Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Verdict of the Court -Cora Harrison ~ Pre-Order Now!

I so very much enjoy the mysteries of the Burren with Mara the Brehon and her husband the King of the Three Kingdoms. I was thrilled to again be able to review a book from Cora Harrison's Burren series and to visit Bunratty Castle at Christmas of 1519. This particular story was truly a complicated tale of politics, betrayal and family intrigue, a nail biter even!

For a time I was afraid it was going to end with everyone's death or surely imprisonment. I am checking today to see what actually happens to these historical characters so that I know where I might find them in the future. The author has flawless time and period details and the narrative and characters are captivating.Of particular interest to me is that there are ruins of a law school at Cahermacnaghten Clare and that Bunratty Castle, a large tower house, still stands.

A must read for historical mystery lovers as well as those who love Irish history.Soon to be released so pre-order now!

Blackwell'​s Paradise Book Blast

Blackwell's ParadiseBlackwell's Paradise
by V.E. Ulett

Publication Date: January 8, 2014
Old Salt Press LLC
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

Series: Blackwell's Adventures, Volume II
Genre: Historical Adventure/Naval HF

Relive the pleasure of falling into the past with the author of Captain Blackwell’s Prize, in Volume II of Blackwell’s Adventures.

The repercussions of a court martial and the ill-will of powerful men at the Admiralty pursue Royal Navy captain James Blackwell into the Pacific, where danger lurks around every coral reef. Even if Captain Blackwell and Mercedes survive the venture into the world of early nineteenth century exploration, can they emerge unchanged with their love intact. The mission to the Great South Sea will test their loyalties and strength, and define the characters of Captain Blackwell and his lady in Blackwell’s Paradise.

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Blackwell's Paradise by V.E. Ulett

Blackwell's Paradise

by V.E. Ulett

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Praise for Blackwell's Paradise

“Not for the faint hearted – Captain Blackwell pulls no punches! Prepare for a right roaring romp in the company of two of the most captivating characters in historical fiction.” - Alaric Bond, author of Turn A Blind Eye, and the Fighting Sail Series

Buy the Book

Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Book Depository

About the AuthorVE Ulett

A long time resident of California, V.E. Ulett is an avid reader as well as writer of historical fiction.

Proud to be an Old Salt Press author, V.E. is also a member of the National Books Critics Circle and an active member and reviewer for the Historical Novel Society.

As the long war in Europe comes to its conclusion, so does Captain Blackwell’s career in the Royal Navy in BLACKWELLS’ HOMECOMING, a story of the dangers and rewards of desire.

Author Links

Old Salt Press

Book Blast Schedule

April 1 Historical Tapestry
April 2 Broken Teepee
April 3 Confessions of an Avid Reader
April 4 The True Book Addict
April 7 Layered Pages
April 8 The Maiden's Court
April 9 Passages the Past
April 10 Just One More Chapter
April 11 Closed the Cover
April 12 Words and Peace
April 14 Luxury Reading
April 15 To Read or Not to Read
April 16 Peeking Between the Pages
April 18 So Many Books, So Little Time
April 21 Flashlight Commentary
April 22 Curling Up With a Good Book
April 23 HF Book Muse-News
April 24 A Bookish Affair
April 25 Oh, For the Hook of a Book
April 27 Kincavel Korner
April 28 CelticLady's Reviews
April 29 Historical Fiction Connection
April 30 Reading the Ages

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Never Be At Peace - M.J.Neary ~ on the beginnings of the IRA and Sinn Fein

Marina Neary has written a fine novel about women and their roles in the late 19th, early 20th century struggles for Irish independence. Many of us knew from family tales of the "Troubles" of previous centuries, but I did not have an insider look like this one.

Told through the involvement of Helena Moloney with both James Connolly and Sean Connolly and Bulmer Hodson, as well as other women like Maude Gonne and Constance Markievicz. Helena started by raising the standards of women and children through alternative Irish oriented activities to substitute for the English ones.

Neary has presented those present at this time and place with very human loves, hates, fears and problems to replace the pillars they stand on historically. Extremely well written and impeccably researched, the story of these brave young and not so young fighters has been narrated to us.

Recommended to those who like all things Irish as well as historical fans. I appreciated the opportunity to review this book


About the Author ~ Marina Neary

I am an award-winning historical essayist, multilingual arts & entertainment journalist, published poet, playwright, actress, dancer and choreographer. My historical tragicomedy Hugo in London featuring the adventures of the French literary genius in England during the Crimean War was produced in Greenwich in 2008. A sequel, Lady with a Lamp: an Untold Story of Florence Nightingale, is premiering in New York in the fall of 2009.
As a specialist on the obscure works of Victor Hugo, I have lectured at the French Alliance. My recently completed novel Wynfield's Kingdom, a narrative version of Hugo in London, represented by Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency, was published by Fireship Press.
In 2007 I was commissioned to collect and publish the memoirs of residents from an affluent retirement community in Stamford, CT. The project involved interviewing over forty senior citizens over the age of ninety. A new Connecticut-based leisure publication Norwalk Beat has recently brought me on board as a contributor with a focus on the entertainment industry in Connecticut. My poems have appeared in literary journals such as First Edition, Alimentum and The Recorder. After having a piece of short prose accepted by Bewildering Stories Magazine, I was invited to join the editorial staff.
In addition to my writing career, I have a career in the performing arts. I have starred in several independent art and horror films shot in CT and NY. In the 1990s I competed in various talent pageants in New England. You can reachme at I love networking with fellow writers and actors.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Now reading "Never Be At Peace" by M.J. Neary

 Exciting reading here for someone whose first trip to Ireland is coming up in 38 days..
Thanks Marina Neary for getting this to me..

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sinners and the Sea ~ Noah's Wife by Rebecca Kanner

It was a riveting and absorbing book which I give somewhere between 3 to 4 stars. Once I started it, I continued reading until I was finished, but it was darker than it might have been and uneven at times.

What I really enjoyed was the beginning when Noah's wife was a girl and the very primitive nature of that time. The girl who would become wife to Noah, the narrator of the story was marked with a large port wine stain on her forehead which was though to mark her as a demon. Although the main character does not have a name until the end of the book she was protected, and loved, by both her father and later by Noah.

I am not a biblical scholar but am anthropologically educated,as such think the cultures portrayed in this novel were too uniformly violent, bloody and graphic.Cultural mythology is enjoyable to me and uniform tales from all cultures have historic benefit. Perhaps the giants and the odds and ends of survivors could have been left out of the tale, which admittedly indeed was fiction.

A favorite scene was when Shahar is given her name and she goes to "hear my sons and daughters call me by that name". Recommended for those who like mythological books,some biblical scholars and those who like a more complicated tale.

HF Virtual Book Tours invites you to follow the virtual tour for Rebecca Kanner’s Sinners and the Sea from April 14-May 29.
02_Sinners and the SeaPublication Date: April 2, 2013
Howard Books
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio CD
The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before.
Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a haven for outcasts. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons. But living in this wicked and perverse town with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than to her takes its toll. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite its pious upbringing, develops some sinful tendencies of its own. While Noah carries out the Lord’s commands, she tries to hide her mark and her shame as she weathers the scorn and taunts of the townspeople.
But these trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming—and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world. As the floodwaters draw near, she grows in courage and honor, and when the water finally recedes, she emerges whole, displaying once and for all the indomitable strength of women. Drawing on the biblical narrative and Jewish mythology, Sinners and the Sea is a beauti­fully written account of the antediluvian world told in cinematic detail.

Watch the Book Trailer Praise for Sinners and the Sea

“Kanner animates a harsh, almost dystopic world of fallen people struggling to survive. Noah’s unnamed wife is a powerful, memorable character.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“[Noah's wife] proves her strength and character as she tries to protect her family… from the outside forces that threaten. Kanner successfully undertakes a formidable task retelling a familiar religious story through the eyes of Noah’s wife. The narrative’s well-articulated, evenly balanced and stimulating—but it’s definitely not the familiar tale that’s so frequently illustrated in children’s books” – Kirkus Reviews
“SINNERS AND THE SEA is a rare find–a bold and vivid journey to the antediluvian world of Noah. Kanner’s is a fresh, irresistible story about the unnamed woman behind the famous ark-builder. Compelling and masterfully written.” – Tosca Lee, NY Times bestelling author of HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE.
“What a remarkable debut! Rebecca Kanner’s SINNERS AND THE SEA is a haunting, beautifully written story of struggle and redemption told through the eyes of the Biblical prophet Noah’s wife. Kanner pulls no punches: She gives us humanity in all its wickedness — bloodthirsty, greedy, cruel — and the horror and heartbreak the inhabitants of Noah’s ark might have felt as, unable to help, they listened to the screams of the dying and witnessed the utter obliteration of life on Earth. By the end of this book, I was in tears, for Kanner does lead us out of the valley of the shadow of death into a new world of promise and hope. SINNERS AND THE SEA is a profoundly moving tale, thrilling and fast-paced, and one of the best books I have read in a very long time.”- Sherry Jones, author, THE JEWEL OF MEDINA and FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS
“Rebecca Kanner brings the antediluvian world of giants, prophets, and demons alive, setting her narrative in motion from the first chapter and never letting it rest. She is a writer of great dexterity, performing tricks at a full sprint.” – Marshall Klimasewiski, author of THE COTTAGERS and TYRANTS
“Kanner does a masterful job of penetrating the depths of the Biblical Flood narrative and weaving in the complicated reality of challenging relationships and longings for personal fulfillment. Her desire to go beyond the traditional understanding of the lives she explores introduces us to a courageous and insightful young writer whose first book will take its place alongside other exciting modern re-readings of the ancient Biblical text.” – Rabbi Allen of Beth Jacob congregation in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. Honored by Forward newspaper as one of America’s “50 most significant Jewish leaders”
“We think we know Noah’s story but he was not alone on the ark; what was the experience of his wife, his family? Rebecca Kanner’s vividly imagined telling recreates the world of the bible, and asks powerful questions about the story and about ourselves.” – Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine (2012). Author of WHY FAITH MATTERS
“We sympathize with this unnamed woman because—as remote as her world seems to be from ours—she longs for all that we want for ourselves: to be known, loved, and accepted by her family, her community, and ultimately her God… After reading Sinners and the Sea, you’ll never look at the Biblical story of Noah and the flood in the same way again, and isn’t that Biblical fiction’s greatest purpose? To see the old stories with fresh eyes and perhaps find new meaning…” – Stephanie Landsem, author of THE WELL
“Rebecca Kanner has created an autobiography of Noah’s wife, and an imaginative one it is.” – American Jewish World
“[Kanner] gives an intelligent voice to Noah’s wife.” – Jewish Book Council
“First-time novelist Kanner has written an utterly absorbing novel, one that flows seamlessly.” – Historical Novel Society
“A fascinating look into a feral civilization of turmoil and hardship.” – Historical Novel Review
“A stirring, fascinating story written beautifully.” – Historical Fiction Connection
“Kanner beautifully evokes life on the claustrophobic, smelly vessel. Riveting… It will certainly spark hours of book club discussions.” – St. Paul Pioneer Press

Buy the Book

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author

Sinners and the Sea is Rebecca Kanner’s debut novel. Rebecca is a Twin Cities native and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Washington University in03_Rachel Kanner St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft mentorship Award and a 2012/2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Her personal essay, “Safety,” is listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review.
Along with other authors including Anita Diamant, Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Russell Banks and Ron Hansen, Rebecca will be featured in the upcoming title Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists.
You can learn more about Rebecca, and find links to selected stories and essays, at You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, April 14
Review & Giveaway at West Metro Mommy
Tuesday, April 15
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, April 17
Review at A Bookish Girl
Friday, April 18
Review at Reading the Ages
Monday, April 21
Review at Booktalk & More
Review at Judith Starkston
Wednesday, April 23
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Friday, April 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at Caroline Wilson Writes
Monday, April 28
Review at JulzReads
Tuesday, April 29
Review at The Most Happy Reader
Wednesday, April 30
Review & Giveaway at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, May 2
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective
Monday, May 5
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, May 6
Review at Book Nerd
Wednesday, May 7
Review at Ink Sugar Blog
Friday, May 9
Review at Our Wolves Den
Monday, May 12
Review at The Calico Critic
Tuesday, May 13
Review at From L.A. to LA
Wednesday, May 14
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, May 15
Spotlight at The Tower of Babel
Friday, May 16
Review at Layered Pages
Monday, May 19
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Wednesday, May 21
Review at My Reader’s Block
Friday, May 23
Review at Seaside Book Corner
Tuesday, May 27
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, May 29
Review at bookworm2bookworm’s Blog


To enter to win one of 2 copies of Sinners and the Sea or a $25 Amazon Gift Card, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on May 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on May 30th and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Oathbreaker - Martin Jensen ~ Love this period

A very good sequel to The King's Hounds, although a bit slower and more complicated. I do love the period and the quite accurate historical details given by Martin Jensen.

Halfdan has most of the action this time out,and does a fine job of it, with Winston the Illuminator being preoccupied with his romance with the alewife Alfilda. King Cnut again manages to tap the pair to solve a mystery as in The King's Hounds, although Winston was a bit reluctant to leave Oxford.

The storyline, based on actual historical persons and events, takes our characters to Northumberland. The  Anglo Saxon chronicle says this happened 1016 or afterwards about Uhtred that "he gave hostages, he was nevertheless slain by the advice of Alderman Edric, and Thurkytel", which the storyline evolves from.

A violent time is written about in less stark language by the author and becomes enjoyable reading. Looking forward to the next book or translation of and existing one.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Collector of Dying Breaths - Virtual Book Tour

Tour Hashtag: #DyingBreathsTour

Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Atria Books
Hardcover; 384p
ISBN-10: 1451621531
From one of America’s most imaginative storytellers comes a passionate tale of love and treachery, spanning the days of Catherine de Medici’s court to the twenty-first century and starring a woman drawn back, time and again, to the past.
In 1533, an Italian orphan with an uncanny knack for creating fragrance is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. To repay his debt, over the years RenĂ© le Florentine is occasionally called upon to put his vast knowledge to a darker purpose: the creation of deadly poisons used to dispatch the Queen’s rivals.
But it’s RenĂ©’s other passion—a desire to reanimate a human breath, to bring back the lives of the two people whose deaths have devastated him—that incites a dangerous treasure hunt five centuries later. That’s when Jac L’Etoile—suffering from a heartache of her own—becomes obsessed with the possibility of unlocking Rene’s secret to immortality.
Soon Jac’s search reconnects her with Griffin North, a man she’s loved her entire life. Together they confront an eccentric heiress whose art collection rivals many museums and who is determined to keep her treasures close at hand, not just in this life but in her next.
Set in the forest of Fontainebleau, crisscrossing the lines between the past and the present, M.J. Rose has written a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession. This is a gothic tale perfect for fans of Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, and Diana Galbadon.

                               Praise for The Collector of Dying Breaths
“History, mystery, ambition, lust, love, death and the timeless quest for immortality…a riveting tale of suspense.” – B.A.Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger
“Mysterious, magical, and mythical…what a joy to read!” – Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author

Buy the Book

Amazon US Amazon UK Barnes & Noble

About the Author

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of fourteen novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of and
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Thank you!

Amy Bruno

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Passages to the Past

"It is with irony now, forty years later, to think that if I had not been called a murderer on the most frightening night of my life, there might not be any perfume in Paris today. And that scent—to which I gave my all and which gave me all the power and riches I could have hoped for—is at the heart of why now it is I who call myself a murderer." 
From The Collector of Dying Breaths

"What remains of a woman when she is in the dark? When she has undressed ...Only her charming voice and her perfume." ―Jean-Paul Guerlain