The Slaughter of Leith Hall by Lexie Conyngham | #BlogTour #Review #TheSlaughterOfLeithHall #lovebookstours | @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the brilliant blog tour for; the Slaughter of Leith Hall by Lexi Conyngham. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, I hope you love the sound of it as much as I loved reading it. Firstly, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invite to join this blog tour. 

The Slaughter of Leith Hall by Lexie Conyngham

‘See, Charlie, it might be near twenty year since Culloden, but there’s plenty hard feelings still amongst the Jacobites, and no so far under the skin, ken?’

Charlie Rob has never thought of politics, nor strayed far from his Aberdeenshire birthplace. But when John Leith of Leith Hall takes him under his wing, his life changes completely. Soon he is far from home, dealing with conspiracy and murder, and lost in a desperate hunt for justice.

Buy Link: Amazon

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I loved this book, it’s a brilliant jaunt through a darker and turbulent time in Scottish history. I loved that it was based on real event’s, I had never heard of the murder of John Leigh before, but reading this has made me want to learn more, it was a fascinating story whether of not what really happened in history is accurately written in the story is anyone’s guess, what we do know is that that it was a murky business and Lexi has written a wonderful story which is full of lies, history, mystery, historical intrigue, conspiracies, secrets and brilliantly portrayed character’.

This is the first book by Lexi Conyngham I’ve read, I’m not sure how this author has passed me by for so long as I thoroughly enjoyed escaping into the dark and richly textured world for a short period of time and I will definitely be reading more from Lexi’s work in the future.

I loved the writing, it’s written in old Scottish language which if you’re not used to reading it may at first be a little taxing to get your mind around, but do persevere as this is well worth it, I have been reading historical Scottish set novels for years so I’ve become accustomed to the dialect but I do have to admit that there were some phrases and words that threw me, I loved that the author had included an index of known and lesser-known old Scottish words which is very insightful and very helpful at times.

I did think that this start was a little too slow for my liking, and some reader may actually give up, I cannot stress enough not to, as this is a brilliant and engrossing ‘whodunnit’. The story takes place twenty years after Culloden, there is still tension in the air and the feelings are still as strong as ever in certain circles and that pent up crackling atmosphere really comes through the whole story. The main character’s Charlie Rob is a very likeable and unassuming sort of chap, he has never been away from his home of Aberdeenshire, that is until he is taken in by John Leigh, Charlie is a good, hardworking and faithful servant but when his master is brutally murdered Charlie finds himself shoulder-deep into a pit of vipers but he isn’t one to leave things alone he soon starts asking question’s himself and wanting the answer of what really happened.

I am an odd reader where I do like a whole host of different character’s, I think that strong well-developed character’s no matter how many can bring life and authenticity to a story and I was not disappointed here as there are a lot of different personalities all of which give the overall book a real varied and compelling feel. I really liked that at the beginning of the book there is a list of all characters of note, which helps as you read especially if suddenly a character pops up when your least expect it and have forgotten who they are.

Its easy to see that the author really knows this era and the history like the back of her hand, her writing is authentic and engaging, the attention to detail in every scene is wonderfully vivid, the characters come alive and the story is compelling. This is a must-read if you love historical fiction which is laced with true-life event’s.

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About the Author

Lexie Conyngham is a historian living in the shadow of the Highlands. Her historical crime novels are born of a life amidst Scotland’s old cities, ancient universities and hidden-away aristocratic estates, but she has written since the day she found out that people were allowed to do such a thing. Beyond teaching and research, her days are spent with wool, wild allotments and a wee bit of whisky.

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Into The Unbounded Night by Mitchell James Kaplan | #BlogTour #IntoTheUnboundedNight #Review #HFVBBlogTours | @mitchelljkaplan @HFVBT

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the amazing blog tour for; Into The Unbounded Night by Mitchell James Kaplan. I can’t wait to share my review of this wonderful book with you all, I hope you love the sound of it as much as I loved reading it. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Amy at HFVBT for the invite to join this blog tour.

Into the Unbounded Night by Mitchell James Kaplan

Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Publisher: Regal House Publishing
Format: Paperback & eBook; 231 Pages

Genre: Literary/Historical

 

 

When her village in Albion is sacked by the Roman general Vespasian, young Aislin is left without home and family. Determined to exact revenge, she travels to Rome, a sprawling city of wealth, decadence, and power. A “barbarian” in a “civilized” world, Aislin struggles to comprehend Roman ways. From a precarious hand-to-mouth existence on the streets, she becomes the mistress of a wealthy senator, but their child Faolan is born with a disability that renders him unworthy of life in the eyes of his father and other Romans.

Imprisoned for her efforts to topple the Roman regime, Aislin learns of an alternate philosophy from her cellmate, the Judean known today as the Apostle St. Paul. As the capital burns in the Great Fire of 64 AD, he bequeaths to her a mission that will take her to Jerusalem. There, Yohanan, son of Zakkai, has been striving to preserve the tradition of Hillel against the Zealots who advocate for a war of independence. Responding to the Judeans’ revolt, the Romans—again under the leadership of Vespasian—besiege Jerusalem, destroying the Second Temple and with it, the brand of Judean monotheism it represents. Yohanan takes on the mission of preserving what can be preserved, and of re-inventing what must be reinvented.

Throughout Into the Unbounded Night, Aislin’s, Faolan’s, Vespasian’s, and Yohanan’s lives intertwine in unexpected ways that shed light on colonization and its discontents, the relative values of dominant and tyrannized cultures, and the holiness of life itself—even the weakest of lives.

Regal House Publishing | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

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Praise for Into the Unbounded Night

“In Into the Unbounded Night, Mitchell Kaplan offers a rich rendering of war and humanity in first century Rome — of tradition and loss, and the transformative power of healing and collective memory to find one’s way home.” – Nichole Bernier, Boston Globe Bestselling author of The Unfinished Work Of Elizabeth D

“Mitchell James Kaplan is the gloriously talented writer of this dramatic, intense story of conflicting emperors, slaves, priests and exiles in a first century world whose roots and traditions are increasingly torn apart by the brutal rule of Rome. Men and women search for belief and reason, out of which will emerge a new Judaism after the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple as well as the early beginnings of Christianity. A writer of enormous scope, compassion and poetry, Kaplan has written several of the most compelling characters you will meet in the pages of a book. Into the Unbounded Night sweeps over you like a succession of huge waves. It is truly a major novel.” – Stephanie Cowell, American Book Award recipient, author of Claude And Camille: A Novel Of Monet

“Kaplan’s prose is so rich and agile I felt I was breathing the air of these ancient places, and his evocation of character is no less palpable. Fully embodied and driven by ambition, grief, the clear-eyed desire for truth, and fierce maternal love, these characters plunge, march, and stumble toward their fascinating and entangled destinies.” – Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling novelist of I’ll Be Your Blue Sky and award-winning poet

“I’m a big fan of historical fiction when it’s as good as Mitchell Kaplan’s Into the Unbounded Night. Vividly imagined, Into the Unbounded Night pulls the reader along with beautiful prose, strong characters and a wonderfully realized story.” – Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times best-selling author of The Girl Who Fell From The Sky, winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize

“A beautiful, informative book. It was gripping throughout, the research never overwhelms the story, but is always part of it. [The] writing is lyrical and evocative of time and place. All the characters are real and interesting. Loved it!” – Martin Fletcher, National Jewish Book Award winner, author of Promised Land

“From the mystical lore of Albion to the Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem, Kaplan’s meticulous research and evocative writing meld seamlessly to create a vivid, textured, and richly imagined story.” —Beth Hoffman, New York Times and International bestselling author of Saving Ceecee Honeycutt and Looking for Me

“Set in Rome and Judea after the crucifixion of Jesus, Mitchell James Kaplan’s finely crafted and intense second novel delves into the minds and hearts of truly captivating characters. An excellent read.” – Eva Stachniak, winner of the Canadian First Novel Award, author of The Chosen Maiden

“Sensually provocative, verbally sharp and critically witted, Mitchell James Kaplan’s Into the Unbounded Night brings to life the tumultuous birth of Judeo-Christian monotheism in this intimately woven narrative brimming with righteous and riotous characters striving for survival and transcendence across the ravished landscapes of Judea, the Roman Empire, and Britannia.”
– Jessica Maria Tuccelli, an Okra Pick winner of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance for her debut novel, Glow

“Kaplan weaves an intricate literary tapestry to create a poetic exploration of early Judeo-Christian and Roman history. He builds a diverse yet connected cast of characters whose encounters inspire timeless self-examination and advance the course of history. An engrossing work not easily forgotten.” – Therese Walsh, critically acclaimed author of The Last Will Of Moira Leahy and The Moon Sisters, founder of the literary blog, Writer Unboxed

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There is a lot to like about this, the story has it’s complexities which really hook you and pull you further into the story, I’m not religious at all, but I was certainly swept up with the story, it opens the eyes and makes you think about certain aspects of the story. I’ve not read Mitchell James Kaplan’s work before, but I thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to his skilful and mesmerising writing.

I really liked the multiple character point of view, I liked getting to know each individual and learning their story and seeing how each linked with the others. There is a whole host of wonderfully captured character’s; a young woman who has lost everything and who has seen far too much then her tender years should, a scholar who is wise and thoughtful, a former Roman soldier who paints – I know, that’s a new one for me too – and a real villain who you love to hate, and yet oddly enough I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes with the brutal Vespasian, what a horrible creature he is. Once Aislin set’s off on her life-changing journey of discovery we soon get a vivid and enthralling image of the different character’s, each with his/her own story to tell and each entwined the others in some way or another.

Aislin she is a brave and resourceful, she has nothing left after her village is destroyed and she must do all she can to survive, and she must make some difficult choices along the way, Vespasian he really is a horrible man, and a brilliant baddie (I do have a thing for well-written villains) I love the way he is written, like the other character’s he comes alive on the page.

The plot is thrilling, it is a good versus evil style story with the added finding peace and faith element, I particularly liked the added ‘Fantasy’ element with Azazel; the fallen angel/messenger, I think that aspect really gave what is already wonderfully original story a unique edge.

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About the Author

Mitchell James Kaplan graduated with honors from Yale University, where he won the Paine Memorial Prize for Best Long-Form Senior Essay submitted to the English Department. His first mentor was the author William Styron.

After college, Kaplan lived in Paris, France, where he worked as a translator, then in Southern California, where he worked as a screenwriter and in film production.

He lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with his family and two cats.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 31
Review at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, September 2
Review at Books and Zebras

Friday, September 4
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, September 5
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, September 7
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Tuesday, September 8
Interview at Novels Alive
Feature at I’m Into Books

Wednesday, September 9
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Thursday, September 10
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Friday, September 11
Feature at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, September 14
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, September 16
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, September 17
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 18
Guest Post at Book Bustle

Monday, September 21
Interview at Books & Benches

Tuesday, September 22
Feature at Coffee and Ink

Wednesday, September 23
Guest Post at The Intrepid Reader

Friday, September 25
Review at A Book Geek

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 2 copies of Into the Unbounded Night! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Unbounded Night

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Her Sister’s Secret: The Summer of ’66 by Jan Baynham | #Review #HerSistersSecret #TheSummerof66 | @JanBaynham @RubyFiction

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Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the gorgeous; Her Sister’s Secret by Jan Baynham. I was going to post this review yesterday, but I got a little distracted with the new pup running around (as we do :-)) So here it is, I hope you love the sound of it as much as I loved reading it. Firstly, thank you to Liz at Ruby Fiction/Choc Lit for the complimentary copy.

Her Sister’s Secret by Jan Baynham

Publisher: Ruby Fiction

Format: Kindle, ebook

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Another wonderful sixties saga from the author of Her Mother’s Secret.

How far would you travel to find the truth?

It’s the 1960s and Jennifer Howells is a young woman with the world at her feet, just on the cusp of leaving her Welsh village for an exciting life in the city.

Then the contents of an inconspicuous brown envelope turn Jennifer’s world upside down. The discovery leaves her spiralling, unsure who she is. Overnight, Miss Goody Two Shoes is replaced by a mini-skirted wild child who lives for parties and rock’n’roll.

But Jennifer’s experience with the excesses of sixties’ culture leaves her no closer to her true identity. She soon realises she’ll have to travel further – first to Cardiff, then across the ocean to Sicily – if she wants to find out who she really is …

Firstly, can I just take a moment to share to serious cover love?

Isn’t it gorgeous? I love it, it’s so pretty you can just imagine yourself in the women’s shoes on the cover, can’t you? Is it just me, or are the covers at Ruby Fiction and Choc Lit getting prettier with every book?

I loved Jan Baynham’s previous book; ‘Her Mother’s Secret’ and was looking forward to seeing what she had in store for us all next, I am happy to say Jan does not disappoint, Her Sister’s Secret is another intriguing, surprising and emotional story which is steeped in family drama and hidden secret’s, it’s easy to say that this is my favourite of the two books, it’s not at all what I thought it would be like, as the description is misleading, the back blurb doesn’t really do this book the justice it deserves but it certainly hooks you and then from reading those first few pages you sit back and think; ‘Yup, this is going to be a good one.

If you are expecting to be thrown head first into the ‘swinging sixties’ then be prepared for a wee bit of a wait, because first we are whisked a little further back in time to post war Wales, where we meet Rose, who is an integral part of Jennifer’s overall story, the more we learning about Rose and seeing what she went through during 1946 and 1947 it does start those little grey cell’s turning, you begin putting the jigsaw pieces into place only for Rose’s part of the book to end and Jennifer’s to start, when all of a sudden you have an inkling of where the jigsaw pieces fit in but you then have pieces that don’t fit anywhere until you reach the precipices of the story and everything slot’s into place but not exactly how I originally thought it would, I absolutely loved the suspense as Jennifer slowly finds the answers of who she is.

If you’ve read ‘Her Mother’s Secret‘ you may think that this book follows on, as the titles and the cover’s are pretty similar, but you would be very wrong. This is a complete stand-alone, we have an whole new family to meet, a whole new host of secrets and drama to unearth but with the same raw emotion and twist’s which keep you guessing and turning the pages.

I really liked the timeslip aspect, even though it’s not a traditional ‘timeslip story’ I thought it had a feel to it. I liked how it starts in the 40’s, reveals just enough which makes certain you will keep reading and then we jump forward into the 60’s where all is revealed. Plus on top of all the family drama, there is the setting’s, unlike ‘Her Mother’s Secret‘ we aren’t transported to a beautiful place in the sun straight away, but once we do dip our toes into the aquatic blue Sicilian sea there is no going back.

I loved seeing Wales through the eyes of these two different women, each one brings their home to life, it’s a very visual and thoughtful story that span’s twenty years and it’s a joy to join both Rose and Jennifer on their individual journey’s.

Jan Baynham has once again stolen your heart and whisked you away with her beautiful and atmospheric words, this is one of those book which just get’s better and better with every reading, like a fine wine which matures’ into something delicious.

A Venomous Love (Bloodstone Series #3) by Chris Karlsen | #AVenomousLove #BloodstoneSeries #BookBlast #HFVBTBlogTOurs | @ChrisKarlsen1 @HFVBT

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant book blast for; A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen. I can’t wait to share this book with your all, I hope you love the sound of it as much as I do. Firstly thank you to Amy at HFVBT for inviting me to join this blog tour.

A Venomous Love by Chris Karlsen

Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Format: Paperback & eBook; 340 pages

Series: Bloodstone, Book 3
Genre: Historical/Suspense/Victorian

 

 

A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors has followed him home from Africa.

A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing London.

When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer. After several attempts on her life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high profile case. With few leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder victim.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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About the Author

Chris was born and raised in Chicago. Her father was a history professor and her mother was, and is, a voracious reader. She grew up with a love of history and books. Her parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto her. She wanted to see the places she read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated her. She’s had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. She is also a retired police detective who spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. Her desire to write came in her early teens. After she retired, she decided to pursue that dream. She writes two different series. Her paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters. She currently live in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, September 8
Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 10
Books, Cooks, Looks

Friday, September 11
Pursuing Stacie

Saturday, September 12
Novels Alive

Monday, September 14
Bookworlder

Tuesday, September 15
A Darn Good Read
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 18
Gwendalyn’s Books

Monday, September 21
Tangents and Tissues

Tuesday, September 22
Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, September 23
A Book and a Latte

Thursday, September 24
I’m Into Books

Monday, September 28
Coffee and Ink
Donna’s Book Blog

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two eBooks of A Venomous Love + a $20 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – A Venomous Love

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Author Interview With; Harriet Springbett | #BlogTour #Interview #TreeMagic #lovebookstours | @HarriSpringbett @impress_books @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; Tree Magic by Harriet Springbett. I am super excited to be bringing you an exclusive author interview with Harriett and to be sharing her fascinating book with you all, I hope you love it as much as I do. Firstly, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to join this tour and thank you to Harriet for answering my questions today, it’s was such a pleasure!

Tree Magic by Harriet Springbett

Thirteen-year-old Rainbow discovers she can communicate with trees.

But that’s just the beginning. Her magic hands can shape trees at her will, but her gift is dangerous and has fatal consequences. An accident that leaves Rainbow unconscious leads her mother to make a confession that will change Rainbow’s life forever. Are her abilities a gift or a curse? Can Rainbow really trust her mother? From England to France, through secrets, fears and parallel worlds, Rainbow’s journey to understand her powers takes her beyond everything she’s ever known.

To find the truth, she must also find herself.

Amazon

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Hi Harriet, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

Firstly, what five words would you use to describe yourself?

Hi there, and thanks for inviting me. I suppose my five would be: simple, optimistic, perceptive, pensive and quiet.

Can you tell us a little about your latest/up and coming release?

Sure. Tree Magic is a story about a teenager called Rainbow, who discovers she can communicate with trees. She has to decide what to do about her unique gift – which alienates her from her peers – and in doing so must face tragedy and a move to a foreign country (France). I’m told it’s quite philosophical.

When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

I like running and cycling, reading and watching films. Running is great for solving character and plot problems. I nearly always come back from a run with an idea for how to tackle a scene. Of course, my friends don’t believe me when I say I’m working as I run.

If you could have a holiday home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

In the Pyrenees mountains, in France. I love the way mountains change with the seasons. I love their silence, the sheer size of them and the way they seem to beckon me to explore them.

If you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead characters?

It’s my dream for one of my books to be adapted for film. I wouldn’t care who played the roles or which book it was: I’d just love to see the actors becoming the characters that were born from my imagination. It would be interesting to see the changes the director made too.

When writing, do you plot or do you go with the flow?

I do a bit of both. I like to plot the overall arc and the sequences, but I leave the scene-plotting and character development until I’m actually writing. If a book is too tightly plotted during the first draft, it takes away the fun of seeing characters making unexpected choices.

What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?

Firstly, learn all about the craft of writing but don’t try to apply all the rules, only those that seem right to you. I’d also suggest that it’s essential to make headspace to write regularly – that’s much more important than having a place to write in. And, finally, don’t be put off by empty pages. i have a post-it on my laptop reminding me that bad writing can be edited, but that an empty page can’t.

If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite?

I’d love to meet Rob Macfarlane, since he’s into nature, mountains and writing. And Greta Thunberg, because I believe she’s key to the planet’s future. My third choice would be either someone to help me cook or someone to make me laugh.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun; What is your favourite snacking food?

I wish I could say it was lettuce. But I’m a sucker for Cadbury’s chocolate.

Thank you, Harriet, for chatting with me today! x

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About the Author

Harriet Springbett’s childhood on a small farm in West Dorset gave her an early exposure to nature, which continues to inspire her writing.

She qualified as an engineer but, during a Raleigh International expedition in Chile, she realised she preferred words to numbers. She abandoned her profession, moved to France, studied French and then worked as a project manager, feature writer, translator and TEFL teacher. She now lives in Poitou-Charentes with her French partner and their teenage children.

Since her first literary success, aged 10, her short stories and poetry have been published in literary journals and placed in writing competitions, including a shortlisting in the 2017 Bath Short Story Award.

Harriet leads writing workshops, has judged the Segora international short story competition and blogs at https://harrietspringbett.wordpress.com

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The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton by Sophie Schiller | #BlogTour #TheLostDiaryofAlexanderHamilton #HFVBTBlogTours #GuestPost | @SophieSchiller @HFVBT

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton by Sophie Schiller. I cannot wait to share this book with you all, plus I have an amazing exclusive guest post, I hope you love it as much as I do. Firstly, thank you to Amy at HFVBT for the invitation to join this blog tour.

The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton by Sophie Schiller

Publication Date: July 3, 2020
Publisher: Tradewinds Publishing

Genre: YA/US Colonial & Revolutionary Period/Historical Fiction

 

 

The story of Alexander Hamilton’s lost childhood in the Caribbean—a land of sugar plantations and slavery—where an impoverished orphan must learn to survive despite impossible odds. It is a story of struggle, heartbreak, resilience, and ultimately, triumph.

1765. Alexander Hamilton arrives in St. Croix with his family to begin a new life. He longs for the chance to go to school and fit in, but secrets from his mother’s past threaten to tear his family apart. When he sees a young African slave being tortured, Alexander vows to act. He urges his uncle to buy Ajax and promises to set him free. But tragedy strikes when his father abandons the family and his mother dies of yellow fever. Orphaned and alone, Alex is forced to survive by his wits and resourcefulness. By day he works in a counting house learning the secrets of foreign trade. By night he studies Plutarch and dreams of fame and glory. When Ajax is sold to a brutal planter, Alex vows to save him, even at the risk of his own life. With the aid of a reluctant slave-catcher, he concocts a plan to rescue Ajax, but when the price for helping a slave run away is torture or death, no one is safe.

In this gripping tale, Sophie Schiller re-creates the boyhood of the young man who would grow up to become a Founding Father and one of America’s foremost men.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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Praise

“The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton is a wonderful read… The musical “Hamilton” has brought the impact of this man in the founding of America sharply into our consciousness. But what author Sophie Schiller has skillfully done here is to take what little is known about Alexander’s early life and fashion a fictional story around his upbringing that fleshes out the boy that would become the man. I can highly recommend this read.” – Grant Leishman for Reader’s Favorite (5 star review)

“The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton is the kind of story that helps to restore faith in mankind. It helps to illustrate that, while there are those who are evil, who care not for their fellow man, there are also those willing to put their lives on the line for others. Author Sophie Schiller’s story of Alexander Hamilton shows him to be such a man. In these days when it seems that so little history is taught, and when the veracity of much of what is taught is questionable, this is the kind of story that those both young and old would do well to read.” Patricia Reding for Reader’s Favorite (5 star review)

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The Amazing, Forgotten Story of Alexander Hamilton’s Boyhood in the Caribbean

By Sophie Schiller

As a young child growing up in St. Thomas, I had heard stories about Alexander Hamilton’s boyhood in St. Croix. I learned about the triangular trade in school, and about the importance of sugar cane and rum. Occasionally, I would stumble upon wild cotton bushes growing near my Northside home, evidence of a once-flourishing plantation. Sugar mills dotted the landscape, contrasting sharply against the pristine blue sea and the lush green hills. Each sector of the island was named after an “Estate”, which I later learned was a plantation. Sometimes I would find Danish and Dutch pottery peeking out of the dirt. One time, after heavy rains, my class stumbled upon a cache of old Danish coins that dated back to the colonial era, back to the days of tall sailing ships. History is at your fingertips in the West Indies. I drank it in like a thirsty sailor, and fell in love with it.

Caption: Estate Grange figured prominently in Hamilton’s childhood. His mother, aunt, and grandmother lived here, and his mother was buried here.

In those days, the airport in St. Croix was still named after Hamilton. But with the waning years, his popularity faded. His old house on Company Street in Christiansted was reduced to rubble, the trading firm where he worked no longer existed, and the memory of his life in St. Croix was lost in the sands of time.

That is, until the musical “Hamilton” became a smash hit on Broadway.

By that time, I was a busy writer with both feet planted firmly in the Edwardian era. I had no desire to write about plantation slavery in the 18th century or the triangular trade. Those were painful subjects to write about. My entire class was glued to the miniseries “Roots” in the 1970’s and some of those scenes were downright painful and uncomfortable to watch. No, I was much more comfortable working in the modern era.

The Christiansted wharf, where Hamilton spent most of his boyhood.

That is, until April of 2016 when I was approached by a gentleman from St. Croix who asked me to write a novel about Hamilton’s childhood in St. Croix, to draw more attention to the island. Since I considered the gentleman a visionary, I accepted his challenge. And soon I began delving into the task of researching and writing about Alexander Hamilton’s forgotten boyhood in the Caribbean.

My research took me to Christiansted, to all the streets he would have walked. I visited the fort, where his mother, Rachel Fawcett, had once been imprisoned, to the Danish West India and Guinea Company Warehouse, where slave auctions had been held, and the Scale House, where great bales of merchandise were weighed. I visited the Governor’s Mansion, a breathtaking example of 18th century Colonial Danish architecture. I strolled past stately mansions, ruined greathouses, ancient cisterns and abandoned brick ovens, imagining what life was like back in the 1760’s and 1770’s. There are still many fine examples of West Indian-style villas similar to the one his mother would have lived and worked in.

During the time I spend on St. Croix, my research took me on a journey of the mind, to a time when sailors and planters cavorted with smugglers and wenches, where slaves and free Africans mingled to form a bustling, cosmopolitan town in the Caribbean Sea, where great sums of money changed hands. Where fortunes were made and lost. Where smuggling and free trade flourished under the nose of the Danish King. Where skippers and agents bribed customs officials with sacks of gold and helped the fledgling American Republic break free of Britain’s rule. Where the English cheered when news of the Stamp Revolt broke out on the neighboring islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. Where men, women, and children were carted across the sea and sold at auction like cattle. All of this happened before the eyes of Alexander Hamilton. This is the world he grew up in, and it was the world I wanted to recreate. I wanted the reader to experience life in a tropical sugar colony—with all its glories and woes—with as much detail as I could muster. What I found was a boy who displayed enormous resilience in the face of all odds, a boy who displayed the kind of courage reserved for the great Roman and Greek statesmen, a boy who would forge a new path for himself and in so doing, forge a new nation. I believe the world of Alexander Hamilton still exists somewhere—if not in the recesses of my imagination, than at least in the pages of my book.

The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton by Sophie Schiller ($8.50, Tradewinds Publishing) is out now.

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About the Author

Sophie Schiller was born in Paterson, NJ and grew up in the West Indies. She is a novelist and a poet. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews has called her “an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.” Her novel, ISLAND ON FIRE was published by Kindle Scout in 2018 and was called, “A memorable romantic thriller” by Publishers Weekly. Her latest novel, THE LOST DIARY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, is out now. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 7
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Tuesday, September 8
Review at Momfluenster

Wednesday, September 9
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, September 10
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Friday, September 11
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Saturday, September 12
Review at A Darn Good Read

Monday, September 14
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks
Review at History + Fiction + Adirondack Spirit

Tuesday, September 15
Excerpt at The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Wednesday, September 16
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 17
Interview at Passages to the Past

Saturday, September 19
Review at Reading is My Remedy

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton + a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – The Lost Diary of Alexander Hamilton

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Being Alert! By Charlie Laidlaw | #BlogTour #BeingAlert #Excerpt #lovebookstours | @claidlawauthor @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour for; Being Alert by Charlie Laidlaw. I cannot wait to share this book with you, plus I have an exclusive excerpt for you all to get your teeth stuck into, I hope you love the sound of this book as much as I do. Firstly, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invitation to join the tour.

Being Alert! By Charlie Laidlaw

Being Alert! begins in January 2020 as the British prime minister, Winston Spragg, first learns about a new illness that seems to be centred in a city in China that nobody has heard of.

Following in a long tradition of British satire, the book populates Downing Street and Whitehall with an inept prime minister presiding over a dysfunctional government as it deals with an existential threat that rapidly becomes a national crisis.

Like satires before it, the book uses humour to paint an uncomfortable picture of a government seemingly as concerned about justifying itself as working to protect the country.

Buy link here – Amazon

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Exclusive Excerpt

The Health Secretary, Kevin Kock, was also new to his job and still felt that he was just getting his feet under the desk. However, as his desk was extremely large, this shouldn’t have been a difficult task. Tall and rather thin, he looked permanently like an underfed rabbit caught in the headlights. He still remembered his meeting with the PM, when the latter was elected as Party leader.

I’d like you to be Health Secretary,” the PM said, his jaw jutting out. “But I don’t know anything about health,” he’d replied, rather alarmed. “You must know something,” the PM prompted.

Well, I once had measles.”

There, that makes you eminently qualified,” said the PM. “Of course, you have my full confidence until that is, I mean to say, when you don’t have my full confidence.”

Kevin Kock couldn’t confide to the Prime Minister that he had a phobia about sickness, would faint at the sight of blood (even underdone beef made him queasy), and took an array of tablets every morning to ward off everything from the common cold to diphtheria. His daytime was therefore spent in a miasma of worry. His wife frequently chastised him about his hypochondria, although it had become part of him, part of who he was.

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About the Author

I’m the author of two novels, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead and The Space Between Time (due for publication in June 2019). A third novel, Love Potions and Other Calamities, is due to be published in November 2019 (all published by Accent Press).

I was born and brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel around the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember.

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize.

I’m also married with two grown-up children and live in East Lothian. And that’s about it.

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The Golden Van Dorens by Nicole Strycharz | #BlogTour #TheGoldenVanDorens #HFVBTBlogTours | @HFVBT

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; The Golden Van Dorens by Nicole Strycharz. I am super excited to be featuring this book, plus there is a chance for you to win an amazing prize in the blog tour exclusive giveaway, but you have to be quick as the giveaway closes tomorrow; the 9th September 2020. I hope you all love the sound of it as much as I do. Thank you, Amy, at Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours for inviting me to this tour.

The Golden Van Dorens by Nicole Strycharz

Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Format: eBook a& Paperback; 355 Pages

Genre: Historical Thriller

 

 

Malcom Van Doren made his fortune in the California Gold Rush of 1849.

By 1853, he spent it all, drowning in debt, and returned to his mine out of desperation.

Steadily, over the years, he went mad.

Known for his lunacy, when Malcom claimed to have discovered gold a second time, no one believed him… not even his family. Too paranoid about his creditors to prove his finding, Malcom Van Doren told everyone he hid his fortune away.

Now, in the year 1880, twenty-seven years after his second discovery, his daughters are each as desperate as he once was for wealth. All of them, for different reasons; revenge, love, or greed.

Three sisters battle to discover their dead father’s gold, but only one will win this race as their own little gold rush ensues.

God help the man that stands between a Golden Van Doren and all that glitters.

Available on Amazon

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About the Author

Nicole is a multi-genre author of over a dozen books.

“The Divorce” was nominated in the 2016 Indie Book Awards and won second place in the 2016 Best Cover Design in ‘Urban Literature Magazine.’

She was featured on the cover of Words + Magazine for her book “The Affair.”

She’s known for delving into sensitive and real topics such as in her title “The Love That Hurts” which explored domestic violence with the hopes of giving victims a voice while exposing the red flags of an abusive relationship. Most of her lead female characters are depicted as survivors or evolving overcomers of trauma. Sending a message to readers that every moment and every day they fight for is a victory.

Being of mixed ethnicity, she keeps her cast of characters diverse and tries to highlight the different cultures around the world.

Nicole lives in Virginia with her partner, three children, three stepsons, their amazing Grandparents, and one pretty Pocket-Pittie. She is always reading or working on the next book between mommyhood adventures.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 1
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Wednesday, September 2
Review at Passages to the Past

Thursday, September 3
Review at Book Bustle
Review at Bitch Bookshelf
Feature at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, September 4
Feature at Gwendalyn’s Books

Saturday, September 5
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, September 7
Review at Books and Zebras

Tuesday, September 8
Feature at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Wednesday, September 9
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a 12″ by 8″ canvas painting of The Van Doren Sisters! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – The Golden Van Dorens

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on September 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Coconut Girl by Sunita Thind | #BookSpotlight #TheCoconutGirl #lovebookstours | @sunitathind @Wildpressed @lovebooksgroup

Posted on

Hello, Sunshines, Today I have the huge pleasure to be featuring; The Coconut Girl by Sunita Thind. Full disclosure first, this post was supposed to be a cover reveal on Tuesday, 1st September 2020, unfortunately, due to certain sad event’s I was unable to stick to my day (full details can be found here – A Quick Note) huge apologies to Kelly at Love Book Tours and Sunita, I promised to feature the book so here it is, better late then never I suppose. I do hope you all love the sound of the book as much as I do!

The Coconut Girl by Sunita Thind

The Coconut Girl is a collection of poems containing material that is from the Indian, female point of view with an insight into Punjabi culture. We also follow the author through the hallucinogenic state of the brain following cancer treatment, and in her experience of life in multi cultural Britain.

The protagonist in the poems is at the same time deeply vulnerable and strongly independent. Overall her strength of character shines through

The Coconut Girl features poetry of deep imagery, not least in some of the poems exploring the experience of the female body post-operatively, such as in My Womb Is A Park Of Carnage.

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About the Author

SUNITA THIND is a Bedford born Derby based published female, Asian British BAME poet and writer. Her debut collection of multicultural poetry (Black Pear Press, 2020) focused on living between two cultures, British and Punjabi. Sunita is workshop facilitator, speaker and performance poet. She has had poetry and short stories published in various literary magazines, e-zines and journals.

A Stranger in Paris by Karen Webb | #BookSpotlight #AstrangerInParis #lovebookstours | @bookwormpegg @impressbooks1 @lovebooksgroup

Posted on Updated on

Hello, Sunshines, Today I have the huge pleasure to be featuring; A Stranger in Paris by Karen Webb. Full disclosure first, this post was supposed to be a cover reveal on Tuesday, 1st September 2020, unfortunately, due to certain sad event’s I was unable to stick to my day (full details can be found here – A Quick Note) huge apologies to Kelly at Love Book Tours and Karen, I promised to feature the book so here it is, better late then never I suppose. I do hope you all love the sound of the book as much as I do!

A Stranger in Paris by Karen Webb

Aberystwyth University, 1986 – and another year of torrential rain. Bad hair days and a rugby-fanatic fiancé are part of her drab existence so who can blame Karen for falling into the arms of a handsome Parisian?

Hastening across The Channel with stars in her eyes, she speeds to the city of light only to discover that her lover is nowhere to be found. Nor what he seemed.

Life takes a turn for the better when her old school-friend Jessica makes a dramatic entrance, encouraging Karen on a downward spiral of adventure – including a brush with the Parisian underworld which places both girls in peril.

Karen’s childhood is a constant anguish reminding her that when things go wrong, not everyone has a home to return to, as the dark shadows of the past merge with her troubled French life.

Where to go, when there’s no going home?

Based on a true story, A Stranger in Paris is the first of a three-part series. This honest memoir recounts with humour and poignancy the search for love and family.

Buy Link – Amazon

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About the Author 

Karen graduated from Aberystwyth University with a Degree in English Literature. She then moved to Paris, where she worked for 16 years as an English language teacher for business professionals before settling in rural South West France. With few employment opportunities other than stuffing geese or picking melons, she qualified as a licensed real estate agent.

Karen then attended Lancaster University where she graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing in 2015, after which she set up a series of Creative Writing retreats, “A Chapter Away”, inviting world famous authors, literary agents and publishers to teach aspiring novelists. Inspired by the comments of tutors on the memoir writing course, she began “A Stranger in Paris.”

Passionate about theatre, and script-writing, Karen has also written plays, several short stories and a novel – all of which are lurking in the bottom drawer. “A Stranger in Paris” is her first published work, and is the first novel of the trilogy La Vie Française.

Karen now lives in Gascony with her husband and son, and has a grown-up daughter who works in London. Much of her writing is inspired by the North West of England where she grew up, and France which became her country of adoption.