Historical Fiction

#BlogTour | The Will to Succeed by Christine Raafat #TheWillToSucceed #Review @Bookollective @UnicornPubGroup

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Hello, Sunshines on this cold topsy-turvy day! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; The Will To Succeed by Christine Raafat. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, so settle back, grab a cuppa and enjoy!

When the 15-year-old Lady Anne Clifford’s father died in 1605, she was his sole surviving child and expecting to inherit the Cliffords’ great northern estates. But the Earl of Cumberland leaves a will which ignores an ancient law and bequeaths the lands to his brother, in the belief that a prophecy by his great-grandfather will eventually come true and return the estates to Anne. She and her mother vow to contest the will.

Anne spends the next three decades battling for what she believes is rightfully hers. She risks everything by opposing her beloved husband, her family and friends, the nobility, the law courts, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the King. She steadfastly (and treasonably) refuses to accept the King’s decision, whatever the consequences, but is defeated and left with the prophecy as her only hope.

Widowed at thirty-four, she survives an anxious period alone with her two young daughters before surprising everyone with an ill-judged second marriage which gives her access to the highest in the land. But the Civil War destroys that power and confines the 52-year-old Anne to a grand palace in London for six years. Still convinced of her rights, will she ever attain “ye landes of mine inheritance”?

Well, what could I possibly say about this remarkable book that probably hasn’t been said a thousand times over during the course of this blog tour? Engaging, intriguing, intelligent, thought-provoking. A masterpiece of historical fiction that just happens to recount the true-life story of a woman whom could have faded into obscurity and never the know, yet because of her resilience, her all-out thirst for her rights, her determination to get what was rightfully hers and the fact that she was a keen journal writer, we know all about her and her fight for rights and her lands.

After the death of her father; the Earl of Cumberland, Anne thinks that she is to inherit the vast estates that are rightfully hers, but the old earl only went and changed his will and foregoing the old law saying Anne is the sole heir and instead names his brother as their heir. Anne and her mother become determined to gain back what is rightfully Anne’s and contest the will, something that Anne fights for the rest of her life. With her fight for her rights she makes enemies, she faces hard decisions and danger at every turn, life isn’t easy for Anne, but she is so courageous she never falters to keep going, she never once thinks of giving up the fight. She really was a remarkable woman and through Christine Raafat’s expertly woven tale which exquisitely captors every nuance of the period, and captures the reader’s imagination with her vivid and accurate attention to detail, we get a real sense of just how extraordinary this woman was.

For someone who loves history, especially women’s history, I have to hang my head in shame that I had never heard of Anne Clifford before reading this book. What an amazing woman, a woman who I think had the mindset of someone centuries ahead of her time, she is exactly the sort of person that I love to read about; an advocate for woman and their rights, fighting men to gain her place and what is rightfully hers, she was fearless, she was headstrong and passionate about what she believed in and what she believed was right. Again, I am shocked that I had never heard of her before this book!

And what a book – this is historical fiction at it’s very best!

This was a complimentary copy via Bookollective which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour, thank you, Ladies!

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Link

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About the Author

Christine Raafat grew up in the Eden Valley, in what was then Westmorland. An early fascination with Ancient Egypt led to an ambition to be an archaeologist; instead she became a Clinical Psychologist and married an Egyptian Psychiatrist. Twins were born two years later.

She lived in East Sussex for over 20 years, working with children and families and published Parenting Skills in 1995.

Widowed and then retired, she took up painting and returned to Cumbria, but was later seduced by the fascination of words and published several magazine articles of local interest.

The Will to Succeed is her first novel, taking us back from the court of James I to the Eden Valley.

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Blog Tour Scedule

#BookBlast | The Holocaust Story Series by Roberta Kagan #TheHolocaustStorySeries #HFVBTBlogTours @RobertaKagan @hfvbt

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Hello Sunshines! I have the massive pleasure to today’s stop on this amazing book blast for; The Holocaust Story Series by Roberta Kagan. I am super excited to be telling you all about this beautiful series, each one of these books sounds absolutely amazing and are definitely going on this ‘Wish List’. So as always grab that cuppa, sit back and enjoy!

The Smallest Crack by Roberta Kagan

Publication Date: July 1, 2019
Format: Paperback & eBook; 321 Pages

Series: The Holocaust Story Series, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

1933 Berlin, Germany

The son of a rebbe, Eli Kaetzel, and his beautiful but timid wife, Rebecca, find themselves in danger as Hitler rises to power. Eli knows that their only chance for survival may lie in the hands of Gretchen, a spirited Aryan girl. However, the forbidden and dangerous friendship between Eli and Gretchen has been a secret until now. Because, for Eli, if it is discovered that he has been keeping company with a woman other than his wife it will bring shame to him and his family. For Gretchen her friendship with a Jew is forbidden by law and could cost her, her life.

Available on Amazon

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The Darkest Canyon by Roberta Kagan

Publication Date: October 5, 2019
Format: Paperback & eBook; 341 Pages

Series: The Holocaust Story Series, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Nazi Germany.

Gretchen Schmidt has a secret life. She is in love with a married Jewish man. She is hiding him while his wife is posing as an Aryan woman.

Her best friend Hilde, who unbeknownst to Gretchen is a sociopath, is working as a guard at Ravensbruck concentration camp.

If Hilde discovers Gretchen’s secret will their friendship be strong enough to keep Gretchen safe? Or will Hilde fall under the spell of the Nazi’s and turn her in her best friend to the Gestapo?

The Darkest Canyon is terrifying ride along the edge of a canyon in the dark of night.

Available on Amazon

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Millions of Pebbles by Roberta Kagan

Publication Date: December 27, 2019
Format: Paperback & eBook; 320 Pages

Series: The Holocaust Story Series, Book One
Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Benjamin Rabinowitz’s life is shattered as he watches his wife, Lila, and his son, Moishe, leave to escape the Lodz ghetto. He is conflicted because he knows this is their best chance of survival, but he asks himself, will he ever see them again?

Ilsa Guhr has a troubled childhood, but as she comes of age, she learns that her beauty and sexuality give her the power to get what she wants. But she craves an even greater power. As the Nazis take control of Germany, she sees an opportunity to gain everything she’s ever desired.

Fate will weave a web that will bring these two unlikely people into each other’s lives.

Available on Amazon

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About the Author

I am a USA Today Best Selling Author of Historical Jewish Fiction mainly set during World War 2. My father was Romany and my mother was Jewish, When I was very young I learned about the Holocaust. I couldn’t understand how something like this could happen. So, I began to research and learn more. I met with survivors. I even met with children and grandchildren of SS officers. But I still had no answers. I cannot say that I have all of the answers to all of my questions even now. But what I do know is that soon all of the survivors will be gone. Their message must be remembered, the sacrifices that they made must not be forgotten. And so I humbly and with the utmost humility, I try to tell their stories. It is painful, but I must convey the darkness and horror of the time, however, I also want the world to know and celebrate the unsung heroes. Because there were many ordinary people who acted in heroic ways. I realize that writing these books is a great responsibility. I pray every day that I am able to do this correctly. I am trying to reach out and touch many people, not with the message of the horrors but with the promise of hope. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for considering my work. It is an honor that I never take lightly.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Book Blast Schedule

Monday, February 17
Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 18
Words and Peace

Wednesday, February 19
Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, February 20
Broken Teepee
Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, February 21
Reading is My Remedy

Saturday, February 22
Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Monday, February 24
YA, It’s Lit

Tuesday, February 25
CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, February 26
Books, Dreams, Life

Thursday, February 27
Books In Their Natural Habitat

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 10 ebooks of The Smallest Crack! To enter, please use the Gleam here –Holocaust Story Series

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.


#BlogTour | The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo #TheBorgiaConfessions #ExclusiveExcerpt @AlyssInWnderlnd @StMartinsPress

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Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo I didn’t have time to write my review of this incredible book before the blog tour began – typical me, I didn’t plan ahead properly – but I can guarantee my review will be coming shortly and I can’t wait to share it, as this book is amazing! But, I do have a brilliant exclusive excerpt for you all which I know you will love, so grab a cuppa and let me tell all about this amazing book.

The Borgia Confessions by Alyssa Palombo

‘Under Palombo’s skillful hand, the entangled world of the Borgias comes vividly to life, exposing the dark facets of class structure and the all-consuming greed that comes with ambition–and love.” – Heather Webb, internationally bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris and Meet Me in Monaco

During the sweltering Roman summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has risen to power as pope. Rodrigo’s eldest son Cesare, forced to follow his father into the church and newly made the Archbishop of Valencia, chafes at his ecclesiastical role and fumes with jealousy and resentment at the way that his foolish brother has been chosen for the military greatness he desired.

Maddalena Moretti comes from the countryside, where she has seen how the whims of powerful men wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people. But now, employed as a servant in the Vatican Palace, she cannot help but be entranced by Cesare Borgia’s handsome face and manner and finds her faith and conviction crumbling in her want of him.

As war rages and shifting alliances challenge the pope’s authority, Maddalena and Cesare’s lives grow inexplicably entwined. Maddalena becomes a keeper of dangerous Borgia secrets, and must decide if she is willing to be a pawn in the power games of the man she loves. And as jealousy and betrayal threaten to tear apart the Borgia family from within, Cesare is forced to reckon with his seemingly limitless ambition.

Alyssa Palombo’s captivating new novel, The Borgia Confessions, is a story of passion, politics, and class, set against the rise and fall of one of Italy’s most infamous families–the Borgias.

Amazon

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Praise for Alyssa Palomo and The Borgia Confessions

“[A] vivacious tale of power and love set in 1492… Excavating the personal relationships and petty disagreements that fueled Pope Alexander VI’s controversial reign, Palombo’s enticing tale will please fans of Sharon Kay Penman.”

Publishers Weekly

“Readers looking for an immersive, light, romantic read will enjoy this book.”

Booklist

“Under Palombo’s skillful hand, the entangled world of the Borgias comes vividly to life, exposing the dark facets of class structure and the all-consuming greed that comes with ambition–and love. I was utterly engrossed from page one. A colorful and suspenseful novel, The Borgia Confessions is packed with complex characters and political intrigue, and will leave readers hungry for more.”

Heather Webb, internationally bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris and Meet Me in Monaco

“Palombo has crafted a sweeping and surprisingly sympathetic portrait of Cesare Borgia, one of history’s most notorious “bad boys,” and the world surrounding him. [A] dark Renaissance parable about the intertwining of lust and power. If you’re as fascinated with all things Borgia as I am, you won’t want to miss this one!”

Kris Waldherr, author of The Lost History of Dreams and Bad Princess

“Handsome. Intriguing. Dangerous. Seductive. [This] is everything you want in a book–it’s a romance, a page-turner, and a ride deep into the sumptuous and tumultuous time of Renaissance Italy.”

Crystal King, author of The Chef’s Secret

“Alyssa Palombo’s deft and delicate prose makes a gorgeous contrast against the visceral and cutthroat world of the Borgias. Dark and decadent, THE BORGIA CONFESSIONS is mesmerizing from start to finish.”

Meghan Masterson, author of The Wardrobe Mistress

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Exclusive Excerpt

Chapter 3
MADDALENA

Not much changed for those of us in service at the Vatican Palace when the new pope took over. There were still the same tasks to see to, the same rooms to be cleaned, the same floors to be scrubbed, and the same laundry to be washed. The Holy Father was to be obeyed whoever he was, and his earthly house was to be kept clean and running smoothly so he could attend to far more lofty matters. One morning I was returning to the kitchens with an empty tray from one of the cardinals’ rooms—the new Vice-Chancellor, Ascanio Sforza by name—when I passed a man heading for the

Holy Father’s audience chamber. He was rather garishly dressed, in brightly colored hose and tunic with a huge codpiece, and wear- ing a hat with a large feather in it. He winked and leered at me as I passed, and I cast my eyes down. Surely such a man was not fit for an audience with the Holy Father?
I caught up with one of the other maids, Fabrizia, at the end of the hallway. “Fabrizia,” I murmured, my voice low so my words would not echo off the marble floors and walls, “who is that man?” I jerked my chin toward the man’s retreating back.
She snickered. “That’s Juan Borgia. The pope’s son,” she confided. I gasped. All of Rome knew of the existence of Cardinal Borgia’s children—Pope Alexander, I corrected myself. It was no secret that many of the other cardinals had mistresses and bastard children as well. But for a pope to acknowledge such children . . . “He brings his children into the Vatican?” I asked, shocked. “He allows them to be
known as such, even now that he has been made pope?”
Fabrizia nodded. “It is unusual, indeed. No referring to them as his nephews or nieces, as popes usually do. And you know he keeps a mistress, yes?”
I gasped again. I had heard the whisperings, but I tried my best to close my ears to such things. Gossip—especially gossip about the Holy Father—was a sin.
Yet my curiosity rose, despite my pangs of guilt. I shall confess this sin after Mass on Sunday, I promised myself. “I . . . he does?” I asked.

Fabrizia’s eyes gleamed, and she drew me into a small alcove. She was well and truly settled in to gossip. “Oh, yes. Honestly, Maddalena, even for a country bumpkin you seem altogether too innocent sometimes—and you a widow, no less. Her name is Giulia Farnese and she is the most beautiful woman in Rome. He keeps her with his cousin, Adriana, and his daughter, Lucrezia. Can you imagine? And La Bella Farnese is married to Adriana’s own son! They were just married when Giulia La Bella caught Cardinal Bor- gia’s eye, and so Donna Adriana banished her son to the country estates to get him out of the way—before the cuckold’s horns were even properly affixed to his head, they say.” She snickered. “If the stories are true, Cardinal Borgia—Pope Alexander—has rewarded Adriana and her family richly, including the poor cuckolded son, which is exactly what she was hoping for.” She leaned closer and lowered her voice further. “He is said to be moving them to the pal- ace of Santa Maria in Portico. He wants La Bella Farnese nearer to him—they say there is a secret passage that connects the Vatican Palace to that one, so he can visit her in secret.”
I crossed myself automatically. “God forgive him,” I said. “He has been led astray by a harlot.” Immediately I regretted my words—he was the Holy Father; he could do no wrong. Who was I to criticize, when I could not understand the ways in which God spoke to His representative on earth? “But that is not for us to say,” I added hastily.
Fabrizia rolled her eyes. “Indeed,” she said. “All I know is men do what they want, whether they wear hose or a cardinal’s robes. Or a pope’s, even. I don’t know that God has much to say about it. But his son, that Juan . . .” She nodded in the direction from which we’d come. “They say Pope Alexander has big plans for him, and for his other son, Cesare. He’ll not let his children fade into the background, not the Borgia pope.”

It was some weeks before I saw the other son, Cesare. It was late evening, and he looked to be heading in the direction of the pope’s private rooms. I curtsied to him as he passed in the darkened hall- way in his purple archbishop’s robes. I felt his eyes on me as I curt- sied, and when I rose our eyes met briefly. Goodness, but he was handsome, with his head of thick, dark curls under his cap and his dark eyes and the stubble lining his cheeks and chin, which looked like they belonged on a statue in the Vatican gardens. He was much more handsome than his fop of a brother, that was for certain. His eyes turned away, forward once more.
My cheeks burned with shame as I continued on, back to my cot in the bowels of the palace where I shared a room with three other maids. Cesare Borgia was a man of God, an archbishop, no less—it was not meet that I should think him comely or attractive.

I crossed myself, whispering a silent prayer of forgiveness. Back in my room, I bent over the handkerchief I was embroidering, squinting at it in the dim light, and recited a prayer with each few stitches to keep my thoughts from wandering where they did not belong.

*Excerpt provided by the publisher to be used with this blog tour.

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About the Author

ALYSSA PALOMBO is the author of The Violinist of Venice, The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence, and The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel. She is a recent graduate of Canisius College with degrees in English and creative writing, respectively. A passionate music lover, she is a classically trained musician as well as a big fan of heavy metal. When not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her friends, traveling, or planning for next Halloween. She lives in Buffalo, New York, where she is always at work on a new novel.

Website / Instagram / Twitter

#BlogTour | Fair Weather Enemies by Sawyer North #FairWeatherEnemies #Excerpt #HFVBTBlogTour @MrDarcyExplains @hfvbt

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Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the brilliant blog tour for; Fair Weather Enemies by Sawyer North, this book looks amazing is heading right to the top of ‘Next to buy’ list, I have an excellent exclusive excerpt to share with you all. As always, sit back grab that cuppa and enjoy.

Fair Weather Enemies by Sawyer North

Publication Date: February 10, 2020
Publisher: Entangled Publishing/Scandalous
Format: Paperback & eBook; 270 Pages

Genre: Historical Romance

 

 

The Hancocks and Ashfords have had a long-standing feud between their families long before Miss Jane Hancock couldn’t stand the sight of gentleman farmer Adam Ashford. But after both families fall on hard times and an unscrupulous creditor forces Jane and Adam to sign a devil’s bargain, they’ll finally understand the true meaning of keeping your enemies close at hand.

The terms of this bargain? Locate a lost treasure shrouded in deception and mystery.

The catch? Only one can claim it to win…the loser is left to ruin.

As Jane and Adam embark on a trek throughout England they plan to hate their adversary, no matter how attractive, generous, and kind they are.

Sometimes, plans change…

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

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Exclusive Excerpt

Adam settled into distraught silence as the full force of the quandary hit home. Ashford land had remained intact for nearly two centuries, and he would be the one to lose it. His head fell into his hands and he squeezed his temples. Why hadn’t his father, apparent giver of sage advice, prepared him for this? Why had he not been more forthcoming about the family’s tenuous financial position?

If only the letter had been right,” he mumbled mournfully. “Glasgow and Edinburgh, indeed.”

He heard Miss Hancock rise from her chair but didn’t lift his head until a touch on his shoulder caused him to flinch. He looked up to find her peering at him with narrowed eyes and a fine crease between her sweeping eyebrows.

Mr. Ashford. What do you mean regarding Glasgow and Edinburgh?”

The question perplexed him further. How could she not know his meaning? What was her game?

Glasgow and Edinburgh,” he repeated with mild mockery. “From the first line of the letter.”

The surprise that lit her face erased some of his doubt. She appeared thoroughly confused. He stood to face her.

What is it, Miss Hancock? What do you know?”

She stared at him for several seconds before reaching into her reticule. Her hand emerged clutching a familiar folded paper.

Your copy of the letter?”

Perhaps not a copy.” She opened the document. “Mine is entitled ‘Initium’. The first two lines read, ‘Liverpool, Leeds, a fortress unseen. A cross to denote the point to set sail.’”

Adam’s breath caught. Without thinking, he reached into his jacket to produce his family’s copy of the letter. He carried it with him always since the day his dying father had bequeathed it to him. He opened it carefully and read the first two lines.

Mine is entitled ‘Sequitur’. It reads, ‘Edinburgh, Glasgow, the castle between. An arrow revealing the start of the trail.’”

He glanced up to find Miss Hancock’s features wracked with injured betrayal. She shook her head slowly. “The letters are a lie. A ruse intended to keep us from the gold.”

Adam numbly agreed with her assessment. “It would seem so. We have been duped twice over and ruined as a result.”

Mrs. Byrd’s whispering drew his attention. She stared fixedly at the ceiling, her lips mouthing the lines from the letters. Then she erupted to her feet.

No! Not a lie! Not a ruse!” Her voice quivered with epiphany.

Miss Hancock grabbed her hand. “Auntie. What do you mean?”

Don’t you see, Jane? The letters are not fabrications. They are two parts of the same letter! In Latin, initium means start and sequitur means follow.”

Adam’s curiosity drove him toward Jane’s aunt. “Please explain, Mrs. Byrd.”

Hester began reciting breathlessly, interleaving lines. “Liverpool, Leeds, a fortress unseen. Edinburgh, Glasgow, the castle between. A cross to denote the point to set sail. An arrow revealing the start of the trail.”

Adam’s stomach flipped as chaotic thoughts rampaged through his mind. The lines rhymed. Two parts of the same letter. Four cities, not two. Dared he hope? Miss Hancock seemed just as taken with the notion as she whispered the lines. Then her hand flew to her mouth in astonishment. She knew something. He gripped her wrist most indecorously.

What are you thinking, Miss Hancock?”

She peered up at him with wide eyes. “A map. We need a map of Britain.”

Barlow pointed to the wall. “Just there.”

Without a word, she stripped away the pair of ribbons holding her hair in place. Long locks unwound to drape across her back and shoulders, full and soft, the color something akin to intractable mud. No, he amended. More like freshly turned earth left in the wake of the plow before spring planting. He shook his head vigorously to remind himself that she was still a Hancock, and therefore, quite beneath his attention. Meanwhile, she hurried to the map.

Mr. Barlow, if you please.” She offered the solicitor a ribbon. “Stretch this between Edinburgh and Liverpool.”

Barlow accepted the ribbon and did as she instructed. Adam stepped nearer, his curiosity raging. Miss Hancock wove her arms between Barlow’s and stretched the other ribbon between Glasgow and Leeds. Then she cocked her head toward Adam triumphantly.

Where do the ribbons cross?”

He stepped toward the map, incredulous. “Carlisle.” He glanced at her and then the map again. “A cross to denote the point to set sail!”

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About the Author

After self-publishing science fiction novels over a period of years, I made the truly odd move into historical romance. Although romance is a strong thread in nearly all my works, I came to straight-up, nothing-but-romance only after turning fifty. Since then, I am plagued by the question, “What took me so long?” My awakening began rather innocuously when I casually watched the 2015 version of Poldark. Before I knew, I was falling headlong into the abyss of historical romance and read fifteen such novels over a three-month span. However, no number could sufficiently scratch my itch for more, so I did what any writer would do and began constructing stories of my own. In April of 2019, I received my first contract with Entangled Publishing.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour Schedule

Dogo and visit the other blogs on this blog tour.

Monday, February 10
Review at Historical Romance Lover

Tuesday, February 11
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Wednesday, February 12
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Saturday, February 15
Review at Historical Graffiti

Sunday, February 16
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, February 18
Interview at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, February 19
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Saturday, February 22
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch

Monday, February 24
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, February 25
Excerpt at What Is That Book About

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Fair Weather Enemies

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 25th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

#BookBlast | The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr #HFVBTBlogTours #TheLostHistoryOfDreams @kriswalfherr @hfvbt

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Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be apart of this Release Day Book Blast of; The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr. Not only will I be telling you all about this amazing – which has been on my ‘Need to Read’ pile for way too long, but there is also an exclusive to this book blast giveaway, as always settle back, grab that cuppa and enjoy!

The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr

Paperback Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages

Genre: Historical/Gothic/Mystery

 

 

The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr is now out in paperback! In it, a post-mortem photographer unearths the dark secrets of a famed poet’s marriage in this “sensual, twisting gothic tale…in the tradition of A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights” (BookPage). Blurring the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death, The Lost History of Dreams is “a surrealist, haunting tale of suspense where every prediction turns out to be merely a step toward a bigger reveal” (Booklist).

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is found dead in his bath one morning in 1850, final arrangements are left to his estranged cousin, historian turned postmortem photographer Robert Highstead. De Bonne’s will instructs that he should be buried in a stained glass chapel set on the Shropshire moors, built to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. It has since been locked to all outsiders—especially the cultlike fans of de Bonne’s final book, The Lost History of Dreams. Only Ada’s grief-stricken niece, Isabelle, holds the key, but she refuses to open the chapel unless Robert agrees to her bargain: Before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record the real story behind her aunt’s ill-fated marriage to the poet over the course of five nights—a story that is both love story and ghost story.

Learn more here.

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Giveaway

In addition, Kris is offering two giveaways, one for book clubs and a second for readers:

1. The Midwinter’s Night Read Sweepstakes includes six paperbacks and a $75 Trader Joe’s gift card for your book club ($177 value). Enter here.

2. The Uncover Your Lost History giveaway includes an autographed paperback of The Lost History of Dreams and a three card email tarot reading from Kris herself ($57 value); Kris is also the creator of the bestselling Goddess Tarot. Enter here.

Giveaways end 11:50pm EST on February 20th. US only. Good luck to all who enter!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

 

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Praise for The Lost History of Dreams

“Scheherazade-like … haunting… Waldherr writes that ‘love stories are ghost stories in disguise.’ This one, happily, succeeds as both.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An unexpected delight that grows steadily more compelling as its pages fly by.” —Booklist

“A sensual, twisting gothic tale that embraces Victorian superstition much in the tradition of A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.”—BookPage

“Eerily atmospheric and gorgeously written, The Lost History of Dreams is a Gothic fairy-tale to savor.” – Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of THE ALICE NETWORK and THE HUNTRESS

“The Lost History of Dreams is a dark, shimmering gem of a novel, glittering with love lost, secrets kept, and long-buried truths revealed. Wonder, memory, death and passion haunt every page of Kris Waldherr’s powerhouse Gothic debut.” – Greer Macallister, bestselling author of THE MAGICIAN’S LIE and WOMAN 99

“Brooding, romantic, and thoughtful, The Lost History of Dreams is a rare bird in that it shines throughout with wit. I loved every page of it.” – Erika Swyler, bestselling author of THE BOOK OF SPECULATION and LIGHT FROM OTHER STARS

“With luminous prose, stunning poetry and a fascinating cast of characters, Waldherr weaves a wonderfully atmospheric tale. Not to be missed!” – Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER

“A riveting, addictive read. Sarah Waters fans will be entranced. – Mary Sharratt, author of ECSTASY and DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL

“A novel of haunting mystery and passion reminiscent of Wuthering Heights and Byatt’s Possession.” – Crystal King, author of FEAST OF SORROW and THE CHEF’S SECRET

“An atmospheric tale of lost love, family secrets, and an inquiry into how our own histories define us, I relished every poetic page.” – Heather Webb, international bestselling author of LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS and THE PHANTOM’S APPRENTICE

“With beautiful prose and poetry, Waldherr weaves a darkly seductive Gothic tale of love, art, death, and obsession. You’ll want to keep reading this one late into the night.” – Alyssa Palombo, author of THE SPELLBOOK OF KATRINA VAN TASSEL

“A sumptuous feast for all the senses.” – Clarissa Harwood, author of IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS and BEAR NO MALICE

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About the Author

Kris Waldherr’s books for adults and children include The Lost History of Dreams, Bad Princess, Doomed Queens, and The Book of Goddesses. The Lost History of Dreams received a Kirkus starred review and was called “an unexpected delight” by Booklist. The New Yorker praised Doomed Queens as “utterly satisfying” and “deliciously perverse.” The Book of Goddesses was a One Spirit/Book-of-the-Month Club’s Top Ten Most Popular Book. Her picture book Persephone and the Pomegranate was lauded by the New York Times Book Review for its “quality of myth and magic.” Her fiction has won fellowships from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts, and a works-in-progress reading grant from Poets & Writers.

As a visual artist, Waldherr is the creator of the Goddess Tarot, which has a quarter of a million copies in print. She has had illustrations published as greeting cards, book covers, and in calendars and magazines. Her art has been exhibited in many galleries and museums including the Ruskin Library, the Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Kris Waldherr works and lives in Brooklyn in a Victorian-era house with her husband, their young daughter, and a very vocal Bengal cat.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub

 

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Release Date Blast Hosts

100 Pages a Day
Books In Their Natural Habitat
CelticLady’s Reviews
Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Clarissa Reads it All
Donna’s Book Blog
Historical Fiction with Spirit
Nurse Bookie
Passages to the Past
The Book Junkie Reads
The Lit Bitch
To Read, Or Not to Read

 

#BlogTour | Metropolis by Ellie Midwood #Metropolis #Excerpt #HFVBTBlogTours @hfvbt

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Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be todays stop on this brilliant blog tour for; Metropolis by Ellie Midwood, not only will I be telling you all about this wonderful book, but I have an exclusive excerpt which you will love, so settle back grab a cuppa and enjoy!

Metropolis by Ellie Midwood

Publication Date: January 31, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 238 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

 

Weimar Berlin, 1924

Unemployed actors, profiteers, cabaret girls, and impoverished aristocracy – out of this wild set of characters populating Weimar Berlin, Margarete Gräfin von Steinhoff belongs to the latter category. Having lost everything due to hyper-inflation, she considers jumping into the freezing waters of the Spree rather than facing the humiliating existence shared by millions of her fellow Germans. However, a chance meeting makes her change her mind at the last moment and offers her a chance to rely on the help of the metropolis itself, where anything can be sold and bought for money and where connections are everything. The bustling nightlife of cosmopolitan Berlin, with its casinos and dance halls, brings good income for the ones who don’t burden themselves too heavily with morals.

After a New Year’s Eve party, Margot finally meets her ever-absent and mysterious neighbor, Paul Schneider, who makes a living by producing a certain type of film for his rich clientele. Under his guidance, Margot discovers a new passion of hers – photography and soon, her talents are noticed by the prominent newspaper, Berliner Tageblatt itself. But being an official photographer of the most celebrated events of the La Scala and most famous Berlin theaters no longer satisfies Margot’s ambitions. As soon as the chance presents itself for her to get involved with the cinematography on the set of “Metropolis” – the film with the highest budget ever produced by the UFA – Margot jumps at it, without thinking twice. At the same time, Paul becomes involved with a rival project, “The Holy Mountain,” which stars an as yet unknown actress and an emerging director in, Leni Riefenstahl. As the two women meet, professional rivalry soon turns into a true friendship, fueled by their passion for cinematography. However, due to the economic woes facing Germany, both projects soon run out of money and now, both film crews must go to extreme lengths to save their respective productions.

Set against the backdrop of a decadent, vibrant, and fascinatingly liberal Weimar Berlin, “Metropolis” is a novel of survival, self-discovery, and self-sacrifice, in the name of art, love, and friendship.

Available on Amazon

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Exclusive Excerpt

Before the end of summer, Paul packed his well-traveled trunks and was gone to Austria. On the platform of the Lehrter Bahnhof, he kissed Margot ceremoniously on both cheeks, like a French general, looked at her long and hard, squeezed her shoulders, wished her only the best, and jumped on the train without a second look. Ernst also spent most of his time with Altendorf in their new headquarters and Margot was suddenly all alone; alone in the city with myriads of faces around her.

She had not much to do with all that free time and began going to the theaters during the day; watched rehearsals and chatted with the directors, who puffed out their chests and bragged about selling out an entire place for two months in the row – and in such times! – in order to impress her. Margot listened politely but disappeared backstage as soon as the opportunity presented itself and sat at a table in the room filled with cigarette smoke to such an extent that it made her eyes water and listened to actors rehearse their lines, in affected voices.

She sat and observed and took photos from time to time – of the conservatory girls who wore expensive silk stockings and sat separately from the drama school girls, who spoke with broad Berlin accents and quietly hated the conservatory girls because the conservatory girls always got all the good lines and could recite Hamlet in its original English and had long ago mastered the outburst technique. Sometimes, she ventured into the corridor where male extras consulted rehearsal schedules and gossiped about the leading actor’s new flame, the lucky sod, not even a Berliner, a provincial kind, wherever they found him and now he dines at the Resi while they eat at the Troika and that’s on the opening nights only.

The stage and the new actors were for the Tageblatt; the backstage photos were for her eyes only. In Margot’s opinion, they were the ones that ought to have been printed, and not that staged boredom that Paul had taught her well to despise. The true-life was there, behind the scenes, stretching and exercising at the bars and singing on top of each other and singing even louder and lifting legs even higher when the director would venture into their little kingdom and observe them with a mildly disapproving look before marching straight to the leading actress’ room to puff out his chest even more and smile and ask whether the champagne was cold enough and the light wasn’t too bright.

Margot observed it all and took more photos and sent some of them – her most interesting ones – to Paul. From him, an envelope would arrive a week or so later, with photos he took. He was excited; they were filming in Zermatt now, supposedly, the most beautiful mountain landscape in the whole of Europe. Weisshorn, Monte Rosa, Matterhorn – the picturesque mountain peaks and an unfamiliar, bearded man gazing up at them, shielding his eyes from the sun with his hand. Must be Fanck, Margot decided, the director. For some reason, she was relieved that it wasn’t the leading actress that Paul was taking photos of.

It was sad and amusing, the fact that they hardly exchanged a few words apart from a couple of lines jotted down on the back of the photos and a rare phone call – Margot was almost always gone at night and Paul was always in the mountains during the day. But then one morning, Dora brought her a particularly thick envelope. Enclosed in it, Margot found all of the clippings from the Tageblatt, every single photo of hers that they published and a small card from Paul with ‘I watch Berlin dance through your eyes – it has never been more beautiful,’ and Margot arrived at the Scala late and with red eyes and couldn’t remember the name of the new gymnast she was there to film, for the life of her.

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About the Author

Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, “The Girl from Berlin.” Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

For more information on Ellie and her novels, please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, January 31
Review at Passages to the Past
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Monday, February 3
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Tuesday, February 4
Feature at Comet Readings

Wednesday, February 5
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books

Friday, February 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Saturday, February 8
Excerpt at Robin Loves Reading

Wednesday, February 12
Review at Books and Zebras
Excerpt at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Thursday, February 13
Review & Guest Post at Tales from the Book Dragon

Friday, February 14
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Feature at I’m All About Books

Sunday, February 16
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, February 17
Review at Nurse Bookie

Wednesday, February 19
Review at Historical Graffiti

Thursday, February 20
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Friday, February 21
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

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Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Metropolis! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Metropolis

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on February 21st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.


#BlogTour | Killing Beauties by Pete Langman #KillingBeauties #Review #RandomThingsTours @elegantfowl @annecarter @Unbound_Digital

Posted on

Hello Sunshines! I have the pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; Killing Beauties by Pete Langman. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, so grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy.

England, 1655. Following the brutal civil wars the country swelters under a cloud of paranoia, suspicion and the burgeoning threat of rebellion. With the fragile peace being won by Cromwell’s ever-efficient Secretary of State John Thurloe, the exiled king Charles Stuart sends two spies on a dangerous mission to wrest back the initiative. These spies are different, however: they are women. Their task? To turn Parliament’s spymaster into their unwitting accomplice.

Killing Beauties is a dark tale of subterfuge, jealousy and betrayal.

It is sometimes said that women are written out of history, but often they are not yet written in. Killing Beauties is based on the true stories of two female spies from the 1650s and gives them the voice that only fiction can.

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I know the old saying says; ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ and usually I don’t jump onto a blog tour or take on a review by the cover alone, but I did instantly love it it’s so darkly gothic I was fascinated. Add an intriguing blurb, a historical tale all about unknown women from history then you have me hooked.

Set in 1655 during the English Civil War where the country is full of spies, danger, back-stabbing, death, and rebellion ready to tear the country apart even more then it is already. Exiled King Charles II wants more than anything to wrestle his country back and for eventual peace, something that looks set to be very difficult with Cromwell’s spy-master; Thurloe lurking bout in the shadows. So Charles sends his own spies into infiltrating Thurloe, but these aren’t just any ordinary spies they are women. Something which not only surprised me as I didn’t know that there were female spies in the period even existed, and now has made me want to learn more.

Anyone who follows me knows that I love reading about seemingly unknown historic women, I had never heard about Susan Hyde or Diana Jennings, in fact, I hadn’t known that King Charles had a league of female spies – a fact that I will definitely be reading more about. Killing Beauties isn’t a hugely taxing book to read and it is very enjoyable getting to know the author’s impersonation of these two fascinating women, there are times when the story sort of feels a little flat or vague at times but I looked past that and enjoyed the journey that the author was taking us on.

I really enjoyed this, it’s dark and gothic, Killing Beauties is based on the true life’s of Susan and Diana, their characters are well defined, they all work well with one another throughout and make the reader instantly like them and wanting them to succeed in their mission, even though this is predominately a work of fiction there is a strong sense of in-depth research that has gone into the story, which only makes the reader discover more about this fascinatingly complex era and the women who staying within the shadows to do a man’s job.

The overall story could have done with a bit of fattening up, there are gaps and moments which did keep me hanging on and wondering only for the story to move past and on to the next part of the story, something which is a real shame, but I liked Langman’s writing and the story did capture my attention.

Overall this is an interesting historical, not the strongest which I have read as it does have its weak moments but certainly, one to read for anyone who loves their women’s history, as there is promise for more.

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Link

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About The Author

Pete Langman is a writer, academic, cricketer and sometime rock and roll guitarist who holds a PhD on Francis Bacon (the other one) and was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease at 40. His non-fiction encompasses Cricket, Parkinson’s Disease, Music, History of Science, literature and culture, and has appeared in publications ranging from The Guardian to Guitar and Bass Magazine. He lives between Leiden and Brighton with his partner Dr. Nadine Akkerman, award-winning author of Invisible Agents, who supplies him with historical expertise and who keeps asking if they can have a cat now, please.

Website / Twitter / Goodreads 

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Blog Tour Schedule