Monday, September 15, 2014

Shadow On The Highway Blog Tour: Review

Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Endeavor Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 200P

Series: The Highway Trilogy
Genre: Historical Fiction/YA (14+)

Synopsis:


May 1651. England has been in the midst of a civil war for nearly ten years. The country has been torn in two, and the King is getting ready to make his last stand against Cromwell’s New Model Army.

Abigail Chaplin, a young mute girl, has lost her father to the parliamentarian cause. But with her family now in reduced circumstances, she is forced to work as a servant at a royalist household – the estate of Lady Katherine Fanshawe.

Abi is soon caught up in a web of sinister secrets which surround the Fanshawe estate. The most curious of which is the disappearance of Lady Katherine late at night.

Why are her husband’s clothes worn and muddy even though he hasn’t been home for weeks? How is she stealing out of the house late at night when her room is being guarded? And what is her involvement with the robberies being committed by the mysterious Shadow on the Highway?

‘Shadow On The Highway’ is based on the life and legend of Lady Katherine Fanshawe, the highwaywoman, sometimes known as ‘The Wicked Lady’. It is the first book in ‘The Highway Trilogy’.

So What Did I Think About The Story?:


Shadow on the Highway is an exciting peek into the English Civil War from both sides of the fighting as well as from the viewpoint of those left at home to fend for themselves. I was impressed with how the author was able to highlight the greed and corruption on both sides of this coin and how this English war ripped apart families and communities.  No one seems better equipped to represent this dividing of loyalties and the chaos that swirled through England during this time than young Abigail, a girl caught between the parliamentarian leanings of her family and the royalist household she finds herself ensconced in.

Abigail was by far my favorite character. You can't help but feel terrible for all she has had to go through: the guilt she feels over causing the fire that destroyed her family's home and the belief that the illness that caused her deafness was retribution for her actions; the sadness over losing her father and the hard life this left her mother and siblings in; the feeling that she has to stick it out and take whatever abuse she receives at the Fanshawe household because she has very few choices in life and needs to do what she can to help her family. With all of this she is stuck in the middle of all the varying beliefs and dangers around her, made to keep secrets from everyone and forced to find a way to survive, and all without being able to hear a thing! It was remarkable seeing her use her other senses to navigate the world around her and I got a great delight when she would let her anger and jealousies surface and act out in what little ways she could safely do.

My least favorite character would have to be Lady Katherine Fanshawe. She was bossy, stubborn and used poor Abi to get her way without taking into consideration what problems her demands might cause. Even when we see her in a more sympathetic light - seeing her being used by first her step-father and then the manor's overseer, the physical abuse she is made to suffer through for not doing what she is told, etc. - Katherine would turn around and threaten or cajole Abi into doing something or helping her to do something that could get them both into a lot of trouble. By the end she does show herself to be a better, more humble person that initially expected but I would have preferred  that to happen a lot sooner. Being that this is the first in a trilogy and the final book is slated to be from Katherine's perspective I am hoping she will redeem herself in full when she gets to tell her own story.

Possibly the most fascinating aspect of Shadow on the Highway for me was the introduction of aspects of the English Civil War I had never heard of before. For example, The Diggers were a group of Englishman during this time who tried to live in what we would now call communes, living off the land in a state of equality for all and the sharing of all goods and properties. By having Abi's brother Ralph (who will be the centerpiece of the second book in this trilogy) advocating for a Digger's community on their village's common land we the reader are able to walk into this fascinating segment of history and see how these radical thinkers of the time tried desperately to make a place for themselves in a country placing so many restrictions and demands on their freedom.

One of the aspects of historical novels I cherish the most are the historical notes many authors put at the back of the book, letting the reader know where they have stuck to the true events discussed and where they have embellished to advance the story in some way. Deborah Swift's historical notes are delightful and prompted me to want to learn more about the English Civil War, the real life Lady Katherine Fanshawe, the 17th century advancements in helping non-hearing children communicate and so much more. This rounding up of the themes and characters discussed in the story really solidified the story for me and has me excited to read the next two books in the trilogy.

Being that this is categorized as a YA novel I think it will appear to young readers just learning about the English Civil War as well as readers well versed in this era. I have enjoyed Deborah Swift's writing before and this was no exception. I very much look forward to the next two books in this trilogy!

So What Did I Think About The Cover?:


I think it's beautiful! I love the sumptuous red dress and the swirling gold around the edges. I am assuming the woman on the cover is meant to be Lady Katherine and I think it represents her well. 

My Rating: 4.0/5.0




Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of Shadow on the Highway in exchange for an honest review! Be sure to continue below for more information about the author and the book tour.


Praise for Deborah Swift


“There is no greater compliment than ‘Give me more!’” – Author Susanna Gregory

“realistic dialogue, an author’s obvious love for history, and characters that leap off the pages” – Romance Reviews Today

“genuinely engrossing… with characters you can get interested in” – The Mum Website

 

Buy The Book


Amazon US
Amazon UK

About The Author




Deborah Swift used to work in the theatre and at the BBC as a set and costume designer, before
studying for an MA in Creative Writing in 2007. She lives in a beautiful area of Lancashire near the Lake District National Park. She is the author of The Lady’s Slipper and is a member of the Historical Writers Association, the Historical Novel Society, and the Romantic Novelists Association.
For more information, please visit Deborah’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.



Shadow on the Highway Blog Tour


Monday, August 25

Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, August 26

Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Book Blast at Princess of Eboli

Wednesday, August 27

Guest Post at Reading the Past
Book Blast at Broken Teepee

Thursday, August 28

Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Book Blast at Peeking Between the Pages

Friday, August 29

Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Book Blast at What Is That Book About

Monday, September 1

Review at The Maiden’s Court
Book Blast at Reading Lark

Tuesday, September 2

Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, September 3

Review at A Bookish Affair

Friday, September 5

Book Blast at Curling Up By the Fire

Saturday, September 6

Book Blast at A Book Geek

Monday, September 8

Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Tuesday, September 9

Review at Brooke Blogs
Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, September 10

Review at Unabridged Chick
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, September 11

Review & Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Book Blast at Luxury Reading

Friday, September 12
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Monday, September 15
Review at Historical Tapestry
Book Blast at A Bibliophile’s Reverie


Friday, September 12, 2014

Facebook Launch Party for Linda Covella's Yakimali's Gift!

If you have never been to a Facebook launch party then you are really missing out! I have participated in a few and I always have the best time interacting with authors and other bookworms as well as getting the chance to win some fabulous prizes (I even won the prettiest Tudor rose ring at the launch party for E. Knight's My Lady Viper!). Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours will be hosting a Facebook launch party for Linda Covella's Yakimali's Gift on September 16th so read below for all the information you need. I hope to "see" you there!



 
 
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Astraea Press
eBook; 206p
Genre: YA Historical Fiction


HF Virtual Book Tours proudly presents Linda Covella’s Yakimali’s Gift Launch Party on September 16th, from 7-9pm EST! There will be fabulous giveaways and prizes, guest authors, Q&A, trivia, & more! We hope you’ll join us & your fellow HistFic fans for some bookish fun!


Where: Facebook Event (click to RSVP)
When: Tuesday, September 16, 20147:00-9:00pm EST

About The Book

READ AN EXCERPT

It’s 1775 in Mexico, New Spain, and 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, half Pima Indian and half Spanish, can’t seem to live up to her mother’s expectations or fit into the limited female roles of her culture. While she tends her garden, matches wits with buyers and sellers at the weekly market, and avoids Mama’s lectures and the demands of Nicolas, the handsome soldier pursuing her, Fernanda grabs any opportunity to ride the horses she loves, racing across the desert, dreaming of adventure in faraway lands.

But when a tragic accident presents her with the adventure she longed for, it’s at a greater cost than she could have ever imagined. With her family, Fernanda joins Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California.

On the arduous four-month journey, Fernanda makes friends with Feliciana, the young widow Fernanda can entrust with her deepest thoughts; Gloria, who becomes the sister Fernanda always wished for; and Gloria’s handsome brother Miguel, gentle one moment, angry the next and, like Fernanda, a mestizo–half Indian and half Spanish. As Fernanda penetrates Miguel’s layers of hidden feelings, she’s torn between him and Nicolas, who has joined the journey in the ranks of Anza’s soldiers and whose plans include marrying Fernanda when they reach California.

But propelling Fernanda along the journey is her search for Mama’s Pima Indian past, a past Mama refused to talk about, a past with secrets that Fernanda is determined to learn. The truths she discovers will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself.

Watch The Book Trailer HERE

Praise For Yakimali's Gift


“Linda Covella brings the early settlement of California to life in this tale of adventure, drama, romance, and mystery…The novel is full of imagination and wisdom and speaks to the universal need of young people to rebel and to find the courage to invent their own lives.” – Dr. Virginia M. Bouvier, author of Women and the Conquest of California

“Yakimali’s Gift is written for the young, the old, and everyone in between. It’s about a young girl named Fernanda, and her adventure in 1775, when King Carlos III of Spain ordered Juan Bautista de Anza to lead an expedition of settlers from Mexico to California. This book is written with such detail I felt like I could reach out and touch the desert sand, or pet the beautiful horses:) The other characters in this book are just as wonderful as Fernanda. You can’t help but feel their pain or smile when there happy. Linda is an excellent writer, she grabs you from the beginning and takes you on an exciting adventure. This is a story you can read and then pass along to your daughter, that means a lot to me as my thirteen year-old usually can’t read the books I’m asked to review. I recommend this book to everyone!” ~Tanya Watt, reviewer/designer

Quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

“The dialogue, character development, and historical details all serve the story and come together seamlessly…Although tagged as Young Adult…would also appeal to adult readers.”
~Amazon ABNA Judge

“Clear and imaginative writing…Excellent eye for descriptive detail. I am feeling a very strong sense of place as you describe the scenes…”
~Amazon ABNA Judge

Buy The Book

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo
Smashwords

About The Author


Linda Covella’s varied job experience and education (associate degrees in art, business and mechanical drafting & design, a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.

A writer for over 30 years, her first official publication was a restaurant review column in a local newspaper, and as a freelance writer, she continued to publish numerous articles in a variety of publications. But when she published articles for children’s magazines (“Games and Toys in Ancient Rome” and “Traveling the Tokaido in 17th Century Japan,” in Learning Through History magazine, and “Barry’s Very Grown Up Day” in Zootles magazine), she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She wants to share with kids and teens her love of books: the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.

Yakimali’s Gift, a historical novel for young adults published by Astraea Press, and middle grade paranormal The Castle Blues Quake published by Beau Coup Publishing are her first novels.

No matter what new paths she may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.

She’s a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She blogs about writing on her website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Golden Pathway Blog Tour: Review

Written By: Donna McDine
Illustrated by: K.C. Snider
Publication Date: August 12, 2010
Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction/Children’s Fiction (Ages 8-12)

Synopsis:


Be transported through time to the Underground Railroad, where high-pitched screams echo each night. David’s cruel Pa always chooses the same victim. Despite the circumstances during slavery, David uncovers the courage to defy his Pa.

Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David attempts to lead Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa.

So What Did I Think About The Story?:


As with Ms. McDine's story Powder Monkey, my 9 year-old son and I read The Golden Pathway in one sitting, drawn into the story from the very first page. The bravery and kindness displayed by David is remarkable and I was happy to find the main character doing what he felt was right in such a horrible situation and being such an inspiring example for my son. We had quite the conversation when the story was over, discussing the difference between doing what your parents tell you (which is what my son has been taught) and doing what is right when a parent just so happens to be doing something very bad. I always enjoy when a book prompts these sorts of discussion and between this and the discussion of slavery we spent a while talking about David and Jenkins and their journey as well as the historic context of slavery, the underground railroad, etc.

I enjoyed the illustrations very much and found that they very accurately depict the high emotion and drama going on in the story. The colors are bright and draw the eye to them, and having a picture on every other page makes for a visual adventure as much as the story lead us on a written one.

After finishing this story as well as Powder Monkey my son's biggest complaint was that they were both very sad and, at times, scary (he did not like hearing about the slaves or David getting beaten!). While we talked about the fact that many aspects of life and history are not happy I think in the future I will intersperse heavy stories such as these with some more light-hearted fare.  Even so, we both enjoyed the story and I especially enjoyed the long discussions that came after!

So What Did I Think About The Cover?:


I enjoyed it, although given the tension running throughout the short story I would probably have preferred a more anxious picture...maybe David whispering the Jenkins with a shadow cast over them!

My Rating: 4.0/5.0


Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of The Golden Pathway in exchange for an honest review! Be sure to continue below for more information about the author and the book tour.


Praise For The Golden Pathway


“The Golden Pathway is a tale of compassion and courage. This book earns the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval, a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Children’s Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.” –Literary Classics Book Awards & Reviews

“The Golden Pathway is written specifically for children 8-12 years old and is written perfectly to their level of understanding. It is easy to comprehend and the plot flows smoothly. The illustrations are beautifully depicted and complement the wording immensely. I found this story to be powerful, inspiring and something that will provide children with a valuable lesson about slavery and freedom as part of American History. I can see this book also providing a valuable tool for children to ask questions and bring about important conversation. I feel strongly that this book is a must read for all children ages 8 and up.” –Rita V., Readers Favorite

“This story by author Donna M. McDine, with full-page, full-color illustrations by K. C. Snider, is an attention-grabbing way to introduce students to the fact that slavery once existed in this country and also illustrate how the “Underground Railroad” helped slaves to escape north so that they might gain their freedom. It is a great book.” –Wayne S. Walker, Home School Book Review

“Donna M. McDine is an award winning children’s author and it comes through in the book. The way she has handled such a delicate and emotional subject is really good. She has given a good twist to the tale in the end. The story imparts an important message to the children, of being courageous and yet compassionate towards fellow human beings. At the same time the story makes the children realize the plight people went through in those times.” -Benu Bali, Zealot Readers


Buy The Book


Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (Print)
Autographed Copies
Wholesale Orders


About The Author


Donna McDine is a multiple award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, A Sandy Grave ~ Story Monster Approved and Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, The Golden Pathway ~ Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers
Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books.

Her interest in ocean life resulted in writing and publishing A Sandy Grave (January 2014). Other books by McDine, Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010). A fifth book is in the publishing pipeline with Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

For more information please visit Donna McDine’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


The Golden Pathway Blog Tour


Monday, August 25

Review at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, August 26

Spotlight at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, August 27

Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Friday, August 29

Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 3

Review at Bookish

Thursday, September 4

Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Friday, September 5

Review at Book Nerd
Review at A Leisure Moment

Monday, September 8

Review at Beth’s Book Nook
Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Thursday, September 11

Review at Impressions in Ink
Review at Historical Tapestry

Friday, September 12

Review at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, September 17

Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages











Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Powder Monkey Blog Tour: Review

Written By: Donna McDine
Illustrated by: K.C. Snider
Publication Date: May 20, 2013
Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction/Children’s Fiction (Ages 8-12)

Free Educator Guides Available.

Synopsis:


Forced into a life at sea by the Royal Navy Press Gangs, 12-year-old Tommy Kitt finds himself in a floating sea of misery. Poor living conditions and beatings occur daily. Despite his small size, Tommy must summon the courage and physical ability to prevail in a situation he cannot escape.

 

So What Did I Think About The Story?:


I read both Powder Monkey and The Golden Pathway (another book by this author/illustrator pair which I will be reviewing tomorrow) along with my 9 year-old son. At first glance he thought it was going to be an easy read but we were both pleasantly surprised by the depth of the story and the vocabulary used. Finding a book to keep my son's attention can be tricky but Powder Monkey was action-packed from page one and presented a realistic and vibrant account of what a young boy living in Tommy's times and circumstances could have gone through without sugar-coating it. The story had  my son asking many follow up questions as we turned the pages ("Why would someone kidnap these boys and make them work so hard on a boat?", "Was Tommy a real person?") which allowed us to discuss these situations that he had never heard about before. I asked my son if he was happy he didn't live in a time when someone could simply come and take children away from their parents and make them work so hard without having any way getting away and I was presented with a resounding "Um, Yeah!".

While my son wasn't as captivated by the illustrations as he was by the story I thought the pictures were beautiful. Every other page was a full page illustration and helped visually advance the storyline. The pictures of the turbulent and unpredictable open sea were my favorite!

Overall, Powder Monkey was a very exhilarating if sad story that my son seemed to very much enjoy and had him thinking what he would do in the same situation. While the story made him sad (he seemed genuinely upset at the idea that Tommy and the other boys wouldn't be able to see their  parents again) it opened up a discussion on the history behind boys forced into this sort of work and how different our lives are today. We read it in one sitting which, when dealing with my son's short attention span, is always an accomplishment in itself!


So What Did I Think Of The Cover?:  


I love it, as I do with all the illustrations within. It captures the general idea of the story and gives the reader a visual of this young boy forced into a life he doesn't want.


My Rating: 4.0/5.0


Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of Powder Monkey in exchange for an honest review! Be sure to continue below for more information about the author and the book tour. Please also come back tomorrow for my review of Donna M. McDine's book titled The Golden Pathway!


Praise For Powder Monkey


“Danger. Hardship. Cannon blasts. And whips. Stolen violently into service as a boy who delivers powder to the cannons during a battle, young Tommy never sees his parents again. What adventures await him? Donna M. McDine’s book, Powder Monkey, moves quickly through tense action scenes to portray realistic life during this dangerous era on the high seas.” ~ Nancy I. Sanders, bestselling and award-winning children’s author of Challenge on the Hill of Fire and Frederick Douglass for Kids ~ http://nancyisanders.com

“The saga of an age gone by, Donna McDine’s Powder Monkey, ably captures the essence of what some young boys endured as impressed sailors. With pathos and honesty, this historically accurate account of Tommy Kitt’s struggle to stay alive at sea, is a testimony to the author’s prowess as a storyteller.” ~ Nancy Stewart, Award-winning and Amazon best-selling children’s author ~ http://nancystewartbooks.com

“Powder Monkey by Donna McDine, illustrated by K.C. Snider, is a heart wrenching historical fiction. The story chronicles the lives of two brothers during British naval history. The brothers are taken and forced to run powder to the cannons during battles at sea. K.C. Snider’s artwork transports the reader back to a world where innocent boys endured many hardships. Parents and teachers can certainly use the book to teach many valuable lessons about life and how it should not be taken for granted. ~Reviewed by Nicole Weaver, Award-winning Children’s Author ~ http://mysisterismybestfriend.blogspot.com/2013/11/book-review-powder-monkey-by-donna.html

“The richly detailed illustrations, by well known artist and illustrator K.C Snider, drew me back into a time when the theme of this historical novel would have been played out – press gangs kidnapping young boys for service at sea. This tale of 14 year old farm boy Tommy, and his older brother, is well told. It has the right feel. The author’s research shines through on every page. Action scenes, and well crafted tense moments pulled me into the story, and the ending was true to life in those times. This is a book that boys and tomboys will enjoy. Teachers and home schooling parents will appreciate its authentic background and vivid details: an exciting and action packed read. I recommend Powder Monkey as a book that will definitely HOOK Kids on Reading.” ~ Reviewed by Margot Finke, children’s author ~ http://margotfinke.com


Buy the Book


Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Amazon (Print)
Autographed Copies
Wholesale Orders


About The Author


Donna McDine is a multiple award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and
two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, A Sandy Grave ~ Story Monster Approved and Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, The Golden Pathway ~ Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books.

Her interest in ocean life resulted in writing and publishing A Sandy Grave (January 2014). Other books by McDine, Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010). A fifth book is in the publishing pipeline with Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

For more information please visit Donna McDine’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


Powder Monkey Blog Tour


Monday, August 25
Spotlight at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, August 27

Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Monday, September 1

Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, September 2

Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, September 4

Review at A Leisure Moment

Monday, September 8

Review at Bookish

Wednesday, September 10

Review at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, September 11

Review at Impressions in Ink

Friday, September 12

Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, September 19

Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages



Monday, September 8, 2014

Spotlight On This Is How I'd Love You by Hazel Woods Plus Giveaway!

I have had This Is How I'd Love You on my wish list ever since I saw this beautiful cover and read its unusual and intriguing synopsis. Now you have a chance to win a copy of your own! Continue below for information on this exciting new novel, the full blog tour schedule and how you can win a copy!


Publication Date: August 26, 2014 Plume Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback, MP3 CD
Pages: 320

Genre: Historical Fiction


As the Great War rages, an independent young woman struggles to sustain love—and life—through the power of words. It’s 1917 and America is on the brink of World War I. After Hensley Dench’s father is forced to resign from the New York Times for his anti-war writings, she finds herself expelled from the life she loves and the future she thought she would have. Instead, Hensley is transplanted to New Mexico, where her father has taken a job overseeing a gold mine. Driven by loneliness, Hensley hijacks her father’s correspondence with Charles Reid, a young American medic with whom her father plays chess via post. Hensley secretly begins her own exchange with Charles, but looming tragedy threatens them both, and—when everything turns against them—will their words be enough to beat the odds?

 

Praise for This Is How I’d Love You



“In This is How I’d Love You, Hazel Woods explores the enduring nature of an improbable love born of words, washed in tragedy, and sustained despite impossible circumstances. With prose as immediate and evocative as a painting, Woods accomplishes the magic of rendering sorrow into hope and fear into courage. It is as idealistic a tale as it is clear-sighted, a brilliant alchemy few novels achieve. Readers, prepare to melt” — Robin Oliveria, author of My Name is Mary Sutter

 

Buy the Book


Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
Powell’s

 

About the Author




Hazel Woods lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. For more information please visit www.hazelwoodsauthor.com. You can also find her on Twitter.

 

 

 

This Is How I’d Love You Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 25

Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, August 27
Interview at Dab of Darkness

Friday, August 29
Interview at Book Babe

Monday, September 1
Review & Interview at Closed the Cover

Tuesday, September 2
Review & Interview at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, September 3
Review at The Bookworm

Thursday, September 4
Review at Booktalk & More

Friday, September 5
Spotlight & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Monday, September 8
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

Tuesday, September 9
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, September 10
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes

Friday, September 12
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
 Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, September 15
Review & Guest Post at Bookish

Tuesday, September 16
Review at Book of Secrets

Wednesday, September 17
Review at Book Nerd


Giveaway!

 
Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to offer up one paperback copy of This Is How I'd Love You here on Historical Tapestry! This giveaway is open to those in the US and you have until September 15th to leave a comment below to be entered to win.

For your comment let me know why you want to win the book. Be sure to leave your email address (no email, no entry!). For extra entries share this giveaway online and leave a separate comment with the link to where you shared. That's it! I will announce the winner on September 16th and email the winner for their mailing address. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before I pick another winner. Good luck everyone!




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cover Reveal! The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau



 

 
Publication Date: March 24, 2015 Touchstone Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Pages: 390
 
Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: Joanna Stafford, Book Three
 
 

In THE CROWN, Sister Joanna Stafford searched for a Dark Ages relic that could save her priory from Cromwell’s advancing army of destruction. In THE CHALICE, Joanna was drawn into an international conspiracy against Henry VIII himself as she struggled to learn the truth behind a prophecy of his destruction.

Now, in THE TAPESTRY, Joanna Stafford finally chooses her own destiny.

After her Dominican priory in Dartford closed forever—collateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIII’s quest to overthrow the Catholic Church—Joanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving tapestries, shunning dangerous quests and conspiracies. Until she is summoned to Whitehall Palace, where her tapestry weaving has drawn the King’s attention.

Joanna is uncomfortable serving the King, and fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual disregard for the virtues she holds dear. Her suspicions are confirmed when an assassin attempts to kill her moments after arriving at Whitehall.

Struggling to stay ahead of her most formidable enemy yet, an unknown one, she becomes entangled in dangerous court politics. Her dear friend Catherine Howard is rumored to be the King’s mistress. Joanna is determined to protect young, beautiful, na├»ve Catherine from becoming the King’s next wife and, possibly, victim.

Set in a world of royal banquets and feasts, tournament jousts, ship voyages, and Tower Hill executions, this thrilling tale finds Joanna in her most dangerous situation yet, as she attempts to decide the life she wants to live: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. Joanna Stafford must finally choose

 

 

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About The Author


Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay "Zenobia" placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and "Loving Marys" reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. THE TAPESTRY will be released in March 2015.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Stay in touch with her on Twitter at @tudorscribe. For more information please visit Nancy Bilyeau's website.

Inglorious Royal Marriages Blog Tour: Guest Post and Giveaway

If you're anything like me (and I would guess you are if you are a fan of Historical Tapestry) then you LOVE stories about royalty. What draws us towards them? Why do we ordinary people find their complicated and glittery lives so fascinating? Leslie Carroll, author of many fiction and nonfiction books focusing on royals at their best and worst, has a compelling idea for why this is. Read below for her guest post and make sure to continue on to the end for a chance to win her newest nonfiction work, Inglorious Royal Marriages, and to follow along with the rest of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour.
 
 

WHY I LOVE.... TO WRITE ABOUT DYSFUNCTIONAL ROYAL RELATIONSHIPS

 
By Leslie Carroll
 
INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES is the 5th book in my nonfiction “royal” series for NAL. I received the contract to write the first title, ROYAL AFFAIRS, in 2007 when I had just become a newlywed. I’d been given only five months to research and write my maiden work of nonfiction—a nearly Herculean task—so I dedicated the book to my ever-so-patient husband for putting up with me while I spent our first half-year of marriage writing a book about adultery. Since then, I have researched and written about NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES, ROYAL PAINS, ROYAL ROMANCES, and now—INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES, profiling a cross-section of unions over a five-hundred year period that for one reason or another were ignominious. The book’s subtitle is “a demi-millennium of unholy mismatrimony.”
 
I believe the lion’s share of my readers live in America where we have an utter, perhaps outsized, fascination with European royalty. They are larger than life; and as such, we find them both amusing and entertaining. And because we don’t have kings and queens and princes and dukes of our own, despite having fought and won our independence from a monarchy, we nevertheless seem to want to fill that void by creating our own royalty. We anoint pop stars, screen goddesses, professional ball players, and reality TV stars and they become “the king of rock and roll,” or “Queen Bey,” or a certain omnipresent family on reality television whose bootylicious princess (twice) sought to outdo the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Heaven help us, has America’s desperation to invent our own royalty gotten so out of control that we’ve gone from envying the Kennedys to endeavoring to keep up with the Kardashians?
Yet, when it comes to this manufactured “American royalty,” one reason we watch their every move, chart their material purchases, and voraciously read about them in the tabloids is because we want to glimpse our glittering idols as humans: we vicariously smile even as we commiserate with their bad hair days, their drug arrests, their DUIs, their messy divorces. We are almost more interested when they fall than when they soar. What is it about human nature that gloats just a little bit about the misfortunes of others?
I think it’s because we somehow need the reassurance that the very people we have placed on those pedestals are in fact, after all, like us—but with glitzier “stuff”—that they are, in fact, relatable.
No matter what century they were born in, I have always maintained that the royals I write about are just like you and me—except that they have better jewels, more expensive clothes, and bigger homes. Their glamour intrigues us at the outset, but what lies beneath the shiny veneers are hearts and minds and souls just like the rest of us ordinary folks. They have issues with their parents, or their children. Or they can’t have children, and desperately want them. In most cases, the royal stakes are pretty high, when it comes to producing an heir—but even those of us who are far less lofty still worry about whether the next generation will carry on the family business.
Then there are the timeless subjects of love and romance and marriage. Birthright comes with no guarantees; royalty doesn’t buy happiness. One can have all the castles and gemstones and servants in the world and still lack for love or respect. Royals endlessly fascinate me because it’s part and parcel of their official persona to seem so distant and remote, so unlike us at all—and yet of course they have foibles and flaws and failures as well as triumphs. Perhaps we are most intrigued by their missteps, because it does bring them down a bit to our level, even as we aspire to breathe their rarified air. Our appetite for the shenanigans of England’s handsome Prince Harry (and his great-aunt Princess Margaret in her day) are examples of what I’m referring to. There’s an interesting social dichotomy at work, here. At the same time we elevate royalty to a sort of godlike status, we also want to see them being human. We’re also fascinated with royals as being larger than life, and we all know that the bigger one is, the harder one falls. And when a king or queen or prince endures an insufferable marriage, whether it includes flying crockery or adultery, even if we ourselves have trouble in the connubial bliss department, perhaps there’s something about the human psyche—call it schadenfreude—that makes us sit back and think something along the lines of, “Wow, at least I don’t have it as bad as they do, for all their wealth and titles.”
When it comes to royal relationships, I have profiled the good, the bad, and the ugly. And in every book I wrote, the dozens of sovereigns and princesses and dukes and princes—and their lovers and spouses—were selected for inclusion because I empathized with at least one, if not both, of the people in the relationship. Because in the end, it’s not about how many castles one owns. Or thrones. Or gowns or crowns. It’s about the choices one makes. Who one loves. How one copes in times of adversity. It’s the common thread of humanity that shapes my themes as a nonfiction author writing about royal lives.
 
Thank you Leslie Carroll for this awesome post! I have to agree with you that one of the things that fascinates me so much about royalty is this idea that, underneath it all, they are just flesh and bone likes all of us and, therefore, imperfect and flawed.
 
So what do you say, readers, do you agree? Do you have any particular favorite royals and, if so, why are they your favorite? Let me know in the comments below and you're entered to win a copy of Inglorious Royal Marriages! Be sure to leave your email address (no email, no entry!) and for extra entries share this online and leave a separate comment with a link to where you shared. I'll pick a winner on September 10th and the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email with their mailing address before I'll have to pick another winner. Good luck everyone!
 


About Inglorious Royal Marriages

 
Publication Date: September 2, 2014 NAL Trade
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 400p
Genre: History/Non-Fiction/Royalty


Why does it seem that the marriages of so many monarchs are often made in hell? And yet we can’t stop reading about them! To satisfy your schadenfreude, INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES offers a panoply of the most spectacular mismatches in five hundred years of royal history….some of which are mentioned below.

When her monkish husband, England’s Lancastrian Henry VI, became completely catatonic, the unpopular French-born Margaret of Anjou led his army against the troops of their enemy, the Duke of York.

Margaret Tudor, her niece Mary I, and Catherine of Braganza were desperately in love with chronically unfaithful husbands—but at least they weren’t murdered by them, as were two of the Medici princesses.

King Charles II’s beautiful, high-spirited sister “Minette” wed Louis XIV’s younger brother, who wore more makeup and perfume than she did.

Compelled by her mother to wed her boring, jug-eared cousin Ferdinand, Marie of Roumania—a granddaughter of Queen Victoria—emerged as a heroine of World War I by using her prodigious personal charm to regain massive amounts of land during the peace talks at Versailles. Marie’s younger sister Victoria Melita wed two of her first-cousins: both marriages ultimately scandalized the courts of Europe.

Brimming with outrageous real-life stories of royal marriages gone wrong, this is an entertaining, unforgettable book of dubious matches doomed from the start.


About The Author



Leslie Carroll is the author of several works of historical nonfiction, women’s fiction, and, under the pen names Juliet Grey and Amanda Elyot, is a multipublished author of historical fiction. Her nonfiction titles include Royal Romances, Royal Pains, Royal Affairs, and Notorious Royal Marriages. She is also a classically trained professional actress with numerous portrayals of virgins, vixens, and villainesses to her credit, and is an award-winning audio book narrator.

A frequent commentator on royal romances and relationships, Leslie has been interviewed by numerous publications, including MSNBC.com, USA Today, the Australian Broadcasting Company, and NPR, and she was a featured royalty historian on CBS nightly news in London during the royal wedding coverage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. She also appears as an expert on the love lives of Queen Victoria, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and Napoleon on the television series “The Secret Life of [fill in the name of famous figure]” for Canada’s History Channel. Leslie and her husband, Scott, divide their time between New York City and Washington, D.C.

For more information please visit Leslie’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Praise for Leslie Carroll's Royal Books



“An irresistible combination of People magazine and the History Channel.”—Chicago Tribune (5 Stars)

“Thoroughly enjoyable.”—Booklist

“For those who tackled Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, and can’t get enough of the scandal surrounding Henry VIII’s wives, [Notorious Royal Marriages is] the perfect companion book.”—NewYorker.com

 

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Inglorious Royal Marriages Blog Tour Schedule



Monday, September 1
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, September 2
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at Scandalous Women

Wednesday, September 3
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, September 4
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Friday, September 5
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, September 8
Review & Giveaway at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, September 9
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Spotlight at Princess of Eboli

Wednesday, September 10
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, September 11
Review at The Lit Bitch
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, September 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, September 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Reading Lark

Wednesday, September 17
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Saturday, September 20
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Tuesday, September 23
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, September 24
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Review & Giveaway at To Read or Not to Read

Thursday, September 25
Review at Bookish
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Friday, September 26
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict