Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey.
Augustus Baltazar by Neil Bursnoll
Mark. Enforcer. Just plain old Stu. Augustus Baltazar is a Paranormal Investigator with more skeletons than space in the cupboard. He only has best friend Mike to depend on, until beautiful brunette Jenny threatens to rattle his bones. DI Joe Merrick is on his last life with the Police force, caught between a case he is struggling to solve and a DS with a different opinion. Out of all this, what piece of the puzzle does Mike’s girlfriend Sera hold? And just what are the sinister shadow and the man on fire that haunt them all? Once the fuse is lit, everything changes. This is the first thrilling volume in an ongoing series from emerging author Neil Bursnoll.
Between the Cracks: One Woman’s Journey from Sicily to America by Carmela Cattuti
Join Angela Lanza as she experiences the tumultuous world of early 20th century Sicily and New York. Orphaned by the earthquake and powerful eruption of Mt. Etna in 1908, Angela is raised in the strict confines of an Italian convent. Through various twists of fate, she is married to a young Italian man whom she barely knows, then together with her spouse, immigrates to the U.S. This novel is an invitation to accompany the young Angela as she confronts the ephemeral nature of life on this planet and navigates the wide cultural gaps between pre-World War II Italy and the booming prosperity of dynamic young America. Author, artist, and teacher Carmela Cattuti created Between the Cracks as an homage to her great-aunt, who survived the earthquake and eruption of Mt. Etna and bravely left Sicily to start a new life in America.
Small Favor by Jim Butcher
An old bargain has placed Harry in debt to Mab, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, the Queen of Air and Darkness-and she’s calling in her marker. It’s a small favor he can’t refuse…one that will trap Harry Dresden between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally, and one that will strain his skills- and loyalties-to their very limits.
It figures. Everything was going too well to last…
What are you reading this week?
Why I love Barefoot Books
As you can tell, I’m a complete book nut. I absolutely loves books and reading is a huge part of my life. I don’t think I would keep my insanity if I didn’t have a book handy. I’m hoping to give that passion for reading to my daughters and Barefoot gives me that opportunity. I remember, in 2007, when I was first introduced to Barefoot. I went to a home party and I fell in love! The books were so beautiful. All of the books just popped out at me. I even remember the first books that I bought: Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon, The Prince’s Bedtime, Farmyard Jamboree,Cleo’s Color Book, and Zoe and Her Zebra. From that moment I was completely hooked.
Very shortly after that party, I became a Stallholder (the title before Ambassador). I joined on a whim. I didn’t even tell my husband (probably not the smartest thing). When I received my starter kit, I thought I died and gone to Heaven. I couldn’t wait to share these books with all of the my family and friends. Barefoot Books are so special and unique. You don’t see them at any book store. So, once again, I couldn’t wait to share Barefoot with everyone I knew.
My launch party was a complete success. I loved seeing my guests’ eyes when they first opened a book. Every book is a work of art and everyone appreciated that. I sold a lot of books that day. I, also, booked several parties. It was a great day! From that day on, I had a passion for sharing Barefoot with EVERYONE!
Due to family issues, I had to leave Barefoot in 2010. BUT, in March 2013, my passion returned and a became a Barefoot Ambassador. My passion not only returned, but it has increased tenfold! I’m, now, part of a wonderful Barefoot family. I love the support I receive from my Barefoot mentor, Allison, and all of the members of the Barefoot community. It is truly a community. If I feel little frustrated and discouraged, all I need to do is turn to other Ambassadors and I will get that support I need.
For me, Barefoot is not all about making money; it’s about watching a child when they open his/her first Barefoot Books. I love hearing “Mommy, Mommy can I get this books?” It’s music to my ears. Furthermore, I hear from parents that they have never seen these books before. I love talking to them and telling them the Barefoot story.
Now, I’m doing all kinds of Barefoot events: home parties, fundraisers, craft fairs. I’ve met some amazing people and, of course, I get to share Barefoot. I going to leave you now with one of my favorite Barefoot Singalongs, A Dragon on the Doorstep. Enjoy!!
In a dark age of unending war and violence, one young warrior opposes a mighty king to forge a new path to peace…
During the savage Frankish-Saxon wars, the moving force of his age, Karl der Grosse, King Charlemagne, fights and rules like the pagan enemies he seeks to conquer. But in the long shadow of war and genocide, a spark of enlightenment grows, and the king turns to learned men to help him lead his empire to prosperity.
One of these men is the unlikely young warrior Sebastian. Raised in an isolated fortress on the wild Saxon border, Sebastian balances his time in the training yard with hours teaching himself to read, seeking answers to the great mysteries of life during an age when such pastimes were scorned by fighting men. Sebastian’s unique combination of skills endears him to Charlemagne and to the ladies of the king’s court, though the only woman to hold his heart is forbidden to him. As the king determines to surround himself with men who can both fight and think beyond the fighting, Sebastian becomes one of the privileged few to hold the king’s ear.
But the favor of the king does not come without a cost. As Charlemagne’s vassals grapple for power, there are some who will do anything to see Sebastian fall from grace, including his ruthless cousin Konrad, whose hatred and jealousy threaten to destroy everything Sebastian holds dear. And as Sebastian increasingly finds himself at odds with the king’s brutal methods of domination and vengeance, his ingrained sense of honor and integrity lead him to the edge of treason, perilously pitting himself against the most powerful man of his age.
This fast-paced adventure story brings Charlemagne’s realm to life as the vicious Christian-pagan wars of the eighth century decide the fate of Europe. Filled with action, intrigue, and romance, Sebastian’s Way is a riveting and colorful recreation of the world of Europe’s greatest medieval monarch.
Sebastian’s Way is an inspiring story of a young man’s journey during a time of great violence and ignorance. The story takes place during the early reign of Charlemagne. Life was so hard during that time. War defined a man; not his desire to learn. Sebastian thrived to rise about expectations and live a life he can be proud of.
Mr. Steger has written a very rich and engaging piece of historical fiction. He was able to give the readers a vivid picture of life during the 700s. It was dark and dirty but also full of hope of what could be. Sebastian represented that hope of growth and improvement.
Charlemagne is a larger than life character. He is passionate, intelligent and powerful. At times, he can be very compassionate. He is a great king but with a few flaws; like winning at all costs. However, in the end, he was able to listen and make decisions that benefit everyone; all with Sebastian’s wise counsel.
Sebastian’s Way is a wonderful book that I highly recommend. It is full of historical detail and I loved every page!
A native of Louisiana, the author followed a long tradition of young men from the Deep South by seeking to improve his prospects in the military. From a green second lieutenant in the famed 101st Airborne Division to battalion command in Vietnam, Colonel Steger spent most of the rest of his military career in four European tours as an intelligence officer and Russian foreign area specialist, working on both sides of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. He traded sword for plowshare in a second career in academia and is now Professor Emeritus of history and international affairs at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas. The motivation to write Sebastian’s Way came from his experiences in both war and peace, from fourteen years in Germany and Eastern Europe, and from his love of teaching medieval and other European history courses.
Steger is an avid hiker and trail biker, and much of the story of Sebastian came out of time spent in the woods and fields of eastern Kansas. In memory of Mary Jo, his wife of many years, he and filmmaker son Ben spent a recent summer trekking across Spain on The Camino de Santiago, one of Europe’s oldest pilgrimage trails. He lives and writes in rural Kansas and has four other grown and gifted children.
Monday, January 13 Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, January 14 Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, January 16 Giveaway at Layers of Thought
Tuesday, January 21 Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Wednesday, January 22 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Thursday, January 23 Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Friday, January 24 Giveaway at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Monday, January 27 Review at The Most Happy Reader
Tuesday, January 28 Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie
Wednesday, January 29 Interview & Giveaway at The Most Happy Reader
Friday, January 31 Review at Book Nerd
Monday, February 3 Review at Closed the Cover
Tuesday, February 4 Guest Post at HF Connection
Wednesday, February 5 Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, February 6 Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
I’m so excited to be a part of the The Tenth Saint blog tour. Here is an amazing excerpt! Enjoy and happy reading!
In Chapter Thirty-two, Sarah Weston meets her antagonist: the man who has been trying to silence the prophecy of the tenth saint. Not only is Sandor Hughes the mastermind behind so much evil, he also is the architect of a heinous environmental crime that threatens the very balance of the Earth. Or is he?
The fingers of sunrise were barely touching the sky when Sarah’s captor pulled up to the Gulfstream G-550 parked on the private aviation tarmac at Brussels Airport. Two dark-suited men with coiled wires extending from their ears to the inside of their collars stood at the base of the stairway. One spoke into a microphone on his wrist, announcing the car’s arrival, and the other opened the door and helped Sarah out of the back seat. She shivered as the icy pre-dawn air hit her face. Neither of the guards said anything as they escorted Sarah up the stairs to the cabin of the Gulfstream.
Sarah knew these jets well, but this one was an extraordinary specimen. The interior had been customized to the hilt. Instead of a traditional configuration, the cabin was arranged like a living room with a modern, almost futuristic, sensibility. An elliptical white leather sectional faced a grouping of Lucite tables in various freeform shapes. Abstract art was mounted on the walls that divided the main cabin and the galley. The floor was made of a glossy, ebony stained wood composite, with an intarsia-style inlay of a familiar logo at the center. Before the black leather Eames lounge chair swiveled around, Sarah knew whom she was about to meet.
Sandor Hughes was a man in his eighties, ruddy faced and wearing a barbed grin. His white hair was thicker and wavier than a man his age should be entitled to. His blue eyes were dulled from cataracts but surveyed her with an alertness that betrayed a fierce intelligence. The chairman of Donovan Geodynamics waved his guards away with a pink, puffy hand and spoke in a raspy voice, not with the Texas accent she was expecting but rather with the familiar diction of a northeasterner.
“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Sarah. Please, sit.”
Sarah sat tentatively on the edge of the sofa and waited for him to start the conversation. Her senses were on high alert as she faced the mastermind of all the evil that befell her expedition, a man capable of anything.
Hughes got right to the point. “I know you think you know who I am. The truth is, you’re right. And very, very wrong.”
She looked out the window. A drizzly morning was dawning, and in the gloom the Belgian capital looked older and more tired than usual. She kept quiet as Hughes resumed his narrative.
“Andrew Matakala was a brilliant young man with an education, a Western sensibility, and a whole lot of connections. I hired him to find the tomb and keep the prophecies hidden—nothing more. I had no way of knowing he would become more and more corrupt with every ounce of power he tasted. People have been hurt . . . killed. I never asked for that, never sanctioned it. I am many things, but I am not a murderer. Yet every drop of blood he spilled, I have on my hands.”
“Did you bring me all the way here for a confession?” Sarah snapped. “Or are you just trying to get me out of your way?”
“You know, you and I are more alike than you might want to believe,” he said, his hands shaking as he took a sip of his morning scotch. “When I was your age, before I saw the worst in human nature, I was much more of an idealist. I believed I could change the world . . . just as you do.”
“Don’t presume to know what I believe.” Her tone carried more emotion that she wanted to betray.
“How can I not? You’ve made it amply clear by taking on this quest to vindicate the tenth saint, even if it means gambling everything—your job, your reputation, the respect of your own kin. I admire that kind of conviction, I do. But there are things you don’t understand. You have no idea what’s at stake here. Not everything is as it appears.”
Sarah looked squarely into his opaque blue eyes, bloodshot to match his ruddy complexion. “Oh, I know what’s at stake. I’ve known men like you all my life. Everything is a pawn in your chess game. You need the Alliance’s support to advance Poseidon. And you need Poseidon to make Donovan the biggest provider of alternative energy in the world. So what if there are a few pesky thorns in your side? Just banish them, like all the others.” Her face was now hot with rage. “Where is your conscience, Mr. Hughes? Are you willing to put the earth’s future in jeopardy for your corporate profits?”
“Is that what you think? That I’m doing this for material gain? Because if that’s the case, you’re not as astute as I thought.”
“Then why are you trying to silence the messages of two people who saw with their own eyes an end brought on by exactly such a manipulation of the planet? The beast they spoke of and your Poseidon are one and the same. And yet you simply refuse to allow for such a possibility. It is the height of arrogance.”
He rose with great effort and leaned into a cane. He shuffled over to the bar and poured himself another two fingers of scotch over a single ice cube.
“If you believe the world could be destroyed by an errant algae, you’re absolutely right,” he said.
That took her by surprise. The last thing she was expecting was for him to agree with her.
“Only that algae won’t be Poseidon,” he continued. “What if I was to tell you that forty years from now, the world will be suffering so much from greenhouse gases that a company named Aurora Technologies will introduce a similar product that is far more aggressive and volatile? And that nations, anxious to counter the insidious effects of global warming in the face of vast deforestation, will not scrutinize it or test it adequately? That our leaders, desperate and out of time, will regard that program as the savior and hastily approve it without bothering to verify its stability? And that it will gradually bring about destruction, just as your prophets predicted?”
She was perplexed. Was this a theory? Or a declaration?
“If we continue on our current trajectory of manipulating the earth, Sarah, planetary conditions will deteriorate so rapidly that leaders will be forced to assume great risk to mitigate the damage. That’s why it’s important to go forward with Poseidon before things reach that breaking point. Our years of research have been focused on controlling the growth of the algae so that it does not spread or multiply out of control. We have foreseen every possible scenario—toxic substances, nuclear waste, extreme temperatures, changes in the atmosphere—and have been testing Poseidon against all of them. Our facility is so advanced that we are simulating true oceanic conditions. We are not the bad guys here, Sarah. We want the same things you want—to save the planet from certain ruin. If Poseidon gets voted down, we will hasten that ruin rather than curtail it.”
“So you say. But it’s not enough to make me change my mind. Anyway, it doesn’t matter what I think. The decision rests with the Alliance. It’s in their hands now.”
He coughed nervously and his face turned an ugly shade of magenta. He loosened his shirt collar to catch his breath. “Let me be candid here. I know you know things that could be very . . . damaging. I need your cooperation.”
Sarah stood. She stared him down, her teeth clenched but her thoughts clear. She wasn’t playing his game, damn the consequences. “Why would I want to cooperate with you, after all you’ve done?”
“Because I’m on your side, God damn it,” he thundered. “Yes, there will be a nuclear accident. It will be the most horrific, deadliest meltdown in the history of mankind. The runoff will spill into the oceans and Aurora’s algae will mutate and grow exponentially. There will be nothing anyone can do to stop it. With every additional square foot it occupies, it will consume more carbon dioxide. Before long it will crowd the oceans and cause marine life to die, sinking to the ocean floor and leaving behind a cloud of methane. The algae will eventually sap the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, leaving it with dangerously high levels of oxygen. The intense concentrations of methane will cause fires to erupt, and oxygen will feed their flames. One fire will beget another. And another. And another, until fires rage all over the earth, leaving destruction and death in their wake. And all will be lost.” He looked out the window with misty eyes. “Your prophets are right.”
Sarah froze. A chill raked her skin, and the fine white hairs on her arms stood on end.
“Who are you?” she asked, though she already knew the answer.
About the Author
She is the mother of twin toddlers and, in her spare time, volunteers for causes she believes in—literacy, education, child advocacy, and the advancement of traditional and tribal arts from around the world. Born in Athens, Greece, she now lives with her family in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Monday, January 27 Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Tuesday, January 28 Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, January 30 Excerpt at Kinx’s Book Nook
Friday, January 31 Review at Sir Read-a-Lot
Monday, February 3 Review at Royalty Free Fiction
Tuesday, February 4 Guest Post at Royalty Free Fiction
Written by Neil Gaiman
Published on January 1, 1996
Purchased from Amazon for book club
Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her–and the life he knows vanishes like smoke.
Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won’t stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.
For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discover the cause of her family’s slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door’s entourage in their determined–and possibly fatal–quest.
For the dread journey ever-downward–through bizarre anachronisms and dangerous incongruities, and into dusty corners of stalled time–is Richard’s final hope, his last road back to a “real” world that is growing disturbingly less real by the minute.
Neverwhere is an incredibly intriguing novel written by Neil Gaiman. I have never read anything by Mr. Gaiman and I’m so glad that I started with Neverwhere. His world of London Below is so creative. You can definitely get lost in his dark underworld.
At the center of Neverwhere is Richard Mayhew. He starts out as a typical human in London Above. He has a job, fiancé (who is incredibly plastic) and a flat. All incredibly ordinary and boring. And then he meets Door and his life changes. During his adventures Below, all he wants is to get back to his “normal life”. He sees things that he never thought never existed. He’s frightened beyond all belief. However, he changes. He finds London Below full of life while London Above is devoid of all life. He finds a place Below where he can really live.
I loved Mr. Gaiman’s world of London Below. Everything seemed to center about the Underground. All the different stations and different groups of people are amazing to behold. Everything is so alien but at the same time familiar.
There are so many interesting characters in this book. I loved Door. I loved that she could open anything. She is a very brave character who brings life to Richard and to London Below. The creepiness of Croup and Vandemar reminded me of James Bond villains (Have you ever seen Diamonds are Forever?) All of the different characters really shaped London Below. From Hunter to the Marquis and the Earl to Old Bailey, everyone had their place and fiefdom.
I really enjoyed Neverwhere and I can’t wait to read my next Neil Gaiman book
I had the most amazing time yesterday. I traveling down to Grapevine, Texas for a Barefoot Books workshop. I met some amazing Barefoot ladies and learned so much. We talked about our love for Barefoot, planning and team building. We made lots of personal goals concerning Barefoot Books. We can’t wait to share Barefoot with EVERYONE!!
Living Barefoot is not just reading books; it’s a lifestyle. It’s about creativity, expression, diversity, and sustainability. Through Barefoot, you are able to teach your child so many wonderful life lessons in a fun and caring way. I love taking my kids to different places and with Barefoot you can take a trip everyday! You can go Mexico, Tanzania, Kenya, India, China or other amazing places.
I love being a Barefoot Ambassador. It’s such a fulfilling way to connect with families. I love sharing traditional stories with little children. Their eyes just shine with happiness and wonder! Can you tell that I love Barefoot?!
Did you know that every Barefoot Book is a work of art? Every time I share a book for the first time, I always hear “oooh it’s so pretty!” The illustrations are so vivid and beautiful. Your child will be amazed with every page. Plus, these books will be entertain your child for at least 20 minutes! LOL
Barefoot is an amazing world! You should really take the jump and find out what’s its all about!
** Spoiler Alert**
The following post is all about my thoughts about the third episode of the fourth season. If you have not seen it yet, read at your own risk.
Downton Abbey produced another powerful episode. It began with a house party hosted by Lord Grantham where Downton was to shine once again. However, Matthew’s ghost, class differences, unyielding superiority, and an incredible act of violence prohibited Downton from returning to its glory days.
So many characters have lost their way and don’t know where they belong. Lord Grantham still stubbornly, and embarrassingly, holds on to his old lordly ways. First, he refuses to acknowledge Edith’s beau, Gregson, and then, agrees with Mr. Carson that a very famous opera singer, Nellie Melba, was to eat in her room. All of which was quickly fixed when Ms. Melba sat next to Robert at dinner. He had no idea what to say to her; until she complimented his claret. He seemed totally shocked that she would be conversant in such topics. He certainly has a long way to go before he enters the twentieth century. Gregson, also, had a difficult time with Robert. However, due to Gregson, adeptness at poker was he able to achieve some attention from Robert. It seems Robert lost a good sum to an invited quest that happened to be card shark. In comes Gregson who schooled him on what a card shark is and retrieved all the outstanding IOUs from Robert and other gentlemen at the party. Gregson reluctantly earned Robert’s gratitude and respect. However, we have learned a little more about Gregson. How did he get to be some a card shark? Interesting.
Matthew’s ghost raises his head throughout the Downton party. Lady Mary continues to struggle over the loss of Matthew. She meets a childhood acquaintance in Lord Gillingham who sparks a little bit of her interest. She feels conflicted but she doesn’t discourage the friendship. There is one scene where, I thought, Mary was incredibly self-aware. She told Anna she didn’t know if she was mourning Matthew or the person she was when she was with Matthew. I hope it’s the later and the Mary of old returns. Downton needs her coolness and disdain.
Most of my sympathy went to Isobel. She is deeply grieving for her son. She feels incredibly guilty living any kind of life when her son is gone. However, Violet comes to her aid and convinces her to come her Ms. Melba sing. But, in the end, a mother never gets over the loss of a child. Isobel will be mourning for a long time to come and Violet will be there to keep her going. I’m really enjoying their friendship. They are growing very close; but they are able to have some really snarky conversations.
Tom is truly lost. The Downton party sharply brought to his attention how out of place he feels. He had difficulty dealing with the English nobility that attended the party. He looked like a little lost puppy which Edna wanted to quickly pick up and soothe. She seems to be always creeping around Tom. It will be interesting to see how long she remains Lady Cora’s maid. Hopefully, no too long.
And now for the most painful aspect of this episode….Anna. I tried to stay from all of the UK press regarding Downton Abbey. However, I read several hints about this episode and I’m sad to say I figured out what would happen. The pain and shame of Anna was excruciating to watch. What was even more incredible was how she found a new dress and fixed her hair and presented herself to Mr. Bates and the nasty villain that nothing had happened. However, Anna did confide in one person…Mrs. Hughes. Mrs. Hughes desperately tried to get Anna to tell what happened. Anna refused. She didn’t want Mr. Bates to get in trouble. I think more than that it was the shame she felt. Rape is such a horrific crime; not just physically but mentally as well. When Mr. Bates tried to touch her, she quickly backed away. I’m hoping we didn’t lose the loving and incredibly hopeful Anna. Let’s hope Mrs. Hughes helps her regain her dignity and to help her to heal.
That’s it for episode 3. What did you think?
Written by Yoram Katz
Published on December 27, 2013
Received by the author in exchange for an honest review
In 1270, The Book of Zohar, a foundational book of Kabbalah, is published amidst a controversy. Is it an ancient text or an elaborate forgery? When Crusaders’ Acre fall to the Sultan in 1291, a remarkable chain of events brings two ancient scrolls into the possession of Yaakov Ben Shlomo, a Jewish refugee. In Revolutionary France, 1798, before a young cavalry officer sails with General Bonaparte to the Middle East, he is assigned a secret mission to by his father. In 2006, when Superintendent Yossi Luria of Haifa Police is assigned to handle a homicide of a monk, he is not yet aware that this case is going to change his life and career. Four years later, a young Frenchwoman steps into the office of Luria, by now a disillusioned private detective. Jean de Charney has found a 200-year old letter in the basement of her family’s Normany estate and has come to Israel to pursue an intriguing family mystery. The two quickly find out that the ancient mystery is still claiming lives in the 21st century. Their quest leads them through twists and turns, and acquaints them with the mystical doctrine of Kabbalah. What they discover affecters their personal lives as well as puts commonly accepted truths in a completely new perspective.
The Kabbalist is an interesting book concerning the ties between Judaism, Christianity and Kabbalah. After reading it, I found the book to be a little far-fetched but entertaining. Mr. Katz really pushed the envelope on traditional theological beliefs. Some will appreciate his perspective; however, some will not.
There is a lot of intrigue in this book which is what kept me reading. I really enjoyed the mystery and liked putting all of the puzzle pieces together. I, also, enjoyed how the book jumped to different time periods. It gave the storyline texture and depth.
I did have some difficulty following the explanation of Kabbalah and its connection to Christianity and Judaism. I think my confusion connected me to Jeanne a bit. She wasn’t buying into the connection and the new interpretation of Christian teachings. I felt myself gasping right along with her when certain theories were explained.
The ending had me baffled. It was not what I was expected at all. I guess, that’s a good thing. But I had a difficult time piecing it together. I’m not convinced it resolved the story for me. I was, also, left with an unresolved plot line which makes me think there will be sequel.
If you enjoy mystery, intrigue and a lot of religious this book is for you.
The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012.
Luckily, Billy from The Coffee-Addicted Writer has relaunched the Book Blogger Hop. Each week the hop will start on Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt just like before. The hop’s purpose will remain the same as it will give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.
Q: Are you a book blogger purist? Do you only have book related posts or do you review/post on anything/everything that catches your eye?
A: Until recently I have been a book purist. However, last Monday, I started to post about Downton Abbey. I will keep that up until the end of the season and then I will resume my book activities. Oh, and I also blogged about our Walt Disney Trip from last summer.
The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!
Q: Put together your blogger resolution list for all of us to see!
A: How about just blog more. So often life just gets in the way. I, also, want to blog about books that are on my to be read list. I accept way to many review requests.
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Cool Gus Publishing
Isabella is just twelve years old when she marries Edward II of England. For the young princess it is love at first sight – but Edward has a terrible secret that threatens to tear their marriage – and England apart.
Who is Piers Gaveston – and why is his presence in the king’s court about to plunge England into civil war?
The young queen believes in the love songs of the troubadours and her own exalted destiny – but she finds reality very different. As she grows to a woman in the deadly maelstrom of Edward’s court, she must decide between her husband, her children, even her life – and one breath-taking gamble that will change the course of history.
Does she submit to a lifetime of solitude and a spiritual death – or seize her destiny and take the throne of England for herself?
This is the story of Isabella, the only woman ever to invade England – and win.
I’m always intrigued by powerful historical women of the Middle Ages and that is why I decided to read about Isabella. Before I even started this book, I did a little research because I knew very little of her. Her portrayal in history has not been kind. She has been called a “She-Wolf” and a murderer. This definitely piqued by interest. I decided LONG ago that history very rarely portrays a powerful woman in a good light. And that is way I really enjoy Colin Falconer’s portrayal of Isabella. She is strong, loyal, and good. Not the “she-wolf” history has portrayed her.
Mr. Falconer has written a lovely historical novel about a woman who wants to be loved and be a good Queen and wife. She tries everything in her power to achieve that. She proves to England and English Barons that she is intellect, savvy, and understands what it is to be royal. Her husband and king never understand that and it frustrated her throughout her life as Queen. Mr. Falconer was able to show the despair she felt at being put aside for another. That rejection was a constant source of pain for her. The pain is what led her to make some serious decisions that changed England.
Edward II is adeptly portrayed as a self-absorbed pitiful king. His constant rejection of Isabella is so painful. No wonder she overthrows him to be her son on the throne. Edward had so concept of his role of King. He was a constant thorn to the people of England.
I truly enjoyed Isabella: Braveheart of France. I felt she was portrayed in a very honest light. She was a very strong and intelligent woman of the Middle Ages and I thought Mr. Falconer gave her a real and honest life.
About the Author
Born in London, Colin first trialed as a professional football player in England, and was eventually brought to Australia. He went to Sydney and worked in TV and radio and freelanced for many of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. He has published over twenty novels and his work has so far been translated into 23 languages.
He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz.
His most recent novels are Silk Road, set in the 13th century, and Stigmata, set against the backdrop of the Albigensian Crusade in Southern France in 1209. He currently lives in Barcelona.
HFVBT Tour Dates:
Monday, January 6 Review at Seaside Book Corner
Tuesday, January 7 Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Wednesday, January 8 Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, January 9 Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Friday, January 10 Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, January 13 Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, January 15 Review at Ageless Pages Review
Thursday, January 16 Review at Dee’s Reads
Friday, January 17 Review at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, January 21 Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Wednesday, January 22 Review at The Bookworm
Thursday, January 23 Review & Giveaway at Words & Peace
Friday, January 24 Review at The Most Happy Reader
Tuesday, January 28 Review at Reading the Ages
Friday, January 31 Review at Turning the Pages
Monday, February 3 Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Tuesday, February 4 Review at Historical Fiction Notebook
Wednesday, February 5 Review at Book of Secrets
Thursday, February 6 Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Friday, February 7 Review at Found Between the Covers