Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” L.M. Montgomery


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A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus, review


A Sea of Sorrow: A Novel of Odysseus

by David Blixt, Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Scott Oden, Vicky Alvear Shecter, and Russell Whitfield

Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Knight Media, LLC
eBook & Paperback; 524 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Chapters

Odysseus, infamous trickster of Troy, vaunted hero of the Greeks, left behind a wake of chaos and despair during his decade long journey home to Ithaca. Lovers and enemies, witches and monsters–no one who tangled with Odysseus emerged unscathed. Some prayed for his return, others, for his destruction. These are their stories…

 

A beleaguered queen’s gambit for maintaining power unravels as a son plots vengeance.

A tormented siren battles a goddess’s curse and the forces of nature to survive.

An exiled sorceress defies a lustful captain and his greedy crew.

A blinded shepherd swears revenge on the pirate-king who mutilated him.

A beautiful empress binds a shipwrecked sailor to servitude, only to wonder who is serving whom.

A young suitor dreams of love while a returned king conceives a savage retribution.

Six authors bring to life the epic tale of The Odyssey seen through the eyes of its shattered victims—the monsters, witches, lovers, and warriors whose lives were upended by the antics of the “man of many faces.” You may never look upon this timeless epic—and its iconic ancient hero—in quite the same way again.

My Review

I’ve come to look forward to these exciting books written by an ever-changing group of authors, The H Team–some of whom I’ve read before and some who introduced me to a whole new batch of books I quickly added to my TBR pile.  In A SEA OF SORROW, authors Amalia Carosella, Libbie Hawker, Russell Whitfield, David Blixt, Scot Oden, and Vicky Alvear Shecter bring an ancient world to life with the stories of victims left in the wake of the Greek hero, Odysseus.

I loved each of the six stories within this book.  Having a different author for each tale means the reader gets to hear about their lives in truly different voices, showing you their true personality, inviting you into their world and making privy to their private thoughts.  Each will give you a different perspective on the world you thought you knew and perhaps change your thoughts on Greek Mythology altogether.

I cannot say enough good about this book and the anthologies that preceded it.  If mythology is your thing, you will go crazy for this book.  If mythology isn’t your thing, it will be after you read this book.  Devour it and be happy that your time was well spent.

 

About the Authors

Amalia Carosella graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelors degree in Classical Studies and English. An avid reader and former bookseller, she writes about old heroes and older gods. She lives with her husband in upstate New York and dreams of the day she will own goats (and maybe even a horse, too). Amalia’s novels include Tamer of Horses, Helen of Sparta, By Helen’s Hand, and Daughter of a Thousand Years.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

David Blixt‘s work is consistently described as “intricate,” “taut,” and “breathtaking.” A writer of Historical Fiction, his novels span the early Roman Empire (the COLOSSUS series, his play EVE OF IDES) to early Renaissance Italy (the STAR-CROSS’D series) up through the Elizabethan era (his delightful espionage comedy HER MAJESTY’S WILL, starring Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe as inept spies). His novels combine a love of the theatre with a deep respect for the quirks and passions of history.

Living in Chicago with his wife and two children, he describes himself as “actor, author, father, husband. In reverse order.”

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring complex characters and rich details of time and place. Libbie’s recent novels include Daughter of Sand and Stone, Mercer Girls, A Song of War, White Lotus and Persian Rose.

She lives in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Russell Whitfield was born in Shepherds Bush in 1971. An only child, he was raised in Hounslow, West London, but has since escaped to Ham in Surrey.

Gladiatrix was Russ’s first novel, published in 2008 by Myrmidon Books. The sequel, Roma Victrix, continues the adventures Lysandra, the Spartan gladiatrix, and a third book, Imperatrix, sees Lysandra stepping out of the arena and onto the field of battle.

Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Scott Oden was born in Indiana, but has spent most of his life shuffling between his home in rural North Alabama, a Hobbit hole in Middle-earth, and some sketchy tavern in the Hyborian Age. He is an avid reader of fantasy and ancient history, a collector of swords, and a player of tabletop role-playing games. When not writing, he can be found walking his two dogs or doting over his lovely wife, Shannon.

Oden’s previous works include the historical fantasy, The Lion of Cairo, and two historical novels, Men of Bronze and Memnon. He is currently working on his next novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Vicky Alvear Shecter is the author of multiple books set in the ancient world, including the YA novels, CLEOPATRA’S MOON, based on the life of Cleopatra’s only daughter, and CURSES AND SMOKE: A NOVEL OF POMPEII and the adult historical collaborations, A SONG OF WAR, A YEAR OF RAVENS, and A DAY OF FIRE. She has written a mid-grade series on mythology (ANUBIS SPEAKS, HADES SPEAKS, and THOR SPEAKS) as well as two award-winning biographies for kids. She a She is a docent at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Antiquities at Emory University in Atlanta.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 17
Review at A Book Drunkard

Wednesday, October 18
Feature at A Holland Reads

Thursday, October 19
Feature at View From the Birdhouse

Friday, October 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, October 23
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, October 24
Feature at The Reading Queen

Wednesday, October 25
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, October 26
Review at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, October 27
Feature at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, October 30
Review at Creating Herstory

Tuesday, October 31
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews

Wednesday, November 1
Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, November 2
Feature at The Writing Desk

Friday, November 3
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Monday, November 6
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, November 7
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, November 8
Feature at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 10
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, November 13
Review at Unabridged Chick
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 14
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Thursday, November 16
Feature at I Heart Reading

Friday, November 17
Review at A Book Geek
Review at The True Book Addict

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COVER REVEAL! My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie


From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

We’re celebrating Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today and you get the gift! Don’t miss the beautiful cover below and a special giveaway, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy today!

About My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (Coming 4.3.2018):

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest to Form a More Perfect Union

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father’s wife…

But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

Pre-Order on Amazon | B&N |GooglePlay |iBooks | Kobo

To celebrate Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today, we have a surprise for you! Share the cover of MY DEAR HAMILTON and fill out the Rafflecopter below to receive an Exclusive Excerpt!

 

LINK TO THE GIVEAWAY!

 

New York Times bestselling author, Stephanie Dray is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

Stephanie’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

 

New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kaye. Her New York Times bestselling debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Laura’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter Sign-Up


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Under the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage, review


02_Under the Approaching DarkUnder the Approaching Dark by Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: April 28, 2017
Matador
eBook & Paperback; 424 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness. But the turmoil is far from over.

After years of strife, England in the early months of 1327 is a country in need of stability, and many turn with hope towards the new young king, Edward III. But Edward is too young to rule, so instead it is his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, who do the actual governing, much to the dislike of barons such as Henry of Lancaster.

In the north, the Scots take advantage of the weakened state of the realm and raid with impunity. Closer to court, it is Mortimer’s increasing powers that cause concerns – both among his enemies, but also for men like Adam, who loves Mortimer dearly, but loves the young king just as much.

When it is announced that Edward II has died in September of 1327, what has so far been a grumble grows into voluble protests against Mortimer. Yet again, the spectre of rebellion haunts the land, and things are further complicated by the reappearance of one of Adam’s personal enemies. Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.

“The writing is impeccable. The story has everything. Under the Approaching Dark is just perfect in every sense” – Sharon Bennett Connolly, History The Interesting Bits

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Chapters | IndieBound | Kobo

My Review

UNDER THE APPROACHING DARK is another stellar achievement from author, Anna Belfrage.  Book three in the King’s Greatest Enemy series is just as great as the first two and I feel so fortunate to have been on all three blog tours so far!

This book begins in 1327–Edward the second has been incarcerated and Queen Isabella and her lover, Roger Mortimer are in charge of the realm, much to the chagrin of the young king, Edward III.  All the court intrigue (I’m tired of using that phrase ALL the time when reviewing historical fiction, but hey.. that’s what it is!!), romance, hatred, and bloodshed we’d expect to find are there for the reader to devour.  It’s nice to read a familiar story with fresh characters that give it a different spin.  Plus, I very much like Kit better in this book.  She’s definitely growing on me.  🙂

Thank you Anna for writing such a great book and series and thank you to Amy from HFVBT for asking me to be on another fabulous tour!

 

03_Anna BelfrageAbout the Author

Anna was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result she’s multilingual and most of her reading is historical- both non-fiction and fiction. Possessed of a lively imagination, she has drawers full of potential stories, all of them set in the past. She was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Ideally, Anna aspired to becoming a pioneer time traveller, but science has as yet not advanced to the point of making that possible. Instead she ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for her most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career Anna raised her four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive…

For years she combined a challenging career with four children and the odd snatched moment of writing. Nowadays Anna spends most of her spare time at her writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and she slips away into her imaginary world, with her imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in her life pops his head in to ensure she’s still there.

Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel. You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

04_Under the Approaching Dark_Blog Tour Banner_FINALBlog Tour Schedule

Monday, May 1
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, May 2
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, May 3
Review at A Book Drunkard

Thursday, May 4
Review at A Holland Reads

Friday, May 5
Spotlight at The Reading Queen

Monday, May 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Tuesday, May 9
Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, May 1

Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Thursday, May 11
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, May 12
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, May 15
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Tuesday, May 16
Review at Back Porchervations
Guest Post at Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company

Wednesday, May 17
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, May 18
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, May 19
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Monday, May 22
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, May 23
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review at The Muse in the Fog Book Reviews

Wednesday, May 24
Excerpt at Jo’s Book Blog
Spotlight at The Paperback Princess

Thursday, May 25
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, May 26
Spotlight at Laura’s Interests

Sunday, May 28
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Books and Benches

Monday, May 29
Guest Post at Yelena Casale’s Blog

Tuesday, May 30
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog


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Solo by Jill Mansell, review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

It all starts at a party, as these things often do…

– A one-night stand with far-reaching consequences
– Momentarily enamored guests going home with all the wrong people
– An unfaithful wife struck by jealousy and getting a dose of her own medicine
– A shocking family secret revealed at the worst possible moment

One fling follows another, and now the whole community is embroiled in a great big web of deceit, the untangling of which will charm you, amuse you, make you laugh and make you cry.

MY REVIEW:

I’m not going to lie.  This is not my favourite Jill Mansell book.  The story line is just okay, the characters were annoying for the most part (I did enjoy a few of the minor characters–the book should have been about them) and I was seriously galled that either of the main male characters should end up with women in the end.  They are AWFUL!  The only thing they should have ended up with is syphilis.

BUT, I read the entire thing and wasn’t able to put it down so there is that.

With great writing I always expect from Jill Mansell, but with the worst bunch of characters I’ve had the displeasure of meeting in a long time, I give SOLO, 2.5 stars.

I received an ebook copy of this title from SOURCEBOOKS Landmark via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

 


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The Confectioner’s Tale by Laura Madeleine, review


ABOUT THE BOOK:

What secrets are hiding in the heart of Paris?

At the famous Patisserie Clermont in Paris, 1909, a chance encounter with the owner’s daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air.

But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, and soon a forbidden love affair begins.

Almost eighty years later, an academic discovers a hidden photograph of her grandfather as a young man with two people she has never seen before. Scrawled on the back of the picture are the words ‘Forgive me’. Unable to resist the mystery behind it, she begins to unravel the story of two star-crossed lovers and one irrevocable betrayal.

MY REVIEW:

I’m just going to get the boring aspects of this review out of the way first–  I love the dual narrative, the characters are fantastic, I enjoyed the writing style, I felt like I was there, I want to eat macarons really badly right now.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author.  It has everything I look for when I’m searching for a new book to read and/or review– some sort of historical aspect, easy flow, interesting twists, plots that keep you guessing, a gorgeous cover, and, of course, some romance.  It doesn’t hurt that it was interesting from the start.  Nothing kills a book quicker than a slow beginning.  Life is too short to read a boring book, so make it interesting on the first page!  Laura Madeleine created engaging characters and was able to depict early 1900’s Paris with ease.  In THE CONFECTIONER’S TALE, Petra learns about her grandfather’s surprising life after an autobiographer hints at a scandal.  In an effort to maintain his reputation, she takes it upon herself to find out his story before it’s told to the world.  In the end, the book made me cry.

With a love story peppered (sugared?) with mystery, I give THE CONFECTIONER’S TALE 4 stars ****.

I received an ebook copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


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Delilah: Treasonous Beauty by Angela Hunt, review


ABOUT THE BOOK

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.
When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

MY REVIEW

DELILAH: TREASONOUS BEAUTY by Angela is the third book in her Dangerous Beauty series.  The author has a real knack for Biblical Fiction, making the story feel authentic (for those who don’t believe in the Bible) with rich details of a long ago era.

Delilah isn’t mentioned much in the Bible, so mostly I thought of her a woman who betrayed a man who was born to serve God.  This book gave me a different insight into the woman who cut Samson’s hair and took his strength away.  I hadn’t really thought about her past and what drove her in life.  In the end, I felt pity for her and could see the reasons behind her decisions.  Of course, we will never know the true reasons behind the betrayal, but Angela Hunt weaves a compelling argument into the interesting tale.

I’m never disappointed by this author’s books.  I devour them quickly and eagerly await the next one.  This is easily my favourite so far.

With a different look into a well known Biblical story, I give DELILAH: TREASONOUS BEAUTY 5 stars *****.

*I received an ebook copy of this book from Bethany House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*