Review: The Churchill Plot 





Synopsis:

As 90-year-old Winston Churchill barely clings to life in January 1965, Great Britain and the world prepare for the most significant funeral of the century. The long-planned grand farewell for the great man (code name: Operation Hope Not) will include the presence of a “who’s who” list of world leaders, all vying for the attention of the 350 million people who will watch it all via the relatively new Tel-Star satellite technology. 

But one world leader has decided not to go to London for the funeral of Sir Winston. 
Why would the President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, a consummate and ego-driven politician, who has just been inaugurated for his own term, following a landslide election victory the previous November, choose to stay home instead of taking the chance to make his presence known as the leader of the free world? And why would the president not send his new vice president, Hubert Humphrey, to the funeral? And why would the Secretaries of Defense and State eventually travel to London as part of the “official” US delegation, only to avoid the actual service at historic St. Paul’s Church? 

With these very true historical facts as a backdrop, we take a journey through the “looking glass” into a murky world of shadows, mystery, and intrigue. America and the world had not yet fully recovered from the assassination of Johnson’s presidential predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Yet, in a way that seems to connect back to that awful moment in November 1963, there are rumors of another vast conspiracy, one involving a terrorist attack connected to Churchill’s funeral, at the moment more when than 100 world leaders will be gathered together in one confined place. 

Just what part of THE CHURCHILL PLOT is history, and what is fiction? You may find yourself reaching for your smartphone to check facts on Google. 
Go for it. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Churchill Plot by David R. Stokes combines both historical facts and fiction into one stunning read. This novel, has caught my interest from the beginning. I love exploring a bit of history and when writers take it and spin something like this…I can’t resist reading it. The characters ranged from people I recognized to others that I didn’t. I was thoroughly entertained. Action, suspense, and mystery all wrapped into this book. Churchill ignites an intense attention where the U.S. politics is involved. A lot of events cause for serious thinking and wondering…my mind was already spinning with ideas. David R. Stokes’s writing was well-done. I definitely recommend this to history and espionage lovers. 

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Review: The Transmigrant 






Synopsis:

The year is AD 8. In the backwaters of Galilee, the twelve-year-old carpenter Yeshua nourishes an impossible dream—to become a rabbi.

When a Buddhist pilgrim tells him about a country called Sindh, where anyone can be a monk, Yeshua’s hope rekindles. He joins a camel caravan and sets off on a thousand mile journey across the Silk Road into the unknown. Guided by the words of the Buddha and Krishna, but crippled by a stubborn reluctance to obey rules, Yeshua stumbles from temple to temple in search for a place where he may finally teach.

THE TRANSMIGRANT is a remarkable tale of self-discovery that explores the lost years of Jesus. It is a reflection on the lengths a man will go to be admired, accepted and, ultimately, loved. 

THE TRANSMIGRANT is an alternative take on the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Inspired both by ancient scriptures and relatively new findings, such as Russian traveler Nicolas Notovitch’s 1894 book “The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ”, THE TRANSMIGRANT explores Jesus’ life during the years not mentioned in the Bible.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Transmigrant by Kristi Saare Duarte is a unique historical tale. It takes readers back in time. A lot of research has gone into making this one of the best reads yet. I haven’t read anything quite this good. The Transmigrant is a journey of man. Searching constantly for what he needs. Easy to follow, relate to, and understand. The pages are full of deep meaning. Engaging, well-developed, and stunning. Kristi Saare Duarte showed me the depths of what humans are and will go to….it was amazing. Physically and emotionally. I highly recommend readers to open this book and explore the most famous of all men, Jesus. His life unravels here. 

Review: The Night Trilogy





Synopsis:

Night is one of the masterpieces of Holocaust literature. First published in 1958, it is the autobiographical account of an adolescent boy and his father in Auschwitz. Elie Wiesel writes of their battle for survival and of his battle with God for a way to understand the wanton cruelty he witnesses each day. In the short novel Dawn (1960), a young man who has survived World War II and settled in Palestine joins a Jewish underground movement and is commanded to execute a British officer who has been taken hostage. In Day (previously titled The Accident, 1961), Wiesel questions the limits of conscience: Can Holocaust survivors forge a new life despite their memories? Wiesel’s trilogy offers insights on mankind’s attraction to violence and on the temptation of self-destruction.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Night Trilogy by Elle Wiesel is a gruesome account of the suffering he and his family faced during World War II. A time of Death, loss, and torment. This was one of history’s nightmarish memories that will never be forgotten. The Nazis were cruel dictators killing innocent human beings without a hesitation. The page in this book showed it all. 
Young Elle Wiesel experienced what no other teenage boy should have faced. He and his family were just one of countless numbers herded onto cattle cars. Usuhered to their death. The showers of death, the endless starvation, beatings, and cruelty killed so many humans. Humans who didn’t know what lied ahead. 
As I read this book, it brought me back to something I wish I never knew about. Something that should never have happened. But it did. A memory that no being can wash away. The smoke from the screaming dying corpses in the “shower rooms” and the endless fears were terrorfying to revisit. It survivors like the writer who show the world what happened and may happen again. 
The Night Trilogy is memoir that will always be remembered. Survival, loss, death, and much more. Terrible days that never end. Even with so much time having passed. It is a gripping and well-written book. I recommend this Holocaust story to readers worldwide. 

Review: The House on Sagamore Road

Synopsis:

Still recovering from the fire at Sagamore Road, and what she witnessed there, Robin Hanley’s daughter, Tess, is the one speaking to the ghost of Fryderyk Chopin now. Having inherited the abilities shared by her rock musician father and her witch stepmother, Tess must discover what started the long history of witches culminating in her family, and why they have the abilities they do. To accomplish this, she must delve back to pre-Dynastic Egypt, and the very first incarnation.

As Tess struggles to convince them that they might still be in danger, Robin and his wife, Suze, face the loss of a loved one and seek to counsel the troubled spirit of Suze’s cousin, Angie, an unwilling accomplice to the family secret.

Desperate to carry on the archaeological research of Suze’s late father, Tess must find the only person capable of giving her the missing facts to discover the cause of the phenomenon before it returns to strike at them again.

The second in Cary Marc Grossman’s three-part Chopin’s Family series, The House on Sagamore Road takes the reader back 26,000 years, to the birth of civilization. 

Rating: 4 stars

Review

The House on Sagamore Road by Cary Marc Gross an is an impressive piece. The pacing drags a little but the action soon takes over and carried me through it. The tale is about a family of witches….in danger. Danger in the present is related to the past. Father, step-mother, and daughter work together in uncovering the answers before they’re facing troubleonce more. A ghost musician added to the plot was fascinating. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Research, archaeology, and family secrets are the three areas that move this tale into a suspenseful read. What they find, if they find, may or may not help them with their struggles. Loss and time racing against them, readers will be captivated just like I was. Tess is a teen who intrigues me. Believable…it was easy to get lost in her story.  Dark, entertaining, and different. The House on Sagamore Road just the second part to a grand adventure. I dare readers to pick it up…(there are some adult content within this book, therefore I advise those 18 and older to read this book). Overall, I recommend it to others. 

Review: Book of Summer 



Synopsis:

Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family’s Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Though she’s purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.

The Book of Summer unravels the power and secrets of Cliff House as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home’s definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess’s grandmother always said it was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never contemplated.
The bestselling author of The Paris Apartment and I’ll See You in Paris, Michelle Gable now transports readers to Nantucket.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable is a beautiful tale. Memories that won’t ever fade. History and secrets are found as the main character, Bess Codman, goes to her mom. She must convince her mother to leave the house on the cliff. Her father persuades her to do so. When she reaches there, so many things come unraveling. Emotions spills across the pages. Michell Gable created a crazy, hilarious, yet engaging story of a family. Their lives may not be perfect but they care. 

The Book of Summer is centered around a house that has seen its days. Erosion is happening and it’s only time when it collapses. One woman determined to keep it standing and another to help get her out before it’s too late. I found the history colorful and interesting. My imagination went wild with all the what happened back then. Anything with a historical moment attached captured my undivided attention.  Michelle Gable has once again, brought another women’s fiction piece to my heart. I’ll ever forget the journey that trapped me inside…

Review: Yesterday’s Moments…Today’s Memories




Synopsis

YESTERDAY’S MOMENTS… Today’s Memories is the third in David Turner’s nostalgic trilogy depicting rural and small-town life in Canada during the last century.

“From as far back as I could recall,” Turner says, “I’d been listening to the stories passed down through generations of my family. As the years went by, an unrelenting passion dictated I record these recollections and the lives of those who lived here. To flourish both intellectually and emotionally, we need to know who we are and where we’ve been. 
“One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing is the ability to convey those thoughts to others. Whenever a story is repeated, it rekindles the attribute of something otherwise forgotten. Friends and loved ones pass on, and with the years, our memories fade—but through their stories, the legacy of those who came before can live forever.”
The counties of Grey, York, Peel, Simcoe, and Perth have been home to the Turner family for many decades. In 2014, David and his wife Mary retired to Huron County.

Rating
: 5-stars

Review:

Yesterday’s Moments…Today’s Memories is a great biography and memoir to read. It took me back to the writer’s family history. His roots. Once there, I got to follow some of his ancestors as their lives unfolded before me. Page after page, I was dragged deep into the past. From farming to mechanics, the people inside the book come to life. I loved how David Turner preserved his ancestry and their lives. It thought it was interesting. As I read, I keep making comparisons as to back then versus now. Travel, adventure, exploration….can be found within the book as well. It was even more interesting when big historical moments landed on the pages. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to find that a relative was there the night of Titanic sinking? I thought it was. The lives and cultures as well as the food….was interesting. Yesterday’s Moments…Today’s Memories is a beautifully captured tale of many memories and history…that will lure readers old and young to its pages. Being a millennial, I find anything with the past and past lives as interesting as any of peers find advance technology. David Turner’s writing shows his talent as a story teller. There is so much to be found and learned…I highly recommend this memoir to readers worldwide. Truly a treasure to behold. 

Review: Light

Light: A Radiant History from Creation to the Quantum Age by [Watson, Bruce]

 

Synopsis:

Light begins at Stonehenge, where crowds cheer a solstice sunrise. After sampling myths explaining First Light, the story moves on to early philosophers’ queries, then through the centuries, from Buddhist temples to Biblical scripture, when light was the soul of the divine.
Battling darkness and despair, Gothic architects crafted radiant cathedrals while Dante dreamed a “heaven of pure light.” Later, following Leonardo’s advice, Renaissance artists learned to capture light on canvas. During the Scientific Revolution, Galileo gathered light in his telescope, Descartes measured the rainbow, and Newton used prisms to solidify the science of optics. But even after Newton, light was an enigma. Particle or wave? Did it flow through an invisible “ether”? Through the age of Edison and into the age of lasers, Light reveals how light sparked new wonders–relativity, quantum electrodynamics, fiber optics, and more.

Although lasers now perform everyday miracles, light retains its eternal allure. “For the rest of my life,” Einstein said, “I will reflect on what light is.” Light explores and celebrates such curiosity.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Light by  Bruce Watson is a phenomenal read. This book covers everything about Light. Light has always gotten the best of our curiosity. Light can be many things and taken in many different ways. I was amazed at all of the topics covered about light in this title.  From science to history perspectives on light…readers will not only be informed, educated, but also entertained. Fans of history will immediately love this book as much I have reading it. Then there’s the fact that humans have yet to know all there is about light. Measuring it, to capturing it, and then to creating our own light. Many well-known names of scientists and others are mentioned throughout the book. Instantly upon having opened Light, I have gone on a journey of rediscovering and understanding it in more than one way. Bruce Watson has wonderfully crafted an exciting and refreshing detailed book on light. Overall, I enjoyed reading it and highly recommend it to all.

 

Review: Lazlo’s Revenge

Lazlos Revenge by [Hierlmeier, Glen Thomas]

 

Synopsis:

It is the story above all, and Lazlo’s Revenge is an excellent story, inspired by true events in places devastated by war, and those who suffered greatly. Readers develop a personal relationship with the characters, Lazlo, Gertrude, Captain Koz, and others, leaving them wanting more. Max Fischer (Maxine Schoellkopf Fischer, fictional narrator of Lazlo’s Revenge), a writer and Swiss war correspondent whose parents lived the tragedies of the Great World Wars, set out to see the very places, and events her parents survived on their odyssey to escape danger and death.

Lazlo’s Revenge is the story Max unearthed in her travels back through time. She is the fictional daughter of Hank and Roberta Fischer, the main characters in a previous book, Honor and Innocence: Against the Tides of War. Hank and Roberta are an unlikely couple to fall in love (Hank is an American soldier stationed in Germany after the war, and the German girl, Roberta, is the daughter of a Nazi SS Officer being sought by American and British security forces for war crimes). Max is their daughter, born at the end of the previous novel, and now returning to write their story of love and war.

Fascinated by the characters who influenced the lives of her parents, in Lazlo’s Revenge, Max pursues her quest for understanding. She follows the life-story of Lazlo Floznik, the man who saved her parents’ lives, and helped them escape catastrophe in Europe, seeking safe refuge beyond the reach of security forces that sought to imprison them. The years leading up to World War I, the time between the wars, and the experiences of World War II release their secrets as she explores her family roots, a deeply emotional story bound by the intense love stories of Lazlo, and his father, Miklos, before him.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Lazlo’s Revenge by Glen Thomas Hierlmeier is a fantastic historical read. This novel, brings readers real world historical events combined with fictional characters who lie through the times in the most believable ways. Word War I and World War II are brought to life in every scene. The threat of war… and then the dangers of what Hitler will bring…creates an entertaining yet educational experience unlike many others. I found myself emerged deeply into this world of fiction.

Glen Thomas Hierlmeier made his novel as real as possible. The struggles of the characters were absorbed as quickly as they came. Then there’s plenty of action, intrigue, mystery, and romance for all to enjoy. I love delving deep into the past. Especially, when it relates to history. I was amazed by the talent in this book. The writing is clear, concise, and engaging.

Lazlo’s Revenge is about one woman’s journey to uncover the lives of her parents during the war times. Max goes to the places where they lived and survived. The journey unravels a lot of secrets, family roots, and the danger her parents went through back then. I can definitely see this historical war novel turned into a big screen picture. I was not only lured by the history aspect of this fictional read but by the lure of a woman trying to learn more about her parents during the wars. Adventure, romance, history, and war all wrapped up into one superb read. Overall, I highly recommend this to all readers.

 

Review: The Holocaust (History & Memory)

The Holocaust: History and Memory by [Black, Jeremy M.]

 

Synopsis:

Brilliant and wrenching, The Holocaust: History and Memory tells the story of the brutal mass slaughter of Jews during World War II and how that genocide has been remembered and misremembered ever since. Taking issue with generations of scholars who separate the Holocaust from Germany’s military ambitions, historian Jeremy M. Black demonstrates persuasively that Germany’s war on the Allies was entwined with Hitler’s war on Jews. As more and more territory came under Hitler’s control, the extermination of Jews became a major war aim, particularly in the east, where many died and whole Jewish communities were exterminated in mass shootings carried out by the German army and collaborators long before the extermination camps were built. Rommel’s attack on Egypt was a stepping stone to a larger goal—the annihilation of 400,000 Jews living in Palestine. After Pearl Harbor, Hitler saw America’s initial focus on war with Germany rather than Japan as evidence of influential Jewish interests in American policy, thus justifying and escalating his war with Jewry through the Final Solution. And the German public knew. In chilling detail, Black unveils compelling evidence that many everyday Germans must have been aware of the genocide around them. In the final chapter, he incisively explains the various ways that the Holocaust has been remembered, downplayed, and even dismissed as it slips from horrific experience into collective consciousness and memory. Essential, concise, and highly readable, The Holocaust: History and Memory bears witness to those forever silenced and ensures that we will never forget their horrifying fate.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Holocaust: History & Memory by Jeremy Black is one that I will forever behold. This book contains so much history and memories during one of the most horrifying moments in history. Jeremy Black has brilliantly put together a great study of the Holocaust for readers everywhere to revisit and learn. His writing is direct, concise, and very detalied. I am never giving up this book. There is so much to read. The information contained in this reading material is stunning. I was surprised it wasn’t thicker with all that was inside of it. The journey back in time and across nations and other countries was remarkable. The Holocaust always brings up the dreaded nightmares and terrors that noone wants to remember. All the innocent lives that were taken in mass killings is something that all should never forget. We need to be reminded of the hows and why and to learn that we shouldn’t ever allow something like that to occur ever again. The Holocaust: History & Memory is a strong and superb book. I highly recommend this read to all. Jeremy Black’s work is one to take seriously and read.Educational, informative, and a remembrance of such nightmares…

Review: Simply Faulkner

Simply Faulkner by [Weinstein, Philip]

 

Synopsis:

Nobel Laureate and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner William Faulkner (1897–1962) was one of America’s greatest and most celebrated writers, whose work reflects and, at the same time, questions the South’s most deeply held values. His novel The Sound and the Fury is frequently cited as one of the best books of all time, and all of his works powerfully explore complex societal and family issues that continue to be relevant in our own day. Yet, because of his decidedly difficult, stream-of-consciousness style, Faulkner’s books remain sadly unknown to many readers.

In Simply Faulkner, author Philip Weinstein not only helps us understand these challenging works, but also explains why Faulkner had to write them as he did, in an effort to capture the sheer abundance and unruliness of life. Further, in his exploration of the author’s own colorful life—including decades of working for a film industry he despised—Weinstein reveals a fascinating connection between Faulkner’s troubled personal biography and his groundbreaking fiction.

The goal of Simply Faulkner is not to simplify the author, but, rather, to create a framework that allows us to comprehend him in his own idiosyncratic way. It strives to show us the real Faulkner—warts and complications and all—and to demonstrate why his brilliant masterpieces still speak to us in a deeply meaningful way.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Simply Faulkner by Philip Weinstein is an exploration into Faulkner and his life as he grew up in the South. Faulkner took what was happening around him and his feelings on these matters and portrayed into his poetry and fiction. The time periods of when Faulkner was born and where he grew up deeply shows readers why Faulkner wrote the way he did. This was book was a great way to dive into the famous writer’s life, background, and history. The writing was super easy to understand and follow along. Faulker instantly became more than just a mastery legend writer. Here, he became a man growing through and witnessing life as we know it to be. His frustrations at the lie around him clearly popped up within all of his writings where he could share them with the world. Simply Faulkner is a brilliant nonfiction book. Both education and entertaining. I was immediately fascinated with Faulkner, his writings, and his background. Philip Weinstein has woven a journey that readers will take part in time after time. Truly an unforgettable portrait of a well-known writer and poet captured in this book. Overall, I highly recommend this read to readers everywhere.

 

Review: A Transcendental Yogi Life (With Eternal Stories)

A Transcendental Yogi Life: With Eternal Stories by [Singh, Sumit]

 

Synopsis:

Spiritualism is one of the greatest mysteries in life. But what does it even mean, How do we access it? What power does it hold? What is your purpose on earth? What is God like?Who is a yogi?

With A Transcendental Yogi Life, With Eternal Stories, you delve deep into the life of Yogi’s through short & legendary stories that have left an impact on us which would ripple throughout years to come. Through this book, you would experience if the transcendental life of these Yogi’s can answer the serious questions of life that plague us all.

With insights guided by enlightened souls like Gautama Buddha, Shri Paramahamsa Yogananda, Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Shri Ramana Maharishi, Swami Vivekanand & others, you will try and identify how they grew and overcome their day-to-day problems that we too face regularly. Their wisdom will allow you to reach new heights and bring you to a place you never before imagined.

This simple yet highly philosophical book aims to allow everyone—from every phase of life, every age group, and every nationality—to easily understand the beautiful & the peaceful teaching of our great Yogi’s. I am sure this book won’t be perfect, but it will always remain a guiding factor you can return to time and time again.

If read carefully and with an open mind, this book will change your life for the better.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review:

A Transcendental Yogi Life: With Eternal Stories by Sumit Singh is an interesting book. The writer has put a lot of thought and effort into making this book the best for readers worldwide. I enjoyed reading pages. There are day-to-day issues that pop up regularly in my life. I take on that stress as a normal. When I look at others’ lives that I know, I see the differences. There’s wisdom passed on as readers progress further into the book. I think this is a great guide built for all people. No guide is perfect. However, this one provides the enlightenment, strength, courage, as well as guidance in making past life’s obstacles. Burdens, emotions, and outside environments can have our shoulders feeling heavy. But this read makes the heaviness feel lighter and in a way we feel more energized. A Transcendental  Yogi Life: With Eternal Stories by Sumit Singh is indeed a great read for all. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Jesse’s Seed

Jesse's Seed by [Pakan, Sam D]

 

Synopsis:

It’s autumn, 1941. The Nazis have fired on the USS Greer; London is ablaze, and the streets of Leningrad are red with blood. Still, David Dremmer is content to work his father’s ranch and dream of his best friend’s wife. When the United States finally enters the war, David escapes his father’s disappointment and a loveless marriage by enlisting in the Air Corps. His choice proves fateful. His B-17 is shot down over Belgium. Now, he is in the hands of the Nazis, and a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues as Second Lieutenant David Dremmer wages a private war with the Luftwaffe, the Wehrmacht, and his own conscience to save the life of a beautiful Resistance operative. It’s then he discovers that the weakness that has kept him from his dreams is, in fact, the key to becoming who he was born to be. An award-winning, lyrical novel, Jesse’s Seed explores the power of choice, finality, love, and redemption.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Jesse’s Seed by Sam D. Pakan is a historical WWII novel that all will want to read. Readers are instantly taken back to 1941. The horrors of Pearl Harbor being bombed and the declaration of war will send back memories and chills down readers spines. Japanese and German soldiers. Americans fighting both. They tried to stay out of the war until it got personal and then all bets were off…attacking one’s country does things to a nation. So many boats destroyed and lives taken that day. Death, loss, war, and love. These walking together on a journey that will keep readers interested for a long time to come. A young man seems to be a disappointment to his father. His weakness is that of a good heart. Imagine flying over enemy territory…the chances of crashing on enemy territory is high. Flying during wartime is the scariest part…threats of being bombed or crashing is real. If the pilot makes it to the ground in one piece…the person could be tortured and die a slow painful death. Then, readers are taken to 1943 when flying is constant and members of a crew have died. Moments like these will create emotions like regret, sadness, and frustration.  So much evil in this world…and the good trying to save the world, seems to die faster than the bad. Soon, the destruction of Jewish businesses and places of worship are destroyed. The Nazis are here and all hell breaks loose. Nazis are the one nightmare that seems to never go away. Then, despite all the war and danger the main character is also stuck in a loveless marriage.

Then, readers are taken to 1943 when flying is constant and members of a crew have died. Moments like these will create emotions like regret, sadness, and frustration.  So much evil in this world…and the good trying to save the world, seems to die faster than the bad. Soon, the destruction of Jewish businesses and places of worship are destroyed. The Nazis are here and all hell breaks loose. Nazis are the one nightmare that seems to never go away. Then, despite all the war and danger the main character is also stuck in a loveless marriage.  Jesse’s Seed has a little of everything to lure readers to its pages. I found the tale suspenseful and well-developed. It was an emotional journey that I won’t ever forget. The characters were believable. I felt like I was there…back in time when and where it all was happening. The scenes rolling on by like an old movie playing images to my eyes. Overall, I highly recommend this stunning war novel to readers everywhere. Sam D. Pakan is a talented writer.

Review: Gods, Empire, & Shifting Trade Routes

 

Synopsis:

In approximately 200 pages, this book seems to describe what 200,000 pages could not come close to adequately holding: the history of the world. Featured in this brief ride through the human condition: why over 40% of the world speaks in tongues descended from an obscure tribe called the Indo-Europeans, how political violence escalated in a three-part ancient republic, the African king whose massive wealth caused inflation when he traveled abroad, the probability that you are personally related to Genghis Khan, how the coming of Islam influenced Java’s shadow theater, how Sub-Saharan Africans were visiting Europe long before Europeans “discovered” Sub-Saharan Africa, the six foot eight giant who collected midgets while also making Russia a great power, Britain’s wars with China over their right to sell illegal drugs, the CIA intervention in order to secure a monopoly for a fruit company, Soviet jokes, and the African World War. Also mentioned is all the stuff you know already: the origins of the major world religions, Ancient Greece and Rome, Charlemagne, the French Revolution, World War One and World War Two, including the part of WWII between China and Japan that had a death toll estimated around 20 million.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Gods, Empire, and Shifting Trade Routes by Matthew Crowe is the book to read. It’s a small nonfiction book that contains history from the beginning to this very time period that we’re in now…Excellent way of condensing all of history into a brief easy to read style. I love the fact that readers can learn more and watch how the four major parts that created the world the way it is, evolve. These four areas are known as religion, politics, economics, and last but not least culture. All of these specific areas are the domination for wat made humans do what they did and still do today. It helped build the social institutions we know. Like our governments. Every part of the world there is some kind of government in existence. Another brilliant part of this book is that it answers the who, what, when and where questions. I love history and this is brilliant. I found words that pop up in my studies since I was in middle school to now in college. The writer, Matthew Crowe, goes on to explains these common terms that are essential to readers’ knowledge of the world and history. Third reason, I am enamoured with this nonfiction piece is that it takes readers deep into the world’s culture and environments. Can you imagine how some of the most magnificent architecture were built and why? Matthew Crowe had a goal in mind and he succeeded in doing just that. I was blown away by all the topics he managed to cover in this brief edition. I hope he creates another edition exploring other parts that were not highlighted within this one so as to cover all parts. Overall, as a history lover, this was one of the best condensed editions of history,that I have run across. Highly recommend Gods, Empire, and Shifting Trade Routes to all.

 

Review: The Bodyguard of Deception

 

Synopsis:

Can the American and British Allies stop a vaunted German spymaster and his U-boat-commander brother from warning Hitler’s High Command about the Allies’ greatest military secret? It is a secret that could win the war for Germany–or, at the very least, delay the outcome for years with an inestimable cost in bloodshed, physical destruction, and suffering. And it is a secret that the two contentious brothers must grapple with within their own Wehrmacht ranks, as they bring U.S. and British intelligence to their knees on America’s doorstep with the clock to D-Day ticking down. From a U-boat on the frigid North Sea to a brutal British interrogation center in the heart of London, to a remote German-POW camp, and the world-famous Broadmoor Hotel overlooking the high plains and snow-dusted mountain peaks of Colorado, Bodyguard of Deception will keep you guessing until the final chapter. The first book of #1 Denver Post Bestselling, Award-Winning Suspense Author Samuel Marquis’s World War II Trilogy.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Bodyguard of Deception by Samuel Marquis is the most realistic World War II novel that I have ever read. The story swept me off my feet and deep into the horrors of the war at hand. The SS officers frightened me. They are are arrogant and violent. It was surprising to hear the German spy brother question how such violent people rose to their positions in Germany. The fight between two brothers is believable. But both have their jobs to do and now, that their paths have crossed, both may be in for danger. Shooting at the enemy lured a fight that the German brothers couldn’t hold up against.  Prisoners of war…Nazis, and the Allied Forces is something that will forever be stuck in my mind. Hitler’s orders…cold, cruel, and devastating to his country. Bodyguard of Deception is truly a remarkable historical tale that readers everywhere will love. I was deeply satisfied with the fast-placed plot. Felt like I was there in the story as the war went on…Danger, enemies, and espionage all brilliantly re-told in this exciting thriller. Samuel Marquis has once again, captivated me from the beginning to end. Overall, I highly recommend this novel.

Review: A Hero of France

 

Synopsis:

From the bestselling master espionage writer, hailed by Vince Flynn as “the best in the business,” comes a riveting novel about the French Resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris.

1941. The City of Light is dark and silent at night. But in Paris and in the farmhouses, barns, and churches of the French countryside, small groups of ordinary men and women are determined to take down the occupying forces of Adolf Hitler. Mathieu, a leader of the French Resistance, leads one such cell, helping downed British airmen escape back to England.

Alan Furst’s suspenseful, fast-paced thriller captures this dangerous time as no one ever has before. He brings Paris and occupied France, to life, along with courageous citizens who outmaneuver collaborators, informers, blackmailers, and spies, risking everything to fulfill perilous clandestine missions. Aiding, Mathieu as part of his covert network are Lisette, a seventeen-year-old student, and courier; Max de Lyon, an arms dealer turned nightclub owner; Chantal, a woman of class and confidence; Daniel, a Jewish teacher fueled by revenge; Joëlle, who falls in love with Mathieu; and Annemarie, a willful aristocrat with deep roots in France, and a desire to act.

As the German military police heighten surveillance, Mathieu and his team face a new threat, dispatched by the Reich to destroy them all.

Shot through with the author’s trademark fine writing, breathtaking suspense, and intense scenes of seduction and passion, Alan Furst’s A Hero of France is at once one of the finest novels written about the French Resistance and the most gripping novel yet by the living master of the spy thriller.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Wow…immediately this powerful novel intrigues readers’ senses with fear, courage, and revenge. Alan Furst knows exactly what his readers expect and what they will want to read. His talent is found on every page of this fast-paced thriller. I loved how Alan Furst created a masterpiece surrounding the events of World War II. History fans will definitely enjoy reading this spy novel. As with all wars…the stakes are much higher in this war than any other. One of the world’s most evil dictators is behind all the murders, chaos, and fear that spreads like wildfire through France and the rest of Europe. A Hero of France brings to life one of the most popular historical moments of all time…World War II. Hitler is rising…and many brave souls are determined to bring down the Nazi leader. But it will be more than just going for justice…it’s revenge.  The sacrifices that will tear at readers’ hearts.

A Hero of France is about a man who leads a group of people in a resistance against the Nazis and to bring down Adolf Hitler. Going after this goal will prove difficult since they are all under surveillance. Members are separated and taken and it will take everything they have to come out of it all alive. The suspense builds as readers turn the pages. Every moment could be the destruction of them all. Amazing how one man was capable of changing his appearance so much that no one could recognize him at all. It made the Nazis search for him rather hard. Then there’s the romance…or true love between Joelle and Mathieu, the leader of the rebel group. He promises to come back to her and their home…but he must continue on his journey of getting out alive.  Danger…the threat of death is strong enough to keep readers guessing what will happen to or what happened to the some of the members. Some disappeared so well…that there are only rumors of what may have happened to them. The ending was brilliant…I enjoyed reading this historical thriller, and I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.

 

 

 

 

Review: Midnight in Berlin

 

Synopsis:

Berlin in the spring of 1939. Hitler is preparing for war. Colonel Noel Macrae, a British diplomat, plans the ultimate sacrifice to stop him. The West’s appeasement policies have failed. There is only one alternative: assassination. The Gestapo, aware of Macrae’s hostility, seeks to compromise him in their infamous brothel. There Macrae meets and falls in love with Sara, a Jewish woman blackmailed into becoming a Nazi courtesan.

Macrae finds himself trapped between the blind policies of his government and the dark world of betrayal and deception in Berlin. As he seeks to save the woman he loves from the brutality of the Gestapo, he defies his government and plans direct action to avert what he knows will be a global war.

Inspired by true events and characters, James MacManus’s Midnight in Berlin is a passionate story that will leave you in awe of the human capacity for courage, sacrifice, and love set against the world on the brink of war.

Rating:

Review:

Midnight in Berlin by James MacManus is an incredible telling of when Hilter came to power. I am a huge history fan and love anything that features world war two. This is a moment in history that comes as a nightmare to all and still in the present seems to haunt us. James MacManus brings to life history and its events of this cruel time period. The way people lived their lives, how they socialized and the war developing at hand…popped up, as a three-dimensional stage where readers can witness everything first hand. Midnight in Berlin is a fascinating novel that immediately swoops reader into the horrifying journey that is just building up in Germany. Nazis, the Gestapo, and a thrilling romance are brilliantly wrapped inside this fictional masterpiece.

James MacManus’s historical novel…is truly a powerful tale that swallows one up, whole. Here there is a British officer and a Jewish woman who meet by fate and fall in love. She is posing as a Nazi courtesan. But not because she wants to…but because she’s forced to accept. A romance develops and war trudges on…danger, suspense, intrigue…kept me turning the pages faster. It’s was like reliving the terrible times all over again. Macrea plans to stop Hitler himself. But whether he does or not is something readers must figure out on their own. I found myself highly entertained and deeply engaged at the battles being bought. I wanted to survive…Politics, murder, corruption, courage, and sacrifice were tied into this magnificent title. The talent is superb. I can definitely see this novel being on the big screens everywhere. The famous names of Hitler’s men are brought to life within this read. Amazing how history can scoop us up and take us back in time. Overall, I highly recommend Midnight in Berlin to readers everywhere.

 

 

Review: Caesar and Cato (The Road to Empire)

 

Synopsis:

This is a story, a true story which I always think are the best of stories. A Story of Ancient Rome. An Adventure Story, perhaps?

It is a story of two protagonists, Julius Caesar, and Marcus Cato. They represented two opposing philosophies, both dedicated to the same end, the recovery of the health of the Roman Republic which was in their day unwell. Both men were fighters, Caesar on the battlefield where he was arguably the greatest tactician ever and certainly of his times, and plucked many a victory from the jaws of defeat. Cato fought in the Senate. There he opposed Caesar and everything he stood for. This is their story.

The book takes the form of alternating chapters written by each of the two protagonists, the Chapter Headings, indicating, who is writing and the main subject matter of the chapter.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Caesar and Cato: Road to Empire by Brain Igoe is well-written. The book’s chapters are well-developed in a way that readers can easily dive right into this history moment and be taken back in time. A time that brings us to two important men in Ancient Rome. There’s the famous Caesar the man of many battles that everyone knows like the back of their hand and then there’s Marcus Cato who brings up the other side of the perspective. Two educated men who fight for what they believe in…

I love anything that deals with real life people and events. Brian Igoe’s brilliant writing has taken me back to Rome where a government very much like what we have today existed…it was the basis to other governments around the world. Ancient Rome was a vast empire reaching far and wider than readers can imagine. I was swallowed up whole from page one until the last page. The viewpoints from each man was another thing that hit home with me when reading this brilliant informative of Caesar and Cato as well as the empire the served to help succeed. Each man has his own way of being successful and brings a different approach, to life, and the causes they fight for…and as it happens each man believes in the opposite thing which brings me to the reality of the here and now. It’s funny how history comes alive not just in the words that pop off the pages but in how they have shaped the world we live in now…we can see bits and pieces of how it all fits like a puzzle. As a reader of all genres, I was immensely taken in with this nonfictional piece. It’s educational, entertaining, and informative. Unlike many of its kind, that is dull and boring…Caesar and Cato: Road to Empire is exciting. An easy read for anyone who loves history, important figures, and wants to learn more about what it was really like back in Ancient Rome for these two men and their people. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers worldwide.

Review: Heavenly Khan

 

Synopsis:

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

What was funny, was that I just got done watching the history channel about the Khan and then was provided a chance to review this title. It was definitely fate that brought me to this magnificent read. Heavenly Khan by Victor Cunrui Xiong is an extraordinary historical novel that will have readers traveling back in time when the Khan were alive. These moments with the Khan are one of China’s greatest historical time periods. I found it quite intriguing and fascinating as the history came, to life, on these well-written pages. Heavenly Khan is about the dangers that were presented to China that brought them to building up their army as well as their defenses to keep out their attackers.

Heavenly Khan is about the dangers that were presented to China that brought them to building up their army as well as their defenses to keep out their attackers. Li Shimin was a military leader that proved to a wonder for China. He made his way up to being an emperor and one that was well-respected. The cultures, religions, and ways of the Chinese will sway readers from the beginning and keep them hooked until the end. Victor Cunrui Xiong stunningly brings his readers an era full of political scandal, upheaval, and the struggles of the Chinese courts. History is one of the best topics that anyone can fill their minds with…and Heavenly Khan is definitely a must read for readers everywhere. Overall, I highly recommend this historical novel to readers worldwide.

 

Review: The Abduction of Nelly Don

Synopsis:

During the Great Depression, high-profile kidnappings became more and more commonplace. On December 17, 1931, self-made millionaire fashion designer Nell Donnelly becomes the next casualty.

Senator Reed, a family friend, steps in to lead the investigation. Impatient with ineffective police efforts, he is willing to go to extraordinary measures. How extraordinary? How about enlisting the help of two of Kansas City’s most notorious crime bosses. This deal with two devils may very well be Reed’s downfall. But more importantly, will the involvement of hardened gangsters lead to Nell Donnelly’s freedom or her demise?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Abduction of Nelly Don is half real and half fiction. Patrice Williams Marks has brilliantly put together a novel for readers to remember and enjoy the life of one independent woman. A young woman who learned at an early age how to bargain and where her talents lay. She soon set herself up for a huge business in making dresses and other clothes that many would enjoy. Not only was clothes making her talent but also Nelly Don had a good heart where her workers were concerned. Never have I read anything discussing how generous an employer was to not just one but all employees. With above average salaries, healthcare and even childcare provided, Nelly Don is indeed a woman that will continue to amaze readers worldwide.

Patrice Williams Marks has beautifully woven a the story of Nelly Don’s life into a highly entertaining yet inspirational piece. It makes readers wish all employers were like this amazing woman inside The Abduction of Nelly Don. Readers will go on an adventure following young Nelly as she grows into the woman all know her by…from growing up in a large family to marrying her first husband to starting her own business as well as being abducted. They say experiences changes people. Maybe, Nelly’s abduction changed her. Nelly never once spoke about her abduction and lived until a ripe age of 102. I loved how Patrice Williams Marks brought history and fiction together and created a sizzling fast-paced story. A story, readers won’t ever want to stop reading and will forever love. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers everywhere.

Review: The Damned of Petersburg

 

Synopsis:

GLORY TURNED GRIM…

…and warfare changed forever. As Grant pinned Lee to Petersburg and Richmond, the Confederacy’s stubborn Army of Northern Virginia struggled against a relentless Union behemoth, with breathtaking valor and sacrifice on both sides. That confrontation in the bloody summer and autumn of 1864 shaped the nation that we know today.
From the butchery of The Crater, where stunning success collapsed into a massacre, through near-constant battles fought by heat-stricken soldiers, to the crucial election of 1864, The Damned of Petersburg resurrects our Civil War’s hard reality, as plumes and sabers gave way to miles of trenches.

Amid the slaughter of those fateful months, fabled leaders—Grant and Lee, Winfield Scott Hancock and A. P. Hill—turned to rising heroes, Confederates “Little Billy” Mahone and Wade Hampton, last of the cavaliers, or Union warriors such as tragedy-stricken Francis Channing Barlow and the fearless Nelson Miles, a general at twenty-four.
Nor does Ralph Peters forget the men in the ranks, the common soldiers who paid the price for the blunders of leaders who’d never know their names. In desperate battles, now forgotten, such as Deep Bottom, Globe Tavern and Reams Station, soldiers on both sides, pushed to the last human limits, fought on as their superiors struggled to master a terrible new age of warfare.

The Damned of Petersburg revives heroes aplenty—enriching our knowledge of our most terrible war—but, above all, this novel’s a tribute to the endurance and courage of the American soldier, North or South.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Damned of Petersburg by Ralph Peters is an extraordinary novel taking readers deep into te heart of Civil War. Ralph Peters has masterfully captured each and every detail and organized his writing to relive the memorable moments in history. This is a novel all readers should read no matter what they’re preferred genre is. This story doesn’t feel real just because it was based, off of historical facts, but because of the talented writing of Ralph Peters. I got to experience the memories and daily lives that some of the men during this era. It was fascinating from page one and still captivated me until the ending.

The Damned of Petersburg brings, to life, the lives, hardships, and bravery of the men who fought during the Civil War. I love anything that is about history or brings, to life, the precious moments fought and lived by those now dead. Famous men such as Grant, Lee, Winfield Scott Hancock and many others will be popping off the pages as readers turn them. Ralph Peters has created a world, that lures readers in from the beginning. It’s fascinating how history can show us cruel life really was and what those moments may have been like if we were to witness them with our own eyes and ears. Many soldiers whose names we don’t know, as well as their leading officers, are also brought to readers’ attention. I loved that about Ralph Peter’s writing. He wrote The Damned of Petersburg in a way to remember everyone and not just the officers with special ranks. Warfare in it’s purest form is brought to readers everywhere. Overall, I found this novel to be remarkable and stunning. I highly recommend this read to readers worldwide.

 

Review: The Reluctant Soldier

 

Synopsis:

The Reluctant Soldier spotlights the “forgotten war” – Korea, in hundreds of letters written by Neil Mellblom, an Army combat reporter with the Pacific Stars & Stripes and the Third Division’s Public Information Office, the United Nations sanctioned police action comes, to life. Neil received the Bronze Starr for “aggressive reporting” which made the division one of the best known of the Korean war. It may be the definitive book on a soldier’s life in wartime. Funny, yet deeply moving, it records Neil’s growth from a cocky Montanan to a seasoned adult.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Reluctant Soldier by Marnie Mellblom is a fascinating historical read for all. It’s a collection of letters written by one soldier’s letters of is wartime experience and reporting. I found the whole experience new and refreshing when reading something that’s a part of history. I was excited, pumped,  and thrilled to have read this nonfiction book. World War II is a war that will forever be marked on every soul. Whether one was born during that time period or not, we still feel the fear, danger, and emotions that come from having lost friends and family. All soldiers should be honored and respected. Going into war is not anything anyone dares to dream of…yet it’s the real truth of our world. There will always be a war of some kind or another happening and we must not forget the one before it nor the people it has affected. I enjoyed reading the brilliantly well-written and organized way of this book. Readers will be blown away by one soldier’s journey from point A to point B. The letters from father to daughter made this an interesting read. Readers will get to travel all over the world and to go back in time during the time of war and relive old memories. Marine Mellblom has wonderfully captured a beautiful time in history to share with readers everywhere. Overall, I would highly recommend The Reluctant Soldier to readers worldwide.

 

Review: How the Catholic Church Became Naughty…

 

Synopsis:

The cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church have been naughty for centuries. Why can’t they practice what they preach?

At Christmastime 2014 Pope Francis scolded them for their vanity, hypocrisy, back-biting, gossiping, boasting, lusting for power and control, and acting like Lords of the Manor. This book is an expansion on Pope Francis’s admonition to his inner governing circle, the Vatican Curia, tracing this naughtiness from the time of Emperor Constantine who converted to Christianity in the early 4th century and gave the Church palaces, basilicas, riches, and a noble lifestyle. It is a short journey throughout the lascivious and corruption-filled history of these church leaders—their torture of non-believers, selling of indulgences and church offices, concubinage, partnering with evil kings and rulers—ending with the 20th century Vatican Bank frauds, the money-laundering for Mafia and Mason crimes, the betrayal of the Church, and the sexual abuse of children scandal.

These popes, cardinals, and bishops of the Catholic Church are and have been the Real Hindrance to Reform with their peculiar Vatican mindset of clericalism, arrogance, and exaggerated self-estimation of their superiority over everyone and everything. It has been evolving for 1700 years. This short book is not a denunciation of the Catholic Church, but a ray of hope that the Vatican will make the deep changes that are necessary for the survival of Catholicism.

Only a priesthood that includes married, celibate, male and female priests with a non-clerical mindset will bring about the needed reform of the Catholic Church—not the Pope alone, nor the regressive Vatican mindset of clericalism ingrained in present-day church leaders.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

How the Catholic Church Became Naughty by Jack Doherty is an insight into the Catholic Church’s dark past and current struggles with reform. What the Church needs to do to fix all these issues is, in my opinion, to come out and punish the ones who committed the crimes against the Chruch. By not coming out and punishing those who have committed horrendous crimes against the Catholic teaching and to its members, the Church has only spun an endless anger and hatred from those it has hurt. It also has brought on it own sour taste in a vast majority of its own members. The cost of their not going after the bad apples has cost them faithful servants or members of the Catholic faith. There is indeed nothing wrong with the Catholic faith as stated by the author, otherwise, he probably would never have been a priest within the church. The Catholic Church has come a long way from selling indulgences and has in a way improved itself. However, when people in the Church’s top circles commit such crimes the Church somehow believes that if they hide it from the public that it will end all the bad things or bad publicity for the Church as a whole. They think they are saving the Church’s reputation but, in reality, they are only making it worse each time. I agree with Jack Doherty that the Catholic Church needs a reform but in the way it handles the bad things that happen within the Church. The Catholic Church isn’t the only religion with bad history…they are many others who have committed same horrendous crimes that top officials from the Catholic Church have committed yet people only pay attention to what the Catholic church does wrong and not what it has done well. I don’t think that just because the Church didn’t listen to the writer, that he should give up being a priest. He should have kept going on with his duty and would have been an example, to all priest and those around him of what a priest and the Catholic Church should be. Instead, I feel that because they going got tough or that just because one way doesn’t work that the writer felt hopeless and gave up too easy. Look at Peter. His faith, at first, was strong but when tested he failed…and with that he soon changed and his faith grew with patience. Like Peter, we all shouldn’t give up on the Catholic Church. Just like with the rest of life the roads will be bumpy and difficult but that doesn’t mean we  refuse to listen to God or give up our faith or vows just because many won’t listen. Many have not listened to God, yet God spared Noah and his family…Overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: Remember the Ladies

 

 

Synopsis:

Growing up in an orphanage prepared Amelia Cooke for the high-stakes role of a female lobbyist surrounded by the egos of the 1887 Congress, a time before women had the right to vote. Her success in the isolating male arena comes from using the tactics she’s learned from those who oppressed her. So when she’s hired by the National Women’s Suffrage Association to help pass a proposed constitutional amendment granting women’s voting rights, Amelia feels empowered to at last win a place for herself and give all women a voice in the world. What she doesn’t foresee is the charismatic and calculating Senator Edward Stillman who threatens to ruin her hard-earned reputation and end her career.

Edward Stillman is desperate for status and power among Washington’s Old Guard. To gain control of the most dominant committee in the Senate, Stillman must crush the women’s amendment and anyone else in his way, including Amelia. He’s driven, clever, and willing to exploit any advantage. But in a political game where bribery, threats, extortion, and seduction prevail, each player must decide just how low they are willing to let the fight go. Who will win? And at what cost?

Set in the extravagant Gilded Age, Remember the Ladies explores the conflict between the sexes with delightful writing and elegant descriptions, which brings the reader back to a time when the struggle for women’s equality had just begun.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Remember the Ladies by Gina L. Mulligan is a remembrance of the women’s suffrage movement. Gina L. Mulligan brilliantly recaptures the moment in time when women didn’t have the same rights as men. Those who took on jobs or tried to follow in some men’s footsteps were deemed crazy by both men and women alike. Going against a society’s norm wasn’t looked upon. Yet many women were daring enough to dare and to risk it all. Men took advantage of women’s looks and tried to blame women for enticing them on…when it was indeed them who cannot control themselves.

Inside the delightful novel, Remember the Ladies, women everywhere will relive the important steps for a woman to gain entry into the working field. That moment to be held with honor and respect, when most deem it impossible or ludicrous is thrilling. Readers will meet a young girl who loses both her parents in one fatal night. From there, she is in a school where women are not deemed fit to continue their studies like men are.  But that doesn’t stop the main characer, Amelia, from achieving her dreams of working. She has much to learn and to accept before she can find the strength to handle herself, in her new found work. Meeting a man who happens to be a senator does her favor in working her way up in the society, in becoming a working woman among men. I enjoyed this realistic yet highly fictional piece by Gina L. Mulligan. Her novel will forever be one remembered by the ladies.

 

Review: Charlotte (A Novel)

 

Synopsis:

The gorgeous, haunting, and ultimately redemptive bestselling French novel, recounting the tragic life of artistic visionary Charlotte Salomon, who died in Nazi gas chambers at the age of 26

Two artists, two obsessions. Charlotte Salomon―born in pre-World War II Berlin to a Jewish family traumatized by suicide―was obsessed with art, and with living. She attended school in Germany until it was too dangerous to remain, fled to France, and was interned in a bleak work camp from which she narrowly escaped. Newly free, she spent two years in almost total solitude, creating a series of autobiographical pictures―images, words, even musical scores―which together tell her life story. The result is a unique, relentlessly complete artistic expression. In 1943, a pregnant Charlotte was taken to Auschwitz and gassed, but not before she entrusted her life’s work to a friend, who kept it safe until peacetime. Entitled Life? Or Theatre?, it was exhibited in fragments in the 1960s; a 1998 exhibition of the complete work in the London Royal Academy became a sensation and eventually published in book form.

David Foenkinos, himself obsessed with Charlotte, has written his own utterly original tribute to her tragic life and transcendent art. His novel is the result of a long-cherished desire to pay tribute to this young artist. Written with passion, life, humor, and intelligent observation, Charlotte, with rights sold in 12 countries and over 500,000 copies in print in France, is a triumph of creative expression, a monument to genius stilled too soon, and an ode to the will to survive.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Charlotte by David Foenkinos is a historical fiction novel that will take readers deep into the heart of history that still leaves a terrible mark everywhere. It’s World War II and a young woman with a love of art tries to stay alive during a troubled time. A time when all Jews, like herself, were being rounded up, tortured and killed.  Readers are brilliantly taken back in time and get to follow Charlotte Salomon as she goes about her life during the worst moments in World History. A narrow escape from a camp will set readers hearts into a frenzy and will keep them on the edge of their seats as they continue this woman’s journey. For fans of Anne Frank, this is indeed a must-read novel for all.

David Foenkinos has stunningly recaptured the dark time period popularly known as World War II. His words will automatically send readers on a haunted path to fear, danger, and even death. The scenes were so real I felt as though I were indeed there experiencing everything with my own eyes, ears, and heart. I felt the panic and incredible fear as the young woman went about trying to live her life and staying away from death. But as we all known, once we have been marked it stays with us until our fates are met. A sad but realistic tale that is a tribute to the brave woman, Charlotte Salomon. The evils of World War II will forever haunt readers and the shocking but real truth of what went on will keep readers lured in until the last page. David Foenkinos’s novel, Charlotte, is one that I highly recommend to readers worldwide. His words are beautifully told in a way that will captivate his audience for ages to come.

Review: Journey to Munich

 

Synopsis:

Working with the British Secret Service on an undercover mission, Maisie Dobbs is sent to Hitler’s Germany in this thrilling tale of danger and intrigue—the twelfth novel in Jacqueline Winspear’s New York Times bestselling “series that seems to get better with each entry” (Wall Street Journal).

It’s early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square—a place of many memories—she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man’s wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie—who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter—to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.

The British government is not alone in its interest in Maisie’s travel plans. Her nemesis—the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death—has learned of her journey, and is also desperate for her help.

Traveling into the heart of Nazi Germany, Maisie encounters unexpected dangers—and finds herself questioning whether it’s time to return to the work she loved. But the Secret Service may have other ideas. . . .

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear caught my attention because it’s a war novel. Nazi Germany…is nothing but a place of nightmares, terror, and mass murder. The cries of those who were killed can still be heard anytime the topic comes up…My grandma worked on the Nazi war crimes so, reading about this time and horrific period brings me a little closer to those who suffered, torn apart, and murdered. I don’t know how any can forget or move on…it was way before my time yet my heart breaks for all those people especially the children who died…because one man hypnotized a country into mass murder, destruction, and lies.

Inside of Jacqueline Winspear’s novel, Journey to Munich, readers are taken deep into the frontlines of war and the danger becomes real. One woman lost her husband and needs a purpose to move on…she is soon swept up into a situation that will be hard to get out of…like that of pretending to be one man’s dead daughter to get him out alive…all because the government wants him for their purpose. Readers will be brought close to what it’s like being a prisoner of war and the ugliness of how governments can be during these confusing, sad, and frightening times. A woman who’s heart stays true to her one and only love…a woman who won’t back down until she’s satisfied. What she doesn’t know she makes up with tenacity. This novel is well-written and the characters are more than well-developed. It’s the most intriguing read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats waiting to find out what’s going to happen next. I have heard so much about this novel before reading it and I wasn’t disappointed. Jacqueline Winspear is a talented writer who can drag every reader into her historical fiction. I loved it. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers worldwide.

Review: Murder at Fontainebleau

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Synopsis:

In the latest Elizabethan mystery by the author of Murder at Whitehall, amateur sleuth Kate Haywood investigates deadly machinations unfolding behind the scenes in the magnificent French court.

1561. Queen Elizabeth’s throne is threatened as Mary Queen of Scots—pushed in every direction by opposing and powerful forces—declares herself the rightful Queen of England. To discover her rival’s next unpredictable move, Elizabeth dispatches a party of trustworthy intimates to Mary’s court at Fontainebleau. Chief among them is Kate Haywood, who finds that the glittering balls and genial banquets conceal a web of poisonous ambition that soon turns deadly.

When a beautiful and disruptively flirtatious member of the visiting party is murdered, Kate suspects that the man who stands accused has been set up to discredit Elizabeth. She vows to find the real killer, but the French court is a labyrinth unlike any she has ever navigated before—and at every turn there are more traps set to spring.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Murder at Fontainebleau by Amanda Carmack is brilliant. This tale spins a whole new light on a historical figure. I loved how Amanda Carmack keeps readers in suspense. Readers won’t know what is really going on until it happens…the plot is steady paced but leaves readers hanging onto every word and turning every page. It’s hard to stop reading this historical mystery novel once readers begin reading it.

Murder at Fontainebleau has everything readers want. Mystery, suspense, intrigue, as well as twists and turns filled on every page. Spies are at hand…as well as sinister motives…death is at hand…and one woman is determined to figure it all out…the question is will she be able to before it’s too late? Readers will find themselves buried deep within this story’s dangerous walls and following right behind Kate as she uncovers the truth. Overall, I loved reading this well-written title by Amanda Carmack, and I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: The Madwoman Upstairs

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Synopsis:

In this smart and enthralling debut in the spirit of The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family’s long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind.

Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining descendant of the Brontë family, she’s rumored to have inherited a vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë’s literary estate; diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that’s never been shown outside of the family.

But Samantha has never seen this rumored estate, and as far as she knows, it doesn’t exist. She has no interest in acknowledging what the rest of the world has come to find so irresistible; namely, the sudden and untimely death of her eccentric father, or the cryptic estate he has bequeathed to her.

But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and bits and pieces of her past start mysteriously arriving at her doorstep, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father’s handwriting. As more and more bizarre clues arrive, Samantha soon realizes that her father has left her an elaborate scavenger hunt using the world’s greatest literature. With the aid of a handsome and elusive Oxford professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontë’s own writing.

A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, this vibrant and original novel is a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Madwoman Upstairs is by far my favorite new novel. I loved how Catherine Lowell placed the Bronte sisters and their work into this fictional piece. The Bronte sisters are one of the most interesting women to read about and when talented writer, Catherine Lowell, places them and a history trail leading to them it’s quite fascinating. Readers will be entertained and lured in from the beginning and held until last page. Family life, secrets, and famous pieces of literature make for one appealing novel…I can’t see any reader passing this book. There is just too much of interest to let this story slide past one’s hands.

Catherine Lowell has brilliantly written a modern piece of fiction that will instantly become one of the new must read literature stories of all time. Her character, Sammantha, is perfectly developed and makes this fast-paced tale exciting. Sammantha is the only heir left to a family fortune that she believes is just a fictional tale until things start happening that make her believe otherwise. The Madwoman Upstairs has romance and msytery all bundled into one delightful read. Readers will be laughing out loud and find themselves addicted to this particular story as they follow Sammantha and the handsome man helping her. Overall, this is one of a kind novel and I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. I am looking forward to the next masterpiece by Catherine Lowell.

 

Review: From Ashes Into Light

 

Synopsis:

FROM ASHES INTO LIGHT is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With the war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father, and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion, and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw is the most fascinating historical fiction piece readers will find. I couldn’t help but to fall in love with the characters and their journeys as the plot unfolds. Three unique characters are brought together…each one with their survival story. I found this tale absolutely compelling. Never have readers seen a book quite like this one. The culutral aspects and the historical time periods make this a number read for everyone.

Gudrun Mouw is a talented writer whose words come off the pages. Anyone who loves history will find it hard to stop reading this novel. From Ashes Into Light is one story that is both highly entertaining and educational. I loved the different point of views from the characters. That’s what really sets this novel different from most in its genre. Overall, I highly recommend this beautifully told story to readers everywhere.

Review: Death Steppe: A WWII Novel

 

Synopsis:

Merriam Press Historical Fiction HF11 (First Edition, 2015). This World War II novel takes place in 1944, during Germany’s retreat from the western Soviet Union. The story follows the lives of a Russian war widow, Elena, a dissident, Christian, and black marketeer, as she serves as a medic on the front lines, and a disillusioned German lieutenant, Halder, a former professor and concentration camp officer, as he fights in a losing effort. In time, Elena and others, are forced into service as temporary navigators in an all-female regiment to the Red Army air force. After Elena’s plane crashes, she finds the injured Halder from the squadron she helped bomb. As enemies, the injured Elena and Halder alternate between helping and nearly killing each other. Eventually, the desperate soldiers discover an unexpected bond. Together they embark on a turbulent journey as lovers and disheartened deserters.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Death Steppe (A WWII Novel) by Judy Bruce is brilliant. Her novel takes readers straight into the plot. WWII in 1944 was indeed a scary time…what’s scarier is actually meeting the person whom one has tried to kill…meeting the person considered as your enemy can take a toll on a person. However, Judy Bruce takes an unexpected encounter of two enemies during this war time and force them to meet. Both are surprised but also weary of the other. Thinking of killing the other one or to work together to survive their outcome is a big decision that neither can take too lightly.

Judy Bruce has captured the realistic historical time period down to every specific detail as well as creating characters who will never be forgotten. I love anything featuring history and showing readers how difficult it was like back then and how every decision has a huge impact on one’s life. Just one decision can change your future forever…can Elena and Halder make the right choice? This tale like many others that capture historical moments will make readers cringe atwhat really happened and how cold people can be during this time periods. Haunting, dark, but with some truth and accuracy…readers will be taken back to the front lines of WWII. Readers will feel like they are actually witnessing the events in this novel through their own eyes instead of the characters. Judy Bruce has created a maserpiece when she wrote Death Steppe. I loved reading this book, and I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.

Review: Flirtation Walk

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Synopsis:

At West Point, Only True Love Should Lead You to Flirtation Walk

Lucinda Pennyworth, the daughter of a con man, is trying her best to leave her father’s sordid past behind her. When he dies unexpectedly, she takes the opportunity to move to West Point to live with her aunt, ready to take on a new life and determined to marry a respectable man, a West Point cadet, to impress her relatives.

Seth Westcott, a cadet at the academy, is proud to be at the top of his senior class. But when his mother dies and his sister loses their inheritance to a swindler, Seth wants nothing more than to head west to track down the con man. But the army will only send the cadets at the bottom of the class to the frontier . . . which leaves Seth with some tough choices.

When a woman trying her best to be good meets a man determined to be anything but, can there be hope for love, or will two lonely hearts be condemned to casual flirtation?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Flirtation Walk is indeed the first novel I have read by Siri Mitchell.  Her historical yet Christian romance is refreshing. There’s an unexpected journey that readers will take when they open this book. From a young girl trying to live to a decent way of life only to find out more about her dead father’s ways…can dampen anyone’s hopes…then there’s this super cadet whose smart and top of his class. He’s the kind of man that can easily be loved by any woman. Smart, strong, and determind…he sets out to find who has done his family wrong. It’s this path that leads to two unique individuals to meet. Where life will take them is something readers have to read on to discover for themselves.

Flirtation Walk is inspiring and enjoyable to read. I highly recommend this delightful read to readers everywhere. This is the kind of romance readers won’t want to miss. Siri Mitchell has more than talent up her sleeves…her words paint vivid images and scenes in readers minds. It’s like watching both Lucinda and Seth in person.

Review: A Company of Roses

 

Synopsis:

Cas is in awe of glamorous new friend Lacey, an artist from a wealthy background, but when Lacey disappears after a drunken night out, leaving behind a series of cryptic clues, Cas dismisses them as an elaborate performance-art prank.

That’s until someone breaks into her house and holds her at gunpoint. Cas realises she must decipher the clues, and find her friend before Lacey gets herself killed. She’s quickly drawn into a hunt for an Elizabethan treasure that holds the key to a very modern, very dangerous conspiracy.

Hunted by a criminal gang and pursued by a former Russian spy, the race to find Elizabeth’s lost jewel turns deadly. Good thing, then, that Cas is in the company of handsome secret service agent, Reuben, even if he does claim to work for an insurance company. She wants to trust him, but her instincts tell her otherwise.

As she races across England, from Brighton to York, Derbyshire to London, and then heads west, Cas is guided by a riddle that reveals the astonishing tale of a succession of women from British history and the oath they’ve kept for a thousand years.

The end of the journey is more personal than she could ever have imagined as she finally unearths the British Government’s most well-kept secret, and faces the organisation sworn to protect it…

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

WOW! Megan Goodenough’s cozy mystery, A Company of Roses, is exactly that. Readers will find themselves buried back in time to Queen Elizabeth’s period and find that all may not be as it seems. An intriguing yet suspenseful journey in a race to find a woman who dissappeared leaving behind her clues…It’s now up to Cas and a mysterious man to find her friend before it’s too late. Cas soon finds herself traveling all over and falling deeper into a dangerous web to rescue her friend. Reuben is more than what he tells Cas…but he can’t tell her that. But she’s not stupid and senese he’s more than what he seems. Reuben helps Cas as their journey takes them back and forth from the historical moment to the modern times they live within…

Megan Goodenough’s novel is stunning. Brilliantly woven with history, entertainment, and romance. I love a good mystery and an amazing sleuth. Cas is like a modern day Nancy Drew and the Famous Miss Fisher combined. Readers will love the twists and turns that Megan Goodenough has beautifully placed inside this read. The characters and historical importance make this a must read for all. I loved reading this novel and highly recommend it to readers worldwide. A Company of Roses is one readers can’t miss.

Review: A Friend of Mr. Lincoln

 

Synopsis: 

The author of the best-selling The Gates of the Alamo now gives us a galvanizing portrait of Abraham Lincoln during a crucially revealing period of his life, the early Springfield years, when he risked both his sanity and his ethical bearings as he searched for the great destiny he believed to be his.

It is Illinois in the 1830s and 1840s. Abraham Lincoln is a circuit-riding lawyer, a member of the state legislature, a man of almost ungovernable ambition. To his friends he is also a beloved figure, by turns charmingly awkward and mesmerizingly self-possessed—a man of whom they, too, expect big things. Among his friends and political colleagues are Joshua Speed, William Herndon, Stephen Douglas, and many others who have come to the exploding frontier town of Springfield to find their futures.

It is through another friend, a fictional poet, Cage Weatherby, that we will come to know Lincoln in his twenties and thirties, as a series of formative, surprising incidents unfolds—his service in the Black Hawk War, his participation in a poetry-writing society, a challenge to a duel that begins as a farce but quickly rises to lethal potential . . . Cage both admires and clashes with Lincoln, sometimes questioning his legal ethics and his cautious stance on slavery. But he is by Lincoln’s side as Lincoln slips back and forth between high spirits and soul-hollowing sadness and depression, and as he recovers from a disastrous courtship of one woman to marry the beautiful, capricious, politically savvy Mary Todd. It is Mary who will bring stability to Lincoln’s life, but who will also trigger a conflict that sends the two men on very different paths into the future.

Historically accurate, rich in character, filled with the juice and dreams and raw ambitions of Americans on the make in an early frontier city, A Friend of Mr. Lincolnis a revelatory and moving portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in his young manhood. It is a close-up, involving experience, the sort of vibrant glimpse beneath the veneer of history that only the very best fiction can provide.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

A Friend of Mr. Lincoln by Stephen Harrigan is indeed a fabulous read. Readers will be intensely intrigued from page one. Here, readers will see sides of Abraham Lincoln that we never really got to see in history books. Readers will follow this story and learn of Mr. Lincoln’s friends, good times and bad, as well as who Mr. Lincoln was inside and out. A brilliant masterpiece that shows readers the emotional side of history’s most famous men.  Stephen Harrigan has perfectly captured a man we all know. His writing gives readers an insider’s view that not only tells but shows them visually what Mr. Lincoln was like back in the 1830’s and 1840’s.

Politicians face many ups and downs just like the rest of us ordinary people. A Friend of Mr. Lincoln shows a man’s journey as he goes about his career and becoming the man he’s known for today.  It was interesting to find out who Mr. Lincoln’s real historical friends were as well as the fictional one that Stephen Harrigan has created. The story feels so real that’s frightening. Readers will feel as though they have been teleported back in time as the follow the story. The plot was well-written in a way that would compel readers from everywhere and send them straight into the heart of the novel. History comes alive under Stephen Harrigan’s words. Vibrant, realistic, and positively riveting is exactly what readers will think after they read A Friend of Mr. Lincoln.  Told in second person point of view, the pages fill readers with scenes of every detail. Almost like a movie. I highly recommend this stunning historical fiction to readers worldwide. It was exciting to learn more about a president who came from the same state where I was born and raised.

 

 

Review: The Shadow of War (The Great War)

 

Synopsis:

The Shadow of War is the first novel in Stewart Binns’s new series which will see a book release for each year of the First World War.
June 1914.
The beginning of another long, prosperous summer for Britain. But beneath the clear skies, all is not as it seem – as the chill wind of social discontent swirls around this sceptred isle.
Shots ring out in a distant European land – the assassination of a foreign aristocrat. From that moment the entire world is propelled into a conflict unlike any seen before.
This is the story of five British communities, their circumstances very different, but who will all share in the tragedy that is to come. All that they have known will be changed for ever by the catastrophic events of the Great War.
This is a story of love and comradeship, of hatred and tragedy – this is the story of the Great War.
The Shadow of War, the first novel in The Great War series from Stewart Binns, is a thrilling read and perfect for those who enjoy the writing of Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Shadow of War by Stewart Binns is a sensational historical piece. Readers, who were born way after this war and WWII, will finally be able to get an insider’s view to the battle that happened in  June 1914. Stewart Binn’s novel takes readers deep into the historical events of the war. The people it affected and the places it took place. Brilliantly well-written and the characters are well-developed. Readers will feel like they went back in time and are experiencing it all first hand. The battles were real, the losses were many, and suffering all around you. Men going into the unknown to fight off enemies. Rich and poor will go through the war experience alike. Death…is like a black cloud that consumes men. Never know if you will survive the war or not. The fear feels so real, readers will feel their foreheads sweat in anticipation…and shivers down their spines.

The Shadow of War by Stewart Binns captures the realism of the war and the people involved. Stewart Binns definitely knows how to bring history alive to his readers fingertips. I love history. This story was fast-paced, thrilling, and absolutely spectacular. The people who lived during this time period were fascinating. Readers will get a glimpse into those people’s lives especially the poor ones. Railroads taking away business from towns…are left struggling to keep their towns running. Education, water, and illnesses are transparent all inside this great read. It was like watching it all come live in front of one’s eyes. I can see this book and many others by this talented writer in becoming a movie series. Not many today understand, remember, or know what it was like during this time period…until the read this fictional piece containing the historical realistic times in an entertaining book. Stewart Binns also beautifully captures the Pennine dialect of the North-East Lancashire. Dwindling resources….war…death…and much more is penned perfectly for all to enjoy. I look forward to reading more novels in the future by Stewart Binns…he writes his historical fiction in a way the allows everyone to understand and witness the war. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers worldwide.

Review: The Painting & the Piano

 

Synopsis:

The Painting and The Piano is an improbable story of survival and love. Growing up more than a thousand miles apart and worlds away from each other, Johnny and Adrianne seemed to have all that children could ask for. However, the demons of their respective mothers would tear their fragile young lives apart.

Eventually, destiny would bring Johnny and Adrianne together, but first they had to endure the painful toll that alcohol, drugs, and a negligent court system would take on them. With parts of Adrianne’s story ripped from national news headlines, their story takes them from the depths of despair and near death to their first serendipitous introduction and the moment each knew they were finally safe.

Filled with hope, inspiration and humor, The Painting and The Piano, is an unforgettable story of pain, loss and the undying human quest for happiness.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Painting and the Piano by both John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo is a beautifully woven memoir that will inspire readers worldwide. This read portrays what it’s like to live with a drug addict, an alcoholic, and an abuser.

The story opens up with a character about to lose a father only then to find out he’s going to make it. But once he’s home…the man he once was is gone. The strong father was now a frail man with his morphine tank…Then there’s Adrianne who was born addicted to heroin. She soon gets to meet her real birth parents. Next, there is Johnny whose mom drinks all the time.

Both have biological parents who choose to live a life that will send them falling apart faster and faster…until no trace of who they were originally was left to be seen.  Both Adrianne and Johnny had to go through life in a rough way that no child should have to…yet somehow they both might just make it.

The Painting and the Piano is indeed a must-read memoir for all. This is a story of how two individuals struggled with surviving in what life tossed their way and took away from them. Readers will be lead on an inspirational journey that will cause fear, at first, then tears, and then happiness. I loved this survival and love story. It something that readers all over the world can relate to and find inspiration to move forward no matter how hard life may become. Overall, I highly recommend this to all.

 

Review: Message of the Pendant

Synopsis: 

William Darmon and wife Elizabeth were powerful figures, who in 1818 set society’s pace, from expansive grounds known as Mayfair Hall. When a family member is murdered, a mysterious pendant is found containing a long lost request, by Napoleon Bonaparte, for an American mission to burn down Parliament buildings. The couple sets out on an action filled pursuit of the killer. While interviewing Henry Clay in post-war Maryland about the failed mission, they uncover evidence of a conspiracy to free the Emperor from exile. The Darmon’s infiltrate the cadre, but a shipwreck off the coast of Scotland, a firestorm at the Darmon’s Manor and a harrowing assault on the Island of St. Helena loom before the mystery can be unraveled.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

Message of the Pendant by Thomas Thorpe is the first exciting adventure that will lead readers on an unforgettable journey. Inside this first novel of the Darmon Mysteries, readers will follow a couple one of the most eventful mystery solving reads ever. One thing happens and from there the couple takes it into their own hands to settle the dispute. However, that just leads them further into a more daring and bold adventure of a lifetime. Mystery, suspense, and danger all perfectly bound into one incredible novel.

Thomas Thorpe’s talent is one to behold. His writings are interesting and highly entertaining. Never a boring moment with William Darmon and his wife Elizabeth. One case takes them to solving four different cases. A historical fiction novel that will lure readers instantly from page one until the very end. For fans of Nancy Drew,  Miss Fisher, and Detective Murdoch this novel is for you. I loved reading the Message of the Pendant. Readers get to travel the world and solve cases all from one novel. Thomas Thorpe’s a Message of the Pendant is a must read for all. Overall, I highly recommend his novel to readers worldwide.

Review: The Girl Called Princess Charlotte

 

Synopsis:

A Priceless Treasure with a Mysterious Past… Boston attorney Theodore Murphy, Teddy to his friends, has been handed a seemingly straightforward case: to recover a valuable painting by Franz Winterhalter, Young Girl Called Princess Charlotte, which was stolen by the Nazis from Jewish art dealer Dr. Markus Steiner. When the charitable organization founded in his will by Steiner learns that Anna Vogler has put the painting up for auction they demand its return. But Teddy Murphy finds that Vogler’s attorneys aren’t prepared to give up without a fight…and as the widow of a World War II veteran, she makes a sympathetic witness.

Teddy learns that she has no proof of purchase, her husband sent the painting home from Europe near the end of the war, and a mystery surrounds where and how he got it. Armed with this information and Markus Steiner’s diary, Teddy sets out to prove that the Steiner Foundation should rightfully own the painting. Joined by his girlfriend Judith Frazer, Teddy learns about Markus from the trenches of World War I to his daring escape from Nazi Germany, as together they watch a remarkable life story unfold in the pages of Markus’ diary, while they pursue every available avenue, to find out the truth about the painting.

This vivid, beautifully researched historical thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat, while introducing you to the suffering of World War I soldiers, the shocking nightlife of Berlin, the intrigues of the international art world, the horror of the rising Third Reich…and the compassionate dedication of those who still work to bring justice to the Jews of Europe.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Girl Called Princess Charlotte is a must read for all. Especially for fans of the movie, Woman in Gold. This historical fiction takes readers back to World War II and leads them on a journey for the truth. Art, history, and intrigue will sweep readers off their feet and back in time.

The Girl Called Princess Charlotte by Gerard Shirar is spectacular. The characters leave readers on edge as the court process begins…readers hold their breath hoping for a good outcome. Similarities from this to the Woman in Gold movie is fascinating. A Jewish painting with a long line of history is now worth millions. World War II in Germany was a terrifying endless moment in history that those in the present day will never forget. Nazi take what once belonged to the Jewish people of Germany. They had their rights stripped, their possessions taken, and countless thousands were killed. Families were torn, fear in every direction…any kind of resistance lured not only the Jewish owner but the owner’s family to death. The Girl Called Princess Charlotte by Gerard Shirar is a startling truth that should be uncovered and read by all. Gerard Shirar’s writing is well-developed and awe-inspiring. It shows readers that even after so much time has gone by that justice can prevail. Overall, I highly recommend this historical novel to readers worldwide.

Book Review: How to Marry a Royal Highlander by Vanessa Kelly

How to Marry a Royal Highlander is one incredible read. Readers are treated with two fascinating romances for the price of one. Vanessa Kelly has once again placed together irresistible characters that pop off the pages and exciting plots that will heat up any night. Riveting dialogue and sweet surprises, readers will forever be lured into this these historical regency romances.

First there’s a young man, Alasdair Gilbride, runs off into the wilderness to escape his duties and arranged marriage but after ten years, returns back home to face his responsibilities. Except fate decides to intervene and bring him a distraction that he won’t forget. The earl of a Scottish earldom can’t shake the luring woman, Eden Whitney, away from his mind. She too went to run away, somewhere far away from the snobby ton and from temptation. But ten she runs into the hot and sexy, Alasdair Gilbride. But despite their own issues the two are soon caught up in a scandalous affair and danger.  And their hearts are already given to away to the other. Can these two make it unscratched?

Least but not last, there’s charming Chloe Steele, who was ruined by scandal like she was. Little did she know she was in danger. And to complicate things the one man who has been in her life for the longest comes back as a full grown and even more tempting than ever. He is back to make up for lost time and to break down the lies the held them apart. But can Chloe find it within herself to let Dominic Hunter back into her life? Tall, Dark , and Royal is a must read for all. Another brilliantly well written story that readers will enjoy for a life time. One historical novel that will keep readers turning the pages and staying up all night long. Hot, sweet, and addictive, is how Vanessa Kelly masterfully designed her novel. I loved reading this and the other story before it. I rate both of these novels a five out of five stars, and I would highly recommend to them to readers everywhere.