Thursday, October 30, 2014

I've Got Some Winners to Announce!

Leslie M.

Soft Fuzzy Sweater

Denise K.

Deanna S.

Emails have gone out to the winners.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on these posts! Check my sidebar for more great giveaways!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spotlight: A Little Wicked by Janet R. Macreery

Please join Janet Macreery as she tours with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for A Little Wicked, from October 27-November 7.

Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Outskirts Press
Paperback; 188p

Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction (Ages 9-13+)

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After her Scottish village is attacked, 12-year-old Dory must flee her home without her family. Once the granddaughter of the chief, now branded a fugitive, Dory begins a dangerous journey trekking through the Scottish wilderness and crossing the Atlantic in disguise in order to reach the distant and unfamiliar Massachusetts Bay Colony in the New World. There she must survive a crisis that is quite different from the one in Scotland but no less fatal, the Salem Witch Trials. The year is 1692 and Dory is plunged into mayhem on both sides of the ocean.

Praise for A Little Wicked

“…readers will learn a lot about resilience and Scottish identity.” – Publisher’s Weekly

"...the fast pace and suspense-filled pages will keep younger teens engrossed while providing notable history lessons. A high-stakes historical adventure full of emotional, social and political drama." – Kirkus Reviews

“…debut novel is addicting, passionate, and fresh.” – Novel Nutritious

“A Little Wicked evokes themes of survival, rebellion, and identity just as vividly as the most popular fantasy novels for young people.” – Reader

“The author writes from the viewpoint of the female child character Dory, making the story highly relatable as well as understandable to young readers. Readers will gain a strong idea of customs, daily life, and government for those living in 1692 in England, Scotland, and The New World…” – Michelle Robertson for Reader Favorites

“Writing with both discipline and creative abandon, Macreery gives studious attention to detail as each carefully crafted sentence flows fluidly to the next.” – Reader

“…fast-paced style that kids are used to from their favorite fantasy-adventure books.The book is full of historical and cultural details, with touches of Scottish folklore leaving open the possibility of the supernatural.” – Goodreads Reader

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn

From the Back Cover:

On the verge of a stilted life as an aristocrat's wife, Poppy Hammond does the only sensible thing—she flees the chapel in her wedding gown. Assisted by the handsome curate who calls himself Sebastian Cantrip, she spirits away to her estranged father's quiet country village, pursued by the family she left in uproar. But when the dust of her broken engagement settles and Sebastian disappears under mysterious circumstances, Poppy discovers there is more to her hero than it seems. 

With only her feisty lady's maid for company, Poppy secures employment and travels incognita—east across the seas, chasing a hunch and the whisper of clues. Danger abounds beneath the canopies of the silken city, and Poppy finds herself in the perilous sights of those who will stop at nothing to recover a fabled ancient treasure. Torn between allegiance to her kindly employer and a dashing, shadowy figure, Poppy will risk it all as she attempts to unravel a much larger plan—one that stretches to the very heart of the British government, and one that could endanger everything, and everyone, that she holds dear. 

My Thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of Deanna Raybourn, particularly of her Lady Julia Grey series, and her three latest stand-alone novels are taking readers to some exciting, exotic new locales for historical fiction. Night of a Thousand Stars starts off in London, shortly after the end of World War I, as we witness our intrepid heroine, Poppy, who, much to my delight, is the niece of my beloved Julia, climbing out of a window to flee a marriage she does not want just moments before it is to take place. She is aided by a seemingly humble church curate, Sebastian Cantrip, who volunteers his rather flashy sports car as her getaway ride and inadvertently finds himself in the middle of a melee when the bride's family and jilted groom track them down. Then, just as suddenly as he appeared, Sebastian disappears, leaving a trail of maddeningly curious clues for someone who was supposed to be a simple man of the church. Questioning what she wants out of life and convinced that an adventure is just what she needs--and that Sebastian is in need of rescuing and she is just the person to help--Poppy becomes obsessed with finding him. And thus begins her trek across the globe as traveling companion to an elderly soldier with his handsome valet and her stalwart maid in tow.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spotlight + Giveaway: City of Ladies by Sarah Kennedy

City of Ladies, the second book in The Cross and the Crown series by Sarah Kennedy

Publication date: November 11, 2014
Knox Robinson Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-910282-09-0
Historical fiction

It’s midwinter in 1539, and former nun, Catherine Havens Overton, has just given birth to her second child, a daughter. The convent in which she was raised is now part of her husband's lands, lands that once belonged to Catherine's family. With a son, Robert, and her new daughter, Veronica, her life as the mistress of a great household should be complete.

But Henry VIII’s England has not been kind to many of the evicted members of religious houses. And in order to protect her old companions from the hostilities, Catherine has gathered about her a group of former nuns in hopes of providing them a chance to serve in the village of Havenston, her City of Ladies.

Catherine’s past haunts her. Her husband begins to suspect that Robert is not his child. Then the women of Overton House begin to disappear and one of them is found brutally murdered nearby. Seizing the moment, under the pretense of ensuring her safety, William forces Catherine to enter service at Hatfield House where the young Elizabeth Tudor lives.

Reluctantly, Catherine obeys, only to find herself serving not only the Protestant Elizabeth but also the shamed Catholic Mary Tudor. As the murders in Yorkshire continue to mount and her loyalty to the Tudor sisters grows more complicated, Catherine must uncover the secret of the killer and save her City of Ladies.

Praise for City of Ladies:

Sarah Kennedy reanimates lost perspectives of Tudor England in her second story of Catherine, a former nun displaced by Henry’s dissolution of the religious houses. With a scholar’s imaginative sympathy, Kennedy restores humanity to Mary Tudor and the vulnerable women sheltered by Catherine. With a poet’s sensual worldmaking, Kennedy conjures up the textures, temperatures, aromas, and emotions of daily life in a country undergoing dizzying upheavals of beliefs and convictions. In “City of Ladies” Kennedy takes her place with Daphne du Maurier, Anya Seton, Rosemary Sutcliff, and Hilary Mantel as writer of superb historical fiction. ~Suzanne Keen, author of “Empathy and the Novel”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blog Tour Q&A + Giveaway: The Stuart Vampire by Andrea Zuvich

Please join me in welcoming author Andrea Zuvich to Let Them Read Books! Andrea is touring the blogosphere with her newest release, The Stuart Vampire, a dark tale blending the historical, the paranormal, and the horrific. I had the chance to ask Andrea a few questions about writing such an inventive story and her awesome life as a professional historian! Read on and enter to win an ebook copy of The Stuart Vampire!

Hello Andrea! Thank you for stopping by Let Them Read Books! 

Hello, Jenny, thank you for having me here!

So what inspired you to write a story in which Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, King Charles II's younger brother, becomes a vampire? 

I was inspired to write a story in which this historical character becomes a vampire because the real Henry Stuart is so often forgotten about. He lived only twenty years, and that isn’t much time for anyone, but from all accounts he was a pretty awesome guy. I’m always fascinated by people who were cut down at an early age when they could have gone on to be quite important in history. I also saw a portrait of him when he was a teenager, and I remember remarking, “Hey! He looks like a vampire!” and that just got the ball rolling in my head. When I badly hurt my ankle, I was bedridden for a few weeks, and that’s where I started writing, in bed with my foot elevated on a pillow. I was conveniently distracted away from the pain by the story that was unfolding in my imagination.

I imagine this was great fun to write! What were the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of penning this tale?

It was fun! Most of my work involves meticulous research, and I have to keep to known historical facts. In The Stuart Vampire, however, I was able to simply be creative and the story just flowed out of me. The most challenging aspects of writing a paranormal/horror story is not really in the actual writing but in the fact that some of my colleagues will not take me seriously as a historian, but that’s just too bad because I think it’s a dark tale that many people seem to enjoy. Most history lovers are really lovely and kind, but there can be a lot of hostility and snobbery, I’ve found, where some people think that you can’t be a serious historian and also a fiction writer. The two things are not mutually exclusive! Originally, I wanted the heroine, Susanna, to be a black cat who turns into a witch (this is probably because I have a black cat, Blackie) but I quickly deleted that out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spotlight: The Secrets of Casanova by Greg Michaels

Please join author Greg Michaels as he tours  the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for The Secrets of Casanova, from October 13-24. Check out the book and the blog tour schedule, and enter to win a paperback copy!

Publication Date: October 21, 2013
Booktrope Editions
Formats: eBook; Paperback; 334p

Genre: Historical Fiction

2014 Nancy Pearl Award Winner for Fiction

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Loosely based on the life of Jacques Casanova, The Secrets of Casanova is a rich, lush novel of love, sex, family, ambition, intrigue, and adventure. Set in Paris of 1755, Casanova's luck is fading and his past is shoving up against his present with potentially disastrous consequences. What price must he pay to uncover a treasure of inestimable value? What hearts must he break along the way? Casanova's will and destiny collide again and again in this riveting historical fiction that brings to light a man of great passion and not a few secrets.

Praise for The Secrets of Casanova

“A Shakespearean actor with a flair for the dramatic and a superb ear for dialogue, Michaels's debut novel puts a brilliantly original spin on an historical figure whose very name is a cliché. This Casanova must wrestle not only with falling hopelessly and passionately in love, but embarking on a mysterious quest that is as much a spiritual awakening as a swashbuckling adventure. The Secrets of Casanova is so erotic and so sensitively written, I found it difficult to believe its author was a man.”
--Robin Maxwell, national best-selling author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I've Got Some Winners to Announce!

Tonya D

Raquel M

Nancy Z

Emails have gone out to the winners.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on these posts! Check my sidebar for more great giveaways!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Goddess Born by Kari Edgren

From the Back Cover:

Pennsylvania, 1730

Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: she has the power to heal.

A direct descendent of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it's Selah's sacred duty to help those in need. But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden. The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there's no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed.

When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope--that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned. Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch.

But when news of Samuel's death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own. Terrified, she faces an impossible choice--forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan? Or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright?

My Thoughts:

A descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, eighteen-year-old Selah Kilbrid has the power of healing, though she must use it carefully and under the guise of the limited medical knowledge of the eighteenth century or else risk raising the fears of the superstitious community in which she lives. But with the death of her beloved father, Selah is a young woman alone in a world very much ruled by men. Hounded by Nathan, a Quaker elder obsessed with making her his bride, Selah has one chance to stay true to her heritage and fulfill the sacred duty entrusted to her by the goddess: she must get to Philadelphia to marry a man she has never met, her cousin Samuel, due to arrive from Ireland any day. As a fellow Kilbrid, Samuel knows about Selah's gift and is sworn to protect her. But when Selah arrives in Philadelphia, she discovers that Samuel tragically died on the voyage over, and she is now truly alone. But she is unable to reconcile her fate of marrying a fanatical man and hiding her gift until it eventually withers away, so when she stumbles on an indentured servant auction and locks eyes with a handsome man who seems oddly out of place, she crafts a bold and daring plan. She purchases Henry Alan and convinces him to pose as her new husband.