Review for Of Love and Vengeance by Louise Lyndon

of love

My Rating: 4.5/5

Author:  Louise Lyndon
Title: Of Love and Vengeance

Genre:  Romance/Historical Fiction

Background:

Amazon Description:
orced to marry Lord Aymon to ensure her young nephew’s survival, English Lady Laila vows undying hatred for the Norman she holds responsible for the deaths of so many innocents. Discovering Aymon has committed an act of treason gives her the chance to seek vengeance he deserves. But can Laila let Aymon die at the hands of the king once she learns the truth?

A hardened Norman warrior, Lord Aymon has lived through atrocities no man ever should. With the invasion of England over, all he wants is a quiet life and a wife who will give him heirs and obey his every command. Instead, he finds himself wed to feisty and outspoken Laila. But when she learns the truth of his treasonous act, can Aymon count on her to keep his secret?

Opinions:

Of Love and of Vengeance is a historical romance set during the Norman Conquest. For fans of Medieval England, romance novels, and historical fiction, you would probably enjoy this well-written book.

The two main characters are Laila and Aymon. Laila is a spunky young woman who is strong and caring. She holds a bitter resentment towards Normans who are responsible for the many innocent lives of her family and serfs. She is not a submissive lady, rather she challenges authority when she does not feel it is right. She cares for the those around her – even if they are enemies. Aymon is very similar to Laila. He also has a strong and caring personality. He’s a Norman and bastard brother to the King. He has a duty to his King, but he also has a moral conscience. He carries secrets – some of which are dangerous.

Throughout the book, the characters must face secrets, stereotypes, and trust issues. Laila and Aymon are wed early in the novel, and they must overcome all three as they learn more about each other. Not only do these two characters face these challenges, but other characters, as well. Their friends, servants, and enemies have their own secrets that cause trust issues and enhance stereotypical actions. This brings adventure into the story. The King’s men are after some stolen property and are searching Tynte – Laila’s home. Aymon knows about it and tries to keep his new home safe. However, danger lurks around the corner.

The only complaint that I have about the novel is the bad guy is pretty much one dimensional – completely bad. All in all, I really enjoyed this story.

Book Promotion: White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat by Caroline Akervik

Today’s book promotion comes from Caroline Akervik and her book called White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat. If you like Young Adult Historical Fiction novels, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

 white plain

Book: White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat
Author: Caroline Akervik
Genre:
Young Adult Historical Fiction

Publisher: Fire and Ice, an Imprint of Melange Books
Format: Paperback, ebook
Release Date:
3/24/2014

Summary:
White Pine is an historical fiction set in the nineteenth century. After Sevy Anderson’s father breaks his leg in a sawmill accident, the fourteen-year-old must take his place with the rough and tumble lumberjacks and river rats who harvest the white pine forests of Wisconsin. The men of the Northwoods live hard and on the edge, and Sevy must prove his courage and his worth in the company of legends.

Will he become the man he so longs to be?

Will the other men ever accept him?

And will he even survive his first winter in the Northwoods?

 

The Author:
Caroline Akervik’s Blog: Here
Caroline Akervik’s Facebook: Here
Caroline Akervik’s Twitter: Here

 

Q & A:

The best thing about writing this book?
The best thing about writing this book was that I learned so much about the 1880s in Wisconsin and that I can share that knowledge with my children and my students.

Where did you get your idea for this story?
This story was inspired by the Wisconsin Northwoods and the adventurous spirit of the lumberjacks.

What would you tell aspiring writers out there?
Don’t give up. Keep writing and be open to the inspiration in the world around you.

What is your favorite book?
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee

Anything else that you would like to add?
I am also the author of a YA horse story, A Horse Named Viking.

 

I want to thank Caroline Akervik for allowing me to promote her book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and a River Rat!

 

Review for Viking Fire by Andrea R Cooper

roses2

My Rating:  4/5

Author:  Andrea R Cooper
Title: Viking Fire

Genre:  Historical Fiction/Romance

Background:

Amazon Description:
856 Ce, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.

Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe – Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Opinions:

Kaireen is a headstrong lady who doesn’t shy away from challenges. In the beginning of the book, she is against marrying Bram – a Viking – because she doesn’t trust him or them. Vikings have been ravaging the coasts of Ireland. She believes the marriage is a rouse for the Vikings to take their land and enslave/kill the people. For the time period, Kaireen is outspoken – which gets her in trouble. When tragedies strike, she finds out what Bram is really up to.

A neighboring clan has sworn peace with Kaireen’s family. However, trouble begins to brew within the walls. The bad guy(s) in the book are just that bad. They are not too multi-dimensional. Within the story, something else is going on underneath everything: Elva does not always act as a servant should. But, what exactly is going on? In summary, the book has some mystery, adventure/fighting, and romance.

The romance in the book is fairly standard for this time period: The defiant girl doesn’t which to marry but cannot get out of an arranged marriage. Bram is not a bad person as the reader learns fairly quickly. However, there are times when he forces himself on Kaireen such as kissing her – despite her saying no. Granted, this was probably common for the time period, but I’m not a fan of making it seem romantic. It’s technically sexual harassment. Regardless, Kaireen doesn’t seem to be upset by it, so I let go.

If you like historical romances set in Ireland/Vikings, you might want to try this book.

Standalone or Part of a Series: Standalone

Book Promotion: Written in the Cards by Lauren Linwood

Today’s book promotion comes from Lauren Linwood and her book called Written in the Cards. If you like Western Historical Romances, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

 writteninthecards1

Book: Written in the Cards
Author: Lauren Linwood
Genre:
western, historical, romance

 

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Format:
ebook
Release Date:
5/21/2014

 

Summary:
Maggie Rutherford jilts her too-perfect society groom at the altar and flees New York for the American West, where she turns her travels into dime novels that she writes and illustrates under the pen name Lud Madison.

After the Civil War, veteran Ben Morgan marries his childhood sweetheart and takes her to homestead on the Great Plains. Losing her and their unborn child in an Indian attack, Ben detaches from emotion and becomes a roaming gambler. When he kills a cheating opponent in self-defense, the man’s gunslinger brother swears revenge upon Ben.

Ben hides on a cattle drive and brings in a herd to Abilene, where a waiting Maggie wants to find a rough and tumble cowboy to interview for her next story idea. Sparks fly as the dangerous drover and popular novelist wind up living in the same household, running a general store east of Abilene. But with Black Tex Lonnegan hot on his trail, will Ben run from his growing attraction to Maggie and the gunfighter’s promise of death–or will he make a stand for his life–and love?

Buy from Amazon: Here

The Author:

Lauren Linwood’s Website: Here
Lauren Linwood ‘s Blog: Here
Lauren Linwood’s Twitter: Here
Lauren Linwood’s Facebook: Here

Q & A:

The best thing about writing this book?
The heroine Maggie is a writer (although she writes dime novels under a man’s pen name so that her books will sell). I enjoyed giving her some of the same problems I face as I write–even if we’re writing books more than 100 years apart!


Where did you get your idea for this story?
The new Showtime series PENNY DREADFUL got me to thinking about British penny dreadfuls and American dime novels. I thought it would be cool to have a woman writing this adventures about tales in the Old West, but I have her doing so under a male pen name. Many women authors did that during the 19th century, most notably the Bronte Sisters.


What would you tell aspiring writers out there?
Constantly write. Even if you don’t feel like. Even if you think it sucks. It’s easier to edit something on the page than to be facing a blank page.


What is your favorite book?
To Kill a Mockingbird

 

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?
All 3 for my many moods

 

I want to thank Lauren Linwood for allowing me to promote her book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read Written in the Cards!

 

Review for Witchrise by Victoria Lamb

witchrise

My Rating: 4 /5

Author:  Victoria Lamb
Title: Witchrise

Genre:  Paranormal

Background:

Amazon Description:
Only one witch can rise above the coming storm

When Tudor witch Meg Lytton receives an unexpected legacy—her mother’s magical wand, ring and spellbook—she has no idea her future happiness is in danger. For the witchfinder Marcus Dent is back in her dreams, and he will use any weapon to gain her newfound powers for himself.

Now Meg must discover the secret of Invictus—her mother’s magical ring. Summoned back to Hatfield, she knows a battle is coming. But Meg is no longer alone in her struggle against Dent. Surrounded by her friends, she faces her greatest challenge head-on: losing Alejandro, her beloved. For it seems the Spanish novice has been keeping secrets from them all.

Powers clash and hearts break in the spellbinding third book of The Tudor Witch Trilogy

Narration: First Person through Meg

Standalone or Part of a Series: Third book of a trilogy

Opinions:

**May contain spoilers for the prior two books**

[First of all, I have to admit that this was my own fault when I put in to win the book off of Goodreads. I did not realize that this book was part of a trilogy – and in fact, the last book. I have not read the first two books. Therefore, this review is based solely on me reading the last book as a standalone – which can be done. The only downside – besides missing what really happened in full detail from the other two books – is that the characters already knew each other and built relationships. I was unable to get the full effect of that in the last book.]

The story continues to follow Meg, a witch, from Tudor England. Meg tends to be outspoken and unwilling to yield in a man’s world – including magick. She must face Marcus Dent, a witchfinder, who has been given magick unintentionally by Meg herself. He is power hungry and a straightforward bad guy. Meg also has to deal with her love interest, Alejandro, who wants to marry her but does not want her to keep her magick once married. Richard, John Dee’s apprentice, continues to love Meg. At points, she is confused about Alejandro and Richard. I might have missed a few things in the other books, but the love side of the story seems to be fairly obvious rather than a complex love triangle. Elizabeth (currently exiled by Queen Mary) is a little weak for what I pictured her. She shows her royalty periodically in the book, but not the spitfire that I would imagine her to be.

The story moves along swiftly. Many things happen in the book. I have a feeling it was very similar to the last two books with action. It includes magic, deception, fights, and spying. Because this is the final book, Meg must decide her fate – magick or love – and defend that against Dent and the witchfinders.

Book Promotion: Legionnaire by James Gawley

Today’s book promotion comes from James Gawley and his book called Legionnaire. If you like Historical Fiction, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

 

Book: Legionnaire
Author: James Gawley
Genre:
Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Publisher: Amazon
Format: Paperback, ebook
Release Date:
12/15/2013

Summary:
Primus has pledged to live and die beside his brothers. But is he ruthless enough to earn their respect?

Praise for Legionnaire:

“Stands out among the others like a beacon on a dark winter night.” –Cindy Callens, Draumr Kopa Blog

“I’m hooked, waiting for the next installment!” –David H. Birley, Amazon Vine Voice

“This book is a thoroughly enjoyable read.” – Eileen Granfors, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer

Primus is the only son of the legendary general Marcus Seneca. In the wake of a civil war, he has grown to the cusp of manhood far from home, exiled along with his father’s army to the heart of the Boreal forest. Tested as much by his brutal comrades as the savage cold, he burns to prove himself a soldier worthy of his father’s name. But when a dangerous mission throws him into the center of the general’s schemes, Primus is confronted with the ugly truth behind his father’s towering reputation. With enemies closing in and treachery weakening the ranks around him, Primus must decide what he is willing to sacrifice in order to survive.

The Author:

James Gawley’s Website: Here

Q & A:

What would you tell aspiring writers out there?
Be honest. If you’re not terrified by what you’re exposing, you’re not doing your job.

What is your favorite book?
Robin Hobb’s “Assassin’s Hobb”

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee of course!


I want to thank James Gawley for allowing me to promote his book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read Legionnaire!

 

Book Promotion: She’s Alot Like You by Faye Hall

Today’s book promotion comes from Faye Hall and her book called She’s Alot Like You. If you like historical romances, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

 Sally

Book:She’s Alot Like You
Author: Faye Hall
Genre:
Historical erotic romance, Romantic mystery

 

Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Format: ebook
Release Date: 4/3/2014

 

Summary:
Willow Jameson knew nothing of her family’s past or their connection to the Morgan family when she first met Re Morgan. All she seen was his ruggedly handsome appearance, his gentle words luring her into his strong embrace. What she found was a passion beyond compare.
She couldn’t have foreseen the lies and family betrayal that would inevitably rob her of the man she loved and forever change her life.
TEN YEARS LATER
Willow returned to the town life she loved so much, no longer ignorant to those who had separated her from the man she’d loved. She was back now to make those responsible pay for all they’d taken from her. In her search what she found was the hardened man Re Morgan had become…
…a man whose mere glance reignited a passion she had thought long since forgotten.
Re Morgan had left a horde of jilted lovers in his trail. When he seen Willow again across the crowded dancehall, he wanted nothing more than to add her to this list. Re wanted little more than a short, heated affair.
What he became involved in was far more scandalous than he could have ever imagined.

 

The Author:

Faye Hall’s Website: Here
Faye Hall’s Blog: Here
Faye Hall’s Twitter: Here
Faye Hall’s Facebook: Here and Here
Faye Hall’s Goodreads: Here
Buy links:
http://eredsage.com/store/ShesALotLikeYou.html

http://www.amazon.com/Shes-Alot-Like-Faye-Hall-ebook/dp/B00JZ781XM/ref=la_B00DPIMSMW_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399380045&sr=1-1

Q & A:

The best thing about writing this book?
Everything! Loved writing this book, creating such strong characters that had to conquer lies, deceit and murder to prove their love could survive.


Where did you get your idea for this story?
I got the idea from a Lyndsay Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac) song called ‘Go Insane’. He sang about the comparisons we make in our lives, including in people. Made me think about someone who would compare every woman in their life to a past love. The rest kind of grew from there.


What would you tell aspiring writers out there?
Just write from your heart and remember it is your story to tell, but also learn to take criticism as it will help you grow as a writer.


Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?
Coffee

 

Anything else that you would like to add?
I have just signed a fourth contract with Red Sage Publishing so be on the look out for more passionate tales from Australia.

 

I want to thank Faye Hall for allowing me to promote her book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read She’s Alot Like You!

 

Book Promotion: Family Secrets by Dorit Silverman

Today’s book promotion comes from Dorit Silverman and his book called Family Secrets. If you like Historical Fiction, take a look below. You might just find another book for your “to read” pile!

 

Book:Family Secrets
Author: Dorit Silverman
Genre:
Historical Fiction

 

Publisher: Dorit Silverman
Format: Hardback
Release Date: 5/8/2014

 

Summary:
What would you do if your brother turned out to be your enemy?

When a child tries to understand something about his parents’ relationship, his vision is distorted, funny and touching. If his father has a lover, how could he not be cheating on his wife? Is it possible that all three, and even the lover’s husband knew and agreed to this?

“..Dad tries to Shake off Huda unsuccessfully He’s Stuck to her back. I do not understand what’s happening, should I call for help?..”

Little Abram’s thoughts raced when he saw his father in the workshop studio with his sick mother’s maid, who also happens to be the mother of his best friend. He did not understand why Atef, his best friend, had left him after this incident.

When he grew up he had realized what he had seen. He was furious with his father for his betrayal. The Anger and the hurt had turned into an obsession, as Abram is Jewish and Atef is Arab .
The complex relationship will fascinate you, and all the doubts and questions that arise in the child’s mind, will lead you to gradually uncover this family’s secrets.

 

 

I want to thank Dorit Silverman for allowing me to promote his book on my blog. I hope this post has inspired you to go out and read Family Secrets!

 

Review for Dangerous Reflections by Shay West

dangerous reflections

My Rating:  4/5

 

Author:  Shay West
Title: Dangerous Reflections

 

Genre:  Young Adult

 

Background:

Amazon Description:
Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out. To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?

Narration: Third person through Alex

 

Opinions: This book is about a fifteen year old girl who finds out that she can travel back time through mirrors – usually an inopportune times. Therefore, the story should generally appeal more the younger young adult audience.

 

Some good things about the book include: Obviously the time travel. Alex is unsure how she able to go back in time, but whatever it is, it can take her to different times and countries. Luckily, for Alex that she is a wiz on history. Unlike usual history lovers that have a particular era that they focus on, Alex loves everything. The concept of having an evil man trying to change history and Alex has to save the day so history stays the same gives the story a new twist. It is also easy to read and moves quickly.

 

A few things that could have been better for me: This book ends in a cliffhanger. The protagonist and antagonist never confront each other in real life. The book ends without resolving her family’s situation. I feel like part of this should have been resolved in the first book. It doesn’t feel like many things are tied up by the end – like it should have been a chapter ending not a book. Also, I think there is an inconsistency with Alex’s movie taste – unless she lied to the one boy.

 

Overall, I think young adults who like history and time travel might enjoy this book. It’s a fun, quick read.

 

Standalone or Part of a Series: First Book in a series

 

Review for A Game of Chance by Lauren Linwood

A Game of Chance - smaller version

My Rating:  4/5

Author:  Lauren Linwood
Title: A Game of Chance

Genre:  Historical Fiction/Romance

Background:

Amazon Description:
Lily Frontiere returns from a costly European trip to find her mother has accumulated large gambling debts. Things grow worse as her mother’s health deteriorates and she can no longer run Lucky Lil’s, the most famous whorehouse in San Francisco. Though Lilian shielded her only child from house life by sending her away to boarding school, Lily takes over and poses as Madam Lil. Her intelligence and astonishing resemblance to her mother help, but she’s entering a world she knows little about. Lily tries to extract the house from impending financial ruin until a handsome stranger turns up with the deed to Lucky Lil’s in hand.

Gambler Jed Stone journeys to California to track down Simon Morgan, the man responsible for his best friend’s death. Arrested for robbery and murder upon arrival, he is shocked to see his face on a wanted poster. Jed escapes before his hanging, unaware that the man guilty of those crimes is the twin brother he never knew existed. In a case of mistaken identity, Jed acquires Lucky Lil’s in a rigged card game his twin is meant to win.

Jed asks Madam Lil to stay on as he learns the business. Lily clashes with the new owner over ways to make the establishment profitable, yet she is attracted to the charming risk taker at the same time. Jed is fooled by Lily’s charade until he stumbles upon the real Madam Lil and learns the truth behind Lily’s deception. His admiration for Lily blossoms into love.

But Simon Morgan seeks both Lily’s hand and ownership of Lucky Lil’s—and he will go to any means to possess both. Will Jed foil his nemesis while bringing his outlaw brother to justice?

Opinions: For western historical fiction romance lovers, this is one that you might want to try. The story has an interesting concept of mistaken identities on both main characters.

First, you have Jed whose mother died while giving birth to him. His father takes his twin brother, Cal, and runs off to leave Jed’s mother for dead. However, before she died, she gives birth to another baby boy, Jed. The two have different upbringings but both tangle with gambling. What are the chances of meeting your twin many years later in the same town across the country? And one twin is wanted for major crimes?

The other identity switch is with Lily and her mother. To keep her mother’s business open, Lily dresses up and acts like her mother. Her mother, on the other hand, is very ill and unable to maintain the upkeep of the whorehouse and gaming parlor. Lily tends to like acting like her mother. It’s completely different than her own personality. Lily soon finds herself attracted to Jed, but she doesn’t know if he really loves her or her mother (through her acting.) She also is trying to stay afloat with the business and maintaining a respectable reputation as the daughter of a whorehouse owner.

If that’s not going to keep you interested, let’s add in a little past history of a baddie with all characters mentioned above, but unaware of the full connections. Stir in a millionaire that connects to them as well, but not everyone is aware of it. Finally, include a little romance and jealousy into the mix to get the full story.

The plot moves along well. There is that anticipation of when one identity would be called out and by whom. Will the law arrest the wrong man? Do the people find out about Lily impersonating her mother? Will certain people get revenge? It doesn’t necessarily pan out exactly as I thought it would, so you might have a few surprises to read about.

Narration: Multiple third person

Standalone or Part of a Series: Standalone