Wednesday, April 16, 2014

France Book Tours First Anniversary Celebration

France Book Tours Banner 1st anniversary

France Book Tours is celebrating

its first anniversary
on April 18!

France Book Tours has been thrilled to present amazing books related to France for a year.
To thank the authors who submitted their books and the bloggers who read and reviewed them, France Book Tours organizes a mega giveaway from April 18-25!
Depending on the number of entries in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this page, they may give away up to 10 books, so spread the word!
The winners will be chosen on April 26.

Here are all the books available to win! Click on each cover to know more about it.

Please note what format the book is available in.
Note also that some books are only available for US/Canada residents.
If nothing is specified, it means you can receive the ebook or the print copy where ever you live.

Historical fiction

Spirit of Lost Angels Wolfsangel_CoverFinal Becoming Josephine

Spirit of Angels = print + ecopy
Wolfsangel = print + ecopy
Becoming Josephine = print for US/Canada only
Unravelled Ambitious Madame Bonap

Unravelled = print
The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte = print for US/Canada only


The Paris Lawyer The Mona Lisa Speaks

The Paris Lawyer = print for US/Canada only + ecopy
The Mona Lisa Speaks = print for US/Canada only + ecopy


I see London cover Paris Rue des Martyrs - cover final

I See London I See France = print for US/Canada only
Paris, Rue Des Martyrs = ecopy


The Paris Game Moonlight & LoveSongs City of Jasmine

The Paris Game = ebook
Moonlight & Love Songs = ebook
City of Jasmine = signed print copy for US/Canada only
Promise of Provence
The Promise of Provence = ecopy

Nonfiction - memoir

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl - cover
Confessions of a Paris Party Girl = ecopy



April 23 at 5pm Central Time


Spread the word!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon April 26, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon is scheduled for Saturday, April 26. For more information the link is
@ Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon.
This is my 7th year in blogging and reviewing, but this is the first time to participate in a read-a-thon.
I doubt I'll stay up the entire 24 hours, but I do plan to pace myself during the event in order to read as many books as possible.
During the event, which for my time zone begins at 0700 April 26, I will read and post about how the read-a-thon is going for me. I'll also visit other bloggers who are taking part in this challenge.
The link at the end of this paragraph will take you to the history of how the read-a-thon began. A reader and blogger named Dewey, the author of a blog entitled The Hidden Side of the Leaf (no longer valid), began the read-a-thon in 2007. Link for more information: History of read-a-thon. 
               Join us!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

[Review] In Bed With The Tudors: The Sex lives of a dynasty from Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I by Amy Licence

Title: In Bed With The Tudors: The sex lives of a dynasty from Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I
Author: Amy Licence
Publisher: Amberley March 2014
Genre: 1400s, 1500s, England, Tudor History, House of Tudor, Kings and Queens of England
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256, with 35 illustrations
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Free copy from Amberley for the purpose of review.

Link @ Amazon: In Bed With The Tudors. Paperback $13.05. Kindle $9.99.

Link @ Amberley for more information: In Bed With The Tudors.

Henry VII
Henry VIII
Beginning with Elizabeth of York and Arthur's birth, through to Henry VIII's wives and mistresses, and ending with Mary and Elizabeth. Amy Licence has written a fresh, candid, and intriguing view, of the private nature of the Tudor family.
In Bed With The Tudors, is not a study of the sexual habits of the Tudor family; instead, it is a study of their: pregnancies, midwifery, infant care, diseases, infertility, post delivery customs, conception beliefs, religious practices, birthing, superstitions, miscarriages, myths, and illegitimacy.

My Thoughts:
There are several reasons why I gave this splendid book 5 Stars for excellent.
1. Licence's knowledge of the Tudor era. Throughout the book I was fascinated by the depth of information on aspects of culture and society.
Some examples:
A. I was not aware of the superstitions pertaining to how conception occurs. "The female body, considered to be a poor shadow or imperfectly formed version of its male counterpart, could only conceive if orgasm took place, during which a female 'seed' was emitted to mix with that of the male" Page 25-26.
B. The birth "cord" was thought to have "magical qualities of protection." Page 49.
C. Prayers to the saints during the labor process.
2.  I was given strong insight into the lives of Elizabeth of York and Catherine of Aragon. Both of these women spent much of their marriages pregnant. As soon as a baby was born, the next pregnancy was soon in process.
3. "Double standard" of how men sought and had affairs, but their wives were to remain bedded to them. During the time when a woman was pregnant, the sexual act was not performed between husband and wife, thus the husband sought a willing female to take care of his business.
4. The possibility of Henry VIII's children born to his mistresses. Licence shows pros and cons to this theory.
5. Jane Seymour, the wife who gave Henry an heir. Jane has been a mystery to me thus far. I've read a small amount of information on her, the emphasis being on the baby boy she brought forth from her womb. In Bed With The Tudors, has given me a new look at Henry's wife number three.
6. Mary Queen of Scots is included in the book. She is one of my favorite historical figures. I never tire of reading about her.
Edward VI

Monday, April 14, 2014

[Review] Children of the Revolution by Peter Robinson

Title: Children of the Revolution: An Inspector Banks Novel #21
Author: Peter Robinson
Publisher: William Morrow March 25, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Detective, Murder Mystery, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks, England
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Rating: 3 Stars for Good
Source: Free copy from William Morrow in exchange for a review.

Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is summoned to the crime scene of an "emaciated old man". The body was found near a "disused railway track" and the "Yorkshire Dales National Park". The dead man is Gavin Miller. He was a college teacher until forced to retire early. Miller's history was being apart of the early 1970s culture of: drugs, Marxist and other radical ideologies, and rock n roll (Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix).
Banks interviews friends who knew Miller during the early 1970s, feeling that somehow Miller's past has caught up to him.

My Thoughts:
This is the second novel in the Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks series. The previous book read and reviewed was Watching the Dark.
I had a hard time becoming apart of this story until half-way through the novel. The later half grew on me, and I felt the mystery and solving of crime ended well.
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks is a character who is impeccable in his detective work. He is sober-minded, knowledgeable, wise, composed among a gruesome scene. I'm aware a detective needs these qualities, but he is human. His humanity shows in small clips for the reader, Banks is lonely at times and he misses having family nearby.
I felt little sympathy for the victim (this sounds terrible of me). The only character who I did like is Banks. All the other characters are light-weights.

CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION is available now at Amazon | B&N  IndieBound 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 10, 2014

[Review] Anne Neville Richard III's Tragic Queen by Amy Licence

Title: Anne Neville Richard III's Tragic Queen
Author: Amy Licence
Publisher: Amberley December 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, Richard III, Anne Neville, House of York, House of Lancaster, House of Plantagenet, House of Neville, England, 1400s.
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 256, 30 illustrations-10 in color
Rating: 4 Stars Very Good
Source: Free copy from Amberley in exchange for a review.

Anne Neville, born 1456, the youngest daughter of Earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker, and Anne de Beauchamp. The eldest daughter Isabel, born 1451.
As a young girl, Anne, married Henry VI's, and Margaret of Anjou's, son and heir, Edward of Westminster. Their marriage was brief. After the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, Anne was left a vulnerable widow. Her marriage to Richard III, has been debated. Why did she marry Richard? Was she aware of his political decisions? Did she know of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the princes in the Tower?
Amy Licence's aim is to pull away the layers of "hear-say" and "legend" and piece together the real Anne Neville. The mission is difficult, because so few facts are known of Anne. The people surrounding her, historical events, culture and society, and the dynamics of her family, are all explored.

My Thoughts:
The Earl of Warwick, was a powerful man. His strong character jumps off the pages of any book involving his history. His wife and daughters seem to trail behind him in wake of his shadow. I've often wondered if his daughters had even a bit of his character in them, if so, then they were people of strong character. Because, so little information is known of Anne, or her sister Isabel, in regards to their personality and voice, much of the book, Anne Neville Richard III's Tragic Queen, is pieced together using the family histories and events surrounding both the Neville, Lancaster, and York families. I'm not sure many of us realize, our lives are often the result of other people's decisions and life events, resulting in our need to act or react. It was the same for people of history, and even more so for women, who lived in an age where their voice counted little. Females were for political and family alliances, they were for breeding children (sons), and for the pleasure of men.
Anne Neville Richard III's Tragic Queen, is a historical book, which gives a well-rounded view of the events during the era of the later half of Henry VI reign, through to Edward IV, Richard III, and the family of Neville. The book ends with a reflection on Anne, Richard III's death and later discovery of his bones, and Henry Tudor's entrance.
Anne Neville Richard III's Tragic Queen, is a perfect beginning point for people wanting to read about this historical period, because the book touches on all areas.
I love Amy Licence's approach in sharing both myths and facts.
William Shakespeare's tragedy-play Richard III is referenced often in the book. I've not read this play.....yet.
I enjoyed reading about how children were cared for from infancy on-wards, in regards to the "household staff" of young Edward, the son of Anne and Richard.
Kindle edition $9.99

Further links on Anne Neville:
Anne Neville, Queen of England-from-Shakespeare and History
Family of Richard III-from-Richard III Society
Anne's History

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