Browsing Category

Uncategorized

Uncategorized

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

It’s always been easier for Cara Hargraves to bury herself in the past than confront the present, which is why working with a gruff but brilliant antiques dealer is perfect. While clearing out an estate, she pries open an old tin that holds the relics of a lost relationship: among the treasures, a World War II-era diary and a photograph of a young woman in uniform. Eager to find the author of the hauntingly beautiful, unfinished diary, Cara digs into this soldier’s life, but soon realizes she may not have been ready for the stark reality of wartime London she finds within the pages.

In 1941, nineteen-year-old Louise Keene’s life had been decided for her—she’ll wait at home in her Cornish village until her wealthy suitor returns from war to ask for her hand. But when Louise unexpectedly meets Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton, a dashing RAF pilot stationed at a local base, everything changes. And changes again when Paul’s unit is deployed without warning.

Desperate for a larger life, Louise joins the women’s branch of the British Army in the anti-aircraft gun unit as a Gunner Girl. As bombs fall on London, she and the other Gunner Girls relish in their duties to be exact in their calculations, and quick in their identification of enemy planes during air raids. The only thing that gets Louise through those dark, bullet-filled nights is knowing she and Paul will be together when the war is over. But when a bundle of her letters to him are returned unanswered, she learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.

Illuminating the story of these two women separated by generations and experience, Julia Kelly transports us to World War II London in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel through forgotten antique treasures, remembered triumphs, and fierce family ties. (publisher)

Cara is an antique dealer who, after a recent divorce, is trying to rebuild her life. She finds an old diary from the time of WWII and is determined to find who the diary belongs to and wanting to return it. During the WWII Louise is a gunner girl for the British Army. She met and fell in love with a flight lieutenant who gets sent off into war. Soon after Louise runs away from home and her difficult relationship with her mother.

The book has a dual timeline: Cara in the present and Louise in the past. Usually, I’m more drawn to the past timeline but here I didn’t really have a preference. Bit by bit we learn what happened that led to Cara’s divorce. She’s close to her grandmother, Iris, who served in WWII herself. Iris has never talked about the war and changes the subject when it’s brought up and Cara is very curious to know more. Especially now that it seems there are some family secrets.

We follow Louise’s journey from home to the army and how she became one of the Ack-Ack girls. I wasn’t a fan of Louise’s fighter pilot Paul and knew from the start something was up. The plot was a little predictable at times, but I did enjoy the book.

This was was my first book from the author and I’m looking forward to reading more.

3,5/5

Published: Gallery Books (January 8, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: Publisher

Uncategorized

Roma Amor: A Novel of Caligula’s Rome by Sherry Christie

02_roma-amorRoma Amor: A Novel of Caligula’s Rome
by Sherry Christie

Marcus Carinna hears a voice whisper, “Your turn,” as he rides past his family tomb. An unseen presence also startles the Germanic priestess Aurima, whom he is bringing to Rome. But hardheaded Romans scoff at ghosts, and Marcus can’t believe it’s a warning from his brother, who killed himself three years earlier.

37 AD: To great acclaim, 25-year-old Caligula Caesar has become Rome’s new master. No one is more pleased than Senator Titus Carinna, who helped him succeed to the throne. It’s a shame the Senator’s older son–Caligula’s closest friend–committed suicide after being charged with treason. But that still leaves Marcus, his second son.

Headstrong and hot-tempered, Marcus would rather prove his courage by leading legions against Rome’s enemies than take his brother’s place. Yet when his father orders him to befriend Caligula, he has no choice.

Caught in a web of deceit, conspiracy, and betrayal, he will uncover a secret that threatens his family, the woman he desires, even his life… and may bring chaos to the young Roman Empire.

The first installment in a page-turning saga that revisits the heroes and villains of the grandest city of the ancient world…. Comes alive with the long gone characters who were its lifeblood” -Kirkus Reviews

‘Combines current political concerns, the wide lens of the serious historical novel, and emotional maturity and realism with an utterly splendid grasp of what it must have been like to live in Rome under Caligula’s reign.” -Sarah Smith, Agatha Award winner and New York Times Notable author

Marcus Carinna isn’t happy when his father orders him to leave the army life behind and come back to Rome and befriend the new Caesar Caligula. Three years ago Marcus’ brother (and Caligula’s best friend) committed suicide after charged with treason and Marcus hasn’t forgiven his father that he let it happen. It’s after he becomes Caligula’s friend he starts to unravel old family secrets.

I liked Marcus who was so devoted to learning the truth about his brother’s death. He had earned quite a reputation in Rome but seemed committed to reforming his name and to live up to his father’s expectations. When Marcus develops an interest in the Marcomanni Priestess called Aurima, his father is less than pleased.

I really liked Aurima and the chapters with the so-called barbarians. We see that women had much more rights in their life than the Roman women. I’ve never read books with Caligula with in it so this was new. Didn’t really make me like Romans more than usually…

In the end, I really loved this and it was quite a quick read too.

Published: Bexley House Books (April 15, 2016)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author03_Sherry Christie

After earning a Phi Beta Kappa creative award in college for an early draft about a nobly born charioteer, Sherry Christie spent many years of research and revision developing ROMA AMOR into the story about fathers and sons that it wanted to be. It’s a joy to immerse myself in the lives of first-century Romans–and a distinct change from my day job as a . In addition to writing, Sherry is a professional copywriter. She lives on the coast of Maine with a native-born Viking and two cats.

For more information, please visit Sherry Christie’s website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 24
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, October 25
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, October 26
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Friday, October 28
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Monday, October 31
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, November 1
Review at Bookfever

Wednesday, November 2
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Friday, November 4
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, November 7
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, November 9
Review at Bookramblings
Review at The Book Junkie Reads
Interview at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, November 10
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, November 11
Review at Beth’s Book Nook
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Guest Post at The True Book Addict

04_roma-amor_blog-tour-banner_final

Uncategorized

Time and Regret by M.K. Tod

02_Time and Regret

Time and Regret by M.K. Tod

When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his pastóand to long-buried family secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determined to solve her grandfatherís puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French manóand suddenly aware that someone is following her.

Through her grandfatherís vivid writing and Graceís own travels, a picture emerges of a man very unlike the one who raised her: one who watched countless friends and loved ones die horrifically in battle; one who lived a life of regret. But her grandfather wasnít the only one harboring secrets, and the more Grace learns about her family, the less she thinks she can trust them.

The book alternates between Martin’s life during WWI and his granddaughter Grace’s life in early 1990s. Grace is recently divorced with two kids who’s trying to get her life back together. When she discovers her grandfather’s old war diaries and a message with a puzzle in her attic, she decides to visit the war sites in France.

I don’t remember if I’ve read books set in WWI before, it’ usually WWII so this was a great change. Although reading Martin’s diary entries it could have been set in either war. I’m not usually fan of letters in books and mostly just skip them but here it worked.

I liked both Grace and Martin and couldn’t choose which POV I liked better which is rare. Martin was so eager to go to war but it soon turns into bitterness and rage as the war goes on. The war changed him forever and it wasn’t easy to come back and live with a survivor’s guilt.

I wasn’t huge fan of Pierre. He was a nice guy and it was great that Grace found him but I don’t know. I think he was boring and that they had no chemistry between them.

I didn’t understand Grace’s grandmother Cynthia’s coldness towards her. I wonder what happened to her because she wasn’t like that in Martin’s diaries. I would have liked to learn more about her.

This was my first book by the author and it definitely won’t be the last. I really loved this book and look forward reading more from her.

4.5/5

Published: Lake Union Publishing (August 16, 2016)
Format: ebook
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

About the Author03_M.K. Tod

Time and Regret is M.K. Todís third novel. She began writing in 2005 while living as an expat in Hong Kong. What started as an interest in her grandparentsí lives turned into a full-time occupation writing historical fiction. Her novel Unravelled was awarded Indie Editorís Choice by the Historical Novel Society. In addition to writing historical novels, she blogs about reading and writing historical fiction on www.awriterofhistory.com, reviews books for the Historical Novel Society and the Washington Independent Review of Books, and has conducted three highly respected reader surveys. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and is the mother of two adult children.

For more information visit M.K. Tod’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, August 16
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 17
Guest Post at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Thursday, August 18
Review at Creating Herstory
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, August 19
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Monday, August 22
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at Curling up by the Fire

Tuesday, August 23
Review at The Book Return

Wednesday, August 24
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Thursday, August 25
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Friday, August 26
Review at A Bookaholic Swede
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog (Author)

Sunday, August 28
Review at Carole’s Ramblings

Monday, August 29
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, August 30
Review at Bookramblings
Guest Post at The Gadoury Dreamer

Wednesday, August 31
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

04_Time and Regret_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL