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!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Delacorte (first published January 1st 2011)
ISBN 0385744714 (ISBN13: 9780385744713)
edition languageEnglish

about the book:
Fear Not the Unexpected. 

Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow is less than thrilled that her family is moving thousands of miles from civilization to the quiet country town of Ashpot, Connecticut, where she’s absolutely certain she’ll die of boredom.

As if leaving New York City and her best friend, Lizzy, the only other member of the elite Detective Mystery Squad (DMS), weren’t bad enough, Fairday is stuck living in the infamous Begonia House, a creepy old Victorian with dark passageways, a gigantic dead willow tree, and a mysterious past.

Before she can even unpack, strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where an ancient mirror, a brass key, and a strange picture of a red-haired lady are the first in a series of clues that takes the members of the Detective Mystery Squad on an amazing adventure.

my thoughts:

A fantastic book for kids of all ages. This book has everything a kid could want in a story! Adventure, strange old house with eerie sounds and strange happenings, good friends, and a detective agency! The characters are delightful and entertaining.
This is a story that will be enjoyed by both boys and girls! My son and I both read this book several years ago, before the authors published this fantastic book. My son so loved the story, he was in the 5th grade at the time, he took it to school. His teacher loved the story and read the book to the class. She has since made it part of her reading and continues to read it each year to her class! I highly encourage anyone, adult or child, to get this book!

Hopefully, the authors will write more!

On a side note, for those familiar with our beyond 5stars book category,(books that are so good, they exceed the 5 star rating)  THE SECRET FILES OF FAIRDAY MORROW was our first initiate into this group.  These are books that we at BOOKLOVERS PARADISE have deemed  "spectacular, fantastic, and marvelous". 

you can purchase this book, hardcover or ebook on 
Barnes and Noble

Monday, December 14, 2015


02_Becoming George Washington

Becoming George Washington By Stephen Yoch

Publication Date: September 1, 2015 Wise Ink Creative Publishing Paperback & Ebook; 382 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction

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READ EXCERPTS. George Washington, action hero . . . Long before Washington was the old man on the dollar bill, he was a fatherless boy with few resources and even less education. So how did he become the most famous person in American history? Becoming George Washington tells the story of a young man with boundless energy, bravery, and passion, who grew from a fatherless boy into a self-confident leader. At the same time, he struggled to suppress both an awful temper and his love for a married woman, Sally Fairfax. A courageous war hero, Washington rose to the pinnacle of Virginia politics. His experiences as a young man allowed him, decades later, to lead the Revolution. This compelling historical novel reveals the person behind the famous face and how he grew to become America's leading Founding Father.

my thoughts:

An ambitious tale of an ambitious character. George Washington before the Presidency, before the Revolutionary War.  A tale of a talented, bright, motivated young man.

This book takes place during Washington's early 20's. During his rise in the military. We see his relationships grow with his brother Lawrence, his friend Sally Fairfax and his dear mentor Colonel Fairfax. George suffers many failures as a military man. Not everything is roses and sunshine. We see his as an ambitious, sometimes angry man. One who will rush into war. He's not the patient successful Washington we all know and love.

I recommend this novel to anyone who likes historical fiction and anyone who enjoys reading about the youth of our founding fathers.


About the Author

Steve doesn't golf or fish and is a below average hunter, but his love of history and writing compelled him to pick up his pen and tell the little-known stories behind the men that made American history. After years of extensive research, Steve wrote his first book on young George Washington. Steve lives in a suburb north of St. Paul, Minnesota with his supportive wife and two fantastic teenage sons. He graduated with honors from Boston College and the University of Minnesota Law School. He has enjoyed over two decades of practicing law in the Twin Cities, helping individuals and businesses solve complex problems.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 14 Review at Book Lovers Paradise

  Tuesday, December 15 Review at The Maiden's Court

  Wednesday, December 16 Interview at Layered Pages Spotlight at Historical Readings and Reviews

  Thursday, December 17 Guest Post & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

  Friday, December 18 Interview at Flashlight Commentary

  Monday, December 21 Review at Bookish

  Tuesday, December 22 Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

  Wednesday, December 23 Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews Guest Post & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation

  Thursday, December 24 Review at Book Nerd

  Monday, December 28 Review at Just One More Chapter Spotlight at Puddletown Reviews

Tuesday, December 29 Review at The Absurd Book Nerd Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, December 30 Review at Luxury Reading Guest Post at The Absurd Book Nerd

Thursday, December 31 Review at Jorie Loves a Story Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

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Monday, December 7, 2015


02_A Year of Ravens_Cover

A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica's Rebellion

by Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, and Russell Whitfield
Publication Date: November 13, 2015
Knight Media LLC
eBook & Paperback; 440 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Britannia: land of mist and magic clinging to the western edge of the Roman Empire. A red-haired queen named Boudica led her people in a desperate rebellion against the might of Rome, an epic struggle destined to consume heroes and cowards, young and old, Roman and Celt . . . and these are their stories. A calculating queen sees the sparks of revolt in a king's death. A neglected slave girl seizes her own courage as Boudica calls for war. An idealistic tribune finds manhood in a brutal baptism of blood and slaughter. A conflicted warrior hovers between loyalty to tribe and loyalty to Rome. A death-haunted Druid challenges the gods themselves to ensure victory for his people. An old champion struggles for everlasting glory in the final battle against the legions. A fiery princess fights to salvage the pieces of her mother's dream as the ravens circle. A novel in seven parts, overlapping stories of warriors and peacemakers, queens and slaves, Romans and Celts who cross paths during Boudica's epic rebellion. But who will survive to see the dawn of a new Britannia, and who will fall to feed the ravens?

my thoughts:

A brutal and gruesome story of war. Boudica vs the might of the Empire of Rome. This is not a romanticized story of a frail queen who revolts against big, bad Rome, but of an indomitable warrior queen who rises up and dares to challenge the empire. (think Star Wars with a different ending).

For those who are unfamiliar with the history, Boudica is an Iceni (celtic) queen, wife of King Prastagus. He is a client king of Rome, meaning, he is allowed to remain in power as king as long as he bends to Roman will. He dies without a male heir, not a problem to the Iceni people, but a great problem to male dominated Rome. Boudica argues that she, as wife to the king, is the new ruler and will not bow down to Rome. The result? She is flogged, her two daughters raped. This sets the scene for a violent, brutal war.

We watch this war progress through the eyes and writings of seven very talented authors. This is not a one sided book. We, the readers, are witness to the fears and desires of both the Romans and the Iceni. In fact, my favorite character, Andecarus, son of Duro, is an Iceni male taken as a 'hostage' to Rome. He is raised in a roman household as a foster son. He returns to the Iceni as an adult and is compelled to fight alongside the Iceni. He, having been raised a roman, is not trusted by his countrymen. Caught between two worlds, he exemplified courage, strength and honor.

This is a tale told in multiple views, by very talented authors. Don't skip any of the stories, read them in order, as the expand upon the story with each passing page.

A Year of Ravens Authors

                       Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, and Russell Whitfield

Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney, & Russell Whitfield

Blog Tour Schedule

 Tuesday, December 8 Review at Book Lovers Paradise

  Wednesday, December 9 Review at I'm Shelfish

  Thursday, December 10 Review at Boom Baby Reviews

  Friday, December 11 Review at Historical Readings & Reviews

  Monday, December 14 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

  Tuesday, December 15 Review at CelticLady's Reviews

  Wednesday, December 16 Review at A Literary Vacation Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

  Thursday, December 17 Review at The True Book Addict Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Friday, December 18 Review at Broken Teepee Review, Excerpt, & Interview at Unshelfish


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a Celtic inspired set of silver tone metal and red Swarovski crystal beads, including a necklace, bracelet, and earrings inspired by the setting of A Year of Ravens! Please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below. Rules  Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.  Giveaway is open to residents in the US and UK. Only one entry per household.  All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion ñ Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. A Year of Ravens

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Thursday, December 3, 2015


A few days ago, I featured the book THE CONQUEROR'S WIFE, by Stephanie Thornton (One of my ALL TIME favorite authors).  Today we have the privilege of having a guest post by Ms. Thornton.  So,  welcome Stephanie... and a special thank you to Amy Bruno of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to be part of this tour and for introducing me to the fabulous works of Stephanie Thornton.

It’s said that behind every strong man is a strong woman.

Well, there was a veritable army of fearsome (and sometimes downright terrifying) women flanking Alexander the Great.

The first, his mother Olympias, reputedly slept with snakes and eventually helped govern Macedon while Alex was off campaigning at the ends of the earth. Before Alexander became king, his father had threatened to make a younger son by a lesser wife his heir. Strangely enough, Philip soon dropped dead of an assassin’s blade and even more shocking, Olympias later congratulated and crowned that same assassin. People suspected Olympias’ involvement in the murder, but her son now sat on the throne so it wasn’t as if anyone was going to put her on trial. And if you can get away with murder once…

Well, let’s just say Olympias was the original Tiger Mom.

Next we have Roxana, Alexander’s Persian wife. It might come down to a coin toss to see who was more devious and cruel: Olympias or Roxana. Lovely Roxana was the daughter of a minor Persian noble and caught Alexander’s eye after he stormed the fortress at Sogdian Rock. The two were soon married and eventually Roxana birthed Alexander’s one and only legitimate son. (Too bad Alexander had dropped dead only months before, thus ushering in a bloody civil war.) Perhaps in a quest to outdo even Olympias’ brutality, Roxana was willing to commit any crime to keep her power.

Pretty, young Roxana could have given Lizzie Borden a run for her money.

Finally we have Thessalonike, Alexander’s sister. Ancient sources are fairly silent until Thessalonike made a power marriage, but she was daughter to one king, sister to another, and wife to a third. Her mother died shortly after her birth, leaving her to be raised by Olympias. (Poor unfortunate soul!) Yet rather than let her evil stepmother scar her for life, Thessalonike seemed to have learned political maneuvering at Olympias’ elbow. She bided her time until after Alexander’s death and helped quell the raging civil war as everyone fought for control of Alex’s empire. She went on to bear three sons and have a city, Thessaloniki, named after her.

So what’s the moral of the story if you’re mother, sister, or wife to one of the world’s greatest conquerors?

Be ready to play dirty, or hide on the sidelines until everyone else is dead.

Don't miss these other exciting novels by STEPHANIE THORNTON

The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora
by Stephanie Thornton 

Where Theodora went, trouble followed…

In sixth century Constantinople, one woman, Theodora, defied every convention and all the odds, and rose from being a common theater tart to become empress of a great kingdom, the most powerful woman the Roman Empire would ever know. But the woman whose image was later immortalized in glittering mosaic was, in fact, a scrappy, clever, conniving, flesh-and-blood woman full of sensuality and spirit whose real story is as surprising as any ever told…

When her father dies suddenly, Theodora and her sisters face starvation on the streets. Determined to survive, Theodora makes a living any way she can—first on her back with every man who will have her, then on the stage of the city’s infamous amphitheater in a scandalous dramatization of her own invention. When her daring performance grants her a back-door entry into the halls of power, she seizes the chance to win a wealthy protector—only to face heartbreak and betrayal. 

Ever resilient, Theodora rises above such trials and by a twist of fate, meets her most passionate admirer yet: the Emperor’s nephew. She will thrive as his confidant and courtesan, but many challenges lie ahead. For one day, this man will hand her a crown. And all the empire will wonder—is she bold enough, shrewd enough, and strong enough to keep it?

Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt
by Stephanie Thornton 

Egypt, 1400s BC. The pharaoh’s pampered second daughter, lively, intelligent Hatshepsut, delights in racing her chariot through the marketplace and testing her archery skills in the Nile’s marshlands. But the death of her elder sister, Neferubity, in a gruesome accident arising from Hatshepsut’s games forces her to confront her guilt...and sets her on a profoundly changed course.

Hatshepsut enters a loveless marriage with her half brother, Thut, to secure his claim to the Horus Throne and produce a male heir. But it is another of Thut’s wives, the commoner Aset, who bears him a son, while Hatshepsut develops a searing attraction for his brilliant adviser Senenmut. And when Thut suddenly dies, Hatshepsut becomes de facto ruler, as regent to her two-year-old nephew.

Once, Hatshepsut anticipated being free to live and love as she chose. Now she must put Egypt first. Ever daring, she will lead a vast army and build great temples, but always she will be torn between the demands of leadership and the desires of her heart. And even as she makes her boldest move of all, her enemies will plot her downfall....

The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan
by Stephanie Thornton 

In the late twelfth century, across the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, brilliant, charismatic Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself the Great, or Genghis, Khan. But it is the women who stand beside him who ensure his triumph.... 

After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, gifted Borte becomes an outsider within her clan. When she seeks comfort in the arms of aristocratic traveler Jamuka, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man who agreed to marry her and then abandoned her long before they could wed.

Temujin will return and make Borte his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new kingdom. Their daughter, the fierce Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, will transform her desire for revenge into an unbreakable loyalty. And Sorkhokhtani, a demure widow, will position her sons to inherit the empire when it begins to fracture from within.

In a world lit by fire and ruled by the sword, the tiger queens of Genghis Khan come to depend on one another as they fight and love, scheme and sacrifice, all for the good of their family...and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls.

The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great
by Stephanie Thornton 

We are the women who loved Alexander the Great. We were lovers and murderers, innocents and soldiers.
And without us, Alexander would have been only a man.
Instead he was a god.

330s, B.C.E., Greece: Alexander, a handsome young warrior of Macedon, begins his quest to conquer the ancient world. But he cannot ascend to power, and keep it, without the women who help to shape his destiny.

His spirited younger half-sister, Thessalonike, yearns to join her brother and see the world. Instead, it is Alexander's boyhood companion who rides with him into war while Thessalonike remains behind. Far away, crafty princess Drypetis will not stand idly by as Alexander topples her father from Persia's throne. And after Alexander conquers her tiny kingdom, Roxana, the beautiful and cunning daughter of a minor noble, wins Alexander’s heart…and will commit any crime to secure her place at his side.

Within a few short years, Alexander controls an empire more vast than the civilized world has ever known. But his victories are tarnished by losses on the battlefield and treachery among his inner circle. And long after Alexander is gone, the women who are his champions, wives, and enemies will fight to claim his legacy…

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Oracle...Sarah Weston is back!

02_The Oracle_Cover

The Oracle (The Sarah Weston Chronicles, Book Three) by D.J Niko

Publication Date: November 10, 2015 Medallion Press Paperback; 456p ISBN-13: 978-1605426273 Genre: Historical/Archaeological Adventure

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   In Delphi, the mountain city deemed by the Greek gods to be the center of the Earth, a cult of neo-pagans re-create with painstaking authenticity ancient rituals to glorify the god Apollo and deliver oracles to seekers from around the world. When antiquities are stolen from a museum in nearby Thebes, British archaeologist Sarah Weston and her American partner, Daniel Madigan, are drawn into a plot that goes beyond harmless role-playing: someone's using the Delphian oracle as a smoke screen for an information exchange, with devastating consequences for the Western world. Pitted against each other by the cult's mastermind, Sarah and Daniel race against time and their own personal demons to uncover clues left behind by the ancients. Their mission: to find the original navel stone marked with a lost Pythagorean formula detailing the natural events that led to the collapse of the Minoan Empire. But will they find it in time to stop the ultimate terrorist act?

my thoughts:
I've grown quite fond of Sarah and Daniel.  This book continues their exciting "Indiana Jones" like lifestyle.  It's a fun and exciting story full of twists and turns.   I like the manner in which the author keeps bringing us from the past to the present.  We understand the importance of the relics being sought by not only Daniel and Sarah but by some less scrupulous individuals.  All in all, a fun and exciting novel.


About the Author

Daphne Nikolopoulos, photography by Lauren Lieberman / LILA PHOTO

 Nikolopoulos, photography by Lauren Lieberman / LILA PHOTO      Daphne Nikolopoulos in an award-winning journalist, author, editor, and lecturer. Under the pen name D.J. Niko, she has written two novels in an archaeological thriller series titled The Sarah Weston Chronicles. Her debut novel, The Tenth Saint (Medallion Press, 2012), won the Gold Medal (popular fiction) in the prestigious, juried Florida Book Awards. Her follow-up release, The Riddle of Solomon, continues the story of British archaeologist Sarah Weston as she seeks the relics and mystical secrets left behind by the biblical King Solomon in remote Israel.   Also slated for publication in 2015 is her first historical novel, The Judgment, which is set in Israel and Egypt in the tenth century BCE. In addition to writing fiction, Daphne is editor in chief of Palm Beach Illustrated magazine and editorial director of Palm Beach Media Group. Prior to that, she was a travel journalist who logged hundreds of thousands of miles traveling across the globe, with emphasis on little-known and off-the-beaten-path locales, many of which have inspired her novels. Daphne frequently lectures about her research on the ancient world. She is an instructor at Florida Atlantic University's Lifelong Learning Society, teaching on the subject of archaeology. She has also spoken to audiences at the Jewish Community Center of the Palm Beaches' Academy for Continuous Education, and several libraries and private groups throughout Florida. Born and raised in Athens, Greece, Daphne now resides in West Palm Beach with her husband and twin son and daughter. You can find her on the Web at djnikobooks.com and connect with her on Facebook (AuthorDJNiko) and on Twitter: @djnikobooks.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 1 Review at Kristin Un-Ravelle'd

  Wednesday, December 2 Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Friday, December 4 Spotlight at Diana's Book Reviews

  Thursday, December 10 Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

  Friday, December 11 Guest Post & Giveaway at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

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Monday, November 30, 2015


02_The Conqueror's Wife

The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great by Stephanie Thornton

Publication Date: December 1, 2015
NAL/Penguin Group LLC.
eBook, Paperback; 496 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

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A novel from the acclaimed author of The Tiger Queens, for readers looking for 'strong and determined female protagonists (Historical Novel Society) and 'a sprawling historical saga'(Renee Rosen)...

We are the women who loved Alexander the Great. We were lovers and murderers, innocents and soldiers.
And without us, Alexander would have been only a man.
Instead he was a god.

330s, B.C.E., Greece: Alexander, a handsome young warrior of Macedon, begins his quest to conquer the ancient world. But he cannot ascend to power, and keep it, without the women who help to shape his destiny. His spirited younger half-sister, Thessalonike, yearns to join her brother and see the world. Instead, it is Alexander's boyhood companion who rides with him into war while Thessalonike remains behind. Far away, crafty princess Drypetis will not stand idly by as Alexander topples her father from Persia's throne. And after Alexander conquers her tiny kingdom, Roxana, the beautiful and cunning daughter of a minor noble, wins Alexander's heart and will commit any crime to secure her place at his side. Within a few short years, Alexander controls an empire more vast than the civilized world has ever known. But his victories are tarnished by losses on the battlefield and treachery among his inner circle. And long after Alexander is gone, the women who are his champions, wives, and enemies will fight to claim his legacy

my thoughts:

WOW. This is seriously one of the best books I have read in a very long time.  Every book by Stephanie Thornton is better than the previous one, and this is no exception.  I read this in a day!

The characters are amazing.  Nike, Olympias, Drypetis, Roxana, and all the other women who surrounded Alexander.  Hephaestion was a fabulous character.  Everything Alexander wasn't.  Interesting, down to earth, charming... As you can tell, I much preferred him to the larger than life Alexander the Great.   

This book focuses on the women and the men who surround the great ruler, rather than Alexander himself.  We see the effects these people have on Alexander.  These people are real.  You, the reader, will love some of them, feel pity for many, and distaste for others.   Personally, I absolutely adored Drypetis, daughter of Darius of Persia.   She is a hoot! Full of spice and vinegar!.   Even though Olympias has always had a bad reputation, I enjoyed reading about her machinations and behind the scenes attempt to hold power while Alexander was away at battle.   SPOILERS...........(Can you have spoilers in a historical fiction novel...this happened centuries ago)...........
Olympias's death was satisfying to read.  She needed to pay for her evil ways.  I wish Roxana's death had been played out more in the novel.  I didn't dislike Roxana.  I disliked her actions, but I saw her as an unfortunate character attempting to escape her horrible upbringing.  She did what she had to, to escape her life.  

I could rave for hours about Stephanie Thornton's writing style and this book, but  just know, when you begin reading you will feel compelled to read until you finish.  It is non stop action.  From the battlefields to the bedrooms.  

The best yet by this amazing author!

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," "Daughter of the Gods: A Novel of Ancient Egypt," and "The Tiger Queens: The Women of Genghis Khan" are available now. "The Conqueror's Wife: A Novel of Alexander the Great" will hit the shelves in December 2015. For more information please visit Stephanie Thornton's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

 Monday, November 30 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, December 1 Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise

Wednesday, December 2 Review at leeanna.me Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, December 3 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Just One More Chapter Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Unshelfish Excerpt at A Literary Vacation Spotlight at The Reading Queen

  Friday, December 4 Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Monday, December 7 Review at The Maiden's Court

  Tuesday, December 8 Review at Reading the Past Review at Let Them Read Books

  Wednesday, December 9 Review at CelticLady's Reviews

  Thursday, December 10 Review at The Lit Bitch Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

  Friday, December 11 Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

  Saturday, December 12 Review & Giveaway at Genre Queen

  Monday, December 14 Review at Book Babe Reivew, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, December 15 Review at Bookramblings

  Wednesday, December 16 Review at Book Nerd

  Thursday, December 17 Review at Flashlight Commentary

  Friday, December 18 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective Interview at Flashlight Commentary

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015


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   Winter, 1564. Beautiful young Princess Margot is summoned to the court of France, where nothing is what it seems and a wrong word can lead to ruin. Known across Europe as Madame la Serpente, Margot's intimidating mother, Queen Catherine de MÈdicis, is a powerful force in a country devastated by religious war. Among the crafty nobility of the royal court, Margot learns the intriguing and unspoken rules she must live by to please her poisonous family. Eager to be an obedient daughter, Margot accepts her role as a marriage pawn, even as she is charmed by the powerful, charismatic Duc de Guise. Though Margot's heart belongs to Guise, her hand will be offered to Henri of Navarre, a Huguenot leader and a notorious heretic looking to seal a tenuous truce. But the promised peace is a mirage: her mother's schemes are endless, and her brothers plot vengeance in the streets of Paris. When Margot's wedding devolves into the bloodshed of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, she will be forced to choose between her family and her soul. MÈdicis Daughter is historical fiction at its finest, weaving a unique coming-of-age story and a forbidden love with one of the most dramatic and violent events in French history.


Advance Praise

"This is Renaissance France meets Game of Thrones: dark, sumptuous historical fiction that coils religious strife, court intrigue, passionate love, family hatred, and betrayed innocence like a nest of poisonous snakes. Beautiful Princess Margot acts as our guide to the heart of her violent family, as she blossoms from naive court pawn to woman of conscience and renown. A highly recommended coming-of-age tale where the princess learns to slay her own dragons!" --Kate Quinn, Bestselling author of LADY OF THE ETERNAL CITY

 "The riveting story of a 16th century French princess caught in the throes of royal intrigue and religious war. From the arms of the charismatic Duke of Guise to the blood-soaked streets of Paris, Princess Marguerite runs a dangerous gauntlet, taking the reader with her. An absolutely gripping read!" --Michelle Moran, bestselling author of THE REBEL QUEEN

 "Rising above the chorus of historical drama is Perinot's epic tale of the fascinating, lascivious, ruthless House of Valois, as told through the eyes of the complicated and intelligent Princess Marguerite. Burdened by her unscrupulous family and desperate for meaningful relationships, Margot is forced to navigate her own path in sixteenth century France. Amid wars of nation and heart, MÈdicis Daughter brilliantly demonstrates how one unique woman beats staggering odds to find the strength and power that is her birthright." --Erika Robuck, bestselling author of HEMINGWAY'S GIRL

my thoughts:

Brilliant.  This is what I call a "WOW" book. 

  I've read several novels about the unscrupulous Valois family, most of which make Margot a lesser character.  This book centered on her and her various relationships with her difficult family members.   This is a well written historical fictional tale of French history.   Sophie Perinot has created a wonderful tale revolving around an incredibly dysfunctional family, led by Queen Mother Catherine de Medici, (aka la Serpente..yes THE SNAKE)   

 Unlike many historical fiction novels, this book doesn't read like a history book, but like a fantastic tale.  We have a front row seat to several sixteenth century events, including the St. Bartholemew's Day Massacre and the religious upheaval in France.  We glimpse life inside the French court during the reign of the Valois.

 Interesting story, but not a quick read, plan to spend a great deal of time reading this absorbing novel.  The time spent will not be wasted.  You will become enthralled as you read, I promise.  

 As a reader, and a lover of history, I was fascinated by this novel.
I give it 5/5 teacups. 
PS.  I have re-read this book not once but TWICE, it's that good!!!

About the Author

SP Small

SOPHIE PERINOT is the author of The Sister Queens and one of six contributing authors of A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii. A former attorney, Perinot is now a full-time writer. She lives in Great Falls, Virginia with her three children, three cats, one dog and one husband. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, Sophie has attended all of the group's North American Conferences and served as a panelist multiple times. Find her among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal or on Facebook.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 16 Review at The Mad Reviewer Review at Peeking Between the Pages Tuesday, November 17 Review at Just One More Chapter Wednesday, November 18 Review at The Maiden's Court Thursday, November 19 Review at The Eclectic Reader Friday, November 20 Review at The True Book Addict Monday, November 23 Review at Broken Teepee Guest Post at A Literary Vacation Tuesday, November 24 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Wednesday, November 25 Review at A Literary Vacation Friday, November 27 Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection Monday, November 30 Review at leeanna.me Tuesday, December 1 Review at To Read, Or Not to Read Wednesday, December 2 Review at Bibliophilia, Please Thursday, December 3 Review at The Book Binder's Daughter Friday, December 4 Guest Post at Bibliophilia, Please Monday, December 7 Review at Flashlight Commentary Tuesday, December 8 Interview at Flashlight Commentary Wednesday, December 9 Review at Curling Up By the Fire Thursday, December 10 Review at The Readers Hollow Friday, December 11 Review at Reading Lark Monday, December 14 Review at A Book Geek Tuesday, December 15 Review at The Lit Bitch Wednesday, December 16 Review at CelticLady's Reviews Friday, December 18 Review & Interview at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book Monday, December 21 Review at Bookish Tuesday, December 22 Spotlight at Passages to the Past Wednesday, December 23 Review & Guest Post at Historical Fiction Obsession Monday, December 28 Review at Unshelfish Tuesday, December 29 Interview at Unshelfish Thursday, December 31 Review at The Reading Queen

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Thursday, November 12, 2015


Paperback, 348 pages
Published June 15th 2014 by Createspace
ISBN 1499175884 (ISBN13: 9781499175882)
edition languageEnglish
seriesMatt Hawkins #1
characters:Matt Hawkins, Sarah Gordon, Buzz Penberthy, Hank Gordon, James Fox

about the book:

Savannah, Georgia antiques store owner Matt Hawkins discovers a two-hundred-year-old journal containing a stunning accusation. The journal claims that America's most revered hero, George Washington, wrote a secret surrender letter to the British during the Revolutionary War-a seditious act that would have ended America's fight for independence. Meanwhile, the present-day race for president of the United States is a dead heat. The Republican nominee, a direct descendant of Washington's family, has shamelessly exploited his ties to the Founding Father-a strategy that has worked brilliantly to eliminate a once wide gap in the polls. As the past collides with the present, Hawkins and lovely historian Sarah Gordon are determined to unearth the truth about the journal's remarkable claim. But they must avoid a shadowy adversary who has a billion dollars riding on the election's outcome-and who will stop at nothing to ensure that Washington's surrender letter remains a secret. Ted Richardson's debut novel can perhaps best be described as historical fiction wrapped inside a modern-day mystery. Richardson ingeniously blends actual historical events with innovative mystery to create a fast-moving, well-plotted tale of suspense. 

my thoughts
I just finished this book.  Imagine, George Washington surrendering to the British.  (It doesn't really happen, the letter of surrender is never sent...but just think, how different would our lives be if Britain won the war?)
Imagine the consequences to any of Washington's descendants if such a letter was ever discovered.

A fantastic, well written book.  
If you have any interest in history, revolutionary history, or American history, this book is for you!!!

Monday, October 26, 2015


Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: November 8th 2015 by Llewellyn Publications
ISBN 0738740896 (ISBN13: 9780738740898)

Brigid is worshiped worldwide as a source of inspiration, protection, and blessing. In Tending Brigid's Flame, Lunaea Weatherstone presents the beloved Celtic goddess as a true soul-friend for women today, exploring her legends and lore, attributes and allies, holidays, symbols, and sacred places. Filled with rituals, exercises, and meditations, Tending Brigid's Flame shows how to welcome Brigid into your home and make sacred all the activities of everyday life, from food magic to faery traditions, and from scrying to personal healing. Using the symbolism of fires that burn in hearth, temple, and forge, this breathtaking book sends you on a journey through the transformative power of one of the world's most revered goddesses.

With illuminating reflections and real-world inspiration from nineteen wisewoman devotees of Brigid

my thoughts:

I became interested in the Goddess Brigid after reading several celtic themed books with Brigid as a main character.   This fascinating book by Lunaea Weatherstone increased my knowledge of Brigid as well as Celtic legend.  The author seemed to have a unique connection with Brigid, and this connection was relayed throughout the book.

Brigid is a complex and multidimensional Celtic Goddess, and this book greatly enhanced my understanding of her.   On a personal level, I am still seeking a path and exploring all avenues.   I am drawn to the Celtic goddess and wish to learn even more.  I will look for more writings by Lunaea Weatherstone.

This is a well written, highly enjoyable book.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Thousand Nights

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
original titleA Thousand Nights
ISBN 1484722272 (ISBN13: 9781484722275)

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

my thoughts:

Most of us are familiar with the tale of 1001 nights, Scheherazade and her marriage to the king.  This is a different take on the tale.  More interesting than other retellings I've read.

 I found it enjoyable without being overwhelming. The main character, with the exception of LoMelkhiin, are all nameless individuals (annoying). In my head, I assigned each individual a name.

This book totally lacked any romance of any kind. Ok, I can live with that. I liked the way the main character offered herself as LoMelkiin's 301st wife, instead of her more beautiful, exciting sister. She then told a tale every night of how her sister was superior in every way and would never be a wife to LoMelkiin. (This is the nightly story which supposedly kept him interested).
There was a certain degree of magic between the two, this was also what kept her alive.

The ending (no spoilers) was a disappointment. 

On a good note, I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ESTHER by Rebecca Kanner

From the award-winning author of Sinners and the Sea comes a breathtaking new look into the timeless tale of Queen Esther.

A glittering Persian king has a vast empire that reaches farther than where the sun meets the horizon. He is bathed in riches and commands a frightening military force. He possesses power beyond any other mortal man and rules his kingdom as a god. Anything he desires, he has. Any woman he wants, he possesses. Thousands of them. Young virgins from all across his many lands.

A Jewish girl is ripped from her hut by the king’s brutish warriors and forced to march across blistering, scorched earth to the capitol city. Trapped for months in the splendid cage of the king’s palace, she must avoid the ire of the king’s concubines and eunuchs all while preparing for her one night with the king. Soon the fated night arrives, and she does everything in her power to captivate the king and become his queen.

But wearing the crown brings with it a new set of dangers. When a ruthless man plies the king’s ear with whispers of genocide, it is up to the young queen to prevent the extermination of the Jews. She must find the strength within to violate the king’s law, risk her life, and save her people.

This is a story of finding hidden depths of courage within one’s self. Of risking it all to stand up for what is right.

This is the story of Queen Esther. 

my thoughts:

Rebecca Kanner has the unique ability of bringing her characters to life.  Esther is one of the most incredible women of Biblical literature. Kanner has taken what we know, done research and created an incredible woman of strength, cunning and determination.  A woman who can only be described as a Queen.   

I love Ms. Kanner's writing style.  She brings these characters to life for us.  We are willing participants of the stories of the Bible.   Esther has always been one of my favorite women from the Bible.  

This is a wonderfully written, well researched book.  Kanner's descriptions and writing style will leave the reader breathless and wanting more.  This is a work of fiction, but I feel as if I actually know Esther the person. 

I highly recommend ESTHER, This is a fabulous book, well worth the time it takes to read.
5/5 stars

Friday, September 25, 2015

If you like Red from ONCE UPON A TIME, you'll enjoy this book.

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Kingswell Teen
ISBN 1484727460 (ISBN13: 9781484727461)
edition languageEnglish

Red is 16 and lives with Granny in a cottage in the village, where boarding up the house and hiding during Wolfstime is a means of survival. Red help's Granny with Granny's baked good business, catering as well as door-to-door sales. 

Red has a constant internal battle between her wild side and her strict, overprotective upbringing, and the issue of "control" as she discovers she has a hot temper when the "mean girls" push her too far. ("When we learn to control it, we needn't fear it," Rumpelstiltskin says in the series.) She has flashbacks to her 13th year when she received her cloak and the nickname "Red."

She is plagued by nightmares that she doesn't understand, but the Once Upon a Time fans will recognize them as her wolf side coming out. 

Red balances the difficult times with Granny at home and the girls at school with an emerging and satisfying romance with Peter.

my thoughts:

If you are a fan of the show, or of Red, you will enjoy this book.  I must confess, it was longer than I anticipated and not to quick moving in many spots, however, I enjoyed it and enjoyed Red's character.

I think the TV show misused Red.  Her character should have been so much more.  The Red in this book is multidimensional and fun.  I liked her as much, if not more than the Red on the tv show.

If you want to more more about Red and Granny, as well as other characters in her life...this book is a great start.

My netgalley copy didn't include the cover....Wow, when I saw the cover I thought it perfect!

Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Books for allowing me to read and review this book.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


01_The Sisters of Versailles

The Sisters of Versailles (Mistresses of Versailles, Book One) by Sally Christie

Publication Date: September 1, 2015 Publisher: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster Formats: Ebook, Paperback Pages: 432 ISBN-10: 1501102966 Genre: Historical Fiction READ AN EXCERPT.

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   A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France's most "well-beloved" monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed. Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear. Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters: Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne, four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail. Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot - and women - forward. The King's scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters:sweet, naive Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne, will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power. In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie's stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood; of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.


"A stunning breadth of period detail, offered in a fresh, contemporary voice." Juliet Grey, author of the acclaimed Marie Antoinette trilogy

 "Sally Christie's The Sisters of Versailles is an intriguing romp through Louis XV's France. Filled with lush backdrops, rich detail, and colorful characters, fans of historical fiction will enjoy this glimpse into the lost golden era of the French monarchy."  Allison Pataki, author of The Accidental Empress


ABOUT THE AUTHOR04_Sally Christie_Author

I'm a life-long history buff - and I mean life-long. One of the first adult books I read was Antonia Fraser's masterful Mary, Queen of Scots. Wow! That book just blew my little ten year old mind: something about the way it brought the past right back to life, made it live again on the page. I date my obsession with history to that time, but I'd been writing ("writing") ever since I was able to hold a pencil. If you'd told my 12-year old self that I'd not be a writer when I grew up, I would have laughed you out of the tree house. With a few detours along the way, to work overseas in consulting and development, as well as to go to business school, I've finally come full circle to where I think I should be. I currently live in Toronto and when I'm not writing, I'm playing lots of tennis; doing random historical research (old census records are my favorite); playing Scrabble, and squirrel-watching (the room where I write has French doors leading out to a deck; I avidly follow, and feed, a scruffy gang). For more information please visit Sally Christie's website. You can also find her on Goodreads and Pinterest.

my thoughts:

Fascinating and uniquely compelling novel..  The story of Louis XV of France and his love affair with 4/5 sisters.  All women of the Mailly-Nestle family.  Each woman very different and unique in her own right.   Louis, himself, I found to be weak and malleable.  Was he really this arrogant and childish?  Probably.  The women,  first Louise.  A genuinely sweet, simple young woman who truly loved Louis.  She was ultimately pushed aside.   Next was Pauline.  Vulgar and Vile...I can't say too much about Pauline, but even her sisters refer to her as 'the ugly one'.   Next up Marie-Anne.   A snake...no other words describe this evil woman.  She is hateful, vindictive and just nasty.  Diane is simple.  Sweet, gentle..A poor soul pulled into the decadence of Versailles against her better judgement.  Only pious, self righteous Hortense escapes the bed of Louis.   

This is a fantastic book to read.  I couldn't put it down.  I found each character incredible.   Some I loved, some not so much.  These sisters were part of Louis' life prior to the famous Madame de Pompadour.   I have a hard time keeping the Louis' straight.  I find French monarchic history difficult to follow.  Sally Christie does a wonderful job recreating French life during the years of Louis' reign. (prior to Marie Antoinette and the french revolution but after the famous SunKing.).

Fantastic book.  I loved it and highly recommend it for a fun end of summer read!


Monday, September 14 Review at Reading the Past Tuesday, September 15 Review at Book Lovers Paradise Interview & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf Wednesday, September 16 Review at Bookish Thursday, September 17 Review at The Book Binder's Daughter Friday, September 18 Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict Review at History From a Woman's Perspective Saturday, September 19 Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews Monday, September 21 Review at Leeanna.me Tuesday, September 22 Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection Wednesday, September 23 Review & Giveaway at History Undressed Thursday, September 24 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Friday, September 25 Spotlight at Historical Readings & Views Monday, September 28 Review & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse Tuesday, September 29 Review at So Many Books, So Little Time Thursday, October 1 Review at Genre Queen Review at bookramblings Friday, October 2 Review at Curling Up By the Fire Monday, October 5 Review at Ageless Pages Reviews Tuesday, October 6 Review at Just One More Chapter Wednesday, October 7 Review at The Lit Bitch Thursday, October 8 Interview & Giveaway at Reading Lark Friday, October 9 Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession


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