Wednesday, November 7, 2018

#BookReview for Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd #BlogTour @hfvbt @SandraByrd @Joni2345zb #LadyofaThousandTreasures #SandraByrd #HistFic #Christian #Victorian #HFVBTBlogTours


It was my pleasure to take part in another historical fiction blog tour hosted by Amy Bruno of HF Virtual Book Tours. Thanks so much to author Sandra Byrd for providing me a copy of the first book in this new series.

LADY OF A THOUSAND TREASURES BY SANDRA BYRD

Publication Date: October 9, 2018
 

Tyndale House Publishers
Hardcover, Paperback, & eBook; 480 Pages

Series: The Victorian Ladies Series, #1



Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

Description
Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.


Purchase Links
Amazon  Barnes & Noble   IndieBound

Praise for Lady of a Thousand Treasures

“Sandra Byrd’s amazing cast of characters and Victorian settings pull the reader right into the story. I became happily lost in this compelling, lovely book.” -Karen Harper, NYT bestselling author of The Royal Nanny


“Lady of a Thousand Treasures delivers mystery, romance, and suspense in a well-researched Victorian setting.” -Julie Klassen, bestselling author

“I’m always swept away by a Sandra Byrd novel, and Lady of a Thousand Treasures will be long remembered as one of Sandra’s best.” -Jane Kirkpatrick, NYT bestselling author of All She Left Behind

“Sandra Byrd is the rare writer whose evocative, prose grabs hold and doesn’t let go. The Victorian Ladies Series is off to a stunning start!” -Laura Frantz, author of The Lacemaker

“With stunning characters and impeccable research, Sandra Byrd has woven together an exquisite treasure hunt with an ending that will leave you breathless.” -Melanie Dobson, award-winning author of Catching the Wind

“Sandra Byrd’s writing is an absolute piece of art! If I had to sum up this story all in one word, it would be satisfying.” -Michelle Griep, award-winning author of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series


My Review
The first thing I noticed about this book was the beautiful cover art...love it!! This is my first read by this author and my first Gothic romance novel and I enjoyed it a lot. This is the first book in a new series called The Victorian Ladies and what a great start. 

The author was able to grab my attention and keep it throughout. This is another book where I was able to learn new things. The main character Miss Eleanor Sheffield a talented evaluator of antiquities, able to tell the difference between true artifacts and a fraud.

I highly recommend this to those who love historical fiction mixed with a touch of danger and mystery. I can't wait for the next in this series!

About the Author
Bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published more than fifty books over her editing and writing career. Her traditionally published books include titles by Tyndale House Publishers, Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, WaterBrook Press, a Penguin Random House imprint, and Bethany House. She’s also an independent author.

Sandra’s series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, published in 2017 and was named by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fiction books of the year.

Her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.
You can also connect with Sandra on Facebook   Twitter  Instagram Pinterest  Goodreads

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

#BookReview for And No Birds Shall Sing by E.A. Clark #BlogTour @EAClarkAuthor @Joni2345zb @rararesources #ParanormalThriller #Thriller #SupernaturalSuspense

Thanks to author E.A. Clark and Rachel's Random Resources for hosting the blog tour for And No Birds Shall Sing. 

And No Birds Shall Sing by E. A. Clark
 

Genre: Supernatural Suspense / Thriller

Publication Date: October 24, 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
 

Potential Trigger Warnings:The book contains topics such as miscarriage, attempted suicide, infant death and murder.

Purchase Links

UK https://amzn.to/2Mvmbey

US https://amzn.to/2noxGJO  


https://www.crookedcatbooks.com/product/and-no-birds-shall-sing/

 


Not all spirits rest in peace…
Following a personal tragedy, a recovering Grace Clements relocates with her husband and daughter to an old cottage in idyllic rural Oxfordshire. As the family integrate into the seemingly benign local community, they learn unsettling facts about the cottage’s dark past. Grace quickly becomes uncomfortably aware of a menacing presence within their new home.
Stumbling upon a neglected cemetery, Grace and her daughter discover the graves of the house’s previous inhabitants, including those of nine babies. Dismayed to find herself pregnant, Grace suspects she has awoken something truly evil in her new residence. She develops a creeping sense of unease as she unravels the disturbing truth about the history of the cottage and the fate of its occupants.
Who is the sinister boy watching Grace and her family? Are there malevolent forces at work? Or is the mentally fragile Grace heading for another breakdown?
A spellbinding paranormal thriller from the best-selling author of Lay Me To Rest. You may want to keep the lights on…

My Review

5 out of 5 stars

This is my first read by E.A. Clark and what a creepy one it was. I totally loved it and so glad I was able to take part in the blog tour during the Halloween season.

I really enjoyed the story. I really felt bad for Grace at the beginning of the book and as things begin to happen at the cottage they just bought the creepiness factor goes way up!! I loved the realistic dialog between characters. The book wasn't gory but did had lots of  creepiness and suspense. The author was able to hold my attention throughout the book. Thanks so much to author E.A. Clark and Rachel's Random Resources for providing me with an ebook. I highly recommend this one. 


Author Bio
Elizabeth Clark was born and raised in the Midlands, where she continues to live with her husband and son, plus an assortment of pets. Much of her formative existence was spent with her head in a book, and from an early age, she grew to relish the sheer escapism afforded by both reading and writing fiction. Putting things on hold for a time to raise her three children, she has resumed her fervent scribbling.
She has a love of antiquity and a penchant for visiting old graveyards, often speculating on the demise of those entombed beneath. Whilst she has written short stories and poetry for many years, a lifelong fascination with all things paranormal culminated in her first novel for adults, ‘Lay Me to Rest’, published in September 2017 by HQ Digital.
‘And No Birds Shall Sing’, to be published by Crooked Cat in October 2018, is her second foray into the realms of the supernatural.

Social Media Links
Twitter handle -  @EAClarkAuthor ;




Friday, October 12, 2018

#BookReview for Something Wicked by Kerry Wilkinson #BlogTour @kerrywk @Joni2345zb #mystery #CrimeFiction

I would like to thank author Kerry Wilkinson and Noelle at Bookouture for letting me take part in the blog tour for Something Wicked by Kerry Wilkinson

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



Purchase Link:https://tinyurl.com/y7c9zoen

 Description:
Andrew Hunter is plagued by guilt. His only escape is work, where it fuels his need to help others find those they’ve lost.

Elaine Carr’s son, Nicholas, disappeared in the dense woods near his home. He hasn’t been seen since, and she’s falling apart.

Andrew suspects Nicholas is alive, but in grave danger. He wants to know how no one in the small town of Prestwich has any answers. Why the teenager’s girlfriend is so cagey, and to get a proper look at the tattoo on her wrist. And as he follows the trail of an unsettling clue found in the boy’s bedroom, he begins to wonder if the case is connected to one buried in the past.

Can Andrew find Nicholas alive, or is he already too late to save him?

A gripping thriller full of shocking twists that will have you hooked! If you like L.J. Ross, Mark Edwards or Rachel Caine, you’ll love Something Wicked!


My Review
4 out of 5 stars
So glad to take part in the blog tour for Something Wicked by Kerry Wilkinson. This is my second book by this author and I loved it as much as the first one. The plot is twisting and turning with a surprise at the end. There is lots of action which keeps the story going at a good pace. One thing that I especially love about Kerry Wilkinson books is the humor that he puts in...makes me laugh out loud. I felt this was a good start to a new series and I hope to read the next installment. Highly recommended!!

Author Bio:
Kerry Wilkinson has had No.1 bestsellers in the UK, Canada, South Africa and Singapore, as well as top-five books in Australia. He has also written two top-20 thrillers in the United States.

As well as his million-selling Jessica Daniel series, Kerry has written the Silver Blackthorn trilogy - a fantasy-adventure serial for young adults - a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter, plus numerous standalone novels. He has been published around the world in more than a dozen languages.

Originally from the county of Somerset, Kerry has spent far too long living in the north of England, picking up words like 'barm' and 'ginnel'.

When he's short of ideas, he rides his bike or bakes cakes. When he's not, he writes it all down.

Author Social Media Links:

http://kerrywilkinson.com 

http://facebook.com/KerryWilkinsonBooks

 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

#BookReview for Flesh by Laura Bickle #YA Horror #Paranormal #Fantasy @Laura_Bickle @Joni2345zb

Flesh by Laura Bickle

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
 
Genre: YA Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy

Book Description
 The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.

Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.

Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.


Amazon BN Kobo iBooks

Excerpt:

“Amanda, I…Oh.”

I don’t know what else to say. My brain just shuts down.

She is wearing the sheet, wound around her like a toga. It trails behind her bare feet, sort of like a painting about Greek goddesses I’ve seen in art books. She’s leaning over another body stored in the cooler unit on a cart. Her back is to me, and I can only see her pale skin and her burgundy-black hair shuddering.

“Amanda.”

She turns at the sound of my voice, seeming only to hear me for the first time. Her face is covered in dark blood. In her hand, she’s holding a big chunk of purple flesh. Her eyes are half-closed. The autopsy incision on the elderly body below her has been ripped open, and I’m pretty sure that what she’s holding is a lung.

“So hungry…” she murmurs.

I retreat until my back presses against the cold door. A whimper escapes my lips, and I drop the laundry basket with a sharp crack of plastic on the tile floor. This has to be a dream. A screwed-up anxiety dream that I’ll wake up from any moment now…

Amanda’s black eyes snap open. She stares at the chunk of flesh in her hand. “I…Agh…What’s going on?”

Lothar waddles over to her and begins to beg. Bile rises in my throat. “That’s Mrs. Canner,” I manage to answer. “She’s seventy-two and died of surgery complications for varicose veins. Deep vein thrombosis, I think. I don’t remember.” I’m babbling, trying to keep the bile down.

Amanda drops the lung with a wet splat. Lothar scrambles to it and begins scarfing it down. Her hands are trembling. She presses them to her temples. “I don’t understand. I don’t understand.”

I nudge the laundry basket closer to her with my foot. “I brought you some clothes. And, um. Food. You should get dressed.”

I think I should be afraid. I think I really ought to be. But Amanda seems genuinely confused. She reaches for the clothes I’ve brought her. To be polite, I know that I should really look away. But I can’t move. I am not turning my back on her. My heart pounds, and I struggle to take deep, uneven breaths.

Amanda unwinds the sheet and slips into my clothes. Though I avert my eyes, I see that her shoulder and side are still torn open. But my mother hasn’t begun the autopsy yet, so there is no Y-incision across her chest and abdomen.

“Do you remember what happened to you?” I manage to ask. I congratulate myself for having a rational thought. Woot.

Her voice is halting, and her brow wrinkles as she struggles to button my jeans. “I remember…something was chasing me. Jesus, it hurt…” Her hand comes up to her neck, and she seems to remember, fingering the edges of the wound. “Am I in a hospital?” she asks again.

I suck in a breath. “No. You’re at my house.” It’s not a lie. Not really.

She scans the room, as if registering the sight of the cadavers. “You’re the girl whose parents run the funeral home. The Ghoul Girl.”

“It’s gonna be okay,” I tell her.

“Why am I here?” Her breath makes ghosts in the cold air.

“The Sheriff found you, alongside the road.” That’s true also, even if not the whole truth. “I think we should get you upstairs, so you can talk to my parents…”

She shakes her head, and her dark hair slaps across her face. “No. I…Oh my god. I’m here because…somebody thought I was dead?”

I swallow hard. “Yeah.”

Her hands press to the wound on her side. “But I’m not dead!”

“I…uh…I think we need to get you to the hospital.” I tentatively reach toward her, to grasp her arm and guide her upstairs, toward the light of the much more civilized parlor and rational discussion. This is so far over my head, and I need my parents to handle it.

She shakes her head. “No. No. No.”

I hold her elbow gently, trying to keep her calm until I can get her upstairs to my parents. Her skin radiates cold through the sweatshirt, and I can see that the edges of her neck wound are dry, not seeping so much as a hint of blood. “Come with me.” I open the door and gently lead her into the lab, as if I’m herding a frightened cat. She gazes at the stainless-steel equipment. “I was here. I remember being here.”

“Come upstairs,” I urge, struggling to keep my composure. I use all the empathy that I’ve learned, dealing with grieving family members, trying to understand the shock and lead her away from the Body Shop.

She squints up at the buzzing light. “You were here, weren’t you? You and that woman. Looking at me.”

“My mother,” I say. I’m thinking crap crap crap. I’ve heard of cases of people whose vitals have dropped far beyond detection, who have awoken in hospital morgues. This has never happened to us. Not ever. Oh shit. The other body. Maybe it the same thing…

“The woman with that knife…” Her fingers go to her sternum, where my mother’s scalpel had rested. All of a sudden, Amanda becomes rooted in place, as immovable as a mountain.

“No one’s going to hurt you,” I promise. “Let me make you some coffee.”

She shakes her head, and I feel her trembling. Her eyes slide to the back door.

She slips from my grip. Before I can stop her, she rushes to the back door. She slams it open with a sound like a gunshot and plunges into the darkness. 


My Review:
This is not my usual genre but thought I would try something new. Boy am I glad I did! I wanted to read some creepy books for the Halloween season and this one fits the category perfectly.

The main character, Charlie, AKA Ghoul Girl, is a teen living with her family in a funeral home. Charlie's dad is a mortician and her mom is the coroner. Bodies begin disappearing from the funeral home and the reader is introduced to some zombies/ghouls.

I really enjoyed the story. I loved the Grandma character and especially Lothar the Dachshund. The dialog between characters was realistic. The book wasn't overly gory but did have some creepiness and suspense. The author was able to hold my attention throughout the book. Thanks so much to author Laura Bickle and Bewitching Book Tours for providing me with an ebook. Highly recommend this one.

About the Author:


Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

More information about Laura’s work can be found at www.laurabickle.com

https://twitter.com/Laura_Bickle

https://www.facebook.com/Author.Laura.Bickle

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