Wednesday, September 28, 2016

(Review) The Black Country: A Novel of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad Book 2 by Alex Grecian

Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Genre: Murder Mystery, Scotland Yard
Pages: 384
Source: Self purchase
Rating: 2 stars for okay


Scotland Yard Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith are sent to investigate the disappearance of a young boy and his parents. The village is a coal mining area in the midlands. The people are private and appear to be afraid of sharing information. At least 100 people become sick. At first, the water is suspected. The surviving members of the missing family are non-compliant, but as the story unravels the story takes on an even odder atmosphere.
The story also reflects on the memories of a character who fought in the American Civil War.

My Thoughts:
I feel over-all the story fell flat. The story became heavy with too many strong elements. This is a difficult review to write, not because I have given this book 2 stars for okay, but because I do not want to give away important facts of the story. Forgive me if I fail.

  • A family in crisis. There is neglect, a breakdown in family dynamics, ignorance, fear, jealousy, and abuse. The result left me breathless and disturbed. This is not a clean mystery that will end well with the solving. 
  • The American Civil War.
  • PTSD. 
  • Vengeance.
  • The environment of the village is spooky. The inhabitants are odd. The ground itself is moving and falling in-the people continue on as if this is normal. 
Sometimes a story can be so busy that it just doesn't work. My mind is constantly soaking in the current element, then another element just as pronounced takes my attention away and I'm left wondering what is going on. Some readers may enjoy this multi-faceted busy story, but I did not. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

(Review) Death At The Paris Exposition, An Emily Cabot Mystery Number 6 by Frances McNamara

Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Publisher: Allium Press 
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Pages: 276
Source: Free paperback copy from Frances McNamara in exchange for a review. 
Rating: 5 stars for excellent 


About The Author: 
Frances McNamara grew up in Boston, where her father served as Police Commissioner for ten years. She has degrees from Mount Holyoke and Simmons Colleges, and formerly worked as a librarian at the University of Chicago. When not working or writing she can be found sailing on the Charles River in Boston or beaching on Cape Cod.
For more information please visit Frances McNamara’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.
Sign up for Frances McNamara Newsletter to receive notification of new books and events.

Amateur sleuth Emily Cabot’s journey once again takes her to a world’s fair–the Paris Exposition of 1900. Chicago socialite Bertha Palmer is named the only female U. S. commissioner to the Exposition and enlists Emily’s services as her secretary. Their visit to the House of Worth for the fitting of a couture gown is interrupted by the theft of Mrs. Palmer’s famous pearl necklace. Before that crime can be solved, several young women meet untimely deaths and a member of the Palmer’s inner circle is accused of the crimes. As Emily races to clear the family name she encounters jealous society ladies, American heiresses seeking titled European husbands, and more luscious gowns and priceless jewels. Along the way, she takes refuge from the tumult at the country estate of Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt. In between her work and sleuthing, she is able to share the Art Nouveau delights of the Exposition, and the enduring pleasures of the City of Light with her family.

My Thoughts:
Several reasons I love Death At The Paris Exposition:

  • Death At The Paris Exposition strongly depicts society, culture, and standards of 1900. In addition, views on divorce, clothing styles, etiquette, matchmaking, travel, parenting, and marriage is shown.  
  • The socio-economic class is depicted through the different levels of society, from the wealthy class, to moderate level, and to the servant. I saw a broad view of people living in 1900. 
  • Emily Cabot and her family travel to Paris for the Exposition. Through Emily's eyes I viewed Paris. What was most interesting is the Art Noveau present in the architecture of buildings, paintings, and other art work. Art Noveau is one of my favorite art styles.  
  • Impressionism was an art movement that began in the late 1800s. Mary Cassatt is a secondary character in the book. She is one of my favorite artists. 
  • Emily Cabot, and her husband, Dr. Stephen Cabot are intellectuals. They both have careers. Emily's husband does not seem to mind her activity in solving a murder mystery. He is an active father. He gives Emily the freedom to make decisions and have a little independence. I don't feel this was the norm for 1900. However, I enjoyed reading about characters who were not the typical married couple presented by most books for this era. I felt this gave the book a unique perspective. I believe they are a couple ahead of their time. 
  • The detective murder mystery is a cozy mystery. There isn't graphic violence. The book is a clean read. 
  • The book is also a character study. People of differing levels of society, how they handle problems in life, and the repercussions of poor decisions. 

Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday, September 5
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Spotlight at A Bookaholic Swede
Tuesday, September 6
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Wednesday, September 7
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, September 8
Spotlight at What is That Book About
Friday, September 9
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Sunday, September 11
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Tuesday, September 13
Spotlight at To Read, or Not to Read
Wednesday, September 14
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Thursday, September 15
Review at Impressions In Ink
Friday, September 16
Guest Post and Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Giveaway:  To win a paperback copy of Death at the Paris Exposition, please enter via the Gleam form below. 2 copies are up for grabs! Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 16th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US addresses only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Embed Code: Paris Exposition

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

(Review) Time and Regret by M.K. Tod

 Time And Regret   

Publication Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union
Genre: Historical mystery
ISBN: 978-1503938403
Pages: 366
Source: Free copy from M.K.Tod in exchange for a review
Rating: 4 stars for very good
on Amazon
Author’s page

When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his past—and to long-buried family secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determined to solve her grandfather’s puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French man—and suddenly aware that someone is following her… Through her grandfather’s vivid writing and Grace’s own travels, a picture emerges of a man very unlike the one who raised her: one who watched countless friends and loved ones die horrifically in battle; one who lived a life of regret. But her grandfather wasn’t the only one harboring secrets, and the more Grace learns about her family, the less she thinks she can trust them.


Time And Regret MK Tod Time and Regret is M.K. Tod’s third novel. She began writing in 2005 while living as an expat in Hong Kong. What started as an interest in her grandparents’ lives turned into a full-time occupation writing historical fiction. Her novel Unravelled was awarded Indie Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society. In addition to writing historical novels, she blogs about reading and writing historical fiction at, reviews books for the Historical Novel Society and the Washington Independent Review of Books, and has conducted three highly respected reader surveys. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and is the mother of two adult children. Please visit her website and her blog A Writer of History Subscribe to her mailing list or contact her at mktod [at] bell [dot] net Follow her on Facebook and Twitter on Goodreads and Pinterest Buy the book (print, ebook audiobook): Amazon


You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.

Enter here

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] Global giveaway open internationally: 5 winners will receive a print copy of this book.



Time And Regret Banner

Book Tour: Time and Regret

My Thoughts:
I love the story,Time and Regret. It is a blend of a granddaughter's search for her grandfather's World War I experience and her own search in a new life experience. In researching her grandfather's life, Grace comes to understand her own life in a new and meaningful way.
Time and Regret is also a travel log. Grace travels through northern France and Belgium. Through her lens and taste-bud, I too experienced delicious food and the beautiful sites.
Grace has endured a dramatic change in life. Instead of wallowing in pity, she takes a chance and this alters her life.
Grace is a likable person. She is not eccentric or quirky. She is a person all women can in some way relate to. She is admirable in not falling apart after a sudden change in midlife. She is admirable in being independent and adventurous in traveling alone to foreign countries. She is admirable and brave to uncover the story of her grandfather's life.
The mystery of the novel is a little predictable, narrowing down the small amount of characters, as well as the behavior of characters, I had at least decided who had something to hide.
The last few paragraphs of the story, on page 349, is beautiful. It is wise advice for all of us.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

(Review) The Last Relicuin: History Never Surrenders by Hargus Montgomery

Publication Date: September 22, 2013
Publisher: Kerius Pye Series LLC
Genre: Historical fiction, mystery, dystopian
Pages: 526
Source: Free copy from Hargus Montgomery
Rating: 5 stars for excellent


Hargus Montgomery website

About the Author:

Hargus Montgomery is the author of The Last Relicuin, and The Seventeenth Pocket, part of the Kerious Pye series.

In the 22nd century, part of the world returns to history. Safe inside the guarded borders of live-in museums, museum dwellers live authentic lifestyles from prehistory to the twentieth century. Separate from all modern influences, some dwellers forget that a modern world exists outside the borders.
When the son of a prominent anti-museum Senator marries a museum dweller, the young couple becomes the target of a worldwide struggle between the past and the future.
Crossing borders into the 12th, 18th and 20th centuries, The Last Relicuin unravels a mystery that pursues one family through three different periods of history.

My Thoughts:
In order to clarify the story. When I read the phrase, "returns to history," I thought they'd traveled back in time to a historical period. What this story is about, is people who study history and they live as museum dwellers in a particular historical period. There is no time travel. There are only people who have studied history, in order to live in the historical period of their choice. They do not want to live in the 22nd century. They prefer the past because it is authentic. 

Several elements are swirling in the story.

  • Political thriller 
  • A people study
  • Romance
  • Family saga
  • Dystopia-An imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. The Last Relicuin has both the totalitarian and environmental examples. Definition from the "Oxford Pocket American Dictionary." 
  • Mystery
One of the most fascinating angles of the story is people living in 22nd century have dulled senses. Touch, sight, and smell have been diminished or withdrawn from society. We take for granted a normal human response of a sneeze or cough. Further, we touch and smell other humans. In this 22nd century society, people do not touch and thus there has been a rejection of normal human living. 
Sex is virtual. Displays of affection between family members are not done. Life is sanitary, sterile, and gray. I can picture in my mind a society of people who do not smile. Because if the senses are gone, and there is no affection and no touching and no sex. People have become joyless mobile mannequins. 
The next step in a society where people do not show love and affection, is a society where family members are unloving period. People are stiff, selfish, uncharitable; and a great loss has occurred-the qualities of being a human have been removed. This is cataclysmic. This also makes for a great story-line, because it makes the reader ponder "what if?"
The Last Relicuin is a strong study of people. And the dystopian element brings the reader to ask, "what if this really did happen?" I love thinking books. Books where there is a perplexing situation leading me to ask, "what would I do?"
The political angle of the story is not a far off kilter from our age. These are men and women who will do anything to keep their power and advance power. They want to be the god of their age.
I've learned a dystopian story has twists and is not a happy end-all story. Yes, there were moments when I did not like how the story unfolded. Yes, there were moments when I did not like the diminish of characters. This does not take away from the quality of the story. It does give it an edge. It does stay true to the dystopian element.
I loved reading The Last Relicuin. I became heavily involved from the first page!

Blog Tour Schedule:
Monday, August 15
Review at Diana’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 17
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Friday, August 19
Review at Reading Is My SuperPower
Monday, August 22
Review at Book Nerd
Tuesday, August 23
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Thursday, August 25
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Monday, August 29
Review at Creating Herstory
Tuesday, August 30
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Thursday, September 1
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 1st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US, UK, and Canada addresses only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Last Relicuin

Thursday, August 25, 2016

(Review) A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain by Marc Morris

Publication Date: 2008
Publisher: Windmill Books
Genre: Nonfiction, British History, British Monarchy, Edward I
Pages: 462
Source: Self-purchase
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

Link for more information at the publisher: A Great and Terrible King


At Amazon, there are two books available primarily on Edward I: A Great and Terrible King and Edward I (The Monarch Series) by Michael Prestwich.

Edward I, the son of Henry III, and Eleanor of Provence, was born in 1239. Edward succeeded the throne in 1272. His first wife was Eleanor of Castile, and they had possibly as many as 16 children. His second wife was Marguerite of France, and he fathered three children. Edward I died in 1307.
A Great and Terrible King begins in 1239, with Henry III and Eleanor, the parents of Edward I. She was a young girl when they married, no children followed for three years. Edward was their first child. Edward was a decisive man and king: he responded quickly to rebels in England, he went on a crusade in 1270, with a vengeance he took over authority of Wales, and he sought control over Scotland.

Several links for further reading on Edward I:
BBC History
English Monarchs
Education Scotland 

A Great and Terrible King has 29 illustrations, both black and white, and color.

A lengthy section for notes, bibliography, and the family tree. The lists are prime and secondary sources. From page 379 to 462 is the research information. The book itself ends on page 378. A brief preface in included, which begins the book by examining the mix-up of the kings named Edward.
Morris remarked there is sufficient historical documentation during the 1200s from monks. The National Archives holds this information.
Search results for Edward I @ The National Archives. 

My Thoughts: 
Even though there were places in the book where the reading was dry, I cannot help but give A Great and Terrible King 5 stars for excellent. The research is outstanding, and Marc Morris caught my interest from the first page until the last page (index).
When I read a historical biography, I ask: do I understand the person? Do I understand what their personality was like? Their victories and defeats? Do I see multiple sides of their personality? I knew little of Edward I when I began reading, now I feel a solid grasp of the man and king.
Lastly, I enjoyed reading about Edward and his marriage; however, I did not enjoy reading about his aggression against Wales and Scotland.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

(Review) Bloodline, Wars of the Roses Book #3 by Conn Iggulden

Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons-Penguin 
Genre: Historical fiction, The Wars of the Roses, Edward IV
Pages: 432
Source: Free copy from G.P Putnam's Sons in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

Link for more info @ the publisher: Penguin. 


Edward of York had declared himself king of England in early March 1461. The Towton battle was in late March. The Battle of Towton was a Yorkist victory. Margaret of Anjou and her Lancaster army had been defeated. The previous King, pious Henry, is not capable of leadership and war. Henry is interested in confession of sin and prayer. Henry's wife, Margaret, is a woman of action. She does not sit idle waiting for her family to crumble. Bloodline, follows the period after Edward of York becomes Edward IV of England. The book examines his marriage, the Earl of Warwick's shock and counter maneuver at Edward's independence, and the rise of the Woodville family.

My Thoughts: 
Several reasons led me to give Bloodline 5 stars for excellent:

  • Marvelous scene descriptions. 
  • Preparation and the act of battle itself. This includes the weapons used, the various combat roles, injuries, and the madness of war. 
  • Elizabeth of Woodville's womanly charms to redirect or entice Edward IV. He is a man of strength; however, she "knows" how to seduce him to her will. This point I found interesting because of the strong characters of these two people. I felt like a fly-on-the-wall hovering over their conversations. I found it fascinating to pick apart their psyche. 
  • This is one of the first books on this subject where I actually felt sorry for Warwick. Iggulden digs deep into his characters composition in order to show the reader various aspects of their personalities and their reasoning behind choices. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

(Review) Rebel of Ross by Mary Lancaster

Publication Date: July 31, 2016
Publisher: Mary Lancaster
Genre: Historical Fiction, Scotland
Pages: 340
Source: Free ebook copy from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

Link for the tour: Rebel of Ross @ HFVBT

To read an excerpt: Rebel of Ross


Scotland, 1156.
Malcolm MacHeth, one time Earl of Ross, languishes as a prisoner in Roxburgh Castle, while his sons raise rebellion in his name. Optimistically, the King of Scots, promises the earldom of Ross to landless Norman knight, Sir William de Lanson, if he can somehow defeat the infamous MacHeths.
It wasn’t quite how William’s disgraced wife Christian dreamed of coming home. Captured by the strange and ferocious Adam MacHeth was hardly part of her plan either, although she and William quickly become pawns in his.
Adam, warrior and seer, fights for his father’s freedom and his family’s right to claim the kingdom of the Scots. Plagued by waking dreams which threaten his sanity and life, he’s learned to use his prophecies to further his family’s goals. But when he abducts his enemy’s lady, his dreams and desires are suddenly more personal.
Surrounded by intrigue, ambition and betrayal, Christian must choose between loyalty and love, in order to keep a fragile peace for her people and for the man she loves beyond all reason.

My Thoughts: 
I love reading British history, especially English, Scottish, and Welsh. Primarily because I have a great love for this history and because this is my ancestry. 

There was a Somerled. He lived in 12th century Scotland. His DNA is primarily of Norse, but also Gaelic ancestry. 
To read further information: Somerled, Undiscovered Scotland.  
There was also a 12th century Adam macDomnaill, and counted as one of the MacHeths (reminds me a little of MacBeth.) I found only one link with a scant amount of info on him. 
To read further information on Adam MacDomnaill: Wikipedia. 

Rebel of Ross is Adam MacHeth. He is an interesting character, besides being a warrior, he has the ability to see things: past, present, and future. He is a seer. The people close to him know of his special ability, but he is uncomfortable in the attention the gift brings. He does not use this ability for evil purposes. It is an ability he does not quite understand himself. This brings a mystery element to the story. Since Adam nor the secondary characters do not fully understand his ability, then the reader does not understand. He experiences visions and I am given a veiled explanation of what he sees. I'm anxious to read more about Adam's ability in book two (to be published later in 2016.)
Adam MacHeth is a dangerous looking and acting individual. On the other hand, the people he loves and the men who fight with him, he is seen as a committed and devoted person. He is handsome, secretive, mysterious, rugged, determined, and loyal. However, through Mary Lancaster, I am shown Adam's tender and passionate side.
Christian is a damsel in distress; however, she is not a complete victim and out of control character. She has a way of showing who is in charge, but in a ladylike fashion. She is a person who has compassion and interest in people. It does not matter if the in-need person is beneath her in society, she is patient, gentle, and compassionate. I find this to be another character who showed me two sides of their personality. Further, Christian has an imperfection. All humans have imperfections, some are outward and some inward. Through Rebel of Ross, I came to understand Christian's inward beauty. and its outward reflection. She is a person who glows with strength, grace, and beauty.
Somerled is the uncle of Adam, related through Adam's mother.
The narrative pace of the story is at times quick when there is a battle, or slows down as when Adam and Christian have an encounter. I believe it is the scenes and dialogue of Adam and Christian that gave me the most pleasure. Their story enticed me and kept me reading until the last page.
The history of this period, 12th century Scotland, is the battle for power from opposing factions. The Scottish people versus Norman English. For the Scottish people, controlling and protecting their homeland against the English is a matter of life and death. It is their way of life.
I loved Rebel of Ross. I am anxious to read part two in the continuing saga of Adam and Christian!

Scottish Battle Music:

About The Author:
Mary Lancaster’s first love was historical fiction. Since then she has grown to love coffee, chocolate, red wine and black and white films – simultaneously where possible. She hates housework.
As a direct consequence of the first love, she studied history at St. Andrews University, after which she worked variously as editorial assistant, researcher and librarian. Although she has always written stories for her own entertainment, she began to make serious efforts toward publication in order to distract herself from a job she disliked. She now writes full time at her seaside home in Scotland, which she shares with her husband and three children.
Mary is the author of three historical novels:
An Endless Exile – the story of Hereward, 11th century outlaw hero
A World to Win – a Scottish governess finds love in revolutionary Hungary
A Prince to be Feared: the love story of Vlad Dracula
Mary loves to hear from readers. You can email her at, and connect on Facebook. Find out more about Mary and her books at

Blog Tour Schedule:
Monday, August 8
Review at A Book Drunkard
Tuesday, August 9
Review and Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads
Interview at Books and Benches
Wednesday, August 10
Excerpt at The Reading Queen
Guest Post at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Thursday, August 11
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Guest Post and Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
Friday, August 12
Review at Let Them Read Books
Saturday, August 13
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads
Monday, August 15
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review and Excerpt at Historical Fiction Obsession


To enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card, please see the GLEAM form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 26th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

(Review) A Moment Forever, Liberty Victory Series #1 by Cat Gardiner

Publication Date: June 1, 2016
Publisher: Vanity and Pride Press
Genre: Fiction, Family Saga, Family Secrets, World War II, Romance
Pages: 566
ISBN: 9780997313000
Source: Free copy from Cat Gardiner and Poetic Book Tours in exchange for a review
Rating: 5 stars for excellent

The book is available for free on Kindle Unlimited until August 28. Follow link @ Amazon.

Cat Gardiner's Bio: 
Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation. A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.
She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend USO dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.
She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.
Cat Gardiner's blog and Facebook and Twitter
A Moment Forever's website.
An additional bio Cat Gardiner's 

In the summer of 1992, a young writer is bequeathed the abandoned home of a great-uncle she never knew. The house has a romantic history and is unlike any home she has ever seen. Juliana Martel felt as though she stepped into a time capsule—a snapshot of 1942. The epic romance—and heartache—of the former occupant unfold through reading his wartime letters found in the attic, compelling her on a quest to construct the man. His life, as well as his sweetheart’s, during the Second World War were as mysterious as his disappearance in 1950.
Carrying her own pain inflicted by the abandonment of her mother and unexpected death of her father, Juliana embarks on a journalist’s dream to find her great-uncle and the woman he once loved. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a man whose family is closely related to the secrets, she uncovers the carefully hidden events of her great-uncle’s and others’ lives – and will ultimately change her own with their discovery.
This story of undying love, born amidst the darkest era in modern history, unfolded on the breathtaking Gold Coast of Long Island in 1942. A Jewish, Army Air Forces pilot and an enchanting society debutante—young lovers—deception—and a moment in time that lasted forever.
A Moment Forever is an evocative journey that will resonate with you long after you close the book. Romance, heartache, and the power of love, atonement, and forgiveness transform lives long after the horrors and scars of the Second World War have ended.

My Thoughts: 
I am a big fan of the 1940s. Both of my parents came of age during this period. My dad was a World War II Veteran. Mother shared stories of going to the USO clubs to dance with the military men. Mother worked as an overseas operator for Ma Bell. She spent her paycheck on clothes, make-up, and having fun. Mother was secretive about her romances. My mother was a glamorous beauty and I am sure she left a wake of men. 
When I read a synopsis of A Moment Forever, I knew I had to read this story. I immediately fell in love with the story from the start. 
A Moment Forever is a busy story. There are several plots going on, plus a change in the time period. The story moves back and forth from the 1940s (primarily 1942) to 1992. 
In 1992, Juliana Martel inherits a home in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, NY. She is a writer for a magazine, but yearns to write something of importance. She uncovers a mystery in her family-a missing relative and an epic love story. Other characters in A Moment Forever, plus the war and Nazism, bring about further plots. 
The time shift was easy to keep up with. The chapters did not alternate with a back and forth time change, but sometimes camped out for a few chapters in one time period. 
I cared deeply about the characters, several of them had underlying stories that emerged as the book developed. 
Several surprises in the family history awaited me in the later half of the story. It was then I realized what a super ambitious first novel is A Moment Forever. 
A Moment Forever is a lengthy novel; however, it has a solid pace and kept me reading to the last page.
Lastly, the romantic element in the story brings an epic feel. It is a love story that transcends time. I believe this last element brings the reader a splash of magic. We all yearn to be loved and treasured beyond the restraints of age and life's hardships.

My mother 1943.