April 25, 2015

The Goodbye Witch by Heather Blake


The Goodbye Witch by Heather Blake
A Wishcraft Mystery #4
ISBN: 978045465870
Mass Market Paperback

Synopsis:
As Enchanted Village’s resident Wishcrafter, Darcy Merriweather has the power to make other people’s wishes come true, but what she really wishes is that she had the power to uncloak the invisible man who’s stalking her best friend....
 
Darcy’s closest friend and fellow witch, Starla Sullivan, hoped she’d never see her ex-husband, Kyle, again. Two years ago he tried to kill her, and he has been a fugitive ever since. Now Starla claims to have seen him back in Enchanted Village, but it seems she’s the only one who can see him. To everyone else, her ex is invisible.
 
Darcy only wishes his motives were as transparent as the rest of him. Since the police can’t arrest someone they can’t see, it’s up to Darcy to find the secret behind Kyle’s latest disappearing act—before he does something they can’t see coming….
My review:
As Enchanted Village’s resident Wishcrafter, Darcy Merriweather has the power to make other people’s wishes come true, but what she really wishes is that she had the power to uncloak the invisible man who’s stalking her best friend....
 
Darcy’s closest friend and fellow witch, Starla Sullivan, hoped she’d never see her ex-husband, Kyle, again. Two years ago he tried to kill her, and he has been a fugitive ever since. Now Starla claims to have seen him back in Enchanted Village, but it seems she’s the only one who can see him. To everyone else, her ex is invisible.
 
Darcy only wishes his motives were as transparent as the rest of him. Since the police can’t arrest someone they can’t see, it’s up to Darcy to find the secret behind Kyle’s latest disappearing act—before he does something they can’t see coming….

April 24, 2015

To Catch a Falling Star by Anna Belfrage - Interview and Giveaway


To Catch a Falling Star by Anna Belfrage
The Graham Saga #8
ISBN: 9781781322437
Trade Paperback


Graham Saga Titles

Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star

Synopsis:
To Catch a Falling Star is the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.
Some gifts are double-edged swords …

For Matthew Graham, being given the gift of his former Scottish manor is a dream come true. For his wife, Alex, this gift will force her to undertake a perilous sea journey, leaving most of their extensive family in the Colony of Maryland. Alex is torn apart by this, but staying behind while her husband travels to Scotland is no option.

Scotland in 1688 is a divided country, torn between the papist Stuart king and the foreign but Protestant William of Orange. In the Lowlands, popular opinion is with Dutch William, and Matthew’s reluctance to openly support him does not endear him to his former friends and neighbours.

While Matthew struggles to come to terms with the fact that Scotland of 1688 bears little resemblance to his lovingly conserved memories, Alex is forced to confront unresolved issues from her past, including her overly curious brother-in-law, Luke Graham. And then there’s the further complication of the dashing, flamboyant Viscount Dundee, a man who knocks Alex completely off her feet.

All the turmoil that accompanies their return to Scotland pales into insignificance when a letter arrives, detailing the calamities threatening their youngest daughter in Maryland – at the hand of that most obnoxious minister, Richard Campbell. Matthew and Alex have no choice but to hasten back, no matter the heartache this causes.

Will they make it back in time? And what will Richard Campbell do?

Interview:

Giveaway:
This giveaway is for one paperback copy of To Catch a Falling Star. It is open internationally. I will chose a random winner and you will have 24 hours to respond. If you do not respond I will have to pick a new winner. Thank you


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April 23, 2015

To Catch a Falling Star by Anna Belfrage - Review


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

To Catch a Falling Star by Anna Belfrage
The Graham Saga #8
ISBN: 9781781322437
Trade Paperback


Graham Saga Titles

Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star

Synopsis:
To Catch a Falling Star is the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.
Some gifts are double-edged swords …

For Matthew Graham, being given the gift of his former Scottish manor is a dream come true. For his wife, Alex, this gift will force her to undertake a perilous sea journey, leaving most of their extensive family in the Colony of Maryland. Alex is torn apart by this, but staying behind while her husband travels to Scotland is no option.

Scotland in 1688 is a divided country, torn between the papist Stuart king and the foreign but Protestant William of Orange. In the Lowlands, popular opinion is with Dutch William, and Matthew’s reluctance to openly support him does not endear him to his former friends and neighbours.

While Matthew struggles to come to terms with the fact that Scotland of 1688 bears little resemblance to his lovingly conserved memories, Alex is forced to confront unresolved issues from her past, including her overly curious brother-in-law, Luke Graham. And then there’s the further complication of the dashing, flamboyant Viscount Dundee, a man who knocks Alex completely off her feet.

All the turmoil that accompanies their return to Scotland pales into insignificance when a letter arrives, detailing the calamities threatening their youngest daughter in Maryland – at the hand of that most obnoxious minister, Richard Campbell. Matthew and Alex have no choice but to hasten back, no matter the heartache this causes.

Will they make it back in time? And what will Richard Campbell do?

My review:
This was a good addition to a fun series. I love the historical aspect that Anna uses when writing. It is one of the things that has kept me going with this series. This is the last book in the series which is sad to know we won't have any more of Alexandra and  Matthew. I did feel as if the author ended the series perfectly. Her writing style keeps me turning the pages long into the night. I felt as if in this story we got to know Alexandra and Matthew even more if that is possible and as an added bonus we got to hear more about Luke's story. I don't know what else I can say about this book other than I highly recommend this entire series as you will not be disappointed. 

About the Author:

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.
For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website and blog. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Buy To Catch a Falling Star
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Be sure to stop by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours (click here) to see all the stops on the tour.

April 22, 2015

The Thorn Bearer by Pepper D. Basham - Review and Interview


I received this book  in exchange for a fair and honest review

The Thorn Bearer by Pepper D. Basham
Penned in Time #1
E-Book only

Synopsis:
Ashley Dougall has a terminal disease and forgiveness is the only cure.

Ashley Dougall’s father stole her innocence, her selfish fiancé stole her heart, and unforgiveness is slowly stealing her life. Drawn by the desire to help others, she tries to escape haunting memories and enlists her services as a nurse in war-torn Europe. Along with her childhood friend and fiance’s brother, Samuel Miller, the fragile threads holding Ashley’s life in place one-by-one begin to snap. From the deck of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of WWI, Ashley must choose between forgiveness of the past, life in the present, and a Savior who is willing to help her face them both.

My review:
I don't normally read e-books as they are not my thing but this story drew my attention so I thought I would give it a shot. I am glad I did as this was a great book. This book takes you on an emotional journey from beginning to end. It deals with a sensitive subject but it is done with finesse. Sexual abuse is oftentimes swept under the rug but Pepper brings it front and center and how Ashley dealt with it. She does it in a way that is tasteful and not "dirty" as most people think of this issue. You will follow Ashley through her journey of healing. The author did a good job with her research to make the historical aspects of this book come to life. There is history,romance,faith, and forgiveness in this book which makes the story move right along. The characters are very well developed and I connected with Ashley right from the start. I can't wait for the next book in this series to come out. 

About the author:
Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl. When her grandmother called her a “writer” at the age of ten, Pepper took it as gospel and has enjoyed various types of writing styles ever since. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn, and her debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, arrives on May 7th 2015

Interview:
1. Who or what inspired you to start writing?
Well, I've always been interested in stories - as long as I can remember, but I think my Appalachian culture of 'storytelling' really impacted my passion all the more. My grandmother was the first person who called me a 'writer' and bought me my first typewriter when I was ten years old.

2. What do you do to help you get over writer's block?
I usually switch to another book that I'm working on at the time and then go back to the current novel once I'm over the 'block'. Brainstorming with friends helps too.

3. Do you have scheduled writing time or a certain amount of words you write each day?
I shoot for 1000 words a day, but this doesn't always work out. Most of my 'big' writing happens after all my kids are asleep at night, but I try to sneak snippets of time throughout my day - lunch break, carpool line...etc

4. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Oh my goodness! So many places - and usually unexpected. Some come from family stories, some from research, and some just pop into my head as I daydreaming.

5. When you are not writing what do you like to do?
Spend time with my kids! Oh my goodness, I love them so much. I also enjoy hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

6. What one piece of advice would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing! It took me 10 years to get my first contract - which may sound daunting, but I kept dreaming, praying, and writing. I'm so thankful to see the end result!

7. Who is your favorite author or book that you would like to recommend to your readers?
Anything by Laura Frantz! I love her writing for its lyrical quality, excellent characters, and beautiful descriptions. The setting is amazing

8. If you could meet any famous person dead or alive who would it be and why?
Tough question! I'd absolutely love to meet The Samaritan Woman Jesus spoke to in the Bible. I can't imagine the wonder she felt at meeting him! Changed life! Wow! A wonderful lady who recently passed is Kara Tibbet, a mom who battled cancer for two years before going Home on 3/21. Her love for the Lord, her faithfulness and authenticity in the middle of her pain was inspiring and heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

9. If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you like to visit?
Scotland! If I could choose Great Britain as a whole, I would. My ancestors are from that neck of the woods and I'd love to spend a month touring Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales

10. 5 interesting facts about yourself
Pepper is my real name
My mom's name is Ginger (so we're the original Spice Girls ;-)
Andy Griffith is my fourth cousin
My oldest son *17 years old* wrote is first novel last year - 75K words!!! So proud of him.
I do NOT like black-eyed peas. Ugh.

April 21, 2015

The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker - Spotlight and Giveaway

Join Michael Schmicker as his novel The Witch of Napoli is featured around the blogosphere, and enter to win a copy! 




Publication Date: January 15, 2015
Palladino Books Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fantasy

Synopsis:
Italy 1899: Fiery-tempered, erotic medium Alessandra Poverelli levitates a table at a Spiritualist séance in Naples. A reporter photographs the miracle, and wealthy, skeptical, Jewish psychiatrist Camillo Lombardi arrives in Naples to investigate. When she materializes the ghost of his dead mother, he risks his reputation and fortune to finance a tour of the Continent, challenging the scientific and academic elite of Europe to test Alessandra’s mysterious powers. She will help him rewrite Science. His fee will help her escape her sadistic husband Pigotti and start a new life in Rome. Newspapers across Europe trumpet her Cinderella story and baffling successes, and the public demands to know – does the “Queen of Spirits” really have supernatural powers? Nigel Huxley is convinced she’s simply another vulgar, Italian trickster. The icy, aristocratic detective for England’s Society for the Investigation of Mediums launches a plot to trap and expose her. The Vatican is quietly digging up her childhood secrets, desperate to discredit her supernatural powers; her abusive husband Pigotti is coming to kill her; and the tarot cards predict catastrophe.

Praised by Kirkus Reviews as an “enchanting and graceful narrative” that absorbs readers from the very first page, The Witch of Napoli masterfully resurrects the bitter 19th century battle between Science and religion over the possibility of an afterlife.

Praise for The Witch of Napoli “Impressive…an enchanting, graceful narrative that absorbs readers from the first page.” -Kirkus Reviews

About the author

Michael Schmicker is an investigative journalist and nationally-known writer on the paranormal. He’s been a featured guest on national broadcast radio talk shows, including twice on Coast to Coast AM (560 stations in North America, with 3 million weekly listeners). He also shares his investigations through popular paranormal webcasts including Skeptiko, hosted by Alex Tsakiris; Speaking of Strange with Joshua Warren; the X-Zone, with Rob McConnell (Canada); and he even spent an hour chatting with spoon-bending celebrity Uri Geller on his program Parascience and Beyond (England).

He is the co-author of The Gift, ESP: The Extraordinary Experiences of Ordinary People (St. Martin’s Press). The Witch of Napoli is his debut novel. Michael began his writing career as a crime reporter for a suburban Dow-Jones newspaper in Connecticut, and worked as a freelance reporter in Southeast Asia for three years.

He has also worked as a stringer for Forbes magazine, and Op-Ed contributor to The Wall Street Journal Asia. His interest in investigating the paranormal began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand where he first encountered a non-Western culture which readily accepts the reality of ghosts and spirits, reincarnation, psychics, mediums, divination,and other persistently reported phenomena unexplainable by current Science.

He lives and writes in Honolulu, Hawaii, on a mountaintop overlooking Waikiki and Diamond Head. Connect with Michael Schmicker on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


The Witch of Napoli Book Blast Schedule Click here for the links to all the stops on the tour

Monday, April 20 Susan Heim on Writing
Tuesday, April 21 Griperang’s Bookmarks
Wednesday, April 22 Genre Queen
Thursday, April 23 History From a Woman’s Perspective
Thursday, April 24 To Read, Or Not to Read
Monday, April 27 The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, April 28 A Chick Who Reads
Friday, May 1 Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Giveaway 
Two copies of The Witch of Napoli are up for grabs. To enter please complete the form below.

RULES Giveaway starts on April 20th at 12:01am EST and ends at 11:59pm EST on May 1st. Giveaway is open to residents in the US, UK, AUS/NZ only and you must be 18 or older to enter. Winners will be chosen via GLEAM and notified via email. Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

https://gleam.io/qSBew/the-witch-of-napoli-book-blast Embed Code: The Witch of Napoli Book Blast

April 19, 2015

God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea by Rose Chandler Johnson - Review and Giveaway


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea by Rose Chandler Johnson
ISBN: 9781938499869
Paperback

Synopsis:
In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday moments.
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Teais a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoned with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.
My review:
This was a nice devotional book. I read mine from front to back and wrote my answers to the questions on paper so I can go back and read it again. I thought the title was a cute idea. I liked that each of the devotionals were small and not overwhelming. The author's writing style was very easy to read and understand and she has some thought prevoking questions. 

About the author:
Rose Chandler Johnson’s devotions, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous Christian publications. She enjoys writing for her popular blog, Write Moments with God, and engaging with her readers. Rose is from a tiny Georgia town, and has lived near Augusta, GA for the last twenty-eight years. For the last twenty years, Rose has been a French and English teacher. She’s also worked as a counselor, librarian, and ESOL teacher. Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families.
Find out more about Rose Chandler athttp://www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com/.

Be sure to stop by Litfuse (click here) to see all the stops on the tour.

Giveaway:
I am giving away one copy of God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea. This giveaway is open to the US only. I will choose one random winner and then email you. You will have 24 hours to respond to me or another winner will be chosen. 
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