Two Historical Fiction Reviews!

Hiya peeps! I’ve got two interesting novels today, for a virtual blog tour organized by Roger Charlie.

These books are fitting for anyone who enjoys historical fiction. One focuses on the lives of two people living in 20th century NYC, and how their lives unfold for a time. The second is the sequel, where this couple join a few others in dealing with the post Pearl Harbor bombing, as the U.S. enters WWII.

Be sure to check them out, and see my review for each book below! =D

 

 Sheldon Friedman
Sheldon Friedman was born in St. Joseph Missouri. He lives in Denver, Colorado. He is a University of Denver graduate and practiced law in Denver until 2008. He taught legal courses at the University of Colorado Law School, University of Denver Law School and Daniels School of Business at the University of Denver. After leaving his law firm he joined a national mediation and arbitration firm until January, 2016. He is also an accomplished playwright, having a number of local readings and productions. His play The Long Goodbye was staged at Denver’s Crossroad’s Theater in 2010. His book, The Velvet Prison was named as a 2017 fiction award finalist by the Colorado Author’s League.
 
~ Connect with Sheldon Online ~
 

The Velvet Prison

 

 The Velvet Prison
~Released: September 14th, 2016
~Length: 244 Pages
~Genres: Historical Fiction
~Parent’s Guide: PG-17
 
Against the pulsating back drop of a New York City in social and economic change, young Travis Kane struggles with his passion to be an artist painter, and the conservative demands of his strict grandfather, Barclay Kane.
 
His mother, unable to come to terms with tragedy, has taken Travis’s infant sister and abandons him, leaving their house in Gramercy Park, and Travis to be raised by the grandfather he adores.
 
Travis enters a New York speakeasy, with a unique idea, that will change his life, leading him on an exciting journey, meeting Manhattan’s privileged, studying in art in Paris and, finding his way to Broadway.
 
Meanwhile, Lindsay Wayne’s mother, seamstress, has a secret, and a passion. Her daughter will become a famous stage actress, and this is her focus.
 
Lindsay and Travis’s worlds collide.
Their lives will never be the same again.

 

 

A flashback to the past.

History has always fascinated me. I adore learning new ways people used to survive and thrive – how did life used to look? It’s hard to believe where this book starts off is already a hundred years ago, especially considering how relatable the characters and their life are.

Travis’s life is, sadly, all too common. Echoed again and again even in today’s current climate, growing up with pain and the constant tension in the world, the threat of war constantly looming in the distance. He shows his character in several situations, following his artist’s heart, even when life gets surprising and a little messy. The secret thread connecting him and Lindsay was easy to guess, and I supposed a bit predictable from the first few chapters, however I didn’t feel as though I missed out. The progression was done well, and revealed in an entertaining way.

I liked Lindsay quite a bit. She was the kind of girl most of us enjoy having in our circle of friends, and is always an interesting person to be around. I enjoyed her personality, and how she interacted with other people. I can’t help but take notice of how women are thought to have behaved in the past, and the contrast between her Hannah were striking, given their relationship. I think she was naive for constantly defending Hannah, instead of admitting the woman needed some help, and being more realistic about the overall situation. Still, it fit her personality to be a bit stubborn, and was more of a character trait than an actual complaint.

In the same ways the author described Travis painting, he created this book with a lot of color, making it easy to see what is meant to be important. The focus isn’t so much the state of the war, or any particular country. It isn’t a political statement piece, but rather a look into what an ordinary life would have looked like, and a taste of reality, from the view point of some well-created characters. Each one grew quite a bit, and were defined very well throughout the story.

My only complaint, is that the story lagged somewhat in a few places, with a bit too much emphasis was put on keeping things ‘mysterious’ for the reader, while other places felt far too rushed. It seems as though details could have been explained a in a more crisp manner, and the flow balanced better. Even so, the story overall was entertaining, and I would recommend it to other historical fiction fans.

*I was given a complimentary eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

The Satin Sash

 

 The Satin Sash
~Released: April 4th, 2017
~Length: 198 Pages
~Genres: Historical Fiction
~Parent’s Guide: PG-17
 
After the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1941, American lives change dramatically. The Satin Sash continues the breathtaking lives of Travis Kane, Lindsay Wayne and Jean-Paul Renault with all the inherent dangers of the French Resistance, President Roosevelt’s live or die missions, and death defying action when German spies secretly enter the US through it’s ports. A wedding reception and the lives of Travis Kane and his family are thrown into chaos as America enters World War II.
 
The Satin Sash is set against the explosive backgrounds of New York, France, London and Ireland. Travis Kane becomes President Roosevelt’s tool in bringing one of the world’s most famous paintings to New York. Racial tensions surface. A famous black activist enters politics and an actress makes choices in the face of heartbreaking tragedy. A public enemy serves his country in wartime and a black artist becomes famous. When a baby is born the future shows promise.
 
With tension, suspense and surprising plot twists, we continue to follow the lives of the people we loved in The Velvet Prison

 

 

The gang is all grown up!

Travis and his companions seem to have a knack for finding and creating drama. The overall feel of this book reminded me of The Great Gatsby, with it’s flare for dramatic and flamboyant situations and overall feel. While the characters all fit themselves, they each seemed to become a bit emotional – which was even noted in a joke by one of the characters.

While I enjoyed the progression of the story, I had been hoping for a different kind of story. The actions of each character were far more influenced by world events, which is fitting, but made it somewhat predictable and not quite as satisfying as the prequel. I suppose it’s all in personal preference, but from the synopsis, I had simply been expecting something a bit different.

All that to say, this was still a good story. Seeing each character handle the different aspects of the confrontations made for an easy look at the different nations involved. While there didn’t seem to be an overall point or message of the story, it was interesting to see the differences in the nations, and people dealing with war.

I did enjoy this book, and the plot twists surrounding several of the characters. The cultural differences of the period were portrayed well, and gives a stark contrast to the world we live in today. The author set the story up well, and the flow was far better than the previous book. I would recommend this to fans of The Velvet Prison, and would be interested in reading other books by this author.

*I was given a complimentary eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

 

Do you enjoy historical novels? Let me know in the comments below!
 
Thanks for visiting! Have a wonderful day! =D


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Audiobook Review of “Gold Rush” by Jennifer Comeaux!

Hiya guys! I’m super stoked to share a new audiobook with you today! I’ve featured this author on my blog a few times already, but I hadn’t  yet had the opportunity to read on of her books. I’m a huge fan of ice skating though, so her book topics always appeal to me.

When the chance to review this one came up, I jumped on it! Check out my review, and be sure to let me know what you think of this book in the comments below!

Gold Rush

 Gold Rush

~Released: January 9th 2017
~Length: 11 Hours, 39 Mins
~Narrator: Emily Stokes
~Parent’s Rating: PG-14
~Genres: Young Adult, New Adult, Romance
Liza Petrov’s entire life has been about skating and winning her sport’s top prize – Olympic gold. She’s stayed sheltered inside her bubble, not daring to stray from her destined path. Until she meets Braden Patrick. He makes her heart flutter with possibility, and for the first time she gets a taste of a normal teenage life. She longs to have both the boy and the gold, but stepping outside her bubble comes with a price. As Liza begins to question both her future and her past, can she stay focused on the present and realize her ultimate dream?

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“The Book of Dragons” Audiobook by E. Nesbit!

 Book Tour!
Hiya peeps! I’ve got another audiobook review to share with you today, and this one is pretty darn cool! It’s a modern narration of a classic collection of tales, all about dragons! Check out my review, an interview I had with the narrator, and an audio excerpt!
 

The Book of Dragons

The Book of Dragons, Books 1-8

 The Book of Dragons
~Author: E. Nesbit
~Narrator: Karen Krause
~Released: January 26, 2017
~Publisher: Listen2aBook.com
~Length: 4 hours, 53 minutes
~Genre: Classic Fantasy
 
Edith (E.) Nesbit was a master at weaving imagination and real life into timeless fairy tales, with fantastic mythical creatures, princes and princesses, magic, and just the right touch of silliness. This is a collection of nine of her fairy tales with a common theme – Dragons! For children from five to 95, these stories are not to be taken seriously. Let your imagination run wild!

 

“Mind Virus” by Charles Kowalski!

Book Tour!

Hiya guys! Today I’m participating in a review tour hosted by Roger Charlie, for a brand new thriller – Mind Virus. My review is below, so be sure to check that out, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Mind Virus

 Mind Virus

~Released: July 1st, 2017
~Publisher: Literary Wonderlust
~Parent’s GuidePG-17
~GenresAdult Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Robin Fox is a peace-loving professor of world religions, trying to atone for his crimes as a U.S. Army interrogator. But at a Washington prayer rally, a suspect is caught trying to disperse a rare encephalitis virus, the same one used in an attack in Iraq that Fox once foiled. A CIA agent, John Adler, asks Fox for help.
 
Troubled by this request, Fox consults Emily Hart, his colleague at the United States Peace Research Institute and wife of its strongest supporter in Congress. She, however, has her own troubles. Leila Halabi, a Palestinian peace educator, has disappeared on the way to Washington for a lecture tour. Fox accepts Adler’s request, in exchange for the CIA’s help in finding Leila.
 
Fox works with a joint FBI-CIA interrogation team, and worries that Adler’s prejudice against Muslims is clouding his judgment. The suspect eventually reveals that he is part of an international conspiracy to eradicate religion, “using one virus to cure another”.
 
Fox deduces that the next attack is planned for Israel during Passover. Meanwhile, Emily learns that Leila has been imprisoned in Israel, and travels there to campaign for her release. Spurred by danger to the woman he loves – although he could never admit it, even to himself – Fox boards a plane that will reach Tel Aviv before her.
 
By careful observation, Fox catches another suspect at Ben-Gurion Airport. Now a hero to Israel, he persuades the head of Shin Bet to release Leila and let him interrogate the suspect.
 
He infers that the next attack is planned for Jerusalem on Holy Saturday. Joined by Adler, he sets up surveillance at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but fails to prevent an explosion.
 
Suspecting that this attack was a diversion, Fox reinterprets his clues and concludes that the real target is the Vatican. He and Adler fly to Rome in time to catch a suspect in the act of planting an aerosol device in the dome of St. Peter’s during Easter Vigil Mass. Fox breaks her silence by intimating that her love for the group’s mastermind has been betrayed. She reveals the name by which she knows him, and gives up enough information to identify the next target: Westminster Abbey, at an Easter service with the Royal Family attending. But at the same time, he receives a menacing message: Emily has been abducted by the mastermind, who threatens to kill her if any cameras catch Fox there.
 
Fox goes to London, enters the Abbey in disguise, and uncovers the most elaborate strategy yet: a sleeper agent in the Abbey choir planted the virus in a fire extinguisher, and used a time-release flammable agent to make the Archbishop’s vestments spontaneously combust.
 
After stopping the attack, Fox roughs up the suspect but learns nothing. His escort from the Security Service takes him to question the mastermind’s mentor at Oxford. Shocked to hear how his teachings have been twisted, he gives up a name: Theodore Gottlieb. They go to Gottlieb’s house, to find him calmly awaiting them with high tea and high explosives.
 
After a standoff, the bombs detonate and set fire to the house. Fox, cut off from the police, has to chase Gottlieb to the room where Emily is being held hostage. Using his military training, he succeeds in seizing Gottlieb’s pistol, but his principles of nonviolence will not allow him to shoot. They struggle, Gottlieb falls, and the firefighters rescue Fox and Emily in time.
 
They return to Washington. Adler has promised to tell the Saudis about the final target, Mecca during the Hajj, but Fox suspects he is lying and goes to the Saudi embassy himself. A furious phone call from Adler confirms his suspicions: the CIA was planning to let the attack proceed, and use an Army-designed antiserum to blackmail the entire Muslim world.
 
After launching Leila’s tour, Fox and Emily walk together through the GWU campus. He yearns to tell her that, when he was sure his life was over, his only thought was of her. But discretion trumps valor, and when they say goodnight, his true feelings for her are still a secret.

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New Steampunk Dystopian Release! “Amber Sky” by Claire Warner!

Hiya guys! I’m super excited to share a new release – it’s the start to a dystopian steampunk series! It looks like a fantastic adventure! Check out the excerpt below, and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

 

Amber Sky

C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass #1

~Released: June 2nd, 2017

~Length: 409 Pages

~Genres: Dystopian, Steampunk

Goodreads

Amazon

“You thought I did this out of the goodness of my heart?” He gave a short mirthless laugh. “Not a bit of it, this is going to be dangerous for me. What are you offering for my help?”

Beneath the Amber Sky, the nobility control the food, education, and the mysterious C.O.I.L.S of Copper and Brass. To Tay, struggling to keep her siblings alive, the ideas of rebellion and freedom are distant and unreachable.

But when her father is arrested, she begs Darius James, the son of the Overseer, to save his life. Darius agrees, but his help costs her a favour, one he can call in at any time.

Darius’ favour will bring her to the Palace, and the perfect position to help the growing rebellion. But the court has games beyond anything she has seen before, and Darius’ secrets will add to the danger.

Tay is now able to make a difference, to join the rebellion, find the C.O.I.L.S and discover the secrets of the Amber Sky. All she has to do is survive.

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“The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame” by Liv Hadden!

Hiya peeps! I’ve got an interesting book to share today, complete with my review! Check it out, and see what you think!

The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame

 The Adventures of Juice Box and Shame

~Released: June 25th, 2017

~Length: 75 Pages

~Genres: Thriller, Contemporary Fiction

~Parent’s Guide: PG-17

 

Li Nguyen, aka Juice Box, has never really had a friend. That is, until he meets the ultra cool, super mysterious Shame. Though Juice Box feels certain this is his new BFF, Shame’s dark past and nefarious entanglements get them both into serious, life-threatening trouble. It doesn’t help that Shame inadvertently pissed off one of the baddest crime bosses in Baltimore, Anna Nguyen (aka Laoban), who also happens to be Juice Box’s cousin. Shame stirred up trouble with a rival game, putting Anna and her crew in a precarious situation. Torn between his love for Anna and his new, exciting friendship with Shame, Juice Box must choose where his loyalties lie. 

Will he choose family and leave Shame out to dry, or will he choose the only friend he’s ever had, despite the danger?

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Review of “The Discharge” by Gary Reilly!

Hiya peeps! I’m excited to share an awesome book with you guys today. Written by the late Gary Reilly, it chronicles the life of a soldier in the Army, and is highly autobiographical – how cool is that!?

I was able to do a review, and also have that posted below. Check it out, and if you like what you see, be sure to add the book to your tbr list!

The Discharge

 Discharge

~Released: June 23rd, 2017

~ Publisher: Running Meter Press

~Genres: Historical, Military

The Discharge is the third novel in Gary Reilly’s trilogy chronicling the life and times of Private Palmer as he returns from the U.S. Army to civilian life after a tour of duty in Vietnam. It is a largely autobiographical series based on his own two years of service, 1969-1971, which included a year in Southeast Asia.

In the first book, The Enlisted Men’s Club, Palmer is stationed as an MP trainee at the Presidio in San Francisco, awaiting deployment orders. Palmer is wracked with doubt and anxiety. A tortured relationship with a young lady off base and cheap beer at the EM club offer escape and temporary relief.

The Detachment is the second in the series. This novel covers Palmer’s twelve months in Vietnam as a Military Policeman. In the beginning, he endures through drink and drugs and prostitutes but comes to a turning point when he faces his challenges fully sober.

Now, in The Discharge, Palmer is back in the United States. But he’s adrift. Palmer tries to reconnect with a changed world. From San Francisco to Hollywood to Denver and, finally, behind the wheel of a taxi, Palmer seeks to find his place.


 About the Author

 Gary Reilly

Gary Reilly was a natural and prolific writer. But he lacked the self-promotion gene. His efforts to publish his work were sporadic and perfunctory, at best. When he died in 2011, he left behind upwards of 25 unpublished novels, the Vietnam trilogy being among the first he had written.


Running Meter Press, founded by two of his close friends, has made a mission of bringing Gary’s work to print. So far, besides this trilogy, RMP has published eight of ten novels in his Asphalt Warrior series. These are the comic tales of a Denver cab driver named Murph, a bohemian philosopher and aficionado of “Gilligan’s Island” whose primary mantra is: “Never get involved in lives of my passengers.” But, of course, he does exactly that.


Three of the titles in The Asphalt Warrior series were finalists for the Colorado Book Award. Two years in a row, Gary’s novels were featured as the best fiction of the year on NPR’s Saturday Morning Edition with Scott Simon. And Gary’s second Vietnam novel, The Detachment, drew high praise from such fine writers as Ron Carlson, Stewart O’Nan, and John Mort. A book reviewer for Vietnam Veterans of America, David Willson, raved about it, too.


There is a fascinating overlap in the serious story of Private Palmer’s return to Denver and the quixotic meanderings of Murph. It is the taxicab. One picks up where the other leaves off. Readers familiar with The Asphalt Warrior series will find a satisfying transition in the final chapters of The Discharge.


And they will better know Gary Reilly the writer and Gary Reilly the man.

~ Connect with Gary Online ~

PG-17

Life after the military is often a struggle, as many modern veterans can attest to. It isn’t just a modern issue though, and in The Discharge, Gary Reilly shows us just how relatable the post-military struggles of the Vietnam era really were.

I love reading autobiographies, and stories inspired by true people. Getting a glimpse into someone’s life is fascinating, and if it’s historical, even better. Following Private Palmer, knowing there were truths from the author’s life throughout the story, made it awesome. The story was completely captivating, and I truly feel as though I connected with a genuine person.

Being the wife of a military veteran, I felt a special pull to this story. In so many ways, I recognized the struggles my husband and so many of his military buddies encounter, and the entire challenge transcends time. This is a book many people could relate to, and if nothing else, learn from. It’s a wonderful, raw, gritty look at the life of a regular man, making his way through life.

I would definitely recommend this book, and am happy to have had the opportunity to experience it.

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book, from the publisher via Roger Charlie, to read in exchange for an honest review.

Let me know what you think of this story!

Thanks for visiting! Have a wonderful day! =D

New Release by Kailee Reese Samuels!

Hiya peeps! I have a new romance release to share with you today! I’ve included an excerpt for you to check out, as well as a giveaway at the end of the post! Let me know what you think, in the comments below!

Grunt
The SOS #3

~Released: May 30th 2017

~Genres: Adult Fiction, Romance

Goodreads

Amazon

Six days.

No one thought I could last

Here in the cell—I now call home

They didn’t know I grew up in the prison of my crime family’s dream.

Six weeks.

No one thought I could withstand

The loss, the drugs, the torture

They didn’t know how much I would enjoy their game.

Six months.

No one thought I could survive

Their puppet and prey—but I like to play—Hard.

And I don’t lose.

They picked the wrong guy. Their so-called ‘grunt’ would fight to get home and take revenge. I vowed to come back—for her—for Kaci. But everything changed.

My maniacal mind wrapped with a pretty mug, I am an unforgiving opponent, tough—tougher than they ever imagined.

And I will never – ever – break.

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Trailer Reveal for “The Prophetess” by Desy Smith!

Hiya guys! I’m sharing a trailer reveal for a new fantasy romance coming this Autumn! The cover reveal is currently set for August 2nd, but the trailer looks epic! Check it out, and be sure to let me know what you think of it in the comments below!

The Prophetess

 The Prophetess

~Publisher: Floebe Publishing

 

~Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance

 
 

High up in the heavens, righteousness faces off against the greatest dissenter of all time, and in the crossfire, an angel loses his wings…

 

Fallen from Heaven and forced to live amongst the humans in exile, angel Ezekiel bares the tragic fate of a disgraced angel. Having overheard the rebellious Lucifer’s plans to rise up against the sanctuary of Heaven, Ezekiel remains silent, and for his inaction, he is cast from the pearly gates and onto the unforgiving lands of the mortals. Two thousand years pass with a cold and hollow wind at his back, and for a moment, Ezekiel resigns to his fate.

 

However, in the year 2016, the winds of fate begin to change, and redemption comes in the form of his brother, Gabriel, who bares great news. Ezekiel is given a chance to return to Heaven, but only once he has taken down Molach, an evil demon on the rise. If Ezekiel can stop Molach from helping Lucifer return, he will be welcomed back into Heaven. However, there is more than just a demon in his path, Ezekiel must uncover what else fate has in store for him, including a lovely solitary Prophetess named Isabelle and the endless possibility for joy and whimsy she offers. Can Ezekiel rise once more to the great destiny that awaits him? Or has he been amongst the fickle mortals for far too long?

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