New Releases

Book Blitz: Passengers by Elizabeth Collums @RRBookTours1 #RopeSwingPress #RRBookTours #Historical Fiction

Congratulations to author Elizabeth Collums on the release of her epic family drama, Passengers! Read on for an excerpt and more book details!

Passengers by Elizabeth Collums
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: November 12, 2020

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A mysterious letter arrives from America to the village of Highland Way, where Annie, the oldest daughter in the Ewing Family was left to care for her mother and younger sister after her father left to find work in Dublin. Soon, Annie, Lily, and Katy find themselves on a harrowing journey.

The hand-written note not only will expose deep secrets, it will also challenge the strength and fortitude of the Ewing women, leading each member into their own soul searching voyage.

Follow this extraordinary passage that begins in Ireland and leads each woman to uncover their own courage and truths in this new world.

As Annie was trying her best to capture and absorb all these extraordinary surroundings so she could accurately relay every detail to her daddy one day her ears picked up the sound of humming. Annie had never heard her mama sing much less hum but she knew it was a woman’s voice. Her visual recording would have to wait as she slowly pulled her arm out from underneath Lily’s head, got to her feet and followed the sound out of the big room they had spent the night in and down the long hallway. The woman’s voice was now on the other side of last door on the end. All her muscles tightened as her feet froze to the floor. She had dreams like this before. When she needed to run, when she was being chased and couldn’t see who was chasing her, but she still knew she needed to move. Her breathes became shallow and she could feel her heart pounding like her senses were telling her there was danger on the other side. “Oh God, please help me, I’m so tired, I’m scared, and this can’t be my fault. Lily and I need somebody. We need our mama”….then suddenly some invisible strength, not of her own making, lifted her hand as she pushed the hinged door open. There in the middle of this huge stark white kitchen was her mama swirling around. Katy had a long white apron tied to her waist with the bottom lifted like it was a ball gown and she was making her own music while dancing to a waltz. Annie saw her mama’s burn scarred face like she had never seen it before. She was smiling and having a whispered conversation with her imaginary dance partner. She had the most peaceful and contented expression that Annie had ever seen before. Annie was certain that this was somehow a miracle in the making. God had finally heard her prayers and her mama had been transformed.

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Ann C. Purvis, chose to publish her first novel under her birth name, Elizabeth Collums; this is her true roots and where she has drawn from many of the experiences she wrote about. She lives in Denham Springs, Louisiana and enjoys DIY projects. She has two daughters, a step daughter, son-in-law, two amazing granddaughters, and her dog Daisy.

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Reviews

Review: The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

Book Review

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk
Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction

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Synopsis
Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?

What I thought
Thank you Erewhon Books and Netgalley for giving me an ARC copy of this book for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings expressed are my own.

*Note: Please read past the first paragraph. I sum up the points of the story first.

This is a historical fantasy that put me in the mind of Victorian London. In this story, Beatrice is at her first Bargaining Season. It is very obvious that this is the only season that she is going to get and she has no choice but to attract a suitor. The Bargaining Season is only for girls that have magical ability. It has been decided in this world that only men are allowed to move forward in the pursuit of magic and women who have the ability are “sold off” to be able to produce more magical children. Once women marry they are put into collars until their husbands let them out. Which usually only happens after they are no longer able to produce children. This is portrayed as a for their own protection move.

Okay now that I have that boiled down to what sounds like a huge gripe let me tell you that I really enjoyed this story. I loved watching these girls (Beatrice and Ysbeta) take charge of their futures and not letting someone else decide what they are meant for. I love watching strong female characters take charge.

Yes, this story does have some instalove, however, I have to think that Ianthe liked/appreciate that Beatrice did not hold back and pretend to be the perfect debutante with him. When asked she told him what she wanted even though it could have had her collared before her marriage and I think that on some level he loved that part of her.

One character that I could not stand was Beatrice’s father. There was something at the beginning of the story that gave me a weird vibe about him and it just got worse as the story went on. He did not deserve the family that he had. But that is just my opinion.

All in all, I really enjoyed this story and I wouldn’t mind a spinoff to see what Ysbeta has been up to.

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden

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 Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden
(Proper Romance Victorian #2)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery
Expected Publication: November 3, 2020

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A gentleman scribes penny dreadful novels by night and falls in love with a woman who is a music teacher by day—and a thief at night.

LONDON 1865

From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he’s smitten. Even though he’s from a wealthy, established family and she isn’t, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.

Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father’s successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the “Phantom Fox.” She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.

When Hollis’s brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.

When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?

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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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