BOOK TOUR: The Agincourt Bride (Catherine de Valois #1) by Joanna Hickson


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The-Agincourt-BridePublished January 3rd 2013 by HarperCollins
Pages 578
ISBN13: 9780007446971
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

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The epic story of the queen who founded the Tudor dynasty, told through the eyes of her loyal nursemaid. The story follows French princess Catherine who became wife to Henry V, and mother of Henry VI.

My Thoughts
Hickson cleverly tells the story of Catherine through the lens of her wet nurse turned confidante Guilliamette/Mette. Years of service endear Mette to Catherine as their bond and attachment is strengthened over time and events. Both women suffer at the hands of males, both women demonstrating strength with the ability to carry on despite startling events of their past. Two women staving off trauma to build a life for themselves given their social status and in Catherine’s position – social and familia expectations/obligations.

Using Mette as narrator was clever and attention grabbing on Hickson’s part. Despite this being solely Catherine’s story, bit and pieces of Mette’s life is inserted giving the reader access as well as an emotional connection. By somewhat interweaving their backgrounds you have a clear picture of how endearing and close their relationship becomes. Catherine is treated as mere collateral in luring Henry V as a prospective bride. Catherine is rather disappointed once married, learning her brother, the Dauphin, disregards her as his sister as she is now a traitor in his eyes. While all the upheaval is unleashed Catherine and Mette’s bond is unbreakable.

Mette’s presence is as strong as ever as Catherine takes the throne as Queen of England, wife to Henry V.

The ending touches upon the marvelous Welsh crooner Owen Tudor, a singer who’s lyrics brings out the romantic in Henry V, benefitting their marriage if only for a snippet in time.

Captivated by this story I am anxious to read the next installment, The Tudor Bride. Hickson gained my attention with her prose – elegant with a personal edge through the voice of Mette. The fascinating characters of Mette and Catherine, along with the court trials and tribulations, dangers faced, depiction of the battle of Agincourt all marinated to develop one incredible page turner. I found it near impossible to put this book down from the turn of the first page, until the turn of the last page. Comprehensive narrative, a fine work of historical fiction, history comes alive through prose, characterization and ridged narrative. Highly recommend.

4-stars

 

 

About Joanna HicksonJoanna Hickson
Joanna spent twenty-five years at the BBC writing and presenting for radio and television. Gripped by Shakespeare’s historical plays, Joanna began researching the King Henry V’s ‘fair Kate’ as a schoolgirl and the story of Catherine de Valois and the Tudor genesis has remained with her throughout life. She lives in an old farmhouse in Wiltshire and is married with a large family and a wayward Irish terrier.

Follow Joanna on Twitter and connect with her on Facebook.

 

 

Here is the tour schedule:

Monday, August 18th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, August 20th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, August 21st: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, August 25th: Fuelled by Fiction
Wednesday, August 27th: Ageless Pages Reviews
Friday, August 29th: nightlyreading
Monday, September 1st: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book
Tuesday, September 2nd: Bibliophilia, Please
Wednesday, September 3rd: Back Porchervations
Thursday, September 4th: Time 2 Read
Friday, September 5th: Kritters Ramblings
Friday, September 5th: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, September 11th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views

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SPOTLIGHT: Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson


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Someone-Elses-Love-StoryWilliam Morrow August 5, 2015
Pages 336
ISBN13 9780062105653

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Book Synopsis
For single mom Shandi Pierce, life is a juggling act. She’s finishing college, raising precocious three-year-old Natty, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents.Then she gets caught in the middle of a stickup at a gas station and falls instantly in love with William Ashe, when he steps between the armed robber and her son.

Shandi doesn’t know that William’s act wasn’t about bravery. When he looked down the barrel of the robber’s gun he believed it was destiny: it’s been exactly one year since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. But William doesn’t define destiny the way other people do—to him destiny is about choice.

Now William and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head-on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

Praise for Someone Else’s Love Story
“Witty, cleverly constructed and including a truly surprising twist, Someone Else’s Love Story turns out to be a nuanced exploration of faith, family and the things we do for love.” —People
“Witty and insightful…a novel at once funny and touching.” —Publishers Weekly
“Finely drawn characters make the miraculous plausible, from the opening hostage scene in a North Georgia convenience store to an ending that hits the mark of ‘surprising yet inevitable’ mastered and articulated by Flannery O’Connor.” —Atlanta Magazine


About Joshilyn JacksonJoshilyn-Jackson
Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels, including Gods in Alabama and A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband and their two children.

Connect with her through her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

 

 

Joshilyn’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, August 26th: JulzReads
Wednesday, August 27th: nightlyreading
Friday, August 29th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Monday, September 1st: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, September 2nd: Literary Lindsey
Wednesday, September 3rd: Every Free Chance Book Reviews
Thursday, September 4th: Literary Feline
Monday, September 8th: Fuelled by Fiction
Tuesday, September 9th: I’d Rather Be At The Beach
Wednesday, September 10th: Bibliotica
Thursday, September 11th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Tuesday, September 16th: Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, September 17th: Giraffe Days
Thursday, September 18th: Kritters Ramblings
Friday, September 19th: Jorie Loves a Story
Monday, September 22nd: M. Denise C.

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Teaser Tuesday!


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This a weekly meme held on Tuesday’s that was created by Should Be Reading

Here are the rules:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Queen’s Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile
by C.W. Gortner

No one believed I was destined for greatness.12796941

So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.

Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon.

As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.

From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.

Published July 2nd 2013 by Ballantine Books (first published 2012)
Paperback, 416 pages
ISBN13: 9780345523976

Teaser

We were three years apart, and antithetical in temperament. Beatriz acted as though the realm outside our gates was a vast unexplored place fi lled with potential adventure. Doña Clara said her reckless attitude was due to the fact that Beatriz’s mother had died shortly after her birth; her father had raised her alone in Arévalo, without feminine supervision. Dark as I was fair, voluptuous as I was angular, Beatriz was also rebellious, unpredictable, and too outspoken for her own good. She even challenged the nuns at the Convento de las Agustinas where we went to take our lessons, driving poor Sor María to distraction with her endless questions. She was a loyal friend, and amusing as well, always quick to fi nd mirth in what others did not; but she was also a constant headache for her elders and for Doña Clara, who’d tried in vain to teach Beatriz that well- bred ladies did not give in to random impulse whenever the urge overcame them.

Leave your TT links below!

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BOOK TOUR: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo


tlc tour hostThe Ghost Bride PBPublished August 6th 2013 by William Morrow
Pages 386
ISBN13: 9780062227324

A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

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My Thoughts
Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family’s only son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at a terrible price.

You are totally immersed into the mysterious alien world of Chinese beliefs regarding the afterlife. We follow Li Lan as she journeys the unknown world of ghosts, demons, spirits and deities grasping at the brass ring of reincarnation. Missteps occur as rules must be adhered when dealing with the dead and Li Lan is not immune to her share of mistakes. Plagued by trying fate after fate, Li Lan navigates her way through each perilous situation.

Li Lan will capture your heart. She is a combination of pure sweetness, kindness beyond measure and full of consideration – all leaving her vulnerable and easy prey for undesirables. She’s easy to love due to her essence, trouble is almost always close by. A wonderful young lady possessing a heart of gold with a wild inquisitive streak opening the door to outlawed curiosities. Choo weaves a yarn with this affecting character in combination with both the living and deceased. Anguished, tormented creatures are revealed through vengeance, selfishness and of course the heavy hitter jealousy. All create a riveting read with Li Lan stealing the show and your attention. A lovely young lady, from a good family, educated, gently tugs and sweeps you into a fascinating world.

A magical story with just enough thrills and paranormal aspects blending into a ethereal love story. The sprit world causes the reader to pause and no doubt adds to the complete narrative. Choo’s writing style spawns unbelievable visualized scenes leaving the peruser in shock and awe. Choo crafts a narrative with such certainty it leaves you thoroughly spent.

Choo provides an abundance of information in the back of the book – covering traditions of ghost marriages, Chinese beliefs on afterlife, information on Chinese communities in Malaya, now Malaysia. Cannot say enough about this novel and Choo’s talent. Highly recommend for a memorable educational adventure. Outstanding.

4-stars

About Yangsze ChooYangsze Choo
Yangsze Choo is a fourth-generation Malaysian of Chinese descent. She lives in California with her husband and their two children, and loves to eat and read (often at the same time).
Connect with her on her website or on Facebook.

Here’s the tour schedule:

Tuesday, August 5th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, August 6th: Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, August 7th: Book Dilettante
Friday, August 8th: Bibliosue
Monday, August 11th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, August 12th: Fuelled by Fiction
Monday, August 18th: Literary Feline
Tuesday, August 19th: Book Without Any Pictures
Wednesday, August 20th: Olduvai Reads
Thursday, August 21st: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Friday, August 22nd: nightlyreading
Saturday, August 30th: guiltless reading

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Throwback THURSDAY!


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The idea for this meme is to think back to memorable books from our childhood and to tell us why you loved them and you can even review them now.

If you would like to add your TT, please leave us a comment with your link and we will head on over to your blog and check it out!

Mal’s Throwback Thursday!

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Charlotte’s Web
E.B. White
Published October 1st 2001 by HarperCollinsPublishers (first published 1952)
Pages 18
4

The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.

An affectionate pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing on into time, White reminds readers to open their eyes to the wonder and miracle found in the simplest of things.

I loved this story. What a affecting story of friendship, loyalty and life in general. After reading this book I became a vegan – 20+ years later I still am. An animal lover, this story really hits home as far as the fate and treatment of animals period. The relationship between Wilbur and Charlotte set the bar high in regards to the friendship department. Every thing about this book was beautiful, def changed my life. Wonderful  story for all enjoy. 

What is your Throwback Thursday?

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BOOK TOUR: The Yankee Club by Michael Murphy w/ GIVEAWAY


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cover-1The Yankee Club
Michael Murphy
Published August 12th 2014 by Alibi
Pages 280
ISBN13: 9780804179317

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

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“Gino refilled my glass. “What a night. Booze, broads, and a barroom brawl.”

Prohibition-era novel of suspense, a mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.

I had a suspicion this was going to be an exciting read and you know what! I was right!! Set in the 1930’s fulfilling its genre of Historical Fiction, Mystery, yes doll, it honored its billing and MORE!

Murphy scores points in setting, element of mystery, characters, writing style.

Give me anything during the Prohibition era and I am hooked. The 1930’s was described perfectly, everything presented snagged the reader by the hand to the past, great introduction setting the feel for the era.

Murphy provided mystery sans predictability scoring high praise from this reader. I had no idea what the final outcome would be, needless to say, this is a rare occurrence and welcomed. Kudos to Murphy!

Plenty of characters and Murphy managed to combine both quantity with quality. Each player served a purpose and supplemented the narrative. Whatever the role the character supplied, be it a short staggered appearance or one of the man revisiting characters it worked very well. Kudos again to Murphy!

Murphy’s writing style is straight to the point holding plenty of colorfulness to tug the peruser into the ambiance. You clearly feel part of the 1930’s scene. Language, environment, description all united tying the narrative et al. Again Murphy scores!!

The Yankee Club provides plenty of mystery with the questionable characters the era held. Loads of suspense sharing space with corruption, romance, during a shady and thrill ride era. I cannot wait until the next book in this series is available. I highly recommend this first installment in the Jake and Laura Mystery series. Excellent stuff doll!

4-stars

About Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy is a full time author and part time urban chicken rancher in Arizona. He lives in Arizona with his wife of forty-one years and the four children they adopted this past year. In August, Random House Alibi will publish his ninth novel, a historical mystery set in the prohibition era, The Yankee Club.

GIVEAWAYS: Here is the rafflecopter for THE YANKEE CLUB blog tour:
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Michael Murphy’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, August 4th: Reading Reality
Tuesday, August 5th: 5 Minutes for Books
Wednesday, August 6th: Bibliotica
Friday, August 8th: ImaginativeMinds*
Monday, August 11th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Tuesday, August 12th: Read a Latte
Wednesday, August 13th: “I Think I’m Obsessed!” Book Reviews
Thursday, August 14th: The Reader’s Hollow
Friday, August 15th: Mystery Playground – Author Guest Post “Drinks with Reads”
Monday, August 18th: Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, August 19th: Life by Kristen
Tuesday, August 19th: Dwell in Possibility
Wednesday, August 20th: Nightly Reading
Thursday, August 21st: A Book Geek
Friday, August 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Friday, August 29th: Harlie’s Books

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BOOK TOUR: Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes


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Sinful FolkSinful Folk
Ned Hayes
Published January 22nd 2014 by Campanile Books
Pages 400
ISBN13: 9780985239305

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

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In December of the year 1377, five children were burned to death in a suspicious house fire. A small band of villagers traveled 200 miles across England in midwinter to demand justice for their children’s deaths.

Hayes exploits an event in history during one of the harshest periods in history to create one riveting read. The Middle Ages was brutal, disease, famine, environment and its demands took their toll on the population. Every day was a challenge with survival being the ultimate goal at the end of the day. Hayes masterfully sets the setting to captivate the readers focus exposing the challenges faced by one group as they embark on a treacherous road trip. The group battles savage events, bitter cold weather, continual peril. The hardships faced by this group requires strength and determination which through Hayes’ lens they manage. Leaving you totally submerged during the events faced along with the brutal and absorbing setting this is a thriller of a read. Mystery, secrets revealed, a horrific historical event all blend to create a narrative offering much through solid writing. Medieval fans will adore the perfect setting along with mystery and thrills and affecting characters. A page turner transporting the reader to an age where existing was a minute to minute task. Highly recommend Sinful Folk. Hayes is an author worthy of praise and your undivided attention.

4-stars

 

About Ned HayesNed Hayes
Ned Hayes first read Chaucer in graduate school, where he worked under noted medieval scholar Richard Emmerson. He has studied at Stanford University, Western Washington University, the Rainier Writing Workshop and the Graduate Theological Union at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Olympia, Washington, with his wife and two children. Sinful Folk is his first story set in the medieval era. He is now at work on a new novel set in the 1300s.

Find out more about Ned at his website, follow him on Twitter, and see what he’s pinning on Pinterest. You can also read more about the book at its website, follow news of the book on Facebook, get quotes from the book on Pinterest.

Here’s the tour schedule:

Sunday, August 3rd: You’ve GOTTA Read This!
Monday, August 4th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book
Tuesday, August 5th: Words for Worms
Wednesday, August 6th: What She Read
Thursday, August 7th: M. Denise C.
Monday, August 11th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, August 12th: Kimberly’s Bookshelf
Wednesday, August 13th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, August 14th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, August 18th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, August 19th: nightly reading
Wednesday, August 20th: Unabridged Chick
Thursday, August 21st: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, August 25th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Wednesday, August 27th: BoundbyWords
Thursday, August 28th: Passages to the Past
Friday, August 29th: West Metro Mommy

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