Showing posts from September, 2014

Review: Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen by Sara Cockerill

Publisher: Amberley, September 8, 2014 (Kindle copy).
Genre: Non-fiction, British History Reading Challenge 2014, Kings and Queens of England, Eleanor of Castile, Edward I, Henry III.
Format: Hardcover.
Pages: 448, with 56 illustrations.
Rating: 5 Stars for Excellent.
Source: Free copy from Amberley in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own opinion.

Available in US @ Amazon. Kindle published September 8, and hardcover will be published November 19, 2014.
Barnes and Noble, the publishing date they are stating for hardcover is October 19, 2014.
I'm unclear if the above dates for future publishing are correct as they are very different.

Links for further information:
Medieval Queens,
English Monarchs,
The Freelance History Writer,
Time-Travel Britain,
Westminster Abbey,
A collection of images from V and A.

Sara Cockerill's website.
Sara Cockerill studied Law at the University of Oxford. She is a practicing QC specializing in commercial law, …

An Interview with Sara Cockerill, author of Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen

Publisher: Amberley, September 8, 2014, Kindle available. Hardcover available, September 19, 2014. 
Genre: Non-fiction, British History, Eleanor of Castile, Edward I, Henry III. 
Pages: 448, with 40 illustrations.

Sara Cockerill joins me today in sharing about her life, and her new book: Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen

1. In reading the preface of the book, I am more than intrigued at Eleanor's personality, abilities and talents, and contributions to culture and society. During the course of the writing project of Eleanor: What do you feel is her greatest attribute? The truth is that I find myself so impressed by the range of Eleanor’s interests that this is rather hard to answer!  Ultimately I think what I admire most is her overarching passion for and commitment to her interests – her determination to lead a full and rich life.  After all, it would have been very easy for Eleanor to say that a simple consort’s role was quite enough to cope with, and to let her interests sit o…

Review: A World Elsewhere, An American Woman in Wartime Germany by Sigrid MacRae

Publisher: Viking/Penguin Group, September 4, 2014.
Genre: Biography, World War II, Germany, Nazi Germany.
Format: Hardcover.
Pages: 320.
Rating: 5 Stars.
Source: Free copy from Viking in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own opinion.

Book is available @ Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

"If I set out to understand my parents, I learned that we never completely understand what makes people who they are, and that who they are in fact changes." Page 276. Sigrid MacRae had been given a beautiful "mother-of- pearl inlay" box which held letters from her father, Heinrich von Hoyningen-Huene. She did not open the box to read its contents until after her mother Aimee passed away. Reading the letters began a quest to understand her parents, as well as the Germany that had been her birth home, her mother's adopted home, and her father's defeat. MacRae shares her father and mother's heritage and lineage. A history course through her father…

Review: Lies Told In Silence by M.K. Tod, plus a giveaway

Publisher: Tod Publishing, July 2014.
Genre: Historical Fiction, France, France Book Tours, World War I.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 367.
Rating: 4 Stars for Very Good.
Source: Free copy from M.K. Tod, and France Book Tours, in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are of my own opinions and feelings. 

About The Author:
M.K. Tod writes historical fiction featuring WWI and WWII.
Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED, was selected as Indie Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society.
In addition to her writing, Mary maintains the blog  where she talks about reading and writing historical fiction.
She has also conducted two well-regarded historical fiction reader surveys, and in her spare time reviews books for the Historical Novel Society. M.K. Tod is delighted to hear from readers at mktod at bell dot net. Author's websiteGoodreads, Facebook, Twitter. 

In May 1914, Helene Noisette’s father believes war is imminent. Convinced Germany will head straight for Pari…

Review: St. Bartholomew's Man by Mary Delorme, editor Jon Delorme

Publisher: Jon Delorme, July 18, 2011, first edition.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Medieval England.
Format: pdf and read on my Kindle.
Pages: 285.
Rating: 4 Stars for Very Good.
Source: Free copy from Jon Delorme in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own opinion.

St. Bartholomew's Man on Kindle through Amazon. The price is $2.99.

St. Bartholomew's Man on Wordpress. 
and follow the author on Facebook,
and on Goodreads. 

To read another review: @ Booksplease.

Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem: Rahere "The Wish House". 

To read more information on Rahere: Rahere, the Founder of St. Bartholomew's Hospital.

Rahere, other known spellings are Raher or Raherius. Lived during the age of King Henry I of England. Rahere's birth is unknown, his death was in 1144. He is buried in St. Bartholomew's Priory which he established along with the hospital in 1123. He had been a minstrel in Henry's court. A minstrel is defined as an entertainer. Minstrels w…

Review: The Scottish Cockney by Jack Ransom

Publisher: Olympia, March 27, 2014.
Genre: Memoir, Autobiography, World War II, Prisoner of War.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 240.
Rating: 4 Stars.
Source: Free copy from Olympia Publishers in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own feelings and opinions.

Available @ Amazon. 

A silent, short film of the Burma Railway.

There are several very good documentaries on the history of the prisoners that built the Burma Railway, the war camps, and survivor stories.

The video lasts almost 1 hour but gives the full spectrum of the story, including the gravity of the situation for the prisoners.

The Scottish Cockney is the memoir of Jack Ransom. From childhood and youth, through to his years spent during World War II as a Prisoner of War, his marriages, a visit back to Burma. Jack Ransom, reflects on his life through the pages of The Scottish Cockney.

My Thoughts:
Although the book is all of Ransom's life thus far, the aspect of the book which led me to give a 4 sta…

Review: Emily Dickinson's God, The Divine Image in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson by John DelliCarpini, Ph.D

Publisher: Olympia, January 1, 2014.
Genre: Non-fiction, Emily Dickinson's view on God.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 143
Rating: 3 Stars for Good.
Source: Free copy from Olympia Publishers in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own feelings and opinions.

Further information on Emily Dickinson can be found @
Poetry Foundation

Book is available @ Amazon. Not on Kindle.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson died at age fifty-five in 1886. She never married. She lived in Amherst, Massachusetts. She'd been born into an intellectual family. She had an education at Amherst Academy, and Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary. A small number of Dickinson's poems were published in her life. After her death, her poems became known and praised for their unique style and themes. 
Emily Dickinson's God, explores her life and poetry, especially in regards to her struggles with Calvinism and God. 

My Thoughts:
I have been unsure as to how to write this review, or where to place…

Review: Ghost Waltz, A Family Memoir by Ingeborg Day

Publisher: Harper Perennial, June 24, 2014, first edition in 1980.
Genre: Memoir, Children of WWII, Nazi Party.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Rating: 2 Stars for okay.
Source: Free copy from Harper Perennial in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own opinion.

Under a pseudonym, Ingeborg Day, wrote another book which was later made into a movie, Nine and a Half Weeks.

A bio of author and review of books: Who Was the Real Woman behind "Nine and a Half Weeks?" 

Ghost Waltz is available at:
Barnes and Noble

Ingeborg Seiler Day, was born in Graz, Austria in 1940. During World War II, her parents were Nazi's. Her father was a member of the Nazi party. Ingeborg had few memories of her earliest of years which was during the war. As a child growing up during the post war years her parents did not discuss the war, if Ingeborg asked a question, her parents rebuffed. A year spent in America as a teenage exchange student introduced her to American c…

Review: Maranatha by John Mullen

Publisher: Olympia, November 28, 2013.
Genre: Fiction, England, Northern Ireland, Love story.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 328.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars for Good.
Source: Free copy from Olympia Publishers in exchange for a review.

Available at Amazon:Maranatha.

Sarah in only existing in a marriage of apathy and selfishness.
Her husband Brian exists in the home, but his brain is turned off. He is numb to his wife unless he needs something. Their two children have grown up in a home and have become apart of its fabric. Daughter Caroline is a college student and is obsessed and consumed with her life. She does not have room in her tiny heart for anyone else. Son Timothy is a high school student. He is numb, he's learned well from his father. Sarah is diagnosed with a serious illness. Her family should have been a support system. Instead, they go on as if nothing new has happened. Sarah's best friend is her lone source of comfort and encouragement.
During the process of recovery…

Review: Powder Monkey by Donna M. McDine, illustrated by K.C. Snider

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, May 20, 2013
Genre: Children's Books, historical fiction, sea adventure.
Age: 8-12
Format: Paperback
Pages: 20
Rating: 4 Stars for Very Good.
Source: Free copy from Donna McDine, and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour, in exchange for a review.

Time period 18th Century (this is a guess).
Brothers James and Tommy Kitt, are abducted from their English family farm, by the feared Royal Navy Press Gang. They are pressed into service at sea. There is no choice. Family cannot rescue them. Life at sea is laborious and hazardous.

My Thoughts:
The first thing I disliked about the book is there are no page numbers.
A second thing I disliked about the book is I don't believe age eight or even nine is appropriate for the book. I have a grandson that is eight years old, he would not understand the term "pistol-whipped"and frankly I'm not interested in him have this mental image in his head at his age. Middle school ages eleven …

Review: The Golden Pathway by Donna M. McDine, illustrated by K.C. Snider

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, August 12, 2010
Genre: Children's Book, Slavery
Format: Paperback
Pages: 24
Age: 8-12
Rating: 5 Stars for Excellent
Source: Free copy from Donna M. McDine, and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my own opinion.

David has grown up in the American south, pre-Civil War era. His father owns slaves that work his farm. David's father is not an honorable man, he believes his vices are hidden from family. David makes the decision to take a stand against his father's way of life, and for justice.

My Thoughts:
I love stories where the protagonist rises above mediocrity, or status-quo, or standard culture, and takes a stand for justice. David is a youth, it took courage to help those who have no voice, in order rescue an individual and even an entire race of people. David's heart is kind and thoughtful, he is respectful of people, but does not hesitate despite fear to do t…

Review: Eisenhower, A Life by Paul Johnson

Publisher: Viking, September 8, 2014
Genre: Non-fiction, biography
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 144
Rating: 3 Stars for Good.
Source: Free copy from Viking in exchange for a review.

Author page for Paul Johnson.

For more information at publisher: Eisenhower.

Barnes and Noble 

In the 20th Century, Dwight David Eisenhower, also known as Ike, is a person who stands "head-and-shoulders" above so many of the more talked about historical figures. It was remarked in the book, that Ike appeared to be taller than his erect 5'10 stature. He was a man who people were attracted to, they leaned in closer to listen to him, his famous grin charmed the most difficult of people. Eisenhower, covers his childhood in a small town in Kansas, to his studies and training at West Point, to the successful years in the army-including the battle at Normandy, to his stint as a college president, his years in the White House, and the few brief years of retirement.

My Thoughts:
My first th…