Showing posts from May, 2015

(Review) The Holy Lance: Book One of the English Templars Series by Andrew Latham

Publication Date: March 24, 2015.
Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing.
Genre: Historical fiction, Crusades, Middle Ages, 12th century, English Templars.
Pages: 360.
Source: Free copy from Knox Robinson Publishing in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Website for The Holy Lance. 

An interview from Mac Weekly.
Book spotlight from The Real Crusades History blog.

UKBarnes and Noble
Book Depository

The year is 1191. A daring counterattack against the Saracens’ last-ditch effort to relieve the besieged city of Acre has not only saved the Christian host from a fatal defeat; it has also brought the leader of that counterattack, English Templar Michael Fitz Alan, to the attention of King Richard the Lionheart. In the days that follow, the king charges Fitz Alan with a life-or-death mission – to recover the Holy Lance, a long-lost religious relic widely believed to be responsible for the near-miraculous success of the First Crusade. The ensuing …

(Review) Reconnaissance by Anne Higgins

Publication Date: September 26, 2014.
Publisher: Texture Press.
Genre: Poetry.
Pages: 104.
Source: Free copy from Anne Higgins in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

Anne Higgin's takes the ordinary things in life and creates the extraordinary. The sole of her shoe, an insect's eyes, weeds, and a song played on the radio many years ago. I believe this is what a poet does, takes the ordinary, what we see every day, and creates a movement of words drawing our attention to what becomes remarkable.
Higgin's poems are arranged in six chapters. A chapter on nature, nostalgia, items she sees everyday, the artist Magritte, reconciling, and what lay beneath.
The poems do not rhyme. They are free verse poems. Free to go with the author's thoughts and feelings.  

My Thoughts:
I've read through the book twice. Each time I've read the book I have picked up on hidden gems.
For example: "Be That As It May." May is spring, it is youth and…

(Review) The Grip of God: The Tiger and The Dove Book One by Rebecca Hazell

Publication Date: July 23, 2013.
Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mongol Empire, Kievan Rus' (Eastern European Slavic Tribes), Genghis Khan family, military battles, 13th century.
Pages: 380.
Source: Free copy from Rebecca Hazell in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

Barnes and Noble

About the Author Rebecca Hazell is a an award winning artist, author and educator. She has written, illustrated and published four non-fiction children’s books, created best selling educational filmstrips, designed educational craft kits for children and even created award winning needlepoint canvases. She is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and she holds an honours BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Russian and Chinese history.
Rebecca lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988 she and her family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in 2006 she and her husband moved to Vancouv…

(Review) The Spider and the Stone: A Novel of Scotland's Black Douglas by Glen Craney

Publication Date: October 27, 2013.
Publisher: Brigid's Fire Press. 
Genre: Historical fiction, Scotland, Black Douglas, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, England, 14th century.
Pages: 432.
Source: Free ebook copy from Glen Craney in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Available at Amazon. 

B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

Featured at English Historical Fiction Authors

Visit Glen Craney's website

Links of interest:
Education Scotland
Rampant Scotland

James Douglas was born in 1286 A.D. His father was William the Hardy, Lord of Douglas. He was a Scottish nobleman and fought alongside William Wallace. James was sent to Paris for safety when he was a boy. After returning to his homeland, he realized the family land was taken away by Edward I of England. This gave James Douglas a second reason for hating Edward I and his descendants.
James Douglas met Robert the Bruce. They became friends and allies. Douglas served Bruce with loyalty until the end.
The Sp…

Thoughts on Literature: What If Literature Was Only Accessible In Its Original Language?

Have you wondered what our world would be like without the ability to read literature in our known language? Further, would the absence of "world" literature change our ideals and values?
Without translation, these works would never be made available to a larger audience. That's where a translation software company like Smartling comes in, who's mission is to preserve and carry over the original intent and purpose of the text.

I've thought of four classic literature works originally written in another dialect or language other than modern English.
The Odyssey by Homer.The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.The Odyssey, an epic poem by Homer, was written in 675-725 B.C.E.  It was intended to be read orally. It was written in Greek. The Odyssey was arranged in twenty-four books. The story is of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his ten year journey home after the Trojan War. His heroic journey is filled with…

An Interesting Interview of Orson Welles About Ernest Hemmingway


(Review) Behind The Forgotten Front: A WWII Novel by Barbara Hawkins

Publication Date: August 22, 2014.
Publisher: Barbara Hawkins.
Genre: Historical fiction, World War II, Burma, India, China, Japan.
Pages: 309 in ebook format, 318 in paperback format.
Source: ebook provided for free from Barbara Hawkins in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

e-book: ISBN 978-0-9915984-2-7 (309 pages)
Paperback: ISBN 978-0-9915984-1-0 (318 pages)


Summary: It’s 1942 and Harry Flynn enlists to fight in the war expecting to find the thrill of danger and honor of military service. He leaves behind the love of his life to journey into a world of tigers, elephants and Himalayan Mountains. Instead of a fighting position, Harry is sent to the Forgotten Front in the Indian subcontinent as an ordinary supply officer. There, General Joseph ‘Vinegar Joe’ Stilwell is constructing a ‘road to nowhere’ through Japanese-occupied Burma. The general will do anything to get the road built. In this exotic world with Naga headhunters, opium-smoking Kachin tribesm…

Gone With The Wind Read-a-Long: Week One

Gone With The Wind theme music:

Week One (through May 16): The Author-
Who is Margaret Mitchell? 

Margaret Munnerlyn Mitchell was born in 1900, in Atlanta, Georgia. She died in 1949, also in Atlanta, Georgia. Mitchell's family was wealthy. Her father was an attorney. She attended a private girl's school. She was an avid reader and writer in her youth. She attended Smith College for one year. She was a strong-willed and irreverent flapper girl. Her first marriage began in 1922, ending in divorce. A second marriage was in 1925, and lasted until her death. She worked as a journalist at the Atlanta Journal. Her first and only novel was Gone With The Wind. While working on Gone With The Wind, she read and studied erotica. A novella and other writings from her early years have been published posthumously.

Why do you think she may have written this book?
From reading what her biographies have stated, she had the idea to write a historical fiction story, from the Civil War and Reconstru…

Gone With The Wind Read-a-Long

It was just a few weeks ago I finished another lengthy book, War and Peace.
War and Peace has 1,424 pages. Gone With The Wind has 960 pages.
I've seen the movie with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh several times. I have the piano music to the movie. However, I've never read the book. I started to read the book a few years ago and became sidetracked by other things. I'm hoping this is the year to read and finishGone With The Wind. 
My copy of the book is from Scribner, published 2007.
A Little Journal About Books is the host for the reading challenge.
This is the post for the Discussion Questions. 
This is the link for the post listing all of the posts on the read-a-long thus far.

(Review) A Pledge of Better Times by Margaret Porter

Publication Date: April 14, 2015.
Publisher: Gallica Press.
Genre: Historical fiction, British history, British monarchy, 17th century, Charles II, James II, William and Mary, Anne, House of Stuart.
Pages: 414.
Source: Advanced Reader Copy provided for free from Gallica Press in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

ISBN: 978-0-9907420-4-3

Amazon -Paperback
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Summary: A sweeping tale of ambition, treachery, and passion… For generations Lady Diana de Vere’s family loyally served England’s crown. But after King Charles II’s untimely death, her father firmly opposes James II’s tyranny. Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans—the late king’s bastard son by actress Nell Gwyn—also rebels against his newly crowned uncle’s manipulation. Secretly pledging to wed Diana, he departs for the Continent to become a soldier. Political and religious turmoil bring about revolution and yet another coronation before Charles returns to claim his promised bride. As compa…

(Review) Blood Divide: A Novel of Flodden Field by John Sadler

Publication Date: America, January 1, 2015. England, October 14, 2014.
Publisher: Lion Fiction.
Genre: Historical Fiction, Battle of Flodden Field, British History.
Pages: 352.
Source: Free copy from Lion Fiction in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.

Book is available @ Amazon. 

The Battle of Flodden Hill was originally called the Battle of Branxton.
The battle was between Scotland and England.
James IV was king of Scotland.
Henry VIII was king of England.
The battle was on September 9, 1513, in the county of Northumberland, England.
An "Auld-Alliance" was between Scotland and France. England was at war with France. Henry VIII was in France when the Battle of Flodden Hill took place. Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey was in charge of the English army.

My Thoughts:
My favorite point in Blood Divide is the use of several narrators. The narrators are English, Scottish, men, and women. I felt this added an expanse to the story, and it gave a variety of p…

(Review) Bridges of Paris by Michael Saint James, Plus a Giveaway

Publication Date: May 15, 2015.
Publisher: Citron Bay Press.
Genre: Travel Photography, Paris.
Pages: 280 pages, 350 photographs.
Source: Free copy from iRead Book Tours and Citron Bay Press in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

Summary (courtesy of iRead Book Tours):
Bridges of Paris is a large-format coffee-table book, with over 350 original color photographs, which casts new illumination on the City of Light. The 37 bridges over the Seine River emerge as beautiful, historic destinations rather than unnoticed thoroughfares. The book features stunning portraits of each bridge as well as intimate riverside moments. Once you've experienced this river tour, you will never see Paris the same way again.

Living as a Parisian for a year, author Michael Saint James left his American lifestyle and spent his days and nights capturing images from over, on, beside and under the bridges of Paris. With over 30 years experience as a photographer, educator and world traveler, Mi…