Monday, September 7, 2015

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Avelynn by Marissa Campbell


Avelynn by Marissa Campbell

Publication Date: September 8, 2015 
St. Martin's Press 
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover 
Pages: 320 
ISBN13: 978-1250063939 
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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   One extraordinary Saxon noblewoman and one fearless Viking warrior find passion and danger in this dazzling and sensuous debut. Marissa Campbell's debut novel is a winning combination of romance, history, and adventure sure to appeal to fans of Diana Gabaldon. It is 869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Eadlorman of Somerset has lived in an environment of love and acceptance. She hasn't yet found a man to make her heart race, but her father has not pressured her to get married. Until now. With whispers of war threatening their land, her father forces Avelynn into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status. The dreaded marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik the Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed. Alrik is unlike any man she has ever known, strong and intriguing. Likewise, he instantly falls for her beauty and courage. The two stumble into a passionate love affair, but it's more than just a greedy suitor who will try to keep them apart. As the Saxons and Vikings go to war, Avelynn and Alrik find themselves caught in the throes of fate. Can they be true to their people as well as to each other?


My Review

“Avelynn” by Marissa Campbell is an intriguing novel about a passionate woman from the 800’s. She was not raised like a normal girl was during that time period. She had been allowed by her father to speak her mind, and to have some say in her future; to a point. Eventually he becomes tired of waiting for her to choose a husband, and decides to choose one for her. Avelynn is set on marrying for love and passion, and the man her father has chosen for her is her worst nightmare. However, she has met a man who ignites the flames of passion inside her, something that no other man has done. The problem is, there is no way she can be with him, and no way would her father or anyone approve of him.

This is an interesting book, and I like Avelynn’s character the majority of the time. I like that she is passionate, and that she is a strong female character in a time when women were made to be submissive, and had their lives mapped out for them by their fathers. I don’t feel like I really knew her though, at least not as well as I would have liked. I felt that I knew her character on the surface, but I would have liked to understand her thoughts and feelings more. Like, her “dabbling” with the goddess rituals—I felt like there was not a whole lot that led up to this. Also, we were only introduced to the man she is betrothed to that she can’t stand, and we’re given a quick glimpse of one suitor that she had turned down,  but it would have been interesting to have an idea of what other types of men she had rejected. I don’t know, I just felt like I didn’t know her very well as a reader, so it was hard to get really invested in her character, I liked her, but didn’t love her, if that makes sense. Also, while it is an interesting book, it took a while to pick up. I really didn’t get interested in it until she met the man that she basically fell passionately in love with in less than a day. After that happened, the book began to pick up, and there was some suspense, and something to look forward to. Prior to that, it did drag for me.

“Avelynn” is well written, and the author obviously did her research when writing it. I like the descriptions, and the author’s writing style, and I would recommend this book to readers, because I think that it is a book that people will enjoy. I usually enjoy historical fiction that is based on a real historical figures life, so that could possibly be why this wasn’t a five star book for me? As it is, I would give this book a 4 stars out of 5. 


"Marissa Campbell brings a long-forgotten era splendidly to life in this adventurous and passionate debut." - Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author

"Avelynn is a captivating tale of star-crossed lovers. He is a Viking and she is a Saxon. Their struggle to be together will lead you on an exciting journey through a background filled with rich and detailed description." - Connie Mason, New York Times bestselling author of Viking Warrior

"Marissa Campbell's Avelynn is a fast-paced, rollicking historical novel whose irresistible heroine starts out as the willful daughter of a Saxon earl and evolves into a warrior and leader, as fierce as she is passionate." - Barbara Rogan, author of A Dangerous Fiction and Suspicion

"A hot-blooded tale of Viking invasion, Saxon valor, and a love that conquers kingdoms. Get ready to be bewitched by the bold, brave Avelynn." - Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Exiles



03_Marissa Campbell_AuthorMarissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. Look for her debut historical fiction Avelynn coming September 8th, 2015, from St. Martin’s Press. Currently, hard at work on the second book in the Avelynn series, she is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7. When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun! For more information visit You can also follow Marissa Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Monday, September 7
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Tuesday, September 8
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Wednesday, September 9
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Thursday, September 10
Interview at Unshelfish
Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, September 11
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Saturday, September 12
Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Sunday, September 13
Review at Genre Queen
Monday, September 14
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, September 15
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Friday, September 18
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews
Monday, September 21
Interview & Excerpt at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Tuesday, September 22
Review at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, September 23
Review at Curling up by the Fire
Thursday, September 24
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day
Sunday, September 27
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Monday, September 28
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Tuesday, September 29
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review & Giveaway at Reading Lark
Wednesday, September 30
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, October 1
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Friday, October 2 Review at The True Book Addict

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BOOK TOUR - REVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac

Hydra | Aug 18, 2015 | 272 Pages


Readers of Stephen King and Joe Hill will devour this bold, terrifying new novel from Edward M. Erdelac. A mysterious man posing as a Union soldier risks everything to enter the Civil War’s deadliest prison—only to find a horror beyond human reckoning.

Georgia, 1864. Camp Sumter, aka Andersonville, has earned a reputation as an open sewer of sadistic cruelty and terror where death may come at any minute. But as the Union prisoners of war pray for escape, cursing the fate that spared them a quicker end, one man makes his way into the camp purposefully.

Barclay Lourdes has a mission—and a secret. But right now his objective is merely to survive the hellish camp. The slightest misstep summons the full fury of the autocratic commander, Captain Wirz, and the brutal Sergeant Turner. Meanwhile, a band of shiftless thieves and criminals known as the “Raiders” preys upon their fellow prisoners. Barclay soon finds that Andersonville is even less welcoming to a black man—especially when that man is not who he claims to be. Little does he imagine that he’s about to encounter supernatural terrors beyond his wildest dreams . . . or nightmares.

My Review

“Andersonville” by Edward M. Erdelac is a great historical fiction read if you’re interested in the Civil War. It does not really give you a lot of insight about the actual war, but you are able to clearly see the inner workings of a Civil War Prison Camp. Andersonville was the most notorious prisoner of war camp there was during the Civil War in America. The prisoners were starved, abused, and not provided proper medical care.  A lot of this had to do with the fact that it was located in Georgia, which was controlled by the Confederacy, and it was during a time in the war when the south did not have enough supplies to keep their own troops fed and clothed properly, so obviously they were not going to give the Union soldiers more than their own men were receiving. This novel shows the prison through the eyes of a black man named Barclay Lourdes. Through his eyes the reader is able to see how the prisoners were treated, and how the racism towards blacks was shown not only from the Confederates who were in charge of the camp, but also by many of his fellow prisoners. The author did a great job of describing the suffering the men were going through, and what an actual day was like as a prisoner within the walls of Andersonville. He definitely goes into some detailed descriptions when writing about some of the sickening things that happened while inside the prison camp, so if you’re squeamish be prepared.

The reason I’m not giving it a full five stars has to do with the elements of voodoo/supernatural within this book. I am completely fine with reading about people practicing voodoo, and things similar to it, but when the characters started talking about the guards and Wirz (the man who ran the camp and was later convicted of war crimes) being actually possessed by evil spirits and things like that, it was just a little too much for me. I think it kind of took the historical fiction element away, and gave it too much of a supernatural feel for me, and I’m just not a fan of reading about the supernatural. Another reason I could not give it a full five stars is because I read a different historical fiction book named “Andersonville” around 10 years ago. This book is a lot like that one, but in my opinion, not as good. So, while this book IS a good read, and I DO like it, I could only give it FOUR out of FIVE stars. Definitely worth picking up to read if you like Civil War historical fiction.


“The true story of Andersonville is one of unimaginable horror and human misery. It’s a testament to his unmatched skill as a storyteller that Edward M. Erdelac is not only able to capture that horror but to add another level of supernatural terror and reveal that the darkest evil of all resides in the human soul. Highly recommended to fans of horror and history alike.”—Brett J. Talley, Bram Stoker Award–nominated author of That Which Should Not Be and He Who Walks in Shadow

“Andersonville is a raw, groundbreaking supernatural knuckle-punch. Erdelac absolutely owns Civil War and Wild West horror fiction.”—Weston Ochse, bestselling author of SEAL Team 666

About the Author

Edward M. Erdelac is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the author of six novels (including the acclaimed weird western series Merkabah Rider) and several short stories. He is an independent filmmaker, award-winning screenwriter, and sometime Star Wars contributor. Born in Indiana, educated in Chicago, he resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and a bona fide slew of children and cats.

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Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac TLC Book Tours Book Stops

Monday, August 17th: Bell, Book & Candle
Tuesday, August 18th: Fourth Street Review
Tuesday, August 18th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, August 19th: The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, August 19th: Tynga’s Reviews
Thursday, August 20th: A Book Geek
Monday, August 24th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, August 25th: Kissin’ Blue Karen
Wednesday, August 26th: Kari J. Wolfe
Thursday, August 27th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, August 31st: It’s a Mad Mad World
Tuesday, September 1st: SJ2B House of Books
Wednesday, September 2nd: Historical Fiction Obsession
Thursday, September 3rd: Kimberly’s Bookshelf
Friday, September 4th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, September 7th: From the TBR Pile