intrigues and political manoeuvring as powerful men vie for influence. Her path will collide with Williamís, and both must fight to shape the future.

An Argument of Blood is the first of two sweeping historical novels on the life and battles of William the Conqueror.

When we first get to know William the Conqueror, he’s young and, honestly, not very likeable. He’s still learning to be duke and how to keep his dukedom. Ælfgifa is the youngest sister of Harold Godwinson, deformed and unloved especially by her mother, she has learned to read people and becomes skilled in the political game.

I’m not huge fan of William and he wasn’t very likeable here either, but he did have his moments. It was interesting to see him as a spoiled and selfish teen. That’s not necessarily how I’ve been seeing him, but it made interesting to read.

I loved Ælfgifa and I waited for her chapters. There isn’t much known about her so there’s lot more freedom writing about her. She’s intelligent and clever and gives refreshing side to the Saxon world. I really want to know how her story will develop.

3,5

Published: Penmore Press (June 19, 2017)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Authors

J.A. Ironside (Jules) grew up in rural Dorset, surrounded by books – which pretty much set he up for life as a complete bibliophile. She loves speculative fiction of all stripes, especially fantasy and science fiction, although when it comes to the written word, she’s not choosy and will read almost anything. Actually it would be fair to say she starts to go a bit peculiar if she doesnít get through at least three books a week. She writes across various genres, both adult and YA fiction, and itís a rare story if there isnít a fantastical or speculative element in there somewhere.

Jules has had several short stories published in magazines and anthologies, as well as recorded for literature podcasts. Books 1 and 2 of her popular Unveiled series are currently available with the 3rd and 4th books due for release Autumn/ Winter 2017.

She also co-authored the sweeping epic historical Oath and Crown Duology with Matthew Willis, released June 2017 from Penmore Press.

Jules now lives on the edge of the Cotswold way with her boyfriend creature and a small black and white cat, both of whom share a god-complex.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Matthew Willis is an author of historical fiction, SF, fantasy and non-fiction. In June 2017 An Argument of Blood, the first of two historical novels about the Norman Conquest co-written with J.A. Ironside, was published. In 2015 his story Energy was shortlisted for the Bridport short story award.

Matthew studied Literature and History of Science at the University of Kent, where he wrote an MA thesis on Joseph Conrad and sailed for the University in national competitions. He subsequently worked as a journalist for Autosport and F1 Racing magazines, before switching to a career with the National Health Service.

His first non-fiction book, a history of the Blackburn Skua WW2 naval dive bomber, was published in 2007. He now has four non fiction books published with a fifth, a biography of test pilot Duncan Menzies, due later in 2017. He currently lives in Southampton and writes both fiction and non-fiction for a living.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 15
Review at Jaffa Reads Too

Tuesday, January 16
Feature at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, January 17
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews

Friday, January 19
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede

Monday, January 22
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, January 23
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, January 26
Feature at Let Them Read Books

Monday, January 29
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, January 30
Feature at What Cathy Read Next

Wednesday, January 31
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, February 1
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Friday, February 2
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Impressions In Ink

Monday, February 5
Review at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, February 6
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Wednesday, February 7
Review at The Writing Desk
Review at Donna’s Book Blog

The Pearl Sister (The Seven Sisters 4) by Lucinda Riley

The Pearl Sister (The Seven Sisters 4) by Lucinda Riley

CeCe D’Aplièse has always felt like an outcast. But following the death of her father-the reclusive billionaire affectionately called Pa Salt by the six daughters he adopted from around the globe-she finds herself more alone than ever. With nothing left to lose, CeCe gathers the courage to explore the mystery of her origins. The only clues she holds are a black and white photograph and the name of a female pioneer who once lived in Australia.

One hundred years earlier, Kitty McBride, a Scottish clergyman’s daughter, abandons her conservative upbringing to serve as the companion to a wealthy woman traveling from Edinburgh to Adelaide. Her ticket to a new land brings the adventure she has dreamed of… and a love that she never imagined.

When CeCe herself finally reaches the searing heat and dusty plains of the Red Centre of Australia, something deep within her responds to the energy of the area and the ancient culture of the Aboriginal people. As she comes closer to finding the truth of her ancestry, CeCe begins to believe that this untamed, vast continent could offer her something she never thought possible: a sense of belonging, and a home…

This is my first Riley book and even though this is the fourth in a series, it works well as a standalone.

The book has two timelines: the present day with Cece and the past with Kitty. I really liked Cece and loved seeing how she grew and found herself while learning about her past. I wasn’t huge fan of the Thailand chapters, but it was great to learn more about aboriginals in Australia.
Kitty leaves Scotland in 1906 and moves to Australia which is a whole new world. Her life there is full of twist, and sorrow but fascinating none the less.

This was my first Riley book, but it certainly won’t be the last. I need to go back and read the previous books soon.

4/5

Published: Atria (January 23, 2018)
Format: ebook
Source: Publisher

2017 End of Year Survey

This annual survey is hosted by the incredibly talented Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner.

I’ve been meaning to post this for days now but haven’t really have the time. I didn’t answer all the question but here’s a little summary of the year.


Number Of Books You Read: 56
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: Historical

Best Book You Read In 2017?
I can’t say only one so here’s top 4 in no particular order:

Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman
Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage
Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck. I was really looking forward reading this, and while I didn’t hate it, I was waiting for more.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham. It was better than I thought it would be.

Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?
Best series you started: Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death #1) by Ariana Franklin
Best Sequel: Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews
Best Series Ender: A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab

Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?
Ariana Franklin

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

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?
The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?
Lionheart by Sharon Kay Penman

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?
Shortest: The Gingerbread Princess by Stephanie Dray
Longest: Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII by David Starkey

Best 2017 debut you read?
God’s Hammer by Eric Schumacher