Monday, 12 November 2018

#BlogTour A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan @hfvbt @CarrieCallaghan

A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan

Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Amberjack Publishing
Hardcover; 320 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Biographical

In Holland 1633, a woman’s ambition has no place.

Judith is a painter, dodging the law and whispers of murder to become the first woman admitted to the prestigious Haarlem artist’s guild. Maria is a Catholic in a country where the faith is banned, hoping to absolve her sins by recovering a lost saint’s relic.

Both women’s destinies will be shaped by their ambitions, running counter to the city’s most powerful men, whose own plans spell disaster. A vivid portrait of a remarkable artist, A Light of Her Own is a richly-woven story of grit against the backdrop of Rembrandt and an uncompromising religion.


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A LIGHT OF HER OWN is the story about two women. Judith is a painter, and the very first woman to be admitted to the prestigious Haarlem artist's guild. Her best friend Maria is the daughter of Frans de Grebber, who Judith learned painting from. Maria is also Catholic, living in a land where the faith is banned.

A favorite book (and movie) of mine is GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING. So, guess I was intrigued when I learned about this book. About women painting in a time I thought there were just male painters. I just had to read the book. And, what an interesting story. Yes, this is a fictional story, but Judith Leyster really was admitted to the prestigious Haarlem artist's guild and it's not that far-fetched that she knew Maria. I greatly enjoyed reading about Maria and Judith in this a world with great religious antagonisms, not to mention a world where women painters was an anomaly. Another thing that I quite enjoyed was that the scheme initiated by Haarlem's powerful men that will affect both Maria and Judith's lives.

I quite enjoyed this book and this is definitely a book to read if you are interested in art or just want a well-written historical fiction.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

Carrie Callaghan is a writer living in Maryland with her spouse, two young children, and two ridiculous cats. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave Magazine, The MacGuffin, Silk Road, Floodwall, and elsewhere. Carrie is also an editor and contributor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

For more information, please visit Carrie Callaghan's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook,  Twitter and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, November 12 

Tuesday, November 13 
Review at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, November 14 
Interview at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, November 15 
Review at Broken Teepee

Friday, November 16 

Sunday, November 18 

Monday, November 19 

Tuesday, November 20 

Wednesday, November 21 

Friday, November 23 

Monday, November 26 

Tuesday, November 27 

Wednesday, November 28 

Thursday, November 29 
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, November 30 

Monday, December 3 
Review & Interview at Reading the Past

Tuesday, December 4 
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, December 5 
Review at I'm Shelf-ish

Thursday, December 6 
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Friday, December 7 
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 signed hardcovers of A Light of Her Own! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

A Light of Her Own

Sunday, 11 November 2018

#BookReview Skendöda (Suspended Animation) by Louise Boije af Gennäs (SWE/ENG)

Skendöda by Louise Boije af Gennäs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Vad är du villig att betala för makten över ditt eget liv?

Sara har bestämt sig för att återvända till Stockholm från Örebro, trots de märkliga och traumatiska händelser som präglat hennes första höst i huvudstaden. Mer på sin vakt än någonsin byter hon till ett jobb inom konsultbranschen och flyttar till en ny stadsdel i hopp om att de ansiktslösa förföljarna ska lämna henne i fred.

Men den mardrömslika utpressningen tar snart vid där den slutade. Omgiven av finansvärldens korruption och maktspel måste Sara ställa sig frågan: finns det överhuvudtaget någon hon kan lita på?

I Motståndstrilogin skildrar Louise Boije af Gennäs den lilla människans kamp mot makten. Det är en nervkittlande lek mellan verklighet och fiktion, där ingenting är som det verkar och där sanningen kan komma att förändra allt. Del 1, Blodlokan, utkom i januari 2018, och del 3, Verkanseld, kommer i januari 2019.
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Vilken spännande bok! Jag gillade verkligen första boken i serien där vi lärde känna Sara som just hade förlorat sin far. Hon upptäcker att hennes pappa har arbetat med att avslöja korruption inom den svenska staten och att hans död kan ha var något helt annat än en olycka.

I denna bok försöker hon än en gång gå vidare i livet efter händelserna i föregående boken där flertalet nära till henne dog samt att mannen hon älskade visade sig inte ha rent mjöl i påsen. Bokens handling är väldigt brutal och jag är i vanliga fall inte så känslig av mig med vissa sekvenser i denna bok var svåra att ta. Sara får stå ut med mycket i boken och även om jag misstänkte hur allting skulle sluta så förminskar det inte faktumet att detta är en hemskt bra bok!

SKENDÖDA är en förträffligt bra bok, till och med bättre än BLODLOKAN och jag längtar efter att läsa Verkanseld som kommer nästa år!

Tack till Bookmarks förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

What are you prepared to pay for the right to your own life? 

Sara has decided to return to Stockholm from Örebro, despite the strange occurrences that happened during her time there the previous fall. She's on her guard and changes her job to one in the financial world och move to a new suburb in hope that the faceless stalkers will leave her alone. 

However soon her life takes a nightmarish turn once more. She's surrounded by corruption and power games and soon she must ask herself, who can she really trust? 

This book is the second book in the resistance trilogy by Louise Boije af Gennäs. 

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Oh boy, this is one thrilling book! I really liked the first book in the series, where we got to know Sara, who had just lost her father. She discovered that her father was working on revealing corruption in the Swedish state and his death may.

In this book, she's trying to move on after the death of several close people in her life not to mention discovering that the man she loved was not who she thought he was. The book is very brutal, some pretty horrible things happen and I'm not usually squeamish, but even I found some events tough to take in. Sara has to deal with a lot and even though I expected how it all would end in this book did it not diminish the fact that it's a bloody great book.

SKENDÖDA (Suspended Animation) is an engrossing book, even better than the first one and I can't wait to read the last part in the trilogy that will be released next year.

Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

#BookReview The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston @FreshFiction @StMartinsPress

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A new series about a young woman whose connection to antiques takes her on a magical adventure, reminiscent of Outlander.

New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter Paula Brackston returns to her trademark blend of magic and romance to launch a new series guaranteed to enchant her audience even more.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. So when she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine she has to know more.

It’s while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century. And shortly after, she's confronted by a ghost who reveals that this is where the antique has its origins. The ghost tasks Xanthe with putting right the injustice in its story to save an innocent girl’s life, or else it’ll cost her Flora’s.

While Xanthe fights to save her amid the turbulent days of 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.

With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things is poised to be a strong start to this new series.


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Xanthe has a special gift. When she touches antiques she can sense something from the items past. So, when Xanthe is at an auction and sees an old chatelaine she feels the tingle of connection. She must have it and learn of its story. Little does she know, there's a link between the chatelaine and the new store she and her mother have just bought. Nor does she know that a ghost will forever change her life.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Friday, 9 November 2018

#BookReview Morden i Baronville (The Fallen) by David Baldacci @davidbaldacci @Bokfabriken (SWE/ENG)

The Fallen by David Baldacci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
SWEDISH REVIEW

Morden i Baronville är den fjärde delen i Baldaccis serie om FBI:s utredare Amos Decker.

Amos Decker, utredaren som inte glömmer något, följer med sin vän Alex Jamison till småstaden Baronville för att hälsa på Alex familj. Men semestern varar inte länge. Plötsligt står grannhuset i brand, och till sin förfäran upptäcker Decker två kroppar i huset. Branden är inte dödsorsaken.

Decker och Jamison bestämmer sig för att undersöka detta närmare men stöter på motstånd direkt, både från den lokala polisen och från invånarna. Morden visar sig vara toppen på isberget, och händelserna i Baronville verkar ha kopplingar till något större. Vad är det egentligen som döljer sig bakom småstadsidyllen? Och hinner Decker ta reda på sanningen innan fler oskyldiga drabbas?


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Amos Decker och Alex Jamison besöker Alex syster i Baronville, Pennsylvania. De är där för att fira Alexs systerdotters födelsedag, men de kommer knappast dit innan Amos ser något fel i huset bredvid. Då går allt åt helvetet!

Det är allt du behöver veta om historien. Det och att många kommer att dö, staden är fylld av hemligheter och det viktigaste av allt, det går inte att lita på någon!

MORDEN I BARONVILLE fängslande mig från början till slut. Det är något mystiskt Baronville och allt Amos måste göra är att räkna ut allt och hålla sig själv och de omkring honom levande. Jag gillade verkligen bokens miljö, den en gång blomstrande staden är nu döende. Människorna som lever där har förlorat hoppet och tar till droger för att överleva vardagen. Det vilar en känsla av undergång över Baronville och något är hemskt fel där. En sak säkert, och det är några människor kommer ångra att Amos Decker bestämde sig för att följa med Alex till Baronville...

Boken var svår att sluta läsa och det överraskande mig inte då Baldacci alltid skriver thrillers som fängslar och fångar mitt intresse. Det här är bok fyra i Amos Decker-serien, men de är alla fristående så att du utan några problem kan läsa detta utan att ha läst de föregående tre böckerna.

Tack till Bokfabriken för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

David Baldacci returns with the next blockbuster thriller in his #1 New York Times bestselling Memory Man series featuring detective Amos Decker--the man who can forget nothing.

Amos Decker and his journalist friend Alex Jamison are visiting the home of Alex's sister in Barronville, a small town in western Pennsylvania that has been hit hard economically. When Decker is out on the rear deck of the house talking with Alex's niece, a precocious eight-year-old, he notices flickering lights and then a spark of flame in the window of the house across the way. When he goes to investigate he finds two dead bodies inside and it's not clear how either man died. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There's something going on in Barronville that might be the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country.

Faced with a stonewalling local police force, and roadblocks put up by unseen forces, Decker and Jamison must pull out all the stops to solve the case. And even Decker's infallible memory may not be enough to save them.

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Amos Decker and Alex Jamison are visiting Alex sister in Baronville, Pennsylvania. They are there to celebrate Alex's niece's birthday, but they hardly get there before Amos sees something amiss in the house next door. Then, everything goes to hell!

That is all you need to know about the story that and that there will be dead bodies, lots of secrets and the most important thing of all, never trust anyone!

THE FALLEN is an action filled book that thrilled me from the beginning until the end. There is a deep dark mystery hidden in Baronville and all Amos has to do is figure out it all, and keep himself and those around him alive. I loved the setting in this book, this once glorious town that now is filled with junkies and forlorn people. There is definitely something wrong with the city, but what? One thing for sure, and that is some people will regret that Amos Decker decided to tag along with Alex...

Personally, did I find this book to be hard to put down, then again that's what I expected from this book since Baldacci always writes heart-pounding, page-turning thrillers. THE FALLEN is book four in the Amos Decker series, but they are all stand-alone so you can without any problems read this without having read the previous three books.

Thanks to Bokfabriken for the review copy!

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

#BookReview Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn @MinotaurBooks @FreshFiction

Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

An enthralling, atmospheric new novel from the author of acclaimed debut Inherit the Bones, featuring Colorado police officer Gemma Monroe.

On a bright Saturday in early spring, Detective Gemma Monroe responds to a missing person call at Lost Lake, near the small town of Cedar Valley, Colorado. With its sapphire waters and abundance of wildflowers, the lake is a popular camping destination in the summer. But for now, ice still grips the lake and snow buries the flowers.

When Gemma arrives at the shore, she meets three friends who have been camping there: the fourth of their group, Sari Chesney, has disappeared in the night without a trace. Sari is an assistant curator at the local museum, which is set to host a gala that night--a project she's worked on for months and would never intentionally miss. As Gemma begins to understand the complex dynamics of the supposedly close-knit friendship group, she realizes that more than one person is lying to her--and that the beautiful, still waters of Lost Lake may hide more terrible secrets . . .


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A young woman goes missing at Lost Lake, near the small town of Cedar Valley, Colorado. Detective Gemma Monroe is called in and at the lake, she meets the camping party who is missing its fourth member, Sari Chesney. Sari seems to have disappeared without a trace. But, would a woman who is a dedicated assistant curator at the local museum just take up and leave, or is it foul play?

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Monday, 5 November 2018

#BookReview Ett delat mysterium (The Mystery of Three Quarters) by Sophie Hannah (SWE/ENG) @sophiehannahCB1

The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

När Hercule Poirot återvänder hem efter lunch en dag finner han en arg kvinna som väntar utanför hans ytterdörr. Hon kräver att få veta varför han har skickat henne ett brev som anklagar henne för mordet på Barnabas Pandy. En man som hon inte känner eller någonsin har träffat.

Poirot har själv aldrig hört talas om Barnabas Pandy och har inte anklagat någon för mord. Gripen av händelsen går han in, bara för att finna att han har ännu en besökare som väntar på honom. Det visar sig vara en man som påstår sig ha fått ett brev från Poirot den morgonen som anklagar honom för mordet på Barnabas Pandy.

Ett delat mysterium är Sophie Hannahs tredje deckare med den omisskännlige Hercule Poirot i huvudrollen. I detta finurliga mordmysterium får vi återigen möjlighet att följa Agatha Christies mest klassiska karaktär i en gåta som inte lämnar någon oberörd.


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Jag älskar Poirot TV-serien med David Suchet. Jag har emellertid aldrig läst en Poirot-roman innan jag läste denna. En bok som inte ens är skriven av Agatha Christie. Det är nog bra att jag inte har läst de ursprungliga romanen eftersom jag inte har något att jämföra med. Men jag måste säga att jag var imponerad av historien. Humor, mysteriet och att försöka ta reda på vem skickade breven innan Poirit listade ut det.

Jag kunde verkligen se David Suchet som Poirot framför mina ögon under berättelsens gång och jag var verkligen fängslad av berättelsen och bokens stil tilltalande mig. Jag gillar särskilt början när Poirot anklagas av flera personer för att vara författare till flera brev som hävdar att just han/hon var en mördare av en man som heter Barnabus Pandy. Poirot tog allt i strid (inte) och försökte snabbt förklara att han inte alls var den som skrev breven vilket inte var lätt då de var så upprörda att de knappt lyssnad på honom. Och då måste han själv försöka ta reda på vem som skrev breven och om någon dödade stackars Barnabus Pandy.

Denna bok fick mig inte bara att vilja läsa de två tidigare böckerna av Sophie Hannah, nu vill jag också läsa böckerna av Agatha Christie. Detta är en riktigt bra bok och jag rekommenderar det varmt!

Tack till Bookmarks förlag för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW 

The world's most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot--the legendary star of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Expressand most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket--returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in the London of 1930.

Hercule Poirot returns home after an agreeable luncheon to find an angry woman waiting to berate him outside his front door. Her name is Sylvia Rule, and she demands to know why Poirot has accused her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. She is furious to be so accused, and deeply shocked. Poirot is equally shocked, because he too has never heard of any Barnabas Pandy, and he certainly did not send the letter in question. He cannot convince Sylvia Rule of his innocence, however, and she marches away in a rage.

Shaken, Poirot goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him -- a man called John McCrodden who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy...


Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?

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I love the Poirot TV series with David Suchet. However, I have never actually read a Poirot novel until I read this one. Which isn't even written by Agatha Christie. It's probably good that I haven't read the original novels since I have nothing to compare with. But, I must say I was impressed with the story. The humor, the mystery and trying to figure out who sent the letters, before Poirot did.

I could really see David Suchet as Poirot before my eyes all through the book and I was utterly charmed by the story and the writing. I especially like the beginning when Poirot is accused by several people on being the author of several letters claiming that just he/she was a murderer. He took it all in stride (not) and quickly tried to explain that he was not at all the one that penned the letters. Although they didn't want to believe him and hardly listened to his explanations. And, then, of course, he had to try to find out who wrote the letters and if anyone killed poor Barnabus Pandy.

This book not only made me want to read the previous two books by Sophie Hannah, now I want to read the books by Agatha Christie as well. This a truly great book and I recommend it warmly!

Thanks to Bookmarks förlag for the review copy!

Sunday, 4 November 2018

#BookReview The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz @AnthonyHorowitz @arrowpublishing

The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Death, deception, and a detective with quite a lot to hide stalk the pages of Anthony Horowitz's brilliant new murder mystery, the second in the bestselling series starring Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne. 

‘You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late… ’

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine – a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?

Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business.

But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realises that these secrets must be exposed – even at the risk of death…


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I've not read THE WORD IS MURDER, book one in this series, but I definitely want to after reading this one!

To be honest didn't I know a damn thing about the story before I started to read/listen to this book (yes I tend to mix it when I have the chance, listen at work, read and listen at home). And to find that Anthony Horowitz has written two books with himself as a character was a great joy (such a fun idea). He's like Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne's own Watson. Although, their working relationship is a bit strained. Anthony isn't even sure he likes Hawthorne that much. I, however, find both of them enjoyable.

Anyway, there has been a murder and Anthony and Hawthorne is out to find out the truth. Anthony also struggles with an episode of Foyle's War (love that series, this book made me wanna rewatch it). As a new reader to this series was this my first encounter with the characters, and I loved getting to know them. And just like Anthony do I want to know more about Hawthorne. I had a blast reading this book and I although I saw one of the big twists a mile away did I really love the ending of the book!

THE SENTENCE IS DEATH is definitely a book that I recommend and I can't wait to read the first book and the third book when it's published!

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley!

Saturday, 3 November 2018

#BookReview Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy @SarahMMcCoy @WmMorrowBooks @FreshFiction

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and the choices that will open her life to the possibility of heartbreak—and unimaginable greatness

Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother has dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables with her brother, Matthew and father, Hugh.

In Avonlea—a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island—life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress has allowed her to build a thriving business and make her own way in the world.

Emboldened by her aunt, Marilla dares to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia that secretly serves as a way station for runaway slaves from America. Her budding romance with John Blythe, the charming son of a neighbor, offers her a possibility of future happiness—Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. Now Marilla must face a reckoning between her dreams of making a difference in the wider world and the small-town reality of life at Green Gables.


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I've seen tv-versions of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, but I have never actually read the books. However, that didn't stop me from wanting to read this book about Marilla Cuthbert, before Anne came into her and Matthew's lives.

Marilla Cuthbert is only thirteen-years-old when her whole life is turned upside down. Her beloved mother dies in childbirth and she's suddenly the one responsible for all of the tasks of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, and overseeing Green Gables. Of course, she has her brother Matthew and her father Hugh, but the loss of her mother will stay with her for the rest of her life. As she grows up, Green Gables is her main focus, but friends and family will draw her out into the world. And, she will even find that there may be someone out there who could be more than and a friend...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!