Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!
Donna

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pompeii, in all it's glory! PLUS a GIVEAWAY!!!

Please join historical novelists Vicky Alvear Shecter, Sophie Perinot, Ben Kane, Kate Quinn, E. Knight, and Stephanie Dray as they tour the blogosphere for A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii, from October 27-December 5 with HF Virtual Book Tours!

In honor of the Blog Tour the authors have included a very special giveaway of a beautiful one-of-a-kind Roman style Necklace (18") and Earring set inspired by jewelry from the ancient world. Handcrafted of real carnelian, the most popular semi-precious gemstone of the ancient world, it was designed to commemorate the release of ìA Day of Fire.î Wear it yourself and imagine you are in Pompeii (not on the day of disaster of course), or, with the holidays approaching, it would make a great gift for a fan of ancient roman historical fiction.

01_A Day of Fire Cover
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Knight Media, LLC
eBook; 315p
ASIN: B00NI5CBXI

Genre: Historical Fiction

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Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain's wrath . . . and these are their stories:

A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing streets.
An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire.
An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished.
A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue.
A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls.
A priestess and a whore seek resurrection and redemption as the town is buried.

Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others' path during Pompeii's fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?

my thoughts:
Who doesn't like a good story about Pompeii?  Well, in this book you get not one but SIX interwoven tales.  All stories contain dynamic characters who happened to be in Pompeii on that fateful day in 79AD.  (on 79CE).  Through these fantastic authors, we glimpse the day to day workings in an ancient Roman city.  We will visit the brothels, the amphitheater, and several other places.  We meet a Senator, both Pliny and Pliny the Younger, a prostitute and many many others.   

Usually in a book like this, I expect to find one or two stories to my liking.  In this book, all six were fantastic.   The descriptions of the volcano erupting are amazing.  We witness the courage and the fear of the poor people of Pompeii, unaware of the danger.

I encourage all to read this book.  If you are a fan of even one of these amazing authors, you may become a fan of the others!  


Pre-order/Buy the Book


Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Authors

Stephanie Dray

STEPHANIE DRAY is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical womenís fiction and fantasy set in the ancient world. Her critically acclaimed historical Nile series about Cleopatraís daughter has been translated into more than six different languages, was nominated for a RITA Award and won the Golden Leaf. Her focus on Ptolemaic Egypt and Augustan Age Rome has given her a unique perspective on the consequences of Egypt's ancient clash with Rome, both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion. Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Learn more at www.StephanieDray.com



Ben Kane Ben Kane

BEN KANE worked as a veterinarian for sixteen years, but his love of ancient history and historical fiction drew him to write fast-paced novels about Roman soldiers, generals and gladiators. Irish by nationality but UK-based, he is the author of seven books, the last five of which have been Sunday Times top ten bestsellers.Benís books have been translated into ten languages. In 2013, Ben walked the length of Hadrianís Wall with two other authors, for charity; he did so in full Roman military kit, including hobnailed boots. He repeated the madness in 2014, over 130 miles in Italy. Over $50,000 has been raised with these two efforts. Learn more at http://www.benkane.net

Eliza Knight Eliza Knight

E. KNIGHT is an award-winning, indie national best-selling author historical fiction. Under the name, Eliza Knight she writes historical romance and time-travel. Her debut historical fiction novel, MY LADY VIPER, has received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Historical Novel Society 2015 Annual Indie Award. She regularly presents on writing panels and was named Romance Writerís of Americaís 2013 PRO Mentor of the Year. Eliza lives in Maryland atop a small mountain with a knight, three princesses and a very naughty puppy. For more information, visit Eliza at www.elizaknight.com.

Sophie Perinot

SOPHIE PERINOT is the author of the acclaimed debut, The Sister Queens, which weaves the story of medieval sisters Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence who became queens of France and England respectively. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. A long-time member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the groupís North American Conferences, serving as a panelist at the most recent. When she is not visiting corners of the past, Sophie lives in Great Falls, VA. Learn more at www.SophiePerinot.com


Kate Quinn Kate Quinn

KATE QUINN is the national bestselling author of the Empress of Rome novels, which have been variously translated into thirteen different languages. She first got hooked on Roman history while watching "I, Claudius" at the age of seven, and wrote her first book during her freshman year in college, retreating from a Boston winter into ancient Rome. She and her husband now live in Maryland with an imperious black dog named Caesar. Learn more at http://www.katequinnauthor.com

Vicky Alvear Shecter Vicky Alvear Shecter

VICKY ALVEAR SHECTER is the award-winning author of the young adult novel, Cleopatraís Moon (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2011), based on the life of Cleopatra's only daughter. She is also the author of two biographies for kids on Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. The LA Times called Cleopatraís Moon--set in Rome and Egypt--"magical" and "impressive." Publisherís Weekly said it was "fascinating" and "highly memorable." Her young adult novel of Pompeii, Curses and Smoke (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic), released in June 2014. She has two other upcoming books for younger readers, Anubis Speaks! and Hades Speaks! Vicky is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.vickyalvearshecter.com/main

A Day of Fire Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, October 27
Review at The Maiden's Court

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 30
Review at leeanna.me

Monday, November 3
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, November 5
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, November 10
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, November 12
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, November 13
Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Tuesday, November 18
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, November 19
Review at Book Babe

Tuesday, November 25
Review at Reading the Past

Wednesday, November 26
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, November 28
Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, December 1
Guest Post at From the TBR Pile

Thursday, December 4
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Friday, December 5
Review at Let Them Read Books

Giveaway


To enter to win this beautiful one-of-a-kind Roman style Necklace (18") and Earring set, hand-crafted with real carnelion, and inspired by jewelry of the ancient world, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open internationally.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on December 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on December 6th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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THE PRIESTESS AND THE PEN


about the book:

This groundbreaking book by brilliant debut author Sonja Sadovsky shines new light on how three profound minds shaped the course of history. The fantasy novels of Dion Fortune, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Diana L. Paxson influenced the image of the priestess in Neopagan and Goddess-centered spirituality throughout the world. The Priestess and the Pen shows how their work revolutionized womanhood, created space for women to reclaim their power, and energized the women's equality movement.

Presenting a radical reinterpretation of the Goddess as four-fold rather than three-fold, The Priestess and the Pen adds dimension and relevance to the traditional Triple Goddess archetype in a way that has never before been considered with such daring reverence. This revolutionary work is poised to become the foremost historical resource and contemporary interpretation of the Pagan priestess, taking up the torch of Drawing Down the Moon and Triumph of the Moon. 

Paperback, 240 pages

Expected publication: December 8th 2014 by Llewellyn Publications
ISBN 073873800X (ISBN13: 9780738738000)

my thoughts:

The Priestess and the Pen is a powerful piece of work. It is labeled "groundbreaking". This is a fair assessment of Sonja Sadovsky's book.

Using the writings of Pagan authors such as Dion Fortune, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana Paxson, Sadovsky explains each authors influence on goddess worship and modern paganism.

This is not light reading material. The reader must sit and concentrate on the subject at hand, but it will be worth it. Sadovsky was able to open my mind, broaden my thoughts and increase my understanding of her viewpoint. 

Some key ideas from the book:
"Priestess is a symbol of independent female authority, and a living link to the Goddess she serves."
There are four types of Priestess', each type is reviewed and explained in the book.
1. Earth Mother
2. Moon Mistress
3. Witch Queen
4. Warrior Queen

The Goddess herself is:
1. eternal
2. light and dark
3. maiden, mother and crone
4. dark mother of mystery.

Sadovsky further explains that the threefold goddess is not always accurate nor fitting. The goddess has a 4th face, "hidden but key to personal power and self identity."

The author herself sums up the Priestess and the Pen in the introduction by writing "Priestess and Pen focuses on the literary character of the Priestess in 20th century fiction"

I think she more than adequately succeeds in her goal. My understanding of Modern Paganism is greatly enhanced by reading this book and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Paganism, or the works of the three spotlighted authors.

FYI- everything in quotation marks was directly quoted from Ms. Sadovsky's work, the PRIESTESS AND THE PEN.



Monday, November 10, 2014

THE TIGER QUEENS, by Stephanie Thornton....and a GIVEAWAY...from one of my FAVORITE authors.

02_The Tiger Queens 

Publication Date: November 4, 2014 | NAL Trade | Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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In the late twelfth century on the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, following a violent feud between blood brothers, the victor Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself Genghis Khan. But behind one powerful man stand many strong womenÖ

After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, darkness looms over Borteís life. She becomes an outcast among her clan and after seeking comfort in the arms of an aristocratic traveler, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man she was betrothed to years ago but who abandoned her long before they could marry. And he will only leave her behind again.

Temujin will make Borte his khatun, his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new empire. Their daughter, a fierce girl named Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, seeks revenge against the Mongol barbarians who destroyed her city and murdered her family, but in the end will sacrifice everything to protect the Golden Family. Demure widow to Genghisí son, Sorkhokhtani positions her sons to inherit the Empire when it begins to fracture from within.

As Genghis Khan sets out to expand his conquests and the steppes run red with blood, Borte and the women of the clan will fight, love, scheme, and sacrifice, all for the good of their family and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls...

Praise for The Tiger Queens

"A gripping epic of sacrifice, revenge, and conquestÖkept me riveted from beginning to end!" --Michelle Moran, bestselling author of The Second Empress

ìFrom under the felted ger tents of Genghis Kahn emerge four powerful women. It is a testament to Thorntonís writing prowess that she can so intricately whittle heroines that are both compassionate and ruthless from the bones of our ancestors...a stunning achievement!" -- Barbara Wood, New York Times bestselling author of The Serpent and the Staff and Rainbows on the Moon

"A vivid depiction of warrior women tough as the harsh, windswept steppes which nurtured them and who, as the warring Mongol clans battle for supremacy, survive... to ensure their men emerge the victors. Gripping stuff!" --Alex Rutherford, author of the Empire of the Moghul series

"A sprawling historical saga centering on the wives and daughters of Genghis Khan. These bold, courageous women make tremendous sacrifices in the face of danger, revenge and high-stakes survival, all in the name of family love and loyalty. Be prepared to be swept away by Thorntonís richly drawn epic of an empire and its generational shifts of power.î --Renee Rosen, author of Dollface and What the Lady Wants

ìThey were the Golden Family of Genghis Khan. Yet their lives were anything but golden as they struggled to hold together the very center of the largest empire the world has ever known. An empire that was built in one lifetime, and would have been destroyed in the next had it not been for the wives and daughters of the Great Khan. This is historical fiction at its finest.î -- Gary Corby, author of The Marathon Conspiracy

"Three generations of strong women live, love, suffer, and triumph in a fresh and gritty settingóGenghis Khanís forging of an empire in thirteenth century Mongolia. Marginalized in most histories, these Mongol mothers and daughters, empresses and slaves, claim their voices again in Stephanie Thorntonís The Tiger Queens. Unusual and imaginative!" --Elizabeth Loupas, author of The Second Duchess and The Red Lily Crown

ìStunning. The Tiger Queens sweeps the reader into the ruthless world of Genghis Khan's wives and daughters with a gritty realism as intense as the eternal blue sky and blood-soaked steppes. Vivid characterization and top-notch writing. This story of strong women, their enduring friendships and passions give a rare glimpse into a shadowy period of history. A worthy successor to Taylor Caldwell's The Earth is the Lord's.î --Judith E. French, author of The Conqueror, The Barbarian, and The Warrior

Buy the Book

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Books-a-Million
IndieBound
Powell's

About the Author


03_Stephanie ThorntonStephanie Thornton is a writer and history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from ancient history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.

"The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora" and "Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt" are available from NAL/Penguin. "The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan" will hit the shelves November 4, 2014, followed by "The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great" in November 2015.

For more information please visit Stephanie Thornton's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


my thoughts;

Stephanie Thornton is one of my favorite authors.   
Prior to reading this novel, I had little knowledge of Genghis Khan.  However, I chose to read and review this book because it was authored by Ms. Thornton.

I was astounded!  This is perhaps her best book yet. 

Ms. Thornton likes to write about strong, empowered women of history.  The Tiger Queens focuses on several women connected to Genghis.   His Empress,  his daughter, and daughter in law.  This is a story about women who lived and thrived in a man's world.  Women of substance, strength and power.  You will fall in love with these women, you will envy and encourage them.  You will cry with them, laugh with them and triumph with them.  Don't get me wrong, there are also one or two characters that will set your teeth on edge..

Genghis himself is quite a character.  We watch him grow from young boy to old man.  I've always thought of him, and his people as mindless marauders.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  

I encourage anyone with a love of history and strong women to read this novel.  It will leave you thirsting for more by Stephanie Thornton.
.

WE ALSO HAVE A GIVEAWAY,
ONE PAPERBACK COPY OF THE TIGER QUEENS
open to US residents.  Simply leave a comment and I will chose a winner at the end of the blog tour.


The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan Blog Tour Schedule


Saturday, November 1
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Sunday, November 2
Review at Let Them Read Books

Monday, November 3
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Tuesday, November 4
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, November 5
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, November 6
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, November 7
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review at Scandalous Women

Monday, November 10
Review at Reading the Past
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, November 11
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review & Giveaway at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, November 12
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, November 13
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Friday, November 14
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Monday, November 17
Review at Turning the Pages

Tuesday, November 18
Review & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

Wednesday, November 19
Review & Giveaway at The Lit Bitch
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Thursday, November 20
Review at Layered Pages

Friday, November 21
Review at Just One More Chapter

Monday, November 24
Spotlight & Giveaway at Reading Lark

Tuesday, November 25
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden's Court

Wednesday, November 26
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Friday, November 28
Review at Book Babe

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Such Thing as Perfect

NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT

CONTEMPORARY REALISTIC YA

Author: Sarah Daltry


perfect

synopsis
College was supposed to be perfect. She was supposed to be perfect. For Lily Drummond, life is about following the rules. To be specific, her mother’s rules. College fit into the plan – maintain perfect grades, date the perfect guy, and live the perfect life. On her own, though, Lily realizes that she doesn’t actually have a plan. Without being told what to think and do, she keeps making mistakes. Away from home, the perfect facade is beginning to shatter. When Lily herself starts to break, it’s the support of an unlikely friend that teaches her how much of a lie perfect really is – and how to be whole on her own terms. Release Date: December 12, 2014 (tentative) Preorders to be available in November unless something changes. trailer

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qo-riKNlss]

  excerpt
"My
name’s Lily and James Naismith ruined high school for me,” I offer. It’s too hot in this room. The window fan is blowing nothing but heat over us, along with some old dust or dirt from the window. It makes the noise of plastic that is being asked to do more than plastic can do; the fan’s cheapness makes it too weak to be a fan and it groans with its own failure. I’m not good with social events. This is some kind of mandated floor meeting for all new students and I’m sitting in the middle of my RA’s room with ten other girls, all of us in pajama pants, and trying to sound interesting. “I mean, he didn’t personally. I think he died almost a hundred years ago,” I stutter. “So why don’t you explain how the inventor of basketball did ruin high school then?” one girl asks. She’s angry, but I don’t know her. I don’t know anyone, except my roommate Kristen and so far all I know about her is that she’s majoring in education, she brought the fridge, and she’s decorated her side of our dorm room to look like the inside of a Pepto-Bismol bottle. This girl doesn’t want to hear my story. She doesn’t want to be here, but I don’t, either, and now that I’m here, I was the one dumb enough to open my mouth. “It was gym class,” I try to explain. “I don’t know. Something about ed reform. We had homework and tests and all that in gym now and I’d been up all night writing an essay about James Naismith. I hadn’t slept and I was in a rush trying to make the bus that morning.” It had been cold, the rushing towards winter that mirrors the years that aren’t like this one. This is one where summer lingers and it resists every attempt to make it yield to fall. I remember the leaves were already falling that year, even though it was only early September. Some years it seemed like they were in a greater rush to die. In the moments between life, each leaf took its suicidal leap and fell slowly while no one noticed. We always only notice when they’re all dead and suddenly the sky hangs on us and we crave shade. The bus was about to pull away from the curb near my house and I cried out for it, running faster and slipping on a clump of leaves. The entire patch was squishy. I wondered as I fell if I had taken out a small family of worms in my descent. My outfit was ruined, but it wasn’t the clothes that scared me… “I tripped on leaves and fell on the driveway hard. The gravel left a slash along my cheek and it looked like someone had punched me. That was the day of school pictures, which we used for the yearbook and our IDs. Not to mention the fact that my mom…” I can’t finish. I don’t want to take about my mother. I certainly don’t feel like confiding in these girls about how disappointed she was that I had ruined everything. It wasn’t my fault that fall had come early, but I ruined the pictures and in her album of school photos, my freshman year still remains a giant, empty black page. A constant reminder that I will never be whole, never be perfect, never be what she wanted. “What about your mom?” someone else asks. “Nothing.” I don’t want to tell my story anymore. I want the fan to stop trying. I want it to be tomorrow and the day after and any day when I can start in the morning and get through to night without making a mistake. It’s dropped, though, anyway, because Ellie, the RA, turns to someone else who is pocketing a handful of condoms. “You don’t need to take them all,” she barks. “I have plenty, but other people practice safe sex, too. Unless you’re planning on having a massive orgy tonight, you can probably come back and get some later.” The condom hoarder blushes and returns half her pile and the floor meeting turns back to pointless small talk and ice breakers that no one wants to be a part of. The fan clicks another meaningless rotation. I’ve been a college student for six hours now and I’ve never been so lonely in my entire life.


  bio

Sarah Daltry is a YA author, hardcore gamer, sarcastic nerd, and obsessive Anglophile who watches too much BBC TV. She is the author of Backward Compatible: A Gamer Geek Love Story, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: A Modern Reimagining, Bitter Fruits, and the upcoming YA fantasy, Dust. No Such Thing as Perfect was inspired by Sarah's original Flowering series, but is a completely different take on similar concepts. When she's not writing, Sarah spends a lot of time with her Xbox and her cats.  



giveaway3
 

Sadly, the saga comes to an end, or does it?


Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

my thoughts

A fantastic ending to a wonderful series.   Rick Riordan is an amazing storyteller.  This last book in the series (Heroe's of Olympus/Percy Jackson) is a fitting tribute to all the characters.  

I am sad to see the series end.  I've come to know Percy, Jason, Annabeth, Piper, Nico, Frank, Hazel  and Leo as friends.   I hope there will be more in the future.  Even though the series is over, would be great to have more adventures with these guys!