BOOK TOUR: The Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman


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Publisher: Ecco (July 29, 2014)
288 pages
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

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Synopsis
The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters.
When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a magical figure named The White Rebbe, a miracle worker in league with the enigmatic Angel of Losses, protector of things gone astray, and guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God.
When his granddaughter, Marjorie, discovers Eli’s notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To find the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York City and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.
Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.

My Thoughts
I will start by saying the jacket summary is quite misleading. I found the story to be nothing like the jacket description. The content of the narrative was so different from what I was expecting I was more than disappointed.

The intended audience will be a specific group enjoying philosophical, theological along with Jewish folktales. The writing was sound and I enjoyed the Jewish folklore.

My problem was how all of this failed to marry. I’m not a huge fan of theology/philosophy so this was off putting for me. Once again had the summary spelled this aspect out I would have passed on reading. The bones of a good story exist, you need to be an archeologist and dig for it….I pass.

I will not rate this book simply because I don’t want to discourage others from indulging or harm the author. I only wish the content was clearly spelled out so the unenthusiastic fans of the quasi philosophy genre could decline.

I do hope the publishers take note and/or the author. If the intention of the book is as is – PLEASE rewrite the jacket summary. If the book needs a decent dose of editing so all the material merges nicely by all means do so. As is, it’s a tad bit all over the place and isn’t my cup of joe.

Explore the book for yourself and determine if it’s for you or not, just proceed with caution.

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About Stephanie Feldman
Stephanie Feldman is a graduate of Barnard College. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and her daughter.

Follow Stephanie’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, July 29th: The Relentless Reader
Wednesday, July 30th: Sammy the Bookworm
Thursday, July 31st: I’d Rather Be At The Beach
Monday, August 4th: A Night’s Dream of Books
Wednesday, August 6th: Book-alicious Mama
Thursday, August 7th: guiltless reading
Tuesday, August 12th: Back Porchervations
Thursday, August 14th: Spiced Latte Reads
Monday, August 18th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, August 21st: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book
Saturday, August 23rd: Another Clean Slate
Monday, August 25th: Fiction Zeal
Tuesday, August 26th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, August 27th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, August 28th: A Bookish life
Monday, September 1st: Based on a True Story
Tuesday, September 2nd: The Avid Reader
Wednesday, September 3rd: Ryann Dannelly
Friday, September 5th: Not in Jersey
Monday, September 8th: Read Lately
Tuesday, September 9th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, September 10th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, September 15th: Sun Mountain Reviews
Tuesday, September 16th: Must Read Faster
Wednesday, September 17th: nightlyreading
Friday, September 19th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, September 22nd: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, September 23rd: Jorie Loves a Story
Friday, September 26th: Cici’s Theories

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Teaser Tuesday!


teaser-tuesday

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!

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Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Teaser

“Hark,” he said, his tone very dry. “What stone through yonder window breaks?”
Kami yelled up at him, “It is the east, and Juliet is a jerk!”
Jared abandoned Shakespeare and demanded, “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Throwing a pebble,” said Kami defensively. “Uh… and I’ll pay for the window.”
Jared vanished and Kami was ready to start shouting again, when he reemerged with the pebble clenched in his fist. “This isn’t a pebble! This is a rock.”
“It’s possible that your behavior has inspired some negative feelings that caused me to pick a slightly overlarge pebble,” Kami admitted.”

Leave your TT Links below!

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BOOK TOUR: The Summer of Long Knives by Jim Snowden


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Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Booktrope Editions (July 26, 2013)
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review
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Synopsis
In the summer of 1936, the racial and political climate in Munich are growing tense, and Kommisar Rolf Wundt and his wife Klara are increasingly desperate to leave Nazi Germany while they still can. But when a member of the League of German Girls is found brutally murdered and posed in the yard of a dilapidated farmhouse, Rolf’s supervisor declares that they can’t leave until he’s solved the case. Rolf’s investigation leads him from the depths of the underground Communist movement to the heights of Germany’s elite Nazi society, exposing the cracks in Germany’s so-called unified society as well as the unspoken tensions in Rolf’s complicated marriage. Ultimately, long-buried secrets and overwhelming evidence are laid bare, but how can Rolf bring the killer to justice in a country devoid of justice? And how can he protect himself, his wife, and his former lover from the barbarism of a corrupt and power-hungry government?

My Thoughts
The numerous outstanding features making this novel a must read are plenty. Snowden does a wonderful job with the political climate in Germany with Hitler’s ascent. He paints a clear and rather accurate picture of the various parties, the horrific and unfair treatment of the Jewish population. The 1930’s, the intimate intricacies of the Third Reich are exposed and all too real. The overall tone of the time is well executed, really creating a powerful backdrop for the narrative. You will be captivated with this story from the very beginning. The characters pique your interest and are well developed. Not your average murder mystery, Snowden encompasses all aspects of a more than competent author to provide a unique reading experience along with masterful storyline. Snowden certainly deserves acknowledgment of his stellar research, very apparent with the historical references, nothing less than accurate.

To reiterate the comprehensive research really makes this book standout. The political aspects immaculately accurate. The major political players of the time presented with such clarity and certitude it enhances the entire reading adventure – Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich and Goering. Snowden thoroughly brings these figureheads to life through his prose, interactions and persons.

A different take on a murder mystery, allowing the peruser an in depth view of Germany’s crude past complete with power struggles among the Third Reich. Highly highly recommend this well crafted and researched novel.

4-stars

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About Jim Snowden
Bellevue author Jim Snowden has published short stories in Pulphouse, Mind In Motion, The Seattle Review, The King’s English, and MAKE. His novella, Escape Velocities, was named a 2004 notable story by the editors of StorySouth. Jim received his MFA from the University of Washington in 2004, where he won the David Guterson award for his work on his debut novel, Dismantle the Sun. He also runs a small press, MMIP Books, which published its first short story collection, Coming Unglued: Six Stories About Things Falling Apart, in May of 2011. Its second collection, Blood Promises, And Other Commitments was released in April of 2013.

Connect with Jim
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Follow all of Jim Snowden’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, September 15th: Nightly Reading
Wednesday, September 17th: The Year in Books
Thursday, September 18th: Maurice on Books
Tuesday, September 23rd: Words by Webb
Thursday, September 25th: 5 Minutes for Books
Friday, September 26th: Mystery Playground – Drinks with Reads guest post
Monday, September 29th: JulzReads
Wednesday, October 1st: Back Porchervations
Friday, October 3rd: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, October 6th: Diary of an Eccentric
Wednesday, October 8th: Books and Movies – spotlight/giveaway
Thursday, October 9th: Sarah’s Book Shelves
Monday, October 13th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, October 16th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, October 20th: Omnimystery News – author guest post
Wednesday, October 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, November 3rd: Musings of a Bookish Kitty

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BOOK TOUR: Vintage by Susan Gloss


 

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Vintage-PBPaperback: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 2, 2014)
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

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Synopsis
A small-town girl with a flair for fashion, Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. But when faced with the possibility of losing the store to an unscrupulous developer, she realizes that despite her usual self-reliance she cannot save it all by herself.

Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect vintage wedding dress to Violet’s shop, she forges an unexpected bond with women who won’t let her give up on her dreams.

Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her vibrant Indian silk dresses. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears her best days are behind her . . . until she discovers an outlet for her creativity with a needle and thread.
Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal, love, and hope when we least expect it.

My Thoughts
A sweet story of four women and how their lives interweave. All four women share their stories and find their present circumstances intersecting, forging business and personal relationships. The vintage clothing store snags the readers attention. A certain charm is added with the cog serving as the vintage store and its owner, great descriptions of clothing along with snippets of their past.

A feel good story with little surprises, predictability is very clear. The varying characters and their growing bond makes this a fun and sentimental story. Not heavy on character development, you still become more than familiar with each protagonist. A story of love, second chances making for a entertaining read for the beach or fireplace.

4-stars

About Susan GlossSusan Gloss

Susan Gloss is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wisconsin Law School. When she’s not writing fiction, Susan can be found working as an attorney, blogging at GlossingOverIt, or hunting for vintage treasures for her Etsy shop, Cleverly Curated. She lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Susan Gloss can also be reached through her author website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

Here’s the tour schedule:

Tuesday, September 2nd: The Book Wheel
Wednesday, September 3rd: From L.A. to LA
Thursday, September 4th: Lavish Bookshelf
Monday, September 8th: 5 Minutes For Books
Tuesday, September 9th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, September 10th: nightlyreading
Monday, September 15th: Every Free Chance Book Review
Tuesday, September 16th: Drey’s Library
Thursday, September 18th: Jorie Loves a Story
Wednesday, September 24th: …bookworm…
Thursday, September 25th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books

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BOOK TOUR: Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers


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Accidents of Marriage
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (September 2, 2014)
A copy provided in exchange for an honest review

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SUMMARY
Accidents of Marriage examines the effect of a husband—and father’s—verbal rage and the aftermath of a serious accident caused by his unchecked anger.

For Madeline Illica, her husband Ben is her greatest blessing and biggest curse. Brilliant and caring, he turns into a raging bull when crossed—and despite her training as a social worker Maddy was never sure what would cross him. She kept a fragile peace by vacillating between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their three children until a rainy drive to work when Ben’s temper gets the best of him and the consequences leave Maddy in the hospital, fighting for her life.
The novel explores emotional abuse, traumatic injury, and children lost in the shuffle of recovery. Accidents of Marriage is an account of life inside a troubled marriage and how the unexpected gift of clarity can make the difference between living in hell and salvation.

MY THOUGHTS
Accidents of Marriage explores a topic rarely shown in fiction: the destruction left in the wake of spouse’s verbal fury. Ben never meant to hurt Maddy. He never imagined his recklessness would lead to tragedy.

The psychological impact Meyers brings to the surface in this book is affecting and provoking. A realistic heartbreaking portrait is drawn as the reader observes a family at risk, taking a swift plunge into the unimaginable and ALL are floundering, damaged in the aftermath of what should NOT have been.

Well developed characterization along with the thoughts and psychological aspects are explored and showcased masterfully.

Allowing the family to be exposed and to have their thoughts and voice heard is the heart of the narrative. Each individual is a hostage, victim, survivor of the abusive behavior of the parent. Ben – when all was said and done, I’m uncertain of my feelings towards him. I’m sensing he has failed to grasp the seriousness of HIS issue. I never felt his true desire to correct all his wrongs, the ending validated my thoughts of him. His reaction after the accident was weak, the man should be seeking help, help for himself and for his family.

Maddy – I wish she took a tougher stance with Ben from the moment the writing was on the wall. She just seemed too overwhelmed and too sensitive towards Ben, she made excuses and chose denial as her method of coping. Her actions cause you to ask yourself what would you do if you were Maddy? This is a question easily answered when you’re NOT in Maddy’s exact position. I have a long trail of working with abused women, and the narrative was eerily familiar. No doubt this is a mirror reflecting many stories retold repeatedly.

A compelling, harsh, and provoking story bringing a sensitive and avoided issue to the forefront in a chillingly realistic manner. I applaud Meyers for her moxie and bold authorship on this topic as its momentum of destruction causes devastation and damage to those in its path.

4-stars

 

 

About Randy Susan MeyersRandy Susan Meyers
The drama of Randy Susan Meyers’ novels is informed by her work with families impacted by emotional and family violence.Her newest novel, Accidents of Marriage, examines the slippery definitions of emotional abuse and explores tragic circumstances forcing a family to challenge the dynamics that have long-defined them.

Randy is a founding member of Beyond The Margins, a site dedicated to the craft of writing and the business of publishing, and coauthored the guide, What To Do Before Your Book Launch, with writer M.J. Rose. She lives in Boston with her husband, where she teaches at Grub Street Writer’s Center.

Find out more about Randy at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

 

 

 

Here is the tour schedule:

Tuesday, September 2nd: BookNAround
Wednesday, September 3rd: nightlyreading
Thursday, September 4th: Luxury Reading
Monday, September 8th: Always With a Book
Tuesday, September 9th: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, September 10th: 5 Minutes For Books
Tuesday, September 16th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, September 23rd: My Book Retreat
Wednesday, September 24th: Wordsmithonia
Thursday, September 25th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, September 29th: Reading in Black & White
Tuesday, September 30th: Doing Dewey
Friday, October 3rd: Patricia’s Wisdom

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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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