Monday, 25 June 2018

#Wishlist June Historical Fiction 2019

In this month's Wishlist have I listed 5 titles that are released next year and that I'm dying to read.

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A novel about heiress Mary Philipse's relationship with George Washington, based on historical accounts, letters, and personal journals.

“Love is said to be an involuntary passion, and it is, therefore, contended that it cannot be resisted.” —George Washington

Unrequited love might have sparked a flame that ignited a cause that became the American Revolution. Never before has this story about George Washington been told. Crafted from hundreds of letters, witness accounts, and journal entries, Dear George, Dear Mary explores George’s relationship with his first love, New York heiress Mary Philipse, the richest belle in Colonial America.

From eighteenth century elegant society to bloody battlefields, the novel creates breathtaking scenes and riveting characters. Dramatic portraits of the two main characters unveil a Washington on the precipice of greatness with his insecurities and his inspirations, using the very words he had spoken and written, and his ravishing love, whose outward beauty and refinement disguise madness in elegant clothing.

Dear George, Dear Mary unveils details of a deception long hidden from the world that ultimately led Mary Philipse to being named a traitor, condemned to death and left with nothing. While that may sound like the end, ultimately both Mary and George, achieve what they had always wanted - freedom.


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A Gathering of Ravens was called "satisfying...complex...and a pleasure to read" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Now, Scott Oden continues the saga of Grimnir in this new epic fantasy novel.

In A Gathering of Ravens, he fought for vengeance. Now, Grimnir is back to fight for his survival.


It is the year of Our Lord 1218 and in the land of the Raven-Geats, the Old Ways reach deep. And while the Geats pay a tax to the King in the name of the White Christ, their hearts and souls belong to the gods of Ásgarðr. But no man can serve two masters.

Pledging to burn this Norse heresy from the land, famed crusader Konráðr the White leads a host against the Raven-Geats, using torch and sword to bring forth the light of the new religion. But the land of the Raven-Geats has an ancient protector: Grimnir, the last in a long line of monsters left to plague Miðgarðr. And he will stand between the Raven-Geats and their destruction.

Aided by an army of berserkers led by their pale queen, Grimnir sparks off an epic struggle –not only against the crusaders, but against the very Gods. For there is something buried beneath the land of the Raven-Geats that Odin wants, something best left undisturbed. Something the blood of the slain, Christian and pagan, will surely awaken.



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Irish-American author Mary Pat Kelly draws upon family history to craft another striking work of historical fiction featuring Chicago-born heroine Nora Kelly

Mary Pat Kelly showcases the most tumultuous years of the twentieth century through the eyes of an indomitable Irish-American in Irish Above All, a beautiful work of historical fiction.


After ten years in Paris, where she learned photography and became part of the movement that invented modern art, Chicago-born, Irish-American Nora Kelly is at last returning home. Her skill as a photographer will help her cousin Ed Kelly in his rise to Mayor of Chicago (1933-1947). But when she captures the moment an assassin’s bullet narrowly misses President-elect Franklin Roosevelt and strikes Anton Cermak in February 1933, she enters a world of international intrigue and danger. She must balance family obligations against her encounters with larger-than-life historical characters, such as Joseph Kennedy, Big Bill Thompson, Al Capone, Mussolini, and the circle of women who surround F.D.R. Nora moves through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and World War II, but it’s her unexpected trip to Ireland that transforms her life.

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An evocative and wildly absorbing novel about the Winters, a family living in New York City’s famed Dakota apartment building in the year leading up to John Lennon’s assassination

It’s the fall of 1979 in New York City when twenty-three-year-old Anton Winter, back from the Peace Corps and on the mend from a nasty bout of malaria, returns to his childhood home in the Dakota. Anton’s father, the famous late-night host Buddy Winter, is there to greet him, himself recovering from a breakdown. Before long, Anton is swept up in an effort to reignite Buddy’s stalled career, a mission that takes him from the gritty streets of New York, to the slopes of the Lake Placid Olympics, to the Hollywood Hills, to the blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and brings him into close quarters with the likes of Johnny Carson, Ted and Joan Kennedy, and a seagoing John Lennon.
But the more Anton finds himself enmeshed in his father’s professional and spiritual reinvention, the more he questions his own path, and fissures in the Winter family begin to threaten their close bond. By turns hilarious and poignant, The Dakota Winters is a family saga, a page-turning social novel, and a tale of a critical moment in the history of New York City and the country at large.

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It’s the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris—broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fiancé, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a Frenchwoman named Vivienne Gregsby, and sets out to recover her father’s art collection, prove her innocence—and exact revenge on George.

When the eccentric and wealthy American art collector Edwin Bradley offers Vivienne the perfect job, she is soon caught up in the Parisian world of post-Impressionists and expatriates—including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse, with whom Vivienne becomes romantically entwined. As she travels between Paris and Philadelphia, where Bradley is building an art museum, her life becomes even more complicated: George returns with unclear motives . . . and then Vivienne is arrested for Bradley’s murder.

B. A. Shapiro has made the historical art thriller her own. In The Collector’s Apprentice, she gives us an unforgettable tale about the lengths to which people will go for their obsession, whether it be art, money, love, or vengeance.

#BookReview The Body Counter by Anne Frasier @amazonpub

The Body Counter by Anne Frasier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Months after discovering the mastermind behind her own kidnapping, Detective Jude Fontaine is dealing with the past the only way she knows how: by returning to every dark corner of it. But it’s a new, escalating series of mass slayings that has become her latest obsession at Homicide.

At first, Jude and her partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, can see no pattern to the seemingly random methods, the crime scenes, or the victims—until they’re approached by a brilliantly compulsive math professor. He believes that the madman’s next move is not incalculable; in fact, it’s all part of a sequential and ingenious numerical riddle. His theory is adding up. The body count is rising.

But when the latest victim is found in Jude’s apartment, the puzzle comes with a personal twist that’s going to test the breaking point of her already-fragile state of mind. For all she knows, her number may be up.

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I haven't read the first book in this series, The Body Reader, but you get enough information in this book to get the gist of that story. Detective Jude Fontaine was kidnapped and held captive for three years. But, she got away and is now working again, although her ordeal is still causing problems like nightmares and a dislike of people touching her.

In The Body Counter is she and her partner Uriah Ashby, (Yeah I can't stop thinking Uriah Heep) after a madman that is killing people, at first what it seems like a random pattern. Then, a math professor tells them his theory. Which makes a frightening pattern with increasing numbers of murders.

The book is good, I found the story interesting and engaging. However, part of me feels that this wounded heroine theme, a female detective with demons in the past (not actually demons, unfortunately, that would have been interesting) is everywhere now. I read a lot of books like this and that means that they have to really feel different, or at least truly grab me for me to really like it. This one just didn't grab me. I didn't feel like I needed to read the first book right away or long for the next book. It's OK, but the book wasn't that thrilling nor truly surprising. Would I recommend it? Yes, because the writing is good and just because I didn't love the book doesn't it mean that it won't pull other readers in. If I get the chance to read the next book would I do it because I did enjoy the story and the partnership between Jude and Uriah.

I want to thank Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Sunday, 24 June 2018

#BookReview In the Grip of It by Sheena Kamal @HarperCollins

In the Grip of It by Sheena Kamal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On a surveillance assignment for a child custody case, PI-in-training Nora Watts finds herself ensconced in a small farming community on a beautiful hippie island in the Pacific Northwest, a place with a reputation for being welcoming to outsiders. But when she arrives there, she discovers her welcome quickly wears thin. Perhaps too quickly.

Salt Spring Island, with a history as a refuge for African Americans fleeing the bonds of slavery, is not a place of refuge for her—and, she suspects, may not be for the people who live there, either.

As she investigates, nothing about this remote community seems to add up. It gets personal as Nora confronts her own complicated feelings toward her estranged daughter and becomes increasingly concerned about the child she’s been tasked to surveil. She discovers that small, idyllic communities can hide very big secrets.

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Last year I read the marvelous thriller The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal. And, now I'm waiting to read In the Grip of It that I have waiting for me. But, a while did I read In the Grip of it, a novella that takes place between the books. And, what a great story it was. 

Nora Watts is hired to find a woman and her son that have joined a community. At first, does the place seem quite alright, but after digging around does she get the feeling that something is wrong, dangerously so...

In the Grip of It can easily be read as a stand-alone novella. You get some tidbits about Nora so you know the gist about her so having not read the first book wouldn't be a problem. I personally liked this story so much that I'm now dying to read the sequel novel!

I want to thank Witness Impulse for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

#Bookreview The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride @StuartMacBride @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK

The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some things just won’t stay buried…

Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards it’s his job to police his fellow officers.

When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.

As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important he felt the need to come back from the dead?

But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers—and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried. If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…

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I mentally squealed with delight when I saw that my audiobook service had this book. Even though it was over 16 hours to listen through. But, if there is one author I can trust completely to make all those 16 hours of pure fun and bloody joy is it Stuart MacBride. And, I speed it up so the narrator speaks as fast I speak and think (and I speak fast)!

As I was saying, this book is pure fun straight through and it all starts with a dead body of Detective Inspector Bell. He's been murdered. The problem is that they buried him two years ago. So, who is it they buried, and what has "Ding Dong" Bell been doing these last two years? Logan shouldn't be working the case since he now works for Professional Standards, policing the police. But, he gets dragged in to do the investigation. And, the more he investigates the more problem he gets, especially dangerous kind of problem...

Honestly, I just love this book so much! I love Logan, his cat Cthulhu that he talks too (perfectly normal), I love his daughters (oh the part when Logan's girlfriend has to babysit them when Roberta drops them off hilarious), and of course Roberta Steel. She's a rock in Logan's shoe. But, wait until the end of the book, then she shows her through colors concerning Logan. And, well just read the darn book! You love it!

#BookReview Witchmark by C.L. Polk @clpolk @torbooks

Witchmark by C.L. Polk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A stunning, addictive fantasy debut that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance in an original world with a historical WWI tone

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a world war, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own. Moving at a brilliant pace and pulsing with deadly intrigue and unforgettable characters, Witchmark grabs readers and doesn't let go until the thrilling conclusion.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be a slave to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family. Even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veteran’s hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

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I have to admit that the stunning cover of this book was what first caught my eye. Then, I read the blurb and my weakness for a world that is like our, but with magic won me over. Just imagine a world that is a reminiscent of Edwardian England, where a war has been going on, between Aeland and Laneer. Miles Singer is a doctor, but he is also born with powers that have destined him to be a slave to his family. A fate he didn't want, so he ran away, to use his skills for healing. He fought in the war, was captured and reported dead. With a new identity is he now working in a veteran hospital trying to figure out why men that are returning is coming back having the same delusion. That someone inside them trying to take over and kill everyone. And, then a man arrives at the hospital, dying, knowing Miles true name and ask for his help...

You know what I wanted more when I read this book, more knowledge about Aeland and Laneer. It did feel like you only got tidbits of information and I wanted to know more, More history about the countries, etc. I felt a bit lost now and then, but I liked the story. I liked the M/M love story that blossomed between Miles and a certain gentleman that shows up with secrets of his own. I liked the writing, the story had great flow. The last part of the book, when the pace stepped up as Miles started to untangle the truth about what is going on is truly great. I hope to read more books set in this world.

I want to thank Tor for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Saturday, 23 June 2018

#BookReview Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble @FreshFiction @WmMorrowBooks

Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When Lillo Gray pulls up to Kennebunkport’s most exclusive hotel wearing a borrowed dress and driving a borrowed VW van, she knows she’s made a big mistake. She’s not even sure why Jessica Parker invited her to her posh wedding. They haven’t seen each other since they were unhappy fourteen-year-old girls at fat camp. And now they’re from two completely different worlds. There’s no way Lillo fits in the rarefied circles Jessica travels in.

Jess isn’t sure she’s ready to go through with this wedding, but she’s been too busy making everyone else happy to think about what she wants. But when she and her two closest friends, Allie and Diana, along with Lillo, discover her fiancé with his pants down in the hotel parking lot, she’s humiliated…and slightly relieved. In a rush to escape her crumbling life, Jess, Allie, and Diana pile into Lillo’s beat-up old van and head up the coast to Lighthouse Island. Once there, she hopes to figure out the next chapter in her life.

Nursing broken hearts and broken dreams, four lost women embark on a journey to find their way back into happiness with new love, friendship, and the healing power of Lighthouse Beach.


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Lillo Gray never thought that instead of attending the wedding of an old friend, she is instead driving the bride, and two of the bride's friends home to Lighthouse Beach, in a borrowed VW van. Then again, discovering the husband-to-be in a delicate situation is a very good reason for anyone getting cold feet. And, Jessica Parker, the runaway bride, wasn't even sure about the marriage in the first place... although her parents think that she is overreacting and she should still marry the bastard. So, off in the night they go, not telling anyone, especially not Jessica's parents...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Friday, 22 June 2018

#BookReview Night Fall by Simon R. Green @TheSimonRGreen @BerkleyPub @FreshFiction

Night Fall by Simon R. Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Moonbreaker comes the epic final Secret Histories adventure, where the Droods will take on the most unexpected of enemies: the inhabitants of the Nightside.

The Droods are all about control, making people do what they’re told for the greater good. The Nightside is all about choice: good and bad and everything in between. The Droods want to make the world behave. The Nightside wants to party. They were never going to get along.

For centuries, ancient Pacts have kept the Droods out of the Nightside, but now the Droods see the Nightside as a threat to the whole world. They march into the long night, in their armour, to put it under their control. All too soon, the two sides are at war. It’s Eddie Drood and Molly Metcalf against John Taylor and Shotgun Suzie. The Drood Sarjeant-at-Arms and their Armourer against Dead Boy and Razor Eddie. More groups join in: the London Knights, the Ghost Finders, the Spawn of Frankenstein, Shadows Fall, and the Soulhunters. Science and magic are running wild, there’s blood running in the gutters, and the bodies are piling up.

Is anyone going to get out of this alive?

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I might have faced reading this book with a bit of trepidation. I have only read one book before in the Secret Histories series (MOONBREAKER) and no books from the Nightside series and Ghost Finders series. However, I did not need to worry. This book was just as much fun reading as MOONBREAKER. NIGHT FALLS is the conclusion of both the Secret Histories and the Nightside series. It's a massive book, with lots of characters popping in and out of the story and it's a bloody marvelous book. Ever since I started to read the Ishmael Jones series has I been a big fan of Simon R. Green, and I just love the fact that I now have several new series that I want to read.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

#CoverCrush The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!

After her elderly neighbor is murdered, Amy Unger, a fledgling artist and cancer survivor, takes to the canvas in an effort to make sense of her neighbor’s death. Painting helps Amy recover from the devastating illness that ended her marriage and left her life in ruin. But when her paintings prove to be too realistic, her neighbors grow suspicious, and the murderer, still lurking, finds his way to her door.

Bernard White, a widower who has isolated himself for years after a family scandal, can’t stop thinking about the murder of an old friend—and what it means for his fellow octogenarians as the death toll rises. He convinces the neighborhood’s geriatric residents to band together to protect one another. But the Originals, as they are known, can’t live together forever. As it is, Bernard is pressing his luck with the woman he’s moved in with.

Maddie Lowe is a teenager trying to balance her waitressing job and keeping her family intact after the disappearance of her mother, even as their neighborhood becomes more dangerous by the second. She has information crucial to solving the crime. But she doesn’t realize it–until it’s almost too late.

Their paths converge around the killer terrorizing their neighborhood and they are all faced with a life—or death—decision…

A gripping page-turner that explores the strange connections between strangers, the past and the present, and the power of tragedy to spark renewal, The Other Side of Everything marks the exciting debut of a vibrant and riveting new voice.

Thoughts:

I just love the upside-down cover with the sky at the bottom and the houses on the top. I think it really suits the title well "The Other Side of Everything"...

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages