New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Expected Publication: October 6, 2020
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France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name. 

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Reviews

Review: The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Book Review

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Historical Fiction
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Synopsis
“I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus.”

Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, Ana is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.

Their marriage unfolds with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, James and Simon, and their mother, Mary. Here, Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation of Israel, partially led by her charismatic adopted brother, Judas. She is sustained by her indomitable aunt Yaltha, who is searching for her long-lost daughter, as well as by other women, including her friend Tabitha, who is sold into slavery after she was raped, and Phasaelis, the shrewd wife of Herod Antipas. Ana’s impetuous streak occasionally invites danger. When one such foray forces her to flee Nazareth for her safety shortly before Jesus’s public ministry begins, she makes her way with Yaltha to Alexandria, where she eventually finds refuge and purpose in unexpected surroundings.

Grounded in meticulous historical research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place, and culture devised to silence her.

What I thought
I really wanted to read this book but I was not sure how I was going to feel about it. I spent my teenage years being very religious. More in the since of study and research. I read many stories and different takes on the stories in the Bible. So I was not sure if I was going to be able to read this story without comparing it to everything I already knew. In the end I really enjoyed this story.

First and foremost this is the story of Ana the wife of Jesus. Jesus having a wife is not a new concept I have heard many believe that Mary Magdalene was his wife, because she is mentioned in the Bible. I know that this is a very hot topic with some people. The concept of him having a wife is based on society of that time. So yes it is very possible that he did.

Now for hard part… telling you how I feel without spoiling you for this story.

The first 3/4 of this book kept my interest and I really enjoyed it but that last 1/4 of the book blew me away. The writing in this book is beautiful and Ana is a passionate and loving person. If Jesus did have a wife I hope she was like Ana. All of the characters in this story felt human, yes, even Jesus. This is the most real I think I have ever read him to be and I enjoyed her take on him so much..This book made me feel so many things and I almost cried. I don’t cry while reading books, but this one almost got me.

One more thing if you pick up this book make sure to also read the Authors Note at the end. At least for my research loving heart I fount that to be interesting too.

My Rating: /5

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Reviews

Review: Mycroft and Sherlock by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse

Book Review

Mycroft and Sherlockis Mycroft and Sherlock
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
(Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock #2)
Historical Fiction, Mystery
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Synopsis
Now a force to be reckoned with in the War Office, the young Mycroft Holmes is growing his network of contacts and influence, although not always in a manner that pleases his closest friend, Cyrus Douglas. A Trinidadian of African descent, Douglas has opened a home for orphaned children, while still running his successful import business.

When a ship carrying a cargo in which Douglas was heavily invested runs aground on the Dorset coast, Mycroft convinces his brother Sherlock to offer his services at the orphanage while Douglas travels to see what can be salvaged. Sherlock finds himself surprisingly at home among the street urchins, but is alarmed to discover that two boys show signs of drug addiction. Meanwhile, Douglas also finds evidence of opium use on two dead sailors, and it becomes clear to Mycroft that the vile trade is on the ascent once again.

Traveling to China on the trail of the drug business, Mycroft and Douglas discover that there are many in high places willing to make a profit from the misery of others. Their opponents are powerful, and the cost of stemming the deadly tide of opium is likely to be high…

What I thought
This is the second book in the Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock series and it can be read as a stand-alone.  There are some references to what happened in the previous book but nothing to make you think that you missed anything.  Anna Waterhouse stated on Goodreads that they wanted these books to be able to read as stand-alone even though they are part of a series.

They do not leave England in this book.  I do not know why the synopsis states that they do because they most certainly do not.

This book may not have been as action-packed at the first but you see more depth in the characters.  You see the beginning of why Mycroft and Sherlock are the way they are in the Conan Doyle stories.  I like how Douglas’s dream in the first book to open a home for boys happens and how he is using his profits from shipping cargo to sustain it.

I foresee bigger things happening in the third book since this book looks like it is setting up for what is to come.

I can not wait to pick up the third one and I am so happy that my library has it as an ebook!

My Rating: /54 Stars

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Reviews

Review: Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse

Book Review

Mycroft Holmes
Mycroft Holmes

by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
(Mycroft Holmes and Sherlock #1)
Historical Fiction, Mystery
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Synopsis
Fresh out of Cambridge University, the young Mycroft Holmes is already making a name ​ ​for himself in government, working for the Secretary of State for War. Yet this most British of civil servants has strong ties to the faraway island of Trinidad, the birthplace of his best friend, Cyrus Douglas, a man of African descent, and where his fiancée Georgiana Sutton was raised.

Mycroft’s comfortable existence is overturned when Douglas receives troubling reports from home. There are rumors of mysterious disappearances, strange footprints in the sand, and spirits enticing children to their deaths, their bodies found drained of blood. Upon hearing the news, Georgiana abruptly departs for Trinidad. Near panic, Mycroft convinces Douglas that they should follow her, drawing the two men into a web of dark secrets that grows more treacherous with each step they take…

What I thought
So we all get retelling about Sherlock which makes perfect sense since he is the focus of the original stories. So I was so excited to see things from Mycroft’s perspective.  This story is when Mycroft is only 23 and Sherlock is still in college. Seeing how Mycroft’s mind worked how he and Sherlock were similar and yet very different was amazing. This first book sets the stage for the Mycroft that we know later on who controls the Government.

I started and finished this book in two days.  There are so many things that I want to say but I can’t due to spoilers.  The synopsis tells you very very little which is making this review a hard one to write because there is just so much I can not say.  

A good friend of mine gifted the second book to me and I can not wait to pick it up.    

Sorry, this is such a short one and very vague but that synopsis gives you nothing lol.  If you have read the book and want to talk to me or just have any specific questions please hit me up in the comments below.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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New Releases

Blog Tour: The Six-Week Solution by Paula Darnell @PaulaJDarnell @RRBookTours1 #HistoricalFiction #RRBookTours

TheSix-WeekSolution (1)

I’m thrilled to share a brand new historical fiction called, The Six-Week Solution by Paula Darnell. I have an excerpt for you to read and a giveaway to enter below!

The Six-Week Solution_bc1b.jpg


The Six-Week Solution
by Paula Darnell
Publication Date: January 1, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction

Never guessing that their very lives might be in danger, well-to-do women come from all over the country to stay at guest ranches around Reno to establish the six weeks’ residency required for a quickie Nevada divorce in 1955.

When a Circle E Ranch guest dies after her Cadillac plunges off Mount Rose Highway, a mountain road between Lake Tahoe and Reno, Washoe County Deputy Sheriff Ben Cameron is assigned to investigate the accident. His inquiries lead him to question everyone at the Circle E, where he meets Mary, an attractive prospective divorcée from New York, who soon has an accident of her own. In the meantime, Ben’s case takes a turn as twisty as the Mount Rose Highway, and when Mary suffers a second accident, he quickly figures that someone is out to get her. Unless Ben can discover who’s targeting the out-of-towners, some of them won’t live long enough to have their day in court.

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Excerpt

Mary and Shirley, each carrying a couple of large shopping bags, emerged from Gray Reid. Mary hadn’t intended to spend so much on her new swimwear, but Shirley’s infectious enthusiasm had rubbed off on her, and she’d purchased two swimsuits, a flowery cover-up, a wide-brimmed sun hat, a couple of beach towels, a bathing cap, and a large straw beach bag. She rationalized that she’d need some way to keep busy for her six weeks in Nevada, and since the Circle E had a nice pool and Shirley had offered to teach her how to swim, it made sense to buy swimwear.

“All you need now is some suntan lotion,” Shirley said. “We’ll stop at a drug store on our way back to the ranch and pick some up. Right now, I’m starting to feel hungry. Why don’t we stop for lunch at one of the casino restaurants? By the time we get back to the Circle E, lunchtime will be over. It’s usually just soup and sandwiches set out as a buffet at noon anyway. At the ranch, the big meal of the day is always dinner.”

“Casinos have restaurants, too? I thought they were only for gambling.”

“Most of them are hotels as well as casinos, and usually they have at least a couple of restaurants. They have big-name entertainment, too. Frank Sinatra played the Sky Room at the Mapes a couple of months ago, and Tony Bennett sang there just last month. Of course, it’s not New York or L.A., but, for a town this size, it’s something.”

“I didn’t realize that. Every time I’ve heard about Reno, it’s always been in connection with a divorce, and now here I am to get one myself. I can’t quite believe it.”

Shirley and Mary lingered over a long lunch in the bustling coffee shop at the Riverside. Walking through the casino had been like a trip through a foreign land for Mary as she gazed in amazement at the crowd of gamblers playing table games and slot machines. The gambling didn’t stop in the casino, either. It spilled into the coffee shop, too, where patrons could play keno while they were enjoying their meals. Short, stubby pencils and packs of keno forms were on every table in the coffee shop, and keno runners in black and white garb came by the tables periodically to collect the keno forms that customers were going to play or to return them after the numbers had been verified. Shirley, who had played the game before, explained to Mary how it worked. It was as simple as choosing numbers on the form that resembled a bingo card, then hoping that the numbers the house drew matched. Winnings could range from a dollar to several thousand dollars, depending on how many numbers were played and how many numbers matched those that the house drew. In every casino game, losers outnumbered winners, but gamblers’ optimism that they’d beat the house kept the Nevada gaming business healthy.

Shirley lost several dollars before giving up, but Mary won enough to pay for their lunch and leave their waitress a generous tip. Gathering up their shopping bags, they left, satisfied with Mary’s small winnings.

As Mary and Shirley emerged from the Riverside, they were surrounded immediately by a large crowd of tourists who had evidently just arrived by bus. They sidled their way through the crush—they were leaving while the tourists were clamoring to enter the casino. Finally, the tourists all passed, and the two women paused to recover from the jostling for a moment. The onslaught wasn’t over yet, though, as another tourist bus pulled up to the curb, and its passengers began streaming from the bus. Hoping to cross the street to get away from the throng, Shirley and Mary hurried to the corner where they had to wait for the red light to change. Mary turned to look for Shirley, but she didn’t see her new friend. Somehow, they’d become separated when the big group of tourists mingled with the locals outside the casino.

The temperature had risen considerably since Mary and Shirley had left the Circle E in the morning, and Mary thought it must be well above ninety degrees by now. She squirmed in her beige raw silk suit, which was stylish, but too heavy to wear in hot weather. The shopping bags felt like lead weights, and her girdle felt constricting, as beads of sweat popped out on Mary’s forehead. People kept bumping into her, and she began to feel as though the whole world were closing in on her. Assuming that Shirley would catch up to her on the other side of the street, Mary inched her way forward until she stood right on the edge of the curb, and there was nobody between her and the street. Fighting lightheadedness, she took a deep breath. The red light seemed to stay on forever. If only she could reach the other side of the street, if only she could escape from the crowd, if only she could get out of the hot sun. The seconds ticked away, seeming like an eternity to Mary.

Suddenly, she felt a blow on her back, and she pitched forward, into the busy intersection. She heard screams, maybe from herself, maybe from Shirley or other people on the crowded sidewalk as a taxi screeched to a halt just inches from her. People rushed to help. The cab driver leaped from his taxi and picked up the scattered contents of Mary’s shopping bags while Shirley and a couple of cowboys held onto Mary as she struggled to stand. Throbbing scrapes covered her knees and forearms, and she had a large bump on her forehead. Her silk stockings were in shreds.

“Lady, you’re lucky you weren’t killed,” the cabbie said. “I sure burned rubber trying to avoid hitting you.”

Looking as though she might pass out at any moment, Mary moaned and swayed.

“Can she sit down in the cab?” Shirley asked. “She’s about ready to faint.”

“Oh, sure. Sorry, lady.” The cabbie flung open the taxi’s back door, and the cowboys guided Mary onto the seat.

“Lie down, Mary,” Shirley said.“You’ll feel better.”

Shirley turned to thank the two ranch hands who had helped, but they’d already disappeared into the crowd.

“Where you wanna go, lady? It’s on the house,” the cabbie said. “Maybe we should take her to the hospital,” he said to Shirley.

“I’ll be OK,” Mary said. “I felt like I was going to pass out for a few minutes back there, but I’m starting to feel better.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to see a doctor, Mary? You have quite a bump on your head.”

“No, let’s go back to the Circle E. I don’t want to be a bother.”

“All right.” Shirley gave the cab driver directions to her car. When they arrived, she offered to pay him, but he refused to take any money, repeating that the ride was “on the house.”

Shirley’s car felt stuffy, but at least it had been parked in the shade. Shirley and Mary rolled down the windows and enjoyed the rush of air, even though it was hot, as Shirley drove back to the Circle E. She whizzed past a drug store without slowing down before she remembered that she’d intended to stop so that Mary could buy some suntan lotion.

“Oh, shoot. I meant to stop at the drug store. I guess we’ll have to come back tomorrow. You’ll need to get those scrapes cleaned up as soon as we get back, anyway. I bet they really hurt, don’t they?”

“Oh, boy, do they! It reminds me of when I was a kid and fell off a curb while I was roller skating. I was really banged up then, too.”

“I’m sorry our shopping trip came to such a bad end, Mary. We were having fun until you fell and nearly got run over by that taxi.”

“Shopping was fun, but I didn’t fall. I was pushed.”

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Author Bio

PaulaDarnelAuthorPhoto
An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications. She is the author of Death by Association and Death by Design, both in her cozy series, the DIY Diva Mysteries.

Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.

Paula Darnell | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

The author is giving away 3 print copies of The Six-Week Solution (US)
and 3 digital copies (International). Click the link below!

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Blog Tour

TheSix-WeekSolution (1)

February 10th
Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

February 11th
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

February 12th
On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com
Cup of Toast (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk
I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/
Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

February 13th
My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com
The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

February 14th
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

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Reviews

Review: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

Book Review

a study in scarlet women
A Study in Scarlet Women
by Sherry Thomas
(Lady Sherlock #1)
Historical Fiction, Mystery
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Synopsis
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper-class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

What I thought
So I might be a little biased since Sherlock Holmes-esque reads are comfort reads for me. So it is no surprise that I really liked this twist on Sherlock Holmes. This is a classic woman in Victorian England taking control of her life no matter how society/her family wants to use her for. I live for these types of books.

I liked how the Author swapped the gender of Sherlock but still found a way to incorporate the classic characters that we all associate with Sherlock Holmes stories. They don’t reside in their classic roles which I enjoyed rather than the author trying to force them in there. For example, Charlette has sisters, not a brother named Mycroft, but Mycroft still shows up as he should just in a different place. Yes, I am being purposefully vague so as not to spoil anything. Everyone you need for a classic Holmes esque story comes together nicely.

One of the things that I adored about the character Charlotte was her relationship with her sister Bernadette. Even though she was a classic Holmes character (very offish to everyone) her relationship with her sister Bernadette is a very sweet one. Charlotte seemed to be the only person that understands her and you can tell she truly cares for her.

There is the possibility of a love story brewing and I am curious to see how it plays out. The “love interest” seems to be a man of high morals so I am interested to see how this all plays out in the other books.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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Reviews

Review: Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

Book Review

capturing-the-devil


Capturing the Devil
by Kerri Maniscalco
(Stalking Jack the Ripper #4)
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery
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Synopsis
Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

What I thought
This is the final book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.  

I must say the author did a lot of research on different theories regarding Jack the Ripper.  Even the American connection, which as a person growing up fascinated by the longest unsolved case still open at Scotland Yard, I was in nerd heaven. Serial Killers, aside I left this book so happy with the end.  

I absolutely adore Thomas and Audrey Rose. Oh and Audrey’s grandmother now we all know where she gets her spunk from.  I have to say I loved watching her grandmother knock Thomas’s father down a few pegs.  

I am going to admit to something that I only realized at the end and couldn’t believe I missed it until then but these two characters are very Holmesish how did I not see this but it does help explain some of my love of the story.

I won’t lie I hope we get a spin-off series sometime in the future about Thomas and Audrey’s future endeavors. 

If you haven’t picked up this series yet and you like historical fiction based in this time period you really should.

My Rating: /55 Stars

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