CELTICLADY'S REVIEWS   

17 April, 2015

The Curse of Anne Boleyn By C.C. Humphreys Book Tour With GIveaway!!!



Sourcebooks Landmark


May 5, 2015


ISBN: 9781402282300


$14.99 Trade Paperback




Purchase The Curse of Anne Boleyn here:

Amazon | B&N | BAM | IndieBound | Kobo

 "If you like Bernard Conwell's Grail Quest series, you'll love The French Executioner and The Curse of Anne Boleyn. To my mind Cornwell is good, but Humphreys is better."—Sally Zigmund, Historical Novels Review (UK)

 From the masterful C.C. Humphreys, comes the captivating sequel to The French Executioner.

 Nearly twenty years have passed since Anne Boleyn died at the hands of her slayer and savior, Jean Rombaud. All he wants is to forget his sword-wielding days and live happily with his family. Yet her distinctive six-fingered hand, stolen at her death—and all the dark power it represents—still compels evil men to seek it out.

 When Jean's son, Gianni, joins the Inquisition in Rome and betrays all his father worked for, Jean discovers that time alone cannot take him—or his son—far from his past. But he never expected his whole family, especially his beloved daughter Anne, to become caught up once more in the tragic queen's terrible legacy.

 From the savagery of way in Italy to the streets of London and Paris and the wilds of North America, The Curse of Anne Boleyn sweeps readers into a thrilling story that puts love, loyalty, and family to the ultimate test.

 "With The French Executioner, Humphreys established himself as a quality purveyor of historical detail and vigorous action...This unusual story line is dispatched with consummate skill."
—Good Books Guide (UK)

 About the Author

Chris (C.C.) Humphreys is an actor, playwright, fight choreographer and novelist.  He has written nine historical fiction novels including The French Executioner, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers; Vlad – The Last Confession,  the epic novel of the real Dracula; and A Place Called Armageddon. His latest YA novel is The Hunt of the Unicorn. His work has been translated into thirteen languages.

 Website: http://cchumphreys.com

Twitter: @HumphreysCC  https://twitter.com/HumphreysCC

 An Excerpt from THE CURSE OF ANNE BOLEYN by C.C. Humphreys

 The freezing mist seemed to pool thicker about the chapel doors, yet no one seemed anxious to seek shelter from it. Tucknell fiddled with the keys in his hand, the three laborers leaned on shovels and picks, avoiding each other’s eyes. Even Thomas felt a reluctance to proceed. Outside the iron-studded doors, the frigid air was at least connected to the world of the living, their footprints in the frost a trail back to light and warmth. Ahead, within the darkness, lay a deeper cold – the realm of the dead. And they were there to violate that realm.

After a few moments watching plumes of breath stripe the night, Thomas shifted, made to speak, to command. Before the breath could become a voice in him, the warder pulled him slightly to one side, whispered, “Sir. Let me ask of you once more. Beg of you. Do not do this. It is a sin.”

“I have my orders, Tucknell. And you have yours. You saw the signature on the papers. This command comes from the Queen herself.”

It was not strictly true, but the officer was not to know that. He drew back, seeking Thomas’s eyes.

“I know our gracious sovereign Mary has little reason to love… she who lies here. But to thus despoil her tomb?” His voice softened. “You are an Englishman, sir, and a gentleman I can tell. Let us spare an English lady further humiliation.” Off Thomas’s silent stare he cried, “For Jesu’s sake, man, hasn’t she suffered enough?”

Thomas leaned in, so his voice, softened now, beguiling, would not carry to the waiting, shifting men.

“I do not like this either, man. But we have had reports that this woman may have taken something with her to the grace. Something that may… be of use to Her Majesty.”

Tucknell’s face twisted, as if containing a violent struggle. “She took nothing with her save a prayer book and the clothes she wore. I know, sir, because I was there.” The struggle overpowered him. “I know because I helped to kill her and to bury her afterward. May God have mercy on my soul!”

“Amen.”

Thomas watched a tear that had nothing to do with the harsh wind run from this tough soldier’s eye, and wondered at the power this woman, dead nearly twenty years, still had over the living. A power to be turned into a weapon for the Catholic cause, so his superiors in the Society of Jesus believed. But only if he, Thomas Lawley, did his duty now.

“Come, Master Tucknell. You have merely to show me the way. If there is sin after that, it is I, and I alone, that will commit it.” The soldier before him hardened, the tears withdrawn. Without another word he turned to the door and fitted into its lock the largest of the keys he carried. It grated there, with a cry like that of the raven defending its cache of food. The doors, in contrast, swung open, as silent as on any tomb.

 Rafflecopter Giveaway

3 copies of THE CURSE OF ANNE BOLEYN by CC Humphreys

Open until June 1, 2015

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The Eternal Dream by Daniel K.Gilbert Spotlight!



Book Description

The Eternal Dream is story of a love that endured through the labyrinth of history. Throughout the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazi Germany, Walter Baum, a slight young man with a stout heart and lofty ideals, never loses sight of what he values most: the love of his wife and children. As a Jewish sociologist in post–World War I Germany, Walter watches with dread as friends and family either become members of the Brownshirts or fall victim to them. His marriage to Caroline, a like-minded Protestant, causes family estrangements and forces Walter, Caroline, and their two children to try to flee from the catastrophic events that engulf Europe during the Second World War. When prospects for survival become bleak, Caroline's prophetic dream provides a ray of hope for the family. Kirkus Reviews calls The Eternal Dream: "A captivating story of fortitude, family bonds and hope against all odds."

Biography

Daniel K. Gilbert was born and lives in Michigan. He grew up listening to stories about his Grandparents’ experiences in Germany during the 20’s and 30’s and as refugees during World War II. It was his dream to someday write their story.  


Purchase Link


Excerpt
     During the nightmare years, Walter Baum would often think back to the day he first saw his future love, who he mistook for a swan…

Yes,” she heard herself say. “I will marry you.” It was as if a force outside of herself had taken over.
They embraced, and Walter stood on his toes to kiss her. Their height difference made it a little awkward, so they sat on the park bench and kissed again. She felt somewhat embarrassed at such a public display of affection. They smiled at each other, and returned to kissing. His lips felt so soft. She embraced him, feeling his heart beating. They then looked around and giggled at each other.
Caroline reflected for a moment.
“Walter?”
“Yes, Caroline... darling?” He held and kissed her hand.
“What are we going to tell our parents?”
They froze, and she felt the shiver return as she thought about what awaited them. 

16 April, 2015

The Alterpiece by Sarah Kennedy Review



THE ALTARPIECE 

It is 1535, and in the tumultuous years of King Henry VIII's break from Rome, the religious houses of England are being seized by force. Twenty-year-old Catherine Havens is a foundling and the adopted daughter of the prioress of the Priory of Mount Grace in a small Yorkshire village. Catherine, like her adoptive mother, has a gift for healing, and she is widely sought and admired for her knowledge.

Catherine’s hopes for a place at court have been dashed by the king’s divorce, and she has reluctantly taken the veil.  In the remote North, the nuns enjoy the freedoms unavailable to other women.  England is their home, but the times have changed, and now the few remaining nuns dread the arrival of the priory’s new owner, Robert Overton.  When the priory’s costly altarpiece goes missing, Catherine and her friend Ann Smith find themselves under increased suspicion.

King Henry VIII’s soldiers have not had their fill of destruction, and when they return to Mount Grace to destroy the priory, Catherine must choose between the sacred calling of her past and the man who may represent her country’s future.



Photo Credit: Rachel Fowler of RFD Photography

Author Bio

Sarah Kennedy holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance Literature from Purdue University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. The author of seven books of poems as well as The Altarpiece and City of Ladies, books one and two in The Cross and the Crown series, she has received individual artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, as well as an award for scholarship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She teaches at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. Her website is http://sarahkennedybooks.com/.

OTHER LINKS

http://www.knoxrobinsonpublishing.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6538009.Sarah_Kennedy
https://twitter.com/KennedyNovels

My Thoughts

Henry VIII has broken with Rome to establish the Church of England. He wants(demands) that all priests and nuns forsake the Catholic religion and embrace the new church. Over a period of time, there were a lot of complaints about monastic impropriety and supposedly this new act by Henry VIII will stop that, but it is only to line the pockets of the royalty and new church. Catherine Havens was abandoned on the church doorsteps as a baby and taken in by the nuns at Priory of Mount Grace, becoming the adopted daughter of the prioress. Catherine was one of these nuns forced out of the only home she had ever known. Most of the nuns refused to leave when the men came ordered by the priory's owner, Robert Overton, to take what wasn't nailed down and destroy the monastery itself. 

A very valuable Alterpiece goes missing and the nuns are accused of hiding it or they know who stole it. Catherine is not really committed to being a nun, she would rather heal people and live a quiet life. Robert's brother William becomes ill, along with other people in the region with the pox. Catherine nurses him back to health and at the same time tries to figure out who and why the Alterpiece was stolen or hidden away. Robert is adamant that it is the nuns who are to blame so Catherine along with William and her fellow nun and friend Anne race against time, before the men who were ordered by Robert come back to either get it back. At the same time there are a few mysterious deaths occuring at the monastery and Catherine finds the deaths suspicious.

This is a story that is not often told, what happened to the nuns or priests and where did they go and how did they live after a mostly sequestered life in the monasteries and nunneries. This book gives the reader a glimpse into the decisions that these people had to make. Do they accept the new religion and start new lives outside the church or do they risk danger of imprisonment or death for not complying. 

I loved Catherine's character, a young woman who is passionate about what she does and clearly wants to do nothing but help people, even at the risk of her own health. The story also gives us a further look into Henry VII and his more often than not cruel machinations against his own people. This novel is filled with suspense, illicit love and human emotions all put into a historical fiction novel that is a worthy read. I really loved it and am eager to read the next in the series, City of Ladies. After that there is the third in the series called the King's Sisters. Excited to read both of those. If you love a great historical fiction series that is impeccably researched, this one is for you!

I received a copy for review and was not monetarily compensated for my review.

To Catch a Falling Star by Anna Belfrage Blog Tour and Review!

02_To Catch a Falling Star_CoverPublication Date: March 1, 2015 
SilverWood Books 
Formats: eBook, Paperback 
Series: Book Eight, The Graham Saga 
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time-Slip

   

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?

Buy To Catch a Falling Star

Amazon Barnes & Noble

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

Anna BelfrageAbout 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 Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

My Thoughts

To Catch a Falling Star is Book Eight in the Graham Saga, and the last of the series, which makes me sad. I look forward to getting the invite to review another book in this great series. I did not start the series from Book One but rather in Book Three, but that was alright as the way Anna writes it was easy to pick up the story. 

This book continues the story of Alex and Matthew Graham in Maryland. Mathew gets a letter from his brother Luke, who he has not seen in twenty years, letting him know that he now owns the family manor back in Scotland. Alex is not happy at all about leaving her home to sail across the ocean to Scotland and the prospect of seeing Luke again is unsettling. The year is 1688 and Scotland is torn between the Catholics and the Protestants and war is on the horizon, another reason for Alex not wanting to go to Scotland. But go she does with a couple of her sons and Matthew. 

Scotland is not what they expected, definitely a lot of changes in 20 years. In another story, Alex's son Isaac has fallen through a painting to arrive in a time 300 years in the past. He is a gifted painter like his grandmother Mercedes, who somehow managed to go back and forth in time herself. While he tries to paint a way back to his own time to his wife and daughter, things don't go as planned. 

The Grahams must face an uncertain future and tragic losses while they need to decide if staying in Scotland is an option, Alex hopes not because her home is now in Maryland with the rest of her family. There is persecution in the colonies as well as in Scotland against the Catholics which adds to the stress that the Grahams have. Their daughter in Scotland is accused of murder and takes off and it is up to the family and friends to find her and bring her home and prove her innocence. This was a terrible time when religious adversity comes between families. 

I really love time slip novels and this is a wonderful series, written with amazing knowledge of the Colonies and Scotland. the characters are so well written that I feel like I know them and had an amazing time going along with them on their journey of births, deaths, love, danger and time travel. I really need to go back and read the first two books so I can better understand how Alex came to be in Scotland in the first place. I will miss this amazing family and hope to read more in the sequels that will follow, well according to Anna anyway. I look forward to reading Anna Belfrage's next work in In the Shadow of the Storm, a new series set in the fourteenth century. 

I received a copy for review and was not monetarily compensated for said review.

To Catch a Falling Star Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 7 Review at Just One More Chapter Excerpt at Rainy Day Reviews Guest Post at What Is That Book About Tuesday, April 8 Guest Post at Just One More Chapter Wednesday, April 9 Review & Giveaway at So Many Books, So Little Time Spotlight at Unshelfish Thursday, April 10 Excerpt & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time Friday, April 11 Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes Monday, April 14 Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews Interview at Becky on Books Tuesday, April 15 Review & Guest Post at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book Wednesday, April 16 Review at CelticLady's Reviews Thursday, April 17 Review at Book Nerd Friday, April 18 Spotlight & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse Monday, April 21 Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book Tuesday, April 22 Spotlight at A Literary Vacation Interview & Excerpt at Oh, For the Hook of a Book Wednesday, April 23 Review at Griperang's Bookmarks Thursday, April 24 Interview & Giveaway at Griperang's Bookmarks Friday, April 25 Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection Monday, April 28 Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past Tuesday, April 29 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus Wednesday, April 30 Spotlight & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books Thursday, May 1 Review at A Chick Who Reads Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee Saturday, May 3 Review at Quirky Book Reviews Monday, May 5 Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog Tuesday, May 6 Review at Layered Pages Spotlight at Long Ago Love Wednesday, May 7 Review at Mari Reads Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog Thursday, May 8 Review at Flashlight Commentary

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The Nameless Dead by Brian McGilloway Spotlight and Giveaway!




Title:  The Nameless Dead:  An Inspector Devlin Thriller
Author:  Brian McGilloway
Genre: Mystery/Detective
Release Date:  April 21, 2015
Publisher:  HarperCollins
ImprintWitnessImpulse
Pages: 352
List Price: 2.99 USD
Goodreads
Buy the book directly from HarperCollins | Amazon | BN | iTunes 



Synopsis
The small isle of Islandmore was once an avenue for smugglers and a burial place for unbaptized babies.
When a cold case leads Inspector Devlin to the desolate island in an attempt to locate the bodies of a group of people who have been presumed dead for over thirty years, he uncovers a horrifying secret: the body of a baby who appears to have been murdered. Every fiber of the inspector's being tells him he should find justice for this child, but he is prohibited from investigating further.
Devlin is torn. He has no desire to dredge up painful events of the past, but neither can he let a murderer go unpunished. Devlin must follow his conscience—even when it puts those closest to him at risk.

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About the Author

Brian McGilloway is an author hailing from Derry, Northern Ireland. He studied English at Queens University Belfast, where he was very active in student theatre, winning a prestigious national Irish Student Drama Association award for theatrical lighting design in 1996. He is currently Head of English at St. Columb's College, Derry. McGilloway's debut novel was a crime thriller called Borderlands. Borderlands was shortlisted for a Crime Writers' Association Dagger award for a debut novel. 
Connect with the Author:  Facebook  | Website Goodreads 

Giveaway 

Five(5) individual promo codes for a free download of the book for an entire tour. Winner must have access to Bluefire Reader and have an Adobe account to receive free download.

The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths By Harry Bingham



British author, Harry Bingham, blew critics and readers away with his crime debut, Talking to the Dead. His second novel, Love Story, with Murders, established DC Fiona Griffiths as the most compelling heroine in crime fiction. With this, the third novel in the series, comes Fiona's darkest, strangest and most challenging assignment yet . . .
It started out as nothing much. A minor payroll fraud at a furniture store in South Wales. No homicide involved, no corpses. Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths fights to get free of the case, but loses. She's tasked with the investigation.
She begins her enquiries, only to discover the corpse of a woman who's starved to death. Looks further, and soon realizes that within the first, smaller crime, a vaster one looms: the most audacious theft in history.
Fiona’s bosses need a copper willing to go undercover, and they ask Fiona to play the role of a timid payroll clerk so that she can penetrate the criminal gang from within.
Fiona will be alone, she’ll be lethally vulnerable – and her fragile grip on ‘Planet Normal’ will be tested as never before ...
Buy Links:

Harry is currently writing a crime series, featuring a young Welsh detective, Fiona Griffiths. The series has sold to publishers in the UK (Orion), the US (Random House), as well as FranceGermanyItalySpain, the Netherlandsand elsewhere. The first novel was televised by Bonafide and broadcast onSky Living. The novels are notable mostly for the strong voice and strange character of their protagonist. The first three titles in the series are Talking to the Dead, Love Story with Murders, and The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths.

The books have had nice reviews in the BooksellerPublishers Weekly,KirkusNew York TimesNew York Daily NewsBoston GlobeSeattle Times,Washington PostDaily MailTelegraph, Times, Sunday Times, Western Mail (all behind paywall) Shelf Awarenesscrimefictionlover, and many more fine publications.

Links
Review to come
Tour Schedule:
February 2
Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping
February 3
Guest blogging at What is That Book
February 4
Book reviewed at Rainy Day Reviews
February 5
Interviewed at A Little Bit of R & R
February 6
Guest blogging at I Heart Reading
February 9
Book reviewed at The Phantom Paragrapher
February 11
Book featured at The Zen Reader
February 12
Interviewed at Review From Here
February 13
Guest blogging at From Paperback to Leatherbound
February 16
Book Featured at I Heart Reading
February 17
Interviewed at Literal Exposure
February 19
Book featured at Confessions of a Reader
February 20
Book featured at Tales of a Book Addict
February 24
Guest blogging at A Taste of My Mind
February 26
Interviewed at Niume
March 2 
Book featured at Voodoo Princess
Guest blogging at Romancing the Dark Side
March 4
Book featured at The Literary Nook
March 6 
Book reviewed at Harlie's Books
March 9
Guest blogging at Romancing the Darkside
March 11
Interviewed at Blirt
March 12
Book featured at Inkslinger's Opus
March 13
Interviewed at Pimp That Character
March 16
Book reviewed at Queen of All She Reads
March 17
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
March 18
Guest blogging at She Writes
March 19
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
March 23
Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
March 25 
Interviewed at As the Page Turns
March 27
Guest blogging at Fiction to Fruition
April 2
Book featured at CBY Book Club
April 6
Book review and Author interviewed at The Gal in the Blue Mask
April 7
Book featured at Lover of Literature
April 8
April 9
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
April 13
Book featured at Blogher
April 14
Interviewed at Examiner
April 15
Guest blogging at Bent Over Bookwords
April 16
Book reviewed at Celticlady's Reviews
April 17
Book featured at The Revolving Bookshelf
April 21
Book featured at The Dark Phantom
April 22
Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
April 23
Book reviewed at Review From Here
April 24
Book featured at All Inclusive Retort

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