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Showing posts from March, 2013

Book Blast for January Justice by Athol Dickson

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Synopsis: Reeling from his wife's unsolved murder, Malcolm Cutter is just going through the motions as a chauffeur and bodyguard for Hollywood's rich and famous. Then a pair of Guatemalan tough guys offer him a job. It's an open question whether they're patriotic revolutionaries or vicious terrorists. Either way, Cutter doesn't much care until he gets a bomb through his window, a gangland beating on the streets of L.A., and three bullets in the chest. Now there's another murder on Cutter's Mind. His own.
Excerpt: ONE OF THE STRANGEST THINGS ABOUT THE CITY was the sudden way it disappeared around the edges. One minute you were down on Sunset Boulevard surrounded by glass and concrete, and the next thing you knew you were up on Mulholland Drive, alone in the rough country. From a high window or a rooftop almost anywhere in Los Angeles you could see the mountains, and there was always something ravenous up there looking down.
I was up among the …

Review: The Chalice, A Novel by Nancy Bilyeau

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Title: The Chalice
Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Publisher: Touchstone, Simon and Schuster 5 March 2013
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Tudor History, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Tours, Historical Mystery Fiction, England, Religious Persecution, Conspiracy, Reformation, Romance.
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 512
Rating: 4 Stars

Summary:
Joanna Stafford was taken to live at an abbey when she was age 17. Her Spanish born mother had been maid of honor to Katherine of Aragon when she came to England. Joanna's father was from an English titled aristocratic family. Joanna had a meeting with the Holy Maid of Kent, Sister Elizabeth Barton. Sister Elizabeth has a mysterious talent that Joanna's mother had hoped could help Joanna's depression. This meeting made Joanna "uneasy" and "uncomfortable". Sister Elizabeth's conversation with Joanna is the beginnings of a building plot on Henry VIII. Joanna will be tested and pushed to the limit both physical…

Review: Owain Glyndwr, The Story of the Last Prince of Wales by Terry Breverton

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Title: Owain Glyndwr, The Story of the Last Prince of Wales
Author: Terry Breverton
Publisher: In August 2009 Amberley Publishing LTD
Genre: Non-Fiction
Labels: Welsh History
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 288 total, with 32 Color Illustrations
Rating: 4 Stars
Author Terry Breverton begins with English and Welsh history from 1066 to 1378. Then he zeros in on the historical character of Owain Glyndwr. Glyndwr the warrior Prince who raised up an army against the brute injustice of England. Glyndwr who fought for a continuance of an Independent nation of Wales. Glyndwr who became a legend for the people of Wales, and a mighty hero of valor.
Owain Glyndwr's birth has been given in three dates: 1349, 1354, and 1355. "The most accredited date is 28 May 1354". Three major bloodlines were in him. He studied at Oxford or Cambridge, possibly studying law. He married, and had six sons, 7 daughters. When Glyndwr went to war against England, Henry II had taken the throne. The …

Review: The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien Edited by Christopher Tolkien

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Title: The Children of Hurin
Author: JRR Tolkien (1892-1973), Edited by Christopher Tolkien, Illustrations by Alan Lee
Publisher: Houston Mifflin 2007
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Fantasy Fiction, Posthumously
Format: Hardcover
Age: Grade Level of 9th Grade
Pages: 320
Rating: 3 Stars

Summary:
J.R.R. Tolkien began writing The Children of Hurin after World War I. He never finished it. His son Christopher Tolkien finished the story publishing it in 2007.
The story centers on the children of Hurin and his wife Morwen. A son named Turin (primary character), and two daughters Urwen (named Lalaith meaning laughter) and Nienor (meaning mourning). Hurin is Lord of Dor-lomin. Early in the story a curse was placed on Hurin and his "offspring....and then he was bound and could not move from that place, nor die, until Morgoth should release him." King Morgoth (the black enemy) is mortal but very evil. When Turin is older his mother encourages him to leave in order to hopefully escape the cur…

Review: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Title: Treasure Island
Author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
Publisher: Penguin Classics 1999, First published in book form 1883.
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Classic Literature, Classic Children Literature, Sea Adventure, 18th Century
Age: Young Adult
Pages: 224
Rating: 3 Stars
Summary:
Jim Hawkins is a young teenage boy who after the death of his father leaves his mother in England for a sea adventure and treasure hunt. His parents own an inn named Admiral Benbow. An "old sea-dog" stayed there and after his death, Jim and his mother searched his old sea chest for money owed them for his stay. Instead a  map is found. Jim secures a job aboard a ship named Hispaniola as a cabin boy, it also gives him transportation to Treasure Island. On this ship he sails with Dr. Livesey, Long John Silver and his parrot, Captain Smollett, and Squire Trelawney. His adventure is heightened when he hears of a mutiny.
Jim is "a lad of spirit". He is brave, wise for his age, responsib…

Review: Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent

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Title: Lady of Ashes
Author: Christine Trent
Publisher: Kensington Books 26 February 2013
Genre: Fiction
Labels: 19th Century, Victorian Period, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Tours, Historical Mystery Fiction, Civil War in America, Undertaker, Royalty, England.
Format: Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 384
Rating: 5 Stars
Summary:
Violet and her husband Graham Morgan have an undertaking business in London, England. When the story begins they've been married seven years and do not have children. Violet is a career woman in a culture where women were supposed to be the caretaker of a home, instead Violet is an undertaker for the deceased and grieving families. Graham and his brother Fletcher are a conniving duo in a business venture of their own which brings in another plot. Meanwhile, Violet notices unusual markings on two cadaver's she must prepare for a funeral. She is suspicious, could their deaths have been pre-meditated?

My Thoughts:
1. Graham is a ne…

Review: The Red Queen, The Cousins' War Book Two by Philippa Gregory

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Title: The Red Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Touchstone, Simon and Schuster June 2011
Genre: Fiction
Labels: British Monarchy, British History, The Red Rose of the Lancaster's, 15th Century, England, Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 432
Rating: 4 Stars

Summary:
The main character and narrator of the story is Margaret Beaufort, born 1441 or 1443 and died 1509. 

When the book begins Margaret Beaufort is nine years old. Her infamous father is dead. Her unaffectionate mother arranges a marriage between Margaret and an older Edmund Tudor. The Tudor brothers Edmund and Jasper live in remote Wales. When Margaret is twelve she is sent to live with Edmund. Marriage is difficult for pious Margaret, she would have rather lived in an Abbey. The sex act is atrocious and painful for her. The horrifying act does produce a son, the future Henry VII. From the beginning of The Red Queen, even at a young age Margaret felt she was destined for something great. She …